Driving around in a car that smells like a mixture between a locker room and an animal rescue center is far from a pleasant experience. Happily, it doesn’t have to be like this, and the solution is not only quick and easy, but it’s relatively inexpensive too.
A car air purifier can rapidly rid your car of foul smells as well as pollutants. There’s a great choice of different kinds. To narrow down the choice, we’ve selected eight of the Best Car Air Purifier currently on the market. So, let’s get to it and find the perfect one for you…
- 1 Top 8 Car Air Purifiers on the Market in 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Pure Enrichment PureZone Mini Portable Air Purifier – Best Rated Car Air Purifier
- 1.2 2 Car Air Purifier Ionizer – Best Car Air Purifier for Smoke
- 1.3 3 Wynd Essential – Personal Mini Air Purifier – Best Premium Car Air Purifier
- 1.4 4 First Gen Bio Labs Portable Air Purifier – Best Value Car Air Purifier for the Money
- 1.5 5 Car Air Purifier ARB Certified Premium – Best Budget Car Air Purifier
- 1.6 6 QUEENTY Air Purifiers for Car – Best Car Air Purifier for Allergies
- 1.7 7 ITSHINY Air Purifier & Mini HEPA Air Purifier – Best Car Air Purifier with HEPA Filter
- 1.8 8 Car Air Purifier, Mini Portable Air Purifier – Best Mid Range Car Air Purifier
- 2 Car Air Purifier Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for something else?
- 4 So, what is the Best Car Air Purifier?
Top 8 Car Air Purifiers on the Market in 2021 Reviews
1 Pure Enrichment PureZone Mini Portable Air Purifier – Best Rated Car Air Purifier
This is a small and compact filter that can be taken and used just about anywhere. The removable handle makes it easy to carry. It weighs less than a pound and measures only 2.7” x 3.3” x 8.5”. This means it’s small enough to keep on your desk, take on the train, or with you in your car. Where ever you travel, the PureZone mini can go with you.
It uses two-stage purification that involves a genuine HEPA filter. This means that you’re protected from pollutants such as dust and pollen. Even better for those of you living in heavily polluted areas, it also protects you from harmful PM2.5 particles.
How’s it work?
It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium battery. The battery is charged by a USB cable, so if you use it in your car, it can be plugged into your cigarette lighter’s USB connector, so you never have to worry about the batteries.
The filter has three power settings depending on how the level of pollution you have to contend with. At its lowest setting, you will get around twelve hours of use. On the highest setting, you still get a very respectable two and a half hours before having to recharge.
A couple of small inclusions that we would like to have seen are an auto cut-off and a sleep mode. There are other filters at this price that have them. Though on the positive side, it makes up for it with its high build quality.
It’s a powerful little device that also comes with a five-year warranty. Just make sure you hang on to the receipt in case you need it.
- Genuine HEPA filter.
- Three power settings.
- Highly portable.
- USB rechargeable.
- Good battery life.
- No sleep mode.
- No auto switch-off.
2 Car Air Purifier Ionizer – Best Car Air Purifier for Smoke
This is a small and dedicated best car ionizing air purifier. It’s designed to plug straight into your car’s cigarette lighter, so the purifier has no internal batteries of any kind. Consequently, it can only be used in your vehicle.
For those of you worried about keeping your other electronic devices powered whist using the TwinkleBirds air purifier, don’t worry; they have it covered. It comes with built-in USB ports so you can still plug in and power a couple of phones or other electronic devices. Even better, the charging ports are insulated against power surges that might otherwise cause damage to your electronics.
Great for smoke, pet smells, and more…
Once plugged in, it eliminates odors such as pet smells, sweat, smoke, and food. Unfortunately, it will not remove these smells instantly. You can expect to wait for as long as 30 minutes for it to take effect. Sadly, on short commutes and school runs, that may be a little too long.
For things like PM2.5, dust, and pollen, happily, it works more quickly. Plus, if you have old and stale odors, it can remove these after around a week. If these kinds of things are more important, it’s not a bad option.
How’s it work?
The purifier works by releasing millions of negative ions into the air to eliminate pollutants. Consequently, it doesn’t have a filter, so there’s no problem with replacements. On the other hand, when it starts to become ineffective, you have to replace the whole thing, which is rather annoying.
Other issues are that the LED light can be a little distracting. Plus, there have been reported cases of the built-in USB chargers being faulty. You get a 30 days money-back guarantee, so it’s worth checking it over as soon as you get one.
- Eliminates odors.
- Filters out pollen, dust, and PM2.5.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Not possible to change the filter.
- Distracting LED light.
3 Wynd Essential – Personal Mini Air Purifier – Best Premium Car Air Purifier
This is a small but powerful air purifier. In fact, for its size and weight, it’s possibly the best high quality car air purifier you can buy. Although it’s more expensive than a lot of other car air purifiers on the market, it does plenty to justify the extra cost.
The Wynd is small and only weighs a pound, but despite this, it can still produce enough power to purify an area of 100 square feet. This is about the size of an average hotel room or a large bedroom. This means that it’s easily capable of cleaning the area in a large sedan, SUV, truck, or RV.
So, what exactly does it do?
It can take out pollutants from pollen, dust, and fine particles. It can also get rid of odors from food, cigarette smoke, animals, and most other unpleasant smells. In a larger room, it takes three hours to be fully effective. However, in a car, it acts much more quickly.
It has a genuine HEPA filter, and the good news is that it lasts for up to three months. More good news is that they’re relatively inexpensive to replace and also readily available.
What’s even better?
The positive news keeps on flowing as it also has a strong battery life of up to eight hours. This is in the lowest setting. However, even in the highest setting, you still get around three hours. The unit can be quickly charged via USB-C charging, which makes it perfect for the car.
It’s a great filter though it is a little noisy, which we have to put in the moans and niggles section. The flimsy stand makes its way in there as well.
- Powerful for a small unit.
- Good battery life.
- Quick recharging time.
- Can be paired with a smartphone app.
- Replacement filters are inexpensive.
- It’s a little noisy.
- Flimsy stand.
4 First Gen Bio Labs Portable Air Purifier – Best Value Car Air Purifier for the Money
This is an advanced purifier that has a true HEPA filter and can remove 99.97% dust, pollen, smoke odors, and even dangerous PM2.5 particles. It’s well put together, and it meets all the quality assurance requirements from the CE, FCC, and ROHS. This is unusual for such a small, and frankly, an inexpensive device. It makes us ask why aren’t other manufactures making purifiers to this standard?
It measures approximately seven inches long and just three inches wide. This makes it perfect for storing in your cupholder. If you want to use it elsewhere, it’s small and light enough to slip into your bag and take to the office or wherever you might need it.
Unlike a lot of air purifiers of the same size…
It has a multi-layer filtration system. This includes a charcoal layer which is excellent for removing odors. Happily, the filter takes just seconds to change and is also inexpensive to replace.
A big positive is that it’s also quiet. Even on the most powerful fan setting, and there are three, it still only produces a mere 29dB. That’s low enough not to distract you whilst driving. What’s more, it’s quiet enough so that it can be used in a bedroom without disturbing your sleep. You could even put it in a young child’s or a baby’s room if you wanted.
It is battery-powered and comes with a USB charging cable. That means it can be plugged straight into an adaptor and then into your car’s cigarette lighter socket.
This great little car air purifier comes with a full three years warranty. That’s plenty of assurance and leaves you with very little risk and very little to lose.
- Quality construction.
- Good value.
- True HEPA filter.
- Separate charcoal filter.
- Replacement filters are inexpensive.
- It’s quiet.
- Three years warranty.
- Not the most powerful for larger rooms.
5 Car Air Purifier ARB Certified Premium – Best Budget Car Air Purifier
This can be plugged into your cigarette lighter socket, so there no need to worry about batteries or recharging. If you have other devices you use in the car, these can be powered through the two integrated USB sockets.
The USB ports are suitable for charging all the latest Apple and Android devices. They are insulated against power surges, so you can be sure that no harm will come to your phone or device.
The purifier works by ionizing the air…
Once it’s plugged in, it creates 5.6 million negative ion concentrations to clean the area in your cabin. The purifier quickly goes to work in eliminating smells and pollutants. It can rid your car of stale smells, food and smoke, pollen, bacteria, and fine PM2.5 particles. For those living in heavily polluted areas, the ability to remove PM2.5 particles makes it worth the cost alone.
For stale smells, it does take a little time to work, but it will eventually get rid of any foul odor. It’s a good and inexpensive option.
There are a couple of minor issues. The first is that eventually, the purifier will lose its effectiveness, and you then have to discard it and buy another since you cannot change the filter. The second issue is the rather annoying neon light that stays on all the time.
Why it has to have this, we don’t know!
- Works quickly.
- Eliminates PM2.5 particles.
- Built-in USB ports.
- Cannot replace the filter when it loses its effectiveness.
- Annoying blue neon light.
6 QUEENTY Air Purifiers for Car – Best Car Air Purifier for Allergies
The QUEENTY Air Purifier uses three stages of filtration to ensure the air you breathe inside of your car is both odor and pollutant-free. They achieve this with the inclusion of a true HEPA and a charcoal filter. The filters are combined into one easily replaceable filter that is not only quick and easy to change but is inexpensive too.
The HEPA part of the filter removes fine particles and pollutants such as PM2.5 particles. The charcoal part of the filter takes care of all those unpleasant smells and odors that can quickly build up in your car. It might not be able to return your car to have that ‘new car smell,’ but it will feel a lot closer to it relatively quickly.
One of the things we like…
Not only is it easily portable, but it’s stable as well. It has non-slip rubber mats that stop it from flying around in your car when you brake. This also stops you from accidentally knocking it off a desk or bedside table. It’s powered by a cable that can be plugged into any USB socket. It comes with a car charger for your cigarette lighter socket, which is great.
What isn’t so great is that you have to rely on it being plugged into some kind of USB socket for power since there’s no battery. Honestly, we expect most devices these days to have an internal battery of some sort. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but this is going into the moans and niggles section.
- Three-way filter.
- Inexpensive replacement filters.
- Stable base.
- A car power socket is included.
- No internal battery.
7 ITSHINY Air Purifier & Mini HEPA Air Purifier – Best Car Air Purifier with HEPA Filter
This is small but effective. It has not a three but a four-stage filtration system. The first layer is a pre-filter, the second layer is a true H13 HEPA filter, the third layer is a charcoal filter, and the final layer is a bacterial filter.
For a small purifier, it has an excellent filter system. This level of filtration is normally found on much larger and much more expensive purifiers. We can therefore say with confidence that this is one of the best air purifiers for cars on our list.
The good news doesn’t stop here, though…
The ITSHINY purifier has plenty of other features other than its awesome filtration power. So, let’s take a look at some of those, shall we?
Firstly, it has three different settings, including an auto setting which is so often missing. We like the auto mode because as soon as it’s connected to power, it turns on automatically and immediately starts purifying. If you want to switch to the two manual modes, you have to override it, which is simple enough.
We like that it tells you when the filter needs replacing. It’s recommended that you do so every four to six months. However, if you forget, a red light will come, and it will also beep to remind you. Replacement filters are available on Amazon; they are inexpensive and easy to change.
Finally, it is powered via a USB port, so it can be used just about anywhere. It will work with power from your laptop, a power bank, and of course, from the battery of your car via a cigarette lighter socket. If all of this isn’t enough, then the low price might be enough to persuade you to take a closer look.
- Four-stage filter.
- Auto setting.
- Auto reminder for filter replacement.
- Inexpensive filter replacements.
- Good value.
- Flimsy power cord.
- Poor instructions.
8 Car Air Purifier, Mini Portable Air Purifier – Best Mid Range Car Air Purifier
This can release up to ten million negative ions on full power. This style of air purifier is also referred to as an ionizer. It basically does the same job as an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
The PURE AIR device can get rid of stale odors, odors for your pets, food, sweat, and cigarette smoke. More importantly, in our opinion, it can also protect you from harmful PM2.5 particles.
Like the other best ionizer-based purifiers we’ve reviewed, there’s no filter to change. This is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’ve no filter to buy and change. On the other hand, once it ceases to be effective, it is destined for the bin.
Like most other purifiers, it has three-speed settings. It should be a passing mention, but unfortunately, we don’t like the design at all. When you plug it in, it starts on the lower power setting. Press it again, and then you get medium power. Press it a second time, and you get 100%,
This is fine, but…
What we don’t like is that the device indicates the level of power through the intensity of the light. Who thought of this? What’s wrong with a simple display panel without having to guess its setting based on how bright the light is? What’s more, the light is annoying enough in the first place without having it shining like a lighthouse when it’s on full power.
One final moan is that on full power, it put out 50dB, which is not the quietest on our list. More positively, everything else is as we’d like. It’s well-made, easy to transport, powered by USB, and inexpensive. We can see, despite a couple of niggles, the reasons why it’s so popular.
- Filters bad odors.
- Protects against PM2.5 particles.
- Three-speed settings.
- USB powered.
- Good value.
- Annoying light.
- Slightly noisy.
Car Air Purifier Buying Guide
Types of Air Purifier
The main difference in filters is that, generally speaking, you can either opt for a car air purifier with a replaceable or a non-replaceable filter. Neither one is necessarily better than the other, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Purifiers with Replaceable Filters
Air purifiers with replaceable filters usually have either a three or four-stage filter. This includes a HEPA filter, a charcoal filter, and a bacterial filter. In the case of the ITSHINY Air Purifier, a pre-filter is also included. HEPA filters are usually more effective in removing pollutants from a wider area than an ionizer. However, since a car air purifier is in such a small space, this is not much of an issue.
Nevertheless, it can still be useful if you intend to use it outside of the car in, say, a small room, like an office or bedroom. HEPA filters combined with carbon filters are also better at removing fine dust, smoke, pollen, bacteria, and mold. The biggest disadvantage is that you have to frequently change the filters.
These work by releasing ions that are negatively charged into the air. They bind onto pollutants and then fall to the floor, taking the dirt, dust, bacteria, and so forth with them. Think of them as suicidal ions! Air ionizers, like the TwinkleBirds purifier, are highly effective in a small area like your car but can be found a little wanting in larger areas.
More positively, they are usually less expensive than filter air purifiers. Additionally, there are no subsequent costs for replacement filters or parts. This should all be good, but it does mean that once they become ineffective, you need to buy a new unit.
Additionally, it’s hard to gauge at what point they start to lose their purifying ability. Plus, they can leave unhealthy levels of ozone floating around in the air.
These days most car purifiers are powered by a USB connection. This is ideal since it allows you to plug into a USB connector via your cigarette lighter socket. It’s also handy outside of the car as you’ll never usually be too far away from dome kind of USB power source.
While this is perfect for the car, it’s nice to have some flexibility for power in case you intend to double up your air purifier for around the house or office. This is where an internal battery becomes very useful.
The best air purifier for cars on our list for battery life is the Pure Enrichment PureZone Mini Portable Air Purifier, which can keep on working for up to 12 hours on a fully charged battery.
Key things to look for in a purifier are different fan speed settings. Additionally, it’s good to have an auto function that can select a fan speed as soon as it’s turned on. Finally, and we think possibly most importantly, an auto switch off is a super-useful function.
Portability and Stability
It is not unusual for car air purifiers to also be used outside of the car. The fact is that they very often serve air cleaning duties in a variety of different locations. Portability and stability are therefore important.
An air purifier needs to be small enough to easily carry around in a bag or briefcase and should also be easy to set up on a desk or something like a bedside cabinet. It should also be stable when it’s in the car, so it doesn’t move or fly around under heavy braking. Our top pick for these features is the QUEENTY Air Purifier.
Looking for something else?
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So, what is the Best Car Air Purifier?
So, there you have it. We’re a big fan of air purifiers, and we hope our review helped you to find the best air purifier for your car. These days we’re subject to more and more pollutants, and these small devices can go a long way to eliminating pollution as well as bad everyday odors.
We’d be happy to use any of the ones we reviewed in our vehicles. However, if we had to choose just one, it would be the…
We like it because it’s well made and has a true HEPA and charcoal filter. Additionally, the filters are easy to replace and are inexpensive. Plus, it’s relatively quiet, and it even comes with a three years warranty.