My wife and I are expecting our first child in November. Like many first-time parents, I want to give my child the healthiest living conditions. My house is old, the carpet has seen better days, and the insulation in the walls is poor. In addition, my wife and recently renovated two bathrooms and two closets. This doesn’t include the amount of painting we both did throughout the house. Long story short: the air in our home has had a lot of possible pollutants drifting about. It’s time to clean it up with an air purifier.
To put our newly discovered air quality concerns at ease, we researched a number of popular air purifiers. After a lengthy research process, we landed on the Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto.
Air Purifier Function
In its simplest form, an air purifier must be good at purifying the air. Good news, the Blueair 311 Auto does exactly that. Blueair claims the 311 Auto will remove 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size with their HEPASilent air filter technology.
Using the single LED light on the front of the device, the purifier indicates how clean the air in your home is. The light will change color to indicate the status of the air in your room.
- Blue = Good
- Amber/Orange = Moderate
- Red = Poor
The Blueair 311 Auto is advertised to cover 388 ft², which was enough for the space I needed it to cover. Thankfully, if you need more or less coverage depending on your living space, Blueair offers a variety of models to meet those needs.
To turn the device on, simply press the top circular button once. By default, the air purifier will go into “Auto” mode, hence the name “Auto” in the product name. This will determine the fan speed based on how polluted the air is. If the room air is already at a safe level, the fan will not need to spin as fast, therefore saving energy. When the air is really poor, such as on a hazy day or after burning your dinner on the kitchen stove, the fan will speed up. This increases the rate at which it filters the air in the room when you really need it.
If you want one consistent speed at all times, you can press the same button to cycle through the fan speeds. It’s very intuitive.
Air Purifier Design
Without a doubt, the Blueair 311 Auto stood out in a crowded market of air purifiers. This simplistic, Swedish design is aesthetically pleasing, which is important for a device that needs to be prominently placed in the room it’s purifying.
The fabric pre-filter that wraps around the base is also a clever feature to stop bigger pollutants and extend the life of the air filter within. There is also a carbon filter within the device.
Because of the clever circular construction of the air purifier, it pulls air in from all angles, so you do not need to point the device in any specific direction for best results.
The LED indicator light is bright enough that you can see what it is doing (from the front), but doesn’t draw your attention in a distracting way. I consider it to be quite elegant, especially at night when the room is dark. Some brands offer a “night mode” which keeps the device running, but turns off the LED indicators. This feels unnecessary for my personal needs. I had no issues with the LED indicator light when I was trying to sleep.
Like most air purifiers, the Blueair 311 Auto comes with a HEPA-like filter, but needs to be changed after 6 months, according to the manufacturer website. With its minimalist design, the Blueair 311 Auto has a simple twist and click method to replace the filter. Replacement filters are sold separately.
Thankfully, Blueair offers a subscription service for air filters on their website, which will conveniently ship a new filter every 6 months to your home. If you subscribe, you receive a discount off of the filter, which averages about $39.99 in price. HEPA-like filters are not cheap, but I personally find the comfort of clean air in my home to be worth the expense.
Cost of Ownership
Obviously, if you could pick any air purifier based on performance, it’s simple to choose the top performer. However, the best air purifiers typically come with a price tag to match their function. With the Blueair 311 Auto, I felt that it offered the right amount of performance, range, and design aesthetic to justify the hefty cost of $249.99.
No doubt, there are cheaper models out there that likely cover a larger square footage, but this device felt like it was in the “Goldilocks Zone” for me where it checked enough boxes and compromised less than others.
In addition to the up-font cost, replacement filters are $39.99 ($33.99 if you subscribe), plus cost of electricity. The added cost to my electric bill is minimal. My rough estimate determined I will likely pay about $13 per year if I run the air purifier for at least 12 hours/day.
There is only one con to this device in my eyes. It’s a small issue because Blueair does so much right. But, it would be nice to have smart home functionality. I would like to control the device remotely from an app on my phone. This way, I can turn it off if I know I will not be home for an extended period of time. Likewise, I could then turn it on so that when I got home, my air was free of pollutants. It’s a small gripe in my otherwise smooth experience diving into the world of air purifiers.
I would recommend the Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto to anyone who is in the market for a reliable air purifier. It’s light weight, sleek and muted in design, and offers a clever filtration method. I can sleep soundly knowing my Blueair 311 Auto is keeping the air my family breathes free of pollutants.
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