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7 Best Air Purifiers for Pet Odor

Last updated August 30, 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

As much as we love our furry friends, there’s no denying that pets can stink from time to time. Whether you’re a cat, dog, hamster, or even a fish household, having a pet in your home will inevitably contribute to some unpleasant smells over time.  

If you don’t think your pet smells, then you might be nose blind to the smells in your home, so be sure to ask guests what they think about the odor as it could be worse than you think.

The best way to remove odors from your home is through the use of an adsorption filter like activated charcoal. There are a large number of air purifiers marketed to remove pet odors but many are not fit for purpose. 

Thankfully, we are able to share based on our own internal experiments and testing that the following air purifiers are our top pick for pet odor:

The Top 3 Air Purifiers For Pet Odor

Best Overall
Best Budget Option
Best for bedrooms
Best for Large Spaces
Style
Blueair 211+
Core 300
Alen 45i
Pros
Less than $300 for a air purifier capable of a large space
The best pound for pound air purifier at the $100 range
Works for rooms up to 1300 sq. ft. and has a lifetime gurantee
Cons
Ionizer tech might put off some customers
Feels quite plasticky
It quite heavy to move around
CADR
350 CFM
145 CFM
347 CFM
Filter Technology
"HEPASilent™ technology" whcih is an electrostatic filtration with HEPA and Acitvated Charcoal
H13 True HEPA and Activated Carbon filter
B7 Pure filter, H13 True HEPA filter
Recommended Room Size
540 ft²
Up to 547 ft²
up to 1,300 ft²
Weight
5.67 kg / 12.5 lbs
3.4 kg / 7.48 lbs
12.2 kg / 27 lbs
How fast did it clean our room?
18 minutes
39 minutes
24 minutes
Price
$319.99
$99.99
Best Overall
Style
Blueair 211+
Pros
Less than $300 for a air purifier capable of a large space
Cons
Ionizer tech might put off some customers
CADR
350 CFM
Filter Technology
"HEPASilent™ technology" whcih is an electrostatic filtration with HEPA and Acitvated Charcoal
Recommended Room Size
540 ft²
Weight
5.67 kg / 12.5 lbs
How fast did it clean our room?
18 minutes
Price
$319.99
Best Budget Option
Style
Core 300
Pros
The best pound for pound air purifier at the $100 range
Cons
Feels quite plasticky
CADR
145 CFM
Filter Technology
H13 True HEPA and Activated Carbon filter
Recommended Room Size
Up to 547 ft²
Weight
3.4 kg / 7.48 lbs
How fast did it clean our room?
39 minutes
Price
$99.99
Best for bedrooms
Best for Large Spaces
Style
Alen 45i
Pros
Works for rooms up to 1300 sq. ft. and has a lifetime gurantee
Cons
It quite heavy to move around
CADR
347 CFM
Filter Technology
B7 Pure filter, H13 True HEPA filter
Recommended Room Size
up to 1,300 ft²
Weight
12.2 kg / 27 lbs
How fast did it clean our room?
24 minutes

Why trust us?

At HouseFresh we have been testing air purifiers for over 10 years and we actually test them and then use in our own homes to understand the long-term experience. We always buy the units with our own money so we can say what we really think and sometimes they are awesome but sometimes they stink. We test all our air purifiers in the same sized room so you can calculate how it could work for your space and just as importantly allows us to evaluate all types of air purifiers for the one test they are purchased for – cleaning a room of particulates. Using our internal data we are then able to make recommendations for specific use cases like “pet smells.”

We share all our data using Flourish and hope to support as many consumers as possible to find the right air purifier for their individual needs and budget.

Read on for the detail behind our recommendations:

1. Blueair Blue Pure 211+

The Blueair 211+ uses a filter system they call “HEPA Silent” which is a combination of HEPA and activated charcoal filter with an electrostatic charge that allows for better performance than pure mechanical filter systems. This has a recommended room size of 540 ft² so is perfect for those pet owners with large room spaces. The addition of activated charcoal is key for removing odors from the air which is key for those of us who live with pets. 

When we tested the non-smart version of this air purifier called the 211/221 we found that it performed really well in our room cleaning test and was able to remove all the pollutants in 18 minutes which is our second best score only being beaten by the far larger Smartair Blast. The auto mode is a welcome addition which also has some energy efficiency improvements over the older model with peak wattage max out at 38 watts vs 55.5 watts we recorded with the 211 and has a slightly better CADR score. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:“HEPASilent™ technology”  which is an electrostatic filtration with HEPA and Activated Charcoal
CADR (CFM / m³/h):380 CFM
Recommended room size:540 ft²
Filter life:Every 6 months
Noise level (low – high):23dB-56dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):20H x 13W x 13D inches
Weight (in kg / in pounds):5.67 kg / 12.5 lbs
Energy consumption:$82.55

What We Really Like:
👍
Auto mode is simple and has a clear color guide for how dirty your air is
👍 Great performance to $ spend
👍 Ability to change the color is simple but a welcome addition

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 Some might have concerns about the use of electrostatic charge but we found no evidence of ozone or gas production

2. Coway Airmega 400 

The Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier has a dual, three-stage filtration system that can clean the air every 30 minutes in a 1,560 sqft room, and every 15 minutes in a 780 sqft room, removing 99.97% of contaminants from the air. In our performance test, the smaller version of the Coway Airmega 300 managed to clean our room completely in under 26 minutes

Air is drawn in on each side of the unit, where washable pre-filters and Max2 filters combine both activated carbon and True HEPA filters, removing airborne pollutants down to 0.3 microns as well as VOCs and pet odors.

The Airmega 400 features real-time monitoring of your room’s air quality, with colored LED rings that tell you how clean or dirty the air in the room is. With its handy Smart Mode feature, this purifier will automatically adjust the fan speed depending on the air quality. It comes with a remote so you can set any one of the unit’s five fan speeds. It also has a five-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Activated Carbon, Green True HEPA
CADR (CFM / m³/h):328 (Smoke), 328 (Dust), 400 (Pollen)
Recommended room size:2 air changes/hr.*  1,560 sq ft (145 sq m)4 air changes/hr.** 780 sq ft (72 sq m)
Filter life:6 months
Noise level (low – high):22 – 52dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):14.8 x 22.8 x 14.8 in.
Weight (in kg / in pounds):
24.7 lbs
Energy consumption:$143.38

What We Really Like:
👍
Large unit capable of dealing with very large spaces
👍 A large amount of activated charcoal will deal with pet odors easily
👍 Auto mode is a welcome addition as it will only turn on when it detects pollutants

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 Uses a lot of electricity so something to be aware of

3. Best for those on a budget: LEVOIT Core 300

Getting an air purifier that can remove pet odors for less than $100 didn’t use to be possible 10 years ago. Now you can get an air purifier that uses H13 HEPA with activated charcoal without having to get a second mortgage to afford it. The Levoit Core 300 won’t be able to deal with large spaces like the suggestions above but it will be perfect for those with pets who live in smaller spaces and still want to keep the air odor-free. 

Being cylindrical, the air intake is located near the bottom of the unit, with clean air being emitted from the top. To make sure the room’s air gets cleaned efficiently, leave at least 15 inches of clearance all around. Simple touch-sensitive buttons on the top of the unit let you control the power, the three-speed fan, and the night light.

In our test room, it managed to remove all pollutants in under 49 minutes which is very good considering you are paying less than $100. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:HEPA H13 and activated charcoal
CADR (CFM / m³/h):145 CFM
Recommended room size:219 ft² to 547 ft²
Filter life:6 months
Noise level (low – high):24 – 50dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):8.7L x 8.7W x 14.2H inches / 22 x 22 x 36 cm
Weight (in kg / in pounds):3.4 kg / 7.48 lbs
Energy consumption:$82.55 per year

What We Really Like:
👍
It has a great cost to performance ratio of $99 for 145 CFM
👍 Simple touch-screen with timer and 3 power modes
👍Is not too large and the design is pleasing

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 Genuine filters are $50 and need replacing every 6 months and energy costs are moderate

4. For those looking for smart features: Levoit Core 400S

Released in 2021, the Levoit brings a series of improvements to the Core range of air purifiers. As with the 300S it is a H13 HEPA plus activated charcoal so perfect for those looking to remove odors from a variety of different pets. This unit is a little larger than the other suggestions but it does mean that it can perform at a higher level with a CADR of 265 CFM which matched with our own performance test that showed the Core 400S remove all pollutants in 33 minutes which is close to $1000 IQAir Healthpro Plus. 

Unlike the IQAir model, this unit comes with a ton of technology under the hood with an auto-mode and app support from day one. You have the ability to see how clean or dirty your air is and the unit can then automatically switch the fans on to remove pollutants and then switch off when it’s not needed. 

I am a big fan of the design and wouldn’t look out of place in any modern home or apartment. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:H13 True HEPA filter and activated charcoal
CADR (CFM / m³/h):260 CFM / 442 m³/h
Recommended room size:up to 403 ft²
Filter life:6 months
Noise level (low – high):24dB – 54dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):10.8L x 10.8W x 20.5H in / 27.4 x 27.4 x 52 cm
Weight (in kg / in pounds):6.4 kg / 14.12 lbs
Energy consumption:$82.55 per year

What We Really Like:
👍
Auto mode works really well and is something that is a great option for dealing with pet odors which occur at regulary intervals
👍 Super easy to use – same as any other Levoit air purifier
👍 Great performance to $$ ratio

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 Filters costs are higher than other units at this performance level

5. Medify Air MA-40

The Medify MA-40 combines style and technology to bring you an air purifier powerful enough to clean a room up to 840 sqft in 30 minutes and 420 sqft in 15 minutes. Its three-stage, one-piece filtration system, located at the rear of the unit, has a pre-filter, an H13 HEPA filter to remove 99.9% of unseen particles, and a carbon filter containing carbon pellets for pet odor and smoke removal.

medify 40

An elegant, tempered glass panel incorporating the easy-to-use touch controls is located on the top of the unit. There’s an ON/OFF button, timer, fan speed, ionizer, and a very useful child lock button. The air intake is located at the back, with fresh, clean air being expelled from the front. A three-color LED light on the front of the unit informs you of the quality of the air in the room, blue for good, green for not-so-good, and red for contaminated air.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Pre-filter, H13 True HEPA, active carbon composite
CADR (CFM / m³/h):223.7 CFM (380m³/hr)
Recommended room size:420 ft² to 1,600 ft²
Filter life:6 months
Noise level (low – high):46 – 66dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):22H x 9.9W x 10.9D inches
Weight (in kg / in pounds):7.07 kg / 15.6 lbs
Energy consumption:$147.73 per year

What We Really Like:
👍
Great looking design looks expensive
👍 Powerful performance for medium-sized rooms
👍 Easy to clean the pre-filter

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 Electricity costs are high for this level of performance

6. The Cadillac of pet odor removal: Alen BreatheSmart 75i

The Alen Air BreatheSmart 75i is the most premium unit for Alen who are based in Austin, USA. It was voted best air purifier for 2021 by ConsumerReports due to its ability to achieve 347 CFM which is the top end for most household air purifiers. 

This unit is heavy with large HEPA filters and a ton of activated charcoal that is perfect for locking in odors from our pets. The replacement filters are not cheap but know that you have the one of most powerful air purifiers on earth but it doesn’t come cheap!

The Alen 75i uses a combination of an ionizer, HEPA, and activated charcoal to get significant air cleaning power for relatively low levels of electricity usage. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:B7 Pure filter, H13 True HEPA filter
CADR (CFM / m³/h):347 CFM
Recommended room size:up to 1,300 ft²
Filter life:12 months
Noise level (low – high):25 – 49dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):27H x 18.5W x 11.5D inches / 68.58H x 46.99W x 29.21D cm
Weight (in kg / in pounds):12.2 kg / 27 lbs
Energy consumption:$97.76 per year

What We Really Like:
👍
Great performance so would be a great option for larger rooms
👍 Love the color-changing icon for levels of pollutants
👍 Can customize the filters for a specific use cases like wildfire or odors. 

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 The replacement filter is over $100. At least it’s only every 12 months!

7. LEVOIT Core P350

The Core P350 air purifier from Levoit is ideal for anyone who suffers from pet allergies or is conscious of pet odors. It uses a three-in-one combination filtration system that not only captures pet dander and hair, but features a specially designed pre-filter, a high-grade, revised active carbon filter, and an H13 True HEPA filter, which makes pet odors a thing of the past.

Its cylindrical shape and appealing design make it suitable for any room in the house. The controls are on the top of the unit and comprise fan speed, timer, display, and sleep mode buttons. It measures 14.2 inches high and weighs 7.5lbs.

To ensure the 360-degree air intake works efficiently, leave a gap of at least 15 inches around the unit. It comes with a one-year warranty and lifetime customer support. This is a special Levoit Core model that has been built with pets as its main focus. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:H13 True HEPA filtration with activated charcoal
CADR (CFM / m³/h):141 cfm (240 m3/h)
Recommended room size:219 sqft
Filter life:6 – 8 months
Noise level (low – high):24 – 50dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):8.7L x 8.7W x 14.2H inches / 22 x 22 x 36 cm
Weight (in kg / in pounds):3.4 kg / 7.48 lbs
Energy consumption:$15.60 per year

What We Really Like:
👍
With its stylish looks, it blends in perfectly with any decor
👍 It runs very quietly and the sleep mode is almost silent
👍 The display can be turned off for discreet use in a bedroom

What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 It doesn’t have an air quality indicator which would be useful

What You Need to Know About Using an Air Purifier to Get Rid of Pet Odors

In order to tackle pet odors, or any volatile organic compound (VOC), you will need a purifier with an activated carbon filter. This filter, made up of a sponge-like bed of charcoal, works by absorbing VOCs from the air as they pass through the purifier.  

As well as odors, we know pet dander and hair can be a nuisance when cleaning your home and trigger allergies amongst many other unpleasant side effects. An air purifier can certainly help with this issue too. As each purifier on our list also utilizes HEPA filters, they can easily capture and remove these particles and odors from the air. 

🤔 Will an air purifier help with dog smell?

An air purifier can do a great deal to remove odors including those from dogs if it has an adsorption filter, the most popular being activated charcoal. Without this filter, HEPA alone will not be able to remove dog smells or any other odors in the home. Activated charcoal is carbon that has been treated with high heat and works by trapping odors and has been shown to be effective for odors and has been proven in multiple peer review studies.

🤔 Can pet odors cause illness?

Pets, especially young ones, have “accidents” from time to time, or perhaps your pets like to “mark their territory” with urine. Either way, if left unattended, pet odors can not only be unpleasant, but they are potentially harmful to your health as the ammonia can be released from urine stains over time. 

The release of ammonia can cause a number of health problems such as:

  • Coughing and asthma symptoms
  • Lung infections
  • Nose and throat burning sensations
  • Eye or skin irritation

Source: New York Health Department 

The best way to remove ammonia from the air is to use an adsorbent filter like activated charcoal. This is the main material in most air purifiers aimed at removing odors from the air but is not always used so be aware.

🤔 What do activated carbon filters do to pet odors?

Activated carbon or activated charcoal filters work by trapping those odors through a process known as adsorption, which occurs when certain molecules attach themselves to an external surface instead of being soaked up (absorption). An activated carbon filter that has more porous carbon will increase the area of surface space that the odor molecules can attach to when the air is drawn through the filter.

🤔 What are the advantages of owning an air purifier to combat pet odor?

Pets, especially dogs or cats, are continually shedding particles which can lead to health issues. However, it’s not the hair that causes the problem, but the dander from dead skin cells they shed. Your pet can also bring all sorts of other unpleasant items into the house from outside, and over time things begin to smell.

A top-quality air purifier goes a long way to combat not only the dander, but will kill any bacteria in the air, and greatly reduce if not eliminate the odors associated with the four-footed members of your family.

How to Find the Best Air Purifier for Your Home

If you’re suffering from allergies, notice the presence of pet odors in your home, or if your pet happens to be allergic to dust, pollen, or other animal’s dander, then an air purifier designed specifically to help eliminate these problems should not only make you feel better, but also your pet’s health may improve, and your home will smell fresher and cleaner.

Think about:

  1. How large is your room?

Look for “coverage area” or “room size suitability”. Choose an air purifier that corresponds to your room’s sqft

  1. What size is the purifier?

Select a purifier of a size that will fit in your room.

  1. How noisy is the purifier?

Each air purifier will state the noise levels in decibels (dB). The lower the number, the quieter the unit will be.

  1. How much can you afford to spend on a purifier?

We don’t recommend buying the most expensive one available. A cheaper model may be just as effective for your purposes.

Pick an air purifier that gets rid of odors, cleans the air efficiently, is of a size you can fit in your room, is quiet enough to be located in a bedroom, and is the most cost-effective for you.

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 to 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 2022-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API