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Air Purifier Reviews

We've compiled manufacturers details and specifications to provide the most accurate air purifier review for 2015. This resource compiles a detailed summary of the methodology we used to rank and determine the best air purifiers available to consumers.

Consumers may navigate several hours of research before making a final air purifier purchase. Therefore, our air purifier review is designed to take much of the guess work and reduce research with a factual review based upon manufacturers data with side by side comparisons for the top 10 models. Like any appliance, a truly good and effective model is priced higher than big box models. An effective air purifier is an investment that will improve the indoor air quality of your home, shop, or workplace. Sadly, many consumers purchase a low end model with little effect to their air or find any solution with these lesser models. Our review includes respected air purifiers that have proven effectiveness and Room Size Where at Four Air Changes per Hour (10 points) support indoor air quality issues.

Select one of the top ten air purifier models below to see a detailed review of the machine.
#1  Rated #2 Rated
#3 Rated
#4 Rated
#5 Rated
#6 Rated
#7 Rated
#8  Rated #9  Rated #10  Rated
Blueair Air Purifier 603 & 650E Blueair 503 Air Purifier Coway Air Purifier Blueair 450E Air Purifier Winix Air Purifier Austin Air Healthmate Plus Austin Air BabyBreath Purifier Rabbit Air Purifier Blueair 203 Air Purifier Austin Air Allergy
Blueair 603E/650E Blueair 503 Coway AP-1512HH* Blueair 403/450E Winix Plasma Wave WAC63100 Austin Air Healthmate Plus Austin Air Baby's Breath Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-625-A Blueair 203 Austin Air Allergy Machine
61 out of  70 58 out of 70 55 out of 70 55 out of 70 52  out of 70 51  out of 70 50  out of 70 49 out of 70 48 out of 70 47 out of 70
See Review See Review See Review See Review See Review See Review See Review See Review See Review See Review

 

Room Size Where at Four Air Changes per Hour (10 points)

Air purifier manufacturers offer different room size ratings for prod Average Room Sizesucts based upon a variation of air change rates. Take Blueair for instance, they recommend a model that can accommodate five air changes per hour compared to Austin Air and IQAir's recommendation of a lower two air changes per hour at the recommended room size. This demonstrates the need for a standard methodology for arriving at an optimized room size.

To accommodate a true apples to apples comparison, we have developed a ranking system based upon four air changes per hour. This scenario levels the playing field for brands to compete on an equal basis.

Our methodology uses four air changes per hour as recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as the minimum number of air changes recommended for allergy and asthma sufferers.

Six air changes per hour are recommended for people with severe respiratory ailments. Keep in mind that demanding more air changes per hour will provide cleaner air but reduce the effective calculated room size rating.

Optimal Room Size for Four Air Changes Per Hour
Points Room area in square feet
10 > 1,000
9 900 - 999
8 800 - 899
7 700 - 799
6 600 - 699
5 500 - 599
4 400 - 499
3 300 - 399
2 200 - 299
1 0 - 199

To rank them, we used the hundreds digit of the optimized room size as the number of points awarded.

Equation

 

To determine this optimized room size, we first took the delivered air flow of the air purifier in cubic feet per minute, multiplied it by 60 to receive the delivered air flow in cubic feet per hour, and then divided by the volume of the room.

To further refine our formula, we set room height at 8 feet. For the average North American home, room height is 7 - 7/8 feet, but we rounded this to 8 feet in order to simplify the math. Additionally, the association of Home Appliance Manufactures also uses a room with an eight foot ceiling when conduction their CADR certification testing (more on that later. )

Thus, to obtain the optimum room size for each air purifier, we multiply the maximum airflow per minutes by fifteen and divide by eight.

Value per Square Foot Cleaned at Four air changes Per Hour (10 points)
Cost to Clean One Square Foot of Air at Changes Per Hour
Points Models Without Air Sensor Models with Air Sensor
10 $0.40 to $0.90 $0.40 to $1.00
9 $0.91 to $1.00 $1.01 to $1.10
8 $1.01 to $1.10 $1.11 to $1.20
7 $1.11 to $1.20 $1.21 to $1.30
6 $1.21 to $1.30 $1.31 to $1.40
5 $1.31 to $1.40 $1.41 to $1.50
4 $1.41 to $1.50 $1.51 to $1.60
3 $1.51 to $1.60 $1.61 to $1.70
2 $1.61 to $1.70 $1.71 to $1.80
1 Greater than $1.71 Greater than $1.81

In order to determine the best value, we calculated original investment in each model's retail price and what it equates to clean one square foot of air at the adjusted-size room.

To determine this value, we divide the price of the air purifier by this adjusted room size. This gives a dollar value per square foot.

Because some units are equipped with air quality sensors, we used a separate scale for these models.

Keep in mind that this score relates value per square foot cleaned to dollars and does not specify total area cleaned. For that number, see the category above. To see how well and air purifier is cleaning that area, see the category below.

Filter Performance (10 points)

This category compares the smallest particle size captured by an air filter. In order to receive a "5" in this category, the filter must be able to capture 99.97% of all airborne particles down to 0.3 micrometers (microns). This is the standard for a HEPA filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) set by the United States Department of Energy. The 0.3 micrometer size is the Most Penetrating Particle Size (MPPS), the most difficult size of particle to filter. Now, there is a popular misconception that an air particle filter functions like a sieve, where a fibrous filter is able to catch all particles above a certain size. Due to particle physics, however, it is actually easier for filters to capture air particles above 0.4 microns and smaller than 0.1 microns than it is to capture particles between 0.1 and 0.4 microns.

This phenomenon occurs due to the different methods of capturing particles. When a particle is following the air stream and the diameter of the particle is so large that it touches the edge of filter fiber, then particle sticks to the fiber in a process known as interception.

Internal impaction occurs when an air stream flows around a filter fiber, but the particle in the air stream flows around a filter fiber, but the particle in the air stream has too much mass and momentum to follow the air stream and strikes the filter fiber. This method works best for large mass particles and when the air is moving at higher velocities.

The final method, diffusion, occurs with particles typically smaller than 0.1 microns. These small particles are subject to a property called Brownian motion, i. e. the molecules collide with similarly sized molecules which send both in new directions.

Brownian motion makes particles of this size appear to move in a random zigzagging pattern until they move out of the air stream and into a filter fiber. Diffusion works best on small particles moving at low velocities.

Filter Efficiency Versus Particle Size

This leaves a sweet spot of particles that range from 0.1 to 0.4 microns that are difficult to filter because the particles are too small for effective interception and impaction but too large for effective diffusion. HEPA filters as certified by the U. S. Department of Energy are among the best filters on the market for capturing the particles in the Most Penetrating Particle Size range.

Micron Size Comparison Chart
Effectiveness of Air Filter
Points Efficiency of Air Particles Captured
10 HEPA standard plus 99.5% of particles down to . 003 microns
9 HEPA standard plus 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns
8 HEPA standard plus 95% of particles down to 0.1 microns
7 HEPA standard plus 90% of particles down to 0.1 microns
6 HEPA standard plus 90% of particles down to 0.2 microns
5 HEPA standard: 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns
4 99.9% of particles down to 0.3 microns
3 99.7% of particles down to 0.3 microns
2 99% of particles down to 0.3 microns
1 < 98.9% of particles down to 0.3 microns

As many particles in this range have a detrimental effect on your health, all filters to score above 5 on our chart must be able to at least meet the HEPA standard of 99.97% capture rate for particles at 0.3 microns Further efficiency above that standard awards higher points. Some air purifiers do not use true HEPA filters, but are able to deliver performance beyond the HEPA standard thanks to other technologies Blueair, for example, uses an electrostatic charge to trap ultra fine particles in the 0.1 to 0.4 micron range that otherwise might escape.

Clean Air Delivery Rate (5 points)

Considering that the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) testing and scope includes the hardest to capture particles size (MPPS - most penetrating particle size) while measuring Clean Air Delivery Rate, comfort can be given to the effectiveness and trust in Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings.

AHAM defines CADR as "the rate of contaminant reduction in the test chamber when the unit is turned on minus the rate of natural decay when the unit is not running, multiplied by the volume of the test chamber as measured in cubic feet. " AHAM tests all of the air purifiers in a standard 1008 ft3 testing chamber. AHAM is also very upfront that their test is only a measure of performance at removing airborne particles, specifically dust, pollen, and tobacco smoke. AHAM makes no claims that CADR measures the ability to remove gas or odor molecules.

AHAM Tests

Thus AHAM tests particle filtration for particles between 0.1 μm to 11 μm.

The tests are not designed to measure the performance of gas and odor elimination, which falls beyond the scope of the CADR test. Even the cigarette smoke test only measures the removal particles.

At this point, however, to adequately test for gas removal, it would be necessary to run a test to detect each specific chemical you wanted to measure, and there are literally thousands. The logistics of organizing such a testing regime is too cost-prohibitive.

There are concerns raised by the ASHRAE Environmental Health Committee about the way AHAM introduces pollutants into the test chamber.

AHAM fills the chamber until the desired concentration of pollutants is achieved, then the test begins and new pollutants are not introduced so that the effectiveness of the cleaning can be determined after a period of time.

The ASHRAE EHC rightly points out that the rooms of most households exchange air, providing a continuous source of pollutants. But for the purposes of measuring the effectiveness of a filter, the CADR test does provide a legitimate base point.

Despite these criticisms, no other test has been developed that can compare with the CADR test. Even though ASHRAE has put out a call for research into a new testing standard, they have yet to develop anything further.

CADR As Evaluated By AHAM in Relation To Marketed Room Size
Points Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
5 Maximum CADR for AHAM specified room sizes matches marketed room size
4 Two CADR values at AHAM specified room size match marketed room size, one CADR value does not match marketed room size
3 One CADR value at AHAM specified room size matches marketed room size, two CADR values do not match marketed room size
2 Does not list CADR values or lists CADR values, but not independently verified by AHAM
1 CADR values do not match marketed room size

In the meantime, the AHAM CADR test has been accepted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as a fair industry standard.

Due to very limited controversy surrounding the use of CADR, we limit the category to five points. CADR offers the industry's greatest merits and testing to date. Our methodology awards points based on how well the CADR scores match the recommended room size. If the CADR values are not listed or are not independently verified by AHAM, then the purifier receives only two points.

Filter Life span (5 points)
Plant Pollen Closeup

We award five points based upon the life span of the filters in the unit. The reason we award so few is that some top performing air purifiers go through air filters faster than their competitors because they are moving more air through their filters. Thus the filters are cleaning more air and filling up faster. It is hard to justify penalizing them for better performance.

It is important to never use an air purifier filter beyond its recommended life span. Doing so may void your warranty and , in some cases, cause your filter to release previously captured particles.
Filter Life span.
Points Months
5 > 36
4 24 - 36
3 12 - 23
2 6 - 11
1 < 6
 
Noise of Operation (10 points)

Because most air purifiers are designed to be run continuously, it is important that the operational noise does not prevent you from functioning normally. Our methodology ranks air purifiers based on the noise generated on the lowest speed.

Measuring noise levels is not as straight forward as it might seem. While it is possible to measure the vibrations and air compression generated by a "sound," loudness is largely a psychological perception, varying from person to person. Decibels are the standard measure of sound levels over a logarithmic scale. Thus, 70 decibels is ten times more intense than 60 decibels, but the human ear only perceives 70 decibels as being twice as loud as 60 decibels. Similarly, the human ear perceives 80 decibels as being only four times as loud as 60 decibels, despite the noise being 100.

To get the most out of a measure of sound levels, one should relate the sound levels to real-world examples. 0 dB is the threshold of human hearing, that is, the minimum sound level necessary for someone to recognize that a noise is occurring. 10 dB is barely audible, like someone breathing from the other side of a room. 20 dB is comparable to the sound of leaves rustling and 25 dB is about the sound level generated by someone whispering three feet away from you. 30 dB would represent the ambient noise in a quiet rural area, and 35 dB is about the minimum amount noise required to awaken someone from a light sleep. 40 dB is comparable to the ambient noise in a library. A conversation will typically range between 50 and 65 decibels depending on the setting (at home or in public). An office's ambient noise will usually register in the 60 dB range. 70 dB is typically the threshold where people begin to find a noise to be annoying, but it is also the level at which most people watch television or listen to the radio. Vacuum cleaners typically run at 70 dB. Prolonged exposure to noise levels at or above 80 dB can lead to possible hearing loss.

 

Decible Levels Air Purifier
Decibels at Quietest Settings
Points Decibels Generated
10 0 - 29
9 30 -39
8 10 - 49
7 50 - 59
6 60 - 64
5 65 - 69
4 70 - 74
3 75 - 80
2 81 - 90
1 > 90

One major problem with our methodology for rating air purifiers based upon noise falls in how we gather the information. While some ratings groups publish the results of independent noise tests, we would like to review more models than are covered under these annual tests. In the absence of universal testing, we use the numbers reported by the manufacturer.

We do have reservations with this method, however, because there is no standard industry methodology for recording the sound levels produced by air purifiers.

In this way, one manufacturer may be able to perform a test in a carpeted room, which absorbs some sound vibrations, while another manufacturer may test in a room with hard floors, which would necessarily produce greater noise due to fewer sound waves being absorbed. Until we can independently test air purifiers in our own standard testing chamber, we will use the manufacturer reported numbers.

We originally wanted to compare noise to delivered airflow on an air purifier's lowest fan speed, but unfortunately for our methodology, not all manufacturers make this information available. Thus we were forced to only use the decibel rating.

Energy Consumption (10 point scale)
Yearly Electrical cost

If an air purifier is running 24/7, you may be concerned about how much that power drain is costing you on your monthly electrical bill, because some air purifiers only list the power consumption on the highest setting, we are forced to use that for our methodology. Where the EPA awarded a model an Energy Star Certification, we awarded the air purifier an additional two points. The Energy Star represents that the appliance will save you money on your electrical bill compared to other models in the same class, and it also signifies that the appliance will not hurt the environment with carbon emissions.

Highest Energy Consumption
Points Watts
10 < 50
9 51 - 70
8 71 - 90
7 91 - 110
6 111 - 130
5 131 - 150
4 151 - 170
3 171 - 190
2 191 - 210
1 > 210
+2 points up to 10 for Energy Star

 

Energy Efficiency (5 point scale)

Rated to the energy consumption category, this ranking measures how efficiently an air purifier can move air on the highest setting compared to the amount of power drawn. The air purifier's maximum delivered air rate (in cubic feet per minute) is divided by Watts consumed on the highest fan speed. This typically produces a number between 1.395 and 4.282.

To account for a model theoretically arriving at a number less than 1.0 (such as 0. 89), we added 1 to the ones digit of each ratio. Thus, 1.395 becomes 2 and 4.282 scores 5 points. As no model scored higher than 5, this was a maximum number of points awarded.

Maximum Delivered Air Flow to Maximum Energy Consumption
Points MDA: Watts
5 4. 00 - 4.99
4 3.00 - 3.99
3 2.00 - 2.99
2 1.00 - 1.99
1 0.01 - 0.99

 

Gas/Odor Removal Options (5 points)

If an air purifier offers gas neutralization options standard, then it receives four points from our methodology and three points if it allows the consumer to upgrade to a gas or chemical filter. There are some air purifiers on the market that make use of military grade chemical neutralizers, and so to represent the superior performance we award these filters five points. If an air purifier offers either chemical or odor neutralization options but not both, it receives only two points. If there are no chemical or odor reduction filters available and no upgrade options exist, then the air purifier receives a score of one point.

When considering odor/gas removal options, there are a few points you should keep in mind. First, most air purifiers use some kind of charcoal or activated carbon filter media to mask and neutralize odor-causing particles. The key for effective odor neutralization is the amount of surface area that comes in contact with the incoming air. The more filter material added, the heavier your filter will be.

This brings us to the second point: a larger odor filter will reduce total air flow delivered by the air purifier. Your air purifier will have to work harder to move air through additional layers of filters, which increases the noise generated and power consumed by your air purifier.

Most importantly, as ever, you must remember to examine your individual needs before you reach a conclusion on which odor and gas filtration option is best for you.

Most people who purchase an air purifier require one because they have a problem with air particles. While there are some who have a gas/odor problem, this is much rarer. These sorts of problems are typically best resolved at the source.

Odor and Gas Reduction Capabilities
Points Filtration Options
5 Medical or Military grad chemical neutralizer comes standard
4 Chemical and odor option comes standard
3 Upgradable to chemical and odor reduction filter
2 Either chemical or odor reduction options available, but not both together
1 No odor or chemical reduction options available, no option to upgrade

i TSI Application Note ITI-041: Mechanisms of Filtration for High Efficiency Fibrous Filters
ii ANSI/AHAC-1: Method for Measuring the Performance of Portable Household Electric Room Air Cleaners, 02/22/2006

Top Ten Air Purifier Reviews


Blueair 603 Air PurifierOver the last decade, Sweden’s Blueair has become one of the best producers of top-quality room air purifiers. Their premium line is the 600 series: the Blueair 603 and Blueair 650E. These two machines deliver the same quality performance, but the 650E has added air-monitoring and fan speed adjustment capabilities which will be discussed later in this review. Apart from this, the two units are mostly identical.

Of its class, the Blueair 603 offers you the best dollar per area cleaned ratio for a high-end air purifier, and the 650E also possesses one of the best ratios for air purifiers that also possess built-in air-quality monitors. So even though you are spending more for these units, you are getting a high return on each dollar spent.

The Blueair 603 and 650E are the most powerful of the air purifiers we reviewed in terms of delivered airflow and effective (optimized) area covered. At an air change rate of four per hour, the Blueair 603/650E can cover 918.75 ft2, but it is marketed at 698 ft2 where it can deliver five air changes per hour. At this 698 ft2 room size, it also has achieved the highest Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of > 400: > 450: > 450 for dust, pollen, and smoke respectively. This means that in the target room size and set to the highest speed, the Blueair 603 and 650E can remove 80% of the dust, pollen, and smoke particles in 20 minutes. According to the independent trade organization the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the Blueair 603 and 650E actually perform better than their highest ranking category, one of the few air purifiers to do so.

The HEPASilent filter technology of the Blueair 603 and 650E makes use of an ionizer to give the air particles an electric charge as they enter the purifier. The charged particles then cling to the oppositely charged fibers of the filter due to electrostatic attraction. This technique allows the fibers of the filter to be given greater space than a true HEPA filter, decreasing the amount of energy the fan needs to move air, while achieving greater filtration than the HEPA standard. Whereas the HEPA classification is granted only when 99.97% of air particles down to 0.3 microns (micrometers) are removed from the air, the HEPASilent filter of the Blueair 603/650E removes 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns.

If you are worried about the purifier’s ionizer releasing harmful ozone, the 603/650E were carefully tested and scrutinized by third party organizations who found the emissions to be well within the safe limits of ozone output. The testing agency of the Swedish government found that the technology did not emit ozone, a result that was confirmed by Consumer Reports in their December 2007 issue. Because of the low current of the ionizer in the Blueair 600 series, Blueair claims that there is less ozone in the air coming out of their air purifiers than is taken in.

Blueair has recently upgraded their filter design for the 603, 650E and the 503 air purifiers to include a layer of activated carbon. This allows these three models to be even more efficient at removing gas particles and odors. Additionally, at a slightly higher price, Blueair offers a special SmokeStop filter, which is highly efficient at eliminating strong odors, tobacco smoke, chemicals, and volatile organic compounds.

While delivering high performance, the Blueair 603 and Blueair 650E are also very energy efficient. Their energy consumption ranges from 35 to 120 Watts depending on the current fan speed, and both units are Energy Star certified to save you money on your electricity bill and to have a low impact on the environment. This is an even more impressive feat considering that the 603 and 650E are designed to be run continuously 24/7.

Another great feature about both the Blueair 603 and 650E is how quiet the machines are to operate. At quietest fan speed, both generate only 32 dB, while at their fastest, the two run at 66 dB. The quietness of the lowest speed is important if you plan on running these machines were someone will be sleeping. 35 decibels is about level at which a sound will awaken a sleeping human, so the lowest setting is below that critical threshold.

What sets the Blueair 650E apart from the 603 is the electronic air particle sensor incorporated into the 650E. This sensor detects the quality of the air around the 650E and automatically adjusts the fan speed to either speed up to increase cleaning or to slow down to save energy if the air quality is determined to be sufficiently clean. This ensures that the unit will save you energy by only running on the highest settings when your room needs it, allowing you to come home to a house full of fresh air and a lower monthly electric bill. The electronic display also uses easy to understand symbols to give you a clear snapshot of the air quality: smiling, neutral, or frowning faces next to a percentile gauge.

Even though the 603 and the 650E were engineered in Sweden, both are manufactured in America, so you are supporting American jobs with your purchase of these quality air purifiers.

There is only one criticism that we have with Blueair and it extends to all of their models, not just the 603 and 650E. The filter lifespan for every Blueair machine, save for its ECO10, is only six months. In order to ensure optimal air filtration and cleaning, Blueair recommends changing filters every six months, so this is one area where the machine will cost you. The annual savings on your energy bill, however, should more than make up for the cost of filter replacements. The reason that the filter life the Blueair 603 and Blueair 650E is lower is because the fans are moving more air through the filters per hour than most of their competitors. As discussed above, Blueair models have very high air change rates. In a similar span of time, a Blueair machine will move significantly more air through its filters than its competitors, which of course causes the filters accumulate particles faster than its competitors. Thus, shorter filter life is a consequence of the efficacy of Blueair’s high performance.

Blueair 650 Air PurifierIn conclusion, the Blueair 603 and Blueair 650E are our recommendations for the highest-performing, top-end room air purifiers. They effectively cover the largest area (four air changes per hour at 918.75 ft2, whereas most other air purifiers claiming to cover that same area only change the air twice per hour) and have the highest AHAM rankings for Clean Air Delivery Rate at 698 ft2. If you need large area coverage and are worried about the electrical cost and the noise being generated, the Blueair 603 and 650E run quietly and efficiently – saving you money on your monthly electric bill. The 650E has the added advantage of being able to monitor the air quality of the room and automatically adjust its performance based upon the results. The 603 and 650E are your best choices for effectively covering one large room or several smaller rooms if there is sufficient airflow among them.

 

 

 

chart Blueair 603

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Blueair 503 Air PurifierBlueair has established itself as a manufacturer of premium room air purifiers. While you may be paying more for a Blueair purifier than others in its class, you can be certain that your Blueair purifier is giving you unrivaled quality and performance.

Scoring very highly on our review methodology, Blueair 503 is one of the best air purifiers you can buy for your home. Although it does not have the electronic air-quality monitoring capabilities of the 430E and 630E, the 503 makes up for this with its stellar performance.

Blueair markets the 503 as being suited for rooms up to 580 ft2 and it is rated by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers as having the highest possible Clean Air Deliver Rate for this room size. This means that in twenty minutes, it will have eliminated 80% of the dust, pollen, and tobacco smoke particles from the room. At this marketed room size of 580 ft2, the Blueair 503 manages about five air changes per hour. At four air changes per hour, the 503 can cover a room up to 776.25 ft2, which should be more than enough for most rooms in your home. At this "optimized" size, you are paying just $0.85 per square foot of cleaning, one of the best dollar per square foot ratios of any of the high-end air purifiers we rated.

Like other Blueair models, the 503 uses the HEPASilent technology to capture 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0. 1 microns in size. This performance surpasses traditional HEPA standard of a 99.97% capture rate down to only 0. 3 microns. This superior performance is made possible by the use of an electrostatic generator that ionizes the air before it reaches the filter. The ionized air particles acquire an electric charge opposite to that of the filter fibers. This attracts the air pollutant particles to the filter fibers, allowing Blueair to use a less dense filter while still achieving cleaner air. The less dense filter allows the fan to work more efficiently, at less energy consumption and noise. If you are worried about the ionizer generating harmful amounts of ozone, fear not, because the thorough third-party testing has found that Blueair's ionizer releases ozone levels at only .003 ppm, just six percent of the .05 ppm that the Food and Drug Administration specifies as safe output for indoor medical devices. Thus, you have nothing to worry about.
Additionally, Blueair has recently upgraded the filter to now feature a layer of activated carbon, which targets gasses and odors. This new filter should now come standard with the 503, 603, and 650E models and be a part of any replacement filter packs that you order. If you are particularly concerned with removing smoke and odors from your room, you can invest in the SmokeStop filters, which cost slightly more than the regular filters, but are specially designed for environments with tobacco smoke, auto exhaust, chemical fumes, strong odors, and harmful VOC particles.

The Blueair 503also scored top marks on our system for its quiet operation. Operating at 32 decibels at its lowest setting and 66 at its highest, the 503 is among the quietest air purifiers, let alone high-end air purifiers.

The significance of being able to operate at 32 dB cannot be overstated: 35 dB is the sound level necessary to wake a human from sleep. By operating below this threshold, Blueair ensures that you can place the 503 in your bedroom, giving you the fresh air and quiet atmosphere you need to have a great night's sleep. If you desire white noise while sleeping, you even have the option of turning the 503 to an intermediate setting that will provide some background noise without generating a roar that will keep you awake.

The Blueair 503 also is quiet from an environmental perspective. The lowest setting uses only 35 Watts to power and the highest setting uses at most 120 Watts. The 503 is Energy Star certified by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy to save you money on your electric bill and not be harmful to the environment. As a system designed to run 24/7, it is important that it does not adversely affect your monthly bill.

Finally, true to Scandinavian design philosophy, the Blueair 503 was designed with form in mind. The machine is elegantly designed so that it is not an eyesore in your room. With its gentle curves, it makes a low-profile, good looking addition to any room you place it in.

The one issue we have with the 503 is the life span. of the filter. If you operate the 503 nonstop as directed by Blueair for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the filters will last approximately six months. You will get further performance out of them by running the machine on the lower settings, but Blueair recommends swapping filters every six months. You must keep in mind, however, that the shorter filter life is a direct consequence of the Blueair 503's highly efficient filtration system. Because the Blueair 503 is able to move more air through its filter per hour than any of its competitors, it is cleaning that air quicker and consequently filling its filter faster. The shorter filter life is a direct tradeoff for the high performance and continually refreshed air.

In conclusion, the Blueair 503 is a top-performing, quiet, energy efficient, powerful air purifier that is ideally suited to cover a large room up to 776 ft2 or multiple smaller rooms if your floor plan is open enough to allow a sufficient flow of air among them. One our favorite features of the 503 is that it is quiet enough to run in a bedroom without fear of the noise waking us up in the night.

You can also run it 24/7 without fear of an inflated electrical bill, because the 503 is certified by Energy Star to run at a sufficiently low amount of power to avoid energy costs and environmental damage. So if you want superior performance, large room coverage, energy savings, and a quiet home, the Blueair 503 may be the optimal air purifier for you.

Product Specifications:

503 Spec Chart

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Coway AP-1513-HH PurifierThe relatively inexpensive Coway AP-1512 HH will probably give you the best performance return per dollar. At approximately $250, it is one of more modestly priced room air purifiers we have reviewed, but it also delivers performance comparable to the price. You get what you pay for. While it does rate highly using our ranking system on our Top Ten Air Purifiers list, there are a few considerations you need to keep in mind.

The Coway AP-1512 HH uses a true HEPA Filter, trapping 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns. In addition to the HEPA filter, it also features a pre-filter, an odor filter, and an ionizer. The pre-filter catches larger particles such as dust that would otherwise take up space for finer particles on the HEPA filter. The activated carbon filter traps chemicals, gasses, and odors.

Finally, the ionizer runs a current through the clean air as it leaves the HEPA filter. According to Coway, this gives the air molecules an electrical charge to make them easier to catch the next time they pass through the filter. If you are worried about the effects of ionized air in your home, you can turn this function off.

Coway submits its products to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers for CADR testing, and AHAM recommends a room size of 361 ft2 based upon its performance. Coway markets the AP-1512 HH for 326 ft2 rooms, where it can deliver 6.17 air changes every hour. At our adjusted four changes per hour room size, we found that this air purifier is suited for rooms that are 503.23 ft2. Keep in mind, as you increase the room size from the AHAM recommended number; you will decrease the effectiveness of the Clean Air Delivery Rate. Like Blueair, Coway is one of the few air purifier manufacturers that market the optimum room size of their units to be optimized for CADR.

The Coway AP-1512 HH features an air quality sensor which automatically adjusts the fan speed to the optimal level for dealing the pollutant content of the air. It also features an ECO mode that turns the unit off if it does not detect any pollutants in the air after 30 minutes. This feature, combined with it its low-energy use have earned it Energy Star certification. Its power use ranges from 4.9 Watts at its lowest setting to 77.8 Watts at its highest.

Another fine feature of the Coway AP-1512 HH is the relatively little noise it generates. At the highest setting, it generates a mere 53.8 dB, and at its lowest, 24.4 dB, you will have a hard time knowing that it is turned on. This makes the AP-1512 HH ideal for sleeping areas or for entertainment rooms where you will want it to work as silently as possible.

The HEPA filters last one year if you primarily use your AP-1512 HH on the lowest settings, and the carbon odor filters will have to be changed every six months. The Coway AP-1512 HH includes an electronic filter monitor that will notify you when it is time to change.

As far as negative aspects, some users complain that the odor and smoke ratings are not quite as effective as they should be, indeed the AHAM tested smoke CADR is the lowest of the three. Still, for the price you are paying compared to other air purifiers of its effective room size, the AP-1512 HH performs admirably for the low price point.

I would argue that overall the Coway AP-1512 HH punches above its price point, being an excellent dust and pollen regulator for small rooms. Dollar to surface area cleaned, you are paying a mere $0.50 per square foot. This is even more impressive when you recall that you are also getting an air quality monitor as well. While it does suffer when it comes to odor elimination and smoke cleaning, this is still a decent air purifier. It offers the best return dollar for dollar of any of the air purifiers on our Top 10 list, and that makes the Coway AP-1512 HH our budget choice.

conway Ratings Chart

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Blueair 403 Air PurifierBlueair's best selling air purifier series, the Blueair 450E and Blueair 403 are two exceptional air purifiers for mid-sized rooms. Nearly identical in performance, the 450E includes air quality monitoring sensors that allow it to adjust its fan speed based on the environment within your home. Let's take a closer look at the Blueair 400 series.

The Blueair 403 and 450E are designed to clean small to medium sized spaces. Blueair markets the pair as being suitable up to 370 ft2, at which they can perform five air changes per hour. They are also rated by Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers to have the top Clean Air Delivery Rate marks for this space. This means they were at the top of their class for removing tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen from a room. Adjusting the room size to our optimized four air changes per hour, we found the Blueair 403 and 450E to perform well at 525 ft2. This makes the Blueair 400 series the optimal for most rooms in the average North American home.

Like the other principal Blueair lines, the 403 and 450E implement Blueair's trademark HEPASilent filter technology to obtain filtration superior to the HEPA standard. Whereas HEPA filters are rated to filter 99. 97% of airborne particles down to 0. 3 micrometers (microns), the Blueair 403 and 450E HEPASilent filters capture 99. 97% of airborne particles down to 0. 1 microns. The reason HEPASilent can perform above the HEPA standard with wider filament spacing is due to the inclusion of a low-voltage ionizer that charges the air particles before they reach the filter. The electrically charged particles are then attracted to the oppositely-charged filaments, allowing for the wider spacing but higher capture rate. This wider spacing means the fan does not need to work as hard, reducing noise and energy use. Optional SmokeStop filters are designed to neutralize gasses, tobacco smoke, strong odors, and volatile organic compounds. The Blueair 403 and 450E are exceptionally quiet air purifiers, which make them great additions to the bedroom. At their quietest setting, the 403 and 450E run at a mere 32 dB. The sound threshold that wakes the typical human from sleep is 35 dB. Therefore, you can breathe easy all night without fear of the 403 and 450E waking you.

The Blueair 400 series are also great choices if you need an air purifier that can run 24/7 without dramatically affecting your monthly electric bill. At the lowest settings, the Blueair 403 and 450E only draw 30 Watts, and at their highest setting will use only 80 Watts. They are Energy Star certified to save you money on your electric bill and protect the environment.

The Blueair 450E has the added advantage of incorporating an air-quality sensor that automatically detects air pollutant particles in the room and adjusts the performance of the fan accordingly. If the air is relatively impure, the fan will kick up into a higher speed setting to clean it faster, and once the air is clean again, the fan will slow to a slower setting to save energy.

The Blueair 403 and 450E were also designed with aesthetics in mind, so they look gorgeous and seamlessly blend into the decor of any room.

Our only real complaint with the Blueair 403 and 450E is the relatively short life span. of the filters. At six months, you will have to replace the filters twice per year. While this can add up, the savings in your monthly electrical bill will more than likely make up for this expenditure. Keep in mind that the short life span. is due to the high performance of the Blueair 403 and Blueair 450E. Because these machines are able to move air so much quicker through their filters, they clean the Blueair 450E Air Purifierroom faster and more continuously than any of their competitors. This has the drawback of filling the filter faster than its competitors, but you are getting cleaner air as a net result of this more rapid cleaning cycle.

Even with the short filter life span., there Blueair 403 and Blueair 450E are exceptional room air purifiers that are engineered to be perfect for any mid-sized room. Quiet and elegantly designed, the 403 and 450E maintain a low profile wherever they sit in your house while continuously churning out fresh, clean air. The low energy consumption of each will ensure that your electrical bill will remain low without you having to compromise on your air quality.

503 Ratings Blueair

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The Winix WAC6300 Air Cleaner combines three advanced air purifications technologies in one lightweight, affordable package. If you want a true Winix PlasmaWaveHEPA filtration air purifier that can eliminate odors and neutralize harmful biological agents in your air, consider the Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 as a top contender.

The first cleaning stage of the Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 comes from the Carbon Odor Control Pre-filters, which use activated carbon to neutralize odor-causing molecules. This leaves your air smelling as fresh as it is clean. The carbon pre-filters are treated with a special anti-microbial material so that they will not harbor life, such as bacteria or mold. The pre-filter also captures larger particles before they can impact the HEPA filter in the next stage, which leaves it more capacity to capture finer particles. The capture of very large particles (such as pet and human hair, larger pollen and dust particles, and more, will prolong the lifespan of your Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 HEPA filter.

The High Efficiency Particulate Air filter is responsible for trapping the most difficult to capture particle sizes. As a True HEPA filter, the Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 can capture 99.97% of airborne particles down to a size of 0.3 microns (micrometers). The 0.3 micron size is the Most Penetrating Particle Size, or the size of a particle that is most difficult for mechanical filters to capture. Particles captured by the Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 include pollen, pet dander, micro-fine dust, bacteria, mold spores, and even some viruses.

Any biological particles that escape the HEPA filter are the destroyed by the third stage of air cleaning: the PlasmaWave generator. Winix PlasmaWave technology produces positive and negative ions that produce Hydroxyl ions, which destroy bacteria, viruses, and chemicals. These short-lived plasma clusters then degrade into harmless compounds. The PlasmaWave generator was also certified by the California Air Resources Board as a non-ozone producing device, so you do not need to worry about any adverse health effects from using the PlasmaWave technology. If you still have reservations, the PlasmaWave generator can be turned off.

The Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 manages a very respectable air flow delivery even with its True HEPA filter and prefilters. There are three speed settings, and on the highest Turbo setting, the PlasmaWave WAC6300 achieves air delivery speeds of 226 cubic feet per minute. This allows the Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 to completely change the air in a 350 square foot room 4.84 times per hour, which is suitable for those suffering from allergies and asthma. AHAM has given it respectable CADR scores for a 350 square foot room. AHAM, or the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, measures air purifier Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) in terms of how well an air purifier can remove dust, pollen, and smoke from a testing chamber. The Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 received scores of 216 for dust, 251 for pollen, and 235 for tobacco smoke. Again, these scores are very good for the recommended room size of 350 square feet. For more information, visit the AHAM testing website cadr.org.


The Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 is also very energy efficient, earning an Energy Star Certification from the Environmental Protection Agency. This means that the PlasmaWave will not be a huge burden on your electricity bill and will also be eco-friendly. In terms of noise pollution, the first three speed settings are quiet or tolerably quiet, and the louder turbo mode is recommended for quick cleaning or when people are not present.
One area of critique for the Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 is that the filter life of the carbon prefilter is not overly impressive. The carbon odor prefilter is designed to last three months, but it is sold as a package of four, which will allow you buy a year’s supply at once. The HEPA filter, however, is rated for a full year’s usage before it has to be replaced. At the time of this review, Winix offers a combo pack featuring one HEPA filter and four carbon filters at a discounted price cheaper than the cost of purchasing just the HEPA filter alone. One advantage to frequently replacing the carbon filter is that you will know that your filter is always fresh and removing the most particles from the air and not off-gassing any of the particles it has previously captured.


In all, the Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 is a top-performing air purifier whose performance can go toe-to-toe with more expensive brands. As a true HEPA filter, the Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 can capture the most difficult 0.3 micron air particles and is specially equipped with anti-microbial technology to destroy bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. If you are worried about biological contaminants in your home, the Winix PlasmaWave WAC6300 can help keep you and your family safe.

Winix Purifier Ratings

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When shopping for air purifiers, it is important to shop to your specific needs; Austin Air recognizes the truth, which is why they designed their healthmate PlusHealthMate Plus to cater those needing extra power filtering out VOCs, viruses and Bacteria. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are vaporous human-made and naturally occurring chemicals that can harm humans. They can be off-gassed by new office equipment or paint and varnish, and long term exposure can lead to sick building syndrome or even some kinds of leukemia and lymphoma. Therefore, the Austin Air HealthMate Plus can play pivotal role in maintaining your health, especially in an office setting. If you would like a smaller purifier for your office desk, the Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr. is a small-sized version of the HealthMate Plus, offering top-quality protection in a portable package.

The Austin Air Healthmate Plus uses a four-stage filtration process that begins with two prefilters to capture large air particles such as dust. The third stage of filtration is carried out by 15 lbs of activated carbon and zeolite, which engage remove chemicals, gases, and odors, including harmful VOCs, from the air and neutralize these gaseous chemicals. Finally, a certified HEPA filter removes 99. 97% of all airborne particles larger than 0. 3 micrometers (microns), ensuring you are breathing in pure, clean air. The Austin Air Healthmate Plus and Healthmate Plus Jr. are two of the best air purifier options for removing harmful VOCs from the air.

Although the Austin Air Healthmate Plus is marketed to rooms up to 1,500 square feet, it can only perform about two air changes per hour in this size of room. Based on the air flow delivered by the fan, an optimum sized room would be about 470 square feet. At this size, the Austin Air Healthmate Plus can completely clean the air in the room four times per hour. For the smaller Austin Air Healthmate Plus Jr. , the optimum size is around 235 square feet. Remember, reducing the area of the room will exponentially increase the performance of your air purifier.

Much of the effectiveness of the Austin Air Healthmate Plus comes from the density of the filter; unfortunately, this density requires the fan to work harder. This leads contributes to the two criticisms that we have with the machine: the noise at which it operates and the energy consumption in comparison to other air purifiers in its class.

At the lowest setting, the Austin Air Healthmate Plus and the Austin Air Healthmate Plus Jr. generate about 40 decibels and at their loudest setting they create about 64. 5 decibels. You will probably only want to use the highest setting while you are away, but the 40 decibel lower setting should be quiet enough not to bother you. At night, the lowest setting may provide a pleasant white noise masking outside noises.

While many air purifiers are more environmentally friendly than the Austin Air Healthmate Plus, the 115 watts consumed at its highest setting does not make it the most energy intensive air purifier either, even among other Austin Air product lines. If you are concerned with the energy usage, the Austin Air Healthmate Plus Jr. may be what you are looking for. The smaller model uses only 80 watts on its highest setting. Bear in mind, however, that the effective area is smaller than the full-sized model.

Overall, the Austin Air HealthMate Plus is one of the best options on the market for removing VOCs, airborne microbial life (viruses, bacteria, and fungal spores), and gaseous chemicals from your room. It also performs well at removing airborne particles such as dust and allergens from the air. While the Austin Air HealthMate Plus slightly louder than other air purifiers in its class, the lowest settings are sufficiently quiet not to interfere with conversations, daily activities, or even sleep. The Austin Air HealthMate Plus and Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr. are probably your best choice to remove harmful volatile organic compounds from your home or office, and it has an impressively long filter lifespan. The Austin Air HealthMate Plus is also a great choice for cleaning the air of your home if you use a woodstove for home heating.

Healthmate Plus Air Purifier Austin Air Ratings Chart

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Baby's BreathThe Austin Air Baby's Breath air purifier is a machine designed with a specific job in mind: ensure that your infant's room has clean air. It is somewhat of a specialist machine, focusing on a small room and providing performance to optimize a small child's sleep. If you are a new parent concerned about the air quality in your infant's room, the Austin Air Baby's Breath air purifier is an excellent choice.

Austin Air lists the Baby's Breath as being suitable for rooms up to 700 ft2, but at this size of room, it is only capable of exchanging the air twice per hour. Based on the performance of the fan motor, we recommend 375 ft2 if you desire four air changes per hour, and other reviewers have even suggested six air changes per hour which would necessitate the unit operating in a room that is only 250 ft2. Check with your pediatrician to see what he or she recommends. Normally, we would advise setting room size to optimize Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), which tells at what room size an air purifier can clean 80% of certain kinds of impurities from the air. Unfortunately, Austin Air does not submit its products to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers for testing, so we cannot give a recommendation in this regard. This was one factor that led to a lower score for this and other Austin Air products in our Top Ten rankings.

In terms of performance per dollar, the Austin Air Baby's Breath scores very high. In a room that is 375 ft2 making four air changes per hour, the Baby's Breath effectively cleans at $1.05 per square foot. This is one of the better ratios of room air cleaners.

One area in which the Austin Air Baby's Breath excels in is its filtration technology. Austin Air uses a four-stage filtration process. Two pre-filters catch large and medium particles that would otherwise take up valuable space on the other filters. The third stage is a medical grade true HEPA filter, catching 99. 97% of particles down to 0. 3 micrometers (microns) in size and 95% of particles down to 0. 1 microns. Finally, an activated military grade activated carbon HEGA (High Efficiency Gas Absorption) filter removes chemicals, gases, and odors. This filtration system goes beyond the industry standard, and for that Austin Air deserves credit. As a further bonus, the filters of the Austin Air Baby's Breath last between three and five years before needing replacement. This is one of the longer periods for air purifier filter lifespan.

The Austin Air Baby's Breath also has a relatively small energy footprint, drawing between 50 and 66 Watts. In order to maintain consistently clean air in your child's sleeping environment, Austin Air recommends operating the Baby's Breath nonstop 24/7. The low energy draw ensures that this does not significantly affect your monthly electric bill.

One important point that bears close consideration is the noise level that the Austin Air Baby's Breath generates. The noise levels vary between 49 dB at the slowest fan speed to 65 dB at the highest speed. While the low-end may seem comparatively high compared to other air purifiers, this was a deliberate choice on the part of Austin Air in order to generate white noise to cover up outside noises that may wake the infant during sleep. Because of the utility of this design feature, we have chosen not to penalize Austin Air for this in our Top 10 ranking system.

One last feature appreciated feature of the Austin Air Baby's Breath is the attention paid to visual appeal. Whereas most air purifiers colors are white, black, or earth tones to blend into living spaces, Austin Air embraces the purpose of the Baby's Breath and lets the consumer choose between baby blue and pink. As cute as an air purifier can be, the Baby's Breath will fit in with the rest of your nursery's decor.

With its focus on being a nursery-based air cleaning machine, the Austin Air Baby's Breath receives high marks for doing the job it sets out to do. While other air purifiers may be generalists, the Baby's Breath has optimally designed to clean the air in rooms between 250 ft2 and 375 ft2. These room sizes will give your infant between six and four air changes per hour, ensuring that your child is only breathing fresh air. At roughly $1.05 per square foot of clean air, the Baby's Breath gives you a great return of performance per dollar. With two pre-filters, a true HEPA fine-particle filter, and a HEGA gas and odor filter, the Austin Air Baby's Breath has a superior filtration system. Finally, the white noise generated from the fan of the Baby's Breath will lull your child to sleep and drown out any exterior noises threatening to wake the infant.
As an after note, Austin Air products are made in America, and the company was chosen by the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency as a home air purification solution during the severe air quality crisis in New York City following the events of September 11th, 2001.

Baby's Breath Ratings

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Rabbit Air BioGSThe Rabbit Air Bio GS 2.0 SPA-625A is a quiet, energy efficient air purifier that also offers a number of helpful features to help you maximize the benefits of your air purifier.

The Rabbit Air BioGS SPA-625A is suited for small rooms, being capable of changing the air four times per hour in a 313 ft2 room. While Rabbit Air markets the unit for 625 ft2 for "normal residential use," their website does list the 313 ft2 number as the recommended coverage for "allergy sufferer use," which is in line with our methodology. If you break down the price of the unit per square foot cleaned in a room of this size (313 ft2), you are essentially paying $1.28 per square foot cleaned, which is comparable to other air purifiers of its class. Additionally, the Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 SPA-625A comes with an air quality sensor that automatically adjusts the fan speed depending on the pollutant levels in the room.

Using a four-stage filtration process, the Rabbit Air BiogGS 2.0 SPA-625A is able to provide performance beyond the HEPA standard of 99.97% of all particles captured down to 0.3 micrometers. The first stage is a pre-filter that captures larger particles, such as dust mites, pollen, pet hair, coarse dust particles, and mold and fungi spores. Next, the charcoal-based activated carbon filter is able to neutralize VOCs (volatile organic compounds), chemical gas, exhaust fumes, tobacco smoke odors, pet allergens, and airborne viruses. Then, the BioGS HEPA filter catches fine dust, bacteria, dander, tobacco smoke particles, and airborne viruses. The BioGS HEPA filter is specially treated to trap and kill bacteria and viruses, as well as neutralize allergens and mold. Finally, an optional negative ion generator produces beneficial negative ions that Rabbit Air claims will "fortify the air you breathe and freshen your indoor environment" by neutralizing harmful positive ions. If you are worried about the release of ozone into your home, you can disable this feature.

This complex filter system must be replaced every 18 to 36 months, but Rabbit Air provides a combination pack that will cost you on average about $53.30 per year, which is relatively low for indoor room air purifier filter replacement. The Rabbit Air BioGS 2. 0 SPA-625A also features a filter quality monitor to let you know when you need to replace your filters.

The Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 SPA-625A is inexpensive to operate. On the lowest setting, it draws a mere five watts, and on the highest setting it only uses 39 watts. This low energy pull earned the Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 SPA-625A an Energy Star Certification from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, guaranteeing that it will save you money on your electric bill and reduce carbon emissions.

This air purifier is also very quiet. On the lowest setting, the Rabbit Air BioGS 2. 0 SPA-625A only generates 22.8 decibels, and on the highest setting it generates 50.4 decibels. The 22.8 decibels generated on the lowest speed is quieter than a whisper. You can turn it on and forget that it is running.

While Rabbit Air reports Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) numbers suitable for operating in a room that is 228 ft2, these numbers have not been independently verified by AHAM. The lack of independent verification hurt Rabbit Air in our Top 10 Ranking methodology, but even still the CADR numbers are low for both our adjusted 4-air changes per hour room size of 313 ft2 and for the marketed room size of 625 ft2.

If you like the Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0, but only need to cover a smaller room, Rabbit Air offers a BioGS 2.0 550A model that is $30 less and covers about 75 ft2 less. Otherwise, the two BioGS 2.0 models offer the same features.

The Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 SPA-625A is one of the quietest, energy efficient air purifiers you can buy with a HEPA filter. It is particularly suited for eliminating disease-bearing airborne bacteria and viruses. The BioGS 2.0 SPA-625A also features an impressive filter life and low filter replacement cost. Our gravest concern comes with the low CADR values compared with its marketed room size and the room size at which it can perform four air changes per hour. If the CADR values are too low for the room size in which the unit is operating, then you are not getting adequately cleaned air, which defeats the purpose of having an air purifier. It would help if Rabbit Air had its CADR numbers verified by AHAM. Otherwise, the Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 SPA-625A is a decent air purifier. We recommend using it a room no larger than about 230 ft2 in order to achieve optimal air purification.

Rabbit Air Ratings Chart

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Blueair 203 Air PurifierPerhaps the highest-performer of air purifiers meant for small to medium sized rooms, the Blueair 203 is the least expensive Blueair air purifier currently on the market.

Marketed for rooms up to 240 square feet, where it can perform five air changes per hour, the Blueair 203 is designed to quietly clean your air while you carry on your daily activities. The Blueair 203 can perform four air changes in rooms up to 281.25 ft2, but due to the AHAM Clean Air Delivery Rate numbers, we recommend keeping to the 240 ft2 recommended by Blueair.

The Blueair 203 has a very effective filter. In addition to the HEPA standard of capturing 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns, the Blueair 203 is capable of filtering 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns. This is accomplished running an electrical current through the air intake, charging the air particles before they arrive at the filter. These electrostatic charged air particles are then drawn towards the oppositely charged filter medium, trapping them. This method also causes the Blueair 203 to achieve the highest possible CADR marks for its recommended room size.

Furthermore, because the ionizer produces such a low current, and because the ionizer is located before the filter medium, the Blueair 203 does not release any harmful ozone. In fact, Blueair claims that testing has proven that the ozone concentration in the 203's delivered air is lower than the air it takes in. The filter media is also made from an antibacterial, anti-mold material, so you do not have to worry about your Blueair 203 releasing harmful microbes.

The looser filter construction also permits the Blueair 203 to use less energy to move air. The power consumption ranges from 20 to 80 watts, depending on the fan speed setting. It is Energy Star Certified by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce carbon emissions and lower your monthly energy bill as compared to other room air purifiers of its class.

The less-dense filter configuration also means the Blueair 203 will generate less noise. On the lowest setting, the Blueair 203 will only generate 23 decibels, and at its highest, only 56 decibels.

An initial area of concern is with the relatively low filter life compared to other air purifiers. At six months, you will have to perform a filter change twice a year in order to maintain the warranty on the Blueair 203. This may seem low until you consider that the Blueair 203 is moving a lot more air through that air purifier over the course of any given minute compared to most other air purifiers in its class. So it is performing more air changes per hour, providing you with consistently cleaner air than any of its competitors. At this high rate of air change and cleaning, it is understandable that the filters are used up quicker than those in other air purifiers who move air at a slower rate. This is a tradeoff for cleaner air.

The Blueair 203 is an exceptional room air purifier for small to medium sized rooms and makes a great air purifier for the bedroom thanks to its quiet operating noise levels.

Blueair 203 Ratings Chart

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Austin Air Allergy MachineAustin Air products come standard with one of the best gas and odor filters of any room air purifiers on the market. The individual lines are also custom tailored to specific respiratory health needs and the Austin Air Allergy Machine is no different.

The Austin Air Allergy Machine is equipped with a medical-grade true HEPA filter capable for removing 99.97% of air particles down to 0.3 micrometers (microns) in size as per the HEPA standard. The Allergy Machine's filter is further capable of removing 95% of all particles down to 0.1% microns, demonstrating performance superior to the industry standard. This performance allows the Austin Air Allergy machine to eliminate pollen, dust, smoke, pet dander, and harmful microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and fungal spores.

The Allergy Machine also comes with a HEGA (High Efficiency Gas Absorption) filter to eliminate odors and gasses. Originally developed by the British military to counter chemical warfare, the HEGA filter utilizes carbon cloth to achieve more efficient gas absorption rates than industry standard carbon filters.

The Austin Air Allergy Machine features two pre-filters to that catch larger particles that would otherwise waste space on the HEPA and HEGA filters, prolonging the life of your filters. The lifespan of the Allergy Machine's filters are an impressive five years, so you will definitely save money on filter replacements costs with this unit.

Based on the air delivery of the fan, the Austin Air Allergy Machine can perform four air changes per hour in a room that is 470 ft2. Austin Air suggests a maximum room size of 1,500 ft2, but in a room of this size, the Allergy Machine can only completely clean the air of the room twice per hour. Remember that the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers recommends four air changes per hour as the minimum necessary for those suffering from allergies or asthma.

At its highest speed, the Austin Air Allergy Machine draws 132 watts. While this is higher than many other air purifiers in its class, keep in mind that the Allergy Machine is sending air through two pre-filters, the HEGA filter, and the HEPA filter. Moving air through this many filters requires more power from the fan, necessitating the higher power draw.

The increased fan power also means that the Austin Air Allergy Machine will generate more noise. The lowest speed generates about 50 dB, and the highest settings will generate around 65 dB. This is slightly higher than other air purifiers of its class.

Our biggest concern with the Austin Air Allergy Machine is that it costs more per square foot covered than other room air purifiers of its class. If you divide the total cost of the unit by the area of a room it can clean at four air changes per hour, the Austin Air Allergy Machine costs about $1.23 per square foot. There are other similarly priced units in its class that can provide you with a better ratio of cost per square foot, but they do not have the gas and odor filtration abilities of the Austin Air Allergy Machine. In the end, that is what you are paying extra for, everything else being considered even. Take for instance the Blueair 403, which offers slightly better particle filtration and can cover a slightly larger area at four air changes per hour and use less energy in the process. The Blueair 403's optional SmokeStop odor filter cannot match the Austin Air Allergy Machine's HEGA filter in odor reduction and gas elimination. Therefore, it is important to know your individual respiratory health needs.

If price is a concern, but you value the high-level performance of the Austin Air Allergy Machine and only have a small space which you need to purify, consider the Austin Air Allergy Machine Jr. This smaller model is designed for room about half the size of the regular Austin Air Allergy Machine.

The Austin Air Allergy Machine is an excellent air particle and gas filtration machine. The HEGA filter is one of the most effective tools for eliminating gas and chemical pollution, as well as for neutralizing odors. At the same time, it draws more energy and generates more noise than other air purifiers in its class, and it does not have the same coverage per price as other similar products. Still, it is a very effective air purifier and its ability to eliminate chemical and gas pollution cannot be overstated. Furthermore, American-made Austin Air was chosen by the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to address the severe air quality concerns in New York during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Austin Allergy

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