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7 air purifiers that will help you breathe easy

Air purifiers can capture tiny airborne pollutants like dust mites, pet dander and pollens that are known to trigger sinus and breathing issues


If you suffer from severe allergies or a condition such as asthma, you probably already own an air purifier. The units capture tiny airborne pollutants like dust mites, pet dander and pollens that are known to trigger sinus and breathing issues. But there are numerous other benefits to using an air purifier in your household. They can eliminate bad odors, reduce mold growth, keep outdoor air pollutants at bay, and improve your quality of sleep.

Air purifiers work in different ways, so it’s important to find one that fits your specific needs – and space requirements. Below is an assortment of air purifiers that will help guarantee that the air floating around in your household is as fresh as can be.

Bedroom air purifier with HEPA filter: In the bedroom realm, you can likely find a reliable air purifier for $100 that will serve your needs. If you have pet allergies or asthma, look for an option with a HEPA filter. Similar to vacuums geared toward collecting pet allergens that use the same filtration system, the HEPA filter is designed to trap small, harmful particles like pet dander, dust mites and pollen by forcing air through a fine mesh. The sleep mode is a plus, as are the unit’s multiple options for replacement filters.

  • High performance Core 300-P Air Purifier
  • Can purify the air of 219 ft² space once/hour

Large-room purifiers: If you have a larger space ( > 500 square feet), then expect to spend a bit more money and deal with a bit more noise as well. Once again, a HEPA filter is optimal if you have pet allergies or asthma. The length of the cord may play into this decision as well since the unit will probably be a bit larger and will reside on a floor as opposed to a table or desktop. Multiple fan speed options are a big plus, as are a sleep mode and timer options.

  • Captures 99.97% of airborne contaminants, including pet hair, smoke, PM 2.5 and bad smells
  • Features 5 fan modes + night light

Air purifier/diffuser combo: Who doesn’t love a good combo! And if you’re looking for both an air purifier and a diffuser, then why not enjoy the best of both worlds all in one? The obvious bonus here is that it’s one less device that must be plugged in or recharged occasionally, taking up more space. If you are considering a combo unit, make sure that it checks all the usual air purifier boxes (HEPA filter/room size/multiple speeds/quiet operation). Remember, you can always buy a separate diffuser if you can’t find exactly what you need.

  • 4-color air quality LED indicator
  • Provides 30% more airflow than conventional fans

Portable air purifier: If your home already has a single or multiple air purifiers that you can’t seem to live without, it may be a good idea to invest in a trusty travelling unit that can keep your air clean even while you’re on vacation. In this realm, you’ll definitely want to find a wireless and compact unit. A HEPA filter is clutch if you suffer from pet allergies and are staying at a hotel or other short-term rental that is pet-friendly. For wireless units, target a purifier with a decent battery runtime (20+ hours).

  • Rechargeable battery runs for up to 22 hours
  • Perfect for your desktop, workspace, or any small space

Smart air: If you are a techie who’s overflowing with knowledge regarding all the current devices, then a “smart” air purifier with connectivity options will be your optional target. These purifiers will tend to be on the costlier side but will give you the ability to perform functions such as controlling your device from anywhere and scheduling it to turn on when you come home. Apps can also offer valuable data such as calculating remaining filter lifetime based on usage time and pollution levels. That being said, don’t let the bells and whistles overshadow the main purpose of the unit. Make sure to find one that will, first and foremost, do a great job at keeping you air clean.

  • Cleans up to 1,524sqft space in 30min or 635sqft in about 12.5min on high
  • Removes at least 99.97% of tiny airborne particles like viruses and smoke down to 0.1 microns

Quiet air purifier: Some people need white noise from a fan or radio to ensure sound sleep, while for others the slightest noise can ruin their slumber. If you fall into the latter category, a quiet air purifier is a must. The trick is to find one that is both quiet and effective. This is obviously easier for what is likely a smaller bedroom unit than one that would need to clean a larger room over 1,000 square feet. Any unit that runs around 20db should be bearable for light sleepers. 20db is representative of the sound of leaves rustling or a ticking watch. Once you bump up to 40db, you are in the range of a running refrigerator.

  • Absorb 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size, such as pollen, dusts, pet dander and more
  • Provides coverage for areas up to 880 ft²

Pet purifiers: In a perfect world, every cat and dog would smell like cherry Starbursts. As pet parents living in an imperfect world, we deal daily with the awful scents and smells of our beloved four-legged compadres. Why not purchase an air purifier designed specifically to both clean the air and neutralize nasty pet smells? This scenario will likely lead you to an air purifier that utilizes a carbon filter — a technique that isn’t too far removed from the practice of using sneaker balls to squash odors in stinky sneakers. As pet owners, you likely don’t deal with serious pet allergies, so a HEPA filter may not be as essential as the odor-killing performance with this type of device.

  • Can purify a 219 ft² room in just 12 minutes
  • More than 92% deodorization rate

Dryw Keltz is a freelance writer living in San Diego County. He has written hundreds of news features, human interest profiles, and film and music reviews over the course of his 20-plus-year career. Keltz has a bachelor’s degree in English writing with an emphasis on creative non-fiction from the University of Pittsburgh.