It’s no secret, we think air purifiers help make a huge difference in your quality of life. Especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma. It’s also just nice to breathe clean air. Unfortunately reliable and effective purifiers can be very expensive. Models from companies like Alen, Blue Air, and Rabbit Air are incredibly effective but they are also out of reach for many shoppers. So we decided to do a bit of research and find the best air purifier under 200 dollars. Our goal – cut through the hype and see which ones actually offer some of the benefits available from more expensive units.
Our Best Pick!
Editor’s note: We originally published this article in October of 2015. However, we revisited the best sub $200 purifiers in 2017 and completely revised the original article for accuracy, relevance, and in consideration of new developments in purifier technology.
Why do you need an air purifier?
First off, the air in your home is dirty. According to the EPA it’s probably dirtier than the air outside. Don’t worry it’s not your fault, we’re constantly bombarded with pollutants and once they’re inside it’s difficult to get rid of them. There are a lot of things that you can do to help clean things up, but an air purifier is probably the most passive approach. Air purifiers, without much work on your end, help remove harmful airborne contaminants like pet hair, pollen, pet dander, mold, and some even help with tobacco smoke.
Second, air purifiers, with activated carbon, help fight odors and battle harmful VOCs. Volatile Organic Compounds are almost everywhere, and they’re dangerous. Granted, increased awareness, regulations, and media coverage is helping reduce our exposure, but it’s still not hard to introduce VOCs into your home. From furniture, to building materials, to cleaning supplies a lot of products offgas harmful airborne contaminants. And, a purifier with activated carbon is able to soak up VOCs like a sponge. That miracle material also help keep pet odor, smoke smell, and general household funk under control.
Third… you deserve to breathe the best air possible. There are a lot of things that ruin the air we breathe, and most are out of our control. Fighting global pollution is something you can do at the ballot box, but that is proving increasingly difficult. However, when it comes to the air in your home you can turn that around in short order. Keep things clean, ventilated, and consider an air purifier for everything else; and you’ll enjoy some of the freshest air on the planet.
Our Picks – Best Air Purifier under 200 Dollars
Honeywell 50250-S Air Purifier Review
If you are shopping for an air purifier to clean a small office or medium-sized bedroom, you need to consider the Honeywell 50250-S Air Purifier. It provides true HEPA filtration and a CADR rating of 250. It measures 18 x 18 x 19.6 inches and weighs just 21 pounds. It is designed for spaces up to 390 square feet. And, it features three different speed options and to cycle a room’s air 4.8 times every hour.
Regardless of price point the first thing we look for is a HEPA filter and this machine has one. These filters remove 99.97 percent of typical airborne contaminants as small as 0.3 microns. Pretty impressive, right?It’s even more impressive when you take into consideration that most air purifiers with a true HEPA filter cost well over 200 dollars. And, beyond that this HEPA filter is enormous.
The Honeywell 50250-S also comes with an activated carbon pre-filter. That’s our second favorite feature in any purifier. In the 50250-S the carbon pre filter protects the HEPA filter from getting clogged prematurely. But, since carbon takes care of things too small for even a HEPA filter, it also effectively removes VOCs and household odors. For further discussion, check out the full Honeywell 50250-s review.
- Durable and solid construction
- Effective in eliminating airborne contaminant and household odors
- Ideal for spaces up to 390 feet
- Affordable at only less than $200
- Produces minor noise during operation
This is one of our favorite purifiers, period. It’s a great unit. It has both HEPA filtration and activated carbon. Best of all if you’re already committed to investing $200 on clean air… you can get two of these and still have a few dollars to get yourself a little something extra.
We could go on and on about these machines, but we’ll stop here so this doesn’t turn into another “Why we love GermGuardian” post. If you want more info check out our full 4825 review, or just type “germguardian” in the search box. We’re huge fans and we’ve reviewed most, if not all, of their purifiers.
- Large True Hepa Filter
- Washable pre-filter with Activated Carbon
- Energy Star Appliance
- UV-C Lamp to Kill Bacteria
- UV Lamp to kill Bacteria – Yeah it’s a pro and a con… we just aren’t huge fans of UV-C
- Best suited to smaller rooms
Hamilton Beach 04383A Air Purifier Review
Hamilton Beach is one of the most reputable air purifier manufacturers on the market. Their 04383A True Air Allergen-Reducing Air Cleaner is among the best-selling small air purifiers. And, it great for for people suffering from allergies or asthma. It sports a slim tower design, and cleans rooms measuring up to 160 square feet.
With the unit’s sleek tower-shape design, the Hamilton Beach 04383 looks stylish and elegant compared to other budget friendly models. Another cool feature; you can place the unit anywhere in the room either in a horizontal or upright position.
The 04383A also features a true HEPA filter like our other recommendations. It’s on the smaller end of the spectrum, but it’s still a HEPA. Another great advantage of using a True HEPA filter is that it does not produce ozone which is both irritating and harmful. Keep an eye out for purifiers in this price range, a lot of them use Ozone to produce results on the cheap.
- Looks stylish and elegant
- Great performance
- Simple control
- Quiet operation
- An entry-level machine, so don’t expect high-end machine results, but performs beyond its cheap price tag
We think everyone needs an air purifier. They’re great. But, more importantly we strongly believe that you shouldn’t have to spend a fortune to clean the air in your own home. There are tons of air purifiers readily available on the market, but most do not come cheap. And, a lot of those that are affordable are packed with gimmicks and junk science. That’s why we did the heavy lifting and found you three excellent options. Free of gimmicks and full of value… these are really the best air purifier options under 200 bucks.
For their very affordable price tag, they still perform well and might even exceed expectations of an affordable air purifier. However, if you have more cash to spare, take a look at some of the higher end brands, e.g. under $500, or even over. They’ll provide a ton of performance and dollar for dollar a better value than even the three we’ve shared here. Although that GermGuardian it tough to beat.