7 Best Above Ground Pool Filter Systems In 2019

To keep your above ground pool clean and reduce the need for maintenance, it is vital that you install a good and reliable pool filter system. The main job of an above ground pool filter system is to get rid of any undissolved debris and dirt from the water. Of course, the hair and lint strainer, or basket and the skimmer basket, play a vital role in maintaining the cleanliness of your pool; however, filter happens to be the fundamental element of the entire system.

Types of Filters

There are 3 basic types of filters for above ground pools: Sand, Cartridge, and Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters. Most above ground pools will be sold with sand filters by default. However, in order to ensure proper maintenance of your above ground pool system, you should be knowledgeable about all these types:

Sand Filter System

This is perhaps the most economical and oldest model of above ground pool filter systems. Sand filters remove dirt or debris from a pool by using a technique called backwashing or reversal of the flow of water. When the pressure gauge displays an increase of 7 to 10 lbs. Over regular operating pressure, it is necessary to backwash the filter. Sand filters are capable of removing dirt even as small as 20 microns. These filters are known to last for around five to ten years before requiring a replacement and hence, are considered to be an economic option.

Cartridge Filter System

Cartridge filters are one of the newest filter types and are capable of removing dirt as small as 15 microns, making them better than sand filters. However, these filters can sometimes allow large dirt particles get back to the pool water, especially when too much water is pushed by the pool pump. The cartridge has to be removed from the filter system for cleaning the accumulated dirt and debris. It has to be soaked for a minimum of 12 hours in a filter cleaner to get rid of oil and other greases stuck to the filter. Cartridge filters are known to last for about one to three years before requiring a replacement.

DE Filter System

DE filter systems are considered to be the most efficient of the three and the most expensive as well. They are built to be extremely efficient and can clean dirt as small as 4 microns. As a result, by installing a DE filter in your above ground pool, you can be sure of enjoying the clearest and cleanest water at all times. Though these filters are priced high, they are highly durable and don’t require frequent backwash.

Best Above Ground Pool Filter Systems

When choosing an above ground pool filter system, you should take into consideration different factors in addition to the type of filter. Some of those factors include the filter’s efficiency, durability, and most importantly its maintenance needs. And not to forget, it is extremely essential that you make sure that the filter system you choose will fit the size of your above ground pool. There are numerous options when it comes to above ground filters, but some excel in their efficiency and other factors we discussed. So, here is a list of the 5 best above ground pool filter systems.

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump

intex krystal clear

If you are looking for an inexpensive filter pump for your above ground pool, then the Krystal Clear sand filter model from Intex would be a good choice. This filter is built to provide you with six different functions, ranging from backwashing, filtering, draining, and everything in between. The filter is considered to fit perfectly for above ground pools that are 16’ and above in size. Like with any other sand filter, this model also requires very little maintenance, and has to be replaced once only every five years. The built-in timer in this filter allows you to preset filtration times.

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Hayward Easy-Clear Pool Filter System

hayward easy clear

As mentioned earlier, cartridge filters cost more than sand filters and this cartridge pool filter system for above ground pools is also quite expensive. However, the filter is designed to effectively filter more water and get rid of relatively finer debris from your pool. The Easy-Clear filter system is one of the most preferred models available on market today simply because it is easy to find, requires less maintenance, and works efficiently as well. The filter can be used for above ground pools of all sizes.

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Hayward Perflex D.E. Filter

hayward perflex

Designed to work best in round pools that are of sizes 28 to 33 feet and oval pools of sizes 18 by 39 feet, the Hayward Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. above ground pool filter system is capable of making your pool completely clean and clear. One interesting fact about this model is that it can be used for in-ground pools of the same sizes as well. Due to the patented Flex-Tube design, this filter delivers the most comprehensive cleaning and happens to be one of the most efficient and reliable models on market.

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Pentair Clean & Clear Cartridge Filter


Despite being an expensive offering on our list of best above ground pool filter systems, the Clean & Clear cartridge filter from Pentair is known to work great in removing dirt and debris from above ground pools. The filter tank is built to resist corrosion and is highly reliable and extremely strong. With a filtration area of 420 square feet, the filter can get rid of all forms of dirt from your pool in less time. If you have an open budget and need a good quality above ground pool filter system, then this option would be ideal for your needs.

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Best Choice Pro Sand Filter System

best choice

From Best Choice Products, this above ground pool filter system is a less expensive option for maintaining cleanliness in your pool. The filter tank is designed to be extremely sturdy, to resist corrosion, and also last long. This filter system is easy to install and use, making it an excellent choice for above ground pool owners.

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Sand Master Soft Sided Above Ground Pool Sand Filter System

Sand Master Soft Sided Above Ground Pool Sand Filter System

The sand master system works perfectly for all above ground pools, even soft sided ones. The unit comes with everything you need to correctly set up your above ground pools filtering system. This product works for above ground pools of a maximum of 9,600 gallons. However, it works best for those pools of between 5,000 to 9,000 gallons.

The tank that comes with this pump measures 12 inches and weighs 22.4 pounds. It comes with a one-year limited warranty. The best thing about the tank is that it is corrosion proof.  It can hold a maximum of 42 pounds of sand. This makes its maintenance hassle free as you will be emptying the tank less often. Well, maybe every 5 years.

The only downside with this product is that once it breaks down, it is difficult to get spare parts.

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4500GPH 19″ Sand Filter w/ 1HP Above Ground Pool Pump

4500GPH 19" Sand Filter w/ 1HP Above Ground Swimming Pool Pump

Looking for an effective above ground pool and pump filter system? Then this is the best you will get in the market. Not only is the installation simple and quick, it is also easy to operate.

The sand filter is constructed with an all-round base that can be used with almost any type of pump in the market. With a valve that has 6-positions, and a sand bed with a high volume, you will not have to deal with any kind of debris in your above ground pool.

The tank can accommodate a total volume of 175 pounds of sand, and it’s usually sold separately. This filter system is best for pools with a maximum of 18K gallons. The filter system is simple to operate and one can change the sand in a matter of a few minutes.

The only downside with this filter system is that the hose clamps that are sold with the unit are weak and often break during the installation process.  This means you may have to spend money on extra fittings and adapters to effectively install it.

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No matter what brand of above ground pool filter system you choose, make sure that you make your decision based on the filter’s efficiency, maintenance needs, and your budget.

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