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Best Air Purifiers With Permanent Washable Filters of 2022

Updated
Save money on expensive replacement filters.

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.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier with Permanent HEPA Filter for Home or Office and Pets, Whisper Quiet, 160 sq ft, Black
Best Compact Air Purifier
Hamilton Beach TrueAir HEPA Filter
  • Compact
  • Easy maintenance
  • Three speeds
Product Image of the OION Technologies B-1000 Permanent Filter Ionic Air Purifier Pro Ionizer with UV-C Sanitizer, New (Black)
Best Ionic Air Purifier
OION Technologies B-1000
  • Easy maintenance
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Odor-reducing filter
Product Image of the Airdog X5 Air Purifier for Home Large Room, Up to 1800ft2, Ionic Air Purifier with Washable Filter, Remove 99.9% to 14.6nm, 360° Filtration, PM2.5 Sensor, Quiet Air Cleaner, Pet, Allergies, Pollutants
Best Five-Stage Air Purifier
Airdog X5 Air Purifier
  • Five-stage system
  • Easily maintained
  • Easy operation
Product Image of the Envion by Boneco - Therapure TPP240 – Easy to Clean HEPA Type Air Purifier Tower - UV Germicidal Hemispheric Purification - Removes Odors, Smoke, Mold, Pet Dander & More - 343 Sq Ft Capacity
Best Air Sanitizer
Boneco Therapure Envion Air Purifier
  • Sanitizes and cleans
  • Smart features
  • Permanent filter
Product Image of the Honeywell HFD320 Air Genius 5 Air Purifier, Large Rooms (250 sq. ft.) Black
Best with Permanent Pre-Filters
Honeywell Air Cleaner
  • Multiple pre-filters
  • Five cleaning settings
  • Energy star rated
Product Image of the Winix AM80 True HEPA Air Purifier with Washable Advanced Odor Control (AOC) Carbon Filter, 360sq ft Room Capacity, Dark Grey, Large
Best for Night Time
Winix Air Purifier
  • Effective
  • Smart sensors
  • 4 stage purification


Product Reviews

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.

Easy Maintenance

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.

Product Specs

Cleaning Method You can vacuum filter
Ionizer No
Energy Star No
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.

Photo of the OION Technologies B-1000 Ionic Air Purifier Pro

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.

Ultra-Quiet Operatoin

Many users have complimented how quiet it was even during machine operation. It can be attributed to its whisper-quiet fan.

Odor-Reducing Filter

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.

Product Specs

Cleaning Method Washable
Ionizer Yes
Energy Star No
Dust CADR N/A
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.

Photo of the Airdog X5 Air Purifier With Washable Filter

What We Like

Five-Stage System

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

Produces Ozone

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.

Product Specs

Cleaning Method Filter can be washed or vacuumed
Ionizer Yes
Energy Star No
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.

Photo of the Envion by Boneco Therapure Air Purifier

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.

Product Specs

Cleaning Method Vacuum
Ionizer Yes
Energy Star No
Dust CADR 132
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.

Photo of the Honeywell Air Cleaner and Odor Reducer

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.

Five-Year Warranty

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.

Product Specs

Cleaning Method Washable
Ionizer Yes
Energy Star Yes
Dust CADR 160
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.

Photo of the Winix AM80 True HEPA Air Purifier with Washable Filter

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.

Product Specs

Cleaning Method Washable
Ionizer PlasmaWave technology
Energy Star Yes
Dust CADR 240
Recommended Room Coverage 360 square feet

Product Comparison Chart

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?

In general, air purifiers aren’t the cheapest device in a household. They’re usually costly to start with but remain expensive as time goes on due to filter replacements.

Besides saving money, there are also other pros and cons of a reusable filter:

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Take Note

Frequently cleaning your washable filters will help to uphold their efficiency. It will also make them easier to clean as there won’t be a massive buildup.

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.

Filter Types

Similar to regular air purifiers, these also consist of filters. Most units have a pre-filter that captures larger particles such as hair and pollen. Others have HEPA filters to help capture smaller particles.

However, not all are as effective. Most washable HEPA filters are HEPA-type — meaning it isn’t a real HEPA, only similar.

Some units also have an odor-removing filter. These can be found as an activated carbon filter or foam filters. Activated carbon is a great filter since it can absorb volatile organic compounds and cigarette smoke (2).

Pre-filters are used to catch larger particles and extend the life of other filters. These are generally washable and easy to maintain. Some units have multiple pre-filters.

Room Coverage

Room coverage is one of the most important things to look for. How much coverage you need depends on the room where you will use the unit. For instance, if you need an air purifier in a bedroom, you can choose a unit capable of covering anything from 100 to 250 square feet.

A unit covering up to 500 square feet or more will be necessary for larger living spaces. If you settle on a purifier with a low room coverage, don’t expect it to be effective in the living room.

Conversely, using a large unit in a small room can waste energy. Larger units also tend to be louder, so using it in a small room might make it close to unbearable.

CADR Rating

CADR refers to clean air delivery rate. This tells you how much air is being filtered at a time. The CADR number is usually measured for dust, smoke, and pollen, and can range between 10 and 450.

To ensure efficiency, we recommend choosing a unit with CADR ratings above 100. Anything under 100 isn’t going to be very effective.


FAQs

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.


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Headshot of Matthew Sullivan

About the Author

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew is a freelance writer with several years of experience in DIY and HVAC. For as long as he can remember, Matthew has always found great pleasure in taking things apart and learning how to put them back together.