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Best Air Purifier for Asthma and Allergies

7 Best Air Purifier for Asthma and Allergies In 2020

An asthmatic person that is hyper-sensitive to almost anything? Stick around as we hand-picked the best air purifier for asthma and allergies currently available. We will touch on the root cause of asthma, what allergens commonly associated with it, and who is this for. We will also go through preventive measures and compare the latest air cleaner on performance, functionality, and cost. At the end of the post, you will know which model is best to partner with you in the ever-lasting fight for clean air.

Who is this for?

An asthmatic person would be first in line benefiting from an allergy air purifier regardless of gender, age group, or race. People that are hyper-sensitive to allergens and odors would benefit from one as well. Smoker or living with a smoker can use the extra protection for their lungs. Last but not least, newborn, infant, children, elderly or recovering patient that has weakened immune system.

Best Air Purifier for Asthma and Allergies Review

How Do We Measure?
Pre-filter + HEPA Our criteria are simple. The air cleaner must come with a pre-filter and HEPA filter with the capability to capture household allergens. A good pre-filter will stop large airborne particles from flowing to the next stage. It will also reduce the dependencies of HEPA and carbon filter. HEPA filter is the key component to capture micron size contaminants that cannot be seen by our naked eyes. What we are looking for is a dependable pre-filter whether in the form of a permanent or 2-in-1 carbon filter. The True HEPA filter has to be genuine so no settling for a lower efficiency HEPA-type filter.
Activated Carbon filter Another must-have filter to qualify in this list. Little do people know that good or bad odors can trigger an asthma attack. For example, you have good odors coming from food, flower, or perfume, and bad odors from mold musty smell, detergent fume, cigarette smoke, or VOCs. After tested more than 100 units back to back, the selected carbon filter must be able to filter all smoke particles before it reaches our lungs. It must also be compatible with the previous two filters.

The world’s first residential air filter since 1963 designed by the Hammes brothers. IQAir HealthPro Plus featured in almost every of our list as it is rated number 1 room air purifiers for allergies and asthma. The only Switzerland made air cleaner that is individually tested on quality and performance. The build quality clearly extended to the exterior with an impact-resistant ABS plastic housing and 3D UltraSeal triple-seal technology that prevents off-gassing. The 320-degree distribution is great for whole house purification at all angles. Moving to the controls, you have a digital display for easy reading, highly customizable 6 speed, and a programmable timer. At low speed, the noise level is low at 25 decibels tally with the energy-efficient 27 watts output. At max speed though, the noise level is considerably loud at 59 decibels along with the high 215 watts energy usage. With the timer, you can manage the air quality by setting the start time/ end time and speed from Monday through Sunday. Also in the list is the Intelligent Filter Life Monitor that will change the displays from green to flashing red when the filter is exhausted.

Here are the key numbers from the spec sheet:

  • Room Coverage - 1098 sq. ft.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate - N/A
  • Air Filtration - PreMax Filter, HyperHEPA Filter, V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter MG
  • Noise Level - 25 - 59 dB
  • Warranty - 3/ 10 years

IQAir HealthPro Plus patented filtration and V-shaped media chambers is perfect for a person that is suffering from severe allergy. Starting with the PreMax Filter F8 filter that can trap tiny particles down to 0.3 microns. By blocking most inflowing pollutants, the non-woven glass microfiber HyperHEPA Filter H12/13 can focus on removing the ultra-fine particles as small as 0.003 microns with a 99.95% efficiency. That is 100 times smaller than what a standard HEPA filter could remove. Next is the V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter MG filter made with granular activated carbon adsorption and pelletized chemisorption. This carbon filter is capable of capturing all types of harmful chemicals like VOCs, radon, ammonia, CO, cigarette smoke, and ozone. Combining all the filtration, IQAir HealthPro Plus output an impressive 300 cfm airflow delivery rate that can easily cover 1098 square feet of room size. Best of all, you will not have to replace the filter annually. The PreMax Filter and V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter MG can last for 2 years while the HyperHEPA Filter can last up to 4 years.

With 50 years of experience under its belt and a long worry-free warranty, you can't go wrong with IQAir HealthPro Plus. It is certified by the International Association of Air Cleaner Manufacturers (IAACM) and PTPA Seal of Approval. Other recognitions include Consumers Digest Magazine’s Best Buy premium air purifier, ConsumerSearch’s Best Overall Air Purifier, and Stiftung Warentest’s Best Air Purifier. The trade-off for being the absolute best allergy air purifier is the premium price tag. Not only you are paying a flat price around the range of 900 dollars, you will also have to account for the 150+ annual filter cost. Besides not fitting into everyone's budget, the 15 x 28 x 16 in size and 35.3 lb weight bulkiness can be obstructing in tight spaces. There is no auto mode or sleep mode to compliment the filtration. If pricing is one of your key concern, consider the much more budget-friendly HPA300.

In short: The best asthma and allergy air purifier money can get. Capable of removing even the tiniest impurities in the air (100 times smaller to be exact) than a normal HEPA filter could.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 899 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 152 p
 Online price*
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Another premium air purifier for asthma and allergies to go for. Airmega 300 is known for many things, but the superb HEPA filtration along with low noise output makes it stand out in this list. At low speed, the air cleaner produces at mere 22 decibels that are equivalent to whispering noise from five feet away. Being an Energy Star rated model, power usage is very low too between 6 to 57 watts. Best of all, autonomous features like Auto mode, Sleep mode, and Eco mode all come standard. You can leave the Airmega 300 in auto mode when you are in the living room, kitchen, or basement, and switch it to sleep mode during night time. If you prefer manual operation, there are 3 selectable fan speed and timer that you can pre-set. For those that have extra cash to spare, opt for the S variant to get additional Wi-Fi support for remote access.

Let's look into the key numbers and specification:

  • Room Coverage - 1256 sq. ft.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate - 260 cfm (dust), 260 cfm (pollen), 260 cfm (smoke)
  • Air Filtration - Dual Pre-filter, Max2 (Green True HEPA filter + Activated carbon filter)
  • Noise Level - 22 - 52 dB
  • Warranty - 5 years

With Airmega 4-stage HEPA filtration, none of the asthma aggravator allergens stands a chance. The first stage dual pre-filter will trap large particles coming in on both sides of the air purifier. The protected Max2 HEPA filter will then trap 99.97% of microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns from mold, pollen, pet dander, and germs. The same theory applies to the activated carbon filter that handles smoke and odor with ease via chemical absorption. No ionizer here which can be a big miss for some. At 2 air changes per hour, Airmega 300 can easily cover a room up to 1256 square feet or half of it at 4 air changes per hour. The clean air delivery rate is equally impressive at 260 cfm as tested by AHAM.

Overall the modern exterior design of the Airmega 300 is pleasing to the eyes without neglecting the usability. There is also an easy to read air quality display indicator from blue, purple, pink to red depending on the room air quality. At around 13.6 inches in diameter and a 21.2 inches in height (including the legs), it is not overly bulky and the 21.4 pounds weight is still manageable. One thing that does lacking is the autonomous sleep mode activation that is exclusive to the Airmega 400 series. Pricing is on the higher side and will cost you a bomb in the long-run with the expensive replacement filter set. Thankfully, there are a significant amount of online discounts available. Like IQAir, Airmega 300 is an excellent air cleaner with dynamic airflow distribution. Since Airmega is also part of the Coway brand, you could always opt for the cheaper Coway Mighty.

In short: Extensive purifying coverage with an outstanding filtration against household allergens. Opt for the S variant if you need the Wi-Fi enabled feature.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 649 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 100 p
 Online price*
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

A highly endorsed air purifier by fans all over the world. Alen BreatheSmart FLEX might be a dark horse given its long-existing timeline, it still has plenty of say here. So why do we think this is probably the best air purifier for children with asthma? First, it passed with flying colors for its trinity filtration. Second, the decent 187 cfm airflow delivery rate provides swift allergens and odors removal without producing any ozone. Last and perhaps more significantly, being the cheapest model in its lineup, the pricing work as it’s accessible to everyone. You gain most of the features from the BreatheSmart classic including a 4 fan speed and a 2, 4, 12 hours timer that can be set when to turn off the device. A filter life indicator light that turns gradually from green, yellow to red reminding you to replace the filter. Even child lock mode is included by default that prevents children from meddling with the controls. Lastly, Alen lifetime warranty with the attentive customer service is also applicable here.

Let's focus the highlights of this air cleaning device:

  • Room Coverage - 700 sq. ft.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate - 245 cfm (dust), 245 cfm (pollen), 245 cfm (smoke)
  • Air Filtration - Washable Pre-filter, HEPA-Pure Filter (upgradable)
  • Noise Level - 39 - 55 dB
  • Warranty - Lifetime Limited Warranty

The velcro attached pre-filter will trap any visible particles like dust, hair, and debris. With first-stage contaminants removed, you have the option to select one of the 4 available HEPA filter set. The default HEPA-Pure filter is great against household allergens but lacks a deodorization filter. The HEPA-Silver filter is specially designed for mold, germ type bacteria. Our top-pick HEPA-FreshPlus can remove all asthma triggers allergens and chemicals including CO, CO2, and VOCs. Finally, HEPA-OdorCell can neutralize even the smellest odors. Regardless of which filter options you selected, Alen BreatheSmart Flex can cover a 700 square feet of room space with 245 cfm CADR for dust, pollen, and smoke.

Other benefits of Alen BreatheSmart Flex is the slimmer profile. At a much smaller 5 x 25 x 8.5 inches and 15 lb weight, it fits most interior space well, particularly for a small apartment. You can leave it in the corner to clean the air while you go on with your daily life. There is also the personalizable color options that you can choose from. Take note that it is not interchangeable with the Classic model. Non-allergy related issues, since it's been in the market for a while, it does not have the techiest design. The cut-cost measure also means there are no sensors for auto mode and air quality indicators. Noise level is not the most subtle at 39 to 55 decibels, treat it as pink noise and you will be fine. Being an Energy Star unit, power usage is very good at 0.8 to 56 watts averaging at 36. Overall, if you need a solid, dependable yet reasonably price air purifier, Alen BreatheSmart Flex is your call.

In short: The cheapest BreatheSmart air purifier with impressive purifying coverage and above 200 cfm benchmark. Opt for theHEPA-FreshPlus filter upgrade.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 399 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 39 - 118 p
 Online price*
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

The number one recommended brand by allergists and American Lung Association. Honeywell HPA300 is our bang for the buck air purifier for asthma and allergies. What makes it great is the cost per performance against common allergens. It is priced a few times less than other large room size category air cleaners without sacrificing on performance. For around 200, HPA300 airflow capacity can cover up to 465 square feet of space at 2 air changes per hour. The high coverage does not contribute to a bigger body frame at only 20.8 x 22.4 x 10.8 inches and 17.7 lb weight. You can still move it from room to room that needed air cleaning. Adding the energy-efficient operation, it is suitable for bedroom, living room, garage, and meeting room without being overly noisy. You could even di with just one Honeywell HPA300 for an entire floor with all doors opened.

Looking inside the 3-stage air filtration and specification:

  • Room Coverage - 465 sq. ft.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate - 320 cfm (dust), 300 cfm (pollen), 300 cfm (smoke)
  • Air Filtration - Washable Pre-filter, HEPA-Pure Filter (upgradable)
  • Noise Level - Less than 60 dB
  • Warranty - 5 years

If you are hyperallergic to dust, Honeywell HPA300 can help you keep it under control. The first-stage carbon pre-filter has no issue trapping large particles and light smoke. Odors coming from detergent, cooking, or cigarettes can also be capture by the carbon sheet. With most impurities gone, it will free up space for the genuine True HEPA filter to capture 99.97% of the irritants as small as 0.3 microns. Delivering a swift clean air delivery rate, AHAM verified dust CADR is at 320 cfm and pollen/ smoke CADR at 300 cfm. The only thing missing is the ionizer which can quite helpful pulling stubborn allergens down. Filter replacement cost is not the lowest at around 100 dollars annually.

As for the controls, Honeywell HPA300 is very easy to use as you have the standard 4 air cleaning levels (Germ, General Clean, Allergen, Turbo), timer, light dimmer, and electronic filter change reminder that reminds you to replace the filter when it is dirty. The 5 years warranty will guarantees motor and parts are covered by the manufacturer from any breakdown. Nitpicking on its downside, Honeywell HPA300 functionality could be a lot better with air quality indicator and digital display for improved readability. Auto mode is too omitted with the lack of sensors. While the basic features is a bit of let down, given the brand reputation and the strong airflow circulation, it is worth every penny you paid.

In short: Less than $200 for a powerful allergy air cleaner with exceptional CADR and purifying coverage. For the low-entry price, do not expect any advanced features to compliment the filtration.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 299 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 108 p
 Online price*
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Food, scented candles to stress, and laughter could potentially aggravate asthma. While there is no air purifier in the world able to "filter" out laughter, Austin Air Allergy Machine will do a fine job handling the rest. A well-built machine with a massive 14.5 x 23 x 14.5 inches body and multiple color option. Even though the powdered coated steel body is very heavy at 33.1 lb, you gain the extra advantage of no toxic off-gassing compared with a plastic made one. Moving it around is easy thanks to the sturdy caster wheels. As for usability, it is dead easy to use with only a front dial knob to operate the 3 fan speed. The 40 to 65 decibels noise level and 115 watts power consumption are on the higher side given its strong airflow circulation. You might have to place Allergy Machine further to curb down on any noise disruption. Rounding up the features include a 360° progressive Intake System, NRTL recognized, CSA, and CE approved with no ozone emission.

Here are the key features and specification of the Austin Air Allergy Machine:

  • Room Coverage - 1500 sq. ft.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate - N/A
  • Air Filtration - Large Particle Pre-filter, Medium Particle Pre-filter, 60 sq.ft. True HEPA filter, Activated Military Carbon Cloth
  • Noise Level - Less than 60 dB
  • Warranty - 5 years

From the name itself, you'll know Allergy Machine is very effective against irritants that can flare up an allergy. Using an all-in-one cartridge, the dual outer mesh filter and inner pre-filter will get rid of dust, debris, and hair in the air. The protected medium filter would then trap smaller particles like pet dander and dust mites. For impurities that manage to bypass, the medical grade 60 sq.ft. True HEPA filter will remove microbes and allergens as small as 0.3 microns. Finally, the superb High-Efficiency Gas Absorption (HEGA) filter would trap all home toxic fumes that can aggravate asthma and lung diseases. Combining the strong 400 cfm airflow and a comprehensive 1500 square feet room size that no other device in this list comes close. By leaving on all day, Austin Air Allergy Machine can swiftly filter the air in a living room, bedroom, garage, basement, office, and playroom. After all, this is the brand that has been selected to protect the residents of Porter Ranch, Southern California from the natural gas leak in 2016.

There are pros and cons to every air cleaner. While there is no denying the Austin Air Allergy Machine capabilities in dealing with irritants, it is a rather basic model. There is no auto mode, sleep mode, air quality indicator, and timer. It is also bulky and heavy with a hassle filter changes that require unscrewing from the bottom of the machine. The good news is you will only have to do this every 5 years as the filter cartridge has a long-lasting lifespan similar to the warranty period. There is 2 version of the Austin Air Allergy Machine to choose from. You could either go with the standard version which is what we are reviewing or the smaller Jr model. The Junior model is smaller, cheaper and with only airflow delivery to compromise. For residential use, consider the Jr version if you stay in a single storey home.

In short: A medical-grade allergy machine with outstanding filtration and very wide room coverage. Lacks autonomous features that can be helpful for all-day purifying.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 575 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 50 p
 Online price*
N/A

Easily one of the best air purifiers for asthma around that will not costs an arm and leg. Winix 5500-2 might be in the air purifying scene for a few years, the super attractive price will entice you especially with what it is bringing to the table. For start, you will get 4 fan speeds with auto mode and sleep mode by default. Auto mode will automatically adjust the speed when the nearby air quality drops. Sleep mode will set the fan speed to low, dim down the LED indicator light so the air cleaner can run silently at night at only 26.6 decibels. There is also 1, 4, 8 hours pre-set timer, godsend child lock function, and filter change indicator reminding you to replace the filter when it is worn out. Oh a remote control is also bundled in the package allowing to tweak any setting at the comfort of your bed.

Let's dive into the key features and PlasmaWave filtration:

  • Room Coverage - 360 sq. ft.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate - 243 cfm (dust), 246 cfm (pollen), 232 cfm (smoke)
  • Air Filtration - Pre-filter, True HEPA filter, AOC Carbon Filter, PlasmaWave Technology
  • Noise Level - 26.6 - 60+ dB
  • Warranty - 2 years

Winix 5500-2 is an excellent allergens removers thanks to the 4-stage filtration. The preliminary Pre-filter plays a vital role in removing large particles like dander. Next, the protected True HEPA filter would trap 99.97% of microorganisms including mold spore, pollen, mildew, and dust mite. With most non-smoke particles removed, the advanced granular carbon filter will eliminate 93% of fumes coming from cooking, toilet, and notorious chemicals like VOCs, radon, or carbon monoxide. PlasmaWave technology will diffuse Hydroxyls to break down tough allergens, germs, and odors for the filter to capture. All in all, the 53 to 226 cfm airflow delivery rate can cater to a wide 360 square feet purifying coverage. CADR is equally impressive with dust at 243 cfm, pollen at 246 cfm, and smoke at 232 cfm.

There are still a lot of things we like about Winix 5500-2. It is AHAM listed, ozone safe Certified by CARB, ENERGY STAR rated with a mere 5 watts output at low speed. The black housing exterior is simple yet modernly design at only 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 inches and 15.4 lb in weight. Practicality is still there with a front air quality indicator that shows blue when air quality is good, yellow when moderate, and red when air quality is bad. With so many positive, there must be a few negatives and none so than the pricey annual filter replacement. Even though it's not the costliest in the list, but in a short few years, the filter cost will overtake the selling price. For a cheaper asthma fighter air purifier, consider the alternative Winix 5300-2 if you don't mind compromising the weaker carbon filtration.

In short: Less than $150 for a full-fledged air purifier with high purifying coverage and respectable 200+ cfm CADR. Complete specification including Auto/ Sleep mode, built-in timer, and remote control.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 249 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 80 p
 Online price*
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Founded in 2004, Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A will blow your mind off as it is the only wall air purifier here certified asthma and allergy friendly by the AAFA. The 6-stage filtration is compressed tightly in a frame size body with 815 square feet coverage. With only 25.6 - 51.3 dBA noise output, MinusA2 is suitable for a nursery room, beauty salon, bedroom, and kitchen without occupying the floor space. CADR is on the mid-tier level at 193 cfm (dust), pollen (200 cfm), and smoke (180 cfm), the 58 to 218 cfm airflow delivery rate might suggest otherwise. As for operational, you have an advanced 5 fan speed with auto mode, pollen mode, and sleep mode. Sleep mode is light sensitivity that will activate automatically when the room is pitch black. Other supporting controls include a light button that will turn off all indicator light, a filter reset button reminding you to change filter and a peculiarly small air quality indicator. There is also a full-featured remote control (Power, Speed, Mode, and Mood Light) bundled in the package. Very useful when the air cleaner is hanging high on the floor and you can make any adjustment with the remote control.

Let's focus on Rabbit Air MinusA2 advanced air filtration:

  • Room Coverage - 815 sq. ft.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate - 193 cfm (dust), 200 cfm (pollen), 180 cfm (smoke)
  • Air Filtration - Pre-filter, Medium Filter, HEPA Filter, Customized Filter, Activated Carbon Filter, Negative Ion Generator
  • Noise Level - 25.6 - 51.3 dBA
  • Warranty - 5 years

Nothing makes an asthmatic person feel safe surrounded with purified, clean air. The first stage pre-filter airborne will trap dust, debris, dirt, and hair that is often filled with allergens. Without the pesky large particles, the inflow microbes will now have to go through a series of filtration. Starting with a medium filter that captures finer particles that manage to bypass the pre-filter. Next, the 99.97% efficiency HEPA filter will trap microscopic particles that manage to bypass the prior 2 filters. Any uncaptured smoke will be taken care of by the Charcoal-Based activated carbon filter. Negative Ion Generator is an ozone-free cleaning method that dispersed millions of negative ions into the air. Positive ions impurities will electrostatically join with the diffused ions causing it to fall for the filter to capture. Depending on the types of allergens that worsen your respiratory issues, pick a customized filter based on your needs. If your allergies are triggered by mold, bacteria, and viruses, go with the germ defense filter. If you have pets at home, obviously the pet allergy filter is the right choice. If you are hypersensitive to chemical fumes, and foul odors, either Toxin Absorber or Odor Remover will be a great addon.

This is the prime example of how to design a beautiful air cleaner that still works wonders in removing irritants. Rabbit Air MinusA2 comes with customizable front panel designs that you can purchase. We like the Charlie Brown series but the plain color panel looks good as well. There is also the color-changing mood light color bar that supposedly can help enhance your mood. At only 21.4 inches in width, 20 inches in height, and 7 inches in depth, Rabbit Air MinusA2 can be mounted to any wall with its back wall bracket. While it is hanging on the wall, there will no compromisation on the performance as the airflow vent is located at the sides. Do note that it can be a bit thick and heavy at 19.4 pounds including all the filters. Another downside for such an aesthetically outstanding air purifier is the cost. Everything from the base price, filter add-on, and even designer panel would cost you top dollar. Fortunately, there is the option to downgrade to the SPA-700A version that will save you a couple of bucks more. If you are willing to part with 2 fewer filtrations, we highly recommend the cheaper Rabbit Air BioGS.

In short: Wall-mountable allergy air cleaner with complete 6-stage filtration including customizable filters. Expensive but very well-equipped despite the compressed size.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 599.95 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 43 - 85 p
 Online price*
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE
** MRSP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is provided by cleanairprice.com. Accurate at the time of posting.
^ Annual filter cost is calculated based on filter price and 12 hours of usage. Pricing could vary depending on air quality, usage frequency, and speed.

2020 Best Air Purifier for Asthma and Allergies

Air PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)FiltrationCoverageScore
IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier

$$$$$$

CHECK PRICE
4-stage1098 sq. ft. (102 m2)9.6
Airmega 300 Air Purifier

$$$$

CHECK PRICE
4-stage1256 sq. ft. (117 m2)9
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
2-stage700 sq. ft. (65 m2)8.4
Honeywell HPA300 Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
3-stage465 sq. ft. (43 m2)8.5
Austin Air Allergy Machine Air Purifier

$$$$$

CHECK PRICE
4-stage1500 sq. ft. (139 m2)8
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
4-stage360 sq. ft. (33 m2)8.5
Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A Air Purifier

$$$$$

CHECK PRICE
6-stage815 sq. ft. (76 m2)9.1
BACK TO TABLE

 

What causes asthma?

Asthma AKA bronchial asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the breathing airways. It happens when the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs become inflamed and muscles become swollen. More mucus will be produced that adds to the obstruction. As a result, the airway is narrower making it hard to breathe. Most asthma symptoms are related to respiratory infections triggered by airborne irritants as such:

  • Allergic asthma - A common chronic respiratory condition that causes the airways to become inflamed when we breathe in allergy triggers. 3/5 of asthma are passed on genetically (hereditary) and more likely to develop throughout their life.
  • Mold - A type of fungus that thrives in damp environments like the basement, bathroom, kitchen sink. While the microorganisms might not be visible when in the air, you can scent its presence through a distinctive musty smell. There are a lot of diseases associated with mold allergy which you can learn about the severity here.
  • Pollen - Fine powdery substances of pollen grains produced by plants and flowers. Often spread through insects, wind and stay suspended in the air for a long period of time. Pollen can cause hay fever when exposed through our mouth, nose, eyes, or throat.
  • Pet dander - Tiny flecks of skin shed from cats, dogs, birds, and other animals with hair or fur. It is the protein found in the dead skin cells that causes pet allergy. Cat dander is more common and allergenic compared with dogs.
  • Perfumes and colognes - Fragrant liquid that is typically made from flower and spices extract. Mask odors with pleasant smell but can trigger allergic reactions with its chemical substances.

Sometimes it is hard to tell if a symptom experience is cold, bronchitis, or asthma. A good indication is on the occurrence frequency as asthma symptoms tend to last longer. Common signs of asthma include:

  • Chronic cough especially at night
  • Cough during exercise or when laughing
  • Difficulty breathing/ Loss of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Wheezing (whistling sound when breathing)
  • Dizziness
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath

Children are the most susceptible to early symptoms of asthma and will show some signs before they turn 5. This is because of the bronchial tubes in infants or toddler is very small and narrow. A slight irritation will lead to the airway inflamed with symptoms that can last for days or weeks. Untreated asthma can kill within minutes. If one or more of the asthma symptoms occur and did not settle down after you have uses a rescue inhaler, seek medical help immediately. While there is no permanent cure, it is controllable and people can still live a normal, active life. A HEPA air purifier would help reduce the number of irritants in the air.

Do Air Purifiers Help with Asthma

An air purifier can help reduce the risk of an asthma attack by removing indoor allergens in a room. You will breathe better without suffering from asthma symptoms and lung irritation. The only condition is the air cleaner needs to be running all the time to protect us from incoming irritants.

Asthma Facts and Figures

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that should not be taken lightly. Many people assume it is a common condition that happens among our peers and friends, an inhaler would probably do the trick. Unfortunately, there are far too many horrid cases that lead to fatality even at a young stage. Most of the death are preventable if safety-precaution is in place. Let's take a look at some of the scary asthma statistics from AAFA.

  • According to CDC, 1 in 13 people has asthma and has been steadily increasing since the early 1980s.
  • Asthma affects more than 25 million Americans; 6-7 million are children under the age of 18.
  • According to WHO, more than 339 million people have asthma and is the most common chronic disease among children. One-third of children that died only have mild intermittent asthma.
  • Asthma is the top reason for children missing school days with a high 13.8 million record in 2013.
  • About 4,000 people die of asthma annually in the United States. Many of these deaths are avoidable with treatment and care.
  • Asthma is more common in adult women over men, children over adults, and boys over girls.
  • 60-65% of breathing problems linked with asthma from children could be mitigated with an air purifier.
  • Asthma has been on the rise since the early 1980s in all age, sex, and racial groups. Part of the reason is due to the increasingly poor air pollutions exposure.
  • Asthma is more common in adult women over men, children over adults, and boys over girls.
  • More than 11.4 million people including 3 million children had one or more asthma episodes.
  • According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American (AAFA), the annual cost of allergies exceeded $18 billion.

Where Should I Place An Asthma Air Purifier?

The bedroom is the best place for an air purifier as we spend at least 6-8 hours a night in there. When choosing a spot for the device, left 3 feet of space between walls so that it will not impede the airflow circulation. Also, never place it underneath windows or next to electronic devices. For optimum results, get an air cleaner for every room so no airborne pollutants will be able to escape.

6 Different Types of Asthma

According to ACAAI, there are many different types of asthma that can be triggered by different sources. While an allergist can provide you with a diagnosis and identifying the causes, let us go through all 6 common types of asthma.

  • Adult-Onset Asthma - Respiratory infection that only unmasks during adulthood as the person is not exposed to asthma triggers throughout their childhood.
  • Allergic Asthma - The most common form that is triggered by inhaling airborne allergens.
  • Asthma-COPD Overlap (ACO) - When you have symptoms of both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with breathing difficulty.
  • Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB) - The narrowing of the airways that makes it difficult to move air out of the lungs. A condition that can occur in people with or without asthma.
  • Nonallergic Asthma - Triggered by illnesses, medications, and environmental factors that do not involve an immune-system response.
  • Occupational Asthma - Lung disorder that causes the airways to swell and narrow in the workplace.

Additional Tips in Dealing With Asthma and Allergies

It is a known fact that an air purifier can improve indoor air quality by circulating clean air, it is not a substitute for an inhaler or other necessary treatments. There are more actions you can take to minimize exposure to allergens in your home. Little things such as changing your toothpaste, drinking coffee (theophylline), or taking medication can help. Practice the steps below will help you breathe better, relieve from asthma symptoms along with other health benefits.

  • Vacuum every 1 to 2 days - Particulate matters can come from indoor and outdoor through open windows, clothes, and shoes. The tracked contaminants will eventually settle on the ground, wall, sofa, or shelf forming dust bunnies. A HEPA vacuum cleaner will collect the dust particles before we inhale them. Vacuum regularly from top to bottom, behind the sofa, and especially if you have carpets at home.
  • Maintain HVAC filters periodically - Take out the air filter for cleaning every quarterly or according to the maintenance interval. Also, check if there are any damaged ducts that may lead to leakage. Hire a ventilation expert to perform the cleaning on HVAC located in hard to reach places.
  • Keep windows and doors closed - Especially if you are staying in an industrial area, close to highways, or during the pollen season. It will reduce the volume of clean air from going out and outdoor allergens from coming in.
  • Reduce smoke at home - Gas and odor can aggravate allergies and trigger an asthma attack. Avoid using scented candles, incense, wood burning, stove cooking, and smoking indoor. You can open windows or turn on an exhaust fan to draw away the smoke and smog. Never start a car with the garage door closed as carbon monoxide may travel inside the house.
  • Beware of pet allergens - Pets shed at an alarming rate. If you are allergic to cats or dogs, try to keep a distance from the furry one. Do not let your pet sleep in your bed or on the couch. Brush them daily and bathe them every 2-3 weeks. Wash your hands and change your clothes after petting them to reduce the exposure to pet dander. Consider getting a hypoallergenic pet that sheds less and brings fewer allergies.
  • Substitute chemical with natural, allergen-free products - Toxic like volatile organic compounds is a known allergy trigger. Choose naturally made detergent, pesticides that will not off-gas toxic fumes. Opt for low VOCs paint and avoid storing the leftover indoor.
  • Maintain room humidity level between 30% to 50% - It can discourage the growth of mold and mildew. It will also relieve allergic symptoms like flaky skin, chronic sneezing, cough, headache, and lungs irritation. Get a humidifier to increase moisture when RH drops below 30% or a dehumidifier to decrease moisture when RH exceeded 50%.
  • Wear a mask - Especially during this unprecedented pandemic times. Change your clothes when you return home and wash linens regularly to prevent dust mites from spreading.
  • Change daily routine - From sitting upright, drinking coffee or caffeinated tea (theophylline chemical), changing toothpaste, to rubbing mustard seed oil on the chest. All these little actions can relax the muscle, open up the airways, and prevent hyperventilation.

Types of Air Purifier For Asthma And Allergies

There are many types of filtration to consider when you're comparing an air purifier for asthma. The best type will trap the finest asthma-inducing triggers inside the filter and prevent it from recirculating back into the room. HEPA air purifiers are the best option for those with asthma. You can even get models that come with extra filtration as below.

  • Pre-filter – A first-stage filter that captures large particles like dust, hair, and debris floating the air. Most pre-filter is designed to be washable and reusable thus prolong the lifespan of the HEPA filter.
  • True HEPA Filter - Stands for high efficiency particulate air. A high dense glass fibers filter that was commercialized since the 1950s to capture fine particles through impact, interception, and diffusion. To qualify as a True HEPA filter, the air filter must meet the efficiency of U.S. DOE (99.97%) and European Standard (99.95%) of particles as small as 0.3 μm. Unlike a pre-filter, True HEPA filter cannot be wash and must be replaced after a period of time.
  • Activated carbon/ Charcoal filter - Adsorb odorous particles and gases like pets, cooking, and chemicals volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the bed of activated carbon. Can be found in most air cleaner with multiple-filtration.
  • UV-C light technology - A sterilizing method that uses short-wavelength light to destroy the DNA structure of germs and other pathogens. The damaged nucleic acid of microorganisms will lose the ability to multiply and spread diseases. UV radiation is harmless to humans but should be used with extra care.
  • Ionizer - Emit negative ions that electrostatically charge and latch positive ion particles in the air. The heavier particulates will be collected by a metal plate or filter. Reusable and cost-effective as the plate is washable and there are no filters to replace. Contrary to many beliefs, an ionizer is safe as it does not create by-products like ozone.
  • Ozone generator/ Ozonator - Generate colorless ozone gases that supposedly neutralize microbes by breaking part oxygen molecules. In reality, ozone only masks away the odors and creates respiratory infection. According to the EPA, inhaling to a high concentration level of ozone can aggravate asthma, decrease lung function, inflammation, throat irritation, chest pain, and damaged tissue cells.

How To Choose An Allergy Air Purifier for Asthma

There are many factors to consider when you're reviewing or buying an asthma air purifier. Depending on your needs, every model has its own pros and cons that may not share the same health benefits. To ease your purchasing journey, here are the air cleaning features and terminology that you should know before ordering one.

  • Coverage area - Measure the room size where you intended to place the air cleaner. With that, you can pick a model that has the airflow capacity to cover an entire room. For asthma sufferers or hypersensitivity person, you will need to measure the coverage area at 4 air changes per hour.
  • Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) - The number of times an air cleaner exchanges the air in the room hourly. The higher the number, the more clean air the device can distribute.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) - An official numerical value used by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). Independently tested on the efficiency of an air cleaner removing specific types of pollutants in cubic feet per minute (cfm). The higher the CADR ratings, the more beneficial it is to asthma sufferers.
  • Noise levels - Most air cleaners' noise falls between 30 dB (quiet rural area) to 60 dB (normal conversation). Some white noise can be expected when it is running on higher fan speed. The more silent is the operation, the less distraction there will be. You will be more inclined to turn on the machine and leave it running the whole day.
  • Energy efficiency - Most air purifying machines consume energy similar to a lightbulb. Even if you leave it on the whole day, you will not see a dramatic increase in the electricity bill. Pick a model that is Energy Star Rated, comes with Auto/ Sleep mode, and has decent power output.
  • Warranty - The longer the warranty duration, the higher the quality assurance you will get on the device. Every manufacturer will have slight variants in their T&C, study what parts do the warranty covered, does it offer a 1-to-1 exchange, and where is the nearest service center.