Air purifiers are in high demand and it’s not just about eliminating dust and pollen. Many people are wanting to take advantage of their antibacterial and antiviral technologies. This is especially so for the winter season when doors and windows are mostly closed. We take a look at the best affordably priced air purifier lineup in Japan. The variable price range is below ¥10 000, or slightly above, for 8 tatami to 20 tatami rooms.
Table of Contents
Things to Look For in a Small Air Purifier
Most air purifiers have features similar to those outlined below. Integrated HEPA and active carbon filters are standard, while UV light and Ion generation are specific features.
This is the most general and essential component of an air purifier. HEPA stands for ‘High Efficiency Particulate Air’ filter. According to EPA.gov standards, these filters should “remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm)”.
HEPA filters need to be changed according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. This means that choosing a popular product, or a well-established manufacturer, is the best way to guarantee you can easily get hold of a filter replacement.
Activated Carbon Filters
An activated carbon filter layer removes things such as tobacco, pet, and cooking odors. Usually this and the HEPA filter are incorporated together in a single replaceable filter unit.
UV Light Disinfector
UV light also ensures that no bacteria or other harmful microbes can develop within the air filter. Air drawn into the purifier is exposed to an internal UV light source. This is a permanent part and should last for the life of the product.
Non Sanitary Features of an Air Purifier
Depending on price point, these features can help you pick the best air purifier for your home, room, or apartment in Japan.
Filtration capacity – usually an air purifier in Japan will indicate the filtration capacity in terms of tatami measurements or tatami jyou.
Timers – timers may include the typical option of automatic shutdown after a select number of hours. Sometimes you can set your own defined period of use, sometimes not.
Sleep mode – many people like to use an air purifier while they sleep or in their child’s nursery. Sleep modes may also have a low volume setting, lights off, or lower power setting.
Night light – it’s not uncommon to find a soft night light on an air purifier in Japan. This creates a nice ambiance, or it can function as a nursery light or a child light for sleeping.
Power consumption – because power costs can easily add up in Japan, people often want to know how much running their air purifier will cost. Retailers usually include this information.
Warranties and certifications – a one year warranty is standard, but a two year warranty is a great value proposition. PSE certification means that the product is fully compatible with Japanese electrical safety standards.
Best Easy-to-Use Air Purifiers in Japan – Updated October 2022
About PSE認証済 (certification) : The PSE mark pertains to the Japanese Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law. This means that a distributor of imported electrical goods has ascertained that the appliance conforms to local standards. This is largely a process of self-certification for domestic use electrical appliances.
Our reviews detail the pros and cons of easy-to-use and affordable air purifiers you can buy in Japan. Each products is carefully selected for its unique features and capabilities.
Dreamegg TR-8080B 18 Tatami — Best Value Small Air Purifier in Japan
Dreamegg is a brand name of Integration Smart (HK) Co., Limited out of Hong Kong. Their original products were sound machines for sleep improvement. Now, they also make air purifiers and air humidifiers.
- H13 HEPA & UV-C sanitizer
- Odor neutralizer
- BPA-free filter
- Timer & sleep mode
- 5th level pollen mode
- Amber night light
- Clean filter alert
- 18 mnth warranty
- PSE certified
- Dust removal average
- Above level 3 little noisy
For the price, Dreamegg a good value. The UV-C sanitizer is probably the best feature. UV-C light does NOT produce ozone, but is in actual fact an anti-germicide technology. The noise on the first two levels is hardly noticeable. However, levels 3 and 4 emit a regular kind of fan noise.
On the lowest level, the cost performance is 7W at ¥ 0.19/hr, so it’s cheap to run especially on sleep mode. This Dreamegg 8080B model is the cheaper version. The Dreamegg 8080A (price link) has an additional Pet Mode for better extraction of pet smells and allergy particles. The filter (price link) is the same on both, and needs changing every 6 months. The dimensions are 20 x 20 x 34 cm and it weighs 2.65 kg.
Levoit Core 300 — Best Quality Air Purifier for 20 Tatami
Levoit is an online brand that now falls under Vesync Corporation based in the US. Their market extends into Europe and Japan. Two of their other brands are Etekcity and Cosori – popular for health care and kitchen appliances. These purifiers were winners of the ‘red dot design award’ and the German Innovation Award.
- Electrostatic HEPA filter
- 99.97% reduction up to 0.1 μm
- Disinfecting filter coating
- Cleanable pre-filter
- Replace filter alert
- Sleep mode with lights out
- Timer & child lock
- Last setting memory
- Multiple awards
- PSE certification
- 2 year warranty
- Highest level noisy
- Slightly higher running cost
- No remote control
Levoit were the innovators of rounded small HEPA air purifiers. Compared to the Dreamegg, the Levoit is slightly larger (22 x 22 x 36 cm) and consumes 9W on low at ¥ 0.25/hr. In addition, it’s more powerful featuring award winning vortex technology. The antiviral and anti-bacterial function is built into the electrostatic HEPA filter.
Another key feature is the nylon pre-filter which catches large particles like lint and pet fur. It should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner every 2-3 weeks. Levoit products are electrically modified for the Japanese market and have PSE certification. In the US, they are Energy Star rated, and you can view the US manual online.
Another plus to this air purifier is the granulated carbon filter. Most similar low cost air purifiers use only fibrous carbon. Granulated, however, is far more efficient at removing especially pet, tobacco, or cooking odors. You can also modify your needs with the type of replacement filter. There’s a two filter pack (price link), a pet filter (price link), or a disinfecting filter (price link) with no difference in the price.
Get Smart with the 300s Core Smart Air Purifier
The upgraded 300s Core Smart series has slightly more powerful extraction. It comes with a custom App and integrates with Alexa and Google voice commands. The App can operate at a distance, but has additional controls for monitoring PM 2.5 levels. You can also set an operational schedule, and checking the filter status.
The App can be used for interfacing with all smart products by Vesync including Corosi airfryers, and Etekcity fitness and nutritional body scales. The larger premium 400s Model (price link) stands at 27.4 x 27.4 x 52 cm and is quality tested and approved by Good House Keeping magazine.
Miaoyu 17 Tatami Tabletop – best range of features
- Ion generator
- Air quality PM2.5 sensor
- 4 layer HEPA filter
- 7 night light shades
- UV-C lamp
- Filter replacement alert
- Water vaporizer 1-2-3- or 6 hrs
- Aroma oil compatible
- USB power, portable
This small tabletop air purifier certainly packs a punch. It’s one of the few air purifiers that will give negative ion generation together with a UV light, not to mention a vaporizer that works with water soluble aroma oils. The machine uses a round type filter (buy link) and the replacement cost is reasonable.
Pros and Cons:
This air purifier is 17cm square so it can easily fit on a desk, bedside table, on the top of a toilet, or it can even go inside a closet. It uses a USB-C port and comes with a USB-C to USB-A power cable. You can operate it from a portable power bank, and the USB adapter is globally compatible. The power performance is 1-2 watts.
The main downside is that this is a relatively new product and also not a product of a large and established manufacturer. Also, the filter needs changing every 3 months and not the average six. This works out at around 5 120 yen for 4 filters over 1 year.
On low modes it emits a slight audible hum or wind noise, but on high mode it’s not so compatible for sleeping and resting. People are generally happy with the air filter performance and some report relief from dust allergies.
Afloia 20 Tatami – Best Unique Air Purifier Design
- White and black
- 3 stage HEPA filter
- Activated carbon filter
- Soft blue night light
- Silent mode 28 db
- PSE certified
- 1 year warranty
Like other air purifiers, this Afloia draw in air 360 from the base. However, whereas most machines send the air straight up, the Afloia creates a move dynamic airflow in a room. It’s unique design and soft blue night light is also something different. The dimensions are 21.3 x 21.3 x 43.2 cm and it weighs 2.5 kg.
Pros and Cons:
Although people say this machine runs quietly, the minimal decibel level is 28 db compared to a typical 23 decibels. It’s anti-viral properties are unknown. The thing most people love, however, is the adjustable blue night light.
The air flow is decidedly less than one would expect, but it works just as well as similar machines. On the other hand, the controls are not backlit, and there is no filter alert, so these may be factors in your choice. The replacement filter (price link) is reasonably priced, and warranty issues are promptly attended to.
Milin Air Disinfector & Humidifier 10 Tatami – Best No Filter Alternative
- Electrolytic water disinfecting
- Certified by the EPA (USA)
- 2 hour disinfection cycle
- 36 Watts
- Aroma oil compatible
- 3 humidifier levels
- 1 year warranty & support
The Milin is an excellent solution for dry indoor winter air, especially from gas heating. It works by splitting water atoms releasing oxygen molecules as pathogen scavengers. The disinfection cycle takes about 2 hours after which it goes onto humidifier mode. There’s a separate pocket for aroma oils, or you can also buy specialized water solutions (price link). Dimensions are 30 x 18.5 x 18.5 cm, it weighs 1.4 kg, and the cord is a good 1.7 meters.
Pros and Cons
The obvious disadvantage to this air purifier, or rather sanitizer, is that is does not filter the air. If you’re worried about PM 2.5, or have a serious dust or pollen allergy, it’s better to go with a regular HEPA air purifier. However, some people do report reduction in allergy symptoms.
Some feel it’s just a glorified humidifier, but the product does have supporting test analysis for the reduction in microbes. Customer support is also responsive and they seem to honor the warranty. The brand name is affiliated to one of the many Shenzen based small manufactures.
VAVSEA Air 8 Tatami – Best Compact Air Purifier
- 25.6 sq ft or 8 tatami
- HEPA filter 0.3μm
- Internal UV light
- Activated carbon filter
- Integrated tabletop fan
- Operating noise is 36 db
This is a nice air purifier for a small room, washroom, or office desk. It’s quite portable measuring 15.5 cm x 15.5 x 16.5 cm and weighs only 0.84 kg.
Pros and Cons:
The air filter function works quietly enough. One drawback, however, is no USB support, so you need to plug it into an outlet. Also, there’s no timer. The UV function is a plus, but the independently working fan is too noisy for sleeping in summer.