When your car has unbearable odors, it becomes impossible to enjoy the pleasure of riding around with your friends or family. It’s also hard to focus on the road consistently because part of your mind is actively trying to block the smell. Your passengers can get irritable along the way. Fortunately, you’ll learn how to keep your car smelling fresh all day by using car air purifiers.
Best Rated Car Air Purifiers in 2019
1. iDOBBI Car Air Purifier
(3.3 / 5)
Here’s an auto air purifier that you can actually carry in your pocket. This high portability feature makes it suitable when you’re about to hire different rental cars. Sometimes, you can get a car that smells like fried foods because the previous customer did a shoddy cleaning job. Having a portable air purifier prepares you for such unpleasant situations.
So, how does it work? There’s a small fan that’s about two inches in diameter. When you plug in your iDOBBI to the cigarette lighter, the fan draws in air inside your car for purification. It uses an ionizer that generates positive and negative ions. These ions eliminate unwanted odors and kill airborne bacteria by disintegration.
2. AUTOWIT Fresh Multi-Purpose Car Air Purifier
(3.9 / 5)
The AUTOWIT Fresh Multi-purpose purifier allows you to power it using a typical power bank for smartphones or plug it to the cigarette lighter using a special cable. It comes with a special cap that enables you to secure it inside a cup holder. When you look at this vehicle air purifier, the first thing that comes to mind is an oversize travel coffee mug due to its design.
Do you suffer from allergies? This is the best unit for you and your family because it uses medical-grade HEPA filters to trap allergens and microorganisms. It also has intelligent sensors that display the quality of your air using three different colored lights.
3. Yontex Ionic Air Car Purifier
(2.9 / 5)
Just like the iDOBBI unit, you can carry the Yontex air purifier any place because it fits into your pocket just like a cellphone. When you plug it in, the LCD screen at the base indicates your car battery’s voltage and how much power the purifier is drawing from this source. That’s a great feature because you’ll know when your battery gets too low to power this unit.
When you switch it on, the motor activates a negative ion generator responsible for fighting unwanted smells. It takes about half an hour to get rid of the smell of wet leaves inside an ordinary family sedan car. You can still charge your phone while running the Yontext since it has two USB ports.
4. Nova 2.0 Powerful Ionic Car Air Purifier
(3.5 / 5)
The NOVA 2.0 measures about five inches in height and somewhat resembles a tobacco box Mod vaporizer. At the base is a powerful ion generator that releases 1.3 million negative ions per hour. Most unwanted odors like cigarette smoke, pet accidents, and sweat consist of airborne positive ions. The negative ions neutralize these positive ions as well as allergens inside your car.
Just like the Yontext, you can use this unit and charge two electronics simultaneously because it has two USB ports. If you’re heading on a long road trip, you can charge your powerbank using one USB port and your phone with the other. The best thing about negative ion generators is that you won’t buy any replacements.
5. TwinkleBirds Car Air Purifier Ionizer
(4.4 / 5)
If you’re searching for an air purifier that fits in your pocket and highly affordable, perhaps this is what you need. The TwinkleBirds Car Air Purifier costs approximately $40 and lacks maintenance costs. Its ion generator is inside a metal chrome casing to protect it from damage.
It comes with three different settings suited for different smells. If someone just smoked inside your car, activating the highest setting will eliminate the tobacco odor in approximately 15 minutes. The moderate setting is ideal for getting rid of pollen floating in your car.
6. FRiEQ Car Air Purifier and Air Freshener
(3.5 / 5)
FRiEQ air purifier enables you to get rid of dust, pet dander, sweat odors, and airborne bacteria. It releases millions of negative ions that engulf positive ions carrying unwanted odors inside your car. Where do the neutralized ions end up? They usually fall on your seats and floor mats. When you have this unit, you’ll need to vacuum your car daily.
The box contains a bubble wrap that you can use for a long time when traveling with your purifier. For instance, when flying to an overseas holiday destination and you don’t want to spend extra money purchasing another travel air purifier.
7. NWK Portable Cordless Ozone Generator
(3.9 / 5)
It’s easy to mistake the NWK portable cordless air purifier for a wireless speaker. It has a mesh and power button at the top that’s a similar design to JBL portable Bluetooth speakers. Unlike other purifiers in this list, this unit can run on a pair of lithium batteries. This makes it better than other units because you can still purify your air when your car’s battery is about to run out.
For best results, place your purifier inside a cup holder. This unit only has one button that you’ll use to activate the predetermined intervals programmed inside your NWK portable ozone generator. The good news is that you won’t incur any maintenance costs.
8. Vyaime Car Aromatherapy Diffuser
(3.9 / 5)
Some odors are so strong that one has to use stronger scents to overpower them. For instance, the smell of vomit inside your car can still linger even after using a combination of bleach and detergent. Especially if the vomiting came about due to overconsumption of alcohol.
The Vyaime aromatherapy diffuser enables you to get rid of stale beer smells or pet accident odors by filling your air with a mist comprising of water and essential oils. It contains an empty container that you fill it up with about 100 ml of water. Add two drops of your preferred essential oil and plug the unit in your cigarette lighter.
9. Kisair Air Purifier Portable Cleaner with HEPA
(3.2 / 5)
The Kisair portable air purifier has a flat circular design with an 8-inch diameter. When you switch it on, a mellow blue LED light appears at the center, making this purifier quite appealing. You can easily carry it in your bookbag because it weighs just 1.35 pounds.
If you have asthma or travel frequently with senior citizens, you need this unit because it has a four-stage filtration system. Air gets drawn in and channeled through an activated carbon filter mesh for odor and particle absorption. Next, it goes through a cold catalyst filter that absorbs smaller particles such as pollen.
After this stage, air finally moves through a set on medically-approved HEPA filters. This stage captures any bacteria and microorganisms circulating inside your car. Finally, there’s an ion generator to enhance odor elimination.
10. Homdox Car Air Purifier
(3.1 / 5)
Do you own an SUV? If yes, then you really need an air purifier that’s larger than a FRiEQ or Nova 2.0. You need a unit that draws in the air rather than disperse negatively charged ions because the large space limits effective distribution while using an ion or ozone generator.
The Homdox has a wide 10-inch diameter that enables it to draw large volumes of air per minute. Air gets channeled through a set of HEPA filters at the top then leaves through the bottom grill after purification. You’ll need to get a replacement after six months or less depending on your surroundings.
11. Bamett Car Air Purifier
(1.8 / 5)
This unit is so portable that you can use it in the backseat. It comes with a lengthy power cable that goes inside your cigarette lighter. You can carry it by hand just as you would a tablet because it only measures 4X4 inches. Plus, it weighs less than two ounces.
When you switch it on, the sensors at the side measure particulate matter to determine your air’s quality. The scale starts at Poor and ends at Excellent. It draws in air from the side using a fan and channels it through HEPA-like filters.
12. JFA Smart Car Air Ionizer
(2.7 / 5)
The JFA smart car air purifier measures about one foot tall and has a cylindrical design that enables you to fix it inside a cup holder. It weighs less than two pounds and this ensures that it doesn’t break or fall off from the holder when making you’re making turns or driving up a steep road.
At the base, you’ll notice two USB slots that are 3.0. These slots allow you to charge two electronics simultaneously while purifying your car. The light at the top changes to red when your air is really dirty. After running it for about an hour, you’ll notice the light change to green.
13. Air Oasis Mobile Portable Car Air Purifier
(2.8 / 5)
This unit has a similar design to a dashcam. One reason why it’s highly popular is that it’s manufactured locally and this makes it more reliable than Chinese-brands such as AUTOWIT. You can use this unit inside a car or a small office that’s below 100 square feet.
How does it purify air inside your car? There’s a small fan located beneath that draws in air. Behind the fan is an Ultraviolet chamber that kills microorganisms and fights odors. After this chamber is a negative ion generator that enhances the internal purification system.
14. Philips GoPure Compact 200 Car Air Purifier
(3.5 / 5)
If you don’t like ion or ozone generators, you can get purified air in your car by purchasing the Philips GoPure Compact 200. It uses a special filtration set that consists of three separate filters. When the fan at the bottom draws in air, it gets directed to a metal screen that traps dandelions, dust, and visible pet fur.
Next, air moves to an activated carbon screen that absorbs smaller impurities and odors. The final stage mimics HEPA filtration and traps harmful microorganisms that cause flu among other airborne diseases.
15. SYT Auto Travel Car Air Purifer
This 9-inch portable air purifier has a tower design that starts wide at the top and gets narrow in the middle. Perhaps this is one of the strongest auto air purifiers because it releases 5.3 million negative ions. That’s 4 million extra ions when you compare it to the NOVA 2.0 that produces 1.3 million negatively charged ions.
You can use this purifier at your office because it has a USB power port. You just use any ordinary USB cable to plug it into the nearest power source. Just like the JFA Smart Car Air Ionizer, you can tell the quality of your air by checking the color of the power button LED light.
16. Winext Portable Car Air Purifier Ionizer
(3.1 / 5)
Approximately the same size as a 5-inch tablet, the Winext air purifier fights off odors in your car by releasing five million negative ions. It uses a fan to draw in air at the top and passes it through a four-stage filtration system. The electrostatic fabric can absorb large particles such as dust particles, feathers, and dandelions.
Inside is a HEPA-like sterilization chamber, which incinerates all bacteria and influenza viruses, present in your interior. When activated, it produces an audible hum that might disrupt your phone calls. It comes with a long power cord that allows you to use it in the backseat.
17. Mododo Compact Car Air Purifier
Mododo Compact Air Purifier is ideal for family vans and SUVs. Why? Because it contains the best set of HEPA filters that keep off asthma attacks and allergies. It’s also relatively silent and this allows babies to take naps peacefully. Plus, it lacks detachable parts that might choke curious infants.
Air passes through a special fabric that traps large particles floating in your car. Next, the activated carbon air filter absorbs odors such as cigarette smoke and fried food. Finally, pollen and microorganisms get trapped in the HEPA set. You’ll need to replace the activated carbon and HEPA set after three months.
What are the pros?
1. Eliminate allergens in your car
Air flows into your car through the windows and the cabin vents. Any allergens such as dust and pollen land on your dashboard, seats, and mats. That’s why air inside confined spaces tends to be 4-5 times more polluted than the outdoors.
Air purifiers take care of this problem by drawing in these allergens and then eliminating them instantly. They’re more effective compared to vacuuming your car every day hoping to get rid of allergens. The HEPA filters you’ll find a Philips GoPure match the same standard as those hospitals use to keep rooms sterile.
2. Ideal for road trips
If you’re planning for a summer road trip, you definitely need this item in your checklist. Why is it necessary? Because when temperatures rise, odors get stronger. Your passengers will sweat profusely and fried food smells inside hot confined spaces tend to be nauseating.
Air fresheners are expensive because they’re a consumable product. Plus, using them daily might cause your kids to have headaches. An air purifier will help you manage these odors better than any car freshener would. While stopping for a lunch break, you can shut your windows and let the unit run for an hour.
3. Best suited for emergencies
Do you frequently drive with a baby on board? Perhaps you’ve ever had to pull over and do some abrupt cleaning because he or she threw up all over the backseat. However, the following morning while driving to work, the foul order catches up with your nose. That’s terrible, isn’t it?
When you have an ion generator-based purifier, it effectively neutralizes the unwanted odor by breaking it down into hydrogen atoms. Bleaches, on the other hand, try to overpower the bad smell by replacing it with another one. However, this only works temporarily.
Let’s look at the cons
1. You must have cabin air filters
You might have noticed that several purifiers in this list use ion generators to fight off odors and kill bacteria. There’s nothing wrong with this method, except that it cannot trap larger particles such as dandelions or pet fur inside your car. Even the units that draw in air using fans have vents that are too small to suck in these impurities.
So, how does one solve this challenge? By buying a set of cabin air filters. Are they expensive? HEPA sets are costly and require replacements after three months.
2. Prolonged exposure to ozone ions is dangerous
Ozone-based air generators can do more harm than good when left to run more than an hour. Government medical studies show that prolonged exposure can actually trigger asthma attacks. Children also complain of throat and chest irritation.
If it’s your first time using a car air purifier, you might not suspect it as the root of your medical problems. So, one ends up spending money buying all sorts of medication for no good reason. Your kids also start skipping school because the ozone ions make them too sick to focus in class.
How to improve air quality inside your car
1. Buy HEPA cabin air filters
If you live in an industrial city, your air contains more smoke particles than someone living in the countryside. Smoke from manufacturing plants is worse than that coming out of exhaust pipes because it contains chemical traces of highly toxic chemicals. Plus, it’s coming in through your windows and cabin vents.
The best way of ensuring your family doesn’t inhale these toxic impurities is by installing HEPA cabin air filters. Doing this enhances your air purifier’s performance because you cut down the number of impurities flowing inside your car significantly.
2. Avoid smoking inside your car
Smoking inside the car affects passengers who don’t enjoy tobacco. The combination of tobacco and various chemicals used in cigarettes is so strong that the smell remains in your seats and mats for days. The lingering smell is enough to cause severe lung infections when driving with a baby.
If you’re facing a highly-stressful moment and really have to smoke, consider using a vaporizer. The smoke is lighter compared to typical cigarettes and that’s why it dissipates faster. Plus, you produce lower volumes of smoke due to the high concentration of e-juice. You only need two or three puffs unlike smoking a cigarette where one spends at least 7 minutes blowing clouds.
3. Maintain sufficient airflow
Does your car have a working air conditioner? If no, then you need to get one in order to improve air circulation inside your car. An air conditioner helps you control unwanted odors during summer by maintaining low temperatures inside the car.
When you want your purifier to clean your air using less time, switch on your air conditioner. It provides uniform airflow from the floor to the roof, making sure that all microscopic impurities either get exposed to negative ions or flow inside purification filters.
4. Avoid driving too close to unroadworthy cars
Living in an urban area comes with its unique set of challenges. Like waking up early in the morning and driving through packed roads to make it to school or work. Sometimes, the car in front of you might be so beat up that the smoke from its exhaust almost produces trails of soot.
Driving behind such a car poses a great risk to your health because the particles flow directly into your car. The toxic smoke also contains carbon monoxide that’s known to cause intense headaches. Next time you spot a chimney in front of you, just switch lanes and stay ahead.
5. Avoid eating meals inside your car
There’s a difference between snacking and having lunch or dinner inside a car. Some snacks like cashew nuts don’t leave any crumbs or smell inside your car. It’s okay to have a coffee and a fresh bagel because you can wipe off the crumbs and you’re good to go. However, this isn’t possible with larger quantities of food.
When eating noodles, some of the stew will drip on your seats and mats. Eating fried chicken leaves crumbs all over the place and leaves a lingering smell that can push you into making bad decisions when you’re on the road to losing weight.
Owning the best air purifier is a wise move because everyone wants to breathe clean, odorless air every time. As a driver, you need fresh air to keep your mind alert on the road. Plus, you also avoid having to deal with cranky passengers. If you’re looking for something for your home checkout my review of the top whole house air purifier.