True HEPA VS HEPA Type filter: What’s the Difference?

True HEPA filter is not the same as HEPA-type filter. This is a fact that you should know as it is the main core of the filtration. Even though both are mechanical filters, they vary in pricing, density, and efficiency. In this post, we will define the key differences between them and what to expect. With that info, you will learn how to identify them in an air purifier and which one to go for.
Short answer
True HEPA filter is the real deal.

What Is True HEPA filter?

AKA absolute or genuine HEPA filter. It is a mechanical filter that has a 99.97% efficiency rate at capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns. Premium filter e.g. HyperHEPA from IQAir can push the limits to 99.99% efficiency at 0.003 microns (100 times smaller). A standard HEPA filter is made of thin fibers glass with high density where even the smallest particles would not be able to pass-through. It is used to trap dust mites, pet dander, mold, pollen, to the extent of bacteria and viruses. A true HEPA filter is rated between 17-20 MERV. It can be found in HVAC system, vacuum cleaner, air conditioner or HEPA air purifier.

HEPA Filter Movement

What Is HEPA-type filter?

AKA HEPA-based filter, it is the inferior version to a standard HEPA filter. It is gaining traction in the air purifier world due to the low cost with relatable efficiency. HEPA-type filter has a 99% efficiency rate or less at capturing particles as small as 2 microns. It is also made out of thin fibers glass but with less density thus finer particles like germs would be able to sneak past. A HEPA-type filter is rated between 13-16 MERV. It is commonly found in the lower-end air purifier.

What Is The Difference Between HEPA And True HEPA?

Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave
True HEPA Filter
Hamilton Beach TrueAir
HEPA-type Filter
99.97% efficiency on particles as small as 0.3 microns.90-99% efficiency on particles as small as 2 microns.
Price Group
Filter Density

The main differences between HEPA-type and True HEPA filter are the filtration efficiency. In general, HEPA-type filter has a 99% efficiency rate of capturing particles as small as 2 microns. True HEPA filter up the game with a better 99.97% efficiency rate at particles as small as 0.3 microns. As both filters are widely used in the air purifier industry, HEPA-type is often paired with the cheaper, compact air purifier. True HEPA on the other hand, is tagged with the bigger, premium air purifier.

In short, go with True HEPA filter if mold, pollen, bacteria, and viruses are your concern. These microbes can cause many respiratory problems and viral infections. If you want cheaper filter but still retains the HEPA goodness, go with a HEPA-type filter.

How Do I Tell What Type of HEPA filter an Air Purifier Is Hosting?

By looking at the filter through our naked eyes, it’s hard to tell which is which. The best way is to screen through the air purifier specification from its manual or website. You can also check out the HEPA labeled score that should be printed on the box. Regardless of the filter naming convention, if is at 99.97% efficiency on particles as small as 0.3 microns, it is a True HEPA filter. Anything poorer than that would fall under HEPA-type filter.

Let do a quick run-through. HEPA is an acronym for High-efficiency Particulate Air or High-efficiency Particulate Arrestance. A certified filter produced, tested and labeled with recognized industry standards (IEST, UL). HEPA filters are used in both residential and commercial products. From homes, automobiles to aircraft and medical facilities.

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.

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