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Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed May 13, 2024 at 01:24 pm
Latest change: Writing modified May 14, 2024 at 02:02 pm
Winix 5500-2 Picture
8.5
Pets
8.6
Bedroom
8.5
Air Purification

The Winix 5500-2 is a mid-range air purifier with a built-in ionizer. It also boasts a True HEPA filter along with an odor-neutralizing filter containing activated carbon pellets. While there's no Wi-Fi connectivity, the 5500-2 does have a built-in air quality sensor that allows the device to adjust fan speed in real time depending on current particle quantities.

Our Verdict

8.5 Pets

The Winix 5500-2 is an amazing option for pet owners. It has no trouble dealing with finer particles like pet dander and has a high enough clean-air delivery rate to operate efficiently in larger rooms. It also runs very quietly, which is good if your pet is highly sensitive to loud noises.

Pros
  • Quiet operation.
  • Particle sensor and automatic fan speed adjustment.
  • Great purification performance.
  • High clean air delivery rate.
Cons
  • No companion app for full remote operation.
8.6 Bedroom

The Winix 5500-2 is an excellent option for bedrooms. Its 'Sleep' mode keeps fan noise to a low murmur and dims most of its indicator lights, so it won't be overly disturbing if you leave it running overnight. Its automatic fan speed adjustment feature also ensures you won't have to wake up to tweak any settings if air quality takes a sharp dive overnight.

Pros
  • Quiet operation.
  • Particle sensor and automatic fan speed adjustment.
  • Great purification performance.
  • High clean air delivery rate.
Cons
  • No companion app for full remote operation.
8.5 Air Purification

The Winix 5500-2 is excellent for general-purpose air purification. It does a great job of capturing various sizes of airborne particles. It has an impressively high clean-air delivery rate too, so it'll be right at home in medium to large spaces. It isn't Wi-Fi enabled, but its built-in particle sensor and automatic fan speed adjustment make for a pretty hands-off ownership experience. It has an ionizer, which you can turn off if you'd rather not use it.

Pros
  • Quiet operation.
  • Particle sensor and automatic fan speed adjustment.
  • Great purification performance.
  • High clean air delivery rate.
Cons
  • No companion app for full remote operation.
  • 8.5 Pets
  • 8.6 Bedroom

Performance Usages

  • 8.5 Air Purification
  1. Updated May 14, 2024: We've fixed an issue in the 'Particle Filtration' section of the review where an incorrect screenshot was being linked. We've also modified some potentially confusing language in the 'Air Purification' usage box.
  2. Updated May 07, 2024: Review published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Winix 5500-2 is available only in a single color variant: 'Charcoal Gray'. You can see the label of the unit we tested here.

Let us know in the comments if you come across another variant of this device so that we can update our review.

Compared To Other Air Purifiers

The Winix 5500-2 is a very good mid-range air purifier. It outperforms many of its contemporaries in terms of raw particle filtration performance and clean air delivery rate while operating quietly. While it might not be compatible with voice assistants or smartphones like other options, like the Levoit Core 400S, it can still automatically adjust fan speed based on current air quality.

Winix C545

The Winix 5500-2 is better than the Winix C545. Both models have air quality sensors that allow them to automatically adjust their fan speed depending on real-time particle levels. That said, the 5500-2 has a higher clean air delivery rate and better fine particle filtration performance, all while occupying a similar footprint. Meanwhile, only the C545 is Wi-Fi enabled, which allows you to remotely operate it from afar.

Levoit Vital 200S

The Winix 5500-2 and Levoit Vital 200S are evenly-matched air purifiers. Both appliances deliver near-equal particle filtration performance and a sufficiently high clean air delivery rate for larger spaces. That said, there are a few differences. Only the Levoit is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing you to pair the device with your smartphone, allowing for full remote operation and live monitoring of current air quality. Conversely, unlike the Levoit, the Winix has an ionizer, which produces negatively charged ions that ultimately cause small particles to be attracted to one another and form large, easily-cleaned clumps. That said, ionizers produce ozone, a potential respiratory irritant as a byproduct - while Winix claims their iteration of this technology doesn't produce harmful levels of ozone, you can always turn it off anyway.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Body
Height 23.6" (60.0 cm)
Width 14.9" (37.9 cm)
Depth 8.3" (21.0 cm)
Weight
15.0 lbs (6.8 kg)
Power Cord Length 74.6" (189.6 cm)
Wheels
No
Design
Display And Control
Filter Change Indicator
Yes
Air Quality Sensor Auto Mode
Yes
Remote Control
Yes
App
No
Display On/Off
Yes
Timer Function
Yes
Number Of Fan Speeds
5

The 'Air Quality' LED indicator changes color based on current air quality:

  • Blue: Good
  • Orange: Fair
  • Red: Poor

Engaging the 'Sleep Mode' will turn off all the lights, with the exception of the actual 'Sleep Mode' button and the 'PlasmaWave' indicator light if you've left the ionizer on.

The Winix 5500-2 also comes with a remote control that allows you to turn the device on and off, change the fan speed, and engage the 'Auto' fan mode.

Design
Filter Configuration
Filtration Layers
3 Stage
Activated Carbon
Pellets

While the manufacturer advertises this air purifier as having a four-stage filtration system, it only has three physical layers of filtration. There's a mesh pre-filter for trapping larger particles, a HEPA filter, and a Carbon filter for minimizing odors and VOCs. However, like most consumer-grade air purifiers, the amount of activated carbon within is too little to have a significant impact. Its nominal fourth stage is the device's built-in 'PlasmaWave' ionizer. This system releases negative ions into the air that impart an electrical charge to small particles, causing them to clump together and fall to the ground or any other flat surface, where you can easily clean them up with a rag or vacuum. The main downside of ionizers is that they naturally produce ozone, which can irritate your respiratory system. It's worth noting that Winix claims that their 'PlasmaWave' ionizer produces well under the nominally safe concentration of 0.05 ppm. Regardless, if you don't want to use the ionizer, you can turn it off; from our own testing, the ionizer didn't have too large of an impact on air purification performance anyways.

You'll need to clean the pre-filter under water or vacuum off any stuck-on debris and dust every 14 days; just make sure not to use any detergent or soap. If you rinse the pre-filter, let it dry for at least 24 hours before reinstalling it. You aren't meant to replace it.

The HEPA filter isn't washable, but you should replace it every 12 months. You can rinse the activated carbon filter, but don't wash it with soap or water. Like the pre-filter, it must dry for at least 24 hours before you reinstall it. The carbon filter has an estimated lifespan of 12 months. The HEPA and carbon filters are sold in a single pack and can be purchased here.

Performance
8.5
Performance
Particle Filtration
Air Cleaning Rate
630 m³/Hour
Average Final 0.3 µm Concentration
39 particles/L

We measured the results above with the ionizer turned off to generate comparable data to air purifiers without an ionizer. That said, we did test this device's air purification performance with the ionizer turned on. You can see how this device performed with the ionizer turned on here.

8.6
Performance
Noise
Noise @ Lowest Fan Speed
32.4dBA
Noise @ Highest Fan Speed
58.8dBA

The lowest fan speed outside of 'Sleep' mode produces an operating noise of 36.3dbA.