Alternative sensors

Maybe this would be a good blog post, but could you speak to the sensors chosen for AirGradient vs other alternatives?

PMS5003T looks only a few dollar more than PMS5003 and adds temp/humidity
PMS5003ST has both temp/humidity and formaldehyde, but not sure of the relevancy of that
BME680 does temp/humidity/pressure, and TVOC/eCO2 although the last two seem to be wild guesses in my experience

I also saw this article with a list of various PM2.5 sensors, and thought it interesting that the PMS5003 wasn’t even in the list.
The best particulate (PM2.5) sensor for ESPHome (

So just generally curious which ones you’ve tested and found lacking in capabilities, or which ones just aren’t worth the price/performance balance.


I was looking around at other air quality projects as well and found this blog post that talks about some other sensors like SCD30 for CO2 monitoring and is a dual sensing, but I’m not even sure what that means.
Air quality monitor // Mikkel Jeppesens ramblings

Yes, that could be a whole blog post but some pointers here.
We chose the PMS5003 series due to the following:

  • Lot of performance tests, especially from the US EPA with the purple air monitor
  • Pretty much the same accuracy as the SCD30, sometimes slighly better
  • Plantower is not very transparent what formadehyde sensor they use in the ST model. We prefer name products like Sensirion.
  • To some extent the same applies for the temperature/humidity sensor in the T model but we like the fact that we have a humidity reading at the point of PM measurement that we can use for PM correction algorithms.

We have now built a few thousand monitors with these main sensor modules and are very happy with the performance and lifetime.

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