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Most of us spend a significant amount of the day inside, especially throughout the colder seasons. While it may be nice to snuggle up with pets or open a window to let in some fresh air, it can also cause a lot of dust, dander, or air impurities to come inside or get kicked up into the air.

For people with allergies, these tiny air pollutants and microscopic allergens can cause frequent — and sometimes even severe — allergic reactions. Many of these particles are so small that they can’t even be seen, but their presence in the air can have an impact on someone’s allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.

However, it’s possible to extract a lot of these irritants from the air by using an air purifier. These machines are designed to take in air, run it through a filtration system, and release it back into the room.

Anyone can enjoy the benefits of an air purifier, but if you experience frequent allergies, you may be looking for one that specifically filters out the particles that can cause allergic reactions.

It can be challenging knowing where to start your search with so many different models and special features on the market. So to help you filter your options and help you breathe a little easier, we talked with an expert and compared several different brands for this list of our picks of the best air purifiers for allergies.

Dr. Alana Biggers, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Illinois-Chicago, believes that air filters can be useful for those with allergies because they remove a majority of aggravating air particulates from any given room, though they don’t take away all particles. They filter what’s in the air and not pollutants that are settled into walls, floors, and furnishings.

If you decide to purchase an air purifier to reduce allergy symptoms, keep in mind that devices can vary. It’s important to consider what air pollutants you want to filter, and the size of the room you’ll be using it in.

What are you hoping to filter?

“There are many types of air filters that can remove particles at varying degrees. For example, HEPA filters, UV air filters, and ion filters are very good at removing dust, dander, pollen, and mold, but they are not great at removing odors,” Biggers noted.

She added, “Carbon-based filters are good at filtering some particles and odors, but are not as effective in removing dust, dander, pollen, and mold.”

This table breaks down the different types of air filters and how they work.

Types of air filtersHow they work and what they target
High efficiency particulate air (HEPA)Fibrous media air filters remove particles from the air.
Activated carbonActivated carbon removes gases from the air.
IonizerThis uses a high voltage wire or carbon brush to remove particles from the air. The negative ions interact with the air particles, causing them to attract to the filter or other objects in the room.
Electrostatic precipitationSimilar to ionizers, this uses a wire to charge particles and bring them to the filter.
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI)UV light inactivates microbes. This doesn’t pull out the microbes from the space entirely. It only inactivates them.
Photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO)This newer technology removes very small particles in the air by making a photoelectrochemical reaction that removes and destroys pollutants.
Permanently installed air cleanersHeating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) systems and furnaces can remove pollutants from the air. They may use filters like the ones listed above, and they may also include an air exchanger to clean the air. These aren’t considered air purifiers, which are typically portable.

There are a lot of great air purifiers available, but for people with frequent allergies, a more targeted purification system is needed. So we looked for air purifiers with HEPA filters that used activated carbon or similar purification ingredients to help filter allergens like pet hair, pet dander, pollen, and smoke.

We prioritized products from trusted, proven brands with a significant number of strong customer reviews. Products that were energy efficient and generally quieter while in operation, were considered for our list.

Finally, we chose products at a variety of price points and room square foot coverage because everyone’s needs and budget are different. We wanted to build a list where most people could find something that worked for their homes.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $250
  • $$ = $250–$450
  • $$$ = over $450

Best air purifier for air circulation

Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Fan

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 10.18 pounds (lbs.)
  • Coverage area: 400 square feet (sq. ft.)

It’s easy to spot a Dyson fan thanks to its iconic look and futuristic design. This purifying fan can help cool you off during warm days without the constant noise of whirling fan blades. Featuring a full 350-degree rotation, this fan can clean and circulate the air from almost any direction.

Pair this fan with your smartphone for real-time readings of what impurities are being pulled out of the air. It also has a filter tracker that can tell you how many hours of runtime your filter has before needing to be replaced. Each HEPA filter uses activated carbon to freshen up any room and can be replaced easily.

Pros

  • wider oscillation allows for more of a full-room cleaning
  • LED screen shows real-time air quality
  • smartphone app compatible

Cons

  • expensive
  • replacement filters required

Best portable air purifier

Molekule Air Mini+

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 11.6 lbs.
  • Coverage area: 250 sq. ft.

Buying a large air purifier to cover a wide area can be very costly. So if you’re looking for a smaller, portable unit to take from room to room, the Molekule Air Mini+ is a good choice. Using a nanotechnology photo electrochemical oxidation (PECO) filter, this air purifier works to not only trap and capture impurities, but break them down and destroy them.

This mini purifier can cover 250 sq. ft., is FDA-cleared for medical use, and comes with a vegan leather strap that makes it easier to carry. Each filter lasts approximately 6 months. But if you’re worried you’ll forget to change it, there’s a subscription option to have filters mailed to your home via the Molekule website.

Pros

  • vegan leather strap for easy carrying
  • filters last up to 6 months
  • smartphone compatible
  • FDA-cleared for medical use

Cons

  • not good for large rooms
  • pricey for some budgets, considering its smaller size

Best budget air purifier

Honeywell HPA100 HEPA Air Purifier

  • Price: $
  • Weight: 11 lbs.
  • Coverage area: 155 sq. ft.

Honeywell is one of the most well-known and budget-friendly brands out there when it comes to products that can clean, cool, or heat your home. This Honeywell air purifier is intended for medium-size rooms (155 sq. ft.), but there are models that cover large rooms (310 sq. ft.) and extra-large rooms (465 sq. ft.).

Using an activated carbon HEPA filter, the air in your room is filtered through four cleaning levels to collect the microscopic particles that commonly trigger an allergic reaction, like pollen, dust, and pet dander.

It also features an easy-to-access control panel where you can set the cleaning level and the auto-off timer. There’s a light on the panel to help you remember to swap out the filter, so you know exactly when it’s time to install a clean one.

Pros

  • affordable price
  • filters have four layers of filtration
  • includes four different cleaning speeds

Cons

  • additional costs for replacement filters
  • unit may run too loudly for some users

Best air purifier for pets

BISSELL air320 Smart Air Purifier

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: 18.25 lbs.
  • Coverage area: 791+ sq. ft.

Air purifiers for larger spaces often look bulky, oversized, and generally throw off your home decor. However, this smart air purifier from Bissell can clean large rooms and look stylish while doing it. At first glance, you might think it looks like a large stereo speaker, with its large fabric front, but that is actually the first layer of the unit’s large filter.

Pet owners will also find that each layer of this filter works to clear out pet hair, dander, and odor. The fabric filter layer is made to catch and capture larger allergens like pet hair and lint.

The second layer is a medical-grade HEPA filter that can catch small particles like pollen, pet dander, and smoke. The final layer is a carbon filter that filters out unpleasant odors, including pet odor.

Pros

  • simple, stylish design
  • large three layered filter
  • LED light that reports current air quality

Cons

  • internal fan can be noisy
  • replacing filters can be costly over time

Best wall-mounted air purifier

RabbitAir MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 23.9 lbs.
  • Coverage area: 815 sq. ft.

Many air purifiers take up a lot of floor space and can be a little noisy too. The RabbitAir MinusA2 is designed to blend into almost any room, with a thin, lightweight design that can fit on a shelf, desk, or even mounted to the wall.

It’s available in black or white, or there’s an option to add popular art designs or cartoon characters to the faceplate. You can also order custom filters that target specific allergens and impurities, like a pet allergy, toxin absorber, germ defense, or odor remover filters.

While the filters need to be replaced, they’re built to last a long time — approximately 2 years, even with it running for 12 hours per day. This air purifier can cover approximately 815 sq. ft. and runs quietly.

Pros

  • customizable face plates
  • long lasting filters for specific allergies
  • energy efficient and slim design

Cons

  • pricey
  • may have trouble completely removing strong smoke or pet smells

Best air purifier for large rooms

The Levoit Core 400S Smart Air Purifier

  • Price: $
  • Weight: 12.79 lbs.
  • Coverage area: 1,005 sq. ft.

This cylinder-shaped air purifier can give you a full 360 degrees of cleaning, which means you can maximize its reach by placing it in the center of any room for up to 1,005 sq. ft. of coverage. Using an active carbon HEPA filter, this air purifier is great for people with allergies too.

This model is energy efficient and virtually whisper quiet while in operation. The model is also compatible with your smartphone, smart Google device, or Amazon Alexa so that you can control it remotely.

Pros

  • covers large rooms and spaces
  • 360 degrees of cleaning
  • smart device compatible

Cons

  • large footprint
  • some users have difficulty connecting it to Wi-Fi

To select the best air purifier for your needs, consider the following:

  • Filtration system: Decide which types of air pollutants and odors you plan to filter. To target allergies, consider HEPA and activated carbon filtration.
  • Room size: Choose a model suitable for the size of the room or area you want to filter. Check the device dimensions and consider how it will fit into the space.
  • Budget: Consider the initial cost as well as filter replacements.
  • Company reputation: Choose a company with a solid reputation that provides quality products and excellent customer service.
  • Customer reviews: Read online reviews to get an overall feel for customer satisfaction and find out what people say about your specific concerns, including noise, energy efficiency, and smart features.

If you frequently experience symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and head congestion, it may be time to see an allergist. They can identify triggers and create a treatment plan that helps prevent, alleviate, and manage symptoms to enhance your overall quality of life.

Additional reasons to see an allergist include:

How big is the area you’d like to filter?

The amount of space in your room should also guide your selection. Check how many square feet a unit can handle when evaluating it.

You can look for the clean air delivery rate (CADR) to determine how many particles and square feet an air purifier can reach. For example, HEPA filters can clean the smallest particles like tobacco smoke and medium and large particles like dust and pollen out of the air and may have a high CADR.

How big is the area you’d like to filter?

The amount of space in your room should also guide your selection. Check how many square feet a unit can handle when evaluating it.

You can look for the clean air delivery rate (CADR) to determine how many particles and square feet an air purifier can reach. For example, HEPA filters can clean the smallest particles like tobacco smoke and medium and large particles like dust and pollen out of the air and may have a high CADR.

What’s the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier?

Air purifiers and humidifiers are very different devices. An air purifier removes particles, gases, and other pollutants from indoor air, making the air cleaner to breathe. A humidifier adds moisture or humidity to the air without doing anything to clean it.

When should I get a new purifier?

If you’re finding that your air isn’t as clean as you’d like it to be or you’ve noticed an increase in allergic reactions, you might be thinking about buying a new air purifier. If this is the case, consider checking the filter first and make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced.

In most air purifiers, the filter does all the work, so if it’s not working at its usual capacity, the filter is probably to blame and not the purifier itself. However, if the mechanical hardware — like the fan, control panel, or air quality sensors — breaks down, you’ll want to get a new purifier.

In addition, if the air purifier can’t keep up in new and larger spaces, consider getting a larger purifier.

Can air purifiers reduce allergy symptoms?

Using an air purifier can remove many allergic triggers. While there’s no official recommendation for the use of air purifiers for allergies, many medical experts and research studies point to their effectiveness.

How do I prevent my purifier from getting mold?

Mold can grow quickly in humid areas with a lot of moisture and limited airflow. If you’re worried about your purifier growing mold, try using it in a dry room, and avoid using it in rooms that tend to retain moisture, like the bathroom.

You can also remove the filter from time to time to check for mold and clean it as needed.

If you live in a humid area where it’s difficult to control humidity, consider using a dehumidifier. Not only will it decrease the chances of your purifier growing mold, but it can make any room more comfortable.

Do air purifiers help lungs?

Yes, air purifiers help the lungs by improving the air quality so you breathe healthier air. The devices help reduce exposure to indoor particles, allergens, and pollutants, which may positively affect respiratory health.

However, research from 2021 suggests that indoor air filters may reduce indoor particulate matter but don’t significantly affect respiratory symptoms.

Should I sleep with air purifier on?

You should sleep with an air purifier on since the devices are designed to run constantly. Sleeping with an air purifier may help you breathe better and improve sleep quality. You can choose a low setting to minimize noise and dim or turn off the light.

What are the disadvantages of air purifiers?

The disadvantages of air purifiers include noise, energy consumption, and the cost of filter replacements. Plus, they require regular cleaning and may take up precious space in small areas.

Where is the best place to put an air purifier?

The best place to put an air purifier is the area where you spend the most time or that is a source of pollution. Choose a space with plenty of ventilation that provides adequate space around the unit. Typically, you can place small models on a surface a few feet from the floor and large models on the floor.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refers to several studies that link the use of air purifiers to allergies and asthma symptom relief. The EPA cautions that these studies don’t always point to significant improvements or a reduction in all allergy symptoms.

  • A 2018 study found that using a HEPA air purifier in the bedroom improved people’s allergic rhinitis symptoms by reducing the concentration of particulate matter and dust mites in the air.
  • A 2018 study following 46 people using air purifiers with PECO filters found that their allergy symptoms decreased significantly over 4 weeks.
  • A 2018 study concluded that air purifiers were a promising therapeutic option for people with asthma triggered by dust mites.

If you’re experiencing allergy or asthma symptoms inside your house, an air purifier may help reduce your symptoms by cleaning the air.

There are many different brands and models of air purifiers. Determine the size of your room and your specific filtration needs before purchasing an air purifier.


Steven Rowe is a New York-based writer, editor, and father. He has a degree in psychology, a master’s from Columbia School of the Arts, and he enjoys writing about mental health and childhood development. When he’s not writing, you can find him hiking in the woods with his family and rescue beagle.


Natalie Silver is a writer, editor, and owner of Silver Scribe Editorial Services, a publishing services company. Natalie adores working in a profession that allows her to learn about many different topics all in a day’s work. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two children. You can learn more about Natalie’s work on her website https://silverscribeeditorial.com/.