The Best Air Quality Monitors of 2022

If a family member has allergies or you just want to ensure that the air in your home is safe and healthy, you’ll appreciate the peace of mind an air quality monitor can bring.

By Glenda Taylor | Updated Feb 24, 2022 3:09 PM

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The Best Air Quality Monitor Options

Photo: amazon.com

Some gases, such as radon and carbon monoxide, are colorless and odorless but can be harmful if inhaled. Most indoor air quality monitors will detect oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the home, and many others will detect additional pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and airborne particulate matter (PM).

The best air quality monitor for you depends on which pollutants you want to keep track of and whether you prefer a simple or tech-forward model. Ahead, learn what today’s air quality monitors offer, and find out why the following recommendations are the best on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Airthings 4200 House Kit
  2. RUNNER UP: Temtop M10 Air Quality Monitor
  3. BEST BUDGET: Airthings-292 Wave Mini – Indoor Air Quality
  4. MOST HIGH-TECH: Airthings 2930 Wave Plus Radon & Air Quality Monitor
  5. MOST COMPREHENSIVE: YVELINES Air Quality Monitor Tester
  6. BEST FOR ALLERGIES: IQAir [AirVisual Pro Air Quality Monitor]
  7. BEST BATTERY OPERATED: BIAOLING Accurate Tester Air Quality Monitor
  8. BEST PORTABLE: Temtop P600 Air Quality Particle Detector
  9. BEST FOR BEDROOMS: Amazon Smart Air Quality Monitor
The Best Air Quality Monitor Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Air Quality Monitor

Today’s air quality monitors range from single-pollutant sensors, such as radon detectors, to multiple-pollutant detection models that seek out the presence of several toxic gases. In most cases, you’ll want a monitor that detects the air pollution that puts your home and family at the most significant risk.

For example, look for a radon detector if you live in a region with known radon problems or a carbon monoxide detector if you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home. In addition, consider the following factors when shopping for an air quality monitor.

Precision

Consumer-quality monitors are not as precise as laboratory detectors, but they’re good enough to alert home dwellers that airborne particulates and toxic gases are present. Monitors designed to detect dangerous gases such as VOCs and carbon monoxide feature electrochemical sensors that respond to the presence of gaseous toxins in the air. These sensors should be calibrated regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, to ensure they remain accurate.

Monitors designed to detect dust, allergens, and other airborne particulates do so by estimating the amount of particulate matter (PM) that passes in front of a laser. These are valuable measurements but may not be exact, since larger PM might not drift into the laser chamber and the tiniest PM might be overlooked by the laser.

Monitors designed to detect particulate matter are rated by the smallest particulates they will detect. If the unit bears a PM2.5 rating, it will detect particulates that are as small as 2.5 microns. For comparison, a human hair is approximately 70 microns in diameter.

Ease of Use

While some air quality monitors are relatively straightforward, others are pretty high-tech. For example, there are now models on the market that are Wi-Fi capable. This type of air quality monitor is simply connected to a home’s router to monitor air quality from a smartphone or tablet.

Single-pollutant detectors, such as carbon monoxide detectors, are among the simplest to use because they often just plug into an outlet. If they detect the gas in question, they emit a high-pitched alarm. The best air quality monitor for your needs should be easy for you to use, depending on your technical skill level. Don’t choose a model that is so complex you have to spend hours watching online videos to figure out how it operates.

Size

Most air quality monitors are relatively small, with a sensor unit and a screen that displays how much of the pollutant is currently in the air. Portable units, which fit in a tool belt, purse, or tool bag, are the smallest of all. These are best for testing the air on job sites or in rental homes that don’t have stationary monitors.

Versatility

The best air quality monitor can detect numerous problem gases and pollutants and work in multiple spaces. So, it also helps to consider whether a unit is portable and useful in more than one room. If you want your air quality monitoring to integrate with smart home technology so it can display on your phone or use voice commands, look for a smart air quality monitor. Having “if this, then that technology” (IFTTT) means a device has automation to run in the background to connect devices or trigger actions.

Response Time

Higher-quality devices often have quicker response times because their sensors are more accurate. Response times will also vary depending on which pollutant the monitor is tracking.

For example, some carbon monoxide monitors will sound an alarm after detecting a low level of gas over the course of a couple of hours; however, if they detect a higher gas level, the monitor will sound the alarm after just a few minutes. Monitors that measure dust and pollen may not emit a warning but track and record the varying levels of the pollutants by the hour.

Power Supply

Air quality monitors are either corded and run on electricity from a standard household outlet or are battery operated, in which case they’ll run on rechargeable batteries. Both are efficient, but if you need to test the air in a storage shed or another remote location, a battery-operated model is the handiest.

Our Top Picks

The best air quality monitors accurately detect a range of airborne pollutants, so you can take steps to improve the quality of air your family breathes.

Best Overall

Best Air Quality Monitor Option: Airthings 4200 House Kit
Photo: amazon.com

The 4200 House Kit by Airthings monitors various toxins and gases. The hub ensures the monitors are online 24/7 providing information so users can access indoor air quality anytime, from anywhere. Users can incorporate the results in a smart home network such as Google, Alexa, or IFTTT to receive AQI (Air Quality Index) measurements, give voice commands, or connect to a smart plug or smart product to control a thermostat, air purifier, humidifier, and more.

The kit includes the Airthings Wave 2nd Generation, the Wave Mini, and the Airthings Hub. The monitors detect total VOCs, radon, humidity, temperature, and the risk of mold. They also track pollen levels outside to inform users when to close windows, ventilate, and purify air to avoid asthma attacks and allergy symptoms.

Product Specs

  • Monitors: Total VOCs, radon, temperature, humidity, mold, outdoor pollen levels
  • Smart Home Integration: Yes
  • Number of Rooms: Multiroom coverage

Pros

  • Access data from anywhere at any time
  • IFTTT sends alerts for real-time data
  • Mold risk indication to prevent mold before it starts

Cons

  • No carbon monoxide detection
  • No particulate matter detection

Runner Up

The Best Air Quality Monitor Option: Temtop M10 Air Quality MonitorThe Best Air Quality Monitor Option: Temtop M10 Air Quality Monitor
Photo: amazon.com

You don’t have to spend a lot to get the reassurance that comes with knowing the air in your home is safe to breathe. The Temtop M10 Air Quality Monitor will detect particulate matter as small as 2.5 microns (PM2.5) as well as the presence of formaldehyde and other VOCs. It comes with a particulate sensor and an electrochemical sensor. Its 3.2-by-3.2-inch LED screen is easy to see.

One feature we especially like about the Temtop is that it has a color-coded indicator light on the top that shines green when the air quality is good, yellow when some particulates are detected, and red when the air quality is poor. A home button at the top allows the user to cycle quickly through the various readings, and because it’s battery operated, you can use the monitor in the car or in the house. It comes with a charging cord.

Product Specs

  • Monitors: PM2.5, total VOCs, formaldehyde, AQI
  • Smart Home Integration: No
  • Number of Rooms: Single-room coverage

Pros

  • LED display with color-coded light indication
  • Easy operation
  • Freely move around the house—battery powered with USB charging

Cons

  • No carbon monoxide or radon detection
  • Requires 6-hour calibration in a ventilated environment before use

Best Budget

Best Air Quality Monitor Option: Airthings-292 Wave Mini - Indoor Air Quality
Photo: amazon.com

The Wave Mini by Airthings features air sensors that detect total VOCs, humidity, and temperature levels in the room. When the levels are too high, the monitor alerts the user to ventilate as needed. The monitor boasts a visual indication that the user can access by waving in front of the monitor. The light ring then flashes green for healthy, yellow for warning, and red for danger.

This monitor also comes with a free app and dashboard to compare data and find trends. And users can integrate with smart home products such as Google Assistant and IFTTT. The Wave Mini also keeps track of the pollen outside and shows the results in the Airthings App to help users avoid asthma attacks and allergies.

Product Specs

  • Monitors: Total VOCs, temperature, humidity, outdoor pollen levels
  • Smart Home Integration: Yes
  • Number of Rooms: Single-room coverage

Pros

  • LED with color-coded light indication
  • IFTTT sends alerts for real-time data
  • Freely move around the house—AAA battery power

Cons

  • No carbon monoxide or radon detection
  • No PM2.5 detection

Most High-Tech

The Best Air Quality Monitor Option: Airthings 2930 Wave Plus Radon & Air Quality Monitor
Photo: amazon.com

For real-time indoor air monitoring that integrates seamlessly with Google Assistant, Alexa, or IFTTT, check out the Airthings Wave Plus Air Quality Monitor. The monitor connects using Bluetooth technology via the Airthings app to give you detailed reports about your home’s air quality.

The app syncs with an online dashboard with advanced analytics so you can chart your home’s air quality over time. The monitor detects a wide variety of VOCs, radon, and carbon dioxide, plus other chemicals and toxins, so you’ll always know what’s in the air you’re breathing.

Product Specs

  • Monitors: Total VOCs, radon, carbon dioxide, temperature, humidity, outdoor pollen
  • Smart Home Integration: Yes
  • Number of Rooms: Single-room coverage

Pros

  • Seamless smart home integration
  • LED with a color-coded light indication
  • IFTTT sends alerts for real-time data
  • Freely move around the house—AA battery powered

Cons

  • No particulate matter detection

Most Comprehensive

Best Air Quality Monitor Option: YVELINES Air Quality Monitor Tester
Photo: amazon.com

Airborne particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and VOCs can’t hide from the YVELINES Air Quality Monitor. Carry this small, portable air quality monitor along to monitor the air as you go from room to room, or place it on a dresser or table for constant monitoring of a nursery, bedroom, office, or other space. The YVELINES tester features easy operation and comprehensive real-time testing and a digital LED display showing the current amount of pollutants in the air you’re breathing.

The monitor relies on electrochemical sensor technology to detect subtle changes to air quality. The monitor’s batteries last 3 to 6 hours after a full charge, so you might want to plug it in where you sleep and use it as needed in other rooms. This is not a smart air monitor but one that features data right on the monitor’s screen.

Product Specs

  • Monitors: Total VOCs, carbon dioxide, PM2.5, PM10, formaldehyde
  • Smart Home Integration: No
  • Number of Rooms: Single room but portable

Pros

  • Digital readout displays pollutants in air
  • Freely moves around the house
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Easy operation

Cons

  • No radon detection
  • Not designed to stay plugged in

Best for Allergies

Best Air Quality Monitor Option: IQAir [AirVisual Pro Air Quality Monitor]
Photo: amazon.com

The AirVisual Pro Air Quality Monitor by IQAir boasts advanced laser technology, airflow control, and a crafted calibration algorithm to reach precise particulate matter and CO2 data. Having detailed information regarding the particulate matter in a home can help stave off allergy attacks—the monitor checks for PM1, PM2.5, and PM10.

The air quality monitor also tracks CO2 levels, temperature, humidity, and air pressure. IFTTT allows users to set parameters for specific alerts. Users can connect the AirVisual Pro to Wi-Fi and view readings via a mobile app or a desktop. The monitor also forecasts the air quality index in 10,000-plus locations worldwide to help users stay informed and plan for adventures during the healthiest times.

Product Specs

  • Monitors: PM1, PM2.5 PM10, CO2, AQI, temperature, humidity, air pressure
  • Smart Home Integration: Yes
  • Number of Rooms: Single-room coverage

Pros

  • Digital readout displays the number of pollutants in the air
  • Freely move around the house—battery operated
  • Outdoor weather readings

Cons

  • No radon or total VOCs detection

Best Battery Operated

The Best Air Quality Monitor Option: BIAOLING Accurate Tester Air Quality Monitor
Photo: amazon.com

For dependable particulate and gas detection even when the power goes out, check out the BIAOLING Air Quality Monitor. The unit will monitor air quality for up to 10 hours on a single charge and display its results on an easy-to-read LED screen. This model will identify particulate matter as small as 2.5 microns (PM2.5) and a range of VOCs, in addition to detecting formaldehyde and carbon dioxide.

We like how you can configure the unit to sound an alarm when the air quality reaches an unsafe level. The BIAOLING monitor comes with a 3,000-mAh rechargeable battery that charges via a USB port as well as a fold-out stand, so you can put it on a dresser or desktop for easy reference. The monitor measures 5.8 by 2.76 by 1.18 inches.

Product Specs

  • Monitors: PM2.5, VOCs, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide
  • Smart Home Integration: No
  • Number of Rooms: Single-room coverage

Pros

  • Digital readout that displays results
  • Freely move around the house—battery operated
  • 10 hours of battery life—USB charging

Cons

  • No radon detection

Best Portable

The Best Air Quality Monitor Option: Temtop P600 Air Quality Particle Detector
Photo: amazon.com

If you’re looking for a portable air quality monitor that will alert you to allergens and other particulate matter, look no further than the Temtop P600 Air Quality Detector. It uses a professional-quality QSI laser diode to detect particulate matter as small as 2.5 microns.

The unit comes with a kickstand that folds out, so you can stand your monitor on a table, nightstand, or even a tent floor if you’re camping out. This portable air quality monitor is designed for those who have allergies or asthma or for anyone who wants to make sure the air they are breathing is safe.

One of the Temtop’s upsides is that it displays air quality over a 12-hour period on a histogram readout. This view helps the user analyze changes in the home, such as the cat coming indoors or when a window is open, that affect air quality. It comes with a USB charging cord, and the monitor will run up to 6 hours on a single charge.

Product Specs

  • Monitors: PM2.5, PM10
  • Smart Home Integration: No
  • Number of Rooms: Single-room coverage

Pros

  • Histogram readout over 12 hours to analyze changes
  • Freely move around the house or outdoors—battery operated
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Only detects PM2.5 and PM10 pollutants

Best for Bedrooms

Best Air Quality Monitor Option: Amazon Smart Air Quality Monitor
Photo: amazon.com

The Smart Air Quality Monitor by Amazon measures particulate matter, VOCs, carbon monoxide, humidity, and temperature. Users can glance at the current air quality by checking the color-coded LED. It changes from green to yellow to red, depending on the condition of the air in the room.

Users can also access the easy-to-understand air quality score in the Alexa app when the smart monitor is connected to an Echo Dot or an Echo Show 5 (both sold separately). Alexa can also send out notifications. It is important to note that while this monitor registers carbon monoxide (CO) levels, it does not measure carbon dioxide (CO2) or radon.

Product Specs

  • Monitors: PM2.5, CO, VOCs, humidity, temperature
  • Smart Home Integration: Yes
  • Number of Rooms: Single-room coverage

Pros

  • Works with Alexa when connected to some Echo devices
  • Easy to use
  • Multicolor LED status indicator

Cons

  • No carbon dioxide detection
  • Does not detect radon levels

Our Verdict

For those looking to monitor various gases and pollutants in the air, the Airthings 4200 House Kit makes an excellent choice. It monitors VOCs, radon, the risk of mold, humidity, temperature, and outdoor pollen levels. For a budget-friendly solution that detects less but also takes less from the wallet, consider the Airthings-292 Wave Mini air quality monitor.

How We Chose the Best Air Quality Monitors 

These recommendations for the best air quality monitor cover various monitors that detect different combinations of gases, particulate matter, and other pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some have smart home integration and Wi-Fi connectivity, and others are more geared to portability. The list of products curated was developed from extensive product research.

Our favorite models watch out for many gases, pollutants, and other data in the air to provide a more comprehensive look at everything in a home. Of course, users who are looking for something designed to focus on a specific gas or need to detect air quality for allergies or asthma can find products aimed at that precise data.

Most of the products are indoor air quality monitors that measure a bit of outdoor data, but there are outdoor air quality monitors on the market.

FAQs

Very few things are as important as the quality of air your family is breathing. If you’re new to the world of air quality monitors, you likely have some questions.

Q: Are air quality monitors accurate? 

According to SmartAir, the accuracy of air quality readings on monitors falls between 70 percent and 85 percent.

Q: What are the most common airborne pollutants?

The most common pollutants are airborne particulate matter, such as dust, pet dander, and pollen.

Q: How do I improve my indoor air quality? 

A few simple ideas can improve poor air quality:

  • Clean regularly
  • Keep your home well ventilated
  • Purchase an air purifier
  • Maintain your heating and cooling systems
  • Add house plants
  • Clean air ducts

Q: How do air quality monitors work?

They sense high or unhealthy levels of particulate matter or toxic gases and alert residents if the levels become dangerous.

Q: Can air quality monitors detect mold?

Most consumer models (with the exception of our top pick from Airthings) can’t detect mold. You can, however, purchase a home mold test that comes with a petri dish and ingredients that will trigger mold growth if your home has a mold problem.