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Conversations around air pollution are largely centered around the air outside, but what about the air inside? Whether you’re at home, work, or even in transit, there are pollutants hiding in the air that you’re breathing. Everything from dust to pollen to pet dander can have a negative impact on your health over time. While ventilation and wearing masks can help protect you, the best way to keep yourself safe is to remove the pollutants from the air with one of the best personal air purifiers.
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How Do Air Purifiers Work?
Air purifiers can remove contaminants from the air thanks to a circulating fan and filter. The fan pulls in the air in the room and then pushes it through the filter; it’s here where all of the pollutants are trapped before the clean air is pushed back out into the room.
Though they function similarly, all air purifiers aren’t designed the same way. For example, air purifiers with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter help trap pollutants like pollen and mold. There are also air purifiers that use carbon filters, which can remove denser particles from the air, such as smoke or foul odors; other models can even help keep you safe from viruses with the help of UV-C light.
These devices also come in all different shapes and sizes; some are designed to be taller and larger, while others are small enough to fit in a bag or even wear around your neck. Keeping the air in your personal space, whether you’re in the car, at home, or the coffee shop, has never been easier thanks to a group of new portable purifier devices.
Personal Air Purifier Buying Guide
From your purifier’s size to the filter it uses, here’s what to look for when shopping.
Size: Air purifiers come in many different shapes, sizes, and designs, but the best personal air purifiers should be sleek and compact to make taking them with you a breeze.
Filter: Certain filters are designed to combat specific pollutants; at a minimum, you want a device that can handle issues like dust, pollen, and mold.
Interface: While there’s a learning curve with any new device, you want a device that’s relatively straightforward and easy to use, which we considered when choosing this list of the best personal air purifiers.
Maintenance: When it comes to air purifiers, upkeep is important; if you’re not maintaining your device, this could affect its performance, which means it won’t be offering you optimal protection. Make sure to do some research into what your potential device will need regarding filter replacement and cleaning. Overall, most of today’s personal air purifiers come with clear instructions and are easy to use, no matter where you’re using them.
The Best Personal Air Purifiers
With the above criteria in mind, here are our picks for the best personal air purifiers for any situation.
1. Munchkin Portable Air Purifier
Munchkin’s portable air purifier is small enough to keep with you on the go, whether you’re in the car or on your way to work. But don’t let its compact size fool you, as it promises to ward off up to 99.7% of pollutants like allergens, smoke, and mold. It’s design to surround you within a purified bubble of clean air, thanks to its powerful four-stage air filtration system and HEPA filter. There’s also a nifty gas sensor that will automatically trigger the right filtration speed based on the air quality in the room. The built-in rechargeable battery lasts up to 10 hours, while the HEPA filter must be replaced every three months. We recommend purchasing the purifier and three-pack refill so you already have replacement filters on hand.
Munchkin Portable Air Purifier
2. Kaltech MY AIR Personal Air Purifier Pendant
Kaltech’s air purifier offers a whole new level of convenience. This is an air purifier you can wear around your neck. Air purifier necklaces are not just fashion trends though. For starters, it comes equipped with a strong pollen filter that can last up to eight hours. However, it’s the photocatalytic tech that really makes this one stand out among the rest. In short, this air purifier claims to break down odors, harmful substances, and viruses hiding in the air; this is the kind of ally you want as we head into cold and flu season.
Unlike a lot of other air purifiers, you don’t need to buy replacement filters and swap them out. Simply remove the filter from the device and soak it in water. We recommend doing this once every three months. Available in white or black.
Kaltech Personal Air Purifier
3. Westinghouse Portable Air Purifier
Though it might look more like a small bag upon first glance, Westinghouse’s air purifier is every bit as powerful as it is stylish, lasting up to eight hours on a single charge. Patented NCCO tech breaks down pollutants like smoke and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). From there, it converts them into compounds, such as water and carbon dioxide, that won’t pose a threat to your overall health. The HEPA filter, meantime, traps and eliminates bacteria and allergens. Weighing just two pounds, it also comes with a handle that makes it ideal for travel.
4. Potulas Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter
Air pollutants are no match for the three-stage HEPA and high-efficiency activated carbon filters found in this compact air purifier. This mighty gadget can tackle odors and allergens and offers three distinct fan speeds (sleep, medium, and high modes). You can control them all via the intuitive touchscreen display that also sends updates when it’s time to replace the filter.
Potulas Air Purifier
5. Wearable Negative Ion Generator Portable Air Purifier
Unlike the other air purifiers on our list, this wearable air purifier utilizes negative ions to purify the air. These negative ions are continuously released when the device is turned on, and combine with the positively charged pollutants, such as pollen, harmful gases, or pungent odors, essentially neutralizing and eliminating them from the air. This neckband purifier is extremely easy to wear and maintain. It’s made from a a strong silicone, which you can bend and twist without having to worry about it breaking. The one-button control makes it easy to operate, so you’re not left fiddling with different features or consulting the internet for how-to-instructions.
Portable Air Purifier
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