In a small bedroom, dorm room, or office, the compact and affordable Levoit Core 300 performs extremely well and looks great. The Austin Air HealthMate HM400, our pick for VOC removal, is also powerful enough to clean large spaces. (By comparison, our top pick, the Coway Mighty, dropped from 98.9% reduction on high to 87.7% reduction on medium.) So we’re not trying to say that individually, on any particular metric, we would be number one. We cannot recommend either Dyson purifier, especially given their high price relative to those of our much higher-performing picks. Particulate matter sources include dust, with cleaning likely to disturb dust and throw it into the air, pet hair and dander, smoke and pollens. Tim placed an AeroTrak 9306 particle counter 7 feet diagonally away from the purifiers, about 20 inches from both walls in the farthest corner of the room. It may be disruptively noisy, but that’s a small and temporary price to pay for clean air. Parvathy P July 2, 2020 Air Purifiers. To be clear, no other machine in our tests received this handicap. The Tower had much lower specs than our top pick, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty, yet it cost $400—more than twice as much. But its performance is not equal to that of our current budget pick, the Levoit Core 300. We tested two tower-style units in 2017, the Coway AP-1216L and the since-discontinued LG PuriCare AS401WWA1. The fact is, the Core 300 has much lower airflow than the Coway—a 135 CADR versus the Coway’s 240—and will not be adequate for the living-room-size spaces where the Coway excels. At around $100 to purchase, it’s also the cheapest up front of all our picks. 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. And we like the GermGuardian’s clean looks and clever night-light feature: a small blue circular LED that glows through the machine’s seamless white faceplate. Philips Air Purifier Review. The machine imparts an electrical charge to any particles that initially pass through its filter. If your air quality is bad and you don’t have an air purifier, an HVAC filter taped to a box fan is better than nothing. Over the past seven years, we have conducted both lab-based and real-world tests of air purifier performance. It agreed to withdraw these claims as part of the NAD/NARB cases, because they’re untrue. Best air purifiers – What else should I look for? The hardworking filtration system traps both large and small particles, like dirt, hair, dander, and dust, while also eliminating common pet odors. That experience has helped him gather objective data on their long-term purifying performance and any mechanical degradation. Based on 24/7 use on the medium speed, where the HM400 consumes 81.8 watts, its five-year running costs (at New York’s high rates) are about $720. Save Saved Removed 0. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; width:100%;} Our tests proved otherwise. When looking at the specs for an air purifier, pay very careful attention to the language used to describe the type of filters it uses. The NK100 also has lower specs than the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty and typically costs a bit more. Here, we’ve rounded up the best of the models that we’ve tested. First, we tested the Molekule exactly as we tested the HEPA purifiers: Using the ambient air conditions in the room, plus whatever particulates the burned matches added at the outset, we ran it on the four settings and recorded the particulate reduction after a half hour. You can shut off the display so that it emits no light, a feature it shares with the Coway Mighty, which makes it much easier to sleep near. To test our advice to run your purifier on high for an hour to create very clean air and thereafter on quiet/medium to maintain it, Tim ran a three-hour test in the 200-square-foot room, using the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty and our large-space pick at the time, the Coway Airmega 400. The Winix 5500-2 is an exceptional performer on particulates, capturing 99.9% of the smoke in our test room in just 30 minutes on high, and 97.2% on its medium-high setting, where it emits an easy-to-live-with 40 decibels. That’s because it is exceptionally difficult to disentangle the known air-quality impacts listed above from other environmental and genetic factors that influence health. We still prefer the Coway for its lower energy consumption, smaller footprint, display-shutoff feature, and more attractive look, but it’s a close race. 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. John Holecek further tested the Hot+Cool Link for VOC removal in the lab, given that Dyson had implemented an upgrade of its VOC filter since our 2016 test of its predecessor. It’s not our top pick for several reasons: It’s larger and, to most eyes, not as attractive; it lacks a display-shutoff except when it’s on its lowest fan setting; and it draws more electricity, contributing to slightly higher running costs. 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. Air purifiers have been tested for pollen, dust and smoke particle removal, as well as noise and energy use. 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. The Auto designation indicates that, unlike previous generations of Blue Pure purifiers, the 311 Auto contains a particle sensor. And that’s what we’re attempting to convey with that. We tested two purifiers from Medify, the MA-40 and the MA-112. There’s no warning to tell you when the filter needs replacing, so regular manual checks will need to be made. The purifiers themselves sat at the midpoint of the opposite wall of the room, 2 feet from the wall, with no obstacles near their air intakes and outlets. 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. 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. In a dark room, the lamp can be a distraction, and we wish there was an option to shut it off on every setting, as you can with the Coway. The HP06 adds a molecular formaldehyde filter, which Dyson calls the Cryptomic. So open up your machine and, if the filters are indeed wrapped, unwrap and reinstall them. The higher the score, the better the performance. If you are asthmatic, prone to allergies, or just very conscious of the air you breathe, then you need to invest in a reliable product such as the Blueair purifier. Versus other smart air purifiers we’ve looked at, its app, sensors, and programmability are head-and-shoulders more advanced—almost another species. When these particles then pass through the machine a second time, the charge helps them stick to the filter fibers, similar to the way a staticky sock sticks to other fabric in the dryer. On the medium speed setting, we measured its noise output at just 39 decibels from a distance of 6 feet—a soft, fanlike whisper that’s easy to sleep or watch TV near. The Coway Airmega 200M is made by the same company as the AP-1512HH Mighty and is virtually identical to that model in every important respect, namely the controls, noise, and performance. The GermGuardian performed well, but it costs more to maintain than our current budget pick, the Levoit Core 300, because of its higher energy consumption—52 watts on medium, versus the Levoit’s 34.6 watts. One final note: The slightly cheaper Winix 5300-2 is identical to the 5500-2 in all important respects, employing the same HEPA filter and featuring a virtually identical clean air delivery rate (within a couple of cubic feet per minute—statistically insignificant). NuWave Oxypure Smart Air Purifier. After 15 minutes he turned each purifier on, set to high. He let the incense burn (five sticks per test; sandalwood scent, if you’re wondering) for 15 minutes at the start of each test, getting a baseline reading of the room before the smoke had time to spread, and then measuring as the smoke/particle levels rose. If you do choose to use the ionizer, you will be happy to know that it is certified by the California Air Resources Board not to produce ozone in excess of the 0.050-parts-per-million limit. 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.”. However, if you can opt for the standard HEPA filter, which does the same thing but doesn’t capture gasses or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for £65. On its highest setting (speed 5), the Mini did well, reducing the smoke from five wooden matches by 96.2% in half an hour. The Honeywell Air Purifier is perfect for large rooms measuring 465 sq. (You can turn the night-light and the display lights off if they disrupt your sleep.) (Read more in How we picked.) But surprisingly, the Core 300 also measured a bit better than the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty on medium (87.6%). © 2021 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, Exceptional performance, brutalist design. 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. The night mode cuts the status lights and drops fan speed to a lower level, with sound falling to a quiet 33.4dB. It is too easy to begin operating an air purifier without first removing the plastic wrapping the filter comes in. 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. So why does that not make the Winix our automatic top pick? This helps us narrow down the very large list of available purifiers to those that show particular promise. They are especially good at rapidly filtering out the most common airborne allergens, including dust and pollen; mold, mildew, and fungal spores; pet dander; dust mites and their excrement; soot from automobiles; and tobacco, marijuana, and wildfire smoke. Specifically, that means avoiding the “automatic” setting that some purifiers come with. 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. Some units may still be available as dead stock, but the world needn’t lament the fallen. This unit of measure represents how many times a purifier can circulate the volume of air in a given room in 60 minutes, and it provides a standardized baseline for categorizing and initially comparing 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. Finally, since air purifiers come in different sizes, the CADR rating should equal (or exceed) 2/3 of your room size in square feet. The Winix AM90 is essentially a Winix 5500-2 in a more modern shell. 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. 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 it’s light—a shade over 12 pounds—making it easy to move around via its convenient pocket handle. Right? In the North American definition, “true HEPA” means that a filter removes at least 99.97% of airborne particles of a 0.3-micron diameter in a single pass. The huge and exceptionally powerful Medify MA-112 has the highest CADR rating we’ve ever seen: 950. But having lived with this Blueair model for a year, we now think it’s best for large spaces specifically. We have also found no evidence that the machines’ fan function, as Dyson claims, makes them superior to other purifiers in the distribution of filtered air throughout a room. We attribute the Mini’s superiority to the Molekule Air to its much bigger physical prefilter: It’s about five times larger by area than the Air’s. As well, almost all our comparisons between the Winix 5500-2 and the Coway AP-1512HH also hold true for the Winix AM90—and, as a result, so do our reasons for favoring the Coway. And its performance comes at a steep price: The HM400 typically costs more than $500 up front—although price can vary based on color, sometimes by as much as $100—and replacement filters usually cost a bit more than $200. In this article, we attempt to review some of the popular model, compare their specifications and thus help you identify the one that is the best suitable for your needs. Air purifiers with HEPA filtration efficiently capture particles the size of (and far smaller than) the virus that causes COVID-19, so the answer is yes, in theory. We believe that the Airmega 200M, with its nearly identical design, interchangeable filters, and slightly more powerful motor, would undoubtedly perform at least as well. But square-footage ratings are essentially meaningless when you’re comparing two rooms with different ceiling heights. The Levoit Vista 200 is a small-space machine, and it’s one of the best-selling purifiers on Amazon. In 2018, we tested two large-space contenders from Honeywell, the 50250-S and the HPA300. This model employs a unique formaldehyde-trapping filter, but we think people with chemical sensitivity should look to the Austin Air HealthMate HM400 for broader odor and molecular-pollution removal. At the February 2020 New York price of 20.1¢ per kilowatt-hour, that works out to a little more than $14 a year. It’s from the same company that makes our large-space pick (see below) and uses the same technology, combining a non-HEPA (but very efficient) filter with a system that imparts an electrical charge to any particles that pass through, helping them stick to the filter the next time around—essentially through static cling. We’ll be long-term testing the Winix 5500-2 over the coming months and will report on its continuing performance. The two machines are similarly quiet, with the Airmega 400 registering 40 decibels on its “quiet”/high-medium setting and the Blue Pure 211+ measuring at 43 decibels on medium. So reaching representatives may not be as easy as it should be, but they are out there and listening—at least to the negative public-facing reviews. Blueair recommends that the filter be replaced “every six months or so.” Following that schedule, you’ll spend $80 a year on replacements, versus about $50 or less for the Coway AP-1512HH and the Winix machines. Under known bad-air conditions, such as during a nearby wildfire, we recommend running purifiers on high for an hour and thereafter on quiet/medium. And we measure the purifiers’ noise output and power consumption on their various settings, to gauge their liveability and running costs. You’d never forget that you have a purifier in the room. The Blue Pure 211+ is not true HEPA, but it has undergone CADR testing, which in some ways is a more rigorous standard. If you need to clean the air in a space of around 200 square feet, the Levoit Core 300 is a solid and inexpensive purifier. As the CDC writes: “The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.”. We recommend moving this block and the preceding CSS link to the HEAD of your HTML file. It uses a six-stage air filtration system to efficiently clean the air inside your living space. In the meantime, customers with this issue can get a free replacement from Coway. That’s about three times the five-year running cost of our top pick, the Coway Mighty. (On this model, you can tell that the ionizer is off when the button is unlit.) 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. A great air purifier can really improve your life. As always, Tim ran each purifier twice, once on high and once on quiet. Evidence for airborne transmission has been mounting since the spring; to fully catch up on the course this research has taken, read over University of Colorado-Boulder aerosols scientist Jose-Luis Jimenez’s summary in Time. 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. (That’s smaller than an individual virus.). In such spaces, it performs impressively. Annual filter replacements also cost about the same: roughly $50. 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. More details here. But it’s not as fast or efficient as our top pick, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty; the dense VOC filter means this machine works slower and consumes more electricity. 8 comments 127 . For the current guide, Tim tested the air purifiers in Wirecutter’s New York headquarters. 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. Throw in app control and Amazon Alexa support and you’ve got a quality air purifier and fan combination that more than justifies the comparatively high price. In our three-hour test of the Mighty, that machine reduced a heavy load (15 matches’ worth) of smoke by 99.9% in the first hour on high and maintained that level for the next two hours on medium. Read more in How we picked. It’s also quiet (34 decibels) on its medium setting, where it draws a thrifty 6.9 watts. The Philips AC2889/60 air purifier is a reliable and efficient air purifier, designed and delivered by one of the world’s leading technology brands. 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. Regardless, the Air is weak. For the Dyson machines, which you can set to 10 different fan speeds—versus three, the amount for most purifiers—he measured on speed 10 (high) and speed 6 (corresponding to the medium-speed quiet setting on most other purifiers). That said, the filters are designed to last five years, so the replacement cost doesn’t factor into the first five years of ownership. 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. Numerous independent lab tests have been done to verify the air purification claims that Airfree makes. And it has always delivered exceptional performance in our testing at the 0.3-micron HEPA standard, on both new and old filters. It has also helped him make informed judgments on factors such as ease of maintenance and operation, the presence or lack of distracting noises or lights, and simple visual impact—the so-called little things that, if done wrong, can make what should be a nearly set-it-and-forget-it appliance into a daily annoyance. The new Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto is another fresh pick for 2020. These results rank the Molekule Mini as the second-worst air purifier we have ever tested, behind—you guessed it—the other Molekule. Take a look at the scientific tests to find out more. In addition to its HEPA filter, it contains a large VOC filter composed of 2.2 pounds of activated carbon and alumina. 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. Few machines meet that standard, but after seven years of testing 42 different air purifiers, we believe the exceptional Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is the best among them—as we have since 2015. Despite our repeated requests (and co-CEO Dilip Goswami’s stated willingness to do so), Molekule never shared its airflow numbers (cfm, or cubic feet per minute). This remains an open question. At about $100, the Core 300 is inexpensive upfront, but it is not a very energy-efficient purifier, especially for its size. Can air purifiers help with wildfire smoke? With the air purifier placed in a corner running at maximum, we time how long the air takes to return to normal, using a separate air-quality monitor. You can get the much more powerful Winix AM90 or AM80 for about the same, and the Winix 5500-2 or 5300-2 for less. Under typical conditions, we recommend running air purifiers 24/7 on their highest “quiet” setting—which we define as 50 decibels (dBA) or less. What to consider when shopping Check out all the latest reviews of dishwashers, vacuums, ovens, dryers and other appliances from the Good Housekeeping Institute. And no box fan is engineered to withstand the extra workload of driving air through a dense filter, so we can’t claim this won’t damage the fan’s motor, and we wouldn’t consider it a long-term solution for air-quality issues. Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier Pro is an interesting compromise between price and possibilities. HEPA air purifiers do one thing and do it very well: remove fine particles from the air. We’ll update soon. Running the Core 300 on medium speed 24/7, you’ll consume about 303 kilowatt-hours per year; at New York’s rates that works out to $61 annually. Winix is a famous company that has been on the market for many years. The exact timing will depend on the air purifier and how dirty your air is, but expect to buy a new filter between three months and 12 months of operation. But simply put, the Winix 5500-2 is a very impressive purifier. And the company uses 2 air changes per hour to calculate its square-footage ratings, whereas we set 4 ACH as a minimum. The perfect all-rounder for every time of year. It’s a shame that there isn’t a quieter night-time mode. The machine keeps running, and you get to sleep or watch TV in a nice dark room. The Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 also fails the 4 ACH limit for a standard-size room and costs more than our Coway top pick. Purifiers rated for spaces larger than the one you plan to use them in can operate on lower, quieter speeds. A 135-sqft room would need CADR ratings of 90 or above, for example. Finally, the Air Mini’s cost-to-performance ratio on particulates puts it badly behind our small-space pick, the Levoit Core 300. Uses 2 air changes per hour ( ACH ) in diameter. ) conditions. 400, at about $ 1,350 many reasons usually too loud to watch TV in a 500-square-foot space 8-foot! 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