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The Best 4 Air Purifiers for 2022

Last updated December 1, 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

In case you didn’t know, we perform air-cleaning performance experiments for the air purifiers we review here at HouseFresh.

We fill our home lab with incense smoke and track how fast an air purifier can clean so we can confidently understand how well the air purifiers perform their primary job of removing particle pollutants from the air.

All our tests are done in the same room using incense smoke to create pollutants in the air before we can get the air purifiers to do their magic. Throughout the test, we use our Purple Air Indoor Sensor to track how quickly PM1ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3, and PM10ug/m3 are removed. 

We gather air quality data every two minutes to visualize performance with nifty charts we produce with Flourish (see an example above). On top of this, we track energy consumption with the help of an electricity usage monitor, and we measure noise levels in decibels across all power levels of the unit.

This year, we tested 40 different air purifiers in our home lab. The result was a long spreadsheet full of data points that allowed us to compare units of all different types and sizes – from battery-powered portable air purifiers to the largest purifiers for use in rooms over 1000 sqft.

In 2022, we uncovered incredible air purifiers that blew us away with their efficiency and cleaning power. But not everything was good news: we also identified a small number of air purifiers that should be avoided due to their lack of cleaning power, high energy costs and poor value for money.

While there was some correlation between price and cleaning power, there were also many examples of overpriced machines that performed way less than even our lowest budget recommendation.

TL;DR: The 4 Air Purifiers That Blew Us Away in 2022

Before we jump into our detailed review, here are what we think are the best 4 air purifiers for 2022:

Model
Best Budget Option
Best for Large Spaces
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
Smart Air Blast Mini Air Purifier (Blast Mini with HEPA filter)
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Large Room, Covers up to 3175 Sq. Ft, Smart WiFi and PM2.5 Monitor, H13 True HEPA Filter Removes 99.97% of Particles, Pet Allergies, Smoke, Dust, Auto Mode, Alexa Control
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
High CADR score for the price, and it has auto mode
Cleaned our test room in 17 minutes and has a maximum sound of 49dB
Currently our best performer at removing pollutants from our test room
Powerful cleaning power with high-quality filters, especially the amount of carbon that is included
Cons
Hard to find on Amazon and you will need more than 1 for bigger spaces
Large unit with no auto mode or smart features
Large unit that takes a lot of space and filter has less carbon than the IQAir model
High price and no smart features
CADR
226 CFM / 384 m³/h
435 CFM
410 CFM / 697 m³/h
330 CFM / 560 m³/hr
Filter Technology
Air inlet grille, washable pre-filter, and 3-stage H13 true HEPA filterts
H13 HEPA Filter and activated charcoal
H13 True HEPA filter and integrated activated charcoal filter
Pre-max filter, V5-Cell Filter, HyperHEPA filter
Recommended Room Size
322 ft²
up to 915 ft²
635 ft² to 1,588 ft²
450 ft² to 1125 ft²
Weight
8.6 kg / 19 lbs
26.8 kg / 59 lbs
6.2 kg / 13.7 lbs
16 kg / 35 lbs
Price
$59.99
$599.00
$299.99
$899.00
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
High CADR score for the price, and it has auto mode
Cons
Hard to find on Amazon and you will need more than 1 for bigger spaces
CADR
226 CFM / 384 m³/h
Filter Technology
Air inlet grille, washable pre-filter, and 3-stage H13 true HEPA filterts
Recommended Room Size
322 ft²
Weight
8.6 kg / 19 lbs
Price
$59.99
More Details
Style
Smart Air Blast Mini Air Purifier (Blast Mini with HEPA filter)
Pros
Cleaned our test room in 17 minutes and has a maximum sound of 49dB
Cons
Large unit with no auto mode or smart features
CADR
435 CFM
Filter Technology
H13 HEPA Filter and activated charcoal
Recommended Room Size
up to 915 ft²
Weight
26.8 kg / 59 lbs
Price
$599.00
More Details
Best for Large Spaces
Style
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Large Room, Covers up to 3175 Sq. Ft, Smart WiFi and PM2.5 Monitor, H13 True HEPA Filter Removes 99.97% of Particles, Pet Allergies, Smoke, Dust, Auto Mode, Alexa Control
Pros
Currently our best performer at removing pollutants from our test room
Cons
Large unit that takes a lot of space and filter has less carbon than the IQAir model
CADR
410 CFM / 697 m³/h
Filter Technology
H13 True HEPA filter and integrated activated charcoal filter
Recommended Room Size
635 ft² to 1,588 ft²
Weight
6.2 kg / 13.7 lbs
Price
$299.99
More Details
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
Powerful cleaning power with high-quality filters, especially the amount of carbon that is included
Cons
High price and no smart features
CADR
330 CFM / 560 m³/hr
Filter Technology
Pre-max filter, V5-Cell Filter, HyperHEPA filter
Recommended Room Size
450 ft² to 1125 ft²
Weight
16 kg / 35 lbs
Price
$899.00
More Details

Why You Should Trust This List

Most lists of “best air purifiers” are nothing more than a ranking of the current bestsellers, regardless of actual capabilities. If you pair that with the fact that there are a ton of air purifiers that promise the world with their marketing but fail to deliver, then you end up with countless publishers recommending crappy units with big marketing budgets behind them.

We don’t want to contribute to that.

That is why here at HouseFresh, we test and review every air purifier we recommend in our home lab. We can then compare them using first-hand data that doesn’t rely on manufacturers’ specifications. Here’s what we do:

  • 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 it takes the air purifier to reduce the levels of PM1ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3, and PM10ug/m3 particles in the air.
  • We test smart modes and app support for both Apple and Android
  • We track energy consumption with an electricity usage monitor.
  • We measure noise levels in decibels across all power levels available.

One of the main reasons we test so many air purifiers every year is so we can identify which are the best units overall for that current year. As of 2022, based on our in-depth reviews and evaluations, these are the four best air purifiers for most people:


1. Taotronics AP003 – Best Budget

I discovered the Taotronics AP003 on Twitter as I follow several indoor air quality experts on there, and this unit was regularly shared as one of the best they had evaluated, especially when it came to air cleaning performance per $ spent, so I knew I had to test it for myself. 

The reported CADR scores of the Taotronics AP003 were impressive; it has the same level of cleaning power as a $200 air purifier but for $79.99! When we tested the unit in our test lab, it managed to clean our room in 29 minutes which matched the CADR scores provided.

The fact that this also comes with an auto-mode and screen that gives you the pollutant level to the nearest ug/m3 was the cherry on top and makes this air purifier an easy one to recommend for 2022.

OneAP-003 won’t be suitable for larger rooms, with a recommended max of 322 square feet, but thanks to its low price, it makes sense to add additional units to double your cleaning power, and it’s still cheaper than larger units with less cleaning power. Many schools will use multiple units in one classroom for a large cleaning power for low initial and long-term cost and this has been shown to reduce COVID-19 according to the CDC.

There are no app features with this air purifier, but it does have an auto-mode which means the unit will switch on automatically if it detects pollutants. I was also super impressed by the electricity usage of this unit, with a maximum draw of 29.2 watts and a maximum sound of 52 dB.

If you want the best air cleaning power for your budget, the Taotronics AP003 is currently the best option in the world.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:H13 HEPA with activated carbon pellets
CADR (CFM / m³/h):226 CFM / 384 m³/hr
Cost per CADR CFM:35 cents
Recommended room size:Up to 322 sq. ft/30 m²
Filter life:3-6 months
Noise level (low – high):≤32dB – 52dB
Cost per month for filter:HEPA and activated charcoal total:$5.83
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):21.8 x 14.1 x 7.9in / 554 x 358 x 200mm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):18 lbs / 8.16 kg
Energy consumption:$61.26 per year
Time to clean our test room:29 minutes

What We Really Like:

👍 The best air purifier for the money we have ever tested
👍 Screen clearly shows the pollutant levels, so there is no need for an air quality monitor
👍 Super efficient fan that doesn’t draw lots of electricity or create too much noise
👍 Filter replacement costs are fair and at the lower end compared to competitor models

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Amount of carbon is lower than the IQAir and other larger air purifiers
👎 No app support

2. Smart Air Blast Mini – Best Quiet Air Purifier

If you don’t want to deal with many air purifiers for use in one large room, you will be interested in an air purifier like the Smart Air mini. Similar to the Taotronics AP-003, it keeps things simple with a huge HEPA H13 filter and an optional activated charcoal filter. When we tested it in our test room, it cleaned all pollutants in our test room in 17 minutes and more impressively managed to do this without breaking 49dB, which is less than the sound of light rainfall!

Smart Air Blast Mini

The Smart Air Mini is one of the quietest air purifiers we have tested and also has a high level of single-unit air-cleaning performance with a reported CADR of 435 CFM. If you value quiet and low cost in filters, then the Smart air mini blast is the perfect choice for large rooms up to 900sq. ft. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:H13 HEPA Filter and activated charcoal
CADR (CFM / m³/h):435 CFM / 740 m³/h
Cost per CADR CFM:$1.37
Recommended room size:915 sq. ft. 
Filter life:33 months
Noise level (low – high):36 – 49 dB
Cost per month for filter:HEPA: $3.12 Activated Charcoal: $4.9 Total: $8.02
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):22.6L x 13W x 24.8H inches / 57.5L × 33W × 63H cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):59 lbs / 26.8 kg
Electricity costs per year:$284.38 per year
Time to clean our test room:17 Minutes

What We Really Like:

👍 It cleaned our test room in 17 minutes – the second fastest
👍 HEPA Filter replacement costs are some of the cheapest on the market
👍 Wheels make it easy to move into different positions in your house
👍 Quiet with a maximum sound level of 49dB

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 Cost per CFM is lower than other air purifiers on this list
👎 No app support or auto mode, which didn’t bother us but is worth considering if these features are important

3. Levoit Core 600S – Best for Large Rooms

The Levoit Core 600S is currently the fastest air purifier we have tested in our home lab for removing PM1ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3, and PM10ug/m3 from our test room. It’s a large machine which makes sense considering that HEPA and activated charcoal filters require a large amount of air to be pushed through to work effectively. 

For a huge space, the Levoit Core 600S is the air purifier to beat, although it runs loud at its highest speed, hitting 55dB.

As with all Levoit air purifiers, it comes with app support that allows you to access the air purifier without being at home. The auto-mode works well with the Levoit Core 600S, quickly switching its fans on as soon as it detects particular pollutants. 

You need to be aware that the quality sensor is at the back of the air purifier, so be careful not to keep it too close to the wall as this will block the air access. 

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:H13 True HEPA filter
CADR (CFM / m³/h):410 CFM / 697 m³/h
Cost per CADR CFM:72 cents
Recommended room size:Up to 3175 sq. ft.
Filter life:6 months
Noise level (low – high):26 – 55 dB
Cost per month for filter:One filter with HEPA and Activated Charcoal: $11.66
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):12.3L x 12.3W x 23.6H inches / 31.3 x 31.3 x 60 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:

👍 The fastest air purifier to clean our test room we have tested
👍 App support and auto-mode that quickly adjust to pollutants in the air
👍 Value for money when compared to other units that have similar air cleaning performance
👍 Combined carbon and H13 HEPA for easy replacement

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 A large unit that wouldn’t be appropriate for use in smaller rooms
👎 Would like to see more carbon used in the filters

4. IQAir Healthpro Plus – Best Quality

The IQAir Healthpro Plus is a challenge to recommend to most people as it costs close to $900, but after testing this unit in our lab and using it in my own home over the past 12 months, it’s still the unit that I would recommend if budget is not your primary concern. 

As soon as I opened the box to this air purifier, I knew it would be a little different. It came with a signed confirmation of the in-house testing which had been performed on my unit at the factory in Switzerland. Design-wise, it’s pretty standard, but when you open it up, you see that your $900 is spent on the quality of the filters. 

The HyperHEPA is IQAir’s patented filter system that can stop smaller particles than standard HEPA and only needs replacing every 3 years if used for 10hrs per day.

The V5-Cell is what deals with gasses and odors, and it contains large amounts of activated carbon. This is something you don’t see with budget units and needs replacing every 2 years, assuming 10hrs of usage per day. 

The IQAir Healthpro Plus is not without its downsides, with the main issue being the initial cost of purchase, energy costs, and that the filters have a high price compared with other air purifiers – the HyperHEPA costs $199, and the V5 Cell costs $99. 

If you have the money and are ok with this unit costing more, then this is the air purifier that is at the top of my list for 2022.

SPECS & FEATURES

Purifier technology:Pre-max filter, V5-Cell Filter, HyperHEPA filter
CADR (CFM / m³/h):330 CFM / 560 m³/hr
Cost per CADR CFM:$2.72
Recommended room size:450 sq ft to 1125 sq ft 
Filter life:HyperHEPA – 4 years / V5 Cell – 2 years
Noise level (low – high):25dB – 69dB
Cost per month for filter:HEPA: $4.1 Charcoal: $4.3 Pre-filter: $5 Total: $13.40
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):28H x 18W x 16D inches /  71H x 38W x 41D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):16 kg / 35 lbs
Energy consumption:$467.08
Time to clean our test room25 minutes

What We Really Like:

👍 HyperHEPA is one of the highest-quality filters on the market
👍 A large amount of activated carbon – over 5lbs in the V5-Cell filter
👍 Powerful fan that is capable of pulling air through both filters and the pre-filter
👍 Wheels included for moving to other rooms easily

What We Think Could Be Better:

👎 High electricity costs and filter replacements are more costly than most competitors at this cleaning power
👎 Design is very standard, and it also lacks smart features or auto mode

The 3 Air Purifiers We Don’t Recommend in 2022

Testing so many air purifiers, we also uncover several devices that fail to meet even basic standards for air cleaning. As part of our goal to help consumers look beyond the marketing hype, we wanted to share those units that didn’t match expectations.

1. Molekule Mini

Molekule has made a name for itself with its slick advertising on social media and its patented new technology PECO. When we finally got to test the Molekule Mini (priced at $399 at the time), we were very disappointed with its ability to clean particulate matter from the air.

Even after running the unit for many hours, we found it had difficulty in removing all particles and was only able to get the air quality to safe after 1 hour and 19 minutes. Considering our test lab is the smallest room in our house, it’s hard to see that the Molekule mini would be a good choice for cleaning the air in any situation.

While the design and size seem to be the perfect fit for the modern home, the sound at full power hit 85dB, which is the loudest we have ever tested.

Why We Suggest You Avoid This Unit:

👎 Very poor at removing particles from the air, which is the main health benefit of an air purifier
👎 Poor value for money. At $399, you can find units that can clean much quicker and for less money

2. AROEVE MK01

Sometimes you do get what you pay for with air purifiers, and the AROEVE MK01 at $59.99 just failed to deliver in our lab tests. Whilst they don’t publish CADR scores for this unit, you might see the 4.5-star review on Amazon and assume it’s a hidden gem. 

When we tested it, we found it took 2 hours and 43 minutes* to clean our room to WHO guidelines and had the same issue as the Molekule Mini: it couldn’t reduce the pollutant level to zero. 

While it’s cheap and small, it will do very little to clean the air in your home, so we would suggest paying the extra $20 and getting the Taotronics AP-003, our top-budget air purifier for 2022.

Why We Suggest You Avoid This Unit:

👎 The size is very small, which means the fan has to work very hard, creating a lot of noise and drawing a lot of power
👎 Only uses a HEPA filter, so it does nothing for odors or VOCs and has no option to add an activated carbon filter

3. GermGuardian AC4825e

This air purifier, for some reason, still ends up on “best lists” from major publishers, and I don’t understand why.

When we tested this HEPA unit with a UV filter, we found it very poor at removing particles from the air. It took 1 hour and 44 minutes to remove all pollutants from our test lab. 

This means it took the GermGuardian AC482e over one hour longer than our top budget choice from last year, the Levoit Core 300, which managed to clean our room in just 40 minutes.

Why We Suggest You Avoid This Unit:

👎 Poor cleaning performance for the money – use your money elsewhere
👎 Dislike the use of UV-C. It seems gimmicky and only adds electricity costs with no increase in effectiveness

Common Questions About Air Purifiers

🤔 Is it worth getting an air purifier?

Air purifiers that use HEPA and activated charcoal are one of the best ways of keeping your home air clean of particulate matter, gasses, VOCs and odors.

HEPA is the main thing to look for if you care about particulate matter, such as pollen, for those with allergies, as HEPA has been proven time and again to be effective at removing even particles as small as viruses. 

If you have more of an issue with gasses or odors, then you will want to look for an air purifier with a large activated charcoal filter, such as the Austin Healthmate; we also have an extensive list of the best VOC air purifiers that will be useful for this type of pollutant vs. particulate matter.

The air purifiers we recommend above all use HEPA and activated charcoal filters. 

But please don’t just take my word for it; check out our article – are air purifiers a waste of money? – it includes references to 10 academic studies that show how effective these types of technologies are at removing pollutants from the air.

🤔 What is the most highly recommended air purifier?

Based on our performance test and reviews, our top air purifier would be the IQAir Healthpro Plus for those who don’t mind paying more and for those on a budget, we would recommend the Taotronics AP-003. For larger spaces, the Levoit Core 600S is our top-recommended unit for 2022, and if you value your quiet, you can’t go wrong with the Smart Air Blast Mini.

🤔 What is the best natural air purifier?

Open a window! 

It might seem simple, but allowing air to enter and leave a room can be a great way to remove pollutants that have built up over time. CO2 also naturally builds over time as you breathe, so you should try and keep your home as ventilated as possible. 


Why Should You Trust HouseFresh?

Far too many “air purifier reviews” are made by people with little understanding of the air purifier industry. On top of this, most reviews are incredibly shallow and based solely on comparing manufacturers’ data. This means rankings of top units are made without experiential testing to compare the real-life performance of the many different air purifiers in the market.

Here at HouseFresh, we bring together experts who have been evaluating air purifiers for the last 10+ years, utilizing a solid process for real-life performance testing. That is why we can reveal the true reality of an air purifier based on actual data we have gathered and analyzed ourselves in our own homes. Add to that our knowledge (and borderline obsession) with the industry, and you will get helpful reviews that will cut through all the marketing BS manufacturers like to push on people. 

Our ultimate goal with all our air purifier reviews is to help more consumers look beyond the marketing jargon and see clearly which air purifiers do an excellent job of cleaning the air. 

That’s why:

1. We test all our air purifiers using a Purple Air Indoor sensor that allows us to have real-time data on pollutant levels for particles sized PM1ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3, and PM10ug/m3 and share this data with our readers.

2. We compare the actual real-life performance between units thanks to the fact that we test all our units in the same room performing the same task. This allows us to offer an easy-to-understand, jargon-free answer to the question, “how well will this air purifier clean the air in my room?”

3. We use the air purifiers in our own homes to evaluate long-term user experience, as well as keep an eye on long-term costs, such as how often its filters need replacing under normal conditions.

4. We are continuously evaluating the latest air purifier models on the market and identifying those that we want to test. To give you an idea, as of December 2022, we have tested 42 air purifiers in our home lab.

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