Winix Air Purifier with Washable HEPA Filter

Last updated date: January 6, 2020

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Winix Air Purifier with Washable HEPA Filter

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We looked at the top Electrostatic Air Purifiers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Electrostatic Air Purifier you should buy.

Update as February 8, 2022:
Checkout The Best Electrostatic Air Purifier for a detailed review of all the top electrostatic air purifiers.

Overall Take

If you're buying a purifier for a large space with high ceilings, consider the Winix Air Purifier with Washable HEPA Filter. Not only does it have the capacity to purify large spaces, but you can control operation from across the room using a remote control. It automatically detects the condition of the air around it and selects the right filtration setting to keep your air clean.

In our analysis of 203 expert reviews, the Winix Air Purifier with Washable HEPA Filter placed 5th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The WINIX 5500-2 Air Cleaner replaces the wildly popular 5500 model; designed for any home environment and ready to capture dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, mold spores, VOC (volatile organic compounds) and household odors. With a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) rating from AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers), this unit is best used for medium to large living spaces, kitchens, or bedrooms. The WINIX 5500-2 uses a 3-stage air cleaning system, featuring a Washable AOC (Advanced Odor Control) Carbon Filter, 99.97 % efficient True HEPA filter and WINIX PlasmaWave technology. Features: 360 sq. ft. room size, VOC Smart Sensor, air quality visual indicator, light sensor, auto & sleep mode, remote control, CUL Listed, AHAM CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) certified, CARB certified (California Air Resources Board), Energy Star certified. Wattage – 70 W

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

25 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

2,104 user reviews

What experts liked

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA, Odor Reducing Washable AOC Carbon Filter (PlasmaWave Technology enabled)
- Breathe Quality
One of my favorite features, besides its special carbon filter, is that the lights will auto-dim depending on the ambient light.
- Healthy But Smart
The control panel is discreet and straightforward. You can operate the air purifier by pressing one of the five labeled buttons or using a remote control.
- Fresh Air Guide
The auto mode function on the Winix 5500-2 is another very impressive feature that cannot be ignored. This mode, in conjunction with the smart sensor, is capable of adjusting the speed of the fan so it is then able to filter the air in just the way that is needed.
- Blooming Air
It also has a charcoal filter to reduce odor. This filter can even handle troublesome odors such as tobacco smoke or cooking odors, keeping your house fresh and smelling clean. It also features something called PlasmaWave technology, a technology that releases hydroxyls. This compound occurs naturally outdoors and binds with odor particles and other VOCs.
- Clean Home Guide
The Winix 5500-2 comes with an onboard Filter Replacement Indicator that shines a bright LED light when the True HEPA Filter needs to be replaced. The lifespan of this filter is roughly 12 months, but it depends entirely on how dirty the air is and which fan speed preset is most commonly used.
- Smart Homes for Living
One of the 5500-2’s best features is that it has a remote control for your convenience. It’s also very quiet for a large room air purifier, and with an automatic LED dim feature that reads the changing levels of light in the room, night times will be peaceful too.
- How to Home
Our former runner-up, the Winix 5500-2, once again performed well in our 2018 retest.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Winix stands out for its lineup of features. Its completely digital panel lets you control the purifier’s speed or enable PlasmaWave Technology (which, when activated, claims to “instantly neutralize airborne viruses, bacteria, chemical vapors, odors, and gases”). The simplicity of this digital panel extends to its sensors: The Winix’s glowing LED lights shift from blue to red the more polluted the air.
The design is quite simple, but also very sleek and pleasing on an aesthetic level. So, you can put it just about anywhere, and it’s not going to look weird or out of place.
- Smart Cleaning Tips
This purifier contains a HEPA filter rated for removal of 99.97 percent of dust and other allergens. The HEPA filter is supported by both a carbon filter for odor and a PlasmaWave (ionic) filter for destruction of odors and vapors.
- Sympathink
Genuine, True-HEPA filter works as advertised. Excellent in removing allergens and other microorganisms.
- Air Fuji
The machine is designed to fit into different types of home environments. It is designed to capture and trap dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, mold spores, VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and household odors.
- Air Purifier Now
It is quite efficient when it comes to removing dust.The pre-filter in combination with HEPA filter will give you maximum air-cleaning ability.It will easily neutralize pet dander, airborne bacteria, fungi, and mold.The HEPA filter can catch large particles, dust mites, and pollen, which is perfect for people with allergies.
- Know The Flo
This works in bigger basements. You can safely use it even in spaces as big as 360 square feet. It has a high CADR rating, which means it will work fast in circulating air.
- Too Humid
This air filter has true HEPA filtration technology that is able to capture up to 99.97% of all the particles in the air. Any particle larger than 0.3 microns would be captured by this air purifier, and it will ensure that your home is rid of pollen, dust, odors and any other allergens. It also has an AOCTM carbon filter that is washable and is made from particles of activated carbon granules.
- For Healthy Air
The smart sensor technology is an impressive attribute on this device that certainly raises the value.
- Official Top 5 Review
The air filter has 4 speeds, low and medium are good for quiet work and high and turbo are perfect for fast air cleaning. A built-in air quality sensor detects the air condition and the color of the light on the top of the purifier shows it.
- Eco Life Master
Sleep mode operates silently at night.
- The Consumer Guide
This air purifier utilizes three steps of filtration to get rid of most of the contamination; True HEPA filter which traps 99.97% of dust mites, pollen, and the shedding of fur and feathers by pets which can cause hypersensitive reactions, activated carbon filter with advanced odor control, and an ozone-free PlasmaWave filter unique to Winix purifiers, which decontaminates chemical gases and neutralizes allergens by releasing hydroxyls into the atmosphere.
- Wise Pick
Winix 5500-2 is perfect for dealing with smells around the home and helping to give you the fresh, top quality, healthy air you crave. It even comes with super-strong plasma wave technology to break down odors and allergies on a microscopic level, without any harmful side effects like ozone generation.
- House Weather
This has a CADR rating from AHAM and utilizes a 3-stage System which features an odor-reducing filter, 99.97% HEPA filter and WINIX Technology.
- By Purify
The other good thing about this air purifier is that it comes with an AOC filter. Yes, this carbon filter is washable. After consuming or cleaning the entire odor emanating from dirty utensils, dust, mold, pet dander, weed and or cigar smoke, the filter gets dirty. The interesting part with Winix Washable AOC 5500-2 PlasmaWave is that you can remove the AOC carbon filter, wash it, and then replace it.
- Clean Air Guides
It has several different filtration features to deal with smoke. There’s the initial carbon filter, which is very effective at absorbing and neutralizing odors. Carbon filters are the most popular odor-reduction type on the market, and buyers had only good things to say about the Winix’s filters!
- Pure Air Reviews
This air purifier is insanely quiet. It boasts a 4 speed fan, and a sleep mode, and a turbo mode. As with all air filters, a lower fan speed is quieter and uses less electricity, and higher fan speed means air is cleaned more quickly.
- Purely Clean Air

What experts didn't like

However, there is no Wi-Fi connectivity feature in this Winix 5500-2.
- Breathe Quality
Large and bulky.
- Fresh Air Guide
The only issue that we have is the way in which the activated carbon filter should be changed every 6 months while the HEPA filter should last a year.
- Blooming Air
The noise from the highest setting on the fan is a bit much, but if you’ve got the auto setting on, it shouldn’t kick that high too often. The first two are really quiet, but it doesn’t move much air at those settings. If you have a lot of frequent air offenders (cats, cigarette smoke, terrible cooking skills), it may be on high all the time. Unfortunately, high is really noisy.
- Clean Home Guide
Unfortunately, despite the upfront price tag, the 5500-2 has replaceable filters that aren’t cheap.
- How to Home
But it costs about $800 to run over the course of five years, nearly twice as much as the comparably performing top pick.
- New York Times Wirecutter
During our test, there is a short delay before 5500-2 reacts to surrounding particles. Either the odor sensor requires cleaning or the sensor takes its own sweet time to detect.
- Air Fuji
Too noisy or constantly affect the air flow in the room.
- Air Purifier Now
Some said the HEPA filter is too expensive for frequent replacement.
- Too Humid
Short term durability.
- Official Top 5 Review
In some cases, there is a problem where the light gets stuck on blue or yellow. In this case, you should reset the device.
- Eco Life Master
Doesn’t include a remote control like some other pricier brands.
- The Consumer Guide
A couple of customers had issues with the LED light getting stuck on one color which they fixed by pressing the reset button for a few seconds.
- Wise Pick
Short warranty of just one year.
- House Weather
The LED light requires 1 lithium battery. If the battery is off before the machine warns you over filter replacement, it might be challenging.
- Clean Air Guides
It can’t handle large spaces. If you’re dealing with a whole home, sizable apartment, or larger room, this one probably won’t cut it.
- Pure Air Reviews
The lower speeds on this model are not as powerful as you might want for a larger space. Some people complain that for use in a bedroom the lights on this model are intrusive.
- Purely Clean Air

Our Expert Consultant

Vicki Liston 
Home Improvement Expert

Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.

Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations. You can find her show on Prime Video.

An Overview On Electrostatic Air Purifiers

There are pollutants in the air all around you. Whether you’re at home, in your office or spending some time on the lake, you’re breathing allergens throughout the day. If you don’t suffer from allergies or other health conditions, you may not even notice it, but it still affects how you feel. In fact, just breathing polluted air can decrease your lung function and possibly increase your risk of developing health issues.

A good air purifier can help with that. But there are so many different methods of filtration, it can be easy to feel out of your element as you’re shopping. An electrostatic air purifier uses the power of static electricity to attach air particles to the filter. You’ll then be required to clean the filter periodically to keep your purifier’s interior clean.

HEPA air filters, on the other hand, use a disposable filter to capture the particles. Short for high-efficiency particulate air, HEPA filters can capture more particles at a quicker rate than electrostatic purifiers. However, the technology between these two types of filtration systems isn’t quite so straightforward. Both electrostatic and HEPA purifiers have a wide range of filtration methods, some of which are more effective than others.

“The precursor to HEPA filter air purifiers, electrostatics clean the air by charging airborne particles with static electricity as they enter the unit and then attracting those particles to a collector while the cleaned air continues out and back into the room,” says Vicki Liston, writer, producer and narrator of “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement show. “Even though HEPA filters have since entered the scene and boast a 99% removal of all air particulates larger than .03 microns, electrostatic air purifiers arguably still hold their own as an affordable alternative. They are also eco-friendly as you won’t be discarding filters to be sent off to a landfill.”

Purifiers are often seen as useful for helping those with allergies, but they actually can be useful in any indoor space. In addition to helping ensure your air is pure and breathable, they can also keep odors at a minimum, which is especially useful if you have pets or regularly cook meals. If you have an area where cigarette or cigar smoke is an issue, a purifier can help with that, as well.

One area where HEPA typically excels compared to its non-HEPA counterparts is in eliminating the smallest particles from the area. HEPA filters can usually get rid of the most microscopic filters, while other purifiers struggle. Also, look for technology that can convert ozone and smog into oxygen for even better-quality air.

The Electrostatic Air Purifier Buying Guide

  • As you’re weighing HEPA filtration against electrostatic air purification, there are benefits to electrostatic units. One of the biggest is that you don’t have to fuss with disposing of and purchasing new filters. Simply clean the filter as directed in the user manual.
  • But, as Liston explains, electrostatic air purifiers do have a downside in that some produce ozone. If you have asthma issues or sensitive lungs, you may find your issue is exacerbated by the very thing you’ve purchased to fix it.

“This ozone — also dressed up as ‘activated oxygen’ in some product descriptions — can react with chemicals commonly found in households, like cleaners, which will also cause lung irritation,” Liston says. “I don’t recommend electrostatic air purifiers at all for anyone with lung sensitivities, allergies, or asthma. Instead, opt for a HEPA air purifier if you fall into this category.”

  • Before you buy, consider where you’ll be using your purifier. Some are built to handle large spaces while others can only purify the air in smaller rooms.
  • If you’ll be sleeping or working in the room where your air purifier will be set up, make sure you choose one that operates quietly. You may, however, prefer an air purifier that emits white noise, similar to a fan.
  • Another benefit of electrostatic air purifier is energy consumption. High-powered HEPA purifiers can run up your utility bill, so if you opt for a HEPA unit, pay close attention to energy ratings.
  • Whether your purifier has a filter that needs to be changed or cleaned, an alert can come in handy. Some purifiers also provide alerts related to air quality.
  • Some air purifiers have a night light included, which can be useful if you’re keeping them in a bedroom. However, some lights can be extremely bright. A purifier with a light you can dim or turn off will keep you in control of your environment.
  • Auto-adjustment is a valuable feature in an air purifier. It ideally will be able to detect the pollutants in its surroundings and provide the level of purification necessary.
  • If you do opt for an electrostatic air purifier that emits ozone, avoid confining it to a closed-off small room.
  • To qualify as true HEPA, a filter must pass a test that demonstrates it can clean at least 99.97% of airborne particles that are as small as 0.3 microns. If you suffer from health issues, look for a system that has been certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.