Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Air Cleaning Performance
The air cleaning performance analysis is the most important aspect of our air purifier review. While the testing is not complicated, it is demanding and reveals which purifier one would want working to clean the air in their home or place of work. The Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto is one such device as it removes nearly 100% of the particulate matter from the air in our smoky room test. However, it struggles with the much more difficult task of removing the smoky odor from the room despite having a carbon layer in its filtering system.
While removing irritating and harmful particulates from the air is the most important function a purifier serves, the juice isn't worth the squeeze if the motor and fan make a racket. Fortunately, the 311 is a relatively quiet device. It produces just 56 decibels of sound at 6 feet when put on its highest setting. The high setting also has a noticeable whirring noise, but the whir isn't high-pitched and thus largely goes unnoticed. As the speed decreases, decibels and whirring decrease until the low/sleep setting is reached, and the 311 becomes virtually silent.
While not part of our assessment, we thought it worth mentioning that the lights on the unit dim at the lowest setting, further helping improve the sleep environment.
Ease of Use
Most of us purchase an appliance like a purifier because it will improve our lives in some way — in this case, it will improve the quality of the air we breathe. So, we don't want to introduce new complications to replace the ones the product purchased solved. As such, we test the products in our review for their ease of use.
Happily, the 311 is a streamlined user interface that makes operating it a breeze. Perhaps our favorite feature is its eponymous auto setting that uses an air quality sensor to turn on/off the unit, thus maintaining the perfect air with zero input from the user/beneficiary. The unit is reasonably light and compact, too, earning it a good portability performance despite its lack of carrying handles.
The operating cost metric is key to understanding what these devices will actually cost at the end of the year as opposed to the sticker. This is not a very complex assessment; it simply requires the cost of the replacement filter, the recommended replacement interval, the operation time, and the national average cost per kilowatt-hour plus the cost of the unit itself. Thus, the annual cost of operating this device is approximately $132.99, assuming the product lifespan is five years.
While the power consumption of the Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto isn't particularly high, the cost of the filters is, and, given the parameters we have laid out, the manufacturer recommends a filter replacement every six months.
Value is often in the eye of the beholder. However, in the case of the Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto, its value is decreased compared to other products that performed better and cost less. The one caveat is that we really like the automatic on/off feature controlled by the air quality sensor as it removes the human from the equation and ensures maximum benefit. If you like this feature, too, it will likely outweigh the higher cost.
The Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto is a high-quality, high-performance device that looks good to boot. The unit's namesake auto function is a highlight as it ensures that air quality will be at its finest without a thought on the user's part while keeping energy consumption to a minimum. All told, this is a great choice of small-to-medium-sized spaces.