What We Like
Permanent filter only needs to be vacuumed
Optional zeolite or carbon filters for additional purification
What We Don't Like
Quick Clean setting is loud
Less filtration than some higher-end models
Pets come with a lot of perks, from snuggles on the couch to a friendly greeting when you come home from work. They also come with fur, dander, and other potential allergens that can compromise your home’s air quality. Beyond shedding pets, day-to-day living can also start to wreak havoc on the air quality in your home as dirt, dust, pollen, and other allergens swirl around. Improving air quality can be done by cleaning more, making lifestyle changes, or even adding a houseplant here and there but if indoor air quality is a top concern, using an air purifier is one of the most effective ways to remove harmful airborne particles. Keep reading to see if the Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier is the right option for your home.
Setup Process: Optional filters need to be installed
The HEPA filter on the Hamilton Beach TrueAir is permanent, so no assembly is needed to start improving your home’s air quality. The settings are clearly labeled and controlled through a knob on the top of the unit (or the side, if you’re using it in the horizontal configuration).
If you want to get even better air quality by adding an optional zeolite or carbon filter, they’re easy to install. Simply remove the plastic bars to slide the filters in, then secure them by inserting the plastic bars back into the marked slots. The Hamilton Beach TrueAir comes with two zeolite filters that specifically target pet odors and particles. You can purchase replacements from the company online or from most retailers that sell small home appliances and tools.
Performance: Noticeably better sleep and easier breathing
The ultimate question when purchasing an air purifier is how well does it actually purify the air? Will it make a difference in the overall air quality or will it just suck up electricity without adding any real benefit to your home environment? Will it become another appliance relegated to a forgotten corner of your garage?
After a few weeks of testing, we were happy to find an answer: The Hamilton Beach TrueAir made a real, discernible difference. Within just one day, we noticed we were breathing easier, and within a week, we were sleeping better. After a quick vacuum of the house, we also realized how must dust and pet hair the purifier had eliminated. Our two cats love to spend time on the furniture, roll around on the floor, and chase each other from room to room. This means that we’re constantly sweeping up cat hair to keep our house clean and smelling fresh. Add daily dirt, dust, and sand tracked in by two active toddlers and you have a good idea of how much maintenance our house requires to keep us healthy—so this was huge.
Air purifiers use a variety of methods to remove harmful contaminants from the air. The most common are carbon filters, ionization, or HEPA filters. Many even use a combination of methods to provide the highest air quality. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and is the name for the type of filter that most air purification systems employ. A HEPA filter provides a physical barrier that traps things like dirt, pet dander, and dust mites.
After one week, the air quality was noticeably better and our son was waking up refreshed instead of sneezing or clearing his throat.
The Hamilton Beach TrueAir model has a 99 percent HEPA filter, meaning that independent tests found that the filter trapped 99 percent of particles in the air. The filter can suck up particles as small as 3 microns—roughly the size of small dust particles and even some bacteria. Things as large as pet dander, pollen, and dust mites are sure to meet their match in with a HEPA filter.
The Hamilton Beach TrueAir also includes an optional zeolite or carbon filter system. These additional filters take harmful gasses out of the air, such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are commonly given off by household items.
It’s hard to measure the effectiveness of an air purification system without fancy equipment, which can lead to the skepticism expressed by many consumers. We found that the best test was in how easily we could breath in the morning after sleeping with the air purifier running in our bedroom, so we tried it out in our master bedroom as well as our toddler’s room—both ideal test spaces as the purifier has a coverage area of 140 square feet (or, roughly a 10 x 14-foot room).
After running the air purifier for a full week, we noticed a difference in air quality in both bedrooms. We saw the most significant change when we kept the system in our 2-year-old son’s room, as he generally has the strongest reaction to dust and airborne allergens and is the worst sleeper in our family. At night, we ran the system at its highest setting, both to clean the air and to use as white noise. During the day, we ran it at its lowest setting. After one week, the air quality was noticeably better and our son was waking up refreshed instead of sneezing or clearing his throat.
Design: Low profile and versatile
One of the reasons we’ve put off buying an air purifier is that most have a large footprint. We were happy to see that the Hamilton Beach TrueAir was compact—10.8 x 8.1 x 16.4 inches—without sacrificing performance. It easily fit on a bookshelf or tucked discreetly away on a countertop.
The air purifier can be used either vertically or horizontally, making it a great option for small spaces. When testing it in our living room, we used it vertically on a shelf. In our son’s room, which is much smaller, it fits better horizontally on his bookshelf. We like that we can configure the air purifier to meet the needs of the space.
The air purifier can be used either vertically or horizontally, making it a great option for small spaces.
There are more high-tech looking air purification systems on the market, but many of these come with a much higher price tag. For less than $60, we’re happy with the look and performance of the Hamilton Beach.
Noise level: Quiet to loud, based on your setting
Understandably, air purifiers make noise as they move air across their filters in a bid to eliminate dirt, pet dander, and dust particles. The noise from the Hamilton Beach TrueAir is on par with most other models that use the same filtration technology.
If you prefer a quiet environment, you can opt for the lowest setting. We found this was the best setting for overnight use. When placed in our son’s room, we intentionally set it to high so it also functioned as a white noise machine. It made a similar level of noise as our dedicated white noise machine, so it was a win-win!
When placed in our son’s room, we intentionally set it to high so it also functioned as a white noise machine.
For everyday use, Hamilton Beach recommends the medium setting. It was quiet enough that we were able to watch TV and talk without feeling like we were shouting over the air purifier.
Maintenance: Minimal maintenance
Any system that mechanically removes airborne particles requires some maintenance to work efficiently. This is true for everything from dryers to pools, and the Hamilton Beach TrueAir is no exception. The advantage with this product is you can clean the filter rather than buy regular replacements. We found this to be a nice bonus, as it reduced the long-term cost of running the air purifier.
The permanent HEPA filter is easy enough to vacuum once the particles become too saturated. How often does this need to happen? It depends on how much work the air purifier is doing. If your home has a lot of animals or dust, or if you run the air purifier at its high setting often, expect to vacuum the filter often. At a minimum, we would check it every month, but when you first start using the air purifier, it’s helpful to check every week or two to get a feel for how it’s performing.
If you’re also using zeolite or carbon filters, Hamilton Beach recommends that you replace them every three months. This frequency will also vary based on use, though. We have extras on hand and check the removable filters when we vacuum out the HEPA filter. Once they start to look dirty, it’s time to pop in a new one. If you’re using the air purifier for its ability to remove larger particles from the air rather than eliminate gases and odors, spending time and money on replacing zeolite or carbon filters may not be necessary.
If you, like us, are on the fence about spending a lot of money on an air purifier, the Hamilton Beach TrueAir is a great option. In our initial search for a purifier, we balked at some of the higher-end models which retailed for hundreds of dollars. Add in the additional cost of electricity to run the system and it can really start to add up.
At $60, the Hamilton Beach TrueAir delivers great performance without being a significant investment. It covers spaces of 140 square feet, which amounts to your average bedroom. For those wanting to run an air purifier in a bedroom, living area, or office, this system is a budget-friendly way to keep your air clean.
Competition: Plenty of options to choose from
GermGuardian Elite 3-in-1 Pet Pure True HEPA Air Purifier: For almost double the price, you can purchase a tower-style air purifier that cleans up to 99.97 percent of particles from the air, includes a UV light to target germs, and has five settings. While it’s more expensive, the GermGuardian offers outstanding performance and additional filtration for a mid-price appliance. It also advertises that its UV light kills airborne germs such as influenza or staff. If you’re looking for a really comprehensive air filtration system, this is a great option that is still relatively budget friendly.
hOmeLabs 3-in-1 Compact Ionic HEPA Air Purifier: This little powerhouse air purifier weighs just over 2 pounds and covers 50 square feet, making it ideal for travel or small spaces, such as near a kitty litter box. The hOmeLabs 3-in-1 air purifier has similar HEPA filter technology as the Hamilton Beach to remove dust, dirt, pet dander, and gases from the air. It costs around $60, but does require replacement filters. This can mean higher costs over the long term.
Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Air Purifier, Space Heater, and Fan: If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line model and you’re willing to pay the price, turn to Dyson. The brand’s offering combines the best in air purification with a space heater for cold weather and a tower fan for hot weather. Of course, with a $450 price tag, this high-end model is a true investment in your home’s air quality. We are big fans of both the design and performance of most Dyson products, but we have a hard time believing that the cost is worth the marginally better performance.
Yes, buy it.
If you value restful sleep and a fresher home, an air purifier is a great addition to your cleaning arsenal. Before you spend hundreds of dollars on a high-tech, futuristic appliance, consider the more budget-friendly Hamilton Beach TrueAir. It’s compact, versatile, and will improve your air quality in no time.
- Product Name TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier with 3 Filtration Stages
- Product Brand Hamilton Beach
- MPN 04384
- Price $59.99
- Weight 6.3 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 10.8 x 8.1 x 16.4 in.
- Coverage Area 140 sq ft
- Warranty 1-year warranty for manufacturing defects