Should You Buy a Cheap Air Purifier?

If clean air is the goal, should you buy a cheap air purifier or invest in a more expensive one? Many buyers end up buying a low priced unit and then go back to buy a better one when the cheaper unit doesn’t work as promised.

A major consideration is your personal definition of what constitutes a cheap air purifier. There are some less expensive brands on the market that do a decent job of cleaning the air in a small room. One of these less expensive brands may be enough to meet your needs for odor removal or improved air quality.

Unfortunately, many people choose to buy a cheap air purifier in order to determine whether an air purifier is a good investment to make. This is not a good financial decision as you will not be able to judge the rewards of clean air in your room if you are using a substandard product.

Considering Price

If what you want is a low cost option to test the benefits of using an air purifier, consider buying a used product on ebay or craigslist. The unit may not last as long as a new similar model but you might be able to test a high quality air purifier with little expense.


Cheap Air Purifier


Some negatives reported by consumers who have chosen the option of buying a used cheap air purifier are that the filters are often missing or must be replaced immediately. Other complaints are of bad smells coming from the air purifier when they begin to use it in the room.

The smells may be due to particulates that have spent months or more embedded in the filter of the unit. Replacing the filters may quickly solve the problem. In other cases, mildew has been building up inside the fan housing or mold is growing inside a unit that was stored in a damp area before being sold. Those problems are not as easy to solve.

Another option is to choose the cheapest air purifier you can find in a store or online. The inherent problem with using this method to test air purifiers to see if they improve your indoor air is that the cheapest air purifiers don’t work well to begin with. The most you might learn is that a running fan adds more noise to your room than you expected. However, on a better quality air purifier the fan noise may be insignificant.

Perhaps the best testing that might indicate buying a cheap air purifier rather than investing in a more expensive option is for those who are attracted to ionizers. More expensive units that utilize ionization combine that feature with more effective filtration methods.

In some models, the ionizer is an option that can be added for an extra cost while for other models the expense of the ionizing function increases the price of the unit.

Buying a cheap air purifier that uses ionization is a good method for testing to see if the ionized air is something you prefer. You can always continue to use the cheaper product for its ion creation and add a standard higher priced air purifier to the same room at a later date.

Cheap vs Inexpensive

Holmes makes a small air purifier that is cheap indeed. Priced in the $30-40 range these Chinese made air purifiers are useful for a small bedroom and though the units seem to need frequent repair, they are simple machines. Most homeowners can do the repairs themselves. Filter replacements are equally inexpensive.

The simple fact is the economy is not strong right now and many people cannot afford to spend several hundred dollars on an air purifier. At the same time, they need the machine to provide allergy relief and remove some dust and danger from the air in their home.

The Holmes products do work and are simple in design. They won’t win any style awards but the simplicity makes them repairable and, most importantly, they work fairly well. Though replacement filters are cheap, they must be replaced frequently as they fill quickly with pet hair and large dust particles.

The units are constructed of plastic. The most common complaint of users of these air purifiers is that although they do a fair job of cleaning the air in a small room, the air purifier itself quickly becomes dirty as dust clings to the plastic of the machine.

This product is a great example of what you get when you buy a cheap machine rather than spend the money for a higher quality unit. If your only option is to buy a cheap air purifier, the Holmes brand is a good choice.

If you are looking for less expensive rather than cheap, you can often get high quality air cleaning units for reasonable prices if you are willing to do without some bells and whistles.

Remote controls are very handy but they add to the cost of the unit. Multiple filtering options sound great but do you really need a true HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter and electronic plates as well as an ionizer?

Most of us do not need to clean our home air to hospital standards. We just want to eliminate some dust, dander and pollens and make the air indoors smell fresh and clean.


A less costly air purifier may be better than no air treatment at all but unless you choose carefully you may end up with a unit that does little more than move the air around with a fan. If you need to improve air quality for health reasons, it may be wise to look for a high quality used air purifier rather than choosing a cheap air purifier that is new but not effective.

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