So you’re looking to buy one of the best air purifiers under 100 U.S. dollars. You crave gallons of fresh-smelling, germ-free air without decimating your entire savings, right? Serious wealth builders don’t allow anything to stand in the way of creating a nice little pile of cash for the sunset years. Not even purifying their home! Here, I’ll guide you to the best inexpensive air purifier on the market that actually works. Where your biggest worry is pet dander, dust mites, or household odors, you’ll (hopefully) find a great but cheap air purifier for your room.
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Few Cheap Good Air Purifiers
Now, I’ll tell you something. There aren’t many air purifiers like that. Fortunately for you, I spent tons of hours researching cheap yet powerful air purifiers so you don’t need to. Reading the 5 best air purifier under 100 reviews I offer here will save you lots of time. It’ll also arm you with accurate and concrete knowledge so you can pick the best product for the money.
You’ll get a breakdown of the estimated annual costs of running each of the 5 air purifiers I review in this post. In addition, you’ll know how much energy each of them gobbles up. I’ll even let you see what filter replacement costs look like. Happy reading!
5 Best Air Purifiers Under 100 (Reviews + Buying Guide)
Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Here’s the list:
1. Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
2. VEVA 8000 Elite Pro Series: A True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
3. Levoit LV-H132 Compact Design (True HEPA Filter) Air Purifier
4. Hamilton Beach 04384 Air Compact Pet Air Purifier (Uses a HEPA-Type Filter)
5. Germ Guardian 3-in-1 AC4825 Air Purifier
Here’s another list of other affordable air purifiers that do a great job: Airthereal reviews
Are Cheap Air Purifiers Always of Poor Quality?
Most people associate higher-priced products with superior quality.
But do all expensive items deliver excellent performance? Do all cheap products disappoint?
The answer to these two questions is a resounding no!
Well, it’s tough finding cheap products that deliver the same level of effectiveness as higher-priced ones. Luckily, every market offers such products. And the air purifier market is no exception.
To find the best cheap air purifiers under $100, you must invest sufficient time and focus into detailed research. Hopefully, my reviews take some of that pain away, making your shopping journey informative and fun.
Before you rush to Amazon, read the best air purifiers under 100 buying guide presented after these reviews. The table of contents above should shuttle you instantly to the section you wish to read. Click on any one of the GREEN links and you’re good.
Let’s now jump in and look at these cheap air purifiers a little more closely.
1. Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Filter Air Purifier Review
Editor’s Rating: (4.5 / 5)
A Quick Overview
- Dimensions: 8.7″ x 8.7″ x 14.2″
- Weight: 8.75 lbs
- Color: Silver
- Design: Compact design; a contemporary look
- Filter life: 6- 8 months
- Filtration system 3; 1 True HEPA , 1 ultrafine prefilter, and 1 activated carbon filter
- Coverage area: 215 square feet
- Warranty: 2 years
Is the Levoit Core 300 the best air purifier under 100 ever made? We’ll see.
Unlike the Levoit LV-H132, the Levoit Core 300 is AHAM certified. In addition, it is Energy Star rated. On top of that, it’s CARB-compliant. But there’s more. Also, the Levoit Core 300 is FCC-certified and ETL listed. Quite a nice little list of endorsements.
The mid-range air purifier outperforms many in that price range in terms of air circulation. This one circulates the air 5 times in an enclosed space that measures 215 square feet in 60 minutes. Many comparable ones offer an ACH of 4. That’s a nice pro.
For this cheap air purifier, the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) for dust is 140 while that for plant pollen is 145. And the CADR for smoke is 141. For the price, these numbers are pretty impressive. Note that the higher the clean air delivery rate, the faster the air purifier removes pet dander and other nasty airborne allergens.
Compare these numbers with the CADR ratings for a comparable device such as the 3-in-1 GermGuardian AC4825. The Clean air delivery rate for this GermGuardian AC4825 is 118 for dust; 125 for pollen, and 108 for smoke. Looking for a cigarette smoke remover? The Core 300 is a decent choice. However, the air purifier market offers many better cigarette smoke air purifiers.
Another difference is that the Core 300 covers a larger square footage than the GermGuardian AC4825. The AC4825 purifies a maximum coverage area of 167 square feet. By comparison, the core 300 has a coverage area of 215 sq ft.
The air purifier features a 3-stage air purification process, freshening your rooms real in minutes. You’ll sure notice a difference in your indoor air almost immediately after installing it.
Well, the Core 300 isn’t the smartest air purifier on the planet. But considering its price, that’s hardly surprising. That said, the device offers more smart features than most comparable machines. That’s why I believe it’s the best air purifier under $100 out there.
Like many other Levoits, this unbelievably cheap air purifier has a sleek, cylindrical, modern appearance. It’s the kind of thing you’d want in your office, bedroom, or living room.
It’s designed for medium to large rooms, but you can also use for purifying smaller rooms. In fact, it’ll give you more than 5 air circulations in an hour if you install it in a small room. And you’ll detect a difference in your air quality within minutes.
It employs a set of three filters to freshen the air. Together, these filters capture as much as 99.97 percent of particles 0.3 microns or larger.
The prefilter removes large particles while the True HEPA filter takes care of allergens and particulates. Some of the particles this air purifier removes include pet dander, dust, plant pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and many more.
The unit’s 360 degree air inlet makes it possible to place it pretty much anywhere you wish. It sucks in contaminated air from all sides, sanitizes it and finally pushes it out the top. Finally, the activated carbon filter neutralizes odors while addressing VOCs.
One thing I can say confidently about this air purifier is that it works. I’d even say it’s powerful, especially compared to Vista 200 or LV-H132.
I placed a hand over this air purifier’s 360 degree inlet, and the airflow I felt on the highest setting was insane. I also flicked a paper towel near the inlet, and the suction I saw was crazy.
Here’s the thing. You won’t feel the same kind of power with any of the other mid-range Levoits.
Last but not least, this cheap purifier is super quiet on low. On that setting, it’s 24 decibels. Even the lightest sleeper should enjoy uninterrupted sleep every night. The unit has its QuietKEAP technology to thank for its quietness on low.
On the highest setting, the noise reaches 50 decibels. That’s a little loud, and I doubt you’d sleep well with the air purifier humming away at that speed. But you won’t need to run the air purifier on the highest setting. If you’re asthmatic, you may need to run it on high for some time each day before reverting to a lower speed setting
Operational Costs for the Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
According to the EPA, the Levoit 300 air purifier consumes 46 watts max. If you let it run 24/7, 365 days a year, that’d 403 kWh. Assuming energy cost is 10 cents, your annual electric bill would amount to around $40.
To that, throw in filter replacement costs of around $40 (filter changed 2 times annually). The total comes to $80.
- Auto shutoff timer (2/4/6/8 hours)
- AHAM-tested (CADR rated)
- ETL listed +FCC & CARB certified
- Filterlife indicator
- QuietKEAP technology
- Affordable filter
- High ACH
- Pre-installed filter
- Effective odors neutralizing carbon filter
- No ozone produced
- Not enough smart features
- Lacks air quality sensor
- Filtration system covers a relatively small area
This budget home air purifier isn’t Wi-Fi enabled. Nor does it have an air quality sensor. But that’s not surprising given it’s a cheap air cleaner for any pollution-packed room.
The device works quite well even without these additional smart features, though. I’d say the available smart features such as filter change indicator and auto shutoff timer are adequate. In fact, the timer works pretty much like remote control.
2. VEVA 8000 Elite Pro Series Air Purifier Review
Editor’s rating: (4 / 5)
A Quick Overview
- Dimensions: 9″ x 8″ x 23″
- Weight:6.72 lbs
- Color: Black
- Design: Tower
- Filter life: 6 to 12 months
- Filtration system: 1 HEPA and 4 precut activated filters.
- Coverage area: 325 sq ft
- Warranty: 2 years
Maybe the VEVA 8000 Elite Pro is the best air purifier under 100? Let’s find out. The VEVA 8000 Elite Pro looks like a cute loud speaker sitting on some sturdy stand. Black in color, it’s a contemporary design that would blend in well with pretty much any color scheme.
Designed for a room with a coverage area of 325 square feet, the device draws in dirty air via the front. After cleaning it, it pushes it out via the back. I don’t particularly like that. I mean, you can’t stand this air purifier against a wall. However, I don’t think this air purifier’s coverage area extends to 325 square feet. I’d use it for a smaller room, say 250 square feet.
The air purifier uses a set of 5 filters to do the air cleaning job. One of these filters is a HEPA filter while the other 4 are pre-cut activated carbon pre-filters. Each carbon pre-filter offers a pretty large surface area, and the combined surface area is enormous. These prefilters take care of large particles such as fiber, pet dander, and pet fur. In addition, they lengthen the life of the HEPA filter. Also, each activated carbon filter should help immensely minimize odors in your home.
The HEPA filter helps tackle, household dust, pet dander, dust mites, and more. It also helps capture mold spores, bacteria, pollen, germs, and other contaminants. If you’re worried about PM2.5, consider trying out this air purifier. Depending on the overall quality of your indoor air, you’ll see about 6 to 12 months of filter-life.
Does the VEVA 8000 Elite Pro Series air purifier produce ozone? Does it ionize the air? Does it use UV light? The answer is no. Even if you’re asthmatic or live with allergies, this is a safe model for you.
This affordable air purifier offers 3 cleaning fan speeds. It’s surprisingly quiet on low fan speed. On medium, it’s not over-the-top noisy. But it could be quieter.
Here’s a bonus benefit of this cheap air cleaning device. You can alter its design from a tower to a tabletop design. All you’d need to do is remove the base. And if a pet or a child removes the front panel, the machine automatically shuts itself down.
Are the prefilters of the VEVA 8000 Elite Pro Series washable? Yes, you can wash them, but you really don’t need to. Simply replace them plus the HEPA one every 6 to 12 months.
I like that the machine uses VEVA filters. Now, these filters tend to outlast regular filters.
Spaces whose air quality situation you can improve using this air purifier include the bedroom, living room, and office.
Operational Costs for the VEVA 8000 Pro Series
This air purifier uses about 550 kWh per year. So, you’ll spend around $55 on electricity annually if you run the device 24/7.
The replacement filter costs around $38 (as of this writing). The pack consists of 2 HEPA filters and 8 precut prefilters. That means you’ll buy replacement filters only once every 12 months. Evidently, the total annual operation costs amount to about $93.
If your indoor air quality isn’t that bad, though, you’d likely change the filter only once a year. In that case, the costs would come down to roughly $74.
- Affordable air purifier
- Flexible design
- 4 precut prefilters
- Long-lasting filters
- Auto shutoff safety feature
- Uses VEVA prefilters
- Sleep mode
- Not AHAM & Energy Star rated
- Shoots clean air out the back
- No timer
I’d prefer an AHAM-tested budget air purifier any day over one that’s not. But it’s not like this cheap air purifier hasn’t been tested at all. On the contrary, it’s earned ETL and CARB certifications after being subjected to a battered of tests. It’s ships to California, and that says a lot.
While the filters cost about $38, the pack actually contains 2 complete sets of filters. That means one set of filters costs about $19. Looks fair to me. Overall, the VEVA 8000 Pros Series air purifier is a good enough budget air purifier.
3. Levoit LV-H132 Compact Air Purifier Review
Editor’s Rating: (4 / 5)
A Quick Overview
- Dimensions: 8.5″ x 8.5″ x 14.5″
- Weight: 6.39 lbs
- Color: White
- Design: Compact design, cylindrical
- Filter life: 6- 8 months
- Filtration system: 3; 1 HEPA, 1 prefilter, and 1 activated carbon filter
- Coverage area: 129 square feet
- Warranty: 2 years
The Levoit LV-H132 Compact also made it to my list of the best air purifiers under 100 dollars. It’s a small room air purifier with a coverage area of just 129 square feet. The average small bedroom measures roughly 10″ x 10.” This isn’t what you should buy for larger spaces such as your basement or living room.
It features a nice-looking cylindrical compact design. You’d not hesitate to gift someone this air purifier during the coming Christmas holidays.
Using a powerful upgraded motor, the air purifier pulls the air in from all sides (360 degree inlet). But I’d recommend that you allow clearance of at least 15″ all around for maximum effectiveness. Air once cleaned exits the LV-H132 via the top like it does for most Levoits and other air purifiers.
The pleasantly cheap air purifier puts to work 3 different filters, making the air in the room feel clean in no time. You won’t have to check the filters to know whether the thing is working.
The first is the prelim filter (prefilter) designed to handle large indoor air pollution agents such as pet dander and small fibers. The second is the activated carbon filter whose main job is to combat household odors.
With this air purifier, kitchen odors and other household smells should bother you much less. That doesn’t mean you should be smoking cigarettes or marijuana in the house, though.
The HEPA filter focuses on ejecting pet dander, mold spores, dust, pollen, and other allergens from your room. This filter handles a large portion of the work the prefilter left undone.
The controls are on the top of the air purifier, and they comprise of only 4 clearly marked buttons. Not surprisingly, using the machine is crazy easy. I’ve seen air purifiers with complicated control panels where the user watches videos to understand how their thing operates.
It offers 3 speed settings. On high, the loudest the unit gets is 50 decibels. And that’s not insanely loud. In most cases, though, you’ll run the machine on medium, which is much quieter.
The filters last about 6 months max. But if the air quality in a given room needs tons of work, the filter change indicator will light up sooner.
Night Light and Noise Levels
The air purifier also comes with a nightlight. What’s more, you can choose between two light settings. Just place it on your nightstand and crawl into bed. On low, you’ll sleep like a happy toddler. That’s because the loudest noise the air purifier produces at that speed is 25 decibels.
But if the light bothers you, simply turn it off. I’ve seen some air purifiers that have no way to turn off the light and you’ve to cover them with some material.
How Much Does it Cost to Operate the Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier Annually?
Replacement filters come in a $17 pack, consisting of all 3 filters. You’ll most likely do 2 replacements. Which drives the cost to $34 per year.
Assuming you’ll be running your LV-H132 air purifier 24/7, you’ll spend about 245.28 kWh annually. That’s because the device’s rated power is 28W, according to the manufacturer. So, expect your electric bill to increase by about $24.53 per year. I’ve based my calculation on 10 cents per kWh.
The total operational costs, therefore, come to about $58.53. Well, $58.53 isn’t very far from the air purifier’s initial cost. However, the air purifier isn’t obscenely expensive. It costs under $100 as of this post’s date. But the most important reason to buy this budget option isn’t that it can save you a couple bucks. You should only buy it if it helps you improve your indoor air quality noticeably and fast.
*Here’s an article that gives extremely focused attention to ALL Levoit air purifier: Levoit air purifier reviews.
- Great price
- Air enters from all sides
- Quiet on low
- Filter change indicator
- Great-looking contemporary design
- CARB-certified + ETL & FCC certified
- Not AHAM-tested
- No air quality sensor
- Not Energy Star rated
- No Wi-Fi + Alexa capability
- Cleans spaces smaller than 129 square feet
While the air purifier isn’t AHAM-rated, it’s CARB-certified. To me, any device that sails through California’s scrutiny deserves a little praise. California is known for being very particular about what companies can sell within its borders.
Also, this cheap air purifier isn’t Energy Star rated. However, the manufacturer’s website states that the device uses only 28 watts per hour. That’s relatively low consumption, lower than what a laptop typically uses (about 50 watts).
Also, this air purifier comes without an air quality sensor. Plus, it’s not Wi-Fi enabled. However, that may be expected of a device that cheap.
3. Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet Review
Editor’s Rating: (4 / 5)
A Quick Overview
- Dimensions: 11″ x 8″ x 16.5″
- Weight: 6.3 lbs
- Color: Whitish
- Design: Compact, tower
- Filter life: no filter replacement required (for the HEPA filter); 3 months for activated carbon filters
- Filtration system: 3 filters; 1 permanent prefilter, 1 permanent HEPA-grade filter, & 2 replaceable carbon zeolite filters
- Coverage area: 140 sq ft
- Warranty: 1 year
The Hamilton Beach 04384 is probably the best air purifier under 100 out there. But only a careful assessment of its specs and features can reveal the truth.
Hamilton, the Company
But first things first: A bit of Hamilton’s history. When Fredrick J. Osius founded Hamilton Beach in 1910, he’s only thinking of one thing. And that thing was to continually invent useful products that improved people’s lives.
Would you believe Osius actually paid his very first two employees for a right to use their names? Imagine paying someone $1,000 in 1910 just so you could use their name?
These workers were Louis Hamilton and Chester Beach. The founder wasn’t interested in fame or recognition. He just wanted a company that made an impact in people’s lives. He didn’t need to broadcast everywhere that he owned a company. Compare that to some executives today who never cease praising crap.
Today, Hamilton makes everything from juicers, electric knives, pizza makers, toasters, ice cream makers, blenders, air purifiers, and more.
The company has been innovating and solving problems over the past almost 110 years. That equates to tons of accumulated combined experiences. The result is air purifiers and other products that speak volumes. Enough of the history now.
How it Filters Out Pollutants
The Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet air purifier counts on a set of 3 filters to purify the air.
The air purifier doesn’t use one carbon filter like most air purifiers. Instead, it employs two carbon filters that leverage the unit’s Zeolite technology to do the job. It also uses one highly effective HEPA-type filer.
The main role of a carbon filter is to fight off various odors including pet, cooking, and cigarette smoke odors. It’s the air purifier you need if one of your main concerns is pet odors. But that doesn’t mean the device doesn’t remove allergens and other particulates — it does. You’ll certainly feel a difference in your indoor air quality upon introducing the device into your room.
How Effective is this Hamilton?
The HEPA-like filter, on the other hand, bundles out 99.00% of particulates as small as 3 microns. Evidently, this air purifier can’t remove PM2.5. For that reason, it’s not the best air purifier for construction dust. Nor is it the best purifier for exhaust fumes.
Also, it’s not the right device for anyone that suffers from asthma or someone that struggles with allergic reactions. That’s because it doesn’t take out PM2.5. Obviously, that’d be a dealbreaker for an allergy and asthma sufferer.
Does the Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet air purifier use a washable HEPA filter? Yes, it does. You won’t ever need to replace the HEPA-like filter. Methinks that’s an enormous benefit. You can save a small sum over the long term by just choosing this option. If you keep this device for about 3 years, you’d have saved over $100 on filters.
To clean the washable filter of this air purifier, simply vacuum it regularly. Vacuuming the filter once every 6-9 months is recommended. Generally, the more work your Hamilton air purifier does, the higher the vacuuming frequency should be.
The product is a small-room portable air purifier. The device is designed to purify a room not larger than 140 square feet. That sounds like a small bedroom, or the baby’s nursery. For the price, you really can’t complain about it sanitizing only a small area.
It comes with 3 fan speeds. On low, the air purifier is barely audible. That makes it suitable for bedroom, baby nursery, or office use.
There’s a little issue I have with this company, though. While the manufacturer is based out in the U.S., they subcontract production to Chinese companies. One hopes they’re doing a good job over there.
Wouldn’t it be better if those jobs went to those who deserve them most — the American people? I mean, the company sells most of its air purifiers in the U.S. and not in China. But which American company these days isn’t leveraging cheap labor overseas?
Here’s one more aspect about this air purifier you need to know. You can position it either vertically or you can place it horizontally. That design aspect minimizes the issues of where to put the air purifier.
Costs of Running the Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet
Replacement filters for this air purifier are quite affordable. As of this writing, the filter (look for 04234G) costs about $9.80. Since the air purifier isn’t Energy Star rated, I assume it sucks about 550kWh per year, and I have a good reason for that assumption. Now, that translates into about $55.
You’ll replace the activated carbon filters 4 times each year. The annual filter costs would therefore be $39.2. And would bring the total costs to about $94.2. That’s almost two times the cost of the air purifier.
I don’t like that. I was excited when they said that the air purifier uses a washable filter. So, I thought no buying filters ever again! Why not just use replaceable True HEPA filters? I want to like this air purifier, but this little issue would be a dealbreaker for me.
- Permanent and cleanable filters
- Great for pet odors removal
- 3 relatively quiet fan speeds
- Incredibly light (6.3 lbs)
- Machine can be placed either vertically or horizontally
- No certifications seen
- No smart features
- Not CARB-certified
- Prefilters changed about 4 times every year
- HEPA-type filters
This unsurprisingly cheap air purifier works quite well even though it lacks smart features such as Wi-Fi and air quality sensor. Another missing smart feature is prefilter replacement indicator.
However, the user can easily note down the next prefilter replacement date. That seems so 1990s.
What about the little issue of certifications for the Hamilton Beach 04384 TrueAir Compact Pet? Well, the air purifier isn’t AHAM-rated. And that’s not a good thing. However, according to the manufacturer, the claims they make have been verified by a third party. They’ve been confirmed by a company called Sun-Grun Environment Technology Co.
But I’m still concerned that they’ve not handed over this machine over to AHAM and CARB for testing. Aside from that, the air purifier is a great under-$100 indoor air purification solution.
5. 3-in-1 GermGuardian AC4825 Air Purifier Review
Editor’s Rating: (4 / 5)
A Quick Overview
- Dimensions: 9 x 5.5″ x 21.5″
- Weight: 7 lbs
- Color: Black
- Design: Compact, tower
- Filter life: 6-8 months
- Filtration system: 3 filters; 1 HEPA, 1 combined charcoal & prefilter, and UV light
- Coverage area: 167 square feet
- Warranty: 3 years
Featuring a tower design, the 3-in-1 GermGuardian AC4825 is a cheap air purifier that delivers clean air fast and efficiently. It’s Energy Star rated, too. That means its power consumption is quite tolerable. The air purifier consumes about 55W every hour max, and that’s not the highest efficiency I’ve seen.
But I expected a lower consumption given that the air purifier is Energy Star rated. Still, 55W isn’t tons of power. In fact, this air purifier sucks in about as much energy as what a laptop typically does.
How its Filtration Mechanism Works
This air sanitizing device combines three kinds of powerful air filtration systems. The first type is the true HEPA filtration system. In this filtration system, the HEPA filter traps almost every particle whose diameter is 0.3 microns or bigger.
The second level of filtration happens when the machine’s activated carbon pre-filter kicks into gear. The filter helps with common odors including MJ/tobacco smoke, cooking odors, pet odors, and other odors. Activated carbon has been shown to handle smells quite well.
By the way, what filter type does the GermGuardian 3-in-1 AC4825 air purifier use? Search for FLT4825, filter B. It’s available on Amazon as of this writing.
Finally, there’s UV-C light air filtration system. The filtration system/technology works in conjunction with titanium dioxide to eliminate micro-organisms. These include airborne bacteria, mold spores, viruses, and germs.
This super cheap home air purifier is properly sealed so that its UV-C light can’t harm users. But there’s a ribbon of soft blue light near the top of the unit. You can use this as a night light. It won’t prevent you from sleeping, and you can easily turn it off.
Fan Speed and ACH
The machine utilizes 3 fan speeds to help you customize your air filtration experience. The air purifier offers a coverage area of about 167 square feet. What does that mean? It means that the product circulates air 4 times (ACH) per hour in an enclosed space measuring 167 square feet. A person with asthma or someone perennially bothered by allergies would find this device quite useful.
Note that these filters aren’t washable. However, you’ll want to vacuum them every once in a while. Also, you should replace them every 6-8 months — both HEPA and activated filters.
It Pushes Out Ozone
Unfortunately, it produces ozone. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, ozone triggers asthma. It may also irritate the lungs. Even worse, ozone can make the lungs less efficient. Overall, it can make breathing feel like a herculean task.
If you’re oversensitive to ozone, I’d rather you avoid this air purifier.
However, the GermGuardian AC4825 home air purifier is CARB-certified. Only products whose ozone emissions don’t exceed safe levels ever earn this certification. Healthy people shouldn’t get harmed at all by using this portable room air cleaner.
I also appreciate that the air purifier is AHAM-tested and rated. It provides CADR numbers, and that’s a good thing. Generally, the higher the CADR, the faster the unit cleans the air. Its CADR for dust is 118; its CADR for pollen 125, and 108 for smoke. Any air purifier with a CADR above 100 should be a good buy if it’s the right size for your room.
Annual Costs of Operating the GermGuardian 3-in-1 AC4825
This affordable home air purifier expends on average 55 Watts max. Assuming you’ll let it run all day every day, it’ll consume roughly $48.18 annually.
Add to that filter replacement costs of about $56. One pack costs about $28, and I assume you’ll replace the filter twice each year. The total amounts to $104.18. Well, this figure is significantly higher than the device’s initial cost.
But it’s not like these are the most expensive filters out there. $56 seems like a reasonable annual cost for effective air filters like these.
- Energy Star Certified
- AHAM-rated (CADR-rated)
- 3-year warranty
- Filter replacement reminder
- Great at decimating microbes
- Great for odors removal
- A powerful combo filtration system
- UV-C light bulb needs replacement
- May produce ozone
- No smart features
- Draws dirty air in via the back
While it produces some ozone, the device is CARB-certified. That means it’s safe to use in California and indeed everywhere else.
So, what does “it’s CARB-certified” mean? It means that the total ozone concentration pumped out is less than 0.050 parts per million (ppm).
Now, that does offer a bit of peace-of-mind. But if your biggest problem is allergies and asthma, I’d say go for something else. Yes, I know the manufacturer markets this product as a great allergy solution.
My advice is stay away from it if you have sinus issues. However, if you love GermGuardian home air purifiers (most people do), you can still buy it. Why? You can always switch the UV feature off and just enjoy the carbon and True HEPA filtration.
You’ll also have to change the UV light regularly. However, this is something you’ll do after a 12 months.
One more thing: this air purifier draws in air via the back. After cleansing it, it pushes it out via the front. That means you can’t put it just about anywhere. You must allow enough clearance behind it. Maybe you should position it centrally in the room. But that’s not a problem since the unit looks great.
How to Choose the Best Air Purifier Under 100 U.S. Dollars
I’ve already published a comprehensive air purifier buying guide here. But that resource provides general information about buying an air purifier, not necessarily a cheap air cleaning device.
Now, I’ll present 7 important factors to keep in mind when shopping for a low-cost air purifier.
Consider These 7 Things When Buying Your Next Best Air Purifier Under 100 USD
All that pet dander that keeps dancing wickedly in your home annoys you no end. Now, you want to resolve this ever-present problem once for all. But what’s the best air purifier for pet dander or whatever air pollutant you’re trying to eradicate? Here’s how to spot the best room air cleaner for your air quality problem:
1. What Smart Features Does the Air Purifier Have?
Technological advancements happen continually. And manufacturers keep making better and better home air purifiers.
Today, we have air cleaning devices we can actually speak to thanks to their being Alexa-enabled. Also, we no longer need to use a remote control gadget to operate many purifiers. That’s because many devices today are Wi-Fi enabled. You can control them remotely via a mobile app.
Other smart features include filter replacement indicator, air quality sensor, PM2.5 counter, auto shutoff timer and more.
But these smart features come at an additional cost. Generally, the more of these features an air purifier has, the more expensive it tends to be.
Fortunately, these additional features aren’t absolutely necessary. You can, for example, use your air purifier without issues even if it doesn’t have a filter change reminder. All you need to know is how long the filter lasts and calculate the filter replacement date. So, if a low-priced home air purifier offers these smart features, grab it.
2. Coverage Area of the Budget Air Purifier
Regardless how bad the air in your home might be, it’s almost always best to buy an AHAM-tested air purifier. Such air purifiers are CADR rated, meaning they give you an idea of their maximum coverage. They also give you an idea of how fast they are.
If your room’s square footage is 600, you’ll need an air purifier with a CADR rating of about 400.
Ever heard of AHAM’s 2/3 Rule? The rule guides you when choosing a device with the right CADR for your room.
To quickly calculate the CADR you require, simply multiply your room’s size by 1/3. For instance: (600 square feet x 2/3) = 400 CADR.
Where an air purifier provides CADR information, you can easily calculate the max space it can clean. To determine the max area the air purifier you’re looking at can clean, simply multiply its CADR by 3/2. In our example: (400CADR x 3/2) = 600 square feet.
In general, most low-cost air purifiers work best in small rooms. I advise you to ignore what the manufacturer says about a budget device’s cleaning ability. Looking to clean a larger space such as an extra-large living room? Pick a purifier with a higher CADR.
3. Cost of Replacement Filters and Availability
Be extra vigilant when it comes to the issue of filter replacement. Some budget air cleaners use filters whose cost comes close to the machine’s cost. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it’d feel like the filters were unreasonably priced.
Good thing is you can use an air purifier that uses washable filters. However, air purifiers that use replaceable filters tend to do a much better job than those using washable filters or no filters at all. For example, Honeywell Air purifiers are considerably more effective than Airfree air purifiers.
Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy clean air in your home while not forking out for expensive filters every now and then? I’ve seen home air purifiers that need filter replacement every 4 months, and each cartridge cost over $100. That’s $300 every year, and that can buy you a brand new, high-quality True HEPA filter air purifier every year!
Imagine you saved that for five years by choosing a filterless air purifier. You’d accumulate a cool $1,500. Isn’t that amount enough to take you to some amazing destination in a country you’ve never visited? It’d buy you a month or two of real fun in some countryside somewhere in Africa, for example.
This is my adorable wife on a horse sauntering near the famous Thompson Falls in Kenya.
If you buy a home air purifier whose filters cost an arm and a leg, you’ll likely start hating your machine pretty soon. Fortunately, all the air purifiers I’ve reviewed above use reasonably priced replacement filters.
In the end, you must decide what you value more: savings or better filter performance and improved asthma symptoms. But if you’re asthmatic like my SO, Mary, you’ll want to stick to air purifiers that use highly effective filters, preferably True HEPA filters, even if they may be expensive.
Another aspect you must keep in mind before buying this or any other air purifier is filter availability. You’ll want to pick a product whose replacement filters are available on Amazon, the manufacturer’s website, and other places.
While researching for this post, I found that newly released air purifiers may not have replacement filters. But that’s not something to worry about. Manufacturers always avail the replacement filters after some time.
4. Type of Filter(s) the Air Purifier Uses
Understand what type of filtration system the budget air purifier you’re eyeing uses.
Normally, the best air purifiers under 100 USD use True HEPA filters. These filters have been proven to remove air pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. In fact, some HEPA air purifiers can remove even smaller particles, down to 0.01 microns. This article on whether HEPA air purifiers remove PM2.5 explains that in greater detail.
If you’re asthmatic or battle pet allergies everyday, start using an air purifier that leverages the True HEPA filtration system. Please note that this isn’t medical advice by any stretch. For specific advice on how to treat pet allergies or any other kind of related condition, see your pulmonologist or allergist.
It’s also critical to choose a home air purifier that combines activated carbon filtration with True HEPA filtration or HEPA-type filtration. As mentioned several times in this post, activated carbon is a great solution when it comes to combating odors. But using a portable room air cleaner isn’t the only way to eradicate odors. Here’s a detailed article on how to handle basement odors in your home.
The Honeywell HPA100 air purifier is a great small room air purifier that uses True HEPA filters. HEPA-type filters are all right, but they typically don’t filter the air past 2 microns. So, be sure that cheap HEPA-type air purifier you’ve been pondering can actually remove the specific air pollutants adulterating your indoor air.
5. Buy an Energy Star Rated Air Purifier Whenever Possible
According to the EPA, Energy Star Rated devices are huge energy savers. In fact, the EPA says that Energy Star rated appliances save up to 40 percent more energy than regular appliances.
An Energy Star rated budget air purifier will save you tons of energy over the long term. The savings can build up to almost $240 in the long run.
How much energy do you think a typical air purifier (not Energy Star Rated) running 24/7 consumes annually? The EPA tells us that these machines use on average 550 kWh. Assuming your utility company charges 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, you’re looking at $55 annually.
Let’s calculate how much you’d pay if you were using an Energy Star rated air cleaning device. As noted above, such a machine would draw 40 percent of the energy a standard one would. That means it’d suck about 220 kWh per year. At 10 cents, that is about $22. Now compare $22 and $55 — it’s a $33 difference. And that’s a huge difference. So, you want a purifier that doesn’t gobble up energy.
Now, let’s talk about warranty. Most air purifier warranties typically cover manufacturer defects —workmanship. You’ll want to buy an air purifier with as long a warranty as possible.
Most of the home air purifiers I’ve encountered offer no more than a 12-month warranty. But I’ve also seen 3-year warranties and 6-month warranties.
I believe that warranty length correlates with the amount of faith the manufacturer places in their product.
My advice: go for the best air purifier under 100 USD whose warranty is at least 12 months.
I’d be a little wary of any brand that doesn’t provide clear warranty info.
7. Money-back Guarantee
We all love guarantees. We want to be sure we’re not throwing money down the drain. But I keep seeing 30-day money-back guarantees, and I don’t like them at all. Luckily, some companies provide longer warranties. I think the longest air purifier warranty I’ve seen spanned 180 days.
Some companies may pay for return shipping for a defective air purifier while others won’t. With low-cost air purifiers, returning the device may not make much sense if the seller won’t foot the bill. That’s why you want to pick a proven product — a product that’s working for real users. And that’s why I put together the above 5 best air purifiers under 100 reviews.
Best Air Purifiers Under 100 USD that Work: Verdict
So, which among the home air purifiers I’ve showcased here is the best air purifier under $100? I’m persuaded that the Levoit Core 300 is the best under 100 air purifier you can buy for purifying your home today. It’s super quiet on low, and it’s powerful on medium and high. Also, this air purifier is an AHAM-rated, 3-stage True HEPA filter with a high ACH (5). In addition, its CADR ratings for smoke, dust, and pollen are pretty high.
Apart from that, it also features a 360-degree air inlet. Filtered air exits via the top. Meaning you can place it pretty much anywhere you like in your home. It’s light, too, and highly portable.
And unlike some comparable mid-range options, this air purifier offers a filter change indicator and a timer to boot. What’s more, it’s FCC and CARB-certified. Besides, the air purifier is LTE listed and Energy Star rated.
Well, the air purifier doesn’t offer Wi-Fi and air quality sensor. However, these features have nothing to do with an air purifier’s effectiveness. In addition, the timer helps you to automatically shut off the machine after a specified duration. That’s more or less like remote operation.
This is a great air purifier that cleanses the air real fast. Its annual operation costs aren’t the lowest I’ve seen, though. However, the annual costs aren’t considerably different for most good comparable models.
I recently bought this home air purifier, and so far I’m very happy with it. I’ve not seen many complaints online, either. I suppose that’s a pretty clear indication that most people love the Levoit Core 300 air purifier.
Love the Levoit Core 300 air purifier? Check it out on Amazon. And who says you can’t buy other items on Amazon including pink Himalayan salt or even yoga mats?