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Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier Review 2022

The blueair blue pure 411 air purifier is the smaller version of the 211 air purifier (one of my top picks for the best home air filters). With a baby on the way, we purchased this air purifier for our bedroom and, later, the nursery. The intention was to use it both as an air filter and a white noise machine. As it turns out, it’s also a nightlight and fan!

Product Highlights

  • Highly efficient air purifier that clears allergens, wildfire smoke, smog, vocs, and viruses
  • Smart 3-stage filter design means less noise, less energy consumed, and less frequent filter replacements
  • Great for nurseries, dorms, small bedrooms, or the home office
  • Potential downside of white light while in operation

The summer of 2021 was brutal for the pacific northwest. In british columbia, where i live, climate fires raged, and a deadly heat dome killed nearly 600 people. I was nine months pregnant as temperatures rose to well over 100 degrees fahrenheit, and our attention was split between last-minute preparations and watching for wildfires.

Unsurprisingly, i was anxious about the effects of poor air quality in late pregnancy and for a newborn. So, after consulting my own research on the best home air filters, i ordered the blueair pure 411 air purifie

Here are some quick stats about the blueair 3-stage air purifier, followed by my experience with this filter. The tl:dr is that i would highly recommend this air purifier, especially for a nursery.

The blueair blue pure has a 3-stage filtration process that first captures larger particles like dust and pet hair in an external washable pre-filter. The air then moves through a particle filter and activated carbon filter. With arguably better than hepa technology, this air purifier traps airborne contaminants down to the size of a virus. The blueair blue pure is great for clearing air of:

  • Pollen, dust, pet dander, and mold spores
  • Volatile organic compounds and smoke
  • Viruses, allergens and bacteria
  • Food smells and pet odors.

This relatively small air purifier is ideal for small bedrooms, offices, dorm rooms, and nurseries.

My experience with the Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier

The blueair blue pure 411 air purifier is the smaller version of the 211 air purifier (one of my top picks for the best home air filters). With a baby on the way, we purchased this air purifier for our bedroom and, later, the nursery. The intention was to use it both as an air filter and a white noise machine. As it turns out, it’s also a nightlight and fan!

My first impressions were excellent as this purifier is lightweight (under 4 lbs!), portable, and so easy to set up. The purifier was pretty much ready to go, right out of the box. With one of the two pre-filters already in place, all i had to do was slot the top (white) section of the unit on and turn it to secure the catches. After plugging it in (and reading the manual), i pressed the top center circle to start the purifier.

At just 20.3 cm diameter and 42.4 cm tall, this air filter tucks easily into small spaces. Be aware, though, that you need to leave a 10 cm space around the air filter for proper air flow. This filter has a 360 degree air intake, so will actually need a space 30 x 50 cm.

Blueair and noise

The blueair blue pure is very quiet on its lowest setting. You’ll know it’s on by the single white light illuminating a third of the center circle. To bump it up to its middle setting, press the circle again and a second light will come on. For the highest setting, press a third time, and the circle of light will be complete. To turn it off, press the circle again and all the lights will go out as well. This center circle light will glow red when it’s time to change the filter.

We keep the purifier on the highest setting as it’s an excellent white noise machine. The blueair not only helps to soothe our baby to sleep, it also drowns out the noise of the wolf that lives next door. That’s right, we have a wolf hybrid neighbor who howls for a large part of the night (and day). Without the air filter, i’m constantly woken up with spiked adrenaline (not awesome in pregnancy). With the air purifier, i sleep right through the howling.

Because our filter is crib-side and is audible outside the room (on the top setting), i tested the decibel levels. From a meter away it was just 38 on high and 15 on low. This was lower than blueair’s measurements of 46 decibels on high (the sound of a library) and 17 on low. Put simply, there’s no need to worry about using this filter beside a crib.

The noise is also really consistent, with no intermittent whirring or such. As such, i’d imagine most people will easily be able to tune it out even while sleeping. I can’t say how it is while watching television, but it seems unlikely to be disruptive. And even if it does muffle the sound a bit, you can always turn it off, put it on low, or move it farther away temporarily.

Filter changes and performance

We’ve had this unit in operation on its top setting for nine months and haven’t yet had an alert to change the filter. The company recommends changing filters every six months, but we vacuum the outer cover weekly and have washed it a couple of times too. The filter cleans up really well and is easy to put back on.

Conveniently, blueair includes two of the covers (one navy/black and one lighter blue), so you never have to wait for the laundry to keep using the purifier. You can also use the unit without the pre-filter, but i don’t see why anyone would, given that it removes a layer of filtration. If you don’t like the two colors of filter included, however, you can buy other colors to match your aesthetic.

Of note, we’re a non-smoking household with a dog who sheds a lot. We also live by a forest with a lot of pollen, spores, and other potential allergens floating about year-round, and we live close to a pulp and paper mill that you can definitely smell on certain days. With the air filter on, we can’t smell the mill and my dogwood allergies and other seasonal symptoms have been much reduced. That outer pre-filter clearly attracts a lot of dog hair too, hence the regular vacuuming.

As for those wildfires, it will be interesting to see how this filter performs if we get a lot of smoke again like 2020. Subjectively, it performed well in 2021, keeping our indoor air clear on the smokiest days. I didn’t have an air quality monitor at the time, however, though i do plan on acquiring one this summer. If/when i get readings, i’ll update this post with results.

We haven’t used the air filter in our kitchen, which is at the other end of the house, so i can’t say how this does for cooking odors. Other reviewers suggest the blueair works really well though, as long as you move it to the kitchen while cooking. Similarly, it’s hard to tell how effective the blueair is for vocs, given that we’re pretty diligent about avoiding these in our home.

I’ve written quite a bit about how to choose an effective air purifier, so if you’re not familiar with cadr, aham and so forth, get a crash course here. Or consider buying the blueair blue pure 411 (or 211+). These filters carry an aham verifide seal and a cadr. The 411 has a cadr of 120 for dust and pollen. This means that at the top setting the filter produces 120 cubic feet of clean air every minute. For smoke, the cadr is 105. The purifier manages about 5 air exchanges per hour for a small bedroom or nursery, or one every 12.5 minutes.

While i haven’t had to change the filter, it seems fairly straightforward. The smart design means you just unscrew the top, remove the old filter, pop in the new, and screw the top back on. No tools or profanity required.

The (potential) downsides of the Blueair 411

About that light. Some of you will hate the bright white central light that stays on permanently while the unit is in operation. I find the light rather useful, though, for 1 am, 3 am, 5 am feedings. It essentially replaces the nightlight i planned on using with my baby. If you like your room pitch black though, you’re going to want to macgyver a solution for the light.

Some folks have had success using a sliver of electrical tape over the circle of lights. My ingenious wife once used a folded reusable baby wipe to cover the light, which worked a little too well and resulted in a stubbed toe.

Sustainability features of the Blueair Blue Pure 411

Unlike many filters, the blueair blue pure 411 comes with a polypropylene filter that can be easily replaced and recycled. Because the pre-filter is external, though, you can easily remove and wash this, meaning it never needs replacing. And if you keep the pre-filter in good shape, with regular vacuuming and cleaning, this will help extend the life of the 2nd and 3rd stage filters, helping to further save resources.

The 360 degree nature of this air purifier design also helps to extend the life of the filter. The unit filters air from all sides through many layers of millions of ultra-thin fibers, meaning the filter is less dense in any given spot compared to a single face filter. That translates to less clogging, better airflow, and less noise as the filter doesn’t have to labor so much to suck in air. It also means that the blueair blue pure uses just 1.5 watts, making it one of the most energy efficient air filters around.

Final thoughts on the Blueair Blue Pure 411 air purifier

I’m very happy with the overall performance of my blueair blue pure 411 air purifier. It makes a noticeable difference to the air quality in a room, is easy to use, and has the added bonuses of being a white noise machine, nightlight, and fan.

Compared to some of the pricier options, such as the iqair models, the blueair blue pure is a great budget pick. And despite being fairly costly to replace, the filters last a long time if cared for. All in all, that makes the blueair blue pure a cost effective machine.

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