Best Value and Cheap Air Purifier that Actually Work (2017 EDITION)

The nature allergens as people would call it, pollen is a very fine powder produced by trees or plants which incidentally is one of the most common cause of allergies in United States. In this best list post, we will look into the cause of an allergy, the many symptoms, who is this for and what can be done. What is in our considering list is the air purifier pollen CADR figures (if available), its HEPA filter effectiveness against mold, pollen, mildew, spores and room size coverage that the air purifier can support. At the end of the day, there is bound to be one pollen/ mold air purifier that would assist in alleviating your long-term allergies troubles.

What can a cheap air purifier do?

A lot of things and most essentially it can still provide clean air despite having a cheap price. The key differences between real cheap (cheaply built) and price cheap (affordable) is the possibility of a cheap air purifier performing reasonably well within its capability. What you will find below is the list of air purifiers that provide the best value without compromising too much on its cheap price range.

How do we measure?

Price Our criteria is simple. It has to fit in our "affordable/ cheap" price range yet it must comes with at least a genuine HEPA filter and carbon filter or pre-filter with deodorization feature. In other words, we want the air purifier to provide the best value by squeezing out as much features as possible.
HEPA filter 99.99% of air purifiers has no issue handling large particles mainly dust however, on micron size allergens is another topic as not all air purifier comes with HEPA filter let alone a workable one. What we want from the air purifier is to bundle with a HEPA filter that is capable of filtering our tiny, micron size particles lingering around the house.
Carbon filter Most cheap, entry-level air purifiers in this category does not comes with a carbon filter due to price constraint. That simply would not work for us as odor contaminants is equally as common as other allergens. Our criteria is simple. No carbon filter/ deodorization pre-filter, no featured.

Who is this for?

People with allergies, infant, children, elderly that has a weaker immune system or pet owners with very little budget to begin with. Person staying alone, owns a studio unit or small family staying in a small house. A person new to air purifier that would like to give it try before investing on a bigger unit. A person that needs a secondary unit to complement on its primarily unit and finally anyone that needs clean air.
For a complete and well-rounded HEPA air purifier list, please visit Best HEPA Air Purifiers for Home.

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pre-filter
With
HRF-AP1 Filter A Carbon Pre-filter
HEPA filter
With
HRF-R2 Filter R True HEPA (2 pack)

The middle child between Honeywell HPA300 and HPA100,  Honeywell HPA200 might be a shadow to HPA300 in our best list pick, its cheaper price point prove to be the vital point in securing this spot. Whats make this affordable machine tick is the strong CADR return with ample of airflow output that would cover most household bedroom or even living hall. Supporting the exceptional performance is a 3 stage filtration that consist of a carbon pre filter that trap large particle and odor plus a highly efficient HEPA filter that would eliminate heaps of household contaminants.

The downside of Honeywell HPA200? It lack any modern features such as auto mode that would further enhance the value of the air purifier. Annual filter replacement cost is also not the lowest but still acceptable. If features is important to you, the next item would definitely suit you better.
Retail suggested cost*
+- 229.95
Annual filter cost^
+- 93
Check price on Amazon
pre-filter
With
Odor control carbon pre-filter
HEPA filter
With
True HEPA filter

Rather than Winix 5500-2, Winix 5300-2 rightly earn this spot as it is cheaper yet has very similar in design, features and airflow with only remote control and dedicated carbon filter to forego (uses dual carbon pre-filter instead). Comes standard with air quality indicator, built-in sensor and auto/ sleep mode, Winix 5300-2 is well-supported by a 4-stage filtration that is great at handling large particles, allergens and smoke/ gases. Adding Plasmawave into the equation, you have yourself a very powerful air purifier at a compelling price tag.

On the negative aspects, the CADR and purifying coverage is not on par with the features value it brings. Its console body size is also far from compact. Speaking of size, the next item is probably the better choice if you have very limited room space.
Retail suggested cost*
+- 199.99
Annual filter cost^
+- 80
Check price on Amazon
pre-filter
With
Charcoal pre-filter
HEPA filter
With
FLT5250PT Filter-C HEPA Pet Pure

GermGuardian AC5250PT is a affordable 5-stage tower air purifier that offers comprehensive protection against dust, allergen and odor. It is also the only pet air purifier that comes with Pet Pure treatment aka antimicrobial which inhibit microorganisms growth such as bacteria and viruses. Complete with a dual function charcoal pre-filter, reliable HEPA filter and extra cover UV-C light that would eradicate any germs, bacteria and viruses, there is no better comprehensive filtration coverage you could get at this price range.

Understandably not the cheapest given the features and comprehensive filtration, GermGuardian AC5250PT airflow performance and CADR has to take a dip to do with the tower size compactness. As as result it can only support smaller room size with its limited purifying radius. If you want something that is dirt cheap and don't mind the small purifying radius, see the next item.
Retail suggested cost*
+- 159.99
Annual filter cost^
+- 53
Check price on Amazon
pre-filter
With
Charcoal Pre-filter
HEPA filter
With
HEPA filter

The smallest and cheapest air purifier in out list yet still manage to squeeze in a 3-in-1 system filtration, GermGuardian AC4100 compact design enable the air purifier flexibility to be placed at any place including top shelf, cabinet or desk. For such mere price,  you get standard HEPA filter, charcoal + PCO filter and UV-C light that would capture dust, household allergens and odors with ease so long its within the air purifier purifying radius.

And the last sentence clearly highlight GermGuardian AC4100 limitation. It has a very small purifying coverage, below average CADR score and limited functionality. Given its cheap selling price than cost no more than half of some air purifier filter, you paid what you get for.
Retail suggested cost*
+- 69.99
Annual filter cost^
+- 48
Check price on Amazon
pre-filter
With
Pre-filter
HEPA filter
With
HEPA-grade filter
carbon filter
With
carbon zeolite filters (2 pack)

An alternate to AC4100 is Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet air purifier 04384.  Both air purifiers has many similarity such as compact size, pet focus setup, very cheap base price,  plain on feature with the exception of filters built. Instead of the combined Charcoal + PCO filter from AC4100, Hamilton Beach 04384 comes bundled with 2 carbon zeolite filters that in our opinion, it offers a better odor filtration. Adding a HEPA filter in the bag, Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04384 can handle large particles, allergens and odors pretty well within its limited purifying range.

There are two more similar air purifiers from Hamilton Beach TrueAir series you could also opt for. We picked Hamilton Beach 04384 as it offers added odor filtration though at a higher cost. If you are willing to give up on the carbon zeolite filters, no doubt the cheaper TrueAir version would suit you best.
Retail suggested cost*
+- 79.99
Annual filter cost^
+- 10
Check price on Amazon
pre-filter
With
Pre-filter
HEPA filter
With
HEPA filter
carbon filter
With
Activated Carbon Filter

A pretty uncommon brand lingering around a very competitive market, at PureZone 3-in-1 is the only air purifier in its stable and is a phenomenal that it manage to be one of the best selling air purifier in Amazon. What makes it tick is the triple-layer filter that consist of a pre-filter, True HEPA and charcoal layer that traps large airborne contaminants, allergens and odors. Bundled in the whisper-quiet operation, auto-off timer, UV-C light that destroy germs, bacteria and viruses at medium range purifying radius, PureZone 3-in-1 still manage to keep the price down and is backed by a 5 years manufacturer warranty.

With all the loaded goodies, is no surprise that PureZone 3-in-1 has build its own fan base even though it does not have other higher range model if you plan to upgrade in the future.  At a slightly higher price, no doubt this would be a worthy option especially to those new to air purifier scene.
Retail suggested cost*
+- 139.99
Annual filter cost^
+- 40
Check price on Amazon
pre-filter
With
Fine Preliminary Filter
HEPA filter
With
True HEPA filter
carbon filter
With
Activated Carbon Filter

Also a not very common air purifier brand, Levoit LV-132 has an entry-level price tag yet it is no easy pushover as it comes standard with our mandatory 3-stage filtration. The filtration set includes a fine preliminary, HEPA and activated carbon filter that would capture contaminants and allergens such as dust mite, pet dander, pollen, mold and odor. Adding the fact that this is the only model in the list with nightlight feature (adjustable brightness), Levoit LV-132 will gives you the extra edge if you have kids.

Starting price is expectedly higher than most very basic model air purifier without having a significant boost in airflow performance and filtration. While the 2 years warranty is assuring, it is uncomparable to other models that offer 5 years warranty. Again the nightlight could be the deal clincher.
Retail suggested cost*
+- 149.99
Annual filter cost^
+- 40
Check price on Amazon

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