What Is The Best Sand Filter for Above Ground Pool? – An Unbiased Review

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Best Sand Filter for Above Ground Pool

Enter your It's important to have a good filter system for above ground. The filter you choose will determine how much effort you'll undergo when cleaning it. It does make a difference in the end. A good filter will keep you from doing extra effort when it comes to clean up and it should also be quite easy to clean itself to make it perfectly reusable every time.
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Before anything else, do you know what an above ground pool is? It's simply a pool that's above ground as opposed to traditional swimming pools that are put practically under the ground or as recessed tubs. An above ground pool is essentially like an oversized outdoor bathtub.

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What is a good filter for the above ground pool?

Quite a lot of above ground pools come with their filter system. Many of them are perfectly adequate for the job. However, it pays to double-check to ensure you use the same filter type in case there's a need to replace it or even upgrade it. Just remember that an excellent pool pump is one designed relative for the size of your pool. 

We've gathered some of the best above ground pool filters out there. Keep on reading to find out more about them.

Top 5 Best Sand Filters for Above Ground Pool and Reviews

Here are the best sand filters we've found for above ground pool usage. There are about 5 of them.

Intex Krystal Clear is one of the best of the best sand filters available for aboveground pools in our estimation due to the following reasons. It's a powerful pump with a 3,000 GPH pump flow rate and 2,450 GPH system flow rate. It also has six functions to allow for versatile maintenance, while its strainer basket allows for easy cleaning and prolongs the sand lifespan to boot. It's also the type of pump that improves water clarity and increases negative ions on the water surface due to its Hydro Aeration Technology.

Main Features:

It has six functions—close, drain, rinse, backwash, filter, and re-circulate. It also has a digital timer that automatically activates and deactivates the pump every day every 12 hours. Pre-filtering is also offered through its strainer basket. Its pump motor has 6.75 HP while it has a turnover ratio or system flow of 2,450 GPH, which translates to 9.2 m3 per hour. It even includes a Hydro Aeration Technology inlet fitting.

Pros and Cons:

It works great as long as you buy additional equipment like 1.25-inch hoses, Type B hose adapter, plunger valve, and a double plunger valve. If you only have one place where water is sucked, you'll need 2 single plunger valves and 2 Type B hose adapters. This will allow you to hook it up to your aboveground pool system. Long story short, it works great when you buy all the extra accessories and it's mostly incomplete without them. Many customers will attest to this.

This other Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is about half as powerful as its 2450 GPH version. However, it might apply to certain sizes of above ground pools. Check if your pool has a similar GPH rate as this unit for more details. It's specifically designed for pools with a 2,600 to 8,500-gallon capacity. It also offers Electro Catalytic Oxidation to eliminate germs and offer less harsh water compared to chlorinated pools.

Main Features:

The Intex 1500 GPH includes a 110-120 volt GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, a half horsepower motor, a chlorine output of 7 gallons an hour, a pump flow rate of 1,600 GPH, and a system flow rate of 1,500 GPH. It matches well with38 mm hoses a 2-year warranty when all is said and done. It's through its use of all-natural, inexpensive sand mixed with its filters that your aboveground pool will remain sparkling and clear.

Pros and Cons:

It works half the capacity of the 2450 GPH model but for most people with 2,600-gallon to 8,500-gallon above ground pools, that's more than enough anyway. It also requires replacement of the sand once every 5 years, making it relatively easy to maintain like its 2450 GPH counterpart. It has received reports of malfunctioning units within 3 months of use, but they're the minority of shipped units.

Here's a different brand of sand filter we see as comparable in quality with the Intex series of filters. The ProSeries Pool Filters by Hayward are of the multi-lateral under-drain assembly type of filter that self-cleans through 360° slotted laterals to balance outflow and backwashing. More importantly, when we tried it out, it fulfilled its marketing promises. It even does rapid servicing and winterizing care of its large pressure sand/water drain.

Main Features:

The main features of the Hayward W3S244T include its360° slotted laterals that are precision-engineered to be self-maintaining and effective at its job of automatic water filtration and backwashing. It also has an integral top diffuser for even water distribution over the sand media bed's top as well as a corrosion-proof, polymeric-built filter tank that can withstand outdoor weather.

Pros and Cons:

The main claim to fame of the Hayward W3S244T in our view is its toughness, durability, and a control valve with 6 positions to allow you to dial different filters or valve functions as needed by your above ground pool. Alas, some customers are disappointed by the product due to some units having their seam failing after only a year. This is an indicator of poor quality manufacturing or a Q.A. issue, but for the most part, the majority of the units shipped off work fine.

As for the Hayward W3S180T, it's pretty great. What we noticed about it is that unlike the Intex Krystal Clear 2450, setup was relatively easy and we didn't need to scour for extra parts, hoses, and adapters. Another plus in our book is the fact that the W3S180T is precision-engineered with a Vari-Flo valve that offers more pressure setting and options compared to its W3S244T ProSeries Pool Filter while also offering that large pressure sand/water drain for winterizing purposes.

Main Features:

This 18-inch, top-mount sand filter with an integral top diffuser for even water distribution is part of the Hayward ProSeries. Additionally, it's made of corrosion-proof materials and fewer complaints of seals lasting only a year after purchase. It has the same all-weather performance as the rest of the units here, but it outdoes them slightly with a 7-position Vari-Flo valve to provide maximum flow at even lower pressures. It also has a propriety umbrella-fold, self-cleaning lateral system.

Pros and Cons:

Some fittings ended leaking a little at the pump in and pool out connections even after several applications of Teflon tape. However, it only offers an occasional drip when push comes to shove. All-in-all, it leaves the pool we installed it is quite clean, plus the filter is superb at circulating the water. It's much better than a cartridge filter when it comes to cleaning out aboveground pools. Some units also end up splitting at their seams as in the case with W3S244T.

Last but not least is the Intex 26679EG Krystal Clear Sand Filter. This particular model of sand filter offers an in-between payload of 2,150 GPH versus the 2,450 GPH and 1,500 GPH models of the Krystal Clear Intex line. It doubles as a decent saltwater system as well. It compares favorably to the Hayward ProSeries and its fellow Krystal Clear branded models in terms of durability, all-weather proficiency, and easy maintenance for pools measuring 4,800 to 15,000 gallons.

Main Features:

This unit comes with timer functions to allow you to run the pump for a certain amount of hours without the assistance of the chlorine generator timer or you manually timing it and turning it off yourself. It has a tank diameter of 16 inches and has a 0.75 HP motor to boot, which is far more powerful than the 1500 GPH model. Its system flow rate is 2,150 GPH specifically while its pump flow rate is at 2,650 GPH.

Pros and Cons:

This sand and saltwater filter is definitely worth the investment when everything is said and done in light of its overall filtration quality that fits the high Krystal Clear standards. However, it does come with several caveats. For instance, some users complain about how its manual is quite complicated, thus installation and maintenance of the unit aren't as smooth or user-friendly as the Hayward W3S180T. Aside from lacking an instruction video, some units have issues with faulty timers.


Always keep in mind that the sand filter is your main method of keeping your water crystal clear and free of germs, the same way standard pools depend on chlorine and pH levels. You will still vacuum and balance the chemistry of your pool, but an above ground pool sand filter will go a long way in ensuring the overall cleanliness of those waters in more ways than one. The daily cleanup grind can become a once-a-week ritual instead, for instance. Regardless, this article will hopefully provide you brand names, products, and companies to watch out for if you wish to get the highest quality sand filtration possible for your above ground pool.

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