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SQAir Air Purifier Review

9/28/20 UPDATE – Shipping costs have massively increased since our initial publishing of this review. As a result, the unit is not a good value for US customers and many other countries based merely the increased shipping costs. See below for more.

A HEPA Air Purifier With Mid-Century Modern Appeal

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SQair Air Purifier

The Sqair air purifier is a compact purifier with rounded edges and tapered beechwood legs. It is incredibly easy to use and maintain. This purifier relies on HEPA filtration (with optional carbon filtration). In our tests it improved AQI from 20 down to 0 (best) in only 60 minutes.Check Price

Pros

  • Modern unique design with raised wooden legs
  • Can cover up to 430 square feet in 25 minutes (according to manufacturer)
  • Easy to use with simple controls and limited customization

Cons

  • May not be powerful enough for larger living spaces
  • Replacement filters must be sourced directly from the manufacturer
  • Manufactured and sold in China. May take longer to get depending on where you are in the world.
  • Shipping costs are massively expensive. As of 9/28/20 it costs $114 to ship to the USA.

SQair Design

The SQair air purifier has a look that is pretty unique compared to other purifiers. It is relatively small, and stands off the ground on short, tapered legs with rounded edge for a bit of a mid-century aesthetic.

The body is made of a white composite plastic with rounded edges and the top is black with the air grill.

SQair air purifier review

The Controls

This purifier doesn’t have any WiFi connectivity or smartphone control, but there are variable fan speeds (1, 2, or 2) and a custom air outlet control.

The Filters

The SQair purifier relies mainly on a large HEPA filter that is nestled into the base of the unit. The HEPA filter is approximately 10×10″ and can capture particulate down to 0.3 microns.

HEPA filter on the SQair purifier
HEPA filter on the SQair purifier

There is also an optional carbon filter that addresses odors like smoke, food, pet, etc.

RELATED: What’s the best air purifier?

One feature that is a little unique is that the position of the HEPA filter exposes it directly to outside air.

Bottom view of the SQ air purifier
Bottom view of the SQ air purifier

Size and Dimensions

The actual size and dimensions of the SQair purifier are:

  • Width: 13″
  • Length: 13″
  • Depth: 13″
  • Height: 14.5″
  • Weight: ~13 lbs.

Accessories & Parts

This air purifier is pretty basic and includes simple parts that stack up to form the complete unit.

From top to bottom, the SQair includes:

SQair air purifier assembly and parts
SQair air purifier assembly and parts
  • Top: top composite shell housing that covers and protects the parts below
  • HEPA Filter: HEPA filter which removes up to
  • Carbon Filter: designed to capture odors like smoke, food, pets, etc.
  • Base: bottom composite shell for the rest of the purifier to nestle into
  • Legs: beechwood, tapered wooden legs
View of the SQair air purifier disassembled
View of the SQair air purifier disassembled

The build quality of these parts feels substantial. And the top is surprisingly heavy. It may actually be too heavy for some.

During our tests when I was reassembling the purifier the top slid out of my hands and I received a decent injury when the top fell on my thumb.

SQair injury due to the weight of the top of the purifier
SQair injury due to the weight of the top of the purifier

You’ll want to be careful when reinstalling the top and make sure your hands and fingers are fully cleared before letting it drop into place.

RELATED – Read our Dyson Pure Cool TP04 review.

SQair Performance

To test the SQair purifier in real-life environment, I set it up in my own home. I used a closed room (approx 10×10′) and let the purifier run for an hour.

We used a meter that detects indoor air quality and took two measurements: one before turning the purifier on (a baseline) and one after running the purifier for an hour.

Air Quality Testing meter
Electronic testing meter we use to measure particulates and air quality

The difference between the two measurements helps to show how well the purifier was able to clean the air in a relatively short amount of time.

In the case for the SQair, performance was pretty good, especially considering its smaller size. After an hour, the SQair was able to improve the overall number of particles by 89%.

Starting Baseline

  • PM2.5: 5.0
  • PM10: 7.3
  • Particles: 459
  • AQI: 20

After 1 Hour

  • PM2.5: 0.5
  • PM10: 0.5
  • Particles: 54
  • AQI: 0

While PM2.5 of 0.5 isn’t bad, it’s also not amazing. Many air purifiers we’ve tested are able to achieve PM2.5 as low as 0.1, including the Oransi EJ120, Rabbit Air MinusA2, and Levoit LV-H134.

That said, all of the above are notably more expensive than the Sqair.

Setup & Usability

Setting up the SQair air purifier is simple and takes less than 5 minutes. The basic steps of the setup include:

  1. Unbox the purifier.
  2. Install the filter.
  3. Screw the legs on.
  4. Plug the power cable into the purifier, and then the purifier into the wall.
The legs screw into the base on the SQ air purifier
The legs screw into the base on the SQ air purifier

The legs are made from solid beechwood and have a tapered style that mimics the look of trending mid-century modern design.

How do you use the SQair?

Usability is incredibly easy on the SQair air purifier. The radial dial in the center of the unit rotates allowing you to change airflow speeds.

There is no wifi connectivity on this air purifier, but the simple controls hardly warrant the need for wifi or any additional features.

Airflow outlet control on the SQair air purifier
Airflow outlet control on the SQair air purifier

SQair Maintenance

Maintaining the performance of the SQair involves two simple steps:

  1. Use a dry cloth to wipe down the purifier and the air intake and outlet grills.
  2. Replace the filters as needed. The manufacturer recommends a 6-month replacement frequency for the HEPA filter.

RELATED What is a HEPA filter?

Is the SQair a good value?

9/28/20 Update – Most likely due to COVID, internationally shipping costs have massively increased since we initially tested the SQair. Shipping to the US costs $114. As a result, this air purifier just isn’t a good value any more.

If you live in China or a country in close proximity, it’s still a reasonable option, but for US & other non-China customers it’s better to find an air purifier with lower shipping costs.

Relative size of the SQair air purifier
Relative size of the SQair air purifier

Despite the high shipping costs, this purifier did a great job of cleaning the air during our test and aesthetically, it’s one of the nicest looking purifiers we’ve reviewed to date.

It is modern, simple, and easy to use, with a price tag that isn’t insanely expensive either. Nevertheless, as long as the shipping remains unreasonably high it’s hard to recommend the SQAir.

Shipping error on the SQair purifier website

SQair Specifications

Specifications 
ManufacturerSmart Air China
ModelSQair
Width (inches)13"
Depth(inches)13"
Height14.3"
Weight13 pounds (shipped)
FiltersHEPA (included); Carbon (optional)
Wifi CompatibleNo
Room Coverage~430 sq. ft.
PriceCheck Price

Should you buy the SQair purifier?

I would buy the SQair if you’re looking for the following in an air purifier:

  • A mid-century modern aesthetic: This purifier is certainly one of the nicest ones we’ve reviewed to date in terms of looks alone. The white shell has softened rounded edges and the tapered beechwood turned legs are a really nice design feature. The SQair doesn’t look like your typical white box air purifier.
  • Good performance: Whether or not you opt to add the carbon filter, the SQair still has really good performance and is able to treat a pretty large space (up to 430 square feet).
  • Don’t mind sourcing overseas: Depending on your geographic location it can be difficult to source the SQair purifier or replacement filters. In addition, shipping costs are quite expensive for most countries.

Click here to learn more or to buy the SQair air purifier.

Updates

  • September 28, 2020 – Updated the page based on increases in the international shipping costs. As a result of those increases, we no longer think the SQair is a good value and have adjusted the score accordingly.
  • February 11, 2020 – Initial version of the page was published.
Beautiful Design
  • 97%
    Design - 97%
  • 91%
    Performance - 91%
  • 94%
    Quality - 94%
  • 92%
    Usability - 92%
  • 50%
    Value - 50%
85%

Summary

The SQair air purifier takes a mid-century modern aesthetic and applies it to a HEPA-based air purifier. It has sleek, rounded edges and tapered wooden legs, looking more like a piece of furniture than an air purifier. The controls are simple and easy to use with a turn dial to change speeds. Overall build quality is extremely solid and all of the pieces have a good weight to them. As a potential downside, sourcing this purifier is done directly from China. Without a US presence or marketplace, it can be difficult to purchase this purifier in a US market and finding replacement parts can difficult.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

Need Help? Ask Your Question Below

  1. Well to be fair, they don’t control shipping costs or their escalation due to pandemics. However, to save costs, they had the nerve to suggest I buy 20 and then find 19 friends to buy units from me—in other words, become a retail store! Of course, that’s their job, not mine, and I would just buy another product who sells in the US. In fact, I don’t know about it’s efficacy by comparison, but vornado seems to have a similar design now and the replacement filters are also available here.

    On a similar note, do you know if any good, small footprint, affordable table top units—fan only or ideally purifier too— that would work next to a stove (rental apt with no fume hood)?

    Reply
    • Lol…buy 20, that is hilarious. In any case, I am glad to hear you did not choose to become a retail store in the US.

      You’re right, they don’t control international logistics. Even so, as most of our users are US based we based our value scores on the US experience (unless otherwise noted). As good as the SQ Air is (and it is!)…if they cannot find a way to get them to the US for a reasonable shipping cost it really makes the purifier a non-starter for anyone in the US.

      For a small footprint table top unit I’d suggest the Levoit Core 300 – https://amzn.to/3cESfKM

      You can read our review of the Core 300 here – https://moderncastle.com/levoit-core-300-review/

  2. Actually, unless they sent you a review unit, or you got yours from kickstarter, the cost is somewhat deceptive. I was just about to purchase a set a unit and some spare hepa and carbon filters. Current price is about $150 USD. But when I indicated the shipping location (US), it came out to $380. Unless I’ve got something wrong, it no longer seems like a good value.

    Reply
    • Yes, we received a review unit for free.

      When we tested I don’t recall the shipping costs being so extreme…but you make a good point. I’m putting this back on our content calendar. We’ll update the value and other sections accordingly to make sure they are still reflective of reality.

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

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