air purifier with washable filter being removed by womans hands

If you’re looking for the best air purifier with washable filter that never needs to be replaced, you’re in luck. We’ve cut through the noise to find the best ones out there, and rounded them all up for you here.

These best air purifiers with permanent filters don’t cost an extra penny to maintain — a stark contrast to the other air purifying devices with filters that need to be replaced every three to six months. With these, once you buy the device, there’s no additional upkeep cost. Just sit back, relax and watch your air purifier work its magic. Let’s take a closer look.

Best Air Purifier with Permanent and Washable Filters: Reviews

Here’s a quick comparison chart showing the top air purifiers with washable and permanent filters. We’ll cover each aspect of these units in the reviews section below, but this gives you an idea of what’s available and an easy way to compare them.

ImageAir Purifier DetailsPrice
VEVA Pro HEPA 9000 Air Purifier
  • Best overall air purifier
  • Filters: Filters: Washable Pre-filter, HEPA Filter, Activated Carbon
  • Coverage: 600 sq. ft.
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Envion Therapure TPP240 Air PurifierEnvion Therapure TPP240 Air Purifier
  • Has the most air cleaning technologies
  • Filters: Permanent HEPA, UV Light, Ionizer
  • Coverage: 200 sq. ft.
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Honeywell AirGenius 5 Air PurifierHoneywell AirGenius 5 Air Purifier
  • Most popular air purifier for small rooms
  • Filters: Pre-filter, Washable iFD
  • Coverage: 250 sq. ft.
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Envion Ionic Pro Turbo Air PurifierEnvion Ionic Pro Turbo Air Purifier
  • Largest room size coverage
  • Filters: Washable Plates
  • Coverage: 500 sq. ft.
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Honeywell QuietClean Tower HFD-120Q Air PurifierHoneywell QuietClean Tower HFD-120Q Air Purifier
  • Best overall air purifier with washable filter
  • Filters: Pre-filter, Washable iFD, Ionizer
  • Coverage: 170 sq. ft.
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Is a Washable Filter the Same as a Permanent Filter?

When you’re shopping for a cost-efficient air purifier, you’ll often find two seemingly interchangeable words along side each other: “washable filter” and “permanent filter.” While both terms ensure that you’re getting a product that has a reusable filter, there’s a big difference in how each one is kept clean and properly working.

Washable Filters

As the name suggests, an air purifier with a “washable filter” is one that you can wash with soap and water to remove contaminants. Reusable filters come in two types:

  • Washable HEPA filter, which has a 99.97% effectiveness rating
  • Washable iFD filter, which has a 99.99% effectiveness rating

Based on these effectiveness ratings, these two styles of filters are virtually equal as far as getting rid of air pollution inside your home goes. While there are some technological design differences, the .02% difference in efficiency is insignificant, and we feel confident recommending purchasing either type.

Permanent Filters

With permanent filters, you cannot use soap and water to keep it clean — in fact, any contact with water will ruin it. Instead, permanent filters need to be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. The best way to do so is by using a hand brush or crevice tool attachment to the vacuum.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Permanent and Washable Filters

While air purifiers with reusable filters can be a logical buying choice, we’d be remiss not to mention that there are some disadvantages in air cleaners that use this type of technology.

Pros of Reusable Filters:

  • Capture common air pollutants that cause health issues and breathing problems, such as pollen, dust and plant spores
  • Help you save money on filter replacements
  • Allow you to clean the filter as often as you like, which can maintain its efficiency
  • Take a few minutes to clean and maintain

Cons of Reusable Filters:

  • Cannot capture particles smaller than two microns in size, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and some allergens
  • Recommended for small to medium-sized rooms (under 250 square feet)
  • Include basic, limited operating functions and features

Best Air Purifiers with Washable and Permanent Filters

Honeywell QuietClean Tower HFD-120Q Air Purifier with Washable Filter

Honeywell QuietClean Tower HFD-120Q Air Purifier

In our opinion, this is the best air purifier with washable filter. It has a great combination of filters, not to mention it’s reasonably priced.

We like it for a lot of reasons, including a washable pre-filter and iFD filter, as well as an ionizer that boosts its air cleaning power. This function neutralizes the finer-sized pollutants in the air that are not directly trapped into the iFD filter, ensuring the air around you is as clean as possible.

The air purifier also includes a filter clean indicator, three fan speeds and oscillation control, which can help distribute clean air more evenly throughout the room. This is a fairly unique feature, too.

It covers up to 170 square feet — roughly equal to a 10′ by 7′ size room.

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Envion Therapure TPP240 Air Purifier with Permanent Filter

Envion Therapure TPP240 Air Purifier

If you’d rather have an air purifier with a permanent HEPA filter, this is going to be your best bet.

With it, you’ll not only get relief from the most common airborne pollutants and allergens, but protection from germs that can make you sick. That’s because the device includes an ultraviolet lightbulb that emits rays of light inside of the unit; the UV light attacks and kills harmful bacteria and viruses.

That’s not all, though. The product also includes an ionizer to maximize its air cleaning power and eliminate ultra-fine contaminants. Plus, with three fan speeds, a filter clean indicator, automatic timer control (from one to 24 hours) and the ability to purify a room up to 200 square feet, this air purifier is really hard to beat.

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Honeywell AirGenius 5 Air Purifier with Washable Filter

Honeywell AirGenius 5 Air Purifier

The Honeywell AirGenius 5 Air Purifier with Washable Filter is great for anyone who wants to purify medium-sized rooms with an air purifier equipped with a washable iFD filter. It can handle a larger space than the two aforementioned options, covering up to 250 square feet — up to a 10′ by 25′ room. This makes it a great pick for smaller living rooms and average-sized bedrooms.

The air cleaner also boasts five fan speeds, oscillation, an automatic timer (from two to 12 hours) and even an odor-reducing pre-filter.

One drawback of note, though, is that it doesn’t include other air purification technologies like the first two products above, such as an ionizer or ultraviolet light. That said, it’s a great device at a great price and will do wonders to lean the air around you.

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Envion Ionic Pro Turbo Air Purifier with Washable Filter

Envion Ionic Pro Turbo Air Purifier

The Envion Ionic Pro Turbo Air Purifier with Washable Filter has a unique type of permanent filter. Instead of using a standard HEPA or iFD filter, it contains a set of electrostatic collection rods that trap particles as they pass through the system — similar to magnets for air pollutants.

As dust, allergens, and other contaminants are sucked into the system, they get magnetized onto the collection rods while fresh air is pushed back into the room.  What’s nice about this air cleaning design is that it gives you a lifetime filter that has zero chance of wearing out or getting damaged during the clean process. All you have to do to clean the electrostatic collection rods is wipe them down with a damp rag.

This product also has the largest room size coverage than any other air purifier on this list. It can handle a space up to 500 square feet, which is equal to a 20′ by 25′ room. That should be suffice for most people’s needs, although it can also handle larger rooms in the home, such as a living room, basement or big bedroom.

It also has a filter clean indicator light so you never have to guess when it’s time to clean the filter rods.

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Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with Washable Filter

TheWinix 5500-2 Air Purifier with Washable Filter is one of the most popular air purifiers you’ll find, and for good reason. The pre-filter acts as the first line of defense, capturing the largest contaminants. It can be washed and reused for the life of the unit.

And while it doesn’t include a washable or permanent HEPA filter, it’s still worth considering. That’s because it has a washable Advanced Odor Control (AOC) filter, a feature you won’t find on any other air purifier. It’s a special blend of Activated Carbon that can be washed and reused for up to 12 months.

The AOC filter is a powerful material for removing airborne odors and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals and gases that can be toxic to your health and are emitted by all sorts of things, like paint, cleaning supplies, furniture, carpeting, etc.

A set of smart sensors that consistently monitor the air around the room. They will automatically adjust the air purifier fan speed settings to quickly remove pollutants. Combined with the LED indicator display, you’ll always know the air quality.

Patented PlasmaWave technology that uses water vapor to safely break apart airborne pollutants. It’s most favored for neutralizing bacteria and viruses so the air inside the room is healthier to breathe.

It can also clean the air in a room up to 360 square feet, which is good for most average size rooms.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean a permanent air purifier filter?

Follow these steps to keep your air purifier working properly:

  1. Turn off the unit and unplug it from the wall.
  2. Remove the air inlet grille by pulling on the tab.
  3. Once the grille has been removed, you may see a pre-filter. If it is dirty, you’ll want to wash it with warm, soapy water, and then let it dry before putting it back into the air purifier.
  4. After removing and cleaning the pre-filter, you’ll want to take out the permanent filter. If it’s dirty, use a vacuum cleaner hose to remove the dirt and other contaminants. Using the brush attachment is your best option and make sure to run it along both sides of the filter and clean between the pleated layers.

Can you wash and reuse air purifier filters?

Yes, you can wash and reuse air purifier filters as long they’re labeled as washable filters. If the air purifier has a permanent filter, it can’t be clean with water. How you clean each filter will depend on the type of air purifier you have.

Remember, washable filters need to be removed and washed in warm, soapy water while permanent filters need to be vacuumed clean.

What is the best air purifier with permanent filter?

In our opinion, the best air purifier with a permanent filter is the Envion Therapure TPP240 air purifier. It was created to give you the cleanest and most refreshing air possible — and it will be hard to find another air purifier that can do what this one can for such an affordable price.

Are washable HEPA filters as effective?

Washable HEPA filters are effective. Many washable HEPA filters have a 99.97% effectiveness rating for removing particles from the air. A similar type of filter that can be washed and reused is called an iFD filter. It has a 99.99% efficiency rating.

Can carbon air filters be washed?

Most carbon air filters cannot be washed, since washing a standard carbon filter with soap and water will negate the carbon’s ability to filter the air.

The exception to this rule is the activated carbon air filter on the Winix 5500-2 air purifier. The trademarked washable advanced odor control (AOC) air filter has been specially designed to be washed and reused for up to 12 months.

What is a permanent HEPA filter?

A permanent HEPA filter is a filter that never has to be replaced.

Permanent HEPA filters remove harmful pollutants from the air just like a disposable HEPA filter does, except that the permanent type can be vacuumed clean and reused over and over again. The major advantage of a permanent HEPA filter is that you don’t have to pay for a replacement.

Can HEPA filters be washed and reused?

Some HEPA filters can be washed as reused, but the majority of them are disposable.

What’s the difference between an air purifier with a permanent filter vs replaceable?

Permanent filter air purifiers are less powerful units and are usually only good for small rooms under 250 square feet. Some replaceable filters can clean the air in large rooms up to 2,000 square feet. (The exception here is the Envion Ionic Pro Turbo air purifier that uses permanent washable metal plates instead of a HEPA filter). They have no maintenance costs, and can be cleaned and reused for the life of the unit.

Air purifiers with replaceable filters can capture smaller pollutants down to 0.3 microns. This is better for microscopic dust, allergens, mold spores, and bacteria, which is why it’s found in the best air cleaner for allergies. That said, they incur a routine maintenance cost throughout the year. Some of them only last three to six months before a replacement is needed, while others last up to 12 months or more.

Replaceable filter air purifiers, however, tend to have more advanced features, such as Wi-Fi control, air quality sensors, a remote control, automatic modes, advanced timer functions and more. Permanent filter air purifiers often have very few options besides a few manual fan speed settings, a basic timer, and a filter cleaning indicator.

Both types can have additional air cleaning functions like an ionizer or ultraviolet light, although options will be more limited with permanent filter units.

How do you clean a permanent air purifier filter?

Follow these steps to clean a permanent air purifier filter:

  1. Turn off and unplug the air purifier
  2. Remove the filter cover panel
  3. Pull out the air filter
  4. If it’s a washable filter, wash it in warm, soapy water. Then, rinse the filter and let it drip dry thoroughly before placing it back into the air purifier
  5. If it’s a non-washable filter, take a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment tool and go over the filter material several times to suck the dirt and debris out of both sides of the pleated layers

Bottom Line

Today, we’ve outlined the differences between permanent and washable HEPA filters, and gave you some of our tried-and-true recommendations. You really can’t go wrong with any of the options listed above. Armed with the information in this article, we know you’ll be on your way to clean home air before you know it.