[TESTED] Best Tesla Model 3 HEPA Cabin Air Filter Replacement

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 02/08/22 •  9 min read

Described as a life-changer by allergic people — and as a “must-have”  by those in areas with pollution and fires,

A Tesla Model 3 HEPA cabin air filter (along with an air freshener) is everything you ever wanted and didn’t know you needed.

Finding actual HEPA-grade products proves challenging, though —

After contacting all the manufacturers, only one product had documentation to back its claims up.

The rest, although still superior to Tesla’s original air filter, may not perform as well as you think.

Let’s dive into some HEPA questions before discussing the products I suggest you look into.

HEPA Standards: What Manufacturers Don’t Tell You

A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, as defined by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), must filter out 99.97% of particles sized 0.3 microns or larger to “pass the test.”

For context, pollen is 30 microns, smoke sits at around 1 micron, and bacteria is 0.5 microns on average.

Microns scale spectrum, including particles invisible to the human eye.

Independent lab tests can be performed to certify these standards are met.

Most Tesla Model 3 HEPA cabin air filter replacements are being sold, however, don’t bother to do such tests.

Aside from that, manufacturers fail to communicate potential downsides.

For example, Model X & Model S include HEPA filters as standard, but their filters are magnitudes larger than Model 3’s.

In August 2021, Tesla made the HEPA filters on the Model Y standard — though Musk admitted the Model 3 doesn’t have enough space for this.

See Tesla tests the HEPA filter against non-HEPA variants.

With stronger filters, Model 3’s fans may end up running beyond their design specifications.

Certain HEPA filters may also restrict airflow to some extent.

It’s yet unknown whether this has a long-term impact on Model 3’s Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning (HVAC) system.

Risks and facts acknowledged, here’s the only manufacturer with proof that their product actually meets some standard.

Best Tesla Model 3 HEPA Cabin Air Filter Replacement: TEMAI

I’m genuinely amazed by this company.

It’s one thing to promote certification on your store — but sending EVERY customer a testing report that validates their claims?

That’s going above and beyond.

Although not quite 99.97% of 0.3 microns particles the DOE suggests,

I do appreciate that TEMAI is honest about its capabilities.

They clearly state that their four-layered filter includes one HEPA 11 Class certified layer that filters out 98.4% of PM2.5 particles.

And customers can tell the difference. The filter immediately eliminates both inner & outer smells for good, many admit:

“These filters get rid of that musty smeel and give you a better air quality than the factory ones.'”

Ben, verified customer

The seller also tested the in-cabin air’s TVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compounds) rating.

For context, quality air is considered TVOC levels below 0.3 mg per cubic meter. 0.3 to 0.5 mg per cubic meter is acceptable.

Evan Michaels has empirical results of TEMAI’s main competitors:

Yet TEMAI achieves 0.01 mg per cubic meter (or 16X better air quality than its main competitor).

Remember: Tesla admitted that TRUE a HEPA filter system would require more space.

With this limited space, TEMAI filters are the best we have in the market right now.

For the health of your lungs and your loved ones, consider getting these filters today.

I’ll discuss alternatives but none of them provide test reports to validate their claims.

Pros:

Fits: All Model 3 & Y years and trims.

✅ Certified HEPA 11 Class
✅ Comes with testing report
✅ Includes all installation tools
✅ Eliminates bad inner & outer smells for good
✅ Near perfect, 5-star rating

Cons:

❌ Pull tabs may be in the wrong corner according to customers

Most Rated Tesla Model 3 HEPA Cabin Air Filter: XTechnor

tesla model 3 hepa cabin air filter by XTechnor

As I warned earlier, I couldn’t find any technical documentation supporting this seller’s claims (or any other moving forward).

Many owners (including Kor in the comments section below) have noticed that the XTechnor filters don’t filter out smells as well as Tesla’s filters do.

However, with 700+ ratings and quite a few YouTube reviews, it’s hard to argue against these.

Unlike others, this package includes the tools needed to remove the air filters’ body panels.

Although the installation process may take 15-20 minutes and require body contortions, it isn’t the product’s fault.

Blame Tesla engineers.

Whether in a Model 3 or Model Y, customers haven’t had any noticeable airflow restriction whatsoever.

The product eliminates bad smells, though some customers complain the filter has a peculiar smell of its own when brand new.

These filters may not be certified, but the number of positive reviews confirms some customers are happy with the result.

In the end, humans won’t notice whether the product filters 0.3 microns.

Do keep in mind that some owners stick to Tesla’s filters because they find the factory filters outright better:

Before using these filters I rarely smelled exhaust from other cars or trucks. That has all changed now with exhaust fumes entering the cabin as though there was no filter in place at all.

Unfortunately I was past the 30 day window for returning them by the time I was sure they weren’t doing the job required. I order some Tesla ones anyway. I would recommend just replacing with Tesla air filters. 

Pros:

Fits: All Model 3 & Y years and trims.

✅ Most Rated Model 3 HEPA cabin air filter on Amazon
✅ Eliminates bad inner & outer smells for good
✅ Includes installation tools

Cons:

❌ No third-party tests backing its HEPA claims

Budget Tesla Model 3 HEPA Cabin Air Filter Replacement: BASENOR

Budget Tesla Model 3 HEPA Cabin Air Filter Replacement by BASENOR

Undercutting competitors by half, BASENOR introduces a combo that can really keep toxic smells and particles at bay:

They sell both cabin air and air inlet filters, adding a second filtering layer to the system.

However, when both are used (or even the air inlet filter on its own),

Customers experience considerable airflow restriction.

(For instance, you may need to adjust the fan 2 or 3 levels upward to achieve the previous airflow level.)

Customers are surprised to discover that the filter is sturdier and heavier than competitors, resembling hard plastic rather than thin paper.

Keep in mind that the air inlet filter fits only pre-refresh models (those produced in mid-2020 or earlier), as the refreshed model space for the filter is somewhat smaller.

The rest of the information, you’re already expecting:

Lastly, the cabin filters do help with bad smells.

If that’s the problem you’re after, they’re definitely a worthy consideration.

Pros:

Fits: All Model 3 & Y years and trims.

✅ Half the price of main competitor
✅ Eliminates bad inner & outer smells for good

Cons:

❌ No third-party tests backing its HEPA claims

Premium Pick: EVTuning

The most expensive choice of all.

I do like that they include the filter specs — and these are much more believable.

Not quite to the standard, with a “PM0.3 65%” — that is, filter 65% of 0.3-micron particles.

Many Model 3 owners suspect that Abstract Ocean, a popular brand in the spacee, resells this exact product on their website.

In a way, you know they’ve vetted the product — and you can find plenty of reviews of their site although the product may be out of stock.

Given the higher price tag, though, it’s hard to justify purchasing this one compared to others — unless you truly love the brand.

Notable Mention: Simply Auto Parts

Cheapest Tesla Model 3 HEPA Cabin Air Filter Replacement

Looking for the cheapest option available?

With some decent reviews & happy customers,

This product seems to get the job done  — and it includes the installation tool which is a plus.

But it’s hard to know how long the product will last — or what sort of smells and/or particulates it will filter out.

Try at your own risk.

Alternative & Complementary Products to Consider

Best Value Evaporator Cleaner: Klima Cleaner

As you replace your filters, you’ll have the opportunity to clean the air ducts, which may accumulate a musty smell over the months of use.

This simple foam cleaner will remove such dust easily and quickly —

And it offers more substance and better quality for a better price than its main competitor.

Best Value Torx Screwdrivers Set: AMARTISAN

To remove the body panels covering the air filters, you’ll need a Torx T20 screwdriver.

If you don’t have one already, consider this affordable & quality set.

It includes a set of 12 screwdrivers with magnetic heads — and a chrome vanadium steel with heat treatment that will last for years to come.

Frequent Buyer Concerns

That may well be the case. It’s hard to tell for sure.

Be sure that it won’t be enough to drain your battery faster in any significant way —

But whether or not the fans are “forced” and may reduce their lifespan remains a questionable and reasonable risk.

although Tesla suggest 2 years as a filter interval change,

Stronger filters will get clogged up faster, and as such, a small interval timeframe is recommended.

The ideal timeframe can vary widely based on the area’s humidity and pollution — as well as the number of miles traveled.

Manufacturers often recommend 6 to 12 months as a general guideline.

Tesla has its own Do-It-Yourself online resource. Here’s a direct link to its cabin filter replacement section.

You can also find plenty of video tutorials, like this 5-minute version from Tesla Owners Online:

Installation steps start @1:09.

Our Tesla Model 3 HEPA Cabin Air Filter of Choice

Being the only manufacturer with independent lab tests to support its claims, TEMAI would have been my #1 recommendation.

They’re honest about their capabilities — and send you a testing report with your purchase so you’re confident of their claims.

Give them a try to start breathing fresh, clean air on every ride.

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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