Airthings Renew air purifier review: Sleek but expensive

A great-looking but pricey air purifier

AirThings Renew sitting in bed room
(Image: © AirThings Renew)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Small with the ability to be mounted on a room’s wall, the Airthings Renew air purifier adds an extra filtration step to quietly clean a room’s air. It goes beyond having a control app with excellent integration with the company’s Web portal and View Plus tabletop display but is meant for smaller rooms. However, it can’t clean as much air as less expensive — and larger models.


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    Integrates with online portal, Airthings app and View Plus console

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    Small and wall mountable

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    Four-stage filtering

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    Control panel, app or online control


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    Low air flow

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    Expensive filters

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    One year warranty

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AirThings Renew: Specs

Size: 16.3 x 16.1 x 6.7 inches
Weight: 11.9 pounds
CADR rating: Smoke: 140 CFM; Dust: N/A; Pollen: N/A
Recommended room size: 525 square feet
Est. annual power cost: $3.15

Small, easy to hide or hang on a wall, the AirThings Renew air filter combines a four-stage purification process with an excellent app, online portal and the company’s View Plus desktop console. It’s quiet and uses less electricity than competitors, but has a low filtered air flow rate, replacement filters that cost double what the competition charges and its warranty lasts only a year. 

Still, its minimalist design and fabric covering allow the Renew to do a trick that few of the best air purifiers can: hide in plain sight while clearing the air. But how well does it work? I tested the AirThings Renew for a few weeks to find out.

Airthings Renew air purifier review: Price and availability

Available at the Airthings Web site and Amazon, the Renew air purifier costs $400 and is recommended for rooms up to 525 square feet. The company bundles the air purifier with its View Plus sensors and tabletop console for $525, a $175 savings. 

Renew’s replacement filters with the activated carbon element cost $70 each, about double what others charge. Airthings doesn’t have a plan for the periodic purchase and delivery of filters. 

Airthings Renew air purifier review: Design

Designed and engineered in Norway, Renew has a Scandinavian minimalist look that should fit into just about any room. Manufactured in China the rectangular air filter looks great in a corner or hanging from a wall.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

At 16.3 x 16.1 x 6.7 inches, it’s more than 50 percent smaller than the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto – one of our favorite air purifiers – and positively tiny next to Dreo Air Purifer Tower Fan MC710S. Weighing 11.9 pounds, the Renew is light enough to be carried from room to room as needed with its fabric strap.

Rather than the typical all-plastic case, the gray Renew air purifier has a neutral fabric covering the air inlet. Happily, its power cord can be adjusted to the right length by coiling the excess in a hidden compartment. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Along the top is a long narrow display that shows whether Renew is on or off and a color coded LED for the room’s particulate level. It glows red when the air quality is poor with over 25 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) and yellow when it’s better but problematic at between 10 and 25 μg/m3. No surprise, a green light means the air is healthy at a level of less than 10 μg/m3. This amount of detail is less precise than Clorox Large Room True HEPA Air Purifier’s six color display, which tops out at 999 μg/m3.

The unit has adjustments for setting the filter for Auto, Boost or Silent operations as well as “+” and “-” keys for the five fan speeds. The unit’s bar graph fills up as the fan speed increases.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Renew raises the bar with minute-by-minute monitoring and exacting control. In addition to the Airthings app, Renew works with the company’s Web portal and View Plus desktop sensor and display. Because it fits into the Airthings ecosystem, Renew can be voice-controlled with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. 

Airthings Renew air purifier review: How it works

The Renew filter brings room air in from the front and blows cleaned air out the top grill. It has neither louvers for aiming the flow nor oscillates the way the Dreo Air Purifier Tower Fan MC710S can.

While other air filters have a three-stage process to clean the air, the Renew system adds a fabric pre-filter. From there, the air flows through a mesh to remove large particulates and on to the unit’s H13 HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Area) filter, which is able to block 99.97 percent of particles that are 0.3 micron or larger, it stops pollen, mold spores, bacteria and dust, according to the company.

The final step is a separate activated charcoal element. This can reduce odors from pets, cooking and even household organic solvents.

Designed to cover up to 525 square feet, Renew can only exchange the air in a room of this size twice an hour. It’s best for smaller rooms of about 210 square feet, where it can exchange the air a more lung-friendly five times an hour. 

Airthings Renew air purifier review: Performance

After removing Renew’s plastic wrapping, I plugged the cord into the unit and wrapped the excess around the internal spool and hid it behind the snap-on cover. Unlike others, Renew can sit up against a wall or even mounted on it with the included hook.

It’s easiest to just press the Auto button to have the air filter determine how hard it needs to work but the app provides more control. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Once running, the Renew had a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 140 cubic feet per minute (CFM) for smoke. That’s less than half the filtered air flow of the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto’s 353 CFM. AirThings is currently testing Renew for its CADR with pollen and dust; we will update this review when we have those figures.

It worked in my 25 x 12 feet office over three weeks, while nearby radiators were being scraped and painted. In Automatic mode, it noticeably reduced the dust that coated the furniture prior to using it. The particulate level rose to 32 μg/m3 (in the red zone) a couple of times but quickly returned to the 1-2 μg/m3 range with a green light. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While it was running at its lowest setting, Renew barely raised a breeze with an air speed of 1.2 miles per hour at 36 inches. That rose to 2.7 mph at full blast. This pales in comparison to the Dreo Air Purifier Tower Fan MC710S’s 6.8 mph at its top setting. 

It was among the quietest air cleaners around with a noise level of 38.6dBA measured 36 inches from the unit’s grill in a room with a background noise level of 36.8BA. By contrast, the Dreo MC710S was much louder at 41.0dBA in the same room. At its highest setting, the Renew’s 55.1dBA was on a par with the MC710S’s 55.0dBA, which moved more air.

Renew is a power miser that used 2.4 watts in low and 1.3 watts at idle. If it runs 24/7, it should cost about $3.15 a year to operate if you pay the national average of 15 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity. By contrast, the Clorox Large Room True HEPA Air Purifier has estimated annual costs of $5.10.

It doesn’t need much looking after. The company suggests vacuuming the outer fabric prefilter, washing the inner mesh prefilter periodically and changing the HEPA filter every six months; the app shows its status. It used up 4 percent of its capacity over my two week trial and takes a minute to change. However, at $70 it’s among the most expensive replacement filters and Airthings won’t automatically send you new ones.  

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Renew has a one-year warranty, equivalent to that of the Blueair Blue Pure 211+. By comparison, Wyze and Clorox include five- and three-year warranties with their air filters.

Airthings Renew air purifier review: Verdict

While other air purifiers are bulky, loud and hard to hide, the AirThings Renew air filter not only can clean a moderate sized room’s air with a four-stage process but is virtually invisible. It is the rare air cleaner that can be wall-mounted and offers a variety of ways to monitor and control its air cleaning action. Here, small means low air flow, with the Renew moving about half the filtered air as competitors, although it uses a lot less electricity to do it. However, its replacement filters cost double what the competition charges and its warranty lasts only a year. 

At $400, Renew is a more expensive alternative to the $280 Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto, which filters more than twice the amount of air. Still, Renew can find a place in a small to mid-sized room and is the rare air filter that blends into the background.

Brian Nadel

Brian Nadel is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in technology reporting and reviewing. He works out of the suburban New York City area and has covered topics from nuclear power plants and Wi-Fi routers to cars and tablets. The former editor-in-chief of Mobile Computing and Communications, Nadel is the recipient of the TransPacific Writing Award.