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  • Winix 5500-2

  • Sharp FPK50UW

  • Blueair Classic 205

  • Bissell Air220 2609A

  • Vornado AC550

Product image of Winix 5500-2
Winix 5500-2

The Winix 5500-2, while not the most technologically advanced product on our list, uses a True HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter, and plasma to clean the air. It has intuitive controls and thoughtful extras like a sleep mode, a timer, and a light sensor that automatically adjusts the back-lighting on the control panel. It also comes with a number of status lights for the filter integrity, air quality, and odor detection. Changing the filters is easy, and most of the fan settings are quiet enough not to be disruptive during conversations or at night.

While the Winix 5500-2 employs plasma as one purification method, it is certified by the California Air Resources Board, meaning that it emits minimal, safe levels of ozone. If you have a strong ozone sensitivity, though, all you have to do is turn the PlasmaWave function off. It also did well in our smell tests; it was able to noticeably remove odors like cinnamon and cigarette smoke.

Pros

  • Easy to move

  • Easy to change filters

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Sharp FPK50UW
Sharp FPK50UW

The Sharp FPK50UW is a sleek but powerful air purifier with enough options for those who want some flexibility with their air purification, but don’t need or want a smart appliance. It features three fan speeds (including a “Sleep mode”) and a “Express Clean” option that uses ionized particles to remove contaminants from the air for up to 60 minutes. There’s also a timer option for two, four, and eight hours. Its purification methods include True HEPA and carbon filters, a pre-filter, and plasmacluster technology.

Our in-home tester really loved the “Express Clean” setting, which cleared kitty litter dust from the air with no problem. It had a bit of a tougher time removing the smell of bacon from the air, but did a decent job of removing the smell of cigarette smoke from the airtight test room during lab testing. While “Express Clean” and the high fan speed are both very loud, either setting can be used to quickly a small room with a door that closes. With its small size, low weight, and deep handle, the Sharp is very portable.

Pros

  • Easy to operate

  • Easy to move

Cons

  • Half of the fan speeds are loud

Product image of Blueair Classic 205
Blueair Classic 205

Beneath its industrial-looking exterior lies an air purifier that can get the job done. Using the company's HEPASilent filter, which is similar to a True HEPA filter, the Blueair Classic 205 has a very basic control panel only consisting of the power/fan control, the WiFi network indicator, and the filter status light. The Classic 205 can be activated, adjusted, and monitored from the Blueair mobile app, allowing you to improve your air quality even while you're on the go.

The Classic 205 had a tough time removing cigarette smoke, but it did a pretty good job of cleansing the room of the stench of fish oil, so we'd recommend using this air purifier near the kitchen so as to help eradicate unpleasant cooking, food, or food waste smells. At-home testing revealed that the Classic 205 might also help to mitigate allergy congestion when you first wake up in the morning. While some of its settings can be a bit loud, we think the Blueair Classic 205 is a solid choice for those bothered by food odors.

Pros

  • Unobtrustive aesthetics

Cons

  • Some loud fan settings

Product image of Bissell Air220 2609A
Bissell Air220 2609A

The Bissell air220 is intuitive and unobtrusive. It has a single power button and a fan speed dial with five fan speeds and an “Auto” mode. It has a tiny display panel that shows the fan setting, and three different LEDs give you general information about the ambient air quality. The air220 is designed to fade into the background, rather than draw the eye, a fact that will please those who don’t want a big obvious air purifier to break up the visual appeal of a room. It's purification methods include HEPA filters, carbon filters, and a pre-filter.

During at-home testing, users found that the air220 did a solid job of getting rid of pot smoke, but it struggled a bit more to remove the smell of incense. In our lab, it performed similarly, where it wasn’t quite able to dispel the smell of peppermint from our sealed test room after running for four hours. The fastest fan setting isn’t too loud, and it automatically switches over to night mode and turns off the machine lights when it senses low ambient light levels. The Bissell has a nice cord storage system, but the too-shallow handle means that you have to hold it with two hands when moving it around. If you prefer the set-it-and-forget-it approach to air purifying, then you’ll appreciate the Bissell air220.

Pros

  • Easy to use

  • Relatively quiet operation

Cons

  • Inadequate handle

Related content

Product image of Vornado AC550
Vornado AC550

The Vornado AC550 favors simplicity over aesthetics with carbon and True HEPA filters to clean the air. It's interesting to look at, if not particularly modern in its design and operating it is very easy. With only a plus and minus sign button to toggle between the four fan speeds, sleep, and auto modes, and filter status lights, this air purifier is for those who don't want to read an entire manual front-to-back in order to understand how to make it work. In Auto mode, the dust sensor, located on the side of the unit, dictates the fan speed at any given moment, meaning that you won't have to constantly adjust it when the interior air quality changes.

When it came to our smell tests, the Vornado had a tough time removing the scent of a peppermint essential oil; most of the other air purifiers we tested also struggled with filtering out fragrance smells. It did pretty well when it came to the stench of fish oil, though, so it may be more successful in removing food and cooking smells. While some of the settings on the Vornado are loud, most are quiet enough that they weren't bothersome during quiet time or conversations.

Pros

  • Easy to operate

  • Easy to move

Cons

  • Some loud fan settings

Meet the tester

Julia MacDougall

Julia MacDougall

Senior Scientist

@reviewed

Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "The Best Right Now" articles.

See all of Julia MacDougall's reviews

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