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No matter how often you clean, there's a good chance your home has at least some level of indoor air pollution. Dust, dirt, pollen, cleaning chemicals, mold, and bacteria are just a few of the particles that float around both indoors and out. And if you live in an area with wildfires, smoke can make its way in through doors and windows to create a less-than-healthy environment for your lungs. While you can’t see these particles, you may still be experiencing their effects.
With an indoor air quality monitor, you can get a reading of various pollutants. That way, you’ll know whether you can breathe easy or need to take action to clean up your air. If your indoor air is subpar, it may be time to install a new heating or air conditioning system, clean your air ducts, replace your filters, or get an air purifier. So, what are the best air quality monitors available today?
Here, the best indoor air testers designed to give you peace of mind about the air you breathe.
Best Overall: Airthings Wave Plus Radon & Air Quality Monitor
Dimensions: 4.72 x 1.4 inches | Weight: 7.72 ounces | Power Source: Battery-powered | Smart Device Compatible: Yes
Compatible with smart home devices
Some software issues
Have you tested the radon levels in your home lately? Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water, getting into the air you breathe. It's frequently found in homes, and it's the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. The Airthings Wave Plus not only detects radon, it also checks carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, volatile total organic compounds (TVOCs), temperature, humidity, and air pressure.
This battery-operated device holds a charge for up to 16 months and can be installed anywhere in your home. It connects via Bluetooth and syncs to the free Airthings Wave app to give you a comprehensive readout and total control over your home’s air quality. The monitor itself has color-coded indicators that tell you the status of your indoor air. It’s also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT smart home devices. Once the indoor air quality monitor is installed and set up, a week-long radon calibration period will begin.
Best Splurge: uHoo Indoor Air Sensor
Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.3 x 6.3 inches | Weight: .6 pounds | Power Source: Corded electric | Smart Device Compatible: Yes
Compatible with smart home devices
Compact and sleek
Many dedicated sensors
Physical device lacks display
With the cutting-edge uHoo Indoor Air Sensor, you don’t have to wonder about the invisible pollutants lurking in your home. While it’s certainly not the cheapest air quality monitor on the market, this advanced device has a whopping nine built-in detectors. It checks for carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), TVOCs, PM2.5, temperature, humidity, ozone, and air pressure.
The Indoor Air Sensor from uHoo has a sleek design and it’s surprisingly compact—not much bigger than a standard coffee mug. This high-tech gadget is powered by a multi-core processor and encrypted with 128-bit SSL. You can sync it with your smart home hub and pair it with an air purifier or thermostat for automatic air quality control. The uHoo app is easy to use and offers personalized alerts, tips, and room-to-room insights about the air in your home.
Best Battery-Operated: ECOWITT WH0290 Air Quality Monitor
Dimensions: 3.4 x 3.1 inches | Power Source: Battery-powered | Smart Device Compatible: No
Slightly slower readings
Are you partial to wireless tech? If so, you'll want to check out the Ecowitt WH0290 Air Quality Monitor. The device runs on two rechargeable batteries (which come included) and the display screen indicates the unit's battery level. It also has a nifty solar panel that can be used as a backup power source.
This monitoring system uses a Honeywell HPM Series particle sensor to accurately measure PM2.5 and instantly tells you where you stand by rating your current air quality as good, moderate, poor, unhealthy, severe, or hazardous. It also measures your indoor temperatures and relative humidity levels. In addition to homes, this air quality monitor can be used in cars, offices, hotels, rental homes, and virtually any other indoor space.
Best Smart Monitor: Awair Element Indoor Air Quality Monitor
Dimensions: 6.06 x 1.8 x 3.33 inches | Weight: Not listed | Power Source: Corded electric | Smart Device Compatible: Yes
Compatible with smart home devices
Tracks trends over time
Steeper price point
Difficulty connecting to Wi-Fi
Awair's Element Indoor Air Quality Monitor is a wonderful smart home-compatible option for an air quality monitor. This compact device can integrate with Alexa or Google Assistant for easy use. It measures your home's temperature, humidity, TVOC, PM2.5, and CO2 levels, compiling its findings into one succinct, overall score and alerting you when levels are unhealthy.
Its ability to track changes over time helps you better understand what exactly impacts your home's air quality, while its corresponding app provides you with tips and feedback on how to make improvements to your home's conditions. You can even customize the type of feedback you receive based on your wellness goals, like getting a better night's sleep or reducing allergens around the house.
Best Design: Eve Room Indoor Air Quality Monitor
Dimensions: 0.5 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches | Weight: 1.58 ounces | Power Source: Battery-powered | Smart Device Compatible: Yes
Long battery life
Difficult to set up
When it comes to air quality monitors, design might not be your top concern. If you want something that blends in, though, the Eve Room is for you. This device accurately measures and displays the total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), temperature, and humidity in your home on a high-contrast, customizable screen. You can also review your air quality on the Eve app, which analyzes and presents your data in detailed graphs.
The Eve Room is powered by a rechargeable battery that lasts up to six weeks. Once you need to recharge, you can do so via a USB power supply. If you want to take full control of your indoor air quality, this is the device to get. Its smart design and sophisticated tracking features make it easy to see not only what you may need to adjust to improve your air and make your home safer, but also the impact your adjustments make over time.
Best Compact: Airthings Wave Mini Indoor Air Quality Monitor
Dimensions: 3.14 x 1 inches | Weight: 4.8 ounces | Power Source: Battery-powered | Smart Device Compatible: Yes
Physical device lacks display
If you prefer a compact design but don’t want to compromise on quality, check out the Wave Mini from Airthings. This air quality monitoring device can be used on its own or to supplement an existing Airthings monitor. With intricate sensors, this product tests for potentially harmful TVOCs. It also has a temperature sensor, mold risk sensor, and humidity sensor which indicates whether your levels are outside the ideal range.
The Wave Mini runs on three AA batteries (included) and delivers air quality readouts directly to your smartphone or tablet through the Airthings mobile app. Similar to the Wave Plus, this device connects to the app via Bluetooth. You can also check your dashboard anytime by logging into your account on a web browser.
The Airthings Wave Plus Radon & Air Quality Monitor (view at Amazon) goes above and beyond by monitoring not only CO2, TVOCs, temperature, humidity, and air pressure, but radon as well. For a more budget-friendly option, we recommend the Airthings Wave Mini (view at Amazon), a battery-operated model that checks TVOCs, mold risk, humidity, and temperature.
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 is 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 a major source 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 thing to do is 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 written by Theresa Holland, a freelance writer who has written for The Spruce since 2020. More of her home-related writing can be found on MyDomaine. To make this list, she considered each pick's measurements, size, and smart capabilities.