Best Air Purifiers

If you suffer from asthma or allergies, we have the top ten air purifiers to help you catch your breath. We chose air purifiers with HEPA filters that combat dangerous particles, allergens, pet dander, smoke, and other odors. We also looked at things that matter to savvy consumers, like size, warranty, and price.
Written by | Updated December 18, 2018

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 myriad irritants from your home.  SafeWise reviewed top-rated air purifiers to help you choose the best one for your needs. They are organized into three categories: personal, room, and home.

Compare the Best Personal Air Purifiers

Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier HPureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Purifier
Check price on Amazon Check price on Amazon Check price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
Best For Taking anywhere Quiet operation Your budget Pet hair and smells
Needs Improvement Too noisy Weak fan No True HEPA filter Reports of fire risk
Max Square Footage 86 200 140 155
Warranty 2 years 5 years 1 year 3 years
Filters and Technology True HEPA
Carbon
Pre-filter
True HEPA
Carbon
Pre-filter
UV-C light
HEPA-grade
Pre-filter
Zeolite filter
True HEPA
Carbon
Pre-filter
UV-C sanitizer
Air Particles Filtered Allergens
Smoke
Odors
Dust
Mold
Pet dander
Pollen
Smoke
Odors
Dust
Mold
Pet dander
Germs
Viruses
Bacteria
Fungi
Smoke
Odors
Dust
Mold
Pet dander
Pollen
Mildew spores
Allergens
Smoke
Odors
Dust
Mold
Germs
Pet dander
Extra Features Night light
3 speeds
Filter change indicator
Timer
3 speeds
Quiet
Permanent filters
3 speeds
Use horizontally or vertically
Quiet
Filter change indicator
3 speeds
Quiet
Certifications CADR
California Air Resources Board
CADR None CADR

SafeWise Top Pick—Best Personal Air Purifier Review

Levoit LV-H132 Air

Best Portable Pick

This personal air purifier has a stylish design and is portable enough to easily move from room-to-room 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.

Pros

Ozone-Free Operation
With the Levoit LV-H132, you don’t need to worry about harmful ozone gas byproducts. This air purifier doesn’t use ions or UV, which produce trace amounts of ozone. Ozone can cause coughing and throat irritation, and can worsen chronic respiratory conditions like asthma.

Lifetime Customer Support
This air purifier comes with a 2-year warranty on parts, but you get lifetime support for other issues from Levoit customer service.

Great Reviews from Pet Owners
Even though this air purifier isn’t marketed for pets, it does a great job ridding the air of pet dander and odors, according to happy customers. Whether it’s fighting litter odor from multiple kitties or capturing flying fur from a house full of pups, customers praise the good results after adding the Levoit LV-H132 to their homes.

Cons

Glitchy Buttons
Sticky or non-responsive buttons are a recurring theme among users of this air purifier. The touch buttons can be finicky and either get stuck or stop responding after a while.

Too Noisy
This is not one of those air purifiers that you want by your bedside at night. Even on the lowest fan setting, it tends to be too loud for a lot of sleepers. But if you like white noise at night, this might work for you.

Compare the Best Room Air Purifiers

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover
Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
Best For Most bang for your buck Air quality monitoring Allergies
Needs Improvement Short warranty Poor customer support Unpleasant smell
Dimensions 15 x 7.8 x 23.6″ 16.8 x 18.3 x 9.6″ 9.2 x 20 x 22.2″
Weight 17.6 lbs. 12.35 lbs. 21 lbs.
Max Square Footage 360 361 465
Warranty 1 year 3 years 5 years
Filters and Technology True HEPA
Carbon
PlasmaWave®
True HEPA
Carbon
Pre-filter
Vital Ion
True HEPA

Carbon Pre-filter

Air Particles Filtered Allergens
Smoke
Odors
Dust
Mold
Pet dander
Pollen
Chemical vapors
Smoke
Odors
Dust
Mold
Pet dander
Germs
Viruses
Bacteria
Fungi
Smoke
Odors
Dust
Mold
Pet dander
Pollen
Viruses
Bacteria
Fungi
Gasses
Filter Change Indicator Yes Yes Yes
Extra Features Sleep mode
Smart sensors
Washable carbon filter
LED auto dim
Air quality indicator
4 speeds
Air quality indicator
Eco mode
3 speeds
Timer
4 air cleaning levels
Auto shut-off
Light dimmer
Certifications CADR
Energy Star
ARB
CADR
Energy Star
CADR
Energy Star

SafeWise Top Pick—Best Room Air Purifier Review

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

Best budget pick

The Winix 5500-2 is a good deal at its list price of $249.99, but you can get an even better price on Amazon. This air purifier also has lower costs for replacement filters, which means your investment over time is less. Best of all, you’re not sacrificing quality and performance for a better price.

Pros

PlasmaWave Technology
Winix’s proprietary PlasmaWave technology works as a permanent filter that breaks down allergens, chemical vapors, and odors without producing any harmful ozone.

Smart Sensors
This air purifier uses sensors to 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 accordingly.

Powerful Odor Elimination
Customers report noticeable reduction of both dust and odors. Because the carbon filter is washable, you can clean it as needed. That makes it easier—and more affordable—to keep the air fresh all the time.

Cons

Short Warranty
This is the shortest warranty of any of the air purifiers we considered. Although we like the price and performance of this product, we wish Winix was willing to stand by the product a little bit longer.

Bright Light
Winix added an automatic dimming feature to the LED lights on this air purifier. When low ambient light is detected, the brightness of the display is supposed to dim. Users report that this function doesn’t work as expected and the display remains bright even at night.

Unreliable Air Quality Indicator
Another consistent complaint is the reliability of the air quality indicator. It’s not always accurate, which causes inconvenience—especially when Auto Mode is activated and customers are relying on it to control the settings on the air purifier.

Compare the Best Home Air Purifiers

IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier Blue Pure 121 Air Purifier Austin Air B400B1 Healthmate Air Purifier
Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon
Best For Overall performance Energy efficiency Filter lifespan
Needs Improvement Expensive Short warranty Poor customer service
Dimensions 28 x 15 x 16″ 13 x 13 x 28.2″ 14.5 x 14.5 x 23″
Weight 35 lbs. 18.2 lbs. 47 lbs.
Max Square Footage 1,125 700 1,500
Warranty 10 years 1 year 5 years
Filters and Technology HyperHEPA
Carbon
Pre-filter
True HEPA
Carbon
Pre-filter
HEPA
Carbon
Pre-filter
Large particle
Air Particles Filtered Allergens
Smoke
Odors
Dust
Mold
Germs
Pet dander
Allergens
Smoke
Odors
Dust
Mold
Pet dander
Pollen
Bacteria
Viruses
Smoke
Dust
Pollen
Bacteria
Viruses
Gasses
Filter Change Indicator Yes No No
Extra Features 4 display languages
Programmable timer
6 speeds
Remote control
Washable pre-filters
3 speeds
Quiet
Fun color options
3 speeds
5-year filters
360-degree filtering system
Smooth-roll casters
Certifications CADR CADR
Energy Star
None

SafeWise Top Pick—Best Home Air Purifier Review

IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier

Best Overall
air purifier product image

When it comes to purifying the air for allergies and asthma, the IQAir HealthPro Plus gets the job done. Its HyperHEPA filtration catches particles one hundred times smaller than standard air filters, which means less airborne pollutants flying around your home.

Pros

Top Rated
This air purifier has received a number of accolades and top ratings from both experts and customers. On Allergy Buyers Club, 98% of customers give the HealthPro Plus a four- or five-star rating, making it the top recommendation for allergy sufferers. It also received the PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Seal of Approval.

Hand Tested
Each HealthPro Plus air purifier comes with a certificate verifying that it was hand-tested by experts to meet IQAir’s rigorous quality and performance standards. If a machine doesn’t deliver air that’s 99.97% cleaner, it doesn’t get shipped.

Great Warranty
This is the longest warranty of any air purifier we looked at. You may pay more for the IQAir HealthPro Plus, but the company stands behind their product with a 10-year warranty. And they make it easy to take advantage of the warranty. Customers who’ve run into problems report an easy return and replace/repair process. But watch out for shipping fees—those are not covered under the warranty.

Cons

Expensive
Not only is the up-front price steep ($899), but replacement filters can run around $200.

Noisy
This air purifier comes with six fan speeds, and when you get up to the higher levels (4, 5, 6), the unit is pretty noisy. Even though IQAir claims 32% less sound across all fan speeds, that’s not what real users find when they take it home.

Large
The HealthPro Plus can purify air in spaces up to 1,125 square feet, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the largest air purifiers we found. This size can present issues, though, depending on the configuration of the room you want to place it in.

Things to Consider in an Air Purifier

Buying an air purifier 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.

What size of air purifier do I need?
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 purifier, 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.

What kinds of filters should I look for?
The type of 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 (HEPA) filter, a pre-filter, and a secondary filter. This combination provides maximum benefit for removing harmful air particles, pollutants, and odor.

True HEPA Filter: This 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 filter, 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 airborne pollutants that would clog up the HEPA filter, like pet hair.

Secondary Filter: These filters help extend the lifespan of the main filter and are often made of carbon or charcoal to fight odors and capture gases too small for the HEPA filter to grab.

What extra features are available?
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

Does it matter how loud the air purifier is?
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.

What kind of maintenance is required?
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.

What extra costs should I be prepared for?
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

Home Air Quality FAQs

Air quality is important for the health of everyone in your home, but an air purifier can’t fight every threat. Read below to find more ways to keep your family safe from other common airborne dangers.

Monitor Your Air Quality

While some people see an immediate difference in how they feel or the amount of dust hanging around their home, others have a harder time discerning how well their air purifier is working. Put those doubts to rest with one of these air quality monitors that will let you know what’s in the air you breathe.

  Product Best For Pros Cons Where to Find It

Awair Glow Testing any room
  • Compact and stylish design
  • Smart plug function
  • Personalized health tips from Mayo Clinic
  • Wi-Fi connection problems
Check Price on Amazon
IQAir AirVisual Pro Air Quality Monitor Real-time readings
  • Professional grade sensors
  • Free AirVisual app
  • Functionality inside and outdoors
  • Expensive
Check Price on Amazon

Au Naturel Air Purification

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’re doubting 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.

*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.

Our Approach

We looked at twenty different air purifiers to find our top ten. We spent more than fifteen 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.

  • 15+ Hours Researched
  • 20 Products Considered
  • 500+ Customer Reviews
  • 8 Coffees Consumed

Sources:

1. Environmental Protection Agency, “Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home”

2. Energy Star, “Energy Star Certified Products, Air Purifiers

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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