The best air purifiers will help you breathe easier at night if you suffer from allergies. These small indoor appliances essentially filter out any unwelcome airborne particles, such as dust, pollen and smoke. This makes the environment more pleasant to breathe and can help reduce symptoms of allergies, such as a blocked nose or itchy throat. Air purifiers are also useful for deodorizing if they feature a carbon filter.
A good air purifier will be intuitive to operate; you should be able to switch fan speeds easily and a sensory setting should be available so the appliance can adjust itself based on the quality of the air in the room. If it comes with app connectivity, that should be simple to navigate as well, ideally with graphs available to show the current quality of air. If you want to run your air purifier through the night, you need to consider the noise levels — some air purifiers also come with a useful night mode which will dim the lights on the display. On top of all this, it should be effective at purifying the air, so if you invest in one of the best dehumidifiers, you will have the ultimate tag-team.
Then there’s the impact on viruses to consider, which is now more important than ever. Some air purifiers claim to help protect against COVID-19 coronavirus by filtering out airborne particles which carry the virus, according to Consumer Reports. However, these machines should never be considered as a substitute for clean, outdoor air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Though they’re still a pretty useful appliance to own.
Not sure which air purifier will be right for you? We’ve done the research to find one to suit every home.
Air purifier sales and deals
Want to invest in a new air purifier? Check out our air purifier sales and deals page first to grab a bargain. Some of our favorite brands have made an appearance, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
What are the best air purifiers?
Our extensive research compared over 30 brands and after assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each, we found the best air purifiers to suit every home.
We recommend the Coway AP-1512 HH Mighty as the best air purifier overall. It’s a strong performer considering its price point and offers an abundance of filters including a HEPA filter, prefilter, ionizer and odor filter. It’s also quiet in use, which is particularly important if you want to use it at night.
If you want style as well as substance, then the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ is worth considering. It’s available in a range of colors including pink, blue and yellow, so it really makes a statement. This air purifier is powerful, but is admittedly loud, so perhaps not one for the bedroom at night. It doesn’t feature a HEPA filter either, but BlueAir claims its filters are just as effective. Consumer Reports also noted that this model was one of the best for catching COVID-19 droplets in the air.
If you’re shopping on a budget, then the Levoit LV-H132 or the Blueair Blue Pure 411 are your best options. Both are affordable, but will make a difference to the quality of your air. IKEA’s new Förnuftig air purifier is also worth checking out. Although, you might need to buy more than one to see similar results to our winner.
Do air purifiers work and what do they do?
While air purifiers are designed to neutralize and sanitize air pollution, its performance depends on the model you own. Not all air purifiers are suited to remove every allergen, so it's important to check the product description for a clean air delivery rate (CADR). The higher the CADR, the most effective it is of trapping airborne particles. Similarly, air purifiers with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is a good indicator of having a high CADR.
Essentially, air purifiers work by a powerful fan that sucks in air to go through one or more filters (HEPA). These filters trap and neutralize particles and pollutants as air passes over them before the Dair is recirculated. Some air purifiers also have ultraviolet filters and use light to destroy smaller molecules such as mold and bacteria.
If you want to go above and beyond, also check out our tips for reducing allergens in your home.
The best air purifier you can buy today
The Coway AP-1512 HH Mighty is consistently ranked among the best air purifiers on the market — and with good reason. It's also one of the quickest to sell out at online and brick-and-mortar stores.
It's reasonably priced for how well it works and it has most of the features we'd want in an air purifier, including a programmable timer, four fan speeds and a filter indicator light. As a result, it's a bit hard to find in stock right now.
Replacement filters are fairly cheap and energy costs relatively low, which makes the Coway one of the least expensive air purifiers of its caliber to maintain year to year.
Finally, the Coway AP-1512 HH Mighty is easy on the eyes. It comes in sleek black or white and is relatively compact compared with many other purifiers of similar performance, so it simply fades into a corner.
The Coway Mighty is one of the only purifiers we considered that has an ionizing function. The effectiveness and safety of ion filters is questionable (due to possible ozone production), but you can just turn this function off. We also noticed that the noise rating does get quite loud on the higher settings, up to 53.8dB, which is something to be aware of.
The Blue Pure 211+ is highly rated for its solid performance in removing dust, smoke and pollen from room air.
The Blueair's filters aren't true HEPA-certified, but they are still effective. They work by giving particles an electric charge, which causes those particles to stick to filter fibers.
The Blue 211+ pre-filter comes in five different colors, from eye-popping yellow to low-key gray, so you can customize the look for your space. The machine also has a filter indicator light to let you know when it's time to replace your main filter.
Possible downsides of the Blue Pure 211+ include more noise on lower speeds compared with similar machines, and relatively high purchase and maintenance costs. For example, it draws more power than the Coway on similar speeds (though it moves more air) and it is a bit louder and more expensive (both upfront and over time).
The Blue Pure 411 is like the 211+'s much smaller sibling. It uses similar filtering technology and features and comes in a variety of colors.
Where the Blue Pure 411 stands out is in price and efficiency. The purifier is inexpensive to buy (just over $100) and maintain (around $20 annually for replacement filters), and it uses significantly less energy than most other air purifiers we researched. The machine is also small and quiet, making it a great choice for your bedroom. In addition, it's compact size is ideal for smaller spaces or apartments.
The one thing to keep in mind is that if you plan to move your purifier from room to room, the Blue Pure 411 won't be very effective in larger spaces. Also, this doesn't capture pet dander or fuzz, so not ideal for pet owners.
Coway's Airmega 400 is a high-performing air purifier at a high price, but reviewers generally agree that the trade-off is worthwhile. The Airmega 400 has a dual carbon + true HEPA filter, which allows it to clean the air in a large space over a short period more effectively than other machines.
Coway claims the Airmega 400 is good for filtering rooms of up to 1,560 square feet, but you'll likely get better performance in rooms that are half that size. If you put the purifier in a space up to the maximum recommended size, it'll do two or fewer air changes per hour. In addition, it has five fan modes that are super quiet, and a brightly colored LED ring that tells you how dirty your air is.
Bear in mind, due to its size, this may not be suitable for small spaces or rooms. However, the Airmega 400 is large but sleek, and has convenient features like a programmable timer and a display shut-off to minimize disruption during sleep. There's also a "smart" version (the Airmega 400S) that you can integrate with an Alexa device or a mobile app.
Like its smaller cousin the Coway AP-1512 HH Mighty, the Airemega 400 was out of stock everywhere last time we looked. Hopefully, it will be available again soon.
The Austin Air Healthmate HM-400's main selling point is its high-performing and long-lasting filters, which handle everything from mold and pet dander to gas and chemical contaminants.
It isn't CADR-tested, but it gets high marks from reviewers for filtering volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that come from household products such as paints, pesticides and air fresheners better than most other machines on the market. What's more, many users with extreme allergies reported a significant reduction in their symptoms.
In addition to being effective, Healthmate HM-400 filters last for up to five years. You can vacuum or clean the pre-filter periodically in that time as well.
Criticisms of the Healthmate HM-400 include a fairly time-consuming filter-replacement process, which is also expensive. Along with the noisy medium and high fan speeds, the unit doesn't have some basic features (such as a programmable timer or filter indicator light) that you'd expect even at a lower price, and it's fairly power-hungry.
While the Healthmate HM-400 is pricey, it's a good option if you have particular concerns about chemicals and odors or suffer from extreme allergies.
Honeywell air purifiers get decent reviews across the board, and the HPA300 is a good unit for a fairly reasonable price.
It has among the highest CADR ratings for smoke, dust and pollen of the units we recommend, and it can filter slightly larger rooms effectively. It also has four speeds (compared with three on most units), a programmable timer and adjustable control panel lights. Customer with severe allergies have recommended this air purifier, while others have mentioned how quiet it is on higher speeds than some other units.
The HPA300 is built to last and easily portable, so you can move it easily between rooms. Where the Honeywell HPA300 could fall short is in its filter-replacement and maintenance requirements. Both the true HEPA filter and pre-filter are disposable and must be replaced every six to 12 months. The HEPA filter is actually three filters that reviewers said can be tricky to get in the exact right spot, and can be costly.
The Levoit LV-H132 is an Amazon best-seller and the most budget-friendly purifier on our list. Reviewers said it does a decent job for the price, especially with pet odors. It's also a sleek machine that's lightweight, compact and portable, so you can easily move it around your home.
At this price, you can't expect bells and whistles — and the Levoit LV-H132 doesn't have any. There is no programmable timer, and the device's filter indicator light reminds you to check your filters but does not tell you when it's time to actually replace them.
You have to toss all three filters every six months to a year, as the pre-filter isn't washable. But two replacement sets will cost you just $30.
Reviewers report that the Levoit LV-H132 is fairly loud on higher settings, so sensitive sleepers may struggle to use this unit in their bedrooms. The buttons are also reportedly finicky — they may stick, freeze, or quit working altogether.
If you're looking for an inexpensive air purifier — or want several machines to cover multiple bedrooms in your home — the Levoit LV-H132 is a decent unit to start with. Truthfully, though, it's probably worth it to spend a bit more for a better device (like the Blue Pure 411) than to compromise with the Levoit.
The PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier is another popular (and budget-friendly) model among customers. It's small, sleek and unobtrusive, which makes it a good choice for those who care about aesthetics and decent performance. In addition, it's ideal for smaller rooms or compact spaces.
What sets the PureZone 3-in-1 apart is its quiet operation. It's soft on lower settings and has an automatic timer that can shut the device off while you sleep. This makes it a good option for bedrooms and babies' rooms where noise and light disruption matter. The device comes with a five-year warranty, longer than other machines at similar prices.
The PureZone 3-in-1 has one of the lowest CADR ratings of the devices on this list (80 cfm) and reportedly has a weak fan that limits it to small spaces, but reviewers say that it's effective at filtering most common air particles.
Let's state the obvious: the IQAir HealthPro Plus is expensive. At around $900, it's several times the price of many other picks on our list.
But if you're serious about air purification, this machine is well worth your consideration. It uses HyperHEPA filters, which reportedly retain particles at a rate 100 times higher than standard HEPA filters, as well as a secondary filter for odors and gases.
The IQAir HealthPro Plus also covers a huge area (1,125 square feet) at two air changes per hour, and can do six per hour in a smaller room. Plus, it has six speeds, programming options, filter indicators and a remote control.
This purifier is a top seller and highly rated by experts at Allergy Buyers Club, especially for those who have allergies or other special health concerns that are affected by air quality. While it isn't CADR-rated, IQAir tests every unit individually and offers a 10-year warranty, double the time of any other device we recommend.
While the IQAir HealthPro Plus is larger, louder and pricier than most air purifiers, reviewers say it may provide the relief those with asthma, allergies and respiratory challenges seek.
IKEA entered the air-purifier arena in April 2021 with the Förnuftig, a very inexpensive and very attractive model that looks like a Danish-modern loudspeaker. The Förnuftig is so light (less that 8 pounds) and small (12 x 18 inches) that you can even hang it on the wall.
Even the operational costs are low. The Förnuftig comes with a HEPA-like filter for small particles — replacement filters are $5.49 each — and there's an optional activated-carbon filter for odors and VOCs that costs $9.99. You're looking at a total yearly outlay of less than $50.
Now for the downside. A single Förnuftig can really handle only the smallest rooms, those of 108 or fewer square feet. It's got a top CADR of 70 cfm, which barely clears the EPA minimum recommendations and is the lowest we've seen. And at 60 dB for the highest fan speed — the one that delivers the maximum CADR — it might get a little loud.
You could in theory just get two or three units, hang them around the house and see how you like them. Overall, the Förnuftig can't really go toe-to-toe with the best air purifiers — but at these prices, it may not need to.
The Levoit Core 400S is one of the most attractive air purifiers we've encountered, and its wide assortment of features and reasonable price (about $200) make it a worthy contender among models in the 400-square-foot range. If the robot EVE from the movie "Wall-E" could be an air purifier, this is how she would look.
The white cylindrical unit has a black vent on top through which the air flows, surrounding a circular control panel. At the center of the control panel is a digital readout telling you how clean your air is, as measured by the number of particles 2.5 micrometers or smaller per cubic meter. If it's very good, a ring of LEDs is blue; lessening degrees of air quality turn the LEDs green, orange or red.
Because the Levoit Core 400S tests your air quality, it can automatically adjust the fan speed to match. While this has been praised for its superior filtration performance, others have mentioned that it cannot remove strong odors.
The Wi-Fi-enabled unit can be controlled via a smartphone app that lets you change fan speeds or set a timer or a schedule, whether at home or remotely. It's also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
How to choose the best air purifier for you
There are dozens of air purifiers on the market, and it can be difficult to sort out which one is the best air purifier for your home size, health concerns and price. Here are a few factors to consider.
Do air purifiers help with Covid?
Although there haven’t been any specific air purifiers tested against the Covid-19 virus, the CDC recommends most top-rated air purifiers have efficient filters capable of capturing pesky, particles similar to coronavirus, and “can help prevent virus particles from accumulating in the air in your home”.
The best air purifiers compared
|List Price||Room size||Filter||CADR (cfm)||Noise level|
|Coway AP-1512 HH Mighty||$230||361 sq. ft||True HEPA||233/246/240||24.4-53.8 dB|
|Blueair Blue Pure 211+||$300||540 sq. ft.||HEPASilent||350||31-56 dB|
|Blueair Blue Pure 411||$120||161 sq. ft.||HEPASilent||105/120/120||17-46 dB|
|Coway Airmega 400||$650||1,560 sq. ft.||True HEPA||350||22-52 dB|
|Austin Air HealthMate HM-400||$595||938 sq. ft.||True HEPA||Unavailable||39.8 dB - 64.5 dB|
|Honeywell HPA300||$250||465 sq. ft.||True HEPA||300/320/300||Unavailable|
|Levoit LV-H132||$90||129 sq. ft.||True HEPA||110||Up to 50 dB|
|PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier||$100||200 sq. ft.||True HEPA||80||30-50 dB|
|IQAir HealthPro Plus||$900||1,125 sq. ft.||HyperHEPA||Unavailable||35-69 dB|
|IKEA Förnuftig||$55||108 sq. ft.||HEPA-like||70||29-60 dB|
|Levoit Core 400S||$220||400 sq, ft.||True HEPA||260||24-52 dB|
Air purifier CADR ratings
The effectiveness of an air purifier can be measured by the CADR (Clean air delivery rate). This number reveals its performance depending on a particular room size. The higher the number, the better it is at clearing airborne particles and the more effective it is at cleaning a larger space too.
The numbers translate to how many cubic feet of air the purifier can clean per minute. The standard goal is to clean a full room’s worth of air in 15 minutes. So, for instance, a 300-square-foot room would need an air purifier with a CADR of 200 or so, assuming ceilings were 10 feet high and any doors and windows were closed.
Some air purifiers come with different CADRs for smoke, pollen and dust, so you can see which it is most effective for.
Here are the minimum CADR ratings the Environmental Protection Agency recommends by room size:
|Area (sq. ft.)||100||200||300||400||500||600|
|Minimum CADR (cfm)||65||130||195||260||325||390|
Not every purifier is tested using the CADR rating system, but real-life reviews can give you a sense of a device's effectiveness if a rating isn't available.
Air purifier filter types
In general, you'll want to look for a purifier that uses a true high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
Government agencies and professional groups, including the EPA and the American Lung Association, recommend True HEPA filters as the standard for air purification. These filters trap 99.97% of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in size.
Some devices have HEPA-type filters, which work similarly but aren't held to the same performance standards. The IQAir HealthPro Plus uses a HyperHEPA filter, which is believed to capture even smaller particles than a True HEPA filter.
Your purifier will likely also come with a pre-filter (some you can clean, some you have to toss after a few months) that catches the big stuff like pet fur and human hair before it reaches the main filter.
Some devices have additional filters, like carbon or charcoal filters, that trap the petroleum-based gases known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Air purifier noise levels
Air-purifier noise levels range from nearly silent to steady humming, like an AC unit. Depending on the fan speed you're using and where you're placing your purifier, you may prefer a quieter device.
Air purifier added costs
Many of us aren’t aware of the added costs when running an air purifier. Firstly, you should consider the cost of replacement filters, then there’s the energy needed to power the appliance on a regular basis. In terms of the filter replacement, some models are fitted with filters which can last for years, but can be very expensive to replace. Whereas others can be cheaper, but a replacement is needed much more often. To calculate the actual cost, you need to balance out the frequency of changing the filter with the cost per filter. OneLife’s new air purifier never needs its filter replaced if you really want to save!
You should also take energy consumption into account. Some of the best air purifiers in our list are Energy Star Certified and these generally will save money in the long term. Bear in mind that different speeds and settings will affect how much energy it uses though.
If an air purifier is designed to reach a large room and it uses a powerful fan to do so, it is likely to consume more energy than a smaller model, although efficiency can vary. One setting worth looking out for is an ‘Eco mode’ — this should save on energy use and makes the product more sustainable in operation. Looking at our list, the Blue Pure 411 requires the least amount of energy, but it can only reach a small space, so you should always consider energy use with coverage.
Air purifier extra features
Some features are more nice-to-have extras than absolute requirements. In general, pricier purifiers come with more features, such as filter indicator lights, dimmable lights and programmable timers.
Only one of the devices we recommend (the IQAir HealthPro Plus) comes with a remote control, but we're not convinced that this adds a lot of value to the machine.
Should I get a smart air purifier?
Some modern air purifiers, such as the Levoit Core 400S, can be connected to the Wi-Fi and linked to an app on your smartphone. In doing this, you can control the air purifier remotely, including changing the fan speed or setting a schedule. For some air purifiers, the app will also breakdown the quality of the air and let you monitor it more precisely.
This can give you a much better understanding of what’s in your air and you can see the effect the air purifier is having on it too. Using the Dyson air purifier app for instance, you can see the different levels of particulate matter as well as any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen dioxide. This is usually displayed in a chart form so you can see where there’s been an increase in any air impurities.
This can be a useful feature to have, particularly if you want to better understand your air and want to source where your allergies are coming from. It’s also nice to see the evidence that the air purifier is making a difference.
Some apps will even display what the air is like outside as well, so you know not to leave when the pollen count is high or the general air quality is low.
How we picked the best air purifiers
To make our short list of air purifiers for consideration, we looked at top picks from Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, Allergy Buyers Club and others, and also noted the top-selling and most highly reviewed models on Amazon, Home Depot and Best Buy. We narrowed down our list to nine models based on features, price and other factors, including clean air delivery rate (CADR) ratings and noise levels.