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6 Best Air Purifiers for Hair & Nail Salons

By
Updated on January 25, 2024
Written by
Teddy Booth
Teddy joined HouseFresh in 2019 as a senior content producer, producing written content as well as product photography and YouTube videos. He supports Danny as a product tester and is our lead how-to writer.

Owning and running a hair and nail salon can bring both ups and downs and it’s not only the customers you need to think about.

It would help to have the right products, skills and a friendly environment. 

With all the products used on hair and nails creating VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) combined with different people coming in and out the door, indoor air quality can sharply decline if left unchecked. The most effective way to keep your air quality high is to invest in an air purifier for your salon.

Most air purifiers use a high-powered fan to draw in polluted air from your room. It pulls the air through filters that act as a tight net to capture these microscopic airborne particles removing them from the environment and leaving you with fresh, clean, healthy air.

Running an air purifier in your salon will create a comfortable environment for yourself, your staff and your customers. The suitable unit will remove allergens, dust and bacteria and reduce odors and VOCs from the air.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just buying any air purifier. You have to find a suitable unit for your space and one that matches your needs. As different air purifiers clean different-sized spaces, the first step is to measure your salon and use this information to match up with which air purifiers will be most effective for that area.

Why You Can Trust Our Recommendations

When hand-picking the best air purifiers for hair & nail salons, we ensure each unit covers certain criteria to clean the air:

Large efficient HEPA filters
High Clean Air Delivery Rates (CADR)
Activated Carbon filter

There are a lot of air purifier review sites out there, but we noticed one common theme. The reviews don’t purchase and test the units themselves. At HouseFresh, we buy every unit we review and don’t pull any punches when it comes to our reviews. We believe in giving you our open and honest feedback on each air purifier.

🌪️ We test each unit we review in our home performance testing room by filling our space with simulated pollution and monitoring the air quality.

💡 We use an energy monitor to determine how much energy a unit uses on each fan speed.

📻 We also use a noise level monitor to track how much sound each unit generates at various speeds.

In this buying guide, we will look at all the other considerations you’ll need to make when purchasing an air purifier for your salon and recommend units that we have personally tried and tested, so we know they’ll meet your needs.

Before reviewing each recommended unit, check out our top three choices for Best Overall, Best for Larger Spaces and Best Budget Option. 

The Top 3 Air Purifiers For Hair & Nail Salons

Best Overall
Best Overall
Best Budget Option
Best Budget Option
Best for Large Spaces
Best for Large Spaces
Style
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Large Room With Air Quality Monitor, Quiet Odor Eliminators for Bedroom, HEPA Filter, Auto Mode, Cleaners for Allergies, Pets, Smoke, Mold, Pollen, Dust, LV-H133, White
Air Purifiers for Home Large Room, H13 True HEPA Filter for Large Room Cover 1500 ft², Air Cleaner 3 Speeds, Air Quality Monitor Sensor, Child Lock, Sleep Mode, CADR 420 m³/h, Remove 99.97% Pollutants
Smart Air Blast Mini Air Purifier (Blast Mini with HEPA filter)
Pros
It has an auto mode that changes fan speed according to the quality of the air
Has all the features you find in premium units
The filter can last up to 33 months
Cons
There are no carry handles
There’s no app connectivity
It’s really heavy
CADR
274 CFM (466 m³/h)
226 CFM (384 m³/h)
435 CFM (740 m³/h)
Filter Technology
H13 True HEPA Filter
H13 HEPA with activated carbon pellets
H13 HEPA Filter
Recommended Room Size
442 sq. ft.
322 sq ft (30 m²)
915 sq. ft.
Weight
21 lbs (9.5 kg)
18 lbs (8.16 kg)
59 lbs (26.8 kg)
Price
$249.99
Price not available
$599.00
Best Overall
Best Overall
Style
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Large Room With Air Quality Monitor, Quiet Odor Eliminators for Bedroom, HEPA Filter, Auto Mode, Cleaners for Allergies, Pets, Smoke, Mold, Pollen, Dust, LV-H133, White
Pros
It has an auto mode that changes fan speed according to the quality of the air
Cons
There are no carry handles
CADR
274 CFM (466 m³/h)
Filter Technology
H13 True HEPA Filter
Recommended Room Size
442 sq. ft.
Weight
21 lbs (9.5 kg)
Price
$249.99
More Details
Best Budget Option
Best Budget Option
Style
Air Purifiers for Home Large Room, H13 True HEPA Filter for Large Room Cover 1500 ft², Air Cleaner 3 Speeds, Air Quality Monitor Sensor, Child Lock, Sleep Mode, CADR 420 m³/h, Remove 99.97% Pollutants
Pros
Has all the features you find in premium units
Cons
There’s no app connectivity
CADR
226 CFM (384 m³/h)
Filter Technology
H13 HEPA with activated carbon pellets
Recommended Room Size
322 sq ft (30 m²)
Weight
18 lbs (8.16 kg)
Price
Price not available
More Details
Best for Large Spaces
Best for Large Spaces
Style
Smart Air Blast Mini Air Purifier (Blast Mini with HEPA filter)
Pros
The filter can last up to 33 months
Cons
It’s really heavy
CADR
435 CFM (740 m³/h)
Filter Technology
H13 HEPA Filter
Recommended Room Size
915 sq. ft.
Weight
59 lbs (26.8 kg)
Price
$599.00
More Details

Now that you’ve seen our top recommendations check out the rest of the list to see which air purifier would best suit your hair & nail salon.

1. Best Overall: Levoit LV-H133

At the top of our list is the LV-H133 from air purifier giants Levoit. This powerful unit will not only remove harmful pollutants from the air in your salon. It looks good, is easy to operate and can clear harmful contaminants like peroxide and acetone from spaces up to 442 sq. ft.

A great practical feature on the LV-H133 for your salon is its air quality monitor and color indicator ring. This monitors your air quality in real-time and tells you how good/bad it is using a color-coded light on the top of the unit. Visualizing the air quality will tell you if you need to increase or decrease the fan speed to counteract the current pollution in the air.

Air Quality Indicator Chart

Indicator ColorAir QualityAuto Mode Fan Speed
BlueVery GoodSleep Mode
GreenGoodLow
OrangeModerateMedium
RedVery BadHigh

Inside this air purifier is a 3-stage H13 (medical grade) True HEPA filter with nylon pre-filter and activated carbon sheet, which will need replacing every six-eight months to keep the unit running efficiently. 

When it’s time to replace the filters, the filter light will illuminate, so you don’t need to keep checking them. Official replacement filters are easy to come by, or you can get one of the generic filters slightly cheaper.

When we tested the LV-H133 in our performance room, it cleared the pollutants from the air in just 25 minutes, which proves how effective this Levoit air purifier is in the real world.

What We Really Like:

👍 The spherical filter takes in air from 360 degrees
👍 It has an auto mode that changes fan speed according to the quality of the air
👍 The filter is effortless to replace
👍 It’s quiet on low fan speeds

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 There are no carry handles
👎 It’s quite tall

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:25 minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 True HEPA Filter
Recommended room size:442 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):274 CFM (466 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):12.5L x 12.5W x 23.6H inches (31.8L × 31.8W × 60H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):21 lbs (9.5 kg)
Noise level (low – high):25 – 54 dB
Filter life:6 – 8 months
Manufacturer’s warranty:2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$29.43 per year

2. Best Budget Option: TaoTronics AP003

You may not have heard of TaoTronics before, but this brand is making big waves in the world of air purification by making units like the AP003. This stylish unit is dominating the market with its powerful fan, smart technology and the fact that it costs a fraction of the price of most air purifiers of this size and specification.


Danny’s Verdict: 

“A budget air purifier with premium functions and powerful air cleaning power.”


This may be a larger unit, but there is a good reason. When you open the front, you’ll see its huge pre-filter, H13 HEPA and activated carbon filter that contains carbon pellets (which eliminate VOCs caused by many hair and nail products) as opposed to the less effective bonded carbon sheets found in many units these days. Another plus is that replacing the filter is easy and new filters are cheap.

The AP003 contains smart features like a timer, child lock, sleep mode and auto mode, which means you can set this unit running in your salon, and the fan speed will adjust to your air quality. It also has a color and numerical quality display, so you always know how polluted your air is.

It cleared the contaminants from our performance testing room in 29 minutes, an incredible result for an air purifier that costs less than $100.

What We Really Like:

👍 The CADR to $$$ ratio is impressive 
👍 Has all the features you find in premium units
👍 It has a large, highly efficient fan
👍 It uses very little energy to run

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 There’s no app connectivity
👎 The color bar is a little small

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:29 minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 HEPA with activated carbon pellets
Recommended room size:322 sq ft (30 m²)
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):226 CFM (384 m³/h )
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):21.8 x 14.1 x 7.9 inches (55.4 x 35.8 x 20cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):18 lbs (8.16 kg)
Noise level (low – high):32 – 52 dB
Filter life:3 – 6 months
Manufacturer’s warranty:1 year
Estimated energy consumption:$30.48 per year

3. Best for Large Spaces: Smart Air Blast Mini

If your salon is large, you’ll need a powerful air purifier with a high CADR, fan and high-efficiency HEPA filter. Look no further, as Smart Air has the solution with the Blast Mini. It may not look so mini, but it is compared to their bigger Blast unit.

The only downside to this monster of an air purifier is that it doesn’t have any smart features like air quality monitoring or an auto mode. That’s because Smart Air believes that simplicity is the most effective way to combat pollution. There are no fancy touchscreen controls or indicator lights and sounds; just one easy dial controls the three fan speeds.

One thing that isn’t simple is the technology that goes into the H13 HEPA filter. No inch is left uncovered with this vast, highly efficient filter. The large CADR speaks for itself at an impressive 435 CFM that went to work in our performance testing room, removing our simulated pollutants in 17 minutes!

As this Blast mini doesn’t come with an activated carbon filter as standard, we highly recommend upgrading to one so you can remove those harmful VOCs generated from hair and nail products.

What We Really Like:

👍 It’s made from metal, making it more durable
👍 The filter can last up to 33 months
👍 Not many electronics that can go wrong
👍 One dial operation

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Expensive to run as it uses a lot of energy
👎 It’s heavy

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:17 minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 HEPA Filter
Recommended room size:915 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):435 CFM (740 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):22.6L x 13W x 24.8H inches (57.5L × 33W × 63H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):59 lbs (26.8 kg)
Noise level (low – high):36 – 49 dB
Filter life:33 months
Manufacturer’s warranty:1 year
Estimated energy consumption:$277.70 per year

4. Coway AP1512HH

Coway has forged a reputation of being a top brand for electrical home appliances with its vast range of products, including water purifiers, premium bidets and air purifiers. The AP1512HH may be a slightly older model from Coway, but it has stood the test of time against newer units on the market.

Personally, I love the design of this air purifier with its glossy black finish and silver circle, it adds a style that a lot of units don’t have that would fit perfectly into a modern salon space. With the control panel on the top of the unit and smart features like an air quality monitor and auto mode, the AP1512HH is easy to operate; you can turn it on and forget about it.

Inside you’ll find a pre-filter, an activated carbon sheet and a big True HEPA filter that traps microscopic particles from the air in your salon, leaving you and your customers with fresh, clean, healthy air to breathe. 

It cleared the contaminants from our performance testing room in an impressive 23 minutes.

What We Really Like:

👍 It has a color air quality indicator
👍 Looks better than the usual ‘white box’ units
👍 Easy to transport between rooms
👍 The filters are quick to replace

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 I don’t like Ionizer technology
👎 It’s loud on high fan speeds

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★☆☆
Time to clean our test room:23 minutes
Air purifier technology:True HEPA Filter
Recommended room size:361 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):240 CFM (408 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):9.6L x 16.8W x 18.3H inches (24.4L × 42.7W × 46.5H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):12.3 lbs (5.58 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24 – 53 dB
Filter life:6 months
Manufacturer’s warranty:3 years
Estimated energy consumption:$81.99 per year

5. Smart Air S

Just because you need an air purifier to remove harmful pollutants in your hair and nail salon doesn’t mean you have to compromise and have a big ugly unit. The Smart Air S from Smart Air proves this with its modern, stylish design, making it more than just an air purifier.

With its rounded edges, matt finish and beechwood legs, this cute air purifier won’t look out of place in a salon. But it’s not just a pretty face; Smart Air has packed the S with a high-powered fan and an extremely efficient H12 HEPA filter to trap those microscopic contaminants affecting air quality.

The Health S is cheap and easy to run with its one-dial operation. There is no fancy “smart” technology; you can just turn the unit on and leave it to do its job. Unfortunately, This unit doesn’t have an activated carbon filter as standard, which you will need in a salon to remove VOCs from your products. You can upgrade to include a carbon filter or purchase one separately.

The Smart Health S cleared our performance testing room in 29 minutes, which is no small feat for such a small unit.

What We Really Like:

👍 High performing unit at a budget price
👍 Filter replacements aren’t expensive
👍 Doesn’t use a lot of energy to run
👍 It looks great

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 No auto function
👎 You have to upgrade to include an activated carbon filter

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:29 minutes
Air purifier technology:H12 HEPA and optional activated charcoal filter
Recommended room size:430 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):185 CFM (315 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):13H x 13W x 14.3D inches (33.02H x 33.02W x 36.32D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):10.1 lbs (4.58 kg)
Noise level (low – high):23dB – 52dB
Filter life:6 months
Manufacturer’s warranty:1 year
Estimated energy consumption:$45.20 per year

6. Levoit Core 300

Levoit are well known for its formative air purifier technology making them one of the leading brands worldwide. I’ve had the pleasure of testing a few Levoit units and I think the Core 300 is an excellent choice for smaller hair and nail salons. If you’re working in a space up to 547 sq. ft., this tabletop air purifier will make light work of tackling the common pollutants found in salons. 

The Levoit Core 300 is a low cost, high performing air purifier with lots of functions that make your life easier. It has a sleep mode, timer, child lock and displays light control, all set out on the touch control panel. It even has a filter replacement indicator for when you need to change the filters — handy for those with busy schedules.

Inside the unit is a spherical H13 HEPA filter that combines HEPA technology with a pre-filter and an activated carbon filter. This does mean you have to replace all the filters at once, but Levoit has made their replacement filters very affordable.

The Core 300 may be small, but it cleared our performance testing room of contaminants in 40 minutes. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another unit of this size that performs that well.

What We Really Like:

👍 Saves on floor space
👍 It’s super quiet in sleep mode
👍 Low running costs
👍 Filters are simple to replace

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 No air quality monitor
👎 You can’t remove the pre-filter to clean separately

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:40 Minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 (Medical) Grade HEPA and Activated Charcoal
Recommended room size:219 ft² to 547 ft²
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):145 CFM (246 m3/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):8.7L x 8.7W x 14.2H inches (22L x 22W x 36H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):8.6 lbs (3.9 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24dB – 50dB
Filter life:6 – 8 months
Manufacturer’s warranty:2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$47.30


Buying Guide: Air Purifiers for Hair & Nail Salons

Many of the health hazards faced in hair & nail salons are what you would expect; they’re actually invisible and airborne. Introducing an air purifier into your salon is the most effective way to remove these pollutants. 

🤔 Why should you deal with VOCs sooner rather than later?

Volatile Organic Compounds can be found in the air nearly everywhere. 

A study by BioMed Central Ltd shows that the amount of volatile organic compounds like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde found in beauty salons was significantly higher than VOCs found in other establishments.

Exposure to small amounts doesn’t have an overly negative effect on our health. Health issues can arise when we are exposed to higher amounts for long periods.

Unfortunately, VOCs are highly present in hair and nail salons. Most of these toxins are the most abundant compounds in haircare products widely used daily in salons. Products such as:

-Spray lacquer and foam (butane) 
-Shampoo 
-Balms
-Hair masks and oils (camphene, camphor, limonene, eucalyptol, alpha-pinene, 1-methoxy-2-propanol, n-butanol and menthol)
-Hair dye (benzyl alcohol, isopropanol, limonene, hexane and methyl ethyl ketone)

A scientific study on indoor air quality in hair salons shows that if you are exposed to these toxins for long periods both you, your staff and your customer’s health can be at risk. The most common health problems related to exposure to these toxins are

-Musculoskeletal strain disorders
-Skin irritation and hand dermatitis
-Upper and lower respiratory symptoms, and illnesses

This is why it’s essential to keep VOC levels low by introducing an air purifier into your salon.

What to Look for When Buying an Air Purifier for Hair & Nail Salons

When buying an air purifier for your salon, there are a couple of considerations to make to ensure you’re getting the right unit for your needs.

1. The size of your space

The first thing you need to do when buying an air purifier for any room is to measure the size of your space. If you buy a unit that doesn’t match the size of your room, it won’t work to its full efficiency. Most air purifiers will indicate the size of the room they’re made for cleaning. We highly recommend you check this information against the measurements of your salon before deciding on a unit.

2. High-quality HEPA + activated carbon filters

The most crucial part of any air purifier is the filters it uses. Here at HouseFresh, we believe that HEPA filter technology is the most effective method of removing harmful pollutants from the air, so we only recommend units that contain HEPA filters.

💡 Pro tip: There are different grades of HEPA used in units for various needs. You can bone up on differences and lingo in our article What is the Difference Between Medical Grade HEPA vs. True HEPA vs. HEPA?

In the case of VOCs, you need to make sure a unit contains an activated carbon filter. These filters use either a sheet of bonded carbon or actual carbon pieces to adsorb volatile organic compounds, removing them from the air.


Common Questions About Air Purifiers for Hair & Nail Salons

🤔 How does activated carbon remove VOCs?

Activated carbon is made when a chemical reaction is introduced to materials like bamboo, wood and coal. This reaction creates a lattice of tiny pores within the carbon, increasing its surface area. It is then packed into an air purifier filter.

When VOCs pass through the activated carbon in these filters, those microscopic particles are absorbed into that lattice of tiny pores and become trapped, removing them from the air. The general rule of thumb is that the more activated carbon a filter contains, the more efficient it will be at removing VOCs from the air in your salon.

💡 Pro tip: If you want to learn more about activated carbon and how it works, check out our in-depth article How Does an Activated Carbon Filter Work?

🤔 What does CADR mean?

The main consideration to look at when buying an air purifier is the unit’s clean air delivery rating (CADR). The clean air delivery rate is used to measure the performance capabilities of an air purifier by referring to the unit’s ability to clean a specified volume of air. The higher the CADR, the more efficiently the unit will remove contaminant particles from the air.


Wrapping Up

With so many toxins being introduced to the air in your salon from the products you use, the most efficient way to keep your air clean is to buy an air purifier. Purchasing the right air purifier for your space will remove those harmful pollutants from the air to ensure you have a healthy, clean, non-harmful environment for you, your staff and your clientele. 

Last update on 2024-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Teddy Booth

Teddy joined HouseFresh in 2019 as a senior content producer, producing written content as well as product photography and YouTube videos. He supports Danny as a product tester and is our lead how-to writer.

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