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The best medical grade HEPA air purifiers we tested

A list of the best medical grade air purifiers boasting H13 HEPA filters, which can trap 99.97% of particles sized 0.3 microns or bigger
By
Updated on January 25, 2024
Written by
Danny Ashton
Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers and indoor air quality since 2010. He is our lead tester, conducting all the tests we use to evaluate air quality products. That is why you will always see his name attached to our reviews.

Our verdict

Medical grade air purifiers can remove more particles than standard H11 or H12 HEPA filters, which are often used in residential settings.

While H11 captures 95% of particles over 0.3 microns on a single pass, and H12 captures 99.5%, H13, often described as a medical-grade filter, offers enhanced particle removal rates, even from the smallest particles. 

These filters can capture 99.97% of particles sized 0.3 microns or bigger, and H14 takes it a step further, removing 99.995% of particles for comprehensive protection from allergies, bacteria and viruses.

  • According to the NHS in England: “For healthcare applications, it is recommended that devices should contain filters classified as High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters (HEPA) under BS EN 1822-1 or ISO 29463-1.”
  • The Department of Health in the state of Victoria in Australia claims: “Air cleaners equipped with H13 HEPA filters are recommended. Air cleaners with a lower grade filter may not be as efficient in removing airborne viral particles.”
  • The CDC also recently updated its guidance on using HEPA filters for COVID-19: “Portable HEPA filtration units that combine a HEPA filter with a powered fan system are a preferred option for auxiliary air cleaning, especially in higher risk settings such as health clinics, vaccination and medical testing locations, workout rooms, or public waiting areas.”
  • A 2021 academic study from Turkey’s Department of Public Health showed that air purifiers with an H13 filter certified by BS EN 1822-1 could reduce microbial load in the air and on surfaces and thus reduce the amount of hospital-acquired infections.

A medical-grade air purifier can be a great help to people suffering from asthma, COPD, immunocompromised or any medical issue requiring clean air that is free of viruses, bacteria or tiny harmful particles.

  1. In our home lab of 728 cubic ft, we light an incense stick to generate particle pollution and VOCs.
  2. We set up our trusted Purpleair Indoor Sensor with the latest Bosch gas sensor to track levels of PM1ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3 and PM10ug/m3 and VOCs in the air.
    purpleair
  3. We switch the air purifier to its highest speed and measure how long it takes to get our room air quality down to PM1 level to 0.
  4. We use an energy meter to measure precisely how much electricity is used when running the unit at the lowest and highest fan speed settings.
    enery meter
  5. We track sound levels emitted by the air purifier at different fan speeds with the help of a commercial sound meter.
    sound meter

The following air purifiers all utilize medical grade H13 filters and ranked highly in our particle removal test. 

We also ensured each option had fair long-term costs and acceptable sound levels, even at the highest fan speed. For most situations, we recommend H13 filters over H14, as those filters are so dense that they can restrict airflow and lead to leakage risk as air tries to go around the filter.

In a previous version of this guide, we included Levoit air purifiers that had been advertised as using True HEPA H13 filters. 

After a complaint made by Dyson to the BBB, Levoit has now removed all references to HEPA in their advertising. Hence, we wanted to provide an update with only devices that utilize H13 filters and have removed all Levoit units from our list.

Here is our complete list of recommended medical-grade air purifiers:

1. Best overall: IQAir HealthPro Plus

A medical grade air purifier that features the highest quality Swiss design and manufacturing

As you can guess from the name, the IQAir HealthPro series is specially designed for a medical setting. The Hong Kong medical authority chose this air purifier to be used in 43 hospitals across the region to help protect patients from SARS-CoV-1. 

Unlike the vast majority of air purifiers that are made in China, IQAir builds its devices in Switzerland. The primary filter they use is the HyperHEPA, which undergoes rigorous quality control, with every single filter first being tested in the factory to make sure they provide 99.97% clean air and if they fail, they are not shipped out to the customer. 

What we really like

Each IQAir HealthPro Plus unit goes through performance testing before sale and comes with a unique hand-signed certificate
There’s no ionizer, something that NHS England recommends against for use in a medical setting
It comes with a 10-year warranty
It has wheels to quickly move between rooms and a remote for changing fan speeds without touching the unit

What we think could be better

It doesn’t have any smart functions such as the handy auto-mode
It’s on the high end for initial purchase and electricity usage

IQAir’s HyperHEPA filter is so effective that it has been certified by a third-party lab to filter 99.5% of harmful ultrafine pollution particles down to a minuscule 0.003 microns in size – which eclipses the performance of any other standard HEPA H13.

Despite its large initial purchase cost, the HealthPro Plus isn’t reserved for use in medical facilities alone. In our performance test in our home test lab of 705 cubic feet, the IQAir Healthpro Plus took 25 minutes to remove all particles measuring 1 micron.

The IQAir Healthpro Plus also comes with a large, activated carbon and zeolite filter, which means it can also remove gasses and VOCs that are impossible to remove with HEPA alone.

SPECS & FEATURES

If you want to take things a step further, IQAir created a supercharged clean version of their Healthpro Plus called the Cleanroom H13, specially designed for use in a hospital with less noise and a higher fan power. It’s unavailable to buy online, but you can purchase it via IQAir dealers.

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★★
Time to clean our test room:25 minutes
Air purifier technology:HyperHEPA and V50-CELL gas and odor filter
Recommended room size:450 to 1125 sq. ft. 
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):300 CFM (510 m³/h)
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):28H x 18W x 16D inches (71H x 38W x 41D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):35 lbs (16 kg)
Noise level (low – high):25 – 69dB
Filter life:4 years
Manufacturer’s warranty:10 years
Estimated energy consumption:$165.04 per year
Country of manufacture:Switzerland

2. The quietest medical grade air purifier: Smart Air Blast Mini

An air purifier that costs $200 less than the IQAir HealthPro Plus yet offers outstanding air cleaning performance thanks to its certified HEPA H13 filters.

The Smart Air Blast Mini uses HEPA H13 filters that are certified to GB13554-2020 & GBT6165-2021 standards, equivalent to EN1822 / ISO29463, and independently tested.

When we tested the Smart Air Blast Mini in our home test lab, it took only 17 minutes to remove all particles measuring 1 micron or less

As standard, the Blast Mini doesn’t come with activated carbon. Still, you can buy it as an option if required, but Smart Air is clear that using the activated carbon will reduce airflow by 11%, slightly reducing the unit’s ability to remove particulates. 

What we really like

Excellent level of particulate removal in our performance test, achieving a clean room in 17 minutes
It has a high CADR rating at 435 CFM, the most powerful on our list of medical air purifiers
The filter can last as long as 22 months, depending on the usage
Wheels make it easy to move to different rooms
It is easy to use thanks to its one-dial operation
Nearly silent on the lowest fan speed and still able to clean our test room in 25 minutes

What we think could be better

At 59 lbs, it’s a large and heavy unit
It has a relatively high energy cost but is still less than the IQAir Healthpro Plus
It doesn’t come with activated carbon filtration as standard, so if you need to deal with VOCs and odors, then you will need to buy it as an extra

Like the IQAir Healthpro Plus, the Blast is a simple device with just one dial for controls, no smart features, or even a remote. However, the Smart Air Blast Mini performed much better at removing particle pollutants in our home test lab, clearing all traces 8 minutes quicker. It was also much quieter; it hit only 49dB at its highest speed, so it is one of our favorite air purifiers for the classroom

SPECS & FEATURES

For many consumers, the main benefit of the Smart Air over the IQAir Healthpro Plus will boil down to price; it costs $649 vs $899 for the IQAir HealthPro Plus. All while providing faster results in our clean air test.

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:17 minutes
Air purifier technology:H13 HEPA Filter
Recommended room size:915 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):435 CFM (740 m³/h)
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)
Noise level (low – high):36 – 49 dB
Filter life:33 months
Manufacturer’s warranty:1 year
Estimated energy consumption:$277.70 per year
Country of manufacture:China

3. Best smart medical grade unit: Mila Air Purifier

When we tested the Mila in our home lab, it removed all particles measuring 1 micron or less in under 35 minutes. 

The smart Mila air purifier comes with seven different types of filters, but to be medical grade, you will want to go for the Big Sneeze or The Critter Cuddler, as they both come with H13 HEPA.  Mila also offers filters with H14, which will lead to reduced airflow and the potential for air leakage, so we stick to just the H13 options.

Unlike the other medical-grade air purifiers on this list, the Mila comes with a ton of smart features that you don’t get from the IQAir HealthPro Plus or the Smart Air Blast Mini.

What we really like

Excellent choice of HEPA options, with two medical H13 options that include different amounts of activated carbon
It is truly smart — it even adjusts its usage based on your routines and not just the air quality in the room
It can’t be denied that it’s good looking compared to the other devices on this list and would sit seamlessly in a stylish living room
The app is easy to use and allows you to adjust the unit from a different location
An efficient fan means a lower energy bill than the bigger air purifiers on this list.

What we think could be better

Filter costs are high at close to $100 for a small filter
You get better particulate removal $ raito with non-smart devices
Filter names are quirky and editorial but also a little confusing

The Mila is like a smart thermostat; it uses its onboard sensors to adjust its fan speeds to keep a space clean without running too loud when you are near and can even have the ability to “turn down” your bedroom before you go to bed so the air is as clean as possible when you go to sleep.

SPECS & FEATURES

While its particulate removal is less than the Blast Mini or Healthpro Plus, you get a lot of extra smart features, a design more suitable to the average home, and it’s available for up to $170 less than the Blast Mini.

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

4. Best medical grade combo unit: Dyson Purifier Cool TP07

A good option for those looking for more than just an air purifier — the TP07 is the best air purifier + fan combo unit we have tested.

Dyson brought the complaint to the BBB about Levoit using the term HEPA incorrectly in their marketing, so it makes sense that Dyson is confident in their HEPA filter’s ability to conform to the H13 standard. Perhaps with something to prove, Dyson has even published an independent study that confirms that the Dyson TP07 complied with the EN1822-1:2019 requirements for the H13 filter class. Yet despite their HEPA filter credentials and the TP07’s ability to capture 99.97% of particles sized 0.3 microns, Dyson’s small fan and filter mean this unit has a much smaller CADR than the other units on our list. 

Dyson often tries to hide this metric, but as per its independent CADR certificate, it has a pollen score of 95.9 CFM. This really compares poorly, even with the much cheaper Mila, which has a pollen CADR of 152 CFM. Ultimately, this leads to slower performance, which I found in our tests, as the Dyson TP07 took 49 minutes to clear the space of particles measuring 1 micron, which is high considering it has a retail price of $649.99.

What we really like

Beautiful design, as expected from a unit from Dyson
The fan is powerful and covers a wide 350-degree range
Accurate onboard air quality sensors
The MyDyson app has excellent UX and no connectivity issues
Handy remote control

What we think could be better

Expensive costs upfront and for filter replacements
You get a better particulate removal to price ratio with other air purifiers on this list

This shows us that while HEPA accreditation is important, if it’s not matched up with a powerful enough filter, the air purifier will be unable to keep a room clean regardless of the grade of filter used.

The Dyson TP07 is a good-looking air purifier, and it does provide you with a reasonably powerful fan function. In our testing, the fan was much more powerful than the Blueair Fan Auto when we tested with the Testo 4101 Wireless Anemometer at 3ft.

Blueair Pure Fan Auto Dyson TP07
AVERAGE0.74 m/s3.03 m/s
MINIMUM0.51 m/s2.90 m/s
MAXIMUM0.99 m/s3.16 m/s

One of the other highlights of the Dyson air purifiers is the smartphone app, which you can operate the unit from any location with an onboard air quality monitor that alerts you about any IAQ issues in your home in real time.

SPECS & FEATURES

While we are confident that the Dyson TP07 uses medical grade HEPA H13, for those with larger spaces, you might be disappointed with its performance at removing tiny particles from the air, and you will be better off with either of the options above.

HouseFresh Rating:★★★★☆
Time to clean our test room:49 minutes
Air purifier technology:HEPA H13 and Activated Carbon filters
Recommended room size:125 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):95.9 CFM
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):7.7 x 8 x 41 inches (19.56 x 20.32 x 104.14 cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):11 lbs (5 kg)
Noise level (low – high):46dB – 61dB
Filter life:12 months
Warranty2-year parts and labor warranty
Estimated energy consumption:$42.05 per year
Country of manufacture:Malaysia

What to look for when buying a medical grade air purifier

Medical air purifiers utilize a HEPA grade of H13, which can trap 99.97% of particles sized 0.3 microns or bigger. While this type of medical-grade filter will be able to capture tiny particles such as viruses, you will still need to ensure that you can provide enough airflow to clean the air in your room. 

Having a small HEPA H13 filter with a small fan will mean you can only clean a very small amount of air, and most of the air will still contain particulate pollution that could cause harm. 

To get the best medical air purifier for your home, look for the following:

1. Has the HEPA H13 received confirmation by independent evaluation?

The use of the term HEPA H13 is not regulated, so it’s easy for air purifier manufacturers to use this terminology even when they haven’t tested their filters through an independent body.

With Levoit recently removing the HEPA term from their marketing, it’s not just smaller brands you need to worry about. 

To avoid risking buying a device that isn’t HEPA H13, you need to stick to companies that prove that they have had their HEPA filters tested by an independent body. The EU rules are BS EN 1822-1:2019; for the rest of the world, you will want to look for ISO29463. 

For those with serious medical issues, you are better off spending more money on a brand like IQAir or Smart Air that are very open about their independent testing and avoiding cheaper brands that seem to offer the same features at a far cheaper price.

2. Is the CADR enough for your room size?

As the Dyson air purifiers show, they can prove that they have medical grade filters, but the size of the fan and filter size means that they have a low CADR that will find it hard to keep a room bigger than the smallest bedroom clean. 

While first-pass filtration is helpful, it’s even more critical that an air purifier can clean enough air to provide at least 4.8 air changes per hour.

For a 350 sq ft room, you would need an air purifier with at least a CADR of 224 to provide 4.8 ACH (what the EPA recommends for portable air purifiers.) This is much lower than the 98 CFM that the Dyson combo units provide, meaning a room that size would still suffer from particulate pollutants. 

Feel free to enter your room size in our CFM calculator tool to see the CADR needed to keep the air clean in your room:

3. What are the associated long term costs?

For those wanting to keep the air clean all the time, you will need to ensure your air purifier runs 24/7, 365 days a year. Some air purifiers are inefficient, so they are very loud on the highest setting and will add high costs to your electricity bill. 

It’s not just the energy and sound, as all HEPA filters need replacing once they become full of particles. Eventually, airflow gets restricted so that they cannot clean as efficiently. Some air purifier brands prey on consumers not thinking about the long-term costs when buying, so they offer cheaper units that cost much more in the long term in filter replacement costs. 

When we review air purifiers, we always include the long-term costs and also track the sound levels at each fan speed so you can avoid loud units that will cost much more over time. 

There are now a lot of generic filters available for different models of air purifiers that cost much less, but if you are concerned about HEPA H13, be sure to stick to the genuine filters that will have been independently tested.

Common questions about air purifiers for healthcare facilities and dental clinics

True HEPA is HEPA grade H11 and H12. H13 HEPA is a grade higher and blocks 99.97% of particles sized 0.3 microns or bigger.

Most hospital buildings will use large air distribution systems incorporating MERV 8 pre-filters and MERV 14 final filters. High-risk areas like operating theatres will utilize medical-grade HEPA filters to achieve at least 15 air changes per hour to reduce the risk of infection. Other rooms will have different air change targets depending on the level of risk; you can see a full list of air change requirements at the CDC.

The filters that we find in air purifiers are rigorously tested beforehand. Each is rated on its ability to capture particles of different sizes. This is known as a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) rating, which ranges from a low H1 to a high H20.

According to NHS England, ionizers should be avoided as they have the potential to create chemical byproducts via secondary reactions. Currently, there is not enough evidence of their efficacy in reducing microbial loads in the air.

According to the team at Commercial Air Filtration, HEPA H13 is better as it doesn’t restrict airflow as much, has a better filtration-to-airflow ratio and is less likely to suffer from air leakages.

For those with a medical issue, investing in an air purifier that uses filters with HEPA H13 is worth investing in. However, you still need to make sure that the air purifier has enough cleaning power to provide regular air changes for the space you are in.  Any type of air purifier will still be able to keep the air clean eventually, even if the grade of HEPA is lower as the airflow will be increased so the devices can move air quicker so even the MERV 13 of the Corsi-Rosenthal box can still remove the tiniest of particles from the air even though the filter it uses is lower than HEPA grade.

About HouseFresh

Unlike most other air purifier guides online, we are independent of a large media company. Our number one focus is helping more people improve their indoor air quality. While most other guides play lip service to “performance testing,” we publish all our data, which you can find in the over 50 air purifier reviews we have completed since 2020.

We don’t have any relationships with air purifier brands or corporate boards to keep them happy; we just want more people to improve indoor air quality by finding an air purifier that works for them. 

If you want to speak to me directly, don’t hesitate to email me directly, as I love to hear from readers: danny@housefresh.com

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.
About the author

Danny Ashton

Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers and indoor air quality since 2010. He is our lead tester, conducting all the tests we use to evaluate air quality products. That is why you will always see his name attached to our reviews.