The 10 Best Sand Filters

Updated May 05, 2017 by Ben G

10 Best Sand Filters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Sand filters are considered to be a far more efficient and effective method of keeping fine particles out of where you swim than cartridge models, whether your pool is above or below ground. They also require less maintenance, so if you prefer to spend your time enjoying rather than servicing your lagoon, one of the units from our selection may be right for you. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best sand filter on Amazon.

10. XtremepowerUS X5032

The XtremepowerUS X5032 is an incredible value at roughly $200, and is capable of circulating 4,500 GPH. It has powerful suction and can move water an impressive length of over 30 feet, so you don't have to put it right next to the pool.
  • universal base accepts most pumps
  • has great quality components
  • lacks on and off switch on the motor
Brand XtremepowerUS
Model X5032
Weight 55.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Sand Master 71225

Designed for smaller above-ground swimming pools, the Sand Master 71225 pumps up to 20 gallons per minute. The 1-year warranty will guarantee that the corrosion-proof tank isn't all talk. It also has the capacity to hold up to 42 pounds of grit.
  • carries nearly 10 thousand gallons
  • includes all needed fittings
  • needs to be backwashed often
Brand Sand master
Model pending
Weight 22.5 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Hayward Pro-Series S310T2

The Hayward Pro-Series S310T2 is a system built for any in-ground swimming pool. The base is molded of thermoplastic for all-weather use. It is designed to provide for maximum flow and rates highly in terms of its energy efficiency.
  • made for long-lasting performance
  • it cleans itself
  • kicks some sand back out
Brand Hayward
Model S310T2
Weight 86.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Bestway 58270

The Bestway 58270 features an innovative strainer for draining out leaves and other debris before they hit it, which ensures a long lifespan and infrequent clogging. It's also capable of pumping up to 1,500 gallons per hour.
  • 360-degree rotation top flange clamp
  • consistently keeps water clean
  • priming the pump is difficult
Brand Bestway
Model 58270
Weight 33.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Pentair SD-80 Sand Dollar

The Pentair SD-80 Sand Dollar has a combination drain, which makes servicing and winterizing this option faster and easier than similar units. The six-position valve is top-mounted, making it readily accessible when it is needed.
  • highly efficient design
  • has a powerful flow
  • shoddily packaged
Brand Pentair
Model 145333
Weight 56 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Rx Clear Radiant 24"

The Rx Clear Radiant 24" is an efficient, easy to use, and simple to install system that any homeowner would be proud to own. In addition to all that, it holds up to 300 pounds of sand, giving it powerful filtration capabilities.
  • one-piece blow-molded core
  • dependable for years of use
  • hose sold separately
Brand Rx Clear
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Intex 28651EG

With its built-in 24-hour timer and a pump that requires very little maintenance, the Intex 28651EG is an especially hands-off option that is sure to keep everything crystal clear during those hot summer months. It's available in 1,200, 2,100, and 3,000 GPH models.
  • pressure gauge included
  • 5 years between sand replacement
  • strainer basket makes cleaning easy
Brand Intex
Model 28651EG
Weight 54.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Hayward S210T93S

The Hayward S210T93S is composed of a tough, polymeric material that makes it totally weatherproof, so you don't have to worry about it cracking under exposure to the sun. It also provides even distribution around the pool.
  • one-and-a-half-hp pump included
  • helps lower energy costs
  • painless to assemble and install
Brand Hayward
Model S210T93S
Weight 77.4 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Best Choice SKY1639

If you want to keep your pool sparkling without breaking the bank, the Best Choice SKY1639 is a good budget model that performs as well as units twice its price. It ensures that water is exposed to the maximum surface area for optimal cleaning.
  • corrosion-resistant tank
  • 6-position multiport valve
  • pvc mounting tray included
Brand Best Choice Products
Model SKY1639
Weight 56.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Pentair Triton II

The Pentair Triton II is crafted to provide the clearest pool possible. Its side-mounted design makes it very easy to access, and it has an effective filtration area of 3.14 sq. ft., so it can process a significant amount of water.
  • flow rate of 63 gallons per minute
  • has a good pressure output
  • filters out the tiniest debris
Brand Pentair
Model 140212
Weight 38.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Swimming Pool Maintenance

A swimming pool is an ideal way for you to maintain physical fitness, keep cool in the summer, and to provide hours of fun for your family and friends. However a private pool also requires a large investment of cash and plenty of time spent on maintenance; if a pool is not properly cleaned and maintained it becomes not only unpleasant and uninviting, but can in fact be unsanitary and unsafe.

Fortunately, with the right setup, a pool requires only minimal care. Spending the time and money to establish a proper filtration system can greatly reduce the effort you'll need to expend in routine pool maintenance. The right filter can even save you money in the long run, reducing the need for chemicals, cleaners, and the associated tools and labor.

The type and balance of chemicals you use to maintain water sanitation should be dictated by the number of gallons of water in the pool; follow the guidelines associated with your sanitation program carefully, as many of the chemicals used in pool cleaning and maintenance are highly caustic. Also ensure that your chosen water treatment regimen works in tandem with the pool's filter.

Before selecting the type of filter you will install for your pool, first consider the size and type of pool. Most above ground pools are smaller than in-ground pools in terms of both surface area and depth, which of course means their actual volume of water is less; in-ground pools often have a deceptively large amount of water in them because of their varied depths.

You must also consider the location of your pool relative to the local flora. If your property is surrounded by trees that drop copious amounts of leaves, flowers, pollen, or other types of debris, your pool's filter is going to have to work harder and may require more frequent maintenance and cleaning than a system set up in a more open lot. If your pool will be covered when not in use, a smaller capacity filter may be suitable. For the pool that is seldom or never covered, the filter and the skimming net will be the only lines of defense against dirty water. Consider all these factors before investing in a pool filter, and consider a sand filter when it comes time to decide. Sand filters can cost anywhere from one or two hundred dollars to many hundreds, but they are well worth their cost, being reliable and relatively easy to maintain.

Choosing The Right Sand Filter

Not surprisingly, the volume of water in your pool is the single largest factor informing your the choice of the right sand filter. Many smaller, lower cost sand filters are suitable for pools with 10,000 gallons of water or less, while larger units may be more than adequate for filtering pools with 30,000 gallons or more. (Note that the average sized in-ground residential pool is about twenty feet long by forty feet wide and will hold approximately 25,000 to 30,000 gallons of water.)

Once you know how much water your pool holds, you can narrow down your selection of sand filters. Next decide how large a filter suits your property; there are many high-capacity sand filters that are relatively compact units, making them a good choice when space is at a premium. There are also filters that offer powerful suction and can move water long distances, allowing the filter to be placed dozens of feet away from a pool, even tucked into a shed or garage for unobtrusive placement.

The frequency of use and the debris likely to fall into a pool also informs which filter is the best choice for you. For heavily used pools, a high gallon-per-hour (sometimes calculated by gallon-per-minute as well) flow rate is important. Also consider the actual volume of sand a filter can hold, as more sand means more filtration. Some sand filters hold only a few dozen pounds of sand, while others hold up to five hundred pounds.

Last, consider features that might not be critical for proper pool filtration, but that are nonetheless perks. Some sand filters have timers that can be used to establish a pool cleaning schedule that can reduce power consumption, while others have sand drains that makes replacing their sand much easier, for example.

Basic Sand Filter Maintenance

Many sand filters require almost no maintenance from year to year to year. Smaller units, such as those holding less than one hundred pounds of sand, should have their sand replaced at least annually, though.

After making sure the chemical treatment regimen for your pool is in balance, one of the simplest ways to keep your pool clean is to keep your filter clean and working well. This can be easily accomplished by frequently backwashing the filter. The process is simple: just shut off the unit's motor, change its setting from filter to backwash (it may also read clean or another similar word or phrasing), extend a backwash or drain hose if such is present, and then turn the unit back on. Make sure all valves are open during this process, which should require no more than two or three minutes for an effective clean out.

If you see sand in the pool (not brought in by feet or the breeze), you are either using a sand that's too fine for your system, or else your unit's filter sand bed needs to be replaced. And note that sand filter tanks rarely leak, though the hoses and attachment points might have leaking issues. Leaking water likely does not necessitate a replacement, but rather some simple maintenance.

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Last updated on May 05, 2017 by Ben G

Ben is a writer from California. He mostly dives into film, videogames, and science fiction literature. Also Hello Kitty. He likes Hello Kitty a whole lot.

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