Do you have a pet you adore, but who makes your eyes puff up? Does dust seem to constantly settle on the surfaces around your home, making you sneeze? Do you live in an area affected by wildfires and worry about the air quality in your home? And perhaps most importantly these days, are you concerned about viruses, including Covid-19, circulating in the air? Good news! Having one of the best air purifiers running in your home can help ease your mind — and stop you from sneezing, too.
Keep reading for answers to frequently asked questions about the best air purifiers and how they work, or jump right in and shop our picks to start breathing cleaner air!
Do air purifiers really work?
The best air purifiers filter pollen, pet dander, dust, viruses, and other pollutants out of the air, so you can breathe easier — and dust less often! Homes and offices that run air purifiers smell better and fresher than spaces that don’t use any type of air filtration, which is just one of the reasons why these machines have long been popular. (Indoor plants make great, low-tech air purifiers as well!)
There are a couple of other reasons, though, that air purifiers have been flying off shelves lately. One is the wildfires that have been raging across the western United States, and the other is the mounting evidence that air purifiers can be an effective tool to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
There is some scientific evidence that using a high quality air purifier with a HEPA filter helps keep the air cleaner, protecting you from virus particles, smoke, pet dander, and other allergens. However, even the best air filters are not a replacement for good ventilation, so be sure and keep windows open when possible.
What air purifiers do doctors recommend?
Doctors generally do not recommend one specific air purifier over another, but if you look for one with a HEPA filter, solid reviews, and a warranty, you’re ahead of the game. Not sure which one to go with? That’s why we’ve rounded up the best air purifiers for you, along with reviews from satisfied customers.
Some of the most popular air purifiers include Dyson air purifiers, Levoit air purifiers, Coway air purifiers, and Honeywell air purifiers. Which one is right for you will depend on several factors, including your budget, the size of your space, and what you are looking for in an air purifier.
Can air purifiers help protect you from Covid-19?
We’ve probably all seen the illustrations showing how far a cloud of droplets spreads after someone sneezes, and how long those drops linger in the air. That’s why the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that we wear face coverings to help protect ourselves and others from the coronavirus.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that, “By themselves, portable air cleaners and HVAC filters are not enough to protect people from the virus that causes Covid-19.” However, they go on to say that, “When used along with other best practices recommended by CDC and others, filtration can be part of a plan to protect people indoors.”
In fact, there is mounting evidence that air filtration and top-of-the-line air purifiers can make a difference in the transmission of Covid-19 indoors. And since there are plenty of other benefits to having an air purifier in your home, why not invest in the best one you can afford?
What is the best air purifier for your house?
When deciding on the best air purifier to keep your home’s air clean and allergen-free, you’ll want to measure the square footage of each room you want to use an air purifier in. The kitchen, bedroom, and living room are great places to put an air purifier, and there are products that will work well in each of these spaces.
Consider your budget as well. There are air purifiers for less than $100 — like the TK (Buy on TK), and some that cost $1,000 or more — like the TK (Buy on TK). If you need an affordable air purifier, you can easily find one that will work for you. On the other hand, if you are able to invest in an air purifier that will be a more heavy-duty, long-lasting choice, there are plenty to choose from as well!
Whether you’re looking for an air purifier to help protect against Covid-19, an air purifier to bring you relief from allergies, or just a way to keep the air inside your home smelling cleaner and fresher, there’s an air purifier that’s perfect for your needs. Keep scrolling to shop our picks for the best air purifiers that help protect against Covid-19 and other viruses, dust, and other allergens.
See more of our best product recommendations.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
What are the best air purifiers to buy in 2021?
- Best air purifier for Covid-19: Molekule Air Pro
- Best air purifier for allergies: Dyson Pure Cool TP04 Purifying Fan
- Best air purifier for viruses: Molekule Air Mini +
- Best air purifier for dust: Levoit Air Purifier
- Best air purifier for small spaces: Filtrete Air Purifier
- Best air purifier for living rooms: Coway Airmega 150
- Best air purifier for the kitchen: Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier
- Best air purifier for large rooms: Honeywell PowerPlus True HEPA Air Purifier
- Best air purifier with heater: Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Cryptomic
Why we like it:
- Patented PECO technology destroys airborne viruses, bacteria, mold, allergens, and chemicals
- Designed for larger spaces, up to 1,000 square feet
- Woman-founded, owned, and operated company
If you’re serious about leveraging the benefits of air filtration to help protect against Covid-19, check out the Molekule Air Pro. It’s a professional-grade air purifier that’s designed to work in large commercial spaces up to 1,000 square feet — but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it at home.
What sets this unit apart is that, rather than using HEPA filtration (the standard for most consumer air purifiers), which simply captures viruses, mold, and other airborne troublemakers, it uses patented PECO nanotechnology (that’s Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) to actually destroy those pollutants.
With its anodized aluminum housing and vegan leather handle, this air purifier won’t be an eyesore, either. It’s a stylish piece that can also put your mind at ease about the air you breathe.
We also love that Molekule was co-founded by a woman, Jaya Rao, and is woman-owned and operated. The company is donating air purifiers to schools, businesses, and people in need during the twin crises of the Covid-19 pandemic and the wildfires raging across California and the Pacific Northwest. (The Woman’s World review unit was donated to a high school in New York City, along with a six-month supply of air filters.)
Promising review: “This machine is a BEAST and I mean that in the best possible way. The air smells different in our house — for the better! It’s so quiet my husband didn’t notice it was on. I feel much better knowing our house is free of all my allergens, viruses, and chemicals”.
Why we like it:
- Combined activated carbon and HEPA filters capture 99.97 percent of airborne allergens and pollutants
- Adjusts to flow backward or forward, depending whether you want a cooling fan effect or not
- Automatically detects air quality and exports data to the Dyson Link app so you can monitor
If you suffer from seasonal allergies or sensitivity to mold, pollen, and other indoor allergens, this Dyson air purifier will be your new best friend. This sleek machine, which is touted as “the only purifying tower fan to clean a whole room properly,” filters out 99.97 percent of microscopic allergens and pollutants that otherwise might have you sneezing, sniffling, and rubbing your itchy eyes.
This best-selling air purifier can be used as a fan to cool your space — an adjustable oscillation angle projects purified air around the whole room from 45 to 350 degrees — or you can direct the airflow backward when you don’t want to feel a breeze.
Promising review: “I have allergies and have experienced sinus and chest congestion for years. I didn’t know how congested I was until I plugged my TP04 in and within a matter of a couple of hours experienced a relief in sinus pressure and sneezing due to the bad air quality in my home. I enjoy the ability to monitor the air quality from my iPhone after down loading the Dyson Link app.”
Why we like it:
- Smaller, more affordable version of the Molekule Air Pro
- Destroys viruses and other allergens, rather than just capturing them
- Ideal for smaller bedrooms and offices
If you love the idea of the Molekule Air Pro, but don’t have a large space (or a large budget), the Molekule Air Mini+ might be just the thing for you. Like the Air Pro, the Mini+ uses Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) nanotechnology to destroy viruses, allergens, bacteria, and mold — but it’s designed to be used in a smaller space, like a bedroom or home office up to 250 square feet. It’s got five speeds to choose from, is portable enough to carry with you from room to room (or bring with you on the road and use in your hotel room), and connects to WiFi so you can control it with your smartphone. Plus, it’s quiet and uses very little energy, so you can run it 24/7 without running your electric bill up! Note that there are two models of the Molekule Air Mini — the Mini+ and the regular Mini, which is only $399 and available through the same links. The Mini+ has a few more fancy tech features, but both keep a small room’s air just as fresh. Compare and see which one you like best!
Promising review: “With Covid going around, I was testing out various purifiers and this one is my favorite. It’s sleek and modern-looking, virtually silent, and auto detects the air quality, ensuring that it’s operating on the most effective mode. Another feature I love about the Molekule Mini+ is that it destroys, not just traps particles. I had a bit of a hard time lining up the canister correctly and getting it to start and sync with the app, but the company was great about helping me troubleshoot, ensuring I had everything figured out. I’m so impressed that I’m actually getting another one to donate to my child’s classroom for this year.”
Why we like it:
- Affordable and effective
- 3 fan speeds
- Timer lets you turn it to “sleep mode” which is nearly silent
How often do you need to dust? If you live in a city or an older house, the answer is likely, “constantly.” No matter how often and how thoroughly you clean, that layer of dust builds up again all too quickly. But there’s another way to tackle your dust woes, besides breaking out the can of Pledge and microfiber cloth on a regular basis. An air purifier can significantly reduce the amount of dust in the air — and therefore, the amount of dust that settles on your bookshelves, picture frames, and windowsills. This Levoit air purifier, besides being the most affordable of our roundup, is also a workhorse when it comes to cleaning the air and keeping your home free of dust and other allergens. With three fan speeds a filter that’s easy to change, and a timer that allows you to set a “sleep mode” that’s whisper-quiet, this no-frills air purifier gets the job done for less.
Promising review: “I live in an older house that was built in the 1960s, and dust is a big problem. It gets everywhere. I vacuum my bedroom several times a week, but there’s just no getting ahead of it. Every 24 hours, every tabletop is covered in a thin layer of dust, even though the windows and door are closed almost all day and night. … This is the first air purifier that actually makes a marked difference in terms of dealing with the dust that plagues me so. Unlike [other air] purifiers, I can actually see the dust being sucked in through the device and into the filter, which is very satisfying. On top of being extremely effective, this air purifier is far more compact and attractive than any other I’ve owned.”
Why we like it:
- HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne particles
- Filter change indicator light tells you when it’s time for a new filter
- Cleans rooms up to 250 square feet
This Filtrete Air Purifier features true HEPA filtration with protection from allergens, bacteria, and viruses. It captures dust, lint, dust mite debris, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, smoke, smog, bacteria, viruses, exhaust particles, and ultrafine particles. The filter captures 99.97 percent of the airborne particles that are released from everyday activities such as frying food, dusting shelves, and even blow-drying your hair. An electronic filter change indicator on the control panel lets you know when you need to put in a new filter, and the soft-touch buttons let you easily change the fan speed, set a timer, dim the panel lights, and reset the filter change indicator.
Promising review: “Just a lifesaver! I have a small art studio room and I use this air filter daily. We had to have unexpected work done inside our home and I am very sensitive and have allergies. So this made my small room a refuge. It is fairly noisy on level three, but it does seem to put out fresh cooler air and is very worthwhile to me. I put it on level three for about an hour before I go into work in my room, and then put down to level one. So it works for me! Very pleased with this product.”
Why we like it:
- Three-stage filtration
- Easy-to-clean filter
- Comes in three cute colors
Who knew an air purifier could actually make your room look better, and not just smell better? The simple, clean and compact design of the Coway Airmega 150 air purifier, plus the fact that it comes in three color choices, makes it a favorite pick for anyone looking for an air purifier that will blend in with their home design. It also features three-stage filtration: a pre-filter, a deodorization filter, and a Coway Green True HEPA filter. A filter change indicator light lets you know when it’s time to clean the filter, which is super easy to pull out, and automatic speed control senses particles in the air and turns up or down accordingly. The intuitive air quality indicator light can be turned on or off, and this cute little machine keeps the air clean in spaces up to 214 square feet.
Promising review: “It does everything as advertised. Easy to set up, took 10 minutes each. I use it in the bedroom at night and one in home office/den during the day. … I’m super satisfied and couldn’t be happier. Looks great, easy to move around, easy to wipe clean, and quiet when you need it to be. I’d highly recommend this for small to mid-sized rooms especially for a city apartment dweller like me who is stuck inside either due to heat, cold , or allergies. And now with Covid , a little extra sanitation on the air can’t hurt. Go for it!”
Why we like it:
- 3-stage air cleaning system and HEPA filter
- Visual display shows you the air quality
- Choose auto or sleep mode to save energy
This Winix air purifer is an updated version of their popular 5300 model. With its three-stage air cleaning system, it captures dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, mold spores, VOC (volatile organic compounds) and everyday household odors, so you breathe fresh, clean air whenever it’s running. Since the Winix 5300-2 is rated for use in rooms up to 360 square feet, we think it’s perfect for the kitchen — but it would work equally well in a large bedroom or living space. It’s got a HEPA filter, an air quality visual indicator, a light sensor, and you can run it on auto mode or sleep mode.
Promising review: “I live in a valley in Western Montana where we’ve been dealing with very heavy forest fire smoke all summer. It started to get so bad that smoke was making its way into our home as well, so something need to be done. I took a chance on this air purifier and it has really helped. We leave it on day and night. It’s very quiet unless you use it on the highest setting. It’s not meant for a huge room, but I usually leave it in my large living room and it does great. I highly recommend it if you are dealing with smoke from nearby fires.”
Why we like it:
- Cleans rooms up to 530 square feet
- HEPA filter
Promising review: “This filter has been a godsend for my wife. She suffers from severe allergies, especially dust. We have kept this running 24/7 and she has seen a dramatic improvement in her nasal clarity. We also like that you can dim the control panel so that the lights don’t bother us at night. It is easy to use, and not so large as to be intrusive. You can also find reasonably priced replacement filters, which is also a huge plus.”
Why we like it:
- Heats or cools your room
- HEPA filter plus activated carbon filter
Promising review: “I bought this device because my husband and I like vastly different air temperatures at night. The unexpected joy was the air filter. For the first time in decades I woke up the first morning after I installed it and discovered I had absolutely no sniffles first thing in the morning. 18 months later this is still true. I just bought a second one for my home office. I am noticing the dogs allergies are beginning to decrease as well. Wonderful product.”