Image of several branded Filtrete filters

Guide to 3M Filtrete Air Filters

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that 3M, the company that makes, well, everything, also makes furnace filters. Like most filter producers, they have multiple levels that fit different needs, but 3M opts to use its own rating system—Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR)—instead of the industry-standard MERV ratings. 3M makes great filters, but if you’re accustomed to MERV-rated filters, buying from 3M can cause some confusion. Let’s try to break it down.


Any filter rated on the MERV scale is rated based on its ability to capture medium to large particles that range from 1 to 10 microns and its ability to capture submicron particles that range from 0.3 to 1.0 micron. 3M filters focus strictly on the submicron particles, and they use a rating system called MPR. Some of those submicron particles include things like bacteria, smoke, and smog. The ability to capture a lot of those particles is pretty significant.

Comparison Guide

So you’re formerly a MERV person, and you’re switching to a 3M filter, or vice versa. Here’s a small guide of 3M’s filters and the way they relate to MERV:


Just like MERV ratings, the MPR system works on a scale. Higher MPR ratings work better than lower, and the higher MPR rated filters have a significant amount of media packed into their frames, as well as tighter pleats. They are built specifically to prevent anything other than clean air from passing through them, and they do a great job.

That said, the higher the MPR rating, the more expensive the filter will cost. And while these things are packed with media, they shouldn’t have much more of an effect on your HVAC system than what a similarly rated MERV filter would have. Airflow through filters is rated based on pressure drop—the lower the pressure drop number, the better the airflow, and all of 3M’s filters pressure drop numbers are in the “acceptable range.” While airflow won’t be overly restricted, your furnace will still be working hard to suck air, so don’t be surprised if you see your electric bills raise some, primarily if you’re used to MERV 1-4 or 5-9 filters.

3M also recommends that you change filters every three months. To be fair, most filter manufacturers suggest the same, but the density of some of these filters—especially once they become packed with tons of submicron particles—can put a significant damper on your furnace, as well as reduce efficiency.

At Discount Filters, we have a wide selection of different air filters, including AIRx Air Filters and 3M Filtrete Air Filters, to find the right filter for your home. Shop for your filter today!


4 thoughts on “Guide to 3M Filtrete Air Filters”

  1. I live n a small house with one medium dog. I used filtrete
    3 m Allergn reduction filters. Level 1200. It is quite dirty in 30 days. I vacuum it off and make it lSt another 30 day. Total 60 days. It would me a filthy mess in 90 days.
    Can your filter do a better job.

  2. Have you considered making n95 masks with your FILTRETE FABRIC?

    I saw a YouTube post of a seamstress using your filters to make masks .

    health care pros need you.

  3. i am making face masks, does the filtrete 2800 go down to .1 microns. if separated into to pieces is the filter hand washable and still effective? Are any chemicals involved in its’ efficiency

    Thank you!

    • Hey Kathleen! We can’t speak to the specs on Filtrete filters, as we don’t make those. However, we can speak to our filter media that we are allocating for DIY mask makers. It’s a MERV 14 rating (same as the Filtrete 2800). MERV 14 rated filter media efficient down to 0.3 microns in size. Our filter media includes no fiberglass or other harmful chemicals. Hand washing the media might reduce its filtering efficiency, so we don’t recommend it. If you’re looking for some mask DIY tutorials or are interested in the MERV 14 material that we have available, you can find that here:

      Hope this helps. Have a wonderful day!

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