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What is a MicroFresh Filter for Henry Vacuums?

Written by James Hall |

What is a microfresh filter

What is the Henry MicroFresh filter? And should you replace the basic filter with one of these more expensive filters? Let’s find out!

There’s nothing wrong with the basic Henry filter. It contains three layers of TriTex material, which helps capture most dust particles and other allergens.

The basic Henry filter isn’t great for removing odours though. These tend to pass through the fabric material and escape into the air. If you’ve ever noticed a bad pet odour after vacuuming, then you know exactly what we mean!

To combat this issue, Numatic (of Henry Hoover fame) sells a MicroFresh Henry filter. This filter contains an activated charcoal layer that’s great for removing odours – although it’s pricier than the basic filter.

What Is A MicroFresh Filter?

On the surface, a Henry MicroFresh filter looks similar to the standard Numatic filter. It has the same circular design to fit into Henry’s body, three soft TriTex layers, and a rigid rim.

However, the MicroFresh filter has an additional activated charcoal layer between the TriTex filtration layers.

Charcoal filters capture odours and reduce bad smells coming out of your vacuum cleaner. This makes the MicroFresh filter a good choice for anyone with pets – particularly if you often find that the odours are worse after vacuuming.

How Do Activated Charcoal Filters Work?

Charcoal is a combination of carbon and ash. When particles touch the surface of carbon, they stick to it (a process known as adsorption with a “d”). This includes particles that are causing unpleasant odours.

However, regular carbon can only remove odours for a short time, as the small surface area is quickly “filled up” with foreign particles. To fix this issue, vacuum cleaner manufacturers use activated charcoal.

Unlike regular charcoal, activated charcoal is a porous material. To achieve this, charcoal is treated to make it fracture with tiny holes and passages.

This property means that even a tiny amount of the carbon structure has a huge surface area for absorbing bad odours.

And when we say huge, we really mean it!

According to Think Crucial, there are over 500 metres of surface area in a single gram of activated charcoal. That’s a massive area for such a small amount of material!

When you scale up an activated charcoal filter to the size of a Henry filter, it’s easy to see how a large amount of odorous material can be removed from the air before the filter needs to be replaced.

Does The MicroFresh Filter Really Reduce Odours?

Yes, we’ve found that MicroFresh filters do an excellent job of removing bad odours when you’re vacuuming.

The basic Henry filter isn’t terrible, but many pet owners notice that the vacuum starts to smell bad after a while. This is because the inside of the vacuum contains microscopic particles that escape into the air via the exhaust.

Replacing the basic filter with a MicroFresh filter instantly solves this problem. So, if you have pets, then we highly recommend getting one.

Tip: It’s not uncommon for people to rush out and buy a new vacuum when their model starts to smell bad. Don’t do this! Giving your vacuum a deep clean and adding an activated charcoal filter is often all that’s required to fix the problem.

Is The MicroFresh Filter A Good Choice For People With Allergies?

Adding an activated charcoal layer to the Henry is great for preventing odours, but it doesn’t improve the vacuum’s allergen retention.

For this reason, there’s no reason to buy a MicroFresh filter if you’re just looking to improve your vacuum’s filtration efficiency. Instead, we recommend looking at the Henry Allergy, which comes with a HEPA filter.

The good news is that the standard Henry isn’t a terrible choice for allergies. The combination of HepaFlo bags and TriTex filtration removes most allergens from the air, while the bagged design makes it more hygienic to empty.

Make Sure You Buy The Correct Size

Numatic sells MicroFresh filters in two sizes: 11″ and 12″. It’s important to choose the right size for your vacuum, as the wrong size filter won’t be compatible.

Check the label on the vacuum to find the model number. On Henry, Harry or Hetty, this is located under the handle. For Charles, George or James, you’ll find the model number on the rear of the vacuum.

  • If the model number contains 180, 200, 240, or 370, then you need the 12″ MicroFresh filter kit.
  • If the model number contains 160, then you’ll need the 11″ MicroFresh filter kit.

It’s worth noting that the MicroFresh filter is not suitable for the Henry Allergy. The Henry Allergy already comes with a HEPA filter, which is essential for preventing allergens from escaping into the home, so you shouldn’t replace it with a MicroFresh filter.

Which Vacuums Does The MicroFresh Filter Fit?

The MicroFresh filter is suitable for most vacuums in the Henry range. This includes the Henry, James, Charles, Hetty, Harry, and George.

So, if you have a Numatic domestic vacuum cleaner, then the MicroFresh filter is probably compatible. As we mentioned earlier, it’s not compatible with the Henry Allergy vacuum though.

Tip: You can also buy bag fresheners for the Henry range. These go inside the HepaFlo bag and help your vacuum to emit a pleasant odour. We don’t recommend using these with the MicroFresh filter though, as the filter will remove most of the nice smell!


We think the MicroFresh filter is an excellent addition to the Henry vacuum range – especially if you have pets. It’s a bit more expensive than the basic Henry filter, but does a great job of reducing bad odours and leaving your air smelling fresh.

With that said, it’s only worth buying a MicroFresh filter if you’re noticing a bad odour after vacuuming. If you don’t have pets, or haven’t noticed any unpleasant odours, then the basic filter is just as good at removing particles from the air.

Do you have any questions about the Henry MicroFresh filter? Or would you like to learn more about vacuum filtration? Please let us know in the comments section below.

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