Air purifiers are one of those under-the-radar household items you think you can live without, but once you have one, you can never go back. These mighty machines do a lot of work: They clear the air of allergens, pet dander, germs, and even odors. And couldn’t we all stand to breathe air that’s just a little bit cleaner? We’ve rounded up our picks of the best air purifiers at all price points and sizes to help you find the right one for your needs.

What to Consider Before Buying an Air Purifier

While air purifiers come with all sorts of bells and whistles, the most important thing to consider is the filter. No matter how advanced the purifier itself is, it’s not going to be very effective if the filter you’re using isn’t up to scratch—or if it’s dirty. Many purifiers these days have a multiple filtration system, combining more than one filter to tackle a variety of issues.

Types of Filters

HEPA filter: In the air filter world, the HEPA (“high efficiency particulate air”) filter standard has evolved as the go-to “good enough” quality level. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in order for a filter to qualify as HEPA, it must trap 99.97 percent of particles that have a size of 0.3 microns or larger. Keep an eye on marketing language: Some products use “HEPA-like” filters that don’t meet HEPA standards. Look for purifiers that specifically say they use “True HEPA” filtration.

Activated carbon filter: While HEPA filters remove air particles like dust, pollen, and dander, they don’t help much with smell. For that, you’ll need an activated carbon (or charcoal) filter. They not only help get rid of smells but also capture pollutants such as chemical emissions, gases, and tobacco smoke.

Ionic filter: A newer advancement in air purification, ionic filters (or ionizers) “clean” the air with electric charges that attract contaminants, eliminating ultra-fine particles that HEPA filters can’t catch. The efficacy of these types of filters isn’t as widely accepted, though.

Pre-filter: You’ll also see many purifiers have a “pre-filter,” which absorbs larger particulates to help the HEPA filter last longer.

Room Size

Another consideration when searching for the best air purifier is the size of your space. If you want a heavy-duty purifier that’ll cover your whole house, be prepared to invest in a large, bulkier option that will use up a lot of energy. You might prefer to have a purifier in one or two spaces, like a bedroom or living room. Smaller purifiers also have the benefit of being lightweight and easily transportable, so you can move them when and where you need them.

Certifications and Ratings

CADR Rating: CADR, or “Clean Air Delivery Rate,” measures how fast the purifier can clean the air—the higher the CADR, the more powerful the purifier. It’s measured in cubic feet per minute and is typically taken for pollen, smoke, and dust. While CADR does have its limitations, it’s still a pretty accurate way of measuring the efficiency of a purifier. There are some reputable companies that don’t list the CADR of their products, whether because they don’t use traditional HEPA filters or because they believe CADR is misleading. If we don’t mention CADR on our list, it means the company has not disclosed that information.

AHAM Verifide: AHAM, or the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, verifies the claims made by purifiers in their own independent labs. The organization is even recognized by the EPA as an Administrative Body approved to administer verification testing. If you see a purifier is AHAM Verifide, that means it passes AHAM’s inspection—but keep in mind many companies don’t submit their products to AHAM for testing.

What We Look for in an Air Purifier

We tested a wide range of air purifiers to find the best, judging them on the following criteria:

  • Filter: Does the purifier use a True HEPA filter? What does the filtration process look like? How many different filters are used?
  • Size: How big is the purifier? Is it easy to move and blend in with its surroundings? How large of an area does it cover?
  • CADR: What is the purifier’s CADR?

Best Overall Air Purifier: Coway Mighty

Image result for Coway Mighty

Coway Mighty


Coway sells a number of high-quality, effective air purifiers, but their Mighty model is a standout for its high CADR, small size, quiet operation, ease of use, and fair price. It features a four-stage filtration system, with a pre-filter, activated carbon filter, True HEPA filter, and ionizer. Other great features include a filter change indicator, an eco mode to save energy, air flow control, and three timer options (1, 4, or 8 hours). Coway recommends changing the activated carbon filter every 6 months, and the HEPA filter every year—replacement filters for one year cost $49.99 on Amazon.

The Coway Mighty is one of the more universally admired purifiers out there, frequently topping “best of” lists and purifier guides. It’s suited for all your purifying needs, from getting rid of odors and smoke to removing dust and allergens in the air. At Apartment Therapy, three staffers use it and love it. Phil Vuong, AT’s Chief Finance Officer, says: “It deals well with smells, runs quiet, and the filters aren’t that expensive to replace, making it very easy to set up and maintain.”

Our Director of Product, Vijay Nathan, agrees, adding that he was surprised at how well it worked in his larger space. “I was really surprised because we have very high ceilings, but it does the trick, and is especially good at eliminating smells.”


  • For rooms up to 361 sq. ft.
  • CADR: Dust-246, Pollen-240, Smoke-233
  • 18.3 x 16.8 x 9.6 in; 12.3 lbs.
  • 77 W power
  • Noise level ranges from 24.4 dB to 53.8 dB
  • Available in black and white
  • 3-year limited warrant

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a quality purifier at an attainable price.

Good to Know: Also features an air quality indicator that shows your indoor air quality levels in real time.

Best Budget-Friendly Air Purifier: Blueair Blue Pure 411

Image result for Blueair Blue Pure 411
Blueair Blue Pure 411


If budget is your primary concern, you can’t do better than Blueair’s Blue Pure 411. Really, the entire Blueair stock is worth checking out, but the Blue line is particularly noteworthy if you want something affordable. This model is not heavy duty (it’s for small rooms up to 161 sq. ft. and its CADR is 120), but it gets the job done thanks to its three-stage filtration system: pre-filter, HEPASilent filter, and carbon filter. What’s a HEPASilent filter, you ask? It’s a special filter developed by Blueair for their purifiers, combining an ionizer with a HEPA filter to remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns in size, even killing germs. Blueair recommends replacing the filter every 6 months; you can buy replacement filters  for just $21.99.

Ariel Knutson, the Features Director at AT’s sister site Kitchn, has had this purifier since 2018, when she moved to Los Angeles and experienced her first wildfire season. “My lungs just didn’t feel great due to the smoke, so I went in search of my very first air purifier and ultimately settled on Blueair,” she says. “Let me tell you: This air purifier is a gem. It’s easy to use, understand, clean, and it’s just plain good-looking. I was shocked by how much stuff the filter picked up (it’s kinda gross!), but I like to think that just means it’s working. 10/10 recommend for small spaces.”


  • For rooms up to 161 sq. ft.
  • CADR: Smoke-105, Pollen-120, Dust-120
  • AHAM Verifide
  • 16.7 x 8 x 8 in; 3 lbs.
  • 1.5-10 W power
  • Noise level ranges from 17 dB to 46 dB
  • 60-day trial period
  • 2-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those in small spaces; those who want the most bang for their buck.

Good to Know: Comes with two machine-washable fabric pre-filters in two colors.

Best Air Purifier for Whole House: Alen BreatheSmart 75i

Image result for Alen BreatheSmart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier

Alen BreatheSmart 75i


Looking for something heavy duty that will work in large spaces and last forever? The Alen BreatheSmart 75i might be the match for you. It has a very high CADR and cleans rooms up to 1,300 sq. ft., yet still manages to work quietly and not stand out too much. It really stands out when it comes to the filter, though—there are four different options to choose from, depending on your needs, and all are True HEPA. The most common option is the Pure filter, which removes allergens and bacteria; other options include Fresh, which is made specifically to get rid of odors; Pet, which is made for pet dander; and Heavy Odor, which is made for getting rid of more intense smells. The filters last for 12-15 months, but they’re expensive: the Pure filter costs $99, while the Pet and Heavy Odor filters cost $139.

It also generates only pink noise, a noise frequency that’s made for better sleeping. This is great news if you want to place it in your bedroom but are worried about the sound being disruptive. Kitchn’s Associate Food Editor, Meghan Splawn, lives with two kids and two dogs, and tested this model, as she knew she needed something powerful. “We’re dusting and vacuuming less often, even though we have three adults, two kids, two dogs, and pollen in bloom right now,” she says. “The control panel is full of super smart features including 2-to-4-hour programs for quick air quality improvement—like, say, when I accidentally burn some roasted sweet potatoes. One of my personal favorite features? The control panel lock to keep my kids from turning it off as they run by.”


  • For rooms up to 1,300 sq. ft.
  • CADR: 347
  • 18.5 x 27 x 11.5 in; 27 lbs.
  • 45 W power
  • Noise level ranges from 25 dB to 49 dB
  • 60-day trial period
  • Lifetime warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who need something heavy duty and long-lasting; those who have multiple pets or severe allergies; those who want customization options.

Good to Know: Customizable with 7 different panel options.

Best Air Purifier for Small Spaces: Molekule Air Mini

Front Zoom. Molekule - Air Mini - Pollutant-Destroying Air Purifier - 250 sq. ft. - White.

Molekule Air Mini



Molekule made waves when it launched in 2014 with its original purifier, and its newer and smaller Air Mini has quickly become one of our favorites. Released in October 2019, the Air Mini is as sleek and stylish as its predecessor but even smaller in size, making it suitable for dressers and nightstands. I’ve had this model for a few months, and it fits in well on my dresser—in fact, my roommate didn’t even notice it for weeks because it was so inconspicuous. It also has a nice handle for easy carrying if I need it in the kitchen or elsewhere in my apartment, and it provides some great white noise while I sleep.

What makes Molekule stand out from other purifiers is, yup, its filter. Rather than utilizing a HEPA filter, Molekule created its own filtration system, called PECO (photoelectrochemical oxidation). It’s an upgraded version of PCO (photocatalytic oxidation), an air cleaning method that’s been around for years. It works by using free radicals to break down pollutants at a molecular level, even bacteria and viruses. The downfall is that since this is a new technology, it hasn’t been as thoroughly vetted as regular HEPA filters—and the price is high. The Air Mini filter is $75, and Molekule recommends replacing the filter every 6 months. You can also subscribe and get automatic refills for $99/year.


  • For rooms up to 250 sq. ft.
  • 12 x 8.26 in; 7.3 lbs.
  • 20-55 W power
  • Noise level ranges from 39 dB to 62 dB
  • WiFi enabled with iOS and Android apps
  • 30-day trial period
  • 2-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want something small and inconspicuous; those who want something they can control using an app.

Good to Know: Molekule sells bundles so you can buy multiple and save.

Best Smart Air Purifier: RabbitAir MinusA2

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RabbitAir MinusA2 SPA-780N


If you’re looking for a smart purifier with all the bells and whistles you could wish for, your first move should be to check out the RabbitAir MinusA2. It has pretty much everything you want in a purifier, starting with a six-stage filtration system: pre-filter, medium filter (to trap larger particles like pollen, mold, and pet dander, BioGS HEPA filter, customized filter, activated carbon filter, and finally, the ionizer. That’s a whole lot of filtration happening, so let’s break it down even more.

First, what is a BioGS HEPA filter? It’s an upgraded version of a traditional HEPA filter and is able to trap mold, bacteria, and viruses in addition to common allergens. Then there’s the customizable filter, which is where RabbitAir really stands out. The MinusA2 comes with four different filter options, depending on your needs: Germ Defense, Toxin Absorber, Pet Allergy, and Odor Removal. Replacement filters cost $95, making this a serious investment—although RabbitAir says their filters will last up to 2 years with 12-hour daily operation.

Maxwell Ryan, our Founder & CEO, has used air purifiers for years and calls this model his favorite. “I got this purifier because I was tired of bulky, noisy machines, especially because I like to run my machine on low all the time in my bedroom,” he says. “RabbitAir totally delivers with a silent mode that moves air nicely, and I also really like how compact it is fitting against the wall. All air purifiers tend to be bulkier than you want them to be and not terribly cheap, which is frustrating, but RabbitAir does crush a few problems nicely. I consider this an excellent purifier for the person who wants serious air cleaning, a design-friendly package, and never to hear their purifier again.”

*Honorable Mention: The Dyson Pure Hot+Cool ($649.99), which is a purifier, fan, and heater all in one machine.


  • For rooms up to 815 sq. ft.
  • CADR: Pollen-200, Dust-193, Smoke-180
  • 20 x 21.4 x 7 in.; 19.4 lbs.
  • 7-61 W power
  • Noise level ranges from 25.6 dB to 51.3 dB
  • WiFi enabled with iOS and Android apps
  • 90-day trial period
  • 5-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those with specific air quality issues (like pet allergies, smoke, asthma); those with larger spaces; those who want something they can control with their phone.

Good to Know: It can be mounted to the wall to save floor space.

Best Air Purifier for Pets: TruSens Large

TruSens Large Air Purifier


Another newer company, TruSens was launched in early 2019 with a line of purifiers, available in three sizes. Since then, it has won the Red Dot Award for Product Design, thanks to its unique construction. TruSens purifiers come with a SensorPod, which is placed across the room from the purifier and collects air quality readings in real time. It communicates the data with the purifier, which then adjusts its output accordingly. It also features a four-stage filtration system, with a pre-filter, carbon filter, True HEPA filter, and UV filter for killing germs. (Note: Only the large size has a True HEPA filter.) You can also buy specialty filters for Allergy & Flu, Pets, and Odors, and replacements cost $59.

What makes it especially suited for households with pets is its dual airflow streams, which ensures that the entire surface area of your space is getting equal air distribution. Lindsay Ribe, AT’s Senior Graphic Designer, has been using the TruSens purifier in her home because she has a pup and is embarking on several home reno projects, and she’s been pleased with the results. “It’s super quiet—I don’t even know it’s there,” she says. “It was also really simple to set up, and I like that you can hide the display at night.”


  • For rooms up to 750 sq. ft.
  • 10 x 10 x 28 in.; 13.2 lbs.
  • 68 W power
  • 2-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want customization options; those who want something cutting edge.

Good to Know: The small and medium sizes use HEPA-like DuPont filters.

Best Air Purifier for Allergies: Honeywell HPA300

Image result for Honeywell HPA300

Honeywell HPA300 Air Purifier


The Honeywell purifier is proof that sometimes, simple is best. It’s not the most attractive option, but it’s seriously powerful and dependable—which is really all that matters, especially if you have allergies or asthma. With a CADR of 320 for dust and 300 for pollen, this is one of the more harder working purifiers out there. It consists of just a pre-filter and True HEPA filter, so it won’t help much with VOCs, but it will be effective when it comes to getting rid of allergens.

Projects Editor Megan Baker has used this purifier for years, both because of her allergies and because her downstairs neighbor smokes. “I got this when I was living in my first NYC apartment, which was—brace yourself—fully carpeted,” she says. “I was so desperate to snag a place that I didn’t think about the implications for my indoor/outdoor allergies when I signed the lease. Three things helped tremendously: a shoes-off policy, regular vacuuming, and putting this air purifier in my bedroom. I know it worked not just because my stuffy-nose mornings went down but also because every time I went to clean the filter it was absolutely full of air garbage. Gross but also satisfying!”

“When I moved to my next apartment, a 1000-point upgrade in every single way, I brought it with me, and good thing: My downstairs neighbors, who were also my landlords, smoked. This totally knocked out any smells that might have lingered up. The only complaint I have (and it’s minor): The pre-filter requires cutting your own to size, which adds another step to the process (albeit a quick one). The sheets don’t come in the exact size it takes to get you X amount of pre-filters, so you end up throwing little scraps away.”


  • For rooms up to 465 sq. ft.
  • True HEPA filter
  • CADR: Pollen/300, Dust/320, Smoke/300
  • AHAM Verifide
  • 20.8 x 10.83 x 22.38 in.; 13.9 lbs.
  • 90-day trial period
  • 5-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want something unfussy and straightforward; those who want something guaranteed dependable.

Good to Know: Pretty much all of the Honeywell purifier inventory is AHAM Verifide.

Best Air Purifier for Smoke & Pollution: Austin Air HealthMate Plus

HealthMate Plus Room HEPA Air Purifier

Austin Air HealthMate Plus


If you want something truly heavy duty, you can’t pass up Austin Air. The brand has been around for over 30 years and has even worked with FEMA, the American Red Cross, and hospitals nationwide to get clean air to those who need it most. Their purifiers are on the very high end, but absolutely worth it if you have pre-existing health conditions or live in a place with bad pollution or that’s prone to wildfires. The HealthMate Plus is a great option for the home—it’s not too bulky and has wheels for easy transporting. It has a four-stage filtration system, with two pre-filters, an activated carbon filter, and a medical-grade True HEPA filter for superior cleaning.

Drew Wilchak, AT’s IT Manager, lives near a highway and knew he wanted a serious air purifier for his apartment. “I bought it a couple years ago when I was living in a 200 sq. ft. studio with a cat, and it just smelled like litter box all the time,” he says. “It totally solved that problem. Then I put it in storage (aka my mom’s basement) for a while, then went and got it after I moved to my current apartment. I knew I needed it again after two weeks—I live near a highway and I had trouble sleeping and overall just felt not great.” His only complaint? “You have to remember to turn it off when burning incense, because otherwise it just sucks the smell right out of the air very quickly.” How’s that for confirmation that a purifier works?

*Honorable Mention: IQAir HealthPro Plus ($899), another seriously powerful machine.


  • For rooms up to 815 sq. ft.
  • 14.5 x 14.5 x 23 in.; 47 lbs.
  • 30-day trial period
  • 5-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those with major health issues; those who live in wildfire zones; those who live in polluted areas.

Good to Know: Unlike most purifier brands, Austin Air extends its warranty to cover filters as well.