Being in pain or simply not moving like you used to sucks, there’s no getting around that. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be out and about enjoying everything the outdoors has to offer. When summertime rolls around that most certainly includes pools, hot tubs and outdoor jacuzzies. A pool lift can help folks get in and out of the water with ease. No more worrying about pulling yourself up, slipping or risking more than necessary. Simply sit down, push a button and you’ll be floating or exercising in no time.
Our pick for the best pool lift is the extremely well reviewed S.R. Smith LM 300. This concrete anchored unit is super easy to use, very comfy and exceedingly reliable. With foot rests, arm rests and a 300 pound lifting capacity, it’s the only pool lift chair you’ll ever need.
Best Pool Lift – S.R.Smith ML300 Swimming Pool Lift with Integrated Arm Rests
When it comes to convenience and reliability, nothing beats the S.R. Smith ML300 Swimming Pool Lift. This is a wonderfully well-designed unit that is purpose built for comfort and usability. Whether you’re in a wheelchair, or just need a little extra help getting in the pool, this unit is perfect for the task. It comes with a waterproof remote control, rechargeable battery and is fully ADA compliant for added peace of mind.
It has a strong battery powered actuated arm. Even more, if you live or swim alone, it only takes one person to operate once you situate yourself into the chair. If you want the best residential pool lift or for that matter commercial pool lift on the market, look no further.
Pool Lift Buyers Guide
Limited mobility shouldn’t inhibit your outdoor activities, particularly when it comes to swimming. A pool lift gives you a great way to stay active and get in the pool safely. In this next section we’ll cover the basics of pool lifts. How to install and maintain them. Choosing the correct features and going over some of the more technical points such as ADA compliance and which type of pool lift is best for your specific situation. Our goal is to get you a bit more familiar with choosing the best pool life before diving into a purchase (pun intended).
Why get a swimming pool lift?
Getting a pool lift is a fairly big investment, as such you’ll want to be sure your making the right decision. If you have trouble getting in or out of the pool, this will make that process a lot easier. Whether that’s due to an injury, bad knees or simply an aging body, a pool lift is the perfect tool for the job.
A swimming pool lift is also good if you live alone and don’t want the hassle of trying to slowly get in the pool. Not only that, but using a pool lift is much safer. If you have trouble getting up from a sitting position, it’ll be much easier to simply be lifted in and out of the pool.
Which type of pool lift is best?
Pool lifts come in a wide variety of shapes, styles and sizes. A portable pool lift is great if you’re in a rental house or don’t have the desire to drill into your concrete. They are easy to get up and running. However, they tend to cost a bit more as they are heavier and have additional safety features.
A permanent pool lift on the other hand is permanently anchored into the concrete. They are very stable and usually a bit more cost effective than mobile options. However, you’ll probably need to hire a handyman to get one installed, unless that is, you’re very DIY savvy. This type of pool lift is great if you own the residence and plan to be there for a long time. If you’re interested in pool lifts for a commercial pool, this also makes a great choice. Especially since nobody can walk off with your rather expensive lift.
Temporary pool lifts are a totally different animal. They are lightweight, typically require minimal installation and are usually not ADA compliant. They use a sling system that, while not as comfortable or as safe, is still very user friendly. You’ll also find that they are much more cost effective than either a permanent pool lift or a mobile pool lift system.
What does ADA compliant mean
The ADA (American Disabilities Act) has a few rules in place that dictate how a pool lift should be designed, installed and what safety features they should have. If a system is ADA compliant, it meets all of those above safety specifications. Typically, these systems are a tad more expensive due to the additional testing and certification, but they are much safer and built to higher standards. For reference, our #1 and #2 choices are both ADA compliant.
If you’re planning to install the pool lift in a community pool or a commercial facility, you’ll need to get an ADA compliant model to pass safety inspections. However, these are typically much more robust units which will last significantly longer and be much more reliable in the long run.
Are manual or powered models better?
There are advantages for each, however for folks who wish to be independent a battery powered model is better. A manual hydraulic or swing pool lift requires additional help to operate. A battery powered option with a remote control can be totally operated by a single individual. The big difference, of course, is in the price.
Powered models are more or less twice as expensive as manual machines. So, if you’re a bit tight on cash and always have a helping hand around we’d suggest you instead go with a manual model to avoid overspending on something that’ll work just fine as-is.
How do I install a swimming pool lift chair?
Installing a swimming pool lift is a fairly straightforward process. Assuming your using a flange mounted system that requires anchor bolts that is. The first thing you’ll need to do is take the anchor bolt template out of the package. You can use this to exactly position the holes to ensure they are in the right place.
If you are opting for a fully ADA compliant installation, you’ll also need to locate the rebar in your concrete slab. The rebar needs to be directly in the middle of the bolts for added stability. Once you’ve got the holes drilled, you simply epoxy the (typically 4) anchor bolts in place. After they have dried you can install the mounting flange and put up the entire system.
The main advantage of a mobile pool lift is no installation is required. This makes them a darn good choice if you are not a fan of extra spending or if you don’t want to deal with the whole installation process
Best Pool Lift Detailed Reviews
Now that you’re a bit more knowledgeable about pool lifts in general, let’s take a look at a few of our top choices. We’ve selected these based on reliability, ADA compliance, weight capacity and availability. We’ve ordered them based on which we think is best. However, take a look at them all as individual preference can vary. Some folks might want a more cost-effective solution, while others simply want the most easily installed. Whichever product you decide on, you can rest assured that they are well vetted, extremely reliable and built to last for season after season of use.
#1 S.R.Smith ML300 Swimming Pool Lift with Integrated Arm Rests – Best Pool Lift
Dependable, powerful and easy to use are the best ways to describe the S.R.Smith ML300 Swimming Pool Lift. This incredible unit comes standard with arm rests, a rugged rechargeable battery, 5-year warranty and an amazing 300 pound lifting capacity. If you need a little help getting into the pool and don’t need a portable unit, this is exactly what you’re after. Even more, it’s very cost effective when you consider the quality you’re getting.
A super reliable bolted flange system keeps it in place no matter the weather or the situation. You’ll also find that it has added features such as a safety belt, comfort footrest and very quiet operation. When you take all that into consideration, it’s easy to see why this #1 on our list.
The S.R.Smith ML300 Swimming Pool Lift will arrive on your doorstep packed carefully in a wooden crate. This will protect it from damage during transport and make sure it arrives in pristine condition. The lift and crate will weigh in at 190 pounds. As such, we’d recommend you hire (or bribe with cookies) a few folks to get it to your pool.
Once it’s unpacked, you’ll need to do a little bit of assembly before it’s up and running. The only semi-complex part is drilling the holes for the anchor bolts. Once you’ve got them in and the system aligned, a few nuts will hold everything in place. After the unit is secured it’s incredibly sturdy and won’t budge even under heavy load.
The 24V rechargeable battery ships with a partial charge for added convenience. However, you’ll want to use the included charger to get it up to full charge before testing the system out. The battery is easily charged and it won’t be too much of a hassle. Once everything is fully charged and ready to go, you’ll be in the pool before you know it.
The S.R.Smith ML300 Swimming Pool Lift system operates via the LiftOperator Intelligent Control System. This advanced remove control lets you lift, adjust and move the chair effortlessly. The system is composed of a base unit and a portable remote that is wired in. Both have the ability to control the chair’s movement. However, the base unit also has an emergency stop, battery level indicators and records historical data for further evaluation if necessary.
Once you transfer into the pool lift chair a convenient safety belt enables a nice, secure ride down (or up). If the seat is wet this ensures you won’t slip off and make it a much safer overall experience. Dual armrests and a footrest offer additional comfort and safety as well. The footrest is well placed to ensure blood continues to circulate in your legs. Sling options often have this issue, which while not a dealbreaker, is quite uncomfortable.
Once you’re in the chair you can lift and lower it all with the waterproof remote control. This means you need zero help if you can transfer to and from the chair yourself. As the chair fully submerges, it’s super easy to slide on and off the chair. It also goes low enough that you won’t need to leverage yourself out of the water to do so.
For folks who have their own or community outdoor pools, the S.R. Smith ML300 pool lift is quite weather resistant. It’s crafted from powder coated stainless steel and aluminum. This keeps it fairly lightweight, yet also extremely strong. The powder coating is an extra layer of protection against anything mother nature can throw at it. However, even the best coating can wear off over time. As such we recommend you grab the matching pool lift cover as well. This will give your swimming pool lift chair added outdoor lifespan and reduced any maintenance.
Related Link: Grab the matching S.R.Smith ML300 Pool Lift Cover to protect your lift chair.
We also want to note that this senior pool lift is third party tested and fully ADA compliant to the 1009.2 pool lift specification. This is a rigorous quality control step that puts this model a step above cheap Chinese competitors. It also has a maximum lifting capacity of 300 pounds for added versatility. If you need something a bit more powerful, we’ve got a few options farther down on our list.
Overall, the S.R.Smith ML300 Pool Lift Chair is a stunning system that’ll make it much easier to get in and out of your pool. Whether you want to do some water cardio or simply float around, this is the best lift for the job, bar none. It’s dependable, fully waterproof, easy to use and built to last. What else can you ask for?
#2 S.R.Smith 202-0000 PAL2 Fixed-Portable Swimming Pool Lift with Integrated Arm Rests – Best Portable Pool Lift
- Third party tested and verified ADA compliant, Lifting capacity of 300lbs/136kg with 240 Degree rotation
- LiftOperator Controller with 24V rechargeable battery with waterproof handheld remote
If you aren’t able, or don’t want to permanently attach a pool lift to your pool deck or concrete slab, the S.R.Smith 202-0000 PAL2 Fixed-Portable Swimming Pool Lift is a perfect solution. This mobile pool lift provides the same stunning performance as our #1 Pick, but doesn’t require anchor bolts, handymen or any sort of installation at all. The pool lift arm itself is actually mounted on a mobile cart which is easily rolled around and still provides incredibly stability when stopped and the security arms extended. While it is more expensive, not having to install bolts and being able to roll it around it definitely worth the extra cost.
As with our #1 choice, the S.R.Smith 202-0000 PAL2 Fixed-Portable Swimming Pool Lift is shipped in a large wooden crate. However, since it doesn’t require anchor bolts, it is much heavier. You’ll find that it weighs in at over 1200 pounds and is extremely heavy. This extra weight helps to keep it stable during operation. Assembly is a bit trickier as you need to attach the arm to the base unit as well as make sure all the controls are plugged in. All in all, it’ll only take a few hours and should be pretty straightforward.
Lots of folks are curious as to how big this system is. The base measures in at 28” when the stabilizer arms are not fully deployed. Once you open the arms in preparation for use, you’ll find the entire unit is 46” wide. When closed, the unit is thin enough to go through most doorways with ease.
The S.R.Smith 202-0000 PAL2 Fixed-Portable Swimming Pool Lift is mounted on high quality rolling casters which make moving the unit exceptionally easy. In fact, when you’ve got the removable push handles installed it can be moved by a single person. After you’ve got it in position, you’ll want to attach the extra secure-it-kit for added safety. This is a prerequisite for ADA compliance and ensures the unit does not tip over in use. It’s a simple to use support bracket that clips to your pool edge.
The product is perfect and we highly recommend the lift for private pool access. The installation video and printed instructions were accurate. We had a friend who is skilled at mechanical work put the lift together. It only took 1 hour including unpacking and setup!User Review
This mobile pool lift can rotate 240 degrees for maximum usability. This means you can transfer into the chair and it’ll be able to swing you the entire way over to the pool. Just like our #1 option it has comfy arm rests, a seat belt, and a safety foot rest so you don’t slip off and are nice and secure on your ride over.
The LiftOperator Intelligent Control system means the unit can be operated by a single person once in position. You’ll be able to control the lift and rotate features of the chair with the touch of a button. Both the remote and the pool lift chair have individual rechargeable batteries for added convenience. Of course, there is also the accompanying battery charger to keep things simple. It’s the small touches like that that truly set the S.R.Smith 202-0000 PAL2 Fixed-Portable Swimming Pool Lift apart from lower end pool lifts.
While this unit is quite weatherproof, you’ll still want to take some extra precautions. Especially considering how expensive the system is. As such, we recommend you grab the matching pool lift cover. This will fully cover the unit and prevent any damage due to rain, hail and anything else mother nature can throw at it.
Related Link: Grab the matching pool lift cover for added weather protection
The powder coated steel and aluminum frame is suited for up to 300 pounds. This large capacity is perfect for most folks and ensures that the unit won’t struggle or have any issues. You’ll also have additional options that can be purchased as well. These include battery covers, battery locks and security keys to ensure your unit isn’t operated accidentally.
Overall, the S.R.Smith 202-0000 PAL2 Fixed-Portable Swimming Pool Lift is the best portable pool lift on the market. It’s made from durable materials, has all the high-end safety features you could want and basically requires no installation. When you throw in the ability to be operated by only a single individual, this pool lift is a seriously good product.
- Aqua Creek Products F-411RPL-AT1 Ranger Lift without Anchor - 350lb Capacity
With an easy to install design a simple remote control, the The Ranger Lift pool lift chair is a wonderful low priced option for getting active again. You’ll find this ADA compliant pool lift is extremely sturdy and able to hold up to 350 pounds. This means it has an even higher capacity than our #1 and #2 choices. Not only that, but the low profile design is perfect for indoor pools where vertical height is at a premium. If you own a smaller hotel or a recreation center, this might be just the unit your after.
Just like most ADA compliant pool lifts The Ranger Lift is anchored to the pool slab by way of four anchor bolts. These straddle a section of rebar for added stability. Inside of the crate you’ll find the necessary hardware and the installation template. We’d recommend you get a handyman for the installation as the unit itself is quite heavy. The entire system weighs in at 130 pounds.
One of the great things about this lift is just how cost effective it is. You’ll find that of all ADA compliant models this is by far the most economical. If you’re running a business or just want the added security of a fully certified unit, this will make a perfect choice.
There are quite a few folks who choose this model due to the sleek, low profile design. However, this design isn’t without drawbacks. If you’re planning to use this with an above ground pool or an elevated spa, think again. This doesn’t quite have the vertical reach to get up and over any elevated surfaces. You’ll only be able to use it on level surfaces and in-ground pools. It does make a great choice for folks at home who just want to maintain their independence.
Being able to operate this lift alone is a huge deal. Once you’ve got it all hooked up, the intelligent remote control system let you raise and lower the lift with ease. The remote only has two buttons to prevent any confusion and make it more user friendly. If you accidentally drop the remote in the water, or prefer to leave it there for easy access, don’t worry about it. The pool lift remote is fully waterproof and able to handle anything you can throw at it.
The main pool lift is powered by a rechargeable 24V battery. The means you don’t have to install a dedicated outlet for it and it can be positioned wherever you want. You won’t be tied to an extension cord or a wall plug. The system comes with the matching wall mounted charger as well. Before using the system for the first time you’ll want to make sure all the batteries are fully charged.
Just like the higher priced alternatives, The Ranger Lift is made from a durable steel frame with aluminum supports. It is fully powder coated to prevent any rust or corrosion. The frame is extra rugged due to the 350 pound weight limit. During operation you’ll find that it is extremely secure and won’t wobble in the slightest. Even more it’ll last for season after season with minimal maintenance.
One of the best things about this pool lift is how comfortable it is. You’ll find the chair, armrests and footrests are fully padded for a stunningly comfortable ride. Even our top choices aren’t quite as comfortable. However, this type of seating is a bit more difficult to clean as debris can get caught in the cushions. In the end, it’s a tradeoff but you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it.
Overall, The Ranger Lift is a great low-priced pool lift that is still fully ADA compliant. It’s got the features, power and lifting capacity to make it a stunning choice. With the added comfort of the cushions and the easy to use remote control there is no reason to not choose this model. It is ideal for both residential and commercial applications alike. Plus, with its incredible structural build, incredibly reliable anchor system and slim design, it’s a near perfect pool lift.
- Aqua Creek Products F-03PEZ Power EZ Lift with Anchor - 400lb Capacity
If you’re looking to save even more money and aren’t worried about full ADA compliance, the Aqua Creek EZ Power EZ Lift would make for a great choice. This sling pool lift is able to quickly and easily get you into the pool with minimal effort. The one big downside to this pool lift is that it requires two people to operate. As such, if you prefer to be more independent, you’ll want to grab one of our other choices. On the flipside, if you require a larger pool lift, this one has the biggest capacity of any on our list. It is able to handle a 400 pound load.
The Aqua Creek EZ Power EZ Lift is a perfect budget option that doesn’t compromise on features. The frame is made from ultra-rugged stainless steel poles and is built for superior outdoor resistance. Not only that, but the white epoxy powder coating will help to reduce any chances of rust and keep it in tip top shape.
This system also comes with a fully submersible push button remote control. This two-button remote allows you to raise and lower the lift. It is also fully waterproof so you can drop it in the water and not worry about it. Once you’ve transferred to the lift, you’ll need some help to get it over water. It’s got a manual bar that needs to be pushed by a second person. This allows it to rotate a full 360 degrees so you can easily drop into the water.
Unlike the previous options on our list the Aqua Creek EZ Power EZ Lift uses a sling type seat. This has a couple of great benefit, but also a few downsides. The light weight of the seat reduces the overall weight of the unit. This means it’s much easier to rotate.
You’ll also find the sling seat is much cheaper than a traditional plastic seat. However, if you tend to put a lot of weight on your legs it can cut off circulation quite easily. So long as you only sit in it for a short time, you won’t have any issues. Cleaning this type of seat is also fairly easy and it can simply be hosed off. Oh, and the chains that hold it in place are very heavy duty and won’t fail mid use.
The lifting mechanism is powered by a 24V rechargeable battery for added convenience. This makes the pool lift quite silent and still very powerful. The system comes with a battery charger to keep everything fully powered. We were also very pleased with the minimalist look of this unit. It goes very well in a more modern pool environment and won’t take up too much space or be an eyesore. You’ll also find that it is very easy to remove from the flanged base for wintertime storage or to simply move to another area.
Overall, the Aqua Creek EZ Power EZ Lift is a wonderful low-priced pool lift that is easy to install, use and move. While it’s not the highest end pool lift on the market, it has it where it counts. The steel structure is very strong and the controls are very user friendly. Not only that but the system is super easy to keep clean and requires only minimal maintenance. If you want something cost effective that’ll get the job done right, look no further.
#5 Hoyer Classic Pool Lift – Best Budget Pool Lift
Simple, cost effective and durable are the best ways to describe the Hoyer Classic Pool Lift. The is by far the best budget pool lift on the market. It is nearly 75% cheaper than our top choices and still get the job done. It doesn’t have any fancy electronics or remote controls, nor does it have batteries or elegant seating. However, because it is fully manually operated, there is very little that can ever go wrong with it. If you want the most dependable pool lift on the market, look no further.
Because the Hoyer Classic Pool lift does not rely on a 24V rechargeable battery like most of our other choices, it is instead equipped with a manual hydraulic lift. This lift has an incredible 400 pound lifting capacity making it the largest on our list. If you’re a bit on the heavy side and don’t ever want to worry about your new pool lift breaking, this will have the most safety factor of them all.
The manual lift is raised and lowered by a lever on the base of the cylinder. The lever action is quite smooth and easy to work with, even if an individual is in the sling seat. However, you will not be able to both be in the sling and operate the lift at the same time. As such if you value complete independence, you’ll want to look elsewhere
Once the hydraulic pool lift is fully raised, there are two handles which allow the help to swivel the Hoyer Classic Pool Lift up to 360 degrees for full freedom of movement. It has the ability for a full 62” lift range making it ideal for traditional inground pools. Plus, since it does not use electricity of any kind, it’ll work whenever you need it with no charging or prep work.
The lift body itself is made from ultra durable and rust resistant stainless steel. The steel also has a protective coating of paint on it to ensure it stays in tip top shape. If you’re located near an ocean, or have a salt water pool, you’ll want to ensure there are no chips or cracks in the coating. If there are a bit of touchup paint will go a long way to keeping your lift looking like new.
Another great thing about this less complex pool lift is how easy it is to get up and running. It weighs in at only 72 pound and with few moving parts it can be assembled in about an hour. This system does not rely on the flange anchor bolts of the competitors. Instead it uses a piece of pipe cemented into the pool tech. You’ll find this allows the unit to be very portable an easy to move. However, for existing concrete slabs you’ll need to drill a hole and secure the mounting pipe in place using epoxy. If you can install this system prior to pouring the concrete, that’ll be much easier.
Overall, the Hoyer Classic Pool Lift is a great entry level pool lift. It’s cost effective, doesn’t require any electricity and is ready to go at a moment’s notice You’ll also find it breaks down far less often that other pool lifts and has zero chance of electrical malfunctions. Even though reviews give it a ⅖ stars on Amazon, that’s only because they system was missing the sling seat. Just give customer service a call if your sling is not included and you’ll have it shipped in no time.
There are a ton of amazing pool lifts on the market. From fancy electronic systems that are able to be operated by a single person, to downright cost-effective manual pool lifts that just work. Our favorite due to its sleek design, independent operation and easy to use controls is the S.R.Smith ML300 Swimming Pool Lift with Integrated Arm Rests. The ML300 has amazing reviews, is fully ADA complaint and will stand the test of time. If you don’t need something quite the fancy, consider getting The Ranger Lift instead. It’s almost as good, but a little less harsh on your wallet.
If safety is your #1 concern, you might want to consider adding a lifeguard chair to your pool. This’ll make it meet modern safety standards and give your lifeguard a much better view. For when you done with the pool, an outdoor hammock bed also makes for a great place to sit back and relax.