More than 50 million Americans suffer from some type of allergy each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and hay fever (also known as allergic rhinitis) is particularly common in the spring, affecting about 8% of all American adults. Hay fever usually hits as the trees begin their annual growth in the spring—hence, tree pollen is a major trigger for many people. Grass pollen is also a common irritant around this time of year, so on top of the usual indoor triggers—including dust mites, mold, and pet dander—you’re probably feeling pretty lousy from all these spring allergies.
What does an air purifier do?
Unfortunately, it can be hard to safeguard against outdoor spring allergy triggers like pollen—and that’s where antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids can come in handy—but when it comes to those pesky indoor allergens, there’s a simple solution that’ll greatly improve your quality of life: an air purifier. An air purifier is a device that eliminates contaminants in the air, and they can be particularly good for clearing allergens.
“Air purifiers are most efficient for allergens that float around for longer periods of time, like pollen, pet dander, and mold spores,” says Stephen Canfield, M.D., Ph.D., an allergist at ColumbiaDoctors Midtown in New York City.
The best air purifiers for such a task, he says, are high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which can pluck out particles that are as small as five micrometers, or one-millionth of a meter.
How we chose the best air purifiers for 2020:
To find the best air purifiers, we started by selecting HEPA models that were independently tested by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and scored high marks (in most cases, over 200) on their ability to filter tobacco smoke, pollen, and dust.
Next, we narrowed down our list by choosing products that have been certified under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program. According to the EPA, Energy Star-certified air purifiers are 40% more efficient than the standard models, which could save people about $30 a year on their utility bills.
Lastly, we rounded out our selection by giving a slight edge to products that scored rave reviews on Amazon or Home Depot. Here are our top picks.
• Best Overall: Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier with Allergen and Odor Remover
• Best Value: Febreze Tabletop HEPA Air Purifier
• Best for Allergies: Honeywell HEPA Air Purifier
• Best for Bedrooms: SheerAIRE Quiet Large Room HEPA Air Purifier
• Best for Small Rooms: Honeywell True Compact Tower Air Purifier
• Impressive Technology: Blueair Classic 205 Air Purifier
• Cool Features: Coway Mighty Air Purifier
• Multitasker: Febreze Tower HEPA-Type Air Purifier
Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier with Allergen and Odor Remover
Blueair’s Blue Pure 211+ air purifier has glowing reviews everywhere it’s sold. At Home Depot, 93% of customers say they recommend it and on Amazon—where it’s currently sold out!—more than 800 customers gave it a perfect five stars. Its three-part filtration system claims to nix 99% of airborne particles, all while running quietly on the lowest setting. Maybe that’s why our friends at Good Housekeeping also made this its Best Overall pick.
Febreze Tabletop HEPA Air Purifier
Designed for small rooms (up to 85 square feet), this HEPA air purifier from Febreze claims to capture up to 99% of particles. Plus, it was impressively efficient for its size at filtering out tobacco smoke and dust.
Best for Allergies
Honeywell HEPA Air Purifier For Extra Large Rooms
With the promise to capture 99.97% of the microscopic particles that pass through its filters, Honeywell’s True HEPA air purifier is one of the most efficient devices on our list. It scored particularly high marks on its ability to remove dust, pollen, and tobacco smoke particles, even in rooms as large as 465 square feet.
Best for Bedrooms
SheerAIRE Quiet Large Room HEPA Air Purifier
The best place to keep an air purifier is in your bedroom since it’s the room you spend most of your time in, says Dr. Canfield. That’s why we like this soundless version from SheerAIRE, which can filter the air without disturbing your slumber.
Best for Small Rooms
Honeywell True Compact Tower Air Purifier
Certified to filter out particles in areas up to 75 square feet, the Honeywell HEPA Tower circulates room air five times an hour. We were also impressed with its ability to remove pollen; Honeywell’s numbers were ranked higher than other larger air purifiers on the list.
Blueair Classic 205 Air Purifier
Blueair’s HEPA air filter connects to WiFi and syncs with your smartphone, enabling you to control the fan speed, set a child lock, and more. Bonus: It’s super sleek.
Coway Mighty Air Purifier
$187.81 (18% off)
The Coway not only removes particles from the air, it also has built-in sensors that can monitor air quality; if no pollution is detected for 30 minutes, it shuts off to conserve energy.
Febreze Tower HEPA-Type Air Purifier
Good for medium-sized rooms (up to 170 square feet), Febreze’s air purifier can be used with scent cartridges to eliminate air particles and odor.
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