So you're thinking about buying a Hamilton Beach TrueAir purifier? This review is going to answer the big questions:
- Does this air purifier really cleanse the air in your home sufficiently?
- Is the filter really HEPA?
- Is it too small or just right?
- How loud is it?
- What's the deal with the "permanent", no-replacement filter?
Let's get stuck in.
The biggest question is: how healthy will this air purifier by Hamilton Beach make your air? Clear air is essential for the health of asthmatics and allergy sufferers. I won't bore you with the ins and outs of the effects of allergens on asthmatics, as I'm sure you're already aware. In fact, that's probably why you're here.
You already know that sneezing, sniveling, coughing, and tight lungs are all symptoms of breathing polluted air, which is irritating for everyone involved.
Let's get into the good stuff—the nitty-gritty of an air purifier by Hamilton Beach—the TrueAir Allergen-Reducing Air Purifier 04383.
The American appliance company Hamilton Beach has been around since 1910 and they have a huge product range. You might be more familiar with their many kitchen appliances and food makers (ice cream, popcorn, bread, pasta...I digress). They do have some great air-cleaning gadgets, like the super-snazzy Hamilton Beach True Air Odor Eliminator with Nightlight.
If you're big into air purifiers and filtration (I mean, who isn't?) you are familiar with TrueAir, one of Hamilton Beach's registered brands. Under this brand, they sell air purifiers, odour eliminators, and extra parts and filters.
But back to the 04383 air purifier. There's a lot to talk about with this particular air-cleaning creature, as there are some great features as well as some...interesting consumer reviews to consider.
Table of Contents
- What's interesting about the Hamilton Beach TrueAir Purifier?
- What do customers and reviews say?
- What are the general specifications?
- How do you use it?
- How do you clean it and is it easy to clean?
- How does it compare to other models?
- Filter replacement requirements
- Filter cleaning requirements
- Are there replacement parts? Where do I buy them?
- How loud is it?
- How long is the cord?
- What's the warranty?
- Verdict: Is This Air Purifier For You?
What's interesting about the Hamilton Beach TrueAir Purifier?
What struck me first when researching this little number was the size (so small) and the filter replacement requirements (none). Promotional photos of this air purifier show it sitting snuggly on a small shelf, looking no bigger than a small stereo.
The next thing that made me scratch my head and frown was the HEPA filter. As a consumer, be aware of what you are being told, versus the facts, so let's clear this one up. Yes, the filter is HEPA-grade, but it's not true HEPA. A true HEPA filter captures particles as small as 0.3 microns, but the filter in this model captures particles only as small as 3 microns. This means that the filter has been designed with HEPA-style material and construction, but does not perform to the same level as the real deal.
I'm not saying that Hamilton Beach is trying to fool you or trick you. But many companies do use the "HEPA drawcard" to give the impression that their product has true HEPA filtration. When you're skimming the specs for a quick purchase, it's very easy to think "great, HEPA filtration" when it's not quite the case.
Does it reduce dust and remove odours from tobacco, pets, or diapers?
Turning to the many customer reviews on Amazon to get a peek into others' experiences, some clear trends appear.
Yes, for most people, this air purifier does remove a significant amount of dust from the air. A large percentage of reviews state that the air is noticeably cleaner with far less dust. Many reviewers have judged this based on the fact that they are breathing more easily and experiencing fewer sniffles.
However, it doesn't do a good job of capturing floating pet hair. This isn't a great sign if you have very fluffy cats and dogs who leave little clouds of fuzz as they roam the house.
This air purifier doesn't necessarily claim to capture particles as large as pet hair, but it is something many pet owners expect and look for. I would recommend searching further and finding an air purifier that specialises in swiping pet hair before it gets into your lungs and sticks to your clothes.
What about odours? It removes odours to a moderate degree, but nothing too impressive. Further below, I have a chat about how some users use a carbon filter with this air purifier. This is because it tends to remove odours more effectively than the HEPA-grade filter alone.
The takeaway? Yes, it does reduce dust. It doesn't do a great job with pet hair. It slightly reduces odours but not to a great degree.
Does it have an ionizer?
No, it doesn't have an ionizer, it uses HEPA-grade filtration as its key purifying technology.
If you are set on an air purifier with an ionizer, reconsider that requirement. Ionizers aren't as beneficial or even as health-wise as they are made out to be. Yes, they do attack the particles in the air and remove them from "floating". But those particles end up stuck to the surfaces in your home instead. For the healthiest, cleanest air, a purifier with a true HEPA filter is recommended.
The Hamilton Beach 04383 isn't going to give you the cleanest air in the world, but it will do a good to a very-good job.
What do customers and reviews say?
Ah yes, the maze of emotion and exclamation that is the customer review section on Amazon. It's an intense place, but a very informative one. The reviews for this air purifier are a mixed bag—many glowing, and a few utterly drab. To put it in perspective, 5% of reviews are in the 1 and 2-star category, and 88% of the reviews are in the 4 and 5-star category.
Here are some of the most common pros and cons as provided by happy and not-so-happy customers:
The quietness of the Hamilton Beach Allergen Reducing Air Cleaner has been praised over and over again by positive reviewers. The first speed setting (whisper clean) is what most people run as their default 24/7 mode. The medium and "quick clean" modes are a little louder. You only need to use them for heavy-duty air cleaning, so the slightly louder noise shouldn't be an issue.
This point is a little controversial. Many reviews have said that they have absolutely noticed an improvement in allergy symptoms (i.e., no more waking up with a blocked, sniffly nose). They have noticed a marked reduction in the dust in their home and feel that the air is cleaner and crisper.
The reason I say this is controversial is that a small percentage of reviews have said...well...the opposite. We will get to that in the "negative" section. I think it's a good sign that the majority of people are happy with the dust-cleaning abilities. Maybe even enough to overlook the negative comments in this area.
The price is a popular "pro", as it is very low compared to some other, more sophisticated air purifiers that offer the same functions. It's inexpensive enough for people with smaller budgets who can't quite afford a true HEPA option. If you have a dusty office or need to keep a particular room in your home a bit cleaner, it's cheap enough to pick up without heavy budgeting.
The ease-of-use and compact size are recurring themes in the positive review section. It's easy because you don't need to do anything except turn it to whichever speed you want and leave it. Give the filter a vacuum when it needs it, and that's basically the extent of maintenance. The compact size has made some people sceptical as they wonder how powerful it is. However, the small size has turned out to be a major positive for most people, as it doesn't bulk-out the room or take up floor space.
Pros summary: quiet, clears dust, affordable, easy to clean, compact
The 1 and 2-star section does have quite a few comments regarding the "cheap construction" and "bad design" (their words, not mine). Most of these comments have been sparked by the air purifier burning out after a month or so of use or arriving broken. Some users have noted a rattling noise, but this does seem to be rare when considering the many comments praising the quietness.
Some people have been impressed with the reduction of odours in their homes. But many have also stated that the change in odour is just not good enough. This model is not specified as an odour-eliminating purifier, so it's fair that it doesn't deliver that service sufficiently as an odour-specific model.
If you want to rid your air of floating pet hair, you might want to choose another model. Customers with pets have commented that this air purifier is not good for capturing pet hair. Here's my stance on this: use your vacuum cleaner with pet-hair attachments to keep pet hair from your furniture and floors. This will reduce the need for your air purifier to catch the fuzz.
Another strong "con" in the bad section of the reviews seems to be that the highest speed setting is too loud. This is only an issue if you need to use this setting when you are in the room at the same time. Otherwise, just use the lowest setting, and you won't hear a thing.
Cons summary: Slightly cheap construction, doesn't clear odours efficiently, doesn't capture pet hair, third-speed setting is too loud for some, doesn't capture sufficient dust for some preferences
You get what you pay for: a pretty good air purifier, nothing more, nothing less. You won't get true HEPA filtration or odour elimination. But you will get pretty effective dust-reduction, cleaner air, and fewer sniffles and sneezes.
What are the general specifications?
|Recommended Room Area:
|up to 160 square feet (large room)
|3 speed levels, permanent HEPA-grade filter
|HEPA- grade (not true HEPA)
|although it's not energy star approved, many reviewers have said that no difference has shown on their energy bill, even after running the purifier 24/7
|white and pale gray
|the official decibel level remains a mystery, but it is quiet. Speed level 1 ("whisper clean") provides the quietest clean (out of 3 speeds
Dimensions & Weight
|13.54in height x 6in width x 8.5in in depth
How do you use it?
It's pretty easy really. Before you use it for the first time, remember to take the plastic off the filter. Figure out where you want to position the air purifier. Make sure that your chosen room has decent air circulation and a power outlet. If you want to keep it out of the way on a desk or shelf, use the adhesive feet so you can lay it on its side for horizontal placement.
Now, walk away and wait for that filter to collect the dust lurking in your air.
How do you clean it and is it easy to clean?
The filter is designed to be vacuum cleaned every 3 to 6 months—at least that's what the company suggests.
Here's how to clean the filter: remove the front of the machine, unclip the filter, and run a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment along the filter edges.
The outside of the unit just needs a damp cloth to keep it dust and smudge-free.
How does it compare to other models?
Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04383 vs 04384
The 04384 is basically the same as the 04383, except for the added carbon filters and the cheaper price ($39.44 on sale). The replaceable added filters with the 04384 are designed to remove pet-related odours. All of the other specs and features are identical to the 04383, so the decision between the two comes down to price and odour-removal preferences. If you have pets in your house who tend to leave smells more than you'd like, you may as well go for the 04384.
Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04383 vs 04386
The only real difference between the 04383 and the 04386 is the colour. The 04386 has a sleek black outer as opposed to white. The features, dimensions, weight, filtration, and speed levels are all the same between the two models. The choice comes down to which shade you prefer...clean white or dramatic black?
Filter replacement requirements
Bear with me, as this can get confusing...kind of.
So, you don't need to replace the HEPA-grade filter, as it has been designed as a permanent fixture. You just need to vacuum the filter whenever it gets visibly dirty. That's great: no extra costs and no waste.
However, some consumers have explained that they add another filter to this air purifier to filter and eliminate odours more effectively. Carbon filters seem to be the best choice, and they can be purchased and replaced every few months. I elaborate a bit more on this below, as there is a bit of juggling to make them fit.
This model actually doesn't come with extra carbon filters, and there's some confusion about whether or not the TrueAir Carbon Filters were designed for it.
Filter cleaning requirements
Hamilton Beach recommends that the filter be vacuumed. A small brush attachment on the end of your vacuum cleaning hose is the best way to clean the filter.
Are there replacement parts? Where do I buy them?
You can purchase a replacement for the HEPA-grade filter from the Hamilton Beach website for $16.99. Since the filter is a "permanent" feature, the only reason you should need to replace it is if it breaks or you feel as though it has become too old and clogged.
If the carbon filters appeal to you for some extra odour-clearing power, buy them for $4.99 (for one) from the Hamilton Beach website. But beware, many users have noted that these filters actually don't fit properly in the 04383, but they can be trimmed to fit. There does seem to be a fair bit of confusion about the "filter situation" in terms of which filters are designed for which models. It seems the solution lies with the scissors.
How loud is it?
Overall, this is a quiet air purifier...when you need it to be.
The lowest speed setting gives off the tiniest trace of sound. I would hope so, as it is called "whisper mode" on the dial! The second speed ("med") takes it up a notch to a light "white noise" level. The third speed, ("quick clean") is described as sounding like a very light fan.
Personally, I don't mind a bit of white noise. If you're the same as me, you might actually like the opportunity to have a few different soundscapes to choose from.
The highest speed is generally best for shorter bouts of thorough cleaning when the air is particularly full of dust, so a little noise doesn't matter so much.
How long is the cord?
The exact length of the extension cord remains a mystery. However, it's easily adjusted with an extension cord to suit the specific needs of your home or office.
What's the warranty?
Hamilton Beach provides a 1-year warranty for air purifiers purchased in the USA or Canada.
Verdict: Is This Air Purifier For You?
This is not the most comprehensive or technologically impressive air purifier. However, for the low cost and zero need to replace filters, it does a good enough job.
If you require a heavy-duty air purifier to catch and trap floating pet hair, then this isn't the one for you. If you need a true-HEPA filter for the safest, cleanest air, then I would recommend just going straight for the real deal. This may require you to extend your budget a bit, but it will ensure the cleanest air. Lots of users have said that this air purifier does make a difference to the way their air feels, and to their "sneeze quota".
If you need a simple, small, quiet, and low-maintenance air purifier to catch medium amounts of dust and dander, the Hamilton Beach TrueAir 04383 could be the one.