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Best Pool Filters in 2022 – Reviewed

Article after article has listed pool pumps as the heart of a swimming pool system, and that’s an assessment that we find to be quite accurate. However, if the pump is the heart of the pool’s cleaning system, then we have to say that the filter is the kidneys of the system. Or, maybe it’s the liver—we’re not sure. Either way, it’s a very important part of any pool, and it keeps the pool’s water nice and clean.

Now that we understand just how important filters are to the proper functioning of the pool, it’s now time to turn our attention to finding the best pool filter possible. And that task isn’t always an easy one to do. That’s why we’ve decided that the best way to approach the subject is for us to find the filters and present them to our readers, so they can choose one for themselves.

Quick Summary of Best Pool Filters

 Editor’s Choice 
Hayward Swim-Clear Cartridge Pool Filter  (review)
 Also Recommended 
Hayward Perflex D.E. Pool Filter  (review)
 Also Consider 
Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools  (review)
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Editor’s Choice: Hayward Swim-Clear Cartridge Pool Filter

Anyone who has been searching for a pool filter that’s capable of cleaning a pool’s water better than a sand filter is probably going to want to take a look at this one from Hayward. This model is called the Swim-Clear and it’s’ designed to clean pools up to 325 square feet in size. It’s a filter that also does a good job of conserving water and is capable of saving the average pool owner up to 2,500 gallons of water per year more than what a sand filter uses.How does this filter save on water usage? Well, it’s because this particular type of filter uses cartridge filters and those don’t need to be back-washed like sand filters do. This saves the consumer a ton of water during an average year. As great as saving water is, however, that’s not the only reason to buy this filter. This filter is also extremely well designed.

This model uses a top manifold configuration and a cleanable cartridge element, and that’s coupled with a filter tank that’s made with an extremely durable exterior that holds up to the elements extremely well. Another feature that can be found on this model is a rapid-release air-relief valve that bleeds air with only a quarter-turn of the lever.

Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that this product has a heavy-duty tamper-proof clamp that gives the pool owner quick access to the filter’s internal components. That makes it extremely easy to clean and maintain the filter—which in turn, allows the filter to last as long as possible. All of these features come together to make a filter that should last the pool owner for many years to keep their pool’s water crystal clear. Although this filter is only designed for use with in-ground pools, we feel that consumers who have in-ground pools are going to love this filter.


  • It cleans the pool’s water extremely well.
  • This pump is extremely durable.

  • This model is designed for in-ground pools only.

Also Recommended: Hayward Perflex D.E. Pool Filter

The Hayward W3EC40AC is a D.E pool filter that’s designed for use on above-ground pools. This model requires 4-pounds of D.E to be used, but once it’s set up it’s capable of filtering the pool to a crystal-clear clarity that beats many of the lesser quality pool filters on the market today. This product doesn’t need a multiport, and it uses a flex-tube system that reuses D.E powder to form fresh cleaning surfaces. The flex tubes have a specially designed bump handle that activates the flex-tubes, and that results in them instant purging of D.E powder and dirt.This pool filter is capable of removing even the smallest debris particles from the pool on its first run. It will remove particles as small as two microns, which filters out a wide range of organic and inorganic debris particles. Anyone using this extended-cycle filter will quickly learn just how effective a filter using diatomaceous earth can be. It’s a filter that’s capable of really bringing clarity to a pool and it doesn’t require the frequent backwashing that sand filters need to do. The only drawback we can find about this filter is that it can only be used with above-ground pools. In-ground pool owners will have to select a different model.

Because this product is made by Hayward, consumers can expect a filter that’s made to some of the highest standards in the industry. Hayward is a company that’s been in business for over 80-years, so consumers can rest assured that they stand behind their products. We were quite impressed with this model and thought that it did a good job of filter the pool, especially when the pool owner uses a quality pool pump. And because it’s equipped with an easy-access clamp assembly, it’s easy to maintain and service for an extended run life.


  • Filters particles as small as 2-microns.
  • It’s a reasonably priced pool filter.

  • This model is designed for above-ground pools only.

Also Consider: Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

Even though this sand pool filter is only designed for above-ground pools and isn’t designed for in-ground pools, there’s a lot for above-ground pool owners to like about it. For one, it has six functions that include filter, rinse, backwash, re-circulate, drain, and close. It also features a strainer basket that’s used for pre-filter and that reduces the load stresses on the rest of the filter. It also has a digital timer that turns the pump on and off each day and can be set to run for up to 12-hours at a time.This model also comes with a 25-foot power cord that has a built-in GFCI; a pressure gauge that measures water pressure–which is helpful for backwashing; and it has a tank size of 16-inches. This model uses 120-pounds of sand to filter out contaminants and it’s pump motor runs at 0.75 horsepower. That allows this pump to have a turnover rate of 2,450 gallons-per-hour and allows it to clean pools as small as 5,500 gallons to pools as large as 19,600 gallons. All of this makes this pool filter one that many above ground pool owners are going to want to inquire about.


  • It’s easy-to-clean and to maintain.
  • Delivers improved water clarity.

  • It’s only designed for above-ground pools.

Pool Filter Guide

For an affordable way of getting rid of the tiny particles in your water that can build up, a sand pool filter is a good option. Other options perform to a higher spec and can remove tiny particles. They all do a good job of keeping your pool water clear as long as you understand how they work.

Of course, to buy a decent product, it has to be the right spec for your pool. To help you get this purchase right, we have created the following buyer’s guide.

What To Consider When Looking For A Pool Filter


This number will determine how small the particles are that it can collect and remove. You can usually find a pool sand filter capable of removing up to 20 microns small. Considering that the human eye can only detect particles as small as 40 microns, this will do a good job of keeping your pool clean.

Pool Size

Is the pool filter you have your eye on right for the size of your pool? This is a consideration you shouldn’t neglect as it will determine how well the filter can clear the pool water.

Buy a filter that is too small for the spec of your pool and you will find it has to run constantly or your pool will not look its best.

Matching the capacity to your pool is important and usually, the pool filter manufacturer will specify the capacity it will work with.

Easy Installation

Some products take minutes to install whereas others, especially in-ground pools, might require the help of a professional.

If you do have an above ground pool, the maximum time you can expect to spend installing your pool filter is an hour.


Although they are effective at removing small particles, you cannot expect a cartridge filter to last as long as sand or DE filter, and this is with regular hosing.

Despite this, you should get a few years out of each cartridge. Otherwise, most pool filters last 5-15 years.


Even with the reputable brands, you can end up with a faulty product. This is why it is important to protect your purchase with a warranty. Look for a year or two as a minimum.

Different Types of Pool Filters

With a variety of options, there is something to fit into every budget.


These are some of the most common pool filters and are well suited to smaller pools. They are pretty easy to maintain but do require backwashing to work. The most affordable option and most products can clear particles of around 20 microns.


These can remove smaller particles than sand pool filters so expect to be able to get rid of tiny 15-micron specs. They are slightly more expensive and do require replacing after a while but with the right level of maintenance, you can make them last a longer.


These are not as well suited to above-ground polls so you won’t always find products that work for those types. Still, they are a high0-end option for in-ground pool owners and are natural.

It flows through the filter and traps smaller particles than the other types, some as small as 2 microns. by adding it through the skimmer, it is also easy to use.

Pool Filter Sand Vs Cartridge

For anyone on a budget, sand is the best option. They are pretty efficient at getting rid of small particles although cartridge is capable of remove smaller.

Still, they can be found for half the price of the cartridge pool filters. They also tend to last longer, because a cartridge filter needs to be hosed down and changed more frequently, there can be lower maintenance with a sand filter.

They are ideal for smaller pools although they might not be as sufficient for anyone with a larger pool. A cartridge filter is better for anyone with a medium or large pool and they do not require backwashing to do their job.

What Is The Easiest Pool Filter For Beginners?

Most people consider a cartridge pool filter to be the easiest for a beginner to use. They are easier to maintain and only require rinsing off to clear the cartridge from time to time.

They also help to remove small particles and do not require backwashing like a DE or sand filter.

the only downside to a cartridge filter is that they generally last around 3 years, and that is if you maintain them well.

What Is The Best Pool filter On A budget?

The most affordable pool filters are sand filters. They might not remove such small microns as the other options but they do cost considerably less than a DE filter system.

Expect them to last a long time and the level of maintenance required isn’t too high.

How Long Does A Pool Filter Last?

This depends on the product and brand as some are made better than others. A cartridge pool filter doesn’t have as long a lifespan as the others but most people suggest that 2,000 hours is a decent amount of life for a filter.

How Can I Tell I Need To Replace My Pool Filter?

Some telling signs are easy to spot. Firstly, the pool will not be as clean as it usually is. As long as the other parts are functioning properly, this is when you should check your filter.

If it is a cartridge pool filter, rinse it off and see if this fixes the problem. If the small particles still collect and you notice it is not as clean, it can be time to replace the pool filter.

How Much Does A Pool Filter Cost?

This varies from product to product and also the type of pool filter you buy. Expect to have to pay more the larger your pool is but a lot of the time, you can pick up a sand pool filter for around $200 if you have an above ground pool.

Otherwise, for an in-ground pool, you will need to spend $600 and above.

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