The 10 Best Air Purifiers for Every Room in Your House, According to a Microbiologist

Updated: Jan. 03, 2024

Breathe easy! We've found the best air purifiers to use throughout your home.

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Winix Plasmawave Air Purifier Via MerchantVIA MERCHANT

Whether it’s allergy season, you’re in wildfire territory or you simply have one too many pets, finding the best air purifier is a must.

“An air purifier removes particles from the air. These particles can be chemical like those that cause odors, biological like pollen or microbiological like bacteria, viruses and fungi,” says Jason “The Germ Guy” Tetro, a microbiologist.

Apart from making the air smell better, air purifiers eliminate harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), allergens, dust particles, dander and other substances that reduce air quality. No matter the contaminants you’re battling, the best air purifier will do the trick. We chose the following based on price, performance and helpful tips from Tetro.

1 / 10
Rabbit Air Minusa2 Via Merchant Via Merchant

Best Overall Air Purifier

Rabbit Air MinusA2

The Rabbit Air MinusA2 has an advanced high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system with six stages of purification and deodorization, which make it one the best air purifier on the market. The filter layers include a charcoal-based activated carbon filter, which is the secret to removing tobacco smoke odor. Because it either stands or mounts on the wall, it’s easy to install it even in a tiny room.

A remote control option makes it easy to clean the air when your hands are full, like during dinner or while watching TV with family. It also traps and reduces pet dander and pet allergens, making it a solid pick for families with fur babies. As a bonus, the display screen features images by Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh or even Peanuts characters.

Pros

  • Advanced HEPA filtration with six stages of purification and deodorization
  • Traps and reduces airborne bacteria, mold spores and particles that carry viruses
  • Germ Defense customized filter
  • Stands or mounts on the wall
  • Covers up to 815 square feet
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • Pricey

2 / 10
Levoit Compact Air Purifier Via Merchant Via Merchant

Best Budget Air Purifier

Levoit Compact Air Purifier

The Levoit compact air purifier is designed for a small- or medium-sized spaces—but don’t let the compact size or the low price tag fool you! This air purifier gets rid of dust, mold and pet dander just as well as a larger option. Better yet, it’s certified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and California Air Resources Board (CARB).

It also has a nightlight so you can find your way to the bathroom in the dark, and is available in a sleek black or pure white. And if you’re looking for something a little bigger, we tested the brand’s 400s model for ourselves.

Pros

  • Won’t break the bank
  • Has a three-stage HEPA filter and ozone-free filtration
  • Noise levels as low as 25 decibels (dB)
  • Covers about 258 square feet
  • Lightweight at 6.5 pounds

Cons

  • Requires replacement filters every six weeks

3 / 10
Pure Enrichment Purezone Via Merchant Via Merchant

Best Mini Air Purifier

Pure Enrichment PureZone

When you’re in the office, are you sick of breathing the stale air? You won’t have to with the super-portable and budget-friendly Pure Enrichment PureZone mini portable air purifier. This little device can sit on your desk either upright or on its side. It contains a HEPA filter layered with carbon to catch funky odors, like your workspace mate’s egg salad sandwich, as well as harmful toxins and germs. Plus, the quiet white noise it produces won’t bother co-workers or family.

Pros

  • Compact and weighs just 9.6 ounces
  • Has an activated carbon pre-filter and True HEPA filter
  • Two-stage filtration system eliminates 99.97% of germs
  • USB-powered rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Cleans the air at 9 cubic feet per minute
  • Removable handle

Cons

  • Not as strong as other models

4 / 10
Shark Pet Air Purifier Via Merchant Via Merchant

Best Air Purifier for Pets

Shark Pet Air Purifier

If you have a home with pets, that means you have pet dander in the air (yuck). The Shark pet air purifier uses a  True HEPA filtration to capture air pollutants. This air purifier is specifically designed to get rid of microscopic pet dander and hair that cause allergies and respiratory problems. An activated carbon filter snatches odors on contact, meaning a fresher-smelling home.

Pros

  • Traps 99.98% of large-, small- and micro-sized particles
  • Cleans up to 500 square feet
  • Control panel displays real time air quality, filter life and fan speed
  • Compact and weighs just 6 pounds
  • Dimmable lights for minimal sleep interruption

Cons

  • No remote control

5 / 10
Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier Via Merchant Via Merchant

Best Air Purifier for Allergies

Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier

The Hathaspace smart air purifier helps keep the air safe by eliminating harmful VOCs. This five-in-one air purifier comes with an easy-to-read touchscreen display. It’s portable and lightweight at only 12 pounds, so it’s simple to move from room-to-room. An auto-mode setting lets the machine sense the air quality and adjust the fan speed to match, so all you have to do is enjoy fresh, clean air.

Pros

  • Captures 99.9% of particles down to 0.3 microns
  • Honeycomb activated-carbon filter absorbs odors, smoke and VOCs
  • Light indications for air quality
  • Covers up to 1,500 square feet
  • Has a remote and built-in anion ionizer
  • Two-year warranty

Cons

  • No filter reset indicator

6 / 10
Blueair Blue Pure Air Purifier Via Merchant Via Merchant

Best Air Purifier for Smoke

Blueair Blue Pure

If there are wildfires in your area, or if smoke drifts to your location, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an air purifier, especially if you suffer from heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions. The Blueair Blue Pure air purifier is effective at removing smoke particulate, thanks to its three-stage filtration system which includes a carbon filter to absorb odors—a must-have when it comes to eliminating wildfire smoke. However, it also comes in handy if you do a lot of cooking.

We tested the Blueair for ourselves and were thoroughly impressed. “In fact, it minimized the smoke so much that my smoke detector didn’t go off once, which is a massive win in my book,” writes our tester. “By the time I had finished eating dinner, the air was smoke-free and smell-free, which made cooking highly odorous foods, like onions and fish, possible in my tiny kitchen.”

Pros

  • Removes at least 99.97 % of airborne particles as small as 0.1 micron
  • Can be controlled via a smartphone app
  • Cleans 540 square feet room in about 12 and a half minutes
  • Low settings are whisper-quiet
  • Made of recycled materials
  • Energy Star rated

Cons

  • Filters aren’t reusable
  • Pricey

7 / 10
Silveronyx Air Purifier Via Merchant Via Merchant

Best Air Purifier for Basement

SilverOnyx Air Purifier

The SilverOnyx air purifier is the best air purifier if you have mold, a common problem in basements. The five levels of filtration include a ultraviolet (UV) light sanitizer, which is extremely effective at destroying airborne mold spores. This basement air purifier helps get rid of that dreaded musty smell by eliminating mold spores, dust, pet hair and other pollutants in a 500-square-foot space.

Pros

  • Captures up to 99.97% of airborne contaminants
  • Uses a certified True HEPA H13 filter
  • Five adjustable speeds
  • Easy-to-use push button display
  • Prefilter captures larger particles
  • Compact and weighs just 4 pounds

Cons

  • High setting can be pretty noisy

8 / 10
Coway Airmega Air Purifier Via Merchant Via Merchant

Best HEPA Air Purifier

Coway Airmega Air Purifier

You spend a significant amount of time in your bedroom breathing while you sleep, so shouldn’t you be breathing in clean air? The Coway Airmega air purifier quietly removes air contaminants in up to 361 square feet of space. It includes a timer that lets you schedule hours of operation, so you can set it and forget it before you go to bed. There’s also an option to turn off the display lights so they don’t disturb your sleep.

Pros

  • Four-stage filtration system, including deodorization and True HEPA filters
  • Real-time air quality monitor
  • Filter replacement indicator
  • Silent operation
  • Easy to clean
  • Eco mode conserves energy

Cons

  • Only covers up to 361 feet

9 / 10
Winix Plasmawave Air Purifier Via Merchant Via Merchant

Most Quiet Air Purifier

Winix PlasmaWave Air Purifier

The Winix PlasmaWave air purifier is our favorite pick for a living room or bedroom, because it cleans using its patented whisper-quiet PlasmaWave technology instead of ionizing technology. Ionizers attract allergens, but this process can create harmful ozone. This ozone-free air purifier kills toxic contaminants, bacteria and viruses.

Improve indoor air quality and keep your family healthy and safe without waking them throughout the night, thanks to a noise level of just 27.8 dB. A sleep mode for silent nighttime operation means zero loud humming—even when it’s working on overdrive. Its Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) says it covers up to 360 square feet, so not the largest, but will definitely come in handy as a bedroom pick.

Pros

  • Near-silent 27.8 dB operation
  • PlasmaWave acts as a permanent filter
  • Darkness triggers sleep mode for silent operation
  • Covers up to 360 square feet
  • Includes a remote control
  • Auto mode adjusts the fan to filter the air as needed

Cons

  • Light-emitting diode (LED) lights only turn off in sleep mode

10 / 10
Germ Guardian Pluggable Small Air Purifier Via Merchant Via Merchant

Best Air Purifier for Bathroom

Germ Guardian Pluggable Small Air Purifier

You want your bathroom to be as sanitary as possible, and that includes the air. The Germ Guardian pluggable air purifier is the best air purifier you can have in your bathroom, because it uses a UV-C light that helps kill airborne viruses, such as influenza, staph and rhinovirus. While not powerful enough for large rooms, the small plug-in is ideal for a bathroom. It’ll also take care of unwanted smells for when you open a carton of spoiled milk or accidentally burn the fish.

Pros

  • Only 7 inches long and plugs into an outlet
  • UV-C light reduces airborne bacteria, viruses and mold spores
  • Works with titanium dioxide to reduce VOCs
  • Filters last about 10 to 12 months
  • Doesn’t block the second outlet

Cons

  • Can be a bit loud

What to Look for When Buying Air Purifiers

Even if you already have a trusted air purifier, it may be worth upgrading—just be sure to opt for a HEPA purifier rather than an ionizer for heavily trafficked rooms. “Older air purifiers used ozone to clean the air,” says Tetro. “These ones should be avoided as they essentially create a chemical that is itself deemed harmful to human health. Always look for ones that passively reduce the particulate and odor concentrations in the air with HEPA and activated carbon.”

On a technical level, the filters need to be able to trap incredibly small particles, as well as reduce the level of odors in the air. “HEPA filters are the best overall and are included in the majority of the brands listed,” says Tetro. “Many will also incorporate activated carbon (or charcoal) that will reduce the levels of odors. If you find one that can be washed, it will allow for reuse although the efficiency will reduce over time.”

Regardless of the type of air purifier you choose, it’s important to find one that works with your budget and existing air quality. Consider investing in an air quality monitor to see exactly where your current air quality stands.

Types of Air Purifiers

Air purifiers all work in a similar fashion, but there are a few different considerations when choosing a type. “The purifier uses fans to move air through one or more filters that trap the particles,” explains Tetro. “The filters can be made from several different materials, such as stainless steel for large particles, activated carbon for chemicals and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are tightly bound meshes of fabric. ”

He says that the classic air purifier has one or more filters to reduce the level of particulates in the air. A hybrid with activated carbon will reduce the level of odor in the area. Some purifiers will also add a filter for ozone, which is a gas commonly associated with smog and indoor air pollution.

Why You Should Trust Us

As an associate shopping editor, my job is to thoroughly research products and recommend the best designs to consumers. But to make sure I had expert insight for this story, I consulted Jason “The Germ Guy” Tetro, a microbiologist.

Tetro has been involved in health-related microbiology and immunology for the last 35 years. He has written two books, The Germ Code, which was shortlisted as Science Book of The Year in 2014, and The Germ Files, which spent several weeks on the national bestseller list. Tetro has also co-edited, The Human Microbiome Handbook, which provides an academic perspective on the impact of microbes in human health. He is currently the host of the Super Awesome Science Show, which explores how science fits into our everyday lives.

How We Found the Best Air Purifiers

Choosing an air purifier isn’t just a matter of eliminating odors. For those suffering from allergies, an air purifier is an essential appliance that brings serious relief. When seeking out the best air purifiers, we aren’t distracted by bells and whistles. We combed through reviews, stacked features against each other and considered a variety of budgets in our search for the best air purifier. We care about one thing first and foremost: Does the air purifier do what it says it does?

After narrowing down our list to the top 10, we consulted a germ expert to ensure that our picks stood up to his rigid criteria. The result? We’re confident that these are hands-down the best air purifiers on the market.

FAQ

Do air purifiers reduce dust?

According to Tetro, dust is made up of particulates and, as such, will be removed by almost every air purifier. However, most dust will settle on surfaces and require a separate dusting step to remove it completely from the environment.

Is it OK to sleep in a room with an air purifier?

“If it is HEPA and/or activated carbon, absolutely,” says Tetro. “They simply remove the particulates and odors from the air and do not add any other chemicals.”

What is the difference between an air purifier and an ionizer/ozonator?

Unlike air purifiers and sanitizers that use fans and filters (HEPA or carbon) to trap harmful contaminants within the device, an ionizer “zaps” impurities as they float around the room, attacking the molecules and neutralizing them.

While most modern air purifiers differ from ionizers/ozonators, at one time, air purifier devices created ozone as a byproduct. “When HEPA filters and activated carbon filters were still too expensive for consumer use, [ionizers/ozonators] were one of the more popular ways to reduce air pollution. However, the release of ions and ozone into the air has been frowned upon as of late. If you have one of these machines, it might be time to think about a replacement,” warns Tetro.

Ozonators and ionizers don’t have to be fully avoided—they’re great for garages or other places where people don’t frequent. Just take care when using them. While they still make air purifiers that create ozone, they’re usually labeled as such. Check the product description to ensure your air purifier is safe for use in the home, especially for bedrooms and nurseries. “Always look for ones that passively reduce the particulate and odor concentrations in the air with HEPA and activated carbon,” says Tetro.

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