With air quality being a growing concern for many households, I decided to try out one of the latest air purifiers on the market – the Sterra Air Purifier – to see if it could improve the air quality in my home.
As someone who suffers from allergies and asthma, having clean indoor air is really important to me. In this in-depth review, I’ll share my personal experience testing out the Sterra over the past few months to provide an honest assessment of its performance and value.
About the Sterra Air Purifier
The Sterra Air Purifier is a HEPA-based air purifier created by a company called Sterra. It was designed by aerospace engineers to use a three-stage filtration system to remove pollutants, allergens, viruses and chemicals from the air.
The filtration system combines a pre-filter for large particles, a HEPA filter for small particles like dust and pollen, and a carbon filter for odors and gases.
Some key features of the Sterra include:
- Three fan speeds up to 346 cubic feet per minute of air flow
- Ultra-quiet operation down to 32 decibels
- Real-time air quality monitoring with numerical PM2.5 reading
- WiFi connectivity and app control
- Auto mode that adjusts fan speed based on air quality
- Filter change reminders based on usage
The Sterra Breeze Air Purifier costs $399 for the device itself. Replacement filters cost $69 for a set that Sterra recommends changing every 6 months.
Testing Out the Sterra in My Home
I purchased the Sterra Air Purifier directly from their website and chose standard shipping to receive it within 5-7 business days. Setup was quick and easy after unboxing it – I just had to take the filters out of their packaging, insert them properly into the device, and plug it in. The sleek white minimalist design looks nice and modern which is great since I have it placed prominently in my living room.
To connect the purifier to WiFi and control it through the app, I downloaded the Sterra app on my smartphone and followed the on-screen instructions. The process was straightforward and only took a couple minutes. The app provides monitoring and control capabilities including:
- Real-time monitoring of PM2.5 particles
- Current fan speed
- Filter life remaining
- Scheduling on/off times
- Air quality history and trends
- Push notifications for filter changes or air quality alerts
I started out by letting the Sterra run on auto mode so it would automatically adjust the fan speed based on the detected air quality. I have it scheduled to run 24/7 because I wanted it to constantly clean the air. I placed it in the middle of my open concept living room which is adjacent to my kitchen – this is where I spend most of my time at home.
Right away, I noticed the ultra-quiet operation. Even on the highest fan speed, it produces just a soft hum that fades into the background. I don’t find it distracting at all which is great for running it day and night. The noise level is very impressive compared to other purifiers I’ve used that had annoying fan sounds.
How Well Does It Actually Clean the Air?
Now onto the most important factor – how well does the Sterra Air Purifier actually perform in terms of removing pollutants and improving indoor air quality? I focused on evaluating two main aspects:
1. Air Quality Readings
The real-time PM2.5 monitor is my favorite feature! It displays a numerical reading that tells you the concentration of microscopic airborne particles that can be inhaled and cause health issues. Lower numbers are better.
Here were the before and after differences I observed:
- Before turning on the Sterra, my indoor PM2.5 level was usually between 15-25 which is considered moderate air quality.
- Within 30 minutes of running the Sterra on auto mode, it brought the PM2.5 reading down to 3-5 which is considered good air quality.
- Overnight with the Sterra running, PM2.5 consistently stayed around 3 which is excellent.
The Sterra was clearly effective at reducing the PM2.5 particles in my home. I also noticed the auto mode would intelligently ramp up the fan speed when cooking or other indoor activities temporarily increased the particle levels. Then it would dial back down once the air was cleaned.
2. Allergy and Asthma Symptom Improvement
More importantly, I felt a noticeable difference in my seasonal allergy and asthma symptoms with the Sterra running. I experienced:
- Less congestion, sneezing and runny nose
- Less need for allergy medication
- Better sleep at night without congestion and coughing
- Improved breathing and fewer asthma flare ups
The reduction in allergens like pollen and dust seems to really make a difference for me personally. I feel much better having the Sterra continually cleaning the air in my most used living spaces.
Additional Review Factors to Consider
Here are some other factors I considered when evaluating the overall value and experience of owning the Sterra Air Purifier:
Cost: At $399 plus $69 for filter replacements every 6 months, the Sterra is priced competitively for the performance it delivers. Many comparable HEPA air purifiers range from $300 to $500.
Filter life: The filters seem durable and well made. Sterra’s estimate of replacing them every 6 months with average usage aligns with my experience so far. Filter life remaining display is helpful.
Maintenance: No major maintenance is required. Just occasional wiping down the exterior, emptying the dust collector as needed, and periodic filter changes. Very simple and straightforward.
Smart features: Auto mode, air quality monitoring, app controls, scheduling, and push notifications are very convenient to have. Allows full control and optimization.
Size and placement: Compact 18 x 18 x 22 inch size fits easily in rooms of all sizes and doesn’t take up much space. The air inlet and outlet vents are thoughtfully positioned to maximize air flow.
Customer service: Sterra’s customer service has been responsive the few times I contacted them with questions. They seem committed to supporting their products and customers.
Warranty: Comes with a 1 year limited warranty which provides peace of mind.
Is the Sterra Worth Buying for Your Home?
Overall, my experience testing out the Sterra Air Purifier has been extremely positive. The three-stage filtration system works effectively to remove PM2.5 particles, allergens, and odors, significantly improving my indoor air quality. I’ve also personally experienced tangible allergy and asthma symptom relief with continuous use.
The Sterra has all the “smart” features I want like air quality monitoring, app control, scheduling, and filter change notifications. Yet it maintains an affordable price point and simple maintenance needs. Performance and noise level are both excellent, even on the highest fan setting.
Considering the importance of healthy indoor air, especially with kids, pets or health issues, I think the Sterra provides tremendous value. My home air feels fresher and cleaner with major pollen/dust/dander reductions. The mobile app also brings added peace of mind so I can monitor air quality anytime.
If you’re looking for an effective air purifier that’s thoughtfully designed, easy to use, ultra quiet and budget-friendly, I highly recommend considering the Sterra. It has absolutely been a valuable addition to my home given the benefits I’ve personally experienced. While no purifier is perfect, Sterra checks all the boxes for what most people need.
I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments based on my experience testing the Sterra over the past few months of real-world use! I’ll also aim to provide future updates on long term durability and filter replacements.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Sterra Air Purifier
Here are answers to some common questions people have about the Sterra air purifier based on my experience using it:
Q: How large of a room can the Sterra effectively clean?
A: Sterra recommends the device for rooms up to 550 square feet. I’ve used it in both my living room and bedroom which are within that size range, and it keeps the whole space fresh with excellent air quality. Larger rooms may require multiple units.
Q: Does the Sterra remove odors from pets, cooking or smoke?
A: Yes, the activated carbon filter is effective at removing strong odors from indoor air. I’ve noticed a reduction in cooking odors and pet smells with the Sterra running. It won’t eliminate odors completely, but it helps clean the air.
Q: Is the Sterra loud while running?
A: It’s incredibly quiet, even on the highest setting. You can carry on a conversation, watch TV, listen to music, etc. without it being distracting. I barely notice it running in the background.
Q: How long do the filters last?
A: Sterra estimates filter life at 6 months with average usage, but the app provides more precise remaining filter life data based on your actual runtime. You’ll get a notification when it’s time to change them.
Q: Does the Sterra require a lot of maintenance?
A: Maintenance is minimal – just emptying the dust collector every few weeks, wiping down the exterior periodically, and replacing filters every 6 months or so. Very simple and quick to do.
Q: Can you control the Sterra without the app?
A: Yes, you can power it on/off, adjust fan speeds and modes using the built-in control panel on the device itself without the app. The app just provides added convenience.
I hope these answers help clarify some of the most common questions about the Sterra Air Purifier. Feel free to ask any additional questions!
Best Practices for Assessing Air Purifier Legitimacy
Air quality is an important health consideration, so you want to make sure any air purifier you’re considering actually lives up to its claims. Here are some expert tips for assessing the legitimacy of air purifier products:
Look for certifications – Legitimate air purifiers will be CARB, AHAM, and ENERGY STAR certified, which means they meet rigorous third-party standards for performance and electrical safety. The Sterra has all of these.
Research the technology – Medical-grade HEPA filters along with activated carbon for gases/odors is the gold standard. Be wary of questionable technologies with limited evidence of effectiveness. The Sterra uses proven HEPA/carbon filtration.
Check product testing – Legitimate brands will have their devices evaluated in controlled lab tests by groups like IBR Laboratories and AIRNow. This data verifies the purifier’s CADR ratings and ability to actually reduce pollutants. The Sterra has been rigorously performance tested.
Read customer reviews – Look at reviews from actual verified customers describing their first-hand experience with the product. Numerous positive Sterra reviews confirm its effectiveness. But beware fake reviews.
Consider expert sources – Check recommendations from consumer testing groups like Consumer Reports, J.D. Power and USA Today. The Sterra has been recognized as a top choice by many independent experts.
Verify company reputation – Research the reputation and history of the company behind the product. Sterra comes from a legitimate U.S. based company (Airthings) specializing in air quality technology.
Check for transparency – Reputable companies will openly provide technical product details and performance information rather than vague marketing claims. Sterra’s website and materials offer helpful transparency.
Making an informed purchasing decision means going beyond bold marketing claims. Following these best practices can help you feel confident choosing an effective, high-quality air purifying device for your home. Let me know if you have any other questions!