Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Trueair Air Purifier
Looking for an affordable option? This miniature filter comes in at less than $70 and still offers HEPA-grade filtration. Perfect for bedrooms, offices, living rooms, and other mid-sized rooms, the Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier has three speed settings for customized filtration. Place it on a shelf or under your desk and you won’t even remember it’s there. Reviews praise this model’s near-perfect silence, too.
“We have two of these air purifiers and have had them for about eight months,” . “They really do work at removing dust. We don’t sneeze daily anymore. And my 10-year-old daughter does not suffer from asthma anymore. We run these 24/7 on high and never had any issues. They are worth the cost.”
Rabbitair Minusa2 Ultra Quiet Hepa Air Purifier
The RabbitAir MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier offers serious style as well as premium air filtration with its Advanced HEPA filter and six stages of purification and deodorization. From a functional standpoint, the BioGS HEPA Filter does what a True HEPA filter does, which is trapping 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. However, it also prevents the buildup of these allergens on the filter and reduces the growth of bacteria and viruses on the filter. This RabbitAir purifier also was a permanent, washable prefilter for dust and large particles, a medium filter, a customized filter to target a specific problem such as germs, pet allergies, odors or airborne toxins. Finally, it includes a charcoal-based activated carbon filter and a negative ion generator.
Designed for large spaces up to 815 square feet, the RabbitAir has an Energy Star rated motor and CADR ratings from dust pollen and smoke. Its also ultra-quiet with a five-speed motor that emits just 20.8 decibels on the quietest setting. In fact, the unit has a sensor that automatically puts it on sleep mode when the room is dark and a more active mode when there is more light. From a style standpoint, this is one of the few units with the option for a wall mount, as well as an artistic series of cover panels that includes images by Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Katsushika Hokusai, and original designs that are available for an extra charge.
Upgrade Pick: Blueair Blue Pure 211+
*At the time of publishing, the price was $300.
If you need to purify the air in a seriously large space, we recommend the Blueair Blue Pure 211+. Its extremely powerful, delivering our recommended 4 ACH in spaces as large as 650 square feet . That means it can clean the combined living areas of many open-floor-plan homes. Its also an attractive, quiet-running machine, so its easy to live with. Its five-year cost of ownershipabout $1,150 including the up-front cost and the annual cost of electricity and replacement filtersis comparable to that of most large-space purifiers. All that said, unless you really need to clean an especially large space, the even quieter, smaller, and much more affordable Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is a better choice.
In January 2021, the similar Blue Pure 211+ Auto was released. Its slightly more powerful yet also more energy efficient due to a new motor and filter, and it adds an auto setting that adjusts the fan speed to changing air-quality conditions. We have not been able to test it, but we are confident that it will deliver similar, excellent performance.
The Blue Pure 211+ is not true-HEPA. However, it has excellent clean air delivery rate certifications from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, which in some ways is a more rigorous measurement. And it has always delivered exceptional performance in our testing at the 0.3-micron HEPA standard, on both new and old filters.
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Can Air Purifiers Help With Wildfire Smoke
Yes. HEPA air purifiers are extremely efficient at removing smoke particles from the air. But in a wildfire event, purifiers are part of a larger smoke-mitigation strategy. Its helpful to think of them as a central piece of a comprehensive plan, which we detail in a separate guide to the best wildfire preparedness supplies and strategies.
How to plan and protect yourself in areas at risk of wildfires.
Do Air Purifiers Really Work
Yes. At baseline, these units are designed to remove unwanted particles and irritants from the surrounding air. An air purifier can filter particles down to a specific size, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network. This is helpful for allergens like mold and animal dander as well as certain viral, bacterial, fungal and other irritants and pollutants.
Air purifiers typically feature a fan that moves air through a filter, weeding out impurities in the process, says David B. Corry, M.D., vice chair for immunology in the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. In addition to HEPA filters, which usually have a woven material of differing weaves that can remove things as small as 0.3 microns, some air filters are electrostatic, meaning air is passed over an electrically charged series of plates and causes particles to stick to other things.
If your unit has a HEPA filter, youll want to change the filter on a regular basis. This, Corry explains, leads to permanent removal of the particles and volatiles from your local environment.
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Can An Air Purifier Help With Allergy Symptoms
Theres some evidence that air purifiers may help reduce your symptoms by cleaning the air around you, especially by removing triggers for asthma and allergies like dust mites, pollen, and mold spores. But it depends on several factors, including the square footage of the area needing to be filtered. The type of air filter you get matters too, since some work by capturing and filtering out larger allergen particles like dust, while others, like UV purifiers, work better for killing mold and bacteria.
But even the best air cleaner wont completely protect you against viruses, so you should still commit to practices like frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizer, and wearing a face mask when in close contact with others.
Still, a good air purifier will go a long way to helping clean out the air in your space, so heres what to look for along with our top recommendations.
Best With Cooling: Dyson Pure Cool Link Air Purifier
Before you go into sticker shock over this purifier, hear us out: Dyson is known for creating quality home products and reviews laud the product’s state-of-the-art design. This model automatically detects allergens, odors, and pollutants and comes with a remote control and app that provides real-time air quality data and alerts when your HEPA filter should be replaced. Impressive air purification abilities aside, the Pure Cool Link Air Purifier also acts as a fan to keep your home cool, which comes in handy in the warm weather months. It’s especially great for bedrooms thanks to its quiet nighttime mode and sleep timer.
“I have a small house and the air can get stuffy,” said a customer. “Or if I cook my whole house will smell like that meal for a day. This has solved these problems. It looks great and will make the air in your house crisp and clean. I’ve also struggled with allergies my entire life and haven’t had an issue in the last two months since I’ve bought this.”
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Do Air Purifiers Focus On Different Allergens
As youve seen with the different constructions of air purifiers, each approach to cleaner air specializes in removing certain pollutants. For someone living with different pets, you might be looking for a unit that can clear the air from dander. If youre living with asthma, you want to ensure youre staying away from ionizers. Have some beautiful birch trees outside? Prepare yourself for some high-pollen days and get a purifier that can easily tackle tree pollen.
You can take a look at the build of each air purifier to determine how well the machine will filter out your specific concerns. For example, pollen, dust mites, mold and more can be removed with a HEPA filter, whereas germs and bacteria might be better taken care of with an air sanitizer. Have some paint thinner laying around? Activated charcoal is known for its capability of removing chemical emissions.
What Do Hepa Air Filters Do
HEPA filters remove tiny particles from dust, mold, pollen, bacteria, viruses, and more from the air. Thin glass fibers are randomly arranged into a dense, paperlike material that is folded into pleats to create the filter.
As air particles pass through these filters, pollutants are trapped in the fibers. Then, as larger particles stick to the filter, they keep other smaller particles from passing through. A HEPA filter can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. For reference, the smallest thing the human eye can see is 25 microns, and a strand of hair is between 17 and 180 microns in diameter.
When placed into filtration systems like air cleaners and purifiers, HEPA filters can remove 99.97 percent of particles from the air. These filters were initially used in nuclear plants, but a host of new devices use this technology in products that can help clean the air in your home.
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How Hepa Filters Work
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. The technology is the result of an industrial need that became critical in the Atomic Age: high volumes of very clean air, vital for the production of microprocessors and other sensitive instruments. Happily, HEPA filtration is also fundamentally simple and cheap, which means its available to everyone today.
HEPA filtration is a physical process, but its not like what most people envision when they think of a filter: a net, or a colander, or maybe mosquito netting, where particles larger than the holes get caught and the rest passes through. Rather, in HEPA purifiers, a fan draws particles suspended in the air through a dense, felt-like filter that has billions of tiny gaps of varying size. Air passes through almost unimpededthus the high-efficiency in HEPAbut the mazelike web of fibers traps almost all the particles, from big stuff like pollen down to ultrafine, 10-nanometer stuff.
Crucially, the hardest particles to capture are what you might call the Baby Bears: At 0.3 micron, theyre at the low limit of interception momentum and above the limit of diffusionin other words, theyre just right to get through a HEPA filter. The solution is to make the filter dense enough that it has a sufficient amount of fibers to capture most of the 0.3-micron particles. And again, according to the US HEPA standard, most of them means 99.97% of them in a single pass.
No Obstructions With The Hpa300
Most air purifiers suck in air from the back, purify it, and spew it out the front. That means you must place them some distance away from the wall.
In contrast, its easy to hide the Honeywell and still enjoy all of the awesome benefits it delivers. Simply plug the HPA300 into some corner, set it and forget it. Utilize the rest of the space for other purposes.
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Does The Hpa300 Help With Allergies
Its a great product that can help you effectively manage asthma and allergy symptoms. Running it 24/7 can dramatically improve the air quality in your home. People who use this purifier report being better able to manage their allergies and asthma.
One of those people happens to be my SO, Mary. My wife is allergic to pollen, dust bunnies, and many other allergens. Luckily, we have this air purifier in our 20 X 20 living room. We bought it after reading HPA300 reviews on Amazon and learning that its quite popular.
Well, I cant say her allergies have vanished. They havent. But if I didnt tell you that my wifes allergies bother her much less, Id be lying.
We also have another device in our medium size bedroom . Thanks to this unit, my wifes sleep has improved dramatically. Without this solution, pollen would continue to ruthlessly bludgeon her peace-of-mind.
People who are allergic to pollen and asthma sufferers should seriously consider buying this air purifier. But owning the device will not eliminate dusting, cleaning, and vacuuming. Thats why we keep our home sparkling clean at all times. Still, youll have much less dust around to worry about with this machine.
How Do We Test Air Purifiers On Live Science
Every air purifier in this guide has been tested to the exact same standards, using the same processes. We created a series of tests to measure particles of different sizes, to see how each air purifier performs with certain types of impurities. We use a particle counter for all our testing, and our equipment is capable of measuring the smallest pollutants that can be removed from the air by a purifier.
We start by running an ambient air quality test, where we run the air purifier in multiple rooms in a home to see how it performs at the regular setting, and the highest possible setting . We make note of readings after 15 and 30 minutes to see the speed at which the machine removes particles from the air. We also measure the noise levels generated by the fan, to comment on how noticeable the purifier will be in an average home.
We then test different particle sizes using matches and incense to generate different types of smoke, taking measurements at regular intervals and on different speed settings.
Our testing also takes into account the size of the unit, the cost, ease of use, availability of additional parts, and the energy use on the lowest and highest settings. Finally, we check online user reviews to see what people think, and we test for any persistent problems or defects that we read about.
As per our testing policy, we fully disclose all our findings in our reviews.
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Germguardian Ae5000e 3 In 1 Air Purifier
This is the economical air purifier that delivers a quality end result. The 3 in 1 system features:
- True HEPA Filter Captures 99.97% of microscopic allergens, dust and mold spores down to 0.3 microns in size. This is the optimal filter for people who suffer with with allergies or asthma.
- Charcoal carbon Filter Reduces odors
- UV-C Light Kills bacteria, viruses, germs and mold spores.
The GermGuardian is good for smaller to mid sized rooms. I can cover up to 193 sq ft. Its lightweight and easily portable, so you an easily move it from room to room.
The only downside to this product is that it tends to emit a plastic smelling odor during the first 2 days of use . This is a common occurrence among many manufactured products that come in boxes. But, it does fade away after the first 48 hours. If you are super sensitive to smell and it bothers you, Id recommend that open the box and let it sit in the garage or another area for a couple of days before using it.
You can check out the reviews here.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets
This piece was originally written by Anne Fritz, who has been researching pet products for The Spruce Pets for more than two years. Before writing this article, she gathered information from customer reviews and third-party articles. To make this list, she also considered the strength, sound, and features of each air purifier. She is the proud owner of two rescue dogs.
Additional research and updates were added to this piece by Emma Phelps, who is an updates writer for The Spruce with several years of experience researching products and writing roundups. Emma converted all of our Lab results into refreshed product descriptions for this roundup.
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Pro Breeze Mini Air Purifier
This small, portable air purifier uses a true HEPA filter to clean a small room, like an office or nursery. It’s very quiet, so you can have it running on your desk while you work. It also has an LED night light, which is a nice touch for a nursery or kid’s room. complimented how small and efficient this purifier is, especially for just $30.
Best For Pet Owners: Alen Breathesmart Flex Customizable Air Purifier
Yes, you can keep your air pure and your home stylish all at once. Alen’s device comes in 14 colors to fit any style. But most impressive is its B4-Pure filter, which quickly clears the air of allergy and asthma triggers like pet dander, mold, and dust. That and it’s lifetime warranty, of course. It circulates the room every 30 minutes for optimal air purification and has a medical-grade HEPA filter that removes 99.99% bacteria, aerosolized viruses, and airborne particles larger than 0.1 micron. Dog and cat owners will be delighted to know that it successfully neutralizes pet odors as well.
“I bought this air purifier because I adopted a cat, and I am allergic to cats,” one shopper began their review. “So I would wake up completely stuffed up and pretty close to having an asthma attack. I have no issues breathing anymore, my nose is never stuffed up anymore and I wake up feeling refreshed. My overall sleep quality has improved tremendously as well.”
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