Even though the sand that can be found in many pool filters are an essential part used to keep pool water clean, it’s also a subject that often causes confusion among pool owners. That’s because not everyone knows how sand works in the pool’s filter system for water purification. And it’s also because no one has really made it clear what the difference is between filter sand and other mediums used in many above ground pools.

Fortunately, we’re going to cut through some of that confusion with this guide on buying the best pool filter sand. We’ve done quite a bit of research on the subject and have found ten products that seem to do the best job filtering sediment from pool water when they’re used properly in a suitable pool filter system. Now everyone can buy the best product for their pool setup.

Best Pool Filter Sand

10Fairmount Mineral AquaQuartz Filter Silica Sand

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This high-quality filter media is designed to remove the containments out of the pool’s water efficiently and effectively. It’s manufactured from 100% natural #20 grade silica sand that’s easy to backwash and is chemical-free. This product is designed to be safe for the environment and is designed to never channel or clog in the filter. This product will filter out dust and dirt particles, algae, hair, body oils, leaves and insects out of the water. This will leave the water sparkling clean and ready for people to swim in. When used as part of a regular pool maintenance routine, does a great job at cleaning just about any pool that uses a sand filter.

9Mystic White II Swimming Pool Sand

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Designed exclusively for the pool filters that are used with above ground and inground pools, Mystic White pool filter sand is ready to restore pool water back to its former glory. At the factory, this sand is screened very carefully using the proper equipment and is graded to the correct grade for use in residential swimming pool filter systems. This prevents large pieces of sand from clogging up the system and allows for the best purification possible. This also means that this sand doesn’t ball, pack or channel like some other cheaper filter sands may tend to do in filters.

8HTH 67074 50-Pound Filter Sand

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When used with a proper pool maintenance schedule, this product is capable of really keeping a person’s swimming pool nice and clean. It comes in 50-pound bags that are easy to pour and easy to use, and they are always ready for use. This filter media is composed of #20 silica sand that does an amazing job at filtering dead organic components and other forms of sediment out of swimming pool water. This product can be used equally well for fresh water filtering systems as it can for filtering systems used with saltwater pools and it’s made in the U.S according to strict standards.

7HTH 61300 50-Pound Filter Sand

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Specifically created to be used in sand filter systems for above ground pools, inground pools or spas, this filter media is ready to remove all of the impurities from your pool’s water. It’s a non-toxic formula that’s made of at least 87% crystalline silica, so it can filter out a variety of containments from your pool’s water. It’s packaged in 50-pound bags that are easy to store until they’re ready to be used and are easy to pour when it’s time to add the sand to the filter system. This product is also made in the United States and can be used with either fresh or saltwater pools.

6ZeoSand Swimming Pool Filter Media

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ZeoSand is a product that’s made with natural crystalline minerals that mimic the filtering properties of sand but is designed to be more efficient. 50-pounds of this product is supposed to replace 100-pounds of filter sand in any pool filtering system that uses sand as its medium. It’s high-surface area and irregular crystalline shell structure, makes it extremely effective for trapping fine containments and it’s capable of even trapping ammonium compounds caused by decomposing organic material in your pool water. And since it also removes chloramines, water filter by this medium is less likely to burn the eyes.

5Quickrete Swimming Pool Sand

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Quikrete may be a brand that’s well known for making concrete and pavement gravel, but fewer people realize that they also make pretty good sand for swimming pool filters. This silica sand has a 20/40 graduation, so it’s properly graded to be used in the sand filter systems of above ground and/or inground swimming pools. This product comes in 50-pound bags, and its fine grade allows it to filter out a variety of harmful chemicals out of the pool’s water. This restores the pool’s balance and allows the pool owner to swim in sparkling clean water that they know is safe.

4In The Swim Filterballs Pool Filter Media

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Another sand replacement, this pool filter media is designed to provide the same quality of filtering as ordinary sand in the typical sand pool filter. One pound of these high-quality filter balls are designed to be a replacement for up to 100-pounds of number twenty silica sand. By using this product, the pool filter has a lower working pressure, and that results in less energy being consumed by the system. Each pound of this product is designed to provide 45% greater flow rates than systems that use sand, and it’s also designed to last for up to 4-years at a time. And since this media holds more contaminants, fewer backwashes are usually needed.

3Caribbean Blue Sand Assist Filter Aid

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To avoid confusion, it should be noted that Caribbean Blue Sand Assist isn’t designed to be a replacement to pool filter sand. No, the person using this product will still need to buy sand for their pool filter. The purpose of this product is to help enhance the properties of that sand, so it does a better job. It’s capable of doing this by penetrating the sand with a polymer formula that enhances its efficiency. One 6-ounce package of this product is enough to help sand filter 100,000 gallons of water. And it’s a good product for restoring water quality after heavy rains or when the filter media needs a little bit of help.

2Rx Clear White Luster Filter Media

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This product is another filter media that isn’t sand but is designed to be used in sand pool filters. It’s an eco-friendly media that’s made from polyethylene that can filter pool water down to 3-microns. This enables this product to remove sediment and dead organisms from the pool’s water quickly and efficiently. Another advantage to this product over sand is that one 1.5-pound box has the same filtering capacity as 50-pounds of sand and it tends to have a longer lifespan than some sand mediums. All in all, this makes this media great for much above ground or inground pools that use sand filters.

1Blue Wave Zeobest Sand Alternative

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Although this product isn’t technically sand, it is designed to be used in sand filters and works in much the same way as sand. It’s made out of Zeobest, a product that’s made using nothing but natural zeolite minerals. These minerals are able to filter out small particles down to 3-microns to make your pool’s water cleaner than ever before. This filtering media is able to reduce not only sediment but is also able to remove the ammonia that’s produced from decomposing organic material in the body, thereby reducing the chemical demand placed on the pool. This results in clearer and purer water without having to increase the chemicals added to the pool.

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A Guide To Pool Filter Sand

Although pool sand is used in over half of modern pool filters, few pool owners give it much thought at all. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that pool owners give exactly zero thought to the sand in their pool filter. And that’s unfortunate because this type of sand is extremely important for the proper operation of the filter. It’s so important that we decided that we needed to write an entire guide on the subject to inform our readers on how to buy the best pool filter sand available and how to use it properly. This guide should contain everything a pool owner with a sand filter will ever need to know.

The Process By Which Sand Pool Filters Operate

Before we can talk about the importance of sand, we first have to discuss how sand pool filters operate, so our reader knows why buying quality sand is essential. These filters use sand as the medium to capture the debris and contaminants that can be found in the swimming pool’s water. Sand does a great job of filtering the water because sand grains are coarse, so it’s capable of “grabbing on” to particles as they run past them.

How To Choose The Right Pool Filter Sand

For sand pool filters to work effectively, the grains of sand have to be around .45mm to .55 mm in size. Larger than that and they won’t be able to grab debris from the pool’s water and smaller than that and they can end up not filtering the water but traveling with the water into the pool. Therefore, it’s always important to purchase sand that’s made specifically for swimming pools. The pool owner should never try to use industrial sand or play sand in their filters because not only will it not work, but it may end up damaging the filter.

In our experience, the filter media that works best for sand filters is a product called Zeobest. Anyone who has read this article from the beginning will realize it’s the product that’s number one on our list. It’s number one because it can filter contaminants out of the water as small as 3-microns in size. This is particularly impressive considering that most sand pool filters can usually only screen out particles that are 20-microns or larger.

How To Clean A Sand Pool Filter

As it’s easy to see, buying the right sand for a pool filter isn’t a difficult process and just about anyone can do it. That’s why we now turn our attention to keeping the sand in a pool filter as good as long as possible. Although the filter sand will eventually need to be replaced at some point in time, doing some regular maintenance will ensure that the sand doesn’t have to be replaced any sooner than necessary. Let’s take a few moments and look at how sand pool filters should be cleaned.

Step One: Assemble The Necessary Equipment

Backwashing a pool sand filter isn’t difficult, but it does require the pool owner to pay close attention to what they’re doing. The first thing any pool owner should do before cleaning the filter is to assemble all of the necessary supplies. Below are the 3 main things that a pool owner is going to need to get started on cleaning their sand pool filter.

  • Filter’s Instruction Manual
  • Backwash Hose
  • Sand Filter Cleaner

Step Two: Backwash The Filter

The next step to cleaning the filter is to backwash filter for approximately 5-minutes. This will ensure that any debris that may be stuck in the sand is lodged free. When that’s been done, move onto the next step.

Step Three: Use The Sand Filter Cleaner

The next step is to use the sand filter cleaner. Before this can be done, the pool owner needs to turn off the pump and turn the pump’s valve to filter. Once that’s been done, the pump’s strainer lid must be removed, and sand filter cleaner should be added into the strainer basket. Once it’s been used according to the product’s instructions, the lid to the filter should then be replaced. Once the pump is securely placed on the pump, the pump should be run for approximately 15-seconds. This will ensure the cleaner has been transferred from the pump and into the filter media. Now, the pool owner should turn off the pump and leave it off overnight. The sand cleaner will clean and disinfect the sand in that amount of time.

Step Four: Backwash Once Again

In the morning, it’s time to backwash the filter and remove the loosened contaminants and the rest of the pool cleaner. The filter should be back-washed for at least 3-minutes or preferable 5-minutes. Once that’s been done, the filter can be turned back on and now the filter is ready to go. As we’ve said, the pool owner is eventually going to have to replace the sand, but the cleaning process should keep it running as smooth as possible.