15 Best Above Ground Pool Filters for Sparkling Clean Water!

As much as we enjoy the feeling of floating on the cool water of our swimming pools in mid-summer days with a beer at hand, none of us really enjoy the process of cleaning the pool.

One of the easiest ways to maintain your swimming pool’s beauty is to add a good pool filter to it.

None of us want to swim in other people’s filth and bacteria. Not cleaning your pool can make it cloudy, algae infested, and green.

In this article, we have gathered the top 15 best above ground pool filters for you. No matter what type of pool you have, we have found something for everybody.

Table of Contents

What is the Best Above Ground Pool Filter Like?

A pool filter is one of the most important things that keeps your pool looking fresh and sparkling. So investing in a good filter is crucial.

From our research, we have found that pinpointing one individual filter as the best one is quite impossible. So we have chosen our top three picks each for a different reason:

The Overall Best – Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

  • The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump has everything you will need.
  • It gives soft, refreshing pool water with all-natural sand.
  • It is highly long-lasting as one of these can last up to 20 years!
  • Fits basically all types of above ground pools including the larger residential ones!

The Best Deep Cleaner –  Hayward W3EC40AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter

  • The Hayward C40AC Perflex Pool filter is the most thorough cleaner out there!
  • It has a D.E. filter which provides maximum cleanup at minimal maintenance
  • It is the best option for algae or swampy pools.

The Best Budget Option – XtremepowerUS 1.5HP Swimming Pool Pump

  • Xtremepower is undoubtedly the best budget-friendly option for anyone!
  • It does everything a high-brand filter would do but at a lower cost.
  • It’s Solar Panel compatible which is highly energy efficient.

Top 15 Best Above Ground Pool Filters Reviews

01. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

Krystal Clear Sand Filter is our top pick simply because it’s one of the most advanced models from Intex and also the most efficient!

Unlike standard cartridge filters, it comes in a sand filter technology that makes cleaning efficient and eco-friendly.

Sand filters work by letting the water cycle through a canister of sand. The sand filters out all the larger particles including dirt and debris. This is the most natural and practical way to keep your pool clean and sanitized.

This durable filter comes in six functions including filter, backwash, rinse, re-circulate, drain, and close system. It literally does everything you would want your filter pump to do.

Intex Krystal Sand Filter comes with a pressure gauge that lets you monitor the water pressure for backwashing.

The Hydro Aeration is a patented technology of Intex that has the power to deep clean any pools. Let’s not forget the digital timer with 1 to 12 hours of pre-set cycles that allow you to make your own automatic cleaning routine.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : 5,500 gal to 19,600 gal
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Sand
  • Tank Size                : 16 in.
  • Cord Length                : 25 ft
  • Pump Motor                : 0.75 hp
  • Warranty                : 2 years

The Pros:

  • Easy to install.
  • Six-functions control valve.
  • Pre-setting 12 hour timer.
  • Economic and practical.
  • Automatic turn on/off settings.
  • Comes with a two-years warranty.

The Cons:

  • Some additional accessories need to be bought separately.

Why I Recommend It:

If you are looking for an eco-friendly above ground pool filter with all-around advanced functionality, there is nothing better than Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump. It is a worthwhile investment and requires minimal maintenance.

02. Hayward W3EC40AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter

Hayward C40 comes with some powerful cleaning components that will give you crystal clear, sparkling water in no time!

It’s patented Flex-Tube System is a great technology that reuses the D.E powder and dirt mixture for an efficient yet clean surface. Who said pool cleaning can’t be green conscious?

The exclusive bump handle activates the Flex-Tubes, which then causes them to instantly purge themselves of dirt and powder. It’s a seamless process.

If you are using it for the first time, you are up for a treat! This cleans surfaces so well that you’d want to drink the water. It is an ideal choice for anyone who struggles to keep their pool clean.

The best thing about DE filters is that they provide superior water clarity without any backwashing.

It is a really good investment as each cleaning is more economically friendly than standard pool cleaners.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : 20 ft
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • D.E. Required        : 4 lbs
  • Dimen. Width                : 16 in,
  • Filter Type                : Diatomaceous Earth
  • Warranty                : 1 Year

The Pros:

  • Intense cleaning gives a crystal clear pool overnight.
  • Ideal for a swampy or algae bloomed pool.
  • Easy to disassemble and clean.
  • Requires little to no chemicals to keep the pool fresh.
  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Great investment.  

The Cons:

  • The cleanup of the filter can be a bit messy.

Why I Recommend It:

If you have a pool filled with algae and debris that hasn’t been cleaned for years, this is the perfect choice for you. This model was designed to eliminate any algae from pools through its powerful DE filtration system. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.

03. XtremepowerUS 1.5HP Swimming Pool Pump Spa w/ Large Strainer Basket Filter

This is a high performing motor with built-in airflow ventilators for a quieter and smoother runtime.

The Xtremepower swimming pool pump is built with corrosion-proof polymeric material for durability and longevity.

You get to enjoy a low-cost machine with high-end technology to give you the best cleaning experience. This is a great value for money option.

One cool thing about this pump is, it is designed to be compatible for use with solar heating and in-floor cleaning systems. This means it’s not only energy-efficient but also eco-friendly

The pump parts are fiberglass-reinforced for superior strength and long-lasting shelf life.

The pump comes with a large strainer basket and an easy to open, transparent pump lid to make the cleaning process effortless and smooth.

It has a built-in automatic thermal overload protector to ensure your safety while providing great filtration.

Specifications:

  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Voltage                : 115 v
  • Cord Length                : 6 ft
  • Max Head                : 36 ft
  • Max Flow                : 4,900 GPH
  • Certification                : ETL, UL listed

The Pros:

  • Energy efficient
  • 1.5 horsepower pump.
  • Really affordable, great value for money.
  • Powerful filtration removes all the dirt and debris including algae.
  • Quiet cleaning process.

The Cons:

  • Quite difficult to install. Might need qualified professionals for installation.

Why I Recommend It:

Apart from its amazing sturdy built and great filtration process, this is one of the very few filter pumps that ensure minimum noise. It’s also energy-efficient and solar panel compatible which means it’s great for the environment as well

04. Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

Do you want a powerful filter pump but think the Intex Sand Filter pump is a bit too pricey?

The Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump is a few hundred cheaper yet has almost the same power and functionality as the Sand Filter one.

Cartridge filters are another popular option that only requires you to replace the filters twice a month. Very easy to use especially for a home pool.

It comes with a double insulated pump that provides high-speed filtration to remove any unwanted gunks from your pool.

The air release valve is a great addition to remove trapped air in the filter chamber. These kinds of attention to detail are what makes Intex a household brand.

It works on up to 15,200 gallons size of the pool which is quite a generous size. Whether you’re buying for a home pool or a community one, this filter will exceed all your expectations.

The versatility of this product is really convenient. It works with a 15-feet easy set, the 15-feet metal frame of 18-feet by 10-feet oval frame pools.

Specifications: 

  • Pool Size                : 4,000 gal to 15,200 gal
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Cartridge
  • Tank Size                : 18 in.
  • Cord Length                : 24 ft
  • Turnover Rate        : 1,900 GPH
  • Warranty                : 1 Year

The Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Double insulated pump
  • Auto timer with present 2 to 12-hour cycles.
  • Easy to replace filter cartridge.
  • Ideal for any Intex above ground pool.
  • 2.500 GPH filter cartridge pump.
  • 1-year warranty.

The Cons:

  • May not be compatible with non-Intex above ground pools.
  • Requires adapters to sue it in smaller pools.

 Why I Recommend It:

This is a great nifty option for you if you are looking for a simple yet highly functional option. It is also really easy to install — all you have to do is attach the hoses and plugs in.

05. Best Choice Products Pro 2400GPH 13″ Sand Filter Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump

Best Choice has always been a reliable and go-to brand for most of us. They provide high-quality products that last a long time.

This filter pump is no exception as it has been ETL listed and CSA certified proving the quality and functionality.

This above ground pool filter can clean up to 10,000 gallons with 2,400 gallons per hour. It comes with a system tray, 4-way valve, connection hose, pressure gauge, and a 3-prong plug with an electric cable.

The pump is thermal protected which means it prevents fire damage or excess heating.

The self-priming pump issues a top-mounted 6-position multiport valve that ensures the highest quality of filtration that will give you sparkling clean water in no time.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : up to 10,000 gal
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Max Suction                : 32 ft.
  • Filter Type                : Sand
  • Sand Capacity        : 42 lbs
  • Tank Size                : 13 in.
  • Turnover Rate        : 2,400 GPH
  • Warranty                : 1 Year

The Pros:

  • Easy and low maintenance.
  • Simple assembly.
  • Sizeable capacity, ideal for many different pool types.
  • Filters water faster than average.
  • Thermal protected.
  • Worthwhile investment.

The Cons:

  • Does not prevent cloudy water. You need to add extra chemicals to prevent that.

Why I Recommend:

This ground pool filter pump meets every safety standard available with powerful sand filtration. It’s made to last you years. Perfect for any residential or public pools.

06. Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

What can we say? Another Intex filter pump on the list and rightfully so! When it comes to filter pumps, Intex knows what they are doing.

Intex has so many different models all designed for different demographics. This particular filter pump is specifically made for above ground pools.

The installation process of this pump is so easy. All you have to do is attach the hoses via 1.5” hose fitting and plugin.

Did we mention it is a double insulated pump with an auto timer? The timer can reach up to 12 hours for a continuous cleaning cycle without any interval.

The Intex 28635EG is basically a smaller, more affordable version of the 33EG one. It comes with all the similar features but with some smaller modifications. It has 1500 GPH or 3785 mph.

The filter pump comes with a sediment flush valve and replaceable filter cartridges that makes the whole cleaning and maintenance process a breeze.

The Hydro Aeration Technology inlet fitting improves the quality of water by increasing negative IONS at the water surface.

It also induces oxidation of iron and manganese. This is why you get sparkling pool water that simply feels amazing.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : 700 gal to 9,400 gal
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Cartridge
  • Tank Size                : 16 in.
  • Pump Flow Rate        : 1,500 gph
  • Warranty                : 2 years

The Pros:

  • Easy to install.
  • Great auto-timer function.
  • Strong suction, removes all dirt and debris.
  • Hydro Aeration technology.
  • Increases negative IONS in the water.
  • Sparkling, clean pool within hours.

The Cons:

  • Does not come with adapters, you will have to purchase them separately.

Why I Recommend It:

The Hydro Aeration technology simply transforms any pools. It increases the quality of the water while maintaining healthy oxygen and negative ION level. You not only get a crystal clear pool but also get the best quality of water possible.

07. Hayward W3CC15093S XStream Above-Ground Pool Filter Pump

Hayward’s XStream Cartridge Filter and Pump System offer a longer and efficient filtering life than the standard options on the market.

As the filter has a larger body, it ensures equal dirt distribution throughout the filtering element. This ensures a non-clogging experience.

The filter tank is durable as it’s made out of steel. So it won’t split or break.

It’s easy-lok ring design allows quick access to all internal components in case you need to.

This above-ground pool-filter was engineered for easy and comfortable use with flexible rigid plumbing.

Hayward XStream Above-Ground pool was designed to serve you for years and an incredible trouble-free filtration system.

You get what you pay for with this product. It is a reliable 1.5 horsepower machine that will keep your pool clean and debris free.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : 150 sq ft
  • Horsepower                : 1.5 HP
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Cartridge
  • Tank Size                : 21 in.
  • Pump                        : Power-Flo Matrix
  • Turnover Rate        : 120 GPH
  • Water Type                : Freshwater.

The Pros:

  • Filters out even the fine particles of algae, great filtration process.
  • Ideal for medium to large above pools.
  • Easy to assemble
  • Energy-efficient.
  • Durable and sturdy construction.

The Cons:

  • The hoses are not very durable.

Why I Recommend It:

If you haven’t cleaned your pool after last winter and it’s filled with dirt, algae, debris, and moldy green water, this filter will change your life. You will see a visible difference only after an hour of running. It’s that effective!

08. Hayward EC50AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter

Hayward is a leading pool filter brand that has been providing great quality flyers for over 80 years! This one is a very simple modular filter option.

If you are someone who doesn’t like to invest in complex and unknown technology, this one is perfect for you.

This is an old-fashioned and reliable design that does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s recommended for pools 28′ to 33′ round and 18’x36′ to 18’x39′ oval-shaped.

Hayward uses a Perflex extended-cycle DC filter that removes even as small as two microns size of dirt.

Their unique bump mechanism allows DE flex tubes to instantly and collectively clean themselves of dirt and filter media. With this modular design, you will experience a clean pool without any backwashing.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : 28 ft to 39 ft
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • D.E. Required        : 5 lbs
  • Dimen. Width                : 13.5 in
  • Filter Type                : Diatomaceous Earth
  • Warranty                : 1 Year

The Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Easy cleanup.
  • Ideal for algae or overly dirty pools.
  • Durable construction.
  • Ideal for an all-year-round cleanup.
  • 1-year warranty.

The Cons:

  • Can get messy while cleaning.

Why I Recommend It:

This is a simple design that works really well. The DE filters give your water a pristine and clear look by removing all the dirt and debris. I might add, this is a great budget option as well.

09. Rx Clear Radiant 24 Inch Sand Filter System

Most of today’s pools require a high-power thorough filtration to get rid of dirt, debris, and most importantly harmful bacteria.

This Rx Clear Radiant Sand filter uses 6 boxes Rx Clear Luster filter media, 150 lbs of Zeo-Clear filter media, or 300 lbs of traditional grade 20 silica sand.

Their Clear Luster Filter Media is a great alternative to sand as they don’t clog the filter and requires minimal backwashing. It’s also lighter than sand.

The core of this machine is the one-piece blow-molded tank that comes with a 3-year warranty.

It doesn’t provide the filter media and hoses with the system which is a downside. You have to purchase them separately.

One of the best things about Rx CLear Radiant Sand Filter is its versatility. You can use it for many different sizes of pools. From a 1’ round pool to an 18’ x 36’ rectangular one, it fits them all.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : up to 33,000 Gallon
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Sand
  • Sand Required        : 300 lbs
  • Tank Size                : 24 in.
  • Warranty                : 3-year

The Pros:

  • Filters down 5-3 microns
  • Less backwash needed
  • Comparable to Hayware but at a lower price.
  • Solid tank, durable and sturdy.
  • Sand filtration sanitizes the whole pool.

The Cons:

  • The clamp that comes with the valve is not very durable. You can easily replace it though.

Why I Recommend It:

Efficient cleaning along with a dependable structure makes it a perfect option for anyone who wants low maintenance yet high-quality filtration. It’s a great budget-friendly option as well.

10. Intex 26679EG Krystal Clear 2150 GPH Pump & Saltwater Sand Filter

For those larger above ground pools, the Intex Krystal Clear line has another great model. This one is their saltwater sand filter pump.

The saltwater system uses pure, natural salt to keep the ecosystem of the pool balanced. Salt has antibacterial and antifungal properties that keep your water fresh and sparkling.

As the filter has Hydro Aeration Technology of Intex, it keeps the water circulated and increases negative ions in the water.

As the saline water passes through the saltwater system, it converts dissolved salts into sodium hypochlorite. This means your pool stays sanitized without having to use any extra sanitizing solutions.

As salt does not evaporate, you do not have to add more salt every day. The same salt keeps converting and reverting and makes the water sparkling and fresh. Nifty, right?

If the system requires an adjustment, it simply alerts you. This machine comes with a 2-year warranty from the manufacturers.  

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : 4,800 to 15,000 Gallon
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Sand
  • Sand Required        : 120 lbs
  • Tank Size                : 16 in.
  • Turnover Rate        : 2,650 GPH
  • Water Type                : Saltwater.
  • Warranty                : 2 Years

The Pros:

  • Efficient timer function.
  • Easy to install.
  • Great and reliable saltwater system.
  • Increases negative IONs in the water.
  • No need for any chemicals in the pool.
  • Longeble and worth the money.

The Cons:

  • Not ideal for freshwater.

Why I Recommend It:

The Hydro Aeration technology along with the saltwater system is truly one of the best in the market. You won’t find anything as self-maintaining as this filter. It keeps your pool sanitized without you having to do anything.

11. Hayward W3S210T ProSeries Sand Filter

This is another great product from Hayward that includes a durable corrosion-proof material for all-weather performance!

This filter pump comes with a precision-engineered umbrella-fold self-cleaning lateral system that provides efficient water flow for a blanched backwashing experience.

The 7-position VariFlo valve provides maximum flow at a lower pressure drop. This means you get efficient cleaning no matter what.

Most sand cleaners do not distribute the water equally. The results in muddy or diary water that forms algae. This pump comes with an integral top diffuser that ensures even flow over the entire sand bed.

This is a great product from the Hayward Pro series that will be a companion in your pool experience for years and years.

Even though some customers mentioned leakage issues, it still is far better than any average ground pool filters. It even comes with a year-long warranty from the manufacturers.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : Free
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Sand
  • Sand Required        : 200 lbs
  • Tank Size                : 20 in.
  • Water Type                : Salt or fresh.  

The Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Gives sparkling clean pool water.
  • Needs minimal backwashing.
  • The valve is easier to move to different positions.
  • Very cost-effective

The Cons:

  • The fittings could be a bit better.

Why I Recommend It:

If you are tired of your current filter but do not want to spend a fortune replacing it, then this one is a perfect choice. It’s economic, easy to install, and does not require any cartridge replacement.

12. Harris H1572729 ProForce 1 HP Above Ground Pool Pump 115V

This stainless-steel 1 HPmotor pump by Harris ProForce is constructed to survive even an earthquake!

This durable, quality machine costs a fraction of higher, bigger brand options yet works just as well if not better.

The pumps are made with corrosion-proof, heavy-duty construction and a reinforced thermoplastic body. You won’t find anything more solidly built than this.

Unlike other filter motors, it does not make too much noise and saves a lot of power. So it’s efficient and won’t disturb your neighbors.

The strainer is designed to be easy to clean with a see-through twist and lock lid. It even meets all the  CSA and ETL requirements. You get a three-year-long warranty from the manufacturers.

Specifications:

  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Horsepower                : 1 HP
  • Voltage                : 115v
  • Materials                : Stainless steel
  • Pump Size                : 21 in.
  • Certification                : CSA and ETL.
  • Warranty                : 3 Year

The Pros:

  • Stainless steel build.
  • Easy installation.
  • Noise reduction capacity.
  • Keep the water crystal clear.
  • High suction power.
  • Great value for money

The Cons:

  • Can overheat and shut off on hot days.

Why I Recommend It:

If you are tired of buying filters that split or leak even after everything, this is a reliable and durable option that you can pick blindly. The customers who bought this love how sturdy and solid the construction is.

13. Summer Waves 1500 Gallon GFCI SkimmerPlus Filter Pump System

Summer Waves 1500 gallon filter pump combines some great features to help you beat even the dirtiest swimming pools.

This universal filter pump is compatible with the majority of the ground pools. The installation process is really easy as well.

You get a filter cartridge and return hose along with a  generous water flow capacity.

It can be attached to the sidewalls of the pool for easy maintenance and to prevent anyone from tripping.

The powerful suction and water flow shifts out dirt from tricky places and filters the whole pool to provide sparkling clean water.

It also comes with a GFCI power cord that ensures your pump does not get overheated. This prevents any fire hazard from happening.

With a pool filter like this, you do not have to worry about cleaning at all. It does everything for you.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : 10-18 ft
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Cartridge
  • Power                        : 180 watts
  • Turnover Rate        : 1,500 GPH
  • Warranty                : 180-days limited

The Pros:  

  • Super easy to install.
  • Strong suction power.
  • Ideal for larger pools with lots of debris.
  • Forceful water pressure ensures deep cleaning
  • Good return policy

The Cons:

  •  It’s quite noisy and distracting.

Why I Recommend It:

This is a good option for keeping your pool circulated even in winter. The water flow is strong enough to stop any algae growth of formation.

14. Happybuy Swimming Pool Pump 148GPM Single Speed Filter

For the money, this is an awesome pump with powerful filtration. It’s energy-efficient with an advanced s-tek flow system.

The pump comes with a removable strainer basket for easy cleanup and built-in thermal overload protection to prevent any fire hazards from happening.

This is a really good option for larger pools especially the ones in residential areas, hotels, or spas. It can handle up to 80,000 liters of water.

The only downside of this pump is some of them leak at the seams between the motor and the filter basket section. They do provide a return policy so you can replace your pump if it has any issues.

The swimming pump comes with metric fittings so you need to use hose fitting for the ideal installation.

It takes care of cleaning, filtration, and even salt distribution of your pool. The features are really made with longevity in mind as they have extensive corrosion protection layers for durable performance.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : up to 80,000 liters
  • Horsepower                : 2.5 HP
  • Pool Type                : In/ Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Cartridge
  • Voltage                : 110 v
  • Max Flow                : 148 GPM

The Pros:

  • Energy efficient
  • Easy to install
  • High suction power
  • Muted noise level.
  • Easy to clean strainer with transparent lid.

The Cons:

  • Does not come with a stainless steel exterior.

Why I Recommend It:

The motor is really high-quality. It is mechanically sealed with built-in thermal overload protection. So if you live in a neighborhood with unstable power distribution, it can really be a good investment.

15. Summer Waves 1000 Gallon GFCI SkimmerPlus Filter Pump System

Summer Waves 1000 Gallon filter pump combines the function of a skimmer and filter pump all in one for efficient cleaning!

This filter pump has a patented and innovative filtration system. It’s unique skinning technology continuously removes dirt and debris from your pool.

The filter pump by Summer waves comes with a built-in strainer basket that can be easily removed for cleanup.

The filter cartridge has chlorine and ultra-fine paper that purifies the water deeply.

This machine is not waterproof so make sure the power button doesn’t get moisture in it.

This pump is designed to be suitable for smaller swimming pools. So if you have a larger pool, consider purchasing their 1500 gallons version that we have also included on our list.

Specifications:

  • Pool Size                : 10 ft
  • Pool Type                : Above Ground
  • Filter Type                : Cartridge
  • Power                        : 115 watts
  • Turnover Rate        : 1,000 GPH
  • Warranty                : 180-days limited

The Pros:

  • Efficient design.
  • Maintains safety regulations.
  • Easy to clean
  • Great value for money.
  • Gives sheer pools after the first use.

The Cons:

  • The pump contains a small ceramic pin that’s easily breakable. However, the replacement is only a few bucks so it’s not a big deal.

Why I Recommend:

It’s really easy to install even for someone who has no knowledge of filter pumps. The complacent size is perfect for any small at-home pool. It’s an affordable and economical option.

Buying Guide

Now that you have seen our top picks in our best above groundwater filter review, you need to know how to make a decision.

The most important thing while buying a pool filter is knowing your pool type and which filter would suit it best.

What Does A Pool Filter Do?

Most of us know we need to have a pool filter in our pools. But genuinely,  it’s one of those things we do because we have seen our father do it.

The majority of us don’t know what a pool filter really does.

We think pool filters only remove dirt and debris from the water but that’s just 50% of what they do.

A pool filter removes all the gunks, oils, dirt, algae from water while adding a lot of flow and circulation to the pool.

But why do we need circulation anyway?

Algae forms in water that’s very stagnant, meaning the water does not move and stay still all the time. This is why using a pool filter can transform your pool as it adds constant flow to the water.

Even though there are different filter types, every pool filters provide oxygen and air to the water, keeping it fresh and flowy.

Different Filter Types

Before you decide on anything, you need to figure out what type of filter you want for your swimming pool.

There are three main types of filters: cartridge, sand, and DE. Each has its unique properties and functions.

Cartridge:

Cartridge filters are the most common pol filters used all over the world.

They are made out of standard polyester cloth or corrugated paper. It filters out particles down to 5 microns.

Most public swimming pools use cartridge filters due to their fine filtration process. They remove all the dirt and debris, even the fine dust particles.

As they are made out of simple cloth, they are low cost and very affordable. The only issue is, you have to change them every two weeks.

Check out Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for a reliable pick.

Sand:

Sand filters are famous for their eco-friendly nature and easy system. Sand filters use very fine sand particles to catch and remove dirt and debris.

A standard sand filter is larger than any average pool filters as they need a large amount of sand to clean 10,000 gallons. Water passes through the sand and the dirt gets stuck in there.

One downside of having a sand filter is that they often miss fine particles and dirt.

However, there are some amazing sand filters that can last you more than twenty years. They are durable, efficient, and environmentally friendly.

For example, our top pick, Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE):

Probably the most popular type of pool filter right now is diatomaceous earth aka DE. They are famous for catching even the smallest sized particles.

Water gets pushed into the filter and it passes through a number of grids. Each of those grids is coated with a fine layer of DE

Hayward EC50AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter is one of our top choices in this category.

DE is basically fossilized sea organisms/planktons. This is a really effective way to handle serious dirt or algae issues.

Understand Your Pool’s GPM:

Determining your pool’s GPM is a key component in deciding on a pool filter. That’s because your pool type will determine what kind of filter it requires to stay clean longer.

So if you run your filter pump for 8 hours a day, you have a 20,000-gallon pool. Divide this number by 8 (the number of hours) and then divide that number by 60 (number of minutes in an hour).

What you will end up with is the GPM of your pool. In our case, it’s 42 GPM. So look for pumps that are capable of pumping that amount.

Hayward W3EC40AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter has the highest GPM rate and deep cleaning abilities.

Determine the Size:

Find out your pool size. This is a pretty basic knowledge for most of us. But if you bought your house second hand, we often forget the dimensions of the pool.

Look for filters that are designed to handle exactly your pool’s size. If you buy something that was meant for a smaller pool, it will take twice as long, and still, your pool won’t clean properly.

If you are confused, it’s safer to go for a filter pump that was meant for a bigger pool than the other way around. A trusty choice would be, Best Choice Products Pro 2400GPH Sand Filter.

Know What You Want:

You need to figure out what you are looking for in your pool filters. Each filter type has its individual quirks.

Durability:

If you want a filter that will last you a long time, there is no better option than sand filters.

Public and residential swimming pools always use sand filters because they are famous for their longevity.

If your swimming pool is a busy one, it’s better to invest in something long-lasting. Sand filters are a great investment. Proper maintenance can keep them in tip-top shape for decades.

Rx Clear Radiant 24 Inch Sand Filter System comes with a three-year warranty for a durable option.

Cleanliness:

No doubt, the best filter for keeping your water sparkling clean is DE filters. They can remove even the finest materials along with bacteria and algae.

If you have a swimming pool that is in a dire need of a cleanup, or if your pool tends to get dirty quite frequently, DE filters are your only solution.

Low Maintenance:

If you do not want to spend too much time on maintaining your filters, then cartridge filters are the best low maintenance option.

They only require a replacement once every two weeks. The replacement filters are really cheap and easy to set.

There are some washable filter options even those that are really easy to clean and maintain. Check out Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

01. How often do you clean pool filters?

That depends on the type of pool filters you are using. Each filter has a unique cleaning routine.

Most DE filters should only be back-washed after two to three months. If the filter builds up 5-10 PSI of pressure, then it needs to be cleaned.

Cartridge filtered required to be replaced once every few weeks. Sand filters on the other hand need to be cleaned only once every two years.

Of course, all of these rules are flexible and depend on the amount of dirt your pool collects. The dirtier the pool is, the more your filters need to be cleaned/replaced.  

02. Do pool filters stay on all the time?

If you have recently bought a brand new pool filter, it is recommended to run that for at least 8-10 hours. You should always let your filter rest for 24 hours before using it again.

For standard weekly cleaning, run the pump for 8 hours every few days. This is unless your pool is in constant use. Then it’s ideal to run your filter for 8 hours every other day.  

XtremepowerUS 1.5HP Swimming Pool Pump has a solar panel function that can save a lot of energy in the long run.

03. Can you clean and reuse pool filters?

To clean your pool filters, simply soak them in a chlorine water solution and let it sit for around 5 days. After that, rinse them with clean water and let them soak in diluted muriatic acid. This will dissolve all the mineral deposits and your cartridge filter will be ready to be used again.

04. Sand or cartridge, which pool filters are better?

This is totally personal to you and what you want. If you are looking for a long-lasting filter then sand filters are better.

If you’re looking for an easy filter with minimal maintenance, then cartridge filters are better. Each filter has its specific functions that cannot be replaced by another. So it’s better to find which filters will suit the type of pool you have.

05. Why does my pool filter get dirty so quickly?

This can happen for a number of reasons. One of them is using the wrong size of pump for your pool. If your pool is huge then you need a pump suitable for your pool size. Otherwise, the filters will clog faster.

If you have a DE filter, clogging might be an indicator of an oil spill. If some amount of oil finds its way to a DE filter through hair get or body products, it clogs the grids and blocks the filtration process. So make sure to only use water-soluble products.

So, What are You Waiting for?

Keeping your swimming pool clean and fresh all the time can be a tiresome and complex process. But with a good effective filter, this pressure can totally evaporate from your life.

Hopefully from our best above ground pool filter reviews, you have found something that suits your needs.

It’s all about finding what works for you. Our curated list includes all the best of the best in the market right now.

Remember, it’s always better to go larger than smaller. Keep in mind that each filter required different maintenance and care. So instead of buying the best rated one,  go for what suits your lifestyle the most.

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