Air Purifier Overview
Do you spend more time indoors than you do outdoors? Probably—and because of this, you need to be conscious of the air you are breathing, air which you can control the quality of. With a bevy of potential pollutants such as dust, pet dander, smoke (fireplace or personal use), cooking emissions, mold, pollen and plenty of others, the air in your home can be more harmful than you think. Digging deeper, these hidden horrors stay in your home, trapped by windows, walls and general stagnation.
Thanks to modern technology and increased awareness of what’s happening in the environment around us, a market for air purification has developed. While at first glance, everything might seem fantastic with every air purifier, it is buyer beware as not all systems have the same, or even adequate capabilities.
What Is An Air Purifier?
The main purpose of an air purifier is to remove contaminants from the air, and increase overall air quality. Depending on the type of air purifier, some might focus more on pet-related pollutants while other might focus more on allergy or mold -related pollutants.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
The air purifier itself consists of intake and output fans, with a filtration system between the two which captures pollutants before releasing fresher, cleaner air back into the room. All-in-all, air purifiers are the best way to maintain a healthy environment inside your home.
Air Purifier Reviews
We took a look at five of the best air purifiers on the market to give you an idea of what’s available, and what you’re missing out on if you do not have a purifier already in place.
Here are the best home air purifiers:
1. Best Overall: Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA, PlasmaWave and Odor Reducing Washable AOC Carbon Filter for Odor, Allergens, Chemical Vapors and Other Pollutants
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Review
As a larger Air Purifier, it is important to make sure the impact is felt immediately after being plugged in. In that regard, the Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier has no trouble. With a list price of $249.99 and often available for less, this Winix production is comparably expensive, but worth the cost if you plan to filter air in larger spaces.
Officially rated for up to 360 square feet, this unit is suitable for medium to large rooms.
While this filtration system utilizes a 3-step process, it differs in execution from the other purifiers on our list. It contains the standard HEPA filter designed to capture airborne allergens and carbon filter to reduce odor but, from there, Winix takes a unique approach.
The third stage uses what they have termed “PlasmaWave” technology. PlasmaWave is a permanent, rather than replaceable, filtration system that attacks odor, allergens, chemical vapors and other pollutants, acting as a catch-all for anything harmful in the air that may have snuck past the other filters.
This is one of the “smartest” air purifiers on the market, with its sensors able to detect air quality and adjust accordingly. For those who spend long hours at work and want to come home to a home with clean air, this is a feature of which the value cannot be measured.
Additionally, this is fantastic for people who have pets, and although they love them, they don’t necessarily love being overwhelmed by their smell.
Original Retail $249.99
2. Best for Large Rooms: Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA, Eco Mode and 4-Stage Filtration for Large Rooms
Coway AP-1512HH Air Purifier Review
While this is the most expensive purifier in our guide, the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier is equipped to filter air in large rooms, or big areas within open concept spaces. Capable of accommodating rooms up to 361 square feet, this filtration system can operate normally in a large room, or work with minimal effort to keep smaller rooms clean.
With a price of list price of $223, Coway knew that customers would expect their purchase to work for years on end. While there is no reason to think that this would not be the case, Coway stands behind their products should anything go wrong offering complimentary 1-year protection on internal parts and the motor, and 3-year protection on electronic parts.
Built with a 4-stage filtration set up, hardly any harmful pollutants are able to escape through the elaborate system. Like most purifiers it contains a pre-filter, HEPA filter and deodorization filter, but the fourth stage includes a vital ion filter. As an added layer of air security, the bipolar ionizer generates an electrochemical reaction further eliminating airborne threats.
Rather than relying on the user to determine if the purifier needs to be turned up or down, the unit lets the person know the quality of the air they’re breathing through a hard to miss LED light.
Not to be outdone, the interface also lets users know when the pre-filter and HEPA filter need to be cleaned or replaced. While each of those features rely on you to pay attention, a valuable self-serving perk of this unit is that when pollution is not detected for 30 minutes, it will go into an energy conservation mode and not turn on again until the need arises.Original Retail $222.99
3. Best for Smaller Rooms: LEVOIT Vista 200 Home Air Purifier for Allergies, Pets, Smoke, Dust and Mold with Night Light & Timer
LEVOIT Vista 200 Air Purifier Review
Standing at just over a foot tall, the LEVOIT Vista 200 Air Purifier is the perfect fix for bedrooms, offices and other small rooms. This unit has a mid-range list price of $80 and is protected by customer service.
Since this purifier is so compact, it is the perfect solution for dorm rooms as it does not take up much room yet still makes quite the difference. For anyone that’s ever been in a dorm room, you know that any type of effort to clean up the smell and decontaminate the air goes a long way. It’s a safe alternative to candles, which are outlawed on most campuses due to the fire risk.
Most household appliances that are plugged in 24/7 cost quite a bit to run, and in turn could deter some from making a purchase. While it costs some money up-front, and a bit more for replacement filters over time, this product consumes minimal electricity and totes a tiny yearly cost. In fact, even if this system is running day-in and day-out, it could cost as little as $6 per year.
If you’re someone who wants to be in charge of how the air is being filtered, you’re in luck as there are 3 fan speeds and timer settings for 2, 4 and 8 hours, none of which increase the energy output too much.
Though LEVOIT does not have a recommended filter replacement period, be replaced after a certain amount of time on this model, there is a “change filter” light that will alert you to purchase a replacement filter and get your purifier back to running at peak performance.
So long as you keep the interior components of the system up to date and clean, you’ll be able to enjoy the full benefits that come with the 3-stage filtration system. This system includes a pre-filter, HEPA filter and Carbon filter that work together to provide the purest air possible.Original Retail $89.99
Model Vista 200
SKU Vista 200
4. Best with UV-C Light: GermGuardian AC4825 Home & Office Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter for Allergies, Pollen, Smoke, Dust, Pet Dander, Germs, Mold and Odors
GermGuardian AC4825 Air Purifier Review
Perfect for individual rooms, the Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier stands at 22 inches tall and, despite its small stature, provides plenty of power to filter air throughout your home.
A triple threat, this air purifier kills germs with its UV-C light, traps allergens and reduces particles thanks to an activated charcoal filter. The UV-C light specifically targets airborne viruses with Titanium Dioxide to break down harmful compounds that otherwise would spread rampantly in your house.
Allergens such as dust and pet hair are trapped before coming in contact with the HEPA filter, extending the life of the most vital component of the purifier.
Finally, charcoal helps to reduce the odors of things like pets, smoke and cooking fumes leaving your house smelling fresh and clean.
Put all these things together and you have a comprehensive system of air filtration that throws away all the bad and brings in the good.
Capable of filtering air in rooms up to 167 square feet, Germ Guardian has equipped this product with 3 speed settings for the occasions when you need to be filtering a bit more strongly—like when your kids come home after sports practice or after a quick workout.
As an added bonus, the lowest setting emits just a small amount of noise which doubles as white noise helping you to get a peaceful night sleep.
After 6-8 months, you will need to replace the filters, and after 10-12 months, the UV-C bulb will also need to be swapped to maintain peak performance. Like with most companies, their products are designed to handle their parts only, however replacement filters and parts are readily available online.Original Retail $149.99
Brand Guardian Technologies
5. Best on a Budget: LEVOIT LV-H132 Home Air Purifier for Smoke, Allergies, Pet Hair, Odors and Mold
LEVOIT LV-H132 Air Purifier Review
American made and at the top of its class, the LEVOIT LV-H132 Air Purifier is a top choice among consumers. With two color choices, White and Black, you have the freedom to choose a product that will blend into your room. Additionally, consumers who purchase two purifiers, but at separate times, can use the two colors to keep a maintenance schedule that helps you stay on track more easily than two of the same.
When purchasing through an authorized seller, LEVOIT offers additional coverage, providing a 2-year customer service plan, as well as lifetime support.
Since this purifier was designed for small rooms only, such as a bedroom, the product developers paid special attention to the light given off from the base of the unit. There are two brightness settings, which can be controlled by simply tapping the light and can also be turned off completely. With three settings, you’ll be sure to find your perfect level of lighting and if it is placed in the bedroom of a child, it can double as a nightlight.
Given its status as a premier air purifier, it’s no surprise that it has a sophisticated 3-stage filtration system. This elaborate setup contains a pre-filter, HEPA filter and a Carbon filter, all of which work in conjunction to reduce harmful airborne pollutants and improve air quality.
While it is quieter than most air purifiers, it is among the most active, circulating air more 4 times per hour so that you will never be faced with a stale smelling room. Despite circulation occurring that frequently, filters only need to be replaced every 6-8 months. To help you keep you on track, there is a built-in replacement indicator.Original Retail $89.99
Air Purifiers – What types are there and which is the best for you
Among the many different types of air purifiers, the type we have chosen to highlight in this guide are air purifiers with HEPA filters. HEPA (High-efficiency particulate arrestance) filters are designed to trap in more than 99% of airborne particles. Due to the heavy workload of HEPA air purifiers, they must be regularly cleaned or replaced to maintain optimal functionality.
Additionally, these filters are geared towards preventing the spread of any airborne bacteria, and therefore will not multiply on the filter after being filtered from the air being put back into the room.
Where To Place An Air Purifier
Before we get into the nitty gritty of what separates one system from the other, we first need to think of a couple simple things that will allow us to get the most out of our new filtration systems.
First and foremost, an air purifier should be placed in the room that you spend the most time in. Realistically, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to have a room that is hardly used filtered.
Instead, these units are designed specifically to be placed in areas like kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. Each of these room types have the potential to pollute your air; whether it’s dirty clothes in your bedroom, carcinogens from cooking or just general pollution in your living room.
No matter how cleanly you live, there is always potential for air pollution, and air purification is an efficient and effective way to keep healthy and breathe clean air.