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Air purifiers can reduce indoor air pollution and allergens to improve allergy symptoms. The most effective air purifiers feature HEPA filters.
This article looks at the benefits of air purifiers, some of the top air purifiers for allergies, and answers frequently asked questions.
- Best for cooling and purifying: Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Fan
- Best for a mini air purifier: Molekule Air Mini+
- Best for activated carbon pre-filter: Honeywell HPA100 Allergen Plus Series
- Best for 3-stage filtration: Levoit Core 400S
- Best for a smaller budget: Germ Guardian AC4825E
- Best for large rooms: BlueAir Pure 211+
- Best for customized filtration: RabbitAir MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier
Air purifiers can help reduce the level of indoor air pollutants in a single room. The size of the particles they can remove and the size of the space they can clean will vary depending on the device. Some of the potential benefits of using an air purifier for allergies include:
- reducing particulate matter by 30–50%
- supporting modest improvements in allergy symptoms
- reducing clinic visits for people with asthma by 20%
An air purifier for allergies is only effective when allergens are in the air. Once allergens have settled on the ground, an air purifier cannot remove them.
People can determine how effective a particular air purifier will be for specific allergens. They can look for a device with a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), and an efficacy rating from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). The CADR number shows the volume of filtered air a purifier can clean, with higher numbers meaning a device can clean certain pollutants more quickly. Different CADR scores exist for tobacco, smoke, pollen, and dust.
Medical News Today’s methodology
Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:
- Price: MNT chooses products available for a range of budgets.
- Size: MNT selects items to suit a range of room sizes.
- Extra features: MNT chooses products that have additional features, such as carbon filters, auto-shut-off timers, and filter replacement alerts.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Air purifiers come in a range of sizes, styles, and prices. They also use different filtration systems. Below are seven of the best air purifiers to consider.
Best for cooling and purifying: Dyson Pure Cool LinkTM Tower TPO2 Purifying Fan
- Price: around $499.99
- Room size: 999 square feet
- CADR: Dyson does not use CADR
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 4.4 x 7.5 x 40 inches (in)
Designed as an air purifier and a fan, this unit can purify and cool the air. It contains a HEPA and carbon filter.
There are 10 airspeed settings and an auto shut-off feature if the machine is tipped over. There is also a night mode, sleep timer, and no spinning blades in the fan to make it safer for use around children and pets.
It has a remote control and a smartphone app to make remote adjustments easy. The app can automatically monitor and react to environmental changes.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA) has certified this purifier as Asthma and Allergy Friendly.
A replacement for the 360º glass HEPA filter costs around $69.99.
On Amazon, positive reviews said it was helpful for allergies and cooling and ran quietly. Some users said it had a limited digital display and felt it was too big at 40 inches high.
- it works as a fan and an air purifier
- it has a wide range of positive reviews online
- it is AAFA certified
- some found it too large for their space
Best for a mini air purifier: Molekule Air Mini+
- Price: around $349.99
- Room size: up to 250 square feet (sq ft)
- CADR: Molekule does not state the CADR of this device
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 8.26 x 8.26 x 12 in
The company claims this purifier is powerful for its size. It uses a proprietary PECO-HEPA filter and takes in the air all around the device. There is also an Auto Protect mode, which automatically adjusts the fan speed based on changes in air quality.
A person can also use a smartphone app to track air quality. The filter can take air quality readings every 5 minutes, and people can look through 4 weeks of data.
The manufacturer states that the Air Mini air purifier is easy to move from room to room.
According to the company website, the filter will use two PECO-HEPA filters yearly. People can get automatic filter shipments for $159.99 a year.
Positive user reviews describe the product as attractive, and buyers appreciate its small size. Negative user reviews found the product ineffective, expensive, and noisy.
- suitable for small spaces
- easy to move
- 30-day home trial
- free delivery on filter shipments
- the app regularly checks air quality
- expensive for a small device
- some found it ineffective
- the replacement filters are expensive
- no certification from allergy experts
Best activated carbon pre-filter: Honeywell HPA100 Allergen Plus Series
- Price: $229.95
- Room size: 155 sq ft
- CADR: 100 for tobacco smoke, 106 for dust, 100 for pollen
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 9 x 14 x 14 in
With an activated carbon pre-filter and True HEPA filter, this air purifier can capture dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, smoke, odors, and VOCs. It has three cleaning levels.
It has a filter change indicator, an automatic shut-off option, and a dimmer option for the control panel lights.
A combination pack of one replacement HEPA filter and four pre-filters costs $69.99. Buyers must replace the pre-filters every 3 months and the HEPA filter every 12.
This product has certification from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), which means its ability to reduce smoke, dust, and pollen goes through independent testing.
Positive customer reviews describe the product as affordable and effective. However, some found the purifier noisy.
- holds AHAM certification
- can capture a wide range of allergens
- many buyers found it useful for reducing allergy symptoms
- some found it noisy
- people must replace filters regularly
- CADR numbers are lower than other devices
Best for 3-stage filtration: Levoit Core 400S
- Price: around $219.99
- Room size: 403 sq ft
- CADR: 260
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 10.8 x 10.8 x 20.5 in
This air purifier uses a three-stage filtration system in a single filter unit. It starts with a pre-filter that captures pet fur, hair, fibers, and lint. The True HEPA filters pollen, pet dander, smoke, and fine dust. The activated carbon filter captures pet odors, cooking odors, VOCs, and smoke.
A person must replace the filter every 6 months, which costs around $50.
The purifier provides real-time air quality information and features an Auto Mode that adjusts the fan speed based on readings from the high-sensitivity laser dust sensor. People can also use the smartphone app to schedule purifier activity.
Positive customer reviews claim this product is effective for medium-sized rooms and a good value for money. However, negative reviews noted that the unit is large and does not blend in well in some rooms.
- high CADR
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- offers real-time air quality information
- the unit is large
- comes in one color
- some people found it ineffective for odors
Best for a smaller budget: Germ Guardian AC4825E
- Price: around $99.99
- Room size: 155 sq ft
- CADR: 99 for smoke, 118 for dust, 125 for pollen
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 10.25 x 6.75 x 21.5 in
This air purifier uses a True HEPA filter to capture small particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust, and mold spores. It uses UV-C light to remove airborne viruses and an activated charcoal filter to eliminate odors.
It has three fan speeds and a filter replacement indicator light.
This air purifier is more affordable than many other units. Additionally, the company claims that its UV-C light is certified not to produce ozone. However, this Germ Guardian purifier cannot detect air quality, and users report it is ineffective in larger rooms.
Positive customer reviews say the air purifier has improved asthma symptoms and sleep quality. Negative reviews mention problems with customer service, and others found it did not fit in with their home decor.
- can remove viruses and common allergens
- buyers report it improved sleep and asthma
- lower CADRs than other models
- it cannot detect air quality
- some found it noisy
Best for large spaces: BlueAir Pure 211+
- Price: around $319.99
- Room size: 540 sq ft
- CADR: 350 for pollen, dust, and smoke
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 13 x 13 x 20 in
According to the manufacturer, this air purifier can help remove small particles, dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, allergens from dust mites, VOCs, smoke, chemicals, cooking odors, bacteria, and viruses.
It consists of a washable pre-filter that removes larger particles, a HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. It has an indicator function to show when to replace the filters.
The manufacturer recommends replacing the product’s filters every 6 months. They cost $69.99 each, but a filter subscription offers discounts.
This air purifier is AHAM certified.
Some buyers describe the air purifier as very effective, helpful for health, and quiet. Negative customer reviews show that people found the cost of operation and replacement filters too expensive.
- AHAM certified
- it is designed for larger rooms
- people can wash the filters
- it can reduce a wide range of allergens and pollutants
- high CADRs
- it is expensive
- it does not offer remote control
- it does not include timers
Best for customized filtration: Rabbit Air MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier
- Price: $549.95–599.95
- Room size: 700–815 sq ft
- CADR: 171 or 200 for pollen, 173 or 193 for dust, and 166 or 180 for smoke, depending on the model
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 7 x 21.4 x 20 in
This air purifier offers users six layers of purification and deodorization, which include:
- the pre-filter, for larger particles and allergens
- the medium filter for airborne particles larger than 1 micron
- a BioGS HEPA filter that can reportedly capture mold spores, bacteria, and viruses
- a customized filter to capture germs, toxins, pet dander, and odor remover
- an activated carbon charcoal filter
- negative ions
People can choose from four customized filters: Germ Defense, Toxin Absorber, Pet Allergy, and Odor Remover filter.
According to the manufacturer, the annual cost of replacing filters is $47.50 after 12-hour daily use. It can cost $95 a year after 24-hour everyday use.
There are two models under $600. One can purify the air in spaces up to 700 sq ft, and the second 815. The CADR ratings are higher in the second model.
People can customize the front of the filter with seven colors and designs, although some designs cost extra. A smartphone app provides detailed air quality data, and people can control the air purifier even when out of the house.
Customer reviews state that this unit provides exceptional air cleaning performance. However, negative customer reviews noted that the higher number of filters means that maintenance is expensive. Others would like more recyclable materials in the product and packaging.
- it uses six layers of filtration
- buyers state it is very effective
- it can work in larger spaces
- the app offers detailed air quality data
- it is a very expensive option
- customers note a lack of recyclable materials in the product and packaging
- certain designs cost $20 extra
The table below compares all of the air purifiers in this article.
|Key feature||Price||Room size (sq ft)||CADR||Dimensions|
(L x W x H)
|Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Fan||cooling and purifying||around $499.99||999||Dyson does not use CADR||4.4 x 7.5 x 40 in|
|Molekule Air Mini+||mini air purifier||around $359.99||up to 250||Molekule does not state the CADR of this device||8.26 x 8.26 x 12 in|
|Honeywell HPA100||activated carbon pre-filter||$229.95||155||• tobacco smoke: 100|
• dust: 106
• pollen: 100
|9 x 14 x 14 in|
|Levoit Core 400S||three-stage filtration system||$219.99||403||260||10.8 x 10.8 x 20.5 in|
|Germ Guardian AC4825E||affordable price||around $99.99||155||• smoke: 99|
• dust: 118
• pollen: 125
|10.25 x 6.75 x 21.5 in|
|BlueAir Pure 211+||designed for larger rooms||around $319.99||540||350 for pollen, dust, and smoke||13 x 13 x 20 in|
|Rabbit AirMinus A2 Spa 780N||customized filtration||$549.95–599.95||700–815||• pollen: 171–200|
• dust: 173–193
• smoke: 166–180
|7 x 21.4 x 20 in|
The different types of filters used in air purifiers include:
- HEPA filters: These are mechanical filters that force air through webs of fibers that capture 99.7% of particles 0.3 micrometers in diameter. They can be expensive to replace.
- HEPA-type filters: These work the same way as HEPA filters but are not certified to meet the same standards even though they might meet them.
- Activated carbon: These filters use carbon to capture gases, including some that cause bad smells. They require replacement every three months.
- Ozone generators: This type produces ozone, which is a molecule that reacts to pollutants and changes their chemical makeup. This can be dangerous and people should not buy ozone generators to purify the air.
- Electrostatic precipitators: This type of air purifier attracts air particles inside the machine where they get stuck. However, they may produce ozone.
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation: These purifiers use UV light to kill viruses, bacteria, and fungal spores. However, such allergens and pollutants need to be exposed to UV light for a long period of time — sometimes hours — for this purification method to work. Additionally, not all viruses and bacteria are susceptible to UV radiation.
Some air purifiers use both mechanical and activated carbon filters to capture different types of pollutants.
People should consider the following factors when choosing an air purifier for allergies:
- Size of particles captured: Different allergen particles, such as tobacco, smoke, dust, and pollen, are different in size. Some filters catch larger particles, while others are specialized for certain types of particles. People should consider which pollutants or allergens they would like to filter and choose an air purifier with an appropriate filter.
- CADR: People should consider the CADR when choosing an air purifier. Lower CADR numbers mean the device may not filter air as quickly as those with higher ratings. There may be different ratings for different particles.
- Certifications: Some air purifiers have certifications from AHAM and health organizations. Additionally, Energy Star-certified purifiers reportedly use 40% less energy than other models.
- Price: People should consider their budget when buying an air purifier, as they will have to factor in the cost of regular replacement filters and running the purifier.
- Noise: If a person wants an air purifier where they or other people sleep, they should consider how loud the air purifier is when in use. Customer reviews can be helpful for learning about the real-world noise levels of a particular air purifier.
Many people who experience occasional or seasonal allergic reactions can manage them with over-the-counter medication. However, the following symptoms are signs that a person should see a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment:
- frequent or chronic nasal congestion
- frequent or chronic infections or headache
- difficulty breathing
- shortness of breath
- wheezing or coughing at night or after exercise
- difficulty carrying out daily activities
- reduced quality of life
Below, we answer some of the top frequently asked questions about air purifiers for allergies.
Do air purifiers actually help with allergies?
Overall, scientific research shows that air purifiers can help with allergies. For instance, researchers have found that
What purifier is best for allergies?
Researchers have found that air purifiers with HEPA filters are effective for allergies. The best air purifier will depend on the size of the room a person wants to use it in, the allergens they would like to reduce, and the filtration system the purifier uses.
Does sleeping with an air purifier help allergies?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an air purifier can relieve some allergy symptoms. This may help a person sleep better. However, improvements are not always significant, and an air purifier may not address all of a person’s allergy symptoms.
Is an air purifier better than a humidifier for allergies?
Air purifiers are effective for allergies. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) recommends a person avoids using a humidifier and keeps humidity levels below 50% at home.
Air purifiers are household appliances a person can use to reduce indoor air pollution. Researchers have found that using an air purifier for allergies can be effective, although these devices may not always result in significant improvements.