If you are reading this article, you are most likely concerned about air quality in your house, office or any other area. Whether the air is polluted with smoke, dust, pollen, mold spores and so on, a proper air purifier can help you to increase air quality.
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Sometimes it is worth considering an air purifier even if you think air quality is good, but still, something is causing you allergies or some sort of irritation. I personally have had asthma my whole life in a combination with various allergies. I know how it is being unable to sleep at night, sneezing and having asthma attacks. It’s terrible and can be very exhaustive. Breathing clean air is a must!
Nowadays people focus on outside air quality – car gases, factory wastes and so on, forgetting about closed room air. After all, that is where we spend most of our time. Anywhere from various mold spores to dust – all of that can affect our life quality and health. Fortunately, while it’s quite difficult to increase the quality of outside air, enhancing inside air isn’t so hard. To do it most effectively first you need to eliminate the source of pollution as much as you can and second – get an air purifier.
Air purifiers are great for any house, room or apartment, especially if you or your family members have some kind of allergies and/or asthma. If that is the case, an air purifier can make a huge difference.
We have created this article to help you choose between the best air purifiers on the market. Also, to teach you how to choose between various air purifiers and learn how to compare them with each other. I know how it is to get a product that doesn’t work as you would expect it to do, therefore, all air purifiers mentioned in this article are a real deal – the best ones you can get. For detailed information about air-purifiers see EPA website.
Why should you trust us?
As I have fought with allergies and asthma my whole life. Nearly 20 years ago for the first time, I tried an air purifier and was highly impressed by how it benefited me by reducing allergies and asthma. Since then I have tested and tried numerous air purifiers searching for the best. In fact, I was so captivated that started working distributor in an air purifier sales company. Testing, comparing and explaining everything about air purifiers, air humidifiers, and air dryers are the things I do almost every day. This means when a new product appears, I’m always there to test it and give my opinion. All this experience gained over the years gives quite a bit knowledge to share.
Now working together with my colleagues, we have created our all-time favorite air purifier list so that people could choose between products that really make a difference.
What’s Air purifier and how do they work?
Before we jump into all factors you have to clarify before getting one and our top picks, you should understand the fundamental basics of air purifier working principle and after all – what do they do.
First of all, an air purifier is a device that is used to remove contaminants from a room that’s inside a specific area. This means they can be very beneficial to anyone who is suffering from asthma allergies, or just someone who wants to improve their air quality. Commercially you can get an air purifier that is quite small, a stand-alone unit that you can place just about anywhere or a large unit that is mostly used in industries, factories, hospitals and so on. These large air purifiers are usually attached to the air handler unit or to the HVAC unit.
Air purifiers work on different technologies such as thermodynamic sterilization, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, photocatalytic oxidation, and filters. Basically, all average consumer based air purifiers use various filters to clean air. The working principle is very simple – the purification process traps airborne particles in the filter. This is acquired by forcing air through the filter. All air purifiers on this list feature HEPA or High-efficiency particulate arresting filters. The great thing about HEPA filters is that they remove at least 99.97% of particles that have a size of 0.3 micrometers and are even more efficient filtering larger particles. HEPA filters are also great because they don’t generate any potentially harmful by-products like they don’t generate ozone.
One thing to remember is that the HEPA filter air purifier won’t help much if the dust has settled, therefore, you still have to do cleanups. Another thing to keep in mind is that HEPA filters won’t work for eternity, they have to be replaced once in a while so air purifier’s efficiency stays as high as it can be. The exact timing of when to change the HEPA filter will depend on your air purifier as well as how polluted or dirty the air is. Just to get an idea changing a filter will have to be done once in 3 up to 12 months.
How do HEPA filters work?
So all air purifiers mentioned in this article use HEPA filters. As we already found out HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particle Arrestance. But how do they work and how did we come up with such filters?
HEPA filter technology was created for industrial needs. For example, having clean air is vitally important when manufacturing ICs (Integrated Circuits), microprocessors, transistors and so on. This is because the slightest dust particle can ruin these sensitive devices. Nowadays HEPA filtration is used just about anywhere – hospitals, offices and our homes. The best thing is that HEPA filtration technology isn’t too complex, meaning it’s cheap and available to almost anyone.
HEPA filter consists of a fan and filter itself. The working principle is very straightforward – the fan pulls contaminated air through a very dense filter (imagine it like a net). Because of the air momentum, all microscopic potentially harmful particles will be caught in a filter. Nothing but clean air will leave the HEPA filter. However, HEPA filters also can be different the same as nets can be – ones have larger, other ones – smaller holes.
In HEPA filter there are layers of very small fiber material sheets like fiberglass. These dense sheets are positioned in zig-zag patterns, like an accordion. They are mounted on metal or plastic frame that’s well sealed over the edges. This ensures that during operation process no air can pass on sides meaning all air will be drawn through HEPA filter. You can also notice that on some HEPA filters there are aluminum or plastic sheets in between zig-zags. They are there to ensure a more steady airflow and filter stability during high fan speeds.
A HEPA filter captures all particulates that are larger than air itself. This ensures that all non-gaseous particulates will get caught in HEPA filter or in High-Efficiency Particle Arrestance. However with gaseous particulates, things are a bit different – just like air, they are extremely small. This enables allows them to pass HEPA filter’s fibers – they can easily pass from one side of the filter to the other. This is why HEPA air purifiers struggle with VOCs.
But how does HEPA filter catch particles? Imagine HEPA filter like nets in multiple layers. They all have their hole diameters. Usually, a HEPA filter fiber diameter is about 0.4-0.5 μm in diameter. This means that any particle that has the same diameter or larger will be stuck or captured in a HEPA filter. It’s just like a fish caught in a net – all small fishes can swim through fish net’s holes, but the biggest ones get stuck. This process is called impaction or impact – particles are captured by slamming into the filter.
Next, there is a process called interception. It’s for particles that are smaller in diameter than HEPA filter’s holes but not by too much. These relatively small particles can get through the first layer of HEPA fabric, however, after some time they get caught – over the filtration process, they eventually come close enough in touch with the fibers so they get stuck.
At last, there is a diffusion process. It’s for the very fine particles, typically the ones that are below 0.1 μm in diameter. These particles can easily pass the holes of the HEPA filter’s fabric. However, while passing filter they bounce around the HEPA filter’s fabric randomly and eventually get stuck. In the result, almost no contaminated or bad particles get through HEPA filter.
Learn more about these three particle absorption processes at www.explainthatstuff.com/hepafilters.html
The particles that are hard to catch ar called are at 0.3 μm because they are above the limit of diffusion and below the limit of interception, meaning they have the right size to get through HEPA filter. How to deal with them? Simply make a filter with high-density meaning that even particles with 0.3 μm diameter would be caught in the filter.
One thing to keep in mind is that HEPA filters made for the US (meets US HEPA standards) and ones made for the European Union (meets EU standards) are quite different. United States Department of Energy has set a standard that HEPA filters have to remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 micrometers. According to this standard, we picked all air purifiers in this article. However, the European Union certifies HEPA filters that remove less than 85% of 0.3 μm particles – E10. Therefore, we strongly advise buying air purifier made for the American market. If you do have to buy Europian purifier, get the one that’s rated as H13 – removes 99.95 % of 0.3 μm particles.
What about VOCs?
VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds are very harmful chemicals that we come across every day. You can find them in cleaning products, paints and so on, actually, they are everywhere. Unfortunately, all air purifiers can clean air from VOCs. That’s something worth paying attention to. If you do know that there are VOCs in your room or area, look for an air purifier that has an ionization option. Stand-alone ionization isn’t effective as it doesn’t affect dust, however, when combined with proper filters, ionization with its negative ions make VOC particles stick to surfaces so you won’t breathe them.
How to choose an air purifier – Buying Guide
Air purifier coverage capacity
Before thinking about more complex specifications, you have to decide what coverage capacity do you need. Each air purifier has its maximum coverage area, if the room you plan to use it in is larger, you should look for a different air purifier. You can usually find this information in the product description.
Usually, the coverage capacity or area refers to space that air purifier can filter 5 times an hour. This means that if in a product’s description it’s mentioned that a particular product can filter the air in rooms for up to 800 square feet, this means it’s capable of cleaning air in 800 sq.f. room five times in an hour. Usually, this variable is also mentioned as ACH or Air Changes per Hour. The higher contamination is or larger the room is, the more ACH rating you need. While 5 times on hour ACH is fine for most homes and offices you can also get it as high as 8x for industrial environments and 12x ACH for hospitals.
Determining how powerful air purifier you need is the first thing to do. You just have to know the room’s area and that’s it. We don’t advise getting an air purifier that’s prompted for a smaller area than you have as it simply won’t be efficient enough.
All factors to keep in mind before buying an air purifier
- How powerful air purifier will be. This is basically the exact same thing as we mentioned before – get an air purifier that’s suitable for the area of your room or house.
- ACH Rating. This variable is also very important. It shows how many times an hour an air in a particular area will be filtered. The higher the ACH rating is, the cleaner air you get. Having the right combination of coverage area and ACH rating will determine the efficiency of your air purifier.
- CADR Rating. If ACH shows how many times the air will pass through the filter in an hour, then CADR will show how effectively it will do it. CDAR rating or Clean Air Delivery Rate is used to determine the effectiveness of the air purifier. Meaning if an air purifier with low CADR will filter air 10 times an hour, it can match the air purifier with higher CADR that filters air only once an hour. When looking for an air purifier, look for a CADR rating of 100 and above.
- Presence of Pre-filter. Some air purifiers come with pre-filters that protect core HEPA filters from larger particles. These filters are very basic and can increase the longevity of the HEPA filter. It’s worth checking if your chosen air purifier has one.
- Noise. While many think this isn’t so important factor, actually it is. I have met numerous of people that are replacing their fresh bought air purifier or air humidifier with another just because they produce too much noise. Noise is a very important factor as air purifier most likely will be on 24/7, a lot of noise can be very annoying so make sure you check description about noise levels in decibels.
- Working mode. Not all air purifiers work the same way. Some have to be regulated manually, some offer an automatic mode that has a sensor to determine how dirty or polluted the air is and then change fan speed by basing on this value.
- Warranty. Finally, let’s look at the warranty. This is a very important factor for all devices. We wouldn’t advise getting an air purifier with a warranty that’s lower than 3 years. If it’s lower, you should think whether the quality will be up to level. Keep in mind that there are air purifier manufacturers that offer an unlimited lifetime warranty.
How did we test air purifiers?
In this article we have covered only portable air purifiers or air purifiers that can be moved from one room to another with ease – they don’t need to be attached to your home’s HVAC system. Why so? First, because they are super easy to use, all you have to do is plug them into a power outlet and that’s it! With one push of the button, it will start working. And secondly, they are also very available – there are hundreds of products to choose from.
The thing is that when buying anything, you can’t simply rely on product’s data sheet. In fact, I have seen many air purifiers, humidifiers that on paper seem superb, but in reality, they hardly exceed a way cheaper devices. Therefore, some testing has to be performed.
What did we test and how did we do it?
Just as with everything, to test something, you need proper tools and methods. To measure the quality of the air we used various tools and devices like TSI Aerotrak 9306 and others, we also didn’t forget about VOCs – so we used the MiniRAE 3000 VOC meter.
To measure everything correctly we used our lab – a closed room that was contaminated. For example, to test how good air purifiers can deal with VOCs ethanol was evaporated in all areas. No huge surprises here, most air purifiers didn’t do particularly well, the best being the MM208 air purifier. Then we performed noise tests. As I already mentioned, this also is a very important criterion when choosing an air purifier. Most of the air purifiers on the market feature three or four-speed fan. Of course, regarding the use, the noise levels will be different. However, most of the time the air purifier will run on medium settings. So we tested air purifiers at their optimal usage. We believe that air purifiers shouldn’t produce more noise than 50/60 decibels as this value doesn’t interfere with your sleep, listening to music or just doing a conversion. Then there is price factor which is also very important. When buying an air purifier you not only have to look at purchase cost but also annual filter costs (they do need to be replaced once in a while) and annual electric cost. Therefore, sometimes buying a more expensive air purifier can be actually cheaper to maintain for a long period of time.
Our top air purifier picks
After spending days in our lab testing hundreds of air purifiers, we have come up with the top list devices you can get. They all do their job flawlessly and are the best choices. Now you just have to decide which one fits you the best.
1. MM208 Air Purifier – the best air purifier on the market
After performing various tests, Biota Bot’s Model MM208 was a clear winner. It has everything you would expect from an air filter and the best thing is – it does function flawlessly.
This air purifier performs excellently. Most air purifiers have two filters – a pre-filter for trapping dust, hair, and pet dander and a second HEPA filter. Some also add a third filter – an activated carbon filter that eliminates formaldehyde, smoke smells, and household odors. The MM208 not only has all three, but it also adds a fourth – a granular carbon sieve for added odor absorption.
Beyond the four filters, the MM208 features three more stages of air-cleaning. The first is a UV sterilizing function like the kind used in hospitals, which breaks up the molecular structure of bacteria, viruses, and mold. The second is a negative ion generator that neutralizes positively-charged particles in dust and bacteria. And the last is simple: a three-speed fan.
You don’t often see all of these features in one product and as a result, the MM208 stands head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to removing VOCs and especially when it comes to getting rid of smaller particles and negative odors.
Features and usage
The MM208 has a ton of features and is incredibly easy to use – everything’s controlled with a small handful of labeled buttons on the top of the device. You can control the speed of the fan manually, set a timer to decide how long the purifier will run, or put it in “auto” mode where it will adjust the fan speed on its own to match the number of particles in the air. There’s also a sleep mode that runs as quietly as possible designed for use during the night – something that’s always nice to see on more powerful purifiers, which are often quite loud.
Unsurprisingly, a purifier with this many features isn’t exactly cheap. The base purifier costs around $270 and replacement filters (which you’ll need after 2800 hours of active use) are $60 a pop. Still, this is cheaper than some of the other filters on this list – filters that don’t have anywhere near the seven levels of air purification offered by the MM208.
No question – the MM208 Air Purifier is untouchable in terms of sheer features. You get medical-grade UV light technology and four filters at a consumer-available price, and the auto mode is great if you just want to “set it and forget it.” This is an especially good choice if your main concern is odors and smaller particles – if you’re living with a smoker, for example. But no one can go wrong with the MM208.
2. Biota Bot Desktop Air Purifier
From the makers of our #1 best air purifier comes another great product. The Biota Bot Desktop Air Purifier is (as the name implies) much smaller and cheaper, making it a good option for anyone who wants the benefits of a cleaner breathing space without breaking the bank.
Like the MM208, the Biota Bot Desktop Air Purifier comes with four filters: the pre-filter for large particles, the HEPA for micro particles, the activated carbon filter for odors, and the nano-molecular filter for extra absorption. Most air purifiers only have two or three filters, so the Biota Bot Desktop Air Purifier does a better job of removing smaller particles (and smells in particular) than its competitors. It also has the negative ion generator to further break down dust and bacteria, though it lacks the medical grade UV light technology.
It should be noted that, although this purifier performs very well when it comes to removing germs, smells, and micro particles, it is much smaller than the MM208 and only works for about 160 square feet of space. As the name implies, this is more about clearing a smaller work area, not an entire room. It also can’t match the VOC count of some of the other purifiers on this list, so you might look elsewhere if your biggest concern is hair or pet dander.
Features and usage
This is a very simple device that is controlled with 6 buttons on the top of the purifier. It features autonomous fan speed regulation that will adjust the fan speed based on the amount of particles currently in the room. It can also be set to run for 2, 4, or 8 hours at a time (or left to run continuously) and the ionic function can be turned on or off. No one should have any trouble using this device.
This is the cheapest air purifiers on this list and probably the cheapest you’ll find that’s this high-quality. The purifier itself costs only $130, and replacement filters are priced at only $25 for a pack of two. This is an incredible deal.
The Biota Bot Desktop Air Purifier maintains a lot of what we love about the MM208 in a much smaller package. It’s a no-brainer if you’re looking for something cheap or something for a small office space or kitchen. A great choice for the budget-conscious consumer!
If you are looking for the most reasonable air purifier that won’t hit hard in your wallet, but also performs flawlessly, one of the best choices is Coway AP-1512HH Mighty. This is the best air purifier for an average consumer, it’s surely one of the best purifiers on the market and it’s very affordable. As we tested, AP-1512HH performs better than some purifiers that cost three/four times as much. Not only it’s cheap to buy, but it also cheap to maintain. It doesn’t consume a lot of power so electricity bills will be low.
As all air purifiers in this article, Coway AP-1512HH is HEPA certified. This particular model is rated for being able to clean air in rooms or areas of up to 350 square feet or around 32 square meters – that’s a size of small flat or a really large room.
When it comes to performance Coway is up to the level. If we are talking about particle removal (dust, mold spores, pollen and so on), this air purifier shows superb results. After working for around half an hour, it removed 85% of particles. This was achieved mainly in a moderate setting. This air purifier has a prefilter that removes all large particles of dust and pet hair, only fine particles enter the HEPA filter.
Features and Usage
In our tests, Coway AP-1512HH peaked at 56 decibels and on average worked producing 52-decibel noise. On low fan setting, we were able to achieve as low as 43 decibels. This is about as quiet air purifier as you can get. Meaning it won’t bother your sleep. We advise before going to sleep, run this air purifier at max setting for around 20-30mins and then just leave it to low. This will result in a clean air that Coway will maintain all night.
Also, it’s a very reliable and long lasting device. I have one for my own and have been using it for two years or so. Until now, I have replaced HEPA filter only once and to be honest, I don’t think there’s a lot of difference. I could have kept going without changing the filter. Also, the overall performance doesn’t drop over the years.
As for everyday usage, Coway is very simple and ergonomic. It measures in at being 16.5 inches wide, 18 inches high and 9 inches deep. As you can tell, Coway AP-1512HH is a compact device that can be placed anywhere. Design wise, it doesn’t look like big powerful and robust machine, being rather a simple shape with rounded corners – very appealing to touch and look at. It also doesn’t weigh too much – only 12 pound which means you can easily move it from one room to another.
The user interface is very simple and straight forward – you have a bunch of indicator lights and five buttons to turn it on/off, regulate speed, ionizer button, timer button and filter reset button.
The initial purchase cost is around 230$ and yearly replacement filter pack is around 50$. Other similar air purifiers cost twice as that and don’t show a way superior performance. Actually, in many cases, we would advise better getting two Coway air purifiers than one more expensive competitor’s air purifier. Believe or not, but in many cases, this will be a more budget-friendly option. Thus you get two air purifiers that you can place in two different rooms or areas resulting in more efficient air purification process.
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is an excellent choice if you’re on a budget. While it doesn’t cost a lot, it offers high-end performance that even more expensive air purifiers struggle to achieve. This is probably the best air purifier for the average consumer that want’s to improve air quality in their room, office or any other area. Also worth mentioning that Coway AP-1512HH is a top choice of the sweet home.
If you’re looking for an air purifier that can do it all – capture variety of airborne particles that often are allergens, need to purify the air in a large area and want a device that’s easy to operate with – Alen BreatheSmart is one of the best choices you can make.
Alen BreatheSmart uses a HEPA filtration process so all units sold in the US captures at least 99.8% of air pollutants. In our tests it didn’t show the top-end results, however, always wasn’t far behind the best air purifiers. Overall it has good performance and is being able to capture 70-80% of particles when operating for 30 minutes. It’s suitable for cleaning air in areas of up to 1100 square feet. The sphere where it beats many competitors is VOC capturing. It didn’t do as well as our top pick Austin HealthMate HM-400, but still minimized ethanol vapor to only 25% of starting value and that’s impressive.
Features and Usage
This is where Alen BreatheSmart excels the most. It has tons of features and it’s customizable to almost every interior design. Let’s be honest, design matters. Especially for a device, we will be using every day. The main features of BreatheSmart are customizable filter options, air quality indicator and custom panels that you can get in one of 15 different colors and patterns to suit the interior of the room.
Just like Coway Airmega 400, Alen BreatheSmart is a very intelligent or smart air purifier. It utilizes SmartSensor, enabling auto mode – air purifier will adjust fan speed regarding the air quality in the room. We also liked the air quality indicator that always shows the condition of air in particular area.
Also, noise that this air purifier produce is as low as possible. In our tests, it hardly exceeded 52 decibels in normal mode and it was almost silent on low settings. It surely won’t interfere with your sleep and will be as unnoticeable as possible.
Because of the smart features and great customizability, Alen BreatheSmart isn’t a cheap air purifier, actually, it’s rather expensive. HEPA-Silver-Carbon replacement filter costs under 80$.
Overall Alen BreatheSmart air purifier is great for purifying the air. It shows good results dealing with VOCs as well as standard pollutant particles like mold spores, pollen, dust and so on. It’s an intelligent device that has a built-in sensor so you can lower your electricity bill because it operates as efficiently as possible.
It’s a great device to place in your living room, it has enough coverage for flats and large rooms plus it’s almost unnoticeable with its highly customizable front panel and quiet operation noise. And to top it all – it comes with lifetime warranty.
If you have to purify the air is a very large area and need to do it as efficient as possible, Coway’s Airmega 400 is one of your best bets. It’s relatively large and pricey machine, yet attractive and well performing.
If you ask us for an air purifier that can work the best in large areas, the Coway’s Airmega 400 almost always is our answer. It has a space coverage of up to 1560 square feet and it indeed works well in so large area. In real-world large area tests, Airmega 400 bested all competitors reducing particulates to less than 15% in 30 minutes. These results are achieved by pulling polluted air in at both Airmega’s sides and pushing clean air out at the top.
Features and Usage
Unlike our top pick – Austin’s Healthmate HM-400, Coway’s Airmega 400 is available in both “smart” and “manual” modes. We advise getting a smart model as it adds a lot of features and functionality. You can recognize a smart version of standard Airmega 400 by letter “S” at the end of model number. The smart version benefits you by letting you monitor and control air purifier through your smartphone with a special app. Now you can remotely check the air pollution in your home and adjust all settings accordingly. Otherwise, there’s no difference between smart and standard versions.
There are various modes to switch to like smart Eco mode – fan speed is adjusted by air quality resulting in more energy efficient operation. There’s also a Sleep mode – Airmega’s fan runs at the lowest speed producing as little noise as possible. Coway’s Airmega 400 can change its fan speed regarding of air quality – it has a built-in sensor, therefore, it can work in a variety of modes.
We also liked lifetime indicators that show when it’s time to clean or replace filters. This makes it much easier to maintain this purifier and you won’t spend any money until it’s necessary to do so.
Coway’s Airmega 400 is definitely appealing air purifier if you live in a large house of flat, however, it wears a hefty price tag. It’s one of the most expensive air purifiers on this list. Keep in mind that a price difference between mentioned “manual” and “smart” models are around 200$. Also, HEPA filters are relatively expensive costing around 130$ – remember that on average you will have to change it once or twice in a year depending on air pollution.
Overall Coway Airmega 400 is a great air purifier for large areas, of course, if you can afford one. In our tests, it showed superb performance. Even more, we loved the modern smart models. Being able to monitor air quality remotely with your smartphone is great. Ability to choose from a variety of modes is also something to keep in mind. For example, we loved sleep mode, which works flawlessly – now there is nothing to bother your sleep. Also, indicators that show when to maintain air filters is a great addon.
Winix 5500-2 is in the same league as Coway AP-1512HH is. They are both quite cheap to buy and offers good performance.
In our tests, Winix 550-2 outperformed Coway by reducing particulate levels to around 12% of their initial values. It works great removing bad odors. However, there is nothing this air purifier can do when it comes to VOCs.
Features and usage
While at first, it might seem like Winix 5500-2 is quite a complex device, it’s not. Winix comes with four fan speeds and typically runs very quiet on all of them. You only start to notice the noise when it’s running on high or turbo settings.
This is an intelligent air purifier featuring built-in sensor. So it features two modes: Auto and Sleep. There are also indicators to show you the current condition of air in the area. When speaking about indicators, Winix has a very cool feature that dim indicator lights. For example, when you’re watching a movie in a dark room, you don’t want a red light to fill all your room. So Winix uses a light sensor to dim all indicator lights. That’s well thought out.
While being slightly less expensive on the purchase, in long-term usage Winix 5500-2 will be a bit more expensive than Coway because of its higher power consumption and slightly more expensive replacement filters.
Overall Winix 5500-2 is a decent air purifier that offers quite a lot of performance. However, while it’s cheap to buy, it’s not so cheap to maintain. We loved that there’s auto mode on an air purifier in this price range. Usually, there would be one knob with three or four fan speeds, but not with Winix 5500-2.
If you need an air purifier for one particular room that’s not too large, you shouldn’t bother wasting money on more expensive and powerful air purifiers. GermGuardian AC4825 is not only cheap to buy, it also doesn’t consume a lot of electricity. It’s great for a bedroom or small office and we were surprised by its decent performance.
When it comes to performance, GermGuardian AC4825 cleans air surprisingly well. In a small 150 square foot bedroom, it was able to reduce contaminated particles by around 85% in 30minutes. That’s quite impressive for an air purifier at this price range and at the end why shouldn’t it? After all, it’s HEPA certified. This air purifier also comes with UV light that kills germs and bacteria. However, while UV can theoretically kill harmful pathogens, we doubt it’s effective as for UV light to kill bacteria and germs they have to be exposed to UV light much longer than this air purifier does.
Features and Usage
GermGuardian AC4825 is a very simple device – it has a simple three-speed control to change the fan speed manually and a button to turn on/off UV light. With dimensions of 10.25 x 7 x 21.5 inches and its vertical design, you can place it just about anywhere without taking too much space. It’s also a light device with a weight of only 7 pounds.
While GermGuardian AC4825 is cheap to buy and it relatively doesn’t use a lot of electricity, the biggest turn off is the price of replacement filters. First, you have to replace them once in like 6 months meaning you will have to buy two filters each year. One filter costs around 30$. In long-term usage, this isn’t promising and turns out to be quite expensive. Actually, if you plan to use your air purifier for longer than 4-5 years, a wiser choice is Coway AP-1512HH Mighty. Its purchase cost is two times as GermGuardian AC4825’s. However, in long-term usage, it will even out.
This is a cheap air purifier to buy that offers quite a lot of performance for the size. However, in long term usage, it’s not as appealing as initially more expensive devices. Filters have to be replaced quite frequently and they are not cheap. Otherwise, if you have a small room, this air purifier is more than great.
Rabbit Air MinusA2 is another great air purifier that has tons of features and works flawlessly. In some way we find it to be similar to Alen BreatheSmart air purifier because both of them feature customizable panels and they look great in living rooms. Your guests probably won’t even tell that you have an air purifier.
Performance wise Rabbit Air MinusA2 is great. It’s not as efficient as our top picks and it doesn’t do much when it comes to VOCs. However, it shows some solid performance. It’s designed for effectively cleaning air in rooms of up to 300 square feet. Rabbit Air MinusA2 is also a very power efficient device – it’s Energy Star verified.
Features and Usage
This air purifier has six filter system. First air passes through washable pre-filter, then through a medium filter, next is HEPA filter, then a custom filter made by Rabbit Air which you can choose on your own. You have a choice between – Pet allergy, Grem defense, Toxin absorber and odor remover. The fifth is carbon filter and the last ionizer.
We also liked that there is a sensor so the automatic mode is available. The system will automatically measure air quality and adjust the air purifier’s fan speed. However, we were surprised that there was no operation timer to turn on or off purifier in a specific time. There are handy indicators that show current pollution level in the air. Also, this is one very silent device. We recorded only 51 decibels in automatic mode which is great.
This filter isn’t particularly cheap. Its initial purchase cost is around 500$ and annual filter replacements will set you back of 100$. The good news is that filters are quite long lasting. The Even manufacturer claims that they can last for up to two years. Keeping this in mind, it is quite a wise buy.
A combination of superb features, decent performance, and design customizability makes Rabbit Air MinusA2 superb choice. While it’s not the cheapest air purifier to buy, it’s totally worth the price. The only thing we were disappointed about is lack of operation timer feature. So you can’t program it to turn on and off at a specific time.
Is air purifier worth it?
To start off – good, effective air purifiers are expensive to both purchase and operate. However, there are no scientific studies that air purifiers improve your health. Mainly because it’s hard to disentangle air-quality impacts from other impacts like environment and genetics. It’s like we all have read about air pollution in China especially in their cities where each year a lot of children are born with mutations and illnesses. People wear respirators on streets. Air pollution has to be taken very seriously as it affects our health and can lead to many illnesses.
However, while air purifiers can’t improve your health, they can improve your life quality, meaning if you have asthma and allergies, you will have them, but in a clean room, you won’t experience them so often. If there are any mold spores, pollen or dust, a proper air purifier can make a huge difference.
Although, before making a purchase, you to be realistic. Getting an air purifier doesn’t mean all your troubles will be gone as air purifiers can’t filter everything. For example, as we already mentioned, HEPA style filters can’t filter air from VOCs and radon. Also if you have allergy from pets, it won’t help much as pet hair can stick to all kinds of surfaces and can’t be filtrated through HEPA filter. Therefore, you always have to clean the particular area as well as you can for maximum results.
At last, you can’t completely isolate any area. New particles will be drawn in the room through ventilation, doors, windows and any other opening you can think off. This is why air purification has to be continuous and always present. Combining this with regular vacuuming, cleaning, keeping pets outside if possible, and smoking outside can significantly improve the air quality in the particular area.
How contaminated air affects our health
As we already found out, the air we breathe can seriously affect our health. Studies have shown that because of air pollution from industry and traffic, more than three million people die every year. In fact, it is more than malaria and HIV/Aids combined. There is scientific proof that contaminated air can cause various brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, I won’t even talk about type 2 diabetes, heart disease, exacerbating asthma and various of allergies. If you live or work in a highly polluted region, you are in a risk group. For example in London, about 400 schools are in areas where nitrogen dioxide pollution limits are exceeded. Dangerous chemicals can get into your blood system by breathing contaminated air and after some time when you have been exposed to polluted air, it may start to affect your health.
This is where air purifiers can come in. They filtrate air from “bad particles”. Meaning you get a cleaner air. However, while most of the HEPA-style filters available today can’t catch nanoscale molecules, they still can improve air quality a lot.
All air purifiers mentioned above are real deal meaning they do work flawlessly. I have encountered various of crap air purifiers that all they do is use your electricity and make noise. Now you just have to decide which one is suited for you. As in our guide, I advise to start off by determining the size of the area you wish to use an air purifier in. Then it’s just the matter of your test. However, you should remember that if an air purifier is cheap to buy, it doesn’t mean it will be cheap to maintain. Sometimes it’s worth paying a bit more at first and then saving some money in long-term usage – it’s just like buying a car with good gas mileage.
If you still are struggling to decide whether to get an air purifier or not, look at it this way. Is 100-300$ device really not worth peaceful sleep and alleviating allergies or asthma? Regular clean up a lot won’t help. I have gone through this process my self through years and was so happy when I got my first decent air purifier, it indeed improves life quality.