Best Pool Filter To Buy Right Now

Best Pool Filter

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When it comes to keeping your pool clean, pool filters are essential. A great swimming pool filter eliminates microscopic particles from the water, such as algae, bacteria, and other pollutants. If you are planning to use your swimming pool at all, making sure that you have a reliable filtration system is just part of the whole experience.

There are three basic types of pool filters on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Costs, maintenance, and water purity, as well as water clarity and energy efficiency, are all factors to consider.

Cartridge pool filters are the most popular and cost-effective pool filter, although they do need to be cleaned and replaced on a regular basis. Sand pool filters are popular since they need little care, although they do require backwashing and a thorough sand change every 5 years. DE pool filters collect the tiniest particles, however cleaning and backwashing the system takes more time and work.

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Cartridge Systems

Cartridge filters are some of the most popular and most common on the market today. Many pool owners start out their experience with cartridge style filters, and some never upgrade beyond this because they’re so happy with the clean water they can get from their favorite filter. Below are some of the best pool cartridge products available, complete with powerful pumps that can help you make the most of your pool experience. Choose your favorite and you should be able to enjoy many years of clean water in your own backyard, too.

Option #1. Intex 1500 GPH Easy Set Pool Pump with GFCI and 6 Cartridges 

Intex 1500 GPH Easy Set Pool Filter Pump w/GFCI & 6 Type A Filter...

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Setting up a backyard pool can be expensive, but with the Intex 1500 GPH Easy Set Pool Filter Pump with GFCI and 6 Filter Cartridges , it doesn’t have to be. This swimming pool pump and filter system is a smaller one, so it might not be great for use with bigger pools or those you use very frequently, but if you have a small pool or a light swimming load, this system can help save you a ton of money. This is an excellent low-budget filter system that comes with everything you need to set it up, including enough filter cartridges to get you through several months and maybe even a whole season with no additional costs.

Pros

  • This is a very low-cost setup that’s great for anyone with a small pop-up or above-ground pool.
  • The included filter cartridges are durable and long-lasting, and they can be used many times with regular cleaning and maintenance.
  • This option comes from the Intex brand, which is well-known and can be used universally with many other brands of pool products.

Cons

  • This is a very small and lightweight filter system that might not be tough enough for many pools.
  • This offer cannot be used with in-ground swimming pools.
  • The included power cord is very short and may make placement of the system quite difficult.

Option #2. Waterway Plastics 50 Sq. Feet Complete Cartridge Above Ground Pool System 

Waterway Plastics 806105098115 50 Sq.-Feet Complete 1 hp TWM...

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The Waterway Plastics 50 Sq. Feet Complete Cartridge Above Ground Pool Filter System  is an excellent option for any pool owner looking to upgrade from a default filter that came with a pool box set. This option is durable and powerful, and it can be used for several years before you’ll need to worry about replacing it or repairing any broken pieces. This option comes with all the parts required to put it together easily, and whether you’ve had experience with a pool filter in the past or not, you should have no trouble getting to know this new pool pump and filter very quickly.

Pros

  • This system comes with a very strong pump that provides excellent suction for your pool.
  • ​The system is very easy to install even without prior pool filter experience.
  • ​It’s easy to find replacement parts and cartridges for this option online or in your local pool store.

Cons

  • This offer doesn’t come from one of the more recognized brand names in the pool filter market, although this may not be a problem for every pool owner.
  • The top has been known to develop leaks very quickly after installation.
  • The connectors between the pieces are difficult to screw tightly into place and may develop leaks quickly as well.

Option #3. Above Ground Pump Unit Complete with All Fittings 

Twowings SP1.5 1dddd 1d, Brown

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When you want to purchase a durable, powerful pool filter but you don’t need anything too extreme for your small to mid-size above-ground pool, this Above Ground Filter Pump Unit Complete with All Fittings  is sure to be exactly what you’re looking for. This great filter comes with a 1.5 HP pump, which is much stronger than the pumps that come with many of the cartridge filters listed here. This offer includes a 75-square foot cartridge filter as well, which falls right in the mid-range of most pool filters. When you put these two together, you can get years of incredible pool filtration without having to worry about whether or not your filter system is catching everything.

Pros

  • This choice is very easy to modify to suit your needs, whether you’re looking for a bypass valve or a backwash option.
  • ​The system comes with everything you need to set it up right out of the box.
  • ​Can clean up your swimming pool in just a few hours after getting it put together and installed.

Cons

  • This is an off-brand product, so if you’re looking for a name-brand filter, you might want to choose something different.
  • Doesn’t come with a timer, so you’ll need to purchase one separately if you want to use one.
  • Cord is not as long as some others listed here, which may make placement difficult in some cases.

Option #4. CC15093S Xstream Full-Flo 150 Square Foot 1.5 Horsepower Filtration 

Hayward CC15093S XStream 1.5 HP Above-Ground Pool Filter Pump...

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It’s no secret that Hayward brand swimming pool filter products are some of the best of the best, and when you have one installed, you’re sure to enjoy even cleaner pool water than you ever could have imagined. With the Hayward CC15093S Xstream Full-Flo 150 Square Foot 1.5 Horsepower Filtration Filter  to help you clean up your swimming pool, you’re sure to enjoy countless summers of relaxation and crystal clear water. This option is built to last for a long time even when exposed to the elements, and it’s designed to withstand years of use as part of your above-ground pool setup.

Pros

  • This is a popular product from a well-known company, so you can expect a certain level of quality from this offer system.
  • ​It only takes a couple of hours to set up this choice and let it cycle through enough to clean just about any swimming pool.
  • ​This offer can handle a lot of hard water and other contaminants with no trouble.

Cons

  • If you want to use a timer with this option, you’ll need to purchase it separately.
  • You will need to replace the O-ring on the lid every few months, as it will expand and be too loose to form a good seal.
  • The included hoses have been known to crack and develop leaks quickly after installation.

Option #5. Sta-Rite S7M120 System:3 Modular Media SM Series 

Sta-Rite S7M120 System:3 Modular Media SM Series Pool Filter, 300...

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There are a lot of big names in the world of swimming pool filters, but Pentair’s Sta-Rite line is one of the most popular. This excellent line of durable products is built for both commercial and residential use, so no matter how big or small your pool might be, you can easily find a filter that suits your needs and goes above and beyond, too. The Sta-Rite S7M120 System:3 Modular Media SM Series Pool Filter  is a powerful little two-piece filter that can handle a very large swimming pool with no trouble. Install one today and see what a difference it can make in the quality of your pool’s water.

Pros

  • This choice comes with the clamps and all necessary pieces to put it in place right out of the box.
  • ​It’s very easy to put this offer together and set it up right away even if you don’t have prior experience.

Cons

  • For a cartridge filter, this product may be too pricey for some pool owners.
  • Over time, direct sunlight may cause this option to get brittle and break much more easily.
  • This option doesn’t come with a pump, which will be an extra expense unless you have an appropriate one already in place.

Sand Systems

While sand filters are a little more expensive than cartridge style filters, they also tend to provide more thorough filtration overall. These filters are growing in popularity all the time, whether for pool use or with hot tubs. When you need to get your water even cleaner than you ever could have imagined and you want to cut back on the amount of maintenance required to keep your pool up and running without any trouble, a sand filter can help you get just what you’re looking for. Best of all, they’re available in plenty of different sizes to help you find the perfect option for your pool. Choose from our list below to find the best pool sand filter system for your needs.

Option #6. XtremepowerUS 2640GPH 13” Sand System with ¾ Digital Programmer Above Ground Pump 

XtremepowerUS 2640GPH 13' Sand Filter w/ 3/4HP Digital Programmer...

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Are you looking for a way to upgrade your boxed pool set’s default filter? If so, the XtremepowerUS 2640GPH 13” Sand Filter with ¾ Digital Programmer Above Ground Pump  may be just the solution you’re looking for! Although this isn’t a name-brand product, it nevertheless provides plenty of filtration to the right size of swimming pools with no issues. Best of all, this pool pump sand filter setup is very affordable and comes with everything you need to get started except for the sand. When your pool needs a good cleaning and you don’t know where else to turn, this affordable filter system can help you save the day.

Pros

  • This is a very low-cost sand filter system that’s sure to be a great choice for anyone looking for a new filter on a budget.
  • ​The included hoses and cords are easy to adapt to any existing pool hardware.
  • This offer is strong enough for most small to medium above-ground pools as well as pop-up pools.

Cons

  • This choice may not last as long as many of the others listed here.
  • There are no directions included, so you’ll need to look online to see how to install this choice if you don’t have prior experience.
  • Keeping up the pressure inside the tank may be difficult with this option.

Option #7. GAME Complete 0.5HP Replacement Pool Sand Unit 

GAME SandPRO 50D Series, Complete 0.5HP Replacement Pool Sand...

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Purchase the GAME Complete 0.5HP Replacement Pool Sand Filter Unit  when you want to bring home all the incredible benefits of a sand filter without spending too much money. This is an excellent budget sand filter, and best of all, it comes with a lot of bells and whistles to make operating and cleaning it easier than ever before. It’s intended for use with just about any above-ground pool, and it’s designed to replace some of the popular Intex products on the market today. This choice comes with a pressure gauge as well as a four-position multiport valve to help you keep things clean and functioning properly for years to come.

Pros

  • This choice and pump are both very quiet and won’t be an annoyance during your days spent by the swimming pool.
  • ​It’s very simple to backwash this choice in only a few minutes.
  • Comes with a prefilter that will catch insects, large debris, and leaves that make their way into the pool before they ever reach your filter.

Cons

  • This is not a name-brand product, although it’s designed to be interchangeable with certain models of Intex products.
  • If you want a bypass valve or a timer, you will have to install these on your own.
  • The pressure gauge tends to fill with water and condensation fairly easily and will need to be replaced.

Option #8. 4500GPH 19” Sand System with 1 HP Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump 

4500GPH 19' Sand Filter w/ 1HP Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump

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The 4500GPH 19” Sand Filter with 1 HP Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump  is a large and durable off-brand sand filter that can give you tons of power and years of great use without any trouble. This option comes with an included 1 HP pump, which is strong enough to handle most swimming pools with ease. Although this option isn’t intended for in-ground pool use, it can handle just about anything when it comes to above-ground pools. Fill it up with 175 pounds of sand and just sit back and relax. Other than regular backwashing, you won’t have to worry about any other maintenance for a long time to come.

Pros

  • The included pump is self-priming as long as the filter is positioned correctly along with your swimming pool.
  • ​The system comes with everything you need to set it up, including hoses and power cords.
  • The included base is sturdy, durable, and built to last.

Cons

  • This is an off-brand product, so some pool owners may be hesitant to purchase it.
  • It can be very difficult to clean and maintain this offer due to its design.
  • The included clamps for the lid aren’t strong enough to be used more than a few times without weakening.

Option #9. VL40T32 VL Series Top-Mount Sand System 

Hayward VL40T32 VL Series 30 GPM Sand Filter System

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If you have a smaller swimming pool and you’re looking to upgrade to a sand filter from a cartridge style filter, the Hayward VL40T32 VL Series Top-Mount Sand Filter System  could be just what you need to make the jump to an improved system. This offer includes the pump and filter tank as well as hoses, adapters, and a power cord. All you’ll have to do is purchase the sand and install before you’ll be able to enjoy excellent clean water all summer long. This choice comes from the Hayward company, which assures you of a certain level of quality and great customer service, too.

Pros

  • This is a low-cost product that comes in well under budget for many pool owners.
  • ​With the right adapters, you can potentially use this choice for pop-up pools, although it’s intended for above-ground pools.
  • Once you have this option installed, you’ll get several years of use out of it before you need to worry about cleaning or replacing the sand.

Cons

  • This option is not very big, and it’s only large enough to handle smaller pools under 14 feet.
  • This offer isn’t meant for use with in-ground pools.
  • The system doesn’t have a power switch, so if you want to shut it off you’ll need to unplug it rather than flipping a switch.

Option #10. S144T1540S Pro Series Top-Mount Sand 14-Inch 

Hayward S144T1540S ProSeries 14-Inch 40 GPM Sand Filter System

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Are you looking for a low-cost sand filter system to help you get started with an upgrade from a traditional cartridge filter system? Do you need a sand filter that’s big enough to handle a larger swimmer load but small enough that you’re not severely overdoing it when you have it installed? If you’re in need of an excellent mid-size pool filter that won’t cost too much to install, look no further than the Hayward S144T1540S Pro Series Top-Mount Sand Filter 14-Inch . This setup comes with everything it takes to put it together and have it filtering your water perfectly in just a short amount of time. You’ll never look back once you have it installed!

Pros

  • This is a very easy-to-use filter that’s simple to install and set up even without previous experience.
  • ​The top diffuser design makes the sand inside last a lot longer by evenly disbursing the water over the media.
  • The included multiport valve features seven positions to allow you to clean your pool in a snap.

Cons

  • The tank has been known to develop leaks around the screws.
  • The O-ring and other connectors will need to be replaced over time to prevent leakage.
  • The motor shaft has been known to rust quickly inside the pump without proper maintenance.

Option #11. S180T92S Pro Series 18-Inch 1-Horsepower Top-Mount Sand System 

Hayward S180T92S ProSeries 18-Inch 1 HP Sand Filter System

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The Hayward S180T92S Pro Series 18-Inch 1-Horsepower Top-Mount Sand Filter  is one of the most popular sand filter products on the market, and for good reason. This choice comes with everything you need to get it set up easily and quickly, and in no time, you’re sure to see a difference in the quality of your swimming pool water. This option, made by the popular Hayward company, brings customers back time and time again when they’re looking for a sand filter setup that’s going to last for many years to come. With this offer as part of your pool setup, you’ll be swimming in clean water indefinitely!

Pros

  • This offer is available in either a 16-inch tank or an 18-inch tank to help give you all the filtration power you need.
  • ​The molded base that comes with this choice is easy to place and built to hold your filter safely for a long time.
  • The included multiport valve has seven positions to make cleanup and maintenance very easy.

Cons

  • The drain valve and lid gasket both may develop leaks and need to have parts replaced fairly quickly.
  • The air relief valve may become brittle and break over time.
  • The sight glass has been known to arrive cracked or broken from shipping.

Diatomaceous Earth Systems (DE)

diatomaceous earth swimming pool filter systems are generally more expensive than either of the other types of filters available, but they’re also more powerful in the long run. They utilize a system of internal grid manifolds that are coated with diatomaceous earth to provide incredible filtration of even the dirtiest and most contaminated water. Although some people prefer not to use these filters because backwashing them introduces contaminated DE into the environment and into the surrounding groundwater, many companies are working to create more eco-friendly filters that can give pool owners the best of both worlds.

Option #12. Waterway Plastics FDS441027-3BD DE System 

Waterway Plastics FDS441027-3BD De Filter System

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Waterway Plastics FDS441027-3BD De Filter System
  • De Fltr Sys 44Gpm 1Hp 2Spd Lhp
  • Manufactured to the highest standards to provide you with a quality product
  • Best value for your money

If you’re looking for a great low-cost DE pool filter system that will give you everything you need without costing a fortune to get it, the Waterway Plastics FDS441027-3BD DE Filter System  is an excellent place to get started. This choice comes with the tank, pump, hoses, connectors, and plug, so all you’ll have to do is fill it and let it cycle once before it will be ready for you to use. Although this option might not be as popular as some of the other filters listed here, it nevertheless can provide you with plenty of incredible years of clean, clear swimming pool water.

Pros

  • This option is designed for easy access and simple cleaning and maintenance when the time comes.
  • ​Doesn’t require too much to get started, which will help you save money on the setup.
  • You can easily tell when it’s time to clean the pump by looking inside the clear lid on the skimmer basket.

Cons

  • This offer isn’t made by a well-known company, which may put off some buyers.
  • The included pump is only 1 HP, which is strong enough for most above-ground pools but may not be powerful enough for an in-ground pool.
  • The included hoses have been known to break and crack easily, causing leaks.

Option #13. EC40C91S Perflex ¾-Horsepower Extended Cycle DE System 

Hayward EC40C91S Perflex 3/4-Horsepower Extended-Cycle D.E....

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Are you looking for one of the most popular DE filter systems available today? If so, look no further than the Hayward EC40C91S Perflex ¾-Horsepower Extended Cycle DE Filter System . This setup remains a very common choice among pool filter owners, especially because it comes from the trustworthy Hayward company. It’s generally considered an excellent alternative to larger and more expensive systems, so whether you’re upgrading for the first time or just looking for a smaller and more easy-to-use option than what you may already have in place, give this one a try and see for yourself why it’s such a popular choice.

Pros

  • Because this offer doesn’t require as much backwashing, it’s a more environmentally friendly filter.
  • ​Comes with a strong enough pump to handle small to mid-sized above-ground pools with ease.
  • This is a smaller filter that won’t require a lot to operate it.

Cons

  • There isn’t a multiport valve as part of this setup, so you don’t have a lot of cleaning and maintenance solutions for this filter.
  • Doesn’t come with a timer, and you’ll need to purchase one extra if you plan to use it with your setup.
  • The included attachments and couplings may be too large for your existing pool hardware in some cases.

Option #14. Pentair PNEC0060OE2260 EasyClean Above Ground Pool and Spa DE System 

Pentair PNEC0060OE2260 EasyClean Aboveground Cartridge Pool and...

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The Pentair PNEC0060OE2260 EasyClean Above Ground Pool and Spa DE Filter System  is a unique diatomaceous earth filter setup that also includes cartridges in its design. This choice is built with a removable inner cartridge system that is used in place of the traditional filter grids. When this offer is on, the cartridge is coated with the media just like grids would be ordinarily. This makes cleanup even easier and makes replacing damaged inner pieces a much simpler task as well. When your cartridge needs to be changed, it’s much easier to take care of this than it is to replace grids.

Pros

  • This option automatically regenerates the DE inside the tank when it’s in its off cycle, which cuts back on the amount of maintenance you have to worry about.
  • ​The system comes with everything you need to set it up right out of the box, except for the DE itself.
  • It’s very easy to remove the lid to the tank as well as to the pump when it’s time to clean the system.

Cons

  • Because of the cartridge system, this choice may cause you to incur more expenses over time than other filters might.
  • Has been known to arrive with the air relief valve or pressure gauge broken during transit.
  • Over time, the O-ring sealing the gasket on the tank lid will wear out and need to be replaced.

Option #15. Waterway Plastics 520-5037-6S DE for Above Ground Pools 

Waterway Plastics 520-5037-6S D.E. Filter 67 GPM for Above Ground...

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The Waterway Plastics 520-5037-6S DE Filter for Above Ground Pools  is a great filter setup that can help you get started if you’ve never had this type of filter before. Although it might not be powerful enough to be seen as an upgrade from an existing system, it can give you a great starting point when you’re making the switch from cartridge style or sand filters. This setup comes with the tank, a small pump, two hoses, and all the fittings you need to put it together right out of the box. While you’ll need to purchase diatomaceous earth to fill it with, you shouldn’t have any other expenses right away with this great product.

Pros

  • This choice is large enough to handle a bigger pool well but small enough for use with pools that don’t see a ton of swimmers too.
  • ​The easy-open design of this option tank makes regular cleaning a breeze.
  • The pump includes a see-through lid that lets you know when it’s time to clean out the skimmer basket.

Cons

  • The power cord may be too short for adequate and proper placement of this offer system, depending on the layout of your yard.
  • This offer isn’t designed for use with pop-up pools or with in-ground pools.
  • This choice doesn’t come from a well-known brand name, which put off some potential buyers.

Option #16. Pentair Sta-Rite SRPLD050OE1260 Above Ground DE Filter System 

Pentair Sta-Rite SRPLD050OE1260 PLD-Series Aboveground Modular...

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If you’re looking for an excellent mid-range diatomaceous earth filter with a pump included that can help you improve the quality of your pool water in no time, check out the Pentair Sta-Rite SRPLD050OE1260 Above Ground DE Filter System . This is a great product from a well-known company that can provide you with tons of great filtration all summer (or all year) long. This option comes packaged with a 1-HP pump that’s strong enough for any above-ground pool system and even tough enough to handle smaller in-ground pools, too. When you want to break into the world of these types of systems, this is a great place to get started.

Pros

  • The tank lid features an easy-open design that can make maintenance much quicker and easier for you.
  • ​This setup comes with everything you need to get started, including all the valves, hoses, and cords required.
  • This option comes from Pentair, which is a good company with a great history of providing excellent customer service.

Cons

  • The included power cord may be too short for easy placement around the swimming pool.
  • This offer has been known to arrive with the pressure gauge broken during shipping.
  • It may be difficult to get the lid of the tank on tightly with a good seal, especially the first time you try.

Option #17. Pentair FNS Plus 48 Square Foot Fiberglass In Ground DE Pool Filter System 

Pentair FNS Plus 48 Square Foot Fiberglass In Ground DE Pool...

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Do you have a large pool that requires a very powerful filter? Do you find yourself trying filter after filter without seeing the kind of results you’re really look for? With the Pentair FNS Plus 48 Square Foot Fiberglass In Ground DE Pool Filter System , you’ll be able to clean your water like you never thought possible. This incredible filter can handle a lot of water at once and a huge swimmer load without any trouble, and it’s sure to stick around and be a part of your pool setup for a very long time to come. If you’ve got a big in-ground pool and can’t seem to get it clean enough to your liking, give this option a try and you won’t be disappointed.

Pros

  • This offer comes with the tank and pump both, so you’ll have almost everything you need to get started.
  • ​Includes a six-way multiport valve on the side of the system that makes cleanup and access even easier.
  • You can easily access the grids one at a time to clean and maintain them instead of having to remove the inner manifolds all at once.

Cons

  • This is a very expensive filter system that costs much more than most of the other filters on the market.
  • This choice may be more complicated to install than some of the others listed here.
  • The multiport valve replacement piece may be difficult to find if yours happens to break.

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About The Author

Joseph Bartley
Editor-In-Chief
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Joseph Bartley, also known as the WaterFilterFanatic, is a seasoned content writer who specializes in water filtration and water quality topics. On AllAboutWaterFilters, he has written a range of water filtration system reviews, water health and quality articles, swimming pool, hot tub and aquarium filtration guides, DIY methods to assist people clean their drinking water, and much more. Joseph enjoys spending his time working with the #AllAboutWaterFilters Editorial Team to provide some of the best quality water filtration content available on the web.

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