The best sand filters for swimming pools in the UK 2023

For an efficient and natural treatment of your pool water, treat yourself to a sand filter. This is the most widely used filtration system in the UK. Suitable for all types of water and all types of pools, these devices exist in various variants. Check out our comparison of the best pool sand filters.

Intex 26646

Best value for money

Intex 26646

Best pool sand filter in 2021

Weighing 18 kg, the Intex 26646 pool sand filter is easy to transport. The PVC used for its design ensures better resistance over time and protects its components from external aggression.

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Bestway Flowclear

Best value for money

Bestway Flowclear

Best entry-level pool sand filter

Less expensive and certainly the lightest of this comparison, the Bestway Flowclear performs well. Its filtration capacity can reach 3028 L/h, which makes it well suited for all above-ground pools up to 18100 L.

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Operating with standard sand or polysphere, the Bestway Flowclear has a water flow rate of 3028 L/h. Its tank has been designed to resist corrosion and allow for a longer life span. Thanks to the 6-position valve, you can manage the functions of your sand filter. Note that its 360° rotating handle can guarantee you a simplified use with only one hand.

Your pool water is both clear and hygienic thanks to the ChemConnect dispenser that comes with the Bestway Flowclear. Indeed, this device gives you the possibility to keep a good chemical balance and to make sure that the chlorine level remains stable. It is recommended to use a 3.8 cm threaded valve.

Gre FA6100

Best value for money

Gre FA6100

Best high-end pool sand filter

The main advantage of the Gre FA6100 is its ability to effectively retain impurities in the filter medium. Very compact, this pool sand filter is also easy to use and install.

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The Gre FA6100 has a filtration capacity of 10,000 L/hr and a power of 485 W. It has a pre-filter which is mainly used for the retention of large particles. Although the device weighs 24.55 kg, it remains compact. The selection valve consists of 5/6 channels. It is responsible for self-cleaning, filtration and emptying.

This pool sand filter is suitable for pools up to 75m3. In addition to sand, it can also be used with other filter media such as glass and Aqualoon. We recommend using granite sand if you want to make the most of all its advantages.

Intex 2800 GPH 1

A great choice

Intex 2800 GPH

Best filtration capacity

A large pool requires a high capacity purifier. For this purpose, you can rely on the Intex 2800 GPH, a sand filter for swimming pools that offers an excellent compromise between efficiency and energy consumption.

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Nothing better to preserve the quality of your pool water than a good sand filter such as the Intex 2800 GPH. Capable of operating at a water flow rate of 10500 L/h, this model is suitable for large above-ground pools, either a round model with a maximum diameter of 7.32 m or a rectangular model measuring no more than 4.88 x 9.75 m.

The powerful flow combined with its high capacity will save you time and energy. In addition, this pool sand filter features Intex's innovative Hydro Aeration technology to make the water as clear and pure as possible. It can hold up to 35 kg of sand and 25 kg of glass.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best sand filter for swimming pool

Any specific needs?

Best pool sand filter in 2021

Best entry-level pool sand filter

Best high-end pool sand filter

Best filtration capacity

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best sand filters for swimming pools

Intex 26646
Bestway Flowclear
Gre FA6100
Intex 2800 GPH 2
Intex 26646
Bestway Flowclear
Gre FA6100
Intex 2800 GPH
Weighing 18 kg, the Intex 26646 pool sand filter is easy to transport. The PVC used for its design ensures better resistance over time and protects its components from external aggression.
Less expensive and certainly the lightest of this comparison, the Bestway Flowclear performs well. Its filtration capacity can reach 3028 L/h, which makes it well suited for all above-ground pools up to 18100 L.
The main advantage of the Gre FA6100 is its ability to effectively retain impurities in the filter medium. Very compact, this pool sand filter is also easy to use and install.
A large pool requires a high capacity purifier. For this purpose, you can rely on the Intex 2800 GPH, a sand filter for swimming pools that offers an excellent compromise between efficiency and energy consumption.
Flow rate
7900 L/h
3028 L/h
10000 L/h
10500 L/h
18 kg
8 kg
24.55 kg
22 kg
Tank size
30 cm
36 cm
Maximum compatible pool sizes
7,32 x 3,66 m
Up to 18100 L
Up to 75 m3
Up to 7.32 m diameter / 9.75 x 4.88 m
Sand : 23 kg - Glass : 16 kg
Sand: 35 kg - Glass: 25 kg

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Buying guide - sand filter for swimming pool

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How to choose your sand filter for swimming pool

#1 - Water quality

Although it can be used to sanitize any pool, the sand filter is best suited for so-called hard or very hard water. It is best to know the type of water in your pool before making your choice.

#2 - Material

Generally speaking, sand filters are made of plastic or polyester. Regardless of the base material, you can find quite efficient filters on the market, however, the manufacturing material greatly influences the life span of the equipment. Thus, we recommend that you prefer polyester sand filters, as experience has shown that they are much more durable than plastic ones.

#3 - Space requirement

Depending on the model, sand filters can be equipped with a side valve or a top valve, a device that allows you to manage the circulation of water in the filter. For easy storage in a store or any other room, it is preferable to opt for a filter with a top valve, as this model offers a much smaller footprint than filters with a side valve.

#4 - Pond water volume

In order to ensure optimal filtration, you should take into account the quality of the water in your pool, as explained above, but also the volume of water. Thus, it is recommended to divide the volume of water of the pool by 4, to obtain the necessary flow from the filter. Indeed, the flow rate provided by the filter must be consistent with that of the pump, which must allow the total treatment of your pool water in 4 hours.

#5 - Sand grain size

The performance of the sand filter depends a lot on the grain size of the sand used and the speed of water passage in the filter. Ideally, two layers of sand should be used, the first with a large grain size (2 to 4 mm) and a second finer (0.4 to 0.6 mm), responsible for filtering the water. However, most sand filters have a single grain size, usually 0.55 mm, which guarantees a certain filtration fineness that can range from 25 to 50 µ. It should be noted that finer sand provides better filtration quality, but it also clogs up more quickly.

Honorable Mentions

The products below have many qualities. They just miss our podium, but they can be an excellent choice depending on your needs and the price you manage to find them at.

Intex SF80220-1

The Intex SF80220-1 is at the top of the list because of its performance. This sand filter features a 6-way valve with an ergonomic handle and a mini pre-filter. It also has a 3-position switch, a built-in programmer and a pressure gauge. This filter can retain impurities from 40 to 50 µ.

The tank is made of polypropylene and reinforced fiberglass. These materials are known for their durability. The installation of this filter is easy and does not require much maintenance. If the filter element is sand or zeolite, it should be changed approximately every 5 years. The filter glass, on the other hand, should be changed every 9 years.

Intex 28648

This sand filter also has a 6-way valve and a mini pre-filter. It can be programmed and has a 3-position switch. Its overall flow rate is 8m3/h. Thanks to the use of this filter, the water of your pool will be clear and limpid. It can contain up to 35 kg of sand or 25 kg of filtering glass. If you want to invest in the long term, this second option is very interesting.

Its installation on your pool and its start-up will be a child's play for you. Moreover, this sand filter is delivered with all the necessary accessories, including three 38 mm hoses. Take advantage of the power and performance of this ultra complete equipment.

Bestway 58404

This sand filter with a flow rate of 5.678m3/h is very efficient in removing various impurities from your pool. With a 6-position valve and a 380 mm diameter tank, it does its job well. This filter is effective for pools between 1.10m3and 42.30m3in volume.

Installation and cleaning are very easy. In addition, this filter is powerful. What could be better to have a clean and clear pool? For more results, it is interesting to use a vacuum cleaner with this filter. You can use 25 kg of sand as filtering element. Remember to order sand though, as this filter is delivered without filter element.

Intex 28644

The flow rate of this filter is 4m3/h, which gives it a certain efficiency in cleaning the pool water. Its tank is 254 mm in diameter and can hold 12 kg of sand from 0.4 to 0.8 mm. This filter is ideal for small pools and ponds.

The components and construction material of this filter are of very good quality. It is both efficient and quiet. Despite its mini appearance, this filter delivers on its promise. It is a quality product at an affordable price.

Older products to consider

Not everyone can afford the latest products. So in this section, you'll find products recommended in previous versions of this guide. They can be interesting choices, especially if you manage to find them on sale.

Deuba 100938

Do you dream of a clear, clean pool or pond at all times? The Deuba 100938 pool sand filter is for you. For small and large pools, the 10200 L/h filtration rate allows for a thorough cleaning. It is equipped with a 4-way valve with an ergonomic handle.

The tank capacity of this filter is 20 kg of sand. Its housing is made of metal. This gives it an appreciable durability. This filter also has a base that gives it optimal stability. Finally, you can set several functions on this filter: cleaning, rinsing, filtration and winter mode.

Pool sand filter or pool cartridge filter?

Sand filter for swimming pool

Using a sand filter is the most effective way to remove dirt debris from a pool. It purifies the water by passing it through sand. This maintenance tool filters both small and large particles such as hair or insects with a filtration fineness of 20 to 40 microns.

Easy to use, this filtration system can be cleaned quickly. Moreover, it has a long life span of 5 years and can last up to 7 years. However, it still has some disadvantages such as its complicated installation and its average filtration quality.

Cartridge filter for swimming pool

The cartridge pool filter is often used to filter the water in above ground pools and rigid or inflatable spas up to 10 m³ of water volume. The cartridge filter system consists of a small, normally primed circulation pump and an integrated container with the filter cartridge inside.

It can suck out small particles from the pool with a size of 10 to 40 microns. With a very good filtration quality, it is easy to install and takes up less space. In addition, it consumes less water. The disadvantages of a cartridge filter are that it cannot filter water with a high level of limestone. In addition, it lasts only 2 years, less durable than a sand filter.


The cartridge filter is very useful and practical for filtering small volumes of water. But it is better to choose sand filters composed by a mixture of sand and gravel with which you will surely obtain well purified water in a swimming pool.

Why buy a sand filter for your pool?

To purify the water in the pool

Thanks to the sand it contains, the sand filter purifies all the water that passes through it, whether it comes from a river or a well. It is an equipment that can treat even muddy water, making it clear as tap water. Thus, with a sand filter you can avoid skin problems such as itching that can occur after swimming in a pool infested with parasites.

To clear the pool water

Exposure to the open air, wind and weather can dull your pool water over time. Thanks to the sand filtration system, you can have clear water all year round, allowing you to see the depths of your pool without having to wear goggles.

To save money

Cleaning with a sand filter allows you to make huge savings in the purchase of maintenance products. But above all, it significantly reduces water waste, because you can clean and reuse the tarnished water of your pool as many times as you wish. Thus, the sand filter is an ecological and very practical equipment, because a pool equipped with it requires little maintenance.

In addition, their operating cost is very low since it is limited to the purchase of sand, which is very inexpensive. A replacement every 7 to 8 years for the sand is usually sufficient.

For its durability

Sand filters are remarkably long-lasting equipment. They can last for more than 5 years and even longer, especially when they are properly maintained. In addition, these devices generally benefit from a warranty that can last more than 2 years, which makes it possible to be helped out in case of breakdown, without calling upon an expensive external service.

For the simplicity of use

The sand filter is a flexible treatment system that has withstood the arrival of cartridge filters. Indeed, one of the great advantages of sand filtration is that the filter will take a long time to clog up, which allows you to stay for long periods of time without maintaining your pond and without having a loss of water quality. This is a very interesting advantage especially when you use it in a second home.

The best brands of sand filters for swimming pools

In our opinion, the best brands of sand filters for swimming pools in 2022 are :


Intex is the industry leader in affordable above-ground pools that can be installed on your own, without the need for specialized equipment or construction crews. The brand has been around for 50 years, and its pool sand filters are particularly valued for their reliability and efficiency.

Bestway was established in 1994 and now operates through 9 overseas branches in Europe, the Americas and Australia. Bestway products are sold in over 110 countries worldwide. Bestway is a true leader in the field of inflatable pools and pool sand filters.

Gre is a company with more than 50 years of experience in manufacturing above ground pools. A pioneering company in its field, the brand is considered a fundamental reference in the market due to its clear bet on the quality and safety of its products.

Since its creation in 1969, Fluidra has become the world leader in the pool and wellness sector. In 2001, the company developed the AstralPool brand following the merger of five Spanish companies. Today, it is one of the most successful and reliable brands in the market.

Pentair PLC (PNR) is an American-based company specializing in fluid management and filtration. The brand offers a very wide range of products: this ranges from tap water filtration products to industrial water filtration systems. It is a very serious and reliable brand.

What is the price for a sand filter for swimming pool

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

80 £ to 100 £
100 £ to 200 £
more than 200 £
Price range diagram


Maintain your sand filter properly

Over time, the sand in your filter will become clogged and lose its efficiency. It is therefore recommended to perform a chemical cleaning twice a year. To do this, first backwash the filter. Then, turn off the pump and open the top of the filter. Get rid of the excess water, then pour in filter cleaner and let it sit for 24 hours. Finish the operation with a backwash.

Handle the valve carefully

Attention, you should never manipulate the multi-way valve while the pool pump is running. Remember to shut down the entire system first before positioning the handle to the mode you want. Once this is done, you can restart the unit.

Purge the air in your sand filter

Having air in your sand filter can affect the entire filtration system. That's why it's crucial to get rid of it. First, find out where the infiltration is coming from, and stop it. Then, while filtering, open the drain plug to release the air. Once the water starts to come out, close the cap.

Filter more when it's crowded

As your pool gets more bathers, it also gets a lot of organic pollution. Therefore, you need to increase the filtration time. Note that it's best to do the filtration during swimming hours. And above all, don't forget to lower the filtration time when there are no more people at the risk of blowing up your electricity bill.

Clean your pool regularly

Even if the sand filter is there, it can't get rid of all the dirt. So you need to help it with some cleaning tools. Every day, be sure to remove leaves and bugs floating on the surface of the pond with a dip net. For bottom cleaning, use a pool cleaner or vacuum cleaner.


What is the recommended flow rate for a sand pump and filter for a pool of about 60m3?

It is preferable to choose a flow rate of 15 m3 or 18 m3 per hour, bearing in mind that the flow rate of a sand filter should always be greater than or at least equal to that of the pump. The flow rate is calculated in relation to the total volume of the pool. Here 60/4, so 15 min 3 s/hour. However, it is always necessary to inquire before going directly to the purchase.

What are the advantages of a sand filter?

It is a traditional filtration for a pool that is downright resistant and does not require specific maintenance. It is a very flexible method with a filtration capacity ranging from 40 to 50 microns, but the subtlety of this can increase when a coagulant is added to the water to bind the microparticles together.

How long can a sand filter last?

Being easy to maintain even for someone who has never done this before, doesn't mean that the sand filter needs to be changed often. Just think, it can last up to 5 years. It's enormously economical to use, especially for second home pools or rental houses for example.

What are the procedures to follow for descaling a sand filter?

You need to keep the pump off and turn on the sewer valve. Put the 6-way valve in Wash mode. Reactivate the pump for a few minutes until the water becomes crystal clear. The filter will be cleared of sand and the sewer will collect the dirty water. Turn the pump off again and switch the valve to Rinse mode. Activate the pump again for a few minutes and then stop. Switch to Filtration mode and activate the pump.

How can we adjust a high pressure sand filter?

4 reasons can cause this: worn pressure gauge, clogged pipes, a clogged filter or the sand is clogged. If the problem is with the filter, you should consider cleaning it. Check that the pressure gauge is working. If it is inactive, it should be replaced. Otherwise, have your unit checked by a professional.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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  2. The 5 Best Pool Filters of 2021,
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  7. The positions of the valve of a filter - Watch the show "The secrets of a successful pool",
  8. How to change the sand of a pool filterZeolite sand or filter glass what to choose for the filtration of my pool?,
  9. Which sand filter to choose for my pool in 2021?,
  10. The best pool sand filters,
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  31. Spare parts for swimming pool sand filter,
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Intex 26646
Intex 26646
Bestway Flowclear
Bestway Flowclear
Gre FA6100
Gre FA6100
Intex 2800 GPH 3
Intex 2800 GPH


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