Without pool filter sand, your sand filter would not be able to function. A sand filter works by sending all of the pool water through an excellent sand particle to collect all of the debris from the water. For those who own a sand filter, making sure that your sand is replaced often and that it is fresh and high functioning will be vital.
If you notice that your pool sand filter is not doing as good of a job lately, it may be time to get some new sand put in. Here are ten of the best pool sand choices on the market and some helpful information for picking the best one for your pool.
The Best Pool Sand Reviews
1. FairmountSantrol AquaQuartz-50 Pool Filter 20-Grade Silica Sand 50 Pounds
- Ecologically safe sand does not solidify and will help prevent clogging and channeling
- 100% natural sand is chemical free and backwashes easily and evenly
- Filters out insects, leaves, oils, dirt, dust, hair and algae from pool water
- Odorless, Premium #20 Grade swimming pool sand filter Media
The Fairmount Santrol AquaQuartz is the best pool sand that you can buy. This pool sand will help keep your filter system functioning to its highest level for years to come. This is 20-grade sand that will work to keep leaves, oils, dirt, and dust from re-entering your pool water. This natural sand is chemical-free and will not clog your filter either. Overall this is the perfect choice for sand filters.
- Does not solidify
- Ecologically safe
- Some have had trouble with the particles being too small
2. Zeo, Inc ZeoSand-50 ZeoSand Swimming Pool Sand Replacement, Alternative Filter Media, 50 P, White
- Replaces sand as a filter media
- 50 pounds of ZeoSand is equivalent to 100lbs. Of sand
- Lasts up to 5 years
- Catches more particulate than sand and decreases back wash times
The ZeoSand pool sand is a long lasting and effective sand to use in your sand filter system. This is 50 pounds of sand that will last you up to 5 years without needing to be replaced. Your swimming pool filter will work better almost as soon as replacing it with the Zeo sand. The number of particles this great pool sand will capture will certainly be higher than other competitors on the market.
- Lasts up to 5 years
- Catches even small particles in the swimming pool
- Resistant to backwashing
- Comes in two 25 pound bags
3. Palmetto Pool filter-50 Superior Pool Sand Filter
- Filtration – Our perfectly sized pool filter sand grabs insects, leaves, dirt, dust, sunscreen oil, hair and other small particles to keep your pool sparkling clean.
- Pool Filter Sand – This pool filter sand is specifically designed to meet the standards for all brands of pool filters. We have upgraded our production with new robotics and screening technologies to...
- Sand - Our sand is 100% natural and has No chemicals added. This ensures smooth operation for backwashes of sand pool filters.
- Clumping – Our sand will not solidify and not allow clogging and channeling of the sand in the filter. Our sand gives pool filter a smooth operation.
As you will notice, most of the pool sand material is going to be 20 grade. However, Palmetto Pool filter claims that their Pool Sand is the perfect size for grabbing insects, leaves, dirt, sunscreen, oil, and even hair. Since the product is specifically designed for swimming pool filtration systems, this is a premium choice. The Palmetto Pool filter Sand is natural and has no added chemicals. This is a smart and affordable choice for sand filters.
- Superior filtration
- 100% natural sand
- Higher quality
- Not for use in public pools
4. HTH Filter Sand Care for Swimming Pools
- For use with in-ground or above-ground swimming pool sand filters
HTH is the manufacturing of pool products that makes a wide range of product choices for pools. This HTH Filter Sand is a 50 pound bag of 20 grade sand. If you have had luck with HTH products when caring for your pool filters, this sand could do the trick. You will notice that the HTH seems to stay in place and be safe even when backwashing.
- HTH makes good pool maintenance products
- 50lb bag
- Effective size for filter media
- Priced higher than other pool sand choices
5. HARSCO METALS & MINERALS Filter Glass
Some pool owners are finding that filter glass is a better choice for their sand filters than pool sand. One of the great things about filter glass is that it lasts quite a bit longer than sand. The Harsco Metals and Minerals filter glass will help you reduce the number of chemical supplies you need to purchase. Simply by using the properties of the glass, your pool will stay cleaner and clearer. If you want an all natural alternative for your home pool maintenance, this could be a good choice.
- Helps water become more clear
- Alternative to pool sand
- Offers a difference in pool water clarity
- Ensure that glass is compatible with your pool filter
6. Mystic White II Swimming Pool Filter Sand
- Mystic White Swimming Pool Filter Sand
- Permits even flow-rate with no balling, packing or channeling
- Carefully screened and graded to prevent clogging
The Mystic White II swimming pool filter sand is composed of pure white quartz. It’s larger than typical children’s play sand and is designed to trap contaminants without clogging. It allows water to flow at an even rate and is carefully screened and graded.
- Natural and safe for the environment
- No staining or corrosion
- A little pricey
7. Rx Clear Blue Luster Eco-Friendly Filter Media for Swimming Pool Sand Filters
- CLEANER WATER – The blue Luster Filter Media is made from technology which helps fight to keep your swimming pool clean and prolongue it's lifespan. Luster Filter Media can last up to five years with...
- A REPLACEMENT FOR SAND - Rx Clear Luster Filter Media is designed to be an alternative to pool filter sand for pool filters. One box of filter media (1.5 lbs) equals 50 lbs of sand.
- GREAT WATER CLARIFIER - Made from 100% polyethylene these tiny balls will clean your freshwater, filtering down 5 to 3 microns making for a more enjoyable swim in your pool.
- LONGER LIFE SPAN - With proper care and handling, the swimming pool balls can last for several seasons. These reusable filter balls are machine wash friendly and you can clean them whenever needed. Perfect...
The RX Clear Blue sand is an alternative to the heavy sandbags that you can use in your pool to replace the sand. These sand filter balls are made from antimicrobial technology to reduce the bacteria growing in your swimming pool. In addition to keeping the water looking good, they do a great job of keeping your pool clean and safe. The pool balls filter down to about 4 microns, helping you keep your pool much cleaner.
- Good replacement for sand
- Easier to manage than bags of sand
- Can last up to 5 years
- Some say they don’t last as long as other options
8. Misscat 1.5 lbs Pool Filter Balls Eco-Friendly Fiber Filter Media
- Misscat pool filter media is designed to replace the filter sand for pool sand filters. 1.5 lbs pool filter ball is equivalent to 50lbs pool filter sand
- Perfect for summer pool sand filter and others water filter, clear water makes you and your children enjoy swimming more. No sand in the pool, lighter and more efficient than traditional filter sand
- Spherical fiber filter is made of polyester, polypropylene spherical filter and acrylic fiber. It has the advantages of high filtration strength, fast filtration speed, long service life, reusable, good...
- Unlike sand, the filter ball does not block your filter and requires less backwash for maintenance purposes. Premium filter media extends filter life and is a perfect replacement for filter sand, filter...
This is another option for the pool filter ball that will work just like pool filter sand. People love how easy the Misscat Pool Filter balls are to work with; certainly, replacing 50 lbs of a product with 1.5 lbs will help make your sand replacement job much easier. These pool balls are made of polyester, acrylic fiber, and a polypropylene spherical filter. They are capable of filtering water quickly and efficiently.
- Won’t need as much product
- Lower in price than top sand models
- Easy to work with than sand
- Ensure that your pool filter will work with the ball type product
9. JUCJET 3.1 Lbs Pool Filter Balls Eco-Friendly Fiber Filter Media for Swimming Pool
- Material: 1400g (3.1 Lbs) Fiber filter ball is made of polyester, polypropylene spherical filter and acrylic fiber. Good elasticity, non-toxic, stable. 3.1 Lbs filter ball is equivalent to 110Lbs filter...
- Powerful: Fast filtration, strong adsorption capacity, long service life and easy operation, it can trap tiny suspended solids that are not easily precipitated and removed and make the swimming pool...
- Service Life: Unlike sand, the filter ball does not block your filter and requires less backwash for maintenance purposes. Lighter, more comfortable and more efficient than traditional sand filter, perfect...
- Repeated use: It can be cleaned regularly, machine washable, recyclable, very durable and low in loss. ( Tips: Put filter balls in a laundry bag and machine wash)
If you find that the swimming pool balls are the right option for you, then the Jucjet could be a great choice. Where most companies package their product to be the equivalent of 50 pounds of sand. This is the same as 110 pounds of sand. Therefore you will get a much better value for this product. One of the things that people like about the Jucjet is that the flow rate for the filter will not be impacted by the size of these particles. Even if the particles the JucJet needs to collect are small, this material is capable.
- Should reduce the use of pool chemicals
- Requires less backwash
- Works with aquariums as well
- Lesser known brand
10. Hbitsae Pool Filter Balls Media Filters
- 1.5 Lbs filter ball is equivalent to 50 Lbs filter sand,No sand in the pool, lighter and more efficient than traditional filters
- Fiber filter made of polyester, polypropylene spherical filter and acrylic fiber. Long working cycle, use light weight. Don't force yourself to carry large, heavy sandbags
- The fiber ball filter material can trap tiny suspended solids that are not easily precipitated and removed
- The fiber ball is a perfect alternative to sand filter sand, filter glass and other glass media. He won't clog the filter and has less anti-cleaning
Finally, one more filter ball option will help you have an easier and more efficient time replacing the sand in your filter. This is a long-lasting and lightweight improvement. You will notice that the fiber ball does a great job of protecting your water from various particles and even oils. Overall this is lightweight and easy to work with as an alternative to a traditional bag of sand that you would put in your filter.
- Works well as a replacement in a sand filter
- Easy to work with and carry
- Environmentally friendly
- Some have trouble with smaller particle filtering
What Is Pool Sand?
Pool sand is used in sand pool filters to help keep the water clean and free of debris. The pool sand works to help keep debris out of the pool water. Depending on the type of pool sand you purchase and the type, you can filter the pool water to a very small micron. This means that the pool sand is capable of taking care of oils, sunscreens, sand, and more. There are different types and on the market, but pool sand is specifically built to work in pools.
How Does Pool Filter Sand Work?
Pool filter sand is a very thin and fine particle. When the pool water passes through the sand, it will help trap particles and debris. The pool filter sand will work quite well for a number of years, but it does need to be replaced so that it can properly filter and clean your water again.
Types of Pool Filter Sand
As we have mentioned, there are many types of sand on the market. Some of these sands are priced lower than pool filter sand, making people contemplate using them in their pool. The problem with this is that not all sands are going to work in your pool filter.
In addition to the pool filter sand, people also use an artificial sand type product called ZeoSand, Filter Glass, and Pool Filter Balls.
ZeoSand is an artificial type of sand, and it does a great job of filtering out microscopic particles in your pool water. The ZeoSand is a top option that will work quite well against smaller debris and particles; many find it to be a good alternative to traditional pool sand. It is typically around the same price and size as ZeoSand.
Filter glass is an excellent glass particle that is also used in sand pool filters at times. If you are finding that pool filter sand did not do a good enough job of cleaning your pool, filter glass can be a good alternative. Always make sure that your sand filter is compatible with filter glass.
Pool Filter Balls
Pool filter balls are made of acrylic type fibers that will replace the sand in your pool filter. The pool filter balls offer people a much easier project of changing out the pool sand. These are lightweight and easy to use, and you can complete your pool sand replacement rather quickly. The issue with pool filter balls is that they are not always quite as effective as traditional sand. You must be careful which ones you use.
Traditional 20 Grade Pool Sand
The most common option is the traditional 20 grade pool sand. This sand is usually sold in bags that are between 25 and 50 pounds. The pool sand has been the top choice for many years, and it is known for doing a great job of keeping your pool clean and clear.
Choosing the Best Pool Sand
Sometimes it can be hard to choose the best pool sand on the market. Many of the options are going to be exactly the same as the one next to it on the shelf. There are, however, a few things that you should consider before purchasing your next bag of pool sand.
We mentioned that there are several types of sand categories, and making sure that you choose something designed for use with a sand filter is imperative. If you don’t choose a product that will work with a sand filter, it could end up back in your pool and create quite a mess. Also, be careful choosing a glass material or media if you think that your filter may send some of it back into your vinyl liner pool; this can be a bit of a mess to clean up.
The price of pool filter sand should remain relatively constant throughout the market. However, you must pay attention to the amount of pool filter sand that you are getting for the money. Some companies will sell a 25 lb bag for the same price that others sell a 50 lb bag. Just make sure that you are comparing equal products when you purchase your sand.
Not all sand is good for the environment. Make sure that you are purchasing something that is environmentally friendly. When you backwash a pool, there will be particles of sand in the water; if you are backwashing an unsafe material into your grass, that will eventually end up back in our water system. Don’t ignore the environmental impact of any of the pool products that you use in your systems.
Pool sand is specifically made to work against closing and clumping. If you have had a hard time with this in the past, make sure you only buy products specifically built for pools. Pool sand is very fine, and it should not attach to other particles that would cause it to clump together. Making sure that your pool sand does not clog the pipes is essential.
POol sand should come washed. Although this may sound a bit ridiculous considering it is going in the pool, it is more important for the installation process. When you are pouring all of the sand into the filter, there will be a bit of a cloud of sand dust around. You must be careful that you don’t breathe this in as you are working.
How to Change Sand In Pool Filter
The process of changing the sand in your pool filter should not be difficult. In fact, the most difficult part tends to be the fact that the sand is so heavy and difficult to transport around your home and yard. These are the basic steps for changing sand in the pool filter, yet keep in mind that this process will change based on the brand of filter you own.
1) Power Off & Drain
Turn the power to your filter off, and be sure to drain out all of the water that is currently in the filter. You won’t be able to remove the sand until the water is completely drained.
2) Remove Multiport Valve
Take the multiport valve off, which will end up exposing the sand in the pool filter. This process will be different depending on the type and the size of the filter that you own.
3) Cover Pipe with Tape
Inside the filter, you will notice an opening of a pipe where the water will return back to the pool. Before you start this process, make sure to cover that with a piece of tape. The tape helps to ensure that the sand does not go down the pipe and into the pool during this removal and replacement project.
4) Remove All Sand
Next, you will need to remove all of the sand in your pool filter. The sand is going to be wet, and it may take a bit of work to remove it. You can use a combination of a small shovel and a shop vac to get the sand out of the filter. Find a safe and secure spot to dispose of this sand.
5) Fill Tank
Once all of the old sand is out, you will want to fill the tank partially with water. When you fill it with water, you will have an easier time keeping the sand from flying away and into the air as you pour. You will also know when the pool filter truly has enough sand material inside it.
6) New Sand
Then you can add the new sand to your filter. When you put the new sand in, do it slowly and try to avoid the pipe that returns the water back to the pool. You will not want to pour the sand on top of this spot if you can help it. Even with the tape on, some sand will end up in your pool if you don’t pour it in carefully.
7) More Water
Once you have put the proper amount of sand into your filter, you can then add more water. The water will help to ensure that the sand does not blow back into the pool when you start running your pool filter again.
Before starting to run your pool filter and pump, you will want to do a backwash. You can turn your pool filter back on at this point. The backwash clears out any debris or bacteria that was stuck in the old sand. This is an important step to leave your pool looking clear and ready to release the water back into the pool.
9) Turn Pump on and Run
Last you will turn your pool pump on and start running your filter. It is essential that the pool filter runs for a while after completing this project; it will help to ensure that your pool is functioning as it should be again. Always make sure that there is no sand pouring into the pool out of the vents. You may notice a very small amount, and you can simply vacuum that out of your pool.
Why Change Your Pool Filter Sand?
After a while, the pool filter sand starts to lose its effectiveness. The sand filter system depends on the grade of the sand to work to help keep the pool clean. The problem with this sand is that after being exposed to water day in and day out, it eventually starts to lose its effectiveness. The sand can become compact, and it will have certain debris stuck in it that you will not even know is there. These materials and debris can make it difficult for the pool to properly clean the water that passes through it.
How Much Sand for Pool Filter?
The amount of sand that you need in your pool will depend on the pool filter’s diameter that you own. The larger the diameter, the more pool sand you will need for the filter to function properly. A 24-inch pool filter is going to need about 300 pounds of sand. If you have a large inground pool, chances are this project may be a bit more involved than you realized. Carrying 300 pounds of sand around can be a bit cumbersome.
How Often Should I Change Pool Filter Sand?
Most pool filter sand will last for about five years. If you have just moved into a new home, try to find out when they last replaced the sand in the filter. This will give you a better indication if it is time to replace the sand again.
Pool Sand FAQ
Replacing pool sand is a project that most pool owners can complete without the help of a qualified pool professional. Suppose you have a basic understanding of how your pool works and the physical ability to carry heavy bags of sand; you can do this project. However, there are plenty of questions that will likely come up. Here are some of the answers to the most frequently asked of these questions.
What Is the Best Pool Sand?
The best pool sand on the market is the Fairmount that won our first choice. This is a silica sand that is very capable of filtering out small particles, oil, dirt, and even hair. This is a well trusted brand, and they will stand behind the products that they produce.
What Kind of Sand Do You Use in a Pool Filter?
The 20 grade silica sand is the best choice for a pool filter. The quartz components of this sand make it very good at trapping the smallest particles and keeping your pool free of dust and debris. Keep in mind that the silica sand is not the only choice, but it is the smartest and most compatible option.
How Much Does Pool Sand Cost?
Pool sand cost will vary between $25 and $50 per bag. The best option may be to go to a local pool store and see if they offer a bulk discount. Sometimes if you need three or four hundred pounds of sand, you can get a discount from the manufacturer.
Is Pool Sand the Same as Play Sand?
Pool sand and play sand are not the same, and they should not be used interchangeably. Pool sand tends to be much more fine than play sand. This means that as the water passes through the pool sand, it does a great job of trapping the materials that it is supposed to trap.
If you filled your filter with play sand, many of the particles and debris would pass through and cause you to have no filter power. Essentially your water would be passing through the pool filter, giving it the same wear and tear but not allowing the particles to be filtered out.
How Do I Know if My Sand Filter Is Bad?
It can be a bit hard to tell if it is time to change your pool filter sand. One of the best ways to know that the pool and needs to be replaced is simply knowing the last time that you replaced it. If it has been several years, chances are it is time to replace the filter sand.
Another way that you will sometimes know that it is time for a replacement is that the pool will be much harder to keep clean. You may notice that you are using more chemicals or having to backwash more and more. This will probably happen gradually, but it is something that is worth paying attention to.
Another issue that people notice is that the pool water chemistry becomes difficult to balance. Luckily the new sand should make it easy to get your pool back up and functioning.
The Best Pool Sand Choice For Your Pool
Hopefully, our choices for the best pool sand have helped you narrow down which ones will work best for your project. A sand filter system is highly dependent on the sand that you use. In order to keep your pool water clean, you must purchase high-quality and reliable pool sand. The Fairmount AquaQuartz is widely known as the best pool sand choice for your pool. This option is fairly priced, does a great job of filtering small particles, and will stay in good shape for years to come. This is not a project you will have to complete that often, so it pays to do the research and purchase something that does the job right.
For over 15 years, Sean Moore has been sharing his love and enthusiasm for swimming pools and hot tubs with everyone he knows. His goal is to help everyday people DIY their maintenance to save money by teaching how to properly take care of your equipment, safely and correctly balance chemicals, and extend the life of your water oasis.
Pricing on this page was last updated on 2023-02-07