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Is a wearable air purifier worth it? We tested one on spring allergies

Is a wearable air purifier worth it? We tested one on spring allergies
Posted at 4:30 AM, May 11, 2023

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If you suffer from allergies or are often in environments that make catching viruses easy, a wearable air purifier could be helpful.

A wearable air purifier — like this MyAir by Kaltech, available on Amazon — acts just like the purifiers people have in their homes. However, because you wear it around your neck, it filters the air around you regardless of where you are. The brand says the MyAir wearable air purifier can filter odors, harmful substances, viruses and allergens like pollen to purify the air around the wearer for up to eight hours when charged.

MyAir uses Kaltech’s photocatalyst technology, which the company said “has the ability to destroy particles as small as 0.001 microns, while HEPA filters can only remove particles as small as 0.3 microns,” meaning it can remove particles better than a HEPA filter.

I reached out to the company for more information about the specifics, and I was told that the technology “reduces live bacteria by 90% in approximately 15 minutes.” They also explained that in studies for the product, they found 86% of subjects showed improvement on the amount of tears caused by seasonal allergies, and 90% showed improvement on the amount of nasal congestion and breathing difficulty through their nose.

Kaltech sent me their MyAir Personal Air Purifier to test out and see if it’s worth the $120 price tag.

Amazon

There are a few important things to note right away. It’s obviously quite difficult to know if an air purifier is working, as there’s not really a way to prove it unless you have an air quality tester on hand. Of course, you can tell if the air “feels” cleaner or crisper, but there’s no way to prove it prevented you from catching a virus, as even if you know you were exposed, it still doesn’t mean you’ll get sick (with or without a purifier around your neck).

With that said, I first wore it for eight straight hours, both at home and while shopping for an hour. The battery was not dead by the time I took it off, so it indeed does stay charged for a full day, just like the brand says.

Because I was inside my home, I can verify that is it surprisingly quiet. I could barely hear it at home and couldn’t hear it at all at the store, so you do not need to worry about being embarrassed by the sound. The accessory also has a pretty sleek appearance, so it doesn’t stand out or look awkward. It’s also so lightweight I forgot I had it on. There is a small purple light that turns on when in use — but it’s not very bright, so it also shouldn’t be noticeable.

I then put it to the test outside while pulling weeds — my least favorite household chore because of allergies. I waited until the pollen count was high, then went out for about an hour and a half with the purifier around my neck.

My typical pollen allergy symptoms when gardening are sneezing, watery eyes, having to stop multiple times to blow my nose and if I touch anything, a rash on my hands and arms. I am happy to report that while I did still have minor allergy symptoms (a few sneezes and slightly watery eyes), they weren’t nearly as bad as I would have expected with that level of pollen. I did, however, still get a rash on my skin, which leads me to believe that while it may have been helping filter it away from my face so I didn’t breath it in, it was still around enough to cause a reaction.

Adobe

The purifier is quite pricey at $120, but you do not have to buy replacement filters, which is unique for a purifier. Again, while I can’t prove it definitely helped with allergies or kept me from catching a virus, it’s worth a try if you are in environments that typically have polluted air, get sick often or have pollen allergies and spend time outside (and you can afford the spend).

For the price, however, if you aren’t typically exposed to viruses, pollen or the air outside your own home, your best bet may be to invest in a large purifier for your house, which filters the air you breathe all day long.

Kaitlin Gates/Simplemost

If you’re looking for a larger purifier for your home, I also tested out this Galanz purifier and found that it made the room it was in feel cleaner and refreshed.

Priced at $59.99 on Amazon, it has three adjustable speeds and can refresh a 175.2-square-foot space one time per hour or a 36.5-square-foot space five times an hour.

The Galanz personal portable air purifier has a hand and built-in essential oil diffuser.
Amazon

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