The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is an air purifier with a mission. It wants to trick people into thinking you spent the cost of the Alen BreatheSmart when you actually only forked out less than $200. It does a good job too. And you will find out how in our today Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Review.
The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is superseded by the Alen BreatheSmart 45i, with better performance and a brand new Smart Sensor.
In Breathe Quality, we have reviewed all air purifiers under these sections. Also, we guarantee that:
- We do give honest reviews (both pros and cons) so anyone will guarantee to have the wisest choices.
- We do not (and never) exaggerate one product just to let you click the links and buy that product blindly.
- Customizable color options
- Large room coverage
- Lifetime Warranty
- Still low CADR for room coverage
- No True HEPA for the price
- High air filter replacement cost
Alen is a strong name in the American air purifier industry, with the first and certain lifetime warranty. They want to deliver the best customer services to compare with other American rivals like Rabbit Air, Honeywell and Levoit, and keep the strong foothold on the air purifier market. However, their air purifiers all demand the mid-range and high-range level, because buying an Alen’s product is a sign of lifetime commitment. Today we have Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Review, an air purifier which is the entry-level to mid-range budget.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Price
I’d hate to be an air purifier designer, trying to achieve unique and exciting features in a jaw dropping package for what is essentially a device with good air flow system. In terms of design, the modern American air purifiers are trying to prove their best, from Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0, GermGuardian AC9200WCA or Levoit LV-H134.
So it’s all the more impressive that Alen managed to make the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX, an air purifier with lots of improvements in design that won it so many accolades. Right as its name suggests, the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX indicates the flexibility it gives to any room decoration. A selection is 14 colors is what can fit everyone’s tastes. But yes, it is not cheap.
The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX starts with $349, a price that could bring this air purifier to the entry-level of mid-range. Alen needs to sort out its efforts in the mid-range, but that’s a topic for a different day. The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is an air purifier that’s supposed to offer the best of the air purifier market, one that can survive the onslaught of the Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0, Levoit LV-H133 and Blue Pure 121, while begin the Alen’s heritage and bringing the bottom line closer to something more healthy.
Without the commercial True HEPA filter, it appears the company has managed to compete against the others through a clever combination of appearance and customer services. And in today’s impossibly congested air purifier market (especially at the high end) that’s something to be applauded.
Related post: Best air purifiers in 2019.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Design and Size
The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is an air purifier with quite a lot of metal on its body, which is different from the previous Alen Paralda and Alen T500. You’ll see this sort of construction in many mid-range air purifiers, like Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0, GermGuardian AC9200WCA and Honeywell HFD360B. That’s a good reason to cost more in mid-range level.
Probably the most significant change is forming the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX as a full-size air purifier instead of an usual tower one. It will help the air purifier to hold inside a much broader fan, and therefore increase the cleaning rate of the device. Alen is obviously proud of the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX’s design, as it retained it for the Alen BreatheSmart 45i, while sticking closely to the look for the Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 and Alen BreatheSmart as well.
Despite of being a full-size air purifier, the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX has a height of 25 inches, which is even taller than the current Alen Paralda. That means a bigger size air filter will be applied to capture more allergens for you. Moreover, the air flow system concept has changed, to a common bottom-to-top. With a big air intake grill behind the panel, the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX draws in polluted air, purifies it and releases back through the top air vent. A typical air flow concept which are used widely in price range of $300 to $400, from Blueair Classic 205 to Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 and GermGuardian AC9200WCA.
I gave you lots of air purifiers to compare with the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX, but the most special thing in this device is its range of colors and textures in panel. These 14 colors offer the flexibility for you to complement your home’s new look as quick as possible. There will be very few brand-agnostic people that wander into their local air purifier emporium, look at the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX and a couple of competitors, and don’t find that the American brand’s device is more gorgeous in the design stakes than others. And I’d bet that most would be unable to resist a purchase after that. Below is an example of the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX with Safari Black edition.
On top of this air purifier, we will have a brand new control panel, with 5 basic function buttons. A logo of Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is also found here, which is the only way to be sure that you purchase the right air purifier.
Bigger in size, the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is only 15 lbs. With a necessary handle on top of this air purifier, you can easily grab it and move it anywhere in your home.
Related post: Best air purifiers for bedroom.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Filters
As the decisive criteria for the performance of one air purifier, by default we look at the quantity and the quality of its air filters, and what the air filter types are using. There is only a 2-stage air cleaning system from Alen Paralda, without the classic ionizer in Alen Paralda and Alen T500.
- HEPA-Pure – The standard HEPA filter of Alen BreatheSmart FLEX, which is able to capture 99% of as small as 0.3 microns pollutant particles such as dust, dust mites and pollen.
- HEPA-Fresh – The next level HEPA filter will improve the first HEPA-Pure, with an addition of Activated Carbon filter, to deal with the household odors like cooking smells and light smoke. This air filter is necessary for people who are sensitive to VOCs.
- HEPA-Silver – For a little bit more money, you can upgrade to the HEPA-Silver filter with anti-microbial Silver-Ion threads that prevents the growth of mold spores and bacteria.
- HEPA-OdorCell – The ultimate level HEPA filter of Alen BreatheSmart FLEX, with the unique Alen’s Molecular Conversion Powder, that can destroy the odors on a molecular level.
There are enough negative reviews about the ionizer of Alen air purifiers making a crackling of noise, and people are more and more to stay away from any ion generators because it can emit ozone and irritate internal asthma and other breathing issues. As a response, Alen removes the ionic feature from the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX. It is mostly for marketing purpose, because the actual ozone emission from Alen’s air purifiers is still within the common standard level.
Also, the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX welcomes back the pre-filter which is necessary to capture the large objects of pollutants. This preliminary filter will reduce the amount of pollutants that HEPA filter needs to capture, and therefore prolong its life time. The pre-filter is washable and permanent to use.
There are lots of work in the next-gen HEPA filter of Alen. Of course, it is still not the certified True HEPA filter, but it is able to deal with 99% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns. At least that is the thing Alen said. To know if it is the truth or not, at Breathe Quality, we still put everything in a test.
This time, I use the Honeywell AirGenius 6 HFD360B, which is suitable for the test because it doesn’t have a True HEPA filter, either. In addition, I choose both the Blueair Classic 205 and Blue Pure 121 from Blueair to see if the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is truly capable of dealing with large room or not.
The first test, I put both the Honeywell HFD360B and Alen BreatheSmart FLEX to a room of 200 sq ft, and let them run in 1 hour. The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is a bit better, with an efficiency of trapping 98% for every particle that as small as 0.3 microns. Meanwhile, the Honeywell HFD360B only deal with 90% of the same size particles.
The second test, I top up the space coverage to 300 sq ft. The Blue Pure 121 with high CADR rating, can reach the high recorded efficiency of 99.95%. Both the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX and Blueair Classic 205 can only deal with 95% and 98%, respectively.
From the test, I believe that the HEPA-type air filter from Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is not scrap by any means. In fact, this air filter is as strong as the well-known ifD air filter from the Honeywell brand, which works against all types of allergens as small as 0.3 microns.
A good point for the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX’s HEPA filters is they remain the same price as the predecessors. It is now balance to have a HEPA-Pure from $59, and up to $89 with the HEPA-OdorCell. In this price range, the air filter cost from Blue Pure 121 is $109, and Levoit LV-H133 is $84. You need to change the air filter after 6 months or 1 year, depending on the using frequency.
Related post: Best air purifiers for allergies.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Room Coverage
Again, Alen announced that their Alen BreatheSmart FLEX can deal with a very large room. The number is impressive, with a room coverage of 700 sq ft. This room coverage is even larger than the 625 sq ft from Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0, or 620 sq ft from Blue Pure 121.
The ACH of Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is up to 5X. This Alen BreatheSmart FLEX can clean your room up to 5 times per hour, depending on your room size.
The CADR of Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is 245 cfm overall. Alen has a tradition to make low CADR air purifiers for a large room. With such low CADR rating, the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX will take longer time to clean a room of 700 sq ft effectively.
Related post: Best large room air purifiers.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Sound
One reason Alen gave to public for not having True HEPA filter is because they don’t want the True HEPA filter restricts airflow. It is quite reasonable, and with less restriction in the air flow, you don’t need a powerful fan to cover a large space.
With the improvement from the Alen Paralda, I have high hope that the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX will be better in terms of the noise level. This air purifier still runs at 4 fan speeds, with the lowest setting is only 39 db. This is the standard library noise level, and can be acceptable by almost users.
And at the highest setting, I recorded an impressive noise level of only 55 db. This is the standard highest noise level from many brands, like Rabbit Air, Blueair and Levoit. You can imagine that the noise level is nearly as the normal conversation at home. Moreover, the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX produces the pink noise, which can aid you to sleep faster.
That’s why the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is truly a device for bedroom. Even if you are trying to run this air purifier in quiet places like the office, it is a great idea.
Related post: Best air purifiers for office.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Power Consumption
One of our most FAQs is “Do air purifiers use a lot of energy?” An air purifier is meant to run for a long time to be efficient, that’s why many air purifier brands consider the energy-saving standard, mostly in the rate of Energy Star, is one important selling point.
I’ve recorded the power consumption of the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX as only 56W on the highest speed. Compare to the 80W from Blueair Classic 205 and 61W from the Blue Pure 121, you had better run this Alen BreatheSmart FLEX to save the energy.
For using a Alen BreatheSmart FLEX 8 hours per day, it would cost you about $20 per year.
Related post: Best air purifiers for pets.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Additional Features
The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is not a budget air purifier anymore, but still, we don’t have the necessary Smart Sensor for this device. For that reason, I am a bit disappointed with this air purifier, as I need to manually change the fan speeds.
But thanks Alen, because we rejoice with the classic Timer function as missing from the Alen Paralda. In real-world use, I don’t use the Timer function at all, but maybe there are many people out there who are in need of this feature.
You don’t want to miss the lock, to prevent your children to press the control panel and ruin your setting. This lock function is available in every Alen device from now on.
The last but not least, we have a LED indicator for filter replacement. That’s great, I don’t need to remember the date to change my air filter anymore.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Customer Service
Running through a very long review about Alen air purifiers, you may question us: “Why I need to buy Alen air purifier?” Yes, if it is not for the outstanding performance, or the top-class fan power, then there is must be something really, really important. What I’m trying to say here is the perfect customer service from the Alen Corporation.
Alen doesn’t hide the intent to speak high of their customer services. Look at their website, there are full of content to support the customers. You will have their phone, their emails, and of course, their support policies without any hindrance. To reach the Alen, you can contact them 6/7 days per week. They provide the best fast and free shipping for any products, as long as the orders are placed before 3 PM, they will guarantee to ship in the same day. Impressive, right?
They expand the refund time up to 60 days, or 2 months. You won’t need to worry about the quality of your air purifiers, because Alen will back you up with (also the first) Lifetime Warranty. Whenever your personal Alen air purifier doesn’t operate as normal, you will have a same refurbished air purifier with free shipping. To do this, please call 512-436-0457.
There are a lot of good review for the Alen customer services, that’s why I highly recommend to look for the brand if you need permanent better air quality for your home.
I hope that you read the Customer service part of Alen BreatheSmart FLEX first, because that’s the most noticeable advantage of this air purifier. Other than that, we have a better fan (as usual) but not better quality air filter from this device. And (for most of the time) it will hold you back from buying this air purifier.
Should I buy Alen BreatheSmart FLEX?
No, and if you still think that you need the Forever Warranty, you can buy the Alen Paralda for only $200.
- If you have serious allergies or asthma to airborne pollutants: the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is not the greatest device with only a HEPA-type filter. You should choose between the Whirlpool WPPRO2000, Sharp FP-F60UW, Winix HR950, Winix NK105, Oransi OV200 or Winix QS for a better air filtration system.
- If you want a better performance, or better fan power to clean your room faster: even the air purifiers in $200 range can beat this Alen BreatheSmart FLEX, for example, the Honeywell HPA300, Winix 5300-2 or Winix C535.
- If you need an air purifier with a better room coverage: the room coverage of this Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is truly impressive, and the top dogs to compete are the Blue Pure 121, Levoit LV-H133 and Oransi OV200.
- If you need a budget version of this air purifier: the Alen Paralda is the best option. But you can think about the Honeywell AirGenius 4, Blue Pure 211 or Oransi Finn, as they don’t have True HEPA filter, either.
- If you need a more silent air purifier: the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is silent in this price range.
- If you care about the annual filter cost and energy cost: you should buy the Levoit LV-H133 or Honeywell AirGenius 5 to reduce the annual filter cost.
- If you love the additional features: you should look for the Winix NK100, Winix NK105 or Winix HR950. I also recommend the Blueair Sense+ if you can’t live without these smart features.
- Cleaning Power
- Power Consumption
This Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is beautiful, but is that the reason why you buy an air purifier?