The Best Small and Portable Air Purifiers in 2021
If you are looking for a good portable air cleaner that is light, compact and easy to take anywhere, this page has the best options available and why they are recommended.
It’s important to understand how to properly use a mini air filter, its specific limitations, but also its potential benefits.
Ahead is the top rated small air purifier for 2021 in 3 different categories, with the pros and cons of each to consider and a summary of their best features.
Quick Comparison of the Top Portable Air Cleaners
If you’re short on time, here is a list of the best mini air purifiers in 2021:
- WYND Essential Smart Purifier — Highest air cleaning to size ratio of any air purifier; 9 liters of purified air per second; works for up to 8 hours with a single charge; highly portable at less than a pound and the size of a water bottle; great travel size air freshener you can take anywhere.
- iTvanila High CADR HEPA Cleaner — Twin True HEPA/activated carbon filters; impressive clean air delivery rate of 106 m²/hr; small and compact; whisper-quiet 26 dB in sleep mode; ozone-free and 2-year warranty; best in smaller spaces.
- RIGOGLIOSO Ionic USB Filter — True HEPA, activated charcoal and 5 million negative ions per second; light, quiet and portable; USB powered; inexpensive close range purifier.
These 3 are selected after many hours of detailed research, contacting air cleaner makers and reading technical specifications and user manuals.
The Benefits of a Portable Air Filter
When your air purifier is small, lightweight and compact, then it’s easy to move and can be positioned near to where you spend the most time.
This is highly beneficial and even a low cost mini air filter can work well for indoor air cleaning when used at close range.
In fact, a portable air cleaner operating right beside you could be even more effective than a far more expensive air purification system running in the corner of the room.
Some of the newer compact air filters are so small and light you could take them with you to work or even pack them to use on holidays.
They also easily fit into your car’s cup holder and can filter the air while you’re driving. This is important as the air inside most cars is highly polluted. See more recommended car air purifier options here.
3 Recommended Small and Compact Air Purifiers for 2021
Other small air purifier reviews usually list a random top 10 of very similar products. This wastes your time when looking for the best portable air filter to buy.
Each of the recommended models below are either chosen as the best choice from many competitors, or, in the case of the outstanding WYND ahead, simply have no comparable competition.
1. Best Compact Air Filter Overall — WYND Essential
The beautifully designed WYND was created by Eric Munoz, a former aerospace engineer, and a team from MIT. It was also the most popular Kickstarter for an air purification product ever funded.
This powerful yet highly compact air cleaner uses a rocket turbine inspired design to dramatically increase airflow. So much so in fact that it can generate more than 9 liters of filtered air per second, according to its makers.
The WYND Essential charges with an included USB cable. Once charged, it does not need to be plugged in and can clean the air on the go for up to 8 hours with a single charge.
Weighing less than a pound and only the size of a water bottle, the WYND makes for an excellent travel size air freshener you can literally take anywhere.
Pack it in your backpack to work, use it beside you on your office desk, take it on an airplane, use it in a baby stroller, or slot it into your car’s cup holder while you drive.
This compact air purifier utilizes special medical grade electrostatic filters infused with antibacterial silver particles. These are quite cheap but would need to be replaced every 3 to 6 months depending on how often you use it.
The WYND looks to me like it was designed by Apple and it actually connects to your smartphone with a free app so you can monitor air quality and receive alerts when it’s time to change the filter.
It also comes with a special stand to angle the ‘bubble of clean air’ WYND generates directly at your face and maintain purified air to breathe, even in the most polluted environments.
Unique features like these help make the WYND Essential the best portable air filter I’ve seen on the market.
You can read more about the innovative technology in this product, see customer reviews and check the current price here on Amazon. Last I checked it was actually lower than people paid on Kickstarter.
WYND Pros and Cons
- Ingenious turbine design, inspired by jet propulsion, gives the WYND the highest air cleaning to size ratio of any air filter on the market.
- Generates 9 liters of purified air per second and can be angled with its stand to point directly at your face and maximize your ‘clean air bubble’.
- Weighs less than a pound and is highly compact at 6.65 inches high and only 2.75 inches wide at the base.
- USB powered via an included cable and will last up to 8 hours on a single charge. A great travel sized air freshener you can take anywhere.
- Replacement filters are very affordable and you can get them in the ‘Frequently bought together’ section. It makes sense to buy extra with your WYND if you’ve decided on this as the best portable air purifier for you.
- The most stylish small air filter I’ve ever seen. Though the WYND Essential only comes in black. To get the white design you need to pay a bit more for the WYND Plus with detachable air quality monitor.
- As powerful as the WYND is, it’s much better at constantly filtering the air immediately around you, than purifying the whole room. Company literature focuses on “quickly cleaning your personal space of allergens, germs and air pollution”, rather than CADR or room size.
- More expensive than the other top small air purifiers in this review, though filters are actually cheaper so this could even out over several years.
- Does not generate negative ions so look to the RIGOGLIOSO option ahead if you want the benefits of negative ions.
- Some customer reviews and comments say that the positioning stand is a bit flimsy. Though this is a feature I haven’t seen with any competitors so it’s definitely a positive if you’re careful with it.
If you’re looking for a small and compact air filter for traveling, taking to work or using in your car while driving, the WYND Essential is a powerful and stylish choice.
You can check the current sale price here and see the ‘Frequently bought together’ section for the low-priced filters.
If you’d like to have the detachable air quality monitor and would prefer the white design option then consider going for the flagship Plus model. This listing also has more detailed information on how WYND’s unique air cleaning technology works.
2. Best Small HEPA Filter without Ionizer — iTvanila X1
The new iTvanila X1 purifies the air in your home with 2 True HEPA/activated carbon filters and has an impressive CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 106 m³/hr for it’s tiny size.
It has a stylish modern design, touch controls, filter change reminder and 3 fan speeds. At a very soft 26 dB in sleep mode, it would make for a quiet air purifier for your bedroom too.
Customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive and reviewers say the nightlight can be switched off and you cannot hear this small HEPA filter when you set it to sleep mode.
Light and compact at 3.7 pounds and just 6.7 x 10.4 inches. This stylish little air cleaner also comes with a carry handle, an unusual but useful feature for a portable HEPA filter.
Ozone-free (does not have an ionizer) and a 2-year warranty, according to iTvanila. This tiny but powerful model is surprisingly good value and available here.
iTvanila X1 Pros and Cons
- Twin prefilter/True HEPA/activated carbon filters with a high CADR of 106 m³/hr, outstanding for its small size. These filters can quickly capture 99.97% of airborne particles in a smaller room.
- Two stage filters are better value than many smaller single filters when you need to replace them.
- Stylish design, ozone-free, 3 fan speeds, touch controls, filter change reminder, safety lock, carry handle, free shipping and a 2-year warranty.
- Compact, portable and extremely good value for its clean air delivery rate compared to similarly priced competitors.
- Still a mini air purifier with a limited air cleaning range. Manufacturer claims of this unit purifying the air in rooms up to 538 ft2 (50 m2) seem wildly ambitious.
- Despite being ozone-free, it currently cannot be delivered to California. This must be an oversight as the slightly larger and more powerful iTvanila A1, sold with extra odor protection, highlights its CARB certification and Californian delivery.
If you are looking for a great value small HEPA air purifier, and don’t mind not having an ionizer, the iTvanila is highly recommended.
Check the current price here, read customer feedback and see pictures of this little HEPA filter in people’s homes.
3. Best Value Mini Air Cleaner — RIGOGLIOSO USB Purifier with Negative Ions
The strangely named RIGOGLIOSO USB is very compact and portable at just 5.9 x 9.3 inches and only 1.55 pounds.
It has a True HEPA filter for dust, pollen, pet dander and mold spores, combined with activated charcoal for odors and toxic gases.
This mini air purifier is also a negative ionizer, generating 5 million beneficial negative ions per second. This output can’t match the power of the best negative ion generators here, but it is reasonable for a smaller model like this.
This little USB air filter is extremely good value here on Amazon and highly portable, but would only have a limited range and should be positioned close to you for best results.
RIGOGLIOSO Pros and Cons
- True HEPA filter combined with activated charcoal for odors and 5 million negative ions per second.
- Filters are comparatively inexpensive and can be found under the same listing. They should be replaced every 6 months if you use this portable air cleaner regularly.
- Small, lightweight, low power consumption and whisper-quiet operation on low fan sleep mode at less than 30 dB.
- Simple operation — press the big button on top to turn on, speed up, slow down and turn off.
- USB powered. This would be an advantage if you want to use it with your laptop or on the go in a modern car.
- New model, very low price and 1 year warranty, according to the manufacturer.
- This is a mini air purifier and would have only a small air cleaning radius. CADR of 50 m³/hr means it’s not as powerful as the previous 2 portable air filters reviewed.
- The sales listing shows it comes with a USB power adapter to plug into the wall but I couldn’t confirm this. If this is not the case you’ll need one, like those used to charge smartphones, to plug into a regular power socket.
- Blue light can be dimmed but not switched off completely so perhaps not best for bedrooms unless you want a soft nightlight.
- No CARB certification so cannot be shipped to California.
The RIGOGLIOSO is an inexpensive and compact air purifier with the added benefit of negative ion generation.
Best results would be at close proximity and this portable air filtration system is small and light enough to take with you to work, use in your car or even pack when traveling.
You can check the current price here and read customer reviews and feedback on the new RIGOGLIOSO USB purifier.
Portable Air Purification Versus Whole Room Air Cleaning
A small air cleaner needs to be positioned quite close to you to perform at its best.
Even the powerful WYND should be thought of as providing more of a ‘personal clean air bubble’ around you while you sit at your work desk, watch TV or even sleep in your bed at night.
I hope this review of the best portable air purifiers and small HEPA air filters has helped you find a convenient way to clean the air you breathe of pollution wherever you are.