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6 Best Air Purifier With Permanent Washable Filter In 2022

There are many reasons why an air purifier with a washable filter is gaining traction. It is more powerful, safe, and cost-effective than a conventional HEPA air purifier. It is also eco-friendly, with fewer wearable parts and filters to dispose of. However, there are tons of ingenuine air cleaners out there that can do more harm than good. So how do we filter out those bad eggs? Is it worth getting one over a device with a True HEPA filter? How often do you have to clean the filter to maximize the airflow performance? After hours of research and reviews, here are the best washable air purifiers on sale.
Certified

2022 Best Washable Filter Air Purifier With Permanent Filter

BEST BUDGETBEST OVERALLBEST PERFORM-ANCEPERFORMANCE
Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier 04384 ReviewHoneywell AirGenius 5 HFD320 Air Purifier reviewWinix 5500-2 Review
Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Air PurifierHoneywell AirGenius 5 HFD320 Air PurifierWinix 5500-2 Air Purifier
Recommended Room Size
140 sq. ft. (13 m2)250 sq. ft. (23 m2)360 sq. ft. (33 m2)
CADR
Dust N/A
Pollen N/A
Smoke N/A
Dust 160 cfm (272 m3/h)
Pollen 170 cfm (289 m3/h)
Smoke 161 cfm (274 m3/h)
Dust 243 cfm (413 m3/h)
Pollen 246 cfm (418 m3/h)
Smoke 232 cfm (394 m3/h)
Filtration
3-stage3-stage4-stage
Ratings
3.5out of 54.1out of 54.5out of 5
Amazon Price
$$$$$$$$$
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** MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is accurate at the time of posting.
^ Annual filter cost is calculated based on filter price and 12 hours of usage. Pricing could vary depending on air quality, usage frequency, and speed.
` The indicated online price guides as follows: $ = under $50, $$ = $50-100, $$$ = $101-200, $$$$ = 201-300, $$$$$ = $301-400, $$$$$$ = 401-500, $$$$$$$ = over $500.

How Do We Measure?

There are many features to consider when picking the best washable air purifier with a permanent filter. From HEPA filter quality, airflow performance, dimension, ease of use, and features, everything needs to be inspected carefully. To assist you in your buying journey, we compiled, compared, and tested the quality of the air purifier we reviewed. Here are the things to look out for when purchasing an air purifier with a washable filter.

  • Cost of ownership - Choose the most cost-effective model, as pricing is an important factor when determining the best air purifier with a permanent filter. The running cost is the biggest advantage of owning an air purifier with a washable filter. Rather than having to replace the non-washable filter, you can clean and reuse the permanent filter for an extended period of time. After all, what is the point of buying a washable air purifier that will cost as much as a conventional HEPA air cleaner?
  • Type of washable filters - Air purifiers listed here must have at least one washable and reusable filter. As every filter has different functionality and capabilities, a multiple filtration setup is great at removing different types of pollutants in the air.
  • Permanent pre-filter - Capture large particles capable of withstanding constant cleaning without disintegrating. The extra filtration layer can also help extend the life of other filters.
  • Reusable HEPA-type filter - A popular washable filter that can remove 99% of airborne particles as small as 2 microns.
  • Activated carbon filter - Remove smoke and odors from cigarettes, pets, fireplaces, VOCs, and cooking. The chemical adsorption material is non-washable and requires replacing when it is due.
  • Coverage area - Very important as it determines what range the air purifier can cover to suit your needs. Measure your room size and pick a model that can support at least the minimum requirement. Most air purifiers with a permanent filter are designed to cover small to medium room sizes.
  • Dimension - The good thing about an air purifier with a washable/ reusable filter is the overall size. Most models are in slim tower form and thus will fit nicely in tight spaces. Choose the most portable model if you plan to place the air purifier on a desk or somewhere with limited space.
  • Warranty - The longer the warranty period, the better peace of mind you will have with the air purifier. Note that every manufacturer's limited warranty may not cover the same thing. Also, take into account the customer service and service center location. When there is a defect, you might need to ship back the air cleaner with a self-incurred cost.
  • CADR - Acronym for Clean Air Delivery Rate. A numerical rating by AHAM to determine how many particles have been removed in a fixed area. Since this is not a compulsory measurement, not all air purifiers will participate in the test. Regardless, we will also measure the airflow delivery rate or CADR to determine how effective is the air cleaner. The higher the numbers, the faster the airborne contaminants can be removed. If you are very specific on a type of filtration like dust, choose the model with the best dust CADR output.
  • Noise level - Look for a model that has the option of low noise output. Having multiple fan speeds allows the air purifier to run silently without distractions. Auto mode will autonomously manage the fan speed based on surrounding air quality. Sleep mode will dim the indicator light and set the fan speed to low.
  • Energy efficiency - An air purifier does not consume a lot of electricity which most are led to believe. However, some models are Energy Star Rated, therefore more energy-efficient than the others. Compare the power watts output and buy a model you are comfortable with.
  • Other features - While an air purifier's sole purpose is to clean the air, there is no harm in having more supporting features to help you achieve that. For starters, a timer would be very helpful to manage the runtime while you're away. The air quality indicator will let you know how dirty the surrounding air is. The filter change indicator will alert you to wash or replace the filter when the time is up. The remote control allows you to control the air purifier remotely without having to get up from the comfort of your bed.

1. Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier

Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier 04384 Review

Let's get this out of my chest. Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet is not the best air purifier with a permanent HEPA filter. However, it still offers good filtration, and more importantly, it is dirt cheap with almost zero maintenance cost. The small 8.1 x 16.4 x 10.8 inches framework fits perfectly for most homes, dorms, or shared rooms that don't have space to spare. Thanks to the unique design, you can place it standing up or lying flat without affecting its airflow distribution. The fitting is solid despite the plasticky build and lack of premium touches. The front removing panel snaps in and out easily, even after multiple rounds of cleaning. Rounding up the exterior tour is an expected 1-year warranty for an air cleaner at this price point. Nothing out of the norm.

An affordable, compact air purifier with a washable HEPA filter. Upgrade to the cheap carbon zeolite filters that help remove nearby smoke and odors that previously couldn't.

With proper cleaning, no dust, hair, or pet dander will be too difficult for this pet machine. Inside the 3-stage filtration, there is a permanent pre-filter that can be washed and reused indefinitely. The pre-filter is there to trap large particles like dust and hair while protecting the washable HEPA filter. The permanent HEPA filter also does not require replacing; it can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. At full capacity, the HEPA-grade filter can trap 99% of airborne pollutants like mold, pollen, and mildew that are too tiny for our naked eyes. Slightly below the True HEPA standard, but we will touch on this later. For smoke and odors coming from cigarettes, pets, or food, you have the optional carbon zeolite filters that can deal with it. It is the only filter that is non-washable and has to replace on time to maintain its efficiency. Since the carbon filters only cost about 10 dollars annually, there is no reason not to go ahead.

Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier Review

Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet can reach up to 140 square feet of room size. Not the widest in air purification but will serve its purpose well for table use. Usability-wise, you can set it to WhisperClean for a completely silent operation or QuickClean for maximum performance. We usually leave it in the more powerful QuickClean mode since the noise output is within our acceptance level. Again, this compact air cleaner is best used on top of a cabinet, work desk, island table, or tabletop, lying vertically or horizontally, minus the wobbly feel. Plain vanilla set with no complicated controls or setting to manage.

Hamilton Beach is a washable HEPA filter air purifier that everyone can afford, but not without some downsides. First, it has a rather weak airflow output that is only meant for close-range purifying. The HEPA-grade filter is also a prominent downgrade in allergen removal compared with a true HEPA filter. Features-wise, it is as simple as it gets, with only 3 fan speeds to tinker around with. The lack of a timer and dial knob control is annoying but not the end of the world. All in all, Hamilton Beach TrueAir is created specifically for people who need clean air yet do not need all the fancy stuff. Do not expect anything more, and you'll be fine.

In short: An affordable, compact air purifier with a washable HEPA filter. Upgrade to the cheap carbon zeolite filters that help remove nearby smoke and odors that previously couldn't. ⚠️ Buy this if you want a budget permanent air purifier and don't mind the slightly inferior filtration.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

3.5

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±79.00 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±10)

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2. Honeywell AirGenius 5 HFD320 Air Purifier

Honeywell AirGenius 5 HFD320 Air Purifier review

A washable filtered air purifier that many will be familiar with. Honeywell AirGenius 5 is the top-of-the-line model that goes beyond what most reusable air purifiers offer. House in a modern black exterior with bottom blue accent light, the 11.5 x 29 x 11.5 dimension and 14 lb weight is not overly bulky and will fit a small home well. Being a Honeywell model, the build quality is great, and you can move it regularly from room to room every day without ever feeling the whole thing would fall apart. The design has nice touches, such as the premium touch screen control, rear hidden air inlet, and a 7 preset timer that can be set to turn off the machine. Complimenting all that is the 5 years warranty that would give the owner worry-free ownership. An assuring and perhaps a money-saving feature that many take lightly off.

The best air purifiers with a permanent filter cater to large rooms. The only thing you need to add or replace is the optional odor pre-filter.

Honeywell AirGenius 5 patented QuietClean ifD technology is the most effective reusable filters of all time. It can remove up to 99.9% of airborne particles, including dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses. A worthy alternative over a HEPA filter in dealing with airborne pollutants, yet you can reuse it as often as you please. The filter has an estimated 3-5 years of lifespan, with just some light vacuuming around twice a year. There is also an optional ionizer that emits millions of negative ions into the air. The released ions cause other particulates to merge and eventually fall for the ifD to capture due to the increased weight. Finally, a washable foam pre-filter is reusable yet great at trapping large particles and protecting the ifD filter. We highly recommend you opt for the odor & gas reducing pre-filter upgrade that does the same thing plus removes toxic fumes like VOCs, cigarette smoke, radon, and cooking stove odors. It is not washable and reusable so you will have to replace it every quarterly.

Honeywell AirGenius 5 HFD320 Permanent Air Purifier Review

With a highly adjustable 5 cleaning mode (Sleep, Germs, General cleaning, Allergen, Max cleaning power) plus oscillation, there is a use for every scenario. Honeywell AirGenius 5 is ideal for bedroom and living room with the option to crank up the performance during allergy season. Sleep mode works best when you need quietness without giving up air purification. The other mode is inter-swappable and varies in fan speed. At Max cleaning power speed, AirGenius 5 can cover up to 250 square feet of room space with minimal air changes. CADR mirrored the coverage at 160 cfm for dust, 170 cfm for pollen, and 161 cfm for smoke. Not the greatest, but ample for a washable air purifier segment.

Let's address the elephant in the room. The drawback of a permanent filter over a conventional HEPA filter is the overall efficiency. It falls short of a True HEPA filter capturing capacity even though AirGenius 5 is not too far off. Adding to that, you will have to deal with the hassle of filter cleaning every month compared with a conventional HEPA filter that only has to be replaced annually. Lastly, the optional carbon filter is non-washable, as doing so will damage the chemical adsorption materials. You will still need to replace it in due time, similar to a HEPA air cleaner. The MRSP is also higher than a conventional air purifier, but at least it is still accessible for most folk. Honeywell AirGenius 5 will serve you well if you prioritize convenience over absolute performance.

In short: Not all Honeywell air purifier filters can be washed; Honeywell AirGenius 5 is the one that can do so. It is the best air purifiers with a permanent filter cater to large rooms. The only thing you need to add or replace is the optional odor pre-filter. ⚠️ Buy this if you want the best permanent filter device from Honeywell.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.1

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±239.99 $$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±0)

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3. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

Winix 5500-2 Review

Winix 5500-2 is not a washable air purifier by any stretch of the imagination. We decided to include it on our list because the overall package is too good for you to skip. With its low 150 dollars discounted price, awesome permanent pre-filter, and strong HEPA filtration, consider this as a hybrid air purifier that you can get the best of both worlds.

A hybrid washable HEPA air purifier that exceeds in every aspect. The perfect model if you don't mind the high annual recurring cost.

A conventional yet clean design, Winix 5500-2 houses multiple filtrations in its 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 inches body with 15.4 lb in weight. It is far from small and light as it needs to account for the filter space. You can still move it around for room to room purifying for those that rely on a single air purifier. The front panel can easily be detached to remove the permanent pre-filter for cleaning without the need to flip over the air purifier. A time-saving, attention to detail that you will truly appreciate in the long run. As with all Winix models, fitting is tight with no leakage and harmful gas released during operation. The "only" 2 years warranty is a big contrast to Honeywell's 5 years; we are confident that Winix 5500-2 will outlast the warranty period.

Winix 5500-2 does not hold out on features either. You'll get dual sensors, a front air quality indicator, a filter change indicator, and a timer as standard. A stark contrast to the typical permanent air purifier that focuses on simplicity over function. The auto mode also automatically sets the fan speed to high when the air quality drops. Auto Sleep mode activates once the light is off and locks the fan speed to the lowest with dimmed indicator light. As the icing to the cake, you're getting a remote control for added convenience. All these for less than what you're paying for with Honeywell AirGenius 5.

Here's the controversial part of why Winix 5500-2 differs from a pure permanent air purifier setup. The 4-stage filtration comes with a mixture of disposable and non-disposable filters, including a washable pre-filter, a true HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter, and PlasmaWave Technology. The permanent pre-filter is great at trapping large particles like dust, dirt, and hair. Since it is washable, the pre-filter can be reused to prolong the HEPA and carbon filter lifespan. Speaking of HEPA, the superior True HEPA filter is excellent at capturing 99.97% of the microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns. No airborne mold, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or germs will be able to bypass the filter. As for odor and smoke particles, the activated carbon filter will have no trouble removing the harmful particles from cigarettes, cooking, VOCs, pet, radon, and asbestos. Lastly, PlasmaWave produces Hydroxyls to break down stubborn allergens for the filter to capture. It is safe and reusable, so you will only have to maintain the HEPA and carbon filter.

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Review

For the low price of just around 150 (after discount), You'll get a wide 360 square footage of air cleaning coverage with 2 air changes per hour. The best on the list with an undisputed track record. The high clean air delivery rate is 243 cfm for dust, 246 cfm for pollen, and 232 cfm for smoke. Great for bedroom, living room, garage, kitchen, basement, playroom, nursery, or home office use.

Again, we have to emphasize, Winix 5500-2 is more of a hybrid washable air purifier with a permanent filter. Bar the permanent pre-filter and PlasmaWave; every filter here is non-washable with a limited lifespan. You are expected to replace the true HEPA filter and activated carbon filter annually for it to work. That is around 80 dollars of recurring cost year in, year out. The noise level is also on the louder side compared with other washable air purifiers, given that a bigger motor fan is needed to draw airborne pollutants in. Only go with this if you don't mind the recurring payment as a trade-off for the outstanding filtration.

In short: A hybrid washable HEPA air purifier that exceeds every aspect. The perfect model if you don't mind the high annual recurring cost. ⚠️ Buy this if you have second thoughts about a permanent/ washable air purifier.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.5

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±249.99 $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±80)

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4. Envion Therapure TPP230H Air Purifier

Envion Therapure TPP230H Permanent HEPA type Air Purifier Review

A cheap. triple-action permanent purification with a huge running cost. Envion Therapure TPP230H is not your typical washable HEPA filter air purifier. It is a mix between a conventional and a permanent air purifier with an emphasis on filtration efficiency. For example, you can clean the HEPA filter to boost performance with the removal of trapped dust particles. At the end of 6 months, you will still need to replace the HEPA filter to get rid of trapped fine allergens. The UV-C Germicidal lamp is excellent at killing bacteria and viruses but with a limited usage time. The non-washable photocatalyst filter can remove chemical odors like asbestos, VOCs, and tobacco smoke. Very useful but can be a hassle to change.

A wonderful multi-stage UV air purifier with a washable HEPA filter to extend its lifespan. You do have to replace the UV light and photocatalyst filter to enjoy the full air cleaning benefits.

Continue with the multi-level filtration; Envion Therapure TPP230H is centered around a HEPA-Type filter that captures microscopic particles. While it is not the same filtration level as a True HEPA filter, you do gain the advantage of being able to clean and reuse it many times. Another filterless technology is the ionizer that releases millions of negative ions into the air. The charged ions will merge with other positive ions pollutants to form a single particulate that will fall for the washable HEPA filter to capture. Lastly, the UV lamp + photocatalyst filter kills and halts pathogens like mold, mildew, and germs from spreading. The UVC light is very effective but note that the light intensity will drop as time goes by before the inevitable replacement.

Envion Therapure TPP230H Permanent Air Purifier Review

Ideal for medium room size purifying, Envion Therapure TPP230H washable HEPA air purifier can cover up to 350 square feet of room space. One of the better ones on this list, but you will have to account for the bigger motor fan and replaceable filter. Noise output is low, partly due to the tower form factor and hybrid filtration setup. You can place Envion in a bedroom, living hall, office, basement, or anywhere you spend the most time without any issue. Official CADR tally with the airflow at 132 cfm for dust, 155 cfm for pollen, and 152 for smoke. Not the finest, but far from weak for its category. Everything is exactly how it should be.

Moving to the downsides, this is undoubtedly an inexpensive, washable HEPA filter air purifier with a few flaws of its own. The main one is the high filter replacement cost that can go higher than a brand new unit in just 2 years' time. It would defeat the purpose of a washable air purifier even though you get the perk of better filtration performance. CADR is slightly on the lower side compared with its purifying coverage, which translates to a longer air cleaning time. Controls and features are a little bland as well, with zero autonomous support. You could easily solve all the drawbacks above by opting for a HEPA air purifier like Winix 5500-2 (more on this later). If you want an air purifier with a permanent HEPA filter and zero recurring cost, look elsewhere.

In short: A wonderful multi-stage UV air purifier with a washable HEPA filter to extend its lifespan. You do have to replace the UV light and photocatalyst filter to enjoy the full air cleaning benefits. ⚠️ Buy this for the low selling price but stay tuned for the high running cost.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

3.9

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±129.99 $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±83)

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5. Honeywell AirGenius 4 HFD310 Air Purifier

Honeywell AirGenius 4 HFD310 Review

Fancy a Honeywell air purifier with a washable filter like AirGenius 5, but prefer something cheaper? In comes Honeywell AirGenius 4 True Allergen Remover. A washable filter air purifier that costs 50 bucks less than AirGenius 5. From the exterior design, everything looks identical to the former, including the 11.5 x 29 x 11.5 inches dimension, premium touch panels, and black housing. The slim profile allows it to be placed in a tight area without causing any obstruction. Practicality is great with air pulled in from the ground and distributed via the front outlet. Overall, build quality is tight, with no off-gassing detected during our test. The 5-year warranty adds a sense of security from any malfunctioning parts or sudden breakdowns. A further compliment goes to the high-quality removable panel capable of withstanding the constant opening and closing for filter cleaning.

A cheaper and slightly lower-end version of our favorite washable air purifier. You do have to opt for the filter odor-reducing pre-filter upgrade.

Let's focus on Honeywell's permanent filtration that separates it from the rest of the crowd. Honeywell AirGenius 4 uses the same patented QuietClean ifD technology that removes up to 99.9% of allergens as small as 0.3 microns. A proven technology that will save you a lot of time and money finding the replacement filter. By regularly maintaining the filter, mold, pollen, and pet dander will all be gradually removed from the air. To boost the ifD filter efficiency, you have both the ionizer and washable pre-filter assisting with the filtration. The ionizer creates a static field that electrostatically charges ions and attaches to other ions in the air. The now heavier particulates will fall for easy capturing. The pre-filter focuses on trapping large particles like dust and pet hair to free up space in the ifD filter. Until now, the maintenance cost is nil unless you opt for the upgradable odor-reducing pre-filter that helps capture strong smoke and odors from cigarettes, cooking, and pets. The filter is non-washable but a must in our book unless you are 100% sure your home is free from smoke pollutants.

Honeywell AirGenius 4 HFD310 Permanent Air Purifier Review

Same story with the airflow performance. You'll get decent 250 square feet of air cleaning coverage, dust CADR at 160 cfm, pollen CADR at 170 cfm, and smoke CADR at 161 cfm. Suitable for small to medium room sizes such as living hall, bedroom, kitchen, and basement. There are also 4 fan speeds that you can cycle between Sleep, General, Allergen, and Max speed mode that varies in noise output and power consumption. Noise level is particularly low in sleep mode; however, most people will stick with the more powerful general mode for everyday use and only choose max speed when indoor air quality has dropped to an unhealthy level.

There are some trades off when opting for an air purifier with a permanent filter. Starting with the lack of a True HEPA filter comparison in its setup. A popular and proven filtration that deals with the irritants in the air. The troublesome cleaning is also here, where you will have to wash or vacuum the filter every 2 to 3 weeks. It is an unavoidable task in order to maintain air cleaning efficiency. The purchase price is also slightly steep but not beyond an impossible realm. You will save up a lot in the long run as there is no recurring cost to bear.

In short: A cheaper and slightly lower-end version of our favorite washable air purifier. For more comprehensive coverage, opt for the filter odor-reducing pre-filter upgrade. ⚠️ Only Buy this if AirGenius 5 is unavailable or way too expensive.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
± $$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±0)

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6. Honeywell HFD-120-Q Air Purifier

Honeywell HFD-120-Q Air Purifier Review

The third ifD ready model we have in our best air purifier with a washable filter list. Honeywell HFD-120-Q QuietClean Tower is one of the more dated models here that is reaching the end of its cycle. You can clearly tell from the exterior design and clunky controls that may not be appealing for some. However, the slim 9.6 x 26.1 x 7.9 inches dimension is highly usable and isn't too tall or big to fit in most homes. You can easily move it around by grabbing the handle for cleaning or multi-room usage. Build quality is decent, with no off-gassing detected. Despite being the cheapest in its series, you get the same Honeywell comprehensive 5 years warranty as standard.

An older, dated, washable air purifier that still works like a charm in removing airborne pollutants.

Honeywell HFD-120-Q QuietClean uses the familiar ifD filter that requires no replacement as it is washable. Same case with the permanent pre-filter that can be reused after cleaning. The washable air purifier can remove airborne mold, spores, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and even germs that cannot be seen through our naked eyes. At the end of the month, simply vacuum out all the pollutants, and the filter will be good as new. Like every Honeywell series, you can opt for the HRF-K2 Filter K Pre-filter upgrade. The carbon pre-filter set will cost around 16 dollars, and you will have to replace it every 3-6 months, depending on indoor air quality.

Honeywell HFD-120-Q Permanent Air Purifier Review

Take nothing away from its air cleaning capacity as it is still a 3-stage filtration air purifier classic setup. Honeywell HFD-120-Q can cover a good 170 square footage of space silently, thus perfect for an office room, bedroom, baby room, or laundry room. A weaker coverage compared with other AirGenius series, but you're paying far less with the same technology. CADR is acceptable at dust-free 100 cfm, pollen-free 132 cfm, and smoke-free 110 cfm range. It will take time to filter the air, so we recommend leaving it on for at least a couple of hours at max speed.

So what's the con with this washable air cleaner besides the dated design? First off, it is not effective against smoke particles unless you opt for the carbon pre-filter upgrade. A setback that is inherited with all permanent air purifiers. Features are rather plain compared to other AirGenius series with built-in timers. Interval cleaning is unavoidable and can be a hassle depending on how dirty is the indoor air. Lastly, it is not a direct replacement for a True HEPA filter which we mentioned countless times here. Go with HFD-120-Q QuietClean if you want to save up some cash and don't mind the slightly weaker performance.

In short: An older, dated, washable air purifier that still works like a charm in removing airborne pollutants. ⚠️ Go with this if you want the cheapest ifD powered model currently available.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

3.9

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±159.99 $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±0)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.

 

Are Washable Air Purifiers Good? Is It Worth It?

Air purifiers with washable filters are effective in removing large particles like dust, debris, pet fur, long human hair, and paper pieces. It is an excellent option for those looking to save money on filter replacement costs. However, washable air purifiers cannot filter smoke, odor, and microscopic particles, including germs, bacteria, and viruses.

Not all air purifiers use a washable filter. Below are the common types of air cleaners (minus Ozonator) worth considering that help delivers much-needed clean air.

  • Ionizer – Filterless air cleaner that generates negative ions to attract and merge with positive ions pollutants in the air. The heavier contaminants will fall on a surface area, and you will have to vacuum away the particles to prevent them from refloating again.
  • Electrostatic precipitator - Induce high-voltage electrostatic charges to pull down airborne pollutants. Unlike an ionizer, it comes with a collector plate that pulls and captures all the charged particles.
  • Non-washable HEPA air purifier - Relies heavily on a mechanical filter that typically consists of a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. Due to the effectiveness, mechanical air purifiers are the most popular option on the list.
  • Ultraviolet UV cleaner - Use UV-C rays to alter the molecular structure of microorganisms from causing more harm. The sterilized allergens will be left dormant with zero chance of multiplying.
  • Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) - Through photocatalytic, the broad-spectrum UV light reacts to titanium dioxide for complete sterilization. The oxidization accelerates the natural decomposition of contaminants into harmless compounds.
  • Ozone generator - Not recommended. Emits millions of hazardous ozone that only mask strong odors instead of removing them. It splits oxygen molecules (O2) into a single atom and merges with other oxygen molecules in the air to form ozone (O3). An ozone generator will but is harmful to our bodies. Inhaling ozone can lead to many adverse health effects and respiratory diseases.

What Is A Permanent HEPA Filter?

As the name implies, a permanent HEPA filter is a washable and reusable version of a True HEPA filter that traps 99.97% of particles in the air as small as 0.3 microns. By cleaning the permanent HEPA filter when it is dirty, you do not have to bear the extortionate filter replacement cost. That said, its real-time efficiency is typically one notch below a certified True HEPA filter.

Can  air purifier filters be washed?

How Long Do Washable Air Filters Last?

Most air purifiers with washable air filters will last 5 to 6 years, depending on indoor air quality and usage. The washable filters are more eco-friendly that can last 5 to 10 years with proper cleaning. In some cases, the permanent/ cleanable HEPA filters can even outlast the air purifier's usage life. A big contrast to a disposable air filter that typically only lasts 3 to 12 months. You will save a lot of money moving forward.

Are There Differences Between Washable And Permanent Filters?

There are subtle differences between washable and permanent as both filters are reusable and cost-saving. It boils down to the performance where permanent filters are better at trapping finer particles than washable filters. A permanent filter is also much easier to clean with a vacuum cleaner, and you can reinsert it into the air purifier immediately. A washable filter can be cleaned thoroughly with mild soap and water. However, it is more time-consuming, as you will have to wait for the filter to dry before inserting it back into the air cleaner.

How To Clean A Reusable/ Permanent Filter?

The washable filter must be cleaned regularly to maintain the filtration performance and lifespan. Turn off and unplug the air purifier from the power source. Remove the front cover and carefully take out the permanent filter. Use a vacuum cleaner and gently vacuum on a vertical stroke without applying too much pressure. For a washable filter, rinse it with water for a couple of minutes, shake out the excess water, and most dust should fall off. For stubborn dust stuck in the filter, use a brush and gently scrub away the trapped dust. Leave the filtered air dry to prevent mold and germ growth. Once dried, reinsert the filter accordingly, and close the front panel. Repeat the steps every 2 to 3 weeks or when the air purifier filter check indicator light is up. You can also clean an air filter when it appears dirty when there is a dip in performance. ENERGY STAR recommends cleaning a filter a minimum of every 3 months. You can learn more about how to clean an air purifier with a permanent filter here.

How Much Money Would You Save With Permanent/ Washable Filter?

On average, you will save 80 to 100 dollars annually on filter replacement. The total cost of 2-3 years of filter replacement can be equivalent to a brand-new model. The longer you own the air purifier with a permanent filter, the more money you will save on filter costs. Since most washable air purifiers are priced affordably, it is perfect for a person that doesn't want to spend too much money on one.

How Much Energy Does An Air Purifier With Washable Filter Use?

An air purifier uses very little energy, between 10-30 watts, regardless of whether the filter is washable or permanent. On top of saving money on the filter replacement, the monthly electric bill per unit will only be an estimated $2-4 increase, depending on the operational hours and the state's electrical tariff.

Air Purifier Permanent Filter VS Replaceable Filter

There are good and bad with a washable filter over a disposable one. Even though you can't go wrong with either one, the pros and cons below will give you a heads-up on what you can expect from an air purifier with a washable filter.

Pros

  • Capture most household contaminants in the air.
  • Eco-friendly, reusable, and cost-saving filter. You will save a great deal of money on filter replacement.
  • No dip in filtration performance with proper cleaning.

Cons

  • Less effective than a disposable True HEPA filter that has at least 99.97% removal efficiency on particles as small as 0.3 microns.
  • Requires constant cleaning every 2-3 weeks, especially in a poor air quality environment.
  • Improper cleaning and maintenance may damage the filter.

In conclusion, washable filters are better than disposable ones in the overall efficiency. Disposable filters are downright more effective at trapping ultrafine particles, including bacteria and viruses.

Can You Run An Air Purifier Without A Filter?

You cannot run an air purifier without a filter unless it is a filterless air purifier. It is the only type of air purifier that doesn't need a filter. Filterless air purifiers are devices that clean indoor air with either heat, ionization, electrostatic precipitation, or UV light technology. While the effectiveness is debatable, you will enjoy zero filter replacement, cost, minimal cleaning, complete silence, and cost-efficient operation compared with a filtered air purifier.

Can You Replace A Washable Filter?

You'll need to replace washable filters on a similar schedule, but maintaining these filters is more time-intensive. Rather than a simple replacement, you'll need to remove the filter, wash it thoroughly, allow it to dry, and then put it back in place.

How Do I Know If My Air Filter Is Washable?

Not all filters are washable. Check the manual or visit the brand website for more info. The packaging or filter box should indicate whether the air filter is disposable or washable. If it is not washable, you must replace it according to the recommended interval time.

Why Can't You Wash A True HEPA Filter?

Most True HEPA filters cannot be washed and require disposal. It is because particles are trapped deep inside the fiber filter media, not just on the surface area. When you vacuum or wash a HEPA filter with soap and water, you are at risk of tearing the dense fiber media and damaging the HEPA filter. The HEPA filter is also at risk of mold spores growth due to the trapped moisture having no chance of escaping.

Is Air Purifier With Washable Filter Safe?

Air purifiers with a washable or permanent filter are safe for indoor use. There is no complicated air cleaning technology involved as most models utilize only mechanical filtration that does not emit harmful chemicals or ozone byproducts. You can easily find a washable air purifier listed on AHAM and CARB websites.

Is It OK To Leave An Air Purifier With A Washable Filter On All Night?

It is OK to leave an air purifier with a washable or permanent filter on all night. It will not emit harmful byproducts like ozone during your sleep. Air purifiers are designed to run non-stop so airborne pollutants will not come back and pollute your indoor air. So leave it on even when nobody is around, and clean the washable filter regularly to avoid clogging issues.

Why Should You Buy An Air Purifier With A Washable Filter?

An air purifier with a washable filter is an economical option for those that want clean air but don't want to be tied down by the expensive filter replacement. Its mild purification is suitable for babies, children, pets, elderly, or a person with severe allergies. Lastly, a washable air purifier will complement well in a household with multiple HEPA air cleaning units at home.

However, a washable air purifier may not be suitable for those needing the absolute best filtration or lacking an air purifier at home. It is not suited for those living in an unhealthy air quality environment with poor ventilation. Avoid an air purifier that uses a washable filter if you want a hassle-free experience without being troubled by regular filter cleaning.

How To Use A Washable Air Purifier Effectively

How To Use A Washable Air Purifier Effectively?

Everybody knows that an air purifier with a washable filter requires regular maintenance for optimal performance. However, there is more to that other than just filter cleaning. Here are a few simple tricks to use your permanent air purifiers effectively as if it is brand-new.

  • Leave it on, day or night - An air purifier is supposed to run constantly in the background. When it is shut off, dirty contaminants will rise and pollute our air. An air purifier will then require extra effort to restore indoor air quality.
  • Change/ clean all filters promptly - Depending on the filter grade, HEPA and carbon filters require replacing every 6-12 months. Under bad air quality conditions, you might have to perform the task sooner rather than later. If you don't change or clean a washable air filter accordingly, it will become clogged and a breeding ground for germs. The air purifier might also break down from the extensive pressure.
  • The right placement - An important but often neglected step. An air purifier needs to be placed as close to the pollution as possible as it will cut down on the time required to clean the air. Also, leave 2-4 feet of space, so there is no airflow disruption on the air inlet.
  • Close all windows/ doors - It is a necessity for an air purifier to function properly and effectively. Clean air will continue circulating in the room with no chance of leaking out and being replaced by outdoor pollutants.

Final Thoughts

Washable air purifier is the way to go for a more sustainable environment. Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet would be a good place to start for those on a tight budget. Our favorite pick would be the Honeywell AirGenius series, which exceeds filtration performance close to a HEPA. The Winix series strive for the perfect balance between washable and non-washable. Check out our best desktop air purifiers listing if you want something a little more compact.

Compare Best Washable Filter Air Purifier With Permanent Filter

NoImageAir PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)ScoreFiltrationCoverageFan
Speed
DimensionWeightDust CADRPollen CADRSmoke CADRPre-filterHEPA filterCarbon filterIonizerUV lightOther filterAll-in-one filterNoise levelPower outputTimer/ SchedulerSensorsWarrantyAuto modeRemote controlChild lockENERGY STARWi-Fi/ BTBluetoothAQIFilter indicator
1Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier 04384 ReviewHamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier

$$

CHECK PRICE
3.53-stage140 sq. ft. (13 m2)3
8.1 x 16.4 x 10.8 in
(20.6 x 41.7 x 27.4 cm)
6.3 lb (2.9 kg)N/AN/AN/A
Pre-filter
Permanent
HEPA-grade filter
Permanent
carbon zeolite filters (2 pack)
3 months
+- 4.99
-
-
-
1 year
2Honeywell AirGenius 5 HFD320 Air Purifier reviewHoneywell AirGenius 5 HFD320 Air Purifier

$$$$

CHECK PRICE
4.13-stage250 sq. ft. (23 m2)5
11.5 x 29 x 11.5 in
(29.2 x 73.7 x 29.2 cm)
14 lb (6.4 kg)160 cfm (272 m3/h)170 cfm (289 m3/h)161 cfm (274 m3/h)
Washable Pre-filter
-
-
Electronic Ionizer
-
ifD Micro-Filter
Permanent
-
1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 hours5 years
3Winix 5500-2 ReviewWinix 5500-2 Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
4.54-stage360 sq. ft. (33 m2)4
15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in
(38.1 x 59.9 x 20.8 cm)
15.4 lb (7 kg)243 cfm (413 m3/h)246 cfm (418 m3/h)232 cfm (394 m3/h)
Pre-filter
Permanent
True HEPA filter
1 year
AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter
1 year
PlasmaWave Technology
-
-
Filter H 116130
1 year
+- 79.99
26.6-60+ dB5 - 90 W1, 4, 8 hoursVOC sensors (Air quality)2 years
4Envion Therapure TPP230H Permanent HEPA type Air Purifier ReviewEnvion Therapure TPP230H Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
3.93-stage350 sq. ft. (33 m2)3
9.6 x 26.1 x 7.9 in
(24.4 x 66.3 x 20.1 cm)
14.5 lb (6.6 kg)132 cfm (224 m3/h)155 cfm (263 m3/h)152 cfm (258 m3/h)
-
HEPA-Type Filtration
6 months
+- 29.99
-
Ionizer
TPP2400 UV-C Lamp
+- 22.99
Photo catalyst filter
-
<62 dB(A)55 W1 year
5Honeywell AirGenius 4 HFD310 ReviewHoneywell AirGenius 4 HFD310 Air Purifier

$$$$

CHECK PRICE
43-stage250 sq. ft. (23 m2)4
11.5 x 29 x 11.5 in
(29.2 x 73.7 x 29.2 cm)
13.5 lb (6.1 kg)160 cfm (272 m3/h)170 cfm (289 m3/h)161 cfm (274 m3/h)
Washable Pre-filter
-
-
Electronic Ionizer
-
ifD Micro-Filter
Permanent
-
2, 4, 85 years
6Honeywell HFD-120-Q Air Purifier ReviewHoneywell HFD-120-Q Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
3.93-stage170 sq. ft. (16 m2)3
11.5 x 28.9 x 11.5 in
(29.2 x 73.4 x 29.2 cm)
14.5 lb (6.6 kg)100 cfm (170 m3/h)132 cfm (224 m3/h)110 cfm (187 m3/h)
Washable pre-filter
Permanent
-
-
Oscillation
-
ifD Filter
Permanent
-
5 years