Best Air Purifiers of 2021

Brought to you by 15+ hours researched, 20 products considered, and 500+ customer reviews read.
Best overall
Winix 5500-2 air purifier
Winix 5500-2
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Powerful odor elimination
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    Smart sensors
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    Affordable replacement filters
Value pick
Levoit LV-H132 air purifier
Levoit LV-H132
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Ozone-free technology
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lifetime customer support
  • Icon Pros  Light
Quietest purifier
PureZone 3-in-1 air purifier
PureZone 3-in-1
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Quiet operation
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Five-year warranty
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Ultraviolet light to sanitize air
Best for odor removal
Germ Guardian AC4825 air purifier
GermGuardian AC4825
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Excellent odor removal
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Three-year warranty
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Affordable replacement filters
Best for allergies
Hamilton Beach TrueAir air purifier
Hamilton Beach TrueAir
  • Icon Pros  Light
    HEPA filter
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Quiet operation
  • Icon Pros  Light

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks indoor air pollution as one of the greatest environmental health risks.1 These pollutants include things like dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, bacteria, and viruses. Thankfully, modern air purifiers can help remove the myriad irritants from your home.

Our top pick, the Winix 5500-2, helps clean the air in large rooms up to 360 square feet, just larger than an average family room. The filter captures all kinds of particulates to cut down on itchy-sneezy allergens and bad smells from cooking.

Check out the rest of our guide to learn more about how we reviewed and chose our top-rated air purifiers. We also share buying tips to help you choose the best home air purifier for your needs.

What is CADR rating?

While reviewing these air filters, we paid close attention to the CADR rating (clean air delivery rate). The higher a unit's CADR rating, the better it can clean air. The rating is measured as how many cubic feet of air can be cleaned per minute (CFM).

Compare the best air purifiers

List price*
Max room size
CADR rating
Learn more
Best overall
Winix 5500-2 air purifierWinix 5500-2


360 sq. ft.

246 CFM
Value pick
Levoit LV-H132 air purifierLevoit LV-H132


86 sq. ft.

110 CFM
Quietest purifier
PureZone 3-in-1 air purifierPureZone 3-in-1


200 sq. ft.

80 CFM
Best for odor removal
Germ Guardian AC4825 air purifierGermGuardian


155 sq. ft.

Dust: 118, Pollen: 125, Smoke: 99 CFM
Best for allergies
Hamilton Beach TrueAir air purifierTrueAir


150 sq. ft.

35 CFM

* list price as of 04/06/2021 at 2:17 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Top 5 air purifiers reviews

1. Winix 5500-2: Best overall

The Winix 5500-2 costs a little more than other single-room air purifiers, but it has lower costs for replacement filters—so your investment over time is less. Best of all, you get Winix's proprietary PlasmaWave technology and smart air quality sensors.

PlasmaWave technology works as a permanent filter that breaks down allergens, chemical vapors, and odors without producing any harmful ozone. Plus, smart sensors constantly test the air quality. Just set it to Auto Mode, and when pollutants are detected, the Winix 5500-2 automatically adjusts the settings to filter the air.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet PlasmaWave technology
Pro Bullet Powerful odor elimination
Pro Bullet Affordable replacement filters
Con Heading
Con Bullet Short warranty
Con Bullet Bright display lights
Con Bullet Unreliable air quality indicator

It also has a decent CADR rating of 246 CFM (cubic feet per minute). This means that it can clean 246 cubic feet of air per minute. 

Unfortunately, the air quality indicator isn't always reliable. We recommend using a secondary air quality monitor to make sure your readings are as accurate as possible.

2. Levoit LV-H132: Value pick

The Levoit LV-H132 is a personal air purifier with a stylish design. This portable air purifier moves easily between rooms or from home to office.

It has a three-stage filtration system that includes a True HEPA filter and activated carbon filter. The Levoit air purifier eliminates 99.97% of airborne pollutants, including dust, pollen, smoke, and pet dander—making it a favorite among pet owners.

Best of all, it's a steal for under $100, which isn't always the case when you're looking for ozone-free operation.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet Ozone-free operation
Pro Bullet Lifetime customer support
Pro Bullet Great reviews from pet owners
Con Heading
Con Bullet Glitchy buttons
Con Bullet Loud operation

We also like Levoit's lifetime customer support and two-year equipment warranty. Definitely register this air purifier so you can take full advantage of the warranty. We've found complaints about sticky or non-responsive buttons fairly common.

3. PureZone 3-in-1: Quietest purifier

Quietest air purifier

If you're looking for an air purifier that won't keep you up all night, the PureZone 3-in-1 should be on your list. It has some of the quietest operation we've seen, and it comes with a five-year warranty. We also like that it uses a built-in ultraviolet (UV) light to kill pathogens and sanitize the indoor air, making it a good alternative to an ionizer.

But that silence comes at a price—the fan is pretty weak. Even though it claims to cover up to 200 square feet, we think it's a little too weak to be effective. This air purifier is a better bet for a desk area or other personal space.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet Quiet operation
Pro Bullet Five-year warranty
Pro Bullet Ultraviolet light to sanitize the air
Con Heading
Con Bullet Weak fan

4. GermGuardian AC4825: Best for odor removal

Best for odor removal

Eliminate smells from cigarette smoke, pets, and other air pollutants with the GermGuardian AC4825 air purifier. It's also rated to remove irritants like dust and mold from the air. Just like our top pick from Winix, GermGuardian also has affordable replacement filters. This makes it cheap to maintain quality air cleaning without spending a ton on new filters.

We like the three-year warranty but found reports from customers who experienced a burning smell during operation. Faulty circuit boards seem to be the culprit, so we're watching to see if the company does anything to eliminate the potential risk of fire.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet Excellent odor removal
Pro Bullet Three-year warranty
Pro Bullet Affordable replacement filters
Con Heading
Con Bullet Not for large rooms
Con Bullet Faulty circuit board on some units

5. Hamilton Beach 04384: Best for allergies

No matter how much you love your fur babies, they can still make you sniffle and sneeze. Get rid of dander with the Hamilton Beach 04384 air purifier. If you've got a furry friend that tickles your nose and scratches your eyes, this air purifier is worth trying out.

The Hamilton Beach TrueAir is small and works best for rooms up to 160 square feet. But its size also means you can fit it comfortably on your home desk or shelf where your furry friends most frequent. Apartment dwellers and office workers alike can benefit from cleaner air in small spaces like these.

Pro Heading
Pro Bullet Low price
Pro Bullet HEPA filter
Pro Bullet Quiet function
Con Heading
Con Bullet Not fitting for areas over 160 square feet

Other air purifiers we considered

Blueair Blue Pure 121

The Blueair Blue Pure 121 HEPA air purifier will take out airborne pollutants without spiking your power bill. Designed for efficient energy consumption, this large HEPA air purifier can cover up to 700 square feet. Even though it comes with a higher price tag than most (just over $400), it uses washable pre-filters. That cuts down on your replacement costs over time.


The TOPPIN H13 True cleans a whopping 215 sq. ft. (almost as much as our top pick), which makes it ideal for large rooms. This air cleaner also has a decent CADR rating of 100 CFM. We like that this air cleaner is super quiet, too.


The LUFT Duo is a tiny, hand-held air purifier that has - gasp - no filters. LUFT uses UVA LED, titanium oxide, and zinc oxide to destroy airborne particles It comes in eight nifty colors. This air purifier could be handy for filtering cigarette smoke and pollution in the car.


Puripot snagged the CES 2020 Innovation Award and we can see why. This air cleaner doesn't just filter particles and bacteria out of indoor air, Puripot actually destroys airborn particles (including mold spores) and bacteria using blue light technology. It kills 99% of microorganisms in the air. Even better, there's no filter to replace or clean.

Alternatives to air purifiers

Air purifiers aren't the only way to improve the air quality in your home. If you can’t afford an air purifier for every room, or if you simply have a green thumb that needs exercising, why not try out these plants that are known for their natural air-filtering qualities?

And if you doubt the air-cleaning effectiveness of a houseplant, rest easy in the knowledge that even NASA has approved the flora and fauna we recommend below.*

Spider plant

For people constantly fighting an irritated throat or nose, this easy-to-grow plant could be your salvation. Spider Plants help rid the air of formaldehyde, which can cause those symptoms.

Florist’s chrysanthemum

In addition to bright flowers, chrysanthemums take care of five nasty chemicals that pollute our air, including ammonia. Ammonia exposure can lead to coughing, sore throat, and eye irritation.

Variegated snake plant

Add an exotic flavor to any room, and knock benzene out of the air at the same time. A snake plant can help save you from side effects like headaches, eye irritation, and drowsiness.

Boston fern

Brighten and purify your home with a Boston fern. This common houseplant is known to help filter out xylene, which can cause mouth and throat irritation, headache, and dizziness.

DIY air purifier

Don't want to spend the money on a fancy air purifier? You can build your own! We've got a full tutorial on our YouTube channel. Watch below.

*Some of the plants listed may be harmful to cats or dogs, so make sure they’re safe before taking them into a home with pets.

Subscribe to our Youtube channel for more videos like this one! Learn how to protect your home, your loved ones, yourself and your belongings.

Final word

For the money, we think the Winix 5500-2 is the best home air purifier for most folks. It's powerful enough to clean the air in large rooms and its replacement filters are cheap to replace. While it's not a perfect product—we're looking at you, air quality indicator—we can't argue with the overwhelmingly positive customer reviews on how easy and effective this unit is.

Buying an air cleaner seems pretty straightforward, but depending on whether you need it to address health problems (like asthma) or to relieve allergies, the type you decide to take home makes a difference. Make sure you put your dollars where they’ll do the most good by reviewing these important air purifier questions.

How we reviewed the best air purifiers

We researched 20 different air purifiers to find our top five. We spent more than 15 hours comparing the pros and cons of each air purifier, from the types of filters used to how noisy each was. We consulted expert reviews and combed through hundreds of customer evaluations.

We looked at the needs of allergy and asthma sufferers as well as pet owners. We also considered industry standards from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and interest groups related to air quality for people suffering from respiratory problems. For more information on how we review products, check out our full methodology.

  • 15+ hours researched
  • 20 products considered
  • 500+ customer reviews
  • 8 coffees consumed

Air purifier FAQ

Because air purifiers come in so many different sizes, you need to consider which room or area you want it to cover. To make it easy to find the right air cleaner, we broke them into three categories.

  • Personal air purifiers: Air purifiers that cover an area smaller than 200 square feet and can be used in small rooms, in an office, or at a desk.
  • Room air purifiers: Air purifiers that cover more than 200 square feet but less than 600 square feet. These can be used in larger rooms and common living spaces.
  • Home air purifiers: Air purifiers that cover more than 600 square feet. Because apartments or single levels of a home can be 600–1,000 square feet, we determined that this size of air purifier could cover the needs of an entire home.

The type of air filter in an air purifier impacts how well it does its job and how long it will last. Filters also impact the level of maintenance and ongoing costs over time. All the purifiers on our list have a main High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, a pre-filter, and a secondary filter. This combination provides maximum benefit for removing harmful airborne particles, pollutants, and household odors.

  • True HEPA filter: HEPA filtration is the gold standard of air purifier filters, and it’s recommended by the EPA, the American Lung Association, and the American Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.
  • HEPA-grade filter: These filters mimic True HEPA, but don’t meet the same standards. They tend to have shorter lifespans, which means more replacements.
  • Pre-Filter: This is the air purifier’s first line of defense, and it acts like a bodyguard for the main filter. These filters catch larger indoor air pollutants that would clog up the HEPA filter, like pet hair.
  • Secondary filter: These filters help extend the lifespan of the main filter. This is usually a charcoal or carbon filter specifically for fighting odors caused by volatile organic compounds and capturing gases too small for the HEPA filter to grab.

Extras can help make your air purifier more convenient or multipurpose. Some, like permanent washable filters, can also save you money over the lifespan of your air purifier. We’ve identified some of the most common features you may want from an air purifier.

  • Remote control
  • Multiple fan speeds
  • Filter change indicator
  • Air quality sensor
  • Washable filters
  • Programmable timer
  • Night-light
  • Light dimmer
  • Eco mode for energy efficiency
  • Handles to make moving easier
  • Wheels for mobility

Some air purifiers can sound like a jet taking off. If you plan to use your purifier near the TV or a napping baby, quiet operation is a top priority. While most of the air purifiers out there will claim to be quiet—or to have a quiet mode—you really can’t tell until you try it yourself. We’ve also gotten reports that most air purifiers get noisier over time.

If using a purifier while you sleep is important, consider finding one with a special sleep mode, or ask the company for specific information about the number of decibels for each fan speed and air cleaning mode. Some companies include this information in products specs, but most do not, which means you need to make a call or engage in some online chat.

Unfortunately, you can’t just plug and play with an air purifier. To keep it operating at top performance, you need to regularly clean and replace the filters. Depending on the types of filters your air purifier uses and environmental factors like the number of pets in your home, you may need to change filters more often than recommended by the manufacturer.

We found recommendations that ranged from every three months to once per year for changing filters. And different types of filters have different lifespans. Carbon filters may last six months, while the pre-filter only lasts for three months. You can find the typical life of all the filters included with your air purifier in the product specs or user manual.

An air purifier costs you more than the initial purchase price. Things to consider include the type and number of filters you need to change out and the electricity used. Make sure you understand the ongoing costs of your air purifier before purchase. Some use expensive filters that can cost you hundreds of dollars per year.

If electricity costs are a concern, look for an air purifier that has an “eco” mode or other setting that lets it use less power. According to Energy Star, the average room air purifier can use around 550 kWh of electricity per year—more than some newer refrigerators. To combat this, find an air purifier with an Energy Star rating. Energy Star certified air purifiers are 40% more efficient than non-certified models.2

Related pages


  1. Environmental Protection Agency, "Care for Your Air: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality," Accessed September 10, 2020.
  2. Energy Star, "Energy Star Certified Products, Air Purifiers," Accessed September 10, 2020.


* list price as of 04/06/2021 at 2:17 p.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.

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