Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier Review [Staff Tested]

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT


Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.


The Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier is the smaller version of the 211 air purifier (one of my top picks for the best home air filters). With a baby on the way, we purchased this air purifier for our bedroom and, later, the nursery. The intention was to use it both as an air filter and a white noise machine. As it turns out, it’s also a nightlight and fan!

Table of Contents
  1. Blue Air 411 Air Purifier
  2. Product Highlights
  3. My experience with the Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier
  4. The (potential) downsides of the Blueair 411
  5. Sustainability features of the Blueair Blue Pure 411
  6. Final thoughts on the Blueair Blue Pure 411 air purifier

Blue Air 411 Air Purifier

Leaf Score

Highlights: Attractive, easy to use, effective air purifier for smaller spaces like bedrooms and the nursery. Washable pre-filter to extend inner filter life. Three levels, easy filter changes, no louder than 48 dB.

Product Highlights

  • Highly efficient air purifier that clears allergens, wildfire smoke, smog, VOCs, and viruses
  • Smart 3-stage filter design means less noise, less energy consumed, and less frequent filter replacements
  • Great for nurseries, dorms, small bedrooms, or the home office
  • Potential downside of white light while in operation
Country of Origin:Designed in Sweden
Materials: Metal, polypropylene and other plastics
Certifications:AHAM rated at 161 sq. ft.
120 cubic ft. per min Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)

The summer of 2021 was brutal for the Pacific Northwest. In British Columbia, where I live, climate fires raged, and a deadly heat dome killed more than 600 people. I was nine months pregnant as temperatures rose to well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and our attention was split between last-minute preparations and watching for wildfires.

See also: The best air purifiers for wildfire smoke

Unsurprisingly, I was anxious about the effects of poor air quality in late pregnancy and for a newborn. So, after consulting my own research on the best home air filters, I ordered the Blueair Pure 411 Air Purifier.

Here are some quick stats about the Blueair 3-stage air purifier, followed by my experience with this filter. The TL:DR is that I would highly recommend this air purifier, especially for a nursery.

Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier Product Specifications

Weight: 3.35 lbs

Dimensions: 20.3 cm diameter and 42.4 cm tall (8 x 16.7 inches)

Color: White top and body, with various pre-filter cover colors available (navy/black and light blue included as standard)

Settings: low, medium, high

Decibels: 17-46 per manufacturer / 15-38 per my testing from a meter away

Energy consumption: Energy Star rated best in class – uses 1.5 Watts

3-part filtration system: captures 99% of common airborne PM 2.5 pollutants (allergens, odors, smoke, mold spores, dust mites, pet dander

Activated carbon filter: removes common odors, VOCs, and smoke

Washable pre-filter: captures large particles such as dust and pet hair

Capacity: small to medium rooms between 100 sq. ft. and 175 sq. ft. (AHAM rated at 161 sq. ft) / 120 cubic ft/min Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)

Filter replacement: every 6 months recommended, cost $25 or less

Warranty: ‎1-year limited warranty. Extend warranty to up to 2-years with product registration on

The Blueair Blue Pure has a 3-stage filtration process that first captures larger particles like dust and pet hair in an external washable pre-filter. The air then moves through a particle filter and activated carbon filter. With arguably better than HEPA technology, this air purifier traps airborne contaminants down to the size of a virus. The Blueair Blue Pure is great for clearing air of:

  • Pollen, dust, pet dander, and mold spores
  • Volatile organic compounds and smoke
  • Viruses, allergens and bacteria
  • Food smells and pet odors.

This relatively small air purifier is ideal for small bedrooms, offices, dorm rooms, and nurseries.

My experience with the Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier

The Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier is the smaller version of the 211 air purifier (one of my top picks for the best home air filters). With a baby on the way, we purchased this air purifier for our bedroom and, later, the nursery. The intention was to use it both as an air filter and a white noise machine. As it turns out, it’s also a nightlight and fan!

My first impressions were excellent as this purifier is lightweight (under 4 lbs!), portable, and so easy to set up. The purifier was pretty much ready to go, right out of the box. With one of the two pre-filters already in place, all I had to do was slot the top (white) section of the unit on and turn it to secure the catches. After plugging it in (and reading the manual), I pressed the top center circle to start the purifier.

At just 20.3 cm diameter and 42.4 cm tall, this air filter tucks easily into small spaces. Be aware, though, that you need to leave a 10 cm space around the air filter for proper air flow. This filter has a 360 degree air intake, so will actually need a space 30 x 50 cm.

Blueair and noise

The Blueair Blue Pure is very quiet on its lowest setting. You’ll know it’s on by the single white light illuminating a third of the center circle. To bump it up to its middle setting, press the circle again and a second light will come on. For the highest setting, press a third time, and the circle of light will be complete. To turn it off, press the circle again and all the lights will go out as well. This center circle light will glow red when it’s time to change the filter.

We keep the purifier on the highest setting as it’s an excellent white noise machine. The Blueair not only helps to soothe our baby to sleep, it also drowns out the noise of the wolf that lives next door. That’s right, we have a wolf hybrid neighbor who howls for a large part of the night (and day). Without the air filter, I’m constantly woken up with spiked adrenaline (not awesome in pregnancy). With the air purifier, I sleep right through the howling.

Because our filter is crib-side and is audible outside the room (on the top setting), I tested the decibel levels. From a meter away it was just 38 on high and 15 on low. This was lower than Blueair’s measurements of 46 decibels on high (the sound of a library) and 17 on low. Put simply, there’s no need to worry about using this filter beside a crib.

The noise is also really consistent, with no intermittent whirring or such. As such, I’d imagine most people will easily be able to tune it out even while sleeping. I can’t say how it is while watching television, but it seems unlikely to be disruptive. And even if it does muffle the sound a bit, you can always turn it off, put it on low, or move it farther away temporarily.

Filter changes and performance

We’ve had this unit in operation on its top setting for nine months and haven’t yet had an alert to change the filter. The company recommends changing filters every six months, but we vacuum the outer cover weekly and have washed it a couple of times too. The filter cleans up really well and is easy to put back on.

Conveniently, Blueair includes two of the covers (one navy/black and one lighter blue), so you never have to wait for the laundry to keep using the purifier. You can also use the unit without the pre-filter, but I don’t see why anyone would, given that it removes a layer of filtration. If you don’t like the two colors of filter included, however, you can buy other colors to match your aesthetic.

Of note, we’re a non-smoking household with a dog who sheds a lot. We also live by a forest with a lot of pollen, spores, and other potential allergens floating about year-round, and we live close to a pulp and paper mill that you can definitely smell on certain days. With the air filter on, we can’t smell the mill and my dogwood allergies and other seasonal symptoms have been much reduced. That outer pre-filter clearly attracts a lot of dog hair too, hence the regular vacuuming.

As for those wildfires, it will be interesting to see how this filter performs if we get a lot of smoke again like 2020. Subjectively, it performed well in 2021, keeping our indoor air clear on the smokiest days. I didn’t have an air quality monitor at the time, however, though I do plan on acquiring one this summer. If/when I get readings, I’ll update this post with results.

We haven’t used the air filter in our kitchen, which is at the other end of the house, so I can’t say how this does for cooking odors. Other reviewers suggest the Blueair works really well though, as long as you move it to the kitchen while cooking. Similarly, it’s hard to tell how effective the Blueair is for VOCs, given that we’re pretty diligent about avoiding these in our home.

I’ve written quite a bit about how to choose an effective air purifier, so if you’re not familiar with CADR, AHAM and so forth, get a crash course here. Or consider buying the Blueair Blue Pure 411 (or 211+). These filters carry an AHAM Verifide seal and a CADR. The 411 has a CADR of 120 for dust and pollen. This means that at the top setting the filter produces 120 cubic feet of clean air every minute. For smoke, the CADR is 105. The purifier manages about 5 air exchanges per hour for a small bedroom or nursery, or one every 12.5 minutes.

While I haven’t had to change the filter, it seems fairly straightforward. The smart design means you just unscrew the top, remove the old filter, pop in the new, and screw the top back on. No tools or profanity required.

The (potential) downsides of the Blueair 411

About that light. Some of you will hate the bright white central light that stays on permanently while the unit is in operation. I find the light rather useful, though, for 1 am, 3 am, 5 am feedings. It essentially replaces the nightlight I planned on using with my baby. If you like your room pitch black though, you’re going to want to MacGyver a solution for the light.

Some folks have had success using a sliver of electrical tape over the circle of lights. My ingenious wife once used a folded reusable baby wipe to cover the light, which worked a little too well and resulted in a stubbed toe.

Filter replacement costs

Another potential downside of the 411 is the cost of the replacement filters. At $25 (view on Amazon), these aren’t cheap. Unless you’re a heavy smoker or have significant indoor air pollution, though, you might not need to replace the filters more than once or twice a year. This makes the air filters much cheaper than furnace air filters.

If you live in the U.S., you can set up a filter subscription through Blueair. This will save you money compared to buying individual filters. We can’t take advantage of this in Canada, alas, though we could use Amazon’s subscribe and save option.

Finally, I was quite surprised at how much air this filter moves even on its lowest setting. The breeze from the top of the fan is fairly powerful, which was nice in the sticky summer heat but feels a little chilly during midwinter nights. At least it demonstrates that the filter is working well though!

Sustainability features of the Blueair Blue Pure 411

Unlike many filters, the Blueair Blue Pure 411 comes with a polypropylene filter that can be easily replaced and recycled. Because the pre-filter is external, though, you can easily remove and wash this, meaning it never needs replacing. And if you keep the pre-filter in good shape, with regular vacuuming and cleaning, this will help extend the life of the 2nd and 3rd stage filters, helping to further save resources.

The 360 degree nature of this air purifier design also helps to extend the life of the filter. The unit filters air from all sides through many layers of millions of ultra-thin fibers, meaning the filter is less dense in any given spot compared to a single face filter. That translates to less clogging, better airflow, and less noise as the filter doesn’t have to labor so much to suck in air. It also means that the Blueair Blue Pure uses just 1.5 Watts, making it one of the most energy efficient air filters around.

Final thoughts on the Blueair Blue Pure 411 air purifier

I’m very happy with the overall performance of my Blueair Blue Pure 411 air purifier. It makes a noticeable difference to the air quality in a room, is easy to use, and has the added bonuses of being a white noise machine, nightlight, and fan.

Compared to some of the pricier options, such as the IQAir models, the Blueair Blue Pure is a great budget pick. And despite being fairly costly to replace, the filters last a long time if cared for. All in all, that makes the Blueair Blue Pure a cost effective machine.

If you have a larger space to manage, consider the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier (view on Amazon). This costs $299.99 and can quickly and efficiently clear the air in a large room (up to 540 sq. ft.). It is also an Energy Star model (30-61 Watts) and has the same machine-washable pre-filter. The 211+ is a bit louder though. It clocks in at 31 dB at its lowest speed and 56 dB at its highest setting. This is basically a bit louder than light traffic and similar to the sound of an electric toothbrush.

If you’re nerdy about air quality, consider purchasing a Blueair purifier that connects to the company’s air quality monitoring smartphone app and Alexa. You can then operate your air purifier using voice commands and remotely monitor air quality.

One last plus for Blueair is the company’s track record of donating air purifiers to low-income schools and nonprofit organizations across the world, including in the U.S. In 2021 the company donated 4,000 air purifiers to those affected by COVID-19, poor air quality, and wildfires.

Blue Air 411 Air Purifier

Leaf Score

Highlights: Attractive, easy to use, effective air purifier for smaller spaces like bedrooms and the nursery. Washable pre-filter to extend inner filter life. Three levels, easy filter changes, no louder than 48 dB.

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