Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Cabin filters are elements of the air conditioning system that clean the flowing air from harmful impurities. In the modern environmental situation, such filters are an integral attribute of the car, since they help to create a comfortable air environment in the cabin, protecting the health of the driver and passengers from the effects of toxins.
More recently, the excitement around cabin filters was not so great, and no more than 20 companies around the world were engaged in their manufacture. Today, their number has increased by about 5 times, but not everyone manages to withstand quality standards. In this regard, the magazine's team has prepared a rating of the best manufacturers of cabin filters, based on feedback from consumers and a circle of in-house experts. The main evaluation criteria were:
- the cost of a line of dust and carbon filters;
- the vastness of the brand range;
- average service life of products.
- How to choose a cabin filter
- Which cabin filter to choose: charcoal or regular?
- Rating of the best manufacturers of cabin filters
- Knecht MAHLE
How to choose a cabin filter
Choosing a cabin filter for a car is a very complex process that does not have any benchmarks for standard indicators. Due to the specifics of the products, it is very difficult to highlight the key characteristics, but the editors managed to collect 9 very important recommendations for you.
- When choosing a cabin filter, be sure to start from the catalog number of the original product. However, it is advisable to purchase not originals, but analogs from well-known manufacturers. Such a choice will allow not only to save well (about 50-75%), but also provide no less high-quality air purification for a long time.
- Make sure the filter you purchased fits correctly into the seat. Pay attention to the tightness of its fastening and the absence of strong curvature of the tissue plates. Give preference to models that have body reinforcement elements in the form of glued corners or plastic (rubber) frames.
- The filter material must be specially treated. The fan-side portion is usually surface laminated. This is necessary in order to avoid the ingress of lint into the ventilation, otherwise they can both cause pollution of the running air (and, moreover, a powerful allergen), and reduce the performance of the entire air conditioning system.
- A large box is not always a sign of a fake. Many manufacturers deliberately increase the size of their packing boxes to reduce the chances of damage to cabin filters during transportation and storage. However, many users mistakenly perceive this precaution as a fact of falsification.
- Airflow direction marking is a very convenient thing. It avoids the hassle of incorrectly fitting the filter. Therefore, we advise you to give preference to those products that have the designations “Top” and “Bottom”.
- The presence of activated carbon is more than just a publicity stunt. Everyone knows firsthand about the benefits of activated carbon in the absorption of certain gases, including nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbon compounds. So if maintaining health is not just empty words for you, and you are ready to spend a little more money, then we strongly recommend purchasing carbon filters.
- The weight of the charcoal filter is a very important characteristic. In general, the higher its mass, the more activated carbon the fabric plates can contain.
- When buying a charcoal filter, be sure to check the integrity of the packaging. The fact is that the presence of through holes in a paper box or polyethylene can provoke “exhalation” of a certain portion of activated carbon due to the creation of an air flow. Hence, the obviously lower working life, and possible mechanical damage.
- We strongly do not recommend measuring the filter life in kilometers of mileage – this approach does not work with these products. The characteristics of their durability are influenced by a lot of indicators, such as gas and dustiness of the locations through which you have to move, as well as the operating modes of the air conditioner. According to this logic, the most optimal resource criterion is the period of operation, and, from personal experience, say: the average resource of any filter (simple or coal) will vary from 9 to 12 months.
Which cabin filter to choose: charcoal or regular?
Conventional (anti-dust) filter
+ Low purchase cost
+ Cleans the air from spores, bacteria and pollen – hypoallergenic
+ Is a barrier for large and small debris
+ Allows you to use the air conditioning fan when driving through a tunnel or when a car is idle in a traffic jam
+ Prevents glass fogging
– Does not block odors
– Does not retain air toxins
+ Well removes foreign odors and neutralizes volatile toxins
+ Promotes the conversion of ozone to oxygen
+ Provides fine air purification from harmful substances almost in full (95-99%)
+ Similar to a conventional filter, it prevents glass fogging and allows you to use the air conditioner in idle situations and when driving on “closed” road sections
– High price
Rating of the best manufacturers of cabin filters
|Rating of the best manufacturers of cabin filters||1||Mann||5.0|
Mann's Czech cabin filter is the best in the segment at the moment. The company has always been famous for its very high-quality production of elements for cleaning industrial fluids and air, so our verdict should not be a revelation. Ideal combination of performance and price, low scrap rates and market prevalence. However, let's move on to the numbers.
A typical Mann filter has an average dust transmission rate of 5.9% – just 0.1% lower than the Russian-Chinese RAF. The area of the cleaning curtain is 0.206 square meters, and the aerodynamic resistance varies from 30 to 137 millimeters of water column as the resource is depleted. Thus, we have a very accurate analogue of the mentioned element from RAF … but at half the price. Unambiguous first place.
- The optimum ratio of price and quality;
- one of the lowest dust transmission rates – 5.9%;
- good aerodynamic resistance throughout the entire period of operation;
- low level of production defects;
- prevalence in Russia.
- not found.
RAF Filter is the very case when the collaboration of Russian and Chinese manufacturers managed to impose serious competition on the world's strongest brands. Their cabin filters cannot be called budgetary: 950 rubles on average and the second most expensive indicator after DENSO. There are two reasons for this:
Firstly, manufacturers have introduced as many as 3 layers into the filter: antibacterial (aka antifungal), carbon and antiallergenic, which blocks various pathogens. No wonder that, according to the test results, the dust transmission of this filter was the smallest: only 5.8%!
Secondly, the average area of the filter curtain (0.203 square meters) was not a problem for good aerodynamic drag. In the contaminated form, the resistance value in the filter reached 139 millimeters of water column, which indicates that contamination was properly retained by the existing layers.
Abstracting from the high price, let's say: RAF is a brand worthy of the second place in the ranking.
- the lowest dust transmission coefficient (only 5.8% of the total mass);
- the presence of three absorbent layers (antibacterial, carbon, antiallergenic);
- good indicators of aerodynamic resistance;
- high quality workmanship.
- high price.
The German-Bulgarian production of Knecht MAHLE has presented the car community with a lot of very high-quality consumables, including cabin filters. In terms of technical indicators, they are almost identical to the Japanese DENSO, as you will see after the above test results, but the European footprint makes itself felt (in terms of stricter quality standards).
With a filter curtain surface of 0.248 square meters, the MAHLE filter has a dust transmission of 8.1% on average – exactly the same as the Asian counterpart, down to the smallest operating parameters. The only difference is the aerodynamic drag in the dirty form – here it is equal to 97 millimeters of water column. Thus, we can conclude that this candidate looks a little more convincing at the stage of the full development of the resource, and the price is very pleasing to the buyers. Unambiguous third place.
- favorable combination of price and quality;
- small percentage of rejects in the manufactured batch;
- 8.1% dust leakage;
- optimal fine cleaning area.
- for their operational conditions – not revealed.
Cabin filters from DENSO can be called “first line products” – those that pass the 10% mark (8.1% to be exact). They are more expensive than all competitors in terms of rating, but they cope with their functions almost better than others. The average price tag of 1,200 rubles is further proof of this. True, despite this, according to sales statistics, they are only slightly inferior to German brands (Bosch and Corteco).
DENSO's standard filter curtain surface area is 0.248 square meters – second only to Corteco, multiplied by a much higher filtration performance. In terms of resistance, everything is also in order (90 millimeters of water column in a polluted form), which causes free air penetration even at the end of the working resource. Based on the results of the review, we cannot put the Japanese brand in first place, but we will give the fourth line with great pleasure.
- ideal indicators of air throughput even with severe pollution;
- large filtering surface area;
- 8.1% dust leakage;
- optimal workmanship;
- availability of absorbent carbon filters in the range.
- high price.
Bosch's fifth place in the ranking is due to the averaging of all key performance indicators and consumer popularity. True, behind the loud statements in the spirit of “100% cleaning up to the removal of microorganisms” there is a marketing line: German manufacturers themselves realize that their products will not master such indicators.
The standard filtration area of Bosch cabin filters is 0.244 square meters. This is a lot, but all the more interesting because the dust transmission coefficient turned out to be quite high and amounted to 11.1%, according to field tests. But the indicators of the aerodynamic resistance of the filters before and after operation, equal to 30 and 66 millimeters of a water column, respectively, were certainly pleased. The overall high level of the product is crowned by an acceptable price – an average of about 600 rubles for the current market.
- acceptable price;
- the best indicator of air resistance for pollution in the rating;
- extensive filtration area;
- prevalence in the Russian market.
- high dust transmission coefficient (11.1%).
Another German brand that produces consistently high quality air filters. The average cost for Corteco products is comparable to Bosch, as is the balance of performance with a slight variance. The brand in question relies heavily on increasing the filtering area, and this lures unintelligible users to its side. Logically, overestimation of this parameter should directly affect the quality of cleaning … but the dependence does not work. 0.270 square meters of filtering area passes on average up to 10.9% of dust, which is typical for the middle peasants, but not for a full-fledged leader of the rating.
Corteco's airflow resistance, however, is almost perfect. In clean and contaminated conditions, this indicator is equal to 30 and 77 millimeters of mercury, respectively – compared to competitors, the company is second only to the aforementioned Bosch. Yes, this brand does not present any miracles, but its balance allows it to remain among the deserved leaders of the segment.
- high quality workmanship, low rejection rate (1% of the total number of products);
- good aerodynamic resistance when clean and dirty;
- favorable purchase price;
- large filtering area.
- not the most optimal dust protection parameters, even despite the large filtration area.
Saloon filter of Slovenian production, the working qualities of which fully correspond to the declared value. You shouldn't expect much from it, as well as hope that its resource will last for a year of use. As practice shows, it is better to replace it at the end of the 8th month, fortunately, the average market 400 rubles allow it to be done.
From the technical indicators of standard FRAM packet filters, 10.6% dust transmission can be distinguished at 0.198 squares of the operating curtain area. Not the best result in the rating, but it still surpasses many more popular rivals. But the air pressure when contaminated rises from the nominal 34 to 100 millimeters of water column, slightly complicating the supply in the later stages of operation. The filters look a little worse than their German counterparts, and therefore the seventh place in the rating will be very useful.
- profitable price;
- balanced flow pressure on the element when it is dirty;
- high popularity in the budget segment.
- insufficient dust protection;
- reduced intervals of the recommended replacement.
Fortech cabin filters have long established themselves as stable air conditioning elements, the service life of which is calculated for 1 year of reliable operation. Today, the most popular options are coal models in various types of performance – domestic motorists increasingly prefer them to original factory filters.
Due to the variety of the assortment, it is very difficult to give an accurate description of the brand itself – approximately 80% of users are satisfied with the result, noting only a slight decrease in air flow. According to the official reports of the conducted research, the curtains take up about 91-93% of the dust – the rest goes into the salon. The result against the background of competitors is not bad, if not for one “but”. Proven as one of the most popular brands, Fortech has attracted the attention of counterfeit companies actively supplying the market with second-rate counterfeits.
- acceptable pricing policy;
- good quality of the original product;
- a large concentration of carbon filters in the range;
- dust transmission coefficient varies from 7 to 9%;
- increased interchange intervals.
- the presence of counterfeits on the market in large quantities, which significantly harms the brand image.
Filtron is a Polish manufacturer of filter elements for fuel supply and air conditioning systems, whose products are renowned as one of the most affordable. The range of filters includes many variations of anti-dust and carbon models – with additional bridges, stiffeners, increased curtain areas, segmental, etc.
A standard test sample from Filtron at an average cost of 210 rubles showed very unexpected test results: 9.8% dust leakage and 117 millimeters of water pressure in the contaminated form. True, the intervals between shifts sometimes do not exceed 6-7 months, which ultimately negates the benefits and raises them to the category of conventional models.
- a wide range of cheap filter elements;
- acceptable operating parameters throughout the entire service life.
- mediocre air purification with a number of budget filters (9.8% of the passage of suspended particles on average);
- the need for more frequent replacements.
AMD is positioned as a company that produces the cheapest products, for which competitors do not like it very much and users adore it. The average price for their cabin filters is 200 rubles, which is three times cheaper than that of Corteco. However, there is nothing to be surprised at, especially if you look at the indicators in real operation.
The filtering surface area of the AMD reference sample is 0.166 square meters, with a dust leakage rate of 17.8%. For comparison, Mann and RAF have this figure of only 5.9% – as they say, comments are superfluous. But not everything is as bad as it seems at first glance: the aerodynamic resistance of the new AMD filters does not exceed 31 millimeters of mercury. Yes, due to all the circumstances, it is impossible to assign a high place to the company, but largely due to the low price, it still gets into our rating.
- the cheapest products;
- reference aerodynamic parameters of clean filters.
- the efficiency of dust protection of products is 3 times lower than that of competitors;
- poor aerodynamics of filters in a dirty state;
- small filtration area.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.