Top Pool Pumps – Expert Reviews and Buying Guide

Pool Pumps are an essential part of any pools maintenance plan. The importance of the pump can not be overstated, it literally drives the entire movement of water from the pool, to the filter and back into the pool.Without a pool pump your pool water will quickly become dirty and nasty with the accumulation of grime and dirt. Who wants to swim in a dirty pool? not us that’s for sure.

Our team at Pool Helpers reviewed over 12 different pool pumps from three different types of pumps, including Dual Speed, Single Speed and Variable Speed pool pumps and carefully narrowed it down to 5 of the best pool pumps on the market today.

After you buy an above ground pool, please check out our buying guides for HeatersCleaners, because you will need these in order to maintain your pool.

Read the below reviews to decide which pool pump you wish to buy.

Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump (Top-Rated Variable Speed Pool Pump) Variable Speed Pool Pump 5 out of 5 Stars Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump
Pentair SuperFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump (Runner Up) Variable Speed Pool Pump 5 out of 5 Stars Pentair SuperFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump
Hayward MaxFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump (3rd Place) Variable Speed Pool Pump 4 out of 5 Stars Hayward MaxFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump
Intex Kystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools (Top-Rated Above Ground Pool Pump) Above Ground Pool Pump 4.5 out of 5 Stars Intex Kystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools
Hayward SP 1580C15 PowerFlo Above Ground Pool Pump (Runner Up) Above Ground Pool Pump 4 out of 5 Stars Hayward SP 1580C15 PowerFlo Above Ground Pool Pump

Our Editor’s Top Picks – The Best Pool Pumps


Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump

The Pentair IntelliFlo Variable speed pool pump is the best pool pump we have here today to show you and for good reason. The IntelliFlo has programmable speed settings and timers to for those who want to customize their pool pumps. The other thing we noticed was how darn quiet the thing was, it was much quieter than other models. The motors were specially designed with custom-made magnets to reduce costs, increase water quality and make filtration better.


  • Programmable speed settings with a built-in timer
  • Very quiet compared to other models
  • Custom-Made magnets 


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 Runner Up

Pentair SuperFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump


This is like a less-ambitious version of the Pentair IntelliFlo model although it packs quite a punch for its price. It has a relatively easy to use interface with three operating settings for easy access. The pump also doesn’t need any new electrical wiring to be installed since it works on standard 115 Volt electricity. The pump also is programmable so you don’t have to use the default 3 settings over and over again. 


  • Budget Pricing
  • Easy to use interface
  • Good value for its price



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3rd Place

Hayward MaxFlo Variable Speed Pool Pump

Hayward has a good reputation in regards to pool accessories and this is no exception. This Hayward model is incredibly energy efficient due to its integrated permanent magnet and a totally encased fan cooled design or TEFC for short along with a great programmable timer system that lets you customize this pump the way you want it. The large pocket also means you don’t have to clean this pump very often, it can be used for longer periods of time before having to clean it.


  • Programmable
  • Good price for value
  • TEFC Design
  • Large Debris pocket



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Intex Kystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools

This pool pump is a great option for those who don’t have an in-ground pool. Intex is a premier manufacturer of above ground pools and accessories and this product does live up to its name. The Intex Krystal Clear has an amazing pump flow rate of 3000 GPH along with 6-control valves which give you unprecedented control over how you want your pool pump to function. The sand filter also lasts for an incredible 5 years (according to Intex). This is surely a great buy for anyone who wants a clean above ground pool!


  • 3000 Gallons Per Hour Flow Rate
  • Sand Filter lasts for 5 years on average
  • 6-control valves



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Runner Up

Hayward SP 1580C15 PowerFlo Above Ground Pool Pump


The Hayward SP1580X15 PowerFlo pool pump is another great product from Hayward. It is especially designed for longevity with its corrosion proof reinforced thermoplastic housing along with a heat resistant seal for durability. A large debris pocket allows for you to wait longer before changing the pump. Another great feature is the clear cover that allows you to see when the debris pocket is full and needs changing. All of these features into one great package makes this product a great buy.


  • Corrosion Proof Reinforced Thermoplastic Housing
  • Extra Large Debris Basket
  • Reliable and durable


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Benefits of having a pool pump

  • Pool pumps keep your water clean and safe
  • Pool pumps can also enhance your swimming experience
  • Pool pumps means you don't have to manually pump out water yourself
  • Having a pump doesn't cost too much and can increase the lifespan of your pool water, leading to saved money overall

Different types of pool pumps

Single Speed Pool Pump

Single speed pool pumps are pumps that only operate at a static speed, this means that even when the pool does not need such a high speed the pump will still run at the speed. Single speed pool pumps end up being a lot more expensive than Dual and Variable speed pumps. According to, Single speed pumps can cost more than 8x the cost of a variable speed in terms of electricity use. For that reason we simply decided there is no point in having any single speed pool pump reviewed here.


  • Cost lees in-terms of initial price than both dual-speed and variable speed pool pumps


  • They Cost a lot more in terms of long-term use than variable speed pool pumps
  • They use a lot more electricity than variable speed and dual speed

Dual Speed Pool Pumps

Dual Speed pool pumps cost less than single speed in-regards with electricity, but they still cost a lot more than variable speed pool pumps. According to, dual speed pool pumps can cost up to 2.5x more than a variable speed. We also decided for that reason not to review any here.


  • They cost less than variable speed pumps in-terms of initial investment
  • They are more efficient than single speed pool pumps and cost less in the long run over single speed pool pumps


  • Less efficient than Variable Speed Pool Pumps
  • Cost more in the long run as variable speed pool pumps

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Variable Speed pool pumps are dynamic in the way they change their speed and flow rate to adjust to the current environment. Variable speed pool pumps cost much ess than single speed and dual speed pool pumps in the long run because they tone down their power usage when they don’t need to consume. Variable speed pool pumps therefore cost significantly less in the long run.


  • A lot less expensive in the long run as dual and single speed pumps (1/8 of the cost of single speed, 2/3 the cost of dual speed)
  • A lot more efficient


  • More expensive than single and dual speed pool pumps in terms of initial investment

Factors to consider when buying a pool pump

Here are some things to consider when buying a pool pump

What is your price range?

Pool pumps can vary in price for as little 100$ to as high as 800$. You must also know that pool pumps vary by type in the overall price in the long run, for example single speed pool pumps cost very little compared to variable speed pool pumps but variable speed pool pumps cost about 1/8 the cost of a single speed pool pump to run in the long run. This means variable speed pool pumps are a great option for those who want to save money in the long run instead of getting a cheap pool pump first and then spending a lot more in the long run.

Is your Pool In-ground or above ground?

An Above ground pool can often need entirely different types of pool pumps to work with them as they are almost completely different in terms of design and specifications than in-ground pools. We have clearly demarcated this different in the guide as the above ground pool pumps are labeled as such.

How large is your pool?

Depending on the size of your pools the amount of flow-rate will need to increase or decrease, you need to make sure your pump has enough flow rate to effectively pump your pool and not simply pull some water out. 

Guide to sizing your Pool Pump

You will need to know how much GPH your pump must have in order to properly clean out your pool in 8 hours (during the night), in order to find this we need to know the amount of gallons in your pool.

Step 1: Find the amount of gallons in your pool

First, you must find how many gallons of water are in your pool. Some pool manufacturers will tell you at a certain percentage of capacity will equal a certain amount of water. If they don’t you will need to calculate it yourself. Using the standard volume formula for the shape of your pool or the manufacturers specifications. Once you have found this move on to step 2. (Preferably with a calculator)

Step 2: Calculate the required flow rate in GPH

Since the amount of gallons needed to clean the pool will need to be flushed in and out of the pool in 8 hours, all you need to do is divide the number of gallons you find in step 1 by 8 hours to find your flow-rate required.

Step 3: Find a pump with your specifications

Most pumps will express their flow-rate in GPM or gallons per minute. You will need to convert your GPH over to GPM to find a pool pump. In order to do this simply divide your GPH by 60 minutes to find your GPM, find a pool pump that matches this and you should be good.

Step 4: Setup your pump based on manufacturers specification

Each pool pump has different manuals and setup methods. Make sure you use your manufacturers setup guides/manual to setup your pool pump


Having a Pool pump is an incredibly important part of any pools maintenance system, a pool pump will generally be the driving force of any pools circulatory system. Similar to how your heart pushes blood through your body. Without a heart your body would not function, without a pool pump your pool with accumulate dirt, grime and filth in the water making your swimming VERY unpleasant.

The choice of which pool pump to buy might be a very tough one. We hope that our reviews helped you find the best pool pump to buy for your pool, whether it be above ground or in-ground.

Happy shopping from the Pool Helpers Team!