Top Air Purifiers Comparison

The best air purifiers provide the ultimate outcome of cleaner air. Cleaner air translates into reduced irritation, reduced exposure to mold, allergens, bacteria and viruses, and easy breathing for you, your employees, your students, and your family. 

Read on for an overview of top air purifiers comparison, including a comparison of different air purifying technology, comparing air purifier brands, air purifier model and make comparison, and guidance on how to choose the right air purifier for your office, school, or home.

Air Oasis has provided this comparison of air purifiers because we’ve spent decades designing and manufacturing high tech air purifiers. We recognize the value these provide in numerous contexts, and we want to arm consumers with the best air purifier education so they ultimately buy the air purifier that is right for them. To browse our products, you can visit www.airoasis.com, and we encourage you to read on for air purifier comparisons.

Comparing Air Purifiers: Different Types

As you compare air purifiers online, it’s important to understand the air purifying methods and technologies you’re going to encounter. Here’s a comparison of the main types of air purification, and the benefits each provides.

Ultraviolet Air Purifiers

Air purifiers that feature ultraviolet (UV) light technology have been proven to deactivate viruses and reduce biocontaminants. Hospitals and healthcare facilities have historically used UV “air cleaners” or air purifiers to decontaminate both the air and surfaces. 

UV air purifiers expose particulates in the air to a specific wavelength of light (ultraviolet light) that effectively neutralizes viruses and other living contaminants, such as bacteria, fungi, mildew, and even black mold.

Germicidal UV is most effective as part of a multistage air filtration system, which should also include (at minimum) a HEPA filter. A UV-only solution has its applications but those may be limited to spaces that employ very large, expensive systems such as in operating rooms. For household use, UV light has very limited effectiveness when used as a standalone solution.

HEPA Air Purifiers

HEPA air purifiers have become an MVP in the world of air purification over the last few years. HEPA stands for “high efficiency particulate air” (official definition by the U.S. Department of Energy). It works like this: a fine mesh filter (HEPA filter) is specially designed to sift through force air, trapping any airborne particles that are about 0.3 microns in size or smaller. This includes a lot of pollen, dust, bacteria, mold, and other contaminants. HEPA is widely proven to be one of the best air purifier options, and there hasn’t been a significant improvement on the design or tech — it just works really well.

Activated Carbon or Carbon Filtration

If you use a water filter in your home, you may already have some exposure to the filtration provided by non woven carbon blocks. Carbon traps very small contaminants and gas. Activated carbon filters, or carbon filtration in air purifiers, provide an additional layer of protection to air purifiers that use HEPA or similar processes. The properties of carbon allow it to filter out volatile organic compounds (VOCs), gaseous pollutants, and odors from the air. That’s how carbon is different from HEPA, by the way (which only filters out particle pollution).

Ionic Air Purifiers

Ionic air purifiers are not new to the market. In recent years, bi-polar ionization has emerged as one of the more effective forms of ionization. Bi-polar ionization, also known as cold plasma ionization, is favored by an increasing number of manufacturers because it reduces unwanted contaminants both in the air and on surfaces.

Cold plasma is a straightforward technology that uses low-voltage electricity to create charged particles in the air. If you’re interested in learning more about various forms of ionization, you can read an in-depth treatment on Ionic Air Purifiers here.

For this overview comparison of air purifiers, ionic air purification creates a healthier environment using advanced technology, blanketing an entire room or space in negatively charged ions, and removing vast quantities of unwanted particles from the air. It’s a very powerful process that can elevate a simple portable air purifier into a powerful clean air machine.

Other Types of Air Purifiers

What other types of air purifiers are there? Most of the air purifiers you find online will tout one or more of the above air purification processes. You may also see ads or articles for things like air to air exchangers or central air cleaners. Let’s cover those two real quick.

Air to air exchangers aren’t really air purifiers — they typically work to bring fresh air into your HVAC or air conditioning system. They’re related to energy efficiency and temperature control as well as augmenting indoor air with outdoor air.

Central air cleaners refer to a whole-house air cleaner, or an air purification system that is installed into an HVAC system in your home, school, or office. So, it’s more about the delivery method than the type of air purifying technology or approach.

For our purposes here, we’ll focus on comparing portable air purifiers.


Air Purifier Comparison: The Technology

There are really a handful of companies that manufacture air purifiers. This air purifier comparison indicates which of the most popular air purifiers use which type of air purification technology, also providing a price range so you can compare and contrast.

Air Purifier Model

UV Air Purifier

HEPA

Carbon Filter

Ionization

Price Range

iAdaptAir® HEPA UV Air Purifier

$399-$899

Molekule Air Pro

✔ (PECO)

$959-$1199

Dyson Pure Cool

$419-$689

Blueair Classic 605

$430

Blueair Blue Pure 211-311 Auto

$239-$339

Honeywell TruHEPA or InSight

$159-$289

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty

$229

Levoit Core 400S

$219

 

What’s New in Air Purifier Technology?

While the technology for modern air purifiers has been refined for decades, there are some novel innovations that may come with an air purifier purchase. Three new features typify the best quality air purifiers on the market today:

App-based and integrated — homes are getting smarter, and air purifiers are keeping up. Most now come with app-based control and some can be integrated with other smart systems or devices in your home.

Alerts — unlike your home’s AC or furnace, you may not have to pull out the air purifier filter to check if it’s dirty. A cool new feature of air purifiers today is monitoring filter quality and alerting you when it’s time to replace it.

Air quality monitoring — perhaps the best new air purifier feature of all is air quality monitoring. This will likely be digitally displayed for you to review, and help you monitor how clean the air is in any given room or space. You’ll also see the air quality improve as the air purifier runs.

Air Purifier Buying Guide

There are plenty of great air purifiers to compare and choose from. The decision of which to buy is ultimately about what you’re looking for: what kind of space do you have, what features do you want, which types of air purifier technology matter most to you, and how will you use it? Let’s dive in.

Space and Size

The space and size of your room matter a great deal when it comes to buying an air purifier. You should be able to see pretty easily in the listed product features how much square footage an air purifier can handle. There is a risk that you buy an air purifier that’s too small. For instance, if you’re putting a portable air purifier in a 1,000 square foot lobby space in your office, you don’t want to buy one that’s specifically designed for 300 square feet. It won’t make as big of a difference, if any at all.

So, measure the area you want, then cross-reference that with the air purifiers you’re looking at. Match it as closely as possible to ensure you get the coverage and air quality you want.

Features

What features do you want in an air purifier? First, based on the descriptions above, what type of air filtration do you want/need? If your only priority is getting pollen out of the air to help reduce allergens, you may be okay with just a HEPA filter. If your priority is decontamination, an air purifier that uses UV light and ionization is probably important. It’s best to skip the ozone and consider CARB compliant products–those certified as ozone-free by the California Air Resource Board.

Of course, the best air purifier purchase for most people is multistage filtration, which basically checks “E: all of the above.” It’s worth researching this a little to make sure you don’t buy an air purifier that can’t pass muster/isn’t truly effective.

Appearance is another point of consideration as you compare air purifiers. Some are designed to blend in, some are designed to stand out. If your office or home has a specific motif, you may want something subtle, polished, unique, you get the idea. Of course, we would always recommend this be a “nice to have” consideration: don’t sacrifice substance or quality for style.

Technology

We briefly reviewed some of the latest greatest tech features in air purifiers above. This may matter a lot to you. If it does, you need to factor that into your buying decision. Need it on an app? Go that route. Want that clean air quality monitoring function? Be sure the air purifier you buy checks that box. Tech specs will be on any product description, so just scan those and cross-check your own list.

Operation

Lastly, think about how the air purifier will work.

Where will the portable air purifier be located? Is it going to be on a desktop? Do you have floor space? In a corner? You want an unobstructed area, and you also want to keep it out of main traffic ways so it doesn’t get damaged.

How often will you use the air purifier? Is it just for nighttime while your kids are asleep? Do you want to run it all day? This is a quality consideration. Some cheaper air purifiers may work okay, but if you want maximum performance, well, you’ll get what you pay for.

How loud or bright can the air purifier be? Noise ratings are part of how manufacturers describe air purifiers. Because air purifiers use fans to force air, you need to make sure they aren’t loud or intrusive. Also, all of the buttons and displays are nice, but are those LEDs going to disrupt your REM? See if you can find videos of the air purifier operating in a dark room, or check out reviews to see if lights and displays will be a problem for you.

Which Air Purifier is Best?

The best air purifier is the one that is maximally effective, minimally obtrusive, and fits your budget and space. At Air Oasis, we often hear about three big priorities from people who buy our air purifiers, and these can help you make a decision as you compare air purifiers.

Allergies

If you are buying an air purifier to help with allergies, you need to compare air purifier filtration methods. Look for keywords like fibrous media filter, absorbent media filter, and (of course) HEPA and carbon filters. Allergens are often larger particles, which means that a physical filter is your best bet to get them out of the air.

Hygiene

If you want an air purifier for cleaning surfaces, you want to check for keywords like sanitization, air sanitizer, air hygiene, etc. Now, air sanitizers aren’t always the same thing as air purifiers, but for a consumer like you, that may be mostly semantics. The goal is to align the claims on comparable air purifiers, as well as checking the technology they’re using. UV light and any kind of air ionizer — bipolar ionization, PECO, PCO, etc. — are the methods most closely related with “sanitization.” 

Cleaner Air

Air cleaning technologies have all been developed with one goal: to help you, your family, your employees, and/or your students breathe cleaner air. Take the time to compare the air purifiers out there. It’s an important investment, and a decision that lets you and the people you love breathe more freely.

Air Oasis Buying Guide: Comparing Our Air Purifiers

You’ll have a little legwork ahead of you if you want to compare every air purifier in the world. What we know is that we work tirelessly to design, develop, manufacture, and sell our air purifiers. They are vetted, using only quantifiable, research-backed technology. We have thousands of happy customers nationwide, and are so honored to serve businesses, schools, and homeowners in this unique way.

You can see all of the details about Air Oasis air purifiers here.

Ready for a deeper dive into air purifier technology and air purifier comparisons? Read this mega guide, with everything you need to know about buying the best air purifier for your office, school, or home.