Best Cheap Air Purifiers of 2020

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Categories Air Purification
Cheap and durable don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

The promise of an air purifier is clean, pure air free of allergens and contaminants. But air purifiers tend to be quite expensive. However, there are plenty of budget-picks on the market that are just as effective as the high-priced ones.

You may have heard about air purifiers but you’re not ready to spend $200 or more on a device. We’ve gathered some of the best cheap air purifiers that work effectively without breaking the bank.


What Is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a device that cleans the indoor air. It’s usually fitted with a small fan that’s powered by a motor. As the air is drawn in, it goes through a filter that removes or reduces airborne particles such as allergens and dust.

The most common type of filter is a three-stage filter that consists of a preliminary, HEPA filter and activated carbon.

Some air purifiers will also use a UV-C sanitizer. These use short wave UV-C light to kill and reduce air pollutants such as VOCs, mold and viruses. However, there’s also concern regarding this system: Ozone.

UV-C light bulbs in air purifiers (and in general) can produce certain amounts of ozone. You might know ozone to be the layer that protects us from the sun’s powerful UV rays, but there’s more to it.

Although ozone protects us from things like skin cancer, it can be harmful when inhaled in large amounts (1). Ozone reacts with different biological molecules within our respiratory tract. This can lead to various health effects.

Signs of overexposure include, but are not limited to coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest when breathing (2).

Now, it’s essential to understand that not all air purifiers with UV-C light are harmful. Some manufacturers will overlay the bulbs, reducing or eliminating ozone buildup. Most of these will be covered with titanium dioxide, which reduces the ozone produced (3).

Cheap Air Purifier vs. Expensive Purifier?

Air purifiers can be quite an investment. Most are sure to put you back a few hundred bucks, but (thankfully) there are cheap options. However, it’s essential to understand the difference because there are things a cheap device can’t do.

The major differences include:

1. Room Size

One of the first things you might notice about a cheaper air purifier is the area it can cover. Most cheap air purifiers will only cover a room of 80 to 200 square feet. We have a couple on our list that can cover over 300 square feet, but generally, these are pricier.

If you need an air purifier for a small bedroom, office or small living room, the cheap models are excellent. For smaller rooms, purchasing an expensive unit that covers over 500 square feet simply isn’t necessary.

2. Type of Filter and Its Efficiency

If you suffer from severe allergies or asthma, though, a cheap air purifier may not be enough. Most will feature good filters, such as HEPA. However, some of these only use a HEPA-grade or HEPA-type filter which isn’t as effective as a true HEPA filter.

For people merely looking to improve their surrounding air, a cheap air purifier is sufficient.

Keep in Mind

If you’re dealing with allergies or asthma, consider choosing a larger unit or look for true HEPA filters.
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3. How Often the Filter Needs Changing

The frequency of filter replacement is also compromised when choosing a cheap air purifier. This is generally due to the size, not the quality of the filter.

Some cheap air purifiers claim to last up to six months. We suggest that you read customer reviews to see how they found it.


The Best Cheap Air Purifiers of 2020

Choosing a cheap air purifier for smaller rooms is excellent, but it’s crucial to understand what it can and can’t do. We looked through the most durable and efficient lowest-priced units to pick our favorites. Particularly, we compared the quality of filters and how well they performed. Here are the five best cheap air purifiers.

1. JINPUS Air Purifier with HEPA Filter

Best Overall Budget Purifier

JINPUS Air Purifier Small Air Cleaner for Home with HEPA Filter, 2020 Upgraded Low Noise Portable Air Purifiers GL-2103 (white)
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If you have young children at home, you know the importance of keeping everything clean. Our indoor air is sometimes the last thing we consider as polluted, but it can be.

This air purifier is compact and, most importantly, quiet. It’s the perfect addition to a nursery or kid’s room. The smart device is fitted with a HEPA filter and is ozone-free.

There’s a smart LED light at the top of the device. This indicates when it’s on and its current working mode. You get to choose between two modes to suit your needs.

Why We Love It

Compact

The compact design enables you to place the purifier anywhere needed. It fits perfectly on a nightstand, coffee table or another small area.

If you enjoy cleaner indoor air on the go as well, you can easily fit this device in a suitcase. It weighs only 1.2 pounds, so taking it with you on vacation is a breeze.

Quiet

If you like to use an air purifier at night while you’re sleeping, this is an excellent choice. Although it features two fan speeds, it clocks in at 30 decibels. To put this into perspective, normal conversation is around 60 decibels (4).

The quietness of this device also makes it the perfect choice for a nursery. Newborns can be sensitive to sounds, especially if you have a light sleeper.

Easy to Operate

The combination of LED lights and a large button operating this air purifier couldn’t be any easier to use. Simply press the button once to activate and enjoy purer air.

If you want to activate Sleep Mode, press twice and watch as the LED light dims to suit a dark room. You can also use it as a gentle night light in a nursery or kid’s room. The air purifier will automatically turn off after eight hours when on Sleep Mode.

Three-Stage Filter

As the air is drawn in by the fan, it runs through a three-stage filter. This includes an activated carbon filter, HEPA and a fine preliminary filter.

JINPUS claims it captures up to 99.97 percent of airborne particles. This includes bacteria, odors, allergens, dust, and pet danders.

Keep In Mind

Requires USB Connection

This device comes with a 59-inch USB cord. However, it doesn’t have any way to be plugged into a regular outlet. You need to have a phone charger with a USB connection or another adapter.

Additional Specs

Dimensions4.92 x 7.64 inches
Fan Speed OptionsTwo speeds
Applicable Area300 square feet
Number of FiltersThree-stage
Noise Level30 decibels

2. GENIANI Home Air Purifier

Best Cheap Purifier for Allergies

GENIANI Home Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter for Allergies and Pets / Smoke / Mold / Germs and Dust - Odor Eliminator and Air Cleaner for Large Room with Optional Night Light - 2-YEAR WARRANTY
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This compact air purifier from GENIANI comes with a two-year warranty and lifetime support. It features a HEPA filter and can remove a significant amount of airborne particles such as smoke and dust.

You get two modes to choose between to suit daytime or nighttime. The stylish design fits every modern home and can be used as a soothing night light in a child’s room or nursery.

The filter will last you up to six months before a replacement is needed, though it could be longer if your air is pretty clean.

Why We Love It

Removes Bacteria

The three-stage filter ends with an activated carbon stage. Here, bacteria and germs are filtered out and leave you with clean air to breathe. Bad odors will also be neutralized as the filter has antibacterial effects.

Three Speeds

You can choose between three fan speeds to suit the size of the room and sound. There are slow, medium and high settings. The quieter “slow” setting is perfect for nighttime use.

Night Light

The optional night light feature is the perfect addition for anyone who likes to set a calming mood in a room. Unlike other devices, this night light feature can be activated during any of the fan speeds. So if you like to have your air purifier on high at night, simply activate the night light as well.

Excellent for Allergies

If you’re struggling with allergies, this purifier will help. The HEPA filter effectively removes dust, allergens, and pet dander from the air. It will also neutralize any odors present.

Compact

The compact design makes it an excellent fit on any nightstand or small table. Designed to cover an area of up to 160 square feet, it’ll sit well on your living room coffee table.

Keep In Mind

White Noise

Although this device is marked as quiet, it isn’t completely silent. Some customers reported a buzzing sound while others compared it to white noise.

Additional Specs

Dimensions7.5 x 13.5 inches
Fan Speed OptionsThree speeds
Applicable Area160 square feet
Number of FiltersThree-stage
Noise LevelNot specified

3. Enther Air Purifier for Mold

Best Features

Enther AP1C Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter, Air Filter for Allergies Pets Smoke Smokers Home Mold Dust, Air Cleaner Odor Eliminator for Large Room, White
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If you have a large room, such as the living room, that needs cleaner air, this purifier is for you. The three-stage filter will cover up to 376 square feet.

This air purifier might be budget-friendly, but it’s also more “heavy-duty” compared to others in the same price range. In a matter of 10 minutes, you can enjoy cleaner air.

However, there’s a downside. The Enther Air Purifier is significantly louder than other small purifiers — clocking in at 56 decibels.

On a positive note, this air purifier is covered by a two-year warranty and lifetime support. It also has a few smart features that make it a favorite among many customers.

Why We Love It

Effective

Most small air purifiers similar to this are most effective in smaller rooms such as bedrooms. However, this device will be able to cover a large area at a time. It also works fast and efficiently, making your air cleaner within 10 minutes of activation.

Three-Stage Filtration

The three filters will remove pollen, dust, pet dander and even mold. It’s 100 percent ozone-free and safe for you and your family.

If you or a family member is struggling with allergies, the HEPA filter in this device can make a difference. It effectively removes common allergens such as pollen and dust mites.

Smart Features

This air purifier is a favorite among many homeowners, thanks to the features you get while saving a few bucks. First and foremost, you get to choose between three fan speeds to suit the room size. The LED light changes color to indicate the air quality while in auto mode. It also changes the fan speed accordingly.

In sleep mode, the fan is on the lowest setting to purify your air without making too much noise. You can choose to dim the LED light to use as a night light or turn it off completely.

Aroma Box

If you appreciate a nice, aromatic setting in your house, try the aroma box at the top of the device. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (we like lavender and vanilla), and the purifier will act as an oil diffuser.

Keep In Mind

Noisy

The Enther Air Purifier produces 56 decibels worth of noise when activated. This is significantly higher than similar devices. Some customers compared it to white noise while others said it produces a loud buzz.

Additional Specs

Dimensions8.5 x 8.5 x 12.5 inches
Fan Speed OptionsThree speeds
Applicable Area376 square feet
Number of FiltersThree-stage, aroma box
Noise Level56 decibels

4. Guardian Technologies Germ Guardian Air Purifier

Best Eco-Friendly

Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer, Eliminates Germs, Filters Allergies, Pollen, Smoke, Dust Pet Dander, Mold Odors, Quiet 22 inch 4-in-1 Air Purifier for Home AC4825E
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If you’re looking for a larger, budget-friendly air purifier, check this out. This smart-looking device stands tall on the floor without looking out of place.

It uses two filters and UV-C light to remove up to 99.97 percent of allergens and airborne particles. You can enjoy cleaner air and a better smell in your house as it will neutralize odors.

The smart design suits any house and covers up to 167 square feet using a three-speed fan. One of the many reasons why we like this air purifier is the fact that it’s Energy Star certified. This means it uses less energy, so you can enjoy cleaner air while being more eco-friendly.

Why We Love It

Three-In-One Filter

To increase your indoor air quality, this air purifier uses a pre-filter and charcoal filter that captures dust, odors and pet hair. As the air travels through the HEPA filter, common allergens such as pollen and dust mites will be removed.

At last, the air will be exposed to powerful UV-C light. This effectively kills airborne viruses such as staph and rhinovirus. The last stage will also reduce volatile organic compounds often found in common household cleaners (5).

Good for Large Rooms

The air purifier can stand next to the sofa, in the kitchen or in a hallway. It effectively cleans the air in medium to large rooms of up to 167 square feet.

Eco-Friendly

If you’re looking for more ways to make yourself and your home more eco-friendly, this device is for you. It’s Energy Star certified and, therefore, uses less energy without being any less effective.

Keep In Mind

Expensive Replacement Filters

Although this purifier works well, it isn’t as affordable in the long run. Replacement filters are quite costly. Plus, considering that Germ Guardian recommends them to be replaced every three months, it can become too expensive.

Additional Specs

Dimensions22 inches high
Fan Speed OptionsThree speeds
Applicable Area167 square feet
Number of FiltersTwo-stage with UV-C sanitizer
Noise LevelLow 46 decibels, medium 53 decibels, high 61 decibels

5. LEVOIT Air Purifier

Best Budget Pufifier for Nighttime

LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers, Smoke, Dust, Mold, and Pollen, Cleaner for Bedroom, Large Room with Optional Night Light, LV-H132, White
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If you’re looking for an air purifier to clean your air while sleeping, this is for you. This purifier from Levoit operates extremely quietly, making it optimal for nighttime use.

It uses a three-stage filtration system to remove smoke, dust mites, allergens and odors from your indoor air. Choose between a variety of settings to suit the location and time of day.

Replacing the filters is easy and affordable, unlike other brands. You also get a two-year warranty to cover any defects or malfunctions, plus lifetime support of your device.

The compact size makes it an excellent choice for small spaces such as a bedroom or nursery. You can dim the LED light or turn it off completely for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Why We Love It

Ozone-Free

The three-stage filtration is 100 percent free of ozone to protect you and your family. It uses a preliminary filter that removes larger particles such as hair and pet dander. The HEPA filter then removes allergens and bacteria, while the activated carbon filter absorbs odors and bacteria.

Super Quiet

When the device is on the low setting, the noise level is around 25 decibels. This is close to unnoticeable, which makes it the perfect addition for a bedroom or nursery.

In addition to being quiet, you have the option of turning the LED light off altogether. This is something not many budget-friendly air purifiers offer. It makes a significant difference for people who like to sleep in a dark room.

Better Motor

This air purifier is fitted with a new and improved motor compared to older Levoit devices. The upgraded motor is more stable which, in turn, prolongs its lifespan.

Keep In Mind

Buttons Will Sometimes Freeze

There have been a few reports of the on/off button freezing, and requiring unplugging and replugging.

Additional Specs

Dimensions10 x 10 x 16 inches
Fan Speed OptionsThree speeds
Applicable Area86 square feet
Number of FiltersThree-stage
Noise Level25 decibels

Detailed Comparison Chart

ProductBestDimensionsFan Speed OptionsApplicable AreaNo. of FiltersNoise Level
JINPUS Air Purifier with HEPA FilterOverall4.92 x 7.64″2 speeds300 sq ft3-stage30 dec
GENIANI Home Air PurifierAllergies7.5 x 13.5″3 speeds160 sq ft3-stageN/A
Enther Air Purifier For MoldFeatures8.5 x 8.5 x 12.5″3 speeds376 sq ft3-stage56 dec
Guardian Technologies Germ GuardianEco-Friendly22″ high3 speeds167 sq ft2-stageLow 46 dec, Med 53 dec, High 61 dec
LEVOIT Air PurifierNighttime10 x 10 x 16″3 speeds86 sq ft3-stage25 dec
Jump to the Full Cheap Air Purifier Reviews

Keeping It Budget-Friendly

When you choose a cheap air purifier, it’s important to understand what to expect. First of all it is unlikely to cover large areas. These appliances are more fitted for bedrooms and small living areas.

Second, look for high-quality filters such as True HEPA instead of HEPA-grade if you’re dealing with allergies or asthma.

Finally, these devices have one bonus advantage. The best cheap air purifiers are generally more compact in design, as well as lightweight. So if you’re a frequent traveler, you might even be able to enjoy purified air while away from home.

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About the Author

Matthew Sullivan

As a writer with keen interests in DIY and HVAC, Matthew has always found great pleasure in taking things apart and learning how to put them back together.
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