Winix 5500-2 Review In 2021: The Best 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 but even to this day, we can't figure out how Winix manages to keep the price down with its complete purifying specification. What is a complete purifying specification you might ask? Does this PlasmaWave machine utilize a True HEPA filter and carbon filter? How effective is the air purifier in dealing with stubborn airborne irritants and odors? Continue reading to see the full 5500-2 "must-have" list and why should you buy one.
online price**
±249.99 $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±80)

** MRSP (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.

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)
Humidifying(H) speed
- 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

Design And Usability

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)

An evolution of the older 5500 model with visual improvement. Winix 5500-2 air cleaner has an aesthetic design that is both modern and contemporary. The grey-black housing stands at 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in dimension with 15.4 lb of weight. Build quality is solid with no visible gap as it should be. The whole body is made of durable plastic materials including the front removable panel. It is not the cheap, flimsy type that you feel it will release harmful ozone with any heat. Air ventilation placement is a typical console air purifier setup. You have the air inlet located at the front/ sides and the air outlet located at the top back. Lastly, there is a back handle slot that you can grab on to when moving Winix 5500-2 room to room.

Winix 5500-2 control

Moving on to the usability, Winix 5500-2 slight slanting angle control panel at the top is easy to use and read. 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 (good), amber (fair), red (poor). There are also eleven indicator lights, a dual 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. The mode button allows you to cycle between Auto mode or Sleep mode activation. The center dedicated PlasmaWave button activates or deactivates Hydroxyls function. Fan speed button that will cycle between the four fan speeds. The timer button will switch between off, 1, 4, 8 hours preset setting.

Continue on, the Reset button will reset the count and turn off the change filter indicator light after you have replaced the filter. The odor sensor detects the amount of odor in its surrounding while the light sensor detects room ambient light. Last but not least, remote control is included for added convenience.

For safety measures, do not handle Winix 5500-2 plug or controls with wet hands. Never cover the air inlet as it can impede the airflow distribution. Also never insert your finger or any small objects into the ventilation. As for the placement, do not leave Winix 5500-2 air purifier next to flammable objects or near the window that has direct exposure to sunlight. Never use a transformer to step down or up the power voltage. If you have a loose or damaged plug, send it back to the manufacturer for replacement rather than fixing it yourself.

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

Let’s round up Winix 5500-2 air purifier “complete purifying specification”. You have the 4-stage filtration with PlasmaWave Technology, 4 speeds with auto/ sleep mode, dual odor/ light sensor, a digital screen with AQ indicator, and remote control. Lastly, Winix 5500-2 is ozone-safe certified by CARB, AHAM listed, approved UL safety standard, ENERGY STAR rated, and 2 years warranty on manufacture defects.

Airflow, Coverage, And CADR

Winix 5500-2 coverage
Purifying coverage
360 sq. ft. (33 m2)
Winix 5500-2 fanspeed
Winix 5500-2 air purifier carries on from the previous 5500 setups with an AHAM verified room size 360 square feet coverage at 2 air changes per hour. Suitable for medium size bedroom, living room. kitchen, dining table, basement, and garage. The airflow delivery rate is 53 to 226 cfm across its four fan speeds. Not bad as the airflow output has once again proven 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 fan speed adjustment based on the surrounding air quality. In most cases, fan speed will be kept at low until there is a high volume of polluted air detected. Sleep mode is much simpler. It set the fan speed low and turns off all air quality indicator light when there is no ambient light. On day time with enough light source, it will switch to auto mode.
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, Smoke CADR is at 246 cfm and 232 cfm respectively. From the figures itself, the airflow delivery output is at a satisfying level. There is ample airflow to swiftly remove all indoor airborne irritants and odors.

Recommended Read

Filters And Performance

Let's talk about Winix 5500-2 superior 4-stage air filtration (pre-filter, True HEPA, Carbon Filter, PlasmaWave technology). The pre-filter traps large particles like dust, lint, and hair while reducing the work stress of the HEPA filter. The protected True HEPA filter would focus on capturing 99.97% of microscopic allergens as small as 0.3 microns like pet dander, mold, pollen, bacteria, and viruses. AOC Advanced Granular Carbon filter removes 93% of odors and toxic gases like VOCs, asbestos, formaldehyde, benzene, tobacco smoke within its proximity. PlasmaWave Technology produces natural water vapor and oxygen ion bonded Hydroxyls that safely break down tough allergens, germs, viral viruses, and odors.

There are sites suggested that PlasmaWave produces a very insignificant amount of ozone. Ignore all that as Winix 5500-2 is way under California Air Resources Board (CARB) ozone limit. PlasmaWave technology is safe and will not aggravate asthma or cause any lung damage. If you are still not comfortable with it, simply turn off the PlasmaWave function.

Overall, the filter size and quality are top-notch. The washable pre-filter is reusable and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or light vacuuming (brush attachment). You should clean the pre-filter every 2 to 3 weeks depending on the air quality level. The thick honeycomb AOC carbon filter is very effective in removing smoke particles from cooking, pets, and household chemicals. Best of all, you only have to replace the carbon filter annually together with the HEPA filter. When replacing the filters, remember to remove the plastics and switch off the air purifier before anything else.

Noise And Energy Usage

Winix 5500-2 noise level
Noise level
26.6 - 60+ dB
Winix 5500-2 power consumption
Power consumption
5 - 90 W

Winix 5500-2 offers the same soft noise level output as the previous generation model. 26.6 dB noise level is reasonably quiet at low to medium speed. Great for watching movies, working, or reading without the background white noise. At 60+ dB 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.

Being an Energy Star rated model, energy usage is low at only 5 watts minimum to a max 90 watts depending on the fan speed. You will not notice any surge in your electric bill. With a standard 12 hours daily runtime, the electric cost will be around $0.05 per day, or $1.6 a month, or 19 dollars a year. There is also the Auto and sleep mode that can help optimizing energy consumption by only using higher speed when necessary. If you have no issue with Winix 5500 noise and power consumption, Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave air purifier will also serve you well.

Pricing And Maintainence Cost

Winix 5500-2 MRSP/ RSP
+- 249.99
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 despite having a newer design and an improved specification. The better specification is also well reflected in its mid-range group despite having a lower price point. That said, Winix 5500-2 filter replacement cost is not cheap at around 80 dollars annually. It comes with a yearly bundled pack consisting of a True-HEPA filter and a carbon filter. Filter availability is good as the filter set is compatible with a few other Winix models.
Compare with the likes of Honeywell and Blueair models, Winix 5500-2 is very well priced and stocked. You can purchase the air purifier in Home Depot, Best Buy, or Walmart (subject to availability). We recommend buying straight from Amazon as it offers the best deal (around 40% cheaper than MRSP) with expedited shipping, 30-days return policy, and sheer Amazon convenience. If you don't quite fancy buying from Amazon, Winix official channel offers great seasonal deal s where the price will drop from time to time. Unique on the Winix website, there is the filter membership program that automatically sends replacement filters every year with a special rebate.

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 is less effective than AOC Carbon Filter. Remote control is also excluded but the rest of the specification is identical.
GermGuardian AC5250PT

GermGuardian AC5250PT

This tower air purifier stands gets the nod with its slim body profile. The downside is the higher cost yet with a weaker airflow, coverage, and CADR.
LEVOIT Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier

LEVOIT Core 300

An unorthodox choice, Costs less of what Winix 5500-2 is listed and you still get an identical purifying coverage and CADR output.
Coway Mighty Air Purifier

Coway Airmega 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, lower maintenance cost, and PlasmaWave equivalent Vital ionizer.

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 people fancy the air cleaner specification especially with the sales price. The PlasmaWave + True HEPA filtration also cover well against dust, germs, and allergens. A small group of people also appreciates the inclusion of Auto mode and remote control despite the low 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 consider.

To conclude, Winix 5500-2 is definitely our pick as the positives outweigh the negatives. If you are a hypersensitive person or have asthma, this air purifier will serve you well.


  • Super attractive price (after online rebate) with outstanding specifications.
  • 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.
  • 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 options (1, 4, 8 hours).


  • Improved but still limited 2 years warranty (Winix 5500 only comes with 1-year).
  • Occasional short delay before 5500-2 reacts to surrounding particles.
Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave

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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