Seldom do we rave about a product, especially about air purifiers, which we regard as an area sometimes subject to misrepresentation and exaggeration. So when we tell you that this air purifier series is a winner and among the best of their type we have seen anywhere. You can bet that is a very strong endorsement from us and that’s for both the Blueair 650E and Blueair 603 air purifiers.
1. Airborne Particulate Filtration
2. Gas, Chemical & Odor Filtration
3. Room Coverage
4. Noise Rating
5. Filter Life & Replacement Costs
6. Ease of Operation & Filter Replacement
7. Quality of Construction: Air-tight design, no off-gassing
The Blueair 650E Air Purifier is the best performing Blueair model with large area coverage, great filtration and quiet operation. It scored the highest CADR ratings possible: >450 score for pollen, >400 for dust, and >450 for smoke
Unique filtration technology combines electrostatic and HEPA-like technology for a performance beyond almost every residential HEPA filter
Safe use of electrostatic technology without producing ozone or off-gassing
Less filter restriction allows the Blueair to push more air volume through its filters than any other top HEPA machine, while operating at a reduced noise level
Blueairs high air flow is great for quick cleaning and the lower, almost silent speeds provide the ideal operation level for continuous day or night use when you are in a room
Polypropylene filter material is water-repellent and naturally retards mold and mildew growth eliminating the need for chemical-based bacteria or mold inhibitors that are used in most residential glass fiber HEPA filters
The SmokeStop filters feature 5.3 lbs. of impregnated activated carbon providing sufficient removal of smoke, gases, odors, and VOCs
Design is stylish and very efficient, and allows for easy filter changes that take less than a minute of your time
Energy star qualified and low cost to run using only 35-120 watts depending on fan speed
The biggest minus of the 600 series is the lack of a pre-filter. Pre-filters help prevent dust build-up on the fan and inside the unit which are hard areas to clean. A pre filter also helps extend the life of the particle filter by trapping the large particles and pet hair that quickly dirty a filter.
Replacement filters are expensive and require semi-annual replacement which is twice as often as many HEPA filters that usually have a life span of 1 year. However, because these filters are made of polypropylene they can be gently vacuumed to extend their useful life lasting for 1 year or more depending on use. (Please Note: the 6 month lifespan is based on running the air purifier on high speed, 24/7)
On the 650E, the digital display control panel is located near the bottom of the side of the unit which makes it hard to see and awkward to manually use.
The seating of the filters in the housing is not a tight seal and allows for some air to by-pass reducing the air cleaning efficiency.
The Blueair 600 series uses the same filters and filtration technology as Blueair’s signature 500 series. However, the 600 series are a slightly larger air purifier and beat the 500 series in performance and room coverage. The 603 and 650E ranked in amongst only a few other premium air cleaners with the highest CADR scores possible. This means their cleaning performance for the removal of particles like dust and pollen, and smoke (gas) was fast and very efficient. Based on their CADR scores, the Blueair 603 Air Purifiers can clean a room up to 640 sq. ft. and the Blueair 650E Air Purifier can clean a room up to 698 sq. ft. Finally an air purifier that can actually cover a large room and with surprisingly quiet operation considering how much air they are moving. In our opinion, speed 1 is truly whisper quiet, speed 2 is moderately quiet and speed 3 is not exactly what we would consider quiet, but it produces much less noise than the majority of other air cleaners on their highest speed.
Blueair uses unique filtration technology to achieve its high level of air cleaning. Combining a HEPA-type filter with carbon and electrostatic technology, Blueair claims to have the ability to capture 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron. During our testing, we were impressed to see a 95.5% reduction in particles on the first air pass, which is very good. Although Blueair uses high quality filters, their efficiency performance slowly decreases over time, so it is important to change them as recommended for best performance. (Only true HEPA material filters increase in efficiency performance with use.)
The Blueair 600 series uses a combination of 3 filters made of polypropylene and enhanced with activated carbon. They come in two varieties, HEPASilent particle and gas filters which contain only a small amount of carbon for light gas and odor control, and SmokeStop gas filters which contain 5.3 lbs of carbon for more sufficient gas, chemical, VOC and odor control. The units with the SmokeStop filters are $100 more and the replacement SmokeStop filters are $70 more than the HEPASilent filters. It is nice that either filter can be used with the unit. This gives the option to purchase the replacement filter that best fits your filtration needs. Blueair recommends replacing the filters every 6 months and will extent a lifetime warranty to those who follow this schedule. With Blueair’s premium priced filters, this means annual replacement costs of $150 – $300 depending on which filters are used. We feel Blueair should have included a pre-filter in their filtration design, which would have extended the lifespan of the filters and reduced the cost of annual maintenance.
Both models are simple to operate with a manual knob for the Blueair 603 and remote for the Blueair 650E. Manually operating the 650E’s electronic controls can be awkward because of where they are located, so don’t lose the remote. Changing the filters require no tools and takes only a minute. It is as easy as removing the top panel, pulling out the filters located on the top, left, and right side, and replacing them with the new ones. To help keep track of filter life, Blueair provides filter life monitors for each model. The 603 includes a magnetic filter change timer that counts to 6 months regardless of whether or not the air purifier is running the entire time, clearly an afterthought to the design of the unit. The 650E electronic model has a built-in filter life monitor that is based on actual run time for more accurate filter life tracking.
Overall we are very impressed with the Blueair 603 & 650E Air Purifiers and gave them a 4.5 star “very good plus” rating. They stand out as one of the few air purifiers available on the market that actually do cover a large size room, and with surprisingly quiet operation at that. This makes them an ideal choice for a large bedroom, though some do complain the blue power-on light is bright and bothersome at night. Others like that it creates a faint night light effect. Since these are premium air cleaners, they are a bit of an investment and replacement filters are not cheap. But with Blueair you get what you pay for in quality, performance, and peace of mind.