If you suffer from allergies (or just have a lot of pets), you’ve probably thought about buying an air purifier. Perhaps your doctor even recommended you buy one. Air purifiers take all the dust particles, odors, pet dander, and more out of the air, making it cleaner and easier to breathe. And now they might be even more important. According to an article from NPR, although they’re not the magic bullet and social distancing should still be maintained, air purifiers “can limit the spread of [coronavirus] via long-range airborne particles by capturing most of those particles in a HEPA filter and cleaning the air at a rate of up to six times per hour.” To help you find the best one for you, we’ve scoured Amazon for the best options as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers. But if you’d prefer a more professional take, we’ve got doctor-recommended options and a writer-tested one for you, too.
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and this year’s record-breaking fire season, the demand for air purifiers has increased. Stock is fluctuating daily, so if you see one you like, don’t dillydally.
Best-rated air purifier
More than 6,000 reviewers give this air purifier five stars, and many report better breathing and alleviated allergy symptoms. One user from Napa, California, bought this after a forest fire and writes, “This air purifier has made breathing noticeably easier in our home, and the air smells much cleaner, especially with the ultraviolet light turned on.” Many customers chalk up how well and quickly this purifier works to the True HEPA filter. “I bought this model specifically because it uses ‘True HEPA’ filtration, which filters out the smaller smoke particles that can get into your bloodstream,” one writes. Another reviewer warns, “The replacement True HEPA filters are a bit pricey at around $28 last I checked, but they last about six months, give or take.”
Beyond collecting dust, this purifier gets lots of praise for eliminating odors. “The smell of the litter box was the primary reason I purchased this air purifier,” one reviewer writes. “After using this air cleaner regularly for about two years, I can confidently say that it effectively and completely removes the smell of the litter box, helps control the amount of hair that floats around the room, and generally does a very good job keeping dust from accumulating in the room.”
Best-rated (less expensive) air purifier
This is the same brand as our best-rated pick, but it’s a much smaller version for kitchens, bathrooms, kids’ rooms, and right above litter boxes. One customer says it cut down the smell of his cats litter box “by 95%.” Another reviewer “basically had to clean the kitchen every single day to deal with lingering smells,” but she has no issues with odor now, thanks to this purifier. Because this pluggable purifier is so small, reviewers like that they can put it in a very targeted area to eliminate smells, but one customer warns that “its light is pretty bright (nightlight bright),” so you might not want to put it in a place that requires total darkness. And one more reviewer reports that it actually covers a larger space than many might think. She explains that the people who live downstairs from his apartment smoke, which makes their kitchen “reek of cigarettes,” but after she got this to clear up the “old, dirty ashtray” smell, she writes, “I honestly didn’t expect much from this tiny thing. I plugged it in right next to the garbage can and the next morning there was no smell! I’m amazed.”
Best air purifier with fan
Although this model is expensive, one reviewer liked the idea of having cooling and heating available at any time. “It really was a bit more than we felt we wanted to spend,” one reviewer says, “but if it works … it’s well worth the investment.” Another reviewer, who was dealing with air quality issues caused by wildfires, says the Dyson helped tremendously. And if you’re suffering from plain old allergies, it works for that, too: “This really really helps. Super quiet, great heating and fan action and I am soooo happy I invested in this. Can’t breathe without it!”
Best air purifier for allergies
Allergy sufferers find this air purifier, complete with a three-stage HEPA filtration system and four fan speeds, to be a “game changer.” “I purchased this air filter because I’ve become more sensitive to dust in my apartment. I would wake up with a stuffy/runny nose every morning,” writes one reviewer. “Since I’ve purchased this filter, I’ve experienced a huge improvement.” Another shares that before buying this filter, their seasonal allergies were often debilitating, “to the point where they get so bad I have to lay down with a wet towel over my eye.” But this purifier has made a noticeable difference. “I have been using this for about a week now in my home office, and I can say without question that my allergies have been much, much better.”
Best air purifier for pets
One reviewer, who called the Levoit a “Marriage/pet saver,” used this purifier after her rescue kittens led to a distinct and unpleasant odor. “I got this product out of desperation,” says. “I am truly shocked and enormously happy with how it works! My husband was at wits’ end with his sensitive nose. He goes in there now and is astonished, no smell.” According to another reviewer, “It’s especially hard removing smoke/pet odors being in such a small space with only one window but this has definitely helped and I would 100% recommend this air purifier to others looking for one.” Yet another pet owner (with a strange definition of domesticated animals) says, “I have pet rats and they STINK sooooo badly when I don’t clean them after two days. One day I was sick and decided to just move the purifier into the same room as the rats,” she says. “With the purifier in there, I smelled NOTHING.”