Above-ground pools are awesomely convenient and less of an ownership headache than in-ground pools can be. That being said, you still want to be sure you are choosing from the best above-ground pool filters to keep the water clean, clear, and swimmable.
The filter is very important for above-ground pools because these pools tend to collect a good amount of natural debris. Also, above-ground pools generally have less filtering occurring than in-ground pools with their multiple vents and filter spots, which is why a strong, proven filter is paramount to your summer fun.
We’ve analyzed features such as flow rate, sturdiness, power, etc. to create a comprehensive list of above-ground pool filters. By comparing and reviewing the products with one another, we’ve crafted a detailed review list in the hope that it helps you find the best filter system for above-ground pools.
10 Best Above Ground Pool Filters:
1. Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools, 16-inch, 110-120V with GFCIView at Amazon
Kicking off the reviews is the best sand filter for above-ground pools, the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools. In addition to being the best filter, it’s also a pump, making it the best above-ground pool pump and filter combo.
Customers are overwhelmingly satisfied with this filter. Some even question themselves as to why they had waited so long to get the sand filter.
- Min. pool size: 5,500
- Sand only needs replacing every 5 years
- Built-in GFCI
- Max. pool size: 19,600 gallons
The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is a fantastic filter option for those above-ground pool owners looking for the best of the best to keep their water pristine. It fits a solid range of above-ground pool capacities too. The unit is easy to set up and is very hands-off with its filter process.View at Amazon
2. Harris H1572730 ProForce 1.5 HP Above Ground Pool Pump 115VView at Amazon
The next best pool filter for above-ground pools is the Harris ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump (H1572730). Sporting a stainless steel motor, this unit is meant to last.
Consumers report satisfaction with this pump from Harris. Some have enjoyed it as a replacement pump citing its durability.
- The stainless steel motor shaft is highly durable
- Meets CSA, ETL requirements
- Minimal noise, quiet operation
The Harris ProForce Above Ground Pool Pump is ideal for those in need of a pump replacement. While it also works great as a first pump, its ease of installation and adaptability makes it a great replacement fit.View at Amazon
3. Hayward W3SP1580X15 Power Flo Pool Pump, 1.5 HPView at Amazon
Next in the list of reviews is an above-ground pool pump very similar to the Harris unit mentioned at number two. It also has a reinforced body for increased durability, as well as many equivalent features to the Harris model.
Generally, consumers find this pump to be effective and useful but have concerns about its lifespan. While it works well when it does, many users report the pump failing around the one and a half to the two-year mark.
- Reinforced body for durability
- Minimal noise, quiet operation
Hayward is a fairly reputable brand and this pump is another great option for your above-ground pool. Be wary of consumer reports though and be prepared for a short lifespan; it’s an efficient lifespan, but it may be shorter than you desire.View at Amazon
4. Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground PoolsView at Amazon
Next up is the best cartridge filter for above-ground pools, the Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools (28633EG). Produced by the trusty Intex, this filter is more than capable of getting the job done. Just like all Intex products, it’s easy to use and handle for almost any pool user/owner.
Past users and consumers claim that this filter has remarkable power and is highly efficient at its job. While it is best suited for 18′ Intex brand pools, consumers note success using it with other pool models.
- Min. pool size: 4,000
- Easy to use
- Max. pool size: 15,200 gallons
- Cartridge needs replacing every 2 weeks
- Some assembly required
The Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools is a perfect filter option for those looking for something trustworthy in Intex but wishing to avoid the sand filter systems. After some quick assembly, the pump is ready to work in a hands-off way for you!View at Amazon
5. Hayward CC15093S XStream 1.5 HP Above-Ground Pool Filter Pump SystemView at Amazon
Coming in at the fifth spot is possibly the best filter pump for above-ground pools, the Hayward XStream Above Ground Pool Filter Pump System (CC15093S). Structurally, this filter and pump are unique to the list so far. Intended to last, this unit is built with strong engineering and has some useful features.
Consumers speak highly of this impressive filter pump unit from Hayward. They love how clean it gets their water in a short amount of time. One common complaint is that the hoses that come with the pump are not the greatest fit. However, some have used other hoses with no issue at all.
- Highly durable body
- Easy to use
- Max. pool size: 57,000 gallons
- Unit is heavy
The Hayward XStream Above Ground Pool Filter Pump System is perfect for the above-ground pool owner who expects heavy swimming traffic in their pool. The power of this pump makes keeping the water clean look easy and it won’t let you down when there are loads of pool activity.View at Amazon
6. Hayward SP15932S PowerFlo Matrix 1.5 HP Dual-Speed Above-Ground Swimming Pool PumpView at Amazon
At the six spots is yet another Hayward product, the Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Dual-Speed Above-Ground Swimming Pool Pump (SP15932S). This pump is similar to the Hayward product mentioned at the number three spot in construction and form.
Customers are ecstatic about this pool pump. They claim that it’s an easy install and some note a bit of surprise at its capabilities. Having two speeds is said to save some people money as well.
- Two discharge orientation options
- Minimal noise
As with most Hayward products, this pump gets the job done. The PowerFlo Matrix Dual-Speed Above-Ground Swimming Pool Pump is great for those looking for a high-quality, near-industrial power pump. Its ease of installation and efficiency make it a worthy pump for most above-ground pools.View at Amazon
7. Blue Wave NE6171B Maxi Replacement Pump for Above Ground PoolsView at Amazon
The best above-ground pool filters review continues on with the Blue Wave Maxi Replacement Pump for Above Ground Pools (NE6171B). This unit is a self-proclaimed equivalent to many of the Hayward models, as well as St-Rite and Pentair models (neither of which are covered here).
While it may not sport steel motor construction like some comparable models, it has a couple of similar features to previously mentioned models.
Generally speaking, consumers appreciate the effectiveness and strength of this pump model by Blue Wave. Some note that the pump needs adapters to fit some models of filters. Also, although it’s powerful and efficient, some consumers doubt the 1.5 horsepower rating.
- Two discharge orientation options (horizontal and vertical)
- Approximate flow rate: 4,500 gph
- Adapters necessary to fit with some filter systems
The Blue Wave Maxi Replacement Pump for Above Ground Pools is perfect for those in need of pump replacement. It also works well as a separate pool vacuum if a replacement isn’t needed. According to its approximate flow rate, it should be able to handle decently large pools as well.View at Amazon
8. XtremepowerUS 13″ Sand Filter with 3/4HP Pool Pump 4 Way Valve 3450 RPM Above Ground Pool Set with StandView at Amazon
The filter here in the eighth spot is only the second sand filter to grace the list so far, in addition to the Intex model reviewed at the one spot. The XtremepowerUS 13″ Sand Filter with 3/4HP Pool Pump is an efficient sand filter system for above-ground pools on the smaller end of the spectrum.
The first thing consumers note about this sand filter is its power and quiet operation noise level. Consumers love how strong this unit is for its size. Others note it as a phenomenal stock replacement filter pump.
- Sand rarely needs replacing
- Quiet operation
- Max. pool size: 9,600 gallons
While the XtremepowerUS 13″ Sand Filter with a 3/4HP Pool Pump is only suited for the smaller pools, it doesn’t disappoint in its ability to keep your pool water clean and clear. It’s quiet and ideal for those with smaller above-ground pools in smaller, more compact spaces.View at Amazon
9. Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground PoolsView at Amazon
It wouldn’t be a complete pool-related review without the multitude of appearances from Intex products. At the nine spots, we have the Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools. This filter pump system is the most compact and parts-less system reviewed in the entirety of this list. Its single tower-like shape makes installation and use a breeze.
Many users note buying this filter pump system as a replacement for their older or stock models. Consumers love it and praise its efficiency and affordable price.
- Built-in GFCI
- Easy to use
- Max. pool size: 6,000 gallons
- Requires partial assembly
- Cartridge needs replacing every 2 weeks
- Not recommended to use more than 8 hours daily
The Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools is the filter system for you if you have a smaller above-ground pool. It’s also very easy to set up and install so it’s perfect for those looking for an easy filter pump system solution.View at Amazon
10. Happybuy Swimming Pool Pump 2.5HP 1850W Above Ground Swimming Pool PumpView at Amazon
The final unit in review among the best above-ground pool filters is the Happybuy Swimming Pool Pump (2.5HP). This unit is similar in form and function to the Hayward pump units previously mentioned in the reviews. With many similar features to the Hayward units, this model stands out less than the competition because of the brand. That doesn’t mean it’s no good.
Past consumers claim that this pump has created a no worry atmosphere around their pools. Others note that it fits perfectly as a replacement pump on most filter system models. Additionally, however, others note that the specs may not be what they’re claimed to be.
- Gives off sound 65 less than 65 db
- Max. pool size: 26,215 gallons (approximate)
- Adapters needed for certain fits
The Happybuy Swimming Pool Pump is another ideal replacement pump for a filter system. While the brand is relatively unknown, consumers have had some success using this pump. Again, it’s a great fit for most filter systems but you may need adapters to fit it to your specific system.View at Amazon
Tips on Choosing Above Ground Pool Filter
The best thing you can do before embarking on your filter buying journey is to research the specs and features of pool filters and pumps in order to learn about the aspects of them that you’re unfamiliar with. Filters and pumps often throw around numbers like oxygen in their descriptions, and knowing what they all mean can alleviate a lot of the stress and confusion that may come with the buying process.
Seek out the professionals
Typically, we would advise you to ask just about anyone you can think of for product information and answers to questions. But unless the neighbor or friend you intend to reach out to has extensive pool filter knowledge, it’s best to consult a pro about questions and concerns.
A professional can give you a breakdown of specs and take your pool into consideration when doing so to help you narrow down your options.
While some friends and peers can be helpful sources of information, it would be damning to end up with a filter pump that fails or malfunctions because of some specificity neither you nor your friend/peer is aware of.
Shopping for products like pool filters and pumps can be stressful. After all, it’s not as if you’re buying a t-shirt simply because you “like” it. You have to consider details, how those details relate to your pool, etc.
By remaining patient and not trying to push this task out the door as quickly as possible, you can both prevent a little bit of internal stress and be more consciously prepared to make a proper buying decision.
Factors To Consider When Buying the Best Above Ground Pool Filter
Pump, filter, or both?
The first thing to consider during your filter shopping experience is what exactly you are in need of. Sometimes you need to replace a filter, sometimes you need to replace a pump, and sometimes you need to overhaul the entire system. Knowing which part of the system you need to replace is obviously paramount to making a decision.
In some cases though, even if you only need a pump, a full system overhaul may be better in the long run. If you’re aware of what exactly needs replacing, the next thing to be mindful of would be the threading sizes as some pump or filter replacements will require you to obtain adapters to fit your current system.
Pool size is the next biggest consideration to be made when buying an above-ground pool filter. Your pool size will ultimately limit the options you have to choose from, making your job boatloads easier.
While your pool size alone won’t determine the right pump for you, it will get you to a point where there are only so many options that will be capable of handling your needs. Smaller pools need smaller filter systems and larger pools need larger filter systems. It’s straightforward but helpful nonetheless.
Type of filter
This next consideration, the type of filter, is partially up to your subjective preference. As we’ve seen from the review list, there are both sand filters and normal filters. Sand filters are ideal natural filtration systems, using sand to clean and clear debris from the water.
This creates more of a saltwater atmosphere in your pool as well. The other type of filter, the standard, is simply a pump and filter that utilizes screens and baskets for cleaning.
Ease of use/installation
The final thing to consider when in the market for an above-ground pool filter system is how easy a particular model is to install and use. While most of the models reviewed are generally easy to install, there’s still some handy work and partial assembly involved.
Certain models are more involved than others. Additionally, some of the models mentioned in these reviews come with automatic timers, making filtering and water cleaning practically hands-off for you.
This consideration also boils down to preference at its core, and how involved you’d like to be in the filtering and installation process of your filter pump system.
All that You need for Above Ground Pool
Prepare your above-ground pool for the summer season completely. But you don’t need hard searches, for you we reviewed all needed for your summer season, pool ladders, underwater pool lights, pool covers, pool heaters, and the best above-ground swimming pools.
In conclusion, the best above-ground pool filter system is the one that cleans your pool in the manner you’d like. Of course, the filter has to meet certain requirements to properly function on your pool, but which filter that is is largely up to you.
By creating this list and reviewing the top-notch products on the market, we hope to have lessened the workload of finding the right filter or pump system for your pool.
These above-ground pool filter reviews are intended to make that process an easy one for you so that you can get back to enjoying the pool instead of maintaining it.
With the swimming season here and the hot summer months all but around the corner, it’s just about that time to get a new filter, pump, or an entire system if you haven’t already. Using these reviews as a guide, be prepared for the summer heat by buying a new filter system today!