The 12 Best Pool Filters of 2021

Make sure your swimming pool water is fresh and safe to swim in.

When someone purchases a swimming pool for the first time, they tend to get confused about which pool filter is the best for it. With so many different pool filter types and brands on the market, it can get overwhelming to select the best one for your pool.

You’ll obviously want to choose a pool filter that is affordable and requires less maintenance. But how do you find such a filter?

After all, every pool filter has a unique design and functionality. You have to be able to trust its brand and reputation. It doesn’t necessarily mean choosing the cheapest filter or the most expensive filter. Just choose what works best for your pool.

Top Pool Filter System Reviews on the market

The Best Sand Pool Filter

Hayward S270T ProSeries Sand Filter

The Hayward S270T ProSeries Sand Filter is a product and brand that you can trust. It is designed to thoroughly clean the water of inground swimming pools while staying energy efficient. Sand is the primary cleaning source of the filter, along with the Vari-flo valve that can maximize water flow in 7 different positions. This makes the backwashing process so much easier and reduces maintenance costs considerably. A professional installation will be required. However, the upfront costs for a professional installer will be worth it in the end because of the long-term savings on maintenance.

The Best Diatomaceous Earth DE Pool Filter

Hayward DE6020 ProGrid D.E. Pool Filter

The Hayward brand is back again. The Hayward DE6020 ProGrid D.E. Pool Filter is another high-quality filter for inground swimming pools. The difference here is that the DE6020 pool filter has a much bigger cleaning capacity. It can clean commercial-size inground swimming pools in addition to the residential-size pools. Its heavy-duty Perma Glass XL construction means it will last you a long time. Maintenance can be performed fast and easily without much time and effort spent on it. Once again, you will need to hire a professional to assemble and install this pool filter.

The Best Cartridge Pool Filter

Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter

The Pentair 160301 cartridge filter offers an attractive and smooth design with its fibreglass-reinforced polypropylene material. Not only is the construction durable, but it provides a high dirt capacity due to the massive size of the filter area. The injection-moulded filter tank is resistant to corrosion, which only adds to the lifespan of the filter. Hiring a professional installer is not required. Pentair made this filter easy to install, so you should be able to do it yourself. They will ship the filter to you quickly. The only downside is that the Pentair 16031 pool filter is pricier than its competition.

The Best Above Ground Pool Filter

Intex - Krystal Clear Cartridge Above Ground Filter

The Intex 28635EG is made to accommodate above ground swimming pools that are medium size or small size. The filter is priced affordably for the average working-class citizen. Despite the low price, you get a high-quality filter that is easy to install, clean, and maintain. And once the swimming season ends, it is even easier to uninstall and store away the filter until the next swimming season. Intex did a good job of creating a simple yet effective pool filter design. It is lightweight, so it doesn’t take much effort to move around. There is an auto-timer with several preset options to simplify the operation of the filter. You shouldn’t have any problem cleaning the water of your above ground swimming pool after installing this filter.

The Three Primary Pool Filter Categories for Inground Pools

Each type of pool filter serves a particular purpose. You might find some designed for above ground swimming pools and others designed for inground swimming pools. Some are even designed for both types of pools.

Here are the three primary pool filter categories.

1) Cartridge Pool Filters

It is easy to maintain cartridge pool filters because they don’t need to be backwashed or replaced for many years. If you have never owned a swimming pool, then you’ll find it easy to manage a cartridge pool filtration system.

When pool water flows into the filter cartridge, all of the contaminants and debris particles within the water will get blocked by the mesh materials of the cartridge. Once the water passes through the filter completely, only clean water will make it out the other side. Then all that clean water will flow back into the pool.

2) Sand Pool Filters

Most pool owners use sand filters because they are cheap and effective. Sand filters are the most natural way to remove impurities from water and keep your pool looking clean.

Maintenance won’t be that difficult either. It just requires you to backwash the contaminants from the sand after it does its job. You’ll also have to empty the old sand and replace it with new sand every couple of years.

Don’t expect a thorough cleaning job, though. It takes a long time for the sand to filter out debris from the water. Its filtration capacity is around 20 microns at the most.

3) Diatomaceous Earth Filters

Diatomaceous Earth filters (aka. D.E. filters) are the newest invention in pool filtration technology. They feature a series of filter grids covered in fabric with a diatomaceous earth coating. This coating can filter out micro particles and debris as pool water passes through it.

If you don’t mind paying more money for a good pool filtration system, then you should purchase a D.E. filter. You won’t need to replace the filter for a long time because they’re made to be durable and simple to maintain.

Top Considerations for Purchasing Swimming Pool Filter

The pool filters on the market have so many different features and attributes.  If you want to find the best filter for your pool, you need to make the following considerations:

1) Size

Find out the dimensions, shape and size of your swimming pool if you don’t know already. This information is essential for choosing the right filter. For instance, some filters are made for oval-shaped swimming pools, while others are made for round and square-shaped pools. Also, pay attention to the water capacity of the filters too. Make sure it matches the pool capacity.

2) Filter Type

Which type of filter would work best with your pool? Which filter is easy to maintain and accommodates your budget? If you can answer these questions, then it will make it easier to find a good pool filter for your pool.

3) Brand

There are numerous pool filter brands available now. If you want to stay safe, choose a reputable brand that has been around for a long time. Avoid any of the newer brands unless you want to experiment with something original that they might offer.

Check the customer reviews of various brands too. See which brands have received a high number of positive comments and ratings.

4) Materials

Choose a pool filter made of highly durable and long-lasting materials. The filter should last you for several years without needing to be replaced. Some even last for decades.

Don’t just look for filters with strong exterior materials. Look for filters with strong internal materials and components as well.

5) Filter Pump Capacity

Every pool filter has a particular pumping capacity. Choose a capacity that matches the volume of water in your swimming pool. A typical pool filter pump has about 1 or 2 horsepower. That should be fine for the average residential swimming pool.

6) User Capacity

How many people are going to use your swimming pool together? If you have many people in the water, it will require a greater filtration effort to keep the water clean. If you plan to have large gatherings and parties in your pool, then you’ll need to get the strongest pool filter that you can find.

7) Safety Features

Some of the more sophisticated pool filters have special safety features, including an automatic shut down mechanism. This feature will make your pool more energy-efficient because the filter will deactivate after some time has passed. It will take stress off the motor too.

8) Warranty

Does the manufacturer offer a warranty on the filter? Look for warranties if you’re unsure about the quality of the product.

9) Maintenance Requirements

Maintenance will always be required to some extent when you have a pool filter. However, the amount of maintenance needed will depend on the filter size, your pool capacity and the filter’s strength. But even if a pool filter is marketed as not requiring frequent maintenance, it is still a good idea to perform maintenance frequently anyway. It will ensure that you get the most extended life out of your filter that is possible.

10) Cost

An expensive pool filter is not necessarily the best filter. A cheap filter is not necessarily the worst filter either. Don’t base your purchasing decision on expensive versus cheap. Just choose the best filter you can afford.

Final Words

No pool filter is perfect in every regard. There are pros and cons found in all of them. The best thing you can do is choose a filter with durability, dependability, and has a high-water capacity. This will likely mean that you need to select a name brand filter with excellent customer reviews. If it comes with additional features, that is even better. Your pool water should be cleaned in no time.

Hayward W3DE6020 ProGrid Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filter, 60 Sq. Ft.
  • HIGH-CAPACITY FILTER: The Hayward ProGrid 60 sq. ft. diatomaceous earth filter offers superior performance, efficiency and water clarity
  • MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY: High-impact grid elements provide up-flow filtration and top-down backwashing for maximum efficiency
  • DURABLE DESIGN: Durable, glass-reinforced copolymer construction ensures corrosion-free durability and withstand the elements
  • EASIER TO USE: Easy-access clamp assembly provides simplified service and maintenance
Hayward W3S220T ProSeries Sand Filter, 22-Inch, Top-Mount
  • BALANCED FLOW & BACKWASHING: The Hayward ProSeries 22-Inch Top-Mount Filter features efficient, multilateral underdrain assembly with 360° self-cleaning slotted laterals
  • MAXIMUM FILTRATION: Integral top diffuser ensures even distribution of water over the entire sand bed for optimal use of filtration area
  • ALL-WEATHER PERFORMANCE: Unitized, corrosion-proof filter tank is molded from rugged polymeric material, delivering dependable performance in any weather
  • EASY OPERATION: 6-position Hayward VariFlo control valve with easy-to-use lever-action handle lets you quickly dial in the right valve/filter function
  • RAPID WINTERIZING: Large pressure sand/water drain is always ready for quick winterizing or servicing
Pentair 160340 Clean and Clear Replacement 320 Square Foot 120 Gallons Per Minute In Ground Swimming Pool Filter Pump Cartridge Assembly
  • Includes filter tank and pressure gauge. Pump to filter fittings are not included.
  • Max. Pool Size (gallons) 57,600
  • Designed for In-ground pools.
  • One year limited warranty.
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Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools, 1500 GPH Pump Flow Rate, 110-120V AC Electric
  • Specially designed for above ground pools. Compatible with 15 feet Easy Set Pool, 14 feet, 15 feet Frame Pool, 16 feet x 8 feet Prism Frame Rectangular Pool
  • Easy installation – just attach hoses and plug in (partial assembly required).
  • System flow Rate: 1, 180 GPH (2, 839 LPH). pump flow Rate: 1, 500 GPH (3, 785 LPH)
  • Double insulated pump. Auto timer with preset 2 to 12 hour cycles.
  • Air release valve for air trapper inside filter chamber. Sediment flush valve.