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8 Best Air Purifiers For Bacteria And Viruses

Last updated January 11, 2023

This post may contain affiliate links.

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

Recent events have opened our eyes to the dangers of bacteria and viruses, forcing us all to dramatically increase our cleaning habits. Yet despite our best efforts, a percentage of these bacteria and viruses will survive our cleaning routines and continue to thrive on the surfaces and belongings you come into contact with each day. 

Unless you live in a cleanroom laboratory, it’s common for virus and bacteria cells to exist in the home, whether cold and flu virus, mold, E. coli, salmonella, or even super viruses such as MRSA. If left unchecked, exposure to these particles can result in some very serious health implications.

While sanitizing surfaces with a disinfectant is the primary way to eradicate these dangers from the home, bacteria and viruses will always persist. In fact, when you clean, whether that’s wiping down surfaces or hoovering carpets, you will disturb these cells and propel particles into the air. As these particles are so small, they can remain airborne for hours before settling and spreading on surfaces again. This is where an air purifier can help keep your home free from viruses and bacteria. 

An air purifier with a HEPA filter offers unrivaled protection against airborne bacteria and viruses. Capable of capturing 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, these filters are extremely effective at removing airborne viruses and bacteria.

To help you in your search for a purifier to combat bacteria and viruses, we’ve put together 8 of our top choices. With a range of purifiers suited for various sized spaces and across different budgets, there’s something for everyone on this list. We also checked each recommended product on Consumer Reports and analyzed product reviews through Fakespot to ensure genuine users were satisfied with their purifiers. 

If you need a fan as well as an air purifier, then be sure to also check out our guide to the best air purifier fan combo or if you need to have an air purifier and humidifier then also check out that list of these combinations gadgets that try to do both jobs at once.

1. IQAir HealthPro Plus

The IQAir HealthPro Plus has powerful filtration able to cover large spaces with ease so an entire room or open floor plan will benefit from cleaner air. Using its HyperHEPA filtration, the unit can capture ultra-fine particles that are 10 times smaller than a virus. This makes it ideal for reducing airborne germs to leave your air feeling fresher and healthier.

It uses an EvenFlow diffuser for 320-degree air delivery, making the airflow even throughout. Also, this eliminates a potential draft so the room doesn’t get cold. Controls are simple as there are six speeds to go through and a timer function.

  • Purifier Technology: HyperHEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 1125 square feet
  • Filter Life: 4 years
  • Noise level: 22-57 decibels
  • Monthly Energy Consumption: $1.00 to $4.00

What we love

  • High-quality air monitoring system
  • An increase in portability due to the addition of wheels
  • User-friendly remote control
  • High frequency of air circulation

We don't like this as much

  • Requires extra space to use due to its larger size
  • Wheels could use a bit more stability when moving the unit

2. LEVOIT Core 300

The LEVOIT Core 300, available in black or white, is known to clean and freshen the air in its stated room size up to five times per hour. It has 360-degree air intakes, allowing for wider and more even coverage. Controlling it is simple via its touchscreen display where you can manage the timer, fan speeds, and sleep mode functions.

Also, there’s a display lock to prevent children or pets from accidentally changing anything. With its H13 True HEPA filter, it captures up to 99.97% of fine particles as small as 0.3 microns. Also, the ultra-fine nylon pre-filter helps maximize the HEPA filter’s life.

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 215 square feet
  • Filter Life: 6-8 months
  • Noise level: 24-50 decibels
  • Monthly Energy Consumption: $1.20

What we love

  • Button lights can completely turn off
  • Compact design makes it easy to carry and move around
  • User-friendly and easy to change filters
  • Good airflow at various fan speeds

We don't like this as much

  • Its circular construction requires it to have a lot of clearance to run properly
  • Regular fan speed does produce a small amount of noise

3. Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0

The Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 features four levels of filtration to help reduce and eliminate germs in the air. Its HEPA filter, the second stage, is what traps contaminants as small as 0.3 microns. This is done with 99.97% efficiency, and the process can also help reduce the build-up of viruses and bacteria on the filter.

It has an air quality indicator to keep you aware of any changes, an auto mode, timer, and three fan speeds. At its highest speed, the unit should be able to cycle the air twice each hour. The air intakes from both sides and the bottom aid in this fast turnaround.

Be sure to also read our hands-on review of the upgraded Rabit Air Minus A2.

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 550 square feet
  • Filter Life: 12 months
  • Noise level: 22.8 decibels
  • Monthly Energy Consumption: $1.00

What we love

  • Low noise output when run on lowest speed settings
  • Removes strong odors from the air effectively
  • Sleek design with good maneuverability
  • Remote control storage on the unit

We don't like this as much

  • Replacement filters may get costly
  • Can't turn off the control panel lights

4. IQAir Personal Air Purifier

The IQAir Personal Air Purifier is a fantastic choice for those who need to eliminate viruses and bacteria in their place of work. As it’s a desk fan, it delivers fresher air directly to you for personalized protection. Plus, the use of a PureJet diffuser ensures immediate delivery.

Its HyperHEPA filter works at stopping ultra-fine particles down to 0.003 microns, making it an effective unit for reducing airborne germs. Through the companion app, you can adjust the fan speed, check the temperature and humidity level, and more.

  • Purifier Technology: HyperHEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 3.2 square feet
  • Filter Life: 12 months
  • Noise level: 20-44 decibels
  • Monthly Energy Consumption: $0.10

What we love

  • Simple and fast to set up
  • Straightforward controls on the unit and via app
  • Multiple power outlets for use anywhere
  • Doesn't take up much space

We don't like this as much

  • Can take some time to find replacement filters
  • Some extra attention is required to set up the onboard battery pack

5. TruSens Air Purifier

The TruSens Air Purifier is a smart unit that features a remote SensorPod that works separately from the purifier, detecting the current air quality and sending the information back to the unit so it can adapt as needed. With its dual airflow, it can send cleaner air out more efficiently around the entire room. You can set it on auto mode or adapt through five fan speeds on your own.

It makes good use of HEPA filtration to capture airborne pollutants and viruses. However, it doesn’t stop there. The purifier also features UV-C that works on killing the bacteria and viruses that are trapped inside the filter, enabling the purifier to push out healthier air.

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 375 square feet
  • Filter Life: 12 months
  • Noise level: 33-64 decibels
  • Monthly Energy Consumption: $1.00

What we love

  • The display screen is easy to read
  • Maintenance is simple
  • Lights dim for comfortable nighttime use
  • Streamlined, lightweight design for transportation

We don't like this as much

  • Air quality detector can be overly sensitive at times
  • The highest fan speeds can be quite loud for some people

6. GermGuardian 5-in-1 Air Purifier

The GermGuardian 5-in-1 Air Purifier can reduce harmful germs down to 0.3 microns with its high-quality HEPA filter. Thanks to the pre-filter that captures larger pollutants, the life of the HEPA filter is further extended. Besides that, it can also kill bacteria and viruses in the air with its UV-C light, taking on common issues like influenza and the rhinovirus.

There are three-speed settings to cycle through when using the unit as well as an ultra-quiet mode. Controlling the unit via the top panel is straightforward enough, letting you set it and forget it with a few button presses.

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 180 square feet
  • Filter Life: 12 months
  • Noise level: 40-60 decibels
  • Monthly Energy Consumption: $2.00

What we love

  • A great timer feature that's easy to set
  • Easy to clean and replace filters
  • Acceptable sound levels at all fan speeds
  • Creates a noticeable difference in only a little time

We don't like this as much

  • UV light and panel light do not turn off
  • May emit a slight odor when first used

7. Dyson Pure Hot + Cool HP04

The Dyson Pure Hot + Cool HP04 purifies across the room, its Air Multiplier technology pushing out more than 77 gallons of air per second, smoothly and powerfully. There is also a sensor that will automatically detect changes in air quality, reporting levels on the LCD display. It will detect allergens, ultra-fine particles, nitrogen dioxide, and volatile organic compounds.

This Alexa-enabled unit features sealed HEPA filters. These capture those ultra-fine particles, removing 99.97% of them, making the unit capable of capturing viruses and bacteria. You can use this unit at night too with the night-time mode that ensures quiet operation.

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 500 square feet
  • Filter Life: 12 months
  • Noise level: 40-57 decibels
  • Monthly Energy Consumption: $1.30

What we love

  • Versatile use as it's a purifier, fan, and heater
  • Dust flows through the filters well without sticking to the surface of the unit
  • Shows useful data in the companion app
  • Quality oscillation function for wider coverage

We don't like this as much

  • The display could be larger so it's easier to read
  • The remote magnet on the unit could be stronger

8. Alen BreatheSmart 75i

The Alen BreatheSmart 75i is a high-end unit that features a medical-grade H13 True HEPA filtration unit. This focuses on reducing airborne germs as it captures 99.99% of aerosolized viruses, bacteria, and other pollutants as small as 0.1 microns.

The unit doesn’t have to be so obvious either as you get the option of choosing from several different sleek panel covers. It detects air quality well, using five colors to symbolize the differences so you recognize when the purifier needs to perform a bit stronger and when a lower speed will serve it best instead.

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 1300 square feet
  • Filter Life: 12 months
  • Noise level: 25-49 decibels
  • Monthly Energy Consumption: $1.20

What we love

  • Does well at eliminating harsh odors
  • Setup is easy so you can use it right away
  • Low energy usage
  • Rolls around on hard and carpeted floors

We don't like this as much

  • It may take some time to clean a large room with lower airflow power
  • Has a wide footprint so it can take up some space

FAQs About Air Purifiers for Bacteria and Viruses

How do bacteria and germs spread?

Germs spread through direct and indirect contact. Through direct contact, germs can spread person-to-person through a handshake, hugs, or kissing. As for indirect contact, they move around via people touching a surface that already has germs on it and then touching their face (e.g. eyes, nose, mouth). They can spread through saliva as well from sharing drinks.

Germs can also be airborne. When someone coughs or sneezes, the droplets fly into the air, and they contain germs. They can travel up to 6ft away, landing on either a surface or on another person.

What is the difference between bacteria and viruses?

Understanding the difference between bacteria and viruses requires some biological insight. With bacteria, they are free-living cells. Meaning, they can survive as easily outside a body as they can inside a body. On the other hand, viruses are a collection of non-living molecules. So, they need a host to live.

How does ultraviolet light help tackle bacteria and viruses?

Ultraviolet light, also abbreviated to UV-C, is a safe form of radiation that humans can be around. It can help by killing off airborne bacteria and viruses, going after the molecular bonds tying their DNA together. With how effective they are, it’s common to find UV-C light used to decontaminate surgical equipment.

Although it is safe to be around, it’s still hidden away inside the unit when used in air purifiers, ensuring you’ll only touch it when you need to change the bulb.

It works in an air purifier by destroying any viruses and bacteria that are pulled in and passed by the UV-C light.

Wrap Up

Bacteria and viruses are sadly a part of life, and each time you go outside, there’s a chance you or your family can bring something back home. So, one of the best ways to combat this situation is by having a quality air purifier.

Air purifiers help reduce contaminants in the air that can contain germs, especially when they feature a quality HEPA filter. Another good feature to look out for is a UV-C light. It isn’t a necessity, but it can help completely kill viruses and bacteria. A good air purifier can leave your home feeling and smelling much fresher.

Before you decide from our list which better suits your home, check out our number one recommendation for the top budget or small room option, the best mid-range room option, and the best large room option.