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 purifiers is finding one that 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 put it in your home for a couple of days or weeks.

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

So with my understanding and research of all the possible problems you can face when deciding which air purifier to get, below is my list of air purifiers that will give you the least trouble without breaking your bank. I show you air purifiers that will stretch your budget over at least 3-5 years with reasonable maintenance costs.

The air purifiers I found to perform well are all suitable for use around children, the elderly and sick people. 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.

Based on my comparison of numerous user reviews and product feature analyses, my recommendation for a good quality room air purifier within a reasonable price is the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier (click here to see it on Amazon). This Winix air purifier is good value for money.

A note to remember is that air purifiers 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 all the ones I recommend here do.

So if one does not work out for you, you can return it and try any of the others easily but rest assured for all the devices recommended here you won't have to do this. 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 Purifier for Small to Medium Sized Rooms

Winix  5500The 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 more than one device. 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.

AeraMax  300: 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).

Aprilaire 9550: 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.

Coway Airmega AP-2015E(G) 400S Smart Air Purifier:  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. Its a purchase you won't regret though, when it comes to higher end air purifiers.

IQair HealthPro Plus:  This is as good as HEPA air filters get in removing pollutants. The IQair HealthPro Plus hyper-HEPA filter can remove particulates that are as small as 0.003 microns compared to 0.1 microns which true-HEPA air purifiers can manage. Its a big machine, the size of a medium sized table  and its suitable for rooms of up to 1200 sq ft. It swallows both odors, gases and particulates and its a serious workhorse.

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 just performs and works 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 on Amazon if your air purifier comes with a smelly V5 filter. I would go for the IQair Health Pro Plus if I want the best air quality a HEPA filter can currently provide in a medium to large sized room.

Best Air Purifiers for Large Rooms Over 1500 Sq Ft

Amaircare: When it comes to area coverage, the best air purifiers I have seen are Amaircare purifiers. They offer great coverage without sacrificing on  their  air change rate per hour (ACH) and what they can filter out of the air in your home. 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 devices. They are also very limited in terms of smart features. Regardless they are solid devices if you want to do some heavy duty air cleaning in your home.

Best Overall Air Purifier

Airocide Air Purifier 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. 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 on Amazon

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.

If you are choosing the between the HEPA air purifiers for a larger room, based on price I would go with the Airmega over the IQair Health Pro purifier. However, if all you care about is getting rid of as many pollutants as possible in the best way possible  from your indoor air, then you best go for the IQ Air air purifier.