2023 Best Air Purifier For Desk
|BEST BUDGET||BEST OVERALL||BEST PERFORM-ANCEPERFORMANCE|
|hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely Air Purifier||TREDY TD-1500 Air Purifier||Medify Air MA-15 Air Purifier|
|Dimension (W x H x D)|
|7.9 x 12.8 x 7.9 in||8.5 x 15 x 8.5 in||9.7 x 15.5 x 9.7 in|
|Recommended Room Size|
|80 sq. ft. (7 m2)||200 sq. ft. (19 m2)||330 sq. ft. (31 m2)|
|Dust 48 cfm (82 m3/h)|
Pollen 48 cfm (82 m3/h)
Smoke 48 cfm (82 m3/h)
|Dust 100 cfm (170 m3/h)|
Pollen 100 cfm (170 m3/h)
Smoke 100 cfm (170 m3/h)
|Dust 88 cfm (150 m3/h)|
Pollen 88 cfm (150 m3/h)
Smoke 88 cfm (150 m3/h)
|3.6 ⭐ out of 5||4 ⭐ out of 5||3.9 ⭐ out of 5|
How Do We Measure?
There are several things you need to look into before deciding which air purifier to buy for your desk. Features such as filtration efficiency, types of pollutants, and the overall dimension plays a big role in the usability of the device. Once you have a basic understanding of your needs, it is not hard to find the perfect air purifier that matches your needs. Here's our buying guide for desktop air purifiers.
- Dimension and portability - The old cliché size does matter but on a different spectrum. Always measure the size and height of the air purifier. The desk air purifier must be compact enough to fit on a work desk occupied with a table lamp, computers, books, and other stuff that you would normally find on a table. A large air purifier is simply too big to fit on a table or any tight spot.
- HEPA filter - The must-have filtration in a desktop air purifier. Both True HEPA and HEPA-type filters can help reduce allergens in the air. However, only a True HEPA filter is certified by the Department of Energy (DOE) and tested by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) on its filtration efficiency.
- Activated carbon filter - Another must-have filter in a desk air purifier. The carbon filter chemical adsorption materials remove gaseous pollutants and odors in the air. Something a HEPA filter is incapable of.
- Addon filters (ionizer, UV-C light) - Any addon filtration would be welcome as long as it is safe and does not generate ozone.
- Noise level - Ideally a tabletop air purifier noise should be between 30 to 50 dB depending on what fan speed it is in. The more silent is the device, the less noise distraction it will generate, the better you can focus on your work or study.
- Price and upkeeping - A desktop air purifier should not cost more than 130 dollars with a relatively low maintenance cost. There are plenty of good options that can deliver that without compromising on its usability.
- Compact @ 7.9 in width/ 5.3 lb.
- Medical-grade H13 HEPA filter.
- Activated carbon filter.
- Child lock, night light.
- Small cleaning coverage.
- 3 months filter usage life.
Another familiar model that featured on our list. hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely air purifier works great on a desktop and bedside. Despite not being a brand that you would associate with an air purifier, this affordable device is a hidden gem. House in a tiny 7.9 inches diameter and 12.8 inches height body, you will have plenty of table space left even with hOmeLabs placed right next to you. The light 5.3 lb weight allows room to room purifying with minimal effort. On the whole, fitting is decent with no off-gassing or harmful byproducts detected during our test.
Usability is very good for a compact tabletop air purifier. hOmeLabs Purely HME020248N comes with a standard 3 fan speed that you can switch between performance and efficiency. The filter reset indicator will light up to alert you to replace the filter after 2100 hours of usage. Child lock stops children from fiddling with the settings. Lastly, the nightlight can be toggle on its brightness based on your preferences. Ideal for small room sizes like nursery home, office room, dorm, and bedroom.
Moving into hOmeLabs Air Purifier HME020248N specification:
- Dimension - 7.9 x 12.8 x 7.9 in
- Weight - 5.3 lb
- Coverage - 78 sq. ft.
- Filtration - Pre-filter, H13 True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter
- Noise Level - ≤50 dB
- Warranty - 1-2 years
A breath of fresh air when a desk air purifier manages to include a "real" HEPA filter. Dirty air drawn into the 3-stage filtration first has to go through the pre-filter. With visible large particles filtered, the medical-grade H13 HEPA filter removes 99.97% of ultrafine particles including pet dander, mold, pollen, bacteria, and viruses. The activated carbon filter absorbs household smoke and odor from cooking, pet, spoil food, cigarette. Everything is run purely on mechanical filtration with no subpar combination filter or ozone emission.
hOmeLabs Purely air purifier clean design pushed the air inlet at the bottom with the air outlet located at the top. This allows the capturing of pollutants from the lower surface area but keep in mind the small 78 square footage coverage. CADR mirror on the airflow range averaging at only 48 cfm. Operational wise, hOmeLabs Purely air purifier will run quietly and efficiently on your desk. The under ≤50 dB noise can be completely whisper-quiet if you run it at the lowest speed. Suitable for office use when you need to focus on your work. Through the standard 120 volts/ 60 Hz power output, energy usage is less than a laptop even if you leave the nightlight on (not recommended at daytime though).
Like most compact air purifiers, the drawbacks include the plain vanilla setup with no auto or sleep mode. Air cleaning coverage is small so this is mainly for desk use. The small all-in-one filter also requires a constant 3 months replacement which would quickly add up to the cost. If you are willing to accept the flaws, hOmeLabs HME020248N air purifier would no doubt be a good working companion.
In short: While airflow delivery rate is very limited, it compensates with an affordable price tag and complete H13 filtration.
±99.99 $$/ 7
(annual filter cost ±30-60)
- Compact size @ 8.5 in width/ 6.6 lb.
- 360 degrees filtration system.
- True HEPA filter.
- Protective Net filter.
- Activated carbon filter.
- Nightlight, timer, auto, sleep mode.
- Sensor lacks accuracy.
- Less stable (with legs).
The sleekiest air purifier on this list with no compromisation. TREDY TD-1500 air purifier is an affordable desktop air purifier that can clean the air while you work. Not only it looks dope when placed on your work desk, the 8.5 inches diameters and 15 inches height occupy very little table space. The 6.6 pounds weight makes carrying a breeze when you intend to move it back to the room during nighttime. Right at the center, you have an air quality indicator light that will display blue when air quality is good and drops to green, orange, and red when air is bad. Build quality is good but the thin legs that may slightly hamper the stability of the product when placed on a wobbly table.
Moving to control, TREDY TD-1500 air purifier has all the features that you would expect only from a premium model. Starting with the standard 3 fan speeds plus auto mode that set higher speed when a high volume of pollutants is detected. Sleep mode locks the fan speed to low and dimmed all indicator lights. The 2, 4, 8 hour timer can be set to shut down the device automatically. The filter change indicator will alert you to change the cartridge after an interval time. Last but not least, there is a night light with 2 levels of brightness adjustment located at the top of the device.
Looking into the specification of TREDY TD-1500:
- Dimension - 8.5 x 15 x 8.5 in
- Weight - 6.6 lb
- Coverage - 200 sq. ft.
- Filtration - Pre-Filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon Filter, Net-Filter
- Noise Level - 28 dB
- Warranty - 1 year
Airflow output is surprisingly good given its economical price tag. TREDY TD-1500 is rated at 200 square footage with 4 air refresh cycles per hour. For non-allergenic persons, you can double the coverage by reducing the air cycle to 2. Ideal for small to mid-range room size including bedroom, home office, dining area, or study room. CADR is at a reasonable for its segment 100 cfm for dust, pollen, and smoke.
TREDY TD-1500 HEPA air purifier comes with a 360 degrees air filtration system that works at any angle. The pre-filter captures dust, hair, debris, and other large particles while protecting the HEPA filter. In return, the True HEPA filter removes 99.97% microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns that cannot be seen by naked eyes. The active carbon filter absorbs harmful gases and odors from cigarettes, paint, food, and pets. Works great on a smoker that likes to smoke in a room. The last net-filter captures leftover particles before the air purifier pushes clean air back out.
TREDY TD-1500 runs silently with a whispering noise of just 28 dB. It will not cause a disturbance while you work or sleep. To top it off, the night light is the perfect comfort tool for children that sleep alone at night or guide a person through the dark. Power output is efficient for everyday use and can be further optimized with auto or sleep mode.
Not everything is perfect with TREDY TD-1500 though. The sensor is not as sensitive as some of the premium models in detecting nearby air pollutants. The multi-filter set also requires replacing 6-8 months that can be a big hassle for some on top of the 60 dollars annual cost. That said, the few drawbacks we mentioned will not subtract TREDY TD-1500 overall value air brings to the table.
In short: A cheap, dependable yet small HEPA air purifier with 360° purifying and autonomous mode features. If you need a night light for your children, buy this instead.
±99.99 $$/ 7
(annual filter cost ±44-58)
- Small size @ width 9.7 in/ 6.6 lb.
- Wide purifying coverage.
- 2x Medical-grade H13 HEPA filter.
- 2x Carbon filter with carbon pellets.
- Anion generator.
- Timer, child lock, lifetime warranty.
- Double filter replacement set.
A medical-grade air purifier for desk use. Medify MA-15 is a performance-oriented table top air purifier suitable for an allergenic person. The 9.7 inches in diameter, 15.5 inches in height, and 6.6 pounds may hold a big presence for those with a small table. You will need to clear up some space if your table is cluttered with pens, documents, and computers. Bypassing that, the air inlet does work from the ground with a top air outlet that distributes clean air right at the top. Build quality is top-notch with no miss alignment or leakage detected. The lifetime warranty offered is a big assurance for its reliability and durability.
Comes in white, silver, and black, Medify MA-15 clean exterior is highly functional for everyday use. It comes with a standard 3 fan speed operation and a timer that can be set to shut down the machine after an interval of hours. The filter change indicator will remind you to replace the filter on time for optimal performance. Finally, child lock prevents children or pets from accidentally messing with the setting.
Here is Medify MA-15 the core features:
- Dimension - 9.7 x 15.5 x 9.7 in
- Weight - 6.6 lb
- Coverage - 330 sq. ft.
- Filtration - 2x Pre-Filters, HEPA H13 filters, Activated Carbon Filters
- Noise Level - 35-51 dBA
- Warranty - Lifetime
The best desktop air purifier in terms of performance. House in a conventional setup where the air is drawn from the bottom and release at the top. Medify MA-15 covers a 330 square footage room size at 2 air changes per hour or every 30 minutes. More than ideal of office use, studio, dorms, bedroom, kitchen, and even small basement. Clean air delivery rate is equally impressive averaging at 150 cfm for dust, pollen, and smoke. No other models here manage to match the same consistency and output as Medify.
Noise level is at a silent 35 dBA to a max 51 dBA. Keeping it at a lower speed. You can leave it on 24x7 while you study, work or sleep with zero disturbance. As for power usage, the 18 wattages per hour are on the lower end side in energy efficiency. You will not get hit by a huge electric bill regardless of what mode the air cleaner is running.
Double the power, double the result. Medify Air MA-15 3-stage medical filtration is undoubtedly the best in the desktop field. The dual pre-filter removes dust, hair, fibers coming in from both sides of the air purifier. Next, the dual H13 HEPA filter will remove up to 99.9% of fine particles like mold, pollen, bacteria, and viruses as small as 0.1 microns. The carbon filter with carbon pellets absorbs smoke and odors from pets, cigarettes, VOCs, and cleaning products. Everything is done mechanically with zero ozone and chemical emission. 100% safe for children and asthmatic person use.
The setback with Medify MA-15 air purifier is the cost. Compared with some entry-level models, it is 2-3 times more expensive than most air purifiers here. Furthermore, the dual filtration setup is costly to replace that can go as high as 140 dollars annually. The recommended filter replacement timeframe is every 2500 hours which is just shy of 4 months. The lack of Auto mode and Sleep mode is also a big downer. That's the price of clean air and if you could afford it, Medify MA-15 will certainly deliver it.
In short: Slightly bulky for a desktop air purifier but compensate with an outstanding medical-grade H13 filtration.
±119.00 $$$/ 7
(annual filter cost ±70-140)
- Portable size @ 6.5 in/ 4.9 lb.
- Affordable (under 100).
- 4-stage UV HEPA air purifier.
- Works vertically and horizontally.
- UV-C light + TiO 2.
- Limited air coverage.
- 2-in-1 charcoal pre-filter.
- HEPA-type filter.
A tiny air purifier that manages to fit in a 4-stage filtration with UV light. GermGuardian AC4100 is the best tabletop air purifier for under 50 (after discount). At a compact 6.5 x 11 x 7.5 inches in dimension it fits a small table well along with all your office equipment. You can also place it on a top shelf, bedside table, cabinet, or dry basin with limited space. The 4.85 lb weight does help the portability when it is needed. Well constructed with no off-gassing despite the heavy reliance on plastic materials.
GermGuardian AC4100 air purifier front ventilation works in both vertical or horizontal positions. It houses an old-school dial knob that controls the 3 speeds and a UV-C light button. At the back, there is a manual filter reminder date wheel that works even though we are not a big fan. Extremely easy to use but the lack of a timer can be a downer for some.
Let's look at AC4100 specification:
- Dimension - 6.5 x 11 x 7.5 in
- Weight - 4.85 lb
- Coverage - 78 sq. ft.
- Filtration - Charcoal Pre-filter, HEPA-type filter, UV-C Light, TiO 2
- Noise Level - Silent
- Warranty - 1 year
GermGuardian AC4100 78 square footage coverage is small therefore it has to be placed close to the sources. We recommend using it on a work desk, bedside, dry washroom, or dorm that has limited space yet could do with clean air. Clean air delivery rate is at 56 cfm (dust), 76 cfm (pollen), and 50 cfm (smoke). Not great but sufficient for desk use. As for noise, GermGuardian AC4100 will run quietly at all speeds so feel free to leave it running all day during work or sleep. We have not turned off our unit since day one and we did not see any spike in our utility bill.
Comes in a 4-stage filtration, dirty air will first be filtered by the charcoal pre-filter. It removes light smoke, odors, and large dusty particulates while protecting the HEPA-type filter. The HEPA-type filter will capture microscopic particles in the air as small as 2 microns with an efficiency of 99%. For finer microorganisms that bypassed the filter, you have the UV-C light plus Titanium Dioxide that kills bacteria and viruses e.g. Influenza, rhinovirus. The cleaning cycle will continue as long as the air purifier is kept on.
While the inclusion of a UV light is a bonus, it will have to take out some features to balance things out. First, the small body leaves no space to include a full-size filter. You will also have to replace the filter set and light bulb in less than a year's time that can be costly in the long run. The included HEPA-type filter is also an inferior version to a True HEPA filter. The same goes with the charcoal pre-filter over the carbon filter. Airflow performance also takes a hit but for table use, it makes no difference.
In short: A compact office desk air purifier with UV filtration. AC4100 might not be the latest model in its lineup, it is still selling very well with its under 50 dollars access point.
±89.99 $$/ 7
(annual filter cost ±48-65)
- Compact @ 9.6 in width/ 3.2 lb weight.
- True HEPA filter.
- Activated carbon filter.
- Essential oil sponge slot.
- High filter replacement cost.
- Limited airflow coverage.
- Basic functionality.
Another regular contention desk air purifier in our list. PARTU BS-03 at one time is so popular on Amazon, it is impossible to get hold of stock. Its value proposition filtration is well squeezed in a tiny 9.6 inches diameter cylinder box. The short 17 inches height also prevents it from toppling over easily from the table. The light 3.2 pounds weight adds versatility where you can bring it along to the bed from your work desk. Staying with the exterior, the black design looks elegant without exposing its plasticky case. Instead of the usual top controls, everything can be controlled right at your eyesight. You can make adjustments without getting up from your comfy chair.
Continue with the intuitive controls. You can cycle through the fan speeds, activate/ deactivate the child lock, and reset the filter change indicator once the new filter replacement set has been installed. Unique in PARTU BS-03, there is a fragrance design drop slot that you can insert calming essential oils such as Citrus, Honeydew Melon, Quince, Musk, or Vanilla. Enjoy breathing clean, relaxing, scented air throughout the rest of the day.
Here's what in PARTU specification:
- Dimension - 9.6 x 17 x 9.6 in
- Weight - 3.2 lb
- Coverage - 107 sq. ft.
- Filtration - Fine Preliminary Pre-filter, True-HEPA filter, Activated carbon filter
- Noise Level - 38-59 dB
- Warranty - 2 years
Despite its compact desktop size and under 50 price tag, the PARTU BS-03 air purifier can cover a respectable 107 square footage of room size. Ideal for a basin tabletop, shelf, bedroom, work des, or any tight spaces with poor ventilation. Power consumption and noise level are other perks of PARTU BS-03. It delivers a subtle and adjustable 38 to 59 dB noise that is suitable for everyday use. Power output is averaging at a low 12 wattages per hour at all speeds. Feel free to leave it on 24x7 as recommended by the manufacturer.
PARTU BS-03 runs on a workhorse 3-stage HEPA filtration that is proven for decades. First off, the pre-filter traps dust, hair, and debris that may otherwise clog or damage the HEPA filter. The freed HEPA filter then removes 99.97% of PM 2.5 particles including dust mite, pet dander, mold, and pollen. Continue on, the activated carbon filter will get rid of toxic smoke and odors before it travels inside your lungs. Given its compact form factor, PARTU would be the perfect gift for those that often smoke and work.
Anything the costs less than 50 dollars will certainly come with a few drawbacks. First off, it has no supportive features like timer, auto mode, and timer built-in. The airflow delivery rate is also less than ideal other than table use. The all-in-one filter set also requires replacing every 3-6 months due to the small surface size. Replacement costs can also increase dramatically in a bad environment. A bigger console air purifier would be a better fit if it does come down to that situation.
In short: A good starter desk air purifier for less than 50 dollars. Comes exclusively with an essential oil slot, HEPA filter, and carbon filter.
±59.99 $/ 7
(annual filter cost ±50-75)
- Slim @ 8.1 in width/ 6.3 lb weight.
- Good air coverage.
- Washable HEPA-grade filter.
- Carbon zeolite filter.
- Low maintenance.
- Permanent HEPA filter.
- Thin carbon sheet.
- No timer.
Sometimes the simplest things can bring the most happiness. Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact 04386 desk air purifier is just that. A budget-friendly machine that comes with a washable HEPA filter. At 8.1 x 16.4 x 10.8 inches dimension and 6.3 pounds weight, it can be slightly big for small desk use especially those cluttered with laptop and stationery set. The good news is you can run Hamilton Beach TrueAir vertically or horizontally on a table without impeding its airflow distribution. In a horizontal position, it will prevent your cats from accidentally tipping over the air purifier. better safe than sorry.
A small and simple device that cleans the air, you will not find any complicated controls here other than the dial knob fan speed adjustment. At the back, there is a time strip cartridge that will indicate when you need to clean the filter. The front panel has air inlets nicely tucked by the sides and the panel can be easily removed for vacuuming. All in all, the fitting is tight with no off-gassing despite the plasticky built.
Moving to the specification:
- Dimension - 8.1 x 16.4 x 10.8 in
- Weight - 6.3 lb
- Coverage - 140 sq. ft.
- Filtration - Pre-filter, HEPA-grade filter, Carbon zeolite filters
- Noise Level - Silent
- Warranty - 1 year
Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet silent fan motor covers up to 140 square footage of room size. Highly suited for a work desk and bedside use due to the low noise output. You can also leave it in the hallway, kitchen, or pet area to improve the surrounding air quality. For zero noise operation, leave it WhisperClean mode instead QuickClean speed. The basic functionality contributes to the low power usage regardless of which mode you're in. Perfect day-to-day use air cleaner.
Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet 04384 permanent HEPA-grade filter has its own set of pros and cons. It can remove 99% of airborne irritants including pet dander, dust mites, mold, and pollen. The HEPA filter is washable just like the pre-filter. You can reuse both filters again and again with proper care and maintenance. There are also two carbon zeolite filters that absorb pet odors from saliva, urine, feces, and food. It is not washable but replacing it is optional. We highly recommend you do so as the carbon filter will only set you back around 10 dollars annually.
What's not so good is the less effective HEPA-grade filter compare with a True HEPA filter. The washable trade comes at a cost in dealing with ultrafine particles. The air-cleaning coverage is only meant for close-range use or small room size. It is also a basic unit with no add-on features like auto mode, child lock, or sleep mode. Not even a timer is included. Then again, the low maintenance, easy care, and cheap filter replacement is something you will not find in other models.
In short: If you want a small desktop air purifier that does not require a lot of attention, this is it. The only caveat is the subpar HEPA-type filtration.
±79.00 $$/ 7
(annual filter cost ±10)
How To Get The Best Out Of A Desktop Air Purifier
An air purifier needs to be maintained to ensure it is running in tip-top condition. A desktop air purifier could alleviate your dry mouth, headache, or nasal congestion symptoms during work or study. Here are few tips on how to get the best out of it.
- Location - For the best filtration, place the desk air purifier close to you such as beside or table. Leave 1-2 feet of space between wall and furniture to avoid airflow obstruction. Also, avoid placing it next to electronic appliances that might disrupt its frequency.
- Keep it away from pets and children - Make sure they do not go near the machine as it might fall and break. Cats are notorious for tipping over an air purifier.
- Leave it on - An desk air purifier is designed to operate continuously and efficiently without fail. It will not overheat, break down, or cause a burden to your electricity bill.
- Keep windows and doors closed - This is to prevent clean air from getting out and dirty air from creeping in. Seal any gaps on drafty windows as it might lead to air escaping.
- Replace/ clean the filters - A crucial step that many neglected. Gently vacuum the pre-filter every 2-3 weeks before it gets completely clogged. For a non-washable HEPA filter, replace it according to the manufacturer's recommended guidelines. For models that come with a built-in sensor, remember to clean it with a cotton swab from time to time. Failing to do so will greatly reduce the air cleaner performance.
- The right size - Make sure the desk air purifier is capable of covering the room size you intend to purify. You can find out the air purifier capability by the manufacturer’s suggested room size or the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR).
Do I Need an Air Purifier for Each Room?
Yes, you should get an air purifier for each room if the air quality is under par. It will do a better job in cleaning the air and easing your allergies problem. There are simply too many things in the room that would impede the airflow circulation to another room. Also, when you keep the door shut, the clean air will remain within the confined space.
Do Air Purifiers Work In Cubicles?
Yes, air purifiers will work in cubicles and should be placed as close to you as possible. It can filter the air from common pollutants such as dust, asbestos, mold, bacteria, viruses in an office due to the number of people coming in and out. With a carbon filter, the air purifier also neutralizes toxic smoke like formaldehyde, VOCs, CO, cigarette smells, food odors, and even scented perfume. You should notice an immediate difference as clean air starts distributing around your cubicle space. Without constant coughing and sneezing, your work productivity will increase, and so does the concentration level. No longer will you have to blow your nose all day, suffer from watery eyes, and fatigue. You will also be more protected from viral infections transmitted airborne.
The Types Of Air Purifier To Buy For Office Cubicle
One to rule them all. Essentially, there are 7 common types of air purifiers on the market today for residential and office use. We did not include Ozone generators as they are dangerous and not recommended by the FDA, CARB, and other government agencies.
- HEPA air purifier - The most popular multi-filtration air purifier that cleans the air without releasing harmful byproducts. This should be your highest priority over the rest.
- Ionizer - Release millions of negative ions that merge with positive ions in the air, forming larger ion particles. The particles will gradually fall from the increased weight and adhere to the surface area or be captured by an air purifier.
- Electrostatic precipitator - Release ions to pull down airborne pollutants like an ionizer. The built-in electrical plate collector plate will pull in and capture the fallen particles, so they do now scatter all over the room.
- Ultraviolet UV cleaner - Emit safe UV-C rays to kill mold, bacteria, and viruses. The sterilized microorganism DNA will be damaged and incapable of multiplying.
- PCO air purifier - Through photocatalytic, the UV light with titanium dioxide sterilizes and accelerates the decomposition of biological pollutants.
- Ozonator - Avoid getting this one. It emits millions of hazardous ozone harmful to you instead of cleaning the air. Ozone splits O2 into a single atom and merges with other oxygen molecules to form O3.
A filter-based HEPA air purifier is our top pick without a shadow of a doubt. It is the most effective in removing all kinds of airborne contaminants in the office. Some air purifiers come with a combination of air cleaning technologies at a higher price tag and increase in bulkiness. There are also a variety of sizes and form factors found in each type of air purifier. Only go with a compact/ portable air purifier over a console/ floor type that will not fit your cubicle space.
Don’t worry too much about the air cleaning efficiency, as most fan-driven, compact HEPA air purifiers will have sufficient coverage to clean the air in your work area.
Below is the summary table of which types of air purifiers you should buy for your office cubicle.
|Types Of Air Purifiers||Safe For Office Use||Suitable For Work Cubicle|
|HEPA Air Purifier||YES||YES (TOP PICK)|
|UV Air Purifier||YES||BACKUP|
|PCO Air Purifier||YES||BACKUP|
How To Pick The Best Office Cubicle Air Purifier
The right air purifier can be your best work buddy, while the wrong one can drive you crazy. When you are choosing an air cleaner for an office cubicle, there are some pro tips to help you choose wisely:
- A 3-stage mechanical air purifier with a pre-filter, a true HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. Having the complete filter set ensures the air purifier can handle microscopic particles, smoke, and odors in the office. You can easily find a good one for less than 100 dollars.
- Avoid Ozone Generators. Do not be fooled by the false advertisement and compactness form factor. Ozone generators diffuse millions of harmful ozone, making it worse in an enclosed area like a cubicle. Exposure to even a low concentration ozone level can cause chest pain, throat irritation, dizziness, shortness of breath, and headaches. Continuous exposure can lead to lungs scarring and other irreparable lung diseases.
- Easy to use. An office air purifier must work straight out of the box with no complicated controls to worry about. It must be compatible with a standard U.S. wall outlet without using a transformer. The filter must also be easily accessible for quick replacement.
- Compact enough to fits a work desk. The air purifier must be small, portable, and occupy as little space as possible on your work desk. A tabletop/ desktop air purifier would fit the bill here, but a plug-in air purifier takes the cake. Its small presence will not compete with the limited table space against laptops, monitors, books, and files.
- Quiet operation under 30 decibels. Pink noise and white noise doesn’t gel well here. An office air purifier has to be virtually silent to avoid disturbing you and your other cubicles workmate. Fortunately, most desktop air purifiers are not loud when running at the lowest speed.
It is a known fact that American spends 87%-90% of their time indoors, yet the air quality can be up to 5 times worse than outdoor air. As we dedicated a large portion of our time stuck at the office cubicle, an air purifier will compensate for the poor air circulation with fresh air. You will be less likely to fall sick with constant clean air by your side. The only caveat with all this is that the air purifier has to be in tip-top condition to work. Make sure it is:
- Well-maintain with no clogging on the air inlet and outlet.
- The HEPA filter and carbon filter are replaced on time.
- There are 2-4 feet of space between the air purifier and cubicle wall.
- The air purifier is not under the desk or placed directly under a window.
- Leave it on 24x7 even when you are not in the offices.
Do Personal Air Purifiers Really Work?
Clean air is very important in our life as it affects how we breathe, eat, and sleep. A full-sized air purifier can help you achieve that, but so can a personal air purifier. Before we begin, let’s have a basic understanding of what we define as “personal”, functionality and the different types.
Personal air purifiers, AKA portable air purifiers or desktop air purifiers, do work in cleaning the air. A small device designed to circulate clean indoor air within the surrounding proximity. According to a study done by NCBI, personal HEPA air purifiers are able to significantly remove airborne SARS-CoV2 particles from the air. Through various techniques, it can improve the indoor air quality by removing airborne irritants, smoke, and odor substances as follow:
- Dust, hair, lint, fiber
- Allergens e.g. pet dander, pollen
- Toxins and chemicals e.g. cigarette smoke
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, formaldehyde, CO, CO2
- Biological pollutants e.g. dust mites, mold, mildew
- Germs, bacteria, viruses
The biggest advantage of personal air purifiers is the compact form factor. You can place it anywhere in the home e.g. on a table, cabinet, next to a cat litter box, or by the bedside to enjoy first-hand clean air. You can bring it along to work, in a car, a short getaway, or anywhere you could think of. Personal air purifiers are also very affordable, usually under 100 dollars, including a medical-grade H13 HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. You can easily buy multiple units and place one in each room.
There are a few disadvantages of personal air purifiers, starting with the small cleaning radius. It is only meant for a small room like an office cubicle or bedroom. For medium to large room sizes e.g. living hall, you will need a bigger air purifier with larger filters. The air filtering speed is slow and will struggle to clean the air in a heavily polluted environment due to the limited airflow delivery rate. The small filter size also reduces the number of pollutants the filter can capture before it is completely worn out.
Personal air purifiers come in various sizes and technologies. There are other 2 types of personal air purifiers in the market that has their fair share of controversy:
1. Wearable Personal Air Purifiers
As the name suggests, a wearable personal air purifier is a battery-powered device that you wear on your body or around a neck, like a necklace. Due to its wearable form factor, it relies on filterless ionization technology to clean the air, similar to plug-in air purifiers. The diffused negative ions will attach with positive ions particles in the air, resulting in the heavier particles falling and adhering to surface areas such as the wall, bed, cabinet, floor, and carpet.
A wearable air purifier is ineffective against airborne pollutants, given how small the device is. Technically, it never removes airborne pollutants in the room. There is a chance that the pollutants on the ground can be stirred back up in the air when disturbed. Ionization does generate ozone byproducts but at a safe and harmless concentration level, given the low output. One should never substitute a mask or a desktop air purifier with an ionizer necklace.
2. Desktop/ Personal Ionic Air Purifiers
The same ionization technology as a wearable, albeit more powerful with its large size. Ionic air purifiers require an electric socket to electrostatically charge and emit negative ions into the air. The negative ions will bond with positive ions particles, causing them to fall all over the room or be captured by a collector’s plate. An ionizer is not an ozone generator; both use different sets of technology.
An ionic air purifier is convenient to use as there is no filter to replace ever needed. It can bring down plenty of pollutants in the air but is still less effective compared with a HEPA air purifier. There is the same risk of the pollutants returning back in the air when disturbed. The ionic air purifier also produces an insignificant concentration level of ozone byproducts that is within the CARB safety limit. Given the stronger ionization output, It may cause coughing, headaches, breathing difficulty, chest tightness, and lungs irritation for those that are susceptible to ozone. Ozone can also cause secondary reactions when mixed with other harmful substances, such as formaldehyde, radon, VOCs.
Are Desktop Air Purifiers Safe?
A desktop air purifier that uses filtration like HEPA is safe for home. Despite its compact home factor, It will not produce harmful byproducts during purification. You can easily find desktop air purifiers that are AHAM and CARB certified to be ozone-safe.
Is It OK To Leave A Desktop Air Purifier On All Night?
Yes, it is OK to leave a desktop air purifier with a HEPA filter on all night during sleep. An air purifier must run non-stop 24 hours, 7 days a week, even when nobody is around, to maintain indoor air quality. When it is turned off, airborne particles will slowly build up and increase exposure risk. To ensure optimal air cleaning, remember to clean/ change the filter when it is time to do so.
How Much Energy Does A Desktop Air Purifier Use?
Given a desktop air purifier's small motor fan, It uses very little energy, between 10-30 watts. The monthly electric bill per unit will be estimated between $1-4, with the assumption of a daily 12 hours runtime. For comparison, desktop air purifiers' power consumption is about half of a large air purifier and around 6-10 times less than a refrigerator or air conditioner.
How To Use A Desktop Air Purifier Effectively?
There are a lot of limitations to using a small air purifier, particularly on the filtration part. To get the best out of this compact air cleaning device, one can practice a few simple steps to ensure optimal performance.
- Leave it on - An air purifier must be kept on to maintain indoor air quality and prevent the increase of airborne pollutants creeping in. You can run it efficiently at max speed at the initial hour, then set it to the lowest speed throughout the day.
- Change the filters - All filters, including HEPA and activated carbon found in an air purifier, need to change from time to time. Check the recommended usage lifespan or replace them when the filter indicator light is on.
- Never open windows with a running air purifier - Outdoor air will enter and forces the purified air out. You want the clean to remain circulating in the room.
- Place in the most polluted area with 2-4 feet of space - We do not want any obstacle that will impede the airflow distribution.
How Long Do Desktop Air Purifiers Last?
Even though desktop air purifiers are relatively cheap, they can last at least 5-6 years or longer with regular filter changes and proper maintenance. However, it also depends on the brand you are dealing with, usage hours, and indoor air quality. Due to the smaller filter size, most carbon pre-filters will last 3-6 months, while HEPA filters will last longer, between 6-12 months.
The Pros And Cons Of A Desktop Air Purifier
There are plenty of things to like about a desktop air purifier and a few that can hold you back. If you are confused if a small air purifier is right for you, here are the pros and cons of why it should be on your consideration list.
- Cheap - Undoubtedly the biggest perk with a small air cleaner. You are paying less than $100 for a full-ledge model with filters. That's even cheaper than a fancy dinner.
- Remove airborne pollutants - The desktop air purifier will capture all kinds of household pollutants. Without the pestering allergens in the air, you will be less lightly to fall sick from seasonal and viral infections.
- Guarantee clean air - Never underestimate the power of a small device. Your indoor air quality will significantly improve with just a few hours of runtime. You will live, work, and sleep better by breathing fresh air.
- Versatile - It is a known fact that smaller air purifiers require less maintenance and cleaning due to their compactness. It will fit nicely on a desktop, nightstand, office cubicle, or island table.
- Quiet operation - That is the advantage of owning a desktop air cleaner. It runs so quietly that you will not hear a sound even when it is close to you.
- Energy-efficient - Compact air purifiers are very cost-effective that consume less energy than conventional air purifiers. You can use it all day without feeling a pinch on your electrical bill.
- Recurring cost - Like every other air purifier, HEPA and carbon pre-filter need to change periodically. Fortunately, the cost is relatively affordable, under $80.
- Limited capacity - With the smaller motor fan and filter, compact air purifiers can only remove nearby pollutants. It is not suitable for a large room. Some filters are also less effective against ultrafine particles and smoke due to the inferior filter.
- Less features - With the price and size constraint, something has to give in. Most models lack autonomous operational mode; some even use manual filter check indicator that is downright inconvenient.
By now you should be amazed at what a small air purifier can do to improve indoor air. After reviewing so many different compact air purifiers in the market, our budget pick is still hOmeLabs Purely HME020248N without a shadow of a doubt. For the best performance, consider getting Medify MA-15 or the perfectly balanced Tredy TD-1500 air purifier. If you are still at an exploring stage, why not visit our best large air purifier page and see models at the other end of the spectrum.
Compare Best Air Purifier For Desk
|No||Image||Air Purifier||Online Price (Amazon)||Score||Filtration||Coverage||Fan |
|Dimension||Weight||Dust CADR||Pollen CADR||Smoke CADR||Pre-filter||HEPA filter||Carbon filter||Ionizer||UV light||Other filter||All-in-one filter||Noise level||Power output||Timer/ Scheduler||Sensors||Warranty||Auto mode||Remote control||Child lock||ENERGY STAR||Wi-Fi/ BTBluetooth||AQI||Filter indicator|
|1||hOmeLabs HME020248N Purely Air Purifier|
|3.6||3-stage||80 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)|
H13 True HEPA filter
Activated Carbon filter
hOmeLabs HME020248N Replacement Filter
|≤50 dB||2 years|
|2||TREDY TD-1500 Air Purifier|
|4||4-stage||200 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)|
6 - 8 months
H13 True HEPA filter
6 - 8 months
Activated Carbon Filter
6 - 8 months
6 - 8 months
TD-1500 Replacement cartridge
6 - 8 months+- 29
|28 dB||2, 4, 8 Hours||1 year|
|3||Medify Air MA-15 Air Purifier|
|3.9||4-stage||330 sq. ft. (31 m2)||3|
9.7 x 15.5 x 9.7 in
(24.6 x 39.4 x 24.6 cm)
|6.6 lb (3 kg)||88 cfm (150 m3/h)||88 cfm (150 m3/h)||88 cfm (150 m3/h)|
3 - 4 months
2x HEPA H13 filters
3 - 4 months
2x Activated Carbon Filters
3 - 4 months
MA-15 Replacement Filter Set
3 - 4 months
|35-51 dBA||18 W||0-8 hours||Lifetime|
|4||GermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier|
|3.5||4-stage||78 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)|
6 - 9 months
6 - 9 months
LB4100 UV-C Light
10 - 12 months14.99
FLT4100 Filter-E HEPA
6 - 9 months
|5||PARTU BS-03 Air Purifier|
|3.8||3-stage||107 sq. ft. (10 m2)||3|
9.6 x 17 x 9.6 in
(24.4 x 43.2 x 24.4 cm)
|3.2 lb (1.5 kg)|
3 - 6 months
True HEPA filter
3 - 6 months
Activated Carbon filter
3 - 6 months
PARTU BS-03 Replacement Filter
|38-59 dB||12 W||2 years|
|6||Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier|
|3.5||3-stage||140 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/A||N/A||N/A|
carbon zeolite filters (2 pack)