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Do HEPA filters remove mold?

Updated on November 15, 2023
Written by
James Booth
James has over ten years experience as a content producer and editor. He focuses on writing articles that are compelling, clear and, more importantly, helpful to the readers. He honed his research and copywriting skills working as part of NeoMam Studios, the parent company of HouseFresh.

Mold is notorious for creating unsightly surfaces in your house and being a catalyst for a wide range of health problems. 

HEPA purifiers effectively remove mold from the air, especially when working with other mold prevention methods. When using a HEPA purifier, it’s essential to consider the filter type and the room size you’d like to clean.

You’re doing a routine inspection around your home when you spot them again: a cluster of foul-smelling, green mold stuck to your walls. This time around, however, you’re considering using an air purifier to rid your house of these vile organisms once and for all.

However, before you purchase one, it’s essential to determine whether air purifiers (especially those with HEPA filters) can get the job done. 

We’ll look at the type of HEPA filters to choose from and a few of the best air purifiers to buy.

Do HEPA air purifiers remove mold?

The short answer is yes. 

High-efficiency particulate air purifiers (or HEPA purifiers, for short) are an excellent way of removing mold from your home. However, an important caveat is that air purifiers only capture mold spores in the air, thereby preventing mold from spreading around the house.

As such, if you have any mold problem, an air purifier can only help to stop it from getting worse; it won’t eliminate the problem by itself. 

To completely resolve a mold infestation in your home, you’ll need to use HEPA purifiers in conjunction with other, more traditional methods of removing mold from surfaces.


Cleaning methods often involve bleach, vinegar, or ammonia combined with water, depending on the severity of the mold issue or the type of surface you’re working with. Using dehumidifiers to lower the indoor moisture level is also an excellent option as this significantly reduces the water molds need to thrive. 

Check out our complete mold-busting guide here.

How air purifiers with HEPA filters help prevent mold

The reason why HEPA purifiers are great at removing airborne mold particles is due to their design. When placed strategically in your home, it acts as a filter that keeps the air clean and free of mold spores.

This works well even if you’re not experiencing mold issues and want to set up preventive measures.

Any external mold drifting into your home through your window will be quickly sucked from the air before it lands and spreads — keeping your indoors healthy and mold-free.

What is mold (and why is it a problem)?

When we think of mold, it’s almost always in the context of food that’s gone bad and started to rot. This is mold’s job in the wild — breaking down organic material and turning it into nutrients that plants absorb through the soil.

In the wild, mold is essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Inside a building, however, it’s often an indicator of water damage and can create various health problems. 

These hardy organisms thrive in warm, damp and dark places, so you must remain constantly vigilant of their presence. As living beings, mold requires water, food and oxygen. 

If you live in a draughty or leaky building with poor insulation or somewhere humid, you’ll likely find mold somewhere in your home. Mold will consume the surface it’s growing on — resulting in structural weakness and decay. 

Certain materials, such as paper and wood, are notorious for inviting unwelcome moldy guests. However, even surfaces made of glass or plastic aren’t entirely immune to these organisms. 

It’s not uncommon to find different types of mold, like black, yellow, or grayish-blue varieties thriving on other surfaces.

To spread, mold produces microscopic reproductive spores that are light enough to be caught in the air. They’ll latch onto any surface — whether clothing or other living beings like pets — and spread from there.

When left untreated, frequent mold exposure can irritate your respiratory tract, cause allergic responses, or trigger asthmatic symptoms. 

However, it’s hazardous if you’re either very old or young or have a compromised immune system. If you fall into these categories, you may be at risk of severe lung infections, heart problems and cardiovascular disease.

Symptoms that indicate a mold problem include:

🤕 Headaches

😷 Sore throat

🤧 Sinus congestion, a runny nose, or a post-nasal drip

😢 Itchy, watery eyes

😮‍💨 Wheezing and breathing difficulties

😫 A persistent cough

What’s the best HEPA filter for mold?

Before we explore the best types of HEPA filters available on the market, we must first understand the difference between a HEPA and a regular filter.

Regular filters are inferior because they’re made with porous materials like cotton and paper.  While these materials are still effective at trapping dust and pet hair, most microscopic particles can pass through and stay in the air you breathe.

In contrast, a HEPA filter comprises randomly arranged polypropylene or fiberglass layers. This arrangement means there are fewer, smaller gaps for particles to escape through.

You might have already heard of filters rated as either ordinary HEPA filters or True HEPA

The U.S. Department of Energy sets the standards for what qualifies as True HEPA — it must have an efficiency rating of at least 99.97% and be able to capture particles as small as 0.3 micrometers in diameter. That’s smaller than the average width of a human hair!

Filters that don’t meet these strict efficiency criteria aren’t considered True HEPA.  For reference, the minuscule mold spores we know of are 2 micrometers in diameter, so True HEPA filters can effectively capture them from the air. 

Top 3 air purifiers for mold

Our real-world tests have allowed us to compile this list of eight of the best air purifiers to eliminate mold spores. 

For a quicker look, here are our top three air purifiers for mold:

Blue Pure 211+Levoit Core 300Alen Breathsmart 75i
AIR CLEANING SPEED ⚡18 minutes40 minutes24 minutes
CADR 👩‍🔬350 CFM (595 m3/h)145 CFM (246 m3/h)347 CFM (589 m³/h)
FILTER TECHNOLOGY 💨HEPASilent™ Technology (electrostatic filtration with HEPA) and Activated Charcoal FilterH13 (Medical) Grade HEPA and activated charcoalTrue HEPA H13 filters with activated carbon pellets
MAX ROOM SIZE 📏540 sq. ft.547 ft²1,300 sq. ft.
WEIGHT ⚖️12.5 lbs (5.67 kg)8.6 lbs (3.9 kg)12.2 kg (27 lbs)
OUR REVIEW 🔍Blue Pure 211+ reviewLevoit Core 300 reviewAlen 75i review
PRICE 💵$377.50Price not available$615.20

Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final thoughts 

Because of the dangers mold poses for your household and health, removing them from your home immediately is essential and stopping them from returning.

Fortunately, HEPA purifiers are an excellent and effective way to filter mold spores from the air and prevent them from spreading. 

While they can’t directly address an existing mold infestation, they’ll help you break the cycle of constantly eliminating new mold growth from surfaces in your home. 

When paired with other effective removal techniques, HEPA filters and purifiers are foolproof tools to keep your home healthy and mold-free. 


Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

James Booth

James has over ten years experience as a content producer and editor. He focuses on writing articles that are compelling, clear and, more importantly, helpful to the readers. He honed his research and copywriting skills working as part of NeoMam Studios, the parent company of HouseFresh.