Written by- James Galea Published on- April 24, 2018
I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you with my personal experience that-
An air purifier really helps with breathing issues and improves the indoor air quality.
However, finding the best air purifier that is both powerful and good is quite difficult to find, And to help you with this I have written this free guide.
I wanted to share my experience on air cleaners and thus created a complete post with handpicked recommendations and useful info.
This guide will help you know different filtration systems, find latest certified purifiers, get buying tips, FAQs and more.
But before we get started here is a quick list for 10 of the best air purifiers with great popularity in 2018.
Honeywell HPA300- True HEPA Allergen Remover
20.08" X 22.28" X 10.83"
465 Square Feet
4 level cleaning system and Auto-off
Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A Highest rated Air Purifier
21.4" X 7" X 20.25"
815 Square Feet
Ultra-quite system and customizable filter option
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty
16.8” X 18.3” X 9.6”
364 Square Feet
Ionizer and Eco mode
GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Purifier
12" X 23.34" X 8.5"
160 Square Feet
Winix 5500-2 (updated Air purifer)
36" X 71" X 31"
360 Square Feet
15" X 28" X 16
1125 Square Feet
Original HyperHEPA® filtration
Austin Air Healthmate HM-400
14.5" X 14.5" X 23"
1500 Square Feet
4 Stage filtration system
Alen BreatheSmart Customizable Air Purifier
17.75" X 26.75" X 10
1100 Square Feet
Customizable filter bundle and WhipserMax technology
Airmega 300 Smart air purifier
13.6" X 21.2" X 13.6"
1256 Square Feet
Real time monitoring and smart mode
Dyson Pure Cool link WiFi Enabled
7.5" X 40.1" X 4.3"
400 Square Feet
Real time air quality analytics
What is an Air Purifier?
An air purifier is a cleaning device made for eliminating pollutants from air and improving the air quality. Air cleaners can remove dust, smoke, odors, bacteria, pollen and many other contaminants that could affect your breathing.
What are the different types of filters in an Air Purifier?
There are over 10 types of air filters available right now, but you will mostly find these 5 filtration systems. Almost every tested air purifier contains HEPA filter and activated carbon filter.
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters have an effective purification system and work better than ionic cleaners.
A HEPA filter can eliminate 99.97% of particles sizing 0.3 microns and is very useful for air sanitization. HEPA-filter can remove bacteria, dust, mold spores, dust mites, and allergens. These filters are used in residents and hospitals.
Activated Carbon Filter
Carbon is reacted with oxygen to make it highly absorbent, and this is what they call- Activated carbon. Activate-carbon can readily absorb the pollutants by bonding and trapping them within the filter. Carbon filters are used for removing smoke, odors, chemical fumes and other volatile organic compounds.
Do you know that light of particular wavelength can efficiently destroy bacteria and molds? This happens when titanium dioxide is exposed to UV light. High-intensity UV light easily kills most of the disease-causing pathogens. It is used for creating sterile environments for those with bad immunity.
The ionic filter produces a flow of negatively charged ions. These ions attract the oppositely charged ions. The de-ionized air is then filtered out and takes airborne particles along with it.
Ionic filters are inexpensive and can easily remove ultra-fine particles sizing 0.01 microns. You can use this filter for removing bacteria, virus, and smoke. It offers quite functioning. Here is an example of Ionic filter air purifier. The only problem with this filter is that it produces ozone as a by-product which is harmful to us.
Pre-filters are designed for capturing large dust particles and for boosting the efficiency of an air purifier. This filter is important, because in its absence, bigger particles will clog the HEPA filter. Prefilters capture large debris including dust, pet dander and fur.
How much polluted is my area and do I really need an air purifier?
Dust and smoke aren’t the only pollutants. There are many different airborne particles responsible for air pollution. To find out how polluted is your nearby air, check on this page. Alternatively, you can search the specific details for pollution in your region via Google search. Checking this would also help you know whether or not you need an air purifier.
Here are the different types of pollutants along with their size-
• Pollen (5-100 microns)
• Mold (2-20 microns)
• Pet Dander (0.5-100 microns)
• Dust Mite Debris (0.5-50 microns)
• Bacteria (0.35-10 microns)
Air purifier is not a must if your region is not too polluted. Nevertheless, there are many other possible reasons for getting an air purifier; you might want a purifier if you have one of the following problems-
-You live in a sensitive environment with biochemical factories near you.
-You are allergic to pet dander, pollen or dust or if you have a weak immune system and get easily affected by bacteria, germs, and other pathogens.
-You live in a polluted area with high level of smoke or you are suffering from Asthma or have some breathing-related problems.
Nevertheless, people often buy purifier for merely breathing healthy indoor air and improving the air quality. Air cleaners are also used for commercial areas, medical centers or office usage.
How much does an air purifier costs?
A good quality air purifier will normally cost you $100-$200 for small areas, but it could extend to as much as $700 and more for large spaces. It depends on the coverage area of the air cleaner, filter type, brand, quality and additional smart features. But one thing you should know is that air purifier’s cost doesn’t relate to its efficiency. Don’t believe me? See for yourself! These are the test performed to find out the air purifying efficiency for different brands.
What is CADR?
CADR stands for Clean Air delivery rate. It is a value-in-number assigned by the AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers).
CADR is determined after testing and evaluating an air purifier for its efficiency to eliminate tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen. You will find a CADR ranging from-
• Tobacco Smoke 10-450 CADR
• Dust 10-400 CADR
• Pollen 25-450 CADR
Take a lookat different CADR rating for different air purifier models. CADR is one of the many factors for deciding the best air purifier, and there are many more things you need to consider, that I’m going to talk in the end.
So, without further ado, here are the Reviews for best rated purifiers.
Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover HPA300- Best for dust and allergens
If I had to rate Honeywell HPA300 for silent operation, it would get 8.9/10. Honeywell does a great job at three levels (Germ, General Clean, and Allergen), but there is a bit of sound when functioning in turbo mode.
HPA 300 is a little more expensive than other purifiers in competition. Nevertheless, it does offer excellent air quality. Honeywell is a True HEPA purifier and can take down 99.97% of micro allergens. It also works on decreasing airborne odors, VOCs, and certain germs. This product has around 69% highly-positive reviews, which make it a good product. When selecting top products, I always check for the feedback. In my experience, five-star rating with 65-85% statistics means that the product is having a very positive response (proving that the quality is excellent).
Honeywell HPA-300 is energy star rated air purifier. The overall design is bulkier than other brands. LCD control panel has a light dimmer, and the smart system updates you when it’s time to change the filters.
The best thing about Honeywell purifiers is their ability to draw in air from all sides, so you can put it anywhere. If held in a 365 square feet room; it could intake and clean-out the air for five times in an hour. Automatic shut-off period is extended to 8 hours with three different turbo clean settings.
- Auto-off timer offers 2, 4 and 8-hour time gap
- True HEPA filters for removing 0.3-micrometre particles
- Four different air cleaning levels
- Air Quality sensor is absent
Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A – Highest rated Air Purifier
If you are looking for an air-cleaner with ultra quiet working, efficient purifying system, and low energy consumption; Rabbit SPA-780A is for you.
Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A has a stylish, sleek design and a great ability to cover large rooms of 800+ square feet capacity. You can select the additional filter based on your needs, i.e., pet allergy, odor removal and so forth. Rabbit Air MinusA2 can offer 2 ACPH (air changes per hour) for 815 square feet space (alternatively, you can use it for 408 square feet with 4 ACPH- if you have allergy issues).
“Higher the ACPH value, better the freshness of the air.”
You can install it on the floor, or could hang it on the wall to save the space. Unlike others in our list, Rabbit 780A has a 6 stage air purification system-
The very first stage is a washable pre-filter followed by a medium filter. These two filters efficiently take down large pollutants. Then HEPA filter eliminates the odors and allergens. 4th is a customized filter selection based on your needs, i.e., Germ defense, Pet allergy, Odor remover or Toxin Absorber. This filter is tailored for powerfully trapping the unwanted particles. Next is the activated carbon filter to work on smoke and VOCs. 6th stage contains negative ion generator- It creates a steady flow of negatively charged ions for electrifying the dust, dander (these particles are then picked up by the positive plate leaving you with fresh air.
SPA-700 and 780 are almost similar. CADR for both the two models are same, except for pollen where the 780 has 208 CADR, and SPA-700 has 201 CADR. Nevertheless, Rabbit 780 is slightly less quiet than SPA-700 model. Also, don’t forget the square feet capacity of two models. SPA-780 can freshen up 800 square feet, and SPA-700 can clean 700 square feet. You can compare Rabbit SPA-780 with purifiers here.
- Stylish design and Quiet functioning energy rated air purifier
- Offers Artists’ series model with the famous image instead of the black panel
- You can expect great support from Rabbit Air company
- Operation timer is missing, and noise is slightly more as compared to SPA-700
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty – High-Performance Air Purifier
Coway AP-1512HH is an air purifier with powerful air flow. Some air purifiers emits ozone (either intentionally or as a by-product in the process) which does more harm than good. Emitted ozone during the purification process can cause breathing issues; but relax, Coway mighty, like other air purifiers on our list, is certified by California EPA air resources board.
Getting back to the review, Ap-1512HH uses the 4-stage technology. Washable pre-filter is present (pre-filter improves the working efficiency and lifeline of main filters by trapping the air pollutants). True HEPA filter can remove 99.7% of particles sizing 0.3 microns including dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and other pollutants. Activated carbon filter works on volatile organic compounds and removes odor or smell. Ionizer helps with air freshness and removes the contaminants. However, odor removal is a bit limited.
This purifying system is energy-star rated and uses around an ampere or so, making it the most efficient air purifier. Air quality indication system is my favorite feature; you can see your air freshness using particle sensor technology. Another indicator keeps a check on the filter and indicates you when it’s time to change it.
Auto-mode and Eco-mode make this product a perfect example of automation tech. While the prior feature automatically controls the air flow, latter stops the fan if there is no pollution detection for half an hour.
Also, as per the researchers on the wirecutter it could efficiently purify the air within 30 minutes for apartment size double than that of the listed square feet capacity. A purifying system is quiet at low-level speed, and on high speed, it would generate around 53.8 dBA (similar to that of an electric fan).
Mighty Coway air purifier is ideal for the area of around 361 square feet and if you need an air purifier that you could rely on; you can’t go wrong with AP1512HH.
- Ideal Air purifier for 400 square feet rooms
- Auto air flow control and smart Eco control
- Quiet purification system making 53.8 dBA at its highest speed
- Room capacity could have improved
GermGuardian AC4825- Best budget air purifier (Under 100 Bucks)
The first thing that came to my mind is to find out what feature they missed to improve the cost? But surprisingly, I didn’t find any missing element (except a few cons).
AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) test and verify air purifier for their ability to clean dust, tobacco, dust, and pollen from a room. The purifying unit is then provided with a CADR (clean air delivery rating) to know how efficiently the purifier removes pollutants and GermGuardian has appreciable CADR rating.
Here is my take-
GermGuardian AC4825 has a clean air delivery rate of 100+ cfm. This score is pretty impressive and enough for making it a good purifier.
Getting into the inside-tech of this energy rated air-purifier; there is both the True-HEPA filter (for allergens) as well as carbon filter (for dust and smoke). The additional screen in its 3-in-1 filtration system is UV-C sanitizer. UV-C light stands for ultraviolet light of wavelength 200-280 nanometers. This wavelength is perfect for destroying micro-organisms (or more specifically, airborne germs) that are responsible for infections. However, the auto off mode is absent in this air cleaner, and UV light should be changed every year.
Bottom line- This purifier is a good fit for small to medium size spaces, but it might not be the best option to be used in the bedroom. As the UV-C light indicator is brighter than regular LEDs.
- Additional UV-C sanitizer for infection causing micro-organisms
- Quiet functioning (except the white noise at turbo mode)
- Auto off/timer is missing.
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA
Winix launched 5500 and PlasmaWave 5300 series offering high performance. There isn’t much difference between the two except price, design, washable True HEPA filter and a remote control. However, the updated versions Winix 5500-2 and 5300-2 are designed to cope with the latest tech. But again if you put the second series of the two models in comparison, you won’t find much except the washable carbon filters and remote control options.
Winix 5500-2 is a nice air cleaner and purchase price is genuine. However, overall running price is slightly more than other models. Exterior looks elegant, and the remote interface is smooth. Its AHAM rated with a 200+ CADR rating. System sound is similar to an air conditioning unit at 100 feet. There are 4 different fan speeds with 226 cubic feet per minute air flow at max speed. Winix 5500-2 has a coverage area of 360 square feet.
- True HEPA filter, Plasmawave technology, and advanced carbon filter
- Remote control is present
- Purifying performance is slightly lower than some new cleaners
IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier- Best air purifier for Allergy and Asthma
You might find IQAir a bit pricier than other air cleaners, but IQAir is known for making the purifiers with high-performance filtering system.
IQAir HealthPro Plus is an energy rated air purifier with a capacity to freshen large space, upto 1000 square feet. IQAir is the first tested purifier with efficiency to capture 0.003 microns particles. These are the ultra-fine particles, i.e., bird dust that easily mixes up with airborne particles and causes severe breathing problems. IQAir filter is tested to remove the smallest (0.003 microns) pollutants.
Filtration process takes place when air passes through three different filters-
• Pre-filter- It removes the allergy-causing particles including pet dander, mold spores, dust, and pollen.
• V5- Cell- This filter contains active carbon that eliminates the harmful chemicals including VOCs, and removes the smoke and odor, leaving behind- Ultra Fine Particles.
• Hyper HEPA filter- IQAir designed Hyper HEPA filter is the highly-efficient system to neglect the ultra-fine particles of size 0.003 microns causing allergens, bacteria and viruses.
Clean, purified air is then dispensed through the other end making your space fresh and contaminants-free. IQAir health pro plus is 7% quieter than other models. However, if you are running it at high speed, you would probably hear a sound similar to that from a running refrigerator. LCD panel contains efficient LED light and filter-lifeline sensor. You can also set the controls via remote.
- Swiss made design along with a patented HyperHEPA Filtration system
- New edition Energy efficient Fan for adequate air flow
- 3-D ultra seal design for saving air escape
- Bulkier air purifiers than other models
- Auto-off feature is absent
Austin Air HealthMate Standard HM-400 – Fine Efficiency Air Purifier for odors and harmful chemicals
Austin HM-400 is another good purifier on our list. Although, the design isn’t fancy and features are limited; efficiency of this air cleaner is excellent. It is best for removing chemicals and odors from large, sensitive spaces.
Healthmate HM-400 has a four steps filtration system. The two large and medium particle Pre-filters eliminates dust, pet dander, molds, pollen, and spores.
Next is the 6.8 kg activated carbon filters that remove volatile organic compounds and odors. Air coming out of the purifier is filtered by HEPA (removing 99.97% of 0.3 microns)
While the buying price is higher than other air cleaners, running cost is almost similar to our top-rated purifiers. You can use it for heavy-duty air cleaning, as HM-400 can move a lot of air.
Talking about the quite functioning, sound isn’t much at low speed and will sound a bit more than our best picks at high speed. Self-monitoring functions are absent, and you have to select the right settings manually. So, if you live in a chemically sensitive environment (i.e., near a chemical plant), or if you have problem with odors; Austin Air Healthmate would be an excellent choice.
- Pre-filters are divided into large and medium particles stages
- Highly effective in removing harmful chemicals and odors
- Not-so-good white noise is uneasy to ignore
Alen BreatheSmart Classic Customizable Air Purifier- Best home air cleaner
Alen BreatheSmart Classic is a quality air purifier with Consumers Digest rating. You can select your colour, thanks to the 15 unique design options.
This energy star rated purifier comes with an Auto-detect technology that uses smart sensors to adjust air quality automatically. This purifier works on Whispermax technology which is the most advanced and quiet tech in the marketplace. BreatheSmart could eliminate Germs, Allergens, Odours, and Dust from the room air.
BreatheSmart offers four different types of HEPA filters, and you can improve its cleaning efficiency by selecting a particular filter for advanced options-
1. HEPA-Pure for Allergens and Dust
2. HEPA-Silver for Asthma, Mold, and Bacteria
3. HEPA-FreshPlus for Odors and Chemicals
4. HEPA-OdorCell for Dander, Pet and Diaper Odors
Alen Breathesmart air purifier is fully-customizable, and you can use it for 1100 square feet area. Support provided by Alen team is appreciable.
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Whispermax technology for quite-operation
- This air purifier is a bit expensive for home use
AIRMEGA 300S Smarter- Best Air Purifier for large spaces
Coway designed Airmega 300 is a powerful air cleaner with an ability to clean 1250 square feet space. This also means that it can perform almost 3X better in smaller spaces.
Air mega 300 has the Auto mode and Eco Mode for maintain the airflow in a smart way. There is a precise indicator for checking on your filter lifeline. However, the sleep mode function needs to be controlled manually (this feature is automatic in Air mega 300S, the other model).
That said, if you won't mind spending a few more bucks for- auto sleep mode, a scheduler, and Wi-Fi enabled app for monitoring the air quality reports, then Air mega 300S would be a good choice too.
Getting back to the AIRMEGA 300, there are pollutants in ambient air that could cause serious health issues and Airmega-300 uses a sensor based technology for providing real time monitoring. This helps keep a check on air quality.
Filtration system includes a washable pre-filter for removing common household odors. A MAX2 filter set consisting of activated carbon (for eliminating harmful chemicals) and Green True HEPA (for trapping 99.7% of airborne particles sizing 0.3 microns, i.e., allergens).These two filters work efficiently to purify large area.
- Smart mode helps with air flow and power saving
- Dual-stage filtration for optimum indoor air quality
- Sleep mode is manual
Dyson Pure Cool link- Best design Air purifier for bedrooms
Dyson Pure Cool link is a multipurpose air purifier to be used as an air cleaner and as a fan for cooling in summer.
Dyson pure cool is a self-monitoring air purifier that can automatically monitor and purify harmful pollutants. You can then check the purification analytics via Dyson Link app.
Sound is almost undetectable at low speed and on high speed makes nice white noise, making it a good fit for the bedroom.
This Wi-Fi enabled air purifier is certified by CARB (California Air resources board) for offering safe air. The first layer is HEPA filter that can clean out 99.97% of allergends and pollutants sizing 0.3 microns. Next stage is the activated carbon filter for eliminating odors and VOCs.
Getting into the features, Sleep timer is present for boosting efficiency and saving power. Auto mode helps with constant air flow. It is also certified for being Asthma and Allergy friendly. Dyson link app can be easily attached to Amazon-Alexa. Auto-night-time mode dims the LED display so you can sleep-well at night.
360 degree glass HEPA offers a great surface area for capturing ultrafine particles. Another advance thing I noticed is the Air multiplier technology that spreads the air across the room making your space completely fresh and clean.
If you are looking for a quiet and advance air purifier which you can otherwise use as a summer-fan, Dyson Pure Cool Link won't disappoint you.
- WiFi Enabled Air purifier with Voice control options
- Automatic shut-off and night LED dimmer
- Self-monitoring system for quiet functioning
- Not suitable for large spaces or highly sensitive environment
Personal Reviews from real users-
LEVOIT LV-H132 Air Purifier
"Basically the air purifier really helped my seasonal allergies and asthma, it’s made a huge difference with how I sleep and wake up feeling"- Sarahbeth Ramsey
Winix C535 PlasmaWave Technology
"My honest opinion about this air purifier is I strongly recommend it. First, it’s affordable and it actually works really well. When I purchased it, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been using it for almost two weeks and it is pretty accurate about the air quality. I don’t wake up feeling like something is on my throat anymore. When I open the window to get the air circulation, it turns to orange which means the air quality is bad. Then, it turn to blue which means it is good."- Yuni Song
Quick Tips to help you buy the best air purifiers-
If you are not sure how to obtain the best quality air purifier these tips will help you for sure. But the first thing you should know is your purpose of bringing an air purifier. Air cleaners have different filter integrations and will cost you accordingly. People buy air purifiers for tackling- Asthma or breathing problems, second-hand Tobacco smoke, dust, mold, paint, pollen, pet dander or related allergens, bacteria, viruses, and germs.
Look for the filtration system and budget
Once you know your purpose, you can select a filtration system and a budget. There are many unique filters, but you will find five of them (Out of these ionic filters are the most cost-effective)-
• Pre-filter- Removes dust particles
• HEPA filter- 0.3 microns contaminants including most of the allergens and bacteria
• Carbon fitter- Removes smoke, odors, chemicals fumes and harmful gases
• Ionic filter- Removes bacteria, virus, and smoke (produces a minimal amount of ozone)
• UV filter- Bacteria and molds
Know the Capacity of your room
Once you have decided the filter all you need to do is find out what’s the size of your room and where would you be using it, i.e., in the bedroom or the hall area. Make sure that the light is dim if you are using it for the bedroom. This is because many users complain about the bright light messing with their night sleep. If you are thinking to use it as a multipurpose purifier and take it to the office with you; find a lightweight and highly-portable design. Different purifier systems have variable coverage area, you can bring 400 square feet efficiency purifier if you are thinking to use it for different rooms.
What are different features to look for?
Start by check marking the AHAM certification, CADR rating, brand reliability and product effectiveness. These four things will make sure that your purifier works and you don’t skeptically buy a cleaner that is feature-full yet not effective at all. Once you have the above, you can check for other features-
Self-monitoring and Auto-off- This feature is usually found in a smart-purifier. It tells the users when it’s time to wash the pre-filter. Smart system also looks for the air quality and maintains the air flow, i.e., makes it fast/slow as and when needed. Auto-off, on the other hand, switches off the purifying system after a specific timeline.
Fan speed and remote control- Most of the purifiers offer three fan speed, but you can also get five fan speeds on more premium models. Remote control does not come along with some models, so you might want to look for this.
Wi-Fi was enabling- Wi-Fi app connectivity helps you know the purification analytics. You can get reports for air freshness, outdoor air quality and so forth.
Energy star rating- Energy-star rating boosts the efficiency and ensures lower energy consumption.
Dim light (if using for the bedroom)- This one feature is here due to requests from my readers. If you are looking for a purifier to be used in your bedroom, always check if the light could be changed from bright mode to dim mode. It could mess with your sleep. More extended Warranty- In general, most of the excellent purifier brands offer 2years-5years warranty. Change the filters timely for fewer breakdown issues.
Good company support- Some companies like Coway and Honeywell go out of their way to help the users. When buying a new purifier, find out the company reputation and support it has to offer.
What about outdoor air pollution (Air pollution masks)-
Outdoor air pollution is something you cannot reduce to the required extent. Nevertheless, you can grow plants outside your home to reduce the carbon dioxide near it. If you live in a high-pollution region, use air pollution masks when going out of the house. Here are some other useful things you can do on your own to save our environment by United States environmental protection agency.
Over to you
Always look for air puffier from the good brand as it gives you both the reliability and support. If you are skeptical about a particular air cleaner, read the user reviews from Amazon. If you are still not sure which one would be the best purifier for you, simply drop me an email, and I will help you out. Read more about air cleaners here.
Get in touch if you are not sure which air purifier would be the best choice for you, or to know about our latest scholarship programs. email me on theubreviews [@] gmail dot com.