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Winter is coming, and germs from the common cold, flu, and other diseases will become more common. That problem is compounded by the fact that you’re not going to be letting as much fresh air into your home because it’s too cold.
If you’d like to take a proactive approach to keeping the air inside your home cleaner, we recommend getting an air purifier. This appliance uses a fan to suck air inside, then runs it through a filtration system before blowing it back out into your home. Air purifiers can catch germs, dust, or dirt that’s floating through your home, and even reduce the potency of unwanted odors like, smoke.
We’ve rounded up the best air purifiers available for under $100, and made sure to choose models that had a HEPA filtration system.
What Is A HEPA Filter?
HEPA (high-efficiency particle air) filters are a fine mesh filter that traps unwanted particles to keep your air clean. These filters generally have to be changed every six months, and some air purifiers have indicator lights that tell you when it’s time for them to be changed. If you live in an area where the air quality is particularly low, you should keep spare filter on hand, and change them more frequently.
One thing to keep in mind is that the coronavirus pandemic and wildfires on the West Coast has led to a number of people stocking up on air purifiers to keep their spaces safe. Keep in mind that while an air purifier can help filter out germs and clean the air, it won’t completely prevent the spread of viruses. You’ll still want to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tips for how to protect yourself.
What Are the Best HEPA Air Purifiers Under $100?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right HEPA air purifier under $100 for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Physical size and coverage area: Air purifiers come in a range of sizes, but these less expensive models are all under a foot and a half (18 inches) tall. An air purifier’s size and power will determine how big of a space it can cover, so the ones in this guide are best suited for a single bedroom. If you want an air purifier for a larger room, these are our recommendations.
Particle size: Air particles — both good and bad — are measured in microns. The CDC says the most harmful air particles are between .9 and .3 microns because they can get through the human body’s natural defense system to damage your lungs, or get in your blood.
We made sure that all of our air purifiers can filter out particles as low as .3 microns, so you don’t have to worry. These air purifiers help rid your space of everything from smoke to pollen to dust mites, and even smaller particles you may not be aware of.
1. BEST OVERALL: Honeywell DH-HPA060
Honeywell has been a trusted name in appliances for 114 years, and its DH-HPA060 is the best air purifier we could find for under $100.
The purifier is 17.5-inches tall, and is rated to cover rooms up to 75 sq. ft. (square feet). Honeywell says its HEPA filter can capture up to 99.9% of spoke, pet dender, dust, pollen, mold spores, and bacteria.
This air purifier actually has two filters. The first is a “pre-filter” that’s specifically designed to capture odors, and needs to be changed every three months. The second is the HEPA filter, which Honeywell suggests changing once a year.
If you want cleaner air in a fairly small room, Honeywell’s DH-HPA060 is the right choice.
2. Entry Level: hOmeLabs H13 Air Purifier
HOmeLabs’ H13 Air Purifier is a great choice if you need one for an extremely small room.
At 12.8-inches tall it’s one of the smallest air purifiers in our guide, and hOmeLabs says it can work well in rooms up to 57.5 sq. ft. This air purifier has a three-part filtration system: a pre-filter for odors, the HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter that can absorb unwanted particles. HOmeLabs says the filters in its air purifiers can last for up to 2100 hours (87.5 days) of active use before then need to be changed.
This air purifier allows you to switch between three fan speeds, and has a night light mode, which is great if you’re using it in a kids room. It also has a child lock, so your kid won’t be able to open the top and stick their fingers in an active fan blade.
If its small coverage area isn’t a problem for you, hOmeLabs’ H13 Air Purifier is our top pick. Amazon is currently offering a $10 off coupon on its site, which also makes this the least expensive air purifier we’re recommending.
3. ULTRA PORTABLE: LEVOIT HEPA Air Purifier for Home
If you need an extremely small air purifier for your desk, LEVOIT’s HEPA Air Purifier gets our recommendation.
At 10.5-inches tall, it’s the shortest air purifier in our guide, but LEVOIT says you can use it in rooms up to 161 sq. ft. It’s got a four-piece filtration system: an activated carbon pre-filter, a HEPA filter, a membrane net, and a high-efficiency carbon filter. LEVOIT says this system can block up to 99.9% of airborne particles under .3 microns.
The company goes on to say you should change the carbon pre-filter every two to three months, and the HEPA filter every six to eight months.
You can switch between three fan speeds, which you can switch between by twisting a knob on the front of the air purifier. LEVOIT says this model will run at a super quiet 32dB (decibels) on its lowest setting. For reference, whispering is rated at 30dB.
3. PREMIUM PICK: Vremi True HEPA Air Purifier
A coupon on Amazon brings Vremi’s True HEPA Air Purifier below $100, but its high end features don’t get lost with the price cut.
This air purifier is 15.5-inches tall, and Vremi says its coverage area is 196.7 feet, which means you can use it in a mid-sized room if you’d like. It has a three-stage filtration system that includes a large particle filter, true HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter. Vremi says its filters can last up to 4320 hours (180 days) before being replaced.
This air purifier has three fan speeds, which you can control by pushing buttons on the top of the unit, and generates just 28dB of sound when set on low. Its standout feature is its built-in air quality monitor, which will update in real time. If the air quality is bad, you’ll know to leave the air purifier on at a high setting; if it’s good, you may only need to use its low setting for maintenance.
If you’d like an air purifier that lets you know when you really need to use it, or want a small one that can cover a larger area, Vermi’s True HEPA Air Purifier gets our recommendation.