10 Best Above Ground Pool Filters of 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated: June 2, 2021

If you’re in search of a brand new above floor pool filter, you both simply purchased a brand new pool or have to improve your getting older current one. Either manner, you may be shocked on the huge quantity of choices out there to you. If you may have bought filters earlier than, you may be shocked to see how a lot expertise has superior the effectivity of the trendy filters and pumps. A number of years in the past, it was widespread to get 2 and three-horsepower pumps, however right this moment it’s far more widespread for pumps to be beneath a single horse.

Fortunately, we will help you kind by way of the excessive quantity of decisions in addition to the brand new expertise. We’ve already tried out dozens of totally different manufacturers of above floor pool filters and have chosen 10 totally different fashions that we really feel are price your time to think about. Each model has sure issues that we like about it and sure issues that we don’t. We are going to go over every one with you so you’ll be able to see what to search for once you make your personal decisions.

We’ve additionally included a purchaser’s information the place we break down each facet of the above floor pool filter and clarify the way it works. We’ll go over the different sorts of pool filters in addition to the different sorts of media that you should utilize in your filters that can assist you get a transparent concept of exactly what variety of pool filter you want in your pool.

Keep studying for our detailed critiques of every above floor pool filter, the place we evaluate filter sort, filter media, horsepower, and circulation price that can assist you make an informed buy.

A Quick Comparison (up to date in 2021)

The 10 Best Above Ground Pool Filters

Let’s take a look at the ten above floor pool filters that we selected to assessment for you.

1. Sand Master Above Ground Pool Filter & Pump – Best Overall

Sand Master


The Sand Master Above Ground Pool Filter & Pump System is our alternative for best total, and we imagine that after you take a look at what it has to supply, you’ll agree it’s the perfect sand filter for above floor swimming pools. This filter is ideal for smaller swimming pools of lower than 10,000 gallons. Soft-sided swimming pools match into this class, and this filter will work properly with that sort of pool. The pump design all the time permits it to stay powered on. The longer operating time will allow you to get superior cleansing whereas utilizing a lowered quantity of sand and fewer horsepower.

The Sand Master filter has smooth sides and a 4-place multiport valve with all crucial capabilities like filter and backwash, making it the pump to search for once you need the perfect pool filter & pump combo. It additionally comes geared up with two 7-foot connection hoses to get you operating instantly.

The draw back to this pump is that it’s simply too small for something larger than smooth-sided swimming pools.


  • 24-hour on
  • Less sand
  • Soft facet filer
  • 2 included connection hoses

2. Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter – Best Value

Intex 28635EG


The Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter is our alternative for the perfect worth, and we predict you’ll agree that that is the perfect cartridge pool filter for the cash. This finances mannequin contains a highly effective motor succesful of transferring 1,500 gallons per hour. This filter is ideal for small to medium-sized swimming pools, and it options and a timer you could set to run for two to 12 hours. The Intex is one of the few solely cartridge filters now we have on this listing, and it comes with a replaceable and simple to scrub filter cartridge.

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The draw back to this filter is that the cartridges put on out rapidly, and also you’ll want to interchange them yearly or two. This filter additionally makes use of broad 1.5-inch hoses which may want adapters to suit the extra widespread 1.25-inch. We really feel Intex ought to embrace the adapters with buy.

3. Hayward XStream Above-Ground Pool Filter – Premium Choice

Hayward CC15093S


Hayward XStream is our premium alternative. This filter is for somebody who desires the perfect filter cash should buy. The Xstrream is a cartridge filter that options an enormous 37-inch tall and 21-inch broad detachable filter. The 1.5-horsepower pump completely enhances the tall filter, and the pair work collectively to scrub any medium to massive dimension pool. The pump contains a helpful on-off button that’s significantly better than the plug-in methodology, so many different pumps use.

The solely complaints about this mannequin that preserve it out of the highest 2 spots are, of course, the excessive value, but additionally the included hoses each leaked alongside the seam.


  • Tall broad filter
  • Powerful pump
  • On-off button


  • High value
  • Poor high quality hoses

4. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter

Intex 28651E


Intex 28651EG Krystal Clear Sand Filter is a heavy-obligation sand filter system succesful of transferring 3000 gallons of water per hour. This dimension filter is ideal for swimming pools with 25,000 to 30,000 gallons of water. The pump is an actual power saver and makes use of solely 0.75-hp to maneuver the water as a result of it runs at 75 p.c effectivity. It options the 6-manner valve for switching between filter, backwash, and many others., and a 24-hour timer makes positive you always remember to show it on or off. The exhausting-exterior shell could be very sturdy, and we imagine it could possibly stand up to a few years of harsh out of doors environments.

The solely downside we had with this technique is that the pump appears a bit of on the weak facet for our style.


  • Efficient motor
  • 24-hour timer
  • Durable outer shell

5. GAME SandPRO Series Pool Sand Filter



The GAME SandPRO 75D is a sand pool filter with a 0.75-hp pump rated for above floor swimming pools as much as 15,000 gallons. We discovered the pump to have rather a lot of energy and dealt with filtering and vacuuming properly with easy, quiet operation. We favored the able to learn stress gauge you could see from far-off.

The 4-place rotary valve ought to be sufficient for many customers, however the deal with does appear a bit of light-weight and flimsy. If reality, there’s a lot of plastic and in some spots of the filter its very skinny. It’s unlikely to final a few years within the harsh solar and fewer more likely to survive tough dealing with or unintentional collisions.


  • Strong pump
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy learn stress gauge


  • Thin plastic filter case
  • Flimsy plastic filter deal with

6. Blue Wave Sand Filter System

Blue Wave NE6170


The Blue Wave NE6170 is a barely bigger pool filter designed to show over a 24,000-gallon pool in simply 8 hours. It strikes the water with an environment friendly 1.5-hp pump and a specifically designed filter to maximise water circulation. The filter is a single piece of sturdy and corrosion-resistant polyethylene, and it has a six-place multi-port valve for switching between filtering, backwashing, and extra.

We felt that the included hoses have been fairly flimsy, and whereas the unit could very properly be transferring the water at 50 gallons per minute (GPM) it doesn’t do it with rather a lot of drive, and the water doesn’t transfer as a lot as we wish it to push contaminates into the skimmer. This decrease stress was additionally an issue throughout vacuuming, and it’s possible you’ll have to go together with the type of vacuum that works independently of the filter system to get a good cleaning on the underside of your pool with this filter.


  • 5-hp pump
  • 6-place multi-port valve
  • Durable polyethylene filter shell


  • Poor high quality connection hose
  • Weak stress

7. XtremepowerUS 19″ Sand Filter

XtremepowerUS 4500GPH


The XtremepowerUS is a 19-inch sand filter with a 1.5-hp pump. The pump and filter are engineered to work collectively to supply most circulation price. The heavy-obligation pump options airflow air flow and may push as much as 4,500 gallons of water by way of the filter per hour. The 5-place valve provides you lots of choices for filtering, backwashing, and extra.

Assembling this filter system was a problem, and lots of of the components didn’t match collectively simply. We additionally couldn’t get the valve cowl tight sufficient to cease it from leaking. This pump additionally incorporates a begin capacitor, which makes it unlawful in California resulting from energy laws.

8. FlowXtreme Sand Filter Pump System

FlowXtreme NE4486


The FlowXtreme NE4486 is a smaller dimension filter that contains a -hp pump succesful of pumping 1,850 gallons per hour and is appropriate for 10,000 to fifteen,000-gallon swimming pools. This sort of pump is ideal for smaller smooth facet swimming pools. We favored the versatile seven-choice valve management swap. The swap is one of probably the most intuitive and clearly labeled pump switches we’ve used. We’re positive it’s going to assist you perceive when and tips on how to use the totally different capabilities.

The FlowXtreme NE4486 is difficult to assemble, and the outflow connection on the filter is an odd dimension and should trigger problem for some customers when connecting it to their current system. The plugs on the backside of the filter and pump are plastic and can strip simply.


  • Perfect for smooth facet swimming pools
  • 7-choice valve pump


  • Difficult meeting
  • Poor high quality drain plugs
  • Outflow connections are usually not a regular dimension

9. SUNCOO 2450GPH Sand Filter



The SUNCOO Pro is a 13-inch sand filter rated for swimming pools lower than 10,000 gallons. The filter contains a 4-manner valve and features a constructed-in stress gauge that can assist you monitor the situation of your filter and assist decide when to backwash. The pump can transfer 2,450 gallons of water per hour and has overload safety.

We didn’t just like the low horsepower didn’t appear to maneuver the water very properly, and meeting was a bit of a problem as properly. The SUNCOO can also be one of the noisier pumps on our listing.


  • Built-in stress gauge
  • Overload safety


  • Noisy
  • Lacks energy
  • Difficult meeting

10. Rx Clear Patriot Sand Filter

Rx Clear Patriot


The Rx Clear Patriot Sand Filter is the ultimate mannequin on our listing, and whereas it’s not going to be pretty much as good as one of our first three decisions, there may be one thing that pursuits you. This filter contains a compact 12-inch tall design and rated for filtering swimming pools as much as 10,500 gallons. It’s additionally designed to make use of a particular media created by RX that can enable it to filter contaminates down to three microns in dimension.

The draw back is there isn’t any pump included with this filter, and you have to to buy one individually. It additionally makes use of a 4-manner push-pull backwash valve that felt low-cost and didn’t function easily after we used it.


  • No pump
  • Push-pull backwash valve

Buyer’s Guide

Let’s take a look at some of the issues that can assist you when selecting an above ground pool filter.

Determine your required turnover time.

The time it takes for all of the water in your pool to maneuver by way of your filter is what we name the pool’s turnover time. Pools that get used extra typically will need a quicker turnover time. A seven- or eight-hour turnover time is often good for a closely used pool, whereas ten to 12 hours is sufficient for gentle use.

Determine your pool’s minimal circulation price

Flow price is the quantity of water that should circulation by way of the filter per minute to achieve your required turnover time.



  • 8 hours = 480 minutes
  • 10 hours = 600 minutes
  • A closely used 30,000-gallon pool will want a minimal circulation price of 62.5 gallons per minute or 3750 gallons per hour (30,000/480 = 62.5. 30,000/8 = 3,750)
  • A closely used 40,000-gallon pool would require a minimal circulation price of 83.3 gallons per minute (40,000/480 = 83.3)
  • A frivolously used 30,000-gallon pool would require a circulation price of 50 gallons per minute (30,000/600 = 50)
  • A frivolously used 40,000-gallon pool will want a circulation price of 66.6 gallons per minute (40,000/600 = 66.6)

The goal circulation price is most of the battle in relation to pool filtration.

Pool Size

The dimension of your pool goes to be one of probably the most important elements you might want to think about when selecting an above ground pool filter. The pool dimension determines your circulation price.


Though you should buy the pump and the filter individually, you often purchase them as an identical set. The pump forces the water by way of the filter and is accountable for the circulation price. Larger pumps mean you can transfer extra water, and also you want one which reaches helps you attain your goal circulation price.

The quantity of horsepower your pump has is one of the essential issues to search for when selecting a pump, but it surely’s not the one factor. Some fashionable pump designs allow you to transfer extra water with much less energy.

Pool Hose Diameter

Pool hoses vary from 1.25-inch to 2-inch in diameter, with most hoses being 1.5-inch. A bigger diameter hose can decrease the stress and permit extra water to circulation by way of growing your circulation price.

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Before we are able to discuss filters, we have to focus on how we measure the filtering that they do. The filter removes particles and contaminants from the water, and we decide the effectiveness of the filter by the smallest particle it could possibly take away. We measure particles in microns, which is brief for micrometer.

  • One sheet of paper or strand of human hair = 100 microns
  • Red blood cells = 8 microns
  • coli micro organism = 2 microns

Therefore, a filter that may take away particles all the way down to 10 microns is healthier than one that may take away particles all the way down to 30 microns.


Chlorine and different pool cleaners can kill micro organism and neutralize algae and mould, however the filter is what removes them, together with every other international substances. The bigger your filter is, the much less you might want to clear and backwash. Larger filters additionally lower stress on the pump, particularly throughout backwashing.

Filter Types

There are three commonplace filter sorts, and they’re sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth, which is also referred to as DE.

Above Pool Filter

Image Credit By: gbeaty, pixabay

Sand Filters

Sand filters are the least costly to personal, they’re the easiest to maintain, and they’re the least more likely to clog. The sand can final 5 or 6 years earlier than you might want to change it.

The draw back to sand filters is that they solely filter down to twenty microns, and the opposite filter sorts can do higher. They additionally waste rather a lot of water throughout backwashing and waste energy earlier than backwashing as particles construct up within the sand and lift the stress.

Debris build up within the sand does enhance its filtering capability, and there are some things you should utilize apart from sand to convey down the microns.



ZeoSand is a sand-like substance constituted of the mineral Zeolite. Zeosand will filter higher than sand, down to five microns, and also you solely want half as a lot. It traps ammonia ions that result in a chlorine scent and eye burn. It additionally removes micro organism by way of molecular sieving.


Filterglass is crushed recycled glass. It’s secure to the contact and environmentally pleasant. It can filter down to five-microns and requires the least quantity of backwashing. Filterglass additionally has a adverse cost and is superb for eradicating metals out of your water.

Cartridge Filter

Cartridge filters are the best to scrub, however they’re just for small to medium-sized swimming pools. These tall cylindrical filters can filter all the way down to 10 microns by way of a pleated polyester filter. To clear the filter, take away it from the tank and hose it down. The draw back to cartridge filters is that they don’t final very lengthy, and you’ll count on to interchange it each two to a few years.

DE Filters

Diatomaceous Earth Filters use crushed diatom shells to do the filtering. These tiny shells can filter down to five microns, and also you clear them by backwashing like sand filters. You may also add extra DE to your filter by including it to your skimmer, which is handy.

The draw back to DE filters is that there’s some query about its most cancers-inflicting qualities. It’s the very best-priced filter and requires rather a lot of upkeep. Your metropolis may additionally have restrictions in place that stop you from backwashing resulting from a cement-like buildup that may kind in drains.


Now that you just’ve had an opportunity to learn over this text, we hope you may have a greater understanding of the totally different choices out there to you regarding above floor pool filters. We stand by our alternative for best total. The Sand Master Above Ground Pool Filter & Pump System is ideal for smaller swimming pools and is a superb substitute for the extremely popular smooth facet swimming pools that always come geared up with low-high quality pumps. Our best worth alternative, the Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter, will preserve all however the largest swimming pools clear with out breaking the financial institution, and it’s straightforward to scrub.

We hope that you’ve loved our above floor pool filter critiques and high picks, and it has helped you make an knowledgeable buy. If you may have realized one thing new about above floor pool filters, please share this text with your pals on Facebook and Twitter.

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