Blueair Blue Pure 211+ review

Equally stylish and speedy, the 211+ is a smart choice for those looking for a fuss-free purifier but not without its downsides.
By
Updated on May 6, 2024
Written by
Paul Allen
Paul is a staff writer for HouseFresh, with a focus on product recommendations and advice for smokers and apartment dwellers. He started writing in November 2020, when he joined the content production team at NeoMam Studios (our parent company).

Our verdict

For design-savvy users who want to achieve clean air in a quick timeframe with next to no hassle, the Blue Pure 211+ is a great option.

 

I was really impressed that the unit completed our speed test in under 20 minutes, working well against even the smallest particles.

 

However, the 211+ isn’t perfect. It failed to match my expectations for what HEPASilent should sound like and misses the added functionality of Blueair’s latest models, such as the 211i Max.

Formed in 1996, Blueair set out to emulate the clean air found in Sweden’s pristine countryside for homes in the city. Making healthy air available to all, no matter where you are in the world. 

In the 28 years since, Blueair has become one of the most recognizable air purifier brands on the market – in part thanks to its unique Scandinavian design.

As well as being known for their good-looking devices, Blueair has picked up plenty of accolades for their purifiers’ performance too. Becoming the brand of choice amongst U.S embassies, seeing their filters used in Volvo vehicles and ranking amongst the top units featured on Consumer Reports. 

The Blue Pure range includes the 411, 311 and 211, each catering to different-sized spaces, with the 211 being powerful enough for use in large rooms of up to 540 sq. ft. Each purifier uses Blueair’s trademarked HEPASilent technology, which offers protection from tiny particles while creating minimal noise and using less energy in the process. 

With an impressive list of claims and clout, we decided to purchase a Blue Pure 211+ for ourselves and see how well it performed in our hands-on review.

  1. In our home lab of 728 cubic feet, we light an incense stick to generate particle pollution and VOCs.
  2. We set up our trusted Purpleair Indoor Sensor with the latest Bosch gas sensor to track levels of PM1ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3 and PM10ug/m3 and VOCs in the air.

  3. We switch the air purifier to its highest speed and measure how long it takes to get our room air quality down to PM1 level to 0.
  4. We use an energy meter to measure precisely how much electricity is used when running the unit at the lowest and highest fan speed settings.

  5. We track sound levels emitted by the air purifier at different fan speeds with the help of a commercial sound meter.

Read more about our testing process, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

HouseFresh has no connection to Blueair, so I’m free to provide an unbiased account of how well this purifier performed. Whether amazing or awful, be sure to read on to see what I really thought. 

The lowdown on the Blue Pure 211+

“The air cleaning capabilities of the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ blew me away. 

Our air cleaning test showed performance levels not normally seen at this price point, but I wouldn’t recommend it for those looking for medical-grade filters as this uses filters that can only perform well when using the onboard ionizer. 

Unlike most other devices that use ionizers, you can’t disable this mode on the 211+ so it’s something to be aware of.”

— Danny Ashton, HouseFresh Founder & Senior Writer

Looking for the quick-fire facts? Here are my main pros and cons of the Blueair Blue Pure 211+.

What we really like

It comes with a really impressive AHAM-verified CADR score of 350 CFM.
It removed all traces of pollutants during our air cleaning speed test in less than 20 minutes.
The eye-catching design makes this a great alternative to the standard white box aesthetic.
The simple one-button controls will suit many users; just install the filter, hit the on button and you’re good to go.

What we think could be better

The ionizer feature cannot be switched off, which is something you get to do with units from Alen, Winix or Coway.
It didn’t live up to its supposed near-silent operating volumes during our noise levels test.
The carbon filter is a little lackluster, considering this is such a large unit with plenty of space for more carbon.

The specs

From filters to fan speed, let’s see how the 211+ stacks up on paper.

The Blue Pure 211+ is currently retailing for $311.55. According to Energy Star, the unit has an independently verified CADR of 350 CFM for smoke, pollen and dust, which equates to $0.89 per CFM.  

HouseFresh rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our 728 cubic feet test room (with the device running at top speed):18 minutes
Air purifier technology:HEPASilent™ Technology and Activated Charcoal Filter + Ionizer technology
Recommended room size (4.8 air changes per hour):540 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):Dust: 350 CFM
Smoke: 350 CFM
Pollen: 350 CFM
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):20H x 13W x 13D inches (51H x 33W x 33D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):12.98 lbs (5.89 kg)
Filter life:6 – 8 months
Noise level in decibels (measured from 3 ft. away with a sound level meter):Speed 1: 37.2 dB
Speed 2: 45.8 dB
Speed 3: 55.7 dB
Electricity consumption in watts (recorded with an electricity usage monitor):Standby mode: 0.1 watts
Speed 1: 16.9 watts
Speed 2: 40.5 watts
Speed 3: 54.5 watts
Estimated running cost (electricity consumption + official filter replacement):$202.81 per year
Cost per CADR cfm (based on dust CFM as reported by AHAM):$0.71
Manufacturer’s warranty:1 year
Country of manufacture:Designed and engineered in Sweden, assembled in China

Other units in a similar price range include the Alen BreathSmart Flex with a CADR of 225 CFM ($349), Coway Airmega 300 with a CADR of 306 CFM (less than $350) and the Levoit Core 600S, which has a CADR of 410 CFM (less than $300). 

It will be interesting to see how the 211+ compares to these units throughout the review. 

Eye-catching colors with an interchangeable pre-filter design

The 211+ offers Blueair’s signature Scandi design with paired back controls.

As far as air purifiers go, the 211+ boasts one of the most modern designs on the market, accented by a pop of color through the external pre-filter and an aesthetically pleasing honeycomb air outlet grill.

Lined up against the other air purifiers we’ve tested and it’s clear to see that the Blueair is a head-turner. Of course, this bold design may not appeal to all, but I love the idea the appearance can be customized to the user’s personal taste, with five interchangeable color options.  

The Blue Pure 211+ is a BIG air purifier. See in the photo below how it compares with the Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto and the 411+:

Maneuvering the Blue Pure 211+ is not easy. 

The instructions state to take hold of the machine by the top, however, there are no handles or obvious points where to grip the air purifier. Without castor wheels either, this makes the unit more challenging to move around the home and is the first time I’ve seen a discrepancy between the instruction manual and how the product is used in the real world.

Blueair decided to keep the controls on the 211+ simple. You’ll find just one button on the 211+, which allows you to turn on the purifier, cycle through the 3 fan speeds and turn it back off again. 

This simplicity will suit many of you who hate reading through detailed instruction manuals. However, I personally missed features such as a timer, Auto Mode and air quality display that are fairly standard in the air purifier world these days. 

This also means that the 211+ is not compatible with the Blueair app. So to control the unit, you must be in the space and physically switch it on/off using the single button control. 

Tip

If, like me, you simply can’t live without smart mod-cons, it’s worth checking the 211+ Auto or 211i Max.

Dual-filtration offers maximum protection with minimal fuss 

The 211+ uses Blueair’s trademarked HEPASilent filters to remove microscopic particles without noise.

Blueair prides itself on its HEPASilent filters. This technology combines a mechanical filter with a form of ionizer that electrostatically charges particles to make them easier to remove.

They claim this dual filter can capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.1 microns, but they also mention that due to the combined filter technology, they can use less dense filters (lower grade than HEPA). 

From their studies, this combination performs better than mechanical-only filtration, seeing a 54% increase in performance. The downside is that you can’t switch off the ionizer function, as it will significantly affect overall cleaning power.

The mechanical filters used by Blueair consist of a fabric pre-filter, which attaches to the outside of the unit to remove large particles such as hair, followed by a coconut shell-carbon filter to target VOCs and odor, followed by a HEPA filter to remove the smallest of airborne particles such as dust, pollen and even bacteria and virus particles too.

On closer inspection, it’s clear to see that the activated carbon sheet is very thin with no granular substrate, so is less likely to make a huge impact against VOCs. Plus, as we saw recently with Levoit, Blueair’s HEPA filter has come under scrutiny. Some experts suggest it’s a HEPA-type filter rather than the H13 medical-grade we’ve seen from other brands. 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it allows air to circulate more freely and complete more air changes per hour. It may also be a clue as to why the 211+ has such a high CADR, so it will be interesting to see how well the unit performs in our speed test.

Tip

Looking for more protection from VOCs? Supercharge the carbon quantity in your filter by upgrading to the SmokeBlock filter.

The filter is straightforward to install; simply twist the body of the purifier and slot it inside with the carbon filter facing upwards.  

It’s important to note that the ionizer feature cannot be turned off on this device. Many people wrongly assume it will generate ozone, but a third-party lab test by Intertek provides a certificate for zero ozone (≤ 0.005 ppm.).  

Tip

As with all new filters, remember to remove the filters from the plastic wrapper before turning on the air purifier.

The Blue Pure 211+ cleared our test room in 18 minutes

With a CADR of 350 CFM, the 211+ proved its worth during our tests, removing all traces of pollutants in a timely fashion.

Just like every other air purifier featured on HouseFresh, the Blue Pure 211+ was put through its paces during our clean air speed test. 

Having filled our 728 cubic foot home lab with incense smoke, we primed our stopwatch and prepared our Purpleair sensor ready to track levels of PM1.0ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3 and PM10.0 ug/m3 pollutants.

Air cleaning performance test results

With the 211+ set to its top speed, we saw that the unit was able to remove all traces of pollutants in just 18 minutes. This is the same amount of time that it took the much smaller Levoit Vital 200S, and two minutes less than the Winix 5500-2 with PlasmaWave ionization enabled.

Having completed the speed test in such a quick time frame, we see the importance of selecting a unit with a high CADR score. The 211+ eclipsed the times set by the Alen BreatheSmart 75i and even other much more expensive units such as the IQAir Healthpro Plus.  

Fan speed test results

What determines a high-level CADR score often depends on how much air the purifier can move. With high-powered units with efficient fans often coming out on top. 

With this in mind, I measured how powerful the Blue Pure 211+ is using a Tetso 410 Anemometer.

Ranging from 1.5 m/s at its lowest speed to 3.5 m/s at its fastest, we can see that the 211+ is capable of pushing a lot of air through the unit across all three of its settings.

These fan speeds show that it’s circulating the air efficiently and can be trusted to produce clean air even when used at its lowest speed setting.  

Noise levels test results

When using an air purifier, it’s wise to remember that it’s not all about speed. If the unit is too noisy, the odds are you won’t use it as often. With this in mind, we always record the sound levels a purifier creates on each of its speed settings while standing at 3 ft. away from the device.

When measuring the noise levels of this air purifier, we recorded that the 211+ generates 37.2 dB of sound at its lowest fan speed, 45.8 dB at its middle speed, and 55.7 dB at its top fan speed.

Although this isn’t too loud, I expected it to live up to its HEPASilent namesake a little more. 

As we can see, the 211+ ran louder than the Alen BreathSmart Flex and matched the colossal IQAir Healthpro Plus when running at the lowest speed. 

However, as sound is highly subjective, we recorded the test so you could hear the results for yourself.

The cost to run a Blue Pure 211+: $202.81 per year

After purchasing the 211+, here’s what you can expect to spend each year using the appliance

1. Electricity costs = $83.13 per year

Electricity usage should always be considered before taking the plunge on a new purifier. 

Using our energy use monitor, I recorded that the 211+ drew 54.5 watts when used at its top speed setting. 

This is very efficient for such a powerful unit and would add just $83.13 to your annual electricity bill if you were to use the unit purifier at top speed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  

2. Filter costs = $119.68 per year

The Blue Pure 211+ uses mechanical filters, which means that over time, they will become saturated with polluting particles and lose efficiency. Once this happens, it’s time to replace the filter.

Blueair states that their standard Particle + Carbon filter ($59.84) and Smokeblock filter ($79.99) will last for 6 months if the purifier is used around the clock. It’s annoying that you can’t replace the carbon filter without having to throw away the primary filter, as we believe it could last much longer than 6 months in most American homes.

Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Genuine Replacement Filter
  • COMPATIBLE WITH BLUE PURE 211 plus: Blueair Combination Particle plus Carbon Replacement Filter compatible with Blue Pure 211 plus air purifiers (non-auto); not compatible with Blue Pure 211 plus Auto air purifier
  • FILTERS BUILT TO LAST: Using a 360-degree air intake and up to 4x the filter surface area, the Genuine Blue Pure 211 plus Auto Particle and Activated Carbon Filter lasts on average 6 months to a year; optimizing air flow and performance over time

Savings can be made by shopping around for generic filters with options widely available for around $39.99. As the genuine filters are not HEPA grade, this may be a good option to explore.  

Sale
Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Generic Replacement Filter
  • 【COMPATIBLE MODELS】: Our 211+ replacement filters are fully Compatible with Blueair Blue Pure 211+ and Max Air Purifier to maintain its peak performance. Our 211+ replacement filter for Blueair works as original with the same performance, keeping your 211+ air purifier at its best working efficiency and capacity, breathing fresher air all the time.
  • 【HIGH PERFORMANCE】: Our Blue Pure 211+ True HEPA Replacement Filter combined with high efficiency filtration system, The True HEPA filter are capable of attaching 99.99% of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns, and the carbon filter helps you solve the problem of unpleasant odors and gases.

Bottom line

The 211+ offers impressive bang for its buck but loses ground on rivals due to its lack of features and high-performance filters. 

If the fresh air of Sweden’s pristine countryside is something you can only imagine, then the Blue Pure 211+ might just help turn this dream into reality. With an impressive CADR of 350CFM, the 211+ delivers clean air in no time at all, providing numerous air changes every hour, even when used in a large space.

But in a world where smart features are commonplace, it’s difficult not to feel like the 211+ lacks something — perhaps that is why the 211+ Auto and 211i Max have also been released.

If you have to deal with any strong odors, you might want to look at alternative devices with separate carbon filters like the Winix 5500-2. This allows you to continue combating VOCs without replacing the particle filter, which should last longer with general use.

Those looking for HEPA-grade filters that can remove many particulates in one pass should also want to look elsewhere. Blueair is clear that they don’t use these higher grade filters but do make the argument that in combination with ionizers, you can get much higher air cleaning performance for less money.

Within its price range, the only air purifier to complete the speed test faster was the Levoit Core 600S. This isn’t too surprising, as we know the 600S has a whopping CADR of 410 CFM. But there’s a strong case that the 211+ may be a better unit for some users thanks to its eye-catching design and ease of use. Read our full comparison if you’re trying to decide between the Core 600S and the Blue Pure 211+.

SOURCES

We calculated yearly costs associated with running the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ 24 hours a day, 365 days per year utilizing the latest average energy prices as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of $0.174/kWh as of April 2024.

Last update on 2024-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About the author

Paul Allen

Paul is a staff writer for HouseFresh, with a focus on product recommendations and advice for smokers and apartment dwellers. He started writing in November 2020, when he joined the content production team at NeoMam Studios (our parent company).

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