What You Need To Know About Buying an Air Purifier to Beat the Haze


Joanne Poh



There might not be earthquakes or volcanic eruptions in Singapore, but thanks to the annual haze from our neighbours down South, we now have our very own environmental disaster. Unless you’re planning to get an N95 mask implanted in your face or are happy breathing in the sweet, sweet smog each year, it could be a good idea to purchase an air purifier. While nobody can tell you definitively which air purifier is the best for you, here are some factors to bear in mind

Air purifiers have different kinds filters

Not all air purifiers are going to be that useful in the haze. The best filters for getting rid of that pesky particulate matter are HEPA filters. Here’s a run-down of what the various filters do.

  • HEPA filters – These can filter particulate matter that are as small as 0.3 microns. These are the filters that get rid of the dangerous tiny particles that can make their way into your bloodstream.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) filters – These filters are meant to get rid of bacteria, viruses, moulds and other biological contaminants.
  • Photo-catalytic filters – These filters get rid of dangerous gases, and are mostly used to get rid of bacteria, viruses and the like.
  • Carbon filters – These get rid of odours, so they’re perfect if there is someone in your home with very smelly farts….


Other factors

  • Air flow – The air purifier can only clean the air that flows through it, so higher air flow levels mean the machine is more efficient.
  • Air changes – A higher number of air changes per hour means the machine is cleaning your air more efficiently. Asthma suffers are advised to get purifiers that make at least 4-8 changes an hour.
  • Noise levels – Air purifiers that contain fans tend to have higher air flow and better cleaning capabilities, but also make more noise.
  • Area coverage – If you’ve got big rooms, you’ll need greater area coverage.
  • Mechanical or electronic


5 air purifiers with HEPA filters sorted according to price

Philips AC4012 Air Purifier (about $349.00)

An entry level air purifier with an adjustable fan speed. You can lower the fan speed when you sleep if it’s too noisy. This air filter has the advantage of looking sleek and attractive, so it won’t completely ruin your interior décor. The area coverage is relatively small, but at under $400 this is one of the cheaper HEPA-filter air purifiers on the market.

Area coverage: 30 square metres

Sharp Plasmacluster FU-A80E (about $529)

This air purifier with HEPA filters has a very large room capacity of up to 60 square metres. It’s decent looking and offers high performance for the price.

Area coverage: 60 square metres

Honeywell HAP 18200 (about $499 to $659)

While this air purifier is a little bulky looking, it’s got a powerful fan and a HEPA filter that’s been recommended by doctors for those with asthma and other respiratory problems. One of the most popular options amongst Singaporeans.

Area coverage: 46 square metres

Novita NAS 6000 (about $899.00)

This local brand’s air purifiers have gained a good reputation. This air purifier has a HEPA filter that needs to be changed just once every two years. While not cheap, this air purifier overs an impressive room capacity, which is hard to come by at this price.

Area coverage: 111 square metres

Blueair Air Purifier 650E (about $1,699.00)

Air purifiers from this Swedish brand are mad expensive, but deliver impressive purification with minimal noise thanks to their HEPASilent technology. It also has a decent room capacity of 65 square metres, which is the size of a 3-room HDB flat.

Area coverage: 65 square metres

Do you have an air purifier? Tell us why or why not in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.