Winix C555 vs 5500-2. Which to choose and why?

Last updated on Jul 26, 2021 Air Purifiers
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The world is evolving fast and this has led to a lot of toxic environmental waste and lots of air pollutants. Because of all this, it is becoming increasingly difficult to have safe air to breathe. We cannot control much about the degrading air quality in the world, but at least we can control the quality of the air in our homes using two of Winix's renowned air purifiers. We shall be exploring the winix c555 vs 5500-2.

All air purifiers share the same principle in how they work. They are equipped with a fan that sucks in the air to be filtered and then passes it through one or more filters. As the air goes through the filters, most of the organisms, dust, and any other large particles are trapped. This process therefore allows only the clean air back into the living space.

The filters all have varying functions and properties. This can be seen in the way they trap particles or even in their make and filter composition which is essential for trapping different particles at different stages. The first filter in an air purifier might only work on large particles like hair and carpet fiber. While the next one in line, removes organisms and mold, and the next one filters out odors. Just like most air purifiers, Winix uses the same principle only with more advanced technology.

This article focuses on two of Winix's top purifiers on the market, the Winix C555 and Winix 5500-2. We shall be discussing how each purifier functions, what special features it has, power consumption, performance and much more.

Let's dive in right away!

First off, how similar is the Winix C555 to the Winix 5500-2? Let's find out.

Auto mode & sleep mode

When both of these purifiers are first powered on, they are set to run in auto mode (unless manually turned off). Auto mode means that the purifier will run its fans basing on the level of pollutants in the air. It will automatically turn off when the pollutants are eliminated. When the sensor detects pollutants in the air, the purifier's fan speed adjusts accordingly.

As the air quality improves, the fan speed will be reduced. And if the air quality drops again, the fan speed increases automatically.

They also have a low-powered and energy-efficient sleep mode. In sleep mode, the fan continues to run at the lowest setting to continue providing fresh crisp breathable air. Apart from setting the purifier at the lowest noise level, sleep mode also turns the purifier's lights down.

Noise level

It is never preferable to have a very loud air purifier that even affects your concentration. Luckily, both of these purifiers are very quiet. On its lowest setting, the Winix 5500-2 runs at 27.8 decibels, and the Winix C555 runs at 28dB. When pushed to the highest setting, both of these purifiers go up to 54.8dB. This noise is barely inconveniencing in any setting. If you are looking for an air purifier for quiet places, any of these two will fit in perfectly. It won't affect your concentration but will continue to give you excellent results.

Remote control

image showing winix 5500 remote
winix 5500 remote

This is a very handy feature because it helps the user of the purifier not to move around so much to its change settings. By using the remote control, you can stay in one place and still have full control of your air purifier.

Smart Sensor

The smart sensor detects the level of pollutants in the air when the purifier is running in auto mode and will adjust the fan speed according to the level of pollutants. If the air is heavily polluted, the fan will run in turbo mode to give the user fresh air in a short time. And if the pollutants are very low, it will continue running at an appropriate fan speed to filter the air. Also, it displays the air quality on the Led indicator in a color-coded pattern for good(blue), fair(amber), and poor(red). Both purifiers have this sensor.

The Winix 5500-2 has an additional sensor called the ambient light sensor which detects when the light in the room changes. If the room darkens, the purifier will automatically set the fan speed to run at its lowest setting. It will also remove all the lights on the purifier so that the user can enjoy a comfortable uninterrupted sleep. However, if the room gets bright light again, the purifier may change its setting.

Air Quality LED indicator

The LED indicator is how the user is informed of the quality of the air in the living space. The led indicator displays air quality using preset color codes that are good(blue), fair(amber), and poor(red). The winix 5500-2 and the c555 also have an indicator that notifies when and if the filters need replacement.

Air Quality indicator
Air Quality indicator

Basic Timer

Both the c555 and 5500-2 purifiers feature a timer that can set the purifier to run for a specified time. The purifier has three-time settings that are 1hr, 4hrs, and also 8hrs. The purifier will run uninterrupted for the set period and then turn off automatically.

Warranty and support

The Winix c555 and Winix 5500-2 air cleaners both come with a two-year manufacturer's warranty.

During the warranty period, Winix is liable for any failures due to defects in production. The warranty does not cover poor usage of the purifier leading to its failure. Also, the Winix support call center team is available to answer any questions and provide guidance to users.

Filtration System

As you can already tell, these two air purifiers are similar in many ways. But for these two Winix purifiers, the winix c555 vs 5500-2, the filtration stages are different. The winix c555 has a 5 stage filtration system while the winix 5500-2 has a 4 stage filtration system.

Here is how the filtration system differs between these two air purifiers.

The Winix C555 has an advanced 5-Stage filtration system and here is how it works.


When the purifier is turned on, air flows through the fine mesh pre-filter. The pre-filter then traps all the large particles such as hair, carpet fibers, and dust. This pre-filter helps to prolong the life of the True HEPA filter. It is washable and can be used indefinitely as long as it is looked after well.

Activated carbon filter

The Activated carbon filter removes the bad and nasty odors in the living space for example cooking smells, tobacco smoke, and any others. This filter is made with granular carbon of a very high grade. The carbon helps with its efficiency in eliminating household odors.

winix c555 5_stage_air_purification
winix c555 5_stage_air_purification

True HEPA filter

The true HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter removes tiny pollutants. The pollutants include pet dander, pollen, mold, bacteria, dust mites. You can be sure that all airborne particles that are as small as 0.3 microns will be filtered. This filter is reported to have an over 90% success rate in removing pollutants in the air.

CleanCell Anti-Bacterial Treatment

The CleanCell Anti-Bacterial Treatment is not a physical filter but a coating on the HEPA filter. It prevents the growth of mold, fungi, and other microbial organisms on the true HEPA filter thus helping to prolong the life of the HEPA filter.

The PlasmaWave Technology

For better results, the PlasmaWave technology in the Winix C555 works together with the True HEPA filter for fresher crisp air. The combination of these two is what accounts for the efficiency of the Winix C555 air purifier.

PlasmaWave works on the concept of an ionizer that emits a small electric charge to attract opposite ions in the air. It breaks down the molecular structure of organisms that are in the air thus eliminating them.


The Winix's PlasmaWave technology does not emit large amounts of ozone which is considered harmful to human health in the long run. It produces small negligible amounts of ozone.  Also, the PlasmaWave technology on this device is purely optional and can be turned on and off. The other filters will continue to work to give you clean fresh breathable air.

The Winix 5500-2 on the other hand comes with a 4-stage filtration system and here is a description of each stage and how it works.

Permanent and washable mesh pre-filter

Just like the Winix C555, this filter is made of fine mesh and traps large particles. They include dust, pet hair, lint, and carpet fibers. This filter is permanent and should be cleaned often (at least every 14 days). This is because the more pollutants trapped in the filter, the less effective it becomes.

Replaceable and washable activated carbon filter

The Winix 5500-2 has a honeycomb-styled activated carbon filter made of granular carbon that is effective on all house-hold odors including tobacco smoke and any VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) or cooking smells.

The good news about this carbon filter is that it can be washed without affecting its efficiency. It is recommended that the carbon filter be washed every 3 months and replaced after 12 months. Here, we notice another difference, the winix 5500-2 has a washable carbon filter while the winix c555 does not have a washable carbon filter.

To wash this filter, only use room temperature water but no detergents or soaps.

5500_4 stage purification
5500_4 stage purification

Replaceable True HEPA filter

The True HEPA filter is made of fibrous media, to trap and remove 99.97% of air particles as small as 0.3 microns. Such particles include mold, pet dander, allergens, and any surviving micro bacteria.

Electronic PlasmaWave

The PlasmaWave uses the same technology as the Winix C555 to provide a final layer of filtration and air purification.

This purifier also has a dedicated button for activating PlasmaWave. To activate the feature, press the button. However, whenever the purifier is powered on, the PlasmaWave feature is also turned on and should be turned off manually if the user does not want it to run.

So, in summary, the winix c555 has a 5 stage filtration system while the winix 5500-2 has a 4 stage filtration system.

Winix C555 vs 5500-2 Power consumption

Another major difference in the winix c555 vs 5500-2 is the power consumption. The c555 consumes much less power when compared to the 5500-2.

The C555 draws 65 watts (at maximum fan speed) but also has a low-powered sleep mode that runs at the lowest setting hence conserving power.

The 5500-2 is not so far off too as it consumes 70 watts (Voltage: 120 V AC 60 Hz). The device's sleep and auto mode also help in saving power. Both devices are energy-star rated.

Winix C555 vs 5500-2 Room Coverage

Both devices are most effective when used in a room size of 360 square feet and the ratings of each are a very close. The fan on Winix c555 has four-speed settings and can filter the air in a room up to four times per hour. The CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of Winix C555 is 243 Dust/ 232 Smoke/ 246 Pollen (cfm).

The Winix 5500-2 on the other hand is verified by AHAM and does five clean air changes per hour (ACH) in the same 360 sq. ft room.

The air purifier has a CADR of 232 cfm smoke, 243 dust, 246 pollen  (cfm).

These CADR ratings are very similar and are considered very highly sufficient .

Pros of the Winix C555

  • Very low noise levels
  • A user interface that is user friendly
  • Very portable (6.9 kgs /15.4 lbs.) and 23.6 inches high) and has a hand grip for easy relocation.
  • Has an advanced 5 stage filtration system
the winix c555
The winix c555

Winix c555 Cons

  • Winix c555 replacement filters are very expensive and the device is not packed with extra filters.
  • Is not very effective in rooms much larger than 360 sq feet.
  • Only available in one color setting(white)

Winix 5500-2 Pros

  • Due to its washable carbon filters, it has a low maintenance cost
  • It activates sleep mode automatically when lights are turned off
  • Specially designed for pet owners
  • Has multiple color options.
The Winix 5500-2
The Winix 5500-2

Winix 5500-2 Cons

  • Only effective for small or medium-sized rooms
  • Has a 4-stage filtration system
  • The 5500-2 is a bit heavy (around 7.9 kgs or 17.6 lbs) when compared to the lighter C555.

Verdict of the Winix c555 vs 5500-2

In conclusion of the winix c555 vs 5500-2, we notice the Winix C555 and Winix 5500-2 are both equally efficient. You can mainly differentiate them by considering how much power each purifier consumes, how each purifier filters the air and what the purifiers' look like.

Therefore, if you are keen on how your air is being filtered and the steps it goes through to get the final product. Then, we would suggest you go for the winix c555. This is because the Winix C555 has a more advanced 5-stage filtration system unlike the winix 5500-2 which has 4 stage filtration system.

Otherwise, if the cost of maintenance is important to you, then we do suggest that you go for the winix 5500-2. This is because it will save you money in the long run. This is considering that Winix c555 has quite expensive filters and Winix 5500-2 has a reusable carbon filter which can last up to 12 months (unlike the usual policy to replace filters every 3 months). Also, the Winix 5500-2 is custom-made to be very efficient for pet owners.


How often do you need to replace Winix filters?

Winix recommends changing the carbon filter every three months (unless it is the Winix 5500-2 reusable carbon filter which is up to 12 months) and the true HEPA filter every 12 months. However, the average replacement time is 3 months.

How long do you need to run the air purifier for fresh clean air?

For the best results, the purifier should be left to run until it shuts itself off (when in auto mode). This means that the air has been completely cleaned.

Is it safe to leave the air purifier running all night?

Because of the auto mode and sleep mode, the air purifier automatically adjusts its settings and fan speed to enable the user to have a quiet uninterrupted sleep. Also, when in auto mode, the purifier will remember to shut off when the air is clean enough thus the sleeping person won't be interrupted at all. So, yes, it is safe to leave the air purifier on at night.

How do you know when the filters need replacing?

All Winix air purifiers have an automatic filter replacement indicator installed. When the filter replacement indicator lights, then this means that the filters need replacing or in some rare cases, cleaning.

How do I clean my reusable filters?

Use a vacuum cleaner or soft brush to clean the pre-filter. If it is very dirty, rinse in room temperature water. When cleaning the carbon filter, hold it under running room temperature water but do not apply any soap or detergent. Always allow the filters plenty of time to completely dry before using them again.

Where in my room do I place my air purifier for the best results?

The air purifiers work by removing particles from the air, but it won't help when these particles settle on hard surfaces like the floor. For best results, place the air purifier on a raised flat surface so it has a high vantage point to sense particles or even organisms before they settle down. Also, allow at least 12-18 inches of space between the purifier and other electronic devices.

Besides air purification, what else can you do?

Keep windows open for long periods to ease the circulation of air. Also, avoid smoking while inside the house to keep it smelling fresh.

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