While you’d have to shell out several hundred dollars for many of the top air purifiers on the market, it’s definitely possible to spend less on a device that works to remove unwanted smoke, dust, and pollen particles from the air in your home or office. The best budget air purifiers may not perform on the same scale as their more expensive counterparts, but they’re still an effective way to reduce allergies and odors.
Before purchasing an air purifier, the first thing you’ll want to think about is the size of your space in comparison with the recommended coverage area for each model. It’s unlikely that you’ll find an air purifier that will be effective in a large open-plan space for under $100, but you can certainly find a quality air purifier for a bedroom, office, or other enclosed room. And don’t forget to factor in the height of your room! You’ll need an air purifier that can cover more space if you have very high ceilings.
You should also think about whether the size of the air purifier itself matters to you. Some models are small and subtle enough to fit easily on a desktop or counter, but larger and more conspicuous models may be more secure on the ground.
Efficiency is another thing to consider. The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) indicates how efficiently each air purifier can process air on its highest speed — a higher CADR rating indicates a more efficient device.
Finally, take a look at the noise level for each air purifier, as some are louder than others. They can range from 15 to 75 decibels (dB) — the lower the noise level, in decibels, the quieter the machine. If you’re a light sleeper and you plan to run your air purifier at night, you may want to opt for a quieter model.
While more research is needed for us to fully understand the long-term benefits of using an indoor filtration system or air purifier, many users have reported positive results with the following models in their own homes, citing less severe allergies, a reduction in odors, and more. Here are the best air purifiers under $100 you can snag on Amazon:
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1. The Best Overall Air Purifier: Pure Enrichment PureZone 3-In-1 Air Purifier
Recommended coverage area: Up to 200 square feet
Size of the device: 10.8 x 7 x 12.5 inches
With over 3,000 Amazon ratings and counting, the Pure Enrichment Purezone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier is a great choice for an air purifier for your home or office. It contains a three-stage filtration with a carbon pre-filter, HEPA filter, and UV-C light and photocatalyst filter. It offers three speed settings and a timed auto shut-off option you can set to two, four, or eight hours.
The four-button control panel at the top of the appliance is really simple to use, and features an indicator light that serves as a reminder to replace the filter. You'll also find a handle on the back of the appliance to make it easier to move around the air purifier if the need arises.
Its noise level is 30dB on the quietest setting and its CADR is 80 cubic feet per minute. Some reviewers have mentioned that the airflow is weak compared to other purifiers they’ve had, so it's likely best to use this model in small rooms. Should you have any issues with the device, it's covered by a five-year warranty.
Reviewers say: “This purifying system is quiet, efficient, has easy [portability], nice aesthetic design, intuitive operation, a high quality build and an outstanding price point. Most importantly--it WORKS!”
2. The Best Compact Air Purifier: KOIOS Air Purifier
Recommended coverage area: Up to 60 square feet
Size of device: 7.5 x 6.9 x 6.9 inches
This super compact KOIOS Air Purifier is the best budget option for small rooms like enclosed offices. It has a three-stage filtration using a preliminary filter, HEPA filter, and carbon filter.
Use the single-button control panel to turn the device on the low setting, the high setting, and off. Its noise level is 50dB on its lowest setting, which is louder than the other air purifiers on this list. (For context, 50dB is about as loud as a conversation at home.) You won't find an auto shut-off or timer functionality and its blue light can’t be turned off or dimmed while it's on — but this basic model has a cheap price and comes with a three-year warranty.
Reviewers say: “This thing works perfectly, is a nice size, and is super light to carry. It also has a blue light to indicate when it's on. [... It’s] been a true lifesaver. I'm really satisfied.”
3. The Best Air Purifier With An Air Quality Indicator: Nobebird A8 Air Purifier
Recommended coverage area: Up to 270 square feet
Size of the device: 8.3 x 8.3 x 12.2 inches
With the Nobebird A8 Air Purifier, you get four stages of filtration (pre-filter, HEPA filter, carbon filter, and cotton filter), three fan speed settings, and a sleep mode. It also features an air quality indicator light that displays the amount of particulate matter in the air, based on the Air Pollution Index.
This Nobebird model has a CADR rating of 255+ and the noise level is 40dB on its quietest setting. You can set it to automatically turn off after one, four, or eight hours, and an indicator light that automatically reminds you to change the filter after 2,000 hours of use. The Nobebird A8 Air Purifier is covered by a two-year warranty.
Reviewers say: “Overall I feel that this is a top quality air filter for a really good price and recommend it to anyone looking at more mainstream expensive brands.”
4. The Best Quiet Air Purifier: Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier
Recommended coverage area: Up to 215 square feet
Size of the device: 8.7 x 8.7 x 14.2 inches
The Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier has a CADR of 230+ cubic meters per hour and a three-stage filtration system with a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and carbon filter. It offers three fan speeds, a sleep mode, and an auto shut-off timer for two, four, six, or eight hours. Its quietest setting has a noise level of 24dB (20dB is about as loud as a whisper).
The control panel features a filter replacement indicator light, and the device comes with a one-year warranty with the option to extend it one additional year.
Reviewers say: “The control panel of the purifier is very user-friendly and well designed. It has timer with buttons to set the duration. There are even buttons to control the display and indicate the status of the filter. Of course, you can control the speed of the fan. It has no noise at all when I sit 1 meter away from it. I tested there is no odd smell in my room anymore if I turn it on for a couple of hours.”
5. The Best Air Purifier With Aromatherapy: Elechomes Air Purifier EPI081
Recommended coverage area: Up to 215 square feet
Size of the device: 6.3 x 6.3 x 9.3 inches
If you enjoy essential oil aromatherapy, the Elechomes Air Purifier is the way to go. Simply place a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the pad in the fragrance box and the scent will subtly diffuse into the air. This air purifier has three stages of filtration: pre-filter, HEPA filter, and carbon filter. The four-button control panel is straightforward to use and allows you to set the air purifier to one of three fan speed settings or sleep mode. On its quietest setting, it produces 33dB of noise. You can also set the auto shut-off timer to one, two, four, or eight hours. An indicator light appears after 3,000 hours of use to remind you to replace the filter. It comes with a one-year warranty.
Reviewers say: “You can smell the difference with using this Air Purifier so you know the air is actually cleaner! Love that you can add oils as well. Love IT!”
Vijayan, V. K., Paramesh, H., Salvi, S. S., & Dalal, A. A. (2015). Enhancing indoor air quality - The air filter advantage. Lung India : official organ of Indian Chest Society, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4587002/
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