Experts Say These Air Purifiers Will Help Remove Allergens From Your Home
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We updated this article in May 2023 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive research done by our team.
More than 50 million Americans suffer from some type of allergy each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America; hay fever (a.k.a. allergic rhinitis) is particularly common in the spring, affecting about 8% of all American adults. One way to relieve allergy symptoms (like a runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, or a cough), especially when indoors, is by using one of the best air purifiers for allergies to rid your home of common triggers like pollen, dust mites, mold, and pet dander.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to safeguard against outdoor spring allergy triggers like pollen—but when it comes to those pesky indoor allergens, air purifiers offer a simple solution that’ll greatly improve your quality of life.
“Air purifiers are designed to reduce allergy symptoms by filtering, and subsequently removing allergens and other environmental contaminants from the air,” explains Doug Laher, M.B.A., C.A.E., C.M.P., registered respiratory therapist, and COOat the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). “Through the use of a HEPA filter, air purifiers capture microscopic particles like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander which are suspended in the air we breathe. By eliminating these allergens from the air, it becomes much easier for people to breathe.”
Meet the Experts: Stephen Canfield, M.D., Ph.D., an allergist at ColumbiaDoctors Midtown in New York City; Doug Laher, M.B.A., C.A.E., C.M.P., registered respiratory therapist, and COO at the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).
Our top picks:
It’s a lot to take in, we know, but the results are worth the extra research. Here are the best air purifiers of 2023:
True HEPA Air Purifier
With the brand saying the product captures 99.97% of allergens that pass through its filters, Honeywell’s True HEPA air purifier is one of the most efficient devices on our list. It scored particularly high CADR ratings on its ability to remove dust, pollen, and tobacco smoke particles, even in rooms small as 74 square feet to as large as 465 square feet. Plus, it comes in five different sizes, cleans the air as often as five times an hour, is HEPA-certified, and removes fine particles and common allergens from the air. One reviewer said, “After almost four years of continuous use of my Honeywell Hepa Air Purifiers, they are still going strong! I now have three of these amazing machines.”
Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier
Blueair’s Blue Pure 211+ air purifier has glowing reviews everywhere it’s sold, from the Home Depot to Amazon. With a 350 CADR rating, the power to clean over 500 square feet, and an odor-removing filtration system, it’s more than worth the sub-$300 investment, even without a true HEPA filter. The air purifier uses a three-part filtration system for fabric, particles, and carbon particles, allowing it to clean up to 99% of common airborne pollutants. Plus, reviewers rave it’s super quiet. One reviewer said, “I am incredibly impressed with this air purifier…We plugged it in and within a few hours you could notice the air was cleaner.”
Desktop Air Purifier
As one of the most affordable true HEPA filters and AHAM-tested air purifiers available, this desktop model (which almost looks like a speaker) is only advised for small rooms and can reach up to 78 square feet. But if that’s what you’re looking for, you probably won’t do better than this sub-$60 device. It also includes three speeds, including ultra-quiet sleep mode, and UV-C light control. One reviewer with severe allergies said, “This unit didn’t save my life, it just made it worth living! It’s an investment in one’s self. Wonderful product. Very effective.”
Airmega 150 Air Purifier
Coway’s smallest air purifier is also its most stylish—seriously, this is the only device on this list sold both at Amazon and the MoMA Design Store and it comes in three different colors. The Airmega 150 also comes with an air quality monitor that can automatically adjust its fan speed depending on your air, proving this unit is more than just a pretty face. It can accommodate a room 214 square feet or smaller and has a three-stage filtration system that captures and reduces up to 99.99% of air particles including pollen, pollutants, and other allergens. One reviewer said, “I’ve had this unit for a couple weeks now and I’m extremely pleased. Considering purchasing another one!”
True HEPA Filter Air Purifier
Germ Guardian’s small but mighty model outperforms tons of other competitors of its size and price point, making it an ideal first air purifier for smaller rooms up to 105 square feet. It filters out pet dander, smoke, and even odors, circulating room air up to four times an hour. The air purifier claims to capture 99.97% of dust and allergens, reduce odors, and includes an ultra-quiet sleep mode that turns the display light off to darken the room. One reviewer raved, “After just a few nights running we have already noticed the improved air around our home!”
Mighty Air Purifier
The Coway Mighty not only cleans the air but also uses built-in sensors to monitor air quality; if no pollution is detected for 30 minutes, it shuts off to conserve energy. It can cover a space of up to 361 square feet and includes a four-stage filtration system, including a deodorizing layer that removed smells. The air purifier also offers multiple fan speeds, timers, and modes to choose from, and has an LED light that indicates the air cleanliness. On top of that, reviewers rave that it’s quiet for its size. “I have extra-sensitive hearing,” one buyer writes, and “even at medium speed, this is below a whisper.”
Classic 205 Air Purifier
Blueair’s true HEPA air filter connects to WiFi and syncs with your smartphone, enabling you to control the fan speed, set a child lock, and more. Bonus: It has a CADR rating of 180 cubic feet per minute in small-to-medium rooms, circulating air up to five times per hour. The air purifier claims to capture 99.97% of airborne pollutants, including dust, mold, pet dander, and pollen. It also includes three fan speeds (and one that is whisper-quiet). One reviewer wrote, “On low speed, this air filter is absolutely silent. On a higher setting, you can hear the fan gently. Noticeable air quality improvement when running.”
Air Purifier with UV-C Light + HEPA Filtration
“I’ve had this air purifier since 2020 when an offer to test it out landed in my inbox around the time when seemingly everyone was rethinking how clean their homes were. I’ve used it pretty regularly since then, keeping my bedroom as fresh as possible, especially during allergy season,” says Christie Calucchia, Prevention Senior Commerce Editor. “I like how quiet and sleek the device is, and I rest easy knowing its HEPA filter captures everything from airborne viruses to dust, mold, and more allergens. It even has a UV light to kill germs and bacteria trapped in the filter. Note: You’ll have to replace the filter pretty frequently depending on how often you use the purifier.”
Vital 200S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier
This air purifier truly does it all. I have had this sleek, powerful air purifier in my open-layout home for about six months now and have never breathed easier. It purifies a 1900-square-foot room once every hour, with a powerful CADR. Plus, it’s compatible with its own smartphone app that allows you to control the device remotely and create schedules for different speeds and modes during different parts of the day.
TP04 Pure Cool Purifying Connected Tower Fan
This Dyson air purifier claims to clear up to 99.97% of airborne pollutants, including smoke from wildfires and other outdoor toxins. Plus, it uses a HEPA filter and has 10 speed settings—including a nighttime mode and sleep timer. And the Dyson app delivers air quality reports (including humidity and temperature) right to your phone in real time. One reviewer wrote, “This machine has met and exceeded my expectations.”
How to choose the best air purifier for allergies
Just like air conditioners, air purifiers should vary from room to room—and some even come with bells and whistles like WiFi connectivity and heating. Narrow down your search with these tips.
✔️Calculate operating costs. These days, plenty of high-quality air filters don’t actually cost that much to run. Look for products that have been certified under the Environmental Protection Agency’s EPA Energy Star program. Per the agency, Energy Star-certified air purifiers are 40% more efficient than the standard models, which could save about $30 a year on utility bills.
✔️Measure your room. Because the efficacy of air purifiers depends on the size of their spaces, you should measure the length and width of your room, then multiply those numbers to find the size of the space in square feet. After that, simply choose a purifier rated for that size. If you aren’t able to measure the room, determine whether it’s small, medium, or large; home offices and bedrooms are usually on the smaller end while living and dining rooms are usually on the larger end.
People who are particularly concerned about allergens or pollutants can also determine the clean air delivery rate (CADR), measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm), necessary for your room’s size. This figure expresses the volume of air cleaned every minute. Divide your room’s square footage by 1.55 to find the minimum CADR rating for your space; for example, if your bedroom is 130 square feet, your air purifier should have a CADR rating of at least 84 cfm.
✔️Consider your specific needs. First, decide which type of filter is best for you. HEPA models are quite popular because of their proven ability to trap allergens, but standard filter models are also available, usually at a lower price. (“HEPA-like” and “HEPA-type” filters are not true HEPA filters.) Some models also offer advanced features, including WiFi connectivity, air quality monitoring, and heating and cooling—although they may cost more than standard units. And on top of all of that, you should consider aesthetics, too; many models look like hunks of plastic, while others are almost beautiful.
Most of the air purifiers on this list were also independently tested by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), which uses the same metrics to determine how effective the devices are.
Do air purifiers really work?
In short, yes they do. “Air purifiers are most efficient for allergens that float around for longer periods of time, like pollen, pet dander, and mold spores,” explains Stephen Canfield, M.D., Ph.D., an allergist at ColumbiaDoctors Midtown in New York City. The best air purifiers for such a task, he says, are high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which can pluck out particles that are as small as five micrometers, or one-millionth of a meter. The best place to keep an air purifier is in your bedroom since it’s where you spend most of your time, Dr. Canfield says.
Beyond the obvious benefits of cleaning the air we breathe every day, the devices might also offer protection from illness. In a Yale University study conducted in response to COVID-19, researchers found that HEPA air purifiers contained over 99% of aerosols in a cramped hospital setting, meaning they could help limit the spread of COVID-19 within homes and other enclosed spaces. (Of course, air purifiers should by no means replace other safety practices like social distancing, hand-washing, and masking.)
How to clean your air purifier for allergies
“One should always follow manufacturer recommendations on how (and how frequently) to clean your air purifier,” Laher explains. “There are, however, some best practices to consider when maintaining your air purifier and keeping its performance in optimal condition,” including replacing or washing the filters regularly, keeping the air inlet/outlets clean, and cleaning the sensors.
How we chose the best air purifiers for allergies
We spoke with Stephen Canfield, M.D., Ph.D., an allergist at ColumbiaDoctors Midtown in New York City; and Doug Laher, M.B.A., C.A.E., C.M.P., registered respiratory therapist, and chief operating officer at the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) to determine what you should look for when shopping for an air purifier. We also read through countless online reviewers to find the best air purifiers for allergies available.
Why trust us
For more than 70 years, Prevention has been a leading provider of trustworthy health information, empowering readers with practical strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our editors interview medical experts to help guide our health-focused product selections. Additionally, Prevention also examines hundreds of reviews—and often conducts personal testing done by our staff—to help you make informed decisions.
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