Allergies and asthma can be hard to deal with, especially when it seems like most triggers are in your own home. Many factors within a household can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. These include certain cleaning chemicals, pet dander, and even dust.
It can seem as if no matter how much or often you clean, the triggers are still there. Luckily, having an air purifier can help to reduce or even eliminate common allergens such as pollen and dust. But to get the best bang for your buck, you need the best air purifier for allergies and asthma.
Why Use an Air Purifier?
The tricky thing about most allergens is that their particles are so tiny that we can’t see them. This is why it’s difficult to remove them all when cleaning. It can also be hard to know which specific allergen is causing your reaction.
Common allergens found in a household include but are not limited to:
- Mold and mildew.
- Pet dander.
- Dust and dust mites.
- Volatile organic compounds.
Indoor allergens tend to float around, and eventually settle on different surfaces such as the carpet or bed covers. Once they settle, whenever you walk across the rug or lay down on the bed, you’ll be exposed. The settled allergens are sent back into the air that you breathe.
Another factor that can cause minor reactions is odors. However, if you’re allergic to peanuts, the smell of the nut or peanut butter won’t cause a reaction. You see, the peanut proteins that cause allergic reactions aren’t volatile enough to be inhaled.
Cooking, on the other hand, releases large particles that can set off food allergies. However, it isn’t the smell; it’s the proteins that are released (1).
Allergies may also manifest as sensitivity towards chemicals such as perfumes and cleaners. This is generally known as chemical sensitivity or multiple chemical sensitivities. People with this condition experience a variety of effects. These include nausea, asthma attacks, headaches, dizziness and even heart palpitations (2).
An air purifier will help to remove these allergens and triggers before you get a chance to inhale them. It can help to reduce the need to deep clean regularly.
However, not every air purifier will be as effective when it comes to allergens. So there are a few points you should look for to find one that will actually make a difference for you.
Choosing an Air Purifier for Allergies and Asthma
Most air purifiers are marketed towards allergens, odors, smoke and even mold. However, just the mention of allergen removal might not be enough in your case. Here are a few essential things to look for:
True HEPA Filter
Many air purifiers are fitted with a multi-stage filtration system. These usually include a HEPA filter, which is known to capture almost all airborne pollutants.
However, there are different types of HEPA filters. Some of these are HEPA-grade, HEPA-type, True HEPA and Hyper HEPA or Medical HEPA. For the specific use of removing allergens from the air, a True HEPA filter is a must.
This filter will remove up to 99.97 to 99.99 percent of airborne particles (3). It captures everything from fine dust particles, dust mites and pet dander. A good pre-filter is also important as this will capture larger particles such as pollen, hair and dust.
Activated Charcoal or Carbon Filter
If you’re finding your allergies or asthma aggravated by certain odors, an activated charcoal filter is necessary. This filter absorbs odors such as smoke, cooking and even aromas caused by chemical cleaners.
Volatile organic compounds are domestic pollutants found in common household cleaners, sprays and other products. These can cause asthmatic and allergic reactions, as well. Activated carbon filters will also absorb VOCs and remove them from your environment.
These activated charcoal or carbon filters are also commonly used in water filtration systems. They can remove particles that range between 0.5 and 50 microns (4).
As effective as these filters are, they also require replacement more frequently than HEPA filters. Most air purifier manufacturers recommend replacing them every three to six months. In comparison, HEPA filters can last anywhere between six months to a year, depending on the size and air quality.
Some air purifiers are called ionic air purifiers or ionizers. These tend to be more affordable than air purifiers.
Ionizers use electricity to create negative ions that are released into the air. The negative ions bond with positive ions, such as dust. When the two bond, they become too heavy to float in the air and drop to the closest surface (5).
You might think the air purifier will remove them before they drop to the ground, but that’s not always the case. When the particles become too heavy to float, the purifier can’t draw them in.
There’s a lot of debate on whether ionizers are helpful against allergens or not. However, the problem with ionizers is that they cause allergens such as dust to linger around. When the heavy particles fall to the ground, you have dust and allergens clinging to sofas, chairs, beds and floors, which require additional cleaning.
Worse still, this can lead to further allergic or asthmatic reactions if you don’t remove them by cleaning.
Keep in Mind
Best Air Purifiers for Allergies and Asthma of 2020
Having the right air purifier can help to eliminate allergens from your living space, but it’s essential to choose wisely. We researched the best air purifiers for allergies and asthma to find our top five. Our expert team weighed in on each purifier to ensure it’s not only effective but also safe to use.
1. RENPHO Air Purifier for Allergies
For medium to large rooms, we highly recommend this air purifier from Renpho. It’s fitted with a four-stage filtration system and a True HEPA filter.
Its filters capture allergens and asthma triggers and you won’t have to deal with them anymore. You can also use this unit during the night for a peaceful sleep. It’s very quiet and even features a sleep mode.
To save energy, you can set the timer to shut the unit off automatically when needed. If you have young exploring children, set the unit to child lock mode to protect your clean air from curious fingers.
Why We Love It
The four-stage filtration with a True HEPA filter works effectively at removing all allergens. The pre-filter will remove larger particles of dust, pollen and hair while the HEPA filter will capture the smallest particles.
A True HEPA filter can remove up to 99.97 percent of airborne pollutants at the size of 0.3 micrometers. So with the pre-filter, you can be sure your air is clean as nothing will come through.
Certain odors can also trigger reactions, whether small or big. Thankfully, the activated charcoal filter will absorb odors such as smoke, pet odors, cooking and chemical smells.
This RENPHO air purifier features multiple modes to suit your needs. The auto mode has a built-in smart air quality sensor. This will monitor the quality of the air and adjust the fan accordingly. You can check the air quality using the changing light on the panel.
To get a good night’s sleep, set the unit to sleep mode. The fan will work ultra-quietly at 35 decibels, so you can sleep in peace.
Filter Replacement Indicator
For most air purifiers, the manufacturer recommends a filter replacement after a certain number of months. However, this isn’t always correct as usage and air quality play significant roles in the lifespan of a filter.
This unit, though, will give you a warning when it’s time to replace each filter. Look at the appropriate light indicator to see which filter needs to be replaced. This smart feature ensures that your air purifier is working at all times.
Keep In Mind
High Fan Is Noisy
Although sleep mode is as quiet as a whisper, when the unit is on high, you’ll definitely hear it. This has been a common complaint among customers.
|Room Size||301 square feet|
|Unit Size||14 x 8.1 x 20.9 inches|
2. Levoit Energy Star Air Purifier
If you’re looking to purify your air while saving energy, this is for you. This air purifier by Levoit is certified by Energy Star and uses only 33 watts.
Choose between three fan speeds to suit your air quality. This air purifier uses a tower structure with 360-degree filtration instead of flat filters.
It’s sleek and can easily be placed on the floor next to a sofa or table without looking out of place. You also get multiple smart features such as sleep mode and a filter replacement indicator.
Why We Love It
While most air purifiers use flat filters that only clean air coming in from one side, this is different. The towering structure draws air in from every side and angle. Due to the round build, the filter works from all sides to give you optimal results.
The three-stage filtration includes a fine preliminary filter that captures large particles such as hair and lint. As the air travels further through the unit, it comes to the True HEPA filter. Here, particles as small as 0.3 micrometers will be removed.
Certain odors can also trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks. So the activated charcoal filter effectively absorbs irritating odors such as smoke and chemicals.
Quiet Sleep Mode
When it’s time to hit the bed, create a peaceful and clean atmosphere by activating sleep mode. The fan will turn down to a low speed where it only produces 25 decibels of noise — similar to a quiet whisper.
If you want to save some energy, set the timer to turn the unit off after your desired hour. You can set the timer between one and 12 hours.
Filter Replacement Indicator
When it’s time for a filter replacement, the filter indicator on the panel will let you know. This feature is important when you’re dealing with allergies or asthma because it clues you in when the filter isn’t working anymore.
Keep In Mind
It Only Reduces Smoke Odors
Although the filter removes most odors, strong cigarette smells seem to be a little difficult for it to remove entirely. A few customers still noticed a lingering smoke odor.
|Room Size||538 square feet|
|Unit Size||24.9 x 14.8 x 14.7 inches|
|Warranty||One-year buyer assurance|
3. KOIOS Indoor Air Cleaner with True HEPA Filter
If you’re on a budget but need something to keep allergens and triggers at bay, this is for you. The Koios Air Purifier is a small and compact unit, perfect for small spaces such as a bedroom or office.
Despite the small size, it’s fitted with a True HEPA filter and a three-stage filtration system. It effectively removes large and tiny particles, as well as odors, from the air.
The compact purifier draws air in from all sides and angles for optimal results. It’s simple to operate and looks stylish in any room. There’s no UV-C light so you won’t have to worry about the risk of ozone production (7).
Why We Love It
The compact design makes this purifier excellent for smaller rooms. It fits easily on a nightstand in your bedroom or in the nursery where your precious baby sleeps. If you’re struggling with allergy or asthma triggers at work, take the purifier with you and place it on your desk.
Because the air purifier has an air intake of 360 degrees, it’s more efficient compared to other units. Plus, you don’t have to place it in any specific direction to get optimal results.
The True HEPA filter will remove common allergens such as pollen and dust — and it will create a much more comfortable living atmosphere for you.
It’s super straightforward to use this air purifier as it only has one button. You don’t have to take out the manual whenever you need to activate it or change the settings.
Create a cozy late-night atmosphere with the nightlight function. This is the perfect addition to any kid’s room or nursery.
Keep In Mind
Nightlight Is Bright
Although many customers like the nightlight function, it might be too bright for some. It has a glowing white/blue tone.
|Room Size||50 to 60 square feet|
|Unit Size||7.5 x 6.9 x 6.9 inches|
|Decibels||Maximum 50 decibels|
4. IQAir Medical-Grade Air Purifier
If you’re dealing with severe allergies or asthma, you need the right kind of air purifier. We highly recommend this one from IQAir, which features a HyperHEPA filter.
It removes the tiniest of particles while reducing viruses and eliminating irritating odors. This unit was made to cover large rooms and even whole floors.
To prevent any impurities from escaping the filter, the unit is equipped with a triple-seal technology. The filtered air will be evenly distributed throughout the room so you can enjoy an allergen-free atmosphere.
The fan will also use only a small amount of energy when on the lower settings. That way, you enjoy cleaner air without getting shocked by your bills at the end of the month.
Why We Love It
Made for Large Rooms and Areas
The powerful air purifier was made to clean the air of an area of up to 1125 square feet. After the air has been cleaned of all impurities, it’s emitted back into the room using an EvenFlow diffuser. This delivers clean air to you from 320 degrees without any noise or draft.
Severe allergies call for the most effective filter. This purifier utilizes a HyperHEPA filter that effectively removes particles as small as 0.003 microns. These impurities include allergens and viruses.
The thorough filter will ensure you have a safe place to relax and thrive in.
You can use the remote to set the air purifier to suit your needs. Set the fan speed and duration, then sit back and relax. You can also check the filter’s life by pressing the appropriate button on the remote. A light indicator on the unit will show you if the filter needs to be replaced.
The air purifier is fitted with a 3D UltraSeal that seals everything inside the unit. When the air is drawn in, it doesn’t escape impure.
Keep In Mind
If you’re looking for a small unit for your bedside table, this isn’t for you. The IQAir is large and cumbersome and will take up a significant amount of space. Fortunately, however, it’s equipped with four wheels to help you move it to the right location.
|Room Size||1125 square feet|
|Unit Size||16 x 15 x 28 inches|
|Warranty||One-year warranty (longer if you register online)|
5. Honeywell Allergen Remover with True HEPA
For larger rooms of up to 465 square feet, we recommend this air purifier from Honeywell. Although it’s a large unit, it’s highly effective and made to remove allergens.
You get three levels of air purification to choose between depending on the room. The filter includes a True HEPA filter that removes up to 99.97 percent of airborne particles.
Maintaining the Honeywell purifier is fuss-free and the filters are long-lasting. A light indicator will let you know when it’s time for a replacement, so you don’t have to guess.
Why We Love It
Cleans Air Quickly
You get to enjoy cleaner air fast as the unit filters the air up to five times an hour.
Polluted air goes through a pre-filter that removes larger dust, hair and pollen particles.
The activated charcoal filter effectively absorbs odors, gases and vapors while the True HEPA filter removes tiny particles of allergens. Finally, clean air is emitted from the top of the unit, directly into your living space.
Turbo Clean Setting
When you feel like your air is too polluted, activate the Turbo Clean. In this setting, the unit will work even faster and more efficiently at removing allergens so you can get back to enjoying your day.
Honeywell recommends that you replace the pre-filter every three months. The True HEPA filter needs to be replaced once a year. To make it easier to know exactly when a replacement is needed, the unit will alert you.
Keep In Mind
Pricey Replacement Filters
Unfortunately, the replacement filters are quite pricey. This was a common complaint by several customers who found the unit too expensive in the long run.
|Room Size||465 square feet|
|Unit Size||13.5 x 8.9 x 13.9 inches|
|Decibels||Maximum 66 decibels|
Detailed Comparison Chart
|Product||Best||Filtration Stages||Room Size||Unit Size||Warranty||Decibels|
|RENPHO Air Purifier||Four-Stage Filtration||4-stage||301 sq ft||14 x 8.1 x 20.9″||1-year||35 dB|
|Levoit Energy Star Air Purifier||Energy Saver||3-stage||538 sq ft||24.9 x 14.8 x 14.7″||1-year||25 dB|
|KOIOS Indoor Air Cleaner||Budget Air Purifier||3-stage||50 – 60 sq ft||7.5 x 6.9 x 6.9″||3-year||50 dB|
|IQAir Medical-Grade Air Purifier||Large Areas||3-stage||1125 sq ft||16 x 15 x 28″||1-year||44 dB|
|Honeywell Allergen Remover||Medium-Sized Rooms||2-stage||465 sq ft||13.5 x 8.9 x 13.9″||5-year||66 dB|
Creating a Healthier Space
Living with allergies, asthma or even both can be challenging, especially when triggers are found around your home. With the best air purifiers for allergies and asthma, you can create a comfortable, healthy living space for you and your family.
Always choose a purifier with a True HEPA filter as these are proven to be most effective. For odors, pick an activated charcoal or carbon filter. These absorb aggravating odors such as smoke and chemical cleaners.