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From basic models to state-of-the-art machines, these are the best air purifiers for keeping your ... [+] indoor air clean.Jonathan Baudoin/Forbes
There’s never been a better time to invest in a quality air purifier to help you breathe easier in your own home. From dust to smoke to pet dander, the best of these handy devices filter out effectively all contaminants from the air that you breathe. And while they’re especially useful for those with allergies or asthma, anyone can benefit from running one in their living space. Who doesn’t want to breathe cleaner, fresher air?
That being said, air purifiers aren’t a one-size-fits-all device—and it can be challenging to find one that suits your lifestyle, falls within your price range and meets your aesthetic requirements. Thankfully, there’s a wide range on the market, so the right model for you does exist—you just have to know how to find it. Ideally, you want an air purifier with a HEPA filter (short for “high-efficiency particulate air”), which removes at least 99.97% of air pollutants down to 0.3 microns. Also, depending on where you’d like to place your air purifier in your home, you’ll want to consider a range of sizes. While some models are compact enough to perch on your countertop, others will require room on your floor.
To find the best air purifiers out there, we researched the top devices on the market and combed through thousands of reader reviews. Then, we evaluated the best of the best according to efficiency, capacity, appearance and value—and since everyone has a different budget, we included swankier models and economical picks alike. In other words, there’s something for everyone here.
Small enough to fit on your desk and designed to filter up to about 129 square feet, this compact Levoit model is equipped with a HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of dust, pollen, smoke, odor, mold spores and pet dander. It’s an excellent, inexpensive option that eschews technology like UV and ionization more commonly found in this price range. Instead it features a three-stage filtration system that includes a pre-filter, a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. And three fan settings let you control the speed and volume of the purifier.
While this air purifier was designed for use in the bedroom (its fan is ultra quiet and it features an optional soft blue night light with two brightness settings), it’s quite portable and can be moved from room to room if needed. Aesthetically, it wouldn’t be out of place on your nightstand with its white or black case and sleek design. Though its capacity is on the smaller side and it doesn’t have as many features as other air purifiers on this list, it’s hard to beat the price. That said, if you want a little more square footage, the brand’s Core 300 model works in rooms up to 219 square feet, and retails for around $100.
What’s so “smart” about the Levoit VeSync Core 400S? This model connects to the VeSync app, which allows you to control the device and read real-time data about the air quality in your home. The unit can also be synced with voice assistants and is equipped with an aptly named Auto Mode, which automatically adjusts the fan speed to ensure clean air and energy conservation.
In addition to its high-tech capabilities, the Core 400S has all the essential features you want in an air purifier—namely, a HEPA filter. It offers a wide cleaning radius too, circulating air in rooms up to 403 square feet five times per hour.
This pick from Molekule is one of the priciest on the list, but for serious allergy-sufferers, it may be a worthwhile investment. “Air purifiers with traditional filters (like HEPA) are able to capture 99.97% of mold spores, pollen, dust, bacteria and other airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns,” explains the brand’s co-founder, president and chief technology officer Dilip Goswami. “What they’re not able to do is capture VOCs—airborne chemicals that mostly derive from off-gassing of building materials or products in our homes or things like everyday cleaning products. Molekule’s proprietary technology, photo electrochemical oxidation (PECO), not only tackles VOCs, but also uses oxidation to destroy indoor air pollutants at molecular levels.”
It’s worth mentioning that the brand has a newer model, the Air Pro, designed for extra large spaces up to 1,000 square feet. If you’re looking for the same sophisticated design for a bigger space, that might be the model worth investing in. Or you can opt for one of the Air Mini models, which purifies up to 250 square feet.
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This Honeywell HPA100 might not look like much—it has all the visual appeal of a space heater—but Honeywell, no doubt, is hoping you’ll care more about what it can do. This model is designed for medium-size rooms (about 155 square feet) and features a true HEPA filter for guaranteed removal of 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns. Honeywell says that its fan can filter the air in the room five times in one hour.
It’s one of the more configurable air purifiers on this list. The control panel on the top of the unit lets you set up to four different cleaning levels (which affect the fan speed and overall noise level) and has an auto-off timer option so it doesn’t run continuously. The panel also indicates when it’s time to change the filter, and it has multiple brightness levels so you can dim it at night or when you don’t need to see it.
The Coway Airmega AP-1512HH consistently gets high ratings across the board. This compact air purifier employs a four-stage filtration process that combines a pre-filter, a deodorization filter, a true HEPA filter and a Vital Ion filter that helps remove up to 99.7% of contaminants, including volatile organic compounds and odor from the air. While it’s filtering, it communicates your air quality in real time through its brightly colored LED display. And thanks to its auto mode, if it doesn’t sense any pollution for 30 minutes, the fan will automatically stop to conserve energy.
Because it’s small in size, this particular Coway model was designed to cover up to 361 square feet of space. For reference, that’s the size of a typical bedroom. If you’re looking for a whole-house air purifier, the Alen BreatheSmart is a better choice, but the Coway Airmega does an excellent job in smaller rooms and, with a decibel rating of 24.4 dB to 53.8 dB, it does it really quietly.
If you have pets, you need the Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier 2.0. This large capacity air purifier—it can replace the air in a 1,500-square-foot room up to 24 times per day—features a 5-in-1 filtration system that eliminates more than 99% of allergens and pollutants, like pet dander and the dust from a litter box. It also has an activated carbon filter that removes smoke, odors and gases and a cold catalyst filter that eliminates VOCs and harmful chemicals found in cleaning products or other household items, like candles or plug-ins.
It has a washable pre-filter that keeps pet hair away from the HEPA filter to improve performance and increase life expectancy. And, it’s easy to clean—just take it out, wash it down and it’s ready to start purifying again. It also has a filter replacement reminder that pops up to let you know when it’s time to order new filters, a convenient feature that ensures you never go without clean air.
Looking to cover a lot of square footage? Not a problem with the Alen BreatheSmart 75i Large Room Air Purifier. This air purifier cleans up to about 1,300 square feet twice an hour without making a lot of noise. In fact, Alen claims the technology in the BreatheSmart is twice as quiet as that of its key competitors, even on Turbo speed.
The Alen BreatheSmart features a HEPA Pure filter that is certified to capture 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns. This works in combination with the device’s Laser Smart Sensor, which also detects airborne particles down to 0.3 microns, to effectively clean your air of dust, pollen, allergens and dander.
It measures about 27 inches high and 18 inches wide, with a control panel on top that includes an air quality indicator light which always reflects the real-time purity of the room’s air with an easy-to-read display. And you can choose from among 14 different colors and panels to find one to match your home’s interior.
If you’re looking for a snazzy looking device for modestly sized rooms, this Blueair model may well be the way to go. It’s designed for spaces up to about 160 square feet, and Blueair claims it can filter that space five times an hour.
This three-stage air purifier combines mechanical filtration with an electrostatic filter and, to reduce odors, an activated carbon filter. It comes with two washable pre-filters designed for filtering out particles, pet dander, smoke and more. That said, be aware that while Blueair claims the system filters 99% of pollutants and it’s had its performance independently verified by the AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers), the filter itself isn’t HEPA-certified, if you’re looking for that particular seal of approval.
Visually, Blueair made sure that this purifier doesn’t look like an ordinary appliance. It has an interesting design that splits the device into two contrasting colors—colors that you can change depending upon the filter you install. A single button turns it on, off and varies the fan speed, but there’s no display or status on the device, nor is there a way to set an on or off timer.
While the Dyson HP01 Pure Hot + Cool is admittedly expensive, it replaces three different devices with its purifying, heating and cooling capabilities. True to the Dyson name, it performs with efficiency and cutting-edge technology, including sensors that constantly monitor the air. In addition to containing a HEPA filter that eliminates 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns, it also has an activated carbon layer that filters odors and VOCs. You can set the fan to its cooling mode, which offers a gentle airstream as it purifies, or switch to Backward Airflow mode for improving the air without a chill. Feeling a little too cool? Simply switch to the heating mode to warm up. The whole thing is easily operated by remote control.
How large of a model do you need? Do you want a “smart” unit you can control using your phone? Here’s what you should think about before hitting purchase.
Make sure to check how large of a space an air purifier can handle. Many models specify “Air Changes per Hour” for a given size room, and you’ll want to make sure the one you’re eyeing will actually work efficiently in the space where you plan to use it.
HEPA filters are considered the gold standard with air purifiers. “The filter captures both large and small particles that move through it,” explains Catherine Monteleone, M.D., professor of medicine, allergy and immunology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey. “This type is usually best for allergens and best for use in a single room.”
CADR stands for clean air delivery rate. “CADR is a product of two filter variables: the air flow rate and the filtration efficiency,” Corry explains. “Many units include this measurement.” However, he says, it shouldn’t be the end-all, be-all for choosing an air purifier. “Units that move lots of air but have poor filters that remove only large particles and fail to include a carbon insert will rate highly by CADR, but not clean your air very well at all, no matter how long you run the unit,” Corry says. “The better thing to do is purchase a unit that is a true HEPA system, so it will remove even very small particles.”
An air purifier isn’t exactly something you can hide in a cupboard—it has to be out in the open in order for it to work effectively. You’ll want to choose one that matches your decor or at least isn’t an eyesore when it’s sitting on a shelf, table or the floor.
Some purifiers have smart options like apps that let you control all the action from your phone. Others double as heating or cooling systems or both. But not everyone needs those extra bells and whistles. Figuring out what you will and won’t require from your purifier in advance is important—you don’t want to spend extra for features you’ll never even use.
Yes. At baseline, these units are designed to remove unwanted particles and irritants from the surrounding air. “An air purifier can filter particles down to a specific size,” says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist with Allergy Asthma Network. “This is helpful for allergens like mold and animal dander as well as certain viral, bacterial, fungal and other irritants and pollutants.”
Air purifiers typically feature a fan that moves air through a filter, weeding out impurities in the process, says David B. Corry, M.D., vice chair for immunology in the Department of Pathology Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. In addition to HEPA filters, which usually have a “woven material of differing weaves that can remove things as small as 0.3 microns,” some air filters are electrostatic, meaning air is passed over an electrically charged series of plates and causes particles to stick to other things.
If your unit has a HEPA filter, you’ll want to change the filter on a regular basis. This, Corry explains, “leads to permanent removal of the particles and volatiles from your local environment.”
Yes, it’s safe to run your unit around the clock. Since air quality is constantly changing, these machines are designed for continuous use. Some even have smart technologies that read air quality in real time and automatically adjust their settings to help conserve energy when purification isn’t needed.
That depends on the air quality in your living space (or wherever you’ve placed your unit). Most manufacturers recommend that you change the filter every three to six months, but if the air quality is particularly poor, you may have to change your filters more often.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an air purifier by itself isn’t enough to protect you from contracting COVID-19. However, the EPA website notes, a quality unit “can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a home or confined space.” In other words, running an air purifier can a good protective measure but it shouldn’t be your only one.
It really depends on the layout of your living space and where you spend most of your time. If you pass most of the day in your home office or living room, you may want to put an air purifier in one of those spaces. Many people like to place the unit in their bedroom and run it at night to remove airborne irritants while they sleep.
Looking to save an on air purifier? Check out the following air purifiers, which are currently on sale:
The Dyson Pure Cool acts as both an air purifier and a fan, with a purified airflow stream that can cool you down as it cleans. It uses a 360 degree filtration system with a HEPA filter and activated carbon to remove odors and gases and to capture 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size. It should work around the whole room, even capturing particles at a distance. The fact that there are no fast-spinning blades makes it safer (especially with little kids around) and easier to clean, and it has a convenient remote control.
If you need an air purifier for a larger space, this is a great option, as it can be used in a room as large as 1095 square feet. It uses an H13 true HEPA filter with a UV treatment technology that can purify the air twice to thoroughly purify the air. It’s also ideal if you want it on overnight: there’s a sleep mode that runs the fan on low noise and speed, with all indicators off to make it as quiet and dark as possible.
This personal air purifier is ideal for smaller spaces, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. The filer should still capture 99.7% of 0.3 micron particles and has a 3-in-1 filtration system that is not only highly efficient, but is also convenient: you only have to replace one filter when the filter change indication is on. The small size makes it great for dorm rooms, nurseries, or small offices.
This air purifier does it all: the 360 degree filtration purifies the air and removes airborne allergens, dust, smoke, dander and more, the optional ionizer releases negative ions to aid the process, it filters out unwanted odors and the UV-C light helps to kill germs, bacteria and viruses. It also has a night light and an indicator light to let you know it’s time to change the filter.
This air purifier has a 3-in-1 filtration system with a HEPA filter and an optional UV-C light to get rid of even more microorganisms. There are three different fan speeds to choose from, and an optional timer with two, four and eight hour settings to help you extend the filter life and save on energy. It has a sleek look to it as well.
This super quiet air purifier has a true HEPA filter to get rid of nearly all of the unwanted particles in the air with a 99.99% removal rate. The lowest fan speed is quiet with a gentle night light, making it great for overnight use. It also features a child lock and a timer.
Made with large spaces in mind, this Holmes air purifier also has some convenient features. The Filter Life Progress Bar has an indicator light that lets you know when it’s time to change the filter and the simple design makes it very easy to use with a sleek look. It sucks up unwanted odors as well as 99.97% airborne allergens.
This personal-sized air purifier can capture particles as small as 0.1 micron. It’s a low-maintenance product: you only have to replace the filter every 18 months, and in between, you can vacuum the electrostatic filter about every one to two months. It’s very quiet, it’s great for small spaces and it comes with a three-year warranty.
This is made for larger rooms up to 240 square feet. It has a 5-stage filtration system with a HEPA filter and can remove unwanted particles and odors. With three adjustable fan speeds, a quiet sleep mode and timer and lock functions, this one has all of the most convenient features. It also has an indicator light when the filter needs to be changed. And it’s heavily discounted for a great price.
6 4 Associated CointreeAlex on 01/02/2022 - 14:07 cointree.com (142...Read More