by product:
J P

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On February 4, 2019
Last modified:April 8, 2019

Summary:

Is the air you breathe in your house clean?  Is it safe?  Indoor air quality monitors measure things like VOCs, dust particles, temperature, and humidty to monitor the quality of air we breathe.  Knowing the quality level so you can do something about it when needed can bring you peace of mind. 

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Foobot vs Awair Air Quality Monitor Comparison

If you’re like a number of families looking into getting an indoor air quality monitor for their home, it’s likely coming down to Foobot vs Awair.  These are the two big names in the air monitoring device space, and they are very comparable in both price and feature set.  Since they have so many of the same features, and both are very popular monitors, it can be hard to determine which is right for you and the specific needs of your household.  The time has come for a head to head air quality monitor comparison showdown!

Air Quality Sensors

To compare and contrast, we’ll start with a review of the onboard sensors.  Both the Foobot and the Awair monitor temperature, humidity, dust (particulate matter – PM2.5), chemicals (VOCs), and CO2.  To be fair, Awair sensors actually do CO2 monitoring, making it more accurate vs Foobot that calculates it from the VOC sensor in concert with an algorithm.  Temperature and humidty speak for themselves.  The particulate matter sensors pick up things like dust, dirt, ash, and smoke, among other things.  Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) typically come from sources like paints, solvents, aerosol sprays, cleaners and building materials.  Finally, CO2 most often comes from combustion of some sort and can cut off the oxygen supply for breathing, thus too much can be a very bad thing.

Smart Monitoring & Attractive Design Features

In addition to having a similar set of sensors, each model is also a very capable smart home device offering integration with Amazon Echo, Nest, IFTTT (Foobot / Awair), and more.  Each smart air quality monitor connects to your home wireless network via WIFI.  They are also both very stylish and have great industrial designs.  In my opinion, the Foobot has more of a futuristic or modern style and the Awair more of a retro or old-school look.

Setup

Both the Awair setup steps and Foobot setup (video example below) are easy to understand and do, even for most novice users.  There doesn’t appear to be any significant difference here in my opinion.  One minor dissimilarity, that I don’t feel like makes much difference, is that Awair can also be setup using a Bluetooth connection rather than wifi, but it would still connect to WIFI once it is setup anyway.  During operation on both gadgets, air quality monitor wifi usage is constant like all internet of things (IOT) devices.  This is how they log and analyze their data and download configurations, settings, and patches when needed.

User Experience

Both smart monitors have indicators signaling a generic reference to air quality, but no real detailed measurement numbers are provided.  The Awair air monitoring device displays an air quality score from their algorithm, along with some dots indicating sensor levels, whereas Foobot reviews and shows its overall quality with an indicator that turns from blue (good air quality) to orange (bad/poor air quality).

Cell Phone Application

Since neither of these IAQ monitors has much of detailed user interface on the unit itself, many of the differences between the Foobot review and Awair review come in the form of their respective apps.  The Foobot app provides the user with history browsing, instant readings, and alerts, including advice on how to remedy specific issues.  The app for the Foobot is very useful and comprehensive.  Conversely, the Awair app has a history that only goes back 24 hours.  On the other hand, the interface of the application itself seems to be more intuitive and easier to use for beginners.  It also offers the user advice for making changes that could positively impact the air quality, similar to the Foobot app feature mentioned above.

Here are screenshot examples from both apps:

Foobot App

IOS / Android

Foobot screenshot examples

Awair App

IOS / Android

Awair screenshot examples

Specifications

In this section, you’ll find links to manuals, product dimensions, and accuracy details for both the Foobot and Awair home air quality monitors.  We were unable to locate accuracy specs for those sensors now shown in the tables below.  Neither one of these smart monitors pretends to be a lab-grade air analyzer and both their price and accuracy levels reflect that.  Lab devices are typically much pricier than these options.

Foobot Review

Specifications

Specification Sheet

Dimensions:  3.1 x 2.6 x 6.7 inches

Foobot Accuracy (Temperature)

± 1°C

Foobot Accuracy (Humidity):

± 5% RH

Foobot Accuracy (Particulate Matter)

±4µg

Foobot Amazon Price & Reviews

Awair Review

Specifications

User Guide/Manual

Dimensions:  2 x 6.3 x 3.5 inches

Awair Accuracy (Temperature)

± 0.3°C

Awair Accuracy (Humidity)

± 3% RH

Awair Accuracy (Carbon Dioxide)

± 75ppm

Awair Amazon Price & Reviews

Our Recommendation on Foobot vs Awair

So which is better?  Compact, smart, capable, stylish, and user friendly are all features that come to mind for each of these great wifi-connected air quality monitors.  Foobot and Awair are both great products, so this is a matter of opinion and personal preference.  In addition, both monitors are relatively new and have made, and will continue to make, improvements over time.  This includes additions to smart device integration and updates to the smartphone apps.

With the price of each air quality analyzer also being somewhat similar, I tend to lean toward the Foobot air quality monitor just a little bit more than Awair based on a few things.  I really like that Foobot remembers my history and lets me browse through it, beyond 24 hours.  It allows the consumer to see how the air quality has improved or degraded over time.  This helps you understand what has worked and what has not worked in relation to changes you have made.  After a thorough review, I feel like the app is more comprehensive than that of Awair.  Although I have noticed that Awair seems to be continually improving on some early complaints, making the product better over time.

There are some reasons why I would recommend choosing the Awair vs Foobot.  One particular reason would be if you were going to place numerous monitors throughout your home.  The reason is simple.  With Foobot, you will be incrementally adding the main Foobot unit over and over.  With Awair, you can add Awair Glow modules in different zones, along with the base Awair station in a main area of your home.  They are less expensive units and provide nearly all the same information, with the exception of the particle monitor.  Each Glow covers approximately 1000 square feet and can be used as a remote unit in the same Awair account within the cell phone app.  There are also times where Awair is significantly less expensive ($50 difference or more) due to low inventory and/or special promotions.  During this time, it’s hard to say Awair isn’t a good choice.  It’s definitely worth extra consideration during these times as both are great products!

Foobot & Awair FAQs

These are some frequently asked questions around the Fooboot and Awair air quality monitors.  We hope these help you with some questions of your own during your decision on which air quality monitor to buy.

Q:  Do either Foobot or Awair air quality monitor or detect mold?

A: Active mold produces gases (chemicals) that might affect the VOCs in the air, thus increasing that reading on the VOC sensor when they are present.  However, both products will just give a generic VOC reading and not break out any specific sources individually, just provide an overall number.  This goes for other chemicals as well, including Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen, Ethanol, Methane, Isobutane, and Ammonia per Awair.

Q:  Do the monitors also purify or filter the air?

A:  No, these are strictly indoor air quality monitors with notifications and suggestions.  They perform no filtering or purifying of the air whatsoever.  For that, you’ll require an air purifier.

Q:  Will these air quality sensors work without a wifi connection?

A:  It would operate and you could see what’s on the unit itself, but nearly all of the functionality revolves around the mobile app, especially on the Foobot.  We don’t recommend either of these units if you don’t have a wifi connection you’ll be able to use.  You just won’t get the same value out of your purchase.

Q:  Will these monitors connect to both wifi bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz?

A:  No, both are designed to connect to only the 2.4GHz band.  Most single band wireless routers are 2.4GHz and if you have a dual-band router, you will just need to ensure you’re connecting to the 2.4GHz band.  It should automatically detect the correct band. 

Q:  Can I add additional units to the same account in the app?

A:  Yes, in both cases, more than one unit can be added to the same account in the app.  With the Foobot, you’ll just go to the settings section and click on the “Add a Foobot” button and it will be detected assuming your smartphone is already connected to the same home network.  With Awair, you can add more units, or you also have the option to add Awair Glow units.  Glow is a more portable version of the Awair product and can monitor up to 1000 square feet, while also acting as a smart plug.  It has all the same sensor types as the standard Awair product with the exception of the particle matter sensor.

Q:  Can I monitor the temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius?

A:  Yes, each smart air quality monitor, Foobot and Awair, can provide the temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit units on their respective mobile apps.  On the Foobot app, you’ll go to settings, then to Temperature’s unit to toggle back and forth.  On the Awair app, go to the gear at the top right of the screen and go to settings where you can toggle between Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Q:  Is the accuracy of the smart air quality monitor as good as a laboratory dust monitor?

A: No, that’s not why you would buy these devices.  Both the Foobot accuracy and the Awair accuracy are in the ballpark with other wifi air quality monitors used in the home.  Both are listed above in the Awair and Foobot air quality review if you would like to find more details around it. 

Q:  Can you recommend an air purifier to use? 

A:  There are many capable air purifiers on the market today.  We recommend the Rabbit Air MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier.  It has filters that trap and reduce germs (airborne bacteria & mold spores), pet dander and allergens, VOCs, and odors from pets and cigarettes.  It uses a bioGS HEPA filter for increased filter life and efficiency.  This is the top-of-the-line option with 700 square feet of room coverage and a 5 year warranty!  If you’re looking for something less-costly, the GermGuardian AC4825 is a good budget friendly option with a true HEPA filter, UV sanitizer, and a 3 year warranty.  The GermGuardian air purifier is a very popular model and gets great reviews.

The Final Word

We hope you have found the information in this comparison of Foobot vs Awair helpful and informative.  Both brands are leaders in the space and continually improving their products.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via the “contact” link at the bottom of the page.  Not interested in either the Foobot or the Awair air monitoring device?  See our detailed reviews on all the top indoor air quality monitors in many different categories.


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