Types of Pool Filters


If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re one of the 10.4 million Americans that own pools with their homes. Swimming is a refreshing way to get through your day.  Like other spaces in your home, pools can get dirty from daily debris.

Whether at home or in public, no one wants to take a dip in a dirty pool. As scary as it sounds, pools can be a source of infection. Hygiene is of the essence.  Both clarity of the water and aesthetics of the design matter to swimmers.

Disinfection and filtration are the two major techniques employed in making sure swimming pools are safe. We will be focusing on the latter. Pool filters to the rescue!

By reading this, you are on your way to knowing more about pool filters and keeping your pool clean and safe.

Types of Swimming Pool Filters

Maintaining a pool can be cumbersome. It is best to find the right fit for your home and your swimming pool needs.

The water pump system pumps water into the filters for cleaning.

There are three basic types of swimming pool filters:

Sand filter

This applies a basic principle of science. This filter contains different gradations of sand particles. Dirt of different sizes is trapped within each layer.

Only filtered water makes its way back to your pool.  The more modern sand filters work with pressure rather than gravity.

The minimum particle size limit is 10 microns. Anything smaller will not be trapped by the sand. Sand filters last five to seven years on average.


  • A high rate of filtration
  • Easy to work with
  • May not be as expensive


  • Filtration is not as fine as other filters
  • Requires water-consuming backwashes to clear the system


Cartridge filter

Cartridge filters contain a detachable circular cartridge made of paper material.


  • Effective filtration even at slow speeds
  • Conserves water – no need for backwashes


  • Maintenance may be difficult
  • Requires significant human effort

Diatomaceous Earth filters

The filter medium is made of diatomaceous earth material. This is derived from a multi-use crushed sedimentary rock.

Pool water enters through a grid that is lined with diatomaceous earth. It is much like a cross between the cartridge and the sand filter.


  • Finer filtration
  • Cleanest water quality


  • Maintenance can be costly
  • Requires regular refilling of the diatomaceous earth
  • Disposal may pose a safety hazard

How to Choose A Filter

Factors to consider in choosing a filter:

  • Functionality
  • Your budget
  • Your pool builder’s recommendations
  • Estate recommendations
  • Personal preferences

Contact Us

Wondering about pool filters? Hilltops Pools and Spas to the rescue! We have been providing top-notch services in pool installation for over 4 decades. We offer consultation services to help you in making the right choice.

We have had the privilege of being awarded more than 60 Design Awards in every award category, including custom residential concrete pools, commercial concrete pools, in-ground vinyl liner pools, and major renovations. Hilltop was named one of the “Top 50 Pool Builders in the USA” by Pool and Spa News in 2013-2017. Pool builders across the United States were evaluated in several areas, including the total number of pools built, customer service, certifications, industry involvement, employee retention, as well as advertising and social media presence. Our company was also nationally recognized for customer service and social media. We were the only Georgia company on the list in 2016 and 2017!

We would consider it a privilege to design and construct your project and have you as a member of our “Hilltop Family.”