The 8 Best Car Air Purifiers

Updated February 21, 2018 by Chase Brush

8 Best Car Air Purifiers
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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you sneeze endlessly when you drive because of your pollen allergy, or the smell of the fast food you ate on the go tends to linger around, then pick up one of these portable car air purifiers. They eliminate pesky bacteria, allergens, and strong odors to freshen up the inside of any vehicle, and will have you and your passengers breathing easy in no time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best car air purifier on Amazon.

8. AutoKraze Plug-In Freshener

The AutoKraze Plug-In Freshener works by releasing millions of negative ions, which latch on to odor-causing particulates, such as those left by cigarette smoke, and neutralizes them. Even more helpful, though, are the built-in USB ports that let you charge your phone.
  • indicator light
  • easy plug-and-go operation
  • won't take away smells completely
Brand AutoKraze
Model JO-6271
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Homdox Cleaner

Ideal for people who have asthma, the Homdox Cleaner features HEPA filtration technology that eliminates potential triggers quickly and efficiently. Plus, it comes with a built-in sensor that detects air quality and notifies you using a red, orange, or green light.
  • also good for pet smells
  • dc and usb ports
  • not as compact as other options
Brand Homdox
Model HD001488
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. Tecool Portable

The versatile Tecool Portable can be placed in a car, an office, a kitchen, or anywhere else that could benefit from its air-purifying effects. It uses a three-pronged approach to cleaning that includes a HEPA filter, negative ions, and cotton with activated carbon.
  • automatically starts with ignition
  • replacement filters are available
  • fan is kind of loud
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Purggo Odor Eliminator

Unlike electric purifiers, which can be noisy or emit their own funny smells, the Purggo Odor Eliminator incorporates 100% bamboo charcoal to filter the air inside your car naturally. Plus, it hangs on your seat and works passively, so you won't even know it's there.
  • made with sustainable materials
  • lasts for over a year
  • not as powerful as many others
Model PGCAR02
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. PeakPlus PPAIR6281

Compatible with any ordinary cigarette lighter outlet, the PeakPlus PPAIR6281 dissolves harmful air pollutants effectively, making it a great option for those with respiratory issues. Its attractive blue light means it's easy to see at night.
  • compact and lightweight
  • range of 150 square feet
  • doesn't work too well on smoke smell
Brand PeakPlus
Model PPAIR6281
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Philips GoPure 200

Though it is expensive, the Philips GoPure 200 uses a thorough three-stage filtration process that makes it one of the most effective models available on the market. Also, it offers powerful nicotine-removal technology that completely obliterates the smell of tobacco.
  • modern and sleek design
  • works very quickly
  • easy to install
Brand Philips
Model GPC20GPX1
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Evtech Portable

In addition to removing smelly gasses through its active oxygen generator, the Evtech Portable has a stylish and distinctive design that makes it a gorgeous car accessory. Plus, it has two USB ports that you can use to charge your phone or tablet.
  • rotates 360 degrees
  • angle of its head adjusts 90 degrees
  • good value for price
Model PCC2818B
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Drive Moso Bamboo

Great for those who prefer a completely odor-free environment, the Drive Moso Bamboo is designed to absorb smells instead of masking them, leaving the vehicle with a neutral scent. You can also "recharge" the charcoal bag by leaving it in the sun for an hour.
  • lasts for up to 2 years
  • naturally dehumidifies too
  • includes a lanyard and a carabiner
Brand Drive Auto Products
Model 635635174842
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Car Air Purifiers Versus Home Air Purifiers

Car air purifiers perform similarly to the devices promised to remove allergens from the air, (also known as aeroallergens), mask odors, and kill bacteria inside your home. The purifiers discussed here are designed with the unique environment of a vehicle in mind.

Some models are USB rechargeable, so a driver can plug them directly into their cigarette lighter and draw power from the car. These varieties can have additional USB ports built into them, allowing the user to conveniently charge other devices, like smartphones and tablets all while they’re driving. Many models are small and portable, so they can easily sit on a dashboard, attach to a visor, or strap onto the rear of a seat head. Some even fit into a car’s cupholder, thus eliminating the need for mounting hardware.

Because a vehicle is such a confined space, it’s important to remove dangerous toxins from the air as quickly and regularly as possible. Asthma sufferers greatly benefit from car air purifiers because they cannot control their environment when they are driving around as they can when they’re stationary in their own home.

These beneficial devices remove known asthma triggers like dust particles and cigarette smoke. Smokers who don’t want the strong odor of cigarettes filling up their vehicle will benefit from the use of car air purifiers.

Some filters are also designed to eliminate the harmful gases one encounters on congested highways and busy city roads. Some purifiers contain filters that can work consistently for up to eight months, without needing to be changed, as well as various fan speeds for those times when toxins are particularly strong.

The Air And Your Health

Air pollution is one of the top ten health risks for human beings in the world. Poor air quality can affect one’s cardiovascular system in addition to irritating respiratory conditions like asthma.

The long-term effects of regular exposure to bad air can’t be felt immediately, but when they do surface, they can be deadly. One of the leading pollutants people should be concerned about, and that air purifiers reduce, is ground-level ozone. This is formed when volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen interact with the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Another toxin that air purifiers work to eliminate is mold. Exposure to mold can cause nasal and sinus congestion, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, throat irritation, and coughing and sneezing fits. People who are regularly exposed to mold are at a higher risk of developing bronchitis.

People who live in highly polluted areas are especially at risk for devastating health conditions, which is why in some parts of China, residents are advised to wear masks outside and on some days, to not even leave their homes. Long-term exposure to poor quality air can cause a decrease in lung function, and possibly cancer.

Particulate matter is another common pollutant. This is a complex mixture of metals, sulfates, soot, dust, water, smoke, tire rubber and other matter. Research has shown that regular exposure to particulate matter can lead to chronic respiratory disease in children, irregular heartbeat, lung disease and heart attacks. People who already suffer from lung or heart disease or cancer are at a heightened risk for premature death if they inhale particulate matter often.

The Most Polluted Cities In The World

Delhi, India is one of the most polluted cities on earth, based on the annual mean concentration of particulate matter. Air experts state that the city faces a dangerous combination of poor energy sources, overpopulation and bad weather conditions. Studies suggest the number of cars in the city will grow from 4.6 million in 2010 to 26 million in 2030, which will make pollution much worse. Delhi is a landlocked city, so it has a limited number of ways to flush out polluted air.

Zabol, Iran suffers from relentless dust storms every summer. An enormous wetland in the area called Hamoun, which is drying up, is the source of the problem. Hamoun used to provide a natural cooling effect for the area, but now that it’s gone, temperatures can rise to 104 degrees in the summer, and it is creating a tremendous amount of dust storms. This weather phenomenon is so regular and problematic that locals gave it the nickname “120 days of wind.” The storms can be suffocating, forcing residents to wear masks outdoors.

Saudi Arabia has had several cities consistently appear on the world’s most polluted list. The region is one of the most prolific car manufacturers in the world, so what makes its economy strong makes its air very weak. Riyadh is one of the most polluted cities in Saudi Arabia and the 4th in the world. On top of traffic congestion, the city sits in the Arabian desert so, like Delhi, it has no way to circulate polluted air out and clean air in.

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Last updated on February 21, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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