When babies are first born, their lungs are sensitive to everything. Things that many of us don’t notice will cause a baby a deal of discomfort. Smoke and harsh chemicals in the air can give infants unpleasant allergic reactions. That is why it’s important for new parents to keep the air in their home as clean as possible.
We review the best air purifier for babies so you can make an informed decision.
How Can I Clean the Air in My Home?
There are different methods people can use to purify the air in their homes, from a specialized filter for their HVAC unit to an ozone generator for their bedroom. With such a variety to choose from, it’s important to know how they all work in order to pick the one that’s best for you. And with a baby, you need to keep safety in mind.
Air purifiers are suitable for infant rooms, but the type of cleaning technology is incredibly important. For infants with asthma, air purifiers that generate ozone must be avoided, as ozone is a known lung irritant and can cause severe reactions in small children. HEPA filters will trap most of the allergens in your home, but to get rid of smoke, harsh chemicals, and odors in the air, a carbon filter is a smart feature.
If you’re looking for a more holistic route to protecting your children’s health, plants may be the way to go. Plants clean air naturally by absorbing chemicals in the environment and releasing oxygen, through a process called Photosynthesis. With a little bit of TLC, potted plants could help guard your children from pollutants and freshen the look and smell of your home. Be sure when you’re buying a plant, however, that you look for one that is safe in case your child or pet tries to eat it.
What to Look for in an Air Purifier
While plants are naturally good at cleaning the air, air purifiers will do the job better and in half the time. A True HEPA filter will capture up to 99.97% of allergens and contaminants in your home. Activated Carbon filters will have to be changed regularly to remain at peak efficiency, but they are the fastest way to remove odors from a room.
What to Avoid
Make sure to stay away from ozone generators. The EPA recommends that a person is exposed to a maximum of 0.08 parts per million ozone in an eight hour period, and commercially-sold ozone generators can expel an average of 0.3ppm—the equal of a stage one smog alert. When ozone generators promise to “freshen you home”, they mean to do so by releasing a gas into the air in order to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. What this gas does over time, however, is cause corrosion to your lungs and olfactory system. Ionic air cleaners, which work by generating a small electrostatic field in order to trap small particles, also produce ozone as a side effect. Even in such small quantities, an ionic air cleaner is not a good choice for a nursery.
What are the Best Air Purifier for Babies?
When it comes to air purifiers, often the best-known brands are famous for their superior quality. The price tag on a high-end air purifier may seem daunting, but it will cost less in the long run than cold medicine and antihistamines. In this article we’re going to look at Austin Air, Honeywell, and GermGuardian to see how they stack up.
Austin Air HealthMate Jr.
The Austin Air Health Mate Junior is an American-made appliance that boasts a 4-stage filter and Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of over 200 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM/CPM). Austin Air uses Medical-Grade HEPA filters in their devices, and they have a Carbon-Zeolite mix in their carbon filter to more efficiently absorb odors, chemicals, and harsh fumes.
- Area Coverage of 700 sq. ft.
- Carbon-zeolite blend removes odors and eliminates smoke and other lung irritants
- 18 pound frame
- Comes in a variety of colors
- According to some reviews, this product can be noisy
- The motor has been reported as faulty
- Customers have complained of Austin Air’s lack of customer service
Honeywell Compact Air Purifier
The Honeywell Compact Air Purifier is a portable option that is most suitable for small rooms and nurseries. At only one pound, it is the lightest on our list, and it is suitable for tabletop use. It comes with a HEPA-type filter, which can filter up to 99% of mold spores and common allergens, as well as an optional ionizer.
- Area Coverage of up to 85 sq. ft.
- Permanent HEPA-Type filter
- Ionizer to collect more particulates from the air
- Soft nightlight feature.
- Appliance can vibrate enough to move around on its own
- May get loud with repeated wear and tear
- The filter is not a True HEPA filter and will not work as well
The GermGuardian AC5000E is one of the most highly-rated air purifiers on Amazon.com. An activated carbon filter traps smoke and odors while a True HEPA filter captures up to 99.97% of household pollutants, and an ultraviolet light kills bacteria and viruses that may be floating around your home. This particular model is recommended for medium or larger rooms.
- Area Coverage of 193 sq. ft. per hour
- CADR rating of 195+
- 5-year warranty
- Customers complained of a plastic odor coming off of the product
- The units may stop working in a short amount of time
- Constant use will hurt your energy bill