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These are the best air purifiers for dust based on reviews, certifications, and type of filtration, with HEPA being the gold standard. Read on for our top picks, including Coway, Molekule, BlueAir, and more.

Mounting concerns about indoor air pollutants, from dust to smoke to viruses, have made air purifiers increasingly popular. People with dust mite allergies and other sensitivities to airborne particles might be particularly interested in how an air purifier can help.

The Dirt on Dust

Any fine particles of matter can be called “dust.” It’s a broad definition that can include particles of soil, sand, pollutants, and skin. When it comes to dust particles in your home, most of the dust is made up of dead skin cells, hair particles, clothing fibers, and bits of dirt. But researchers have found everything from bacteria to carcinogenic compounds in household dust.

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With air purifiers, a fan-like mechanism draws air in and through at least one filter. The filter attracts and traps dust and other pollutants, thus “cleaning” your air. The filtered air is then released back into your space via another fan-like mechanism.

Some air purifiers are better at dust control than others, depending on the technology and filter system. HEPA filters are considered to be the most effective.

HEPA filters

High-efficiency particulate air filters, known as HEPA filters, can remove 99.97 percent of dust particles that are 3 microns in diameter, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As of now, air purifiers that have a HEPA filter tend to be the best at filtering out dust from your space. Using air purifiers in smaller, enclosed spaces can increase how effective they are.

Other filter technologies don’t work as well for dust filtration. For example, UV filters that zap mold spores and bacteria are also popular but aren’t as successful at trapping airborne dust. Some air purifiers take a “why not both?” approach and combine HEPA filters with UV filters or other types of filters.

All the air purifiers on our list use HEPA filters, except for the Molecule Air Mini+.

NamePriceBest forCoverage (sq. ft.)Other callouts
Coway Airmega AP-1512HH$$overall361auto eco-friendly mode; deodorizing filter
BlueAir Blue Pure 211+$$quietestup to 540two-year warranty; carbon filter
Levoit Core 300$on a budgetup to 200very quiet; 2-year warranty
Winix AM90 WiFi$$dust and odor control360smart app; 2-year warranty
Coway Airmega 400$$$ controlling dust and allergies in big roomsup to 1,560lots of options for functionality; great for big spaces
Molekule Air Mini+$$$portable250FDA cleared for medical use; Eco filter
BlueAir DustMagnet 5410i$$designup to 1,713tabletop function
Alen BreatheSmart Flex$$customizing700lifetime guarantee; choice of colors and filtration systems

We chose these air purifiers based on the following criteria:

  • Certifications: We looked to highlight products that have a high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) rating for dust in particular. We also looked for products that are verified and certified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and California Air Resources Board (CARB).
  • Clinical research: We read dozens of studies on dust filtration using air purifiers to figure out what works best in consumer and health services provider settings.
  • Type of filtration: None of these air purifiers are ionizers, which create a small amount of ozone. Instead, we focused on HEPA filters. In some cases, we highlighted products that combine HEPA with other filtration technologies. We also included an option with photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO) technology.
  • Customer reviews and feedback: We looked through hundreds of reviews to determine what customers liked about these products, and to alert you of any red flags that you may want to consider before buying the product.

When you’re shopping for an air filter, there are a few things to keep in mind to make it easier:

  • Energy use: Some air filters are more energy efficient than others. Buying an air purifier that’s Energy Star certified isn’t just better for the environment, it’s better for your electric bill, too.
  • Filtration system: Different filters are meant to accomplish different goals. Purifiers that have a UV filter are great for killing viruses and bacteria but don’t filter dust as well as HEPA filters. Look into the filter technology before you buy.
  • Filter replacement cost: While you’re looking at the type of filter, check on what it’s going to cost to replace the filters and how often they are going to need a replacement. Some companies will void their warranty if you use anything besides their brand-name filters, so keep that in mind, too.
  • Space: Even the most powerful air purifiers will not be effective if they’re placed in a space that’s larger than their recommended capacity. Air purifiers typically market the maximum size room that they can handle efficiently, so don’t try to stretch it.
  • Noise concerns: As you research different products, take note of reviews that mention how loud the devices are. Some people like their air purifier on as a sort of white noise machine in the background as they sleep, while others need an air purifier that’s as silent as possible.

An air purifier can only effectively clean your home’s air when you’re using and maintaining it properly. These devices are made to last, but you can expect to do basic maintenance like changing the filter periodically.

Here’s what to keep in mind in terms of proper air purifier maintenance:

  • Read the owner’s manual: This will tell you everything you need to know about proper care for your specific air purifier model. You should also be able to find this information on the company’s website.
  • Position it properly: Make sure that your air purifier’s intakes aren’t blocked. Air needs to be able to circulate freely. Placing items on top of your air purifier could also obstruct air or cause damage. Unless it’s designed as a piece of furniture, do not treat it like one.
  • Replace air filters as indicated: Your air purifier’s filters will need routine replacement, and this cannot be overlooked. If you use a clogged or damaged filter, your air purifier will not work properly, and you could damage your device. Many companies offer filter subscriptions, which can be a handy reminder.

Are air purifiers good for COVID-19?

According to the EPA, an air purifier can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses. However, it cautions that an air purifier is not enough to protect against COVID-19.

Some manufacturers, like BlueAir and Molekule, have tested their products against COVID-19 with positive results. Still, air purifiers should be part of a larger plan to prevent exposure to the coronavirus.

Do air purifiers help with viruses?

Air purifiers can help reduce viruses, but it’s important to choose the right one. For effective virus filtration, the EPA recommends air purifiers that can remove small particles ranging from 0.1 to 1 micron.

In addition to paying attention to particle size, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the right size unit for your space and double-checking that it has a high clean air delivery rate, or CADR, for smoke. The unit should also include a true HEPA filter.

Do air purifiers help with allergies?

There’s no official recommendation to use air purifiers if you have allergies. But air purifiers can help remove airborne particles like dust, dander, pollen, and mold.

Some studies have linked allergy symptom relief with the use of air purifiers. In fact, a 2018 study found that a HEPA air purifier in a bedroom helped with allergic rhinitis symptoms. Another 2018 study found that air purifiers with PECO filters reduced the participants’ allergy symptoms.

Do air purifiers work to filter out dust? What type of air purifier is best for dust removal?

Air purifiers with a HEPA filter tend to be the best for filtering dust from your space. According to the EPA, HEPA filters can remove 99.97% of dust particles that measure 3 microns in diameter.

Which air purifier is best for airborne allergens like pet hair and dust?

An air purifier with a HEPA filter is a good option if you want to minimize allergens like dust and dander. Newer technology like PECO is also designed not just to trap allergens but to destroy them.

Where is the best place to put an air purifier?

An air purifier should be in a spot where it has space for airflow around the top, front, and sides. Tucking an air purifier behind furniture or beneath a shelf reduces its efficacy. Placing an air purifier on an elevated surface can be a good way to boost efficiency.

Keep in mind that air purifiers have a recommended capacity, so make sure you’re using a version that’s right for the space.

How long does it take an air purifier to clean a room?

The time it takes an air purifier to clean a room largely depends on the size of the room, the air quality, and the speed or capability of your air purifier. Typically, a small room can be cleaned in about 30 minutes. Larger rooms may take several hours.

For the most effective air purifying, make sure you’re choosing a model that can handle the size of your room. For example, you don’t want an air purifier that’s best for a 250 sq ft office if you’re trying to clean a 1,500 sq ft living space.

How do I know if I need an air purifier?

If you’re experiencing chronic allergy symptoms, like coughing or sneezing, you or your partner snore regularly, or you get sick often, you likely have some allergens and contaminants hanging around.

If you notice lingering smells or heavy humidity or if you have pets and see visible fur tumbleweeds or dust mites, an air purifier might help.

If you use chemical-based cleaning products or paint regularly, an air purifier can help with that too.

Air purifiers make a lot of hefty claims in terms of what they can do for allergies and asthma. Finding an air purifier that uses a HEPA filter and a prefilter is probably your best starting point for finding something that works well.

Consider other concerns, such as noise level, energy use, and how often the filters need to be replaced when you’re looking for dust control in your space.