Shopping for an air purifier on a budget? No problem – today, we are going to help you with finding the best air purifier under 100 dollars!
Right now, we will be having a look at 10 affordable purifiers. Our picks are cheap, deliver good value for the money, and offer good performance. To help you choose, we’ll have a deep look into their features. On top of that, we have prepared a buyer’s guide to help you better understand air purifiers.
Table of Contents
Comparison Of Best Air Purifiers Under $100
Below is a comparison table of our 10 picks. We’ll have a deeper look into the shortlisted air purifiers below, but this table should help you determine which one would be the best for you at a glance.
If you are still in doubt, then jump to the next section for our more in-depth overview of the best cheap air purifiers.
Top 10 Rated Air Purifiers Under $100
In this section, we’ll have a deeper look into the specs and features of our top 10 picks. We will list their key features, describe their air filtration systems, and glance over the air purifiers’ advantages and disadvantages.
If something’s unclear to you in the reviews, don’t worry – our buyer’s guide after the reviews will explain which features are important in a budget air purifier.
1. LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier
If you can shop closer to the $100 mark, then the LEVOIT Core 300 air purifier is one of the best options you can find.
- Features a 3-stage filter system with a pre-filter, H13 True HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns, and an activated carbon filter for smoke and odor.
- Replacement toxin absorber filter (for high levels of VOCs, smog, and smoke) and pet allergy filter available.
- Cleans up to 219 square feet 5 times an hour.
- CADR rating of 141 CFM for smoke, 140 CFM for dust, and 145 CFM for pollen.
- 3 fan speeds.
- Noise level of just 24 dB in sleep mode.
- Offers convenient features like filter change indicator, timer, and display lock.
- Approved by CARB, FCC, and ETL.
Related article: Best air purifier for basement
2. Hamilton Beach 04383A Air Purifier
The Hamilton Beach 04383A air purifier is a nice choice for low budgets and those who don’t need out-of-this-world performance.
- Cleans rooms up to 160 square feet.
- The included HEPA-grade filter has been tested to capture 99% of pet dander, dust, dust mites, mold, pollen, and other particles down to 3 microns. This filter isn’t as effective as a True HEPA filter, but for the price, it’s decent.
- Supports aftermarket pre-filters and carbon filters for odor elimination. Out of the box, includes only the HEPA-grade filter.
- Intended to stand upright or be laid on the side.
- 3 fan speed settings.
3. Germ Guardian AC4300BPTCA Air Purifier
Germ Guardian AC4300BPTCA is a great choice if you want great all-around air purification performance. Aside from that, AC4300BPTCA is effective against germs and viruses.
- Cleans the air in up to 153 square feet rooms 4 times an hour.
- CADR rating of 99 for smoke, 116 for pollen, and 107 for dust.
- Boasts a 3-stage air filtration system.
- The first stage features a pre-filter that captures large particles, as well as a charcoal filter to absorb odors.
- The second stage consists of a True HEPA filter that is advertised to filter out up to 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns.
- The third and final stage sports a UV-C light to kill airborne germs and viruses.
- 3 fan speeds.
- Certified by CARB, ENERGY STAR, and AHAM.
- Covered by a 3-year warranty.
4. BISSELL 2780A Air Purifier
The BISSELL 2780A air purifier is a good choice if you want simple filter replacements.
- Cleans spaces up to 150 square feet.
- Features a 3-in-1 air filter that combines a pre-filter for large particles, an activated carbon filter for odors, and a high-efficiency filter that captures 99.7% of particles down to 0.3 microns. The high-efficiency filter is not a HEPA filter, but it still seems pretty effective.
- 3 fan speed settings, a timer feature, and a filter change indicator.
- Noise level of just 30 dB in sleep mode.
5. LEVOIT Core 200S Air Purifier
The LEVOIT Core 200S air purifier is an amazing option if you want a smart air purifier. Core 200S is very convenient and highly functional too.
- May be paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for added convenience.
- Compatible with the VeSync mobile app, which allows you to remotely control the air purifier. Aside from that, the app allows you to easily buy replacement filters.
- Features a 3-stage air filtration system with a nylon pre-filter, a HEPA filter that catches 99.97% of particles sized as small as 0.3 microns, and an activated carbon filter for odors, smoke, or fumes.
- 360-degree air intake for added efficiency.
- Supports custom schedules.
- Has 3 fan speeds, an auto mode, and a display lock.
- Compliant with the requirements of ETL, FCC, and CARB.
- Noise level of just 24 dB in sleep mode.
6. Germ Guardian AC4100 Air Purifier
Germ Guardian AC4100 is a good choice for those who are shopping for a small-room purifier on a low budget.
- Filters air in up to 78 square feet.
- Boasts a 3-stage filtration system with a pre-filter and charcoal filter for odors, a True HEPA filter that captures up to 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns, and a UV-C light to kill airborne pathogens.
- CADR rating of 56 for dust, 76 for pollen, and 50 for smoke.
- 3 fan speed settings.
- Approved by CARB, EPA, and AHAM.
- 1-year warranty.
7. hOmeLabs HEPA Air Purifier
The hOmeLabs HEPA air purifier is a good investment for low budgets and if you don’t need any fancy features.
- Recommended room size of 80 square feet.
- 3-stage filtration system consisting of a pre-filter, a True HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of fine particles in the air, and an activated carbon filter.
- CADR of 38.3 CFM.
- Integrated night light, child lock, and 3 fan speeds.
- Covered by a 2-year warranty.
8. LEVOIT HEPA Air Purifier
The LEVOIT HEPA Air Purifier offers excellent value for the money. It’s inexpensive yet offers good coverage and filtration performance, especially when it comes to odors.
- Best for rooms up to 161 square feet. Advertised to noticeably change the air quality in 30 minutes in a 161 square feet room at the highest fan speed.
- 3-stage filtration system with an activated carbon pre-filter, a Personal HEPA filter that is claimed to remove 99.9% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, and a high-efficiency activated carbon filter for finer pollutants. All in all, this air purifier does a good job of odor removal.
- Noise level of 32 dB at the lowest fan speed.
- 3 fan speed settings.
- Approved by ETL, FCC, and CARB.
- 2-year warranty.
9. AZEUS Air Purifier
The AZEUS air purifier is a nice purchase for big rooms. It’s an all-in-all great air purifier too, but finding replacement filters for it can be difficult.
- Covers up to 376 square feet.
- 3-stage filtration system with a pre-filter, a True HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns, and an activated carbon filter.
- 4 fan speeds with 25 dB sleep mode.
- Timer function and night light.
- Certified by CARB, ETL, FCC, and CE.
10. TaoTronics TT-AP001 HEPA Air Purifier
The TaoTronics is a great bang for the buck and is a good choice if you don’t need fancy features.
- Features 3-stage air filtration – a pre-filter for large particles, a True HEPA filter that catches 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns, and an activated carbon filter for smoke and odors.
- Cleans up to 161 square feet.
- CADR rating of 150 cubic meters/hour.
- Has 4 fan speeds, allowing for greater flexibility in managing power, noise, and performance.
- Noise level of just 25 dB in sleep mode.
- Filter change indicator.
What To Look For In The Best Air Purifier Under 100
When shopping for the best air purifier for smoke under 100 bucks, you need to be ready for compromises. A $100 purifier will never compare to a $200 unit in terms of quality or performance.
However, if you know what to look for, you should be able to invest your hard-earned money efficiently.
To hopefully help you find the best inexpensive air purifier for your needs, let’s now cover a few important features and specs.
Air purifiers usually come with multi-stage filter systems that include filters of several types. The filter type is important because filters are typically designed for a specific air pollutant.
Among the most popular filter types used in air purifiers are:
- HEPA filters: These filters are required by the U.S. Department of Energy to be able to filter out at least 99.97% of 0.3-micron particles. True HEPA filters do meet this spec, but some are way more effective. If you want excellent performance, avoid HEPA-like or HEPA-grade filters – these are less effective than True HEPA filters.
- Ionizers and ozone generators: These filter layers emit ozone (O3) that attaches itself to pollutants like germs or odors, forcing them to fall onto the floor. Though ionizers and ozone generators can be effective, they can be harmful to your health if used for a long time.
- Electrostatic filters: These filters employ electricity to effectively capture small airborne contaminants. But they may produce ozone too, so they aren’t the safest filter type out there.
- UV light bulb: Air purifiers with a UV bulb can be effective against airborne pathogens and microorganisms like mold or viruses.
- Activated carbon filter: These filters are best against odors. Thanks to its porousness, activated carbon effectively traps taste, odor, sediment, and VOCs from water.
As you can see, each filter is best at a specific task, which is why air purifiers usually have more than one filter. Try to understand what your issue is and choose an air purifier accordingly.
Next, check out the coverage of your air purifier. Typically, coverage is measured in square feet.
The air purifier should be able to cover at least the size of your room. To determine how much coverage you need, calculate the area of the room you want to place the air purifier in. For a rectangular room, the area is equal to room width by room length in feet.
Air Changes Per Hour
Coverage is only part of the story – air changes per hour are also important. Your air purifier should deliver at least 2 to 4 air changes per hour, though the more, the better.
Air purifier brands typically list the air changes per hour in their product specs, e.g. 4 air changes in 320 square feet rooms. An air purifier with such air filtration rate would also do 8 air changes per hour in 160 square feet, 16 air changes in 80 square feet, and so on.
If the seller doesn’t list air changes per hour, you could calculate them on your own if you have the air purifier’s CFM (cubic feet per minute). To convert CFM into air changes per hour, here’s what you should do.
Calculate the volume of your room in cubic feet, which for a rectangular room would be width x length x height. Room measurements should be in feet.
Then, plug the volume of the room and the air purifier’s CFM into this formula:
Air Changes Per Hour = (CFM x 60 minutes) / Volume of room
Some brands also list their air purifiers’ CADR ratings, which should also be considered.
The CADR rating depends on the air purifier’s airflow (in CFM) and filter efficiency. An air purifier with a CFM of 200 and filter efficiency of 25% would have CADR or 50.
The CADR rating is usually given for multiple substances, e.g. pollen, germs, or smoke. Each is important and should be considered when shopping.
Energy Efficiency & Fan Speeds
Energy efficiency is also crucial, especially if you are intending to run the air purifier all day long. ENERGY STAR-rated purifiers tend to deliver the best performance at minimum power consumption.
Fan speeds are quite important to consider as well. The more speeds your air purifier has, the more control you will have over its power consumption. If you don’t need your air purifier to work at its max right now, then you could tone the fan down. And if you have more fan settings, you will have more fine-grained control of power vs performance.
Maintenance Costs & Filter Availability
Lastly, pay attention to maintenance. Although some filters may be washable in air purifiers, most need to be replaced.
Before buying an air purifier, make sure that replacement filters for it are readily available. Old air purifiers or no-name air purifiers could have issues with filter availability.
The cost of replacement filters is important as well. Ideally, you would want to pick an air purifier whose filters aren’t too expensive. But if you do find an air purifier with cheap replacement filters, try to determine why the filters are cheap – it may be because of low quality.
When should I change my air purifier filter?
Most air purifiers have filter change indicators in them. Your best bet would be to replace the filter when your air purifier tells you to do so.
How often should I change my air purifier filter?
You should replace your filters once every 3 to 6 months, depending on filter type and how frequently you use your air purifier. The air quality of the existing air in the room will matter too. The more polluted the air, the faster the filters will get clogged.
Some filters are washable too. If your air purifier does have such a filter, then you won’t need to dispose of it after every clogging.
Should you close the windows when using an air purifier?
If you close the window while the air purifier is working, you will prevent new polluted air from entering your home. This could reduce the load on your air purifier and allow you to change filters less frequently.
You may leave the window open as well – the purifier will just filter out the polluted air as it should.
How long does it take an air purifier to clean a room?
This depends on the air purifier and the size of the room. Typically, air purifier sellers indicate in the product description how many times the purifier can clean the air within an hour.
Let’s consider an air purifier that filters a 320 square feet room 4 times in an hour. Such an air purifier would take 15 minutes to clean your room once. But because air purifiers are intended to run continuously, they should be able to clean the air at least 2-4 times per hour.
If you know the CFM of the air purifier, then you could also manually calculate how many times it will change the air in your room.
Is it hard to change an air filter?
No, usually not. Most units are designed to allow for easy access to the air filters. If in doubt, check out your unit’s manual for tips specific to your air purifier model.
We think that all in all, the LEVOIT Core 300 air purifier is the very best on our list. It offers:
Hopefully, our buyer guide helped you find the best air purifier under 100 bucks!
When shopping for an inexpensive air purifier, remember that you may have to make compromises. Try to figure out what is important to you in air purifiers and what is not. Make your decision based on that.