Winix Air Purifier Reviews and Buying Guide 2019

Winix makes an interesting lineup of air purifiers. We rate them in the top three of all brands for effectiveness and value.

The company blends standard HEPA and carbon filters with new technology like hydroxyl emissions replacing harmful ozone emissions to produce layers of filtration you don’t get from other brands. PlasmaWave and Hydroxyls are explained below.

As a result of pursuing new and useful technology, Winix has won multiple design awards for innovation in air purification and beyond. It even offers an air purifier that doubles as a JBL Bluetooth speaker. That’s pretty cool, but is it a good value? Details below.

What’s In This Guide?

Read it all, or browse topics that interest you.

You might be interested in our Review and Buying Guide pages on top brands including Dyson, Honeywell, Holmes and more.

If you’re just getting started on your air purifier research, our comprehensive 5000+ word Complete Air Purifier Buying Guide is a great source of information.  

Best Winix Air Purifiers - Top Picks

What’s the best Winix air purifier? We get asked that a lot. The answer is always, “It depends on room size and what pollutants you most want to remove from the air you breathe.”

Instead of giving you one option, here are 6 covering all the bases.

      Image                    Product

Winix HR900 True HEPA

  • True HEPA filtration
  • Washable pre-filter
  • Best odor removal
  • 5-stage air cleaning 

Best for Allergens & Pets

Winix 5500-2 True HEPA

  • True HEPA
  • Advanced Odor Control ™ filter
  • Washable pet pre-filter
  • Reduces VOCs by 90%-plus
  • 5 purifying stages

Best for Smoke & Odors

Winix P150 True HEPA

  • True HEPA
  • Air quality sensor
  • Advanced Odor Control ™ filter
  • 4 cleaning speeds
  • 3 stages of air cleaning
  • Up to 150 square feet

Best for Small Rooms

Winix NK100 Large True HEPA

  • 3-function filter
  • 4 air purifying stages
  • True HEPA
  • Ozone-free VOC removal
  • Up to 320 square feet

for Medium/Large Rooms

Winix 5300-2 True HEPA

  • Up to 360 square feet
  • Sleep/Turbo + 3 speeds
  • True HEPA
  • Advanced VOC removal

for Large/Extra Large Rooms

Winix T1 Professional Purifier

  • True HEPA
  • 6-stage cleaning
  • WiFi
  • Advanced Odor Control ™ filter
  • Up to 1,000 square feet

Best and Biggest

Winix Air Purifier Reviews

We listed the best Winix air purifier models above with their key features.

If you prefer more detail, here it is.

By the way, we use the same rating system for all the brands we review – Honeywell, Dyson, Molekule, Holmes, Levoit, Naturefresh and more.

Quick note on CADR: It stands for clean air delivery rate. CADR measures how many cubic feet per minute (CFM) an air purifier can clean.

The larger the unit, the higher the CADR. We list ratings for Smoke, since that is the most common rating listed. There are also ratings for Dust and Pollen, which you might find in product literature.

Here are our detailed reviews of the best Winix air purifiers.

Best for Allergens & Pets

1. Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet True HEPA

If an air purifier can handle pet-related allergies, you can count on it to remove a wide range of allergens and pollutants. This is one of the highest-rated air purifiers available.

Reason for the Choice: The HR900 puts the air in your home through 5 stages of cleaning:

  1. Washable fine-mesh pre-filter to catch large particles and extend the life of the HEPA filter
  2. Ultimate Pet Pre-Filter that catches pet hair, dander and larger particles
  3. Advanced Odor Control ™ carbon filter
  4. True HEPA
  5. PlasmaWave technology (explained below)

Room Size: 300 square feet

CADR Score: 194 for Smoke

Features: 5 stages of air purification. Air Quality Indicator and Odor sensors let you know when the air purifier should be run. Washable pre-filters do their job to extend the life of the HEPA main filter.

Features Rating: 4 There’s no timer or remote, but that’s all it is missing.

Filter Rating: 5 – Two pre-filters plus True HEPA.

Efficiency Rating: 5 –Energy Star rated, and uses about 90 watts per hour.

Quality Rating: 4 – Good build quality, but just a 1-year warranty. That’s below average for air purifiers.

Overall Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Best for Smoke & Odors

2. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA and Washable AOC Carbon Filter

This is a newly improved model with Winix’s Advanced Odor Control ™ technology. There are three stages of filtration including True HEPA and PlasmaWave.

Reason for the Choice: The AOC activated carbon filter is designed and proven to reduce household pollutants like smoke, VOCs, cooking and pet odors and much more.

Room Size: Up to 360 square feet.

CADR Score: 232 for Smoke.

Features: Air Quality indicator lights allow you to choose settings to clean your indoor air. Set and Forget feature automatically choose the mode of cleaning based on information from the sensors. Filter Replacement light. Remote.

Features Rating: 5 – Easy to monitor and use.

Filter Rating: 5 – HEPA, pre-filters and advanced carbon filtration.

Efficiency Rating: – Just 70 watts per hour. Compare that to a 1500 watt hairdryer. Energy Star certified.

Quality Rating: 4 – Good materials are used, and the unit fits together well without air gaps and the whistling they cause.

Overall Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Best for Small Rooms

3. Winix P150 FresHome True HEPA Air Cleaner

The smallest Winix air purifier is equipped with all the tools to clean air in enclosed areas up to 150 square feet.

Reason for the Choice: Auto Mode allows you to “set and forget” about room freshness. The SmartSensors will detect pollutants and even VOCs and adjust the air cleaner to effectively remove them.

Room Size: Up to 150 square feet, so ideal for small bedrooms, dorm rooms, home offices and similar.

CADR Score: 98 for Smoke

Features: Auto Mode and SmartSensors for air quality monitoring and automatic air purifying. PlasmaWave – A safe alternative to ionization and explained in the Buying Guide below.

Features Rating: 4 – No timer or remote control.

Filter Rating: 5 – Three cleaning stages: True HEPA, carbon sheet filter and PlasmaWave.

Efficiency Rating: 5 – Energy Star certified.

Quality Rating: 4 – Would be a 5 except for the 1-year warranty, which we consider in this rating. Honeywell, as one example of a better warranty, offers 5-year warranties on all air purifiers.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Best for Medium/Large Rooms

4. Winix NK100 True HEPA Tower Air Purifier

This tower offers powerful 4-stage cleaning. Its innovative design is an award-winner.

Reason for the Choice: This might be the overall best Winix air purifier. The NK100 pulls air in from 360 degrees and cleans it four ways.

Room Size: Up to 320 square feet.

CADR Score: 207 for Smoke.

Features: 360-degree cleaning. Room air quality sensor/indicator. Auto mode – adjusts fan speed to cleaning need. Filter replacement notification.

There is a WiFi version of this unit available for $20 to $30 more. It’s the NK105 Winix air purifier. See the price and its features here.

Features Rating: w/o WiFi and 5 (NK105) with WiFi. We’ll call it 4.5 for features.

Filter Rating: 5 – True HEPA, coated deodorization carbon filter, fine-mesh pre-filter and PlasmaWave (see Buying Guide for details on PlasmaWave.

Efficiency Rating: 5 – Energy Star

Quality Rating: 4 – The quality is very good, but Winix backs it with just a 2-year warranty, a factor we consider in this rating.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 w/o WiFi. Slightly higher with it.

Best for Large/Extra Large Rooms

5. Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA

Recently updated with newer air-cleaning technology, it is effective and intuitive.

Reason for the Choice: This Winix air purifier has all the tools for removing allergens, VOCs, bacteria, viruses and other pollutants.

Room Size: Rated for 360 square feet.

CADR Score: 232 for Smoke.

Features: Air quality SmartSensor/indicator. Auto Mode adjusts air cleaning based on air quality. Dirty filter notification. 12-hour timer.

Features Rating: 4 – No remote way to operate it.

Filter Rating: 5 – True HEPA plus a carbon sheet filter and PlasmaWave.

Efficiency Rating: 5 – Energy Star certified.

Quality Rating: 4 – It’s well-built with quality materials and design, but the 2-year warranty knocks the rating down. Some comparable units have longer warranties.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Best and Biggest

6. Winix T1 Professional Air Purifier

If you have an apartment, office suite or other space up to 1000 square feet that needs commercial-grade cleaning, this is a unit to consider.

Reason for the Choice: Large-capacity air purifier with 6 stages of cleaning.

Room Size: 750-1000 square feet.

CADR Score: 400 for Smoke.

Features: Air quality sensor and indicator. Auto Mode adjusts filtration speed to the room’s needs. 4 complete air changes per hour. Designed to ensure 100% of air drawn into the unit is filtered. WiFi. Timer. 5-speed fan.

Features Rating: 5 – It would be complete with a timer.

Filter Rating: 5 – True HEPA, carbon, PlasmaWave and pre-filters.

Efficiency Rating: 5 – Energy Star rated.

Quality Rating: 4 – Very good quality, but when you’re spending this amount of money, a warranty longer than 2 years is expected.

Overall Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Guide Section

This guide takes a closer look at each Winix air purifier series.

The goal is to give you usable research in deciding which model is best for your needs – and to compare Winix to other leading brands like Dyson, Honeywell and Levoit.

See our Guides to those and other brands for comparison.

Overview of Winix Filtration Features

Before looking at each series, there are features they share.

True HEPA

A true HEPA filter, rather than the “HEPA-type” filters used on inferior brand models is the best way to get pollutants like allergens and mold spores out of the air.

Carbon Filters for Odors

Every Winix air purifier has some form of carbon filter. These filters are the best defense against odor-causing particles, but they can be effective against volatile organic compounds (VOCs) too.

Some, like the P150 have a basic carbon sheet filter. Others, like the 5500-2, have Winix’s multi-filtration Advanced Odor Control carbon filter. It does a better job, though, of course, the replacement filters cost a little more.  

Mesh Pre-Filters

Most also have some form of pre-filter to trap big particles before they can reach the carbon and HEPA filters. This extends the life of the costlier filters.

These filters are washable with a rinse and maybe gentle debris removal with a soft toothbrush.

PlasmaWave

This is proprietary technology from Winix. PlasmaWave is called a safe alternative to ionization.

The problem with ionizing air purifiers is that they omit a large amount of ozone, which is a known irritant to breathing passages. In fact, with heavy use, an ionizer can damage them.

To learn more, here’s a link to the EPA report on ionization and its dangers.

PlasmaWave, according to Winix, “Creates Hydroxyls to instantly neutralize bacteria, VOCs, odors and gases while emitting no harmful ozone.” Hydroxyl, or -OH, has a negative charge which attracts pollutants with a positive charge. Hydroxyls are naturally occurring in the atmosphere but can be produced too.

Here’s how Restoration and Remediation Magazine describes the function of hydroxyls. “Hydroxyl radicals, in essence, dismantle the molecular structure of odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).”

Ozone Alert

Despite its claims about the PlasmaWave technology being better than ionization, PlasmaWave does produce a very small amount of ozone. It’s far less than ionizing air purifiers, but it isn’t zero, as some proponents of Winix say.

Turn it off: On most models, the PlasmaWave function can be turned off. No hydroxyls, but no ozone either, when that feature is off.

Winix Air Purifier Series Pros and Cons

Here is a closer look at your air purifying options from Winix.

First, an overview table.

Series

Filter Types

Room Sizes

CADR

Cost

Warranty

P Series

HEPA & Carbon

150 s.f.

98

$120 - $170

1 year

5000 Series

HEPA & Carbon

360 s.f.

232

$130 - $185

2 years

NK Series

HEPA & Carbon

320 s.f.

207

$200 - $250

2 years

HR Series

HEPA & Carbon

300-400 s.f.

194-258

$260 - $335

1 year

QS Series

HEPA & Carbon

320 s.f.

207

$270 - $300

2 years

T1

HEPA & Carbon

700 s.f.

400

$650 - $815

2 years

*All Winix air purifiers offer 99.97% filtration of particulates .3 microns and larger.

CADR is Clean Air Deliver Rate. We list the CADR for Smoke removal.

Cost covers all models in the series.

Note: Winix has made other series, and some units are still available on Amazon and from other retailers. The series below are the ones Winix is currently making.

1. P Series

This series offers good value – quality air filtering at a reasonable cost.

Models and Room Size Rating: There is currently just the P150 listed on the Winix site. It is rated for 150 square feet.

But larger P300 (300 square feet) and P450 (450 square feet) models have been produced and are still available from Home Depot.

Filtration: Carbon sheet, True HEPA and PlasmaWave

Features: Air quality SmartSensors. Auto Mode that adjusts cleaning based on air quality. 4 fans speeds plus Sleep Mode.

Pros: Good filtration. The only “small room” model from Winix. Very quiet.

Cons: Doesn’t have Winix’s best carbon filter. Just a 1-year warranty.

Best Use: Bedroom, office, den, nursery.

2. 5000 Series

These are large-room air purifiers in a console style. They are covered by 2-year warranties.

Models and Room Size Rating: Two models, the 5300-2 and 5500-2. Both are rated for 360 square feet.

Filtration: 3 stages. HEPA, carbon and PlasmaWave. The 5300-2 has a sheet carbon filter. The 5500-2 has the Advanced Odor Control (AOC) carbon filter.

Features: Air Quality sensors, monitor and indicator, Filter Replacement notification. Auto mode adjusts fan speed to the room’s air cleaning need. The 5500-2 has a remote.

Pros: Excellent filtration and features. Large capacity.

Cons: No remote for the 5300-2.

Best Use: Bedroom suites, office suites, very small apartments.

3. NK Series

These tower air purifiers come in two models – standard and WiFi.

Models and Room Size Rating: NK100 and NK105 are both rated to serve 320 square feet.

Filtration: This unit has a 3-in-1 filter that includes a fine mesh pre-filter, True HEPA filter and a coated deodorization carbon filter. Plus PlasmaWave.

Features: Air quality sensor with an indicator. Auto Mode that uses the data from the sensor to choose air purifying level. There’s a notification light for when it is time to change the filter. The NK105 adds WiFi and the Winix Smart app.

Pros: Very good filtering of 99.97% of pollutants plus odors, VOCs and smoke. WiFi makes it convenient to monitor and control the purifier from anywhere.

Cons: The filter is expensive, but most True HEPA filters are. Also, some users have connectivity difficulties with WiFi, and that’s the main problem with most smart home devices.

Best Use: Excellent filtering anywhere, but ideal for pet owners, homes where smoking is allowed and dusty locations.

4. HR Series

The full name of these air purifiers is Winix Ultimate Pet Air Purifier. It covers all the filtration bases.

Models and Room Size Rating: The HR900 is rated for 300 square feet. The HR1000 is rated for 400 square feet, but seems to be discontinued. It’s available from a few places, but not Winix or Amazon.

Filtration: 5 Stages – Ultimate Pet pre-filter, washable mesh pre-filter, AOC carbon filter, True HEPA filter and PlasmaWave.

Features: A particle sensor, dust sensor and a VOC sensor and Auto Mode adjust the air purifier to meet the air quality demands.

Pros: The unit monitors air quality using the sensors and responds as needed. PlasmaWave creates hydroxyls to break apart odors, chemical vapors and other allergens.

Cons: A little bit pricey. Some units seem to randomly jump between modes like Turbo and Sleep. Not a common problem though.

Best Use: In homes with pets and those suffering from allergies, asthma, COPD and other breathing problems.

5. QS Series

The Winix QS air purifier has the same filter and performance specs as the NK100 purifier. See it’s review above.

The difference is two 8-watt JBL Bluetooth speakers.

Depending on where you buy it, cost is the same to about $90 more than the NK100.

Here’s a demo. 


6. T1 Series

This is Winix’s largest-capacity air cleaner. It is WiFi-enabled.

Models and Room Size Rating: There is one model rated for 1,000 square feet.

Filtration: 6 stages of air cleaning – Washable pre-filter, PM2.5 filter (i.e., it filters particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers and bigger), anti-microbial coating on the PM2.5, activated carbon deodorization filter, True HEPA and PlasmaWave.

Features: Air quality sensor and indicator. Auto Mode adjusts filtration speed to the room’s needs. 4 complete air changes per hour. Designed to ensure 100% of air drawn into the unit is filtered. WiFi.

Pros: The best air cleaning of any Winix model and among the very best available for less than $1,000. WiFi.

Cons: The air purifier and the various filters are expensive.

Best Use: Homes with significant air quality problems due to smoking or mold, or where a household member has a serious breathing issue. Light-commercial settings.

Comparing Winix Air Purifiers to Other Top Brands

Winix compares most closely to ionizing air purifiers like some of Holmes and the high-end Molekule brand. All three create molecules to remove pollutants from the air.

Holmes ionizers: Ionizing the air is a cheap way to remove pollutants. The technology is described in the Holmes Air Purifier Review. Low cost is the upside. Potential health risk is the downside. See our Holmes Air Purifier Review and Buying Guide for more information.

Molekule: This innovative brand uses photo electrochemical oxidation (PECCO) to break down and destroy VOCs, mold and other pollutants. The brand is among the most expensive and uses proprietary technology.

Winix PlasmaWave: This technology creates hydroxyls and a small amount of ozone. The units are more affordable than Molekule models, but ozone is a concern, even in the relatively small amounts Winix models produce compared with Holmes Ionizing air purifiers. 

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