What Is A True HEPA Filter? is there any Difference Between true hEPA and HEPA?

Last Updated on April 1, 2024

Among many options for air filters, HEPA filters are undoubtedly at the top of the list. So, what is a true HEPA filter?

A True HEPA filter is basically a filtration machine and is a type of HEPA filter. This is the only HEPA that has reached the DOE (Department of Energy) standard. DOE has certified it as a highly efficient filter that is effective at cleaning any particles.

Unlike most HEPA filters, it can capture particles smaller than 0.3 microns. 

So, want to know more about True HEPA filters and how it helps you? Well, then binge on till the very end.


HEPA filters are popular worldwide due to their 99.97% pollutants capturing capability. Its technology is the most used air filtering method in both commercial and residential atmospheres.

However, a True HEPA is one step ahead of other HEPA Filters as they reach DOE standards. 

The HEPA filters without DOE certifications aren’t true. Their efficiency level is limited to 0.3 microns. These can’t capture particles smaller than bacteria, while a true HEPA can. 

Moreover, if you conduct any third-party verification on a true HEPA, it will hit the highest efficiency level. Thus, you can be assured that it’s a true HEPA with DOE  standards. The difference between these two types is also reflected in their duration of working hours. 

Moreover, HEPA takes more time than true HEPA to purify the surrounding atmosphere. And even if you don’t run a true HEPA all day long, it will still offer the best results.

Types of HEPA Filters 

All HEPA filters aren’t the same. Each of them has different characteristics. Mainly there are three types of HEPA filters. Let’s check those out to see which one is ideal for your needs and requirements.


HEPA-type and HEPA-like HEPA filters are the ones that don’t reach DOE standards. They are not likely to offer 97.99 % efficiency either. So, you can expect the highest of 90% effectiveness from these. 

But while buying this type, be careful enough. Fake sellers may manipulate you and sell low-quality fragile filters in the name of these. 

True HEPA Filter

True HEPA filters are the best of all. Although HEPA without true works fine, too, this type cleans the air thoroughly, leaving zero airbornes. Its 97.99% efficiency can eliminate particles of 0.1 microns in size. 

H13 Medical Grade HEPA

It is an exceptionally upgraded version of HEPA filters, mostly used in hospitals. Hence the name Medical-grade HEPA. Although it works much better than true HEPA, it isn’t available for household usage. That’s why true HEPA is still the most widespread one. 

video credit: EBP Supply Solutions

What Is the Difference Between Medical Grade HEPA, True HEPA, and HEPA-type? 

H13 HEPA filters are more advanced than true or any other HEPA filter. The main difference lies in their airborne capturing capacity. If you compare true and H13 HEPA, you’ll find true HEPA-capturing particles that are 0.1-03 microns in size, while H13 can trap airbornes smaller than 0.1 microns. 

Additionally, H13 filters are certified to provide more than 99.95% purification capacity. This is what makes it the most powerful HEPA, which must be used in the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) required areas. 

However, this air filter can be surrounded by people with complex illnesses such as allergies and asthma. And H13 HEPA isn’t DOE-certified, but true HEPA is. Still, true offers 97.99% efficiency, which clearly can’t beat H13’s high-efficiency level.

And it’s obvious that H13 HEPA filters are more expensive than true HEPA filters. The bottom line is, installing an H13 HEPA in a house is pretty difficult. Even though a true HEPA is less effective than H13 HEPA for domestic usage, true HEPA filters are the best fit. 

On the contrary, unlike H13 HEPA or True HEPA, HEPA-type filters aren’t verification-certified filters. They just happen to have the basic HEPA features. And the primary difference lies between the efficiency level of HEPA-type and H13 or True HEPA. HEPA-type can’t offer more than 95% of filtration efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between HEPA and True HEPA Filters?

A true HEPA filter will hit DOE standards and the 97.99% threshold. But regular HEPA filters aren’t DOE-certified. Plus, they can’t offer more than 96% of efficiency. They can’t capture particles smaller than 0.3 microns either, while a HEPA with DOE certification can. 

  1.  Is HEPA 13 the same as True HEPA?

No, it isn’t. H13 filters are used in hospitals and not in residential areas, unlike true HEPA. They are meant to capture particles smaller than 0.1 microns, but a true HEPA filter can’t do so. H13’s highest efficiency will offer you up to 99.95% efficiency.

On the contrary, a true HEPA can’t offer more than a 97.99% cleaning level. 

  1.  MERV Rating is a True HEPA Filter?

A true HEPA filter hits a 17 MERV rating as it hits 97.99% of efficiency. It is one of the world’s highest MERV-rated filters. And you can make it go through any verification test; it will get you clearance.

  1. Are True HEPA filters safe?

Many competitors accuse HEPA of leaving small fibers in the air, which are harmful to everyone. But true HEPA has gone through verifications like DOE and many other scientific studies, proving that true HEPA filters are 100% safe and don’t release harmful particles but purify the air. 

  1.  Are True HEPA filters good?

Undoubtedly they are. After H13, it is the only filter that guarantees to eliminate allergens smaller than 0.3 microns in size. As you can’t offer an H13 to an allergy or asthma affected in the home, you can install this one instead. You can expect up to 97.99% efficiency from this wonderful filter. 

  1. How Long Does a True HEPA Filter Last?

True HEPA filters come with 8760 safe and usable hours, which equals 12 long months. Although the mesh filter should be cleaned every 2-4 weeks, true HEPA is still one of the most long-lasting air filters.

If you look around a bit, you’ll barely find any filter that lasts over 6 months. This is another trustworthy trait of this amazing filter that makes it stand out. 

  1.  What Does True HEPA Filter Mean?

Filters that have gone through extensive, critical verifications yet came out with 97.99% efficiency are called true HEPA. These filters can capture the smallest particles, even smaller than bacteria. The ‘True’ word stands for DOE certification, though. 

  1. Which filter is best for an Air Purifier?

HEPA filters are the best for air purifiers. They last longer, offer the highest efficiency and trap every single flying harmful air allergen. Moreover, the types of HEPA, such as the true HEPA and H13, are extraordinary. They are highly recommended for people with severe illnesses. 

  1. How do I know if my HEPA filter is real?

A legitimate HEPA filter should have authentic labels and signs to let you know it has passed the inspection. It will also tag along certifications like mandatory health and safety standards. In addition, true HEPA filters will have DOE certification. Make sure you check all of these before purchasing a HEPA filter. 

Bottom Line

True HEPA filters are undoubtedly the most convenient ones, as we can’t bring H13 ones home. If we want to avoid drastic miseries like covid-19, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, or lung cancer, a true HEPA filter can help in these regards. 

Now that you know what is a true HEPA filter, we expect you to realize the importance of this thoroughly. This way, we can have fresh, breathable, non-toxic air around us.

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Paul M Walker

I, Paul M Walker, am the founder and the author of this little site you are currently on. I work to provide readers with no-fuss and easy-to-follow solutions regarding common air purifier and humidifier problems.

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