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8 Best Air Purifiers Under $100 In 2022 (Cheap And Effective!)

Is it possible to get a good HEPA air purifier for less than 100 dollars? Yes, you can and with very little compromisation needed. In this best review, we compared and examined every affordable air purifier under 100 currently on sale in the market. Every model tested here is evaluated based on the overall performance, filtration, features, and of course, pricing. So let's waste no time and see why we chose the models below, along with the specification, pros/ cons, and price guide.

Who is this for?

The great starter air cleaner before investing in a premium model. An air purifier under 100 dollars can be used by a person suffering from asthma, seasonal allergies, and breathing troubles. Pet owners and frequent travelers could do with this portable air cleaning device. Air purifiers under $100 can also protect the little ones with developing immune systems or the elderly with an impaired immune system. Finally, anyone who needs a secondary unit to complement the primary air cleaner in providing fresh air.

Quick Summary

BEST BUDGETBEST OVERALLBEST PERFORM-ANCEPERFORMANCE
hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewPureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewLevoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier Review
hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely Air PurifierPureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air PurifierLEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier
Recommended Room Size
80 sq. ft. (7 m2)200 sq. ft. (19 m2)219 sq. ft. (20 m2)
Filtration
3-stage4-stage3-stage
Ratings
3.5out of 54out of 54.5out of 5
Amazon Price
$$$$$$
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** MRSP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is accurate at the time of posting.
^ Annual filter cost is calculated based on filter price and 12 hours of usage. Pricing could vary depending on air quality, usage frequency, and speed.
` The indicated online price guides as follows: $ = under $50, $$ = $50-100, $$$ = $101-200, $$$$ = 201-300, $$$$$ = $301-400, $$$$$$ = 401-500, $$$$$$$ = over $500.

How Do We Measure?

Selling price There are plenty of budget air purifiers under 100, but not all share the exact specification. Rather than going for the cheapest model, we prioritize the air cleaning efficiency over the price point. Hence, qualified air cleaners must include a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and carbon filter. Supporting features such as a timer, air quality monitor, auto mode, and sleep mode will be considered bonus points in our ratings.
HEPA filter The better the HEPA filtration, the less likely your allergy symptoms will be triggered by bad air quality. There are air purifiers that cost less than $100 yet still manage to bundle with a True HEPA filter. True HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) is a mechanical filter designed to arrest microscopic particles in the air. It is essentially a higher-grade version than an inferior HEPA-type filter. A True HEPA filter removes 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns VS a HEPA-type filter that removes 99% of particles as small as 2 microns.
Carbon filter The better quality is the carbon filter, the higher consideration will be given. Regardless if is a charcoal pre-filter or activated carbon filter, the budget air purifier must come with deodorizing capability. A critical component as a HEPA filter cannot remove gas particles in the room. Lingering odor contaminants from mold, cooking, and cigarette smoke can trigger allergies and health issues.

What To Look For In The Best Air Purifier Under $100

An air purifier is more than just a home appliance that catches airborne dust and allergens. It is a long-term investment for you and your family member's health. Unfortunately with the tight budget, many factors have to be considered when buying an under $100 air purifier. To help you make the right call, here are the top features one must not overlook.

  • Dimension - There's a saying that the best air purifier is the one that fits seamlessly into your home. As air cleaner comes in all sizes, knowing where you intend to use it can make a huge difference in usability. If you want to bring it around for trips, pick a portable air purifier that can be carried easily.
  • Room size - The air purifier filter size and airflow delivery rate determine the coverage capacity. Most manufacturers will publish a recommended room size based on the air cleaning range, typically at 2 air changes per hour. You can manually measure your room's square footage and pick a model that can support that. For example, to cover an entire 200 sq. ft. bedroom, you will need an air purifier with at least 200 square feet of purifying coverage.
  • CADR - Clean Air Delivery Rate is a metric designed by AHAM to measure the air cleaning for dust, pollen, and smoke. Regulate in cubic feet per minute; the higher the CADR, the quicker the air cleaner will be able to remove the airborne contaminants. Not every brand participates in this test due to some discrepancies in the testing.
  • Filtration quality - A good set of filtration can protect us from inhaling harmful allergens, prevent asthma from triggering, and other lung-related diseases. It can also determine how efficient an air cleaner is in removing fine particles. For a washable air purifier below 100, anticipate a 3-stage filtration consisting of a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and carbon filter. . Optional filtration like ionizer or UV-light is a big plus for a more comprehensive air cleaning.
  • Filter usage life - Depending on the filter size and quality, a small filter usage lifespan will vary between 3 to 6 months with 12 hours of daily operation. For 24 hours of continuous operation, you should replace the filter when the filter change indicator is lit or clogged with dust and other particles. The longer the filter lasts, the less maintenance is needed.
  • Warranty - The telltale sign of how confident the brand with its products is in the warranty period. As air purifiers will last for ages, pick a model backed with at least a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer. Review the after-sale service, labor, warranty terms, and replacement policy carefully.
  • Additional features - Any feature that enhances the air purifying performance or usability is welcome. Common features include Auto mode, Sleep mode, dust/ odor sensor, and timer. Uncommon features include a digital display, remote control, night light, and essential oil tray.
  • No ozone production - Never purchase an ozone generator to clean the air in your home. Inhaling ozone will damage our lung tissue cells, aggravate asthma, and allergies. EPA recommends ozone concentration level exposure under 0.05 parts per million. So check carefully what technology is used in the air cleaner before making the purchase.
  • Selling price and filter cost - Seek a balance between cheap and cheerful. Compare the overall package with the competitors’ model. Also, account for the replacement filter cost as it is recurring maintenance. Calculate the years it takes for the filter price to stack up and match the retail price.

hOmeLabs Purely air purifier is a highly sought model despite being relatively new compared with other models here. You'll get plenty of goodies at around a low 80 dollars after online rebates, including the game-changer HEPA H13 filter. A higher grade filter that is typically reserved for premium air purifiers costs at least 3 times more. With H13 HEPA filtration by your side, hOmeLabs can improve indoor air quality with just a short few hours of runtime.

A portable and price-friendly HEPA H13 air purifier for less than 100. The only catch is the constrained airflow delivery rate.

Housing the 3-in-1 filtration is the tight body at 12.8 inches in height and 7.9 inches in diameter. This compactly engineered air purifier will fit nicely in smaller homes, especially studios or apartments with limited space. Adding the light 5.3 lb weight, moving hOmeLabs Purely HME020248N around the house for air cleaning would not be an issue. The clean white design is achievable by tucking the air inlet at the bottom and the air outlet surrounding the top controls. Compared with other budget air cleaners, hOmeLabs entire layout makes sense as more pollutants can be drawn in at the bottom while clean air is distributed at the top. Overall the build quality is decent at its price point, with no off-gassing detected during our test. The removable panel is secure and can easily take out for filter change.

Let's look into hOmeLabs Air Purifier HME020248N specification:

  • Filtration Type - 3-stage
  • Air Filtration - Pre-filter, H13 True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter
  • Noise Level - ≤50 dB
  • Warranty - 1-2 years
  • Coverage Area - 78 sq. ft.

Here's what an under 100 model will get you. hOmeLabs Purely HME020248N air cleaner is powered by a conventional and proven 3-stage filtration. With dirty air drawn in, the pre-filter traps dust, hair, and other larger particles from damaging the HEPA filter. The higher-grade H13 HEPA filter will focus on removing 99.97% of finer particles in the air, like pet dander, mold spore, pollen, and germs. The last stage activated carbon filter absorbs light smoke and odor from cooking, cigarette, pet, spoiled food, and smelly toilet. At full speed, hOmeLabs HME020248N is ideal for the kitchen, home office, playroom, and bedroom as long as it is within small-sized 78 square footage spaces. We highly recommend placing it close to the pollutant's sources to get the best out of the air purifier.

Features-wise, hOmeLabs Purely HME020248N does not disappoint despite its low price. You have the standard 3 fan speed that balances performance and noise output. The filter reset indicator reminds you to replace the filter after 2,100 hours of low/ medium speed usage. The worsen the air quality, the quicker the filter will wear out. The nursery room's favorite child lock function locks the setting to prevent children from fiddling with the settings. There is even a nightlight function with a dimmable brightness option. For those with little ones at home, you can leave it on all night for extra comfort and safety without being disturbed by the glaring light.

hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely True HEPA Air Purifier

Moving to speed and sound, hOmeLabs HME020248N ≤50 dB noise is whisper quiet at the lowest speed, but there will be minimal white noise at max speed. Usable at night compared with other bigger air purifiers with higher output. As for power consumption, the standard 120 volts/ 60 Hz power output is very energy efficient for continuous operation. You can turn off the nightlight during the daytime for a more eco-friendly approach, even though it will not make much of a difference anyway.

So what's not so great about hOmeLabs HME020248N? To start, the 48.3 cfm CADR and around 80 square feet of room coverage are not impressive. You will need to run it at high speed to cover more spaces, yet it is still confined to the table or nightstand use. Due to the lack of sensors, there is no unique cleaning feature like Auto or sleep mode built-in. The short 87 days or 3 months of all-in-one filter lifespan can be a hassle as you will need to replace it every quarterly. The frequent change also contributes to a higher filter replacement cost, affecting the usability of the air purifier. Regardless of all, hOmeLabs HME020248N is a great sleeping companion that can help you breathe better as long as it is placed close to you.

In short: A portable and price-friendly HEPA H13 air purifier for less than 100. The only catch is the constrained airflow delivery rate. ⚠️ Buy this if you want a cheap, compact, and no-fuss H13 HEPA air purifier.

online price (US)**
±99.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±30-60)

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Well-loved budget air purifier with UV technology and matching filtration performance. PureZone 3-in-1 is one of the borderline air purifiers that qualify for the list due to the attractive discount. At a mere 6.9 x 12.1 x 10.8 in dimension and 8.4 lb weight, PureZone 3-in-1 is on the smallest side for a console air purifier. The console body hosts multi-stage filters that are more than capable of dealing with a large concentration of airborne pollutants. More importantly, the beautiful exterior does not impact the airflow circulation with a generous air inlet and outlets around the air cleaner. PureZone 3-in-1 is backed by a hassle-free 5 years warranty that mitigates any fears of the air purifier breaking down. A huge compliment to its build quality and reliability. Not cutting cost measure, no compromisation.

One of the best value HEPA air purifiers with UV-C light technology. Great for people with breathing issues due to allergies or asthma.

PureZone 3-in-1 is not shy about features too, despite the low price tag. You have a 2, 4, 8 hours timer that can be set to turn off the air purifier when the time is up. The filter reset button is used after you change the filter (every 6 months). There is also a standard 3 speed and dedicated sleep mode for silent purification during sleep. Like most budget air purifiers here, expect a whisper-quiet 30 decibels of noise that you will barely feel its presence. Power consumption is at an average of 60 wattages per hour. You can even turn off the optional UV-C mode to boost energy efficiency to save energy costs.

Here is the run-through of PureZone 3-in-1 specification:

  • Filtration Type - 4-stage
  • Air Filtration - Pre-filter, HEPA filter, Activated Carbon Filter, UV-C Light
  • Noise Level - 30 - 50 dB
  • Warranty - 5 years
  • 200 sq. ft. purifying coverage - For small to medium room size

What makes PureZone 3-in-1 great is the Holy Grail air filtration. The stage 1 pre-filter traps initial dust, hair, dust mites, and large particles while protecting the inner filter. The stage 2 activated carbon filter absorbs noxious chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and odors from pets, diapers, cooking, and cigarettes. The stage 3 True HEPA filter removes 99.97% of dust mites, mold, pollen, pet dander, fungi, and other allergens in the air. No economical HEPA-type filter like most small and affordable air purifiers. The stage 4 UV-C light sanitizes bacteria and viruses before releasing clean, fresh air back into your home. The mid-range purifying radius covers up to 200 square feet of room space at max speed. Excellent for a bedroom, office, kitchen, garage, dining room, and a baby room that are badly affected by bad air quality. Removing large contaminants from microscopic allergens would be a piece of cake.

PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier

Few things you should take note of before purchasing one. PureZone CADR is not spectacular at 80 cfm level, even though purifying coverage is decent. It might take a while to clean the air in a large room completely. The all-in-one filter has a relatively short 6 months lifespan over a standard 1-year; you must change it regularly, so there's no dip in the performance. The lack of autonomous features is a big miss but expected, given the low price. Lastly, the brand does not have another high-range model to upgrade to. If you plan to move up from the stable line in the near future, you're out of luck. Other than that, PureZone 3-in-1 is a worthy, entry-level air purifier for those new to the scene.

In short: One of the best value HEPA air purifiers with UV-C light technology. Great for people with breathing issues due to allergies or asthma. ⚠️ Buy this if you want an affordable UV air purifier that will sit firmly on the floor.

online price (US)**
±139.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±40)

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You don't have to spend a lot of cash to enjoy the health benefits of clean air. LEVOIT Core 300 True HEPA is a budget air purifier under $100 with 6480+ Amazon reviews and counting. This award-winning air purifier is completely designed in South California with a modern and minimalist approach. The perfect gift for Californians that are troubled by the yearly wildfires.

Affordable HEPA air purifier with decent airflow performance and backed by a 5 years warranty. Great for households that are dealing with specific types of pollutants.

At 8.7 x 14.2 x 8.7 inches, LEVOIT Core 300 air purifier is not the smallest, but portability will never be an issue. You can easily find space on a desktop, nightstand, or TV cabinet as part of the decor. The 8.8 pounds weight is on the heavier side; you can still effortlessly carry it around from room to room purifying. Build quality is top-notch despite its price range. The AC capacitor motor uses durable, high-precision bearing surrounded by abrasion-resistant materials that enhance its durability. With Levoit trusted 3 million customers worldwide, we expect this air machine to last for years to come.

Safety-wise, LEVOIT Core 300 air purifier is FCC, UL/ ETL listed, AHAM, and CA PROP 65 certified. It is also 100% ozone-free without using a negative ion generator and UV light. The conventional and purest form of air purifying.

Comes in 2 color options (black and white); here is the specification of LEVOIT Core 300:

  • Filtration Type - 3-stage
  • Air Filtration - Pre-filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon Filter, Specialized filters
  • Noise Level - 24 – 50 dB
  • Warranty - 2 years
  • Coverage Area - 219 sq. ft.

What makes the price-friendly LEVOIT Core 300 great is the adaptable filtration consisting of a pre-filter, H13 True HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. The pre-filter traps the biggest particles in the air, like dust and hair, while extending the life of the other filters. Unlike some models that cheap out with a HEPA-type filter, LEVOIT Core 300 uses an H13 True HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of fine impurities e.g. mold, pollen, pet dander, fungi, and germs irritants down to 0.3 micrometers. The granular activated carbon filter neutralizes common smoke and odors in a household via chemical adsorption. For upgradable advanced filtration, you have the following option:

  • Pet Allergy Filter - super effective against pet odors, diapers
  • Higher-grade Toxin Absorber Filter - specializes in air pollution like wildfire smoke, vehicle exhaust, volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • MB Filter - neutralizes germs and impedes their growth

Compared with other cheap air purifiers here, removing harmful contaminants would be a piece of cake for LEVOIT Core 300.

LEVOIT Core 300 True HEPA air purifier review

No surprise that LEVOIT Core 300 has built its fan base and rightly calls for a spot here. The VortexAir technology creates a cyclonic airflow system that delivers a quick 12 minutes of air circulation. At high speed, LEVOIT Core 300 offers a mid-range purifying radius that covers up to 219 square footage of air cleaning space at 5 air changes per hour. You can even double the purifying coverage by dropping the air changes per hour to 2. Ideal for bedroom, office, living room, nursery, kitchen, and basement with unhealthy air quality. Clean air delivery rate CADR is equally impressive, with dust rated at 140 cfm, pollen at 145 cfm, and smoke rated at 141 cfm. The higher the CADR, the faster the air purifier can clean the air.

LEVOIT Core 300 is not shy about features too. You have a standard 3 speeds and an auto-off timer that can be set to turn off the air purifier after a specific number of hours. The handy child lock is also present to lock the controls from meddling children. The filter life indicator reminds you to change the filter every 6-8 months. Another rare feature for an air purifier below 100 price point, LEVOIT Core 300 is backed by a 5 years warranty with California-based customer service. The long warranty should alleviate any fears of the device breaking down.

For undisturbed sweet dreams, you can depend on Levoit Core 300 air purifier silent operation. The QuietKEAP technology internal shock pad help increases abrasion resistance and absorbs vibration noise. All this is done while extending the life of the motor. In Sleep mode, the noise level is only at 24 dB with display light all disabled to a max 50 dB. Being an Energy Star verified model, the 45-watt max power usage is good, but there are more energy-friendly models here. Nevertheless, Levoit Core 300 is still cost-efficient enough for a long-haul operation.

Nitpicking on a few tiny problems, Levoit small filters have a shorter 6-8 months lifespan than the bigger models. Not ideal but far from worst either. While not the most expensive to maintain, expect to pay 20-40 dollars on the filter replacement cost. Given its low price point, a built-in sensor, Auto mode, and AQ indicator are not present here. You can top up a little more to get an inexpensive air purifier, e.g. Winix 5500-2, which has everything we mentioned missing here. So if you plan to move up from Levoit's stable line in the near future, you know what to look out for.

In short: Affordable HEPA air purifier with decent airflow performance and backed by a 5 years warranty. Great for households that are dealing with specific types of pollutants. ⚠️ Buy this if you want the best budget air purifier with unrivaled air filtration.

online price (US)**
±99.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±20-40)

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The smallest and most affordable HEPA air purifier under $100 (or 50+ after discount). GermGuardian AC4100 air purifier might not be the new kid on the block, it still manages to squeeze in a respectable 3-in-1 filtration with UV light. The "speaker" alike exterior is pleasing to the eyes that serve as a front air inlet to pull in airborne pollutants. Occupying little space, the compact 6.5 x 11 x 7.5 in body and 4.85 lb weight allow you to place it anywhere in the home, including the top shelf, bedside table, cabinet, or desk. You also gain the portability perk for travel or short staycation. AC4100 will work in either vertical or horizontal positions without impeding the airflow circulation.

Cheapest 4-stage HEPA air purifier costs even less than some air cleaners' filters. It is the ideal model if you don't mind the small purifying area.

Operational wise, GermGuardian AC4100 is very easy to use with a dial knob that controls the 3 fan speed and a UV-C light mode button. We highly recommend leaving it at max speed and keeping the UV-C light on to compensate for the weak output. However, there are zero supportive features to enhance the overall usability. No auto mode, sleep mode, or even a timer is listed here. It is the most basic form of air cleaner you can get. Unlike most air purifiers that offer a digital filter change indicator, GermGuardian AC4100 uses a manual filter reminder date wheel. A very old-fashion approach that most would not appreciate.

Given its restricted airflow circulation, GermGuardian AC4100 is almost noiseless, apart from the occasional mild white noise running in the background. Even running at the highest speed, AC4100 will not disturb your work or sleep, a critical feature for a small air purifier that will likely be placed close to you. There is no sleep mode to help manage the noise as one would expect in this price range. As for upkeep, the power usage is low, so running it all day, every day, is doable without the extravagant cost.

Let's look at GermGuardian AC4100 air purifier filtration bundled:

  • Filtration Type - 4-stage
  • Air Filtration - Charcoal Pre-filter, HEPA-type filter, UV-C Light, TiO 2
  • Noise Level - Silent
  • Warranty - 1 year
  • Coverage Area - 78 sq. ft.

The good and bad of AC4100. HEPA filter, charcoal + PCO filter, and UV-C technology are standard in this tiny air cleaner. First off, you have the dual-function charcoal pre-filter that reduces household dust, hair, cigarette smoke, and cooking odor while extending the life of the HEPA filter. Next, the main HEPA type filter will get rid of 99% of illness-causing allergens in the air as small as 2 microns. It will get the job done, but it is an inferior offering compared with other true HEPA machines. For finer microorganisms that the filter cannot capture, you have the UV-C light specializing in killing bacteria and viruses like Influenza, staph, and rhinovirus. Complementing it is Titanium Dioxide, which reduces volatile organic compounds in the room.

GermGuardian AC4100 UV Air Purifier Review

GermGuardian AC4100 maximum 78 square footage coverage is restricted to close-range purifying. Still, it does help alleviate allergic reactions linked to bad air. You will need to place it as close to the sources of the pollutants as possible e.g. next to the litter box, work desk, TV cabinet. AHAM verified CADR is at 56 cfm for dust, 76 cfm for pollen, and 50 cfm for smoke. Far from worst for a small air purifier that is supposed to cut costs at every corner.

Replacing the filter set is easy, but you will have to do it every 6 months. Simply pop open the panel and swap out the old with the new. The longer-lasting 2 Watt UV bulb only requires replacing every 10-12 months, which is music to our ears. As mentioned earlier, you can even turn the UV light off to extend the usage life.

For the low price you paid, GermGuardian AC4100 can only do so much. The small body means you have to compromise on a few things, mainly the filter size and performance. The bundled HEPA-type filter is not the same as a True HEPA filter. It also uses an inferior charcoal pre-filter instead of a dedicated carbon filter. The airflow delivery rate is also limited to small rooms up to 78 square feet. You can bypass all the drawbacks we mentioned with other premium models on this list.

In short: Cheapest 4-stage HEPA air purifier costs even less than some air cleaners' filters. It is the ideal model if you don't mind the small purifying area. ⚠️ Buy this if you want the addon UV-C light and don't mind the inferior HEPA-type filter.

online price (US)**
±89.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±48-65)

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Need a budget-friendly air purifier as you don't have any cash to spare? In comes Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet 04384 washable air purifier. A reusable, small, and simple device with the sole purpose of circulating clean air into your room. No complicated controls, no ionizer or UV light. Just good old-fashioned mechanical filtration with pet focus setup and low-noise operation.

A simple and capable air purifier under $100 with a cost-effective, permanent HEPA filter. It fits the small budget requirement and works well in small areas. Dirt cheap to maintain too.

Do not let the compact size fool you. At 8.1 x 16.4 x 10.8 inches in size and 6.3 pounds, Hamilton Beach TrueAir Pet air purifier can swiftly clean and freshen the air without producing any harmful byproducts. The versatile air care design allows you to place it anywhere in the room. Like AC4100, you can even run Hamilton Beach TrueAir horizontally or vertically without disrupting the airflow. That way, you will never have to worry that the air cleaner will be accidentally tip-over by your pets.

Hamilton Beach TrueAir Pet has an industrial design feels durable rather than premium. The air inlet is nicely concealed behind the removable front panel for thorough air cleaning coverage. The big dial knob control works exactly as intended. Overall, the build quality is decent and should withstand some rough use. The lack of function means there is less likelihood of the air cleaner breaking down.

Moving on to the specification, here's what you will get with the 3-stage filtration:

  • Filtration Type - 3-stage
  • Air Filtration - Pre-filter, HEPA-grade filter, Carbon zeolite filters
  • Noise Level - Silent
  • Warranty - 1 year
  • Coverage Area - 140 sq. ft.

The main highlight of Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet 04384 is the washable, cost-saving HEPA filter that requires minimal upkeeping. The permanent HEPA-grade filter has 99% efficiency in removing PM2.5 impurities in the air, like pet dander, dust mites, pollen, mold, and mildew spores. Protecting the HEPA filter is the permanent pre-filter that traps pet hair, dust, and other large contaminants. Lastly, the two optional carbon zeolite filters reduce pesky pet odors and smoke particles that flow indoors. Given the low base price and size constraint, you can easily replace the optional carbon filters without adding much to the maintenance cost. Setting it to max speed, the triple filtration will effortlessly remove airborne irritants within its 140 square feet purifying range. Ideal for bedrooms, nurseries, hallways, small offices, and dens.

Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier Review

The biggest advantage of using a permanent HEPA filter is you can reuse the filter for many years to come. Simply remove the front panel by pressing down the opening tab and take out the HEPA filter for vacuuming. That way, you can extend the HEPA-type filter life and save money for something else. As for the two carbon zeolite odor-eliminating filters, you should replace them every 3 months or when necessary. An old-school tracking method back timestrip cartridge will indicate when it is time to change the filter.

Another hallmark of Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet is the ultra-quiet motor and fan. Running at WhisperClean mode, you will barely hear any noise, as if the air purifier is not operational. At a medium or QuickClean speed, the slight humming fan sound can be soothing for those who prefer little white noise in the background during sleep. Energy usage is low, given the subdue airflow delivery rate. Adding the permanent reusable HEPA filter, there are hardly any recurring fees with Hamilton Beach TrueAir. It is by far the most cost-effective air purifier on the list.

Let's get the usual cons out of the way for Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet air purifier. For this budget category, anticipate limited coverage and weak HEPA-type filtration compared with a True HEPA filter. Great for pet owners but not so for allergy sufferers who need stronger air cleaning. Supporting features is also non-existence, besides the filter change indicator. There is no auto mode, sleep mode, timer, or air quality indicator to ease usability. At the end of the day, you only pay around $60 for an air purifier bundled with carbon filters that cost 10 dollars annually. Hamilton Beach TrueAir is a true bargain and a great deal for a first-time buyer.

In short: A simple and capable air purifier under $100 with a cost-effective, permanent HEPA filter. It fits the small budget requirement and works well in small areas. ⚠️ Buy this if you want a washable HEPA filter to save cost, and don't mind the lack of supportive features.

online price (US)**
±79.00 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±10)

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Continue with this competitive entry-level segment. Elechomes EPI081 air purifier is one of the best value air purifiers with raving Amazon reviews. It comes bundled with an antibacterial filter and an H13 filter typically reserved for premium models. It is also the only true aromatherapy air purifier with a HEPA filter for around 80 bucks (after rebate). Elechomes EPI081 can swiftly transform your indoor air making it more comfortable to breathe.

Compact 4-stage air purifier with HEPA H13 filter for less than 80. Very well featured too, but you do have to settle with a small purifying coverage.

Portability is another strong suit for Elechomes EPI081 if you intend to carry it for room to room purification. With a compact travel size of 9.3 inches in height and 6.3 inches in diameter, practicality and performance are still intact with Elechomes EPI081 air purifier. You can place it comfortably at the table, bedside, TV cabinet, or sofa desk without being too obstructive. The modern exterior added a touch of elegance to your home without sacrificing build quality and functionality. The modern white design is surrounded by a 360° air circulation that can capture airborne pollutants at every angle. The airflow outlet is placed at the top for extensive distribution and quick filter change. Right at the center, there is an essential oil slot to support the built-in aromatherapy function. Insert your favorite essential oil pads to help you destress, relax, clear sinuses, and promote better sleep.

Continue with the exterior. The prominent control panel is located at the front with multiple blue LED indicators. You can set a specific time to turn off the air purifier through the smart panel after running for 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours. You can also manually select the 3 fan speeds or Sleep mode, where Elechomes EPI081 will run at the lowest speed with dimmed light. Alternatively, leave it in Auto mode via the dust sensor, and the machine will automatically set the right speed based on the room air quality. The filter change indicator is also here to remind you to replace the composite filter after 3,000 hours. Not bad for a below 100 budget air purifier with supposedly limited features.

Touching on Elechomes EPI081 specification:

  • Filtration Type - 4-stage
  • Air Filtration - Fine preliminary filter, Antibacterial filter, Activated carbon filter, True H13 HEPA filter
  • Noise Level - 30 dB
  • Warranty - 18 months
  • Coverage Area - 215 sq. ft.

How Elechomes EPI081 manages to fit in a quadruple filtration in its compact body is beyond us. First, you have the protector pre-filter that captures dust, pet hair, and debris in the air while extending the HEPA filter usage life. Next, the antibacterial filter prevents trapped bacteria and viruses from multiplying. An exclusive filter that is only available in Elechomes. The HEPA H13 filter targets 99.97% of PM2.5 particles like mold, spore, and dust mites to capture down to 0.1 microns (40 times smaller than pet hairs). The activated carbon filter removes irritating smoke and odors from pets, mold, cooking, rotten food, and cigarette. Without ionizer and UV-light technology, Elechomes EPI081 is 100% ozone-free with zero byproduct produced. By leaving the air purifier running all day, you will experience fewer allergies like sneezing, coughing, skin rash, and headache due to bad air.

Elechomes EPI081 Air Purifier Review

Cater to small room sizes, it has built its fan base and rightly calls for a spot here. At full speed, Elechomes EPI081 can clean up to 215 square feet in an hour. For asthmatic sufferers or hypersensitive people, you can double the cleaning effort at a smaller 125 square feet of space. Not the best performer here but the airflow delivery rate is more than sufficient for most city folks. The air purifier performs best in the bedroom, dormitory, kitchen, small office, and baby room without being overwhelmingly loud and bulky.

Being a compact air cleaner, Elechomes EPI081 upgraded noise reduction technology helps keep the noise level down at only 30 dB (sleep mode). At full speed, the white noise level output is still tolerable for restful sleep if you are a light sleeper. As for energy-efficient power consumption, it is identical to most air cleaners here, with or without auto mode activation. Even running for an entire month, expect an insignificant cost added to your electricity bill.

With so many positive vibes, there are some negatives with Elechomes EPI081 air purifiers that you should not overlook. First, the AHAM verified clean air delivery rate is at a low 47 cfm. Far from ideal and not super effective against smoke and chemical fumes like VOCs, ammonia, formaldehyde, and benzene. The short 6 months or 3,000 hours composite filter lifespan means you will have to replace it regularly to ensure maximum efficiency. In the long run, the filter replacement cost will stack up quicker than most models here, which can be counterproductive. Bypassing both setbacks, Elechomes EPI081 is undoubtedly an excellent budget air purifier with plenty to offer. The upgraded 4-stage purification system can cultivate healthier and cleaner air as one deserves.

In short: Compact 4-stage air purifier with HEPA H13 filter for less than 80. Very well featured too, but you do have to settle with a small purifying coverage. ⚠️ Buy this if you want the cheapest H13 air purifier currently on sale.

online price (US)**
±59.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±40-80)

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America's NO1 best-selling air purifier brand. The phrase what you paid is what you get does not apply to Levoit LV-132. A budget-friendly air purifier (around 80 dollars) with the deal clincher nightlight; an uncommon feature in its segment. The nightlight is a useful feature to prevent you from tripping over objects when navigating through the dark. If you have toddlers at home, Levoit LV-132 will help the little ones sleep comfortably at night while it cleans the air. With 2 adjustable brightness settings, there is also the option to reduce the light intensity or turn it off during day time to extend the lightbulb usage life.

A capable HEPA air purifying machine with a low price tag and a lower filter replacement cost. Odor removal may not be its strong suit; the all-around purification will make up for it.

Other than that, Levoit LV-132 is a basic HEPA air purifier within the 100 price range. It is an ozone-free, UL listed, and CARB compliant model trusted by millions worldwide. The 3 selectable speed is easy to use despite the lack of Auto mode and timer. A filter change indicator is also available for added convenience and assuring 2 years warranty with California-based support. On the whole, Levoit LV-132 passed our test on durability and reliability. The 9.7 x 14.6 inches height and 9.8 inches compact body frame is well-built with no signs of uneven gaps. The compact and contemporary design infuses a modern vibe that easily fits tight spaces and home decor. Adding the low 6.6 pounds weight, moving from room to room can be done with minimal effort. Place it anywhere in your home to help restore the freshness in the air.

Levoit LV-132 offers a competitive specification that is no easy pushover as such:

  • Filtration Type - 3-stage
  • Air Filtration - Fine Preliminary Filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon Filter
  • Noise Level - Less than 43 dB
  • Warranty - 2 years
  • Coverage Area - 129 sq. ft.
are some of the toxic gases that the air cleaner will remove. Completing the filtration is a modest 129 square feet coverage suitable for bedroom, kitchen, office, and baby changing room. Unlike most affordable air purifiers here that use smaller filters to keep the price down, Levoit uses full-size filters that can trap more pollutants at one go.

Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier Review

Levoit LV-H132 is also great for promoting restful sleep after a long day by providing clean air. Virtually silent, the average noise level is less than 43 dB and can go as low as 25 dB with adequate airflow. Unfortunately, Sleep mode is unavailable, but you can turn off the nightlight for less glaring disturbance. Like all entry-level air cleaners, the average 28 watts power consumption is efficient compared with other electronic appliances. You can safely run it all day, every day, without fail.

As for limitations, Levoit 6 months filter lifespan is unavoidable given its compactness from factor. The 129 ft2 coverage and 110 cfm CADR are not great but workable for a small purifying area with no major indoor pollution concerns. You could do a lot worse for the price you paid. Like most air purifiers under 100 here, Auto mode is omitted due to the lack of a dust sensor. It is also a dated model with newer models like Core 300 on the horizon. That said, Levoit LV-132 is ideal for a person with breathing difficulty or allergies due to bad air quality. Even though pricing is slightly higher than other entry-level air cleaners, it is still below the $100 benchmark. We appreciate the inclusion of a True HEPA filter and a dedicated carbon filter despite the limited space.

In short: A capable HEPA air purifying machine with a low price tag and a lower filter replacement cost. Odor removal may not be its strong suit; the all-around purification will make up for it. ⚠️ Buy this if you want a good HEPA air purifier with a night light, and don't mind the dated design.

online price (US)**
±89.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±40)

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An air purifier that doesn't look like one is probably the greatest compliment we can give TREDY TD-1500 air purifier. Priced less than 100 dollars, this clean and modern-looking exterior will give you the vibe of a much more premium product. The 8.5 diameters, 15 inches height, and 6.6 lb weight are perfect for room-to-room purifying while occupying little working space. You can proudly place it on the work desk, nightstand, cabinet, island table, and walk-in wardrobe as long as there is no nearby obstruction. The surrounding air ventilation will efficiently draw air in, while the top air outlet will push clean air upwards.

An affordable 4-stage HEPA air purifier with a complete set of features. The compact yet superb 360° purifying roundup everything great about TD-1500.

Staying at the top, TREDY TD-1500 air purifier comes with full-fledged controls despite its cheap price tag. You have 3 speeds plus Auto mode for autonomous purifying according to room air quality. An underappreciated feature for air purifiers at this price point. At the center of the controls, you have an air quality indicator light that will change from pure air (blue), good (green), normal (orange), and polluted air (red). The filter change light will remind you to change the cartridge when the filter is dirty. The 3 pre-set timer (2/ 4/ 8 hours) can be set to turn off the device after running for specific hours.

Sleep mode is perfect for bedside use as it will turn off the light and clean the air silently at whisper-quiet 28 dB. The Night light comes with 2 levels of brightness that can provide comfort and security at night without disturbing your sleep. Very useful when trying to navigate through the dark without the overly glaring light. In short, everything a premium model has, TREDY TD-1500 has it, too.

Here is the key specification of TREDY TD-1500:

  • Filtration Type - 4-stage
  • Air Filtration - Pre-Filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon Filter, Net-Filter
  • Noise Level - 28 dB
  • Warranty - 1 year
  • Coverage Area - 200 sq. ft.

Right off the bat, you have the U.S. patented 360 degrees air filtration system that can capture harmful particles at every corner. Very useful, especially if you are placing the air cleaner on the table. The first-stage pre-filter blocks dust, hair, fur, debris, and large particles that can hinder the HEPA filter's performance. The second-stage True HEPA filter trap 99.97% of tiny particles as small as 0.3 microns like mold spore, pollen, pet dander, and germs. The third-stage active-carbon filter removes harmful tobacco smoke, pet odors, cooking smell, and VOCs from paint. Lastly, the protective net filter traps any remaining particles into the air fan system before releasing fresh air. The filter size is small to accommodate the multi-stage filtration and keep the price down. Nothing out of the ordinary.

TREDY HEPA Air Purifier TD-1500 Review

All in all, the comprehensive filtration is ozone-free and supported by a fair CADR 100 cfm. TREDY TD-1500 air purifier can cover up to 200 square feet of room space at 4 times the air refresh cycle per hour. If you are not an asthmatic sufferer or sensitive to allergens, you can extend the room coverage to 400 square feet at 2 air changes per hour. Leaving it in Auto or sleep mode will ensure TREDY TD-1500 achieves optimized energy efficiency without sacrificing airflow performance.

On to drawbacks, the filter set has to be replaced every 6 to 8 months, which will cost you a max of 60 dollars annually. You can extend the filter life slightly by vacuuming every 1-2 weeks; hassle task for many. The built-in sensor will occasionally doze off (inactive) even though the room air quality has dropped. The last nitpicking is the "only" 1-year warranty, where competitor models come with a minimum of 2 years. Not a deal-breaker, but it is what it is for this price point. Ignoring the cons, there are plenty of good things going on with TREDY TD-1500 air cleaner. It is functional, easy to use, and most importantly, affordable.

In short: An affordable 4-stage HEPA air purifier with a complete set of features. The compact yet superb 360° purifying roundup everything great about TD-1500. ⚠️ Buy this if you want a trendy, affordable air purifier with the convenient auto mode.

online price (US)**
±99.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±44-58)

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What Can A Cheap Air Purifier Do?

You don’t have to spend a fortune on an air purifying device. "Cheap" is a very loose term that would have a whole new interpretation for different sets of people. Let it be an air purifier under 200, 100, 50, there are still a lot of things a heavily discounted model can provide than just clean air.

Breathing in clean air can alleviate seasonal allergies like viral flu, asthma, and pump more oxygen into our lungs. Oxygen can help us be more energetic, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, sleep better, and strengthen our immune system. In the long run, clean air can prevent sicknesses like COPD, pneumonia, bronchitis, dementia, and heart disease. The only key difference between cheap (poor quality) and price cheap is the end result. A budget air purifier can still provide exceptional value within its capacity. As a matter of fact, many of the best-selling models are in the entry-level segment.

budget air purifier

Are Cheap Air Purifiers A Waste Of Money?

An affordable air purifier won't be a waste of money as it can improve air quality by removing airborne allergens, odors, and toxic gases. With the multi-level HEPA filtration, it can prevent respiratory illnesses, slow down dust build-up, and stop mold/ mildew from spreading.

In general, the pricier the air cleaner, the better the specification. Although they are a few exceptional cases, that is a rule of thumb. If you can extend your budget, go for a higher-tier model. As an air purifier is a long-term investment, make sure you choose the right model regardless of the price point.

Cheap VS Expensive Air Purifier

Pricing, room size coverage, types of filtration, performance are the differences between cheap and expensive air purifiers. Starting with the pricing, most affordable air purifiers will cost $100 or less, while expensive air purifiers will start from $200. For purifying coverage, most low budget air purifiers will cover a smaller room size between 60 to 350 square feet. In comparison, an expensive air purifying device covers a wider room space starting from 300 square feet.

A high-performance air cleaner can help capture all types of airborne allergens, smoke, and odors. However, there are some air purifiers that come with single-stage filtration; avoid those. Instead, go with a multi-stage filtration that maximizes performance and guarantees your money’s worth. A HEPA-type filter can be found in the lower-range model, while a True HEPA filter is used in more premium models. As for the filter change frequency, anticipate a shorter filter lifespan between 3 to 12 months for a cheaper air purifier. Premium air cleaners' filters will typically last 12 months or higher, depending on the filter quality.

Pros

  • Cheaper (under 100).
  • Low filter replacement cost.
  • Compact.
  • Mechanical HEPA filtration.

Cons

  • Cater for small room sizes.
  • Smaller filter.
  • Short filter lifespan.
  • Limited features.

Is it Safe To Purchase A Cheap Air Purifier?

Regardless of price point, all air purifiers that use mechanical filters are safe unless it is an Ozonator. An Ozonator or ozone generator produces harmful ozone that will damage our body's immune system and lung tissue cells. The safest option is to go with an ozone-free HEPA air cleaner. Via the internal motor fan, the air purifier will pull in airborne particles, trap them on the HEPA filter, and circulate back purified air.

Do Air Purifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

An air purifier will increase your electricity bill by a very thin margin even if you run it every single day. With 12 hours of daily operation, you will only see a monthly increase of $3 to $5 in electricity bills. That's only $36 to $60 annually. For all-day 24 hours operation, just multiply the numbers by 2. The new monthly electricity bill will be $6-$10 or $72-120 annually. Take note that the electricity cost in the United States varies from state to state.

Where Should I Place A Budget Air Purifier?

Given most budget air purifiers are catered for small room sizes with minimal purifying coverage, you should place it as close to the pollution sources as possible. Our favorite spot is on the table, cabinet, or island table. It is a few feet from the ground, promoting a greater airflow distribution. Pro tips: Leave at least 2-4 feet of gaps between a wall and avoid placing it in the corner. Also, do not place it close to electronic devices like television due to electronic interference. Lastly, never position it underneath a window or in a wet area where water might into the filtration and damage the air purifier.

Final Thoughts

As proven in our amazing list, pricing is not the only determining factor in the effectiveness of an air purifier. If you're on a tight budget, hOmeLabs Purely would be our preferred choice. Pick LEVOIT Core 300 if you want the best air filtration performance under 100. Alternatively, pick PureZone 3-in-1 for a similar air cleaning result. For folks that can fork up a little bit more, you should also consider getting the best medical-grade H13 HEPA air purifier, as listed here.

2022 Best Air Purifier Under 100

NoImageAir PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)HighlightsFiltrationCoverage
1hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewhOmeLabs HME020248N Purely Air Purifier

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BEST BUDGET3-stage80 sq. ft. (7 m2)
2PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewPureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier

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BEST OVERALL4-stage200 sq. ft. (19 m2)
3Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewLEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier

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BEST PERFORMANCE3-stage219 sq. ft. (20 m2)
4GermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier ReviewGermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier

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UV-C LIGHT SANITIZER4-stage78 sq. ft. (7 m2)
5Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier 04384 ReviewHamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier

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PET FRIENDLY3-stage140 sq. ft. (13 m2)
6Elechomes EPI081 Air Purifier ReviewElechomes EPI081 Air Purifier

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4-STAGE HEPA FILTRATION4-stage215 sq. ft. (20 m2)
7Levoit LV-H132 ReviewLevoit LV-H132 Air Purifier

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OPTIONAL NIGHT LIGHT3-stage129 sq. ft. (12 m2)

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.

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