Whether you’re dealing with hay fever as spring gets closer, or you’re coping with long-term allergies caused by a furry friend, an air purifier can make your home much easier to live in. But the most popular air purifiers cost hundreds of dollars apiece. Most of us can’t afford that. So what are the alternatives that still work, but won’t break the bank?
The Best Affordable Air Purifiers for Allergies
|Feature||UV-C Light||Activated Charcoal Filter||Number of Speeds|
|#1. Pure Enrichment|
Our Best Pick
|#2. Germ Guardian|
#1. Pure Enrichment True HEPA Purifier
This is one of the best air purifiers on the market for less than a hundred dollars. It is a little more expensive than the other options on the list, though, so if you have a really stretched budget, you’ll want to give the others a look. The reason it’s priced relatively highly, though, is because it works well. And in comparison to other air purifiers you’ll find at this price point, the Pure Enrichment model blows the competition out of the water.
One thing that puts this purifier on our list is that it has multiple levels of filtration. It can take care of particles that other filters can’t. The system uses a true HEPA filter, which has been rated as capable of capturing 99.97 percent of particles in the air. This includes odors, mold, pet dander, pet hair, smoke, pollen, and dust.
The next level of filtration is the UV-C light. This built-in light is capable of destroying a number of different bacteria and viruses that are airborne, keeping them from thriving in your home or your body. The light targets microorganisms that include disease-spreading pathogens and fungi.
If your allergy is caused by your pets, you might be concerned about the noise level of any appliance. Dogs and cats alike don’t tend to be fond of loud, unexplained noises. But this purifier operates at just 30 decibels, low enough that it’s more of a hum than an aggravation. Your pets and children won’t be bothered, and when you sleep, it should be easy and restful.
The design is built to be easy and efficient to operate. You can set it up in just seconds after taking it out of the box. There’s no complicated assembly or hassle, so it’s ready to use almost immediately. You also have the option of choosing an automatic timer that turns off the unit following two, four, or eight continuous hours of use, which helps increase energy efficiency and save on your electric bills.
The package comes with the air purifier itself, the three-in-one HEPA filtration system, a user manual, and a five year warranty. You also get access to customer support seven days a week. A five year warranty is significantly longer than most other air purifier manufacturers offer, especially in this price range.
#2. Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
The Germ Guardian filter is the cream of the crop when it comes to filtration systems. It has everything you’d want to find in a high-tech air purifier. In fact, the technology goes even beyond what you see in the Pure Enrichment, and the Germ Guardian is about half the price.
So what’s the catch? There is one: The air purifier is only cleared to purify zones of about 78 square feet. You’ll need to use it in small rooms or in little areas of larger rooms. If you intend to use it throughout the day, you’ll have to move it from place to place with you. It’s optimized to sit on a desk, so you can set it on your bedside table, kitchen counter, coffee table, work desk, and any other easily-accessible surface.
If you don’t mind that the purifier has a small overall reach, there’s nothing to complain about. It won’t purify your entire home or even a moderately-sized room, but it can create a small cloud of pollutant-free air directly around you.
Like the best air purifiers on the market, the Germ Guardian uses a HEPA-rated filtration system. The filter has been tested and proven to trap at least 99.97 percent of particles in the air. For allergy sufferers, that means that nearly all of the mold, pollen, dust, dander, and germs that can irritate your sinuses are no longer a problem.
The compact design makes the filter easy to place anywhere. It’s just eleven inches long and designed to fit on tabletops. The manufacturers created it to be easy to tuck into small offices and other little spaces.
There’s a UV-C light built into the design. It’s capable of killing viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that float within its range. That’s a lot easier and more effective than trying to spray your entire home with disinfectant. When you’re not worrying about the germs in your house, you have so much time freed up to focus on other things.
Before the particles even get to the filter, they go through a pre-filter entrapment. This part of the process pulls out the large particles like pet hair and dust. Since these particles aren’t clogging up the HEPA filter, the overall lifespan of the filtration system is extended.
That’s not where it ends, though. An additional layer of protection is found in the activated charcoal filter. Activated charcoal siphons out and neutralizes any unwanted particles left in the air. It’s extremely effective at neutralizing odors caused by cooking fumes, smoke, pets, and any other activity.
The purifier comes with three speed settings. The lowest can be used to conserve energy, while the highest maximizes efficiency. Germ Guardian has verified that the design has received a CARB compliance certification, meaning that it can clear pollen, dust, and tobacco smoke from a room. If you want to get rid of the smell of smoke on your property, this is one of the best places to start!
You should replace the HEPA filter every six to eight months and the light bulb every ten to twelve months.
#3. Holmes Small Room Air Purifier
This is another affordable air purifier that does everything you’d want in a basic air purifier. It doesn’t have a huge range of influence, but it does purify more air than the Germ Guardian. The Holmes purifier is recommended for rooms that are up to 109 square feet.
Like the other two options, the Holmes has the HEPA filtration system that removes a minimum of 99.97 percent of particles. You also get three different speeds to choose from. The purifier lacks the extra filters or lights of the other two options, but it still removes the vast majority of odors and allergens. In addition, the lack of light bulbs makes it more energy-efficient.
The purifier can be placed both horizontally and vertically. Its compact design is small enough that finding a place to store it is easy. Also included in the package is an optional ionizer and a three-year limited warranty. You should be aware that an ionizer, while it does freshen the air, will also emit potentially harmful ozone particles.
The Pure Zone air purifier is one of the best options on the market. It’s a little more expensive than the other two on the list, so it might not be the best bet if you have to stretch your budget. But it has HEPA-quality filtration, it destroys bacteria and germs, and it operates at just 30 decibels. You also get access to Pure Enrichment’s customer service seven days a week, plus a comprehensive five year warranty in case anything goes wrong.
The Germ Guardian air purifier is the true gold standard of cheap air purifiers. It’s better than just about anything you’ll find at this price point. The compact size is perfect for your desktop and easy to bring with you from room to room. In addition to the HEPA air filter, you have a UV-C light that kills viruses and bacteria, plus an activated charcoal filter that eliminates odors from the air. The only drawback — and the reason for the low price — is that it can only filter up to 78 surrounding square feet at a time.
The Holmes air purifier is another HEPA-standard option that’s available for a low price. You can get an optional ionizer, though you must be aware this will cause ozone to build up in your environment. The compact design can be positioned horizontally or vertically, which increases the number of places you can put it. It also purifies rooms of up to 109 square feet, which is a significant jump from the Germ Guardian. The three year warranty makes this a good, solid air purifying option that gets the job done.