For the 50+ Traveler

1
Mooka Air Purifier

Top Pick
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At only 7.5 inches tall, 6.9 inches in diameter, and about 3 pounds, Mooka's air purifier can easily be packed into a suitcase or purse. Its no-fuss, minimalist design is especially helpful for those on the go: There's only one button, which you use to turn the device on and off and control the fan speed. 

Mooka's air purifier is equipped with three-stage filtration for the ultimate contaminant-fighting power. The preliminary filter prevents large particles from clogging the device, the true HEPA filter traps and eliminates common allergy triggers, and the activated carbon filter destroys unpleasant odors. When all is said and done, this system filters out 99.97 percent of dust, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander in your hotel room.

The 360-degree air intake results in a hearty airflow rate of 20 cubic feet per minute, but the device is surprisingly quiet, particularly on its lower, 35-decibel setting -- no louder than a wisp of wind. And because of its minimal power consumption, the purifier is affordable to run all day (or night).

A nightlight, which cannot be turned off while the device is running, is included, but some reviewers complain it's too bright. Luckily, Mooka offers a generous 30-day return policy and three years' worth of technical support.

Key Features

  • Minimalist design with single-button power and fan speed control
  • 360-degree air intake with airflow rate of 20 cubic feet per minute
  • Three-stage filtration system including a pre-filter, true HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter
  • Nightlight function
  • 100% ozone-free CARB certification; ETL, FCC, and CE certifications
  • No-hassle return policy and three years of support

Specifications

  • Brand: Mooka
  • Dimensions/Weight: 6.9 x 7.5 inches; 3 pounds

Pros

  • You can turn the device on and off and adjust the power using a single button.
  • The cutting-edge fan-blade design minimizes noise.
  • The three-stage filtration system traps allergens and germs, keeps large particles from clogging the device, and eliminates stale, unpleasant odors.

Cons

  • The nightlight may be too bright for some travelers, but it cannot be turned off when the machine is running.
  • You'll need to change the filter every three to six months, depending on how often you use the device.

2
Germ Guardian Pluggable Air Purifier

Honorable Mention
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With Germ Guardian's GG1000 air purifier, convenience is king. When you're traveling, you don't want the hassle of changing a filter, and with its filter-free design, the GG1000 makes getting fresher, cleaner air a breeze. So, without filters, how does this device do its job? It contains a 3.5-watt ultraviolet-C light bulb that breaks down bacteria, viruses, mold, and other microorganisms at the cellular level. The light bulb only needs to be replaced once or twice a year, depending on how often you use the device.

At only 7.5 inches tall, 3.2 inches in diameter, and just about a pound, the GG1000 air purifier is designed for small spaces and is easy to pack into luggage. Once you've arrived at your destination, just plug it in to enjoy pure, contaminant-free air. The device fits vertically, horizontally, and upside down into outlets for maximum utility.

Some users complain that the internal fan can be noisy, and others have reported problems with the lightbulb burning out after a short period of time. If your unit malfunctions, you can take advantage of Guardian's one-year warranty, and the company's United States-based tech team is always available to help.

Key Features

  • Compact, lightweight, and designed for small spaces
  • Pluggable design
  • Filter-free UV-C technology
  • One-year warranty plus support from U.S.-based tech team

Specifications

  • Brand: Guardian Technologies
  • Dimensions/Weight: 3.2 x 7.5 inches; 14.4 ounces

Pros

  • It's compact and lightweight, ideal for travel.
  • The filter-free UV-C technology breaks down bacteria and viruses at the cellular level.

Cons

  • The internal fan can be noisy.
  • The light bulb might burn out earlier than expected.

3
hOmeLabs Air Purifier

Also Consider
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HOmeLabs's air purifier might come in a small package, but it packs a powerful, purifying punch: It's guaranteed to remove 99.97 percent of microscopic particles in spaces of up to 194 square feet.

Like the Mooka purifier, the hOmeLabs purifier is equipped with a preliminary filter for capturing large particles, a true HEPA filter for trapping and eliminating common allergy triggers, and an activated carbon filter for eliminating odors. HOmeLabs's true HEPA H13 filter is especially effective, capturing particles as small as 0.1 microns in size.

A neat feature of this air purifier is that users can adjust both the fan speed and nightlight brightness. Those sensitive to nighttime light and noise (or those trying to sleep off jet lag) will appreciate that the device operates at a low noise level (a maximum of 50 decibels) and that users have the ability to turn the nightlight off.

While some reviewers consider even the lowest fan speed to be too loud, the company is committed to excellent customer service and offers a 30-day return window and a one-year warranty for your peace of mind.

Key Features

  • LED nightlight function with several brightness levels
  • Fan speed setting
  • Three-stage filtration system including a pre-filter, true HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter
  • True Hepa H13 filter that captures particles as small as 0.1 microns in size
  • 30-day return window and one-year warranty

Specifications

  • Brand: hOmeLabs
  • Dimensions/Weight: 7.9 x 12.8 inches; 6.85 pounds

Pros

  • Nightlight brightness and fan speed settings allow users to select the brightness and noise levels of their choice.
  • The three-stage filtration system traps allergens and germs, keeps large particles from clogging the device, and eliminates stale, unpleasant odors.

Cons

  • You'll need to change the filter every few months, depending on how often you use the device.
  • Some reviewers feel that even the lowest fan speed is too loud.
  • This filter, while still travel size, is taller and heavier than other options.

4
QUEENTY Desktop Air Cleaner

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The QUEENTY desktop air cleaner's three-stage filtration system, like the other filtration systems on this list, features a preliminary filter, a true HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter that together remove 99.97 percent of contaminants from the air and filter particles as small as 0.3 microns. While you'll have to change the filters every few months, QUEENTY makes the process hassle-free, since the replacement filter can be set up in seconds.

Once connected to a power supply, the compact, 1.6-pound device works automatically to purify your air in areas of up to 86 square feet using ionizing technology. High levels of negative ions are thought to have rejuvenating effects, and QUEENTY's air purifier releases negative ions to relieve symptoms of rhinitis, dry eyes, and asthma.

There are two fan settings, and light sleepers will appreciate that the noise does not exceed 35 decibels. This air purifier also features an oscillating setting.

At almost $70, this option is one of the most expensive on this list, and at 13.2 inches tall, it's also one of the largest. However, if the product ends up being too large for your liking, QUEENTY offers a 30-day return window as well as 24-hour online customer service.

Key Features

  • Two fan settings plus oscillating mode
  • Noise levels of less than 35 decibels
  • Negative ion technology
  • Ozone-free
  • USB power cable
  • 30-day return window and 24-hour online customer service

Specifications

  • Brand: QUEENTY
  • Dimensions/Weight: 4.1 x 13.2 inches; 1.6 pounds

Pros

  • The three-stage filtration system traps allergens and germs, keeps large particles from clogging the device, and eliminates stale, unpleasant odors.
  • Negative ion technology helps to relieve symptoms of rhinitis, dry eyes, and asthma.

Cons

  • You'll need to change the filter every few months, depending on how often you use the device.
  • There are some drawbacks to using ionizing air purifiers.
  • It's more expensive and larger than other options.

5
The PURE Company Portable Air Purifier

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The PURE Company's portable air purifier is a traveler's dream: It's compact and lightweight (just a little over a pound), maintenance-free (no filters required!), features an aromatherapy option, and comes with its own cloth drawstring tote. Just whip out this sleek, elegant device, and you can turn even the most unglamorous, stale-smelling hotel room into a spa-like retreat.

Within minutes, the 360-degree air intake tackles unpredictable air quality, while the water- and mess-free aromatherapy pad remedies odious odor situations. The one-speed fan provides relaxing white noise, and the filterless ionizing technology eliminates air contaminants the same way that thunderstorms and waterfalls do.

With the included AC/DC power adapter, the device will be able to travel anywhere you do -- and once you've used it, you won't want to leave home without it.

Key Features

  • Compact, lightweight, and designed for small spaces
  • Noise level of less than 60 decibels
  • Filterless ionizing technology
  • Aromatherapy pad
  • Cloth drawstring tote
  • AC/DC power adapter

Specifications

  • Brand: The PURE Company
  • Dimensions/Weight: 2.5 x 5 inches; 1.25 pounds

Pros

  • It's compact and lightweight and comes with a drawstring tote.
  • The aromatherapy and white noise options contribute to a spa-like atmosphere.
  • The hassle-free filterless ionizing technology eliminates air contaminants.

Cons

  • There are very few reviews online about the product, so you can't be sure what you're getting.
  • There are some drawbacks to using ionizing air purifiers.
  • The company doesn't offer a refund window or warranty.

6
PARTU HEPA Air Purifier

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At just 3.3 pounds, PARTU's air purifier won't weigh down your luggage, but it's powerful enough to battle dust, pollen, smoke, unpleasant odors, and pet dander. The purifier effectively filters areas up to 107 square feet.

Like several of the other devices on this list, PARTU's air purifier features a three-stage filtration system that eliminates a variety of contaminants and filters particles as small as 0.3 microns. And like The PURE Company's option, PARTU's purifier offers aromatherapy benefits: Just add a drop of water and a drop of your favorite essential oil to the fragrance sponge below the purifier outlet, and the stress of your journey will be a distant memory.

Three fan settings allow users to control the fan speed and volume of the purifier. Even at its loudest setting, the device won't exceed 60 decibels. Another unique feature of this purifier is its lock-set capability to prevent misuse by children or pets.

Note that you'll need to bring a voltage converter if you plan to use this purifier outside the U.S. Also note that, at 13.8 inches, this is the tallest purifier on this list, so make sure that it'll fit in the backpack or suitcase you're planning on packing it in.

Key Features

  • Lock-set capability
  • Three fan speed settings
  • Three-stage filtration system including a pre-filter, true HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter
  • Fragrance sponge for aromatherapy
  • 100% ozone-free CARB certification; ETL, FCC, and CE certifications

Specifications

  • Brand: PARTU
  • Dimensions/Weight: 7.5 x 13.8 inches; 3.3 pounds

Pros

  • The lock-set feature prevents misuse by children and pets.
  • The three-stage filtration system traps allergens and germs, keeps large particles from clogging the device, and eliminates stale, unpleasant odors.
  • The aromatherapy option contributes to a spa-like atmosphere.

Cons

  • You'll need to change the filter every few months, depending on how often you use the device.
  • You'll need to bring a voltage converter if you want to use this purifier outside the U.S.
Related:

Let's face it: Hotel rooms (not to mention public transportation facilities) can be downright disgusting places. Even when the cleaners have gone away, stale cigarette smoke, pet dander, and cleaning product residue remain. Dust, pollen, and mold spores hide in the carpets, bed linens, and HVAC system, and viruses linger on improperly sanitized doorknobs, light switches, and remotes.

Most people don't think twice about the air pollutants that could potentially be lurking in their new home away from home, but contaminants like the ones mentioned above can be inconvenient -- and even harmful -- to the elderly, those with an acute sense of smell, and those who suffer from asthma, allergies, and lung diseases. And amidst the current coronavirus epidemic, cautionary measures are especially important.

If you're worried about the air quality in your hotel, Airbnb, train compartment, or rental car, purchasing a travel-size air purifier is the way to go. There's an air purifier out there for every traveler, but the number of options can be overwhelming. Here are the most important factors to consider before dropping your hard-earned cash on one of these products.

Size

If you travel light -- and we advise that you do -- you'll need to make sure the travel-size air purifier you're bringing along is truly travel size. It’s best to stick with a device that’s less than a foot tall, less than a foot in diameter, and no more than a few pounds. The less room your air purifier takes up in your suitcase, the more real estate you'll have to fill with souvenirs from your vacation, after all! If you've got your heart set on an extra-large purifier, however, be sure to measure it to ensure it'll fit in the suitcase, carry-on, backpack, or purse you're planning to put it in.

If you'll be flying to your destination and want to take your purifier on the plane with you, be sure to research whether or not the airlines you're using will permit you to store your purifier in your carry-on. While the TSA allows passengers to store air purifiers in checked or carry-on luggage, most major airlines won't allow you to use your air purifier on the plane.

Noise And Light Production

For light sleepers -- or for those susceptible to jet lag -- a noisy air purifier or one that comes with a bright nightlight might be a deal breaker. Fortunately for those travelers, clean air and a good night's sleep aren't mutually exclusive. Many travel-size air purifiers make little to no noise and come with nightlight dimmers.

If white noise makes you cringe, look for a device with a sound output of less than 60 decibels (the equivalent of a normal conversation) -- or even better, less than 30 decibels (the equivalent of a whisper). If you're a light-sensitive sleeper, look for a purifier without a nightlight or one with a nightlight that can be dimmed or turned off.

Airflow

Travel-size air purifiers are typically only capable of cleaning the air within a small space, and those with the best purification power will have an airflow rate of 15 cubic feet or more per minute.

If the airflow rate isn't listed in the specifications or the purifier doesn’t have a fan, you can get a sense of the device's air-filtering ability by examining the purifier’s intake vent. The larger it is, the better the airflow rate.

Purification Method

Typically, travel-size air purifiers come with a filter, an ionizer, or an ultraviolet-C light bulb. While all of these technologies effectively target the contaminants in a space, each system has its pros and cons.

Air purifiers with filters or UV-C bulbs require ongoing maintenance; the filters must be changed on a regular basis -- usually every few months -- and the bulbs must eventually be replaced. If you're using a device with a filter, be sure to use the appropriate filter and replace it according to the directions provided by the manufacturer.

While ionizing air purifiers have no parts that must be changed, they are somewhat controversial; their positive effects are disputed, and some believe that they produce ozone particles, cause static electricity buildup, and actually increase -- not decrease -- respiratory irritation. You'll need to do your research before purchasing one of these in order to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

Power

Travel-size air purifiers are powered in a number of ways. If your purifier plugs directly into the wall, you won't have to pack or purchase batteries, but you also won’t be able to use your device on the go. If you plan to use a plug-in purifier in a country aside from the U.S., make sure you bring the appropriate plug adapter for your destination.

Other purifiers are powered by disposable or rechargeable batteries. If your device requires disposable batteries, be sure to bring plenty of spares for your trip. If your purifier requires rechargeable batteries, you'll need bring a charger cord. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the TSA's and your airline’s rules on batteries if you'll be flying to your destination.

Certifications

All portable indoor air cleaning devices sold in California must be certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). To be certified, air cleaners must be tested for electrical safety and ozone emissions and meet an ozone-emission concentration limit of 0.050 parts per million. While ozone can strengthen air-purifying effects, it can also wreak havoc on the respiratory system.

Even if you don't live in California, if you're looking for a product that is friendly to both the environment and your health, purchase a purifier with a 100% ozone-free CARB certification. Other health, safety, and environmental protection certifications to look out for are the ETL, FCC, and CE certifications.

Return Policy

Online shopping is fraught with uncertainty. Even if a product has great reviews, it might not be all you were hoping for. If you have any doubts about a product, be sure that the company you're buying from offers a return policy or warranty that's acceptable to you.

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