The Best Air Purifiers for 2021

Pet dander and other allergens can build up in the air you breathe. These particles can become a problem if you have allergies, suffer from asthma, or have young children. Germs and dust particles can also affect air quality, but you can take steps to improve the quality of your indoor air. An air purifier works by filtering the air and catching pollutants, allergens, and other particles. Running an air purifier in your home can significantly improve the quality and cleanliness of your indoor air.

Our list of the best air purifiers includes options with HEPA or PECO filters, as well as additional features to help keep your air clean. We’ve included a variety of price ranges, so people who want an air filter can find one that fits their budget.

Honeywell InSight Series

The best

The Honeywell InSight Series air purifier.

Honeywell has come out with quite a few air purifiers, and the InSight Series is one of our favorites because it provides a lot of features in a reasonably-priced unit. It has a clear panel display that’s easy to see from a distance, as it illuminates to let you see which cleaning level is active. Speaking of cleaning levels, the InSight has four different modes for germs, allergens, and general cleaning, as well as a turbo mode for quick and powerful air cleaning. InSight purifiers have a VOC sensor that monitors air quality. A light will illuminate red, yellow, or green depending on the room’s air quality, and there’s an auto-mode that monitors the VOC sensor, adjusting the optimal cleaning level accordingly. We tested this feature on the InSight, and it works exceptionally well, reliably cleaning the air and leaving rooms free of smoke, dust, and cooking smells.

The Honeywell InSight comes in different sizes for different spaces, whether you need to purify a medium-sized room, a large room, or an extra-large room. The medium-sized InSight purifier provides five air changes per hour in a 175-square-foot space, while the extra-large model can perform five air changes per hour in a 500-square-foot space. All of the models are relatively affordable, with the extra-large InSight priced at $349 retail (though you can often find it for much cheaper). The filter and pre-filter capture up to 99.97% of particles (0.3 microns or larger), and the filters aren’t too pricey to replace.

Medify MA-35

The best wall-mounted

The Medify MA-35 wall-mounted air purifier.

If you want an air purifier for a larger space that won’t break the bank, the MA-35 is worth a look. It can clean a 640-square-foot room in about 30 minutes, with a clean air delivery rate of 290. To put this purifier to the test, we filled a large living room-kitchen combo with fake Halloween smoke and then placed the MA-35 in the room and powered it on. Within about a minute, the MA-35 had the room completely cleared of visible smoke. You can feel the cleanliness when you use this purifier, with less dust on furnishings and cleaner-feeling air overall.

It uses high-grade H13 HEPA filters that remove an impressive 99.9% of particles (down to 0.1 microns). Given the performance, the replacement filters are pricey (around $70). Fortunately, each filter lasts for 25,000 hours, so you get a lot of use out of each one.

The Medify MA-35 has three fan speeds, as well as an ionizer function and a child safety lock. This a wall-mounted air purifier, so it’ll stay out of the walking space and hang on your wall. It comes with the mounting hardware, as well as a remote control. However, because it’s a wall-mounted unit, it’s not ideal for those who want a unit they can place on a floor in a corner. It comes in different color options (white, black, or silver) to fit different home décor styles, and the purifier looks sleek and modern. The touchscreen panel is on the side of the unit, so the outward-facing portion has a uniform and clean look.

Honeywell 50250-S True HEPA Air Purifier

The most versatile

The Honeywell 50250-S True HEPA Air Purifier.

Another Honeywell model, the 50250-S True HEPA, is one of the best purification units on the market because it’s not too expensive, yet its glass fiber HEPA filter captures particles as small as 0.3 microns. To put that number in perspective, an average human hair is about 80 microns. Needless to say, this unit is more than capable of filtering pollen, dust, pet dander, and even smoke particulates.

A carbon-activated pre-filter also captures larger contaminants and works to eliminate common household odors. Unlike other units, this model uses a primary HEPA that can be vacuumed, thus allowing you to extend the lifetime of the filter.

As with any air purifier, one of the key things to consider is the maximum square footage the unit can adequately filter. Honeywell’s modest offering is designed for rooms up to 390 square feet in size. That is more than enough power to sufficiently treat the air in most rooms around your home.

The does feature a rather lackluster design — not to mention a bulky exterior. Even if the unit might not necessarily complement the feng shui of your living space, it’s more than capable of removing the fung-us in your home. (Pun totally intended.)

Alen Breathesmart 45i HEPA Air Purifier

The best for sleep

The Alen Breathesmart 45i HEPA Air Purifier on the floor.

Air purifiers serve an important role in the home, but most of them are just not great for sleeping. The level of sound involved in pulling harmful particles out of the air can be detrimental to your sleep habits, even though clean air is arguably most important at night. The Alen BreatheSmart 45i HEPA Air Purifier offers a solution, however. The unit is tuned to produce only pink noise and promises to help you sleep up to 25% better than before. You can also activate “Night Mode” with a single tap to disable the lights on the unit.

Like other models of Alen units, the BreatheSmart 45i is incredibly customizable with 11 different color options to help it match your home’s style and color. The customization doesn’t stop at the outside, either. You can choose four different filters for the unit. All of the filter choices are effective, but some excel at certain areas over others. For instance, the HEPA Silver is better at removing mold and bacteria, while the HEPA Odorcell and Smoke filters are better at getting rid of unpleasant odors.

The BreatheSmart 45i automatically adjusts its energy usage depending on your air quality. When the sensors detect a low level of particles, the unit runs at a lower power to reduce noise and energy consumption, but higher power modes kick in when levels of airborne particles are high. An LED around the power button indicates the current air quality: blue for great, green for good, orange for not-so-great, and red for bad.

The Alen BreatheSmart 45i is recommended for 800 square feet at max speed, and 250 square feet on low speed. While it has a hefty price tag, this air purifier’s slim profile and multiple color options make it a great choice for the design-savvy consumer — and the efficient operation will keep you breathing easy all through the night.

Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool

The best air purifier and humidifier combo

The Dyson Pure Humidify Cool on floor beside bin.

Dyson makes all sorts of appliances for the home, including its own line of fans and air purifiers. Out of the bunch, the Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool stands apart for its multifunctional use. Not only is it a fan and air purifier, but it also acts as a humidifier to add moisture back into the air — perfect for the wintertime if you have the heat blasting.

As an air purifier, it leverages HEPA and carbon filters to capture 99.97% of allergens as small as 0.3 microns. It can either disperse or direct the purified air to cool down rooms or just fall back on its backwards-airflow mode to isolate its flow. Best of all, the Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool features sensors in it to tell you the air quality in your home. And since it’s connected via Wi-Fi, you’ll know at an instant if it’s doing its job to purify the air.

Winix HR900, Ultimate Pet 5 Stage True HEPA Filtration Air Purifier

The best for pet owners

The Winix HR900, Ultimate Pet 5 Stage True HEPA Filtration Air Purifier.

With PlasmaWave technology that attacks pollutants on a molecular level, the Winix HR900 air purifier cleans the air of pet hair and dander. True HEPA filtration traps 99.97% of the bad stuff in your air.

Ideal for 300-square-foot rooms, the Winix HR900 grabs tiny particles (it captures particles as small as 0.3 microns) and can make a real difference in the way you breathe. That pet dander that stuffs up your nose gets trapped in the filter, and you breathe clean and virtually allergen-free air. This machine doesn’t just clean your air free of tiny allergens though. It has a five-stage filtration system, including a pet pre-filter, washable pre-filter to grab larger particles, an activated carbon filter, a True HEPA filter, and Plasma Wave technology to create hydroxyls that help neutralize bacteria and viruses.

Holmes Small Room 3-Speed HEPA Air Purifier

The best budget option

The Holmes Small Room 3-Speed HEPA Air Purifier.

Holmes Small Room 3-Speed HEPA Air Purifier is ideal for individuals seeking a basic and affordable air purifier. It’s perfect for your bedroom, office, or places with limited space. For convenience, this unit can also be situated vertically or horizontally without sacrificing performance.

Holmes’ unit can filter airborne particles as small as 2 microns. It has three different speeds so you can set it higher or lower as needed. Plus, it has an optional ionizer.  As with any budget option, however, this unit has its drawbacks. The Holmes Small Room model is only rated for rooms up to 100 square feet in size, and while 2 microns is fairly solid when it comes to household filtration, asthmatic individuals or people with other respiratory problems will certainly prefer a higher-caliber purifier.

Rabbit Air Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier

The most energy-efficient

The Rabbit Air Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier in a living room.

The Rabbit Air Ultra Quiet air purifier’s BioGS HEPA filtration boasts Energy Star-rated performance. Included in its half a dozen purification stages are pre-filter, customized filter, charcoal-based activated carbon filter, BioGS HEPA filter, and a negative ion generator.

This six-filter system is not only energy-efficient but also minimizes airborne bacteria, pet dander, and dust. This air purifier will purify the air in your environment so that it’s free from even the most common household irritants.

Initial filters trap larger particles, and the inner filter system catches smaller particles that pass through. This thoroughness will ensure you won’t have to worry about reduced airflow or a detrimental strain on the machine’s motor. The motor and filter work for up to two years with standard 12-hour per day usage. A built-in light sensor allows the Rabbit Air Purifier to transition automatically to sleep mode when the room is dark.

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