The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Best Pool Filters [2022]

Last Updated on 2 years by Todd

Choosing the best pool filter is not an easy task. There are many options available, and each one has its own set of pros and cons. This guide will help you decide which pool filter option best suits your needs. First, you need to decide if a sand or cartridge filter best fits your needs in terms of maintenance level, overall cost, size limitations, etc. For example: does it make more sense for me to go with a sand filter because I am able-bodied? Or should I opt for a cartridge model because it is cheaper?

We have done the work for you so that you don’t have to. We have rounded up all of the best pool filters on the market. And we offer advice about what to consider while shopping for a filter.

What to Consider

Sand filters are popular because they can be affordable and easy to maintain. They need to be back washed sometimes. But they make the water less clear than other filters. There is another filter called a cartridge filter, but it costs more over time because you have to replace the cartridges every 5 years. The DE filter does an excellent job at filtration, but it is usually expensive and you have to backwash them too.

How We Chose

All the pool filters we cover are good. We have many different types of filters from many brands. Some people put their filters on top of a pool, and others put them below ground. Sometimes they can be expensive, but most are not.

Best Upgrade Sand Filter for Above-Ground Pools 2022

Intex 26647EG Krystal Clear – Best Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

  • SAND FILTER PUMP: The 14-inch Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pump improves circulation and filtration. It also improves water clarity. The pump runs on 110-120V and weighs 45.87 pounds.
  • EASY-TO-USE: The 6-function control will make it easy to maintain your pool. You can backwash, rinse, recirculate, drain the water in your pool, filter out the dirt, and then close the system. The sand filter pump is an easy way to keep your pool clean. It outperforms standard cartridge filters
  • FEATURES: Built-in 24-hour timer: You can set automatic filtration times for the pool. Ergonomic handle: It is easy to hold onto and not get tired. A pressure gauge helps you measure how strong and fast the water is coming out of your pool pump. A built-in ground fault circuit interpreter on the pump keeps it from getting broken.
  • FLOW RATE: Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is a good pool pump. It can make 2,800 gallons of water an hour. This is a lot of water! The pump has a tank made to protect it from the sun and rain.


Hayward S244T – Best Sand Filter for In-Ground Pools

This 24-inch-top sand filter with six positions is made for in-ground pools. The tank is made out of a material that does not fade. It has a valve on top that can be turned to give water evenly over the sand.

This pool has a safety drain, and it also has a drain that spins 360 degrees to push water into the pool. This is better than other drains because it cleans the pool more than before. It will be easier to clean and backwash. The sand and water drain on the side will make it easy to service and winterize your pool after the season is over.



JLeisure Avenli 800 GPH GFCI – Best Value Cartridge Filter for Above-Ground Pools

The JLeisure 800 GPH Pool Pump is a simple and easy-to-use pump specifically designed to work with pools with 1.25-inch diameter hoses.

This 800 GPH pool pump will help you keep your pool clean and clear without any hassle, quickly filtering up to 800 gallons of water per hour.

The 290589 filter cartridge is easy to clean, so it can be used for longer periods before replacing it. Plug this pool pump into a 110-120V power outlet, attach the two 1.



Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools –

Best Upgrade Cartridge Filter for Above-Ground Pools

The Intex Krystal Clear filter pump with Hydro Aeration Technology improves circulation and filtration. The pump is double insulated and has a sediment flush and air release valves. A built-in ground fault circuit, interpreter and strainer basket on the pump prolongs the pump’s life and is easy to clean—pump capacity of 2,500 GPH, the system flow rate of 1,900 GPH for above-ground pools.




Hayward ProSeries Sand Filter – Top-Mount for Above-Ground Pools

Hayward ProSeries 16 In. Above-Ground Pool Filter features durable, corrosion-proof materials for dependable performance in any weather. A unique self-cleaning system is precision-engineered to deliver efficient flow and even water distribution, providing balanced backwashing and extending equipment life. MaxiFlo 7-position Vari-Flo valve provides maximum flow at lower pressure drop. Large pressure sand/water drain is always ready for quick winterizing or servicing. Integral top diffuser ensures even debris dispersion for superior filtration and longer pool cartridge life.


Hayward DE6020 ProGrid D.E. Pool Filter – Best de Filter for In-Ground Pools 

This filter is very good. It makes the water look nice and clear. It has a lot of space for water to do a lot of filtering. You can bleed air out of this filter if you need to fix something with the air inside it.

The filter is easy to maintain. It has clamps that are easy to find. The model is shown, for example, has a 36-square-foot filtration area. But it is available in larger sizes: 48 and 60 square feet.



Hayward W3EC40C92S Earth Filter Pump System for Above-Ground Pools

This is a pool filter that you can use for an above-ground pool. It has a clamp, pump, and base. The hose connects to the base for easy maintenance. This filter will make the water clear. It filters out small particles from 2 microns on the first cycle.

It also has a design that is good for water. It works with diatomaceous earth to make crystal-clear water. You do not have to backwash the filter because it will not be dirty.



Hayward W3C12002 – Best Cartridge Filter for In-Ground Pools

Hayward’s is the best kind if you have a pool and can buy a cartridge filter. The filter has a glass-reinforced copolymer, which is strong and durable. This type of filter has a large cartridge for more water flow.

This filter is strong and does not corrode. It is easy to clean. No clamps or bolts are needed for this filter because the head rotates easily. This makes it easy to get the cartridge, manual air-relief valve, and gauge in this filter.



Things You Should Consider Before Buying

If you have no idea what to look out for when you’re comparing above-ground swimming pool filters, pay attention to the following simple pointers:

  • Type of pool filter
  • Size of pool filter
  • Lifespan
  • Compatibility
  • Ease of installation
  • Maintenance
  • The bottom line

Size of pool filter

There are four different sizes of pool filters.

Pool filters are made in different sizes. If you have a pool, you will need the right size filter. Some filters can take care of pools with up to 15,000 gallons of water, and others can take care of pools with up to 25,000 gallons of water.

The most important thing about the pool filter is how many gallons of water it pumps per hour. The rate is expressed in terms of GPH (gallons per hour). If you choose a too small filter for the pump, you might have pressure problems. Make sure to get the size of the pool filter right!


On the other hand, A DE filter typically lasts four to five years. If you take care of it properly, you might expect a somewhat longer life; but don’t count on it.

They’re also more effective in removing excess dirt and pollutants from your drinking water. Although a cartridge filter only lasts a year or two, it is far less expensive and simpler to replace. If properly maintained, sand filters can last anywhere from 5 to 7 years.


If you already have a pool pump, make sure the filter you want fits with it. Many of our options come as a complete system that includes everything you need. In this case, all you need to worry about is making sure that the size fits your pool pump.

Do not make your filter smaller than the pump.

Ease of installation

Filters can take a few minutes or more. You don’t need to call in a professional. YouTube videos are easy to find if you have questions about installing the filter.


If you want a pool that does not need much work, you might want a cartridge filter. You have to change it every two weeks. Other filters need to be taken care of too. For example, sand filters need to be cleaned out, and DE filters need minor maintenance from time to time for the system to stay healthy and the water clear.

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