The 7 Best Air Purifiers for Allergies of 2021

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Best Air Purifiers for Allergies

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

Spring and fall allergies are pretty common thanks to pollen and leaf mold, but if you feel like your personal allergy season extends well into summer and winter, too, you might not be dealing with just seasonal allergies. You could be suffering from environmental or indoor allergies as well, caused by everything from dust mites and insect droppings to mold and pet dander. If that’s the case, you may want to spring for an air purifier to improve the air quality inside your home. Before you dismiss it as a luxury purchase, know this: ignoring your ongoing allergies may cause bigger problems later on.

“Uncontrolled allergies can lead to developing asthma,” says Kathleen Dass, M.D., a Michigan-based allergist and immunologist. “While most studies are usually small, the evidence does show improvement in allergic rhinitis with [air purifiers containing] HEPA filters.”

Sounds easy enough, but one internet search of air purifiers is enough to make your head spin. There are a lot of choices—each one boasting more “necessary” features than the next—and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Don't worry, we’ve simplified the search process: here are the nine best air purifiers for indoor allergies to keep you free of sniffles all year long.

Here are some of the best air purifiers for allergies on the market.

Our Top Picks
Complete with a quiet operation, HEPA filtration, and multiple speeds, it works to accommodate the level of purifying you need.
The budget-friendly pick is ideal for smaller rooms and doesn't skimp on features thanks to its sleep mode and three speeds.
If you have a large space and are willing to shell out more, this investment piece removes impurities at the molecular level.
Best for Small Rooms:
LEVOIT Air Purifier at Amazon
The compact choice works best for smaller rooms, easily fitting on a nightstand, and removes more than 99 percent of allergens.
The humidifier and purifier hybrid evaporates water into vapor, then uses that water as a filter to naturally clean the air.
A solid pick with smart technology, it's operable by remote while its smart sensor takes continuous readings of the air quality.
The hardworking filtration system traps large and small particles, like hair, dander, and dust, while also eliminating pet odors.

Best Overall: LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Large Room

Levoit LV-PUR131 Air Purifier
Pros
  • Multiple speeds

  • HEPA filtration

  • Quiet operation

Cons
  • Cannot turn off night light

Made to work best in rooms up to 360 square feet, this unit has three fan speeds to accommodate the level of purifying you need. It also features a sleep mode, auto mode, and timer—the sleep mode allows the unit to run more quietly and with less LED display light, while the auto mode will shift between fan speeds according to how much purifying is needed in the room.

Levoit says its 3-stage filtration process using a HEPA carbon filter can remove 97 percent of common household allergens. It’s also received a decent EnergyStar rating, requiring only about $12 to $15 to run every year.

HEPA Filtration: Yes | Size: 14.5 x 7.2 x 18.5 inches | Noise Level: 27 dB

Best Budget: RENPHO HEPA Air Purifier

RENPHO HEPA Air Purifier
Pros
  • HEPA filtration

  • Quiet operation

  • Multiple speeds

Cons
  • Doesn't indicate air quality and auto-adjust

Cleaning all the airborne junk from your living space is a tall order, and it often requires an investment in a quality device to really get the job done. But not everyone has hundreds of dollars to spend on an air purifier to help with their allergies, which is why we like the RENPHO option.

With four stages of filtration, including a HEPA filter, a whisper-quiet sleep mode, and the ability to circulate air around a 240-square-foot room three times per hour, you really can’t argue with this model’s budget appeal. It also comes with three fan speeds, two light options (night light and rainbow gradient), and a timer/auto shutoff option.

HEPA Filtration: Yes | Size: 8.5 x 8.5 x 14.25 inches | Noise Level: 26-52dB

Best High-End: Molekule Air Purifier

Molekule
Pros
  • Ideal for larger spaces

  • Quiet operation

  • Offers automatic delivery for replacement filters

Cons
  • No HEPA filtration

Made to work in large spaces up to 600 square feet, the Molekule air purifier pulls in air from every direction, working on a 360 degree spectrum. It’s quiet, portable, and ozone-free. It features a proprietary filter that uses nanotechnology (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation, or PECO) to remove impurities at the molecular level, as well as smart technology, making it compatible with iOS and Android systems for remote operation. 

It’s an investment for sure, but Molekule also offers a 30-day trial period, full refunds, and a monthly payment plan. If it makes your life easier, you can also sign up for automatic deliveries of replacement filters (for an additional cost), making this a product you can purchase, plug-in, and forget about.

HEPA Filtration: No | Size: 23 inches x 8.25 inches | Noise Level: 41 dBa-65 dBa

Best for Small Rooms: LEVOIT Air Purifier

LEVOIT Air Purifier
Pros
  • Small footprint

  • HEPA filtration

  • Quiet operation

  • Includes night light

Cons
  • Doesn't indicate air quality and auto-adjust

This Levoit unit is compact but powerful, small enough to fit on a counter or nightstand and efficient enough to circulate the air around a 129-square-foot room four times in one hour.

Just because it’s petite doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch: this purifier cleans just as well as Levoit’s larger units, removing more than 99 percent of household allergens like dust, mold, dander, and smoke. It has a HEPA filter and is ozone-free, making it safe for use with asthma sufferers.

Because smaller units like this are often used in bedrooms, Levoit has outfitted this purifier with a night light option and an ultra-quiet motor so it will help—not hinder—your beauty sleep.

HEPA Filtration: Yes | Size: 7.48 x 7.48 x 12.6 inches | Noise Level: 25 dB

Best with Humidifier: BONECO Air Washer W200 Humidifier & Purifier

BONECO Air Washer W200 Humidifier & Purifier
Pros
  • Dishwasher-safe

  • Can add essential oils

  • Daytime and nighttime modes

Cons
  • No HEPA filtration

BONECO Air Washer is a powerhouse unit that evaporates water into vapor, adding moisture to the air, then uses that water as a filter to naturally clean the air in your living space. The Air Washer is designed to eliminate large particles, so while it may not filter out things like pesky odors, it’s suitable for dust and pollen.

On the technical side, the BONECO unit has both daytime and nighttime operating modes for maximum efficiency, dishwasher-safe parts for regular cleaning, and even a diffuser port for adding your favorite essential oils to really freshen your space. 

HEPA Filtration: No | Size: 11 x 11 x 16 inches | Noise Level: N/A

Best Smart: Hathaspace HSP001 Smart True HEPA Air Purifier

Hathaspace
Pros
  • Remote operated

  • Detects air quality and auto-adjusts

  • HEPA filtration

Cons
  • Can be loud

The Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier is not only operable with a remote, it actually has the computer brains to detect air quality and adjust itself accordingly. Using a smart sensor, this unit takes continuous readings of the air quality in the room it’s in. In normal mode, you can observe the data and change the settings on your purifier; in auto mode, though, the purifier will change its own fan speed as needed based on the air quality readings. 

Elsewhere, the Hathaspace purifier features a five-step filtration system (including an ionizer and a HEPA filter) powerful enough to remove up to 99.97 percent of allergens, trap dust, pet hair, and dander, and eliminate annoying odors. 

HEPA Filtration: Yes | Size: 13 x 7 x 20 inches | Noise Level: 21dB– 43db

Best for Pet Allergies: Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer

Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer
Pros
  • HEPA filtration

  • UV-C light kills bacteria

  • Multiple speeds

Cons
  • Replacement filters are expensive

For pet owners, an air purifier like the Germ Guardian is a great way to cut back on the amount of pet hair and dander floating around in the air and landing all over the floors and furniture. The hardworking filtration system traps both large and small particles, like dirt, hair, dander, and dust, while also eliminating common pet odors. Its UV-C light kills airborne bacteria and viruses, meaning it will not only reduce the amount of germs in your home thanks to Fido’s romp in the mud, it can also keep your home healthier during cold and flu season.

What’s more, the unit has been tested for energy efficiency and against the clean air delivery rate (CADR) system, receiving high marks in both metrics. Basically, it not only cleans the air well, it does it quickly, reducing the amount of time you’ll need to keep it running for relief.

HEPA Filtration: Yes | Size: 10.25 x 6.75 x 21.5 inches | Noise Level: 55 dB

Final Verdict

Levoit takes home more than one superlative when it comes to well-rated and highly functional air purifiers; you get a lot of bang for your buck with the standard Levoit PUR131 (view at Amazon) unit we chose as best overall. If you’re looking for an affordable, quality purifier, we recommend the RENPHO (view at Amazon) for its efficient, four-stage filtration process.

What to Look for in Air Purifiers for Allergies

HEPA Filtration

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, and Dr. Dass says that purifiers with HEPA filters have been the most extensively studied—and the only kind proven to filter particles out as small as 0.3 micrograms. That makes them one of the best tools in combating the effects of indoor allergens. 

Size

When we’re talking about size for air purifiers, we mean the square footage the device can cover and clean the air around you. If your device only covers a small space within a large room, it's not doing the job you need it to in order to remove allergens. Air purifiers have a clean air delivery rating (CADR), which indicates how efficient the device is at cleaning the air. “The AHAM (Association of Home Appliance) says ‘that as a rule of thumb, the CADR of your air cleaner should be equal to at least two-thirds of the room’s area,’” says John McKeon, M.D., CEO of Allergy Standards Limited speaking on behalf of the asthma and allergy friendly Certification Program for the AAFA. 

UV Ionization

Some air purifiers are electrically-charged, or ionized, with UV technology to further clean and sanitize the air. This is a feature that some people benefit from, but others—like those with asthma—should avoid these types of purifiers, says Dr. Dass: “They have been shown to create an ozone [which] can actually trigger or exacerbate your asthma symptoms.” 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is the best place to put an air purifier?

    Air purifiers can be helpful to people who suffer from allergies because the device is capable of removing allergens and other debris from the environment. Since these machines can be expensive, it’s important to place the device in the room most used by the user. “Portable air cleaners are best for the rooms you spend the most time in like your bedroom or home office,” says Melanie Carver, the chief mission officer of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Room size should be considered when selecting the machine and where you place it, because purifiers can only clean a specific radius. “Air cleaners have ratings that show the volume of air they can clean,” Carver says. “The device needs to accommodate the size of your room.”

  • Which one is better for allergies: a humidifier or an air purifier?

    Air purifiers and humidifiers serve different purposes when addressing allergies. While air purifiers help remove allergens, dust, and other particles from the air, humidifiers provide moisture into the air while eradicating some of the larger particles from the environment. Carver cautions against using humidifiers all the time, though, because the added moisture could actually make one’s allergies worse. “Too much moisture can lead to mold growth and more dust mites, both of which trigger asthma and allergy symptoms,” Carver says, adding that mold and dust mites thrive in environments with humidity above 50 percent. “Mold spores can get in your nose and cause allergy symptoms. Spores can also get in your lungs and trigger asthma,” she says. Humidifiers are only recommended to keep humidity between 30 to 50 percent. Otherwise, Carver says some people might need a dehumidifier if they live in a humid environment, because “if the air is too humid, air purifiers won’t work properly.” 

  • Which plants purify air the best?

    Indoor plants are capable of improving the oxygenation in the room and removing some pollutants from the air. But Carver warns that added greenery won’t make a substantial difference to the air quality in a room unless it’s “filled with plants”. This doesn’t mean that someone shouldn’t add greenery to their space. Carver says it's important to do one’s research on the plants, because some collect more dust or require moist potting soil, which can lead to mold. “You can also focus on greening the outdoor environment just outside your home,” Carver says. Some top allergy friendly plants include the bamboo palm and the dracaena, both of which can help purify the air and capture some allergens. 

  • Is it ok to leave an air purifier on overnight?

    Experts recommend leaving a portable air purifier on overnight in order to create an environment that’s free of most allergens and other irritants. In fact, people notice a difference in their air quality more if the air purifier is left running for extended periods of time compared to turning it off every few hours. There is concern about leaving an electric device like an air purifier running all night without paying attention to it, but these machines were actually created to be constantly running. “Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on where to place your air cleaning device, and keep it free of clutter in front and behind the appliance,” Carver recommends. 

Why Trust Verywell Health?

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

Additional reporting to this story by Danielle Zoellner

As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.

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