The attractively designed Aair Lite air purifier literally refreshes your space. From the modern design to its high-tech air-purifying qualities, you'll almost forget it's running in the background.
Night and smart mode
Dual HEPA filter system
Combat against coronavirus
Noisy on higher fan settings
Mobile App could be improved
Filters are expensive to replace and noticed availability issues
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For those living in urban areas where smog is ever prevalent – or where wildfires are a looming threat to homes and the environment – an air purifier has always been essential. However, with our current public health crisis and living in a relatively suburban area over the last year, an air purifier has probably moved up on my list from a nice to have to a necessity.
When I was invited to try the Aeris Aair Lite air purifier, a smallish device with advanced air purifying abilities, I was curious to see how the air quality inside of my home compared to my external surroundings. I also wanted to see if it could manage to combat any lingering odors from my puppy, smells I have admittedly become nose blind to.
Aeris is a relative newcomer when it comes to the vast options of air purifiers on the market today, but they've clearly prioritized both form, function, and information. The company was acquired by iRobot in December 2021. With technology developed at MIT and made in Switzerland, the Aair Lite not only removes common pollutants like pollen, smoke, dust, pet dander, and mold, it can also stop respiratory droplets that spread COVID-19.
According to outside tests that Aeris coordinated, the filters kill 94% of the coronavirus over the course of two hours. While I don't have access to the technology to challenge this claim, I feel comfortable knowing that it's getting rid of any airborne germs promptly.
However, that doesn't mean I didn't put it to the test, as I analyzed the qualities that may make it one of the best air purifiers you can buy for your home.
Aeris Aair Lite: Set-Up & Features
- Speed settings: 5
- Noise: 35 dBa- 55 dBa
- Max area size: 700 ft²
- Dimensions: 18.5"(H) x 11.2" (D)
- Weight: 15.4 lb.
Set up could not have been easier. Once I lifted it out of the box, I attached the cable, plugged it in, and voila, we were off. While the unit has no buttons, a long press in the center of the subtle action bar will engage it to life, and a few button options will appear. From here, you can operate it manually or choose to connect it to your wifi to work with the accompanying Aeris app. On the subtle LED screen, your space's Air Quality Indicator will show up, and adapt in real time.
The Aair Lite offers three modes: manual, smart, or sleep. To adjust the manual, you'll simply slide your finger over the curved action bar to adjust the speed. With 5 speed settings, I found that anything over level 3 was too loud and disruptive, while on the first level it is truly whisper-quiet. On the highest level, 5, it hit 65 dBA in my tests, sounding a bit like a roaring turbine, and I wouldn't want to be in the room when it happens. On smart mode, which is where I favored, it auto-adjusts to the most appropriate fan speed according to the indoor AQI. In night mode, the display light shuts off and the fan is slowed to its quietest setting.
For the longest time, my AQI stayed at 1... it felt too good to be true, but I also view it as confirmation that my home has excellent air quality. Then one night when I was cooking on my stovetop, I saw the smart mode really go into overdrive. As the fan ramped up its speed to combat the new cooking pollutants, my dog grew nervously excited (re: barking) as the air purifier suddenly grew much louder.
While the Aair Lite can purify the air of spaces up to 700 ft² with up to two air changes in an hour, its recommended usage for optimal air changes (4x an hour) was 350 ft². So I eventually moved the Aair Lite from the kitchen to my bedroom to see how it functioned there. At night, I barely recall that it was on, and experts say that the bedroom is one of the most essential places to keep the air clean seeing as we spend a great portion of our days in our bedrooms.
The accompanying app informs you of your indoor AQI compared to your local outdoor AQI. It also tracks AQI hourly, daily, and monthly. It's also an easy way to control or change settings from across the room, and to control multiple Aeris units at once (if you have more than one).
However, the app fell a little flat for me. While there's a tab where you can program the Aair Lite to a schedule (such as turn on night mode overnight), I quickly found that the screen was unresponsive as I tapped after I selected the days. This is an issue that the developers are aware of, and a software update should be the fix.
Additionally, while the app's analytics shows you your air quality over time, I would have loved to see deeper info that I've seen on comparative machines, like what type of particles it is sensing: Dust? VOCs? Smoke? Knowing which pollutants are normal, and which are elevated could be extremely valuable.
Aeris Aair Lite: Design
When it comes to design, the Aair Lite is one of the most attractive on the market and is about the size of a tall basket, or vase. Its fashion-forward design utilizes an interchangeable sleeve available in white, navy, and pink -- with more colors on the way-- coated with Zinc pyrithione, an antimicrobial that ensures that viruses do not spread through touch on your purifiers.
A small LED display at the top indicates the exact AQI at any given moment, with the subtle action bar serving as the control panel.
But inside, what you don't see is where the most sophisticated design work comes into play.
It's a completely closed system, so that means that once a pollutant is captured in the filter, it's not coming out. It's also Ozone-free so that you can breathe in the purest air possible. Usually, it's much more expensive models that exhibit those features.
The Aair Lite utilizes a medical-grade HEPA 13 filter, meaning that it captures 99.95% of pollutants at 0.1 microns. HEPA air purifiers are very effective at trapping airborne particles, but they don’t remove odors, chemicals, or gases, so the Aair lite is not designed to remove odors from your space. The secondary pre-filter captures the larger particles, increasing the HEPA filter's efficiency and effectiveness.
A filter replacement costs $99, and needs to be replaced every 10 months or so. After running my air purifier non-stop for about two weeks during my initial tests, the Prefilter and Hepa filters are roughly at 95%. Since Aeris was acquired by iRobot, for most of 2022, the filters were unavailable, but as of 2023, they are back in stock again on the iRobot website.
The consequence for me of the filters reaching expiration? An unseemly build-up of dust and pet hair surrounds the lower half of the mesh cover.
Should you buy the Aeris Aair Lite?
I find the Aair Lite to be an essential product for anyone who suffers from allergies or sensitivity to dust, pollen, mold, and more. And if you live in an area where your outdoor air quality isn't that great, well, having an Aair Lite will help you breathe easier knowing that you can control the air quality indoors.
Even better, if you're like me and care about the design and how it works, the Aair Lite fully fills that need as well... even with the ability to change colors as your space changes around you.
Note, using the Aair Lite is not a one-time purchase, but an investment, as the filters need to be replaced every 10 months, and cost $99 each time... that's a quarter of the cost of the machine. If you want to be able to continue using the machine, you'll have to factor in that other costs or choose a device with a longer lifespan or a washable filter.
I've continued to operate the Aeris Aair Lite far beyond my initial review in November 2021 where I rated the Aeris Air Lite a 4.5-stars. However, due to my experience noting the spotty availability of replacement filters, and the ensuing visual dust build-up (which is a true reminder for me to give it a clean), I've since lowered my rating to 4 stars.
About this review, and the reviewer
Jaclyn is the US eCommerce editor across the homes titles at Future, including Homes & Gardens. She spends her days tracking the latest buzzworthy releases and testing a variety of products to determine whether they are worth bringing into your home.
As with all our reviews the Aeris Aair Lite has been tested first-hand in our home, using it just as you would so you know exactly what you are buying. Aeris invited us to review and gifted us this air purifier, which we spent nearly a month continually running it through our home. We will also continue to use the product, which allows us to return to our reviews for updating, so you can keep up to date with how it's fared over time.
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Jaclyn is H&G's eCommerce editor and oversees all things shopping. She's also a bonafide sleep expert, and previously managed all sleep content on Homes & Gardens and Real Homes– in fact, she has passed our five-step certification process to become a verified customer advisor on mattresses. She regularly scouts out the best of the best for buying guides to help you fill your home with only the best. She joined the team in January 2021. She has previously worked with Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, The Spruce, The Spruce Eats, and MyDomaine. When Jaclyn's not working, she loves browsing real estate listings, unwinding with a chilled glass of Rosé, and entertaining her Cavapoo, Reese.
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