9 Best Air Purifiers to Help You Breathe a Little Easier

Whether you're worried about mold, pets or dust, these air purifiers are on the case.
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Published July 26, 2023
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The quality of the air we breathe has never been more at the forefront of our minds—especially for those with young children. Whether you’re concerned about wildfires or just pet dander, it’s comforting to know that we can help ensure the air in our home is clean and free of contaminants that may harm an infant or small child by purchasing an air purifier. But with so many different options to choose from and some pretty confusing language to decipher in those product descriptions, how do you know which is the best air purifier? Keep scrolling to find out why it’s a good idea to have an air purifier in your home and to shop our top picks for the best air purifiers on the market.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

Young children, particularly those with a predisposition to or with underlying asthma, are among those most susceptible to the adverse effects of air pollution—and they’re not only exposed to it outside of the home.

“With people spending the majority of their day indoors, much of this exposure to air pollution can be from indoor air pollution,” explains Kelsey Malloy, MD. Airborne particulate matter, especially fine particles of 2.5 micrometers or smaller in diameter, can deposit into a child’s small airways and cause inflammation, she explains. “These fine particles, allergens and other irritants, such as smoke exposure, can be found inside the home and contribute to overall respiratory health.”

Air purifiers use a fan to run the air in a room through a filter that blocks these particles, removing them from the air, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that this filtering process “can be an effective supplement to source control and ventilation.” However, they also warn that no air purifier will fully clean the air in your house; Malloy agrees, stressing that even the best home air purifier is “just one layer in home mitigation strategies that can help improve indoor air quality.” She says you should also make sure not to smoke, remove any old carpets and clean regularly using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.

What to Look for in a Home Air Purifier

When choosing the best air purifier for your home, there are a few things to consider.

  • Filter quality. Stick to air purifiers that use HEPA filters; these are the highest-efficiency filters on the market, designed to remove 99.7% of the smallest airborne particles.
  • Size. Most air purifiers are rated by their clean air delivery rate (CADR), which is essentially the size of room that they’ll work best in. You can look on the packaging or in the online description to see what size room each air purifier is designated for.
  • Fan speed and run time. According to the EPA, the more air that’s run through the filter, the more purified the air will become. So it makes sense that a higher fan speed and longer run time will increase the amount of filtered air in your home.

The Best Air Purifiers

Now that you know what to look for, ready to start shopping for the best air purifiers on the market? Check out our top picks below.

Overall best air purifier

Coway Airmega 200M True HEPA Air Purifier
Image: Amazon

This air purifier from Coway checks all the boxes. It has a four-stage true HEPA filtration system, it's compact and affordable so you can purchase it for multiple rooms, and it’s so quiet it won’t ever bother someone watching TV or wake a sleeping baby. Not only does the filter reduce 99.999% of particles at .01 microns, including pollen and other allergens, and 99% of VOCs, it will also get rid of any funky odors lingering in your home.

You'll be a fan of the smart mode that lets you know the exact quality of the air in your home at any moment and adjusts to one of the three fan settings accordingly. And when the air stabilizes at a healthy level for more than 30 minutes, it will set itself in eco mode to conserve energy.

Noise level: 24.4 dB | Dimensions: 10" (L) x 17" (W) x 18" (H) | Coverage: 361 sq. ft.

What We Love
  • Reviewers love how quiet this air purifier is
  • An indicator will let you know when the filter needs to be replaced
Things To Consider
  • Ionizer option may be an irritant and emit ozone

Best air purifier for pets

RabbitAir MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

Sure, you love your pet, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who comes over to your home will—especially if you have a guest who's allergic. This stylish option is the best air purifier for pets because it has a pet allergy filter that traps and reduces the pet allergens that may cause your visiting friend to sneeze. It will also keep the air free of pet dander and dog and cat smells for you and your animal-loving kiddos. It has six settings and even works in large rooms.

Noise level: 20.8 dB to 51.3 dB | Dimensions: 7” (L) x 21.4” (W) x 20” H | Coverage: 815 sq. ft.

What We Love
  • Can stand on its own or be mounted on the wall
  • Also great for allergy sufferers
Things To Consider
  • Expensive
  • Some reviewers say the control labels are hard to read

Best air purifier for allergies

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

While many allergy sufferers choose to stay indoors when their allergies flare up, the truth is that our homes are also full of potential allergens. This Winix 5500-2 model is the best air purifier for allergies because it has a true HEPA filter that captures 99.77% of airborne pollutants, allergens and dust, plus PlasmaWave technology that attacks pollutants at a molecular level and neutralizes viruses, bacteria and chemical vapors in the air. It also has a carbon filter that helps get rid of smoke, cooking smells and other pesky household odors.

Noise level: 27.8 dB | Dimensions: 14.9" (L) x 7.8" (W) x 23.6" (H) | Coverage: 360 sq. ft.

What We Love
  • Affordable
  • Includes remote
Things To Consider
  • Has an intense look that may not blend in so easily.
  • LED lights are bright.

Best air purifier for smoke

Blueair Blue Pure 311
Image: Amazon

If you are looking for an air purifier for wildfire smoke, you're not alone. And fires aside, simply living in an urban environment is cause enough to look for an air purifier for smoke. This model from Blueair is sleek in design but packs a big punch. It uses a dual filtration system, with a HEPA filter to remove 99.97% of airborne smoke particles (also those from dust viruses and pet dander) an a carbon filter to trap any of the smoke odors (or smells from pets and cooking), making it ideal for those living in areas affected by wildfires.

Noise level: 23 dB | Dimensions: 10.2" (L) x 10.2" (W) x 18.5" (H) | Coverage: 340 sq. ft.

What We Love
  • Also great for mold
Things To Consider
  • No automatic mode

Best large room air purifier

Levoit Air Purifier 600S
Image: Target

We get behind the whole range of air purifiers from Levoit, but this is the most powerful of the bunch. If you have a home with an open floor plan or high ceilings, this is the best HEPA air purifier for you. It can purify 635 square feet in 12 minutes or up to 3,175 feet in 60 minutes. It uses a handy three-stage HEPA filtration system and a smart mode that can detect the air quality in your home at any given time. You can also connect it to your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant and tell it to do its thing hands-free! Just another reason it's the best large room air purifier.

Noise level: 26 to 55 dB | Dimensions: 12.3" (L) x 12.3" (W) x 23.6" (H) | Coverage: 3,175 sq. ft.

What We Love
  • Reviewers love the price and the sleek design
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers think it's too loud

Best air purifier for mold

Bionaire True HEPA 360º UV Air Purifier
Image: Target

This air purifier from Bionaire uses UV lights that are proven to reduce 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and mold. On its highest setting with the UV light and ionizer on (these options can be turned off and on), it can remove black mold in 40 minutes and e. Coli bacteria in two hours. It has a six-stage filtration system, three speed settings and an eight-hour timer. It works best in small to medium size rooms, so this is a great air purifier for baby.

Noise level: 30 dB | Dimensions: 9.3" (L) x 9.3" (W) x 14.9" (H) | Coverage: Up to 175 sq. ft.

What We Love
  • Reviewers love the sleek design
  • Easy to move around
Things To Consider
  • Some find it noisy
  • Ionizers can emit ozone

Best air purifier for dust

With its four-stage filtration system, an activated carbon filter and patented HEPASilent technology, the Blueair Classic 480i is not only one of the best air purifiers for dust, it will remove 99.97% of all airborne particles, like pollen, pet dander, bacteria and viruses. Blueair prides themselves on their sustainability and this product was ENERGY STAR-certified for “best-in-class” energy efficiency. It also has recyclable dual protection filters made with activated coconut carbon that naturally remove pollutants and smoke without chemical additives.

Noise level: 32 to 52 dB | Dimensions: 23" (L) x 11" (W) x 20" (H) | Coverage: 300 to 400 sq. ft.

What We Love
  • Can be controlled from your phone
  • Filters are easy to change
Things To Consider
  • Pricey

Best small air purifier

Levoit Core 300 HEPA Air Purifier
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

This is another option from Levoit that lives up to the company's reputation, but unlike its larger counterpart, this one weighs in on the smaller side. Its portability and sleek design make it a fan favorite for smaller spaces, but that is not to say it doesn’t get the job done. It can cover a nursery or small bedroom in just 12 minutes using its VortexAir Technology. The 3-in-1 filter will keep your children’s air free of contaminants and can help relieve sneezing, congestion and other allergy symptoms you may have. Plus, it's quiet as a mouse.

Noise level: 24 dB | Dimensions: 8.7" (L) x 8.7" (W) x 14.2" (H) | Coverage: 219 sq. ft.

What We Love
  • True HEPA filter at a low price
Things To Consider
  • Doesn't have an automatic feature, you'll have to set the speed manually
  • You should put it right by your bed for allergies

Best affordable air purifier

You don’t have to break the bank for you and your family to breathe easy at home. For a fraction of the price of other air purifiers, this device from BISSELL is the best affordable air purifier. It is perfect for a nursery, a small kids room, or your office. And it’s portable, so you can switch up where you use it throughout the day. It has a high and low level fan speed, and a sleep fan that is extra quiet.

Noise level: 46 dB | Dimensions: 8" (L) x 8" (W) x 12" (H) | Coverage: 88 sq. ft.

What We Love
  • You can dim the light at night
  • Great for getting rid of dog smells
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers say it's loud on the fast setting

How We Chose the Best Air Purifiers

With so many options on the market and so much information to wade through and decipher, trying to figure out which is the best air purifier to spend your money on is no simple task. Whether you are looking for one of the best air purifiers for dust or the best bedroom air purifier, we’re here to help you with your search. We combed through home air purifiers from brands and retailers that we trust to find the best options out there. When selecting the air purifiers we considered several factors, including the size and design, the filter system, the noise level and room size capacity. We also made sure to read user reviews to see what real families have experienced when using these products to clean the air in their homes, and didn’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating. Lastly, to ensure we’re highlighting products that are safe and effective, we looked for approval from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the ASTM International, where applicable.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.


Kelsey Malloy, MD, is a board-certified pediatric pulmonologist and medical director at Pediatrix Medical Group in Nashville, Tennessee

United States Environmental Protection Agency, What is a HEPA filter?, March 2023

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home, April 2023

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