As the world returns back to a new normal from the COVID-19 lockdowns, air quality is becoming increasingly important. Any closed space poses a health threat and nail salons are no different.
Studies suggest that visitors and staff are exposed to an elevated level of volatile organic compounds, CO2, and PM2.5 air pollutants that can pose a health risk. The best air purifier for a nail salon packs all the filters that a nail salon needs, not only for the removal of chemicals but for particulate matter as well.
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Do Nail Salons Need an Air Purifier?
Yes, according to the United States Department of Labor, prolonged exposure to chemical hazards in a nail salon can lead to chronic respiratory illnesses, asthma attacks, eye irritation, cracked skin, miscarriages, and even birth defects.
Air purifiers can limit chemical exposure and damage by removing airborne chemicals and ensuring a safer working environment. Nail salon workspaces have a high content of Ethyl methacrylate (EMA) that is given off from the artificial nail liquid.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration links exposure to Ethyl Methacrylate to asthma; irritated eyes, skin, nose, and mouth; difficulty concentrating; and even deformities in pregnancies. Even further away from the workspaces, airborne pollutants are high in amount and necessitate the use of an air purifier.
Choosing an air purifier can be confusing, and with so many different manufacturers and models on offer, it can become a tedious task.
Not all air purifiers are meant to be used in nail salons, salon air purifier needs to pack certain filters and features that allow them to neutralize hazardous chemicals so you and your clients can breathe in safe, healthy air.
We’ve cherry-picked the best air purifiers for nail salons so you can have better confidence when making the purchase.
This guide will also help you understand what to look out for when choosing an air purifier for a nail salon and will also address your top queries.
7 Best Air Purifier For Nail Salon
Here is a head-to-head comparison of the best air purifiers for nail salons available on the market. We have selected the best air purifiers for you, all of which offer comparable performance, but some take the limelight with their high carbon content and improved efficiency.
Manufacturers tend to overestimate their product’s cleaning prowess so we suggest that you take the manufacturer’s suggested space coverage with a grain of salt and make your choice based on the clean air delivery rate (CADR) and the wattage.
A high space suggestion is usually based on a higher filtration frequency.
1. IQAir GC MultiGas Air Purifier – Best Overall
IQAir’s MultiGas is the air purifier to beat when it comes to tackling fumes, VOCs, and other chemical-based health hazards.
The air purifier brings 4-stage filtration to ensure no airborne particles, chemicals from beauty products, dust or any irritant stay airborne. IQAir GC MultiGas has a unique professional design that is both efficient and functional.
The air purifier can handle up to 1240 sq. ft. of space multiple times an hour, which makes it perfect for a nail salon.
The air enters the purifier body from the bottom where the HyperHEPA filter is located and makes its way to the top through the multiple activated carbon cylinders that remove VOCs, toxic pollutants, artificial nail products fumes, chemical substances, and other smells.
A secondary stage uses chemisorption to destroy harmful chemicals like formaldehyde that are released into the air when a blow-dryer is used to dry nails. The air is then treated by passing it through a post-filter sleeve that prevents activated carbon particulates from escaping with the air.
IQAir’s proprietary HyperHEPA technology is super efficient against particulate matter and can remove even 0.003-micron particles with 95% accuracy. For larger particles of 0.3 microns, the efficiency goes up to 99.99%.
The purifier cylinders contain 12 lbs. of carbon content and coupled with alumina pallets, they can handle almost all organic compounds one would find in a nail salon setting. Moreover, the purifier is whisper quiet at the lowest fan setting and only 27 watts at it.
The IQAir medical-grade air purifier will keep your nail salon air safe and although it carries a slightly expensive price tag, its air cleaning prowess, large space coverage, 320-degree airflow, and low power consumption make it a great choice.
2. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier – Editor’s Choice
Winix is the go-to brand when it comes to user-friendly designs and flagship features at affordable price tags.
The 5500-2 is no different, it brings the excellent air purification prowess of expensive air purifiers and offers the whole package at a fraction of their price.
The 5500-2 is an improvement over the outgoing 5500 and packs a 4-stage filtration system that can handle all contaminants one would normally find in a nail salon.
The air purifier has a pre-filter and an activated carbon filter that can be washed and is definitely something that you’ll need to do often at the nail salon.
Regularly cleaning these filters can extend the life of the True HEPA filter. The True HEPA filter has an efficiency of 99.99% for particles larger than 0.03 microns and is efficient against common nail salon air pollutants like nail paint, fumes, dust, dust mites, and various other irritants that can trigger allergic reactions.
The air purifier is perfect for a nail salon thanks to the activated carbon filter that sits between the pre-filter and the HEPA filter. The filter it packs activated carbon granules that work well against formaldehyde, paint remover odors, beauty product odors, VOCs, cigarette smells, salon odors, and other gaseous pollutants..
The 5500-2 also brings Winix’s proprietary PlasmaWave technology that is found on the much more expensive flagship models previously. It acts as a 5th filtration stage and offers better protection by tackling airborne microbes. 5500-2 is right among the top air purifiers when it comes to purification capabilities and isn’t that expensive.
Winix states that the purifier can clean up to 1,740 sq ft in 1 hour (870 sq. ft. in 30 minutes, 580 sq. ft. in 20 minutes, 435 sq. ft. in 15 minutes) making it an excellent choice for any nail salon.
If you’d like to run the air purifier at prescribed times, you can set the timer intervals for a seamless operation.
The Winix 5500-2 also brings a remote control, filter replacement indicator, timer option, air quality indicator, and auto mode in a professional-looking design that will go well with your salon aesthetics.
3. Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier – Best for Large Space
Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier will remove all your worries about indoor air pollutants as it has an automatic purification system that can cover any salon easily.
The overall design is compact when you consider that it can easily cover 1560 sq. ft. multiple times an hour and has a professional look to it.
This air purifier is ideal for large nail salon and can handle hair, pollen, smoke particles, fumes, beauty product chemicals, toxins, and even VOCs.
The defense starts with the pre-filter that traps larger particles like hair, fur, and dust before passing the air through the HEPA filters that remove particulate matter down to a size of 0.3 microns with 99.99% efficiency.
The air is then forced through the carbon filters with activated impregnated carbon that reacts with VOCs and binds VOCs to it.
Carbon pellets increase the efficiency of carbon filters and can remove all volatile compounds, toxic gasses, and hazardous fumes of chemicals that frequent a nail salon. According to the studies, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen in rats and its removal from the air is necessary, something that the Coway carbon filters do seamlessly.
On the outside, the Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier features a LED display that changes color according to the air quality index (AQI) based on feedback from the air quality sensor. Blue indicates good air quality while red represents poor quality and instantly triggers the purification system.
With the 400’s efficiency, it takes less than 10 minutes to improve the air quality in a huge 1560 sq. ft. space.
When it comes to power consumption, the added purification capacity takes a little toll and the peak power consumption hovers around 66 watts. While this may seem like a lot, the Coway 400 boasts one of the best air purification per watt numbers on the market.
As soon as the air quality is returned to safe limits, the smart sensor adjusts the fan speeds and decreases the power draw to below 30 watts at the lowest setting.
Although the Coway Airmega 400S carries a hefty price tag, it more than makes up for it with its different operating modes, touch screen controls, air quality sensors, filter change indicators, and excellent air purification per watt ratio.
While 1 such air purifier is enough to ensure a healthy environment even in a large-sized nail salon, using it alongside another unit can decrease the workload on each one and can extend the filter life.
Coway Airmega 400S packs all the smart features and can be controlled through home automation systems.
4. Levoit Core 200S Air Purifier – Best Budget Choice
Levoit is the #1 selling air purifier brand in the US and it’s no miracle as Levoit brings top-notch innovation in affordable packages.
The Core 200S is an excellent product that offers premium quality filters, efficient operation, elegant design, smart features, and respectable coverage at much less than what the competition is charging.
The Core 200S has an elegant design that is pleasing to the eye and will definitely add to the aesthetic appeal of your nail salon.
The overall build is sturdy yet portable enough to be moved around easily and packs enough power to deliver 5 air changes per hour for a 183 sq. ft. room. While there are definitely some strong performers out there, Core 400S is difficult to beat for the value it offers.
The air is taken in through a 360-degree air intake and forced through 3 filters: the pre-filter, the True HEPA filter, and a high-efficiency granular carbon filter.
The pre-and the HEPA filter work excellently against particulate matter, while the activated carbon filter handles the various fumes, odors, and acrylic nail paint in nail salons.
The 200S is packed with a plethora of smart sensors and smart features that allow it to be hooked up to a digital assistant like Amazon Alexa.
Smart features enable easy management of the device even remotely and help keep track of the filter life. This is particularly helpful if you don’t keep track of your air purifier filter health as often as it will notify you when it’s time for a change.
Even at the max settings it consumes 38W and can easily cover two-three workspaces in nail salons with ease.
The whole functioning of the air purifier is seamless as the auto function speeds up the fan whenever the air quality suffers a dip and automatically slows down even the air quality returns to normal.
The energy star certification is also a welcome addition and boasts Levoit’s manufacturing prowess when it comes to efficient air purifiers.
While the Core 200S does not feature the highest amount of carbon content, it is a respectable option if you’re on a budget and want to get something to treat the airborne irritants in your nail or beauty salon.
5. Alen BreatheSmart Classic – Best Aesthetic Choice
Alen BreatheSmart Classic is an excellent-looking air purifier that packs the best air purification technology from Alen in a functional design.
The exterior of the air purifier can come in 6 different trims so you can make the choice based on the color scheme of your nail salon.
The BF35-VOC filter from Alen is the best choice for a nail salon setting and will tackle all pollutants you would normally find in a nail salon. Like other options on our list, this purifier also features a pre-filter, a HEPA filter, and a carbon filter.
Alen couples its filters together into one package that is excellent for efficiency but can be a costly replacement every year.
The filter is rated to remove wildfire smoke so polish-remover fumes and VOCs in a salon will not be an issue. It can easily remove the methacrylate compounds you’d find in a nail salon.
Thanks to the inclusion of smart sensors and automatic functionality the classic can adjust the speed of its fan according to the contamination levels.
The air quality indicator can change its color as soon as the air quality dips and the fan can be heard running at full speed to ensure a clean supply of breathable air both for your nail salon clients and staff.
Running at turbo mode, the purifier can dish out 290 cubic feet per minute which is sufficient to have 2 air cycles per hour (ACH) in an 1100 sq. ft. setting, making it the ideal choice for a large-sized nail salon.
The BF35-VOC is an engineering marvel and can filter particulate matter with a 99.99% accuracy even for particles as little as 0.1 microns.
The filter is excellent against nail salon chemicals, VOCs, odors, and even smoke.
Choose from Brushed Stainless, Espresso, Graphite, Maple, Oak finishes and add to the aesthetic appeal of your nail salon with the Alen Classic.
6. Levoit LV-H128 – Best Portable Option
Another quality offering from Levoit, the LV-H128 is a smaller and more portable offering from the renowned manufacturer.
The reason this air purifier did not make the budget choice is that it downgrades on the coverage and brings ultra-portability along with reduced power consumption, making it an ideal option for nail salon countertops.
The whole package is tiny at only 10 inches high, it is one of the smallest air purifiers out there.
Although the size is small, Levoit cuts little corners when it comes to air purification capabilities. The air purifier packs 3-stage filtration and to make up for the small size features 2 identical filters for a more efficient cleaning experience.
The air makes its way onto the pre-filter that traps larger particles like lint, human hair, pet fur, and dust. The True HEPA filter filters 99.97% of particles measuring 0.3 microns and above before passing the air through the carbon filters.
The size of the carbon filter and the low carbon content is not fit for the whole nail salon but make it an excellent option for individual workspace counters. While the carbon filter can’t handle wildfire smoke, it is enough for fumes from nail polish removers and cosmetic products.
The body of the purifier has a single button control system like most Levoit products and the indicator around it will illuminate red when the filters need a replacement.
Overall, the device is perfect to be used on individual workspaces as it is whisper quiet in operation and consumes only 6 watts of power. It also features a diffuser option allowing you to pour in your client’s preferred essential oil aroma for a more satisfying experience.
The select feature set makes it an effective salon air purifier that doesn’t break the bank and can be placed on multiple countertops.
7. SilverOnyx Air Purifier – Best Elegant Choice
A relatively new player in the air purifier space, SilverOnyx has been making rounds because of its aesthetic designs and innovative features.
The purifier features a whopping 5 stages of filtration and begins the filtration at the pre-filter that traps larger particles like human hair, pet fur, nail paint, and large dust specks.
The air is then passed onto the H13 HEPA filter that removes even the smallest particles and allergens.
The activated carbon filter is the most important aspect when it comes to using in a nail salon and while the SilverOnyx size may be small its carbon filter is efficient. It can easily handle fumes, nail paint odor, chemicals, VOCs, and toxins.
The air is then treated with an ionizer that can be turned on or off as need be and UV-C light. The ionizer sends out negative ions into the air that stick to airborne pollutants either by bonding or by way of an electrostatic charge, making them too heavy to stay airborne.
These are then removed by the pre-and HEPA filters. The UV-C chamber makes sure that the trapped particles like mold spores and microbes do not reproduce by degenerating their DNA.
While the package might seem small at first sight and some might even mistake it for a high-quality beauty appliance, its air purification capabilities are good.
The air purifier is best suited to rooms under 500 sq. ft. and can cycle the air 5 times an hour but the low CADR suggests that it be used for smaller spaces or multiple units be used across the nail salon.
The SilverOnyx air purifier comes in multiple attractive colors that can be opted for depending on the ambiance and color scheme of your nail salon.
Also Read: 3 Best Air Purifier for Radon Gas (2022)
How To Choose An Air Purifier For Nail Salons?
Nail salons are quite different from any other indoor setting. Almost all nail salon chemicals can be lung irritants and all heavy chemical fumes can have detrimental effects on human health. Using the right air purifier will keep your customers safe and is a great way of showing your staff that you care for them.
When choosing an air purifier for a nail salon be sure to look out for:
Nail salons are high in VOCs, chemicals, and fumes. It is important to choose an air purifier that can filter bad odors alongside particulate matter.
A combination of a HEPA filter with an activated carbon filter works best for this. With the 99.97% efficacy of the HEPA filter, you can have peace of mind that harmful microorganisms, dust, nail dust, dust mites, and any airborne particle are effectively trapped.
The activated carbon filter/charcoal filter will take care of dangerous fumes like Polymethyl Methacrylate, VOCs, smoke, and other harmful chemicals that escape the HEPA filter.
Almost all air cleaners feature a pre-filter and choosing one that is washable can go a long way in keeping the air purifier operational costs low. This is particularly effective if your nail salon is located in a dusty vicinity. Pre-filters can trap larger particles like human hair, pet fur, etc.
Small air purifiers are a no-brainer for large nail salons. Using air purifiers with small coverage would skyrocket the operational costs as more units would need to be used and the air quality might still be compromised.
Nail and hair salons are usually more than 1000 sq. ft. in size, and air purifiers that can effectively filter such space twice an hour would be a great option.
If you’re redecorating your nail salon and would like it to be luxurious, multiple air purifiers that cover each workspace would ensure a clean delivery of air while also improving your image as a responsible and caring owner.
Keeping tabs on power consumption is important, particularly if you’re using more than one unit at your nail salon.
There are some great energy-star-rated options out there that ensure efficiency, but an air purifier with up to 150 watts peak usage for the whole space is a great choice. Conversely, you can also opt for multiple air purifiers that consume less power individually.
Air Changes Per Hour:
Air changes per hour mean the number of times the indoor air is passed through the air purifier in an hour. Two to three air changes per hour are the sweet spot, of course, higher air changes per hour are recommended but they come at the cost of added power consumption.
Building HVAC Systems:
If you own a nail salon in one of the high-rise buildings that has its dedicated HVAC systems, chances are that the system already incorporates an air purifier.
Commercial air purification systems are inefficient at tackling nail salon fumes as they mostly focus on removing particulate matter but can give you a false sense of security that an air purifier is working. If your building HVAC system has an air purifier installed in it, choose an air purifier with high carbon content.
FAQs – Best Air Purifier For Nail Salon
Air purifiers for nail salons ensure a safe work environment for the staff and truly allow the clients to relax as they get their nail job. They tackle organic compounds and fumes that ensue from beauty products and are efficient against VOCs as well.
Air purifiers with activated carbon filters are particularly effective against hazardous chemicals and toxins. They can remove formaldehyde, fumes, benzene, smoke, alongside volatile organic compounds that frequent a nail salon.
Air purifiers are recommended by EPA and CDC for asthma sufferers and allergy sufferers as they can significantly reduce the chance of an attack by bringing down allergens and asthma triggers. In addition, air purifiers can improve air quality by reducing organic compounds and other known lung irritants.
The best air purifier for a nail salon brings the power of activated carbon filters that remove irritants like formaldehyde, VOCs, fumes, and smoke. Studies suggest elevated health risks for individuals working in hair & nail salons and the removal of pollutants can help keep these risks in check.
Every nail salon setup is different and all manufacturers bring something different to the table. All the above-mentioned purifiers are adept at handling nail salon chemicals and will allow you peace of mind with improved indoor air quality and an uncompromised workspace.