you need to consider the size of the room, and your accepted noise level before choosing your air purifier. most air purifiers have several settings, each setting being increasingly louder. the sound is like a fan, so it's not awful, but might take some getting used to, if you plan on keeping it in the bedroom while you sleep.
i did some minimal research when buying mine (just google air-purifier reviews) and found out I dont wan't one with an 'ionizer' as they are reported to emit some low levels of ozone. Also true-HEPA air purifiers are supposed to be better than the "hepa - type" HEPA filter replacement is another consideration, since filters can be $30+ dollars, and need to be replaced at least every year (so the instructions say).
i purchased a winix plasmawave from amazon for about $150. it sits in my daughter's playroom, and is a larger unit. works pretty well, picks up a lot of odors, and adjusts automatically. on it's lowest setting, i dont even notice it. it had good reviews. amazon is a great place to read some reviews about air purifiers. some reviewers even post videos on you tube about their purifiier, so you can actually see and hear how loud they get.
then i purchased a kenmore one from sears for my daughter's bedroom (12x12). i believe it's a rebranded winix, only smaller. it's $99 regular price. it has 4 speeds but also an automatic nightime feature that will keep it on the lowest setting throughout the night.
we are not smokers, or pet owners, so i can't say if these purifiers have helped tremendously. i do notice that the air does smell 'cleaner' and that my own sneezing (i am slightly allergic to pollen) has decreased some. i think the real test will be this summer, when hayfever season starts.
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