We all like to save money when we can, particularly when it comes to buying an air purifier.  With air purifiers becoming ever more popular, people are now on the lookout for models that balance the budget with features. Luckily, there are air purifiers out there that cost less than $100 and are just as effective as most air purifiers twice the price.

You might have to forgo a few advanced features and settle for a little less room coverage when you purchase a cheaper air purifier, but you can still get a high-quality model that can clean the air at home. In this guide, we’ll examine the best air purifiers that you can get under $100 and highlight the key features of each so that you can make an informed decision when making your budget-friendly air purifier purchase.

  • Ultra-quiet Operation
  • UV-C Technology
  • 3 Fan Speeds
  • 3-year Warranty

  • 3 Ultra Quiet Speed Settings
  • Replacement Filter Indicator
  • HEPA Filter
  • On/Off UV-C Controls
  • 1-year Limited Warranty

  • Touch Screen Panel
  • Air Quality Indicator
  • Filter Indicator
  • PlasmaTRUE Technology
  • 3-year Warranty

  • 3-stage Filtration
  • 3 Fan Speeds
  • Night Light Function
  • Filter Indicator
  • 2-year Warranty

The GermGuardian AC4825 is a budget-friendly tower-style air purifier that uses a 3-stage filtration system comprised of a carbon pre-filter, True HEPA filter, and a UV-C light that fights disease-causing bacteria and viruses. It is best used in small rooms up to 155 sq.ft in size and is popular for its ability to filter out household odors and harmful volatile organic compounds.

If you’ve been doing your research into affordable air purifiers, you’ll have already discovered this GermGuardian, especially on Amazon, where it sells in the thousands.

And you definitely will have noticed the fantastic price. Not bad for an air purifier that is capable of removing smoke, pet dander, light odors, mold, dust mites, and viruses from the air in your home. This thing is quiet too, making night time running possible without disturbance, and it’s also star energy rated, so it’s efficient too.

Despite the advantages of this model, you will miss out on several features that other more expensive air purifiers typically have. For example, the AC4825 doesn’t have an air quality indicator and filter change indicator which most higher end air purifiers. While this doesn’t affect its performance, features like these provide essential information to the user that makes it easier to use and maintain.

Also, aside from the 3 fan speeds that it has, there are no other modes to choose from, and the AC4825’s replacement filters are relatively expensive, with yearly replacement costs almost adding up to a brand new unit. Overall, though, the AC4825 is a reliable, high-quality air purifier that works just fine even without any of the fancy features that air purifiers twice its price have.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Sleek and lightweight
  • Quiet
  • Energy efficient
  • 3-stage filtration
  • Ideal for rooms up to 155 sq.ft

Cons

  • No air quality indicator
  • No filter change indicator
  • No smart modes. The fan speed doesn’t adjust automatically
  • Moderately expensive filter replacement costs

This is the second GermGuardian to make the list, and while it is a little less popular than the AC4825, is still one of the best air purifiers you can get for less than $100. It has a solid rating on Amazon and a loyal following too. This GermGuardian is one air purifier that deserves your attention.

What’s interesting about this model of air purifier is that it has an on/off control for the UV-C light. It’s also compact, making it ideal for rooms no larger than 78 sq.ft, like the office, and just because it’s small don’t think it’s not effective. This model will be able to take care of anything from pet hair to common allergens and viruses, extracting 99.97 percent of bacteria from the air.

Aside from its HEPA  filter system, this GermGuardian also has a few more desirable features than the AC4825: it has a filter change indicator for easier maintenance and 3 fan speeds ranging from quiet to ultra-quiet. What it doesn’t have, however, is an air quality indicator or any smart modes.

Unfortunately, this GermGuardian loses out on the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings, too. While the AC4825 has a CADR rating of 100, the model only ranks at 76. For the price though, it is more than capable of taking care of common household air pollutants. It’s quiet, affordable, reliable, and looks good doing its job – what more can you ask for?

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple design and lightweight
  • Quiet
  • Ideal for rooms up to 78 sq.ft
  • Filter change indicator

Cons

  • No air quality indicator
  • No smart modes. The fan speed doesn’t adjust automatically
  • Low CADR rating of 76

The AeraMax 100 is another budget-friendly air purifier that packs quite a punch. It features a 4-stage air purification system which includes a carbon filter, True HEPA filter with AeraSafe Antimicrobial Treatment, and an ionizer that uses PlasmaTRUE Technology. This small but very effective air purifier is capable of removing common household odors, allergens, and even germs.

The Aeramax 100 is a beautifully-designed air purifier with a sleek appearance that would fit perfectly with any room decor. What’s great about the AeraMax 100 is that it is certified asthma and allergy-friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America so you know you can rely on this unit to do an effective job.

The AeraMax 100 also has a lot of desirable features that most air purifiers within its price range don’t have. It has an air quality indicator, filter change indicator, and an Aera+ Mode that is specifically designed to remove allergens and viruses.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides to the Aeramax 100 is that it has a relatively small room coverage. To be effective at removing allergens, the AeraMax should be placed in a room no larger than 100 sq. ft. in size. If you want cleaner air and aren’t too troubled by the efficiency of the purifier, then it can be set in a room up to 200 sq. ft. in size for general air cleaning. In addition, the Aeramax 100 also has a relatively low CADR ratings compared to the other air purifiers on this list.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • For the best filtration, place in rooms up to 100 sq.ft
  • Air quality indicator
  • Certified Asthma and allergy friendly
  • 4-stage filtration
  • Filter change indicator

Cons

  • Small room coverage
  • Low CADR rating compared to other purifiers in its class

The Levoit LV-H132 is another high-quality air purifier you can purchase for less than $100. Like the AC4825, it is also incredibly popular on Amazon with thousands of reviews and a solid rating. If you’re wondering what all the hype is about, then read on to know more about what makes the LV-H132 so great.

The LV-H132 is what you would consider a compact air purifier due to its small size. It’s small enough to be placed on your bedside table, shelf, or desktop without taking up too much space. For such a small device, you’ll be surprised to know that it has an impressive 3-stage air purification system inside it which makes use of a pre-filter, True HEPA filter, and carbon filter.

Another thing that’s great about the LV-H132 is that its replacement filters are relatively cheap. You can count on this little device to effectively remove allergens and odors from your home. Also, it has a filter indicator and an ambient blue light function for a pleasant user experience.

Unfortunately, like other air purifiers on this list, it doesn’t have an air quality indicator and doesn’t have any smart modes to choose from. However, the most significant disadvantage for the LV-H132 is its minimal room coverage. Rated at only 86 sq. ft., it is only capable of cleansing the air in small spaces like single bedrooms. Also, its warranty is relatively short, lasting only 2 years.

Overall, the LV-H132 is a handy device, perfect for anyone who is just looking to cover a small area. It doesn’t take up too much space, it’s energy efficient, and does its job quietly and effectively.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Energy efficient
  • Quiet
  • Easy to maintain
  • Affordable replacement filters
  • 3-stage filtration

Cons

  • Small room coverage; suitable for rooms up to 86 sq.ft
  • No air quality indicator
  • No smart modes. The fan doesn’t adjust speed automatically
  • Only has a 2-year warranty

Comparison Chart

FEATURESGermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Purifier GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1 AeraMax 100 Air PurifierLevoit LV-H132 Air Purifier
TypeTower, plug-inTower, plug-inTower, plug-inCompact, plug-in
Size7 x 10.2 x 21.57.5 x 6.4 x 10.48.5 x 7.2 x 27.28.5 x 8.5 x 14.5
Weight7 lbs6 lbs9.24 lbs6.5 lbs
Filters/
Technology
Carbon Pre + HEPA + UVPre + Carbon + HEPA + UVCarbon Pre + HEPA + Antimicrobial Treatment + IonizerPre + HEPA + Carbon
Room Coverage 155 sq. ft.78 sq. ft.100-200 sq. ft.86 sq. ft.
CADR RatingsDust: 131
Pollen: 123
Smoke: 112
Dust: 66
Pollen: 76
Smoke: 50
Dust: 65
Pollen: 75
Smoke: 68
Dust: 110
Pollen: 110
Smoke: 110

 

FeaturesGermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Purifier
TypeTower, plug-in
Size7 x 10.2 x 21.5
Weight7 lbs
Filters/
Technology
Carbon Pre + HEPA + UV
Room Coverage78 sq. ft.
CADR RatingsDust: 66
Pollen: 76
Smoke: 50
FeaturesGermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1
TypeTower, plug-in
Size7.5 x 6.4 x 10.4
Weight6 lbs
Filters/
Technology
Pre + Carbon + HEPA + UV
Room Coverage155 sq. ft.
CADR RatingsDust: 131
Pollen: 123
Smoke: 112
FeaturesAeraMax 100 Air Purifier
TypeTower, plug-in
Size8.5 x 7.2 x 27.2
Weight9.24 lbs
Filters/
Technology
Carbon Pre + HEPA + Antimicrobial Treatment + Ionizer
Room Coverage100-200 sq. ft.
CADR RatingsDust: 65
Pollen: 75
Smoke: 68
FeaturesLevoit LV-H132 Air Purifier
TypeCompact, plug-in
Size8.5 x 8.5 x 14.5
Weight6.5 lbs
Filters/
Technology
Pre + HEPA + Carbon
Room Coverage86 sq. ft.
CADR RatingsDust: 110
Pollen: 110
Smoke: 110

Affordable Air Purifiers under $100 Buyers Guide


True HEPA explained

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air and has become the generic industry name for filters that meet the standard of trapping 99.97 percent of particulates to a size of 3 microns. The reason why they are now referred to as True HEPA, is because there are HEPA-style filters available, but they don’t meet the same standards and only trap 99 percent of particulates. It’s fair to say that even 99 percent is still a good standard of filter, but if you want the best performance, look out for True HEPA filters.

Portable air purifiers explained

Portable air purifiers are great if you want to purify the air in a particular room, especially at night, when you are more likely to suffer allergies and pollutants in the atmosphere. A central purifier will be as effective and cover the entire house, but they are expensive to install and run. The advantage of an affordable, and portable air purifier means that you can have clean air for a fraction of the cost, and it can be moved from room to room. So they’re cheaper and efficient too.

Who would benefit from an air purifier?

You’d be amazed how many people would benefit from cleaner air. If you live in the city, pollutants are everywhere; exhaust fumes, smoke from fires, cigarette fumes, the list is endless. Having an affordable air purifier  in your home will filter out smoke, odors, fumes, and particles that would otherwise be harmful to you and your family.

But it isn’t just the city-dwellers that would benefit; if you live in the countryside, pollen, and other pollutants can aggravate allergies such as hay fever. Again, having an air purifier stops these particles from spreading.

It may be that you have an elderly relative with a fragile immune system or a young child that you want to protect. However you look at it, air purifiers work. And remember, everyone has the right to clean air.

The pros and cons of an air purifier

There are many ways that having an affordable air purifier in your home will benefit you, but here are some key characteristics:

Cheap to run – There is no getting away from the fact that most air purifiers are extremely energy efficient. It means that you can leave them running through the night and not worry about mounting electricity bills.

Cheap to buy – For less than $100, you can have clean air that’s free from harmful pollutants.

Convenient – Rather than go to the expense of fitting a central system, a cheaper, portable air purifier can be easily moved from room to room and placed where it is needed.

What are the disadvantages?

Replacement filters – These replacement filters can be expensive to replace, especially when you work out the cost over the lifetime of the air purifier. Remember to factor in this cost when buying the purifier.

Less effective – Because you have to carry the purifier from room to room, it will be less effective when compared to a central system. It also means that if you want more than one room filtered, then the cost of a second unit will have to be factored in.

They can be noisy –  Another thing to think about is the noise these purifiers make. You can buy quiet models, so make sure you do your research before committing to purchase. This is important, especially if you plan  to use the air purifier at night.

ProsCons
Affordable Air Purifiers
  • Cheap to run
  • Replacement filters
  • Cheap to buy
  • Less effective
  • Convenient
  • They can be noisy

Other things to consider

If you only want one room purified, an affordable air purifier would be perfect. However, if you find that you want several rooms cleansed of particulates, then it might be worth investing in a more extensive system to cover the entire house.

If you start buying multiple portable purifiers, it may not be cost effective, especially when you factor in the cost of all those replacement filters. The other consideration is that fact that you will have to cart the purifier with you when you change rooms, and one air purifier constantly running may be cost-effective, but if you multiply that by two, or three, you will find that your energy consumption rises at a rate that doesn’t make them cost-effective any more.

FAQ

Are washable filters better than replacement filters?

Washable filters are more cost-effective when you compare them to replacement filters, but washable filters can lose efficiency over time. They are usually cleaned by vacuuming them, so this may leave dirt and debris behind, clogging the filter.

There’s also the question of waste; do you throw replacement filters in the trash, to end up in the landfill? Because if you are environmentally conscious, then the washable filters would be a better option.

Does an affordable air purifier work to reduce pet allergies?

Absolutely! While you can buy air purifiers specifically for pet allergies  – any air purifier will help with this. An air purifier will remove the pollutants from the air, leaving you with breathable, clean air. It’s great for asthma sufferers and people with emphysema.

If I use my purifier in a room larger than the recommended size, will it still work?

It will still work, but it will reduce the effectiveness of the purifier. As a rule of thumb, if the manufacturer states that it should be used in a room no larger than 100 sq.ft, and you place it is a room twice that size, then the unit will be half as capable, but you will still get cleaner air than you had before.

Final Thoughts

When purchasing an air purifier, going for the cheaper one isn’t always the best idea. You’re either missing out on more room coverage, more features, or more cleaning power. Despite these potential disadvantages, cheap, high-quality air purifiers do exist!

In this list, we explored four different air purifiers that can be purchased at less than $100. While all of them are great in their own way, we’ve decided that the best air purifier under $100 would have to be the GermGuardian AC4825. This is because it has proven again and again to be effective at removing all types of air pollutants to create a healthier home environment.

While it may not have as many features as we’d like, it makes up for it in its performance and reliability. So, if you’re in the market for a cheap, high-quality, and reliable air purifier, look no further than the GermGuardian AC4825.