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5 air purifiers for every budget

The solution to Beijing pollution


At the climate conference in Paris, the international finger of shame is wagging, nay, poking Beijing square in its smoggy eyeballs. And they're looking pretty smug right now.


On Monday night (Dec 7), Beijing officially unleashed upon itself an unprecedented ‘red alert’ pollution warning. From Tuesday (Dec 6) until midday Thursday (Dec 10), school’s off and factories are too, all in a bid to get this show – and half the city's cars – back on the road as quickly as possible.


The capital was choking on 600-plus PM 2.5 levels just last week, but it looks like those pesky little particles are already back for another round.


Whether or not this red alert is a knee-jerk ‘look-we're-taking-the-problem-seriously’ measure, these tiny-but-mighty particles are not to be ignored. Air purifiers may seem like a pricey investment, but just because you're waiting for your next pay check doesn't mean you have to compromise on your health. That's why we’ve scoured the internet for some of the best indoor air purifiers currently on the market – for every budget.


The 'does the job' one


1. Smart Air


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Yep, it's a fan with a filter strapped to it. Genius. And before you get all 'Why didn't I think of that???', it really doesn't matter, for the good folks at Smart Air have these gems starting from a very reasonable 200RMB. Filter replacements are 80RMB. Not sold? Look at this graph:

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Smart Air air purifiers are available both online and at Natooke in Wudaoying Hutong.


The mid-range one


2. Midea


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An international giant in the lucrative kettle industry, Singaporean company Midea has taken the leap into air purification with an affordable, effective unit. While the website is a little hard to navigate, all but forcing you to buy a new Christmas kettle (which looks quite good tbh), amazon.cn has these suckers listed at 739RMB.


The 'almost too good to be true' one


3. Xiaomi


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Aside from manufacturing the dopest and cheapest smartphones on the market, Xiaomi done made a fantastic air purifier at a very competitive price. For a mere 899RMB, you're looking at a 99.7 percent reduction in those pesky PM 2.5 particles after just one hour of use. While admittedly not quite as attractive as their smartphone counterparts, they're cheap and they're going to keep you safe(r) this airpocalypse.


You can control the filter – turn it up, down or off – through an app on your phone (iOS and Android), which tells you the air quality inside (through a sensor in the filter) and outside your house (internet). It also tells you when to change the filter (usually every 6 months, from experience). Plus, replacement filters are only 150RMB.


If you can wait until the weekend, this Saturday (Dec 12), Xiaomi are launching their Mi Air Purifier 2 – reportedly 11 percent quieter and 200RMB cheaper at 699RMB.


You can order one on the Xiaomi website or on JD.com.


The old 'expat package' fave


4. Blueair


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Air enthusiast Blueair 'combines Swedish innovation with functional aesthetics', which is either referring to the product itself or the large photo of a very Swedish-looking child on its home page. Either way, the entry-level Blueair 203, the flagship air purifier, is a quiet and effective device and comes at the mid-tier price of 2,880RMB.


Unfortunately, at the time of writing the 203 is sold out on Tmall, but if you've got a little more to spend, the 403 model is available at 5,650RMB and suitable for a room of up to 34sqm.


You can get one from Blueair's Tmall store or at Torana Clean Air Centers.


The new kid on the block


5. Origins OxyBox


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The website claims that 'in less than 45 minutes, the OxyBox can deliver air cleaner than the air of the Rhone Glacier in Switzerland'. Unfortunately, it can also deliver 4,499RMB from your credit card to its headquarters in less than one minute, but if you can afford it, the OxyBox is a fine choice.


Niftier still, Origins accept payment on delivery, either by cash or Chinese bank (debit) card. They also have a Taobao store.


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