Air Purifiers with Permanent vs. Washable Filter

Constant exposer to polluted air can cause respiratory complications and a weak immune system. An air purifier can effectively rid the air in your environment of a wide range of pollutants to ensure you breathe clean and healthy air.

There are many different types of air purifiers on the market today. Most of them are equipped with either washable or permanent filters, and each filter has its own merits and demerits. To help you decide whether to go for an air purifier with a washablefilter or an air purifier with a permanent filter, let’s explore the differences between the two.

product to filter the air

Permanent vs. washable filter

A washable filter is a filter that you can wash with soap and water. The washing helps to get rid of contaminants that have accumulated over time. You’ll need to soak the filter for some time first.

Then you can scrub the dirt and other contaminants off. Once the filter is thoroughly clean, you should give it about one hour to dry before reusing it. After cleaning your filter, it will be as efficient as a new one.

There are two major types of washable filter:

  • HEPA ( High-efficiency Particulate Air) filter
  • iFDfilter

The HEPA filter can remove up to 99.97 percent of pollutants from the air, while iFD filter can remove up to 99.99 percent. So, they are virtually the same in terms of effectiveness. The one to choose will depend on other factors like cost and personal preference.

The permanent filter, on the other hand, can’t be washed. In fact, it is vital that you avoid getting it wet. Otherwise, you will damage your filter and subsequently have to purchase a new replacement. However, that doesn’t mean that a permanent filter should not be cleaned.

The filter must be clean to ensure efficiency—you just need touse a vacuum cleaner instead of water and soap. A vacuum cleaner sucks up the dirt and other contaminants that have accumulated on the filter over time. Once cleaned, the filter can be reused.

One of the significant advantages of permanent filters over washable filters is that their maintenance process is much easier and quicker. Nonetheless, filters that are washed with soap and water usually are cleaner than their vacuum-cleaned counterparts.

When it comes to effectiveness, permanent air filters do a better job at trapping small particles. Conversely, washable filters are primarily limited to trapping large particles like dust. You would need a permanent filter to effectively get rid of bacteria, pet dander, and smoke.

Pros and cons

When you consider all factors, a permanent filter would be a healthier choice. However, you will have to dig deeper into your pocket when it comes to maintenance. If you have the budget, consider investing in an air purifier with a permanentfilter, keeping in mind that you’ll need to replace the filter at least once every year.

If you are working with a limited budget, however, an air purifier with a washablefilter would be a better choice. It will spare you the need to purchase a new filter, saving you some money in the long run.

Before you purchase a washable filter air purifier, you should note the following:

  • Some washable filters can’t effectively eliminate airborne particles that are less than 2 microns in size. That means you’ll have a hard time controlling bacteria, mold spores, viruses, and allergens using these filters.


  • When being used in large size dusty rooms, washable air filters typically get dirty too fast. That means you’ll need to clean them often to uphold their efficiency.


  • The more you clean a washable filter, the more effective it becomes. However, too much cleaning can damage the filter. Consequently, the filter won’t be as effective as expected, and you’ll have to purchase a new washable filter eventually.

So, which is better permanent or washable filters?

Some air purifiers have permanent filters that need to be replaced at least once every year. Other air purifiers come with washable filters, also called reusable filters. Using a washable-filter air purifier is a more cost-effective way of maintaining goodair quality in your home.

However, a washable filter may not be able to capture tiny particles like bacteria, viruses, and smoke. They also generally come in small, portable sizes that may not effectively handle a large room. In that case, you would want to opt for a permanent filter air purifier.

Now that you understand the difference between permanent and washable filter, including their pros and cons, you can easily choose an air purifier that suits your needs.

About the Author Stacy

Personally, I have always been fascinated with home items. I’ve learned long ago that when buying these products, there needs to be a balance between functionality and creativity. Otherwise, they get old and boring, and I don’t get to use them as much.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: