Did you know that air quality can have a drastic impact on your quality of life? And I don’t mean that you have to live next to a highway in order to experience the negative effects. No. Just living in a dusty house or where there is too much humidity can cause all sorts of bad things to your health.
Now, things have changed: before people had to guess how their air quality was indoors, but luckily, modern technology is now making high quality air sensors for an affordable price. So you can place them in your home and keep an eye on the quality of your air. 2 of the most popular air quality monitors are the Awair and the Foobot. But to an outsider’s eye they may look similar. That’s why in this Awair vs Foobot comparison post you will learn everything you need about each monitor so you can make a good decision.
Note: in this Awair vs Foobot review we’ll first discuss why it is so important for you, your health and your sleep that the air quality I your house is high. Then we’ll discuss the similarities between the Awair and the Foobot air monitors. After that we’ll see what the crucial differences are and what I like most about each one of them. In the end there’s a recap so you can find out exactly which monitor works better for which type of people.
Why indoor air quality is so important (not only when you sleep)
Breathing is essential to life. So if the air that you breathe is polluted, doesn’t contain enough oxygen, is too dry or contains too much dust – this can have a dramatic impact on your health.
The government of New Zealand has a list of health issues that bad and polluted air can cause:
- Headaches and anxiety
- Impacts on the central nervous system
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
- Breathing problems
- Irritation of the lungs
- Impacts on liver, spleen and blood
- Impact on the reproductive system
So it is of vital importance that you keep the air in your house safe and clean. Now, the Foobot and the Awair air monitors can help you a lot with this. You won’t have to guess if the air is dirty or humid – and you can just check on your smartphone how the quality is.
Air quality and the effect on your sleep:
This site is about sleeping, so here’s a short section on what exactly you need to do to keep your sleep optimal. We’ll quickly go over the variables that both devices measure and how they can impact sleep.
When you go to sleep, your body temperature drops 1-2 degrees. This is important since it allows your body to get more restful sleep. Your circadian rhythm affects your temperature and at night this drops. Now, you probably already have your thermostat set so that at night your heating doesn’t keep on going. But there are some outside influences that may cause the temperature to rise nevertheless. With an air quality monitor you can check the temperature overnight – and see if there is that drop in temperature that your body needs to fall asleep fast and stay asleep.
The perfect bedroom temperature should be anywhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 and 19.5 degrees Celsius)
The ideal humidity in your bedroom should be between 30% and 50%. Anything below 30% and it can cause irritation to your lungs, eyes and nose. But anything above 50% can give way to harmful bacteria, mold and mites. So make sure that the moisture levels stay in the right range.
CO2/VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds):
If you do not have a window open while sleeping, then the CO2 in the air keeps on building up. This works opposite from the concentration of oxygen. So it’s of vital importance that you give your body enough oxygen during sleep. It will make sure that your sleep is deeper and that you feel more rested when you wake up in the morning. If opening your window is not possible due to sound or other reasons, a fan may help.
If you live in an urban area, there is a high chance that your bedroom is dusty. This can also cause irritation to your lungs, eyes and can cause you to wake up more often at night – which will in term worsen your sleep.
But enough about these factors and how they can harm you. Let’s talk about the Awair and the Foobot and how they can give you better health and sleep!
Awair vs Foobot
Both air monitors are very much alike. After all, there are 5 vital things to keep in check for air quality – and every monitor keeps a tab on them. Here are the 5 levels that they both check (plus the minimum and maximum levels they can measure (for the Awair)
- Humidity: 0% to 95%
- Temperature: -40 °F to 257 °F – (40 °C to +125 °C)
- CO2: 0 to 4000 ppm (parts per million)
- VOC: 0 to 2014 ppb (parts per billion)
- Dust: 0 to 500 μg/m3
Both contain separate sensors for each of these measurements. The only thing is that the Foobot calculates the CO2 level through an algorithm based on the VOC level. But this is very accurate so it doesn’t make a difference for the reading. The Foobot also measures not only dust, but particles that are 2.5 micrometers diameter (the main thing is dust – PM2.5).
Here is how the Foobot measures air:
- Humidity: 0% to 100%
- Temperature: -40 °F to 257 °F – (40 °C to +125 °C)
- CO2: detects from 450 ppm (parts per million)
- VOC: detects from 125 ppb (parts per billion)
- 5: detects from 0 μg/m3
The setup of both air monitors is also the same. All you have to do is plug it in and start it up. You need to set it up first close to the WIFI router. After it has been calibrated you can place the device up to 10 meters away. Recommended not to have more than 2 thick walls in between.
They both work through WIFI to send signals to the app on your phone, so be sure to have a good WIFI connection which is protected by a functioning firewall.
So both devices measure the same set of variables in your home. And the main difference between the Awair vs Foobot will be in the app. So let’s find out more about that.
What I like about Awair
The first thing you’ll notice when you set up the Awair is that it shows you a lot of measurements on the device itself. This is good, since you can take a quick glance and see how the air quality is. Even if you have your phone lying around somewhere else in the house.
The app is very straight forward and can give you the exact levels of each measurement in the house. The Awair measures on a constant basis, so you can even see how to air quality (each variable) is evolving over time. This can be a very interesting thing to watch – for example, you can check how the humidity evolves from summer to winter or what the effects are when you open a window all day vs if you keep the room locked all the time.
Another thing I like about Awair is that you can zoom in on the different variables. So for example if your house is too humid, then you can find out more on that in the app. Plus it gives you some tips on how to decrease humidity. This goes for all the variables, so you get the measurement and if it gets too much – you’ll have some concrete steps that you can take to increase the quality of your air.
What I like about Foobot
The Foobot also works with the same principles are the Awair. But the device itself shows less information. It just shows a blue (good) or red (bad) glow which means that either your air is good – or you need to take some action to make it better. Now, it does this in different quantities, so you can check if your air is good, or just alright.
Where the Foobot really shines is in the app. It offers all the features and benefits that Awair does, so it measures the 5 levels over time, and gives out actionable tips on how to increase or decrease a specific measurement.
But what it also allows you to do is a very ingenious (but oh so simple) thing: you can add tags to the graphs. So there might be a lot of small things that can have big effects on air quality (like vacuum cleaning for dust, leaving the window open overnight for humidity etc.). If you see that something like this has an impact, you just add a simple tag that says what caused the anomaly. That way you have some easy references that you can always check if something goes wrong.
It calculates when something is wrong by the WHO standards. And shows a nice line where this is. This makes it easier for you to see when the air quality is at a good level or not.
So which should you pick?
Alright, both air quality monitors do their work well if you’re looking to get better quality air in your home. So which one should you pick? It’s a tough decision that – ultimately won’t make too much difference in your life. So I’d recommend you to choose based on your personal preferences:
- Do you want the device itself to show more stats or function as a clock as well? Then the Awair is the better choice for you.
- Do you want the ability to write a quick note when you see that a specific action caused bad air quality? Then the Foobot allows you to do that.
The rest will come down on how you like the design of the device and the app. And of course the price, but both are in the same price range so it won’t make too much of a difference.
Final conclusion Awair vs Foobot
I hope this Foobot vs Awair comparison helped you get a better image of both air quality control monitors. They both are great for doing what they are supposed to do. If you’re hard-pressed for a choice, I’d say to pick the Foobot. The app is a tad more useful and I like the design of the Foobot better. It’s simpler and doesn’t show any stats that might otherwise distract you.
P.S. this Foobot vs Awair is a very close call. You’d be fine with both – however, if you’re hard-pressed for a choice, then buy the Foobot. It has a couple small extra benefits that the Awair doesn’t have.