Organize & Clean

The Best Air Purifiers You Can Buy Right Now

updated Apr 20, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
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Credit: Trinette Reed | Stocksy

If you’ve ever questioned whether you need or should invest in an air purifier, you’re not alone. Even we’ve wondered the same thing, but after putting a number of them to the test, we determined that once you start using an air purifier, you won’t want to live without one. These powerful machines capture allergens like dust and pollen, and eliminate odors and harmful particles (like VOCs — but more on these later) from the air so you can breathe comfortably and confidently for years to come. But shopping for an air purifier can be tricky if you’re not already familiar with the somewhat complicated terms and statistics involved. That’s why we did the research, tested for the best, and picked our favorite air purifiers on the market by performance, size, and (because we are who we are) appearance. Here’s to clean air!

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The Best Air Purifiers

What to Consider When Buying an Air Purifier

The scientific terminology involved in shopping for air purifiers can make the process confusing, but it doesn’t need to be. Start by asking yourself a few questions: Do you live in a polluted area? Do you have any allergies or asthma? Do you have pets or kids, even if no known allergies? Do you travel and change up your air quality often? How much does appearance matter to you? Once you pin down your needs, use our guide below and the acronym, term, certification, and filter descriptions we provide to help you narrow your search. Or, simply scroll a bit further and take your pick from our short list of tried-and-true winners below.

Acronym Key

MM: Micrometer or micron; a single micron is equal to 1,000 nanometers.

NM: Nanometers; equal to one-billionth of a meter, an “nm” is a unit of measure used to determine the diameter of the smallest particles.

MPPS: The Most Penetrating Particle Size is the smallest-sized particle that can penetrate a filter, specifically in regards to HEPA filters, and considered to be around 300 nm in size.

HEPA: A High Efficiency Particulate Air filter is able to remove 99.7 percent of airborne particles like pollen, dust, mold, and bacteria that are as small as 0.3 microns.

VOC: Volatile Organic Compounds are chemical emissions that come from the use of paint, gasoline, cleaning supplies, cosmetics, cooking, fireplaces, and more. VOC exposure can cause short-term or chronic health issues.

AHAM: The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers is behind a number of air purification quality assurance and energy efficiency guidelines, including its own AHAM Verifide certification (more on this below).

CADR: The Clean Air Delivery Rate is a score developed by the AHAM to represent the performance of full-sized air purifiers.

AHAM Verifide: A certification given by the AHAM using the association’s standard for measuring air purification efficacy, CADR, which declares products effectively air purifying and safe to use.

CADR and AHAM Certifications

Put simply, the higher the CADR score, the better the air purifier. Here’s why: An air purifier’s CADR score gives the most reliable reflection of how well the machine is going to perform. It represents the volume of air (in cubic feet per minute) that the machine is capable of cleaning in a certain amount of time. The highest score a purifier can have is 450 for smoke filtration (as smoke has one of the smallest particle sizes), but many purifiers live within the 200-400 range. It’s possible for a single purifier to have multiple CADR scores, each differing based on the particle size. In other words, a purifier’s CADR score for smoke filtration can differ from its pollen and/or dust filtration scores. Lastly, not all brands market their CADR scores, but it’s a helpful indicator when you’re shopping for an air purifier and one we recommend paying attention to.

The AHAM is recognized by the EPA as an Administrative Body approved to administer verification testing. If you see a purifier labeled AHAM Verifide, then it passes the organization’s rigorous inspection. Companies must actively submit their products to AHAM for testing and to be granted certification.

Filter Types

Pre-filter: As an air purifier’s first line of defense, pre-filters capture larger particles like pet hair and dander, allowing the following filters to focus on the small stuff without getting clogged up easily.

HEPA filter: One of the most well-known filters to look out for when shopping for an air purifier, the HEPA filter captures 99.97 percent of particles that measure 0.3 microns. Microns, which are as tiny as their name suggests, have the MPPS (or most penetrating particle size) and are the most likely to go through a non-HEPA air filter.

Ionic filter: The ionic filter electrically charges particles that pass through it. When the charged particles are filtered back into the room’s air, they are then able to attach to other uncharged particles, neutralizing pollutants and essentially allowing your air to purify itself.

Activated carbon filter: These filters are often an added filter layer for activated carbon’s ability to purify harmful emissions from chemicals like toluene, which is emitted over time from certain common home repair tools like paint, plaster, and glue.

Pro Tip: Not all air purifiers use a true HEPA filter, so you’ll see many that are marketed as “HEPA-like” or “HEPA-grade,” which aren’t the same as having a true HEPA filter. Keep this in mind if you’re looking for the real deal, which usually includes the words “True HEPA”

Room Size

When purchasing an air purifier, think about the size of the room it will be placed in. Brands often market purifiers for different room sizes and will recommend a square footage based on the number of air changes the machine can process per hour. But keep in mind that not all brands use the same number of air changes when recommending a room size, and some don’t even specify the number of room changes. For example, a purifier may be able to make two air changes per hour in a 1,000-square-foot space but make four air changes in a 500-square-foot space. With this information, you can make a better judgment on the purifier size you need.

Pro Tip: As a rule of thumb, the CADR of your air purifier should equal at least two-thirds of a room’s area square footage.

What We Look for in an Air Purifier

We tested a range of air purifiers, from small portable devices to large smart machines, judging them on the following criteria:

  • Filtration: What kind of filter does the air purifier use? What is the filtration process? Is there more than one filter?
  • Presence: How big is the air purifier? What type of space is it best for? Is it easy to move around? Is it an eyesore? Is it designed with appearance in mind?
  • Certification: How high is the product’s CADR? Are there specific CADR listed for differing particle sizes, from smoke to pollen and/or dust?

The Best Air Purifiers

The HoMedics TotalClean 5-in-1 UV-C Deluxe Large Room Air Purifier takes the winning spot as our best overall air purifier for its easy-to-navigate functionality and reliability. It’s a powerful unit that’s extremely easy to set up, and it helped our writer Erin alleviate seasonal allergies, reduce dust in her home, and eliminate food odors from cooking. “It also has UV-C technology and HEPA filtration that can reduce bacteria, virus, mold, and fungus,” she says. “I appreciate this living in an apartment where you sometimes don’t always know what’s going on behind your walls!” Since it draws in and purifies the air from 360 degrees of its surroundings, not even the darkest and dustiest corners stand a chance against the TotalClean purifier. And, just as its name suggests, it’s a solid option for those with pets and kids, as it detects and eliminates dander and pollutants that can be potentially harmful, especially if your outdoor pets also spend time indoors. What’s more, you can add drops of essential oils to a dedicated tray in the purifier and allow it to emit your chosen scent (and simultaneously contribute something holistic to your air’s purification).


  • Complete coverage for rooms up to 266 sq. ft.
  • 23.5″ x 11.5″ x 11.5″; 12 lbs.
  • Available in white
  • Limited 1- to 3-year warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a simple, reliable, and easy-to-use air purifier for any space; those who have pets and kids; those who live in apartments.

Good to Know: This purifier includes a UV-C light that kills 99.99 percent of bacteria and virus particles (even by itself).

Best Smart: Mila Air Purifier

The Mila air purifier is by far one of the smartest, most versatile, and funniest air purifiers we have tested. Not only does it have a humor-driven personality, but the beautifully designed Mila app also allows you to control your unit remotely and choose different modes depending on what you need (like sleep mode, housekeeping service, and white noise mode). The app clearly shows your air quality as well as the levels of particles and VOCs in your air, and also monitors temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, and potentially deadly carbon monoxide. It even gives an explainer on all of these terms and how they affect your health. This is in addition to Mila’s easy-to-navigate manual and automatic air filtration settings, which give the option to simply turn the machine on and let it do its thing. Unlike most brands that carry multiple models, Mila is the only air purifier its eponymous brand offers. This is because it is high performing despite its smaller size and has seven modes to choose from, each designed to adjust filtration to meet specific breathing needs. It’s even smart enough to gauge your room size and adjust its filtration accordingly. Could an air purifier be any smarter?


  • Complete coverage for rooms of varying sizes, depending on filter
  • CADR range of 245 to 447, depending on filter
  • 11.8″ x 11.8″ x 15.5 “; 18 lbs.
  • Available in white
  • 1-year warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want to know what’s in their air; those looking for a variety of useful features and modes; those who want a smart home-operable air purifier.

Good to Know: The Mila air purifier isn’t just smart, it’s also…funny. AT contributor Allie, who personalized her smart purifier, says Mila will “send you quirky updates if it’s “detecting weirdness” when you’re cooking in the kitchen…or even just if it’s bored because my air quality is squeaky clean.”

Best for Small Spaces: Molekule Air Mini+

“I love the Molekule Air Mini+,” says AT contributor Terri, who first tried it in 2020. “It’s small enough to be portable, yet big enough to make a significant difference.” The Air Mini+ is about 12 inches high so you can set it on a table, and the attached handle makes it easy to transport from room to room. “Unsurprisingly,” Terri says, “it works best in small rooms (up to 250 square feet) and is really easy to use: You just touch it once to turn it on, and each time after that, you’re touching it to increase the fan speeds. There are five fan speeds in all — the first three speeds are relatively quiet, although the last two can drown out my TV’s audio.” Unlike other air purifiers that use HEPA and carbon filters, Molekule uses a PECO Purification system unique to the brand. “Without getting too technical, the nanocatalyst-coated layers of the filter destroy pollutants,” she says. “It may sound like something out of a science fiction flick, but just know that it works! There’s also an option to connect the air purifier to your smart phone and control it remotely.”


  • Complete coverage for rooms up to 250 sq. ft.
  • 8.26″ x 8.26″ x 12″; 12 lbs.
  • Available in white
  • 30-day free trial; limited 2-year warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who want something for a single room or small apartment; those who want something portable; those who want something attractive.

Good to Know: Molekule air purifiers boast the ability to destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air by over 99 percent in under one hour.

*Honorable Mention: AT editor Tamara tested the (rather attractive!) Coway Airmega 150 and “got it set up in minutes. It’s super compact,” she says, “and fits perfectly in my studio — since my space is so small, I want to make sure every item I have is thoughtfully designed and has a purpose, and this stylish purifier fits both of those needs. In fact, I think it almost doubles as a piece of art as it adds a pretty shade of sage to my otherwise neutral space. I just run it on auto, so it automatically adjusts to the changing air. I love that it’s super hands-off and mindless so I can let it do its thing without thinking about it.” We’re right there with you, Tamara.

The well-designed, cylindrical LEVOIT Core 600S air purifier works wonders for Best List writer Kendall, who cooks a lot of smoky dishes, has a cat, and also suffers from allergies. The three-stage filtration system includes a pre-filter, H13 True HEPA filter, and a high-efficiency activated carbon filter. “It’s appealing to look at, seriously effective, and can be app controlled, so people can address air purification as needed when they’re away,” says Kendall, whose sniffles have since cleared up. The Core 600S senses when she’s cooking (even from the next room over) and adjusts its speed to purify the air of smoke and smells. “It’s definitely the most effective and attractive air purifier I’ve tested, but my favorite part is how quiet it is.” In sleep mode, the machine runs at the sound of a whisper and the lights can be turned off.


  • Complete coverage for rooms up to 1,588 sq. ft.
  • CADR of 410
  • 12.3″ x 12.3″ x 23.6″; 14 lbs.
  • Available in white
  • Limited 2-year warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who have a large space or open floor plan; those who want a connected app; those looking for a smart air purifier.

Good to Know: You can hear the difference in your air quality since the Levoit Core 600S can sense changes and automatically increase filtration power accordingly.

*Honorable Mention: AT contributor Amy loves her Coway Airmega 400S, which can complete two air changes per hour in a room up to 1,560 square feet. When the machine senses smoke, it immediately adjusts its speed to clean the air. It also connects to an app which shows outdoor air quality and when the filters need to be replaced.

For those that travel frequently, the LG PuriCare Mini Air Purifier is a must. Best List writer Kendall travels a lot and suffers from allergies that used to keep her from enjoying trips. “With the PuriCare Mini, whether I’m traveling home to a household full of animals or visiting a friend who has a single cat, my allergies are in check the second I arrive,” she says. Kendall has even whipped out this device on an airplane. At just over a pound and under 8 inches tall, perhaps there’s no reason to travel without it. It functions by way of a rechargeable battery that easily powers up via a USB charger. One full charge, which can be achieved in about three hours, allows the LG PuriCare Mini to last cordless for up to eight hours. It also connects to a phone app via Bluetooth so you can have information on your air quality and device at a glance — an especially interesting function for those who do travel often and would like some insight into the air quality in different places.


  • Complete coverage within personal area
  • CADR of 13
  • 2.72″ x 7.87″ x 2.52″; 1.17 lbs.
  • Available in black and white
  • 1-year limited warranty

Who It’s Best For: Those who travel frequently; those with allergies; those who want a purifier that’s lightweight and portable.

Good to Know: This tiny purifier has indicator lights that will alert you of your surrounding air quality. Also, its low CADR is also not a reflection of poor efficacy, as it’s a mini handheld model and cannot compare to the functionality of a full-sized air purifier meant for large rooms or spaces.

Best Exterior Design: Blueair DustMagnet 5440i

According to AT contributor Allie, Blueair’s DustMagnet 5440i “is a beautiful air purifier that also doubles as a side table because you can place light objects on the top.” In fact, she continues, “it was awarded the 2021 iF Design Award and was a winner of the 2021 Red Dot Design Award.” This multi-tasking Blueair model is a minimalist or Scandinavian-style home decorator’s dream. Since it works double duty by being a usable surface as well as an effective and low-volume air purifier, it solves the issue of finding where to position your air purifier in order for it to work but not detract from your decor — your air purifier is the decor. Use it as a bedside table for clear air while you sleep, as a side table to place your phone or glasses on, or even a work-from-home desktop for your laptop or Zoom calls. Yes, this purifier looks good, but it’s its versatility that truly sets it apart and makes it our pick for the best exterior design.


  • Complete coverage for rooms up to 356 sq. ft.
  • CADR of 230 for smoke, 240 for pollen, and 255 for dust
  • 21.5″ x 12″ x 12″; 15 lbs.
  • Available in white or white with grey

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a stylish purifier that doubles as furniture; those with dust allergies.

Good to Know: This air purifier connects to an app so you can track air quality and control its settings remotely.

*Honorable Mention: The BISSELL air320 Air Purifier is a favorite of AT editor Megan for its stylish appearance and cleaning power. Its sleek, slim design and pre-filter on the front gives it the look of a speaker. “This purifier is a true balance of form and function,” says Megan. The BISSELL air320 has a three-stage filtration system, including a HEPA filter, and also connects to an app.