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A lot of the conversations surrounding air pollution revolves around the outdoors, but given that the average person spends 93 percent of their lives indoors, the quality of the air inside is just as, if not more so, important. In fact, the air inside can be five-times more polluted than the air outside thanks to the lack of circulation in a lot of indoor spaces. If left unchecked, a lot of the pollutants hiding in the air can have damaging effects on our health, from agitating those who suffer from allergies or asthma to provoking respiratory infections. As many of us continue working remotely, or return to their offices, settle into their dorm rooms, etc. it’s important to invest in a good portable air purifier.
Portable Air Purifiers: How They Work, Are They Effective?
The best portable air purifiers help to remove dangerous particles from the air that could affect your breathing and health. It works by using a fan that sucks in the air, where it passes through a filter that traps the pollutants before the air is expelled back into the room. The filter allows clean air to circulate freely throughout the room, as opposed to stale air. An improvement in air quality not only leads to overall better health, but can also improve the quality of your sleep if you keep an air purifier in your bedroom.
What Are the Best Portable Air Purifiers?
We looked at the following criteria when assessing our list of the best portable air purifiers to buy online.
Type of Air Filter: Different types of air purifiers use different types of filters. For example, there are high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that remove particles like dust and pollen from the air. But there are also carbon-based filters that eliminate odors, but aren’t as adept at removing particles.
Size: There are plenty of air purifiers that are compact enough for a desk, or can be easily transported to your office or dorm room. The best portable air purifiers won’t take up a lot of space and are lightweight enough to be moved around from room to room. Make sure you also check how many square feet your potential air purifier can handle when you’re making your decision though about which portable air purifier to buy.
Clean Air Delivery Rate: This sort of goes hand in hand with size. The clean air delivery rate (CADR) is an important metric to measure when evaluating if an air purifier is right for you. This determines not only how many particles the air purifier can reach, but how many square feet as well. Sticking with the HEPA filter, these can tackle dust and pollen while also eliminating much smaller particles like tobacco smoke.
Noise Level: This is important. Integrating an air purifier into your dorm room or office solves one problem, but shouldn’t create another. Your portable air purifier should improve the quality of your air without being a distraction and nuisance while you work and/or sleep.
Maintenance: Buying an air purifier is unfortunately not a one and done deal — you’ll need to replace the filter after a while to ensure it can continue expelling clean air.
1. KOIOS Air Purifier
I’ve had this air purifier for over a year now; I originally purchased it to help with my seasonal allergy symptoms flaring up, but have found it to be effective no matter what season it is. This is a compact, yet effective, HEPA air purifier that is also easy to use. Featuring 360° deep purification, this air purifier has three different modes, including a quiet setting that won’t disturb your sleep if you’d like to keep it running. I keep mine in my bedroom (which is where I also work during the day) on my nightstand; it’s so quiet, I can leave it on throughout the day while I’m on Zoom calls or composing emails without any distracting sounds. The filter only has to be replaced every six months and aren’t terribly expensive, so maintenance isn’t a draining hassle.
Bonus points: This air purifier is extremely environmentally friendly. With low power consumption (only 0.192 units of electricity), you can leave this running all day long and not have to worry about running up your electricity bill.
2. Pure Enrichment PureZone Portable Air Purifier
This air purifier is compact enough to take with you on the go, or keep on a small or cramped desk without eating up precious space. But don’t let its small size fool you — it doesn’t sacrifice efficiency for size. Featuring a two-stage air purification process, this purifier promises to eliminate up to 99.7 percent of contaminants, whether that be pollen, dust or foul odors. It’s also quiet enough to efficiently clean the air without drawing attention to itself, whether you happen to be using it on public transport, a study session or you just generally prefer to see, not hear, your air purifiers. The filter should be replaced every six months and is very inexpensive.
3. Holmes Desktop HEPA-Air Purifier
You’d be forgiven if you gave this a quick glance and mistook it for a clock or radio, but this air purifier’s slim design makes it suited perfectly for desks and other workspaces, whether you need it to sit horizontally or vertically to accommodate laptops or other belongings. Mold, smoke, bacteria, pet dander and other contaminants are no match for the powerful HEPA filter and ionizer duo, working in tandem to keep the air from being dirty and stale.
4. Molekule Mini Air Purifier
This mini air purifier by Molekule may be significantly more expensive than the others mentioned on our list, but that’s because it’s more powerful. By using a process known as Photochemical Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) nanotechnology to destroy contaminants in the air. In short, instead of trapping things like dust, mold and viruses, this air purifier actually destroys them.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to be Bill Nye the Science Guy to use this; in fact, this air purifier’s settings are extremely customizable. Though there are five pre-set speeds available, and you can automate settings to be even quieter or more powerful to match to your unique preferences. Everything, from the speed to the status of your filter, can be monitored from an app no matter where you happen to be at the time. There’s even a nifty wool felt handle that makes carrying and transporting this purifier a breeze.
5. Levoit H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
We recently featured this best-selling option on our list of the Best Air Purifiers for Smoke and Smog, but it’s just as adept at combatting everyday contaminants, such as allergens or viruses. For those looking for more power without a higher price tag, this is a perfect option. With a powerful three-stage filtration process and several filter options available, this air purifier promises to always meet your needs and give you the peace of mind that your air is contaminant free, freeing you from excessive sneezing and debilitating congestion. The sleek design allows you to keep this pretty much anywhere without being a nuisance, perfect for a desk or side table.