You don’t have to spend a fortune to get good quality air purification for your home!
If you’re looking for a high-quality air purifier for under $100, you’re in the right place!
In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:
- What are air purifiers under $100? (are they different from expensive purifiers?)
- What are the different types of air filters under $100? (and the surprising variety at this price point!)
- How do air purifiers under $100 work? (these tips will help your search)
- What do you look for in the best air filters under $100? (learn the must-have features!)
And much more!
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
March 21, 2021
Germ Guardian True HEPA Air PurifierCheck on Amazon
We genuinely loved putting this list together!--break--Finding the very best purifier for under $100 was tough, but in the end, the Germ Guardian AC4825 proved to be the best of the bunch.--break--Why? There’s so much to like about this purifier!--break--The tower design makes it easy to fit into the corner of any room, and because it’s so slim, it doesn’t take up much space at all.--break--It’s a strong performer when it comes to capturing the usual household contaminants (pet dander, pollen, hair, dirt, dust, etc.).--break--it features true HEPA filtration, so it protects against up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter – including bacteria and aerosolized viruses.--break--Germ Guardian provides their customers with a responsive US based customer support team, and the peace of mind that comes with a 3 year warranty – definitely impressive at this price point!
Below you’ll find a quick list of our top 5 recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more!
Germ Guardian AC4825
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Pure Enrichment PureZone
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Rigoglioso Air Purifier
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TaoTronics HEPA Air Purifier
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What Are Air Purifiers Under $100 (are they any different than expensive models)?
Air purifiers range from the simple to the complex, but their job remains the same, no matter how much technology they employ – ensure that the air coming out of them is cleaner than the air that went in.
In essence, this means they remove, or attempt to remove, dust, dust mites, dirt, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, viral particles, mold, fungal spores, VOCs, and many other nasty contaminants from the air in the space they operate in.
They can provide a lifeline to people who suffer with allergies or other respiratory issues, and have become a staple appliance in many homes.
As we mentioned, the level of technology varies between makes and models, and with that, the price varies too.
You can spend hundreds of dollars on an air purifier – some go as high as $500 or more!
Will you get all the bells and whistles you’ll find in a $500 model in a $99 model? Of course not.
Generally the higher-end purifiers provide a higher coverage area, multiple built-in filters (such as a pre-filter), and more settings.
Some of the top-end air purifiers can even be wall-mounted, have smartphone apps, and have customizable exteriors.
The good news is that, for the most part, that’s all you’re missing – just the bells and whistles!
You’ll be pleasantly surprised that (if you know what to look for) you can find the same powerful air-cleaning technology in an $85 air purifier that you’ll find in one two or three times the price!
That even includes True HEPA filters – more on that below!
The difference is that the less expensive options generally have smaller coverage areas, fewer settings / features, and come in a more straightforward design.
We’ll help you get the most bang for your buck.
What Are The Different Types Air Purifiers Under $100?
Even with a modest budget of $100, there are still a number of different of air purifier types available, including:
UV light is a fairly generic term, as there are many different wavelengths, and not all can be used in an air purifier. In order to be effective in sanitizing air, the UV light used must be UV-C, the shortest of the wavelengths.
The light is shone upon the filter media, and as the rays encounter pathogens, they break up the DNA bonds within them, causing significant cellular damage, which in essence kills any bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi, and other microorganisms within the air stream.
Check out our comprehensive guide on UV lights!
Activated Charcoal Filtration
To make these filters, carbon undergoes an intense heat treatment cycle, which turns it into an incredibly porous material with a huge surface area. The activated carbon is applied to a filter media, and is sometimes also placed in a box within the air flow in the form of pellets.
As air passes through the activated charcoal media, any contaminants become stuck to the surface of the carbon by process of adsorption. This removes them from the air flow, and assists in the purification of the air passing through. It’s capable of neutralizing VOCs, gas, and chemical odors.
Odor and gas elimination are the bread and butter of activated charcoal filters – if you’re a smoker, or are otherwise mostly worried about smoke-like pollutants, this is the filter for you!
HEPA, or High Efficiency Particulate Air, filtration comes in several different levels.
True HEPA is rated from H11-H12, while medical grade HEPA is H13 and above. The level of filtration you need will depend on several factors, but standard true HEPA is sufficient for most homes.
Unless you’re specifically worried about smoke and the like a HEPA filter is what you really want to be on the lookout for when you’re shopping for an air purifier for under $100.
As long as your purifier has a “HEPA” or “True HEPA” filter, you can be assured the technology it employs is best-in-class.
What you want to look out for – especially in this price range – are purifiers that advertise as “HEPA-like”.
HEPA-like is a marketing term used to distract from the fact that an air purifier doesn’t actually employ True HEPA technology.
HEPA-like models exists at many price points, but they’re especially common in the under-$100 range, and can be especially alluring to consumers trying to be thrifty.
With HEPA filtration, contaminants are removed from the air by sieving, interception, impaction and diffusion.
How do Air Purifiers Under $100 Work?
As we alluded to earlier, by utilizing one, or a combination of the above methods, sub-$100 air purifiers will remove most of the airborne contaminants from the atmosphere in whatever space you choose to set them up in.
There is no such thing as 100% purification, but by choosing the right unit, you can get pretty darn close. For example, a HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns!
This enables them to capture even the tiniest contaminants, giving you clean air to breathe, and relief from symptoms associated with allergens, dirt, dust and other pollutants.
Want to learn more? Take a look at our guide: How Does an Air Purifier Work?
What Do You Look For In The Best Air Purifiers Under $100?
When shopping in this price range, you should be looking mostly at the below features.
You will almost certainly sacrifice some of the “nice to haves”, but by ensuring you choose an air purifier with these attributes, you’ll have made a good choice.
Sub $100 air purifiers are most often small units that are destined for use in a bedroom or office, and those spaces are typically the ones you want the most peace and quiet in.
When running on high settings, inexpensive air purifiers can be quite noisy, and it’s for this reason that you should look for one that is as quiet as possible.
Especially at the lower end of the price bracket, corners can end up being cut, and one area you really don’t want corners cut on is build quality.
Smaller, portable purifiers often end up being handled a lot more that their larger counterparts, and this can take its toll on poorly made devices.
Look for an air purifier that is well made, stable on surfaces, and has tactile buttons.
Optimum Particle Reduction
One of the single most important features of any air purifier, is how well it is able to reduce the number of airborne contaminants in the space it’s operating in. Whether that is dander, dust, pollen, or any other impurity, the higher the percentage of particle removal, the better.
Don’t settle for under 99% of particles greater than 0.3 microns.
Ongoing / Replacement Costs
Air purifiers run fans that push air through tightly woven filters. This can put strain on the fan motor and may require a lot of energy to power.
Energy star certification is definitely something you should look out for to help keep those electricity costs down.
You should also look for a purifier that has replacement filters that are easy to find and inexpensive to purchase, too.
Our Reviews Of The Best Air Purifiers Under $100
Germ Guardian AC4825 (Our Top Pick)Check on Amazon
The number one pick in our list, the Germ Guardian AC4825, offers an excellent blend of blend of performance and value.--break--It features 4 in 1 filtration and purification, and includes a pre filter, activated charcoal filter, a true HEPA filter, and UV-C light for sanitation.--break--This model has a cleaning footprint of up to 167 square feet, and has three different speed settings.--break--It also has the distinction of being AHAM verified – AHAM are a third party body who test products to ensure that their product claims are backed in fact.
- Performs well on smoke smells--break--Quiet fan--break--No ozone
- Prefilter is not washable--break--No designated sleep mode
Pure Enrichment PureZone (High End Pick)Check on Amazon
The Pure Enrichment PureZone comes in right at the top end of the $100 budget, but it offers a lot of functionality for the money.--break--It has a great exterior form factor, and boasts a 3 stage pre filter, HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter setup.--break--This little filter is also readily able to harmful pathogens, too, thanks to the built in UV-C light.--break--It has a number of energy-saving features such as variable fan speed settings and an automatic timer.
- Simple controls--break--Powerful large particle filtration--break--Filter Reset Indicator
- High fan speed setting is loud--break--Filters need replaced more frequently than comparable models
Rigoglioso Air Purifier (Best Budget Pick)Check on Amazon
Our budget choice came from Rigoglioso, and it’s really a great purifier!--break--Boasting true HEPA filtration, you’ll capture 99.97% of all particles greater than 0.3 microns.--break--This purifier has 5 different timer settings, meaning you can simply set it and forget it!--break--This Rigoglioso unit has both a rapid clean mode and a quietKEAP sleep setting, giving you the option of performing a deep clean, or setting your purifier for gentle, relaxing white noise at just 24 dB, and continuous cleaning while you sleep.
- Quiet operation--break--Money back satisfaction guarantee
- Little known brand--break--Overly busy display
TaoTronics HEPA Air PurifierCheck on Amazon
TaoTronics have equipped this purifier with a 3 stage filter that includes HEPA media, activated carbon, and a pre filter.--break--This combination of filtration gets you that all important 99.97% collection of particles greater than 0.3 microns.--break--Because is also features activated carbon within the filter media, it also provides odor neutralization capabilities, too.--break--We loved the way it looks, and we were very impressed with its cleaning capabilities. It has a footprint of 161 square feet, and can clean that area quickly thanks to the turbo speed option.
- Compact design--break--Quiet operation--break--Filter replacement alert
- Nightlight is extremely bright--break--Touch controls can be difficult to use
Levoit LV-H132Check on Amazon
The Levoit LV-H132 offers something that none of the others on test does – Medical grade HEPA filtration.--break--This is a pretty rare find in a purifier under $100, and while it’s most likely surplus to needs for many, it’s definitely a nice feature to have.--break--It performs very well with pet dander, dust, and even smoke and cooking odors thanks to the activated carbon filter element.
- Replacement filters are easy to find--break--Fast room cleaning--break--Appealing Design
- Some users reported “rattling” sound (this usually went away)--break--LED lights are bright at night (can be bothersome for bedroom use)
Final Thoughts On The Best Air Purifiers Under $100
When it comes to air purifiers under $100, you really need to take your time and research.
There’s only so much a manufacturer can do under a certain price point, and when that’s such a low amount, beware of big claims!
Fortunately, we’ve given you a head start on the research with this list of the top air purifiers for less than $100.
While you won’t get an all singing, all dancing machine at this price, it is possible to get a reliable, solid performer that will provide you with clean air in the room you’re occupying.
We hope that this proHVACinfo guide has given you some useful insight into what to look for in a budget air purifier!
More and more so, air purification is becoming a necessity in homes, rather than a luxury, so, if you’re trying to find one for less than $100, the 5 we have listed here today are all great choices.