With the development of technology, air purifiers are also being developed. And now we have a long-lasting, washable filter that can be used in air purifying instead of a HEPA filter.
However, in conversations with many air purifier users, I concluded that people would buy a washable filter. Still, they are not sure about its efficiency. They do not have a clear idea of a washable filter and whether it is worth buying an air purifier with that kind of filter.
Given the vast number of inquiries on this topic that I receive every year, especially during the forest fire season, which affects the west coast, California every year, I decided to bring you all closer to air purifiers that use washable filters.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Air Purifiers With Washable / Permanent Filters
- Are washable and permanent filters the same?
- Are washable HEPA filters as effective?
- Maintenance of Washable Air Purifier Filters
- Pros and Cons of Washable and Permanent Filters?
Besides explaining what it means to own a device with a washable filter, I will answer all the common questions I have received so far. I will touch on all the most critical questions that might interest anyone looking for a washable filter air purifier. Also, I will talk about performance, maintenance. Still, I will also suggest the best air purifier with washable filters that can currently be purchased on the market.
Short on Time? Here Is an Overview of The Best Air Purifiers With Washable Filters.
- Airdog X3 – Airdog X3 is an ideal device for people looking for an elegant air purifier with excellent performance and a premium feel. The Airdog X3 is even better than many air purifiers that use True HEPA air purifiers. This device uses Ionizer filtration technology, has a permanent carbon filter, and uses an advanced smart app.
- Honeywell AirGenius 5 – Honeywell AirGenius 5 is one of the most popular air purifiers with a washable filter on the market and is ideal for people looking for a proven device. It uses Ionizer, uses ifD filter technology, and has 5 stage filtration. The company gives an excellent warranty for 5 years.
- ENVION Therapure TPP240 – The device with innovative filtration options uses UV light, great for medium and large rooms, designed for rooms up t o500 sq. ft. It is an affordable device, especially since it uses a permanent filter.
- Honeywell HFD-120-Q – It has excellent value for money. HFD-120-Q is ideal for rooms up to 170 sq. ft. It uses an innovative ifD washable filter and is cheaper than the AirGenius 5 model but uses an identical filtration system.
- Hamilton Beach 04386A – Hamilton Beach 04386A is budget-friendly but an efficient enough air purifier, ideal for a small bedroom, smaller rooms, or a small office, can be easily used on the desk.
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Top 5 Air Purifiers With Washable / Permanent Filters
If you are looking for air purifiers with washable or permanent filters, I have singled out for you some of the best devices that can be found on the market.
I chose these devices using all the mentioned parameters, performance tests, value for money, and everything that can be crucial in choosing the best device.
The Airdog X3 is the latest model launched by Airdog. It was firstly introduced on the Indiegogo platform.
This device uses revolutionary air filtration technology. It uses an electrode generator as its main filtering technology, which captures pollutants with a filter plate. The X3 uses an ionizer but is CARB certified, which means it is entirely safe to use. The device is straightforward to maintain. It has a Filter Cleaning Indicator option that will notify you when it is time to clean the filter.
|Filters||Pre-filter, Electrode Generator, Collecting Plate and Carbon Filter|
|Coverage||215 sq. ft.|
The Airdog X3 does not use a HEPA filter or some similar filtration method. Its filters are permanent and washable. The collecting plate (which is the essential part of the filtration), on which all dust and particles are collected, is washed with water and can also be washed in a dishwasher. Besides, the pre-filter can also be washed or vacuumed with a vacuum cleaner. What is even more interesting is that the Airdog X3 uses a reusable carbon filter, which does not need to be washed, but is occasionally placed in direct sunlight and that way regenerates its properties.
This luxurious, premium device is designed for rooms up to 215 sq. ft. The Airdog X3 did a fantastic performance in tests. It has proven to be much more efficient than some air purifiers, which, unlike the Airdog X3, use a True HEPA filter.
The price is slightly higher, according to the quality of the device. But since it uses washable air filters, I think this device pays off in the long run. It will especially be helpful if you have problems with allergies, pollen, or dust particles.
Airdog X3 Highlights
- Airdog X3 is a premium and luxury device intended for rooms up to 215 sq. ft. It also performed well in slightly larger rooms.
- All filters in the machine are permanent. It uses a carbon filter, which is also reusable.
- It has Air Quality Sensor, with advanced auto mode, the ability to connect to Smart APP, and many more options from advanced options.
- It is the successor to the very successful predecessors of the Airdog X5 and Airdog X8 models.
Honeywell AirGenius 5
The Honeywell AirGenius 5 is one of the best-selling washable filter air purifiers. It is designed for rooms up to 250 sq. ft. It uses patented ifD technology. The ifD filtration method uses an electrical blast to eliminate particulate air pollutants.
AirGenius 5 uses 3-stage filtration. The first stage is the washable pre-filter, the second stage of filtration is the ifD filter, while the third stage is the Ionizer filtration.
|Filters||Permanent Washable ifD Filter, Washable Pre-filter and Ionizer|
|Coverage||250 sq. ft.|
Honeywell offers the option of purchasing an additional “odor reducing pre-filter,” which successfully reduces odors and smells. To extend the lifespan and cut the costs that customers would otherwise spend on replacing temporary filters, the company has designed this “odor reducing pre-filter,” which acts as a carbon filter. But it is essential to keep in mind that this carbon filter is not washable. If you decide to take this step, the AirGenius 5 will no longer be a 100% air purifier with a washable filter.
When washing filters, be careful not to damage or puncture them. A damaged filter will not be effective, and there is no point in using it. Therefore, my recommendation is to replace the damaged filter with a new one immediately.
Although it is slightly more affordable than the Airdog X3 model I described earlier, the Honeywell AirGenius 5 is, after the X3, the best choice to buy.
Honeywell AirGenius 5 Highlights
- The Honeywell AirGenius 5 is one of the most popular models on the market.
- It is the successor to the AirGenius 4 model.
- It uses 3 stage filtration, in combination with permanent filters and an ionizer.
- Honeywell gives a 5-year warranty on this model. It is intended for rooms up to 250 sq. ft. and is very easy to maintain.
ENVION – Therapure TPP240
ENVION Therapure TPP240 is a modern, impressive, and atypical air purifier. Therapure TPP240 unusual epithet is the fact that the HEPA filter is permanent and not washable. The device’s sophistication is also reflected in the filter cleaning indicator, which will light up and give you a sign that it is time to clean it. I advise you to clean the filter with a dry cloth or a vacuum cleaner. Washing in water should be eliminated as an option, as in that case, the filter could disintegrate.
|Filters||Permanent HEPA-type Filter, UV Lamp, Photo Catalyst Filter and ION Boost|
|Coverage||343 sq. ft.|
In addition to the HEPA filter, this model uses 3W UV light, and this part of the Therapure TPP240 needs to be changed from time to time. Envion Therapure TPP240 also uses the Ionizer, which is turned off by default and can be turned on at the user’s request.
Unlike the aforementioned air purifiers, the ENVION TPP240 is more affordable. Still, the Honeywell AirGenius 5 and Airdog X3 air purifiers have achieved much better performance and are more expensive for a reason.
However, if you want to strike a balance between price and quality, buying an ENVION Therapure TPP240 air purifier that uses a permanent HEPA filter is not a mistake.
ENVION Therapure TPP240 Highlights
- The filters on the TPP240 are permanent but not washable and must not be washed under any circumstances! It is important to point out that UV light needs to be changed.
- Therapure TPP240 uses a HEPA filter in combination with UV light, plus arbitrarily leaves the possibility of using an Ionizer.
- The warranty on this product is for one year.
Honeywell HFD-120-Q is an air purifier with permanent washable filters. Inevitable, and another outstanding device from the manufacturer Honeywell, which due to its quality and its characteristics simply had to be on this list.
It is intended for rooms up to 170 sq. ft., and is an excellent choice for a smaller living room, bedroom, or similar room. The Honeywell HFD-120-Q uses innovative ifD technology, as does the aforementioned AirGenius 5 model.
|Filters||Permanent Washable ifD Filters, Washable Pre-filter and Ionizer|
|Coverage||170 sq. ft.|
The device uses 3 stage filtration. The first stage of filtration is a washable pre-filter. The second stage of filtration is a permanent washable ifD filter. The third stage of filtration is an ionizer.
As we are used to, Honeywell devices use a filter reset indicator that will flash when it is time to clean the filter.
You can wash the pre-filter and the ifD filter with water or simply use a vacuum cleaner. The exclusivity of the Honeywell HFD-120-Q model is undoubted that it is AHAM Verified and Energy Star rated.
As for the previous model I wrote about, Honeywell also gives a 5-year warranty for this model.
Honeywell HFD-120-Q Highlights
- Honeywell HFD-120-Q uses 3 stage filtration, including a washable pre-filter, a permanent washable ifD filter, and an ionizer as the last stage.
- It is intended for rooms up to 170 sq. ft.
- It uses 3 stage filtration, in combination with permanent filters and an ionizer.
- Honeywell gives a 5-year warranty on this model.
- It has a filter reset indicator, which will alert you that it is time to clean the filter.
Hamilton Beach 04386A
The Hamilton Beach 04386A is the small and most economical air purifier with a permanent filter on this list. Hamilton Beach is on the list because many people do not want to spend a lot of money on one air purifier. This model is the best in its price range, which uses the above criteria, which in this case are permanent or washable filters.
|Filters||Permanent Filters and Ionizer|
|Coverage||160 sq. ft.|
Hamilton Beach 04386A uses a permanent HEPA filter. In addition to the HEPA filter, the device also uses the Ionizer as an additional filtration stage. This air purifier is both miniature and compact and is designed for rooms up to 160 sq. ft.
It is most practical to use this device in a smaller bedroom or similar room of smaller dimensions. The filter on this device is permanent, and it needs to be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or a dry cloth. I do not recommend washing Hamilton Beach 04386A filters with water. In that case, they could be damaged and even fall apart. This air purifier, in addition to being very cheap, also uses very little energy.
Hamilton Beach 04386A Highlights
- Hamilton Beach 04386A is a very small and affordable air purifier with a permanent filter. The device is very easy to use as well as maintain.
- In addition to permanent HEPA filters, it also uses an ionizer.
- It is designed for rooms up to 160 sq. ft., which means it is ideal for a small bedroom, smaller study, or similar room.
- The filters on the 04386A air purifier model are not washable with water.
Are washable and permanent filters the same?
Generally speaking, both washable and permanent filters are in some way the same type of filter and are, in principle, permanent. Washable filters are permanent because you don’t have to change them, but you need to wash them. The best representative from this group of air purifiers is definitely our top pick, the Airdog X3 air purifier.
With the development of technology, air purifier manufacturers have made washable HEPA filters, so you can wash them without fear. However, some devices use long-lasting, permanent non-washable filters. These kinds of filters should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or dry cloth.
Air purifiers with permanent filters mostly use Ionizer as an additional stage of filtration. What is important to emphasize is that these devices are mostly CARB certified and that you can therefore be sure that they do not produce an illegal amount of ozone.
Don’t be fooled by some marketing tricks. Some manufacturers put in the product description that they have washable filters; however, not all filters on that device are washable. Mostly it’s a pre-filter and a carbon filter that are washable, while True HEPA needs to be replaced, and you should never wash it. Therefore, take good care and research the device before buying it. In any case, you can leave a comment with a question, and I will be pleased to help you with any doubts.
Are washable HEPA filters as effective?
Technology advances every day, and washable HEPA filters can be as effective as the HEPA filters that are not washable.
Is a washable air filter worth it?
Let’s compare all the costs that customers who use standard air purifiers have with the costs that users of air purifiers with washable filters have. We can clearly conclude that it is much simpler and more convenient to use and maintain air purifiers with washable filters.
Interestingly, the price of an air purifier with and without a permanent filter is almost identical, and that you pay nothing more at the very beginning. You save a lot of money that you would otherwise spend on replacement filters in the long run.
The only problem you may encounter is that some of these devices do not have a carbon filter. If they do, then that carbon filter is mostly not washable.
Furthermore, air purifiers with a True HEPA filter are much more efficient than these air purifiers that use washable HEPA filters. Air purifiers with permanent or washable filters compensate for the lack of True HEPA filters by adding an extra filtration stage, Ionizer.
How long do reusable air filters last?
If used according to regulations, these filters can last for years. There are many cases where the filters lasted up to 5 years. It is crucial to maintain them on time, but it is even more important to maintain them properly.
The biggest problem is if you damage, puncture, or in any way break the filter, in which case it cannot be effective and must be replaced.
Maintenance of Washable Air Purifier Filters
The process of maintaining these filters is truly trivial. The air purifier will, in most cases, notify you when it is time to clean the filter because today, almost all models on the market have a filter reset indicator.
When you receive a notification from your device that it is time to clean the filter, you need to remove it. If it is washable, as is the case with our top washable air purifier Airdog X3, then the filter needs to be washed well. In case it is an ordinary permanent filter, clean it with a dry cloth or with a vacuum cleaner.
Regardless of the filter reset indicator, it is necessary to check the filters from time to time. If the filter is already dirty, please clean it even though the filter reset indicator did not light up.
Pros and Cons of Washable and Permanent Filters?
Every air purifier has its own pros and cons. Check out the pros and cons of washable and permanent filters.
Will you save money by using a washable filter?
This is a tricky question. Generally, HEPA filters are very expensive to replace, and eliminating this cost means you will definitely save money if you opt for an air purifier with a permanent filter. However, the permanent filter may be damaged or lose its force over time, in which case you are required to buy a replacement filter, which would certainly happen much less often than is the case with ordinary temporary filters that are changed 2-3 times a year.
What is the best washable air filter?
We have created for you a list of the best air purifiers that contain a washable air filter. Our best choice is the Airdog X3 because it stood out as the best model of an air purifier with a washable filter that you can buy at the moment.
How do I know if my air filter is washable?
Whether a device consists of a washable filter can be found on the air purifier packaging or on the product listing on the manufacturer’s website. It is always clearly stated that the filters in the air purifier are washable. But, be careful because pre-filter or activated carbon filter and true HEPA filter are not the same.
How do you clean a washable air filter?
Cleaning the washable air filter is pretty straightforward. You can wash them in the sink or wherever it is more convenient for you to wash them. However, some are dishwasher safe, as is the case with the Airdog X3 air purifier, so you can safely wash its filters in the dishwasher.
An air purifier that uses a washable filter will save you from changing the filter 2-3 times a year, which is the case with devices that do not use such a filter. As for the above devices, you can find numerous reviews of air purifiers with washable filters on our website. However, in the review of the Airdog X3 air purifier with the washable filter, you can see how efficient the device really is and that it can match many air purifiers with True HEPA filters, it even achieved better performance than many known devices that use standard filters.
At this point, the Airdog X3 comes out as the winner air purifier with a washable filter. However, suppose you are limited by budget. In that case, the second-best option to buy, right after the recommended model, is the Honeywell AirGenius 5 air purifier, which is also a great choice.
Additionally, people who decide to buy washable filters during wildfires make the mistake that air purifiers that use washable filters generally do not have a built-in carbon filter and are not as effective at removing smoke and odors as devices that use a carbon filter.
However, although air purifiers with washable filters are very affordable, practical, and easier to maintain than classic air purifiers with True HEPA filters, we must emphasize that the difference in performance is still visible and that the True HEPA filter generally does a better job. Nevertheless, suppose you decide to buy an air purifier with a washable filter. In that case, you will not regret it if you opt for the Airdog X3 and save yourself the considerable cost of replacing the filter several times a year.
June 21, 2021 – Added internal links to some useful resources.
April 20, 2021 – I completely updated and improved the article with new and much better suggestions.