Pool owners know this for a certainty; if you have an inground, above ground, or mini kiddie pool, maintenance and cleaning are key to keeping the water crystal clear. The swimming pool filters consist of a suction pump that purifies the water and puts it back into circulation.
Inside the filter pump, there are sand or cartridge filter system units that have different characteristics depending on the type of pool and its size. In addition to the essential hygiene issues, for which the pool water must be safe. It is also important to think about the aesthetic aspect.
With an inefficient filtration system, the water becomes cloudy in a short time and can change color from brown to green, even if we change it every day.
Buying a best pool filters for your pool is therefore essential to keep the water perfectly clean, to avoid the formation of algae, and also to facilitate the cleaning of the walls and bottom, which get much less dirty.
Top 12 Pool Filter Reviews on the market of 2022
In this article, you will be able to see the selection of the three main types of pool filters:
The Best Sand Pool Filters
Virtually every pool owner will agree that pool sand filters are the most used elements for filtering water with chemicals. These filters retain fine particles, up to 20 microns of filtration fineness. The suspended particles contained in the water are blocked as they pass through the sand filter.
This system, which is more expensive at the time of purchase, is an excellent long-term investment. It also requires less maintenance as once the sand has been inserted, the filter washing takes place entirely inside the pump, so we no longer have to open or empty the filter until the time of replacement.
Some of the best sand pool filters are:
Intex 12-inch 110-120V Krystal Clear Sand Filter with GFCI
How easy it is to use this sand filter. The Intex 26645 swimming pool sand filter has 1600 GPH flow rates. It includes a 6-position valve. This sand filter filters and cleans the swimming pool (like a vacuum cleaner).
The Intex 26645 sand filter pump is suitable for all types of swimming pools and very quiet. The sand needs to be changed approximately every 5 years, the glass every 9 years. The efficiency of the pump has been improved to reduce power consumption. Buyers appreciate the automatic cycle every twelve hours.
XtremepowerUS 13″ 2400GPH Sand Filter and Pool Pump for Above Ground Pool
This is a 13-inch pool sand filter for above-ground pools. It has a pool pump and has a capacity that makes it ideal for pools with up to 10,000-gallon capacity. The filter tank can hold up to 42 pounds of sand.
The sand filter comes with a four-way valve, a three-prong plug with an electric cable. Overall, it is portable, fast to install and use, and simple to operate. The product works with little or no noise. It ensures the sand is at height level so that water will be exposed to the maximum level of sand surface for better filtration, consistent performance, as well as efficient backwashing.
XtremepowerUS 19″ Above Inground Swimming Pool Sand Filter System
The XtremePowerUS sand filter system has a valve that functions for filtering, backwashing, rinsing, and more. The drum of this filter can hold up to 175 lbs. It is suitable for a filtration area of 24,000 gallons of water. The filter and pump system are perfectly designed to provide optimum flow rates for the cleanest water.
It has a multiport valve for ease of use as well as fast backwashing. The pumps have capacitor start and are not for sale or use in California. Also, the unit doesn’t include a filter media and requires assembly after purchase.
XtremepowerUS 75139 16″ Sand Pool Filter
This pool sand filter is very practical because it requires little maintenance. You only need to change the sand every 3 to 4 years for the device to work properly.
The filter has a filtration area of up to 21,000 gallons and the drum can hold up to 110 lbs of media sand and has a dimension of 16 x 16 x 32 inches (W x L x H). The device has a seven-way multiport valve filter that can provide quick filtering, backwashing, wintering, recirculation, closing, rinsing, and of course the waste function. The product includes a user manual, a filter base as well as threaded connections.
Pros and Cons of Sand Filters
- Low maintenance
- Effective filtration of particles up to 20 microns
- Ideal for medium to large pools
- Relatively inexpensive
- Need for constant backwashing
Tips on Buying and Using Sand Filters
- Adding dry clarifiers to the sand can help remove fine particulates.
- Zeolite is an equally effective filtration element alternative to plain sand, due to its finer filtration characteristics. It can filter up to 3 microns of dirt.
- You can also add some DE powder as a filtration aid. It tightens up the sand for more effectiveness.
The Best Cartridge Pool Filters
To have a beautiful, functional, and always clean pool, the use of cartridge filters is needed. There are various models on the market. The cartridge pool filter is one of the most popular. It is actually an advanced water filtration equipment. Cartridge pool filters are recommended for small tubular or self-supporting above-ground pools.
The filter washing is not automatic and takes place under running water, so the pump must be opened and the cartridge removed to wash it. In this way, however, much less water is used than with sand filtration. It can filter out up to 20 microns of dirt and bacteria.
Some of the best Cartridge pool filters are:
Intex Krystal Clear 1000 GPH Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pool
Our overall best cartridge pool filter is this 110-120V pump filter with 1,000 gallons per hour pump flow rate and GFCI. Known as among the cheapest and most reliable filter devices currently on the market, it is already equipped with hoses and a filter cartridge. The pump filter is most suitable for small pools.
You can use the Intex Krystal Clear sand filter inground pools from 2.45m to 3.66m and has a flow rate of 1.7 m3/h. It is a double insulated pump that has a vent valve. The cartridge filter can be washed under running water. The cartridge should be replaced every 2 weeks. We like how quick, easy to use, convenient to install, and simple to maintain it is. Tubes are included.
Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear 2500 GPH Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
Of course, the Intex Krystal Clear can’t compete with the top-of-the-line pool pumps on this list, but if you need a budget product, the best choice is here for you.
This is a single-speed pool pump specially engineered for inflatables and other pools above the ground. To set it up, all you need to do is plug in the hoses. Then just plug them, and you are good to go. Meanwhile, some assembly is required after purchasing it. The unit is also relatively simple to use. There is an automatic timer that can help you preset the pump from 2 – 12 hours. This means that over time it will cost you more in utility bills than pool pumps with variable speed.
The cartridge pool filter comes with an easy-to-clean and replaceable filter cartridge. In reality, you will need to change the filter regularly to keep your pool in good condition, but that doesn’t mean it’s a reasonable budget option. You’d better use it on hard-sided pools rather than inflatable pools, as the pumps have too much horsepower.
Hayward W3C9002 90 Square feet SwimClear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter
The Hayward Swim Clear Plus cartridge filter is a type of pool filter that can perform to the highest demanding applications. It is equipped with a large filtration element with a great capacity to take in more dirt. The filter has a more fabulous effective filtration than other similar-sized cartridge filters. With its precision-designed element core, pool owners are guaranteed a superior flow.
For smaller pools, it can cover up to 90 square feet of surface area and it has gasket molded end caps for maximum flow and strength. There is a single knob for locking and securely holding the filter head to the filter tank. Hence, you don’t need the use of bolts or clamps.
The body and the one-piece molded base provide additional and reliable strength, as well as performance without corrosion. The filter head rotates and provides ease of access to the cartridge element.
Hayward C2030 225 Square feet SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter
The Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter has perhaps the lowest power consumption on this list. According to Hayward, it help you save as much as 2500 gallons of water annually as it eliminates backwashing needs.
Although Hayward offers the SwimClear cartridge filter range in 700, 525, 425, and 325 square feet options, the Hayward C2030 can cover 225 square feet while remaining high performing in its dirt-holding ability as well as its longer filter cycles.
It has an upper manifold which offers great filtration as well as optimal hydraulic performance, all at lower operational cost. The cartridge has cleanable elements that don’t require backwashing needs. The filter tanks are designed with durable and heavy-duty materials for tough applications. The clamp is tamper-proof and extra strong, securely holding the bottom and top of the tank while also allowing access to components inside.
Pros and Cons of Cartridge Filters
- Removes smaller particles up to 10 microns
- Runs on lower pressure, saving energy
- Simple maintenance that doesn’t require backwashing
- Higher purchase and maintenance cost
- Not for large or commercial pools
Tips on Buying and Using Cartridge Pool Filters
- You can also add some DE powder as a filtration aid for more effectiveness.
- It is recommended that the pool owner has two cartridges. While one runs, the used one will be cleaned, air-dried, and kept.
- Never work on pool equipment while it is running.
- Use a degreaser every time you clean the cartridge.
The Best DE Pool Filters
DE pool filters are models which use diatomaceous earth to filter out impurities in the pool water. They filter out smaller particles than a sand or cartridge filter can.
The powder must be changed once every month. The DE filter can filter out up to 2 microns. The main disadvantage with this type of pool filter is that you have to change the filtration element more often than sand pool filters which can take one to two years.
Some of the best DE pool filter models are:
Hayward W3DE3620 36 Square Foot ProGrid DE Pool Filter
The Hayward ProGrid is a DE pool filter that can work effectively in a 36 square feet pool space. It is a large capacity filter that is superiorly efficient in transforming dirty pool water for a better water quality.
The DE filter provides a top-down backwash as well as an up-flow filtration for optimal efficiency. The filter is constructed to be durable as it is reinforced with glass and copolymer for better efficiency at withstanding the elements and corrosion.
It has a 1-piece heavy-duty and tamper-proof clamp that provides easy access to the internal components while not disturbing plumbing materials.
Hayward EC40AC Perflex Extended-Cycle DE Pool Filter
The Perflex DE pool filter cleans pools faster and effectively than many others among its peer. It filters out dirt as small as 2 microns at the first filtration attempt. The unit has the Flex-Tube engineering which gives a longer cycle between cleaning processes. Then the DE powder is reused over and over again.
The filtration system is engineered to work with lesser resistance than other conventional units. The filter body can be used with DE filter models such as the I_PFPPTS and the EC40C90, EC40AC series. The filter includes a flow diffuser and weighs 13.7 pounds (about 6.2 kilograms).
Pentair 180009 60 Square Foot FNS Plus
Made of corrosion-resistant fiberglass and a reinforced chemical-resistant filter tank, the Pentair DE pool filter is ideal for in-ground pools. The filter has 120 gallons per minute flow rate. This device has an hourly turnover of 57,600 gallons during an 8-hour operation. It can get to 86,400 gallons in 10 hours.
The device makes the maximum filtration as the DE filter can remove particles up to 5 microns. It can filter algae, dirt, and bacteria in any form. Convenient to use and clean, the filter has a one-inch drain. There is also a vertical filter grid that is easily removable for time-saving maintenance.
Hayward EC65A Perflex DE Pool Filter
The Hayward device is a DE pool filter with an effective filtration area of 27 square feet. It requires a 6 lbs diatomaceous earth, which is not included with the product.
The DE filter provides great water quality as well as an extended filter cleaning cycle that doesn’t require the need for backwashing. The pool filter cleans faster while removing impurities that are as small as 2 microns. The Flex-Tube, a patented design provides longer cycles as the same diatomaceous earth powder is reused several times.
The flex tubes clean themselves instantly of DE filter media and dirt thanks to the bumping mechanism.
Pros and Cons of DE Filter
- Maximum filtration efficiency
- Removes particles of around 1 to 3 microns
- Natural filtration element
- Large filtration area
- They are the most expensive
- DE inhalation is dangerous
- They require more maintenance, which is more difficult than the 2 other filters
Tips on Buying and Using DE Pool Filters
- The DE filter of a frequently-used pool should be cleaned at least once a month
- A DE pool filter requires backwashing of 2 to 3 minutesDE
- You would need up to 2 ounces of DE powder for every 1 square foot of filtration area
Criteria for Buying a Pool Filter
To choose the best pool filter suited to your needs, you need to evaluate the pool size, the frequency of use, and ease of maintenance. Let’s see the most important features to evaluate to buy the correct pool filter.
Type of pool filter
The sand filter is suitable for large pools and in-ground pools. The sand can filter particles up to 50 microns. The main feature of these filters is that the sand filter must be changed every 2 – 3 years.
The DE filters use diatomaceous earth as filtration elements. The powder must be changed once every month. The DE filter can filter out up to 2 microns.
The cartridge filter offers particle filtration down to 20 microns and is suitable for small to medium-sized pools and above-ground pools.
The key factor to consider when choosing the best pool filter is its capacity. The volume is usually in m3. By calculating length by width by height of your pool, you can know the volume. You can also rely on the liters it can contain, usually already indicated when purchasing the pool. Therefore, among the characteristics of the pump, we often find the words: “suitable for swimming pools between 10000 and 50000 liters” or “suitable for 100 m3 pools (considering that 1 m3 is equivalent to 1000 liters).
The size of your pool filter must be adapted to the volume of your pool. This must correspond to the power of the pump, the level of pollution as well as the number of people who can use the pool, and the frequency of use. It is based on these criteria that it must be chosen. The filter capacity of a 4-person pool is different from that of a 20-person pool.
The frequency of use also influences the size to choose. A pool filter that is too small can lead to an increase in the consumption of treatment products due to the filtration capacity being too low. If it is too bulky, it is more intended for those who want to save products and space the washing frequency.
The filtering surface is indicated on the packaging of the model in question to help you. Remember to measure your pool properly before you start looking for the right equipment.
The simplest filtering pumps have power between 200 and 500 watts for a flow rate between 5000 and 10000 liters / h. While the most performing pumps have power between 1000 and 2000 watts with a flow rate that exceeds 20,000 liters/h. The power of the motor goes hand in hand with the flow rate of the pump. A more powerful motor can suck in more water and faster.
In large pools, there is almost always a basket or wall skimmer. This replaces the manual operation done with the net to remove leaves, grass, or other waste carried by the wind that is deposited in the pool. Today, a basket pre-filter is included in the best filter systems. Just like the skimmer, the basket is used to retain large residues such as leaves. In this way, the pump is protected from clogging and malfunctions. And at the same time, we are spared other cleaning operations.
The pool filter with an integrated timer helps us manage time and energy optimally. Thanks to the timer, you can set the pump on and off to avoid wasting electricity and leaving the system running more than necessary. Especially in medium to large pools, the timer is essential as filtering can take many hours. This way, you don’t have to worry about being home to turn off the pump. The supplied timer can be mechanical or electronic. With a mechanical timer, you have to set the ignition time and the number of hours required for filtering.
What is the best filter for pool?
Considering filtration efficiency, water volume capacity, ease of maintenance, cost of maintenance, cost of acquisition, the sand filters are the best filter for pools, followed by the cartridge filter. A sand filter can be used for large in-ground pools and may only require a sand change after two to three years.
Is a sand filter better than a cartridge filter?
Sand or cartridge filter: Which is the best for my swimming pool?
It depends on what you need for your pool. Most experts recommend using a cartridge filter to have a clean pool with low maintenance. Unfortunately, it ends up costing more, as the cartridge filter needs to be changed more often than the sand filter.
If you are looking for a good filter system, which is as inexpensive as possible, filtration systems with sand are excellent value for money. They are cheaper and require very little maintenance. You will only need to buy bags of silica sand to be changed in the filter every 5 years.
What is the best type of filter for an inground pool?
The pool filters are divided into three main groups: sand filters, DE filters, and cartridge filters. Sand and cartridge filters are the most used and most suitable for domestic inground pools due to their low maintenance and higher efficiency.
What is the easiest pool filter to maintain?
Sand filters are by far the easiest filters to maintain. Besides, they are the easiest types of filters to operate. It’s also the least expensive to purchase of all pool filter types. To clean the sand filter, all you need is a backwash.
Thanks to the filter elements: sand, diatomaceous earth powder, and cartridges they contain, the pool filters purify all the water that passes through them, whether it comes from a river or a well. They can filter out between 1 to 50 microns impurities at first attempts.
It is a piece of equipment that can handle even muddy water, making it as clear as tap water. Thus, with the pool filters recommended in this review, bathers can avoid skin problems such as itching that can occur after swimming in a pool infested with parasites.