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Our Top Choice for the Best Filters for Inground Pools

Nothing beats a refreshing dip in a clean tub at the end of a busy day. But it will be grander if you spend it in a broader basin like an inground swimming pool. This is especially true during the days of the summer heat.

More homeowners nowadays choose to include this facility in their home. But dipping in a pool also means swimming in all sorts of microbes and dirt. Germ-phobic or not, it is a must to see to it that the pool is clean and well-maintained. That’s why you need only the best pool filters for inground pools.

Swimming pools, either residential or commercial, can be the swimming ground of microbes and particulates that make the pool water unsafe. Chlorine may kill those microbes, but the chlorine cannot keep the water as clear as a pool filter.

Inground pool filters help you remove these impurities. You won’t have to worry as much about an outbreak of skin problems and the like. If you are managing a spa, you need to see to it that your customers are in safe hands. Depending on your budget, you can find pretty decent pool filters for the best price. In this article, we will give you the best pool filters for inground pools that will fit all your needs.

What are the Best Pool Filters for Inground Pools?

An inground pool filter helps keep your water running clear and free from dirt and fragments. These filters should have excellent filter and suction tubes to keep your water completely sanitary. Before moving over to our best bet, let’s analyze your options.

There are three types of inground pool filters: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth filters. They all have different filtering levels of performance, and size matters when it comes to pools. The larger your pool area, the larger and more reliable pool filter you will need.

Sand Filter

Sand is one of the best pool filters for inground pools for people on a budget. They are the ideal choice for small swimming pools and spas, but can also work effectively in larger ones. Sand filters are excellent in trapping minute particles in the water. They are also easy to maintain. However, over time, they tend to smooth out due to the pump’s pressure and become inefficient. The standard sand filtration for most filters is #20, Silica Sand. They can filter about 20-40 microns of particles.

Cartridge Filter

Cartridge filters are small, pleated polyester enclosing a plastic cylinder. They are slightly smaller than the sand filter and easier to maintain; however, they are also more expensive. You do not need any backwashing or reversing water flow to clean them out. All you have to do is take out the cartridge and run it under a hose. They can filter particles as small as 10 microns. On the downside, they are also a much more expensive option when compared to sand filters. 

Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.)

These are the types of filters you would want for a larger pool. They are the most reliable in filtering even the tiniest 1 to 2 micron of particles found in water. The D.E. media is made up of fossilized shells of diatoms. D.E. filters are responsible for producing that sparkly clear pool water you may be familiar with. Among the three filter options, this is the most expensive. It is also considered one of the best pool filter options for an inground pool. It is very well worth its price.

The Best Pool Filters for Inground Pools


Hayward W3S270T ProSeries Sand Filter

This W3S270T Pro Series is a 27-inch top mount sand filter with multilateral drain assembly for efficient filtering. Its 360-degree slotted laterals control a balanced inflow and backwashing. Backwashing is the process of cleaning the filter and reverses the water flow to flush out all the impurities. The integral top diffuser promotes an even distribution of water within the sand bed. The ProSeries is durable and tolerant of all weather conditions.

It’s also corrosion-proof to give you the maximum efficiency in inground filtration. It has a six-position Variflo valve that allows easy filter function. It also allows for a large pressure drain for separating impurities. Thus, you will get that crystal clear and safe water throughout the year.   


  • Sand filter
  • Easy to install
  • Budget-friendly
  • Corrosion-proof
  • All-weather performance
  • With top-mount valve


  • May leak at the seams


Hayward S310S ProSeries Sand Filter, 30-Inch

This is a slightly more expensive model of the Hayward sand filter pump. It is a 30-inch side mount pool filter for more excellent filtration performance. Its system has a quick-assembly design with precise alignment. This helps prevent leaks within the unit as well as improves the ease of setting it up. The performance of both the pump and filter were matched to bring more thorough filtration for your inground pool.

The ProSeries filter has an integral top diffuser to create a uniform filtration across the sand bed. It produces an umbrella-like pattern of flow that resourcefully covers every inch of the sand. It also provides an easy backwashing technique. Thus, all you would get is crystal clear and safe pool water. Best of all, it operates for a shorter period of time, making it cost-effective equipment for energy-saving. 


  • Sand filter
  • Easy to install
  • Provides uniform filtration
  • Energy-efficient
  • Side-mount


  • No valve included


Pentair 140212 Triton II Side Mount Fiberglass Sand Pool Filter

For residential pools with an area as small as 3.14 square feet, Pentair’s Triton II is the best solution. This is a side-mount sand filter. Side mount sand filters are easier to maintain than the top mount versions. When using side-mount filters, there’s no need for you to disconnect the plumbing.

Triton also has a ClearPro technology, which gives it a finer filtration level. You will get a filter quality that is five times the standard sand filters.


  • Sand Filter
  • For residential pools
  • Works at 3.14 square feet
  • Side-mount
  • Easy to maintain


  • No adaptor to fit various valve types 


Pentair 160340 CCP320 Clean & Clear Plus Pool Filter Cartridge

If you have a wider inground pool, then the Pentair Clean and Clear will work better for you. It provides effective filtration for pools with about 57,600 gallons of water. It has an easily removable cartridge for more convenient cleaning. Pentair 160340’s fiberglass body resists corrosion for added durability. It provides a continuous airflow that encourages plenty of air accumulation. This leads to high-quality and effective filtration

It also has a larger polyester cartridge area to accommodate more dirt and particle buildup. This is to ensure a more thorough and practical cleaning. This unit eliminates the hassle of backwashing. All you need to do is take out the cartridge and run it under a hose. This process requires less water consumption for cleaning. 


  • Cartridge filter
  • Easy to clean and drain
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Lesser water consumption


  • No pump-to-filter adaptor included


Pentair 160301 Cartridge Pool Filter, 420 Square Feet

For a 420 square feet filtration area, and 150 GPM, Pentair’s 160301 provide an optimum filtration service. Bearing the Pentair’s Clean and Clear technology, the continuous flow of air relief cleanses and filters pollutants uniformly. The large filter area can maximize the amount of dirt that it accommodates. Thus, you will have a superior filtration for that clean and clear pool water.

Pentair’s series of products make the best pool filters for inground pools. They have various selections of cartridge filters depending upon the capacity and volume of your pool. You don’t have to look anywhere if you have an area smaller or larger than 420. Pentair’s cartridge pool filters have got your back. 


  • Cartridge filter
  • Clean and Clear technology
  • Large filter area
  • 420 square feet of filtration area


  • May take longer cleaning time


Hayward W3C1200 StarClear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter 

For spas and pools as small as 120 square feet, this StarClear Plus Cartridge filter from Hayward works best. This filter has an extra-large cartridge with an innovative precision-core. It also has gasket end caps that provide more efficient flow. You can secure the lid with a single-lock knob; thus, there’s no need to use clamps and bolts anymore.

For added strength, the body is reinforced with an injection-molded base. It enables the tank to resist corrosion, thus prolonging its usable life. You can also easily access its cartridge element through an easy-to-use rotatable filter head.


  • Cartridge pool filter
  • Easy to set up
  • Durable body build
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Works at 120 sq feet
  • Efficient cleaning and filtration


  • May get harder to clean


Hayward EC75A Perflex Pool Filter

Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) has an indisputable reputation when it comes to inground pool cleaning. This Perflex D.E. Pool Filter from Hayward guarantees you clear and sparkling water for your home and spa. It has a patented Flex-Tube design to provide a longer cleaning cycle. It also has a bump-mechanism to give the D.E. a better chance at cleaning the dirt and the D.E. media. This pool filter is also self-venting, which means it releases any air trapped inside the system.

These mechanisms, when combined with the D.E. filter, boost cleaning efforts to provide a more superior quality water output. The D.E. filter is the best pool filter for inground pools among the three types discussed above. This filter tank is effective for a maximum area of 40 square feet. The body is built from an exceptionally engineered thermoplastic to provide a corrosion-free, heavy-duty tank.


  • E. filter
  • Heavy-duty and corrosion-free tank
  • Self-venting
  • Bump-mechanism
  • With Flex-Tube design
  • Works for 40 square feet, all pool types


  • Prone to leakage


Hayward W3EC40AC Perflex D.E. Pool Filter 

If you are looking for a budget-friendly D.E. Pool Filter, this Hayward W3EC40AC is the answer. It is the best pool filter for inground pools with an area of 20 square feet. A 4 pound D.E. is sufficient to keep it at its optimum performance. Its patented Flex-Tube design reliably reuses D.E. components for an even more superior filtering system. It also has a unique bump mechanism.

The bump handle activates the flex-tube to self-purge itself from dirt and water. For a single pass, it effectively removes the tiniest particles for quick cleaning. It is the most economical pool filter that suits your budget and gives you better-quality and safe pool water.


  • E. filter
  • Works for 20 square feet pool
  • With flex-tube design
  • Unique bump mechanism
  • Effective filtration


  • May have a brittle build


Final Thoughts

Choosing the best pool filters for an inground pool is a bit tricky. Make sure that you have the right size for the right pool area. To get the most out of it, as a rule of thumb: the larger pump size, the better. Larger filter sizes can handle the pump’s pressure to provide proper filtration. It also prolongs their usability.

Accordingly, the pool filters square feet ratio to a gallon of water is 1:10,000. The correct pool filter size reduces the strain on your pump. Thus, it provides a more efficient and thorough cleaning.

Your budget should not compromise your inground pool filter’s quality. You can choose from the three types of pool filters, whichever suits your finances and needs.

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