Direct plug-in air purifiers, as the name suggests, are designed to be plugged directly into a wall socket. As a consequence, these devices are usually the most compact and portable.

While generally marketed towards use in small spaces like laundry rooms and pet areas, plug-in purifiers also come in handy when traveling.

These air purifiers might be small, but they are also highly effective. Decent plug-in air purifiers can do a great job of eliminating airborne germs and odors, courtesy of purification systems that are typically comprised of an ionizer and either a UV light or an ozone generator.

Since most of them don’t contain mechanical filters, however, they aren’t as effective when it comes to combating airborne particles. Despite this disadvantage, direct plug-in air purifiers are lower-maintenance, quieter, and cheaper than their conventional counterparts.

For those considering adding a convenient plug-in air purifier in their living or working spaces, this article reviews several of the best models in this subcategory for you to explore.

  • Optional night light
  • Dedicated on/off switch
  • 200 sq. ft. maximum coverage area
  • Optional scent cartridge
  • 1-Year Warranty

  • 2 USB ports
  • Anti-Microbial Deodorizer
  • HEPA Filter
  • Purifies and Ionizes
  • 100 Percent Money Back Guarantee

  • 150 Sq Ft Coverage
  • Ideal for RV’s and Small Spaces
  • Chemical Free
  • Super-Quiet
  • 1-Year Warranty

  • Operates Anywhere in the World
  • Ideal for Small Office or Pet Area
  • Whisper-Quiet
  • Adjustable Purification
  • 90-Day Warranty

  • UV-C light treatment
  • USB Port
  • Filter-free
  • UV-C light bulb life span of six to eight months
  • 1-Year Warranty

  • Kills 99.9 Percent of Bacteria
  • 11 Watts
  • No Filters needed
  • Quiet operation
  • 1-Year Warranty


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Hamilton Beach True Air 04530GM

The True Air presents a more robust case against stench with its activated carbon filter and fan combo. It also takes a strong stance against unpleasant odors, thanks to the dedicated scent cartridge inside.

With that said, you can’t expect it to deal with germs and particles as effectively as models that sport an ionizer and/or a UV light.

This makes it an ideal pluggable air purifier for rooms that only need heavy-duty deodorizing, such as kitchens and smelly areas like diaper bins and smoking spaces. Since it only has to combat odors, it has a broader coverage area of up to 200 sq. ft.

Nightlights aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and darkness divas would rejoice that two variants—one with a built-in nightlight and one without—are available. Having a filter replacement indicator and a dedicated on/off switch gives this model extra brownie points.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Accommodates scent cartridges
  • Quiet
  • Optional night light
  • Low-cost replacement filter
  • Relatively-wide coverage area
  • Dedicated on/off switch

Cons

  • Filters have to be replaced every three months
  • No germ-killing action


This car air purifier, from Pure, adapts to every make and model of car, and because it has two high-speed USB ports, charging your Android or Apple device in half the time should be a breeze.

It has a HEPA filter, so it kills dust, bacteria, and allergens, making the air inside the vehicle as clean as the air inside your house. It also ionizes, eliminating all the triggers that cause allergic reactions.

It tackles pet odors and cigarette smoke as well, so you can arrive at your destination smelling fresh.

This air purifier is small, and because of its size, may not be as productive as plug-in house varieties. Also, it does produce ozone, which the company claim is at a safe level, but ozone isn’t something that you would want in the confined space of a car.

And don’t leave it plugged in when the car is turned off because it could still draw power from the battery, despite claims to the contrary.

Pros

  • Compact and sleek
  • Fits every style of vehicle
  • HEPA stainless steel filter
  • Ionizer
  • 2 Quick charging USB ports

Cons

  • Produces ozone
  • Small size affects efficiency
  • Drains your car battery

This APP 50 purifier by 03 Pure is compact and fun to look at. It has an adjustable optimum output control to help you regulate the level of ozone in the air, and because it purifies spaces up to 150 sq ft, it’s ideal for small offices, closets, and laundry rooms.

It also works well in RV’s, so you can take clean air with you on the road. It doesn’t use or produce any chemicals, and it is super-quiet so it won’t disturb you, especially when you are sleeping.

This plug-in doesn’t have a replaceable filter, so it should keep costs down, and because it comes with a 1-year warranty, it gives you peace of mind when purchasing.

Pros

  • 150 sq ft coverage
  • Great for RV’s and smaller spaces
  • Ozone regulator
  • Deodorizes
  • Whisper-quiet

Cons

  • Fragile
  • Issues with strange smells
  • Fan makes high pitched sound

This GT50 purifier resembles the AAP 50 in style and looks, but this model is a professional-grade purifier meaning the company claim it will cover spaces up to 250 sq ft.

It has an easy to reach adjustable purification setting, and because it is whisper-quiet, using it in the bedroom or a babies room is fine.

It eliminates smoke and odors and significantly reduces bacteria, allergens, mold, and viruses. The company also claim that it is suitable to be used anywhere in the world, although in Europe an adapter is needed to convert it from a 2-pin plug to a 3-pin variety.

On the downside, the cost of this plug-in is eye-watering when compared to other purifiers in its class. It retails at over $170! When you compare that figure to the price of the AAP 50 plug-in, it costs an extra $130.

Pros

  • Professional grade
  • Removes odors and smoke
  • Reduces allergens, viruses, and bacteria
  • Adjustable purification control

Cons

  • Costs over $170

The GermGuardian Elite Pluggable Air Purifier brandishes UV-C with titanium dioxide technology to kill airborne viruses, bacteria, germs, and mold spores while also fighting odors at the source.

As expected from a device this size, GermGuardian advocates for its use in smaller spaces around 100 sq. ft. in size.

It also includes a unique feature of a USB socket on the side, which enables the user to charge other devices while the air purifier is plugged in.

This model is entirely filter-free, which means it will need minimal upkeep since there wouldn’t be any filter cleaning or changing involved.

Its UV-C bulb needs replacement every six to eight months, which sounds like decent longevity for a plug-in device. Although one might notice color changes on the UV bulb when it is past its lifespan, no dedicated replacement indicator is present.

In addition, the absence of mechanical filters realistically translates to a less effective profile against airborne particles when compared, at least, to the other models mentioned above.

This pluggable also doesn’t come with the convenience of having a dedicated on/off switch, which means you’d have to manually plug and unplug it to turn it on and off.

Pros

  • Deals with both germs and odors
  • USB port
  • Easy to maintain
  • Decent UV-C bulb lifespan
  • Cool touch exterior
  • CARB-compliant

Cons

  • No mechanical filter
  • No on/off switch
  • No bulb change indicator

This Eden Pure model is the quirkiest plug-in in terms of looks and styling. The company claim that this new high-tech purifier is more efficient than a HEPA purifier, capturing more bacteria and allergens.

They also state that this Oxi Leaf will outperform air purifiers up to twenty times the size.

It is super-quiet, it kills mold, relieves allergies and sinus problems, kills pet odors, and all without needing a filter.

Eden Pure even claim that this plug-in will remove toxic gasses from the atmosphere!

This model is also ideal for traveling, and because it uses less than 11 watts, it is also perfect for use in RV’s.

The price may put you off, because it isn’t cheap at just over $75, and if you live in California you won’t be able to purchase this plug-in due to the states strict rules on ozone generators.

On styling alone, this air purifier deserves to be on this list.

Pros

  • Kills 99.9 percent of air pollutants
  • Energy efficient
  • Looks good
  • More effective than a HEPA purifier
  • Whisper-quiet operation

Cons

  • Costs over $75
  • Not available in California
  • Produces ozone

Comparison Chart

FeaturesCar Air Purifier With HEPA FilterAAP 50 Plug-In Air PurifierGT50 Professional Grade Air Purifier
TypeCar Plug-InDirect Plug-InDirect Plug-In
Size5.5 x 3.2 x 1.72 x 4.1 x 3.55 x 2.5 x 3.5
Weight4.8 oz6.4 oz5 oz
FilterHepaOzone Generator Ozone Generator
Room CoverageN/A150 Sq FtSmall Rooms Approx 100 Sq Ft
WarrantyMoney Back Guarantee1-Year 90-Day
FeaturesGermGuardian Elite GG1100Hamilton Beach True Air 04530GMEden Pure OxiLeaf
TypeDirect Plug-InDirect Plug-InDirect Plug-In
Size6.75 x 3.5 x 6.756.46 x 5.24 x 3.745.9 x 5.3 x 2.8
Weight10.4 oz1.15 Lbs13.6 oz
FilterUV-C Light/Titanium DioxideActivated CarbonIonizer and Ozone Generator
Room CoverageSmall Rooms Approx 100 Sq FtSmall Rooms Approx 100 Sq FtSmall Rooms Approx 100 Sq Ft
Warranty1-Year1-Year1-Year

Buyer’s Guide:

Direct Plug-In Air Purifiers

Since pluggable air purifiers are generally catered towards smaller rooms, they’re ideal for those living in smaller spaces, such as a dorm room or studio apartment. Homeowners who already have standard air purifiers for main living areas and are merely looking for additional units for smaller rooms (like the laundry room) are also great candidates. 

They’re even a great stepping stone for people who are trying to incorporate an air purifier into their homes for the first time.

Direct plug-in air purifiers typically do away with having mechanical filters, which means you shouldn’t expect to find heavy-duty HEPA filters or anything of that sort in your pluggable model. Instead, they rely mostly on UV light treatments to fight germs and on ionizers to deal with airborne particles and odors. 

Sometimes, a model might also come equipped with an ozone generator, which is more potent than an ionizer but is the subject of some safety issues.

Much like wearable air purifiers, plug-in air purifiers are limited in their effectiveness due to their compact size. The size of the space you want to purify affects how well the plug-in will do the task. Most plug-in air purifiers are for small rooms of approximately 100 sq ft, although you can buy some models that increase that coverage up to 250 sq ft.

There are many advantages of owning a plug-in air purifier, the greatest being that they cater to specific small spaces effectively.

PROS:
  • Unobtrusive – Because they plug into the wall, they don’t stick out or get in the way. They are small, compact, and almost invisible. You can plug them in behind a sofa, or any other location where they remain hidden.
  • Economical – Compared to their larger varieties, plug-in purifiers are super-efficient. Some use less than 10 watts!
  • Go anywhere – They are ideal for RV’s, small spaces, and even hotel rooms.
CONS:
  • Coverage – To gain the greatest coverage, you would need multiple plug-in purifiers, and that could prove to be costly. Most plug-ins have a coverage of about 100 to 200 sq ft.
  • Ozone – Some filterless plug-in purifiers use ozone to regulate the quality of the air, and for some that’s an issue. The state of California has stringent rules on the sale of ozone generators.
  • Costly – For such a small product, you’d think that the purchase price would match their minuscule size. Not so, as some cost over $170!
Plug-In Air Purifier

Pros

  • Compact and hidden
  • Cheap to run
  • Portable
  • Kills allergens and pollutants

Cons

  • Small coverage
  • Create ozone
  • Some models are expensive
  • Not as effective as larger models

  • What is the typical coverage of a plug-in air purifier?
  • Most plug-in air purifiers will cover an area of about 100 sq ft; however, you can buy models that can handle 250 sq ft with ease. 
  • Which is better: filter or non-filter?
  • If you opt for a filterless purifier, it is likely that it will utilize an ionizer, UV-C light, or an ozone generator to filter the impurities from your air. 

    On the other hand, a HEPA purifier will capture 99 percent of the allergens that cause allergic reactions. Some plug-in purifiers claim to perform better than HEPA filters using ozone technology, and ionizers, but in the main, all plug-in varieties will reduce the number of harmful pollutants in your home.

  • How much do they cost to run?
  • On the whole, plug-in air purifiers are very cheap to run, primarily as they use between 8 and 11 watts of power. For example, on average the OxiLeaf costs $0.01 to run for 12 hours, equating to $3.15 per year. There will be variations on this amount, but it gives you a clearer idea of the costs involved.
  • Other Things to Consider
  • If you have a specific part of the house that would benefit from a plug-in purifier, like a pet area or smoking room, then we would recommend buying one and seeing how it works out.

    They are useful in small spaces like the closet, or the laundry room, and because they remove odors as well as bacteria, you should leave your spaces smelling fresh. 

    These compact units are never going to compete with larger purifiers, but as a standalone product, they represent excellent value for money and are a great of introducing novices to the purifier world

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