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You already know it’s important to regularly clean your home, but there’s one part beyond the surface that’s often looked over: the air. Using an air purifier can help make sure the air you breathe in is clean, but not all air purifiers are created equal. That’s why the lab experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute dug deep into the research in order to find the best air purifiers on the market.
One important thing to note: “The effectiveness of air purifiers in real-world situations likely won’t mimic those of controlled conditions in a lab,” says Rachel Rothman, chief technologist at the Good Housekeeping Institute. That means it can be difficult to measure how effective an air purifier actually is. We vetted most of these air purifiers by evaluating their controls and interfaces for ease of use, in addition to reviewing specifications and test documentations and selecting from brands we know and trust.
Do air purifiers really work?
In short, yes. In order to clean the air, these appliances use filters and fans to remove particles and circulate the purified air back into the room. They can improve air quality and actually help you breathe easier. For this reason, people suffering from allergies or asthma might find air purifiers with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters helpful, because they help remove fine particles and common allergens from the air they breathe in. But while air purifiers work well when it comes to removing particles like dust, smoke, and pollen, their ability to remove gases (like those from cleaning products and paint) is limited.
These are the best air purifiers to buy in 2020:
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Best Overall Air Purifier
Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier
This air purifier from Blueair is best for removing various particles, including dust and smoke, from the air. Its three-part filtration system (one each for fabric, particles, and carbon particles) claims to clear up to 99% of common airborne pollutants. It’s designed to cover up to 540 square feet, which is the ideal size for a family room, master bedroom, or large office. The best part? You’ll barely notice it working since it’s so quiet.
- Effective three-part filtration system
- Ideal for bedrooms and home offices
Best Value Air Purifier
Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier
Designed for rooms between 100 and 175 square feet, this is basically a smaller, more affordable version of our top pick. At just $120, it’s a great value compared to larger, fancier air purifiers. The purifier claims to capture 99% of airborne pollutants, while the filter removes odors left behind from activities like cooking and smoking. It’s designed for rooms between 100 and 175 square feet, so it’s also great for college dorm rooms.
- Great value
- Ideal for small spaces
Best Smart Air Purifier
Pure Cool Air Purifier and Tower Fan
Using a HEPA filter, this Dyson air purifier claims to clear up to 99.97% of airborne pollutants, odors, and toxins while adding tons of family-friendly extras: Unlike other fans, it has no accessible blades, so it’s safer for small hands. There’s also a nighttime mode and a sleep timer as part of its 10 speed settings. You can use the Dyson app to deliver real-time air quality reports that also includes temperature and humidity.
- No accessible blades, so it’s kid-friendly
- Equipped with sleep timer
- Syncs with app for real-time air quality reports
Best Air Purifier for Large Rooms
Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier
This new model from Coway claims it covers up to 1,560 square feet, making it a great option if you need to purify the air in a bigger room or even an apartment. The brand says it’ll clean the air twice in an hour and reduce 99.97% of particles. There are five different modes to select from, including a sleep setting. It comes in black and white color options, both of which have a bright LED ring that signifies the air quality.
- Great for larger rooms
- Includes sleep setting
Best HEPA Air Purifier for Allergies
True HEPA Allergen Remover Air Purifier
Honeywell’s air purifier comes in five different sizes, that target rooms ranging from small (75 square feet) to extra large (465 square feet). This model, the brand’s largest, claims to clean the air as often as five times an hour and remove up to 99.97% of super tiny airborne particles (including viruses). Since it’s HEPA-certified, this air purifier is great for allergies because it can remove fine particles and common allergens from the air.
- Choose from one of five size options
Reviewer Favorite Air Purifier
Mighty Air Purifier
With an average 4.4-star rating across over 1,600 reviews, Amazon customers clearly love this air purifier. Similar to Coway’s Airmega, this model also has an LED light that constantly indicates how clean or dirty the air is. It’s built to purify the air in up to 361 square feet, and there are even various fan speeds, timers, and modes to choose from (like an eco mode that claims to automatically save energy when it doesn’t detect air pollution for 30 minutes).
- LED display indicates air quality
- Energy-saving mode
Best Hybrid Air Purifier and Heater
Pure Hot + Cool Air Purifier
This triple-duty machine is a heater, fan, and an air purifier all in one. It features all the same air purifying features as Dyson’s Pure Cool model, but it also includes a heater to keep your family warm and toasty all winter. It syncs with Amazon Alexa through your Echo device and can also deliver real-time air quality reports through the Dyson app.
- Versatile, with heating and fan features
- Syncs with Alexa
Best for Odor Removal
HealthMate Standard Air Purifier B400B1
The Austin Air HealthMate HM400 has a true HEPA filter like other recommendations ensuring it efficiently captures particulate pollutants. It also has a filter to capture gaseous pollutants like VOCs making it a good pick if you are concerned about these.
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