Winix PlasmaWave 5300 Review

  • Filtering Capability:
  • Value vs Price:
  • Durability (+Filter replacement):
  • Overall:
Unparalelled Value for the Price
MSRP: $199.99

When it comes to affordable whole-home air purification, it doesn’t get much better than this model. Featuring an elegant and durable 3-step cleaning process, the PlasmaWave 5300 has quickly become one of our most recommended units. What exactly makes it so functional and versatile? The secret sauce is Winix’s Filter Series and PlasmaWave Technology combo. Collectively, they tackle airborne particles, allergens and a broad a array of pollutants in slightly different ways; read on for all the details:

3-Stage Cleaning

As with a lot of air purifiers, stage 1 is a activated carbon pre-filter. Activated carbon is said to be “activated” because is contains millions of microscopic pores that literally absorb a myriad of household pollutants and odors. From your common dust and pollen to cigarette smoke, it’s a critical first phase in most purification efforts. As an additional perk, when it gets packed with debris, most pre-filters can easily be washed, dried and put back in the unit (most folks clean them every few months or so). Stage 2 includes a true HEPA filter. The HEPA traps all the smaller particles (bacteria, viruses, mold, etc) that get by the pre-filter. The PlasmWave 5300 comes with a HEPA filter that can remove up to 99.97% of impurities 0.3 micrometers (µm) in diameter. That gives it a HEPA class rating of H13 (pretty darn good for a model at this price). The 3rd and final PlasmaWave Technology stage is a bit more proprietary. It gently produces positive and negative ions, which in turn attract a larger category of bacteria/viruses and chemical vapors. Once trapped, the particle and ion combo form a cluster which eventually gets collected by either the carbon or HEPA filter. All told, an elegant process not often seen, even in units at double the price.

Filtering Power

Overall, this unit’s assortment of features packs quite a punch. The bars below give its relative performance vs ALL other air filters (0 – 100% scale).

Type: True HEPA Filter (99.97% efficiency) & Ionizer
Although the HEPA class scale goes from 10-17, its rare to find a sub $500 unit above H13. And for most household needs, 99.97% efficiently is plenty filtering power. Toss in a smart ionizer and you get a synergistic removal of impurities.

Coverage Area: 350 sq. ft
Ideal for a large living room or bedroom, the PlasmaWave 5300 is certified for up to 350 square feet of coverage. If you close off the room (shutting windows or doors), you can effectively improve that a bit as well.

CADR rating (smoke|dust|pollen): 235|248|251
On a scale from 1-450, the CADR rating gives you a quick snapshot of how well a purifier eradicates smoke, dust and pollen. Averaging about 250, the PlasmaWave 5300 comes in at about the middle of the pack.

Air Changes/hour (ACH Rating): 5x up to 350 sq. ft
ACH measures how often a unit circulates and treats the air every hour. This unit does a robust job of cleaning a 350 square foot room 5 times an hour (a solid number, even up against purifiers at twice the cost).

Control Panel

No fuss, no muss, this control panel is very intuitive and easy-to-use:

  1. Indicator light lets you know when it’s time to replace the carbon pre-filter.
  2. The PlasmaWave 5300 has 4 fan speed options, including a turbo (fastest/loudest rotation). Simply press the “Speed / Mode” button to toggle between each speed.
  3. By default, the unit ships in Automatic mode (vs Manual when the light is turned off). Auto (which is our preferred setting) adjusts the fan speed based on the “Air Quality” level. The lower the quality, the stronger the fan speed the system sets. Another nice perk of auto is the power savings as, on average, your fan will draw less current. “Sleep” mode dims the control panel lights and never exceeds the low fan setting (to keep the noise down).
  4. The Air Quality gauge lets you know how bad the air currently is. Low (green) denotes healthy and clear, while High (red) indicates poorer conditions. In Auto mode, this gauge dictates the speed of the fan. If you’re on manual, it’s a handy reference to determine how/when to adjust your settings.
  5. The internal sensor that feeds the Air Quality gauge.
  6. Toggles between the various speed and mode options.
  7. Power button 🙂

Pros and Cons

  • Tons of value for the cost
  • Established brand
  • Multiple household applications
  • Purifies one large room at a time
  • Not practical for industrial use

Wrapping Up

Overall, this is our favorite sub-$200 unit. With its impressive assortment of features, it could easily have been priced closer to $350. If you're looking to treat a part of your home and want reliable, proven purification, highly consider the Winix PlasmaWave 5300.