Fiberglass Air Filters vs Pleated: Which One is Right for You?

Fiberglass Air Filters vs Pleated

The difference between fiberglass air filters and pleated tends to come down to the issue of cost vs. effectiveness. Most buyers want an air filter that is highly efficient at filtering out the pollutants and allergens from the air.

However, most people also do not want to pay too much for an air filter—especially if it will need to be replaced every few weeks.

Most types of air filters come in fiberglass and pleated options, which can muddy the issue even further for customers unsure of which type to purchase.

There are significant differences between fiberglass and pleated air filters, each of which will have to be taken into account when making a decision as to which one to buy.

Ultimately, the choice of fiberglass air filters vs pleated comes down to the needs of the person buying the air filter.

Fiberglass Air Filters vs Pleated: Pros and Cons

Fiberglass Air Filters


+   Inexpensive - they do not cost a lot so buyers will not have to spend a lot

+   Disposable - they do not have to be cleaned, also they are more hygienic since all the dust they collect gets disposed of when the filter gets disposed of

+   Unrestricted airflow - fiberglass filters do not restrict the airflow of the HVAC system, this can help to save energy because the system’s fan does not have to work as hard to push air through the filter


-   Lower effectiveness - fiberglass filters only filter out larger particulates, smaller ones that might cause allergies or asthma attacks can get through

-   Less durable - fiberglass filters will have to be replaced at a fairly high frequency

Pleated Air Filters


+   High effectiveness - pleated air filters can trap particles like pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold spores

+   More durable - pleated filters last for a longer time than fiberglass filters

+   Better cost effectiveness - a pleated air filter will cost less over a longer period of time than a pleated filter


-   More expensive - pleated air filters cost more than fiberglass filters

-   Restrictive airflow - pleated filters restrict airflow, this can increase the total energy costs because the fan of the HVAC system has to work harder

Recommended Users - Which One is Right For You ?

Fiberglass Air Filters

Fiberglass air filters are better for anyone who is renting their home and who doesn’t have any significant allergies. If that person does not own any pets then there is no need for extra filtration since there will not be any pet dander in the air.

If someone does not have the time or inclination to clean their filter then the disposability of fiberglass filters will suit them.

Pleated Air Filters

Pleated air filters are the choice for homes where any of the residents have serious allergies since they are better at catching allergens. This is particularly relevant if the residence also includes one or more pets that shed. The shedding produces pet dander that can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.

Pleated filters are also better for anyone who wants more longevity from their filter since they do not have to be changed as often as fiberglass filters. This also makes pleated air filters more cost effective in the long run.


The choice of a fiberglass or pleated air filter comes down to the needs of the person buying it.

Fiberglass filters are best for people who do not need any extra filtration and do not mind having to replace the filter more frequently.

Pleated filters are a better choice for long term residents who need the extra pollutant and allergen protection provided by pleated filters.

The choice between fiberglass air filters vs. pleated comes down to cost vs. effectiveness. Once you know where you stand in either category, you will know which type of filter is right for you.