Pool owners don’t always give enough consideration to the type of filter they buy for their pool, and that’s quite a shame because there are some significant differences between different filter types. For example, the best cartridge pool filters are capable of filtering out 100% more debris out of the pool’s water than a sand filter can do. And when it comes to keeping your pool sparkling clean, that’s quite a significant improvement in water filtering.

Having a great cartridge pool filter not only means cleaner water, however. It also means that the pool owner doesn’t have to add as many chemicals to their pool, which saves them a significant amount of money over the lifetime of the pool. That’s why we’ve listed some of the best pool filters that use a cartridge system, so that pool owners can take their pool water filtering up to the next level.

Best Cartridge Pool Filters

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10Hayward C1200 Swim Clear Plus


With an effective filtration rate of 120 square feet, this cartridge pool filter is the perfect size for many residential pools. It’s also a model that comes with a number of unique features. This filter features an injection molded base and body that’s designed to hold up to the elements and provide years of service. It also has a single locking knob for securing its head to the filter tank and doesn’t require additional bolts or clamps. This unit also features an extra-large element that allows more debris to be filtered out before the filter has to be changed out.

9Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Pool Filter


This filter may have an unimposing look to it, but it does have a number of features which makes it a great filter for above ground pools. One of its main features is that is has a large filter area. A large filter area not only allows it to collect more debris before it needs to be cleaned out, but it also means that the debris is equally distributed throughout the filter element. This results in it retaining its filtering ability for longer periods of time. It also features an injection molded tank, a high-flow internal air-relief system, and a tension control clamp. This gives it an effective filtration area of approximately 420-square feet.

8Hayward X-Stream CC15093S Filter System


This non-corrosive filter tank from Hayward is reinforced with glass to maximize its durability and to extend its useful service life. It’s also engineered with a number of other features which makes it a powerful filtering system that can any appropriately sized pool crystal clean. This unit has a large filter body that ensures that debris, leaves, and dirt are equally distributed throughout the filter element and it is designed specifically to handle the needs of above ground pool owners. It can be used with either flexible or rigid pool plumbing, and it has a safety catch on its lid that prevents overtightening. This all makes it easy to use and ready to work.

7Hayward C7030 Swim Clear Pool Filter


The C7030 is yet another high-quality pool filter from Hayward that combines the energy efficiency of a cartridge filter with a design flow rate that can accommodate 150 gallons of water per minute. This system uses a reusable cartridge that doesn’t require backwashing, and all but eliminates the need of having to buy a new pool filter every 2-weeks. It’s made out of a polyester material that’s been reinforced to increase its durability and it has an effective filtration area of 725 square feet. All of which makes it an ideal tool for many above ground pool owners.

6Hayward C3030 Swim Clear Pool Filter


This system from Hayward is designed to be as efficient as it is durable. It features a tank base that has a very low profile, which makes it easy for the average Joe to change out elements quickly. It also features a bulkhead that’s designed to be durable and to hold up to a little bit of heat. And it features a 1.5-inch drain that makes flushing and draining the system a breeze. Other elements found on this system include a cleanable cartridge which helps to eliminate frequent backwashing and a rapid-release air valve that is manually operated and allows for air to be bled from the system quickly.

5Intex Krystal Clear 28633 EG Filter System


Durability, water pump flow rate and safety all come together in this quality cartridge pool filter from Intex. This model is designed to be used with several different types of Intex pools, including their 18×10-feet oval frame pools, their 18-feet easy set pools, and their 18-feet metal frame pools. This model also features a double insulated pump, a sediment flush valve that’s set at the bottom of the chamber, and an air release valve for liberating trapped air within the filter chamber. And it also features a GFCI, which will trip if there’s a ground fault. All of which makes this setup quite the bargain.

4Hayward C500 Star Clear Pool Filter


This pool filter is not only designed to be durable but is also designed to be easy to use. That’s because the manufacturer added several innovative features to it that makes it almost fool-proof. For example, this system has a filter that can be rotated so that the manual air relief and pressure gauges can be placed in a proper position. It also features an extruded core design that lowers energy costs while maximizing pool water flow. And it has a single locking knob that attaches the heat to the filter tank, thereby eliminating the clumsy clamps and bolts that other filter systems use.

3Hayward Easy-Clear C4001575XES


This quality pool filter system has quite a few features that would make it attractive to many pool owners. For instance, this model features a check valve built into it that keeps it from losing pool water when the cartridge is being pulled out and replaced. It also has an easy lock access design that makes it easier for the average person to change out the element when it’s due to be changed. And because it’s also equipped with a safety catch, the pool owner doesn’t have to worry about accidentally over tightening the cover when they change its dirty filter.

2Hayward C225 Star Clear Micro Pool Filter


This high-quality cartridge pool filter uses reinforced polyester filter elements that allow it to trap as many particles from the pool as possible from pools 25-feet in diameter or smaller. This filter is also designed to be used with Hayward pool chemicals and is engineered to be last the pool owner for many years. It’s also designed to allow for maximum water flow through it while reducing the user’s end energy costs. All of this means that this small filter is an economical choice for anyone who owns a small above ground pool and wants it to be as clean as possible.

1Blue Wave 120-Sq. Feet System With Pump


This pool filtering system from Blue Wave is capable of cleaning 120-square feet of pool and do it quite efficiently at the same time. This model has an extra large cartridge filter that can trap more debris than comparable models and it comes with a 1.5-HP high output UL-listed pump. This unit’s base is made from a highly durable polymer, and it comes with two slide valves that make it easy to clean. Thanks to its spinlock, removal, and cleaning of the cartridge are quite easy to do and allow the pool owner to keep up on filter maintenance.

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A Guide To Cartridge Pool Filters

Cartridge pool filters are a great way for a pool owner to keep their pool clean, as long as they buy the right one for their pool. How does a person buy the best cartridge pool filter? Well, all they have to do is either select one from our above list or read this guide. In the guide that’s before you, we’re going to find out what consumers should consider when they’re buying a new cartridge filter.

The Pros & Cons Of Cartridge Pool Filters

The war between sand pool filters and cartridge pool filters have been raging for decades now. Some people proclaim that sand filters are the best and others say that cartridge filters are the best. Who is right? While we won’t get into the specifics of which type of filter is better, we can tell our readers all of the reasons why we like cartridge filters. We can also tell them some of the things that we don’t like about them. An example of both the pros and cons of these filters can be found below.

The Pros Of Cartridge Filters

  • They remove particles as small as 10 microns.
  • The larger surface area of their media screens out more dirt particles.
  • No backwashing is required to use them.
  • They’re easier on the pool’s pump.
  • They’re ideal for above ground pools.
  • They reduce energy costs by lowering pump pressure.

The Cons Of Cartridge Filters

  • They have a higher initial cost.
  • They’re not practical for extremely large pools.
  • They need to be replaced every few years.
  • The filter has to be washed every 6-months of sooner for best results.

Choosing The Best Cartridge Pool Filter

The next thing we want to talk about is how to purchase a cartridge pool filter system. And in our opinion, it’s not all that difficult to find a cartridge pool filter if the consumer takes a few moments and factors in their needs and the size of the pool. Having stated that fact, let’s get started with one of the most important things to consider—the filter flow rate of the cartridge.

Consider Filter Flow Rate

The filter flow rate is extremely important to consider. Get a filter that doesn’t meet the basic flow rate of the pump and it can easily become overwhelmed. Unfortunately, figuring out the filter flow rate isn’t very simple and it requires considering the size of the pool and comparing it with the pump’s operating rate. Below are some examples of what we mean.

  • 10,000 Gallon Pool With A 3/4-HP Pump Requires A Filter Size Of 100-200 Square Feet.
  • 30,000 Gallon Pool With A 2-HP Pump Requires A Filter Size Of 400-500 Square Feet.
  • 45,000 Gallon Pool With A 2.5-HP Pump Requires A Filter Size Of 500+ Square Feet.

Consider A Durable Outer Casing

The next thing to think about is how durable the outside of the filter casing is. The casing should be made from durable metal or plastic, so that it can stand up to the rigors of the elements season in and season out.

Consider Additional Features

It’s also a good idea to think about some of the additional features that a person might need their filter to have. Although not every pool owner will need every feature we have listed below, it is a good place to start so consumers can figure out which features they may need.

  • Rapid-Release Air Relief Valve
  • Top Manifold Configuration For Hydraulic Performance
  • Easy-Spin Unions For Easy-Installation
  • A Check Valve
  • Locking Knobs That Replace Older Clamp-Based Locking Systems

Properly Maintaining Your Cartridge Filter

Let’s see where we are at in this guide. We’ve already listed the ten best cartridge pool filters and have also listed some recommendations for buying a new one. Now, we think that we’ll turn our attention to giving our readers a few additional tips that will help them keep their filter in good working condition. So before we end this article, we would like to give some tips on how to properly maintain your cartridge filter for the best results.

  • Check The Pressure Gauge Regularly.
  • If Filter Pressure Exceeds 10-12 PSI Above Recommendations, It’s Time To Clean It.
  • Rinse Filter Twice A Year For Best Results.
  • Soak The Filter In One Part Muriatic Acid And Twenty Parts Water To Remove Algae Stains.
  • Replace The Filter When It Starts To Show Signs Of Wear.
  • Use A Silicone Based Lubricant To Lubricate The Unit’s O-Ring Regularly.
  • Make Sure The Unit Is Properly Reassembled Before Using It Again.