I’m sure you’ve heard this before:

Breathing clean air is super important to your health and well-being.

You might also know that clean air is hard to come by these days as dust, pollen, smog, and exhaust are polluting our homes. In fact, indoor air is now considered to be about much more polluted than outdoor air!

The Best Air Purifier

The good news is there is a solution to this problem:

A high-quality air purifier can keep your home air clean day and night.

But finding the right product is not easy.

What Is the Best Air Sanitizer for 2019-2020?

There are many products on the market that are advertised as THE BEST, but the truth is, no particular product is right for everybody.

Whether you have any health problems, where you live, the size of your home, and of course your budget will determine which air purifier is the best choice for you. To learn more about picking a good unit, please read our Air Purifier Buying Guide.

But now, here’s a list of the best air purifiers to buy in 2019-2020.

Preview
Editor's Choice
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode
Highest Rated!
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA, PlasmaWave and Odor Reducing...
Best Price!
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Smokers Allergies and Pets Hair, True...
Product
Coway Mighty
Winix 5500-2
Levoit LV-H132
Rating
Editor's Choice
Preview
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode
Product
Coway Mighty
Rating
Highest Rated!
Preview
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA, PlasmaWave and Odor Reducing...
Product
Winix 5500-2
Rating
Best Price!
Preview
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Smokers Allergies and Pets Hair, True...
Product
Levoit LV-H132
Rating

1. Coway Mighty – Best Air Purifier 2019-2020

The Coway Mighty has stood the test of time and is still the best air sanitizer in our opinion. It’s powerful, very efficient in removing different allergens, and one of the cheapest units to maintain over time.

Highlights

  • Great for removing dust, pollen, and other allergens
  • Suitable for large rooms
  • Cheap to operate
  • Beautiful design
  • Not that great for removing strong odors

If you want to buy a new air purifier within $200 right now, this is the one to pick.

BreatheQuality.com

How Does The Coway Mighty Work

The powerful cleaning system with four stages is one of the reasons why Coway is our top choice for 2019-2020:

  • Its high-quality pre-filter captures larger particles.
  • It uses a carbon filter to eliminate smells and gases
  • A true HEPA filter removes even the smallest allergens such as dust, pet dander, and pollen.
  • It uses an ionizer to kill airborne viruses and bacteria.

A word of caution:

Ionizers produce a tiny amount of ozone, which is known as a lung irritant. Although most people won’t probably even notice it, sensitive users should keep the ionizer switched off when close to the air cleaner.

That said,

Like all air purifiers in our list, the Coway Mighty produces ozone in minuscule quantities only and has been certified by the California Air Resources Board as safe for everyday use.

The odor-controlling abilities of the Coway Mighty are somewhat lacking. It does remove household smells and cigarette smoke from the air, but it’s not the best choice if eliminating strong odors is your main goal.

Design and Size

One of the best things about this Coway air cleaner is how quietly it works:

It is barely audible on the ‘Low’ setting and not much louder than a whisper when it runs on ‘Medium.’ It’s a perfect choice if you’re looking for an air purifier that you could use in your bedroom.

It also stands out because of its beautiful modern design:

It comes in two neutral colors (black and white), which blend into most backgrounds beautifully.

It’s light and compact and weighs just over twelve pounds, so it’s very easy to move from one room to another.

Room Size

The Coway Mighty has a CADR rating of 240 and should work well in medium to large size rooms up to 361 sq. ft. in size. As we explain in our Buying Guide and based on its CADR capacity, you’ll get the most out of your Mighty in rooms up to 240 sq. ft.

Changing the Filter

Although you need to change the filter about every six to twelve months, the Coway Mighty is still one of the cheapest appliances to operate over time:

The cleaner doesn’t consume too much energy (it’s Energy Star certified), and you can get the filters for about half the price of other air purifier filters. Also, if you don’t run it non-stop, you can probably extend the filter life by a couple of months.

The Coway Mighty AP-1512HH is the best air purifier for 2019-2020. It’s capable of removing over 99% of allergens from the air*, works very quietly compared to other products on this list, is sensibly priced, AND comes with low operating costs.

Other Features

  • Automatic setting to adjust unit speed based on air quality
  • Indicator for air quality
  • Automatic Eco mode, which will switch off the Mighty if air stays clean for 30 minutes.
  • Warranty of 3 years

*Based on lab tests by the WireCutter.com.

WE DON’T LIKE

  • The ionizing feature (can be turned off)
  • Doesn’t remove strong smells and cigarette smoke

2. Winix 5500-2 – Best for Removing Chemicals (Highest Rated!)

The Winix 5500-2 air cleaner is our second pick for 2019-2020. It’s almost as powerful as the Coway Mighty reviewed above and has been designed to remove harmful gases and vapors from our homes.

Highlights

  • Designed to eliminate harmful VOCs
  • Works great in large rooms
  • Quiet
  • Modest design
  • Above average operating costs

How Does The Winix 5500-2 Work

With the Winix 5500-2 you get an air cleaner with an efficient 3-stage technology:

  • A charcoal filter, which also acts as a pre-filter removes potentially harmful VOCs and household smells from cooking, smoking, and pets. It captures larger particles such as hair and dust and also helps extend the life of the true HEPA filter.

You may be wondering what VOCs are:

They are vapors and gases that can be emitted by everyday items found in our home: disinfectants, paints, glues, air fresheners, etc.

  • The true HEPA filter eliminates allergens like dust and pollen from our home air.
  • Winix’s innovative PlasmaWave Technology further removes chemical gases and vapors from the air as well as allergens, bacteria, and other indoor pollutants.

The PlasmaWave Technology isn’t supposed to produce any ozone, but I wouldn’t use this function in the bedroom overnight or if there are small children in the room, just to be safe.

Design and Size

Compared to the Coway Mighty, the Winix 5500-2 is pretty heavy and rather large. At 15 pounds, it might not be suitable for transporting from room to room if carrying heavy things is an issue for you.

It is a great choice for an air cleaner because it runs so quietly you barely notice it:

There are four different speeds, and all of them, except the highest ‘Turbo’ mode, are virtually noiseless.

Room Size

The Winix 5500-2 comes with a CADR rating of 232 for smoke, 246 for pollen, and 243 for dust. It’s just as powerful as the Coway Mighty reviewed above.

Winix recommends using it in larger rooms up to 360 sq. ft., but based on its capacity, we think it best suits rooms up to 240 sq. ft. in size.

Changing the Filter

You should change the carbon filter every three to six months and the true HEPA filter every twelve months or so, depending on how often you use it.

The Winix 5500-2 is a great alternative pick to Coway Mighty: it’s just as effective in removing airborne allergens and household smells, but comes with the additional ability of removing harmful chemicals from your home air as well.

Other Features

  • Automatically adjusts fan speed based on air quality (if on the selected mode)
  • Air quality indicators
  • Automatically dims lights
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • 1-year warranty
  • Remote control

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Large and bulky
  • Uses PlasmaWave Technology (ionizing feature)
  • High operating costs

3. Blue Pure 211+ – Best New Air Purifier 2019-2020

The Blue Pure 211+ is one of the newest products on the market and is quickly becoming a top pick for people who are looking for a high-quality unit that can clean their homes from the most common pollutants.

It is one of our top picks for 2019-2020 because it is very efficient in reducing particulates (by 99%), even in large rooms.

Highlights

  • Great for removing dust, pollen, and pet dander
  • Suitable for large rooms
  • One of the newest products on the market
  • Can be customized with different colors
  • Not certified as true HEPA

How Does The Blue Pure 211+ Work

The 211+ comes with a 3-part air filtration system, using a washable fabric pre-filter, an activated carbon filter, and a particle filter to remove most common air pollutants. It also uses an electrical charge to improve its capture of these fine particles.

Note,

It doesn’t use a true HEPA filter but a ‘particle filter’ to remove mold, pollen, and other allergens instead.

You may be wondering ‘What’s the difference?’

Well,

Air cleaners with true HEPA filtration can capture tiny allergens as small as 0.3 microns. Blue Pure’s particle filter can only trap larger allergens around 2.5 microns in size.

It’s the tiny microscopic allergens that can cause the most health problems, which means the Blue Pure 211+ is probably not a good choice for those suffering from allergies or other respiratory diseases.

Both Coway Mighty and Winix 5500-2 are clearly superior here because both come with true HEPA filtration.

Design and Size

When it comes to its build, it’s about the same shape and size as the Winix 5500-2. It’s lighter and weighs the same as the Coway Mighty, but it’s very annoying to move around as it doesn’t come with handles.

The look of the product is customizable, which is one of the things we love about it the most:

It uses fabric pre-filters or “skins” which come in 5 colors. This makes it very easy to match the machine to your home decor!

The Blue Pure 211+ runs quietly on ‘Low’ and ‘Medium’ settings, but it’s still louder than the Coway. Light sleepers might find the soothing white noise to be too much.

Room Size

Although the Blue Pure 211+ is not true HEPA certified, it does have a CADR rating by AHAM – it’s rated 350 for smoke, pollen, and dust. It is the most powerful purifier on our list!

BlueAir recommends to use it in rooms up to 540 sq. ft. in size, but we think it best fits rooms around 350 sq. ft. (See our Air Purifier Buying Guide for more information.) The 211+ beats the Coway Mighty here: the latter works best in 240-square-foot rooms only!

Changing the Filter

The fabric pre-filter is washable, so you can just clean it when needed and use it again. The particulate filter and carbon filter are 2-in-1 and should be changed every six months, depending on use. The filter is eco-friendly and can be recycled when changed.

The Blue Pure 211+ is an excellent air purifier that offers serious competition to our other top choices Coway Mighty and Winix 5500-2. It’s a powerful air cleaner with a minimalistic, modern design that suits those homes where getting rid of allergens is not the main concern.

Other Features

  • Filter change indicator
  • Automatically dims display lights
  • 3 speeds
  • 2-year warranty if registered with BlueAir

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Doesn’t use a true HEPA filter (not suitable for those suffering from allergies)
  • Large and bulky
  • Not easy to move around
  • High operating costs

4. Levoit LV-H132 – Best Budget Air Sanitizer

Levoit LV-H132 is a budget class air purifier that’s very efficient in getting rid of bad smells and dust, despite its modest price. It’s a great choice for anyone looking to clean air in small rooms!

Highlights

  • Good for removing dust and mold
  • Great price
  • Uses a true HEPA filter
  • Doesn’t use an ionizer
  • Suitable for small rooms only

How Does The Levoit LV-H132 Work

Levoit is a small and cheap air cleaner that comes with a surprisingly powerful air cleaning system:

  • A pre-filter traps even the smallest particles and eliminates mold, pet dander, and airborne bacteria and viruses.
  • A true HEPA filter further cleans the air and helps get rid of pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and other particles that can cause allergies.
  • An activated charcoal filter efficiently neutralizes smells from cooking, smoking, and even pet odors.

Levoit is the only air cleaner in this list that doesn’t use the ionizer function! It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking to get cleaner air but are worried about the potential health risks of this feature.

Design and Size

Its size and weight are one of the best things about it too:

It’s very light, weighing only 7 pounds or so, which makes it easy to move from room to room. It’s only slightly over 14 inches tall too, so it’s perfect for use on tabletops.

You shouldn’t use the LV-H132 in your bedroom if you’re a light sleeper – it’s quite loud at all of its speed settings.

Room Size

Like I said at the beginning of my Levoit review, it’s surprisingly powerful. It’s rated as having a CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of 110, which makes it suitable for use in rooms from 85 to 110 square feet in size.

Changing the Filter

The manufacturer advises users to change the filter (it comes in one piece) every six months or so, but depending on how often you use your cleaner, you might get away with changing it every 8-9 months.

The LV-H132 is cheap to operate long-term:

The 3-in-1 filter costs only about $20-$30 dollars, putting it at the same level as the Coway Mighty as far as filter costs are concerned.

In summary, if you want a unit that can efficiently clean your home air from dust and bad smells, but you’re not really allergic to anything, then the Levoit could be the right pick for you. You can get it for under $100, it’s cheap to run over time and you’ll barely notice it because it’s so small.

Other Features

  • 3 different speed options
  • Night light with two levels
  • 2-year warranty
  • Lifetime support

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Only works well in very small rooms
  • Not Energy Star Certified
  • Loud at all its speed settings

Other Budget Air Sanitizers To Consider

The GermGuardian AC4825 is one of the best-selling models on Amazon at the moment and comes highly rated by thousands of users.

It cleans air through a 3-in-1 filtration system and effectively gets rid of most common airborne allergens, viruses, bacteria, as well as most household smells.

It’s very quiet and unlike our main pick in this category, perfectly suitable for use in your bedroom. It’s small, light, and easily transportable.

The AC4825 works well in small rooms, and its CADR rating is estimated at 100+. It’s a good option for small offices or bedrooms.

It’s not our main pick because it’s more expensive to buy and replacement filters are 2-3 times the price of Levoit’s as well.

That said, it’s a great choice for someone looking for an air purifier from a reputable brand with thousands of satisfied users.

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The PureZone 3-in-1 Air Purifier is another good alternative to the Levoit reviewed above. It comes with similar specifications but its long warranty time is what makes is stand out among other budget machines.

It uses a similar air cleaning technology as the Levoit and even the GermGuardian AC4825. All three budget options come with a true HEPA filter, making them a good choice for people suffering from mild allergies.

You can use the PureZone in small rooms around 100 sq. ft. in size, including your bedroom if you only run it on the lowest setting. ‘Medium’ and ‘High’ settings are rather loud so if you’re a light sleeper, use them only at day time.

Users have noted it’s very efficient in removing and keeping away mold, so it’s a good pick for anyone fighting this issue.

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5. Honeywell HPA-300 Allergen Remover – Best Air Purifier for Allergies

Although not the newest product on the market, the Honeywell HPA-300 is still the best air purifier for allergies.

It comes with a powerful true HEPA cleaning system and is very well rated by thousands of users who all agree that their home air is noticeably cleaner when using this unit.

Highlights

  • Great for removing allergens like dust, mold, and pollen
  • Suitable for use in large rooms
  • Very powerful
  • Outdated look
  • Quite loud

How Does The Honeywell HPA-300 Allergen Remover Work

The HPA-300 uses two sets of filters to clean the air:

  • An activated carbon pre-filter traps larger particles and eliminate gases and household smells.
  • Three true HEPA filters capture airborne viruses and bacteria, dust, pollen, mold spores, and other allergens.

While its odor removing capabilities are not the best, it’s very efficient in removing allergens from your home air due to the three layers of HEPA filters!

Before I continue with this Honeywell review, I want to make one thing clear though:

Air purifiers, no matter which brand you pick, are NOT magic devices – they will NOT cure you of anything. If you have asthma or serious allergies, an air purifier alone will not fix your health problems.

That said, some allergists do acknowledge that they can have health benefits for some people. The only way to know is by trying a high-quality product like this one for two months and see if you notice any change.

Design and Size

Because it’s been on the market for many years now, the Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover isn’t exactly a modern-looking air cleaner:

It’s a rather large tower-style unit that weighs in at over 20 pounds. It’s definitely not something you’d want to move around in your home every day.

The HPA-300 comes with three speed options plus a Turbo mode.

While the two lowest settings are quiet enough, the higher settings are very loud compared to other air purifiers in this list.

Room Size

The Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover is a very powerful machine:

Its CADR rating is 300 for smoke and pollen and 320 for dust. This is why it’s so efficient in maintaining proper air quality and producing clean air!

According to Honeywell, it’s suitable for rooms up to 465 sq. ft. in size, but based on its capacity, it will work best in rooms around 300 sq. ft. in size.

Changing the Filter

Like all other units on this list, the HPA-300 too needs a regular filter change. The charcoal pre-filter should be changed every three months or so for optimal performance.

You need to change the three HEPA filters every twelve months, but you may be able to go longer than that if you don’t use your cleaner 24/7.

The Honeywell HPA-300 True HEPA Allergen Remover might be a good choice if you’re seeking relief from allergies. It’s powerful, very efficient in large rooms and comes with three HEPA filters that eliminate most common allergens from your home air.

Other Features

  • Three different timer settings
  • Filter change indicator
  • 5-year warranty

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Not good for eliminating strong smells
  • Very loud at higher speeds

6. AeraMax 300 – Best Air Purifier for Smoke (Good against allergies too!)

The AeraMax 300, released by Fellowes, is an excellent air purifier for removing cigarette smoke from your home. On top of that, it’s also very efficient in removing airborne allergens from the air, having been certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as “asthma & allergy friendly.”

Let’s take a closer look at the other benefits this model offers.

Highlights

  • Excellent for removing cigarette smoke
  • Also great for eliminating common allergens like dust and pollen
  • Works best in small to medium-sized rooms
  • Modern design
  • Above-average price

HOW DOES THE AERAMAX 300 WORK

The AeraMax 300 is a 4-stage air cleaner:

  • The activated carbon filter, which efficiently removes even the strongest odors, also acts as a pre-filter. It capturers larger particles like lint, pet hair, etc.
  • Next, the true HEPA filter traps and eliminates tiny allergens like pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and mold spores.
  • The true HEPA filter is covered with an antimicrobial treatment that eliminates viruses and germs.
  • Finally, AeraMax’s unique PlasmaTRUE technology (essentially an ionizer) further neutralizes airborne allergens.

Although marketed as an air purifier for asthma/allergy relief, many people have purchased this unit because of its powerful odor-removing capabilities. From pet and cooking smells to stale cigarette smoke, the AeraMax 300 leaves your home virtually smell-free!

One of the best features of the AeraMax air purifier is that you can easily switch off the PlasmaTRUE ionizer. This is absolutely essential for people who are sensitive to air quality! Another feature I love is the special high-performance mode that maximizes the efficiency for allergy and cold seasons.

DESIGN AND SIZE

The AeraMax 300 is a typical air cleaner as far as size is concerned:

It’s quite large and bulky, although it’s lighter than some of the other air cleaners on this list. Compared to the other allergy air purifier Honeywell HPA-300, it weighs about 8 pounds less. So, weighing in a little over 12 pounds, it’s definitely light enough for you to pick it up and move from room to room.

This AeraMax model comes with four different fan speeds, the noise levels of which range from 35 to 55 decibels.

It’s quiet enough on the first fan speed, but the other levels are noticeably loud. For this reason, it’s best to only run it in rooms that don’t need to be silent.

Some people have also complained about the unit making a high-pitched whining sound when the ionizer is on. If you plan to use the AeraMax in your bedroom, be sure to switch the ionizer off by pressing the blue button on the front display screen. Otherwise, it might disrupt your sleep.

ROOM SIZE

Despite being advertised as a unit capable of cleaning the air in large rooms between 300-600 sq ft in size, its specs suggest otherwise:

It’s CADR rated as 188 pollen/191 smoke/196 dust, so I would say it best works in small to medium-sized rooms up to 200 sq ft in size. Choosing your air purifier wisely and according to the actual room size is essential for it to work properly!

CHANGING THE FILTER

Fellowes recommends changing the true HEPA filter once a year and the carbon filter every three months. In reality, the true HEPA filter lasts for about six months. The filter-life could be even shorter if you use your unit in heavily polluted areas. The high-performance mode for allergen-rich months also uses up the filter much faster than 12 months. You can purchase the replacement filters in Fellowes’ Amazon Store.

The AeraMax 300 is perfect for people who are looking to eliminate strong odors from their homes or who suffer from asthma and various allergies.
On par with the Honeywell HPA-300 in terms of performance, it’s an excellent choice for smaller homes. The ability to switch off the ionizer and the high-performance mode for the allergy and cold season make it worth a try if breathing clean air is important for health reasons.

OTHER FEATURES

  • AeraSmart Sensor for monitoring air quality
  • Filter indicator light
  • Aera+ mode for cleaning room air fast 3-year warranty

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Only quiet on the lowest setting
  • The ionizer produces a whining sound
  • Indicator lights are a bit too bright for use in the bedroom
  • Pricey replacement filters

7. Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet – Best Purifier for Pets (New model!)

The Winix HR900 is an upgraded version of the wildly popular Winix WAC9500 Ultimate Pet. It is the best air purifier for pets (and pet hair) on the market today!

With its powerful 5-stage air filtration system and SmartSensors, the HR900 is designed to eliminate all pet-related allergens from the air.

Highlights

  • Second-generation model
  • Specifically designed to capture pet hair and eliminate pet smells
  • Also effective in removing other airborne allergens
  • Works best in medium-sized rooms
  • Quiet

How Does The New Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet Work

The new ‘Ultimate Pet’ is also a powerful 5-stage cleaner that is very effective in removing pet hair, pet smells and getting rid of germs and bacteria. It’s also efficient when it comes to cleaning your home air from other allergens and odors.

Here’s a quick overview of its updated filtration system:

  • The first layer is the “pet” pre-filter, which captures larger particles like lint and pet hair. It should be replaced about once a month.
  • Then, there’s the fine mesh washable pre-filter that extends the life of the remaining filters by capturing large particles that pass through the first layer.
  • The activated charcoal filter (washable) absorbs strong pet smells and also eliminates harmful chemicals and VOCs.
  • The true HEPA filter eliminates pet dander and other allergens.
  • The Winix PlasmaWave technology further neutralizes bacteria, viruses, household smells, chemical vapors, gases, etc.

The PlasmaWave technology Winix uses works great at neutralizing airborne bacteria and viruses, but it’s a function I wouldn’t use in the bedroom. Although all Winix air cleaners are California Air Board Certified, the PlasmaWave technology can still affect sensitive users.

The good news is, you can switch this feature off whenever you like!

Design and Size

The new Winix HR900 is considerably lighter than the old WAC9500, weighing at least 5 pounds less at just under 19 pounds. It’s still large and bulky in size, though.

For such a large machine it’s surprisingly quiet:

Lower and medium speed levels are barely audible.

Room Size

The ‘Ultimate Pet’ has a CADR rating of 220 for smoke, 194 for pollen, and 200 for dust, which is a bit more than what the old model had. Officially, it should work well in large rooms up to 300 sq. ft. in size (compared to 285 sq ft before).

Based on its capacity and cleaning power though, we think it works best in medium-sized rooms up to 225 sq. ft.

Changing the Filter

The pre-filter and activated carbon filter of the HR900 are washable, so you can reuse them over and over.

The “pet” pre-filter is essentially a sheet of paper, which can break easily and should be replaced once a month. The T-type true HEPA filter needs replacing once a year.

Unfortunately, you can only buy the replacement filters at WinixAmerica.com at the moment. The good news is that the unit comes with three extra pet filters, which means you can put off further expenses by a couple of months!

Although not the most powerful air cleaner available today, Winix’s ‘Ultimate Pet’ is the perfect choice for any pet owner. It features a 5-stage cleaning technology that thoroughly purifies the air from pet hair, dander, removes strong odors, and neutralizes bacteria, germs, and viruses.

Other Features

  • SmartSensor for measuring air quality
  • Auto mode for managing air quality
  • Sleep mode, which switches the fan to the lowest speed setting and turns off light notifications
  • Filter change indicator
  • Child lock
  • Timer (1, 4, and 8 hours)
  • 2-year warranty

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Uses PlasmaWave, which is an ionizer
  • Not very powerful
  • Replacement filters only available on the official website

Air Purifier Buying Guide

Air Purifier Buying Guide

Have you ever noticed that no matter how often you vacuum or mop the rooms in your home, there’s always some dust left lying around?

And did you know that it’s very difficult to get rid of invisible airborne allergens like pet dander, pollen, and fumes? If you have respiratory conditions such as asthma or allergies, this could pose a serious threat to your health!

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to remove ALL allergens and particles from the air, but a high-quality air purifier can make a significant difference in the air quality of your home.

Before you purchase any air cleaner, I suggest you read this Air Purifier Buying Guide to ensure you get a product that’s right for you.

Here are some of the most important things to consider when choosing which cleaner to buy.

Technology and Filter Types Used

How effective is your chosen product depends on the type of technology and the filters it uses. These days, most brands incorporate the following filter types in their products:

Pre-filters – a pre-filter is used to trap larger particles like lint, dust, and hair to prevent them from reaching other filters and clogging them.

Carbon filters – an activated carbon filter is necessary to filter out household smells from cooking, smoking, and pets. These filters also eliminate harmful gases and fumes.

HEPA filters – HEPA filters capture microscopic allergens like pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, etc. which can all be responsible for different health problems.

You need to know this though:

Not all brands use real (true) HEPA filters. If you want to use your air cleaner to try and alleviate allergies, this is going to matter to you!

True HEPA filters are proven to catch even the smallest allergens as tiny as 0.3 microns in size. It’s these particles that can cause the most health problems as they get pulled into the respiratory system more easily than larger particulate matter. Non-HEPA filters can only capture larger particles around 2.5 microns in size.

How can you make a difference?

Watch out for terms like ‘HEPA-type,’ ‘HEPA-like,’ or just ‘HEPA’ filters – these are used to confuse novice buyers! Always make sure the manufacturer lists a ‘true HEPA’ filter.

Some companies use UV lights, ionizers, or plasma technologies to eliminate airborne viruses/bacteria or to remove strong odors.

You should know that ionizers produce ozone is very small quantities. If you are a sensitive user, keep this in mind and pick a unit where you can switch the ionizing function off.

Some brands use additional methods to eliminate germs and microbes, such as using silver particles or treating some or all filters with anti-bacterial agents.

Air Cleaning Capacity

Not to get too technical, but one of the things to consider when purchasing a purifier is its Clean Air Delivery Rate or CADR.

CADR shows how much air (in cubic feet or meters) gets filtered through each product in one minute. It’s the American Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) who assigns this value. The CADR rating then describes the cleaner’s ability to remove smoke, pollen, or dust from a specific amount of air.

Long story short, the higher the CADR rating, the more powerful the product and the more air gets purified in one minute.

Area Covered and Unit Size

When choosing between different models, it’s important to consider the size of the room you want to use it in AND the size of the product itself.

Some models, especially the older ones, are large and bulky and thus take up a lot of space. They are also quite heavy, so you may not be able to move them around in your home easily.

When it comes to the size of the room each product works best in, I recommend not to rely on the manufacturer’s information only.

Why?

Well, these figures have been achieved in hermetically sealed laboratories running the cleaners at maximum speeds. To get similar results, you would have to blast your cleaner at loud and noisy high-speed settings 24/7. And you’d never get 100% clean air as new pollutants leak in through open windows and doors constantly.

There are two ways you can make sure you get a cleaner that’s powerful enough for your chosen space:

Choose a model that’s capable of covering more square footage than the size of your home.

OR

Choose a product with a capacity (CADR rating) of 1 per every square foot of your home.

Noise Levels

If you’re looking for an air cleaner for your office or bedroom, one of the most important things to consider is the level of noise your chosen model produces. Some products are just designed to be quieter than others.

Additionally, as I recommend above, pick a model which has a higher square foot capacity than what you need for your home or the room you want to keep clean – that will allow you to run your machine at lower and quieter settings day and night.

Changing the Filter

One of the things most people neglect to consider is the operating and maintenance cost – besides the original cost of your chosen product, there will be extra costs for electricity and filter replacements.

Depending on your chosen model, how often you use it, and the cleaning technology used, you need to change the filters every three months to one year. The prices for different filter types range anywhere from $10 to $100.

To reduce recurring costs (and your carbon footprint), choose a model that is Energy Star labeled. These products are more energy-efficient than non-labeled ones and can help you save a decent amount of money.

Other Features

When researching which air purifier to buy, consider whether any additional features are important to you. Things like air quality sensors, eco-modes, filter replacement indicators, automatic timers, etc. have been included in many of the newest models.

How Does an Air Purifier Work?

Air purifiers use different technologies and filters to clean air from allergens and other harmful particles:

  • Pre-filters catch larger particles like lint, dust, and hair.
  • Activated carbon filters remove household smells and harmful gases by eliminating the pollutants causing them.
  • True HEPA filters capture microscopic allergens that could otherwise find a way in your respiratory system.
  • Ionizers kill bacteria and viruses by producing ions that latch onto these tiny particles, causing them to become heavy and fall to the ground.
  • UV lights kill mold, germs, viruses, and bacteria by breaking down their molecular structure.

Depending on the product, other methods can be used to clean the air.

What Does an Air Purifier Do?

Air purifiers, also known as air cleaners, remove microscopic allergens, other small particles, and potentially harmful chemicals from your home air. They can also help with eliminating strong odors from smoking, cooking, and pets.

The machines work by moving air through multiple layers of filters and preventing captured particles from floating back into the air.

Who Should Consider Buying an Air Purifier?

We know now that indoor air is up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, so anyone could benefit from an air purifier. This is especially true if you live in a big city or live/work nearby large roads.

Air cleaners can be very beneficial if you suffer from allergies caused by airborne allergens like pollen or pet dander. Products with true HEPA filters are very efficient in eliminating these irritants.

You need to know though that air purifiers are not a magical solution and will not cure you of asthma or allergies. You can already do a lot when you keep your home pollutant-free by vacuuming, dusting, and mopping regularly. That said, a high-quality cleaner might help ease your symptoms and is definitely worth a try.

Are Air Purifiers Worth It?

Considering how much they cost, it’s natural to wonder whether air purifiers are worth it.

That depends on many things:

  • If you are not sensitive to air quality, you’re probably okay without one.
  • If you suffer from allergies caused by non-airborne allergens such as dust mites, you should be fine with hypoallergenic sheets and regularly cleaning your home.

Then again:

If you suffer from allergies caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, an air purifier could help ease the symptoms. You shouldn’t rely on it 100%, but it can definitely make a difference in your home air quality.

Air purifiers can also be great for removing strong smells, bad odors, and gases emitted by everyday household items.

What is the Best Air Purifier?

There is no right answer to this question as it really depends on your personal needs:

  • Are you looking for something that could ease the symptoms of allergies or asthma? The best air purifier, in this case, is one that comes with a true HEPA filter.
  • Are you or is someone from your family often sick? A cleaner with a UV-C light or an ionizer could help eliminate airborne viruses, bacteria, and germs.
  • Are you looking for something that could eliminate strong smells? The best air purifier is a product that comes with a high-quality activated carbon filter.
  • Are you just looking to keep your home clean and remove some dust? A cheaper cleaner with a HEPA-like filter might be right for you.

Check out the bestsellers from Amazon.

Are Air Cleaners Safe?

Air purifiers that use ionizers or plasma wave technologies can produce tiny amounts of ozone, which is considered to be a lung irritant. Ozone, which is also a component of urban smog can worsen the symptoms of asthma or allergies. Young children, pets, and elderly people can also be sensitive to ozone.

If this is something you’re worried about, pick an air cleaner without an ionizer or plasma wave technology or make sure your chosen model has an off-switch for this function.

Alternatively, check out this list by CARB (California Air Resources Board) of all air cleaners they have tested for ozone emission and certified to produce ozone in minuscule quantities only.

Wrapping It Up

These were our top air purifier picks for 2019-2020. Which one of them is best for YOU depends on your needs and your budget. I hope these reviews will help you choose a product that’s the perfect fit!

Did I leave out any other good products? Let me know in the comments below.

About the Author

Karen is a freelance writer/blogger who helped launch this website so consumers like you could find honest and trustworthy product reviews. She enjoys researching these buying guides, but also loves writing about different topics such as health and nutrition.

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