Alen is one of the leading manufacturers of air purifiers, located in Austin, America. Their machines are characterized by pure elegance, brilliant craftsmanship, and excellent performance. The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is the smallest model in the BreatheSmart series. It is a modern, minimal, high-end air purifier designed for rooms up to 300 sq. ft. In fact, the Alen FLEX is a replacement for the Alen BreatheSmart 45i.
I have been following Alen in the air purifier market for some time now. I wanted to test some of their products, mainly to substantiate whether the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is as good an air purifier as many users’ experiences say it is.
Table of Contents
- Installation and Setup
- Features Overview
- Room Coverage and CADR
- Filtration Technology
- How do I replace the Alen FLEX filter?
- Noise Test
- Performance Tests
- Operating Costs
- Alen Customer Support and Warranty
- Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Air Purifier Video Review
- FAQ on Alen FLEX
- Pros and Cons
- Final Thoughts
Although slightly more expensive than other air purifiers in the same class, the Alen FLEX has something to show. Top-quality workmanship, superior packaging, and a charming design are just some things that left a positive impression on me when I first came across this model.
In this Alen FLEX air purifier review, I will touch on all the features and even the most minor details of this model. I will test the capacity, the noise level, the energy consumption, and all the options that this air purifier offers. In addition, I will touch on a few shortcomings, such as the lack of smart sensors and the auto mode option.
This is going to be a very exciting review, so I suggest you continue reading.
Short on Time? Here’s My Short Summary of The Alen FLEX!
- The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is a medium-sized air purifier designed for rooms up to 300 sq. ft.
- The FLEX is a very quiet device with excellent performance and energy efficiency
- It is perfect for medium-sized rooms, bedrooms, basements, or even the living room
- Alen offers a generous lifetime warranty on this model
- Multiple filtering options to choose from
The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX air purifier is characterized by several specifications, which you can see in the table below.
|Dimensions||8.5 x 15 x 25 inches|
|Filters||Pre-filter, True HEPA Filter and Activated Carbon Filter|
|Filter Longevity||9-12 months|
|Coverage (4.8 ACH)||300 sq. ft.|
|Number of Fan Speeds||4 – Speed 1, Speed 2, Speed 3, and Turbo Mode|
Installation and Setup
As I indicated at the beginning of the review, the Alen FLEX is full of style. Although this is not directly related to the performance and efficiency of the device, I am always pleased when a manufacturer makes an effort to package an air purifier correctly.
After unpacking the Alen FLEX, peel off all the straps holding the front cover so that it does not come off during transport. Then remove all other tapes and protective films from the control panel and other parts on the device.
The last and most crucial step is to prepare the filter for operation. You need to open the cover on the front of the device and remove the filters. Then remove the filters from the plastic packaging and return them to the device.
Once you have successfully completed all the steps I have mentioned, plug the Alen FLEX into the power supply and switch it on.
The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is a mid-size air purifier with a luxurious appearance and superior build quality. As soon as I touched it, I noticed the difference in the quality of the materials and the way the Alen FLEX is made. The plastic is much more robust, and the unit is tighter than some competing air purifiers in this class.
The slightly larger dimensions of the device are mainly due to the larger space, which houses a more powerful motor and the larger filter.
The length of the power cord cable, which is approximately 78 centimeters long, is commendable. The Alen FLEX is not only well made but also aesthetically “irresistible.” The designers have really worked on all the details, so you can choose one of 6 colors for the front plastic. The colors you can choose from are: brushed stainless, espresso, graphite, oak, weathered grey, and white. As you can see from the pictures, I have chosen the most neutral color for this test, white.
I would like to point out that what I consider necessary, especially with such slightly larger air purifiers, is the slot for easier carrying of the appliance, located at the back of the Alen, on top of the device.
I would like to point out that you can buy each color separately later and switch them as you want.
Alen FLEX easily fits into almost any ambiance thanks to its design options, whether you plan to keep it in a luxurious or less luxurious room.
At the top is the control panel, which contains 5 touch keys. Alen’s logo is elegantly embedded on the board next to the buttons. The power button is the central button; it is the largest and most important compared to the other buttons. Pressing the power button starts the Alen.
However, this button has another hidden function, so the next press dim all the LED indicators, which is helpful for people who intend to use the device in the bedroom. When the device is switched on, the blue indicator around the power button lights up.
On the far left is the filter button, above which are indicators to show the current wear of the filter. Just to the right of this is the timer button, above which there are also indicators.
Moving on, there is a speed button to switch between one of the four speeds.
Last is the lock button, which locks all the other buttons against accidental pressing or switching off the device.
The Alen draws air from the front, the vents on the sides, and the bottom. The air is then filtered and exits towards the ceiling through vents at the back of the unit.
Size and Dimensions
The air purifier weighs 15 lb. The dimensions of the unit are 8.5 x 15 x 25 inches.
What’s in the box?
You get a BreatheSmart FLEX air purifier, HEPA Pure filter, a design plate (optional), and a quick start guide in the package.
Alen BreatheSpace FLEX is specially packaged and requires additional preparation before the first start-up, so I recommend you read the procedure to get the device ready for operation if you haven’t already.
The Alen FLEX is a minimal air purifier without many complicated controls and advanced options. To be honest, it may be a drawback that a device in this price range lacks a smart sensor and an auto mode. Still, fortunately, Alen has compensated for these shortcomings with outstanding quality and excellent performance.
This is still a smaller, cheaper, and minimal model, but if you want a model with more advanced options, you can look at the FIT50, the Classic, or some other model from Alen.
Switching off the indicator on the device
Alen FLEX does not have a dedicated button to switch off the indicator lights on the devices. However, when the device is switched on, pressing the power button turns off all the indicators. The next time the same button is pressed, the air purifier will switch off.
A timer is a great option that is very useful. Especially since Alen has no other option for “programming” the operating mode than the timer option.
The timer, when active, turns the Alen FLEX off after time is up, which can be 2 hours, 4 hours, or 12 hours.
Filter Reset Indicator
I love this option, and so far, I have rarely come across an air purifier that does not have a filter reset indicator (and there have been examples, one of them being the HathaSpace HSP001).
Thanks to the filter reset indicator, you won’t have to think about when it’s time to change the filter on your air purifier. The FLEX will let you know when you need to change the filter.
Above the “Filter” button, there are three round indicators; only one indicator will be green when you start using the device. When the yellow indicator appears, it means it’s time to change the filter soon, and only when the red one appears, you need to change the filter on the device.
Control Panel Lock
This is the ideal option for locking all commands on your device. This feature is handy if young children might accidentally turn off the device or change the mode.
The lock button is activated by holding your finger on the lock button for 5 seconds. After that, pressing any other button will not register.
Room Coverage and CADR
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX has a CADR score of 245. This means it can capture a small air pollutant better than the average air purifier and with greater efficiency.
The Alen FLEX is designed for rooms up to 300 sq. ft. In a room of this size, the FLEX will clean the air twice an hour. Ideal for any room, from small to huge bedrooms, living rooms, offices, nurseries, kitchens, and basements.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX offers several different filtering options; more specifically, it provides the choice of three different filters. Each of these filters differs most in the activated carbon filter. Each includes a True HEPA filter as a basic part of the package.
The optional filters are:
- Dust, Mold, Pet Odors
- Dust, Mold, Pet Odors + Smoke
- Dust, Mold, Pet Odors + Heavy Smoke
The device I tested was equipped with the “Dust, mold, pet odors + smoke” filter, which proved to be a perfect choice considering the performance and efficiency that the device made with this filter.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Replacement Filter
Always buy genuine filters for the best performance. As soon as the filter reset indicator is on, you are ready to change filters. Do it as quickly as possible.Check Filter Price On Amazon
The filter is rectangular in shape and is located under a cover on the front of the air purifier. The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX tackles dust, allergens, pollen, fur, pet dander, household odors, cigarette smoke, fires, and VOC fumes from chemicals and aerosol sprays.
The pre-filter is the first stage of filtration. It is attached to the True HEPA filter with a Velcro strap and can be detached if necessary. The pre-filter is designed to protect the True HEPA filter by preventing larger particles such as hair, fur, dander, and other larger particles from penetrating the HEPA filter, thus extending its life.
As the pre-filter gets dirty very quickly, I recommend cleaning the pre-filter at least once a month with a vacuum cleaner to remove excess dust.
The True HEPA Filter
True HEPA is the second and main level of filtration and is most responsible for effectively filtering the air. BreathSmart FLEX contains a medical-grade H13 True HEPA layer that removes 99.99% of bacteria, aerosolized viruses, and airborne particles larger than 0.1 microns. True HEPA filters last 3-5 months longer than standard filters.
Thanks to the combination of powerful airflow and a high-quality True HEPA filter, Alen FLEX is highly effective, and you will notice changes in air quality almost immediately.
Activated Carbon Filter
The activated carbon filter is the last, third stage of filtration. This is the filtering stage that is responsible for neutralizing gases, VOCs, and various other odors.
My absolute recommendation is to go for the carbon filter option, as this will ensure that you get the full potential from the Alen FLEX, and almost no situation will be able to take you by surprise.
In this review, I tested an air purifier with a filter for dust, mold, pet odor, + smoke, as I mentioned earlier. This filter is unique because it has a carbon filter that contains 0.66 lbs of activated carbon. And that’s enough for some everyday situations, cooking and neutralizing everyday odors.
But suppose you still want even more efficient and powerful performance in the fight against gases. In that case, I recommend you choose the filter option for dust, mold, pet odors, + strong smoke because, in this case, the carbon filter contains 2+ lbs of activated carbon.
How do I replace the Alen FLEX filter?
The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX uses a filter reset indicator that shows that it is time to change the filter when illuminated red. Filters on this model last on average 9-12 months. However, suppose you maintain your air purifier frequently and clean the pre-filter regularly. In that case, the filter will likely last a maximum of 12 months.
The filter replacement process is straightforward and not very different from the standard procedure we are used to with similar devices.
Total time: 10 minutes.
Step 1 – Remove a Cover
To begin, you need to switch off the Alen Flex and open the cover on the front.
Step 2 – Remove the Old Filter
The next step is to remove the old filter from the device.
Step 3 – Vacuum Inside the Device
After that, it would be good to vacuum up any dust residues on the inside of the front cover and in the areas where you notice the dust.
Step 4 – Insert a New Filter
The fourth step is to unpack the new filter, prepare it for use and insert it into the device. Then close the filter cover.
Step 5 – Reset the Indicator
The last step is to reset the filter reset indicator by holding your finger on the “Filter” button for 5 seconds.
The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is an amazingly quiet device. I have to say that I have never come across an air purifier like it. It is so quiet at work, but at the same time very efficient. Alen is SleepScore certified, and users feel more rested when they wake up slept in the morning.
The Alen produces what is called a Pink Noise, which helps you sleep easier, meaning you can use it in the bedroom without any problems. Some users can use it in the bedroom even at higher speeds.
The Alen FLEX has 4 speeds, so you’ll find it easy to choose the speed that suits you best thanks to the wide choice. At first speed, the FLEX produces a sound of only 41.2 dBA, but even more surprising is the turbo mode, where the FLEX makes a sound of only 53.7 dBA.
|Speed 1||41.2 dBA|
|Speed 2||43.5 dBA|
|Speed 3||48.9 dBA|
|Turbo Mode||53.7 dBA|
I can say with certainty that this is one of the quietest devices I have tested to date. Despite being quiet, the motor produces a satisfying and pleasant sound, so using it in the room you are staying in will not be a problem.
The Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is an air purifier designed for rooms up to 300 sq. ft. As I mentioned before, Alen offers several different filters to choose from when purchasing the unit. The Alen FLEX that I tested uses Dust, Mold, Pet Odor, and Smoke Filter.
In addition to the tests listed below, I also tested the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX in my daily work in the room where I stay most of the day. And I can say that I have noticed a positive change in the air quality. I have also used it several times in the kitchen to test how effectively it removes cooking odors, and it has also shown excellent results.
Also, the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is, in my opinion, the best choice when buying air purifiers for the basement.
My advice is that if you are using the FLEX in a very busy room, first turn it on in turbo mode for at least two hours and then set it at a lower speed. Note that you can safely leave the Alen FLEX running 24 hours a day.
560 sq. ft. Room Test
The first test is in a 560 sq. ft. room, which is slightly less than the recommended dimensions. I placed the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX in this room and let it run at full speed.
|#||Starting Baseline||After 60min|
In 60 minutes of operation, the FLEX improved air quality by an impressive 94% and lowered the AQI from 126 to 8. This is an excellent result, notwithstanding that the room is slightly smaller than the recommended dimensions.
730 sq. ft. Room Test
In the second room, which is 730 sq. ft. which is slightly larger than the recommended dimensions, the Alen FLEX improved the air quality by approximately 89% in 60 minutes of operation, at maximum speed.
|#||Starting Baseline||After 60min|
Considering the size of the room and the challenge Alen faces, this is more than a good result. Honestly, I expected brilliant results from an air purifier like the Alen FLEX. I think it’s evident that the FLEX lived up to its name and produced excellent results in both tests.
I really like it when a device of this size needs so little energy.
In fact, the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is an air purifier with a power of only 50W, so if you leave it at maximum speed, 24 hours a day, it spends about 2.1 USD in a month, considering that the price of electricity in the US is 0.12 USD/h.
|Speed||Power Usage (W)|
Considering the dimensions of this powerful air purifier, you will agree that this is not a very high monthly consumption. In addition to the cost of electricity, there are also the costs of replacing the filters, which are slightly more expensive.
However, suppose you follow the guidelines I have advised in the filter section and clean the pre-filter regularly. In that case, the primary filter will likely last 12 months.
In this respect, the Alen FLEX air purifier’s maintenance costs on an annual basis are not high.
Alen Customer Support and Warranty
In talking to some users, I have concluded that the customer support of the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is of a high standard.
When you buy the product, you have the contact details for support on a leaflet that comes in the box. The options suggested by Alen are to call the phone number or contact via the alen.com website.
I have tried the support via the website. I have chatted with the support and asked them basic questions, which I have received satisfactory answers to in a relatively short time.
It is important to note that chat support does not always work, so if you do not wish to contact them via the phone number, you can send them an email. You can also expect a relatively quick reply.
Apart from the support, the warranty is another thing that triggers many users who decide to buy the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX air purifier.
The reason for this is that Alen offers a lifetime warranty on all air purifiers. Of course, there is one catch. To access the lifetime warranty, you must subscribe to buy replacement filters for your Alen FLEX air purifier on an annual basis via the alen.com website.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Air Purifier Video Review
In the above video, you can see Alen BreatheSmart FLEX in my tests. You can see how good it is and get more info about it.
FAQ on Alen FLEX
Does the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX produce ozone?
The Alen FLEX does not use an ionizer or other filtration system that could produce ozone. Therefore, this device is 100% ozone-free and safe to use.
How often do I need to change the filters?
The filters on the Alen BreatheSmart FLEX air purifier last on average 9-12 months. This means that the filters should be replaced on average once a year when used optimally.
What is the warranty on the Alen FLEX?
Alen provides a lifetime warranty on this model if you register the product on the website and have an active subscription for replacement filters.
Pros and Cons
To revise, here are the advantages and disadvantages of Alen FLEX: