The AirDoctor is an air purifier brand manufactured by a company called Ideal Living. The company claims their purifier is effective at removing COVID-19 particles from the air, and that it removes particles 100 times smaller than HEPA standard.
But is AirDoctor really superior to the average air purifier that uses HEPA technology, or are these just marketing claims? How does AirDoctor stack up to other air purifier brands in independent tests? Are air purifiers even necessary? And how do real customers rate and review this brand?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we review medical studies on indoor air purification to give our take on whether this type of device is even worth it, or if it's a waste of money.
We'll analyze test results on AirDoctor to compare it to other air purifier brands and see if it's truly superior. We'll feature real customer reviews of the brand, and explain how the device works.
Are Air Purifiers Really Necessary?
The topic of indoor air purifiers is a complex one, partly because there are simple, no-cost steps that consumers can take to vastly improve indoor air quality. As we described in our review of air purifier device Molekule, indoor air quality is significantly worse than outdoor air quality in most developed nations.
Consumers could simply air out their house more, especially during summer months, and experience an improvement in indoor air quality at no cost. This is probably the best option for people on a budget.
For consumers with high disposable income, or for people living in nations like India with relatively high outdoor air pollution, air purifiers may be a logical choice.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that indoor air is typically 2-5x more polluted than outdoor air.
Based on the available research, we consider air purification to be worth the money for people who have the means to purchase such a device. Reducing airborne contaminant levels can only improve overall health, and seems to be a logical preventative measure.
But is AirDoctor really better than other HEPA air purifiers? We'll discuss in the next section.
AirDoctor vs. Other Purifiers
ConsumerLab, which is an independent research organization that we trust, published an air purifier review which included the AirDoctor 3000. ConsumerLab claims that the AirDoctor 3000 is effective but overpriced, and found it to be no more effective than other HEPA filters which are sold at a lower price.
While the manufacturer of AirDoctor suggests increased efficacy compared to other air purifiers, we cannot verify this.
Proof of technical superiority would require medical research published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, or at least comparative research published by an independent organization like ConsumerLab.
The brand's claim of efficacy in reducing COVID-19 comes from a research study conducted by a firm called MRIGlobal. This research firm is not-for-profit which is a good sign for consumers, as this reduces bias in the evaluation process.
The research study tested whether the AirDoctor 3000 could eliminate aerosolized COVID-19, and to what degree. The results were impressive: AirDoctor reduced the virus that causes COVID-19 by 99.97%.
The brand also claims that their UltraHEPA filter removes particles 100 times smaller than the HEPA standard, which would provide theoretical health benefits by reducing levels of fine particulate matter and viruses.
We don't find this claim to be particularly convincing because AirDoctor doesn't link to a clinical study proving this, just to a disclaimer that a research firm found these results.
Overall, we consider AirDoctor likely to be effective for improving indoor pollution levels, but we can't find any convincing clinical evidence that it's more effective than any other air purifier brand. This suggests that AirDoctor may not be worth the increased price.
But how do real users rate and describe their experience using an AirDoctor purifier? We'll discuss in the next section.
Real Users Review AirDoctor
A YouTube creator named "Modern Castle" actually tested the effects of AirDoctor on indoor pollution levels and compared the effects of various models of the device in a really informative video:
A naturopathic doctor named Stephen Cabral reviewed the science behind AirDoctor device, his personal experience using the device and some of the relevant technical specs:
How Does AirDoctor Work?
AirDoctor air purifiers fall into the most popular category of air purifiers called high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these devices are effective because they trap particulates in air, which removes them from circulation and therefore reduces the number inhaled into the lungs.
HEPA filters typically publish minimum efficiency reporting values (MERVs) which detail what size particles the device can trap. Devices which can trap smaller particles are better for human health, and these devices have higher MERV ratings. The highest MERV rating is 16 according to the EPA resource.
AirDoctor's filters have a MERV rating of 14 at the time of updating this article, according to the brand's website.
Real Customers Review AirDoctor
Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion. AirDoctor's most popular model on Amazon is the "AD3000" which has been reviewed over 1,000 times with an average review rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser was published by a user named “Toney Larrell Reid” who claims the product was beneficial for their mother’s breathing issues:
“My mother now has the AirDoctor and set it up herself! She called to tell me how the Air Sensors worked. She's had it for about a week now and already feels a difference in the way she breathes.”
The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Brian K.” who claims the device seemed to be contaminating their room:
“This thing was a disaster. Instead of cleaning the air, it felt like it was contaminating it..The Airdoctor Couldn't clean a 185 square foot room. DO NOT RECOMMEND!”
We want to note that we find it unlikely based on the materials used that a HEPA filter could contaminate a room.
Our Air Purifier Pick
We recommend the Alen BreatheSmart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier, as it received top marks in Consumer Reports’ independent testing.
Not only is this device shown to be effective at removing contaminants, it’s also more energy-efficient than most air purifiers. Its energy and filter costs per year are $140 based on Consumer Reports data, which is a fraction of the maintenance costs of many other models.
The Alen BreatheSmart 75i also scored well on noise tests, which is important because some air purifiers can be loud. Since they’re typically running 24/7, most consumers want a model that’s relatively quiet.
Interested consumers can check out the Alen BreatheSmart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier at this link to the product's official Amazon listing.
Pros and Cons of AirDoctor
Here are the pros and cons of AirDoctor in our opinion:
- Shown in independent tests to reduce contaminants
- Should improve health
- Shown in independent test to reduce virus levels
- Cheapest model is highly affordable
- Positive Amazon reviews
- We can't find evidence it's superior to the average air purifier
- Most expensive model costs more than most air purifiers we've come across