Sand Filter Media: Sand Vs. ZeoSand Vs. Filterglass

A sand filter is one of the most common, and easy to use filters for pools today. But did you know there are alternatives to sand that you can use in the filter?

Sand Vs. ZeoSand Vs. Filterglass: What Should I Use in My Filter?

There are three main types of particles you can use in your sand filter. They are:

  1. Sand
  2. ZeoSand
  3. Filterglass

All of these different particles come with their own strengths and weaknesses and are designed with specific needs in mind. Which you choose, will largely depend on the requirements of your pool.

Pool Filter Sand and Alternatives

First, let’s examine the three main products you should consider using in your sand filter. Learning more about them is the first step towards deciding which is right for your pool.


If you use a sand filter, chances are you are familiar with this one. Standard sand is #20 grade silica sand and is easy to obtain and very affordable. Probably the biggest benefit of a sand filter is its ease of operating. They are easy to maintain and clean, and do a pretty good job cleaning your water. Check out these facts about sand so you understand why:


ZeoSand is created from the minerals that you find in volcanic rock, known as zeolites. These particles have a honeycomb structure giving ZeoSand much more surface area compared to regular sand. It has a much lower density that regular sand and because of the way the particles rest against each other, you will use about half as much ZeoSand compared to regular sand. Here are a few facts about ZeoSand:


Filterglass is created from finely crushed recycled glass that is smooth to the touch. Each piece is amorphous, which basically means each piece is different in size. This prevents channeling from occurring like it can in sand. This glass has a slight negative electric charge that allows it to trap particles such as iron and manganese more easily. Here are a few filterglass facts for you:

What Should I Use In My Filter?

Sand is by far the cheapest option out there, so if you are on a tight budget you may want to stick with it. Remember, you will have to backwash your pool more often which means you will use more water and chemicals.

Both Filterglass and ZeoSand remove particles that are much smaller than regular sand, meaning they will improve your overall water quality over time. If backwashing is your main concern, then Filterglass is the way to go as it requires the least amount of backwashing.

If you are having issues with metals in your pool that results in staining or imbalanced water, then Filterglass is probably the better choice as it does a much better job removing metal from the water compared to sand or ZeoSand.

On the other hand, if you find that you have to shock your pool often, you could have an chloramine problem. Switching to ZeoSand is a great solution in this case as it is very effective against chloramine causing ammonia. By switching to ZeoSand, you will be able to reduce the amount of shock you use and the frequency of your shocks, reducing red eye, skin irritation and that chlorine smell in the process.

Parting Thoughts

Sand, ZeoSand, and Filterglass are all great products to use in your sand filter. While ZeoSand and Filterglass will remove much smaller products than regular sand, they do cost more to purchase. In the end, they all do their job very well. Look at the needs of your pool and the issues you are having with it before you make your decision.

What do you use in your sand filter? Tell us which one you use and your experience with it in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.

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