You know that maintenance and cleaning are key to keeping the water crystal clear. And If you’re looking for a new above ground pool filter, you either just bought a new pool or need to upgrade your aging existing one. Most above ground pools come with their own filter system. And sometimes they are perfectly adequate. You just need to make sure you use the exact same filter type if you ever have to replace it.
But if you’ve been relying on that one for a while and it’s not quite doing as good a job as you had hoped, it might be time for something better.
Efficient filtration is crucial if you want to get the most out of your swimming pool. Though chlorine and other sanitizers work to kill bacteria and other contaminants, the filter is what actually removes them from the water. Without it, your pool water would grow cloudy and fill with debris. Not exactly fun for swimming.
Even though you’ll still need to perform some maintenance like vacuuming and ensuring the water chemistry is balanced, investing in a filter takes care of all the hard work for you, while keeping your pool blissfully germ-free.
Today, we’ll help you make this decision with ease. Firstly, we’ll be reviewing the best above-ground filters so you can buy with your eyes wide open. We’ve rounded-up the best 8:
1. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter for Above Ground Pools
Intex is a popular name in the backyard swimming pool niche, making pools and pool accessories like replacement liners, pool toys, and much more.
Sand filters are awesome because they are ruthless with attacking algae spores and dirt. With a built-in timer, the soft sand filters, backwashes, and recirculates the water at a rate of over 2,000 gallons per hour. A strainer basket is included that helps to extend the life of the sand, which Intex says only needs to be changed once every five years.
The Intex Krystal Clear Pool Filter is designed for above ground swimming pools that are between 16’ and 24’.
- Keep your above ground pool water clean, soft, and refreshing with the Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump by Intex. The all-natural sand provides excellent water filtration as the 6-function control valve allows the pool owner to filter, backwash and rinse, recirculate, drain and close the system
- The built in 24-hour timer adds to the hassle-free experience with maintaining a cleaner pool. The strainer basket provides easy-cleaning, and prolongs the life of the sand
- The Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump generates a pump flow rate of 3,000 gallons per hour, ideal for above ground pools 16' and above. This pump requires virtually no maintenance except replacement of sand every 5 years; Minimum pool size (water capacity): 5,500 gal (20.8m3); Maximum pool size (water capacity): 19,600 gal (74.2m3)
- Pump Flow Rate: 3,000 gph (11.3 m3/hr). System Flow Rate: 2,450 gph (9.2 m3/hr)
- Includes: 6-way Valve. Pressure Gauge. Heavy Duty Tank. Strainer Basket. Built-in Timer
- Pump motor HP: 0.75, operates at 75% efficiency. Pool pump motor capacity: 0.59 HP. Name plate HP: 0.54
2. Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter
This 16-inch sand filter is ideal for above-ground pools up to 16,000 gallons. The one piece blow-molded tank has a well-labeled six-way top-mount filter valve, with a pump and return that’s clearly visible, and it’s said to filter out particles down to 3 to 5 microns. The pump comes with a 1.5-inch threaded connection, along with a filter base. It holds roughly 110 pounds of sand, and it also comes with a 3-year manufacturers warranty against defects.
- ALL IN ONE POOL EQUIPMENT - The Rx Clear Radiant Complete Sand Filter System is a full system that includes the Rx Clear Extreme Force pool pump, tank, 3' high pressure hose, stainless steel clamps and backwash hose fittings to connect providing your pools flawless filtration needs, & 6’ power cord. THIS FILTER SYSTEM CANNOT BE SOLD IN/SHIPPED TO CALIFORNIA OR FLORIDA. Pool pumps, 1 HP or larger, that are sold in/shipped to California and Florida must be variable or 2 speed motors.
- CLEAN AND SAFE WATER - This filter is designed to handle the filtration needs of many of today's pools. It provides a high performance, easy-to-use operating system that filters your above ground pool water making it crystal clean and safe for swimming.
- EASY TO INSTALL - The core of these systems is the one-piece blow-molded tank that sits atop a universal base. Includes a top mount, with a 6-position multi-port valve and has a high capacity sand bed to catch more debris and extends filter cycles.
- ECONOMICAL CHOICE - The mighty force of this above ground pool pump makes it efficient and an economical choice. The interior consists of the standpipe and laterals. This filter tank comes with a 3-Year limited warranty against manufacturer’s defects. Filter media and hoses are sold separately.
- SEE THROUGH SCREEN - The Extreme Force Pump features a 2-piece strainer cover with clear view port and pool filter basket to catch all the pool debris to ensures free-flowing operations at all times. This pump is designed for maximum performance and economy in an above ground swimming pool pump.
3. Sand Master Above Ground Pool Filter & Pump
This filter is perfect for smaller pools of less than 10,000 gallons. Soft-sided pools fit into this category, and this filter will work well with that type of pool. The pump design always allows it to remain powered on. The longer running time will enable you to get superior cleaning while using a reduced amount of sand and less horsepower.
The Sand Master filter has soft sides and a four-position multiport valve with all the most important functions like filter and backwash, making it the pump to look for when you want the best pool filter & pump combo. It also comes equipped with two 7-foot connection hoses to get you running immediately.
- 24-hour on
- Less sand
- Soft side filer
- 2 included connection hoses
4. Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump
This model is a cartridge filter from the Krystal Clear line, so what do you get for your money here?
This unit is rated at 1000 GPH and it’s designed so that maintenance is an absolute breeze. This cartridge filter pump is also remarkably easy to install. Partial assembly is required, but all you need to do is snap on the hoses and plug this pump in and you’re away.
The filter needs replacing once every two weeks, and that’s about all you’ll need to do to keep this pump tip-top and the water in your pool at its very best.
Hydro Aeration technology baked in serves 3 main purposes:
- Improving the water clarity in your pool
- Enhancing air freshness in your pool by increasing the quantity of negative ions on the surface
- Boosting pool circulation and filtration
With this triple-tiered approach, you have all you need at your fingertips for the best possible water quality in your pool with the very minimum of effort.
You get absolutely everything you need bundled, too, so you won’t need to hustle out to the hardware store for connectors or extras.
This pump uses Type A or Type C cartridges. As mentioned, these need swapping fortnightly, beyond which you won’t need to bother with anything else by the way of upkeep here.
Ideal for Intex Easy Set, Metal Frame and oval pools from 15 to 18 feet, Intex hits another homer here.
- Easy to use - simply replace the old cartridge with a new one every two weeks, Double insulated pump
- Air release valve for air trapped inside filter chamber. It’s not suggested operating the pump for more than 8 hours per day
- Suitable for Intex pools up to 6,000 gal with 1.25in (32mm) diameter hose fitting
- Works with 15-feet Easy Set, 15-feet Metal Frame, or 18-feet by 10-feet Oval Frame pools. The hoses are 1-1/4 so if you need 1-1/2 you need an adapter.
5. Hayward DE Above Ground Pool Filter
This filter might look like a beige fire hydrant, but make no mistake, Hayward makes some powerful pool equipment, and this particular pool filter is a total monster when it comes to cleaning pools.
Hayward uses DE—diatomaceous earth—to rapidly and quietly clean pool water without the need for backwashing. Their pool filters are more powerful than sand filters and can tackle difficult algae blooms and dirty pools with ease. In terms of cleaning ability and speed, the Hayward DE Pool Filters are worth the extra cost.
Even though the unit itself is relatively small, the DE Filter attaches to a pump and goes to work immediately, resulting in noticeably clearer and cleaner water in just a couple hours.
- 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
6. Game SandPro Pool Filter
Next in line we have a heavy and durable pool filter from Game, a meticulously engineered pool filter that’s a smooth fit if you have a Bestway or Intex pool. For other pools, we would advise checking closely for compatibility before whipping out your credit card.
You’ll need a pool that holds up to 15,000 gallons with a flow rate of 52 GPM for best results from this sand filter pump. You’ll also need 75 pounds of filtering sand (medium-grade), but this is not included with purchase.
This filter system packs a motor with a great flow rate as well as a 0.75 HP pump more than capable of delivering in smaller above-ground pools.
You can very easily adjust the rotary valve through 4 positions. This allows you to perform the following functions: Filter, Rinse, Backwash, and Winterize.
The pressure gauge on this unit is easy to see at a glance and without contorting yourself.
You get a handful of adapters thrown in along with guidance concerning the alternative pools you could use this filter system with.
- The GAME SandPRO 75D Series is a quality replacement filtration system for any above-ground pool. (It works best with Intex and Bestway pools.)
- This sand filter system has been designed with an easy-to-read pressure gauge and large-capacity easy-to-clean hair and debris strainer basket with see-through lid.
- The ultra-quiet SandPro pool filter system features a motor with a high flow rate and 3/4 horsepower (HP) pump, creating maximum energy efficiency and operating with maximum vacuum power.
- This cleaner for above-ground pools has been engineered for optimal cleaning efficiency and with an easy-to-operate 4-position rotary valve that will filter, backwash, rinse, and winterize.
- The 0.75 HP Replacement Pool Sand Filter Unit is designed for above-ground pools holding up to 15,000 gallons and requires 75 pounds of medium-grade pool-filtering sand (not included).
7. Blue Wave Sand Filter System
The Blue Wave NE6170 is a slightly larger pool filter designed to turn over a 24,000-gallon pool in just 8 hours. It moves the water with an efficient 1.5-hp pump and a specially designed filter to maximize water flow. The filter is a single piece of durable and corrosion-resistant polyethylene, and it has a six-position multi-port valve for switching between filtering, backwashing, and more.
We felt that the included hoses were pretty flimsy, and while the unit may very well be moving the water at 50 gallons per minute (GPM) it doesn’t do it with a lot of force, and the water doesn’t move as much as we would like it to push contaminates into the skimmer. This lower pressure was also a problem during vacuuming, and you may need to go with the type of vacuum that works independently of the filter system to get a good cleaning on the bottom of your pool with this filter.
- Easy assembly and efficient performance; 24,000 gallon turnover in 8-hrs; Molded one-piece polyethylene tank is tough and corrosion proof
- Pump and filter are perfectly engineered to provide optimum flow rates that promotes clean water quality
- High efficiency pump lowers system cost and ensures years of quiet operation
- Extra large hair and lint pot for easy cleaning; Requires 220-lbs sand (not included)
- Not legal for sale in California. No choking hazard
8. JLeisure 800 GPH Pool Filter
If you're looking for an affordable above-ground pool cartridge filter, this will get the job done, priced at $130 at the time of this writing.
The 800 GPH pool pump works with pools that have 1.25-inch-diameter hose fittings, plus there are two hoses thrown into the package. The filter pump is made of hard plastic and is easy to assemble, with a 25-foot-long cord and weighs nearly 5.5 pounds. The model is also available in a 1,000 GPH pool pump.
- Compatible with pools with 1.25-inch diameter hose fittings; Pump capacity of 800 GPH for pools up to 18 feet
- Easy-to-clean, replaceable 290589 filter cartridge (not included)
- Comes with (2) 1.25-inch hoses for added convenience
- Just hook up hoses and plug into a 110-120V power outlet for easy install
- Conforms to cETLus standards; Cord length: 25 feet; Material: Plastic;
If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!