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The Best Portable Air Purifiers

The Best Portable Air Purifiers

We put together this post to help you choose the very best air purifier for your specific home or business needs. We know all too well what difference a quality air purifier can make in the lives of asthmatics, allergy sufferers, people with weakened immune systems, children, and even pets.

The 5 Best Selling Portable Air Purifiers:

For your convenience, the below list shows the 5 best selling portable air purifiers on Amazon.com. The list is automatically updated once a day. Scroll further down for our comprehensive portable air purifier reviews.

Air is our most vital resource for life on earth. While we may be able to live for several weeks without food, and several days without water, we wouldn’t last more than several minutes without clean air.

Because of this, we know how important it is to monitor and prioritize the air quality in our most intimate environments. We make sure our food is well cooked and clean so it has no diseases; our water is filtered and re-filtered to make sure it has no debris; and likewise, our air should be as clean as it possibly can be inside of our homes.

While one day we think quality air purifiers will be built into homes more readily than they are today, for now, we have to turn to portable versions for our air quality needs.

The 10 Best Portable Air Purifiers:

Below we have listed and reviewed the 10 best portable air purifiers currently available for sale online.

1. LEVOIT HEPA Air Purifier for Home LV-126

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Silent operation
  • Ultra-compact and portable
  • True HEPA filter 

Cons:

  • Will not be effective in large areas 
  • Some it found it to dry the air 

Levoit has a good reputation in air purifiers and this a great little option for bedrooms or smaller areas. It is ultra-compact and works quietly. The true HEPA filter ensures effective air purification for healthier air. This is an ideal option for anyone that suffers from allergies or simply wants fast and effective clean air. 

Being so compact it will not work well in large rooms but is perfect for spaces up to 86 square feet. It is user-friendly and very well priced. The features are relatively basic but it gets the job done quickly and effectively. 

The LV-126 is a popular model and is well-loved by most that have purchased it. 

2. Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Odor reducing
  • Germ killing UV-C light 
  • True HEPA filter 
  • Good lifespan 

Cons:

  • No carry handle
  • Replacement filters are a bit expensive
  • Some found it to be a bit noisy

There is a lot to like about the Germ Guardian HEPA filter air purifier. Despite the value for money price it has leading features including an effective UV light sanitizer to kill germs. It has a true HEPA filter as well as a charcoal filter so it will help to reduce odors. 

This is a popular product and apart from being a top-seller, it receives lots of positive feedback. The combination of technologies makes it highly-effective. The design is streamlined and elegant and the unit will look good in any environment. It is effective in an area up to 193 square feet. 

The purifier is user-friendly and built to last for many years. 

3. SilverOnyx Air Purifier for Home with True HEPA Filter

Pros:

  • Highly-effective
  • 5-Stage filtration process 
  • Compact and attractive design
  • UV light 
  • Ion generator
  • Good coverage

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than some other options 
  • Not CARB approved
  • Relatively low airflow 

This is a highly-rated and popular portable air purifier that gets the job done. It can handle larger areas and is effective in rooms up to 500 square meters. The device uses multiple technologies to purify the air including an Ion generator as well as a UV light. 

It has 5 levels according to your needs. It also has a 5-stage filtration process for maxim effectiveness. The true HEPA filter ensures maximum air purity. It is extremely user-friendly and has quality controls. There is an indicator that will alert you when it is time to change the filter. 

4. Vornado PCO575DC Air Purifier with True HEPA and Carbon Filtration

Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Compact
  • Silverscreen Technology effective on VOC’s,  Bacteria, and Viruses 
  • Excellent technology
  • Quiet operation
  • User-friendly 

Cons:

  • Somewhat expensive
  • UV bulb needs replacing fairly often

Vornado is a trusted brand and this is a compact, stylish, and effective portable air purifier. The technology is outstanding and it has multiple features to ensure good action. The combination of a true HEPA filter, as well as a carbon filter, captures most airborne pollutants. The addition of the Silverscreen technology, something Vornado has patented, eliminates many other germs and bacteria. 

One of the outstanding features of this unit is has an attractive modern design. This allows it to fit in with any decor in any room. 

The unit is easy to operate and works silently so as not to disturb you, even when you sleep. 

5. KOIOS Air Purifier, Desktop Air Filtration with True HEPA Filter

Pros:

  • Highly-effective 3-stage filtration
  • Eliminates odors
  • Looks great
  • User-friendly
  • Quiet
  • Low power consumption
  • 3-Year warranty 
  • Value for money

Cons:

  • Not effective in larger rooms
  • No filter replacement alert

This compact air filtration system is highly effective and with a true HEPA filter will remove the vast majority of contaminants and pollutants from the air. This includes pet dander, mold spores and smoke. It is a great option for those with children and pets. It uses multi-stage filtration for cleaner healthier air. Thanks to the carbon layer it is also effective at reducing odors in the room. 

The purifier looks good and is super easy to use. It operates quietly and uses minimal power. Another benefit is that it comes with a good 3-year warranty. It is also an exceptionally good value for money product. 

6. Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier

Pros:

  • Exceptional cleaning quality
  • High-speed options for rapid air circulation
  • Heavy-duty carbon filter as well as HEPA
  • Long filter duration, 6+ months
  • Easy instructions and set-up
  • Exceptional cleaning quality
  • High-speed options for rapid air circulation
  • Heavy-duty carbon filter as well as HEPA
  • Long filter duration, 6+ months
  • Easy instructions and set-up
  • Filter change light indicator

Cons:

  • It’s expensive
  • Can be a bit bulky, heavy
  • Noisy on higher levels

We have read reviews of this filter being used in a variety of “heavy-duty” circumstances; from a home with multiple pets to factories, smoke lounges, veterinary clinics, and even nurseries.

While the Honeywell HA170E1 True HEPA does not have the highest HEPA rating, (it is a HEPA13, the highest is HEPA17, and filters as high as HEPA14 are cleared for use in hospitals) it works about as well as any HEPA filter on the commercial market.

7. Prem-I-Air HEPA Air Purifier with LCD

Pros:

  • Certified HEPA filter
  • Excellent air purification quality for the money
  • Ultra-low and silent “Sleep Mode”, for use at night
  • LCD screen for easy access and information display
  • Auto shutoff and timer feature
  • Remote control activated

Cons:

  • No Built-in ionizer to complete filtration/ionizer combo
  • Instructions did not seem to be written by someone who knew English.

One of the best deals available, this remains one of our favorite air purifiers for both office and home needs.

This little device packs four different filters into one machine.

The first is a thick, black, carbon filter that traps large particles and makes the HEPA’s job much easier. The second is the certified HEPA filter, which does the majority of the work decontaminating the air of extremely small particles.

The third filter is another active carbon filter that absorbs smoke and odors. The fourth and final wall of protection is a grey photocatalyst filter, which blocks the spreading of harmful gases such as ammonia or carbon monoxide.

We’ve heard nothing but good reviews about this device, and recommend it as an excellent starting point for an apartment or small family.

8. Filtrete Ultra Clean Air Purifiers

Pros:

  • Multiple variations for any room size
  • Cheaper than a certified HEPA
  • Clean, smooth, sleek design
  • Easy removal of filters
  • Multiple variations for any room size
  • Cheaper than a certified HEPA
  • Clean, smooth, sleek design
  • Easy removal of filters
  • Air filtration rated

Cons:

  • Not a certified grade HEPA filter
  • Frequent filter change (approximately every 3 months, more if there are pets)

The Filtrete line of products is a great solution for houses that need more than one size air filter. There are multiple sizes available in the Filtrete family of air purifiers: nursery size, up to 8m; small room, up to 10m; average room, up to 14; and large room up to 34m.

We have had good results with a small-sized Filtrete, as it was able to clean most of the smoke that was in the room at the time. While it does not have that highest grade HEPA filter like some of our other purifiers, it still functions and is a good deal for the price.

9. Heaven Fresh Ionic Air Purifier

Pros:

  • High-quality ionizer with 17 high density, stainless steel needles
  • Consistent charge and cleaning rate among different household areas
  • Cheaper than many other larger ionizers on the market
  • High-quality ionizer with 17 high density, stainless steel needles
  • Consistent charge and cleaning rate among different household areas
  • Cheaper than many other larger ionizers on the market
  • Extremely easy to clean

Cons:

  • Produces Ozone, a chemical gas that is not safe for children
  • Does not filter a high volume of air
  • Produces Ozone, a chemical gas that is not safe for children
  • Does not filter a high volume of air
  • No built-in fan or traditional filter

Unique on our list because this machine is not exactly an air filter per se, but an ionizer. Ionizers differ from most air purifiers in that they do not have a traditional carbon filter or fan. Ionizers work by changing the chemical structure of the particles in the air and in turn attracting them to the nearest hard surface, instead of continually circulating them through the air.

The stainless steel dust collector plates work quite well for this job and are as easy to clean as a dinner plate under running water. Although the plates will collect most of the particles that the ionizers attract, you may still have a bit of dust collecting in the area around your ionizers, such as on the table and walls. Simply dust the area regularly when you change the filter and this shouldn’t be a problem.

Make sure this device is not left on the floor around animals or small children because, like almost all ionizers, this product emits a harmful gas known as “ozone” that can be deadly in concentrated amounts.

10. Bionaire BAP1700 Permatech Filter

Pros:

  • An automatic sensor detects air quality, can change filtration level accordingly
  • The large design captures a higher volume of air
  • Permanent filter, no replacements
  • An automatic sensor detects air quality, can change filtration level accordingly
  • The large design captures a higher volume of air
  • Permanent filter, no replacements
  • Stylish design

Cons:

  • Does not circulate air particularly well, relies on the natural air intake
  • Permanent filter, messy, time-consuming cleaning, decreased air filtration over time
  • Does not circulate air particularly well, relies on the natural air intake
  • Permanent filter, messy, time-consuming cleaning, decreased air filtration over time
  • Can be quite noisy, even on low

The Bionaire takes the shape of the popular “tower” filtration device and claims to come with a built-in ionizer, although we could not verify it.

We’ve had good results with the Bionaire, and have seen the device being used in multiple commercial restaurants where there is active smoking.

Though the product claims to have a HEPA filter, a closer look at the website and wording indicates that it actually does not. The filter is a company made one, a “Permatech” filter, which is not as effective as an actual HEPA filter.

That being said, the air filter still works well and provides noticeably better air quality than a room without it.

What to look for when buying a portable air purifier

There are several important factors to consider when selecting the best air purifier for your needs.  Let’s first take a look at what they do and how they work. 

How air purifiers work

Air purifiers use a range of filters and other technologies to remove pollutants and allergens from the air. They take in dirty air, trap or sanitize the particles, and release air that is cleaner and healthier to breathe. 

While even the best ones do not eliminate 100% of the potentially harmful particles in the air they are highly-effective and will improve the condition of the air that you and your family breathe. 

Air purification technologies

There are multiple technologies used by air purifiers. Filters of different sizes will help to eliminate airborne pollutants. A true HEPA filter is best for eliminating the smaller and often the most potentially harmful particles. 

Note the importance of the term “True” HEPA High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters. There are many inferior products on the market that claim to work as well but are not “True” HEPA filters. A true HEPA filter will eliminate as much as  99.97% of air pollutants even down to to the size of only 0.3 microns. 

A carbon filter is found on many air purifiers and this filter is ideal to remove smoke, odors, and VOCs (Volatile organic compounds). Another beneficial technology is a negative ion emitter. This technology will neutralize potentially harmful particles in the air. 

Some air purifiers feature a UV light for additional protection and purification. These models can kill airborne viruses and other pathogens silently and effectively. This adds an additional layer of protection to the air purifier. 

Size

The last thing you want is a large unit that takes up a lot of space. Many are small and compact and some have a sleek modern design. They will not ruin the appearance of the room or area in which they are used. Understand that a small air purifier, while convenient, is unlikely to be effective in larger rooms or open spaces. 

Portability

While you might want to keep your air purifier in one place, many people like to move them around. The good ones are fast and effective. If it is light and portable, you can take it from the sitting room to the bedroom, office, or any other area where you want to have clean, fresh, and healthy air. 

Consider the size of the room

A small compact air purifier might be convenient but it is not likely to cover a large area. You need to consider the power of the unit and the space it is effective in. Buying one that is not powerful enough to cope with the space you need to use it will lead to disappointment. 

One way to measure this is the CADR or Clean air delivery rating. This figure will give you an idea of the size room the air purifier will be effective in. 

Specific needs

While all good air purifiers will improve the air quality, some are better suited to specific needs. Consider your needs and invest in one that has the technology to address your requirements. This could include smoke, pet dander, allergies, odors, or a range of other air concerns. 

Ensuring you purchase one that addresses your needs will result in you being happy with your product. 

Noise

While most good air purifiers are fairly quiet some can be a bit loud. If you intend to use it in the bedroom or other areas where noise could be a problem, look for one with a low noise output. 

Having a noisy air purifier will only lead to irritation and result in you not wanting to use it as often as you should. The quieter, the better. This is especially important if you intend to use it in the bedroom when you sleep. 

Cost

With any purchase, you need to consider the cost of the investment. While you cannot put a price on good health, some air purifiers offer better value for money than others. Look at the features and effectiveness versus the price of the unit. 

Energy consumption

Air purifiers do not use a lot of electricity and are affordable to run. The wattage will give you some indication of how much power they draw. 

Durability

A quality brand that is well made from good materials is sure to last longer. Do not go after cheap models that are poorly made as you will only have to replace them before too long. A good warranty is always a positive sign that the device is built to last. 

Rather spend a bit more on a quality air purifier. Fortunately, there are many great models that are excellent value for money. 

Maintenance

Unfortunately, an air purifier will need some maintenance over time. This is not a major issue but it is important to note that some will need more maintenance than others. 

HEPA filters need to be replaced roughly once a year. This will depend on the air quality and how often they are used. Also, look at the cost of replacement filters so you understand the long-term cost of the device. 

Carbon filters often need to be replaced more than once a year.  Many pre-filters are washable but some need to be replaced regularly.  UV lights, on those models that have them, will need to be replaced from time to time. 

Additional features

Some air purifiers have added features such as remote controls or Wi-Fi connectivity. While these features are convenient they will add to the cost of the unit. You need to consider if they are worth the additional investment.

A very handy feature is an alert or indicator that will let you know when it is time to replace the filters. 

Air Purifier FAQs 

What is the best air purifier for smoke?

Smoke is a common pollutant and irritation. The right air purifier can help to reduce the risk of smoke in the air but they do not all do this effectively. A filter with a quality true HEPA filter is the most effective option to reduce smoke. A carbon filter is also handy as it will eliminate the smoke odor. 

If smoke is a major concern for you the Vornado PCO575DC Air Purifier with True HEPA and carbon filtration is overall the best air purifier for smoke currently on the market.

What is the best air purifier for allergies?

One of the main reasons people invest in air purifiers is to reduce allergens in the air. This will improve your health and quality of life. Again, a true HEPA filter is what is needed. The smaller the airborne particles the filter is effective on, the more allergens will be eliminated. 

If allergies are a major concern for you The Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV light sanitizer is the best option from our top pics for air purifiers.

What is the best air purifier for asthma?

Asthma is a common condition and the right air purifier can make the condition easier to manage. A good quality HEPA filter will reduce up to 99.7% or more of all impurities in the air. Cleaner air will help to reduce the severity of asthma for easier and healthier breathing. 

Due to the 5-stage filtration and effectiveness, the SilverOnyx Air Purifier for Home with True HEPA Filter is the best air purifier for those that suffer from asthma. 

Final thoughts

There can be no doubt that the right air purifier is good for the air you breathe and will be better for you and your family. They are a small investment in the quality of air that you breathe. It is one of the most important aspects of your health and anything you can do to improve it is worthwhile. 

Sadly, the quality of the air in most cities is poor. A good air purifier will deliver many benefits and give you a better quality of life. 

That just about wraps it up for our 10 favorite air filters that are available in the US.

We wish you ALL the best in finding the perfect air quality solution for you and your family, and remember if you find something you like or even don’t like then please do come back and let us and other readers know by commenting on this website!

You might also be interested in our best portable air conditioner article.

This article was last updated on October 22, 2020 .

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Written by
Charl Jooste
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