Best Personal Air Purifiers – Top 5 Picks for 2018

This is our official list in search of the best personal air purifiers on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and a brief guide to the benefits of personal air purifiers and how to choose a good one.

5 Highest Reviewed Personal Air Purifier to Consider

In many areas of the world, air pollution is a serious problem, and even at low concentrations, some contaminants can have a major impact on your health. The best personal air purifier is an excellent solution to this problem because it’s compact, powerful and reliable.

Unlike larger units, personal air purifiers are small enough to take with you, and they’re commonly used on computer desks. If you travel frequently or need to purify the air in a small space, then a personal purifier could be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Below, you’ll find reviews for some of the top personal air purifiers available.

1.) Holmes HEPA Type Desktop Air Purifier

Holmes HEPA Type Desktop Air PurifierThe Holmes HEPA purifier is designed as a desktop device, and since it’s made with a HEPA filter, it can remove 99.9 percent of airborne pollutants from a small space. The HEPA filter is very effective because it can remove particles that have a size of only two microns.

This product offers three different speed settings, which gives you total control over how hard you want the device to work. A built-in ionizer assists with particle removal, and with a slim design, this air purifier can fit into tight spaces.

The Holmes HEPA purifier is designed to treat 109 square feet, and it can be used in any home. Despite the small size, this purifier can cleanse the air in a standard room, and it will keep your office fresh.

PROS

  • Perfect for keeping dust under control
  • Not too loud
  • Indicator light tells you when to change the filter
  • Prevent problems with allergies

CONS

  • Ionizer can create a buildup of ozone

($) Check price on Amazon

2.) GermGuardian AC4100

GermGuardian AC4100The GermGuardian AC4100 is another popular product, and with the help of a HEPA filter, it can remove pollens, mold spores, pet dander, allergens and dust.

This personal air purifier uses a charcoal filter to reduce common odors from cooking, smoking and pets, and to kill airborne bacteria, it comes equipped with UV-C light technology. When combined with titanium dioxide, the UV light technology destroys mold spores, germs, viruses and bacteria.

The GermGuardian AC4100 is designed as a tabletop purifier, and it features three different speed settings. The compact size allows it to fit into tight spaces, and it can be used in any room. The HEPA filter can handle particles as small as .7 microns, and it can eliminate plant pollens, mold spores, and airborne debris.

PROS

  • Great for eliminating odor from litter box
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Perfect for asthma symptoms
  • Captures unwanted dust particles

CONS

  • Can make air very dry

($) Check price on Amazon

3.) Holmes HAP600-U HEPA-Type Egg Air Purifier

Holmes HAP600-U HEPA-Type Egg Air PurifierThe Holmes HAP600-U is shaped like an egg, and it’s designed with a permanent HEPA filter. If you’re looking for a personal air purifier and don’t want to deal with frequent maintenance, then this product is worth considering.

Since it’s engineered for permanent filtration, you don’t have to worry about maintenance, and with a high-quality filter, it eliminates 99.9 percent of airborne allergens. The Holmes HAP600-U is commonly used to remove pet dander, pollen, dust and allergens, and depending on your preferences, you can choose between three different fan settings.

For additional cleaning power, this purifier is equipped with an ionizer, and you can decide when to turn it on. The Holmes HAP600-U is recommended for small rooms, and it will tell you when the filter needs to be vacuumed.

PROS

  • Great for reducing allergy symptoms
  • Can make a huge difference for animal owners
  • Prevents nighttime stuffiness
  • Equipped with an ionizer for extra purification

CONS

  • Can be very loud on highest setting

($) Check price on Amazon

4.) AirTamer Rechargeable Personal Air Purifier A310W

AirTamer Rechargeable Personal Air Purifier A310WThe AirTamer A310W is very small, and it’s an excellent choice for travelers. As a high-performance, rechargeable purification device, it uses ionic technology to delivers a stream of negative ions.

Put simple, it causes airborne pollutants to flow away from your breathing space, and it can filter enough air to fill a three-foot space. It’s made to be worn around your neck, and it eliminates airborne particles. When it comes to personal air purifiers, you won’t find too many other products with such a small size.

The AirTamer A310W can protect your breathing space from dust mites, mold spores, smoke, poll, viruses and atomic pollutants. With such a tiny size, you won’t even notice it running, and it can run for 150 hours on a single charge.

PROS

  • Protects against the flu
  • Perfect for use on an airplane
  • Useful for people who’re sensitive to chemicals
  • Great for smoky bars and restaurants

CONS

  • Adjustment clip could be made better

($) Check price on Amazon

5.) WSTA Desktop Air Purifier / Air Ionizer

WSTA Desktop Air Purifier Air IonizerThe WSTA desktop purifier is perfect for use on a desk or tabletop, and it uses a true HEPA filter to eliminate 99 percent of allergens. With such a powerful filter, it can remove bacteria, smoke, formaldehyde, pollen, dust mites and pet dander.

Installation for this device is easy, and it comes with all accessories needed for mounting. Due to its compact size, this purifier can work well for the kitchen, office, bedroom or guest room, but it’s only effective for small spaces.

The WSTA desktop purifier can be placed on a computer desk, and the HEPA filter will remove most airborne pollutants. Since the noise is minimal, it can even be used around infants and sleeping children.

PROS

  • Can automatically shut off after eight hours
  • Makes small rooms smell fresh and clean
  • Perfect for a small bathroom
  • Great for reducing allergy symptoms

CONS

  • Fan isn’t very strong

($) Check price on Amazon

Brief Guide to Personal Air Purifiers

A compact purification device can be just as effective as a bigger unit, but the main difference is that it can’t purify nearly as much air. A large unit is great for purifying a large room or space, but a personal unit is much better for a small space. With the help of a personal air purifier, you can eliminate smoke, odor and airborne contaminants.

At any given moment, the air around you could be filled with thousands of harmful airborne particles, and if they aren’t eliminated, they can make you feel sick and have a negative impact on your health.

What Are They?

An air purifier is a device that removes pollutants, contaminants and allergens from a room. They are sometimes called personal air purifiers because they purify the air in a room rather than the whole house – as opposed to filters you can put in an HVAC system.

The first patented air purifier was invented by Charles Deane in the 1800s when he tried to figure out a way that firefighters could avoid smoke inhalation. His device had a pipe that allowed the air breathed in to escape, while another pipe at the back of the helmet was supposed to be pumped with air by bellows. Later this was improved by a filter.

HEPA filters then came to be in the 1950s – short for High Efficiency Particle Arrestor. They were invented during World War II, when the US Atomic Energy Commission was trying to produce something that would filter out tiny radioactive particles from the air.

A HEPA filter works by trapping very small particles in the air, which are about 0.3 micrometers in diameter. They don’t remove odors however, so air purifiers often have carbon material in them to absorb gases and odors.

Who Can Benefit?

If you are prone to sneezing a lot this may be a sign that you need an air purifier. Good air purifiers have HEPA filters which filter out many airborne allergens such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites. Some air purifiers also have carbon filters which will filter out cooking fumes and tobacco smoke. Studies have shown that an air purifier can help with allergic respiratory diseases.

If the air in your home smells stuffy or stale then you can also benefit from an air purifier, as it will help you get rid of all those unwanted odors. If you see a lot of dust building up regularly, an air purifier can also help with this. It won’t completely get rid of dust, but it should keep it down.

An air purifier can even improve your health if you have a lung condition such as asthma, emphysema or COPD. These conditions are often made worse by irritants in the air, so reducing the pollution should also help reduce symptoms.

Congested airways can increase the likelihood of snoring, so if you snore a lot you might want to look into getting an air purifier as well. It will clean the air so that there are a fewer allergens to congest your airways. Pet owners also benefit from air purifiers, since they can remove pet dander and odors from the air. This will not only make your house less smelly, but also more accessible for friends and family members who are allergic to pets.

What To Look For?

Look for an air purifier that has been certified by AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers). They rate them with a number between 0 and 450 CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate). This number indicates how quickly the device filters dust, tobacco smoke and pollen out of the air – which are the three most common household particulates. AHAM also suggest the size of room for which it would be best suited.

Air purifiers that are ozone generators are not recommended by many experts now, since ozone irritates the lungs. Electronic air cleaners produce small amounts of ozone too, but they are very efficient and don’t need filters to be changed.

HEPA filters are the other main kind of air purifier – they are effective and produce no ozone. However their filters do need changing about once a year, so it is worth checking the price of replacement filters before buying. What you choose also depends on what you are trying to get rid of the most. If your problem is allergies then you need to look for something that removes allergens well – which is usually HEPA filters.

If you suffer from asthma or find that odors and fumes irritate your lungs, then you will want to look for one that has carbon filters to filter out gases. There are also smoke air purifiers designed specifically to filter out smoke and fireplace fumes.

Air purifiers work on a room by room basis, so you will also want to consider the size of room you want to purify – although you can of course move them around and purify each room one by one. Then compare the square footage to the recommended square footage by AHAM.

Consider if you want any bells and whistles – there are often additional features available such as digital controls, remote controls, different fan speeds, timers and air quality sensors. Also if you can, look at how noisy it is. Some air purifiers are noisier than others, since they need a motor to run.

What To Avoid?

Avoid using an ozone type air purifier as the ozone can actually act as an irritant. It is better to use a filter based purifier.

FAQ

Will an air purifier cure me of my respiratory disease?

No it won’t cure you, but it should help reduce your symptoms by reducing the amount of pollutants and allergens in the air.

How much maintenance does an air purifier need?

If you’re using an air purifier with a filter then it depends on the type of filter and how often the manufacturer recommends that you replace them. HEPA filters often last a year, whereas carbon filters often only last for 6 months. There are other types of purifiers that don’t have filters so won’t need maintenance of that type. There are others that have a combination filter, so you would need to check in the instructions.

Do ionizing air purifiers emit ozone?

Some of them may, but they aren’t the same thing. There are purifiers that work by emitting positive and negative charges in the air, which makes particles stick together and get caught more easily by HEPA filters.

Can they be run cordlessly?

Generally air purifiers need to be plugged in because they have a motor that runs.

Wrapping Up

The best personal air purifier can have a dramatic impact on the air you breathe, and when used in a small space, it can significantly improve air quality. It might not be as powerful as a standard unit, but it’s perfect for cleansing the air in small spaces, and it can remove 99.9 percent of airborne pollutants.

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Written by Chris Crisostomo

Chris is a straight up lifelong self-described tech nerd. He's one of e-Ranker's technology and electronics experts.