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Updated Jul 12, 2022 5:38 AM

How often do you think about the air flowing through your car’s vents? If you’re anything like most drivers, you probably trust that the air you’re feeling while behind the wheel is cool, clean, and perfectly fine. However, it’s your car’s cabin air filter that actually determines the quality of this air. The cabin air filter is small but mighty — it works to purify the air that enters your vehicles. Although you can’t see your filter, it works hard to ensure allergens and air contaminants like pollen, dust, pollutants, and even debris don’t sneak into the air inside your car. As a cabin air filter cleans the air, you’ll breathe in and enjoy clean, fresh air with every drive. If your filter needs replacing, you can do the task on your own. And you can check out our picks for the best cabin air filters right here.

The Best Cabin Air Filters

The EP Auto Premium Cabin Air Filter system is a brilliant pick and boasts affordability and brilliant quality. Customers have rated it as one of the best auto cabin air filters and have praised its great value and the ease with which it can be installed. This device ensures that drivers and passengers alike will enjoy clean air and ensures easy installation and enhanced AC performance. It’s suggested that you replace it every 12 months, or 12000 miles, and as it’s selling for absolute steel this is an easy feat to conquer!

Key Features
  • Clean air for driver and passengers
  • Contains soda and carbon to generate fresh breeze air
  • Enhanced HVAC performance
  • Brand EPAuto
  • Model AUTO-CF-002V2
  • Weight 6.4 oz

The FRAM Freshbreeze Cabin Air Filter is a great choice and is able to filter out 98% of pollen, dust, and other debris and offer you a fresh and fabulous ride. It is also able to stop musty odors from cramping your style by providing more airflow. Replacing your old filter and changing it for the Fresh Breeze Filter will literally be a breeze! Customers have raved about the easy-to-fit nature of this model and the fact that it makes their vehicles smell delightful. This is a must-have pick if you want your car to smell great and for yourself and your passengers to enjoy a contaminant-free ride.

Key Features
  • Filters up to 98% of dust, pollen, and other contaminants
  • Arm & Hammer baking soda combined with carbon cleans air flowing through the ventilation system
  • Provides more air flow for improved performance
  • Prevents musty odors
  • Keeps damaging particles from entering the engine and causing increased engine wear
  • Brand Fram
  • Model CF10134
  • Weight 4.8 oz

The Breathe Easy Cabin Air Filter boasts quality and durability. It promises customers a lifespan of 15 000 miles, noting that this is 25 % more than conventional models. This gadget is a little heavier than other models and the makers note that their use of industrial strength electrostatic media is able to better capture tiny particles and ensure that your ride is free of dust, pollutants, and allergens. What’s more, is that the makers truly believe in the value of their product and promise customers their money back if they aren’t satisfied with the job.

Key Features
  • 25 % longer lifespan than convention models. Lasts up to 15000 miles
  • 2 x Heavier than standard models to ensure maximum filtration power
  • 3 stage filtration system
  • DIY installation that can save you great costs
  • Customer satisfaction or money back
  • Brand Installer Champ
  • Model BE-671
  • Weight 7.8 oz

The Mann-Filter with Activated Charcoal is a perfect addition for those with selected Audi and Volkswagen models. This cabin filter replacement is an excellent pick and filters out pollen, spores, dust, and harmful gases while ensuring optimum ventilation inside your vehicle. Customers have commended this model for its excellent value, ability to keep your car smelling fresh, and easy installation. Why pay a dealer to install a cabin air filter system, when you can do it yourself for steel? This product combines durability, fantastic value, and durability.

Key Features
  • Filters out pollen, spores, dust and harmful gases
  • Optimum ventilation inside the vehicle through low flow resistance
  • Consistent filtration performance throughout the entire service interval
  • Exact fit and seal
  • Greatest filtration efficiency through a combination of mechanical and electrostatic attraction
  • Brand Mann Filter
  • Model CUK2939
  • Weight 10.4 oz

The Kootek Car Cabin Air Filter Replacement is a fantastic air filtration system and filters road dust and pollen from 5-100 microns. This dramatically transforms your air quality and ensures that the interior of your vehicle boasts freshness and great air quality. Active carbon and soda are woven into the device to ensure a better smelling ride as these active ingredients are able to filter out musty odors. Added to these features is the guarantee that this replacement will enhance your HVAC performance. The product should last for 12-months or for 12 000 miles and easy and simple installation is assured.

Key Features
  • Filters road dust and pollen ranging from 5-100 microns
  • Combines active carbon and soda to absorb common odors drawn from outside sources
  • Enhances HVAC performance
  • Recommended replacement every 12 months or 12,000 miles
  • Easy and simple installation
  • Brand Kootek
  • Model KCF005
  • Weight 5.6 oz

The TYC Honda Replacement Cabin Air Filter is an incredible pick for Honda fans. It is selling for a steal and offers a choice of being a particle filter, or a combination one. It promises to eliminate almost 100 percent of airborne contaminants and exhaust pollutants and boasts quick installation and user ease.  Users have commended this model for its ability to effectively trap dust and dirt and have noted that it saved them a lot of money in the long-run. All in all, this is a great cabin air filter pick and combines value and quality.

Key Features
  • OE-comparable configuration as either Particle filter or Combination filter
  • Eliminates nearly 100% of exhaust pollutants and airborne contaminants
  • Easy to install
  • Provides clean air for you and your passengers
  • Honda Genuine Part # 80292-S5A-003, 80292-S5D-A01, 80292-SCV-A01 ; Replacement Fram CF10135
  • Brand TYC
  • Model 800001P2
  • Weight 6.4 oz

The K&N Washable and Reusable Cabin Air Filter is a great pick for those who don’t want the hassle of constantly having to order new cabin air filters. It’s also an awesome choice if you care about the environment and don’t want to keep ordering new parts. This device cleans and freshens external air before it enters your car’s interior. Users have been impressed by the high quality of this model and its money-saving abilities since it is reusable.  While you might pay a little more for your first purchase, this device will last you a long time and will save your time and money in the long run.

Key Features
  • Easy to Clean and Reuse
  • Freshens and cleans incoming cabin air
  • Helps control odors
  • Helps capture most mold, mildew, fungus, spores, bacteria, germs, pollen, and allergens
  • Factory fit, pre-treated and ready to install
  • Brand K&N
  • Model VF2000
  • Weight 12 oz

The Motorcraft combination air filter has been engineered to offer users superior performance and great reliability. This product has gone numerous real-world tests and offers users a brilliant product for a stellar price. This device boasts multiple filtering layers and an added electrostatic layer enables it to capture smoke, soot, and smog. Thus, this model can capture particles and pollutants and ensure that your ride is clean and contaminant-free. It also protects your heating and air-conditioning system by reducing the influx of pollen, fungus, dust, spores, and mold. This is a truly fabulous product and amalgamates superiority and great-value.

Key Features
  • Combination filter
  • Electrostatic layer to capture smoke, soot, and smog
  • Protects heating and cooling system
  • Brand Motorcraft
  • Model FP-70
  • Weight 3.52 oz

The ACDelco GM Original Equipment Cabin Air Filter is a great replacement option and promises to keep fumes, pollens, dust, and other allergens from entering your vehicle. This device also prevents a build-up of bacteria and mold from taking residence in your car’s ventilation system and thus, keeps bad smells and bacteria at bay. Users have noted the durability and value of this product, which is furnished with long media in order to capture smaller particles and increase airflow. This product combines reliability and quality and is certainly a fantastic air cabin filter pick for you and your vehicle.

Key Features
  • Compound media that consists of three layers
  • Layered construction that creates ‘separated’ media in order to better contain dust and pollen particles, resulting in higher efficiency
  • GM-recommended replacement part
  • Brand ACDelco
  • Model CF188
  • Weight 1.12 oz

If you have been struggling with allergies or a musty odor in your car, then the Ecogard Premium Cabin Air Filter might just be the perfect fit for you.  This fantastic filter system is selling for fewer than 10 dollars and guarantees removing 99.5 % of all air pollution, dust, pollen, and airborne contaminants before they get inside your vehicle. By protecting your car from these irritants, this model helps to prevent premature wear and tear on your car’s heating and cooling system by ensuring brilliant airflow and a lack of clogging. The Ecogard is also super easy to install and thus boasts user-friendliness and fantastic quality.

Key Features
  • Compatible with 2009-2017 Honda Fit, 2016-2017 Honda Civic, 2016-2018 Honda HR-V, 2010-2014 Honda Insight, 2011-2015 Honda CR-Z, 2017 Honda CR-V
  • Removes and filters 99.5% of all dust, pollen, air pollution, allergens, pet dander
  • Helps prevent wear and tear on your car's HVAC
  • Installs easily
  • Specifically engineered and tested for Honda OE (original equipment) cabin air filter's fit
  • Brand EcoGard
  • Model XC36080
  • Weight 2.4 oz

Best Cabin Air Filters Buying Guide & FAQ

There are a lot of cabin air filters to choose from, and they can seem interchangeable at first glance. But choosing the right cabin air filter for your vehicle does take a little research and a bit of knowledge. You want to make sure you’re choosing a filter that’ll work effectively and fit your vehicle properly. And in order to do that, you’ll want to check out our buying guide to find the best cabin air filters.

What to Look for in Cabin Air Filter

Cabin air filters are somewhat simple parts. They’re made of filter media that’s able to capture small particulates in the air — like pollen, dust, and other contaminants — and they’re sized to suit different vehicles. But while all filters work in the same way, they aren’t all alike. You’ll want to look for the following important features when you’re shopping for a new filter for your car.

The Size

A filter won’t work properly unless it actually fits into place. Consider the size of a cabin air filter first to make sure it’ll actually fit your vehicle. Check your vehicle’s manual or pop your current cabin air filter out of place to determine what exact size you need. You can also search for filters that are made to suit different vehicle makes and models.

Filtering Capability

Every filter is made with different filter media — material that captures pollutants, allergens, and air contaminants. That filter media determines how well the filter works, or how capable it is. Some filters can catch 90 percent or more of whatever’s in the air. Other filters are more effective and promise to capture as much as 99 percent of contaminants. Determine how clean you want the air to be, and how important filtering capability is for you. For example, if you live in a polluted city, you may want a filter that can handle pollutants. If you have allergies, you may want to focus on pollen and other allergens.

Odor Filtering

Did you know that your car’s cabin air filter can help eliminate odors? Some filters are able to fill your vehicle’s interior with a fresh scent to combat unpleasant scents and smells. Others are designed to eliminate odors while they filter the air. You’ll want to look closely at different cabin air filter options to see if they offer any relief from odors.


Cabin air filters need to be replaced regularly, usually at around 12,000 to 15,000 miles. However, some filters have shorter — or longer — lifespans. It all depends on the filter you choose. While you’re considering different options, make sure to take a look at the lifespan. If you want a filter that’ll last a long time, you can choose one that offers more mileage.

cabin air filter

Types of Cabin Air Filters

There are two main types of cabin air car filters. Namely, particle cabin filters and activated carbon cabin filters.  Both are able to filter debris, but one has the added bonus of being able to also filter out odors and pollutants.  This is especially great if you live in a bustling city and want to protect yourself from harmful gases and contaminants.

Particle Cabin Filters

These filters stop small particles from entering your vehicle by trapping them before they are able to enter.  Some are able to trap the tiniest of particles, as small as 0.3 microns. This is thousands of times smaller than a strand of human hair. These are great gadgets for capturing pollen, mold spores, dust, smoke, and debris.

Activated Carbon Cabin Filters

These filters work in the same way as the particle cabin filters do but have the added feature of being able to also filter out odors.  They usually do this by utilizing an extra element such as activated charcoal.  This then absorbs external pollutants and harmful gasses such a carbon monoxide.

replacing cabin air filter

Best Cabin Air Filters & FAQ:

Q:  What does a cabin air filter do?

  The cabin air filter cleans the air that comes into your car and filters out various debris including pollen and dust.  They are usually located behind the glove compartment or dashboard and work to ensure that the air coming into your car is clean and void of pollutants.  When your filter isn’t running correctly or gets clogged it can hinder the flow of air in your vehicle.

Q:  How often should I change my cabin air filter?

Different manufacturers suggest changing your air cabin filter at different mileage intervals, but it’s usually agreed that it should be changed between 12000 and 15000 miles. It’s always a great idea to check the user manual for your particular product as this will give you a clear indication of its lifespan.  It also depends where you take your vehicle for a spin most often. If you are in the remote countryside and reveling in the pristinely fresh air, you will probably not need to change it as soon as if you’re whizzing around a heavily polluted city.  However, a great indication of needing to change your filter is a dramatic reduction of airflow when you are utilizing the air-conditioning or heating systems.  You can also look at the filter and if you see a big build-up of dust and dirt you might want to change it. So, why should you change it every 12000 miles or so? It’s important that you change your car cabin filter as needed as a failure to do so can lead to a number of problems. These include:
– A build-up of bacteria and mold in your car. While cabin filters make sure that your vehicle is fresh and clean, a neglected filter can cause damage and some pretty grotty microorganisms seeking refuge in your vehicle. So be sure to change it as advised and keep your car fresh!
– Window fogging!
– Lower gas mileage.
– Lack of efficiency of your cooling and heating systems.

Q:  How do I change my cabin air filter?

While you can get your cabin air filter changed at a dealer, it’s much cheaper to do it at home! Most cabin air filters are located behind the glove compartment, or beneath the windshield. While most will come with easy-to-follow instructions in the user manual, there are a few things to remember.
Remove the screws securing the cover
Once unscrewed, pull the cover down and slide the filter out
Replace it with your new one and replace the cover
Ensure that your screws are tightly in place
Voila! Your dazzling new cabin air filter will purify incoming air and ensure you have a safe, and breezy ride!
NB: If you are stuck and need some visual support there are many free online tutorials available. Simply type in your car type and browse. There are also a number of useful forums online and your user manual will generally give you simple and clear-cut instructions.  If you are still struggling, you can always ask a friend to help you out and make them a cuppa Joe while they get the job done.

Q:  Where is the cabin air filter located?

Cabin air filters are usually located behind the glove compartment of your vehicle, or beneath the base of the windshield. They are hidden from view so that they can work their magic behind the scenes and filter our debris and dust before they enter the interior of your vehicle.  If you are unsure of where to find yours, consult your car user manual to find this information, or simply search your car model online.

Q:  Does a cabin air filter affect AC?

  Yes! If your air filter system is clogged it will impact the ability of the cooling and heating systems in your vehicle to do their jobs adequately.  A clogged filtration system will lead to a lack of adequate airflow.  So, if you want your AC to work at optimum health (which is especially important if you live in a hot area) it’s essential that you change your cabin air filter on regularly and maintain a clear and well-running airflow.

Our Top Pick

The EP Auto Premium Cabin Air Filter is our pick for the best cabin air filter. This is truly a premium quality filter, but it has an affordable price that any driver will love. It works effectively and efficiently, offering great value while allowing you to breathe easily on every drive. In addition to tackling air pollutants and contaminants, this cabin air filter also uses soda and carbon to filter out odors and leave your car interior smelling freshly clean. Both drivers and passengers will love the clean air generated by this EP Auto filter. It’ll last you 12,000 miles or 12 months, giving you a solid lifespan and fantastic results.

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