Buying an air purifier for my home was a great experience. But one of the downsides was the fact that it made me realize how poor the air quality is wherever I go. That’s why I figured that I might need to invest in an air purifier I could bring around with me.
And that’s how I stumbled across the car air purifier. While I wasn’t too impressed when I first read about them, I slowly realized how it would actually be a great investment, especially with my seasonal allergy flare-ups.
But with all the different options on the market, I couldn’t find the right option for my needs.
Since I was adamant about finding an air purifier to leave in the car and keep the air as fresh as possible, I decided to do the research.
I checked out a bunch of message boards, forums, and articles to learn what makes a good car air purifier and the best models available on the market.
That’s how I finally found the right car air purifier for me.
With that said, I know that people have different needs in their air purifiers.
This is why I’ve compiled a list containing all of the air purifiers that stood out when searching for one for myself.
I based these picks on performance, features, overall design, and more to make sure I cover all the bases.
On top of that, I’ll be diving deep into each model’s details so you can tell which air purifiers would best fit your car.
Read on to learn more.
Best Car Air Purifiers
1. LEVOIT Core Mini – The Best Overall Car Air Purifier
After doing all the research and asking the experts, I eventually landed on the LEVOIT Core Mini. There was nothing I could complain about with this model. To start, it was incredibly effective.
But on top of that, it had a great design and was available at a more than fair price.
So, I had no option but to go for this one as no air purifier could beat this one.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about this air purifier was the size. Granted, if I had anything larger than a small room, it wouldn’t be able to handle it.
However, since I got an air purifier for the car and for portable use, I had no problems with the size.
If you only use this for commuting and for travel purposes, you won’t have any issues with this air purifier.
This is one of the few models in this price range with a true HEPA filter capable of capturing the smallest particles.
Another reason this air purifier beat out the rest was its quiet operation.
I really enjoy listening to music in the car. And with most other car air purifiers available on the market, you have to deal with the really loud operation.
My problem with this was that it was incredibly distracting and was honestly annoying as well.
So, with this model, you’ll be able to capture and filter out dust and pollutants with no problem at all.
And since you can find this at such a fair price, it’s one of the deals you can’t refuse.
- Really easy to use
- Compact and portable
- Comes with a true HEPA filter
- Very affordable
- Ideal for cars and commuting
- One of the smaller options available
2. Westinghouse 1804 – The Best Premium Car Air Purifier
This would have been my go-to option if I had a bit more money to spend on my car air purifier.
I didn’t buy this model for my car because it was pretty expensive.
Since I already had a premium air purifier at home, I was looking to save some money when buying my own air purifier, which is why I opted for the LEVOIT model instead.
One of the highlights of this model is the design. It lays fairly flat, so it’s really easy to place in the car.
Depending on your preference, you can easily place this model at the back or in the front.
On top of that, it comes with a real HEPA filter, which allows it to capture just about any particle floating in the car.
While this is an expensive model, it’s more than worth it.
It has a truly premium design with a cool strap that allows you to carry it around more easily. And since it’s one of the larger options available, you can also put this in your luggage and use it in a hotel room, ensuring you have clean air all the time, wherever you go.
Another cool feature was the fact that it came with a multiple filtration system. So, aside from all the solid particles, it also does a great job at absorbing the gases in the room.
This is great because it can eliminate any annoying odors that may be causing you some trouble in your car.
This would have been my best overall pick if not for the price.
But if you want to invest in one of the best portable air purifiers on the market, this is no doubt your best option. If I only had a bit more money to spend on the air purifier, I definitely would have opted for this one.
- One of the best designs on the market
- Comes with a convenient carrying strap
- Has a multiple filtration system
- Has a real HEPA filter
- Can also be used for small rooms
- One of the more expensive models on the market
3. Medify MA-CAR Air Purifier – The Most Versatile Car Air Purifier
I chose to feature this model on the list because of its versatility.
After doing the research, I found that you can use this for a small room, for traveling and keep it on in the car to keep the air as clean as ever.
My one qualm with this option was the fact that it has an ionizer. But since you can switch it on and off, you can opt to not use the ionizer, which I highly recommend.
The reason ionizers aren’t ideal is that they can produce ozone. This is a harmful gas that can irritate the lungs.
The reason companies use this is to give off a “fresher” scent, but while it does make the air seem cleaner, ozone can be dangerous in enclosed spaces.
On top of that, you can use this for different types of cars.
Whether you have an SUV, sedan, or a van, this would be a high-quality air purifier.
Most of the models on the market are only designed for specific car sizes, so finding one that can be used for multiple vehicles is a nice change.
This model even comes with a legitimate HEPA filter. The HEPA filter is great since it can really absorb as many particles as needed.
If you like smooth and sleek designs, this is a great option. Another cool feature is the fact that this is a flat air purifier. So, it can lay down easily in the car, so it won’t be sliding around while you’re driving.
Overall, this air purifier can do almost any job you want it to.
It’s one of the most versatile options on the market and comes with various benefits.
On top of that, it’s incredibly affordable, so you won’t have to bust the bank to get a good air purifier.
- Very versatile
- Sleek and modern design
- Fairly affordable
- Easy control
- Ideal for just about any type of vehicle
- Has an ionizer (but you can turn it off if needed)
4. IQAir Atem Car Portable HEPA Air Purifier – The Best Smart Car Air Purifier
One of the biggest benefits of buying a modern air purifier is the fact there are tons of smart air purifiers on the market. The biggest benefit of this is that you can control it from your phone. So, you won’t have to press a bunch of buttons and memorize different controls just so you can tweak the settings to fit the car.
Like most of the top-quality models I chose to feature on this list, this air purifier has a HEPA filter. A true HEPA filter is made of very fine fiberglass threads, and this filter can capture particles up to 0.3 microns thick. This is how the filters can capture even the finest particles that can cause allergies and irritation.
On top of that, this air purifier is capable of handling even larger rooms. So, even if you’re staying in an apartment, you can use this air purifier to handle the space. Most car air purifiers are only designed for smaller cars, but this one can handle both cars, vans, and rooms.
However, one of the downsides to this model is that it’s expensive.
The reason it’s so expensive is that this is another premium model that comes with a bunch of modern features, so it’s definitely worth the investment.
- Great for rooms and cars
- Comes with smart features
- One of the most versatile purifiers available
- Sleek and modern design
- Comes with a real HEPA filter
- Fairly expensive
5. Pure Enrichment PureZone Mini Portable Air Purifier – The Best Budget Car Air Purifier
This is the one for you if you’re on the hunt for an affordable air purifier.
It’s the cheapest model I found on the market.
And despite the low price point, it comes with a range of features that are great for the car.
To start, it has a real HEPA filter.
This is the primary reason I found this to be the best affordable air purifier on the market.
On top of that, it has a truly modern design that’s easy to bring around and pack in your bag.
That said, it’s not the most powerful air purifier on the market.
It comes in a bunch of colors and has a fair amount of features.
However, if you’re looking to use this for larger rooms and venues, this is not your option.
- Very affordable
- Comes with a real HEPA filter
- Great design
- Available in multiple colors
- Easy to carry around
- Not the most powerful option on the market
The Best Air Purifiers for Cars Buying Guide
Finding a regular air purifier on its own is hard.
Trust me, when I decided to get my first air purifier, I had a really tough time making a choice because I always want the best I can get within my budget.
But when I decided to get a portable car air purifier, I found that it was even harder.
This is because aside from the features you need to check out when buying an air purifier, you also have to consider the design and portability if you want to use it in your car.
And now that I’ve talked about the models I found to be the best on the market, it’s time to help you figure out which exact air purifier would be the one to serve your needs.
In this buying guide, I’ll be going over all the key features to consider when buying a car air purifier.
Usually, I would say the filtration system and power of the air purifier are the most important features to consider.
But when choosing a car air purifier, I found that the design is one of the most important things to consider.
With standard home air purifiers, the design is mostly secondary.
You might notice that most home air purifiers sport the same basic design.
However, car air purifiers are a different story.
Since you’re going to be using the air purifier in a ton of different situations, you’re going to need a practical and versatile design.
First and foremost, you might want a compact air purifier. Since these models are built for cars and hotel rooms, you won’t need to get a large model.
On top of that, if the device is large and bulky, you might even have difficulty bringing it around with you, which completely defeats the purpose.
You might also want an air purifier with a very flat and stable base.
This is because you’re going to be driving around with the air purifier on, and if it doesn’t have a flat and stable base, then it’s going to topple over while you go around.
Lastly, you also want to find a model with a design that matches your taste in design, and maybe even your car.
Remember, if you’re placing it in a car or carrying it with you, you don’t exactly want the air purifier to stand out.
So, don’t hesitate to take your time finding a well-designed air purifier that suits your tastes and needs.
Okay, so now that we’ve gotten the design out of the way, let’s talk about the filtration system. At their core, air purifiers are just fans and filters.
The fan sucks in the air and pushes it through the filtration system, trapping dust and particles along the way. This is how air purifiers consistently deliver clean and particle-free air.
So, you need to pay very close attention to the type of filters in your air purifier.
If you don’t have a good set of filters, you won’t be able to remove any particles from the air. And since the air that goes into your car is very polluted and filled with dust, you can’t skip out on a high-quality filtration system.
For any air purifier, I recommend only going for ones that have a true HEPA filter.
And for car air purifiers specifically, I suggest choosing models with a true H10+ HEPA filter.
Filters with an H10 grade and above can capture very small particles, including PM2.5, the pollutants we have to worry about the most.
However, the HEPA filter isn’t the only thing you need.
This is because HEPA filters are only equipped for solid particles, not gaseous ones.
This is why you need multiple filters in your air purifier, one of which has to be an activated carbon filter.
These filters can absorb gaseous particles and eliminate the car’s pollution, smoke, and strong odors.
That way, you can ensure that your car always smells fresh and always has clean air.
Some car air purifiers may have a pre-filter for capturing larger particles, which is cool but not entirely necessary for use in a car.
There’s nothing wrong with using one of these air purifiers; just know that this isn’t a required feature.
ACH & CADR
After the filtration system, the next two things you need to consider are the ACH and CADR of your air purifier. This stands for Air Changes per Hour and Clean Air Delivery Rate.
These are basic measurements you can use to gauge whether or not the air purifier is strong enough for the space.
Usually, I put this on top of my list of priorities when buying an air purifier.
However, since cars are very small spaces compared to bedrooms and living rooms, these measurements aren’t as important.
Ideally, you want the air purifier to completely cleanse and replace the air in the car four times an hour.
This means that you need a 4ACH air purifier. This is harder to find when you’re buying full-sized air purifiers, but you can find a lot of models that can provide this number of air changes in a car.
Again, while I usually prioritize ACH and CADR ratings when buying an air purifier, you don’t have to be as strict with them when buying a car air purifier.
All you have to do is make sure the air purifier can clean the air in the small space of your car as effectively as possible.
When buying an air purifier, especially a portable one for the car, you want it to last you a long time.
You may want to pay close attention to the purifier’s build quality.
Ideally, you want an air purifier with a solid build quality.
The best way to do this is to look at the air purifier yourself and try to feel if it’s strong or not.
However, if you’re shopping online, this can be tough.
So, I went to messageboards and forums to ask for people’s opinions on the build quality of a certain air purifier.
This way, you can get answers from real customers who have first-hand experience with the device.
After figuring out all of the above features, you can start looking for any extra features you might want or need in your air purifier. Again, these are just extra features and not requirements, but they can be convenient.
For example, some car air purifiers come with sensors and indicators to check the air quality in a certain place and show it to you.
This is really cool as it can help you determine how high you need to set your air purifier’s fan to provide you with enough clean air.
Another cool feature would be smart capabilities. If you get a smart car air purifier, you can connect it to your phone and use an app to control certain features and ensure that you get what you need out of the air purifier.
When you hop on the market, you’re going to find a whole lot of models with a bunch of different features.
So, it’s important to learn what features you need and which ones would be useless, so you don’t spend extra money for no reason.
Why You Should Trust This Review
I spent a lot of time looking for a good car air purifier. I did a lot of research and asked everyone I knew who had a worthwhile opinion.
On top of that, I’m very particular about the air purifiers I use, even if I’m shopping on a budget.
When I made this list, I took the time to ensure every model would serve you well. I included affordable models, expensive models, smart air purifiers, and way more.
I even included a section to help you determine which model best fits your needs.
So, now that you know the best options and how to find the right car air purifier for you, there’s only one step left: ordering the model for you.
And once you find the suitable model, you’ll find yourself breathing in fresher and cleaner air wherever you are!