Before delving into the air purifier reviews of Consumer Reports Magazine and consumerreports.org, a little overview of their practices is in order.
Consumer reports is a federal tax exempt nonprofit (501 3- c) company with over $163 million in revenue and over 5.1 million subscribers, most of which now come from its Internet subscription service. It has been known for many years and has claimed objectivity and accuracy in serving the public. Of course being tax exempt, yet a highly profitable organization, the public pays for both the subscription and the taxes.
Consumer Reports does not accept advertising to maintain its non-profit status as an independent reviewer. In today's day and age, I don't know if non-profits which do bring in as much money as they do, are in the best interest of the country - given the economic hardships.
On the other hand, I have used them over the years to gather info about my choices in cars and electronics; although today I am more inclined to use the Internet and the many free reviews (Amazon, cnet, etc.). The magazine and online site are probably a bit dated. Being in the air purifier business I always watch for the Air Purifier Consumer Report Review Issue, although I've been mostly disappointed in their reviews and testing. But to be fair, they test thousands of items.
[ Air Purifier Consumer Report Review ]
The last Air Purifier Consumer Report Review was several years ago (oddly enough it still had several models that are now considered outdated). If not for the copyright I would post it - but you can find it at the library, or subscribe for $26 online for the year.
Here's where Sharper Image made a huge mistake. They decided to attack Consumer Reports in court to defend their Ionic Breeze. They should have let it go, because time would have probably let the controversy pass. Although I would add that they did produce high levels of ozone, so perhaps there wasn't any controversy at all. Sharper Image, and it's Ionic Breeze lost in Federal Court after the technical aspects were reviewed.
But it didn't stop there. The Federal Government started looking at the Ozone issue, and pretty soon Sharper Image's ionic Breeze was pulled off the market for health reasons. Sharper Image, dependent on the Ionic Breeze to stay afloat, went bankrupt. So even though the Oreck Air Purifier also produced ozone (in smaller amounts), they escaped the wrath of the government.
Other models known for their effective allergy and allergen ability using HEPA filters rank very low. One such model is the IQAIR which, although very expensive, are proven effective for health conditions like asthma. Maybe the price lowered its rank, but there are many really, really cheap models ahead of it.
I was even going to post the list of rankings from the most recent Air Purifier Consumer Report Review, but I'm just so disappointed in their reviews and rankings after the Friedrich (their #1 for unknown reasons) that I decided to go fishing instead...