filter vs filterless air purifiers

One of the most daunting tasks you will face when it comes to improving your air quality using an air purifier is finding one that actually works. There are a lot of devices out there and whether you get one in store or online the only way to really know if an air purifier works for you is to try it in your home for a couple of days or weeks.

Of the many devices you will find, most are just a bunch of expensive boxes with an air blowing fan in the middle. That said, there is no perfect device as even the best devices have their shortcomings. If its not a problem with the technology, or features, you might face problems from a support and customer service perspective.  

Based on my experience and research of all the possible problems you can face when deciding which air purifier to get, below is my selection of air purifiers that I know will give you the best performance and the least trouble. I show you air purifiers that will stretch your budget over at least 3-5 years as they have reasonable maintenance costs.

The air purifiers that I found perform well are all suitable for use around children, the elderly and sick people. Among other pollutants, I show you air purifiers for,

  • Allergies
  • Asthma Relief
  • Dust
  • Mold and Mildew
  • Pet Dander, 
  • Hair
  • VOCs and Odors

In short, if you have no time to go over all the detail, you should try stick to the $100 - $500 price range for a small to normal room sized air purifier.  Any lower, you will get a device that will barely last a year and you'll be in for some disappointments.

Based on my comparison of numerous user reviews and product feature analyses, my recommendation for a good quality room air purifier at a reasonable price is the Enviroklenz Mobile Air System. The Enviroklenz air purifier is a robust machine that continues to consistently outperform comparable air purifiers when it comes to it's ability to quickly eliminate pollutants in your air. I was so shocked to see that it outperforms even the top ranking brands.

Though some air purifiers are better than others, a note to remember when you are looking for one is that the process can involve a lot of trial and error before you find a good device. This means that you should only get a device if you are sure you have a money back guarantee.

Many devices do have a guarantee and warranty, and rest assured all the ones I recommend here do if you get them from a reliable supplier. Accordingly, in the event that you try one and it does not work out for you, you can return it easily and try another option I have done the due diligence and to the best of my knowledge, if the device you get is in good condition and if you use it correctly, all the devices I suggest here work and will improve your indoor air quality.

Best Air Purifiers For Small to Medium Sized Rooms 

Here are the air purifiers I found work the best for small to medium sized rooms of up to 1000 square feet. To use these in a room that is larger than 1000 square feet you would have to get yourself multiple devices. If you have a larger room, I recommend you rather skip these and go for one of the ones I suggest for large rooms.

The Winix 5500 -2 Air Purifier

Winix  5500 - see it at AmazonThe Winix air purifier is extremely well priced for what it can get rid of from your air. You can get rid of both particulate matter and gases including odors (e.g. cigarette smoke) and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) as it contains a carbon filter in addition to the true-HEPA filter. What's more you can control this device from the comfort of your bed using a remote. 

The Winix 5500 does make a bit of noise when sucking air into its core on its highest speed but it has night mode speed which allows the device to run silently and continue to purify your air while you sleep. This purifier detects the level of pollution in your air and automatically adjusts itself when set on auto mode to increase its air re-circulation rate and clean your air faster if it gets more polluted. 

Its good for asthma relief, allergy sufferers, and if anyone in your home has multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). Most importantly it is safe for the babies room and also around pets. The main shortfall with the Winix 5500 is that its limited to rooms smaller than 360 sq ft.

It is effective for small to medium sized rooms but wont clean your air well in large rooms . In cases where you have a bigger room, you will need to get more than one of these air purifiers and run them concurrently. You also have to replace your filters every 6-12 months and replacing your filter will cost you anywhere from US$40-$65 per year.

The AeraMax 300 Air Purifier

AeraMax  300 - see it at Amazon: At almost double the price of the Winix 5500 the AeraMax 300 covers 600 sq. ft. which is much more room than the Winix. It also does a great job at cleaning your air removing both odor causing gases, and VOCs and particulate matter and comes highly recommended for allergy and asthma sufferers. It however has an ionizer feature but you can turn this off if anyone in your home suffers from ozone related allergies.

You will find the AeraMax has similar automation features as the Winix but unfortunately it does not have a remote control and you have to get up and walk to it whenever you need to adjust your settings. You also have to replace the carbon filter every 3 months as compared to 12 months for the Winix. That said the AeraMax is a sturdy device if you have a home with larger rooms (360 sq. ft. - 600 sq. ft.).

The Aprilaire 9550 Air Purifier

Aprilaire 9550 - see it at Amazon: This is a higher end device. If you want a device that just plainly does the job that it is intended to do then you will be happy with the Aprilaire. It does not have a remote like the Winix 5500 but has all the automated functions. Its filter cartridge needs to be replaced every 6 - 12 months and so it needs a little more maintenance and work than the Winix and it only covers 495 sq. ft. I would only go for the Aprilaire because its a robust no nonsense unit. Other than that, the Winix and AeraMax offer better value for money.

The Coway Airmega Air Purifier

Coway Airmega AP-2015E(G) 400S Smart Air Purifier -  see it at Amazon:  More justifiably on the higher end than the Aprilaire, the Coway Airmega can cover an area of up to 1500 sq. ft. This device can be controlled through your phone, and Alexa and links to an app on your phone where it tells you your air quality level.

Its as smart as air purifiers come these days. Its a beast of a machine but you will have problems if you have cats in your home as they seem to like sitting on top of the device and end up blocking its air vents. Nonetheless, its a purchase you won't regret among the higher end air purifiers.

The IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier

IQAir HealthPro Plus - see it at Amazon:  This is as good as HEPA air filters get in terms of the smallest size of pollutants a HEPA filter can capture. The IQAir HealthPro Plus hyper-HEPA filter can remove particulates that are as small as 0.003 microns compared to the 0.3 microns which other true-HEPA air purifiers commonly manage.

It's a big machine, the size of a medium sized table  and its suitable for rooms of up to 1200 sq. ft. This air purifier eliminates odors, gases and particulates. IQAir purifiers come with a remote control and also have automated operations. They are on the pricey side and you will normally find them priced at over US$500 but they do come with a 10 year warranty and it can take you anywhere from 18 months to 4 years before you need to replace your core filters.

This is another device that gets the job done and works well for its intended purpose. A common complaint I have however seen with IQAir purifiers when you initially use them is the smell they initially produce when you start using one. The smell occurs because of the carbon filter component called the V5 filter.

It collects impurities in the air even while its packaged and this results in a bad smell when you first turn it on for the first couple of weeks. The problem happens to the unlucky few. To fix the smell problem if it happens to you, you just need to replace this filter with a new one.

You can get a refund for the price of the V5 filter at Amazon if your air purifier comes with a smelly V5 filter. Go for the IQAir Health Pro Plus (available at Amazon) if you want one of the best HEPA filters you can currently get on the market. This air purifier is very ideal for a medium to large sized room but it will be overkill for a small room.

The Enviroklenz Mobile Air System Air Purifier

EnviroKlenz air purifierThis air purifier definitely does not qualify for a beauty contest. It is plain ugly. But do not be fooled by its looks.  It greatly compensates for its looks through its performance. I was shocked to see from various independent user tests that the Enviroklenz actually beats top ranking air purifiers like the IQAir and Blueair air purifiers when it comes to cleaning the air. 

Under the same pollution levels and over the same time period, the Enviroklenz has been shown to consistently get rid of more air pollutants than its counterparts.  Though it only filters air particles down to 0.3 microns in size, this purifier does an awesome job with VOCs, Odors, and other dangerous airborne chemicals and does surprisingly well for solid particulate matter too. The Enviroklenz's secret lies in the design of its  filtration system.

Most air purifiers with an activated carbon filter, eventually off-gas once the filter is full because they simply absorb gasses and store them instead of destroying them. However, the Enviroklenz has an activated carbon filter that does not just absorb chemicals and odors but reacts with them and neutralizes them so they don’t return into the air. This air purifier also uses much less carbon to achieve the same or better results than other air purifiers. 

What’s more, if you are also worried about germs, bacteria, and viruses in the air, you can get a model this air purifier that comes with a UV light that irradiates and destroys such organisms. The UV light also destroys any organisms like mold that may grow on your HEPA filter, ensuring your device does not end up causing a recontamination of your air accordingly.

Maintaining this air purifier is simple compared to most air purifiers. You simply wipe it, and to replace its filters, you open, remove and then reinsert new cartridges with no need for any tools. The downside of the Enviroklenz, however, is that it is limited to a room size of up to 1000 square feet.

If you have a space that’s approaching 2000 square feet then you might consider getting two of these air purifiers. The other downside with this purifier is that its HEPA filter only filters air up to 0.3 microns.

There are purifiers with Hospital Grade HEPA filters like the IQAir that go as low as 0.003 microns. Regardless, based on multiple independent tests the Enviroklenz is still a top performer compared to other air purifiers in its league.  Chances of getting disappointed with this air purifier's performance are low and its well worth the its cost.

Best Air Purifiers for Large Rooms Over 1000 Square Feet

If you are looking for air purifiers for a large room, I found the range of air purifiers from the brands I recommend below to be the most reliable. These larger air purifiers are harder to find on Amazon and usually you have to communicate directly with the manufacturer to be directed to a supplier within your area.

The Surgically Clean Air CASCADE Air Purifier

Surgically Clean Air Cascade: This air purifier is designed for high volume air flow capacity.  It can clean air effectively in a space of up to 3000 sq. ft. at an amazingly low sound level. The cascade is largely marketed for commercial use and the healthcare industry but can be safely used in a household that has extra large rooms that need improvement in their air quality.

My only issue with this air purifier is its size. It is bulky and weighs a whopping 70kgs (154lbs). Its not something you can easily move around. Regardless, this air purifier is among the few large air purifiers with built in smart features. It has an autonomous feature and a touch screen control panel.

The Cascade has a six stage filtration system that eliminates air pollutants including dust particles, pollen, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), mold, allergens, viruses, odors (like formaldehyde and smoke), bio-aerosols, nitrous oxide, and many others. 

It also has a  negative ion generator that does not clean the air but rather reenergizes it and makes indoor air feel more pure, while helping you combat fatigue. What's also great is that most of its filters are washable and do not need replacing. The Cascade is my first choice for a large room air purifier.

The Amaircare Air Purifier

Amaircare: When it comes to large area coverage,  Amaircare purifiers are among the most reliable you'll find. They offer large area coverage without sacrificing on your air exchange rate (ACH) and filtration ability. One device can clean air in rooms as big as 4000 sq. ft. removing both gas and solid particulate pollutants.  

The only problem is that Amaircare air purifiers get quite big and you have to drag them around on a mini cart if you want to move them across your house. The price tag on these devices is also quite insane ranging up to about US$3000 for their largest air purifier. They are also very limited in terms of smart features. Regardless these air purifiers are really robust if you want to do some heavy duty air cleaning in your home. You can check out their full range here.

An Unconventional Air Purifier Worth Considering

The Airocide Air Purifier

Airocide Air Purifier - see it at Amazon I am yet to have a real life experience with the Airocide air purifier but I have heard good things about it and I will definitely give it a try soon. The Airocide air purifier uses the PCO air purification method which gets rid of the finest particulates and smallest of gas molecules compared to other air purification technologies.

Unlike HEPA filter and the usual filter type air purifiers, it actually burns and destroys pollutants. It is also quite low maintenance as you only have to replace its reaction chamber (the part responsible for cleaning your air)  every 1-3 years depending on how often you use it and how polluted your home's air is.

There is lots of controversy on whether the Airocide air purifier works but I am one of the souls whose been sold on this purifier as I believe the manufacturer is onto something here. Furthermore the company that makes this air purifier is highly recognized for successfully using this exact technology for air purification in hospitals, food manufacturing and other industrial processes that require clean air. 

The Airocide air purifier covers up to 3000 sq. ft. and is one of the few air purifier that can clean air across rooms if doors are left open across your home. It does get a little noisy when its working hard but the sound can be soothing like white noise.

Another issue people have with the Airocide is that it does not get rid of visible solid air particulates very well when such pollutants are in abundance in the air. If you go for this device, the advice is to run it for a month and see if there is any change in your air quality.

If you are not happy you can return it within 60 days from the time you purchased it. This air purifier destroys virtually all pollutants irrespective of your rooms' size and this is the main reason I would go for it over  HEPA and activated carbon type air purifiers I recommended earlier. You can  check out the Airocide air purifier here at Amazon.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to say stick to the Winix  air purifier if the room's you need to clean air in are smaller than 360 sq. ft. As your room sizes increase you can then choose between the other air purifiers accordingly and eventually settle for the Airocide air purifier for the largest of rooms.

I would however only go with the Airocide if the main pollutants in my air are gaseous and organic rather than solid particles. For heavy duty solid particulate air cleaning in large rooms I would go for either the Surgically Clean Air Cascade air purifier or something from Amaircare instead of the Airocide air purifier. However, my first choice in this case is the CASCADE due to Surgically Clean Air's superior technology.

Choosing between the HEPA air purifiers for a medium to large sized room, based on price I would go with the Enviroklenz or Airmega air purifier over the IQAir HealthPro.  Between the Enviroklenz and the Coway Airmega, I would choose the Airmega because of its smart features but when it comes down to which one cleans the air better I would go for the Enviroklenz.

If I am not budget constrained, I would go for the Enviroklenz due to its superior overall performance compared to the IQAir. However, the IQAir wins when it comes to getting rid of certain gaseous air pollutants because you can switch its carbon filters to tackle other specific gases. The Enviroklenz air purifier cannot do this as efficiently as the IQAir does and its only for this reason I would pick an IQAir air purifier over the Enviroklenz air purifier. 

Another thing to remember is that the Enviroklenz air purifier only filters particulates down to 0.3 microns while the IQAir filters particulates down to 0.01 microns. However, independent testing by various people showed that though the IQAir could filter much smaller particulates, the Enviroklenz still outperformed it. The Enviroklenz is consistently able to make the air much cleaner than the IQAir over the same time period. Watch the video below for more details.

Ultimately if I could only pick one out of all the air purifiers I have listed here, I would choose the Enviroklenz air purifier because it generally cleans the air the best of all the HEPA air purifiers and its so much easier to keep running than the Airocide air purifier. Compared to the Airocide, its replacement parts are just so much more accessible.