Therapure Air Purifiers Review 2019 — Pros & Cons + TPP230H/TPP240 vs TPP440/TPP540
The air purifier company Envion, owned by BONECO, make a range of popular home air filters under the brand name Therapure.
On first appearances, these air cleaners with permanent filters and germicidal UV lamps seem impressive, but are Therapure and Envion products actually any good?
This detailed Therapure air purifier review covers how they work, what they lack, pros and cons and a comparison of the most popular models.
Also ahead, where to find Therapure replacement filters and how to clean permanent HEPA-type filters by Envionproducts.
The Truth About Therapure Air Purifiers
Envion Therapure air filters, such as the popular TPP230H, TPP240, TPP440 and TPP540 models, available here on Amazon, contain some unusual air cleaning technology, like antibacterial UV-C light and a photocatalyst filter for harmful VOCs.
Unfortunately and importantly, they also appear to cut corners with air filtration, as explained ahead, and do not include an activated carbon filter for odors, usually standard in an air purifier over $100.
TPP240 or TPP440 air filters may still be useful in the right environment. However, claims in other Envion air purifier reviews that they are good for bedrooms, very large spaces or allergies are clearly wrong and show a lack of understanding of the limitations of these kind of air cleaners.
In fact, misleading information and inaccurate claims about Therapure ‘HEPA’ air purifiers are surprisingly common online, largely due to poorly researched articles on other websites.
This detailed Therapure air purifier review will set the record straight and give you the information you need to decide if one of these Envion air filters is right for your home.
Therapure TPP440 versus TPP540
The TPP440 model is the same price and very similar in size and weight to the TPP540 in product specifications on Envion’s website. Both also take the same replacement filter, according to user manuals.
The colors and styling a slightly different, as are CADR ratings (though these are difficult to trust – more on CADR ahead), but Envion never replied when I wrote to them asking what the differences were between the TPP540 and TPP440.
For the rest of this Envion Therapure air filter review, I think it’s safe to consider all the pros and cons of the TPP440 equally valid for the Therapure TPP540.
Envion Therapure TPP230H versus TPP240
Both of these tower air purifiers have similar dimensions and weigh 10.3 pounds. The TPP230H is slightly taller with a raised carry handle. The TPP240 lacks this handle.
They also look very similar in design, aside from the raised handle, though the TPP230H is currently available in white and the 240 model in black.
In fact, the only real difference between these two Therapure HEPA-type air purifiers appears to be the optional ionizer with the TPP240.
Despite this, the TPP230H retails for less, both on the Envion BONECO site and here on Amazon where it is the lowest price of the Therapure range.
Therapure Air Purifiers Pros and Cons
It’s important to read this section carefully before buying an air purifier in the Therapure range. The TPP440, TPP540 TPP230H and TPP240 models are not recommended for air filtration in many indoor environments.
For instance, if you are looking for a quiet bedroom air purifier then go here. No Therapure air cleaner can come close to matching the recommended options there.
While Envion’s air filters aren’t overly expensive, there are much better cheap air purifiers here that cost less and come with True HEPA filters, activated carbon and many other features lacking with the Therapure brand.
And if you want to receive the air cleaning power and health benefits of negative ions, then any one of these best ionic air purifiers are a far superior choice.
There are a few advantages with Therapure air cleaners though, as well as some limitations to be aware of before deciding to purchase one. Read on for the pros and cons from my research on Envion’s air filter range.
1. Permanent HEPA-Type Filters
One of the biggest selling points of these air purifiers, from the compact 360 and TPP220 models, TPP230H and TPP240 towers, newer 440/540, and top of the range TPP640, is that they all come with ‘permanent’ HEPA-type filters that can be vacuumed or brushed clean.
Most True HEPA filters should be replaced every 6 to 12 months, depending on how often you use them. This can add up over the years and customer feedback highlights Therapure permanent filters as a big selling point.
There is a drawback to permanent HEPA-type filters though. They are not considered nearly as effective as True HEPA and are not tested and proven as effective at filtering 99.97% of smaller particulate matter down to 0.3 microns.
Given this, I’d consider Envion HEPA-like filters only useful for larger floating allergens, like pollen, large bacteria and mold spores, and higher micron dust particles.
Smaller airborne pollutants, such as dust mite waste allergens in bedrooms, tobacco smoke and other gaseous contaminants, smaller bacteria and viruses, and finer particulate matter are much less likely to be filtered properly by HEPA-type filters.
Envion, the makers of Therapure ‘HEPA’ air purifiers, say they have “patented HEMI Spheric HEPA-type filtration” that provides 20% greater air filtering than traditional flat filters. Though nowhere on their website that I could find do they provide any proof of this extra filtration.
Envion also state that these permanent HEPA-type filters never need to be replaced. Despite this, many people search online for Therapure replacement filters, which you can find for sale here.
One reason customers could be searching for replacement filters for TPP240 and TPP440 models is the mistaken idea, still listed in some bad reviews, that Therapure air purifier filters are washable.
This is completely wrong. Permanent filters made by Envionproducts should be vacuumed or brushed clean monthly to increase their efficiency, but never washed or allowed to get wet.
2. Germicidal UV-C Light
Airborne bacteria, fungal spores and viruses, like the influenza virus, are destroyed by exposure to UV-C light. Some air purifier manufacturers have incorporated germicidal UV lamps into their products to harness this power.
The addition of UV light adds an extra layer of antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral treatment to the air purification potential of Therapure TPP440 and TPP240 air purifiers.
3. Photocatalytic Oxidation for Harmful Volatile Organic Compounds
Timber furniture, carpets, upholstery, air fresheners, cleaning products and many other indoor sources emit harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds), like formaldehyde and benzene.
These toxic gases can irritate your eyes, throat and lungs and have even been implicated in an increased risk of cancer.
All Therapure triple action air purifiers, from the TPP220 model and up, have a ‘photocatalyst filter’ to combat toxic fumes and VOCs.
This is not actually a separate filter, but rather a layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) that works with the UV-C light to achieve photocatalytic oxidation of VOCs that passed through the air cleaner.
4. Optional Ionizer on the Therapure TPP240
Negative ions have many health benefits. The TPP240 model does have an optional negative ionizer but its specific ion output is not made clear by Envion.
The best ionizers like these have high negative ion generation of many millions or even billions of ions per second. Until more product details are given by the company, it’s best to assume negative ion output on the TPP240 is low.
5. Simple Settings and Slim Tower Design
Both the TPP540 and Therapure TPP440 are approximately 7 x 9 x 25 inches and 9.5 pounds in weight. The TPP230H/240 models are close to 8 x 10 x 26 inches, or 27 inches for the 230H with its raised handle.
Aside from the TPP240, all of these Envionproducts air filters also have a carry handle at the top, though they could hardly be considered a true portable air purifier like one of these.
Customer feedback is largely positive on the slim tower design and black and silver color scheme of the TPP540/440. The black tower design of the Therapure TPP240 appears to be favored over the white of the TPP230H in Amazon reviews.
All Envion air purifiers also have simple touch controls, usually with 3 fan speeds, 1 to 24 hour timer control, optional UV/VOC button and clean filter indicator light. The TPP240 also has an optional ionizer switch.
It’s recommended to position Therapure air filters at least a foot away from walls, curtains and furniture and close to where you spend the most time.
Claims on Walmart, Costco, eBay and other reviews that Therapure air filters “remove smoke and purify the air in a 395 ft² room 3 times per hour” are highly ambitious at best. I’d be very interested to see if any certified testing has proven these claims.
1. HEPA-Type Not True HEPA Filter
Scientific consensus and air purification authorities are very clear that HEPA-like or HEPA-type filters are not nearly as effective at air filtration as properly tested True HEPA. This is particularly the case for smaller and more damaging airborne particles down to 0.3 microns.
While UV-C light and photocatalytic oxidation are helpful, the filter is the most important part of any air purifier. The customer is being asked to trust Envion that their ‘HEMI Spheric’ HEPA-type filters are effective with no published proof.
Also keep in mind that the user manuals of all Therapure models recommend that you vacuum or brush the filter every month, more often in highly polluted environments, to clean them and keep them running effectively.
While permanent filters in an air purifier sound like a great cost saver, time is valuable too. This monthly extra cleaning is probably why many Envion customers end up needing replacement Therapure filters, despite them being advertised as permanent.
2. CADR Tests Affected by HEPA-Type Filters
Looser weave HEPA-type filters allow more airflow than tighter True HEPA filters. This lets air purifiers that use them get away with higher CADR test scores that may not accurately reflect true air cleaning potential.
According to Environ’s website, the Therapure TPP540 has a CADR score of: Pollen – 138, Dust – 136, Smoke – 128. The TPP440 CADR rating is listed as: Pollen – 163, Dust – 150, Smoke – 108.
Why these figures would be so different in two very similar air purifiers using the exact same filters isn’t clear. I’ve also seen vastly different CADR figures listed on Walmart sales pages and even Envion’s own Amazon listings.
I’d personally hesitate to put much stock in these CADR scores given the HEPA-type filter used and the wide variations listed in different places.
3. No Activated Carbon Filter
Using activated carbon to absorb gases, odors and smells, in combination with True HEPA, is basic 101 air purifier manufacturing in 2019.
By using inferior HEPA-type filters, and neglecting to use activated carbon all, it’s difficult to see how the Environ company can justify price tags well over $100 in today’s competitive air purifier market.
While photocatalytic oxidation can help with gaseous pollutants, claims in some reviews that Therapure air purifiers are effective against bad smells, odors or even cigarette smoke don’t really stack up.
Customer feedback also has many instances of reviewers saying these air cleaners are not effective against odors or smoke.
4. UV-C Lamp Need Yearly Replacement and Careful Disposal
The germicidal UV-C lamp in Envion air purifiers is beneficial against bacteria, mold spores and viruses but, according to Therapure user manuals, does need to be replaced yearly if used regularly.
You can check the current price of these replacement UV lamps here, as well as the filters and other accessories. This yearly lamp replacement requirement does negate a lot of the benefits of the permanent filters though.
Also keep in mind that UV lamps can contain toxic mercury and absolutely must be disposed of as hazardous waste by proper waste removal services. Please don’t simply throw them in the trash as they can be dangerous to people and pollute the environment.
Often hardware stores have disposal facilities for UV lamps, as they do with fluorescent light bulbs, and this could be the easiest option for safely getting rid of old lamps.
5. Not Strictly Ozone Free
Whilst not mentioned on the Envion website, or any seller listings for Therapure UV germicidal air purifiers that I’ve seen, UV-C lamps can create tiny amounts of ozone, as can the optional ionizer in the TPP240.
Ozone levels would be expected to be well within safe 0.05 parts per million levels. This fact should still be listed for sensitive people though, like those with asthma, who these Envion air purifiers are definitely not recommended for.
The potential for ozone generation also means it can be difficult to get air filters made by Envion delivered to California due to state laws, particularly the Ionic Pro range.
6. Noise Level and Nightlight
Decibel levels for the TPP440 is listed on Wayfair as 62 dB for the highest fan speed, which is quite loud and far too noisy for sleeping.
Lower fan speeds would be quieter but there are also many customer complaints about “whirring”, “distracting” and “whistling” noises with these air cleaners in Amazon reviews.
Additionally, while lights can be dimmed with most air purifiers made by Envionproducts when you hit ‘night mode’, some blue lighting still remains which can interfere with sleep.
These are not good air purifiers for bedrooms and I’d highly recommend one of these quiet small room air purifiers instead.
7. Poor Product Information and Customer Service
It has been a difficult process writing a factual review of Therapure air purifiers. Much, if not most of the other reviews online are inaccurate or incomplete in the information they present.
The Envion website is also decidedly lacking in the usual technical specifications and product information a customer can rely on to make an informed decision.
Therapure TPP440 versus TPP240
As previously stated in this review, the Envion Therapure TPP240 and TPP440 are quite similar air purifiers. They are also the two best-selling models in the range so it’s useful to have a comparison between them.
Size, Weight and Ionizer
The TPP440 is slightly more compact at 6.9 x 8.8 x 25.5 inches and lighter at 9.5 pounds, versus the Therapure TPP240 at 7.9 x 9.6 x 26.1 inches and 10.3 pounds in weight, according to user manuals for each.
One difference is that the TPP240 comes with an optional ionizer. This appears to be the only Therapure air purifier with this functionality. Neither the TPP540/440 models, or very similar TPP230H, make any mention of an ionizer on their listings.
Clean air delivery rate comparisons show the following figures listed on Envion’s website:
- Therapure TPP440 CADR: Pollen – 163, Dust – 150, Smoke – 108.
- Therapure TPP240 CADR: Pollen – 155, Dust – 132, Smoke – 137.
I personally like to see proof of these figures as air cleaner smoke CADR is rarely higher than dust CADR due to the much smaller micron size of cigarette and wildfire smoke. This is especially relevant as these air purifiers lack an activated carbon filter for absorbing smoke.
I’d also be interested to see a clear explanation why the larger TPP240 model has a smaller suggested room size and lower CADR than the more compact TPP440 at roughly the same price.
Sales listings state that the TPP240 cleans the air in rooms up to 343 ft² up to 3 times in an hour. For the TPP440 an even higher air cleaning figure of 395 ft² 3 times in an hour is given.
These figures would be impressive if true but no proof is given and they are not currently listed on Environ’s website. I’d be highly skeptical that Therapure air purifiers could clean the air in such a large room effectively.
For air purification in larger spaces, one of these best air purifiers would be a much better choice to get the job done properly.
Taking the figures given by Envion at face value, the Therapure TPP440 is the better air purifier if you don’t want the optional ionizer in the TPP240.
Personally, I’d recommend any one of these excellent ionic air purifiers over any of the air cleaners in the Therapure range. The lack of True HEPA filter and activated carbon is too big a deal-breaker at this price point.
Therapure air purifiers could be good for pollen and larger floating particles, as well as germs and VOCs with their UV-C light and photocatalytic oxidation, but there still are much better value air purifiers out there.
Therapure Air Purifier Replacement Filters
For an air purifier brand whose main selling point is its permanent HEPA-type filter, there certainly seem to be a lot of people searching online for replacement Therapure filters.
You can find TPP230H/TPP240, TPP440/TPP540 filters and replacement UV lamps on sale here.
Reasons why you might need to replace Environ’s permanent HEPA-type filter include damage from liquids, excessive use without cleaning or just product aging with many years of use. Perhaps cleanable filter is a more accurate term than permanent filter.
User manuals also warn against operating Therapure air purifiers in “greasy environments such as kitchens”, “bathrooms and other humid environments” and near fireplaces (once again, this is not a good air purifier for smoke).
Cleaning and Replacing Therapure Filters
To clean or replace a Therapure air purifier filter first turn the unit off, unplug it from the wall, take off the inlet grill, then grasp the filter on either side and carefully remove it. It is now ready for replacement or cleaning with a vacuum or brush.
This filter cleaning would be best done outside if possible, or in a well-ventilated room far away from common living areas.
Never use water or cleaning products on Therapure filters as this will permanently damage them and you’ll need to buy a replacement. These definitely aren’t washable filters as some Environ air purifier reviews falsely state.
Envion Company Criticism Online
Reading Therapure air purifier reviews and checking listings on sites like Walmart, Home Depot and Cosco, there are so many different CADR figures given for the Envion Therapure 540, 440, 240 and 230H it’s hard to know if any of them are accurate.
There are also quite a few customer complaints and negative feedback from Therapure owners on Amazon. Not just from poor experiences with the product, but also detailing bad customer service and difficulty getting a replacement for faulty products.
Some customer criticism also suggests that the use of the term ‘HEPA’ is a scam given that Therapure’s filters are not tested to HEPA standard.
It would be good to see Envion address these complaints directly. I’ve personally tried to contact Envion via email, contact form and on the associated BONECO website for clarification while researching this Therapure review without reply.
Better Business Bureau does have an A+ rating for Therapure by Envion LLC, listed as based at PO Box 9169, Van Nuys, California.
This is surprising, given there is a 2-star rating on this entry and a 1-star rating on the main company listing by reviewers. They also have 7 customer complaints on BBB.
Other Envion Air Purifier Models
Envion have released a confusing number of different Therapure model numbers, often with only minor differences between them.
Here is a list of the current Therapure Envion models currently on sale in 2019: TPP50, TPP100, TPP220, TPP230H, TPP240, TPP440, TPP540, TPP640 and AP200.
They also sell the Ionic Pro air cleaner range and you can see the prices for all of them here on Amazon.
Therapure Mini Air Filters
The Therapure compact 360 air purifier (also called TPP100) and TPP220 fall into the category of mini or desktop air purifiers.
The TPP100 has an ineffective CADR of 30 or lower and only a HEPA-type filter. Definitely not worth your money.
The TPP220 is a bit better as an air cleaner with a CADR of 80+ and does have optional UV-C/VOC filtration. It still looks overpriced though and is clearly inferior to the best compact air purifiers reviewed here.
Therapure TPP640 and Envion BONECO Allergy Pro 200
Whilst not available on Amazon anymore, Envion still offer the larger TPP640 air purifier on their website, possibly on eBay and large retailers like Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy as well.
This overpriced air cleaner is well over $200, which you should never pay for a HEPA-type air purifier with no activated carbon filter. Literally any other air purifier reviewed here would be better value.
Envion also make the AP200 ‘Allergy Pro’, which does use a True HEPA filter, rather than the permanent HEPA-type used in all other Therapure air filters.
This model is similarly overpriced and not worth your money. Any one of these bedroom air purifiers would be better for allergy sufferers.
Are Therapure Air Purifiers Good Value?
The short answer, to summarize this long and detailed Envion Therapure review, is no. There are much better air cleaning options out there for your money.
Still, many people online are searching for information about Envionproducts and the Therapure brand of air filters so I wanted to lay out exactly why this is the case in this article.
All Therapure air filters, whether the TPP440/TPP540, TPP230H/TPP240, or any other models in the Envion range are not good value in my opinion, especially as they lack True HEPA and an activated carbon filter for odors.
The permanent HEPA-type filter is appealing but it’s just not effective enough at capturing smaller and more damaging allergens and particulate matter compared to True HEPA filters.
While the germicidal UV-C light and photocatalytic oxidation technology is a bonus, it’s not enough to make up for the many other Therapure air filter shortcomings.
The only reason I could see for buying a Therapure air purifier is for filtering predominantly larger allergens like pollen, with the added UV-C light for germs. Even then, you’d want to get one heavily discounted to be worth your money.
* Statements made in this review are based on the author’s personal opinion and experience. Readers should contact the Envion company directly to confirm specific details about Therapure air purifiers. *