air purifier

My Son and I Sleep Through the Night Thanks to This Air Purifier, and It's 30% Off for Cyber Monday

The Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto is worth every penny for kids and grown-ups with allergies.
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Dear Santa, you can skip all my presents for the next 30 years if you can instead give me a few extra minutes of uninterrupted sleep every night. While that possibility seems more far-fetched than a flying sleigh that bends time and space, I think I've found a way. Running air purifiers in our home helps my family breathe a little easier, without stuffy noses and ticklish coughs waking us up in the middle of the night. If you know someone who suffers from allergies, the Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto air purifier makes a very good gift for the holidays—especially since it's 30 percent off at Amazon on Cyber Monday.

For several years, I assumed that the reason my son was often waking up with sniffles and coughs was because colds were the cost of him being in daycare, preschool, and kindergarten. Then, during his annual checkup in February 2020, I, like so many other parents, asked his pediatrician if I should be worried about that cough. Without completely dismissing my COVID fears, she mentioned the possibility of a dust allergy made worse by sleeping in a room surrounded by dust-collecting toys, clothing, furniture, and bedding. I'm no fan of mom-shaming, but this was a real face-palm moment for me. I've had the very same allergies my whole life, and I'd completely failed to put  two and two together. 

Since that day, we have spent a whole lot of time inside battling against our favorite allergen. There's been a lot of vacuuming, dusting, and shoving his stuffed animals into pillowcases for a turn in the washing machine. Gradually, the morning coughs and midnight complaints of stuffiness have tapered away, though they've never disappeared completely. But this spring, as I started waking up with my eyes the size of golf balls, I decided to invest in some air purifiers for our home.

blue air purifier
Credit: Amazon

To buy: Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto, $174.99 (originally $249.99);

"Allergens in the air in your home can trigger allergy symptoms, and air filtration can help decrease the amount of airborne allergens in your home and can help with allergy and asthma symptoms," Meng Chen, M.D., an allergy and immunology specialist at Stanford Children's Health, told previously. 

We started with smaller air purifiers in our bedrooms, and the difference was noticeable. I could inhale through my nose in the mornings and didn't spend the night clawing at my itchy eyelids. There was no longer a cough from the kids' room serving as my morning alarm clock. Still, air purifiers have limitations: They only work in one room at a time and you need a more powerful machine to filter the air in a bigger room. If we could feel better at night in our bedrooms, wouldn't we want to feel good all day in the rest of the house? This is where the larger Blueair 311 Auto comes in.

It cycles all the air in a 388 square-foot room five times an hour, trapping 99.97 percent of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns. All Blueair purifiers have had their clean air delivery rate verified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, plus they're Energy Star rated and tested by the California EPA Air Resources Board for safe ozone emissions. But the Blueair 311 doesn't look or sound like it's doing all that work. Instead, its Scandinavian design makes it look like a very cool cylindrical speaker—the gray cloth pre-filter is giving us mid-century mod vibes—and when it's operating on low, you have to put your ear up to the fan to hear it. 

According to the company, Blueair machines are quieter than others because their HEPASilent filters use static electricity to trap smaller particles, which means they can be thinner than other filters. A thinner filter requires a lower fan speed to push the air through, so it's quieter and uses less electricity. At the same time, you can tell it's really working when you put it on auto mode and the sensor is triggered (when I'm cooking something smoky, or even when someone shakes out a blanket); the fan kicks up for a few minutes until those particles are taken care of. 

"Our daughter has asthma, and it only really affects her at night and disturbs her sleep," one parent wrote on Amazon. "She coughs, tosses and turns, and wakes up several times a night. I removed all her stuffed animals and other allergens, made sure that we kept her room free of dust ... ran a humidifier for her every night, and still she would cough. From day one after setting up her air purifier, she has stopped coughing and is sleeping through the night. Her blankets are not all over the place anymore, so I know that she is no longer tossing and turning." 

To be clear, doctors don't think air purifiers alone can cure allergies. While they can clear dust, pollution, pollen, and other particles from the air, allergens like dust mites settle into carpets and beds. So, the vacuuming and laundering must continue, but I'm happy to have the extra help. 

This isn't just for allergies, by the way. Other reviewers praise the Blueair 311 and its other models (211 for bigger rooms and 411 for smaller) for how it's helped them breathe easier during wildfire season out West and during a particularly dusty construction project. The carbon filter has even helped rid their rooms of doggy smells, and I've definitely made use of that same feature when my downstairs neighbors are frying something for dinner. 

While most air purifiers do rid the air of some germs, if your primary concern is COVID, consider upgrading to the Blueair HealthProtect 7470i which has a filter designed specifically to block viruses and bacteria. 

All this is to say there may be someone in your life who would benefit from a new, quiet air purifier in their home—and if that's the case, this Cyber Monday price is too good to pass up. 

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