Buying an air purifier can be a difficult task. There are literally hundreds of air purifiers on the market and each one is different in subtle ways from the next.

You may want a purifier that cleans large spaces or one that can clean smaller spaces really fast. You might be searching for an air purifier that runs quietly or one that makes a low quiet rumble for falling asleep to.

Whatever your needs are, you have probably come across one of the longest-produced air purifiers on the market, the Honeywell 50250-S.

It must be a good air purifier since it’s been in production for so long, but you may have other questions. “How long does the filter last?”, “Does it use a prefilter?”, “How many square feet can it clean?”. I’m going to answer all of these questions, and many more, in this complete review of the Honeywell 50250-S.

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Honeywell is one of those companies that just makes everything. From home security systems to mechanical parts of the International Space Station, Honeywell has some of the best engineers making amazing products in all industries. So, surely, they can handle making an amazing air purifier, right?

Of course, they can.

Honeywell 50250-S True HEPA Air Purifier, 390 sq. ft, White

The Honeywell 50250-S has been produced for over a decade, and many of those original units are still in use today. The design is simple but super effective, and you can thank the Honeywell engineers for that.

The Honeywell 50250-S uses two filtering stages to clean and purify the air in a room. The 50250-S works quickly and can handle large rooms with lots of pollen, dust, and other particles.

How Does the Honeywell 50250-S Work?

The Honeywell 50250-S is a true HEPA air purifier, and like others like it, the Honeywell 50250-S uses true HEPA and carbon prefilters. This two-stage filtering process is able to scrub out tiny particles like dust and smoke, and also to freshen the smell of the air by scrubbing it of bad odors.

The first filter layer is the carbon prefilter. This layer has large pores and is designed to catch larger things like pet hair and dust bunnies. Catching larger particles helps extend the life of the more expensive and more important HEPA filter. The prefilter also uses activated carbon to scrub the air of bad smells.

Activated carbon is basically a universal scrubber of nasty things, and it is usually one of the main ingredients of any serious filtering process. Just check your Brita filter if you have one; they use activated carbon to purify your drinking water.

The second filter is where all the important action happens. The large white filter that the Honeywell 50250-S uses is called a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. HEPA is a designation by the US Department of Energy, which states that it can filter 99.97% of particles larger than .3 microns. .3 microns is incredibly small. In fact, a particle that is .3 microns wide would be 250 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

The amazing filter power of the HEPA filter means that it can filter out pollen, dust, dander, and even smoke. In fact, rescue workers use masks with HEPA filters in order to filter dust, smoke, and debris.

Typically, an air purifier will have just one flat filter for sucking in air from one direction, but the Honeywell 50250-S uses large cylinder-shaped filters for pulling in air from all directions. This cylinder-shaped filter system has a number of advantages over other filters. One advantage is that the Honeywell 50250-S can cycle through a large amount of air because of the large surface area of its filters. Another advantage is that the Honeywell 50250-S can filter all the air in a room evenly since it pulls air from all sides.

The Honeywell 50250-S true HEPA air purifier is rated for 390 square feet. That is almost a twenty-by-twenty-foot room. The Honeywell 50250-S has one of the largest square footage ratings out there. Many people even use it in large open floor plans of 1,000 square feet. Of course, like all air purifiers, it works better in smaller spaces, but this one can handle more floor space than most.

How Do You Use the Honeywell 50250-S? Is it easy?

The Honeywell 50250-S is a very basic air purifier, so it has very basic settings. Of course, it can be turned off or on, and it has three settings for fan speed. The 50250-S can make a lot of noise on medium and high speed, so most people set it to low when they want a quieter environment. I would only use it on high speed if I really needed to clear out a room fast.

One really great feature of the Honeywell 50250-S is that it pulls in air from all sides. This gives you great flexibility for where you can place it to let it do its thing. Some air purifiers need to basically be in the middle of the room to work, but the 50250-S can be near a wall or next to a chair. Now, doing this will still reduce its performance, but it will work.

Also on top of the Honeywell 50250-S are two indicator lights for the filters. These lights will tell you when it’s time to change or clean your filter. When the light comes on, that means it’s time to inspect your filter, and there is one light for each. Usually, you will just need to clean the filters and you will need to replace them only occasionally.

Check out the quick video below to see the 50250 in action and a bit regarding how loud it is:

What Is the Cost of Filters, Where Do I Get Them, and How Often Do They Need to Be Changed?

You can clean the charcoal prefilter by vacuuming it off and then running it under some water, if you want. Be sure to wait until the prefilter is completely dry before reinstalling it! A wet prefilter will ruin your expensive HEPA filter! I recommend vacuuming your prefilter once every two weeks.

Every six months or so, it should be time to replace the carbon prefilter. It could be shorter or longer depending on how long it’s running and how dirty the environment is. You will know it’s time to change the prefilter when it stops eliminating smells or when you are unable to vacuum out the dirt and dust.

The prefilter has an MSRP of $20 but is usually listed for more than half that price on Amazon.

The HEPA filter shouldn’t need to be cleaned as often as the prefilter. It only needs to be cleaned about once a month. You should be more careful when cleaning this filter and you should absolutely NOT use water to clean it.

Water will ruin your HEPA filter, which is expensive to replace. You should only vacuum your HEPA filter and you should probably use one of those brush attachments. Don’t push the vacuum head in between the pleats because you will likely tear the filter.

The HEPA filter for the Honeywell 50250-S should last a VERY long time. Honeywell rates this filter to last three to five years, which is just about the longest-lasting HEPA filter I’ve ever heard of. With regular cleaning or light use, the filter should be able to last even longer than that.

When the time does eventually come to change the filter, you will want to make sure you get the right size. The Honeywell 50250-S uses a Honeywell 24000 replacement filter. It has an MSRP of $110, but don’t worry, you find this filter on Amazon for much cheaper. Also, you shouldn’t let the high cost of the filter worry you because you will only be buying a new one about every four years! Some air purifiers need a $25 filter every three to six months.

What Is the Warranty?

The Honeywell 50250-S has a five-year limited warranty.

What Are the Cons to Owning the Honeywell 50250-S?

One of the major disadvantages this air purifier has is that it is loud. Some people will find it annoying to use on high or even medium. But also some people will enjoy the soft white noise in the background. Another downside is that the Honeywell 50250-S doesn’t have as many features as some newer models, like timers and more speed settings.

How Does It Compare to other models?

Honeywell 50250-S vs 50150-N

As you have probably guessed, the only difference between these two models is their size. The 50250-S is rated for 390 square feet, while the 50150-N is rated for 225 square feet.

Honeywell 50250-S vs GermGuardian AC4825

These two air purifiers are very different. The main difference is the amount of space that each unit can purify. The Honeywell is rated for 390 square feet, while the GermGuardian is rated for 155 square feet.

Honeywell 50250-S vs 50255

As far as I can tell, the only difference between these two models is the color. The 50255 is black, while the 50250-S is white. However, it’s possible that the 50255 has been discontinued, since it isn’t even listed on Honeywell’s website. Even though the 50255 is still listed on Amazon, it would be safer to buy the 50250-S since we know it is still sold and supported by Honeywell.

Honeywell 50250-S vs 50250-N

It is very interesting to ask about the difference between these two models. According to what I was able to find online (which isn’t much), it seems that the 50250-N, which advertised a “lifetime filter,” was discontinued and replaced by the 50250-S, which advertised a “long-lasting filter.” Other than the advertising and the name, these models are identical.

Honeywell 50250-S vs HPA 200

There are a number of differences between the 50250-S and the HPA 200. The HPA 200 can’t handle as large of an area as the larger 50250-S; 310 square feet versus 390 square feet. Another difference is that the HPA 200 has a few more features, like a timer for two, four, and eight hours. The HPA 200’s filter also doesn’t last as long as the filter on the 50250-S. The HPA 200’s filter will only last about six months to a year. The Honeywell 50250-S is really made for people who want to run their air purifier 24/7, whereas the HPA 200 is more for people who only want to run it for a few hours at a time.

Honeywell 50250-S vs HPA 300

The HPA 300 is really no different feature-wise than the HPA 200, but it is larger. The HPA 300 covers a much larger area than the 50250-S. The HPA 300 covers 465 square feet compared to the 390 square feet of the 50250-S. Of course, the 50250-S is made to run all day, every day, and the filter doesn’t need to be replaced as often.

Honeywell 50250-S vs Honeywell Allergen Plus

Why buy a Honeywell 50250-S over replacing your home filter with a Honeywell Allergen Plus filter? Well, the Honeywell Allergen Plus is not a true HEPA filter. Smoke, dust, and even pet dander can still get through an Allergen Plus air filter. The only choice for those who want absolutely crisp, clear air is to get a true HEPA filter air purifier.


The Honeywell 50250-S is the perfect “set-it-and-forget-it” air purifier. Because of its ability to purify a large area, its ability to run all day, and how it pulls air in from all directions, it is great to just let sit and run 24/7.

Where Can You Buy the Honeywell 50250-S and How Much Does It Cost?

You can find the Honeywell 50250-S at most stores like Walmart, Newegg, and Amazon. The Honeywell website has a listed MSRP of $200; however, you can find it for a much cheaper price on Amazon.

Click Here to See the 50250-S on Amazon

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