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Have you ever noticed how most of the commonly recommended hot tub steps look a little... flimsy? Nobody wants to slip on wet plastic, or worse, have your spa steps break at the worst possible moment.
Thankfully, there are a few sturdy alternatives you can use in place of traditional hot tub steps that will make getting in and out of your spa much safer.
How we picked
No law says you absolutely need to use steps designed for hot tubs to get in and out of your spa, especially if they feel flimsy or unsafe.
We had this same feeling, so we went in search of other alternatives that make excellent hot tub steps—but are much sturdier and safer.
In particular, we looked for:
- Wider steps: Especially useful if you have a larger frame or find it daunting to climb a narrow set of steps.
- Sturdier build quality: Less likely to bend or bow during use.
- Non-slip grips or treads on the steps: Needs to prevent slipping, even with wet feet.
- High-quality materials: Must be durable, stand up to the elements, and fit most hot tubs.
Bonus points if they wouldn't look out of place in our backyard next to the spa.
Best step with handrail
Sturdy and safe access to your hot tub, with a handrail for extra stability.View on Amazon
This step from Stromberg Carlson comes in two variations depending on what height you prefer to access your hot tub. There is a 2-step and a 3-step model. These steps were originally designed for a trailer or RV, but also fit beautifully next to a hot tub.
The 2-step model reaches 20" off the ground while the 3-step reaches 28" (great even for the deepest hot tubs). They are both 27" wide, so there is plenty of room for you to get a solid footing, so you can feel comfortable when climbing into your tub to relax. The top step widens into a platform of 27" x 16", giving you room to turn safely before entering the water if you like to step in backwards.
If the height aligns with your spa, you could even just sit down on the platform and dangle your feet in the tub if you're not in the mood for a full soak.
Another awesome feature of this step is that it comes with a built-in handrail. Any older adult using these steps will love the extra security this handrail provides, as it gives you something to grip onto when using the steps.
The handrail can be attached either on the right or left side, depending on your setup. There is also an option to purchase an additional handrail separately so that you can attach a handrail on both sides of the steps.
What we loved
- These steps are sturdy, and can support 300 pounds of weight easily without showing any signs of strain.
- They come almost fully assembled. It only requires unfolding and attaching six lock-open braces.
- The provided handrail makes it easy for older persons or people with impaired mobility to access the tub safely.
What we didn't
- These are heavy—they can be moved, but don't expect to lift and shift them around easily or without help.
- The steps need a fairly large area of flat, solid ground outside the tub to accommodate their footprint.
Best multi-purpose step
A versatile, super-strong step that requires zero assembly.View on Amazon
The Buyers Products Utility Step is perfect for use with any hot tub. This step is fully portable with a handy handle molded into the top step for easy lifting and carrying.
With a height of 16" from the ground, it will be compatible with most types of hot tub—even shallower models. The unit consists of two steps; each finished with non-slip etchings in the high-density polyethylene material to prevent slipping even when wet. The rugged, durable step can support a weight of up to 350 pounds so there's no fear of it breaking while you are climbing into your tub.
One nice feature is that this step can multitask. It will be great for climbing into the tub but could also be used around the house to reach those high shelves in the pantry or the garage.
What we loved
- No assembly is required with this one. Just pop it next to the tub, and you are ready to climb in.
- The sturdy frame supports 350 pounds of weight, which is the highest of all the steps we tested.
- Molded handle makes it easy to pick up and move around.
- The whole unit weighs only 13 pounds, making it light enough for anyone to move with ease.
- You can access your tub from any point with this free-standing step.
What we didn't
- The unit is made of black polyethylene, which can be a bit dull-looking. Still, black being a universal color, it should go with all colors of hot tub cabinet pretty well.
Best step with storage
A lightweight, single-unit step with a handy integrated storage compartment for spa essentials.View on Amazon
The High Country Plastics Entry Step is similar to the step above, but slightly lower in height at only 14" tall. Still, that height gives access to most hot tubs, and makes it an especially good pick if you have an inflatable or other shallow spa.
The step unit is made as one solid block consisting of two steps on a wide base, giving it a very secure feel as you climb it.
A conveniently placed handle for easy lifting and a cut-out window for storage are the features that set this step above the rest. Cat owner as well as a hot tub owner? The storage could even double up as a cosy place for your cat to nap while you relax in the spa!
What we loved
- The step requires no assembly. It comes as a ready-made unit.
- The wide base and non-slip surface on the steps make it ideal for hot tub use as you won't slip even with wet feet.
- Place it anywhere you like around the tub—it's portable so you are not tied to a single entry point.
- It contains a handy storage space to keep hot tub supplies.
- Use in other hard-to-reach parts of the house too.
What we didn't
- It is the lowest in height out of all the steps we tested for this article.
- It comes in one standard color: ash gray.
How tall should hot tub steps be?
Hot tub steps should be tall enough that you can comfortably get your leg up and over the side to step in. This height will of course vary depending on your own comforts and abilities.
As a general rule of thumb, aim for about half the height of your spa as a rough guideline. So, if your spa is 32", your steps should be at least 16" tall.
Some people find it helps to match the height of their external steps to the height of the internal seat or surface that they'll be stepping onto inside the spa.
So there you have it: three choices of alternative entry steps for your spa so that you never again have to use the unsafe, flimsy steps sold for hot tubs again.