Best Charcoal Air Purifiers for 2021: Buying Guide

Are you sure your home smells as good as you think it does? Unpleasant odors can rear their ugly heads when you least expect them, but you may not notice them due to a common nose-related issue called olfactory fatigue. When you are exposed to a smell for prolonged periods, your nose becomes desensitized to that smell.

Best Charcoal Air Purifiers


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While a HEPA filter in an air purifier can trap airborne allergens like dust and pollen, it is unable to obliterate the gases that cause odors or volatile organic compounds.

For these contaminants, you need an air purifier with an activated carbon filter.

Air Purifier | Bestsellers


Our Recommended Charcoal Air Purifiers in 2021

Foul odors do not make for a pleasant home environment, and they can cause embarrassment when company comes.

Then, there are VOCs, which pose major risks to your health. Here are the top five charcoal air purifiers you can buy today that will help safeguard the health of you and your family.

8) Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Air Purifier SPA-625A

RabbitAir BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier (SPA-550A)
RabbitAir BioGS 2.0

In addition to its odor-fighting charcoal filter, this air purifier from Rabbit Air contains a BioGS HEPA filter that minimizes on-filter bacteria and allergen buildup as well as a pre-filter and an ionizer.

The BioGS 2.0’s five-speed motor is powerful enough to cover a 625-square-foot room and quiet enough to produce a maximum of 50.4 decibels.

Rabbit Air saves you money with its 29-watt Energy Star rating and 3-year HEPA and carbon filter lifespan. The air purifier is equipped with a sensor that detects contaminants and odors, and you can run it in auto mode for hassle-free operation. You also get the convenience of an integrated holder for the remote and a timer function.

Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier...
  • The BioGS SPA-625A air purifier will filter all the air in a room up to 625 sq. ft. twice in an hour on the...
  • BioGS HEPA Filtration with 4 stages of purification and deodorization. The BioGS HEPA and Charcoal-Based...
  • An ultra quiet BLDC motor operates at five different speeds. It’s virtually silent at low speed.

7) InvisiClean Aura Air Purifier IC-5018

InvisiClean Aura II Air Purifier - 4-in-1 True HEPA, Ionizer, Carbon + UV-C Sanitizer
InvisiClean Aura II

This lightweight air purifier only weighs 8.9 pounds, yet it has an impressive clean air delivery rate of 170 cubic feet per minute. Thanks to its DC motor, the InvisiClean Aura boasts a low electricity draw that ranges from 3 to 47 watts.

Inside of the purifier, there is a true-HEPA filter, an activated carbon pre-filter, a germicidal UV-C light and an ionizer.

Both filters last up to 12 months and provide coverage for a 300-square-foot space. From the labeled soft-touch buttons, you can select from four fan speeds, set the 8-hour timer and activated the lights-out sleep mode. With a sound output of 55 decibels, the background noise it makes is always peaceful.

InvisiClean Aura II Air Purifier - 4-in-1 True...
  • Get Relief From Allergies - Eliminates common allergy triggers including dust mites, pollen, and pet dander....
  • Best In Class Performance & Energy Saving - Utilizes low EMF radiation DC motor to deliver DOUBLE the air...
  • Complete Filtration & Germ Disinfection - Easily replaceable H13 99.985% true HEPA filter and activated carbon...

6) Levoit LV-PUR131 Air Purifier

LEVOIT LV-PUR131 Air Purifier
LEVOIT LV-PUR131

A combo HEPA/pre-filter and an activated carbon filter along with a CADR rating of 135 promises solid performance. Made for rooms that measure 322 square feet, this Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier is an energy-saver, using 40 watts of electricity on its highest of three fan speeds.

Each filter lasts 6 to 8 months, and the air purifier offers several convenience features such as sleep mode, which sets the purifier to the lowest fan speed. You also have the option of turning off the LED display and setting the 12-hour timer.

If you prefer the purifier choose the fan speed, select auto mode, and it will adjust the speed according to the results of the air quality sensor.

LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Large Room,Smoke and...
  • MAX Mode Power: Cleans a room up to 900 sq.ft in 1 hour, 500 sq.ft in 33 minutes. Maximum benefits 360 sq.ft...
  • Smoke Eater and Odor Eliminators: With Huge Honeycomb activated carbon filter, True HEPA filter, Pre-filter,...
  • Ideal for Allergic People: Remove up to 99.97% of dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and other allergens...

5) Germ Guardian AC4825E

GermGuardian AC4825
GermGuardian AC4825

This tower-style air purifier uses a charcoal pre-filter to control odors and VOCs as well as a true-HEPA to trap allergens. GermGuardian also added a UV-C light with a titanium dioxide catalyst to sharpen the purifier’s germ-killing ability.

The HEPA filter lasts 9 months while the charcoal filter lasts 6 months; an indicator lets you know when it’s time to change them.

Simple controls make it easy to change settings. Toggle the UV-C light with the push button and select one of three fan speeds with the dial. This 7.5-pound air purifier has an average CADR of 117 cubic feet per minute and an Energy Star rating of 53 watts, and it’s ideal for 155 square feet of living space.

Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with...
  • 4-in-1 air purifier for home: True HEPA air filter reduces up to 99.97% of harmful germs, dust, pollen, pet...
  • Kills germs: UV-C light helps kill airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus, and works with...
  • Traps allergens pre filter traps dust, pet hair, and other large particles while extending the life of the...

4) Germ Guardian AC4300BPTCA

GermGuardian AC4300 PET 3n1 True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
GermGuardian AC4300

The GermGuardian AC4300 PET 3n1 purifies the air in three ways. It captures allergens with its true-HEPA filter, which is coated with a Pet Pure antimicrobial agent, and it eliminates odors with its charcoal filter.

There is also a titanium dioxide UV-C light that obliterates bacteria, mold spores, and viruses. The filters have an 8-month lifespan, and there is a handy filter change indicator on the control panel.

GermGuardian’s sleek, modern tower is designed for use in a 124-square-foot room. Two discreet push buttons let you turn on the UV-C light and choose from among three fan speeds.

There are even fan-speed indicator lights that confirm your selection. On its highest speed, the Elite draws 52 watts of electricity and achieves a 170 CADR rating.

Sale
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier, UV...
  • 5-in-1 air purifier for home - electrostatic hepa media air filter reduces up to 99.97% of harmful germs,...
  • PET PURE FILTER - An antimicrobial agent is added to the filter to inhibit the growth of mold, mildew and...
  • KILLS GERMS - UV-C light helps kill airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus, and works with...

3) Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier

The air320 by Bissell offers three-stage filtration that eliminates odors and airborne particles. The washable fabric prefilter stops large contaminants from clogging the subsequent filters. The honeycomb-style activated carbon filter traps gases, cooking smells, and harmful VOCs, while a True HEPA Filter eliminates particles as small as 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency.

Bissell air320
Bissell air320

Thanks to the AirCirqulate System, the air320 constantly monitors indoor air quality to automatically turn the motor on when needed and off to save energy. This device is designed to clean the air in spaces of up to 308 square feet and is rated 199 CFM against smoke.

Sale
Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and...
  • Every Bissell purchase helps save pets. Bissell proudly supports Bissell Pet Foundation and its mission to...
  • 3 Stage Filtration. Includes a fabric pre-filter, an activated carbon filter and a HEPA filter which captures...
  • Honeycomb-Structured Filter. Activated carbon filter captures gases and VOC’s including odors from pets,...

2) Blueair Blue Pure 211+

The 211+ is the flagship air purifier from Blueair. It has a maximum CADR of 350 CFM and covers spacious rooms of up to 525 square feet. It comes equipped with Swedish Filter Technology, a HEPA-style filter type, that removes 99% of airborne particles. An activated carbon rests just behind the Swedish filter to capture nausea-inducing VOCs.

Blueair Blue Pure 211+
Blueair Blue Pure 211+

Many users appreciate the Blue Pure 211+ for its intuitive, no-nonsense design. The single-button setup means a hassle-free user experience, though its simplicity comes at the cost of premium features (no air-quality sensors or timer). On its lowest fan speed, the 211+ hums at a gentle 31 decibels.

Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier 3 Stage with...
  • Advanced Swedish Design: Swedish Filter Technology Captures 99% of Airborne Pollutants Like Viruses, Pollen,...
  • Eliminates odors. Activated carbon filter reduces gases, VOCs, and annoying odors from pets, smoking, cooking,...
  • Colorful. Includes machine washable fabric pre-filters in diva blue and dark shadow. Leave the mesh filter...

1) Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier

The Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier takes odor-removal in another direction. Instead of having a dedicated carbon filter, the carbon filter is firmly attached to the prefilter. While unconventional, this 2-in-1 prefilter setup works wonders at trapping VOCs and other nose-wrinkling odors like kitchen failures and pet smells.

Winix 5300-2
Winix 5300-2

Other than the prefilter and the True HEPA filter, the 5300-2 features PlasmaWave technology—an ionizer to further enhance airborne particle removal without producing ozone. This air purifier has a maximum reach of 360 square feet and CADR ratings of 243 CFM, 232 CFM, and 246 CFM for dust, smoke, and pollen, respectively. Users were amazed by how little noise this device generates, even at its highest fan speed.

Sale
Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA,...
  • True-HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne pollutants; dust mites, pet dander, pollen and other allergens as...
  • 3 Stage cleaning, removes a range of allergens: dust, cigarette smoke, pollen, odors, pet dander, mold spores...
  • PlasmaWave acts as a permanent filter to safely break down odor, allergens, chemical vapors and other...

Looking for charcoal/bamboo bags? Check out this post about Bamboo/Charcoal Air Purifying Bags!

A Quick Guide to Shopping for a Charcoal Air Purifier

From basic to feature-laden, air purifiers come in various setups. For odor and chemical removal as well as overall excellent performance, we compiled a list of must-have features. If you want a few conveniences, we threw in a list of extras too.

Must-Haves

You cannot get rid of unpleasant smells or dangerous VOCs without an activated charcoal filter. However, your air purifier should also have a HEPA filter for comprehensive purification.

You also want the filters to last for a long time to avoid the cost of monthly replacements, and make sure the air purifier you choose is suited for the size of the room.

Best Activated Carbon Air Purifiers

A particle sensor helps you select the correct fan setting on multi-speed models, and a low decibel output ensures the purifier won’t be a nuisance. Since several variables determine a carbon filter’s lifespan, a filter change indicator is extremely helpful.

Extras

Manufacturers integrate an ionizer or a UV-C light into some air purifiers. While an ionizer enhances the purifier’s particle-collection rate and an ultraviolet-C light kills germs on contact, neither is necessary if the air purifier has a HEPA and a charcoal filter.

Functions such as auto mode and sleep mode can save you a few minutes, but they don’t do anything that you can’t do yourself. A timer is another extra, but to get the maximum benefit from your air purifier, you should run it around the clock.

Even though a remote lets you control the air purifier from across the room, the same functions are accessible via the on-board panel.

Top Charcoal Air Purifiers

FAQs

How Long Does a Carbon Filter Last?

Even though the adsorption area on a carbon filter is rather extensive, it’s not limitless. When all the pores are filled with pollutants, the filter can no longer do its job, and neither can the air purifier.

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof method of determining whether an activated carbon filter is saturated, and the lifespan of a carbon filter varies due to filter size and surrounding air quality.

A strange odor is indicative of a full carbon filter; however, a smell is not always present. The best practice is to follow the air purifier manufacturer’s instructions for filter maintenance.

If your air purifier often detects poor indoor air quality, you should change the carbon filter sooner.

What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are gases and vapors that come from a staggering number of sources. Many indoor sources may be products that you use regularly. For example, burning wood in your fireplace releases VOCs into the air.

If you are a DIYer, you can be exposed to VOCs when painting, laying carpet or using certain building materials. Art supplies, air fresheners, and cigarettes are three more common indoor VOC culprits.

Whether or not you may experience symptoms related to VOCs depends on several factors, including the toxicity level of the VOC, the volume of the VOC that’s airborne, the length of exposure and your personal health.

Symptoms of VOC exposure range from mild ones like headaches, throat irritation, and nausea to life-threatening ones such as cancer, organ failure and nervous system damage.

Top Charcoal Air Purifiers

How Is Carbon Activated?

The activation process for carbon is a little different. Like one of the methods used for charcoal, steam is involved. Instead of surrounding the carbon with steam, manufacturers inject the steam into the carbon, which creates extra-small pores needed for adsorption.

Often, carbon undergoes a chemical treatment after it’s activated to boost its contaminant-trapping ability.

How Is Charcoal Activated?

For charcoal, there are two methods that manufacturers employ. The first method involves steam, which envelops the charcoal as it’s heated to a temperature as high as 2,192 degrees Fahrenheit.

The second method uses phosphoric acid in place of steam, which is injected into the charcoal. Then, the charcoal is heated to a temperature of up to 1,652 degrees Fahrenheit.
With acid, it doesn’t take as long for the charcoal to complete the activation process.

However, steam-only activation eliminates the minute risk of trace elements. Either way, the charcoal’s pores shrink after activation, leading to a larger adsorption surface.

What Materials Are Used to Make Carbon Filters?

Manufacturers of carbon, or charcoal, filters can choose from many sources to create their products. Coal, charcoal, and wood are the three most common sources as they are readily available and cost-effective in terms of production.

However, some manufacturers opt for other materials such as bamboo, coconut shells, peat, petroleum or sawdust.

The creation of activated carbon does not solely depend on the above-mentioned raw materials. Manufacturers have experienced success with olive stones, palm kernels, and walnut shells. However, these materials are harder to obtain in bulk.

Is Activated Charcoal Different From Activated Carbon?

Carbon filters, charcoal filters – Many people believe that these are not the same type of filter. This belief stems from differences in carbon’s and charcoal’s activation processes. In spite of that distinction, they share similar properties.

Therefore, you can correctly interchange for activated charcoal for activated carbon in the scope of filtration because both terms refer to the same filter.

How Do Activated Carbon Filters Work?

To create a carbon filter, manufacturers use coal or other substances, putting them through the activation process. Once that process is complete, a vast number of microscopic pores form, providing a significant amount of surface area for capturing gaseous particles.

In fact, a single pound of activated carbon has enough pores to cover 100 acres.

When used in an air purifier, a carbon filter traps odor-causing particles via adsorption, which causes the particles to adhere to the exterior of the filter. This is not the same as absorption. With absorption, a substance is contained within an object.

Best Charcoal Air Purifiers

Our Recommended Air Purifiers

Best of the Best!
Most Popular
Also Great
Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier with 1,560...
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets...
Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA,...
Coway Airmega 400
LEVOIT Vista 200
Winix 5300-2
• For Large Rooms
• 22 - 43.2 dB
• 4-Stage Filtration System
• For Small Rooms
• 26 - 50 dB
• H13 True HEPA Air Purifier Filter
• For Mid-Sized Rooms
• 27.8 - 60 dB
• 3-Stage Filtration System
CADR
350 Dust | 350 Pollen | 350 Smoke
CADR
110 Dust | 110 Pollen | 110 Smoke
CADR
243 Dust | 246 Pollen | ‎232 Smoke
If you have a large space you want to remove irritants from, We recommend the Airmega 400. All of Coway air purifiers do an excellent job of attacking indoor pollutants, and we highly recommend any of them.
The Levoit Vista 200 air purifier has some strong suits, but in our opinion it falls short of carving out a meaningful niche for itself. Its ideal use would be in a small bedroom occupied by someone who is sensitive to noise.
With high end air cleaning performance and a whisper quiet fan, the Winix 5300-2 is the perfect combination of power and finesse. It cleared airborne particulates out of our smokey testing room faster than any other model.
Best of the Best!
Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier with 1,560...
Coway Airmega 400
• For Large Rooms
• 22 - 43.2 dB
• 4-Stage Filtration System
CADR
350 Dust | 350 Pollen | 350 Smoke
If you have a large space you want to remove irritants from, We recommend the Airmega 400. All of Coway air purifiers do an excellent job of attacking indoor pollutants, and we highly recommend any of them.
Most Popular
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets...
LEVOIT Vista 200
• For Small Rooms
• 26 - 50 dB
• H13 True HEPA Air Purifier Filter
CADR
110 Dust | 110 Pollen | 110 Smoke
The Levoit Vista 200 air purifier has some strong suits, but in our opinion it falls short of carving out a meaningful niche for itself. Its ideal use would be in a small bedroom occupied by someone who is sensitive to noise.
Also Great
Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA,...
Winix 5300-2
• For Mid-Sized Rooms
• 27.8 - 60 dB
• 3-Stage Filtration System
CADR
243 Dust | 246 Pollen | ‎232 Smoke
With high end air cleaning performance and a whisper quiet fan, the Winix 5300-2 is the perfect combination of power and finesse. It cleared airborne particulates out of our smokey testing room faster than any other model.


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Last update on 2021-04-16 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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