Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in the mountains (far from metropolitan areas), it’s likely that the air you’re breathing isn’t as clean as it used to be. Despite regulations that have helped a great deal, air pollution is starting to increase again. Airborne germs and illnesses, too, are a large concern for many people.
It’s no wonder, then, that there are new wearable air purifiers hitting the market all the time. Check out the best wearable air purifiers in our complete guide, and learn more about how they can help you!
What is a Wearable Air Purifier?
These products come in many different forms, but they all accomplish one main goal: removing harmful particles from the air. Some look like high-tech face masks with fans and filters that deliver clean, cool air. Others use negative ion technology to purify the air around you slowly over time.
These purifiers are a form of wearable technology that makes it easier to breathe in difficult conditions, keeping your lungs fresh and working at peak capacity. They’re useful for exercise, walking around town, and dealing with pollution/allergens in the air.
Why are Air Purifiers Necessary?
A few decades (or centuries) ago, one never had to worry about whether or not the air they were breathing was safe. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. In many cities across the world, the air is unsafe to breathe and is a major public health issue. The WHO reports that air pollution makes global life expectancy nearly two years lower than it would be if the earth had cleaner air.
Even in US cities, the air isn’t as clean as it could be. Depending on the season, air quality can get very unhealthy. Even the day after Independence Day has notoriously bad air quality, due to the remaining smoke from billions of dollars worth of fireworks.
Things like humidity, pollen, and wildfire season in the Western half of the country all contribute to poor air quality. Low air quality conditions, such as those caused by wildfires, cause atrial fibrillation (afib)- so much so that emergency room visits for afib always spike at these times. Poor air is a major cause of asthma attacks, lung cancer, and other issues, according to the American Lung Association.
Air purifiers are very beneficial to people living in places with poor air quality (you can check the quality of your city’s air here). They ensure that you can continue breathing clean air, no matter what is happening outside.
Another reason that air purifiers can come in handy is the presence of airborne germs. If you are feeling sick, if it’s flu season, or if the world happens to find itself fighting a global virus (could you imagine?), a wearable air purifier can keep germs from spreading.
Finally, cigarette smoke is widely known to be dangerous, even second-hand. If you live with smokers or spend lots of time with them but don’t want to be negatively affected, a wearable air purifier is a must!
Do Wearable Air Purifiers Work? (A Look at the Evidence)
N95 and KN95-rated filters are 95% effective against all particles larger than 0.3 microns, including smoke, pollen, and germs. They are also effective against smaller particles, even microscopic ones, although not at the same percentage level. If you have a wearable air purifier with one of these filters, you can virtually guarantee protection against all types of pollution and airborne irritants.
Other air purifiers, depending on what type of filtration they use, can be just as effective. HEPA filters, in particular, are filters that have been tested rigorously and filter out 99.7% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns. If you want to get a wearable air purifier, making sure that the filter it uses has been properly tested is a must.
If your wearable air purifier hasn’t been lab tested, it can still keep pollution and germs out of your lungs. For reference, simple cotton cloth filters out about one-third of particles. While that isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, it is still better than nothing.
Pros and Cons of Wearable Air Purifiers
Best Wearable Air Purifiers (2021)
1. Best Wearable Air Purifier (Overall): 4WDKING Portable Air Purifier
One of the chief complaints people have with face masks and other purifiers that cover your mount/nose is that airflow is restricted. This isn’t the case with this air purifier, because it uses an electric fan to draw a continuous supply of cool, filtered air right to your mouth. The air passes through a Japanese HEPA filter, so you know that what you are breathing is clean and safe.
This type of mask/filter combo is very useful for outdoor exercise, walking, and running errands when air quality is low. It’s also great for flu season and other times when germs are spreading too rapidly. The fan makes breathing in the mask feel much more normal, preventing the “stuffy” feeling that accompanies other masks.
The filter and fan are housed in a small box that you can wear on your belt loops or attach to an armband (included). It connects to the mask via a synthetic hose which, while it may be a bit noticeable, still allows you to walk, run, or cycle without being held back. If you’re concerned about the air or germs in your city, this wearable air purifier is perfect for you!
2. Best Wearable Air Purifier Mask: Resnr Air Purifying Mask With Filter
This item is similar to the mask we just looked at, but it has a smaller fan installed right on the surface of the mask rather than one connected by a hose. This means that, while the air flow isn’t quite as strong, there is no filter box (the filter is placed directly inside the mask as well) or hoses to deal with.
It’s a simple and effective way to filter out pollution, dust, and germs while still getting decent airflow into your mask. It’s powered by a small rechargeable battery that lasts about 6 hours before dying. That makes it perfect for almost any trip outside the house, whether it be out to the park, the grocery store, or anywhere in between.
3. Best Wearable Air Purifier for Chemical Sensitivities: AirTamer A310PMB
AirTamer makes products that use negative ion technology to repel pollutants and other particles in the air. This necklace creates a 3-foot zone all around you that particles have a very hard time interfering with. Negative ions come from the necklace, which then bond with pollution and dust particles in the air. That bonding makes them too dense to float, sending them falling to the ground below you and creating clean air wherever you go.
Does that sound too good to be true? It is, in some senses. They’re the most effective against small particles such as smoke and exhaust, but not as effective when it comes to allergens and other large particles. If you are a smoker (or live with a smoker) or live in an area with lots of fossil fuel pollution, this purifier will work great for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something to repel dust and pollen, a face mask is a better option.
4. Best Wearable Ionic Air Purifier: AirDinbor Wearable Air Purifier Necklace
With a battery that lasts for 60 hours, you may only charge this purifier necklace once a week even if you use it every day! It ionizes the air around you, keeping smoke and pollution far from your lungs. If you like to spend time outside or have a spouse who is a smoker, this necklace is an excellent way to keep your lungs safe.
Compared to the AirTamer purifier we just saw, this necklace is also an incredible value. It costs about one-fifth the price, and works just as well! You can wear it all day long, enjoying cleaner, germ-free air and worry less about the potential risks of breathing unclean air. If you’re working with a tight budget, this is the perfect air purifier for you!
Buying Guide: How to Choose a Wearable Air Purifier
Price Range of Wearable Air Purifiers
Wearable air purifiers are, thankfully, very affordable on the whole. While state-of-the-art air ionizer necklaces can cost more than $150, there are many models to be found in the $30-60 range.
Mask-style products with filters and fans are also inexpensive, typically setting you back about $40. The only drawback to these products is that you have to buy replacement filters every few weeks. They’re cheap, but it is still an ongoing cost to consider.
What to Look for in a Wearable Air Purifier
Getting a wearable air purifier is a great way for people to protect their lung health no matter what they are doing. They’re easy to use, cost-effective compared to treating pollution-related health issues, and up to 99.9% effective.
Which air purifier from our list seems right to you? Do you have questions about the products, or the technology behind them? Leave your comments below, and thanks for reading!