Best air purifier: 5 buys for cleaner, healthier indoor air | Real Homes

Best air purifier: 5 buys for cleaner, healthier indoor air

The best air purifiers live up to the promise to deliver fresher, healthier air inside your home.

best air purifier
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(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Owning the best air purifier is a must if you suffer from allergies, live in a home that's prone to mold, or simply want to filter dust and VOCs from the air you breathe. 

But, for a device with one job (to clean your air, of course) there are a whole lot of options to choose from. There are versions with HEPA filters, charcoal /carbon purifiers, ionic air purifiers, plus options that use UV light and others that work with ozone. Some are better at removing odors, others are top-of-the-line for getting rid of allergens, and others, still, should be avoided altogether.

So which is the best air purifier for your needs and home? We tested, researched and compared user reviews for the top options on the market, and whittled our list down to five great choices. 

Looking to cool that freshly purified air? Check out our list of the best fans

What is the best air purifier?

We put a number of different air purifiers to the test, and the best we found was the Rabbit Air MinUSA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier. As the name suggests, it's whisper quiet, and features a customizable filter selection that can be tailored to your specific air quality goals. It even features a sensor that alerts you about your air quality. Read more about the Rabbit Air, and the rest of our best air purifiers, below. 

Best air purifier 2020

best air purifiers

(Image credit: Rabbit Air)

1. Rabbit Air MinUSA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier - SPA 780N

The best air purifier for large rooms: Quiet, wall-mountable, and powerful, this air purifier is tops

Specifications
Best for : Overall performance, smart home
Functionalities: HEPA
Room size: 815 sq.ft.
Noise: 25.6 dB
Dimensions: H20in. x L21.4in. x D7in.
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+WiFi enabled+Cleans up to 815 sq.ft.+Customizable filters target specific problems+Sleek design
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

If you're looking for a top-of-the-line air purifier that's effective quiet, and convenient, the Rabbit Air MinUSA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier is it. 

This is a great choice if you need an air purifier for a bigger space. With capacity up to 815ft2, the Rabbit Air MinUSA2 is powerful enough to filter the air in a large great room, basement, or, if your home isn't huge, an entire floor. 

Its effectiveness is thanks to its BioGS® HEPA filtration system, which captures 99.7 percent of allergens, dust and particles as small as 0.3 microns, and 99 percent of  particles less than 0.1 microns.

This air purifier is also a great choice if you want to solve a specific air quality problem in your home, like removing allergens or bad smells. It features four specialty filters designed to target odors, germs, toxins, and pets, and you choose your filter when you order your machine.  We tested our Rabbit Air in a large closet that'd previously had a mildew problem. After running it daily for a week, the smell was noticeably lessened. 

As the name suggests, this air purifier is incredibly quiet. It features four fan speeds, with a "Silent" mode that, at under 26 dB, is nearly inaudible over ambient room noise. 

Creating a smart home? The Rabbit Air MinUSA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier SPA 780N is wifi enabled so you can control it and check air quality levels from your phone. However, if you don't need wifi and would prefer to save money, the Rabbit Air MinUSA2 also comes without wifi for a $70 savings. Just look for model SPA-700A.

Finally, the Rabbit Air is wall mountable, which is handy if you have limited floor space.

Real Homes rating: 5 out of 5 stars

air purifier

(Image credit: Dyson)

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

Best air purifier-fan combo: it's a fan, heater AND air purifier so it's perfect for year-round use

Specifications
Best for:: Bedroom
Room size:: 800sq.ft.
Functionalities:: Fan, heater and air purifier
Noise:: 54dBs to 81dBs
Dimensions:: H30.1in. x L5.11in. x W8.07in.
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 & cooling options

This 3-in-1 machine will cool, heat and purifier the air in your home. The sealed HEPA filter in the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool™ purifier claims to remove 99.95 percent of allergens and pollutants, while being ultra family-friendly with no blades. It also has an Auto mode and Sleep mode, too, so it can maintain the air quality and temperature every day (and night) of the year without you having to lift a finger.

To control it, all you'll need to do is download and use the Dyson Link app for real-time reports on indoor and outdoor air quality, temperature, humidity and filter life.

Real Homes rating: 5 out of 5 stars

best air purifier

(Image credit: Taotronics)

3. TaoTronics HEPA H13 Air Purifier

Best budget air purifier: HEPA filtration for under $150

Specifications
Best for: HEPA on a budget
Functionalities: Purification
Room Size: 322.9sq.ft.
Noise: 42dB-55dB
Dimensions: H19.7in. x L6.8in. x W12.8in.
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Ion setting+Sleep and auto modes
Reasons to avoid
-Not for extra-large spaces or entire floor-Only available on Amazon or company website

Looking for a powerful air purifier but don't want to spend a ton? The TaoTronics air purifier features HEPA filtration, but comes in under $150. 

Like our top pick from Rabbit Air, the TaoTronic's built-in HEPA filter traps 99.97 percent of airborne dust, particles, and allergens as small as 0.3 microns. It's a great pick for small-to-medium-sized rooms, with the ability to filter the air in a 250ft² every 12 minutes.

The device also makes it easy to keep tabs on your air quality. In auto mode, the purifier self-adjusts based on the air quality in your room, and it also features an air quality sensor that'll alert you to potentially unhealthy conditions.

The machine is pretty quiet, too. On it's lowest setting, it's about 42db, and gets as loud as 55db on Turbo mode (about as loud as the average room fan). 

Real Homes rating:  4.4 out of 5 stars

Best air purifier for large rooms

(Image credit: Blueair)

4. Blueair Classic 480i Air Purifier

Best air purifier for medium rooms: it can handle a room of up to 434 sq.ft

Specifications
Best for:: Medium rooms
Room size:: 434 sq.ft
Functionalities:: Air purifier
Noise:: 32dBs - 56dBs
Dimensions:: H59 x W50 x D27.5cm
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!)

Another top-of-the-line air purifier is the self acclaimed world's best and, to be fair, we couldn't fault it apart from the heavier-than-Dyson price tag. The Classic 480i certainly has a presence and is the heaviest on our list, but this means that it can purifier more air in a larger room (up to 434ft2 in this case). On its lowest setting it can be set to run already and not rack up your energy bills either as it uses the equivalent amount of energy to that of having four LED light bubs on all day.

To use, the Classic 480i will need to be set up through an app which allows you to both control and, more impressively, monitor the results of the purifier.

Real Homes rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

best air purifier

(Image credit: Levoit)

5. Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier

Best air purifier for homes with pets: it'll capture large particle such as pet fur

Specifications
Best for:: Pet hair
Functionalities:: Air purifing
Room size:: up to 128ft2
Noise:: 26dB
Dimensions:: H12.8in. x W7.8in.
Reasons to buy
+Solid construction+Sleek, compact design+Captures large particles such as pet dander
Reasons to avoid
-Replacement filters are $15

This air purifier from Levoit is small, yep, but a mighty one too. It will tackle pet hair, pet dander and smells, and will also free to the air of any smoke, dust and pollens. In fact, this model claims to catch and eliminate 99.97 percent of fine particles, even as small as 0.3 microns which includes dust mites.

Reviewers rave about how it has reduced dust and odors in their home, but note that it performs best in small sized rooms. They also admire how quiet the air purifier is, even on night time mode, and none (from what we've seen) are too phased by the light which is on during the night either.

Real Homes rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

How do I choose the right size air purifier?

Air purifiers operate up to a maximum floor space so the best thing to do here is to measure your space in ft2 to give you an indication of the model you need. 

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 affects 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.  

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