The Best Air Purifiers For College Dorms – Get Great Fresh Air For Your Room!

Best air purifiers for college dorms featured image

Got allergies, odor, or other air quality problems in your dorm? Picking a great air purifier’s a smart decision.

In this post, I’ll show you 5 of the best air purifiers for college dorms along with the details & pros and cons to know before buying.

There’s also some helpful basic information to help you learn more about air purifiers and what they do. Read on to find out more and see some of the best buys for your money!

Contents

How do air purifiers work?

Diagram illustrating how an air purifier works

Most popular air purifiers sold today like this GermGuardian AC4825 use a highly effective design with one or more filters. These are efficient at cleaning the air as, unlike other products sold using gimmicks, they remove contaminants from the air you breathe. They do so by circulating the air in a room and cleaning it as it passes through the filters.

While there are different kinds sold out there, most air purifiers work using a simple, but effective, concept: They use fans to move air through a very dense type of filter material called a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to permanently trap unwanted particulates.

They’re both efficient and safe as they don’t produce any by-products that can cause headaches or other symptoms that products like ozone generators can cause. In addition, most of the better quality purifiers sold also include 1 or more added filters or cleaning stages to do things like trap hair or dust and odors, too.

To trap odors and airborne chemical vapors, also called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a filter with activated carbon is used because of its odor-absorbing properties.

A filter stage called the pre-filter may or may not be separate from the odor-absorbing filter and has another purpose. It catches larger particulates like pet hair, dust, and fibers before they can reach the main (HEPA) filter and can even be vacuumed for longer life.

It’s all about cycling and cleaning the air

As they run they circulate the air in a room, continuously cleaning it. Purifiers are recommended for rooms like dorm rooms based on the square foot size which affects how much air must be circulated.

For example, a small room purifier has less air to circulate and clean and can use a smaller fan. While a large or medium-room purifier has to use faster or multiple fans to circulate & clean the air efficiently.

Purifiers are often (but not always) rated on how many times they can circulate & clean the air for their greatest recommend room size.

Most also have selectable fan speeds and you can set them to a low speed for quiet operation at night. You can also find some with bonus features like a germ killer to eliminate airborne microbes.

What is a HEPA filter?

Diagram showing HEPA filter efficiency
A “true HEPA” is a filter meeting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard set back in the 1950s. This standard requires that the filter can trap 99.97% of all substances entering it.

A HEPA filter can remove contaminants smaller than a microscopic 1/1,000,000 of a meter (1 micron) in size! That’s way below what the human eye can see.

As an example, dust and hair are very large while dust mite particles are close to 5 microns in size. Pollen is close to this size as well. However, some air quality problems like smoke can be much smaller, including below 1 micron wide.

Air purifier HEPA filter material example close up

An up-close look at a HEPA filter with a foam seal around the edges. Used in air purifiers and other air cleaning systems, they’re made up of very dense fibers in a folded shape held in place inside a frame.

HEPA filters are made of a very dense, folder material made up of fibers that allow air to pass but stop airborne contaminants. Electric fans draw in air, force it through a filter, and the clean air is released back into the room.

As I mentioned earlier, HEPA filters meet a standard in which they can trap 99.97% of all particles that pass through them. This means that  for every 10,000 particles than enter a HEPA filter, only about 3 escape!

They’re used for a range of air problems such as:

  • Allergens (plants, pets, etc)
  • Pet dander & hair
  • Dust mites
  • Dust & fibers
  • Smoke particles

…and more.

What is a pre-filter/activated carbon filter?

The most effective air purifiers include both the HEPA filter section and a pre-filter/activated carbon section, too. They work together to remove not just microscopic particles (as the HEPA filter is best at) but also odors, vapors, and larger elements like pet hair or dust.

As I mentioned earlier, air purifiers may include an extra filter called the pre-filter. This is a section which, when added along with the main HEPA filter, gives some extra benefits. They’re often a mesh-like material and in many cases can be replaced separately as needed.

As a HEPA filter can last a range of months (8-12 months for example, depending on circumstances) it’s great if we can extend its life before replacement is needed.

A pre-filter can trap things like larger fibers, hair, and dust before they can reach and prematurely clog up the main filter.

GermGuardian FLT4825 dirty filter vacuum example image

An example of dust buildup on one of my air purifier’s pre-filters. Since there’s so much buildup of dust, it’s smart to vacuum it off to keep the filter working and airflow good until replacement time.

In many cases, once the pre-filter has become very dirty (like dust buildup) you can brush it off or vacuum it to keep it working well until replacement time comes.

Most quality brands include an activated carbon treatment on the pre-filter itself. Activated carbon can absorb and trap odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are bad for your health or can cause headaches, coughing, and other problems.

In many, but not all, purifiers, you can replace these separately to keep maintenance costs low. That’s great, since why should you replace the HEPA filter and spend money when it’s not needed yet?

Room size and choosing the right purifier for your needs

Diagram showing example of calculating room size coverage for an air purifier

A purifier is usually recommended by the manufacturer based on the (largest) room size to use it in. While in a few cases it may be listed in cubic feet, normally this room size is given in square feet. To figure out a room’s size in square feet, just multiply the width times the length. In the example above, this AC4825 model is good for rooms up to 155 sq. ft. in size. That’s a room of about 10 x 15 1/2 feet in size.

What you’ll find when shopping is that many have a recommend maximum room size they’ll work for. It’s not that they can’t work in larger rooms. However, an air purifier that’s good for smaller rooms like college dorms can’t move enough air efficiently in larger rooms.

Most of the time, an air purifier is recommended for a room size (small, medium, large, etc) based on square feet. To find out the square feet size of a room, just multiply the length times the width.

Understanding the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) rating

Levoit LV-H132 CADR ratings label

Example of a CADR label provided by some, but not all, air cleaning appliance manufacturers. The 3 numbers shown tell you the effectiveness of the purifier’s air cleaning.

In case you’ve never heard of it, the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is an industry-standard way of testing and determining an air cleaner product’s effectiveness.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is an organization that verifies home appliances for the industry. While they’re nice to have for comparing similar products, CADR rating tests are voluntary and not required by law.

CADR ratings are numbers used to help you know an air cleaner’s performance before buying. The rating numbers are based on “higher is better.”

In order to find out how well an air purifier cleans the air, 3 types of tests (smoke, pollen, and dust) are performed in a controlled lab environment and the performance is given a rating. The purifier is then given a rating the manufacturer may display in ads or specifications if they like.

What to know when shopping

There’s one problem, though. For lower-priced air purifiers, even from high-quality brands, it’s not unusual for them to not include CADR performance numbers.

When it comes to small room air purifiers, you can definitely assume that there aren’t any CADR numbers provided then it’s somewhere under 100.

In fact, somewhere around 75 is probably a good guess. That doesn’t mean they’re not good quality, but it’s just harder for a very small purifier to move as much room air as a bigger model can.

Therefore, it’s easy to see why better-performing models are those recommended or medium or large-sized rooms – they have more fans or a more powerful fan design.

Note: You can always use a purifier recommended for a larger room in a small room. They’ll simply work faster than a small room purifier would the same space. 

What kind of air purifier do I need?

Ionizer and ozone generator examples image

Examples of products that claim to use special features like ozone or ions (charged air elements) to clean the air. Left: An ionizer air purifier. Right: An ozone generator. Ionizers aren’t as effective as a filter-based purifier and aren’t recommend. Ozone generators are similar, but can be more effective but only at dangerous ozone production levels. Both can produce by-products that can irritate your breathing passageways and are best avoided.

Stay away from “ionizers” and ozone generators! These are often very ineffective and a waste of your hard-earned money! The level of ozone at which point they become effective at purifying the air is unsafe and will cause several health problems (or at the very least, discomfort).

I recommend picking a quality HEPA filter air purifier. Ionizers and ozone generators sold as “purifiers” just don’t have the proven performance of a good filter-based purifier. That’s because the don’t remove contaminants quickly & efficiently like how a HEPA purifier does.

★ 5 of the best air purifiers for college dorms ★

Our top picks at a glance

ImageProductDetails
sample-table__image★ OUR #1 CHOICE ★GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best seller and overall an excellent value! Easy to use and quiet.
  • 155 sq ft coverage, 100+ CADR lab tested rating
  • True HEPA, carbon filter for odors, UV-C germ killer
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageULTRA QUIET!Levoit LV-H132
  • Electronic controls and super quiet operation
  • 129 sq ft, true HEPA + carbon filter
  • Touch controls, night light, and memory feature
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageHamilton Beach TrueAir
  • HEPA filter can be vacuumed for longer life
  • Works upright or on its side. Great compact, effective air cleaning.
  • Simple 3-speed control. Available in pet version and 2 colors.
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageUnder $50Holmes HAP9240
  • A great budget choice! Affordable version of a true HEPA filter.
  • Built-in ionizer for additional cleaning. Up to 109 sq. ft. coverage
  • Simple/easy controls. Works on its side or vertically
Check at Amazon

Product reviews and details

1. GermGuardian AC4825 – A best-selling model that’s also a good value, too.

Best seller product review badge graphic image
Hands-down, the GermGuardian AC4825 is one of the all-time best-selling air purifiers today and it’s easy to see why!

You’ll get not only more room coverage for your money but the addition of an ultraviolet (UV) germ killing feature, too.

Take a look at why it’s one of the best well-rounded values today:

  • True HEPA filter
  • UV-C germ killing feature
  • Super-easy filter maintenance
  • Inexpensive replacement filters
  • Separate pre-filter for reduced costs
  • Filter check reminder feature
  • Carrying handle for easy moving
  • Available in white or the AC4900 style, too
  • Lab tested CADR rating of 100+
  • 155 sq. ft. room coverage

Good air purification performance

The true HEPA filter and odor-absorbing pre-filter work together to keep your dorm room fresh, reduce allergies, and let you breathe & enjoy college the way you deserve.

Nasties such as dust, hair, and more get blocked by the pre-filter which can be replaced separately to keep costs down. The HEPA filter works great to block all kinds of terrible allergens, dust mites, pollen, and even mold spores to freshen the air you breathe and reduce sickness.

Unlike many competitors in its price range, the AC4825 also offers lab-tested performance with a CADR of 100+.

While it may lack the fancier features found in others, it’s one of the easiest to use and very reliable as well. I’m a big fan as I own one myself!

In fact, you can read more in my detailed review of the AC4825 here.

AC4825E top controls image

Top-down view of the control panel. A simple 3-speed fan rotary control is easy to use for anyone. The power indicator LED will blink to remind you when it’s time to check the filters.

A 3-speed fan control is provided and a great choice for those who prefer simple controls & operation.

The filter is easy to remove and replace by opening the rear door and simply swapping it out. A replacement reminder is included as well.

UV-C germ killing feature

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

When switched on, the UV-C feature also doubles as a nice glowing blue trim around the front and sides. It’s a cool look I love as I own one myself!

The ultraviolet light feature (UV-C) works with titanium oxide to break down & destroy illness-causing microbes & germs in the air around you. It’s a nice addition that most competitors don’t offer. 

When switched on, you’ll see a soft, safe glow in the translucent trim around the base of the top that lets you know it’s working to destroy germs.

Overall opinion

At 22 inches in height, it’s not as compact as other models, but fits well into corners or other spaces. Replacement filters cost about $15-20 and last about 6 months depending upon use. You’ll also find many 3rd part options offered for those of you on a budget, too!

The GermGuardian line of purifiers is one of the most reputable on the market, and without a doubt the AC4825 is a true “workhorse” that people love, judging by the thousands of great buyer reviews.

I’ve enjoyed mine, too, and I love how hassle-free it is to use. The fan speeds are good, it’s relatively quiet, and works well to solve a whole range of air quality issues.

The true HEPA filter and pre-filter are some of the easiest to replace I’ve ever used! If you’re in the market for a good value but not a wimpy purifier, it’s a great compromise between cost & performance.

While it’s not as quiet as some competitors, it’s still pretty low in noise when running. But that’s one of the few tiny gripes I have since I’ve enjoyed mine so much.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is great for nearly everyone
  • Better overall value for the dollar vs competitors
  • Great filtering performance
  • Quiet fan operation on low speed setting
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Nice blue glow when UV-C is on
  • Soft LED when power is on
  • Tower shape is great for corners or areas with vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature
  • Cannot wash & reuse filter (can vacuum)
  • Older design vs competitors like Levoit
  • Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service

As a happy owner, I can say it’s a solid, reliable purifier that works well to clean the air and is definitely a good choice for the money. I love mine so much I bought other GermGuardian models to use and test, too!

It’s a great match for your dorm room or bedroom while you’re at college.

Take a moment and see why it's one of the all-time best selling purifiers today at Amazon.

NEW GermGuardian AC4825W white model

Good news! You can now get the AC4825 we happy owners love in white as well.

Want some a bit different looking? Check out its twin, the sleek AC4900CA version here.

2. Levoit LV-H132 – A great addition to your college dorm. Quiet air cleaning + nice features.

Levoit LV-H132 purifier white front view

GermGuardian isn’t the only air purifier company to pay attention to – Levoit has produced some true winners like the LV-H132 for a few years now.

Without a doubt, it’s one of the quietest purifiers I’ve ever tested & owned!

Because of its stylish looks & compact design, it’s a great match for dorms, bedrooms, study halls, and much more. The LV-H132 uses a 3-stage true HEPA filter that’s great at eliminating odors, allergens, pet dander, dust mite by-products, and a lot more.

Levoit LV-H132 features image

The LV-H132 provides electronic touch controls. It’s simple to use and works well. Additionally, a memory feature means that upon the next power up it returns to the last settings you used.

Of the products listed here, it offers the most features in addition to a very pleasant and quiet operation on low speed.

A built-in night light with 2 brightness settings is a bonus feature.

The convenient filter replacement reminder lets you know when it’s time to inspect the filter and replace it if needed.

Replacement filters run around $30 and are simple to replace by opening the top cover.

Overall, I’m impressed. After much testing and use, I really enjoyed using it.

PROS:
  • Shorter height than competing tower purifiers
  • 2-year warranty
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Night light with 2 brightness levels
  • Nice looking, modern design
  • Electronic soft button controls
  • Quiet operation on low level won’t disturb sleep
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Great build quality & high reliability
  • Easy filter replacement
CONS:
  • Smaller room coverage than others in its price range (129 sq. ft.)
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • No air quality sensor
  • Electronic controls may not be suitable for some

It’s an excellent purifier with wonderful buyer reviews and great air cleaning performance.

Be sure to check out why it's one of the best sold today and was awarded the Amazon's Choice label.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

UPDATE: A sleek new black version is now available too!

3.  GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1: Super-compact air cleaning for offices, dorm rooms, and for a lower price.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle view

A great budget-priced model (around $50 or so), the AC4100 has an excellent reputation and is a nice little purifier that’s great for smaller rooms.

Measuring only 7.5 x 6.5 x 11″ in size, like other best-selling GermGuardian models it uses a true HEPA filter & activated carbon section to produce fresh, clean air and permanently remove those terrible air contaminants and odors that make your college dorm uncomfortable.

Check out what you’ll get for how little you pay:

  • True HEPA filter
  • UV-C germ killing feature
  • Super-easy filter maintenance
  • Inexpensive replacement filters
  • Separate pre-filter for reduced costs
  • Filter check reminder wheel
  • Also available in kids version (AC4150) in 3 colors w/ night light

Ultraviolet (UV-C) germ killing feature

You wouldn’t expect it for the price, but you’ll also get a germ killing feature activated by a switch on the front. A UV light along with titanium dioxide work to destroy germs and microbes for healthier air and reduced sickness.

Filters and replacement

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter maintenance on the AC4100 is super-easy! Just pull the tab and remove the rear cover. Next, you can easily remove the filter assembly. You’ll be done in seconds.

Replacement filters cost about $10+. For your convenience, there’s a filter installation date wheel on the rear to help you know when it’s time to replace it.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filtersUsing it is very easy with the 3 speed fan control. It’s quiet and generates a pleasing low noise level on the lowest setting. When set to high a sound like white noise is produced.

Unlike other models, the UV-C is an on/off switch and not a pushbutton control.

Final opinions

Like some other GermGuardian models I’ve tested, I’m not thrilled that there are no indicator lights for the UV-C feature being turned on or filter replacement. You’ll have to check the switch to see if you left it turned on as there’s no light.

Also, because of the compact size, it’s not the absolute quietest you’ll find, either. Still, it’s fairly quiet compared to others I’ve owned, and shouldn’t be a problem for sleeping or studying.

However, those are fairly minor complaints and overall it’s a well-made little purifier that’s a good choice. In fact, I reviewed the AC4100 in more detail here.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan control and on/off UV-C switch
  • UV & titanium dioxide design to kill germs
  • Great filtering ability for its small size
  • High speed setting moves a lot of air for purifying quickly
  • Filter replacement reminder wheel (month installed)
  • Low filter replacement price (about $10+)
  • Filter replacement date wheel (marks month installed)
  • Sleek, modern design
CONS:
  • 1 year warranty is shorter than other models
  • Fan speed on high could be slightly better
  • No filter replacement reminder
  • No more colors offered
  • No indicator light for UV-C “on”

Following the same great quality that has made GermGuardian purifiers some of the best today, it’s a great choice.

Definitely worth reading the many great buyer reviews that helped a best seller at Amazon.

4.  Hamilton Beach TrueAir Ultra Quiet – Compact, affordable, and quiet!

Hamilton Beach True Air purifier black front view

have a tighter budget? The Hamilton Beach TrueAir Ultra Quiet isn’t just affordable but also a well-made and compact popular model.

The genuine HEPA filter can be vacuumed clean. With the exception of heavy use, you won’t have to replace it as often as other products. You’ll not only save money for the upfront cost but in maintenance, too!

Hamilton Beach True Air purifier black top view

Controls are simple and easy to find on top. There’s an easy-access release for opening the filter for maintenance, too.

What I really like is how simple it is to use via the 3-speed rotary control. It’s a pretty quiet purifier, too, and you can sleep peacefully without worrying about being disturbed at night.

It’s small at only 8.5 x 13.5″ but the room coverage is a great 140 square feet. It’s a good choice for small rooms & offices.

One of the best things about the True Air is that it can be turned on its side to fit into smaller areas. Nice!

Nice! With the True Air, you can easily vacuum off the HEPA filter for extended life. It’s a great feature I love.

One drawback is that there’s no activated carbon/pre-filter section like some more expensive competitors or the GermGuardian AC4100. However, the easy access for cleaning the HEPA filter helps make up for that.

It’s available in both a nice black color and white as well. One weak point is the lack of odor absorption, so if bad smells are an issue in your room it’s not a good choice.

Otherwise, if you’re in the market for a small room purifier that’s affordable (below $50) and great for dorms, it’s a great option.

PROS:
  • HEPA filter effective for average dust and allergens
  • Main (HEPA) filter can be vacuumed and reused
  • Can be used on its side
  • Quiet operation
  • Nice design
  • 2 color options
  • Simple 3-speed operation control
CONS:
  • Limited room size coverage
  • No pre-filter or carbon filter section
  • No power indicator lights or filter replacement reminder
  • No sleep or auto-shutoff mode

Need small-room relief for dust, allergens, and more? It’s a nice affordable option worth checking out, especially with thousands of great buyer reviews!

Take a moment to see why it's one of the best-selling small purifiers at Amazon.

5.  Holmes HAP9240 HEPA-type desktop purifier – A low-cost performer & great for dorms!

Holmes HAP9240 air purifier product imageLooking for a competent but lower-priced choice? The Holmes HAP9240 may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. You’ll get a great compromise between performance, filter options, and price.
It’s not the smallest but measures a reasonable 14.8 x 11.4 x 7.2 inches in size.

Featuring a small size that’s perfect for countertops, shelves, and even desks, the Holmes can also be placed vertically on its back. The purifier features built-in rests on the rear to allow it to stand on its end.

For around $50 or so, it’s a good value. Check out the features:

  • Near-HEPA air filter quality for less money (filters 99% of particles)
  • Up to 100 sq. ft. room size coverage
  • 3 cleaning speeds and low noise operation
  • Filter reminder indicator light
  • Optional ionizer feature
  • Can be used in a vertical position
  • Black color option (availability may vary)
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Washable pre-filter
  • Affordable replacement filters
  • 12 month HEPA filter life

The Holmes desktop air purifier includes a washable filter and HEPA-type filter (left). (Right) Have special air cleaning needs? You’ve got some good options! Pick one of the 3 additional filter options for specialized air cleaning relief.

It uses a HEPA-type filter that’s similar to the filtering qualities of a true HEPA filter. The filter can remove 99% of all particles down to 2 microns in size (as opposed to the 0.3 micron standard of a genuine HEPA filter.)

It’s a budget model but still a good performer for many common air quality problems. The 2-micron particle size rating works well for pet dander, dust, and standard allergens.

I wouldn’t recommend it for cigarette smoke, however, at least not without a carbon filter.

Shown: The Holmes HAP9240 controls are super-simple to understand and use. The filter reminder (left) shows the filter condition and can be reset as needed. Right: The optional ionizer feature is as simple as an on/off switch with light. Center: Choose from Off or 3 fan speeds with low-noise operation.

A built-in ionizer with off/on control is an extra feature that produces a safe level of charged molecules that bond with pollutants in the air. While it’s not the main air cleaning contributor, it’s a nice touch you may enjoy.

Filter check reminder

At power up, the unit will check and show you if it’s time to check and clean or replace the filters using the dual-color light on the control panel. When needed, you can easily reset the check filter light using the reset button provided.

It’s unique in that the pre-stage filter can be removed and washed to be reused. Fan speed is adjustable and while not as quiet as the Levoit and others here, it does offer low noise when at low speed.

Room size coverage and air cleaning performance

It’s recommended for rooms up to 100 square feet in size – just right for dorm rooms! The air cleaning performance is good, too, as it removes allergens, dust, pet dander, and much more from the air very well.

While there are quieter models out there, you’ll pay at least $30-$40, and in my opinion, it’s very quiet on the lower 2 settings. Overall, it’s a nice little budget model I’m sure that’s a great match if you’re on a budget.

Just like experience with it, buyers love it, too, as it’s one of the best-reviewed budget purifiers today.

PROS:
  • One of the most affordable and biggest sellers on the market
  • 100 sq. ft. room coverage
  • Easy slide control switches & 3 speed settings
  • Pre-stage filter can be cleaned and reused
  • Low replacement filter cost
  • Additional filter options
  • Can be positioned vertically
  • Includes ionizer with on/off control
  • Lower cost version of a true HEPA filter with nearly the same standard of performance
  • Available in black
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • Not as sophisticated as pricier models
  • No germ-killing feature like the GermGuardian products offer
  • Cannot turn off light indicators on panel
  • Styling is more bland

Overall, it’s a very good budget air purifier that’s a great combination of price, performance, and features.

I’ve enjoyed mine and I’m sure you will, too! Be sure to check out the great buyer reviews at Amazon.

Additional reading

Want one of today’s top new air purifiers? Have a look at my review of the Levoit Core 300 here.

Want delicious food that even a nearly broke student can afford? Check out my helpful list of the best toaster ovens for college students.

Levoit LV-H132 Vs Vista 200 Air Purifiers: Don’t Make A Buying Mistake!

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifier comparison featured image

Thinking about picking up a nice new air purifier? Figuring out all the gritty details can be tough and takes a lot of time. I’d love to help make it easier.

In this detailed post, I’ll compare the Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifiers and tell you which is a better buy. Following my hands-on testing & daily use, I’ve found out a few things that will save you from making a bad buying decision!

Don’t spend a cent until you find out why I recommend one over the other (and an even better option, too!).

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit LV-H132 and Vista 200 air purifiers

Levoit Core 300 vs LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifier comparison image

The family of Levoit air purifiers includes the best-selling LV-H132 and 2 newer models: The Vista 200 and the Core 300. All feature low-noise operation, a short and compact design, and a true HEPA filter. They also include features not found on competing products in their price range.

One of the leading manufacturers of air quality products today, Levoit has been a long-time producer of some of the best-selling air purifiers today. Their popular LV-H132 has been one of the top sellers – and best-rated – models for years now.

What’s different about Levoit air purifiers is their distinctive style, engineering quality, and features that separate them from the competition.

There’s a very unique look, feel, and design approach that gives them a very classy and distinguished appearance that’s a winner with many consumers.

Some of the common characteristics you’ll find in the Levoit purifiers are:

  • Distinctive circular design
  • Electronic touch controls
  • True HEPA filter with 99.97% efficiency for elements down to 0.3 millionths of a meter (0.3 microns)
  • Prefilter with activated charcoal for odor & volatile organic chemical (VOC) absorption
  • Low-noise operation with some of the quietest operation available
  • White satin finish
  • Nice convenience features
  • Clear, simple instructions & customer support information
  • Very simple and easy-access maintenance
  • Readily available replacement filters

While the LV-H132 has been a top seller for years, it’s a bit mature at this point. Recently 2 newer models were introduced that follow in its footsteps: The Core 300 and the Vista 200.

In this post I’ll focus on the LV-H132 and Vista 200 in great detail and compare them to show you some interesting differences you’ll want to know before buying.

What’s included with each purifier?

LV-H132 packaging & items

Product image and included items for the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier

The LV-H132 arrives well-packaged and includes the following:

  • The owner’s manual
  • Product extender warranty & registration information

The 3-stage filter is already installed but you’ll need to remove it from its sealed plastic bag (provided for filter freshness) before use.

It’s a simple process getting it ready to go and you’ll have it up and running in seconds. Mine looked great and the packaging is very good too in my opinion.

Additionally, customer support contact information is provided an easy-to-find spot on the box and in the included documents too.

Vista 200 included items

Image showing items included with the Levoit Vista 200 purifier

After unpacking the Vista 200 you’ll find the following included:

  • An AC/DC 12V power supply
  • Owner’s manual
  • Quick start instruction sheet
  • Optional extended warranty insert

Just like the LV-H132, customer help information (both by phone or email) is printed right on the box flap so you’ll see it when unboxing it. Additionally, there’s customer support information printed in the manual for when you run into a problem.

NOTE: Before using either of the purifiers be sure to open it and remove the filter from its plastic bag. They’re sealed from the factory to keep them fresh & ready for use before purchase.

(There’s a note about this in the instructions also).

Differences that stand out right away

Levoit Vista 200 AC-DC 12V adapter image

Shown: The AC-DC 12V adapter used to power the Vista 200 purifier. Unlike other purifiers including those from Levoit, this model is different in that the power supply is outside the chassis – there’s not a standard AC power cord. Instead, an external AC-DC adapter is used.

Obviously, the Vista 200 is different in appearance from the LV-H132, but it’s quite similar in style to the Core 300 model.

One thing that stood out right away to me was both how light it feels in the hand but especially the power supply.

While other models use an internal supply and a standard AC power cord, the Vista 200 uses an external AC-DC 12V adapter that plugs into a jack on the rear.

Checking out the build quality & fit and finish

LV-H132

Close up images of the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier body

The Levoit LV-H132 model has a “classic” modern appearance and style. It’s well-made and parts line up perfectly. There’s a nice satin white finish contrasted by the glossy black control panel insert. It’s a nice looking unit!

As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, Levoit’s styling elements are unique and stand apart from other brands. It’s also a well-made unit with a “classic” Levoit style that’s easy to notice but looks good anywhere it’s used.

Inspecting the LV-H132 up close I found it to be well-made with quality fit and finish. No defects or cheap-looking body sections. It feels solid and good in the hands, too, weighing at around 5.25 lbs.

The satin pure white finish is offset by a nice black trim ring near the lower half. The clearly labeled control buttons are surrounded by a classy looking gloss black inset.

It gives a good impression and right away it’s easy to tell this is a good one. 

Vista 200

Close up images of the Levoit Vista 200 air purifier

Following the newer, more rounded style of the most recent generation of air purifiers, the Levoit Vista 200 features rounded air passageways unlike the more “squarish” ones found on the LV-H132. A satin white/off-white color looks nice.

Likewise, the Vista 200 is well put-together with a nice off-white satin finish but will a more “rounded” style found in the Core 300 also.

A few things stood out to me right away: Although it looks good, it’s much lighter than the LV-H132 and honestly feels much cheaper to me.

The control panel design is a cheaper looking one and uses a thin plastic panel unlike the other model. It’s not a bad looking air purifier by any means – but I could tell right away that it’s designed with a budget approach.

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200: Comparing specifications

Here’s a detailed listing of the specifications for both models. Be sure to note the room size coverage,  weight, and features as they’re different from each other.

Don’t worry if it seems like a lot of information! I’ll give you a simplified comparison of the most important things to know as we go.

Levoit LV-H132 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 129 sq. ft (small or medium room)
  • 3-speed fan control
  • 2 level night light feature
  • True HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon pellet section
  • Very low noise operation (< 50dB)
  • Prefilter can be cleaned or replaced separately
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (110), pollen (110), smoke (110)
  • AHAM Verified, Energy Star Verified, FCC certified, ETL listed, CA PROP 65 certified
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Control lighting on/off feature
  • Memory feature retains last setting used
  • Filter replacement reminder (~6 mos.)
  • Twist-open filter cover with handle
  • Simple filter replacement (drop in)
  • 2 year warranty
  • Replacement filter: LV-H132-RF
  • Power use: 28.3W (max. fan speed)
  • Weight: 5.25 lbs (2.38 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Size: 7.5 x 7.5 x 12.5″ (19 x 19 x 31.75 cm)
Levoit Vista 200 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 161 sq. ft (small or medium room)
  • 3-speed fan control
  • Whisper-quiet Sleep mode w/ air cleaning
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • Prefilter can be cleaned
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: [Not provided]
  • AHAM Verified, Energy Star Verified, FCC certified, ETL listed, CA PROP 65 certified
  • Simple, clear electronic touch controls
  • Control lighting on/off feature
  • 2-level night light feature
  • Memory feature retains last fan setting used
  • Filter replacement reminder (~6 mos.)
  • 1 year warranty (extended coverage available)
  • Replacement filter: Vista 200-RF
  • Power use: 10.3W (max. fan speed)
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Size: 7.5 x 7.5 x 13″ (19 x 19 x 33 cm)

Air filter details & performance notes

LV-H132

Levoit LV-H132 purifier filter sections close up diagram

The LV-H132’s 3-stage filter assembly is made up of 3 sections:

  • A mesh prefilter
  • True HEPA filter section
  • Activated carbon filter

As I mentioned in the beginning a true HEPA filter can trap airborne particulates as small as 0.3 microns (.3 millionths of a meter) in size – much smaller than the human eye can see. The filter isn’t washable but is easily replaceable at maintenance time.

Additionally, a mesh prefilter is used to trap larger elements like hair, dust, and lint. One thing I really like about it is that you can remove the prefilter to vacuum it for extended performance. 

Note: While the prefilter can be removed to be cleaned for long-term performance, it shouldn’t be exposed to water or washed.

Unlike many air purifiers, the activated carbon filter uses solid pellets (and not just a coating) for better odor trapping performance.

On the other hand, one disadvantage is that the HEPA filter section has a smaller surface area than other purifiers in its price range use.

Vista 200

Levoit Vista 200 HEPA filter sections close up images

Likewise, the Vista 200 uses a 3-stage filter as well although the design is a bit different:

  • A true HEPA filter with a 360° (cylinder) design
  • Activated carbon filter (located inside)
  • Prefilter mesh material covering the HEPA filter

Unlike the LV-H132, you won’t get the same odor-absorbing performance. A standard activated carbon coating is used instead of the solid pellet design the LV-H132 uses.

On the other hand, the HEPA filter has a larger useable area. 

How’s the performance?

As I’ve mentioned in the comparison details, the Vista 200 has a cheaper, weaker fan and is less effective at cycling air in a room.

Because of that, it’s less effective at air cleaning. By comparison the LV-H132 despite being very quiet moves more air in the same amount of time and is a better choice. While it’s not quite as effective as larger (and noisier) models out there it’s a good performer and does well in my experience.

Additionally, the Vista 200’s “bigger brother”, the Core 300, has better performance as well as features the LV-H132 doesn’t offer.

Control panel details & functions

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifiers top view comparison

Top view of the control panels on the LV-H132 and the Vista 200.

LV-H132 controls

Image of Levoit LV-H132 air purifier controls with illustrated text

Shown: The LV-H132’s control panel with electronic touch button controls. Unlike the Vista 200, all functions are placed right at the front. It’s an easy to use control layout and works great.

The LV-H132, as it has fewer features than the Vista 200 (like the auto-off timer) only has 4 buttons/lights in the control layout:

  • Power on/off
  • Night light on/off
  • Check filter reminder/reset button
  • Fan speed control

Controls work great and I have absolutely no complaints! The functions are simple, easy to learn, and become second nature in a matter of seconds.

However, unlike the Vista 200, the buttons beep when touched. Unfortunately, there’s no way to switch this off.

While it’s not obvious, the LV-H132 does have a control panel lighting on/off feature. To use it, push and hold the power button.

Touch any button besides the power button to turn the lighting back on.

Vista 200 controls

Levoit Vista 200 illustrated control panel diagram

Illustrated top view of the Vista 200 control panel layout. As more features are featured there’s a lot more space used for the design. Additionally, unlike the LV-H132 the panel lighting on/off control is now a dedicated button.

As I mentioned, the Vista 200 offers some features the LV-H132 doesn’t. Here’s a list of the control buttons & features:

  • Fan speed button (low, medium, and high)
  • Night light on/off
  • Check filter indicator
  • Control lighting on/off button
  • Timer function/hour select (2, 4, & 8 hours selectable)
  • Sleep mode
  • Power on/off

The controls are nice and work well – they’re not too sensitive, and don’t need a hard touch, either. I found them reliable, clear to see, and I got the impression the design work behind them is solid and well-planned.

Unlike the LV-H132 model, the Vista 200 doesn’t beep when you touch the control buttons. It’s completely silent.

Night light feature differences

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 night light comparison images

Shown here is a comparison of the night light provided by both models. Note the difference in color between the two.

Both models offer a 2-level night light feature that works great and it’s a nice touch I like.

The biggest change here is that the LV-H132 uses a light-blue night light color while the Vista 200 provides a “soft white” (soft yellow/amber) color instead.

Brightness levels are about the same for both high and low settings in my experience.

Noise level comparisons (and something I found!)

dB noise level meter measurement image

I measured volume levels for both models using a nice little digital decibel sound level meter I picked up at Amazon at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

LV-H132 vs Vista 200 noise measurements

MeasurementVista 200LV-H132
Off (room noise)4040
Sleep40.3N/A
Low40.540
Medium42.843
High56.247.9

Sleep mode is incredibly quiet – so much my ears can’t even detect it’s on.

Low is extremely quiet as well – essentially impossible to hear. Medium and high noise levels for both models are very good, with the high setting about the same as other purifiers like the GermGuardian AC4825.

However, the Vista 200 measures about 9 dB louder than the LV-H132’s high setting which is a fair amount louder than the LV-H132. However, measurements don’t tell the whole story – there’s another noise problem I found with the Vista 200.

Sound problems with the Vista 200

While I’ve been very happy with the LV-H132 and Core 300’s quiet sound levels and pleasing, smooth “white noise” sound during use, in this area the Vista 200 is a disappointment.

The sound tone produced when in use isn’t nearly as pleasing – or easy to overlook – as the LV-H132. 

Because the purifier has a lower-cost build and less mass (less weight & a less substantial build), there’s an odd “hollow” sound produced that I really don’t like. It’s annoying, unpleasant, and not at all what I expected from the standard set by the LV-H132.

In this area again the LV-H132 is a better performer.

Power use comparisons

I measured power use (in Watts) for both units. There was a big difference! Here’s what I found.

LV-H132 power use measurements

Levoit LV-H132 air purifier power use measurements images

I measured power use, in Watts, for 4 modes of the LV-H132: Off + the 3 fan speeds. (Not shown: The night light used so little power it was negligible and not enough to measure).

I measured power draw in Watts with my trusty Kill-A-Watt power meter. It turns out the LV-H132 uses less power than most competitors in its price class:

Levoit LV-H132 power use table

ModePower (Watts)
Off0-0.8
Low11.8
Med.19.3
High28.3

Low and medium settings are what most people are likely to use as they’re far quieter than the high speed.

However, despite being a bit louder, high still draws about 1/2 the power at a similar setting when compared to rivals like the GermGuardian AC4825 at about 55W.

For all power measurements recorded, I switched the button lighting off as well. The difference was so small it couldn’t be measured.

Vista 200 power use measurements

Levoit Vista 200 power measurements diagram

Measuring power use for the Vista 200. I used my power meter to record 5 modes (Off, Sleep, and 3 fan speeds) as well as the night light’s high & low settings alone.

Levoit Vista 200 power use measurement table

ModePower (Watts)
Off0.3
Sleep0.9
Low1.3
Med.2.1
High10.3
Night light high1.6
Night light low0.8

I have to say I’m pretty darn amazed at how low the power consumption is! For example, many air purifiers in the price range of the Levoit small-medium room purifiers use up to about 55W on the high speed.

Comparing the Vista 200 to the Core 300, for example, when set the high the Vista 200 uses the same amount of power as the Core 300’s super-low speed Sleep mode!

While it may seem like the Vista 200 is incredibly energy efficient, with a range of power use from less than 1W to 10.3W, that’s the wrong idea to get. It’s not.

The reason is that the Vista 200 uses a much weaker & lower-speed fan that draws much less power than its siblings. You’re using less power, sure – but at the price of a weak fan that can’t circulate air nearly as well as its siblings.

Sleep mode & the auto-off timer (Vista 200 only)

Levoit Vista 200 sleep mode and auto off timer use examples

Sleep mode is a low-noise setting that can be entered or exited any time you like by touching the moon-shaped button. It puts the purifier in a whisper-quiet low fan mode to avoid disturbing you at night.

For once, it really is amazingly quiet as advertised! In fact, during testing, I couldn’t even tell it’s running while in Sleep mode.

Additionally, Sleep mode dims the button lighting to avoid disturbing you while you’re sleeping.

The auto-off timer feature

One added feature I really like is the ability to choose an auto-off timer so the purifier will turn itself off automatically. Just touch the button to rotate through 4 settings: 2, 4, or 8 hours of run time.

Oddly enough, while its “bigger brother” the Core 300 also offers a 6 hour option, the Vista only offers 3 options with 2, 4, and 8 hour settings.

However, in my experience, that’s fine for most people.

The Vista 200’s biggest weakness!

Comparison of the interior view of Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifiers

Above: The LV-H132 features a much more robust and powerful fan motor than the Vista 200. There’s also a larger area for air movement which draws air through the HEPA filter. Unfortunately, that’s the weakness I discovered with the Vista 200. It doesn’t live up to the LV-H132’s legacy.

As I mentioned earlier, I discovered that the Vista 200 has a cheap, lightweight, budget feel. It’s much less substantial in the hands than the LV-H132.

One reason is that the LV-H132 has a much heavier and more powerful fan motor than the Vista 200. Sadly, upon opening the Vista 200 I quickly noticed it uses a low-cost brushless DC motor that’s not a specially designed motor fan.

It’s why the Vista 200 suffers from lower air cleaning performance and worse noise levels, too.

Image showing the fan used in the Vista 200 air purifier

The Vista 200 disappointed me a lot with its low-cost fan, average fan. Similar to the inexpensive brushless DC powered fans found in personal computer cases for cooling, it’s basically just a bigger version. It has a disappointing airflow rate when compared to the LV-H132.

Have you ever seen the cooling fans used in personal computer cases for cooling the case? That’s essentially what’s used in the Levoit Vista 200 – but a bigger version. These types of fans are not high-speed, high airflow fans like you’d expect the company to use.

Instead, they’re very basic, low-cost units used for generic applications. The LV-H132 and the newer Core 300, however, use a much more substantial – and powerful – fan motor with far better performance.

I’m not surprised the Vista 200’s noise levels aren’t good – the fan sure doesn’t help!

Simplified comparison table & what to know

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifiers front view comparison

Above: The Levoit LV-H132 (left) is one of the best-selling air purifiers of all time and set the bar high for what a compact air purifier should be. The Vista 200 (right) offers many similar features but also adds an auto-off timer as well.

As I promised earlier, here’s a simplified comparison table showing the biggest differences between the two models.

LV-H132 vs Vista 200 comparison table

Image
LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers,...
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
Model
LV-H132
Vista 200
Filter type
3-stage/HEPA w/carbon pellet odor control
3-stage/HEPA
Room sq ft
129
161
Warranty
2 years
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Sleep mode
Beep sounds
Auto-off timer
Noise levels (dB)
40/43/47.9
40.3/40.5/42.8/56.2
Current price
$89.99
Price not available
Image
LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers,...
Model
LV-H132
Filter type
3-stage/HEPA w/carbon pellet odor control
Room sq ft
129
Warranty
2 years
Night light
Sleep mode
Beep sounds
Auto-off timer
Noise levels (dB)
40/43/47.9
Current price
$89.99
Image
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
Model
Vista 200
Filter type
3-stage/HEPA
Room sq ft
161
Warranty
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Sleep mode
Beep sounds
Auto-off timer
Noise levels (dB)
40.3/40.5/42.8/56.2
Current price
Price not available

(Current pricing updated on 2020-09-30 at 17:25 via Amazon)

To keep it simple, the most notable differences are:

  • The LV-H132 has a room size coverage of 129 sq feet vs the 161 sq ft of the Vista 200.
  • The LV-H132 also has a night light as does the Vista 200, but with a blue color
  • The LV-H132 provides a prefilter with real carbon pellets (better) for odor absorption while the other uses a standard activated carbon coating
  • The Vista provides 3 fan speed + an ultra-quiet Sleep mode. No sleep mode is provided with the LV-H132
  • No auto-off timer on the LV-H132
  • Controls on the LV-H132 produce a beep while the other’s do not
  • 2 yr warranty included (LV-H132) vs a 1 yr warranty with the option to extend by 1 more year
  • The LV-H132 features better airflow and air cleaning performance as it uses a more advanced & higher-quality fan
  • The LV-H132 is a more solid, heavier build than the Vista 200
  • While the LV-H132 is available in a black version the Vista 200 is only sold in one color

Ultimately, while the Vista is listed as providing larger room size coverage (161 sq ft) it’s simply not as good of an air purifier as the LV-H132 with its proven track record.

Filter replacements are about the same price, so that’s not an issue.

Which one should you buy? Here’s the truth.

Choosing between the LV-H132 and the Vista 200

The Vista 200 isn’t by any means a bad choice – if it were priced for the budget quality you get. As it stands now, however, what you get just isn’t worth the price.

I have to say I’m disappointed with the budget feel and cheap design that results in a lower airflow rate (meaning weaker air cleaning). I’m also not happy with a noisier operation than I’ve come to expect from the other very nice Levoit purifiers. It’s a bit annoying to hear while it’s running unlike the others.

Ultimately, when it comes to value and performance it simply doesn’t make sense to buy this at full price vs the LV-H132.

While the LV-H132 is a bit dated at this point and doesn’t have the same features or room size coverage as the Vista 200, it’s still a solid choice and a better buy for your money.

Black and white version of Levoit LV-H132 air purifier product examples

Head over now to see why thousands of happy buyers left great reviews for the LV-H132 at Amazon.

Your best choice is actually a 3rd option!

Based on my testing and ownership of all 3 models, the truth is that your best choice isn’t either one of these but instead the new Levoit Core 300.

Why, you might ask? Several reasons:

  • Better air cleaning performance
  • Solid build quality and design
  • Sleep mode & 4-option auto-off timer
  • Offers even more room size coverage at 215 square feet
  • It’s just as quiet as the LV-H132, and pleasant to hear!
  • Upgraded pet & odor control filter options are available
  • It’s only a few dollars more than the other models

The only thing you’ll give up is the night light feature. If you’re trying to decide between the LV-H132 and Vista 200, you’d be smart to have a look.

Your best choice

Levoit Core 300 review editors choice badge product image

My recommendation is to spend just a few dollars more and get a much better performer – and value – for your dollar. I’m a happy Core 300 owner I’m sure you’ll love it, too!

Find out now why the Core 300 is one of the best new air purifiers at Amazon.

5 Of The Best Air Purifiers For Germs + Germ & Air Purifier Facts To Know

Best air purifiers for germs featured image

What’s very frightening is how we’re surrounded by germs everywhere! However there’s some good news: A good air purifier can help remove germs and deliver healthier air.

Below are 5 of the best air purifiers for germs along with reviews, details, and the pros & cons to know before spending a dime.

There’s also lots of great information about germs and air purifiers to help you learn more.

Contents

Infographic – Air purifiers and germ facts

Air purifier germ facts infographic diagram

What are germs?

Image of germs under a microscope

A view of assorted germs as seen with a high-powered microscope. Germs aren’t limited to only one kind of organism. The term describes a range of illness-causing organic organisms that are found nearly everywhere.

Germs are microscopic organisms called pathogens that can cause disease. They’re sometimes called infectious agents in scientific terms – but most of us use the more common name: germs.

While you might think pathogens are only one kind of organisms like bacteria or viruses, in fact that’s not the case. There are several types of germ organisms commonly found around us:

  • Bacterial
  • Viral
  • Fungal
  • Protozoa

Why are germs bad?

Image showing example of germs on hands in blacklight UV

Image showing an example of how severely we’re exposed to germs. In the picture above, germs & microbes are highlighted under blacklight/UV light to make them visible to the eye.

While you probably already know that good hygiene is important for avoiding catching an illness, there’s a bit more behind why it’s important.

Germs (of all types) are easily transmitted by one several ways:

  • From one physical surface to another (your hands, mouth, clothes, from physical contact, and so on)
  • In the air, where they’re breathed in
  • Contaminated foods, liquids, and more
  • Entering through broken skin and wounds

Under the right conditions (especially your warm, moist body tissues) they thrive: reproducing and remaining in your body to infect you and cause sickness. Germs can also live outside the body for several hours as well before they become inactive and harmless.

Because they’re everywhere it’s important to do what we can to eliminate the opportunity for them to infect us.

One of the most effective ways to do this is to simply get rid of them! That’s where air purifiers can help.

How do air purifiers work?

Diagram showing how an air purifier works to help with germs

Filter-based air purifiers like this GermGuardian AC4825 are the most common – and effective – type. They work by drawing air through filters to capture and remove air contaminants while circulating air in the room. Some also include a type of germ-killing feature as well as an activated carbon filter to remove odors and harmful vapors.

Most purifiers sold today work using a simple but effective principle.

Fans move air through a very dense type of filter material called a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter and permanently trap unwanted particulates.

They’re very effective and safe as they don’t produce any by-products that can cause headaches or irritate your body’s sensitive internal tissues.

Additionally, many have added features to complement the HEPA main filter. These include an activated carbon filter to remove odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and chemical vapors.

The prefilter also serves a second purpose: It catches and removes larger elements like pet hair, fibers, and more before they can reach the main filter.

It’s all about cycling and cleaning the air

As they keeping running the air in the room circulates and is continually cleaned. They’re very popular because they’re so reliable and effective for many common air quality issues like pet allergies & odors, cigarette smoke, dust, other allergens.

Most also have selectable fan speeds and you can set them to a low speed for quiet operation at night. You can also find some with extra bonus features like a germ killer to eliminate airborne microbes.

I’ll cover this benefit for fighting germs later.

How air purifiers fight germs in the air

Diagram showing how a HEPA filter traps germs

True HEPA filter air purifiers fight germs (and destroy airborne-based illnesses) by permanently trapping them as they pass through the filter because they’re so efficient at cleaning the air, for every 10,000 elements that enter the filter, on a tiny 3 are able to escape. That’s a whopping 99.97% efficiency!

The main way that air purifiers fight germs is by removing airborne pathogens (germs) from the air. By circulating the air as I mentioned earlier, most major types of airborne germs are removed over time as they work.

Air purifier HEPA filter material example close up

HEPA filters use a super-dense material made up of many fibers. They’re capable of capturing incredibly small elements, including germs, smaller than 1 millionth of a meter in size.

Some of the most common germs such as bacteria, viruses, and other microbes range in size from several microns in size (a micron is 1 millionth of a meter) to under 1 micron.

HEPA filters can capture pathogens as small as 0.3 (yes, less than 1/1,000,000 of a meter!) in size, making them capable of trapping – and eliminating – many of the most common airborne germs around you. Not only that, but many microbes such as those found on pet hairs are trapped in the prefilter section too.

It’s important to understand that air purifiers can help with many microscopic germs, but it’s impossible for them to remove all of them.

For best results, you’ll also want to follow good hygiene practices: Clean all hard surfaces, avoid sick people, use cleaning products regularly, and do what you can to reduce your exposure to germs as much as possible.

Does UV light kill germs? Germ-killing benefits to know

Diagram showing how UV light kills germs & DNA

Shown: Ultraviolet light (UV) has a destructive effect on germs, making them unable to reproduce and rendering them harmless. In the lab, multiple tests have proven how UV exposure provides a way to eliminate germs and reduce illnesses. In fact, some germs die soon after being exposed to sunlight.

Want to hear something really good? It’s a scientifically proven fact that ultraviolet (UV) light can render germs unable to reproduce and kill them.

Because of that, for air purifiers that offer a germ killing feature, you’ll get extra germ fighting performance. While (unfortunately) a limited number of air purifiers sold today offer this, it’s a great benefit to consider when buying.

Personally, I use, own, and have tested several models that offer this. Check my recommended products below for more information.

What kind of air purifier do I need?

Stay away from “ionizers” and ozone generators! These are often very ineffective and a waste of your hard-earned money! The level of ozone at which point they become effective at purifying the air is actually unsafe and will cause several health problems.

I recommend picking a quality HEPA filter air purifier, especially with a germ killing feature. Ionizers and ozone generators sold as “purifiers” typically don’t have the proven performance of a good filter-based purifier.

In some cases they can even be harmful to your health!

HEPA purifiers have proven, demonstrated effectiveness which is important when buying products like this. You don’t want to spend money on something based on marketing hype, only to find out it’s not helping you.

Not only that, but good quality purifiers have readily available replacement filters, are very easy to use, and have a lot better features to offer than low-quality products do.

★ 5 of the best air purifiers for germs ★

Our top picks at a glance

ImageProductDetails
sample-table__image★ OUR #1 CHOICE ★GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best-selling and overall an excellent value! Easy to use and quiet.
  • 155 sq ft coverage, 100+ CADR lab tested rating
  • True HEPA, carbon filter for odors, UV-C germ killer
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageULTRA QUIET!Levoit LV-H132
  • Electronic controls and super quiet operation!
  • 129 sq ft, true HEPA + carbon filter
  • Touch controls, night light, and memory feature
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageGreat featuresLevoit LV-PUR131
  • Excellent for med-large rooms (322 sq ft coverage)
  • Advanced controls and air quality sensing operation
  • Low noise and auto-off timer feature
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageHoneywell HPA300
  • Excellent large room value (465 sq ft coverage) under $250
  • Touch controls and high-speed Turbo mode
  • HEPA + carbon filter. Timer feature included
Check on Amazon

Reviews and recommended top models

1. GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1: An all-time best seller with a germ killing feature!

The AC4825 doesn’t try something it’s not – it’s just a good basic air purifier that gets the job done and works well. It’s a winner because of hassle-free ease of use, great performance, and many happy buyers. 

In fact, I’m a happy owner of one myself!

With a higher room size coverage rating than models like the Levoit LV-H132 it’s a good value as well.

True HEPA performance and germ killing

The ultraviolet (UV) germ killing feature provides safe and ozone-free elimination of germs and microbes where you live. It’s a nice extra feature to have – very few products offer this!

The true HEPA filter design works very well to remove airborne germs and contaminants from your air. Filter replacement is easy and you can buy the carbon filter/pre-filter separately, allowing you to extend the HEPA filter life and get more odor relief while saving money.

It’s in such demand that I even bought one to see what the fuss was about! I’m very happy with mine.

GermGuardian AC4825 top view of controls

The AC4825 features one of the easiest-to-use control setups you’ll find. It’s incredibly easy to use! Set the rotary control to one of the 3 fan speed settings. Use the UV push button to switch the germ killing feature on or off. A power-on indicator LED lights when the purifier is working.

The 3-speed fan control makes using it simple and hassle-free. Push the UV-C feature’s on/off switch and the unit will illuminate in a lovely blue glow around the base.

Time to check or replace the filter? Just open the rear door and pull it out. The replacement reminder will turn red when it’s time to check the filter.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

The lovely blue trim ring lights up when the UV-C feature’s in use. Don’t worry though – it’s perfectly safe, as the ultraviolet light is trapped inside. It’s a great-looking way to see when the feature is on. I like it!

At 22″ height, it’s not smaller and compact like several others. But the tower design helps it to fit well in corners. Replacement filters cost about $30 and last about 6 months.

There is one very minor complaint I have: when the UV-C feature is switched on and you turn the fan power off, upon the next start-up the UV-C light is off again. There’s no memory feature to keep it the way you last left it.

On the plus side, you can also find 3rd party brand filters which are cheaper than the original GermGuardian replacements.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is great for nearly everyone
  • Better overall value for the dollar vs competitors
  • Great filtering performance
  • Quiet fan operation on low speed setting
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Nice blue glow when UV-C is on
  • Soft LED when power is on
  • Tower shape is great for corners or areas with vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature
  • Cannot wash & reuse filter (can vacuum)
  • Older design vs competitors like Levoit
  • Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service

My AC4825 is definitely a good performer and I’ve been happy with it. Judging by how many others agree, you’re going to love it as well.

It’s one of the best buys for your money. Head over now and see the thousands of happy buyer reviews and current sale price Amazon.

NEW GermGuardian AC4825W white modelUPDATE: There’s now a great-looking white version available too.

2. Levoit LV-H132 – A best-selling purifier with night light and other nice features. Super-low noise levels, too!

Levoit LV-H132 purifier white front viewAnother super-popular purifier, the Levoit LV-H132 (smaller sibling to the Levoit LV-PUR131) is a great buy. Got odor, dust, pet dander, or germ problems? It’s a good choice for nearly anyone with small to medium-sized rooms.

Like its competitors, the true HEPA filter works well (along with the pre-filter and carbon filter) to eliminate air quality problems including those nasty airborne microbes that cause sickness.

Although it provides less coverage (129 square feet) than competitors like the GermGuardian AC4825, the Levoit makes up for this by providing features others don’t.

A great looking choice, it complements today’s interiors well. It’s also one of the best-selling purifiers on the market today.

Levoit LV-H132 features image

The Levoit LV-H132 is sophisticated yet still easy to use. Electronic touch controls are provided and beep when operated. After switching off power the last settings are saved. Upon the next use, the purifier remembers your last settings and restores them automatically.

The fan offers pleasant and quiet operation on low-speed. A built-in night light with 2 brightness settings is a bonus feature.

Levoit LV-H132 filter replacement image example

Filter replacement is a bit different for the LV-H132, but very simple. Turn the unit upside-down, rotate the cover, and then you can pull out and replace the old 3-in-1 filter assembly. Note: unlike some competitors, in most cases you can’t replace the carbon prefilter separately. It’s something to keep in mind.

Replacement filters cost near $30. The top cover removes easily for replacement and a filter replacement reminder lets you know when it’s time to check it or replace.

In my hands-on testing I found that it’s one of the lowest-noise air purifiers sold today!

When I say it’s low noise, I really mean it. It’s almost impossible to hear it run on the lowest settings – even high speed is very quiet, too.

PROS:
  • Shorter height than competing tower purifiers
  • 2-year warranty
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Night light with 2 brightness levels
  • Nice looking, modern design
  • Electronic soft button controls
  • Quiet operation on low level won’t disturb sleep
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Great build quality & high reliability
  • Easy filter replacement
CONS:
  • Smaller room coverage than others in its price range (129 sq. ft.)
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • No air quality sensor
  • Electronic controls may not be suitable for some

Buyer reviews are great. Check out the fantastic ratings and see why it's a fantastic seller that received the Amazon's Choice award.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

UPDATE: A sleek black version No products found.

3.  GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1: The same quality odor removing ability and germ killing for smaller rooms.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle view

A great lower-priced model, the AC4100 is a little brother to the larger AC4900CA but it features the same excellence I’ve come to know from GermGuardian.

Like others in the company’s line of products, it’s a no-nonsense, easy-to-use model for nearly everyone.

Measuring only 7.5 x 6.5 x 11″ in size, the 3-in-1 design (HEPA, pre-filter, carbon filter) works to remove odors, dust, allergens, and much more. Great for a small room like your bedroom, office, or dorm room.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filters

The AC4100 features the same 3-in-1 filtering design as its larger siblings. You’ll get a true HEPA filter, prefilter, and odor-absorbing section but for smaller rooms and on a budget.

A UV light (with on/off control) works with titanium dioxide to neutralize germs. The result is healthier air and sickness-causing microbes are gone.

Replacement filters cost about $18. There’s no automatic filter reminder. However, a filter installation date wheel on the rear to help you know when it’s time to replace it.

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter replacement on the AC4100 is easy! Just open the rear cover, pull out the old filter, and insert the new one. You can also use a vacuum to remove larger particles like dust. As you can see my AC4100 caught more and more dust as I used it!

Carbon filter replacements can be bought separately so if you’re dealing with odors you can restore used-up carbon filters for less money than replacing the entire 3-in-1 filter set.

It’s really easy to use – just switch it on or off using the 3-speed rotary control.

Noise levels and performance expectations

On full speed, the noise level is moderate in my opinion. On low speed, it’s hardly noticeable and works well at bedtime.

Unlike similar larger models such as the AC4825 and AC4900CA, the UV germ killing switch is an on/off type and not a push button.

One thing I don’t like is that there’s no indicator light for the UV feature like the larger models. That’s a pretty small gripe, however.

It’s a great small-room choice, although I wouldn’t recommend it for large rooms, as it’s not designed – or recommended – for those. It’s great for closets, dorm rooms, your office, or other similar areas.

It’s one of the best in its price range at around $50 or less, depending on where you shop.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan control and on/off UV-C switch
  • UV & titanium dioxide design to kill germs
  • Great filtering ability for its small size
  • High speed setting moves a lot of air for purifying quickly
  • Filter replacement reminder wheel (month installed)
  • Low filter replacement price (about $10+)
  • Filter replacement date wheel (marks month installed)
  • Sleek, modern design
CONS:
  • 1 year warranty is shorter than other models
  • Fan speed on high could be slightly better
  • No filter replacement reminder
  • No more colors offered
  • No indicator light for UV-C “on”

Speaking from personal experience I can see why GermGuardian is one of the biggest air purifier manufacturers today. I own an AC4100 and find it easy to use and well-made.

For small rooms where you need germ protection, it’s a great low-cost choice.

Have a look at the many satisfied owners that helped it become one of the highest small purifiers at Amazon.

4. Levoit LV-PUR131 – Great germ removal for medium-large rooms. Advanced features, too! Quality through and through.

Levoit LV-PUR131 side front image

Got a medium or slightly larger sized room? The LV-PUR131 is a top seller and one of the sleekest, best-designed purifiers you’re going to find under $250.

One of the best-selling points are the great features included for the price.

Check out the great reviews – it’s an excellent addition to your home, office, or even workplace and great at removing germs to provide clean, fresh, healthy air you’ll love to breathe in!

Top quality and features

The Levoit brand is well-known and produces a number of best-selling air quality products. All are well-made and well reviewed. They’re also known for the great LV-H132 purifier I recommend as well.

The electronic controls are simple to use. The clear LCD display operational status and the timer information to make using it a snap.

The sleep mode feature means it works almost silently at night and doesn’t wake you up. Use the self-off timer lets to select from 1 to 12 hours of hands-free operation.

What makes this Levoit model such a wonderful choice is not just the same 3-speed push button fan control, but the automatic auto-sensing mode adjusts fan speed automatically depending on the air quality.

Excellent!

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel features

The electronic control panel looks a bit complicated at first glance but it’s easy to use. Touch controls easily rotate through their various on/off settings such as the fan speed or mode. A digital display shows the remaining operation time when the auto-off timer is in use in addition to the current air quality level.

Filter replacement is about every 6 months. The replacement will let you know when it’s time to check the filter. (It’s around $35 or so to replace one)

At about 11.2 lbs in weight and 14.5 x 7.2 x 18.5 inches in size, the LV-PUR131 provides more square feet coverage (322 square feet) than others yet can still fit in a space where many others can’t.

A 2 year warranty is provided.

PROS:
  • More room coverage for the money (322 sq ft)
  • Auto-sensing mode adjusts fan speed automatically
  • Sleep mode for very quiet operation
  • Electronic, simple controls
  • LCD display
  • Auto-off feature: 1 to 12 hours for “set and forget” operation
  • Great cigarette smoke removal performance
  • Excellent overall reviews and customer satisfaction
  • Lower weight and smaller size than others – can be used more places
  • 2 year warranty
  • Sleek, attractive appearance
CONS:
  • No remote control
  • Auto-sensing mode doesn’t show air quality levels visually
  • No night light
  • Replacement filters aren’t the cheapest (near $35 or so)
  • Warranty is shorter than some competitors
  • White color only

It’s a great compromise between cost, room size coverage, features, and performance.

Head over now to see why it's one of the best selling and highest rated purifiers at Amazon.

5. Honeywell HPA300 – Powerful germ fighting for large rooms. Popular, reliable, and some of the best room coverage for the dollar.

Honeywell HPA300 HEPA air purifier product image

Want some of the best germ removal performance for your dollar? Look no further!

The HPA300 provides some of the greatest room size coverage and air cleaning in its price range. It’s one of the best values as well.

The HPA300 is a solid workhorse – a large and heavy unit, weighing about 21 lbs. The filters (carbon/pre-filter section, and separate true HEPA filter sections) are more complex but still simple to replace.

Easy to maintain

Replacement filters are about $68 but you can replace carbon filters separately to keep costs down. It’s not necessary to replace the HEPA filters when only the prefilter needs maintenance.

Filter life averages about 3-5 months depending upon use. Extend the HEPA filter to save money & time by swapping out carbon filters and the HEPA filter isn’t saturated.

Honeywell HPA300 electronic controls top view

The purifier features excellent touch panel electronic controls. Just touch one of the controls to switch between the settings like fan speed, the light dimmer, and to set the auto-off timer feature.

The top-facing electronic controls are and indicators are:

  • Fan speed
  • Dimmer
  • Auto-timer selection (2, 4, 8 hrs)
  • Operational mode
  • Filter replacement

Indicators give separate reminders for both the HEPA filter and the pre-filter/carbon filters.

Turbo mode provides high-speed cleaning ability. On low, however, it’s quiet enough to not disturb your quiet time.

Automatic mode shuts off the unit after either 2, 4, or 8 hour operation. The HPA300 also has 3 operational modes: allergen, general, and germ modes. (General mode is fine for cigarette smoke removal)

Honeywell HPA300 filter replacement image

Filter replacement is very simple! The main cover uses 2 push-releases at the top to secure the cover. After removal the prefilter can be replaced or the 3 standard Honeywell HEPA filters as well. It’s easy to do, in my experience.

What I especially like is that the filter replacement reminders are separate – one for the HEPA filter and one for the pre-filter. That’s a feature unique to the Honeywell design.

I don’t care however for the limited auto-off time control as there are only 3 choices to pick from. However, the fan speed is great and it’s really a well-made purifier that offers large room coverage for less money than most.

PROS:
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Maximum room size ability for the money (below $300 range)
  • Turbo mode for heavy air cleaning operation on demand
  • Automatic operation with 2, 4, and 8 hour settings
  • Quiet low speed operation
  • Largest room/house coverage (465 sq. ft)
  • Separate filter replacement reminder for both HEPA and pre-filter sections
  • 5-year warranty
  • Dimmer control
CONS:
  • Auto-off timer adjustable only in increments of 2 hours – no 1hr settings
  • Not as sleek-looking as others
  • No auto-sensing mode for self-adjusting ability
  • Black color only

Want to get rid of odors in larger rooms? You can’t go wrong with the HPA300.

Many happy buyers back up my recommendation because it's one of the best large room air purifiers sold today.

Additional reading

Wondering if you need 2 or 3 air purifiers? Click here to find out if you need a purifier in every room.

Considering the GermGuardian AC4825? You’re in luck! You can read my detailed review of the AC4825 air purifier here.

Wondering Which Air Purifier Is Best for Dust? 5 Must-Have Models

Which air purifier is best for dust image of dust on table

Dust is one of the most common household annoyances – it never seems to end! The problem with simply dusting or opening a window is that it doesn’t remove the problem permanently.

A quality air purifier can filter your home’s air and remove dust permanently. But which air purifier is best for dust? I’ll compare several of the best and show some great choices for your money below.

I’d love to help you better understand the source of the problem as well as buy the best for your money.

Additionally, I’ll explain what dust is and how an air purifier helps with dust problems.

Contents

What’s in dust and where does it come from?

Dust describes fine particles of matter that become airborne and settle on surfaces everywhere. It may sound harmless but it can cause a great number of problems to humans and animals.

Dust can also include a great deal of organic matter anywhere that where humans and animals live. Additionally we bring some particles in from the outdoors unintentionally.

Image of a finger with dust on it

Dust can contain a wide range of nasty things! It can easily become not just a nuisance to the cleanliness of your home but an air quality issue, too. I’ve personally experienced severe coughing triggered by dust from unknown sources. Some particles are large enough to touch and see while some are microscopic in size.

Your household or office has a great number of sources of dust. Here’s a list of some of the most common:

  • Pollution, soil, and other particles from outdoors
  • Plant pollen
  • Human and animal dead skin cells & hair
  • Debris from textile, paper, and construction materials
  • Dust mite feces & body parts
  • Bacteria and microbes
  • Chemical residues or molecules
  • Cigarette smoke particles

A great example are the particles distributed inside your home by central heating and air systems. Those systems aren’t designed to prevent dust from reaching you (despite having a type of filter on them).

Dust is a problem for several reasons

Dust particles of nearly every type range from large visible pieces to those which are microscopic in size (especially pet dander and dust mite materials). The amount of time that dust takes to settle on surfaces can range from a handful of minutes to a few hours.

This is what gives the dust plenty of time to cause allergies and cause other respiratory problems. When these particles are suspended in the air around you they’re easily inhaled and can contact your skin, too.

Image of household dust under a microscope

Image of household dust under a microscope – note the incredibly small particles. Just think about how much of this you’re breathing in every day!

To help illustrate, common dust mite allergens can range in size from roughly 5-10 microns in size (a micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter in size) which is incredibly small! That is much smaller than the human eye can see.

The solution

The source of the problem is that unless it is eliminated dust will continue to build up. There’s no remedy aside from actually removing it.

Dusting surfaces like your furniture is only temporary, as the dust remains indoors and once it settles it may become disturbed by movement or gusts of air causing it to circulate again.

The only true solution is to purify the air by removing dust particles.

Do air purifiers help with dust?

Heating & cooling systems in homes or workplaces normally have a filter in place to trap unwanted elements. Unfortunately, they are typically extremely ineffective. Average filters are not worth much, to be honest.

The filter material is often made up of course fibers with large gaps in between which allow the majority of dust to pass through. I’ve seen this myself, having seen large amounts of dust coming from the air vent after using the air conditioning for long periods of time. And this is with brand new filters, too!

The fact is that microscopic elements in the air must be removed by a far more effective filtering process – and this is why a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter is so important.

How air purifiers help

Diagram showing how a GermGuardian AC4900CA air purifier works

Illustration of how an air purifier works to remove dust and other contaminants from the air (GermGuardian AC900CA shown). Air is drawn in using suction from fans and dust and particles are permanently trapped in the filter. The remaining fresh, clean air is blown out from the exhaust side.

HEPA filters are based on a standard which began in the United States in the 1950s. Providing a reliable and consist way assurance of performance, it guarantees an air purifier must meet these two criteria:

  1. The filter will remove 99.97% of particles flowing through it
  2. It can remove elements in size down to 0.3 microns (less than 1/1,000,000 of a meter)

This means that for every 10,000 contaminants flowing into a true HEPA air purifier, only about 3 will escape! This is an amazing amount of air cleaning ability and it can remove almost all dust in the air it processes.

A good quality filter-based air purifier will circulate the air in a room and permanently remove the dust present in the air. After a number of hours, airborne dust will have been trapped permanently!

Of course, it’s not a one-time treatment. In your home you’ll need to use the air purifier from time to time. It can even be left on low speed, for example, for continuous protection. This is especially true if you have constant sources of dust like I did from the heating system.

Air purifier filter sections explained

Illustration of HEPA air purifier for dust sectionsA true HEPA filter is extremely effective in removing dust, allergens, and microbes from the air. The HEPA filter section is a secondary stage that effectively removes microscopic dust particles. The pre-filter is a thinner, less dense section (often containing active carbon) to first remove larger dust particles. 3-in-1 filters are very effective at removing dust from your home. An active carbon filter removes chemical substances and odors, too.

The name “true HEPA” refers to those that meet the filtering standard, as some sold may be described as “HEPA type.” A HEPA-type comes close to but doesn’t quite meet the same filtering ability. It’s important to know this difference when shopping for an air purifier to avoid being mislead.

The same well-designed air purifier that can remove dust forever can remove a lot of other nasty elements in your home’s air as well like dust mite allergens.

★ 5 great air purifiers for dust ★

Our top picks at a glance

ImageProductDetails
sample-table__image★ OUR #1 CHOICE ★Levoit PUR131
  • Great value! 322 sq. ft coverage, 3-stage HEPA, advanced features under $200
  • Auto-sensing and auto-off advanced features
  • Digital display and touch controls
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageSmart phone controlGermGuardian CDAP4500
  • Control from anywhere with your phone!
  • 3 stage filter system. Germ killing UV-C feature
  • Filter reminder + easy to use
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC5000
  • 193 sq. ft. coverage for about $150
  • Germ killing feature, 3-stage filter
  • Easy to operate. Filter reminder feature
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageBest seller!GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best seller and overall an excellent value! 155 sq. ft cover. Quiet operation
  • 155 sq ft coverage, 100+ CADR lab tested rating
  • True HEPA, carbon filter for odors, UV-C germ killer
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check on Amazon

Product reviews and details

1. Levoit LV-PUR131 – A fantastic large room 3-stage purifier! Auto-sensing operation and more.

Levoit LV-PUR131 side front image

The LV-PUR131 is another excellent model with great performance and attractive styling found in its smaller sibling, the Levoit LV-H132. It’s a great compromise between cost, features, and room size coverage ability.

In other words, it’s a great value. I’m recommending it for several great reasons.

For the money, you get great features, very good room size coverage, and excellent build quality. The performance is very good and it’s an air purifier you’ll be happy to own.

It’s no coincidence the LV-PUR131 is rated one of the best and is a top seller.

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel features

The electronic control panel looks a bit complicated at first glance but it’s easy to use. Touch controls easily rotate through their various on/off settings such as the fan speed or mode. A digital display shows the remaining operation time when the auto-off timer in use as well as the current air quality detected.

The straightforward and clear control panel features simple icons on the touch buttons and offers many wonderful features:

  • Power on/off
  • Display button
  • Sleep mode
  • Auto mode
  • Fan speed control
  • Timer button

A 7-segment LCD numeric display shows you the auto-off timer count. The auto-off timer is very flexible and can be adjusted to anywhere from 1 to 12 hours of operation before automatic shut off.

A sleep mode keeps the unit in a very low noise so you can rest without being disturbed. A color-coded air quality indicator light uses 4 colors to show how contaminated the nearby air is as detected by its sensors. Very nice!

Levoit LV-PUR131 purifier HEP filter sections diagram

The LV-PUR131 continues the tradition of Levoit’s great air purification filter design. The true HEPA filter traps finer, more difficult dust particles while the preliminary filter quickly and permanently removes airborne dust particles of normal size.

The LV-PUR131 uses a 3-stage design similar to others: a fine preliminary filter, an activated carbon filter, and a true HEPA filter which captures and removes dust very effectively.

Almost everyone who has tried the Levoit has wonderful things to say about it along with reporting excellent dust, dust mite, and other allergy and contaminant removal.

The average filter life is about 6 months and the convenient filter reminder will let you know when it’s time to replace it. New filters cost around $35 or so. A great 2-year warranty is provided too.

PROS:
  • Great design and features in its price range
  • Sleep mode offers very quiet operation at night
  • Flexible auto-off mode (1-12 hour settings) with digital LCD readout
  • Air quality indicator
  • Large room coverage (322 square feet)
  • Excellent filtration using a true HEPA filter for dust removal
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • 2-year warranty
CONS:
  • No washable pre-filter section for reuse like some others
  • No remote control operation ( see the Winix WAC9500 for that)
  • 11.2 lb weight means it may not be suitable for some shelves and smaller areas like smaller purifiers
  • Electronic controls and LCD display may not be suitable for elderly and others who prefer simple switch controls

It’s one of the best-selling, too! Definitely worth a look. You can click here to find out more and see the many other happy buyers.

2. GermGuardian CDAP4500WCA WiFi Smart 4-in-1 – WiFi and smartphone control that’s surprisingly affordable!

GermGuardian CDAP4500WCA air purifier front viewI didn’t think it was possible to get this level of convenience and great air purification for less than $175. But GermGuardian has made it possible!

Built on the same best-selling fundamental air quality design of the popular AC4825 & AC4900, the CDAP4500WCA (white) and CDAP4500BCA (black) are purifiers that offer next-level air purification you can control while away using your smartphone.

They also can be controlled by voice using the Amazon Alexa too.

Not only that, but they also offer a Smart Air Quality Monitor (SmartAQM) feature to detect the amount of particulate matter in the air around you and can even adjust its speed automatically.

GermGuardian CDAP4500WCA air purifier top view image

The CDAP4500WCA/BCA models feature a nice backlit digital display with fan speed readout, current air conditions, and auto-off timer status indicators. An auto-off timer allows you to shut it off after a preferred amount of time, too!

It’s an amazing feature. The current detected air quality is displayed with an easy to see colored ring on the front of the unit. 3 colors (green, yellow, and red) are used to indicate the current air quality status.

Unlike other models & other products, you get 5 (not 3!) levels of fan speeds. From a super-quiet low setting to fast-cleaning high speed, the CDAP4500WCA/BCA has you covered.

Additionally, it features the famous GermGuardian built-in UV-C germ-killing option for the safe removal of sickness-causing airborne microbes.

GermGuardian air purifier smart phone app example

The smartphone app provides an easy-to-use way to get current air quality info while you’re away. You can also control the purifier while you’re not at home as well! It’s extremely convenient and the interface is pretty simple. I like it. It’s especially nice to be able to use the auto-off timer too.

Just download the free GermGuardian app (provided for both iPhones and Android) and you’re ready to control it remotely at your leisure. No more getting out of bed at night to adjust it!

With Amazon’s Alexa voice support you can command the purifier from different places within your home. Say “Alexa, open Gi Gi” and then find out the air quality by asking “Alexa, ask Gi Gi the air quality of the bedroom.

Features:

  • 124 sq. ft coverage (small to medium sized rooms)
  • App for remote control over WiFi or Bluetooth
  • Alexa compatibility
  • Available in both black and white colors
  • 3-in-1 filter design plus UV-C germ-killing feature
  • Great for dust problems
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Great buyer reviews
  • Quiet low-speed operation
  • Auto-off timer (1-8 hours adjustable)
  • Auto-sensing feature adjust fan speed with air quality
  • Reports air quality and current status via the optional app
  • Uses standard FLT4825 replacement (or compatible generic) filters

Overall, it’s a well-designed air purifier that works just as well as the more basic GermGuardian models I’ve come to love as an owner.

It takes air purification to the next level by making it incredibly convenient, and I love the smartphone control features!

PROS:
  • Auto mode changes fan speed based on air quality
  • Low maintenance cost – replacement filters are inexpensive (generics available)
  • 5-speed fan control (vs 3 speeds of others)
  • Great filter ability & air flow despite its small size
  • Alexa control
  • Doesn’t require WiFi for remote use
  • Excellent build quality
  • Advanced WiFi app control (iPhone & Android)
  • UV-C microbe killing feature
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • True HEPA filter + carbon stage, with pre-filter
  • 3-year warranty
CONS:
  • Room size coverage is lower than others
  • Tower-style design may not fit in as many areas
  • No reusable filter sections
  • Some may not like the front panel glow ring at night
  • Time is set in increments of hours, not minutes
  • Limited to 8 hours maximum for the timer

It’s an excellent and surprisingly affordable compared to the competition considering the great features.

Don’t pass it up – have a look! Head over now to see the great reviews and current sale price for the white CDAP4500WCA at Amazon.

GermGuardian CDAP4500BCA air purifier front imagePrefer the black version? You can have a look at the great looking CDAP4500BCA model here.

3. GermGuardian AC5000E 3-In-1 with True HEPA Filter and UV-C Sanitizer. Excellent for medium to large rooms.

Featuring simple controls, great dust cleaning ability, and excellent reviews, the AC5000E is a really worthwhile investment and serves as the “big brother” to its smaller sibling the AC4825.

It’s a great buy for the money and works well for medium to large sized rooms near 193 square feet in size.

This is another excellent product from Guardian Technologies. Feature the great-performing 3-in-1 filter design shared with other air purifiers they produce, it’s great at trapping not just dust but also allergy-causing particles like pollen but also pet & human hair as well.

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 controls image

Right: The AC5000 is a larger, more powerful version of the popular AC4825 model (left). Both have the same control design and features. Operation is simple by using the 3-speed rotary fan control and the UV push button for operating the germ killing feature.

The active carbon filter will trap odors like chemical vapors and a variety of unpleasant substances.

It features simple, easy-to-use controls that I really like and are suitable for nearly anyone in your family. The UV-C feature safely kills germs as they pass through the purifier and doesn’t expose you to any unhealthy ultraviolet rays while in use.

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 UV-C feature turned on

The AC5000, just like its smaller sibling the AC4825, features a cool trim ring that glows when the UV-C feature is in operation. It’s a nice detail I enjoy as an owner. Note that while it does glow, I’ve found it shouldn’t be too bright for most people at night time.

I do have one complaint: after switching the UV-C feature on, if I turn off the air purifier it doesn’t remember that I had the UV-C on last time. So I have to turn it on again manually. However, that’s an extremely minor gripe that’s barely even worth mentioning.

Overall, if you’re looking for dust removal in a room that’s close to around 193 square feet in size. It works well for medium to large sized rooms. At 28″ in height it’s a bit large so bear that in mind before buying.

PROS:
  • Good value for the money!
  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is really easy to use
  • Excellent for reducing dust
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Filter is very easy to replace
  • Nice glowing light indicator when on
  • Vertical size is great for corner or areas with more vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (193 square feet)
  • 5-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature (note: the similiar AC5250PT offers this)
  • Cannot wash & reuse filter
  • Large 28″ size is not the most compact

This one is one of the best-selling air purifiers today! Take a look at the amazing number of reviews from people who found it helpful for dust (and much more!) over at Amazon.

4. GermGuardian AC4825 3-In-1 with True HEPA Filter and UV-C Sanitizer. A super-popular winner!

Featuring simple controls, great dust cleaning ability, and excellent reviews, the AC4825 is a top seller in its price range and has received the Amazon’s Choice award.

I’m an owner and I have great things to say about it in my review of the AC4825.

The GermGuardian features an additional benefit the others don’t – an ultraviolet (UV) light feature which works with titanium dioxide to kill airborne bacteria, viruses, germs, and mold spores.

At 22 inches tall the purifier fits well into room corners and other areas where vertical space is available. It uses a 4-stage filter process also to eliminate dust along with many other particles in your breathing space. These are: a pre-filter for larger particles, an active carbon filter, a true HEPA filter, and finally the UV-C light.

GermGuardian AC4825 top view of controls

The AC4825 features one of the easiest-to-use control setups you’ll find. It’s incredibly easy to use! Set the rotary control to one of the 3 fan speed settings. Use the UV push button to switch the germ killing feature on or off. A power-on indicator LED lights when the purifier is working.

Although it is simpler in operation and in a lower price bracket than more sophisticated models it also features ultra-quiet operation and a filter replacement reminder.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

The lovely blue trim ring lights up when the UV-C feature’s in use. Don’t worry though – it’s perfectly safe, as the ultraviolet light is trapped inside. It’s a great-looking way to see when the feature is on. I like it!

Replacement filters typically have a 6 month life span and cost around $30+ or so, although lower-cost 3rd party filters are available.

A relatively small number of buyers report problems with the AC4825, but based on such a huge amount of owners (well over 6,000) overall the reviews are excellent and nearly all owners are very happy with it for their money.

The AC4825 I owned and have tested has been trouble-free and well made. I’m sure you’ll enjoy yours just as much as I have mine.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is great for nearly everyone
  • Great filtering performance
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Nice glowing light indicator when on
  • Vertical size is great for corner or areas with more vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature
  • Cannot wash & reuse filter
  • Design is less stylish and attractive than other competitors in its price range (ex. Levoit LV-H132)
  • Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service

This one is one of the best-selling air purifiers today and it’s simply one of the best values for fighting dust.

Take a look at at the amazing number of positive reviews and happy buyers it helped at Amazon. NEW GermGuardian AC4825W white modelUPDATE: Great news! There’s now a great-looking white version available too. Note: for identical performance but with different styling, check out the AC4900CA – the AC4825’s twin I wrote about here. You can even save a few dollars versus the other model.

5. GermGuardian AC4100 – Affordable, compact quality for small rooms.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle viewWith its compact size and lower price you may be thinking the AC4100 is too small to handle your dust problem.

However, it’s a well-rated and well designed purifier featuring a true HEPA filter and even a UV-C sanitizer like its bigger siblings.

Great for small rooms, the AC4100 also has a simple to use 3-speed control and is perfect for fitting into small spaces (it’s about 7.5 x 6.5 x 11 inches in size).

A filter reminder (installation month wheel) is also provided so you won’t have to rely on memory when checking the filter.

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter replacement on the AC4100 is easy! Just open the rear cover, pull out the old filter, and insert the new one. You can also use a vacuum to remove larger particles like dust. As you can see my AC4100 caught more and more dust as I used it!

Filter life is about 6 months and you can clean the pre-filter section with a vacuum cleaner.

The UV-C section kills airborne bacteria, viruses, and more while the HEPA filter is great for removing dust and other unwanted air contaminants including allergens. The 3-stage filter also features a standard carbon filter to remove odors.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filtersIt has quiet operation and is a great value-priced model. Buyers report a high amount of air processing power/fan speed for more air flow allowing it to purifier your room quickly.

It’s great looking and reminds me very much of a stereo shelf speaker. Because of this it blends in well in modern rooms.

Filter replacement is more economical for this model than competitors at around $15 each.

PROS:
  • Low maintenance cost – replacement filters are inexpensive
  • Modern styling
  • Great filter ability & air flow despite its small size
  • Size allows it to fit in small spaces
  • Simple 3-speed fan control switch
  • UV-C microbe killing feature
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • True HEPA filter + carbon stage, with pre-filter
CONS:
  • Louder noise produced while running (especially on fast setting) than competitors
  • No low-noise sleep mode
  • No auto-sensing or auto-off timer features
  • No reusable filter sections
  • Not designed for horizontal placement like the Holmes HAP242-NUC
  • Only 1-year warranty

The AC4100 is a great choice for smaller rooms and smaller budgets. Head over here to see the fantastic reviews and happy buyers who say the same.

Summary – My top pick under $100

The GermGuardian AC4825 is my top recommended air purifier for dust as it’s one of the best values around and works well. You’ll get more coverage for your dollar than competing models in its price class.

Based on features, price, maintenance cost, and its performance the GermGuardian AC4825 is a solid all around performer and my recommendation for most people looking for dust relief.

It’s a good overall value for many applications not just because of features but because the room size (155 sq. ft) is one of the best in its price range (under $100).

Choosing the best product for you

I want you to have relief from dust (and breathe better in general) so here are my recommendations before buying one of the air purifiers above:

  • Determine the room size you need, in square feet (see this post for more info)
  • Think hard about your budget. You can get great dust relief for below $100!
  • Do you need a germ-killing feature? If so, get one of the GermGuardian products as it’s included as a bonus.
  • For your entire home, purchase several smaller models rather than 1 large one for better coverage for dust
  • If the WiFi/voice feature is helpful, consider the CDAP4500 models (but pay attention to room coverage)

Additional information

If you’d like to learn more about how many purifiers you should buy, read this helpful post about how many purifiers you need.

If you’re not familiar with the GermGuardian brand, feel free to read more about my own personal experiences with the famous AC4825 purifier here.

I’m a happy owner and can definitely recommend the brand & several models due to personal testing.

5 Of The Best Air Purifiers For Smoke Under $100 – Buyer’s Guide And What To Know

Best air purifiers for smoke under $100 featured image

Dealing with smoke? Let’s face it: smoke and its related odors can be a pain to get rid of.

Here you’ll find 5 of the best air purifiers for smoke under $100 along with details, info, and the pros & cons to know before spending a dime.

You can definitely get a good buy that’s affordable! You’ll also find lots of helpful information about smoke and air purifiers too.

Read on to learn more!

Contents

Infographic – Cigarette smoke and air purifier facts

What is in smoke? How small are smoke particles?

Image of a cigarette smoke particle under microscope

A microscopic image showing two fine aluminum silicate particles in smoke from a Marlboro Medium cigarette. Note the size scale in the image is an incredibly small 1 micrometer (1um). A micrometer (or “micron”) is 1/1,000,000 of a meter. Cigarette smoke particles have been studied and measured (see below). Their incredibly small size is one reason they’re such a problem for odors and irritation. Microscopic particles can travel to many areas of your home and surfaces.

Smoke from pipe tobacco, cigarettes, and cigars contains a huge amount of chemical particles released when the tobacco burns. This is because tobacco is treated with a variety of chemicals and substances before being packed for used by smokers. Some aren’t intentionally added but occur as tobacco is cured.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug administration over 7,000 chemicals are released from cigarette smoke.

How smoke builds and becomes worse

Smoking indoors is a self-building problem: the more you smoke indoors, the more it builds and the worse it becomes. Smoke after-effects don’t disappear or “evaporate.”

As most homes or business aren’t open to outside fresh air, smoke particles are trapped inside and never leave. They build up over time and accumulate on surfaces and even your skin, clothes, and more.

I’ve seen the results of heavy smokers who stayed indoors and smoked. Over time, the white walls actually became dark yellow in color. It permeated nearly everything inside!

Once smoke particles bond to surfaces and fabrics, it’s very difficult to restore them to their original freshness. Taking preventative measures can prevent this easily.

Even if smokers don’t smoke indoors, they bring in odors and smoke residue which are strong and a source of irritation. I’ve been in contact with someone once who was a heavy smoker, and because of the smoke particles on her body it caused me to break out in a rash.

You’ve got to eliminate the problem as effectively as possible to remove smells and avoid causing allergic reactions, coughing, and other side effects of bringing in smoke residue.

Do air purifiers help with cigarette smoke and odors?

Image of Levoit LV-H132 air purifier in bedroom
Yes, a good air purifier of the right type can effectively remove smoke, smoke by-products, and odors.

An air purifier removes smoke and related odors by using a fan to circulate air in the room which is passed through filters. These filters permanently trap smoke & its particles suspended in the air. Odors can be removed, too.

Air fresheners and other attempted solutions like that don’t work – they cover up (mask) the problem. Air fresheners cannot actually process the air or change the air contents as a purifier can.

One of the challenges of removing smoke isn’t just as simple as paper burning. Unlike smoke from other sources, cigarette and tobacco smoke is made of a huge range of microscopic particles. Gaseous chemical substances are released into the air, too.

Cigarette smoke typically contains elements that range in size from about 0.1 to 1.0 um in size.

You’ll need something that can eliminate these incredibly small elements in the air. That’s where an air purifier comes in – they’re practical, affordable, and most of all they’re effective. Air purifiers work well and get the job done safely.

Dirty air is one of many reasons why you might not be getting good rest, too!

What kind of air purifier do I need for smoke?

While there are many low-cost “air filters” and “air cleaners”, etc., on the market, you need to shop for a filter-based product. Not just that, but you should also be sure to shop for the following kind:

  1. Uses a quality High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter
  2. A purifier that includes an activated carbon filter

What is a HEPA filter?

 

Diagram showing efficiency of HEPA filter removing smoke particles
A HEPA filter is an air filter used to remove very small particulates from the air. “HEPA” is name used to describe an old standard created in the United States back in the 1950s to ensure the cleaning efficiency of air filters.

This type of filter is excellent at removing  and amazing 99.7% of the contaminants that enter it when air is forced through it. This means that only a tiny 3 out of every 10,000 particles that enter it are able to escape!

They can trap microscopic particles down to an incredibly small 0.3 microns in size. This is less than 1/1,000,000 of a meter! For references, the human eye can only see particles which are a bit larger than 5 microns in size.

As smoke contains particles that range from below 1 micron to above 1 micron, it’s critical to have this amount of filtering ability to remove smoke by-products from your air.

However, as effective as these filters are, they’re not able to trap odors and other vapors that smoke introduces in your air. You’ll need a carbon filter also for that.

What is an activated carbon filter?

Illustration of HEPA air purifier for dust sectionsAn activated carbon filter (shown here in black) is often made with a course/thin pre-filter material. These are typically used in conjunction with a HEPA filter for better smoke air filtering. The activated carbon filter traps odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The pre-filter is great for dust and hair. The HEPA filter permanently removes microscopic smoke particles from the air around you.

An activated carbon filter is a somewhat thin air filter section that is dark in color. They’re normally black due to the very small pieces of carbon used in them. Activated carbon attracts and traps odors and other chemical substances in the air.

This includes odors and other emissions from smoke which cause discomfort and breathing problems. Not only that, but they’re great for removing those awful smells that come from cigarettes and other smoke sources.

Carbon filters aren’t normally used by themselves – in air purifiers, they’re used alongside a dense HEPA filter to form a more comprehensive air purification system.

They’re especially important when it comes to dealing with smoke by-products and odors. You shouldn’t purchase an air purifier without one.  As I mentioned earlier, a HEPA filter alone can’t remove odors and gaseous substances in the air.

Air purifier filter replacement

GermGuardian FLT4825 replacement filterReplacing the expired filters in an air purifier usually means buying a replacement set made by the manufacturer. Pricing depends on the specific product and brand, but around $30 is typical. However, for some models it is possible to replace only the pre-filter & activated carbon filter section for less money. These are sometimes sold both by the air purifier manufacturer and from 3rd party companies. In that case you can extend the life of the HEPA filter section. Shown here is a replacement filter set for the GermGuardian AC4825, one of the most popular air purifiers sold today. It’s a great choice for smoke.

Trapping unwanted elements in the air is the basis for how air purifiers work. This also means that eventually they’ll become saturated with debris and particles.

Average replacement times for the HEPA filter section are about 6 to 8 months, although that varies with how dirty the air is where the purifier is used.

Optionally in some cases it’s possible to replace only the pre-filter/carbon filter section and extend the life of the HEPA filter. This can save quite a bit of money as well – often by 1/2 the cost of replacing both.

Many air purifiers sold today include a replacement reminder. In that case, you’ll be reminded to check the filter and replace only if necessary. However, bear in mind that for smoke use you should at least replace the carbon filter section every 6 months and possibly sooner if heavy smoke is present.

★ 5 of the best air purifiers for smoke ★

Our top picks at a glance

ImageProductDetails
sample-table__image★ OUR #1 PICK! ★GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best seller and overall an excellent value! Easy to use and quiet.
  • 155 sq ft coverage, 100+ CADR lab tested rating
  • True HEPA, carbon filter for odors, UV-C germ killer
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageULTRA QUIETLevoit LV-H132
  • Electronic controls and super quiet operation
  • 129 sq ft, true HEPA + carbon filter
  • Touch controls, night light, and memory feature
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageLevoit PUR131
  • 322 sq. ft coverage, 3-stage HEPA. Low-noise sleep mode
  • Auto-sensing and auto-off advanced features
  • Digital display and touch controls
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageLarge room valueHoneywell HPA300
  • Huge 465 sq. ft. coverage. Easy filter replacement, too!
  • Electronic touch controls, dimmer, and sleep timers
  • True HEPA and carbon filters. High-speed Turbo mode
Check on Amazon

Product reviews and details

1. GermGuardian AC4825 – Not just a best seller but a great value! Get good performance and coverage for less.

Another purifier with wonderful buyer reports and a top seller, the AC4825 doesn’t include the same features as the Levoit LV-H132 but offers more room coverage and also includes an ultraviolet (UV) germ killing feature.

A true HEPA filter design ensures it cleans your air well and leaves the room fresh and allergen & dust-free. The pre-filter, an activated carbon filter, handles larger particles and odor removal. Additionally it provides nearly twice the room coverage of similarly priced models.

It’s a great overall value and an excellent choice. I’m a proud owner and you can read more about it in my detailed review here.

GermGuardian AC4825 top view of controls

The AC4825 features one of the easiest-to-use control setups you’ll find. It’s incredibly easy to use! Set the rotary control to one of the 3 fan speed settings. Use the UV push button to switch the germ killing feature on or off. A power-on indicator LED lights when the purifier is working.

A 3-speed fan control is provided and a great choice for those who prefer simple controls & operation. The filter is easy to remove and replace by opening the rear door and simply swapping it out. A replacement reminder is included too.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

The lovely blue trim ring lights up when the UV-C feature’s in use. Don’t worry though – it’s perfectly safe, as the ultraviolet light is trapped inside. It’s a great-looking way to see when the feature is on. I like it!

At 22 inches in height, it’s not a compact as others listed here but the small base size allows it to fit well in corners and small places where height is not an issue. Replacement filters cost about $30 and last approximately 6 months, depending upon use.

You can also find 3rd party brand filters which are cheaper.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is great for nearly everyone
  • Good overall value for performance & room size vs. the Levoit LV-132
  • Great filtering performance
  • Quiet fan operation on low speed setting
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Soft LED when power is on
  • Vertical size is great for corner or areas with more vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature
  • Cannot wash & reuse filter
  • Design is less stylish and attractive than other competitors in its price range (ex. Levoit LV-H132)
  • Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service

Even better, it’s also available in a sharp-looking version called the AC4900CA. It’s identical in performance as well. Note that prices are often slightly different between the two despite being functionally identical.

I personally own a AC4825 and now I understand why it’s a best seller. It’s well made, works great for cleaning the air, and is frustration-free.

You’ll find the best price and thousands of happy buyer reviews over at Amazon.

2. Levoit LV-H132 – Sleek and with nice features. Many happy buyers agree it’s a great choice.

Levoit LV-H132 purifier white front view

One of the most popular units available, the Levoit LV-H132 (smaller sibling to the Levoit LV-PUR131) is a great choice for the money. If you’re wanting to remove smoke odors & particles that aggravate breathing & allergic reactions but prefer more features this is an excellent option.

Like its competitors, it features a true HEPA filter with 3-stage filtration for good performance when removing smoke & odors.

Although it provides less coverage than competitors like the GermGuardian AC4825, the Levoit makes up for this by including more. It’s also a great looking choice for small rooms or light duty use in medium-sized rooms.

Not only this but buyer reviews are excellent and it’s a top seller in its category.

Levoit LV-H132 features image

The Levoit LV-H132 is sophisticated yet still easy to use. Electronic touch controls are provided and beep when operated. After power is switched off the last settings are saved. Upon the next use, the purifier remembers your last settings and restores them automatically.

It offers some of the most features in its price range. The fan offers pleasant and quiet operation on low speed. A built-in night light with 2 brightness settings is a bonus feature.

A convenient filter replacement reminder lets you know when it’s time to change the filter and replace it if needed.

Levoit LV-H132 filter replacement image example

Filter replacement is a bit different for the LV-H132, but very simple. Turn the unit upside-down, rotate the cover, and then you can pull out and replace the old 3-in-1 filter assembly. Note: unlike some competitors, in most cases you can’t replace the carbon prefilter separately. It’s something to keep in mind.

Replacement filters run around $30 and are simple to replace by opening the top cover. In my hands-on testing I found the LV-H132 to be a very well made and designed purifier.

It’s sleek, extremely quiet, and a great choice.

PROS:
  • Shorter height than competing tower purifiers
  • 2-year warranty
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Night light with 2 brightness levels
  • Nice looking, modern design
  • Electronic soft button controls
  • Quiet operation on low level won’t disturb sleep
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Great build quality & high reliability
  • Easy filter replacement
CONS:
  • Smaller room coverage than others in its price range (129 sq. ft.)
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • No air quality sensor
  • Electronic controls may not be suitable for some
  • High speed is not quite a fast as other products

It’s an excellent purifier with wonderful buyer reviews and great air cleaning performance. Without a doubt it’s one of the lowest-noise purifiers money can buy.

Be sure to check out why it's one of the best sold today and was awarded the Amazon's Choice label.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

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3.  GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1: Great for your office, dorm room, or bedroom. Small but good!

GermGuardian AC4100 angle view

An affordable model, the AC4100 has an excellent reputation and is a great looking, well performing little purifier for small rooms, offices, and other close spaces.

Measuring only 7.5 x 6.5 x 11″ in size uses a true HEPA filter & charcoal section to produce fresh, clean air. Unlike other products priced near $50 and below, it uses the same high-performance quality of filters as its more expensive GermGuardian siblings.

As an added bonus the UV light along with titanium dioxide kills germs to make your air more safe and prevent illness.

A replacement filter costs about $18 and there’s a filter installation date wheel on the rear to help you know when it’s time to replace it.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filters

The AC4100 features the same 3-in-1 filtering design as its larger siblings. You’ll get a true HEPA filter, prefilter, and odor-absorbing section but for smaller rooms and on a budget.

Operation is simple: a 3 speed fan control. It’s quiet and generates a pleasing low noise level on the lowest setting. When set to high sound similar to white noise is produced.

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter replacement on the AC4100 is easy! Just open the rear cover, pull out the old filter, and insert the new one. You can also use a vacuum to remove larger particles like dust. As you can see my AC4100 caught more and more dust as I used it!

Unlike its bigger brothers the AC4825 and AC4900CA, the UV germ killing switch is an on/off type control rather than a push button. I don’t like is that there’s no indicator light for the UV feature like the larger models.

However, that’s a pretty minor complaint. All in all, it’s a great little purifier I recommend for small rooms up to about 75 square feet and below in size.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan control and on/off UV-C switch
  • Good for small rooms (75 sq. ft. and below)
  • UV & titanium dioxide design to kill germs
  • Great filtering ability for its small size
  • High speed setting moves a lot of air for purifying quickly
  • Filter replacement reminder wheel (month installed)
  • Low filter replacement price (about $19)
  • Filter replacement date wheel (marks month installed)
  • Sleek, modern design
CONS:
  • 1 year warranty is shorter than other models
  • Fan speed on high could be slightly better
  • No filter replacement light
  • No additional colors offered

Following the same great quality that has made GermGuardian purifiers some of the best today, it’s a great choice.

Be sure to see the many great buyer reviews and and current sale price at Amazon.

4. Levoit LV-PUR131 – Great smoke & odor removal for med/large rooms with auto-sensing.

Levoit LV-PUR131 side front image
For those who need to remove smoke in a larger room, this Levoit model is one of the most popular and well-reviewed units you can buy today.

It’s stylish, powerful, and has several cool features that really appeal to someone like me who worries about being able to sleep with electronics running. Check out the reviews – it’s an excellent addition to your home, office, or even workplace and great at removing smoke odors & residual particles in the air.

Electronic controls are simple to use (similar to its smaller sibling the LV-H132) and it includes a sharp-looking LCD display.

A low-noise sleep mode option is provided to ensure the LV-PUR131 doesn’t disturb you at night time and it’s super-quiet.

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel features

The electronic control panel looks a bit complicated at first glance but it’s easy to use. Touch controls easily rotate through their various on/off settings such as the fan speed or mode. A digital display shows the remaining operation time when the auto-off timer in use as well as the current air quality detected.

What makes this Levoit model such a wonderful choice is not only the same 3-speed push button fan control but also an automatic mode which increases or decreases fan speed as need when the air filtration is especially more demanding.

There’s more, too. One of my favorite features, auto timer lets you set and forget it. The purifier will turn itself off automatically after 1-12 hours of operation as selected.

Filters are typically replaced about every 6 months and the replacement reminder will let you know when it’s time to check the filter. Expect to pay around $35 for a replacement, which still relatively economical when compared to other competitors in its price range.

Levoit LV-PUR131 purifier HEP filter sections diagram

The LV-PUR131 continues the tradition of Levoit’s great air purification filter design. The true HEPA filter traps finer, more difficult dust particles while the preliminary filter quickly and permanently removes airborne dust particles of normal size.

A quiet sleep mode ensures that you’re not disturbed by noise as it provides a very low level of noise during operation.

As it’s only about 11.2 lbs in weight and 14.5 x 7.2 x 18.5 inches in size, the PUR131 provides more square feet coverage (322 square feet) than others but can be placed on many counter tops, shelves, and desks if needed.

A 2 year warranty is provided.

PROS:
  • More room coverage for the money (322 sq ft)
  • Auto-sensing mode adjusts fan speed automatically
  • Sleep mode for very quiet operation
  • Electronic, simple controls
  • LCD display
  • Auto-off feature: 1 to 12 hours for “set and forget” operation
  • Great smoke removal performance
  • Excellent overall reviews and customer satisfaction
  • Lower weight and smaller size than others – can be used more places
  • 2 year warranty
  • Nice, modern appearance
CONS:
  • No remote control
  • Auto-sensing mode does not indicate air quality levels visually
  • No night light
  • Replacement filters aren’t the cheapest (near $35 or so)
  • Warranty is shorter than some competitors
  • White color only

As it’s a fantastic compromise between cost, room size coverage, features, and performance it’s a purifier you can’t go wrong with.

Check it out! Find out now why it's one of the best selling models you can buy today at Amazon.

5. Honeywell HPA300 – Bigger room coverage and turbo air cleaning mode. More powerful smoke removal!

Honeywell HPA300 HEPA air purifier product image

The Honeywell provides the greatest room size coverage and smoke filtering ability of the units listed here. It’s a great unit with excellent reviews and some of the best smoke and odor removal ability you’ll find anywhere. It’s not short on features, either!

As it is a true serious unit, the HPA300 is a large and heavy unit, weighing about 21 lbs. The filters (carbon/pre-filter section, and separate true HEPA filter sections) are more complex but not difficult to replace.

Expect to pay around $68 or so dollars for a complete 3-filter supply for your purifier. Replacement time is about 3-5 months depending on how heavy the purification work was.

Honeywell HPA300 electronic controls top view

The purifier features excellent touch panel electronic controls. Just touch one of the controls to rotate easily through the settings like fan speed, the light dimmer, and to set the auto-off timer feature.

It’s easy to use and has electronic tap controls for fan speed, light dimmer, and auto-operation. Indicator lights give separate reminders for both the HEPA filter sections and the pre-filter carbon filter section.

For very heavy-duty air cleaning the high-speed mode provides its maximum cleaning ability although it’s far quieter at minimum fan speed. Automatic mode shuts off the unit after either 2, 4, or 8 hour operation.

Honeywell HPA300 filter replacement image

Filter replacement is very simple! The main cover uses 2 push-releases at the top to secure the cover. After removal the prefilter can be replaced or the 3 standard Honeywell HEPA filters as well. It’s easy to do, in my experience.

The HPA300 also has 3 operational modes: allergen, general, and germ for maximum effectiveness if you’re not using it for only smoke odor & particle removal.

Hit the Turbo button for a great boost in air cleaning speed!

I bought the HPA300 myself and gave it a great going-over, and I’m impressed! Check out my in-depth review of the HPA300 here.

PROS:
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Maximum room size capability for the money (below $300 range)
  • Turbo mode for heavy air cleaning operation on demand
  • Automatic operation with 2, 4, and 8 hour settings
  • Quiet low speed operation
  • Largest room/house coverage (465 sq. ft)
  • Filter replacement reminder for both HEPA and pre-filter sections
  • 5-year warranty
  • Dimmer control
CONS:
  • Auto-off timer adjustable only in increments of 2 hours – no 1hr settings
  • Not as sleek-looking as some competing products
  • No auto-sensing mode for self-adjusting ability
  • Black color only

Dealing with smoke in your home and larger rooms? Then you can’t go wrong with the HPA300.

Find out now why it's one of the best large room air purifiers for smoke sold at Amazon today.

Honeywell HPA200 promotional image originalIs the HPA300 a bit too big and expensive for you? Great news!

The HPA200 has the same exact features in a smaller size for a bit less money. It’s great for large rooms. Find out the current price and read how many people love it here.

Just like it’s big brother I wrote a thorough review you can check out here as well.

A tip on filter replacement and use

Air purifiers with filter the replacement reminder feature operate based on operation time and cannot sense how much filtration work was actually done. You’ll want to check the filters and determine whether or not the filter truly needs replacement or not.

When an air purifier is not used heavily – say periodically, for example – the actual time between filter replacement is extended.

For heavy smoke filtration, don’t forget that the pre-filter/carbon filtration section is essential for removing many odors and therefore will definitely need replacement after regular use.

Additional reading

If the GermGuardian AC4825’s style doesn’t appeal to you, also check out the AC4900CA. It’s also identical in performance but with a different design style. I highly recommend these for smoke!

If you also have dogs or cats, you can read more about how air purifiers help with dog smell or cat hair as well.

Choosing The Best Air Purifier For Odor Elimination – 5 Of The Best

Featured image for best air purifier for odor elimination

Whether it’s odors from pets, bathrooms, cooking, or one of many other common sources, odors are a big nuisance. Personally I can’t focus on work or relax if odors are distracting me.

A high-quality air purifier can help. But how do you choose the best air purifier for odor elimination? In order to help you get the best for your money, I’ve put together 5 great air purifier reviews and recommendations you’ll find below.

There’s also a helpful buyer’s guide that explains air purifiers in detail, too. Read on to learn more!

Contents

Infographic – Air purifiers and odors

Infographic guide for the best air purifier for odor elimination

What are odors? Where do bad smells come from?

Boy pinching nose bad smells
Indoor odors originate from source materials, both organic and man-made, that are volatilized (released as a vapor) and disperse molecules into the air. Some occur naturally during evaporation. Other sources like food and dead animals occur during decomposition or chemical changes.

In areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and basement which we all know often have strong or bad smells, air fresheners are sometimes used. These do help, but it’s important to understand that most don’t actually eliminate odor sources.

Most simply mask it and you don’t notice the odor after it has been temporarily cleared for a while.

Dealing with bothersome smells

There’s a huge list of common odor sources:

  • Dogs and cats (natural odors)
  • Kitty litter boxes
  • Garbage
  • Cooking strong foods
  • People with digestive problems
  • Damp & moldy surface or trapped moisture
  • Older homes and construction materials
  • Drafts rising from a smelly basement
  • Downstairs neighbors cooking

Having downstairs neighbors cooking in the past was one of the worst for me! I learned the hard way how odors can rise through the floor and walls. It was very bothersome.

People with pets also have to deal with odors as well. One of the strongest I’ve had to deal with was a cat’s litter box – I was amazed at how strong the odor was! Dog odors are another bothersome problem, too.

In every case, I learned how helpful an air purifier is for eliminating odors.

Choosing the right air purifier for odor relief

GermGuardian AC4825E filter diagramFor good odor elimination, you’ll need to choose a quality air purifier that features an activated carbon (also called charcoal) filter. The best models sold today normally are sold as “3-in-1” purifiers. A HEPA filter eliminates finer microscopic particles. The pre-filter captures dust and larger elements. It’s normally attached to a carbon filter. Carbon is porous and processed to have absorption properties. Shown: GermGuardian AC4825, one of the most popular purifiers today.

You’ll want to avoid ozone generators and ionizers. While they do have some properties that can affect odors in the air, they don’t work the same as filter-based purifiers.

Filter based purifiers normally have 3 filter sections, although 2 are often built together:

  1. Pre-filter section
  2. Activated carbon (charcoal) section
  3. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter

HEPA and pre-filter sections

HEPA filters are very effective for trapping airborne contaminants and especially the smallest air particles, dust mite matter, pet dander, and so on down to 0.3 microns in size (A micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter).

They’re fantastic for allergy relief and other air quality issues but don’t really affect odors.

A pre-filter is normally attached to the activated carbon filter section. It’s usually a thin, somewhat course material that traps larger matter like hair, dust, lint, and other larger particles.

The activated carbon filter is the section an air purifier’s filter assembly that eliminates odors and traps them, leaving fresh air behind.

GermGuardian FLT11CB4 carbon filter diagramA carbon filter has carbon (charcoal) pieces that are processed to create porous surface and have properties for trapping odors and chemical vapors. I recommend purchasing a model that allows replacing only the carbon filter and/or pre-filter section like this example as they often need changing at a rate different from the HEPA filter.

After some use a purifier’s filter will become used-up and clogged with foreign matter. The carbon filter, after being in use for some time, will lose effectiveness as well. Most purifiers have about a 6 to 8 month filter lifespan for the HEPA filter.

Some have a filter replacement feature to remind you when to check it. Some filters are replaceable as one complete unit – but at additional cost.

For best effectiveness and to reduce maintenance costs, I recommend models with separate carbon filter sections you can replace independently.

You can save a bit of money that way and extend the life of the main HEPA filter as quite often they don’t need replacing right away.

After all, if you’re eliminating odors you’re not likely to completely saturate the HEPA section during the first use.

For pet owners and allergy sufferers, however, that’s sometimes a different story.

★ 5 of the best air purifiers to eliminate odors ★

Our top picks at a glance

IMAGEPRODUCT
GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best-selling and overall an excellent value! Easy to use and quiet.
  • 155 sq ft coverage, 100+ CADR lab tested rating
  • True HEPA, carbon filter for odors, UV-C germ killer
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →
Levoit LV-H132
  • Electronic controls and super quiet operation!
  • 129 sq ft, true HEPA + carbon filter
  • Touch controls, night light, and memory feature
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →
GermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →
Levoit LV-PUR131
  • Excellent for med-large rooms (322 sq ft coverage)
  • Advanced controls and air quality sensing operation
  • Low noise and auto-off timer feature
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →
Honeywell HPA300
  • Excellent large room value (465 sq ft coverage) under $250
  • Touch controls and high-speed Turbo mode
  • HEPA + carbon filter. Timer feature included
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →

Product reviews and details

1. GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1: A super-popular model that offers great value, too!

The AC4825 doesn’t try something it’s not – it’s simply a good basic air purifier that gets the job done and works well. It’s a winner because of hassle-free ease of use, great performance, and many happy buyers. 

I’m one of the happy owners myself!

With a higher room size coverage rating than models like the Levoit LV-H132 it’s a good value as well.

An ultraviolet (UV) germ killing feature provides safe and ozone-free elimination of germs and microbes where you live. It’s a nice extra feature to have – very few products offer this!

The true HEPA filter design works very well to remove smoke and contaminants from your air. Filter replacement is easy and you can buy the carbon filter/pre-filter separately, allowing you to extend the HEPA filter life and get more odor relief while saving money.

It’s in such demand that I even bought one to see what the fuss was about! I’m very happy with mine. You can read more about it in my detailed review here.

GermGuardian AC4825 top view of controls

The AC4825 features one of the easiest-to-use control setups you’ll find. It’s incredibly easy to use! Set the rotary control to one of the 3 fan speed settings. Use the UV push button to switch the germ killing feature on or off. A power-on indicator LED lights when the purifier is working.

A 3-speed fan control makes using it simple and hassle-free. When the push-button control is used to switch one the UV-C feature, the trim glows blue.

Time to check or replace the filter? Just open the rear door and pull it out. The replacement reminder will turn red when it’s time to check the filter.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

The lovely blue trim ring lights up when the UV-C feature’s in use. Don’t worry though – it’s perfectly safe, as the ultraviolet light is trapped inside. It’s a great-looking way to see when the feature is on. I like it!

At 22″ height, it’s not smaller and compact like several others. But the tower design helps it to fit well in corners. Replacement filters cost about $30 and last about 6 months.

There is one very minor complaint I have: when the UV-C feature is switched on and you turn the fan power off, upon the next start-up the UV-C light is off again. There’s no memory feature to keep it the way you last left it.

(Note: You can also find 3rd party brand filters which are cheaper)

PROS:
  • Simple, reliable, and easy controls
  • One of the best values for your dollar
  • Great buyer satisfaction ratings
  • Good overall value for performance & room size vs. the Levoit LV-H132
  • Great filtering performance
  • Low noise operation
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Soft LED when power is on
  • Vertical size/shape is great for corners
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off timer
  • No UV button memory feature
  • Can’t wash & reuse filter
  • Design is less stylish and attractive than other competitors in its price range (ex. Levoit LV-H132)
  • Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service

My AC4825 is definitely a good performer and I’ve been happy with it. Judging by how many others agree, you’re going to love it as well.

It’s one of the best buys for your money. Head over now and see the thousands of happy buyer reviews and current sale price Amazon.

NEW GermGuardian AC4825W white modelUPDATE: Wow, there’s now a great-looking white version as well out now.

2. Levoit LV-H132 – A best-selling purifier with night light and other nice features. Super-low noise levels, too!

Levoit LV-H132 purifier white front viewAnother super-popular purifier, the Levoit LV-H132 (smaller sibling to the Levoit LV-PUR131) is a great buy. Got odor problems? It’s a good choice for nearly anyone with small to medium-sized rooms.

Like its competitors, the true HEPA filter works well (along with the pre-filter and carbon filter) to eliminate air quality problems including bad smells.

Although it provides less coverage (129 square feet) than competitors like the GermGuardian AC4825, the Levoit makes up for this by providing features others don’t.

As well as being a great looking choice, it complements today’s interiors well.

It’s one of the best-selling purifiers on the market today.

Levoit LV-H132 features image

The Levoit LV-H132 is sophisticated yet still easy to use. Electronic touch controls are provided and beep when operated. After power is switched off the last settings are saved. Upon the next use, the purifier remembers your last settings and restores them automatically.

The fan offers pleasant and quiet operation on low-speed. A built-in night light with 2 brightness settings is a bonus feature.

Levoit LV-H132 filter replacement image example

Filter replacement is a bit different for the LV-H132, but very simple. Turn the unit upside-down, rotate the cover, and then you can pull out and replace the old 3-in-1 filter assembly. Note: unlike some competitors, in most cases you can’t replace the carbon prefilter separately. It’s something to keep in mind.

Replacement filters cost near $30. The top cover removes easily for replacement and a filter replacement reminder lets you know when it’s time to check it or replace it.

In my hands-on testing, I found it to be one of the lowest-noise air purifiers sold today!

When I say it’s low noise, I really mean it. It’s almost impossible to hear it run on the lowest settings – even high speed is very quiet, too.

PROS:
  • Shorter height than competing tower purifiers
  • 2-year warranty
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Night light with 2 brightness levels
  • Nice looking, modern design
  • Electronic soft button controls
  • Super quiet operation
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Great build quality & high reliability
  • Easy filter replacement
  • Now available in black
CONS:
  • Smaller room coverage than others
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • No air quality sensor
  • Electronic controls may not be suitable for some
  • High speed is not as fast as other products

Buyer reviews are great. Check out the fantastic ratings and see why it's a fantastic seller that received the Amazon's Choice award.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

UPDATE: A new black version No products found.

3.  GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1: The same quality odor removing ability and germ killing in a smaller size.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle view

A great lower-priced model, the AC4100 is a little brother to the larger AC4900CA but it features the same excellence I’ve come to know from GermGuardian.

Like others in the company’s line of products, it’s a no-nonsense, easy-to-use model for nearly everyone.

Measuring only 7.5 x 6.5 x 11″ in size, the 3-in-1 design (HEPA, pre-filter, carbon filter) works to remove odors, dust, allergens, and much more. Great for a small room like your bedroom, office, or dorm room.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filters

The AC4100 features the same 3-in-1 filtering design as its larger siblings. You’ll get a true HEPA filter, prefilter, and odor-absorbing section but for smaller rooms and on a budget.

A UV light (with on/off control) works with titanium dioxide to neutralize germs. The result is healthier air and sickness-causing microbes are gone.

Replacement filters cost about $18. There’s no automatic filter reminder. However, a filter installation date wheel on the rear to help you know when it’s time to replace it.

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter replacement on the AC4100 is easy! Just open the rear cover, pull out the old filter, and insert the new one. You can also use a vacuum to remove larger particles like dust. As you can see my AC4100 caught more and more dust as I used it!

Carbon filter replacements can be bought separately so if you’re dealing with odors you can restore used-up carbon filters for less money than replacing the entire 3-in-1 filter set.

It’s really easy to use – just switch it on or off using the 3 speed rotary control.

On full speed, the noise level is moderate in my opinion. At low speed, it’s hardly noticeable and works well at bedtime. Unlike similar larger models such as the AC4825 and AC4900CA, the UV germ killing switch is an on/off type and not a push button.

One thing I don’t like is that there’s no indicator light for the UV feature like the larger models. That’s a pretty small gripe, however.

It’s a great small-room choice, although I wouldn’t recommend it for large rooms, as it’s not designed – or recommended – for those. It’s great for closets, dorm rooms, your office, or other similar areas.

It’s one of the best in its price range at around $50 or less, depending on where you shop.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan control and on/off UV-C switch
  • UV & titanium dioxide germ killing feature
  • Great filtering ability for its small size
  • High speed setting moves a lot of air for purifying quickly
  • Filter replacement reminder wheel (month installed)
  • Low filter replacement price (about $19)
  • Filter replacement date wheel (marks month installed)
  • Sleek, modern design
CONS:
  • 1 year warranty is shorter than other models
  • No indicator light for UV feature unlike larger models
  • Fan speed on high could be slightly better
  • No filter replacement light
  • No other colors offered

Speaking from personal experience I can see why GermGuardian is one of the biggest air purifier manufacturers today. I own an AC4100 and find it easy to use and well-made.

For small rooms with odor problems, it’s a great low-cost choice.

Have a look at the many satisfied owners that helped it become one of the highest small purifiers at Amazon.

4. Levoit LV-PUR131 – Great odor removal for medium-large rooms. Advanced features, too! Another best seller.

Levoit LV-PUR131 side front image

Got a medium or slightly larger sized room? The LV-PU131 is a top seller and one of the sleekest, best-designed purifiers you’re going to find under $250.

One of the best-selling points is the number of great features included for the price.

Check out the great reviews – it’s an excellent addition to your home, office, or even workplace and great at removing smoke along with the other problems that come with it.

The Levoit brand is well-known and they produce a number of home products. All are well-made and well-regarded. They’re also known for the great LV-H132 purifier I recommend as well.

The electronic controls are simple to use. The clear LCD display operational status and the timer information to make using it a snap.

The sleep mode feature means it works almost silently at night and doesn’t wake you up. The self-off timer lets you select from 1 to 12 hours of operation.

What makes this Levoit model such a wonderful choice is not just the same 3-speed push button fan control. But the automatic auto-sensing mode which adjusts fan speed as needed as air conditions change. Really cool!

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel features

The electronic control panel looks a bit complicated at first glance but it’s easy to use. Touch controls easily rotate through their various on/off settings such as the fan speed or mode. A digital display shows the remaining operation time when the auto-off timer in use as well as the current air quality.

Filter replacement is about every 6 months. The replacement will let you know when it’s time to check the filter. (It’s around $35 or so to replace one)

At about 11.2 lbs in weight and 14.5 x 7.2 x 18.5 inches in size, the PUR131 provides more square feet coverage (322 square feet) than others but can fit in a few areas comparable products can’t.

A 2 year warranty is provided.

PROS:
  • More room coverage for the money (322 sq ft)
  • Auto-sensing mode adjusts fan speed automatically
  • Sleep mode for very quiet operation
  • Electronic, simple controls
  • LCD display
  • Auto-off feature: 1 to 12 hours for “set and forget” operation
  • Great cigarette smoke removal performance
  • Excellent overall reviews and customer satisfaction
  • Lower weight and smaller size than others – can be used more places
  • 2 year warranty
  • Sleek, attractive appearance
CONS:
  • No remote control
  • Auto-sensing mode doesn’t show air quality levels visually
  • No night light
  • Replacement filters aren’t the cheapest (near $35 or so)
  • Warranty is shorter than some competitors
  • White color only

It’s a great compromise between cost, room size coverage, features, and performance.

Head over now to see why it's one of the best selling and highest rated purifiers at Amazon.

5. Honeywell HPA300 – Powerful odor removal for large rooms. A popular and reliable workhorse with nice features.

Honeywell HPA300 HEPA air purifier product image

Have a large room with bad smells? No need to look any further!

The HPA300 provides some of the greatest room size coverage and odor elimination ability in its price range. It’s one of the best values as well.

The HPA300 is a solid workhorse – a large and heavy unit, weighing about 21 lbs. The filters (carbon/pre-filter section, and separate true HEPA filter sections) are more complex but still simple to replace.

Replacement filters are about $68 but you can replace carbon filters separately to keep costs down. It’s not necessary to replace the HEPA filters when only the prefilter needs maintenance.

Filter life averages about 3-5 months depending upon use. The HEPA filter can be extended if you’re swapping out carbon filters and the HEPA filter isn’t saturated.

Honeywell HPA300 electronic controls top view

The purifier features excellent touch panel electronic controls. Just touch one of the controls to rotate easily through the settings like fan speed, the light dimmer, and to set the auto-off timer feature.

The top-facing electronic controls are and indicators are:

  • Fan speed
  • Dimmer
  • Auto-timer selection (2, 4, 8 hrs)
  • Operational mode
  • Filter replacement

Indicators give separate reminders for both the HEPA filter and the pre-filter/carbon filters.

Turbo mode provides high-speed cleaning ability. On low, however, it’s quiet enough to not disturb your quiet time.

Automatic mode shuts off the unit after either 2, 4, or 8 hour operation. The HPA300 also has 3 operational modes: allergen, general, and germ modes. (General mode is fine for cigarette smoke removal)

Honeywell HPA300 filter replacement image

Filter replacement is very simple! The main cover uses 2 push-releases at the top to secure the cover. After removal the prefilter can be replaced or the 3 standard Honeywell HEPA filters as well. It’s easy to do, in my experience.

What I especially like is that the filter replacement reminders are separate – one for the HEPA filter and one for the pre-filter. That’s a feature unique to the Honeywell design. I don’t care however for the limited auto-off time control being limited to 3 choices.

PROS:
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Maximum room size ability for the money (below $300 range)
  • Turbo mode for heavy air cleaning operation on demand
  • Automatic operation with 2, 4, and 8 hour settings
  • Quiet low speed operation
  • Largest room/house coverage (465 sq. ft)
  • Separate filter replacement reminder for both HEPA and pre-filter sections
  • 5-year warranty
  • Dimmer control
CONS:
  • Auto-off timer adjustable only in increments of 2 hours – no 1hr settings
  • Not as sleek-looking as others
  • No auto-sensing mode for self-adjusting ability
  • Black color only

Want to get rid of odors in larger rooms? You can’t go wrong with the HPA300.

Many happy buyers back up my recommendation because it's one of the best large room air purifiers sold today.

Additional recommendations

Moso charcoal carbon air purifying bag

For even more effective odor control I recommend using other products along with your new purifier. A great example is an odor-absorbing product like No products found.

Eliminating odors means not just masking it with an air freshener – but by treating your air. A quality air purifier like those I’ve recommend can remove and trap unpleasant airborne molecules and let you enjoy fresh air again.

For even better odor control I recommend using a well-proven product like odor absorption bags such as No products found.

Learn more

Unsure about how many air purifiers you’ll need? Click here to find out if you need a purifier in every room.

As I’ve been really enjoying my own GermGuardian AC4825, I wrote a thorough review here to help others decide if it’s right for them as well.

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC4900CA Hands-On Comparison & Details

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca image

In my comprehensive comparison of the GermGuardian AC4825 vs. AC4900CA I’ll cover the specific differences and help you decide which one fits your needs better. If you’re shopping it can be very confusing when comparing these two wonderful models.

Believe me, I understand how it feels!

I’m a proud GermGuardian owner myself so I’ve decided to share my first-hand knowledge with you after personally owning and testing both.

Both models have some good and bad points as they’re from the same basic design family. Let me tell you up front – don’t worry! They’re both great choices and well worth the investment.

Contents

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC4900CA – Getting started

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca confused guy and tablet

With a huge number of similarities shared between them, it can definitely feel a bit confusing and possibly even a little bit frustrating when trying to compare the two models.

Sadly, GermGuardian doesn’t make the differences clear and they certainly don’t make it easy to compare the two in terms of design and performance aspects.

To make matters worse, the owner’s manuals are slightly different and don’t clarify things.

For example, the AC4825 owner’s manual lists several specifications that aren’t listed in the manual for the AC4900CA. In order to make things more clear I’ve gathered all the specifications and arranged them in a way that’s easy to compare.

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC4900CA: Comparing specifications

Let’s get the basics out of the way. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the features and specifications of each. I’ll go into more detail about the similarities and differences between the two afterward.

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca side by side in living room

AC4825 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 155 sq. ft (medium room)
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • CADR Rated 101+ (Clean Air Delivery Rate)
  • Low-noise fan setting
  • Replaceable UV bulb
  • Dual-section blower fans
  • Simple rotary control
  • Pushbutton on/off UV switch
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replace indicator: Illum. trim
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 8.65 lbs
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: top
  • Size: 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
AC4900CA Specifications
  • Room size rating: 155 sq. ft (medium room)
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • CADR Rated 101+ (Clean Air Delivery Rate)
  • Low-noise fan setting
  • Replaceable UV bulb
  • Dual-section blower fans
  • Simple rotary control
  • Pushbutton on/off UV switch
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replace indicator: LED (front)
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: front
  • Size: 8.875 x 7.125 x 21.75″

As you can see, these are essentially the same unit. Both share the same great features and performance that make the AC4825 so popular.

It’s one of the best-selling air purifiers today – check out the amazing number of buyers over at Amazon, for example.

Both purifiers perform well and there’s no noticeable difference in air cleaning quality. And there certainly shouldn’t be; they both use the same exact filter.

It’s pretty cool to see (or should I say, smell?) how quickly they remove odors like those from burnt matches in the room where I tested them.

Build quality & styling similarities

Both the AC4825 and AC4900CA feature the same design platform. They’re made of similar internal components right down to the control board, motor, and the general design.

Both are well-constructed, housed in a strong ABS plastic body. The units are both operated with an easy-to-turn (but not flimsy) rotary fan speed control switch. The UV germ-killing feature, activated by an on-off button, feels solid as well.

Note that if the unit is turned off when the UV feature is on, you’ll have to turn the UV option on once again the next time you use it. There isn’t a memory feature for that.

For convenience, as both models are extremely similar in design, I’ll use some images and descriptions from the AC4825 to illustrate and explain more about both models.

The sibling purifiers use a single electric motor driven by a solid-state speed controller. The electric motor is connected to not one but two fan assemblies which resemble cylinders with fan blades.

AC4825 rear motor and fan illustration

The pink arrows indicate the top and bottom fan assemblies in the purifier. Two are used together to drive more airflow with more efficiency. The electric motor (pictured, silver object in the center) drives both. (AC4825 shown – AC4900CA is identical)

And before I forget, both also have a built-in handle at the top rear. It’s actually very handy as while the air purifiers weigh a bit under 10 lbs, they’re rather tall and cumbersome to carry. This makes it easier in my experience.

AC4900CA styling similarities

While the AC4900CA may seem unusual and you may be asking yourself, “Why did they make this one?” GermGuardian actually produces quite a few different products and the air purifier line also includes the smaller sibling called the AC4100.

It’s like the little brother to the AC4900CA and a great little small room air purifier. It covers about 89 square feet of room size vs. the 155 of the AC4900.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle view

The GermGuardian AC4900CA actually shares its same cosmetic design and features with its smaller sibling, the AC4100 shown here. I prefer the style. It’s a modern & contemporary design that really compliments what is already a great air purifier. It reminds me quite a bit of a home stereo loudspeaker.

It essentially boils down to your personal preference in styling. However, one thing to bear in mind is that there isn’t a similar smaller version of the AC4825 like there is of the AC4900CA. Why does that matter?

Because if you’re planning to add more purifiers in order to clean the air in your whole house, you won’t be able to have a matching set unless you use the AC4900CA and AC4100 instead of the AC4825.

Size, performance, and noise levels

Size

Size-wise, there’s very little difference. Both are just under 22″ in height. There is about an extra .25″ height with the AC4900CA. The AC4825 measures 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″ while the AC4900CA comes it at 8.875 x 7.125 x 21.75.”

Therefore the AC4825 is actually a bit oblong as it is shaped with a bit more of an ellipse shape, depending on how you look at it.

Personally, while I love both models, I lean towards the style of the AC4900 because it’s slightly closer to being square in shape.. That’s completely a matter of personal preference.

The flat front grill looks very nice to me. In either case, you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient room wherever you plan to use it due to the tall height.

Ideally you’ll place either in an area where airflow isn’t restricted. The front and back, where air exit and enter respectively, should have 1-2 feet or so of free space to ensure air can flow freely.

Image comparing AC4825 vs AC4900 side by side

Performance and noise levels

After digging in and evaluating both, I was able to see just how similar the two models are. Not only do both share the same design, good performance, and features, but they also share the same “whirring” noise I’ve known about for a long time that the AC4825 has when it’s in use.

While not a bad thing exactly, it’s a characteristic of these “tower” style air purifiers. It’s due to both the electric motor system as well as the 2-rotor fan design. The electric motor in both purifiers produces a slight “whirring” sound with a little bit of an undertone, so to speak.

It’s largely due to the motor being driven by an electronic solid-state motor controller which rapidly switches the electrical power to the fan on and off to maintain a fixed speed.

I say that to make you aware that neither model is perfectly silent on the lowest setting, although they are both very quiet indeed. Unless you’re the lightest sleeper like me, the low setting is very quiet and both operate with low noise. 

Volume measurements

I carefully measured volume levels using a great little digital sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

Measurement/SpeedAC4825 Volume (dB)AC4900CA Volume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.339.3
Low42.542
Medium50.551
High5858.3

They’re basically identical in fan volume, as you can see (it tends to be a bit higher when they’re new and haven’t fully broken in yet). Both are very quiet on the lowest setting! That’s similar to another competitor in their price range, the Levoit LV-H132.

Maintenance parts & cost

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 and AC4900 replacement bulb and HEPA filterThe germ-killing ultraviolet light (UV) bulb (left) and the replacement HEPA filter with activated carbon filter section (right) are the same for both models. Expect to spend around $25 for the bulb and somewhere between $30-35 for the filter.

The GermGuardian Filter B (FTL4825) serves as the replacement for both models. Additionally, the UV bulb (the LB4000) is the same as well. You don’t have to be concerned that buying one model means paying more when it comes time to replace the filter or bulb.

In this case, there’s no difference.

You can expect roughly 6-9 months of use from the filter before replacement, although that varies with use & needs. Heavier conditions and heavy odors or substances in the air will shorten the life.

Likewise, for low-demand conditions like in my home, you can expect the filter to last longer.

Checking the filter

You’ll still need to check the filter manually and reset the filter replacement reminder yourself, as there’s no way for the purifier to know how soiled the filter is.

That’s not a feature available in products at this price point.

Filters can be replaced as a set (HEPA filter + the carbon filter section) or you can also replace just the carbon filter if needed. That’s especially helpful if you have pets, cigarette smoke, or other odor-causing contaminant sources which will eventually be absorbed by the carbon filter and will require a replacement to restore the effectiveness of it.

The good news is that you can help extend the life of the prefilter by brushing off debris buildup or vacuuming (which I do and recommend).

Room size coverage

Both models are technically specified as providing 155 square feet room size coverage which is just above the space provided by a 10 x 15 foot room. Note, however, that GermGuardian lists both models as covering a “medium sized” room.

Additionally, plenty of other owners report using it in larger rooms and even their living rooms with great success.

Don’t let room size specifications discourage you in case your room is a bit larger. For a good quality air purifier with great airflow and adequate ventilation, it’s possible to clean the air in a somewhat larger room well. You’ll need to give it additional time to do so but it will.

The main thing is to understand that air purifiers work by cycling air and filtering it. After some period of time all of the air in a room will have been filtered and cleansed.

Filter and bulb indicators

Filter replacement reminder

For both models, the power light (a soft-glow LED) is normally green during standard operation. It will turn red and flash as an indicator when the filter needs to be checked and possibly replaced. You’ll need to reset the reminder which is very easy to do by simply pushing and holding the UV control button for 5 seconds.

UV bulb replacement

One area where the two differ is the UV light bulb replacement indicator. The manufacturer estimates replacement life at 10-12 months, although a few owners have reported earlier bulb failures. Generally speaking, however, you can expect good bulb life as it’s a low-power bulb at only 5W.

Therefore it’s not excessively hot like incandescent bulbs.

GermGuardian AC4825 top side view

On the AC4825 the blue glowing trim (which is the light glowing when the UV-C option is in use) will blink continuously when it’s time for bulb replacement. On the AC4900CA, which doesn’t have a similar glowing trim, the UV-C indicator LED will turn red. In both cases, you’ll need to reset the reminder using the UV button after bulb replacement.

The AC4825 indicates it’s time to replace the bulb by continuously blinking the blue light/trim on the front, while the AC4900CA does so by the UV-C indicator light turning red when it is time.

I was surprised there was this minor difference, but given how the AC4825 allows the UV-C bulb to glow through the trim for a stylish effect and the AC4900CA does not, it does make quite a bit of sense.

GermGuardian AC4825 and AC4900CA blinking light summary

Here’s a simplified chart to help you see the differences in the GermGuardian blinking light patterns & meanings.

Blinking Light TypeAC4825AC4900CA
Blinking blue light(UV-C glow trim blinking) UV bulb needs replacement(UV light blinking) UV bulb needs replacement
Red blinking lightFilter needs check/replacementFilter needs check/replacement

Filter replacement how-to

Filter replacement is identical for both and is one of the easiest to replace that I’ve ever seen! It’s just a simple matter of pulling down the release tab, removing the cover, leaning the old filter out, and leaning the new back into place. Then you simply hook the cover back into place (with the tabs at the bottom) and snap the cover back in.

You’re done! It takes all of about 10 seconds to do.

GermGuardian AC4825 filter removal image
Filter replacement is LITERALLY a snap on both the AC4825 and AC4900CA! Both are identical in how filter replacement is done. (Left) The cover is removed by pressing the release tab at the top, then after the cover is released the old filter can be removed (right). Installation is extremely simple and is just the reverse of removing the old one. I really like how easy it is!

Control differences

As I mentioned near the beginning, both models share similar controls. Actually, they’re functionally identical and are extremely similar cosmetically.

GermGuardian AC4900CA vs AC4825 controls image
As you can see, they’re extremely similar, with the AC4900CA (left) having a small LED for indicating the UV-C germ killing option power status and the AC4825 (right) does not. It does, however, use the illuminated trim to do this (see earlier section).

Both feature a power-on LED which, when green, indicates normal operation and turns red to indicate filter replacement should be checked. The fan speed control is superbly simple as you just switch it from the off position to speeds 1-3.

AC4825 VS AC4900CA Pricing – Is there a difference?

Yes, from time to time there is a difference in price despite their similarities. As prices tend to fluctuate up and down, it’s important to check the current pricing.

For example, here’s the current pricing as of this moment on Amazon (I’ll use the site as a great example since it tends to be more competitively priced and reflects supply & demand as well):

Model:AC4825AC4900CA
 
Current price:$89.99Price not available

(Current pricing updated on 2020-09-30 at 17:25 via Amazon)

They’re both great performers and are very well-reviewed. You can’t go wrong buying the cheaper model over the other one.

Final thoughts – GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC4900CA – Choosing the best one for YOU

To recap: both models are nearly identical and have only minor differences. Performance is the same – only a difference in style and where the controls are located. However, as you saw above, you can potentially save a few dollars if you shop smart.

I will note that if you’re very sensitive to light and are a light sleeper like me, the AC4900CA may be a better choice for you. The AC4825, with the glowing blue front trim, tends to illuminate the room a little bit at night.

Many times I’ve been asleep but woke up later and noticed the glowing blue trim on the AC4825 when the UV-C feature was in use.

To help you better make a decision, here’s a brief comparison chart the minor differences I’ve found in my comparison of the 2.

GermGuardian AC4825 vs. AC4900CA Basic Comparison Table

Image
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825
GermGuardian AC4900CA
Room Coverage (Sq ft)
155
155
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
8.875 x 7.125 x 21.75"
Difference Vs. Other Model
UV-C glow trim, controls on top, UV bulb replacement reminder flashes blue in trim
UV-C indicator is small LED, front-facing controls, modern style
Warranty
3 yrs limited warranty
3 yrs limited warranty
Replacement Filter
FLT4825
FLT4825
Replacement bulb
LB4000
LB4000
Image
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825
Room Coverage (Sq ft)
155
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
Difference Vs. Other Model
UV-C glow trim, controls on top, UV bulb replacement reminder flashes blue in trim
Warranty
3 yrs limited warranty
Replacement Filter
FLT4825
Replacement bulb
LB4000
Image
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4900CA
Room Coverage (Sq ft)
155
Size
8.875 x 7.125 x 21.75"
Difference Vs. Other Model
UV-C indicator is small LED, front-facing controls, modern style
Warranty
3 yrs limited warranty
Replacement Filter
FLT4825
Replacement bulb
LB4000

These are great basic air purifiers that work well and won’t let you down. Operation is very simple, the true HEPA and activated carbon filters work well, and the filter & bulb reminders are nice. The addition of a UV-C germ-killing feature is definitely a big plus. You won’t be disappointed!

If you’d like to know more see my detailed review of the AC4825 here.

If the AC4825 or AC4900CA are still too expensive for you, don’t worry! I wrote a great post with some affordable models all under $100.

Levoit LV-H132 Vs GermGuardian AC4825 – Which One Should You Buy?

Levoit LV-H132 Vs Germguardian AC4825 featured image

When it comes to the Levoit LV-H132 and the GermGuardian AC4825 it’s not as simple as asking which one is “best” – both have their pros and cons. Additionally, both have excellent buyer satisfaction ratings making it even harder to decide.

In my detailed Levoit LV-H132 vs. GermGuardian AC4825 comparison, I’ll tell you what you need to know before buying. I own and have personally tested both!

Which one is right for you? Read on and I’ll help you decide.

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit LV-H132 and GermGuardian AC4825

Levoit LV-H132 Vs Germguardian AC4825 comparison image

Both models look a bit different from the outside but in fact share a lot of common features, performance, and build quality. There are significant size & styling differences to consider too. But not to worry – both are great at what they do! I’m sure one will find a great place in your home.

As far as air purifiers sold today go, two of the best-selling and most popular are without a doubt the Levoit LV-H132 and the GermGuardian AC4825 both occupy one of the most popular price segments over at Amazon. Both normally sell for below $100.

I’ve owned and have tested many air purifiers and still use my AC4825, but I’ve always been curious about the LV-H132 and wanted to compare the two.

Both models are HEPA filter-based models that work with a pre-filter and active carbon filter to trap air contaminants, odors, and dust and hair.

Additionally, both are pretty simple to use I’m happy to report.

In case you’re interested, I’ve written an extensive review of the GermGuardian AC4825 I own here.

However, there are definitely some important differences between the two to be aware of. This is not a case of “one is better than the other.” Both have strengths and weaknesses, meaning one will be a better fit in your home than the other.

Let’s dig into the specifics, shall we?

Specifications comparison – Levoit LV-H132 vs GermGuardian AC4825

Here are the specific differences to know between both models. Note that the LV-H132 has a lower Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) and doesn’t feature a UV-C germ killing feature, both of which I’ll cover in more detail later.

LV-H132 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 129 sq. ft (small or medium room)
  • 3-speed fan control
  • 2 level night light feature
  • True HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon pellet section
  • Very low noise operation (< 50dB)
  • Prefilter can be cleaned or replaced separately
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (110), pollen (110), smoke (110)
  • AHAM Verified, Energy Star Verified, FCC certified, ETL listed, CA PROP 65 certified
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Control lighting on/off feature
  • Memory feature retains the last setting used
  • Filter replacement reminder (~6 mos.)
  • Twist-open filter cover with handle
  • Simple filter replacement (drop-in)
  • 2 year warranty
  • Replacement filter: LV-H132-RF
  • Power use: 28.3W (max. fan speed)
  • Weight: 5.25 lbs (2.38 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: Top
  • Size: 7.5 x 7.5 x 12.5″ (19 x 19 x 31.75 cm)
AC4825 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 167 sq. ft (medium room)
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (118), pollen (125), smoke (108)
  • Low-noise fan setting
  • Replaceable UV bulb
  • Dual-section blower fans
  • Simple rotary control
  • Pushbutton on/off UV switch
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replace indicator: Illum. trim
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 8.65 lbs (19 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: Top
  • Size: 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″ (17.1 x 26 x 54.6 cm

Levoit LV-H132 overview

Levoit LV-H132 front image with box

The Levoit LV-H132 is a compact and good-looking model with top-mounted controls. Unlike the GermGuardian AC4825, the filter is located on the bottom (as opposed to the rear). It’s well-made and looks great. Note that No products found.

The Levoit LV-H132 is a HEPA filter purifier with the following features:

  • Electronic touch controls
  • HEPA 3-in-1 filter
  • Night light feature
  • Activated carbon section is real pellets, not a coating
  • 3-speed fan
  • VERY quiet operation
  • Memory feature for power-on
  • Now available in black

Replace filters by turning the unit upside and removing the bottom cover (see below for more details) and are normally replaced by inserting a new all-in-one filter cartridge.

The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is lower than that of the GermGuardian AC4825, but one reason for that it’s a quieter fan that has a lower airflow rate. As its recommended room size is smaller than that of the GermGuardian that’s to be expected as well.

It’s a compromise you live with given the low-noise advantage it provides.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

Finally! I’ve admired the LV-H132 for a long time and while I love my white one, the newly available black version is even better looking!

One of my long-standing complaints about the LV-H132 was the lack of an alternate color. It’s a great-looking purifier – don’t get me wrong, but I love an alternate color choice.

The great news is that Levoit now offers the same model in black too.

Ideally targeted at small to medium-sized rooms, it’s a great choice for a bedroom or any other small room. The air purification effectiveness is very good in my experience. It also has one of the best carbon filter sections I’ve seen.

A good active carbon filter is effective at trapping odors as well as volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in the air you can potentially inhale.

There’s a handy filter replacement reminder built-in as well.

Compact size, hard to tip over

At about 14.5″ (36.8 cm) tall, it’s still very compact and quite a bit shorter than the GermGuardian model. I like the compactness, but it comes with a trade-off as I’ll tell you later.

One great advantage, however, is that it’s not going to get tipped over like taller tower purifiers.

One advantage you’ll have with the Levoit is the memory feature. Unlike the AC4825, turning it back on restores it to its earlier settings for both the fan speed and night light. That’s a nice touch I really like!

Build quality

I’ve had some time to test and try the LV-H132 and I have to say it’s very well-made. The fit and finish are excellent. Undoubtedly some great thought was put into its design.

Build quality is good, with solid construction and great fit and finish. All around, it gives off a great impression of a great purifier that’s a quality contender.

Night light feature

Levoit LV-H132 night light feature image

The LV-H132 has a night light button with 2 brightness levels to choose from.

While it’s a nice feature to have (it definitely provides lots of light in the room) my gripe is that the low setting is still very bright.

If you’re sensitive to light when sleeping that may be a deal-breaker like it is for me. In that case, I had to leave it turned off.

However, for parents and others who can really use the soft lighting effect, it’s a great option to have at your disposal.

GermGuardian AC4825 overview

GermGuardian AC4825 review featured image

The popular Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,... is a 22″ tall unit containing not one but two fan assemblies. It’s rated at a higher Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 100+ and is recommended for up to 167 sq. feet.

The AC4825 also uses a 2-stage true HEPA filter assembly, but the similarities with the Levoit model end there.

It uses manual (top-mounted) controls via a 3-speed rotary fan switch. However, it does have a distinct advantage over the LV-H132: it’s one of the several GermGuardian models featuring a germ-killing ultraviolet light (UV-C) feature that’s optional.

It’s very simple to use by engaging the push button control on top. When turned on, the purifier indicates this by illuminating the trim ring around the edge of the top section with a nice blue glow.

For those who want extra protection against airborne illnesses, it’s a great feature to consider. I’d like to add it’s especially a great idea for those with babies or people prone to sickness, colds, and more.

Tip: The HEPA filter is replaceable both separately from the pre-filter or as a single filter assembly, so it’s possible to save a few dollars.

If the HEPA filter section isn’t completely blocked up with captured particles you can simply replace only the prefilter as needed.

It also has a handy filter replacement reminder right on top where it’s easy to see.

The AC4825’s stylish twin, the GermGuardian AC4900CA. It’s the same in performance and is essentially the same purifier in a different body. 

While the AC4825 isn’t available in an alternate color like the Levoit air purifier, it is available in another version called the AC4900CA. That’s a great model I also own, and it features a stylish brushed metal appearance finish and front-mounted controls.

Both are identical in performance and operation.

(If you’re interested in much more detail, check out my excellent AC4825 review here)

Ideally, the AC4825 is well best for medium-sized rooms. However, it’s fine in small rooms if you’ve got the space. At about 22″ (~56 cm) in height, it definitely won’t fit in as many areas as the LV-H132). So bear that in mind when comparing.

Build quality

As I’ve owned my AC4825 for some time now, I can tell you it also has good quality construction and is well-made. The finish is a great-looking satin black with a matte silver trim on top.

Body parts line up well with no gaps or defects. It doesn’t feel cheap like some other products I’ve owned, and you’ll see what I mean when you get one in your hands, too.

I’ve never had a problem or complaint with the build quality and I’m very satisfied with it!

Night light…sort of!

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 in dark

When in use, the AC4825’s UV-C germ killing feature produces a lovely, gentle glow through the translucent trim around the base of the control top section.

It’s not exactly a night light, but it does produce a small glow that provides a bit of light, so it’s still somewhat useful in that regard.

If you’re like me and are very sensitive to light when sleeping, you’ll have to turn it off before bed. However, others may appreciate the other benefit: not just killing germs and microbes in the air, but also a cool-looking glow at night!

Filter replacement comparisons

But how hard is it to check or replace the filter in both? Let’s have a look.

Levoit LV-H132 filter replacement image example

Accessing the filter assembly on the LV-H132. Note that the filter shown (in a plastic bag) is what you’ll see when buying new. You’ll need to remove it from the bag before use, as it’s stored for safekeeping to the carbon filter portion fresh for use.

The LV-H132 isn’t hard to deal with: turn the unit upside down and twist to unlock the cover using the handle (top), then pull it out to reach the filter assembly (bottom). It’s not hard, but when replacing the cover you’ll need to twist it the opposite direction and lock it back in place

All in all, I found it pretty simple and straightforward, so no complaints here!

GermGuardian AC4825 filter removal image

The AC4825 has a simple rear cover with a locking tab to open when you want to check or replace the filters. It’s very straightforward and works well.

Likewise, the AC4825 is really simple as well. If anything, it may be just slightly easier to do, but it’s nothing significant.

To remove the rear cover, push down on the release tab at the top, then lean the cover down. Two bottom-mounted tabs keep it aligned. Simply pull the cover out and up, and it’s free.

The filter assembly also leans out easily and is really simple to replace. Just pull out the old one and re-insert the new one. That’s it! You’re done.

I don’t see any big advantages in one model over the other, so again there they’re quite similar, just different in design.

Controls comparison

Levoit LV-H134 vs GermGuardian AC4825 controls comparison

Controls comparison for the LV-H132 and AC4825 models. The Levoit (left) uses touch-sensitive electronic controls which are a nice touch and work very well, if a bit sensitive. The AC4825 (right) has simple but good-feeling manual controls. It’s also extremely simple to use and I definitely suggest it for those who aren’t comfortable with electronic controls.

There aren’t any major advantages between one or the other when it comes to controls. In my experience, they’re both great at what they do.

Levoit LV-H143 controls

Honestly, I feel like it comes down to personal preference in this category. The Levoit’s controls are clear and easy to use – very intuitive. They’re touch controls, so it’s easy to make a mistake and change a setting by accident, but in my experience that didn’t happen often.

The fan speed control simply rotates through the 3 settings (low, medium, and high) so you just keep touching the fan symbol button until it’s where you need it to be.

The night light feature (shown above as a light bulb symbol) rotates through the high, low, and off settings.

One thing to note: the LV-H132 makes a beeping sound each time a button is touched. You can’t disable the beeping sound. That’s one drawback you need to be aware of.

While it isn’t an irritant for many, for those who will be using it in a baby’s room or another quiet area it’s something to consider.

GermGuardian AC4825 controls

I also found the AC4825 extremely easy to use. It’s an especially great choice for the elderly or others who prefer the touch and “feel” of a manual rotary controller. It feels solid and works well.

Likewise, the push button germ killing switch is a “soft button” and works great with good feedback for your fingers.

I can’t find any faults here either as well. The simplicity of the 3-speed fan control I’m sure will be appealing to both those who like more advanced controls as well as people who prefer uncomplicated products.

It’s cheaper to manufacturer basic controls which I’m sure contributes to the AC4825 being an overall good value (along with having more square foot coverage than the LV-H132.

Maintenance cost differences

Piggy bank image with money

Expect to replace filters around 6-8 months after use, although that time varies greatly by use and the condition of the air in your home. For some, the HEPA filter’s life can be extended as long as a year!

Both models have a separately replaceable pre-filter section, although for the LV-H132 that doesn’t include the active carbon section as well, which for the AC4825 it does.

Expect to pay around $15-$25 for a complete filter replacement for the LV-H132 and around $27-$30+ for the GermGuardian model. Note that prices always vary from time to time and seller to seller.

That being said, the Levoit does have an advantage here as far as filter costs go. You can shop around and find 3rd party brands for less money for the GermGuardian, however. I’ve seen a few in my research.

AC4825 UV bulb costs

One thing to bear in mind is that owners (like me) of the AC4825 will eventually have to replace the UV-C bulb as well.

LB4000 UV replacement bulb

Shown: LB-4000 UV replacement bulb for the GermGuardian AC4825 air purifier’s germ killing feature.

Rated life is about 12 months and you can expect to pay near $25. You’ll need to remove the rear metal cover (located internally in front of the filter) using a Phillips head screwdriver.

It’s fairly simple to do and the owner’s manual provides clear & detailed instructions which I like.

LV-H132 vs AC4825 noise levels

To have some solid facts to share with you, I measured the noise levels I heard. Using this great little digital sound level meter I bought at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifiers I recorded the real noise levels produced.

SpeedLV-H132 Vol. (dB)AC4825 Vol. (dB)
Off (room noise)39.339.3
Low4042.5
Medium4350.5
High4858

What does this mean? The basic result is that the Levoit model is significantly quieter during operation. As a matter of fact, on low and medium settings, it has to be one of the quietest air purifiers I’ve ever heard!

Don’t get me wrong: the AC4825 is quiet and the many happy buyer reviews back up my statement. However, the Levoit was even more quiet than I could have imagined.

When it’s in use, it’s so amazingly quiet that sometimes you can’t even tell it’s on! For those who hate annoying noise, that’s a definite plus.

The GermGuardian isn’t bad by any means. The biggest difference is that the ultra-quiet noise level of the LV-H132 comes with a price. Because the fan speed is low for low noise, the air flow rate is lower than the AC4825. Hence, the room size coverage recommendation is only 129 square feet.

The AC4825’s design is a bit different

The AC4825, however, has two internal fan sections that can move more air much more rapidly (and hence are better for larger rooms) but produce a bit more noise.

Additionally, due to its design, the AC4825’s electronics produce a small amount of “whirring” noise from how it drives the internal electric motor when in use. It’s a very minor detail, but I like people to be aware before buying.

As I’m very picky and have good hearing I can hear the difference. However, I’m still very happy with my AC4825. It produces a nice, steady sound like white noise that’s hardly noticeable in practice.

I did notice that you need to give it some time in use before it breaks in and can become more pleasant-sounding.

Pros and cons comparisons

Here’s a pretty good summary of the fundamental pros and cons of both models. Take what you will from it – it’s not a perfect list, but I’ve tried hard to include everything you should know before making a buying decision.

Levoit LV-H132

PROS:
  • Compact size (only about 14.5″ tall)
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Better activated carbon filter (real pellets)
  • Beautiful appearance
  • Simple operation
  • Great owner’s manual
  • Good customer support
  • 2-level night light
  • Memory feature
  • Great quality
  • Excellent purifier performance
  • Reliable
  • No motor noise like AC4825
  • Available in black
CONS:
  • No carry handle built-in
  • Lower room coverage than AC4825
  • No germ-killing feature
  • Beeping cannot be switched off
  • Shorter warranty (2 vs 3 years)
  • Cannot disable beeping sound for controls
  • Low setting for night light isn’t low enough
  • Single fan design
  • No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
  • Quiet operation comes at the cost of lower air flow rate

GermGuardian AC4825

PROS:
  • 167 sq. ft. room coverage (medium-large)
  • Very easy to use
  • Available in AC4900CA version
  • UV-C germ killing feature
  • Carry handle built-in
  • Dual-fan design
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replacement reminder
  • 3-year warranty
  • 3-in-1 air cleaning design
  • Maintenance is easy to perform
  • Low operational noise
  • Reliable
  • Highly effective & true HEPA level filtering
  • Well-built
  • Available in twin AC4900CA model
  • Prefilter/carbon filter section can be replaced separately from HEPA section
  • Nice design & weight won’t tip over easily
CONS:
  • UV-C feature must be turned on manually after power off then on
  • No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
  • Uses an activated carbon coating vs real pellets like the LV-H132
  • Blue glowing trim could be noticeable to some with high sensitivity
  • Tall height is not suitable for all users
  • Rotary manual control fan speed switch
  • Slight (very minor) motor noise when running
  • No other color options available (aside from AC4900CA)
  • You’ll need to buy 3rd party filters to save money as originals are more expensive

Levoit LV-H132 vs GermGuardian AC4825 comparison table

FeatureLevoit LV-H132GermGuardian AC4825
Room size coverage 129 sq. ft. (small room) 167 sq. ft (medium-large room)
CADR ratings 110/110/110 118/125/108
Night light? Yes (2 levels) No
Filter reminder? Yes Yes
Control type Electronic touch controls Manual rotary switch
Germ killing feature? No Yes
Noise levels Ultra quiet Quiet/normal
Warranty 2 years 3 year limited
Size 8.5 x 8.5 x 14.5″ 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
Current price $89.99 $89.99

(Current pricing updated on 2020-09-30 at 17:25 via Amazon)

Which should you buy?

I totally understand how hard it is to decide. After all, they’re nearly priced the same and if you’re new to buying an air purifier, you might not even know which is best for you.

Here are my recommendations for deciding:

You should pick the LV-H132 if:

  • You have a small room or office
  • Like the night light feature
  • Prefer a better odor control filter
  • Want almost-silent operation
  • Are ok with electronic controls & the beeping on touch
  • Need a more compact air purifier
  • Don’t need a germ killing feature
  • Prefer touch controls

You should pick the AC4825 if:

  • You have a medium to large sized room
  • Want a purifier with higher fan speed/flow rate
  • Don’t mind the tall size (~22″)
  • Want a germ killing feature
  • Don’t need a super-quiet operation
  • Want more value (more room coverage for the same price range)
  • Don’t like touch controls

My final advice

Ultimately, they’re both excellent air purifiers backed by thousands of happy buyer reviews. As I own both of them and have personally tested each, I’m confident you’d be happy with either one. Have look for yourself!

ImageProductDetails
sample-table__imageLevoit LV-H132
  • Ultra-quiet operation. Smart touch panel controls
  • 2-level night light option. Memory feature for last fan speed used
  • Great for rooms up to 129 sq. ft. Excellent for bedrooms!
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4825
  • A super-popular purifier that's a best buy, too!
  • Easy 3-speed fan controls. Up to 155 sq. ft coverage
  • Built-in germ killing feature. High speed dual fan design
Check at Amazon

Additional reading

If you’re seriously considering the AC4825, read my detailed and honest review of it here before spending your money!

You can also find out more about the AC4825’s twin, the AC4900CA, here in my AC4825 vs AC4900CA detailed comparison.

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000 – A Detailed Comparison

Germguardian AC4825 VS AC5000 featured image

They’re two very similar (and popular!) air purifiers – but what are the differences? Which one should you buy?

To help, I’ve put together a detailed comparison of the GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC5000 to tell you everything you need to know.

I’m a proud GermGuardian owner and I’ve had the pleasure of testing both. Read on to find out what you need to know and make the best decisionClean, fresh air is only a few steps away!

Contents

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000 – Getting started

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000 basics image

The AC4825 and the AC5000 (sometimes listed as the AC5000E) are two of the most popular High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter-based air purifiers sold today. Because they use true HEPA filters and because of their great ability to circulate air in a room, they’re very good at removing air quality problems.

The AC4825 is one of the top sellers in its price range with an amazing number of great buyer reviews and feedback. The AC5000 is a favorite among purifier buyers and has established itself as a popular buyer choice too.

Based on my personal experience from owning & using the AC4825, I totally agree! But it’s not just performance that they’re known for – the quality and ease of use made me a believer right away.

These 2 models are definitely very similar in style, so I can totally understand how you might be a bit confused between the two.

While knowing the differences in specs can help, in my opinion, it’s actually more important to read a full review and comparison from someone who’s actually tested both.

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000: Comparing specifications

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000 comparison
Let’s start with the basics first. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specifications (including features) of each. Later I’ll go into more detail about the small differences as well as similarities between the two.

AC4825 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 167 sq. ft (med. room)
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (118), pollen (125), smoke (108)
  • Low-noise fan setting
  • Replaceable UV bulb
  • Dual-section blower fans
  • Simple rotary control
  • Pushbutton on/off UV switch
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replacement indicator: Illum. trim
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
  • Replacement UV bulb: LB4000
  • Power used: 55W
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 8.2 lbs (3.7 kgs)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Size: 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″ (17.1 x 26 x 54.6 cm)
  • Warranty: 3 year limited
AC5000 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 180 sq. ft (large room)
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (123), pollen (128), smoke (116)
  • Low-noise fan setting
  • Replaceable UV bulb
  • Dual-section blower fans
  • Simple rotary control
  • Pushbutton on/off UV switch
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replacement indicator: Illum. trim
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT5000)
  • Replacement UV bulb: LB5000
  • Power used: 60W
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 10.55 lbs (4.8 kgs)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Size: 11” x 6.75” x 27.25” (27.9 x 17.1 x 69.2 cm)
  • Warranty: 5 year limited

As you can see by comparing the details above, they’re identical in features. Both also have the same great features and quality that make the AC4825 so popular.

The most important thing to take note of is the difference in their room size coverage and warranties. While the AC4825 is recommended for medium-sized rooms (to about 167 square feet), the AC5000 is well suited for large rooms (180 sq. feet in size).

Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) notes

Comparison of GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC5000 CADR labels & ratings

To help buyers compare the performance of air cleaning products when shopping,  the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) was developed as an industry-standard rating system. It’s a standard provided by the AHAM.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is an organization that verifies the testing results of home appliances & carry out lab testing for appliance manufacturers. The CADR rating tests are voluntary and not required by law.

In simple terms, the CADR ratings are numbers used to help you know an air cleaner’s performance before buying. The rating numbers are based on “higher is better.”

The AC4825’s CADR ratings are pretty good for an affordable purifier. The AC5000’s are slightly better, which is to be expected.

The AC5000 CADR air cleaning performance means that it offers better air cleaning efficiency, but it’s not a huge difference. 

However, if you’re more concerned about dealing with a particular problem (for example, I’ve got a dust problem that’s a real pain!) definitely choose the best CADR rating if your budget allows.

Build quality & design similarities

Both models are well-made and are housed in a strong ABS plastic body with a satin black finish. Both designs use a rotary fan switch that allows you to easily operate the purifier. The rotary switch feels good in my opinion and makes operation incredibly easy.

The UV-C germ killing feature is activated by an on-off momentary push button on both. This kind of control makes operation a breeze and I like how it feels when I switch it on or off.

Note: if the UV feature is turned on and then the purifier is switched off afterward, you’ll have to turn it on again the next time. There’s no memory feature.

These two sibling air purifiers use a single electrical motor located in the center of the body that’s attached to not one but two cylindrical fan blade assemblies.

AC4825 rear motor and fan illustration

The pink arrows show the location of the internal fans in both, with the AC5000 being a larger version of the AC4825. Two fans are used together to move air with more efficiency. The electric motor (pictured, the silver object in the center) drives both.

Both models have a built-in handle at the top rear as shown in the image above. It’s a great feature to have and makes moving them easy. While neither are really so heavy, they can be a little bit cumbersome to carry due to their height. This feature makes it easier in my experience.

Both models have good fit and finish – assembly is good with no unusual gaps or quality issues. The finish is really nice and I like them both – a nice satin finish for both the body and the trim near the controls.

Size, performance, and noise levels

Size

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 side by side

As you can see there is a bit of difference in size between the two – but that’s expected. The AC5000 has a higher Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) as it is larger and has the ability to move more air. There’s no substitute for size when it comes to fans & purifiers!

Size-wise, there is a little bit of difference, as the AC5000 stands at just under 28″ (71 cm) tall. While the AC4825 is just under 22″ (55.9 cm). In practice, though, I didn’t have any real problems with that.

In terms of width and overall size, the AC5000 is definitely a bit larger and it’s a bit deeper in size as well. Honestly, after having used the AC4825 for some time now I found it really easy to get used to using its bigger sibling.

Performance

Both purifiers worked great against my main air quality concern – dust. However, as I expected, the AC5000 is more capable than the AC4825 at filtering air (it’s more efficient) and therefore performed better.

Before I purchased my AC5000 I used my AC4825 for some time in a small room and it really made a big difference! As I mentioned here, it really helped a lot with my dust problem and caught much more dust than I had ever expected.

Note that I’ll go into a bit more detail room size and cleaning ability below.

Noise levels

I tested and compared both, especially as I already have considerable experience with the AC4825. My first thought about the AC5000 was “I bet it’s louder since it’s larger.” I was very wrong!

In fact, the AC5000 is a very quiet purifier and the sound level was nearly identical to the smaller AC4825!

It’s worth mentioning that one characteristic of the GermGuardian AC series of purifiers is a slight “whirring” sound they produce when in use. It’s due to a combination of things, one of which is how the motor is driven electrically. Second, it’s a trait of the motor itself (this is common for many electric motors).

I mention this so you’ll understand that neither, when brand new, is perfectly silent on the lowest setting. They are, however, both very quiet indeed. Unless you’re the lightest sleeper like me, the low setting is very quiet and both operate with low noise. 

They both sounded extremely similar to me and very pleasing to the ear. No complaints or big differences between the 2 in terms of their noise levels.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

Here’s some real data. To document what I actually heard, I measured volume levels using this great little digital sound level meter I bought at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifiers.

Measurement/SpeedAC4825 Vol. In Decibels (dB)AC5000 Volume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.339.3
Low42.543.5
Medium50.551.5
High5857

As you can see, they’re almost identical in fan volume, which was a bit surprising (but I’m not complaining!) Both are very quiet on the lowest setting with the AC5000 being about the same or a tiny bit less on high.

Maintenance cost differences

UV bulbs

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 UV-C bulbs comparedBoth of these models use a replaceable ultraviolet light (UV) bulb. The AC4825 uses the LB4000 (about $25) while the AC5000 uses the longer LB5000 bulb (around $29). In either case, it’s usually 10-12 months or so life expectancy for the bulb.

Both models have several maintenance items to be aware of:

  • Replacing the UV-C bulb
  • Replacing the pre-filter (you can replace it separately)
  • Replacing the HEPA filter

In all cases, it depends upon use. For example, if you rarely use the UV-C germ killing feature you’re not likely to need to replace it for years. The pre-filter can be replaced separately from the HEPA filter or in a complete set.

Although it can’t be washed, you can vacuum the pre-filter and replace it after about 6 months or so (less with heavier use). That will allow you to prolong the life of the HEPA filter, as there’s no real need to waste money on a new one when the current one still isn’t completely full yet.

That’s especially helpful if you have pets that shed a lot or have a bad dust problem like I do.

After some time in use, my pre-filter built up quite a bit of dust it had captured. I carefully vacuumed it off and it was ready for action again!

Replacement filters

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 filters compared

The AC4825 replacement set uses ]amazon link=”B0055521W0″ title=”the LFT4825 package”/] while the AC5000 uses the larger FLT5000 package filter set. In both cases, remember that this is for a complete set. If the HEPA filter isn’t completely saturated you can save money by buying separate pre-filters, which are less expensive.

Expect roughly 6-9 months of use from the filter before replacement, although that varies with use & needs. Heavier conditions and heavy odors and especially heavily dirty air (like with hair for example) will require a sooner replacement date.

Likewise, for low-demand conditions like in my home, you can expect the filter to last longer.

You’ll still need to check the filter manually and reset the filter replacement reminder yourself, as there’s no way for the purifier to know how soiled the filter is. You’ll need to check to be sure.

Pre-filters are separately replaceable

These GermGuardian models allow replacing the pre-filter separately, which I’ve found to be really good for reducing costs. It’s especially helpful if you have pets, cigarette smoke, or other odor-causing contaminant sources that can use up the pre-filter more quickly.

Having a purifier that allows the pre-filter to be replaced separately is a big advantage! Not all do.

This saves money and reduces waste because in many homes the HEPA filter’s life can be extended. You won’t have to waste money if the HEPA filter still has good life left in it.

Room size coverage

Room size measuring example

One of the main differences between the two models is the room size coverage recommended by Guardian Technologies, the manufacturer.

These are:

  • AC4825: 167 sq. feet (medium room)
  • AC5000: 180 sq. feet (large room)

In both cases, these are recommended room size applications for you to use them in – it’s not mandatory. However, in the case of air purifiers, it’s helpful to understand that the recommended room sizes will tell you how effectively the purifier will clean the air.

You can most certainly spend a little bit more and get the AC5000 which will clean the air in a smaller room more quickly than the AC4825. On the other hand, if you can’t afford the AC5000 you can still get good air cleaning however it will take more time to clean your room.

Don’t let room size specifications discourage you in case your room is a bit larger. For a good quality air purifier with great airflow and adequate ventilation, it’s possible to clean the air in a somewhat larger room well. You’ll need to give it additional time to do so but it will.

The main thing is to understand that air purifiers work by cycling air and filtering it. After some period of time, all of the air in a room will have been filtered and cleansed.

Filter and bulb indicators

Filter replacement reminder

For both models, the power light (a soft-glow LED) is normally green during standard operation. It will turn red and flash as an indicator when the filter needs to be checked and possibly replaced. You’ll need to reset the reminder when that happens, which is easy. Simply push and hold the UV control button for 5 seconds.

UV bulb replacement

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 UV-C feature turned on
On the AC4825 and AC5000 the blue glowing trim (the light glowing when the UV-C feature is in use) will blink when it’s time for bulb replacement. You’ll need to reset the reminder using the UV button after bulb replacement.

Both models indicate it’s time to replace the bulb by continuously blinking the blue light/trim on the front. When in use the UV-C feature illuminates the trim surrounding the base of the top of the purifier.

It’s a nice touch that looks great.

GermGuardian AC4825 / AC5000 blinking light summary

Here’s a basic chart to help you understand the meaning of the blinking light patterns.

Blinking Light TypeAC4825/AC5000
Blinking blue light(UV-C glow trim blinking) UV bulb needs replacement
Red blinking lightThe filter needs check/replacement

Filter replacement

Filter replacement is identical for both and is one of the easiest to replace that I’ve ever seen! It’s just a simple matter of pulling down the release tab, removing the cover, leaning the old filter out, and leaning the new back into place.

Then simply hook the cover back into place (with the tabs at the bottom) and snap the cover back in. You’re done!

It takes all of about 10 seconds to do.

GermGuardian AC4825 filter removal image
Filter replacement is LITERALLY a snap on both the AC4825 and AC4900CA! Both are identical in how the filter replacement is done. (Left) The cover is removed by pressing the release tab at the top, then after the cover is released the old filter can be removed (right). Installation is extremely simple and is just the reverse of removing the old one. I really like how easy it is!

Controls

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 controls image
As I mention earlier, both models share similar controls. Actually, they’re functionally identical and are extremely similar cosmetically

They’re so close in appearance and the “feel” that you won’t be able to tell them apart, probably. There’s no difference in how the controls operate.

Both feature a power-on LED which, when green, indicates normal operation and turns red to indicate filter replacement should be checked. The fan speed control is very simple as you just switch it from the off position to speeds 1-3.

While that might not seem impressive to some, remember that some people (especially the elderly) find more intricate electronic controls difficult to operate and potentially frustrating.

By using simple, clearly labeled controls, there’s none of that. Just turn it on and forget it!

AC4825 VS AC5000 price differences

As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, there is a bit of a difference in price. The AC5000 is roughly 25% more efficient at air cleaning than its little brother the AC4825, it’s bigger, and is priced accordingly.

Model:AC4825EAC5000
 
Current price:$89.99Price not available

(Current pricing updated on 2020-09-30 at 17:25 via Amazon)

Regardless of pricing, they’re both great performers and are very well-reviewed. You can’t go wrong buying the AC4825 in case the AC5000 is outside of your budget.

In the worst-case situation, air cleaning may take longer if you use the AC4825 in a large room. But it’s certainly not a deal-breaker (Note: I don’t recommend that – I always recommend using the correct size or even a purifier suitable for even larger rooms for best results)

Summary – Comparison table and which to buy

Essentially, there are only a few differences between these two great air purifiers:

  • The AC5000 has a higher speed fan and is more efficient (better suited for large rooms)
  • 5 year limited warranty for the AC5000 vs. the 3 year limited warranty for the AC4825
  • Size differences & price
  • The AC5000 uses about 5W more electricity (with UV on and on high)

Maintenance cost differences between the two models are minimal, and both are surprisingly quiet in use. I can’t tell the difference even though the AC5000 has more airflow and is more efficient! It’s that good!

Aside from the things I listed above, they’re essentially the same – just in two different sizes and cleaning performance. They’re both wonderful & hassle-free purifiers that work well to clean the air, but I recommend the AC5000 if you can afford it.

UPDATE! There’s a newly-offered white version of the AC4825. Finally, there’s another option for those of you who prefer more color options. 

GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC5000 Comparison Table

Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
★ New color! ★
Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer, Eliminates...
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825E (Black)
GermGuardian AC4825W
GermGuardian AC5000
Room size (sq. ft)
155 (medium)
155 (medium)
180 (large)
CADR ratings
118/125/108
118/125/108
123/128/116
Fan speeds
3
3
3
UV-C Germ Killer
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
11” x 6.75” x 27.25”
Warranty
3 years limited
3 years limited
5 years limited
Replacement filter
FLT4825 (about $29)
FLT4825
FLT5000 (about $32.50)
Replacement bulb
LB4000 (about $25)
LB4000
LB5000 (about $29)
Current price
$89.99
Price not available
Price not available
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825E (Black)
Room size (sq. ft)
155 (medium)
CADR ratings
118/125/108
Fan speeds
3
UV-C Germ Killer
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
Warranty
3 years limited
Replacement filter
FLT4825 (about $29)
Replacement bulb
LB4000 (about $25)
Current price
$89.99
★ New color! ★
Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer, Eliminates...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825W
Room size (sq. ft)
155 (medium)
CADR ratings
118/125/108
Fan speeds
3
UV-C Germ Killer
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
Warranty
3 years limited
Replacement filter
FLT4825
Replacement bulb
LB4000
Current price
Price not available
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC5000
Room size (sq. ft)
180 (large)
CADR ratings
123/128/116
Fan speeds
3
UV-C Germ Killer
Size
11” x 6.75” x 27.25”
Warranty
5 years limited
Replacement filter
FLT5000 (about $32.50)
Replacement bulb
LB5000 (about $29)
Current price
Price not available

(Current pricing updated on 2020-09-30 at 17:25 via Amazon)

Which model should I buy?

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 black and white models side by sideThe AC4825 is your best choice for:

  • Small or medium-sized rooms
  • Tighter budgets where you can’t afford the slight difference in price
  • Using multiple purifiers to cover more areas (or a single larger area) in your home. (A 2-pack of the AC4825 is available too)

I’ve owned and enjoyed the AC4825. Despite owning & testing quite a few air purifiers, it’s still one of my favorites! Take a look and see why it's one of the world's best selling & most popular air purifiers at Amazon.

The AC5000 is a better choice for:

  • Larger sized rooms
  • Areas where the larger size isn’t a problem
  • Problems like dust, pet hair, and allergens where you want the most cleaning power

My GermGuardian AC5000 is a wonderful and well-made purifier I’ve owned and enjoyed just as much as its smaller sibling – but with even more cleaning power!

Be sure to check out the amazing buyer reviews and see why it's a top seller at Amazon.

Further reading

Do I Need An Air Purifier In Every Room? An Informational Guide For Everyone

Image of a nice suburban home USA

So you’re considering buying an air purifier. But perhaps you want to breathe better, cleaner air in more than just 1 room.

If you’re thinking about buying more than one you may be asking yourself, “Do I need an air purifier in every room?

In this post, I’ll go into more detail and cover the facts you need to know before spending money. I’d like you to get the most benefit from your buying options and to get the best benefit per dollar spent.

Contents

Do I need an air purifier in every room? The basic answer

Before I go into more detail, here’s the short answer.

Air purifier room facts

The simplest answer is that you don’t need an air purifier in every room.  There are more things to consider, too, before buying & using air purifiers in multiple rooms:

  • The number of rooms which you regularly occupy and need an air cleaner for
  • Air quality problems you need relief for
  • Room size (in square feet) for matching with the correct model of purifier

However, you need to buy the right kind (or a combination of different kinds) for your needs. Additionally, you need to buy air purifiers with enough coverage for your particular home & needs.

You’ll also need enough of them to handle the air space volume (room size coverage, in other words) where you have air quality problems.

What to know before buying air purifiers

If you want the air inside your house to fresh and free of irritants, it only makes sense to place air purifiers in all rooms… right?

Well, not necessarily! 

Before making a decision, you need to consider several factors that affect the “hows” and “whys”:

  1. Budget
  2. Air cleaning needs
  3. Rooms needing coverage
  4. Air purifier room size

1. Budget

To be frank, placing an air purifier in every room would be pricey. From the very beginning, you really need to think about your expectations and air cleaning needs vs. the amount of money you can afford to spend.

While this may vary from home to home, the average house has about five rooms. How much are you able to spend to get air purifier coverage for your home and in multiple rooms?

Give this some thought before you go shopping online. Some people might be inclined to buy cheap ones so that they can place air purifiers in all the rooms. This is actually a mistake that might not seem obvious at first glance.

Cheap, low-spec air purifiers can actually be worse than having no air purifiers at all.

There are lots of reasons why, but it’s mainly because they do a poor job at cleaning the air and ultimately you’ll be unhappy with the results. In some cases, some products sold as “air purifiers” do little besides blow air and some produce by-products that can irritate the throat and respiratory system.

If you have to spend extra money later to buy better ones, that means you’re actually losing money – not saving it!

Cheap ones will only circulate dirty, unfiltered air through your house to the point that you would probably be better off without one. A single air purifier of good quality is worth more than several low-grade ones that work poorly.

Remember this: Quality over quantity. Every time.

What you can expect to spend

That being said, for a decent budget air purifier you can expect to spend about a bit under $100 for each.

Higher quality models that are best sellers and have amazing buyer satisfaction are only a bit more and sell for around $140-$200 depending on room size coverage, features, and performance.

More advanced models offer a lot more convenience and can even run in automatic mode or include a remote control.

Don’t worry! You don’t have to be rich or spend a ton of money to keep the air clean in your home. There are some great options that are affordable – you just have to be careful when buying. I’ll cover that more in detail below.

2. Your air cleaning needs

Diagram showing common air quality problem sources

A wide variety of contaminants – or combinations of those – need a “real” air purifier that will permanently remove them from your air. Some problems, like dust mites, require a HEPA filter. Odors and airborne chemical substances need an activated carbon filter to cleanse the air successfully. Think about what you specifically need relief from.

Not everyone has the same air quality needs. For example, if you have pets you’ll have slightly different requirements than someone who is dealing with dust.

A person with allergies or asthma problems, for example, will need different features as well.

Pet owners can sometimes find certain models with special filter versions available for their product.

Want to learn more? I’ve written a great post called “What Kind Of Air Purifier Do I Need?” here which goes more into detail.

Ultimately, it if involves removing odors, you need one that features an activated carbon filter. For general applications, at a minimum, you need a High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter (HEPA) model with sufficient room coverage.

Special features

If you have particular health issues or are susceptible to colds or other sicknesses, you might consider a model with a germ-killing feature. Some do this with an ionizer or ozone generator.

I don’t recommend these for people with respiratory problems, although ionizers are proven to greatly reduce airborne germs that cause sickness.

A few offer germ-killing features such as ultraviolet light (UV) light to reduce the chances of you contracting an illness.

Others offer advanced convenience features like self-off timers, a quiet mode, and so on. Some even offer smartphone control and air quality reports while you’re away!

3. Rooms needing coverage


Do you spend a considerable amount of time inside your house? Which rooms do you stay in the longest? Which rooms do you seldom use?

An average person spends the longest time in their bedrooms, followed by the living room. Most likely the time you spend in other rooms would pale in comparison. Air purifiers placed in rarely used rooms are useless so they would be a poor use of your money.

What’s the use of purifying the air in an area you don’t use? Don’t be concerned about rooms that are rarely entered. Much as you seldom enter them, so the same is true for air contaminants.

Unless some of the areas of your home have exposure to the outdoors (and particles brought inside) or other sources of poor air quality, it really shouldn’t be much of a concern.

Thinking about purifier placement

Concentrate mainly on adding air purifiers to the main areas – and areas in between – that you spend the most time in.

The areas where you, your pets, or others predominantly reside are the rooms that need air purifier coverage. Placing them in between means that other areas will have their air cleaned as well.

Although they’re rated for certain size rooms, air purifiers will still circulate air from other parts of your home. It does take some time, but additional rooms will have their air purified as well if air can circulate sufficiently.

4. Air purifier room size – how to find the square feet measurement

Room size measuring example

Most air purifiers sold specify the recommended room size they can clean in terms of the size of the room. This is usually stated in square feet (sq. feet, or “ft^2”).

Others may optionally state the room air coverage in cubic feet, which is very similar to room size except that it also takes into account the ceiling height of a room. Unfortunately, some may not specify this coverage ability clearly.

If a purifier doesn’t specify room size, assume it is generally good for a small room.

Before shopping, you need to estimate these rough numbers using some easy math. Don’t worry, as even if math isn’t your strong point, it’s not hard at all.

Estimating the air purifier coverage you need for a room - examples

1.  Estimating the air purifier coverage size in square feet for a bedroom:

Room width x room length =  10 feet x 15 feet room size = 150 sq. feet (150 ft^2)

2. Estimating the air purifier coverage size for a bedroom in cubic feet (air space volume):

Room width x room length x ceiling height = 10 ft x 15 feet x 15 feet = 2,250 cubic feet (ft^3).

After estimating the room size coverage you need, write it down in your notes. That way you’ll be ready before shopping when evaluating choices and you can verify it’s close to your room size.

Air purifier coverage specs are estimates

The room size listed by different manufacturers are estimates. Just like any other kind of estimate, it’s impossible to get the exact number – but the great news is that you don’t need to. The idea is to buy an air purifier based on the room size coverage it states it can provide that is close to the room or rooms you want to use it in.

Don’t worry about getting it perfectly right. All brands take time to circulate and clean all the air in a room, so even if the listed coverage is a bit below what the product you buy is rated at, it will clean it eventually.

Just remember it doesn’t need to be perfectly matched. Your goal is to buy a purifier with close to or greater than a coverage rating of the room you want to use it in.

Air purifier CADR ratings explained

What is a CADR rating?

A purifier’s Clean Air Delivery Rate is a measured, numerical way to express how effectively a purifier can filter a room’s air.  Introduced by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the CADR rating is an industry standard for measuring the airflow of filtered air.

The main benefit of a manufacturer-provided CADR rating is that you know the purifier has been tested in a certified test lab by following industry guidelines.

In other words, the CADR rating is a figure of measurement that is the volume of filtered air delivered by an air cleaner. The higher the numbers (listed for smoke, dust, and pollen) the more effective it is at filtering.

Why it’s helpful to know

Generally speaking the higher the numbers or numbers, the better.

CADR rating example label

Shown: An example CADR rating from a purifier. Not all manufacturers provide them or only provide them for certain models (typically higher-quality models include them).

Products sold with a CADR rating benefit you because you know they have a proven amount of square footage air filtering coverage. There’s no guessing and it is a good indicator of a quality product with demonstrated filtering ability.

Higher ratings for the tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen numbers are a sign that the unit will more quickly purify the air than a similar unit with lower ratings.

If the ratings between are the same between two products then the filtering performance is the same.

Air purifier types: portable vs. whole house vs. wall-mounted

Levoit LV-H132 Vs Germguardian AC4825 comparison image

Examples of two popular portable (floor use) air purifiers. Floor purifiers are the most common and are often the best choice for most people.

“Whole house, portable, or wall-mount air purifiers…which one should I use?”

You’ll likely be faced with this question as you set out to buy an air purifier. It’s actually pretty simple, but it’s something you may need to think about in advance.

Portable models (used on the floor or a shelf) can be moved around as needed while whole-house systems cover the full interior of your home. Wall-mounted units are attached to walls and can be placed out of the way.

Here’s a general overview of their respective advantages and disadvantages:

Pros and cons lists for the general placement types of air purifiers

Portable (floor or shelf) air purifiers

PROS:
  • You can move them from room to room
  • Ideal for those on a budget (You can buy one and bring it along as you switch rooms, even take it to work!)
CONS:
  • If you buy a model with low space coverage it may not work well in other rooms
  • You could decide it’s a hassle to drag one along every time you switch rooms

Whole house air purifiers

PROS:
  • Covers the airflow system of your entire house – especially larger interior spaces
  • Works as one whole system (It isn’t necessary to purchase several units)
CONS:
  • Heavily reliant on the HVAC system
  • Expensive

Wall mounted air purifiers

PROS:
  • User-friendly (Commonly controlled using a remote control)
  • Works as one whole system (Not necessary to purchase several units)
CONS:
  • Requires an installation process
  • Fixed in place (If not installed optimally, it could be less efficient)
  • Not flexible in use

What type of purifier should you buy?

The best air purifiers use a true High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter along with a pre-filter and odor absorption feature. These types are very effective at removing airborne particulates of nearly all kinds. Avoid ionizers and ozone generators sold as “purifiers” as many are ineffective and can even cause health problems!

It basically comes down to personal preference. However, generally speaking, most people buy a moderately priced portable model. Many of those available today provide great coverage and air cleaning ability. You can also expect good reliability and fairly low maintenance costs.

You’ll also want to buy a model with a true HEPA filter for the best air cleaning performance.

When getting ready to buy a floor model or HVAC/whole-house purifier product, buy one that works using HEPA filters.

Avoid ionizers and ozone generators as at the minimum they’re not very effective. In the worst case, they’re potentially harmful to your comfort and health. I’ve had several readers report they’ve had very bad discomfort, coughing, and irritation from HVAC products sold as “air cleaners.”

These were ionizers or ozone generators sold with fancy marketing terms, rather than good, quality design and performance.

A standard filter-based purifier can’t cause these kinds of problems, and are nearly always a much better buy, too!

Portable air purifiers are best for those:

  • With a smaller budget
  • Living alone
  • Who are new to purifiers or don’t want to deal with installation hassle & secondary expenses
  • Are renters or may sell their home later
  • Who want additional special features like Wi-Fi control and others

Whole house purifiers are best for those:

  • With a large budget
  • Living in a house with a pre-existing HVAC system
  • Willing to pay secondary costs for installation and maintenance
  • Who wants the most air cleaning that money can buy

Wall mount purifiers are best for those:

  • With a large budget
  • Living with multiple housemates or a family
  • With specific filter & technology needs
  • With no need for extra features and air purifier placement flexibility

Where should I put my air purifier?

Image of Levoit LV-H132 air purifier in bedroom

Since most people reading this will opt for a standard portable air purifier, I’ll cover the main things to know about those after buying one and getting ready to use it.

Generally speaking, bedrooms and the living room are the best locations to place them.

Definitely place them in rooms that have the most traffic coming in from outdoors or which are periodically exposed to sources of external contaminants like outdoor pollution.

If your pets mainly stay in one room most of the time but do move about (like to your bedroom) you might consider putting one in between rooms.

If you find yourself having allergy symptoms in a particular room, that’s a tremendous clue that allergens are airborne there and you need a purifier in that area.

Air circulation

Don’t place a purifier where air cannot circulate throughout the room well.

For example, don’t place them in areas that are closed-off from airflow or obstruct the flow of air through them. Purifiers work by drawing in dirty air, filtering it, and blowing out the newly freshened air so it’s critical to make sure they have easy access and enough space.

Many models recommend 15″ to 24″ space between them and walls or furniture, for example.

Noise levels & light brightness in other sleeping & study areas

Image showing Levoit Core 300 air purifier in a dark room

If you’re sensitive to light and sound when sleeping or concentrating like I am, definitely consider buying a model that has minimal noise production. Several very good products today have the benefit of allowing you to use them in your bedroom overnight without being disturbed. Otherwise, consider moving it slightly outside of your room.

If you stay in a certain room for sleep or need to concentrate for work or studying, consider placing the device just around the edge of the open doorway or slightly out of the way.

While many sold today have a special low-noise “sleep” mode or other low-speed settings with minimal noise produced while in use it can still be an issue for some of us. This includes me!

I recommend therefore ideally buying a model you know won't produce distracting noise or simply move it into a slightly different area.

Additional air purifier placement tips

Image of child in living room with air purifier
Always
 read the owner’s manual before deciding where to use it!

Don’t forget that reputable brands are well-tested and the manufacturer sometimes recommends the best locations for optimal air cleaning.

Here are a few other things to think about:

  • Don’t put air purifiers in the corner unless otherwise specified as acceptable
  • Try to avoid leaving windows open for very long
  • Make sure your purifier has 1-2 feet clearance (minimal) for best efficiency
  • Keep it a distance of 6-10 feet from the head of your bed
  • Point the output side of the purifier in your direction
  • Make sure the room size coverage of the one you buy is fairly close to, or larger than, your room size

In summary: Do I need an air purifier in every room?

  • No, you don’t. You only need enough to cover the size of the rooms you’ll mainly be staying in or have air quality problems in
  • Estimate your room size and buy products with room coverage close to the size you found
  • Buy quality models and place them in the right locations, positioned properly
  • Most people are fine with a portable model that’s moderately priced. Consider buying one with a germ killer if you are susceptible to sickness or other health problems
  • A good rule of thumb is to start with 1 rated for med. size rooms (living room) and use a smaller model for each bedroom

Levoit Core 300 review editors choice badge product imageFor the average person, I recommend choosing a model that’s a well-rounded combination of price, features, and performance. The new Levoit Core 300 medium room purifier was a great model I recently reviewed.

Find out here why it's one of the best new air purifiers you'll find at Amazon.

Additional reading

As I mentioned earlier, don’t stress if you’re on a budget. I’ve written a helpful guide here with 5 of the top air purifiers under $100.

Be sure to check out my other helpful guides like this one if you have pets or this post if you have a dust mite problem.

The Best Inexpensive Air Purifiers – 5 Great Buys

Best inexpensive air purifiers featured image

If you’re concerned about air purifier costs you may be wondering if you can even afford one. Or maybe you simply want something affordable that actually works well.

Where to begin? In order to help I’ve put together a list of 5 of the best inexpensive air purifiers. Here you’ll find the details & pros and cons to know before buying.

Wondering how air purifiers work and which kind is best suited for you? There’s a buying guide and basic information here to help, too.

Contents

A basic air purifier buying guide

There are quite a few products out there today but most fall into 2 major categories:

  1. Ionizers or ozone generators
  2. Filter-based (HEPA) purifiers

1. Ionizers and ozone generators

Ionizer and ozone generator examples image
Left: An O-Ion B-1000 ionizer. Right: An ozone generator. Ionizers are a type of air purifier that use an electrostatic charge to collect airborne particles on plates, removing them from the air. Some also have filters to capture dust & particles. Ozone generators are sold as air purifiers as well but don’t effectively clean air. Ozone also can be irritating to your internal passageways and potentially harmful at higher levels.

Ionizers

As I go into more detail in my post here, ionizers work by generating electrical charges and using plates and/or electrodes to affect air particles. A fan is used to move air through the purifier and as it does, airborne particles get a charge and are attracted to plates of a different charge, trapping them.

Some models have reusable or replaceable filters. Others may include additional features like an activated carbon filter to trap odors or ultraviolet light (UV) germ killer.

One unique property of ionizers is their ability to act as air sanitizers and kill sickness-causing germs.

When compared to filter-based (HEPA) air purifiers, however, they can’t quite compete. I’ll cover that below.

Ozone generators

Diagram showing ozone production and pair particles
Ozone generators work by using a high voltage corona effect to create ozone molecules. Ozone is the funny smell you may remember sensing outdoors after a lightning storm or from an electric train or car sets. It is generated from voltages change oxygen molecules.

The main principle behind it is taking regular oxygen from the air and combining 3 oxygen atoms into an ozone molecule. This molecule has a charge and the atoms 3rd oxygen atom can bond with contaminants in the air.

That’s the idea, at least. However, in practice, ozone generators aren’t very effective. Some do use filters also, but they’re not very efficient and simply aren’t worth the money.

Ozone can be breathed in by humans and pets where it can irritate the respiratory system. It’s especially a bad idea for those suffering from health problems like emphysema.

At higher levels, it’s also potentially harmful to the human body.

Ozone generators are often misleadingly sold as “air purifiers” and while technically that’s true to a lesser degree, they aren’t very efficient as I mentioned. Also, companies often do not include information about the amount of ozone produced, and whether or not they’re safe.

I recommend staying away from ozone generators. They’re a poor use of your money!

2. Filter-based purifiers

How air purifiers reduce dust diagramHEPA filter air purifiers like this GermGuardian AC4825 work by drawing air through filters to capture and remove air contaminants. Clean air blows out and back into the room. They work in a cyclic fashion, continually moving and filtering air. Some also include a type of germ-killing feature in addition to an activated carbon filter to remove odors.

These work based on a simple but effective principle. Fans are used to move air through a very dense filter material called a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA filter. They’re very effective and are safe as these types of purifiers don’t emit anything into the air you breathe.

Additionally, many have additional features to compliment the HEPA main filter. These are an activated carbon filter to remove odors and chemical vapors and a pre-filter for larger particles.

As they run the air in a room is circulated and continually cleaned. As they work very well for common air quality issues like pet allergies & odors, cigarette smoke, dust, and others they’re very popular.

Most also have selectable fan speeds and can be used on low for more quiet operation at night. You can also find some with additional bonus features like a germ killer to reduce microbes.

How effective are HEPA purifiers?

Diagram showing HEPA filter efficiency

The HEPA name denotes a standard first put into use commercially in the 1950s in the United States. It’s a standardized level of air cleaning efficiency that ensures:

  1. The filter is 99.97% efficient at removing particles
  2. Particle sizes of down to 0.3 uM are captured

For reference, 1 uM (micrometer) is equal to an incredibly small 1/1,000,000 of a meter in size! That’s far smaller than the human eye can see. Truly microscopic in size.

This is important because with purifiers using “true” (genuine) HEPA filters you’re assured of how effective they are.

Additionally, many airborne particulates are very small and you’ll have to have an effective purifier that can remove elements of those sizes if you truly want relief.

Which type of air purifier do I need?

I recommend picking a quality HEPA filter air purifier like those below. Ionizers typically don’t have the proven performance of a good filter based purifier.

They also often have a lower fan speed and can’t move air as quickly.

Filter-based purifiers are also much more suited at trapping dust. Models with a carbon filter can definitely help with odors and other chemical substances in the air.

I own and have personally tested several below and I can vouch for how well they work!

HEPA purifiers have proven, demonstrated effectiveness which is important when buying products like this. You don’t want to spend money on something based on marketing hype, only to find out it’s not helping you.

★ 5 of the best inexpensive air purifiers ★

Our top picks at a glance

ImageProductDetails
sample-table__image★ OUR #1 CHOICE ★GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best seller and overall an excellent value! Easy to use and quiet.
  • 155 sq ft coverage, 100+ CADR lab tested rating
  • True HEPA, carbon filter for odors, UV-C germ killer
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageULTRA QUIET!Levoit LV-H132
  • Electronic controls and super quiet operation
  • 129 sq ft, true HEPA + carbon filter
  • Touch controls, night light, and memory feature
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageHamilton Beach TrueAir
  • HEPA filter can be vacuumed for longer life
  • Works upright or on its side. Great compact, effective air cleaning.
  • Simple 3-speed control. Available in pet version and 2 colors.
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageUnder $50Holmes HAP9240
  • A great budget choice! Affordable version of a true HEPA filter.
  • Built-in ionizer for additional cleaning. Up to 109 sq. ft. coverage
  • Simple/easy controls. Works on its side or vertically
Check at Amazon

Product reviews and details

1. GermGuardian AC4825 – A winner! Best-selling, effective cleaning with good value.

Best seller product review badge graphic imageHands-down, the GermGuardian AC4825 is one of the all-time best-selling air purifiers today and it’s easy to see why!
You’ll get not only more room coverage for your money but the addition of an ultraviolet (UV) germ killing feature, too.

Take a look at why it’s one of the best well-rounded values today:

  • True HEPA filter
  • UV-C germ killing feature
  • Super-easy filter maintenance
  • Inexpensive replacement filters
  • Separate pre-filter for reduced costs
  • Filter check reminder feature
  • Carrying handle for easy moving
  • Available in white or the AC4900 style, too
  • Lab-tested CADR rating of 100+
  • 155 sq. ft. room coverage

Solid features and performance

The true HEPA filter and odor-absorbing pre-filter work together to keep your dorm room fresh, reduce allergies, and let you breathe & enjoy college the way you deserve.

Nasties such as dust, hair, and more get blocked by the pre-filter which can be replaced separately to keep costs down. The HEPA filter works great to block all kinds of terrible allergens, dust mites, pollen, and even mold spores to freshen the air you breathe and reduce sickness.

Unlike many competitors in its price range, the AC4825 also offers lab-tested performance with a CADR of 100+.

While it may lack the fancier features found in others, it’s one of the easiest to use and very reliable as well. I’m a big fan as I own one myself!

In fact, you can read more in my detailed review of the AC4825 here.

GermGuardian AC4825 top view of controls

The AC4825 features one of the easiest-to-use control setups you’ll find. It’s incredibly easy to use! Set the rotary control to one of the 3 fan speed settings. Use the UV push button to switch the germ killing feature on or off. A power-on indicator LED lights when the purifier is working.

A rotary 3-speed fan control is used to change fan speeds and turn it off. The filter is easy to remove and replace by opening the rear door and simply swapping it out. A filter replacement reminder is included too.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

The lovely blue trim ring lights up when the UV-C feature’s in use. Don’t worry though – it’s perfectly safe, as the ultraviolet light is trapped inside. It’s a great-looking way to see when the feature is on. I like it!

The ultraviolet light feature (UV-C) works with titanium oxide to break down & destroy illness-causing microbes & germs in the air around you. It’s a nice addition that most competitors don’t offer. 

When switched on, you’ll see a soft, safe glow in the translucent trim around the base of the top that lets you know it’s working to destroy germs.

Overall opinion

At 22 inches in height, it’s not as compact as other models but fits well into corners or other spaces. Replacement filters cost about $15-20 and last about 6 months depending upon use. You’ll also find many 3rd part options offered for those of you on a budget, too!

The GermGuardian line of purifiers is one of the most reputable on the market, and without a doubt the AC4825 is a true “workhorse” that people love, judging by the thousands of great buyer reviews.

I’ve enjoyed mine, too, and I love how hassle-free it is to use. The fan speeds are good, it’s relatively quiet, and works well to solve a whole range of air quality issues.

The true HEPA filter and pre-filter are some of the easiest to replace I’ve ever used! If you’re in the market for a good value but not a wimpy purifier, it’s a great compromise between cost & performance.

While it’s not as quiet as some competitors, it’s still pretty low in noise when running. But that’s one of the few tiny gripes I have since I’ve enjoyed mine so much.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is great for nearly everyone
  • Good overall value for performance & room size vs. the Levoit LV-132
  • Great filtering performance
  • Quiet fan operation on low speed setting
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Soft LED when power is on
  • Nice blue glowing trim when UV-C is on
  • Vertical size is great for corner or areas with more vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature
  • Cannot wash & reuse filter
  • Design is less stylish and attractive than other competitors in its price range (ex. Levoit LV-H132)
  • Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service

As a happy AC4825 owner, I understand why it’s so popular. It’s well made, works great for cleaning the air, and is frustration-free. Maintenance is cheap, too.

Don’t wait any longer for healthy, fresh air! Head over now to see the thousands of great buyer reviews and current low price at Amazon.

NEW GermGuardian AC4825W white model

Good news! You can now get the AC4825 we happy owners love in white as well.

Want some a bit different looking? Check out its twin, the sleek AC4900CA version here.

2. Levoit LV-H132 – Nice features, performance, and a good choice for small to mid-sized rooms.

Levoit LV-H132 purifier white front view

The LV-H132 provides less room size coverage than competitors like the GermGuardian AC4825 but makes up for it with a lot of great features. It’s a popular model and best seller.

Well suited for small rooms or light duty use in medium-sized rooms, it’s a well-designed model you’ll enjoy using.

It’s also one of the quietest purifiers I’ve ever owned & tested, too!

The 3-stage true HEPA filter is great for eliminating odors, allergens, pet dander, dust mite allergens and so much more.  Odors are no problem, either.

Levoit LV-H132 features image

The Levoit LV-H132 is sophisticated yet still easy to use. Electronic touch controls are provided and beep when operated. After power is switched off the last settings are saved. Upon the next use, the purifier remembers your last settings and restores them automatically.

Of the inexpensive purifiers listed here it has the most features.

The LV-PUR131 uses a 3-stage design similar to others: a fine preliminary filter, an activated carbon filter, and a true HEPA filter that captures and removes dust very effectively.

Sound levels are pleasant and operation is quiet during use. There’s also a lovely night light with 2 brightness settings built in.

The filter replacement reminder indicates when it’s time to check and change the filter if needed.

Levoit LV-H132 filter replacement image example

Filter replacement is a bit different for the LV-H132, but very simple. Turn the unit upside-down, rotate the cover, and then you can pull out and replace the old 3-in-1 filter assembly. Note: unlike some competitors, in most cases, you can’t replace the carbon prefilter separately. It’s something to keep in mind.

Replacement filters run around $30 and are easy to replace by opening the top cover.

PROS:
  • Lower height than tower purifiers
  • 2-year warranty
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Night light with 2 brightness levels
  • Nice looking, modern design
  • Electronic soft button controls
  • Quiet operation on low level won’t disturb sleep
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Great build quality & high reliability
  • Easy filter replacement
CONS:
  • Smaller room coverage than others in its price range (129 sq. ft.)
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • No air quality sensor
  • Electronic controls may not be suitable for some

Of all the air purifiers I’ve owned and tested the LV-H132 had the lowest noise during operation. I was honestly surprised how quite it was!

It’s an excellent choice.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Be sure to check out why it's one of the most popular models and received the Amazon's Choice label.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

UPDATE: A sleek new black version is now available too!

3.  GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1: Got a small room? Get great performance for less money.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle view
Affordable? Yes. Low on quality? No! I’m an AC4100 owner too (yes, I test many different kinds!) and I can tell you it shares the same quality and performance the GermGuardian purifier family is known for.

It’s a modern looking, well-performing purifier. Measuring only 7.5 x 6.5 x 11″ in size, there’s a true HEPA filter along with a pre-filter/charcoal section to produce fresh, healthy air you’ll enjoy.

The AC4100 is a great choice for small rooms, dorm rooms, offices, and many other places.

Mine works great and it’s a great way to reduce dust if you have problems with it like I do.

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter replacement on the AC4100 is easy! Just open the rear cover, pull out the old filter, and insert the new one. You can also use a vacuum to remove larger particles like dust. As you can see my AC4100 caught more and more dust as I used it!

The UV light (along with titanium dioxide) kills germs to sanitize your air and reduce sickness. Replacement filters cost about $18. A filter installation date wheel is available to mark when you installed a fresh filter.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filters

A 3 simple rotary control adjusts fan speed and turns it off. It’s quiet and generates a pleasing low noise level on the lowest setting. When set to high somewhat similar to white noise is produced.

It’s different from other GermGuardian models in that the UV-C is an on/off switch rather than a push button control. Also, I’m not so happy that there are no indicator lights for the UV-C feature being turned on or the filter replacement.

Those are fairly minor complaints, however. Overall, it’s a great choice for small rooms and I’ve been happy with the ones I’ve owned and tested.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan control and on/off UV-C switch
  • UV & titanium dioxide design to kill germs
  • Great filtering ability for its small size
  • High speed setting moves a lot of air for purifying quickly
  • Filter replacement reminder wheel (month installed)
  • Low filter replacement price (about $19)
  • Filter replacement date wheel (marks month installed)
  • Sleek, modern design
CONS:
  • 1 year warranty is shorter than other models
  • Fan speed on high could be slightly better
  • No filter replacement light
  • No additional colors offered

The AC4100 provides the same quality that earned GermGuardian its reputation as a top air product company. I definitely recommend it for both its great value and low price.

Be sure to check it out! Head over and see the great buyer reviews and low price today at Amazon.

4.  Hamilton Beach TrueAir Ultra Quiet – Inexpensive, compact, and quiet too.

Hamilton Beach True Air purifier black front viewThe Hamilton Beach TrueAir is not just a well-made purifier that’s with that’s inexpensive but one that also helps keep ownership costs down.
The HEPA filter can be vacuumed clean. Under normal use won’t have to replace it as frequently as you would for other brands. It’s a great way to save money.

Hamilton Beach True Air purifier black top viewUsing it is super easy! A simple rotary control lets you select the fan speed desired.

Operation is simple using the 3-speed fan control. It runs quietly during operation unlike some other products out there.

The compact size (8.5 x 13.5″) lets it fit in more spaces. Hamilton Beach rates the room coverage at a nice 140 square feet. Perfect for small to medium sized rooms like offices and bedrooms.

Hamilton Beach TrueAir purifier features image

The Hamilton Beach TrueAir fits neatly into small spaces – especially shelves – as it can be used on its side. Remove the rear cover to vacuum the filter for extended life. It’s a great way to keep costs down.

Another great option it has is the ability to be placed on its side – soft feet keep it steady when rotated.

Unlike the others, there are no additional pre-filter or carbon filter sections. I don’t recommend it, therefore, for odors and smoke for that reason.

(Note: If you have pets, check out the pet version TrueAir Pet Specialized Cleaner).

Color options include both black and white. Note that the different colors may be priced differently from time to time.

PROS:
  • HEPA filter is effective for average dust and allergen removal
  • Main (HEPA) filter can be vacuumed and reused – low maintenance costs
  • Can be used on its side for even more convenience
  • Quiet operation
  • Nice design
  • Simple 3-speed operation control
CONS:
  • Limited room size coverage
  • No pre-filter or carbon filter section (odors and cigarette smoke)
  • No power indicator lights or filter replacement reminder
  • No sleep or auto-shut off mode

It’s a nice, affordable option for many people. You’ll be pleased to find out the low price and see the many happy buyer reviews at Amazon.

5.  Holmes HAP9240 HEPA-type desktop purifier – Low on price, high on value.

Holmes HAP9240 air purifier product imageLooking for a competent but lower-priced choice? The Holmes HAP9240 may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. You’ll get a great compromise between performance, filter options, and price.
It’s not the smallest but measures a reasonable 14.8 x 11.4 x 7.2 inches in size.

Featuring a small size that’s perfect for countertops, shelves, and even desks, the Holmes can also be placed vertically on its back. The purifier features built-in rests on the rear to allow it to stand on its end.

For around $50 or so, it’s a good value. Check out the features:

  • Near-HEPA air filter quality for less money (filters 99% of particles)
  • Up to 100 sq. ft. room size coverage
  • 3 cleaning speeds and low noise operation
  • Filter reminder indicator light
  • Optional ionizer feature
  • Can be used in a vertical position
  • Black color option (availability may vary)
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Washable pre-filter
  • Affordable replacement filters
  • 12 month HEPA filter life

The Holmes desktop air purifier includes a washable filter and HEPA-type filter (left). (Right) Have special air cleaning needs? You’ve got some good options! Pick one of the 3 additional filter options for specialized air cleaning relief.

It uses a HEPA-type filter that’s similar to the filtering qualities of a true HEPA filter. The filter can remove 99% of all particles down to 2 microns in size (as opposed to the 0.3 micron standard of a genuine HEPA filter.)

It’s a budget model but still a good performer for many common air quality problems. The 2-micron particle size rating works well for pet dander, dust, and standard allergens.

I wouldn’t recommend it for cigarette smoke, however, at least not without a carbon filter.

Shown: The Holmes HAP9240 controls are super-simple to understand and use. The filter reminder (left) shows the filter condition and can be reset as needed. Right: The optional ionizer feature is as simple as an on/off switch with light. Center: Choose from Off or 3 fan speeds with low-noise operation.

A built-in ionizer with off/on control is an extra feature that produces a safe level of charged molecules that bond with pollutants in the air. While it’s not the main air cleaning contributor, it’s a nice touch you may enjoy.

Filter check reminder

At power up, the unit will check and show you if it’s time to check and clean or replace the filters using the dual-color light on the control panel. When needed, you can easily reset the check filter light using the reset button provided.

It’s unique in that the pre-stage filter can be removed and washed to be reused. Fan speed is adjustable and while not as quiet as the Levoit and others here, it does offer low noise when at low speed.

Room size coverage and air cleaning performance

It’s recommended for rooms up to 100 square feet in size – just right for dorm rooms! The air cleaning performance is good, too, as it removes allergens, dust, pet dander, and much more from the air very well.

While there are quieter models out there, you’ll pay at least $30-$40, and in my opinion, it’s very quiet on the lower 2 settings. Overall, it’s a nice little budget model I’m sure that’s a great match if you’re on a budget.

Just like experience with it, buyers love it, too, as it’s one of the best-reviewed budget purifiers today.

PROS:
  • One of the most affordable and biggest sellers on the market
  • 100 sq. ft. room coverage
  • Easy slide control switches & 3 speed settings
  • Pre-stage filter can be cleaned and reused
  • Low replacement filter cost
  • Additional filter options
  • Can be positioned vertically
  • Includes ionizer with on/off control
  • Lower cost version of a true HEPA filter with nearly the same standard of performance
  • Available in black
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • Not as sophisticated as pricier models
  • No germ-killing feature like the GermGuardian products offer
  • Cannot turn off light indicators on panel
  • Styling is more bland

Overall, it’s a very good budget air purifier that’s a great combination of price, performance, and features.

It’s a great little purifier for those on a budget! Find out the current price & availability now at Amazon.

Summary – The best air purifier under $100

The GermGuardian AC4825 is my top recommended for an affordable air purifier below $100 and it’s often on sale at Amazon for below $80. It’s one of the best values as the room coverage is one of the largest in its price class. The quality and performance are both very good as well.

Based on my own testing and as an owner of the AC4825, I recommend it as the best low-cost air purifier under $100. It’s one of the best-selling models in the world, too.

Additional reading

I personally own the GermGuardian AC4825 and was so impressed I wrote a great review here.

If you’d like to find out more about HEPA type vs. true HEPA filters here’s a great post that explains more.

Feel free to post a comment or contact me if you have comments or questions!

What’s The Best Air Purifier To Remove Cigarette Smoke?

Best air purifier to remove cigarette smoke featured image for post

Dealing with cigarette smoke is tough. But what causes the odor? And why is cigarette smoke so hard to deal with? Maybe you’re already aware of how an air purifier can help.

If so, that’s great. But which air purifiers are the best to remove cigarette smoke and odors?

I’ve put together a list of the best choices to remove cigarette smoke to help you make a smart choice. There’s also some great information about smoke and how air purifiers work as well.

Contents

Infographic – Cigarette smoke and air purifier facts

What is in cigarette smoke?

Image of a cigarette smoke particle under microscope

A microscopic image showing two fine aluminum silicate particles in smoke from a Marlboro Medium cigarette. Note the size scale in the image is an incredibly small 1 micrometer (1um). A micrometer (or “micron”) is 1/1,000,000 of a meter. Cigarette smoke particles have been studied and measured (see below). Their incredibly small size is one reason they’re such a problem for odors and irritation. Microscopic particles can travel to many areas of your home and surfaces.

Smoke from pipe tobacco, cigarettes, and cigars contains a huge amount of chemical particles released when the tobacco burns. This is because tobacco is treated with a variety of chemicals and substances before being packed for use by smokers. Some aren’t intentionally added but occur as tobacco is cured.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug administration over 7,000 chemicals are released from cigarette smoke.

How cigarette smoke builds and becomes worse

Smoking indoors is a self-building problem: the more you smoke indoors, the more it builds, and the worse it becomes. Smoke after-effects don’t disappear or “evaporate.”

As most homes or businesses aren’t open to outside fresh air, smoke particles are trapped inside and never leave. They build up over time and accumulate on surfaces and even your skin, clothes, and more.

I’ve seen the results of heavy smokers who stayed indoors and smoked. Over time, the white walls actually became dark yellow in color. It permeated nearly everything inside!

Once smoke particles bond to surfaces and fabrics, it’s very difficult to restore them to their original freshness. Taking preventative measures can prevent this easily.

Even if smokers don’t smoke indoors, they bring in odors and smoke residue which are strong and a source of irritation. I’ve been in contact with someone once who was a heavy smoker, and because of the smoke particles on her body it caused me to break out in a rash.

You’ve got to eliminate the problem as effectively as possible to remove smells and avoid causing allergic reactions, coughing, and other side effects of bringing in smoke residue.

Do air purifiers help with cigarette smoke and odors?

Image of Levoit LV-H132 air purifier in bedroom
Yes, a good air purifier of the right type can effectively remove smoke, smoke by-products, and odors.

An air purifier removes smoke and related odors by using a fan to circulate air in the room which is passed through filters. These filters permanently trap smoke & its particles suspended in the air. Odors can be removed, too.

Air fresheners and other attempted solutions like that don’t work – they cover up (mask) the problem. Air fresheners cannot actually process the air or change the air contents as a purifier can.

One of the challenges of removing smoke isn’t just as simple as paper burning. Unlike smoke from other sources, cigarette and tobacco smoke is made of a huge range of microscopic particles. Gaseous chemical substances are released into the air, too.

Cigarette smoke typically contains elements that range in size from about 0.1 to 1.0 um in size.

You’ll need something that can eliminate these incredibly small elements in the air. That’s where an air purifier comes in – they’re practical, affordable, and most of all they’re effective. Air purifiers work well and get the job done safely.

Dirty air is one of many reasons why you might not be getting good rest, too!

What kind of air purifier do I need?

For best dealing with cigarette smoke you should be shopping for a filter-based air purifier. Avoid ionizers and ozone generators.

Purchase a product with the following features:

  • A HEPA filter (see below)
  • Activated carbon filter section
  • Sufficient room coverage
  • Filter replacement reminder (optional – recommended)
  • Proven effectiveness
  • Good buyer ratings

Note that you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money! For example, for products with basic features but solid performance, you should plan to spend from $55 (small rooms) to around $100 (medium-sized rooms). For larger rooms and additional features plan for around $150 and above.

It’s better to spend a few dollars more the first time rather than be dissatisfied with your purifier. You’ll waste time and money if you end up buying a cheaper, lesser product and return it later.

What is a HEPA filter?

Closeup image of air purifier HEPA filter material and carbon filter

A HEPA filter is made of dense, accordion-like material inside of a frame in order to be replaceable. Once very dirty, the filter can be swapped with a new one. They’re extremely effective at removing smoke and smoke particles. In addition many include a “pre-filter” section. These include material for catching larger particles while the carbon filter removes odors and chemical substances.

A High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter describes an air filter that’s made of very dense material. The name comes from a standard established many years ago to ensure effective air cleaning. Any filter sold as a “true HEPA” product must meet the standards set by this.

Because of their design and material used, they are able to trap microscopic particles down to as far as 0.3 microns in size.

HEPA filter effectiveness for removing smoke

Diagram showing efficiency of HEPA filter removing smoke particles
Diagram showing the effectiveness of a HEPA filter on smoke particles. Unlike ionizers or ozone generators, a filter-based purifier is very effective at removing smoke and cigarette smoking by-products. The filter permanent removes microscopic particles in the air flowing through it. They remain trapped and out flows fresh, healthy air.

As I mentioned above, this type of filter is ideal for combating smoke. A HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of all smoke particles that enter it after the pre-filter and carbon filter section.

This means that for every 10,000 smoke chemical particles that enter, only 3 will be able to escape! That’s excellent efficiency!

Furthermore, as I mentioned also, a carbon filter is needed for smoke removal as well.

The good news is that if your HEPA filter isn’t completely used-up you can, in many cases, replace the carbon/pre-filter section separately and save a bit of money.

Carbon filter effectiveness

GermGuardian FLT11CB4 carbon filter diagram

Filter replacements for good air purifiers like the GermGuardian AC4100 contain activated carbon. This is a porous material used in many types of for both air, water, and much more. The carbon section in better models is separately replaceable. This section traps gaseous chemicals in the air as well as odors of various types. It’s highly effective in reducing cigarette smoke and related issues.

Activated carbon (also called activated charcoal) has properties which cause it to be excellent at gas absorption. This is especially helpful for the gases and chemical compounds released into the air from cigarette smoke.

Carbon filters are commonly used in the best quality air purifiers, as they work alongside the HEPA filter to capture elements the other filter cannot.

If you’re dealing with smoke or other odors they’re especially helpful.

★ 5 of the best air purifiers for removing cigarette smoke ★

Our top picks at a glance

ImageProductDetails
sample-table__image★ OUR #1 PICK! ★GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best seller and overall an excellent value! Easy to use and quiet.
  • 155 sq ft coverage, 100+ CADR lab tested rating
  • True HEPA, carbon filter for odors, UV-C germ killer
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageULTRA QUIETLevoit LV-H132
  • Electronic controls and super quiet operation
  • 129 sq ft, true HEPA + carbon filter
  • Touch controls, night light, and memory feature
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageLevoit PUR131
  • 322 sq. ft coverage, 3-stage HEPA. Low-noise sleep mode
  • Auto-sensing and auto-off advanced features
  • Digital display and touch controls
Check on Amazon
sample-table__imageLarge room valueHoneywell HPA300
  • Huge 465 sq. ft. coverage. Easy filter replacement, too!
  • Electronic touch controls, dimmer, and sleep timers
  • True HEPA and carbon filters. High-speed Turbo mode
Check on Amazon

Reviews and pros/cons

1. GermGuardian AC4825 – A best seller for many reasons! Solid performance and good room coverage with a germ killing feature too.

One of the most popular air purifiers sold today, the AC4825 doesn’t offer the fancier features of some competitors like the Levoit LV-H132. However, it’s a winner because of hassle-free ease of use, good performance, and good value.

It offers more room coverage and also includes an ultraviolet (UV) germ killing feature. The UV feature is safe and doesn’t produce any ozone like some other products.

The true HEPA filter design works very well to remove smoke and contaminants from your air. Filter replacement is easy and separate carbon filter/pre-filters are sold separately, allowing you to extend the HEPA filter life.

It’s so good that I had to buy one and try it myself! I’m a happy owner and you can read more about it in my detailed review here.

AC4825E top controls image

The AC4825 features one of the easiest-to-use control setups you’ll find. It’s incredibly easy to use! Set the rotary control to one of the 3 fan speed settings. Use the UV push button to switch the germ killing feature on or off. A power-on indicator LED lights when the purifier is working.

The 3-speed fan control is great for those who prefer simple controls & operation. To replace the filter, simply open the rear door and swap it out. The purifier also has a built-in replacement reminder which turns red when it’s time to check the filter.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

The lovely blue trim ring lights up when the UV-C feature’s in use. Don’t worry though – it’s perfectly safe, as the ultraviolet light is trapped inside. It’s a great-looking way to see when the feature is on. I like it!

With 22″ height, it’s not smaller and compact like some here but the small base size allows it to fit well in corners. Replacement filters cost about $30 and last approximately 6 months.

You can also find 3rd party brand filters which are cheaper.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is great for nearly everyone
  • Good overall value for performance & room size vs. the Levoit LV-H132
  • Great filtering performance
  • Quiet fan operation on low speed setting
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Soft LED when power is on
  • Vertical size is great for corner or areas with more vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature
  • Cannot wash & reuse filter
  • Design is less stylish and attractive than other competitors in its price range (ex. Levoit LV-H132)
  • Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service

I own a AC4825 and I can vouch for why it’s a best seller. It’s well made, works great for cleaning the air, and is very simple to use.

Check out the best price and thousands of happy buyer reviews over at Amazon.

2. Levoit LV-H132 – Compact and nice looking…a great purifier with good features.

Levoit LV-H132 purifier white front view

Another super-popular purifier, the Levoit LV-H132 (smaller sibling to the Levoit LV-PUR131) is a great buy as well. If you’re wanting to remove smoke odors & particles that intrude in your living space you can’t go wrong here.

Like comparable competitors, it uses a true HEPA filter with 3-stage filtration for good performance when removing smoke & odors.

Although it provides less coverage than competitors like the GermGuardian AC4825, the Levoit makes up for this by providing additional features. It’s also a great looking choice for small rooms or light duty use in medium-sized rooms.

It’s a top seller in its price range and buyer reviews are excellent as well.

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel featuresThe Levoit LV-H132 is sophisticated yet still easy to use. Electronic touch controls are provided and beep when operated. After power is switched off the last settings are saved. Upon the next use, the purifier remembers your last settings and restores them automatically.

The fan offers pleasant and quiet operation on low speed. A built-in night light with 2 brightness settings is a bonus feature. A convenient filter replacement reminder lets you know when it’s time to change the filter and replace it if needed.

Levoit LV-H132 filter replacement image example

Filter replacement is a bit different for the LV-H132, but very simple. Turn the unit upside-down, rotate the cover, and then you can pull out and replace the old 3-in-1 filter assembly. Note: unlike some competitors, in most cases you can’t replace the carbon prefilter separately. It’s something to keep in mind.

Replacement filters run around $30 and are easy to swap out by removing the top cover.

PROS:
  • Shorter height than competing tower purifiers
  • 2-year warranty
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Night light with 2 brightness levels
  • Nice looking, modern design
  • Electronic soft button controls
  • Quiet operation on low level won’t disturb sleep
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Great build quality & high reliability
  • Easy filter replacement
CONS:
  • Smaller room coverage than others in its price range (129 sq. ft.)
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • No air quality sensor
  • Electronic controls may not be suitable for some
  • High speed is not quite a fast as other products

I’ve owned and tested the LV-H132 and I have to say it’s a great one! Well-made, sleek, and has great filtering ability with the lowest noise levels I’ve measured yet.

Go have a look at the excellent reviews and find out why it regularly receives best choices awards at Amazon.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

NEW: Great news! There’s now No products found.

3.  GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1: Lower-priced and great for small rooms – but not short on performance!

GermGuardian AC4100 angle viewA great lower-priced model, the AC4100 may be small but it features the same air purifying features as its larger siblings.

Measuring only 7.5 x 6.5 x 11″ in size, the true HEPA filter and charcoal sections work together to remove cigarette smoke and odors anywhere you need it. It’s perfect for a small room, office, dorm room, and much more.

One advantage included is the UV light along with titanium dioxide. These kill germs to make your air safer and prevent illness.

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter replacement on the AC4100 is easy! Just open the rear cover, pull out the old filter, and insert the new one. You can also use a vacuum to remove larger particles like dust. As you can see my AC4100 caught more and more dust as I used it!

A replacement filter costs about $18 and there’s a filter installation date wheel on the rear to help you know when it’s time to replace it. Carbon filter replacements are sold separately so if you’re dealing with smoke and smoke odors that’s a great help.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filtersIt’s really easy to use. Turn it on or off using the 3 speed fan control. It’s quiet and generates a pleasing low noise level on the lowest setting. When set to high it’s a bit louder but still not too loud. If you enjoy white noise you may find it relaxing.

Unlike its bigger brothers the AC4825 and AC4900CA, the UV germ killing switch is an on/off type rather than a push button.

One drawback I don’t like is that there’s no indicator light for the UV feature like the larger models. That’s a pretty small complaint for it, however.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan control and on/off UV-C switch
  • UV & titanium dioxide germ killing feature
  • Great filtering ability for its small size
  • High speed setting moves a lot of air for purifying quickly
  • Filter replacement reminder wheel (month installed)
  • Low filter replacement price (about $19)
  • Filter replacement date wheel (marks month installed)
  • Sleek, modern design
CONS:
  • 1 year warranty is shorter than other models
  • No indicator light for UV feature unlike larger models
  • Fan speed on high could be slightly better
  • No filter replacement light
  • No additional colors offered

Time and time again people testify to how good the GermGuardian line of purifiers is. And I agree – as I’m an owner!

Don’t wait! Be sure to check the great reviews that helped it become one of the highest selling products at Amazon.

4. Levoit LV-PUR131 – Great smoke & odor removal for med/large rooms. Fantastic auto-sensing feature.

Levoit LV-PUR131 side front image

Dealing with cigarette smoke in a larger room? This Levoit model is one of the most popular and well-reviewed units you can buy today.

It’s stylish, powerful, and has several cool features that really appeal to someone like me who worries about being able to sleep with electronics running.

Check out the reviews – it’s an excellent addition to your home, office, or even workplace and great at removing smoke along with odors, allergens, and dust.

Levoit air purifiers are well known and feature very good quality. I think they’re attractive and look nice at home, too.

The LV-PUR131 is no different. Electronic push button controls are simple to use (similar to its smaller sibling the LV-H132). A great-looking LCD display makes checking out operating conditions a pleasure.

A sleep mode option ensures the LV-PUR131 doesn’t keep you up at night. An auto-off timer lets you set and forget it. Select 1 to 12 hours of operation and it will turn itself off!

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel features

The electronic control panel looks a bit complicated at first glance but it’s easy to use. Touch controls easily rotate through their various on/off settings such as the fan speed or mode. A digital display shows the remaining operation time when the auto-off timer in use as well as the current air quality detected.

What makes this Levoit model such a wonderful choice is not just the same 3-speed push button fan control. But the automatic auto-sensing mode which adjusts fan speed as needed as air conditions change. Really cool!

Filter replacement is about every 6 months. The handy replacement reminder will let you know when it’s time to check the filter. (It’s around $35 for a replacement)

As it’s only about 11.2 lbs in weight and 14.5 x 7.2 x 18.5 inches in size, the PUR131 provides more square feet coverage (322 square feet) than others but can fit in a few areas comparable products can’t.

A 2 year warranty is provided.

PROS:
  • More room coverage for the money (322 sq ft)
  • Auto-sensing mode adjusts fan speed automatically
  • Sleep mode for very quiet operation
  • Electronic, simple controls
  • LCD display
  • Auto-off feature: 1 to 12 hours for “set and forget” operation
  • Great cigarette smoke removal performance
  • Excellent overall reviews and customer satisfaction
  • Lower weight and smaller size than others – can be used more places
  • 2 year warranty
  • Nice, modern appearance
CONS:
  • No remote control
  • Auto-sensing mode does not indicate air quality levels visually
  • No night light
  • Replacement filters aren’t the cheapest (near $35 or so)
  • Warranty is shorter than some competitors
  • White color only

It’s a great compromise between cost, room size coverage, features, and performance.

Head over now to see why it's the best selling and highest rated purifiers today at Amazon.

5. Honeywell HPA300 – Powerful large room smoke removal. Reliable, well-established performance you will be happy to own.

Honeywell HPA300 HEPA air purifier product image

The Honeywell provides the greatest room size coverage and smoke filtering ability of the units listed here. If you’re in need of smoke removal in a larger room there’s no reason to look elsewhere. This is it.

The HPA300 is a real workhorse -a large and heavy unit, weighing about 21 lbs. The filters (carbon/pre-filter section, and separate true HEPA filter sections) are more complex but still simple to replace. Replacement filters are about $68 but you can replace carbon filters separately to keep costs down.

Replacement time is about 3-5 months depending on how much smoke you’re dealing with. The HEPA filter may get even more use if you’re swapping out carbon filters and the HEPA filter isn’t saturated from smoke removal.

Honeywell HPA300 electronic controls top view

The purifier features excellent touch panel electronic controls. Just touch one of the controls to rotate easily through the settings like fan speed, the light dimmer, and to set the auto-off timer feature.

The electronic controls are straightforward: fan speed, light dimmer, and an auto-operation option. LED lights give separate reminders for both the HEPA filter sections and the pre-filter carbon filter section.

For very heavy-duty air cleaning the high-speed Turbo mode provides excellent & fast cleaning ability. But it’s much quieter on low speed. Automatic mode shuts off the unit after either 2, 4, or 8 hour operation.

The HPA300 also has 3 operational modes: allergen, general, and germ modes. (General mode is fine for cigarette smoke removal)

Honeywell HPA300 filter replacement image

Filter replacement is very simple! The main cover uses 2 push-releases at the top to secure the cover. After removal, the prefilter can be replaced or the 3 standard Honeywell HEPA filters as well. It’s easy to do, in my experience.

What I especially like is that the filter replacement reminders are separate – one for the HEPA filter and one for the pre-filter. That’s a feature unique to the Honeywell design.

PROS:
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Maximum room size capability for the money (below $300 range)
  • Turbo mode for heavy air cleaning operation on demand
  • Automatic operation with 2, 4, and 8 hour settings
  • Quiet low speed operation
  • Largest room/house coverage (465 sq. ft)
  • Separate filter replacement reminder for both HEPA and pre-filter sections
  • 5-year warranty
  • Dimmer control
CONS:
  • Auto-off timer adjustable only in increments of 2 hours – no 1hr settings
  • Not as sleek-looking as others
  • No auto-sensing mode for self-adjusting ability
  • Black color only

Dealing with smoke in your home and larger rooms? Then you can’t go wrong with the HPA300. Find out why it's one of the best larger room air purifiers for smoke sold today.

Summary – My top pick under $100

The GermGuardian AC4825 is my top recommended air purifier for dust as it’s one of the best values around and works well. You’ll get more coverage for your dollar than competing models in its price class.

Based on maintenance costs, price, features, and performance the GermGuardian AC4825 is a great value and one of the best purifiers for your money.

A good quality air purifier doesn’t mask the problem – it treats it at the sources – by removing microscopic particles and gases in your air from smoke. That’s exactly what the recommended models I’ve listed do.

Additional reading

Wondering how many air purifiers you’ll need? Find out more here. Additionally, information about dust mites can be found here.

As a proud owner of the GermGuardian AC4825 I enjoyed it enough to write a hands-on review you can see here.