The Alen BreatheSmart Flex and BreatheSmart Fit50 are both very popular HEPA air filters that are packed with nice features.
The Fit50 model comes with more features and a higher price tag, but the Flex is certainly not lacking in functionality if you can’t afford the Fit50.
As HEPA filters, they are rated as being capable of removing 99% of particles down to a size of 0.3 microns.
They are very similar in some respects, but there are very important differences for you to consider before deciding which of these air purifiers is most suitable for you and your environment.
So, what are the similarities and differences between the Alen BreatheSmart Flex and the BreatheSmart Fit50 air purifiers?
BreatheSmart Flex vs BreatheSmart Fit50 at a Glance
|Feature||BreatheSmart Flex||BreatheSmart Fit50|
|Coverage Area (sq. ft.)||700||900|
|CADR Rating||Results Awaited||220|
|Air Flow Rate||53 - 187 CFM||110 - 231 CFM|
|Whisper Max Technology||No||Yes|
|Smart Sensor Technology||No||Yes|
|Energy Rating||36W on High Speed||60W on High Speed|
|Filter Life||up to 9 months||up to 12 months|
|Filter Change Indicator||Run Time||Use and Environment|
|Color Panel Options||14||14|
|Speed Settings||4 (39 - 55 dB)||4 (32.4 - 48.7 dB)|
|Dimensions||25" x 15" x 8.5" |
|22.25" x 16.75" x 10"
|Warranty||Limited Life||Limited Life|
|Price||Check Latest Price||Check Latest Price|
BreatheSmart Flex vs BreatheSmart Fit50 – The Similarities
Let’s start by looking at the similarities between the BreatheSmart Flex and Fit50 air purifiers. They both come with a lifetime limited warranty, but what else do they have in common?
1. The HEPA Filter Options
Both machines come with exactly the same HEPA filter options to choose from, depending upon your specific needs.
The HEPA-Pure Filter is the standard option for everyday use and comes with 3 layers of filter to remove dust, pet dander, mold spores and pollen from the home. This would probably be the first choice for those who are looking for a general all-purpose air purifier.
The HEPA-Silver Filter is similar to the HEPA-Pure in that it removes dust and mold spores. It is, however, also targeted more towards allergy sufferers and claims to deal with germs too.
The HEPA-Fresh Plus Filter is a more specialised option and is targeted more towards removing smoke, VOCs and heavier chemicals.
VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds – they are potentially harmful very small particles that HEPA filters often fail to deal with.
Finally, the HEPA-Odorcell Filter is designed more for those who are concerned about removing odors from the home, including pet and diaper smells.
If you buy one of these air purifiers, you do not receive all 4 filters, but instead have to chose which one(s) you want. Don’t worry, if you change your mind later on, you can buy a replacement filter of a different type.
If in doubt, I would suggest that you stick with one of the standard options, like the HEPA-Pure or the HEPA Silver filters, unless of course you have very specific needs that would be better addressed by the other 2 filters.
2. Filter Speed Options
Whilst both machines have 4 different speed options, the noise levels that are emitted are different (see below).
3. Lots of Nice Color Options
There is no denying that these are very nice looking machines that will certainly not ruin the look of the room in which they are positioned.
You can choose one of the more traditional color panel options, like white or black.
If you are a little more daring, there are lots of other more interesting color options to choose from.
BreatheSmart Flex vs BreatheSmart Fit50 – The Differences
There are some very important differences between the BreatheSmart Flex and Fit50 air purifiers.
1. Coverage Area
There isn’t a massive difference between the coverage areas of these 2 machines.
The Fit50 is suitable for rooms measuring up to 900 sq ft. and the Flex can handle rooms of up to 700 sq ft. So, they are both designed to purify the air in average-sized rooms in home or office environments.
2. Smartsensor Technology
The BreatheSmart Flex comes with Alen’s Smartsensor Technology. The Fit50 does not.
What is Smartsensor Technology?
Well, rather than having to make the decision yourself about which of the 4 modes to run the air purifier on, the Smartsensor technology automatically assesses the state of the air in the room and adjusts the speed of the filtering process accordingly. Not only is this a great convenience feature, but it also ensures that you don’t waste money by running it at too high a speed setting.
There is also an air quality light system to tell you why the machine is running in the particular mode that it has automatically chosen.
Running an air purifier on too high a speed costs more in electricity and also reduces the lifespan of the filter.
3. Whisper Quiet Performance
Although the Flex is not one of the noisiest air purifiers in its class, the Fit50 is significantly quieter due to the Whisper Quiet Performance Technology that it comes with.
If you look at the noise emission levels of the 2 machines, it doesn’t look like there is much in it – just under 7dB when operating the fastest and slowest speed settings on each machine.
Noise is, however, measured on a logarithmic scale and every 3dB increase equates to a doubling of the noise emission level. That puts a different perspective on the noise factor in this comparison and, if noise is a big issue for you, the Fit50 machines wins comfortably.
Everyone has their own personal tolerance levels for noise, but the general consensus amongst those who have reviewed the Fit50 machine is that they are only noticeably noisy when used on the top speed setting.
The Fit50 has a few other sleep and child friendly features, including a “lights off” mode for night time operation, a locking control panel, and a child-safe vent guard.
4. Optional Ionizer
The Fit50 comes with an ionizer unit.
Personally, I am not a fan of ionizers due to the risk of ozone emissions into the home.
Alen claim that their machines are “ozone-safe”, and they may be right, but I am still a bit cautious about this issue, especially since the HEPA filters ought to be effective enough anyway.
You will have to make you own mind up about the risks and whether or not you want to use the Fit50 with or without the ionizer unit switched on.
It will still work well without the ionizer switched on due to the HEPA filter.
5. Filter Life & Replacement
The lifetime of any filter will depend upon how often and how intensively it is used.
As a rough guide, however, you will need to replace the filter on the Fit50 machine every 10-12 months or so.
The filter on the Flex machine will probably need to be replaced every 6-9 months.
6. CADR Rating
What is a CADR Rating?
Put briefly, CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate.
An air purifier’s CADR Rating tells you how well that particular machine performed in scientific tests that are designed to assess their ability to remove smoke, pollen, and dust particles from a standardised room.
The BreatheSmart Flex is quite new to the market and does not yet have an official CADR Rating.
The BreatheSmart Fit50, however, has an very good CADR Rating of 220.
So, not only does the Fit50 get excellent reviews from those who have seen the benefits first hand, but scientific tests have also shown that it is a very effective machine when it comes to removing the specific particles that are tested as part of the CADR Ratings process.
BreatheSmart Flex vs BreatheSmart Fit50 – Videos
BreatheSmart Flex vs BreatheSmart Fit50 – My Verdict
Both the BreatheSmart Flex and the Fit50 have developed a good reputation amongst those who have used these air purifiers as being amongst the best in their class. Unlike some of their competitors they actually seem to work anecdotally and the Fit50 has been shown to work in scientific testing.
Your room size should be the first consideration in choosing between these 2 machines, since the Flex is not rated to handle rooms above 700 sq. ft. whereas the Fit50 goes up to 900 sq ft. Of course, even if your room is under 700 sq ft. but you want the extra features on the Fit50, there is no reason why you still shouldn’t buy that machine instead.
Aside from the different room size coverage, the Fit50’s higher price point is mostly due to the fact that it comes with the WhisperQuiet and Smartsensor technologies. It also already has an official CADR Rating, which provides extra reassurance. You will need to decide whether or not you want these extra features which, whilst not strictly necessary, are very useful.
If you can afford it, I would definitely recommend the BreatheSmart Fit50 air purifier as perhaps the best machine in its class.
If you need an air purifier for a larger room than the 900 sq.ft that the Fit50 can deal with, the original Alen BreatheSmart might be a better bet. It is suitable for room sizes of up to 1,100 sq ft. and has a fantastic CADR Rating of 300.
Leave a Comment
If you have anything to add to my Alen BreatheSmart Flex vs BreatheSmart Fit50 comparison review, please just leave a comment in the box below.