Sand, Cartridge and DE – The Best Pool Filters| Everything you need to know

Pools can be of different sizes and types. To facilitate the filtration of these different types of pools, different types of pool filters are available in the market nowadays. So this time, I, George Michael has come up with some different type of pool filters; when and where this should be used with some best pool filters available in the current market.

Short in time? Wondering which from the above would be the best choice for you? Let me do the work for you.
>>Click Here<<

and you will find the most suitable pool filter for yourself. Just make sure that you pick your requirement(s) properly.

Want to know about the selection of the best choice for you? Click Here

Table of Contents

Pool filter types

Currently, there are three types of pool filters available in the market. There exist some other type also, but these three are being massively used in pools all over the world.

These three types have different abilities. I meant, different strong zones of filtration. So, which suits you the most? To determine that, you should have a basic overview of these three types in possession.

Know which type you want already? You can click on your desired pool filter type, to jump to corresponding sections.

  1. Sand pool filters
  2. Cartridge pool filters
  3. DE pool filters

These are the three types I mentioned above. These three have their strong zone, let’s be apprised about them.

Sand pool filters
use sands as the filtration media. As sands are inexpensive, the maintenance cost of these filters is on the lower side. The more bright side is the filters themselves are inexpensive too. So a basic pool filter seeker should try sand pool filters for their personal pool.

Moreover, there are various alternatives to sands you can use in the same filter machine. So you can diversify your filtration quality if you want.

Cartridge pool filters
use some cartridges inside the filter machine. These cartridges are made of a substance called Polypropylene. These filters are pretty inexpensive too, cheaper than the sand filters actually.

So, personal pool owners who want the cost at a minimal side, cartridge pool filters are a good choice to start. The maintenance of these filters is a lot of work though. I will tell more about this at the end of this article.

DE pool filters
use very tiny algae-like organisms. These are called diatomaceous earth, in short D.E. These filters are capable of doing the most efficient filtration. So, commercial pool owners should look into these.

N:B: D.E powders are kind of corrosive. Make sure that you are allowed to use these filters in your area. To know more about this, you may check here

Best pool filters

Now, I will be saying about some pool filters worth checking. These are handpicked regarding durability, performance and ease of finding accessories and warranty.

I have suggested three pool filters for each type.

N:B: – Do not go for less-known filters because finding accessories like O-ring, clamps, etc will be difficult then.
Hassle-free warranty is a must because this ensures that your purchased filter is designed to survive throughout the warranty period even with the very extensive usage.

Sand filter for pool

Sand filters are ideal for moderate filtration with easy maintenance, where the price is on your side.

Pentair Triton II Side Mount Filter TR100 Fiberglass Sand Filter without Valve

pentair triton II

More available sizes: 19”, 21”, 30” (this model), 24”, 36”
Required sand (lbs) respectively: 175, 225, 325, 600, 925.
This is the most sophisticated sand pool filter currently available and the best you can get. In this model, Pentair has used its patent-protected ClearPro technology. Usually, I do not fall for this kind of verbose names manufacturers give. But here, the ClearPro is the real deal. And visibly, it provides cleaner water than the usual.
Usually, it is said that sand filters can filter particles down to 20 microns. But the truth is it is 50 micron and in some filters, this number can be up to 100 microns.
Anyway, here, the Triton II with its ClearPro Tech – is capable of filtering particles down to 5-10 microns truly.

Wondering what this ClearPro Technology is? There is a proprietary porous tube inside the filter. Water passes through this before re-entering the pool. This proprietary component creates blockades for that smallest debris which snuck through the filtration provided by sands.
This filter provides the same clarity as a regular DE filter would.Pentair Triton II clear pro technology
Now, let’s see its specialties at a glance.

Specialties (these are why I picked this)

pentair triton II specs

Here, you can see the basics of Pentair Triton II filters of different size. It is pulled out from the real brochure provided by Pentair.
As you can see, there are some different models of this pool filter for different sizes. I’ve created a list containing all available filters in the Amazon, click on the button below to get access to that list.

Hayward S220T2 ProSeries Sand Filter, 22-Inch, Top-Mount

Hayward S220T2 ProSeries Sand Filter

More available sizes: 22” (this model), 24”, 27”, 30”, 36”
Required sand (lbs) respectively: 250, 300, 350, 500, 700.
This is a mid-range sand pool filter and in this price range, it is hard to beat. Actually, these models are the second version of Hayward’s widely and highly appreciated model S220T and so on.
In the previous model, Hayward managed to provide us with the best cheap pool filter. Here, with a slight price increase – performance is enhanced. (Keep reading to know about those great cheap sand pool filters.)
Now, let’s see its specialties at a glance.
Specialties (these are why I picked this)
hayword 210t user manual
Here, you can see the basics of a Hayward ProSeries sand filter (Both T and T2). It is pulled out from the real brochure provided by Hayward.

Hayward S220T ProSeries Sand Filter, 22-Inch, Top-Mount

Hayward S220T ProSeries Sand Filter

More available sizes: 22” (this model), 24”, 27”.
Required sand (lbs) respectively: 250, 300, 350.
I have told about this series’s sand filters a bit earlier. The name of the 22-inch model is titled here and if you look closely at the title, these are simply the previous version of the sand filters I demonstrated above.
If you want to go for a cheap sand pool filter, you should pick from here. Here, the price is reduced where it is within most of the buyer’s reach yet filtration quality is the best you can get at this price.
Now, let’s see its specialties at a glance.
Specialties (these are why I picked this)
The three above-mentioned sand filters are filters only, you’ll have to set it with a water pump. If you want a sand filter plus pump combo with every accessory needed, Hayward got your back. Let’s check it

Hayward S210T93S ProSeries 21-Inch 1.5 HP Sand Filter System

Hayward S210T93S

More available sizes: 16”, 18”, 21” (this model), 23”.
Required sand (lbs) respectively: 250, 300, 350.
As I told a bit earlier, this is a sand filter that comes with a pump also. Those who want a one-stop solution, this Hayward sand filter is for them. Same Hayward quality is maintained.
Now, let’s see its specialties at a glance.
Specialties (these are why I picked this)
Hayward S210T93S user manual
Here, you can see the basics of a Hayward S210T93S ProSeries sand filter. It is pulled out from the real brochure provided by Hayward.

Sand for pool filters

I often get asked, “what is the best pool filter sand?” How much sand for pool filter? How much sand do I need for my pool filter? What kind of sand for pool filter? Etc etc.
Instead of answering everyone one by one, I thought I should clarify the matter here.

Just imagine how marvelous it would be if your sand filter will provide the cleanest water possible!! That is why I am being a bit dramatic here and still haven’t said its name. Click Here. to jump to the section where I tell about that.

best cartridge pool filter

Cartridge filters for pool. The cheapest solution for your pool. These are very nature-friendly, no water waste at all. Can filter down to 10 microns, you will not face any issue like sand filters if the water speed is low.
The only challenge you will face is to clean the cartridges. Its really hard work. It’s tough. So try to buy one with a gigantic cartridge if you can. It reduces the cartridge cleaning frequency.

Hayward C7030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter, 700 Square Foot

Hayward C7030 SwimClear Cartridge Pool Filter

More available sizes: 225 sq.Ft, 325 sq.Ft, 425 sq.Ft, 525 sq.Ft, 725 sq.Ft (This model)
GPM (Respectively): 84, 122, 150, 150, 150.
Structure of demonstrating sand filters continues here. It is simply the best cartridge filter now just because of its pressure taking ability. Working pressure for all model here is 50 psi. Cartridges inside are capable of holding a bigger amount of dirt, working pressure is 50 psi. This reduces the greatest havoc of having a cartridge filter, the arduous work of cleaning. You won’t have to do it very often.

Specialties (these are why I picked this)
Hayward SwimClear specs
Here, you can see the basics of this Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter series. It is pulled out from the real brochure provided by Hayward.

Hayward C1200 SwimClear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter, 120 Square Foot

Hayward C1200

More available sizes: 120 sq.Ft (this model).
GPM (Respectively): 45.
If you do not have a problem with your budget and you can extend your budget, the previously demonstrated Hayward is a great choice.
But if you do have limitations regarding budget, but you want the same performance reducing the cartridge sizes because your pool is not so big, this Hayward C1200 is for you.

Specialties (these are why I picked this)

Hayward C1200 manual

Here, you can see the basics of the Hayward C1200 cartridge filter (along with some other similar model). It is pulled out from the real brochure provided by Hayward.

However, if you need more size choices. You can go to this Amazon product link. Here you can find three size choices, 100 sq. ft, 150 sq. ft and 200 sq. ft with the same performance.

Hayward C250 StarClear Cartridge Pool Filter, 25 Square Foot

Hayward C250

More available sizes: 25 sq.Ft (this model), 50 sq. Ft.
GPM (Respectively): 25, 50.
Hayward dictates the cartridge pool filter section. And why not, they have manufactured sturdy and quality filters for pools of all size. If your pool is small, why bother buying the giant filters I’ve shown you above?
Two small sizes are available. 25 ft2 and 50 ft2.

Specialties (these are why I picked this)

Hayward C250 manual

Here, you can see the basics of the Hayward C250 and C500 cartridge filters. It is pulled out from the real brochure provided by Hayward.

Blue Wave 120-Square Feet Cartridge Filter System with 1.5 HP Pump

Blue wave 120 square feet cartridge filter system with 1.5 hp pump

More available sizes: 120 sq.Ft (this model).
At last a filter other than Hayward. The above-mentioned cartridge pool filters do not come with a pump. You have to purchase separately if you do not have any yet.
This Blue Wave Cartridge filter system comes with a 1.5 HP pump. A very good start-up solution for your medium-sized pool that comes with a pump. All you have to do is just to install it and enjoy your pool.

Specialties (these are why I picked this)

Hayward Star Clear Plus 120 Square Foot In Ground Pool Cartridge Filter System

Hayward Star clear plus 120 square foot

More available sizes: 120 sq.Ft (this model).
If you are a Hayward liker and want a cartridge filter plus pump combo from Hayward, this is your option. A Hayward cartridge filter with pump, same old performance from Hayward.

Specialties (these are why I picked this)

Best pool filters Cartridge

Remember to replace the cartridge syncing your current cartridge pool filter. You can use the search bar below to search for cartridges for your existing cartridge filter on

Best DE pool filters

DE stands for Diatomaceous Earth. It is derived from fossilized tiny aquatic organisms. Anyway, DE stands for what is not our main concern here. The main fact is, DE pool filters gives the cleanest water possible. It beats the sand and cartridge pool filters in terms of filtering the water.

Pentair 180009 FNS Plus Fiberglass Reinforced D.E Pool Filter

Pentair 180009 DE pool filter

More available sizes: 24 sq.Ft, 36 sq.Ft, 48 sq.Ft, 60 sq.Ft (this model).
GPM (Respectively): 48, 72, 96, 120.
This is a very premium D.E pool filter. If you have read the upper portion of this article, you saw that I suggested the most premium filter first. Here, that structure is maintained too and in the continuation of that – this is the most sophisticated DE pool filter.
Saying a bit about its appearance. It is built with reinforced fiberglass. Very aesthetic outlook with the great build quality. I personally try to pick a filter which enhances the beauty of the pool. A swimming pool backyard should look great. Do not ruin it with a shabby pool filter.

Specialties (these are why I picked this)
Pentair 180009 manual
Here, you can see the size and vertical clearance required for the filters of this Pentair DE pool filter line-up. It is pulled out from the real brochure provided by Pentair.
These four sized filters are enlisted in different pages in To help you pick up the right size, I have created a list including these four. Please click on the button below to access the list.

Hayward DE7220 ProGrid D.E. Pool Filter, 72 Square Foot

Hayward DE7220 D.E Pool Filter

More available sizes: 24 sq.Ft, 36 sq.Ft, 48 sq.Ft, 60 sq.Ft, 72 sq. Ft (this model).
GPM (Respectively): 48, 72, 96, 120, 144
Hayward strikes again. This is the biggest DE pool filter for bigger pools. The Pentair I mentioned above could also facilitate a bigger pool but that do not have a 72 sq.Ft model. So, you folks who need DE filter solution for an even bigger pool, Hayward got you covered and released this model.

Specialties (these are why I picked this)

Hayward DE7220 manual

Here, you can see the basics of the Hayward DE filters of this line-up. It is pulled out from the real brochure provided by Hayward.

Hayward EC50AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter

Hayward EC50AC

More available sizes: 20 sq.Ft, 25 sq.Ft (this model), 27 sq.Ft, 40 sq.Ft.
D.E. Required respectively (lbs): 4, 5, 6, 7
Specialties (these are why I picked this)
I am almost done with the product reviews. Wondering whether there ain’t a filter + combo for D.E filters? The answer is, yes there is. And it is available with the very last DE filter I’ve just demonstrated.

Hayward EC50C92S Perflex 1 HP D.E. Filter Pump System

Hayward EC50C92S
You can buy the Hayward EC50AC filter with pump from Hayward, from There are three pump purchasing option available.

  • 1 HP Power Flo Matrix Pump (This model)
  • 5 HP Power Flo LX Pump
  • 5 HP power Flo Matrix Pump
There are other filter and pump combination including the EC40AC filter available. Make sure you check that too before purchasing if you want a bit small sized filter.

De powder for pools

Let’s get notified about some DE powder for DE pool filters. In case you do not know yet, you will have to add DE powder at the end of every time you clean your DE pool filter.

How to choose a pool filter?

If you are still wondering that which would be wise considering your pool, you should check my suggestions below before buying.

There are some important aspects you should consider before buying your pool filter.

  1. The size of your pool
  2. Expense
  3. Ease of maintenance
  4. Filtering capability
  5. Lifespan

Swimming pool size

Buying a pool filter syncing your pool size is a must. Always try to buy at least one step bigger filter because a bit big filter means it can handle more water than your pool holds. If it is smaller than it should, it cannot handle the water properly and the final result? A dirty pool.

People often ask me,

“What size sand filter do I need for my pool?”
So now, let’s figure out what sized filter you should buy. Anyway, this procedure is not only confined to sand pool filters. You can purchase your desired type of pool filter using the instructions given below.
Determining the size of your pool correctly is your very first task. And it is important. You just simply measure the volume of your pool. Usually, pool filters have a volume declared on their packaging. That points out to the volume of the pool where this filter should be used.
If the volume is not declared anywhere, the flow rate would be declared must. You’ll have to measure the flow rate of your pool then.
Measuring the flow rate is simple. You’ll have to measure the turnover rate first. It is the total time required to circulate the water to your pool. Then simply divide your pool’s volume with the turnover rate.
Another question I get is
“what size cartridge filter for 20000 gallon pool?”
To answer the question simply, you will have to install a cartridge pool filter over 300 sq.Ft at least.
About cartridge filter sizing, try to use the largest filter possible. Filter filled with large cartridge means bigger dirt holding capacity, means longer period you can go without cleaning the cartridge(s).
This theorem is the same for DE filters, go as big as possible. If the budget does not support, then do all sort of maths and buy one size bigger.

Cheap pool filters

Next comes the expenses. Here I have counted both the price of filters and their maintenance cost in expenses.

Cartridge pool filters are the cheapest option. Cartridge filters themselves are low-priced. And if you clean the cartridges when you should, the filter will last for at least 2-3 years.

In term of being cheap, sand pool filters come next. In my opinion, sand pool filters are the most balanced pool filter than a cartridge filter while you have the price in your mind.

Although, cartridge filters are cheaper than the sand filters. But cleaning the cartridges regularly is really hard work. On the other hand, cleaning sand pool filters are a walk in the park comparing to the cleaning of cartridge pool filters.

DE pool filters are the most expensive pool filters, but they have the most efficient filtering capability.

Pool filter maintenance

This is a very important factor to consider before purchasing a new pool filter. Cartridge pool filters are the hardest to maintain cause cleaning the cartridges are a real pain in the ass. Comparing to it, sand pool filters are easier to clean. Moreover, sand filters last long; almost five years.

The cleaning procedure of DE pool filters is almost identical with the sand pool filter cleaning procedure. But you’ll have to add additional DE powders each time you clean the filter. Since DE powders are a bit hazardous, proper caution should be taken while cleaning a DE filter.

Pool filtering efficiency

Usually, sand filters can filter 20-40 micron where cartridge filters can filter particles above 10 microns. DE filters are the winner in this segment because they are capable of doing the most effective filtration. Particles above 5 microns are filtered by a DE filter system.

Recently, however, filterglasses are used as a sand alternative in sand pool filters. And using such, you can filter 5 microns with your sand pool filter. If you want less work with more efficiency, sand filters filled with filterglasses is your option.

Pool filter lifespan

Sand pool filters are known to be the most long-lasting. 5 years on an average. Cartridges and the DE filters usually serve for two-three years.

Anyway, this does not mean that your pool filters will be completely destroyed by the above mentioned time period passes. If cleaned regularly, these filters will serve you more than you anticipate.

Eco-friendly pool filter

DE powders, which are used in DE pool filters are hazardous and corrosive.

A lot of water is wasted during the procedure of cleaning both DE and sand pool filters.

If you do not want this, cartridge pool filters are your best option.

That’s it. I think you’ve already decided which pool filters will be the wise choice for you. Let me get you back to the filter choices. Please go with what describes you the most.

Looking for easy maintenances?

Special Segment: Pool filter hack

Here, I will talk about some pool filter usage hack. Well, I am not going to discuss how you should maintain your pool filter or how you keep your kids away from polluting the water.
If you are looking for a pool filter which requires little to no work at all, you will find this segment useful.
Say, you are fond of sand pool filters. I mean, why not? Sand pool filters are placed at the top in term of longevity, cleaning sand pool filters is easy. Moreover, sand filters can be mounted on top or side of something. But you are not quite happy with the filtration performance of it. You can use filterglasses instead of sand.
Filterglasses are very finely cut tiny glasses. This enables your sand pool filter to filter about 5 microns, almost the same as DE pool filters. Filterglasses are a bit expensive but it is required only 20% of the amount of sand needed. So, at the end of the day, it is not so expensive.

Filter Glass – 40 Lbs. Bag from Harsco metals & minerals

Harsco metals Filter Glass 40 lbs
This is the filter glass media I was talking about. If you unpack the media, it’ll look like this.
filter glass
I know it doesn’t look like what you thought. It wouldn’t clean the water as it does now, if it matches your thought, ha ha.

Another hack is for lazy persons.

Cleaning and maintaining pool filters time to time is arduous work. If you want to purchase the reduction of work, you can do that.
Cartridge pool filters are your bet here. Though, cleaning cartridges are serious work; you can simply change the old dirty cartridge with a newly bought one. Voila! Your pool filter has now the newest condition. If you do not want to change the cartridges often. Buy a bigger cartridge filter than what your pool requires. Bigger cartridges can hold a bigger amount of dirt.
So? Get your recommendation? Let me get you back to some best cartridge pool filters then, just click here.


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