Best Pool Filter Sand 2021 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

By Harry ! Last Updated: January 01, 2021

Although there are different types of pool filters, the most commonly used is the sand filters. However, finding the best pool sand filter can be rather due to the dozens of options available in the market. 

This article on best pool filter sand should help you narrow down your search to the top 6 It also includes an extensive buyer’s guide which will come in handy to ensure that you purchase a sand filter that suits your needs.

The sand filters that we have reviewed are easy to maintain, have adequate flow rates, and are quite durable. We ensured that we focused on the key features when coming up with our top 6 list. Be sure to read the entire buyer’s guide and review to get all the information you need.

Quick Picks:

Budget Pick

Best Pick

Premium Quality

Intex Sand Filter with Pump

Hayward W3S220T ProSeries

XtremepowerUS  Sand Filter System

Why Purchase a Pool Sand Filter

Most people don’t understand why they should go for a pool sand filter. If you are one of these people, then you have come to the right place. Below is a quick rundown of some of the reasons why you should consider buying a pool sand filter.

1. User-Friendly

You have to agree that maintaining your pool can be quite tedious. Sand filters greatly reduce your burden since they are easy to maintain once installed.

2. Cost-Effective

Sand filters are considered to be relatively cheaper than the other alternatives. Also, finding sand is easy and replacement needs to be done after several years.

3. Effective Filtering

Sand filters are quite effective because all containment's get trapped within the sand grains. A sand filter will trap finer particles that could sneak past a best cartridge filter.

Selecting the Best Pool Filter Sands in January, 2021





1. Hayward W3S220T ProSeries Sand Filter

(Editor’s Choice)

22/27 Inch

2. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter

(Editor’s Choice)


3. Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter

16/24 Inch

4. XtremepowerUS Sand Filter System

24 Inch

5. Blue Wave Sand Filter System


Recommended 6 Best Pool Sand Filter – In Depth Reviewed

1. Hayward Pool Sand Filter Review

An in-ground sand pool filter that sets the standard when it comes to efficiency and durability is the Hayward ProSeries W3S220T Sand Filter, Top-Mount 22-inch. It utilizes a precision-engineered self-cleaning umbrella-fold lateral system to increase efficiency.

It also includes an integral top diffuser which is critical in ensuring even water distribution above the sand media base.

The corrosion-proof tank is unitized and manufactured from a colorfast, rugged polymeric material to ensure it is durable. It has a compact design that makes it easy to transfer and install.

This pool sand filter is simple to install and you can start using it immediately after purchase. You get to easily dial between the filter functions due to the included 6-position Vari-Flo control valve by Hayward.

One downside that most customers are finding with this device is leaking after prolonged use. However, these leaks seem to start after about four to five years of prolonged use.

The 360 degree slotted laterals ensure that you get balanced backwashing and flow. Now, the Hayward ProSeries W3S220T Sand Filter, Top-Mount 22-inch is great for crystal clear water that requires minimal care.


  • Durable due to the rugged corrosion-proof polymeric material used in its construction
  • All-weather performance makes it dependable
  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Easy to maintain due to the self-cleaning laterals
  • Balanced back-washing and flow


  • Leaks after prolonged use
  • Possibility of defects

2. Intex Krystal Clear Filter Sand Pump Review

When maintaining your pool convenience is an important factor and the Intex Krystal Clear Filter Sand Pump 110-120V for Above Ground Pools with GFCI, 10-inch provides just that. This sand pool filter incorporates a 6-function control valve that performs the following functions: backwash and rinses, filter, drain, recirculate, and close the system.

With a 1,050 GPH system flow rate and 1200 GPH pump flow rate, this pool sand filter is quite versatile. To increase filtration and circulation, the filter pump uses hydro aeration technology. Water clarity is improved while the negative ions are increased at the water surface.

The Intex Krystal Clear Filter Sand Pump 110-120V for Above Ground Pools with GFCI, 10-inch is rather noisy and this can be irritating. You can, however, learn to adapt to the noise over time.

The pump has a 120lbs capacity that can works effectively in above-ground pools from at least 5,500 to 19,600 gallons. The basket strainer is quality built with durable material to ensure that it is long-lasting.


  • Works quickly
  • Convenient
  • Versatile
  • Durable


  • Noisy
  • A bit heavy

3. Rx Clear Pool Sand Filter For Above Ground Swimming Pools

Built for above ground swimming pools that have a capacity of 16,000 gallons, the Rx Clear Radiant Sand Filter 16 Inch Tank is a good choice. It features a capacity of 110-pound sand capacity when using the traditional sand and 55-pound capacity using zero-clear media.

It features a 6-way top mount valve which ensures you have an easy to use and efficient system. Keeping an above group pool crystal clean is made easier with this sand filter. Now, the filter tank has a 3-year warranty with durable construction.

The installation instructions are poorly done and most users find them hard to understand. the user manual is not step-by-step and understanding the installation can be rather difficult. This can be quite inconvenient if it is your first time installing a sand filter in your swimming pool.

It comes with a user manual and labeled ports that make it easy to install. You can even integrate 3 boxes of RX luster filter media for optimal performance. You get a filter base and 15-inch threaded connection when you purchase this sand filter.


  • Easy to clean
  • Made from durable material
  • Ease of use
  • 6-way top mount valve increases convenience


  • Might leak
  • Poor installation instructions

4. XtremepowerUS Above Inground Sand Filter Review.

The XtremepowerUS 24-inch Above Inground Pool Sand Filter is perfectly engineered to ensure that the owner gets an optimum flow rate which promotes the quality of the water. 

This sand filter exposes water to the entire sand height which ensures optimum filtration, efficient back-washing, and consistent performance.

Quick backwashing and ease of use are achieved due to the 7-way multi-port. This includes backwash, filter, re-circulate, winter, closed, rinse and waste. When you purchase this filter, you get a filter base, threaded connection, and user’s manual.

Inlet and outlet connections require O rings which are not provided with this sand filter. Most consumers found this quite inconvenient since they noticed this fact during installation. It is important that you separately acquire O rings for installation connection.

The XtremepowerUS 24-inch Above Inground Pool Sand Filter is easy to assemble and install which makes it convenient. It is also a good value for your money when you consider its functionality.


  • Convenient
  • Easy to assemble and install
  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Efficient


  • No O-rings included
  • Small lid opening

5. Blue Wave Sand Filter System above-ground pump

Although the Blue Wave Sand Filter System 22-inch above-ground pump with 1-1/2 HP leans towards the high-end expensive side, it is quite effective and practical. This sand filter needs 220lbs of sand for optimum functionality and is easy to assemble and install.

Its performance is at 24,000 gallons in 8 hours due to its powerful 1 ½ HP motor. The entire filter is perfectly engineered to ensure users get clean water regularly due to the optimum flow rates. Also included is an extra-large lint and pot for easy cleaning.

This sand filter, however, requires a lot of maintenance to ensure it doesn’t break down. It is, therefore, not ideal for clients who don’t have enough time to carry out routine maintenance. Remember that it is quite expensive and lack of proper maintenance might just lead to a huge loss.

This pump greatly lowers system costs due to its high efficiency and years of quiet operation. With proper maintenance, this filter pump will work for years without producing any noise. This makes it convenient for public swimming pools.


  • Easy to assemble and install
  • Quiet operation
  • Powerful system
  • Works for longer hours


  • Sand not provided
  • Expensive

6. Hayward W3S166T 16-inch ProSeries Sand Filter.

The Hayward W3S166T 16-inch ProSeries Sand Filter is considered ideal for all-weather performance due to its durable corrosion-proof construction material. It offers optimum performance regardless of the conditions that it is exposed to.

The self-cleaning umbrella-fold lateral system ensures that you get evenly distributed water and efficient flow. This sand filter, therefore, provides long-lasting performance and balanced back-washing.

With this sand filter, there are higher chances of getting a defective model which is prone to leaks. You need to ensure that you purchase it from an authorized dealer to ensure you get an extended warranty in case you get a defective filter.

The pressure drop is very low due to the 7-position Vari-Flo filter valve which ensures maximum flow. Servicing is equally easy thanks to the large pressure water/sand drain that is included.


  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Easy to install and assemble
  • 7-position Vari-Flo filter valve
  • All-weather performance


  • Possibility of defects
  • Prone to leaking
Pool Filter Sand Reviews

The Best Pool Filter Sand Complete Buyers Guide

The quality of the sand pool filter that you choose will affect the quality of your swimming pool’s water. However, as stated earlier picking the best sand filter to suit your needs can be rather tedious. There are a lot of options when it comes to sand filters and the different features, sizes, specifications, and prices may confuse you.

However, below is an in-depth buyer’s guide to help you understand the things you have to consider before purchasing a sand pool filter. Included in this buyer’s guide is also commonly asked questions and answers on pool sand filters.

Things to Consider When Buying a Sand Pool Filter

1. Price

When buying the best sand pool filter, you need to ensure that you consider the price keenly. Whether you want to buy a pool sand filter for commercial or personal use, you need to ensure that you don’t go into debt once you complete the purchase. The price varies depending on the features and manufacturer of the sand filter.

Although sand filters are considered relatively cheap, some high-end models can be pretty expensive. Ensure that you carefully look at the price and that it falls within your budget. Before you start looking for a sand filter, ensure that you make a budget and determine how much you are willing to spend on purchase and installation. It might be good to look at the discounts being offered when purchasing sand pool filters.

2. The Position of Your Pool

Understand that there are both above-ground and in-ground pool sand filters. These two types of sand filters are installed differently. Should you have an above-ground pool, then you need to purchase an above-ground sand filter and vice versa.

Now, when you need to buy an above-ground pool, you must find a corrosion-free tank that is made from durable material. Above-ground filters are subjected to extreme weather conditions which means that they need to have a durable construction.

In-ground sand filters need to have powerful motors since they do a lot of work compared to the above-ground sand filters. When shopping for an in-ground sand filter, ensure you look at the HP and pressure levels.

3. Pool Compatibility

To get the most suitable sand filter for your pool, you must consider the compatibility. You simply need to start by determining your pool’s requirements. Below is how to determine the pump size that you will need for your pool.

Pool pump size calculator

1. Calculate your pool’s cubic size

2. Calculate the amount of gallon your pool needs per hour

3. Determine how long your filter needs to be running.


Let’s say your swimming pool has dimensions of 30 feet by 30

feet and a depth of 3feet. This means that your total cubic volume is calculated as follows.

30feet x 30 feet x 3 feet x 7.5 (since 1cubic foot = 7.5 gallons) = 20250 gallons

Thereby the gallons you will need per hour are calculated as follows.

20250 divided by 24 hours = 844 gallons/hour

When purchasing your sand filter, you will have to find a product that will supply you with more than 844 gallons per hour.

When it comes to pool compatibility, the sand filter you purchase has to have a higher pump capacity that what you need. Remember that a pump's performance may decline with time and you need to account for that spread.

4. Filtration Capacity

For a sand filter to clean up the swimming pool quickly, it needs to have a high filtration capacity. Understand that components such as the filter length and pump will influence your sand filter’s filtration capacity.

Filtration capacity is usually measured in gallons per hour or gallons per minute. A sand filter with a higher GPH will filter a swimming pool faster than one with a lesser GPH. For commercial and large swimming pools, you should consider getting the high-profile sand filters with high GPH ratings.

However, should you have a small pool, then you should consider getting a sand filter with lower GPH. You don’t need a high filtration capacity and you, therefore, don’t need to spend a lot of money on the high-end models.

5. Safety And Maintenance

Before deciding on which sand filter to buy for your swimming pool, ensure you check out maintenance and safety features. One good place to start is looking at whether the sand filter you have in mind has UL and CSA safety certifications.

It is equally important that you get a pool sand filter that has as few components and parts as possible. A compact design sand filter is easy to clean and maintain. You must also consider how understandable the product’s user manual is before making the purchase. Some models have user manuals that are not customer-friendly and you will find it difficult to understand.

Buying a Sand Pool Filter

Pool Filter Sand:  Frequently asked questions and answers

How Much Sand do I Need for My Pool Filter?

The amount of sand that you need for your filter will depend on the model. However, this is usually indicated by the product manufacturer. You must go through the user manual carefully to understand the exact amount of sand that you need.

Some sand filters come already filled with sufficient sand to ease the installation process. If the user manual is hard to understand, ask an expert or look at online customer reviews to figure out the amount of sand that you need.

Is Silica Sand Pool Filter Sand?

Yes, silica sand is the most common filter sand type that is used by most manufacturers. However there are other types of sand used including Zerosand and Filterglass. Understand that most sand filters will require different amounts of Zerosand, Filterglass, and Silica sand to function effectively.

This means that if your sand pump uses 110-pound silica sand, then it will probably use far less amount of Zerosand. You must figure out the exact amount that your sand filter needs to ensure optimum performance.

What is Sand Pool Filter Backwash?

In simple terms, backwash is your pool filter’s maintenance procedure. This is a process which involves a reversal of water flow so that all the contaminants stuck on your filter gets flushed out. The backwash is a simple procedure that saves you the stress and time of manual cleaning.

When getting a sand filter, backwash is important since manual cleaning is not easy. With pool filter backwash, your sand filter will be long-lasting and you get the most out of your purchase.

When do I Replace The Pool Filter Sand?

Ideally, you need to change your filter sand after every 5 years. Although this is the recommended period, you should ensure that you change your sand whenever you notice filtration inefficiency and pressure buildups.

Most models have detailed user manuals that should help you whenever you change sand in your filter. If the process is unclear to you, then seek help from an expert or a local store.

Will Sand Filters Remove Algae?

Yes, sand pool filters have small particles that can clean particles with diameters as small as 20 microns. Algae typically have a cell diameter of about 30 microns. This means that your pool sand filter will effectively clean Algae from your pool.

However sometimes spores of algae find their way to your pool. This usually happens when your swimming pool has a lot of algae. Experts, therefore, recommend that you use filters that have chemicals should you have an Algae problem.

Why do People Prefer Using a Sand Filter?

Generally, most people prefer sand pool filters because they are cheaper than the other types of pool filters. A lot of people are on a budget and don’t have the money to spend on high-end types of pool filters.

Sand filters are just as effective as the other types of filters which means that you save a lot of money and maintain functionality. However, there are equally expensive high-end sand filters that might be significantly more expensive than the other types of filters.


My pick of the best pool sand filters has to be the Intex Krystal Clear Filter Sand Pump 110-120V for Above Ground Pools with GFCI, 10-inch. This pump has a high GPH rating with a 6-function control valve and hydro aeration technology which ensures you get clean water.

It is equally inexpensive and made from durable material which makes it long-lasting. It is a good buy that ensures you get proper water filtration and prolonged use.

When it comes to buying sand pool filters there are a lot of things to consider as you have realized from the buyer’s guide. Ensure that you find a model that suits your needs and is compatible with your pool.

Look at customer reviews to get a better understanding of the sand filter that you want to purchase. You should also ensure that you look at different sellers and compare the prices. there are a dozen of sellers who offer discounts and promotions that you could always take advantage of.

1 Comment

  1. Medformis

    Good Morning, I have a question? I have an intex above ground pool. 18 x 52 it came with a sand filter. but the pump is not strong enough for the pool and it does not push the vacuum. After I run it I still have debris in my pool. the size of my pump is 0.24 hp. I want to upgrade to a bigger pump but i want to be sure it will work with my pool. What do you recommend. Please Advise. Thanks

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