Best Air Purifier with Washable Filter 2021: Reviews & Buying Guide

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Can’t find the perfect air purifier with a washable filter?

You have come to the right place!

Our offices, homes, and other similar enclosed places are filled with contaminated air. In fact, the air inside our houses is five times more harmful than outdoor air, and since we spend 90% of our time indoors, continued exposure to all airborne contaminants can lead to severe health issues.

Air purifier filters accumulate dust, debris, and pollutants. Over time, these filters lose their effectiveness and efficiency so much so that they become completely unusable.

If you want an air purifier that works effectively for a long time but don’t want to buy replacement filters, then a unit with washable air filters is just what you need!

Our Top 3 Picks

What's In This Buying Guide

Table of Contents

This guide explains why air purifiers with washable filters are a better option, reviews some of the best models available in the market, and discusses the factors you should consider before you finalize your purchase.

You’ll be able to find the perfect unit that helps fight off nasty allergens!

Best Air Purifiers with a Washable Filter

Disclaimer: All links below go to Amazon.com

air purifiers with washable filters
  • Winix 5500-2

  • Best Overall

  • Coverage Area
    360 sq. ft

  • Washable Filtration Type
    AOC carbon filter

  • Filtration Stages
    4

  • Maximum Noise Level
    27.8dB

  • Particle Removal Rate
    99.7%

air purifier washable filter
  • Honeywell HFD-120-Q

  • Best for Medium-Sized Rooms

  • Coverage Area
    170 sq. ft

  • Washable Filtration Type
    Permanent pre-filter

  • Filtration Stages
    3

  • Maximum Noise Level
    51.5dB

  • Particle Removal Rate
    99%

air purifier with washable filter
  • Blueair Blue Pure 411

  • Best Budget-Friendly Air Purifier

  • Coverage Area
    100-175 sq. ft

  • Washable Filtration Type
    Pre-filter

  • Filtration Stages
    3

  • Maximum Noise Level
    46dB

  • Particle Removal Rate
    99%

#1

Best Overall

This odor-reducing and fast-acting air purifier uses advanced technology to clean and clear the air. This makes it a truly formidable weapon against all types of particles, including germs; VOCs, smoke, and pet dander. It boasts a coverage area of 360 sq. ft, so it’s perfect for different uses.

PROS

CONS

Features

Our Review

Boasting a true HEPA filter, a carbon filter, and state-of-the-art plasma technology, this unit ensures that you and your family only breathe clean and uncontaminated air.

The model has four fan speeds, with turbo and high speeds being the most effective ones. These two modes work best during the day and purify the air quickly and effectively but are a bit noisy.

On the other hand, the medium and low settings have a nearly silent operation, making them ideal for nighttime.

The best thing about this unit is that you don’t need to change the modes manually. Its sleep mode sensors automatically gauge the light in your room and detect when it’s night.

It then lowers the brightness of its indicator light, adjusts the speed of the fan, and continues operating at a volume as low as 27.8dB, so you can enjoy clean air without waking up.

The Winix 5500-2 can easily clean up to 360 sq. ft and eliminate all sorts of odors with its 4-stage purification cycle.

However, to ensure efficiency and durability, you will have to vacuum the permanent pre-filter every two weeks and clean and wash the carbon filter every three months.

Furthermore, the air purifier boasts smart sensors that detect VOCs and odors. Lastly, it comes with a remote, so you can easily change its settings without getting up from the couch.

Editor's Rating
4.7/5

#2

Best for Medium-Sized Rooms

If you’re looking for a unit that functions with little to no noise, the Honeywell HFD-120-Q is the perfect option. Ideal for personal spaces like workspaces and apartments, this model is one of the quietest air purifiers with washable filters available today.

PROS

CONS

Features

Our Review

All filters in this model are permanent and washable, so you won’t need to spend any extra money on replacement filters.

It boasts an ionizer and iFD technology that work together to eliminate up to 99% of all contaminants, including dust; cigarette smoke, pet dander, and pollen. The iFD technology works like a HEPA filter, so you’ll get a thorough purification process as well.

Thanks to the unit’s tower construction, this model is incredibly efficient. It pulls in a large amount of air and purifies it with a three-level cleaning system that includes a HEPA filter and a permanent pre-filter.

However, you’ll have to wash and dry the filter every thirty days. The unit also comes with a filter check light that reminds you to clean the filters if you forget to do so. We also advise that you vacuum the air filters as frequently as you can, so they stay clean for a longer time without washing them.

Capable of efficiently cleaning up to 170 sq. ft the model also boasts a low CADR rating, further increasing its effectiveness. Lastly, it needs very little maintenance and comes with a 5-year warranty, so you won’t have to worry about its quality.

Editor's Rating
4.4/5

#3

Best Budget-Friendly Air Purifier

If you want clean air without burning a hole in your pocket, this model is right up your alley. It is mostly suitable for students who want to purify their dorm rooms or people with a small space and an even smaller budget, making it one of the most affordable units you can buy.

PROS

CONS

Features

Our Review

This air purifier can purify 100-175 sq. ft, and its lightweight design makes it extremely portable and easy to carry around. Its purification mechanism is incredibly simple as well.

The four built-in fans suck in air, pass it through the pre-filter to trap larger particles, and then send it to the HEPA and carbon filters.

Once the air is completely purified, the unit disperses it in the room using its top outlets.

Cleaning this model is child’s play, as you just need to pull it apart and put it in your washing machine.

However, you need to replace its carbon filter every six months, and its LED light indicator will inform you when replacement is imminent.

All in all, the Blueair Blue Pure 411 is one of the most cost-effective and best tabletop purifiers available today.

Editor's Rating
4.6/5

Air Purifier with Washable Filter – Buying Guide

air cleaners with washable filters

What is an Air Purifier with a Washable Filter and How Does it Work?

As the name suggests, air purifiers with washable filters are those that you can easily clean with some water and soap to remove all the accumulated contaminants. The entire cleaning process just takes a few minutes, as you only have to soak the filter and rinse it before using it again.

These air purifiers come with two different types of washable filters – a washable iFD filter and a washable HEPA filter. Both filters have a similar effectiveness rating, but the former is slightly more effective and efficient.

Even so, they’re both excellent choices and will keep the air inside your home fresh and clean.

If you choose a washable HEPA filter, you’ll have an air purifier that traps and eliminates 99.97% of all airborne pollutants.

However, with an IFD filter, the unit will be able to capture 99.99% of all airborne particles. Remember that both filters deliver exceptional performance, and you’ll barely even notice the 0.02% difference.

The best thing about air purifiers is that they can capture and eliminate numerous air pollutants, including dust, plant spores, and pollen, protecting you from various breathing problems and health issues.

They also allow you to save a considerable amount of money as you won’t need to buy any filter replacements.

Moreover, you can clean the filter as many times as you’d like, even when it’s not time to do so. In fact, the more you clean the air purifier, the more effectively and efficiently it will work.

Why Buy an Air Purifier with a Washable Filter Over Other Kinds?

best air purifiers with washable filters

To help clarify why air purifiers with washable filters have the edge over other types, we’ve compared them to disposable and permanent filters. Let’s have a look!

Disposable vs. Washable Filters

You need to clean washable filters with water and soap. You just need to pull them out of the air purifier, wash and rinse them, and then leave them out to dry. Once they are completely dry, you can install them back in.

Disposable filters, on the other hand, last for up to 12-months with reasonable use. As soon as they reach their end of life, you’re going to have to replace them. These filters are usually very expensive, and replacing them frequently can cost you a large amount of money.

Permanent vs. Washable Filters

Permanent and washable filters need very little maintenance and remain as good as new for several years. However, the type of maintenance differs for each filter. You can clean washable filters with water and soap, but you need to vacuum permanent ones.

Make sure you don’t put a permanent filter in water, as it will get damagedand you will have to purchase a new one. Instead, just vacuum all the accumulated dirt and residual particles out of it.

Although it’s quicker to clean permanent filters as compared to washable ones, they’re not as clean, so they might lose some of their effectiveness.

What to Look for in an Air Purifier with a Washable Filter

room air cleaners with washable filters

Due to the wide range of options available in the market, choosing the right air purifier with a washable filter can be a bit of a challenge. To help ensure you don’t regret your decision, we’ve discussed some key factors you should consider before making your purchase:

Filtration System

Even washable filters are available in different types and have different capabilities and strengths.

  • High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters remove pollutants as small as 0.3 microns, like pollen; dust, and pet dander, and eliminate up to 99.97% of all airborne contaminants.
  • Activated carbon filters capture particles smaller than 0.3 microns, making them ideal for removing any odors left behind and emitted by pets; cooking, cigarettes, fireplaces, and paint fumes.
  • Pre-filters trap larger airborne particles to reduce the pressure on activated carbon and HEPA filters.

Particle Removal Capacity

air cleaner with washable filter

Clean Air Delivery Rate or CADR is a key indicator of quality in an air purifier with a washable filter. It determines the amount of air that the air purifier can filter within an hour, so make sure you choose a unit with a CADR that’s suitable for the total area of your room.

Noise Level

Some air purifiers have a very noisy operation. Though this feature won’t be a concern in crowded rooms, it will be important to consider in offices or homes, where a constant humming sound might be disturbing. A unit that operates at around 30-40dB even at its highest setting, is certainly worth investing in.

Operating Costs and Energy Efficiency

Air purifiers with washable HEPA filters consume around 50-200W of power. On the other hand, an ozone generator or heater requires 1500W of energy. So, it’s safe to assume that your model won’t burn a hole in your pocket when it’s time to pay the power bill.

It’s also advisable to go for an air purifier that features a dust sensor; auto-shutoff, a timer, and other similar features that help save energy. Pair all this up with washable filters and you’ll be able to save up to $200 with the right unit.

Lastly, we recommend choosing an Energy Star rated model, as such units are 60% more efficient than traditional options.

Installation of Air Purifier with Washable Filter

home air purifiers with washable filters

It’s incredibly easy to install air purifiers with washable filters. Since most of these units are portable, you just need to plug them into a power outlet and power them on!

However, if you want to replace the filter of your existing air purifier with a washable one, you can follow these steps:

  1. Shut off your air purifier
  2. Locate the filter in your existing unit and carefully remove it. If you don’t power off the air purifier, you might damage it by exposing it to unfiltered debris
  3. Install the washable filter and make sure that the arrows on the filter align properly with those on your unit

Pros and Cons

washable filter air purifier 20

Along with eliminating the need for replacement filters, air purifiers with washable filters have some other benefits and drawbacks.

Pros

Saves Money

Normal air purifiers might have a lower retail price, but they quickly become costly to use. Most filters need frequent replacements, ranging from every twelve months to every three months. These replacement filters are usually very expensive, further adding to the cost of your air purifier.

Captures and Eliminates Common Pollutants

Air purifiers with washable filters feature IFD or HEPA filters. These two types only have a 0.02% difference in their effectiveness, so you can easily choose either one. Both filters trap and remove common contaminants, such as plant spores, pollen, and dust.

Ensures Efficiency for a Long Time

Unlike replaceable filters that only last for a certain period, you can clean washable filters whenever you feel that the air purifier has lost some of its effectiveness. The best thing about these units is that the more you wash and clean them, the more efficiently they operate.

Easy Maintenance
washable filter air purifiers

It’s very easy to clean a filter. Some units only need a quick vacuum, while others can be washed with soap and water or just rinsed in the dishwasher.

Cons

Need Frequent Cleaning

Similar to disposable filters, washable filters also accumulate pet hair, dust, dirt, and other pollutants. If you don’t clean or wash your filters regularly, they’ll become clogged, resulting in damage to your air purifier or poor indoor air quality.

You have to wash the filters thoroughly by separating each layer and cleaning between them. Make sure you allow the filters to dry before reinstalling them.

Cannot Eliminate Large Particles:

Washable air filters cannot capture and remove larger particles. If you or anyone in your home is asthmatic, then it’s better to go for a true HEPA filter or another high-end disposable model.

Cleaning and Maintenance

washable air purifier

Maintaining air purifiers with washable filters is extremely easy. In most cases, your air purifier will notify you when it’s time to wash the filter.

Simply use warm water and soap to clean it and then wipe it off with a dry cloth. Make sure you allow the filter to dry completely before installing it back in. If the filter is still wet, it may lead to the growth of mold spores, affecting the effectiveness and efficiency of your air purifier.

We recommend that you check the filters frequently, even when the unit has not sent a notification. If you find the filters to be dirty, make sure you clean them, regardless of the filter reset indicator.

Frequently Asked Questions

air cleaner with washable filter

Are air purifiers with washable filters worth investing in?

Interestingly, both air purifiers with and without washable filters cost almost the same, which means you don’t have to pay anything extra in the beginning.

Filter replacements can cost anywhere between $20 and $200 a year, but you won’t have to break the bank for filter replacements with a quality washable air filter. These units also make up for the lack of a True HEPA filter by including an additional filtration stage called the ionizer. 

How often one should clean a washable air filter?

It’s advisable to clean washable air filters after every thirty days to ensure that your air purifier works at its full potential.

Which air purifier is better? Regular or with a washable filter?

If you like practical and convenient products, you will definitely find washable filters the better option. These filters also help save a generous amount of money as you can just wash them instead of buying new ones.

Final Verdict: What is the Best Air Purifier with a Washable Filter Sold Today?

We believe the Winix 5500-2 is the best air purifier with a washable filter available in the market today. With its True HEPA filter, PlasmaWave technology, and washable AOC carbon filter, it undoubtedly deserves the top position in our list.

However, make sure you go through all the aforementioned units to find one that best suits your needs.