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Picking the Best Air Purifier – The Ultimate Guide

Many people don’t know that there are different types of air purifiers. In fact, each type of air purifier has its own strengths and weaknesses. The best air purifier for you may not be the best for your someone else. That’s why determining the right air purifier for your needs can be a stressful process.  Luckily, we’re here to help!

Below is a short list of the best air purifiers for your needs: 

Best for Allergies Best for Smoke Best for Dust Best for Pets Best for Mold Best for Odor Best for Germs
GermGuardian Silver Onyx Levoit Winix Aera Max Silver Onyx PureZone
$ $$ $ $ $ $$ $$
★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★ ★★★
HEPA Carbon HEPA HEPA UC-C Carbon UV-C

Hopefully, we can help you make a decision. Follow the navigation links below to learn about the different types of air purifiers, find the important things to look for, and determine the right air purifier for you. 

NAVAGATIN MENU
Type of Air Purifier:
What You Should Know:
  • Air Purifier for Allergies
  • Air Purifier for Smoke
  • Air Purifier for Dust
  • Air Purifier for Pets
  • Air Purifier for Mold
  • Air Purifier for Odor
  • Air Purifier for Germs 
  • Filter Replacement
  • Room Size Coverage 
  • Air Purifier Placement
  • Types of Filters
  • Air Purifier Maintenance

Best Air Purifier for Allergies

GermGuardian - Best Air Purifier for AllergiesNo matter how well you clean your home, there will always be allergens floating in the air. Whether you are allergic to pollen, dander, mold or dust, an air purifier has the ability to remove allergy particles from the air and reduce allergy symptoms.

When investing an air purifier for allergies, it is important to make sure to look for an air purifier with a True HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air.

Allergens generally range from 2.5 microns to 10 microns, and an air purifier with a HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of particles that are at least .3 microns in size. 

The Best Air Purifier for Smoke

Silver Onyx - Best Air Purifier for SmokeIf you are a smoker, live with a smoker, or live next to a smoker, then you have probably had issues with smoke odor and second-hand smoke. As cigarettes burn, nicotine reside will begin to collect on surfaces in your home. Just as nicotine is the most dangerous ingredient in cigarette and cigar smoke, it also is the most destructive to your personal property. Nicotine leaves a film of residue on surfaces in your home and will begin to smell.

The best filter to use for smoke is an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon filters reduce air pollutants through absorption. They do a great job of not only reducing odor, but also reducing particles. 

For a more in depth view of the best air purifiers for smoke: 

1. Best air purifiers for smoke

2. Best air purifiers for smoke under 100$

 

The Best Air Purifier for Dust

Levoit - Best air purifier for dustSimilar to buying an air purifier for allergies, the best filter to use in an air purifier for dust is a HEPA filter. HEPA filters will remove 99.97% of particles that are at least .3 microns in size, and a dust particle is generally around 2.5 microns. Not only will a True HEPA filter remove dust particles, it will also remove dust mites which are significantly larger than dust particles. 

The Best Air Purifier for Pets

Best air purifier for petsAnother type of indoor air pollutant that will be effectively eliminated by a HEPA filter is pet dander and pet hair. There is a common misconception that pet hair causes allergies when it is actually caused by dander. Dander is essentially the dead skin that is shed from an animal’s hide. An air purifier with a HEPA filter is best for removing pet dander and hair. 

The Best Air Purifier for Mold

PureZone 3-in-1- Best air purifier for moldMold travels through the air by way of spores. The mold itself is actually just a growth of mold spores. If you want to reduce mold in your home, you need to reduce mold spores. When looking for an air purifier for mold it is important to find one with a True HEPA filter (will remove 99.97% of particles) and a UV-C light (will kill living organisms with intense levels of UV light). The combination of these two techniques will produce the best results. 

Best Air Purifier for Odor

Coway - Best air purifier for odor When looking for an air purifier for odor, it is important to look for activated carbon. An activated carbon filter has the ability to absorb any odor as well as volatile organic compounds that cause odor. 

Best Air Purifier for Germs

When it comes to germs, a HEPA and UV-C light purifier is hands down the best option. A UV-C light purifier uses intense levels of UV light to kill any living organisms that pass through. A HEPA filter will remove 99.97% of air particles that are at least .3 microns in size. An air purifier with a combination of a HEPA filter and UV-C light will get the job done. 

For a more in depth view of air purifiers for germs, visit: 

The best air purifiers for bacteria and viruses

Types of Air Filters and Their Benefits

HEPA Filters

As explained above, a True HEPA filter has the ability to remove 99.97% of particles that are at least .3 microns in size. A HEPA filter is considered the most effective filter because it can capture almost any type of indoor air pollutant as there are very few air particles smaller than .3 microns. These filters are best for dust, dust mites, allergens, pollen, mold spores, smoke, pet dander, and pet hair.

Activated Carbon

Activated Carbon filters offer a unique and advanced technology. These filters consist of extremely porous carbon particles that have been crushed into fine powder to maximize surface area. Activated carbon is so porous that it can completely absorb microscopic pollutants like smoke and Volatile Organic Compounds that create odor. Activated carbon is unique because it will effectively absorb all particle sizes including particles smaller than .3 microns in size. Because this technology is so absorbent, it not only has the ability to eliminate all types of odor but can also absorb most air contaminants. Activated carbon is best for smoke, smoke odor, mold smells, pet smells, kitchen/food odor, and much more. Essentially, any type odor problem you may have can be eliminated with an activated carbon filter.

UV-C Light

Some say that UV purifiers harness the power of the sun, and we agree. These air purifiers use extreme levels of UV light (the same light that gives you a sunburn) to kill organisms as they pass through the purifier. UV-C technology works best for germs, viruses, bacteria, mold, and dust mites.

Ionization

This purification method is very effective, but hard to understand for many people. We will try to explain in Laymen’s terms. An ionizer will essentially give air contaminants an electric charge as they pass through the purifier. These electricity charges particles will then stick to each other as they flow back out of the purifier. As the air contaminants stick together, they become overweighted and fall to the ground. Ionizers are great for clearing the air, but result in the need for constant sweeping/vacuuming. See this link to our suggestion for the best vacuum.

The Right Air Purifier Size – Room Coverage

When choosing the size of an air purifier, first determine where you want to place the purifier, and then determine the square footage of your room.Air purifier room coverage is generally listed in terms of square footage. The best way to determine the square footage of your room is to use a tape measurer to measure both the length and width. Multiplying these two numbers together will give you the square footage.

After finding the square footage of your room, look for an air purifier that can clean at or above this number. It is important to understand that there are different sized air purifiers designed for different sized rooms. Square footage cleaning ability can generally be found in the product description or features sections. Generally a small air purifier will cover square footage of 100-200, a medium size air purifier will clean 200-300, and a large air purifier will clean 300+.

Reading the CADR Rating

The CADR rating is a common performance indicator for air purifiers. CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) is  a metric that originated from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, and is a quick and easy way to judge how well an air purifier performs.

The CADR rating indicates the cubic feet of air that an air purifier can clean per minute, and these ratings are measured based on different particle sizes. There are different types of air contaminants used to test filtering effectiveness. The most common types are smoke, dust, and pollen.

The higher the CADR rating, the more quickly and effectively an air purifier can clean air particles. According the Orosi.com, the clean air delivery rate is an indicator of the airflow amount times the particle removal efficiency. The explain further, if an air purifier has an airflow rate of 150 CFM and an efficiency rate of 96%, then the CADR would be 144.

It is important to keep in mind that larger air purifiers have higher airflow (CFM) rates, and therefor inherently have larger CADRs. Due to this reason, it is only beneficial to compare air purifiers that are similar in size and airflow rate