Comparing the Best LARGE Air Purifiers on the Market.
If you’re looking at this blog post, the chances are you are interested in how different air purifiers measure up against each other. There’s an old proverb that ‘Comparisons are odious’….. However in the event that you want to make an informed decision on where your money is best spent, then you really have no option but to compare the options on the market.
We need to tell you right now that we’ve obviously got an interest in the air purification market. But, we have also been frustrated at how poorly informed and inaccurate comparisons are confusing buyers. So we have gone to great lengths to make this article objective and professional in comparing some of the top air purifiers out there on the key metrics we believe are important, and hopefully will help you make an informed decision.
For this comparison, we’ve taken the flagship air purifiers of leading brands that advertise that they are suitable for room sizes of up to 60m2. Why are we doing this comparison on 60m2 spaces? Well, it’s a typical size of a classroom or office and it makes a good benchmark to measure against.
The brands we are going to be comparing in this article are: Rensair, Camfil, Dyson, Blueair, Phillips, IQ Air, Fellowes, Zonitise (yes it’s us!) and then a couple of typically lower priced and very popular Amazon Brands such as Medifyair and Coway.
Be prepared – it’s not a short read – but we can guarantee this will give you a real insight into each product.
To clarify – we’re going to score each air purifier on the following points, and after all comparisons are complete, the winners will be declared based on total points accumulated. We’ll be comparing 10 products, but the comparisons are scored differently according to the question.
- Filter Grade
- Capacity – Measured in CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate)
- Maximum Sound Level in Operation.
- Effectiveness on odours – Carbon Filtration?
- SMART? In Built Air Quality Monitor that allow Air Purifier to Auto Adjust and Wi-Fi Controllable?
- Cost to Run?
For a start, let’s take a closer look at the products we’re going to be comparing. We’re not going to score on looks in this article as that’s a personal preference!
First we have the Rensair Core 560 product.
OK, so let’s jump straight in on question 1 – what grade of filters do these air purifiers come with?
We’ll summarize in a table format, and then give the score out of 10 with notes – 10 being best in class. HEPA 14 scores a 10 as it’s well known that this is the best filtration levels available in portable air purifiers from market leading brands, and HEPA 13 Filters will score an 8 as they are not quite as effective. Anything below that level of filtration will score a 6.
|AIR PURIFIER MODEL||FILTER GRADE||SCORE||NOTES|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||HEPA 13||8||HEPA 13 is good, but HEPA 14 is 10 x more effective, so this scores an 8 out of 10.|
|CAMFIL CITY M||HEPA 14||10||HEPA 14 is market leading – best in class|
|DYSON TP09||HEPA 13||8||HEPA 13 is good, but HEPA 14 is 10 x more effective, so this scores an 8 out of 10.|
|BLUEAIR 7770i||EQUIV to HEPA 13||8||HEPA 13 is good, but HEPA 14 is 10 x more effective, so this scores an 8 out of 10.|
|PHILLIPS 3000i||HEPA 13||8||HEPA 13 is good, but HEPA 14 is 10 x more effective, so this scores an 8 out of 10.|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||HEPA 13||8||HEPA 13 is good, but HEPA 14 is 10 x more effective, so this scores an 8 out of 10.|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||HEPA 13||8||HEPA 13 is good, but HEPA 14 is 10 x more effective, so this scores an 8 out of 10.|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||HEPA 14||10||HEPA 14 is market leading – best in class|
|COWAY MEGA 400S (Amazon)||HEPA 13||8||HEPA 13 is good, but HEPA 14 is 10 x more effective, so this scores an 8 out of 10.|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||HEPA 13||8||HEPA 13 is good, but HEPA 14 is 10 x more effective, so this scores an 8 out of 10.|
So on this one – we have 2 clear winners – the Camfil City M and the Zonitise Zona 620. To clarify -There’s nothing wrong with HEPA 13 filters, it’s just that HEPA 14 are 10 x more effective so merit the additional 2 points on this score.
Moving on… we’re going to look at the capacity of each air purifier in terms of the CLEAN AIR DELIVERY RATE PER HOUR – this is the amount of air that the machine can PURIFY in cubic metres every hour, and helps you determine what size space to put the air purifier into.
Given that each of these devices are marketed that they are suitable for rooms of up to 60m2 (or in some cases more), we’re going to score each device on the number of air changes per hour the machine can provide based on its clean air delivery rate. Target criteria is that an air purifier must be able to clean the air more than 4 times per hour in a 60m2 room with 2.4m height ceilings. The highest CADR scores 10 and the lowest scores a 1
|AIR PURIFIER MODEL||CLEAN AIR DELIVERY RATE (PUBLISHED)||SCORE||NOTES (How many times this air purifier will clean the air per hour in a 60m2 room with standard ceiling height)|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||560m3||5||3.88 times per hour (falls below recommended 4+)|
|CAMFIL CITY M||433m3||2||3.00 times per hour (falls below recommended 4+)|
|DYSON TP09||171m3||1||1.18 times per hour (Not acceptable level of performance for 60m2 room. This air purifier would perform best in a 15m2 room)|
|BLUEAIR 7770i||675m3||7||4.68 times per hour (this is a good level of air changes – cleaning the air less than every 13 minutes)|
|PHILLIPS 3000i||520m3||4||3.61 times per hour (falls below recommended 4+)|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||440m3||3||3.05 times per hour (falls below recommended 4+)|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||748m3||9||5.19 times per hour (a good level of air changes – cleaning the air in a 60m2 room less than every 12 minutes)|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||620m3||6||4.3 times per hour (The Zona 620 cleans the air in a 60m2 room less than every 14 minutes)|
|COWAY MEGA 400S (Amazon)||677m3||8||4.7 times per hour (Cleaning the air in a 60m2 room less than every 13 minutes)|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||950m3||10||6.59 times per hour (Best Performer here – Cleaning the air in a 60m2 room less than every 10 minutes!)|
It’s interesting that only 50% of these market leading purifiers being tested are hitting that 4 filtrations per hour target in a 60m2 space.
However, it is also important to take into account the level of filtration that each purifier has. For example, if you put a HEPA 13 filter into the Zonitise Zona 620 air purifier the Clean Air Delivery Rate increases to 800m3 per hour. So increasing the filtration level in a purifier will definitely lower the air flow of the device, but you have to weigh that up with the fact that a HEPA 14 filter is 10 x more effective than a Hepa 13.
OK, now we’re onto the interesting part – what about Price? How much does an air purifier cost? Or perhaps – How much SHOULD an air purifier cost?
You may wonder – How much does a Rensair Purifier Cost? Or – How much does a Camfil Air Purifier Cost? Why is there such a difference in purchase price levels of air purifiers? There’s lots of questions and lots of reasons, but in our opinion there are 3 key factors:
- Brand Power and Authority in the Air Filtration space. The higher the brand appeal, the higher the price (generally).
- Capacity of the air purifier (Fan Speed and Filtration Level)
- Cost in use.
We’re going to score this slightly differently. The analysis of an air purifier cost needs to be relative to it’s capacity to purify a space. So for example if an air purifier is £500 and it’s clean air delivery rate is 300 cubic metres per hour – then we will divide £500 by 300 to establish the price per cubic metre of clean air filtration capacity is £1.66. We will then score the lowest cost per m3 of clean air capacity with a 10 and the highest cost with a 1.
|AIR PURIFIER MODEL||RETAIL PRICES EX VAT (PUBLISHED)||COST per M3 of Clean Air||SCORE||NOTES|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||£1445.00||£2.58||3||Disruptor Brand selling Swedish Designed Air Purifier and pitch their pricing high.|
|CAMFIL CITY M||£1650.00||£3.81||1||Market Authority on Air Filtration. The ‘Go To’ Brand. Probably the highest cost air purifiers on the market.|
|DYSON TP09||£499.00||£2.91||2||This scores very poorly on this price score, as the Air flow is about a quarter of what some of the other air purifiers are so it’s actually an expensive purifier based on volume of air cleaned.|
|BLUEAIR 7770i||£790.83||£1.17||7||Blueair are a global air purification company bossing the space – they are generally competitive and highly reviewed|
|PHILLIPS 3000i||£404.00||£0.78||8||Another top scorer here, but also a lower air flow capacity than 50% of the others on here.|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||£832.50||£1.89||4||Reasonable cost – but quite low air flow from the Swiss Air Purification Specialists.|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||£1362.00||£1.82||5||Again this global brand of office machinery tend to command higher levels of prices than equivalent products.|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||£665.83||£1.07||7||Family Owned Air Purification Brand – Pitch their pricing to be competitive, but add the advantage of HEPA 14 filtration.|
|COWAY MEGA 400S (Amazon)||£524.99||£0.77||9||Korean owned Air Purification company. 2nd most competitive here|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||£415.83||£0.43||10||This is the most competitive price for the highest capacity air flow machine here. US owned relatively new start up that did very well over Covid pandemic|
So the top 3 winners here on price measured against purification capacity are the Medify Air, Coway Mega (Amazon brands) and the Philips air purifier.
Now we come onto what we believe is another important factor for an air purifier – How Portable are they? Are they heavy and do they have wheels? It can be back breaking shifting around heavy items of equipment, so we’re going to score these air purifiers based on their physical weight and whether or not they have wheels – ie can they easily be moved from one space to another.
So for this category – If an air purifier is under 10KG but doesn’t have wheels, or is over 10KG WITH WHEELS, they will score a 10. If they are over 10KG but don’t have wheels they will score a 6. Ie – 4 points are deducted if they are not easily portable as this is a very important factor for most people.
|AIR PURIFIER MODEL||WEIGHT/WHEELS?||SCORE|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||21KG/YES||10|
|CAMFIL CITY M||15KG/NO||6|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||16KG/NO||6|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||15.1KG/NO||6|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||15KG/YES||10|
|COWAY MEGA 400S (Amazon)||11.2KG/NO||6|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||15.19/YES||10|
So the winners and losers on portability here are evenly split – Rensair, Zonitise and Medify win as they are provided with wheels, along with Dyson and Phillips floorstanding machines because they are fairly light machines as a standalone, most probably in Dyson’s case due to lower air flow fan specification.
Next we’re going to look at the Maximum Sound in Use measured in decibels. To help explain this – take a look at the below description of the various sound levels.
- 20 dB – rustling leaves
- 30 dB – whispering
- 40 dB – Quiet Library or Refrigerator
- 50 dB – Refrigerator, moderate rainfall, Quiet suburb, conversation at home
- 60 dB – Dishwasher/Tumble Dryer, background music
- 70 dB – Heavy traffic/Heavy Rain/ Radio or TV-audio, vacuum cleaner
- 80 dB – Loud alarm clock
So we’re going to score this again on quietest being the winner at 10 points and loudest the loser on lowest points. This is the sound level at maximum power. If 2 air purifiers are the same sound level on maximum setting, they will score the same.
|AIR PURIFIER MODEL||Sound Level at Max Power||SCORE||NOTES|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||67dB||6||Over 60dB is rather loud – tied with Coway at this volume|
|CAMFIL CITY M||53dB||8||Acceptable|
|DYSON TP09||46dB||10||Winner here – Dyson engineering and low air flow per hour are most likely reasons|
|PHILLIPS 3000i||56dB||7||Acceptable & tied with IQ Air|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||56dB||7||Acceptable & tied with Phillips|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||68dB||2||Over 60dB is rather loud and this is on the limit of what is considered acceptable.|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||52dB||9||Acceptable and No. 2 in this race|
|COWAY MEGA 400S (Amazon)||67dB||6||Over 60dB is rather loud – tied with Rensair at this volume|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||70dB||5||This is on the limit of unacceptable levels of noise at this fan speed.|
The winners here are the Dyson, the Zonitise Zona 620, the Camfil and Blueair machines with their silent filtration technology.
Next we’ll review 2 key points that we believe although not essential, are nice to haves: We’re testing how SMART each air purifier is. In built air quality monitor that displays the live air quality, and also allows the machine to adjust automatically to pollution levels, and whether or not the machine is Wi-Fi Controllable – ie you can switch it on from anywhere using your phone. So in this case we’ll score each purifier 2 points per feature. This means that even if a purifier has neither feature, it will score a score of 0.
|AIR PURIFIER MODEL||Inbuilt Air Quality Monitor and Auto Adjusts to air quality? YES/NO||WI-FI Controllable YES/NO||SCORE|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||YES||NO||2|
|CAMFIL CITY M||NO||NO||0|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||YES||NO||2|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||YES||NO||2|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||YES||YES||4|
|COWAY MEGA 400S||YES||YES||4|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||NO||NO||0|
The future is definitely going towards ‘smart air purifiers’, and 50% of the above models incorporate both of these important features.
We want to also look at whether these air purifiers incorporate Carbon filters. Whilst not essential in an air purifier, having a carbon filter is important if you want to trap gas molecules and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that get released from household products. These filters help remove the odours from the air. We’re going to give an air purifier 2 bonus points if they have Carbon filters.
|AIR PURIFIER MODEL||Carbon Filters YES/NO||SCORE|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||NO||0|
|CAMFIL CITY M||YES||2|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||YES||2|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||YES||2|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||YES||2|
|COWAY MEGA 400S||YES||2|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||YES||2|
This shows that 90% of the models being tested do have the Carbon filtration which is important.
Now we’re going to look at really interesting study – and that’s the air purifiers cost in use. To do this we will take a 3 year period from purchase. We will look at the cost of replacement filters, and how often they need to be replaced to get our total maintenance cost over 3 years from purchase. We will then score each air purifier based on it’s total cost to run over 3 years (excluding purchase price). The least expensive to run will score highest and the most expensive will score lowest out of 10.
|AIR PURIFIER MODEL||Cost of Replacement Filters||How many times will they need to be replaced according to MFR’s recommendations in 3 years||Total Cost over 3 years £||SCORE|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||£279||3||£837||2|
|CAMFIL CITY M||£276||2||£552||6|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||£300||2||£600||5|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||£240||3||£720||3|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||£119||4||£476||7|
|COWAY MEGA 400S||£65||3||£195||9|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||£115||9||£1035||1|
This is quite interesting as it shows that the Medify Air 112 machine, although the most competitively priced machine to purchase and with superior airflow to all the others, is more than double the cost of half of the other air purifiers to run over 3 years in terms of the cost of replacement filters. Leading brands such as Camfil and IQ Air Filters are expensive, but they only need to be replaced twice in 36 months which in some sense justifies the higher cost of the filters.
OK – let’s have a look at the warranties on these air purifiers. As it’s important to know what you can expect from the brands when something does occasionally go wrong. We’ll score this starting with the longest warranty scoring a 10, and then coming down to the lowest. Where air purifiers have the same length of warranty, they will score equally.
|AIR PURIFIER MODEL||Length of Warranty||CAVEATS to warranty||SCORE|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||1 YEAR||Limited||6|
|CAMFIL CITY M||1 YEAR||Limited||6|
|DYSON TP09||2 YEARS||Limited||7|
|BLUEAIR 7770i||1 YEAR||Limited||6|
|PHILLIPS 3000i||2 YEARS||Limited||7|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||10 YEARS||Limited||9|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||5 YEARS||Limited||8|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||2 YEARS||Limited||7|
|COWAY MEGA 400S||5 YEARS||Limited||8|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||LIFETIME||That the filters have been replaced every 3-4 months with genuine parts||10|
The medify air warranty is excellent, but the caveat that you have to have replaced filters in line with MFR recommendations which won’t come cheap, and is probably how the company can afford to offer this level of warranty. Fellowes and IQ Air come in next at decent periods, but this again is likely factored for in the initial up front and replacement filter costs from the Mfr.
OK – now for the best bit – so let’s summarize the tallies for each of the questions to see which air purifier comes out tops.
|AIR PURIFIER||Q1 Score Filter Type||Q2 Score Air Flow||Q3 Score||Q4 Score||Q5 Score||Q6 Score Smart||Q7 Score Carbon Filters||Q8 Score||Q9 Score Warranty||TOTALS|
|Price||Portability||Sound||Cost in use|
|RENSAIR CORE 560||8||5||3||10||6||2||0||2||6||42|
|CAMFIL CITY M||10||2||1||6||8||0||2||6||6||41|
|IQ AIR HEALTH PRO 250||8||3||4||6||7||2||2||5||9||46|
|FELLOWES AERAMAX AM4||8||9||5||6||2||2||2||3||8||45|
|ZONITISE ZONA 620||10||6||7||10||9||4||2||7||7||62|
|COWAY MEGA 400S||8||8||9||6||6||4||2||9||8||60|
|MEDIFY AIR 112 (Amazon)||8||10||10||10||5||0||2||1||10||56|
This analysis was quite surprising for our technical team and marketing teams and by no means a foregone conclusion for them as air purification is a very competetive space. We knew that it would be very close. We also knew that the Zonitise Zona 620 was a great machine, but to actually score each machine on important merits and then come out in top spot at 62 points out of a possible 76, just pipping Coway and with Medify Air and Blueair tied on 56, was a great credit to our product and marketing teams who look to have got the correct blend of great technical capacity alongside of price point.
Interested in finding out more? Feel free to get in touch today with one of our friendly advisors.
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