To help you choose the best pool pump for your above ground or inground swimming pool, we researched dozens of top models in a number of different scenarios, looking for reliable products that efficiently pumped, filtered and recirculated pool water. We tended to prefer models that were on the quiet side, available in a variety of sizes to fit different enclosures and achieved adequate pump flow rates, thanks to high quality motors. But if you have a small lawn garden that can only fit a small baby pool, there is still a lot of fun you can have with your family.
The best pool pump we researched was the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump, which is an ideal pick for those with an above ground pool, thanks to being available in a variety of sizes, from 10 inches to 16 inches, and boasts a high quality motor that achieves a pump flow rate of 3,000 gallons per hour, making it the perfect choice for pool sizes that range from 5,500 gallons to 19,600 gallons. It also does a great job at filtration, thanks to its sand-enhanced system. Keep reading to learn more about the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump and the other products on this list.
Top 7 Best Pool Pump Compared
#1 Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump – Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is an excellent fixed speed pump that is designed to service above ground pools in a variety of sizes, from 5,500 gallons to 19,600 gallons, with a high quality filtration system and an easy-to-clean basket.
- Excellent filtration
- Easy-to-clean basket
- Pump flow rate of 3,000 gph
- Not for inground pools
- Not a variable speed pool pump
- Not for smaller than average pools
The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump achieves a pump flow rate of 3,000 gallons per hour, the highest metric on this list, thanks to a durable and well made motor. The filtration system is excellent, using sand, and the basket is easy to clean of debris and other odds and ends. It also comes with a 24 hour timer, which is handy, and the ability to service large pools up to 19,600 gallons.
This is a powerful product and, as such, it is not recommended to be used with pools with a capacity of less than 5,500 gallons. Additionally, this is for above ground pools only, though we have several picks later on in the list that will service inground swimming pools. You will also be happy to know that the best robot vacuum can do more than carpets these days. In fact, the best robotic pool cleaners will clean your pool for you.
#2 Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump – Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: Double insulated filtration pump that is easy to install, thanks to a cartridge design that resembles a Brita filter, that absolutely excels with smaller above ground pools of less than 6,000 gallons.
- Best budget
- Great for small pools
- Easy to install & double insulated
- Requires cartridge purchases every two weeks
- Pump flow rate of 1,000 gph
- May need an adapter for some pools
The Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump is extremely easy to install. Just slip in a filtration cartridge and you are ready to go. The double insulated design helps achieve even and efficient filtration and the smaller-than-average size makes it a perfect choice for those with above ground pools that hold 6,000 gallons or less. We also found the model to be extremely quiet.
Though this product excels with small pools, it is not suited for anything above 6,000 gallons, thanks to its relatively modest pump flow rate of 1,000 gallons per hour. Also, some above ground pools may need an adapter for initial installation. A dip in the pool after using the best electric lawn mower all day will feel great.
#3 Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump – Best Circulation
WHY WE LIKE IT: Boasts patented hydro aeration technology that produces an absolutely gorgeous end result, with water that sparkles and sheens, with a fairly powerful pump flow rate of 2,500 gph that is perfect for medium-sized above ground pools.
- Excels with flushing sediment
- Built-in timer
- Pump flow rate of 2,500 gph
- May need an adapter for some pools
- Requires cartridge purchase every 2 weeks
- Does not service pools above 15,200 gallons
This Intex 28633EG Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump uses an innovative new method of filtration which the company calls hydro aeration. Essentially, the pump mixes air into the filtration process, creating oxidation and producing an aesthetically gorgeous water clarity. It also features a sediment flush valve, which is handy, and a built-in timer with cycle presets in two to 12 hour increments.
This is an absolutely stellar choice for medium-sized above ground pools, thanks to its relatively powerful pump flow rate of 2,5000 gph, but it does not service large pools above 15,200 gallons. Additionally, it only works right out of the box with several Intex above ground pool models, so you may need an adapter. For the kids, the best kiddie pool is another great pool option.
#4 Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump Pool Pump – Quietest Inground Pump
WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely quiet inground pump that comes in a large variety of horsepower options, from 0.5 HP to 2.5 HP, and comes with an oversized debris basket which is perfect for pools that tend to accumulate leaves.
- Multiple HP options for different-sized pools
- Oversized debris basket perfect for leafy yards
- Easy strainer removal
- Not for above ground pools
- Can be frustrating to install
- Cannot be shipped to Florida or California
The Hayward SP2607X10 Super Pump Pool Pump is an extremely quiet product, despite boasting a lot of horsepower, which can barely be heard while it is in operation. This pump is available in a wide variety of horsepower options to suit different-sized pools, from 0.5 HP to 2.5 HP, and comes with an oversized debris basket that is perfect for catching large amounts of leaves and other types of foliage. We also liked that the strainer is easy to remove and clean.
This product is intended for use exclusively with inground swimming pools and, as such, it cannot be used with above ground models. Additionally, this is a single speed model and Florida and California law requires all inground pool pumps to be variable speed pool pumps, so it cannot be shipped to those states. You can also check out the best pool cleaner.
#5 Wayne Pool Cover Pump – Best for Pool Cover Maintenance
WHY WE LIKE IT: Highly efficient pump designed to maintain and drain excess water and debris from pool covers, with iSwitch technology that automatically turns on and off.
- Automatically turns on/off
- Lengthy 25 feet power cord
- Can function fully submersed
- Does not work as actual pool pump
- Must be uninstalled and removed during winter months
- Not the quietest item on list
This Wayne Pool Cover Pump works to clear up any debris and excess water that has accumulated on your pool cover. It is highly efficient and boasts iSwitch technology, which automatically turns on or off depending on if water or debris is present. We also liked that the item can still function while fully submersed, which can come in handy after a storm has drenched your backyard.
It must be noted, this is a pump designed to maintain pool covers, a task that it excels with. It is not intended as a standalone pool pump. Additionally, this is not the quietest item on this list, though the noise is by no means a deal breaker, since it only operates when needed. Your patio area may also need the best log rack cover since it is that time of year.
#6 Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pool Pump – Best All-Weather
WHY WE LIKE IT: Corrosion-proof reinforced thermoplastic housing for all-weather performance with an extremely quiet motor that is available in a number of different horsepower and pump flow rate options.
- Very quiet operation
- Heat-resistant seal surrounds motor, increases motor life
- Clear cover lets you see when basket needs cleaning
- Not for inground pools
- Power cable is on shorter side (6 ft)
- Does not have on or off switch
The Hayward SP1580X15 Power-Flo LX Series Pool Pump is highly rated for all-weather performance, thanks to a corrosion-proof reinforced thermoplastic housing. This durable and thick housing has an added benefit of making the item extremely quiet while in use, which is a fantastic perk. We also liked that the motor itself, which is available in a number of horsepower options, is surrounded by a heat-resistant seal, which should contribute to a long-lasting product.
This product is intended for use with above ground pools only and, as such, should not be purchased by those with inground swimming pools. Additionally, the product must be unplugged in order to be turned off, as it does not feature an on/off switch. If you want to come home to fresh water, take a look at best water filtration system for your home. And, if you want to grow plants in your garden, you should begin by germinating the seeds in one of the best seedling starter trays.
#7 Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High Performance Single Speed Pool Pump – Most Durable Inground
WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely durable and efficient inground pump that offers a lower-than-average operation cost, availability in two voltage options (115 and 230 volts) and a variety of horsepower options, from 1 HP to 2.5 HP.
- Energy saving technology
- Quiet operation
- Oversized strainer basket with clear lid
- Not for above ground pools
- Somewhat difficult to install
- Replacement parts can be expensive
This Pentair 340039 SuperFlo High Performance Single Speed Pool Pump is made from extremely thick parts that use highly durable components. This adds up to extreme efficiency, which means a lower than average operating cost. We also liked that it was fairly quiet during use and that it comes with an oversized strainer with a clear lid, so you can instantly know if it needs cleaning or not.
This is an old-school inground pool pump and, as such, can be somewhat difficult to install, so one should set aside an hour or so. Additionally, this is for inground pools only and cannot be used to pump and filter water in above ground pools. It may be sunny now, but if you like to think ahead, your outdoor area may need the best snowblower.
How We Decided
To help narrow down to the above list, we took pains to test out top models for both inground and above ground swimming pools, ensuring efficient operation in both capacities. We wanted to find the best inground pool and above ground pool pump and therefore preferred models with powerful motors, of up to 2.5 horsepower, with efficient pump flow rates, of as much as 3,000 gallons per hour.
We also liked models that were created using durable and long-lasting components, increasing their all-weather ratings, and those that were easy to install and easy to clean, thanks to oversized baskets intended to catch leaves and other debris and clear lids that allow users to know exactly when it is time to perform maintenance.
All of the above products feature warranties of one year, which is the industry standard, though we made sure the high quality components on offer should ensure multiple years of successful use. Finally, we liked extremely quiet motors that won’t add too much noise while you are in the pool with friends and family.
Pool Pump Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Horsepower and Pump Flow Rates
You are going to want to consider the power on offer with some of these models. Generally speaking, more horsepower and a higher pump flow rate is better, but this depends on what type of pool you have. Obviously, if you have a large (16,000 gallons or more) inground or above ground pool, you are going to want to maximize pump flow rate, settling for nothing less than 2,500 gallons per hour, and horsepower, preferring something with at least 1 HP. If you have a smaller pool, you’d be better off settling for a less powerful, and usually more inexpensive, option.
- Debris Baskets and Strainers
These pool pumps don’t just circulate water. They also filter said water before allowing it to be re-entered into the pool. This means they usually come with debris baskets and/or strainers and strainer covers of some type. If you have a home with plenty of foliage surrounding the pool, you’ll want to make sure you choose a product with an oversized debris-catching basket, which is perfect for accumulated leaves. If you have a yard that doesn’t have too many trees, you could get by with a standard strainer, which will do the job of filtering out smaller amounts of debris.
- Additional Features
Of course, some of these pumps offer additional functionalities that go above and beyond what is typically expected from a pool pump. Some items, including several on our list, include clear lids atop the strainer basket, making it easy to know when to perform general cleaning and maintenance. Others, like our number six pick, house the motor in a heat-resistant casing, which can help increase the life of the unit. Look at all of the features on offer, and choose accordingly.