How Effective Are Portable Air Purifiers?

You may be asking yourself: Are portable air purifiers effective? We decided to test several different air purifiers in our New York office and in our apartment to find out! We compared cost, efficiency, and reliability. These are our findings


There are many things you should consider when looking for an efficient portable air purifier. Although all air purifiers may be different, there are common characteristics you should look for. Coverage is the first. Some purifiers are capable of cleaning large areas while others can only clean a small space. For example, an air purifier that offers a five-ACH rating will change the air in a space five times per hour. Hospital rooms can get as many as twenty or forty air changes per hour. You should limit your air changes to six to seven per hour.

A recent study in a German high school tested the efficiency of portable air purifiers. Students and a teacher wore masks to avoid contact with potentially hazardous aerosols. The portable air purifiers quietly hummed in the background while detectors monitored the levels of aerosols. Although the results have not been peer-reviewed, the study does confirm that HEPA filters work to reduce the aerosol load in the air by up to 90% within 30 minutes.

One study based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling found that using portable air purifiers can reduce the production of fine particles that can cause respiratory infections. The study showed that the efficiency of portable air purifiers depends on the positioning of the air purifiers. The higher the height of the air purifier, the lower the concentration of aerosols. Besides that, the position of the air purifier affects the results as well.


There are many types of portable air purifiers available on the market. Most cost around $200 or $300. The Coway Mighty and Core 300 are inexpensive options, but both have drawbacks. For example, the Coway Mighty is energy-inefficient (only requires about 31.8 watts on medium setting and 8.1 watts on low), but the cost of a replacement filter is relatively high ($32 per filter). The Blue Pure 211+, and the Levoit QS are two other options for air purifiers. They are less expensive but offer less benefits.

The PLX50 portable air purifier is small and stylish. It requires a power source, but produces clean, fresh air with its patented filter technology. This unit also has a built-in adjustable dial to control the amount of ozone it produces. It can hold up to 107 square feet and requires a filter change every three months.

The type of room and the size of the purifier will determine the cost. A small room or apartment will be fine with a single large air purifier, while a larger home may require several portable air purifiers for the entire house. Air purifiers are comparable in cost to laptops, and can be useful as an addition to ventilation. Air purifiers are just like printers in that they need to be cleaned regularly. Before you buy one, make sure to check the warranty.


There are many things to consider when comparing the reliability and performance of portable air purifiers. This article will discuss each of them. First of all, there are some standards that must be met before a portable air purifier can be considered reliable. Tim Wirecutter tested the models in real-world settings in New York City and in his Los Angeles apartment.

The CADR tests assess the effectiveness of portable air purifiers against three pollutants: pollen, tobacco smoke, dust. Each one corresponds to a particular micron size range. In this case, HEPA is the most effective filter. The Blue Pure 411 series uses a similar filtration process to the 211+ and 311 Auto. For the test, Tim burned five matches in his living room and measured the ambient air quality in a simulated home environment.

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