Disposable vs pleated hot tub filters

When first trying to find a filter for your hot tub, it can be a bit confusing. There are many different brands and types of filters. One common question is whether a disposable or pleated filter is better. There are a few key differences to look at so you can make an informed decision.



Both pleated and disposable hot tub filters will adequately filter your hot tub water. Disposable filters offer increased filtration of up to 1 micron and the added convenience and time savings of not having to clean your filter.



Disposable filters are becoming more and more popular because there is no maintenance required. These filters are designed to be installed, used for 2-4 months (depending on hot tub usage), and then thrown away. You do not need to do anything to maintain or clean them, which makes them a great option for people who have a busy lifestyle.


Pleated filters such as Pleatco, Unicel or our house brand require regular cleaning and maintenance. It is recommended that they be rinsed out and cleaned about once a week, which you can do at home with a hose or more easily with a filter brush. Additionally, it is recommended that you use a chemical cleaner about once a month to get rid of oil and scum that has built up. You can read more about pleated filter maintenance on our blog.



Upon first glance, disposable filters definitely look more affordable than pleated filters. However, you will need to replace them about every 2-4 months depending on how often you use your hot tub, which can quickly increase the cost. The other thing to consider is that while using a disposable filter, you do not need to spend money on products such as clarifiers or filter cleaners.


In comparison, pleated filters only need to replaced about once a year, again depending on how often you use your spa. As referenced before, you will also want to use a chemical cleaner about once a month to clean out any oil and scum that has built up. Generally, pleated filters do tend to be the more affordable option.



Both pleated and disposable filters have their own advantages and disadvantages. Which kind of filter is better will depend on your own personal hot tub use and preferences. If you’re still unsure which option you would prefer, it’s recommended you take the time to use each kind of filter to see which is better suited for you.