Written By
Published Mar. 21, 2022

An air purifier is one of those things you don’t think you need until you get one — and then wonder why you didn’t get it sooner. Many might believe that an air purifier is just for those who have allergies, but that’s really not the case. Though those who suffer from allergies will find an air purifier is a must to make them feel better, there are other airborne pollutants that affect all of us, allergies or not. The best air purifiers can remove smoke particles, pollen, dust, and much more from the air before you can breathe those things into your lungs. As it removes these pollutants, it also makes your home smell better, helps you sleep more soundly (especially if you have allergies), and makes your home much more hospitable to guests who might suffer from respiratory problems.

There are several things to look for when choosing the right air purifier for your home. Fan speeds matter, as these can affect not just the air quality but the noise level as well. An auto mode that self-adjusts to provide the best quality air depending upon the atmosphere is a big bonus. If the air purifier gives you feedback on the air quality, even better. 

We took a look at the best air purifiers on the market today and narrowed them down with a clear and concise methodology (which we will explain below). Take a look at what we consider the best air purifiers of 2022. 

How We Selected the Best Air Purifiers

Methodology

When we looked at the wide variety of air purifiers on the market, our criteria narrowed them down pretty quickly to the best of the best. We started by looking at those that covered a typical room’s square feet with an appropriate CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) rating — which indicates how well a machine filters out specific particles or pollutants — ensuring that it exchanges room air at least every 15 minutes. We also looked for true HEPA filters, as well as other filters that remove odors and finer pollutants. The design — how well it would fit into most home décor — was also a consideration, as was the ease of moving it around the home. We also considered any bells and whistles the best air purifiers might have, how quiet it is when it runs at any speed, and finally, the cost. It was important to analyze whether each choice had all the criteria we were looking for at a reasonable price for the size of the unit.

Related: The best coolers to keep your food fresh in 2022

The Best Air Purifiers: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall Air Purifier: Coway Airmega AP-1512HH True HEPA Air Purifier

Why It Made The Cut: The Coway Airmega offers four filters, including a true HEPA and an odor filter, as well as three speeds to adjust for room size. The eco mode, indoor air quality indicator, and filter lifespan indicator make this an easy-to-use purifier for any space.

Specs:

  • Weight: 12.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.8 inches L x 9.6 inches W x 18.3 inches H
  • Room Size: 361 sq. feet

Pros:

  • Eco mode keeps energy costs down
  • Attractive, compact design
  • Easy-to-see LED lights

 Cons:

  • Can be noisy
  • Fan blades can become dislodged

With a programmable timer that provides one, four, or eight hours of run time as well as three fan speeds and a useful auto mode, this in-demand air purifier from Coway gets attention. The eco mode kicks in when the machine doesn’t pick up any pollution for 30 minutes; it’s like a standby function that cuts down on the power you’ll use. Bright LED lights indicate the air quality as well as the filter status.

The four-stage filtration system includes the true HEPA filter, a vital ionizer, pre-filter, and deodorization. The washable pre-filter catches larger particles, while the deodorizer does away with everything from cooking odors to smoke. The true HEPA filter gets rid of the finer dust. If you don’t want to use the ionizer, you can simply turn it off and let the air purifier do its job without the risk of ozone production. Replacement filters vary in cost, so watch the listings and stock up when the prices go down.

Best Air Purifier for Large Rooms: Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier

Blueair

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: Washable filters got our attention, as well as the solid CADR rating. The noise level is on a par with others, though perhaps a little quieter on the lowest setting. A larger air purifier, this can run through the air of a 540 square foot room about every 12 minutes.

Specs:

  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13 inches L x 13 inches W x 20.4 inches H
  • Room Size: 540 sq. feet

Pros:

  • Energy Star-certified
  • Circulates air five times per hour
  • Different colors available

Cons:

  • Relatively high cost
  • Can be noisy in operation

The large washable filter of the Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier catches the pet hair, dander, pollen, and other irritants, while the electrostatically-charged filter removes the tinier particles — up to 99.97 percent of them. Though the filters aren’t certified as true HEPA, they still do the trick for cleaning the air. The colors vary widely. One-button control gives this air purifier a minimalist look. You can go even further with the look by leaving the mesh filter casing exposed.It is Energy Star-certified for pulling only between 31 and 60 watts. The filter indicator light will let you know when it’s time to replace it. This can filter out the air of larger rooms, up to 540 square feet, about five times per hour. Be aware that sometimes a new filter can release a slight chemical scent, but should resolve within a matter of days.

Best Budget Air Purifier: LEVOIT Personal True HEPA Air Purifier

LEVOIT

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: This machine offers a true HEPA filter, disposable pre-filter, and carbon filter, all of which can be replaced with minimal cost. It uses three speeds and might be noisy for some. The portability and low price make this one a winner.

Specs:

  • Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7.9 inches L x 7.9 inches W x 12.6 inches H
  • Room Size: 129 sq. feet 

Pros:

  • Small and portable
  • Included nightlight
  • Simple to operate

Cons:

  • Can be rather loud for the size
  • Filters need frequent replacement

This lightweight and portable air purifier by LEVOIT is quite affordable, which is why it made our best budget-friendly air purifier. Homes with pets can greatly benefit from this purifier, which sucks up pet hair, dander, and even pet odors with ease. In return for the great price you get a truly minimalist option with no bells and whistles. Simply move it where you want, start it up, and walk away. Since this works for smaller areas and is highly portable, it is often purchased as a two-pack.

The filter light reminds you to check the filters, but it doesn’t tell you when they actually need replacement. Fortunately, even though the filters aren’t washable, the cost of replacement is just as affordable as you would expect for a budget option. It might be a bit loud for bedrooms, so keep that in mind if you need a quiet room to sleep in — but for those who like white noise, this might be a boon for your rest. This air purifier takes about 15 minutes to clean about 129 square feet.

Best Air Purifier for Allergies: Honeywell HPA 300 HEPA Air Purifier

Honeywell

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: This four-speed air purifier with a true HEPA filter and disposable pre-filter cleans 465 square feet of air four times in one hour. Compatible filter replacements are available to save some cash over the long term.

Specs:

  • Weight: 17 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 inches L x 9.25 inches W x 22.25 inches H
  • Room Size: 465 sq. feet

Pros:

  • Easy to move around
  • Energy Star-approved
  • Great for allergies

Cons:

  • Need regular maintenance
  • Brand-name filters can be expensive

This Honeywell air purifier offers a programmable timer, adjustable lights on the control panel, and works for larger rooms. The four speeds range from very quiet to rather loud, but even the higher speeds are worth the noise for those who suffer from severe allergies. It’s portable, meant to be moved from one room to another as needed. The CADR ratings offered by this air purifier deserve a mention because unlike others with comparable ratings, this one has the highest for smoke, dust, and pollen.

The true HEPA filter in this Energy Star product is actually made up of three filters, but the filters are not in one cohesive unit; therefore, it takes some time to figure out how to insert them into the air purifier. The true HEPA filter and the pre-filter are disposable, and depending upon the level of use, must be replaced every six to 12 months.

Best Air Purifier for Small Spaces: Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier

Blueair

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: This three-speed air purifier weighs just over three pounds, making it ideal for moving from room to room. It works well for small rooms, and the washable pre-filter makes it easy to maintain.

Specs:

  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8 inches L x 8 inches W x 16.7 inches H
  • Room Size: 161 sq. feet

Pros:

  • Uses very little energy
  • Quite affordable
  • Quiet

Cons:

  • Not great for pet hair

This Energy-Star rated air purifier from Blueair can clean the air in a 161 square foot room five times in one hour with the help of a true HEPA filter and an affordable pre-filter. Expect to purchase replacement filters once per year. This energy-efficient model is also quiet, so it’s a great choice for bedrooms or even a child’s room, as well as apartments where you’d rather not have a lot of humming noise to distract the neighbors.

There are a variety of colors to choose with this model, and the streamlined design helps it fit into almost any décor. A single button in the center top of the unit is all you need to adjust speeds, and it will glow red when the filter is reaching the end of its life. That filter works in 360-degrees, so no matter where you place it, you can count on it working. This is essentially a smaller version of the 211+ model from the same company, with the exception of being unable to handle pet hair or dander. Those with shedding pets need to look elsewhere.

Related: The best dishwashers for squeaky-clean dishes

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Air Purifiers

Size

When choosing an air purifier, one of the most important things to consider is the size of the room you intend to use it in. Do you need one that can handle a very large room, such as a great room or living room, or are you seeking something that is suitable for a child’s room or nursery? Once you’ve decided on that, you can determine the square footage you need the purifier to cover.

Noise

You should also look at the decibel level of the purifier. While most are relatively quiet and will soon blend into the background for most users, others can be rather loud when on their highest setting – think of the sound of an air conditioner blowing full-blast, and you have an idea of what a larger air purifier on the highest setting could sound like. Obviously something that noisy might not be the best choice for a child’s room, but it might be just fine for a larger space – or it might even be a boon to those who need white noise to sleep best.

CADR

There are a few cold, hard numbers to look at as well. The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) explains how well the air purifier is pulling allergens and pollutants from the air. The higher the CADR, the better the filters are at trapping those particles. This usually comes along with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. There might be other filters as well, such as the pre-filter (which catches bigger things, like cat hair) and ultraviolet filters that use light to destroy mold or bacteria.

You’ll find that the CADR is related to the amount of cubic feet the air purifier can clean per minute. The goal is a CADR that leads to a room’s air being cleaned in 15 minutes or less. This might require a CADR of at least 200 for a 300 square foot room, or 400 for a 600 square foot room.

Remember, you can also have more than one air purifier in the room if it’s just too large for a smaller air purifier to handle, but you’re still looking for something portable.

FAQs

Q: How much do filters for my air purifier cost?

In most cases, filters will need to be changed every six to 12 months (but those with very heavy use might need more frequent replacement). Some models have disposable filters, which can run anywhere from $20 to $80 each, on average. If the model has a washable filter, it can last for years with proper care, but replacing it when it does wear out can cost $100 or more. Consider how much it might cost to replace the filter over the long-term and add that to your upfront cost of purchase to determine a more accurate price.

Q: What does a smart purifier do?

Some air purifiers can connect to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and allow you to operate them through a smartphone app. This allows you to change the schedule or fan speed, as well as see real-time feedback on the air quality and allow for closer monitoring. This is often coupled with graphs or charts that make it easy to see how pure the air is or even what kind of pollutants the purifier is removing. The best part of a smart air purifier is that you can see, in real time, the difference the machine is making.

Q: Does the type of air filter make a difference?

You definitely need a HEPA filter. This has become the standard for the best air purifiers on the market, as it can remove 99.97 percent of particles that are at least 0.3 microns in size. (Spoiler alert: That’s incredibly tiny!) Look for an air purifier that says it has a “true HEPA” filter, as that means it has met certain standards and will deliver the cleaning it promises.

Final Thoughts on The Best Air Purifiers

The best air purifiers can be incredibly helpful for relieving allergy symptoms. But even if you don’t get seasonal allergies, air purifiers can also get rid of other airborne pollutants and make your home healthier. Our favorite is the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH True HEPA Air Purifier for its multiple filters, three speeds, and large coverage area. But, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly pick, the LEVOIT Personal True HEPA Air Purifier is an easily-portable, three-speed model.

MORE TO READ