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As plant life starts blooming up again this summer, you may be dreading the onslaught of seasonal allergy symptoms more than ever. Allergens can even circulate inside your home, leaving you sneezing, coughing and just generally miserable. Besides cleaning all the pent-up dirt and grime out of the nooks and crannies of your home, getting a good-quality air purifier will help make sure that you won’t spend this time of year worrying about both allergies and Covid.
Air purifiers help filter out the majority of allergy-aggravating particles from the air, as well as tiny pollutants that have settled into your furniture, walls, and floors after a long year in quarantine. While the filters can’t completely eliminate common allergy triggers like dust, dirt, pollen and pet dander, the best air purifiers will help boost the overall air quality in your home, hopefully helping to reduce some of the nastier allergy symptoms and helping you breathe a little easier.
According to the CDC, the best air purifiers can also give an extra air-cleaning boost, since air purifiers “can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a home or confined space.”
Whether you’re looking to reduce toxic allergens in your home, keep your spaces germ-free, or even filter out harsh odors, here’s our guide on the best air purifiers for allergies.
Can An Air Purifier Help With Allergy Symptoms?
There’s some evidence that air purifiers may help reduce your symptoms by cleaning the air around you, especially by removing triggers for asthma and allergies like dust mites, pollen, and mold spores. But it depends on several factors, including the square footage of the area needing to be filtered. The type of air filter you get matters too, since some work by capturing and filtering out larger allergen particles like dust, while others, like UV purifiers, work better for killing mold and bacteria.
But even the best air cleaner won’t completely protect you against viruses, so you should still commit to practices like frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizer, and wearing a face mask when in close contact with others.
Still, a good air purifier will go a long way to helping clean out the air in your space, so here’s what to look for along with our top recommendations.
What Are the Best Air Purifiers For Allergies?
You’ll want to consider several factors when choosing the best air purifier for allergies; below are the most important ones to think about.
Room Size: Air purifiers come in many varieties, from portable picks, to ones you might want to keep stationed long-term in a larger living area. Not all air purifiers are one-size-fits-all. Consider the size and power of your air purifier, as you might want one you can move around from your bedroom to your home office, depending on where you spend the most time, or a heavy-duty choice for your whole home if you have several allergy sufferers under one roof.
Allergen Removal: Check which airborne substances your air purifier says it will specifically filter out, and whether these trigger your allergies. The best air purifiers for allergies can tackle allergens like pollen, dust, and pet dander just as well as it can clear out smoke and unpleasant odors from cooking, pets, and chemical disinfectants.
Filters: Several air purifiers have multi-layered filtration systems, but we recommend choosing a model with a HEPA (high-efficiency particle air) filter. Usually made of materials such as cotton, fiberglass, or foam, True HEPA filters in particular can trap up to 99.97 percent of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns or smaller, which include most allergens. Carbon-based filters, on the other hand, while good at generally filtering larger particles and odors, are not as effective against dust, dander, and mold.
Noise: Air purifiers won’t be completely silent if they’re working properly, so we’ve chosen picks that have multiple fan speeds, or are specifically designed to not blast too many decibels. You’ll still get the same great air-cleaning power on the lowest fan setting without all the noise distraction.
Smart Features: High-tech options are endless nowadays, with smart air purifiers giving you the power to keep track of the air quality around you and adjust accordingly. If you’re worried that the spring time may be kicking up the airborne irritants in your home, chose an air purifier with an app or features that will help you monitor trends in your air quality, detect types of toxins, and send you alerts when it’s time to switch your filter.
We’ve rounded up the best air purifiers to help eliminate allergens and virus-causing germs from your home. Breathe a little deeper with our favorite picks below.
1. Coway Airmega 250
Coway’s Airmega 250 air purifier combines a four-stage filtration process (including a pre-filter and deodorization filter) to get rid of 99.99% of particulates in the air (including 99.98%3 of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to the brand). Their specially-designed Green True HEPA filter can also better reduce and eliminate airborne allergens like pollen, pollutants, and dust mites.
Clean and compact, it can still cover up to a whopping 930 square feet of space, making it great for a living rooms, home offices, or apartments. An air quality indicator will monitor air in your room in real time, so you’ll always be aware that your quality is within safe levels. The reusable filter slides out easily for cleaning and drying. The cartridge design also has batch separation, which just means it’s simple to replace filters without worrying about dust flying everywhere. We love its dedicated Smart Mode that reacts in real-time and adjusts to the quality of the air around you.
The sleek and stylish design of this shoe-box sized model blends in perfectly with any decor, providing a pop of minimalist decor unlike other industrial-looking models on the market.
2. PhoneSoap AirSoap
If you’re looking for an air purifier with enough power to filter an entire large living room, or even your whole home, this is your best pick. PhoneSoap says its air purifier can clean an area up to 400 sq. ft., and changes up a traditional filter for a custom system that can block viral particles down to 14.6 nanometers, even smaller than particles that can break through a traditional HEPA filter.
The AirSoap’s “high-energy ‘Electric Wind’ technology” also uses a plasma field to trap and kill bacteria in the airflow that runs through it, using plates made of graphene to remove the polarized particles from the air. Unlike traditional filters, these plates are washable and reusable, which is a huge bonus. PhoneSoap says this air filter can also reduce allergens like pet dander, as well as help purify polluted and smoke-filled air more than traditional filters who can get built-up pollutants if they’re not changed often enough.
PhoneSoap says it’s filtration process is “whisper quiet,” if noise is a concern. The company says its air purifier is also more energy efficient because it uses electricity to capture germs instead of forcing air through a filter on high fan speeds.
3. RabbitAir MinusA2 Ultra Quiet
Get all the allergen-targeting power in one comprehensive filtration package with RabbitAir’s MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier. It uses a six-layer purification and deodorization system, including a pre-filter, BioGS HEPA filter, activated charcoal carbon filter, and a customizable filter than can be tailored to the air quality needs of your home.
While a regular HEPA filter might suffer from build-up of the allergens it’s supposed to be clearing out, this unique BioGS HEPA filter reduces common pollutants including dust mites, mold, pollen and pet dander trapped on the filter, so you won’t have to change it as often. We also love the versatility of the custom filters too—including choices like Germ Defense, Pet Allergy, Odor Remover, or Toxin Absorber—all of which will improve you air quality and hopefully help relieve some allergy symptoms.
It’s range is pretty impressive for its size, working in rooms up to 815 square ft, and with five fan speeds you will barely notice it’s there on the quietest setting. You won’t have to sacrifice style for comfort though, since this filter can be wall-mounted and comes with different skins inspired by works of art from Monet to Van Gogh.
4. EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Model
EnviroKlenz has one of the few air purifiers on the market that takes such a wide approach to both destroying harmful bacteria and capturing allergens. Using a premium HEPA filtration system, germicidal UVC rays and “advanced chemistry technology”, testing showed that their mid-sized Mobile UV Model purifier could essentially filter out pathogens that are about 1/4 the size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus — a.k.a. the virus that causes Covid-19.
But it’s 99.9% effective in helping to ward off other viruses, with the high-end HEPA filter capturing and trapping dust, pollen, mold and other potentially harmful particles in the air too. Our editors have tested the EnviroKlenz Mobile UV Model in a roughly 2000 square feet space, and it made a noticeable difference in air quality. The air felt less stagnant and stuffy, and allergy symptoms like a dry throat and watery eyes were improved.
The Enviroklenz’s “NanoActive” technology also neutralizes chemicals and odors, the company says, by breaking down harmful chemical compounds until they’re rendered inactive. This means you’ll breathe in less stale and “dirty” air. What sets it apart from other air purifiers, though, is the use of UV-C light for additional germ-killing power (which helps clean the system internally, as an added bonus).
You may not be using this utilitarian-looking model as the centerpiece of your living room anytime soon, but it’s compact and unobtrusive, with a fan that’s surprisingly quiet, even at the highest speed settings. For a multifaceted approach to busting allergy symptoms, the Mobile UV Model can’t be beat.
4. Germ Guardian True HEPA Air Purifier
Looking for cleaner air, but don’t want a bulkier model that’ll take up too much room in a small apartment or bedroom? The Germ Guardian was designed to filter the air in small spaces up to 743 square feet every hour, and it’s pretty quiet to boot with a 55-decibel white noise mode.
This air purifier for allergies also uses UVC light to destroy viruses, VOCs, allergens, bacteria and mold, destroying just as many pollutants as larger air purifiers on the market. The Germ Guardian also has you covered if you’ve got pets, since the multi-stage filtration system traps both large and small particles, like dirt, hair, dander, and dust, while also eliminating common pet odors. Indicator lights also show your filter’s status too, giving you a convenient reminder when it’s time to change the filter.
The energy-saving quality of this filter can’t be beat—with an Energy-Star-rated fast air intake that doesn’t require a heftier fan, you can run it 24/7 without worrying about slowing down on providing you fresh, clean air.