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When the air quality gets poor, as noted on PurpleAir or AirNow, most public agencies suggest staying indoors and keeping doors and windows closed. But keeping it closed all the times is difficult and if you have a slight air leak at any of your doors, the bad air is likely to seep into your home. That's where air purifiers can step in and help manage the poor air.
For a long time, I've had a Winix C555 from Costco. I've read that this model works fairly well and comes with replacement filters as part of the price. Overall, I heard it was a great value. From the looks, the design feels outdated and could use a refresh, but functionally, it seems to do the job. It's great, works well, and I leave it in one of the bedrooms.
Since the wildfire smoke, I decided to purchase a second air purifier to cleanse the air the main living space, which is a combination of the kitchen, dining room, and family room in a sort of great room. I didn't do much research time time around, but knew I wanted a large unit to handle the larger space. BluePure 211+ by BlueAir.
Both Handle Basic Air Purifying
BluePure 211+ and Winix C555 both handle basic air purifying, which is three parts: A simple air filter to capture dust, a HEPA filter which captures much finer particles, and a carbon filter to cleanse contaminants in the air.
- Simple Air Filter: In both BluePure 211+ and Winix C555, this largest air filter is completely washable and reusable. The BluePure 211+ is a fabric that can be removed and put in the washing machine. The Winix C555 has a mesh screen that can also be washed, but that I usually periodically Dyson vacuum.
- HEPA vs HEPASilent Filter: This is where the air filters differ. There are many types of HEPA filters. The Winix uses a True HEPA filter that trap contaminants sized of 0.3 microns where the HEPASilent filter for BluePure isn't HEPA rated (uses similar terminology, but is their unique BlueAir process). HEPASilent filters and cleanses 0.1 microns and adds electrostatic to kill 99% of germs.
- Carbon Filter: To help remove smell of smoke and make the air smell cleaner.
- PlasmaWave - A Winix branded features that uses an ionizer to electromagnetically breaks apart odors, allergens, viruses, and germs at a molecular level by breaking bonds between hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
The fan speed is a major contributor to how much of a room the air purifier can cleaner. Generally, the larger the fan and the faster the blades spin, the more air it can move. It can also contribute to more noise, as the movement of air creates noise.
Air direction is also important. In the BluePure 211+, the air is pulled in from all four sides on the air purifier, cleaned, and released through the top of the air purifier. Therefore, even though BluePure 211+ is a box shape, you cannot put anything on top of it. The Winix C555 pulls air in from the sides, and the clean air is also vented out of the top in a rightward direction.
The Winix C555 works well in a bedroom where we leave the BluePure 211+ in a larger great room (family room + dining room + kitchen).
Neither of these two air purifiers are able to connect to your smart home. The BluePure211+ is the easiest to operate, with a simple touch sensitive button to control fan speed. If the BluePure 211+ is disconnected from the power source (either physically or via a smart outlet), then it remembers the previous speed. This is handy if you want a smart device to control when the BluePure 211+ turns on/off.
The Winix C555 can be set on automatic, where the speed changes based on the sensor. The sensor detects three different levels, each with correspond to a different fan speed. There's also a 1, 4, or 8 hour timer. If the Winix C555 is disconnected from the power source (either physically or via a smart outlet), then it restarts at the factory status, which is off. Therefore, this is not ideal for use with smarthome devices. One feature I like about the Winix C555 is the sensor that automatically controls the fan speed and alerts me to when the air may need work.
Both the BluePure211+ and Winix C555 have sleep mode, which dim or turn off most of the LED status lights. The Winix will also power down the fan to a nighttime state, which is ultra quiet.
Look and Feel
Hands down, the BluePure 211+ looks much better than the Winix C555. The BluePure 211+ has a much cleaner look has the outer filter is more colorful. Other color options are available, but it comes with a blue filter and a black filter.
The Winix C555 looks similar to many other air filters,
Filter replacement often times depends on how much "stuff" is in your air. The Winix C555 has a "Check Filter" LED, which should indicate the best time to change the filter. The BluePure 211+ has no such light, and I assume it they suggest changing the filter based on a schedule.
The BluePure 211+ Replacement Filters cost $60. Winix C555 is a bit trickier, as the official Winix Filter I (based on the Winix website) costs $99, however the Winix Filter A (also supported, per stick on actual device) only cost $80. The replacement filters come with both the HEPA and carbon filter.