Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
Those in the market to purchase an air purifier are confronted by a wide variety of choices. These devices range from small, inexpensive models designed to clean the air of a small room to large multi-filter units that can handle large areas with ease.
Today, I am reviewing a pair of air purifiers in the $100 range. Each of these devices is equipped with an H13 HEPA filter.
- Medify MA-14: Composed of black plastic and rectangular in shape. This device is 11 inches tall, 8.25 inches deep, and 8.25 inches wide. Air is sucked through vents located at the back and front of the unit and forced through an H13 HEPA filter. It is then expelled from the top of the air purifier.
- Kyvol Vigoair P5: Cylindrical in shape with a diameter of 8.26 inches. At 15 inches in height, it is noticeably taller than the offering from Medify. Air is drawn through perforations in the case, through a prefilter, an H13 HEPA filter, and out the top of the device.
|Specs||Kyvol Vigoair P5||Medify MA-14|
8.26 x 15 inches
8.25 x 11 inches
Small to medium
Frame mounted, washable
Part of HEPA filter
Yes (illumination adjustable)
- Medify MA-14: Fits unobtrusively in the background, working hard to keep the air clean while attracting little notice.
- Kyvol Vigoair P5: Larger than the Medify. Though conservatively designed, this unit was conceived to draw attention.
- Medify MA-14: The more elderly—such as I—will more appreciate the three mechanical pushbuttons mounted to the front of this unit. While the controls are limited to a power switch, a nightlight switch, and a button that selects one of four fan speeds, I like the loud and assertive click that accompanies every press of the selected button.
- Kyvol Vigoair P5: Those who have grown up with a cellphone clutched in their hand will welcome the touchscreen-type control panel mounted atop this unit. From here, the unit can be turned on, and one of four fan speeds may be selected. There is also a timer, child lock, and a method of turning on and brightening the air purifier’s night light.
A prefilter is composed of a mesh-like fabric that allows airflow while trapping large particles such as dust, dirt, and hair. They should be cleaned regularly because a dirty prefilter will contaminate the associated HEPA filter and shorten its lifespan.
- Medify MA-14: This air purifier uses a HEPA filter with a layer of this fabric wrapped around it. They recommend that a soft cloth be used to wipe away the trapped particles when required. While this prefilter functions as intended, I am unsure if their suggested cleaning routine would be effective.
- Kyvol Vigoair P5: This unit's prefilter consists of two curved, fabric-covered frames. These prefilter elements slide snugly into the air purifier and fully enclose its HEPA filter. When required, the prefilters can be easily pulled from the air purifier and cleaned by holding them under tap water.
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The Main Filter
Both air purifiers are equipped with an H13 HEPA filter that includes an activated carbon element. A prefilter is incorporated into the Medify's HEPA filter.
- Medify MA-14:This unit has a CADR of 120 cubed meters. Its lower capacity is due to a slightly smaller HEPA filter and, I suspect, a smaller fan. It is intended for use in small rooms.
- Kyvol Vigoair P5: This unit's CADR (clean air delivery rate) is rated at 240 cubed meters per hour. This figure denotes the amount of air that is cleaned of particles within one hour. This unit can be used effectively in small to medium-sized rooms.
- Medify MA-14: The noise produced by this unit in the first three settings is less obtrusive than that created by the Kyvol device. At its top speed, however, noise increases to 55db.
- Kyvol Vigoair P5: This unit produces a noise level between 21–55db, depending upon the fan speed selected.
Although inhabiting the same price category, the Kyvol air purifier boasts a CADR double that of the Medify unit. As a result, the air purified by the Kyvol air purifier is approximately twice what is processed by its competitor.
Both units are virtually noiseless at their lowest speed. The Kyvol, its fan rotating at 716RPM, produced enough of a breeze to clean the air of a small room slowly. Purified air output from the Medify unit proved to be negligible.
At the second-lowest setting, the Medify emitted a gentle breeze, and the sound of its fan petered off at about the one-foot mark. While the Kyvol’s airflow was far more significant, its fan noise could be detected four feet away.
The Medify unit can capably keep the air of a small room purified when the third fan speed is selected. While the sound from this device can be detected from 12 feet away, it is low-pitched and usually drowned out by other background noises. The Kyvol air purifier is noticeably louder at its third setting but not particularly distracting. This fan speed would typically be selected when used in a medium-sized room.
At its highest fan speed, the Medify air purifier’s noise level reaches 55db. Also, quite unfortunately, the tone emitted rises in pitch. I suspect that this setting would seldom be used. The noise level of the Kyvol device also rises to 55db when running at its highest speed. While louder than ideal, its noise is lower-pitched and not quite as irritating.
- Medify MA-14: This is a small and well-constructed device that can competently purify the air of a small room. Its control panel is uncomplicated and positioned to the front, where it can be easily accessed. Even better, its buttons provide immediate feedback by producing a solid 'click' whenever they are pressed.
- Kyvol Vigoair P5: This unit, which is priced only $10 higher, can purify air at twice the rate of the device from Medify. It may be used in small to medium-sized rooms and can be set to a lower—and quieter—fan speed while cleaning approximately the same amount of air as its competitor. In addition, the Kyvol air purifier is fitted with a set of prefilters that can be easily removed and washed under tap water.
- Final verdict: After conducting a side-by-side comparison, I have concluded that the Kyvol Vigoair P5 is the better option.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Walter Shillington