It feels great to have a pool in your backyard. During the summer months, you can dive in the pool water and swim to build your muscles and stamina. You can do this whenever you want and there won’t be anyone to tell you to stop. While having your own pool feels great, it is very important that you properly maintain it. Without proper maintenance, your pool water could get dirty, ruining the experience for you.
One of the most important things you need for pool maintenance is a filter. A pool filter can remove bacteria and other contaminants from your pool water, keeping it clean and sanitized. Without a filter, the pool water could grow cloudy and turn green, which isn’t fun for swimming and can cause health problems.
There are many pool filters available in the market with varying features and specifications. You might feel like a lost ball in the weeds when you search the market for a pool filter because there are so many options to choose from. But, don’t worry as we are here to help you. We have done the research-work and narrowed down the options to just 10. This should make it easier for you to choose a pool filter that is right for you.
At a Glance: Our Picks of the Best Pool Filter
- Hayward EC50AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter
- Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System
- Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools , 10-inch, 110-120V with GFCI
- Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
- Intex 1000 GPH Easy Set Above Ground Cartridge Filter Pump System
- Pentair 160301 Clean & Clear Plus Fiberglass Reinforced Polypropylene Tank Cartridge Pool Filter
- Hayward C5030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter
- Hayward DE4820 ProGrid D.E. Pool Filter
- Best Choice Products Pro 2400GPH Pool Pump
- Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools, 16-inch
Best Pool Filters in 2020
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) pool filters can remove the smallest of particles from your pool water – as small as 2 microns. If you want a thorough filter for cleaning and sanitization of the pool water, the Hayward Perflex D.E. Pool Filter should be on your shortlist.
This filter comes with different sizes of DE grids. The 20 sq. ft. is suitable for many backyard pools but you could get a smaller or larger model depending on your needs. Inside the solid tank is a grid coated in Diatomaceous Earth that the pump passes water through. The DE filters tiny particles, allowing only clean water molecules to pass through. Bacteria, algae, microbes and other contaminants are all filtered effectively by the Hayward EC50AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter.
It is worth noting that DE pool filters require some maintenance work – you’ll have to backwash them periodically incase the pressure become too high because of filtered particles.
- Heavy-duty filter tank for top performance
- 1-year limited warranty
- Easy to operate valve
- Pump isn’t included with the product and you will have to buy one separately
A sand pump is a good match for a saltwater pool and this Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System could be the perfect option for you. This system is designed for pools that have a capacity of 2,600-8,500 gallons of water. It is worth noting that this is an above-ground filtration system, which means that it won’t work for you if you have an in-ground pool.
The Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump and Saltwater System can efficiently clean your pool water and maintaining it is quite easy. The pump comes with a 24-hour timer that runs programs automatically for easy operation. The Intex Saltwater System reduces the need for chemical use, ensuring that your pool stays clean and sanitary.
- Equipped with a 24-hour timer which reduces user intervention
- Suitable for large pools
- Requires maintenance work
The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is another great option for homeowners with above-ground swimming pools. This filter pump uses sand media for trapping particles that might float in your pool water, contaminating it. The pump features a 6-function control valve, allowing you to set it to filter, drain, backwash and rinse, or re-circulate the system.
The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is equipped with a 24-hour timer, which means that it’ll operate with little human intervention. However, it will need occasional backwashing, and you will need to replace the sand after every 5 years.
The pump flow rate is 1,200 GPH which is enough to keep medium-sized pools clean.
- Suitable for medium-sized above-ground pools
- 1,200 GPH
- Equipped with a 24-hour timer
- Requires occasional backwashing
The Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump is one of the most popular pool filters available in the market. The pump has received positive reviews from the majority of customers, because of its economical price and efficient operation. This filter uses B filters for the filter cartridge size.
The Intex 28633EG is rated for 2,500 GPH and can handle the filtration requirements of pools up to 15,200 gallons of water. A minimum 4,000 gallons of water is required to operate this filter pump. This pool filter is easy to use – just replace the old filter cartridge with a new one after every two weeks. If you are going from a low flow pump system to this pump, you might need hose adapters, which aren’t included with the Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump. This filter pump is also equipped with auto timer with preset 2 to 12 hour cycles.
- Equipped with auto timer
- 2,500 GPH makes the pump suitable for large pools
- Hard to install
The Intex 1,000 GPH Easy Set Above Ground Cartridge Filter Pump System can meet the filtration needs of pools up to 16 feet in size. This budget pool filter pump system is usually bundled with Intex Pool, but you can use it with any above ground pool with 1.25 diameter hose connections. Everything that is required for installation like clamps, fittings, and hoses comes with the product.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money and just need a pool filter for seasonal use, the Intex 1,000 GPH Easy Set Above Ground Cartridge Filter Pump System should be on your shortlist.
- Suitable for medium-sized above-ground pools
- May not last a long time
The Pentair 160301 is designed to remove impurities from pool water. The filtration area of this unit is 420 sq. ft. while the flow rate is 150 gallons per minute, which makes it suitable for small in-ground pools. This model is capable of transforming the green water into crystal clear water.
The Pentair 16301 Pool Filter requires very little maintenance, which makes it a good option for many. This pool filter should be on your shortlist if you need an affordable filter for your in-ground pool.
- Affordable and efficient
- Corrosion-resistant injection molded filter tank
- Not suitable for large pools
- Needs cleaning every year
Related – The 7 Best Above Ground Pools 2020
The Hayward C5030 is made to last for several years. The filtration area of the unit is 525 sq. ft., which makes it suitable for large in-ground swimming pools. The innovative filter uses four cartridges for cleaning the dirty pool water. Thanks to its large size, this filter can handle a good amount of water in each cycle, quickly filtering the entire pool.
Dirt, debris, and other contaminants are grabbed by the filter, ensuring that the water is properly cleaned. Maintaining this pool filter can be a little hard but the CPVC union connection gives more diversity to it.
The low-profile tank base design of the filter makes it easy to remove and insert cartridges into the filter.
- Durable and reliable
- Long lasting
- Available in 325 sq. ft, 425 sq. ft, and 525 sq. ft. options
- Offers fast clean-out
- Maintaining the filter isn’t easy
- Cartridges need to be replaced
The Hayward DE4820 ProGrid D.E. Pool Filter is another great option for in-ground pools. The filtration area of the unit is 48 sq. ft., but it is also available in 36 sq. ft. and 60 sq. ft. options. The DE based mechanism of the filter helps in cleaning the pool by filtering the tiniest of particles. The tank is made with high-quality materials and would thus last a long. The design is non-corrosive and wear-resistant.
It is worth noting that the product does not include a valve, and you will have to buy one separately. The internal components of this pool filter can be accessed without disturbing connections or piping.
- Available in a variety of sizes – 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 square foot.
- Vertical grid filter for deep cleaning
- Accessing the internal components is easy
- Durable build
- Easy to install and use
- Valve not included
- User manual not included
The Best Choice Products Pro 2400 GPH pool filter system has been designed to keep swimming pools pristine while requiring very little maintenance and consuming a small amount of power. The unique design of this unit allows it to suck water from the skimmer into the filtration tank. It comes with 6-position multiport valve which allow for easy operation.
The Best Choice Products Pro Pool Pump features a high-capacity sand bed which exposes water to a greater surface area. This results in the impurities getting caught in the sand and clean water leaving the filter. Installing this filter is quite easy and it offers quick backwashing and great performance. The maximum pool size that this system can handle is 10,000 gallons. We can easily recommend the Best Choice Product Pro Pool Pump to anyone who needs a reliable and efficient pool filter.
- Exceptional performance
- Can handle a pool with 10,000 gallons of water
- Sand bed stays level
- Has a 42 lbs. sand capacity
- A little pricey
If you are strapped for cash and need an inexpensive filtration system, consider the Intex 16-inch Krystal Clean Sand Filter Pump. This filter pump uses sand for filtering water for your swimming pool. In addition to filtering, you can backwash, drain, close, and re-circulate the system using the sole valve.
The smart filter comes with a 24-hour timer, which reduces user intervention and makes it easier for you to keep your pool clean. The system comes in four models – 3,000 GPH, 2150 GPH, 1600 GPH, and 1050 GPH. The most powerful unit can work for above-ground pools as big as 16 feet. The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump requires very little maintenance – you only have to replace the sand of the unit after every five years.
- Suitable for above-ground pools as big as 16 feet
- Equipped with a 24-hour timer which reduces human intervention
- Keeps the pool clean and sanitized with little maintenance
- Sand has to be replaced after every five years
Types of Pool Filters
There are three different types of pool filters – sand filter, cartridge filter, and D.E. filter. Before you start shopping, you should learn about the pros and cons of each filter to determine which one is right for you. Below we have shared some information about the three different types of pool filters.
Sand filter is the most common type of pool filter. It is the least effective filter available in the market. Sand filter can filter particles ranging from 20 to 40 microns. Sand is used by these filters for filtering dirt and other organisms from the pool water. Once the dirt or debris is at full, the pressure within the filter increases, indicating that the filter needs to be backwashed.
Backwashing simply means running the water within the filter in the opposite direction. A multiport valve is used to switch the position of valve from filter to backwash. Backwashing can create some pool-related issues, which is why you must be very careful when backwashing your pool.
Before you buy a sand filter, there are some important things to consider. First, if a pool is backwash on a regular basis, its water chemistry would be disturbed and the water levels would also be affected. After backwashing, you might have refill and rebalance your pool. As a result, your money would be wasted on water and chemicals. Moreover, you will have to figure out where to backwash the water. You will also have to buy a valve for operating the sand filter. In some cases, the valve comes with the filter.
Pros of Sand Filter
- The most affordable and compact
- Easy to clean
- Minimal maintenance
- Straightforward operation
Cons of Sand Filter
- Lower filtration ability than D.E. and cartridge filters
- Constant backwashing will throw off the water balance and level
- More cost on water and chemicals
Cartridge filter is another common pool filter that uses pleated cartridges to maximize the square foot area of the filter. The greater the surface area of the filter, the more dirt it will filter out. Cartridge filters are capable of capturing particles as tiny as 10 to 15 microns. When it comes to efficiency, cartridge filters are better than sand filters but not D.E. filters. However, maintaining them is very ease.
When the cartridges get too dirty, the pressure in the filter will rise, which indicates that it is time to clean the filter. Depending on the pool water chemistry, cartridges generally need to be cleaned after every six months. Cartridges may be cleaned or replaced, and there isn’t any need to backwash this type of filter.
Cartridge filters work well at slow flow rates. A very large pool pump can push the water through the cartridge filter, bypassing the filtering stage, which makes the filter useless. It is essential to use a moderate-sized pool when using a cartridge filter. Cartridge filters generally utilize less water and unlike sand filters, they would save you money on water and chemicals.
Pros of Cartridge Filter
- Easy to clean and replace the cartridges
- Low maintenance
- Easy to install
Cons of Cartridge Filter
- Heavy debris buildup can clog the cartridges. You might have to rinse the filter more frequently
- The price of these filters is generally high
- Doesn’t work well with fast flow rates
Diatomaceous Earth Filter
If you want the best filter for your pool, then go with D.E. filters. They are similar to sand filters but use a different approach to filtering. In D.E. filters, fossilized remains of diatoms are used for filtering the pool. They are capable of collecting debris and microorganisms as small as 2 microns. A D.E. filter provides more thorough cleaning than both cartridge and a sand filter.
D.E. powder coats the grids of the filter and allows water to get through them, trapping the dirt on one side. However, D.E. filters need to be cleaned through backwashing. Like other filters, you will have to monitor the pressure gauge of D.E. filters to determine when they need backwashing. These filters also require pool owners to routinely clean the elements of the filter. Soaking the grids removes all the dirt, oil, stains, and minerals from the fabric of the filter. This is the reason why D.E. filters need the most maintenance.
Pros of Diatomaceous Earth Filter
- Exceptional filtration ability
- If you properly care for grids, they would last for several years
Cons of Diatomaceous Earth Filter
- D.E. media must be added to the grids after every backwash
- Higher maintenance costs
- It takes time to disassemble the filter grids
- Backwash valve is required to operate this filter
Buying Guide for Best Pool Filter in 2020
When you are choosing a pool filter, there are some important things to consider. These include:
Consider the Size
Make sure to choose the filter that is of the right size for your pool. A filter that is too big would work fine but you will end up wasting tons of money. On the other hand, if the filter is too small, it won’t be able to meet your pool’s cleaning needs. Before you make the purchase, size the pump and the filter.
How to Size the Pump
First you should determine the size of the pump needed. To do this, you must have the size of your pool in gallons. For an example, consider that your pool holds 18,000 gallons of water. Next, you must determine how quickly you want the entire water to be filtered. Let’s suppose that you want the filtration process to be finished in 6 hours. To calculate the size of the pump, you must divide the amount of water in gallons by the amount of time required to filter the water. Then, you divide the figure you get by 60 minutes per hour. This will give you a number in gallons per minute.
18,000/6= 3,000 gallons per hour
3,000/60= 50 gallons per minute (GPM)
50 GPM is the flow rate. With this number, you can start finding the right sized pump for your pool.
How to Size the Filter
Once you have calculated the size of the pump, you can start making an estimation for the filter. For sand, the estimation is easy – 1 sq. ft of filter for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool. In the example given above, you have 18,000 gallons of water. If you are going for a sand filter, this means you should be at 1.4 sq. ft. of filter area. However, while you should not buy a filter that is too large, you can go touch large on the filter surface area as it would put less strain on the filtration system. You could get a 2 sq. ft., and it would work well for your pool.
Consider the Cost
Pay attention to the price tag of the filter. There are some very expensive filters available in the market. They are a great option if you need something durable and reliable. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money to get your hands on a good-quality filter. There are several budget-friendly models that would do a good job of cleaning your pool.
We have discussed some of the best pool filters currently available in the market. Now, it should be easier for you to select a filter for your pool. When making a purchase, pay attention to the size of the filter and the pump to ensure that you get the right model. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.
Last update on 2020-09-24 at 18:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API