Keeping your pool clean is always a hard work. There are numerous pool cleaners available on the market, varied in features and functions to help clean up your pool water.
You can also use a pool skimmer to collect floating debris. Instill a water test kit to explore containing harmful contaminants then use a chlorine dispenser and a sufficient dosage of pool chemicals to disinfect the water to improve its quality.
Pool filters vary in types. I bet you’ve known that cartridge pool filters are among the most common types. Why? It is due to their simple design and ease of use.
However, choosing the best cartridge pool filters from various brands and models is harder and more tiring work. So let my reviews about the 15 best cartridge pool filters give you a hand.
Why You Need a Cartridge Pool Filter?
To maintain a sanitary swimming environment, regular cleanup for your pool is required.
Some argue which possesses the best filtering system, among cartridge filter, sand filter, and DE filter. Each type has different outstanding points indeed.
And when it comes to the cartridge filter on my current reviews, it works more efficiently than a sand filter while less expensive than a DE filter.
A cartridge pool filter is respected for its easiness in design, usage, and maintenance. Not to mention its perfect filtering ability when it can trap and remove twice as much dirt and debris as a sand filter can.
Another plus point is no backwashing involved. It means instead of backwashing, you just need to rinse the filter cartridge regularly after use to remove all the contaminants it caught before.
With this unique feature, you can save a significant amount of money for water usage. Don’t worry, a cartridge filter requires straightforward and simple steps for maintenance, I will give you instruction later on my reviews.
This type of pool filter is generally ideal for anyone who is craving for energy and cost-efficient tools but still preeminent in functioning.
What Is the Best Cartridge Pool Filter?
When you’ve decided to go for a cartridge pool filter, but a significantly huge number of brands, shapes, models on the market scare you, it’s high time for you to pay attention to these 15 best cartridge pool filters I list below.
- Best Overall: Hayward C1200 Swim Clear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter
"Extra-large cartridge, new precision engineered extruded core with a single locking knob."
- Best Price: Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
"Easy installation and maintenance, one Hydro Aeration Technology inlet fitting included, less than $100."
- Best Rated: Pentair 160316 Clean & Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
"Coreless cartridge, filtration area 100-square feet, integrated continuous high flow internal air relief."
- Best Quality: Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
"Durable over time, easy installation and maintenance, works can be used with any Intex above ground pools."
- Best for Saltwater Pool: Hayward C4001575XES Easy Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
"Easy-Lok lid access design, built-in check valve, unique safety-catch, specially reinforced polyester cartridge."
- Best for Inground Pools: XtremepowerUS Deluxe Pool Cartridge Filter
"Extra durable glass reinforced co-polymer material; elevated, filtered water collector and debris sump, extra-large cartridge element with new precision engineered extruded core."
- Best for Above Ground Pools: Hayward XStream CC1000 Pool Cartridge Filter
"Glass-reinforced, non-corrosive filter tank, designed specifically for the rigors of above-ground filtration, Easy-Lok ring design."
- Best for a 6000 Gallon Pool: Intex Krystal 28637EG Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
"Easy to use, install and maintain, suitable for Intex pools up to 6,000 gallons."
- Best for a 25000 Gallon Pool: Hayward C3030 Swim Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
"Excellent filtration and hydraulic performance; heavy-duty, tamper-proof, one piece flange clamp; high-capacity, rapid-release manual air relief valve."
- Best for Single Speed Pump: Pentair PNCC0100 Clean & Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
"Filter system is durable, highly-efficient and simple to operate, including OptiFlo pump, excellent pressure performance across various flow-rates."
- Best for a Very Large Pool: Hayward CC15093S Xstream Cartridge Pool Filter
"Larger filter body, durable filter tank, Easy-Lok ring design, easy use with flexible or rigid plumbing."
- Best for a 1500 Gallon Pool: Hayward C225 Star Clear Micro Cartridge Pool Filter
"High-quality, reinforced polyester elements; precision-engineered extruded core design; diversified sizes."
Where to Buy Cartridge Pool Filters Near Me?
If you wonder where to buy a good cartridge pool filter near your house, you can simply check the location map below to find some local stores near you.
You can also get access to some online stores to check all detailed information about the brands, features, functions, and prices of the products.
Comparison of Top 15 Best Cartridge Pool Filters 2020
Take a look at the comparison table below and you will quickly identify which products among these 15 best cartridge pool filters will suit your demands.
The Best Cartridge Pool Filters
Below are my detailed reviews of the top 15 best cartridge pool filters on the market.
Hayward C1200 Swim Clear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best Overall - Editor's Choice)
Hayward has long been a well-known and reliable brand among others on the market. Hence, this C1200 Swim Clear Plus filter, with its preeminence in quality, durability, and convenience, is always among the top-of-the-line products.
With a single extra-large cartridge of 120 square feet allowing maximum water flow, this cartridge filter is ideal for most medium-sized residential pools, about 10000 to 15000 gallons of water.
Besides, the thermoplastic-made filter body protects the cartridge inside from damaging and prolongs the lifetime of the filter.
- Super large cartridge and durable filter body
- New precision engineered extruded core
- A locking knob securing its head
- Regular maintenance is not necessary, also very easy to maintain
- Superior filtration
- Easy to install
- Not suitable for commercial pools
- The pressure gauge is a little bit vulnerable
Pentair 160316 Clean & Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
This 160316 Clean & Clear Cartridge Pool Filter from Pentair brand has recently caught great attention from customers. Equipped with the easy spin-on unions, this product is designed for easy hook-ups and servicing.
Besides, it causes no problem for cleanup thanks to its single coreless cartridge. With a garden hose, you easily rinse the cartridge thoroughly from top to bottom and inside out.
Another stunning point is its broad and effective filtration area with the flow rate of 100 GPM, which will maintain the excellent water flow through the filter and whereby the optimum pool filtration efficiency.
- Coreless cartridge for easy cleanup
- Effective filtration area of 100-square feet
- Thermoplastic chemical-resistant tank body
- Might have a problem with the PSI gauge
Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
The 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Pool Filter possesses all the outstanding features thanks to the Hydro Aeration Technology, just similar to the 28635 filter model.
If you are an Intex owner so you can’t turn a blind eye to this 28633EG filter model. Why? This filter is specially designed to accommodate different types of Intex pools.
Remember, this filter will perform best for pools with water capacity from 4000 to 15000 gallons.
- Hydro Aeration Technology included
- An air release valve for air trapped inside the filter housing
- A perfect choice for above ground pools
- Maintenance is a breeze
- Regular maintenance is necessary
Hayward C4001575XES Easy Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best for Saltwater Pool)
Some folks would prefer to add a tinge of salt to their pools for the purpose of health and skin benefit.
To be honest, there is no specific filter for the saltwater pool, but the more common type for the saltwater pool is sand pool filter, the pool sand will work exceptionally well with the saltwater system and maintain high levels of hygiene in the water.
But don’t worry, this Hayward C4001575XS Easy Clear Cartridge Pool Filter will also operate well and keep your pool crystal clear after use.
Besides, some other plus points of this filter are its high-density thermoplastic materials and a specially reinforced polyester cartridge, which will provide years of hassle-free operation with minimal care.
- Work well for saltwater pools
- Durable materials
- Easy-Lock lid access design
- Built-in check valve
- Unique safety-catch
- Not suitable for inground pools
XtremepowerUS Deluxe Pool Cartridge Filter
(Best for Inground Pools)
This XtremepowerUS Deluxe Pool Cartridge Filter for inground swimming pools and spas has numerous outstanding features for you to consider.
The extra-large cartridge elements with new precision engineered extruded cores will screen out dirty particles down to 10-15 microns in size and leave your pools crystal clear after the filtration process.
The material of the body tank is mainly made of durable glass-reinforced co-polymer. Therefore, this filter can work under high pressure to satisfy demands of the toughest application and environmental condition.
Moreover, the single locking knob will effectively tighten the connections between the filter head and tank, mitigate any chances of bolts or clamps.
- Remarkable filtering capacity
- Durable glass reinforced copolymer material
- Useful locking knob for fastening
- Very easy to remove
- The color is very stylish
- Regular maintenance is required
Hayward XStream CC1000 Pool Cartridge Filter
(Best for Above Ground Pools)
This Hayward XStream CC1000 Pool Cartridge Filter is the must-have item for above ground pools of any sizes. Thanks to its massive filter body, the filtering capacity to remove dirt, debris increases, along with the efficient filtering cycles.
Another plus point is its glass-reinforced durable filter tank, which will provide this filter many years of trouble-free filtration. This filter is also designed to suit both flexible and rigid plumbing.
- Non-corrosive, glass-reinforced tank body
- Wide-area filter body for high filtering capacity
- A single cartridge is easy to install and clean
- Easy-Lok ring for efficiently securing the filters
- Easy to open and remove the cartridge
- The coupling used to attach a motor to the filter is not included
Intex Krystal 28637EG Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best for a 6000 Gallon Pool)
This third model from Intex for above ground pools on my review is a compact and very easy to use pool equipment. Integrated with the One Hydro Aeration Technology, water clarifying capacity of this filter is much improved, resulting in sparkling clear water after filtration.
How to set up the filtering system? It can’t be easier for you. Just attach hoses and plugin. For maintenance routines? It won’t take your time, too.
- Operate well pools up to 6000 gallons
- Compact and simple equipment
- Easy to install and use
- Replaceable filter cartridge
- Not suitable for commercial pools
Hayward C3030 Swim Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best for a 25000 Gallon Pool)
This Hayward C3030 Swim Clear Cartridge Pool Filter, provided with heavy-duty dirt-holding capacity and extra-long filter cycles. With its 325 square feet, this model will perfectly fit over 25000-gallon pools.
With an easy-cleaning cartridge, a rapid-release manual air relief valve, and a very low profile tank base, this cartridge filter is respected for its efficiency and durability over the toughest applications and environmental conditions.
This SwimClear cartridge filter also provides the most energy-efficient flow as the manufacturer stated, it can save up to 2,500 gallons of water per year, thanks to its backwashing-free.
- Cleanable cartridge
- Durable materials
- Top manifold configuration (4 cartridges included) for excellent filtration
- Hydraulic performance for energy-saving
- Rapid-release manual air relief valve for air to be bled quickly from the filter
- Its connections are different from the older model
Pentair PNCC0100 Clean & Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best for Single Speed Pump)
This Pentair PNCC0100 Clean & Clear Cartridge Pool Filter is accompanied with a dependable 1.5 horsepower Pentair OptiFlo pump in its package. This filter is specially designed to operate well only with a single-speed pump.
The wide-area filter surface will allow more dirt, debris, and particles down to 20 micros in sizes to be captured. The tank clamp included will minimize your consuming time for maintenance routines.
The 2-inch union set will be supplied in every filter for easy installation and maximize the water flow rates through the filter.
The filtering system of this 100 square feet filter is highly efficient, simple to operate, and assures you long-time filtration of hassle-free.
- High-performance OptiFlo single speed pump, this pump is replaceable
- Maximum filtration area
- Easy installation and operation
- No defect has been recorded from the product so far
Hayward CC15093S Xstream Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best for a Very Large Pool)
Hayward has been known as one of the world's top products about pool equipment with the backing of 80 years in research and development. The Hayward CC15093S Xstream Cartridge Pool Filter is one of the most quality products designed by Hayward.
The filter will impress you with its powerful filtering system that can be appropriate to any size of above-ground pools and help make the filtration of water become faster and more efficient.
Moreover, this filter is engineered for easy use and suitable for either flexible or rigid plumbing. Another plus point of this product is the safety clamp that can prevent over-tightening which causes damage.
- It is a Hayward production
- Suitable for many pools
- It has a safety clamp to avoid damage
- A large filter area
- “O” Ring sometimes has problems
- Heavy unit
Hayward C225 Star Clear Micro Cartridge Pool Filter
(Best for a 1500 Gallon Pool)
C225 Star Clear Micro Cartridge Pool Filter, a product of Hayward, is specially designed for above-ground and in-ground pools up to 15,000 gallons, or ponds, spas, hot tubs, or smaller size above ground pools because of its filter surface area about 25 square feet.
The outstanding characteristic of this filter is its durable thermoplastic body which is engineered to enable maximum water flow while decreasing energy costs. As a result, this filter is an economical choice for anyone who wants their pools always to be clean.
- Energy cost saving
- Suitable for small pools
- Diversified sizes
- Easily trap dirt and debris
- Provide crystal clear water because of its cleaning capacity
- Removed quickly and easily for servicing because of the union connection
- Hard to get the filter changed
Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
This Intex 28635EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Pool Filter will provide perfect filtration for your above ground pool at a very great price.
Intex brand is always proud of their Hydro Aeration Technology, which as they stated, will help induce oxidation of iron, manganese and increase negative ions on the water surface to improve the air freshness.
Moreover, the filter cartridge is very easy for rinsing and replacing when required, as the manufacturer says: “Maintenance is a breeze”.
- Easy maintenance, simple assembly
- Hydro Aeration Technology included
- Reasonable in price
- The cartridge is easy to clean and replace
- Frequent problems with operation
- Small filtration area per square feet
Pentair 160317 Clean & Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
This 160317 Clean & Clear Cartridge Pool filter from Pentair brand is one of the best choices for any beginner with pool equipment. It is extremely easy to install and assemble. With detailed instructions from the manufacturer, you can handle it yourself within 1 hour.
Besides, this model also features the thermoplastic body tank with a coreless cartridge, which makes it easy for the owners to remove the cartridge for convenient cleaning and prolong the lifetime of the filter.
Like all other models from Pentair, this filter is equipped with easy spin-on unions for plumbing hook-ups.
- Installation causes no problem
- Thermoplastic body tank and a coreless cartridge
- Easy spin-on unions to serve plumbing hook-ups
- Do not operate well for above ground pools
Hayward C500 Star Clear Cartridge Pool Filter
Hayward C500 Star Clear Cartridge Pool Filters will impress you with their durability and convenience of the cartridge filtration unit. The filters of this system can be rotated so that pressure gauges and manual air relief can be placed in necessary events.
One of this product’s plus points is their saving energy. With new precision-engineered core and molded end caps, this filter can maximize the pool water flow by low energy costs.
Moreover, the safety of users is another important factor to help customers decide to buy these filters. Their single locking knobs are designed for securely attaching the heat to the filter tank, eliminating bolts or clamps.
- Easy to use
- Safe for user
- Additional cleaning capacity for crystal clear water
- Saving energy costs
- Easy to clean the cartridge
- After opening the O-ring seal 2-3 times, it may get pinched and starts leaking
Pooline 120SF Pool Cartridge Filter
It would be a mistake if this high-quality Pooline 120sp Cartridge Filter did not appear on my reviews. This filter features super-strong water flow rates and allows for extremely crystal clear water.
The filter tank is extremely durable, thanks to its rugged polymer plastic material. Maintenance is no problem at all. This filter cartridge is easy to clean, replace and also requires minimum maintenance.
- Superior water flow rates
- Pressure gauge and air relief valve available
- Weather-resistant and corrosion proof polymer plastic material
- Frequent maintenance is not needed and very easy
- Need to order in couples for the sake of compatible problems
Cartridge Pool Filters Buying Guide
A wise consumer is the one who is always interested in how to choose a product that suits his needs. There are some factors you will need to consider before deciding what Cartridge Pool Filters you should buy. This buying guide will help you to find out the most suitable one.
Most people who buy Cartridge Pool Filters will consider the differences between in-ground and above-ground ones. So to help you shop easily, I will describe a few downsides here.
The main difference between above ground and inground pool filters is size. In-ground pool filters are designed to control large pool volume which processes up to 10,000 gallons of pool water per hour so they are larger to allow a high flow rate of water.
Meanwhile, above-ground pool filters are smaller than in-ground ones with the size from under 3000 gallons to over 20000 gallons that help them suitable for any kind of above-ground fools because of their various styles.
Pool Pump Capacity
Because the fool filter is directly related to the fool pump capacity, it is vital to choose the filters that are appropriate to the pump. If the pool pump capacity is too high or too low for the filter capacity, it will put great pressure on the filter and cause damage.
To be able to choose the right filter, the best way that you need to do is to determine the capacity of the pool pump according to the formula for calculating the GMP index. For example, if your pump capacity is 50GPM, the selection of filter equipment must range between 50GPM and 65GPM to operate effectively.
That means the filter flow rate must be rated at least the same GPM as your pump, or higher. With pool filters, it's best to choose the larger size to make sure it can handle the pressure of your pump.
A helpful rule of thumb is to get a filter with at least 1 square foot per 10,000 gallons pool capacity.
On the current market, there are many kinds of cartridge pool filters that are designed for different pools depending on the size of them. As a result, when buying filters, people should acknowledge the measurement of their pools to find out which is most suitable.
Knowing the volume of the pool is also a mandatory rule to choose an appropriate swimming pool filter. Once the volume of the pool is calculated, it is easy to measure the rate flow through the filter in a certain time unit. Usually, we will measure within 1 minute.
Therefore, if the flow rate of the filter is too much and the operating pressure is too high, we need to use another type of filter with a higher capacity. This will ensure a stable and efficient operation for the pool filter.
How to Clean Cartridge Pool Filters?
It is required to clean your pool cleaner regularly to prolong the lifetime of your product. But how?
The filter cartridge, containing many folds, is responsible for catching all the dirt, debris and other particles. I mean, this department is the dirtiest part and we need to take it out then give it a very deep shower.
Now, let’s get started.
Step 1: Lift the filter cartridge out of the filter housing.
Don’t forget to first turn off the pool pump to stop water flow through the pool filter.
Release pressure built inside the filter by turning the air relief valve counterclockwise. Water will start spraying out until you notice the pressure on the pressure gauge goes to 0 psi.
Turn the locking knob counterclockwise until the pool filter head becomes looser and you can lift the filter head straight off the filter body. But remember, your first-time cleanup might be a little bit hard as the O-ring seal is tightened and you need more power to break it.
Now you can see the cartridge lies inside the filter body, just remove it straight out from the filter housing.
Step 2: Give it a shower
Use a garden hose with full stray nozzle to clean the cartridge from top to bottom. Remember to spray straight down, focus on the areas between the pleats so that all the debris and dirt stuck on the pleated folds will slip down and be removed out from the bottom.
Rotate the cartridge and redo your work again and again, also check inside the cartridge until it looks totally clean.
For deep cleanup, some folks use TSP solution (or some other filter cleaners) with proper dosage according to their instructions, to chemically clean the filter cartridge.
Step 3: Reassemble the filter housing
A useful tip for every cleanup is rubbing a thin coat of lubrication around the O-ring, which will make it more durable over time.
Now just replace the cartridge straight down into the filter body. When replacing the filter head, make sure the O-ring was set properly.
Wanna know whether all the parts are reassembled appropriately or not? Tighten the locking knob clockwise, turn on the pool pump and let the air relief valve open. If there’s a steady stream of water spraying out, congratulate, you’ve done a great job.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Some information is not explicit enough for you? Here are the most common questions about cartridge filters. If they’re yours, let’s take a look.
Swim Network Overview
To ensure a sanitary and hygienic swimming environment for your summertime, let’s equip your pool with one of the best cartridge pool filters I list above. They definitely won’t disappoint your expectation. Just carefully do more research on them to pick out your most satisfying filter.
For the best overall, Hayward C1200 Swim Clear Plus Cartridge Pool Filter will be the most outstanding candidate. Its extreme efficiency, durability in the pool filtering system is undeniable.
Other filters you probably should take into consideration are Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Pool Filter for its best quality or Pentair 160316 Clean & Clear Cartridge Pool Filter, which has recently received top reviews from customers.
I hope you found my article helpful. Any questions on my reviews, please leave your comment below. If impossible, press the button share on Facebook and Twitter. It would be a great encouragement for me. Thanks for reading.