But at a price of $190, it’s too expensive for a machine made for spaces no larger than a bedroom. Air purifiers use a fan to pull in dirty air at one end, remove pollutants, and output clean air at the other end. On medium, it removed an impressive 97.3%. We much prefer being able to shut the display off with the machine on the medium setting we recommend (or any other speed that you choose). Ft. Air Purifier, 99.9% | Modern Design - White 4.6 out of 5 stars 6,063 $270.00 $ 270 . Tim Heffernan is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter and a former writer-editor for The Atlantic, Esquire, and others. It reduced smoke levels by 99.9% in 30 minutes on high, and by 94.2% on medium. For optimal performance, vacuum, wipe down, or rinse off the prefilter (it looks like a window screen or plastic netting) every month or so. Top 5 Air Purifier Brands & their Best Selling Model. On its highest setting, the TP04 reduced particulate pollution by 86.6% in 30 minutes; compare that with 98.9% and 99.3% from the Mighty and the Blue Pure 211+, respectively. That 0.3-micron diameter is not arbitrary: It is considered by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, a trade group, the toughest size of particle to remove by physical, HEPA-type filtration. Air pollution from US combustion emissions alone results in 200,000 premature deaths a year, according to a 2013 MIT study. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. We describe the results in What settings should you run an air purifier on? The GermGuardian AC5900WCA was a stellar performer in our 2019 test, reducing particulates by 99.3% on high and 98% on medium. It’s better to have “too much purifier” than not enough. One trend we’ve encountered in the scant negative reviews of the Coway Mighty concerns complaints about nonresponsive customer service. We’ll update soon. Filter type: HEPA\Gas, Filter life: 1 year, Size: 1054 x 223 x 117mm, Max room size: 450 square feet, Number of speeds: 10, Auto mode: Yes, App control: Yes, Read our full Dyson Pure Cool Tower review, It might look like a dustbin, but this air purifier is powerful and perfect for larger rooms. For example, an air purifier with a CADR score of 190 for dust particles is as effective as adding 190 cubic feet of clean air per minute. It simply doesn’t move enough air to work effectively in anything bigger than a bedroom. You can also hook the purifier up to your Wi-Fi network and control it via your phone. But at that speed the Mini produced an ear-splitting 66.3 decibels of high-pitched fan noise, measured from 6 feet away—completely unlivable in any living space, let alone the small spaces Molekule intends the Mini to be used in. We tested two tower-style units in 2017, the Coway AP-1216L and the since-discontinued LG PuriCare AS401WWA1. Install your purifier at least 18 inches from a wall and any furniture, ideally near the midpoint of the room you’re using it in. Molekule Air and Air Mini: The worst air purifiers we’ve ever tested, How to set up, use, and maintain your air purifier, citing errors in an internal review process, is thought to be the main way the virus spreads, What level of exposure to the virus causes an infection, The Best Wildfire Preparedness Supplies and Strategies, as laid out by the strict California Air Resources Board, taping a furnace filter to a box fan to create a DIY air purifier, our blog post about purifiers and wildfire smoke, case before the National Advertising Division, Dyson Pure Hot+Cool HP06 Cryptomic purifier, The Pure Company’s Large Room Air Purifier. If they encounter a hydrogen atom, they combine to produce water (H2O). Cleverly, the front display shows you the current air quality, so you can see when your air is dirty and when it’s clean. Filter type: HEPA, Filter life: 6 months, Size: 590 x 500 x 275mm, Max room size: 40 square metres, Number of speeds: 3, Auto mode: Yes (via optional Blueair Aware), App control: Yes, A powerful air purifier that is a top fan for the warmer months of the year. The theory is that ozone, which is highly reactive, neutralizes or breaks down pollutants. The Airmega 200M shares the Mighty’s display-shutoff feature, which we value highly because it turns off the overly bright air-quality indicator lamp and makes this model much more conducive to bedroom use. The incense continued to burn for another 20 minutes or so, and the purifiers ran for 50 minutes total. After all, you won’t be sitting or sleeping with your face against your purifier. It’s also a bit louder, at 43 versus 39 decibels on the everyday medium setting. The solution is to make the filter dense enough that it has a sufficient amount of fibers to capture most of the 0.3-micron particles. The Airmega 150 is the first small-space machine from that company. Read more in How HEPA filters work. #mc-embedded-subscribe-form input[type=checkbox]{display: inline; width: auto;margin-right: 10px;} It has delivered exceptional air purification at the 0.3 micron HEPA standard in our testing. In October 2020, we tested it on filters that had been in 24/7 use for a year, and got 99.6% and 89.4% reduction. And the need to frequently wash the plates, and, once a year, take the whole machine apart and give it a deep clean, sounds like a hassle rather than a selling point. All of the air purifiers we’ve tested here use a HEPA filter, which will capture a minimum of 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3µm in size. Again, the company says it will send free replacements, but adds that the extraordinarily high demand for air purifiers this year (due to the fires and COVID-19) is stretching its customer service department, so response times may be slower than normal. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air and refers to the fact that HEPA filters let air pass through with little resistance while quickly capturing almost all the particles the air is carrying. The Molekule Air has a sleek design and includes two filters, designed to capture pollutants smaller than the average air purifier using PECO technology. It isn’t a perfect approach, but given the multiple variables involved, it is the most accurate way to compare different purifiers. Airsoap’s claim that it will save you “thousands” in the cost of replacement filters is ridiculous—you’d have to replace the filter on the Coway AP-1512HH 20 times to reach even $1,000, meaning you’d have to run it for two decades. It’s also an attractive, quiet-running machine, so it’s easy to live with. Versus other smart air purifiers we’ve looked at, its app, sensors, and programmability are head-and-shoulders more advanced—almost another species. *At the time of publishing, the price was $240. Despite their decent-to-solid performance, we don’t recommend either one. We think it’s wisest to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation, but we have also found that HEPA filters continue to perform almost like new even after a year of continuous use—so if you blow past the deadline, it’s likely not a crisis. The huge and exceptionally powerful Medify MA-112 has the highest CADR rating we’ve ever seen: 950. As such, it posed a stiff test for all of the machines. For that price, though, you get a machine that’s barely a third as capable: The Hathaspace delivers 2 air changes per hour in a 350-square-foot room, whereas the Coway delivers 5.7. But square-footage ratings are essentially meaningless when you’re comparing two rooms with different ceiling heights. In early fall 2020, we received a few notes from readers about a pair of issues with their Coways. Those who want something quieter should buy the Philips Air Purifier Anti-Allergen with NanoProtect Filter AC3256/30. And so—it’s fair to say that we needed to re-examine some of the language to make sure that it’s saying what we’re intending to say.”. That’s why we’ve always measured purifier performance at a considerable distance from the machines, outside of the path of the cleaned airflow. (You can hear for yourself how loud it is in this video from the Sleep Sherpa. At night, for example, you can shut off its display, which features a far-too-bright “air quality indicator” lamp. The Austin Air HealthMate HM400, our pick for VOC removal, is also powerful enough to clean large spaces. When retesting our existing air-purifier picks, Tim took four measurements, two using the old filters and two using new filters. It was impressive in our tests, reducing particulates by more than 97% on its high setting in 30 minutes in a 135-square-foot New York City office. (Compare that with the Blue Pure 411’s measurements: 87.2% on high and 70.7% on medium.) So why does that not make the Winix our automatic top pick? On the high setting (which we measured at 54.1 decibels—too loud for sleep, and far above our 50-decibel limit for comfortable conversation), the Levoit Core 300 reduced particulates in our 135-square-foot New York test room by 97.4% in 30 minutes. Still, there’s a timer option – hourly increments of between one and eight hours – if you want the Air 300 to power down. We do dismiss air purifiers that rely on ozone (O3, a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms) to “purify” the air. It can clean the air up to an area of 79 square metres and this will more than cover the entire living room and kitchen area. In the meantime, customers with this issue can get a free replacement from Coway. He has anchored our unequaled coverage of air purifiers and water filters since 2015. It’s now available on Amazon. That’s a major adjustment of its prior position: that direct person-to-person contact, including via larger respiratory droplets that do not travel far or linger in the air, was the main vector, and that airborne (a.k.a. All of the equipment measures particles down to the 0.3-micron HEPA standard; John’s equipment goes much finer, down to 0.01 micron, one-thirtieth of the size of the HEPA standard. This increased the total number of air purifiers we have tested since 2014 to 35—on top of the dozens of competitors we’ve evaluated and dismissed without testing over the years. The GermGuardian CDAP4500 is a small-space unit that usually costs $150—more than our pick in that category, the Levoit Core 300—mostly because it offers Wi-Fi connectivity, which isn’t useful or necessary. The Coway lets you shut off the display manually, on any fan speed, but the Winix only does so automatically, and, more important, only on a single setting, sleep mode, when the fan is running its slowest. The HPA300 performed very well in our tests but was also extremely loud, topping out at 62 decibels on its highest setting and measuring 53 decibels on the higher of its two medium speeds. Best overall air purifier: Dyson Pure Hot+Cool; Best budget air purifier: Dimplex DXAPV3N; Best air purifier for fast cleaning: Blueair Classic 405; Best air purifier and fan: Dyson Pure Cool Tower Most purifiers with an ionizer let you toggle the feature on or off. But in our tests it performed significantly worse, achieving just 77.4% and 55.1% reduction on its highest and medium (speed 6) settings, respectively. However, it’s much weaker on CADR specs than our small-space pick, the Levoit Core 300, and it produced very poor results in our tests: just 58.0% and 59.2% reduction of particulates on high and medium, respectively, versus the Levoit’s 97.4% and 92.6%. Control of the purifier is simple via the control panel on the front, which lets you set one of three speeds. We also tested the Molekule on its Dark setting, in which its light-based, primary PECO purification system is shut off and only its physical prefilter is in use; we set the airflow to Auto on the Dark tests. Their small footprints (10 by 8 inches for the Coway, 11 by 11 inches for the LG) belie the fact that they’re 32 and 30 inches tall, respectively—as tall as a kitchen counter—and so they take up a huge amount of visual space. Let’s start with the Molekule’s strongest performance. However, as you can see in this review of a malfunctioning unit, Coway responds in the thread. It’s a popular purifier, with a design that has gone largely unchanged for years, but even many of its adherents acknowledge that noise is an issue. The three top models in our air purifier ratings earn an Excellent or Very Good rating for particle reduction at a low speed while keeping noise to a minimum. The Coway, on year-old filters, removed 99.6% and 89.2%, respectively—in line with all our past test results, on new or old filters. The Winix 5500-2 is a direct competitor to the Coway AP-1512HH, has a nearly identical clean air delivery rate (CADR), offers the same 5.1 air changes per hour (ACH) in a 350-square-foot space, and most important, performed just as well as the Coway in our testing. And when the machine is running, its on/off button emits a glow that you can’t turn off, so if you’re bothered by lights when trying to sleep (as guide author Tim Heffernan is), it can be an annoyance. But having lived with this Blueair model for a year, we now think it’s best for large spaces specifically. The Aair reduced particulates by 98.1% and 94.1% on high and medium in our 30-minute tests; the 211+ achieved 99.3% and 98.4% reductions in identical conditions. It’s an equally solid choice on performance, but as of October 2020 is only available direct from Winix, where it costs $250. We advise anyone debating between them to compare their prices (and appearances) and purchase whichever model you prefer. These are harsh chemicals that can be found in everything from old furniture to cleaning sprays. So we deliberately countered that setup in our Los Angeles office, where we tested our top pick, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty, and our large-space pick, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+, in handling ongoing smoke from burning incense sticks. With the ability to filter more air per hour than our top pick, the Coway Mighty, it works faster to achieve and maintain low particulate levels in such challenging rooms. A year later, those same filters—now far past their recommended 6-month replacement schedule—those numbers barely dropped: 99.1% and 98.0%. HEPA air purifiers do one thing and do it very well: remove fine particles from the air. Recent Posts From The Blog. Our industry experts comprehensively lab test and review leading air purifier brands like Dyson, Philips and Winix to help you find the best performers on the market. The Z2000 (the “medium room” model), which by TruSens’s claimed specs is a direct competitor to our top pick, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty, has a CADR of 112/117/95 on dust/pollen/smoke—in every case less than half the Coway’s CADR ratings, and below those of even our top pick for small rooms, the Levoit Core 300. He then ran the machines on high for an hour, turned them to their “quiet”/medium setting, and ran them for an additional two hours, with the purifiers and particle counter in their usual spots. Interestingly, those numbers closely mirror our results on the Auto setting with the PECO system turned on, suggesting the possibility that the Molekule mostly relies on its physical prefilter, not its proprietary PECO mechanism, to eliminate particulates. if you need to clean the air in a small space—a bedroom, office, or dorm room up to about 200 square feet—it’s a solid choice. That means it can clean the combined living areas of many open-floor-plan homes. All that said, unless you really need to clean an especially large space, the even quieter, smaller, and much more affordable Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is a better choice. We have long recommended running air purifiers on high for an hour and thereafter running them on the quiet/medium setting to create and maintain clean air in the home. But while it tested well, the Aair did not perform any better on particulates than our much less expensive pick for large rooms, the Blue Pure 211+. The effectiveness of this air purifier is impressive. When we tested it in October 2020, it delivered excellent performance on smoke particles, virtually identical to the Coway AP-1512HH. Put the fan into auto mode and it will ramp up when the air needs cleaning, but turn off when all is good. However, we expect that price to drop when it hits broader retail. Featuring a thorough 4-stage filtration system, the NuWave Oxypure Smart Air Purifier draws upon a pre-filter, hygienic BioGuard filter, ozone filter and combined carbon and HEPA filter to offer clean and pure air quality. The Philips Air Purifier AC2882/30 is a standing air purifier that is suitable for the whole family at home. The higher the score, the better the performance. If you need to purify the air in a seriously large space, we recommend the Blueair Blue Pure 211+. NuWave Oxypure Smart Air Purifier. Add in the annual replacement filters ($50), and the Mighty costs less than $65 a year to operate and about $470 over the course of five years, including the initial purchase price. And that’s what we’re attempting to convey with that. It uses a six-stage air filtration system to efficiently clean the air inside your living space. Last, on the two machines’ everyday, medium fan settings, the Blue Pure 211+ draws a lot more power than the Mighty: 46.8 watts versus 8.1. For the current guide, Tim tested the air purifiers in Wirecutter’s New York headquarters. For households with little ones who like to grab and chew on small objects, a piece of opaque tape also works.). He also tested a popular hack: taping a furnace filter to a box fan to create a DIY air purifier. These devices are basically fans that suck in dirty air, clean it in a filter and pass out nice clean air the otherside. These findings all mean that the Molekule is not remotely worth its high price: usually $800 up front, versus a typical $200 to $225 for the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty, a much more capable machine on particulates. There’s no warning to tell you when the filter needs replacing, so regular manual checks will need to be made. With this model, the airflow can be redirected out of the back of the fan, so the purifier can run in winter without blasting you with cold air. One of the keys to the Coway Mighty’s performance is its build quality, particularly the tight fit of its prefilter and HEPA filter. (That’s almost three times more cubic feet per minute than with our large-space pick, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+.) Coway believes that the issue stems from the wildfires out West—that smoke is infiltrating mail-distribution centers and causing the filters to pick up smells during storage and transit. The otherwise identical Winix QS and Winix NK105 add dubious features (a Bluetooth speaker and Wi-Fi connectivity, respectively), and both of those models usually cost more than the Coway. On high, it reduced a heavy load of 0.3-micron smoke particles by 99.9% in 30 minutes, and by 94.2% on medium. All air purifiers use a fan of some description, so look for one that runs quietly enough for your intended use. Place them correctly. Tim Heffernan has been at Wirecutter since 2015 and has overseen this guide since then. In terms of particle filtration, it is virtually identical to the Pure Hot+Cool HP04 (see preceding paragraph), using the same HEPA filter and featuring only marginally lower airflow. At the start of each test, he measured the ambient air quality for three minutes to get a baseline; after that, he burned five wooden matches and let the smoke circulate for two minutes to artificially raise the particulate levels in the air, and then he ran the machines for the remaining 30 minutes. Air purifiers are becoming a regular fixture in the home due to the latest fires in many parts of Australia, and some of them can filter smoke particles particularly well. Hence our emphasis on air changes per hour. Wirecutter is reader-supported. Many employ a second filter, containing adsorbent compounds like activated carbon, to capture gases and odors (volatile organic compounds, or VOCs)—but we have not found these to be very effective. This said, it is to our eyes a more attractive machine than the Winix 5500-2, and it features WiFi connectivity and a basic app that lets you control its settings and monitor its air-quality readings remotely. Ionizers impart a negative electrical charge to air molecules that pass through the machine. Blueair, maker of our large-space pick, the Blue Pure 211+, is launching a new version of the machine, the 211+ Auto. He burned the incense near one corner of the room and put the AeroTrak particle counter between the purifier and the incense, roughly 12 feet from each. Instead, you’re better off with an air monitor, such as the excellent Foobot, to monitor your home to see what’s giving off VOCs. We look at a range of factors, but the most important are true HEPA and/or CADR ratings, and capability based on air changes per hour, or ACH. Manufacturers also calculate their ratings in different ways, often resulting in inflated square-footage claims. Finally, in our 2018 “wildfire” test in Los Angeles, the Coway Mighty reduced a heavy load of incense smoke by 70% in 50 minutes—equaling the performance of some much more powerful competitors—in a room more than twice the size it is specced for. It’s crazy to introduce a new pollutant when the goal is to reduce pollution overall. Ionizers produce a small amount of ozone as a by-product, but as laid out by the strict California Air Resources Board, none of our picks with an ionizing function exceed the 0.050-parts-per-million (50 parts per billion) limit. The Kaiterra Laser Egg+ Chemical is the best way to measure air pollution in your home. The quality of air cleaning is the key feature of an air purifier. It can’t display the current air quality; there’s no remote control; and there’s no sleep timer. Many media outlets have incorrectly stated that HEPA filters don’t filter below 0.3 micron and therefore could not capture airborne coronaviruses. How to Buy an Air Purifier. This raises its five-year running cost to about $480 (electricity plus seven replacement filters, based on its recommended eight-month replacement cycle). The Pure Company’s Large Room Air Purifier usually costs $400 but has lower specs than those of the much cheaper Coway AP-1512HH Mighty. Crucially, the hardest particles to capture are what you might call the Baby Bears: At 0.3 micron, they’re at the low limit of interception momentum and above the limit of diffusion—in other words, they’re “just right” to get through a HEPA filter. An air purifier, or air filter, is a device that can help remove impurities from the air around us. The Honeywell Air Purifier is perfect for large rooms measuring 465 sq. The feature’s efficacy is uncertain (although it definitely increases the machine’s power consumption). 3.5 out of 5. Allergy Consumer Review said that the Blueair 650E was able to “deliver large amounts of purified air at a very low noise level”. He has edited Computer Shopper and Expert Reviews, and once wrote a book on ho…, Best air purifiers 2020: Don’t let your allergies get the best of you. Another cool feature to mention in this Partu Air Purifier review is the ability to add a drop of essential oils to the fragrance sponge. Typically, this Medify model also costs more than the Coway. Still, that works out to a manageable $7.50 a month, and the Core 300’s low up-front cost is easier to swallow than the Coway’s typical $200-plus. While we were researching and writing this guide, LG discontinued its Air Purifier Tower AS401WWA1 and PuriCare Air Purifier Round Console. Keep doors and windows closed. The Round Console was also weaker on specs and higher priced than the Coway, at $300. Since 1999, he has studied particulate air pollution for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and in the private sector. Primarily because we know, from past testing, that any highly efficient purifier will drive particle levels down to that level in a short period of time. At the February 2020 New York price of 20.1¢ per kilowatt-hour, that works out to a little more than $14 a year. Its Auto function, introduced to the Blue Pure lineup in late 2020, monitors your room’s air quality and adjusts the fan speed accordingly. For the Molekule purifier, which uses a unique, non-HEPA method to remove particulates from the air, he took two measurements on each of the machine’s four settings (Silent, Auto, and Boost, corresponding to low, medium, and high fan speeds, and Dark plus Auto, in which the main purification method is off but the physical prefilter is in use). But even if you decide to use an air purifier as a protective measure, we recommend that you also continue to closely follow the CDC’s other longstanding advice, including social distancing, wearing a face covering outdoors, washing your hands frequently, and treating frequently touched surfaces with disinfectants. The GermGuardian AC4100 “desktop” air purifier doesn’t meet our 4 ACH minimum for small spaces. Renpho, Aviano, Mooka, Keenstone; The exact pollutants that can be cleaned depend on the technology used. Finally, since air purifiers come in different sizes, the CADR rating should equal (or exceed) 2/3 of your room size in square feet. Happily, HEPA filtration is also fundamentally simple and cheap, which means it’s available to everyone today. However, not all manufacturers quote CADR ratings and, instead, quote the percentage of particles below a certain size: the higher the percentage and the lower the quoted particle size, the better. We measure livability factors such as how much noise they make when running, as well as their long-term costs for energy consumption and replacement filters. Based on our seven years of testing, we know that 4 ACH ensures rapid and nearly complete cleaning of highly polluted air—a big concern during, say, a wildfire—and that anything below 4 ACH typically results in measurably worse performance. It’s also a very good air purifer, too, sucking our test allergens out the air quickly, returning our room to a safe state, which the fan’s auto mode maintains. Both models also draw far more power than their supposed equivalents among our picks, and both cost the same or more up front. And its five-year cost of ownership—about $1,150, including the up-front cost and the annual cost of electricity and replacement filters—is comparable to most large-space purifiers. As such, both PECO and PCO are completely distinct from HEPA filtration, which physically captures most airborne particles but does not capture VOCs or other molecular-scale pollutants. 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