This article of the best air purifiers under $100 will:
- Identify & teach you the THREE key features your budget air purifier should have.
- Review & compare the 5 best air purifiers under $100 available right now.
- Recommend to you the two best picks.
Money is usually a touchy subject for a lot of people. People make different amounts and most people care about where their money is going.
However, there’s one thing we all have in common with money:
Everyone’s looking to save it.
I noticed a good number of air purifiers were coming up at absolutely ridiculous prices.
Seriously, do I look like I need a second mortgage?
That’s why I made this article – the best air purifiers for under $100.
Not only are they budget friendly with their initial price, but these air purifiers also have extremely low annual electricity costs. This was something I was extremely focused on. It might cost you less upfront, but you need to make sure your air purifier won’t be draining your wallet in the long run.
Enough talking about the article though, why don’t you get started reading it! Enjoy!
- Comparison Table of the Best Air Purifiers Under $100
- #1 – Best Air Purifier Under $100 – GermGuardian AC4825
- #2 – Runner-Up – Blue Pure 411
- What Are The Important Features in an Air Purifier?
- #1 – The Best Air Purifier Under $100 – GermGuardian AC4825
- #2 – Blue Pure 411
- #3 – AeraMax 100
- #4 – Hamilton Beach TrueAir
- #5 – GermGuardian AC4100
Comparison Table of the Best Air Purifiers Under $100Click the product name to skip to that review!
|Product Name||GermGuardian AC4825||Blue Pure 411||AeraMax 100||Hamilton Beach TrueAir||GermGuardian AC4100|
|Coverage||167 sq ft.||161 sq ft.||200 sq ft.||160 sq ft.||100 sq ft.|
|CADR||Dust (118), Pollen (125), Smoke (108)||Dust (120), Pollen (120), Smoke (105)||Dust (65), Pollen (75), Smoke (68)||Dust (70), Pollen (70), Smoke (70)||Dust (66), Pollen (76), Smoke (50)|
|Power Consumption||55 W||1.5-10 W||N/A||N/A||27-40 W|
|Dimensions||5.5 x 9 x 21.5 in.||16.7 x 8 x 8 in.||8.5 x 7.2 x 27.2 in.||8.1 x 10.8 x 16.4 in.||7.5 x 6.38 x 10.38 in.|
|Weight||7 lbs.||3.25 lbs.||9.24 lbs.||5.7 lbs.||4.85 lbs.|
|Warranty||3 years||1 year (When you register the product it becomes 2 years)||3 years||1 year||1 year|
In A Rush? No Problem. Here’s Our #1 and #2 Picks.
#1 – Best Air Purifier Under $100 – GermGuardian AC4825
- 3 Stage filtration includes HEPA filter for high-quality air purification and Activated Carbon filter to deal with chemicals and odors.
- UV-C light prevents the growth of bacteria/fungus/mold.
- Fully purifies a room 4x an hour.
- Energy Star certified.
- Replacement Indicator light for both HEPA filter & UV-C light.
#2 – Runner-Up – Blue Pure 411
- 3 stage filtration with HEPA & Activated Carbon filter.
- UV-C light.
- Extremely high CADR for its size.
- Ridiculously low power consumption.
- Energy Star certified.
- Lightweight and easily movable around the house.
- Filter changes are a breeze.
- Simple one button operation.
What Are The Important Features in an Air Purifier?
The thing with air purifiers is that there are so many different brands, models, features, and technology used, it can be really hard to figure out what’s worth your time (and money).
To help you make the best possible air purifier purchase, I’m going to go through some of the most important, KEY features that an air purifier should have in order to do the best job possible. That job being purifying the air in your house of course!
For each feature I list, I’ll explain what it is and why it’s so important to have. To further help you out, for each air purifier I review in this list I’ll be sure to tell you whether or not they have the feature’s I listed here.
First and foremost, a HEPA filter is huge when it comes to air purifiers. The HEPA filter is often a make-or-break part of the buying decision for most people. So what does it do?
To be a certified HEPA filter by the Department of Energy, the filter must capture airborne particles as small as 0.03 microns with a 99.97% efficiency rating. That can be pretty confusing to understand though. (What’s a micron for starters?)
Put simply, a HEPA certified filters are the most efficient filtration standard out there right now. To give an idea of just how efficient a HEPA filter is let’s compare it to allergens in your house.
The average dust mite (which is the most found allergen in a household) measures in at about 1 micron. Bacteria, mold spores, and pollen measure even larger than dust mites. Now compare that to HEPA filter standards – capturing particles as small as 0.03 microns with 99.97% efficiency.
To be frank, these particles don’t stand a chance. If HEPA filters can capture particles that small with 99.97% efficiency, picking up particles 33 times that will be a walk in the park for them.
If the explanation of what it is didn’t tell you why it’s important to have, I’ll just state it plainly now. HEPA filters do THE BEST JOB at capturing harmful airborne particles out of all the filters available right now. It’s not necessarily mandatory that the air purifier you buy has one, but it’s definitely a good idea to have one.
HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: Every air purifier that’s been recommended on this list has a HEPA filter already equipped. So there’s no need for you to worry about this when you’re reading through! 🙂
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR for short)
The CADR is an excellent, easy to compare, unit of measurement that tells you how effective your air purifier is at filtering 3 commonly found particles: Smoke, Pollen, & Dust.
The explanation for this measurement is easy: the higher the CADR number is for the particle listed, the more particles it removed per cubic foot of air in one minute. Even easier than that: the higher the CADR, the better it is at removing that particle.
High CADR = Good. Low CADR = Bad. To help you judge what a good CADR is, I’d say a very high-quality air purifier has a CADR of about 100 for each of the 3 particles. (Smoke, pollen, and dust.)
Technically, air purifiers don’t have CADRs, they’re just measured in them. The reason CADR is important is that it gives the person looking to buy an air purifier (aka You) an easy way to compare them to each other.
To help you out, I’ve listed the CADRs of each air purifier in bold right under their product name!
Area of Coverage
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. How much space does your air purifier cover? Air purifier’s coverage area is usually measured in square feet.
It’s important to mention that this specification comes down to your situation. Some air purifiers might be great but only cover 100 square feet (the size of an average bedroom). That’s great if you need an air purifier for your bedroom! But, if you need something for your living room, you’ll probably want something that covers up to 500 square feet. (If you need help figuring out where to place your air purifier, you might want to take a look at this post.)
It doesn’t have to be an exact fit. Just make sure to get something that works best for your living situation so you can breathe easy! 🙂
This one is definitely important considering this is a list for the best air purifiers under $100. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re looking for something that won’t empty your wallet when you buy it.
Well, what about when you use it too?
This is where the energy efficiency of your air purifier comes in to play. Nobody likes spending their hard-earned money paying bills, which is why we need to make sure your air purifier isn’t running up your power bill every month.
Just like with a lot of other household electronics, you can look for the Energy Star certification to ensure that the air purifier you’re looking at uses its power efficiently. To help you out, if the air purifier is Energy Star certified, you’ll see this image (on the right) somewhere inside the review! Be on the lookout!
While some air purifiers may not be certified, generally if an air purifier uses less than 100 W of power, it’s pretty good.
As I stated earlier, this specification is important because we don’t want to be spending an arm and a leg on our power bill to keep us breathing healthy air!
Now that we’ve gone through and defined some of the most important buying criteria, you can start taking a look at some of the best air purifiers under $100!
#1 – The Best Air Purifier Under $100 – GermGuardian AC4825
Coverage: 167 sq ft.
CADR: Dust (118), Pollen (125), Smoke (108)
Power Consumption: 55 W
Dimensions: 5.5 x 9 x 21.5 in.
Weight: 7 lbs.
Warranty: 3 years
Sitting #1 on this list of best air purifiers under $100 is no doubt the GermGuardian AC4825. The features & efficiency you get from this air purifier for the price makes it pretty hard to beat.
3 Stage Filtration & UV-C Light
It’s got a 3 stage filtration system that includes the all-important HEPA filter we learned about earlier. Included in this filtration system is an activated carbon filter that’ll deal with household chemicals and odors so you don’t have to! This GermGuardian also contains a UV-C light that destroys and prevents the growth of bacterias, fungi, and mold in the area around your air purifier.
Conveniently, there’s a built-in indicator light that will blink to tell you when the HEPA filter or UV-C light needs replacing. A feature that’ll help you know more about your air purifier, and keep it running at peak efficiency.
Quick to Clean
This air purifier has 3 different fan speeds, giving you the option of picking what you need, every time you need it.
Did I mention it’s really fast at what it does?
The AC4825 can fully purify the air in a room 4 times in a SINGLE HOUR. You’ll be hard pressed to find another air purifier that works at a rate like that. (The only other one is at #3 – Blue Pure 411.)
To top off this 22-inch air purifier, it’s Energy Star certified.
It’s got all the key features we discussed earlier! It’s pretty clear why this air purifier was given the #1 spot for best air purifier under $100.
How Often Should I Replace My GermGuardian AC4825 Filters?
For the GermGuardian AC4825, there’s an average window of usage where you’ll typically find your filters will need replacement. They are as follows:
- HEPA filter: 6-9 months
- Activated Carbon filter: 6-9 months
- UV-C light: 6-12 months
Of course, these dates aren’t set in stone. They vary based on how often you use your air purifier. The best way to find out when your filters need replacing is to keep an eye on the filter/UV-C life indicator light. That will give you the best idea of when it’s time to change it. The timeline I’ve given is just a suggestion based on the average!
Pros & Cons
|- UV-C light destroys and prevents growth of germs/bacteria/mold|
- Purifies a room 4x every hour
- Filter & UV-C life indicator helps you know when it's time for a change
- Easy to use
- Energy Star certified
|- Doesn't provide air quality readings |
- Can't be moved around the house easily
#2 – Blue Pure 411
Coverage: 161 sq ft.
CADR: Dust (120), Pollen (120), Smoke (105)
Power Consumption: 1.5 – 10 W (Based on operating speed)
Dimensions: 16.7 x 8 x 8 in.
Weight: 3.25 lbs.
Warranty: 1-year default. If registered on Blueair within 60 days of purchase it becomes 2 years!
The Blue Pure 411 is a more recently released air purifier that’s surprised a lot of people by how good it truly is.
As you can see by its CADR score, the Blue Pure 411 delivers the 2nd highest CADR from this whole list. It does come with a HEPA filter and an Activated Carbon filter to ensure top quality air purification and odor elimination.
But what makes this air purifier so great isn’t just the filtration system.
This air purifier is honestly so excellent it was really hard to not give it the #1 title of the best air purifier under $100.
The power consumption of this unit is so extremely low, even at its highest operating level. To give you an idea of just how little power this air purifier uses, a fluorescent lightbulb uses more! Seriously, you will not notice a bump in your electricity bill one bit. You probably guessed it already after reading this but yes, this air purifier is Energy Star certified.
Quiet as a Mouse
Not only will you not notice the Blue Pure 411 on your electricity bill, but you also won’t even notice it in your room. The noise level for this air purifier is quite low. On its lowest setting (17 dB), it’s just a little quieter than the rustling of leaves. (Which is already pretty quiet, to begin with.) On the highest setting (46 dB) it’s just a little bit louder than a library, so not loud at all!
Bring it With You Wherever
A big plus with the Blue Pure 411 is how small and lightweight it is. At just a little over 3 pounds, your water bottle might weigh more!
So what’s so great about it being this small?
I’m glad you asked! Since it’s so small, you can easily bring it to whatever room you feel needs purifying. Did I mention that it’s able to fully purify rooms 5 times in an hour?! (You can see why it almost beat out the GermGuardian AC4825.)
Easy to Use & Change
This air purifier seems almost perfect, and it gets just a little bit better. With the 411, operating it is easy. There’s only one button to press and all it does is turn the air purifier On/Off.
Filter replacement with the 411 is quite simple as well. To change the Blue Pure 411 filter, simply unscrew the top and pull the filter out. Then, proceed to slide in your replacement filter! If you’re not sure when it’s time to change the filter, the On/Off button doubles down as a filter life indicator. It will have a red backlight to it, this will let you know when it’s time for a change!
Pros & Cons
|- Super quiet|
- Excellent CADR
- Purifies a room 5x in an hour
- Easily movable around the house
- One button operation
- Energy Star certified
|- Can't provide air quality readings|
#3 – AeraMax 100
Coverage: 200 sq ft.
CADR: Dust (65), Pollen (75), Smoke (68)
Power Consumption: N/A
Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.2 x 27.2 in.
Weight: 9.24 lbs.
Warranty: 3 years
The AeraMax 100 has the most efficient filtration system out of all the air purifiers on this list of best air purifiers under $100. Using a 4 stage filtration system that includes:
- Washable Pre-filter
- HEPA filter
- Activated Carbon filter
- Negative Ionizer
Anti-Microbial Spray = Germ Protection & Prevention
Each of these filters is coated with an antimicrobial spray. This antimicrobial spray treatment on the filters goes a long way with this air purifier. This spray treatment helps prevent the spread and growth of germs, viruses, and mold on the filter. This ensures that the filter will never be contaminated and it will never get into the air you breathe.
If you’re unfamiliar with negative ionizers, what they do is release negative ions into the air to bind to particles, making them heavier and causing them to break down easily and fall to the ground. Once there, all you need to do is vacuum them up! Isn’t that easy?
Smart Sensor + Auto-Mode = Cruise Control
A feature that only the AeraMax has on this list is its auto-mode. When placed on auto-mode the AeraMax 100 does something that will make your life much easier.
The AeraMax 100 has a built-in Smart Sensor that when used in combination with auto-mode will basically put this air purifier into cruise control for you. It’ll take care of all the work for you.
Using the SmartSensor, it will provide air quality readings of the surrounding air and adjust the fan speed accordingly. This way it’ll work hard to clean the air when it’s needed, but won’t work hard when there’s no need! This’ll help you in two ways:
- Since it won’t be running on whatever speed you last set it to, it’ll save you money by staying on a low setting most of the time.
- It’ll save you time because you won’t constantly have to be near it changing the setting to whatever the SmartSensor recommends!
If this Smart Sensor & Auto-mode wasn’t enough for you, the AeraMax 100 has a filter life indicator as well. This’ll let you know when it’s time to change out the HEPA filter!
Pros & Cons
|- Antimicrobial spray treatment prevents the growth & spread of germs/bacteria/mold|
- Auto-mode and Smart Sensor make using this a breeze
- Negative ionizer for extra pollutant removal
- Biggest area of coverage on this list
|- Not Energy Star certified|
#4 – Hamilton Beach TrueAir
Coverage: 160 sq ft.
CADR: Based on an estimate from TechGearLab, (70) in all categories.
Power Consumption: N/A
Dimensions: 8.1 x 10.8 x 16.4 in.
Weight: 5.7 lbs.
Warranty: 1 year
The TrueAir by Hamilton Beach made this list not only because of its excellent air purification capabilities but because it offers something that no other air purifier on this list can: a permanent, reusable, and cleanable HEPA filter.
All you need to do is take out the HEPA filter, thoroughly vacuum it, pop it right back in and BAM, good as new! This is extremely budget-friendly because the HEPA filter for an air purifier is often the most expensive replacement.
In addition to the permanent HEPA filter, there are also TWO Activated Carbon filters. You read that right. Two. Both of these carbon filters have zeolite inside them to help trap & absorb odors while they travel through the filter. If you’ve never heard of zeolite it’s a completely natural volcanic mineral, if you’d like to read more about it you can do so here.
Whatever Fits You Best
A nifty little thing about the TrueAir is that it can be set up to stand vertically, or lay down horizontally, while still maintaining full function! The picture on the right shows exactly what I’m talking about.
This is super useful because it can be hard to find the best spot to put your air purifier. Not every spot works, or will even fit an air purifier! The TrueAir helps you out by giving you an option, making it just a little more accessible. It’s nothing crazy, but it’s nice to know Hamilton Beach is thinking of their customers!
Lastly, the TrueAir is a very quiet air purifier. It’ll never disturb your sleep, and you’ll never have to raise your voice to have a conversation.
Pros & Cons
|- Permanent HEPA filter saves you tons of $$$!|
- TWO Carbon filters for double the odor elimination
- Can stand vertically or lay horizontally to fit your situation
|- Not Energy Star certified|
#5 – GermGuardian AC4100
Coverage: 100 sq ft.
CADR: Dust (66), Pollen (76), Smoke (50)
Power Consumption: 27 – 40 W
Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.38 x 10.38 in.
Weight: 4.85 lbs.
Warranty: 1 year
5th on the list is another air purifier from GermGuardian! This isn’t a coincidence, they make great air purifiers. This time it’s the AC4100 instead of the AC4825 which we gave the #1 spot. Don’t worry, there’s still a good reason this makes the list.
You get all of the same features as the AC4825 at a much smaller size.
You’ll still have the HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter, UV-C light, 3-speed fan, and the filter replacement indicator.
The AC4100 is half the height of the AC4825 and 1/3rd lighter. This makes it much easier to move around the house.
There are some drawbacks of the AC4100 being half the size though.
The coverage of the AC4100 is only 100 square feet compared to the AC4825 covering 167 square feet. The AC4100 also has approximately half the filter efficiency when comparing the CADR. Lastly, the AC4100 is not Energy Star certified compared to its big brother the AC4825.
The main selling point of the AC4100 is that it’s much smaller than the AC4825. If you’re tight on space and can’t have something as big as the AC4825 in your living area I’d recommend picking up the AC4825. The coverage area is smaller for this air purifier but if you’re tight on space you probably don’t mind losing the extra square feet coverage.
Pros & Cons
|- All the same features as the #1 ranked AC4825|
- Easy to move around the house because of size
- Easy to use
|- Not Energy Star certified |
- Very small coverage area
- Can be fairly noisy