Air purifiers are a god-send but the hefty filter replacement costs every few months can be very irritating. For some, these can be a deal-breaker, as people generally opt for appliances and gadgets that don’t require a significant expense every now and then.
Thankfully, air purifiers with washable filters present an excellent solution that brings the best of both worlds. Air purifiers with washable filters come in different forms, some feature permanent HEPA filters while others get a washable IFD filter.
Whether you prefer washable air purifier filters or are a fan of replaceable filters, the benefit of washable and permanent filters cannot be denied as they keep the maintenance costs in check while ensuring that the air quality in your indoor space is healthy.
Best Air Purifiers with Washable Filter (Comparison Table)
Not all filters are washable, even if filters are labeled as permanent, washing them can render them useless. A HEPA filter isn’t designed to be washed and vigorous washing can lead to a rattling sound as the rubber seals around the filter become weak and give way.
A few years back, a room air purifier with a washable filter was a rare sight but nowadays almost every manufacturer includes at least one washable filter. This not only increases the life span of the other filters but also helps keep the maintenance costs in check.
We’ve prepared a table of the best air purifiers with washable filter. For your ease, we’ve included some air purifier with washable HEPA filter and some that leave out the HEPA filter altogether and utilize a more efficient way of purification.
1. Airdog X5 Air Purifier
If there is any air purifier that truly has washable filters then its Airdog X5. While it does lack composite material filters like the true HEPA filter, it brings in a 5 stage ionic system that can filter and eliminate microbes while also taking care of dangerous VOCs.
Airdog rates the X5 as sufficient for a 400-square-foot space and has taken sufficient steps to ensure that the purifier is both safe for use while also being highly efficient in the use of energy.
Although the Airdog X5 is an ionic air purifier, the ozone trace is highly controlled with the air purifier producing just 0.01 units for every million units of output, placing it within the safety limits defined by EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The fan on the Airdog X5 is quite efficient and has multiple fan speeds that can be adjusted automatically depending on the ambient air quality. Sleep mode also makes the cut and the purifier can turn off all the lights and adjust the fan speed to the lowest setting so that your sleep isn’t disturbed. You don’t have to worry about pets or children messing up your air purifier settings as the X5 comes equipped with a child lock.
Don’t worry about convenience, you can still control the app from a distance thanks to the mobile application.
The overall design is simple as the purifier has a power button up top along with all the necessary indicators like the Wi-Fi connection indicator, auto mode indicator, fan speed indicator, and other functions.
In a first, Airdog has equipped the front of the air purifier with a screen that indicates the Air Quality Index (AQI). The screen displays a numeric value between zero and 500, depending on the current air quality. The screen is a nice addition as the changes in fan speed on some purifiers can be annoying for some users. If you like color indicators you get that as well. Just under the screen the color LED indicator ranges from green to red indicating excellent to dangerous.
Instead of forcing air through mesh filters, the purifier charges the air pollutants as they enter the purifier. Then they are forced through chambers that are oppositely charged to attract the air contaminants. The Airdog X5 does not require any filter changes and when the debris collection plates need cleaning the air quality indicating screen shows a big “C” instead of numerals.
The inclusion of washable collection plates helps keep the filter replacement costs at bay and makes the Airdog X5 one of the best air purifiers with washable filters out there.
- Smart Control through Wi-Fi
- No Maintenance Costs
- Automatic Mode is very sensitive
- AQI Screen
- Slightly bulky
2. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier
Winix has some of the best air purifiers out there and is a trusted name across the US thanks to its durable and dependable products. Winix is one of the brands that listen to the consumers’ demands and the 5500-2 shows that perfectly.
Winix added all their best features in a rather inexpensive package that brings a 4-stage filtration system. The Winix 5500-2 is an excellent all-rounder that can take care of different kinds of pollutants.
Almost everyone is concerned about the high filter replacement costs on certain air purifiers and Winix understood it well as the 5500-2 is equipped with a washable pre-filter and a washable AOC filter that extend the life of the replaceable True HEPA filter. If maintained properly the HEPA filter will only require replacement once a year.
The pre-filter can easily trap large particles like human hair, fur, and dust specks. The AOC filter is efficient against dangerous chemicals and can effectively eliminate odors. Whatever is left the True HEPA filter combs the air finely to filter it out. The Winix PlasmaWave Technology improves the filtration with negative ions that latch onto air contaminants and help the purifier offer better purification.
Together, the combination of the three filters and the PlasmaWave technology can filter 99.99% of particulate matter. Unlike the more expensive Airdog X5, the 5500-2 is also very efficient against VOCs and dangerous chemicals, making it ideal for places like nail salons, schools, and even whole homes.
You don’t have to worry about turning on the air purifier every time there’s a spike in pollutants, as the Auto mode is very efficient and can adjust the fan speed to respond to changes in the air quality.
The design is modern and can be carried around easily, if you don’t want to carry it around there is the convenience of remote control as well.
- Effective Auto mode
- PlasmaWave technology improves the purification capability
- Effective against VOCs, and odors
- The True HEPA filter is not washable
3. Honeywell HFD320 AirGenius 5 Air Purifier
Honeywell is known for its great air purifiers and they look very unique. The HFD320 is an excellent hybrid model that brings a mix of both a washable filter and a replaceable one.
Like every other Honeywell purifier, the HFD320 looks and feels premium. The purifier features a tried and tested 3-stage filtration system that starts the defense with the washable pre-filter but if your indoor space has odor issues then it’s better to swap out the basic washable pre-filter for the Honeywell odor-reducing pre-filter.
The improvement in odor-reducing capabilities comes at a cost though, the carbon filter is not washable and requires as many as 4 replacements each year.
As we’re focusing on minimum maintenance costs, we’ll focus on the washable filter and the innovative QuietClean ifD technology that will filter out 99.9% of airborne pollutants down to a size of 0.3 microns thanks to the added ionizer at the end.
Ionizer-based technologies don’t usually fare well against mechanical filtration of the HEPA filter but will keep most allergens and microbes away. All the usual bells and whistles also make the cut as an electronic filter check will keep tabs on how much debris has collected on the filter as it might need cleaning.
We really liked the intuitive touch screen controls that let you cycle through the different modes. The first mode is the sleep mode which tunes down the fan speed and turns off the light for a seamless sleeping experience.
ifD filter is used to its best capabilities with the germ mode that slows down the filtration speed but keeps the air inside the chamber for longer so that microbes can be killed off.
If you’re not interested in eliminating the microbes, the general mode can help with usual air pollutants.
We found this air purifier to be fit for every setting as it also features an allergen mode that keeps allergens out and a maximum cleaning mode that comes in handy if the contamination is high in your indoor space.
If we had to choose an aesthetic air purifier then the Honeywell AirGenius 5 would be the most fitting pick as the accent light can be made to oscillate between off, low, and high settings.
- Very effective against microbes and allergens
- Filter cleaning reminder brings a gauge for ease
- Up to 12 hours of timer settings
- The long 5-year warranty period
- Less effective against odors or smoke
4. VEVA Air Purifier Large Room – ProHEPA 9000
If you’re looking for an air purifier that looks like it means business, then the ProHEPA 9000 can be an excellent choice.
While the VEVA ProHEPA 9000 does not have all washable filters, it made our shortlist thanks to the highly effective activated carbon filter that makes this purifier particularly effective against odors.
The pre-filter on the ProHEPA 9000 is permanent and just needs to be washed periodically. Timely maintenance will extend the life of the Activated Carbon Filter and the True HEPA filter.
The carbon filter has high-density activated carbon that increases its efficiency against VOCs, formaldehyde, and dangerous fumes while also allowing the purifier to effectively contain odors.
The air is then passed through the True HEPA filter that, in combination with the other filters, helps filter out 99.99% of contaminants with ease.
Other than the effective carbon filter, the VEVA ProHEPA follows a simple design that is both dependable and durable. A simple design also favors practicality over fancy features and strips the purifier off any futuristic feature save for a filter replacement indicator.
Although it is rated for 600 sq. ft. of space, we think using it for medium to large-sized rooms between 450-600 sq. ft. would be the ideal choice.
- Ozone free operation
- Inexpensive replacement filter
- Users report a rattling sound at the highest settings
5. Okaysou 8L Air Purifier
People often use multiple air purifiers in different rooms, but if you want to get one purifier for the whole of your home, the options are quite limited.
Okaysou has been at the forefront of whole-home air purifiers and their 10L and 8L models have particularly stood out thanks to their high filtration capacity and effectiveness.
The reason Okaysou 8L made it onto our list is because of not one, but two individual filters placed on their intake that bumps up the effectiveness of the purifier.
The dual HEPA filters are preceded by a washable mesh pre-filter and followed by antibacterial filters that extend the life of the HEPA filters while also making the indoor space safer.
There is also a honeycomb-activated carbon filter that can easily handle odors and dangerous VOCs.
Okaysou 8L is one of the few air purifiers out there that offers medical-grade protection against a range of contaminants. Pair that with a washable pre-filter that can be conveniently cleaned periodically and you can enjoy access to clean air year-round.
The 8L isn’t just effective, it also packs a plethora of features like child lock, sleep mode, and even a cold catalyst filter that helps bump up the filtration effectiveness to 99.99%.
The added filtration comes at a cost though. In our opinion, the purifier fan should have been enough to cover rooms twice the size mentioned on the box.
The 5-stage filtration actually translates to 10 stages for the fan as the same fan now has to pull air through two separate filters. This doesn’t compromise the filtration or the effectiveness against odors in any way.
- Washable pre-filters ensure the more expensive filters don’t require replacement that often
- Extremely quiet operation
- 5-year warranty period
- Expensive replacement filters
6. Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier
The air purifier market is becoming more and more competitive and Hamilton Beach is there to make a name for itself with its permanent HEPA filter.
We all love a permanent main filter as it translates to reduced costs, wipe off the debris and you’re ready to roll again. Like literally…(the purifier can be used in both the vertical and well as the horizontal orientation).
While the Hamilton Beach was designed to function as a permanent filter air purifier, if you have pets or odors around the house, then the carbon zeolite filters can make indoor air much more comfortable to breathe in.
Worried about the periodic replacement costs? If odors and dangerous VOCs are not a problem in your area then leaving out the zeolite filters altogether would be a good idea as the air purifier can conveniently function even without them.
The HEPA filters would need vacuuming at least once a month and for the price, we can assert that the Hamilton beach purifier offers great value for money.
While the filters can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner, Hamilton doesn’t recommend washing them and in our opinion, the filters don’t look washable either.
- Permanent HEPA filter saves replacement costs
- Free carbon zeolite filters
- Filters cannot be washed safely
7. Blue Air 121 Air Purifier
Looking for a unique looking air purifier? The Blue Air 121, 211, and 311 all look and feel excellent thanks to the innovative exposed filter design.
The outer covering on all these models doubles as a pre-filter that can be vacuumed and doesn’t need to be replaced very often.
The Blue Air 121 stands out thanks to its high filtration capacity and simple to use one-button design. The whole purifier is quite basic and can be operated using the only button on the top.
This can be a letdown for some as the purifier lacks advanced features and smart control.
The lack of smart features doesn’t make the Blue Air 121 any less of an air purifier though. It has a unique polypropylene fiber filter that can easily filter out the toughest of air contaminants with the same efficiency as a HEPA filter.
Using a simpler filter instead of a HEPA one allows the purifier to achieve a higher CADR and is quicker to clean indoor spaces with the same amount of energy usage as a small-room air purifier.
The lack of advanced features like an air quality sensor and auto mode can be a deal-breaker for some but if you’re looking for a good air purifier that gets the job done while also being silent enough then the Blue Air 121 is a good choice.
- Commendable air purification despite the lack of a dedicated HEPA filter
- Simple to use
- No advanced features
- Basic features are also missing for example the purifier doesn’t feature a timer that most non-smart purifiers do have.
8. OION Technologies B-1000 Air Purifier
If you’re looking for something that doesn’t need such frequent filter replacements but is still efficient against odors, then the OION B-1000 presents a viable solution. Although the design is a bit confusing with the power button placement near the bottom, the performance more than makes up for it.
The OION B-1000 is easy to move around and only weighs 3.8 lbs making it ideal for countertops. As far as filtration is concerned, the B-1000 brings an activated carbon filter to tackle odors and dangerous VOCs.
The main purification takes place with the ionizer. The ionizer works in unison with the collection rods that need to be cleaned out regularly for optimal performance. The activated carbon filter acts as both the pre-filter and the odor filter.
There’s also a UV-C light chamber that sanitizes the air ensuring microbe-free air around you. Thanks to a little glass window on the front, you can see whether the UV-C light is active or not.
The collection rods are easy to remove and can be wiped clean if needed in under 10 minutes. In our opinion, it will require cleaning almost every month.
- The absence of thick HEPA means low energy usage as the fan doesn’t have to work as hard
- No Ozone production
- Average performance
9. Envion Therapure TPP240D Air Purifier
Envion has produced some excellent air purifiers in the past and the Therapure TPP240 shows that with its excellent performance and permanent HEPA filter. The HEPA-type filter has been designed to be wiped clean when needed.
The top features the control panel and indicators like the filter clean indicator that lights up when the HEPA filter is exceedingly clogged. The functioning is simple and efficient as the purifier only consumes 55 watts at peak fan settings. This consumption includes the ionizer and the UV-C light that help the purifier reach 99.99% efficiency.
The offering from Envion is simple and brings some basic necessities like night mode, an ionizer, and a digital timer. It is recommended to clean the air purifier every month for optimal results.
HEPA filters are not made to be wiped frequently and if you notice degradation Evion offers replacement filters at an affordable price tag.
The tower design looks nice and appears very professional. The chamber for cleaning the filter is easily accessible and if you’re prone to allergies or have pets around, maintaining the filter more frequently will get optimal results.
- The UV-C light chamber degenerates microbes with ease
- The tower design is decent and looks aesthetic
- HEPA filters are not generally made for cleaning and the user has to be careful when cleaning to avoid damage
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are TrueHEPA filters Washable?
No, TrueHEPA filters can get damaged if washed vigorously. Even the brands that do suggest washing the filters, suggest washing it at the lowest setting in a washing machine without the use of any harsh detergents. The recommended way of cleaning the filter is to vacuum them gently.
Are washable filters better than traditional filters that require replacement?
Yes, washable filters have been proven to provide similar, if not better, performance to their HEPA and other conventional counterparts. The implementation and material choice can vary depending on the manufacturer.
Can you wash a permanent HEPA filter?
No, not all permanent HEPA filters are washable. Some HEPA filters are considered permanent as their build and design allow the user to vacuum the debris off it. Washing a permanent HEPA filter that was not designed to be washed can damage it and make it useless.
How long does a washable filter last?
Washable filters don’t come with a mentioned life and can outlast the air purifier itself if maintained properly. There have been instances where the owners have been using the washable filter in their air purifier since its first launch; i.e. for more than 5 years.
Is a Washable filter a good option for first-time air purifier owners?
Yes, some excellent air purifiers are difficult to recommend because of the high filter replacement costs. If you’re in the market for an air purifier for the first time and don’t want to waste a lot of money buying replacement filters, then air purifiers with washable filters can be an excellent place to look.
Air purifiers with washable filters ensure a clean supply of air in your indoor space, ensuring that your allergies don’t flare up and you can enjoy your life to the fullest. We hope you got all the information you needed to choose the right air purifier for your indoor space.
Depending on your preferences you can choose one from different companies that each offer something unique. Where one brings a filterless design, others add washable filters to extend the life of the more important and expensive ones.
So which one did you like? Not looking to spend a lot on an air purifier and are skeptical about their performance? Here are the 11 Best Air Purifiers Under $50 that will help you experience clean air without breaking the bank.