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6 best air purifiers for apartments, based on our independent tests

Living in an apartment can come with its own air quality challenges — these air purifiers can help
By
Updated on November 14, 2023
Written by
Teddy Booth
Teddy joined HouseFresh in 2019 as a senior content producer, producing written content as well as product photography and YouTube videos. He supports Danny as a product tester and is our lead how-to writer.

Our verdict

  • Levoit EverestAir is my top choice overall. It is the quickest air purifier we’ve ever seen.
  • Levoit Core 300S is my budget pick. It’s fast and efficient at a budget cost but will perform best in small rooms.
  • Levoit Core 600S is my recommendation for larger apartments. It’s powerful and affordable

When you live in an apartment, it’s not only pollution from the streets outside you need to consider; it’s also contaminants from the residents inside your building. Some neighbors like to cook smelly food, some may enjoy smoking weed and some might have pets; whatever it is, it can affect the air quality in your home.

Fresh air is crucial for your health and those living with you to have clean – if you suffer from allergies, you’ll know what I mean. Introducing an air purifier to your apartment will help remove harmful pollutants, bacteria, allergens, VOCs and odors from the air in your home.

But not any old air purifiers will work in your space. You must find a suitable unit that will work effectively in the size of the room you’re operating it in. Finding a unit that will tackle the issues you’re dealing with is also essential.

In this guide, we’ve chosen six air purifiers for various-sized apartments, with different features and price points so you can find the one that best suits your needs.

At HouseFresh, we have been reviewing air quality products since 2010. In all these years, we learned not to rely on manufacturers’ claims and the ever-so-glowing marketing materials. That is why we buy products with our own money, so we can write unbiased reviews after we’ve had enough time to evaluate air quality products in our home lab. Every unit we recommend has been thoroughly tested to assess its performance, energy consumption, and noise levels emitted in real-life environments. If you have any questions about our testing process for different types of air quality products, just drop us an email at hello@housefresh.com.

We take all the data we collect from our performance tests and put them in easy-to-read graphs and tables so that you can compare each unit side by side. This also allows us to pick the right air purifiers for different scenarios.

To put this guide together, we used the following criteria to ensure each unit suits those living in apartments.

  • HEPA Filter – Through our research, we concluded that HEPA technology is the most effective way of removing harmful pollutants from the air, so every unit we recommended uses HEPA filters.
  • Sound – We know that sound travels in apartments and sometimes the walls aren’t so thick. That’s why we only recommend air purifiers that are on the quieter side.
  • CADR – Clean Air Delivery Rate shows us how efficient an air purifier will be in a space, so we picked units with a CADR to reflect use in an apartment. 

Staff picks: Top 3 air purifiers for apartments

We know your time is precious, so if you don’t have time to read each review, check out our top three recommendations.

👑 BEST OVERALL💰 FOR TIGHT BUDGETS🛋️ FOR LARGE SPACES
Levoit EverestAirLevoit Core 300SLevoit Core 600S
AIR CLEANING SPEED ⚡13 minutes39 minutes15 minutes
CADR 👩‍🔬360 CFM (612 m3/h)141 CFM (240 m3/h)410 CFM (697 m³/h)
FILTER TECHNOLOGY 💨3-Stage Filtration3-Stage Filtration3-Stage Filtration
MAX ROOM SIZE 📏558 sq. ft.219 sq. ft.635 sq. ft.
WEIGHT ⚖️20.7 lbs (9.38 kg)5.95 lbs (2.7 kg)13.7 lbs (6.2 kg)
OUR REVIEW 🔍Levoit EverestAir ReviewLevoit Core 300S reviewLevoit Core 600S review
PRICE 💵$599.98$149.99$249.99

Last update on 2024-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Now that you know the importance of choosing the right air purifier for your space and needs, scroll through our recommendations to find which one will be the new feature in your apartment.

1. Best overall: Levoit EverestAir 

As soon as we saw this latest offering from Levoit, we knew we had to review it. The first thing that caught our attention was the design of the EverestAir and how different it was from other units in Levoits’ range, like the Core 300S and 600S. Pivoting away from the usual “white box” motif, this looks more like an air purifier designed by Apple, which would add flair to any apartment. 

When we received the EverestAir, we first looked at the filters included with the unit. We found the usual 3-Stage Filtration system included in other Levoit units: a washable pre-filter to catch larger particles, a main filter for tiny airborne particles and an activated carbon filter to deal with odors and gasses. 

This thick filter worked amazingly with the unit’s high-performance fan and cleared our performance testing room of contaminants in just 13 minutes, making it our top recommendation for apartments.

What we really like

Beautiful design, reminiscent of Apple or Dyson products
Filters last up to 12-15 months and are always available on Amazon
It has the ability to adjust the vent angles, something unique to this model
Amazing performance — cleaned our test room in 13 minutes!
Clear and easy-to-use screen and controls

What we think could be better

The initial price is much higher than the Core 600S, even though the 600S can clean the air nearly as fast (15 minutes)
Filter costs are higher but do last longer than cheaper Core series units — up to 15 months
The wheels only roll in one direction

If you’re a tech fan and your apartment’s devices are controlled by app and voice activation, then the EverestAir will fit right in. Available on both iPhone and Android devices, Levoits’ VeSync app allows you to control this air purifier from anywhere in the world. You can adjust settings and fan speeds, schedule and set timers and monitor the air quality in your apartment all from one application. 

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:13 minutes
Air purifier technology:3-Stage Filtration (Pre-filter for large particles, main filter for airborne particles, high-efficiency activated carbon filter for odors and gasses)
Recommended room size:558 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):360 CFM (612 m3/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):18.9L x 8.5W x 23.2H inches (48L x 21.6W x 58.9H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):20.7 lbs (9.38 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24 – 56dB
Filter life:12-15 months
Warranty:2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$87.25 per year
Country of manufacture:China

2. Best budget option: Levoit Core 300S

Living in a small apartment sometimes makes finding room for new things difficult. If space is an issue, we recommend you look at the Levoit Core 300S. It’s small, lightweight, has all the smart features of larger units and is highly effective at removing pollutants from the air.

The 300S is an upgrade of the 300 from Levoits’ Core range. The main difference is the ‘Smart’ technology they’ve added, incorporating Levoits’ AirSight Plus™ technology that monitors the air quality in your apartment in real time.

It connects to the VeSync app for those who like to monitor and control their air purifier from their smartphones as they chill on the sofa.

What we really like

Budget price for great CADR (141 CFM)
Has a color-coded air quality sensor onboard
It comes with a timer and auto mode
It is quiet, even at highest fan speed

What we think could be better

You can’t remove the pre-filter to clean
I wish it came with loose-fill activated carbon

It may be small, but it’s just as powerful, if not more than some larger units on the market. Utilizing Levoit’s signature 3-Stage Filtration System (pre-filter, main filter, activated carbon filter), the 300S cleared all pollutants from the air in our performance testing room in 39 minutes.

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:39 minutes
Air purifier technology:3-Stage Filtration (Pre-filter for large particles, main filter for airborne particles, high-efficiency activated carbon filter for odors and gasses)
Recommended room size:219 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):141 CFM (240 m³)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):8.7L x 8.7W x 14.2H inches (22L x 22W x 36H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):5.95 lbs (2.7 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24 – 48dB
Filter life:6 – 8 months
Manufacturer’s warranty2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$52.56
Country of manufacture:China

3. Best for large apartments: Levoit Core 600S

Living in a large apartment has advantages, but it does mean that you need a higher-performing air purifier that will work effectively in that sized space. We recommend the Levoit Core 600S for its pure cleaning power in larger rooms.

It may not be the prettiest air purifier out there, but what the 600S lacks in looks, it makes up in power. We were amazed when we analyzed the results of our performance tests as this unit cleared our room of contaminants in only 15 minutes (which was a record until EverestAir took the trophy).

The 600S comes with all the smart features you’d expect from a larger air purifier, plus VeSync app connectivity. It has four fan speeds, sleep mode, timer, display lock and light control and auto mode. 

What we really like

It connects to Levoits’ VeSync app
It is energy efficient
Considering its power, it is lightweight at 13.7 lbs
Outstanding performance — cleaned our test room in 15 minutes; it took the pricier EverestAir 13 minutes
High CADR for the cost of the unit

What we think could be better

I wish it looked more like the EverestAir and less like any other appliance from the 2010s
The air quality sensor is on the back not the side

Under the hood is a large filter with HEPASmart technology™ and a high-efficiency Activated Carbon filter with ARC Formula™ to help neutralize apartment odors. This filter, combined with a powerful fan, makes the 600S ideal for large apartments.

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:15 minutes
Air purifier technology:3-Stage Filtration (Pre-filter for large particles, main filter for airborne particles, high-efficiency activated carbon filter for odors and gasses)
Recommended room size:635 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):410 CFM (697 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):12.3 x 12.3 x 23.6 inches (31.3 x 31.3 x 60 cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):13.7 lbs (6.2 kg)
Noise level (measured from 3 ft. away):Speed 1: 40.9 dB
Speed 2: 45.9 dB
Speed 3: 61.4 dB
Filter life:6 months
Electricity consumption (kilowatt-hour):Standby mode: 1.53 kWh
Speed 1: 7.92 kWh
Speed 2: 11.35 kWh
Speed 3: 21.15 kWh
Speed 4: 49.27 kWh
Estimated running costs (electricity consumption + filter replacements):$107.29 per year
Manufacturer’s warranty:2 years
Country of manufacture:China

4. Best warranty: Alen BreatheSmart Flex

Alen has been manufacturing air purifiers for over two decades, so it’s no surprise that their units sell worldwide. With units like the 75i and 45i in their arsenal, Alen caters to various spaces, but for apartments, we recommend their BreatheSmart Flex.

It may look unassuming with its plain front panel, but the Flex is a secret weapon when it comes to removing pollution from the air in your apartment. When we put the Flex through our performance tests, it cleared all the contaminants from our room in 34 minutes.

A great feature from Alen is the range of H13 HEPA filters you can choose from to customize your Flex to your and your apartment’s needs.

  • B4-Pure Filter – Captures allergens, dust, mold and germs
  • B4-Fresh Filter – All of the above + carbon to absorb typical apartment odors 
  • B4-Odor Filter – All of the above + odor neutralizer to absorb pet odors and other unwanted smells 
  • FL40-H Heavy Smoke Filter – All of the above + 2.3 lbs of active carbon to absorb chemicals, VOCs, and smoke

The controls are simple. You get a timer, display lock and four fan speeds. Unfortunately, it has no auto mode but an air quality sensor that sends information to the AQI color ring.

What we really like

The variety of filter options
It is extremely energy efficient
It comes with a lifetime warranty
It’s available in six different colors

What we think could be better

I wish it had an auto-mode
Replacement filter costs are on the higher side

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:34 minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 HEPA with an option for activated charcoal (Fresh, Odorcell and Heavy Smoke options available)
Recommended room size:700 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):225 CFM (Smoke:  191 / Pollen: 245 / Dust: 209) 
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):25H x 15W x 8.5D inches (63.5 x 38.1 x 21.59 cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):15 lbs (6.8 kg)
Noise level (measured from 3 ft. away):Speed 1: 35.7 dB
Speed 2: 45.5 dB
Speed 3: 50.7 dB
Filter life:Every 9-12 months
Electricity consumption (kilowatt-hour):Standby mode: 0.8 kWh
Speed 1: 2.9 kWh
Speed 2: 6.3 kWh
Speed 3: 14 kWh
Speed 4: 24.2 kWh
Estimated running costs (electricity consumption + filter replacements):$94.23 per year
Manufacturer’s warranty:Lifetime (with product registration & active filter subscription)
Country of manufacture:China

5. Best Ionizer Function: Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto 

Blueair is renowned for the designs of its air purifiers. They understand that fresh, clean air doesn’t have to come from an ugly white box. We’re big fans of Blueair units as we’ve tested the 411, 411+, 211+, and the Pure Fan, which are all great units, but we’ve gone for the 311 Auto as a “must have” for your apartment.

The 311 Auto is ideal for those who take pride in their apartment decor. Blueair knows that not everyone’s tastes are the same, so they’ve made the 311 customizable with interchangeable pre-filters that cover the body in various colors so you can get one to match the rest of your room.

When you twist off the top, you’ll find one of Blueairs’ signature HEPASilent filter with loose-fill activated carbon. HEPASilent filters use an electrical charge to pull particles in and trap them, meaning the fan doesn’t need to work as hard, making it quieter. 

It proved to work well in our performance tests, clearing the contaminants from the air in only 21 minutes.

What we really like

You can customize the color of the pre-filter
It uses Blueairs’ signature HEPASilent technology
The filters are easily removed to replace
Simple one-button operation

What we think could be better

No timer 
Would like to see app connectivity

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:21 minutes
Air purifier technology:True HEPASilent filter with activated charcoal
Recommended room size:388 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):250 CFM (425 m3/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):20.5H x 10.2W x 10.2D inches (52.1H x 25.9W x 25.9D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):6.8 lbs (3.1 kg)
Noise level (measured from 3 ft. away):
Filter life:6 months
Electricity consumption (kilowatt-hour):Standby mode: 0 kWh
Speed 1: 2.61 kWh
Speed 2: 5.74 kWh
Speed 3: 32.01 kWh
Estimated running costs (electricity consumption + filter replacements):$116.77 per year
Manufacturer’s warranty:1 year (can be extended to 2 years by creating a Blueair account and registering the unit within 60 days of purchase)
Country of manufacture:Designed and engineered in Sweden, assembled in China

6. Best smart option: Mila 

Nowadays, the devices in our homes can be controlled through remotes, smartphone apps and voice commands. If you have these features in your apartment, you want to keep that trend going with your air purifier. That’s why we’ve chosen the Mila air purifier for this guide.

You can set this unit to suit your needs with eight modes focusing on energy efficiency, sound levels, scheduling and other settings. You can sit and go through each menu or turn on Automagik mode, which uses the unit’s big brain to control everything automatically.

You don’t need to touch your new device as you can handle everything from its smartphone app available for iPhone and Android.

What we really like

The app is well-designed and easy to navigate
The sensor detects PM1, PM2.5, PM10, VOCs, CO2, CO1, and temperature
You can choose which filter best suits your needs
Auto mode handles everything if you’re not technically minded

What we think could be better

Replacement filter costs are on the high side
You’re paying a lot extra for its smart features

When you buy the Mila, there are seven different filters, making it customizable. From the standard basic H12 HEPA to the “Overreactor” H14 HEPA with 1.25 lbs of activated carbon, the Mila can take care of any pollutants you throw at it. It cleared our performance testing room in 35 minutes.

SPECS & FEATURES

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:35 minutes
Air purifier technology:HEPA (ranges from H12-H14) + Activated charcoal (granular carbon)
Recommended room size:1000 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):263 CFM (447 m³/hr)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):12L x 12W x 15H inches (30.48L x 30.48W x 38.1H cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):18 lbs (8 kg)
Noise level (low – high):24dB – 74dB
Filter life:6 months 
Manufacturer’s warranty:1 year
Estimated energy consumption:$52.56 per year
Country of manufacture:China

What to look for in an air purifier for your apartment

If you live in an apartment, you’ll know that sharing a building with others can come with its own challenges. It’s not just fumes from the cars outside or noise from your neighbors I’m talking about; it’s the pollution that travels from other apartments into your home. Contaminants can range from cooking odors to smoke to bacteria and viruses.

Introducing an air purifier can help eliminate these airborne pollutants by filtering them through a tightly woven maze of fibers and activated carbon, trapping them inside your unit. That is assuming you’ve picked the right unit for the job.

When you’re looking to buy an air purifier for your apartment, you’ll need to consider the following:

1. The size of your space

Not all air purifiers are created equal. Some are suited for larger rooms and some are for smaller ones. It’s essential to ensure the air purifier you choose is compatible with the space you’re using it in. We put each product’s recommended square footage in our Specs & Features table.

If you know what the size of the rooms in your apartment where you want to place the air purifier, you can use our calculator below to find out what CADR rating the unit will need to have in order to clean the air effectively:

2. The sound it produces

Keeping noise levels down for harmonious living is a common courtesy when sharing a wall with other residents. We list each air purifier’s noise in decibels and make videos of them running at different fan speeds on our YouTube channel to give you an idea of the sound they emit.

3. The filters 

Different brands use different filters in their air purifiers, but HEPA technology is the most effective filter for removing microscopic airborne particles. We recommend that you choose an air purifier that contains a HEPA filter and ideally an activated carbon filter so it can help with particles as well as odors and gasses.

Common questions about air quality in apartments

When the dinner bell rings, the aromas from several households in the same building can be overwhelming. You can do certain things not to add your meal to this cacophony of odor. 

Use as much ventilation as possible by turning on extractor fans and opening your windows.

If ventilation isn’t possible, introduce an air purifier with a packed activated carbon filter. Not only will your unit remove odors from the air by trapping the particles in its filter, but it will also eliminate any smoke from your kitchen (if you’re as good at cooking as me, you’ll need to).

Check out other methods of keeping cooking smells at bay with our guide of 21 Ways To Get Rid Of Cooking Smells 

Living in an apartment in the heart of the city can be difficult with all the pollution creeping into your home from the streets outside. Air purifiers that use HEPA technology and activated carbon filters are designed to remove at least 99% of these harmful airborne pollutants from the air by trapping them in their filters.

If you live in a high-traffic area, check out our guide to the 8 Best Air Purifiers For Traffic Pollution guide.

Whether you enjoy smoking weed or not, you can’t deny that the odor it produces is, shall we say, potent and can travel far, even invading the noses in the apartment down the hall. 

The simple answer is YES; an air purifier can remove the smell of weed from your home, but only a unit with a filter packed with activated carbon. It’s this that eliminates odors from the air through a process called adsorption.

If the smell of weed is an issue in your apartment, check out our guide on How To Get Rid of Weed Smell From Neighbors and 8 Best Air Purifiers for Weed Smoke.

Wrapping up

When it comes to pollution, living in an apartment comes with its own challenges. There are pollutants from the streets outside, contaminants created inside your home and those that travel from the surrounding residents in your building.

Finding the right air purifier for your space can make a big difference to the quality of the air you breathe every day and can save you from some nasty adverse health problems.

If you follow this guide, measure your space accurately, and consider which features suit your needs, you’ll find the ideal air purifier for your apartment.

At HouseFresh, we have been reviewing air quality products since 2010. In all these years, we learned not to rely on manufacturers’ claims and the ever-so-glowing marketing materials. That is why we buy products with our own money, so we can write unbiased reviews after we’ve had enough time to evaluate air quality products in our home lab. Every unit we recommend has been thoroughly tested to assess its performance, energy consumption, and noise levels emitted in real-life environments. If you have any questions about our testing process for different types of air quality products, just drop us an email at hello@housefresh.com.

Last update on 2024-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Teddy Booth

Teddy joined HouseFresh in 2019 as a senior content producer, producing written content as well as product photography and YouTube videos. He supports Danny as a product tester and is our lead how-to writer.