Since their inception, variable speed pool pumps have brought significant benefits compared to traditional pumps, both performance, and savings-wise. If you are thinking of replacing or buying a new pool pump, you are probably in a dilemma, with many uncertainties on which is the best. Even though I am certainly sure that the idea of a pool pump isn’t foreign to you, finding one that suits your swimming pool needs is the challenging part.

To begin, pool pumps are an essential or must-have component of any pool. They circulate water to keep them fresh by preventing stagnation. Unfortunately, some pool pumps are not as effective as they should be. This is why you should make a purchase with utmost caution. Read on to find out some of my best suggestions for the best variable speed pool pump and other informative information on these products.  

Top 4 Variable Speed Pool Pumps

Hayward SP2610X15 Pool Pump

The Hayward SP2610X15 Pool Pump is my best overall variable speed pool pump for many reasons. To begin, it has been considered an industry and gold standard pump for more than 20 years for its quality construction and intriguing technology.

The pump can produce between 600 and 3450RPMs depending on your speed settings, making it possible to flush huge amounts of water faster or slowly depending on the usage requirements of the pool. Installation is also simple and straightforward as it can suit both in-ground and aboveground pools.

The Hayward SP2610X15 Pool Pump is also an energy-efficient pool, with most of those who have used it reporting a significant reduction in energy costs.


  • Easy installation
  • Durable and reliable pump
  • Silent operation


  • Minor circuit board issues
Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump 1.5 HP Pool Pump
1,403 Reviews
Hayward SP2610X15 Super Pump 1.5 HP Pool Pump
  • The industry’s workhorse - recognized for reliability and performance
  • Exclusive swing-away hand knobs makes for easier strainer cover removal: no tools required, no loose parts and no clamps
  • See through strainer cover lets you see when basket needs cleaning and eliminates guess work
  • Features an oversized debris basket has extra leaf holding capacity for less frequent maintenance
  • Easy installation and servicing with quick 4-bolt access to internal components

Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Pool Pump

Pentair is a renowned manufacturer of quality and durable pool equipment at affordable prices. The Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Pool Pump is one of its sequel high-performing pool pumps that maintain the company’s reputation as an innovative and industry leader in this sector.

The pump is energy efficient, thanks to its 8-programmable speed settings with an inbuilt timer that makes the pump fully automated. The eight-speed settings enable users to tune the pump to the exact specifications that suit their needs. This model is also 100% certified by Energy Star, confirming its usage efficiency.

I also liked the durability of the Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo Pool Pump, which is probably second to none in this list. It was made with great technological inputs and intriguing hardware that makes it a low-investment pump for years of functional use.


  • Quiet operation
  • Eight programmable speeds
  • LCD display for ease of use
  • High-efficiency rating


  • Confusing installation instructions

Sta-Rite p6E6VSH-209L Pool Pump

The Sta-Rite p6E6VSH-209L Pool Pump is one of the few pumps that catapulted the revolutionizing energy-saving technology. The majority of pool owners and experts in the pool industry attested to this pump’s incredible performance.

As with other pumps mentioned in this list, this model has nearly noiseless functioning with long-term reliability. However, the astonishing low energy consumption is what makes most people rave about it.


  • Extended pump life
  • Advanced filter and chlorinator performance
  • 90 percent energy saving


  • Poor design
Sta-Rite P6E6VS4H-209L IntelliPro Variable Speed High Performance Pump, 3 Horsepower, 230 Volt, 1 Phase - Energy Star Certified
19 Reviews
Sta-Rite P6E6VS4H-209L IntelliPro Variable Speed High Performance Pump, 3 Horsepower, 230 Volt, 1 Phase - Energy Star Certified
  • Genuine Pentair
  • Part Number: P6E6VS4H-209L
  • Get ready for the pool season with preventative maintained on your pool equipment

Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo Pool Pump

Yet another model from Hayward, the Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo Pool Pump is another overly efficient pool pump with great functionality. To begin, I liked that it is Energy Star certified, providing assurance of its quiet operation. It also comes with impressive design updates compared to the company’s previous versions.

The model has a permanent magnet with a totally enclosed fan-cooled motor that makes it reliable compared to other pumps in the market. If you prefer this option, note that there are two versions, the 115V and 230V. I also liked that it comes with a fully programmable digital control interface for intuitive use.


  • Efficient pool pump
  • Easy to install
  • Quiet operation
  • Affordable


  • Digital computer faults
Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump, BLACK / GOLD
194 Reviews
Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo VS Variable-Speed Pool Pump, BLACK / GOLD
  • Maxflo vs brings variable
  • Speed technology to the favorite, traditional maxflo pump family
  • Hayward maxflo vs is available in both 115V and 230V
  • Permanent magnet, totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor offers incredible energy efficiency and reliability

Is a Variable Speed Pool Pump Worth it?

Probably what baffles many people is if these variable speed pool pumps are worth purchasing. Well, before buying a variable speed pool pump, you should weigh the costs, differences, and benefits of standard single-speed, two-speed with variable speed models. To evaluate the differences, I will quote near approximate figures for both.

To begin, the standard 2HP pool pump costs about $900, two-speed pumps approximately $1200, while high-efficiency VSP costs $1600. Evidently, the purchase costs difference is significant, but so are the savings. Variable speed pool pumps have incredible motor efficiency, adjustable flow rates, reduce costs of pump repairs, reduced costs of filter repairs, and more. They are more efficient than single and two-speed pool pumps, making them worth the purchase.

How Long do Variable Speed Pool Pumps Last?

From various manufacturers, variable speed pool pumps should last between 8 and 12 years before requiring significant repairs or replacements. However, this time is variable due to several factors. The usage and maintenance of the pool significantly affect its durability. If the pump is small for a pool, for instance, it will overwork, drastically reducing its lifespan.

Why are Variable Speed Pool Pumps More Efficient?

As you may know, there are three types of pool pumps. Of all the types, variable speed pool pumps are efficient, and for several reasons. Single pumps, once powered on, run at constant speeds. While they are affordable to purchase, they perform averagely and quite noisy. They also require a lot of maintenance.

Two-speed pumps, as the name suggests, have two-speed settings. They have low and high-speed options. Most homeowners prefer running them on low-speed for an entire day and use the high-speed option when cleaning the pool. They are quite costlier than single speed but last the same period, between 3 and 8 years. They also save approximately 60% of energy compared to single speed pumps.

Variable speed pool pumps, on the other hand, are powerful and efficient. They enable pool owners to change the water’s flow rate, especially reducing the flow rate to minimize friction and make the system efficient. They are also quiet, vibrates less, easy to control, and last longer. Despite costing a fortune to install, they significantly save on the energy costs.

What RPM Should I Run my Variable Speed Pool Pump?

The main idea of purchasing a variable speed pump is to reduce the flow rate of your pool water. However, this is dependent on the activities in your pool. Low RPMs reduce the motor action, reducing noise and friction, thus enabling the pump to last long. Unlike single-speed pumps that run at 3450RPMs, variable speed options can be regulated to 600RPMs.

What are the Best Variable Speed Pool Pumps?

Finding the best variable speed pool pump requires that you understand various mechanisms. You should consider the pump’s performance, energy-efficient, construction material used, safety features, ease of installation and use, and the warranty provided by the manufacturer. Fortunately, I have done this for you and narrowed down the above-mentioned options to consider when making a purchase.

The Bottom Line

All the pumps I have outlined above are worth consideration for their performance, efficiency, and more. As mentioned, you should consider several aspects before making a purchase. For starters, how much do you want to spend? What features are you interested in? How long will it last? Is the machine reliable? These are just but a few things I looked into before concluding on the above models.