Air purifiers are a brilliant way of ensuring the air in your home is clean. By freshening up stale air, an air purifier can reduce the chances of health risks caused by any pollutants from inside your house. This is particularly good for those of us with respiratory problems.
There is however one issue with air purifiers and that is their cost. While the initial cost might be pretty reasonable, over time, an air purifier can become quite expensive to run. Most brands of air purifiers are equipped with HEPA and carbon filters.
These filters need replacing regularly, which quickly adds to your costs. This may put you off buying an air purifier, but don’t worry there is a solution.
The solution is an air purifier with washable filters. Washable filters can be used time and time again, saving you a sweet fortune in the long run.
To help you find the best air purifier with washable filters, we’ve compiled a list of the very best. We’ve even included a useful buyer’s guide with some key pointers to help you choose the right one for you.
If you’re looking for a more cost-effective air purifier, make sure you keep reading.
The Two Types Of Reusable Filter
Before we dive into our list of the best air purifiers it is important to understand what types of reusable filters are available. When looking for an air purifier you will likely come across two different types of reusable filters. These are washable and permanent filters.
Despite both of these types of filters being reusable, it is important not to confuse the two with each other. The difference between the two types of filters is how they are cleaned.
Washable filters can, as you probably guessed, be washed with water and soap. Some can even be placed in a dishwasher or washing machine.
When your washable filters are scrubbed clean, any contaminants or pollutants are removed. Some filters may need more soaking than others but they should usually only need seven minutes of cleaning.
Permanent filters should not normally be cleaned using soap and water. If exposed to water, this type of filter can break. Instead, to clean a permanent filter you should use a vacuum cleaner. This will remove any pollutants without damaging the filter.
Which filter you choose is very much down to your personal preference. One type of filter might suit you more than the other.
Why Should You Use Washable And Permanent Filters?
There are a number of reasons why you should use a purifier with washable and permanent filters. Below you will find some pros and cons in relation to what you can expect by using an air purifier with these types of filters.
- Save your money – The price of your air purifier might seem pretty pleasing, but when you factor in the costs of running and maintaining the machine, prices can quickly rise. Most filters need to be replaced once a year, but luckily for us, reusable ones don’t. In the long run, this will save you a lot of money.
- Can be cleaned whenever – Unlike the standard replaceable filters, washable filters can be cleaned whenever you want. You can regularly check and clean each filter when efficiency is decreasing. This will guarantee that your purifier is always working to its full potential.
- Remove pollutants – Both types of reusable filters are more than capable of capturing common contaminants and pollutants. By removing these pollutants, you can live a healthier lifestyle at home.
- Quickly cleaned – Cleaning reusable filters takes no time at all. Some filters can be washed with soap and water, while others can be easily vacuumed.
- Not suitable for larger areas – Air purifiers will only cover smaller areas despite what the manufacturer might tell you. Typically, these filters will only cover an area of approximately 250 square feet. While this is still very good, other types of filters can cover up to 1,000 square feet. You can still place the unit in a large room, just don’t expect much of a change.
- Not as effective – Reusable filters aren’t usually as effective as the normal HEPA filters. They will normally only collect particles the size of 2 microns. Other non reusable filters can capture particles that are 0.3 microns in size.
- Limited features – Air purifiers with washable filters are normally simpler units. As a result of this, they don’t commonly come with that many features. You might find that the only features this type of purifier has are adjustable fan speed, an ionizer, and sleep mode.
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The first air purifier on our list is the excellent Therapure TPP240. This high-performing, effective unit is great at removing odors, pet dander, bacteria, gasses, and allergens. It also has a reasonably good range.
For an air purifier that has reusable filters. This machine can clean a decent-sized room up to 343 square feet in size. It can easily do this two or three times in an hour.
The Therapure air purifier works so well thanks to its brilliant ionizer and UV-C light. These two features help sanitize and clean the air in your home continuously.
With a CADR rating above 130 when it comes to dust, pollen, and smoke, you can expect this machine to make the air in your home a lot safer, and healthier.
When we took a look at this air purifier, we were most impressed with its stylish design and smart features. The black towering design of this air purifier looks great, blending in well in any room. Though it stands quite tall, it doesn’t look overly big or obnoxious.
Our favorite smart feature has to be the clean filter indicator. This smart feature lets you know exactly when the permanent filter needs to be removed and cleaned.
- Permanent filter – This air purifier is fitted with a reusable permanent filter.
- Handy smart features – Cleaning alerts and adjustable smart settings come in handy.
- Effective – This air purifier will clean and sanitize your home with ease.
- Hard to clean – Some users of the Therapure air purifier have noted that the filter can be hard to vacuum.
Also available at: U-buy.com
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An awesome affordable air purifier is the OION Technologies B-1000 Air Purifier Pro. With a sleek, stylish, towering design, you can expect this well-constructed air purifier to capture up to 99% of pollutants.
Thanks to its well-thought-out construction, as well as capturing 99% of pollutants, including mold spores, pet dander, pollen, smoke, dust, and unpleasant odors, this air purifier can also capture particles as small as 0.01 microns.
Amazingly the OION air purifier does all of this in a unit that only weighs 3.8lbs.
The OION air purifier does this so well by drawing in a significant amount of air. It then uses electrostatically charged filters to clean and remove contaminants and pollutants from the air.
Aside from its great design, of which we love the light blue light down the front, for us, this purifier’s best quality has to be the little amount of household energy it uses.
The unit uses a minimal amount of electricity to run. Using just 7.5 watts of power, you can use this air purifier without seeing an absurd increase in your energy bills.
Oh and don’t worry, this low energy usage doesn’t impact the purifiers performance. This air purifier will still effectively clean an area of 1,000 square feet.
Overall, we can’t see what else you would need from an air purifier. It looks good, performs well, and costs little to run. What more could we ask for.
- Easily maintained – The filters from this purifier are easily removed and cleaned, either with a vacuum or washed with soap and water. This will help prolong your air purifier’s life and save you plenty of money in the long run.
- Super quiet – This purifier is lovely and quiet. You can easily run the purifier and still have a nice, undisturbed sleep.
- Reduces odors – The OION purifier comes with filters that effectively absorb nasty odors and any chemical gasses.
- Very affordable – This air purifier is extremely cheap.
- Doesn’t reduce allergens – Unfortunately, this air purifier doesn’t remove much dust. This might make the purifier a bad choice for those with allergies. Having said that, it does capture a lot of pollen so hayfever sufferers should be okay.
Also available at: Oionair.com
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If you need an air purifier that can be used during the day or at nighttime, the Winix 5500-2 air purifier could be your best option. In our opinion, this bulkier purifier is the best option because of its various settings that suit different times of the day.
This purifier actually has four different fan speed settings. The high turbo speeds are super effective during the day. They will purify the air in the room quicker and very efficiently, however, the unit will be a little noisier.
At nighttime, the low and medium settings are almost silent, so the purifier will still clean the air but not disturb your sleep.
This is great, but we were even more impressed when we found out that the machine changes between settings for you automatically. This air purifier has sleep mode sensors that can detect the light levels in the room. When the light levels drop, the purifier will adjust its fan speed and dim its indicator lights.
The Winix 5500-2 has washable filters that can be easily removed and washed using water and soap.
When it comes to the design of this air purifier, it looks great and is easy to use, however, it is bulkier than other air purifiers. Though it looks quite modern and stylish, you will have to take its size into consideration. If you only have a small home or plan on using it in a small area, it might get in the way.
- Very effective – This purifier can capture 99.97% of particles that are as small as 0.3 microns. This includes dust, hair, smoke, pollen, bacteria, dander, and mold spores.
- Smart light sensors – The smart light will automatically adjust the light and fan settings of the air purifier.
- Reasonable price – The Winix 5500-2 is affordable.
- Quite bulky – This air purifier will take up more space in your home.
Also available at: Winixamerica.com
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The next air purifier on our list is an excellent compact choice if you need a budget-friendly unit that can clean small areas. Covering areas up to 160 square feet, the Hamilton Beach features a high-performing HEPA grade filter that effectively captures 99% of dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores.
With a permanent filter, you can expect the unit to capture pollutants as small as 3 microns.
People love this air purifier for its versatility. What makes the Hamilton Beach air purifier so versatile is its ability to be placed anywhere in your home. Generally, air purifiers need to stand vertically to work, but not this unit. This purifier can be placed down both vertically and horizontally.
When we reviewed this air purifier we found that it is definitely an awesome low-budget choice. Though it isn’t as effective as more expensive models, using the three different fan speeds you can give the air in your home a thorough clean.
We also think this air purifier is a great purifier for bedroom use. The whisper-clean setting cleans the bedroom through the night whilst remaining extra quiet.
When it comes to the design of the Hamilton Beach air purifier, it is one of our favorites. Everything we need to clean the air in our home is fitted into an unassuming, compact unit. As if that wasn’t enough, the unit has also been designed to give us easy access to the reusable filters.
- Easy-to-clean filters – You can easily access and vacuum the filters on this air purifier.
- Variety of fan speeds – Despite its size, you still have three-speed options to choose from. This includes a fast, quick clean and low, quiet clean.
- Compact – The compact design of the air purifier makes it the perfect addition to smaller homes where space is limited.
- Not as effective – The Hamilton Beach air purifier will clean air well, but sadly it isn’t as effective as other purifiers. In all fairness, this is expected with a purifier of this size and price.
Also available at: Hamiltonbeach.com
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With five cleaning settings, a thorough clean is guaranteed with the Honeywell Air Cleaner. Also known as the Honeywell AirGenius 5, this air purifier contains two optional pre-filters. These filters are an odor-reducing filter and a washable filter.
Together these two filters add to the purifier’s ability to capture odors and particles. They will capture the particles and odors before they enter the permanent filter. This is why this unit offers a much more thorough clean.
What most consumers, and us for that matter, like about the Honeywell Air Cleaner is its sleek design, smart touch screen, and ultra-quiet cleaning settings. On top of this towering air purifier, you will find a smart touch screen.
This easy-to-use touch screen can be used to select different fan modes and the speed of the purifier. This screen also features a useful timer. This gives you extra control of the unit.
One additional feature we like about the touch screen is the indicator light it displays. At the top of the touch screen, a light will flash if it is time to clean the permanent filter.
Thanks to its straightforward, yet appealing design, you can easily access the filter before giving it a good vacuum or scrubbing with a soft brush.
If you want a solid clean that doesn’t make too much noise, we highly recommend taking a look at the Honeywell Air Cleaner. Simply set it to low speed for an effective and virtually silent clean.
- Multiple cleaning settings – With five different cleaning settings you can choose which cleaning mode will give you the most effective clean. These settings include allergen, sleep, max, germ, and general.
- Cost-effective – This air purifier has an Energy Star Rating. This means that the purifier is energy efficient, so the unit shouldn’t have too big an impact on your bills.
- Pre-filters included – The addition of pre-filters helps the Honeywell Air Cleaner provide a more effective clean. These filters can be removed if they aren’t needed.
- Lights stay turned on – Annoyingly the lights on this air purifier don’t turn off. Even when the purifier is set to night mode the lights will stay on. This is frustrating because it could cause the unit to disrupt your sleep.
Also available at: Target.com
Before making your final decision there are some important things to consider. Here are some of those things. Take these things into consideration if you want to make a decision you won’t regret.
One of, if not the most important thing to think about is how much coverage the air purifier has.
How much coverage you will need from an air purifier depends on the size of the room it will be placed in, for example, if you require an air purifier for a small bedroom, you could choose a unit that covers up to 250 square feet.
On the other hand, if you need to clean a larger living space, a unit that covers up to 500 square feet will be better.
If you choose a purifier with a low air coverage, don’t expect it to be very effective in a larger room. Alternatively, using a larger unit in a smaller room is a complete waste of energy.
Type of Filter
Air purifiers consist of a number of different types of filters, so it is important to find the right one for you. While washable and permanent HEPA filters aren’t as effective as True HEPA filters, they are still in our opinion the filter you should look for.
Washable and permanent filters are easy to clean and last a lot longer than regular filters that are expensive to replace. Whilst looking for these filters it could also be a good idea to look for extra filters too.
Some purifiers come with additional pre-filters and odor filters. These extra filters boost the cleaning capabilities of the air purifier.
You should always consider the CADR rating of the air purifier you’re buying. CADR rating refers to the air purifier’s air delivery rate. This rate will tell you how much air is filtered at a time. The rating is usually measured for smoke, dust, and pollen, and ranges from 10 to 450.
To guarantee efficiency we recommend looking for a unit that has CADR ratings above 100 or 150. Anything above this will be super-efficient. Anything below this won’t be very good.
This is maybe the most obvious thing you need to consider when buying an air purifier. The air purifier you choose needs to fit in the room you plan on placing it. If you plan on moving the purifier around, it also needs to be easier to carry.
To ensure you get this part of your search right it is always a good idea to first measure the space you have for the unit in your house. Once you’ve done this you can start looking for units of that size.
Alternatively, you could look for the most compact purifier you can find. However, if you do this, make sure you aren’t losing any purifier capabilities because of its size.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Will A Washable HEPA Filter Last?
If looked after correctly and washed appropriately, the washable filters in your air purifier should last for approximately 18 months. It is worth noting that this isn’t a guarantee. Some washable air purifier filters will last longer and others may only last a year.
In terms of permanent air purifier filters, you can also expect them to last for approximately 18 months. Again though, this depends on how they have been looked after and cleaned.
How Do You Know When Filters Need To Be Cleaned?
Nowadays, most air purifiers come with an alert that tells you when the filters need cleaning. If your air purifier doesn’t have this feature, don’t worry, it is still fairly easy to identify when a filter needs cleaning. Simply take a look at the filter to see what color it is.
If it is still clean it should be a bright white color. If it is overly dirty it will be gray. You should also be able to clearly see how much dirt is on the filter. If the filter is very gray and dirty, it could be time to replace it.
How Long Do Pre-Filters Last?
Surprisingly pre-filters only last 30 days, with carbon filters lasting 6 months. You can replace your pre-filters if necessary but in our opinion, it isn’t really worth it.
You will spend a lot of money over the course of a year by replacing the pre-filters every 30 days and they aren’t essential when it comes to your air purifier’s performance.
Using an air purifier is a good idea whether the filters are reusable or not. However, using one with reusable filters makes even more sense.
An air purifier with reusable filters will save you time and money over the course of your air purifier’s life. However, it is worth noting that these filters aren’t usually as effective as replaceable filters because they are of lower quality.
As you can see from our list, there are plenty of high-quality air purifiers on the market that have reusable filters.
Some have permanent filters that can be cleaned with a vacuum or brush, whilst others have washable filters that are easily removed and cleaned using soap and water. Some filters can even be cleaned in your washing machine or dishwasher.
Now you’ve read our article, it’s time to do some research of your own. Consider what you need from an air purifier and start narrowing down our list. By taking the CADR rating, size, and type of filter into account, you should be able to make a great final decision.