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Are Air Purifiers a Waste of Money?

Last updated June 8, 2021

This post may contain affiliate links.

Author
Author avatar Danny Ashton

Danny as been writing about air purifiers for 10+ years. He is a major fan of home technology, which makes him the perfect person to test and evaluate products for HouseFresh

It might seem like a great idea to pick up a cheap air purifier whilst your doing your grocery shopping but in reality your going to waste your money.

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The vast majority of air purifiers that are stocked by Walmart are under $150 and the majority sold are created by Sharper Image. The two best-selling purifiers are the ionic pro combo and ionic pro mini both by Sharper image. Since writing this post, I have saw that you can find decent air purifier and humidifier combos at Walmart which are actually well rated by customers – look for the Boneco W200 and Venta LW25.

1. Keep Well Away from Sharper Image

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Now Sharper Image has had some bad press with their ionic breeze air purifiers after they were found to release ozone which actually reduced air quality. Now the new ionic pro models do not release as many excessive levels of ozone but they are still very inefficient.  Read the following articles about why it’s a bad idea to invest in a sharper Image purifier:

2. Can Only Remove Large Particles

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The problem with all cheap purifiers is that they can only remove a very small percentage of the particles in the air. Most of the sub $150 priced purifiers can only deal with particles that are bigger 0.3 microns. 0.3 microns is small but in the world of air based particles they only make up about 10% of pollutant particles. This means that these cheap purifiers are only able to clean 10% of the air in your room.

3. Can Only Work In Small Sealed Rooms

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You will see that many of these units promise to clean rooms up to 250 feet but this is assuming that your room air does not circulate. As we all know, air will pass throughout the house and thus an air purifier will be required to clean the vast majority of air throughout the house. Most American houses will require an air purifier that can deal with at least 1000 feet and this is true even if you only want to clean the air in one room. Sealing your rooms is just not an option unless you really want to take one step closer to the grave!

If you are interested in finding the best air purifier in 2020 then be sure to check out my current recommendations:

1.Best for Most People – LEVOIT Pet Edition
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Large Bedroom, H13 True HEPA Filter, Air Cleaner for Pets Hair Dander Allergies Odors, 99.97% Removal of 0.3 Microns Dust Smoke Mold, Available for California, Core P350
  • Neutralize Stinky Smells: Cute as they are, pets can smell sometimes. Now introducing Custom High-Efficiency Activated Carbon Filter - the effective odor eliminator for pet odors, litter box smells, and cooking smoke.
  • Perfect for Pet Parents: Experiencing coughing, congestion, or breathing difficulties caused by pets. Levoit Core P350 provides H13 True HEPA Filtration to reduce sneezing, itchiness, and stuffy nose by purifying the air you breathe.
  • Cleaner House: Did you know an air purifier can help you spend less time cleaning. It's possible with P350. The fine Non-Woven Fabric Pre-Filter traps large floating particles such as pet fur, hair, dust, and lint, helping to reduce the amount of debris on your floor and furniture.
  • Sleep Safe & Sound: Don't ever worry about your furry friend being disturbed by the air purifier - Sleep Mode turns display indicators to half-brightness and keeps noise levels as low as 24dB, so you can sleep while cuddling with your cute little one.
  • Safety First: Unlike other air purifiers, the Core P350 doesn't use ions to purify the air, keeping your pets safe from harmful exposure to certain particles.

2. Budget-Friendly – $75ish Hamilton Beach TrueAir
Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier with Permanent HEPA Filter for Home or Office and for Allergies and Pets, Whisper Quiet, 160 sq ft, Black
  • High Performance Hepa Grade Filter: Captures 99% of pet dander, dust, dust mites, pollen, and mold / mildew spores as small as 3 microns from the air.
  • Easy to clean: Allergen reducing air purifier has a permanent Hepa-grade filter that easily vacuums clean.
  • Compact, stylish design: Allergen reducing air purifier is perfect in the office or in rooms up to 160 square feet
  • Versatile air care that fits anywhere: Position the unit vertically or horizontally to best fit in your bedroom, den, nursery, hallway or living room at home or at the office.
  • Quiet and powerful: Use whisper clean for extra quiet operation at night, the medium setting or the quick clean setting for more powerful air cleaning.

3. Winix 5500-2 – For those with bigger rooms
Sale
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA, PlasmaWave and Odor Reducing Washable AOC Carbon Filter Medium
  • True HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne pollutants; dust mites, pet dander, pollen and other allergens as small as 0.3 microns
  • Washable AOC Carbon Filter, made from activated carbon granulars for removal of household odors. Decibels 27.8 dB
  • PlasmaWave acts as a permanent filter to safely break down odor, allergens, chemical vapors and other pollutants with no harmful ozone
  • Smart Sensors gauge the air and our Auto Mode adjusts the fan to filter the air as needed; with a sleep mode for silent night time operation
  • CADR rated for 360 square feet room size. Suitable for medium and large rooms; kids bedrooms, family rooms and kitchens

4. Coway Airmega 400 – If you need the very best or the largest space (whole apartment/small house)
Sale
Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier (Covers 1,560 sq. ft.), True HEPA Air Purifier with Smart Technology
  • Coway Airmega 400 room air purifier is designed to accommodate large room sizes up to 1,560 square feet and cleans the air at least two times per hour when used as recommended.
  • Coway Airmega Max2 filter-a combined activated carbon and a True HEPA filter-captures and reduces up to 99.99 percent of particles 0.01 microns in the air, including pollen, pollutants and other allergens. It also reduces more than 99 percent of volatile organic compounds and reduces fumes such as NH3 and CH3CHO.
  • Coway Airmega’s pollution sensor communicates indoor air quality testing in real-time. The brightly colored LED ring lets you know how clean or dirty your indoor air is, every minute of the day.
  • Coway Airmega has five fan modes: Smart, Sleep, Low, Medium and High. Noise level is nearly silent at lower speeds. Max noise at highest setting is 43.2 dB.
  • Coway Airmega is a smart, energy efficient air purifier with a three-setting smart mode to adapt to its surroundings. Fan speed automatically adjusts based on the room’s air quality and lighting conditions to improve air quality.

Last update on 2021-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API