With spring coming up, you know that that means: pollen, pollen, and more pollen. And with it, allergies, sneezing fits, and wheezing. To protect you and your family from extreme allergy attacks indoors, your best bet is to get a reliably air purifier.
Bissell is mostly known for their awesome carpet cleaners, but they produce some pretty fantastic air purifiers as well. Which is why we’re going to take a look at two of their models – the Air220 and the Air320 – to determine which of the two is the better option. Spoiler alert: they’re identical in many regards but work optimally in different environments.
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One of the most important things to take into account when shopping for an air purifier is whether it is designed the clear the air of the room of your choice. The Air220’s heavy-duty motor and fans works optimally in rooms of up to 800 square feet – kitchens, basements, and home offices typically fit within the Air220’s range.
As for the Air320, expect a lot more work out of the larger unit. With its powerful fan, the Air320 can be the perfect device for rooms of up to 1,000 square feet. Obviously, it can work in smaller spaces like bedrooms or even bathrooms, but to make use of its tremendous purifying performance, 900 to 1,000 square feet is ideal.
We can’t decide whether larger is better or not for your unique situation, so you’ll have to manually measure the room yourself. Their 200-square-foot disparity can mean a whole lot in terms of wasted potential or not having enough purifying power. As the old adage goes, measure twice and purchase once.
Air220 and Air320
Both of these devices use identical filtration systems, starting from a pre-filter for capturing visible pollutants, a HEPA filter for trapping microscopic particles (0.3 microns) up to 99% of the time, and finally, an activated carbon filter shaped like a honeycomb for trapping odor molecules and VOCs. Their 3-stage filtration systems are perfect for residential settings. Neither of them comes with an ionizer or UV-C beam.
Even though the two air purifiers use identical filtration systems, that’s not to say they’re identical in every way. The biggest difference between the two is their pre-filters; the Air220’s is a solid panel with thousands of tiny holes punched in. A solid metal or plastic panel is easy to wash, scrub, rinse, and dry.
The Air320’s pre-filter, on the other hand, is made of an elastic fabric that works like a fine mesh. After testing them out in identical scenarios, the fabric pre-filter of the Air320 worked a lot better at trapping visible particles, but as you can imagine, it was a lot harder to clean.
Easy-to-clean versus better-pre-filtration… This is up to you to decide whether you can live with constantly washing the Air320’s fabric pre-filter or not, but the good news is that both of them work beautifully at filtering large and small particles.
How much noise the air purifier produces is an extremely important factor when shopping for the right device. If you place the air purifier in the bedroom, the last thing you need is it to yodel long into the night and disturb your beauty sleep. The Air220 generates between 34 and 51 decibels – the loudest being equivalent to normal household background sounds.
The Air320 isn’t that different from the Air220 in terms of noise production. On its quietest setting, it drones at a low 37 decibels, and its highest fan speed is only 59 decibels. As the larger air purifier, it makes sense for the device to produce louder sounds, but once again, the differences between the two is almost negligible.
So if the noise level differences between the Air220 and Air320 aren’t very different, why bring it up in the first place? Because their airflow capacities won’t make a difference in the average sized bedroom, but 3 decibels can mean a lot to sensitive sleepers. In this case, the Air220 would be the better option, admittedly by a very narrow margin.
Automated Night Light
Air220 and Air320
And while we’re on the topic of sleep, we might as well bring up that both of these air purifiers have sensors that detect the presence of light in the room. When the sun goes down and the lights are dimmed, the Air220 and Air320 will automatically shut off their LEDs based on the assumption that its nighttime.
You won’t need to get up out of bed and risk ruining your sleepiness to shut off the device’s nightlight. A handy feature for those who don’t appreciate blinding LEDs in the bedroom.
Air220 and Air320
Our readers will be thrilled to learn that both the Air220 and Air320 come with the CirQulate System pre-installed and ready to roll. You might be more familiar with this as a real-time indoor air quality monitor is constantly on the hunt for airborne particles.
As soon as the indoor air quality reaches a certain degree, these devices will kick into high gear to eradicate any pesky particles as quickly as possible. With the CirQulate System, all you need to do is plug the device in, switch to auto mode, and let the air purifier do its thing.
Upward Facing Outlet
Air220 and Air320
Here’s something most people wouldn’t consider when shopping for an air purifier. Both of these devices have upward facing outlets so they expel air up and around instead of at the back. This allows you the place them flush against the wall without worrying about obstructing the outlet and impairing airflow distribution.
Bissell Air220 vs. Air320 – Which One?
So after comparing the Air220 and Air320, we can conclude that… they’re pretty much equal in every regard. The main differentiating factor between the two is how far they shoot clean air.
The Bissell Air320 Air Purifier, as the larger of the two, can handle up to 200 square feet more than the Bissell Air220. The other minor differences include the pre-filter’s material and how much noise they produce.