The Sharp KC-860U is a much better air purifier-humidifier combo than its predecessor, Sharp KC-850U, thanks to its more powerful fan, one thing that is not an advantage of this company. For the price, this air purifier has a leading True HEPA filter as well as a large room humidifier attached in. We are happy to deliver the Sharp KC-860U Review this time, so you can decide to buy it for $110 more than the Amazon’s Choice Sharp KC-850U or not.
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.
- Creative air filtration system
- Great humidifying function
- Smart features like Smart Sensor
- Really silent
- Better fan power
- Problem with Customer service
Sharp is the pioneer company that develop and increase the number of air purifier with humidifying function. This is also the direct attack to their many rivals from Korean, like Coway or Winix, and they target mainly in the Asian region, where the humidifier feature is a great plus. In the U.S, Sharp is not quite popular, and this company is very cautious in establishing more air purifiers in the aggressively competitive air purifier market. But after the success of Sharp KC-850U, we can hope the Sharp KC-860U will be great, too. Let’s find out in this Sharp KC-860U Review.
Sharp KC-860U Price
I’ve received both the Sharp KC-860U and Sharp KC-850U at the same time, and I’m really excited to test these air purifiers not only for the air purification mission, but also for being a humidifier. These air purifiers represent a major upgrade to Sharp’s old pure air purifiers with a much elegant design and unique specs that you won’t find on any other machines at this price range.
The Sharp KC-860U continues to debut the important humidifier function, along with a True HEPA filter that can last longer than normal ones in the market. So, of course, there are more budget versions of this air purifier, but if you need a humidifier, you must buy for at least $40. Don’t forget that the humidifier filter of this Sharp KC-860U can last for 2 years, which is also longer than the common air filters.
The price of this Sharp KC-860U is very straightforward with $554, and it is $110 higher than the predecessor. This price puts the Sharp KC-860U deeper in the mid-range segment, which is only the early steps of the Sharp KC-850U and Sharp FP-A80UW.
And yes, the Oransi Max and Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr are cheaper, with very prominent air filters and features that if not for the humidifier feature, they can match the performance of this Sharp KC-860U easily. You can also find the Blueair Classic 405, Rabbit Air MinusA2 or Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 as the most popular alternatives for the Sharp KC-860U.
Remember that the price can low down a lot, depending on the time you click on our deal below.
Related post: Best air purifiers in 2019.
Sharp KC-860U Design and Size
Sharp KC-860U is true to its unintentional theme of finding internal strength and beauty because, on the outside, this isn’t a very pretty or strong air purifier. It feels more cheaply made than it looks. This is thanks to the artfully deceptive, flat plastic design on the body cover and its small depth that makes this Sharp KC-860U quite weak.
Putting it aside the Sharp KC-850U and I can easily spot many similarities. All edges are rounded, and I hardly call it beautiful. At least, despite the plastic body, the slight curve might have saved this air purifier from its now unsightly blemish.
The Sharp KC-860U is 25 inches in height and 16 inches in width. While following the same design concept as the predecessor, this air purifier is bigger than its brother. With such broad size and small base, the Sharp KC-860U is quite unstable, and you should put it away from your children as far as possible.
On front, we no longer see the rough surface as featured in the Sharp KC-850U. Instead, the Sharp KC-860U has a flat surface, and there is only one white color option for this device. In my opinion, the white color is the best option for a full-plastic air purifier, and I find this Sharp KC-860U a bit more beautiful than the previous model. The front monitor is also a little bit different with a longer display, but I don’t find the extra length any special. It is not good-looking, either.
You will still have the water tank on a tray, located beside the air purifier. Of course, you can easily remove it from the Sharp KC-860U, without removing the air filters inside. Just remember to securely tighten the tank cap before putting it back again.
Sharp KC-860U also features the traditional bottom-to-top air filtration system, one thing that is mainly available in all air purifiers of the Japanese brand. The intake air grill is from the back, and has perforated holes to act as a pre-filter which captures the large objects of pollutants. On top of this air purifier, you can find the outlet air grill, where you can enjoy the fresh air.
The top control panel is nearly the same with the Sharp KC-850U, and packs with lots of function buttons.
This Sharp KC-860U weighs 26 lbs, which can be even heavier with a full of 1.14 gallon of water. There are 2 handles for each side, but it doesn’t help you ease the pain of moving this air purifier much.
Related post: Best air purifiers for bedroom.
Sharp KC-860U Filters
To decide the performance of one air purifier, we usually check the air filtration process, which is the heart of the air purifier, as well as what air filter types are used. Sharp KC-860U features a very unique humidifying filter, along with the traditional 3-stage air purifying system as below.
- Activated Carbon filter – It helps reduce the pet odors and smoke, as well as some common household chemicals.
- True HEPA filter – The True HEPA Filter that captures 99.97% of as small as 0.3 microns particles like pollen, dust, pet dander, smoke, germs, bacteria, viruses, odors, mold, and fungus.
- Plasmacluster Technology – This technology is one kind of ionizer, which can further reduce the amount of pollutants. Can be switched on/off.
The humidifier part of this Sharp KC-860U is exactly like the previous model, with 3 main parts: a tray, a humidifier filter and a water tank. It works really great and I can feel the change of the humidity inside my room during the testing period. It is quite great, and I like it just the same as the Sharp KC-850U.
For the air purifying function, the Sharp KC-860U is pretty formidable with high-quality air filters. Both the Activated Carbon filter and True HEPA filter of this air purifier can last for up to 5 years without replacing, a lifetime that many other brands like Winix or Levoit dream of. Don’t forget that the True HEPA filter of this company is coated with an antimicrobial layer, and it can help prevent the growth of mold spores and bacteria inside your HEPA filter.
But the most interesting part of this air purifier is the Plasmacluster technology, which resembles the PlasmaWave feature in Winix a lot. As the exclusive technology of Sharp, this function is actually an ionizer, which emits both negative and positive ions, to give water in the air a positive charge and oxygen a negative charge. Through plasma discharge, in which voltage is applied to the discharge electrode, these ions will bond on the surface of airborne viruses and other substances, and change them into OH radicals. This process is called “hydroxyls form”, and the Plasmacluster technology can decompose the protein and suppress the activity of viruses, mold spores and bacteria. The result of this process is water (H₂O), which is returned to the air.
Source: Sharp website
The test of this Sharp KC-860U is made carefully. First I set up a room of 200 square feet, and let the Sharp KC-860U run for a whole hour. To compare the performance of this air purifier, I used the Oransi Max, Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr, Rabbit Air MinusA2 and even the famous Austin Air HealthMate. Sharp KC-860U finished the test with a high efficiency, 99.95% for capturing any particles as small as 0.3 microns. What a great result!
The air filter cost of this Sharp KC-860U is higher than the previous model, with up to $109 for the True HEPA filter. But you should remember that this HEPA filter can last for 5 years, which results in only $22 for the annual filter cost. I believe the air filter cost of Sharp is among the best ones in the world of air purifiers.
Related post: Best air purifiers for allergies.
Sharp KC-860U Room Coverage
Sharp is not a great brand for having large room air purifiers. The Sharp KC-860U is not much better than its brother, and can only clean a room of 340 square feet. This room size is a lot smaller than even the $200 devices, like Honeywell HPA300 or Blue Pure 211.
The ACH of Sharp KC-860U is 2X to 4X. With the best air changes per hour rating, this air purifier can clean your room every 15 minutes.
Related post: Best large room air purifiers.
Sharp KC-860U Sound
This is where the Sharp KC-860U shines. Its noise level is really, really quiet. With the lowest noise level of only 19 decibels, this air purifier is even quieter than the Ultra Quiet Rabbit Air MinusA2. To make it easy for you to measure, 19 decibels is even lower than the noise level of rustling leaves.
Upon switching to the highest setting, also with the maximum fan speed for the humidifier, this Sharp KC-860U is like in a different level. The noise level is now about 62 decibels (db), and you can’t ignore the sound from this air purifier. This is exactly the noise level of the air conditioning unit. Moreover, I’ve seen many reviews about the crackling noise from the Plasmacluster of this unit. However, I’ve never experienced such annoying noise, and I will update this content as soon as I find anything uncommon.
If you want to use this air purifier in silence, you should turn off the humidifier whenever possible.
Related post: Best air purifiers for office.
Sharp KC-860U Power Consumption
One of our most FAQs is “Do air purifiers use a lot of energy?” In fact, air purifier must be used for a long time to be efficient. And power consumption is one important criteria to review how much energy this air purifier will consume.
The Sharp KC-860U is Energy Star rated, and it will only run at 4.8 watts for the lowest setting. But, just like the Sharp KC-850U, this combo of air purifier-humidifier will consume a rated power of 87 watts, plus 50 watts for the humidifier part, for a total of 137 watts. This is the very high power consumption, and if you care about the annual energy cost, you should turn off the humidifier feature or buy another saving air purifier, like Rabbit Air MinusA2 or Alen BreatheSmart 45i.
If you run the Sharp KC-860U 8 hours per day as the air purifier alone, you need to pay $0.2 to $31 each year. And with the humidifier function, you must pay for $0.3 to $18 more annually. While the cost is higher than normal, it is just a small fee for using two electronic appliances in only one unit.
Related post: Best air purifiers for pets.
Sharp KC-860U Additional Features
The humidifier function is really a selling point of this Sharp KC-860U. With a more powerful fan, this air purifier can deliver the necessary humidity for a much bigger room, and can still save you from many dry air problems. You can avoid the bloody nose, cracked lips, itchy skin, irritated throat and even some allergies by using the humidifying function of this Sharp KC-860U often.
As an air purifier, the Sharp KC-860U is great with the Smart Sensor, the amazing function that can tell us exactly the indoor air quality via a LED indicator on the front monitor. If you activate the Auto Mode, this Sharp KC-860U can automatically adjust the fan power to match the need of the air cleaning process. For example, if the air quality is poor, the Sharp KC-860U will run on highest fan speed to clean the room faster, and vice versa.
Just like the Sharp KC-850U, it will indicate the humidity level, as well as warn you whenever the water tank needs to be refilled.
There are many questions of “Is there a Quick Clean mode for this Sharp KC-860U?” Luckily, yes, and with only one button press, the Sharp KC-860U will continuously discharge strong air flow cycles, and release the high-density Plasmacluster ions to remove the airborne allergens as they are drawn through the filter systems.
You still have the filter replacement indicator, to remind us when we need a new layer of air filter.
Sharp KC-860U Customer Service
Sharp is a huge brand, of course they are. But this brand is not as popular in the U.S market as it is in the rest of the world. Yes, marketing is one aspect of this unpopularity, but it also implies a difficulty in finding the good customer service if you live in the United States.
But don’t worry, as the U.S subsidiary of Sharp is quite active to hear from you. You can reach them toll free at 800-237-4277, or via email through their “Product Support” page. They are available for you 24/7, and this is one of the best parts for Sharp’s Customer Service.
However, for their air purifiers, they only provide an 1-year-warranty. For most situations, I believe this warranty is enough to cover your device.
Sharp KC-860U is a good upgrade to the previous Sharp KC-850U, for a medium-size room. The humidifier is great, and you will experience the high-quality air filters from this air purifier. However, if you don’t need the humidifying function, you should buy the Sharp FP-A80UW instead.
- Cleaning Power
- Power Consumption
$100 for just a better fan power, do you really want to pay much for the upgraded Sharp KC-860U?