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Best Air Purifier Based on Reviews

Best Air PurifierWhich is the best air purifier? The factors that make an air purifier great are well understood; airflow, filtration efficiency, noise level and running costs are some of the things that have to be considered. Figuring out which air purifier performs best in regard to these factors, however, is a real challenge.

At Allergy Cosmos we perform air purifier testing - but as we are only one of many testing companies, we looked into which unit the best testing companies in the world rank as the best air purifier, and why.
 
Contenders for the Best Air Purifier
Testing for the Best Air Purifier
Testing Companies
Results
Contender's Performance
Air Purifier Reviews

 

Contenders for the Best Air Purifier

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There are a number of air purifier brands claiming to offer the best air purifier on the market. IQAir says that it manufactures “the world’s most advanced room air purifiers”1 and that the IQAir HealthPro 250 is “the world’s no. 1 rated air purifier”. Blueair claims that their “air purifiers have been proven to deliver cleaner, healthier air faster than any competing air cleaner”. Honeywell claims to be the best air purifier by saying that “doctors recommend Honeywell air purifiers to their patients more than any other brand”.2 Airfree claims that they are the “world’s safest and most tested air purifier brand".3 Winix go a little further, claiming their “air purifiers are among the best worldwide, with technologies that set the bar for competitors”.4

Testing for the Best Air Purifier

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There are numerous air purifier reviews and companies claiming that they 'tested' units to find the best. But it is difficult to identify whether these reviews are well made or often even genuine. Some air purifier tests and reviews are made by people with good intentions but no knowledge about air purifiers. Other reviews have less good intentions and try to look objective and independent but have a very clear bias, mostly a financial one. So, how can you find out which unit is the best air purifier? We recommend that you look for companies that a) have a strong reputation of carrying out truly independent tests, tests that help (not mislead) customers, and b) companies that do actually understand what to look for when testing for the best air purifier.

Testing Companies

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Best Air PurifierConsumer Search is an American firm that was founded in 1991 and is located in New York. The company is owned by Ask.com. Consumer Search says that their goal is to make their product reviews “objective and precise” and they promise that “at no point are our editors influenced by advertising or other commercial considerations.”6 Their goal is to “report the truth about what experts & users are saying as well as important developments in each product category we cover".6

Best Air PurifierConsumers Digest is an American company based in Chicago. The company just celebrated its 50th anniversary and provides product reviews, commentary and editorial features on new products, industry trends and general consumer interests. Consumers Digest says that it’s mission “always has been and always will be about saving you time, saving you money, and educating you about how to become a smarter consumer in a complex and often confusing marketplace”7, so that you can buy the best products (including the best air purifier) with confidence. Consumers Digest strives to provide readers with a “behind-the-scenes perspective, in-depth research and strategic insight”7 on the products they review.

Best Air PurifierAllergy Consumer Review calls itself an "allergy solutions site" and has a team of consumer testers who “are diligent in their reviews and analysis of the leading and new healthy home products in this industry"8. The company is located in Braintree, Massachusetts, and has a portfolio of healthy living ecommerce websites such as Allergy Buyers Club and Pain Relief. 

Best Air PurifierApartment Therapy was founded in 2004 and is a lifestyle blog providing information for people on how to improve their home. The focus of Apartment Therapy is on making the home "beautiful, organised and healthy.”9 As part of this, Apartment Therapy tests products on a regular basis.

Best Air PurifierStiftung Warentest is a German consumer test company and is probably the most rigorous of the testing companies we have examined. The company was founded in 1964 based on a decision of the German parliament. Its goal is to offer consumers an independent and objective support through comparative testing of products and services. Stiftung Warentest only buys products anonymously in trade and then tests these products by “using scientific methods in independent institutes according to our specifications”.5 Stiftung Warentest evaluates products from "very good" to "poor", "exclusively on the basis of objectified findings".5

Best Air PurifierParent Trusted, Parent Approved (PTPA) is a Canadian company founded in 2012. It is a community of parents across North America who share feedback regarding various home products. The PTPA seal of approval stands for “quality, reliability and trust.”10

Results

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Units Consumer
Digest
Consumer
Search
Parent Tested,
Parent Approved
Allergy
Consumer
Review
Apartment
Therapy
Consumer
Guide
Consumer
Report
Stiftung
Warentest
IQAir HealthPro 250
Blueair 650E #2 #4 #2 65/100
Holmes #3 29/100
(HAP1200-U)
Honeywell #5 56/100
(50250)
Filtrete 54/100
(FAP03)
Airfree #3
LightAir #4
                 
Alen BreatheSmart
Rabbitair
Winix #7
Airgle #10
Airpura #5
Humanscale #8
Whirlpool #9 74/100
(AP51030K)
34/100
(APT40010R)
Austin Air #2 #3
Hoover 19/100
(WH10600)
Electrolux 57/100
(EL500AZ)
Amway Atmosphere 51/100
(101076)
GE 54/100
(AFHC21AM)
Germ Guardian 54/100
(AC5000)
Idylis IAP 42/100
(10-200)
50/100
(10-280)

Contender's Performance

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IQAir HealthPro 250

The IQAir HealthPro 250 has won more independent number 1 awards than any other air purifier. In 2011 the HealthPro 250 won the ‘Best Air Purifier Overall’ by Consumer Search. The award was based on the air purifiers ability to “remove particles even smaller in size than standard HEPA filters can handle” and the addition of the “V5 filter means the unit is able to filter odours and chemicals”.6

Consumers Digest has awarded the IQAir HealthPro 250 the ‘Best Buy’ award for being the best air purifier in the premium home air purifier category. This was the fourth consecutive year that IQAir won this award. The air purifiers tested were ranked according to their “performance, ease and cost of maintenance, quality of construction and the area the air purifier cleans”.7

Allergy Consumer Review named the IQAir HealthPro 250 the winner for “the all-rounder best air purifier” and the IQAir GC MultiGas was ranked #2 as “the best all-rounder odour and gas air purifier”.8

Apartment Therapy placed the IQAir as #1 best air purifier for achieving the highest rating from the Apartment Therapy test lab and said “it is one of the few products that completely lived up to its claims with immediate noticeable effects in a real world environment”.9

Parent Trusted, Parent Approved awarded the seal of approval as best air purifier to the IQAir HealthPro 250. They describe the unit as the “world’s most advanced room air purifier” and the only “air purifier to be tested and certified to filter down to 0.003 microns and captures over 99.5% of viruses, bacteria, pet allergens, mould spores, dust and pollen”.10

Stiftung Warentest tested 10 international air purifiers and evaluated the IQAir HealthPro 250 as the only air purifier that was “sehr gut” (very good) - which is their top mark. The company said “after 15 minutes around 85% of all dirt particles of even 0.5 to 1.5 microns in size had already been removed. The [best of the other brands] only removed about half as many particles in comparable conditions”.

Blueair 650E

Blueair has won several awards for being the best looking/designed air purifier. The Blueair range won for example the ‘Excellent Swedish Design Award’, ‘Good Design’, ‘G Mark’ and the ‘Red Dot Award’. However, none of these awards have anything to do with the air purifier’s actual performance and are for that reason not considered when determining the ‘best air purifier’.

In regard to it’s performance, the Blueair 650E was a runner up for the ‘Best Air Purifier Overall’ by Consumer Search. According to Consumer Search the Blueair “does a great job filtering pollution from the atmosphere” using a combination of a mechanical mesh filter with ionisation. Consumer Search commented, however, that the “Blueair lacks the pre-filter that top rated purifiers use that extends the main filter life”. Furthermore, the “filter replacement is the biggest expense which require changing every six months”.11

Blueair was ranked #4 by Allergy Consumer Review for best air purifier. Allergy Consumer Review said that the Blueair 650E was able to “deliver large amounts of purified air at a very low noise level”.9 The Blueair was also a runner up on the list for top air purifiers by Apartment Therapy. Apartment Therapy states that the “Swedish company … offers premium air purification in a much more stylish package”.10

Holmes HAP756-U

Holmes markets their HAP756-U air purifier as removing “99.97% of airborne allergens as small as 0.3 microns” and says that it includes the “Arm and Hammer-enhanced filter”12 which helps filter common household odours. The Holmes HAP756-U was ranked #3 by Consumers Digest, describing it as being “rare among air purifiers that are in this price range ($140-$150)”8 and making it a ‘Best Buy’ selection. Consumer Report, on the other hand, rated the Holmes HAP1200-U air purifier as only 29/100 – which qualifies it as “not worth buying”.

Honeywell

Overall the Honeywell air purifiers have not been a major contender in the award for the best air purifier. But the Honeywell HEPA air purifier was ranked #5 by Apartment Therapy for best air purifier. According to Apartment Therapy, the Honeywell air purifiers are tested and regarded to be “dependable, affordable workhorses which do a great job”.

Filtrete

Even though Filtrete makes strong claims – for example that their air purifiers are “better than HEPA at capturing large airborne particles”13 - none of the independent test companies we looked at have awarded Filtrete any best air purifier awards. Only Consumer Reports rated the Filtrete FAP03 air purifier as 54/100.

AirFree

AirFree units are often sold as being the “world’s safest and most tested air purifier brand”, but the Airfree unit was not tested by most of the independent testing companies that we found. Only one of the testing sites mentioned the Airfree. Allergy Consumer Review tested the Airfree Onix and ranked it as #3 in the top ten air purifiers. Allergy Consumer Review states that “all AirFree units do not use filters therefore there is no maintenance costs”, however, Allergy Consumer Review also says that “Airfree models are not recommended for serious gas and odour removal”.9 

LightAir IonFlow

LightAir is very recognisable for the unique design of their air cleaners; going on to win various awards for their good look. None of the testing companies, however, were impressed with its performance in cleaning the air. Consumer Report wrote the most critical review by saying that “with no fan to aid airflow, the LightAir IonFlow 50F was about as effective at removing dust smoke in our tests as having no purifier at all”.14

 

Air Purifier Reviews

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Air Purifier ReviewsClaims made by manufacturers about their air purifiers often sound great, but fail to live up to expectations. We've put together guidelines, independent test reviews, customer reviews and air purifier comparisons for you to consider.

Air Purifier Review Categories:

Why buy an air purifier?
What should I consider when reviewing air purifiers?
What should I consider when buying an air purifier?
How reliable are claims made by manufacturers?
What standards and tests are there?
What pollution should an air purifier filter out?

 

Why buy an air purifier?

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A good air purifier can significantly improve indoor air quality by removing virtually all particle pollution. This includes house dust mite allergens, mould spores, pollen grains and particulate matter (PM), such as ultrafine particle pollution from traffic and industry. An air purifier can also remove molecular pollution like gases, including cigarette smoke components and Volatile Organic Compounds. Which components of your indoor air pollution are removed will depend upon the type of filtration the air purifier uses. Some combine filter and absorbent technologies so they can remove both particles and gases from the air. Finding the right air purifier for your needs whether, for instance, you have a child with asthma or suffer yourself with chemical sensitivity can be difficult. There are hundreds of different types of air purifiers, and manufacturers make various claims, which are not yet properly regulated. There are, however, some excellent air purifier models available, endorsed by opinion leaders within the industry and used in hospitals, research facilities, and government buildings around the world. These air purifiers will protect your family's health and can make a real difference to those who suffer from allergies, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, asthma and other respiratory problems.

What should I consider when reviewing air purifiers?

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There are several aspects that you should consider when reviewing air purifiers. One of the most important aspects is effectiveness. The effectiveness primarily depends on:

1. the amount of air the air purifier moves, and
2. the air purifier's efficiency in removing air pollution from the air

If you are looking for a unit to filter out the two different kinds of air pollution in your home, you will need to make sure that the machine you use has effective HEPA filtration as well as gas filtration.

Another thing you should keep in mind is, that there are many dubious air purifier manufacturers, and they are not afraid to blatantly misrepresent information. The result is that many labels and certificates for air purifiers that you find in stores and online are nothing more then devised marketing programmes in disguise.

Key things to look for when evaluating an air purifier are:

  • Theoretical vs. actual efficiency of an air purifier
  • Actual (vs. overstated) air delivery rate
  • Effectiveness of the air purifier's particle and gas filtration
  • The air purifier's long-term performance
  • The cost and frequency of filter replacement

What things should be considered when buying an air purifier?

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There are several factors you should consider:

Stand alone or whole house system?
Stand alone air purifiers are easy to use and install, allow you to focus on one room or area at a time, and tend to achieve higher filtration efficiency.

Whole system efficiency
The efficiency of an air purifier is described as its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), which is a number between 1 and 20. The Environmental Protection Agency translates this as follows: True HEPA filters with a MERV between 17 and 19 are defined as having a minimum efficiency rate between 99.97% and 99.99%, thus removing 0.3 micron particles. An air filter with a MERV value between 7 and 13 might be almost as effective as a 'true' HEPA filter and will be quieter and less expensive. This efficiency may not be achieved in practice if there are leaks present, if the filter is damaged or becoming worn.

Air change per hour rate
Put simply, this is how fast the air purifier processes air going through it (polluted air in, clean air out). This is measured by the room's volume in cubic meters divided by the air purifier's airflow rate in cubic meters per minute. You might want to look at an air purifier that gives at least two air changes per hour to be effective at lowering the burden of pollutants and allergens.

Filtration technology
There are HEPA and electrostatic filters with the former generally being more efficient.

Maintenance cost
Consider how often you will have to change filters and parts.

How reliable are claims made by air purifier manufacturers?

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Labels and claims on air purifiers are often no more than marketing slogans. Therefore, always look for companies that run independent testing on their products and are endorsed. Be aware, however, that some supposedly independent tests and certifications are again just ran by certain manufacturers. Their results are often far from ‘independent’. You should also be aware that there are a lot of dealers and distributors that only push products to make money, but do not understand the products and the industry. Look for dealers that know what they are talking about. Just because someone is selling air conditioners does not mean that they understand air purifiers.

What standards and tests are applied to air purifiers?

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Various types of performance standards are set for air purifiers, although no standards are universally used. The Military Standard 282 is used to rate particle reduction in air purifiers and is fitted with HEPA filters. The ASHRAE standard is used on home air purifiers, testing how many larger particles can be removed from the air, and also the amount of dust left on the filter when the air has been filtered through the unit. This gives an idea of how long the filter might last.

Another test for the efficiency of the effectiveness of HEPA filters is the DOP penetration test. This test sends a cloud of particles 0.3 microns in size through the filter and compares how highly concentrated these particles are in the airstream before and after they pass through it.

What pollution should an air purifier filter out?

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Air pollution either consists of gas or particulates. Particle pollution can have many sources, such as tobacco smoke, pet allergens, microorganisms, pollen, mould spores and dust mite allergens. Gas pollution is caused by cleaning products, sprays, solvents, paints, varnishes and adhesives.
It is important to point out that the technology used to collect particle pollution, is different to the technology used to capture gas and chemical pollution.

Air Purifier Reviews

Dyson Pure Cool Review | Vax AP03 Air Purifier Review | HoMedics Professional HEPA Air Purifier Review | Delonghi AC150 Air Purifier Review | Bionaire BAP9240 Air Purifier |Naturopure 380A Air Purifier | Airfree P60 Air Purifier | IKEA Patrull Air Purifier | Filtrete Ultra Clean Large Room Air Purifier  

Related Products:

Air PurifiersIQAir HealthPro 250IQAir GC MultiGasBlueair 450E SmokeStop

Dyson Pure Cool Review

Dyson Pure Cool Review

Pros:

  • Looks nice
  • High airflow

Cons:

    • X Purifying fan
    • X Short filter life
    • X Ineffective Carbon filtration

Summary:
Dyson has introduced the Dyson Pure Cool - the first “purifying fan” as the company calls it - and as such Dyson’s very first air cleaner. The current price is £449 for the tower version and £349 for the desk version. The Dyson Pure Cool features 10 different speed settings and an auto mode to adjust the speed of the airflow.

Click Here to Read More

Price: £449 Do you own this model?
Write a review

Vax AP03 Air Purifier Review

Vax Air Purifier Review

Pros:

  • Dual stand design

Cons:

    • X Relatively loud
    • X Less than HEPA filtration
    • X Ineffective Carbon filtration

Summary:
The Vax AP03 air purifier is the largest unit of the three air purifiers currently available by Vax. The AP03 is retailed at £229.99 to £299.00 (incl. VAT) and uses two filters, has three speed settings, a filter life indicator and a timer function.

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Price: £149.99 to £299.99 Do you own this model?
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Homedics Professional HEPA Air Purifier Review

Homedics Professional HEPA Air Purifier Review

Pros:

      • Portable
      • Easy to clean

Cons:

    • X Very basic functions
    • X Filter needs to be vacuumed every 4 weeks
    • X Less than HEPA performance

Summary:
The HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier AR-10A-GB is one of three air purifiers offered by HoMedics, retailing at £99.99 (incl. VAT) and as such is the cheapest unit in the HoMedics range. The HoMedics professional HEPA air purifier uses two filters: a pre-filter which is washable and a mechanical HEPA-type filter.

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Price: £65.98 to £99.99 Do you own this model?
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Delonghi AC150 Air Purifier Review

Delonghi AC150 Air Purifier Review

Pros:

      • Compact and Contemporary Design
      • Broad range of features
      • Quiet on settings 1 & 2

Cons:

    • X High level of maintenance
    • X Vibrates on setting 3
    • X Insufficient amount of activated granular carbon

Summary:
The Delonghi AC150 air purifier is a good mid-range air cleaner. But it is not without flaws. You might not be able to use it on setting 3, especially if the filters are loaded. This air purifier is also not for you it you want or need an air cleaner that is completely ozone free

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Price: £200.00 to £249.99 Do you own this model?
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Bionaire BAP9240 Air Purifier Review

Bionaire BAP9240 Air Purifier Review

Pros:

      • Small and portable
      • Dual positioning feature
      • Low price point

Cons:

    • X High amount of maintenance
    • X Low airflow
    • X Relatively high sound pressure
    • X High filter replacement cost

Summary:
The Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier is one of three air purifiers that Bionaire offers and is the most basic model in the Bionaire range. This Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier is advertised to remove a broad range of airborne pollutants, such as; pollen, pet dander, dust and mould spores. It offers a pre-filter and a HEPA-type/carbon filter, as well as an ioniser that can be turned on and off individually.

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Price: £49.00 to £59.99 Do you own this model?
Write a review

PureAire Basic Air Revitaliser Review

PureAire Basic Air Revitaliser Review

Pros:

  • N/A

Cons:

    • X Very low air cleaning efficiency
    • X Maintenance required every 2 days
    • X Potential for mould and bacteria growth

Summary:
The PureAire Basic Air Revitaliser uses water to filter pollution from the air. The revitaliser consists of an ioniser, one speed setting and a violet switched light. The manufacturer claims the unit is able to remove household pollution as well as gas, chemical and odours is insufficient as the unit does not consist the use of any filters and the filtration efficiency is significantly low the PureAire Basic Air Revitaliser will not be as effective in removing pollution from the air.

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Price: £8.99 to £15.00 Do you own this model?
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NaturoPure HF 380AAir Purifier Review

NaturoPure HF 380A Air Purifier Review

Pros:

    • Remote Control
    • Low price point

Cons:

    • X Low overall quality of manufacturing
    • X Low quality filters
    • X Large amount of leakage

Summary:
There used to be a time when air purifiers were more focussed on superficial ‘bells and whistles’ (such as an excessive amount of different 'filtration technologies'), rather than actual performance and quality of manufacturing. The Naturopure 380A fits right into this category, with its seven low quality filters, interface, air quality monitor and timer.

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Price: £270.00 to £290.00 Do you own this model?
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Filtrete Ultra Clean Large Room Air Purifier Review

Filtrete Ultra Clean Large Room Air Purifier Review

Pros:

  • Contemporary design
  • Low price point

Cons:

    • X High level of maintenance
    • X Not leakage free
    • X No gas, chemical & odour filtration

Summary:
The Filtrete Ultra Clean air purifier is not leakage free, which is excusable for an air cleaner in this price range (and if you are not dealing with a serious contamination issue or severe allergies and asthma). However, what is not excusable is that the manufacturer is overly secretive about the air purifier’s actual performance in terms of filtration efficiency and airflow - to the point where we feel the information Filtrete is providing is misleading.

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Price: £170.00 to £199.00 Do you own this model?
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IKEA Patrull Air Purifier Review

IKEA Patrull Air Purifier Review

Pros:

      • Small and light
      • Relatively quiet
      • Moves a good amount of air

Cons:

    • X Not designed for allergy or asthma sufferers
    • X Not leakage free
    • X No indication that the filter is full

Summary:
The IKEA Patrull air purifier has a low price and some efficiency in collecting large dust particulates, but this unit is not designed with people who suffer with asthma or allergy in mind. Indoor air pollution does not stop at 0.3 microns, and achieving a 65% efficiency rate at 0.3 microns is not going to be enough to be considered an effective air cleaner and make a significant improvement to the air quality in your home.

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Price: £95.00 to £100.00 Do you own this model?
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Airfree P60 Air Purifier Review

Airfree P60 Air Purifier Review

Pros:

  • Small and mobile
  • Completely silent
  • No filter replacement

Cons:

  • XAirflow too low even for small rooms
  • X Ineffective on most contamination

Summary:
The Airfree P60 incinerates pollution in the air, rather then using a filter and fan as most other air purifiers. This allows the unit to be compact and virtually silent, but it also means that it will not filter the air but merely incinerate pollution, which works on mould, pet dander and pollen but is ineffective on traffic pollution. Furthermore, the air flow of this unit is so small, that it will not be able to adequately clean even the smallest room.

Price: £159.00 to £179.00 Do you own this model?
Write a review

 

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1. http://iqserver01.iqair.com/uk/
2. http://www.honeywellcleanair.com/air-purifiers/buy-honeywell-air-purifiers/honeywell-true-hepa-allergen-remover-17000/
4. https://www.winixamerica.com/breathe
5. http://www.test.de
6. http://www.consumersearch.com/air-purifiers/iqair-new-edition-healthpro-plus
7. http://www.consumersdigest.com/home/best-buys/air-purifiers-portable
8. http://www.allergyconsumerreview.com/top-10-air-purifiers-2011.html
9. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/best-air-purifiers-2010-116527
10. http://ptpa.com/product/healthpro-plus-air-purifier/
11. http://www.consumersearch.com/air-purifiers/blueair-650e
12. http://www.holmesproducts.com/air-purifiers/HAP756-U.html
13. http://www.filtrete.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/FiltreteNA/Filtrete/Products/~/Ultra-Clean-Air-Purifier-Medium-Room?N=4315+3294529207+3294573926&rt=rud
14. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/03/the-dirt-on-air-purifiers/index.htm

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How to assess an air purifier's noise levels?

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assess an air purifier's noise levels For any air purifier to be effective it has to move air. As yet - despite what some manufacturers may advertise as a quiet air purifier – there is no completely silent way of moving air. Therefore, how to assess an air purifier’s noise level is something you should consider when purchasing an air purifier, especially if noise levels will be important to you.

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ConsumerSearch.com Names Best Air Cleaner Overall

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ConsumerSearch names best air cleaner Consumer digest’s premium category ‘Best Buy’ names best air cleaner overall the IQAir HealthPro 250 - for the fourth consecutive year. The magazine featured the IQAir HealthPro in its article named “Breathe Easy: High Performance Air Cleaner” earlier this month.

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best overall air cleaner ConsumerSearch.Com named the IQAir HealthPro air cleaner the 'best overall air cleaner'. ConsumerSearch.Com analyses expert and user-generated consumer product reviews in order to recommend the best product. This fact alone need not lead you to choose this product if you are looking for an air cleaner to help you deal with allergies or chemical sensitivities.

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Houseplants as Air Cleaners

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