Whether you live in a polluted urban area, have pets, experience seasonal allergies or simply want to breathe cleaner air, you might want to invest in an air purifier. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, using a portable air cleaner, better known as an air purifier or air sanitizer, “can reduce indoor air pollution” and “be an effective supplement to source control and ventilation.” To help you choose the best air purifiers for your home, we researched the top-ranked brands and devices.
What Do Air Purifiers Do?
Air purifiers are designed to help improve indoor air quality by filtering the air through one or more filters that trap microscopic air pollutants. To filter the air, the device uses a small intake fan to pull in air from the room. The air is then forced through the filtration system, and the filtered air is recirculated back into the room.
The best air purifiers meet or exceed HEPA filtration standards. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are designed to capture up to 99.97% of all airborne particles at least 0.3 microns or larger. To put that in perspective, a grain of beach sand measures about 90 microns, while cat dander particles are between 5-10 microns.
Can Air Purifiers Help You Sleep Better?
If you’re one of the 25 million Americans who live with asthma, or you suffer from any other type of respiratory condition that’s irritated by airborne contaminants, installing an air purifier in your bedroom may be good for your health.
A clinical review of studies that examined the connection between air filtration and health concluded that reducing particles in your home’s air can reduce asthma symptoms and even prevent disease progression.
How to Choose the Best Air Purifier
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness about indoor air quality, especially since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommend taking steps to increase air filtration.
With dozens of air purifiers on the market, choosing the best air purifier for your home can be challenging. Here’s what you should look for when shopping for an air cleaner:
- Pick an air purifier sized to your room. As with air conditioners and portable heaters, it’s important to choose an air purifier that’s large enough to cover your space.
- Take CADR with a grain of salt. The clean air delivery rate, or CADR, is a numeric indicator of the air capacity of an air purifier. However, CADR is not necessarily an indicator of filtration efficiency.
- Choose a device that’s easy to maintain. Consider how often the filter needs to be replaced, and whether the filters are readily available.
- Consider the price. Home-use air purifiers range in price from under $100 to well over $1000 plus recurring filter costs, and for many users, a more expensive unit doesn’t necessarily mean better performance.
Best Air Purifier for Small Rooms
Designed to work in small spaces measuring up to 250 square feet, the Molekule Air Mini+ is a lightweight, canister-shaped air purifier that’s designed to be easily moved from room to room.
This device connects to an air control app that allows users to control the fan speed, turn the purifier on and off and monitor the status of the filter. The app also lets you keep track of your room’s air quality while the fan can automatically adjust to the room’s air contaminants.
Best Tower-Style Air Purifier
Dyson’s Pure Cool Cryptomic Purifying Fan is a tower-style air purifier designed with the company’s innovative Air Multiplier technology. This dual-purpose device includes HEPA and activated carbon filtration to remove up to 99.97% of airborne contaminants sized at 0.3 microns and up.
Unlike many other air purifiers, which project the purified air out in one direction, the Dyson device features adjustable 350-degree oscillation to release the filtered air throughout the room. There’s also an integrated sleep timer, and users can monitor their air quality using the Dyson Link app.
Best Air Purifier for Personal Spaces
Topping our list of the best air purifiers is the SoClean Air Purifier. Unlike most other air cleaners, this user-friendly air purifier has a built-in battery that can power the device for up to 24 hours.
The SoClean Air Purifier uses a three-stage filtration system to capture up to 99.99999% of airborne bacteria and viruses, which exceeds HEPA standards. Multiple speeds allow for deep air scrubbing and ongoing maintenance filtration. And because this device uses a pre-filter, core filter and carbon filter, it’s highly effective at reducing both airborne contaminants and odors that can be irritating to those living with allergies or respiratory diseases.