Whether it is a backyard pool or you are running commercial pools and spas, there are some accessories that you always need to take care of. Case in point: pool handrails. It has been noticed that many homeowners consider pool handrails as a redundant in-ground accessory and, thus, don’t install them with their pools.
Handrails are the most convenient and instant way to get in and out of the pool. Many homeowners only realize this advantage of railings when they have already constructed the pool and deck and started using it. On the other hand, the pool handrail is more of a prerequisite for commercial pools, in fact, it is the provision of law to install handrails with commercial pools to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Even if you didn’t add handrails at the time of pool construction, you don’t need to worry and regret that gaffe. You can still go with the retrofit installation of top-quality, durable, and ADA-compliant handrails on your pool. Here, we are going to discuss 7 of the best pool handrails that are available in the market right now. We will also pen down a short buying guide that will help you in picking a suitable handrail option outside of this list.
Before we start reviewing the best pool handrails available this year, it is important to mention here that we have numbered them for reading convenience. This numbering doesn’t indicate our preference or customer rating.
Best Pool Handrails
Here’s the list of the 7 best pool handrails of 2023, featuring durable and ADA-compliant options to enhance safety and accessibility for both residential and commercial pools.
1. FibroPool Hand Rail with Quick Mount Base - Best for Small Deck Spaces
This pool handrail by FibroPool features durable stainless steel construction. If you are looking for a pool handrail that doesn’t occupy large deck space and offers durable support for those entering and exiting the pool, then this item should be your pick.
Besides sturdy and space-efficient construction, this FibroPool rail is also easy to install. You can use it on both concrete and wooden surfaces. You have to install its baseplate 10 inches away from the edge of the pool to make sure it comes at the right height. The other impressive bit about this product is that it comes with all the necessary parts for installation. You get four screws, four lead anchors, and a masonry drill bit with it so you don’t have to go for any aftermarket purchase.
You just need a drilling machine to install it on your own without needing external help. The stainless steel construction of the handrail also makes it exceedingly good against constant exposure to water. Even after extended use, you won’t find even minor rust spotting on the rail.
2. Aqua Select Rail for Inground Swimming Pools - Best for Outdoor Use
Aqua Select has introduced a perfect inground pool accessory in the form of this stainless steel handrail. If you are looking to make the entry and exits to your pools safe and secure, then this strong and durable rail is worth considering.
For instance, it is made of gray-finished stainless steel that is not just corrosion-resistant but also stain-proof. These characteristics make it perfect for outdoor use. No matter how high the foot traffic is in and around your pool, this Aqua Select pool handrail will maintain its spark.
The sturdiness of the rail also lies in the fact that the manufacturer has used a 2-inch diameter tubing to carve it out. This tube width gives firmness to the rail and a required grip to the people using it. The length and height of the rail are also set as such that you can use it with all pool sizes without worrying about the mismatch.
Lastly, the sparkling gray finish, along with the dynamic shape of the rail, is also easy on the eyes. When installed, Aqua Select Pool Hand Rail also turns around the look of your pool.
3. S.R. Smith F4H-102 - Best for Pools with In-Wall Steps
Truth be told, a single handrail doesn’t look good on the pools that have in-wall steps. In those pools, it is better if you use handrails on each side of the steps to give them the proper look of the staircase. S.R. Smith has introduced a top-quality pair of handrails for all those pool owners that don’t want to make any compromise on the safety of people using steps to enter and exit the pool.
The stainless steel construction of the pool is pretty carefully planned. You get a 1.9-inch tube diameter with a 6-inch radius bend on each rail so it can provide the required grip and support to the users. Moreover, the steel sheets used to mold these rails are 0.05 inches thick, which makes sure the rail looks and feels the same season after season.
As per the manufacturer’s instructions, you need to install the rails 26 inches apart (from the center) for giving the required support to both hands of people entering and leaving the pool. However, you can also use other spacing values, especially if you are looking to comply with ADA requirements.
If your pool has steep entry and you want to add hand support to it, then this S.R. Smith’s pair of handrails is for you. This set is quite different from the one we have reviewed above. For instance, it doesn’t have an elevated curved construction with a prominent bend radius. These pool handrails are longer and have a slightly rectangular shape with curved edges.
Like other S.R. Smith handrail models, this one also has impeccable construction. The manufacturer has used 304-grade stainless steel to construct these rails. This stainless steel variant is known for its excellent corrosion-resistant qualities. You don’t need to worry about how much the rail is going to get exposed to water; it is not going to rust away.
You can also install these rails with pools that have steps. Just make sure you are installing it on both sides of the stairs in a way where they remain reachable to users while entering and exiting the pool. These handrails are also easy to install. If you have bought the anchors and escutcheons, then you can mount them on your pool deck by using the tools available in your home toolkit.
Marine Fiberglass Direct has designed a railing that entails versatile use. You can use it on marinas and docks as well as besides inground pools and hot tubs. This handrail is quite different in its construction in comparison to what we have seen in the above products.
Unlike the four handrails we have reviewed so far, this one has more of an elevated U-shape vertical construction. It is 18 inches high, which is a perfect height for children entering the pool and looking for safety grab. Moreover, the two strands of U are 13 inches apart. So, there is also enough space for those who want to grab it while getting out of the pool. The pad of each strand has three anchor points in which you can use stainless steel screws and bolts.
The other striking feature of this handrail is its material. Instead of using steel, the manufacturer has used high-quality milled aluminum to carve out this rail. This doesn’t just keep the handrail lightweight but also makes it ideal for use around saltwater.
This Inter-Fab handrail product is also a set of two stainless steel rails that are ideal for use with pools that have in-wall (recessed) steps. These grab rails have the classic shape of a pool handrail. They are straight from one side and curve from the other side that is supposed to face the pool. This curve is neither too big nor too small so that both adults and children can easily grab it.
The other impressive bit about these pool rails is that they have a perfect height and prescribed installation width. It’s roughly 24 inches high and needs to be installed 20 inches apart from the center. These dimensions are deemed suitable for both small commercial pools and spas and home pools.
However, the most striking feature of these handrails that also makes them stand apart from other similar products is their varied finishing options. When the majority of stainless steel rails come with the same silver and grayish finishes, Inter-Fab offers its customers to choose between four different finishes of varied colors and patterns.
If you want to add another layer to the aesthetics of your pool and deck, then this Inter-Fab pool handrail is definitely worth your money.
If you are looking for a single post for your in-ground pool that can serve as a safety grab for all those people who are more careful in entering and exiting the water, then this Saftron product is definitely an option worth considering.
This single post is 24 inches high and 18 inches wide, making it an ideal standalone handrail option for all pool sizes. The other good thing about this handrail is its compact base. It won’t be an overstatement to say that it features the smallest footprint on the block. No matter how narrow your pool deck is, this Saftron handrail can be easily installed there. The Lift and turn base with the 9 inches of clearance is also good from a functional standpoint.
The other worth-mentioning feature of this single-post rail is its finish. When the majority of steel handrails come with powder-coated finishing that eventually chips and cracks, Sf-24-Lt-B Pool Rail feature a beige finish that is ingrained in its material. The color of the rail won’t fade away even after many years of use. Lastly, Saftron has designed this handrail for both freshwater pools and those that use saltwater chlorinator systems.
Best Pool Handrails Comparison Table
|Product||Material||Installation||Compatibility||Dimensions||Weight Capacity||Color Options||Special Features|
|FibroPool Hand Rail with Quick Mount Base||Stainless Steel||Surface Mounted||Inground & Above Ground Pools||48"L x 36"H||350 lbs||Silver||Quick & Easy Installation, Corrosion-Resistant|
|Aqua Select Rail for Inground Swimming Pools||Stainless Steel||Surface Mounted||Inground Pools||50"L x 36"H||300 lbs||Silver||Sleek Design, easy to Install & Maintain|
|S.R. Smith F4H-102||Marine Grade Stainless Steel||Deck Mounted||Inground & Above Ground Pools||26"L x 33"H||300 lbs||Silver||High-Quality Construction, Durable & Stylish|
|S.R.Smith 50-902 Deck Mounted||Marine Grade Stainless Steel||Deck Mounted||Inground Pools||36"L x 29"H||500 lbs||Silver||Sturdy & Secure, Stylish Design|
|Marine Fiberglass Aluminum Handrail||Fiberglass/Aluminum||Surface Mounted||Inground & Above Ground Pools||13"L x 18"H||250 lbs||White||Lightweight & Durable, Corrosion-Resistant|
|Inter-Fab G3DE049 Grab Rail||Stainless Steel||Deck Mounted||Inground & Above Ground Pools||39"L x 33"H||250 lbs||Silver||Sleek & Modern Design, Easy to Grip & Install|
|Saftron Sf-24-Lt-B for In-Ground Pools||High-Impact Polymer||Surface Mounted||Inground Pools||18"L x 24"H||400 lbs||White||Non-Corrosive & UV-Resistant, Comfortable to Hold|
Buying Guide For The Best Pool Handrail
If you want to explore the market beyond the products we have reviewed above, then factor in these elements to make sure you are bringing the right pool handrail home.
Material of the Handrail
This is the first and foremost thing that you need to consider if you don’t want to purchase another pool handrail for a long time to come. In most cases, handrails are installed in settings where they are simultaneously exposed to water and sun. So, you need the rail in a material that can withstand acute moisture levels without corroding away while simultaneously putting up with the shenanigans of sunrays, especially of its UV rays.
Stainless steel is the only viable material that can make handrails withstand rough and tough outdoor conditions. It doesn’t corrode or fade under the sun. So, always try to choose anything that is made of a premium-grade stainless steel mold.
Aluminum is another option, especially if you are looking for a handrail for a saltwater pool. However, it is not as good as steel with its ant-corrosive properties.
Design of the Handrail
There are two things that you need to consider while choosing a pool handrail on the basis of its design. First, it should offer hand support to those who are entering the pool. Second, it remains accessible to grab from the pool for those who want to exit. A good pool handrail is actually a safety grab. Therefore, its design and form should always follow the aforementioned functions.
If you have noticed in the above reviews, it is pretty clear that the majority of handrails are primarily designed for concrete and stone decks. If you have a wooden pool deck, then you first need to determine if the product you are interested in is compatible with wooden decks.
Some pool handrails come with fixed baseplates and drilled bolt holes. You just need to place them at the intended location and screw the bolts down. On the other hand, some handrails come in parts where you first need to assemble them and then need to get aftermarket parts to complete the installation. If you prefer hassle-free DIY installation, then factor in this aspect of handrail products as well.
If you are overseeing a commercial pool where you need to fulfill ADA requirements, then you need to be really careful about the dimensions of the handrails you are picking. For instance, ADA requires pool owners to install at least a set of handrails with a minimum spacing of 33 inches. Moreover, each railing must be 34 inches high.
A top-quality stainless steel handrail remains inert to the chemicals used for sanitizing the pool water. However, if you are using some budget handrail carved out from substandard metal ore, then yes, sanitizing chemicals can affect the rails. There is no certified standard set for making pool handrails. However, there are some design details that are recurring in most of the handrails available in the market these days. Yes, being a responsible pool owner, you must also take care of the handrails no matter how sturdy and weather-resistant they are. The exposure to water, chemicals, and sunrays somewhere affects the finish of every handrail. You can maintain the finish and shine of your pool handrails by occasionally washing them with phosphoric acid gel and giving them a buff of protective wax. Every time is the right time to install pool handrails. You can have them at the time of the pool construction. If you have missed their installation at the time of construction, then go for retrofit fitting. All the items on our list of best pool handrails are ideal for both types of installations. If you are using stainless steel handrails with a pool that is in the open air with no shade, then yes, you should consider getting a good quality cover for it. In summer afternoons, the direct exposure of the sun can heat up the steel handrails to scorching levels where they can burn the skin. Also, the glossy finish of the railings makes them slippery. You can get around both these issues by lining the rails with a durable cover. A colorful, well-designed cover adds a visual layer to the railing as well.
Pool Handrails FAQ's
A top-quality stainless steel handrail remains inert to the chemicals used for sanitizing the pool water. However, if you are using some budget handrail carved out from substandard metal ore, then yes, sanitizing chemicals can affect the rails.
There is no certified standard set for making pool handrails. However, there are some design details that are recurring in most of the handrails available in the market these days.
Yes, being a responsible pool owner, you must also take care of the handrails no matter how sturdy and weather-resistant they are. The exposure to water, chemicals, and sunrays somewhere affects the finish of every handrail. You can maintain the finish and shine of your pool handrails by occasionally washing them with phosphoric acid gel and giving them a buff of protective wax.
Every time is the right time to install pool handrails. You can have them at the time of the pool construction. If you have missed their installation at the time of construction, then go for retrofit fitting. All the items on our list of best pool handrails are ideal for both types of installations.
If you are using stainless steel handrails with a pool that is in the open air with no shade, then yes, you should consider getting a good quality cover for it. In summer afternoons, the direct exposure of the sun can heat up the steel handrails to scorching levels where they can burn the skin. Also, the glossy finish of the railings makes them slippery. You can get around both these issues by lining the rails with a durable cover. A colorful, well-designed cover adds a visual layer to the railing as well.
We truly appreciate you taking the time to read our article on the best pool handrails. We hope that you found the information insightful and valuable in making a decision to provide the much-needed support and safety around your pool. With so many options on the market, it can be a challenge to find the perfect combination of practicality, durability, and aesthetics, which is why we carefully considered each product to shortlist the top handrails for your pool.
Out of these 7 best Pool Handrails, here are our top three recommendations:
- FibroPool Hand Rail with Quick Mount Base is an ideal option for those who want a space-efficient and durable handrail. Its versatile mounting options make it suitable for both concrete and wooden surfaces.
- Aqua Select Rail for Inground Swimming Pools is a good option for inground pool owners who want a strong and durable handrail with an attractive gray finish that complements the pool environment.
- S.R. Smith F4H-102 is the right choice for those seeking a budget-friendly handrail for pools with recessed steps, and who want to enhance the safety and ease of use of their pool access.
As you select from these top picks, always prioritize the safety and comfort of those using the pool. Keep in mind factors such as durability, ease of installation, and maintenance to ensure long-lasting satisfaction with your purchase. Our aim is to help you make the most informed decision possible so that you can enjoy many seasons of safe and comfortable pool use. Thank you for trusting us with this important decision, and happy swimming!