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The best air quality monitors for 2020

At one time or another, your home has probably been the unwilling host of microcosmic pollutants. Two of the most common types are fine particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Fine particles are invisible irritants that are no larger than 2.5 micrometers in diameter but can cause serious issues for those with respiratory conditions. VOCs are invisible vapors and gases that are often the byproduct of burning fuel products like gasoline and wood-burning stoves. While the best air purifiers on the market will work wonders to combat these invisible irritants, one thing most purifiers lack is the ability to monitor and analyze the pollutants flying around your home. That’s the job of an air quality monitor.

A great air monitor will constantly measure the types of irritants in your air, log these readings in multiple ways, and even turn your purifier on to combat your home’s microbial pests. Here’s a list of our favorite air quality monitors on the market right now.

Temtop M10 Air Quality Monitor

The M10 employs a careful blend of laser-measuring technology and pollutant-balancing algorithms to scan the air in its proximity for fine particles, HCHO (formaldehyde), and VOCs produced by common household cleaners, paints, and various fuel-burning appliances. When the M10 detects a surplus of any harmful pollutant, an onboard alarm will sound, letting you know it’s time to crack a window or to change the filter in your HVAC system.

We’re big into portable and unobtrusive designs, which is one of our favorite things about the M10. Running off a rechargeable 2200mAh battery, the monitor is also designed for easy grab-and-go analytics. Take a reading of your house’s indoor air, the inside of your car, or even the great outdoors. The meter boasts just one button for on/off, and the M10 will last up to six hours on a single charge.

Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical

The Kaiterra Laser Egg + Chemical accrues air quality data using several onboard optical sensors. Once your Egg is connected to Wi-Fi, the data is cross-referenced with Kaiterra’s cloud. The Egg scans the air for fine particles, VOCs, temperature, and humidity, and logs all its findings in the Kaiterra app (for iOS and Android). Once your Egg is connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to view air quality readings on the go, as well as receive mobile alerts if the Egg detects high levels of unwelcome pollutants.

The monitor runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery that will last up to eight hours on a single charge, which makes it an easy travel companion. On top of its portable design, the Egg is also compatible with Apple HomeKit and IFTTT channels. What does that mean? Say your home is overwhelmed with high levels of fine particles. The Kaiterra will automatically tell your Wi-Fi-connected thermostat to turn on your HVAC system; that way, the air in your home can begin to be filtered and cleaned.

Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector

Radon is an odorless natural gas that can be found in most homes. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can lead to serious respiratory issues and is a leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is not to be taken lightly, and that’s where the Wave comes in. This smart meter ditches the normal particle and VOCs monitoring for radon, temperature, and humidity detection. Once it’s connected, using the Wave is just a matter of literally waving your hand in front of the meter for color-coded air quality readings. Green is good, yellow is a warning, and red means there are dangerous levels of radon in proximity.

Download the Wave app to receive the most up-to-date readings on your mobile device, but be aware that the Wave uses Bluetooth to sync up with your phone, not Wi-Fi. This means you’ll need to be inside your house to collect the latest air quality readings. A nice bonus is that unlike the other meters on this list, the Wave sports a lifelong battery, so you’ll never have to worry about charging.

Eve Home

If you’re looking for minimalism, the Eve Home is your best bet. Sleek and portable, the Eve is also powered by one of the strongest rechargeable batteries on our list. Expect up to six weeks on a single charge. When the battery is low, just connect any standard USB cable to your Eve. Even your old iPhone wire will do.

The Eve Home monitors for overall air quality, temperature, and humidity and stores its collected data into detailed hour/day/week/month/and year graphs that you can access through the Eve app (for iOS and Android). The actual monitor will rate the air on a five-star scale. Keeping above three stars is ideal. And speaking of Home, the Eve is also compatible with Apple HomeKit. Once you’ve added Eve to your Apple smart home, the monitor can automatically trigger purifiers and other web-connected air appliances when nearby air is too contaminated.

Awair Air Quality Monitor

First off, we can’t get over that walnut-wood shell. The Awair is a perfect monitor for anyone aiming to avoid a standout digital display, foregoing obtrusive LCDs in favor of a silver-grilled front display with soft-white readouts. The monitor blends seamlessly with most household decor and is dim enough at night to place by your bedside.

The Awair tracks and reports on five key air categories: Fine particles, VOCs, temperature, humidity, and Co2. Findings are displayed on the monitor and stored in the Awair app (iOS and Android), along with tips and advice on how to mitigate your stuffy air. Add even more control over your air with Alexa and Google Home. When pollutants get too high, the Awair can trigger web-connected thermostats and purifiers to begin cycling.

Awair Glow C Monitor + Smart Plug

For those looking to forego a digital readout altogether, look no further. The Awair Glow C is an all-in-one monitor, smart device trigger, and nightlight that features zero display. Just plug the Glow C into any wall outlet, download the Awair app, and receive real-time air quality reports. Unlike its big brother, the Glow only tracks for VOCs, temperature, and humidity, so it may not be the best choice for those concerned with cutting down on fine particles.

But for under $70, you’ll never have to worry about battery life, the Glow will automatically power any air device connected to its smart outlet, and the monitor can even double as a nightlight with customizable colors.

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