When purchasing an air purifier for your home, it is vital to know the difference between air purifiers, air cleaners, and air filters.
If you are looking to buy an air purifier for your home, you might find yourself stumbling across air cleaners and air filters as well during your research. It is essential to understand the differences so that you can purchase the product that best suits your family’s needs. Air purifiers are often conflated with air filters, meaning that they combine two air filters, but they are still slightly different. Air filters are used to trap and collect dirt, debris, and particles in a filter. They are commonly found in heating and ventilation systems. Their primary role is to reduce the number of pollutants, allergens, and dust in your home.
On the other hand, air cleaners remove more particulate from the air than your average air filter. The air cleaner device has an incorporated fan that aims to draw air to a filter to remove the particulate from the air. While air cleaners often include filters in their devices, they are overall more robust in cleaning the air than air filters alone. However, it is essential to note that most companies will use air cleaner and air purifier interchangeably.
Lastly, we will break down how air purifiers differ from the above two. Air purifiers use a process to deactivate airborne toxins, such as pathogens. Some air purifiers will use ultraviolet light sterilization to kill mold and bacteria, while others will use an electrostatic filter to draw particles to metal plates. The majority of air purifiers rely on a combination to trap as many particulates, gases, and bacteria as possible. Unlike air cleaners that just trap the particulates, air purifiers work to deactivate their harmful impacts.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. When finding the right air purifier for you, it is crucial to understand what a HEPA filter is and its usefulness.
If you have already started your research, you have likely seen this designation on air purifiers and maybe even other products too. HEPA filters are physical filters designed to clear out at least 99.7 percent of the particulates that are 0.3 microns or larger. So you can get an idea, a micron, or micrometer is about one twenty-five thousandth of an inch. In other words, extremely tiny!
Any air cleaner that contains a HEPA filter has been tested and approved by the nonprofit Institute of Environmental Services and Technology. This stamp of approval means that they are true HEPA filters. Some companies will label their filters as HEPA-type or HEPA-like, but they are not verified and may not be as effective. Genuine HEPA filters draw particles in with a fan and trap the particles in a web of fibers. True HEPA filters have become increasingly popular and perform more efficiently than a standard filter.
Finding the right air purifier for you also means understanding the difference between Molekule air filters and HEPA air filters. Regular HEPA air purifiers target airborne particles in the air. On the other hand, Molekule’s filter uses its own patented filter technology, photo electrochemical oxidation (PECO). According to Molekule, PECO utilizes free radicals, or highly reactive atoms, to break down pollutants at the molecular level. They are also advertised to remove and deactivate common gases, bacteria, viruses, and mold in the air. Although Molekule will back their filtration claims and superiority to HEPA filters, it is essential to note that Consumer Reports and the National Advertising Review Board have disputed some of those claims.
Molekule air purifiers contain PECO filters, which the company claims to be superior to HEPA filters.
Molekule’s air filters are different from HEPA filters. While regular HEPA air purifiers target airborne particles in the air, Molekule utilizes its own patented filtered technology, photo electrochemical oxidation (PECO). According to the company, their PECO filter uses free radicals to break down the pollutants at the molecular levels. More simply put, PECO filters remove, or deactivate, rather than just filter out, standard gases, bacteria, viruses, and mold in the air.
This brand worked with researchers to test its new filter technology, which the company claims are superior to popular HEPA filters. The research found that Molekule Air successfully removed volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone. Its efficiency rate ranged between high and very high, which in short means that the air cleaner has enough capacity to remove indoor gaseous pollutants at levels that are typically present indoors, without producing harmful byproducts.
Molekule raves that their air purifiers differ from others that filter because they have already killed other viruses in lab tests. While the company believes their product is way above anything else, Consumer Reports disputes some of Molekule’s filtration claims. Their first argument is that while the Molekule air purifier efficiently gets rid of many air pollutants, it does so at a much slower rate than other air purifiers. Molekule challenges Consumer Reports tests stating that they used HEPA tests on a non-HEPA filter and that comparing those results does not provide the whole picture. While HEPA remains somewhat of the industry standard, Molekule’s PECO technology is at least worth considering. As a consumer, you must choose the one that is best for you.
There are many benefits to having an air purifier in your home.
Although there is no data to support that air purifiers can protect your home from coronavirus, there are still plenty of benefits to having one in your home. For instance, if you already experience any irritation from dust or allergens, an air purifier may benefit you. Additionally, if you or someone in your house has asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions, purchasing an air purifier could be a smart investment. With everything that is going on globally, an air purifier can only be an additional layer of cleanliness.
It has been said that the coronavirus particles are too small to be trapped in the air filters. Running out to purchase an air purifier may not be your priority. However, if you or your loved ones are at a higher risk, you may want to consider it at least and all of its benefits. Above all else, the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is by washing your hands regularly, cleaning, disinfecting regularly-touched surfaces, wearing proper face coverings, and social distancing.
With all of the available options, shopping for an air purifier may seem incredibly overwhelming. It is essential you know how to find the best air purifier for you.
Even before you begin your research into the best air purifier, you should start by making a list of your specific needs. Next, narrow down the top needs. For instance, if you are looking for an air purifier for allergies, you will want to shop for something different than someone whose top priority is to protect against gases. On the other hand, maybe you are someone who cooks frequently and wants a purifier to filter out particles produced from your oven and stove. The varying brands and models of air purifiers will specialize in tackling different needs, so it is vital to start by knowing what your needs are.
It is recommended to seek out a purifier with a HEPA filter for the best results. It is also equally important to find a filter that has been independently rated by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). All air cleaners that have been certified by the AHAM and given a clean air delivery rating, or CADR, have been tested in an independent laboratory and across the same metrics. By putting all products on a level playing field regardless of their technology, consumers can compare products easily. The testing includes tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen. By testing in a level environment, consumers can compare the products easier and choose the one that excels at their specific needs.
How does the CADR impact an air purifier’s effectiveness?
The higher the CADR rating, the more effective and faster the air cleaner is at filtering the air. When shopping for an air purifier, it is important to take note of the CADR rating. You should also be sure to pay attention to how often the air purifier will require a replacement air filter. Also, you should be sure to check how many square feet the air purifier can clean. Some can clean higher square footage, while others cannot. You will want to be sure to know the size of the space you’re looking to have the air purifier to ensure you are purchasing a model that is equipped to handle it.
Some air cleaners use electrostatic charges and generate a small amount of ozone as a byproduct. Ozone is extremely reactive and is useful for removing odors and killing mold. However, ozone can also cause health problems at high concentrations. Ozone generators are often billed as air cleaners. By choosing an independently-rated air purifier, you will ensure that your air cleaner produces less than the EPA-designated ozone limit of 0.08 parts per million. Utilizing an independent agency will ensure you are getting the perfect air purifier for your home.
20. The Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier can support up to 161 square feet of space.
The Blueair Pure 411 is one of the best air purifiers if you are on a budget. However, it is important to note that it can only purify smaller spaces, up to 161 square feet. This particular model is the perfect one for your home office or living space. Given that most of us may spend a lot more time in our living rooms right now, this air purifier can help ensure that your family space is clean. The Blueair Pure 411 is extremely compact and is available in different colors that can be chosen to match your room’s decor.
This model comes with the brand’s own HEPASilent technology. It is important to note that this is not the same as an approved, true HEPA filter. The Blueair Pure is also AHAM approved and has a CADR rating. The biggest attraction to this model is that it is incredibly affordable. In addition, the maintenance is appealing as the Pure 411 has low-cost replacement filters and is more energy-efficient in comparison to other models.
19. The Levoit LV-H132 air purifier has an advanced three-stage filtration system.
A Levoit LV-H132 air purifier works to remove particles from the air with its three-stage filtration system that includes a pre-filter, true HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. The filtration system works to capture allergens, pet hair, dander, smoke, mold, odor, and large dust particles. It circulates the air in the room over four times in an hour to achieve rapid purification. It is also equipped with a built-in smart filter replacement reminder and night light.
Like the Blueair Pure 411, this air purifier is more compact and fit for a smaller space as its cleaning capacity is 129 square feet. That would be the perfect model for a dorm room or an office. The built-in replacement indicator reminds you when you need to replace the filter. It is recommended to replace the filter every six to eight months, depending on how often you use the air purifier and the air quality of the room it is placed in. An additional feature is the night light. You can choose between two brightness settings at night to help you see in the evening or turn off the light entirely to create your ideal sleep environment for a night of undisturbed sleep.
18. A Molekule Air utilizes photo electrochemical oxidation (PECO) nanotechnology to destroy viruses, VOCs, allergens, bacteria, and mold.
The Molekule Air has a sleek design and includes two filters designed to capture pollutants smaller than the average air purifier. It can capture these particles using PECO technology. Although the Molekule is more expensive than its competitor air purifiers, it boasts hundreds of positive reviews and a new air purification approach. The PECO technology helps cleanse the air for allergens, pollutants, viruses, bacteria, and mold. This model is ideal for larger spaces such as bedrooms or family rooms with a significantly larger cleaning capacity. It is easy to control using its touch-screen display.
For added convenience, you can connect it to your WiFi and control it remotely using an app on your phone. The Molekule Air is easily portable with a natural leather handle that easily allows you to carry it and place it anywhere in your home. A key feature is that not only does Molekule Air not emit ozone, it also destroys it. This air purifier is more of an investment and could be ideal if you or your family members have respiratory conditions.
17. The GermGuardian is equipped with a UV light sanitizer and eliminates germs in your home.
The GermGuardian AC4825 is a four-in-one air purifier that includes a true HEPA filter, charcoal and PCO filter, UV-C sanitizer, and T1O2 treatment. It is AHAM approved and equipped with three separate speed settings. The air purifier also comes with an air filter replacement indicator. It reduces up to 99 percent of harmful germs, dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and other allergens. The UV-C light helps to kill airborne viruses such as influenza and staph. It cannot kill coronavirus particles as they are too small to be trapped in the filter as a friendly reminder.
This air purifier has s a quiet operation that, at the lowest setting, can serve as a gentle white noise. The activated charcoal filter helps to reduce odors from pets, smoke, and cooking fumes. This particular air purifier has a cleaning capacity of 167 square feet. You can choose from three different speed settings and an option UV-C light. In order to maintain optimal performance, it is recommended only to use genuine GermGuardian replacement parts.
16. The Honeywell air purifier has a true HEPA filter and is AHAM approved.
Made for larger spaces, the Honeywell True HEPA air purifier has a cleaning capacity of up to 465 square feet. The company claims this purifier filters and circulates the air up to five times an hour. Given its size, this model is relatively affordable. It is equipped with features that include a timer setting and a filter change indicator. This Honeywell air purifier has two filters.
The first is a pre-filter that works to capture the larger particles such as pet hair and lint. The second filter is a true HEPA filter for those smaller particles. You can breathe easier, knowing that the air in your home is cleaner with fewer allergens. Doctors and allergists highly recommend the Honeywell air purifier. Backed with a five-year warranty, Honeywell air purifiers are a trusted partner in the fight against airborne particles. For optimal performance, it is recommended that you only use compatible air purifier filter replacements. By choosing not to use genuine Honeywell air filters, you cannot guarantee the same performance or efficiency.
15. The Dyson Pure Humidity and Cool is a recently-released model that encompasses an air purifier, humidifier, and fan in one.
The recently-released model has many helpful features, including a space heater, sleep timer, WiFi connection, Alexa compatibility, and nighttime mode. While it is not AHAM approved, it does offer a true HEPA filter and is one of the only models that allow for oscillation. By projecting purified, humidified air throughout the whole room, you are sure not to breathe dry, stale air. The vapor emitted from the machine is invisible.
Utilize the night mode features that still monitors, purifies, humidifies, and cools using the quietest settings, with a dimmed display. It is a multi-functional machine for whole room air treatment that purifies, humidifies, and cools you. With a cleaning capacity of up to 400 square feet, this model is perfect for any space in your home. It can automatically detect airborne particles and gases, as well as temperature and humidity levels, by diagnosing and reporting them in real time. Although it is a little pricier than other models, the Dyson Pure Humidity and Cool is ideal for shoppers looking for extra features.
14. The Austin Air Healthmate air purifier offers users a four-stage filtration system.
This particular air purifier model uniquely has four-stage filters that include a HEPA filter with a 60-square-foot radius. Each of the four filters works to remove a different type of particle at each layer. The first large particle pre-filter removes particles easily seen by the naked eye, such as dust, hair, and pet dander. The second layer is the medium particle pre-filter that removes small to medium-sized particles such as mold, spores, and pollen.
Its third layer includes about 15 pounds of activated carbon and zeolite that works to remove chemicals, gases, and odors in your home. The final layer includes 60 square feet of certified HEPA filter, removing 99 percent of all particles larger than 0.3 microns. The four-stage filtration provides a complete spectrum of air cleaning, removing sub-micron particles, noxious gases, and chemicals. It’s important to note that this model is much larger and heavier than others, weighing 45 pounds. However, it does include rollers on the bottom for easier transportation.
13. The Medify MA-40W can clean up to 1,600 square feet in one hour.
This air purifier is built with medical-grade H13 filters, which are rated higher with true HEPA filters. With three stages of filtering, it can remove 99 percent of particles. Besides, this room can clean rooms up to 1,600 square feet in one hour, 840 square feet in 30 minutes, and 420 square feet in 15 minutes. The air purifier has a sleep mode. It also has three speeds. On speed one, the ionizer is automatically turned off, whereas it can be turned on and off as needed on speeds two and three.
The Medify air purifier has a tempered glass panel, similar to that on your cell phone, that is easy to clean and is less likely to scratch. Additional features include an eight-hour timer, night mode, and a child lock. The filter is expected to last for 2,500 hours before having to change it. With multiple fan speeds and a sleep mode, you will have ultimate control over your air quality.
12. The Winix is designed to provide superior air cleaning for pet owners and those with pet allergies.
Equipped with smart sensors, this air purifier from Winix is ideal for pet owners. A true HEPA filter, washable pre-filter, advanced odor control carbon filter, and plasmawave technology can capture 99 percent of particles. That includes airborne pollutants, pet dander, and allergens. The washable advanced carbon filter captures pet odors as well as smoke, kitchen, and other household odors while simultaneously extending the life of the true HEPA filter. The plasmawave technology safely breaks apart odors, allergens, chemical vapors, and other pollutants at the molecular level. AHAM-verified, the Winix is suitable for medium-sized living spaces. This air purifier contains an air quality visual indicator that displays real-time air quality in the room with LED lights. An auto-mode utilizes smart sensors to automatically adjust the fan speed to meet the needs of your environment.
11. The Dyson Pure Cool DP04 purifying fan is an option that can easily sit on a desk or kitchen countertop.
Small but mighty, this air purifier can sense fine particles, allergens, VOCs, and NO2. It effectively captures particles using sealed HEPA and activated carbon filters. If dust or mold has you struggling to sleep or take a deep breath, this air purifier is a perfect option that can easily sit on your nightstand while you sleep or on your desk while you work. Encompassed in the air purifier is a 360-degree filtration system that utilizes activated carbon to remove gases and odors while the HEPA filter captures 99 percent of pollutants in the air. The air multiplier technology circulates the purified air throughout the whole room. It can automatically sense and react to air quality changes. Then, the device can report pollution in real-time on the LCD screen and your Dyson app.
10. The Honeywell HEPA-type tabletop purifier is ideal for consumers looking for fresher, cleaner air in their home or office.
A smaller air purifier, this Honeywell option is compact enough to fit on a nightstand or desk to help keep your air clean. The HEPA-type filtration captures up to 99 percent of microscopic allergens as small as 2 microns from the air that passes through the filter. It has three cleaning levels that work to reduce common household odors. They recommend replacing the carbon/HEPA-type filter three times per year as a small air purifier. You won’t have to worry about keeping track of when it’s time to change the filter because the air purifier is equipped with an electronic filter replacement indicator. The Honeywell air purifier has been AHAM verified for a 75 square foot room size. It is easy to maintain and a great option for those smaller spaces.
9. The Hamilton Beach TrueAir air purifier has a high-performance HEPA grade filter that captures almost all of the dust, pet dander, dust mites, pollen, and mold in the air.
One of the biggest advantages to the Hamilton Beach TrueAir air purifier is how easy it is to clean. The allergen reducing air purifier has a permanent HEPA-grade filter that easily vacuums clean, so you won’t have to worry about buying replacement filters. This air purifier is perfect for the office or rooms up to 160 square feet in a compact, stylish design. It is versatile and can fit anywhere, whether you choose to position it vertically or horizontally in your bedroom, nursery, or hallway. It is equipped with a whisper clean mode for an extra quiet operation at night and a medium setting perfect for more powerful air cleaning. The Hamilton purifier has three versatile speed settings that give you ultimate control. You can use the quiet setting at night while you sleep and the quick setting during the day for powerful air cleaning.
8. The Pure Enrichment PureZone air purifier is equipped with a true HEPA filter and a two-stage filtration process.
It can clean and sanitize your air from dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, and household odors. The first stage includes an activated carbon pre-filter, while the second is the true-HEPA filter. There are three fan speeds for you to choose from. Its portable size makes it ideal for smaller spaces; it can fit perfectly on any nightstand, desk, or end table while blending in seamlessly with your decor. The rubberized feet on the bottom improve the air purifier’s stability while the unique forward airflow provides a gentle and relaxing breeze. This device is a perfect option for those who are not looking to spend as much while still taking full advantage of the true HEPA filters. The Pure Enrichment PureZone purifier comes with a guaranteed five-year warranty should any issues arise. Their customer support team provides daily quality service and peace of mind to millions worldwide.
7. The Coway Airmega is able to clean the air two times in one hour. It is equipped with two filters to ensure optimal cleanliness.
The Coway Airmega air purifier has an activated carbon filter in addition to a true HEPA filter. Like many others, it can capture and reduce up to 99 percent of particles in the air, including pollen, pollutants, and other allergens. However, it differs in that it can reduce more than 99 percent of volatile organic compounds and reduce fumes. The purifier includes both washable and permanent pre-filters to catch larger dust particles. The pollution sensor communicates indoor air quality in real-time while the brightly-colored LED ring lets you know how clean or dirty your indoor air is every minute of the day. Five different fan modes automatically adjust based on the room’s air quality and lighting conditions to improve air quality. The Airmega has multiple time settings and a filter lifetime indicator for both filters.
6. The Coway Airmega AP-1512HHS is a more compact air purifier that is energy efficient with three manual fan speeds.
Similar to the Airmega 400, this smaller version has genuine HEPA filters and activated charcoal filters. It works with Coway’s mobile application, including indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring, filter notification, scheduling, and speed and smart mode control. This tiny air purifier works with Alexa. You can easily ask Alexa about your indoor air quality or to change the fan speed. You can ask Alexa to set up smart reorders through the app for filters to keep your purifier running at its best. Like the larger model, there is a brightly-colored LED that quickly indicates how clean or dirty your air quality truly is. There are three manual fan speeds plus in an auto mode. The auto mode automatically optimizes the fan speed based on the level of indoor air quality. When no pollution is detected, the fan will automatically stop and enter into Eco mode to save energy.
5. The RabbitAir MinusA2 air purifier is equipped with a six-stage filtration process.
There are many benefits to purchasing the RabbitAir MinusA2 air purifier. These include a low filter and operating costs, quiet operation, an attractive wall-mounted appearance, and outstanding performance at removing particulate matter. The one downfall is the expensive upfront cost. The MinusA2 has a six-stage filter that includes the pre-filter, medium filter, patented HEPA filter, charcoal-based activated carbon filter, optional negative ion generator, and a customized filter. The custom filter is unique in that you can choose to target toxins, odors, pet dander, or germs depending on your specific needs. The filter replacement kit is also slightly more expensive compared to others on the market; however, you only need to budget for it every two years or so. It is a high quality and performance air purifier that offers an elegant and beautiful design.
4. The pluggable GermGuardian air purifier offers a compact design that provides cleaner air.
This seven-inch wall pluggable sanitizer is perfect for the kitchen, litter box room, bathroom, or children’s room. It provides cleaner air and reduces airborne germs and household odors caused by bacteria, pets, and cooking fumes. The GermGuardian kills germs with the UV-C light, including airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, and rhinovirus. One of the pros of this tiny option is that there is no filter replacement. Instead, a single GermGuardian UV-C light bulb will need to be replaced every 10 to 12 months, depending on the frequency of use and air quality. Since it is a relatively small-sized air purifier, it has limitations on the amount of cleaning capacity. It comes with a one year warranty should any issues arise during the first year.
3. The TaoTronics HEPA purifier has an advanced three-stage filtration system that eliminates dust particles in the air.
The air purifier’s three-stage advanced filtration system includes a HEPA air purifier with a combination of pre-filter, activated carbon filter, and a true HEPA filter that effectively removes 99 percent of airborne particles. The TaoTronics HEPA purifier has been largely recommended for individuals with allergies as it traps common impurities, including allergens, smoke, pollen, odors, dust, and smoke, leaving you with a clean and healthy environment.
While in sleep mode, the air purifier operates quietly, creating a restful and soothing environment without disturbing our learning, working, or sleeping. The air purifier has an optional night light. Equipped with four fan speeds, you can choose a suitable speed like low, medium, high, and turbo, based on your different purification and optimal performance needs. It is safe for kids and is pet friendly by guarding against pet hair and dander, allowing all of your family members to breathe pure air and live happily.
2. The Partu HEPA air purifier is 100 percent ozone free.
With an efficient three-stage filtration system that consists of a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter, the Partu is powerful enough to capture dust, pollen, smoke, odor, and pet dander. This particular air purifier also has a fragrance sponge. It means that you can add a drop of essential oil and some water into the sponge below the purifier air outlet. The fragrance will then flow with the air movements. Another beneficial feature is the lockset, which avoids error operation caused by a pet or child’s curiosity. The three fan settings allow you to control the speed and volume of the air purifier. The Partu is compact enough to fit on your desk and is better suited for small rooms than large homes. The replacement filter should be replaced every three to six months depending on the room’s air quality.
1. The TaoTronics HEPA H13 air purifier can purify a 250 square foot room every 12 minutes.
If you’re seeking an air purifier covering a wide range, the TaoTronics is an option for you. With the ability to purify a 330 square foot room every 15 minutes, this air purifier can be placed in any space. There are multiple filtration levels, including a pre-filter, activated carbon filter, and a true HEPA filter that tackles 99 percent of airborne particles. This air purifier contains four-in-one functionality, including sleep mode, auto mode, timer, and negative ion mode.
There are also four fan speeds, including low, medium, high, and turbo. You will be able to select a suitable mode and speed to purify the air effectively and efficiently. A built-in smart sensor detects and displays air quality in real time. In auto mode, the air purifier for home adjusts the fan speed accordingly, ensuring that you can always breathe healthier air in your room. The differing fan speeds can be adjusted based on your different purification needs for optimal performance.
Investing in an air purifier can be a game-changer; it can help improve the quality of air that circulates from your bedroom to your kitchen and beyond. While everyone could benefit from cleaner air, there are specific populations who should seriously consider investing in an air purifier. Individuals with allergies to pets, mold, dust, mites, and other indoor allergens may feel congested in the comfort of their homes. That’s where an air purifier comes to the rescue. The use of a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in the home can help trap these allergens to reduce a person’s exposure while indoors. Many different models range in small and large cleaning capacities. Some air purifiers contain more features such as multiple fan speeds, night mode, LED lights, and permanent filters. There is sure to be an air purifier on this list that meets your specific needs.