Best 5 DE Pool Filters

Keeping your pool well maintained provides a more enjoyable swimming experience and a longer-lasting pool. As a pool owner, you know that all pools need a filter to remove the pollutants that your sanitizer kills. DE Pool Filters will make it easier to run your pool.

DE models use diatomaceous earth matter, which is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock crumbled into a soft white powder.

It consists of a large tank with “fingers” or grids inside of it that are coated with the DE powder.

The powder filters the pool water much like sand, but does a much better job, removing debris down to 5 microns in most cases. 

DE filters are considered the best on the market for keeping your water clean, but do require a bit more maintenance than the other types.

A DE is good for your swimming pool if you are concerned about keeping your water as clean as it can be and want a natural option to do so. Our guide will take you through the 5 best DE Pool Filters:




This style of DE filter grid is patented by Hayward, and used on the Perflex line of DE filters. Called Flex-Tubes by Hayward, and called ‘fingers’ by most everyone I know, these 16in long tubes are about 1/2in wide and arranged in a concentric circle pattern. Having over 100 tubes creates a large amount of surface area (40 sq ft) in a small package, called the Flex-Tube Nest, shown here. Another unique feature of the Perflex line of filters are their unique ‘Bump Handle’, which is used to bump the Flex-Tube Nest assembly, sloughing off and mixing the DE powder and dirt, to reduce filter pressure. This can result in longer filter cycles, or times between changing the DE powder. The Perflex filter is not backwashed, but is flushed and drained periodically.


- For inground pools, up to 25000 gals

- 40 sq ft filter area, with 120 Flex-Tubes

- No backwashing needed, saves water.

- Remove Flex-Tube Nest annually for cleaning.

- Integrated Check Valve prevents backflow

- Injected molded polymer filter tank

- Measures 21″x31″

- 1 yr warranty



Considered the standard grid design, the curved grid assembly may also be the most popular, or certainly the most used grid type. Slightly curved grids are arranged in a concentric circle pattern, held in place by long thru-bolts that pull the bottom plate and the top manifold tightly together. The curved design conserves space within the tank, and uses only two sizes of grids, 7 full grids, and one partial grid which is half as wide, to fit behind the standpipe. These filters are used with a backwash valve, either a side mount multiport valve or push-pull valve, for high pressure removal of dirt and de powder, before re-charging the filter with fresh DE powder. They can also be ‘bumped’, or backwashed for 10 seconds, to conserve water by lengthening the time between backwashes.


- For in ground pools up to 45000 gals

- 48 sq ft filter area with 8 curved grids

- Backwashes with attached multiport or Push-Pull valve

- Glass reinforced polymer filter tank

- Heavy Duty tamper proof one piece tank clamp

- Measures 24in X 41in

- 1 yr warranty



Straight DE grids are not curved, but are flat rectanglular panels, covered with the same polypropylene mesh material. Proponents of straight grid DE filters point to less bridging of DE powder between neighboring grids and more balanced flow inside the tank, resulting in lower filter pressure and higher flow rates during filter and backwash cycles. They are also easier to clean with a garden hose (required once or twice per year for all DE filter), than other DE grid types. The Sta-Rite SD filter is the only remaining company to still produce a flat grid DE pool filter, and I sometimes wonder why!


- For inground pools up to 51000 gals

- 53 sq ft filter area with 12 straight grids

- Backwashes with attached multiport or Push-Pull valve

- Composite Resin ‘Dura-Glas’ filter tank

- Easy access clamp design

- Measures 33in X 43in

- 1 yr warranty



When DE pool filter manufacturers noticed cartridge pool filter owners using DE powder as a way to improve filter performance, they struck upon an idea and created cylindrical DE grids that looked like a filter cartridge, but with made with different materials that allow greater flow rates and longer filter cycles. The Cartridge DE grid material is made from woven polyester in a thicker weave. Cartridge DE filters are backwashed easily and completely, or rinsed off with a hose if you want to save water. The slick surface and wider pleats are easy to clean, and don’t even have to be removed from the tank.


- For inground pools up to 57000 gals

- 60 sq ft filter area with 4 Cartridges

- Backwashes with attached multiport or Push-Pull valve

- Glass reinforced polymer filter tank

- Heavy Duty tamper proof one piece tank clamp

- Measures 22in X 49in

- 1 yr warranty


5. Hayward Perflex Extended-Cycle

This DE from Hayward removes debris down to two microns, making it one of the most effective filters on the market.

It's designed to maximize filtration and run with less resistance to increase efficiency and effectiveness for even larger pools, and is equipped with a Flex-Tube design to extend the amount of time between cleanings, recycling the DE powder with each use.

It's also self-cleaning for the best performance and very low maintenance.

This unit will clean you pool super fast and very well, ensuring that your family is swimming in the cleanest and safest water anywhere.


- Clean pools fast, removing particles as small as two microns the first time through.

- Patented Flex-Tube design gives longer cycles between cleaning because the same D.E. filter powder is used over and over

- Unique bump mechanism allows DE flex tubes to instantly and uniformly clean themselves of dirt and DE filter media


 If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!

Leave a comment