While we evaluated the best air purifiers on the market, we ran across several models that do not include Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) scores. This metric was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) to help consumers determine which air cleaners effectively remove indoor pollutants from the home. Air purifiers generally have three CADR scores, one for dust, one for pollen and one for tobacco smoke. The higher the CADR score, the better the machine is at removing that specific particulate from the room.
AHAM gives air purifiers its verification mark if the machine was tested through its rigorous and methodical process. Unfortunately, some manufacturers use CADR scores simply as a marketing tool and opt to use their own testing methodology to determine their products' CADR specifications. This has led to some misinformation and confusion on the market, as some purifiers seem to have legitimate scores at a quick glance. This makes the AHAM verification mark all the more important to consumers, as it proves the air cleaner was tested through a scientific, standardized process.
However, because of the misconception and misinformation spread about CADR specifications, some manufacturers have decided to forgo labeling CADR scores altogether. Because CADR scores are vital to understanding how effective a machine is at removing pollutants from the home, we were unable to include some excellent machines in our review of the 10 best air purifiers. Here is a closer look at two solid air purifiers without CADR scores.
When you purchase the Alen BreatheSmart, you get to choose what type of HEPA filter you want. Alen offers four different options: HEPA-Pure, HEPA-Silver, HEPA-FreshPlus and HEPA-OdorCell. The HEPA-Pure filter is best for cutting down on dust and allergens, while the HEPA-Silver is great for capturing organic pollutants such as bacteria and germs. The HEPA-FreshPlus removes chemicals and carbon-based compounds, and the HEPA-OdorCell is designed, as the name suggests, to reduce odors and smoke. With this level of customization, you can zero in on specific concerns you have about pollutants in your home.
As Alen chooses not to have its air purifiers tested for CADR scores, it's difficult to ascertain just how effective they are at removing airborne particulates. Although the company specified it has a CADR of 300 according to an Energy Star test, it does not specify if this score is for dust, smoke or pollen, and this score is not AHAM verified.
The Alen BreatheSmart is one of the quietest purifiers we have seen, as it only produces 56 dB on its maximum settings. To give you a comparison, a whisper measures around 30 dB, while many ringtones reach up to 80 dB. The average noise level of the air purifiers we reviewed is just over 60 dB, so the Alen Breathesmart is much quieter. This machine is also Energy Star certified, meaning it consumes less energy than machines without this mark.
One of the most significant deviations from the air cleaner industry standard is Alen's lifetime warranty. This is the only lifetime warranty we have found on an air cleaner, and it protects you from manufacturer defects for as long as you own it. Aside from this amazing warranty, Alen offers excellent customer support over the phone, email or live chat. You also have access to an online user manual, so you don't have to hang on to the physical copy that comes with the machine.
Overall, the Alen BreatheSmart is an excellent air purifier with great customization options, a beautiful design and extensive support options. It's unfortunate that this air purifier does not have CADR scores, because it is among the best we have seen otherwise.
Dyson Pure Cool Link
This air purifier is the only one we evaluated that includes an oscillation feature, meaning the tower moves from side to side to circulate clean air throughout the room. Although this feature isn't integral to cleaning pollutants from your home, it's nice to feel fresh air cross the entire room. Like other Dyson air-treatment products, the Pure Cool Link uses Dyson's Air Multiplier technology to both project airflow across the room and minimize the noise level. This unique design has the added benefit of hiding the fan inside the machine, making it safe for small children and easy to clean.
This air purifier includes a couple convenient features that make it a set-and-forget appliance, meaning you don't have to constantly adjust settings or be present to turn it on. First, the machine has an auto mode that detects the level of pollutants in the air and changes the cleaning settings accordingly. This means you can set the machine up once, put it in auto mode, and rest easy while the machine does the work. Additionally, this air cleaner automatically dims the LED panels and changes to its quietest setting when it detects dim lighting, such as when you've gone to bed. This not only reduces the noise level, it also helps you save energy.
This Dyson air purifier comes with a simple remote control that is magnetized, allowing you to store it on top of the machine. You can also control the Pure Cool Link with the Dyson smartphone app, which lets you turn the machine on or off, change the fan speed, put it in sleep or auto mode, or even schedule specific times for the purifier to turn on and off on future dates. Additionally, this air cleaner has a very minimal base design. While it is tall at 40 inches, its base diameter is only 7.7 inches, so you can place it just about anywhere in your home.