There have been a number of great improvements to air purification technology over the past few years. Today’s air purifiers are more effective at clearing pollutants than ever before. They can also capture smaller particles than the models that were considered revolutionary just a short decade or two ago.
If you have never tried using a purifier to cleanse the air in your home, or if you haven’t used one in years, you owe it to yourself to try out what it’s like being able to breathe easier with fewer allergy symptoms from asthma, mold, and pet dander – after all, the air in our homes is generally more polluted that the air outside in even the biggest US cities.
Here in our comprehensive guide, we’ll help you find the best air purifier for allergies for your own unique needs, and help you understand a little bit more about the lingo and industry phrases you’ll see while searching for the perfect air cleaner.
- Do Air Purifiers Really Help with Allergies?
- Best Air Purifiers for Allergies
- How Do Air Purifiers Work?
- Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
- What Exactly Is HEPA Filtration?
- Do I Need an Air Purifier?
- Best Air Purifier for Allergies 2016?
Do Air Purifiers Really Help with Allergies?
The short answer is yes, air purifiers positively help with allergies. In fact, effectively cleaning the air in the home has been shown to significantly reduce the severity and frequency of occurrence of allergy symptoms in the majority of sufferers, regardless of whether their allergies were caused from pets, mold, asthma, or pollen.
While air purifiers can be extremely effective in treating even the most severe allergies, they are not a one-stop solution. That’s because larger allergens like pollen and pet dander only stay circulating in your air for so long. If not properly filtered out beforehand (like in homes without air purifiers, or those that are not using an appropriately sized unit), these microscopic particles and sink into your flooring and furniture where they will rest until disturbed in the future.
To keep your home as allergen-free as possible, you need to use one of the best air purifiers for allergies to keep your home’s air clean, as well as practice good, routine cleaning of carpet, sofas, and anywhere else allergens may reside.
Best Air Purifiers for Allergies
The Coway AP-1512HH is one of the best room air cleaners on the market. Between its stylish appearance, powerful performance, and reasonable pricing, the AP-1512HH should be at the top of the list for anyone seeking a compact-sized air filter.
- With 3-Stage Air Flow Control, you’ll have full reign over the speed that’s right for your spatial and purification needs.
- Cost-cutting energy-saver mode automatically kicks in after the Coway air purifier has gone thirty minutes without detecting any airborne particles. Energy-saver mode switches off once the need for purification has been determined.
- Don’t want to worry about getting up to turn off the air purifier? The Coway AP-1512HH comes with a convenient 1, 4, or 8-hour easy-set timer.
- Perfect for rooms, garages, and offices up to 326 square feet in size.
- Four-Stage Filtration System includes a washable pre-filter, activated carbon odor filter, TrueHEPA filter, and a vital ionizer.
Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K
If you’re looking for a mid-sized air purifier, the Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K provides an ideal blend of performance and affordability. Powerful enough to eliminate 99.97% of all allergens from your home, the Whirlpool Whispure is great for larger offices, upper floors of homes, and even some smaller apartments.
- Rated to remove 99.97% of all airborne allergens that are larger than 0.3 microns in size.
- Four fan speeds include low, medium, high, and turbo, to ensure that you have full control over the rate of air purification, as well as the level of noise produced by the unit.
- Ready to go to bed? Turn on the Whispure AP51030K’s Sleep Mode and ensure that you have a noise-free night of sleep without sacrificing the quality of the air in your home.
- Want to make sure that no one accidentally adjusts the settings on your air cleaner? Whirlpool’s Control Lock system allows you to prevent changes being made without first holding down the sleep button for five seconds.
- This unit comes with a category-leading five-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
- Made to clean the air in spaces up to 500 square feet.
One of the bestselling air purifiers on the market, the Honeywell 50250-S utilizes a comprehensive 360-degree airflow system to ensure that the air in your home is as clean and allergen-free as possible. In fact, the 50250-S completely cleans the air in a 390-square-foot room even twelve minutes.
- Three speed settings allow you to adjust the purification and noise levels to fit your needs.
- Another of the few air cleaners which comes with a five-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
- Convenient replacement indicator lets you know exactly when it’s time to replace the unit’s filter, ensuring that you never sacrifice your home’s air quality because of a dirty unit.
- One of the lightest air purifiers in its class. Weighing in at just 20 pounds, the Honeywell 50250’s air cleaner is easy to move from room-to-room, and even between the home and the office.
- Rated to remove 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger in rooms up to 390 square feet in size.
Winix PlasmaWave 5300
For buyers on a budget searching for a low-priced room air purifier that actually delivers performance, the Winix PlasmaWave 5300 is a smart buy. While not as effective or tech-enhanced as many of the other units on this list, the PlasmaWave 5300 offers some of the best value of any low-priced unit right now.
- Three-step filtration process utilizes an odor controlling pre-filter, a TrueHEPA filter, and an ion-charging PlasmaWave filtration.
- Unit comes with a replacement indicator light that tells you when you need to replace the filter – before your air quality begins to suffer.
- Thanks to the PlasmaWave 5300’s Energy Star rating, you never have to worry about how much power is being used.
- Ideal for bedrooms, offices, and smaller living rooms that are up to 350 square feet in size.
Another low-priced but effective model, the GermGuardian AC5250PT is a cost-conscious option for bedrooms and small offices. While limited to spaces that are 193 square feet or smaller, the AC5250PT delivers a level of performance in those smaller areas that is comparable to units which cost two-to-three times as much.
- Easy to hide in an out-of-the-way location thanks to its slim, space-saving vertical design.
- Lightweight and easy to carry from room to room thanks to a convenient top-mounted handle.
- The AC5250PT is one of the few mid-range air purifiers which offers five different speed settings for maximum noise and purification control.
- Convenient digital display lets you control the unit’s UV-C feature, set a timer for up to 8-hours, and know exactly when the unit is ready for a filter change.
- Rated for spaces up to 193 square feet.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
Air purification technology is nothing new. We’ve been using cloth, cotton, and other mediums for hundreds – if not thousands – of years to keep harmful particles out of our lungs. In the most basic form, a doctor’s surgical mask or the respiratory devices that firemen wear in the field are both examples of air purifiers.
Early generations of electric air purifiers used fan blades and negative pressure to suction contaminated air into the device and through a fine cloth or synthetic filter. The filter would then trap larger particles floating in the air, resulting in a much cleaner air supply being released out the other side.
Today, air purifiers can trap particles as small as 0.1 micron in size – so tiny that you’d need a high-powered microscope to even see them. While fans are still used to move air around, modern purifiers employ a variety of different ionizing and electrostatic technologies to remove not just particles, but also gases and VOCs from the environment.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
The Clean Air Deliver Rate – or CADR – is a measurement of the volume of air that a purifier is able to process each minute. For example, an air purifier with a Clean Air Deliver Rate of 350 is able to purify 350 cubic feet of air per minute.
Developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the CADR has become a standard measurement among all domestically sold air cleaners. Each unit is rated with three separate CADR’s – one for tobacco smoke, one for dust particles, and one for pollen.
Using the CADR measurement is a great way to compare the performance of different air cleaners while trying to find one that best fits your spatial and air purification needs. For smaller spaces, a more affordable unit with a low CADR should be sufficient. For living rooms, multi-room areas, and whole-house solutions, you’re going to need to invest in a more powerful unit with a higher CADR – typically at least 350 cu.ft. per minute.
What Exactly Is HEPA Filtration?
When you need high-quality purification, there’s no technology more powerful and efficient than HEPA filtration. HEPA, which stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air”, is the standard for residential, commercial, and medical-grade purification, and is a must for anyone seeking relief from allergies, dust, pollen, or pet dander.
The truth is, however, not all HEPA filters are created equal. For the best performance, you want to make sure that you’re purchasing an air purifier with TrueHEPA or PureHEPA technologies. These designations show that the unit is able to remove up to 99.97% of pollutants in your home’s air source down to just 0.3 microns in size – much smaller than you can see with the average microscope.
HEPA filters use a variety of methods for capturing even the smallest particles, including the utilization of a dense mat of glass fibers to block the passage of even the smallest contaminants. Because of their extreme level of purification, HEPA filters are a must for anyone serious about reduce the severity of their allergy symptoms.
Do I Need an Air Purifier?
The short answer is that yes, you do need an air purifier. Because of the poor quality of the stale air present in most homes, just about everyone should be using an air cleaner to protect their health and the health of their family members and pets.
And if you suffer from allergies – especially moderate-to-severe allergies from pollen, dust, or pet dander – you can’t afford not to invest in a quality air purifier. Not only will you experience a huge reduction in your allergy symptoms at home, but you’ll also notice a big improvement to your energy level, focus, and breathing. Basically, breathing in clean, purifier air can make a big difference when you’re used to living in a pollutant-filled home.
Best Air Purifier for Allergies 2016?
We’ve seen a ton of great air cleaners hit the market so far this year, but to be honest, any of the units listed here could easily be considered the best air purifier for allergies 2016. That’s because each unit here, from the Coway AP-1512HH to the GermGuardian AC5250PT fits into its own unique space and price category. Depending on your needs and budget, any one of these five air purifier can help improve the air quality in your home and provide the long-term relief from allergies that you desperately need and deserve.