Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier – Which Is Better?

filter-vs.-filterless-air-purifier-woman-thinking-which-is-better

Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier–which should you choose?

When I went to buy my first air purifier, I had yet to learn that there were filter and filterless air purifiers.

And if you’re in the same situation and looking for a filter vs. filterless air purifier comparison to help you find the best option for your needs, you’ve come to the right place.

Today, we’ll discuss what filter and filterless air purifiers are, their differences, and which one is the best option for you.

Read on to learn more.

Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier – Which Is Better?

An Overview of Filter Air Purifiers

LEVOIT Filter Air Purifier Core 300

Filter air purifiers are the most common type on the market.

As the name suggests, these air purifiers use filters to capture airborne particles and clean the air in an indoor space.

These air purifiers can use various filters. 

Many of the best options use a multi-stage filtration system to capture as many particles as possible.

If you’re looking for a filter air purifier, I’d recommend getting a model with a True HEPA filter.

A High-Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filter is one of the best filters for air purification available today.

Some of the top HEPA filters can capture particles up to 1.0 microns small, which is why HEPA filter air purifiers are considered the best option for home air purification.

That said, filter air purifiers aren’t the best option for spaces larger than 1,000 square feet, so they aren’t ideal for commercial spaces.

There are advantages and drawbacks to getting a filter air purifier, so it’s up to you to determine if these are the right pick for your needs.

An Overview of Filterless Air Purifiers

Filterless air purifiers don’t use filtration to clean the air.

Airfree P3000 Filterless Silent Air Purifier

Many filterless air purifiers are on the market today, but the most common option is the ionic air purifier.

These air purifiers release ions, which are electrically charged molecules, into the air.

The molecules then charge the particles in the air like dust, pet dander, and pollutants, which causes them to stick to walls, floors, and other flat surfaces.

This removes the harmful particles from the air and makes the air much safer to breathe.

Other ionic air purifiers have a fan that sucks air into the purifier.

From there, the air passes between electrically charged metal plates, causing the particles to stay inside the air purifier.

Another common type of filterless air purifier is the UV air purifier.

These air purifiers clean the air by emitting a UV-C light with germicidal qualities, deactivating the DNA of bacteria, dust mites, and other viruses.

Filterless air purifiers are great for larger spaces. However, some evidence shows the by-products of filterless air purification can be dangerous.

We’ll discuss that in the later sections, where we dive into more detail.

But like filter air purifiers, there are pros and cons to using a filterless air purifier. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about your need and preferences.

Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifiers – What’s the Difference?

The only similarity between filter and filterless air purifiers is that these appliances are designed to clean the air and remove harmful particles. 

Aside from that, these are completely different machines, and it’s important to understand their differences when choosing between a filter and a filterless air purifier.

So, let’s dive into the key differences between these two air purifiers so you can easily decide which works best for you.

How Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifiers Work

First, let’s talk about how these air purifiers work.

A filter air purifier, whether it uses a HEPA filter, carbon filter, or another type of filtration system, will use a fan to suck air from the room and force it through the filter.

These high-quality filters are designed to capture small airborne particles that would otherwise end up in the lungs.

Some models even use multiple filters to capture different types of particles.

This is why filter air purifiers capture pollutants and dust and can even eliminate foul odors.

On the flip side, most filterless air purifiers work by emitting specific molecules or lights into the air.

When these molecules are in the air, they cause particles and pollutants to fall to the ground.

With some filterless air purifiers, UV light neutralizes harmful particles and bacteria.

So, even if the filter and filterless air purifiers work toward the same goal, they achieve that very differently.

Size of the Room Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier Can Handle

Another primary difference between filter and filterless air purifiers is the rooms they can handle.

If you’re buying a home air purifier, you might want to avoid filterless air purifiers.

A filter air purifier is best used in spaces under 1,000 square feet.

When used in spaces larger than 1,000 square feet, filter air purifiers don’t work as efficiently and effectively.

For larger spaces, filterless air purifiers are the best option.

Most filterless air purifiers on the market will not be effective when cleaning areas of 1,000 square feet. 

In comparison, there are many filterless air purifiers available that can handle up to 3,000 square feet.

So, suppose you’re looking to manage the air quality in a large commercial area. In that case, you might be better off with a filterless model.

Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier Maintenance

Maintenance is a significant concern for many people when buying an air purifier.

That said, both air purifier types require maintenance, depending on the kind of maintenance you’re willing to perform.

For example, if you get a filter air purifier, you must change or clean the filters every few months.

This can be quite a hassle since you must buy replacement filters designed for your device.

On the other hand, if you have an ionic air purifier, you will have to clean the metal plates and wires that release the charged molecules.

Additionally, some ionic air purifiers will cause dust to fall on flat surfaces, meaning you must also clean these surfaces on top of the air purifier.

While you don’t have to pay for additional filters with an ionic air purifier, you might have an easier time simply replacing the filters instead of cleaning the charged plates.

Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier Noise Levels

One of the things you have to deal with if you get a filter air purifier is that these air purifiers produce more noise.

Returning to how these air purifiers work, you can’t use a filter air purifier without turning on the fan.

And no matter what technology they use, the fan will make noise.

Even some of the quietest filter air purifiers on the market make significant noise.

Conversely, you can use some filterless air purifiers without a fan.

Not all filterless air purifiers require a fan, so you’ll have much lower noise levels.

So, suppose you’re sensitive to sounds and like to have the most silent appliances possible. In that case, you might want to consider a filterless air purifier.

filter-vs.-filterless-air-purifier-woman-sleeping-unbothered-with-noise

Filter vs. Filterless Air Purification By-Products

A significant concern with filterless air purifiers is a by-product of the air purification process.

This is because most filterless air purifiers produce ozone as a by-product of air purification.

When the charged molecules react with dust in the air, this produces ozone. This is also why you may notice a chlorine-like odor when using a filterless air purifier.

Inhaling large amounts of ozone indoors is dangerous and can cause headaches and trouble breathing.

You don’t have to worry about harmful by-products when you get a filter air purifier.

This is why filter air purifiers are a much safer and more effective option, especially if you only need one for your home.

Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier Design

You won’t find the best or most diverse designs with a filterless air purifier.

Most filterless air purifiers have the classic tower design, with the most recent options featuring a slimmer profile.

But with filter air purifiers, you have a much wider range of designs that you can choose from.

So, suppose you’re looking for an air purifier that can also complement your interior design. In that case, you might have better luck with a filter air purifier.

Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier Price

Many filter and filterless air purifiers are available at different price points.

In my research, I found two filter and filterless air purifiers for as low as $40 and as high as $1,800.

That said, you don’t have to spend as much to get a high-quality filter air purifier, while the best filterless air purifiers tend to cost a bit more.

FAQs on Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifiers

Should I Get a Filter or Filterless Air Purifier?

If you’re looking for a home air purifier, a filter air purifier is the best option. These are great at filtering out harmful particles from the air and are ideal for most situations.

What Is the Safest Air Purifier?

The safest air purifiers available right now are HEPA filter air purifiers. These air purifiers produce no harmful by-products while also cleaning the air efficiently.

Is It Good to Use an Air Purifier Every Day?

For the best protection, we recommend using an air purifier every day. That way, you know you are protected against harmful particles and pollutants.

filter-vs.-filterless-air-purifier-woman-using-one-with-filter

Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier – Conclusion

We didn’t find a definite winner in this filter vs. filterless air purifier comparison.

Instead, we determined that different air purifiers are designed for various purposes.

If you’re looking for a good air purifier at home, a filter model will be a better pick.

But if you need an air purifier for a large commercial space, you might be better off with a filterless option.

READ NEXT: Airocide: The NASA Approved Filterless Air Purifier

Top 5 Best Wall-Mounted Air Purifiers: Our Top Picks

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While most air purifiers are designed to be on the ground, we can still round up the best wall-mounted air purifiers available in the market if that’s what you’re looking for.

After all, standard purifiers are only feasible for some people.

If you have pets or small children, keeping your air purifier off the ground in a hard-to-reach location is the best option. 

That is where a wall-mounted air purifier comes in.

With a wall-mounted air purifier, you will get all the benefits of a regular one without worrying about your little ones messing with it.

Read on to learn more about our top picks for the best wall-mounted air purifiers on the market.

Best Wall-Mounted Air Purifiers in 2023

1. Rabbit Air A3 SPA-1000N

Rabbit Air A3 SPA-1000N

The first wall-mounted air purifier to start this list is the Rabbit Air A3 SPA-1000N

This air purifier is designed for large rooms and can cover up to 1070 square feet, making it ideal for multiple rooms or business settings where you must purify the air in large office spaces.

The Rabbit Air A3 SPA-1000N features a 6-stage filtration system with a high-quality HEPA filter, the gold standard for home air purification.

One unique feature that makes this one of the best wall-mounted air purifiers is the ability to customize the filtration system based on your need. 

This model comes with 4 different filtration customization options: pet allergy, odor remover, germ defense, and toxin absorber.

The different customization options will include filters that optimize the removal of pet dander or odors depending on your concerns. 

This makes it an excellent option for people with particular air-quality concerns like disease transmission who aren’t as worried about allergies or odor removal.

You can also control your air purifier using the Rabbit Air app downloaded on your smartphone. This app will allow you to monitor the air quality and adjust the settings no matter where you are.

This air purifier can be placed on the ground and used like a standard air purifier, or you can easily mount it to any wall to keep it out of the way and maximize your floor space.

2. Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A

Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A

Next up on the list is another Rabbit Air device, the Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A.

Like the previous Rabbit Air purifier, it also has different filter customization options. 

When you order this air purifier, you can pick between odor remover, germ defense, and toxin remover options.

Compared to the previous one, the bonus to this Rabbit Air purifier is that it comes at a lower price.

That being said, it also has fewer features.

You won’t be able to control this device from your phone, and it also has a lower capacity than the SPA-1000N. 

This device is only recommended for up to 815 square feet, more than 200 square feet less than the previously mentioned model.

This air purifier has a 6-stage air purification system which makes it ideal for people who deal with a lot of pollution and want to maintain their air quality. 

The stages of the filtration include:

  • A pre-filter.
  • Medium filter.
  • HEPA filter.
  • Customized filter (odor, germ, toxin).
  • Activated carbon filter.
  • A negative ion generator.

The MinusA2 can be used as a standalone air purifier or mounted on the wall. 

This saves space and is also a good option if you have pets or children that shouldn’t have access to the air purifier.

It also has a very slim profile and only protrudes about 7-8 inches from the wall. 

This means that even with an air purifier mounted on your wall, you can maintain a seamless aesthetic throughout the home.

3. MISSUE Air Purifier

MISSUE Air Purifier

Moving onto a different brand, we have the MISSUE Air Purifier.

The MISSUE Air Purifier is rated for rooms of up to 300 square feet and can filter 300 square feet in only 18 minutes.

This air purifier uses multi-stage filtration consisting of a pre-filter to remove large debris, a nano filter, and a HEPA filter to remove even the tiniest impurities from the air. 

It also has a cold catalyst filter and an activated carbon filter designed to trap and break down odor-causing particles.

To make maintenance even more accessible, the MISSUE Air Purifier can automatically adjust its setting based on the air quality.

To do this, it uses a sensor that constantly monitors the air quality. 

If the air quality drops, the air purifier will automatically move to a higher setting to improve the air quality.

In addition to automatic mode, this air purifier also has a sleep mode. 

When placed in sleep mode, the air purifier will turn to a lower setting to minimize noise, allowing it to become virtually silent.

Like the other air purifiers on this list, the MISSUE Air Purifier can be used as a standalone or mounted on the wall. 

However, this air purifier is wider and will not blend as seamlessly with the wall, so that’s something to consider if aesthetics are a concern.

4. Webetop A6001

Webetop A6001

At first glance, this air purifier looks very different from the others on this list. 

Instead of a rectangular, box-like device, the Webetop A6001 is a flat disk designed to be mounted on your wall.

One thing to keep in mind right from the get-go with this air purifier is that it can only be used when mounted. 

Despite its small footprint, the A6001 is rated for rooms of up to 322 square feet and has a high-quality 6-stage filtration system.

The 6-stage filtration system includes a pre-filter, HEPA filter, HESA filter, deodorizing filter, negative ion filter, and a UV light for added sterilization of bacteria and viruses. 

Although the names sound similar, HEPA filters and HESA filters serve two different purposes.

HEPA filters are designed to primarily remove allergens and tiny particles that could irritate your respiratory system. HESA filters, on the other hand, are designed to reduce foul odors and can be very useful when removing smoke.

As for the monitor portion of this air purifier, it constantly displays the air quality, temperature, and humidity levels.

The sensor used for the air-quality display can also control the settings if the device is placed in auto-mode. This makes the Webetop air purifier an excellent option for someone who wants a hands-off air purifier that does its job with little interaction.

Before purchasing this air purifier, there are two critical things to consider, its mounting and replacement filters.

This air purifier can only be used as a wall-mounted air purifier. This means that if one day you decide a standalone air purifier would be a better fit, you’ll need to purchase a completely new model.

Due to this air purifier’s unique shape, finding replacement filters in your local home improvement store might not be easy. 

To find a replacement filter, you will likely need to order it online, which can be inconvenient, especially if shipping to your area is expensive.

5. Medify MA-35

Medify MA-35

Another best air purifier designed exclusively as a wall-mount air purifier is the Medify MA-35

This air purifier is available on Amazon or from the Medify Air store.

Although this air purifier has a small footprint, it still packs a punch and can filter all the air in a 640-square-foot room twice every hour. 

This makes it an excellent option for larger homes, schools, or office buildings where air purifiers with a smaller capacity simply won’t do.

One of the most significant benefits of this wall-mounted air purifier is its filtration system. 

Medify decided to take quality filtration a step further with this model and fit it with HEPA 13 air filters instead of the more commonly used HEPA 11.

HEPA 11 air filters can remove 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 micrometers in size. 

The HEPA 13 air filters can go even smaller and remove 99.9% of particles down to 0.1 micrometers.

This means this filter effectively captures mold, pollen, and dust and can pull viruses out of the air. 

Medify MA-35 is a great option if you are worried about disease transmission or have someone in the home with a compromised immune system.

This air purifier comes with 3 different speed settings and a sleep mode. 

The sleep mode will dim all the lights on the display and keep noise to a minimum, allowing you to get the best sleep possible.

Another benefit of the MA-35 is that it has a child’s lock. That way, even if your child manages to get high enough to touch the air purifier, they cannot change the settings when the child’s lock is enabled.

FAQs on Best Wall-Mounted Air Purifiers

Do wall air purifiers work as well as standalone air purifiers?

If you pick a high-quality wall air purifier, it can work just as well as a standalone air purifier. 

However, the effectiveness of a wall air purifier will also depend on the shape of your room.

If you have a large, open room, a wall air purifier may not work as well as a standalone air purifier. 

This is because if the air purifier is on one wall, it must be powerful enough to pull air from one side of a large room to the other.

A standalone air purifier can go in a more central location, allowing it to filter a large room more efficiently.

Are air purifiers or HEPA air purifiers better?

When you purchase an air purifier, you should always try and pick one that uses a HEPA filter. 

HEPA filters are often considered the gold standard for air purification.

They can remove more than 99% of particles from the air that are at least 0.3 microns in size. 

This is why they are the most highly recommended air filters used in hospitals and medical clinics to purify the air.

A regular air filter will still remove some larger contaminants, like dust, some pollens, and pet hair. Still, they cannot filter out smaller particles like mold. 

Whenever possible, you should always choose a high-quality HEPA filter for your air purifier.

Do air purifiers have a downside?

Although air purifiers are known to improve allergy and asthma symptoms by removing contaminants from the air, in some cases, they can make them worse. 

This is because some air purifier models secrete small amounts of ozone which can worsen asthma symptoms.

To avoid this, make sure to purchase an air purifier that is certified to be 100% ozone free. 

As long as you do this, you can rest assured that your air purifier won’t worsen your symptoms.

Can air purifiers dry out the air in a room?

A common misconception about air purifiers is that they can dry out the air in a room. Fortunately, this is not true.

The only things an air purifier pulls out of the air are small particles floating in the air, including dust, mold spores, pet dander, and pet hair.

If you want to add moisture to your room, some companies are now manufacturing air purifiers and humidifier combos. 

These devices simultaneously purify the air and introduce moisture to maintain optimal humidity.

How long should you run an air purifier every day?

Ideally, you want to run your air purifier 24/7. 

This will prevent pollutants from building up in your air and maintain a more stable air quality throughout the day.

However, this is only sometimes realistic. Air purifiers use a decent amount of electricity; leaving them on for an entire day can cause your electricity bills to jump.

To see a noticeable difference in your air quality, you should run your air purifier for at least 8 hours daily. 

You can also break up this time into several smaller chunks to maintain air quality throughout the day without constantly running the purifier.

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Best Wall-Mounted Air Purifiers – Final Thoughts

When looking for an air purifier, it is important to consider your needs. 

For some people, wall-mounted air purifiers are a better fit than traditional standalone air purifiers.

Wall-mounted air purifiers are an excellent choice for people with children, pets, or those who live in small apartments and don’t want to take up any floor space. 

Fortunately, several fantastic wall-mounted air purifiers provide excellent filtration with a minuscule footprint.

The most high-powered air purifier option on this list is the Rabbit Air A3 SPA-1000N. This powerful air purifier is rated for rooms up to 1070 square feet.

Another excellent option for a slightly lower price is the Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A. This has a sleek, elegant profile and a high capacity with a superior filtration system.

No matter which option you pick, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure your air purifier operates at maximum efficiency.

READ NEXT: Air Purifier Location Guide: Where Should I Place My Air Purifier?

What Are the Benefits of an Air Purifier?

What Are the Benefits of an Air Purifier_

I can’t lie. 

It took me quite some time to get my hands on my first air purifier. 

After all, like most people, I was skeptical about investing my hard-earned money into a unit that was designed to purify the air.

Waiting and wondering whether or not I should buy an air purifier was probably the biggest mistake I’ve made, especially since I suffer from seasonal allergies. 

Which often end up ruining not one or two days of my life each year but weeks during the time seasonal allergies peak.

It’s been several years since then, and honestly, I can’t quite imagine my life without an air purifier.

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Are Air Purifiers Proven Safe?

Are air purifiers safe

In a classic mixed response to the question, “Are air purifiers safe?” the answer is yes, and no.

Mechanical filtering air purifiers are always safe, but ozone generators and ionizers can produce air purifier side effects.

We’ll cover that in a bit.

So, are air purifiers dangerous?

Let’s take a look.

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Are Air Purifiers a Waste of Money? – All You Need to Know Before Buying an Air Purifier

are air purifiers a waste of money

Although popular, air purifiers are still not as commonly used. This is because there is a lot of uncertainty about how they work, if they even work, and whether they are a smart purchase or not. 

To answer these questions and more, we will discuss the working and benefits of air purifiers in detail.

So without further ado, let’s find out if air purifiers are actually worth your money or not.

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