The Best Above Ground Pool Filters in 2024

In the serene backyard oasis, an above-ground pool stands as a centerpiece of leisure and refreshment. Yet, the sparkling purity of its waters hinges on the silent, relentless work of pool filters.

Navigating the market for the ideal above-ground pool filter system entails sifting through various types – sand filters, cartridge filters, and D.E (Diatomaceous Earth) filters, each with its unique merits and demerits.

Moreover, the market teems with offerings, from standalone filters to above-ground pool pumps and filter combos, promising efficient circulation and crystalline waters.

The right filter acts as the sentinel of your pool, trapping debris, algae, and impurities, ensuring every swim is a dive into clear, clean, and safe waters. This guide aims to demystify the various options, showcasing top-performing filters that rise to the challenge of keeping your above-ground pool pristine and inviting.

Best Above-Ground Pool Filters:

1. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above-Ground Pools


The INTEX SX1500 Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump emerges as a sterling companion for above-ground pool owners seeking a blend of robust filtration and simplified maintenance. With its impressive 1500 GPH (Gallons Per Hour) pump flow rate, this filter pump promises not just enhanced circulation but a notable upgrade in water clarity.

The ease of installation and user-friendly design further amplify its appeal, making it a viable choice for both seasoned pool owners and newcomers. The promise of easy cleaning and improved water clarity are not just mere claims but a reality with the INTEX SX1500.

The INTEX SX1500 Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is a substantial investment towards maintaining a sparkling clean above-ground pool. Its high pump flow rate, coupled with the natural efficiency of sand filtration, ensures that your pool stays inviting and safe for a leisurely dip anytime.

The ease of installation and cleaning further add to its allure, making it a compelling choice for those seeking a balance of performance and convenience. While it may come with minor drawbacks like the separate sand purchase and potential noise, the trade-off for clear, clean pool water is well worth considering.

Product Features:

  • Sand Filtration Technology: Utilizes the natural filtering capability of sand to trap impurities and ensure crystal-clear water.
  • 1500 GPH Pump Flow Rate: Ensures improved circulation and efficient filtration to maintain a clean and clear pool.
  • Easy Installation: Designed for hassle-free installation, making it a straightforward upgrade for your pool.
  • Improved Water Clarity: The superior filtration capability significantly enhances water clarity.
  • Easy-to-Clean: Features a simple cleaning process that saves time and effort.


  • Natural sand filtration is effective and eco-friendly.
  • A high pump flow rate ensures your pool stays clear of debris and impurities.
  • Installation is a breeze, which is a boon for those not technically inclined.
  • Remarkable improvement in water clarity post-installation.
  • Cleaning the filter is straightforward and not time-consuming.


  • Sand needs to be purchased separately, which could be an inconvenience.
  • It might be overkill for very small pools, making it less cost-effective for such setups.
  • Some users might find the operation a bit noisy, especially during high-speed filtration.

2. INTEX C1000 Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above-Ground Pools

The INTEX C1000 Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump emerges as a strong contender for those seeking a reliable filtration solution for their above-ground pools. As part of INTEX’s reputable Krystal Clear series, this unit aims to deliver clear, clean water by employing cartridge filtration technology. The C1000 boasts easy installation, user-friendly operation, and a promise of improved water clarity, making it a suitable option for pool owners who prioritize both performance and convenience.

The INTEX C1000 Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump is a solid choice for individuals seeking a user-friendly and effective filtration solution for their above-ground pools. While it may require more frequent cartridge replacements, its ease of installation and maintenance, coupled with a decent flow rate, makes it a worthy consideration. The unit lives up to its “Krystal Clear” name by offering a straightforward route to a clean and enjoyable pool experience.

Product Features:

  • Cartridge Filtration: Utilizes a cartridge filter to trap impurities, ensuring a clean and clear pool environment.
  • 1,000 GPH Pump Flow Rate: The unit has a 1,000 gallons per hour pump flow rate, providing effective circulation and filtration.
  • Easy Installation: Comes with everything needed for an easy setup, saving time and effort.
  • Air Release Valve: Features an air release valve for air trapped inside the filter chamber.
  • Easy-to-Clean: The cartridge is easy to remove and clean, ensuring hassle-free maintenance.


  • Cartridge filtration provides good water clarity and is efficient in trapping smaller particles compared to sand filters.
  • A flow rate of 1,000 GPH is adequate for many above-ground pool sizes, ensuring effective circulation and filtration.
  • Installation is straightforward with clear instructions, making it suitable even for individuals new to pool maintenance.
  • The air release valve is a thoughtful feature that aids in releasing any air trapped during the filtration process.
  • Easy cartridge removal and cleaning make maintenance a breeze, saving time and effort in the long run.


  • It may require more frequent cartridge replacements, which could be an added expense over time.
  • It might not be suitable for larger pools or pools with high levels of debris.
  • Some users might find the flow rate insufficient for maintaining pristine water in heavily used pools.

3. Hayward W3EC40C92S Perflex 1 HP Diatomaceous Earth Filter Pump System for Above-Ground Pools

The Hayward W3EC40C92S Perflex is the epitome of superior filtration brought to the doorstep of above-ground pool owners. Harnessing the potent filtration power of Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.), this 1 H.P. pump system is poised to drastically elevate the purity and clarity of pool waters.

It’s not just about filtration; the ease of operation and maintenance inherent in this system underscores Hayward’s commitment to delivering user-friendly yet highly efficient pool solutions.

The Hayward W3EC40C92S Perflex stands as a testament to what a high-quality D.E. filter pump system can achieve in maintaining awe-inspiring water clarity in above-ground pools. Its robust pump, coupled with the unparalleled filtration capability of D.E., sets a high benchmark in pool water clarity.

While the initial investment and the separate purchase of D.E. media might deter some, the long-term benefits of superior water quality and reduced maintenance make it a worthy consideration for any serious pool owner. This system is not just a purchase; it’s an investment in endless days of crystal-clear aquatic enjoyment.

Product Features:

  • Diatomaceous Earth Filtration: Utilizes D.E. media, known for trapping the finest of impurities, ensuring unparalleled water clarity.
  • 1 H.P. Power: The robust 1-horsepower pump facilitates efficient circulation and filtration, maintaining a pristine pool environment.
  • Easy Installation and Operation: Designed for hassle-free installation and straightforward operation, reducing the learning curve for new users.
  • Bump Mechanism: Features a unique bump mechanism to help regenerate the D.E. media, extending its usability and reducing maintenance frequency.
  • System Integration: Seamlessly integrates with your existing above-ground pool setup, making it a convenient upgrade.


  • D.E. filtration provides superior water clarity by trapping even microscopic impurities.
  • The robust 1 H.P. pump ensures efficient water circulation and filtration.
  • Easy installation and operation make it user-friendly, especially for non-tech-savvy individuals.
  • The bump mechanism is a genius addition for easy media regeneration, reducing maintenance hassles.
  • Seamless integration with existing pool setups is a big plus for those looking for a hassle-free upgrade.


  • D.E. media needs to be purchased separately, which could be an added expense.
  • The bump mechanism might require some getting used to, especially for individuals new to D.E. filtration systems.
  • The initial investment could be on the higher side compared to other filtration systems.

4. Rx Clear Radiant Complete Sand Filter System

The Rx Clear Radiant Complete Sand Filter System emerges as a robust solution for inground pool owners in pursuit of a simplified yet effective filtration system. Boasting a Mighty Niagara .90 THP pump and a sizable 24-inch tank with a 300 lb sand capacity, this system is engineered to handle pools up to 33,000 gallons.

The beauty of this system lies in its blend of efficiency, ease of installation, and the promise of delivering crystal-clear water, underlining its potential as a reliable companion for your inground swimming pool.

The Rx Clear Radiant Complete Sand Filter System stands as a formidable choice for those eyeing a reliable and efficient filtration solution for their inground pools. The blend of a potent pump, generous sand capacity, and ease of maintenance underscore its appeal.

While the initial cost and separate sand purchase might be considerations, the long-term benefits of enhanced water clarity and reduced maintenance efforts present a compelling case for this sand filter system. It’s a solid step towards ensuring your pool remains a welcoming oasis of clear, refreshing water.

Product Features:

  • Sand Filtration Technology: Uses the natural filtering prowess of sand to trap impurities and promote clear water.
  • Mighty Niagara .90 THP Pump: A potent pump that facilitates efficient water circulation and filtration.
  • 24-Inch Tank with 300 lb Sand Capacity: Generous sand capacity ensures effective filtration over extended periods.
  • Suitable for Large Pools: Designed to handle inground pools up to 33,000 gallons, making it a versatile choice.
  • Easy Installation and Maintenance: Streamlined installation process and simple maintenance requirements.


  • Natural sand filtration effectively tackles impurities, delivering clear pool water.
  • The robust pump ensures efficient circulation and filtration, promoting a clean and healthy pool environment.
  • A sizable tank and generous sand capacity minimize the frequency of maintenance.
  • Suitable for large pools, showcasing its capability to handle substantial water volumes.
  • The easy installation process and straightforward maintenance are time-savers.


  • Sand needs to be purchased separately, which could be an added expense.
  • The system might require a fair amount of space due to its sizable Tank.
  • The initial investment may be relatively high, potentially deterring budget-conscious pool owners.

5. Hayward EC40AC Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. Pool Filter

The Hayward EC40AC Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. Pool Filter is a testament to Hayward’s enduring legacy in delivering top-notch pool filtration solutions. This D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) filter leverages the fine-filtering capabilities of D.E. media to provide superior water clarity and quality.

The extended-cycle feature ensures longer periods between necessary maintenance, making it a convenient choice for busy pool owners. With its promise of enhanced water clarity and reduced maintenance, the EC40AC Perflex aims to be a hassle-free filtration solution that doesn’t compromise performance.

The Hayward EC40AC Perflex Extended-Cycle D.E. Pool Filter embodies a brilliant blend of superior filtration, reduced maintenance, and user-friendly features. The advantages of D.E. filtration are well demonstrated in this filter, providing pool owners with pristine water clarity.

Though the initial setup might require a bit of a learning curve, and the additional purchase of D.E. media may be a consideration, the long-term benefits of improved water quality and reduced maintenance frequency make it a worthwhile investment. It’s a reliable route towards maintaining a crystal clear pool with less hassle, making every swim a delightful experience.

Product Features:

  • Diatomaceous Earth Filtration: Harnesses the power of D.E. media to capture the finest of impurities, delivering crystal-clear water.
  • Extended-Cycle Design: Engineered for longer filtration cycles between cleanings, reducing maintenance frequency.
  • Pressure Gauge and Check Valve: Equipped with a pressure gauge for easy monitoring and a check valve to prevent backflow.
  • Self-Venting: The self-venting design ensures system relief from air buildup, enhancing operational safety.
  • Easy Installation: The straightforward installation process saves time and gets your pool ready faster.


  • D.E. filtration provides superior water clarity by capturing even microscopic impurities.
  • Extended-cycle design significantly reduces the frequency of maintenance.
  • Pressure gauges and check valves are great additions for easy monitoring and enhanced safety.
  • The self-venting feature alleviates concerns of air buildup, ensuring smooth operation.
  • Easy installation is a boon for pool owners, minimizing setup time.


  • D.E. media needs to be purchased separately, adding to the initial cost.
  • It might require a learning curve for individuals new to D.E. filtration systems.
  • Some users might find the need to backwash or replace the D.E. media a bit cumbersome over time.

6. GAME SandPRO 50D Series, Complete 0.5HP Replacement Pool Sand Filter Unit

The GAME SandPRO 50D Series presents itself as a competent replacement pool sand filter unit, mainly designed for Intex & Bestway pools. With a modest 0.5HP pump, it’s engineered to provide high-performance filtration for above-ground pools, ensuring a clear and clean aquatic haven.

Not just about filtration, the SandPRO 50D also boasts of being an energy-efficient and easy-to-operate unit, making it a practical choice for pool owners who are eyeing both performance and ease of use.

The GAME SandPRO 50D Series emerges as a solid choice for those with Intex & Bestway pools seeking an efficient and user-friendly filtration solution. The sand filtration method coupled with the 0.5HP pump offers a balance of efficiency and performance.

While the need for separate sand purchases and its suitability for larger pools might be points of consideration, the energy efficiency and ease of operation make it a worthy consideration. It’s a sensible step towards ensuring your above-ground pool remains a welcoming sanctuary of clean and clear water with manageable operational costs.

Product Features:

  • Sand Filtration Technology: Utilizes sand to trap impurities and deliver clear water, a natural and effective filtration method.
  • 0.5HP Pump: The unit comes with a 0.5HP pump capable of delivering high-performance filtration for above-ground pools.
  • Designed for Intex & Bestway Pools: Specifically engineered for compatibility with Intex & Bestway pools, making it a go-to replacement filter unit.
  • Energy Efficient: Operates efficiently, helping to keep energy costs down.
  • Ease of Operation: Features user-friendly controls making it easy to operate even for individuals new to pool maintenance.


  • Sand filtration efficiently handles impurities, ensuring clean and clear pool water.
  • The 0.5HP pump provides adequate power for effective filtration in above-ground pools.
  • Specific design for Intex & Bestway pools takes the guesswork out of compatibility.
  • Energy efficiency is a big plus, aiding in managing operational costs.
  • User-friendly controls simplify operation, making pool maintenance less daunting.


  • Sand needs to be purchased separately, which can be an added expense.
  • May not be suitable for larger pools due to its 0.5HP pump capacity.
  • Some users might find the filtration rate to be slower compared to higher-powered units.

Tips for Choosing

Choosing the right filter for your above-ground pool is a crucial step toward maintaining clean, clear, and healthy pool water. The following tips will guide you in making an informed decision:

Understand Filter Types:

  • Sand Filters: Sand filters are popular due to their simplicity and efficiency. They use sand to trap impurities. They’re easy to maintain but may not catch excellent particles.
  • Cartridge Filters: Cartridge filters capture finer particles than sand filters. They require more frequent cleaning but are easy to maintain.
  • Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Filters: D.E. filters offer the finest level of filtration, capturing particles as small as 2 microns. They require more maintenance but deliver superior water clarity.

Size Matters:

  • Ensure the filter is rated for your pool’s size. A filter too small will struggle to keep the water clean, while an overly large filter will waste energy.

Flow Rate:

  • The flow rate, measured in gallons per minute (GPM), indicates how much water the filter can clean in a minute. Ensure the filter’s flow rate matches your pool pump’s capacity.

Ease of Maintenance:

  • Choose a filter that is easy to clean and maintain. Some filters have features like backwashing, which simplifies the cleaning process.

Energy Efficiency:

  • Look for energy-efficient models that will not spike your energy bills. Energy Star-certified models are a good place to start.


  • Ensure the filter is compatible with your pool type, be it an Intex, Bestway, or any other above-ground pool.

Brand Reputation:

  • Opt for reputable brands known for quality, durability, and good customer support.

Warranty and Support:

  • Check the warranty terms and ensure there’s adequate customer support should you run into issues with the filter.


  • Filters come in different price ranges. Have a budget but remember that investing in a good quality filter will save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs and ensuring long-term reliability.

By considering the above factors and tailoring them to your specific needs and pool specifications, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect filter for your above-ground pool, ensuring many enjoyable, splash-filled days ahead.


What are the different types of pool filters available?

  • There are three main types of pool filters: sand filters, cartridge filters, and diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filters. Each has its own set of advantages and filtration capabilities.

How often should I clean my above-ground pool filter?

  • The frequency of cleaning depends on the type of filter and the amount of use the pool gets. Cartridge filters may need cleaning every 2-4 weeks, sand filters typically require backwashing every 1-4 weeks, and D.E. filters usually need backwashing and new D.E. powder every 1-3 months.

How do I know if my pool filter is working properly?

  • Signs of a properly working filter include clear water, normal operating pressure, and no unusual sounds. If you notice cloudy water, high-pressure readings, or strange noises, it may be time to check or service your filter.

Can I use a bigger filter than what’s recommended for my pool?

  • Yes, using a larger filter will not harm your pool system and can improve filtration and reduce the frequency of maintenance.

How long do pool filters last?

  • The lifespan of a pool filter varies by type and usage. Cartridge elements might last 1-2 years, sand filters 5-7 years, and D.E. grids around 2-3 years. However, with proper care and maintenance, they could last longer.

Is it difficult to replace a pool filter?

  • Replacing a pool filter is not overly difficult but does require some basic plumbing skills. It’s advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions or hire a professional if you’re unsure.

Can I run my pool filter 24/7?

  • While it’s possible to run your filter 24/7, it’s not usually necessary. Running the filter for about 8-12 hours per day is often sufficient to keep the water clean.

How do I choose the right size filter for my above-ground pool?

  • To choose the right size filter, you’ll need to consider the size of your pool, the filter’s flow rate, and its micron rating. It’s advisable to choose a filter that can handle the volume of your pool and match the pump’s flow rate.

What is backwashing and how often should it be done?

  • Backwashing is a process of cleaning sand and D.E. filters by reversing the flow of water to flush out contaminants. The frequency of backwashing depends on the filter’s pressure gauge reading and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What is the cost of maintaining a pool filter?

  • The cost of maintaining a pool filter depends on the type of filter, the frequency of cleaning or replacement, and the cost of any replacement parts or media. Cartridge filters may have recurring costs for replacement cartridges, sand filters for sand replacement, and D.E. filters for D.E. powder.

By understanding the basics of above-ground pool filtration, you’ll be better equipped to maintain a clear, clean, and safe swimming environment.


Selecting the right filter for your above-ground pool is an investment in clear, clean, and healthy swimming water. The type of filter you choose – be it sand, cartridge, or D.E, should align with your pool’s size, your maintenance preferences, and the desired water clarity.

From the high-performance sand filtration of the INTEX SX1500 Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump to the fine-filtering prowess of the Hayward EC40AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter, the options are diverse.

This guide offers a thorough look into top-rated above-ground pool filters, aiming to equip you with the necessary insights to make an informed decision.
As you explore the various options, consider the ease of maintenance, energy efficiency, and brand reputation to find a filter that will serve you well through many swim seasons.

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