Air purifiers are becoming increasingly popular today, but with new technologies, devices and features, it’s harder to choose the right model for your purposes. We explore how to choose the best air purifier in 2023.
The demand for air improvement technology has grown rapidly in recent years. With increased levels of pollution and haze, there has been a steady growth of people wanting to secure air purifiers and cleaners to improve the quality of the air they breathe and avoid potential illnesses or damage to their health.
In this article, we explore the world of air purifiers; how they work, how much they cost and which models are the best on the market. We also clear up any confusion you might have between different air improvement devices and discuss whether an air purifier is actually worth buying.
What is an air purifier?
An air purifier is an appliance designed to cleanse the air in any given room, whether it’s your home or office. It does this by removing impurities such a pollutants and harmful particles as well as odours, dust and smoke.
In its most basic form, an air purifier will consist of a filter and a fan that sucks in and circulates air. These filters are designed to capture anything harmful from the living space and project only clean air from the other side. While the designs and systems may vary, this is the basic concept of all air purifiers.
As we spend a great deal of time indoors and due to the higher levels of certain pollutants often found indoors, it’s obvious why the demand for air purifiers has grown recently.
Most air filters typically work to capture:
- Other airborne contaminants
Are air purifiers actually effective?
Most air purifiers on the market are only designed to capture particles like dust and pollen, but aren’t as good at filtering out gaseous pollutants like VOCs or radon from the air that may accumulate from adhesives, paints, or cleaning products.
Nevertheless, air purifiers are effective when it comes to filtrating our basic pollutants such as dust and smoke, making the air quality more breathable for people with allergies or fragrance sensitivities. To make sure your air purifier remains functional, it’s important that you regularly replace the filter every few months.
Many reviews from users tell us that air purifiers and air filters offer decent improvement to air quality, as well as peace of mind that at least some of the harmful particles that we encounter daily are being captured. However, it’s important to understand the limitation of your device and to use other methods of air improvement in combination with air purifiers, such as filling your home with plenty of plants.
Different types of air quality devices
Many people often get confused about the different benefits of humidifiers and air purifiers. Both an air purifier and a humidifier improve indoor air quality, but in very different ways
Air purifiers are designed to clear the air of allergens, dust, reduce mould or control odours, while humidifiers work solely to control the humidity level in a room. Despite what some people think, they don’t address the kinds of harmful particles that are in the air.
Humidifiers release water into the air and increase the humidity level of a room, which can make it easier to breathe, especially during dryer periods of the year when people suffer from a lack of moisture in the air. They also help relieve dry skin, throat irritation, sinus issues, nosebleeds and breathing problems.
When trying to improve the indoor air quality in your home, you may consider installing an air cleaner. This device also filters out harmful air contaminants, making it easier for you to breath and less likely to react to things like smoke or pollen from the outside.
Air cleaners are typically installed between the air return duct and the air conditioner so that all air flowing through your home’s ductwork is cleaned. While air purifiers do a similar job, they are usually standalone devices that process air that is already circulating in a room.
One of the most important elements of a good air purifier is the air filter it uses. Typically, filters are made of paper, fibre or mesh and require regular replacement to maintain efficiency. Depending on the specific type used in an air purifier, your machine will be more or less capable at trapping harmful particles in the air.
This is an area where cheaper, more standard filters are probably not going to remove the kind of harmful particles that you want to target, whether you’re looking for the best of office purifiers or something for your living space at home.
What is an HEPA filter?
When searching for an air purifier, you’ll see the acronym HEPA come up a lot. This means High Efficiency Particulate Air and they are designed to capture variously sized particles within a multi-layered netting, usually made out of very fine fiberglass threads. These filters are classed as the best in the industry for capturing the kind of particles that are undesirable, so seeing HEPA on your product’s description is important if you want the very best air purifier.
What makes a good air purifier?
Now that we’ve explored what air purifiers are and a little about how they work, we’ve listed the key things to look for when buying your own device.
True HEPA filters trap 99.97% of airborne particles and any airborne bacteria and viruses are less likely to multiply in the filters and spread. There is a big difference between true HEPA and HEPA blend filters, so make sure you check!
- Noise level
If you’re buying your air purifier to keep your new baby healthy or you’re thinking of placing your purifier in your bedroom, you’ll also want to invest in a device that is quiet so that it won’t disturb anyone at night. Noise levels vary from a soft hum to a whirring buzz – which can also be soothing to a child in its own way, but if you’re concerned about this aspect, it’s worth testing the appliance out before buying online (or check online user reviews).
- Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
This measures the cleaning speed of the purifier for removing smoke, dust, and pollen. If you’re air purifier has a CADR of at least 300 and above, you should be good. Anything above this is great.
- Size and space capacity
Air purifiers typically aren’t that large – especially home air purifiers. If you want it to work effectively for your whole home, you need to check whether the model is designed for this. The best office purifiers will be able to handle large room sizes while the best home air purifiers may only be able to handle individual rooms. Basically, check the specification and choose a model that is designed for the designated area (or larger, to be on the safe side).
Best Home And Office Air Purifiers
When looking for your next purifier, make sure you factor in the different requirements for office and home spaces. You will typically need devices with much large fans to handle office settings, while you can get away with smaller, less powerful units for the home. Also, at home, doors and windows will be opened and closed less frequently making it easier for an air purifier to effectively process the air in a room.
Our Recommended Air Purifiers
1. RABBIT AIR MINUSA2
With double pre-filtration the Rabbit Air Minusa2 reduces most large and medium sized pollutants before they even reach its True HEPA filter. In combination with Advanced Bio GS technology, this means the model’s True HEPA filter will only need to capture small 0.3 microns particles, increasing its efficiency and durability.
- Pre-filter – Air must pass through a pre-filter that will capture all large particles, along with things like dust mites and hair
- Medium filter – This traps large pollen particles as well as mould and smaller dust particles
- Advanced Bio GS HEPA filter – Captures 99.97% of all allergens, virus particles, pollen, mould and fungi particles down to 0.3 microns
- Customized filtration system – Optional filters for specific needs such as Germ Defense, Pet Allergy, Odor Remover or Toxin Absorber
- Activated carbon filter – Will address certain chemicals as well as odors and smokes and chemical vapors
2. LEVOIT CORE 300
One of the few True HEPA air purifiers in the lowest price range. A cheap choice for those who don’t want to sacrifice filtration quality, the Levoit Core 300 is the best budget portable air purifier with a decent air cleaning system and fan that offers cover for spaces up to 215 square feet
- Pre-filter – Captures large pollutant particles but requires regular cleaning and maintenance.
- True HEPA Filter – Reduces 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns
- Captures animal hairs – Good for anyone with extreme pet allergies
- Toxin absorber – For areas with high levels of smoke, VOCs or chemicals
- Activated Carbon Filter – Eliminates odours and smoke
3. COWAY AP-1512HH
One of the best rated air purifiers for the Korean market with an amazing performance rating, the Coway AP-1512HH offers great air cleaning functionality in a compact size. It also adjusts the air flow speed based on eco-mode features, shutting down when there is no detectable pollution to save energy.
- Pre-filter – Washable pre-filter that captures large particles of contaminants
- Activated carbon filter – Traps gases, smoke and odour to remove unwanted smells from your home
- True HEPA Filter – Great for capturing allergens, virus particles, pollen and mould
4. HONEYWELL TRUE HEPA ALLERGEN REMOVER HPA300
A relatively cheap air purifier that offers decent fan power and room coverage with a strong CADR rating that matches devices in higher price segments. Perfect for small to medium sized offices and large homes, it can cover large areas of up to 465 square feet.
- Pre-filter – Combined with the activated carbon filter, works to absorb harmful VOCs, gases and odours
- True HEPA Filter – A powerful True HEPA filter that captures particles like pet dander, mould, viruses, bacteria and pollen
5. WINIX AM90
A device claimed to be particularly effective for people with pet allergies, Winix is a Korean-based brand that has offered high quality air purification at a low price range for several years. This latest model combines affordability and quality with a signature air filtration system and decent energy p
- Pre-filter – Improves the durability of the HEPA filter by capturing the large contaminants particles, such as pet hair and even some pet dander
- Activated carbon filter – Absorbs household odours from cooking, pets, and smoke creating an odour-free home environment as well as reducing VOCs
- True HEPA filter – Captures small allergens, virus particles, pollen, mould and fungi particles