Best Air Purifiers with Washable Filters

Are you looking for the best air purifier with washable filter?

Would you like to find an air purifier with a permanent filter that never needs to be replaced?

If so, you’ve landed on the right page.

As you’ve probably already discovered, there are a lot of different types of air cleaners on the market today and most of them don’t use washable or reusable filters.

Instead, many air purifying devices use filters that need to be replaced every 3-6 months in order to maintain their effectiveness.

And owning a device like that takes a long-term, committed investment.

Fortunately, there are a few best air purifiers with permanent filters that don’t cost a dime to maintain.

Once you buy the device, there’s no cost for upkeep.

If that sounds like what you’re looking for, then keep reading.

Below, you’ll find out what the best air purifiers with reusable filters are and how to choose the one that’s right for your needs.

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Best Air Purifier with Permanent and Washable Filters Reviewed in This Guide

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
Honeywell QuietClean Tower HFD-120Q Air Purifier
  • Best overall air purifier
  • Filters: Pre-filter, Washable iFD, Ionizer
  • Coverage: 170 sq. ft.
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Envion Therapure TPP240 Air Purifier
  • Most air cleaning technologies
  • Filters: Permanent HEPA, UV Light, Ionizer
  • Coverage: 200 sq. ft.
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Honeywell AirGenius 5 Air Purifier
  • Most popular air purifier
  • Filters: Pre-filter, Washable iFD
  • Coverage: 250 sq. ft.
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Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier
  • Lowest priced unit
  • Filters: Permanent HEPA, Activated Carbon
  • Coverage: 160 sq. ft.
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Envion Ionic Pro Air Purifier
  • Largest room size coverage
  • Filters: Washable Plates
  • Coverage: 500 sq. ft.
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What you’ll find next is important information about what exactly are washable and permanent filters.

You’ll also discover how these two types of filters are alike and different, and what advantages and disadvantages they provide.

We’ll then share with you a list of the best air purifiers that use these cost-saving technologies.

In the end, you’ll have everything you need to make the right decision for which air cleaning device to get for your home.

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 words marketed alongside each other that seem to be interchangeable.

These are:

  • Washable filter
  • 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

Air Purifier with Washable FilterAs the name suggests, an air purifier with a “washable filter” is one that you can wash with soap and water to remove the contaminants that it has collected.

This cleaning process takes several minutes of soaking, agitating, and rinsing to get it completely clean and ready to use again.

These 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

As you can see, these two styles of filters are practically equal in their effectiveness at getting rid of air pollution inside your home.

While there are technological design differences between the two filters, the .02% difference in efficiency is not something you need to worry about when selecting a device. Both washable and iFD are equally fine to buy.

Permanent Filters

Best Air Purifier with Permanent FilterThe second type of reusable air filter called a “permanent filter” doesn’t take soap and water to keep it clean and long-lasting.

In fact, any contact with water will ruin it.

Instead, a permanent filter must be cleaned by using a vacuum cleaner to remove the contaminants that it has collected.

The best way to do that is by using a hand brush or crevice tool attachment on the vacuum.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Permanent and Washable Filters?

When you discover what the cost-saving advantage is to have an air purifier with a washable or permanent filter, you may wonder why anyone would ever buy a device that doesn’t include one of these features.

While an air purifier with a reusable filter may seem like the most logical buying choice, there are some disadvantages in air cleaners that use this type of technology.

Below, you’ll find out what the top pros and cons are for these types of filters.

This information will help you fully understand what a reusable air filtering device can and can’t do for you.


  • Captures many common air pollutants that cause health issues and breathing problems, including pollen, dust, and plant spores.
  • Saves you from spending money on filter replacements.
  • You can clean the filter as often as you’d like, even before it’s due. The more frequently you clean it, the more efficient it stays at purifying the air.
  • Maintaining the filter is easy to do and only takes a few minutes to complete.


  • Many reusable filters can’t capture particles smaller than 2 microns in size. This includes ultra-fine contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and some allergens.
  • Air purifiers that have reusable filters are only suitable for small to medium-sized rooms (under 250 square feet).
  • Feature options and upgrades are usually limited on these types of devices. They just include the basic operating functions without anything extra, like a remote or Wi-Fi capabilities.

Air Purifier Reviews & Buying Guide

Now that you know what the differences are between air purifiers with washable filters and permanent filters, and what you can expect from these types of air cleaning devices, we can now move on to the reviews.

Knowing that bit of information beforehand will help you make a better decision on which air purifier is best suited for your needs below.

Best Air Purifiers with Washable and Permanent Filters

Honeywell QuietClean Tower HFD-120Q Air Purifier1. Honeywell QuietClean Tower HFD-120Q Air Purifier

This is the best air purifier with washable filter that has a great combination of features while also being reasonably priced.

In addition to a washable pre-filter and iFD filter, this product also includes an ionizer to boost its air cleaning power.

The ionizer function neutralizes the finer sized pollutants in the air that are not directly trapped into the iFD filter.

That feature ensures that the air around you is as clean as possible.

This air purifier also includes a filter clean indicator, 3 fan speeds, and oscillation control.

The oscillation function helps distribute clean air more evenly throughout the room by rotating the unit left and right.

You won’t find that feature on many other air purifiers except for our #3 review below.

Finally, the room size coverage is 170 square feet, which is roughly equal to a 10′ x 7′ size room.

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Envion Therapure TPP240 Air Purifier2. Envion Therapure TPP240 Air Purifier

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

You not only get relief from the most common airborne pollutants and allergens but also protection from germs that can make you sick.

That’s because this device includes an Ultra Violet Light bulb that emits rays of light inside the unit that attacks and kills harmful bacteria and viruses.

If you want the healthiest air possible, this is the air purifier to get.

This product also includes an ionizer to maximize its air cleaning power and eliminate ultra-fine contaminants.

With 3 fan speeds, a filter clean indicator, automatic timer control (from 1 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 Purifier3. Honeywell AirGenius 5 Air Purifier

Our next recommendation is great for anyone who wants to purify medium-sized rooms while also enjoying the benefits of having a washable iFD filter.

This air purifier can handle a larger space than our first two reviews, up to 250 square feet.

That size equates to a 10′ x 25′ room, which makes it good for smaller living rooms, and average size bedrooms.

Other key highlights on this air cleaner are that it has 5 fan speeds, oscillation, an automatic timer (from 2 to 12 hours), and an odor reducing pre-filter.

The only drawback to this air purifier is that it doesn’t include other air purification technologies like the first two products above (i.e. ionizer or Ultra Violet Light).

However, it’s still a great device at a great price and works amazingly well to clean to air around you.

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Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier4. Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier

This air purifier excels in two ways:

First, it comes in a compact size.

Second, it includes the highest-grade permanent HEPA filter you can get.

It’s outfitted with a True HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size.

That includes ultra-fine dust, allergens, mold spores, pet dander, and some bacteria to make the air around your contaminant-free.

The True HEPA filter is reusable for the life of the unit and just takes a quick vacuuming to get it clean.

A set of Activated Carbon filters are also included to help reduce household odors.

However, these filters do need to be replaced every 3-6 months since the material is not made to bet washed or vacuumed.

The design of this air cleaner is also nice.

You can place the device upright or on its side to fit wherever you need inside a room, like on a table or desk.

Finally, this air purifier has thousands of positive reviews and is excellent for rooms up 160 square feet, or a 10′ x 16′ room.

Practically everyone who buys it has been extremely happy with the air purifying power of this product.

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Envion Ionic Pro Turbo Air Purifier5. Envion Ionic Pro Turbo Air Purifier

Our final recommendation offers a unique type of permanent filter.

Instead of using a standard HEPA or iFD filter, this air purifier contains a set of electrostatic collection rods that trap particles as they pass through the system.

You can think of these rods as like 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.

You couldn’t ask for anything more simple.

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′ x 25′ room.

That’s more than enough power for most people’s needs and can handle larger rooms in the home, like 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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Common Questions About Air Purifiers with Reusable Filters

Are washable filters good?

Yes, washable filters are good at cleaning the air.

Washable air filters are typically good at collecting the larger particles of dust, pet dander, visible smoke, and allergens like pollen, which can help you breathe better and get relief for allergy symptoms.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that disposable filters are more effective at trapping the smaller particles, such as ultra-fine dust, bacteria, and particulate matter (PM2.5).

For those finer contaminants, you’ll need a more advanced and expensive air purifier.

However, most people without severe respiratory issues do just fine with the cheaper air purifiers that use washable or permanent filters.

Are washable filters as effective?

Yes, washable filters like an iFD filter have a 99.99% effectiveness rate at removing harmful particles from the air.

Can you wash and reuse air purifier filters?

Yes, you can wash and reuse air purifier filters as long as they’re made to be cleaned and reused.

The fact is that not all air purifier filters can be washed, and if you do wash a non-washable air filter, it will get ruined.

Washable filters contain a special type of material that doesn’t degrade when submerged in water.

So, be sure to look for an air purifier that contains a washable filter like the products reviewed in this guide.

Can carbon air filters be washed?

No, carbon air filters cannot be washed. 

Washing a carbon filter with soap and water will negate the carbon’s ability to filter the air.

However, you can extend the life of some carbon filters by vacuuming them.

Just keep up with this cleaning process before the filter gets too clogged up with dirt and debris.

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?

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

You need to look for a special type of air purifier that uses a washable HEPA filter, like the products reviewed on this page.

Another type of filter that can be washed and reused is called an “iFD filter”. It works similarly to a HEPA filter to remove pollutants from the air but has a different material composition.

How do you 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.

Enjoy Your New Air Purifier

Air Purifier with Permanent FilterWe hope you enjoyed this guide on the differences between best air purifiers with washable filters and permanent filters.

We also hope that you found the perfect air cleaner for your needs on this page.

No matter which device you choose, you’ll have cleaner and fresher air to breathe without having to pay a lot for it.

And that’s something we can all appreciate.

Avatar for Patrick Holmes

About Patrick Holmes

Patrick is a Senior Air Quality & Comfort Specialist. He conducts in-depth research and analysis for our product reviews and buying guides in order to offer expert recommendations for people who are seeking to improve their indoor air quality and comfort. (See Full Bio)