Top 3 Portable Air Purifiers for travel

Last Updated on July 15, 2023 by Christine Kaaloa

top personal portable air filters top personal portable air filters


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Travel restrictions have dropped on flying and masks are beginning to drop on planes. But what if you’re one of those travelers who is immune compromised or you’re still uncomfortable with being in cramped spaces with unmasked strangers? ?   I get you. I’m going to share 3 top portable air purifiers for travel.

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or bus, the idea of being strapped next to an unmasked (and sometimes, coughing) stranger, can be nerve-wracking for health-concerned travelers (like me)! The last time I flew, I sat next to an unmasked stranger on the plane, and if it weren’t for the portable air purifier for travel strapped around my neck, I’m sure I would’ve spiralled into paranooooia. I still don’t fully feel comfortable trusting my air space to strangers.

Also some jobs still COVID test you to make sure you’re clear for the work environment. The television production industry is one of them.  I have to take COVID tests before I work on set and you can lose work if your test comes back positive. My sister bought me one because I was occasionally coming within close quarters of others when I worked on a television show. I wore it around my neck every day and when travel began opening, I continued wearing them.

What are portable air purifiers?

Portable air purifiers are compact, rechargeable wearables that you can wear around your neck. They are great for airplanes, trains, buses and automobiles. They are negative ion generators that can filter dust, allergens, viruses and sometimes odors! Portable air purifiers are not just for COVID but for many situations in which you may want fresh breathing air.

vollara FreshAir Personal Wearing my FreshAir PersonalMy covid kit for travel My covid kit for travel: My portable air purifier, sanitization wipes and KN94 masks

How do air purifiers work?

Portable air purifiers operate by converting electricity into millions of negative ions that push harmful airborne pollutants away from your breathing zone. Ionization works by charging suspended molecules so that they attract other molecules. As more molecules clump together, they become heavier than the air around them, and can no longer stay afloat.

Negative ions are found in areas like waterfalls and green environments and remove bacteria from air. Thus, they theoretically create a perimeter of cleaner air and reduce the probability you’ll inhale contaminants.

Cons of using Portable air purifiers

No portable air purifiers can claim to kill COVID. At most, they can claim to keep your breathing space purified by emitting negative ions that push viruses away and some can be pricy.

Another thing is that these portable air purifiers operate silently. Some of them do not show much indication other than an ON light. You pretty much need to go off reviews and consumer research.

I still wear my portable air purifier when I travel by plane for hours as flying from Hawaii, my flights can be quite long.

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3 Portable Air Purifiers for Travel

There are many portable air purifiers out there.  So which are the best?  I collected this list based on what I use, according to high ratings, user reviews and how many negative ions the device emits. This is is my top three.

1. Vollara FreshAir Personal

The Vollara FreshAir Personal is what I personally wear on airplanes and in small, closed environments which lack of airflow. I’ve been using it since 2021.  The Vollara FreshAir Personal uses electrodes to ionize the air and the battery life is pretty good. The specs claim it lasts 72 hours without charge and so far, I’ve run it for six to seven hours straight on a plane. It comes with a USB charger cable and a lanyard so I can wear it around my neck. It also has a metal standalone kickstand in the back so you don’t have to always wear it on you.

Cons: It’s not cheap and I don’t like that there is no light up information to let me know when something is happening. The photos of it are slightly misleading because the blue words on the screen leads you to believe there’s an indicator. That is not an indicator of anything- not even to tell you how much battery you’ve got left. That’s just decoration. The only way I know it’s working is from the tiny green ON button on the side. For the price tag, I would’ve hoped there’d be more to it, but this is it. But when I hold it close to my face, I can feel a subtle fresh air coming from it.

  • Dimensions: 2.2” W x 3.8” H x 1” D (55.6 mm x 83.8 mm x 25.4 mm)
  • Negative Ions: 5.5 million/cm3
  • Battery Life: 72 Hours
  • Buy it on the Vollara website.
vollara freshair purifier vollara freshair purifier

2. AirTamer A310

The AirTamer A310 is the most expensive of all portable air purifiers and it comes from China. But the AirTamer A310 comes with backed claims from laboratory test centers who tested it on viruses and pollutants. It claims to produce a sufficient and effective amount of ions – three feet of personal space- and clears the area around the device, of smoke, dust, pollens, dander, fumes etc ...

Although AirTamer A310  does not specify how many negative ions it disperses, apparently, it’s been proven to remove pet odors too.

It  was tested by Kitasato Research Center for Environmental Science and proven to “reduce influenza A and Escherichia Coli Phage MS2 NBRC 102619 by 99% within 20 minutes. and CARB approved with a zero ozone emission rating”. So that kinda means something, if you can comprehend it.

I personally just like that it’s small, cute and comes with a storage box, charging port and cable! I also love that it comes with a diagram that shows how it works.  Con: At $150 … dang.

  • Negative Ions: Does not specify
  •  Run Time: 150+ hours on one single charge
  • Weight: .11 pounds
  • Dimensions: .75″D x 1.65″W x 3.5″H
  • Buy the AirTamer A310 on Amazon.

airtamer portable air purifier

3. Personal Air Purifier by IGOKOTI

Remove Pet Smell/OutDoor by IGOKOTI

The Personal Air Purifier by IGOKOTI is on my list best personal air purifiers due to the fact its a good  personal air purifier that’s a fraction of the cost of the others mentioned! It also emits the most negative ions.

I thought it might not be as good, but one customer filmed himself testing it trapping it under a glass with vapor and in 15 seconds the smoke was gone; thus claiming that the IGOKOTI filters second hand smoke.  It also removes pollen and pet odors. 

I like its all-black slick look. It reminds me of my old clam-shell phone. Of all the air purifiers, this offers the best value.

  • Negative Ions: 120 Million negative ions
  • Run Time: 30 hours
  • Dimensions: 4.49 x 2.91 x 1.69
  • Weight: 1.41 ounces
  • Buy the IGOKOTI Personal Air Purifier at Amazon
IGOKOTI personal air purifier IGOKOTI personal air purifier

Have you ever tried a a portable air purifier on a flight? What was your experience?

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