There are a multitude of reasons you might be in the market for an air purifier, but three of the most common are:

But is the air purifier the best way to achieve that? The answer is, unfortunately, complicated — so we also included some deals on high-quality purifiers that we feel confident would be a great purchase for anyone. Like this one, which is our favorite for reasons that, well, we’re about to explain:

PowerPlus True HEPA 530 sq. ft. Allergen Remover/Air Purifier –

269.00Shop Now

That one, you probably noticed, is pretty pricy. If you’re on a tight budget, you can still go with something like this:

HEPA-Type Tabletop Air Purifier –

59.98Shop Now

Though that has serious limitations… that, again, we’re about to explain.

The short version is that while air purifiers can make a big difference, they can’t solve every problem they claim to, and can’t solve all your air quality problems alone.

An air purifier will not protect you against COVID-19

It bears repeating: An air purifier will not protect you against COVID-19. Since the CDC currently believes that this disease is mainly spread from person to person, no air filter is going to keep you from contracting it unless you’re wearing it as a helmet while talking to people (Disclaimer: please don’t wear an air purifier as a helmet).

However, when combined with other air cleaning tactics like vacuuming, keeping your air conditioner and heater up to date, and of course, opening windows to regularly air out your home, research has shown that air purifiers do remove harmful particles, including allergens like pollen, smoke particulate and mold. Among young asthmatic children, studies have also shown that air purifiers can reduce symptoms and decrease visits to the doctor.

Dr. Elizabeth Matsui, chairwoman of the air pollution and indoor allergen committee for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, told the New York Times that air purifiers also help, to a lesser degree, with allergies… sort of. Her point was that they “can’t hurt, (but) may be helpful.”

So air purifiers can make a difference, but they’re also not a cure-all. How do you maximize your investment by picking a good one? Well, you could buy this one, which we think is pretty good:

Medify Air MA-112 V2.0 Super CADR 950 H13 True HEPA Air Purifier | Covers 2,400 sq ft – Allergies, Smog, Odors, Smoke, Pets Dander, Dust | Dual Intake with 2 Filters –

495.00Shop Now

Or you could measure the one you’re already considering against something we’re going to call “the three acronyms.”

The three acronyms that make a good air purifier