HouseFresh is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

6 Best Air Purifiers for VOCs

Last updated November 15, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links.

Author
Author avatar Danny Ashton

Danny as been writing about air purifiers for 10+ years. He is a major fan of home technology, which makes him the perfect person to test and evaluate products for HouseFresh

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, regularly enter the home when you paint, clean, or even buy new furniture. 

Outside, VOCs usually ventilate away and give us no problems but indoors, these chemicals can be found 2-5 times higher than outdoors and are connected with a wide range of health problems

As with any issues relating to your air, try to ventilate as much air as possible, especially when using VOC-heavy chemicals like paint stripping, so open doors, windows, and any other ways to get more air moving inside your home. 

When this isn’t possible, another method of reducing VOC levels is using an air purifier that uses adsorption technology which is usually a filter made of activated carbon. The larger the filter, the more VOCs that can be removed, so you need to look beyond particle removal performance and look at the sheer mass of activated carbon in lbs/kgs. Most popular air purifiers are aimed at other issues like pollen or smoke and are better suited to HEPA-based technology.

A good choice for most people looking to reduce VOCs in their homes is an air purifier with a large, activated carbon filter for odor and VOCs combined with a high-quality HEPA filter to remove the rest.

The following list of air purifiers has both significant amounts of activated charcoal as part of their filter system. Sadly, most popular small units that have a good ability in removing particle pollutants just don’t have the required amount of activated charcoal needed to deal with a significant issue with VOCs so I would avoid these units for most people looking to remove VOCs from the air. 

The Top 3 Air Purifiers For VOCs in 2022

Best Budget Option
Best for Large Spaces
Best Overall
Style
HealthMate Air Purifier - Black
Airpura F600: Formaldehyde, VOCs and Particles
IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier - Medical Grade HyperHEPA filter for home large room up to 1125 sq ft - for Viruses, Bacteria, Allergens, Asthma Triggers, Smoke, Mold, Pets, Dust, Odor, Swiss Made
Pros
Massive 15lbs of activated charcoal is perfect for VOC's
Large 26lbs of activated charcoal which to deal with any chemicals including VOCs
Swiss made with large specialist filters with 12lbs of activated charcoal
Cons
Old fashioned design and no auto features
Pretty barebones - no remote or auto mode
Not easy to buy in the US and High Cost
CADR
400 CFM
560 CFM
300 CFM
Technology
HEPA, activated carbon and zeolite
Carbon and HEPA
Hyper HEPA and Activated Carbon with KMn04 impregnated alumina
Recommended Room Size
750 ft² to 1500 ft²
Up to 2000 ft²
450 sq ft to 1125 sq ft
Weight
47 lbs
45 lbs
12 Ibs
Best Budget Option
Style
HealthMate Air Purifier - Black
Pros
Massive 15lbs of activated charcoal is perfect for VOC's
Cons
Old fashioned design and no auto features
CADR
400 CFM
Technology
HEPA, activated carbon and zeolite
Recommended Room Size
750 ft² to 1500 ft²
Weight
47 lbs
Best for Large Spaces
Style
Airpura F600: Formaldehyde, VOCs and Particles
Pros
Large 26lbs of activated charcoal which to deal with any chemicals including VOCs
Cons
Pretty barebones - no remote or auto mode
CADR
560 CFM
Technology
Carbon and HEPA
Recommended Room Size
Up to 2000 ft²
Weight
45 lbs
Best Overall
Style
IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier - Medical Grade HyperHEPA filter for home large room up to 1125 sq ft - for Viruses, Bacteria, Allergens, Asthma Triggers, Smoke, Mold, Pets, Dust, Odor, Swiss Made
Pros
Swiss made with large specialist filters with 12lbs of activated charcoal
Cons
Not easy to buy in the US and High Cost
CADR
300 CFM
Technology
Hyper HEPA and Activated Carbon with KMn04 impregnated alumina
Recommended Room Size
450 sq ft to 1125 sq ft
Weight
12 Ibs
Price
$899.00

We have used our in-house performance data and analysis to show you the 6 best air purifiers for VOCs and other chemicals in 2022. Read on for the full list of units we’ve tested.

1. Top Option If You Can Afford It: IQAir HealthPro Plus

The IQAir HealthPro Plus is built to not just remove small particles but also odors and VOCs. Its powerful filtration system captures ultrafine particles that go down to 0.003 microns. Its HyperHEPA technology stops at least 99.5% of these particles and pathogens.

The VOCs are removed using the large activated carbon filter that has nearly 5lbs of activated carbon that when combined with the Hyper HEPA, can deal with VOCs and other pollutants.

Everything is kept airtight with this unit too. The filter media are 100% sealed to prevent any air leakage. When it’s in use, it offers 320° air delivery with minimum noise output on the lowest fan setting. There are six fan speeds in all and it comes with a compact remote so you can adjust the speed, set up a timer, and easily power the unit on and off.

This unit isn’t small by any means, so it needs quite a bit of room. It can cover medium to large-sized rooms, however. Also, there is a filter life monitor that is color-coded so that you know when to change the filter.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:HyperHEPA filter [H14] and large activated carbon and zeolite for VOCs
CADR (CFM / m³/h):300 CFM (estimated)
Recommended room size:1,125 sq. ft. 
Filter life:Carbon Filter and HEPA are every 2 years 
Weight of carbon filter:5lbs
Noise level (low – high):22 – 57dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):28H x 18W x 16D inches / 71H x 38W x 41D cm
Weight (in kg / in pounds):16 kg / 35 lbs
Energy consumption:$467.08 per year

What We Really Like:

👍 IQAir has been creating air purifiers since WW2
👍 Every unit is tested by an expert team in Switzerland
👍 No ionizer function
👍 Hyper HEPA is of high quality and has plenty of real activated charcoal pellets

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 No auto-mode or app support, but it does have a remote
👎 Filter costs are high, as are electricity costs

2. Austin HealthMate

This is our number one air purifier that is made in the USA and Austin has been making air purifiers on US soil since 1990. They have built a great niche of creating high-priced units that are super focused on VOCs and chemicals that are usually ignored by the most popular air purifier brands. The Austin Healthmate currently has 15 lbs of activated charcoal which is nearly 3 times what you find with the IQAir model for a lower price.

It has a very simple method with none of the auto-modes and app support that some lower-priced manufacturers are bringing to market but the Austin stands out by its sheer performance when it comes to chemicals and odors. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Carbon Filter, Medical HEPA Filter, Pre-Filter, Large Particle Pre-Filter
CADR (CFM / m³/h):Max airflow – 400 CFM
Recommended room size:750 sq. ft.
Filter life:60 Months
Noise level (low – high):50db – 66dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):23 in. by 14.5 in by 14.5 in
Weight (in kg / in pounds):47 lbs.
Energy consumption:$249.84 per year

What We Really Like:

👍 The most amount of carbon lbs you can get for this price point
👍 The 5-year warranty is not something you see a lot
👍 The filters last a decent amount of time before needing to be replaced – 60 months
👍 Simple to use

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 No auto or smart mode
👎 Design is very boring would like to see more innovation in future models

3. Airpura F600 and F600DLX

If you thought 15 lbs is a lot of activated carbon with the Austin Healthmate, then watch out for the Airpura F600 as it has over 26lbs of activated carbon with its F600DLX model. 

I doubt you would want to invest in a unit like this unless you had a serious issue with formaldehyde as it isn’t cheap both for the initial purchase and with filter replacements, the carbon filter alone costs just under $300 ($279).

Combining a medical-grade HEPA filter with a large amount of activated carbon is a key part of the battle over VOCs and the Airpura F600 does this all with a fan capable of 560 CFM.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:F600: Carbon Filter, 18 lbs.Activated Carbon, HEPA Filter, Pre-Filter, VacuumableF600DLX: Carbon Filter, 26 lbs. Activated Carbon, HEPA Filter, Pre-Filter, Vacuumable
CADR (CFM / m³/h):560 CFM (total fan capable)
Recommended room size:1050 sq. ft.
Filter life:24 months for Carbon and 60 months for HEPA
Noise level (low – high):28.1 dB – 62.3 dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):23 in by 15 inches by 15 inches
Weight (in kg / in pounds):45 lbs
Energy consumption:$260.70 per year

What We Really Like:

👍 26 lbs of activated carbon is what this unit is all about
👍 Super specialist for formaldehyde
👍 Large enough for the largest spaces up to 2000 sq. ft.
👍 Simplicity in design 

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 No smart features or app support
👎 Is noisy at the highest speed

4. Coway Airmega 300S

With the Coway Airmega 300, you can freshen up the air and make it safer to breathe all while using a modern-looking machine that won’t look out of place from your home décor. Not only does this product boast an attractive appearance, but it also features smart technology. Set it on smart mode, and it will adapt automatically depending on the air quality in your home so it adjusts the fan’s speed. This is both convenient and more energy-efficient. It’s worth looking at our review of the Coway Airmega 300 as we dive deeper into how these Airmega units are built.

There is also good air quality monitoring with its sensor. The stylish ring on the front will cycle through 4 different colors to indicate good, moderate, unhealthy, and very unhealthy air in real-time. There is even a separate filter indicator light so that you always know the right time to switch out the filters. Along with the pre-filter, this product uses a MAX2 filter that includes a True HEPA filter and a deodorizing carbon filter for harmful gases and VOCs.

As for how it cleans the air, it features a powerful dual suction system that draws in air from two different sides. From there, it pushes out fresher, healthier air from the top for faster cleaning. This goes far enough to cover large-sized rooms over 1,000 sq. ft. With this design, you can use it anywhere in your home or apartment and see full-room coverage.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Washable Pre-Filter + Max2 Filter Set Max2 Filter (Activated Carbon + Green True HEPA™)
CADR (CFM / m³/h):350 CFM
Recommended room size:780 ft² to 1,560 ft²
Filter life:12 months
Noise level (low – high):22 – 52 dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):14.8W x 22.8H x 14.8D inches
Weight (in kg / in pounds):11.2 kg / 24.7 lbs
Energy consumption:$143.38 per year

What We Really Like:

👍 Good timer function with four options
👍 Detects air quality changes fast and adapts immediately
👍 User-friendly design so it’s simple to operate
👍 Can automatically shut down when the air is completely clean

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Frequent cleaning of the pre-filter is required as it can get dirty fast
👎 All the lights don’t disappear if used at night

5. Alen 75i

Alen has been in the business of air purifiers since 2005 and the 75i is the flagship model of their series of bestselling air purifiers. 

Every 75i filter has 3.6 lbs of activated carbon as well as a large HEPA filter and all of this is combined with the ionizer technology that Austin-based Alen has developed that allows this unit to hit a CADR score of 350 CFM.

As with the other air purifiers we recommend for VOCs – the 75i doesn’t come cheap but if you do pick the subscription service for filters they will give you a lifetime warranty on all of their air purifiers when you buy from Alen.com 

We still have an Alen A350 from 2010 that performs fairly well if a little energy-inefficient so you can expect their purifiers to keep running for the long term.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Filter Fresh with 2.6lbs of activated carbon and medical-grade HEPA
CADR (CFM / m³/h):347 CFM
Recommended room size:1,300 sq. ft.
Filter life:9 months
Noise level (low – high):25dB – 49dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):H 27″ (68.58 cm) x W 18.5″ (46.99 cm) x D 11.5″ (29.21 cm)
Weight (in kg / in pounds):27 lbs (12.2 kg)
Energy consumption:$97.76 per year

What We Really Like:

👍 Quiet even at the highest speed
👍 Trusted brand that has been going for a long time
👍 Auto-mode allows it to come on automatically as the unit detects VOCs or other pollutants
👍 Energy efficient – 45W is great for this CADR of 347

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Some issues getting filter replacements
👎 Could do better at eliminating odors

6. Rabbit Air MinusA2

The Rabbit Air MinusA2 has been certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for its effectiveness in being asthma and allergy-friendly. With its BioGS HEPA filtration, it offers six stages of purification. Allergens and bacteria are trapped through the use of this filter. Not only does this address mold, fungi, pet dander, and dust mites, but it easily tackles common VOCs as it also has a large level of activated carbon.

It is designed with an advanced motor that lets you operate the unit using five different fan speeds. The lowest speed doesn’t make much noise either. The motor doesn’t have any brushes so it naturally runs quieter as well as behaves more efficiently.

Another benefit of this unit is that it can be mounted on a wall. This means you can set the unit up in various ways around your home, letting you place it in just about any room that you need to without it completely getting in the way of other furniture.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Advanced BioGS technology
CADR (CFM / m³/h):193 CFM
Recommended room size:815 sq. ft.
Filter life:2 years
Noise level (low – high):20.8 to 45.6 dBA 
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):24 x 23 x 10 inches
Weight (in kg / in pounds):23.9 pounds
Energy consumption:$132.52 per year

What We Really Like:

👍 5-year warranty is not common with air purifiers
👍 Offers an app for on-the-go control
👍 Looks good when wall-mounted and has customizable images
👍 Offers customized filters – go for the Toxinabsorber version

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 High price
👎 Would like to see a large version of the A2 in future

What You Need to Know About Buying Air Purifiers for VOCs

🤔 Can VOCs make you sick?

When we speak about VOCs, many of them are completely common pollutants that can be found in any home. You will have a higher chance of being exposed to these while sitting inside your home than you ever will be while going outside. Many of them can vaporize at room temperatures, but if they are in high concentrations, they can potentially harm your health. How harmful also depends on how long the exposure has been going on.

Typical exposure symptoms include headaches and sinus or allergy problems like irritation of the throat, ears, and nose. It can exacerbate asthma conditions too. Symptoms can worsen when individuals are exposed to higher concentrations for long periods. This includes nausea, dizziness, loss of coordination, fatigue, and even damage to the liver or central nervous system.

As such, it’s essential to keep the home ventilated, and it is beneficial to invest in a quality air purifier that eliminates VOCs.

The EPA reports that regular or prolonged exposure to these volatile organic compounds or VOCs can have some nasty health implications.

They may include:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Headaches, loss of coordination, and nausea
  • Damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system
  • Some organics can cause cancer in animals, while others are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans

🤔 Do air purifiers remove VOCs?

Whether an air purifier can remove VOCs is completely dependent on the filter inside. Activated charcoal filters are highly effective at removing these gaseous substances from the air that we breathe. These filters work at trapping most of these harmful compounds in a substance like activated charcoal so over time will need to be replaced.  

The problem for those looking to buy an air purifier for VOCs is that most units on the market use HEPA or a dual ionizer/HEPA filter and these do very little to remove gases like VOCs from the air. A study from MIT compared a large number of air purifiers and their ability to remove VOCs from the air and found that only 2 of the units were able to reduce VOCs by any significant amount within 60-90 minutes.

In a study of different filter technologies for the University of Reading, they showed that adsorption filter technology provided high efficiency in removing volatile organic contaminants like formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia.

The most popular type of adsorption technology in consumer air purifiers is activated carbon, impregnated alumina, and zeolite.

The downside to this type of filtration is that you need fairly large amounts of activated carbon to deal with lots of VOCs as the amount it can filter is directly connected to the amount of activated charcoal in the filter.

🤔 So… Which air purifier is the best option for VOCs?

Air purifiers aren’t difficult to find, but when you want them to handle volatile organic compounds (VOCs), then you need to pay extra attention to the filters. HEPA filters are popular but unable to handle such chemicals in the air. 

Hopefully, the choice of the 6 air purifiers above will make your job a lot easier to find the best air purifier for VOCs in your home.

SOURCES

Monthly energy consumption costs have been calculated using our air purifier electricity usage calculator, which allows us to calculate daily and yearly costs associated with running an air purifier for 24hs a day. You can customize the result by air purifier wattage and by state. In the case of the calculations we shared on this page, we used California as our base state for energy prices.

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API