Pool filters are commonly known to be sand pool filters, Diatomaceous Earth pool filters, or cartridge pool filters and while each filter system is unique on its own, our focus will be on the cartridge pool filter which many pool owners consider to be the balancing and neutral filter system amongst all three that takes from both sides.
It is undeniable that each filter type has its own advantage, but the cartridge filter system has a way of balancing all the good sides. For instance, it is well known that a cartridge pool filter is more efficient than a sand filter and more budget-friendly than a Diatomaceous earth pool filter.
The best cartridge pool filters offer minimal maintenance, versatility, ease of use, awesome filtration services, and much more, and for pool owners that dig this great filtration system and wish to get the best, here is a little review on the best of the best when it comes to cartridge filters.
Top 3 Recommendations
Best Overall – POOLPURE PLFPRB25-IN Hot Tub Filter
Runner Up – Intex Type A Filter Cartridge for Pools
Best Alternative – Intex PureSpa Type S1 Easy Set Pool Filter Cartridges
The Best Pool Cartridge Filter Reviews
1. POOLPURE PLFPRB25-IN Hot Tub Filter – Best Cartridge Pool Filter
The POOLPURE Pool and Spa filtration is a replacement cartridge filter designed to offer maximum water flow, easy and convenient cleaning with a long-lasting usage.
Compatible with a wide variety of brands such as Unicel filter, Hayward filter, Aladdin, and so on, POOLPURE Pool and Spa filtration is utilizes BPA and Lead- free materials as its filtration media that are durable and effective, and also help to remove odor and impurities.
Again, the filter is designed with a unique fabric structure, the Trilobal Filtration Fabric Structure, which allows the cartridge pool filter to capture a larger volume of contaminants.
This also works hand-in-hand with the Dirt-locking technology that allows the fabric to easily trap tiny particles and much more, therefore extending the life of your pool with extra-long filter cycles and ensuring that you always have clean pool water.
- Compatible with a variety of models
- Offers superior filtration
- Durable filter media
- Works well with large pools like inground pools
- Plastic material is too hard and brittle
2. Intex Type A Filter Cartridge for Pools – Best Type A Cartridge Filter
For Intex pools using a type A cartridge filter and in need of a cartridge replacement, the Intex type A Filter comes as the best option available with easy and long-lasting effects.
Available in a twin pack for convenience, the Intex Type A makes the perfect replacement for all Intex pool filters utilizing a type A filtration media as well as certain other brands.
Asides from its all type A fitting properties, the filter also comes with a very unique fiber material, the Dacron fiber material ultimately designed to make your maintenance even easier. The material makes cleaning the cartridge much easier allowing for better filtration and flow rate at all times.
Again, it is readily and easily available for online purchase for those who do not have access to it or cannot find it in utility shops.
- Ideal for all type A cartridge filters
- Works well with Intex pool pumps and filter pump
- Comes in a twin pack
- Can be easily cleaned out
- Comes with easy purchase online
- Lacks strainer in the center hole
3. Intex 29001E PureSpa Type S1 Easy Set Pool Filter Cartridges – Best Large Quantity
Do you want efficient filtering cycles with trouble-free filtration and durable cleaning service for your spa, then you should definitely consider the Intex 29001E PureSpa Type S1 cartridge filter.
Perfectly made for a replacement and use for Intex pools with S1 type filter cartridges, the 6-in-one pack offers a large quantity supply at your disposal with an extended usage to booth.
With its easy-to-clean filter media made from strong and heavy-duty dacron fiber material, your spa waters could never be cleaner with these cartridge filters as you get to enjoy maximum water flow with clean and refreshing water circulating within.
Again, the cartridge pool filter is highly reusable allowing for a longer user while still retaining its ideal functionality, plus, it is easy to handle.
- Available in a 6-in-one pack
- Offers superior filtration
- Easy installation, change, and reuse
- Perfect for heavy usage
- Gets dirty fast
4. Intex Type S1 Filter Cartridge for PureSpa, Twin Pack – Best Small Quantity
If you are not in the habit of stocking your pool cartridges for a long time but require a replacement that would work well with your S1 filter cartridge system, the Intex Type S1 is your running mate then.
Unlike the Intex 29001E PureSpa Type S1 cartridge filter that comes with a 6-in-one package, this model offers a twin pack suitable for S1 cartridge filter models for safer usage and storage while still offering top-notch spa Krystal clear services.
Most suitable for spa and pool usage and compatible with all S1 cartridge pool filters, the filter offers an easy to clean and maintain cartridge filter made from dacron paper for the perfect filtration.
Additionally, the filters are reusable with easy installation and changing features that make their usage a breeze. And of course, it lasts longer too.
- Available in a twin pack
- Top-notch filtration
- Easy to set up and use
- Stress-free maintenance
- Ideal for spas and hot tubs
- Difficult to clean out fully
5. Intex 29000E/59900E Easy Set Pool Replacement Type A or C Filter Cartridge – Best Value
The Intex 29000E/59900E Easy Set Pool Replacement Type A or C Filter Cartridge is the true definition of getting the best value for your money any day and anytime and here is why.
Available in a pack of 6, the Intex 29000E/59900E cartridge pool filter is a collection of cartridge pool filters that serve as an easy replacement for all cartridge filters utilizing the Type A or Type C cartridge type.
The number makes replacement easy and prompt without another need to the utility market to shop for more while offering it all to you at a very reasonable price.
Additionally, the cartridge filters are perfect to fit small pools with smaller pumps with a filter flow rate of 530-1500 gallons per hour.
And although they are best to be replaced within a short time they are still very durable, easy to clean and use, thanks to their dacron material base, and offering you a perfectly clean swimming pool.
- Great value for money
- Ideal for small pools with a small flow rate
- Comes in a pack of 6
- Easy to use and clean
- Fits filter pumps with Type A and c filters
- Complaints about quality
6. Intex 29000E 8″ x 4.25″ Type A Easy Set Above Ground Pool Replacement Filter Cartridge – Best for Above Ground Pools
For above ground pools in need of the most suitable for above ground pool filter to help keep the pool clean, healthy, and safe, the Intex 29000E 8″ x 4.25″ Type A Easy Set Above Ground Pool Replacement Filter Cartridge works wonders.
As one of the best above-ground pool filters on the market, these 4-in-one packs of filters are designed to fit and replace Intex filter pumps with a flow rate of 500-1500 gallons per hour.
Apart from their ideal flow rate, the model is perfect to fit Intex Krystal clear Sand filter pump, Intex Krystal clear cartridge filter pump, as well as saltwater system models ranging from the 28603EG to the 58604E models and more.
To keep your pool clean and your pool water refreshed, the filter offers an easy-to-clean functionality that quickly clears the swimming pool of all forms of dirt and debris without failing.
- Works with above ground pools with a minimal flow rate
- Fitting for Intex Krystal clear cartridge and saltwater system
- Available in a pack of 4
- Keeps pool clean fast
- Compulsory bi-weekly replacement
7. SUNSET FILTERS Type VI SPA and Hot Tub Filter Replacement Cartridge- Best Type VI for Spas and Hot Tub
Are you worried about how to replace the cartridge filter for your type VI spa and hot tub filter? Well, your worries are over thanks to the SUNSET FILTERS Type VI SPA and Hot Tub Filter Replacement Cartridge.
The SUNSET FILTERS is perfectly compatible with all inflatable hot tub and spa models that require a type VI filter like the Coleman SaluSpa filter, Bestway filter amongst others. And of course, it has a compatible flow rate for above-ground pools as well as a jacuzzi.
Unlike other filters, the model features an extra-durable and top-quality plastic that encloses dacron fiber materials designed to ultimately and easily clean out your hot tub and spa in no time, ridding it of all forms of dirt.
Another perk of this filter model is the fact that it is easy to maintain and also reusable.
- Works with a wide range of units
- Cleans out most particles
- Available in a pack of 4
- Requires replacement every 2-3 weeks
8. Volca Spares Hot Tub Filter Cartridge Size VI – Best Filter for Hot Tubs
The Volca Spares filter cartridge is the ideal Type VI model for hot tubs of all kinds with excellent functionality and performance.
Available in a pack of 6, the filter cartridges feature dacron fabric that is capable of doing heavy-duty cleaning and collecting a wide range of dirt and debris from the pool at once, leaving a clean and healthy pool for your use.
- Works with most spas and hot tubs
- Available in a pack of 6
- Clears a wide range of debris
- Requires replacement very often
How Clean Pool Filter Cartridge?
Be it replacement filters or original cartridge pool filters, here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean for best results.
1. Turn filter system off
Before you go ahead to clean the filter, check if the cleaning is truly necessary, and to do so, you have to check your pressure gauge. Once your pressure gauge reads a PSI (pounds per square inch) that is more than 8-10 then it is time to get that cleaning done.
For safety measures turn off your filter pump or pool pump. Then, turn the manual air relief valve to the open position to get rid of the air in the filter tank.
2. Open and remove
Once your tank is turned off with the air out, carefully remove the clamp that secures the lid on the filter tank or filter head.
Modern filter tanks use an O-ring to hold the pieces of the tank together while older filter tanks often use metal clamps attached with a screw.
Once your clamp is off, gently pull the top part off to remove the cartridge element which can range from one to four elements.
3. Inspect your cartridge and remove debris
Once out, look through your cartridge element and the entire housing for cracks, tears or any sign of damage that could reduce the cartridge filter’s ability to filter your water safely and competently.
By doing this at every cleaning, you are ensuring that you get to enjoy the cartridge pool filter for as long as possible. Keep in mind that cartridge filters last between 3-5 years before they require a replacement.
After the inspection, it is time to clean out your cartridge. You can do this with a garden hose. Spray the cartridge from the top to the bottom and let the water rinse off the accumulated dirt. Or if you wish to save water, you can use an air compressor to clean out the cartridge.
You can also leave the dirt on the cartridge to dry out first then peel it all away from the element afterward. Once all the dirt is peeled off, do well to still rinse it out and of course, let it get some sunlight to rid it of harmful organisms.
4. Other cleaning processes
Asides from hosing down your cartridge, you can still utilize other methods, especially for filters that get a lot of work in Spas and hot tubs. For such cases, you can use a cartridge cleaner or a commercial degreaser.
These cleaning agents can be sprayed on the cartridge then left overnight depending on the level of dirt involved. Once you feel the elements are clean enough you can rinse it all off with clean water.
For calcium deposits on the filter, use muriatic acid mixed with water to clean off the cartridge.
5. Reassemble the filter system
After a thorough cleaning and allowing your cartridge to dry out, return it to the filter tank as before and place the lid back on. Afterward, turn the air release valve back to the closed position and get your filter working once again.
What to Consider When Buying a Cartridge Pool Filter
Pool Type and Size
The first step to deciding the best pool filter cartridges for your pool is to understand that each pool type works with a certain cartridge filter size. You need to know if you are dealing with above ground pools/small pools or in-ground pools/large pools.
An above-ground pool filter is small since the size of the pool is often small. An above-ground filtration system has the capacity to process below 3000 gallons of water per hour based on its size. The in-ground pool filters on their part are larger as they process large volumes of water of up to 10,000 or more per hour.
In-ground pools are often larger with various styles hence they require something that can handle their large size. Therefore, before you decide on your filter consider the pool type to avoid overworking your filter.
Alongside the size and type of the pool, you need to know the capacity of your pool pump. Yout filter is directly connected to the pool filter pump and therefore places extra load on the filtration system.
Before you proceed you need to know if the pump capacity of your pool pump matches that of the filter system and for that you need to consider the flow rate or Gallons Per Hour capacity.
Ideally, the standard gauge is 100 square feet of filtration for every 10,000 gallons of water. For example, a pool with 15,000 gallons of water will require a pump capacity of 15 GPH to 20 GPH.
Microns are the unit of measurement of impurities. Pool filters are rated based on the size of impurities or microns they can capture at a time, that is, their filtering capacity.
For water purification the smaller the particles cleaned out the better. Amongst all cartridge pool filters are said to capture particles between 10-20 microns which is much more than a sand pool filter can capture. Yet, there are still some cartridge filters that can capture particles smaller than that.
If you wish for as minimal maintenance as possible when dealing with your pool, it is best to look out for cartridge filters with a lower micron rate.
Although it is general knowledge that cartridge pool filters are budget-friendly and affordable, there is a wide range of prices for these cartridges based on their flow rate, the size of the pool, and the lifeline, i.e. how long it will last.
Averagely, cartridge pool filters cost from $30 -$100 per cartridge. This range of course is much higher for sand filters but much lesser than that of DE filters.
What size pool filter cartridge do I need?
There is no exact size, rather a range that will allow optimum and maximum functionality. To determine this, consider the volume of water in your pool and use that to calculate the GPH.
A note is to take 100 square feet for every 10,000 gallons of water to determine the size for an accurate measurement.
Can you clean pool filter cartridges?
Yes, you can clean filter cartridges, and the best way to do so is by rinsing it with water from a garden hose.
How often should I clean my pool filter cartridges?
The ideal timeframe for cleaning would be between two to six weeks.
But before you follow the rule, consider the level of cleaning the filter engages in, as filters that do heavier work should be cleaned more often.
Again, consider the pressure of the filter. The normal pressure level of your filter should be between 8-10 PSI, once your pressure gauge reads over that, know that it is time to clean.
When to change pool filter cartridge?
Your pool filter is due for a change once your filter starts experiencing high pressure, when the cap becomes weak, when the fabric of the cartridge becomes fray and weak, and when the inner core of the cartridge breaks down.
Once you notice all of these or a few of them, know that it is time to change.
How long should pool cartridges last?
Pool cartridges should last between 3-5 years, but it all depends on the level of usage of the cartridge. A higher and consistent usage will reduce the durability of the cartridge.
How often to replace swimming pool filter cartridges?
For effective functionality, it is advisable to replace your cartridge every one to two years. Note that this also depends on usage.
Why is my pool filter cartridge green?
Your pool filter cartridge is green because of a build-up of algae, calcium carbonate, and oils.
These buildups are not often cleaned out with regular water and require the cartridge to be soaked in a mixture of muriatic acid and water to dissolve them all from the filter.
As one of the best pool filters available on the market, cartridge pool filters make a huge difference as they are relatively cheap unlike a DE filter, with a long life of service and functionality, and are of course quite efficient compared to sand pool filters.
We do hope that with the best cartridge filters mentioned and explained here, you can finally pick the best pool filter cartridge for yourself to keep your pool clean and healthy.