Best Above Ground Pool Filter

Above Ground Pool Filter

No matter how clean you think you can keep your pool, an above ground pool filter is an essential purchase. Even if the pool cam with one when you bought it, there are plenty of reasons why upgrading is a good idea.

They are one of the most important features of any pool. After trapping dirt and small pieces of debris, the filter pushes out clean water back into the pool so why compromise on a low-quality product?

To make sure you end up with the best above ground pool filter for your needs, we have created the following buyer’s guide.

What To Look Consider In An Above Ground Pool Filter


The tinier the microns the above ground pool filter can remove, the clearer your pool will be. Most products will be able to filter particles as small as 20 microns at the least, with other filters like a cartridge filter being able to remove smaller particles of 15 microns.

Pool Size

An above-ground pool filter needs to have the capability to remove dirt and debris from your pool size. The tank size is what you should look for and anything that is 12 inches should be able to clear 3,000 gallons easily. 

The brand you are considering should give you an indication as to how many gallons it can clean.

Flow Rate

When looking at a cartridge above ground pool filter you need to take a look at its flow rate. This is an indication as to how quickly it can clean certain capacities. 

For example, it might take 12 hours for it to clean a pool of 12,000 gallons if it doesn’t have a flow rate of at least 25 GPH.


The above ground pool filter needs to work in conjunction with your pool pump. Some products are not suitable for the other accessories being used. A compact or small filter will not work well with a large flow rate so make sure it can keep up.

Connecting valves are another consideration, is the filter compatible with the return lines that you will be connecting it to?

Ease Of Installation

An above-ground pool pump shouldn’t take too long to install, especially when compared to the in-ground products. Although it varies depending on the type of filter and brand, most are easily installed within an hour.

Some take less than 15 minutes to get up and running and with the help of YouTube, it shouldn’t be too challenging.

Although the in-ground filters often require a professional to help with the trickier parts, this is not usually the case for above ground pool filters.


Because there are all sorts of intricate parts that make an above ground pool filter, things can go wrong. Even the reputable brands are not immune to having faults that occur with their products.

This is why we advise looking for a product that comes with a warranty. Even if it’s only for a year or two, it will protect your purchase for that time. 


When you look after your filter properly, it should give you plenty of years of use before you need to replace it. With cartridge filters, you do need to remove and clean the filters frequently but other than that, they are often low maintenance and should last well over 10 years.

Different Types of Above Ground Pool Filter

Sand Filter

This system is one of the most common and is also very economical. They remove dirt and debris via backwashing the water and are fine for particles of around 20 microns.

Just as a point of reference, the human eye can’t see anything under 40 microns small.

One of the easiest to maintain they are usually pretty affordable and should last anywhere from 5-15 years depending on how well you look after it and the quality of the model.

Cartridge Filter

These are one of the newer methods available and can clear smaller particles than sand filters (at around 15 microns). Often considered the higher-spec of the two, a cartridge filter requires the removal and cleaning of the filters for them to work at their best.

DE Filter

Because they can remove tiny dirt of around 2 microns small, they are often good options. With a similar method to sand filters they are considered the elite type of above ground pool filter but this is reflective in the price.

How Much Does An Above Ground Pool Filter Cost?

With plenty of variables that influence the price, there is no set amount when it comes to these pool filters.

However, you can pick up a budget option for a smaller pool for under $100. The larger your pool, the more expensive the filter will be as it will need to be a higher spec to keep up with the demands of removing smaller particles from a large space.

The high-end products can cost as little as $400 and should come with a decent warranty.

Does An Above Ground Pool Need A Filter?

Any pool that you use regularly will need a filter to keep the water clean. Without it, you will find it difficult to keep on top of the clearing of small particles and a pool net can only do so much.

How Long Should An Above Ground Pool Filter Run?

To keep the pool water as clean and clear as possible, you need to run the pool filter for at least 8 hours every 24. This is why it is important to look for an economical product. 

This is the same for any type of pool.

How Long Should I Run My Pool Filter After Shocking?

Once the chemicals are in the water, it is a good idea to run the pool filter for 24 hours. This helps to circulate the chemicals and once algae and bacteria have been removed from the walls, they do not settle.

Make sure you measure the appropriate amount of shock for your pool size and spread it evenly before running the filter.

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