Different Types of Hot Tub Filters

Owning a hot tub is like having a personal hot spring in your backyard, perfect for unwinding after a long day to ease those sore joints and muscles. However, there are plenty of considerations one needs to keep in mind before making an investment and that includes inspecting the best hot tub filters.

These filters need to be replaced after 18 months if they are looked after properly. Additionally, it needs to be cleaned after every 4 to 6 weeks otherwise the filter material is likely to be clogged.

Importance Of A Hot Tub Filter

Filters reduce the number of dirt particles and impurities that are pumped back to the hot tub’s water. When you are shopping for the best hot tubs, don’t forget to ask the vendor about the size of the filter needed according to the hot tub. Some hot tubs require more than one filter. In these cases, you need to ensure the filters are easy to access and remove.

Main Components Of Hot Tub Filters

Before we dive into the details, you must learn about the important components used to make a hot tub filter. These include:

  • The Media – This component is typically white and has a fabric-like appearance. The water enters the media and extracts debris. The material is often made using spun bound polyester. It is molded into a cloth-like material and then pleated.
  • The Core – This is the internal structure of the filter that supports the force of the water flow. If the core is not sturdy enough to retain the integrity of the filter, the water flow is alleviated.
  • End Caps – These plastic materials connect the filter to the plumbing system of the hot tub. End caps usually have an opening and sometimes feature a slip-like or threaded end attachment.

Types Of Hot Tub Filters

There are many types of hot tub filters in the market today. Each type offers its set of advantages and disadvantages. The most popular types include:

Many Hot Tub Filters On White Background

Cartridge Style

This is the most common filter type available primarily because it is among the most affordable options out there. The cartridge style filter system features a simple yet effective cartridge material. These filters are typically installed on the side of hot tubs. Water must enter the filter before entering inside the hot tub.

However, in some cases, cartridge filters may also be found outside of the hot tub as well. Most people opt for this kind of filter because it is easier to remove, soak and rinse. So, if you are in search of a filter that is easier to clean, invest in a cartridge filter system.

Diatomaceous Earth Cartridge Filter

Diatomaceous Earth Cartridge Filter is a special type of cartridge filter. However, the two types are not exactly the same. However, this type of filter is set up in a similar way to traditional polyester cartridge filters.

This type of filter features a fine powder that is used to remove as many kinds of bacteria as possible. The powder is made using the remains of diatoms which have fossilized deep inside the earth. This material is found in most parts of the world and its abundance makes it an affordable alternative to polyester cartridge filters.


Throughout the years, ceramic has been popularly used by many different groups of people. One of the most widely used and simplest forms of ceramic filters is the clay pot. In this type of filter, water is passed through the clay pot and removes most of bacteria and other sediments using the porous surface. The clean water is the transferred into a container that is ready to receive it.

Ceramic hot tub filters operate in a similar manner, though they are a bit more sophisticated than other options. These filters typically contain an extra level of activated carbon for added protection.


This type of filter is increasingly becoming more popular. It is a great option for pool and hot tub owners who are in search of a less chemically-enhanced way to filter dirt particles.

However, on the downside, this type of filter is not as strong as other filters on the list. However, it will do a good job in filtering water if it is used with other kinds of water sterilization products.

Sand Hot Tub Filter

The filters are made using large balls filled with sand that sit on the side of the hot tub. Water passes through the sand is filtered of any kind of debris and bacteria along the way. For best results, this kind of filter must be cleaned weekly, especially if you frequently use the hot tub.

How To Clean Hot Tub Filters

Now that you have learned the basics of hot tub filters and its main types, it is time you learn about hot tub filter maintenance. A crucial part of hot tub maintenance is to clean the filters regularly. Whether you opt for a DIY route or want to work with a commercial-grade cleaner, the choice is yours. Here’s how you can use your hot tub filter:


Using bleach is popular old-fashioned way to keep your hot tub water sparkling clean at all times. However, before you start the cleaning process, keep in mind that some filter cartridges cannot withstand prolonged exposure to bleach because of its harsh chemical properties.

Only use this cleaning method a few times or alternate it with some other cleaning method to prevent damage to the cartridge filter.

Materials Required

  • ¼ cup of bleach
  • 1 garden hose
  • ​1 Large Pickle Tub
  • ​1 old towel
  • 5 gallons hot water


  • Detach the filter from the hot tub and then place it in the pickle tub
  • Use the garden to full the pickle tub with 5 gallons of water
  • ​Mix in ¼ cup of bleach and mix well
  • ​Let the filter soak in the bleach mixture for about 2 hours (do not soak it overnight)
  • ​Remove the filter and rinse it off remaining bleach residue by using the gardening hose
  • ​Allow the filter to dry overnight or for at least a day
  • ​Use the old towel to remove any kind of bleach residue from the filter
  • ​Attach the now cleaned filter to the hot tub

Filter Cleaner

If you do not want to go down the DYI route, you can use a commercial-grade filter cleaner. These commercial-grade is sensible option if household cleaning products aren’t getting the job done for you. These filter cleaners are designed to combat bacteria and may also help remove water calcium build-ups. Ensure you have your hands on a good product that can be used regularly.

Filter Cleaner Outside

Materials Required

  • 1 bottle of filter cleaner
  • 1 hot tub filter
  • ​1 garden hose
  • 1 old towel


  • Detach the filter from the hot tub and place it on a tarp in your garage or backyard.
  • Use a spray bottle to spray the filter cleaner generously on the machine. Ensure to get every pleat of the filter media.
  • ​Allow the filter to rest for at least 2 hours, allowing the cleaner to permeate the dirt and debris.
  • ​Use a garden hose to get rid of cleaner residue
  • ​Allow the filter to dry for at least 24 hours
  • ​Use an old towel to dry the pleats well before attaching the filter back to the hot tub
  • Refill the hot tub and switch the filer back on

Note: If the filter is producing a lot of foam in the water, you probably haven’t rinsed it properly. Take it out again and clean the residue.

How To Replace Hot Tub Filters

There will be times when you will need to replace the hot tub filter. It is required that you replace the filter at least once a year.

Supplies Need

  • Owner’s manual
  • Installation manual
  • ​Hot tub replacement filter
  • Screw driver


Follow these simple instructions to replace your hot tub filter:

Locate The Hot Tub Filter

First things first, you must locate the hot tub filter using the owner’s manual. The filter is partially visible in most tubs so you won’t have much of a problem. Use a screwdriver to separate the filter from the hot tub.

In most heaters, you can free the filter from the compartment by simply twisting it counter-clockwise. Check the filter’s condition and toss it away if you will be replacing it with a new one.

How To Clean Hot Tub Filter

Install The Replacement Filter

Attach the replacement filter using the screwdriver. This step is a reverse process of removing the old filter.

Switch On The Hot Tub

Now it is time to switch on the hot tub back again. Allow the water to run through the system for a couple of hours for the system to acclimate. The hot tub is ready for usage. Don’t forget to replace the filter again after 12 months.

The Best Hot Tub Filters: Our Top Recommendation

Are you in need of a quality hot tub filter, here are some of our top picks:

1. Guardian Filtration Products Hot Tub Filter

Guardian Filtration Products Pool/spa (2) Pack C4950 UNICEL C-4950 PLEATCO PRB50-IN FC-2390

The Guardian Filtration Products Hot Tub Filter is among the best quality hot tub filters in the market and can be used with a variety of different hot tubs.

The filters feature reinforced threading for the filter media, which ensures the pleating will not become loose or ineffective after frequent use or cleaning.

Here are a few notable features of the filter:

  • Constructed using quality materials
  • 4 – 15/16″ Outside Diameter
  • ​13 – 5/16″ Length
  • ​Remay filter material
  • Affordable price

2. Pleatco Replacement Filter Cartridge

Pleatco Replacement Filter Cartridge for Watkins Hot Spring Spas Top And Bottom

The Pleatco Replacement Filter Cartridge is manufactured using the highest quality raw materials.

The durable end caps feature unparalleled resistance and is designed to withstand harsh water treatment. These filter cartridges are designed to last longer compared to other replacement products in the market.

The superior “free flow” center offers 20% more water flow efficiency and is tougher than any old PVC core in your filter. It might not seem like much but the efficient filter cartridge will help you cut costs on energy bills because of its efficient water flow.

Here are some notable features of the filter:

  • Pack of 4 cartridges
  • 10 ½” overall length
  • 30 sq ft. filtration area

3. Coleman Filter Cartridge Replacement

Coleman Bestway Spa Filter Pump Replacement Cartridge Type VI Six Pack

Are you in search affordable filter cartridge replacement options that won’t bust the bank? Consider investing in a set of Coleman Filter Cartridge Replacement. This filter will keep the water in your spa clean and refreshing for seasons to come.

The cartridge is compatible with a number of Coleman brand spas. To ensure the hot tub works efficiently for years to come, regularly change the filters.

Here are some notable features of this hot tub filter:

  • Compatible with a number of Coleman models
  • Easy to clean
  • Pack of 12 filers available at a reasonable price
  • Compatible with the following inflatable spas: Monaco Lay-Z, Miami and Vegas

Do not hesitate to contact the manufacturers for more information about these products. You can also check out a number of customer reviews about the products to gain a better insight of how well they perform. Keep in mind that the prices may vary depending on the vendor. Choose a reliable vendor who will provide you with quality products.


Hopefully, this detailed buyer’s guide has helped you learn everything you need to know about hot tub filters. To ensure the filters last for a longer period, clean them regularly especially if you use the hot tub frequently.

If you are unable to remove the filter from the housing compartment, consider calling the help of friend or neighbor who can help you out with the process. Good luck!