^

7 Best Budget Air Purifiers Under $100 In 2022 (With True HEPA)

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 will compare and examine every affordable air purifier under 100 currently on sale. 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.
Certified

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.

2022 Best Air Purifier Under 100

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)
CADR
Dust 48 cfm (82 m3/h)
Pollen 48 cfm (82 m3/h)
Smoke 48 cfm (82 m3/h)
Dust 80 cfm (136 m3/h)
Pollen 80 cfm (136 m3/h)
Smoke 80 cfm (136 m3/h)
Dust 140 cfm (238 m3/h)
Pollen 145 cfm (246 m3/h)
Smoke 141 cfm (240 m3/h)
Filtration
3-stage4-stage3-stage
Ratings
3.6out of 54out of 54.3out of 5
Amazon Price
$$$$$$
CHECK
LATEST PRICE
CHECK
LATEST PRICE
CHECK
LATEST PRICE
** MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is accurate at the time of posting.
^ Annual filter cost is calculated based on filter price and 12 hours of usage. Pricing could vary depending on air quality, usage frequency, and speed.
` The indicated online price guides as follows: $ = under $50, $$ = $50-100, $$$ = $101-200, $$$$ = 201-300, $$$$$ = $301-400, $$$$$$ = 401-500, $$$$$$$ = over $500.

How Do We Measure?

The pricier the air cleaner, the better the specification. Air purifiers come in different sizes and prices, but they all do the same thing: clean the air. Understanding your situation can help you pinpoint the perfect model, regardless of how cheap or expensive the air purifier is.

  • Dimension - The bigger the coverage, the bulkier and more expensive the air purifier. 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 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 filtration set can protect us from inhaling harmful allergens, asthma attacks, and other lung-related diseases. It can also determine how efficiently an air cleaner removes 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.
  • HEPA filter - The better the HEPA filtration, the less likely your allergy symptoms will be triggered by bad air quality. 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 <a href="https://airfuji.com/hepa-type-vs-true-hepa-filter-whats-difference/">inferior HEPA-type filter</a>. 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. 
  • Activated carbon filter - The better quality of the carbon filter, the higher consideration will be given. Whether a charcoal pre-filter or activated carbon filter, the budget air purifier must come with deodorizing capability. A critical component of 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.
  • 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 damages our lung tissue cells and aggravates allergies. EPA recommends ozone concentration level exposure under 0.05 parts per million indoors. So check carefully what technology is used in the air cleaner before making the purchase.
  • Selling price - Seek a balance between cheap and cheerful. 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. Carefully compare the overall package with the competitors' model.
  • Recurring filter cost - Most mechanical air purifiers have a filter replacement cost that will stack up quickly on frequent use. Look into the filter replacement cost, and are you up for paying it yearly? If not, look for other more budget-friendly alternatives. Side note, we don't recommend opting for cheap after-market filters as a) Sub-par quality and likely poor-fitting, and b) there could be limited availability.

1. hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely Air Purifier

hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely True HEPA Air Purifier Review

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.

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.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

3.6

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±99.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±30-60)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

2. PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier

PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier Review

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.

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.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±139.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±40)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

3. LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier

Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier Review

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.

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.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.3

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±99.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±20-40)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

4. GermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier

GermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier Review

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.

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.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

3.5

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±89.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±48-65)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

5. Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier

Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier 04384 Review

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.

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.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

3.5

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±79.00 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±10)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

6. TREDY TD-1500 Air Purifier

TREDY HEPA Air Purifier TD-1500 Review

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.

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.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±99.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±44-58)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

7. Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier

Levoit LV-H132 Review

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.

Powered by the trio fine-preliminary filter, true HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter, Levoit LV-H132 air cleaner has everything you need for household pollutants. It can safely capture airborne particles and toxic gases without emitting harmful byproducts. 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 trap more pollutants at one go. A simple but impactful feature.

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.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

3.9

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±89.99 $$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±40)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

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.

 

Elechomes EPI081 Air Purifier

Elechomes EPI081 Air Purifier Review

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.

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 is an essential oil slot supporting 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 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.

hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact HME020020N Air Purifier

hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact Air Purifier HME020020N Air Purifier Review

Breathe easier and wake up free from nasal congestion with hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact HME020020N. A small yet capable air cleaning device that will only cost you under 50, including filters. Do not underestimate this air cleaner. hOmeLabs comes with an advanced 4-stage filtration with an optional ion booster. For the low price, you will get a standard 2 fan speeds and a filter changing indicator, letting you know when it is time to change the cartridge filter.

Measuring at a boxy 6.7 inches diameter, 7.5 inches height, and a mere 2.9 lb weight, you can fit hOmeLabs HME020020N in any room space. In fact, the compact travel size means you can conveniently bring it to the office during the day and back home at night. Operating the air purifier is dead easy with an air inlet at the front and air output at the top. Overall build quality is superb, supported by a 2-year warranty plus an extra 6 months when you sign up on the hOmeLabs website.

hOmeLabs HME020020N 4-in-1 is excellent for bedroom and office use with its whisper-quiet operation. At the lowest speed, there is absolutely no noise from the machine, even when placed right next to you. Power usage is also low due to its airflow output and size. Compared with most kitchen appliances, hOmeLabs will not add any burden to your electric bill.

Let’s dive into hOmeLabs 4-in-1 compact air purifier specification:

  • Filtration Type – 4-stage
  • Air Filtration – Pre-filter, HEPA filter, Carbon filter, Ion Booster
  • Noise Level – Silent
  • Warranty – 2 years
  • Coverage Area – 40 sq. ft.

For less than 50 bucks, hOmeLabs HME020020N comes with the game-changing 4-stage filtering system that is not even in premium models. The first-stage pre-filter blocks large particles, mainly dust, hair, and debris, while extending the HEPA filter usage life. The HEPA filter removes 99.97% of fine particles down to 0.3 microns, like pet dander, pollen, mold, and bacteria. The carbon filter reduces smoke fumes, pet smells, kitchen and cigarette odors. Lastly, the ion booster releases 3 million negative ions per cubic centimeter to pull airborne contaminants for the filter to capture. Due to its compact size and small coverage, the hOmeLabs 4-in-1 air purifier is best used in a dorm, bathroom, work desk, closet, or bedside table. Enjoy a completely freshen, purified air with just a couple of hours of runtime.

Replacing hOmeLabs HME020020N 4-in-1 air purifier filter is super easy and affordable at only around 26 to 34 dollars annually. Simply detach the bottom cap by rotating counter-clockwise until you hear a click, then swap the used all-in-one filter with a new one. You should change the filter every 700 hours or 6 to 8 months, depending on the room’s air quality.

What is the downside of such a price-cheap air cleaner? The limited 40 square feet coverage is the most obvious one. You will need to place hOmeLabs HME020020N close to you for optimized air cleaning. On top of that, smoke and odor filtration is slightly weak compared with other types of pollutants. Autonomous mode or supporting features are also non-existence either. A common theme you will see in the listing is here. Finally, the filter usage life is still short of our 1-year benchmark, even though understandably so.

In short: A compact air purifier can help you live and breathe healthier. For less than 50 dollars, you’ll get a complete 4-stage filtration, including a HEPA filter and ion booster. ⚠️ Buy this if you want a budget air purifier specifically for tabletop use.

Elechomes EPI236 Air Purifier

Revitalize your indoor air with Elechomes EPI236 HEPA air purifier. A well-fitted, budget-friendly air machine that can be yours for 50 dollars. House in a simple yet functional modern case, Elechomes EPI236 is very portable at a tad above 3.3 pounds in weight. This is largely due to the space-saving 6.3 diameter and 9.3 inches in height that you can effortlessly pack in your backpack or luggage. The smaller dimension also allows you to place it higher off the ground so your pets and children will not be able to mess around with the setting and disrupt the air cleaning process.

Moving on to usability. Elechomes EPI236 is easy to use as it only comes with a 2 button operation. You have the top button that adjusts the 3 fan speeds and a bottom on/ off button. You can add essential oils to boost a comfortable and relaxing ambiance during air purification. Just pop open the cap and add your favorite mood enhancer fragrances from Citrus, Honeydew Melon, Musk, Vanilla, Orris, to Vetiver. A built-in filter detection chip will alert you when the filter is used for more than 2000 hours.

The debating section that all users should know. Elechomes EPI236 air purifier uses an efficient HEPA filtration system that is very robust for its compact size. First, you have a fine pre-filter that traps dust, hair, lint, and other visible particles. Next, the antibacterial cloth inhibits germs and microbes’ growth on the filter. Finally, the True HEPA filter captures 99.97% of the PM2.5 particles as small as 0.3 microns, like mold, pollen, pet dander, and bacteria. We should also mention that officially, the HEPA filter is supposed to eliminate smoke as well to cover the lack of a carbon filter. We highly doubt that is the case, as a HEPA filter is not effective at doing so. All in all, Elechomes EPI236 can freshen any indoor environment up to 215 square feet, including a small living room, kitchen, office, and bedroom. You can enjoy breathing fresh air with just a couple of hours of runtime.

Enhanced by the new brushless, noise-free fan. Elechomes EPI236 is suitable for sleep, work, or study as the noise level is only between 22 and 49 decibels. Switch it to the lowest speed if you enjoy complete silent purification or second speed for soothing white noise. Depending on your preferences, the 15 watts power usage is also energy-saving for daily 12 or 24 hours operation.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Elechomes EPI236 does not come with an activated carbon filter as the brand believes it will volatilize harmful substances back into the air after some time. Like it or not, the lack of a carbon filter does make the air cleaner less compelling than the others. You also have the typical setbacks found in an air purifier under 50, like the short filter lifespan and no autonomous support. Still, we would wholeheartedly recommend Elechomes EPI236 as it is cheap, functional, and will provide you with fresh air as intended.

In short: A slightly unconventional 3-stage HEPA air purifier without an activated carbon filter. In return, you gain an antibacterial cloth and an extra air filter with a fragrance sponge. ⚠️ Buy this if you are absolutely sure you don’t need the smoke filtration.

Levoit LV-H128 Air Purifier

Levoit LV-H128 Air Purifier Review

It is very rare you will find a big brand like Levoit air purifier for around 50 dollars. Levoit LV-H128 is exactly that and comes with a dual top-grade H13 HEPA filter. Out of all of the models listed here, this South California-designed air cleaner is the best to refresh the air in your workspace and home.

At a diameter of 6.7 inches and a height of 10.4 inches, Levoit LV-H128 is small enough for desk use but not portable to bring along for travel as it will not fit inside a backpack. The 3.3 lb weight is light enough to carry around from room to room purifying without feeling cumbersome. Surrounding the white exterior is the side air inlet with an air outlet at the top promoting bottom-to-top air circulation. The fitting quality is tight, with no trace of harmful gas detected. As with all Levoit air cleaners, LV-H128 has all the safety assurance of being ozone-free, AHAM, CARB Certified G-20-206, and UL/ ETL listed. It is also backed by an assuring 2 years warranty with California-based customer service. Suitable for a home with children and pets use with its trouble-free setup.

Another highlight of Levoit LV-H128 is the built-in aromatherapy feature. Combining air cleaning with stimulating fragrances can create a clean and comfortable environment for you to work, focus, and relax. Simply remove the aroma cap and add 2 to 3 drops of essential oils to the aroma pad for instant reinvigoration. Choose from Lavender, Peppermint, Citrus, Honeydew Melon, Musk, Vanilla, Orris, Vetiver, and Rosemary, available online.

The silent air cleaning helper. Levoit LV-H128 can help you achieve sound sleep every night with its low noise output. Noise output is only 24 dB at the lowest speed up to a whispering 36 dB at max speed. Since sleep mode is not included, you must manually adjust the fan speed before hitting the sack. For the most part, just kept it at high speed as the noise differences are barely noticeable. Power consumption is meager, with only 6 watts hourly (low speed). You can safely leave it on the whole day without worrying about overheating or high electrical bills.

Here is the key specification of the Levoit LV-H128 air purifier:

  • Filtration Type – 3-stage
  • Air Filtration – Polyester Pre-Filter, H13 True HEPA Filter, Activated Carbon Filter
  • Noise Level – 24–36 dB
  • Warranty – 2 years
  • Coverage Area – 161 sq. ft.

A proven technology has been trusted by 3 million Levoit customers worldwide. Levoit LV-H128 is built around the H13 HEPA filter to collect a variety of household contaminants in the air. The outer polyester pre-filter traps large particles like dust, lint, fibers, hair, and fur. With most particles blocked from proceeding, the H13 True HEPA filter capture 99.97% of dust mites, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, and other fine particles as small as 0.3 micrometers. The activated carbon filter absorbs unwanted smoke and odors from the pet litter box, cooking, tobacco smoke, and VOCs. No fancy ionizer or UV light can be found here, given the compact form factor. It is the purest, mechanical 3-stage filtration system you can get.

Despite its small size, the Levoit LV-H128 air purifier has a decent 161 square footage of air coverage area. Powerful enough to feel the air quality different with 30 minutes of high-speed air circulation. Best used as a desktop, bedside table, island table in a home, office, nursery home, studio/ small apartment, basement, and bedroom where you spent the most time in.

There are a few common drawbacks to such a price-constraint air cleaner. Besides the standard filter change indicator, the lack of support features is non-existence in the spec sheet. The smaller filter also means you must replace it regularly, and the cost could be as high as 40 dollars. The airflow delivery rate is not the greatest either, so smoke particles may have already settled down before the air cleaner has the chance to capture them. Then again, we are nitpicking on a few common issues. Treat Levoit LV-H128 as an affordable desktop air purifier, and you will be just fine.

In short: Affordable air purifier equipped with dual H13 HEPA filters. Effortlessly remove stubborn household pollutants while relaxing your mind through aromatherapy. ⚠️ Buy this if you want the best air performance and are willing to commit to the high filter cost.

KOIOS EPI810-A Air Purifier

KOIOS EPI810-A 3-in-1 Air Purifier Review

A relatively unknown brand that is worth venturing on. The budget-friendly KOIOS 3-in-1 air purifier EPI810-A can help clean the air through germs and allergens elimination. At only 6.9 inches in diameter and a short 7.5 inches in height, KOIOS EPI810-A is very compact that fits perfectly on the bedstand, desk, island table, and cabinet. The sleek minimalist design approach does not neglect the functionality thanks to its 360° deep purification that captures pollutants in all directions. The totaled 2.1 lb weight is also very light to carry for room-to-room purifying for those with only 1 air cleaner. For the most part, the build quality is good despite the heavy use of plastic on its exterior.

As a conventional 3-in-1 air purifier, KOIOS EPI810-A is also 100% ozone-free emission certified by California Air Resources Board (CARB). It is also listed Erl, FCC, and CE, so it is safe for all-day purification as intended. To make this a worry-free purchase, KOIOS EPI810-A comes with a 3-years warranty supported by a 24/7 live chat. A good assurance from the manufacturer despite selling it at less than 50 dollars.

Let’s look into KOIOS EPI810-A 3-in-1 specification:

  • Filtration Type – 3-stage
  • Air Filtration – Fine Preliminary Pre-filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter
  • Noise Level – <25 dB
  • Warranty – 3 years
  • Coverage Area – 156 sq. ft.

KOIOS EPI810-A 3-in-1 HEPA air purifier is exceptional in removing common allergy triggers in your home. The first fine preliminary filter neutralizes dust, hair, and other larger contaminant in the home. Next, the true HEPA filter captures 99.97% of household PM 2.5, as small as 0.3 microns, including pet dander, mold spores, pollen, and germs. Lastly, the activated carbon filter eliminates chemical fumes from cigarettes, cooking smoke, and pet odors.

Combining the efficient 360° air intake and discharge, KOIOS EPI810-A can maximize air circulation in your room. The 3-in-1 filtration will deliver a healthy 156 square feet of coverage for the bedroom, study room, refectory, kitchen, and playroom. It can even protect you from unhealthy air during the California Wildfires smoke. Again, mechanical filtration is safe for your respiratory system as it does not produce harmful substances, including ozone. Suitable for a home with babies, elderly, and people with rhinitis, severe allergy symptoms, or asthma.

KOIOS 3-in-1 True HEPA air purifier is very easy to operate as there is only a single button to turn on/ off and cycle between the fan speeds. The same button also controls the night light function, which adds comfort and security during sleep. Great for children’s rooms or light up your path through the dark. To disable the night light, press and hold the button for 4 seconds while the air cleaner is running.

Enjoy your clarity and peace of mind with its noise-reduction fan blade design. KOIOS EPI810-A has a noise output of less than 25 dB, equivalent to a whispering noise. You can work or sleep uninterruptedly while the air purifier quietly cleans the air. KOIOS EPI810-A energy-saving setup also helps keep operational costs down. At less than 2 watts or 0.002 units of power consumption, you can safely leave it running all day at almost no cost to you.

On to the things we don’t like. The short 6 months filter lifespan is the norm for this budget segment air purifier. The low airflow delivery rate also translates to limited capacity, particularly against smoke. Besides the filter change indicator that alerts you to replace the filter when time is up, nothing is going on with KOIOS EPI810-A. We can let go of the timer, but the lack of auto and sleep modes is a big turn-off. Still, this entry-level HEPA air purifier will not cost you more than 50 dollars; what else could you ask for more?

In short: A whisper quiet, energy-saving, True HEPA air purifier for less than 50 dollars. The no-fuss compact design makes it the perfect bedroom and desktop air-cleaning machine. ⚠️ Buy this if you want a cheap HEPA air purifier and don’t mind the lack of brand presence.

Mooka 3-in-1 EPI810 Air Purifier

Mooka 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier Review

If you are familiar with KOIOS 3-in-1, Mooka 3-in-1 EPI810 is the identical budget air purifier under 50 with a True HEPA filter. A clean yet functional design with surrounding ventilation and single top button control. Operating Mooka 3-in-1 EPI810 is one of the easier tasks that children can do it. Press once to turn on the device and cycle the 2 fan speeds again. No complicated controls are needed for this simple device.

The perfect desktop and bedstand air cleaning machine for everyday use. At a standard cylinder 6.9 inches in diameter, 7.5 inches in height, and under 3 lb, portability will never be an issue with Mooka. You can bring it to your work desk during the morning session and bring it back to your room at night time. Like most conventional 3-in-1 air cleaner that does not rely on an ionizer, Mooka EPI810 is 100% ozone-free as certified by CARB. It also achieved all the safety standards from Erl, FCC, and CE. To put the icing on the cake, a standard 3-year warranty covers all manufacturing defects. This should end all doubts that an air purifier that costs less than 50 is unreliable.

Here’s what you get for the low price:

  • Filtration Type – 3-stage
  • Air Filtration – Pre-filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter
  • Noise Level – <35 dB
  • Warranty – 3 years
  • Coverage Area – 156 sq. ft.

The workhouse 3-in-1 HEPA air filtration existed for a few decades. When dirty air is pulled inside the air purifier, the preliminary filter will capture visible contaminants like dust, hair, and debris from the air. With most dirty particles captured, the True HEPA filter traps non-smoke allergens up to 99.97% efficiency, as small as 0.3 microns. The activated carbon filter removes gas particles such as pet odor, cigarette smoke, and cooking smell around your living space area. Every filter compliments each other perfectly in providing clean air.

Supporting the 3-in-1 purification is the 360° air intake that can take out pollutants at all angles. At full speed, the air purifier can cover up to 156 square feet of space, like a bedroom, storeroom, studio, and small apartment. Slightly better than most cheap air purifiers listed here. With no harmful byproduct produced, Mooka EPI810 3-in-1 air cleaner is suitable for the elderly, pregnant women, children, and those suffering from chronic diseases.

Most of you would probably leave Mooka 3-in-1 EPI810 in the bedroom as that’s where we spend the most time in. With less than 35 dB in noise output, we would agree that Mooka EPI810 is fitted to do so. To top off the silent purification, a built-in night light added a sense of comfort and security, particularly for children. It can also help you navigate through the dark and avoid hitting on objects when you are trying to head to the bathroom middle of the night.

For power consumption, Mooka 3-in-1 EPI810 is one of the most energy-efficient home appliances out there. It only uses between 2 to 8 watts of electricity hourly. We recommend disabling the night light and leaving it running 24×7 for a comprehensive air cleaning.

Let’s quickly touch on the cons as we are repeating ourselves. You have to settle with the cheap but short filter cartridge life. The limited airflow does not bold well in removing toxic fumes. Mooka EPI810 also lacks cleaning features other than the filter change indicator. These are the few setbacks you just have to contend with in this price range.

In short: For less than 50 dollars, Mooka EPI810 ticks all the bills as a 3-in-1 HEPA air purifier. It may not have an outstanding airflow distribution, but for home use other than the living hall, it will fit in just fine. ⚠️ Consider buying this as an alternative to Levoit, Homelabs, or even KOIOS.

JINPUS GL-2103 Air Purifier

JINPUS GL-2103 Air Purifier Review

For around 30 to 40 dollars, the JINPUS GL-2103 HEPA air purifier can help improve indoor air quality for you and your family member. By far the cheapest model on this list. Capable of running it through a USB port, the extended 1.5 Meters USB cord allows you to run it further away from the power source when needed to do so. A rare but useful feature that is hardly seen in an air cleaner.

One of the perks of a compact air purifier is easy-to-use one-touch control. Press once to turn on the device, twice to activate Sleep mode, and again to turn it off. At a compact 4.9 diameter, 7.6 inches in height, and 1.2 pounds in weight, this compact air purifier will fit into your home décor without being too cumbersome. The plain white body has a minimalist touch with soft decorative blue light. By no means does the design feel premium; it will serve its decorative purpose. Durability should be good as it only houses basic functionality. Like RIGOGLIOSO, it is CE RoHS certified with no harmful byproducts produced.

Here are the impressive features of the JINPUS GL-2103 air purifier:

  • Filtration Type – 4-stage
  • Air Filtration – Fine Preliminary Filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter, Negative Ion Generator
  • Noise Level – ≤30 dB
  • Warranty – 1 year
  • Coverage Area – 107 sq. ft.

Despite its compact size, JINPUS GL-2103 comes with a quadruple filtration that is not even found in a full-sized console air purifier. Upfront, you have the standard fine preliminary filter that blocks larger particles and protects the HEPA filter. The True HEPA filter will target finer particles like mold, pollen, dust mite, and pet dander. The activated carbon filter will remove common sources of smoke e.g. food smell or cigarette odor puffed out while you’re working. Adding to all that is the negative ion generator releasing millions of ions that merge and pull down airborne impurities for the filter to capture. It is safe and will definitely help curb your allergies from triggering due to poor air quality.

With the official airflow delivery rate of 51-150 m³/h, JINPUS GL-2103 is best used in small room spaces like an office room, bedroom, washroom, or kitchen as close to the pollutant sources as possible. If you are constantly on the go with a laptop, the JINPUS GL-2103 USB-powered setup would be bliss to bring around, even if you are not hypersensitive. You will truly benefit from having an air purifier by your side.

JINPUS GL-2103 HEPA air purifier comes with a low noise output of 30 dB. In Sleep mode, it is whisper quiet even if you place it right next to you while working. You can also use it in the bedroom as it will not disturb your sleep at any speed. The only annoying thing is the light does not dim down enough, which can be bothersome for some.

For power consumption, GL-2103 is energy-friendly as it uses less than 2.5 watts of electricity hourly (standby mode). Given that a USB can power it, you don’t have to worry about incurring costs other than filter replacement.

Surely, there are some negatives associated with a USB-powered air purifier that we should not overlook. First, the filtration performance is not that great with its size. At high speed, the purifying coverage can only go as high as 107 square feet at the lowest air changes per hour. The sleep mode function comes with a pre-fix 8 hours countdown timer and does not completely turn off the indicator light. The filter quality and size could do better, particularly against chemical fumes like ammonia, formaldehyde, and benzene. The only saving grace is the all-in-one filter costs 28 dollars annually though you will need to replace it twice a year.

In short: A very compact 4-stage USB air purifier with a True HEPA filter. For around 30 dollars, it comes with a negative ion generator and night light but at a trade-off in performance. ⚠️ Buy this if you want a USB-powered air purifier that can be powered by your laptop.

PARTU BS-03 Air Purifier

PARTU BS-03 True HEPA Air Purifier Review

The more economical solution for home air cleaning. PARTU BS-03 True HEPA air purifier can be yours for less than 50 dollars and rightly earns this spot. From the black modern exterior design, you can tell this is a very versatile model with a super compact 9.6 x 17 x 9.6 in cylinder body at less than 3.2 lb in weight. It is compact enough for travel and fits perfectly on the office’s desk or bedside table without worrying it will topple over. The front intuitive interface allows easy control even when on the bed. There’s even a dedicated button for you to disable the indicator light. Safety-wise, PARTU BS-03 is FDA, ETL, FCC approved and comes with 2 years manufacturer warranty with lifetime support. A good stamp of assurance on its durability and reliability.

The smaller dimension also means power usage and noise level are on the lower side. Anticipate 38 to 59 dB white noise suitable for night use as long as the fan speed is kept low. The energy-efficient 12-watt power output will save you some dollars in the long run, even though you will scarcely tell the differences. You can leave PARTU BS-03 running silently all-day unattended while you go on with your daily life. Perfect for a bathroom table, bedroom, baby room, or work desk that needs fresh air without the noise distraction.

Here’s what a small air purifier manages to fit in its specification:

  • Filtration Type – 3-stage
  • Air Filtration – Fine Preliminary Pre-filter, True-HEPA filter, Activated carbon filter
  • Noise Level – 38 – 59 dB
  • Warranty – 2 years
  • Coverage Area – 107 sq. ft.

On the filtration side, PARTU BS-03 is well-supported by a dependable 3-stage HEPA system. Starting with the pre-filter that focuses on collecting dust debris that otherwise may clog the HEPA filter from functioning properly. It is closely followed by the must-have HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of smaller PM 2.5 particles that bypassed the pre-filter, like dust mites, pet dander, mold, pollen, and germs. Finally, the activated carbon filter will eliminate harmful smoke and odors from indoors and outdoor. Adding a mild 107 square feet into the equation, you have a powerful yet inexpensive air cleaner with low upkeeping. Airborne pollutants will be removed with ease as long as the air purifier is kept close to you.

For the affordable price tag +- 50, PARTU BS-03 is a bargain that comes with everything you need. It includes a technology lock set, AKA child lock that prevents children from middling on the controls, a filter change indicator reminding the users to replace the filter when it is dirty, and 3 speeds to control the volume of the air cleaner. A fragrance design drop slot is also used to insert your favorite essential oil. Choose any fragrance design sponge e.g. Citrus, Honeydew Melon, Quince, Musk, Vanilla, Orris, or Vetiver, that helps you relax and sleep while PARTU BS-03 purifies the air.

Let’s talk about the few negatives of the air cleaner. The airflow circulation is slightly under par; thus, it can only cover a small room size. The lack of a built-in sensor, timer, and auto/ sleep mode is expected, but any inclusion would be nice. The smaller filters also require quarterly change, which can be a slight hassle for some, not to mention the extra filter cost to bear. Ignoring the few drawbacks and you will have yourself a solid entry-level air purifier for home use.

In short: At around 50 dollars after discount, PARTU BS-03 exceeds what a HEPA air cleaner could achieve at its price range. A sensible, smarter choice for a person that doesn’t want to spend too much on an air purifying device. ⚠️ Consider this as a backup to hOmeLabs, Levoit or Elechomes.

RIGOGLIOSO Air Purifier

RIGOGLIOSO True HEPA Air Purifier Review

RIGOGLIOSO is the perfect gift under 50 for your parents, office mates, and friends that could do with cleaner air. It has a full set of filters plus a night light function that creates a chilling atmosphere. It is very lightweight and portable at a total of 1.5 pounds, plus a small 4.9 in diameter and 7.6 inches in height. You can bring it anywhere with your laptop. The design may not look as grand as others, it is still very durable despite the plasticky built. There is no harmful byproduct released from the case as certified by CE RoHS.

Moving to controls, the one-touch switch is effortless to use and surrounded by a delicate blue LED light. Press once to turn on the device, twice to activate Sleep mode, which will also dim the light, and a third time to turn off the unit. Another thing to boost RIGOGLIOSO usability is the long 1.5 Meters USB cord to power the air purifying machine. You hardly see this feature in an air cleaner, let alone a True HEPA air purifier.

There are plenty of things you will get for the price:

  • Filtration Type – 4-stage
  • Air Filtration – Fine Preliminary Filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter, Negative Ion Generator
  • Noise Level – ≤30 dB
  • Warranty – 1 year
  • Coverage Area – 107 sq. ft.

It’s hard to believe that RIGOGLIOSO portable Ionizer air purifier manages to include a 4-stage filtration that works seamlessly together in providing clean air. First, you have a fine preliminary filter that blocks dust, hair, and other big particles. The inner true HEPA filter will trap common allergens like mold, pollen, pet dander, and bacteria with up to 99.97% efficiency. The activated carbon filter will remove close-range smoke and odor like cigarette or smelly washrooms. Lastly, the anion sterilization will discharge negative ions to merge with positive ions pollutants in the air. The merged ions will fall due to the increased weight allowing the air cleaner filter to capture it all.

RIGOGLIOSO Ionizer True HEPA air purifier can cover up to 107 square feet at high speed. It is not the greatest output, but it will do well in small rooms like offices and bedrooms at close range. We recommend getting one in your workplace if you are an asthmatic person. The compact, USB-powered RIGOGLIOSO air purifier can significantly affect your health.

RIGOGLIOSO ionizer air purifier is quiet at less than 30 dB noise output. That’s bordering the sound of whispering, so no problem plugging it next to your laptop while you work. The soft nightlight function also works great in the bedroom, providing sleeper added comfort and security. We only wish you could turn off the night light completely during the daytime. Power usage is very low at less than 2.5 watts with a DC5 voltage. Great for all-day use and friendly to the electric bill.

Being a USB-powered air cleaner, airflow performance has to take a hit. Combined with the small filter size, do not expect the same quality as a console air purifier or even most under 50 air purifiers here. The 6 months filter lifespan can be a hassle to change and a recurring cost you can’t run away from. The unique feature we are annoyed with is the default Sleep mode with an 8 hours countdown timer. Not only that, it does not completely turn off the indicator light.

In short: A portable USB air purifier costs around $30-40. Small coverage but works great at the desk, particularly if you are a smoker. ⚠️ Buy this if you are constantly on the go or as an alternative to JINPUS GL-2103.

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.

budget air purifier

Are Cheap Air Purifiers Worth The Money?

Yes, it is worth every dime you pay. As indoor air can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air, an air purifier can help improve indoor air quality by removing harmful contaminants. Research shows that an air purifier effectively removes airborne pollutants like dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, germs, smoke, odor, and chemical fumes like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates, ammonia, deet, and nitrogen dioxide. The multi-level HEPA filtration prevents respiratory illnesses, slows down dust buildup, and helps circulate clean, fresh air in the room.

An affordable air purifier won't be a waste of money as it brings many health benefits to the table at a fraction of the cost. EPA studies have shown that running a HEPA air purifier will improve respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological systems in the long run. It protects our lungs from chronic diseases and sicknesses like COPD, pneumonia, bronchitis, dementia, and heart disease. Air purifier also reduces the risk of an asthma attack. Seasonal allergy symptoms like cough, sinus, itchiness, throat irritation, and headache will be alleviated. Breathing in clean air also allows more oxygen into our lungs. Oxygen can help us be more energetic, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, breathe better, sleep better, and wake up completely refreshed. Lastly, living under clean air will strengthen our immune system and increase life expectancy, similar to living in outskirt areas.

How Long Do Cheap Air Purifiers Under 100 Last?

Contrary to many beliefs, budget air purifiers under 100 can easily last 5-6 years or longer with proper care and filter change. Due to the smaller filter size, most air filters like carbon pre-filter will last 3-6 months, while HEPA filters will last 6-12 months.

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 a CARB certified 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. It will not produce harmful byproducts like ozone during purification.

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 them 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.

Air purifiers come in many different shapes, sizes, and prices, but they all do the same thing: clean the air. It is the first line of defense against airborne pollutants like dust, mites, pet dander, mold, mildew, bacteria, and viruses. With an activated carbon filter, it can even neutralize smoke and odor like VOCs, CO, CO2, radon, and formaldehyde.

Cheap VS Expensive Air Purifier

Cheap VS Expensive Air Purifier

Pricing, room size coverage, types of filtration, and performance are the differences between cheap and expensive air purifiers. Starting with the pricing, the 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. 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, some air purifiers come with single-stage filtration; avoid those. Instead, go with a multi-stage filtration air purifier 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.

Below are the pros and cons of an affordable air purifier under 100 dollars.

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.
Which Air Purifiers Perform best?Cheap
Air Purifiers
Mid-range
Air Purifiers
Expensive
Air Purifiers
CostUnder $100$101-$300$300 and above
Filter Replacement CostLOWMEDIUMHIGH
Overall SizeCOMPACTVARYLARGE
Purifying CoverageSMALLMEDIUMWIDE
CADRLOWMEDIUMHIGH
Remove Airborne ParticlesGOODBETTERBEST
Remove Smoke, Chemical, And OdorsAVERAGEGOODBEST
Energy-efficiencyVERY EFFICIENTEFFICIENTLESS EFFICIENT
Noise LevelSOFTMILDLOUD
Number Of Filters1-33-53-7
Smart FeaturesVARYYESYES

To help you get started, we split 3 different price tiers that grouped them by the brand as such:

  • Cheap air purifiers - Elechomes, Envion, Hamilton Beach, HoMedics, hOmelabs, Intelabe, Jinpus, Kolos, Levoit, Mooka, Okaysou, Partu, Rigoglioso, SilverOnyx, TaoTronics, Tredy
  • Inexpensive air purifiers - Airfree, Medify Air, Bissell, Winix, Coway Airmega, Fellowes, Gocheer, GermGuardian, Honeywell, InvisClean, Oreck, PureZone, Sharp, Philips, Panasonic, Mi
  • Expensive air purifiers - Airgle, Alen, Austin Air, Airocide, Air Oasis, Blueair, Dyson, IQAir, Rabbit Air, Molekule

The Many Types Of Air Purifiers

Besides the specification, you will find different types of air purifiers with a particular air-cleaning technology to remove particulate matter. Some technologies are on the affordable side, while others are expensive to own and maintain. So before you invest in either one, here is the breakdown of the cost, pros, and cons, so you know which type suits you best.

Mechanical Air Purifiers With HEPA/ Carbon Filter

The safest and most effective type to remove airborne pollutants in the air. It is the most popular choice because the price range can vary from dirt cheap, inexpensive to very expensive based on the size. The cheaper air purifiers (under $100) will have lower CADR ratings, weaker coverage, fewer filters, smaller size, and limited features. Depending on the price point, expensive air purifiers (above $300) will have a higher CADR, stronger performance, better filtration, and premium features.

Beware of a HEPA-type filter that typically comes in a cheaper air purifier. It is not certified with a lower 99% efficiency on particles as small as 0.3 microns. Always go with a True HEPA filter that meets the United States Department of Energy standard. A True HEPA filter removes 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 micrometers (uM).

How it works: The built-in motor fan will pull air in to pass through a series of filters for capturing. Pre-filter will trap large particulates like dust, hair, and lint. The HEPA filter will capture microscopic particles like mold, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses. An activated carbon filter neutralizes smoke, pet odors, and toxic fumes like VOCs, cigarettes, formaldehyde, and radon. Some models even come with a UV-C light or ionizer that further purifies the air.

Ionizer/ Negative Ion Generators

Ionic air purifiers are gaining traction among buyers because they can clean the air without a filter. In other words, a filterless technology with no filter replacement cost to worry about. The pricing varies from $30 to above $300, depending on the specification. In general, it is inexpensive, but the air cleaning performance is below the HEPA air purifiers' standard. Avoid going for the cheapest one, as some ionizers are poorly made with no carbon brush and inferior components. It causes longer oxidization and more production of ozone. Ionizer will also generate ozone byproducts even though it is at a very low concentration level approved by CARB. Ozone is a colorless toxic gas harmful to our health, particularly children, elderly, and asthmatic people with weakened immune systems.

Note: An negative ion generator is not an ozone generator/ ozonator. The former generates safe negative ions approved by CARB; the latter generates ozone and is not recommended by any health agencies.

How it works: A negative ion generator releases millions of negative ions in the air that attach to other positive ions pollutants. The joined, heavier contaminants will fall from the air and all over the room, like the bed, sofa, cabinet, table, wall, carpet, and floor. You will need to vacuum and clean thoroughly to prevent the fallen particles from going back up into the air again.

Electrostatic Precipitators

Similar to an ionizer but come with an additional collector plate or rod to collect the fallen particles. It is much more efficient as you will not have to vacuum daily to remove the adhered particulates. However, Electrostatic Precipitators are much more expensive; even the cheapest model will easily cost more than $200. Unless you really want the filterless technology, a HEPA air purifier would be the better bet.

Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Cleaner/ UV air purifier

UV technology can be found in many household appliances as a disinfection tool. So naturally, you will find it in an air purifier as a standalone unit or part of a multi-stage filtration. We have seen plug-in UV sanitizer from GermGuardian for under $40 and can go above $1000 with models like Airocide (PCO). Cheaper UV air models have small light bulbs with weaker light intensity and a shorter lifespan. Expensive UV air purifiers come with a bigger, longer-lasting light bulb, resulting in better sterilization. So if you are going for a UV air purifier, either get an expensive standalone model or a HEPA air purifier with UV light.

The biggest drawback with UV-C light is the slow sterilization. With the reducing light intensity, you will see a gradual dip in performance on continuous use. Depending on the wavelength, UV-C air purifiers will also produce ozone byproducts at a low concentration level. Most ozone will usually dissipate before it manages to leak out of the air cleaner.

How it works: Air will be drawn inside the chamber for sterilization. The UV-C light will radiate a broad wavelength (222 nm or 254 nm) to kill microorganisms like mold, bacteria, and viruses trapped inside. Clean air will be released, and the deactivated microbes will have no chance of growth.

How Much Should I Pay For An Air Purifier?

Depending on the size of the air purifier. You should pay less than $100 for a desktop HEPA air purifier used at the nightstand, work desk, or other small room sizes. Moving up to medium room sizes under 400 square footage, you should pay no more than 400 dollars for a HEPA air purifier with at least 3-stage filtration. For large room sizes above 400 square footage like living room, garage, or basement, there are plenty of options like Rabbit Air Minus A2 and Coway Airmega 400S that are within the $400-600 price bracket. In any case, try not to go beyond $900 unless you have specific needs or are aiming for a whole-house air purifier.

There are a few types of air purifiers in the market differentiated by the technologies. The table below shows the estimation of how much each type of air purifier will cost you respectively.

Air Purifier (Filter Type)Cost
Mechanical HEPA air purifier$20-$2000
Activated carbon purifier/ deodorizer$20-$300
UV air purifier/ UVGI$40-$500
PCO air purifier (hybrid system)$500-$1000
Ionic air purifier/ Air ionizer$40-$300
Electrostatic precipitators (electronic filter)$100-$300
Air Exchanger$200-$1500
Whole-house air filtration$10-$3000

As you can see, the cost of an air purifier ranges from dirt cheap to exceedingly expensive. Below are additional factors that will contribute to the big price gap:

  • The overall size - A small air purifier is typically priced under $100, while a large air purifier starts from $300.
  • The technologies - A PCO air purifier with advanced NASA-based technology is significantly more expensive than a filter-based air purifier, given the complexity of the creation.
  • The number of filters - Filter costs money to make, and the more filter there is, the more cost the manufacturer will incur. Filters also require replacing every 6-12 months, which will add up to the cost of ownership.
  • The types of filters - The higher quality the filter is, the more money it will cost you. For example, a certified True HEPA filter is more complicated to make than a HEPA-type filter. Activated carbon filter > carbon sheet.
  • The number of features - The higher the filter's quality, the more money it will cost you. For example, a certified True HEPA filter is more complicated to make than a HEPA-type filter. Activated carbon filter > carbon sheet.
  • Brand recognition - Well-known brands like Blueair or IQAir, with a history of making good air purifiers, will charge you more as there is a demand.
  • Country of origin - A Sweden or Swiss made air purifier will have higher labor and taxation costs than a China-made model. That’s just how the world works.
Cost Of Air Purifiers For Home

Cheap Or Expensive Air Purifiers: Which One Should I Get?

It is not just brand, marketing, and hype. Most expensive air purifiers offer better filtration and broader cleaning coverage than cheap air purifier counterparts. Expensive air purifiers also tend to have better specifications than cheap air purifiers, such as a longer warranty period, better build quality, and smart features.

However, it is not all doom and gloom with cheap air purifiers under $100. A budget air purifier can still provide exceptional value within its capacity. You will pay significantly less yet still be capable of cleaning the air. The filter replacement cost is also much lower, so recurring fees will not burden you. Adding to that is the silent and efficient operation, given the modest airflow delivery rate. Most cheaper air purifiers are compact, portable, and can be placed on a tabletop, work desk, cabinet, and nightstand. You can even bring it with you during work or travel.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to your needs. An air purifier is a long-term investment. Make sure you choose the right model regardless of the price point. There's no need to go overboard. For example, a small air purifier would do perfectly well for an office cubicle. A medium-sized model should do the trick in a typical bedroom size. While premium models are worth the money you paid for, most people don't need the most expensive air purifier to clean the air. You can get decent-performance air purifiers with respectable features and filter replacement costs, all under the 300 dollars price range.

The table below shows how much an air purifier will cost you in one, three, and five years based on the manufacturer’s recommended filter replacement time.

Air PurifiersSizesPricesAnnual Filter CostsTotal Costs (First Year)Total Costs (Third Year)Total Costs (Fifth Year)
LEVOIT Core 300SMALL$99.99$20-$40$120-$140$160-$220$200-$300
hOmeLabs PurelySMALL$99.99$30-$60$130-$160$190-$280$250-$400
Honeywell HPA300MEDIUM$249.99$108$358$574$790
Winix 5500-2MEDIUM$160$80$240$400$560
IQAir HealthPro PlusLARGE$899$152$1,051$1,355$1,659

Before You Purchase One (Limitations)

Health is more valuable than money. In modern times, an air purifier is a must, but it is not a jack of all trades. There are a lot of limitations to what an air purifier can do. First off, an air purifier can only remove contaminants lingering in the air, and it is incapable of removing contaminants that have adhered to a surface area. The air-cleaning performance is restricted within the air purifier's small purifying coverage. The air cleaning radius is further reduced against gases and odors. Some models use air cleaning technology like ionization or UV light which may generate a low volume of ozone production. Last but not least, there is a recurring filter replacement cost that you have to contemplate on top of the purchasing price.

Last but not least, there is a recurring filter replacement cost that you have to contemplate on top of the purchasing price. Health is more valuable than money; an air purifier can give you just that.

Do Cheap Air Purifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

Very little that is neglectable. An air purifier will increase your electricity bill by a very thin margin even if you run it every single day. Most air purifiers under 100 use a small motor fan that only consumes 10-30 watts of electricity. 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, multiply the numbers by 2. The new monthly electricity bill will be $6 to $10 or $72 to 120 annually. Take note that the electricity cost in the United States varies from state to state.

How To Use A Budget Air Purifier Effectively?

There are a lot of constraints with a cheap air purifier, particularly on the performance. It is crucial to understand its limitations and what can be done to remedy them. Here are a few simple steps to use an air purifier under 100 effectively and efficiently.

  • 24-hour operation - That is how an air purifier supposes to run, even when no one is at home. It prevents airborne particles from polluting the indoor air, and we are at risk of inhaling the irritants.
  • Check on the filter - Most air purifier filters need to replace every 6-12 months or when the filter indicator light is active. Always keep spare filters at home so you can replace them instantly when necessary.
  • Place it by the doorway - Not only the air purifier will capture airborne particles flowing in, it will also prevent clean air from getting out. Just make sure there are a couple of feet between the air purifier and the door to prevent any airflow blockage.
  • Close all windows and doors - Otherwise, it will undo all the air purifier efforts in cleaning the air. With windows wide open, the outside air will enter and push purified air out.

Is It OK To Leave A Cheap Air Purifier On All Night?

Yes, it is OK to leave an air purifier under 100 on all night during sleep. Despite the cutting cost measures, an air purifier is meant to run 24/7, cleaning the air constantly. If you turn off the device, dirty air will return and contaminate the indoor air. Regularly check on the filter's condition as it is required to trap a heavy amount of air particulates.

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.

Compare Best Air Purifier Under 100

NoImageAir PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)ScoreFiltrationCoverageFan
Speed
DimensionWeightDust CADRPollen CADRSmoke CADRPre-filterHEPA filterCarbon filterIonizerUV lightOther filterAll-in-one filterNoise levelPower outputTimer/ SchedulerSensorsWarrantyAuto modeRemote controlChild lockENERGY STARWi-Fi/ BTBluetoothAQIFilter indicator
1hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewhOmeLabs HME020248N Purely Air Purifier

$$

CHECK PRICE
3.63-stage80 sq. ft. (7 m2)3
7.9 x 12.8 x 7.9 in
(20.1 x 32.5 x 20.1 cm)
5.3 lb (2.4 kg)48 cfm (82 m3/h)48 cfm (82 m3/h)48 cfm (82 m3/h)
Pre-filter
3 months
H13 True HEPA filter
3 months
Activated Carbon filter
3 months
-
-
hOmeLabs HME020248N Replacement Filter
3 months
+- 15
≤50 dB2 years
2PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewPureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier

$$

CHECK PRICE
44-stage200 sq. ft. (19 m2)3
6.9 x 12.1 x 10.8 in
(17.5 x 30.7 x 27.4 cm)
8.4 lb (3.8 kg)80 cfm (136 m3/h)80 cfm (136 m3/h)80 cfm (136 m3/h)
Pre-filter
6 months
HEPA filter
6 months
Activated Carbon Filter
6 months
UV-C Light
20,000 hours
-
Air Purifier Replacement Filter
6 months
+- 19.99
30 - 50 dB60 W2, 4, 8 hours5 years
3Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewLEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier

$$

CHECK PRICE
4.33-stage219 sq. ft. (20 m2)3
8.7 x 14.2 x 8.7 in
(22.1 x 36.1 x 22.1 cm)
8.8 lb (4 kg)140 cfm (238 m3/h)145 cfm (246 m3/h)141 cfm (240 m3/h)
Pre-Filter
Washable
H13 True HEPA filter
6 - 8 months
High-Efficiency Activated Carbon Filter
6 - 8 months
-
-
LEVOIT Core 300-RF 3-in-1 Replacement Filter
6-8 months
+- 19.99
24–50 dB45 W2/ 4/ 6/ 8 hours2 years
4GermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier ReviewGermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier

$$

CHECK PRICE
3.54-stage78 sq. ft. (7 m2)3
6.5 x 11 x 7.5 in
(16.5 x 27.9 x 19.1 cm)
4.85 lb (2.2 kg)56 cfm (95 m3/h)76 cfm (129 m3/h)50 cfm (85 m3/h)
Charcoal Pre-filter
6 - 9 months
HEPA filter
6 - 9 months
-
LB4100 UV-C Light
10 - 12 months14.99
PCO Filter
-
FLT4100 Filter-E HEPA
6 - 9 months
24.99
1 year
5Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier 04384 ReviewHamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier

$$

CHECK PRICE
3.53-stage140 sq. ft. (13 m2)3
8.1 x 16.4 x 10.8 in
(20.6 x 41.7 x 27.4 cm)
6.3 lb (2.9 kg)N/AN/AN/A
Pre-filter
Permanent
HEPA-grade filter
Permanent
carbon zeolite filters (2 pack)
3 months
+- 4.99
-
-
-
1 year
6TREDY HEPA Air Purifier TD-1500 ReviewTREDY TD-1500 Air Purifier

$$

CHECK PRICE
44-stage200 sq. ft. (19 m2)3
8.5 x 15 x 8.5 in
(21.6 x 38.1 x 21.6 cm)
6.6 lb (3 kg)100 cfm (170 m3/h)100 cfm (170 m3/h)100 cfm (170 m3/h)
Pre-Filter
6 - 8 months
H13 True HEPA filter
6 - 8 months
Activated Carbon Filter
6 - 8 months
-
Net-Filter
6 - 8 months
TD-1500 Replacement cartridge
6 - 8 months+- 29
28 dB2, 4, 8 Hours1 year
7Levoit LV-H132 ReviewLevoit LV-H132 Air Purifier

$$

CHECK PRICE
3.93-stage129 sq. ft. (12 m2)3
9.7 x 14.6 x 9.8 in
(24.6 x 37.1 x 24.9 cm)
6.6 lb (3 kg)110 cfm (187 m3/h)110 cfm (187 m3/h)110 cfm (187 m3/h)
Fine Preliminary Filter
6 months
True HEPA filter
6 months
Activated Carbon Filter
6 months
-
-
LV-H132-RF Replacement Filter
6 months
+- 19.99
<= 43 dB28 W2 years