pool filters

Top 4 Best Pool Filters 2019 Reviewed

Introduction to the Best Pool Filters

For every clean pool you see, there is a great pool filter at work. There is no denying that some dirt will find its way into your pool
however careful you are. Hair and oil from swimmers and dirt brought by the wind can contaminate your pool with bacteria and viruses not to mention the fact that there is no fun in swimming in a dirty pool. With a good pool filter, however, you will enjoy a clean pool without spending too much effort to keep your pool clean. Pool filters come in different types and sizes. Below we take a detailed look at pool filters, the types available, and the pros and cons of each type. We will also highlight some of the features that you should consider while shopping for a pool filter and review the 4 best pool filters you will find on the market today.

Types of Pool Filters

Pool filters come in three main types. These include:

  • Sand Pool Filters

As the name suggests, this filter comes with sand that works to filter the pool water. This type of filter is filled with a special type of pool sand that is sure to trap even the tiniest of dirt from the pool water. The sand filters used to be quite common a few years back but they are slowly being overtaken by other filter types. This is because they are the least efficient of the 3 types, and though they do a sufficient job where pool cleaning is concerned, they only trap particles that are about 25 microns and more. Sand filters are also quite bulky compared to other types. These filters also need to be cleaned at least once every week. You are required to backwash the filter by reversing the water flow and this leads to water wastage. On the positive side, sand filters only need to be cleaned regularly and no additional maintenance is required. These are also among the cheapest filters available and they will do if you are shopping for a pool filter on a budget.

  • Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filters

This type of filter can trap particles that are as small as 3 microns which means that it is the most efficient type you can buy. The
filter comes with grids coated with diatomaceous earth that work to filter most if not all particles from the water. Though this is the most effective type as far as removing dirt from pool water is concerned, the truth is that it is not popular for a
number of reasons. For one, this is the most expensive type you will find. The filter also needs to be backwashed and sometimes users may have to wash the grids individually to ensure that the filter is sparkling clean. The diatomaceous earth powder is also said to be carcinogenic and users have to follow the right disposal processes to ensure that the powder does not contaminate the environment.

Cartridge Pool Filters

This is the most common type of filter that you will find in residential pools. The pool filter can filter particles of up to 5 microns, it
is easy to clean and maintain, and best of all it is affordable. Though cartridge cost slightly more than the sand filters, their effectiveness where pool cleaning is concerned and they user-friendliness is second to none. With this type of filter, pool water is passed through 3-4 filter cartilages made of paper or polyester. Dirt is trapped in the cartilage and these are cleaned or replaced when they get logged out. Less pressure is required for this filter to work and less water is also required to clean it. Factors to be considered while buying a pool filter

You have to consider which of the above types would be ideal for you depending on the budget and your needs among other factors. For commercial pools, you are required to install either the diatomaceous earth type or the sand filter. You can, however, choose any filter you want if yours is a residential pool.


This is one area where many people fail because they have no idea which size is ideal. Where pool filters are concerned, bigger is usually better. You should, therefore, invest in the biggest filter you can afford. Where money is an issue, consider the size of your pool and get a filter to match that size.

In-Ground or Above Ground

Above ground, filters are generally easy to install, clean, and maintain. If you buy an above ground filter, you will not need any help
installing it. All you will need is to simply connect it to a pipe. In the case of in-ground filters, you will need to get professional help when installing it. That said, the in-ground filters tend to be more durable possibly because they are not exposed to the vagaries of weather.

Top 4 Best Pool Filters

  1. Hayward S180T 16-Inch Pro Series Sand Filter

And the winner is…. the Hayward S180!  SThis is one among the pro series of Hayward pool filters. This filter, just like the other filters in this series is a sand filter. The filter is designed to deliver optimal performance with minimum maintenance. This filter comes with a filter unit that is ideal for both above ground and small in-ground pools. With an average rating of 4,5 stars out of 5 on Amazon, this pool filter is voted best pool filter by previous users.

The pool filter is 16 inches which are quite small and only ideal for small pools. Fortunately, there are many larger varieties in this series that work as great and are designed to meet the demands of a large pool. Notable features include a corrosive resistant tank, an integral infuser that allows maximum filtration, and a 7-position clamp that guarantees maximum filtration. This pool filter can be used with both fresh and saltwater and comes with a large drain that is quite a time saver while servicing.

  • Pros

Easy to install since the pump is just 21 pounds and no extra hand is required to carry it.- It is energy efficient which means that you save a lot at the end of the day- It does not require many resources both in terms of time and money where servicing and maintenance is concerned.

  • Cons

It is quite small and cannot efficiently keep a large pool clean. There are, however, other larger versions like the S3110T2 that are ideal for larger pools.

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2. Pentair 160301 Cartridge Pool Filter

Pentair pool filters are known for their high performance and durability and this pump is not any different. The Pentair 160301 is a cartridge filter that comes with the most efficient filtration system. This pool filter features an impressive filter area of 420 square feet. The pool works fast where cleaning the pool is concerned and it is able to capture very tiny particles that would otherwise be left in the water if other filter models were used. To top it all, the tank is corrosive resistant and is built to withstand harsh conditions and stand the test of time.

  • Pros

An impressive filter area that ensures great results in a relatively short time- It comes with a 100% drain pipe- Is made using high-quality materials that will last- It works great for large pool and thanks to the filtration area and water flow rate, it works fast

  • Cons

This is a cartridge filter and it needs at least one thorough clean every year. Cleaning the filter is quite a process and this
process can be taxing.- This pump comes at a higher price. Despite its performance and its effectiveness, it is not ideal if yours is a tight budget. It is, however, a worthy investment that works great and lasts for a long time if maintained well.- This filter comes with a 2-year warranty. While this is not impressive, many users have used this pool filter for years and there are no complains where the pool filter quality is concerned.

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3. Hayward DE4820 Pro DE Filter

This is another Hayward filter that works great and is among the top-selling filters today. It is a diatomaceous earth filter that works
great with in-ground pools. The filter just like other Hayward filters is heavy duty and is built to last. This pool filter features a one-piece clamp that makes installation and maintenance easy.

Other notable features include well-distributed grids, convenient design, and high efficiency.


It is non-corrosive meaning that it will work perfectly for many years and external factors will have little if any effects on its performance and quality.- This Hayward pool filter comes in a variety of sizes. It is, therefore, possible for different people to get the exact filter size to match their pools.- Comes with an indicator gauge that makes it easy for users to know when to clean their pools- Comes with manual air relief


Just like other DE pool filters, cleaning this pool filter is not easy. A lot of processes are involved and proper processes must be followed. Fortunately, the filter does not need to be cleaned regularly.

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4. Intex Clear Pool Filter

This is another top-selling, high-quality pool sand filter. It comes with top quality pool filter sand designed to reduce most of the dirt and debris that will find their way into the pool. The filter comes with a valve that makes draining, circulating, and backwashing of the filter easy and convenient. To top it all, this is a smart filter that will work on its own 24 hours a day without requiring any effort on your part. The Intex filter is designed to last and it comes with solid construction and high-quality materials.


This is among the cheapest pool filters available which means that it is affordable to most if not all people. It is also cost-effective where maintenance is concerned as little to no money is required to keep the filter in good working condition.- The filter comes in four sizes. Interested buyers can, therefore, get the filter in a size that will work well for their pools- A single filter that enhances convenience and ensures that this is a user-friendly piece- It comes with a high flow rate which means that it works fast


This filter works with specific adapters. Users, therefore, need to purchase custom adapters designed to work with this filter- Comes with a humming sound which can be a disadvantage for those looking for a filter that comes with no noise at all- Though cheap, this is not the most durable filter you will find in the market. With proper maintenance, however, this filter can keep your pool free of dirt and dust for a few seasons.

This pool filter comes in an innovative design that makes it quite efficient and user-friendly. This is one of the best filters you can get if you are looking for a powerful above ground filter. The filter comes with a six-position valve that ensures that no dirt and debris is left behind. The end product is a clean pool and with very little effort from you. Just like all above ground filter, the Best Choice Pro filter is easy to install and maintain. It also comes with CSA certification and is also thermal protected and best of all it offers great performance as far as pool water filtration is concerned.

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This pool filter comes with a massive sand capacity which means that it is highly efficient and takes a shorter time to clean the pool- Performance gets better with age and it helps that the pool filter is designed to last and withstand harsh climatic conditions- The internal filter design ensures that the sand remains leveled and this ensures that the water getting into the filter is exposed to the maximum surface area. This translates to enhanced performance.

The filter comes with an ETLMark which means that you can be guaranteed of its effectiveness and safety- The filter comes with a sturdy build and it is also known-corrosive


It does not fit in most pools and a few pieces have to be incorporated to fit the pool filter- The requires a lot of water while it is being cleaned- Not as durable as the Hayward pool filters

These are top 4 pools available. If you want a filter that will not let you down, any of the above filters will do you a lot of good. Just make sure that you select the right size for your pool and also a filter that will match your budget. Because how the pool filter is installed affects its performance, you have to ensure that the installation is done right especially with in-ground pool filters.

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