An air purifier may be the best option for you if you are unable to stand the heat and allergy season. They can reduce allergens, air pollution and other harmful substances. It can also improve the air quality in homes that live near forest fires. We have tested many different air purifiers so that we can help you choose the right one for you. It can be confusing to understand the differences between models.
There are many options for air purification. It is important to do your research and seek out expert advice. Consider how much money you are able to spend on air purification. Do you require an ionic purifier or a complete home filtration system for your air purification needs? Are you looking for an activated carbon purifier? I can answer your questions and help you narrow down your options.
I have conducted extensive research on the products and spoken with experts in the area of indoor air quality. I also tested 15 of the most well-known models. I looked at whether the purifiers have an air quality monitor, clean air delivery rate, and how often you need to change the filter. I also considered whether the filter is washable and how expensive a replacement filter would cost.
These are our top picks for the best air purifiers based on extensive research and careful testing. Each of the following air purifiers can improve indoor air quality, filter smoke and other airborne particles, and provide fresh air.
Blueair Blue Pure 211 Plus
Ideal for large rooms
Blueair’s outstanding large-room air purifier looks great, is quiet and cleans large rooms quickly. The Blue Pure 211 Plus is 13 pounds in weight and features a simple interface. The button on the front lets you adjust the settings to low, medium, high, or off. That’s it.
Although it would be nice to have a few more smarts like an automatic setting that responds according to air quality, Blueair has made investments where it is most important: in cleaning technology. True HEPA filters can clean up to 560 square feet of air. The activated carbon filter removes airborne pollutants. This purifier is powerful for the price. If you have a large space, it is worth looking into whether this is the right air purifier.
Honeywell Home HPA300
Ideal for medium-sized rooms
Honeywell’s HEPA purifier is more expensive than the other models, but can cover 465 square feet. The Honeywell Home is quieter than other models despite its bulky design (it weighs in at 21 pounds). This might be the best choice for you if you have a medium-sized room.
Although the Honeywell Home’s design is not my favourite, it allows you to set timers and check if your prefilter needs to be replaced. This Honeywell HPA300 is a great choice for basic performance at a fair price.
Coway AP1512HH HEPA Air purifier
The best air purifier for first-time customers
After many months of using the HEPA purifier from Coway, I have made Coway my preferred HEPA air cleaner. Although prices for these devices have fluctuated in the last year, the list price for the 361-square foot coverage is still very affordable. The Coway is unique in its ability to cover pet hair, dust, and other allergen particles. I loved the Coway’s retro, striking design. It’s a solid product that doesn’t have all the extras of other devices. It’s easy to plug it in and turn it on, then forget about it.
This air purifier brand has helped me to experience fewer allergies during difficult seasons. Another colleague purchased a Coway to use in her smoke room during West Coast wildfires. She noticed an immediate improvement in air quality.
Although the ionic filtration technology may not be a big plus, it won’t produce any significant ozone as per the California EPA. Coway’s HEPA purifier is the ideal air purifier for mid-sized rooms. It has one of the most unique looks.
Blueair Blue Pure 411
Ideal for small rooms
Blueair Blue Pure 411 purifier is simple and straightforward. It offers solid bang for the buck. The activated carbon filter reduces odors, pet hair, and other airborne pollutants. It can be used in 160 square feet of space, making it the best small room purifier. Sharp’s Air Purifier doesn’t offer nearly as much cleaning power for the same price, but it does provide twice the cleaning power.
The Blue Pure comes with different prefilter sleeves. It can be used in almost any color scheme. And its one-button interface makes it as easy as possible. It is lightweight with a moderate noise level. The Blue Pure’s only problem is its noise.
Coway Airmega 400
Ideal for entire homes
If you have the budget and need a powerful purifier, or if one purifier is enough to clean your entire house rather than one for each room, the Coway Airmega 400 may be the right choice. The Airmega 400 is a very expensive purifier, but it covers 1,560 square feet.
Airmega has many perks. It includes a real-time indicator of air quality, fan speed settings (the quietest is the highest), smart settings that adjust fan speed based on air quality and a range timers. The Airmega is also heavier than most competitors at nearly 25 pounds.
While most homes will be served better by one or two small Honeywell or Coway air purifiers (or both), if you need more coverage the Airmega may be the best choice.
What is the working principle of an air purifier?
It is important to learn the basics of how air purifiers clean your air before you buy one. Richard Shaughnessy from the University of Tulsa, director of Indoor Air Research, helped me understand these processes.
Shaughnessy, a chemical engineer doctor, says that most air cleaners put your air through a filter to capture indoor pollutants such as dust mites and particles. These filters are often called High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing Filters and can capture 99.97% or more of the airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. HEPA filters are reliable in removing indoor pollution like smoke, pollen, and other particulate matter.
Activated carbon is another type of filter that captures odors such as pet odor, volatile organic compound and gaseous pollutants. This filter can be used in conjunction with a HEPA filter. Shaughnessy said that a carbon filter can be effective, but only to a certain extent. It is important to avoid breakthrough, which means that the carbon gets saturated and releases the rest back into the atmosphere.
Multiple researchers that I spoke to said that most consumer air purifiers don’t contain enough activated carbon for odor filters to work effectively for longer periods of time.
Ionic filtering is another common method of cleaning air. Shaughnessy says these filters are effective but have some drawbacks. Some ionic purifiers don’t actually remove the air pollutants from the home but instead cause them to attach to the surfaces. Some filters must be maintained or they could emit ozone, which is a pollutant.
Although some ionic purifiers can be effective, and there have been significant improvements in standards, the advantages of an ionic purifier over a HEPA filter in many cases are negligible. This is especially true when you consider the potential danger an ionizer may pose.
How to test air purifiers
Air purifiers cannot be tested outside of a controlled laboratory environment. However, some certifications can be standardized. This means that HEPA purifiers will always capture what they claim to capture, provided those claims have been verified by an independent third party. You should also be aware of the AHAM Verified Clear Air Delivery Rate. This rate tells you how much air a purifier is capable of removing in a certain time period. This standard is not used by every company, but it is widely used.
Each air purifier in this list was tested in my home over a period of several months. I checked how each feature worked, tested the volume, and monitored it for problems. The certifications provided me with information about the air cycle rate and particle capture.
It can be more difficult to make recommendations if companies don’t have a CADR or if they use proprietary air filter methods.
Dyson and Molekule are two of the major players offering their own standards. This doesn’t mean their devices are inferior. It just means that they need extra scrutiny. These cases required me to examine the explanations provided by the companies and talk with third-party experts. These devices, even if they accomplish the claimed purpose, are often overpriced in comparison to comparable products that have more easily accessible evidence.
Important to mention that most of the top-rated air purifier models I tried have been selling out in the last few months due to the high demand during the pandemic or amid wildfires. Although some of the models listed above may be out of stock at the moment, we decided to keep our recommendations and the reasoning behind them posted so that you can find the right product for you. Our recommendations for the best purifiers are based on their prices. We recommend that you avoid sellers selling the same device for substantially different price tags.
The power for the price was what I considered when evaluating the above devices. That is, the higher the CADR, the lower the cost, the better. I also considered additional cleaning modes, control functionality, and noise levels. The best air purifiers are sleek enough to be integrated into modern decor. They can clean your air quietly and efficiently with minimal fuss.