What are the Best Desktop Air Purifiers & Small Office Air Filters in 2019?
If you are looking for a good desktop air purifier for your workplace that is quiet, compact, lightweight and great value, this page has the best air cleaners for office desks available and why they are recommended.
Office air pollution can be particularly bad, with harmful VOCs and PM 2.5 contaminants you breathe in affecting not just your energy levels and ability to concentrate, but also damaging your long-term health.
Ahead are the best office air purifiers, small desktop HEPA filters and tabletop air cleaners for home offices in 2019, with detailed pros and cons for each to help you find the right one for your work desk.
Why You Need an Office Air Purifier
Most Americans spend the majority of their working day inside tightly sealed office buildings. Often in close contact with both many other company employees and many different sources of workplace air pollution.
Some of the worst of these airborne office pollutants include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as trichloroethylene, benzene, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, strongly linked to a higher risk of cancer.
These harmful gases are emitted by office furniture, commercial cleaning products, workplace flooring, ‘air fresheners’ and various electronic equipment.
Photocopiers, faxes, scanners and printers are particularly bad VOCs sources. These machines generate irritating ozone as well so make sure you have your work desk well away from them.
Excess levels of airborne particulate matter are also a serious health concern in many offices. In fact, this study showed PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels to be dangerously higher inside tested offices than in outdoor air.
The negative health effects of breathing in PM 2.5 indoor air pollution are well-established according to the EPA, with decreased lung function, irritated airways, aggregated asthma and even premature death listed.
While there are many other potential sources of office air pollution, particulate matter and VOCs are the most damaging and have led to the term ‘Sick Building Syndrome’. This EPA pdf has more details on how bad indoor air quality in your office can be.
Large offices with lots of employees also have other forms of workplace air pollution, such as pollen and pet dander carried in on clothing and hair; roadside contaminants from dozens of shoes pressed into off-gassing carpets; and airborne bacteria and viruses.
There are actually few places people spend significant time in that are more contaminated with airborne allergens, respirable particulates and toxic gases than modern open-plan offices.
Although there’s not much you can do to change the air quality in an entire ‘Sick Building’, you can purify the air you breathe in your immediate workspace with a good air purifier for your office desk.
This review of the best desktop air purifiers and office air filters has 5 recommended options for much cleaner and healthier air at your workplace.
Quick Comparison of the 5 Best Air Purifiers for an Office Desk
If you’re tired after a long working day and would just like to see the recommended results, then here are the 5 best value desk air purifiers for your office:
- SilverOnyx 4 in 1 Air Purifier — H13 True HEPA filter; activated carbon for odors and VOCs; optional negative ionizer and germicidal UV-C light; PM 2.5 air quality indicator; whisper quiet at just 25 dB; extremely popular desk air filter.
- Medify Air MA-18 Large Room Air Filter — 800 ft² office air cleaning every hour; medical-grade H13 True HEPA filter; activated carbon and optional 5 million negative ions per second; US company, high quality and strong warranty.
- Levoit Vista 200 Compact Air Cleaner — Compact, lightweight and portable; True HEPA/activated carbon/prefilter; auto timer, sleep mode and 2 year warranty; great value and very cheap to run; recommended for small workspaces and business travel.
- Unbeaten UN103 Odor Eliminator — True HEPA, prefilter and activated carbon for odors, smoke and toxic volatile organic compounds; simple controls, quiet sleep mode, 3-year warranty and 100% money-back guarantee.
- Mooka Air Purifier — Small and light desktop True HEPA filter/activated carbon; long warranty, free shipping and a very low price; up close and personal desktop air purifier only.
These are the best office cubicle air purifiers and small HEPA filters for desks I’ve found after many hours of careful comparisons, contacting manufacturers and reading technical specifications.
Should You Have an Air Filter for Your Home Office?
If you are lucky enough to work from a home office then you have more control over potential sources of workplace air pollution.
Laser and inkjet printers and photocopiers are big home office polluters and it’s best to open a window and leave the room when they are running.
The more electronic equipment and modern furniture you have, the more volatile organic compounds will contaminate your workspace. Air fresheners and correction fluid are also harmful sources of VOCs.
Paper dust, while not as hazardous as gases and chemicals from office electronics and furniture, contributes to higher levels of particulate matter in your home office as well.
Clearly in all workplaces where you spend significant time, whether at home or at the company office, you’d benefit from cleaner air to breathe while working. That’s where a good desktop air purifier comes in.
They don’t have to be expensive and some are so light and compact you can even take them between your home office and company desk.
Many people find having one of these small air purifiers running in their office cubicle, or on their work desk, makes them feel better from the first day they switch them on.
Common customer feedback includes improved energy levels, more focus and productivity, and feeling less frustrated and overwhelmed. Fewer headaches and illnesses, like cold and flu from office germs, are also often noted in owner reviews.
If you’d like to improve the air in your workplace then here are the 5 best office air filters and desktop air cleaners, their pros and cons and why they are chosen.
5 Recommended Light and Compact Air Purifiers for Office Desks
Most other desktop air purifier reviews list a random top 10 of popular products, regardless of how similar they are to each other. This wastes your time when you’re looking for a good office air filter to buy.
Each of these top air purifiers for work desks ahead are chosen as the best choice in their particular niche or price point, such as in large open-plan workplaces or costing under $50.
After many hours of research and contacting the manufacturers for extra details, these are the 5 best small office air purifiers and desktop air filters on the market in 2019.
Best Desktop Air Cleaner Overall — SilverOnyx Air Purifier Review
The new SilverOnyx 4-in-1 purifier has some impressive air cleaning technology packed into it, including extras you don’t often see at this size or price range.
Within its compact tower design the SilverOnyx utilizes 5 different stages of air purification:
- A mesh prefilter to trap hairs, lint and pet dander. This can be vacuumed occasionally to increase air purifier efficiency.
- An H13 medical-grade True HEPA filter. H13 HEPA is superior to H11 filters used in the majority of tabletop air purifiers.
- An activated carbon filter to neutralize bad smells and odors. Activated carbon also combats harmful VOCs and can remove indoor ozone.
- An optional ‘Vita-Ion’ negative ionizer, generating 3 million ions per second. Negative ions combat tiring positive ion pollution, which is particularly prevalent in office environments.
- An optional UV-C light with antibacterial photocatalyst layer to destroy germs and molds. Office cubicles are often full of airborne bacteria and viruses so this is a useful feature to have.
The SilverOnyx air purifier comes in 3 pretty stylish black, silver and white designs and is 10.5 x 16.5 inches and weighs 5.3 pounds.
The top facing touch control panel has quite a few extra features, usually only seen in larger and more expensive household air purifiers. They include:
- A PM 2.5 air quality indicator so you can tell how the SilverOnyx is working to purify the air in your workspace.
- An auto mode that adjusts to the level of indoor air pollution and displays different colors, blue for good down to red for poor, on the air quality indicator.
- 5 fan speeds in manual mode. Set it on high to clear smoke, when pets are around or on heavy pollen days.
- Sleep mode, where lights turn off and the fan runs at the lowest speed. SilverOnyx says their tabletop air purifier is whisper quiet in sleep mode at just 25 dB.
- An auto timer you can set from 30 minutes to a full 24 hours.
- Optional ionizer and UV-C/photocatalyst buttons. Both of these functions can be switched on or off. However, I’d personally keep them on as negative ions have many health benefits and UV-C light kills airborne bacteria and viruses.
The SilverOnyx desk air purifier is very popular. There are currently over 500 overwhelmingly positive ratings and nearly 300 answer questions here in customer reviews on Amazon at the time of writing.
Some of the SilverOnyx reviews are particularly helpful, like the home videos, comments on how effective it is for smoke and vaping, and the top reviewer who tested air quality with a high-end particle counter.
SilverOnyx Air Purifier Pros and Cons
- 5 stage air filtration with prefilter; medical-grade H13 HEPA; activated carbon for odors/VOCs; negative ionizer; and a UV-C/photocatalyst filter for germs and mold spores.
- CADR of 140 m³/hr is more than adequate for a good desktop air filter. On high speed this office air purifier does move quite a lot of air, though the recommended room size of 500 ft² seems ambitious.
- H13 HEPA filters are more effective at trapping smaller particulate matter (the most dangerous kind) and are rated as 99.97% effective right down to 0.3 micron particle size.
- According to SilverOnyx, the 360-degree purification design provides 60% larger air surface area, compared to competitors, to trap more airborne allergens and pollutants. This desk air filter is also powered by a durable brushless DC motor.
- Lots of high-end functions like PM 2.5 sensor, auto mode, 5 fan speeds, 24-hour timer, sleep mode and optional UV-C and ionizer buttons.
- Stylish metal designs in black, silver and white and would look great on any desk. Potentially compact and light enough to take from your workplace to your home office and back.
- Prefilter/H13 HEPA/activated carbon filters need to be replaced every 6 to 12 months, depending on how often you use your SilverOnyx air filter. You can check the current price of these replacements here.
- Whilst good value as the best office desktop air purifier, the SilverOnyx 4-in-1 might be a bit more than some people are looking to spend. See these 4 recommended budget air purifiers under $100, including the smaller and cheaper SilverOnyx 3 in 1, for some other good desk air cleaning options.
- Despite stating on their sales listing that the SilverOnyx does not produce ozone, this office air filter cannot be delivered to California at the time of writing.
- While the SilverOnyx is recommended for home offices and would make a good cubicle air purifier, for really polluted workplaces the extra protection of a large room ionizing air purifier would be even better.
The SilverOnyx 4-in-1 makes an excellent desk air purifier and is recommended as a great value office air filter.
It’s multistage air filtration, including H13 HEPA, activated carbon, negative ions and germicidal UV-C light, provides extra purification of not just dust, pollen and mold, but also harmful volatile organic compounds and germs, so common in modern workplace environments.
Customer reviews often comment on how good the SilverOnyx is for smoke and bad smells as well. It may even help if you have a work colleague sitting nearby with bad body odor or overpowering cologne.
Being compact and portable, you could use the SilverOnyx air purifier in other parts of your home as well. Though I think its design and top panel push-button controls make it a perfect air purifier for office use.
You can check the current price here on Amazon and see many customer pictures of this model.
The SilverOnyx is a simple and effective way to improve the air quality where you spend so many hours working each day.
Best Large Office Desktop Air Purifier — Medify Air MA-18 Review
If you work in an open-plan office there can be a lot of pollutants and allergens circulating in the air you breathe.
The more powerful your office air purifier is, the more it can filter out workplace air pollution and improve the quality of the air going into your lungs.
Medify Air is a USA company with a strong reputation for high-quality air purifiers. The Medify Air MA-18, you can see pictured here on Amazon, is their new desktop H13 HEPA air purifier model and highly recommended for people working in larger offices.
The MA-18 Medify Air is only 8.4 x 11.2 inches and 5.3 pounds, yet it’s advanced 360-degree air intake will purify the air in an 800 ft² office every hour, a 400 ft² workspace every 30 minutes, and a 200 ft² home study every 15 minutes.
4 air changes an hour is highly recommended for asthmatics and people who suffer from airborne chemical sensitivities. I’d strongly consider the MA-18 for your office desk if you have asthma or are often affected by office air pollution.
Medify Air use top quality medical-grade H13 True HEPA filters in all their air purifiers to capture 99.97% of harmful particulate matter, right down to 0.3 microns.
This is higher-grade air filtration than regular HEPA filters and also works much better for trapping bacteria, hence the medical-grade rating.
This Medify air purifier also has an activated carbon filter to absorb harmful VOCs like formaldehyde. These toxic gases, often responsible for headaches, lethargy and difficulty concentrating, are emitted by electronics, office supplies and synthetic furniture and flooring.
An optional ionizer function on the Medify Air desk air purifier generates 5 million negative ions per second. These ions attach to any remaining airborne pollutants and cause them to become too heavy to float.
Negative ions also counteract the debilitating effects of positive ions, including tiredness, tension, anxiety, irritability, headaches and respiratory problems.
Medify Air MA-18 Pros and Cons
- 360-degree air intake and 800 ft² office air cleaning in an hour. 4 air changes an hour or more in a 200 ft² workspace and recommended for asthma and chemical sensitivities.
- H13 medical-grade True HEPA filter, activated carbon for odors and VOCs, and an optional 5 million negative ions per second ionizer to counteract positive ions.
- Tighter weave H13 HEPA leads to lower CADR scores but the MA-18 still has a CADR rating of 150.
- Simple touchscreen controls on the top; filter replacement indicator light; 3 fan speeds; compact and portable; and free shipping.
- US company with local support and lifetime warranty on parts and service as long as filters are changed with genuine Medify Air replacement filters.
- There’s no doubt they are high quality, but unfortunately Medify Air replacement filters aren’t cheap. You can check the current price here and the filter change light on the top will tell you when they need replacing.
- This is not exactly an inexpensive air purifier like one of these. If you’re on a tight budget then consider one of the 3 remaining desktop air filters ahead, like the inexpensive Levoit Vista 200 or Mooka air purifier.
- Not as many advanced features and options as the SilverOnyx air purifier and no UV-C light, though negative ion output, airflow and room coverage are all higher.
The Medify Air MA-18 is a well-made and powerful office air cleaner that sits on your desk and purifies the air of the many pollutants found in modern workplaces.
It’s not the cheapest desktop air purifier in this review, but customer feedback is highly positive and it’s good to see a US company making high-quality air filters like this using the latest technology.
You can check the current price and see customer reviews and pictures here on Amazon.
For a top of the range office air purifier, with an even higher 1000 ft² coverage, CADR of 288, particle sensor and mobile app control, also check out the brand-new MA-Smart model here.
Best Value Home Office Air Filter — Levoit Vista 200 Review
Levoit are industry leaders in the low-cost air cleaner market and this slim, quiet and stylish Vista model here on Amazon is one of their latest releases, an upgrade to the popular Levoit LV-H132.
The Levoit Vista 200 compact air purifier doesn’t have the air cleaning power of the Medify Air MA-18 or SilverOnyx air purifiers. It’s well-made though and smaller, lighter and cheaper.
For these reasons, it’s recommended for home offices, student study rooms and smaller workspaces where you can close the door.
At just 7.9 x 12.9 inches and only 3.3 pounds in weight, the Vista 200 is easily portable and could be carried in a backpack to work, or even packed in your suitcase when traveling for business.
Levoit’s new desk air cleaner utilizes a prefilter for larger allergens; a True HEPA filter for floating dust, pollen, mold spores, and cockroach and dust mite waste products; and a high-efficiency activated carbon filter for odors and volatile organic compounds from furniture, electronics and office supplies.
This is one of the best desktop air purifier for those who need a quiet workspace as it’s just 26 decibels on low fan speed, virtually unnoticeable in the average office, and silent enough to match these quiet bedroom air purifiers.
As well as being a cheap air filter for your office desk to buy, the Vista 200 is also very inexpensive to use over the longer term. Levoit says running this desktop HEPA air purifier “24 hours a day for an entire year can cost as little as $6” in electricity.
Other features include 3 fan speeds, sleep mode to turn off lights, and a 2, 4 and 8-hour auto timer. It also comes with a 2-year warranty with registration and “lifetime support from the California air purifier team”.
Levoit Vista 200 Pros and Cons
- Compact, lightweight and stylish, this is a great portable desktop air purifier for people who want an easy way to combat airborne contaminants wherever they are working.Good value and very cheap to run.
- Combination replacement filters are also low cost compared to other office air cleaners. You can see them here with an extra discount for the 2 pack.
- Establish company; 2 year warranty; ozone-free and CARB/ETL/CA Prop 65 certified so it can be delivered to California.
- Recommended for smaller home offices up to 161 ft²/15 m². This is higher than the previously best-selling Levoit compact LV-H132 air filter, which only had an effective range of 129 ft²/12 m² and the Vista 200 is superior to the LV-H132 at the same retail price.
- Though better than the older Levoit LV-H132, the Vista 200 cannot match Levoit’s brand-new Core 300 model. This impressive air cleaner offers 5 air changes an hour in a 215 ft² workroom and has an AHAM certified CADR rating of 230+ m³/hr.
- If you don’t mind paying a little more and having a slightly larger model on your desk, then the new Core 300, available at a low price here on Amazon, is excellent value. It’s also a more powerful air cleaner for offices than the Vista 200 or especially the LV-H132.
- There is no negative ion generation with Levoit air purifiers. Office equipment can produce a lot of tiring positive ion pollution. One of these high output negative ionizers can counteract the harmful effects of positive ions and may help to improve your focus at work.
- While the Vista 200 is the best Levoit compact air purifier for desktops and traveling, there are even better small air purifiers and portable air filters like this. I particularly like the WYND smart air filter there with its ‘clean air bubble’ and USB-powered 8 hour cable-free operation.
If you looking for a quiet, compact, great value and low running cost desk air purifier for a small office, or home workplace, then the Levoit Vista 200 has a lot to recommend it.
You can check the current price here on Amazon and see hundreds of customer reviews and detailed questions answered. Keep in mind its smaller air cleaning range though.
For larger office spaces, the latest and highly recommended Core 300, available here for not much more, would be an even better choice if portability is not an issue.
Recommended TableTop Air Cleaner for Bad Smells — Unbeaten Odor Eliminator Review
The Unbeaten desk air filter is a similar design to the SilverOnyx. While it lacks an ionizer or germicidal UV-C light, it does have a particular focus on combating odors, smoke and smells, so much so that they named this little tabletop air purifier ‘Odor Eliminator’.
The Unbeaten 3 in 1 has a prefilter and True HEPA filter for dust, pollen, mold, pet dander and dust mite allergens. It also has a combined activated carbon filter which, usually, appears to be made on the outside of the filter, with the HEPA on the inside.
Perhaps this is why customer reviews on Amazon regularly comment on how good this tabletop air purifier is for bad smells, household odors and smoke, including cigarette and marijuana smoke.
In theory, a focus on activated charcoal in this desktop HEPA filter should also make the Unbeaten extra helpful for absorbing dangerous volatile organic compounds, so common in office air these days.
If you’re on a budget, this could be a good air purifier for an office cubicle, particularly where chemical smells or body odor and overpowering fragrances from other workers are a problem.
The Unbeaten is at a similar price point to the Levoit Vista 200 and, like that model, lacks the air cleaning power to cover a large office area.
It has a CADR rating of 80 m³/hr and, as such, is only recommended for smaller working spaces. For large open plan offices, go with the Medify Air MA-18, SilverOnyx 4 in 1 or Levoit Core 300.
On a positive note, it has simple top touch controls with 3 fan speeds, child lock, filter replacement light and sleep mode, which is 33 dB quiet.
Unbeaten also offers a “3-year warranty and lifetime support” with a “100% money back guarantee” according to their sales listing.
Unbeaten UN103 Desk Air Purifier Pros and Cons
- Low-cost air purifier well under $100 and light and compact at 8.23 x 13.36 inches and 4.63 pounds. Good for office desks and coffee tables.
- True HEPA with prefilter and activated carbon for odors, smoke and VOCs. Customer reviews say this air purifier for an office desk is particularly good for bad smells and clearing smoke.
- Ozone-free and, like the Levoit Vista 200 and Core 300, the only models in this best office air purifier review that can be delivered to California.
- Simple controls, quiet sleep mode, 3-year warranty and 100% money-back guarantee.
- Filters are some of the cheapest I’ve seen for this style of desktop True HEPA air purifier. You can see them here on Amazon with the unusual activated carbon outer layer.
- Limited air cleaning range. Should be positioned close to where you work for best air-filtering results. There are even cheaper air purifiers with similar CADR here.
- Portable but there are more compact and better small air purifiers reviewed here. The WYND model in particular would make for an excellent cubicle air purifier for polluted offices.
The Unbeaten ‘Odor Eliminator’ is available here on Amazon at a low price with free shipping and a long warranty. It also has low-cost replacement filters.
Customer reviews are very positive and feedback often says this little desktop air filter is particularly good for odors and smoke.
It’s not as powerful and lacks the ionizer and UV-C light of the similarly shaped SilverOnyx air purifier though, so if your budget allows I’d go for that one instead.
Recommended Cheap and Compact Desktop HEPA Filter — Mooka Air Purifier Review
If you’re looking for a small and low-cost air purifier for home office use, or for a student desk, the Mooka air cleaner could fit the bill.
This stylish little black True HEPA air purifier, seen here on Amazon at a very low price, is only 6.3 x 10.2 inches and 4.1 pounds.
It would look good in any home study or kept on a dorm room desk, but expect limited air cleaning range so recommended for small rooms only, not open-plan offices.
The Mooka air purifier uses 3 stage filtration, starting with a fine prefilter for larger allergens, followed by a combined True HEPA and activated charcoal filter for smaller pollutants and gases.
Mooka says this budget desktop air cleaner will filter 99.97% of dust, pollen, smoke, odors, mold spores and pet dander.
They also state that it will deliver 100 m³ of freshly filtered air per hour at maximum fan speed and it is suitable for personal use in places like office cubicles and school dormitories.
The Mooka desk air purifier’s controls couldn’t be simpler. There’s just one silver button to turn it on and change the fan speed.
At low fan it’s only 35 dB, more than quiet enough to not interrupt you while you’re working.
It also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and a 3-year warranty, according to Mooka on their sales listing.
Mooka Air Purifier Pros and Cons
- For a small desktop HEPA air purifier, the Mooka does its best to circulate air, using 3 separate air intakes and filters to improve airflow and filtration. CADR of 80+ m³/hr isn’t great, but it’s still better than many similar priced competitors who only have 50+ m³/hr CADR.
- Customer reviews are positive, with over 250 ratings and 4.5 stars at the time of writing. People seem to like the simple design and portability of the Mooka air cleaner.
- Long warranty, free shipping and a very affordable price.
- Not recommended for people with allergies or asthma, larger working spaces or highly polluted indoor environments. This is an up close and personal desktop HEPA purifier only.
- 3 pack filters are available here and should be replaced every 6 months if you’re using the Mooka air purifier regularly. They are not cheap for a small desk air cleaner and both the Unbeaten and Levoit Vista 200 have better value replacement filters.
- Mooka recommends their air purifier for bedrooms but it’s neither powerful enough or quiet enough to match these best bedroom air purifiers.
- Whilst ozone-free, Mooka has not applied for CARB certification so this desk air filter cannot be delivered to California.
The Mooka air purifier is available here on Amazon at a surprisingly low price and does its best for its compact size.
It would be recommended for smaller workspaces that you spend time in occasionally, like a weekend home office or student study room.
It’s not the best office air purifier or daily work desk air cleaner due to its lower power and filter costs.
Cleaner Workplace Air for More Productivity and Less Sickness
I hope one of the recommended desktop air purifiers in this review can make a big difference to the indoor air quality of your home office or workplace.
If you are working in a cubicle, or a large open plan area, then the Medify Air MA-18 is a great air purifier for an office desk in this environment. You can see it here and check the price on Amazon.
If you find you are getting run down and sick with colds and flu from your workplace, then the SilverOnyx 4 in 1, with its germicidal UV-C light and health-improving negative ions would make a great choice.
500+ highly positive customer ratings here must mean this tabletop air filter is doing its job well.
Air pollution at the workplace can have many detrimental effects and a significant impact on your long-term health and well-being.
Hopefully this detailed office desk air purifier review has helped you find a simple way to improve the air you breathe at work each day.
There are more potential office air purifiers in this review of the best cheap air filters under $100.
If you are looking for an air cleaner that is even more lightweight and portable, then check out these recommended small air purifiers and travel air filters as well.