Winix 5300-2 Review: The Best Air Purifier under 130?
Last updated on February 20th, 2019
Replacement to the popular PlasmaWave 5300, Winix 5300-2 air purifier is nicely balanced between airflow distribution and purifying radius without compromising on the price tag. This PlasmaWave machine also does not shy away from practical features like timer, AQ indicator, and Auto/ Sleep mode. With a specification identical to twice of what you'll pay in another brand, how effective is the air cleaner against air contaminants and does it has the durability for long-term usage? Could Winix 5300 2 be the Best True HEPA air purifier under 130 (after online discount)?
Air quality indicator - Blue (good), Yellow (fair), Red (poor)
Timer (1, 4, 8 hours)
Air quality odor sensor/ Light sensor
2 years warranty
Winix 5300-2 review
For less than 150 (or maybe even lower) online discount, Winix 5300-2 has excellent specification that matches air purifier 2-3 times of its price.
Decent CADR and airflow output to support its 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration.
Washable pre-filter that will filter out large particles thus reduce unnecessarily obstruction on the True HEPA filter and carbon filter.
Outstanding True-HEPA filter that has no problem trapping microscopic allergens like germ and bacteria.
Auto mode works great alongside the four speed while Sleep mode is very useful if Winix 5300-2 is placed in bedroom.
Built-in timer with 3 pre-set setting (1, 4, 8 hours).
Extended 2 years warranty (Winix 5300 only comes with 1).
The odor absorbing carbon filter is less effective than AOC carbon filter found in Winix 5500-2. You'll also get remote control as standard with a little bit of top up.
Hassle and requires quarterly filter change on the deodorization carbon filters.
Either Auto mode or odor sensor does not react quickly to nearby irritants particularly smoke. Not a big deal as the air purifier sensor will catch on sooner or later.
15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in
(38.1 x 59.9 x 20.8 cm)
15.4 lb (7 kg)
Visually improved at every aspect, Winix 5300-2 air purifier exterior is a big leap from its previous predecessor with updated vertical strips elements, clean controls, and black housing. Retaining similar size and weight as the previous Winix 5300 at 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in/ 15.4 lb, build quality is again sturdy with no loosed parts. While there are no premium materials used in this air purifier, everything you see or touch is plasticky as expected from the price point. No surprise on the air ventilation location, you have the air inlet tucked behind the front cover and air outlet is push at the top, right behind the control panel. Like every other Winix air purifiers, there is standard handle slot to grip on when carrying the air cleaner.
What’s in the control panel space is five round operational buttons (On/ Off, Mode, PlasmaWave, Fan Speed and Timer), center air quality indicator bar, eleven tiny LED indicator lights, light sensor, odor sensor, and a small filter reset button. Operating Winix 5300-2 air purifier could not be any easier, so let’s cover the main function first. On/ Off button is what it is, Mode button will switch between Auto mode and Sleep mode. The dedicated PlasmaWave button activates/ deactivates the Hydroxyls purifying function. Fan speed button cycle between the four speeds; timer button will cycle between 1, 4, 8 hours and off setting. There is also a small reset button that you will only use it on a yearly basis to reset the filter lifespan countdown and switch off the change filter indicator light. Smack right at the center is an air quality indicator light that will change between blue color when the surrounding air quality is good, yellow when air quality is fair, and red when air quality is poor. Finally, both light sensor and odor sensor is placed on the right side. Light sensor autonomously adjusts the LED indicator light brightness based on the surrounding ambient light while odor sensor adjusts Auto mode setting according to the level of airborne particles in a room. Like Winix 5500-2, the controls are nicely labeled and angled for better standpoint visibility. We do miss the classic clicky button type more than touch button here.
To recap what’s in the box, Winix 5300-2 air purifier is powered by the familiar 4-stage filtration with PlasmaWave Technology, 4 fan speeds with auto/ sleep mode, odor sensor, light sensor, the greatly miss timer (1, 4, 8 hours), air quality indicator, replacement filter indicator, AHAM certified, CARB ozone-free certified, ENERGY STAR rated and improved 2 years warranty. Remote control is sadly not included.
Airflow, CADR and everything in between
360 sq. ft. (33 m2)
35.3 - 240.1 cfm (60 - 408 m3/h)
Slight improvement over its predecessor PlasmaWave 5300, Winix 5300-2 air purifier comes with a small bump in its purifying coverage at 360 sq. ft. (lowest air charges). Impressive figures to say the least. Fan speed retains at four (low, medium high to turbo) while 35.3 - 240.1 cfm airflow gets bump up at low speed and dropped slightly at max speed. With the help from light and odor sensor, Auto mode (enabled by default) automatically adjust the fan speed to deal with the surrounding air quality. Sleep mode will set the fan speed to low and dim all indicator lights to prevent glaring disturbance. Similar to most console air purifier setup, Winix 5300-2 PlasmaWave is ideal for medium-sized bedroom, kitchen or studio living room if the air purifier is operating continually in turbo speed.
243 cfm (413 m3/h)
246 cfm (418 m3/h)
232 cfm (394 m3/h)
The air purifier official CADR is equally impressive with dust CADR pushed up slightly at 243 cfm (VS Winix 5300). Pollen and smoke CADR gets dropped by not significantly to 246 cfm and 232 cfm. Safely to say that anything that passes the 200 benchmarks will do well against airborne dust, mold, pollen, germs and light smoke (limit by the filter quality). In other words, Winix 5300-2 will not disappoint you both in purifying coverage and airflow delivery rate.
What’s inside count
True HEPA filter
Odor Absorbing Carbon Filter
^ Winix 5300-2 filters/ technologies/ lifespan
Winix 5300-2 filter kept the same setup with the dependable 4-stage air cleaning filtration. The first layer of defense is the odor absorbing carbon filter that focuses on large particles and common household odors/ gases. Continuing the flow is the True HEPA filter that removes tiny allergens down to 0.3 micron size with a filtration rate of 99.97%. Lastly, the optional PlasmaWave would create Hydroxyls to break apart lingering pollutants such as VOCs, bacteria, odors, and gases for the filters to capture. Overall Winix 5300-2 filter size is spot on, and we are happy with True HEPA filtration quality. The carbon filter though is a little bit of mixed bag. It captures smoke and odor reasonably well, but somehow against stronger irritants, the deodorization part falls a little bit back.
Hair/ Pet hair
Winix 5300-2 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration with 360 square feet coverage and 243 cfm dust CADR is excellent against the likes of dust, pet hair. The teamwork effort between PlasmaWave technology and True HEPA filter are outstanding in removing microscopic allergens like dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold, virus, and bacteria. The less efficient Odor Absorbing Carbon Filter is somewhat OK against cooking smell and diaper odor, but against heavy tobacco smokes, pet odors and hazard fumes like VOCs, the thin carbon sheet is inadequate in most cases.
Keep it down
27.8 - 60+ dB
5 - 70+ W
Similar to 5300, Winix 5300-2 with True HEPA filter, PlasmaWave, and odor reducing carbon filter generate 27.8 - 60+ dB noise level. The combined filtration noise is silent when operating in low, medium speed, and bearable noise at higher speed. For perfect sleep at night, Sleep mode is just a click away. As for power consumption, Winix 5300-2 air purifier is ENERGY STAR rated as one would expect. However, there is a slight increase in energy usage at 5 - 70+ watts. Still reasonable for its airflow capacity, therefore Auto mode and the constant speed you are operating in play an important role.
At what cost
Annual Filter Cost
^ Replacement filters/ estimated cost
Winix 5300-2 online price is surprisingly cheaper than its predecessor given the improvement in most aspect. Within its mid-range category, this PlasmaWave machine is an absolute bargain and a "genuine" best bang for the buck air purifier. Filter availability is plentiful, and the annual replacement cost is not too high with the bundled Filter A package (4 carbon sheet with 1 HEPA filter). The same old, nitty-gritty complain we have is the carbon sheet short 3 months lifespan. It makes more sense to put it a better carbon filter that can last throughout the year, like the one in 5500-2.
If you are amazed by PlasmaWave 5500-2 price, Winix 5300-2 air purifier selling price will further blow your mind. For less than 150, Winix PlasmaWave 5300-2 is well-positioned against the light of Honeywell HPA300, Blueair 205 and Coway Mighty AP-1512HH. The only catch is not every place carry the same online price. Do your research and check out every major retailer like Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Best Buy or Costco. The more time-saving method is to buy directly from Amazon as it usually has the best discount, free shipping (subject to T&C) and 30 days guarantee return policy. Purchasing from Winix official channel is also doable if you don't mind the new registration trouble.
Top up around 50-70 dollars more, you'll get a remote control and upgraded AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter that only requires yearly change. Otherwise, it is essentially the same air purifier with identical design and specification.
Another PlasmaWave lineup, NK100 has all the Winix air cleaner attributes plus an improved CD carbon filter and a slim tower profile with 360-degree airflow circulation. The thinner profile comes at a cost, and unfortunately the cost includes the air purifier weaker CADR and airflow performance.
Almost identical airflow efficiency with a slightly more affordable price tag. The big setback for Holmes HAP8650B-U air cleaner is the very basic spec that adds no value to the usability. Exterior design is unattractive either.
Speaking of alternative, Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is an air purifier that pops into everyone mind if you need something that is powerful in airflow distribution, support large room and doesn't cost much to maintain. Mind you the price bracket is another level, but it's totally worth it.
Good to know
Winix 5300-2 VS 5500-2
Let's cut to the chase. If you want the lowest possible price (around 130), look no further. But if you don't mind topping up 30 - 50 dollars more, you can get Winix 5500-2 with a stronger AOC carbon filter (VS Odor-Absorbing Carbon Filter) and remote control. Any of the air cleaners above will get you 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration, 360 sq. ft. purifying coverage, 230+ cfm CADR, 3 speed with Auto/ Sleep mode, Auto mode, air quality sensor, 3 pre-set timer, and 2 years warranty.
Winix 5300-2 VS 5300
The new replacement model to Winix 5300 so naturally there will be an improvement. The most obvious one is the modernized (prettier) design. Purifying coverage also receive a minor bump (360 sq. ft. VS 350 sq. ft.). Dust free CADR increase to 243 cfm VS 216 cfm) but surprisingly pollen CADR drop from 246 cfm to 251 cfm and also smoke CADR from 232 cfm to 235 cfm. There is also the newly added auto-shut off timer however, remote control still missing in both air cleaner.
Winix 5300 2 VS C535
The same 4-stage PlasmaWave model with matching dimension and specification (True-HEPA, Carbon filter, AQ indicator, Auto mode, 4 speed, Sleep mode, timer, 360 sq. ft., 230+ cfm). As only the design separating these two air cleaners, Winix PlasmaWave 5300-2 is definitely our pick. Why? Is easier to find Winix 5300 2 with discount VS Cotsco bound C535. Pick C535 only if you manage to get a better deal or white is your prefer color option.
How does Winix 5300-2 PlasmaWave work?
Winix 5300-2 PlasmaWave works by creating hydroxyls to neutralize germs, bacteria, and chemical gases like VOCs. Radon. The entire hydroxyls process is natural, ozone less, and achievable through the merging between water vapor, positive plus negative ions.
Final thoughts on Winix 5300-2
Like 5500 2, Winix 5300-2 has received plenty of raving reviews on the overall value. Out of the 700+ reviews (YES 700+ in total), 86% of the reviewer has voted 4-5 stars on the air purifier effectiveness against dust and allergens. Many users feel happy that the air purifier manages to clean up their air-breathing space and relief them from all kinds of allergies. There are also few users like how cheap Winix PlasmaWave 5300-2 air purifier is priced to the extent that this is the best thing since sliced bread! On the flip side, 10% of the reviewers complained about the following issue: odor sensor durability, air purifier reliability, and longevity (break down easily). There are also few people that doubt 5300-2 actually does anything other than beaming light! Bring to a conclusion, 86% of the positive reviews can't be wrong unless you are the unfortunate few that receive a faulty unit. If you are happy with the previous 5300 model, this updated replacement model will also suit you well.