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Breathing in fresh, clean air has never been more vital for our health than now. Air purifiers offer the best way to cut down on coughing, irritated eyes, sneezing, headaches, and other symptoms caused by the tiny pollutants floating through your indoor space — and the next generation of machines allow you to take control of your air quality to a whole new level.
The best smart air purifiers today boast intelligent features like voice assistant compatibility, apps that allow you to monitor particle levels, and the ability to schedule cleanings days in advance, to name just a few high-tech upgrades.
How Do Smart Air Purifiers Work?
Before we tackle what “smart” really means in the world of air cleaning devices, it’s worth understanding the features and benefits of standard air purifiers. These appliances use filters to remove airborne toxins from the air, specifically those that are known to cause health issues. They take in air, filter out the harmful contaminants, and pump out the clean, particle-free air.
Air purifiers use two different systems: either a continuous air filtering system that doesn’t detect or monitor air quality, or a more efficient automated filtering method that uses sensors to detect particles and adjust its operation accordingly.
Smart air purifiers, on the other hand, give you the power of data to keep track of and control your space’s air quality. They’re typically WiFi-enabled (sometimes marketed as Bluetooth-enabled) and come with a smartphone app that can help you monitor real-time and historic trends (such as when your air quality is best or worst), detect the types of toxins, and send you alerts on when it’s time to change your filter or when the air quality levels dip below the safety threshold. Some also have to option create a timed schedule for energy efficiently.
How to Choose the Best Air Purifier
You’ll want to consider several factors before you buy an air purifier:
Room size: Not all air purifiers are one-size-fits-all. Make sure you measure the square footage of your home or office space before buying an air purifier. Small rooms are usually around 300 square feet and under, medium rooms are between 300 to 700 square feet, and large spaces are typically up to 1,900 square feet. If you’re looking to clean the air of a room larger than that, consider a whole-house air purifier.
Contaminant removal: Below are some of the substances that smart air purifiers are designed to remove:
- Allergens: Pollen, dust, mites, and other pollutants that are harmful to those with asthma or allergies
- Pet hair: Animal hair, fur, and dander
- Smoke: Fumes such as cigarette smoke, fireplace soot, and other contaminants
- Odors: Scents from smoke, pets, cooking, and more
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): Gases and chemicals emitted from paints, varnishes, disinfectants, degreasers, adhesives, air fresheners, cosmetics, and other household products and aerosol sprays. Some of these pollutants may cause issues including headaches, allergies, nausea, dizziness, eye irritation, fatigue, and other health effects.
Filters: These are the most common types of filters used in smart air purifiers:
- HEPA filters: Usually made of materials such as cotton, fiberglass, or foam, HEPA filters can trap particles as tiny as 0.3 microns or smaller
- Carbon filters: Typically used alongside other filters and are effective at removing odors, VOCs, and gasses
- Pre-filters: Used in tandem with other filters, pre-filters can catch larger particles and make your air filter run more efficiently
Noise level: If you’re easily bothered by background noise, you’ll want to take note of the air filter’s decibel level on its lowest fan setting.
Portability: Some air purifiers have caster wheels or handles for portability. These features come in handy if you plan on moving your air purifier between rooms.
Maintenance: Just like a central air system, air purifiers need regular maintenance. You’ll want to consider the necessary cost of replacing filters over the lifetime of the air purifier.
We’ve rounded up some of the best smart purifiers for keeping your air clean and to monitor air quality — check out our favorites below.
1. LEVOIT Smart WiFi Air Purifier
If your voice assistant is an integral part of your daily routine, then Levoit’s Alexa- and Google Home-compatible air purifier will blend seamlessly into your high-tech lifestyle. We consider this one of the best smart air purifiers for pet lovers, allergy sufferers, or anyone else who’s sensitive to odors and dirt particles and who wants the flexibility of controlling their air purifier with their smartphone.
This WiFi air purifier uses a three-in-one-filtration system (activated carbon filter, H13 true HEPA filter, and a pre-filter) to remove up to 99.97 percent of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. The unit can clean 900 square feet in an hour, 500 square feet in 33 minutes, or a 360-square-foot room within 24 minutes when set to the highest fan speed.
Besides the clean air, what we really love about this appliance is its smart features. You can use the app (which connects to the purifier via WiFi) to schedule air cleanings, check the air quality and filter life, and select different cleaning modes. The purifier’s smart sensor automatically adjusts to one of the three fan settings depending on real-time air readings.
For light sleepers who plan to use this in the bedroom, the air purifier has a pretty quiet noise level of 27 decibels and the LED screen can be turned off, so rest assured you won’t be bothered by its light or sound.
2. Coway Airmega 400S Smart Air Purifier
Designed to clean the air of rooms up to 1,560 square feet, Coway’s app-enabled version of its Airmega 400S air purifier is a great option for lofts or open office spaces. (There’s also the 300 version, which is suited for up to 1,256 square feet). At 14.8 inches wide and long and 22.8 inches tall, it’s quite compact for its capabilities and has a sleek and stylish design to boot.
This Energy Star-certified smart air purifier uses two Max2 filters, which are combined activated carbon and true HEPA filters that remove 99.97 percent of 0.3-micron particulates and 99 percent of VOCs, and lower the number of harmful fumes. It also comes with a washable pre-filter that helps extend the appliance’s life.
We love that it has several handy “smart” features, including a colorful LED pollution sensor that relays your indoor air quality in real-time, and an automatic fan setting that adapts to the air quality and lighting conditions. It can be scheduled to run for one, two, four, or eight hours, and the fan speed can be set to low, medium, or high settings with a maximum of 43.2 decibels. What’s also great is that it has a sleep setting that runs at a much quieter 22 decibels.
All of these options can be set manually or via the Coway IoCare mobile app, and the air purifier is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Dash Replenishment service so you can automatically reorder filters when they need replacing.
3. Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier
Known for its super-quiet vacuums and hair care tools, Dyson is also beloved in the air purifier category. The latest Pure Cool TP04 air purifier is just as powerful and efficient as previous models, and it now works with Siri as well as Amazon Alexa.
This lightweight, space-saving air purifier stands at 40.1 inches tall by 7.7 inches wide by 4.3 inches deep. Its two-layer vacuum-sealed glass true HEPA and activated charcoal filter works to eliminate odors and VOCs. All of that means it removes 99.97 percent of pollutants and allergens as small as 0.3 microns.
It’s got also got a bevy of intelligent features. In addition to showing live air quality reports via an LCD screen, the device also oscillates up to 350 degrees so that the clean air — 77 gallons of it per second — is distributed throughout the room. There are also three different sensors that detect when to adjust settings, 10 fan speeds, a night time mode that keeps the purifier quiet and dim when you’re sleeping, and an auto shut-off setting in case the device is knocked down.
The unit can automatically adjust settings based on air quality, while the Dyson Link app allows you to see air quality reports, control and monitor the purifier remotely, and schedule cleaning up for seven days. It also comes with a standalone remote control for those who prefer not to use the smartphone app.
And if style is something you’re into, you can’t go wrong with this sleek-looking machine, which comes in modern colorways such as iron/blue and white/silver.
4. Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier
If you live in a small space with pets or other sources of pollutants and odors, you can’t go wrong with Hathaspace’s Smart True HEPA Air Purifier. It has a five-in-one air purification system that not only eliminates 99.97 of 0.3-micron-sized particles, but it also has an odor-neutralizing ionizer that can be controlled separately.
The filter system is comprised of a nano-cold catalyst filter (which catches larger particulates like pet dander and dust and toxic chemicals); a cellular activated carbon filter for absorbing smoke, VOCs, and gasses; an anti-bacterial filter; a true HEPA filter; and an ozone-safe ionizer that makes pollutants easier for the machine to trap.
As far as smart features, this air filter is equipped with an air quality sensor and LED screen that displays real-time indoor air quality data, plus an automatic mode that adjusts the fan speed based on your environment’s stats. Though it doesn’t include a smartphone app, the remote control does an equally fine job of allowing you to control the air purifier without getting up.
This smart air purifier also has a sleep setting that runs on just 20 decibels to ensure you still get quality shut-eye. It’s also light and compact at just 12 pounds and 13.5 inches wide by seven inches deep by 19.5 inches tall.