7 Best Air Purifier for Basement (Musty and Moldy) In 2022

Basement smell like rotten eggs due to stale air? You're not alone. The musty mold and poorly ventilated smell can literally choke the life of a person. When there are no windows to move the stinky air out of the way, most owners will turn to air cleaners. In this post, we will show you what is the best air purifier for the basement, what should you look for, and what to keep out. Say goodbye to poor indoor air quality in your basement for good.

Who is this for?

Nobody likes a smelly basement. An air purifier will be beneficial for a person that stays in the basement especially if that person is suffering from breathing difficulty, asthma, or sensitive airways. Works great in a finished, unfinished basement that reeks due to stagnant air. If any part of your home has subpar indoor air quality, an air purifier can also help circulate clean air swiftly.

Quick Summary

Winix 5500-2 ReviewHoneywell HPA300 True HEPA Allergen Remover reviewMedify Air MA-40 Air Purifier Review
Winix 5500-2 Air PurifierHoneywell HPA300 Air PurifierMedify Air MA-40 Air Purifier
Recommended Room Size
360 sq. ft. (33 m2)465 sq. ft. (43 m2)840 sq. ft. (78 m2)
4.5out of 54.1out of 54.5out of 5
Amazon Price
** MRSP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is 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.
` The indicated online price guides as follows: $ = under $50, $$ = $50-100, $$$ = $101-200, $$$$ = 201-300, $$$$$ = $301-400, $$$$$$ = 401-500, $$$$$$$ = over $500.

How Do We Measure?

Mold CADR Even though we are using pollen CADR as a benchmark, it will reflect on the air purifier capacity in dealing with mold. We do not have a minimum bar, but the higher the cubic feet per minute, the higher consideration we will give it. If the particular model did not participate in the CADR test, so be it.
HEPA filter A must-have filter in our book. Many of the biological contaminants are microscopic in size and can only be captured by a True HEPA filter. Without the HEPA filter, microbes like mold and mildew will be left unattended and continue to grow in your basement. Bonus points will be given if the filter comes with antimicrobial treatment.
Carbon filter A dedicated carbon filter or a carbon pre-filter is the only filter that able to get rid of smelly odor in the basement via chemical adsorption. It is very important as it prevents the musty, rotten smell from sticking to your basement wall. The better the carbon filter, the higher the priority we will give it.

Features To Look For in a Basement Air Purifier

There are lots of reasons why an air purifier is critical to basement air quality yet one rash decision and you will be stuck with the device for years to come. To guide you in the buying decision, we have compiled the things you need to look into before placing your top dollars on a basement air purifier. Let's begin.

  • Filtration System - There are many types of air purifiers with different purification systems. We recommend going for models that come with a genuine True HEPA filter to deal with biological pollutants. For a smelly basement, an activated carbon filter is needed to remove smoke and odor through chemical process adsorption. Optional UV-light technology is great at killing mold and germs by destroying the DNA structure.
  • Cost of ownership - When purchasing an air purifier for the basement, consider the price VS usage time. There is no point in buying an expensive air cleaner when you barely use it. Think about the maintenance as well. The more filters the air purifier has, the costlier it is to replace.
  • Airflow delivery rate and CADR - The particle removal capacity of an air purifier. The higher the clean air delivery rate, the quicker an air purifier can clean the air in a room. We will use pollen CADR as a benchmark for mold capturing efficiency at 2 air changes per hour or every 30 minutes.
  • Basement size - Make sure the air purifier coverage area is equal or greater than the space of the basement. You can do that by measuring the size of the basement in square footage and compare that with the recommended air cleaning room size provided by the brand.
  • Modes of operation - Co-relate to usability as some models come with advanced features such as particle sensors, auto mode, or air quality indicators. Having more cleaning modes helps make the air cleaner easier to live with as you do not have to constantly monitor the fan speed and filter change.
  • Noise Level - Not the most critical factor unless you are sleeping in a basement thus need peace and serenity. The sweet spot is under 30 decibels but we suggest going for an air purifier that produces noise no more than 60 decibels at normal speed.
  • Build quality/ warranty - As you are likely running an air purifier all day in the basement, having a solid build quality prevents captured particles from escaping. Besides the strong durability, higher-quality materials will not release harmful byproducts like ozone. Do check out the warranty period and terms and conditions in case the air purifier does break down. The longer-lasting the air purifier, the better value you will get from it.
  • Energy efficiency - Running cost can be an important factor for a basement air purifier. The more energy-draining the unit is, the higher the electricity bill you will have to incur. Before purchasing a model, check the energy efficiency rating and if is Energy Star Rated.

One of our favorite air purifiers of all time and perhaps the only basement air purifier you will ever need. Winix 5500-2 air purifier is inexpensive, well-specced, and easy to use. House in a modern black frame at 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 inches in size and 15.4 lb in weight, it is far from compact but not overly bulky either. The conventional side air inlets with a top air outlet allow you to place Winix 5500-2 on the ground or lower shelf with ease. For those that like to use it in multiple locations other than just the basement, you can grab the back handle slot and move it around with little effort.

A well-balanced, all-rounder air purifier that can remove allergens and musty odors in a moderate size basement.

Touching on the controls, Winix 5500-2 is highly usable with autonomous mode support. You'll have the standard power button, PlasmasWave function, fan speed + auto mode, filter reset button with filter change indicator, and 1, 4, 8 hours preset timer that is also accessible via remote control. Right below the control panel, there is a multi-color air quality indicator bar that will display the current room air quality level. A feature that is helpful but not particularly useful for basement or cellar use.

Overall, Winix 5500-2 is very well-built despite the low price and lack of premium materials. It comes with 2 years warranty that should give you enough confidence of leaving the air purifier running unmonitored.

For such a low entry price, Winix 5500-2 airflow delivery rate is highly impressive. You'll have the 4 selectable speeds from Low, Medium, High, Turbo, and a decent 360 square feet coverage at 2 air changes per hour. CADR reflects well too at 243 cfm dust, 246 cfm pollen, and 232 cfm. Another good thing about Winix 5500-2 is the auto mode and sleep mode. The air purifier will only run at a higher speed if it detects a higher level of particulates. Sleep mode activates automatically when there is no basement light by locking the fan speed low and turns off all indicator lights. If you have any concerns about the airborne dust, allergens, and odor in your basement, place the device in the center, turn it on and you're good to go.

Jumping straight to the specification:

  • Room Coverage - 360 sq. ft.
  • Air Filtration - Pre-filter, True HEPA filter, Advanced Granular Carbon Filter, PlasmaWave Technology
  • Filtration stage - 4-stage
  • Fan Speed - 4
  • Odor Absorbing - Yes
  • Warranty - 2 years

Slightly kill for basement use, Winix 5500-2 4-stage filtration consists of a pre-filter, True HEPA filter, carbon filter, and trademark PlasmaWave. The outer pre-filter will block large particles from passing through, leaving space for the True HEPA filter. The freed True HEPA filter will capture 99.97% of microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns. The AOC carbon filter will solely focus on absorbing gases pollutants from cooking, cigarette, diaper, musty mold, and smelly pets. Lastly, the optional PlasmaWave produces natural water vapor and oxygen ion bonded Hydroxyls to break down hard to remove allergens, germs, viruses, and odors. The entire purification cycle is safe, effective, and will repeat itself until the room air is completely clean.

Noise level is not a big thing for basement use but Winix 5500-2 does not disappoint either. For low-speed operation, the noise level is only at a whispering 26.6 decibels that you will barely hear anything. At turbo speed, the noise level can go a few times higher at 60+ decibels but it is uncommon that the air cleaner will be consistently running at this speed. As for power usage, Winix 5500-2 is Energy Star Rated so naturally it will not create too much burden on your utility bill. Expect a low 5 watts power output to a high 90 watts when running at turbo speed. For better noise and energy management, just set it to Auto or Sleep mode and let the air cleaner set its course. Ideal for users that seldom comes down to the basement yet would like to make sure all contaminants are captured when you do visit.

Unfinished or finished Basement use, Winix 5500-2 air purifier will always get things done. It is well-priced, decent airflow distribution, and bundled with all the filtration needed to be a good basement air purifier. The only drawback is the slightly high filter replacement cost that will set you back around 80 dollars annually. You will have to replace it on time to get the best air cleaning performance out of Winix 5500-2. There are no two ways about it.

In short: A well-balanced, all-rounder air purifier that can remove allergens and musty odors in a moderate size basement.

online price (US)**
±249.99 $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±80)


If you want a powerful basement air purifier that is easy to use and would not cost you much, look no further. Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA allergen remover is a 3-stage air purifier utilizing a conventional setup that has been proven for decades. At a cool black body in 20.8 x 22.4 x 10.8 inches size and 17 lb weight, it is not too bulky to place it in the basement and you can move it around with minimal effort. Build quality is top-notch and tightly fitted with no sign with off-gassing. An official 5 years warranty also comes standard that covers any manufacturer's defect.

A powerful yet inexpensive 3-stage HEPA air purifier. The simple functionality or lack of features may actually favor basement use.

Let's explore Honeywell HPA300 simple yet practical controls. You have the main power button that turns on/ off the machine and cycles between Allergen, General Clean, Germ, Turbo mode. A built-in 3 preset timers if you do not want to leave the air purifier running all day. Next to it is the 2 electronic filter change reminders with LED indicators. The top check filter button is for True-HEPA while the bottom is for the check pre-filter button. Last but not least, the dimmer button allows you to adjust the LED display brightness between low, high, and off.

Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA allergen remover is a powerhouse with a super wide 465 sq. ft. of purifying coverage. It is officially rated at 300+ cfm CADR that even beats some top-end model. You can select either Germ, General Clean, Allergen, and Turbo cleaning mode to enhance the air cleaning efficiency depending on how bad is your basement air quality. Most people will leave it in General Clean if they intend to let the machine runs 24 hours a day in the basement without checking on it. We suggest leaving it in Allergen mode as it is for the best mold performance especially during allergen season and Germ mode during cold & flu season.

Focusing on Honeywell HPA300 specification:

  • Room Coverage - 465 sq. ft.
  • Air Filtration - Carbon Pre-filter, True HEPA filter
  • Filtration stage - 3-stage
  • Fan Speed - 4
  • Odor Absorbing - Yes
  • Warranty - 5 years

A proven and classic filtration setup that is used for decades. Honeywell HPA300 might not be the most efficient against smoke particles, in other departments it rocks. Starting with the carbon pre-filter that traps large particles plus mild smoke including dust, hair, fiber, toilet humid smell coming from toilet, and mold. Next is the main filtration consisting of 3 separate True HEPA filters with certified 99.97% removal efficiency on particulates as small as 0.3 microns. The multi-layer HEPA filters will effectively trap dust mites, pet dander, germs, and the notorious basement mold mildew. Despite the lack of ionizer or UV technology, no pollutants will be too hard to handle for this HEPA air purifier.

The strong airflow and lack of auto mode do not deter Honeywell HPA300 from outputting a low noise operation. For basement use, we highly recommend you leave it in Allergen mode which can be loud but still livable. As for power consumption, it is fairly efficient that you can leave it running all day comfortably.

For the downside, the reliance on carbon pre-filter combination is the reason why it might not be the best in dealing with mold and mildew smell. Most basement air purifiers listed here offer a dedicated carbon filter with a better adsorption rate. Then there is the lack of features like remote control, auto, and sleep mode. Again, not a big miss for basement use and we would gladly trade it for a lower selling price.

In short: A powerful yet inexpensive 3-stage HEPA air purifier. The simple functionality or lack of features may actually favor basement use.

online price (US)**
±249.99 $$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±108)


Stinky basement or crawl space can be the owner's biggest headache yet sometimes an air purifier would do the trick. In comes Medify MA-40 that will cost you less than 350 after applying a discount. This modern-looking air cleaner stands at only 9.9 inches in width, 22 inches in height, and 15.6 pounds in weight. The large air inlet that pulls dirty air from the ground makes it easy to place MA-40 anywhere in the basement or cellar without impeding the airflow.

A powerful, medical-grade HEPA air purifier that fits well in a large basement. Slightly on the pricier side particularly with its filters set.

At the top, you have a tempered glass panel that hosts all the controls of Medify MA-40. From the power button, multiple fan speeds, 4 preset timers on when you can shut down the machine, and a power-off button, an ionizer/ and a light dimmer button that you can disable the function when not needed. There is also a filter replacement indicator that reminds you to replace the filter after 2,500 hours.

Overall Medify MA-40 is very fitted with no off-gassing, UL, ETL certified, CARB approved, and comes with Medify lifetime warranty so enjoy worry-free ownership for many years to come.

An abundance of airflow is Medify MA-40 core strength. At the highest speed, it can cover up to 840 square feet in 30 minutes or 2 air changes per hour. For those with asthma or sensitive lungs, you can up the cleaning speed to 4 air changes per hour or every 15 minutes by reducing the purifying coverage to 420 square feet. Official AHAM CADR is averaging 150 cubic feet per minute for dust, pollen, and smoke. Medify MA-40 is highly suited for basement use both finished or unfinished. You can also use it in the living room, garage, nursery room, bedroom, or places that need air cleaning.

Let's look into the key specification:

  • Room Coverage - 840 sq. ft.
  • Air Filtration - Pre-filter, H13 HEPA filter, Activated Carbon composite filter, Ionizer
  • Filtration stage - 4-stage
  • Fan Speed - 3
  • Odor Absorbing - Yes
  • Warranty - Lifetime

If your basement is constantly invaded by mold and mildew, Medify MA-40 air purifier will kill them off, literally. The dual intake pre-filter will protect the HEPA filter by trapping large particles like dust, hair, and lint. Next, the dual H13 HEPA filter will capture 99.9% of irritants as small as 0.1 microns including mold, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and virus. The carbon filter with carbon pellets absorbs smoke and odors coming from cooking, tobacco smoke, chemicals e.g. volatile organic compounds, asbestos, radon, formaldehyde, benzene. Lastly, the optional ionizer discharge negative ions that latch to positive ions pollutants in the air and pull them down for the filter to capture. Combining the strong air circulation, even the tiniest microorganisms and harmful smoke will not be able to bypass Medify 4-stage filtration.

Moving to the noise level, Medify MA-40 46 to 66 decibels sounds reasonable for basement use. If you can't stand the white noise coming from the fan, just set it to the lowest speed after few hours of runtime. Power consumption is averaging around 54 watts per hour or about around $0.10 a day. Not too bad for an Energy Star Rated air purifier with its caliber.

So what's the catch with Medify MA-40 Air Purifier? Nothing much other than the short 6 months filter lifespan where it will be a hassle to change. The high-grade HEPA filter will also be costly to replace in the long run. Looking past that, it is the perfect model to get rid of basement smell with its good filtration and purifying coverage combination.

In short: A powerful, medical-grade HEPA air purifier that fits well in a large basement. Slightly on the pricier side particularly with its filters set.

online price (US)**
±349.00 $$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±60-120)


If your basement or crawlspace is infested with mold with visible mold patches on the wall, Alen BreatheSmart HEPA air purifier is your answer. At a conventional size of 17.8 x 26.8 x 10 inches and a weight of 21 pounds, it is not the lightest in its class but still usable without occupying too much space. The modern yet classic setup is enhanced with many eye-pleasing panel options that you can swap to enhance the basement look. Build quality is great evidence by the Lifetime limited warranty offered by Alen.

Classic is the best. A dependable, basement air purifier that requires the optional HEPA filter upgrade with odor filtration.

Alen BreatheSmart air purifier is very easy to use as it comes with all the usual functionalities and more. Besides the standard power button, you have an Ion button that activates/ deactivates ionizer function, filter life button that resets the filter timer, a slightly unusual 4, 8, 12 hours timer, speed button that cycle the 4 fan speeds, and an Auto button that activates/ deactivates Auto mode. Additionally, you have an advanced Smart Filter that calculates the exact filter life and the ever-useful child lock function. There is also an air quality indicator light that will illuminate blue, yellow, or red light depending on the level of airborne pollutants in the basement.

With a 4 adjustable fan speed and SmartSensor technology, Alen BreatheSmart Classic comes with an Auto mode by default that will automatically adjust the fan speed according to the nearby air quality. Running at max speed, the classic air purifier can cover a room size up to 1100 square feet with an airflow delivery rate between 150 cfm to 286 cfm. Not only it is suitable for basement use, you can also place it in the living room, bedroom, or purify the entire floor with doors all wide open. CADR is around 300 cfm for dust, pollen, and smoke regardless of which filter you opt for.

Here are Alen Classic BreatheSmart impressive specification:

  • Room Coverage - 1100 sq. ft.
  • Air Filtration - Washable Pre-filter, HEPA-Pure Filter BF35, Ionizer
  • Filtration stage - 3-stage
  • Fan Speed - 4
  • Odor Absorbing - Yes
  • Warranty - Lifetime

Alen's all-in-one filter setup might be convenient to replace, it's not everyone's cup of tea. Inside the bundled pack, you have a pre-filter that traps dust, hair, and other impurities. The pre-filter is washable and reusable as long as it is handled with care. By default, BreatheSmart comes with a HEPA-Pure filter that removes 99.97% of airborne particulates as small as 0.1 microns. The filter is great but for a basement that is infested with mold and mildew, you will need to opt for the HEPA-Silver filter upgrade. The upgraded filter comes with additional deodorization filtration that can absorb any musty smells. You can also choose the HEPA-FreshPlus or HEPA-OdorCell filter upgrade that would achieve similar results. Lastly, there is an optional ionizer feature that generates harmless ions to remove stubborn pollutants in the air.

Moving on, the 42 to 56 dB low noise output is fairly consistent thanks to Alen BreatheSmart's WhisperMax technology. Suitable for those with an underground living hall or bedroom that needs absolutely zero noise to reduce sound echoing in the basement. Power usage can be slightly high between 64 watts to 105 watts output per hour. If you attend to let it run 24 hours a day without fail, just set it to Auto mode and the air purifier will automatically use the most energy-efficient speed for purification.

The biggest gripe we have with Alen BreatheSmart for basement use is you need to opt for the filter upgrade for odor filtration. That's between a top-up of $10 (True HEPA-Silver) to $40 dollars (True HEPA-OdorCell). The default HEPA-Pure filter won't cut it as it does not deal with musty mold and mildew odor well. Another minor complaint is the fan noise level can be loud when running at high speed. Not the biggest deal-breaker as the additional filter cost though.

In short: Classic is the best. A dependable, basement air purifier that requires the optional HEPA filter upgrade with odor filtration.

online price (US)**
±649.00 $$$$$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±46-138)


Think GermGuardian AC9200WCA as the premium version of a basement air purifier. A console size machine that comes with wide purifying coverage, 3 times more CADR input, and a comprehensive 5-stage filtration. Measuring at 17 x 27 x 9.8 inches in dimension and 20.7 pounds in weight, this is not the go-to model if you have a small basement or crawlspace. However, for those with a multi-room basement that needs air cleaning, GermGuardian will fit in just nice.

Covers basement well with its complete 5-stage filtration with UV-light and ionizer. The strong airflow and impressive CADR make up for the lack of autonomous mode.

Control wise, the touch panel allows you to set the 3 fan speed, 6 hours programmable timer, activate/ deactivate the UV-C and ionizer function. There is also the standard filter change indicator and 3 years warranty that solidify GermGuardian AC9200WCA's long-term durability. Nothing fancy or extraordinary with the setup as it should be for an air purifier.

GermGuardian AC9200WCA 378 square feet purifying coverage is more than sufficient for most basement. In fact, you can use the air cleaner anywhere in the house with the high 310 cfm CADR for dust, 346 cfm for pollen, and 244 cfm smoke CADR. Another good point to note that the ionizing and UV light features are not taken into consideration during the CADR test. Anticipate an even better filtration against biological pollutants when running at full speed.

Let's see how GermGuardian AC9200WCA up the game with its 5-stage filtration:

  • Room Coverage - 378 sq. ft.
  • Air Filtration - Pre-filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon Filter, Ionizer
  • Filtration stage - 4-stage
  • Fan Speed - 3
  • Odor Absorbing - Yes
  • Warranty - 3 years

For a basement air purifier, we will be looking at the 2 main filters. The first-stage pre-filter captures large particles while prolonging the lifespan of HEPA and carbon filters. The protected True HEPA filter with 99.97% removal efficiency targets airborne contaminants as small as 0.3 microns. The carbon filter will dedicatedly trap toxic fumes in the confined space including ammonia, VOCs, CO2, tobacco smokes, and radon that cannot be detected through our scent. The UV-C light will effectively kill odor-causing mold and germs in the basement. It will also prevent mold and mildew that are trapped inside the filter from reproducing. Finally, there is an ionizer that will electrostatically diffuse ions to merge with stubborn particles in the air. The charged ions will fall due to the increased weight allowing easy capturing from the filter. Both UV and ionizer are optional which means you can disable them when not needed.

Combining the 5-stage filtration and high airflow output, GermGuardian AC9200WCA noise level is on the higher tier compared with the rest. Still usable for the basement even if you intend to run it at a higher speed. Power usage is reasonable for all-day operations. You can optimize the performance VS energy by leaving it in sleep mode after running at high speed for a couple of hours.

GermGuardian AC9200WCA checks all the boxes with its outstanding True HEPA filter and dedicated carbon filter. However, for an air purifier used in the basement, it is on the costlier side given its raw performance. Annual filter replacement is also not cheap as the UV-light technology will require replacing at some point. Lastly, there is no auto mode and AQ indicator despite holding a much premium price tag than Winix. That said, if you want a device that can swiftly clean the air and remove musty odor in a poorly ventilated space, you can't go wrong with GermGuardian AC9200WCA.

In short: Covers basement well with its complete 5-stage filtration with UV-light and ionizer. The strong airflow and impressive CADR make up for the lack of autonomous mode.

online price (US)**
±499.99 $$$$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±128-182)


A small, modern, basement air purifier that everyone could afford. Levoit LV-PUR131 is a slightly cheaper, slightly less powerful unit yet with tons of features. It is CE/ FCC certified and comes with an official 2 years warranty that covers all manufacturer's defects. At 14.5 inches in width, 18.5 inches in height, 7.2 inches in depth, and 11.2 pounds, it is highly portable where you can place it on top of a shelf, side table, or desk. The build quality is great enhanced with a top piano gloss control panel.

An affordable, small basement air purifier that packs a punch. Suitable for a smaller basement that has little odor trouble.

Staying with the control panel, Levoit LV-PUR131 is very straightforward to operate and even first-timer will get the hang of it. You'll have the standard on/ off button, speed button that cycles between Low, Normal, High. 1-12 hours timer button that can be set when to turn off the machine, and separate auto mode/ sleep mode button. There's also a digital display and air quality indicator that shows red when the air quality is bad, yellow when air quality is moderate, green if good, and blue if the air quality is very good.

Moving to the airflow performance, Levoit LV-PUR131 can cover up to 322 square feet of room size via its 3 fan speeds. CADR is well reflected at 135 cfm for dust, pollen, and smoke. Not the greatest but sufficient for small basement or cellar use with mold trouble. As a final touch to its usability, there is an Auto mode that will activate max speed when there is a high concentration level of pollutants. Sleep mode is also available for those that spend the night in the basement.

Here's what you will get with Levoit LV-PUR131:

  • Room Coverage - 322 sq. ft.
  • Air Filtration - Fine Preliminary Filter, True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon Filter
  • Filtration stage - 3-stage
  • Fan Speed - 3
  • Odor Absorbing - Yes
  • Warranty - 2 years

The conventional 3-stage filtration that works on so many occasions. You have a fine preliminary filter that helps capture dust, hair, lint and halt the large particulates from traveling to the HEPA filter. The True HEPA filter will trap 99.97% of microscopic particulates like mold, mildew, pet dander, and germs. On the gases side, you have the standalone activated carbon filter that removes cigarette smoke smell, pet odors, chemical fumes from paint, cleaning products, and stale water. No fancy ionizer or UV-light here so if you have sensitive lungs and need 100% ozone-free purification, Levoit LV-PUR131 can deliver that.

For noise and power output, Levoit LV-PUR131 is on the efficient side that you can leave it on for days without touching it. Expect a noise level under 52 dB depending on the running speed you. Power output is averaging around 40 watts per hour, way lower than most home appliances particularly air conditioners. Again, Auto mode is available that can help you better manage the energy usage.

What's not so great is the airflow and filtration performance. The under 150 cfm CADR means it is meant for small to medium-sized basement under 400 square feet. Anything beyond that means the air cleaner will require a great deal of time to cycle the clean air. The smaller filters also directly affected the filter lifespan. You will have to replace the filter set every 6 months in order to maintain the filtration quality level. We would still recommend Levoit LV-PUR131 air cleaner but do consider other higher-tier models if you have a larger basement. There is no wrong going with this model.

In short: An affordable, small basement air purifier that packs a punch. Suitable for a smaller basement that has little odor trouble.

online price (US)**
±179.99 $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±40)


The ultimate solution in making your basement safer and less noxious. IQAir HealthPro Plus is a dependable, Swiss-made air purifier that can deal with poor ventilation and serious air quality issue in the basement. The iconic design will take a huge presence in your basement with its bulky body of 15 inches width, 28 inches height, 16 inches depth, and 35.3 pounds weight. Not the most portable air purifier around but there are 4 casters to ease the movement.

Expensive, bulky, but the most capable, multi-room HEPA air purifier in its class. The best air purifier for basement smell that can tackle even the mustiest odor.

Build quality is one of the best in the industry thanks to its tough ABS plastic housing and 3D UltraSeal triple-seal technology. There's zero chance of captured pollutants escaping or byproducts released by IQAir HealthPro Plus. It is IAACM (International Association of Air Cleaner Manufacturers) certified to be 100% ozone-free. Very critical especially with basement poor air circulation.

IQAir HealthPro Plus is highly customizable thanks to the 6 fan speeds that you can manually select. There's also a digital display and advanced programmable timer that you can set a specific day, speed, and shut down time. The Intelligent Filter Life Monitor will accurately measure the filter lifespan so you will only have to replace it when necessary.

No other air purifiers in the market are able to replicate IQAir HealthPro Plus high standard filtration efficiency. The high 300 cfm airflow distribution is one of the biggest strengths in IQAir HealthPro Plus. When fully utilizing the 6 fan speed, the air purifier can cover up to 1098 square feet of space especially in a basement with very poor ventilation. Overpowered for most but for those that need quick air circulation improvement on their basement, let IQAir HealthPro Plus runs continuously in the background. No air purifier listed here even comes close to it.

Let's dive into IQAir HealthPro specification:

  • Room Coverage - 1098 sq. ft.
  • Air Filtration - PreMax Filter F8, HyperHEPA Filter H12/13, V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter MG
  • Filtration stage - 4-stage
  • Fan Speed - 6
  • Odor Absorbing - Yes
  • Warranty - 3 years

Powered by the latest filtration by IQAir, the initial PreMax Filter F8 traps small to large particles including dust mites, mold, pollen, mildew, and pet dander. The V5-Cell Granular activated Carbon filter with Pelletized chemisorption absorbs smoke, odors, and chemicals such as VOCs, ozone, formaldehyde, CO, and the notorious basement infused asbestos, radon. Finally, the HyperHEPA filter will capture irritants as small as 0.003 microns size, 100 times smaller than what a True HEPA filter is capable of. Filter usage life is another world with 2 years lifespan for V5-Cel Filter and 4 years lifespan for HyperHEPA Filter. This is no doubt the best basement air purifier money can get.

Fairly subtle noise level thanks to the backward, curved fan-in-center centrifugal, thick double-walled housing, and sound deflector EvenFlow Diffuser. Expect the noise output at only 25 dB minimal to a white noise territory 59 dB. There's even a rubber suspension pad at the bottom to help reduces the motor vibration noise. Power usage can be low at around 27 watts to a high 215 watts depending on the fan speed. If you need an energy-saving basement air purifier, this is probably not the best option.

The obvious obstacle of owning an IQAir purifier is the cost. At around 899 dollars MRSP, you can get multiple units of air purifiers from other brands to cover an entire home. Autonomous purifying is also a surprise omission here. The outstanding filtration also pushed the size of the unit to the next level. If you have very limited space in your basement, this is not the right model for you.

In short: Expensive, bulky, but the most capable, multi-room HEPA air purifier in its class. The best air purifier for basement smell that can tackle even the mustiest odor.

online price (US)**
±899.00 $$$$$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±152)



How To Use an Air Purifier In The Basement

Getting an air purifier is just the first step, using it properly is the key to improving basement air quality. To get the best out of an air purifier for the basement, here are some simple tips and tricks you can follow.

  • The right replacement - The ideal location for an air purifier is at the center of the basement but that is usually not possible as it might get in the way. Instead of leaving it in the corner, place the basement air purifier about 2 to 6 feet off the wall for better air circulation without any blockage.
  • Do not obstruct the airflow - Such as placing clothes on top of the air ventilation. Again leave few inches of space so the air purifier can quickly draw in dirty air and distribute clean air back to the basement.
  • Do not turn off the machine - Leave the air purifier running 24 hours a day even when nobody is around. This is to prevent airborne pollutants like mold from building up and stink up the basement. An air purifier is capable of running continuously, 7 days a week without fail.
  • Keep all windows and doors shut - This is to prevent purified air from escaping and unfiltered air from coming in. When you leave windows/ doors opened, you are inviting outdoor pollutants from coming in and causing the air purifier to overwork as it is required to exchange clean air indefinitely.
  • Replace filter regularly - For optimal cleaning performance where airborne impurities pulled in will be capture by the filter. The air purifier will not function properly with a clogged filter. Replace the filter according to the interval time or when the filter change indicator starts blinking.

The Many Types of Air Purifier For Basement

Poor air quality can exacerbate respiratory and pre-existing issues. For those that spend a large chunk of their time in the basement or have converted it into a living space, choosing the right air purifier is crucial as it determines how effective your indoor air will be clean. Here's the run-through of all the air cleaning devices using various technology to purify the air.

  • HEPA air purifier - The best type of air purifier for the basement. Using mechanical filters like True HEPA, carbon to trap airborne particulates and cycle clean air out. It is safe, widely available, captures all types of pollutants, and cost-effective. There is even the option to combines additional filtration such as antimicrobial, ionizer, or UV technology for more comprehensive protection against airborne irritants.
  • Carbon air purifier - Uses activated carbon filter chemical absorption to remove gaseous pollutants and odors including VOCs, CO2, CO, cigarette smoke, and musty smell. Commonly found in the toilet, kitchen, or storage space due to its expensive price tag and compact size. The downside is the filter cannot capture non-gaseous particulates and the carbon sheet requires frequent replacing to prevent off-gassing. Best used in conjunction with a HEPA air purifier.
  • UVGI cleaner/ UV air purifier - A filterless air cleaner that uses ultraviolet light to damage the DNA cells of the biological pollutants rendering them harmless. UV technology is safe, eradicates mold/ mildew, but is less effective against large particles. Ultraviolet light will also generate a very low concentration of ozone that will not pose any risk to our health. If you have sensitive or respiratory issues, a mechanical HEPA air purifier would be the better option.
  • PCO air purifier - A NASA technology that decomposes particles at the molecular level through the broad spectrum of UV-light reacting with titanium dioxide. Like ultraviolet light, Photocatalytic Oxidation is safe, destroy biological pollutants instead of trapping, but may produce a low concentration level of byproducts like formaldehyde.
  • Ozone generator/ Ozonator - Emits harmful ozone that supposedly reduces the odors in the air by chemically alters oxygen molecules. Not recommended as on high concentration level, ozone will cause permanent damage to your lungs and health. Not to be mistaken as an ionizer.
  • Ionizer/ Electrostatic precipitator - Release negative ions that attach to positive ions particulates. The combined particles will fall to the ground due to the increased weight leaving the air free from allergens. With an ionizer, you will need to vacuum to prevent the fallen particles from being stirred back up in the air. With an electrostatic precipitator, there is a charged collector plate that collects the fallen particles rather than letting them not scatter all over the place.

How To Choose The Right Size Air Purifier for Basement?

It is important to know your basement room size before choosing an air purifier. If you don't have the floor plan, measure the width and the length of your basement with a measuring tape. Multiply width and length to get the basement total square footage. Round up the numbers and you can compare which air purifiers fit the bill. The air purifier coverage area just meets or exceeds the size of the basement. You can learn more about air purifier room size calculation here.

Benefits Of Having a Basement Air Purifier

Air quality in a basement can be stale, humid, and unhealthy especially those without any windows. An air purifier can change all that by providing fresh air to a much-needed basement. No matter if is a finished or unfinished basement, having an air purifier can be beneficial to all parties both mentally and physically.

So let's look into all the perks of a basement air purifier.

  • Better air circulation - Basement air can be stale and stuffy due to poor ventilation. An air cleaner will increase air circulation by exchanging dirty air with fresh air. The improved air quality will also help regulate temperature and makes the basement air much more breathable.
  • Stop musty basement smell - Blame it on mold and mildew for creating an unbearable, sewer smell. The noxious odor can cause sickness to a person. An air purifier captures the microorganisms before they settle and grow.
  • Less airborne contaminants - The basement is filled with germs, mold spores, mildew, and pet dander for those with domestic pets. An air purifier will remove all airborne allergens so you will only inhale to clean fresh air.
  • Less dust buildup - Due to enclosed spaces and less maintenance, dust will pile up very quickly in a basement. Airborne dust has nowhere to go and will eventually fall on the shelf, pipes, and floor. An air purifier will reduce dust and dust mites in the air by trapping the particles via its HEPA filtration.
  • Remove building materials pollutions - This includes the notorious volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, Asbestos, Formaldehyde, Nitrogen dioxide, and lead. Most of these gaseous pollutants are exposed through cracked walls, tiles, pipes, carpets, paints, and insulation boards. Unless you can re-renovate to remove the root cause, an air purifier would be the next best thing to contain the toxic chemical fumes.
  • Improve your mood - Yes, clean air will enhance your mood level, reduce stress, anxiety, and well-being as proven by many scientific studies. So even if you don't spend a great deal of time in the basement, it's good to get it sorted.
  • Improved sleep quality - Having an air purifier in the basement can help you sleep better as it removes allergens that may disrupt your sleep. When the air is clean, there is less likelihood of you suffering from night cough, post-nasal drip, or sinus during bedtime.

Why Does Mold Grow In The Basements?

Damp, dusty, and dark environment is the reason for mold growth in the basement. Adding to the poor ventilation and lack of natural UV sunlight, moisture in a room takes a longer time to dry out. Water problems like leaky pipes, floods, groundwater, rainwater coming in from cracks, and cold temperature condensation also contribute to the humid air. An air purifier will help stop mold and other fungi from spreading but only a dehumidifier is capable of reducing moisture in the basement.

Air Purifier VS Dehumidifier for Basement

Air Purifiers are good for the basement, so is a dehumidifier. An air purifier circulates clean air by removing airborne contaminants in the basement e.g. dust, mold, spore, chemical fumes, and musty odors. A dehumidifier can manage the basement humidity level by sucking in moisture in the air. This will effectively stop mold and other microorganisms from growing and spreading.

In short, both devices can provide you with the best protection against mold. If you are allergic to dust, mold, and odors, you should purchase an air purifier first. If your basement is under damp condition, a dehumidifier should be a higher priority. Since there is no overlapping in functionality, you can run an air purifier and dehumidifier together in the same room.

Do Air Purifiers Work In Basements? Will It Get Rid of Basement Smell?

Air purifiers work great in a basement with air quality issues and stagnant smells. It improves air circulation by capturing airborne allergens and smoke particles e.g. mold spores, pollen, VOCs, bacteria, viruses even if the basement does not have any windows. While an air purifier can get rid of smells, it cannot stop the mustiness from returning. You will still need to find and fix the root cause of the pungent odor.

How To Deodorize a Basement?

There are about 32% of Americans have a basement in their homes. An air purifier is one of the best ways of deodorizing a basement, there are other means that will work as well. The below methods may not necessarily solve the air quality problems, it can make the basement smells better with minimal effort.

  • Get a dehumidifier - Very effective in reducing moisture and smell in a basement. EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity level between 30 to 50 percent. Pairs well with an air purifier and should be on your top priority list.
  • Fix leaky pipes - With sealant, PTFE, or wrapping tape to avoid black mold invasion. Doing so will prevent water contamination, drain clog, overflow, rust, and water damage on the floorboard/ ceiling.
  • Place dishes of vinegar around the basement - Vinegar is a fermented liquid that can break down odor-causing mold in the basement. Leave it around 2-3 days and replenish the dishes when the effects wore off.
  • Open windows and doors - Doing so will help air circulation, lower humidity level, prevent air stagnation, and reduce basement smell. Counterproductive if you have an air purifier installed in the basement.
  • Use charcoal or silica gel - To absorb moisture and dampness in the basement. Affordable and widely available in most hardware stores.
  • Deodorizing agent with antifungal spray - Effective at killing mold spores on floors and walls. Not suitable for a house with pets as the chemical can be toxic when inhaled or consumed.
  • Air freshener spray - A quick fix to mask away musty basement smell. Not an ideal solution as most air fresheners composed of toxic chemicals such as VOCs that further pollutes the basement air.

If all method fails and the basement still reeks, you may need to hire a mold removal specialist to perform mold remediation.

Final Thoughts

An air purifier is proven to do wonders in improving basement air quality. For starters, Winix 5500-2 would serve most folks well and so is the mid-tier Honeywell HPA300. For those with a large unfinished basement, choose Medify MA-40 air purifier instead. Homes that are plagued with mold issues not tied to the basement, we have the best mold air purifier recommendations listed here.

2022 Best Air Purifier in Basement

NoImageAir PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)HighlightsFiltrationCoverage
1Winix 5500-2 ReviewWinix 5500-2 Air Purifier


BEST BUDGET4-stage360 sq. ft. (33 m2)
2Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Allergen Remover reviewHoneywell HPA300 Air Purifier


BEST OVERALL3-stage465 sq. ft. (43 m2)
3Medify Air MA-40 Air Purifier ReviewMedify Air MA-40 Air Purifier


BEST PERFORMANCE4-stage840 sq. ft. (78 m2)
4Alen BreatheSmart HEPA Air Purifier ReviewAlen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier


MEDICAL GRADE HEPA3-stage1,100 sq. ft. (102 m2)
5GermGuardian AC9200WCA Air Purifier ReviewGermGuardian AC9200WCA Air Purifier


5-STAGE FILTRATION5-stage378 sq. ft. (35 m2)
6Levoit LV-PUR131 Air Purifier ReviewLevoit LV-PUR131 Air Purifier


UNDER 200 DOLLARS3-stage322 sq. ft. (30 m2)
7IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier ReviewIQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier


HYPERHEPA FILTER4-stage1,098 sq. ft. (102 m2)

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.

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