Every single air purifier in this best of comparison has fantastic performance, but they range from small models that can cover just one room to large ones with coverage areas exceeding thousand square feet. You’ll need more information before deciding on what type is right for your home!
We put our noses to the grindstone and tested every single one of them.
The Contenders: There are many different types out there for you to choose from! From traditional HEPA filters, or bleeding edge PECO ones- it’s hard we find a good enough machine that doesn’t cost an arm (or at least some seriously expensive model).
How do the best Air Purifiers look?
What Does an air purifier Do?
An air purifier can help you feel better during allergy season. It filters out pollen, mold, pet dander, and other common allergens from your environment.
They can also help remove harmful particles and disliked odors, allowing you to breathe easier and enhance your air quality.
How Air Purifiers Can Help?
The most straightforward way to improve indoor air quality is by removing the source of pollutants and ventilation with new, clean outdoor air. However, this might not always be possible so roomy purifiers can come in handy!
Room air purifiers are made to clean the air in one room, not the entire house. (A whole-house system is connected to your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.) Room air purifiers can help reduce indoor pollution, but they own boundaries to what they can do.
What’s good air purifiers do?
The air purifiers that are good at cleaning the air in our tests also do a good job of filtering dust, smoke, and pollen from the air. study of home air purifiers shows that using HEPA filters results in lowerings of 50% or higher of particulate matter. In one 2018 study of about 130 families, filtration resulted in about a 30 percent drop in uncultivated particles, such as dust.
But how does that affect your health? A lot of studies have been done on this subject. Studies have been conducted in Vancouver, British Columbia; Taipei, Taiwan; and Massachusetts, and they all showed that air purification has a positive effect on cardiovascular health.
The EPA reviewed 8 studies that found that purified air improved health conditions in at least one area, like allergies. And participants with asthma in a 2018 study by the University of California, Davis, reported a 20 percent reduction in-clinic visits.
However, the scientific and medical communities have not yet linked air purifier use to health benefits because reported outcomes are inconsistent among participants. There’s also been a very little long-term study on this topic!
What Air Purifiers Don’t Do
An air purifier can remove allergens while they are in the air. However, larger allergens, such as mites, mold, and pollen settle quickly to the ground and the purifier cannot capture them in time.
Things we don’t know yet
What you should know about radon is that it’s not just a threat to your home’s air quality, but also an invisible killer. There is not enough research on air purifiers that address gaseous pollutants as a group, so it is unclear how effective they are in that regard. There is also limited data on the effect of ionizer air purifiers on health.
Analyses have shown that purifiers are ineffective at tackling this dangerous gas and there isn’t enough research on which types of the device will work best for combating specific gaseous pollutants like pollution rain or smog from cars; so we can only hope these new technologies come out soon!
Technology terms- You need to Know
The Thermodynamic Sterilization System (TSS): is a purification technology that uses a ceramic core to heat up to around 400°F.
photocatalyst filter: This removes toxic fumes and chemicals.
ENERGY STAR Certified: Products that save money and protect the environment by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The AHAM’s (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers): Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) measures how well an air purifier filters smoke, pollen and dust.
CADR rating means
The clean air delivery rate (CADR) number is a metric developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers to help consumers understand how effective a device is at filtering various particles in specific room sizes. for understanding, A CADR of 250 for pollen means the air purifier can reduce the concentration of pollen by 250 cubic feet per minute.
For example, some air purifiers such as the Blueair Pure 411 have been rated at 17 dB while others like Austin Air’s Health Mate HM400 open up with a maximum of 60dB Sounds similar to rustling leaves or machinery from 100 feet away
Types of Air Purifiers
Well let me tell ya – there are several technologies at work here! The type that’s best for YOU will depend upon what symptoms YOU suffer from most often when it comes down to indoor Air quality
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) Air Purifiers
Ultraviolet air purifiers use ultraviolet light to kill viruses, bacteria, and other harmful things in your home. They are inspired by how hospitals use special ultraviolet light bulbs to disinfect patient rooms and laboratories.
In order for the UV light to work, it needs to be powerful and the exposure must last for a long time, minutes, or even hours. This is different than the few seconds that is typical with most UVGI air purifiers. Residential UV air purifiers are small, compact machines that filter the air in your home. The machine breaks down bacteria and other harmful particles in the air by using ultraviolet light. Prices range from $50-$800 depending on the model you choose.
HEPA Air Purifiers
HEPA air purifiers are a type of air filter that remove 99.7% of all particles larger than 0.2 microns from the air in your home. This causes them very sufficient at removing pollen, dander, mold, and dust from the air. The cost of a HEPA air purifier goes between $30 and $300 depending on the model you choose.
HEPA air filters are popular because they remove most particles and pollutants from the air. However, they must be replaced every month and they can’t trap very small particles like germs, viruses, and bacteria.
Note: Some filters that are labeled “HEPA-type” or “HEPA-like” may not actually meet the requirements of a true HEPA filter, but they may still work well in our tests.
Activated carbon air purifiers
Sorbent filters use activated carbon to capture some odor-causing molecules from the air. They may also capture some gases, but they are not very effective against formaldehyde, ammonia, or nitrogen oxide.
These air purifiers are good at clearing smoke, odors, fumes, and gasses from the air. odors Sensitive people should go for an activated carbon air purifier because it can help remove the smell. Most activated carbon air purifiers include HEPA filters that also remove particles from the air.
Many air purifiers have both an activated carbon filter and a pleated filter. The activated carbon filter catches smaller particles, while the pleated filter catches larger particles. However, the activated carbon filter needs to be replaced more often – every three months, as opposed to every six to 12 months for the pleated filter. The replacements of Activated carbon filters can cost up to $50 each. Make sure you budget for replacements accordingly.
Electronic air purifiers:
Electronic air purifiers work by charging particles in the air. This makes them stick to plates on the machine or to nearby surfaces. However, ionizer hub does not typically test electronic air purifiers or recommend them because they can produce ozone. (we have tested some in the beginning but we won’t recommend buying them until certain conditions meet)
Ionic Air Purifiers
ionic air purifiers are very quiet and do not have a motor. They emit negative ions into the air. These negative ions bond with dust, making the dust heavy so it falls out of the air. Some ionic air purifiers contain electrostatic precipitators which trap positively charged particles to a metal plate within the air purifier.
Ionic air purifiers are capable to extract most pollutants from the air. Including dust, dander, allergens, smoke, viruses, bacteria, and fumes. Some models do need to be washed regularly in order to maintain functionality and fully remove air pollutants; however, the new iWave-R is able to clean itself.
The price of these purifiers ranges from 30$ to 300$ based on the type of model.
Photocatalytic oxidation Air Purifiers
Photocatalytic oxidation is a process that uses ultraviolet radiation and a photocatalyst, such as titanium dioxide, to produce hydroxyl radicals. These radicals then oxidize gaseous contaminants. Depending on the pollutant, this reaction can create toxic byproducts like ozone, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide.
We do not currently test PCO technology. There have been rare area studies done on the significance of PCO air purifiers, but one laboratory analysis executed by researchers at Syracuse University reported that the devices did not actually remove any of the VOCs commonly found in indoor air.
The types of filters in air purifiers
Carbon air filters are the most common filters used to remove gases. They work by filtering the gas through a bed of activated carbon. This carbon is designed to absorb volatile organic compounds, which are commonly released from everyday products. Carbon air filters can also be used to remove smells from the air, such as tobacco smoke. However, they cannot remove fine particles like mold, dust, or pollen from the air.
HEPA filters are the best type of filter to get for your home. They remove 99.97% of all allergens and pollutants from the air, including mold spores and dust. They also have a MERV rating of 16, which means they remove even the smallest particles from the air, including tobacco and bacteria.
Mechanical filters Air Purifiers
Mechanical filters are the kind of filters that we test. Air purifiers with pleated filters use fans to push air through a dense web of fine fibers. These fibers trap particles. Filters with very fine mesh are called HEPA filters. They are certified to collect 99.97 percent of particles of a certain size (0.3 micrometers in diameter—smoke and paint pigments, for example).
There are some limitations to mechanical filters. They do not help with gases or odors. And they can be expensive to maintain. Mechanical filters need to be replaced every six to 12 months; they can cost up to $200 per filter but typically max out at $80.
UV filters use short-wave ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses. When air passes through the HVAC unit, the UV lamps disinfect it with germicidal radiation. UV filters are excellent for killing microorganisms that could be hazardous to your health, including mold spores.
Electrostatic filters use small cotton and paper fibers to create static. This static attracts dust and other airborne particles. The magnetism is strong enough to keep these particles from spreading throughout your home. This makes them a good choice for people who need a filter that can combat allergens.
Washable filters are a more environmentally friendly option than disposable air filters. They usually cost more money at first, but they last longer so you won’t have to keep buying new ones. You can just wash them and reuse them over and over again!
To ensure that your washable filters work as they should, you need to maintain them well. This involves following the maintenance instructions that come with the filters. One of the most important things to remember is to make sure the filter is completely dry before putting it back in place.
There are different types of air filters for HVAC systems. Media filters are one type that can provide more benefits than standard filters with high MERV ratings. Media filters have the same level of filtration as a high-MERV filter, but they don’t have the negative consequences of airflow or static pressure. Instead, media filters have a greater surface area, which prevents significant static pressure while providing better filtration.
Media filters are very easy to maintain and great for filtering bacteria and other small airborne pollutants. The filtered dirt is sealed into the filter, preventing it from being expelled back into your home. Media filters are also sturdy and cost-effective, needing to be replaced as infrequently as once or twice a year.
SPUN GLASS FILTERS
One of the most common types of HVAC filters is the fiberglass filter. This type of filter is made by spinning strands of fiberglass together. It is cost-effective and disposable, and it protects air conditioners and furnaces from debris. Spun glass is one of the most effective types of AC filters, but if you are looking for an air purifier, a more high-tech option would be better.
There are two types of HVAC filters: polyester fabrics and cotton folds. Pleated filters are made with one of these materials and have a MERV rating between 5 and 13. While they can filter dust and other airborne pollutants, they don’t work as well as some other filters and don’t oppose airflow as much.
What to consider when choosing an air purifier?
The size of your room matters when it comes to choosing an air purifier. A larger room requires a higher-capacity air purifier in order to keep the air clean. If you have a smaller room, you can get away with a less powerful purifier.
one thing that you must note is An AHAM Verified seal on the air purifier means that it can handle the room size that is listed on the seal. but not every purifier can match the promise they make about covering the mentioned area.
Generally, you should replace filters (or clean those that can be vacuumed) every 6 to 12 months for pleated filters and every 3 months for activated carbon filters.
The indicator light on most of the units we test tells you when to change or clean the filter. The cost of filters varies a lot. In our tests of large air purifiers, we found that they cost from $20 to more than $200 each. Filters with odor-removing carbon can cost up to $50.
There are a few things you should look for on the packaging of an air purifier. The first is the Energy Star logo. Air purifiers must run around the clock to be effective, and you should factor in the energy cost when you shop. Energy Star-approved purifiers are 40 % more energy-efficient than normal models.
The AHAM Verified seal means that the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers has tested the model. Many air purifiers have undergone AHAM’s voluntary certification program, which provides information on how much clean air the purifier can produce and what size room it is good for.
The CADR rating reflects how much clean air an air purifier produces each minute. This is measured in cubic feet. So, for example, if an air purifier has a CADR rating of 250 for dust particles, it will lower the level of dust particles to the same concentration as if you added 250 cubic feet of clean air each minute.
The higher the CADR, the more efficient the air purifier is. air purifiers with HEPA filters often gain the highest CADR. In our tests, a CADR above 240 is Excellent; 240 to 180, Very Good; 179 to 120, Good; 119 to 60, Fair; and anything under 60 is Poor.
There are distinct ratings for removing tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen. Choose the rating that is best for your main pollutant of concern. For instance, if you live with a smoker or use the fireplace regularly, select an air purifier that has a high CADR for tobacco smoke.
The best way to choose an air purifier is not just by how well it performs but also by what you can live with. Machines should always be running, and if they’re too loud then maybe there’s something wrong?
You can find out how many decibels a model operates on its packaging or website listing before you buy it. Or check our air purifier ratings; we rate models according to noise levels in high-speed and lower speeds settings
If you want to make sure that your air purifier doesn’t bother or irritate those around it, consider these tips. First off: run the unit on its high-speed setting when not in use and turn down Low if nearby; second of all buy one with certified filters for larger areas which will reduce any distractions caused by noise no matter what speed level is selected (this includes both low AND higher speeds).
A person would need very sensitive ears (or else spend hours every day protecting themselves) if they wanted peace and quiet!
To make sure your air purifier is running efficiently, you need to keep an eye on how much power it uses. If the cost of electricity will affect what kind or where in-house equipment like this one then is mindful when deciding which model best suits each individual’s needs!
Small air purifiers such as Levoit-LV-H132 use less energy than larger ones, but they clean a smaller area.
On the other hand, air purifiers that are made for large rooms(coway airmag 400) and that have high fan speeds use more energy.
Some air purifiers are lighter and more mobile than others. The smallest air purifiers sit on a desk or shelf, and they are easy to move from room to room.
Some larger and heavier air purifiers are best kept stationary in one place in your home. But if you need to move it around, some come with casters so you can effortlessly move them. If you want to use your air purifier in your home office during the day, your living room in the evening, and your bedroom overnight, look for a smaller device or one that you can easily roll around.
You will want to find an air purifier that is the right size for your home. You will also want to find one that is portable so you can move it around if necessary.
The convenience of an app-controlled air purifier is that you can remotely monitor its performance, receive alerts when it’s time for a filter change, and control all settings from your smartphone or tablet.
Quick tips for choosing an air purifier
- Choose an air purifier that is the right size for the room you want to put it in.
- Compare the CADR ratings to see how quickly the air purifier can filter the air.
- Look for an air purifier that is good at removing pollutants that are specific to your home or health needs. This might include pet dander or cigarette smoke, for example.
- Choose an air purifier that uses a HEPA filter. This is the best type of filter for indoor air purification.
- Look at the noise levels of an air purifier before you buy it. Decibels are listed on the product specs so that you can see how loud the machine is. If you’re using it in a place where noise is already an issue, you’ll want a quieter machine.
- You will need to budget for the air purifier’s ongoing maintenance and electricity costs.
An extra feature that you should look for
These extras can add convenience to an air purifier, but they’re not always necessary. For example, you could set a calendar reminder to change your filter based on your air purifier’s maintenance schedule, so you don’t need the filter replacement light.
- The dimming and display shut-off options give you the power to conserve energy when you don’t need the full light display. You can choose how long the display stays on, as well as how bright it is.
- The filter-replacement indicator light is a fantastic way to stay on top of your filter maintenance and ensure that your air quality is always at its best.
- Programmable timer
- Digital assistant and app integration can help you manage your home more efficiently.
- Remote control unit for quick settings
How to use an air purifier wisely?
Clean or replace filters
Filters typically last about 6-12 months depending on what type they were made from (pleated vs activated carbon). Make sure that when changing these vital pieces of equipment small enough so as not to damage anything inside by handles gently grasp both ends then twist apart evenly until violence occurs–this will avoid causing any damage along definitely guarantee thoroughness but also save yourself some stress too
You should clean or replace air filters regularly. An air purifier cannot run efficiently if it has a dirty filter. Typically, you should replace filters every six to 12 months for pleated filters and every three months for activated carbon filters.
Adjust the speed
To avoid noise disruptions, we suggest running the unit on its high-speed setting when you’re not in the room and turning it down to low when nearby. Or buy an air purifier certified for a larger area so that even though they operate at different speeds they can still work effectively together to improve the air quality in your home.
Change the direction of the airflow/place it smartly
Place your air purifier in a spot where you spend most of the time. For many people, this is their bedroom- so if that’s what works best for them and ensures consistent quality airflow throughout all areas; go ahead with it! Make sure not to place anything near curtains or other fabrics because obstructing flow will decrease efficiency rating significantly (and may cause problems).
If you notice that the air purifier is not working as effectively as it should, try changing the direction of airflow. This will help to ensure that all parts of the room are being reached by the purifier.