The most effective commercial air purifiers, based on our tests

By
Updated on May 15, 2024
Written by
Danny Ashton
Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers since 2010. He is our lead tester and reviewer, and is also the human in front of the camera in our YouTube channel.

With many of us spending a large proportion of our time in commercial spaces, whether for pleasure or running a business, the last thing we need is to worry about the air we breathe. But the Covid-19 pandemic changed all that.

However, thanks to nearby traffic, industrial pollution, or even exposure to germs and viruses from the people we meet, we all find ourselves increasingly vulnerable to poor air quality

Investing in an air purifier is one of the most effective ways to improve the air quality in your commercial space. Those equipped with HEPA filtration can capture particles as small as 0.1 microns, which the EPA state offers an excellent solution to eradicating airborne bacteria and viruses. 

As well as helping control bacteria and viruses, an air purifier will also keep mold, dust and even rodents at bay. By filtering out any polluting particles that pass through the purifier, the contents of your space will also reap the benefit of cleaner air — keeping valuable stock, equipment and tools in tip-top condition.  

If you plan to also work in the same room as your air purifier, then be sure to look at how much sound is generated as even 60 dB can be too high for concentration work, so look for units that create less noise if people are going to work close by.

Be aware of companies selling overpriced air purifiers targeting commercial customers. In its simplest terms, an air purifier is a fan and a filter. We have seen many examples of overpriced units marketed to businesses and schools that overpromise yet fail to deliver.

In nearly most cases, you are better of with a unit from a brand that has been around for several years and is backed up by many third-party tests, including the ones we conduct here at HouseFresh.

Once we have all the data on performance and calculated short- and long-term costs, we can compare all our units.

When looking to recommend the best air purifiers for a commercial setting, we kept in mind the following:

  • High CADR level – Commercial spaces are usually larger than residential, so you will need lots of power to clean all the air in the area as quickly as possible.
  • HEPA filter – HEPA-based filtration has decades of academic data to back it up and is proven to remove even tiny particles like viruses.
  • Activated charcoal filter – For dealing with gasses and strong odors, you will need activated carbon filtration – and large amounts if you have severe issues with VOCs or other gas pollutants. 

If you don’t want to read our complete list and just want to find out what the best air commercial air purifiers are right now, then check out our top picks below:

Staff picks: The best air purifiers for a commercial space

👑 BEST OVERALL💰 FOR TIGHT BUDGETS🛋️ FOR LARGE SPACES
Levoit Core 600SSmart Blast MiniAustin Air HealthMate
AIR CLEANING SPEED ⚡15 minutes12 minutes36 minutes
CADR 👩‍🔬Dust: 365 CFM
Smoke: 363 CFM
Pollen: 428 CFM
450 CFM150 CFM
FILTER TECHNOLOGY 💨H13 True HEPA filter with Activated CarbonH13 HEPA FilterCarbon Filter, HEPA Filter, Pre-Filter, Large Particle Pre-Filter
MAX ROOM SIZE 📏584 sq. ft703 sq. ft.217 sq. ft.
WEIGHT ⚖️13.7 lbs (6.2 kg)59 lbs (26.8 kg)47 lbs (21.3 kg)
OUR REVIEW 🔍Levoit Core 600S reviewSmart Blast Mini reviewAustin Air HealthMate review
PRICE 💵$249.99$599.00$715.00

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Be sure to check out our complete list of commercial air purifiers, as you might have specific needs that are not met by our top three choices:

1. Best overall: Levoit Core 600S

A fast-acting air purifier, the Core 600S cleaned our test room of particulate pollutants in 15 minutes. This is one of the best-performing air purifiers on the market, especially considering its cost.

The Levoit Core 600S is the most powerful in the Core range and has a CADR of 410 CFM, which will be enough to clean the air in even the largest commercial spaces. It comes with smart features like a screen that shows the current level of air quality and can be set to automatically adjust the fans depending on the current level of pollutants. 

As with all the CORE S series air purifiers, it has app support and can be adjusted from any location on Earth. Those worried about working will be happy to see a maximum sound level of 61 dB and for such a high level of air cleaning power, the fact that it costs just over $50 a year will make your financial team happy. 

What we really like

Great air cleaning power to $ ratio – 80 cents per CADR.
The air quality sensor gives you the exact amount of 2.5ug/m3 particles in the air.
It costs less than $80 to use 24/7 365 days a year, energy-wise.
It is lightweight so you can move it between different rooms, if required.

What we think could be better

The pre-filter is attached to the filter and can’t be removed to clean it without having to remove the entire filter.
The air quality sensor is on the back, so there might be issues when there is a small space between the wall and the air purifier.

HouseFresh rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our 728 cubic feet test room (with the device running at top speed):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 (4.8 air changes per hour):584 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):Dust: 373 CFM
Smoke: 377 CFM
Pollen: 437 CFM
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)
Filter life:6 months
Noise level in decibels (measured from 3 ft. away with a sound level meter):Speed 1: 40.9 dB
Speed 2: 45.9 dB
Speed 3: 61.4 dB
Electricity consumption in watts (recorded with an electricity usage monitor):Standby mode: 1.53 watts
Speed 1: 7.92 watts
Speed 2: 11.35 watts
Speed 3: 21.15 watts
Speed 4: 49.27 watts
Estimated running cost (electricity consumption + official filter replacement):$195.13 per year
Cost per CADR cfm (based on dust CFM as reported by AHAM):$0.80
Manufacturer’s warranty:2 years
Country of manufacture:China

2. Best for offices: Smart Blast Mini

The Smart Blast Mini is not a small air purifier, but it does a great job of cleaning much air without creating too much noise. At its highest speed, it only hit 54dB, which is one of the lowest we have seen and especially impressive considering this unit cleaned our test room in 12 minutes – the fastest unit we have tested.

The Smart Blast Mini has a CADR of 450 CFM, one of the largest we have tested here at HouseFresh, weighing 59 lbs. Thankfully the Smart Blast Mini comes on wheels and is easily moved to new locations. 

Recently, Smart Blast air purifiers have been used by singers at concerts to reduce the risk of COVID-19. They are not the cheapest units, but given the power level and small amounts of sound, you can easily see how these air purifiers could be a great investment for a commercial environment. 

What we really like

It offers a high CADR, which matches the unbeaten results of our air cleaning performance test.
It is super quiet, reaching only 54 dB when running at its top fan speed — perfect for rooms where people are concentrating. 
Fair-priced filters that only need replacing every two years
Simple functions — you are not paying for any bells or whistles.

What we think could be better

It uses a high level of power 122.7 watts at the highest speed.
It is a heavy unit, but it comes with wheels, which make it easy to move from room to room.

HouseFresh rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our 728 cubic feet test room (with the device running at top speed):12 minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 HEPA filter (and optional activated carbon filter)
Recommended room size (4.8 air changes per hour):703 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (estimated CADR):435 CFM
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)
Filter life:13 months
Noise level in decibels (measured from 3 ft. away with a sound level meter):Speed 1: 44.9 dB
Speed 2: 51.2 dB
Speed 3: 56.3 dB
Electricity consumption in watts (recorded with an electricity usage monitor):Standby mode: 0 watts
Speed 1: 51.9 watts
Speed 2: 87.4 watts
Speed 3: 122.7 watts
Estimated running cost (electricity consumption + official filter replacement):$311.89 per year
Cost per CADR cfm (based on dust CFM as reported by AHAM):$1.38
Manufacturer’s warranty:1 year
Country of manufacture:China

3. Best for offices where VOCs and smells are an issue: Austin Air HealthMate

Most consumer air purifiers are aimed at particulate pollutants like pollen, dust and bacteria. This means that if you have any issue with VOC or gas pollutants like formaldehyde, you will find most air purifiers are just not good enough. The Austin HealthMate comes with 15 lbs of activated carbon and zeolite, perfect for removing gas pollutants from your air.

The Austin has been making air purifiers since the 1990s and has the U.S. government as a client. While it’s likely overkill for most homes, for commercial applications, the Austin Healthmate is at the top of our list for those worried about gas pollutants. 

The combined filter includes HEPA and Activated charcoal and lasts five years before needing replacement, which means their filter costs align with even the most budget air purifier. It requires a lot of power to drive air through the large fan, so it uses quite a bit of energy, and it hits 62dB, which is an issue for those wanting to concentrate while it is running. 

What we really like

15lbs of activated carbon and zeolite, which is one of the most significant amounts we have seen for a commercial air purifier.
Filters are not cheap but only need replacing every five years, so costs work out to be some of the most affordable in the market
A simple 3-speed control switch that anyone will understand.

What we think could be better

While it’s heavy, it has wheels, so it can easily be moved.
It doesn’t have smart features or auto-mode.
It hits 147.6 watts at the highest speed, so it is a little power-hungry.

HouseFresh rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our 728 cubic feet test room (with the device running at top speed):37 minutes
Air purifier technology:Large particle pre-filter, medium particle pre-filter, HEPA filter and activated carbon filter
Recommended room size (estimated by HouseFresh to achieve 4.8 air changes per hour):234 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):Estimated: 150 CFM
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):23H x 14.5W x 14.5D inches (58.4H x 36.8W x 36.8D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):20.41 lbs (9.26 kg)
Filter life:5 years
Noise level in decibels (measured from 3 ft. away with a sound level meter):Speed 1: 42.5 dB
Speed 2: 53.2 dB
Speed 3: 61.5 dB
Electricity consumption in watts (recorded with an electricity usage monitor):Standby mode: 0 watts
Speed 1: 61.1 watts
Speed 2: 85.05 watts
Speed 3: 147.6 watts
Estimated running cost (electricity consumption + official filter replacement):$283.03 per year
Cost per CADR cfm (based on dust CFM as reported by AHAM):$4.80
Manufacturer’s warranty:5 years
Country of manufacture:U.S. (Buffalo, New York)

4. IQAir HealthPro Plus

If there is one name you will know from the world of air purifiers, it will be IQAir. Founded in 1863, the Swiss company is one of the first manufacturers of air purifiers in the world. The IQAir HealthPro is their main model and includes their proprietary HyperHEPA filter and V5-Cell that includes 5 lbs of activated carbon.

It doesn’t come cheap, but the IQAir HealthPro would support a commercial location to keep the air from particle and gas pollutants. 

The IQAir HealthPro might look like a printer from the 1990s, but inside, you get access to the very best filter technology. Like many of the other air purifiers on this list, it’s got a simple system for changing speed with a dot-matrix screen and even a remote control to go with it. 

The only major downside is that this Swiss engineering doesn’t come cheap, both with the initial cost of the air purifier and with filter costs and energy usage. But if you want the best for your commercial location, you can’t get much better than the Healthpro Plus from IQAir.

What we really like

5lbs of activated carbon and zeolite for dealing with gasses and VOCs.
The HyperHEPA filter is a H13-grade HEPA filter and lasts up to 24 months, depending on usage.
While filter costs are higher than other air purifiers on the list, there are now several lower-priced generic filters available.
It comes with a remote for adjusting the speed without having to go to the unit — an excellent option for those running it in a reception area.

What we think could be better

No bells or whistles like auto-mode or app support.
It can consume up to 145.2 watts when running at its highest fan speed.

HouseFresh rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our 728 cubic feet test room (with the device running at top speed):24 minutes
Air purifier technology:HyperHEPA and V50-CELL gas and odor filter
Recommended room size (4.8 air changes per hour):1125 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):Dust: 250 CFM (HouseFresh estimate)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):28H x 18W x 16D inches (71H x 38W x 41D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):35 lbs (15.88 kg)
Filter life:4 years
Noise level (measured from 3 ft. away):Speed 1: 36.9 dB
Speed 2: 37.2 dB
Speed 3: 40.9 dB
Speed 4: 47.2 dB
Speed 5: 53.9 dB
Speed 6: 61.2 dB
Electricity consumption in watts (recorded with an electricity usage monitor):Standby mode: 1 watts
Speed 1: 16.5 watts
Speed 2: 32.7 watts
Speed 3: 47.3 watts
Speed 4: 69 watts
Speed 5: 94.3 watts
Speed 6: 145.2 watts
Estimated running costs (electricity consumption + filter replacements):$421.47 per year
Cost per CADR cfm (based on dust CFM as reported by AHAM):$3.60
Manufacturer’s warranty:10 years
Country of manufacture:Switzerland / Germany

5. Alen BreatheSmart 75i

Alen is another brand that has long existed in the world of air purifiers. One of the main highlights for Alen units is that they come with a lifetime warranty if you choose the filter subscription. The Alen 75i is the largest, most powerful air purifier that Alen makes. It allows for customized filters with all the modern bells and whistles like auto-mode, app support and indicator color for current air quality. 

The Alen 75i is a large unit, but managed to clean our test room in 24 minutes yet only generated 49dB and used less than 50 watts at it’s highest speed. 

One of the things I like about Alen is that they offer multiple choices when it comes to initial filters so that you can adjust the unit to your specific needs. 

If you need the ability to deal with more gasses and VOCs, you can choose the Fresh option with more activated charcoal or pay less for a pure HEPA filter that will perform better particle pollutants. 

What we really like

3.6 lbs of activated carbon with the Fresh filter option.
Auto-mode allows you to set and forget the Alen 75i, so it only kicks in when it detects pollutants in your air.
A lifetime warranty that is unique for Alen but shows their confidence in build quality.
App support allows you to connect multiple units and control them from anywhere.

What we think could be better

Higher initial costs than some budget air purifier brands.
Filter costs are a little higher, especially for those with more activated carbon.

HouseFresh rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our 728 cubic feet test room (with the device running at top speed):24 minutes
Air purifier technology:True HEPA H13 filters with activated carbon pellets + Ionizer technology
Recommended room size (4.8 air changes per hour):512 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):Dust: 335.3 CFM
Smoke: 330.5 CFM
Pollen: 403.4 CFM
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):27H x 18.5W x 11.5D inches (68.58H x 46.99W x 29.21D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):27 lbs (12.2 kg)
Filter life:12 – 15 months
Noise level in decibels (as reported by the manufacturerv):24 – 49dB
Electricity consumption in watts (as reported by the manufacturerv):Lowest fan speed: 1.8 watts
Highest fan speed: 45 watts
Estimated running cost (electricity consumption + official filter replacement):$162.12 per year
Cost per CADR cfm (based on dust CFM as reported by AHAM):$2.23
Manufacturer’s warranty:Lifetime (with product registration & active filter subscription)
Country of manufacture:China

What you need to know before buying an air purifier for a commercial space

Traffic, industrial pollution, germs and viruses all mean that we all increasingly find ourselves increasingly vulnerable to poor air quality

​​Exposure can increase in commercial spaces. According to research from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, volatile organic compounds are generated from paints, fuels, plastics and cleaning products, which can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches and liver damage.  

When looking to get an air purifier for a commercial setting, you should be aware of the different settings you might need, as requirements can vary significantly:

1. When buying an air purifier for office spaces, focus on CADR

Prioritize high CADR air purifiers with HEPA filters for common pollutants you find in this environment. Noise level is crucial to avoid disrupting the work environment, so you don’t want to have more than 60dB at the highest speed.

2. When buying air purifiers for hospitals and healthcare facilities, look for medical-grade HEPA filters

Use air purifiers with HEPA filters and look for those that use at least medical-grade filters, such as H13. You will need a high rate of air changes per hour, so you may need multiple large portable units to achieve this for large spaces.

3. When buying air purifiers for restaurants and food services, choose one with pelleted activated carbon filters

For odor and smoke removal, activated carbon filters are ideal. High CADR is required for large spaces and high traffic. HEPA alone won’t be able to remove the gasses from the air, so you will need to look for an air purifier with a large amount of carbon measured in lbs.

4. When buying air purifiers for industrial spaces, look for activated carbon and zeolite to deal with chemicals and VOCs

For chemicals, VOCs, or specific dust types, you need air purifiers designed for such pollutants. Activated carbon is the leading technology that will require large amounts to be effective. 

5. When buying air purifiers for classrooms and educational institutions, find the quietest unit possible

Choose an air purifier that can target a variety of pollutants – both particle and gas. Low noise level is essential in classrooms, so again, look for those that don’t go over 60dB and avoid any extra features that might get in the way, such as auto-mode or app support. 

6. When buying air purifiers for gyms and fitness centers, think about energy efficiency

If you’re looking for an air cleaner for your gym, the likelihood is that you will want to have it running 24/7 to deal with the many waves of gymgoers that visit your fitness center. In that case, pay special attention to the energy consumption metrics inside the specifications tables below each of the air purifiers we have listed above.

Wrapping up

Some air purifier manufacturers will say that commercial customers need extra technology like UV-C or other new technology you have never heard of. Still, you just need the same as residential users – high-grade HEPA and activated charcoal. By avoiding these new technologies, you will get better performance for less money. 

Try to look for brands and models that are open about their CADR score and performance so you can choose the right air purifier for your commercial space. You will want to see multiple air changes per hour. depending on your situation, large spaces need a large air purifier or multiple units running simultaneously.

Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About the author

Danny Ashton

Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers since 2010. He is our lead tester and reviewer, and is also the human in front of the camera in our YouTube channel.

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Your support makes it possible for us to keep doing what we do.
We are ad-free and buy all the devices we test with our own money. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, which we use to fund new product tests. Learn more