As the name suggests, pool filters do an amazing job of filtering out the contaminants and keeping your pool waters clean and debris-free throughout all the seasons. Usually, during the harsh winters, you may not use your pool, and that’s the time when the waters become prone to algae growth, accumulation of debris such as leaves and stones, etc. However, when you make use of a good pool filter, you can rest assured knowing that your pool is well taken care of, even if you don’t spend too much of your time and energy for the same.

Though many people own above ground or in-ground swimming pools, not many know the fundamental concepts related to pool filters. In this article, we have given a brief introduction about the different types of filters that you can find in the industry and also an idea of when to use these filters. Next, we have reviewed 5 of the best pool filters for 2018 and have given you our recommendation, so that it becomes easy for you to buy the one that suits your budget and requirements the best.

Most common types of pool filters

1. Sand Filters

Sand Filters are very common, and many people like them a lot because they are reasonably effective and very affordable. These sand filters clean particles up to 20 microns, which is a fair level, indeed!  It does take some time to backwash these filters while cleaning them; however, they are the best options if you are looking for affordable filters that do a great job of keeping your pool waters clean. They also don’t need regular maintenance checks from you as it is enough if you replace the sand once in every 7 years. Since they last for many years for a reasonable investment, sand filters are considered to be the ones that give you the best value for your money. The average price of a sand filter is around $250 and $600 for above ground pools and in-ground pools respectively.

2. Cartridge filters

We all know an ink cartridge in our pens, don’t we? Cartridge pool filters work in the same principle. They use a very thin material (that resembles the texture of cloth) to clean out the contaminants thoroughly from your pool. These cartridges- filters clean particles that are around 5 to 10 microns, which makes them more effective than sand filters. However, the downside to cartridge filters is that they are quite costly to purchase and install. While they do result in some energy savings by covering a large area of your pool, you have to replace the cartridges once every 3 years. Therefore, these filters are not the ideal choices for you if you are looking for low-maintenance filters for your pools. The average price of a cartridge filter is around $400 and $750 for above ground and in-ground pools respectively.

3. DE Filters (Diatomaceous Earth)

DE is a natural organic material that comes in a powder form. DE filters are those that use this powder along with the cartridges to give you crystal clear water throughout all seasons. DE filters are the most efficient of all types, as they can filter out particles that are of 3 microns size too. However, these are very costly and require a lot of effort from you to maintain them. There are no doubts regarding their reliability and durability, but these are good choices for you only if you are ready for the huge investment that they require. The average price of a DE filter is around $800!

Though there are many impressive pool filters in the market today, here are 8 models that are worth putting your money in:

1. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump


If you are looking for an affordable, high-performance and multi-functional filter for your above ground pools, the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is a great choice for you. It is not surprising to note that thousands of users across the globe have been immensely satisfied with this sand filter pump. Since it comes at a pocket-friendly price, it is also the ideal choice for you if you are on a tight budget. Here are some exciting features of this filter for your reference:


  • Comes with a single valve that is powered to perform 6 functions – filter, backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain and close
  • Filter made from all-natural sand which lends durability and reliability to the filter, thereby keeping your pool clean from contaminants
  • Comes in different sizes (10, 12, 14 and 16 inches are currently available)
  • Automatic 24-hour timer included, which saves your time and energy considerably
  • Accompanied by a large strainer basket that improves the longevity of the sand used in the filter; the basket also makes it easy to clean the filter whenever needed
  • Comes with a pump flow rate of 3000gallons per hour and system flow rate of 2450gallons per hour; most ideal for above-ground pools that are of minimum ”
  • A filter is powered with a 0.75HP
Pros and Cons
  • Sands needs to replaced only once in every 5 years, thereby requiring very minimal maintenance from you
  • Very affordably priced at around $165 (we are talking about the 16’ pump here)
  • The single valve that controls six functions, which makes it easy to operate even for beginners
  • Not suitable with all adapters
  • Emits a lot of noise while in operation
  • Doesn’t filter the minute debris, but that’s quite typical of all sand filters


Bottom Line

The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is one of the best models that you would find in the market if you are looking for a good pool filter for your above ground pools. It is available in different sizes as well, which gives you the flexibility to choose the one that suits your pool dimensions. It is affordable, reliable, easy to install & operate and very consistent. So, we don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t invest in this filter pump right away.

2. Best Choice Products 4500GPH Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump System with sand filter, 1HP


Best Choice Products 4500GPH Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump System with sand filter, 1HP

4500GPH Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump

Are you looking for the traditional comfort of a sand filter along with the latest technological advancements in your pool filter? Do you want convenience and cost-effectiveness at the same time? If you have answered “yes” to one or both of these questions, you are sure to be impressed with the 4500GPH Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump System with the sand filter at 1HP, one of the reputed brands of Best Choice Products. Read on to know more about this pool filter and why it would cater to your needs.


  • Equipped with the latest technology filtration methodologies but is one of the most cost-effective and low-maintenance units you will find today
  • Durable internal filter that is resistant to corrosion causing elements, thereby increasing the longevity of the unit and improving the filtration cycles
  • Comes with a six-port multivalve that is easily connected to the sand bed
  • Ideal to filter medium-sized pools that can hold up to 18000 gallons
  • Comes with a 1HP pump; along with the 6-port valve and a speed rate of 4500GPH, this filter takes just a few hours to filter your entire pool
  • Efficient backwashing, highly consistent performance and optimum filtration cycles guaranteed at all times, thanks to the high exposure of the water to the maximum sand surface
  • Designed as per the safety and quality standards specified by national and international organizations
Pros and Cons
  • The cost-effective but high-performance unit
  • Maximum exposure of water to the sand surface; therefore, all impurities are filtered thoroughly leaving you with clean and freshwater in your pool at all times
  • Thermoplastic filter made from corrosion-resistant and durable materials, which improves the longevity of the unit thereby giving you full value for your money
  • Some users noticed that the backwashing function didn’t work after a few days of usage
  • Customer service not very helpful
  • Water starts gushing out of the backwash hole at times, leaving users confused about troubleshooting the unit
Bottom Line

At about $260, we don’t deny that the 4500GPH Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump System with Sand Filter is a good-buy. Nevertheless, we noticed that many users had commented about the wastage of water that gushed out from the backwash hole after a few months of usage. The problem could be corrected by unplugging the system and then plugging it on again. However, we feel that this pump may not be a great choice for you if you are living in an area where water is scarce. You may want to look for other sand filter pumps that are better-priced and more efficient than this, in that case.

3. Hayward EC50AC Perflex DE Pool Filter


As the name suggests, this one from Hayward is a DE filter. As mentioned at the start of this article, a DE filter is one that uses the diatomaceous earth (a natural and organic white powder from the earth) along with the cartridge filter to screen impurities that are very minute. If you are looking for 100% removal of contaminants from your pool and don’t mind spending around $300 for a good filter, the Hayward EC50AC Perflex DE Pool Filter is the right choice for you. Here are some more details about this pool filter:


  • Comes with a bump handle mechanism that helps the flex tubes to clean themselves automatically; you don’t have to worry when the tubes are filled with dirt or filter powder anymore
  • Has an integral check valve that maintains the backflow of the system when the unit is switched off, so that water doesn’t gush out
  • Heavy-duty filter tank made from corrosion-resistant and injection-molded materials for extra durability, longevity, and high-performance
  • Perfect for round pools with dimensions of 28 to 33 feet and oval pools with dimensions of 18 by 39 feet
  • Thorough cleaning of pools guaranteed, as the filter is powered to clean up to 2 microns
  • Improved water clarity and extended filter cleaning cycles guaranteed at all times
  • Comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of 1 year
Pros and Cons
  • Keeps your pool clean and free from the tiniest of pollutants
  • Doesn’t require frequent backwashing
  • Rapid performance guaranteed; your entire pool area can be filtered thoroughly, and you will see crystal clear water in just about 2 hours
  • Very compact and easy to install and use
  • Not as costly as most of the other DE filters in the market
  • Comes from the trusted brand of Hayward, which adds more credibility than ever to the filter
  • Some users noticed tears and leaks in the filters within a few months of usage
  • Body of the filter is not as sturdy as you would expect for this price range
Bottom Line

A DE filter for around $350 is a great deal, indeed! This is precisely why we would recommend the EC50AC Perflex DE Pool Filter from Hayward for your in-ground pool – only if you don’t mind spending over $300 for a pool filter, though! What has impressed us about this filter is that it can filter around 1 to 2 microns, which means all impurities are screened, and you are left with crystal-clear and freshwater at all times. We feel this could be an ideal choice for you, especially if you have sensitive skin or if you have kids at home because you are guaranteed clean and freshwater.

4. Hayward S270T ProSeries Sand Filter, 27-Inch, Top-Mount


Hayward EC50AC Perflex DE Pool Filter

If you are looking for a sturdy pool filter for our in-ground pools, the Hayward S270T ProSeries Sand Filter, 27-Inch, Top-Mount is the right choice for you. It is a delight to work with as it is equipped with user-friendly features that make it easy for beginners too. Here are some attractive features of this sand filter:


  • Comes in different sizes (22 inches, 24 inches, and 27 inches are currently available) to suit your pool sizes
  • Uniform distribution of water guaranteed, thanks to the unique umbrella-fold, self-cleaning lateral system
  • Filter base made from durable and corrosion-free sturdy thermoplastic, which speaks volumes about the longevity of the unit
  • The model can also be side-mounted, thanks to the 6-position VariFlo and 2-position Slide Valve system
  • Top mount option possible as well, thanks to the 7-position or 6-position VariFlo control valve
  • Large pressure sand/water drain available, which makes the unit one of the most durable during the harsh winters
Pros and Cons
  • The patented six-piston multi-port valve that ensures maximum water flow even during low water pressure
  • The high-pressure drain of sand or water, which makes it one of the easiest units for servicing
  • Gives you the flexibility to mount it on top or at the side, as per your convenience
  • One of the most durable and high-performance units in the market today
  • Compared to other sand filters, this unit is slightly steeply priced at around $490
  • Needs professional help for installing the unit as it cannot be done easily by the pool owners
  • Warranty period could have been a bit longer
Bottom Line

One of the major reasons for buying a sand filter is its affordability. However, the S270T Pro Series 27 Inch Pool Sand Filter for the In-ground pool is not as affordable as you would like it to be. At around $500, this is one of the costliest sand filters, but the good thing is that the investment you make on this unit is worth every penny. Though you may require professional help to install the unit, it is a breeze to use, because it is loaded with quite a few user-friendly features. Go for it, if money is not an issue for you.

5. Pentair 160301 Clean & Clear Plus Fiberglass Reinforced Polypropylene Tank Cartridge Pool Filter

Pentair 160301 Clean & Clear Plus Fiberglass Reinforced Polypropylene Tank Cartridge Pool Filter

Pentair Tank Cartridge Pool Filter


How about a cartridge filter that comes with a unique feature of serving a huge filter area? If you are looking for a filter that covers a wide filtration area but still does a great job of screening maximum impurities from your pool, the Pentair 160301 Clean & Clear Plus Fiberglass Reinforced Polypropylene Tank Cartridge Pool Filter is the right choice for you. Here are some exciting features of this pool filter herewith:


  • It comes with a large filtration area of 420sq. feet with a flow rate of 150gallons per minute, which lends extreme speed and efficiency to the filter
  • Outsized filter area help the unit in screening way more impurities and debris than the traditional sand filters; filter area of size 1.5 inches accompanied by a 100% drain clean-out port
  • Comes with NSF listed and highly durable internal air relief and manual air relief valve
  • Guaranteed durability because it comes with an injection-molded tank, tension-control clamp, black bulkhead unions, and a balanced hydraulic flow
Pros and Cons
  • 100% drain clean-out port and a huge filtration area of 420 sq. feet are rare features that you would see in a cartridge filter
  • Ideal for huge pools (some users had reported that this filter worked well for their 30000-gallon pool too)
  • 100% reliability and durability as your pool waters are kept clean from impurities at all times
  • Very easy to replace the parts
  • Very easy to install
  • Performance almost equal to a high-quality DE filter
  • Very steeply priced at about $950
  • The one-year warranty is not justified for the price range that it comes in
  • Requires yearly cleaning, which is a characteristic feature of all cartridge filters
Bottom Line

At over $950, the Pentair 160301 Clean & Clear Plus Fiberglass Reinforced Polypropylene Tank Cartridge Pool Filter is definitely one of the costliest cartridge filters in the market today. The investment is worth every dime because the filter does an amazing job of keeping your pool free from impurities. It is user-friendly, durable, and comes with a huge filtration area, which cleans your pool swifter than you ever imagined.