Cheap affordable air purifiers

If you’ve done any type of research on air purifiers you’ve probably noticed that many of them are not that cheap.

In fact, you’ve clearly seen that a lot of the top-selling air cleaners range somewhere between $150-400.

But, what if you don’t want to spend that much money on an air purifying device?

Does that mean you have to suffer?

Of course not!

You can enjoy the benefits of clean, fresh air without having to spend a lot of cash.

Sure, there may be some advanced features that you’ll have to give up when buying cheap air purifiers, but we assure you that you can still get a high-quality product that’s excellent at purifying the air.

And that’s exactly what we’re going to share with you here.

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Best Cheap Air Purifiers Reviewed in this Guide

Here’s a quick comparison chart showing the best budget air purifiers. We’ll cover each aspect of these units in the reviews section below, but this gives you an idea of what’s available and an easy way to compare them.

ImageAir Purifier DetailsPrice
GermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier
  • Best overall air purifier
  • Filters: True HEPA, Activated Carbon, UV Light
  • Coverage: 78 sq. ft.
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GermGuardian AC4900CA Air Purifier
  • Most efficient unit
  • Filters: True HEPA, Activated Carbon, UV Light
  • Coverage: 150 sq. ft.
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Levoit LV-H126 Air Purifier
  • Good value and performance
  • Filters: Pre-filter, True HEPA, Activated Carbon
  • Coverage: 161 sq. ft.
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Levoit Vital 100 Air Purifier
  • Largest affordable option
  • Filters: Pre-filter, True HEPA, Activated Carbon
  • Coverage: 300 sq. ft.
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Holmes Desktop Air Purifier
  • Lowest budget air purifier
  • Filters: Pre-filter, HEPA-type, Ionizer
  • Coverage: 109 sq. ft.
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In this guide, you’ll discover three things:

  • Which features are most important to look for in the best cheap air purifier.
  • The #1 most powerful and affordable air purifier you can buy today that costs less than $60.
  • The #2 best budget air purifier for those of you who want to spend the least amount of money (under $40).

So, dig into the information below to get started.

Within a few minutes, you’ll have all of the information you need to make the right decision for your home, apartment, or office.

Top Features to Look for in the Best Cheap Air Purifier

Best Cheap Air PurifierWhen you’re looking for the best affordable air purifier you can buy, there are a few key features you want to take into consideration before making a purchase.

These elements are crucial if you want to make sure that you get a solid, powerful performing device.

Neglecting to look out for these factors may cause you to end up wasting your valuable cash. And we don’t want you to do that.

Here’s what’s most important…

1. Multi-Stage Air Purification

One way in which manufacturers cut corners in designing inexpensive air purifiers is to use a single-stage air purifying process.

That’s what makes many of these devices so cheap and not nearly as effective as a more expensive one.

A single-stage air cleaner includes just one type of filter and only works well to purify the air of a small set of toxins.

For example, a device may only be capable of removing particles that create odors, bacteria, or fine dust, but not all three.

You don’t want a single-stage air cleaner.

What you want to look for instead is a multi-stage air purifier.

This style of device combines several types of air filters and provides the most protection against harmful airborne particles.

A multi-stage air purifier gives you the most bang for your buck.

Multi-stage air filter options include:

  • Pre-filter – This collects the biggest particles like hair and large dust, and helps extend the life of the other main filters.
  • HEPA Filter – Great at pulling in and trapping microscopic allergens like pollen, fine dust, pet dander, and mold spores.
  • Activated Carbon Filter – Excellent at removing household odors, smoke, and airborne chemicals.
  • Ionizer – Good for neutralizing a variety of particles out in the open air space and making them easier to catch in the HEPA filter.
  • UV Light – Zaps and kills airborne bacteria and viruses to create a sterile environment.

As you’ll see in the recommended products section below, the #1 cheap air purifier includes most of these features, which makes it highly effective at purifying the air.

2. Frequency of Filter Replacements

This is a short topic to discuss, but it’s essential for you to understand when looking for a budget air purifier.

A secret trick that some manufacturers use in order to lower the cost of their air cleaners is to make up the difference by selling you a lifetime of filter replacements.

Initially, you may think a particular air purifier is a great deal, but over time the cost to replace the filters makes it a pricey long-term investment.

In fact, some products require you to replace certain filters every 1-3 months and, as you can imagine, that expense can really add up.

When you’re looking to buy an inexpensive air purifier, always check the product description for this type of information. That way you won’t get pulled into a money trap.

Note: The cheap air purifiers we recommend below are some of the safest options to buy.

3. Maximum Room Area Coverage

Another important aspect to keep an eye on when comparing low cost air purifiers is the maximum room space each device can cover.

You may think that you’ve found a great deal on an air cleaner, but later come to find out that it’s worthless because it can’t handle the room size that you placed it in.

The truth is that many less expensive air cleaners are only capable of handling small spaces. This lower power is what makes them so affordable.

But, that doesn’t have to be a deterrent for buying one. (You’ll find that the air purifiers we recommend below offer more than enough coverage for most people’s needs.)

Graphic Showing Square Footage MeasurementAll air purifiers come with a maximum square footage area coverage rating. Before you purchase a cheap device, make sure that it’s rated high enough to work for your specific needs.

To determine what size area the product must meet, measure the square footage of the room you want to place it in.

This is done by multiplying the width by the length (in feet). For example, a 12′ x 10′ room = 120 sq. ft.

Then confirm that the air purifier you want to buy can meet this size requirement.

It’s that simple.

Note: If you’re looking for a small personal air purifier that can clean just the immediate air space around you, then this maximum area coverage requirement is less of a concern. As long as you place the device on a surface that’s within an arm’s reach, you’re guaranteed to have a purified bubble of air no matter how low the rating. Keep this in mind if you’re on a tight budget.

Now that you’ve found out what important features to look for when buying an inexpensive air purifier, you’ll now appreciate the value that the products below offer you.

We’ve rated and reviewed a lot of air cleaners on our site and these devices are by far the most affordable and best choices you can get.

Choose the one that’s right for you.

The Top 5 Best Affordable Air Purifiers

GermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier1. GermGuardian AC4100 Air Purifier

What makes this the best cheap air purifier you can buy is the simple fact that it includes a multi-stage 3-in-1 air cleaning system with a combo filter.

It only requires a single filter replacement, which keeps costs low, and is highly effective at cleaning the air.

This small, tabletop device is equipped with the following powerful filters:

  • True HEPA Filter — This removes 99.97% of all fine particles such as dust, pollen, and other harmful allergens.
  • Activated Carbon Filter — This eliminates indoor odors, tackles smoke, and chemical vapors.
  • UV Light — This kills toxic bacteria and viruses to keep you healthy and safe.

Another feature that sets this product apart from other competitors is the maximum area coverage rating of 78 square feet.

That makes it the perfect size for most personal applications. And, at such a low price point, you won’t find any other air purifier that has as much advanced air cleaning power as this device.

It also comes in 2-pack, so you can save even more money by getting the bundle.

Finally, it’s small design makes it easily portable, so you can take it from room to room or with you when traveling, making it the best compact air purifier on the market.

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GermGuardian AC4900CA Air Purifier2. GermGuardian AC4900CA Air Purifier

If you liked the features of our #1 review, but wanted something that can handle a larger space, then this is the next best budget air purifier you can buy.

It’s basically the big brother of the GermGuardian AC4100 and doesn’t cost too much more.

With this model, you get all of the same high-quality air purification features, including:

  • True HEPA Filter — For collecting fine particulate matter.
  • Activated Carbon Filter — For removing unpleasant odors and gases.
  • UV Light — For destroying airborne germs.

The only difference here is that this model (GermGuardian AC4900CA) has individual filters and not a single cartridge to replace.

That design actually allows each filter to work more efficiently and last for longer periods of time a larger device.

With this taller air purifier, you also get double the room size coverage—up to 150 square feet.

So, if you want something that’s bigger and more efficient, give this one a try.

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Levoit LV-H126 Air Purifier with 3-stage air filtration system3. Levoit LV-H126 Air Purifier

The third best inexpensive air purifier you can own is this unit right here.

It’s similar to our #1 pick but doesn’t include the UV light. However, this device is still a high-quality affordable air purifier that works well for personal use.

It’s around the same price as our top recommendation but you get more than double the square footage coverage at 161 square feet.

The 3-stage air filtration system includes:

  • Pre-filter — This captures the largest particles and extends the life of the True HEPA filter.
  • True HEPA Filter — This eliminates the widest range of indoor contaminants down to 0.3 microns in size.
  • Activated Carbon Filter — This reduces odors and gaseous chemicals.

If you want an air purifier that’s not only cheap, but powerful and has a small footprint, this is a great choice.

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Levoit Vital 100 Air Purifier in White Color4. Levoit Vital 100 Air Purifier

If you can extend your budget just a bit, you may want to consider this Levoit air purifier.

It’s the bigger version of the previously reviewed Levoit LV-H126 and covers twice the amount of space—300 square feet.

With this device (Levoit Vital 100), you also get the same types of filters, but in a much a larger size:

  • Pre-filter — For trapping large particulates.
  • True HEPA Filter — For capturing fine particulate matter.
  • Activated Carbon Filter — For reducing common indoor odors and chemical gases.

Although it doesn’t include a UV light, this budget air purifier is still excellent at trapping dust, allergens, smoke, mold spores, and some forms of bacteria in medium to large size rooms.

And it’s those very reasons why so many people choose to buy this air purifier.

If you want something that’s inexpensive and can handle a large amount of space, this might be the exact product for you.

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5. Holmes Desktop Budget Air Purifier

Our final recommendation for the best affordable air purifier you can get is this Holmes desktop device.

This product is outfitted with a HEPA-type filter and can be upgraded with a more advanced Holmes Aer1 filter to target specific airborne pollutants.

This small HEPA air purifier also has multiple stages of air filtration, including:

  • Pre-filter — This captures large particles and allows the HEPA filter to operate more efficiently. It’s also washable and reusable for the life of the product.
  • HEPA-type Filter — This is a lower grade HEPA filter than what the other products have on this list. It only captures particles that are 2 microns an bigger.
  • Ionizer — This adds a boost of extra cleaning power against airborne contaminants that don’t get collected in the HEPA filter.

As for the maximum area coverage for this device, it’s decent at 109 square feet.

As we mentioned earlier in this post, if you plan to use this as a desk air purifier that’s kept close by at all times, then the maximum area coverage is not that big of a concern. Plus, this is one of the top cheap air purifiers you can buy with the lowest price.

Just keep in mind that this model doesn’t include the UV light for protection against bacteria and viruses like our #1 and #2 recommendations have and it doesn’t have the highest quality HEPA filter.

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Enjoy Your New Air Purifier

Best Affordable Air PurifierWe hope this guide was helpful in finding the best air purifier for your needs.

As you discovered, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a high-quality device.

In fact, many cheaper air purifiers do exist that can clean the air just as good as the more expensive models.

The only tradeoff is that you’ll just have to use these more affordable air purifiers in a smaller space to get the full benefits out of them.

Anyways, we hope you found the best budget air purifier on this page and that you enjoy it for years to come.

Avatar for Patrick Holmes

About Patrick Holmes

Patrick is a Senior Air Quality & Comfort Specialist. He conducts in-depth research and analysis for our product reviews and buying guides in order to offer expert recommendations for people who are seeking to improve their indoor air quality and comfort. (See Full Bio)