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Best Cheap Air Purifiers of 2022

Updated
Cheap and durable? Now we're talking.

An air purifier promises 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.

We’ve gathered some of the best cheap air purifiers that work effectively without breaking the bank. Through researching expert advice and real customer reviews, we’ve examined size, fan speed options, filter types, noise levels, and efficiency of various air purifiers.

Get ready to meet our five favorites.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the JINPUS Air Purifier Small Portable Air Cleaner for Bedroom with HEPA Filter, Upgraded Low Noise Home Air Purifiers GL-2103 (Powered by 4.9ft USB Cable, No Adapter)
Best Overall
Jinpus Air Purifier with HEPA Filter
  • Compact design
  • Quiet at 30 deciebls
  • Easy to operate
Product Image of the Air Purifiers for Home, KOIOS H13 HEPA Air Purifier for Bedroom Small Room Office Desk, Air Filter for Pets Hair Dander Smoke Pollen, Night Light,100% Ozone Free
Best for Allergies
Koios Air Purifier
  • Removes bacteria
  • Easy to use
  • Optional night light
Product Image of the 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter Air Purifier, for Small Room, Desktop, Portable Size, Air Cleaner for Bedroom, Office, RV, Travel, Odor Eliminator for Allergies and Pets, Smoke, Dust, Blue Night Light, 2 Fan Speed Quiet by MOOKA
Best Features
Mooka EPI810 True HEPA
  • Certified ozone-free
  • Nightlight feature
  • Effective and quick
Product Image of the Germ Guardian Air Purifier for Home, Bedroom, Office, H13 HEPA Filter, Removes Dust, Allergens, Smoke, Pollen, Odors, Mold, UV-C Light Helps Kill Germs, 22 Inch, Dark Gray, AC4825E
Best Eco-Friendly Purifier
Guardian Technologies Germ Guard
  • Three-in-one filter
  • Good for large rooms
  • Eco-friendly operation
Product Image of the LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home, H13 True HEPA Filter for Smoke, Dust, Mold, and Pollen in Bedroom, Ozone Free, Filtration System Odor Eliminators for Office with Optional Night Light, 1 Pack, White
Best for Nighttime
Levoit Air Purifier
  • Ozone-free filtration
  • Super quiet at 25 decibels
  • Reliable aftercare


Product Reviews

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

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 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 can choose between two modes to suit your needs: normal mode and sleep mode.

What We Like

Compact Design Suits Small Homes

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, you can easily fit this device into a suitcase. It weighs only 1.2 pounds, so taking it with you on vacation is a breeze.

Quiet Operation, Even for Nighttime

This is an excellent choice if you like to use an air purifier at night while you’re sleeping. Although it features two fan speeds, it clocks in at 30 decibels. To put this into perspective, normal conversation is around 60 decibels (1).

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 Captures 99.97 Percent of Particles

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.

What We Don't Like

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 a phone charger with a USB connection or another adapter.

The Light is Too Bright

Many customers found that the light on the air purifier is too bright. Even though you can dim it, it can still illuminate quite a bit of light which may be detrimental to your sleep.

Filters Don’t Last Long

Customers found that the filters weren’t working well after a month.  To update the filters monthly is a hassle and expensive. Plus, customers found this air purifier wasn’t the easiest to clean.

Product Specs

Dimensions 4.92 x 7.64 inches
Fan Speed Options Two speeds
Applicable Area 300 square feet
Number of Filters Three-stage
Noise Level 30 decibels

2. Koios H13 Air Purifier

Best for Allergies

This compact air purifier from Koios features a HEPA filter and can remove a significant amount of airborne particles such as smoke and dust. Many customers found that this helped massively with allergies, providing significant relief.

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

What We Like

Removes Bacteria From Home

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

Easy Machine to Use

There is only a single button used for turning the machine on and off. The same button is used for using the night light function. You can choose between low and high settings. The quieter “low” setting is perfect for nighttime use.

Optional 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, you can activate this night light feature during any speed setting. 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 Design Suits Small Spaces

The compact design makes it an excellent fit on any nightstand or small table. Designed to cover an area of up to 156 square feet, it’ll sit nicely on your living room coffee table.

What We Don't Like

Provides Background 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. To put it into perspective, it is under 25 decibels, so it’s similar to a whisper. But some people compared it to a high-pitched whistle.

Bright Light

While some might like the blue night light function, others hate that you cannot turn it off. It’s a bit too bright for some people, especially when they’re trying to sleep.

Expensive Replacement Filters

The issue with cheaper air purifiers is that you must change the filter more often. When the filter is expensive, it can add up over time. The replacement filters for this model are about half the price of the air purifier itself!

Product Specs

Dimensions 7.5 x 6.9 inches
Fan Speed Options Two speeds
Applicable Area 156 square feet
Number of Filters Three-stage
Noise Level 25 decibels

3. Mooka EPI810 True HEPA Air Purifier

Best Features

If you have a small room that needs cleaner air, this purifier is for you. The three-stage filter will cover up to 146 square feet.

This air purifier might be budget-friendly, but it’s also more “heavy-duty” compared to others in the same price range.

However, there is a single drawback I have cited from this air purifier. This is significantly louder than other small purifiers with only a minuscule difference of five decibels compared to its top contender, the Jinpus air purifier.

On a positive note, this air purifier is equipped with a HEPA filter which is perfect if you have allergies as it captures as little as 0.3 microns of particles.

What We Like

Works Quickly and Effectively

Most small air purifiers similar to this are most effective in smaller rooms such as bedrooms. It also works fast and efficiently, making your air cleaner within minutes of activation. Moreover, the purified air is emitted in the vent in 360-degrees directions. This will ensure no nasty air is circulating in your area.

Certified Ozone-Free

This air purifier is a favorite among many homeowners, thanks to the features you get while saving a few bucks. The three filters will remove pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander. It’s 100 percent ozone-free, certified by the California Air Resources Board, and is safe for you and your family.

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

Optional Nightlight Feature

I mean business when I said that this purifier has fantastic features as you can use this purifier as a night light, thereby saving you extra energy while sleeping. For those who dislike the idea of light at night, you can turn this off by simply pressing and holding the power button.

Easy to Operate

There’s only one button on this machine, meaning it’s easy to understand. The one button allows for two different fan speeds. Set it and walk away; it will do the hard work for you.

What We Don't Like

Only Works for Small Rooms

With a room coverage of 146 square feet, this isn’t as generous as one may hope. If you have small rooms, it’s fine, but for medium or large rooms, this will be disappointing.

Doesn’t Eliminate Strong Odors

You might find that this doesn’t quite hit the mark with eliminating strong odors such as smoke or pet smells.

35 Decibels Loud

This is the loudest option on our list. At 35 decibels, it’s similar to light rainfall, which some customers like as white noise, but some customers hate. If you like sleeping and relaxing in silence, this isn’t the air purifier for you.

Product Specs

Dimensions 7.5 x 6.9 x 6.9 inches
Fan Speed Options Two speeds
Applicable Area 146 square feet
Number of Filters Three-stage
Noise Level 35 decibels

4. Guardian Technologies Germ Guardian Air Purifier

Best Eco-Friendly Purifier

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 we like this air purifier is that it’s Energy Star certified. This means it uses less energy, so you can enjoy cleaner air while being more eco-friendly.

What We Like

Three-In-One Filter

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

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 common household cleaners’ volatile organic compounds (2).

Good for Large Rooms

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

More Eco-Friendly Than Other Options

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

Tackles Bad Odors

Due to the charcoal filter in the machine, this is great at eliminating odors in your house. Whether this is from cooking, pets, or smoking, this air purifier is built to handle it.

What We Don't Like

Expensive Replacement Filters

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

Poor Air Flow

Some customers find that the airflow is pretty poor. If you live in a particularly dusty place, it’s not the most effective. This is partly because the filters become clogged pretty quickly. You might notice that they only function well for a couple of days or so before you need to clean or replace them.

It Eventually Burns Out

The electrics in this machine aren’t the most durable. Many customers said they burnt out after only a few months. Some lasted longer, while others lasted a few years. But ultimately, it’s the electrics that kill it off. You’ll first notice a burning plastic smell, then you’ll know the machine is on its way out.

Product Specs

Dimensions 22 inches high
Fan Speed Options Three speeds
Applicable Area 167 square feet
Number of Filters Two-stage with UV-C sanitizer
Noise Level Low 46 decibels, medium 53 decibels, high 61 decibels

5. Levoit Air Purifier

Best for Nighttime

If you’re looking for an air purifier to clean your air while sleeping, this is for you. This purifier from Levoit operates 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 various settings to suit the location and time of day.

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.

What We Like

Ozone-Free Filtration System

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

Super Quiet at 25 Decibels

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

In addition to being quiet, you can turn 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.

Upgraded Levoit 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.

More Reliable Aftercare

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 for your device.

What We Don't Like

Buttons Will Sometimes Freeze

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

Weak Air Flow

This isn’t the strongest airflow on the market. You can put your hand up to it and feel minimal suction. It’s better for tidy houses with minimal dust. If you’re trying to purify air from a home with smokers and pets, you might be disappointed.

Starts to Rattle

After about a year, some customers noticed that the machine started to rattle. Since this is supposed to be a quiet air purifier, a rattle defeats the point.

Product Specs

Dimensions 10 x 10 x 16 inches
Fan Speed Options Three speeds
Applicable Area 86 square feet
Number of Filters Three-stage
Noise Level 25 decibels

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Dimensions Fan Speed Options Applicable Area No. of Filters Noise Level
Jinpus Air Purifier with HEPA Filter Overall 4.92 x 7.64″ 2 speeds 300 sq ft 3-stage 30 dec
Koios H13 Air Purifier Allergies 7.5 x 6.9″ 2 speeds 156 sq ft 3-stage 25 dec
Mooka EPI810 True HEPA Features 7.5 x 6.9 x 6.9″ 2 speeds 146 sq ft 3-stage 35 dec
Guardian Technologies  Eco-Friendly 22″ high 3 speeds 167 sq ft 2-stage Low: 46, Med: 53, High: 61
Levoit Air Purifier Nighttime 10 x 10 x 16″ 3 speeds 86 sq ft 3-stage 25 dec

What Is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is a device that cleans indoor air. It’s usually fitted with a small fan 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 mold, VOCs, and viruses. However, there’s also concern regarding this system: Ozone.

UV-C light bulbs can produce certain amounts of ozone. Although ozone protects us from things like skin cancer, it can be harmful when inhaled in large amounts (3). 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 (4).

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 (5).

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:

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.

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

Type of Filter and Its Efficiency

If you suffer from severe allergies or asthma, 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.

A cheap air purifier is sufficient for people merely looking to improve their surrounding air.

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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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 filter’s size, not the quality.

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


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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Headshot of Matthew Sullivan

About the Author

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew is a freelance writer with several years of experience in DIY and HVAC. For as long as he can remember, Matthew has always found great pleasure in taking things apart and learning how to put them back together.