If you suffer from seasonal allergies (or just have a lot of pets), you’ve probably thought about buying an air purifier. Perhaps your doctor even recommended you buy one. Air purifiers take dust particles, odors, pet dander, and more out of the air, making it cleaner and easier to breathe. To help you find the best one for you, we’ve scoured Amazon for the best options — including one for larger spaces and another that doubles as a humidifier — as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers. But if you’d prefer a more professional take, we’ve got doctor-recommended options and a writer-tested one, too.
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More than 35,000 reviewers give this air purifier five stars, and many report better breathing and alleviated allergy symptoms. One user from Napa, California, bought this after a forest fire and writes, “This air purifier has made breathing noticeably easier in our home, and the air smells much cleaner, especially with the ultraviolet light turned on.” Many customers chalk up how well and quickly this purifier works to the True HEPA filter. “I bought this model specifically because it uses ‘True HEPA’ filtration, which filters out the smaller smoke particles that can get into your bloodstream,” one writes. Another reviewer warns, “The replacement True HEPA filters are a bit pricey at around $28 last I checked, but they last about six months, give or take.”
Beyond collecting dust, this purifier gets lots of praise for eliminating odors. “The smell of the litter box was the primary reason I purchased this air purifier,” one reviewer writes. “After using this air cleaner regularly for about two years, I can confidently say that it effectively and completely removes the smell of the litter box, helps control the amount of hair that floats around the room, and generally does a very good job keeping dust from accumulating in the room.”
This is the same brand as our best-rated pick, but it’s a much smaller version for kitchens, bathrooms, kids’ rooms, and right above litter boxes. One customer says it cut down the smell of his cats litter box “by 95%.” Another reviewer “basically had to clean the kitchen every single day to deal with lingering smells,” but she has no issues with odor now, thanks to this purifier. Because this pluggable purifier is so small, reviewers like that they can put it in a very targeted area to eliminate smells, but one customer warns that “its light is pretty bright (nightlight bright),” so you might not want to put it in a place that requires total darkness. And one more reviewer reports that it actually covers a larger space than many might think. She explains that the people who live downstairs from his apartment smoke, which makes their kitchen “reek of cigarettes,” but after she got this to clear up the “old, dirty ashtray” smell, she writes, “I honestly didn’t expect much from this tiny thing. I plugged it in right next to the garbage can and the next morning there was no smell! I’m amazed.”
Allergy sufferers find this air purifier, complete with a HEPA filtration system and three fan speeds, to be, in the words of many reviewers, a “game changer.” One, who bought it in anticipation of a guest with bad cat allergies writes, “I put the air purifier in his bedroom and he had no allergy problems at all while he was here. Just for kicks, I put it in my own bedroom after my guest left … my own allergies disappeared!” Another reviewer who struggles with dust and pollen allergies says this purifier “has been an amazing addition to my home … I can already feel a difference in my breathing and the air quality. I no longer wake up with a stuffy nose nor do I sneeze as much throughout the day.” And a reviewer who claims to be “allergic to everything basically” says it has “taken my allergy attacks down by 80% which is amazing! I went from taking allergy meds every day to maybe once every two weeks.”
This Strategist-approved air purifier was so effective that it cleared up one contributor’s dog allergies in just three days, and plenty of Amazon reviewers with pets say it clears up odors, too. One reviewer, who called the Levoit a “marriage/pet saver,” used this purifier after her rescue kittens led to a distinct and unpleasant odor. “I got this product out of desperation,” she says. “I am truly shocked and enormously happy with how it works! My husband was at wits’ end with his sensitive nose. He goes in there now and is astonished, no smell.” According to another reviewer, “It’s especially hard removing smoke/pet odors being in such a small space with only one window, but this has definitely helped and I would 100 percent recommend this air purifier to others looking for one.” Yet another pet owner (with a strange definition of domesticated animals) says, “I have pet rats and they STINK sooooo badly when I don’t clean them after two days. One day I was sick and decided to just move the purifier into the same room as the rats,” she says. “With the purifier in there, I smelled NOTHING.”
More than 80 percent of this air purifier’s over 20,000 reviewers give it five stars, and many call out how well it detects and removes odors. “My teenage daughter and I were sitting on the couch when she suddenly let loose with a fart,” one writes. “Maybe 1, 2, seconds later the purifier went from blue to orange. We about died laughing! It filtered that fart for about 10 minutes or so, then went back to blue.” Many users think the Winix PlasmaWave feature is what helps the most with odors. “The PlasmaWave air ionizer also works great and neutralizes odors that might get thru the other filters and virtually eliminates cooking odors and have found it to work on odors that are produced when a kerosene heater is first lit,” one user says. “This stopped the fumes from going past the room the heater was in and in short order eliminated the smell from that room.”
This Levoit air purifier’s “sleep mode” is mentioned in dozens of reviews, and when turned on, the device is so quiet, one reviewer “couldn’t hear anything at all, and had to look in [the] manual to make sure it still was filtering in that mode.” Another reviewer “had to double-check that it’s on before sleeping. It’s really that quiet.” And they add that “since the very first day I began using it, I have not once had allergies at night.” Another reviewer was “tired of being cooped up all winter in a musty house full of dust, pet dander (and a variety of other smells nobody really likes to talk about),” so put this in their bedroom and says it’s a “REAL nice, space-saving, product that is smooth and quiet and, (for its size), puts out an amazing amount of fresh air.”
This Mooka air purifier is a big hit among reviewers who love the sound of gentle white noise. One reviewer who suffers from tinnitus found the sound produced by this purifier to be an unexpected boon: “If you’ve got ringing in your ears that gets super annoying when it’s quiet, this thing will prevent the ringing from consuming you. I plan on moving the unit into my bedroom tonight to see if it will help me sleep better.” Another reviewer was afraid that the “noise level … would be hard to get used to in my bedroom, because I am so used to it being very quiet” but was pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s “really a relaxing sound.” And a reviewer whose neighbors are heavy smokers says it’s a great purifier, too. “In less than half an hour the smell was gone. Leaving it on for [a] few hours… I thought I was in a different place. Can’t go wrong with this baby.”
“I’m geeking out on the air I’m breathing,” one reviewer writes. “Is it weird that I don’t ever want to leave the house now? I just want to stay inside and breathe the GOOD air! No more cat box smell! No more old house smell! The sun used to come through the window in the evening and light up all the particles in the air. Not anymore! I live in an urban area but I breathe like I’m in the countryside.” And they’re not the only reviewer impressed by how clean their air feels after using this purifier. One often-cited feature, mentioned by over 200 reviewers, is the automatic function. “If I sweep the room with a broom or do anything else to kick up some dust, the unit automatically increases the fan speed to start removing the dust,” one reviewer writes, while another says, “It will stay on the lowest setting most of the time, but it does sense particulates and will often speed up the fan when we are cooking, spray [an] air freshener or if the dogs come in and shake dust around.”
Over 1,600 reviewers were impressed with this small-but-mighty tabletop air purifier, praising its ability to cut out cooking smells and pet odors. With its slim design, many say it’s also perfectly suited to sit atop desks or nightstands. “Nice small air cleaner that packs a real punch!” writes one reviewer. “I have one in each of our bedrooms. They are small, compact and do a great job cleaning the air.” Another reviewer who is a prolific vaper purchased this to “help reduce the amount of vapor clouds in our family room,” and says it’s “been doing a phenomenal job … I put [it] on the end table next to where I sit and exhale my clouds in the direction of this purifier and it helps to eliminate about 90% of the vapor clouds.” A third reviewer says their wife prefers it to “the big ‘whole room’ purifiers as she can keep one on her desk and one on her nightstand … The oldest one we have has been going, almost nonstop for 4 years. Very much worth the money!”
Lots of customers lament that leaving their air purifier on during the day raises their energy bill. But this Blueair purifier is Energy Star compliant, so it takes up less energy than other purifiers of the same size. “I leave it at the lowest setting throughout the day while I’m at work and [do] not feel too bad about it since it’s Energy Star compliant,” says one customer. And it’s quiet enough to keep in his bedroom, which is especially nice as he’s getting ready for bed. “You can tell the air is cleaner for a better night’s sleep.” Another customer runs hers throughout the day and hasn’t yet “seen a difference in the energy bill,” so she plans to keep running it continually, especially since she thinks “the air is definitely cleaner” when she does. “I barely need to dust anymore.” This one is a “bit pricey,” according to her, but she swears it’s “well worth it.”
This is basically the same air purifier as our energy-efficient pick, but it’s much smaller, so customers buying this were less concerned with energy efficiency. Instead, the carbon filters were the standout feature for customers with this one, because they effectively remove odors caused by smoke, pets, cooking, and more from rooms. One customer explains that, unlike regular filters, these carbon ones “remove ultrafine germs, particles, and odor” that other filters can miss. That’s, at least, been his experience: He’s tried many purifiers before and personally thinks this one is “the best designed air purifier” because “it really makes the air smell fresh.” One mom bought this for her daughter’s dorm room, and after letting it run for an hour, “Her room smelled a lot better right away from the carbon filter on the inside.” And aside from how well it works, many reviewers think it’s attractive looking.
Nearly a third of reviewers comment on the filters in this air purifier, and many praise them for being cheap to replace. “The cost of operation is one of the lowest of any purifier,” one reviewer writes. “A generic set of filters cost $47 here on Amazon and lasts 2 years.” And not only are they inexpensive, they’re also “so easy to clean or replace,” another reviewer writes. One word of warning that’s repeated by dozens of reviewers: “Remember to open it and take the plastic wrapping off the filters BEFORE turning it on,” one says. But if you do operate it properly, it’ll work well: “While I haven’t owned it long enough to notice a reduction in dust (especially since I dust about 4 times a week anyways), I can say that it clears up smells wonderfully. Homemade shrimp pad Thai, accidental Febreze overdoses, that blown out candle smoke smell, the after the dog park smell… All of it cleared out of the room in about five minutes.”
Several reviewers use the word “economical” to describe this air purifier from Hamilton Beach, including one who has six cats and struggled with both odors and dust. “I put this right next to my cat box and it has almost taken all the litter dust out of my utility room,” the reviewer writes. And lots of reviewers specifically bought this air purifier because of the permanent filter, which means that they don’t have to order replacement filters and allows for even more cost savings. “It has a permanent filter that you just vacuum once a month,” a reviewer writes. “It’s amazing.”
While this Honeywell air purifier is one of the more expensive models on this list, it can also purify large rooms — up to 465 square feet — though some reviewers say that it can do even more, including one who placed it in their living and dining room with vaulted ceilings that’s “about 900 square feet of mostly open area.” They write, “the air quality has improved greatly. I have a cat and I’m allergic to pet dander, dust mites, pollen, etc. Now I can breathe much better, the air just feels clean.” Another reviewer thought she’d need two of these to cover her two-story, 1,200-square-foot townhouse, but this was so effective that she writes, “I don’t feel that I need it. Just one seems to be enough to get rid of the coughing even though we both spend plenty of time upstairs.” And one reviewer says it “saved the day during [the] Oregon fires.” During ten days of smoke and “ash coming down like snow,” this air purifier kept her “open-floor-plan kitchen, LR and dining area” at a safe, normal air-quality level.
Reviewers laud this air purifier for its sleek, portable design, including one who calls it a “lifesaver” for their wife who suffers from allergies. Since it features a USB charging port, they use it in their car and “noticed a big difference in air quality during our short drive.” They were so “wowed” that they purchased two more — one for themselves and another for their daughter. Another reviewer appreciates the convenience of being able to “plug it into a portable charger, computer, your car — anywhere” and bought one “for every desk in our office when it reopened during the pandemic,” adding that it “makes little noise when on max power.” It’s so compact and quiet that over a dozen reviewers say they travel frequently with it. One such reviewer who has brought theirs in a “rental car, an Amtrak car, and on a plane trip” says “it really made us feel better about the entire experience,” noting that the “filter exchanges are easy, the air flow is great, the charge is fairly long-lasting. It’s portable and unobtrusive.”
This Sharp unit is the most expensive listed, but it doubles as an air purifier and humidifier, which dozens of five-star reviewers appreciate. One reviewer likes it so much, she revisited her review two years later and says, “I’ve been using it every day since I got it … I can’t say enough how much I love this air purifier which helped me get rid of allergies and flu,” adding that the “humidifier helps me a lot at night throughout my sleep,” especially in the winter. Another calls this the “BEST humidifier and air purifier” since it’s “so quiet,” and it works in open-plan rooms with high ceilings “very effectively.” One more reviewer was convinced to buy her own after staying in a house that used one of these, because “for the first time when traveling, I had no sore dry throat, coughing, plugged nose, headache, and all the other symptoms that go along with dry unclean air.”
The criteria for inclusion in a People’s Choice post is based solely on the number of reviews and the average customer ratings. All of the products that we include in a People’s Choice post must:
- Feature more than 100 customer reviews
- Maintain an average rating of at least 4.1 stars
- Be fulfilled by Amazon
We start the process by looking at all of the products in a specific category from a specific merchant. In this case, we started with a list of over 900 air purifiers that you can buy on Amazon (found by searching “air purifier”). From there, we use Amazon’s filters to narrow our search and eliminate any product with less than a four-star rating, but Amazon isn’t perfect: Other items, like replacement air filters, occasionally get thrown into the results mix, and some of the purifiers only have four stars, not 4.1, as required by our standards. We exclude those products as we sift through the air purifiers that meet our criteria and begin looking for the standouts.
As we sort, we keep an eye out for products that we’ve written about or tested before — like the Levoit H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifier — but we also are looking to discover lesser-known but well-reviewed gems that we’ve never heard of before. We are humans, not robots, with over four years of experience reading through thousands of customer reviews, so if a product does not pass our sniff test, we will err on the side of excluding it from the post. We also reference ReviewMeta and Fakespot to help us analyze and identify fake product reviews.
Once we have a full list of products that meet our criteria for inclusion, we start to organize them. There are two subheads you will find in every People’s Choice post, including this one:
- Best-rated air purifier: The air purifier with the most reviews overall, with at least a 4.1-star average.
- Best-rated (less expensive) air purifier: The air purifier that meets all of our criteria for inclusion at the lowest price in the category.
In the case that an air purifier has the most number of ratings and the lowest price, we will call it the Best-rated (and least expensive) air purifier and remove the Best-rated (less expensive) pick.
The rest of the products are categorized based on what users are looking for and what reviewers are raving about. We read all of the Amazon reviews we can for each product that meets our criteria for inclusion, and give each product a superlative based on what reviewers on Amazon are saying — by reading through reviews and finding recurring themes and referring to Amazon’s generated list of commonly used phrases and words — and what types of air purifiers users are searching for on Google, using Google Trends. In this case, that includes:
- Best air purifier for allergies
- Best air purifier for pets
- Best air purifier to remove odors
- Best quiet air purifier
- Best air purifier with white noise
- Best automatic air purifier
- Best table air purifier
- Best energy-efficient air purifier
- Best air purifier with carbon filters
- Best air purifier with affordable filters
- Best air purifier with a permanent filter
- Best air purifier for larger spaces
- Best portable air purifier
- Best air purifier and humidifier
We’ll also refer to our previous reporting and testing on the topic to see if our experts and editors have any opinions we can share, based on their testing and reporting.
We update these posts regularly, to ensure that each product is still fulfilled by Amazon and has over 100 reviews with a minimum 4.1 star-average rating. We will periodically add editor’s notes if there are notable stock changes. We will also adjust our superlatives, as needed, to make sure you’re able to easily find what you’re looking for — or the best possible thing you didn’t know you needed.
This post was first published on October 2, 2017. In the last four years, we have updated this post 14 times — air purifiers have been especially popular, given the increased wildfires the past few years, so we’ve updated this post regularly to stay abreast of stock changes. In this most recent update, one out-of-stock product was removed and replaced. The Pure Enrichment Mini Portable Air Filter is now the best portable air purifier, replacing the out-of-stock Molekule Air Mini.
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