IQAir HealthPro 250
The IQAir HealthPro 250 has won more independent number 1 awards than any other air purifier. In 2011 the HealthPro 250 won the ‘Best Air Purifier Overall’ by Consumer Search. The award was based on the air purifier’s ability to “remove particles even smaller in size than standard HEPA filters can handle” and the addition of the “V5 filter means the unit is able to filter odours and chemicals”.6

Consumers Digest has awarded the IQAir HealthPro 250 the ‘Best Buy’ award for being the best air purifier in the premium home air purifier category. This was the fourth consecutive year that IQAir won this award. The air purifiers tested were ranked according to their “performance, ease and cost of maintenance, quality of construction and the area the air purifier cleans”.7

Allergy Consumer Review named the IQAir HealthPro 250 the winner for “the all-rounder best air purifier” and the IQAir GC MultiGas was ranked #2 as “the best all-rounder odour and gas air purifier”.8

Apartment Therapy placed the IQAir as #1 best air purifier for achieving the highest rating from the Apartment Therapy test lab and said “it is one of the few products that completely lived up to its claims with immediately noticeable effects in a real-world environment”.9

Parent Trusted, Parent Approved awarded the seal of approval as best air purifier to the IQAir HealthPro 250. They describe the unit as the “world’s most advanced room air purifier” and the only “air purifier to be tested and certified to filter down to 0.003 microns and captures over 99.5% of viruses, bacteria, pet allergens, mould spores, dust and pollen”.10

Stiftung Warentest tested 10 international air purifiers and evaluated the IQAir HealthPro 250 as the only air purifier that was “sehr gut” (very good) – which is their top mark. The company said “after 15 minutes around 85% of all dirt particles of even 0.5 to 1.5 microns in size had already been removed. The [best of the other brands] only removed about half as many particles in comparable conditions”.

Blueair 650E
Blueair has won several awards for being the best looking/designed air purifier. The Blueair range won, for example, the ‘Excellent Swedish Design Award’, ‘Good Design’, ‘G Mark’ and the ‘Red Dot Award’. However, none of these awards has anything to do with the air purifier’s actual performance and is for that reason not considered when determining the ‘best air purifier’.

In regard to its performance, the Blueair 650E was a runner up for the ‘Best Air Purifier Overall’ by Consumer Search. According to Consumer Search the Blueair “does a great job filtering pollution from the atmosphere” using a combination of a mechanical mesh filter with ionisation. Consumer Search commented, however, that the “Blueair lacks the pre-filter that top-rated purifiers use that extends the main filter life”. Furthermore, the “filter replacement is the biggest expense which requires changing every six months”.11

Blueair was ranked #4 by Allergy Consumer Review for the best air purifier. Allergy Consumer Review said that the Blueair 650E was able to “deliver large amounts of purified air at a very low noise level”.9 The Blueair was also a runner up on the list for top air purifiers by Apartment Therapy. Apartment Therapy states that the “Swedish company … offers premium air purification in a much more stylish package”.10

Holmes HAP756-U
Holmes markets their HAP756-U air purifier as removing “99.97% of airborne allergens as small as 0.3 microns” and says that it includes the “Arm and Hammer-enhanced filter”12 which helps filter common household odours. The Holmes HAP756-U was ranked #3 by Consumers Digest, describing it as being “rare among air purifiers that are in this price range ($140-$150)”8 and making it a ‘Best Buy’ selection. Consumer Report, on the other hand, rated the Holmes HAP1200-U air purifier as only 29/100 – which qualifies it as “not worth buying”.

Overall the Honeywell air purifiers have not been a major contender in the award for the best air purifier. But the Honeywell HEPA air purifier was ranked #5 by Apartment Therapy for the best air purifier. According to Apartment Therapy, the Honeywell air purifiers are tested and regarded to be “dependable, affordable workhorses which do a great job”.

Even though Filtrete makes strong claims – for example, that their air purifiers are “better than HEPA at capturing large airborne particles”13 – none of the independent test companies we looked at have awarded Filtrete any best air purifier awards. Only Consumer Reports rated the Filtrete FAP03 air purifier as 54/100.

AirFree units are often sold as being the “world’s safest and most tested air purifier brand”, but the Airfree unit was not tested by most of the independent testing companies that we found. Only one of the testing sites mentioned the Airfree. Allergy Consumer Review tested the Airfree Onix and ranked it as #3 in the top ten air purifiers. Allergy Consumer Review states that “all AirFree units do not use filters, therefore, there are no maintenance costs”, however, Allergy Consumer Review also says that “Airfree models are not recommended for serious gas and odour removal”.9

LightAir IonFlow
LightAir is very recognisable for the unique design of their air cleaners; going on to win various awards for their good look. None of the testing companies, however, were impressed with its performance in cleaning the air. Consumer Report wrote the most critical review by saying that “with no fan to aid airflow, the LightAir IonFlow 50F was about as effective at removing dust smoke in our tests as having no purifier at all”.14