December 1, 2023

There’s something in the air, and it’s not good. In recent years, we’ve seen in increase in wildfires along with the COVID-19 pandemic, both of which have contributed to a massive uptick in the popularity of air purifiers. Air purifiers aren’t the end all be all of health and wellness, but they will drastically improve your indoor air quality by removing various pollutants, germs and other airborne particles, so you can breathe a little easier.

Shopping for an air purifier can feel like a difficult task, no thanks to the unfamiliar terms, options and confusing numbers. We spoke to experts including Dr. John McKeon, the CEO and founder of Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), for advice on what to look for when shopping for a home air purifier and then tested the best the market has to offer.

What to Look For in an Air Purifier


These days, most air purifiers (the good ones at least) will use a three-filter system. One of those filters should definitely be a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. “A device equipped with a HEPA filter is a good choice for those impacted by asthma and allergies as a HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of particles that measure 0.03 micrometers in diameter, including pollen spores, pet dander, dust mites and some bacteria,” says McKeon. HEPA filters will need to be replaced regularly, so make sure the price of replacement filters is something you can keep up with over time.

For odors and gasses, McKeon says an activated carbon filter is what you’ll want to help remove them, and activated carbon filters will typically be used in conjunction with a HEPA filter for enhanced filtration. Finally, the third filter in terms of importance, but the first in your purifier’s line of defense, is the pre-filter that captures larger particles like dust and hair. You can typically wash a pre-filter, which when dirty, will make the HEPA filter less effective.

Clean-Air Delivery Rating

Clean-air delivery rating, often denoted as CADR, was established by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, or AHAM. The CADR measures an air purifier’s effectiveness by noting the volume of clean air produced per minute based on the space of a room. According to McKeon, this rating “indicates the volume of filtered air that an air cleaner delivers, with separate scores for smoke, pollen, and dust.” The higher the CADR, the quicker and more effectively the air purifier is at filtering the air — though it’s important to note the CADR reflects the air purifier’s efficiency when on its highest fan speed, the noisiest level on a purifier.

To figure out which CADR is best for the room you want to use an air purifier in, use AHAM’s suggestion of finding a CADR that is “equal to at least two-thirds of the room’s area.”

Auto Mode

Air pollutants are invisible, and a lot of the time you won’t be able to tell when your air is polluted. A good air purifier should have an auto mode, which will kick up the air purifier’s fan speed to purify the air when a high concentration of pollutants are detected.

How We Tested

collage of eight air purifiers

Gear Patrol Staff

Over the course of several months — or in some cases, years — we had testers from our staff use their air purifier in their home, running 24/7. We judged the purifiers based on how they handled all sorts of troublesome air, from wildfire smoke to everyday pollutants to food odors or funky smells. We judged air purifiers through their listed clean-air delivery ratings, as well as their ease of use, quietness and perceived effectiveness. While air purifiers are by no means works of art, we did give extra (imaginary) points to units that looked half-decent (and in some cases, better than that). Also, we took into consideration the cost of filters, because as a recurring fee, these would certainly add to the overall value of the air purifier over time. We’ll continue to update this list over time as new air purifiers come to the market and how our current testing units continue to fare.

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier


Best Overall Air Purifier

Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty


$195.49 (15% off)

  • The pre-filter design is easy to keep clean
  • Buttons and settings are easy to adjust
  • Quiet operation even at higher speeds
  • The air quality status light is quite bright for a bedroom and can’t be turned off
  • The ionizer functionality creates ozone & should be better labeled
  • Plastic construction feels cheap

  • Filter Price: $40
  • Expected Filter Lifespan: 1 Year

    A staff favorite, the Airmega AP-1512HH, AKA the “Mighty,” offers some of the best air purification — with CADRs of 240 for pollen, 246 for dust and 233 for smoke — at its price point, and it does so in rooms up to 361 square feet. Plus, its small build makes it easy to tuck away.

    It has a triple filter system, a pre-filter, HEPA filter and activated carbon filter, plus an ionizer. A built-in air quality monitor tracks air quality and, when running in auto mode, will adjust the fan speed according to its readings (faster for low quality, slower when it’s contented). One of our testers found that the device worked well at eliminating kitchen odors and smokes even in an open floor plan that was about 200 square feet bigger than recommended. That tester wasn’t a fan of the shiny plastic body, which they compared to “terrible luxury styling trends that were popular in the early ’90s.” However, another tester loved the look, noting that it looked right at home next to his rowing machine. In other words, you may or may not like the style, but it’s certainly distinct.

    top of a coway mighty air purifier

    Coway’s Mighty does nearly everything right, but watch out for the uber-bright air quality light.

    Mitch K.

    One annoying quirk to look out for though, according to one of our testers, is the air quality status light can’t be turned off and is unusually bright. He ended up putting a Post-It over the light to shield his eyes when sleeping, so if you’re sensitive to such things, you may want to stick the Mighty somewhere other than your bedroom.

    Coway Airmega IconS


    Best Upgrade Air Purifier

    Coway Airmega IconS

    • Attractive modern design
    • Solid build quality
    • Easy to clean
    • Not silent, but nice and quiet
    • Can cool a room slightly, which isn’t ideal in the winter
    • You can’t see the controls, including the on button, until you turn it on

    • Filter Price: $89
    • Filter Expected Lifespan: 12 months

      This ultra-smart air purifier is the total package for folks who want their purifier to boast top features and cover a large amount of space. The machine features a bevy of smart features, including WiFi connectivity, voice control via Google Home or Alexa, a companion app and the ability to wirelessly charge your smartphone (or AirPods, or anything else that is Qi compatible) on its sizeable top plate.

      The IconS uses a pre-filter for pet hair and larger debris, while the Max 2 filter combines charcoal and Coway’s proprietary Green True HEPA filter, resulting in the filtration of 99.9% of harmful particles in the air. Real-time air quality monitoring means you can set it and forget it, while the display gives constant updates to the quality of the air you’re breathing, bringing you comfort and peace of mind, whether you’re trying to get rid of cigarette smoke, germs in the air or any other airborne irritants.

      top of a coway airmega air purifier

      The IconS’s wireless charging station is a nice touch, even if you don’t end up using it much.

      Zen Love

      Our tester loves that the Coway Airmega Icon S actually elevates his bedroom’s sense of design and aesthetics. It’s the first air purifier our tester ever used, and he notes that it has been a real upgrade for his sleep and says that it does a good job of removing pollutants from the air such as those from the urban street outside his apartment. He also loves the solid, high-quality build, noting that it feels more like furniture than an appliance.

      One quirk our tester notes is that you have to touch the top panel in order for the LED menu to appear, including the “on” button. This feature is stylish and feels fancy, but our tester worries that his finger will be pressing on some other function by accident — when all he wanted to do was to switch it on. Of course, if you use the app or Alexa that probably won’t be an issue, but if you’re more analog and like a physical off-on switch, you may get frustrated. He also noted that the phone-charging feature, while nice in theory, doesn’t get much use, because how often are you tossing your phone on top of an air purifier?

      Ikea Fornuftig


      Best Budget Air Purifier

      Ikea Fornuftig Air Purifier

      • Stylish — doesn’t look like an air purifier
      • Lightweight and slim
      • Quiet on its lowest setting
      • Loud on its higher settings
      • Not very powerful compared to pricier options
      • Only appropriate for very small rooms

      • Filter Price: $31
      • Expected Filter Lifespan: 6 Months

        Ikea’s entry into the air purifier category is very Ikea. It looks good, it’s cheap and it gets the job done. It has a decent CADR of 140, and it employs two filters: a HEPA 12 filter and a carbon filter. However, purchasing the unit only includes the HEPA 12 filter. You’ll have to spend an extra $13 to get the carbon filter, which is good for eliminating unwanted odors. It’s not compatible with a smartphone app, but at $75, you can’t really expect it to be smart. Besides its technical capabilities, the Fornuftig happens to be quite attractive. It’s pretty similar to Ikea’s speakers made in collaboration with Sonos, and that’s a good thing. Also, the thing hangs on the wall, which is objectively cool and highlights how light and thin it is.

        top of an ikea fornuftig air purifier

        Ikea’s cheap air purifier is lightweight and stylish, but not the strongest performer.

        Caitlyn Shaw

        One of our testers loved how sleek and slim the Ikea purifier is, and likes how the cord matches the body color, making it subtle and also handy for allowing it to blend in against a white wall. She notes that the purifier is super quiet on its lowest setting, but on higher settings, it’s a bit louder than her other purifier, the Coway Mighty. She notes that it also doesn’t clear the air as visibly or collect as much dust in its filter as the Mighty, but to be fair, these are two levels of purifiers in two price brackets we’re talking about here.

        For a deeper look, read our full review of the Fornuftig.

        Blueair DustMagnet 5440i


        Best Air Purifier for Dust

        Blueair DustMagnet 5440i


        $229.99 (51% off)

        • Scandi-inspired design is gorgeous
        • Spots in the rear to hide away the cord
        • Tons of performance data available in the app
        • Auto mode could be more sensitive
        • On-device controls aren’t that intuitive
        • A bit short to effectively use as a side table

        • Filter Price: $55
        • Expected Filter Lifespan: 6-12 months

          Like its competitors Coway and Levoit, Blueair offers several core lines of air purifiers. There’s the Protect line, the ubiquitous Blue line (more on that later) and the innovative DustMagnet line. At the top of the latter is this model, the DustMagnet 5440i. Rated for medium-sized rooms, it’ll clear a 357 ft² space in twelve and a half minutes and has CADRs of 255 for pollen, 230 for smoke and 240 for dust. Dust, as you may have guessed by the name, is where the DustMagnet excels. Its design — which earned a Red Dot Award in 2021 — features filters and intakes on both the top and bottom of the unit. This creates a vortex, which combined with an electrostatic charge inside the machine, creates static that attracts dust to the filters like… a magnet. Blueair says the machine captures 99% of airborne dust before it settles, and our tester doesn’t doubt those numbers. He says the filters in the device load up with an impressive amount of dust, and he also noticed that the area around the purifier requires less dusting than other parts of his home.

          dust from a blueair dustmagnet 5440i air purifier

          The DustMagnet does what it claims to in our experience, pulling loads of dust from the air and trapping it in its pre-filter.

          Johnny Brayson

          Our tester also loves the design of the DustMagnet. It’s basically a Scandinavian-inspired side table with a nice fabric front and leather-esque tag. It doesn’t look at all like an air purifier and complements our tester’s mid-century modern aesthetic. Also aiding in the looks are a pair of cutouts in the back of the unit that are perfect for hiding away the cord, making the device look even tidier. This is also a smart air purifier, and our tester loves the voice control capabilities along with the wealth of information offered in the app — he finds Blueair offers more relevant air quality data than his smart Dyson or Levoit purifiers.

          The only real negatives, according to our tester, are the height of the purifier, as it’s really too short to be used as a table (even if it looks like one), along with the on-unit controls, which are tiny and nearly invisible touch buttons with limited functionality.

          Levoit Vital 200S


          Best Air Purifier for Pets

          Levoit Vital 200S

          • Excellent at absorbing pet hair
          • A good size for the performance offered
          • Lots of smart features and communication make it feel like a helpful appliance
          • Quite loud at higher settings
          • Some features are only accessible in the app
          • Top control panel is always dusty and also easy to accidentally activate

          • Filter Price: $50
          • Expected Filter Lifespan: 1 Year

            Our tester has, quite frankly, too many pets. There are three cats and a dog living in a one-bedroom apartment, which means there are constantly tumbleweeds of fur rolling about. In an effort to keep his place tidier, our reviewer got the Vital 200S, which has some unique features that make it the best air purifier for pet owners. Chief among them is the massive u-shaped inlets on the sides of the device. These suck in pet hair like no other air purifier our tester has used before, and he’s always shocked at the amount of fur he routinely finds sticking to the pre-filter of this machine. There’s also a “Pet Mode” which cycles between medium and high modes, making it effective at gathering up fur and pet dander without sucking up too much energy by constantly being on high. Levoit also offers a specific Pet Allergy filter for the Vital 200S (along with Smoke Remover and Toxin Absorber filters) for even more animal-readiness, but this isn’t included with the purifier.

            top of a levoit vital 200s air purifier

            The top panel of the Vital 200S is all too easy to accidentally activate due to its many touch-sensitive buttons.

            Johnny Brayson

            Even if you don’t have pets, our tester would still recommend the Vital 200S. It’s a True HEPA purifier and a WiFi-equipped smart one at that, and it offers great performance and features. It’ll clear a 380 ft² room five times an hour on high and has an overall CADR of 245. It also boasts Levoit’s outstanding auto function, which uses an infrared sensor to scan the air for pollutants that need to be eliminated. It’s also one of the easier purifiers out there to control via a virtual assistant or through an app, though our tester wishes that some features — notably the Pet Mode — were accessible someplace besides just the app. Another negative noted by our tester is the top panel of the machine. It’s a sleek black touch panel that is super easy to inadvertently push a button on — like when a cat jumps on top of it. The panel can be locked, but since the lock button is also on the top panel, it isn’t all that useful.

            Coway Airmega 400


            Best Home Air Purifier

            Coway Airmega 400

            • Effective for very large spaces
            • Smart mode monitors air quality
            • Nice design, like most Coway purifiers
            • Filters are costly to replace
            • Large and bulky size

            • Filter Price: $94
            • Expected Filter Lifespan: 1 Year

              With a coverage area of 1,560 square feet, the Airmega 400 offers excellent air purification for extra-large rooms or small homes, such as a studio or even a one-bedroom apartment. Our tester notes that the massive machine (it’s big, there’s no way around that) came in a large box and was mostly all assembled. He says the build quality was noticeable and that it didn’t disappoint for the $550 price tag. It’s a hefty air purifier that just needs the filters to be unwrapped and loaded into the housing, so the set-up was very easy (it was up and running in minutes).

              Our tester was hoping the air purifier would help with wildfire smoke seeping into his building from the wildfires in California that were going on when he purchased it. His space has two levels and an open floor plan, so he needed an air purifier that could handle that big of an open space. It worked immediately — the smart mode went full throttle in the first couple of hours, and the air became noticeably different. Our tester says it was easier to breathe the next morning and he didn’t have the sinus issues that he had been dealing with for weeks from the smoke.

              top of a coway airmega 400 air purifier

              If you have a large space, there’s really no beating the Airmega 400 and its coverage rating of 1,560 square feet.

              John Zientek

              Our tester’s favorite part of the Coway Airmega 400 is the smart mode. It automatically senses when air quality is getting worse and will kick into higher gear to address particulate in the air. That means it’ll immediately ramp up when he gets home from a hike in the woods and the dog is running around in front of it. Our tester also likes the night mode — it quiets down and hums in the background when the overall air quality is ok. Our user does wish the purifier would have a bit more programmability, but that is addressed in the 400S app-connected model — albeit for an even steeper price.

              Levoit Core 400S


              Best Air Purifier for Allergies

              Levoit Core 400S



              $189.00 (14% off)

              • Quickly adjusts fan speed to your indoor air quality
              • Effectively removes airborne particles, especially allergens
              • Pairs with voice assistants
              • Plastic parts leave something to be desired

              • Filter Price: $50
              • Expected Filter Lifespan: 6-8 Months

                Many people buy air purifiers to help them with their allergies. If you’re looking to quit the sneezing, get the Levoit Core 400S. The compact air purifier uses trademarked AirSight Plus technology that quickly picks up the air quality in the room to automatically adjust its fan speed to clear up the muck. It has a CADR of 260, with an optimal room size of 403 square feet. The unit itself displays the filter life and real-time updates of the number of airborne particles, but if you sync it up with the accompanying Levoit app, you’ll get in-depth information and remote control.

                Blueair 211+


                Best Air Purifier for Smoke

                Blueair Pure 211+

                • Sucks up odors and smoke like it’s nothing
                • Good room coverage and excellent strength
                • Simple design, with colorful options
                • No auto function (though a pricier auto version is available)

                • Filter Price: $65
                • Expected Filter Lifespan: 6 Months to 1 Year

                  The most important factor in purchasing an air purifier is its effectiveness, but many also consider how it looks. Some either look too sterile or like a droid out of Star Wars. The Blue Air 211+ is simple in its looks — essentially a two-toned rectangular box with customizable colored pre-filters — and has high-tech features to boot. The 211+ has CADR of 350 across the board, and our tester noted the machine is exceptionally good at removing odors from cooking, both quickly and effectively.

                  The 211+ can complete up to five air changes an hour in a 540-square-foot room, and our tester found it worked well in combatting smoke and food odors in an open floor plan. Because the 211+ is small and lightweight (under 13 pounds), you can somewhat easily carry the air purifier from room to room depending on where you need it. One downside is the air purifier does not have an auto function. And while most modern-day air purifiers eschew buttons for touch-sensitive controls, our reviewer was a huge fan of the device’s tactile buttons, a small but satisfying product detail that plays into its overall aesthetic.

                  It’s also worth noting that Blueair has recently introduced new SmokeBlock Filters for the 211+ and some of its other models. These filters pack in additional activated carbon that removes up to 99.99% of wildfire smoke while also offering protection against the toxic fumes that accompany wildfires.

                  Coway Airmega 250


                  Best Air Purifier for Large Rooms

                  Coway Airmega 250

                  • Attractive and compact
                  • Simple to use
                  • Easy to clean
                  • Just one color option
                  • Lacks insight into how well it’s performing

                  • Filter Price: $52
                  • Expected Filter Lifespan: 1 Year

                    A great mix of everything Coway has to offer is the Airmega 250. This machine covers an impressive 930 square feet, packing CADR of 230 for pollen, 249 for smoke and 261 for dust. The Airmega 250 uses three-stage filtration — a washable pre-filter, a Green True HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter — which is standard with Coway air purifiers, so you know it’s good. A quick glance at the machine lets you know how your air is doing thanks to the LED air quality indicator atop the unit.

                    top of a coway airmega 250 air purifier

                    The Coway Airmega 250 combines an attractive design with performance that’s ideal for most people.

                    Sean Tirman

                    Our tester absolutely loved this air purifier. He first fell for its sleek modern looks, and continues to like them so much that he’s proud to have it out on display — how many air purifiers can you say that about? Our tester also says this purifier is remarkably quiet, very easy to use (the push-button controls are all straightforward and clear), easy to clean (which is a big deal), and anecdotally says it has made his sinus issues far more manageable over the course of owning it (even if he can’t actually prove this).

                    For a deeper look, read our full review of the Airmega 250.

                    Blueair Blue Pure 411


                    Best Air Purifier for Small Rooms

                    Blueair Blue Pure 411

                    • 360-degree air intake means it’s effective wherever you place it
                    • Energy efficient
                    • One of the brand’s most affordable option
                    • Maybe a little too simple
                    • Performance is limited to small rooms

                    • Filter Price: $24
                    • Expected Filter Lifespan: 6 Months

                      For small rooms up to 161 square feet, get the Blueair Blue Pure 411. It completes up to five air changes an hour, and it weighs only three pounds so you can easily transport the device from room to room without issue. The fabric pre-filter, which is machine washable and helps to extend the life of HEPA filter, comes in various colors to fit your interior design aesthetic, so it doesn’t look too sterile in your impeccably designed home. Because of its 360-degree air intake, you can place the purifier almost anywhere and still experience peak performance. The 411 also boasts energy efficiency, unlike most others on the market, which makes this budget pick a good deal in the long run, too.

                      Levoit Core 300


                      Best Air Purifier for Bedrooms

                      Levoit Core 300

                      • Simple to use via the touch panel
                      • Handsome and compact design
                      • Ultra quiet operation in Sleep Mode
                      • Lacks an auto mode
                      • No smart features or WiFi connectivity like many other Levoit models

                      • Filter Price: $30
                      • Expected Filter Lifespan: 6-8 Months

                        The beautiful thing about the Levoit Core 300 is that it’s dead simple to use. You just plug it in and all the controls for on/off, its various modes, speeds and timers are on its top via a touch panel. It has good CADRs (145 for pollen, 140 for dust and 141 for smoke), and a good performance range (215 square feet) — especially for only being around $100. But perhaps the best thing about the Core 300, according to our tester, is that there’s a sleep mode that makes it run silent and with all the lights turned off.

                        top of a levoit core 400s air purifier

                        With its silent sleep setting, the Levoit Core 300 is ideal for nighttime use.

                        Tucker Bowe

                        Our tester does note a few caveats with this particular model. There is no Wi-Fi connectivity for this specific model (which is probably why it’s so affordable), but Levoit does have higher-end models in the Core 300 series — like the Core 300S — that do connect to Wi-Fi so you can control them from afar. There also is no onboard air sensor, so it won’t automatically start up when your air quality drops — it needs to be manually turned on. Of course, the lack of those features is what keeps it so affordable, not a lack of performance. It’s designed for medium-sized rooms, which our tester says is perfect for his bedroom.



                        Best Smart Air Purifier

                        Mila Smart Air Purifier

                        • Affordable yet smart and effective
                        • Impressive breadth of air quality information
                        • Strangely does not offer remote on/off function

                        • Filter Price: $59+
                        • Expected Filter Lifespan: 6-9 Months

                          Mila started as a Kickstarter project, which received over $1.1 million in backing. Those backers should rest assured that this is an excellent air purifier in the middle-to-upper price range. Mila has a CADR of up to 447 in rooms as big as 1,000 square feet. The powerful unit has an in-depth display that offers information most air purifiers require an app to see (and Mila’s app itself offers a wealth of information). In auto mode, set Mila to hit a target air quality index (AQI), and it’ll tell you how long it will take to get there, and how it compares to the outdoor AQI as reported by your closest air quality reporting station.

                          Mila also monitors temperature, humidity and carbon monoxide, among a host of other useful information and insight. The air purifier uses tailored air filters that address specific needs for its users. For example, there are filters for pet owners, new parents, overall clean freaks, etc. One knock against the Mila is that because it has a manual on/off switch, you can’t power it on or off remotely, which is odd since the overall device is so smart.

                          For a deeper look, read our full review of the Mila.

                          Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde


                          Best Dyson Air Purifier

                          Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde

                          • Specializes in targeting hard-to-capture formaldehyde
                          • Is also a fan and humidifier
                          • Device offers air quality information on the unit itself
                          • It’s about as expensive as air purifiers get
                          • Cheaper options are sometimes better at basic air purifying tasks

                          • Filter Price: $80
                          • Expected Filter Lifespan: 1 Year

                            Formaldehyde is a silent killer, and it’s hard to capture and kill. Dyson recently revamped its air purifier line, and it included a range that specializes in getting formaldehyde (as well as other crap in the air). The Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde uses a Selective Catalytic Oxidization filter, which is a fancy way to say it catches formaldehyde in billions of tiny tunnels and turns it into water. It’s also insanely quiet, and 20 percent quieter than the old models. All air purifiers have an air output, and I like how Dyson turned that necessity into something functional: a fan and a humidifier. The tiny display on the machine actually offers a lot of information about your air quality, and it’s only rivaled by the information you get on the accompanying Dyson app.

                            collage of a dyson purifier humidify and cool formaldehyde air purifier

                            Dyson’s advanced do-it-all air purifier boasts loads of next-level tech — and a next-level price to match.

                            Will Porter

                            Our tester loves the way this high-end machine looks — it is a Dyson, after all, and the techy appliance brand generally churns out head-turning designs — and finds that its style complements any room in which he places it. He also remarked on how quickly the machine seems to cycle in clean air, and while he appreciates the two-in-one functionality of the humidifier, he did note that the water reservoir needs to be filled quite often.

                            For a deeper look, read our full review of the Dyson Purifier.

                            Coway AirMega 150


                            Best-Looking Air Purifier

                            Coway Airmega 150



                            $151.99 (20% off)

                            • Beautiful design with unique color options
                            • Easy to wash pre-filter
                            • Ability to turn off the air quality status light
                            • No auto shut off feature
                            • Fan is loud at high speeds

                            • Filter Price: $50
                            • Expected Filter Lifespan: 6-12 months

                              Our reviewer initially purchased the AirMega 150 because of its unmatched combination of pairing a true HEPA air filter with a stylish design and multiple color options. Once he began living with it, he started to notice and appreciate its other fine details like the sleek embossed touch buttons, the frosted LED pollution status light and the easy pull tab for the removable washable filter — all of which he says make the 150 a very fun air purifier to live with.

                              top of a coway airmega 150 air purifier

                              There aren’t many air purifiers that can be described as “fun,” but with its array of available pastel colors, the Coway Airmega 150 is an exception.

                              Mitch K.

                              While the AirMega 150 is rated to clear smaller rooms of 214 square feet in 12 minutes it can still treat the air in larger rooms of 500 square feet over a longer period of 30 minutes at higher fan speeds. And while our tester loves this Coway’s small size, one downside of the unit is the fan can get quite loud at higher speeds. For this reason, our tester almost always keeps the 150 on “low” instead of “auto” because when the air quality sensor does detect high pollution when cooking or vaping, the fan can get quite loud and drown out his TV speakers. That said, if you do enjoy white noise, our tester says the hum of the fan on the 150 is quite soothing.

                              How Do Air Purifiers Work?

                              “Air purifiers are designed to remove small particulate matter, or air pollution, from the air we breathe,” Kenneth Mendez, the president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), says. “These small particles can vary in size, and can irritate the lungs or trigger allergic reactions when inhaled.” The pollutants can come from practically anywhere, with Mendez noting that the primary sources of air pollution come from “cooking, automobile emissions, dust, fires or burning of coal and other materials.”

                              “Some air cleaners work by trapping allergens like pollen or pet dander in their media-based or carbon filters,” Mendez says. “Other air cleaners work by passing air through an electrostatic filter, giving the particles an electrostatic charge. This makes the particles then stick to metal plates in the air filter which can then be washed to remove the particles.”

                              Different filters will act in different ways, whether they’re trapping large particles or small particles, or eliminating odors. Be on the lookout for purifiers that release ozone, which can be detrimental for those with asthma and cause problems in the airways for others. And if you’re wondering if air purifiers actually work, they do.

                              Air purifiers filter and remove airborne particles that can aggravate allergy symptoms and underlying health conditions and improve the overall air quality of the indoor environment. They are not, however, a panacea of air perfection. They won’t eliminate 100 percent of the unwanted particles in your home, namely those that are stuck on hard and soft surfaces. In general, air purifiers will greatly impact your respiratory health — and we found 13 that do this the best.

                              New and Upcoming Releases

                              Our recommendations are based on real-world testing. Here’s a snapshot of new and unreleased air purifiers our testers are considering for future updates to this guide.

                              Wyze Air Purifier: Affordable tech brand Wyze has unveiled its first air purifier, and it certainly looks interesting. Described as a “luxury air purifier without the luxury price,” Wyze’s model is offered with different filter types so you can customize it to your needs. With a standard allergen filter it costs $140, the wildfire filter version costs $145 and the premium Formaldehyde Filter model leads the pack at $165 — all very competitive prices. The all-around CADR is an impressive 350, and filters need to be swapped out every six months.

                              Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Associate Staff Writer.

                              Will Porter is Gear Patrol’s Commerce Writer.