Welcome to our best air purifiers page. Air quality is not something most individuals spend a lot of time thinking about. However, we only need to look so far at the developments in China to be reminded how important quality of air is and what implications it may have for our health. Fortunately, most people’s homes will never face such smog like conditions, but there are numerous airborne-particles that thrive indoors, particularly in older homes and apartments or those with pets.

Particle allergens such as mold, dander, and pollen are just a few of the antagonists found in the common household. Some of the best house air purifiers will remove virtually all these airborne particles in a few hours or even less, ensuring you breathe pure air. While there may be some health benefits, these machines can be particularly life changing for people who suffer from allergies.

What’s in this Article

During the course of our discussion, our readers will find a general thoughts section with some links to various studies on air purifiers. Following that, we have a selection guide and things you should consider before making a purchase. In our air purifier reviews section below, we take a look at the most popular and best room air purifiers on the market.

Comparison Table: Top 12 Air Purifiers of 2018

In our comparison table we compare apples to apples on the best rated air purifiers of this year. We’ve got things organized by price ascending in order to give you an easy way to read through things. Our review section is in the same order for your convenience.

If you’re on a smaller screen, or mobile, select the green + symbol to read more.

ImagePurifierFilter TechCapabilityWarrantyPrice
Biota Bot MM108 DesktopCarbon, Nano, HEPAAbout 150 Square Feet3-Year Limited
Levoit LV-H132Fine Pre, Carbon, HEPAAbout 100 Square Feet2-Year Limited
GermGuardian AC4825Carbon, HEPAAbout 300 Square Feet ; Energy Star Certified3-Year Limited
Honeywell 17000-S QuietCareCarbon, HEPAAbout 200 Square Feet5-Year Limited
Honeywell 50250-SCarbon, HEPAAbout 400 Square Feet5-Year Limited
Winix 5300-2 PlasmaWaveCarbon, HEPAAbout 360 Square Feet ; Energy Star Certified1-Year Limited Warranty
Biota Bot MM208Pre(Washable), Carbon, HEPAAbout 400 Square Feet3-Year Limited
Coway Mighty AP-1512HH w/ Eco ModePre(Washable), Carbon, HEPAAbout 360 Square Feet ; Energy Star Certified3-Year Limited
Austin Air Healthmate HM-400Mineral Zeolite, Carbon, HEPAAbout 1500 Square Feet5-Year Limited
Whirlpool Whispure WPPRO2000Pre(Washable), Carbon, HEPAAbout 500 Square Feet5-Year Limited
Blueair 503 HepaSilentIonizer, Electrostic, Carbon, HEPAAbout 600 Square Feet ; Energy Star Certified5-Year Limited
IQAir HealthPro PlusV5-Cell Gas, Carbon, HyperHEPAAbout 1100 Square Feet5-Year Limited (Upgrade to 10-Year with Registration)

Closer Look: 12 Best Air Purifiers of 2018

In this air purifiers review section, we check out the most popular mean germ butt kicking air purifying machines on the market.

1. Biota Bot MM108 Desktop Air Purifier

Biota Bot #MM108 Desktop Air Purifier

This little air purifier is ideal for desktops and night stands. The MM108 is designed for spaces 160 square feet or smaller, so don’t count on it being able to sufficiently filter a whole first or second level of a home. It is a great option for smaller rooms, and is so space efficient it isn’t much trouble to set up just about anywhere. The carbon filter does an excellent job of removing odors too, so some users even place it in their kitchen to filter out obnoxious cooking smells.

  • Model: MM108
  • Capability: About 150 Square Feet
  • Warranty: 3-Year Limited
  • Filter: Fine Pre, Carbon, Nano-Mineral, HEPA
  • Colors: Black

2. Levoit Air Purifier

Levoit Air Purifier Filtration with True HEPA Filter one of the best air purifiers

  • Model: LV-H132
  • Capability: About 100 Square Feet
  • Warranty: 2-Year Limited
  • Filter: Fine Pre, Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: White, Black

Levoit’s Air Purifier is a great budget option for really small square footages. You get HEPA filtering power for less, 3 speed settings, a total of 3 filters (pre, HEPA, carbon), and a fancy nightlight function.

3. GermGuardian 3-in-1 Air Cleaning SystemGermGuardian 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System

  • Model: Model AC4825
  • Capability: About 300 Square Feet ; Energy Star Certified
  • Warranty: 3-Year Limited
  • Filter: Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: Black

One of the most popular air purifiers in recent years is GermGuardian’s air cleaning system. It is a top pick for the best air purifier for allergies. We don’t know how they got the price so low on this machine but kudos to them—this is truly a great value. The GermGuardian AC4825 is a 22 inch tall, 3 speed tower with UV-C light and Titanium Dioxide technology. This will purge the air in rooms up to 400 square feet quite efficiently.

best air purifiers

The only downside is that it can only reasonably keep the air 100% pure in one room, but it is quiet and makes it ideal for the bedroom or office. Furthermore, it is very lightweight and easy to move from room-to-room if you do so choose.

The one two combo punch of a charcoal and HEPA filter kicks nasty particles to the curb. Furthermore, this is bolstered by its Energy Start qualification, meaning you are doing right by the environment and not sucking up an excessive amount of electrical energy to power it.

4. Honeywell QuietCare Air Purifier

Honeywell 17000-S QuietCare True HEPA Air Purifier

  • Model: 1700-S
  • Capability: About 200 Square Feet
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
  • Filter: Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: White

A low cost option from a trusted brand, this is perhaps one of the most portable air purifiers with HEPA certification weighing only 11.5 pounds.

5. Honeywell Pure HEPA Round Air PurifierHoneywell 50250 Pure HEPA Round Air Purifier

  • Model: 50250
  • Capability: About 400 Square Feet
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
  • Filter: Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: Black, White

Honeywell has numerous air purifier models that are high quality units. This round one is their best all around unit for any space and is arguably the best air purifier in the $100-200 price range.

honeywell product dimensions

It is definitely not going to win any awards in the beauty department, but this Honeywell air purifier gets the job done. Plus, it is great for larger rooms too, managing up to about 400 square feet efficiently.

The 360 degree airflow makes this unit perfect for the big jobs and enables you to place it anywhere in a room. Of course you get the HEPA certified filter and it is backed by the 5 year warranty that comes with it too. The CADR ratings for this unit are 250 across the board which is excellent for the price.

6. Winix PlasmaWave Air Cleaner
Winix PlasmaWave 5300 Air Cleaner

  • Model: 5300-2
  • Capability: About 360 Square Feet ; Energy Star Certified
  • Warranty: 1-Year Limited Warranty
  • Filter:  Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: Silver

Winix make some great air purifiers and their 3-stage air cleaning technology is excellent. It removes smoke, dust, odors, pet dander, mold, spores, and pretty much everything in between. It is our top pick for the best air purifier for pets. The PlasmaWave technology means that it breaks down all of these pollutants without releasing or producing any harmful byproducts.

The 5300 is Energy Star approved so you know you aren’t going to get wrecked on the electricity bill. This is certified for rooms up to 350 square feet, but you’ll still see benefit if you have a room larger than that, especially if you keep it running for a long time.

7. Biota Bot MM208 Air Purifier

Biota Bot Model #MM208 Air Purifier True HEPA Air Cleaning System with 7 Stages of Air Purification

  • Model: MM208
  • Capability: About 400 Square Feet
  • Warranty: 3-Year Limited
  • Filter: Pre(Washable), Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: Black

This brand may not be as well known as the likes of Honeywell and Hamilton Beach but the Biota Bot is a solid air purifier fully capable of cleansing air in rooms about 400-500 square feet and smaller. It is ideal for putting in a small to medium sized room.

For example, your bedroom is an excellent location and sets you up for success—breathing clean air all night long. Particularly for older homes and apartments there are a great many airborne particles that don’t agree with the human body’s respiratory systems.

biota bot air purifier

Biota Bot provides three layers of defense: an elementary filter, activated carbon filter, and the true HEPA filter. These work together to vacuum up everything from cooking odors to micro particles like mold. This model is rounded out nicely by a quiet operation, filter replacement indicator light, ultraviolet sterilizing function, sleep and timer mode, and adjustable fan speed.

Another feature we dig is the automatic sensor that monitors air quality and will display a Blue color for excellent air quality, Purple for moderate, and Red for poor.

8. Coway Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode
Coway Mighty Air Purifier

  • Model: AP-1512HH
  • Capability: About 360 Square Feet ; Energy Star Certified
  • Warranty: 3-Year Limited
  • Filter: Pre(Washable), Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: Black, White

This won thesweethome.com’s award for the best all around air purifier of 2018, and the machine is a beauty.

9. Austin Air Healthmate
Austin Air Healthmate HM-400

  • Model: HM-400
  • Capability: About 1500 Square Feet
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
  • Filter: Mineral Zeolite, Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: Black, Premium Black, Sandstone, Silver, White

Austin Air claims their filters last 5 years, you may want to put this beast to the test. You can certainly find one that won’t stick out like a sore thumb amongst your furniture in decor, as Austin currently makes this purifier in a large variety of colors. The Healthmate is our choice for the best air purifier for smoke because it contains almost 15 pounds of activated carbon. Activated carbon filters are excellent at absorbing smoke odor. Matched with the HEPA filtering system, it has the ability to remove visible smoke and harmful particles as well as remove any remaining odor. It pulls air from all sides, a functional 360 degrees, helping contribute to that massive 1500 square feet of filtering capacity.

10. Whirlpool Whispure True HEPA Air Purifier

Whirlpool Whispure True HEPA Air Purifier

  • Model: WPPRO2000
  • Capability: About 500 Square Feet
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
  • Filter: Pre(Washable), Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: Black

True to its name, the highlight of this Whirlpool Whispure model is how quiet it is, especially at low and medium speed settings. It is a great unit for moderate to larger sized rooms (~500 square feet). One thing we really like about the WPPRO2000 is the 5 year warranty that includes coverage for the motor — one of the parts most prone to failure.

The touch screen controls along the top of the unit are very user-friendly with speed, timer, sleep, control lock, filter status, night light, and on/off switch. The light strip will glow blue, yellow, or red based on the quality of the air (blue being the best, and red the worst).

whirlpool air purifier controls

Another feature we like are the speed controls. You can switch between low, medium, high, turbo, or auto based on how much filtering power you want. Auto is nice because it will detect the quality of your air and then select its speed accordingly.

As you can imagine, turbo is significantly louder than the other settings. There are The night light is a pretty neat touch, it is a blue LED light strip along the bottom of the unit. It has two brightness levels or you can switch it to off if it bothers you.

11. Blueair HepaSilent Air Purification System
Blueair 503 HepaSilent Air Purification System

  • Model: Classic 505
  • Capability: About 600 Square Feet ; Energy Star Certified
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
  • Filter: Ionizer, Electrostic, Carbon, HEPA
  • Colors: Silver

A CADR of 375 by itself makes this model worth looking into. Designed for large rooms, this is one of the best HEPA air purifiers money can buy. The 3 stage filtration captures everything from smoke to mold to dust. Another thing we like about this air purifier are the four wheels underneath making it super easy to move if you have wood floors. It has been rated as one of the best air purifiers for mold.

12. IQAir Healthpro Plus Air Purifier
IQAir Healthpro Plus

  • Model: 1BBUA0DGU
  • Capability: About 1100 Square Feet
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited (Upgrade to 10-Year with Registration)
  • Filter: V5-Cell Gas, Carbon, HyperHEPA
  • Colors: White

If you want the best of the best, this unit from IQAir is the favorite of many experts and air research specialists. It is the best air purifier for dust and ultrafine particles. This baby can handle spaces as big as 1,125 square feet. Essentially, you could use this as a whole house air purifier and have peace of mind that within a few weeks all the indoor air of your home will be pretty darn pure.

The machine itself incorporates HyperHEPA technology, which is a fancy term describing its ability to remove ultrafine particles some of which are responsible for specific respiratory diseases.

Top 3 On-the-Go Solutions

While masks are not as comprehensive a solution as the air purifiers in our list above, it is not always possible to stay at home where the air is pure. If you live in an urban environment, or an area with poor air quality (nearby forest fires, airborne allergens, etc) you may want to consider a filtration mask or mobile air purifier to protect your respiratory health away from home.

Here are a few options we thought look okay appearance-wise and are not overly cumbersome:

1. ionbox Mobile Ionizer

IonPacific ionbox Negative Ion GeneratorWe like this small but powerful unit from company IonPacific. It is lightweight and even fits in the palm of your hand. Once plugged in, the ‘o’ in the ionbox logo on the front side of the unit lights up and glows blue and a fan comes on. The fan noise compared to most larger air purifier units is relatively quiet but of course the closer it is placed to you the more noticeable it will be.

The ionbox is capable of emitting 20 million negative ions per second while remaining ozone free. Three things make this mobile ionizer ideal for travel and/or smaller spaces: the ability to either a USB or wall outlet as a power source, the highest emitting negative ion count on the market, and no filters to remove and replace (maintenance free!). We think the big win here is the USB power option which allows users to use the ionbox in a wide number of countries or even in the car or on an airplane.

Ionizers work by generating and emitting negative ions into your air space. When these negative ions come into contact with positively charged molecules such as dust and bacteria, it causes these pesky molecules to the fall to the ground. The result? Cleaner air for your lungs! The space efficient ionbox emits enough negative ions to purge the air of spaces up to 500 square feet in size.

2. Cambridge Mask Company N99 Grade Masks

Cambridge Mask Company Anti Pollution Mask Military Grade N99 Washable Respirator

If you want to get really serious about breathing clean air, Cambridge Mask Company’s masks are worth a look. This mask is incorporates lab tested filtration technology from the British military. It comes in an array of cool designs like ‘The Full Cambridge’ and ‘The Churchhill’.

This air purifying mask employs a triple-layer filter that offers filtration all the way down to 0.3 microns. It is capable of filtering PM10, PM2.5, and PM0.3 particular matter.

cambridge mask co

The Cambridge Mask Company claims this mask filters nearly 100% of viruses, bacteria, pollution, gases, and fine dust. The filters in these masks meet the N99 standard equating to better performance than N95 filters.

This mask has a life of about 200-340 hours depending on what sort of conditions the mask is worn in. This is a great solution for travelers who may be visiting pollution heavy areas such as China and India.

3. Breathe Healthy Honeycomb Face Mask

Breathe Healthy Honeycomb Face Mask

This particular mask is geared towards individuals who want to protect themselves from air bourne illnesses like the flu. It also shields the wearer from allergens. This flexible, athletic material is available in 8 color choices and is lined with Breathe Healthy material which contains an antimicrobial agent. This mask filters down to 1.0 microns and is great for travel and cold months to stay warm and help prevent colds and the flu.

What is an Air Purifier? What is HEPA?

An air purifier is a machine that helps purge the air of particulate contaminants. One of the situations that really benefits from a air purifier is a home with a pet or multiple pets. Homes that have a smoker or used to have a smoker will see a great difference as well. Air purifiers will also help collect and break down odors therefore removing them from the air. Air purifiers won’t completely eliminate odors but it can remove many of the unpleasant ones which is nice for people who have a sensitive sense of smell.

Best Air Purifiers

When Is Air Purified?

Purified air is simply air minus all the particulate components such as dust, pollen, dander, etc. Air purifying machines accomplish this task by using a fan to force air through a filter array. The filter collects and traps all the particulates while letting the air itself flow back into your home. However, it is important to note that this does not mean your air is 100% safe.

Some gases or other volatile organic compounds a well known one being formaldehyde could still be hiding out in your air. There are some purifiers come with additional equipment that will remove these harmful gases. Other than that, some forms of molds and dust mites remain in an environment even if the air is clean and must be removed at the source such as your carpet. All in all, having an air purifier is going to still make a significant difference in your air quality.

The fact remains us humans do a lot of breathing. It is sort of an important part of our survival. Particulate matter that is highly concentrated has been shown to cause lung conditions, respiratory issues, and aggravate existing health problems like chronic bronchitis and asthma. Extremely fine particles (less than 2.5 micrometers in size) are particularly dangerous because they can get into the deepest tissues of the lungs.

That is why HEPA filters have become so popular in air purifying systems.

Coway Air Purifier with HEPA Filter

Coway Air Purifier with HEPA Filter

More About HEPA Filters

HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate absorption. It is a strict government manufacturer standard an air purifier machine must meet to be rewarded with a HEPA certified label. To qualify for the label, the air purifier’s filter must remove 99.97% of particles in the air that are 0.3 micrometers or larger. For an idea of how small that really is a human hair is actually 70 micrometers in width.

Basically, if an air purifier has a HEPA rated filter, it in a probably a top model. If you’re going to spend money a lot of money on an air purifier a machine that has a HEPA filter is a must.

As a comparison, non HEPA filter air purifiers remove about 75-95% of particles, sometimes less. While not as effective as an air purifier with a HEPA certified filter, it is certainly better than not having one at all. Furthermore, non HEPA air purifiers are generally much less expensive. The production costs of HEPA air purifiers are much higher than that of non HEPA. As a general rule of thumb, HEPA air purifiers range from about $200-$300 while other models can be had for $50-$200ish.

List of Airborne Particles

  • Pollen
  • Spores
  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses

As a side note, if you aren’t ready to invest in an air purifier there are a few common-sense steps you can take to keep your home’s air clean. Vacuuming often and banning smoking indoors are two very big steps that will cut down on indoor air pollution. You can also minimize the use of wood fires, candles, and test your home for radon gas. You’ll want to use the exhaust fans in your kitchen, bathrooms, and utility rooms often. If you can help it don’t store chemicals, solvents, and other pesticides in your house. Of course, make sure you’ve got those carbon-monoxide alarms on all floors of your home.

Primary Air Purifier Technical Terms

In this section, you’ll find some of the common terms associated with air purifiers.

HEPA Filter

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate arrestance. A air purifier filter with HEPA certification means that air purifier removes nearly all air pollutants and irritants (99.9%). This type of filter is capable of collecting extremely tiny airborne particles. The HEPA standard was developed by the US Department of Energy. This is the same type of filter in vacuums that traps dust.

Ozone (Ionizer) Technology

Some air purifier machines double as air fresheners. They generate Ozone which to the human nose is a sweet smelling fragrance. Most critics of these machines say to stay away from them because Ozone has been shown to be a lung irritant to some individuals. Probably the best thing to is to stay away from models that do not have a switch to turn this feature off. Ozone and some VOCs can have chemical reactions whose byproducts may be harmful to your health.

Activated Carbon Filter

This technology is incorporated in some air purifiers to add a chemical filtration component to the machine. These chemical sorbent filters are constructed using activated carbon or sometimes zeolite. Both of these materials are great at absorbing odors, some gases, and VOCs. The only issue is that you need to stay on the ball when replacing these filters. If a filter becomes saturated it will not only stop removing the bad guys, but actually start releasing them instead.

Ultraviolet Light

This is a relatively new technology that some manufacturers are integrating in their machines. These machines use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) which is effective at killing germs. While in general it looks like a promising technology for air purifying, the effectiveness in small portable air purifiers may be limited. This is because air quickly passes through these machines so the exposure to UV light is very short. This technology therefore may be better suited to commercial applications.

CADR

This acronym stands for clean air delivery rate which delineates the max square footage recommended in which to use the air purifier. It also refers to how fast the air purifier can remove the three most common air pollutants: smoke, pollen, and dust. The higher the value, the faster the machine can filter the air.

Other Things to Know Before Buying

There is a wide range of prices when it comes to air purifiers. Like many things, the models that are actually effective are expensive upfront. The silver lining is that the best models usually have lower operating costs and replacement filters are easily available and cost a bit less. Though there are many claims about air purifiers having a dramatic positive impact on people’s health the data so far is not definitive.

How Air Impacts Health

The human body is a complex system and it can be very difficult to match cause and effect in a complicated environment with so many variables. Nevertheless, the average person spends 87% of their time indoors, and caring about the air quality indoors makes a lot of sense. Perhaps the best thing to do is to judge for yourself personally if it makes a difference after running it for awhile.Portable or Whole House Air Purifier

Situations where it makes the most amount of sense to buy an air purifier is if you are sensitive to pet dander and own a lot of pets, have bad allergies, do not have access to clean outdoor air, live near busy roads/power plants/factories, or have any type of respiratory affliction. For pretty much everyone else, it comes down to whether or not it will give you a peace of mind that is worth the price of buying and maintaining an air purifier.

If you have lived your whole life without trouble you’ll probably be okay without buying one. They are expensive machines and have ongoing costs such as filter replacements and not to mention the added electricity cost on your utility bill.

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