Did you know that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air? According to studies by the Environmental Protection Agency, these levels are of particular concern because most people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors. The way to combat this is by using one of the best air purifiers developed to keep your home free of harmful pollutants.
But there may be a problem: A recent survey shows that 46 percent of adults have no idea that air pollution in their homes is a health risk. Another 62 percent believe air pollution is only an outdoor problem. And only 35 percent were worried about how polluted indoor air would affect their well-being.
What causes indoor air pollution? Indoor smoking, wood-burning stoves, cleaning products, cooking, and animal dander can all contribute to indoor air pollution.
And there is potentially more pollution in your home than you may realize. Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder found in a 2019 study that the average home is prone to “indoor air quality levels on par with a polluted big city.” Everyday activities like cooking and cleaning can be to blame. The authors believe that chemicals found in common household fabrics even seep outside and cause more air pollution than cars and trucks. Preliminary results of the study show that air quality levels were so poor at the end of the study that the researchers had to recalibrate their sensitive instruments almost immediately.
The shocking finding led scientists to believe that American homes need better ventilation, especially when residents are cooking and cleaning. For example, boiling water on a gas stove led to higher levels of harmful particulate and gaseous pollutants. A similar study conducted in 2022 by researchers at Texas A&M University also found that air quality in homes may actually be worse than in office buildings. Specifically, typical indoor air pollutants include mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from carpets, furniture and paint, as well as fine particles (PM2.5).
Studies show that prolonged exposure to these pollutants can cause a wide range of health conditions, from relatively mild symptoms such as headache or dry eyes to much more serious life-threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.
While you probably won’t stop cooking, cleaning, or loving your pet, there’s a simple solution to improving the air quality in your home: an air purifier. They are so effective that they can even improve asthma. A bedroom air filter that traps fine dust particles and other pollutants 2.5 micrometers or smaller can make a big difference in childhood asthma relief, according to another study.
So breathe easy by investing in a high-quality air purifier. If you’re looking for the best air purifier on the market, we’ve done the research for you by scanning 12 expert reviews. Clear the air with the five most recommended options in their reviews. If you have your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
List: The best air purifiers according to experts
- Coway Airmega AP-1512HH
The Coway Airmega AP-1512HH tops our list of the best air purifiers, and reviewers point to several reasons why it’s so damn good. The New York Times says, “Perfect for bedrooms, playrooms, and living rooms, the AP-1512HH is one of the most powerful, durable, and economical purifiers we’ve tested.”
US News also ranks it first, writing, “The Coway Airmega AP-1512HH is the highest-rated air purifier in our ranking. This affordable air purifier can clean rooms up to 361 square feet. It includes a washable pre-filter to capture large particles such as dust and pet hair, a True HEPA filter to capture pollutants, and an activated carbon filter that can eliminate odors.
If you have a smaller room, it’s ideal, according to CNET: “The Coway AP-1512HH is one of the only air purifiers on the market that uses both a HEPA filter and ionic technology to remove different types of particles in different ways. When testing the Coway Airmega, our favorite feature of the compact model is its energy-efficient eco mode. When the air quality in the room remains purified for more than 30 minutes in eco mode, the fan turns off to save energy and turns on again when particles are detected again.
- Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto
Tom’s Guide tested this machine: “During our testing, one cube-shaped air cleaner stood out above the others. The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto dominated the competition. It has the ability to clean the air in a large room with minimal energy consumption and very little noise.”
Good Housekeeping recommends it as an overall great choice: “If your home has multiple contaminants—pet dander, cooking fumes, airborne allergens, etc.—you want an air purifier with multi-level protection, like the Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier. The device uses a three-part filtration system: fabric for dust and other large particles, true HEPA for smaller particles like mold and bacteria, and activated carbon for odors caused by smoke, pets, and the like. This is enough to remove up to 99.97% of common airborne pollutants in 540 square feet, the perfect size for a family room, master bedroom or large office.
If you want a quiet cleaner, this one fits the bill. According to Wired, “It’s remarkably quiet at its lowest setting, but it also has a built-in sensor that automatically increases fan speed when it detects particles. Even if I left it on the lowest fan setting overnight, it would usually ramp up to the highest speed by morning.”
- Honeywell HPA300 HEPA air purifier
For medium to large rooms, it’s the Insider’s choice: “If you need a powerful air purifier for a medium to large room, the Honeywell HPA300 HEPA Air Purifier is your best choice.”
“Not only is this Honeywell air purifier small and quiet, but it’s also cheap for all its powerful features. For starters, it can clean up to 2,250 square feet in under an hour, which means it’s great for large rooms. It also has three levels of air purification that capture microscopic airborne allergens and particles including dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mite debris, smoke and more,” says Esquire.
- Levoit Core 400S
According to Live Science, experts and consumers alike approve of this purifier: “The Levoit 400S performed best at removing airborne particles in our in-home testing, capturing at least 99.5% and up to 100% of particles during testing. Its sleek and stylish cylindrical shape with a neutral color scheme makes it an easy addition to any room, while the color-coded display gives users a great picture of air quality at any given moment. The Levoit 400S has an impressive 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 85% of reviews giving it a full 5 stars.”
Safewise says it’s perfect for your bedroom: “The Levoit 400S is one of the quietest air purifiers on the market, making it perfect for a bedroom or nursery. Cleans up to 400 square feet five times per hour. The Levoit 400S has a much smaller footprint than other air purifiers, allowing you to place it on a dresser if you’re short on space. In addition, its LED display can be turned off completely to achieve uninterrupted rest conditions.”
- Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool
For a machine with double or triple power, The Spruce says this one is worth the splurge: “If you’re looking for a device that wears many hats, this Dyson model can clean, cool and humidify your air. You don’t have to worry about its multitasking reducing its effectiveness as a purifier, as we saw an improvement in air quality just five minutes after using this device. It uses an H13 HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter and has 10 different power levels.
“It’s rare to find a machine that can clean, humidify and cool a room in one – so I was immediately impressed. The Dyson reported good air quality every time I checked in – the only exception was after I lit candles or cooked something on But when the air quality dropped below ideal levels, it didn’t seem like it took the purifier much time to do its job after increasing the fan speed (it should be noted that this model also has an auto-clean setting that jumps to a higher speed if quality will drop),” writes Architectural Digest.