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If you’re looking for the best air purifier under $100, we’ve done the research, consulted air quality experts, and delved into the specifications of the top budget air purifiers on the market. We’ve narrowed it down to the best cheap all-around choices among affordable HEPA air purifiers and air purifiers for smoke, to bring you the best cheap air purifier for indoor air quality without breaking the bank. If you are not too concerned about your budget, take a look at our review of the best air purifier.
Our top pick and the best air purifier for under $100, is the Germ Guardian True HEPA purifier, which is independently rated and certified by AHAM to purify the air and remove allergens, mold spores, tobacco smoke, and even viruses in rooms up to 167 sq ft (square feet).
This 4-in-1 air purifier, like many of the top HEPA air purifiers on the market, incorporates a fan with adjustable speeds; a coarse “pre-filter” with charcoal designed to trap larger particles; a HEPA filter to catch dust mites, pollen and dander, and a UV-C lighting element to kill bacteria. The Germ Guardian HEPA filter employs much tested industrial air purification technology to assist in the disinfection. Titanium Dioxide is used for photo catalytic disinfection, helping to eliminate 99.7 percent of airborne bacteria and viruses.
This filter is rated for rooms up to 167 square feet, so it works well in living rooms, large bedrooms and hallways. It’s great for homes with pets since it includes odor reduction as well. Filters last a claimed 6-8 months. That is not bad at all for air purifiers. But make sure to only use genuine Germ Guardian replacements parts and not some other cheap air purifier filter, in order to maintain the best performance. If you’re specifically targeting big rooms, the best HEPA air purifier for large rooms would be a great choice alongside this model.
This desktop air purifier is great for removing smoke, pollen, dust and pet dander from the air in small rooms up to about 87 square feet. It’s energy efficient, too, with an Energy Star certification, like our top pick. This air filter is CARB compliant for California and benefits from a compact, aesthetically pleasing design that incorporates a switchable nightlight. It has an advanced 3 stage filtration system that employs an imported HEPA filter and a high-efficiency activated carbon filter to capture allergies from pets, a lot of bacteria, and smoke. It has three fan speeds and can circulate the air in a typical 87 square foot room about four times per hour. And for replacement filters, make sure to only use genuine Levoit parts in order to maintain the best performance and not any other cheap air purifier filter. Search for lvh132rf replacement filters to make sure that what you are buying is worthy of your investment.
Unlike the Germ Guardian free-standing air purifier, however, the Levoit desktop air purifier lacks a UV-C sanitization function. Depending on what you want from your air purifier, however, this is either a benefit or a drawback. On the one hand, it doesn’t kill viruses or smaller bacteria (though it does remove a lot of bacteria and mold from the air, since it traps particles as small as .3 microns.) On the other hand, it doesn’t use ozone, which can itself be a lung irritant. Speaking of lung irritants, check out the best air purifier for mold.
This small pluggable unit is an air purifier roughly the size and shape of a plug-in nightlight or a Febreeze plug in. It uses a UV-C bulb and a photocatalytic process to sterilize the air. This effectively inactivates mold and viruses, kills bacteria and helps break down odors from volatile organic compounds. While it works best in a small, humid and enclosed area, it’s rated to flow just over 450 cubic feet of air per hour. Thus it works well in bathrooms, small kitchens and cat litter areas. It doesn’t generate heat and is in general as pet safe as any other lamp or electric fan.
On the downside, this isn’t intended to scrub smoke and other pollutants from the air or really improve air quality; it’s more of a sanitization and odor removal tool. Also, it needs humidity in order to achieve maximum odor reduction and may lead to an incomplete breakdown of VOCs and excess ozone if used in too dry an area. Humidity affects performance, and therefore its performance is highest where there is adequate water vapor. You can also read about the best air purifier for smoke.
One of the most affordable true HEPA air purifiers on the market, this compact 7” tall unit boasts up to a 99.7 percent filtration efficiency and works in small to medium-sized rooms to cut down on smoke, pollen, dust mites, and PM 2.5 pollutants. It’s a great option for anyone also in the market for the best air purifier for cigarette smoke. It’s energy-efficient thanks to a 360-degree inlet, and it uses the typical three-stage system consisting of a coarse pre-filter, a true HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter to remove odors from volatile organic compounds. Make sure to always use the KOIOS designed replacement filters to maintain product performance. The official certified replacement filter is Asin: B075K7DTTG, so using some other cheap air purifier filter may affect the well-performance of KOIOS air purifiers.
A bargain choice, it makes a great second or third air purifier for offices, break rooms, kitchens, pet areas, and nurseries. It doesn’t use photocatalysis so it releases no ozone or partially oxidized VOCs. However, this bargain unit doesn’t flow as much air as the larger Germ Guardian or Levoit (our #1 and 2 picks, respectively) air purifiers. It also has a built-in nightlight that, frustratingly, doesn’t have a separate off-switch. This is one of the best cheap air purifiers under $100. You may also want to read about the best air purifier for asthma.
Read Full Review: LEVOIT Vista 200 Review
This air purifier from Levoit is one of the quietest and most energy-efficient affordable air purifiers on the market. It emits just 26 db on the fan’s low setting, making it suitable for all night use in bedrooms and hallways. It also uses a claimed .9 W, which is significantly less than the KOIOS air purifier (our #4 pick.) The Levoit Vista 200 also includes a warm night light feature which can be turned on and off independently of the fan. It also includes a programmable timer function, but unfortunately you can’t set the fan speed to high or low with the timer.
A great choice for reducing PM 2.5 pollution and improving air quality, this Levoit model stands out for its quietness and energy efficiency. Plus, it has very effective CTC 100 formula activated carbon for odor reduction. Always look for a best HEPA air purifier.
The MOOKA EPI810 is a budget air purifier for smoke and PM 2.5 pollution that comes certified by the California Air Resources Board and EPA for environmental responsibility. It emits no ozone and uses the tried-and-true three-step filtration process, along with free-flowing 360-degree air intake, as with the Levoit Vista 200 (our #5 pick.)
However, unlike with the more expensive Levoit, the lighting feature on this MOOKA air purifier isn’t independently controllable. If you don’t like the mild blue glow, you must remove the LED bulbs. Anyone looking for more outdoor options may also want to consider one of the best outdoor patio heaters. At least this isn’t particularly difficult and the manufacturer even suggests looking for tutorials on Youtube. If you have pets you want the best air purifier for pets.
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Read Full Review: PARTU Hepa Air Purifier
This PARTU HEPA air purifier comes with some interesting, innovative features that set it apart from the crowd of desktop air purifiers for smoke and indoor air pollution. It may not be the quietest on the market, but it does have an ace up its sleeve in the form of a fragrance sponge that lets the PARTU filter double as an essential oil diffuser. Just add a few drops of your favorite non irritating scent and you can combine dust and pollen reduction with aromatherapy.
It also features a lock function, great for areas where the filter will be in use around kids and pets playing. This prevents, for example, your cats from “accidentally” turning the filter on or off. The heating, cooling and air section is also a great read. Also, air conditioners can help your home’s air.
In order to narrow it down to the best choices among air purifiers under $100 we identified a few different market niches and use cases for these devices, and highlighted the essential specs for each one. Since we’re looking for affordable options, some additional features such as smart device connectivity, customizable filters, air quality indicator lights, and so on will not be available on cheaper air cleaner units.
Among medium sized room air purifiers and desktop air purifiers, we chose only models that came with at least federal EPA certification (California certification is a bonus) and they must filter out particles down to at least 2.5 microns in size; this makes them effective for the widely used PM 2.5 standard of air pollution. This is important since it represents some of the most harmful macroscopic pollution hazards from soot and smoke particles. They also had to be effective against VOC’s, pollen and pet dander and offer some deodorizing capability as well.
For air sanitizers such as the Pluggable Germ Guardian (our #3 pick) on the other hand, we required that they claim at least 99.6 percent sanitization efficiency and that, for photocatalytic sanitizers, a remediation system to limit ozone emissions.