8 Best Air Quality Monitors for 2021
Before you buy an indoor air quality monitor, do some research. We're here to help, with our list of the best air quality monitors for 2021.
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Choosing an Indoor Air Quality Monitor
Allergy sufferers will want a monitor that measures particulates floating in the air, while those concerned with mold should buy one that measures humidity. A monitor that measures carbon dioxide can help reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 or other airborne illnesses.
You’ll also need to decide what type of monitor(s) you want — a simple floor or table model with a display, a handheld one, or a smart one that sends alerts to your smartphone.
To help you choose, here are our picks for the best indoor air quality monitors for 2021.
Best for Large or Multi-Level Houses
An indoor air quality monitor will only measure the quality of the air that’s around it. While a single monitor might work in a smaller home, larger multi-level homes call for more monitors.
The Airthings 4200 House Kit ($260) is a good place to start. The kit contains a fixed monitor, a portable monitor, and a hub to connect them. It’s a smart system, meaning you can keep track of indoor air quality on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Best for Virus Detection
An air quality monitor that detects COVID-19 and other viruses has yet to be invented. But according to Dr. John McKeon, CEO and founder of Allergy Standards Ltd., “a monitor that detects carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can be used as a proxy for exhaled air in a room, and can let you know when it’s time to ventilate — or vacate — a space to reduce the risk of COVID transmission.”
Best High-End Air Quality Monitor
The uHoo Indoor Air Quality Sensor ($329) monitors nine classes of pollutants and is a worthy splurge for those who want to cover as many bases as possible.
For residences near busy roads, its NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and carbon monoxide sensors are a big plus. It’s a smart monitor that communicates with Nest, Roomba, Alexa and other platforms, and its streamlined designed blends in easily with most household decor.
Best High-Tech Air Quality Monitor
Tech lovers can rejoice over any number of indoor air quality monitors with smart technology. We like the IQAir AirVisual Pro Air for its user-friendly app, compact low-key design, and compatibility with other smart home appliances that run with Apple HomeKit or IFTTT.
Plus, it measures indoor and outdoor air quality. It lets you know when it’s time to turn on air filters or air conditioners, or when it’s time to call a technician.
Best All-Around Air Quality Monitor
There are a lot of high-quality monitors on the market, but the AirThings 2930 Wave Plus ($229) is our pick for best all-around. AirThings are among the few monitors equipped to detect radon, and the Wave Plus also measures for CO2 and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). It also measures indoor temperature and air pressure, the latter a good indicator of air leaks in a home.
Our one gripe with the Wave Plus? It doesn’t measure particulates. But it does measure the culprit behind most mold growth — humidity.
Best Portable Air Quality Monitor
It’s great to measure air quality inside your home, but what if you’re not home all the time? Enter the Huma-i (HI-150) Advanced Portable Air Quality Monitor ($149), our top pick for a portable air quality monitor.
The pint-sized Huma measures CO2, VOCs and particulates, and it’s small enough to sit discreetly on a desk or strap to an arm band while exercising outdoors. An emoticon on the display tells you when the air is clear or when it’s time to mask up.
Best for Humid Environments
If you live in an area that’s warm and humid for at least part of the year, then you probably know how easily mold and mildew can take hold in even the cleanest of houses. That’s why we like the EG Air Quality Monitor ($117) for humid environments.
It measures indoor humidity and temperature to alert for air that’s mold-friendly. Plus, it measures particulates down to PM1.0 — most just measure to PM2.5. And while no air quality monitor can detect mold, a high concentration of particulates is a red flag for mold growth.
Best Budget Air Quality Monitor
For a combination of price, visual appeal and multi-functionality, we pick the Temtop M10 Air Quality Monitor ($90) as a best bet for a budget option. There are no bells and whistles here, just a simple monitor with an easy-to-read display that measures particulates and VOCs. Plus it’s small and portable, so you can move it around the house or take it on the go.
All prices and links were current as of publication.