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Qualities of an Ideal Air Purifier: Shopping Guide

Last updated June 3, 2021

This post may contain affiliate links.

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

Everybody knows that an air purifier is supposed to clean up dirty air and help people with asthma, allergies and other breathing difficulties, but not everybody knows what the qualities of a good air purifier are. The air purifier industry is very large, and it is easy to get lost in the variety of air purifiers.

Most air cleaners out there have a highly efficient HEPA filter for fine particles, a carbon filter for odors and a pre-filter. Some of these air purifiers use carbon as a pre-filter. However, this is not very correct. There should be another pre-filter that catches dust first, because if used as a pre-filter, micropores in carbon will soon get clogged up with dust, and it will no longer be able to filter out odors.


It doesn’t matter how much there is of carbon. What matters is how fine it is, because the finer carbon is, the better it will remove volatile compounds. It is good if carbon has such additives as potassium permanganate and zeolite, since they are effective at absorbing ammonia-type smells (like pastrami) and hydrogen sulfide (sewer gas).

There is another essential point – the construction. If you want your air purifier to be durable, it should be made of metal rather than plastic. This is especially important if you have children.

Another vital quality is sound. The air purifier should be relatively silent when it operates, and have a few speed settings. A loud air purifier could be a major source of unhappiness.

A good air purifier should also have a return policy and a long-lasting warranty. You don’t want to get stuck with a non-functional device that you can’t return.

When purchasing the unit, consider not only the price of the device, but also the cost of replacement filters, because it can add up.

And if you do buy an air cleaner, don’t expect it to purify the air in your entire home. It is impossible, so opt for a purifier that will go in your child’s room or master bedroom.