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6 Best Air Purifiers For Travel (Portable) In 2021

Bringing a mini air purifier for travel has never crossed many people's minds until now. Think about it. When you check-in in a hotel room, you will check the cleanliness of the bathroom, towel, and coffee mug. So why overlooked the room air quality that we breathe? Having a portable air cleaner around will safeguard you from airborne allergens and germs that are not visible to the naked eyes. However, not all models are created equal. Find out which is the best travel size air purifier that will deliver the clean air that you deserved.

2021 Best Travel Air Purifier

NoImageAir PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)FiltrationCoverageScore
1GermGuardian GG1100W Elite Pluggable UV-C SanitizerGermGuardian GG1100W/ GG1100B Air Purifier

$

CHECK PRICE
1-stage56 sq. ft. (5 m2)3.5
2GermGuardian GG1000 Pluggable Air Purifier & SanitizerGermGuardian GG1000 Pluggable Air Purifier

$

CHECK PRICE
1-stage56 sq. ft. (5 m2)3.5
3PARTU BS-03 True HEPA Air PurifierPARTU BS-03 Air Purifier

$

CHECK PRICE
3-stage107 sq. ft. (10 m2)3.5
4Clarifion GL-139 Negative Ion GeneratorClarifion Negative Ion Generator GL-139 Air Purifier

$

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1-stage150 sq. ft. (14 m2)3.5
5hOmeLabs True HEPA H13 Air Purifier HME020248NhOmeLabs HME020248N Purely Air Purifier

$$

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3-stage80 sq. ft. (7 m2)3.5
6JINPUS GL-2103 Air PurifierJINPUS GL-2103 Air Purifier

$

CHECK PRICE
4-stage107 sq. ft. (10 m2)3.5

How Do We Measure?

Is not easy to find an air purifier for travelers. The air cleaning device has to be portable, efficient, and functional. One bad purchase could derail you from getting the clean air you sorely need. Rather than being overwhelmed by the number of features available, here are the things you need to consider with a travel air purifier.

  • Size - To travel happy is to travel light. An air purifier must be portable and lightweight enough to fit on a suitcase without compromising its performance. That way you will not be burden by it and still have plenty of space left to fill the bag with souvenirs.
  • Purification technology - There are 3 main types of purification in a travel air purifier: UV-light, negative ion generator, and mechanical filtration. Each type has its own pros and cons so pick the one that best suits your needs.
  • Noise level - Critical for light sleepers or people susceptible to jet lag. Look for an air purifier that outputs less than 40 dB noise at the lowest speed. The whispering noise will not keep you and your partner awake at night.
  • Airflow delivery rate - Given its compact form factor, all travel-size air purifiers have a limited cleaning coverage. To make the best of a bad situation, look for a model that has the highest airflow rate and recommended room size. While you're at it, consider the size of the air inlet and outlet as well.
  • Sleep mode/ dimmable light - Disable or dim down indicator lights to prevent the bright glare from disturbing your sleep. Ideal for a light-sensitive sleeper.
  • Certification - Only purchase an air purifier that is approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CARB certified models are electrically tested to be safe and met the ozone concentration limit of under 0.050 parts per million. Other types of safety and environmental protection to look out for including the UL, ETL, FCC, and CE certifications.
  • Power output - Not a major concern for a travel air purifier as most models are pluggable, efficient, and without the need for batteries. Look out for Energy Star certification that is 40% more energy-efficient than similar range models.
  • Pricing - We recommend spending no more than 100 dollars on a travel air purifier as it is your temporary abode. Consider the filter cost and return policy as well in case the product you purchase is below your expectation.

If you're constantly on the go, GermGuardian GG1100 Elite Plug in UV-C Sanitizer will be the essential item in the backpack or purse. This updated version comes in at a 3.5 inches diameter, 6.75 inches height, and a lightweight 0.7 pounds. It will fit any wall socket in the hotel so you can sleep and breathe peacefully at night. Best of all, there is a built-in USB port that you can charge your phone while it cleans the air.

Comes in black or white, the front light indicator of GermGuardian GG1100 Elite air purifier will light up once you plug it into a wall socket. No complicated controls to worry about as everything will run bitterly smooth once plugged in. Power output is low so you can just leave it on all day or when you're away for sightseeing. Build quality is very good especially for a 40 dollars device. No complaint here.

Moving to GermGuardian GG1100 specification:

  • Main filtration - Negative ion generator
  • Room size - 56 sq. ft.
  • Weight - 0.7 lb
  • Dimension - 6.75 x 6.75 x 3.5 in
  • Fits backpack - Yes (forcefully)
  • Warranty - 1-year

GermGuardian GG1100 Elite UV-C air sanitizer will run quietly covering a 56 square footage of room size. Suitable for bedroom, hotel room, Airbnb guest room, dorm, or small offices. The ultraviolet light with Titanium Dioxide radiates a broad wavelength spectrum between 200 to 280 nm. It will disinfect germs, bacteria, and viruses e.g. influenza, staph, rhinovirus while also reduce odor caused by cigarettes, mold, and old carpet. Remember to keep it away from flammable objects to avoid fire risk.

The downside with a plug in air purifier is the limited filtration. There is no space to fit in a completer filtration set. It is also not effective against large particles like dust due to the limited surface area. The UV light bulb also requires replacing every 6-12 months depending on how often you use it.

In short: A UV travel air purifier that kills germs and bacteria. The inclusion of a USB charging port makes this the perfect on-the-go device.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 39.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 15 - 30 p
 Online price*
$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

The OG portable air purifier for travelers. GermGuardian GG1000 plug in UV-C sanitizer is the model that started this trend. At a compact at 3.2 inches in diameter, 7.5 inches in height, the hour shape design fits perfectly well in a backpack or luggage. Adding to that, the 1.13 pounds will also not much weight when you're checking in. Convenience at its best.

Essentially a plug-and-play model, the GermGuardian GG1000 air purifier works straight out of the box. Plug it in a wall socket and you can leave it running all day in the hotel room. The only thing you need to remember is to bring it back before you check out of the hotel. Overall GermGuardian GG1000 is very well-built with no signs of slowing down even after our 2 years of ownership.

Into GermGuardian GG1100 specification:

  • Main filtration - Negative ion generator
  • Room size - 56 sq. ft.
  • Weight - 1.13 lb
  • Dimension - 3.2 x 7.5 x 3 in
  • Fits backpack - Yes
  • Warranty - 1-year

The perfect tool to clean the hotel room air with many unknown occupancies previously. Using the same UV-C light technology that can be found in many sanitization products, GermGuardian GG1000 emits ultraviolet radiation to kill bacteria and viruses within a small 56 square footage. It will also remove stagnant odor that has been plaguing the room for quite some time. The entire air sanitization will run quietly and efficiently at only 3.5 watts of power usage. You can sleep well even with GermGuardian GG1000 running at the bedside.

Plug-in air purifier has its own set of limitations that mainly falls on filtration performance. The UV light intensity will gradually decrease thus it will take a long time to kill stronger resistant pathogens. UV coverage is also small and it is less effective against large particles. You also need to replace the light bulb every quarterly or 10,000 hours that can be a issue when you have multiple units at home.

In short: The original UV plug-in air purifier with a long-standing track record. Get this if you are a high flyer that packs light.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 59.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 15 - 30 p
 Online price*
$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

A compact and economical travel air purifier with complete mechanical filtration. PARTU BS-03 True HEPA air purifier works best for backpackers that are staying in a heavily polluted area. While the 9.6 x 17 x 9.6 inches cylinder body and 3.2 lb in weight are not exactly backpack friendly, it will fit luggage well and will not add much to the weight. For table or beside use, PARTU BS-03 is perfect as it takes out very little space yet provides the necessary air cleaning while you work or read. Unlike most affordable air purifiers, PARTU BS-03 comes with 2 years warranty and lifetime customer support. A good gesture and assurance of its dependability and reliability.

Moving to the controls. PARTU BS-03 is very easy to operate with a front intuitive control panel. There's a dedicated button for every function from fan speed adjustment, filter change, and child lock. There is also a light dimmer button that works great when you're trying to get a shut-eye. Noise level is between 38-59 dB depending on what speed you're at. At the top, there is a fragrance sponge slot that you can insert essential oil like Citrus, Honeydew Melon, Musk, Vanilla, Orris, Vetiver. The perfect way to end the day feeling relaxed and mask away all the vile hotel smell.

Here's the key specification:

  • Main filtration - Fine Preliminary Pre-filter, True-HEPA filter, Activated carbon filter
  • Room size - 107 sq. ft.
  • Weight - 3.2 lb
  • Dimension - 9.6 x 17 x 9.6 in
  • Fits backpack - Yes
  • Warranty - 2 years

As mentioned earlier, PARTU BS-03 runs on the bulletproof 3-stage HEPA filtration. The first-stage pre-filter will block dust, hair, debris from passing through and clogging the HEPA filter. The second stage HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of microscopic particles in the air like dust mites, pet dander, mold spore, pollen, and germs. The third-stage activated carbon filter will absorb harmful fumes and odors from second-hand smoke, food, chemicals released from off-gassing. At max speed, it will cover 107 square footage of space. Power output is only at a low 12-wattage per hour. Ideal for a small hotel room, dorm, guest house, trailer, and caravan when you're traveling to the countryside.

For less than 50 dollars, PARTU BS-03 does have few drawbacks that you need to be aware of. First off, it will not fit a small backpack especially when you have clothes, laptop to compete with. The small airflow output may not be able to cover the entire room for those staying in a luxury suite. You have to account for the quarterly filter change that can be a big hassle. It also lacks autonomous mode but that's just nitpicking at this point.

In short: A good buy as long as you can fit it in a carry-on suitcase filled with souvenirs. The complete mechanical HEPA filtration under 50 dollars makes it an irresistible choice for many.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 59.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 50 - 75 p
 Online price*
$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

The best portable air purifier for travel by miles. Clarifion GL-139 is an affordable, plug-in negative ion generator that requires zero maintenance. It is one of the smallest air purifiers here at only 4 x 6 x 2.9 inches in dimension and 4.8 pounds in weight. You can bring it to work, travel, or a short getaway in your backpack or carry-on suitcase with space left for souvenirs. Build quality is top-notch with no signs of leakage or byproducts released during our test. It will withstand some rough usage as long as you don't carelessly drop it or toss it around.

As a plug and play model, Clarifion GL-139 is very easy to use with no learning curve. You only need to plug it in and the air purifier will run instantaneously. It will work on any dedicated wall socket with standard U.S. voltage. Once plugged in, you can go on with your activities like jogging, sightseeing, cafe hopping, or relative visit while leaving it on. You will be greeted by clean, fresh air when you return back to the hotel room. Just make sure not to place it close to flammable objects to avoid fire risk.

Moving into the specification:

  • Main filtration - Negative ion generator
  • Room size - 150 sq. ft.
  • Weight - 4.8 oz
  • Dimension - 4 x 6 x 2.9 in
  • Fits backpack - Yes
  • Warranty - 1-year

As the name implied, Clarifion uses ionization technology that silently releases up to 10 million pcs/ cm^3 of negative ions. The charged negative ions will bond with positive ions pollutants in the air like dust, hair, debris, bacteria, germ. The heavier bonded ions will then drop to the carpet, wall, sofa, bed, and cabinet. At this point, you will need to wait for a house cleaning to completely remove it but at least there is less risk of a person inhaling the airborne pollutants.

Clarifion negative ion generator is 100% ozone and chemical safe as it complies with California Air Resources Board G-20-016 certification. It is reusable and filterless so there's no need to clean it or bear with expensive filter replacement cost. The low power output can reach up to 150 square footage of room size. Ideal for a hotel room, trailer, caravan, shared guest room, Airbnb, or temporary office desk.

Let's talk about the drawbacks. Clarifion GL-139 is a plug-in negative ion generator so it is unavoidable that the room coverage is on the smaller side. Another issue is the dropped contaminants would still be in the room and can be stirred back up when disturbed. It is also less effective against smoke particles and odor which will limit its functionality as a whole.

In short: A filter-free, care-free, worry-free mini negative ion generator for travel. Ideal for backpackers that pack light and need the extra cleaning edge.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 39.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 0 p
 Online price*
$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

While not the mini air purifier for travel, hOmeLabs Purely can still fit well in a suitcase or caravan at a slim 7.9 inches in diameter and 12.8 inches in height. The extra 5.3 lb weight is needed to accommodate the H13 HEPA mechanical filtration. Very useful when flying to an urban area with heavy air pollution. The low 80 dollars selling price is also a good point for a travel air purifier. You will not get a heartache when you broke or left it in a hotel.

The wide body allows hOmeLabs Purely HME020248N to fit in more features and filtration. Besides the adjustable 3 fan speeds, there is a filter reset indicator that reminds you to replace the filter after 2100 hours of usage. Child lock is also present that can be useful when you're traveling with children. The dimmable nightlight is probably our favorite feature when sleeping alone in a guest room. Overall the build quality is superb with an easily removable panel.

Into hOmeLabs Air Purifier specification:

  • Main filtration - Pre-filter, H13 True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter
  • Room size - 80 sq. ft.
  • Weight - 5.3 lb
  • Dimension - 7.9 x 12.8 x 7.9 in
  • Fits backpack - No
  • Warranty - 2 years

hOmeLabs Purely runs on a medical-grade 3-stage HEPA filtration and a fan motor, It pulls dirty air in that first has to get through the pre-filter. The pre-filter will effectively trap large particles like dust and hair while protecting the HEPA filter. The H13 HEPA filter trap 99.97% of ultrafine particles in the air like pet dander, mold spore, pollen, and germs. The last stage activated carbon filter will focus on absorbing chemical fumes, second-hand smoke, and odor pollutants.

With a classic bottom air inlet and top air outlet, the 80 square footage room size coverage is ideal for a resort room, studio room, king suite, or double bedroom. It will greatly improve indoor air with just 2 hours of runtime. The ≤50 dB operational noise generates mild white noise that is not too distracting. Usable at night as long as you keep the fan speed to low. The standard 120 volts/ 60 Hz power usage is efficient for 24x7 runtime. Not a big concern for travelers that are always on the go.

Again, the issue with the hOmeLabs Prue air purifier is the size. It might not fit well in small luggage which defeats the main purpose. With no built-in sensor, features like Auto mode and sleep mode are also omitted. The all-in-one HEPA filtration requires replacing every 3 months which can be annoying when you're on a journey. Lastly, the cleaning range is also limited but for hotel room use, we're fine with that.

In short: A proven, game-changing H13 HEPA air purifier for travelers that travel in a big suitcase.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 99.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 30 - 60 p
 Online price*
$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Don't mind bringing in a desktop-size air purifier for travel? JINPUS GL-2103 HEPA air purifier is your answer. At a portable 4.9 diameter and 7.6 inches height, it will fit a cabin suitcase well but forget about a backpack. Weight is light at only 1.2 pounds inclusive of the filtration set. You can check in on an airplane with relative ease as long as you pack light.

For travelers that like to stay in a hotel to work and chill, JINPUS GL-2103 portable HEPA air purifier is the perfect match. The one-touch control allows quick fan speed adjustment, negative ion generator activation, and sleep mode with 8 hours countdown timer. The optional nightlight is a blessing on its own. The biggest feature of JINPUS is it can run via a USB port from a laptop. With limited wall sockets in a hotel room, just connect it to your laptop and let it clean the air while you work.

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

  • Main filtration - Fine Preliminary Filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter, Negative Ion Generator
  • Room size - 107 sq. ft.
  • Weight - 1.2 lb
  • Dimension - 4.9 x 7.6 x 4.9 in
  • Fits backpack - Yes (barely)
  • Warranty - 1 year

JINPUS GL-2103 manages to squeeze in a 4-stage filtration in its portable body. Starting with the fine preliminary filter that traps larger particles like dust, hair, and debris. This allows the True HEPA filter to removes 99.97% of finer particles as small as 0.3 microns. The activated carbon filter absorbs common sources of smoke and odor from a hotel room. Last but not least, the negative ion generator releases ions to merge and pull down other airborne impurities for the filter to capture. The technology is safe and can help curb down your allergies symptoms like sneezing, cough, headache.

The airflow delivery rate is at 51-150 m³/h with up to 107 square footage of room size. More than sufficient for most guest room, Airbnb, and hotel room sizes. Noise output is at a whispering level of 30 dB. Ideal for night use after an exhausting day of city visit. The safe and low 2.5 watts of electricity hourly will give you peace of mind while you sleep through the night. After all, JINPUS portable air purifier will run via a USB 2.0 port.

Running down on the cons of JINPUS compact HEPA air purifier. The airflow output is average at best. You will be fine with bedroom and small hotel room use but it will not cover beyond that. No timer setting other than the default setting from Sleep mode. There is no way to run Sleep mode longer than 8 hours. The filter size is also average and requires regular replacing. There are better models out there with stronger HEPA filtration.

In short: A portable, USB-powered HEPA air purifier with a built-in negative ion generator. For only around 30 dollars, it travels well as long as you have enough space in your suitcase.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 50.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 28 p
 Online price*
$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE
** MRSP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is provided by cleanairprice.com. 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.
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Can Air Purifiers Go On Airplanes?

You can bring an air purifier on board as FAA has not set a restriction on it. Do note that is only applicable in the United States. Every country and airline has its own set of rules and permission. We have not encountered any airline that prohibits the carrying of an air purifier but to be on the safe side, check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or airline prior to the departure.

Do Hotels Have Good Air Quality?

Most hotels do not have good air quality despite the high bar set to meet the guest staying experience. An air purifier can help fix that but only to a certain extent. The comfort and air quality of an occupant in a hotel room are factored by the following:

  • HVAC system - A poorly maintained HVAC system can cause the widespread of dust and germs in a hotel room. It is often overlooked in commercial buildings like a hotel due to the complication in cleaning. You can see signs of a poorly maintained HVAC system by the collected dust in the outlet or mold spots growth. Request for a filter change or cleaning when that happens.
  • The Carpet - Carpet is notorious for collecting dust mites, allergens, and chemicals substances like VOCs. It is prone to off-gassing and the allergens can be stirred back up in the air when disturbed. Housekeeping is the only way to go.
  • Cigarette Smoke - Second-hand and third-hand smoke is the most common cause of poor air quality in a hotel room. This is especially true in a hotel with a smoking room. Your best bet is to opt for a non-smoking room and pray that other guests do not light up in the hotel room.
  • Cleaning products - Hotels tend to use the low-cost and harshest chemicals that are super effective. It off-gasses a strong, toxic, harmful smell that appears when you just checked in a hotel room. This is likely due to incorrect chemicals ratio mixture and lack of rinsing effort as housekeepers are always in the rush.
  • Bed linens - Along with lint, skin flakes, hair, and dust mites are the common sources of airborne pollutants in a hotel room. As hotel maids change the bedsheets and pillowcases for laundering, the pollutants will be flung and stay in the air for a period of time due to their lightweight.

Which Types of Air Purifiers Should I Buy For Travel Purpose?

There are 3 types of travel purifiers you can buy or at least consider before your next purchase. HEPA air purifier with mechanical filtration is the best option but not without its drawbacks. So do your research and weigh each pro and con before making a final decision. Here are the options:

  • Mechanical filtration - Uses High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, pre-filter, and carbon filter to remove airborne particles in the air. 100% safe and very effective in improving air quality but it requires a bigger body to fits the filtration with high filter replacement cost.
  • UV air purifier - Uses ultraviolet light to permanently eradicate germs and other pathogens. While it is highly portable as you only need to fill in one light bulb, it is also less effective against large particles. The light intensity will fade as continuous use and you will need to replace the light bulb never the end of the life cycle for maximum efficiency.
  • Negative ion generator/ Ionizer - emits negative ions to pull down positive ions pollutants. Great for travel use as it does not require cleaning or filter change. However, it does it actually remove the pollutants and you are still at risk of exposing to it. Not to confuse with an ozone generator that releases harmful ozone.
References

Freepik

FAA

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.