Air purifiers are an excellent way to ensure clean indoor air, but they aren’t cheap. Although the initial price may be pleasing, over time, they can become too expensive to run.
Most air purifiers are fitted with HEPA and activated carbon filters, which require regular replacement. These can quickly become costly. So, having an air purifier with a washable, reusable permanent filter can save you money in the long run.
We’ve spent hours researching real customer reviews and expert advice to find the six best air purifiers with permanent washable filters. We looked into crucial features such as the type of filters, what they do, the unit’s room coverage, and the CADR rating. More on that later. Let’s get into it.
- Easy maintenance
- Three speeds
- Easy maintenance
- Odor-reducing filter
- Five-stage system
- Easily maintained
- Easy operation
- Sanitizes and cleans
- Smart features
- Permanent filter
- Multiple pre-filters
- Five cleaning settings
- Energy star rated
- Smart sensors
- 4 stage purification
We looked through the top air purifier choices on the market, researching real customer reviews. After gauging the ease of use and effectiveness, these are our top five air purifiers with permanent washable filters.
1. Hamilton Beach TrueAir Permanent HEPA Filter
Best Compact Air Purifier
This versatile air purifier is a compact unit that covers an area of up to 160 square feet.
What makes it so versatile is its ability to be located anywhere you need it. Most air purifiers have to be standing vertically, but this one works horizontally as well.
Its HEPA-grade filter captures up to 99 percent of airborne particles at the size of 3 microns. This isn’t as effective as a True HEPA filter, but it will give your air a thorough-enough clean.
There are three fan speeds to choose between, depending on how polluted your air is. The TrueAir is excellent in bedrooms due to its quiet operation.
What We Like
Compact Size Suits Most Small Rooms
The compact size of this purifier makes it the perfect addition to any nursery, bedroom, or office. You can place it horizontally or vertically to suit the location — four adhesive feet prevent slipping when standing on a desk.
Due to the small size, you shouldn’t expect it to clean large rooms. It will work most effectively in a room of up to 160 square feet.
When you feel like the efficiency of this appliance is reduced, it could be time for a clean. You can easily open up the back cover and vacuum the HEPA filter. Use a soft brush attachment or upholstery attachment for optimal results.
Keeping the HEPA filter clean is crucial for the purifier to work properly. It will capture many pollutants such as mold, dust, pollen, and pet dander.
Three Fan Speed Options
Despite the compact size, it has the option of three fan speeds. This enables you to get a quick clean if the air seems extra polluted, or set it to a low speed during quiet hours.
Useful HEPA-Grade Filter
While it’s not the same as a true HEPA filter, it does a good job for what it is, especially considering the seriously low price! This filter can capture dust mite debris, mold and mildew spores, pollen, smoke, dust, and much more.
What We Don't Like
Not as Thorough as Other Filters
Although this purifier will clean your air, it isn’t as effective as others. This is mainly due to the HEPA-grade filter, which doesn’t capture as much as a True HEPA filter.
Three Micron Capturing Ability
You’ll see many true HEPA filters can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. This one can capture three microns, which may not sound like a big difference, but it is. For instance, this filter cannot capture certain bacteria, metallic fumes, or tobacco smoke. Instead, it’s better for dust and dander-sized items. So keep that in mind.
It’s Loud and Distracting
Customers found this machine too loud, especially on the high setting. It is distracting and frustrating, especially when you’re trying to relax.
|Cleaning Method||You can vacuum filter|
|Dust CADR||Not specified|
|Recommended Room Coverage||160 square feet|
2. OION Technologies B-1000 Ionic Air Purifier Pro
Best Ionic Air Purifier
The construction of the OION air purifier is what makes it so efficient. It draws significant air in and uses an electrostatically charged metal filter. This UVGI technology and carbon filtration capture up to 99 percent of airborne pollutants as little as 0.1 microns in size.
You can easily use this purifier without ramping up your energy bills. It uses minimum electricity of 7.5 watts. The unit can effectively clean up to 1000 square feet of floor area.
What We Like
Easy Maintenance; Wash and Vacuum Filters
Instead of replacing the filters, you can easily remove them and either vacuum or wash them clean. This will save you money in the long run and help prolong your air purifier’s life.
Many users have complimented how quiet it was even during machine operation. It can be attributed to its whisper-quiet fan.
If you’re often experiencing bad odors in your house due to pets or other factors, this purifier can help. It effectively absorbs bad odors and gases present in the air.
Electrostatic Ionizer Purification
This great technology uses negative ions to remove particles as small as 0.01 microns which is seriously impressive. Eliminate dander, smoke, dust, pollen, and other odors from your home. The UVGI technology takes care of diseases causing particles such as germs, bacteria, and viruses.
What We Don't Like
Not for Allergens
This filter removes a significant amount of air pollutants. However, several customers with allergies claimed it didn’t make much difference regarding fine dust.
True HEPA Filter
True HEPA filters are usually found in units with replaceable filters which does not have any.
The Unit Releases Ozone
This product produces a small amount of ozone, which can harm your health (1). You should limit the use of the ozone filter when you, your family, or your pets are home.
|Recommended Room Coverage||1000 square feet|
3. Airdog X5 Air Purifier With Washable Filter
Best Five-Stage Air Purifier
The Airdog X5 is the perfect addition to larger rooms and living areas. It’s fitted with a five-stage filtration system as well as an ionizer that helps to further eliminate pollutants in the air.
The filters are fully washable and are even dishwasher safe — a significant plus for busy families. Unlike other purifiers, this unit doesn’t have any HEPA filters. Instead, the Airdog has a pre-filter, ionizer, collecting plates, and an ozone generator.
It has a modern design and smart features, such as an app-control. At low speed, it’s very quiet, excellent for night use.
What We Like
The five-stage system effectively eliminates a significant amount of pollutants from the air. The pre-filter captures larger particles such as pet dander and hair. Emitter wires dissipate electrons into the air, which kills bacteria.
Ionic Field Tackles Dust and Smoke
An ionic field produces negatively charged ions that bind with positive particles, such as dust and smoke. The particles are then much denser and can’t float in the air — these are then collected on special plates. Airdog claims this is much more effective compared to HEPA filters.
The last part of the system is an ozone generator. It generates a safe amount of ozone (0.01 parts per million) every 24 hours.
Easily Maintained and Dishwasher Safe Filters
When needed, the pre-filter is easily washed by hand or in the dishwasher. This makes maintenance easy for even the busiest parent. Once the filter is entirely dried, you can safely put it back in place.
Easy Operation With One Button
Operating this unit is super simple — there’s one button to press, so it’s quick to learn and figure out. You can also connect the unit to the Airdog Smart App — this enables you to control it from anywhere. Set your desired mode, enable the child lock, or track the air quality from the palm of your hand. Just keep in mind the app doesn’t always work.
What We Don't Like
Although an ozone generator is a significant part of this unit, it’s still a concern. Although it produces small ozone levels, it’s still something to be aware of before buying.
Accompanying App Is Useless
It’s a cool thought that this is compatible with an app, so you can control the unit from your phone. But the app is so terribly written that there’s no point in even downloading it!
High Price Point
This is one of the most expensive units around, costing over three times the average. If you are on a budget, this will not fit your criteria.
|Cleaning Method||Filter can be washed or vacuumed|
|Dust CADR||Not specified|
|Recommended Room Coverage||450 square feet|
4. Envion by Boneco Therapure Air Purifier
Best Air Sanitizer
This air purifier effectively removes allergens, odors, pet dander, smoke, bacteria, and even chemical gases. It can clean a room of up to 343 square feet three times an hour.
The Therapure cleans and sanitizes the air through a UV-C light and ionizer. It has a high CADR rating for pollen, dust, and smoke, all of which rate above 130.
One thing we like about this purifier is the towering design. It stands tall in a room without feeling or looking cumbersome and has a subtle LED light around the top.
What We Like
Sanitizes and Cleans Mold and More
The HEPA-type filter effectively captures allergens and other particles, while the ionizer lends a helpful hand by eliminating particles from the air. The UV-C light blasts mold spores, bacteria, germs, and viruses.
Smart Features Including Timer and Ionizer
Equipped with a 24-hour timer, you can set this purifier to activate or deactivate as needed. This saves you energy, for one. And it can come in handy if you want purified air before coming home at the end of the day.
Another smart feature is the optional ionizer. It generates negative ions, which are released into the room. These eliminate the smallest airborne particles by binding to them and making them too heavy to stay in the air.
Indicator Alerts You When Filter Needs Cleaned
The permanent filter is easily removed when cleaning is needed. The onboard clean filter indicator will inform you when a clean is necessary. You can then clean the filter using a vacuum cleaner.
For Medium and Large Rooms
With a room coverage of 500 square feet, this is a good option for medium to large rooms. If smaller purifiers have let you down, you may be more impressed by this one.
What We Don't Like
Can Be Difficult to Clean
The permanent filter should be vacuumed, not washed. However, a few customers found that it required frequent cleaning and that it was difficult to get it fully clean.
Not Suitable for Night Time
Even if you like white noise, this unit might irritate you at night. On the highest setting, it’s extremely loud. Plus, it has a bright light that you cannot turn off.
No Automatic Sensor
While this does have a timer, a sensor would have been better. There’s no way for this unit to detect the air quality around you and adjust accordingly.
|Recommended Room Coverage||343 square feet|
5. Honeywell Air Cleaner and Odor Reducer
Best with Permanent Pre-Filters
For a thorough clean, we recommend the Honeywell AirGenius 5. It consists of two optional pre-filters: a washable filter and an odor-reducing pre-filter. These are designed to capture particles and odors before entering the permanent filter for a more thorough clean.
There’s a smart touch screen at the top where you can set the speed and mode of the unit. It comes with a timer and an optional oscillation.
What consumers like about this unit is the ultra-quiet operation. It’s virtually silent on low speed while effectively cleaning your air.
The permanent filter is easily washed, and the indicator on display will remind you when it’s time.
What We Like
Multiple Pre-Filters for Better Cleaning
The multiple pre-filters will provide a more thorough clean. Two of them are optional and can be removed if not needed.
One is a washable foam filter that captures particles such as dust and hair. There’s also an odor-reducing pre-filter, which absorbs unpleasant odors and smoke.
Permanent Filter Removes 99.9 Percent of Particles
After the air has traveled through the multiple pre-filters, it’ll enter the permanent filter. Here, the Advanced iFD QuietClean technology will remove up to 99.9 percent of particles at 0.3 microns.
Five Cleaning Settings
You can choose between five cleaning settings to make this purifier even more efficient. These include germ, allergen, general, sleep, and max. You can also set the fan speed to your desired level.
Energy Star Rated Saves Money
If you want to clean your indoor air but don’t want to ramp up your energy bills, check this out. This purifier is Energy Star rated for its energy efficiency.
A five-year warranty covers the Honeywell AirGenius. This can bring you peace of mind when purchasing and installing. You’re covered if any defects or malfunctions due to manufacturing.
What We Don't Like
You Can’t Turn Lights Off
Lights you can’t turn off are common complaints with various air purifiers. Unfortunately, this is no different. Several customers were disappointed that the lights didn’t turn off even in sleep mode.
Makes Noises After a Few Weeks
Customers noticed that this unit made a rattling or whirring noise after a few weeks. Even when the filters are clean, this noise can persist.
No Timer or Sensor
This unit doesn’t have an option to set the machine to start at a certain time. It doesn’t have a sensor to monitor the air quality either. You must manually start this machine every time you use it, and guess which setting is best for your current air quality.
|Recommended Room Coverage||250 square feet|
6. Winix AM80 True HEPA Air Purifier with Washable Filter
Best for Night Time
The Winix AM80 True HEPA Air Purifier is our best pick for daytime and nighttime. It has four fan speeds. The high and turbo speeds are the most effective and work great during the day. They’ll purify the air quicker and more effectively, although they are a bit noisier.
However, the low and medium settings are nearly silent and great for nighttime. But you don’t have to do this manually. The sleep mode sensors detect the light in the room, so it knows when it’s nighttime. It then adjusts the fan speed, dims the indicator light, and continues cleaning at a quieter volume so you can have clean air without being woken up.
What We Like
Captures 99.97 Percent of Particles
This air purifier captures 99.97% of particles, down to 0.3 microns in size. This includes pollen, dust, smoke, hair, bacteria, mold spores, dander, and VOCs.
Smart Sensors Monitor Your Air Quality
The smart sensors automatically monitor the air in your home. The machine will indicate the air quality on a scale of good to poor. Blue means good, amber means okay and red means poor, so it eliminates the guesswork for you! When there is a change in the air quality, the fan speed will adjust to clean the air most effectively. This also saves energy, as the machine won’t use the turbo speed unless necessary.
Four Stage Purification System
The first stage uses a washable fine mesh pre-filter that collects large air particles.
The second filter is an advanced odor control to eliminate household odors from cooking, pets, smoke, and more.
Next, the True HEPA filter catches 99.97% of the airborne particles.
Lastly, there is PlasmaWave Technology. This safely breaks down the captured particles without emitting harmful Ozone or byproducts. If you want to, you can turn this function off.
Filter Change Indicator
This unit lets you know when the filter needs replacing via the indicator light. This unit also has an extra HEPA filter and AOC carbon filter, which should last about one year.
What We Don't Like
Expensive Filter Replacements
Before you buy, note that the filter replacements for this air purifier are expensive. In fact, one filter is about ⅓ the price of the actual unit. However, it’s only the HEPA filter that needs replacing. The PlasmaWave filter is permanent, and the carbon filter and pre-filter are washable.
Air Quality Sensor Can Give Inaccurate Results
Air quality sensors can be hit or miss, and this one has mixed reviews. It might not always judge the air quality correctly, which then adjusts the fan too high or too low.
|Recommended Room Coverage||360 square feet|
|Product||Best||Cleaning Method||Ionizer||Energy Star||Dust CADR||Recommended Room Coverage|
|Hamilton Beach TrueAir HEPA Filter||Compact Air Purifier||You can vacuum filter||No||No||N/A||160 sq ft|
|OION Technologies B-1000||Ionic Air Purifier||Washable||Yes||No||N/A||1000 sq ft|
|Airdog X5 Air Purifier||Five-Stage Air Purifier||Filter can be washed or vacuumed||Yes||No||N/A||450 sq ft|
|Boneco Therapure Envion Air Purifier||Air Sanitizer||Vacuum||Yes||No||132||343 sq ft|
|Honeywell Air Cleaner & Odor Reducer||With Permanent Pre-Filters||Washable||Yes||Yes||160||250 sq ft|
|Winix AM80 Air Purifier||Pre-Filters||Washable||Yes||Yes||240||360 sq ft|
Why Use Permanent Washable Filters?
Besides saving money, there are also other pros and cons of a reusable filter:
- Saves money: While the retail price of an air purifier may be pleasing, it can quickly become costly. Most filters require frequent replacement ranging between every three and 12 months. Replacement filters are also generally quite expensive.
- Removes common pollutants: Reusable filters are usually washable HEPA filters or iFD filters. These differ in effectiveness by a mere 0.2 percent, so it’s safe to choose either. Both capture the most common pollutants, such as dust, plant spores, and pollen.
- Clean when needed: Unlike replaceable filters, which last for a specific period, you can clean washable filters whenever. You can check on the filters when a decrease in efficiency is discovered. The best thing is that the more you clean it, the more efficiently it will work.
- Quick maintenance: Cleaning the filters is a quick job done. Some only require a quick vacuum, while others can be rinsed and thrown in the dishwasher.
- Not as effective: Most reusable filters aren’t as effective as True HEPA filters. These will generally only capture particles at the size of two microns. True HEPA, however, will capture up to 0.3 microns.
- Only suitable for smaller areas: You’ll notice that despite claims from a manufacturer that a unit can clean large rooms, it’s often not the case. Most will only cover an area of up to 250 square feet. This is fine but not as impressive as 1,000 square feet. Regardless, you can place it in a large room — just don’t expect significant differences.
- Features are limited: Purifiers with permanent filters are very simple units; there aren’t many features or settings. You might find units with different fan speeds, a sleep mode, and an ionizer at best.
Is Washable the Same as Permanent?
No. As you might guess from the name, “washable” filters can be washed with soap and water. Some washable filters are even dishwasher-safe — even better, right?
When you wash the filter, all pollutants and contaminants are removed. The process can take several minutes, and filthy filters might require soaking before agitating and rinsing.
You shouldn’t clean permanent filters with soap and water — these can even be ruined if exposed to water. Instead, most permanent filters are advised to be vacuum cleaned frequently.
What to Look For
Knowing what to look for will help you to find the best unit for your household and family.
What Happens If You Don’t Change a HEPA Filter?
If you don’t change a HEPA filter, it becomes clogged and stops working. It restricts the airflow, causing the air purifier to malfunction. It also releases pollutants into the atmosphere.
How Long Do Washable Air Filters Last?
Your washable filter should last for five years, although it depends on the amount of use it gets and the level of pollutants where you live. Compared to 60 disposable filters, it is a real money-saver and better for the planet.
How Do You Clean a Washable Air Filter?
The best way to clean a washable air filter is to use dish soap and warm water. Scrub it then rinse it in clean water to remove the soap residue. Finally, leave it to dry before inserting it into your air purifier.
How Often Should You Wash a Washable Air Filter?
You should wash your washable air filter every three months. It depends on how soiled the filter gets, but you should consider cleaning it more regularly if you have kids and pets.
What Merv Rating are Washable Air Filters?
Washable air filters have a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) of between one and four. Disposable filters fare better with a rating between four and twelve.