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What Is A HEPA Vacuum Cleaner? And How Do HEPA Vacuums Work

Published by: Katherine Frame

What Is A HEPA Vacuum

People think that air pollution is likely to happen outdoors. But that’s not always the case! There are dust mites, pollen, pet hair, and mold that gets trapped easily in an enclosed space. 

Air pollution inside your house can inflame your lungs, leading to airborne diseases like allergies or asthma. The ordinary vacuum cleaner generally filters some of the dust and lets the rest of the air into the surroundings. 

If you have asthma or any airborne disease, then HEPA vacuums are your best friend. Let’s have a look at the HEPA vacuums in detail.

What Are HEPA Vacuums?

High-Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA is a type of air filter that removes 99.97% of pathogens (usually 0.3 microns in size) from the air. The HEPA grade is regulated by the United States Department of Energy and was commercialized in 1950. However, European manufacturers sometimes use a different rating system. 

dirty dust filter. vacuum cleaner filter on white background

The HEPA vacuum cleaner captures dust, dirt, bacteria, pollen, moisture, virus, and submicron liquid aerosol. 

Types of HEPA Filters

There are 6 types of HEPA filters from A, B, C, D, E & F according to the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (IEST).

Filter TypeEfficiency Ratings
A99.97%/ 0.3 um
B99.97%/ 0.3 um
C99.99%/ 0.3 um
D99.999%/ 0.3 um
E99.97%/ 0.3 um
F99.999%/ 0.1 to 0.2 um

Cost of HEPA Vacuums

When compared to ordinary vacuum cleaners, the HEPA vacuum models are more expensive. You can find your HEPA vacuum cleaner within a range of €150 to €1000, depending upon your needs and preferences. 

You need to clean the HEPA filters regularly, or you need to buy a replacement filter eventually. So make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Features to Look For In A HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

There are different shapes and sizes of HEPA vacuum cleaners available in the market. But, all of them do not have the same characteristics. The quality and efficiency of the vacuum cleaners depend entirely on the manufacturer. 

Here is a list of the features that you should look for in a HEPA vacuum cleaner before purchasing one for your home.

  • Check for the HEPA certification as it will ensure the performance of the vacuum cleaner.
  • Attachment to the HEPA vacuums should be suitable for easy and effective cleaning of the home.
  • Ensure that the HEPA filter generates 99.97% air displacement or has an S-class marked on the model.
  • There should be a powerful uniform rate of at least 90”. It will ensure that the power of the vacuum cleaner is maintained even if the dirtbag is full.
  • The HEPA vacuum cleaner should have a disposable dirtbag.
  • Check if the vacuum cleaner is portable, i.e., it is easy to clean the filters and ensures full bag disposal at any location.
  • The HEPA vacuums must have a multi-stage filtration system. It will remove the particles before reaching the HEPA filter, thereby increasing efficiency and diminishing energy consumption.
  • It should contain a HEPA filter monitoring system that will guide you at the time of filter replacement.

You can also check the HEPA vacuum user-friendliness and portability to move from one place to another.

How Do HEPA Vacuums Work?

HEPA filters are usually made up of borosilicate glass fibers, twisted and turned in countless directions. 

Since HEPA filters do not work like a net that allows only greater particles to filter, the dust particles stick to the fiber through direct impaction, sieving, interception, and diffusion.

  1. Large Particles — Since these particles are big enough, large particles get stuck as they pass through the HEPA filter. This process is known as straining. 
  2. Small Particles — Small particles fit between the cavity of the filter. They try to go with the flow of air around the HEPA filter fiber. As some of them could not move fast, they get stuck in the filter. This method is called interception.
  3. Tiny Particles — The fine particles are filtered through Brownian motion, a structure that reduces the speed of the particles when they hit the gas molecules. It makes them move in an unusual direction, and they get stuck into the fibers. It is called diffusion.

Does HEPA Vacuums Reduce Allergic Issues?

For allergic issues or asthma, HEPA vacuums are recommended as they help to get rid of allergic triggers like dust mites and pollen. You should change the filters of the vacuum cleaner after every six months. 

Make sure that you change the filters outside. If you do it indoors, the trapped dust particles may get released.

It is suggested to use HEPA vacuum cleaners to reduce the particles leading to allergy, asthma, and other respiratory diseases. 

You can ask someone to vacuum your house who is allergy-free. If there is no one to help, open the windows, wear a mask, and pull out of the room once you’re done. 


Every vacuum is designed for a selected flooring surface. The HEPA filters of the vacuum cleaner are structured to improve allergic conditions and designed to look into the hygiene of your home. You can also look for UV vacuums as they’re capable of removing dust mites and other harmful particles.


Are HEPA Vacuums worth it?

Yes, HEPA vacuums are worth the investment. It can remove 99.97% of dust and allergen particles that may have accumulated in your house. If you have asthma or any other respiratory problems, then HEPA vacuums are worth considering. HEPA vacuums are an essential tool to make your environment free from disease-causing pathogens.

Is Dyson a HEPA Vacuum?

Dyson vacuums are popularly known for their powerful suction. They are AAFA certified and do not have dust bags attached to them. Dyson vacuums use unique cyclonic technology to trap dust, dirt, pollens, and pet hair and offer various tools for proper cleaning. Thus, Dyson has whole machine HEPA filtration to provide clean air.

Are all vacuum bags HEPA?

All vacuum bags are not created equally. For example, some are made out of paper, while others are made from cloth-like structures. Therefore, the cloth-like composition dust bags have HEPA filters that clean out harmful particles that irritate the respiratory system.

What is HEPA vacuum bags made of?

HEPA vacuum bags are made up of polypropylene material. This material has remarkable filtration abilities aimed at improving the air quality of your house against harmful particles.

What is the difference between EPA and HEPA filters?

HEPA filters are more effective than EPA filters. As mentioned above, HEPA filters are capable of removing 99.97% of allergen particles from your house. On the other hand, EPA filters capture 85-99.5% of small particles.

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Article by:

Katherine Frame

Katherine Frame is a professional writer and reviewer who worked in higher education for eight years before working on The Hardware Hub. She has written for multiple home magazines and blogs.

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