Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave

Winix 5500-2 Review: Price is Right for this PlasmaWave Air Purifier!

One of the best sellers for the brand by a mile. We reviewed Winix 5500-2 air purifier a long time ago and still hugely impressed by it. But even till this day, we can't figure out how Winix manages to keep the price down with its complete purifying specification. What is complete purifying specification you might ask? It is our essential, "must-have" set of features like HEPA filter, carbon filter, and Auto mode. Continue reading to see the full 5500-2 "must-have" list. While you're at it, feel free to compare with other similar range air purifiers.
± 249 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 80 p
 Online price*
Latest Amazon price
** MRSP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is provided by 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.

Winix 5500-2 Specification

ProductWinix 5500-2
15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in
(38.1 x 59.9 x 20.8 cm)
Weight15.4 lb (7 kg)
Coverage (up to)360 sq. ft. (33 m2)
Airflow speed53 - 226 cfm (90 - 384 m3/h)
Dust free (CADR)243 cfm (413 m3/h)
Pollen free (CADR)246 cfm (418 m3/h)
Smoke free (CADR)232 cfm (394 m3/h)
- Lifespan
- Replacement cost ($)
HEPA filter
- Lifespan
- Replacement cost ($)
True HEPA filter
1 year
Carbon filter
- Lifespan
- Replacement cost ($)
AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter
1 year
Ionizer/ TechnologiesPlasmaWave Technology
UV-light/ PCO
Other filter
All-in-one filter
- Lifespan
- Replacement cost ($)
Filter H 116130
1 year
+- 79.99
Optional/ Addon
Noise level26.6 - 60+ dB
Power usage level5 - 90 W
Timer/ Scheduler1, 4, 8 hours
SensorsVOC sensors (Air quality)
Auto mode
Air qualityAQ indicator
Filter change indicator
More color options
Wi-Fi/ BTBluetooth
Remote control
Child lock
Warranty2 years
Email/ Phone support

Key features

  • 4-stage filtration with PlasmaWave™ Technology
  • Permanent pre-filter
  • AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter - 93% efficiency
  • True-HEPA filter - 99.97% efficiency up to 0.3 microns
  • 4 fan speeds (Low, Medium, High, Turbo)
  • Auto mode/ Sleep mode
  • Timer (1, 4, 8 hours)
  • Air quality indicator - Blue (good), Yellow (fair), Red (poor)
  • Light sensor, Odor sensor
  • Remote control
  • 2 years warranty

Winix 5500-2 review

  • Super attractive price (after online rebate) when you consider its specification.
  • Decent CADR that covers medium room size via its 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration.
  • Genuine, True-HEPA filter works as advertised. Excellent in removing allergens and other microorganisms.
  • Use a standalone AOC carbon filter rather than cheap out on a carbon pre-filter sheet.
  • Full access remote control including the mode selector.
  • 4 fan speed plus Auto/ Sleep mode with light sensor. Sleep mode autonomously adjusts the LED indicator brightness according to the room ambient light.
  • Built-in timer with 3 pre-set option (1, 4, 8 hours).
  • Not outstanding, but an improved 2 years warranty (Winix 5500 only comes with 1-year).
  • We like the dedicated AOC carbon filter, but it's not the best in the market when it comes to strong, pungent smell.
  • During our test, there is a short delay before 5500-2 reacts to surrounding particles. Either the odor sensor requires cleaning or the sensor takes its own sweet time to detect.

The starters

Winix 5500-2 dimension
15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in
(38.1 x 59.9 x 20.8 cm)
Winix 5500-2 weight
15.4 lb (7 kg)

Like 5300-2, Winix 5500-2 has the aesthetic design that is both modern and contemporary. At a relatively standard dimension, this black housing air cleaner is at 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in with 15.4 lb of weight. Build quality is solid, well-fitted with no visible gap as it should be. The whole body is made of plastic materials including the front panel. It is not the cheap, flimsy type that you feel it will release harmful ozone with any heat. Air ventilation placement is very typical console air purifier setup. Where you have air inlet located at front/ sides and air outlet is at the top back. Lastly, there is a back handle slot that you can grab on to when moving 5500-2 around.

Winix 5500-2 control

Moving on to the usability, Winix 5500-2 air purifier has a slight slanting angle control panel at the top. The entire control panel consists of a left Winix logo and five evenly spaced buttons (On/ Off, Mode, PlasmaWave, Fan Speed, Timer). Right at the center, there is an air quality indicator bar that cycles between blue, amber, red. There is also eleven indicator lights, odor/ light sensor, and a small filter reset button. Skipping the self-explanatory On/ Off button, let’s go through 5500-2 buttons one by one. Mode button allows the cycle between Auto mode and Sleep mode. The center dedicated PlasmaWave button activates or deactivates Hydroxyls function. Fan speed button that will cycle between the four fan speeds. Timer button will switch between off, 1, 4 or 8 hours preset setting.

Continue on, the Reset button will reset the count and turn off the change filter indicator light. Odor sensor is there to detects the amount of odor in its surrounding. Light sensor detects room ambient light and automatically adjusts the LED indicator brightness. Other than the filter reset button, most function is also available in the remote control.

Overall we like the controls are clearly labeled with many supporting indicator lights. The tiny complaint we had is the touch button lacks tactile feel unlike some of the older air purifier.

Let’s round up Winix 5500-2 air purifier “complete purifying specification”. First the 4-stage filtration with PlasmaWave Technology, 4 speeds with auto/ sleep mode. Odor/ light sensor, digital screen with AQ indicator, and remote control. Finally, Ozone safe Certified by CARB, AHAM listed, ENERGY STAR rated and 2 years warranty.

Airflow, speed, and CADR

Winix 5500-2 coverage
Purifying coverage
360 sq. ft. (33 m2)
Winix 5500-2 airflow speed
Airflow speed
53 - 226 cfm (90 - 384 m3/h)
Winix 5500-2 fanspeed
Winix 5500-2 air purifier carries on from the previous 5500 setup with a slight bump 360 sq. ft. purifying coverage (2 air charges). Suitable for medium size bedroom although placing 5500-2 in a living room does no harm either. Airflow delivery rate remains at 53 - 226 cfm across its four fan speed. Not bad as the airflow output has a proven record on its consistency. Besides the 4 fan speed operation, the air cleaner also comes with the typical Auto mode and Sleep mode. Auto mode (enabled by default) will perform autonomous purifying based on the surrounding air quality. Sleep mode is much simpler. It set the fan speed low and turn off the air quality indicator light so the air purifier can run silently at night.
Winix 5500-2 dust CADR
243 cfm (413 m3/h)
Winix 5500-2 pollen CADR
Pollen CADR
246 cfm (418 m3/h)
Winix 5500-2 smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
232 cfm (394 m3/h)
Winix 5500-2 all three CADR passes our 200 cfm benchmark. Remarkable for an air purifier of its class. Dust CADR is at 243 cfm (upgraded marginally from the previous version). Pollen and Smoke CADR are at 246 cfm and 232 cfm respectively. From the figures itself, the airflow delivery output is at a satisfying level. It will have more than enough airflow to remove all types of indoor airborne irritants.

What’s inside count

Let's talk about 5500-2 4-stage filtration (pre-filter, True HEPA, Carbon Filter, PlasmaWave technology). The pre-filter would trap large particles while reducing the work stress of the HEPA. The protected True HEPA filter would focus on microscopic allergens as small as 0.3 microns. AOC Advanced Granular Carbon filter would function as what a deodorization carbon would. Trap indoor smoke and odors within its proximity. PlasmaWave technology would produce Hydroxyls to break down tough allergens, germs, and odors.

The tiny differences between Winix 5300-2 and 5500-2 PlasmaWave are the filters. The former uses carbon pre-filter while the latter uses an upgraded AOC Carbon Filter.

On the whole, the 360 square feet and 243 cfm dust CADR are highly effective in filtering initial dust and hair. 99.97% True HEPA filter is superb in removing pet dander, mold, pollen, bacteria, and viruses. The AOC Carbon Filter is above average in eliminating cigarette smoke, VOCs, radon, ammonia and pet odors.

Keep it down

Winix 5500-2 noise level
Noise level
26.6 - 60+ dB
Winix 5500-2 power consumption
Power consumption
5 - 90 W
Winix 5500-2 offer the same noise level output as the previous generation model. If you have no issue with 5500, this PlasmaWave air purifier will also serve you well. 26.6 - 60+ dB Noise level is reasonably soft at low to medium speed. At high/ turbo speed, there is clear fan noise that might not be bearable for some. Fortunately, you can activate Sleep mode to lock 5500-2 at low speed while you're snoozing. PlasmaWave noise is neglectable and can be deactivated when not needed. Energy usage is low to average at 5 - 90 W max depending on the fan speed. There is also Auto mode and sleep mode that help optimizing energy consumption. Just don't expect too many differences on both the mode.

At what cost

Winix 5500-2 MRSP/ RSP
+- 249
Winix 5500-2 annual filter replacement cost
Annual Filter Cost
+- 80
^ Replacement filters/ estimated cost
To our surprise, Winix 5500-2 air purifier online price is cheaper than the prior model 5500. This is accounting for a newer design and an improved specification. The better spec is also well reflected in its mid-range group despite having a lower price point. Winix 5500-2 filter replacement cost is not too expensive but certainly not cheap. The good news is it comes with a yearly bundled pack of True-HEPA and Carbon filter. Filter availability is good because the filter set is compatible with few different models in Winix stable.
Compare with the likes of Honeywell and Blueair models, Winix 5500-2 is very well priced. You can purchase the air purifier in Home Depot, Best Buy, org Walmart (subject to availability). We recommend buying straight from Amazon as it offers the best deal (around 40% cheaper than MRSP). There is also expedited shipping, 30-days return policy, and the sheer Amazon convenience. If you don't quite fancy buying from Amazon, Winix official channel offers great seasonal deal where the price will drop from time to time.

Winix 5500-2 VS the challengers

Winix 5300-2 PlasmaWave

Winix 5300-2

A slightly lower tier model, Winix 5300-2 is cheaper than 5500-2 but not by a whole lot. The trade-off is the lower grade carbon pre-filter that in theory is less effective than AOC Carbon Filter. The rest from design to specification is identical.
Winix NK105

Winix NK105

Not going with the norm Winix HR1000, this tower air purifier stands gets the nod with its slim body profile. NK105 is also blessed with WiFi-enabled feature where you can use the SMART app remotely. The downside for going with NK105 than 5500-2 is the higher cost yet with a weaker airflow, coverage and CADR.

Holmes HAP8650B-U

An unorthodox choice, Holmes HAP8650B-U only cost around half of what 5500-2 is putting on. For that, you'll still get an identical purifying coverage and CADR output. What's missing from 5500-2 is PlasmaWave tech and practical features e.g. AQ sensor, Auto mode.
Coway Mighty Air Purifier

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty

Voted the best air purifier by our peers, Coway Mighty is only a tad more expensive than 5500-2. In return, you get a slightly better purifying, CADR, and lower maintenance cost. Coway Mighty also comes with PlasmaWave technology equivalent Vital ionizer.

 Good to know

Winix 5500-2 VS Coway AP-1512HH

Again it is tough to pick between these two highly recommended air cleaners. In the end, we decided to go with 5500-2 for 2 reasons. A) The standalone AOC carbon filter and B) The slightly lower online price. Apart from that, both air purifiers have a similar 4-stage filtration. Airflow performance is also identical with 300+ square feet coverage and 230+ CADR. Finally, features like air quality sensors, Auto mode, and timer is available on both models.

Winix 5500-2 VS Honeywell HPA300

The inevitable VS comparison that most people will go through. On paper, it is a landslide win for 5500-2 as it comes all the tech like Auto/ Sleep mode, AQ indicator, and remote control. On the other hand, Honeywell HPA300 is an extraordinary machine despite having none of the above features. The air purifier does better in airflow performance with above 300 cfm CADR. This also resulted in a broader room coverage (465 sq. ft. VS 360 sq. ft.). At the end of it all, we still going to pick Winix 5500-2 as the cheaper online price is simply irresistible.

Winix 5500-2 VS 6300-2

If you are confused choosing between Winix 5500-2 or 6300-2, you're not alone. 5500-2 is our pick as it has a lower price point and most importantly, it's still can be easily purchased online. It also utilized an arguably better smoke and odor filtration. Advanced Granular Carbon Filter for 5500-2 VS 6300-2 thinner Odor control carbon pre-filter. Otherwise, both air purifiers share the same 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in dimension and 360 sq. ft. room size coverage. Airflow is identical too at 230+ cfm dust/ smoke/ pollen free CADR.

Winix 5500-2 VS 5300-2

There are good reasons why many people are undecided between Winix 5500-2 VS 5300-2. Both air purifiers are exactly identical in many ways. 5500-2 is the higher spec version with better airflow output, AOC carbon filter and remote control. 5300-2 offers a lower price tag that itself is already a deciding factor. Either way, both air purifiers have the same dimension (15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in), purifying coverage (360 sq. ft.), CADR (230+ cfm), and 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration. Essential features like Auto mode, air quality sensor, timer, and two years warranty is in on both models.

Winix 5500-2 VS 5500

The discontinued Winix 5500 VS the current top-selling model 5500-2 air purifier. Even till this day, many people are still searching for the differences between these two. Let's begin with the new model: 5500-2. First, an updated black exterior design that looks more suited to modern times. There is also an improvement on purifying coverage (360 sq. ft.) and dust CADR (243 cfm). Lastly, 5500-2 comes with AOC carbon filter, built-in timer and 2 years warranty (VS previous 1 year). The "old" 5500 achieve a surprise advantage on airflow, Pollen, and Smoke CADR. There is also a washable HEPA filter that is not entirely "washable" as it may sound. Either way, 4-stage filtration, PlasmaWave, Auto/ Sleep mode, remote control is available on both air purifiers.

Winix 5500-2 VS C535

While Winix 5500-2 is more related to 5300-2 than C535, they share the same dimension and airflow output. Ultimately we go with 5500-2 air purifier as our pick for three main reasons. First, it has better availability as it is a global model VS Costco lock C535. Second, it is equipped with Filter H kit that comes with AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter. Third, it is more competitive price than the limited C535. Only go with C535 if you can find a better deal, wants a white exterior and do not mind losing out on a remote control.

How does Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave Technology work?

PlasmaWave works by generating positive/ negative ions and combines with water vapor to form hydroxyls. Hydroxyl molecules created can be used to neutralize germs and chemicals gas particles. No harmful ozone is produced during the process.

Final thoughts on Winix 5500-2

Winix 5500-2 has been in the market for quite some time and it still receives many positive reviews to this day. Out of the 800+ reviews, 86% of the reviewer that gave it 4-5 stars. Most fancy the air cleaner is offering especially with the sales price. The PlasmaWave + True HEPA filtration also cover well against dust, germs, and allergens. A small group also appreciate the inclusion of Auto mode and remote control for the price point. For negative reviews, around 9% of the 1-2 stars reviewers disagree on the effectiveness. Few people complained about the noise and longevity but the percentage is just too small. To conclude, Winix 5500-2 is definitely our pick of as the positives you would get is more prominent.

Verdicts and ratings

Build quality
Particle Filtration
Smoke Filtration
Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave