Last updated on June 7th, 2022
Air purifiers have come a long way from a combination of just a fan and a filter to smart units, automatically detecting air pollution and controlling the air quality indoors. Nowadays they are divided into different categories and the ability to freely move them around is what makes some of them an interesting pick.
Portable air purifiers are the most popular type of air cleaning device and there are reasons for that.
First of all, they do not require any installation or a HVAC technician compared to the whole house air purifiers (e.g. Reme Halo) or ceiling-mounted ones. For example, you can’t install Reme Halo all by yourself – it will void the warranty. Portable air purifiers do not have such problems – they are ready to use in the moment you received a package.
Secondly, there are a lot of them, a lot! Some of them are close to $100, others have a price tag of $1000 or more. Some portable air cleaners better at removing allergens from the air, while others are really good at trapping cigarette smoke and household odors overall. There is an obvious downside to this – it’s too easy to get drowned in the huge variety of available purifiers and end up selecting not the best machine for your needs.
Finally, the majority of them use a combination of filters, including HEPA air filters. They can remove the tiniest particles of 0.3 micron in size with 99.97% efficiency. In addition to that, an air cleaner usually features a pre-filter and Carbon filter.
Now that are more familiar with the topic let’s dive into the best portable air purifiers in 2022.
Air Health Skye: Best Portable Air Purifier in 2022
Air Health Skye is my favorite pick as a portable air purifier in 2022. It features a 5-stage air cleaning system that targets all kinds of airborne pollution, including household smells, dust, bacteria, mold, germs, VOCs and viruses. Its CADR ratings for dust, pollen and smoke have also passed AHAM certification.
Apart from efficient cleaning, this portable cleaner also has a bunch of features many people like. They include Auto mode, speed settings (there are 10!), WiFi connectivity to operate it via a smartphone.
I recommend reading my review of this excellent air purifier – I go into more details about its features and capabilities. In short, strongly recommend getting it for large and medium rooms if you want to breathe clean air. This device does the job 100%.
Winix PlasmaWave 5500-2
Winix PlasmaWave 5500-2 is manufactured in Korea by the Winix company. This company has been present on the market for decades and released a few models that are worth every dollar. The Winix 5500-2 is one of them.
Nowadays this is one of the most used air purifiers in the United States. It’s not as good as the previously mentioned Skye as it lacks some features and is not as good at removing germs, mold and viruses. However, everything else this air purifier removes without a hassle, cleaning the air from fumes, cooking odors, musty smell and so on.
The filters for this model are also cheap yet long-lasting, so maintaining the Winix 5500-2 is a stress-free task.
Coway Airmega AP-1512HH: bath
Coway Airmega AP-1512HH is also called Coway Mighty Air Purifier. It is often compared to the previously reviewed Winix 5500-2 for the same reasons like price, area coverage, reliability. By the way, Coway is also a Korean company and they have been developing and manufacturing air cleaning devices for decades.
The filtration system is identical to the 5500-2 and includes a pre-filter, HEPA filter and Carbon filter with the addition of an ionizer. The latter can be turned off at any time.
I consider the Airmega AP-1512HH the best choice when it comes to cleaning the air from bathroom smells, dust and fumes.
Tracs TM250: American-Made Air Purifier for Smoke, Allergies, Viruses
Tracs TM250 is a USA-manufactured portable air purifier. It results in a higher retail price, yet a 5-year warranty on the whole unit and its long-lasting (up to 5 years!) medical-grade HEPA filter make up for it.
Whether it’s tobacco smoke, a virus, mold spores, any bacteria, dust or any other particulate matter – the Tracs TM250 traps and kills all particles it can reach with its powerful and reliable motor. The machine itself is built to last for years and it features top-notch air filters and UV-C lights for air densification. It has been installed in many medical facilities all across the country.
All in all, if you want to make a worthwhile investment into the air quality you breathe, I cannot stress enough how this machine will change what you considered a truly clean air.
Levoit Core 300s: Smart HEPA WiFi Air Purifier for Small Rooms
When it comes to keeping the air clean in a small room (e.g. bedroom), many people consider Levoit Core 300s as their primary air purifier. I tend to agree with them on this matter.
It has enough power to remove airborne allergens in 200 sq. ft. space, costs a little over $100 and is extremely easy to operate: you can manually configure the air purifier or just select the Auto mode and forget about its existence due to the low noise production (inaudible at the lowest speed). In additions, it’s super convenient to operate it with a smartphone – for that you will have to connect your smartphone to the unit.
Overall, the Levoit Core 300s is a good and affordable portable air purifier that does the job for a fraction of the cost.
Do portable air purifiers really work?
Yes they do. If your air purifier isn’t working there are 2 reasons: it’s simply too bad or you miscalculated the area you want to clean and selected a unit that doesn’t have enough power.
How do they work?
A fan generates an airflow that sucks in air. This air passes through a filtration system, where pollutants are getting trapped by filters or other means. Air that has passed through the cleaning system is clean. Most of the time several cycles of air cleaning have to pass before the air is fully cleaned from the pollution.
Are they effective?
I have been using air purifiers for years now and I assure you, they are effective. However, even I sometimes managed to get a bad unit that doesn’t do anything and is just a waste of money and time. That’s why I have made this list to make sure other people won’t run into such troubles.
You can also take a look at the high-rated CADR air purifiers – I compiled the list of best air purifiers and categorized them by their Clean Air Delivery Ratings.
Do portable air purifiers remove Covid-19?
Studies that prove that with certainty do not exist. However, an air purifier with high quality filters can remove bacteria, germs and viruses to prevent you from getting flu.
Can they remove musty smell?
It does in my case. If you have an extremely large room or a big house in general you have to look carefully whether an air purifier has enough power for the job.