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Consumer Reports Air Purifiers

Last updated June 19, 2021

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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

Consumer Reports air purifier reviews compare different models of purifiers that are available on the retail market. This consumer organization compares both portable and house air purifiers with a stronger focus on medical grade air purifiers.

Consumer Reports recommends air purifiers for people with allergies or asthma for whom other remedies do not work sufficiently well to control the problem. Because all makers of air purifiers claim their products kill airborne germs and filter pollution and particulate matter, Consumer Reports tests various models to see if the label claims are met.

Consumer Reports recommends that you locate the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) logo on the label and look at the set of three numbers. These three numbers represent tobacco smoke, pollen and dust which is removed by the purifier. Most air purifiers are certified by AHAM as part of the clean-air delivery rate (CADR) program. Judged by Consumer Reports, air purifiers that rate 350 or above are excellent and those below 100 are poor. AHAM includes the room size which can be effectively cleaned so that you can choose a model certified for the space in which you plan to use the unit.

Unfortunately, there is no industry standard measurement for pollutants and irritants other than tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen. Government authorities scrutinize manufacturers that attempt to make medical claims about air purifiers.

Consumer Reports air purifiers testing of portable air purifiers has shown that of 30 models tested, some were efficient and quiet while two models were so poor that they made the Consumer Reports “Don’t Buy: Performance Problem” rating. Some models worked well only on the highest, noisiest setting. And Consumer Reports warns that no air purifier can relieve asthma or allergy symptoms alone; these problems require the help of your physician or medical specialist.

Consumer Reports Air Purifiers graph

Consumer reports found that whole-house systems vary as much as portable systems. The professionally installed, top-end units were found to have an impact on air quality in most cases. Many of the air filtration systems designed for self-installation were much less effective.

Consumer Reports air purifier ratings can be found on their website. You can also read a guide to purifier types and technologies. Shop wisely by being armed with facts from this well-respected consumer testing and reporting agency.