The Best Cabin Air Filters
Your car’s cabin air filter helps to filter the air that enters your vehicle through the heating and air conditioning system. Things like dirt, dust, pollen and other airborne debris get trapped in the filter so you don’t ingest them as you drive. They are particularly important for those with allergies or breathing sensitivities, as well as those who spend a great deal of time in their vehicle.
You’re better off to purchase a cabin air filter off Amazon or online, as quick oil change shops in your area are likely to overcharge you for the unit and installation. They are also easy to shop for and easy to install, so you don’t have to worry about ordering the wrong part or not being able to install it.
We’re going to go over some of the best cabin air filters and brands to ensure you can breathe clean when in your car.
Table of contents
- EPAuto Replacement Cabin Filter With Activated Carbon
- EcoGard Premium Cabin Air Filter
- Mann Activated Carbon Filter
- Potauto Cabin Air Filter
- K&N Washable Reusable Cabin Air Filter
- TYC Replacement Air Filter
- AC Delco Cabin Filters
- ATP Automotive Carbon Activated Air Filter
- PurolatorONE Cabin Air Filter
- Bosch Carbon Activated Cabin Air Filter
- Recent Updates:
- Our Final Verdict
These cabin air filters, which are available for a variety of popular vehicle makes including Honda, Chevrolet and Toyota, are high quality and will perform better than a generic cabin filter from a local quick oil change shop and even some OEM filters.
The secret to EPAuto’s design is in the activated carbon. The carbon helps to filter out pollutants and other unwanted airborne material. The paper is also of a high-quality feel compared to the thin, cheaper paper material that other cabin filters use.
EPAuto recommends users replace these cabin filters every 12,000 miles or every 12 months – whichever comes first.
Available for many makes, carbon activated filter, high quality paper, inexpensive
Better quality filters exist
Good inexpensive option
The EcoGard Premium Cabin Air Filter is offered in vast variety of shapes and sizes to fit a number of vehicles both new and old.
This no-frills filter installs easily into any vehicle and comes with detailed instructions specific to your vehicle. Like most quality cabin filters, it will not only ensure fresh air reaches your car’s interior through the HVAC system, it will ensure the longevity of your car’s HVAC by promoting regular airflow.
Inexpensive, offered for a wide variety of vehicles
Not carbon activated
A no-frills filter that is good for the budget conscious consumer
Mann’s Activated Carbon Filter is also offered for a variety of different makes and models and is great for Audi and Volkswagen owners and owners of other German vehicle brands.
This activated carbon filter helps to filter out pollen and pollutants and will ensure your car’s cabin air stells clean. Mann claims it has the “greatest filtration efficiency through a combination of mechanical and electrostatic attraction,” and that it will provide “optimum ventilation” thanks to its minimal resistance. Mann also promises consistent filtration performance throughout the entire service interval – which should be about 1 year.
Inexpensive, carbon activated, good air flow
Not offered for as many vehicles as some other filters
A good budget filter, particularly for VW/Audi owners
This inexpensive cabin air filter is a great buy for the money. Not only is it extremely inexpensive compared to some competing products, but it will last up to 15,000 miles, or just over a year. If you’re operating on a tight budget and don’t want to bother with a carbon filter, scented filter or a reusable filter, this inexpensive and disposable unit from Potauto should do the job just fine.
Like many others on this list, it’s available for a wide variety of makes and models and should be compatible with most mainstream popular vehicles.
Simple and inexpensive, offered for a large number of makes and models
Not carbon activated, cheaper feeling
A good budget filter
K&N’s Washable and Reusable Cabin Air Filter is unique in that it can be washed and reused once it gets clogged up with dirt, pollen, pollutants, and gunk.
While it is more expensive than a non-reusable filter, you won’t have to spend $10-$20 each year replacing it. When the service interval has arrived, simply remove the filter, rinse it off and throw it back in your car and truck. It also reduces waste in addition to saving you time and money.
Some users report K&N’s reusable filter emits a strange rubbery smell into the cabin, which eventually fades after a few weeks. This can allegedly be traced back to the rubber framing that surrounds the filter.
K&N makes the reusable and washable filter for a variety of vehicles.
Reusable and washable, good for environment
Expensive, rubber smell when new
A good earth-friendly alternative
TYC’s replacement air filters are of original equipment quality and are ideal for a number of vehicles. It will eliminate nearly all pollutants and ensure your car’s HVAC system stays smelling clean. It’s also sold in packages of two, making it one of the best deals on this list. It will fit just like the OEM filter on your vehicle.
TYC recommends its filters be replaced every 12,000 miles.
Inexpensive, simple filters
Not offered for a large variety of makes and models
Good option if TYC filters fit your vehicle
AC Delco Cabin Filters
AC Delco’s cabin filters are simple, inexpensive and offered for a very large variety of vehicles. They are General Motors-recommended part as well, so if you have a Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac or other GM product, you might want to look at an AC Delco filter.
The filters feature multiple layers that help to trap large and small debris, along with smaller airborne material and particles. They will perform similarly or identically to the OEM filter in your GM car. It is also compatible with a number of popular GM vehicles such as the Cruze.
Good for GM vehicles, simple, inexpensive
Not an activated carbon filter
Simple, inexpensive filters for GM products
ATP Automotive Carbon Activated Air Filter
ATP Automotive is a lesser known brand compared to K&N or Fram, but this inexpensive carbon air filter works just as well as others.
With a highly porous coconut shell based carbon filtration system, this filter will trap all unwanted smells, material and pollutants and will ensure your car’s HVAC system retains optimal airflow. It’s also easy to change and includes detailed instructions specific to your vehicle. Like many other filters on this list, the ATP filter will save you money and is extremely easy to install.
Inexpensive carbon activated filter
Lesser known brand, not as many vehicle applications as other filters
An inexpenisve activated carbon filter that will work as advertised if it will fit your vehicle
PurolatorONE Cabin Air Filter
The PurolatorONE Cabin Air Filter is very inexpensive but is perhaps not as good of a deal as other air filters on this list. While it will still work as advertised, its flimsy construction can make installation a bit of a hassle. We’d only recommend going with this filter if you cannot find a well-priced alternative from a more well-known brand.
That said, the PurolatorONE filter should work just fine on all compatible vehicles and will fit just like your OEM filter.
Inexpenisve and simple
Flimsy construction, lesser known brand
A good cheap filter, but similarly priced alternatives may be better
Bosch’s carbon activated cabin air filter is ideal for German vehicles and works just as well as any of the other carbon activated filters on this list.
The well-known German supplier’s carbon air filters are a tiny bit pricier than some alternatives, but you’re guaranteed an OEM-like fit for your German car. With four layers of filter and a sturdy plastic casing, this filter is of high-quality and will filter out all unwanted materials and pollutants. If you have a German car, Bosch is a good option, just like the Mann filters mentioned above.
Sturdy, carbon activated filter, ideal for German cars
Limited compatible makes and models
A good filter from a reputable company that is ideal for German makes and models
June 03, 2022: Removed dead link, product no longer available.
Our Final Verdict
Most cabin air filters are very similar and will work as advertised. Some may last longer than others, such as K&N's reusable filter, whereas others attempt to go above and beyond with carbon filters. The most important thing is that you pick a cabin air filter that works for your car (Amazon makes it easy with their in-site vehicle lookup tool) and that it fits similar to the OEM filter. You'll also want to ensure you can locate the correct instructions on how to install the filter, but this shouldn't be an issue for most mainstream vehicles.
More by AutoGuide.com Staff