Winix 5500-2 Review
Pros: Exceptional air cleaning performance, very quiet operation, simple user experience
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|Pros||Exceptional air cleaning performance, very quiet operation, simple user experience||Excellent air cleaning performance, quiet operation, average lifetime cost||Good air cleaning performance, seperate air quality meter, quiet||Quiet, low operating costs, excellent price||Excellent air cleaning performance, quiet operation, large CADR|
|Cons||Expensive||Expensive upfront cost||Expensive upfront cost, no CADR rating||Lower power for larger rooms||Very high operating costs|
|Bottom Line||Excellent, high quality air cleaning performance from a quiet and convenient appliance||A top performing model that combines average lifetime costs to create a great value||Easy to use and powerful, it is ideal for those dealing with common pollen and pet allergies||It's quiet, well designed, and relatively inexpensive, but is suitable for smaller room sizes||A top notch, powerful model that boasts excellent performance, but also demands top notch spending|
|Rating Categories||Winix 5500-2||Coway AP-1512HH||TruSens Z-2000||Levoit LV-H132||Blueair Pure 211|
|Air Cleaning Performance (40%)|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Operating Cost (10%)|
|Specs||Winix 5500-2||Coway AP-1512HH||TruSens Z-2000||Levoit LV-H132||Blueair Pure 211|
|Dimensions||8.2" × 15" × 23.6"||16.5" x 9.5" x 18.5"||12.6" x 11.6" x 25.4"||7.5" x 7.5" x 13"||12.8" x 12.8" x 20.25"|
|Weight||15.4 lb||12.7 lb||7.4 lb||8.45 lb||12.2 lb|
|CADR||246 CFM||240 CFM||N/A||110 CFM||350 CFM|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost||$660||$556||$597||$323||$1,105|
|Airborne Particulate Reduction After 1 Hour (%)||99.99%||99.84%||99.85%||95.66%||99.95%|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Air Cleaning Performance
The 5500-2 is one of the most powerful purifiers we've ever tested. It consistently displayed impressive air cleaning performance in all of our tests.
When we put the 5500-2 into our smoke-filled, 150 square foot testing room, it removed 99.5% of the measured airborne particulates in just 30 minutes. After a full hour, that mark had increased to a whopping 99.99%. For context, most models struggled to ever get beyond the 99.5% mark even after a full hour. The 5500-2 achieved that in half the time and then went well above and beyond. It also managed to remove more odors than most models on the market. We've yet to find a consumer air purifier that can completely eliminate odors, but the 5500-2 did a respectable job. We could still clearly smell smoke when it was done cleaning our testing room, but it was substantially less pungent.
The 5500-2 boasts a certified clean air delivery rate of 246 cubic feet per minute, meaning it had enough power for rooms of up to 363 square feet. This purifier also has a built-in air quality meter. This allows you to set the purifier on its auto mode, and it will turn itself on and off based on the reading of its air quality meter. While this meter doesn't provide a precise readout --it only displays a blue, yellow, or red light for good, medium, and bad air quality-- we found the auto mode to be quite reactive to changes in air quality as measured by our calibrated air quality meter.
The 5500-2 was one of the quietest air purifiers we tested. On its low setting, the noise it emits is barely perceptible; it remains fairly quiet even when ramped up to its highest setting. It is certainly noticeable when running on the high setting, but the low-pitched hum doesn't feel annoying. We had no trouble watching Netflix at a reasonable volume with this purifier running right next to us.
Ease of Use
The 5500-2 presents very few challenges to even those that don't like dealing with appliances. This earned it one of our top user-friendliness scores.
The unit itself has dedicated buttons for setting the fan speed, setting an off timer, and selecting a specific mode. It also includes a remote control that makes it easy to do the same things without getting out of bed or off the couch. The off timer can be set for one, four, or eight hours. At 15.4 pounds, it is at the heavier end of the spectrum, but a convenient carrying handle makes it relatively easy to move it from room to room.
The 5500-2 uses very little electricity and incurs relatively low annual filter costs of $79. However, its list price of $250 is a bit steep, putting its expected lifetime cost at an above-average $660. Luckily this model is often available online for significantly less than its list price, which pushes its estimated lifetime cost down into the average range.
If you find it on sale, the 5500-2 offers exceptional performance at a middle-of-the-road price, making it a great value. Even if you have to purchase it at its list price, we believe the 5500-2's stellar performance makes that higher price worthwhile.
The Winix 5500-2 offers top-tier, quiet air cleaning performance, making it perfect for anyone that wants to wield a powerful weapon against allergens and other airborne lung irritants.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell