Best Air Purifiers Under $100 (2021 Review)

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!

Below you’ll find a quick list of our top 5 recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more!

ImageProduct
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Germ Guardian AC4825
  • Third Party Tested
  • Energy Star Certified
  • Built In UV Sanitizing
  • Third Party Tested
  • Energy Star Certified
  • Built In UV Sanitizing
View on Amazon
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Pure Enrichment PureZone
  • UV Sanitizing Power
  • Energy Efficient
  • Ozone Free
  • UV Sanitizing Power
  • Energy Efficient
  • Ozone Free
View on Amazon
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Rigoglioso Air Purifier
  • Multiple Timer Settings
  • QuietKEAP Techology
  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Multiple Timer Settings
  • QuietKEAP Techology
  • Excellent Customer Service
View on Amazon
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TaoTronics HEPA Air Purifier
  • High-Tech 3-Stage Filtration
  • Quiet Operation
  • Sleek Looks
  • High-Tech 3-Stage Filtration
  • Quiet Operation
  • Sleek Looks
View on Amazon
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Levoit LV-H132
  • Medical Grade Filtration
  • 3 Fan Speeds
  • Filter Change Reminder
  • Medical Grade Filtration
  • 3 Fan Speeds
  • Filter Change Reminder
View on Amazon

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 Lights

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 Filtration

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.

Low Noise

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.

Solid Construction

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

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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.

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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