The Best Air Purifier for a Breath of Fresh Air
Good indoor air quality is important. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is growing evidence that the air inside our homes can be even more polluted than the air outside. Irritants such as bacteria, mold, mildew, viruses, animal dander, radon, pesticides, and more are common in homes, says Steve Newcomer, an HVAC instructor at Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania. Considering that the average American spends some 90 percent of their daily lives indoors, that could mean breathing a lot of polluted air. What can you do? Get an air purifier. The right one can significantly decrease the number of pollutants in your home—and help you breathe better.
How We Selected These Air Purifiers
Every air purifier on this list has been thoroughly evaluated and vetted by our team of test editors. We research the market, survey user reviews, speak with product managers and designers, and use our own experience using these air purifiers or similar models to determine the best options. We evaluated these air purifiers on performance, value, and aesthetics to come up with these top models. Here are 14 awesome air purifiers that will help you breathe easier, at home or in the office.
Best Overall: Molekule
The award-winning Molekule combines a sleek design with dual filtration. First, it captures large pollutants like dander using a prefilter. In the next stage, its PECO filter destroys extremely fine particles. How small? The manufacturer says this second stage will destroy bacteria, viruses and other pollutants that are 1000 times smaller than those that the average air purifier can handle. We like that it looks like a stainless-steel trash can created by an Apple engineer—that you’ll be proud to display in any room. Although it’s expensive, the only other way to get your rooms’ air this clean is to install a purifier in your home's HVAC system.
Best for the Office: GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1
With a small footprint, this speaker shaped air purifier, from GermGuardian, easily fits on a shelf or desktop. Designed for small rooms and offices, it uses a three-step process to clean and purify the air. A true HEPA filter captures dust and allergens, an ultra-violet C light kills germs, and a charcoal filter absorbs odors. It has three speeds, with an ulra-quiet low speed setting. The one replaceable filter only needs to be replaced every six to eight months.
Best for Pet Owners: Winix 9500
This air purifier is designed specifically for people with pets. It has a washable pre-filter to catch large particles and hair, a true HEPA filter that captures 99.97 percent of pollutants, a CleanCel anti-bacterial treatment, a carbon sheet filter to control odors, and PlasmaWave technology that creates air cleaning hydroxyls. The five-stage process will control odors, capture pet dander and allergens down to 0.3 microns, neutralize viruses and bacteria, as well as filter volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Auto mode on this unit, uses odor and dust sensors, to automatically adjust fan speed to keep up with changes in air quality.
Least Noticeable: Alen BreatheSmart Classic
Featuring a front panel available in several colors and finishes, the Alen BreatheSmart Classic can blend in with any décor. Ideal for large rooms and spaces, it can clean 1100 square feet every 30 minutes. The BreatheSmart filters out allergens, dust, pet dander, and heavy odors with proprietary HEPA OdorCell technology. Smart sensors detect airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, and the unit can self-adjust to match a changing environment.
Best for Flu Season: RxAir Purification System
The RxAir is an air sanitizing system, not an air filtration system. This means that it won’t do anything for those skin cells that are floating in most air, but it will kill 99 percent of airborne bacteria and viruses, including the flu, H1N1, pneumonia, MRSA, strep, TB, the common cold, and even the measles, in case you have some non-vaxxer friends.
Best for Bedrooms: Coway 2-in-1 Air Purifier
The Coway air purifier uses a three-stage filtration system with a HEPA filter, plus it works as a white noise machine. The fan is quiet and smooth enough to not disturb sleep, and the white noise machine comes programmed with three nature sounds, white noise, and two lullabies, in case you want to use it in a nursery.
Best Budget Option: Partu Air Purifier
Partu’s Air Purifier offers a lot of filtration without the bells and whistles that can break the bank. It features four-stage filtration that includes a pre-filter, a HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter, and anion technology to remove particles from the air. It filters allergens, smoke, dust, pet dander, germs, bacteria and mold from rooms up to 160 square feet. Use it in the bedroom and enjoy the ultra-quiet sleep mode at only 25 decibels, plus a soothing night-light.
Best for Fans of Space-Age Design: Dyson Pure Hot + Cool
Dyson has improved on their popular air-purfiying tower with the new Pure Hot + Cool. It automatically senses and reports air-quality levels on an LCD display or via the Dyson app. It can measure ultrafine particles (PM 2.5), allergens (PM10), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Sealed HEPA and activated carbon filters capture pollutants and help reduce dust, pollen, and other allergens. Plus it functions as a space heater or cooling fan.
Best Value: Germ Guardian AC4825 3-in-1
$149.99 $89.58 (40% off)
GermGuardian’s full room air purifier uses three effective filters to clean the air, without a lot of extras that can drive up the price. A HEPA filter traps dust and allergens, a charcoal filter traps odors, and a UV-C filter reduces bacteria, viruses, germs, and mold spores—everything you need to clean the air, and nothing you don’t.
Best for Humid Areas: GermGuardian 3-in-1 Air Purifier
$149.99 $99.99 (33% off)
This air cleaner includes a true HEPA filter, UV-C light to kill germs, and an antimicrobial agent that is added to the filter to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the filter itself. This makes it ideal to use in humid and moist conditions.
Best for Small Spaces: TruSens Air Purifier
Perfect for smaller spaces, the TruSens Air Purifier features dual airflow to ensure full room coverage and eliminate dead spots. The attractive, modern design, means you’ll be happy to have it out in the open where it can do a better job. It features a carbon pre-filter, HEPA filter, and UV filter to prevent recirculating live germs that can build up on the filters.
Best for Large Spaces: Airpura P600 Air Purifier
Airpura makes robust purifiers for large spaces and a wide range of VOCs, microorganisms, and airborne particles. The P600 uses a HEPA filter with 40 square feet of surface area, 18 pounds of activated carbon to cover spaces up to 2000 square feet. This unit is especially suited for applications where harmful gasses and microorganisms are a concern.
Best for Allergies: Levoit Air Purifier
Get rid of allergens and pesky odors in rooms up to 160 square feet with Levoit’s air purifier for home allergies. With a high-efficiency activated carbon filter and true HEPA filter, it eliminates odors, airborne bacteria, dust mites, allergens, mold spores, and more. It’s ideal for keeping the air fresh and clear bedrooms, with a silent sleep mode to help you get undisturbed rest. It also has a gentle nightlight with two brightness levels.
Smallest Purifier: WSTA Air Purifier
This tiny, eight-inch tall air purifier by WSTA is as attractive as it is functional. With true HEPA and active carbon filters, it can eliminate odors, dust, pollen, VOCs, and other allergens from the air in small rooms. Powered by a USB cable or the included AC adapter, it’s small and convenient enough to keep on your desk or take with you wherever you go.