Best Portable Air Purifiers

"Send your breath around that thought" Yoga GIF
Will that thought purify the air I’m breathing?

If you’re in a TL;DR mood, know that the champions of the portable air purifiers market are:

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If you’ve got some time to compare and contrast these babies, we’ve made you a pathfinder.

Here’s what you’ll find in this guide!
  • Finally, an honest-to-God answer to why you actually NEED a portable air purifier.
  • Why our 5 top air purifiers (portable) are your retail dream (spectacular).
  • A no-nonsense ELI5 buyer’s guide, in case you are a comparison shopper who likes trawling the entire ocean of options.
  • The answer to why the total cost of owning of a portable air purifier could be many times the initial product cost (hint: replacement filters).
Do I really need a portable air purifier?

Sure, your mom never owned a portable air purifier, but mom’s air was better than yours! Or maybe she was just living that sweet DDT truck life and didn’t know she was breathing in poison most of the time.

Things aren’t much better now. 9 out of 10 Californians are breathing unhealthy air at some point in the year. Wildfires have changed our air for the worse, and they’re not exclusive to the West Coast. Every state except for Delaware had a wildfire in 2021; many states had wildfire counts in the thousands.

How do you stay healthy, then? You purify your own air.

In fact, EPA agrees that air purifiers don’t just keep you safe from allergens, dust, and smoke, but they can also give you some protection from viruses. Buying an air purifier isn’t just retail therapy, it’s genuine self-care.

Even if you’re not expecting to be affected by wildfires while you’re traveling, your destination could be affected by smoke from other areas. Canada’s frequent wildfires affect US air quality on a regular basis:

So air purifiers are great. But do I really need a portable one?

Fair question. 

For one thing, people love them. Standalone/portable air purifiers are projected to hold a 65% market share in the residential air purifiers category. For all you non-nerds, that means taking your air purifier with you is becoming more popular than plopping one down in the corner of your house and calling it a day.

But if you already have an air purifier at your home and office, what’s the need for a portable device as well? The EPA thinks you need all the ventilation you can get; with viruses and other contaminants mucking up your air, they recommend a portable air cleaner to keep your exposure to as low as possible.

If you need a third reason, they’re really dang cute.

So let’s get this portable air purifier party started!

Man at his laptop excited by air purifiers
The excitement level for portable air purifiers is THROUGH. THE. ROOF.

Top 5 Portable Air Purifiers

1. GermGuardian GG1000 Air Sanitizer Odor Reducer

Price: $39.99

What we liked:

  • Slim and sleek design. Plus it’s rotatable. So it fits anywhere. And there’s a socket too. 
  • UV-C technology cleans the air of pollutants and allergens, disease-causing bacteria, viruses, germs, mold, and mildew too. 
  • Extremely effective at removing household odors caused by smoke, dirty laundry, used diapers, pets, and more. 
  • Instead of a filter, it has a UV-C bulb that needs to be replaced every 6 to 8 months.
  • Creates a soft white noise while plugged in and working that ensures a calm and peaceful sleep with fresh, clean air. 

There’s white noise, and there’s noise. With the GermGaurdian air purifier, it’s the latter, unfortunately. Also, some users have complained about it not fitting certain sockets. It’s hard to believe, and hard to test, so we’d say you ignore this one.

The verdict: If you want to carry fresh air around and never not breathe clean air, this travel-friendly pluggable UVC air sanitized and odor reducer is a budget buy. 

Download the GermGuardian GG1000 Air Sanitizer Odor Reducer user manual.

2. KOIOS EPI810 Desktop Air Purifier With 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter

Price: $46.80

What we liked:

  • The activated carbon filter quickly and effectively gets rid of cooking smells, pet odors, cigarette stench, and other household odors. 
  • With the nightlight mode that can be switched on and off, it sits on your side table lighting the room and cleaning the air together. 
  • Doesn’t come with complicated options or settings. You just have to push 1 button to get it working. 
  • The noise-reduction design ensures that it is quiet and with only 25dB sound output, it doesn’t attract much attention. 
  • Less than 2W of power usage makes it one of the most energy-efficient models available in the market.

With just two fan speed options and hardly any other setting, for some the KOIOS desktop air purifier is a toy thing, with little overall value. However, for those who want to keep their workstation safe or their smaller rooms fresh and clean, this one fits the bill.

The verdict: A cute addition to your work table or nightstand, this one is a must-buy, especially for people in locations prone to wildfires or other air pollutants. 

Download the KOIOS EPI810 Desktop Air Purifier With 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter user manual.

3. PureZone Mini Portable Air Purifier

Price: $39.99

What we liked:

  • It truly fits the portable air filter category tag as it can literally be used on-the-go. Sits well on desktop tables, nightstands, and shelves, along with car cup holders as well. 
  • A versatile design that lets you place it vertically or horizontally, based on the available spaces. The handle doubles as a stand for easy placement.
  • Comes with a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery that works for up to 12-hours so you can also get your own fresh air while traveling. 
  • Creates a soothing white noise that is known to help people improve sleep and concentration. 
  • 3 fan speeds and 54 square feet coverage that’s suitable for smaller spaces and easy operation.

Though the PureZoneTM Mini Portable Air purifier is great for most situations, it isn’t efficient. It works best on the highest fan setting, but that’s noisy.

The verdict: If you travel a lot and want to keep your personal surroundings free from air pollutants and allergens, this one is a decent purchase.

Download the PureZone Mini Portable Air Purifier user manual.

4. LEVOIT Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier

Price: $99.99

What we liked:

  • The patented VortexAir Technology ensures the distribution of clean air up to 219 square feet.
  • QuietKEAP™ Technology ensures the noise remains as low as 24dB for silent functioning.
  • CARB compliant ensuring no negative side effects
  • Energy Star certified, which means it is light on the pocket.
  • Multiple modes including a Sleep Mode that makes it ideal for nighttime use too. 
  • Can be paired with multiple replacement filters for different scenarios:
    • The Toxin Absorber Filter is ideal for locations with a wildfire or smoke problem.
    • Pet parents can try the Pet Allergy Filter to get rid of unpleasant odors and avoid pet allergies.

While the compact LEVOIT Core 300 is known to do a great job, its replacement filters don’t really stand up to the benchmark, so frequent filter replacement after the first 6 months might make it an expensive deal overall.

The verdict: An ideal buy if you want a smart-looking mini air purifier for compact spaces. It might lack some features like an air quality indicator, but overall it is a fairly priced portable air purifier.

Download the LEVOIT Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier user manual.

5. LG PuriCare Mini Air Purifier

Price: $245.78

What we liked:

  • 8-hour battery life that makes it ideal for carrying to work every day or while you travel. 
  • The smart senor-backed 4-color display keeps you aware of the quality of air around you. 
  • A powerful dual tornado fan ensures a consistent airflow and spreads the air faster and farther. 
  • A Bluetooth app that lets you take control of the fan speed, settings, and airflow intensity. You also get real-time information about the ambiance, pollution history, and battery status.
  • The device has only two buttons that let you regulate the mode and fan speed for ease of operation.

LG claims it is a low-noise device, that stands true only till the 2nd fan speed. After that, it is an audible (but effective) air purifier.

The verdict: A little heavier on the pocket, the LG – PuriCare Mini Air Purifier does bring a lot to the table. However, if you are looking for budget options, give this one a pass.

Download the LG PuriCare Mini Air Purifier user manual.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Katherine Esperanza is a Los Angeles based writer. When she's not conjuring new queer slice-of-life short stories, she's busy watching the newest films, out at queer shows, supporting queer artists, or just checking out the queer community as a whole.

A former international non-profiteer, small business owner, and co-op'er, Katherine is delighted to help introduce more leftist politics into the disaster preparedness/prepper sphere, which is currently far too right-wing.