Best air quality monitors for allergy sufferers iMore 2021
Allergies are brutal at any time of year, but when you're stuck inside, your whole immune system can go haywire. By keeping tabs on the air quality inside your home, you can cut down on prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications and improve your quality of life. The air quality monitor I stake my health on is the Airthings Wave Plus. It's sleek enough to blend into your decor and smart enough to give you real-time results. There are hundreds of monitors out there to track the air quality of your surroundings. So which is right for you? Here are the five best air quality monitors this year.
- Best overall: Airthings Wave Plus Monitor
- Best value: Temtop P10
- Best HomeKit-enabled monitor: Eve Room
- Best smart model: Awair Element
- Best indoor and outdoor Monitor: IQAir AirVisual Pro
- Best portability: Huma-i HI-150
Best overall: Airthings Wave Plus
It looks like an updated smoke detector, but it's a high-functioning air quality control monitor that you'll wonder how you ever lived without. By today's standards, the Airthings Wave Plus is still cool enough to blend in with your decor, plus it's packed with technology to help you identify allergens and put an end to sniffles and stuffy heads.
The Airthings Wave Plus tracks things that linger in the air that most of us never see. It sniffs out radon, carbon dioxide (CO2), toxins, and chemicals. It also measures humidity, temperature, and air pressure. Results display on your smartphone in detail and on the monitor through a color scheme. When the ring light on the front of the unit is green, the air quality is good. When it turns yellow, air quality is fair, and red equals bad.
The Airthings Wave Plus works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, so it integrates fully into your smart home. Best of all, it runs on two AA batteries and mounts to a wall or ceiling. Unfortunately, there's no Wi-Fi in the Airthings, which is my only complaint. The built-in Bluetooth is nice, but it also means you need to stand reasonably close to the device to get an accurate reading on your iPhone. I know it's a minor complaint, but one worth mentioning if you want to keep an eye on things while you're away from home. For most, The Airthings Wave Plus is a smart choice, and it delivers accurate readings.
- Fits any decor
- Real-time reports
- Works with IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Alexa
- Measures toxins, chemicals, temp, humidity, and air pressure
- Lacks Wi-Fi
Best value: Temtop P10
When you don't care whether your air quality monitor syncs with your phone or connects to your smart home, the Temtop P10 is the best deal going. The uncomplicated P10 resembles a small alarm clock and looks at its place on a desk, table, or bookshelf.
The P10 from Temtop measures particulates and gaseous pollutants, showing results front and center on a brightly lit LCD that's readable from across the room. The results are displayed in real-time, and they're every bit as accurate as more expensive air quality monitors. The only thing missing is app connectivity and Wi-Fi.
There's a rechargeable battery inside the small P10. It runs up to six hours on a full-cycle charge. Because of the short battery life, this is something you can't run all day long. Thankfully, flipping the switch to on a few times a day during allergy season is enough to alert you of dust buildup or harmful gasses so that you can address problems quickly. If you want a solidly built air quality monitor that's easy to use and doesn't cost a fortune, this is it.
- Accurate readings
- Bright LCD
- Small in size
- Rechargeable battery
- No Wi-Fi
- Battery life is only six hours
Best HomeKit-enabled monitor: Eve Room
The Eve Room is an indoor air quality monitor that gives you at-a-glance details. You'll get readouts of the air quality, temperature, and humidity of any room inside your home. Eve Room is compact and well-made, crafted of shiny silver aluminum that looks as good as it works.
With the Eve Room, you can measure the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in any room, the temperature, and the humidity level, all of which are reported on a high-contrast e-ink display that is viewable from any angle. Compare today's data with measurements and conditions recorded yesterday, last month, or even last year.
Eve Room can be coupled with connected smart appliances, like humidifiers, to make automatic indoor climate changes. It also pairs seamlessly with HomeKit, distills data into easily understandable graphs, and correlates trends with happenings in your home. If air quality improves when you open a room, Eve Room will let you know that. Eve Room is not compatible with Android, which is its only downfall. It works with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPads, connecting through Bluetooth. The built-in battery is rechargeable and holds power for an impressive six weeks. When you couple Eve Room with one of the best HomeKit air purifiers, you'll have the cleanest indoor air on the block.
- e-ink display easy to read
- Records data for years for comparison
- Works seamlessly with HomeKit
- Tracks VOCs, temp, and humidity
- Battery holds a charge for six weeks
- Only works with Apple devices
Best smart model: Awair Element
The Awair Element not only monitors indoor air quality but also offers tips on how to improve it and your annoying allergy symptoms. This streamlined unit is small enough to stand on a bookshelf or the corner of your desk. It gives out real-time readings across five metrics via an app on your phone.
The app is slow to connect during the initial setup but works as it should after that. If you don't want to mess with checking your phone, you can glance at the Element and view built-in LEDs that display the current air quality.
The Element connects to the rest of your smart home, if desired, and starts your AC or air purifier on its own with no interaction needed from you. How cool is that? The Element gives tips to help clean up the air around you in the app and works over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
- Blends in anywhere
- Real-time readouts
- Voice controls
- Offers suggestions
- Integrates with your smart home
- App is slow to setup
Best indoor and outdoor monitor: IQAir AirVisual Pro
When allergy season hits, it's just as important to monitor the outside air quality as it is to improve what's happening inside your living space. Professional-grade laser sensors inside the AirVisual Pro from IQAir work together to give you an exact look at the air you breathe.
Unique to this model, a built-in alarm system that alerts you when dangerous CO2 levels are detected. The IQAir has a bright display that gives you up-to-the-second results. Quickly see the indoor temperature and humidity, indoor air pollutant level, and outdoor air quality. This model works with IFTTT and, based on certain perimeters, can notify you of any changes as they happen.
The data collected from the IQAir is downloadable to your phone, tablet, or computer, and helps you to track trends, weather patterns, and other information easily. AirVisual Pro is expensive; there's no doubt about it. It is precise, though, and it gives you a few extras, like the outdoor air quality measurements, that other monitors don't. If you want to know what's happening inside and out, you can't go wrong with the IQAir.
- Accurate readings inside and outside
- CO2 alarm
- IFTTT integration
- Displays weather forecast
- Downloadable data
Best portability: Huma-i HI-150
The Huma-i HI-150 offers all the portability of a small device and all the essential features of larger air quality monitors. This tiny unit can go with you from room to room or even outside. Are you going on vacation? Take this monitor inside your hotel room and get vital information to keep your allergies at bay.
The HI-150 gives real-time stats. You'll see VOCs, CO2 levels, particle matter, plus the current temperature and humidity in your surroundings. A built-in fan draws in ambient air to give you the most reliable results no matter where you are.
The HI-150 is durable and small enough to take with you on the go or leave on a shelf in the baby's nursery. A bright screen outputs instant readouts, and the unit automatically shuts itself off after 10-minutes. Though highly accurate, the auto-shutoff isn't always helpful. For example, it can take more than a few minutes to collect data when outdoors, which doesn't leave you much time to cycle through the results. Still, we find the HI-150 to be accurate and highly portable, making it the perfect choice for travelers.
- Measures air quality inside and outside
- Small enough to travel
- Auto-shutoff time too short
As a seasonal allergy sufferer and asthmatic, I appreciate everything about my favorite air quality monitor, the Airthings Wave Plus. Looks aren't everything, I know, but I love that this unit blends into my home without looking like an ugly and out-of-place medical device.
A color-coded ring of light on the front of the monitor gives you essential data in real-time. You can also access more detailed reports by using an app on your smartphone. And the whole thing integrates into your smart home. The Airthings works over Bluetooth and connects with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
There's no Wi-Fi in this model, which means you can't check inside air conditions when you're away from home. Instead, the Airthings works over Bluetooth, pushing data to your phone. Results are accurate, smart home integration works seamlessly, and the price is just right. When you want peace of mind, The Airthings Wave Plus gives you just that.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.