13 Best Air Purifiers for Clean Breathing (2024) | Architectural Digest

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If you’re prone to coughing and sneezing indoors, your air quality could be to blame—and that's where the best air purifiers come in. These powerful machines will rid your home of airborne dust mites, pesky dander, and other airborne pollutants.

We put leading air purifiers to the test to find out which ones truly deserve the title of best. Ahead, discover the purifiers that came out on top, complete with thorough reviews based on our editors' in-home tests.

Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Air Purifier, Heater, and Fan • Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier • Blueair Blue Pure 411i Max • Levoit Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier • Conair Pure Medium Room Air Purifier • Shark 3-in-1 Air Purifier, Heater & Fan with NanoSeal HEPA • Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier for Large Rooms (White, HPA204) • Sans HEPA 13 Air Purifier • Bissell Air Purifier

Coway Airmega 250 Smart Air Purifier

Tester: Nick Mafi, features editor

My space: Luckily, the air quality in my home is pretty good and I don’t smoke nor do I live with any animals. I will say that I live in Brooklyn and my windows face a street. So, naturally, some dust from the street does find its way into my apartment.

Area coverage: My apartment is 814 square feet and I have the air purifier unit located in the center of the apartment, next to a wall. At this size, the purifier can and does cycle and clean the air that spans the entirety of the space. (It can clean air in large spaces up to 930 square feet.)

Filter replacements: New filters cost about $79 and replacing the pre-filter (the first of four filters) is very simple. You simply pull the washable pre-filter out of the device, clean it, allow it to properly dry, then slide it back into place.

My experience: My experience with the air purifier to date has been a very good one. When turned on, it is very quiet. This is important because I typically turn the unit on while having friends over for dinner. I do this to create an extra level of protection in my apartment during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the noise level of the product is important, so as not to drone out people speaking at the table. Fortunately, it’s not an issue with this machine. The design of the product is great, too. It almost looks like a fancy, sort of futuristic speaker. In fact, it’s turned into a bit of a dinner table conversation, as people often don’t immediately guess that it’s a purifier.

In terms of the technology, Coway’s unit has a four filtration system, which in and of itself is kind of incredible. I mean, how often do we get four layers of protection for anything? The first layer is for the larger dust particles or pet hairs. Then, the second layer involves capturing the small particles that made it through. The third layer is carbon activated, which means it can extract carbon dioxide and other harmful chemicals from the air. The fourth and final layer involves the capturing and containment of viruses and bacteria.

In terms of smart features, I was impressed with how I could control everything from the tap of a button on my smartphone. The app also allows me to set a timer for the duration that I’d like the purifier to stay on, while also providing a detailed report on the air quality in real-time.

The bottom line: I would recommend this air cleaner to anyone who is in the market. At this time, when clean air in your home is so important, this air purifier is a must for those who can afford it. I think the fact that this filter involves four layers of protection, and that the fourth actually contains and extracts 99.999% of viruses and bacteria is phenomenal. All the more so that it can do it in the midst of a global pandemic. And as we are starting to learn how to “live” with the pandemic as part of our daily lives, having a state of the art air purifying system is all the more important. By paying $350, you are providing you and your family the safety and security to invite friends and family to your house, with much needed peace of mind, too.

Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde

Tester: Rachel Fletcher, senior commerce editor

My space: I have pretty intense dust and fragrance allergies and I work from home a lot these days with a large dog in an old building. It’s not an exceptionally dusty space, but we live on a block with a decent amount of car traffic and I’m pretty much always obsessing about the air quality. If I start sneezing or waking up with a sore throat, I want answers!

Area coverage: The Humidify+Cool is meant to work in a single room at a time (it was previously tested by Dyson in an 81 cubic feet chamber), and I placed it in my bedroom, which is the smallest room in my home.

Filter replacements: Filter replacements cost $79.99 and it’s recommended that they be replaced once every year. Installing them initially was quite quick–they snapped into place fairly easily.

My experience: It’s rare to find a machine that can purify your air, humidify it, and cool down a space all in one–so I was impressed right off the bat. An update to earlier Dyson models, this machine does all that and aside from getting rid of the usual particles, it also removes formaldehyde (which can cause even more irritation to your eyes and throat) from the air.

The Humidify+Cool has a HEPA filtration system and a separate carbon filter detects formaldehyde. I guess it could be due in part to my obsession with clean air, but, so far, the Dyson has reported good air quality every time I’ve checked in–the only exceptions being after I’ve lit candles or cooked something on the stovetop. But when the air quality has dipped below ideal levels, it doesn’t seem to take much time for the purifier to do the job once I turn up the fan speed (it should be noted that this model also has an auto purify setting that will kick into high gear if the quality dips, but it is a little loud for my taste so I tend to keep it on a lower setting).

While I hate having an app for literally every device in my home, installing the Dyson Link app really did make installation a snap. And I love being able to check in on the air stats (temperature, particle level, humidity level, etc) whenever I want. You can also control the fan speed, oscillation range, and set timers from the app.

As for specific features I appreciate, filling the water tank from the top is a huge plus and it’s large enough that it doesn’t have to be refilled every day. I also appreciate the night mode setting, which makes everything a little quieter and less bright.

What I would change: This may be a misconception about the purpose of a humidifier, but I am used to really intense humidifiers that emit visible plumes of moist steam all night long. This is not that. The humidity that the Dyson model generates in the house is definitely a healthy and reasonable level (most sources recommend 30–50% humidity, and the Dyson, at its max humidity setting, hovers around 60%), but if you are like me and want more targeted humidity in the super dry winter months, this is not the machine for you and you might want to stick to separate devices for purifying, humidifying, and cooling.

The bottom line: Aside from the note above, this is a really expensive device, coming in at more than $800. That said, it might actually save you money in the long run if you don’t want to buy a purifier, a fan, and a humidifier individually and you want a powerful device for each activity. I’d recommend it if you have deep pockets and not a ton of challenging air pollution situations to combat on the regular.

My space: We live in a three-story townhome in Los Angeles. I use the Bissell in the bedroom where my husband, two dogs, and I sleep.

Area coverage: The Bissell is designed for small spaces around 100 square feet. The bedroom I use it in is a bit bigger, but I can attest that the Bissell nonetheless makes a noticeable difference in the quality of the air.

Filter replacements: Bissell recommends replacing the air filters every three months, and the process is easy and intuitive. OEM replacement filters are available on Bissell, and generic replacement filters can be found on Amazon.

My experience: This was the first air purifier I ever bought. I purchased it in the height of Covid, and it gave me peace of mind that the air in our bedroom was fresh and clean. It’s always worked great and left the air in the room feeling crisp and well circulated. It’s also impressively quiet. Even on the highest setting, it’s still not loud and the “low” and “whisper quiet” speed settings are even quieter, of course. I also love how compact it is: It’s less than five pounds, stands 12" tall, and has an has an 8” diameter. I personally have it in white, but it’s also available in blue and lavender.

The bottom line: This is a solid choice, and I’ve always been happy with it. When it’s on sale, the price goes as low as $74—and that’s pretty hard to beat! If you need an air purifier for a bedroom, dorm room, or office, this is a super solid choice. And I think the lavender or blue would be so nice in a kid’s room (and if you leave the optional glowing light on it can double as an energy-efficient night light).

Rabbit Air A3 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier

The space: I got our home’s first air purifier back in 2018, hoping it would help scrub the air of some pollen and pet dander (first a Molekule Air Pro, then adding an ALEN Breathesmart to the mix). Then 2020 hit. By the summer of 2020, we had six or seven air purifiers running in the house at all times. Today, most of our air purifiers have been donated, and I’m back to being primarily concerned with pollen, pets, dust, and smoke (a problem that is only going to get worse in the foreseeable future) when it comes to indoor air quality.

Area coverage: The A3 Ultra Quiet is rated to fully refresh the air in a space measuring 1,030 square feet, twice per hour. Though do note that, as with all air purifiers, its effective coverage size is considered to be smaller for allergy sufferers.

Filter replacements: You can buy filter replacements here for $116. While many air purifier filters need to be swapped out every six months, this one can last up to two years.

My experience: My first thought on powering on the A3 is that Rabbit Air isn’t kidding then they say this air purifier is quiet. In fact, when set to a “silent” operating speed, it’s literally quieter than a whisper. And at night, thanks to a built-in light sensor, it reduces its lights (which can change color to represent air quality in real time) fading away into a dim, barely-audible device one could easily forget was even there.

In terms of actually using the device, it’s an easy setup and familiarization process. You can pretty much start using it right out of the box—all you need to do is discard the packing materials and then pop the front panel off the air purifier, exposing the filters inside that need to have protective film removed. On the control interface, you will find air quality indicators, filter status info, and your Wi-Fi connectivity status.

Because this is a fully smart air purifier that you can control remotely in real time via a phone or tablet app, you can also get all the info you’d ever want about your indoor air quality via the Rabbit Air app, available for download at both the Google Play and Apple app stores.

The bottom line: When the Rabbit Air A3 is running, the air in your home will be cleaner—you can count on that based on the intense testing and product comparisons the company runs, not to mention the five-year warranty offered. You can also tell the air is cleaner because it will smell that way, and I don’t just mean a reduction in unwanted odors (though that’s a welcome fact here)—I mean you will literally experience the odor of fresher air, much like going outdoors on a clear, breezy day. (Read Steven’s full review of the Rabbit AIR A3 here)

The space: I tested my kitchen’s air quality using an air quality monitor. In this case, the lower the CO₂ score, the better. According to the monitor, a score of less than 500 parts per million (ppm) CO₂ is good for indoor air. Anything between 500–599 ppm is considered okay, and anything higher than 599 ppm is poor. I periodically tested the kitchen, my guest bathroom full of houseplants, and my office where I have no houseplants.

Area coverage: This air purifier is excellent for single rooms, especially high-traffic rooms like the kitchen or living room.

Filter replacements: You can buy replacement filters on Briiv’s site.

My experience: Every day for two weeks, I turned the Briiv on level four at 8 a.m., and over the first 30 minutes the air quality rating became an average of 387 ppm (well within good indoor CO₂ levels). After keeping the device on level four until 10 a.m., the air quality score reached 350 ppm and leveled out (I also took the extra precaution of making sure all the windows and doors were closed throughout the test).

I even tested the air quality in the evenings after making dinner, when I would turn the device on again at the lower setting of one dot. The CO₂ levels then became an average of 472 ppm. As a comparison, an MIT report suggests that atmospheric CO₂ levels of between 280 and 350 ppm is a good score outside. My bathroom with houseplants scored 407 ppm, and the room without houseplants at all scored 520 ppm.

Given its hefty price tag, it was vital to me that the Briiv lived up to the hype. So I put the device through the ringer, spending weeks with it and going so far as to buy an air quality monitor to check in on how my Briiv was doing at purifying my home’s air. What I found was that the device seemed to bring down the CO₂ levels in my kitchen and did away with funky smells. It’s important to note that the Briiv doesn’t include any air quality indicators, so there’s nothing on the device itself to convey that anything was happening, which is why understanding the science behind the key—and its beautifully biophilic—ingredient of moss can help.

In navigating the Briiv air filter, I could manage the touch-activated control zone on the front of the device or utilize the app (available for Apple or Android). The control zone is very simple, so I stuck with that. It has a range of one to four dots indicating the level of fan speed available. One dot of speed is barely audible, two dots is a bit louder and offers a buzzing sound, while the latter strengths of three and four dots are even more pronounced—mimicking the sound of the average tabletop fan. Next to this scale is a touch button for a one-hour boost, a cleanse mode that will clear up a room’s air in just an hour.

The bottom line: The Briiv worked better than I imagined. Not to mention, there’s an advantage to owning a Briiv that other air filters can’t offer: It’s a wonderful feeling having moss in the home. It almost feels like it is answering a subconscious need to commune with nature, even indoors. And based on looks alone, the device certainly adds to any countertop. It is on the pricier side, so interested buyers will have to determine if the gentle air purifier that also works to help the planet is worth the buy.

Although definitely not scientific, my findings show the Briiv can circulate and clean the air in a high-traffic area, my kitchen, where I also routinely cook and thus emit fumes indoors. But it does take the device some time to cycle the air in the room entirely, and the higher levels do seem to perform better in terms of thoroughly cleaning the air. I also noticed the air felt more refreshing when using the device, and I didn’t feel that middle of the afternoon stuffy head feeling from allergies in spring. (Read Michelle’s full review of the Briiv Air Filter here)

Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Air Purifier, Heater, and Fan

Tester: Audrey Lee, commerce editor

My space: I’m always looking for ways to protect myself from anything that could flare up my eczema and dust allergies, but once pollen gets thrown into the mix, all bets are off. While I do a pretty good job of catching the visible aggressors with dusting and vacuuming around my house, it’s difficult to monitor microscopic allergens and airborne contaminants, so I’m usually left sniffling or itching during transitional seasons.

Area coverage: Dyson’s Purifier Hot+Cool is great for medium to large rooms and can easily cover an area of up to 315 square ft (2860 cubic feet) if not more, according to tests conducted by Dyson. I kept mine in my bedroom, which is about 170 square feet.

Filter replacements: Filter replacements run about $80 from Dyson, though cheaper alternatives do exist from outlets like Amazon (just know these off-brand versions have been reported to work to varying degrees). The filters easily snap into the chamber-like base of the purifier and Dyson recommends replacing your filters when you’re alerted by the app or every 12 months, whichever comes first.

My experience: In addition to a small remote control, there’s also the Wifi-enabled Dyson Link app, which you can download to your smart device. I usually detest having to download an app to get the most out of my tech and appliances, though the Link app made setup a breeze; plus, if you own more Dyson home products it’s easy to manage them all in one place.

The purifier itself works like a dream, and I noticed within a week of use that I felt noticeably less congested. The intuitive device uses a 360° filtration system that implements a combination of activated carbon to remove potentially harmful gases and odors from the air and a HEPA H13 filter to capture 99.97% of particles. I appreciated that the Hot+Cold has an auto mode, which continuously monitors room temperature and indoor air quality, while also running the fan or heat to the degree of your choosing.

When you first turn on the purifier, it immediately starts assessing the surrounding air quality, and you can monitor any fluctuations in general air quality, particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5), particles smaller than 10 microns (PM10), volatile organic compounds usually from air sprays or aerosol (VOCs), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), as well as temperature and humidity. I was particularly fond of this feature and frequently looked at these charts to see how the levels would rise or decrease over long periods of time.

Visually, the Dyson purifier definitely grabs attention with its sleek, modern design—a big draw to me when incorporating it into my space. Noise was never something that bothered me, though it emits louder sounds when the fan/heater is on a higher level or if it’s working to clean the air in a more polluted space. Besides its impressive air purification skills, the device doubles and triples as an oscillating smart fan and heater with adjustable airflow which I became hugely hooked on during winter (on account of some drafty windows in my room). With the ability to set your desired temperature, the heater can make a closed space feel noticeably warmer in very little time (my room size is average and I would say it took under 10 minutes).

The bottom line: I really love this air purifier because I can feel and see it working (via the app). At $650 a pop, this air purifier is definitely a splurge. Are there other air purifiers out there that work just as well at a lower price point? Probably—but I would say it’s the combination of a high-quality air purifier, fan, and heater that make this one worth its price.

Tester: Zoë Sessums, digital design editor

My space: Currently, I live in a house with two cats and a wood stove, so there is often some kind of fur, dander, and smoke in the air. I’ve also found that my gas stove puts out a decent amount of VOCs every time I cook, which isn’t great. Essentially, I find my allergies constantly shifting so I’m always trying to pay attention to the air in my house.

Area coverage: I use this air purifier in my bedroom (roughly 130 square feet), since it’s best for small spaces (up to 161 square feet).

Filter replacements: The filter replacements are only $20—you can even buy a replacement pre-filter (the sleeve on the outside) for only $8—and it is incredibly easy to replace. I didn’t even need to look at the instructions, so I’d say it is very intuitive.

My experience: I really like this purifier because of how quiet it is and how there are minimal bright indicator lights to bug me at night (I really need a totally dark room). It’s also a very unobtrusive object—it tucks into a corner quite easily and has various outer sleeve color options if you do want it to pop in a room. While it doesn’t have a ton of extra features or buttons, I enjoy how simple and efficient it is—when you want a great little air purifier for your room, this is the way to go. It’s also easy to clean—I’ve used a vacuum on it and I’ve hand washed the pre-filter/cover.

According to Blueair’s website, the purifier is ENERGY STAR rated to use less energy than the average LED lightbulb, so you can keep it running all day without using too much energy. It also has a three-part filtration system, so the fabric pre-filter catches large particles like pet hair and dust and then the combination particle and carbon filter uses a layer of activated carbon to filter light household odors from pets, cooking, and smoking, while the main particle filter removes airborne particles like pollen, dust, and pet dander.

The bottom line: At $120 (or less when it's on sale!), I think this air purifier is worth the price. It’s an ideal option for a smaller space or single room, and with its ultra quiet operation, it is a great pick for a bedroom.

BLUEAIR Blue 411i Max Air Purifier

Tester: Lizzie Soufleris, visuals editor

My space: My living situation is absolutely rife with dust: I live in a century-old apartment building right next to an elevated subway track with two wonderful cats, and their not-so-wonderful litter boxes. Our gas stove is hood-less and sits right next to our gas-powered washer-dryer. Beyond all of that, my partner and I have a penchant for buying dusty antiques nearly every time we leave the city.

Area coverage: The Blue Pure 411i Max is optimized for “small spaces,” touting a suggested range of 219–526 square feet. I tested it in my 13x13 living/dining room (which clocks in well below the maximum square footage).

Filter replacements: Blueair offers 2 options for filter replacements: A single filter for $29.99, or a two-pack with a replacement subscription for $50.98. Each filter lasts 6-9 months, and the Blueair app alerts you when it is time to switch over to a new one.

My experience: I hate downloading apps onto my phone. And I especially hate appliances that are rendered useless without their accompanying app. Thankfully, the Blue Pure Max 411i works its magic with or without it (the app is an optional addition for some extra functionality).

In the app (I downloaded it for testing purposes), you can create a schedule, set the purifier to automatically switch modes at different times of the day, set a “child lock,” and change the brightness of the LED display (a perfect feature for people with purifiers in the bedroom). Beyond changing settings, the app gives an overview of the level of air pollution in your space and alerts the user when it is time to change filters. While I can’t say I’ve noticed a palpable difference in the quality of the air in my apartment, I’m sure the HEPA filter is removing plenty of imperceptible pollutants. That peace of mind is good enough for me!

What I would change: In a perfect world, I would be able to find a purifier that blends in with my collection of midcentury furniture, rather than one that screams “I AM AN AIR PURIFIER”—but alas. When it comes to aesthetics, the Blueair models are totally fine, and better than most–they’re sleek and minimal, and likely blend in more easily with modern decor.

For a purifier specifically aimed at small spaces, the Blue Max 411i is not exactly miniature. At 19 inches tall, with a 10-inch diameter, it’s a tad bulky, especially when placed in an optimal location for purifying.

The bottom line: Overall, I am very happy to have this purifier in my space! In the age of global pandemics and unpredictable environmental factors, we can all stand to benefit from some cleaner air. Though slightly bulky, the Blue Max 411i is extremely easy to use, relatively affordable, and almost completely inaudible. For me, it’s a fantastic set-it-and-forget-it air quality solution!

Levoit Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier

Tester: Rebecca Grambone, associate social media manager

My space: No matter how much I dust my bedroom in my apartment, the wooden floors always seem to get dusty the next day. I live with two other roommates and my bedroom is attached to a hallway that we all are constantly walking through to get to the bathroom or the laundry area. I’ve realized recently that having a bedroom near a “high traffic” area of the apartment may be the culprit behind my dust issue, especially if people are walking through after having been outside.

Area coverage: The effective range of the air purifier is 403 square feet and can be used in larger areas, however purification will take longer. I used it in my bedroom, which is approximately 12 feet by 13.

Filter replacements: The filter replacements for this particular model cost around $50. I haven’t had to replace my filter yet since it lasts about 12 months. However, when you first take the air purifier out of its delivery packaging, you have to remove the filter from a plastic covering and place it back in the purifier. I found this process super simple since all you have to do is twist the bottom portion of the purifier off, remove the filter, put the cleaned filter (or a new one) back in, and then twist the bottom portion back on.

My experience: After about a week using the air purifier in my bedroom (along with regular dusting), I noticed that I wasn’t waking up with puffy eyes anymore. This may sound cliché, but the air in my room felt crisper and definitely cleaner. I specifically liked the Auto Mode feature that adjusts the fan settings automatically based on the current air quality in the room. I also appreciated the Sleep Mode feature that keeps the air purifier operating quietly by using a fan speed lower than low speed, this way I could use it throughout the night without the sound disrupting my sleep. I found it interesting that this air purifier has a 3-Stage Filtration system: the first is a pre-filter that captures larger particles such as dust and pet fur, the second is a H13 True HEPA filter that “captures at least 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 microns in size,” and the third is a custom high-efficiency activated carbon filter that absorbs smoke, odors, and fumes. Each of these filters also serves the purpose of maximizing the filter’s life which I find makes this purifier a good investment.

I was also impressed with other high-tech features such as the VeSync app, which allows you to control the air purifier from your smartphone by connecting it through Bluetooth. Having access to the app allows you to easily view the air quality in the room you have the air purifier set up in with words like “good” or “very good.” You can also view the air purifier’s filter life, as well as set up features such as “Auto Clean,” which turns the air purifier on automatically when the air quality is bad and “Auto Stop,” which automatically turns the air purifier off when the air quality is good. I also found it helpful that the app lets you view how long you’ve had the air purifier running as well as how much air has been purified. You can visibly see the job getting done!

For someone who really isn’t that tech savvy, I found everything to be easily accessible. Sometimes products add all this extra tech just as a bonus, but I truly felt that each and every tech feature that this air purifier had to offer was functional and beneficial.

What I would change: One downside of this air filter is that it’s definitely on the larger and bulkier side and you definitely need to have the space for it, especially since the manual recommends keeping it 15 inches from anything surrounding it.

The bottom line: Overall, I found this air purifier very effective! I would recommend this specific product to anyone who is looking for more of a high-tech option that will definitely get the job done. However, you definitely have to have the space for it, as it is not a sleek and sexy option compared to other air purifiers on the market that are on the pricier side.

Conair Pure Medium Room Air Purifier

Tester: Shani Kravetz, assistant visuals editor

My space: My apartment gets very dusty in the winter, causing me to wake up congested and my room to get musty. I find that I’m constantly cleaning surfaces of dust but it builds up again very quickly.

Area coverage: Conair’s air purifier filtrates rooms up to 200 square feet (I placed my air purifier in my bedroom which measures about 112 square feet).

Filter replacements: The Medium Room Air Purifier replacement filter costs about $40 and is very easy to replace. The air purifier has a Filter Replacement Indicator that lets you know when it's time to change your filter. To replace the filter you lift the cover panel, pull out the old filter and push in the new one until you hear it click.

My experience: The ConairPure Medium Room Air Purifier is a great addition to my home. I was hesitant to get an air purifier due to my sensitivity to nightly noise but the ConairPure is completely noiseless on the lowest fan setting (but for those who prefer gentle white noise, there are medium and high settings available for faster fan speeds).

Living in New York, dust accumulation and urban odors are common in my apartment. Since using the air purifier I have noticed much less dust gathering on my bedroom surfaces and no odor traces. The design is sleek and easy to use with three fan settings as well as an Positive and Negative Ion Generator that effectively attracts and captures airborne pollutants. The user-friendly control panel includes a filter replacement indicator which lights up when it’s time to switch. It is an off-white, inconspicuous machine that doesn’t take up too much space and it has the ability to stand vertically or to be placed horizontally on top of a counter.

What I would change: While effective, I would say the price point could go down to around $65–85 to accommodate the extra cost of replacing the filter.

The bottom line: I would recommend this air purifier—it’s sleek, fits well in any space, and has adjustments for low and high fan speeds. It works well for more closed off rooms so I would say it's perfect for an apartment or closed off bedroom. Overall I would recommend this air purifier to first time users. Its functionality, aesthetics, and suitability for confined spaces makes it a good investment in improving indoor air quality.

high quality car air con filter Shark 3-in-1 Air Purifier, Heater & Fan with NanoSeal HEPA