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Best air purifier

Winix HR900
(Image credit: Amazon)

We spend a lot of our time indoors. But the air inside might not be as clean as you think. Allergens and dirt can cause health problems, with typical indoor pollutants including pollen, dust, mold or fungi spores, bacteria, cigarette smoke, fumes from cleaning products, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from things like your carpet, furniture, or paint.  

A good air purifier will quickly clean your air, removing harmful pollutants and increasing the overall pleasantness of your environment. Whether you’re looking for an air purifier for allergies or smoke, you have pets, or you live in an area with polluted outdoor air, we’ve got you covered in this guide. 

Best overall

best air filter

(Image credit: Amazon)

LEVOIT air purifier (opens in new tab)

Captures all the inferior particles in the air

The LEVOIT air purifier only takes 12 minutes to purify the air in your room from a variety of allergens. It tackles small particles, including dust and pollen, and removes odors from the air as well. The LEVOIT refreshes the air in your home five times an hour and easily purifies rooms up to 219 square feet.

Pros:

  • Quickly purifies
  • Cleans up to 219 square feet of space
  • Cylinder design

Cons:

  • Requires special filters for some antigens

This air purifier is cylinder-shaped, so it draws in and purifies the air all around it and not just from a single side. Plus it uses an ozone-free method of cleaning to avoid putting harmful ozone into your air. There is a sleep mode, timer, and filter indicator to let you know when it needs to be replaced. LEVOIT has several different filters that are designed to remove specific allergens. For example, one filter will remove smog, toxins, and VOCs. Another filter is for pet owners and clears the air for pet dander. However, these must be purchased and used separately, which is the only real hassle of this air purifier.

Best value

best air filter

(Image credit: Amazon)

Winix air purifier (opens in new tab)

Simply clean your filter

The Winix 5500-2 air purifier comes with a carbon filter that can be washed and reused over and over. This carbon filter is great for eliminating odors in the air while a second, True HEPA filter, pulls small debris out of the air. This includes dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens.  

Pros:

  • Three filter system
  • Reusable carbon filter
  • Energy saving

Cons:

  • Low airflow during sleep mode

The Winix 5500-2 handles rooms up to 350 square feet including family rooms and kitchens. It has a sleep mode that runs quieter at night when set in a bedroom. However, there isn’t as much airflow while running in sleep mode. The Winix air purifier uses a smart sensor system to test the air in your room to know when to start cleaning and when to wait to make it a good eco-friendly choice, too.

Best for pet owners

best air filter

(Image credit: Amazon)

Honeywell air purifier (opens in new tab)

Great filtering

We consider the Honeywell HPA300 one of the best air purifiers, especially for pet owners. Its four air cleaning levels effectively clean up to 465 square feet, circulating the air every 12 minutes. It easily captures pollen, dust, smoke, and pet dander.

Pros:

  • Excellent filter effectiveness
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • No timer, sleep mode, or remote

This air purifier is built with quality materials and should easily last up to five years before needing to be replaced. However, despite its excellent ability to filter over 99% of airborne antigens, this unit doesn’t have a timer, sleep mode, or remote control. Its digital controls are easy to set.

Best for large rooms

Blueair Pure 211+

(Image credit: Amazon)

Blueair Blue Pure 211+ air purifier (opens in new tab)

Takes care of more air

The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ is a well-designed air purifier, made for large rooms, with great purification performance. Its 3 stage filter system doesn’t include a True HEPA filter, which is quickly becoming the standard for air purifiers, but it does include its own particle filter that uses HEPASilent technology to combine mechanical and electrostatic filtration, still capturing minute particles. 

Pros:

  • Great room coverage
  • Good CADR rating

Cons:

  • No true HEPA filter
  • No sensor
  • Expensive

Combined with 360-degree air intake and its powerful motor, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ is an air purifier that performs brilliantly and has the CADR ratings to back it up. It lacks an air quality sensor and auto mode, which makes it a pricey choice. But it’s still a great air purifier that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Best for travel

cheap air purifier deals

(Image credit: Amazon)

Coway Airmega air purifier (opens in new tab)

Lightweight and portable

This Coway air purifier is a good all-rounder unit that delivers fresh, clean air while also being portable. It weighs only 12.3 pounds. This air purifier has an effective four-state filtration process with a washable pre-filter for large particles and a carbon filter that catches odors.

Pros:

  • Energy efficient
  • Automatic filter controls

Cons:

  • No sleep mode

The Coway Airmega has a HEPA filter to suck in tiny particles like cigarette smoke and pollen. There is also an optional ionizer. The Airmega is quiet and comes within an auto mode that detects the quality of the surrounding air and operates accordingly while also being energy efficient. It is missing a sleep mode, but even with its regular settings it only produces 58dB of sound, which is as loud as an electric toothbrush.

Best for small areas

KOIOS air purifier

(Image credit: Amazon)

KOIOS air purifier (opens in new tab)

Clean odor-free air

The KOIOS air purifier is compact enough to set on a table or desk, so it’s perfect for smaller areas like your office or bedroom, handling living areas up to 55 cubic meters (about 155 square feet). A nightlight feature makes the unit a good choice for children’s rooms. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Nightlight feature
  • HEPA filter

Cons:

  • Single-button settings

This air purifier uses a HEPA filter to remove allergens. This includes dust, mold, smoke, and pet dander. It also eliminates odors, so the air smells clean, too. The KOIOS is simple to use by simply pressing a single button to turn it on, off, control the fan speed and turn on the nightlight. While this isn’t complicated it is a little temperamental and you can easily miss the setting you need.

Best smart air purifier

Dyson Pure Cool Tower

(Image credit: Best Buy)

Dyson Pure Cool Tower (opens in new tab)

Great filtering capabilities

The Dyson Pure Cool Tower is both a floor fan and an air purifier that uses smart technology to give you feedback about your air quality through its LCD display and its mobile app. This includes overall air quality, temperature, humidity, and particle types so you see what activities cause them to increase.

Pros:

  • Air quality feedback
  • Fan functionality

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No ionizer

In auto mode, the air purifier will automatically adjust its filtering power according to the air quality it detects, making it very efficient. Its 350 degrees of oscillation directs airflow and intake for greater control of air purification. All settings can be controlled on the unit or on the app. Because the Dyson doubles as a fan, it will circulate cool air as it purifies.

Best for allergies

Rabbit Air MinusA2

(Image credit: Amazon)

RabbitAir MinusA2 (opens in new tab)

Efficient and versatile

The RabbitAir MinusA2 is one of the best air purifiers that comes with six different filters to remove so many antigens, including particles that are very, very small and those that affect allergy and asthma sufferers.

Pros:

  • Very energy efficient
  • Removed more particles than most purifiers
  • Change filter indicator

Cons:

  • Expensive

It has a built-in quality sensor that automatically knows when to start and stop clearing the air, and alerts you when the filters need to be replaced. It only uses 62 watts while running, so it won’t affect your electric bill too much. It also has a unique design that makes it very attractive. It’s very thin so whether it’s mounted on the wall or set on your desk it doesn’t take up too much space. The front panel is also customizable so it will display artwork that blends in with the décor of your home. The RabbitAir MinusA2 is one of the most expensive air purifiers out there, but it is also one of the most efficient when it comes to air filtration.

Choosing the best air purifier for you 

When buying an air purifier, the most important question you need to ask yourself is what exactly do you want the system to do? Specific air purifiers, often because of how they have been designed, are experts at certain types of purification, while others have a focus on cleaning specific room sizes.

For example, if you have pets in your home and have one or more family members who suffer from allergies, then you should probably be looking for an air purifier that scores well in the removal of pet dander (flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers).

If you’re looking to outfit an open-plan apartment, then you should be looking for a different air purifier than if you are trying to clean the air in a house bedroom—after all, you’re going to want to consider smoke.

Price and portability are also factors to consider. We think you should be ideally looking to spend a couple of hundred dollars on an air purifier. However, that doesn’t mean you should discredit models that are cheaper or more expensive especially if your specific needs will benefit from one of these models.

Air purifier vs ozone generators

Air purifiers aren’t regulated like ozone generators, so it’s important to be aware of what each product does. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know.

Ionizers

Ionizers are generally the same as a typical air purifier in that they have several layers of filtration to clean your indoor air. They differ in the fact that they attach negatively charged ions onto positively charged dust and allergen particles. By attaching to the dust, the negatively charged ions cause the particles to drop out of the air in front of your ionizer unit. This element of an ionizer s air filtering process means you'll need to vacuum the floor around the unit frequently. Ionizers sometimes produce excess ozone as well.

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a gas that occurs naturally in our atmosphere and unnaturally at ground level. When it occurs naturally in the atmosphere, ozone acts as a protective layer against the sun s harmful UV rays. Nearer to ground level, ozone is created when air pollutants expelled from power plants, cars, etc., react chemically to the sunlight hence ozone creation is more common during summer months. Ground-level ozone is harmful to the respiratory system, especially your lungs. according to the Environmental Protection Agency, ozone has been known to reduce lung function, exacerbate asthma and make your lungs more vulnerable to infection.

Ozone Generators

With all of the research against the creation and inhalation of ozone, it amazes us that ozone generator manufacturers still produce and market their products as air purifiers. They may still have some of the same technology as an air purifier, but because they also create ozone, they should not be used by anyone suffering from asthma, or by health-conscious individuals.

Ozone generators are mainly marketed for their ability to remove unwanted odors from a room. This is very true; the creation of ozone does eliminate pesky cooking, pet-related, or smoke odors. When ozone is released in your home it will smell just like it does after a thunderstorm, fresh and clean that smell is ozone. However, if you are truly looking to purify the air, look closely for air purifiers that advertise ozone-free technology.

Ozone generators are dangerous to use if you don’t know what you’re doing. While running, no living thing can be in the area including small pets and plants. Many ozone generators will clear the odors out of an entire house. And it runs for several hours, so be prepared to be away from your home for a while as it’s running. Ozone will linger in the air at dangerous levels for some time after the generator turns off. Read the instructions of any ozone generator before using it, so you are aware of when it is safe to return to your home.

Regulations

The scary truth is that many devices in your home produce ozone byproduct anything with an electrical motor like TVs, computers, electric mixers, hairdryers, and ceiling fans. The Food and Drug Administration and EPA regulate most of these types of products, requiring ozone output to be no more than 0.05 ppm. Air purifiers are not regulated as most home appliances are, thus there is a danger that the unit could be producing excess ozone. When purchasing an air purifier, look for a filter that is UL listed, has an ETL mark, or is certified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. All of these organizations, though not government-run, are independent companies that test for safe levels of ozone production and compliance with other safety codes.

Why trust us?

At Top Ten Reviews, we recommend the best products to enhance your life. As expert curators, we handpick products based on quality and usefulness to positively impact your day-to-day, from cart to doorstep. We take our responsibility seriously — testing products, reading reviews, and sourcing knowledgeable outlets to ensure our selections are worthy of your time and money. We deliver detailed product overviews, balancing objective information with subjective opinions, so making the best choice for your home and lifestyle is as easy as possible.

Sophie is Home Editor at Top Ten Reviews. Starting off her career in print journalism, Sophie then moved to digital and now specializes in lifestyle, home interiors and social media. While she has scooped awards for her journalism, Sophie likes to whip up a storm in the kitchen when she's not writing.