Best air purifier: the best filters and purifiers for cleaner air at home

The best air purifiers to give even the air you breathe a little spring clean, monitor pollution levels and keep your home healthier, from Dyson, Blueair and more

Best air purifier: RabbitAir MinusA2
(Image credit: RabbitAir)

As spring and the warmer weather (finally) approaches and we start thinking about switching our homes from a cosy cave to a light and airy oasis, one thing we don't think about enough is the quality of the air in our environment. One way to fix this is with an air purifier, which have been gaining in popularity due to their promise of eliminating odours, pollutants and bacteria from the air.

Of course, 2021 has also been a year of thinking more about our health, as well as the health of those around us. Air purifiers are designed to eliminate all sorts of nasty irritants from smoke and pollution to dust and pet hair.

Some can also serve multiple purposes, which will be a comfort for anyone who is reluctant to incorporate yet another bulky gadget into their living area. Save space with something like the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool, which also acts as a fan and heater, or something compact, like the Blueair Blue Pure 411.

Scroll down to see how we ranked the best air purifiers on the market right now or, if you want to get prepared for summer, check out our guide to the best fans.

Which air purifier is the best?

The best air purifier (in our opinion) on the market right now is the Dyson HP04 Pure Hot + Cool Fan Air Purifier, which boasts the triple threat of heating, cooling and purifying all in one. Coming in second is the brilliant RabbitAir MinUSA2, which an combines a sleek design with Wi-Fi connection and an impressive surface area.

 The best air purifiers 2021

best air purifier: Dyson HP04 Pure Hot + Cool Fan Heater and Air Purifier product imageReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

1. Dyson HP04 Pure Hot + Cool Fan Heater Air Purifier

Best air purifier overall

Functionality: Air purifier, fan and heater
Area size: 92.8m2
Filter: HEPA, activated carbon
Noise: 54-81dBs
Dimensions: H30.1 x L5.11 x W8.07in
Weight: 10.9lbs
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+350 degree oscillation+Heats, cools, and purifies+Bladeless fan is safe for kids and pets
Reasons to avoid
-Not a great pick if you won't use the extra heating and cooling options

Our top choice air purifier is the 3-in-1 Dyson Pure Hot + Cool, which will cool, heat and purifier the air in your home all at once. The sealed HEPA filter claims to remove 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns, whilst also being ultra family-friendly with its lack of blades. It has Auto and Sleep modes to help maintain air quality and temperature throughout the entire day (and night), all year round, without you having to so much as lift a finger.

All you’ll need to control the purifier is to download and use the Dyson Link app, which gives you real-time reports on indoor and outdoor air quality, temperature, humidity and filter life. It also has sensors that can sense when air pollution has become too high, initiating a sequence to bring it down to more acceptable levels.

If you have an Amazon Alexa smart speaker, you can also use that to control your Dyson air purifier, with voice control to turn the machine on and off, activate auto-mode and give you the latest air quality stats.

Of course, the best thing about this Dyson offering is it’s multi-functionality. Most air purifiers operate only as average air circulators, while the Pure Hot + Cool goes several steps further by allowing you to set the perfect temperature in your space, rain or shine, summer or winter.

Real Homes rating: 5 out of 5 stars

best air purifier: Rabbit Air MINUSA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier product imageReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Rabbit Air)

2. Rabbit Air MinUSA2 Air Purifier

Best air purifier for allergies

Functionality: Air purifier
Area size: up to 75.7m2
Filter: HEPA
Noise: 25.6dBs
Dimensions: H20 x L21.4 x D7in
Weight: 19.4lbs
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+Wi-Fi enabled+Cleans up to 75m2 +Customizable filters target specific problems+Sleek design
Reasons to avoid

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line air purifier that’s effective, quiet, and convenient, then the Rabbit Air MinUSA2 is it. It’s a great choice if you need a purifier for a larger space, with capacity up to 75m2, and it’s powerful enough to filter the air in a large great room, basement or, if your home isn’t huge, an entire floor.

That effectiveness is thanks to its BioGS® HEPA filtration system, which captures 99.7% of allergens, dust and particles as small as 0.3 microns, and 99 percent of those less than 0.1 microns. In fact, it is certified asthma and allergy friendly, which means it has passed a rigorous testing process for the removal of unwanted allergens and dust mites from the air.

The Rabbit Air offering is a great choice if you have specific air quality concerns in your home, such as allergies or bad smells. It features four specialty filters designed to target odors, germs, toxins and pet problems, and you can choose the best one when you order the machine. We tested the purifier in a large closet that had previously had a mildew problem and, after running it daily for a week, the smell was noticeably lessened.

Real Homes rating: 5 out of 5 stars

best air purifier: BlueAir Blue Pure 411 Air PurifierReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Argos)

3. Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier

Best air purifier on a budget

Functionality: Air purifier
Room size: up to 161m2
Noise: 17-46dBs
Dimensions: H16.6 x W7.9 x D7.9in
Weight: 4.4lbs
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+3 speed settings+Easy to use and set up
Reasons to avoid
-Nightlight feature could annoy some

Another option from BlueAir which wins on value for money. It’s a top choice for small bedrooms or spaces up to 15m2 and will completely filter the air every 12-minutes, lowering particle levels and creating a comfortable home environment.

The air purifier is definitely small in stature, measuring 16.6in in height, but is super quiet (which many reviewers love). The trio of speed settings get louder as you crank them up, but only reach a conservative 46dB. This makes it ideal for those who want something quiet enough to sleep through.

While working, it will remove three common particles - smoke, dust and pollen - which will go a long way towards helping to provide some relief to allergy sufferers.

Real Homes rating: 5 out of 5 stars

best air purifier: Blueair Classic 480I Air Purifier product imageReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Blueair)

4. Blueair Classic 480i Air Purifier

Best HEPA air purifier

Functionality: Air purifier
Area size: up to 40m2
Filter: HEPA
Noise: 32-56dBs
Dimensions: H23.2 x W19.6 x D10.8in
Weight: 33lbs
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+10 different speed settings+Easy to use and set up
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best purchase for those who don't own a smart phone-A little pricey (but worth it!)

Coming in second for best air purifier, the BlueAir Classic 480i may be one of the more expensive products on our list but it’s one that proves to be worth the money (honest!).

The Classic 480i certainly makes its presence felt and is also the heaviest on our list, but that translates into an ability to purify air in much larger spaces and, on its lowest setting it can be set to run automatically so as not to rack up your energy bills. In fact, it will use the energy of just four LED light bulbs over the course of a day.

The purifier uses HEPASilence filtration so, not only does it do a brilliant job of removing 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns, but it does so quietly. It delivers on this promise, having been awarded the Quiet Mark, and this makes it ideal for any room of the house including the bedroom. You will have to keep it on lower settings, however.

Still, this makes tackling things like summer allergies a breeze, ensuring you can sleep soundly and relax without worrying about the amount of pollen in your home.

Real Homes rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

best air purifier: Dyson Pure Cool Me Purifying FanReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Argos)

5. Dyson Pure Cool Me Purifying Fan

Best portable air purifier

Functionality: Air purifier, cooler
Noise: 59dBs
Filter: HEPA, activated carbon
Dimensions: H15.7 x W9.6 x D9.6in
Weight: 5.9lbs
Reasons to buy
+Stylish+Smooth 70 degree oscillation+Easy to move around
Reasons to avoid
-No app support

If you want to keep cool while your air is being purified then the Dyson Pure Cool Me Fan could be the best option for you. The device has been engineered to help improve air quality with a sealed filter that combines an activated carbon and glass HEPA layer that can capture gases and 99.95% of ultra fine particles. Examples of those pollutants are pollen and allergens, VOCs and household cooking odours.

The fan also boasts 10 speed settings, Dyson Core Flow Technology that directs air flow and oscillation capabilities that aid circulation of clean air around the room. 

Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars

How do I choose the right size air purifier?

It’s a question on many buyers' minds, since we all only have so much real estate to dedicate to another device. The thing to pay attention to here is the capability of the air purifier, rather than its physical bulk. So the best thing to do is measure the space in which you wish to place your purifier (in sq ft) and use that as a guide. Broadly speaking, the price moves up at the same pace, but there are bargains to be found. 

Are ozone air purifiers safe?

While you'll find plenty of ozone air purifier devotees, generally speaking, we do not recommend this type of air purifier. It can create dangerous levels of ozone, a gas that's a component in smog, in the home. Over-exposure to ozone can have adverse effects on the lungs and respiratory system. 

Will an air purifier get rid of odors?

Some air purifiers can help eliminate odors, yes. If smoke, mildew or pet smells are an issue in your home, look for an air purifier with a charcoal or carbon filter, both of which are known to trap odors.  

How much should I spend on an air purifier?

The cost of the perfect air purifier is, again, very much dependent on how much you want it to do. If you already use a fan and/or heater in hot and cold months, respectively, then it could actually be better value for money to invest a little more in a multifunctional device.

Similarly, for a single room we would recommend a budget of around $150 but, if your space is much larger, then $500-or-so should do the trick.

Caroline Preece
Caroline Preece

Caroline has been part of the Real Homes ecommerce team in the UK since the start of 2021, after working for the last decade as a journalist across publications in technology, entertainment and more. In her spare time she's usually obsessing about space-saving and DIY hacks for small spaces, and how to affordably make a rental feel like a home.