As reviewer Ed Sherbenou, who runs Air-Purifier-Power.com, says a lot of the information about Oreck on the web is sheer advertising (we included one such "review," at Clean-Air-Today.com, as an edifying example). Based on his own observations, Sherbenou gives Oreck air cleaners extremely low scores (primarily because of their high ozone emissions). Two out of three owners of the Oreck XL Tabletop posting on Epinions defend this machine, though one says it's very noisy and another says it's difficult to clean. The review on YouTube is particularly helpful; you can hear this machine's noise at its highest speed and learn that cleaning it requires 24 hours of downtime (the Truman cell, which can be washed in water, has to be completely dry before it's reinserted). For the price, you'd clearly be better off with a higher-rated air cleaner such as the IQ Air HealthPro (*Est. $750) or Alen A350 (*Est. $400).
When evaluating Oreck air purifiers, many sources lump multiple models together, with only brief mention of individual machines. With this in mind, we found the most convincing review of Oreck air purifiers in general at the enthusiast site Air-Purifier-Power.com, and of the Oreck XL Tabletop Professional Air Purifier in particular from three owners posting at Epinions and an owner posting an eight-minute video to YouTube. The Oreck XL Tower and Oreck XL Tabletop are both evaluated in lab tests at Consumer Reports.
Editors conduct formal lab test with 36 air purifiers, including two models from Oreck. Each unit is evaluated on its measured ability to remove allergens from the air. Noise levels and ozone production are also measured, and results are disclosed in a ratings chart.
Review: Air Purifiers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Dec. 2007
Reviewer Ed Sherbenou admits that it's hard to evaluate Oreck products, since so much of the information available is based on advertising. He gives Oreck air cleaners in general a very low grade of 62, citing their high ozone emissions.
Review: Oreck Air Purifier Review, Ed Sherbenou
In this eight-minute video review, "Xaves511" takes apart the Oreck XL and demonstrates its noise level (it sounds like a tropical monsoon on the highest speed setting). He says it works fine for three days at a time, then starts "zapping" as it overloads on dust. Interestingly, he points out that to clean the unit you have to wash the Truman cell -- but since the Truman cell has to be absolutely dry before you put it back, you have to wait a full 24 hours to use your machine (which Oreck doesn't mention in its TV spots).
Review: Oreck XL Professional Air Purifier Review, "Xaves511", June 7, 2007
Only four owners comment at Epinions on the Oreck XL Tabletop Professional Air Purifier, but two go into great depth -- they both like this machine, but one says it's noisy and the other says it's messy to clean. The third user says his Tabletop broke down after a few days and he had a hard time dealing with Oreck customer service. The fourth is relatively happy with the Oreck's filtration but can't live with the "zapping" sound of the unit.
Review: Oreck XL Tabletop Air Cleaner Review, Contributors to Epinions.com
We don't include this article because it's helpful, but because it's a prime example of guerrilla marketing. This "review" -- which pops up on a few websites -- is clearly written by someone with an interest in selling Oreck products. Sample line: "When purchasing an air purifier with Oreck, it is not uncommon to receive a free gift or a special discount."
Review: Oreck Air Purifiers Reviewed, Editors of Clean-Air-Today.com