What can a cheap air purifier do?
“Cheap” is a very loose term that would have a whole new interpretation for different set of people. Let it be an air purifier under 200, 100, 50 or a heavily discounted model, there a lot of things a budget air cleaner can do but most importantly, it can provide clean air despite having an inexpensive price. The key differences between real cheap (cheaply built) and price cheap (affordable/ entry-level) are cheap air purifier can perform its air cleaning duty reasonably well, as long it is within its purifying capacities. If you look carefully, the top-selling model currently on-sale is typically in the affordable price range that provides exceptional value to its user.
How do we measure?
Who is this for?People with very little budget to begin with regardless if they are suffering from allergies, infant or children with developing immune system, elderly or recovering patient with a weakened immune system. Next in line is a person that stays alone, pet owner or small family staying in a small house. A person new to air cleaner world that would like to give the air cleaner a try before investing in a bigger unit. A person that needs clean air or a secondary unit to complement on its primary unit.
Best Cheap Air Purifier 2019
The middle child between Honeywell HPA300 and HPA100, Honeywell HPA200 might be a shadow to HPA300, it has a cheaper price point yet somehow manage to retain most of its airflow performance prove to be the vital point in securing this spot. Whats make this affordable air purifier tick is the strong CADR return, plus ample of airflow output that on paper would cover most household bedroom or even living hall. Supporting the above average airflow performance is a 3-stage filtration like most air cleaners in the market. The first line carbon pre-filter would trap large particles, smoke, and odors, follow by the highly efficient, genuine HEPA filter that would eliminate heaps of household contaminants not capture by the pre-filter. Overall great value given its filtration quality.The downside of Honeywell HPA200? It lacks modern features support like auto mode to further enhance the value of this air purifying machine. Annual filter replacement cost is also not the lowest but still acceptable. If features are important to you, the next best cheap air purifier in the list would definitely suit you better.
- Low in price with reasonable purifying coverage and CADR.
- 4 highly adjustable fanspeed.
- Carbon pre-filter that is good against dust and gas/ odors.
- Effective True-HEPA filter against micron size airborne particles.
- Optional Light dimming mode.
- 3 selectable pre-set timer.
- 5 years warranty.
- Lacks the highly useful Auto mode and air quality display/ indicator.
- Not the cheapest in filter replacement cost.
Rather than picking Winix 5500-2 as our best cheap air purifier winner, Winix 5300-2 rightly earn this spot as it is slightly cheaper (still better than none), with identical design, features, and airflow delivery rate. It also comes standard with air quality indicator, built-in sensor and the highly practical auto/ sleep mode. On to filtration side, Winix 5300-2 is well-supported by a 4-stage filtration including the must-have True HEPA filter, and odor absorbing carbon filter. The result: remarkable handling of large particles, allergens, cigarette smoke, cooking gases, and odors. Adding Plasmawave into the equation, you have yourself a very powerful yet inexpensive air cleaner at a compelling price tag.On the negative aspects, picking Winix 5300-2 over the slightly costlier 5500-2 means you have to forego remote control and dedicated advanced carbon filter. The CADR and purifying coverage are certainly not on par with the value of the features it brings. Last nitpicking point, Winix 5300-2 console body size is also far from compact. Speaking of size, the next affordable air purifier is probably the better choice if you have very limited room space.
- For less than 150 (or maybe even lower) online discount, Winix 5300-2 has excellent specification that matches air purifier 2-3 times of its price.
- Decent CADR and airflow output to support its 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration.
- Washable pre-filter that will filter out large particles thus reduce unnecessarily obstruction on the True HEPA filter and carbon filter.
- Outstanding True-HEPA filter that has no problem trapping microscopic allergens like germ and bacteria.
- Auto mode works great alongside the four speed while Sleep mode is very useful if Winix 5300-2 is placed in bedroom.
- Built-in timer with 3 pre-set setting (1, 4, 8 hours).
- Extended 2 years warranty (Winix 5300 only comes with 1).
- The odor absorbing carbon filter is less effective than AOC carbon filter found in Winix 5500-2. You'll also get remote control as standard with a little bit of top up.
- Hassle and requires quarterly filter change on the deodorization carbon filters.
- Either Auto mode or odor sensor does not react quickly to nearby irritants particularly smoke. Not a big deal as the air purifier sensor will catch on sooner or later.
GermGuardian AC5250PT is an affordable, 5-stage tower air cleaner that offers comprehensive protection against dust, allergen, and odor. It is also the only pet air cleaner that comes with Pet Pure treatment aka antimicrobial which inhibits microorganisms growth. Complete with a dual function charcoal pre-filter, reliable HEPA filter, and germs, bacteria and viruses eliminator UV-C light. There is no better filtration package you could get at this price range.Understandably not the cheapest given its features and 5-stage filtration, GermGuardian AC5250PT airflow performance and CADR has to take a dip to do with its tower form body. As a result, it can only support smaller room size with its limited purifying radius. If you want something that is dirt cheap and doesn't mind the small purifying radius, see the next budget air purifier.
- Affordable price for a HEPA tower purifier which cost less than half of other competitors is offering.
- Complete 4-stage filtration with UV-light and 5 fanspeed.
- Effective True HEPA with Pet Pure that inhibit the growth of mold, mildew and odor-causing bacteria.
- Proven UV-C light that would assist in eliminating airborne germs and bacteria.
- Comes with practical features such as timer, filter replacement indicator and digital display.
- UV function can be deactivated via a button.
- 5 years manufacturer warranty.
- Limited purifying coverage together with average airflow delivery rate.
- Annual filter replacement cost (with Pet Pure filter C) around the size of a brand new unit.
- Lacks air quality sensors and Auto mode.
- Uses combine Charcoal pre-filter rather than dedicated carbon filter.
- Troublesome filter reset alert that requires small object like paperclip to click and reset the button.
The smallest and cheapest air purifier under 100 (or under 50 after discount). GermGuardian AC4100 might not be the new kid on the block, it still somehow manages to squeeze in a 3-in-1 system filtration within its compact body. The portable design allows this cheap HEPA air cleaner to be placed at any desired location including top shelf, cabinet or desk. Going back to the air cleaner filtration, you’ll get standard HEPA filter (must have), charcoal + PCO filter and UV-C light (Yes, UV-C light) that would capture dust, household allergens and odors with ease, with the condition it's within the purifying radius.The last sentence highlighted GermGuardian AC4100 limitation. It might be one of the best cheap air purifier, the small body means you have to take on a very small purifying coverage, below average CADR score and limited functionality. Still, we will give it a pass given its cheap selling price than cost no more than half of some air cleaners' filter.
- Beautiful speaker-like body that is compact yet reliable.
- Affordable price for a 4-stage filtration air purifier with UV technology.
- Enhanced Charcoal + PCO Pre-filter that works well with HEPA filter.
- UV-C light technology that can be turn off.
- Filter replacement indicator.
- Below average purifying coverage and filtration strength.
- Annual filter replacement cost is high for its segment.
- No addon features although understandable given its size and price tag.
Need an air cleaner with lowest possible price as you don't have any cash to spare? In comes Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet air purifier 04384. Like GermGuardian AC4100, both air cleaners are cheap with many other similarities such as compactness, pet focus setup and low filter maintenance cost. Given the low base price and size constraint, Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04384 still comes bundled with 2 carbon zeolite filters that in our opinion, offers a better odor filtration than some of the best cheap air purifier here. Adding HEPA filter in the bag, Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04384 can handle large particles, allergens and odors pretty well if is within the limited purifying range.Like most compact and cheap air purifier, Hamilton Beach TrueAir suffer from the same lack of airflow circulation and distribution thus it is only limited to small room size. Also, there are two more similarly affordable air purifiers from Hamilton Beach TrueAir series you could also opt for. We pick this more expensive version simply for its enhanced odor filtration. If you are willing to give up on the carbon zeolite filters, no doubt the cheaper TrueAir version would suit you best.
- Very affordable price .
- Permanent HEPA grade filter that can be easily maintain with routine vacuuming.
- Compact and portable body.
- Versatile design where you can place the unit horizontally or vertically without ever affecting the airflow efficiency.
- Generally low noise output.
- Small airflow coverage with poor airflow delivery rate.
- Weak filtration (at only 3 micron) with gradual declining on the effectiveness of the permanent HEPA-filter .
- Ineffective against strong odor and chemicals.
- Plain vanilla unit with no features like timer, air quality status, Auto mode.
- Comes only with 1 year warranty (some basic unit offer up to 2).
A relatively uncommon brand lingering around a very competitive entry-level segment, PureZone 3-in-1 is one of the best value air purifiers in the Amazon market and is a phenomenon considering the number of emerging air cleaner brand. What makes it tick is the Holy Grail 3 filter that consists of a pre-filter, True HEPA filter, and charcoal layer. Removing large airborne contaminants like dust to the smaller allergens like mold plus smoke and odor would be a piece of cake. Bundled in the whisper-quiet operation, auto-off timer, UV-C light that destroy germs, bacteria, viruses, and a mid-range purifying radius, PureZone 3-in-1 still manage to keep the price down and is backed by a 5 years manufacturer warranty. A worthy inexpensive option especially to those new to air purifier scene.With all the loaded goodies, is no surprise that PureZone 3-in-1 has built its own fan base and rightly landed on our best cheap air purifier spot. One small problem though, the brand does not have another high-range model so if you plan to upgrade from the same stable line in the near future, you're out of luck.
- Affordable price tag with decent performance.
- Very cheap bundled annual filter replacement cost.
- Lightweight and compact framework.
- Effective 3-in-1 filtration including Pre-filter, Activated Carbon Filter and HEPA filter.
- 4-stage filtration including UV-C light.
- 3 preset timer mode.
- 5 years warranty to attentive customer support.
- No dimmer to disable the Blue LED light that beams up with lights off.
- Lacks Auto mode/ air quality indicator although expected at this price range.
- CADR is far from best but again expected at its price.
The phrase you paid what you get for is not applicable to Levoit LV-132. As one of the best cheap HEPA air purifier in the market (top seller in Amazon), it offers specification that is no easy pushover. Powering the machine is a generic 3-stage filtration set that includes a fine preliminary, mandatory HEPA filter and activated carbon filter. The combined effort would capture all airborne contaminants like dust mite, pet dander, pollen, mold, smoke, and odor. Adding the fact that this is the only model in our list that comes with adjustable nightlight feature, Levoit LV-132 will give you the extra edge if you have toddler or young kids that need a comforting sleeping light.The slight damper to Levoit LV-132 extraordinary value is the higher selling price compare with most entry-level air purifier. You are basically paying extra for the features as the air cleaner offers no significant differences in airflow performance and filtration. Another nit-picking point, Levoit LV-132 2 years warranty is assuring, it is incomparable to some low-price air cleaners that offer 5 years warranty. Again, this is the only cheap air purifier that comes with the deal clincher nightlight.
- Cheap price tag.
- Very low filter replacement cost.
- 3-stage filtration that works without being compromised by the size.
- TrueHEPA filter performs well with the Activated carbon filter wrapped on it.
- Small and compact cylinder shape.
- Built in night light with 2 brightness setting.
- Thin Activated Carbon filter odor filtration that is far from great.
- Very small purifying coverage that barely cover a room.
- "Only" 2 years warranty (as oppose to model that offer 5).
- Plain on features other than 3 speed and night light.
🏆 Honorable mention
- Holmes has a wide rage of affordable air cleaners that you could also look into.
- Likewise Honeywell is in the market for quite sometimes where many older/ discontinued model could still work its magic.
📃 Previous holder
- GermGuardian AC4850PT
- Winix 5500-2
Best Cheap Air Purifier Comparison Table
|Air Purifier||Filtration||Coverage||Score||Online Price|
|Honeywell HPA200||3-stage||310 sq. ft. (29 m2)||8|
|Winix 5300-2||4-stage||360 sq. ft. (33 m2)||7.8|
|GermGuardian AC5250PT||5-stage||193 sq. ft. (18 m2)||7.5|
|GermGuardian AC4100||4-stage||60 sq. ft. (6 m2)||6.5|
|Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet 04384||3-stage||140 sq. ft. (13 m2)||5.9|
|PureZone 3-in-1||4-stage||200 sq. ft. (19 m2)||7.4|
|Levoit LV-H132||3-stage||129 sq. ft. (12 m2)||7.4|
Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
What is the best air purifier under 200?
There are no lack of options for air purifiers under 200 dollar to consider. Our goal remains the same, filtration first (with HEPA and Carbon filter), purifying coverage second, and usability third (AQ sensors, Auto mode, timer). With that, here is the complete list of air cleaner below 200 dollar.
Best air purifier under 200 2019
- Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave air purifier
- Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Allergen Remover (after discount)
- LEVOIT LV-PUR131 True HEPA Air Purifier (after discount)
- Holmes HAP759-NU True HEPA Air Cleaner
What is the best air purifier under 150?
There are quite a few options available for air purifier that cost less than 150 dollars. Our main priority would reserve for air cleaner that has the best filtration setup, follow by purifying range (room size) and features. All things consider, here is our pick of the bunch.
Best air purifier under 150 2019
- PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA air purifier
- GermGuardian AC5250PT True HEPA air purifier
- GermGuardian AC5300B True HEPA air purifier
- Winix 5300-2 PlasmaWave air purifier
What is the best air purifier under 100?
Not a whole lot of options as $100 would not even get you a decent speaker. We dig deep and tried our best to look for air cleaners that qualify and must equipped with HEPA or HEPA-type filter. So below is the finding of what we have concluded.
Best air purifier under 100 2019
- LEVOIT LV-H132
- LEVOIT LV-H126 with True HEPA Filter
- GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1 Desktop Air Purifier
- GermGuardian AC4150BLCA/ AC4150PCA Night-Night 4-in-1 Kids Room Air Purifier
- Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact 04384 Pet Allergen Reducing Air Cleaner with Permanent HEPA Filter
- Holmes HAP716-U True HEPA 3 Speed Tower Allergen Remover
- Holmes HAP600-U HEPA Compact Egg Air Purfier
What is the best air purifier under 50?
This is a really tough one as where is very few “super cheap” air cleaners to go with, let alone a good one. After comparing the available options airflow performance and filtration set , below are some of the best affordable air purifier if you have budget less than 50 dollar.
Best air purifier under 50 2019
- LEVOIT LV-H126 with True HEPA Filter (after discount)
- GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1 Desktop Air Purifier (after discount)
- Holmes AOR118B-U Arm & Hammer Odor Grabber and Air Cleaner
- Holmes HAP9240-NWU/ HAP9240F-NTUA Small Room 3-Speed HEPA Air Purifier
- Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact 04386 Allergen Reducing Air Cleaner with Permanent HEPA Filter
What to look for when buying a good and cheap air purifier.
First things first, understand your need and be specific about it. For example, I need a good and cheap air purifier to capture pet hair on my desk rather than I need a good air purifier for pet hair. Also, be realistic about what you can get within the low price and never compare with the top tier models. Ready? Here are the tips on how to choose a cheap air cleaner with the best possible value in return.
10 tips for choosing a cheap air purifier.
- Selling price and filter cost - While the selling price is the first thing to look at, compare the filter replacement cost with competitors’ air cleaner. Also, check how many years does it take for the filter price to stack up and match the selling price as the air cleaner.
- Size and weight - Not a critical factor but it’s worth taking note if you have a very specific dimension. Most cheap air purifier comes in a compact size so it will not occupied too much of your interior space.
- Airflow delivery rate and CADR - Try to find an air cleaner will the highest airflow or CADR output. The higher airflow delivery rate is, the swifter and more airborne particles will be push to the air cleaner.
- Room size - Corelate with the airflow delivery rate, majority of the entry-level air purifier is catered for small room size due to the relatively small purifying coverage. That doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze the best possible deal out of it.
- Pre-filter - A basic but important first-stage filtration. Regardless if is a permanent type or dual carbon pre-filter, this inexpensive filter is a must have in our book.
- HEPA filter - Perhaps the most important filter in the list. Most cheap air purifier here are price very closely to each other, a good HEPA filter whether in the form of True HEPA or HEPA type would really make a big differences.
- Carbon/ Odor deodorization filter - Like HEPA filter, odor removal carbon filter really gives an air cleaner the edge over the other air cleaner.
- UV-light/ Ionizer/ Other filters - Any additional filtration the budget air purifier can include is a welcome add on.
- Additional features - This include Auto mode, air quality sensors, timer, night light etc. Whatever features the air cleaner can fit in, we’ll take it.
- Branding reputation - It’s hard to find any air cleaner that offer more than 1-year warranty at this price range, so the brand reputation plays a big role. Do consider the service center location or details of the warranty if repair is indeed needed.