Top Ten Air Purifiers for Small Spaces

Shopping Guide

If you're thinking of buying an air purifier, we suggest you invest first in a bedroom model. It's the space where you spend the most time, and an air purifier will make the biggest impact there. Air cleaners also tend to be less expensive when they're designed for smaller spaces.

DO: Look for a model with a HEPA filter and a high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) — the number indicates the amount of air moving through the filter by area. Make sure the design has a sturdy, solid casing, preferably made from metal or hard plastic.

DON'T: Non-HEPA filters and models that release ozone into the air generally aren't reliable. Avoid buying a model with vents that direct clean air downward, which will stir up dust and allergens from the floor.

5093f392dbd0cb032f000564. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop AustinAir
Product: Healthmate Jr.
Pros: HEPA filter, sturdy casing, 5-year warranty, CADR of 200-250
Cons: Coverage is 225 sf and higher settings can be noisy
Price: $360

5093f392d9127e2f0600049b. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Bed Bath & Beyond
Product: Blueair 201B Air Purifier
Pros: HEPA filter, Energy Star rated, slim design
Cons: Coverage area of just 175 sf, CADR is lower at 115
Price: $300

5093f393dbd0cb032f000565. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Abt Electronics and Appliances
Product: AP51030K Whispure
Pros: Consumer Reports gave this 315 CADR model an excellent review
Cons: Reasonably priced but not the prettiest design of the bunch
Price: $299

5093f393d9127e2f0600049c. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop IQ Air
Product: Healthpro Compact
Pros: HEPA filter, 5-year warranty, IQ scored high in our test lab
Cons: High performance comes with a high price tag
Price: $839

5093f394dbd0cb032f000566. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Rabbit Air Purifiers
Product: MinusA2 Air Purifier (shown above)
Pros: Wall-mount design, 5-year warranty, Energy Star, 350-700 sf
Cons: CADR is 193-201, which is low for a higher-end model
Price: $479

5093f395d9127e2f10000486. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop
Product: Airgle 750 Air Purifier
Pros: Covers up to 700 sf, HEPA filter, 400-450 CADR
Cons: Expensive
Price: $799

5093f395dbd0cb032f000567. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Allergy Buyer's Club
Product: PlasmaWave 5300
Pros: HEPA filter, 235-251 CADR, Energy Star rated, reasonably priced
Cons: Only covers up to 350 sf
Price: $200

5093f396d9127e2f10000487. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop
Product: Honeywell 50150
Pros: HEPA filter, compact design, reasonable price
Cons: 150 CDR is lower than other models
Price: $128

5093f397dbd0cb035800054f. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop AJ Madison
Product: GE AFHC21AM
Pros: 76 CFM Air Purifier with 4 Fan Speeds, True HEPA Filter, Permanent Washable Pre-Filter, Electronic Controls, Energy Star Qualified
Price: $209

5093f78ad9127e2f16000502. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Stacks and Stacks
Product: Aller Air Model 5000 Exec
Pros: HEPA filter, durable metal design that reminds me of R2D2
Cons: Expensive and noisy, especially at higher settings
Price: $645

(Updated on 11.15.11 by Mat Sanders)

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Photo: Gregory Han | Unplggd