Breathe easier at home with a HEPA air purifier, which will clear dust, smoke, VOCs, and other allergens from the air.
You may consider your home a safe haven from pollution and allergens. But get this: even though you can't necessarily tell by looking at it, indoor air is often twice as polluted as outdoor air thanks to dust, mold, and chemicals that accumulate in the enclosed space over time.
“Some things like dust mites might only be in the air for 20 to 30 minutes, but if something floats around for hours, like cat antigen, dog antigen, cockroaches, or mold, you want an air purifier on to trap it,” says Timothy Craig, DO, a professor at Penn State’s Center for Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gasses from cigarette smoke, paints, furniture, copiers, cleaning supplies, and dry-cleaned clothes can also lead to symptoms of "sick building syndrome," like headaches and fatigue.
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When shopping for an air purifier, make sure it uses a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. This type of filter meets certain standards set by the United States Department of Energy, like the ability to remove 99.97% of tiny (0.3 micrometer or bigger) airborne particles. Dr. Craig says this type of filter is extremely effective at removing any airborne allergens and should remain on at all times in order to reach its full air-cleaning potential. Just make sure to replace the filter as often as the manufacturer suggests, usually every six months to two years.
Here, we share seven HEPA-filter air purifiers worth trying out for a cleaner, healthier home.
Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Allergen Remover
This purifier is a workhorse that circulates air five times every hour, capturing odors and germs in the process. What’s more, this model doesn’t release any ozone, a known lung irritant.
One reviewer wrote: "This is the best air purifier that I have ever owned, and I could not be happier with it. The allergen setting is VERY quiet. In fact, if I have my little fan on at my desk, I can't hear the air purifier. The turbo setting is awesome, and takes out odors very quickly. I have been running it at the allergen setting, and have not had a single complaint [at the office]. I have had it for a week, and my asthma has already improved."
GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System
Amazon's bestseller in the "HEPA Filter Air Purifier" category, with over 19,000 five-star ratings from customers, this tower-shaped air purifier combines a HEPA filter, charcoal filter, and UV-C light to get your home dust-free. Another perk: It also eliminates odors from pets and smoking and kills airborne bacteria in its tracks.
One buyer with a cat went as far as to call it "life changing": "We have two cats in our 4,000 sq ft house. When my sister came from out of state, she asked if our cats ran away. She said our home had zero odor or scents, which is what I was going for."
LEVOIT HEPA Air Purifier
A smaller option that'll fit perfectly on your dresser or nightstand, this quiet HEPA air filter from LEVOIT uses a unique 3-stage filtration system to keep the surrounding air free of allergens. You can also choose from three filter speeds, depending on the size of your space, and two brightness levels for the nightlight function.
"I've had this purifier for 5 days and can already tell a huge difference in my allergy and sinus issues. My right nostril is constantly clogged and by the second day of running this I could finally breathe thru both nostrils upon waking! There is a noticeable difference in the air when I walk into my bedroom where I keep the levoit filter from the rest of my home. No more musty smell. If you have any sort of allergy or breathing problem I highly recommend this," raved a customer.
Hamilton Beach TrueAir Allergen-Reducing Ultra Quiet Air Cleaner Purifier with Permanent HEPA Filter
Looking for an affordable option? This miniature filter comes in at less than $50 and still offers HEPA-grade filtration. Place it on a shelf or under your desk and you won’t even remember it’s there. Reviews praise this little guy’s near-perfect silence, too.
"We have 2 of these air purifiers and have had them for about 8 months. They really do work at removing dust. We don't sneeze daily anymore. And 10 year old daughter does not suffer from asthma anymore. We run these for 24/7 on high and never had any issues. They are worth the cost," shared a shopper.
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode
The sleek, compact design of this air purifier will make it anything but an eyesore in your home. A built-in air quality sensor alerts the machine when it needs to do double times on eliminating those pesky allergens. If no allergens are detected in a 30-minute span, the machine temporarily turns off to save power.
One reviewer noted just how sensitive it is: "I've had this purifier for 2 1/2 years and still absolutely love it. The filters aren't unreasonably expensive nor do I have to replace them too frequently. It's very sensitive and kicks on when I cook, even though it isn't in the kitchen. In fact, it's so sensitive that a dog fart has been known to get it going to filter the air. If that's not a selling point, I don't know what is."
Dyson Pure Cool Link Air Purifier
Before you go into sticker shock over this purifier, hear us out: Dyson is known for creating quality home products (vacuums and blow dryers included) and reviews laud the product’s state-of-the-art design. This model comes with a remote control and app that provides air quality data and alerts when your HEPA filter should be replaced.
"I have a small house and the air can get stuffy. Or if I cook my whole house will smell like that meal for a day. This has solved these problems. It looks great and will make the air in your house crisp and clean. I've also struggled with allergies my entire life and haven't had an issue in the last two months since I've bought this. I keep it on Auto mode and it kicks in when it needs to so no big impact to my energy bill. I love this product," said a customer.
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Customizable Air Purifier with HEPA-Pure Filter
Yes, you can keep your air pure and your home stylish all at once. Alen’s device comes in 14 colors to fit any style. But most impressive is its lifetime warranty, which makes the hefty price tag well worth it.
"I have tried several air purifiers in my master bedroom (14 X 21 ft.). Others were either not powerful enough or too noisy for uninterrupted sleep - or both. This Alen product hits the sweet spot in that it moves plenty of air quietly. It is a really well built and versatile unit. I suffer from allergies and asthma and find I get a better night's sleep and wake up with far less congestion when I use a good air purifier with the standard filter. I am looking forward to many years of service from this quality product," wrote a buyer.