12 Best Pool Filter Sand and Alternatives – More Bang for Your Buck!

Have you just set up a new swimming pool?

Or are you starting yours up after a long season of cold weather?

Are you looking to make an upgrade to keep your pool clean and clear for longer than ever before?

If so, you should consider a sand filter!

Sand pool filters are a great alternative to the traditional cartridge option. They usually require less maintenance and cleaning overall, and they can provide a lot more filtration in most instances.

But buying the right sand for your filter can be complicated, and that’s what this article is here for! Below, you’ll learn about sand in pool filter options and discover plenty of information to help you choose the right one for your needs. You’ll even be able to check out the top 6 sand solutions as well as the top 6 alternatives to traditional filter sand.

In no time, you’ll be able to pick the best sand for pool filter use to suit your specific swimming pool! So let’s get started.

SPOILER ALERT... Here are our FAVORITE PICKS:

POOL FILTER SAND FOR SALE ONLINE

OUR FAVORITE PICK
Pool Filter Sand #20 Grade Silica Sand - 50 lbs. by Fairmount Minerals
HTH 61308 Pool Filter Sand, 50-Pound
HTH 67074 Pool Filter Sand, 50 lb
Quikrete Pool Filter Sand Swimming
$29.99
$40.67
$24.96
$35.00
-
-
-
296 Reviews
55 Reviews
11 Reviews
9 Reviews
OUR FAVORITE PICK
Pool Filter Sand #20 Grade Silica Sand - 50 lbs. by Fairmount Minerals
$29.99
-
296 Reviews
HTH 61308 Pool Filter Sand, 50-Pound
$40.67
-
55 Reviews
HTH 67074 Pool Filter Sand, 50 lb
$24.96
11 Reviews
Quikrete Pool Filter Sand Swimming
$35.00
-
9 Reviews

Last update on 2017-12-14 at 07:35 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

POOL FILTER SAND ALTERNATIVES

OUR FAVORITE PICK
ZeoSand Alternative Pool Sand Filter Media - 50 Pounds by "Zeo, Inc"
RX Clear™ Luster Eco-Friendly Filter Media For Swimming Pool Sand Filters
In The Swim Filterballs Blu Advanced Replacement Sand Pool Filter Media - 1 Pound
Sand Assist Sand Filter Aid and Enhancer by Caribbean Blue Pool & Spa Chemicals
$37.95
$29.99
$54.99
$16.99
-
-
-
-
143 Reviews
21 Reviews
18 Reviews
2 Reviews
OUR FAVORITE PICK
ZeoSand Alternative Pool Sand Filter Media - 50 Pounds by "Zeo, Inc"
$37.95
-
143 Reviews
RX Clear™ Luster Eco-Friendly Filter Media For Swimming Pool Sand Filters
$29.99
-
21 Reviews
In The Swim Filterballs Blu Advanced Replacement Sand Pool Filter Media - 1 Pound
$54.99
-
18 Reviews
Sand Assist Sand Filter Aid and Enhancer by Caribbean Blue Pool & Spa Chemicals
$16.99
-
2 Reviews

Last update on 2017-12-14 at 07:46 Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Different Types of Pool Filter Sand

glass sand for pool filter

Just a QUICK note... Sand is the most common type of filter media used in sand filters. There are a few different types to choose from.

  • Silica – This is the type of sand you’re most likely to find for a sand filter. It can be purchased in uniform sized bags or bags with varying sizes for maximum filtration. It will work with most types of sand filters.
  • Quartz – This is very similar to silica sand, but more commonly sold in individual sizes instead of in bags with a range of different sizes. It might be more likely to arrive dusty and need rinsing before use.
  • Play sand – This is a more traditional type of sand like you’d find in a sandbox. It’s sometimes used for pool filters, but it’s usually not a good option because it’s too fine. It may be very cheap, but it can easily clog your filter.

Let's get RIGHT into this:

Pool Filter Sand For Sale Online

1. HTH 67074 Pool Filter Sand 50lb.

HTH 67074 Pool Filter Sand, 50 lb

Choose HTH 67074 Pool Filter Sand 50lb. for pools when you want to use a good-quality sand at a budget-friendly price. This large bag of pool filter sand is perfect for just about any type of sand filter, regardless of brand or size.

Pros

Cons

  • This is a common and affordable type of sand that can get the job done well.
  • This sand usually arrives clean and free from dust.
  • The packaging this sand comes in is durable and not prone to leaks.
  • This is a common and affordable type of sand that can get the job done well.
  • May not be able to cycle through your filter correctly, leading to clogging in some instances.
  • Has been known to backwash out of the filter, especially with regular cleaning and maintenance.

2. Zero Chemicals and Ecologically Safe AquaQuartz Pool Filter

No products found.

This No products found. sand for swimming pool filter use contains no chemicals so you don’t have to worry about it being unsafe for use around kids, pets, or anyone with sensitive skin. Even the plastic bag it comes in is recyclable in some places, making it eco-friendly too!

Pros

Cons

  • This is a very clean type of sand that looks beautiful in an aquarium and works great in a pool.
  • There is no smell from this sand, and it won’t irritate even the most sensitive of swimmers.
  • This sand is designed to work without clogging your filter.
  • This is one of the more expensive types of sand on this list, so it might be over budget for some.
  • This sand often doesn’t work with low-power filters that come included with above-ground pools.
  • The bags of this sand have been known to arrive damaged and leaking.

No products found.

3. Pool Filter Sand #20 Grade Silica Sand 50 lbs.

Pool Filter Sand #20 Grade Silica Sand - 50 lbs. by Fairmount Minerals

Choose this filter sand for swimming pool use when you want a good standard sand solution without spending a lot of money to get it. This is one of the most popular types of filter sand available on the market today.

Pros

Cons

  • This is an affordable bag of sand from a trusted seller, so you don’t have to worry about buying from an unknown supplier.
  • This sand’s quality is very high and it always arrives quite clean and ready to use.
  • Works well in any type of pool as well as in fish tanks.
  • This sand cannot be used with Intex and some other default pool filter brands.
  • Some fine grains of sand may be mixed into this bag, which may make their way into your pool water.
  • The sand may take a while to cycle through your filter.

4. Quikrete Pool Filter Sand

Quikrete Pool Filter Sand Swimming

This silica style sand for sand filter for swimming pool use provides a clean and heavy option that is sure to keep your swimming pool sparkling for a long time to come. Don’t be fooled by the name—it isn’t concrete!

Pros

Cons

  • This is an affordable bag of no 20 silica sand for pool filters that won’t put you over budget.
  • This clean sand can be easily used with any type of pool, regardless of material or color.
  • This bag includes some grains up to size 40 to help with catching different types of debris.
  • This sand cannot be used with all types of pool filters, and particularly not with the smaller and less powerful model sand filters.
  • May wash out of the filter if you perform backwashing maintenance with the sand already in place.
  • This sand may be less safe for use with kids and pets than other types.

5. Arch Chemical 61308 HTH Pool Filter Sand 50-Pound

HTH 61308 Pool Filter Sand, 50-Pound

This sand for pool filters 50lbs bag is a great starter solution for anyone just getting into sand-style filtration. It’s affordable and easy to handle with no hidden complications.

Pros

Cons

  • This is a good, clean sand that can work well for swimming pools as well as for fish tanks.
  • This sand makes a good alternative to play sand without having to spend a fortune.
  • Heavy and durable sand in quality packaging.
  • Depending on the type of filter you have, this smaller grain sand may cause clogs.
  • With the cost of shipping such a heavy item, this sand can get a little more expensive.
  • May wash out of the filter when performing backwashing maintenance and cleaning.

6. Mystic White II Swimming Pool Filter Sand – 50lb. Bag

Mystic White II Swimming Pool Filter Sand - 50lb Bag

This is a powerful quartz style white pool filter sand bag. It’s odorless, safe for the environment, and has a large enough diameter per individual piece that it can easily trap contaminants with no problem.

Pros

Cons

  • Because it isn’t dyed, this sand is perfect for use in white and light colored pools.
  • This sand is tested to be sure it won’t clog your filter, so you can use it safely.
  • It can be used with both in-ground and above ground swimming pools equally.
  • This swimming pool filters sand cannot be used with any filters for a pop-up pool.
  • This is a more expensive sand option compared to many others available on the market today.
  • Bags may arrive with small tears or leaks, so take care when unpackaging.

Other Alternatives

These are some of the alternatives to traditional sand filters. If you’re looking for something more efficient or more environmentally friendly, you might prefer one of these solutions instead.

filter sand for swimming pool

Types of Pool Filter Sand Alternatives

  • Zeolite/Zeosand – This product works like a DE filter with none of the concerning chemical content. It’s usually much more expensive than regular sand, but it increases filtration and decreases pressure and volume in your filter.
  • Recycled Glass – This is actually another type of silica, but it has been processed much differently. It’s good for backwashing and is often used for indoor pools, but it may cause some concern with outdoor pools. It may be unsafe to store around children and pets.

With this information to help you, check out the following reviews. You’ll be able to narrow down your choices even more and find the right alternative to pool sand to suit your needs.

7. ZeoSand Alternative Pool Sand Filter Media – 50 Pounds

ZeoSand Alternative Pool Sand Filter Media - 50 Pounds by 'Zeo, Inc'

ZeoSand is a lightweight alternative to traditional silica sand for pool filter use. Although it’s a little more costly than regular sand, a little of it goes a long way, and it’s sure to last much longer than you might expect too.

Pros

Cons

  • Since ZeoSand isn’t the same consistency as glass sand for pool filter use you can use about half the amount to get the same results.
  • The ZeoSand company is dedicated to its quality customer service, so you can always call and ask for help if you need it.
  • You can use this product for at least two years before it needs to be changed.
  • If you don’t backwash first, you may end up with very cloudy and dirty pool water.
  • ZeoSand may bring up the pressure in your filter much higher than regular sand in some rare instances.
  • May arrive dusty and need to be rinsed several times before use.

8. In The Swim Filterballs Blu Advanced Replacement Sand Pool Filter Media

In The Swim Filterballs Blu Advanced Replacement Sand Pool Filter Media - 1 Pound

This single pound bag of filter balls is designed to replace up to 100 pounds of traditional sand for pool sand filter use. At around the same price as a bag of high-quality sand, it can save you a lot of money in the long run!

Pros

Cons

  • This is an energy-efficient product that lowers the pressure in your filter.
  • All of the materials used in this product are completely recyclable.
  • These filter balls are designed to last at least three years with regular maintenance.
  • This product may be able to be used with every type of sand filter.
  • If you use this product along with other pool treatment, such as chemicals or salt, it may affect the reliability of the filter balls.
  • Backwashing will remove some of the filter balls with every time.

9. Sand Assist Sand Filter Aid and Enhancer

Sand Assist Sand Filter Aid and Enhancer by Caribbean Blue Pool & Spa Chemicals

This is not an alternative to pool sand for filter use on its own, but it is an additive that you can use along with your sand to make it even better at removing contaminants.

Pros

Cons

  • This is an affordable product that can keep your pool water clean and sparkling.
  • Even if your pool is kept outdoors during rain, this enhancer will bring the quality of the water back to normal in no time.
  • This is a great option for any pools that see regular heavy use.
  • This product cannot be used on its own and may not work well with filter balls and some other alternatives.
  • You must add this to your pool filter once a week for it to work properly.
  • May not be able to be used along with lower-power filters.

10. RX Clear Luster Eco-Friendly Filter Media for Swimming Pool Sand Filters

RX Clear™ Luster Eco-Friendly Filter Media For Swimming Pool Sand Filters

RX Clear Luster Eco-Friendly Filter is an excellent alternative to sand for a pool filter. Made of polyethylene, this media is completely safe for the environment as well as for any kids or pets who might find their way into the bag.

Pros

Cons

  • This media is designed to never clog your filter and be very easy to clean when the time comes.
  • This is an environmentally-friendly and non-toxic product safe for use around kids and pets.
  • If you have skin allergies or very sensitive skin, this filter media won’t cause you to break out.
  • You may need to change this filter media more frequently than you would with other types of alternatives.
  • You might see cloudier water with this product than you would with other options.
  • This media isn’t for use with all types of sand filters.

11. Blue Wave NA 510 25lb. Zeobest Sand Alternative

Blue Wave NA510 25 lb. Zeobest Sand Alternative

This zeolite alternative to pool filter sand is designed to give you crystal clear water without having to use nearly as much weight or volume as you would with a traditional type of sand.

Pros

Cons

  • This is an affordable type of zeolite sand that will give you a lot of use without a lot of costs.
  • You can use this sand for at least two years without needing to replace it.
  • You only need to use half the amount of this product you would need if you were using regular sand.
  • Since this product is made from silica, it is not safe for use with young children or pets.
  • This sand alternative may be very dusty on arrival and need to be rinsed several times before use.
  • You cannot use this product with all types of sand filters, and particularly not the lower-power ones.

Here's the Pool Filter Sand Lowdown

What does it do?

no 20 silica sand for pool filters

The purpose of pool filter sand in pool use is to remove microparticles, some types of bacteria, and other debris that could easily end up in your pool water during normal use. They do pretty much the same thing that cartridge filters do, but they’re more efficient in the long run. They’re also safer than DE filters since they don’t contain harmful chemicals and other unwanted substances.

 How do you use it?

The large, round sand filter container that sits outside your pool is filled with sand and cycled regularly. The water that passes through is cleaned as it moves through each individual sand grain. By the time it enters your pool, it should be crystal clear and free from contaminants as well as from sand.

What are the concerns with it?

There are a few problems that arise from sand filters. One of the most common is the presence of sand from filter in pool water. Sand filters may also cause clogging in your hoses or pump, and they could stop working as the water eventually erodes some of the sand to create small channels it can pass through without being filtered at all.

How to choose the right sand for your pool?

Picking the right type of sand for your pool can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. First, you have to determine the type of pool and filter you have. If your filter is very small and not too powerful, you’ll want to stick to traditional silica sand only. However, if it’s large and durable, you have a lot of options. If you use your pool very often, you might want to go with zeolite alternatives, since these can be much more cost-effective over time. However, if you’re looking for something traditional, silica and quartz sands can work with just about any type of pool except for pop-ups. They are interchangeable between in-ground and above ground pools.

How often should you use it?

Sand doesn’t need to be replaced nearly as often as cartridge filter media does. You can replace sand every couple of years if you use your pool heavily year-round. If you don’t use your pool this often, you can keep the same sand in your filter anywhere from three to seven years with no real trouble.

pool sand for filter

How do you store it?

Remember that pests such as rodents and insects can and probably will make their way into your sand if you don’t store it properly. Keep it in a plastic container with a locking lid to keep insects away. If you have a rodent problem, store it in a metal garbage can or another type of metal container to prevent entry through chewing.

Is it safe?

Play sand is the safest type of sand to have around in terms of young children, but it isn’t very useful for pool filters. Silica and quartz sand can be very dangerous if ingested by a child or pet. There are some types of filter media for sand filters that won’t hurt kids or pets, even if they get eaten. These are usually considered alternatives to traditional types of sand. All of these types of filter media are safe for the environment.

How do you replace it?

When it comes time to change the sand in your filter, turn off the pool pump and remove the multiport valve from the filter. Release your filter tank pressure and let the water out. Very carefully remove the valve from the pipe inside your filter tank. Cover the pipe well to keep sand from entering it, and then slowly and carefully remove the sand with a cup until you can see the bottom of the filter. Remove the pipe assembly and wash out the tank completely. Fill the tank halfway with water, replace the pipe, and pour in the sand, making sure not to let any get inside the pipe. Reattach your valve and reinstall your filter and pump. You can find more detailed information about how to perform this replacement procedure online.

Conclusion

There are a lot of different options out there depending on your specific pool filter needs. Remember that the best pool filter sand for you isn’t necessarily the same one your neighbor uses, and each individual pool must be considered fully before you can make a decision. Look through this list carefully and choose whether or not you want to use sand, silica, quartz, or a new alternative substance. From there, making the right call should be simple!

Don’t be afraid to experiment with a few different types of filter media until you get the right one. As long as each type you try can be used safely with your filter, you have the freedom to explore a little and do some shopping around. When you find the right one, your pool and your whole family will thank you for it!

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