Let’s not hype this up too much. After all, it is a budget unit.
Coming in at around $250* I wasn’t expecting all the bells and whistles that some of the other purifiers I’ve tested have. But, honestly, I miss them.
Honeywell’s HPA300 would be an ideal unit for those who want to simply turn it on and let it run. The coverage is great and the CADR for a unit at this price point is very rare. The design isn’t innovative or modern, but that’s a plus for some.
If you’re looking for no-thrills, super hard-working, looks like an air purifier, budget unit…the HPA300 is for you.
As with all our hands-on reviews here at HouseFresh, we bought this unit with our own money so we have no biases to give a better review than we would under normal circumstances.
There’s no doubt about it, Honeywell is a household name. But they’re so much more than an air purifier manufacturer. With heavy ties in industry, aerospace, chemicals, and healthcare, it’s no wonder their air quality products have earned their slogan of “The Doctor’s Choice.”
Today, we’re looking at the HPA300, which falls into the middle section of the series and is a good gauge of what the range has to offer.
As with all our hands-on reviews here at HouseFresh, we bought this unit with our own money, so we have no biases to give a better review than we would under normal circumstances.
TL;DR The Low Down on the Unit
You’re busy, we get it, here’s a Too Long Didn’t Read low down showing you the main pros and cons I found when testing the HPA300.
What We Really Like:
👍 Has a high CADR rating for its budget price
👍 Ready to use straight out of the box
👍 Doesn’t take up much floor space
👍 Replacement filters are easy to come by
👍 Straightforward controls
What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 It can get quite loud on the higher fan speeds
👎 You have to replace the pre-filter quite often
👎 It doesn’t come with a remote control or app
High Powered, But Not So Energy Efficient
It’s amazing to see a CADR this high in an air purifier that costs under $300. This can be attributed to the high-powered fan that Honeywell use in this unit. The HPA300 is a workhorse, clearing medium-sized rooms fast and effectively. The downside to having a powerful fan is that it uses a lot of energy to run, and usually this comes hand-in-hand with higher energy bills.
|Purifier technology:||Activated carbon pre-filter and True HEPA filter|
|CADR (CFM / m³/h):||300 CFM|
|Recommended room size:||465 sq. ft.|
|Filter life:||Replace Certified HEPA Filters 1x per year. Replace genuine pre-filters every 3 months.|
|Noise level (low – high):||48.3 – 71.2dB|
|Dimensions (in inches / in cm):||20.8L x 10.83W x 22.38H inches / 52.8L x 27.5W x 56.8H cm|
|Weight (in pounds / in kg):||17 lbs / 7.7 kg|
|Energy consumption:||$189.01 per year|
Matt, Black, and Discrete
If there was an international beauty pageant for air purifier units…the HPA300 wouldn’t be on the podium. If you compare it to Rabbit Air’s MinusA2 which is focused on style, you’ll see that Honeywell make units that look like air purifiers and act like air purifiers.
It has a simple, flat base with no wheels, which isn’t really an issue for maneuverability as it weighs 17 lbs and has an inset handle on each side. My mom mentioned she liked this style better, as it doesn’t make a mark on her new carpet.
The metallic touch control panel is easy to operate with minimal buttons. You do have to press them hard, so if at first you don’t succeed…
I did find an issue with the front panel of the HPA300. It is held on by clicking it into place and if it isn’t clicked in properly, it has a tendency of falling off, especially when you move the unit.
To compare the design with another unit, we sat the HPA300 next to the Winix 5300-2 as they’re both similar in size and had a similar performance in our testing room. I personally prefer the design of the Winix, and it has the smart features that are missed on the HPA300.
Why Have One Filter When You Can Have Three?
When you remove the front panel of the HPA300, you have access to the three mini filters. Each uses a two-stage process:
- Stage 1 – Carbon pre-filter – Instead of having a pre-filter and a carbon filter, here they are combined in one handy sheet. It manages to capture larger particles in the air such as dust and hair whilst reducing odors and VOCs.
- Stage 2 – HEPA filter – Instead of one large HEPA filter, they’ve opted for three smaller ones that fit snug behind the pre-filter. The bonus of using smaller filters is that if one gets dirty, you only need to replace one instead of all three.
Usually, the third layer of a filter is the activated carbon layer, which is either packed full of loose activated carbon or bonded into a sheet. In the HPA300, you get that thin layer of bonded activated carbon to adsorb odors and other VOCs in the home.
I can see the logic behind why Honeywell have gone for this approach, but the carbon filter feels a bit flimsy. Compare it to the Coway Airmega 300, and you can see the difference. With Coway, you can actually see the bits of carbon in the filter.
I much prefer the loose-fill carbon filters as there’s more surface area for VOCs to adsorb to, so this sheet is a little disappointing.
Honeywell advises changing the HEPA filters every 12 months and changing the pre-filters every 3 months. Luckily, you can buy both types in one pack to last you 12 months, or purchase them both separately if needs be.
Replacing the filters is a simple process that takes around 30 seconds. Here’s the process and a video to show you how.
- Step 1: Unplug the unit
- Step 2: Remove the front panel
- Step 3: Remove the activated carbon sheet
- Step 4: Pull the red tabs on the top of each HEPA filter to remove
- Step 5: Insert your new HEPA filters and reverse the steps
|⚠️ It’s important that you remember to remove any plastic packaging from the filters before installing them into the unit. If you don’t, the filters simply won’t be able to work, and you’ll probably start to smell plastic burning over time.|
As I previously mentioned, this is a unit for those who want to simply turn on and leave. With no app, air quality indicator, ionizer, or remote to deal with, the control panel is easy to navigate, responsive, and very straightforward.
There are four speeds to choose from: germ, general clean, allergen, and a separate button for turbo. There’s no need to get confused over the names, they basically mean low, medium, and high.
You have a timer to set for 2hr, 4hr, and 8hr for extra ease and indicators will light up when it’s time to change the filters.
Lastly, there’s a dimmer button that dims the blue lights or turns them off completely, making it handy for use in the bedroom whilst sleeping or if you don’t want to draw any extra attention to the unit.
Cleared Our Testing Room in 26 Minutes
It’s all good discussing design and functions, but how does this air purifier actually perform? We put the HPA300 to the test, so we could measure how effective it is at removing airborne contaminants from our testing room and comparing it with other units we’ve tested in the same conditions.
As with all our reviews, we test these units in real-world situations. You don’t live in a sterile laboratory environment, and neither do we, so we test them in our homes.
To get the results, we put the HPA300 into our 705 cubic ft performance room, which we then filled with pollution. Obviously, we don’t want to put ourselves in any danger, so we use incense sticks to create less harmful pollutants. We then turned the air purifier onto turbo mode to see how fast it cleared the room.
We monitored each stage of our test using our indoor sensor from Purpleair to provide us updates on PM1.0ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3, and PM10.0ug/m3.
Here’s what we found:
As you can see from the data collected, the HPA300 clears our room of contaminants in 26 minutes. That’s due to the powerful fan I keep mentioning. It may be loud, and it may use a lot of power, but this is the result you get because of that.
When we compare it to other units on the market with similar CADR ratings, the HPA300 was 1 minute faster than the Winix 5300-2 and cleared or room in the same time as Coway’s Airmega 300 which costs nearly double the price of this Honeywell.
|Air Purifier||How long it took to clean the air||CADR||Price|
|Honeywell’s HPA300||26 minutes||300 CFM||$229.99|
|Winix 5300-2||27 minutes||246 CFM||$213.99|
|Conway Airmega 300||26 minutes||300 CFM||$549|
|Levoit Core 400S||33 minutes||260 CFM||$219.99|
Louder Than Most
Unfortunately, noise is where the HPA300 lets itself down.
The big fan which allows it to have high CADR levels in this unit means you have to compromise on noise. There’s no ‘silent’ or ‘sleep’ mode, which is an asset to Alen’s 75i and 45i units, only a turbo mode which makes this unit the focus in any room.
The noise level ranges from 48.3 – 71.2dB on its turbo setting, which is considerably louder than most air purifiers out there.
|Honeywell HPA300||48.3dB – 71.2dB||465 sq. ft|
|Levoit Core 300||24dB – 50dB||219 sq. ft|
|Levoit Core 400s||24dB – 52dB||403 sq. ft|
|Winix 5300-2||27dB – 60dB||435 sq. ft|
|Medify MA-40||46dB – 66dB||840 sq. ft|
Hear for yourself with our noise video.
The HPA300 Could Cost Up To $283 Annually To Run
1. Electricity costs
When investing in an air purifier, it’s not only the cost of the unit you need to think about. Obviously, air purifiers use electricity to operate, so you will need to consider the cost of running, especially if it is recommended to run the unit for at least 8 hours per day.
As energy costs keep on rising, it’s beneficial to have an air purifier that’s as energy efficient as possible.
On Turbo mode, the HPA300 draws 87 watts of power, which, compared to other units, is quite substantial. We clocked the Winix 5300-2 at 63.4 watts on full and the Levoit Core 600S (one of our favorites) at a whole 40 watts less at 47 watts.
We calculated that if you ran the HPA300 at full fan speed for 24 hours a day, every day, it would cost $189.01 per year. Looking at the performance test results, you shouldn’t ever need to run this unit for that long on turbo every day, that would be overkill. We use these perimeters to show the highest it could cost you.
We got this figure by using our HouseFresh Air Purifier Usage Calculator, choosing the state of California. You can calculate the cost in your state by inputting the wattage into the table below. You can also check what the comparison units will cost to see the difference.
2. Filter costs
Electricity isn’t the only extra expense when operating an air purifier in your home. You will also need to periodically replace the filters in your unit.
HEPA filters were developed during WWII and have been used to filter airborne contaminants ever since. This technology has proved itself as the most effective way to remove micropollutants from the air by trapping them in a maze of intertwined fibers.
The thing is, HEPA filters become less effective over time as they start to fill up with these trapped contaminants. Depending on the filter, at some point it will become full and ineffective, so it’s paramount you change the filters at this time.
As the HPA300 uses three small HEPA filters instead of one large one, Honeywell have put plenty of thought into replacement filters. They offer packs of 1, 2, or 3 replacements so if one filter is full, but the others are okay, you don’t need to fork out for the extras.
A pack of 3 genuine Honeywell HEPA filters will set you back around $88.99, but that doesn’t include a replacement activated carbon sheet, so we recommend purchasing the all-in-one box that contains 3 HEPA filters and 4 pre-cut activated carbon sheets.
- AIR PURIFIER FILTER REPLACEMENT KIT – This value combo pack of air purifier filters is a one-year supply for the HPA200 and HPA5100 series and includes 4 A Pre-Cut Carbon Pre-Filters and 3 Honeywell R HEPA filters.
- WORKS WITH HONEYWELL AIR PURIFIERS FOR HOME – This Honeywell Filter Kit is designed exclusively to fit Honeywell HEPA Air Purifier models HPA300, HPA304, HPA8350, HPA3300, HPA5300 and HPA5350.
- R HEPA FILTERS – These HEPA filters help capture up to 99.97% of the following microscopic airborne particles: pollen, pet dander, and smoke. Replace Certified HEPA Filters 1x per year.
- A PRE-FILTERS – This Honeywell A pre-filter captures larger airborne particles and activated carbon reduces unpleasant smells and VOCs. Replace genuine pre-filters every 3 months.
- COMPATIBLE DOESN’T MEAN COMPARABLE – For best performance, use only genuine Honeywell air purifier filters. Compatible air purifier filter replacements are not guaranteed to offer the same performance or efficiency.
Overall, Honeywell have produced another sturdy air purifier covering all room sizes in the HPA range.
Unfortunately, that’s all it is, another sturdy air purifier. With none of the cool features we’ve become accustomed to, the HPA300 does what it’s meant to do, but in the least exciting way possible. Its noise levels let it down, and it wouldn’t be advised to have it running when watching a scary movie.
Don’t get me wrong, this unit works hard. It boasts high CADRs and passes the test when it comes to eliminating airborne pollutants. It’s easy to use, replacing filters is no trouble, and it’s simple to move from room to room. It’s just a bit…boring.
The Rules We Followed When Reviewing the Honeywell HPA300
Reviews from HouseFresh are not like most other reviews you find online. Our mission is to help you clearly understand which air purifiers are worth your hard-earned money and, more importantly, those of which you should avoid.
1. As with all our reviews, we bought the HPA300 with our own money and performed performance testing in our own home.
2. We do research manufacturers’ feature lists and specification figures, but we don’t rely on them. This is why we perform all our tests in real-world conditions with our own testing tools.
3. Because we test all our units in the same conditions, we can use the data to compare the HPA300 like-for-like with other similar air purifiers on the market.
4. We don’t just write at first sight, we evaluate the long-term benefits and downsides of the HPA300, over several months of use.
Our Testing Process
At HouseFresh, we look at our testing from a consumer standpoint because that’s who we are, consumers. We wouldn’t be comfortable recommending a unit without being 100% confident that we are giving you the facts from our real-world performance testing.
We test all the air purifiers we review in the same room (sized 705 cubic ft) performing the same job (removing incense smoke). This allows us to match each purifier against others we own to give you realistic comparisons.
We use the PurpleAir PA-I Indoor PM 2.5 Sensor that has the ability to track PM1.0ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3, and PM10.0ug/m3 every few minutes.
We then use Flourish to visualize this data to help us work out how long it took this specific unit to remove all pollutants from the air.
We calculated the monthly energy consumption costs with the help of our air purifier electricity usage calculator. We calculated daily and yearly costs associated with running an air purifier for 24hs a day in California. You can customize the result by air purifier wattage and by state.
Last update on 2022-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API