The Best Air Purifier for Every Type of Home
Whether you want better air circulation or to avoid allergies and pet dander
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While there’s no shortage of ways that we try to take care of ourselves, in recent years we’ve all had to pay attention and be more mindful of the air that we breathe. Whether you’re in an area with frequent wildfires or trying to prevent the spread of COVID, Dr. Payel Gupta, MD, an allergist and co-founder of Cleared says, “Indoor air quality is important for everyone,” and air purifiers can even “help people who have pet or pollen allergies.”
After speaking with Dr. Gupta, we used her insight and some of our own testing to guide us as we compiled our picks of the best air purifiers available for a wide range of prices and needs. Here are our choices.
• Best for Larger Spaces: Coway Airmega 400
• Best for Medium-sized Rooms: Bionaire True HEPA 360° UV Air Purifier
• Most Aesthetically Pleasing: Blueair Blue Pure 411 Auto
• Best Splurge: Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde Purifying Fan
• Best Budget: Honeywell Insight HEPA Air Purifier
• Best for Pets: Levoit Core P350 Pet Care True HEPA Air Purifier
• Best Wall Mounted: Rabbit Air MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier
• Best To Improve Breathing: BISSELL air320 Smart Air Purifier
Things to consider
Price: Air purifiers fit within a broad spectrum of prices, ranging on the lower end from under $100 to some that can cost well over $1,000. The good news is that there is no shortage of great products that exist in the middle range, and even some ones on the lower end as well. Our list is sure to include options that are more affordable, because clean air shouldn’t be overly expensive. In addition to the cost of the product when you initially purchase it, Dr. Gupta says to “look to see how often you need to change the filter and the cost associated,” as most models have filters that will need to be changed within the year.
Space: When purchasing an air purifier, Dr. Gupta tells us to “make sure it will be sufficient for the size of the room you are using it in,” and for comparison sake she tells us, “they are similar to air conditioners and work on a certain square footage.” Because they can cost a pretty penny, be sure that the product you are buying can handle the square footage for your space because a great air purifier won’t live up to its potential if it is in too large of a room.
Filter: When looking for air purifiers, Dr. Gupta recommends seeking out something with a HEPA filter which stands for “high-efficiency particulate air.” They use “mechanical filtration to remove airborne particles,” and Dr. Gupta says that they are “small, portable units that may work for a single room,” but, as mentioned above, she notes that you’ll want to double check just how much air it can clean to make sure it’s ideal for the designated space.
Best for larger spaces
With coverage of up to 1,560 square feet, Coway’s Airmega 400 is not messing around. In addition to its Green True HEPA filter, it also has an activated carbon filter that works to handle harmful gasses, VOCs, and odors. The Airmega 400 draws in air from both sides of the purifier, pushing the cleaned air back through the top of it. “Smart Mode” makes it adapt its fan’s speeds to the particular air quality in a given room, and “Sleep Mode” lowers the power consumption and noise when it senses that the room has been dark and the air has been clean for 3-minutes. One drawback with this option is that it features no remote or app that allows you to control it. However, settings like “Sleep Mode” work to alleviate this mild inconvenience.
Pros: 5-year warranty, features three modes that use sensors, two color choices
Cons: No mobile app, no remote
Dimensions: 14.8” x14.8” x 22.8”| Weight: 24.7 pounds | Square Footage: 1,560
Best for medium sized spaces
Bionaire’s True HEPA 360° UV Air Purifier is a great option for medium sized rooms as it is able to accommodate up to 175-square feet. It features six stages of filtration: a fabric pre-filter, a mesh pre-filter, a True HEPA filter, a carbon filter, UV light protect, and an ionizer. The result is a good looking product in a small package that provides a powerful impact. I keep one running in my room all day, and I find it to do a great job of keeping the room feeling fresh; specifically, I run it near where I have just burned incense and found it to eliminate the lingering odor very quickly.
In addition to how good it is at cleaning a room, the lighter build and handle make it a breeze to move around your space or even to bring it into another room. One thing that is worth considering, is that it does make some noise when in use. Fortunately, three speed options allow you to crank it up when you need, and to keep it quieter for sleeping.
Pros: 6-stages of filtration, nighttime mode turns its lights off, 360° of air intake, compact size
Cons: Noisier than other options, replacement filters can get pricey
Dimensions: 17.5″ x 10.7″ x 11.5″ | Weight: 8.38 pounds | Square Footage: 175
Most aesthetically pleasing
If you’re looking for an air purifier to help you in a smaller to medium-sized space, Blueair’s Blue Pure 411 Auto is recommended for spaces of 190-square feet. This option begins its purifying through an outer fabric washable pre-filter, which takes care of the larger particles. Inside, the main particle filter and a layer of activated carbon work together to keep you protected from pollen, dander, odors and much more.
Pros: Customizable colors, filter subscription available, 60-day trial
Cons: LED is bright, could be noisy for some
Dimensions: 7.9″ x 7.9″ x 16.7″ | Weight: 6 pounds | Square Footage: 190
Considering Dyson’s top of the line products in other categories, it should come as no surprise that its Purifier Cool Formaldehyde Purifying Fan made our list. In addition to the HEPA filter, there is another filter that can remove gasses and odors, such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). As the name implies, this model is great for handling formaldehyde, and that’s thanks to a solid-state sensor that detects it and a catalytic converter which turns it into water and C02. Additional features that we like include voice control compatibility through services like Alexa and Siri, as well an app that allows you to control if from wherever you may be.
Pros: Formaldehyde protection, 2-year warranty, 30-day returns, 10 speed settings
Cons: Fan leaves something to be desired, pricier than other choices
Dimensions: 4.72” x 8.7” x 41” | Weight: 10.7 pounds | Square Footage: 2860 (cubic feet)
When it comes to air filters, Dr. Gupta recommends looking into brands that have been around for a while like Honeywell, which she likes for its wide range of prices. We specifically like Honeywell’s Insight HEPA Air Purifier for medium-large rooms. For the lower price point, we appreciate that it still features a HEPA filter and a pre-filter to keep you protected from allergens, odors, and VOCs. We also like that this choice features a light to let you know when to replace the filters.One drawback with this option is that its turbo mode is pretty loud and disruptive.
Pros: Affordably priced, includes a filter check light, 5-year limited warranty
Cons: Turbo mode is noisy, comes with a sticker that is hard to remove
Dimensions: 9.2” x 13.9 Inches” x 15 Inches” | Weight: 10.1 pounds | Square Footage: 190
Best for pets
Dander can be a huge problem, even for the world’s biggest pet lovers. Levoit’s Core P350 is designed specifically with pet dander in mind. Three-stage filtration absorbs odors, breaks down pollutants, and locks them in the activated charcoal filter. The non-woven fabric filter also grabs floating particles like fur and dust to save you time cleaning. Additionally, 360° air flow ensures that the whole room is protected.
Pros: 2-year warranty, light weight, pet lock prevents children and pets from adjusting settings
Cons: Not great for larger rooms
Dimensions: 8.7″ x 8.7″ x 14.2″ | Weight: 7.5 pounds | Square Footage: 219
Best wall mounted
If you don’t like the look of air purifiers on your floor or tables, this sleek MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier from Rabbit Air is a great choice for you. Available in seven color/design options, you are sure to find something that works for you. In terms of filtration, six stages of purification and deodorization that you can customize for germ defense, toxin absorption, pet allergies, or odor removal will leave you feeling protected. And 700 square feet of protection, it’s a good choice for the larger rooms in your house as well. While this is a high quality product, the upkeep can get expensive, with a full replacement of the germ defense filtration system costing $95.
Pros: Style and color customizability, purification customizability, 5-year warranty, 24-hour tech support
Cons: Expensive to upkeep, no free shipping to Hawaii and Alaska
Dimensions: 7” x 21.4” x 20” | Weight: 19.4 pounds | Square Footage: 700
Best to improve breathing
Featuring a 3-step filtration process that includes a medical-grade HEPA filter, Bissel’s air320 Smart Air Purifier is a great choice for someone looking to improve breathing due to airborne allergens. In addition to the HEPA filter, it also features a fabric pre-filter and a honeycomb-structured carbon filter with thousands of activated carbon pellets that helps to deal with VOCs and odors.
Pros: 5-year limited warranty, cord storage behind, sleek design
Cons: Slightly noisy for some, return shipping is not free
Dimensions: 8.3″ x 14.75″ x 25″ | Weight: 18.25 pounds | Square Footage: 1000
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