Portable Air Purifiers Review &
Buying Guide

Portable air purifiers buying guide. Review of the main features. What to look for. Advantages and disadvantages. Best models.

Air purifiers, also known as air cleaners, are the ultimate tools to keep the air at home clean and pollution-free.

Built as the home appliances, they are designed to offer an effective solution to prevent allergies, breathing discomfort, even lungs diseases, since their function is to keep the air clean and catch all those particles that might compromise our health.

We’re talking about a low-cost investment compared to expensive health treatments in medical centers.

There are two types; whole-house and portable. Whole-house models are designed to work with the home HVAC system and clean the air in the whole house, while the portable air purifiers clean the air in a specific-sized room. These models are much cheaper.

Before selecting the portable air purifier, check out the features and its benefits, but first, identify what is the air quality problem and what is the room size where the unit is going to be located. The air quality problem could be related to mold, dust, smoke, pet dander or such, and depending on that you will select a model with the right technology.

Note: A filter is probably the most important feature. The unit effectiveness greatly depends on the type of the filter that is installed. Economy models are usually equipped with the filters that can remove less than 50% of the particles, while high-quality models can remove even 99% of particles.

Important features to consider when looking for an air purifier

Here, we are going to let you know about the features that a good quality air purifier offers (and that you should consider before buying):

  • Fan. Most air purifiers need a fan to be able to suck the air and pollutants efficiently and run through the filters. This is a feature that can cause annoying sound, however, it makes the machine more efficient. It is recommended to check the noise level in dBA one device produces.

  • Ionizer. This is responsible for attracting the particles. These are the most effective when working with HEPA filters. If a unit has an ionizer, make sure it doesn’t produce ozone because it could have irritating effects on your lungs.

  • Programmable timer. The built-in timer helps you control the operating time of your machine, program or set to automatically shut off the unit after the set amount of time.

  • Remote control. It is used for enhanced comfort and convenience, as it allows you to set and control the settings from any place of the room.

  • The number of speeds. This is important if you suffer from allergies or asthma, the more times the air purifier cleans per hour, the better for your lungs.

  • Washable pre-filters. The pre-filters help collect large particles (usually larger than 10 microns) and by being washable, they make the maintenance easier and faster, saving you time and money. They help extend the life of the HEPA filters.

  • HEPA filter. Many air cleaners have HEPA filters (high-efficiency particulate air) which are designed to capture ultrafine particles, which are larger than 0.3 microns and with the efficiency of 99,97%. These include pollen, dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold and other. HEPA air filter is considered as the most effective way of purifying the air.

  • Carbon filter. Models that are equipped with the carbon filter could filter the Volatile organic compounds (VOC) coming from paint, cleaning products, chemicals, and gases.

  • Ultraviolet or UV light. The air purifier can also use the UV lights to kill allergens and germs, on contact. They work the best with other types of filtration.

  • Dirt sensor. Some air purifiers can adjust the fan speed automatically depending on the level of dust in the air.

  • Filter life indicator. The indicator is actually a digital display that notifies the user when the filter is dirty and needs replacement.

  • Wi-Fi capabilities. Use an app on your smartphone to adjust the settings and have a control of the room’s air quality.

  • Wheels and handles. These features allow easy handling and transport.

Other things to consider

  • Energy Star. Buy an Energy Star compliant model which can help cut the energy costs.

  • Noise level. Look for the model with the lower noise level, measured in dBA. Remember lower is better, especially if the portable air purifier is located in the living room or bedroom. More advanced models are better, so as buying a larger model and operating it on a lower speed.

  • Electrical attraction technology.  Not as effective as HEPA filters, but still a good solution for the airborne particles. There are 3 types; electrostatic precipitating cleaners, electret filters, and negative ion generators.

  • ACH rate. For those users who suffer from allergies or asthma, they should consider the air change per hour rate (ACH). The ACH rate refers to the number of times a device can filter the volume of air from the room each hour. Look for the models that can clean the air at least 4 times per hour.

  • CADR. The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) refers to how much air (in cubic feet) one unit can filter in one minute. If you buy an air purifier with the higher number, then the unit can clean the air in the room faster. To get the right CADR rate, multiply the room area by 0.75. For example, if the area is 100 sq.ft., and after multiplying it by 0.75, the minimum CADR you will look for is 75.

  • Warranty.

  • Cost.

  • Room size. Consider the square footage (length X width) of the room that needs to be purified.

Advantages and disadvantages of portable air purifiers

The following are advantages that will inspire you to buy a good quality air purifier. First of all, they clean the air, preventing and reducing diseases such as asthma and allergies. Also, they reduce odors and catch dust, offering a cleaner space in the area they are used at.

There are very few disadvantages; they can be loud when used at their maximum (even though they work better this way) however, this is easily fixable. Instead of buying a smaller unit and running it on the high speed, buy a larger one and reduce the power when going to sleep or to work. On the other hand, it’s important to make sure your portable air purifier doesn’t produce ozone, this is something you can check on the specs of the one you will choose.

Benefits

Now, let’s look at some of the direct benefits of having an air purifier at home:

  • Portable air purifiers are small, compact, and easy to handle and move. Heavier ones have wheels.

  • They create a healthier and cleaner environment for you and the family, even pets.

  • Air cleaners can effectively reduce the symptoms of asthma and allergies.

  • They reduce odors without using chemical products that can affect your health.

  • Portable air purifiers are able to catch dust, pet dander, and particles that are not even visible to the human eye, and which can affect you and your family health.

  • They’re easy to operate, the advanced ones have a remote control for convenience, even Wi-Fi option.

  • They’re easy to clean and filters can be changed on your own – no need for the technician.

Best 3 portable air purifiers

LEVOIT LV-H132 Purifier

Highlights

  • The LEVOIT LV-H132 air cleaner is specifically designed to remove smells and particles like cigarettes ashes.
  • It removes 99.97% of particles in the air, such as pollen, pet dander, smoke, and dust, considerably reducing allergies and creating an odor-free environment.
  • It has 3 different speeds that you can change according to your needs, so you can turn on a higher speed during the day and a lower speed during the night, for your comfort sleeping.
  • The air passes through 3 different filters for an efficient removal of impurities resulting in cleaner space and fresh air all day long. It uses a pre-filter (to remove fine particles), a HEPA filter (removes most of the remaining particles in the air), and an activated carbon filter (improves an air quality and reduces odors).
  • The purifier has an intuitive operation that allows people who don’t know much about technology, to handle it well. By this, I mean that at the touch of a button, you can change the speed of the fan, for example. Additionally, this model brings a function for the night that guarantees a better sleep: the light becomes dimmer.

Pros & Cons

  • The air purifier is small, simple, and quite efficient.
  • It doesn’t produce ozone, so it’s safe for humans and pets.
  • LEVOIT LV-H132 has a beautiful design and look, so it goes well with every decoration.
  • The unit is designed for small and medium-size rooms and is backed by a 2-year warranty.
  • It has a set of filters for better air quality that can be easily changed every six months.

Honeywell 50250-S True HEPA Air Purifier

Highlights

  • Honeywell 50250-S comes with the technology that prevents air leaks and it’s designed especially for larger rooms, so you don’t have to worry even if you have bigger rooms.
  • It has 3 different levels of fan speed that you can adjust according to your needs.
  • The 360-degree air intake allows the device to collect air from all the directions.
  • This model also comes equipped with carbon pre-filters so that the life of the filter is much longer, removing larger particles before they make contact with the HEPA filter.
  • The SurroundSeal Technology is the innovative system (recommended by allergists) as it helps to minimize the majority of air leaks.
  • The Intelli-Check electronic filter indicator reminds you when is the time to change the HEPA filter, as well as when you should change the pre-filter.

Pros & Cons

  • By using the quality filters, Honeywell guarantees the quality of the purified air and in order to maintain the performance, the filters have to be changed as recommended.
  • It has different prices depending on the size you choose.

Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier

Highlights

  • The Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 works perfectly on the task of reducing the risk of allergies.
  • It has 4 stages of purifying and carbon filter can last three years. 
  • It has a permanent washable filter, which makes it even easier for its maintenance and at a lower cost.
  • Low energy consumption.
  • It has a 5-year warranty and customer service 24/7, which makes this a very reliable product.

Pros & Cons

  • It’s not designed for large rooms, so in order to obtain great results, place it in a small or medium size room.
  • It has a remote control in case you don’t want to move from your seat and a LED panel to control it. It’s very silent when used at the lowest speed, which makes it perfect for bedrooms and offices.

Other popular models

  • Blueair
  • Dyson
  • Honeywell
  • Kenmore
  • Electrolux
  • Frigidaire
  • Hamilton Beach
  • Rowenta
  • Whirlpool
  • Sharp

Summary

Portable air purifiers that are able to reduce odors (including cigarette odors), pet dander, allergies, reduce the risk of asthma, dust and any pollution particle that might be in the air are something you should look for your home. And don’t leave behind design and portability, which will make your air purifier a nice part of your room and an ally to your (and your family’s) health.

Portable air purifiers will make your life better and healthier by improving the quality of the environment at home. Keeping allergies and asthma away, breathing a purer air and avoiding odors at home can be an easy way to improve your life quality while reducing the spending on medical care.

And if you are still not sure why to buy one, refer to the research done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying that an indoor air quality is 2-5 times more polluted than the outside air.

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