Best Air Purifiers Not Made in China

Best Air Purifiers Not Made in China

Last updated 12/21/23. Original publish date 5/1/22.

The irony of buying an air purifier in China

I remember when I visited China in 1999. I stepped off the airplane in the airport in Beijing and it was like getting punched in the face with a thick layer of smog that enveloped the whole city. I only stayed in the city for a few days, but the smog was everywhere. Sure, there’s been some improvement in the last 20 years, but China is still in the list of top 20 countries in the world with the worst air pollution, according to the World Bank.

And yet nearly every major air purifier company manufactures their products in China, including Alen, Blueair, Coway, Levolt, Germ Guardian, Crane, Lasko, Pure Enrichment, and so many others. Intellipure, with great fanfare, announced in 2016 that they were moving manufacturing to New York, only to quietly sell their business to a private equity firm that promptly moved everything back to China.

In many ways, this symbolizes the extent to which corporate America has exploited the people of China for their cheap labor. When corporate America blindly insisting on the lowest bids from manufacturing subcontractors, this is what happens. Instead of sourcing products from responsible factories in their own country that follow environmental rules, they’re intentionally outsourcing to China, which is happily literally burning coals and fossil fuels to power its factories at the encouragement of their corrupt government, creating pollution in order to make things for Americans to remove theirs.


And yet unlike other product categories, I was pleasantly surprised to find a decent number of models not made in China. The pattern we’ve seen is typical–in some cases there are American manufacturers who choose to keep their high-end products manufactured in the US–they realize the folly of turning over their IP to a China manufacturer who is going to turn around and copy it. And in other cases, you see countries that see China as a clear and present threat–like South Korea–insourcing many products that American companies blindly outsource.

As sad as it is to say, these companies deserve our money more than the American companies that exist only to pad the paychecks of their executives, a few marketing people, and their shareholders–and are either too evil or too foolish to realize that in 5 years all of the technology they’ve turned over to China will be copied, to the last screw.

Make Your Own Air Purifier with a Box Fan and Furnace Filters (made in the USA)

Something that bugs the heck out of me is how every air purifier manufacturer makes proprietary filters. This was, of course, a tactic that Gillette invented years ago: sell the razor at cost, and make money on the blades. What most air purifier manufacturers are too dense to realize is that NO ONE is buying their filters; everyone is going to eBay to look for knockoff filters that are probably sold by the same China factories that produce the OEM ones.

A few years ago Vornado came out with the AQS500 which actually used standard furnace filters—the kind you can get at any hardware store cheap. I bought one and it lasted for a few years until—of course—the made in China motor burned out.

While I own a few air purifiers, my favorite one is one I made myself out of a box fan (thank you Internet). Here’s how I did it.

  1. Buy a made in USA box fan from Lasko. I got mine at Walmart.
  2. Buy a 20x20x1 furnace filter not made in China. Here are some options
  3. Buy some super powerful tape. I like Gorilla Tape, made in the USA.
  4. Now for the fun part. Put the filter over the BACK of the fan (the airflow should start at the filter on back, then go through the fan, then go through the front).
  5. You will be SHOCKED at how much dust you see picked up in just a week. If your house is anything like mine, in a few weeks your filter will be completely grey with dust that otherwise would have gone into your lungs.

I did this about two years ago, assuming that my Lasko fan motor would burn out, as the filter is effectively impeding the air flow and making it work harder. The fan has been running almost continuously day and night for all this time, and it’s still going strong.

You’ll have “purists” complain that it’s not really filtering out fine particles like a HEPA filter can, or that it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a fancy system. All I know is, every few months I’m swapping out filters covered in dust.

I highly recommend it. That said, if DIY isn’t your cup of tea, here are your best air purifiers not made in China.

Air Purifiers Not Made in China

1. Winix 5500-2

It always gives me a little hope when I can find a not-made-in-China product on top review sites. It means that there’s a bona-fide leader of the industry that has resisted the urge to move manufacturing to China after they reach a certain level of success in order to maximize profits.

Winix is such a company. The Winix 5500-2 has been named by Wirecutter as well as by many others like ZDNet, Gear Lab, and USA Today. Every site raves about its power and its exceptional ability to clean–in some tests eliminating 99.99% of airborne particles–and also its quiet operation and ease of use. One reviewer called it “a must for allergy sufferers”. It’s made in South Korea.

It’s the most affordable option on this page (and one of the more affordable options anywhere), coming in at around $180. You can find it at Home Depot, Walmart, or Best Buy

Filters cost about $50-60 and last for a full year. They’re also made in South Korea. You can get them from Amazon, but make sure you’re buying directly from them and not a third party seller. Better yet, you can get them directly from Winix’s site.

2. Dyson Purifier Hot + Cool

Dyson’s air purifier is pretty and cool. That’s pretty cool.

Dyson’s air purifiers are made in Malaysia, as are most of their other products. They are whisper-quiet but pack a punch, removing pet dander, pollen, sprays, scents, and other kinds of pollutants from your air, meeting the HEPA 13 standard (99.95% of particles in the air measuring 0.2 microns in diameter). It’s the second-highest HEPA classification next to HEPA 14, which is medical grade.

The HP07 is their most popular model by far which includes both heating and air purification. If you don’t need heat, the TP07 is slightly more affordable. If you can’t fathom paying so much, the TP01 which is based on their first-generation technology comes at a relatively affordable price.

If you want to splurge, their new BP03 and BP04 are the top of the line, both capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.1 microns, and the top model detects CO₂, airborne particles, gases and formaldehyde, including from second hand smoke, natural gas, and burning wood, gasoline, or fuel.

Visit for more information on their technology.

3. Samsung Cube Stack

Samsung BESPOKE Cube

Named one of the best by Consumer Reports, this Samsung Cube Stack is also made in South Korea. It’s a 3-layer True HEPA filtration system that’s virtually silent. It also has an air quality sensor built in, as well as voice controls through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. It’s not cheap, coming in between $750-$800. But if you can afford it, it’s one of the best units out there, and beautiful to look at as well.

It’s named what it is because you can purchase an additional one to stack on top, increasing the purity of your air even more, and decreasing the time to change filters. You can find it at Lowes or Amazon.

Samsung also has a newer model called the BESPOKE Cube which comes at a slightly more affordable price (you should be able to find it around $500). You can find these at Amazon or directly from Samsung.

As with all of these units, filters aren’t cheap. They cost about $80 each; you can avoid counterfeiters by buying directly from Samsung. In the other hand, they last for up to a year without changing, even when the unit is running 24/7.

4. Austin Air Healthmate HM-400

If you’re looking for an option that’s made in the USA, you’ll want to go with Austin Air. This was named as one of the best overall by Tom’s Guide, and is a medical grade purifier, using technology recommended by the CDC, EPA, and WHO for medical settings. They outperformed more than 100 other purifiers in government tests, removing airborne contaminants as small as 0.1 microns. They’re on the pricey side, coming in at over $700.

Austin Air is more known as a solution for hospitals, offices, businesses, and sports teams, but if you can afford it there are few better options. Filters cost a whopping $300 each, but when you consider they last for 5 years, they’re actually cheaper and more convenient than all the other options.

5. Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Filter

Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0

You may not have heard of Rabbit Air, but it’s one of the top air filter brands in Asia. The company is based in South Korea, where its manufacturing is done. The BioGS 2.0 is their smaller unit, coming in at a relatively affordable $370, but it can filter all the air in a 550 square foot room two times in one hour.

It has a washable pre-filter, and the HEPA and charcoal-based activated carbon filters will last up to three years. Replacement filters are available at an affordable $99 (as always, beware of China-made counterfeits that are priced at a tempting $39 but were manufactured under who-knows-what conditions).

Rabbit Air A3

They also have their top-of-the-line model, the Rabbit Air A3, that is meant to compete more with the higher end models (such as the ones above from Samsung and Austin Air) that cover larger rooms of up to 1070 square feet. It’s priced around the same as those.

Both models have won prestigious industry design awards, and are backed by a generous 5-year warranty. Rabbit Air is one of those brands I referred to above that isn’t widely covered by American-based review sites, but it’s a well-established and highly respected brand in South Korea and extremely highly rated by shoppers here who have heard of it. Let’s make them big here and show those other brands what they can do with their made in China models.

6. Air Oasis iAdapt Air Purifier

This Air oasis unit appears to be made in the USA. It captures 99% of smoke, dust, dander, and allergens, catching particles as small as 0.1 microns and has UV, silver ions, and bi-polar ionization to sterilize mold, bacteria, and biruses.

It also has an accurate sensor that tells you your air quality, as well as an app you can use to control and monitor it.

As with probably all of these, they do source parts from China, as well as Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, and Taiwan. I do like that they state that this particular model was assembled in the USA.

7. IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier

Looking for the Rolls Royce of home air purifiers? Here it is. The IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier is suitable for rooms up tp 1125 square feet, and with “HyperHEPA” it traps fine and ultrafine particles, trapping particles as small as 0.003 microns. Nothing escapes this filter–cigarette smoke, soot, pet dander, or viruses–including THE virus). It’s made in Switzerland with the quality you’d expect from Swiss manufacturing. It has a 10 year warranty and comes at a premium price–$900 for the entry level home version.

It’s not a small piece of equipment–one reviewer described it as the size of a medium sized end table. And filters, as you might imagine, are pretty pricey, although again, because the HyperHEPA filters can last 3-4 years, the $200 price tag for filters isn’t really as steep as it sounds. And the price is a small one to pay, especially if there are people in your house suffering from serious allergy or asthma problems. The commercial version of this product is the air cleaner of choice for many schools, hospitals, medical facilities, labs, and museums.

IQAir also makes a personal desk air purifier that costs “only” $400, but is good for cleaning rooms and offices up to 150 square feet to that same 0.003 micron level. This one is made in Germany.

8. Awair Air Quality Monitor

This isn’t an air purifier, but it’s one of the best ways to check how clean the air you’re breathing is. It was developed by Korean company BitFinder, and I loved it so much I bought three units.

It’s basically a little box that sits in your room and measures temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and dust in your room. You can basically use it in conjunction with any cheap air cleaner and get all the benefits of an expensive “smart” air purifier.

Following the playbook of so many of the China brands it has enabled, Amazon basically ripped off this idea, launched it as “Amazon Smart Air Quality Monitor”, had it mass produced in China, and is selling it for $70. Their goal is to hijack people who are looking for Awair (surely enough, when I search for “Awair” on, I see the top result being their product, a second result being a China ripoff, and the third option finally being the Awair product. Shame on them.

This is one of those cases where you have to ask yourself: are you willing to let the innovator company in Korea have their innovations co-opted and stolen by cheap China companies? If not–and if you can afford it–bite the bullet and reward Awair for their innovation AND for not selling out to China as Amazon did. We can’t fight the system, but we can choose to do the right thing ourselves, one purchase at a time.

Do you know of other air filter brands worthy of mention here? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Nice topic, this device is being sold more and more and is considered by many to be increasingly important.
    I have completed a list with nice additions for the Europeans among us.
    Some of these brands are also available in the US and other countries outside Europe.

    VAIRUS, made in Italy

    IDEAL, made in Germany

    Teqoya, made in France


    JVD, made in France

    CATA, made in Spain

    Uniq Air, made in Finland

    Airfree, made in Portugal

  2. Coway airmega 400S which is super (I have 4 of these in my home) are all made in South Korea. Double checked it before I posted.

  3. Winix 5500-2 recent models seem to be manufactured in Thailand now. Bought one from Walmart that was and a couple of Amazon reviews mentioned the same. Not China but wanted to provide an update.

  4. Anyone knows a manufacturer of UV air purifiers other than Chinese? Looking for volume shipments. Vietnam or Mexico? Need basic and cheap ones.

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