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Hands-on Gear Review
Blueair Pure 211 ReviewPrice: $300 List | $249.99 at Amazon
Pros: Excellent air cleaning performance, quiet operation, large CADR
Cons: Very high operating costs
Bottom line: A top notch model that demands top notch spending
Packing in more power than any of the other models we tested, the Blueair Pure 211 can provide high end cleaning performance to rooms of up to 525 square feet. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and in this case by responsibility we mean cost. The Blueair cost $350 up front, and an estimated $1,105 over its lifetime. This was the highest lifetime cost we calculated by far, and took the Blueair out of contention for our Editors' Choice Award. However, it is incredibly capable, and if you don't mind incurring extra costs to make sure you're large living room gets effective air cleaning, the Blueair will serve you well. If you want high end performance at a more economical rate, check out the Coway Ap-1512HH.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Blueair is an incredibly effective and powerful purifier, but that performance carries a large price premium, especially when you factor in lifetime costs.
As you can see in the table above, the Blueair Pure 211 was just above the average mark in our overall scoring. The only thing that held it back was high operating costs. For more on how the Blueair performed in all of the different tests that make up our overall scores, read on below.
Air Cleaning Performance
The Blueair shared the top score of 8 out of 10 with three other models in our air cleaning tests. It was just a hair better than the other top performing models, but not to enough of a degree to warrant a higher score. After a half hour fighting the haze in our smoky testing room it had reduced airborne particulate counts by 98.97%, and just 15 minutes later it improved to 99.95%. It held that level until the end of our hour long test. That was the highest reduction percentage we saw in our testing.
Its CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 350 is also the highest of all the models we tested, and give it enough power to handle rooms of up to 525 square feet. Unless your house was once featured on MTV Cribs, chances are that will be enough for any room in your home. The only downside is that the Blueair doesn't have a carbon filter, so it didn't do much for odor. However, the models with carbon filters barely did much better, so we wouldn't let this dissuade you away from the Blueair.
The Blueair was again near the top of the leaderboard in our noise testing scoring an 8 out of 10, just a point behind the top performing Coway. When set on high the Blueair is actually similar to the Coway, with a medium pitch that is noticeable, but consistent and mellow enough that it will likely fade into the background once you get used to it. On low it makes a very quiet hum that you may notice while doing quiet activities like reading, but is by no means annoying. The Coway is a bit better in this regard, as it is nearly silent on low.
Ease of Use
The Blueair was an average scorer in our ease of use testing, earning a 6 out of 10. It is very simple to use, as a single button lets you turn it on and off and cycle through three fan speeds. Considering how powerful it is the weight is quite low at 12.2 pounds, so it's not too difficult to move around. It lost points because of its lack of features. We would have expected a model of this caliber to have more fan speeds and at least an automatic off timer.
This is where the Blueair gets you. Its estimated lifetime cost is $1,105, which is much higher than the costs of any of the other models we tested and nearly double the average. This starts with a fairly high but not unreasonable list price of $350. It get compounded by the fact that replacement filters cost $70 and must be replaced twice a year. It is also one of the more power hungry models we tested, incurring estimated annual electricity costs of $21.02.
The Blueair is a top notch performer, but we wouldn't call it a particularly good value. It certainly demands a premium for its high performance. If you don't mind paying a premium to have a single unit that can clean a large living room then you'll be happy with the Blueair. Just remember that for the same lifetime cost you could buy two Coway AP-1512HHs.
The Blueair Pure 211 is a high end performer that comes with high end costs. If you don't mind paying a big premium for a simple, aesthetically pleasing, and powerful machine, it is a great choice.
— TechGearLab Review Staff
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