Life in 2020 took an unexpected turn, and people nowadays spend more time indoors than ever before. And while we do our best to disinfect our hands, wear face masks, and thoroughly clean all surfaces, we easily overlook one thing – the air. And how clean is the indoor air we breathe?
Most of the time, indoor air is more polluted than the air outdoors, especially now, as many of us choose to stay home. Opening a window each morning does help, but nothing beats air purifiers at improving the quality of air inside your living space.
Still, air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes, and above all, work in entirely different ways. To save you the trouble of going out, we reviewed some of the best air purifiers on the market for you. To further explain any unfamiliar terms you might encounter, we included a comprehensive buyer's guide in the later section of the article.
By reading through this article, you'll learn all the essential functions air purifier should have, along with some of the currently popular models. For a start, here's our top pick:
Top 10 Air Purifiers Reviews 2021
Blueair Blue Pure 411+
Blueair is a Swedish manufacturer with over two decades worth of air-purifying experience transformed into high-quality devices of outstanding performance. Their Pure 411+ model is an entry-level air purifier suitable for small rooms and bedrooms, no larger than 185ft2.
The device comes in a perforated, cylindrical metal housing for the combined filtering solution. The housing allows for 360° air intake, allowing the fan to cycle more air through the filters. In fact, the device is rated 5x ACH, which means it recycles the air once every 12 minutes, at 185ft2 of space.
Combined with a HEPA-type filter, dubbed HEPASilent, the fan produces significantly less noise, making the device suitable for bedroom use. Additionally, the filtering technology inside this air purifier also uses activated carbon, which removes all sorts of fumes and odors. The HEPASilent filtration itself removes up to 99.97% of pollutant particles like pollen, dust, etc.
For larger particles, like dust, mites, and pet hair, the Pure 411+ uses a washable pre-filter made of fabric. The pre-filters are available in several colors to match your space flawlessly, while the whisper-quiet device cleans the air around you.
BOYON A8 Air Purifier
What if we told you that you don't have to go to the unexplored outdoors for a breath of fresh and clean air. Well, with BOYON A8, you can breathe fresh and clean air without leaving the comfort of your home.
The A8 removes up to 99.97% of pollutants thanks to the powerful fan that pulls the air through the 5-stage filtration system. The system consists of a pre-filter, the True HEPA Filter, an activated carbon filter, and a cotton filter. These filters remove everything from pet hair, dander, fiber, and dust, to pollen, smoke, cooking smells, VOCs, and even some microorganisms.
The last stage of this high-quality filtration system is the negative ion generator, which releases a concentration of negative oxygen ions to clean the surrounding air thoroughly. This concentration is by no means significant enough to generate ozone or any other harmful byproduct that would jeopardize your health.
The device comes with an Auto mode that uses the intelligent air quality sensor to automatically adjust the fan speed according to the ambient air quality. Of course, you can always change the speed manually or use the sleep mode to create a restful and healthy indoor environment. Additional features include a filter replacement reminder, a nightlight function, and a touch buttons design.
If germs and viruses are your primary concern, then GermGuardian AC4825E is the solution. For an affordable price, you get the 22-inch tower air purifier with all the benefits of the True HEPA Filter and a UV-C lamp.
This 22-inch tower features two openings covered with a metal grill that protects the inner workings from any larger particles or eager pets curious enough to play with the fan. These grills allow the cleaner to maximize its fan's efficiency, driving the air from the back, and outputting it through the front grill.
Inside the tower, however, lies a small wonder of a 3-step filtration system. The pre-filter comes equipped with a charcoal filter (probably to save space), which does an excellent job of capturing dust, pet hair, and odors. Whatever passes through this filter gets captured by the True HEPA Filter, which filters out anything more significant than 0.3µ.
Any germ, bacteria, or virus that gets caught by the HEPA filter gets instantly destroyed by the UV-C lamp placed inside the device. That way, the AC4825E significantly impacts the concentration of microorganisms you breathe in, improving your health.
VEVA 8000 Elite Pro
If you're in the market for a performance of top-end models for a more accessible price, the VEVA 8000 Elite Pro hits the mark. It offers a True HEPA Filter performance, and ozone-free operation, with a few minor downsides. This makes the 8000 Elite Pro a product well-deserving its place among the best air purifiers.
As an international brand of high-quality, VEVA invested a lot of time into its 8000 Elite Pro model, ensuring its superiority among similar devices. Its 2-in-1 filtration system consists of a carbon filter and a premium-quality True HEPA Filter. The carbon pre-filter is fitted with a cotton screen that, besides capturing odors and smokes, allows the pre-filter to capture pet hair and dust.
Additionally, the True HEPA Filter does an excellent job of removing allergens, mold spores, pollen, bacteria, and germs. I short, anything bigger than 0.3µ will be caught by the 8000 Elite Pro's filtration system. The product doesn't use UV-C light, which is quite understandable given its size; however, we feel it might benefit from having those lights equipped.
The device features a 4x ACH rating for a 325ft2 room, which may put pricier models to shame. It’s worth noting that, despite its effectiveness, VEVA 8000 Elite Pro isn’t the quietest air purifier out there. It’s great for offices and living rooms, but you might want to adjust the fan speed if you’re having guests over.
LEVOIT Core 300
Superb filtration, excellent CADR rating, and a plethora of functions and features make the LEVOIT Core 300 a true superstar among the best air purifiers. If you happen to question our review, there are more than 3 million users and over 30,000 positive online reviews that attest to this device's superior quality.
The device features a 3-in-1 filtration system comprised of nylon pre-filter, a True HEPA Filter as its primary filter, and a granular activated carbon for odor absorption. The washable pre-filter captures larger airborne particles, like pet hair and larger specks of dust, prolonging the HEPA filter's longevity. Dust, pollen, mites, and mold spores are caught in the device's primary filter that traps 99.97% of household pollutants larger than 0.3µ.
Activated carbon is placed as a 3rd step in the filtration process and absorbs all types of odors and some VOCs. Unfortunately, it's not as deep as other heavy-duty odor absorbers, so don't expect too much from it on that front. The CARD rating is exceptional and sits at 141/140/145, exchanging the air within a 200ft2 room four times per hour.
The CORE 300 features an intuitive touch-control panel at the top for convenience and operates below the whisper level, making it perfect for bedroom use.
Honeywell is a prominent name in household electronics, and its HPA300 model attests to its quality. Thanks to its fantastic features and enormous space coverage, it's one of the most sought-after air purifiers on the market.
When it arrived on the market, the HPA300 was a costly machine boasting high-end features. Nowadays, it still offers excellent functionality, but at a significantly reduced cost. And while there are better-equipped, newer models on the market, we would argue that there aren't any at this price point.
The HPA300 features a True HEPA Filter that captures up to 99.97% of particles that are as small as 0.3µ. These include pet dander, mold spores, viruses, bacteria, and pollen, allowing the device to reduce the concentration of allergenic contaminants in the air effectively. To increase its HEPA filter's longevity, the manufacturer equipped HPA300 with an activated carbon filter, which excels at absorbing VOCs, odors, fumes, and larger particles.
Honeywell HPA300 is specifically designed to handle large space and features coverage of 465ft2. This is genuinely formidable, considering that other models within the same price bracket offer significantly lower coverage. Thanks to the mighty fan, the HPA300 has a 5x ACH rating and CADR of 300/320/300.
However, power comes with a cost, and in this case, it's the noise. The HPA300 is considered loud for bedroom use, or office setting, due to omitted Silent mode. Given the price point, the device has no other downsides.
The AC5350BCA is one of the latest models from Germ Technologies and features a 4-in-1 purification system packed into an elegantly designed and aesthetically appealing housing. So, whether you're planning on using it in your office, bedroom, or your kid's room, this 28-inch tower purifier fits exceptionally well with any interior.
We admit that the design could've been more imaginative, but the elegant details and sleek lines contribute to the company's well-known signature design. But the arguable lack of imagination is compensated by very good performance, thanks to the tremendous 4-in-1 filtration system.
The pre-filter on this unit is actually fused with the activated charcoal filter and does a stable job of trapping large dust particles, pet hair, and odors. It prolongs the life of the True HEPA Filter behind it, but at the cost of buying pre-filter replacements once it gets dirty. From there, the HEPA filter captures dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and just about any particle bigger than 0.3µ.
In an unlikely event in which microorganisms do overcome the HEPA filter, they're greeted by the UV-C sanitizing lamp, eliminating them on the spot. That way, the air within your 167ft2 space is not only dust-free but also contains a significantly lower concentration of airborne mold spores and germs.
Though not from the same line of products, the LV-H133 can easily play a bigger brother to the LEVOIT Core 300. Like the Core 300, the LV-H133 features a unique filtration system coupled with functions found only on the best air purifiers the market has to offer.
Many models on the current market feature fused filters to lower the device's upfront cost but bring profit from offering replacement filters. That's not the case with LV-H133 since the device separates its 3-stage filtration by directing the airflow through three separate physical filters. Of course, to justify the price, LEVOIT made the standalone pre-filter vacuumable, effectively prolonging its lifetime.
The primary filter is the H13 True HEPA Filter, which is an epitome of quality, as it captures dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and other microscopic particles. Tested in a 200ft2 room, the LV-H133 performs outstandingly, capturing 99.93% of airborne particles larger than 0.3µ. The filter has a guaranteed life of six months when used continuously at the higher settings.
Due to its powerful yet quiet fan, and specially designed filter, the LV-H133 has a 4x ACH rating and CADR rating of 274/585/287. These specifications are suitable for almost any typical household, which is precisely why the LEVOIT LV-H133 found a place on our list.
Coway Airmega 400
The Airmega 400 is Coway’s latest flagship product, and for a good reason. It’s the result of extensive research and development done by Coway, a valid symbol of life-care, to increase the air quality within your home. Yes, you read that right – the Airmega 400 features a mind-blowing 1560ft2 room coverage.
As expected from the device that covers an entire house, the Airmega 400 is quite bulky, standing tall at 22.8" and weighing 24.7lbs. Compared to other machines on this list, it's easy to see that we're discussing a substantial device. The device facilitates a 360° air intake, which is reasonable, considering the room coverage, and allows you to place the device anywhere you want.
The air purification system on Airmega 400 is above excellent. It consists of a washable pre-filter that captures larger contaminants and a proprietary Max2 Filter for trapping microscopic pollutants. This filter is a combination of an Activated Carbon filter and a Green True HEPA Filter, which filters out more than 99.99% of 0.01µ particles. That's small enough to catch most viruses and bacteria, though Coway doesn’t advertise Airmega 400 as an anti-germ model.
With its Smart features, the Airmega monitors the quality of indoor air and adjusts the fan speed accordingly. The device features a 2x ACH rating and CADR rating of 340/350/400 for dust, smoke, and pollen.
LEVOIT Vital 100
The LEVOIT Vital 100 model is a budget-friendly device of surprisingly good quality. But how does it perform compared to other devices from our list and compared to the previously mentioned Core 300? Let's see.
The Vital 100 comes in basic, no-base housing that looks like a game console instead of an air purifier. Still, it's relatively compact and nicely designed and easy to use. It has a bottom-to-top airflow system that pushes the air through the 3-in-1 air cleaning filters, similar to other LEVOIT models.
You get the pre-filter, which the company advertises as always affordable, the True HEPA filter, and an Activated Carbon filter. This means that Vital 100 traps dust, lint, fibers, fur, mold spores, pollen, germs, mites, viruses, and bacteria. Of course, cooking odors, cigarette smoke, and VOCs don't escape it either.
LEVOIT Vital 100 is ideal for bedroom use, but its coverage extends slightly beyond. While it can cover rooms up to 500ft2 as advertised, it works best in an environment of 300ft2. Still, it’s whisper-quite operation makes it suitable for bedroom use, as you’ll hear no sound coming from the device.
This buyer’s guide will explain everything there is to know about the best air purifiers, arming you with the knowledge necessary to make a sound purchase. Getting the right air purifier device that matches your needs can be life-changing while obtaining an inadequate device usually means wasting money.
To prevent that from happening, in this section, we'll explain what the best air purifiers are and how most of them work to improve the air you breathe. If you're wondering about different filters, CADR rating, and what additional features best air purifiers have, read through our comprehensive buyer’s guide to find out.
What are air purifiers, and how they work?
In everyday English, air purifiers are devices that clean the air around you, removing any unwanted and potentially hazardous particles. They achieve this through a specialized filtering process that targets specific microscopic particles that contaminate the air. This way, a high-quality air purifier filters out up to 99% of all air pollutants that would otherwise find their way to your lungs.
Cleaner air has a significantly lower concentration of pollutants, reducing the chance of you breathing the contaminants in. Fewer pollutants in your lungs take a lot of stress from your body, thus improving your health.
As powerful machines designed to combat air pollution, air purifiers are known for reducing allergy symptoms, reducing asthma, and improving sleep. Overall, they significantly affect the air quality you're breathing, bettering your health, and improving the standard of living. If you're still not convinced, here are several reasons why you should purchase one of the best air purifiers:
Different types of Air Purifiers
Most filters use mechanical filtration systems, meaning that their filters physically trap the harmful particles that pass through them. Usually, air purifiers have two sets of filters: a pre-filter that catches larger particles and the primary filter for capturing smaller ones.
When it comes to pre-filters, there isn't much of a difference across models. A few of them might be washable or vacuumable, which is excellent since they're reusable once cleaned. Other models might feature disposable pre-filters that you'd throw away once they're dirty enough. Models featuring washable filters may cost more upfront, but disposable filters add up over time and may turn up pricier.
Primary filters on the best air purifiers matter the most since they remove the particles you might not otherwise remove. For that reason, air purifiers are categorized by the type of filter they’re using. There are four basic types of air filtration air purifiers use:
1. HEPA Filtration – or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filtration process is a golden standard of air purification since it's found in top-quality machines. It's made of highly dense paper that traps up to 99.97% of airborne contaminants that are as small as 0.3µ in size. Remember that only products with the "True HEPA Filter" label are certified to remove such small impurities. Other HEPA-type or HEPA-like are of inferior quality and are up to 500% less effective than the certified product. HEPA filters excel at removing pollen, mold spores, fungi, visible smoke, dust, and pet dander. However, they require routine filter replacements, which can be pricey. They also don't remove odors or chemical fumes.
2. Ionic Filtration – Ionic filtration operates by releasing a cloud of charged ions into the air. These ions latch to the impurities, forcing them to fall onto the floor and other surfaces. If the filtration system includes an electrostatic plate, the plate will attract the fallen particles and remove them from the living space. Ionic filtration can remove particles that are only 0.01µ small and is quite effective at removing dust, spores, and pollen. It also removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs), certain types of bacteria and viruses, and visible smoke. What makes this system great is that it's practically maintenance-free and very quiet. The unfortunate downside is that the pollutants remain on the large surfaces in your living space, like the floor. Also, ionizing the air produces small amounts of ozone, which can irritate people with respiratory issues.
3. Carbon Filtration – carbon filtration utilizes specially formulated activated carbon that consists of millions of tiny absorbent pores that create a large surface area. Only one gram of activated charcoal has approx. 1000m2 (almost 11,000ft2), which does an excellent job of trapping various fumes, gases, and odors. Unfortunately, carbon filters can’t capture particles that might cause health issues. Still, the replacements are quite affordable, and they do keep your home smelling fresh and clean.
4. UV Light – UV air purifiers emit invisible ultraviolet light that attacks pollutants instead of capturing them by pulling them through a physical filter. The UV light inside the air purifier illuminates the bacteria, viruses, and germs and eliminates them by destroying their molecular structure.
The UV light in question is the UV-C band of the ultraviolet spectrum, which is entirely safe for humans and poses no dangers or side effects. Unfortunately, UV filtration is only good at killing bacteria, germs, and viruses and isn't suitable for removing dust, odors, VOCs, or anything similar. For that reason, UV filtration can't be bought as a standalone device but instead always comes as an extra feature on HEPA or ionic air purifiers.
As you can see, the HEPA filtration system is among the best options on the market, present only among the best air purifiers. Additionally, finding an air cleaner with a True HEPA Filter coupled with UV light ensures the maximum possible purification of your indoor air. However, there's another minor category of air filter that we believe is worth a mention:
Classic models – Classic models are your traditional air purifiers that don’t provide any type of feedback, and you have to trust them to do their job. Some models feature digital controls and filter sensors that notify you when the maintenance is due and additional air quality sensors that aid their efficiency. But you'll never know what contaminants and pollutants the device sensed and removed from your living space.
Smart-Enabled models – Smart-enabled models are usually equipped with a more comprehensive range of sensors that relay information to the dedicated smartphone app. This way, you can have insight into the contaminants and their concentrations removed from the air and additional information about your indoor environment.
The downside of this luxury is, as always, the price. If you’re looking for a smart-enabled device, they usually cost significantly more than classic models.
As you’ve learned from this section, not every air purifier is the same. Knowing the fundamental differences between certain types of filtration is a step closer to picking out a product that best suits your needs. However, there’s more to air purifiers than filtration alone. It’s time we discussed the ratings.
What are ACH and CADR ratings?
Depending on the manufacturer and the model, air purifiers feature some sort of rating. If you visit a brick-and-mortar and mortar store in search of the right product, you might hear the salesperson flaunt the terms "ACH" and "CADR rating" around. This section will explain the exact meaning of those terms and what you should know about them.
ACH rating stands for "Air Changes Per Hour." It refers to the number of times the device exchanges the air inside the room with the fresh and clean air in one hour. For example, a 4x ACH rating means that the air within a space is recycled four times within one hour. Other ratings include 5x, 6x, etc. – the higher the number, the more efficient the device is at cleaning the air inside your living space.
It's important to understand that ACH rating is directly associated with the maximum square surface the air purifier can process. A device with a 4x rating is designed to cover 300ft2; placing this device in a larger room will significantly reduce its efficiency. It's worth mentioning that the ACH rating is the manufacturer's rating and may or may not display 100% accurate information.
CADR rating, or Clean Air Delivery Rate, results from independent testing conducted by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. These tests verify the manufacturer's claims regarding a particular product, ensuring that the clams and specs are accurate. If the CADR certified device claims to purify up to 300ft2, you can rest assured it does so. CADR rating also tells you how well the device removes dust, dust smoke, and pollen, displaying the set of numbers, e.g., 200/220/190. As with most things in life, the higher the number, the more effective the device is to remove that type of air pollutant. The downside to CADR rating is that it doesn't measure the removal of VOCs and other kinds of contaminants than those mentioned above.
If you're looking to buy the best air purifier for your home, or living space, it's essential to consider the size and placement of the device and the room's size. Even the best air purifiers can't be classified as "one size fits all" type of machines, despite the popular belief. Buying an oversized or undersized product is an unreasonable waste of money, which is why it's essential to consider this specification.
To prevent any unnecessary waste of money on inadequate products, you always check the square footage rating of the device you’re interested in purchasing. The best thing you can do is compare it with the room's surface area in which you plan to use the device.
Ideally, the device's square footage rating and the surface area of your room should be equal. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world, and sometimes you can't find a device with a perfect rating to match your room. In that case, it would be best if you got the device with a slightly bigger rating.
Obviously, a device that covers 400ft2 is too much for a 250ft2 room, but the device rated for 300ft2 would match pretty good. Slightly oversized is always better than slightly undersized when it comes to air purifiers, as you can benefit from increased efficiency.
When it comes to the placement of the device, it depends on the device itself. If the air purifier uses fans to pull the contaminated air into the unit, it probably requires 2-3 feet of clearance to allow for proper, unhindered airflow.
Ionic filtration emits ions in a 360° circle, meaning that they're best placed in the center of the room. Placing ionizing filtration near a wall or a piece of furniture would significantly reduce its output and efficiency.
The best way to breathe clean and healthy air is to go out of the city on a hiking trip through the forest. Or you can opt for a high-quality air purifier and enjoy healthy and clean air from the comfort of your home. We hope our article helped you choose the best air purifier that suits your needs.
If not, we recommend the Honeywell HPA300, which represents the perfect blend of price and quality. The Coway Airmega 400 would be our first choice, thanks to its exceptional performance, but it placed second due to its hefty price tag. Purchasing the BOYON A8 Air Purifier allows you to enjoy fresh air, even if you're on a tight budget. Whatever you may choose, remember to breathe life to the fullest.