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Swimming Pool Filter Options and Comparisons

Choosing a new pool filter can be a very confusing task.  After all, there are so many different types and sizes and brands of filters and you don't want to make a mistake.

We have included a brief synopsis of each type of filter along with a comparison chart on the bottom of the page.  We have also included ratings on each filter.

Be sure to check out the filter comparison page to help you determine which filter is best for you.

Once you narrow down your selection, click on the brand to go to that brand's page for even more product infomation. 


What are my options?

Option 1:  Sand Filtration

Sand filters use a specially graded sand as the filter media. The water enters the tank through the diffuser.  As the water goes down through the bed of sand, the dirt and debris is trapped between the grains of sand.  When the water reaches the bottom of the filter, it enters the laterals and is returned to the pool.

Sand filters filter out debris down to about 40 microns in size.  Anything smaller than 40 microns will probably not be filtered out.

Pac Fab Triton II Sand Filter 

Pac Fab Tagelus Sand Filter 

Pac Fab Triton C Sand Filter 

Sta-Rite System 3 Sand Filter 

Hayward Pro Sand Filter 

click on any brand above for more info. or check out the grid below.

See comparison chart for more details

Option 2:  DE Filtration

DE filters use diatomaceous earth as a filter media.  The DE filter has plastic grids covered with a plastic type of fabric.  A layer of filter powder called Diatomaceous Earth covers the grids and does the filtering.

As the water passes through the filter powder, any debris down to 5-8 microns is filtered out.  Because the DE is much finer that sand, it is able to filter much more finely than a sand filter.

Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter 

Pac Fab FNS Plus DE Filter 

Sta Rite System 3 DE Filter 

click on any brand above for more info. or check out the grid below.

See comparison chart for more details

Option 3:  Cartridge (Modular Media)

Cartridge filters use a paper-type cartridge as the filter media.  They do not filter as finely as DE, and in our experience produce about the same water quality as sand filtration.

Cartridge filters used to have a bad reputation as a nuisance to maintain, but manufacturers have come up with newer filters with enough surface area (300-500 square feet) to need cleaning only once or twice each year.  This makes the maintenance issue a plus with these filters.

Hayward StarClear Cartridge Filter

Pac Fab Cartridge Filters

Sta-Rite System 3 Mod Media Filters

click on any brand above for more info. or check out the grid below.

See comparison chart for more details


How do all the filters compare?

We only sell the brands that we know will provide you with years of excellent service.  There are entire brands that we leave out of our product line-up because we only sell you the products that we would be want to have on our own pools.

We can strongly recommend any of these filters, however we do feel that some are better than others.  We have rated each filter on a 5-star system with five stars being the best.

For additional comparison of filter types, see our filter comparison chart

Type Brand


Sizes (sq. ft.) Warranty
Parts Labor


Pac Fab Tagelus

click above for more info

This filter is very similar to the Triton II except that it has a top mounted backwash valve (included w/filter). 1.4 to 4.9 10/1 1

Pac Fab Triton II  

click above for more info

This is Pac Fab's most popular sand filter for in-ground pools.  It has a top opening for filter maintenance and side mount valve (not included).  The filter has a one piece fiberglas reinforced tank with UV coating.  1.9 to 7.0  10/1 1

Pac Fab Triton C  

click above for more info

This filter is similar to the Triton II, but has multiple diffusers in the top of the tank to give an increased flow rate.  It also has a wider opening at the top. 4.9 to 7.0 10/1 1

Sta-Rite System 3

click above for more info

This filter utilizes the System 3 filter body, which is nearly indestructible.   2.4 to 3.4 3/1 1

Hayward Pro

click above for more info

This filter has a molded polymeric tank and utilizes a side mount backwash valve.

2.2 to 4.9




Hayward Pro-Grid

click above for more info

This filter utilizes curved vertical grids and has a high-strength PermaGlass XL tank for increased durability.  24 to 72 10/1 1

Pac Fab FNS Plus

click above for more info

This filter uses curved vertical grids and features a fiberglass reinforced tank and a high flow manual air relief valve. 24 - 60 10/1 1

Sta Rite System 3

click above for more info

This filter uses flat grids (stronger than curved) and has Sta -Rite's System 3 filter body which is virtually indestructible. 37 - 53 3/1 1

Hayward StarClear

click above for more info

This filter uses 4 reusable polyester cartridge filter elements and has a PermaGlass XL filter tank. 200 - 500 10/1 1

Pac Fab Cartridge

click above for more info

This filter uses 4 reusable polyester cartridge filter elements and has a fiberglas reinforced tank body.

240 - 520

10/1 1

Sta-Rite System 3 Mod Media

click above for more info

This filter uses 2 nested cartridges inside the durable System 3 tank 300 - 450 33/1 1
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