Yes, Breathe Quality is a place where we put all our dedications to the air purifier field, but what if you find one air purifier with a humidifier function? Do you know that the humidifier is a great way to maintain the humidity level in your home, and protect you from the dry air that leads to some allergy symptoms. Sharp KC-850U is that combination, and this is also the Amazon’s Choice for the air purifier with humidifying function to improve your indoor air quality. So, are you ready for the Sharp KC-850U Review?
Updated: The flagship of the line of air purifier-humidifier combo from Sharp is the Sharp KC-860U.
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
- Problem with Customer service
- Low fan power
It seems the giant Japanese electronic manufacturer is not satisfied with the only air purifier thing, as since the release of this Sharp KC-850U, Sharp continuously improve their next air purifiers with humidifying feature. But honestly, the Sharp KC-850U is a great device in both fields, and impresses even the hardest person. If you want more information, please scroll and read our Sharp KC-850U Review right now.
Sharp KC-850U Price
The Sharp KC-850U is quite unique in the air purifier market. I’ve never seen an air purifier with the humidifier function, and that’s why I’m really excited to test the duo of Sharp KC-850U and Sharp KC-860U.
Sharp talks up the humidifier as the key feature for their air purifiers since the Sharp KC-850U. It ended an era of the pure air purifier, and we hope it can help relieve sinus issues, dry throat, dry eyes, and chapped lips in the dry regions.
The main size is a lot bigger, as the Sharp KC-850U needs to hold a water tank inside. This is a good humidifier, just don’t overload your expectations. The Sharp KC-850U’s performance as an air purifier is not much better than the best at the price. And talking about the price, this Sharp KC-850U will cost you $445, which is even more expensive than the powerful Sharp FP-A80UW (without the humidifying function).
Elsewhere, you get a mid-range performance from the best brands, like the Austin Air HealthMate Jr or Austin Air Allergy Machine Jr. This price is very close to the field of the Oransi Max or Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr. As you can see, the Sharp KC-850U is competing against the most powerful opponents of the famous air purifier specializing brands.
For a typical humidifier with the price of only $40, the Sharp KC-850U is the direct competitor to the Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0, Winix HR1000 or Alen BreatheSmart 45i. You should easily buy the Sharp KC-850U when you think you need the humidifier, but for an air purifier review, is this device a good investment or not? We will find out right now.
Related post: Best air purifiers in 2019.
Sharp KC-850U Design and Size
The Sharp KC-850U is, from the outside, look quite similar to the Biota Bot MM208, a mix of metal and toughened plastic. The comparison is quite not true, as the Sharp KC-850U is supposed to be more valuable than the aforementioned air purifier. All edges are rounded-off a bit, giving us a feeling that the Sharp KC-850U is a bit curvy. It’s a 3D rectangle, with no major tapering on either side.
Following the traditional set up of Sharp air purifiers, you can find an intake air grill from the back. Here you can unlock the seal and input the water tank and air filters inside the Sharp KC-850U. The grill is perforated to reduce the size of the pollutant particles that are pulled into your air purifier.
From the front, we will have a very bright visual of the sensor indicator, as well as the humidity level of your room and water supply indicator. The surface is quite rough, instead of the flat surface from the Sharp KC-860U. Remember that the color option of this Sharp KC-850U is dark gray, not white as featured in its successor.
The water tank is put on a humidifying tray, and is located beside the main space of air filters. You can easily remove it from the air purifier, without uninstalling the filters first. Just remember to securely tighten the tank cap before putting it back again.
On top of this air purifier, beside the common outlet air vent, we can find a control panel with lots of function buttons. This is clearly the tradition of the Japanese brand, as they always put many features into their devices.
The Sharp KC-850U is 23 inches in height and 15 inches in width, which resembles the size of the Sharp FP-F60UW. It is heavier, of course, with a weight of 21.4 lbs, which doesn’t include the 1-gallon water tank inside. It has 4 handles, which is quite confusing, but I bet that you are still able to move this device anywhere in your home.
Related post: Best air purifiers for bedroom.
Sharp KC-850U 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-850U 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 ionizers, which can further reduce the amount of pollutants. Can be switched on/off.
There is nothing to complain about the humidifier, as it doesn’t mess with the air filtration system. I always enjoy the more humid environment when using the Sharp KC-850U, and I believe the process of improving the moisture is really okay.
But our profession rests in the air purifier field, and I can’t forget to mention the powerful True HEPA filter from this brand. It it coated with a layer of antimicrobial filter, to prevent the growth of mold spores and bacteria inside your HEPA filter. As a result, the True HEPA filter can last longer, as much as 5 years.
And here is the exclusive Plasmacluster technology. Sharp KC-850U, just like the old devices of Sharp, can emit both positive and negative ions into the air, to form hydroxyls that decompose the protein and suppressing activity of the viruses. This technology can even remove static electricity.
Source: Sharp website
However, everything needs to be put in a test to know the real-world performance. This time, I put Sharp KC-850U in a room of 150 sq ft, and compare with the power of Oransi Max, Winix HR950 and Austin Air HealthMate Jr. Sadly, the result showed that Sharp KC-850U is the worst performer, with an efficiency of only 99.92% for trapping any particles down to 0.3 microns in size. But I must confirm that the efficiency of Sharp KC-850U is still better than the average.
For an air filter that can operate for 2 years, commonly we will think about paying the high cost to have it. But you only need to pay for $99, which results in only $19 for the annual filter replacement. It seems nothing can beat Sharp in the air filter cost criteria. Also, the humidifier filter can last for 5 years.
Related post: Best air purifiers for allergies.
Sharp KC-850U Room Coverage
With the addition of the water tank, there is no more space left for a big fan. The Sharp KC-850U has a much weak fan power for the price, and can only clean a room of 254 sq ft.
The ACH of Sharp KC-850U is 2X to 4X. With the best air changes per hour rating, this air purifier can clean your room every 15 minutes.
The CADR of Sharp KC-850U is 164 Dust/ 164 Smoke/ 174 Pollen (cfm). After the Sharp FP-A80UW, maybe there is no air purifier of this brand that can compare the CADR rating with other air purifier brands. The Sharp KC-850U has a very slow rate in cleaning process.
Related post: Best large room air purifiers.
Sharp KC-850U Sound
Sharp says the silent operation is the Sharp KC-850U’s focus. It is home to some of the air purifier’s best and most disappointing parts.
The actual measurement for the noise level, at least, is excellent. Sharp KC-850U can hold the noise level to as low as 19 db, and this is even quieter than the rustling leaves, and a lot better than even the Ultra Quiet Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0, one of the most silent air purifiers in the world.
But when you turn this air purifier on the maximum fan speed, the noise level of the air purifier alone is 50 db. If you combine it with the humidifier function, the noise level can reach as high as 60 db, which is a lot noisier than others with high noise level, like Alen BreatheSmart FLEX or Blueair Classic 205.
If you want to enjoy the silence, you should turn down at least the air purifier level to medium or low. Or without the humidifier function, this Sharp KC-850U is truly quiet, and can serve your bedroom well.
Related post: Best air purifiers for office.
Sharp KC-850U 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-850U is Energy Star rated, and it will only run at 3.5W for the lowest setting. And the power consumption at the highest setting is still good, as it is only 50W. But again, you must count the power consumption of the humidifier as well, and the highest power consumption can be as high as 93W.
If you run the Sharp KC-850U 8 hours per day as the air purifier alone, you need to pay $0.1 to $18 each year. You can abuse the humidifier function, but you must pay for $0.25 to $15 more annually. In my opinion, the combination in this air purifier will consume less energy than two devices with separated functions.
Related post: Best air purifiers for pets.
Sharp KC-850U Additional Features
We can skip the humidifier function, as it is the unique selling point of not only Sharp KC-850U, but also the rest of this Japanese brand right after. It will add to a small-sized area in your home, and save you from the dry air problems. Someone may not bother with the humidifier, and would buy the Sharp FP-A80UW instead. However, it depends on your living environment, and your actual need of an humidifier as well.
Back to the additional features of this air purifier, we still have the Smart Sensor, to tell us exactly the indoor air quality via a LED indicator on front of the air purifier. If you activate the Auto Mode, this Sharp KC-850U 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-850U will run on highest fan speed to clean the room faster, and vice versa.
Moreover, it will indicate the humidity level as well in numerical value. It will also warn you when the water tank needs to be refilled.
Sharp KC-850U features a traditional function of this brand, named Quick Clean mode. It 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.
Finally, we still have a filter replacement indicator, to remind us when we need to change the air filters. This indicator only works for the HEPA replacement, so you need to remember the date of humidifier and Activated Carbon filters manually.
Sharp KC-850U 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.
It is easy to know why people choose the Sharp KC-850U to be the Amazon’s Choice for air purifier. The performance is great and you don’t need to change the air filter often. And don’t forget the humidifier feature, as you never need to buy such device along, for the Sharp KC-850U do a very great job.
Should I buy Sharp KC-850U?
Yes, but only if you need the humidifier feature. Otherwise, I recommend using the Sharp FP-A80UW, for better fan power instead.
- If you have serious allergies or asthma to airborne pollutants: the Sharp KC-850U is great with True HEPA filter and the Plasmacluster technology.
- If you want a better performance, or better fan power to clean your room faster: you should check the Blue Pure 121, or you can even buy one from the trio of Winix C535, Winix 5300-2 or Winix 5500-2. They all have great fan power for only under $200.
- If you need an air purifier with a better room coverage: you could look for the Austin Air HealthMate Jr, Austin Air Allergy Machine Jr, Alen BreatheSmart FLEX and Alen BreatheSmart 45i, as they all have better room coverage than this Sharp KC-850U. Also, the Oransi Max has the largest room coverage, with 1100 sq ft. Even the $200 devices like Coway AP-1512HH or Honeywell HPA300 are much better than this Sharp KC-850U in terms of room coverage.
- If you need a budget version of this air purifier: you can buy the Sharp FP-F50UW or Sharp FP-F60UW instead. But remember, they don’t have humidifier function.
- If you need a more silent air purifier: the Sharp KC-850U is quiet for the price, and you can also research for the Winix NK100 or Winix NK105.
- If you care about the annual filter cost and energy cost: this is the best filter replacement cost you can have, but you should look for the Levoit LV-H134 and Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0, because it has better annual energy cost.
- If you love the additional features: you should look for the Winix HR1000, Winix NK105, Winix QS, Blueair Sense+, or Honeywell HPA250B for both Smart Sensor and Smart Wifi connectivity feature.
- Cleaning Power
- Power Consumption
Great combo of air purifier and humidifier, but you should check the Sharp KC-860U for a better fan power.