Best Air Purifier for Cars – 5 Top Options

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Written By Jamila W.

Is the air inside your car polluted? Are you looking for a car air purifier and wonder if they work? Well, we got you covered. This article tells you everything you need to know about car air purifiers and their effectiveness in cleaning the air. We will cover the following topics:

  • The Best car air purifiers
  • Our testing Process 
  • Types of Car Air Purifiers
  • Buying Guide for car air purifiers

Overview of Best Air Purifier for Car

The air inside our cars may, at times, feel polluted. This is because of exhaust fumes and dust particles from the road. There are many air purifiers available in the market that claim to remove these pollutants. But which one is the best? Here we look at the top 5 best car air purifiers. Read on to find out more;

ModelBest overall: IQAir Atem Best Car Air Purifier for Smoke: Westinghouse 1804 Best Budget: Pure Enrichment PureZone Best Portable: Philips GoPure GP5212 Best Environmental Friendly: Charcoal Bag Option
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CADR39 CFM20 CFM36 CFM9.4 CFM7 CFM
Weight6.26 Pounds2 pounds8.45 pounds1.7 Pounds1.25 Pounds
Amazon Price$299.99$129.00$39.99$79.99$9.97

Best Car Air Purifiers

You should change the in-cabin air filter in your car if it starts to feel stuffy or if you see dust, allergies, or pollutants entering the cabin. These filters stop dangerous substances, such as dust, dirt, and even fire smoke, from entering your car. However, getting a car air purifier might be a good option to deal with air pollutants.

Best overall: IQAir Atem 

The IQAir Atem is among the best car air purifiers on the market. The IQAir item has a simple design with very excellent performance. It can filter many particles from your car, leaving it fresh and clean. The air purifier has multiple filters, including a HEPA filter that can filter the tiniest harmful particles from the air. The HEPA filter can filter particles as small as 0.003 microns.

This car air purifier takes air filtration to the next level. The IQAIR Atem has great hyper-filtration technology that removes harmful particles and gases from the car, including those from a cigarette lighter. It has excellent performance with a Clean Air Delivery Rate of 39 CFM, making it the perfect air purifier for your car.

Additionally, the IQAIR Atem comes with smart features. You can connect to your air purifier through Bluetooth. This allows you to control your air purifier and improve the air quality inside your car, even without touching the device. You can adjust the fan speed remotely depending on the air pollution levels. You can also check the filter life of your air purifier and the present gaseous pollutants in your car.

The IQAir Atem has a simple design. The user interface is simple and easy to understand. This makes it the best car air purifier because anyone can use it without struggling. 

A particle and gas filtration system surrounds the air purifier’s fans. These two combine to eliminate harmful airborne particles in your car, including cigarette smoke. The purifier can eliminate bad odors and harmful chemicals like sulfur dioxide from your car.

The IQAIR Atem is very portable. Moving the HEPA air purifier to different positions in your car is easier. It’s designed in the shape of a plate. The air purifier is placed at the back of your car’s headrest. The design makes it perfectly fit in that position. The car air purifier might look simple, but you are guaranteed excellent performance and unique additional features when you buy this air purifier. Its ability to neutralize odors is unique and takes very little time.

You can buy an extra carrying case for the car air purifier. This will make it possible for you to use it as a car air purifier or an office air purifier. You can go with it and place it in your office. It comes with a rechargeable battery and does not always need to be connected to a power source. 

On top of the many additional features, the air purifier has a smart app. This allows you to adjust the fan speed settings using your phone remotely. You can activate a built-in child lock system with just a few taps. People with asthma and allergies can use this air purifier to reduce symptoms. You can also use the air purifier to remove pet odors from your car.

Pros:

  • It has an excellent build quality
  • It has great performance
  • It is small and very portable 
  • It can integrate with external air conditioning 

Cons:

  • It lacks the auto mode
  • It is an expensive air purifier 
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Best Car Air Purifier for Smoke: Westinghouse 1804 

The Westinghouse 1804 is one of the best car air purifiers. It uses the NCCO 3-stage filtration system. The air filtration process involves the following;

  • Oxygen Generator – it produces ozone that cleans the air
  • Medical Grade HEPA filter – this filter is capable of trapping up to 99% of all airborne particles
  • Nano-Technology Reactor – It helps in decomposing pollutants into less harmful substances.

This filtration process can clean air in an area of up to 100 square feet. The medical grade HEPA filter can continuously be used for up to 3000 hours. They come packaged in 4 pieces In case you need them replaced. 

The NCCO filter can run up to 10000 hours continuously. It rarely needs replacing and can last up to 3.5 hours when used 8 hours a day. It’s essential to consider the filters that need replacement when buying car air purifiers.

When you buy the Westinghouse 1804 car air purifier, it comes with a power cord, a wall power adapter, and a screwdriver. You also get straps that you’ll use for mounting the device on your car. There’s an additional user manual just for you.

You can see the HEPA filter inside the air purifier when you remove the front cover. You can do this by pressing the release button that is located at the sides of the device. Replacing the air filters is a simple process; you don’t need any tools.

The Westinghouse 1804 comes with a rechargeable battery. Its three-stage cleaning process is powerful enough to remove harmful pollutants from the surrounding air. Its sleek design and size make it easier to move around. It weighs about 2 pounds and is the size of a lunch box. It has two fan speeds and a leather strap, making it easier to carry. The lithium-ion battery can last up to 8 hours when fully charged.

Some reports claim that the air purifier can remove benzene, ammonia, and other harmful substances from the air. This makes it one of the best car air purifiers. This was best shown in tests carried out by the manufacturer by removing pollutants from an enclosed space.

The HEPA filters cannot be washed and reused. However, there are other maintenance ways for the purifier. You can use a wet cloth to clean the exterior body and a brush to clean the vents.

The Westinghouse purifier is simple to use. The power button is located at the top of the purifier. You can turn on the unit with a low fan setting by pressing the power button once. The LED light in the power button turns white at low-speed settings. 

Pressing the button for the second time increases the fan speed. The LED light turns up at this point. Pressing the button for the third time turns off the purifier. The air purifier can give you good air quality in different fan settings. This makes it perfect for dealing with air pollution in your car.

Pros:

  • It is highly portable
  • It has a rechargeable battery that can last up to eight hours
  • NCCO kills bacteria
  • Can clean both large and small spaces 

Cons:

  • It does not have smart features
  • The user manual is complicated 
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Best Budget: Pure Enrichment PureZone 

The pure enrichment pure zone is among the best car air purifiers. It has a handle that makes it very portable. You can carry it with you from one place to another without struggle. You can use it in your car or even in the office. Its two-stage filtration system uses an activated carbon pre-filter and a true HEPA filter. These filters effectively work to keep the air clean in your car.

The purifier has different fan settings that can be adjusted. You don’t have to worry about the battery life. Its lithium-ion battery can last up to 12 hours on a full charge. This ensures active air filtration, and you always have good air quality.

Their pure zone mini purifier has a HEPA filter and small amounts of activated carbon filters. The HEPA filters trap tiny particles while the activated carbon removes odors from your car. The purifier is ineffective in removing Volatile Organic Compounds due to the small carbon filters. It would be best to have large amounts of activated carbon filters for effective functioning.

The Purezone Enrichment works perfectly with the low fan speed settings. The purifier produces very little noise at low settings. The rotating fans will not distract you when driving or conversing in your car. The HEPA silent technology also produces white noise that relaxes you when driving. You can also use the air purifier in your bedroom, giving it multiple applications. The low noise levels make it perfect for your room and car.

The pure enrichment PureZone car air purifier gives people a unique experience. The design is simple, and the control panel is easy to understand. Setting up the air purifier takes little time. You can dial in the settings that you want for the air purifier. It also has an automatic timer, allowing you to set when it shuts down. It will shut down if you forget to do it when you leave for work.

The air purifier is small and compact. It weighs 8.45 pounds, and it’s very light. The pure enrichment Purezone comes with a carrying handle, making it easy to move. You can carry it from your car and use it in your bedroom. It will still work perfectly in a small room or dorm room. The PureZone Enrichment Purezone gives you value for money with its small size and great performance in small spaces.

Pros:

  • Has different filters 
  • Easy to use
  • Long battery life
  • It’s very light and portable
  • It has multiple power settings 

Cons:

  • It generates some white noise that can cause you to sleep
  • It is not effective for removing volatile organic compounds
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Best Portable: Philips GoPure GP5212 

The Philips GoPure is a munchkin portable air purifier that can be used in your car. It uses select filter filtration technology to improve your car’s air quality. Despite its small size, this air purifier works perfectly in removing allergens and bacteria from your car. 

It can also detect and remove exhaust gases present in your car. Additionally, it can filter 50 percent of the air in standard SUVs using the least time possible. It takes about 10 minutes to finish the filtration process.

The Philips GoPure air purifier was designed to fit perfectly in car interiors. It uses a traditional HEPA filter that features a High Selective Absorption Layer. This layer can remove gaseous pollutants such as exhaust fumes and odors from your car.

The filter can be replaced after the specified time. People with asthma and allergic reactions can use this air purifier to reduce symptoms. There’s an option to upgrade to the Allergy filter plus insert, making the purifier very flexible.

The GoPure comes in two shapes. One model is shaped like a box unit and powered by the car’s cigarette lighter. It only requires 12 Volts to power up. The other model is cylindrical and comes with a UVC light deodorization. Both models are capable of cleaning the air in normal SUVs and cars. They have a Clean Air Delivery Rate of 9.4 CFM. Their air filters effectively capture up to 99% of all air particles.

The GoPure is a very portable car air purifier. It comes with a carrying strap, making it easier to carry around. It is connected by a USB-C cable and a powerful UV light filtration process that is safe. You can use it around your children and pets without any effects. It gets rid of bad car smells by breaking down the odor molecules. It can also deactivate respiratory viruses that might affect your health.

The Go Pure has an auto mode. This automatically turns the purifier on and off based on your settings. You can leave the car air purifier running, and it will shut down. The air purifier uses the SaniFilter Plus. This filter can trap the tiniest particles found in your car. The UVC light deals with harmful chemicals found in your car. The purifier is safe while driving and does not release any ozone.

Overall, the purifier has great performance and many satisfied users. It can remove airborne particles and smells caused by smoke. The HEPA filters are approved by EPA, making them perfect for use against bacteria. The auto-on-and-off feature lets the purifier clean the air inside your car even if you’re not there.

Pros:

  • Designed for Car Pollutants
  • SelectFilter technology gets rid of multiple Pollutants
  • It can clean air within a short time
  • It does not take up too much space

Cons:

  • It’s not very effective at low settings 
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Best Environmental Friendly: Charcoal Bag Option 

The charcoal bag option can be used as a car air purifier and a home purifier. It uses charcoal to eliminate odors from your home, pet areas, or car. Each bag has no smells and is reinforced by stitching to ensure it stays in place. It’s very durable and portable too.

The charcoal bags are made with a metal ring to hang in the car. You can place them in their rearview mirror or the back of your car. The charcoal bags are recharged by leaving them in the sun. They have a long lifespan and can last up to two years. Most portable car air purifiers have a run time of up to eight hours. Charcoal bags can be kept in your car for an unlimited time.

Homemade charcoal bags give you a simple solution for dealing with odors. They save you money and space at the same time. They are highly portable, and you can carry them with you everywhere. However, you should know they work effectively in small spaces and cannot remove bad smells in large rooms. They have small room coverage compared to other purifiers. Use them together with a car air purifier for effective functioning. You can combine the two, especially if the car air purifier has a HEPA filter.

Activated charcoal purifying bags can absorb moisture and remove allergens from your car. The activated carbon inside the bags acts as a natural sponge for air pollutants.

Pros:

  • It is very portable
  • A cheaper alternative
  • It can get rid of bad smells
  • It is not powered by a battery 

Cons:

  • It cannot remove odors in large spaces

Buying Guide: Important Car Air Purifier Features

Are you looking for a car air purifier? There are some factors to consider before buying one for your car. Let’s look at the buying guide for car air purifiers;

Noise Level

Air purifiers have fans that rotate and absorb air through their filters. These fans rotate at different speeds and different settings. This rotating motion produces noise. It would be best if you considered the noise level of air purifiers when buying one. A very loud air purifier can distract you when you’re driving. It is crucial to get an air purifier with low noise levels.

The manufacturers of the purifier usually indicate the purifier noise levels. It is measured in decibels. Some Purifiers use advanced HEPA silent technology that minimizes the noises. They can clean air at low fan settings and produce little noise. Consider getting a car air purifier with low noise levels.

Smart Features

Air cleaners come with additional features such as WiFi connectivity and Bluetooth. These features make it easier for you to operate the purifier. Some models come with features like phone apps and remote control. You can adjust the settings of your purifier remotely from anywhere. 

When buying a car air purifier, choose one with the most smart features. It uses advanced technology that makes it easier for you to run. Such purifiers might be more expensive than others.

Portability

The best car air purifiers are portable. You can move with them from your house to your car. The portable air purifier needs to be light to easily plug into your charging port and carry it back to the car. Most car air purifiers come with carrying straps that make it easier to move around.

When buying a purifier, consider the size and weight. You should be able to carry your purifier from one place to another easily.

Battery Power

Most car air purifiers come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This battery stores power which the portable purifier uses when installed in the car. The battery life is usually indicated on the air purifier. They come with different ratings. Each purifier has the maximum time that it can run on a full charge.

The manufacturers of the device usually indicate the battery life. It also shows the rechargeable lithium-ion battery you can buy when you want to replace it. It would be best if you bought a purifier with high battery ratings. It will run for a much longer time before shutting down.

CADR rating

The CADR rating shows the time the purifier takes to remove pollutants from the air. A purifier with a high CADR rating can clear the car of pollutants using the least amount of time. It would help if you considered a purifier with high ratings. It will remove pollutants from your car much faster. The CADR rating is usually indicated by the manufacturers and is measured in CFM.

Type of Filters 

Purifiers come with different types of filters. Some devices have activated carbon filters, and others have HEPA filters. The filtration technology used affects how well an air purifier works. An activated charcoal filter effectively removes bad smells and other harmful substances. They also have a longer filter life than HEPA filters. 

It would be best if you chose a car air purifier with multiple filters. It does a much better job removing pollutants from the air.

Size and Design 

Size matters when it comes to choosing car air purifiers. The purifier should be small enough to fit in your car. It should only occupy a little space or stand out in the car. Some are designed to fit in the car’s headrest; you won’t notice if they’re installed.

Some purifiers, like the Dyson air purifier, have a sleek design with air intake all around. They can fit in your car and remove all pollutants. Consider getting an air purifier that perfectly fits into your car. It should not be too big to occupy much room in your car.

Types of Car Air Purifiers

There are different types of car air purifiers. There are four main categories of these air cleaners. Below is a list of portable air purifier types;

  • In-Cabin Air Filters – this is one of the best ways of dealing with harmful gases and particles from getting into your car. They are built into your vehicle directly to collect dirty air and purify it. The air is passed through the HVAC system. The filters are reliable but must be replaced after specific periods.
  • Ionic Air Purifiers – these air purifiers get rid of bad smells and bacteria by breaking them down into molecules. They emit positive and negative ions that break down molecules. They also help in trapping unwanted particles that circulate in your car. They might be perfect for getting rid of bad smells but take much longer to show results.
  • Charcoal Air Filters – these air cleaners are friendly to the environment. They are made from natural materials. They use activated carbon filtration technology to get rid of pollutants and smells by absorbing them. After they have been used for a while, they are placed in the sun to be refreshed before being used again. Standard charcoal filters can last up to two years and leave no smell.
  • Ozone Generators – These car air purifiers work by getting plugged into the car’s battery. They use electricity to get rid of bad smells and particles in the car.

Our Testing Process

We looked into different types of car air purifiers in our testing process. We looked for them online and compared them with other purifiers. We looked at their ratings, prices, and customer reviews. Reviewers showed that these air purifiers successfully removed all pollutants from their cars. These air cleaners are reliable when you’re behind the wheel and won’t get distracted. They work effectively without disturbing you and produce very little noise.

We looked at the best products you can find on Amazon. We were looking at the customer ratings and their feedback. Our team took the best car air purifiers that met our requirements and standards for testing. Each product was tested by our team members inside a car. We first tested how well it fits into the car. Then recorded the time it took to clean the air from the room.

We also tested the amount of noise produced by the air cleaners. It was measured in decibels and different settings. Each air purifier was then rated according to these criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Air Purifiers in Cars Work?

Yes, car air purifiers work. They have multiple filters that absorb harmful gases and Pollutants from your car. They improve the air quality in your car by reducing the amount of pollutants

Do Air Purifiers Remove Car Fumes?

Yes, air purifiers can remove fumes from your car. HEPA filters trap smoke particles, and the activated carbon filter removes volatile organic compounds and smoke fumes.

How Do You Purify the Air in Your Car?

You can purify the air in your car by opening the windows and allowing fresh air to flow through. Alternatively, you can use a car air purifier to clean the air in your car. The filters effectively work to improve the quality of air in your car.

Is a HEPA Filter Worth it For Your Car?

Yes, a HEPA filter is worth it for your car. The filter can capture up to 99% of particles. It traps particles up to 0.003 microns as air passes through the filters.

Conclusion

Car air purifiers have been designed to get rid of pollutants and allergens that stick to your car. These pollutants can harm your health and affect the air quality in your car. The air purifiers can work perfectly for long periods and clean your air. By now, you have better insights into car air purifiers. Consider getting a car air purifier for the continuous supply of clean air.