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Research has shown indoor air quality is often significantly worse than that outside, which is why it's no surprise that air purifiers are such a popular purchase among homeowners. These devices work to remove microscopic particles from the air, saving potentially harmful molecules like dust, mold, smoke, and more from entering your lungs.
If you're looking for an air purifier to help improve the air quality in your home, the following are the best options available today, all of which will help you breathe a little easier.
Best Overall: Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Allergen Remover
One of the most efficient, highly-rated air purifiers available right now is the Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover. This device helps remove more than 99.97 percent of airborne particles from large rooms, effectively improving indoor air quality.
This top-rated air purifier from Honeywell is effective on particles as small as .3 microns, and it will capture things like pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, smoke, and germs. It's effective in rooms up to 465 square feet, and it can circulate all the air in a given area up to five times an hour. Plus, it comes at a great price and helps reduce allergies and sickness during the colder months.
"After running the purifier overnight in a living room, we awoke the next morning to find the room smelling fresher and one allergy sufferer was significantly less congested. After a few days of continued evening use, the filter showed signs of effectively trapping dust and dog hair."—Suzie Dundas, Product Tester
Best for Pets: LEVOIT LV-H132 Compact True HEPA Air Purifier
A great product to capture pet dander and other irritating particles is the LEVOIT LV-H132 Air Purifier. This model has a three-stage filtration system, including a true HEPA filter, that removes 99.9 percent of dust, pollen, smoke, mold spores, and pet danders. It can filter out particles as small as .3 microns, and it can be used in rooms as big as 85 square feet. Not only does this model reduce airborne irritants, but it eliminates pet dander and odors, as well.
"We tested the purifier in a bedroom with two people and a shedding Bassett hound, running it overnight for a week. Following our initial run, we turned it off for a few nights to compare the difference in air quality. While we didn't notice any significant difference during the week it was running, we could certainly tell during the off-days that the unit had indeed been doing its job when it was on. Without it, the room smelled mustier and we woke up with scratchier, itchier throats." — Suzie Dundas, Product Tester
Best Budget: Guardian Technologies GermGuardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
High-end air purifiers can cost up to several hundred dollars, but you don't need to break the bank to get a quality product. One great budget option is the GermGuardian AC4825 22-inch 3-in-1 Full Room Air Purifier, which delivers the same air-purifying power for a fraction of the price.
This model uses a HEPA filter to capture 99.9 percent of allergens, including pet dander, mold spores, and pollen. It also uses a charcoal filter to reduce common odors from pets, smoking, cooking, and more, and it boasts optional UV-C light technology that can kill airborne bacteria and germs.
"This model’s unique Ultraviolet-C light does require a blue light to be on, which could be distracting to a sensitive sleeper. Thankfully, this feature is optional and can be turned on and off by the push of a button. In terms of noise, this is a very quiet machine with three different levels of speed. Even on the highest setting, the purifier is no louder than white noise. For everyday use, we found the lowest setting to be sufficient and silent." — Suzie Dundas, Product Tester
Best for Allergies: TruSens Air Purifier
When you're looking to rid your room of allergens, make sure the air purifier you pick has a HEPA filter. These types of filters trap at least 99.97 percent of particles in the air, so you're not breathing in pollen, dust, or pet dander that may irritate your allergies. But this air filter does more than just trap allergens with one filter. It also has a pre-filter to catch much larger particles to keep your filter working for longer, and a carbon filter to get rid of smoke, pet, and cooking smells that may also irritate your nose or lungs. Finally, it has a UV light to help kill bacteria in the air.
This air purifier also wins points for its features, which go above and beyond. Topping that list is the air quality indicator that flashes yellow and red if the air quality in the room decreases. It gets this data from both the purifier and the included SensorPod air monitor that can be placed across the room to make sure your entire living space is clean.
Best for Mold: Guardian Technologies GermGuardian True HEPA 5-in-1 Air Purifier
If you're concerned about mold in your home, it might be wise to invest in the GermGuardian True HEPA 5-in-1 Air Purifier.
This air purifier uses a HEPA filter to capture 99.97 percent of dust and allergens as small as .3 microns, and it boasts UV-C light technology to kill airborne bacteria, germs, and mold spores. It's effective in rooms up to 180 square feet, as it can circulate the air up to four times per hour. It noticeably clears dust and other particles out of the air, although it's a bit louder than other “silent” models.
Best for Bedrooms: Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier
If you're going to put an air purifier in your bedroom, you probably want it to be quiet enough that it won't disturb you while you sleep. If this is the case, you should definitely look into the Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier, which is virtually silent during operation.
This air purifier has a four-stage purification and deodorization system that includes HEPA filtration. It can be used in a room up to a whopping 550 square feet, and it traps particles as small as .3 microns with a 99.9 percent efficiency. The Rabbit Air purifier is great for reducing the buildup of common allergens such as dust mites, mold, pollen, and pet dander, as well as bacteria and viruses, making it a solid investment for any bedroom.
Beyond its effectiveness, this unit looks sleek and modern, so it won't be an eyesore in your home.
"It’s almost like having an air-purifying robot that thinks, acts, and cleans on its own." — Stephanie Vermillion, Product Tester
Best Design: Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool PH01
If you aren’t afraid to spend a little extra on a high-end product, you can't beat the design and performance of the Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool PH01. The latest release from Dyson, it acts as an air purifier, humidifier, and cooling system all in one compact tower.
This product from Dyson uses a HEPA filter to capture 99.97 percent of microscopic particles, as small as .3 microns, but it does more than that. It automatically detects the temperature and humidity level in the room and adjusts accordingly to keep you feeling comfortable. With the Dyson Link app, you can adjust the modes (the PH01 boasts a night mode, fan mode, backwards airflow mode, and more) without getting up from the bed.
The best overall air purifier is the Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Allergen Remover. It's a top-rated model that helps remove more than 99.97 percent of airborne particles from large rooms. It has a lot of extra features that reviewers find useful, like the automatic shut-off timer and LED indicator light. If you have pets, we also recommend the LV-H132 Compact True HEPA Air Purifier. It is great for small spaces, reduces airborne irritants, and eliminates pet dander and odors, as well.
What to Look for in an Air Purifier
A larger room requires a higher-capacity air purifier. This is measured by clean air delivery rate, or CADR, which indicates how many particles are filtered and how fast. For the most effective air purifier, choose one that has a CADR rating that’s at least two-thirds the size of the room. (A 100-square-foot room would have a CADR rating of at least 67.)
Air purifiers clean a room’s air at different intervals over the course of one hour. This is called air change per hour, or ACH rate (which varies from 2-6). An ACH rate of 2 means the air will be cleaned every 30 minutes, an ACH rate of 4 means the air will be cleaned every 15 minutes, and an ACH rate of 6 means the air will be cleaned every 10 minutes.
There are three main types of filters: HEPA filters, charcoal or active carbon filters, and washable filters. HEPA filters are most effective at reducing common allergens (pet dander, pollen, and dust), but charcoal or active carbon filters remove irritants like smoke or cooking smells more effectively. Washable filters are more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly since the entire filter does not need to be replaced.