Holmes Air Purifier Review

Holmes Air Purifier Review

Most people don’t realize it, but indoor air quality can often be worse than outdoor air quality.

Some studies even argue that it can be up to 10 times as bad.  

Spaces that lack adequate air flow or keep air contained tend have degraded air quality. Additionally, various chemicals and gases which can be harmful if not properly ventilated or removed can be found in many homes.

A good air purifier is a great tool to use for dealing with the various allergens, dust, pet dander, and even mold that sometimes build up in the home. The Holmes HAP242-NUC Desktop Air Purifier is an excellent air purifier for filtering the air in smaller rooms.

This air purifier is such a great deal that it has shown up on several of our lists and was even our top selection for mold.

Holmes Products

The Holmes company has been around since the early 1980s and was at one time a subsidiary of Berkshire Partners (which shouldn’t be confused with Berkshire Hathaway).

The Massachusetts-based company produces several different products including fans, humidifiers, and of course numerous air purifiers.

Holmes HAP242-NUC Desktop Air Purifier

The HAP242-NUC Desktop Air Purifier is an entry level air purifier that is compact and relatively lightweight. It is also exceptionally inexpensive, coming in at around $40.

This device features a two-stage filtration process including a HEPA-type filter that can effectively remove most fine particulates from the air. The filter that comes with the machine has also been enhanced with Arm & Hammer baking soda to help remove odors.

If you are not comfortable with the fact that this device only comes with a HEPA-type filter rather than a True HEPA filter, you can customize your device with different filters. There are four different filters to choose from, including two that are true HEPA filters, ensuring even better filtration.

The replacement filters run between $10 and $20, depending on which model you choose.

There is also a charcoal filter. Charcoal — or activated carbon — is great for capturing gases because it can bond with them through the process of adsorption.

The device does not come with a sensor to tell you when to change out the filters, but the general rule of thumb for a HEPA filter is between 12 and 18 months.

The HAP242-NUC also features an optional ionizer, which sends negative charges into the air to bond with particles, making them too heavy to remain in the air. Then, the particles fall to the ground where they can be easily vacuumed.

However, you should be very careful not to use the ionizer too often, as ionizers have been known to produce trace amounts of ozone, a gas that can be very dangerous if inhaled in large quantities.

Coverage and Noise

The Holmes HAP242-NUC is not built to cover large rooms. The recommended space is around 110 square feet, making it ideal for an office, dorm room, bedroom, or small classroom.

The machine uses a fan to draw air in through the front and into the filters, and then back out through the top. The fan can be operated at three speeds. The highest speed can be quite loud, while the lowest speed sounds like a quiet fan.

Most consumers prefer the middle speed because it provides good filtration and the noise level is relatively low.

Other Features

One of the great features of the Holmes HPA242-NUC is its size. It is designed as a table top air purifier, but it can be placed vertically or horizontally depending on your needs.

This model is available in either white or black, and the rounded edges in the design also make it child-friendly.

Holmes also offers a three-year limited warranty.


This air purifier is not the most powerful on the market, nor does it come with a lot of bells and whistles. For instance, there is no sensor to measure air quality or tell you when to change the filters.

However, retailing at only $40 and with replacement filters less than $20 each, the Holmes HAP242-NUC Desktop Air Purifier is an excellent bargain, especially if you want to purify the air in a smaller room. And, if you need a larger machine, the cheap price gives you more flexibility to invest in another one!

Chris Winn

Chris Winn is a freelance writer who works in the Minneapolis area, where he and his family are beholden to two cats and a dog.