If you did no more than look at a photo you might not see any difference between the Winix FresHome P450, the P300, and the P150. In fact, while they house substantially similar technology, they offer equally substantial differences in specs and air purifying power.
|FresHome P150||FresHome P300||FresHome P450|
|Room Size||Up to 150 sq. ft.||Up to 300 sq. ft.||Up to 450 sq. ft.|
|CADR|| - 103 Pollen|
- 98 Dust
- 98 Smoke
| - 214 Pollen|
- 197 Dust
- 197 Smoke
| - 343 Pollen|
- 298 Dust
- 291 Smoke
|Filtration|| 3 stages: |
- HEPA Filter
| 3 stages: |
- HEPA Filter
| 3 stages: |
- HEPA Filter
|Filter Replacement Indicator|
|CFM (cubic feet per minute)||25 - 45 - 70 - 99||40 - 90 - 140 - 195||50 - 110 - 175 - 290|
|dB Rating (lowest - highest)||26 - 52||26 - 55||27 - 60|
|H x W x D (in.)||18.5" x 13.8" x 9.1"||21.7" x 16.3" x 10.4"||25.6″ x 18.9″ x 11.8″|
|Where to Buy?||Best Price||Best Price||Best Price|
The basic case design of all three models – the Winix P450, the P300, and the P150 – is very much the same. That’s why it’s easy to be fooled by a photo. Each is a modified black-striped white rectangle with the panel on the top. But even in this area the differences become clear with a closer look.
- The P450 measures: 18.9″ wide x 25.6″ high x 11.8″ deep, while
- the P300 measures: 16.3″ wide x 21.7″ high x 10.4″ deep, and
- the P150 measures: 13.8″ wide x 18.5″ high x 9.1″ deep.
Those figures might give you the impression that the P150 and P300 are just scaled down versions of the P450, and in a way that’s right. After all, the weights go from:
- P450 = 19.40 lbs
- P300 = 13.95 lbs
- P150 = 11.15 lbs
But size (and weight) can be misleading. The difference in case volume and mass signal far more than just corner space required or ease of movement. Inside, where it counts, there are considerable differences in the three models.
Air Power, Coverage, and CADRs
Far more significant than mere size variations in the latest Winix air purifier models are the differences in how much air they can cleanse and how quickly. You see that right away in the air processing volume spec for each model, the CFM (cubic feet per meter) of air each one pumps. The figures vary for each model, naturally, depending on fan speed. Here they are:
- P450 – 50 (Quiet), 110 (Med), 175 (High), 290 (Turbo)
- P300 – 40 (Quiet), 90 (Med), 140 (High), 195 (Turbo)
- P150 – 25 (Quiet), 45 (Med), 70 (High), 99 (Turbo)
You can see at a glance that the differences are not trivial and far from gradual. Even on the lowest speed, for example, it jumps 60% from the P150 to the P300. Similarly, the jump from the P300 to the P450 at the highest speed is almost 50%.
Looked at that way, it’s not surprising then that the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) numbers follow a similar pattern.
- P450 – 298 (Dust), 291 (Smoke), 343 (Pollen)
- P300 – 197 (Dust), 197 (Smoke), 214 (Pollen)
- P150 – 98 (Dust), 98 (Smoke), 103 (Pollen)
We can see here just how weak is the P150 in comparison to the other two FresHome models. That difference alone suggests that model really isn’t a worthwhile choice except possibly to purify the smallest of rooms. That hint is confirmed when we look at the area ratings for each model.
- P450 – 450 square feet (~21 ft x 21 ft)
- P300 – 300 square feet (~17 ft x 17 ft)
- P150 – 150 square feet (~12 ft x 12 ft)
Keep in mind, all ratings assume a standard ceiling height of 8 feet.
So, it might seem that the P150 would be a good choice for an ordinary home office, and it might well be. But bear in mind also that the actual area purified is usually a little less in real-world use than these ratings state. So, unless you have a very small room, and it can be kept purified continually with only very modest effort, the P150 simply isn’t going to have enough ‘oomph’ to do the job.
Well, at least it’s not hard to see where the Winix models get their names.
3-Stage Filtration Systems
Fortunately, despite their considerable and important differences, the technology each Winix model uses is still very much present in each one.
Stage 1 consists of a carbon pre-filter that helps remove the largest particles. That performs an important air cleansing function all its own – besides hair and lint, it filters out many household odors, for example. But it has an equally important purpose: to help the later stages work more efficiently.
Stage 2 is critical, since that one houses the True HEPA filter that makes all these air purifiers more than simply room fresheners. A True HEPA has to filter out at least 99.97% of particles no larger than 0.3 microns in size to qualify for the label. The special material and thousands of folds are what scour out pet dander, mold spores, and other airborne allergens.
Stage 3 is where the real differentiator of a Winix resides, though. This is the company’s proprietary PlasmaWave technology. It’s far more than just a marketing buzzword. For a more detailed explanation of how it works read the Winix P450 review.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is noise level. That’s because it really doesn’t matter much here. True, the P150 puts out only 52 db on Turbo but the P450 is only moderately louder at 60 db. The P300 comes in at 55 db.
The numbers aren’t linear, so don’t be misled. You can definitely hear the P450 working when it’s running at the highest speed. But even this high-end model working as hard as it can is far from deafening. Keep it across the room from the couch near the TV and you probably won’t mind the noise.
Automation and Remote Control
Other aspects of the P150, P300, and P450 matter even less. They all use essentially the same sensors. All of them monitor the air flow and kick up to the higher speeds automatically, as needed. They all house the same controls to do that manually, if you prefer. They all offer the same fine visual indicators on the top panel.
There is one difference between the P150 and the P300 or P450 that might push some buyers away from the smallest unit, even aside from the room size/CADR issue. The P150 does not come with the remote control unit. How important that is will vary from one person to the next, of course, but for those who have difficulty getting around it can be a dealmaker.
A careful examination of the specs – and real-world use – of the Winix FresHome P150, P300, and P450 air purifiers shows they differ in much more than just size. Even discounting room area coverage, the P150 comes up short. That leaves the P300 and P450 as viable choices. There, it’s simply the usual tradeoff between price versus performance required. Let your budget and circumstances be your guide.