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Top 5 Best Air Purifiers Under $150 in 2022 | Comparison

Welcome to my top 5 best air purifiers under the $150 list, where I will be looking at what I consider the best entry-level air purifiers currently on the market. Air purifiers are your first line of defense against indoor air pollution, which is becoming a bigger problem as each new year passes. EPA (environmental protection agency) estimates that there are up to 5x more indoor than outdoor air pollutants. Dealing with indoor air pollution does not need to be expensive tho – this is why every air purifier on this list is below $150 while being good enough to do the job efficiently.

Don’t have time or don’t want to read each air purifier review? No problem – I have prepared just a quick list and the category that these 5 individual air purifiers are best in. Here are my top 5 best air purifiers under $150 in 2022:

  • Winix 5300-2 -Best Overall Performance.
  • Levoit Core P350 – Runner-up for best overall performance, best for pet owners.
  • Levoit Core 300 – best budget choice.
  • Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 – best air cleaning ability.
  • WAGNER WA888 – biggest room coverage.

As you can see from the list above, I chose an overall winner, a runner-up, and three other winners based on the room coverage, air filtration system, and budget.

Comparison table

I compared the most important metrics for entry-level air purifiers and did not pay much attention to other, less relevant, criteria such as wifi connectivity, design, touch screen, etc. These are nice bonuses to have, but not that important when looking at entry-level devices. Below you can find my comparison table for the above listed top 5 best air purifiers under $150:

FEATURES

✓ Powerful 4-stage filtration system
✓ CADR rating of 120 cfm that covers up to 190 square feet
✓ H13 medical grade HEPA filter
✓ Lift handle for extra convenience
✓ Smart air quality monitor
✓ 3 fan speeds and timer settings
✓ Built-in UV-C light
✓ Effective against dust, pollen, pet dander, seasonal allergies, odors, and smoke
 

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Product dimension: 11.2 x 9.8 x 27 inches
Weight: 9.5 pounds
Power Consumption: 46 Watts
Certifications: CARB, ETL, CA PROP 65

Next, I am going to do a more in-depth look at each one of these air purifiers separately. Read on to see why I chose each one of these as my top 5 best air purifiers under $150:

Winix 5300-2 – Best Overall Performance

FEATURES

✓ Powerful 4-stage filtration system
✓ CADR rating of 120 cfm that covers up to 190 square feet
✓ H13 medical grade HEPA filter
✓ Lift handle for extra convenience
✓ Smart air quality monitor
✓ 3 fan speeds and timer settings
✓ Built-in UV-C light
✓ Effective against dust, pollen, pet dander, seasonal allergies, odors, and smoke
 

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Product dimension: 11.2 x 9.8 x 27 inches
Weight: 9.5 pounds
Power Consumption: 46 Watts
Certifications: CARB, ETL, CA PROP 65

The Winix 5300-2 is my overall top pick for the best air purifier under $150 in 2022. This combination of a reputable brand, good customer service, great filtration system, fan power, room coverage, and effectiveness is everything you would want in an entry-level air purifier. While it is not the smallest or lightest device, you can still move it around with relative ease. In addition to a  3-stage filtration system consisting of a pre-filter, HEPA filter and carbon activated filter, the Winix 5300-2 also comes with a so-called PlasmaWave technology as the 4th filtration stage. You can think of PlasmaWave technology as a safe ozone alternative. This powerful air cleaning system will make sure to effectively remove harmful particles from your air, bacteria included.

It is effective to use in spaces of up to 360 square feet, which is top tier in this price range. CADR rating is AHAM certified so you can be sure that these ratings are indeed correct and not blown out of proportion. The Winix 5300-2 is best used in small to medium-sized rooms for optimal performance. It has 28 decibels (dB) of noise on low fan speed, which is very quiet – making it a suitable air purifier for the bedroom. On max speed, it can get noisy (60+ dB), so keep that in mind.

Winix 5300-2 also comes with a rich control panel that offers a lot in terms of settings and automatization. You can choose between 4 different fan speeds, set the timer function (1h,4h,8h), and switch between two different modes (night/auto). You also get a real-time air quality sensor that works hand-in-hand with automatic mode to ensure you have the most optimized settings at all times. A filter replacement indicator light lets you know when it is time to change the filters, which is about every 3 months.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Very solid all-around device
  • Good CADR and airflow output
  • PlasmaWave cleaning technology
  • Top tier H13 HEPA filter
  • Extended 3 year warranty
Cons
  • Can be noisy on max fan speed
  • Filters need to be replaced often

Latest price and availability of Winix 5300-2:

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Levoit Core P350 – Second best performance / best for pet owners

FEATURES

✓ Powerful 4-stage filtration system
✓ CADR rating of 120 cfm that covers up to 190 square feet
✓ H13 medical grade HEPA filter
✓ Lift handle for extra convenience
✓ Smart air quality monitor
✓ 3 fan speeds and timer settings
✓ Built-in UV-C light
✓ Effective against dust, pollen, pet dander, seasonal allergies, odors, and smoke
 

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Product dimension: 11.2 x 9.8 x 27 inches
Weight: 9.5 pounds
Power Consumption: 46 Watts
Certifications: CARB, ETL, CA PROP 65

I chose the Levoit Core P350 as my runner-up for the best air purifier under $150 list. It is behind the Winix 5300-2 in some areas, but not that much. It is always good to have a backup option in case the top performer goes out of stock, becomes unavailable, or if you simply do not like the design. The P350 model is another very solid choice and is actually a small upgrade over the P300 model (which is also on this list). It comes with the standard 3-stage filtration system (pre-filter, HEPA filter, carbon activated filter) but with an improved carbon activated filter, designed to increase its ability by 60%. Or simply said, it reduces odors much better than normal carbon-activated filters. The HEPA filter is a type H13, which is a top-tier grade. All in all, you get a solid very filtration system that deals better with odors than the similarly-priced competition. It is marketed especially toward pet owners.

Levoit Core P350 is effective in spaces of up to 219 square feet, making it most suitable for smaller rooms, but you could use it in medium-sized rooms too. It comes with a high fan power which can change the air 5x (every 12 minutes) in an hour. The CADR rating is 145, which is among the top in the entry-level air purifier range – you are getting one of the best fan powers for the price. Noise ranges depend on the fan speed and can be between 23 dB – 50 dB (decibels). These are quite standard numbers: 23 dB is more than whisper-quiet and while 50 dB can be noticed, it will not disturb you.

In terms of the control panel, Levoit Core P350 comes with a fan speed control (3 speeds), 4 timer options (2h,4h,8h,12h), LED on/off, night mode. It also comes with a child lock, which prevents you from accidentally changing the settings. All in all a decent number of adjustable settings can offer you a variety of options. A filter replacement indicator is also on the control panel – filters need to be changed every 6-8 months.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Upgraded carbon activated filter
  • Low noise due to QuietKEAP technology
  • Child lock function
  • Small and portable
  • High fan power
Cons
  • No automatic mode
  • Not suitable for bigger rooms

Latest price and availability of Levoit Core P350:

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Levoit Core 300 – Best budget choice

FEATURES

✓ Powerful 4-stage filtration system
✓ CADR rating of 120 cfm that covers up to 190 square feet
✓ H13 medical grade HEPA filter
✓ Lift handle for extra convenience
✓ Smart air quality monitor
✓ 3 fan speeds and timer settings
✓ Built-in UV-C light
✓ Effective against dust, pollen, pet dander, seasonal allergies, odors, and smoke
 

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Product dimension: 11.2 x 9.8 x 27 inches
Weight: 9.5 pounds
Power Consumption: 46 Watts
Certifications: CARB, ETL, CA PROP 65

I am choosing the Levoit Core P300 as the best budget choice in my best air purifiers under the $150 list. It is basically an exact copy of the above-listed Levoit Core P350, with a difference in the filtration system. It comes with the same 3-stage filtration system as Levoit Core P350, but with a normal carbon activated filter instead of the improved one for odors (mostly pet odors). Despite this small filter downgrade, it remains the best choice for anyone price-sensitive. A solid filtration system that removes 99.97% air pollutants as small as 0.3 microns, good room coverage, a powerful brand name, and excellent durability makes it all you can ask for in such a cheap air purifier. Core 300 also offers you the option to choose between 4 custom replacement filters, which is something you do not get with the Core P350. You can choose between the original filter, pet allergy filter, toxin absorber filter, mold, and bacteria filter. While this offers a lot of flexibility, you can only have 1 filter type installed at any time.

The device is also CARB certified for producing no ozone and Energy Star verified, making a good long-term investment. Durable housing materials and a strong capacitor motor ensure that you get a longer lifespan, giving you more bang for your buck. For pretty much everything else you can check the information for Levoit Core P350 as it is the same for Levoit Core 300 model.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Great performance for the price
  • Customizable replacement filters
  • Portable and small
  • Long service life
Cons
  • No additional filtration layers
  • Effective only in smaller rooms

Latest price and availability of Levoit Core 300:

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Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 – Best air cleaning ability

FEATURES

✓ Powerful 4-stage filtration system
✓ CADR rating of 120 cfm that covers up to 190 square feet
✓ H13 medical grade HEPA filter
✓ Lift handle for extra convenience
✓ Smart air quality monitor
✓ 3 fan speeds and timer settings
✓ Built-in UV-C light
✓ Effective against dust, pollen, pet dander, seasonal allergies, odors, and smoke
 

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Product dimension: 11.2 x 9.8 x 27 inches
Weight: 9.5 pounds
Power Consumption: 46 Watts
Certifications: CARB, ETL, CA PROP 65

The Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 is mostly aimed at anyone that is primarily looking at air cleaning performance. It has the most complete air cleaning system out of all other air purifiers on this list, which is why I included it in my top air purifier under the $150 list. In addition to the standard 3-stage filtration system (pre-filter, HEPA filter, carbon activated filter), it comes with two extra filtration layers: UV-C light + Photocatalyst Filter and an ionizer function. UV-C light is a known disinfectant, made to deal with viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms. A photocatalyst filter is there to destroy pollutants instead of trapping them. These filters and UV-C light combination give you the best air cleaning performance below $150. Anyone with allergies would benefit the most from this powerful filtration system. 

At the same time, Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 comes with a CADR rating of 120 cfm, making it suitable to use in rooms up to 190 square feet. This is the smallest room coverage area on this list, which is expected due to multiple extra filtration layers already included in the price. To get the most out of this device, it is best to use it in small rooms, especially if you have seasonal allergies. In case of no seasonal allergies, it would be suitable for medium-sized rooms too. 

The control panel is modern-looking and compact. It offers you 3 different fan speeds, timer functions (2h,4h,8h), sleep mode, and a UV-light activation button. Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 also comes with an air quality sensor that measures your indoor air quality in real-time. Lastly, it has an auto mode that makes sure your device runs at optimal settings all the time. The highest fan speed produces over 60 dB (decibels) of noise, which is slightly above average in this price range. All in all, great features and a powerful filtration system make this air purifier a great “air quality first, everything else second” choice for small rooms.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Great air filtration system with an added UV-C light and photocatalyst filter
  • Optional ionizer function
  • 5-year warranty
  • Very accurate air quality sensor
Cons
  • Noisy on highest fan speed
  • Quite a low CADR rating

Latest price and availability of Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1:

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WAGNER WA888 – Biggest room coverage

FEATURES

✓ 4 layers of filtration
✓ CADR rating of 268cfm that covers up to 500 square feet
✓ top tier H13 medical grade HEPA filter
✓ Rich control panel, touch screen
✓ Smart air quality and temperature sensor
✓ 3 fan speeds and a timer setting
✓ 2 wireless remote controls for convenience
✓ Ozone-free
✓ Effective against air dust, allergens, mold, smoke & cooking odors, allergies
 

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Product dimension: 10.3 x 15.2 x 23.4 inches
Weight: 13 pounds
Power Consumption: 50 Watts
Certifications: no listed certifications

Last (but not least) on my top 5 best air purifiers under $150 is the WAGNER Switzerland Air Purifier WA888. As of writing, this is the most recent and exciting 2022 model, made by WAGNER. I chose it because it has the biggest room coverage out of all other air purifiers in this price range. It comes with a 4-stage filtration system that consists of a pre-filter, grade H13 HEPA filter, and cold catalyst filters. The cold catalyst filter is the unique piece here, which absorbs formaldehyde and similar gases – something that the other three standard filters can struggle with. This is an above-average filtration system for an entry-level air purifier. 

When it comes to CADR and room coverage – this is where the WAGNER WA888 truly shines. The decent physical size (10.3 x 15.2 x 23.4 inches), combined with a big & powerful fan enables it to cover spaces of up to 500 square feet. This is a number that matches many great mid-tier air purifiers. WAGNER WA888 comes with a CADR rating of 268 cfm, and can change the air up to 4x per hour, making it a good solution for anyone with allergies. You can effectively use this device in a medium-to-large room, which is an exception in this price range.

As is the case with most air purifiers on this list, WAGNER WA888 also comes with an integrated air quality sensor. This sensor is an upgraded version that displays actual air quality numbers instead of a simple color change based on how clean the air is. In addition to that, it also displays room temperature which is just a nice bonus to have. Other parts of the control panel include a standard fan speed button, timer, display light, filter replacement indicator, and 3 modes. What is also very different from other air purifiers on this list is that the WAGNER WA888 comes with two wireless remote controls for added convenience.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • High CADR and room coverage
  • Cold catalyst filter as an extra protection layer
  • Good air quality & temperature sensor
  • Ozone-free
Cons
  • Replacement filters can be hard to get
  • No certifications yet

Latest price and availability of WAGNER WA888:

See on Amazon

Top 5 Best Air Purifiers Under $150 in 2022 – Conclusion

You have made it to the end of my top 5 best air purifiers under $150. Hopefully, you are able to narrow down your selection to the one that suits your needs most. If you are not sure what to take or do not have any specific issues (like seasonal allergies), then the “best overall performance” is a good choice to go with. When choosing the best air purifier under $150, it is most important to look at the filtration system and CADR rating/room coverage above anything else. You want the biggest bang for your buck. You can read more about the CADR rating in my other post on this link.

All non-vital features such as air quality sensors, smart features, and LED touchscreen do not carry a lot of weight in this price range. Are they nice to have? Sure, but they also increase the overall cost of the device. And since you are working with a limited budget of up to $150, you want to make sure that you are getting the best that you can, performance-wise. Most air purifiers on this list do have these less important smart features, but they carried very little weight when I was doing my comparisons. There are many air purifiers that are similarly priced but come with worse air filtration, and better (more) smart features – these are the ones I avoided.

Lastly, I want to quickly touch on air purifier brands. When deciding to buy an entry-level air purifier, you want to ideally choose one from an established and well-known brand. There are quite a few foreign or small brands on the air purifier market that inflate the performance of their devices, mostly in this price range. Obviously, not all lesser-known brands are bad, but sadly quite a few do overpromise and underdeliver. This is where official certifications and verifications such as AHAM, Energy Star, CARB (and others) come into place, as you can be sure that what you are buying is tested and legit. Only good, serious, or established brands go through these processes – take advantage of that.