Updated March 12, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

The 10 Best Charcoal Air Purifiers

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This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in September of 2016. If you see year-round allergies, offensive odors, and pet dander as natural enemies in the battle for fresh air in your house, then consider one of these charcoal air purifiers as your knight in shining armor. Many of them are portable and feature multi-speed fans with automatic detection capabilities designed to monitor and clean the your home's environment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best charcoal air purifier on Amazon.

10. Phaii Deodorizer

This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available.

9. Ivation Medium 3-In-1

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8. Biota Bot MM108

7. GermGuardian AC4300

6. Levoit HEPA LV-PUR131

5. Surround Intelli-Pro XJ-3800

4. Oransi OV200

3. Rabbit MinusA2

2. Philips 2000i

Editor's Notes

March 08, 2019:

The Dyson Link made its way to the top of our list on the merits of its combined filtration and cooling technologies. Any device that can reliably save you from having to by an additional item (in this case, a fan to complement your purifier) is a welcome innovation. Elsewhere, the natural charcoal purifier by Phaii took a dive toward the bottom mainly because it's so difficult to quantify its results. Most of the options on our list have some kind of feedback mechanism to tell you how clean your air is, or at least to tell you when to swap out a filter. The Phaii model leaves too much up to chance and even to the placebo effect.

Benefits Of A Charcoal Air Purifier

Since they can remove chemicals like benzene from the atmosphere, you should consider using one even if none of the above applies to you.

You can live with a messy house. You can live with a house that needs a little work. What you can't live with, however, is a house that smells — especially if some of those odors are potentially toxic.

That's where a charcoal air purifier comes in.

These machines suck in air from your home and pass it through a bed of activated charcoal before releasing it back into the atmosphere. They're fantastic for removing odors like cigarette smoke, but they can also filter out mold, dust, pollen, and other allergens.

They remove these contaminants from the air using a process called adsorption. This means that the pollutants stick to the exterior of the charcoal, rather than getting absorbed into them. This allows you to trap more particles, but over time, the charcoal will eventually trap all the gunk it can, and you'll need to change the filter.

Smokers should definitely keep an air purifier in the house, as they can prevent your home from smelling like stale cigarettes. (Smokers should also quit, but we won't lecture you on that right now.) This can up your home's resale value, while also making it a more pleasant place for guests to visit.

Anyone with pets ought to consider them, as well. Unless you have a hypoallergenic animal, your house is likely filled with pet hair and dander. If anyone with allergies comes by, they're not going to have a good time — unless you have your purifier running.

Since they can remove chemicals like benzene from the atmosphere, you should consider using one even if none of the above applies to you. If nothing else, having it running while you use harsh chemical cleaners is a good idea, and your lungs will thank you for it.

Using a charcoal air purifier is one of the easiest ways to make your house clean and inviting, so there's little reason not to do it.

Although that cigarette smoke is effective at preventing the in-laws from coming over...

Do They Really Work?

Air purifiers sound pretty amazing in theory — after all, who doesn't want to breathe cleaner air? However, some of it may sound too good to be true, like it should be lumped in with energy crystals, detox diets, and all that other pseudoscientific pablum.

As it turns out, though, air purifiers can actually be effective — provided you have reasonable expectations.

Just don't expect it to solve every problem that's currently ailing you.

If you thought buying an air purifier would free you from needing to dust or vacuum ever again, well, we have bad news for you. There's a definite limit to how much these machines can suck out of the air, and your best strategy is still to keep a clean home.

Also, if you have a respiratory condition, don't expect it to disappear overnight. In fact, don't expect it to disappear at all — these machines are designed to reduce the negative impact air pollution has on your body, not heal your afflictions completely. They're not miracle cures.

Think of them as a last line of defense against irritants. You should take other precautions first, like vacuuming and dusting thoroughly, buying dust mite covers, and investing in high-quality insulation. If you don't do any of these things, chances are your purifier will quickly become overwhelmed.

You also have to use them properly. That means changing the filters regularly, and running them often. Ideally, you should put one in a closed room for a few hours after having cleaned it.

If you have allergies, asthma, or are just worried about the quality of the air your family's breathing in, buying an air purifier can certainly help. Just don't expect it to solve every problem that's currently ailing you.

Other Ways To Keep Your Home's Air Clean

Have you ever wondered what your home's air quality is really like? Or do you just figure that you're better off not knowing?

Regardless of what the air's like in your home, there are strategies you can use to improve it.

The most important thing you can do, of course, is make sure that there's nothing deadly in the air. Check your smoke detectors every year, and get yourself a carbon monoxide detector. Then again, allergies aren't nearly as annoying when you're dead.

Don't stop at the appliances, either — a hole in your roof can lead to dampness, mildew, and even mold, so get it patched up ASAP.

Check your appliances for leaks regularly, especially if you have things like a gas stove or dryer. Don't stop at the appliances, either — a hole in your roof can lead to dampness, mildew, and even mold, so get it patched up ASAP.

If you smoke, limit your puffs to when you're outside. There's no such thing as safe second-hand smoke, and you don't want to give anyone else lung cancer.

Try to limit the number of toxic chemicals you bring into your home. This could mean cleaning products, nail polish, and even paint. They could all potentially be filled with volatile organic compounds, which can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, and organ damage. Check labels to make sure they're marked "low VOCs" before making a purchase.

In general, it's a good idea to ensure that your home is as well-ventilated as possible. This is especially true in the kitchen, as that's one of the primary culprits when it comes to producing nitrogen dioxide. Keep a window open while you cook, and don't be afraid to use the screen door instead of the air conditioner to cool off your house every once in a while.

It's probably not possible to eliminate every potential toxin in your home, but you can minimize your exposure relatively easily. All it takes is a little planning and maybe a few modifications, and you should be in good shape.

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Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on March 12, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).

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