Whether you have common household hazards like pollen or dust or just want to keep track of what you are breathing, an indoor air quality monitor is a helpful tool for your home. The best air quality monitors are easy to set up and keep track of pollutants like carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and other hazards.
Our top pick, the Airthings View Plus Radon & Air Quality Monitor, measures temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide as well as hazardous radon.
Here are the best air quality monitors.
Best Overall: Airthings 2960 View Plus Radon Air Quality Monitor
Smartphone and WiFi-compatible
Can be a hub for multiple monitors
Batteries will need to be replaced
This air quality monitor keeps track of all the big items, including particulate matter, carbon dioxide, radon, VOCs, humidity, temperature, air pressure, and pollen. If there are any concerns, especially with radon, which can be hazardous, it will send alerts directly to your smartphone. It also has a helpful display on the unit itself. Just wave your hand in front of the unit to show your custom display readings.
The View Plus can also act as a hub for other Airthings monitors around your home. It connects to your WiFi network to receive and send information. Fortunately, set-up is easy, and you don’t need to run any wiring. You can hang it on the wall or put it right on a shelf or table. Using the app, you can set up alerts as well as run reports to analyze your home’s air quality over time.
This is an expensive air quality monitor, but many think it is worth the peace of mind. If you are going to monitor your home’s air quality, radon should be one of the things that you watch for, since it is a known cause of lung cancer. This model takes 6 AA batteries, which are included and should last for around two years. Conveniently, the unit gives a low-battery alert when it is time to change them.
Price at time of publish: $299
Best Budget: Airthings Wave Mini Indoor Air Quality Monitor
Small and compact
Comes with outdoor pollen monitoring app
App can run reports and collect data
Doesn't monitor all hazards
Batteries will need to be replaced
Compact and affordable, the Wave Mini keeps track of VOCs, humidity, and temperature and will alert you if levels of harmful materials start to get high (so you can make changes in your home to prevent mold and other hazards). Although its monitoring capabilities aren’t as comprehensive as our best overall pick (the larger version, also made by Airthings), this monitor is a great choice if you just want to start keeping track of your home’s air quality or if you want to add it to an overall system.
The Airthings app provides data based on your readings as well as pollen levels for your area. The actual air quality monitor does not measure pollen, however. It is affordable enough to put in every room—this may be necessary for large rooms and to get the most accurate readings for the whole home.
Price at time of publish: $80
Best Splurge: uHoo Smart Air Monitor
Monitors many pollutants
App and reports are easy to use
Color-coded monitoring system
Won't run out of power
Best features require subscription
Needs access to a wall outlet
We’ll start by acknowledging that the uHoo Smart Air Monitor unit is expensive. It keeps track of a variety of potential hazards and other helpful information, including temperature, humidity levels, carbon dioxide, air pressure, total VOCs, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide. The only other thing that we wish it tracked is radon.
The smartphone app is one of the most helpful. It shows the levels as well as a color-coded system that categorizes them as good, fair, bad, or severe. That lets you get and understand the information with just a glance. The same reports and monitoring are available on your computer. The best features of the app are behind a uHoo premium subscription, although one year comes complementary. It does require access to an electrical outlet but won’t run out of power like battery-operated monitors.
Price at time of publish: $399
Best Battery-Operated: ECOWITT WH0290 Air Quality Monitor
Comes with two rechargeable batteries
Can be charged using solar power
USB charging option
Long battery life
Does not measure many hazards
The best option when it comes to power is the ECOWITT WH0290. It can be powered via a rechargeable battery (two included with purchase), the included USB cable, or solar power technology (charging the solar panel outdoors). The display shows the current battery life so you'll always know when it is time to recharge. The batteries last for around two weeks with continuous use.
The air quality monitor measures particulate matter, temperature, and humidity. While it does not measure mold, it will alert you if the overall air quality gets into an unhealthy range. It shows the Air Quality Index (AQI) on a color-coded scale that is very intuitive.
Price at time of publish: $107
Best Smart Monitor: Awair Element Indoor Air Quality Monitor
Compatible with Alexa and Google Home
Helpful reports via app
Can get real-time measurements via smart home device
Works with smartphone
Display on unit is not easy to read
Not a lot of information provided on display
This Awair unit works with Alexa devices or Google Home devices and can provide you with real-time feedback—it tracks the top hazards and data points, including temperature, humidity level, carbon dioxide, VOCs, and particulate matter. It also provides an overall AQI.
Note that the actual display on the unit is very hard to see and read. To make much use of the data, you need to log into the app or use your smart home device to tell you what the readings are. Fortunately, there are plenty of helpful tools and reports that you can run to see how your data changes over time. You can even prioritize certain monitoring functions and look more closely at data at different times of the day.
Price at time of publish: $235
Best Design: Temtop M10 Real-Time Air Quality Monitor
Simple, intuitive display
Provides overall AQI reading
USB cable included
Short battery life
Does not monitor all hazards
The futuristic look of the Temtop air quality monitor makes it right at home among modern decor and home systems, while the superior monitoring technology keeps track of many potential hazards in your home’s environment. It measures temperature, humidity levels, VOCs, and particulate matter and displays the results with an overall AQI that is color-coded to safe, intermediate, and unsafe readings of green, yellow, and red.
You can also cycle through individual measurements, but that requires that you adjust the unit itself. It charges via an included USB cord and has a built-in lithium battery. The battery itself only lasts around six hours on a full charge, so it's best to keep it plugged in via USB unless you are actively monitoring a new environment. You will need to calibrate it when you change locations, however.
Price at time of publish: $90
Best Compact: Aiment 3-in-1 Lightweight Portable Air Quality Monitor
Monitors carbon monoxide
Color-coded LED display
Short battery life
Doesn't connect to smartphone
You can take this helpful air quality monitor on the go, so you will always have one when you need it. In fact, it clips onto a bag and can be turned on and off as necessary. It measures exposure to carbon monoxide as well as temperature and humidity. The display shows the current temperature, humidity level, and CO levels in parts per million (PPM). It categorizes via color so that you can quickly know whether you are approaching dangerous levels. Plus, it has an audible alarm to notify you if you are in danger.
Because it is designed to be portable and provide real-time feedback, you can run reports or connect the monitor to your smartphone. You will also need to recharge it frequently, since the battery only lasts for around 30 hours of continuous use. This model is a good choice if you want to monitor the air in a specific situation, but not great for round-the-clock monitoring in your home.
Price at time of publish: $50
Best Display: Langkou 8-in-1 Air Quality Monitor
Charging cable included
Does not have night display mode
Only monitors three things
The large LED display on the Langkou Air Quality Monitor shows the temperature, humidity levels, particulate matter, carbon dioxide levels, and battery life. The unit itself has a silver back and a black face with white LED letters and numbers, which make it easy to see, even at night. The base is wide, so you never need to worry about tipping it over. The display is 2.8 inches wide and covers almost the entire face of the unit.
To keep it charged, unit comes with a USB cable and a 10-hour battery backup. It doesn’t monitor every airborne hazard, but it does provide plenty of data in an easy-to-read display. Unfortunately, it does not have a night mode to dim the light when it is time to go to bed. You can respond to the audible alarm and turn the unit on and off using the push button on the front.
Price at time of publish: $76
Our top pick is the Airthings View Plus Radon & Air Quality Monitor. It has the most comprehensive monitoring and easy-to-read display, and it connects right to your smartphone and other monitoring devices as a hub. For a more affordable version, consider the Airthings Wave Mini Air Quality Monitor. It doesn’t measure as many things in the air but is perfect for smaller rooms and as part of a larger system.
What to Look for in an Air Quality Monitor
It's important to choose an air quality monitor that will provide you with a thorough, clear reading of your home's environment. Monitors that measure small particulate matter (ideally PM2.5) and VOCs will get you well on your way toward understanding the quality of the air in your home. Those two measurements are extremely important to maintaining healthy air conditions. Monitors that provide humidity, CO2, temperature, and air pressure measurements will inform you even further.
No air quality monitor will take up too much space, but if you want to test air quality on the go or in multiple location, a handheld, battery-powered device that provides real-time readouts may be an excellent option. However, it may come at the cost of a detailed display or sophisticated design. On the other hand, a device designed to stay in one place, say, on the wall or a tabletop, may be a little more aesthetically pleasing, if a little larger.
App-enabled and smart home-compatible air quality monitors are only getting more popular, but there are still some high-quality options that remain relatively low-tech. The advantage of integrating your air quality monitor into the rest of your smart home setup is that it can then interact with your thermostat or air purifiers to provide an all-encompassing air quality control. Meanwhile, an app-enabled device will appeal to you if you're interested in additional info on your readings, recommendations to improve your home's air quality, and quality tracking over time.
Why is it important to monitor air quality?
Indoor pollutants, like dust, dirt, smoke, and pollen, can be major sources of allergies and general discomfort. An air quality monitor can help you not only keep track of what kinds of pollutants are making their way into your home's air, but even learn how to reduce them in the future.
Can air quality monitors detect mold?
Technically speaking, air quality monitors can detect particulate matter, of which mold is one type. Most mold is pretty easy to detect, though, so you probably don't need an air monitor to tell you when you have a problem. If you're concerned about the possibility of mold in your home, the best things to do are to tackle leaks immediately, keep indoor humidity low (many air quality monitors will tell you when it's too high), and increase ventilation.
What can you do to improve your home's air quality?
Luckily, learning that your home's air quality isn't up to par is not a life sentence. Following a regular cleaning schedule, keeping your home well ventilated, maintaining your heating and cooling systems, and purchasing air purifiers are just a few steps you can take toward improving your home's air quality.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Melynn, a freelance writer who specializes in home and family products. Katie has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. To compile this list, she considered which air quality monitors kept track of common pollutants as well as how easy they were to read and use.