It's been awhile since I've thought about rounding up air purifiers, but I'm more than ready, since I've become a bit of an air purifier nut over the years and have two in the office and two at home. Originally, I used them because I believed that they helped keep the dust down and the home cleaner, and now I've come to appreciate how much better the air quality is as well....
With indoor air much more polluted in general than outdoor air (if you can believe it), having a quiet, energy efficient air purifier in your home should be, in my opinion, an integral part of your home design plan.
Here are my picks for the new year:
>> IQAir HealthPro Plus ($800 and up): This one comes with the highest price tag and the highest rating from our own test lab, BUT it's big: "we cannot recommend this thing enough...it is one of the few products that completely lived up to its claims with immediate noticeable effects in a real world environment."
>> Honeywell HEPA Air Purifiers ($100-$260) - These are dependable, affordable workhorses that do a great job if you don't care too much about looks and aren't hyper air sensitive. We've used these for a number of years and are always impressed how dirty they are inside after just a few months. Honeywell has a number of shapes and sizes, and most are 99.97% efficient at capturing particles 0.3 microns. This seems good enough for most of us.
>> LightAir IonFlow 50 ($350-$450) - This one is a very attractive, ionizer style of air purifier which suits the designer inside of us (consider it the Absolut of air purifiers). It is silent, creates no ozone and we clean it weekly, as it collects dust and particulate matter that quickly. While these don't seem to clean the air quite as thoroughly as the fan driven HEPA models, they DO work, require no filter purchases and tests show that the LightAir "effectively eliminates practically all airborne particles (size 0.3-1.0 μm) in only 5 hours."
There are two other companies that I would trust though I haven't used their machines:
>> Blueair ($300-$1000) - This Swedish company first popped up in the US about ten years ago, offering premium air purification in a much more stylish package. Their purifiers are all filter based, often with multiple stages, extremely quiet and come with steel construction.
>> Blueair Airpod ($99) - I saw this while doing a house tour and liked the design. It's just a mini portable air purifier, which comes with a disposable filter that also doubles as a changeable decor statement.
>> Austin Air ($300-$550) - These air purifiers are made by an American company and also combine steel construction with multiple HEPA filters and activated carbon to clean the air. What I like about Austin is their mini Health Mate Jr. which seems particularly well shaped for small spaces.