Austin Air Bedroom Machine Air Purifier-No Sleep with Asthma?

When your head hits the pillow, it starts.

The coughing, the wheezing, the spluttering.

Just as you nod off comes another burst.

At last, you fall asleep. But it’s disturbed. In the morning, you wake up and feel as if you’ve not slept at all.

You’ve done everything you can. Tried to keep out the pollens and other allergy particles but nothing changes.

Here’s when you should be looking at the Austin Air Bedroom Machine Air Purifier.


Austin Air developed The Bedroom Machine (HM402) in conjunction with the National Sleep Foundation. The sole aim was to improve the sleep of those suffering from poor air quality.

In this review, we’ll look at whether they achieved that goal. Is the unit worth forking out your hard earned to get the relief you’re desperate for?

If you’ve already decided on The Bedroom Machine, find it here at Sylvane.

Otherwise, continue to read the full review. Or click on the table for the answer to your burning question.

Is the Austin Air Bedroom Machine Air Purifier just another branding exercise?

In 2010, Austin Air already had a range of reliable, robust purifiers. With powerful, efficient 4-stage filter systems. Models like the Healthmate, Allergy, Pet, and Baby’s Breath machines.

Why develop and release yet another model?

It came from their partnership with the National Sleep Foundation. The task was to build an air purifier for the bedroom. The aim was to improve the quality of our sleep.

We spend up to a third of our day in bed. So, doesn’t it make sense to clean the air we sleep in?

But it’s more than that.

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    Studies have proven the sub par quality of our air indoors. Contaminants can build up to make it worse than the outside air.
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    Many studies have proven the regenerative qualities of sleep. The vital role it plays maintaining our health. And generating productive daily activity.
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    Other studies have shown that respiratory illness is one of the primary causes of sleep disturbance.

In February 2009, the Environmental Health Perspectives journal published the results of a study. The study by John Hopkins University found an association between:

  • increasing levels of indoor particulate matter pollution and
  • the severity of asthma symptoms among children. 

And so was born the advanced Austin Air Bedroom Machine. With a fifth filter providing extra protection against chemicals and noxious gasses in the bedroom.

How does it provide that protection?

Let’s find out.

How the Bedroom Machine filter system works

Unlike all other Austin Air purifier models, the HM402 has a 5-stage filtration system:

Each works on its own and in doing so increases the effectiveness of the one that follows:

  1. The Large Particle Cotton Pre-filter removes the larger particles easily seen by the naked eye (e.g. dust, hair and pet dander.)
  2. The Medium Particle Pre-filter traps small to medium size particles (e.g. molds, spores, and pollen.)
  3. The third of carbon and zeolite is free to rid the air of non-particles, i.e., chemicals, gasses, and odors.
  4. At the fourth stage, is 60 sq.ft. of certified HEPA. The HEPA captures 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns.
  5. And at the last stage is the unique HEGA filter. It is the second strike against gasses. It has a military-grade carbon cloth that ‘adsorbs’ a wide range of odors, fumes, vapors, harmful chemical substances and VOCs. More than the carbon/zeolite filter can. Together they provide a powerful gas protection barrier.

So, the HM402 Purifier has:

  • three filters removing particles and
  • two to rid the air of gasses and chemicals.

An impressive amount of purification in a portable air purifier.

Even better. There’s no ozone involved. 

How easy is it to operate?

The unit has no complicated electronic features. All it has is one knob to turn it on and set the three fan speeds. A couple of knob turns, and you’re done. Too easy.

Room size for best coverage

The intake grilles pull in air from all sides of the unit and through the filtration system. The process rate is 250 cubic feet per minute (CFM).

So what, you ask?

Well, it helps us figure out how fast the unit can clean the air in a room. At 250 CFM, running on high with the door closed, the air change results are:

1500 sq. ft. (1 change per hour)
875 sq. ft. (2 changes per hour)
600 sq. ft. (3 changes per hour)
465 sq. ft. (4 changes per hour)
375 sq. ft. (5 changes per hour)
315 sq. ft. (6 changes per hour)

To help with sleep and respiratory problems, any change rate below 4 has limited effect.

At four air changes per hour, it means the Bedroom Machine is best suited to a room size of 465 sq.ft.

If you want a greater certainty of result, use it in a smaller sized room.

What are the health benefits?

The Bedroom Machine captures or removes the whole spectrum of indoor air contamination. Because of its 5-stage filtering system.

It’s removing contaminants that:

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    Trigger allergy and asthma symptoms
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    Heighten chemical sensitivities (MSC)

It means the machine removes:

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    Dust Mites, Hair, and Pet Dander
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    Molds, Spores, and Pollen
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    Germs, Viruses, and Bacteria
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    Noxious Chemicals, Gasses, VOC’s and Odors

Removing these contaminants see noticeable benefits like:

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    Higher quality sleep
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    Reduced Snoring
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    Goodbye to Sneezing
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    Less nighttime allergies & asthma attacks
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    Decreased coughing and wheezing
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    No more dry mouth and runny nose

It means you can sleep without interruption. You’ll enjoy the uplift in energy and enthusiasm in the morning. Coming from your body regenerated by undisturbed sleep and a cleared respiratory system.

What is the filter replacement cycle?

Two types of replacement are the only accessories you’ll need. We’ll look at the replacement cycle for each separately.

The outer Large Particle Pre-Filter is rated to last five years. 

But the sales literature recommends changing it every year.

It all depends on the level of larger particle contamination you have in your bedroom. The more dust, pet fur, and dander you have, the closer to annual replacement you get.

Keep an eye on how fast the filter clogs. If it starts to increase in frequency, then replacement is on the horizon. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Otherwise, you won’t be getting full value from the other four stages.

You can find your replacement large pre-filter (F400) here at Sylvane.

The second filter replacement pack is the full 5-stage system. 

It includes the Large Particle Pre-Filter we talked about above. Plus, the main filter assembly of medium-particle, activated carbon/zeolite, True HEPA, and HEGA carbon cloth.

Click here to get your full replacement pack (F402), when it comes time to replace.

The entire replacement pack has a guarantee of five years with normal residential use. That’s a guarantee that’s above the industry average. And is a long time between changes. But, if your air quality is poor you may have to change it more often.

A tip for later ...

Regular maintenance extends the life of the HEPA:

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    Keep the area around the purifier clean.
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    Vacuum any dust build up on the outside, particularly on the 360° intake grille.

And wipe the outside surface to keep it looking spic and span.

There are some disappointments though:

The filter system is an integrated unit.

Means you must replace the whole unit when any one of the stages reach saturation.
The 5-year prorated guarantee eases the cost.

No filter change indicator.

You must remember when the five year anniversary is up.

No indicator to show the level of saturation

It’s up to you to notice a significant drop in clean, odorless air. Or that any smells etc., are not clearing as they did earlier.

Be Aware ...

when you first use the purifier you must run it on the High (III) setting for at least one hour. The same applies when you change the HEPA pack.

Replacing the filter

Changing either filter requires a few minutes work. But’s it not much time if you spread that time over five years.

Just follow the 10-step process in the owner’s manual. All you need is work gloves, a Phillips head screwdriver, and a large plastic trash bag.

Use the same process for changing both types.

A little tip

You can see the pre-filter through the grille.

Choose the Black pre-filter for the Black, Silver, and Midnight Blue machines.

Or the White for the Sandstone and White units.

Size and weight

Width: 14.5"

Weight: 47 lbs.

Depth: 14.5"

Height: 23"

The Bedroom Machine is a standard sized Austin Air unit and weighs 45 pounds unpacked. A weight that is a bit heavier than an average size microwave, so it’s not an easy carry for most people.

And to make it more difficult, there are no grips on the side to lift it off the ground. Not so easy to move it up or downstairs. But it has four casters. So, moving it between rooms on the same level is easy. 

Is noise a problem?

Yes, it can be.

At high speed, the machine pulls air through at a fast rate. Running at a faster rate makes noise. The decibel rating is 66 dBA. Compare this to normal conversation three feet away which is 60 dBA.

Product reviewers complain about the noise, but the unit needs to run at high speed to be effective. Do what most do and run it for a while before you hit the pillow and then turn it down.

At the two lower speeds, the noise becomes more like white noise. It can drown out other sharp outside noises. Or create a soothing sound that aids sleep.

Where is the Bedroom Machine made?

The Austin Air manufacturing plant in Buffalo, upstate New York builds The Bedroom Machine.

One of the few air purifier factories left in the US.

The company makes all their purifiers with quality and durable components. The Bedroom Machine is no different.

Buffalo Skyline

Build quality

The company makes all their purifiers with quality and durable components. The Bedroom Machine is no different:

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    All-steel outer body to withstand any hard knocks.
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    Baked-on powder coat finish so there is no possibility of damaging odors or off-gas emissions coming off the paint.
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    The finish also prevents rust leading to years of use.
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    Powerful centrifugal fan that blows air to all parts of the room.
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    Long-life Permanent-Split Capacitor (PSC) motor rated for continuous use at high RPMs.
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    Shock absorbers that cut noise
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    Gaskets at each end of the filter seal the system. So, there is no mixing of dirty and clean air or escaping partially cleaned air.

Austin Air have their purifiers tested by two independent organizations.

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certify The Bedroom Machine as meeting safety and performance standards.

Warranty and return policy

Richard Taylor of Austin Air Systems Limited made his first air purifier in the early 1990’s. He designed it to alleviate breathing problems experienced by his wife, Joyce.

To this day the company continues to improve and extend their range of purifiers based on customer feedback.

They have focused on making reliable, robust machines that run for years. That’s why they are one of the few manufacturers to offer five-year guarantees:

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    5-year mechanical warranty on parts and labor and
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    A 5-year prorated guarantee on their filters.

Each guarantee only applies to normal residential use. And remember to complete warranty registration. It’ll be difficult to get any remedy if your unit or filter replacement has problems.

You can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee from date of purchase. You don’t have to explain your return. But, you must pay for return shipping costs.

Any missing features?

The Bedroom Machine is the latest model in the range. In keeping with all previous models, it has no electronic wizardry.

Missing are these features:

  • Timer
  • Remote Control
  • Operating Light
  • Night Light
  • List Element

Over the years, Austin has maintained their focus on solidity, durability, and cleaning the air. It was the same with The Bedroom Machine. The result was the fifth-stage HEGA.

The missing features are convenient, but clean air is the reason you buy a purifier. And that’s what this model does. And why the National Sleep Foundation endorses it.

What customers say

The reviews from customers show they are buying it for some heavy-duty air cleaning work in their bedroom: 

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    A downtown loft with “poor city air quality.”
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    In an old house with “30 years of dust and other allergies” being remodeled.
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    In a home mitigated for mold but “becoming musty again.”

Others have bought the unit on a recommendation from their physician. They found their allergy symptoms reduced in severity and sleep improved.

There are comments about the noise of the unit on high speed. But the unit get quality results, so buyers keep the machine. And only run it at high speed before they go to bed. 

Key features at a glance


Austin Baby's Breath


Austin Air

Filter Type

Activated Carbon (Odors, Gasses & Chemicals) & HEPA (Particles) & HEGA (Broader range of Odors, Gasses & Chemicals)

465 sq. ft. (4 air changes per hour)

Filter Replacement

5 years


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    Complete air cleaning - 5-stages for particles, odors, gasses & chemicals.
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    Filters last up to 5 years.
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    Filters have a prorated guarantee.
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    No ozone.
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    Minimal maintenance.
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    Steel housing with baked-on powder coat finishes - no plastic off-gassing.
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    Sealed construction so no leaking of polluted air.
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    Made in the USA.
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    Four casters for easy moving.
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    Austin Air is around for the long term - over 25 years and going strong.
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    Simple controls easy to use.
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    National Sleep Foundation Endorsement.


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    Noisy on high speed - use when not in the room.
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    No filter change indicator.
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    Filter change takes some time but no more than yearly for large pre-filter or 5-yearly for the full pack.
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    Lacks convenience features.

What you should expect to pay

For some, the initial buy price will strain the budget. But it is in line with similar competitor models.

And what makes the difference is the cost over the longer term. With fewer filter changes and manageable running costs, the lifetime value stacks up.

You get a quality purifier with a reasonable investment.

Our verdict

What price are you prepared to pay for a restful night’s sleep?

Austin Air has achieved close to the best possible in a portable air purifier.

Yes, it comes at a higher upfront cost. But the bedroom machine is built to last with filters that don’t need changing for up to five years. The costs over the long run will be repaid many times over by your energizing sleep.

Ready to commit? Find out whether the 5-stage filter cleans your dirty air so you can enjoy a great night’s sleep.

Click here for your Bedroom Air Purifier at Sylvane. Free shipping and 30-day money back guarantee.

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