The TL;DR: With an upgraded highly sensitive auto setting and overall quiet operation, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto Air Filter is the best choice for larger rooms. The minimal, futuristic design and easy-to-use controls will make this machine stand out in any area of your home. By using both an internal HEPA filter and external pre-filter this machine clears out common household pollutants like pet dander, dust mites, cooking odors and mold as well as environmental hazards like PM 2.5, wildfire smoke, chemicals and VOC.
- Auto mode adjusts speed depending on air quality detected.
- Washable pre-filter gathers larger dust particles.
- Clean, stylish design.
- Low setting is very quiet.
- Can be used on a table top or on the floor.
- 360 degree air inlet.
- Expensive replacement filters needed every three to six months (depending on use).
- Requires maintenance of pre-filter.
- No on/off timer.
Dimensions: 20.5” x 13” x 13”
Weight: 12.5 pounds
Sound level: 23 to 56 dB(A)
Recommended room size: 550 square feet
Air changes per hour (ACH): 4.8
Despite the soaring popularity of health and wellness products, it can be easy to forget that one of the most important parts of our well-being can’t even be seen. The invisible air we breathe, more specifically the quality of the air we breathe, can have a transformative effect on our overall health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that Americans spend 90 percent of their lives indoors, and poor indoor air quality can cause serious effects on your health such as respiratory diseases, heart disease and cancer as well as eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Proper ventilation and air filtration systems can have a major impact on how we feel each day.
While choosing greener building materials such as low VOC paint or natural hardwood flooring can help naturally improve our indoor air, for many a complete redesign isn’t feasible or possible (especially if you rent). And it’s not just building materials that impact our indoor air, pets, pollen, mold, dust and local air quality all play a big part in our indoor air. Luckily, we can improve our indoor air with a high-quality portable HEPA air filter.
When shopping for an indoor air filter, you want to consider a few important features. First and foremost, consider the square footage of the space you want to clean. A small bedroom will require a much smaller (and less expensive) filter than a large, open-concept living/dining area. In addition, consider the maintenance required, cost of machine and replacement filters, noise level, ease of use, customer reviews and brand reputation. After conducting my own research based on the factors listed above, I opted for the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto Air Filter.
I’ve been using the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto Air Filter for almost one year in my home in Los Angeles. With mild asthma, allergies, the threat of Los Angeles wildfire smoke (oh, and and a new kitten in our house on top of everything), I wanted to get a top-quality, well-rated air filter to help improve the overall air quality and keep my family healthy. I decided specifically on this unit based on my square footage needs and reviews. In addition to being highly rated by customers, it’s rated well by media outlets like Consumer Reports and The New York Times Wirecutter, as well as independent performance tests such as ENERGY STAR, Intertek Sustainability Program, California Air Resources Board and VerifiedⓇ. With a prominent placement in my main open-concept living room/dining room/kitchen, I also wanted an air filter with an attractive design, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto hit the mark.
How It Works
The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ works for larger spaces, ideally around 550 square feet. The design uses two filters, a circular internal HEPA filter which takes in and cleans air 360 degrees, as well as a secondary pre-filter which is fabric and wraps around the bottom half of the machine. The pre-filter can be washed and hung to dry or can be vacuumed. The air enters the machine from all four sides and is cleaned and released from the top of the unit. At around 12 pounds, it’s not too heavy to move around your space as needed. It can be used on the floor or on top of a table.
Blue Pure 211+ Auto actively removes:
- PM 2.5.
- Pet dander.
- Dust mites.
- Cooking odors.
- Bacteria and viruses.
Reasons It’s an Editors’ Choice
It’s Easy to Use
Anytime I can set up and use a product without consulting instructions, I’m pretty happy. The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ is that simple. To be safe, I’d say a quick skim on the manual to make sure you understand the settings and how to change the air filter, but really it’s intuitive and very simple. Press to turn on and cycle through the various speeds or auto settings. The LED light informs by color only of the quality of your air. A blue light means you are good, yellow means some pollutants have been detected and red means be cautious. Red light informs you that a significant amount of air will need to be cleaned. The unit cleans the air about 4.8 times per hour.
The Sensitive Auto Mode
The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto offers several ways to use the machine. You can set the speed to low, medium or high or set to auto. I personally love the auto mode and I can tell you from experience it’s highly sensitive and works really well. We placed the air filter in the center of our open-concept living space near our dining table. When we pan fry in the kitchen, the air filter immediately reacts: the blue air (which means good air) will quickly go to yellow or red, and to help clean the air when these conditions are noted. The fan speed adjusts to medium or high to help clean the air quickly.
My Blue Pure turns yellow or red when the following happens.
- Cooking odors.
- Smoke or burning from the stove.
- Bad air days.
I’m pretty lucky that I live in the South Bay where in the past year we haven’t had to grapple with wildfire smoke. However, one evening, the direction of the usual westerly winds changed and the air outside was smokey and polluted. I noticed my Blue Pure 211+ Auto turned to red a good hour or so before my cell phone air quality alerted me to the conditions outside. I closed the windows and let the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto do its job.
If wildfires are a concern in your area, you can purchase a SmokeBlock Filter which has additional activated carbon to remove up to 99.99 percent of wildfire smoke.
The HEPASilent technology means that your machine will have minimal noise with maximum filtration. In auto mode, the majority of the time my Blue Pure 211+ operates on the low setting without noticeable sound. When it does notice pollutants, it kicks into a higher fan level, where although I can hear the noise it’s not disruptive or distracting.
This newer version of the Blue Pure machine was recalibrated to be quieter than older versions which are no longer in production.
But don’t take my word for it.
- Low speed operates at 23 dB, which is whisper quiet.
- High speed operates at 56 dB, which is no louder than rainfall.
It Has an Attractive Design
If you are a fan of Apple products, you’ll like the overall look of the Blueair filters. They use minimal buttons, and a sleek white space-age design to give the product a futuristic, clean stylish look. The pre-filter helps collect larger dust particles and essentially is a snug fabric “skirt” that wraps around the bottom of the unit. The pre-filter can be customized with five colorways including gray, dusty pink and a few muted shades of blue/green.
One Con – The Price Tag
I will admit the Blue Pure 211+ Auto is expensive as it ranges in price from $319.99 to $339.99. Maintenance of the machine means you’ll also have to shell out cash for a new air filter every three, six or nine months to have the machine continue to filter effectively. Blueair recommends replacing it every six months. Replacement filters for the 211+, depending on which type you order range from $60 to $80. You can however save 15 percent with a subscription. You can set your filters to arrive every three, six or nine months. I have had cheaper small air filters in the past for use in our bedrooms and I will say they were harder to keep clean and much noisier, so sometimes you get what you pay for.
Where to buy:
$299.99 at Amazon
$339.99 at Blueair.com
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