The 6 Best Furnace Filters of 2021

Keep your air at home healthy and clean

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The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Our Top Picks
With the highest FPR possible, this filter comes in a wide range of sizes to fit most furnaces.
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This affordable filter can be used for up to 90 days and has a cardboard frame.
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These furnace filters can capture pet dander, dust, debris, lint and pollen from the air.
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This filter has an FPR of 9 and can rid your air of particles as small as one micron.
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It is capable of removing airborne dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and more.
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It's filtering medium is continuous filament spun glass, and is available in a few standard sizes.
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Best Overall: Honeywell Elite Allergen Pleated FPR 10 Replacement Air Filter

Honeywell 16 in. x 25 in. x 1 in. Elite Allergen Pleated FPR 10 Replacement Air Filter

One of the hands-down best furnace filters you can buy is the Honeywell Elite Allergen Pleated Air Filter. This highly-rated filter has the highest FPR possible and comes in a wide range of sizes, fitting most all furnaces.

This furnace filter has an FPR rating of 10 (or a MERV of 13), meaning it can capture particles as small as .3 microns, and it even has an electrostatic charge that helps attract microscopic particles. As such, it can remove dust and lint, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, microscopic allergens, and most smoke and smog particles from the air in your home. The filter has a moisture-resistant frame, and it can last up to 90 days.

Best Budget: Rheem Basic Household Pleated FPR 4 Air Filter

Rheem 16 in. x 25 in. x 1 in. Basic Household Pleated FPR 4 Air Filter

High-end air filters can get pretty expensive, costing up to $20 each. If you’re on a budget, you might prefer a less expensive option, such as the Rheem Basic Household Pleated Air Filter.

The Rheem filter has an FPR of 4 (or a MERV rating of 8), meaning it can remove pollen, pet dander, nuisance dust, and dust mite debris from the air, helping to minimize allergy symptoms and keep dust out of your home. The filter can be used for up to 90 days, and it has a cardboard frame.

Best for Pets: FilterBuy MERV 8 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter

FilterBuy MERV 8 Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter

It often feels like a never-ending battle when you’re trying to keep your house clean with multiple pets. Make your jobs a little easier by investing in a furnace filter that can capture pet dander, such as the FilterBuy Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter.

This filter has ​a MERV rating of 8, meaning it can effectively remove dust, debris, lint, pollen, and pet dander from the air. There are numerous sizes available to fit most any furnace, and it can last up to three months—though, you may need to change it more frequently if it gets clogged with pet hair and dander.

Best for Mold: Honeywell Superior Allergen Pleated FPR 9 Air Filter

Honeywell 20 in. x 25 in. x 1 in. Superior Allergen Pleated FPR 9 Air Filter

Mold spores can be detrimental to your family’s health, so many homeowners choose air filters that can capture these particles and remove them from the air. The Honeywell Superior Allergen Pleated Air Filter is a great option if you’re looking for a highly-rated filter to keep your home clean.

This product has an FPR of 9 (comparable to MERV 11), and it will rid your air of particles as small as 1 micron, including dust and lint, airborne dust mite debris, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, microscopic allergens, and most smoke. It comes in a wide range of sizes and needs to be changed at least every 90 days.

Best for Cigarette Smoke: Nordic Pure Pleated MERV 13 AC Furnace Air Filters

nordic-pure

The smell of tobacco smoke is hard to get out of furniture and clothing, which is why many homeowners who smoke choose a high-quality air filter to help remove smoke particles before they settle in. One of the best furnace filters for cigarette smoke is the Nordic Pure Pleated AC Furnace Air Filter.

There are a wide variety of sizes to choose from with this filter, which has a MERV rating of 13—the highest tier on the scale. This caliber of filter removes airborne dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, smog, dust mite debris, and tobacco and fireplace smoke from the air every time it passes through the filter, and it has an electrostatic charge to capture even more fine particles.​

Best Fiberglass: Flanders PrecisionAire Nested Fiberglass Filters

Flanders PrecisionAire

For more than 50 years, furnace filters were made from fiberglass, and some people prefer to stick with these types of filters. One top-rated option in this category is the Flanders PrecisionAire Nested Fiberglass Filters, which are incredibly affordable.

These filters come in a few standard sizes, and have a MERV rating of 4. The filtering medium is continuous filament spun glass, and the frames are made from chipboard. They offer low airflow resistance, and you should plan to change them at least every 30 days.

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Article Sources
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  1. "Mold And Health." US EPA, 2021, https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-and-health.