Did you know that the air inside our home is about 5 times as polluted as the air outside? That’s because pollutants are constantly circulating. Unless you open your windows daily, that air isn’t going anywhere and is possibly getting worse by the second (especially if you smoke, have pets, use wood-burning fireplaces, or clean with harsh chemicals). I have suffered from allergies for several years now and have spent hours researching the best air purifiers. Just like dehumidifiers help you zap excess moisture from the air in your home, the best air purifiers help you breathe easier by removing pollutants from your air.
Air purifiers remove pollutants from the air such as mold spores, dust mites, bacteria, animal dander, viruses, and VOCs. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you need to remove these unhealthy particles from the air you breathe.
The first step to combating these pollutants is regularly cleaning your home. However, if you’re doing this already and your symptoms only seem to be getting worse, then it’s time for an air purifier. To help you pick the one that’s perfect for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best air purifiers that you can buy today.
Best Air Purifiers Top Pick:
Rated the #1 brand recommended by 9 out of 10 allergists, it’s no surprise that the is the best air purifier for residential use. From it’s convenient features to its high quality, read below why it’s a favorite among many, including yours truly.
The Honeywell comes with a certified HEPA filter and an activated carbon pre-filter. They work together to cleanse rooms up to 465 square feet. HEPA filters are used to capture allergens such as bacteria, dust, pollen, and pet dander, which are all greater than 0.3 microns.
However, HEPA filter can’t effectively catch particles less than 0.3 microns such as odors, viruses, smoke, and other gaseous matter that pollute your home. That’s why this model paired a HEPA filter with an activated carbon pre-filter because the carbon filter can neutralize pollutants that small.
The comes with four filtration levels. They’re Germ, General Clean, Allergens, and Turbo. Each filtration level corresponds with a fan speed that goes from low, moderate, high, and turbo, respectively.
You’ll use the Germ setting when you’re trying to capture germs, typically around cold and flu season. The General Clean setting is for everyday use when you’re not trying to remove something specific from the air.
The Allergens setting is when you’re trying to remove allergens from in the air (and the setting people who suffer from allergies would use). The Turbo setting will remove odors and clean the air faster than any of the other settings. It’s also the setting you should use when you first get your air purifier.
Design of this Best Air Purifiers Option
The is a black, portable 21-pound unit that has a 9.2 x 20 x 22.2 inches dimensional space. You won’t have to worry about it taking up much space or looking like a sore thumb in your home. It also comes with two inverted side handles for easier carrying.
The control panels you can find on the are the filtration levels, timer, check filter, and dimmer light. As mentioned above, the filtration levels correspond with what you’re trying to eliminate from the air. On Germ setting, you almost can’t hear it and on Turbo, it sounds like a white noise machine. If you’re using it in the bedroom, it probably can lull you to sleep.
Since the unit runs continuously, you’ll have to use the timer if you want it to stop after a while. The timer has increments of 2, 4, and 8 hours.
There’s a check filter LED light for both the HEPA filter and the carbon one. When either of these light up, then you’ll know that it’s time to replace them. Continuing to use these filters when the light is on can result in your asthma and allergies getting worse. That’s because the unit won’t be able to remove those particles and anything coming from it will be dirty, recycled air.
If you’re using the unit in your bedroom then you’ll appreciate the dimmer feature. It allows you to adjust the light to your desired dimness of low, high, and off.
The is a high quality build air purifier that’s energy efficient. It filters and circulates your air 5 times per hour, which is roughly every 15 minutes. Also, the control panel is remarkably durable.
It’s Energy Star and AHAM verified. You don’t have to worry about it raising your utility bill astronomically high. It’s CADR ratings for pollen, dust, and smoke are 320 and 300, respectively. A CADR rating is a clean air delivery rate. The higher the number, the more air it filters per minute.
Like any filter you’ve had in your home, both the HEPA and carbon filters need to be changed to ensure that it’s performing at its maximum potential. The three HEPA filters need to be changed annually and the carbon filter needs to be changed every 3 months.
Although this seems like an added expense, it’s relatively inexpensive since replacing the filters is something you only have to worry about a few times a year.
The comes with a 5-year limited warranty that covers defective material or defects caused by workmanship.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers of My Best Air Purifiers Winner
This air purifier uses three small HEPA filters. Instead of using one large HEPA filter, it uses three small ones which makes it an inconvenience when changing it. Aside from that, there aren’t many complaints about my pick as one of the best air purifiers I’ve ever had.
Best Air Purifiers Runner-Up:
The company motto is “First in air quality.” Many people agree with them which is why the is the #1 air purifier for asthma and allergens. For that reason, it is why it came in as a close second on our list of best air purifiers.
The IQAir comes with three filters: preMax, V5-Cell Gas and Odor, and HyperHEPA. They filter in four stages: micro-particle, granular activated carbon adsorption, pelletized chemisorption, and hyperHEPA filter. After the air is drawn in the unit, the micro-particle stage begins. This pre-filter stage captures and eliminates any micro-particles such as pollen, mold spores, and pet dander.
The next stage is the granular activated carbon, which is the V5-Cell Gas and Odor filter removes volatile organic compounds that cause odors and other harmful chemicals. Once all the odor particles are gone, the V5 cell removes any harmful chemicals that the second stage didn’t capture such as formaldehyde. This stage is known as the pelletized chemisorption.
The final stage is when the hyperHEPA filter destroys ultrafine particles such as bacteria, viruses, and combustion particles. After this stage, the air then flows back into the room via the 320 degrees Even Diffuser, so there’s clean air being distributed in all directions.
One of the most notable features of this unit is that it can purifier a room up to 1,125 square feet.
The is a white and light gray portable 35-pound unit. Although it weighs more than the , it comes with caster wheels for easy maneuvering. It’s an elegantly designed air purifier that will make a great addition to your home decor. Its dimensional size is 16 x 15 x 28 inches.
It’s also designed to make replacing the filters a simplified process. With its modular tower design, you can snap open any filter you need to change within seconds.
Its fan-in-center design places the fan motor between filters that diminish the sound it produces. The result is white noise to help you sleep that you can adjust with the remote.
Another incredible feature of the IQAir is that it comes with a remote control. You can use it to turn the unit and timer on/off and change the fan speed. Besides the controller, you can also use the control panel for more, detailed options.
It comes with an LCD display, power, arrow, menu, and enter key. Its LED lights are for each filter life, timer, and fan speed. The LCD display is where you’ll find information about the fan speed, filter life in hours, and timer. The menu key will allow you to access more control options such as how many hours and on what days you want the to run, in what language you want it to run, what model it’s running, airflow units, and filter life and reset.
It’s also customizable. If you want to run the air purifier only on the weekend, at a 5 fan speed, and for 7 hours, you absolutely can. To make sure that it’s filtering on the right days and at the right time, you can set its clock.
The produces some of the best quality air and still remains energy efficient. On the lowest setting, it consumes 27 watts while at the highest it consumes 215 watts. Plus, it only cost a few pennies a day. With its triple, 3D ultraseal technology, you don’t have to worry about air leakages that release unfiltered air back into your home.
The IQAir three filters have long lifespans. The preMax filter last for 18 months, the V5 filter last for 2 years, and the HyperHEPA last for 4 years. You’ll always know how much time you have left with each filter. Using this information, you’ll be able to buy replacements before you’ll need them.
With the , you get a one-year limited warranty when you purchase the product. However, unlike the , you can register your product on their website for free within 30 days of purchase and get upgraded to their 10-year warranty.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
The fan speed doesn’t correlate with a filtration level. Although this unit does have a six fan speeds ranging from low to high, it doesn’t specify what level of pollutants each level gets rid of. It does tell you the airflow cfm, cubic feet per minute. The lowest fan speed produces 40 cfm and the highest produces 300 cfm.
It might not tell you exactly what’s getting filtered out at each fan speed, but you know that the higher the fan speed, the more square footage being cleaned. Also, the higher the speed, the more power that’s being used to cleanse your air of even the most ultrafine particles.
Best Air Purifiers Honorable Mention:
is known for their innovative products that focus on giving you the best environment your home can offer. Although it isn’t our top pick, the is a portable unit that gets the job done and righfully deserves to be on our best air purifiers list.
The comes with a HEPA filter, an Advanced Odor Control carbon filter, and an additional PlasmaWave Technology. The filters clean areas up to 360 square feet. Although the PlasmaWave Technology works like an ionizer, it doesn’t produce any ozone. PlasmaWave Technology works by using water vapors to eliminate pollutants.
The Winix is a black, portable 15-pound air purifier that has a very innovative design. It’s dimensional size is 15 x 8.2 x 23.6 inches.
The noise level is fairly quiet. You almost can’t notice it on low, the medium setting sounds like a computer hard drive, and high is more noticeable, but it can blend into background noise if positioned right.
Similar to the , the comes with a remote control. You can use the remote to power it on, change fan speeds from manual to turbo or vice versa, and use the auto mode.
The control panel gives you the option to switch between modes, change the fan speed, set the timer, change the filter, and enable PlasmaWave. You can set your unit to Auto, Sleep, or Manual. In auto mode, all you need to do is turn it on and let it adjust itself. Once the indoor air quality improves, the fan speed will automatically lower itself. The auto mode relies on the smart sensor feature to determine how good or poor the air quality is.
A notable feature from this unit is that its sleep mode is dedicated to making sure that you’re getting your best sleep without having to turn off the unit. In addition to that, the LED lights also dim when the room is dark. If you prefer to manually adjust your fan speed, then pressing the fan button will disable auto mode.
The timer has intervals of 1 hour, 4 hours, and 8 hours. If you’re wondering what’s the quality of air in your home, then you can use the smart sensor which tells you whether it’s good, fair, or poor. The fan speeds are low, medium, high, and turbo.
The is Energy Star, AHAM, and ARB certified. Its CADR ratings for dust, pollen, and smoke are 243, 246, 232, respectively.
The pre-filter should be cleaned every two weeks, the washable carbon filter needs to be cleaned every 3 months and replaced after a year, and the true HEPA filter needs to be changed annually.
The comes with a two-year limited warranty.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
Turbo mode is noisy. Unlike the other modes, you can’t ignore the Winix when turbo mode is on. To combat this, you can use this mode only when you’re not home or when you’re in another room.
Conclusion of the Best Air Purifiers
Each of our top picks does an incredible job when it comes to helping you reduce your asthma and allergies symptoms. However, depending on your individual needs, you might find more value and use out of certain units.
Perhaps you’re looking for an affordable, top-rated air purifier that can eliminate dust, bacteria, and viruses then you need the .
If you can afford to make a large investment in your air quality which provides added features for your convenience, then you’ll love the .
Finally, if you’re looking for something with a more modern design and will definitely help your respiratory problems, then there’s always the .
As long as you see an air improvement in your daily life, that’s all that really matters when purchasing the best air purifiers.
Q: I don’t have much square footage. Would it be better for me to purchase a small air purifier?
I can understand why you would think that getting an air purifier that doesn’t exceed your needs is the right way to go. And if you can’t afford a larger unit, then a small one WILL execute its purpose. However, if you can afford to splurge on one then you’ll get the most out of one that covers large areas. It’s beneficial for noise and energy levels.
If you were to purchase a small air purifier, you’ll need to run it on high constantly for it to cleanse your air. It’ll produce more noise and it’ll consume more energy than a larger unit. With a large unit, you can run it on low to get the same results the small one would have produced on high. Also, it’ll make less noise and cost you less on your utility bill. Not to mention that large units tend to come with more features that’ll make life convenient for you.
Q: I heard that all air purifiers produce ozone. Is this true?
No, it isn’t but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some that do. However, all air purifiers listed in this guide don’t produce them. Ozone, a lung irritant, is hazardous to human health. Some household products emit ozone, but people with allergies and asthma are especially sensitive to them.
The types of air purifiers that emit ozone are ones that use ionizer and ozone generating technology. Ionizer technology cleans the air by emitting negative ions which bond with the positively charged dust and bacteria. They then cancel each other out.
On top of being dangerous, it also does a poor job of cleaning an area. An ozone generator does exactly that, it generates ozone. The ozone that’s released into the air is extremely effective at eliminating odor, allergens, dust, and bacteria. It gets the job done, but it’s not worth the risk. In fact, California restricted the use of it.
Q: How will I know the best air purifiers are working?
You’ll notice that the air will feel lighter. If you live in a humid climate, you know how heavy humidity feels. While it’s not quite the same inside, you’ll be able to breathe easier. Even if you can’t quite describe it, you’ll notice a difference.