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5 Best Air Purifiers for Allergies (And 3 to Avoid)

Last updated November 22, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links.

Author
Author avatar Paul Allen

Paul is our go-to-guy for air purifier and dehumidifier reviews. His apartment has become a de facto HouseFresh test lab where he pits the latest clean air technology against the perils of city center life. When he’s not putting a purifier through its paces, Paul likes to endlessly dig through dusty record shops (making his dust-free apartment even more important).

Suffering from allergies can be the bane of many people’s lives. From pet dander to pollen, countless particles exist in our homes that can trigger an allergic reaction. We can even find harsh chemicals, such as formaldehyde, emitted from common household appliances and furniture, leading to unpleasant side effects. 

Preventive measures like keeping windows closed and banishing known triggers out of YOUR home will help alleviate symptoms. But the truth is allergens can and will make their way inside your home, finding the smallest vent or crevice to creep in through or even hitching a lift on your own back as you re-enter the space from outside.

What To Look For in an Air Purifier for Allergies

One tried and tested way to tackle allergens head-on, however, is by investing in an air purifier that utilizes powerful fans and comes equipped with an Activated Carbon and HEPA-certified filter. 

With this dynamic duo of filters, you can expect to see a noticeable reduction in the number of allergens in your space, with Activated Carbon filters being highly effective at eradicating VOCs and HEPA filters being proven to remove at least 99.97% of particulate matter, such as dust, mold and pollen from the air inside your space.  

Armed with the right cleaner, you’ll find symptoms occur much less frequently and begin to appreciate a much higher standard of air quality. To help you find the perfect unit for your needs, we’ve highlighted five excellent allergen-busting purifiers, along with three that simply don’t cut the mustard and should be avoided at all costs. 

The Top 3 Air Purifiers For Allergies

Best Overall
Best Overall
Best Budget Option
Best Budget Option
Best for Large Spaces
Best for Large Spaces
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
Air Purifiers for Home Large Room, H13 True HEPA Filter for Large Room Cover 1500 ft², Air Cleaner 3 Speeds, Air Quality Monitor Sensor, Child Lock, Sleep Mode, CADR 420 m³/h, Remove 99.97% Pollutants
Smart Air Blast Mini Air Purifier – High Capacity, Compact Air Purifier For Clean Air with 99.97% H13 HEPA Filter (Blast Mini with HEPA + VOC Filters)
Pros
Comes with the gold standard of filters, going above and beyond to capture ultrafine allergens
Incredible performance for a budget friendly price tag
Super powerful fans that deliver incredible performance, even in large spaces
Cons
Is the most expensive on our list
Smaller coverage area so may require more than one unit
On the larger side and is super heavy
CADR
330 CFM (estimate)
226 CFM
435 CFM
Filter Technology
Pre-max filter, V5-Cell Filter, HyperHEPA filter
Washable pre-filter, Activated Carbon, and H13 True HEPA filters
Mesh Pre-Filter, H13 HEPA Filter + optional Activated Charcoal filter
Recommended Room Size
Up to 1125 ft²
322 ft²
915 ft²
Weight
35 lbs / 16 kg
19 lbs / 8.6 kg
59 lbs / 26.8 kg
Price
$899.00
$59.99
$649.00
Best Overall
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
Comes with the gold standard of filters, going above and beyond to capture ultrafine allergens
Cons
Is the most expensive on our list
CADR
330 CFM (estimate)
Filter Technology
Pre-max filter, V5-Cell Filter, HyperHEPA filter
Recommended Room Size
Up to 1125 ft²
Weight
35 lbs / 16 kg
Price
$899.00
More Details
Best Budget Option
Best Budget Option
Style
Air Purifiers for Home Large Room, H13 True HEPA Filter for Large Room Cover 1500 ft², Air Cleaner 3 Speeds, Air Quality Monitor Sensor, Child Lock, Sleep Mode, CADR 420 m³/h, Remove 99.97% Pollutants
Pros
Incredible performance for a budget friendly price tag
Cons
Smaller coverage area so may require more than one unit
CADR
226 CFM
Filter Technology
Washable pre-filter, Activated Carbon, and H13 True HEPA filters
Recommended Room Size
322 ft²
Weight
19 lbs / 8.6 kg
Price
$59.99
More Details
Best for Large Spaces
Best for Large Spaces
Style
Smart Air Blast Mini Air Purifier – High Capacity, Compact Air Purifier For Clean Air with 99.97% H13 HEPA Filter (Blast Mini with HEPA + VOC Filters)
Pros
Super powerful fans that deliver incredible performance, even in large spaces
Cons
On the larger side and is super heavy
CADR
435 CFM
Filter Technology
Mesh Pre-Filter, H13 HEPA Filter + optional Activated Charcoal filter
Recommended Room Size
915 ft²
Weight
59 lbs / 26.8 kg
Price
$649.00
More Details

Why You Should Trust This List

All the air purifiers we recommend at HouseFresh are based on our in-house evaluation and performance test as doing the job it was sold for — removing small particulate from the indoor air.  We test our air purifiers using incense smoke which is heavy in PM1, PM2.5 and PM10, which are tiny particles similar to what we want to remove for wildfire smoke. 

Here’s what we do:

  • We have evaluated over 44 air purifiers available for sale in 2022 and published performance tests for all of them. 
  • We create particulate pollutants in our home lab with the help of incense sticks.
  • We use a Purple Air Indoor sensor to record how long the air purifier takes to reduce the levels of PM1ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3 and PM10ug/m3 particles in the air.
  • We track energy consumption with an electricity usage monitor.
  • We measure noise levels in decibels across all power levels available.

As everyone’s home and requirements will be different, we’ve made sure to include a range of cleaners that are suited to different size spaces and cover a variety of budgets too. Be sure to check out the complete list below, paying close attention to room size suitability and the range of features each unit offers to find the perfect purifier for you. 

1. Taotronics AP003

For those of you that have read any of our recent articles, you may have noticed we are huge fans of this purifier. Having initially been skeptical whether a mass-produced purifier that costs under $100 could make a difference, once we got our hands on one, we soon became fully convinced that this is a purifier to be reckoned with.

With three stages of filtration, including a pre-filter, Activated Carbon and top-of-the-line H13 HEPA filter, the Taotronics AP003 has all the tools necessary to fend off an array of allergies. Despite its unassuming appearance, this purifier is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. With a punchy fan that brings about a CADR rating of 226 CFM in medium-sized spaces up to 322 ft².  

Although this isn’t the most advanced Smart purifier, it still comes with many user-friendly features, including a programmable timer, child-lock setting and Auto mode. You’ll also find a unique air quality sensor that feeds back real-time accurate PM2.5 ug/m3 readings, which is all the more impressive when considering the price of this purifier. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Washable pre-filter, Activated Carbon, and H13 True HEPA filters.
CADR (CFM / m³/h):226 CFM 
Recommended room size:322 ft² 
Filter life:3 — 6 months
Noise level (low – high):32 — 52 dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):21.8H x 14.1W x 7.9D inches / 55.4H x 35.8W x 20D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):19 lbs / 8.6 kg
Energy consumption:$63.44 per year
Time to clean our test room29 minutes

What We Really Like:
👍 Incredible value for money
👍 Precise particle readings through its air sensor
👍 Comes with a high-end H13 HEPA filter
👍 Energy efficient, saving on bills in the long run

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 Design is fairly basic 
👎 Filters don’t last as long as other brands 

2. Smart Air Blast Mini

When clearing your home of allergens, you’ll want a purifier that can achieve results fast. That’s precisely what Smart Air’s Blast Mini does. When we tested this purifier for ourselves, its cleared our home office of all pollutants in a measly 17 minutes. Proving to be one of the fast purifiers around.

Taking a no-nonsense approach to cleaning the air, the Blast Mini doesn’t come with apps, auto mode or a particularly delicate design. What you do get, however, is a colossal fan that can draw in vast amounts of dirty air every second before pushing it through its highly efficient HEPA and Activated Carbon filters and finally expelling clean, allergy-free air. This unit boasts the highest Clean Air Delivery Rate on our list of recommended purifiers.   

While some may miss the fancy design features, others will love this purifier’s simplicity. It has one dial to operate the unit, simply switching between the three fan speeds and switching the unit off. Despite being somewhat of a lump, this purifier does come on convenient castor wheels, making it easy to move around the home. Plus, this unit won’t sound like a turbojet engine when on its highest speed setting, which is one of the reasons that this unit is our top pick for large spaces. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Mesh Pre-Filter, H13 HEPA Filter + optional Activated Charcoal filter 
CADR (CFM / m³/h):435 CFM 
Recommended room size:915 ft²
Filter life:13 months
Noise level (low – high):36 — 49 dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):24.8H x 22.6W x 13D inches / 63H x 57.5W x 33D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):59 lbs / 26.8 kg
Energy consumption:$284.38 per year
Time to clean our test room17 minutes

What We Really Like:
👍 Awesome power and performance
👍 Unique air inlet design
👍 Super simple to use
👍 Long-lasting, quality filters

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 This unit weighs a ton
👎 It will use a lot of energy when set to its highest speed setting

3. IQAir HealthPro Plus

For air quality aficionados, the IQAir HealthPro Plus needs no introduction. Widely considered the best purifier money can buy, you’ll find exceptional performance thanks to its innovative filters and a unit built to last by the Swiss masters of purification.

What exactly makes this purifier the cat’s pajamas? First, it comes with the most advanced filters on the market. Equipped with a Pre-Max filter to capture larger particles, a V5-Cell filter stacked with a whopping 5lbs of Activated Carbon. Plus, the star of the show, the HyperHEPA, can remove 99.95% of ultrafine particles down to 0.003 microns in size. Which is 100 times smaller than the 0.3-micron particles that standard HEPA filters can capture. 

Beyond filters, the quality of this purifier doesn’t drop, as you’ll find sealed interiors and durable components. Each unit is rigorously tested before being sent for delivery, proven by an individualized factsheet that states the specific unit’s performance. When we received our own HealthPro Plus, we found that its airflow was much higher than the published figures, reaching heights of 494m3/h rather than the stated 440m3/h. This is why it is trusted to clean the air in hospitals and homes. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Pre-max filter, V5-Cell Filter, HyperHEPA filter
CADR (CFM / m³/h):330 CFM (estimate)
Recommended room size:Up to 1125 ft²
Filter life:4 years
Noise level (low – high):25 — 69 dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):28H x 18W x 16D inches / 71H x 38W x 41D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):35 lbs / 16 kg
Energy consumption:$467.08 per year
Time to clean our test room25 minutes

What We Really Like:
👍 Most effective filters on the market
👍 The HyperHEPA filter lasts for four years
👍 Capable of cleaning large spaces thanks to its impressive airflow
👍 Runs at surprisingly low volumes on its lower speed setting

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 It’s big and ugly
👎 Is the most expensive purifier on our list

4. Smart Health S

If space is in short supply in your home, this small but mighty purifier from Smart Health will provide an excellent option for removing allergens. With an H12 HEPA and Activated Carbon filter, this unit can transform the air in spaces as large as 430 ft², proven through its impressive CADR score of 185 CFM.

Smart Air follows the school of thought that countless rival purifiers are overselling their performance and features when they fail to do the basics right. That’s why they take a stripped-back approach, using quality fans and filters that enable the Smart Health S to nail the basics without costing the earth.  

As well as impressive air-cleaning performance, this purifier is simple to set up, operate and maneuver from room to room. Allowing you to target specific spaces as you move around the home. Even while you sleep, this purifier is super quiet so it can tackle allergens through the night without affecting your rest.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:H12 HEPA and optional Activated Carbon filter
CADR (CFM / m³/h):185 CFM 
Recommended room size:430 ft²
Filter life:6 months
Noise level (low – high):23 – 52 dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):13H x 13W x 14.3D inches / 33.02H x 33.02W x 36.32D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):10.1 lbs / 4.58 kg
Energy consumption:$92.55 per year
Time to clean our test room29 minutes 

What We Really Like:
👍 Utilizes an H12 HEPA filter for greater efficiency
👍 Compact and cute design 
👍 Whisper quiet on its slowest fan speed
👍 Great performance for its pricetag

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 Activated Carbon filter should come as standard
👎 Some may miss the Smart features found on other units in this price range

5. Levoit Core 600S

If you’re looking for an air purifier that can do it all, then the Levoit Core 600S is an ideal option. With fast-acting fans, high-quality filters and smart features, this purifier is much more user-friendly.

Starting with what matters most, the triple threat of Pre-filter, H13 HEPA and Activated Carbon filters make light work of capturing even the smallest of allergen particles from your space. Yet these filters wouldn’t be worth much if it wasn’t for the high-end fan and trademarked VortexAir technology that pushes gallons of air through them every hour. You’ll find that the Core 600S can completely cycle the air within a 635 ft² room five times an hour. 

It has an in-built Auto mode, which will continuously monitor the air quality and automatically adjust the fan speeds to combat allergens whenever required. Although, if you prefer to be more hands-on, you can receive regular updates and operate the setting straight from your smartphone or even connect to a smart speaker for voice-activated control. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Pre-filter, H13 HEPA and Activated Carbon filters
CADR (CFM / m³/h):410 CFM 
Recommended room size:Up to 1,588 ft²
Filter life:6 months
Noise level (low – high):26 — 55 dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):23.6H x 12.3W x 12.3D inches / 60H x 31.3W x 31.3D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):13.7 lbs / 6.2 kg
Energy consumption:$102.11 per year
Time to clean our test room15 minutes

What We Really Like:
👍 This is the quickest purifier we’ve ever tested
👍 Runs whisper quiet on its lowest setting
👍 Energy efficient for such a powerful unit
👍 Capable of combatting allergens even in larger, open plan spaces

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 Is on the large side with a less inspiring design than other Levoit models
👎 Gets a bit loud when on turbo speed


The 3 Air Purifiers We Don’t Recommend for Allergies

You’ve seen the best, now let’s take a look at the rest of the purifiers on the market that will promise to tackle allergens but should be avoided if you want to see real improvement in your air quality. We’ve tried highlighting where these units fall short so you know what to look for when conducting your research. 

1. Molekule Air Mini

It’s no secret that we aren’t huge fans of Molekule and their not-so-revolutionary filterless purifiers. While some boldly claimed that Molekule would be the future of air purification, we found them severely lacking in power and performance when we put the Molekule Mini through its paces. 

Molekule’s flagship technology is coined PECO, or photoelectrochemical oxidation, which they claim can eliminate pollutants at a molecular level instead of using mechanical filters like the majority of other purifiers. While innovation should be celebrated, we think they may need to return to the drawing board this time, as their Mini purifier failed to remove incense smoke from our test space, let alone potentially health-harming allergens. 

Why We Suggest You Avoid This Unit👎 Their filterless technology isn’t peer-reviewed nor scientifically proven👎 Makes a deafening racket on higher speed settings

2. Levoit Core Mini

Although we love Levoit and think they produce a range of high-quality and affordable purifiers, the Core Mini simply doesn’t meet the grade required when tackling allergens such as dust, pollen or mold in a home setting. 

The first red flag is clear when assessing this purifier’s CADR score. With a lackluster rating of 32 CFM, this unit will struggle to draw in and clean enough air to make a difference. While it may come with a HEPA filter and the same tech as in their flagship models, it simply lacks the power required to capture allergens

Why We Suggest You Avoid This Unit👎 Unless using this purifier in a super small space, it won’t be able to cycle the air effectively👎 Took an eternity to clear our test space of pollutants

3. GermGuardian AC4825e

While the GermGuardian’s AC4825e may be considered an air purifier veteran, having featured on countless top purifier recommendation lists over the years, it’s now starting to show signs of old age. 

Not only is it falling behind its rivals in terms of purifying power, but we also noticed a lack of future-proof features and a that this unit is particularly energy-intensive, given its size and performance. This was all exemplified during our tests, where the AC4825e took 104 minutes to clear our test space of pollutants.

Why We Suggest You Avoid This Unit👎 Lacks the power and speed to tackle allergens efficiently👎 Utilizes ineffective UV technology 

Common Questions About Air Purifiers for Allergies

🤔 How will I know if I have an allergy?

Although some of you will already have a pre-diagnosed allergy, many people will be going through life without being 100% sure, yet paying the price with a whole host of nasty side effects. While certain allergies are easier to diagnose, for example, certain foods or medications, it can be much harder to identify an allergy if it is commonly found in the air we breathe. 

Tell-tale signs that you may be suffering from an allergy to airborne contaminants include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Rash or hives
  • Swelling or redness
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Stuffy sinuses or closing of the throat
  • Chest tightness and shortness of breath
  • Feeling faint, light-headed or dizzy

If you consistently show symptoms of an allergy, it’s best to speak with a doctor. Although identifying the root cause can be complicated and often invasive, your GP may be able to help provide a diagnosis.

🤔 What allergens can an air purifier help with?

An air purifier will help tackle a myriad of airborne allergens. From microscopic dust particles to chemical irritants such as formaldehyde, countless pollutants in your indoor air can trigger allergies.

To combat a specific allergen, you will need to assess whether it is gaseous or consists of particulate matter. This will then help you identify a purifier best suited to your needs, whether using a high-quality HEPA filter for allergens such as dust, pollen or pet dander or an Activated Carbon filter to tackle VOCs.

Each of the units on our list includes HEPA and Activated Carbon filters to work well against both types of allergen. We recommend combining the two to achieve comprehensive protection against allergies and thorough air cleaning performance. 

🤔 How can I keep allergens out of my home for good?

Keeping your space allergen-free sounds like the ideal solution; however, it isn’t easy to achieve unless you plan to turn your home into a nuclear bunker. 

This is because allergens exist everywhere we go. They are dragged into the home on our shoes, clothing and skin each time we go outside, and the pesky particles can even infiltrate our homes through vents and gaps in seals around windows and doors. While also emitting from our belongings, such as wooden furniture and carpeting. 

Although it may be tricky to eradicate allergens, there are ways to minimize their effects. First and foremost, change certain habits to minimize allergies entering the home, such as leaving windows closed, storing coats and jackets in a separate cupboard and leaving shoes outdoors. 

If you have a mold or dust build-up in your home, try to tackle the issue head-on, removing the existing allergens and keeping on top of cleaning. Try to keep pets away from bedrooms or communal areas where allergy sufferers spend time. Be sure to seal vents and areas around doors and windows where allergens may enter too.

With all these steps in place, an air purifier will work wonders at eradicating any other allergens that slip by your safeguarding measures.


How We Picked Our Top Choices

We don’t recommend units without being 100% confident in our real-life performance testing process. That’s why we test all the models we recommend in the same room (sized 705 cubic ft) performing the same job (removing incense smoke). 

This allows us to compare units side by side and create “best” lists like this one. The most important features we considered when making this selection were: 

  1. HEPA Filteration – When it comes to capturing allergens such as dust, pollen and pet dander, you need a high-quality HEPA filter, as found in the IQAir HealthPro Plus.
  2. Power – For fast-acting relief from allergies, you’ll want a purifier that can clean the air quickly. Like the Levoit Core 600S, the fastest purifier we’ve ever tested.
  3. Activated Carbon – Not all allergies are caused by ordinary particulate matter. Many people will be allergic to VOCs such as formaldehyde, so choosing a unit that includes Activated Carbon, too, like the Smart Air Blast Mini is vital.
  4. Volume – Allergens don’t take the night off once you go to bed, so it’s essential to look for a unit to operate while you sleep. The Smart Health S runs at a super quiet 23 dB on its lowest setting, making it an excellent choice for light sleepers.

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