Why Air Purifiers With Built-in Air Quality Monitors Are a Bad Idea

Many air purifiers on the market include built-in air quality monitors to help users get a picture of their air quality. Unfortunately, there are a variety of issues with these built-in sensors, which is why we recommend using a stand-alone, portable air quality monitor.

Apart from these issues, adding these sensors increases the cost of the purifier, which is another reason we at Smart Air do not include a built-in sensor in our air purifiers.

Air Purifiers With Air Quality Monitors: 5 Issues

1. Inaccurate, Low-Quality Sensors

In general, there are a lot of inaccurate air quality monitors on the market. This is likely even more true with built-in monitors since the sensor is not the main feature of the purifier and they want to reduce costs. Smart Air’s in-house tests of one of the most popular built-in air quality monitors support this. The Xiaomi air purifier’s built-in air quality monitor was showing readings 80% lower than actual air quality levels.

2. Only Measures Air Close to Purifier

A built-in monitor only measures air next to the air purifier, often which has just been cleaned. This doesn’t necessarily give a good representation of the air in the room. An air purifier that is too weak to clean a room may still have cleaner air near the purifier.

On the other hand, portable monitors (shown above) do not have this limitation.
3. Only Measure PM2.5

Most monitors only measure PM2.5. Just because of PM.2.5 levels are low does not mean the air is safe. VOCs and CO2 levels can also cause serious harm. Stand-alone monitors such as the QP Pro (QP Pro review here) can monitor all of these levels.

Negative health effects of high CO2
4. Not Portable

How is the air quality in my kitchen? What about at my kid’s school? A stand-alone air quality monitor gives you a full picture of the air quality wherever you go.

Blast Mini HEPA filter air purifier in office for protection against COVID coronavirus
5. Inflates the Air Purifier Price

Adding an air quality sensor increases the cost of the air purifier. Considering the above negatives, why pay for this “feature”?

Bottom Line: Why you should not use an air purifier with a built-in air quality monitor


Considering the above 5 negatives of air purifiers with built-in air quality monitors, we recommend using a data-backed stand-alone air quality monitor. We ran tests on a variety of air quality monitors on the market, and recommend the QP air quality monitor for its accuracy and features. We recently added the QP monitors to our clean air shop .

Smart Air


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Smart Air is a social enterprise that creates simple, no-nonsense air purifiers and provides free education to protect people’s health from the effects of air pollution. We are proud to be the only certified B-Corp dedicated to fighting air pollution.

Certified B-Corp air purifier company