The Best Car Air Purifiers (2021 Reviews)

Keep your car clean and pure with an air purifier. Here are the best car air purifiers on the market right now.

Have you been looking into getting a car air purifier but aren’t sure which one to get? We understand that it can be difficult to find the right one for your needs, especially since there are so many options available.

As a car owner, we tend to spend a long time in our car on a daily basis. And to help you keep your head clear while driving, especially if you are suffering from seasonal allergies, an air purifier for your car is a great solution, as it can limit the number of breaks you might need to blow your nose.

Choosing the right one for your needs, whether that might be to reduce odors in your car or reduce allergy outbreaks, there are a few things you must know before rushing out to buy an air purifier for your car.

In this guide, we will walk you through the best car air purifiers on the market and highlight which air purifier might be the right one for you, depending on what you’re looking to get an air purifier for.

Let’s get started!

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The Pros:

  • Advanced filtration of all pollens and allergens
  • Up to 4 years of durability
  • Modern design

The Cons:

  • More expensive than other car air purifiers

After hours of researching and reviewing the best car air purifiers, we found that the IQAir Atem is an excellent pick if you need a durable and effective air purifier for your car.

It comes with the IQAir special HyperHEPA Plus filter, which eliminates 99% of the bacteria, dust, pollen, smoke, and odor in your car.

The purifier is specifically designed for people who are asthmatic and can get easily triggered by the tiniest toxins and allergens.

The HyperHEPA Plus filter captures particles that are a hundred times smaller than 0.3 microns, which is the maximum particle size that HEPA filters can remove.

What does that mean, you ask?

That means that even odors cannot escape this air cleaner. It effectively removes all bad odors and gases, so you no longer have to worry about your car reeking from a wet dog or whatever odors you might want to remove.

This car air purifier can cover a space of 1,238 sq. ft., which is enough to purify any car.

Thanks to the robust design of the IQAir, it should be able to last up to four years, making it one of the most sustainable air purifiers featured in this guide.

In addition to its efficiency in purifying, the IQAir Atem has a simple, sleek, and compact design that will easily blend in any car’s cabin. It is also controllable through the IQAir mobile app for more settings and customization.

So overall, we can safely argue that, despite being a tad expensive car air purifier, it will let you breathe nothing but clean air in your car, and for a long time.

The Pros:

  • Has NCCO filter
  • Lightweight and portable

The Cons:

  • None

The Westinghouse 1804 Portable Air Purifier features one of the newest technologies in the air purification industry, the Nano-Confined Catalytic Oxidation (NCCO).

In case you didn’t know, activated carbon filters such as HEPA are known for their short lifespan. They get saturated after a few months and start releasing the polluted air back.

The NCCO, however, outdoes the HEPA filters in terms of sustainability and durability.

Together, they make a very strong air purifier against all sorts of harmful air particles.

The Westinghouse 1804 is great for eliminating gases and odors, thanks to its NCCO-HEPA filters.

And unlike the other air purifiers that store pollen, this one breaks and eliminates the absorbed bacteria, dust, smoke, or odors using active oxygen.

So, air goes through an oxygen generator, a HEPA filter then an NCCO filter to be released as completely sanitized and purified air.

On top of all this, this lightweight air purifier of only 2 pounds can be carried around anywhere you go, such as your desk or bedside table.

Moreover, this air cleaner provides optimal filtration of 98% for 8 hours in a single charge, so you will be able to enjoy long rides in your car and always have clean air along the way.

The Westinghouse 1804 is a great option for people who want an air purifier that can be used in different places and not just in their cars. Its HEPA filter is reinforced with an NCCO filter for increased efficiency and durability.

The Pros:

  • H13 HEPA filter
  • Clean design

The Cons:

  • Doesn’t start automatically when you switch the ignition on

A very powerful car device that is worth every penny, the Medify MA-CAR air purifier is as strong as the bigger air purifiers out there. It comes with the H13 HEPA filter, which filters 99.95% of air toxins, viruses, pet dander, dust, smoke, odor, and more.

Though very compact, 1.9 pounds to be precise, it can cover a car of up to 7 seats or up to 80 sq. ft. This is because it has two filters with three filtration levels each and delivers clean air at a rate of 20m³/h.

The best part is:

This car air purifier kills viruses as well. That means you will be able to optimize your and your loved ones’ protection during the flu season when using this car air purifier.

When it comes to its design, it is very praised for its modern and all-black design, which can fit easily and even function as a great accessory in any car’s design.

The Medify Ma-CAR air cleaner is a great option for people who want strong protection against air pollution and appreciate a good design without spending too much.

However, this car air purifier does not automatically start when your car starts. This means it has to be placed somewhere easily reachable because you will always have to turn it on manually after your car’s power is on.

The Pros:

  • Very compact
  • Budget-friendly
  • Sanitizing and refreshing

The Cons:

  • Slow action
  • Clumsy design

Don’t let its tiny design fool you. This Craftronic NanoActive car air purifier is a small, powerful gadget. It releases 5.6 million ionizers into the air, which removes 99.97% of harmful air particles.

Negative ions are very efficient in deodorizing the air, killing bacteria and toxins, and eliminating harmful airborne particles.

Besides that, they create a refreshing atmosphere similar to that found near waterfalls or under rain showers.

These refreshing and energizing ozone scents easily replace bad odors and smoke.

And if you’re worried about your family’s health around a negative ionizer, you really shouldn’t be. They are completely safe and have many proven health benefits.

The Craftonic NanoActive Air Purifier is USB rechargeable and turns on automatically when your engine starts. Yet, it consumes very little of the car’s battery.

Want to know the best part?

This sturdy air purifier is budget-friendly and costs very little compared to the value it adds to your car’s air quality.

This car air purifier is ideal for long commutes since it’s relatively slower in purifying air than other car air purifiers, yet very powerful once it’s been on for a while.

The Pros:

  • Powerful in small spaces
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight

The Cons:

  • Only covers a diameter of 5 ft.

The PureZone Mini Portable Air Purifier is listed as Amazon’s Choice for a good reason.

It has remarkable performance and an adjustable design, which makes it a great option if you’re looking for a multipurpose air purifier.

With an activated carbon pre-filtering feature and a True HEPA filter, this air cleaner purifies the air in your car in two stages.

With this filtering system, it can get rid of 99% of dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and odors stuck deep into the interior of your car.

And unlike other air purifiers, this one comes with a spare filter for easy replacement.

Why is it useful?

Because this air purifier functions off of its battery for 12 hours and can continue the great work when plugged in, it keeps the air in your vehicle fresh and clean around you, despite weighing less than a pound.

When it comes to design, this air purifier wins the game. It can be placed anywhere, standing or on the sides, and still gets the job done.

It comes in a compact and sleek design in black, white, starlight blue, and blue, making it suitable for any car interior.

The PureZone Mini Portable Air Purifier is great for solo travelers and people who are constantly on the go because it’s very lightweight and comes with a handle for easy mobility.

The downside to this car air purifier is that it’s not powerful enough to filter an entire room or car. It’s only ideal if you usually drive alone and can place it near you.

The Pros:

  • H13 HEPA filter
  • Air ionizer
  • Quiet
  • Two-port car charger

The Cons:

  • None

The Queenty Car Air Purifier is another great air purifier incorporating the H13 HEPA filter.

Like many other air purifiers, it offers three stages of filtration; pre-filtering, HEPA filtering, and activated carbon filtering.

A huge benefit to this car air purifier is that it ionizes the air, which means it produces millions of negative ions to combat all sorts of airborne pollutants, including the smallest ones that might escape the HEPA filter.

This car air purifier eliminates dust, odors, and toxins, but it’s especially powerful against smoke from cigarettes, making it a great choice for those who smoke in the car or have bought a used, smokers-car.

So if you’re specifically struggling with smoke and fumes, this is an ideal pick for you.

The Queenty Car Air Purifier is designed to stick on the dashboard or the center of your car thanks to its foot mats.

This means that whether you drive at high speeds or suddenly break, this air ionizer will sturdily stay where it belongs.

Besides these features, this device is incredibly quiet. At its highest speed, it produces little to no noise at all.

Moreover, it comes with a USB cable and a two-port car charger, so you can benefit from an extra charging slot for your other devices.

Essentially, this compact car air purifier is a great pick for people who love negative ions and their ozone scents. It combines the power of HEPA filters and negative ions for optimum sanitization.

The Pros:

  • Made of natural charcoal
  • Odor and moisture absorbent
  • Budget-friendly

The Cons:

  • Doesn’t remove pollutants

The Vitscan Bamboo Charcoal is a natural air purifier of activated charcoal that absorbs dust, odors, and moisture. It fits almost everywhere, whether it’s a room, a car, or a pair of shoes.

It comes in a pack of 12 bags, containing six 50g bags and six 150g bags, which can be hung or placed on the dashboard of your car, under the seats, in the trunk, or even in the door slots.

These air purifying bags of bamboo charcoal are activated by sunlight and must be put under the sun for 2 hours each month. They are reusable for two years.

For the best results, you should put two to four bags of 150g bamboo charcoal in your car to get rid of bad odors and fumes effectively.

Their flax packaging makes them easy to adjust, so you can place them wherever you’d like. On top of that, they are also safe for kids and pets.

While these bags are excellent for getting rid of bad odors and refreshing the air, they do not eliminate air pollutants or bacteria.

So, if bad odors or excessive moisture is your primary concern, the Vitscan Bamboo Charcoal air purifying bags might very well be a great option for you. They are chemical-free and safe.

The Pros:

  • Sustainable and eco-friendly
  • Budget-friendly
  • Strong odor absorbent

The Cons:

  • Can only be hung under the headrest

The best sustainable and eco-friendly car air purifier on the list is the PURGGO Air Freshener.

With natural charcoal and hemp, this air freshener makes a great pick for smokers and people who live in crowded cities. It eliminates all bad odors inside your car, such as cigarette smoke and other bad odors.

The best thing about the PURGGO Air Freshener is that it actually removes any odd smell instead of solely masking it with scents. In fact, this car air freshener is fragrance-free.

But while this air purifier does a great job at eliminating odors, it does not enhance the quality of air in terms of pollution, dust, and dander.

This charcoal bag has a life expectancy of up to 365 days and is rechargeable under sunlight, making it one of the most sustainable air fresheners out there.

And it gets even better because when it reaches the end of its life cycle, the PURGGO refreshing charcoal can be used as a plant fertilizer.

The PURGGO car air freshener is an optimal pick for smokers or people who live in air polluted environments.

It is a great alternative to chemical air purifiers if you prefer natural and eco-friendly products.

How To Choose The Right Car Air Purifier

How To Choose The Right Car Air Purifier

There are plenty of car air purifiers on the market, all coming with different technologies and in different shapes and sizes.

Picking the right car air purifier for you and your car can be a difficult choice, but with our extensive guide, you can easily find the suitable one for your needs.

Car Air Purifier Types: HEPA vs. Ionic Purifiers

If you’ve been looking at car air purifiers, you must’ve seen these terms: HEPA, Ionic, or NCCO. Let us break them down for you, so you can decide which one to go for.

HEPA filtration stands for “high-efficiency particulate air,” and it uses a physical filter and a fan to suck and trap at least 99% of dust, toxins, and odors in the air.

Car air purifiers with a HEPA filter are a great option for asthmatic people and those who suffer from respiratory diseases.

If your car gets polluted constantly, an air purifier with a HEPA filter is a great option because it actively traps all harmful air particles, even in open spaces.

Ionic air purifiers, or ionizers, are devices that generate negative ions into the air instead of sucking out the pollutants like the purifiers with HEPA filters.

The released negative ions will attract the free air pollutants, which are generally of positive electric energy. These pollutants become heavier and neutralized because of the negative ions and eventually fall on the nearest surface. The air then becomes free of any air particle that is not supposed to be there.

This leaves the breathable air clean and healthy while also deodorizing it. Ionizers produce ozone scents, which are very refreshing and energizing and are a great alternative to a car air freshener.

Ionic air purifiers are great at trapping the smallest particles that HEPA air purifiers cannot absorb. They can also cover bigger spaces compared to HEPA air purifiers.

When it comes to NCCO, they use nanotechnology to decompose harmful air particles such as gases and smoke beside the trapping filter. You can think of them as physical and chemical filters combined.

The NCCO based car air purifiers are more sustainable as their physical filter does not get saturated as fast as those of HEPA air purifiers. So they last much longer and produce cleaner air.

The bottom line is:

A HEPA air purifier is a great option for small spaces and people who suffer from respiratory diseases and allergies. Ionic car air purifiers are the best option for large spaces and are sometimes more powerful than HEPA air purifiers.

Lastly, the NCCO car air purifiers are the better and more expensive version of HEPA air purifiers.

Your Environment

Traffic jam in flooded highway cause rain

Your environment plays a crucial role in deciding what car air purifier to get.

If you live in a crowded city with high traffic, the air outside of your car might be just as dull and polluted as its inside. So opening your car windows for a breath of fresh air is not possible.

In this case, you might need an air purifier to sanitize and clean the existing still air inside your car, ideally, one that regenerates fresh air and gets rid of bad odors.

If you live in an area that is not air polluted, you might make use of a natural purifier based on charcoal to remove bad odors and moisture while your open windows allow air to circulate inside your car.

Or you might opt for a HEPA air purifier for more protection against dust and allergens, even those that might come from the outside.

Fragrance

Some car air purifiers produce fragrances to replace bad odors, and some just mask them. If you prefer fragrances and scents instead of just the idea of having fresh air in your car at all times, you should pick a scented air refresher.

If you are easily irritated by fragrances or are allergic to them, you can opt for fragrance-free refreshers or HEPA air purifiers.

You might also go for an ionic air purifier, as the ozone scents they emit are rarely detected and just smell like clean air.

Automatic Switch On and Off

Car air purifiers can automatically start when your car’s engine is on and shut off once your engine is turned off. These are a great choice for large car owners, where the air purifier might not be placed near the driver to turn on or off.

Some air purifiers are controllable through mobile apps, whereas others can only be turned on or off manually through control buttons on the device.

If you drive alone, you might consider an air purifier that has an automatic switch on and off. This is because you will get distracted trying to turn it on or off while driving.

Car air purifiers that do not switch on and off automatically are not ideal if they cannot be placed on your dashboard or right next to you.

To conclude, you should keep in mind that both options can consume your car’s battery if not used properly.

Conclusion

The IQAir Atem Car Air Purifier might be pricey but is very well worth the money. It can cover a space big enough to purify the air in any vehicle, and on top of being efficient at cleaning the air, it also comes in a sleek design that will compliment any car’s interior.

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly solution, the PureZone Mini Portable Air Purifier is a small and powerful device that can eliminate odors and cleanse the air in your car efficiently.

Finally, if you want a purifier that does it all, the Westinghouse 1804 Portable Air Purifier is the right choice for you. Featuring the newest technology in the air purifying business, the NCCO filter, this portable car air purifier will eliminate dust and pollutants and sanitize all of the air in your car, making it the premium pick of the guide.

Related Reads

Best Car Air Freshener
The Best Car Air Fresheners (2021 Reviews)
James Hall

After working as a certified automotive technician for more than 8 years, James decided to help a much wider audience than just his local customers in the city. After working for a few years as an independent automotive writer and editor, he now works as an editor at Auto Chimps and its social media channels.