Best Air Purifier With Washable Filters in 2019

We get a lot of people asking ‘Is there an air purifier with washable filters?’ Well, thankfully there are and in this post we’re going to review all the current best air purifiers with filters you can wash.

Filters are the most important part of your air purifier. It can come with numerous smart options, look excellent against any background, and have a great warranty, but if it doesn’t have top-notch filters, the unit is virtually useless.

The majority of air purifiers comes with replaceable filters. For example, the most common HEPA filter has to be replaced every 6 to 12 months depending on how heavily you use the air purifier. For some models, the annual replacement costs can be quite high.

Most air purifiers have washable pre-filters, which capture large particles, not allowing them to enter further into the purifier. Thus, these pre-filters increase the longevity of other, more delicate (and expensive!), filters.

However, some air purifiers come with fully washable filters. Such filters need to be maintained on a regular basis. Some of them need to be replaced anyway, others are permanent.

Top 3 Air Purifiers with Washable Filters Comparison Table

Picture

Air Purifier name

For Max room Size

Our Rating


check amazon reviews & price

Winix 5500-2

370 sq feet

9.3


check amazon reviews & price

Levoit Pur 131

300 sq feet

9.2


check amazon reviews & price

Honeywell HFD-120-Q

170 sq feet

9.1

Washable Filters

Air purifier with washable filters

While you can find washable pre-filters in the majority of modern air purifiers, other filters are rarely washable.

Washable Carbon Filters – Sometimes, you can find an air purifier with a washable carbon filter. This is a good option for households or other spaces with smoke problems. Carbon filters deal with VOCs, chemicals, and odors, so washing them every couple of weeks is a great way out. Eventually, you would still need to replace the carbon filter, but being able to wash it will surely prolong the replacement time.

Washable HEPA Filters – Some manufacturers offer washable HEPA filters. To me, this approach sounds fantastic. Washing a HEPA filter will most likely destroy the delicate arrangement of the fibers, which allow the filter to deal with 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in diameter. The maximum cleaning a real HEPA filter can endure is delicate vacuuming.

If you see an air purifier with a washable HEPA filter, it’s probably not a Pure or True HEPA but a HEPA 4 filter, which is virtually useless for small particles. Even if after washing, the filter looks intact from the outside, it is likely to be ruined from the inside. Eventually, you would still need to replace this type of filter.

Permanent Filters

Honeywell HFD 120 Q filters

Permanent filters don’t need to be replaced. They are initially created to be maintained by the user. The main benefit of such a filter is the non-existent annual maintenance cost. You simply take the filter out, wash it under tap water and place it back into the unit.

Even though such filters are convenient, they are not as effective as non-washable HEPA filters. In the majority of cases, they can capture particles of about 2 microns in diameter, thus being useless for people with serious respiratory or allergy problems.

Washable & Permanent Filters: Pros and Cons

Let’s look at the pros and cons of these filters:

Pros:
  • Low or non-existent maintenance cost
  • Simple cleaning routine
  • Frequent cleaning allowed to improve the air quality
  • Saved time on ordering new filters.
Cons:
  • Reusable filters can’t do as excellent a job as regular HEPA filters since they can’t capture the smallest particles.
  • Devices with such filters are less common than others.
  • Usually, air purifiers with such filters can’t service large areas.
washable filters clean room

Overall, I would recommend looking for air purifiers with washable pre-filters and carbon filters while avoiding units with so-called washable HEPA filters. You can also consider models with permanent filters as long as you don’t have severe allergies or asthma.

3 Best Air Purifiers With Washable And Permanent Filters

Below I would like to review three best air purifies with washable filters on the market right now.

1. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

Winix 5500 - 2 air purifier

This is an excellent air purifier with two washable filters. This model has a sleek design with an impressive array of smart options. The air purifier is designed to handle large rooms up to 370 square feet.

Filtration System

This air purifier has a four-stage filtration system:

  • Pre-filter
  • AOC Carbon filter
  • TrueHEPA filter
  • PlasmaWave ionizer

The combination of these filters achieves an impressive effect. The pre-filter and AOC carbon filter can be washed. The pre-filter is permanent while the carbon filter needs to be replaced once a year.

Smart Options

The air purifier has numerous smart options including the highly important air quality sensor, which monitors the air quality and adjusts the fan speed accordingly. Other options are:

  • Light Sensor
  • Auto and Sleep Modes
  • Odor Sensor
  • Filter Replacement Indicator
  • Timer

This machine is very quiet. At the lowest fan setting, it produces 26 dB, which is excellent for the nighttime.

Pros:
  • Washable filters
  • Numerous smart options
  • Large service area
  • 2-year warranty
Cons:
  • High price

I would recommend this air purifier to anyone who needs to clean the air from VOCs, smoke, and odors.

Check out my full review of the Winix 5500-2 here

Levoit LV-PUR131 Air Purifier

Levoit-LV-PUR131 air purifier

This air purifier has an excellent filtration system for people who suffer from allergies. Even though only one filter is washable, the maintenance cost of this unit is reasonably low. It’s created to service rooms up to about 250 square feet. The design is simple and the controls are very straightforward.

Filtration System

The air purifier comes with a permanent pre-filter, which captures large particles, not allowing them to reach the other filters. You can wash the pre-filter once a month to ensure clean air. Other filters are:

  • Activated Carbon Filter
  • TrueHEPA Filter
Smart Options

For a moderately priced air purifier, this model is equipped with many useful smart options:

  • Sleep Mode
  • Auto Mode
  • Filter Replacement Indicator
  • Air Quality Indicator
  • Timer

The air purifier is far from being the quietest on the market. It produces about 50 dB at the quietest setting.

Pros:
  • Washable pre-filter
  • Numerous smart options
  • 2-year warranty
  • Energy efficiency
Cons:
  • Small service area

I would recommend this unit to anyone looking for a moderately priced air purifier with an excellent filtration system.

Check out my full review of the LV Pur131 here

3.  Honeywell HFD-120-Q Air Purifier Review

honeywell hfd 120 q air purifier

According to Amazon, the full name of this unit is: Honeywell hfd-120-q quietclean tower air purifier with permanent washable filters – quite the mouthful! It is however worth a good review as it’s quite unique in the air purifier world due to its permanent filter option. This means you don’t have to spend any money on the annual maintenance of this unit.

The coverage area of the air purifier, declared by the manufacturer, is 170 square feet. This tower air purifier comes with an ionizer and a limited number of smart options. However, many users have given it excellent reviews. Let’s go deeper into the specs.

Filtration System

The filtration system of this air purifier is different from the majority of the units I’ve reviewed. Unfortunately, it shows worse results than the HEPA filtration system. On the other hand, it’s cheaper and easier to maintain.

Pre-Filter – A washable pre-filter holds the large particles away from the main filters, thus keeping them clean longer. This filter takes care of large pieces of dust, pet hair, and more, but does require cleaning once a month.

IFD Permanent filters – These two permanent filters take care of small particles of about 2 microns in size. The filters should be washed on a regular basis, but thankfully there is a cleanliness indicator that can help you see when the filters need to be maintained.

Ionizer – The ionizer attracts negatively and positively charged particles to keep the air feeling and smelling fresh. The ionizer isn’t optional however, its permanently on when the device is switched on.

Design And Smart Options

This tower air purifier has an excellent design. You can fit it in a room of any size and even put it up on a table if you wish. It weighs around 14 pounds and it’s dimensions are 28.7 x 11.2 x 10 inches.

The control panel is pretty straightforward. You can turn the oscillation feature on and off and set the fan speed.

This air purifier doesn’t have too many smart options. It comes with a filter indicator, which shows when the IFD filters need to be washed.

Coverage Area

The manufacturer claims that this air purifier can work in rooms of 170 square feet in size. Let’s check out the CADR ratings:

  • Dust – 100
  • Smoke – 110
  • Pollen – 132

By using a simple formula (CADR x 1.5), we see that this air purifier can service rooms between 150 and 198 square feet. Thus, the average room size is about 170 square feet, just as the manufacturer reports.

Noise Levels

This unit is declared as an extra quiet one. However, the noise levels aren’t as low as I would wish for as a light sleeper.

  • Speed 1 – 40 dB
  • Speed 2 – 46 dB
  • Speed 3 – 51 dB

In my opinion, 40 dB is a bit high for comfortable sleeping. However, many users report that the white noise this air purifier emits makes them sleep better. The rest of the speeds are too loud for sleep but reasonable for regular daytime activities.

Warranty

The unit comes with an excellent 5-year warranty. However Honeywell offers this warranty in the USA and Canada only.

Pros:
  • Permanent filters (no replacement costs)
  • Low initial cost
  • Sleek design
  • 5-year warranty
  • Easy operation
  • Simple maintenance
Cons:
  • The filter is less effective than HEPA
  • Lack of smart options

Honeywell HFD-120-Q Air Purifier Conclusion

This unit is moderately priced, which makes it a good choice for users with low budgets. It has a 3-stage filtration system, which doesn’t require filter replacement. The maintenance is quick and easy. I would highly recommend this Honeywell air purifier with washable filters to people on a tight budget, who don’t have severe allergies or respiratory problems.