Your Guide to Pool Lifts

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

There are many health benefits of swimming and hydrotherapy but without step free access to swimming pools and hot tubs, those who are elderly, disabled or recovering from injury could be missing out. Here is a useful guide to the different types of pool lifts on the market and why they could provide the ideal solution.

A pool lift provides dignified and safe entry into a swimming pool or hot tub. Sometimes a pool lift is called a pool hoist or spa hoist: it just depends on the brand name. When choosing the right product, it is important to work out whether you require a fixed or portable version and this all depends on whether the pool or hot tub is fully in the ground or above ground.

Fixed or portable?

If it is fully in the ground, there is an option of a portable or a fixed pool lift or hoist. If it is partially above ground or there is a wall or raised edge, then the only option is a fixed pool lift or hoist.

It is advisable to measure how far the lift needs to be able to reach down to the water or else clear walls, curbs or other obstacles. For example, if the pool lift is going to be used inside then consider the ceiling height. In its raised position, the pool lift may extend beyond a typical 8-foot-high ceiling.

Installation of a fixed pool lift or hoist

When it comes to anchoring a fixed pool lift – portable pool lifts have safety braking systems and stoppers – there are different options available. This may involve drilling into the ground or fixing the lift onto a concrete base – it totally depends on the type of product and some modifications to the surface may need to be carried out. A good pool lift supplier will offer to carry out a site survey before recommending a product and provide a full installation service.

User experience

If a hot tub or swimming pool is inground, then a portable pool lift could be used. This is a great option if space is an issue as a portable pool lift can be easily stored away. Portable pool lift products on the market vary in cost and have added features like motorised steering which can navigate tighter bends.

Occupational Therapists can easily transport a patient from the changing area to the pool side with a portable pool lift. Some products have a remote control which means the patient can independently lower themselves into the water and then back out again.

If it is a fixed pool lift then the specification will say whether it is a fully automatic lift which can be user operated. Making sure it is designed and placed so people can use it without assistance is a good idea.

The Pool Lift Company is always happy to help Occupational Therapists with information about different types of pool lifts and their installation. Please telephone +44 (0) 1256 896000 or email There is also a handy pool lift finder tool at

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