As someone who’s suffered from asthma and breathing problems their whole life, I know how useful an air purifier can be. When I was young, broke, and just moving into my first apartment, I got stuck with a roommate who smoked, which often made it difficult for me to breathe properly. And we all have to deal with common air pollutants like allergens, dust, and pet dander.
The MM208 is a fairly new air purifier on the market, produced by a company operating out of Lincoln, Nebraska in the good ol’ US of A. While most purifiers come with one or two filters, this model comes with four, along with three other air purification features for a seven-stage process in all. Biota Bot claims that this means that their product will do a much better job of cleaning the air than their competition. And after trying one for myself, I have to agree.
I’m going to explain how exactly the purification process works in order to show why the MM208 does it better than anyone else. Most air purifiers of this type use two filters. The first is a pre-filter that consists of a very fine mesh. This works to remove larger particles – hair, dust, and pet dander. Those last two are crucial – dust can aggravate the sinuses, while pet dander is one of the most common allergens.
The second is the HEPA filter. “HEPA” is a term you will see a lot on this website – it stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance. This is a very special, very dense type of filter that was originally developed for industrial purposes. When manufacturing integrated circuits – microprocessors, transistors, and other sensitive electrical equipment – even the tiniest dust particle can ruin the device. Hepa Air Purifiers use a fan (more on that later) to pull the air in a room through the dense filter, catching these small particles like fish in a net or food in a colander. HEPA filters are made of thin layers of fiberglass and catch all particulates that are larger than a gas, ensuring that only the air gets through.
However, there are very small gaseous particulates that HEPA filters struggle with – elements that are as light as air. That’s why some air purifiers use an activated carbon filter instead of or in addition to the other two. This kind of filter eliminates formaldehyde, smoke smells, and other household odors from the air. This is the sort of thing I had in my smoky apartment, or which you might keep in your kitchen to remove unpleasant smells that occur while cooking.
It’s rare to find a filter that has all three of these filters. But not only does the MM208 offer all this, it has a fourth filter: a granular carbon sieve. This creates another level of absorption, removing even more of those small gaseous particles, and making it so that you don’t have to replace the activated carbon filter as often.
The Fan, Negative Ions, and UV Light
The MM208’s marketing copy talks a lot about having “seven stages of air purification,” of which the filters make up only the first four. The fifth is the fan. There’s not much special about the fan – it pulls dirty air through the filters and the other purifying mechanisms, and pushes clean air from the other side. The MM208’s fan has three speeds and can be set to run continuously or for a stretch of 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours.
As you expect from a high-end air purifier like this one, the fan’s pretty loud at its top speed – it has to be powerful enough to pull air through four filters, after all. (To be clear: “pretty loud” in this instance means loud for a consumer fan. This isn’t a piece of industrial equipment – you can still comfortably have a conversation or watch TV or do anything else over the sound.) However, it also comes with a “sleep mode” for the evening which makes it run much more quietly. This is a great feature that a lot of the most powerful air purifiers don’t have – ensuring pleasant sleep with clean air and comfortable breathing without making it too loud to actually fall asleep.
On to the more exciting features. The MM208 has a negative ion generator. This creates 10 million negatively-charged ions per second to neutralize the positively charged particles that make up dust and bacteria. This helps to catch any particles that managed to make it through all four filters.
Finally, the piece de resistance for this purifier is the UV sterilizing function. This function operates similarly to the negative ion generator – as living
microorganisms like mold, viruses, or bacteria pass through the filters, the UV light breaks up their molecular structure, essentially killing them. This is why UV sterilizers are often used to purify the air in hospitals. They are not usually available in consumer-grade air purifiers, and this really sets the MM208 apart from others at its price point. That said, this is technically an optional feature, and can be manually turned on or off if you so choose.
Performance And Usage
Naturally, the MM208 performs very well. With so many filters and additions to the purification process, it cleans the air very effectively from a space as large as 430 square feet. The standard HEPA filter and pre-filter systems work just as you’d expect and the medical-grade UV light technology and negative ion generator work overtime to remove all harmful germs and bacteria, letting you live healthier than ever before. And I noticed it particularly excels at reducing odor thanks to those two extra carbon filters – this would have been perfect for my smoky apartment, and it’ll be perfect if you regularly have to deal with unpleasant odors or smoke in your own home.
The only place the MM208 has any real competition is in the removal of larger particles or VOCs. Don’t get me wrong – it does a fine job, at least as good as other filters in its price range and better than quite a few. But if your number one concern is hair or pet dander, the Austin Air Purifier does a better job. However, the Austin is twice as expensive, doesn’t deal with germs or odors as effectively, and doesn’t have any of the quality-of-life features that the MM208 does. So for almost all consumers, the MM208 is the much better choice.
As for usage, this air purifier is incredibly easy to use. It’s controlled with a handful of buttons on top of the device, all of which are clearly labeled. In addition, one of my favorite features is the Auto Mode, which will adjust the fan speed depending on the quality of air in the room. It’s a lot more convenient than controlling the purifier’s speed myself, and you can always put it in sleep mode for the night (or turn it off entirely.) It’s hard to imagine a feature you could want that this purifier doesn’t already have.
Filters need to be replaced every 6-12 months or, more accurately, after 2800 hours of regular use. That’s pretty standard, as is the price of replacements: $60 for a pack with one of each filter you need. Definitely not a bad price for a healthier lifestyle and cleaner, more breathable air.
This is probably the all-around best air purifier currently available on the market for more check our Best Air Purifier Buyers Guide. The four filters do a great job of removing VOCs and micro particulates and are especially good at dealing with odors. The negative ion generator is always nice for a little extra dust and bacteria removal. And the medical-grade UV light system is something that’s rare to see in a consumer air purifier – it really makes a big difference in the purity of the air. Plus, it has all the ease-of-use features you could possibly want – sleep mode, timers, autonomous function. No matter your reasons for owning an air purifier, the MM208 is sure to please – and it comes at a price that’s pretty reasonable for the amount of features on offer.