Best Air Purifier Under $100

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Updated January 24, 2023

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).

Top 7 Best Air Purifiers Under $100 Compared

 #1  Germ Guardian HEPA Purifier – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: An affordable HEPA purifier that includes UV-C sterilization and a 3-micron pre-filter to remove allergens. It’s great for anyone wanting to make sure of the best indoor air quality in rooms up to about 160 square feet, or to help get rid of odors and germs in shared living spaces.

  • AHAM-verified for smoke
  • 3-in-one design with charcoal, HEPA and UV-C
  • 3 year warranty
  • Taller and bulkier than the Levoit air purifier (our #2 pick)
  • Not the quietest air purifier on our list
  • Must be kept on a smooth surface for adequate cooling

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 photocatalytic 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, 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.

 #2  Levoit Air Purifier for Home – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: A compact desktop-friendly budget air purifier that reduces odors while filtering out smoke, pollen, pet dander, and PM 2.5 pollutants. It’s great for someone looking to remove smoke, cooking odors, or allergens from a small space such as an office, den, or bedroom.

  • Removes contaminants equal to 3 µm
  • 3-stage process filtration with activated charcoal
  • Smaller and more compact than the Germ Guardian (our top pick)
  • Doesn’t filter as large an area as some filters on our list
  • No dedicated sanitization feature
  • Filters need changing more frequently (3 months) than with the Germ Guardian (our top pick)

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 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.

 #3  Pluggable Air Purifier and Sanitizer – Best Small

WHY WE LIKE IT: A small and convenient air sanitizer with a built-in UV-C light designed for desktop use. It’s great for those looking for an air purifier for kitchens, litter box areas, or shared office spaces, with a focus on germ and odor reduction.

  • Effective UV-C sanitizationRemoves musty and old food odors
  • Only 7 “ tall and doesn’t take up too much space
  • Doesn’t filter out as much air or larger pollutants as our top pick, the Germ Guardian HEPA purifier
  • Requires adequate humidity
  • Bulb has to be changed after 4000 hours

This small pluggable unit is an air purifier roughly the size and shape of a plug-in nightlight or a Febreeze plug-in. But, check our list for the top-rated plug-in air purifiers, too. 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 improve air quality; it’s more of a sanitization and odor removal tool. Also, it needs humidity 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. That said, if you need a quality humidifier, we have reviews on those, too. You can also read about the best air purifier for smoke.

 #4  KOIOS Air Purifier – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: A budget-friendly true HEPA filter purifier with 3-stage air purification, comparable to the top-rated air purifiers under $100 like the Germ Guardian, but at barely half the cost. It’s great for those wanting an ozone-free, highest-grade deodorizing air purifier for smoke, allergens, dust, and other pollutants at home or the office.

  • True HEPA filtration
  • ETL listed energy efficient
  • Activated carbon for odor reduction
  • Night light can’t be turned off
  • California certification pending
  • Not as quiet as the Levoit (our #2 pick)

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. However, if you’d prefer to make a DIY air purifier over buying other air purifiers, you might be able to pull it off.

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 (compare Levoit vs Germ Guardian for more info) 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.

 #5  Levoit Vista 200 Air Purifier – Quietest

WHY WE LIKE IT: Ultra-quiet 26 dB high-efficiency purification, using up to 30 percent less electricity than comparable medium-sized filters. It’s great for anyone looking to improve indoor air quality in bedrooms, living rooms, and other medium-sized rooms, with minimal noise and low power consumption.

Read Full Review: LEVOIT Vista 200 Review

  • Ultra quiet 26 db motor
  • Soothing warm nightlight and programmable timer features
  • Suitable for rooms up to 161 square feet
  • Timer function doesn’t adjust fan speed
  • Lacks a dedicated sterilizer function
  • Moves less air than the Germ Guardian 22”

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. Speaking of timers, you’ll want to compare this feature on the TaoTronics vs Levoit to see which one is better.

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 a very effective CTC 100 formula activated carbon for odor reduction. Always look for the best HEPA air purifier.

 #6  MOOKA True HEPA Air Purifier – Budget Pick for California

WHY WE LIKE IT: A budget air purifier that’s CARB and props 65 certified in California and meets standards for environmental friendliness. It’s great for anyone looking for a low-cost and eco-friendly air purifier for their office or home, especially in California.

  • 99.7 percent HEPA
  • CARB certified
  • Easy to use one-button operation
  • Moves less air than the Germ Guardian 22”
  • At 35 dB min, it’s not as quiet as the Levoit Vista 200
  • Nightlight lacks a separate turn off button

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.

 #7  PARTU HEPA Filter – Best Fragrance

We’re sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock

WHY WE LIKE IT: This innovative air purifier for smoke combines a HEPA filter with a fragrance sponge so you can use it as a diffuser as well. It’s great for someone looking for an air purifier for use in bathrooms or smaller bedrooms and play areas.

Read Full Review: PARTU Hepa Air Purifier

  • Also essential oil diffuser
  • 3 stage filtration with true HEPA filter
  • Reduces PM 2.5 and smoke pollution
  • Louder than the MOOKA (our #6 pick)
  • Less airflow than the Vista 200 (our #5 pick)
  • Filters must be replaced every 3-6 months

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. This feature is great, except it would be better if this great air purifier had a washable filter. The heating, cooling, and air section is also a great read. Also, air conditioners can help your home’s air.

How We Decided

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 VOCs, 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. Additionally, if you like to learn and tinker with stuff yourself, you can check out our page for instructions on a DIY air purifier box fan or learn how to make an air purifier with water.

Air Purifiers Under $100 Buyers Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Filter Type
    The effectiveness of an indoor air purifier depends on the type of filtration system used.
    • If it makes use of pre – filters, it has the first line of defense against particulate, airborne particles, and airborne allergens.
    • The generally preferred system for affordable air purifiers consists of a true HEPA filter sandwiched between a fine dust trap and an activated carbon filter.
    • If you’re looking for a personal unit with a HEPA filter, then you’ll want to read our Airdog FitAir Portable Air Purifier review. Alternatively, if you wish to be as natural as possible, you can check out our air purifier vs plants to see if that is as beneficial.
  2. Sanitization method
    Some air filters use UV-C and photocatalytic activation for additional sanitization and odor reduction. These benefits are increased effectiveness against airborne viruses and bacteria and reduced odor from organic sources. Their downside is that they require humidity to react fully and not leave intermediaries like ozone and acetaldehyde.
    • However, further downsides include noise levels, which can occur even at the lowest setting. But, their goal is to rid your home of unwanted particles and harmful particles. You probably won’t be able to see visible airflow through the air purifier, so be sure to learn how to tell if your air purifier is working.
  3. Air Purifiers Under $100 Buyers Guide
    Depending on their size, most of the best affordable air purifiers can move about 50 CFM, enough to cycle the air in a 100-square-foot room at least once an hour.

Air Purifier Under $100 FAQs

Are these effective at cleaning up smokey air?

The best air purifiers for the home and office cut down significantly on smoke and PM 2.5 pollution–such as the harmful particles that cause air quality to get so hazardous around wildfires–due to a combination of true HEPA filtration and activated carbon.

How often do you have to change the filters?

Depending on the model and the size of filter, it can range from 3 to about 8 months. For sanitizers such as the Pluggable Germ Guardian, our #3 pick, the UV-C bulb must be changed every 10 months or after 4000 hours of use.
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