The 3M Filtrete Ultra Clean air purifier is remarkably less expensive than the other air purifier brands in its class. I wondered if the lower price point affected its performance and reliability. I studied this 3M Filtrete air purifier to see what we could find. Is this a cost-effective product or a just a cheap appliance? 3M offers a wealth of products under its significant brand and has always stood out for quality so I didn’t know what to expect. The fact that this air purifier was in some cases almost $100 or more under the other comparative products, I didn’t have high hopes either but I wanted to be pleasantly surprised.
On the design, the 3M Filtrete air purifier is a simple white appliance with smooth curves and rounded shapes that make it easy to place in any room without being intrusive. This air purifier’s dimensions are 18L x 9W x 27H inches so it stands a bit high to fit on a table and go unnoticed. The product itself weighs more than 22 lbs, which frankly seemed a bit heavy to me. This air purifier is also a very basic system. It has 3 speeds that are controlled by a rotary knob. It lacks a lot of features you might see on other, more expensive brands. If you don’t care about gadgetry then this is a good system for you.
As far as performance, the 3M Filtrete air purifier 58dB noise output (compared to 65dB in other competitive models). For a basic model, this system is quieter than I would have expected. Consumer reviews stated that it was quiet in a small room and didn’t interfere with conversation noise. For CADR (clean air delivery rate) ratings, a random check of 3 other competitive models roughly within the same price range and size, the 3M Ultra Clean air purifier was well above the rest. For the money, this air purifier performs and then some. There are very few times when an appliance performs better than what you’d expect for the money but this is one pleasing exception to the rule.
When it comes to the systems filters, this is where it got troubling. Most air purifiers have a multi-layered filtration system that helps collect as much dust particles and pollen as possible. The 3M Filtrete air purifier filter only has one. The accordion style design of the filter is difficult to clean as well. Still, the system does alert you with a change warning light when the filter is in need of replacement. It is interesting that such a seemingly inadequate filtration system can produce the CADR results that it does. The only place you can get these filters is online so don’t bother heading out to the store to find replacements, they won’t be there. You will be happy to know that the Filtrete air purifier filter replacements are less expensive than competitive filters as well. One consumer on a review site recommended vacuuming the filter to prolong the life of the filter in between replacing.
Consumer reviews revealed a 4 or 5 out of 5 star rating overall. Of the high raters, the majority cited its sleek design as a great feature and reason for buying the product. Raters also marvelled at the quietness of the system, even on higher speeds. The reviews of air quality as a result of using this system were consistent with a highly rated product and also in line with test findings mentioned about referring to its CADR compared to others. For drawbacks from even the better ratings, most stated the fact that it is a larger air purifier so you will have to plan on a place to put it in your room. One reviewer recommended finding a wall to lean it up against so it is out of the way. For reviews that were 3 stars or less, the comment that stands out the most is the fact that the air purifier seems to put out a “burning wire” or “warm electronic” smell when it is running for a while. It does not appear to be an indicator of anything dangerous but it was well-noted on the review site. Another reviewer reported that his air purifier stopped working after 3 years. Maybe this is not a long life for an air purifier in general but for the price, I am not shocked and since he was the only reviewer who had this comment I am wondering if this is a “one off” situation as well.
The 3M Filtrete air purifier is quite an over achiever for the price. I couldn’t find anything negative that would make me say this wouldn’t be a good purchase. If you need air purifying performance and don’t have much cash, this is your air purifier.