Have We Found The Best Air Purifier With Aura Air?

We know the increasing importance of an air purifier, which we’ve mentioned in a previous article, especially when most of us spend a lot of time in enclosed spaces. With the pandemic, another important factor when choosing an air purifier is whether it also sterilises pathogens from the air – including viruses, bacteria, fungi, mould and pollen.

Last year saw a new brand, Aura Air, entering the Singapore market and it came backed with various independent laboratories worldwide verifying how it has purified the air by:

  • Significantly reduces more than 99% of coronavirus load in the air
  • Removes 99.99% MS2 Bacteriophage (MS2) virus, an unenveloped virus which is five times more resistant to UVC light than the coronavirus, in 20 minutes
  • Kills 76.3% of the antibiotic-resistant superbug, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), in the air in just one minute and 99.75% in 30 minutes
  • Kills 92% of the influenza virus H1N1 in the air in 30 minutes of exposure and 98.92% after 60 minutes of exposure

Currently used in indoor spaces across 45 countries, Aura Air is monitoring the air quality and sterilising the air for people working in hospitals, government agencies, hotels, offices and in homes. It was first conceived by two engineers who wanted an air detector that not only monitors the quality of air but also has the capability to optimise the air quality, making it beneficial for human health. However, most air purifiers available in the market of that quality were of industrial grade, bulky and required complex installation.

With human health in mind, Aura Air was conceptualised to address the issue that indoor air quality is two to five times worse than outdoors¹ due to increasingly energy-efficient building construction and increased use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, pesticides and household cleaners².

Putting Aura Air to the test

Reading the glowing statistics is one thing but how does Aura Air stand up to actual usage? We at The Wellness Insider managed to try out one unit for approximately three weeks to find out how good Aura Air is compared to some other home-use air purifier.

To be as fair as possible, we tested the Aura Air by comparing it with our current air purifier using the following conditions: as-is, switching on the essential oil diffuser for three hours, and putting food inside the room for half an hour. The last two are to test how long it would take for both air purifiers to remove “pollutants” and smells from the air.

Firstly, the size (or lack of it) is a huge plus point. Each unit is only 37.5cm x 37.5cm x 15cm and weighs only 5.5kg. As such, it fits any space in the home or office and can even be hung on the wall to maximise space. Moreover, we love the modern Scandinavian-inspired design, that easily fits into any home decor.

Secondly, Aura Air is very quiet, producing just 64dB, which is the same sound level of a normal conversation in a business office. However, when it activates automatically whenever there are pollutants, that’s when the whirring can get a bit loud. But it gets quiet pretty fast (faster than our current air purifier) and continues to silently monitor the air through its smart sensors.

What we also liked is that Aura Air can be controlled through its app, which provides instant update on the air quality indoors as well as  outdoors. Those who are information junkies will love seeing the real-time report on the app, being able to tell what pollutants are present in the air. This can be quite useful in considering whether to go outdoors, if you’re allergic to certain pollutants. Users will also be alerted through the app as to when the filter needs to be replaced.

(Above) Interior parts of Aura Air

What impressed us the most was the actual purification of the air by Aura Air! Yours truly has sinus issues and it is perfectly normal to wake up with a stuffed nose even with the normal air purifier. But during the trial period, I woke up without any stuffy nose and felt more refreshed, probably due to better sleep quality due to being able to breathe better throughout the night. The temperature of the air also felt a bit cooler, possibly due to the aircon’s filter trapping less dust and thus, allowing more air flow.

When it came to the pollutant and smell tests, the Aura Air impressed even further with the speed that it neutralised the essential oil vapour and smells. In a room that is about 200 sq ft big, it removed all smells within 2-3 minutes, compared to 5 minutes of our current air purifier that took slightly longer to remove the food smells.

This is probably due to the unique, patented and EPA-approved¹ Ray Filter™, which consists of three parts – the high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter used in many air purifiers; the carbon layer which absorbs volatile organic compounds, allergens and bad odours; and lastly its unique Smart Copper Fabric made from cotton impregnated with copper oxide that effectively filters bacteria, viruses and more.

Not only were the smells removed quicker, Aura Air definitely removed a lot more odours and dust compared to our current air purifier, which we could tell simply by looking at the layer of dust on the filters after a week as well as how the air in the room smelt compared to outdoors.

Something that may be a plus or minus point about the Aura Air is the lack of any control buttons on the device itself. It is controlled mainly through the app or simply by switching it on or off at the mains. The plus point is that you need not worry about needing it to have a child-safety lock, although that can be easily circumvented by mounting the Aura Air on the wall. The down side is when you’re having trouble connecting the app to the device (which I had issues with throughout the trial period) and therefore, can’t simply toggle it to night mode.

Another downside to the Aura Air would be the price and the frequency one needs to replace the filter. Each unit retails at S$999 (GST inclusive) and depending on the air quality of the space where the Aura Air is being used, the filter (S$99) is expected to be replaced every six to nine months. This might mean spending more within a short time period, compared to a high-end alternative air purifier which only needs filter replacement every two to three years.

So let’s look at it from a 5-year perspective:

Aura Air: $999 + ($99 x 5) = $1,494

High-end Alternative: $799 + ($148×2) = $1,095

However, some people or spaces (e.g. hospitals) may like this frequent changing of filters to ensure that the air purifier is doing its job of filtering out all the viruses and pollutants in the most efficient manner.

Summary and conclusion

Type of Air Purifier The Good The Not-so-good
Aura Air
  • Quiet
  • Small and light, can be easily mounted on the wall
  • Modern design
  • Very fast and efficient at removing pollutants and odours
  • Independently tested and verified to remove viruses, bacteria, mould and pollutants
  • Has real-time monitoring smart sensors and artificial intelligence to keep air purified
  • Has an app which shows instant update on the quality of air indoors and outdoors
  • High upfront cost
  • Frequent changing of filter needed
  • No control buttons on the device, fully controlled through the app
High-end Alternative(s)
  • Quiet
  • Few brands have independently tested and verified reports on its effectiveness in removing viruses, bacteria, mould and pollutants
  • Most brands have an app to control the device(s)
  • Lower upfront cost
  • Filters only need to be changed every two to three years
  • Cannot be mounted on the wall for space maximisation
  • Not as efficient as Aura Air
  • Not as light as Aura Air
  • Apps for the various brands do not show as much information as Aura Air’s app in terms of types of pollutants

If upfront cost and changing of the filters is not an issue to you, and a higher priority is to be able to breathe better on a daily basis, then we would recommend getting Aura Air as it is hands down the best air purifier that we have tried out in the past 10 years. However, if cost is an issue and your space does not see several people (or animals) moving in and out, then perhaps an alternative brand that does a similar job might just work for you.

For more information or to purchase Aura Air, do visit their website www.auraair.com.sg.


¹The United States of America Environmental Protection Agency found that the potential impact of indoor air quality on human health can be noteworthy as Americans spend 90 per cent of their time indoors and are exposed to much higher concentrations of some pollutants than outdoors. View report here: https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality

²Indoor Air Quality: What are the trends in indoor air quality and their effects on human health? Published on US Environmental Protection Agency website: https://www.epa.gov/report-environment/indoor-air-quality

Images: Aura Air

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