Best Hot Tub Steps

Updated July 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

12 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
133 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best hot tub steps

Last Updated July 2019

Nothing says “relaxation” quite like a hot tub. But it’s hard to relax when you’re worried that you or a loved one might slip getting in and out of the spa. And that concern isn’t irrational: as the number of hot tubs sold increases, so does the number of injuries from slips and falls. While cuts and bruises are the most common wounds, more than a quarter of all hot tub falls result in head injuries. Head injuries can lead to concussions, hospitalization, and even permanent damage. And head injuries involving water can be dire for children. One smart safety measure to help prevent injuries is the use of hot tub steps.

Hot tub steps can help users enter and exit the hot tub safely. The steps won’t eliminate the risk of injury, but they can give young, elderly, or unstable guests a safe option that doesn’t embarrass them or force them to take risks.

If you’re looking for steps for your hot tub, keep reading to find which features to look for. And check out our recommendations for the best hot tub steps available today.

Most hot tub steps snap together quickly without the use of tools. A rubber mallet might be helpful for stubborn connections.

Key considerations

Traction

Water drips are a fact of life with a hot tub, so guarding against slips is important. Many hot tub steps are manufactured with a textured surface built into the steps. Others have strips of nonslip textured material affixed to the steps. In general, built-in texturing is superior because water can damage or weaken the adhesive used to attach the strips to the steps. 

Height

Another key concern is the height of the tub. Most measure between 34 and 42 inches tall, although the practical height can vary if the hot tub is set into a deck or standing on an elevated platform. If your hot tub is 34 to 36 inches tall, only children or older users might need steps, although steps may be useful to have on hand for visitors. Most users need steps to safely access a 42-inch hot tub. Regardless of the exact height, stairs that are slightly shorter than the hot tub’s wall are the most practical size for most users.

Shape

You’ll also need to think about the shape of your hot tub. Steps that don’t line up flush with the tub put users at risk for stepping in gaps or losing their balance. If your hot tub is square, pick squared-off steps that line up flush. If your tub is round, go with steps that conform to that shape. Some models have reversible steps that can be used with both round and flat tub walls, depending upon how you assemble them.

Versatile and durable

Whatever the shape of your hot tub, these durable, weatherproof steps will fit. The unassembled set comes with two textured plastic steps, one of which sits flush against a round spa. The other lines up perfectly against a straight tub wall. Put the one that matches your spa in the top slot and the other on the bottom, where the edge doesn’t need to rest against the tub. These steps are so sturdy that many customers use their full body weight to lock the steps into place, with no damage to the plastic.

Materials

Hot tub steps are manufactured from many different materials, including wood, plastic, and resin. While wood may look more attractive, steps made from plastics and synthetics are more durable. Synthetics and plastics are made with weatherproof, UV-resistant components and can be manufactured with textured designs. Wooden steps can be treated with finishes that increase durability and have nonstick strips added, but these will all wear off over time.

Weight limit

Many hot tub steps have a weight limit of 300 pounds, although some can hold up to 800 pounds. If you have concerns, be sure to check the specifications for your particular model and consider the people you expect will be using the steps.

EXPERT TIP

Some hot tub steps include decorative planters or convenient coolers as value-added features.


Staff  | BestReviews

Hot tub step features

Storage

Some hot tub steps have a hidden compartment beneath a step that can hold goggles, towels, and other hot tub accessories. This is a convenient feature, especially if you lack nearby storage for supplies. Make sure the stepping surface is secure and doesn’t shift easily due to the hollow space underneath.

Open vs. solid

Hot tub steps are either open or solid in construction. Open steps can be easier to maneuver without banging toes or feeling cramped, but if you live in a wooded area, they can provide shelter for mosquitoes, wasps, and even snakes. Solid steps limit pests’ access to your feet.

Waterproof

Steps outside the hot tub provide enough stability for many people, but not for everyone. Some people feel more secure with steps both inside and outside the tub. Most hot tub steps are made of lightweight molded plastic that floats in water. If you’re looking for steps to put inside the tub, look for heavier steps that won’t float if submerged or ones that can be filled with material to keep them in place.

Though it would be convenient, spa chemicals should not be stored in step compartments. Chemicals need to be stored in a cool, dry area out of sunlight.

Number of steps

Most hot tub stairs have only two steps, which will serve most people well. Others have three or even four steps to provide a gentler climbing angle and minimize that last stretch as you step into the tub. If you or a frequent guest has mobility challenges, look for a model with a larger number of steps. 

Other features

Handrails: Some hot tub steps include handrails for even more security.

Width: Steps with a wider base take up more room, but they are more stable than tall, narrow steps.

Color: Night is a favorite time to use a hot tub. If the lighting is dim or you or a guest has poor night vision, choose steps in contrasting colors that will stand out against the hot tub or deck.

EXPERT TIP

To make them safer, some reversible hot tub steps are nearly impossible to move once they’re in place. Make sure you have the correct step on top before you push it into place.


Staff  | BestReviews

Hot tub step prices

Inexpensive: Lower-priced hot tub steps cost $60 to $80. Models in this price range should be made of sturdy, weather-resistant plastic with nonslip steps. They’ll likely have a simple design without any artistic flair. These don’t include storage compartments or other value-added components.

Mid-range: These spa steps cost $80 to $100. Steps in this price range are made of heavy-duty resin or plastic. Unlike cheaper models, these should have stylized features that upgrade the appearance of your hot tub. Many but not all include storage.

Expensive: High-end hot tub steps cost $100 or more, sometimes much more, depending on the features. Most are made of durable resin or plastic that’s weatherproof and UV-resistant, although some are made of finished wood. The design is more aesthetically pleasing, and the nonskid texturing may have an eye-catching pattern. These steps have storage and possibly other features that upgrade the appearance or safety.    

Tips

  • Use your steps for more than the hot tub. Some people use hot tub steps to provide better access to recreational vehicles, tall beds, and other elevated surfaces.
  • Check that storage steps are watertight. If you buy steps with a storage compartment, either verify that the compartment is watertight or don’t use it to store anything that could be damaged by drips or downpours.
  • Add nonskid strips to the bottom of the steps. If your hot tub rests on tile, look for steps with a textured base or add nonskid adhesive strips to the bottom.

Streamlined and slip-free

These easy-to-assemble, simple steps give the small boost most people need to get into the spa safely. They come in a variety of earth tones that will complement almost any hot tub wall and weatherproofing keeps them looking and working like new in any climate. Anti-slip texturing keeps you safe on the steps, but note the 275-pound weight limit.

Other products we considered

We’re sold on the convenience of the QCA Spas Storage Step. It’s made from attractive two-tone resin, but its main selling point is the storage. The 36-inch compartment is divided into three bins that can hold a small towel, googles, sunscreen, and other hot tub necessities. Unfortunately, the manufacturer recommends storing the hot tub chemicals elsewhere since they must be kept in a cool, dry place. For those who need extra support, we love the Confer Plastics Jacuzzi Steps with Handrails. They’re designed to look like wood but are constructed from durable, UV-resistant polyethylene plastic. Most hot tub stairs have two steps, but this model has four, plus handrails, to allow a gentler angle and more security for those with mobility challenges. These steps are expensive, but it’s hard to put a price on safety. 

If you need lights for your hot tub path, but you’re leery about wires around water, try solar-powered lights instead.

FAQ

Q. Do I need hot tub steps with handrails?
A.
Only in certain circumstances. If you or frequent guests are prone to balance issues, handrails are a good idea. Hot tubs can exacerbate stability problems because sitting in one can leave your legs feeling weak. Users might not realize they’re off balance until they’re stepping out of the hot tub. Additionally, if you live in a cooler climate and use your hot tub during the winter, there’s a chance that pools of dripped water could freeze. A handrail could help you regain your balance if you hit an unexpected patch of ice.

Q. Should I secure the hot tub steps to the ground?
A.
Most hot tub steps are made of lightweight plastic, which might not inspire confidence in users with chronic vestibular problems or be safe for children dashing up the steps. While you should look for steps that line up flush against the hot tub wall, nothing is foolproof. But securing steps to the ground is easier said than done. Instead, look for models that can be secured to your hot tub cabinet. Check your manufacturer’s recommendations, especially if any alterations affect your spa’s warranty.

Q. How do I clean hot tub steps?
A.
If you’re just trying to keep dirt from being tracked into the tub, you can use a garden hose to spray off any dirt. Make sure the pressure is high enough to dislodge any dirt stuck in textured plastic. But if your steps have seen a lot of traffic, it might be time for a deeper cleaning.  Dirt packed into the textured surface can compromise its nonskid ability, and mold makes everything slippery. Plastic steps can be scrubbed with warm, soapy water to remove dirt and mold. Make sure to rinse afterward with a hose to remove any slippery soap residue. If you have wooden steps, check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure you don’t damage the finish.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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