How do I pick an air purifier?
June 24, 2011 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Trying to select a portable HEPA filter for a small (about 9x10) room. What has worked best for you? What should I avoid? Permanent filter or replaceable?

My husband and I recently got a dog, and we love him, but our allergies (particularly my husband's) have turned out to be worse than we thought. Even before we got the dog, I would sometimes wake up with a sore throat and itchy eyes. I'd like to get an air filter for the bedroom to cut down on some of the allergens, but I've heard conflicting things about the utility of various brands and styles of filters. I don't want to get something that works great but costs me a fortune in replacement filters. Ideally I'd like to spend less than $200, but that's negotiable.
posted by crowyhead to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Any HEPA filter you pick up at Target or thereabouts, is likely to easily handle a room that size, so I'd think even 200 bucks is overkill. I'd focus on how much the filters are going to cost to replace (bear in mind that it'll probably have two filter stages, and the second stage may take multiple cartridges), as well as how much noise the filter makes.

In my experience, the largest factor in how clean the room gets isn't the filter quality, but how sealed the room is. You don't have to make it a bubble, but keeping the door closed with the filter on will leave the room very clean.
posted by Nahum Tate at 11:50 AM on June 24, 2011

Best answer: The biggest cost for effective HEPA room filters is usually power, not filters. The better ones move a lot of air, typically filtering the entire room air volume 5 to 8 times an hour. Smaller, cheaper ones don't move as much air, and may only filter the room air once or twice an hour, but they use less power, and in very dusty conditions, their filters may seem to last longer, as they won't be filtering nearly as much air.

I've used Honeywell units like the discontinued 13500 for years, with excellent results, but's that's a much bigger unit than you need. Something like the newer 50101 model should give you excellent results.
posted by paulsc at 12:02 PM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I got two of these and love them -- cheap & permanent filters.
Honeywell HHT-011 $41
posted by MeiraV at 12:23 PM on June 24, 2011

I agree with paulsc. That Honeywell model (50101) is perfect for your needs.
posted by vincele at 12:39 PM on June 24, 2011

I've used a few of the Honeywell models. They all worked well in small-midsize rooms.

A Blueair is what I have now. It works well, but tends to be noisier than the Honeywell models.
You can get them from The replacement filters are available there, as well.
posted by nickthetourist at 1:26 PM on June 24, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I went with a Honeywell 50101. So far I'm pleased with it, although the high settings are quite loud -- about equivalent to a box fan set on "high." The low setting doesn't bother me while I'm sleeping, though, and during the day I set it on high and let it run.
Added bonus: running the filter in the room during/directly after vacuuming seems to really help with reducing the amount of dust flying around (I have a HEPA filter vacuum but my allergies still flare a little when I do a lot of vacuuming).
posted by crowyhead at 11:44 AM on July 1, 2011

« Older What should I do about repairs on my Hyundai...   |   Health Insurance Cost Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.