7 Best Pool Filters – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Pool Filter

In order to make sure that you are swimming in clean water, you surely need to have best pool filter for the purification of pool water.

Different kind of filters are available for in-ground and above ground pools. And, there are different types available in these products also that vary in the mechanism.  

The most common types are sand, DE (Diatomaceous Earth), and cartridge that completely differ in their working mechanism. However, the core purpose is to supply clean water for swimming.

The filters separate large and small contaminants and release fresh water that has balanced pH level and is suitable for all kind of users.

In this pool filter review, we will share some of the leading products in the niche. Let’s take a look:

7 Best Pool Filters - Reviews

Product Name

Image

​Features/Benefits

Rating

Current Price

1. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter for Above-Ground Pool


Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter for Above-Ground Pool

Less maintenance required, amazing features, suitable for above ground pools, operates conveniently

4.3

2. Haywards Top-Mount Pro Series Sand Filter

Haywards Top-Mount Pro Series Sand Filter

Great design, require minimal maintenance, suitable for in-ground pools, easy application

4.3

3. Intex 28633EG Krystal Cartridge Pool Filter

Intex 28633EG Krystal Cartridge Pool Filter

Decently priced, easy to maintain, removable cartridge, high-quality product

4.2

4. Haywards ProGrid D.E Pool Filter

Haywards ProGrid D.E Pool Filter

Heavy duty, great design, performance-ensured, grab the smallest elements, available in various sizes

4.3

5. Haywards Perflex D.E Pool Filter

Haywards Perflex D.E Pool Filter

Helps in removing all kind of particles, suitable for all kind of buyers, high-quality designing

4.5

6. Haywards SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter

Haywards SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter

Available in different sizes, great in performance, easy working mechanism

4.4

7. Pentair 160301 Cartridge Pool Filter

Pentair 160301 Cartridge Pool Filter

Durable, great filtration area, innovative technology, suitable for buyers with high budget

4.4

1. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter for Above-Ground Pool

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter for Above-Ground Pool
  • Type: Sand
  • Size: 10” -16”

Intex Krystal sand filter is for the people that are making a budget purchase. This require least maintenance and work quite diligently.

This model is a first choice of many individuals. Being available in 4 different sizes of 10”, 12”, 14” and 16”, you get the flexibility to install the filter in small or large pool, as per your need.

Other than the filtering, the sole valve has been used in this product for closing the system, drain, recirculate, and backwash. There is pressure gauge, heavy-duty tank, and strainer basket included in this product.

Then there is a built-in 24-hour timer which works constantly and keep the pool swim-ready all the time. This is basically for the above-ground pools.

The filter is suitable for budget buyers. However, the durability of the product is not as great as expected. Plus, it does make bit loud humming noise while working.

Pros:

  • Very diligent
  • Efficient
  • Require least maintenance
  • Great features

Cons:

  • Not as durable
  • Produce noise while working

2. Haywards Top-Mount Pro Series Sand Filter

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Haywards Top-Mount Pro Series Sand Filter
  • Type: Sand
  • Size: 22” – 27”

If you wish to make purchase of the best in-ground pool filter then here comes the suitable product for your requirement.

First of all, the construction of the tank is done thoughtfully and in such a way that it will serve you for a long time. Material used in the making is weather-proof and completely corrosion resistant.

Further to its designing, it is made of polymeric material with patented 6 piston multiport valves. The usage is made easy with a convenient and easy-to-use lever.

The model is not very demanding as far as maintenance is concerned. You can easily run backwash and free the sand from contaminants. To suit the need of all kind of buyers, this model is available in 3 different sizes of 22”, 24”, and 27”.

The gigantic pressure drain helps in convenient cleaning and backwashing of the filter. This product is also energy efficient.

The only concern here is that the model is bit heavy. So, wherever you have to take it out for thorough cleaning, it could be a little tricky.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Weather-resistant
  • Energy efficient
  • Require less maintenance

Cons:

  • Heavy

3. Intex 28633EG Krystal Cartridge Pool Filter

Editor's Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Intex 28633EG Krystal Cartridge Pool Filter
  • Type: Cartridge
  • Size: N/A

Intex Krystal gives you this amazing cartridge filter with decent features. First of all, it comes in a capacity of 2500 gallons per hour. The filter is specially designed for above-ground pools.

It requires partial assembling in which you have to attach the hoses at their position and plug in. The whole installation mechanism can be a little tricky but it is mentioned in the manual.

This model is suitable for the pools with minimum size of 4000 gallons and maximum size of 15200 gallons.

There is an air release valve for air trapped inside the filter chamber. This makes usage, cleaning and maintenance of the filter pretty convenient.  

It is a considerable machine for all kind of buyers. However, the installation can be a little difficult. Also, this is not suitable for very large pools.

Pros:

  • Less maintenance
  • Powerful
  • Durable
  • Quite efficient

Cons:

  • Installation is difficult
  • Not recommended for large pools

4. Haywards ProGrid D.E Pool Filter

Editor's Rating:  (4.3 / 5)

Haywards ProGrid D.E Pool Filter
  • Type: D.E
  • Size: 24” (width), 5 Options from 24 – 72 sq. ft

The Haywards DE pool filter is quite versatile and available in various sizes that largely influence the effective filtration area. The height of the filters varies from 32-1/2” to 52-1/2” with a constant width of 24” for each model.

The DE based mechanism helps in deep cleaning of the pool by pushing the water in the filter elements and passing through the DE grid.

The model features trademark Haywards design which is a heavy-duty and impressive tank. The design is wear-resistant and non-corrosive.

Then there is a cleaning cycle indicator gauge and manual air relief feature that helps in enhancing the qualities of the product. The high-impact grid is capable of grabbing most minute particle from the water.

The durability is ensured through Perma Glass XL which offer ultimate strength to the filter. This product is suitable for the buyers with large buying budget. Also, it does not come with a manual so the installation can be a little challenging.

Pros:

  • Available in different sizes
  • Great in performance
  • Durable
  • Made of heavy-duty material

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Installation is difficult

5. Haywards Perflex D.E Pool Filter

Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)

Haywards Perflex D.E Pool Filter
  • Type: D.E
  • Size: 13-1/2”

If you have been looking for the top-rated pool filter then your search concludes here with this model. It is DE filter with high-end features.

The filter remove impurities every 5 microns and you will be left with fresh and contamination-free water in the pool.

As far as the installation and maintenance is concerned, both the aspects are pretty simple with this product.

It comes with a bump handle that offer self-cleaning of the flex tubes. The heavy-duty material is quite durable and is completely corrosion-free.

This model offers the most comprehensive cleaning of the pool. Other than that, when you have to clean the filter itself, it will not cause any complexity in that as well.

Surely, this model is not suitable for the budget buyers but if you can spend a considerable amount to afford this then it will not disappoint you.

Pros:

  • High-end making
  • Great in cleaning
  • Extremely durable
  • Suitable for all kind of pools

Cons:

  • Expensive

6. Haywards SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Haywards SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter
  • Type: Cartridge
  • Size: 24” (width), 5 Options from 225 – 725 sq. ft

From the world-class brand- Haywards, this model is a cartridge pool filter that is made to last for long years. The height of the filters varies from 32-1/2” to 52-1/2” and relatedly, the effective filtration area of each model also increases.

The innovative technology comprises of 4 reusable cartridges that increase the life of the filter as well. The large size handle good amount of water in each cycle and filters the entire pool within no time.

The dirt and debris are carefully grabbed as soon as they come in contact with the filter. The designing is done interestingly with a large tamper-proof clamp that joins both the parts together, making them a single unit.

This way, the maintenance and repairs also become easy and offer convenient access to the innards as well. The CPVC union connection give more diversity to the unit and ensuring high performance as well, making it the best cartridge pool filter.

This model is suitable for all kind of users but the cartridge demand regular cleaning. This can be a hold-back to many buyers. Plus, the model is expensive as well.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Rich in performance
  • High-quality design
  • Available in different sizes

Cons:

  • Cartridge require frequent cleaning
  • Expensive

7. Pentair 160301 Cartridge Pool Filter

Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Pentair 160301 Cartridge Pool Filter
  • Type: Cartridge
  • Size: 22-1/2”

The filter has great tendency to grab impurities from the water. Also, the outsized filter area is sufficient enough to suit the need of different buyers.

The filtration area of this model is 420 square feet and the flow rate is 150 gallons per minute. However, the flow of the system can be different as per the exact plumbing size and the components of the entire system.

This model can transform the muddiest water in crystal clear, such is the tendency and efficiency of this product.

The durability is commendable because this model can withstand abuse. Also, the maintenance need is low.

However, this product is more on the pricier side and it is not corrosion resistant. This means, that you may have to struggle some with the outer body of the product.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Reliable
  • Efficient
  • Great in performance

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not corrosion resistant

How to Buy Best Pool Filter

​How to Buy Best Pool Filter

Not just the people but environment also contaminates the pool water immensely. This means, that you should have some kind of technology product to help you eliminate all the impurities and give clean water.

That’s where a pool filter comes in the picture. We will share some of the essential tips that will help you in buying the best pool filter.

#1. Size and Volume

If you want a pool filter to work effectively then determining the size of the pool is crucial. A pool filter should be used at least twice in 24 hours to eliminate all the impurities of the water.

In case of commercial pools, the same has to be done at least 4 times in a day. You can only calculate the pool turnover rate when you know exact size and volume of the pool.

This information will help in selecting right model that will work effortlessly for a specific pool type.

Here are some steps that you can follow to find the befitting product.

  • Step 1: In order to calculate total volume of the pool, there formulas are different as per the pool shape. Square or rectangular pool formula: length x width x depth. Circular pool formula: radius x 3.14 (pi) x depth.
  • Step 2: If you have to calculate the capacity in gallons then you can do it multiplying 7.48 with the total pool volume.
  • Step 3: Flow rate of water can be calculated by the formula: Pool Capacity/turnover rate. The TR refers to the total time needed to circulate body of water equals to the pool capacity.

It is essential to pick a filter whose flow rate is synonymous with the flow rate of the pool.

#2. Type of Pool Filters

There are three prime types of pool filters that are popular among buyers. Let’s take a comprehensive look:

Sand Filter: These are most budget-friendly filters among all others. Also, this does not demand a lot of maintenance. This is a considerable choice for large pools because it does not clog as much as its counterparts.

As far as the working mechanism is concerned, the pool pump sucks the water in from the skimmers and then transfer it to the large filtration tank where there is sand. This helps in grabbing the particles that are 20 microns or higher in size.

The sand used in the tank is of high-quality and has rough edges that holds the contaminants passing through the filter.

After continual usage, the performance of the filter is hampered because the edges get softer and eventually become incapable of holding impurities.

The benefits are that the filter is economically priced and does not demand any maintenance for many years. However, the drawbacks are that the building pressure will affect the efficiency of the filter.

Cartridge Filter: These filters are relatively expensive than the sand filters. But, these are quite easy to maintain. They are more suitable for smaller pools.

The tank is comprised of plastic cylinder with pleated polyester filter media and is capped on all the sides. Water comes inside the tank through these pleats which is capable of grabbing debris as small as 10 microns.

These are not as expensive and completely energy efficient. After grabbing all the contaminants, you will then have to clean the cartridge. Well, that’s pretty easy as you can simply remove the cartridge from the filter and clean it with water.

You can sometimes use filter cleaner or soak it in diluted muriatic acid and thoroughly clean the cartridge.  

The benefit is that these can capture up to 10 microns of debris and are more efficient. Also, backwashing requires less water wastage. But, the life is smaller than the sand filters plus, it may ask for deep cleaning once or twice in a year.

DE Filter: Well, if you have high budget and want to buy the best pool filter system then Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) filter should be your choice.

This will not allow even the slightest particle of 5 micron to pass through and is the most performance-savvy filter among all others.

The tank is equipped with grids or fingers coated with crumbly white powder. This powder is derived from the remains of aquatic organisms known as diatoms.

Plus, the powder used here is heat treated for the filtration process. The pressure gauge tells when the backwashing is required.

It is important to add more DE powder after each cleaning. You are recommended to clean the filter with hand, at least once in a year.

The benefit of this filter is that it is extremely efficient. The powder can easily be added through pool skimmer.

As far as the drawbacks are concerned, this one will cost extremely high and demand a lot of cleaning. Plus, the DE powder is toxic and should not be inhaled.

Buying Advice

Well, its evident from the description above, the sand filters are for budget buyers. Cartridge filters are for the people with smaller pools. And people who don’t mind spending hefty amount of money can buy DE filters.

#3. Top Mounted or Side Mounted Valve

Top mounted valve poses less installation charges on the users plus, these are easy to maintain while the side mounted will cost largely. The processing does not differ a lot in either cases so its up to you how you want to install the filtration system.

How to Clean the Pool Filter

How to Clean the Pool Filter

Next in this pool filter review, we will mention about the cleaning of pool filters.

#1. Cleaning Cartridge Filters

Here are the steps:

  • Turn off the pump
  • If the filter is installed below the level of water in the pool, make sure that all the valves are closed
  • Now, drain all the water by opening air bleed valve and drain port
  • Now, set the filter open and take out the carts
  • Use water and rinse the tank
  • Use a hosepipe to wash the carts deeply and thoroughly
  • Reassemble the filter
  • Open the valves and close the drain port
  • Switch on the pump and once the water start coming out of the air bleed, close it

#2. Cleaning Sand Filters

Before you start to clean, just make sure that the pump is turned off. Now follow the steps:

  • First, the valves on discharge line should be open and the hose should be attached and positioned rightly
  • Now, set the pump lever to backwash position and switch on the pump
  • After the water running through there is clean, turn off the pump
  • Set the valves back at their position and top up the pool water

#3. Cleaning DE Filters

Basically, there are two types of DE filters. The one with push/pull and multiport valves have identical cleaning mechanism as sand cleaner.

For the other kind, there is a handle at the filter top which is knocked and DE is removed along with the debris. Turn the pump off and then follow the below steps:

  • Use 5 seconds to open and shut the top air valve
  • Now, restart and see of the PSI has gone down more than 2 PSI
  • If such has happened, you can go to the next step or repeat 1 until its done
  • Now, remove the bottom plug of the filter and run pump for 30 seconds
  • At last, replace the plug and set the top air valve open. Now, you should run the pump until water runs out of air valve

Conclusion 

At the end of our review, we would like to say that we have mentioned all kind of pool filters in the list. If you need the best sand pool filter then Intex krystal clear sand filter is a considerable choice. Plus, it is available in multiple sizes.

Identically, the Haywards products are also one of a kind and will serve you for the longest period. All these models are least demanding when maintenance is concerned.

Explore through the options and make a wise purchase. Happy Shopping!

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