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Best Air Purifiers for Home Use

Updated October 10, 2020

Pollution is getting the best of us every day. It’s often referred to as a silent killer and, in some corners of the world, it has been known to be a common cause for all sorts of respiratory problems and diseases. Since most of us think of our homes as a personal and safe space, the quality of the air we breathe should be superior compared to the air outside. An air purifier can go a long way in making clean and fresh air a thing of the present, but since not all air purifiers are identical to one another, how can you tell which is the best option for you?

Rank Product Highlights
#1

BISSELL MYair Purifier

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  • Type: activated carbon purifier
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 12.2 inches
  • Weight: 4.63 pounds
#2

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

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  • Type: HEPA + carbon filter purifier
  •  Dimensions: 15 x 8.2 x 23.6 inches
  •  Weight:  15.4 pounds
#3

Coway AP-1512HH

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  • Type: HEPA filter air purifier
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 16.8 x 18.3 inches
  • Weight: 12.79 pounds
#4

LEVOIT LV-H132

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  • Type: HEPA + activated carbon filter purifier
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 14.5 inches
  • Weight: 6.61 pounds
#5

Pure Enrichment PureZone

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  • Type: HEPA filter + UV-C sanitizer purifier
  • Dimensions: 10.8 x 7 x 12.5 inches
  • Weight: 6 pounds

Types of Air Purifiers

Depending on the technology incorporated in the unit, air purifiers can be classified in one of the following categories.

— Mechanical Filters

If you use an air purifier with pleated filters, you probably know that at their core, they have fans used to blow air through a wall made of fine fibers. When this happens, fine particles are trapped on the surface and purified air comes out on the other side. If you’ve heard about HEPA filters, you probably know that they are the best ones in the industry because they can trap up to 99.97 percent of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter (which is really small).

Needless to say, they also do a very fine job of trapping larger particles as well. What’s important to note is that mechanical filters aren’t that efficient when it comes to trapping odors and gas. Since they generally need replacing every six to 12 months, they are considered pretty high maintenance.

— Activated Carbon Filters

What these filters are really good for is mainly trapping odor-causing molecules. The surface of the filter uses activated carbon technology which might also prove to be efficient for filtering some gases, with the exception of nitrogen oxide, ammonia, and formaldehyde.

It is very common for air purifying systems to include both pleated filters and activated carbon filters so that they may be efficient in trapping both particles and odors. Since activated carbon filters have a shorter lifespan, they will require more often replacing compared to pleated filters (they generally need replacing once every three months).

— Electronic Air Purifiers

These are solutions for the entire home that are based on your HVAC systems. They are good for removing about 99.98 percent of airborne contaminants that are usually found in your household.

These are basically purifiers that are installed (professionally) in your HVAC system and they use HEPA filters to make sure that even the finest particles are stuck to the filters. They are great for people who suffer from allergies or want a solution for air purifying that covers every room in their home.

— UV Light Purifiers

They are designed to eliminate the germs in the air, which makes them pretty good at eliminating potential airborne viruses. These types of air purifiers are commonly used in laboratories and hospitals and all other places where having a sanitary environment is crucial.

Because UV lights are generally harmful to plastics and the human skin, they can’t be placed anywhere in your proximity. That means that they are mostly installed in your HVAC system or, as recent tech developments have shown, as integrated parts of overhead ceiling lights.

— Ozone Generators

These are probably the most controversial types of air purifiers because of the way they work. These have three oxygen atoms, with one of them being able to attach itself to pollutants and make them harmless as a result of a chemical reaction.

However, some studies have revealed the fact that the combination of pollutants and ozone can actually be more harmful than the pollutants themselves. This occurs because the ozone generators have to release a higher concentration in order to be effective compared to the limitations imposed by the government. There is also the debate of whether or not using ozone generators in small rooms can actually be a threat to one’s health.

— Ionizing Purifiers

Through a method known as corona discharge, these types of purifiers will discharge molecules that are known as ions. If you’re interested in a more scientific explanation of how the entire process works, here it goes: air atoms generally have neutral charges, meaning there’s a balance between the positively charged protons and the negatively charged electrons.

When these atoms pick up corona discharges, they gain additional molecules with negative or positive charges. As this change occurs, they will become more attracted to the metal plates that are found inside ionizing purifiers.

 

You might be interested in: Best Humidifiers

Top 5 Air Purifier Reviews

Finding the best air purifiers was no walk in the park, but we’ve put together a list of viable products that will surely offer some interesting suggestions for most of you. Happy shopping!

1. BISSELL MYair Purifier

SPECS:

  • Type: activated carbon purifier
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 12.2 inches
  • Weight: 4.63 pounds

Label: budget buy

The Bissell air purifier is considered to be one of the best ones right now. It comes with a pre-filter that is designed to bring forth the best combination between a normal filter and the power of activated carbon to make sure that even the finest particles are trapped onto the surface and the air that you breathe is actually clean.

Because it’s based on an activated carbon filter, it can also remove odors and similar particles for the air. The convenient touch-sensitive panel will make operating this filter a real breeze. Whenever it’s time to change the filter, you will notice the designated indicator lighting up on your unit.

The sleep mode function allows you to automatically adjust the operation time of the purifier so that it doesn’t bother you while you’re sleeping. It is also equipped with a night light feature which can be pretty soothing if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind having some ambient light in their bedroom.

Pros Cons
  • Traps 99.7% of particles.
  • Quiet operation.
  • High and low fan speed.
  • Bargain buy.
  • Useless for rooms larger than 100 square feet.

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re looking for an air purifier for less than $100, the Bissell might be the right option for you.

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2. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

SPECS:

  • Type: HEPA + carbon filter purifier
  • Dimensions: 15 x 8.2 x 23.6 inches
  • Weight:  15.4 pounds

Label: best for bedrooms

The Winix 5500-2 is a regular beast in terms of air purifying, and we’re going to go over the features that back up this statement. First of all, it’s a product with a capacity to capture 99.97% of all airborne particles, leaving you with air that’s clean of bacteria, dander, dust, pollen, smoke, or other such contaminants.
It operates at four different fan speeds, including a manual mode that will continuously cause the unit to operate at the desired speed. The sleep mode will automatically be triggered by the ambient light in the room and works towards adjusting the fan speed and dimming indicator lights to create a proper sleeping environment.

It is designed to function based on a three-stage purification system: first of all, molecules are trapped by the carbon filter. Then, air passes through the HEPA filter, which is highly efficient. The final stage is something that Winix likes to call the PlasmaWave technology, something that looks to break down contaminants at a molecular level and making sure that the air you breathe is truly safe.

Pros Cons
  • Monitors air quality.
  • 4 fan speeds.
  • Plenty of sleep-friendly options.
  • Filter replacement indicator.
  • Washable carbon filter.
  • Replacement HEPA filters are expensive to replace.

Who Should Buy This?

Because this air purifier has features that are focused on delivering a soothing sleeping experience through features like automatic indicator lights dimming, it’s the perfect choice for bedroom use.

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3. Coway AP-1512HH

SPECS:

  • Type: HEPA filter air purifier
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 16.8 x 18.3 inches
  • Weight: 12.79 pounds

Label: customer’s choice

Next up, we have the Coway air purifier, a product with a very interesting filtering system that deserves our full attention. It features a four-stage filtration process: first, you have the washable prefilter that’s useful for keeping away fur and dust; second, you have the odor filter which is efficient against multiple unpleasant smells, a true HEPA filter for any fine particles that might have made it this far, and a vital ionizer.

This air purifier is designed to work in spaces of up to 361 square feet, which should accommodate plenty of different rooms. You can set up the fan to operate at three different speeds. If you go for the auto mode it will optimize the speed of the fan depending on the air quality inside the room.

The pollution sensor will identify the air quality in real-time, so you will always stay updated on the current quality of the air you breathe. There is also a timer feature that allows you to automatically have the machine work for intervals of 1, 4, or 8 hours before a shutdown. The integrated filter indicator is always a neat feature to have.

Pros Cons
  • 4-stage filtration.
  • Good room coverage.
  • Air quality indicator.
  • 3 fan speeds.
  • Filter change indicator.
  • Requires frequent maintenance.

Who Should Buy This?

The Coway air purifier is an item worth considering if you’re interested in products with more advanced filtering technologies, but also if you are willing to spend the extra money to get your hands on such a product.

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4. LEVOIT LV-H132

SPECS:

  • Type: HEPA + activated carbon filter purifier
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 14.5 inches
  • Weight: 6.61 pounds

Label: best-seller

Levoit is no stranger to providing people with air quality solutions, be they humidifiers or air purifiers. Today, we’re focusing on the latter category, which is why we wanted to talk to you about the LV-H132. It’s a sleek unit with plenty of features and noticeable results in terms of how much the contaminants in the air you breathe can decrease with the help of this machine.

It is based on the three-stage filtrations system that involves trapping contaminants on a pre-filter, then on a true HEPA filter, only to have the activated carbon filter kick in last and capture whatever allergens remain and make sure that you and your family can enjoy the best air quality possible.

Since it operates at a mere 25dB, it’s already quieter compared to a variety of other similarly-priced air purifiers on the market. Other features of interest include a night light (with two brightness settings), filter replacement indicator (so you can stay ahead of the game), and an upgraded motor for a longer lifespan.

Pros Cons
  • More motor stability.
  • Quiet operation.
  • 2 brightness modes.
  • Filter replacement indicator.
  • Only good for small rooms.

Who Should Buy This?

If you’re looking for an air purifier bought, tested, and approved by plenty of other customers before you, or if you just want a product that you know you can rely on without spending a fortune on it, then the Levoit might be the right product for me.

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5. Pure Enrichment PureZone

SPECS:

  • Type: HEPA filter + UV-C sanitizer purifier
  •  Dimensions: 10.8 x 7 x 12.5 inches
  • Weight: 6 pounds

Label: best overall

The Pure Enrichment PureZone air purifier is a model designed to bring cleaner air in a three-step filtration process. How this basically works is that the system had three different layers of filters that gradually trap more and more contaminants. The first one is the prefilter, followed by an activated carbon filter, and ending with a true HEPA filter.

The built-in UV-C light further increases the air sanitation by destroying airborne bacteria, as we discussed at the beginning of the article when we introduced you to this particular filter type. The PureZone filter includes an optional timer that allows you to automate the shutting down process of the purifier as needed.

What the timer settings basically do is make sure that you can have the purifier run on continuous mode or have it conserve energy and expand the lifespan of the filter.

Pros Cons
  • 3-step filtration system.
  • Touch-button technology.
  • 3 timer settings.
  • 3 fan speeds.
  • Good price.
  • Questionable long-term durability.

Who Should Buy This?

The Pure Enrichment PureZone air purifier is a product that provides a good balance between features and price, making it a great option for people who are interested in a decent product available at a good price.

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Bottom Line

There are plenty of tricks that you need to know before you actually go out and buy an air purifier. Understanding the mechanisms of how different systems work will save you a lot of trouble in deciding which type of filter you should get.

The controversy around the functioning mechanisms of some of the types of filters we’ve described at the beginning of the article has surely helped some buyers figure out if they should be added to the list or not. With that in mind, you can have products that can offer a wide range of filtering options, like multiple-stage filtration, but overall just products that are above average at what they do.