What is HEPA filter?
Acronym for High Efficiency Particulate Air, HEPA filter is a very common and effective mechanical air filter found in most modern air purifiers. Made from thin interlaced fibers, HEPA filter can eliminate harmful particles as small as 0.3 microns at an effective rate of 99.97%. The best HEPA air purifier brand such as IQAir, Blueair could go even further by removing the tiniest possible airborne particles that cannot be captured by the standard filter.
Who is this for?Virtually anyone that wants fresh clean air free from allergens, bacteria, and viruses. Asthmatic patient or people with hyperallergic would benefit greatly from cleaner air. Young and old that tend to have weakened immune system especially baby and children. A person staying in high moisture home that is constantly fighting against mold. A person staying in a bad environment neighborhood such as industrial area or next to a highway, lastly and surprisingly to most, staying close to nature/ countryside with windows wide open to seasonally inviting pollen from invasion.
2021 Best HEPA Air Purifier For Home
|Air Purifier||Online Price (Amazon)||Filtration||Coverage||Score|
|IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier|
|4-stage||1098 sq. ft. (102 m2)||5|
|Blueair 605 Air Purifier|
|3-stage||775 sq. ft. (72 m2)||5|
|Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier|
|4-stage||360 sq. ft. (33 m2)||5|
|Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A Air Purifier|
|6-stage||815 sq. ft. (76 m2)||4.5|
|Austin Air HealthMate HM400 Air Purifier|
|4-stage||1500 sq. ft. (139 m2)||5|
|Honeywell HPA300 Air Purifier|
|3-stage||465 sq. ft. (43 m2)||4.5|
|Airmega 300 Air Purifier|
|4-stage||1256 sq. ft. (117 m2)||4.5|
You can't go wrong with any of IQAir HealthPro models as it is our number one best home air purifier for one reason: It produces THE best filter in the world. With improved filtration rate at every generation, HyperHEPA Filter can eliminate the tiniest, microscopic particles as small as 0.003 micron size. Remarkable given standard HEPA filter can only trap particles at best 0.3 microns. Other beneficial filters include an advanced PreMax pre-filter and V5-Cell MG carbon filter. IQAir HealthPro will support any room size with its abundant of airflow delivery rate and wide purifying coverage.
Even though all HealthPro utilizes the same HyperHEPA filter, the Plus model is the bulkiness due to the added V5-Cell MG carbon filter slot. Another niggling point is the lacks Auto mode and AQ sensor; both features available in most air purifier listed here. If you can live with the few cons plus the premium price, IQAir HealthPro Plus should always be in your bucket list.
- All-round 320-degree airflow distribution with 6 adjustable speed.
- Comprehensive range that can cover large room sizes.
- Outstanding build quality with certified quality and performance.
- HyperHEPA filter that traps ultra-particles down to 0.003 microns.
- Excellent V5-Cell MG Granular activated Carbon filter.
- Dual filtration PreMax pre-filter.
- Very expensive and barely have any discount.
- Lacks auto mode and air quality indicator.
- Extremely bulky and heavy.
Blueair has one of the most complete series air purifiers that cover small "studio" to large "mansion" room size. We picked this over other classic range models as it's better balanced between price, airflow, and coverage. Let’s start with the basic, Blueair 605 particle filter is very effective against allergies. The HEPASilent technology can trap mold and pollen as small as 0.1 microns. Next, the combined pre-filter, ionizer, and carbon effort will remove the remaining particles. Adding the wide purifying coverage, this highly reputable HEPA machine is a good alternative to IQAir without sacrificing any of the modern practicality.
Same air purifier buying rules applied to Blueair models, the more powerful it is, the costlier and bulkier it will be. No exception with the gigantic Blueair 605 capable of delivering maximum filtration efficiency. If you want a more space-efficient unit without giving up on the Wi-Fi connectivity feature, you should downgrade to either Blueair 405 or 205.
- Strong airflow and widest purifying coverage in its Classic lineup.
- HEPASilent Technology that charges particles for easy filter capturing.
- Powerful structured particle filter and SmokeStop Filter.
- Above 500 cfm dust, pollen, and smoke CADR.
- Durable galvanized steel body.
- Wi-Fi support for Blueair Friend app or Amazon Alexa.
- The most expensive model in its Classic lineup.
- Very high filter replacement cost.
- Lacks integrated air sensors and Auto mode. Requires extra addon purchase.
- Super bulky and heavy.
Winix brand also have a diverse portfolio ranging from the entry-level Winix 5300-2 to advanced Winix T1. Rather than recommend HR1000 that has all the modern features, we decided to recommend the highly popular 5500-2 home air purifier. The modest but still well-equipped with the exact True HEPA filter. It is the model that manages to perform exceptionally well in taking out large particles at an affordable price. The strong airflow (with auto mode) also allow the air purifier to cover medium to large room size including living hall.
Winix 5500-2 is not the smallest in the class, nor it is the cheapest. You could go with other cheaper alternatives but in the end, there is a trade-off and it is either poorer airflow output or compromised features. If you want something similar but more competitively priced, consider its smaller sibling Winix 5300-2 air purifier.
- Easily accessible with 4-stage HEPA PlasmaWave filtration.
- 360 sq. ft. coverage with 200+ cfm CADR on dust, pollen, and smoke.
- AOC carbon filter NOT carbon pre-filter.
- Full features with timer, remote control, Auto/ Sleep mode (light sensor).
- Odor sensor occasionally fails to detect nearby particles.
Put aside the changeable front panel and mood light aesthetic, there are a lot of reasons to pick Rabbit Air MinusA2 as your daily air cleaner. It has a comprehensive purifying radius (815 square feet to be exact) and a reliable HEPA filter (0.3 microns/ 99.97% filtration rate). The quiet operation means it is perfect to fight against viral bacteria anonymously in the background. Rounding up the 6-stage purification includes pre-filter, medium filter, carbon filter, and ionizer. In addition, there are 4 available options for the customized filter for extra filtration. Select from Germ Defense, Toxin Absorber, Pet Allergy, Odor Remover. This is no doubt the most complete, air purifier for asthma and allergies.
There is no doubt that Rabbit MinusA2 SPA-780A is a unique home air purifier. It is beautiful, powerful and space-saving wall-mountable. However, MinusA2 is on the expensive side although annual filter replacement is relatively cheap. If you need a basic model without all the mumbo jumbo, consider the more cost-effective Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0.
- Dedicated particle, odor, and light sensor for a more accurate reading.
- Auto mode with light-sensitive sleep mode.
- 6-stage filtration including HEPA filter, Medium filter, AC carbon filter.
- 4 Customizable filter options + negative ion generator.
- Plenty of front panel design to go for with mood light bar design.
- Poor CADR and airflow output.
- Heavy for a wall-mountable unit.
It's what inside that counts. Austin Air probably has the most identical lineup in terms of exterior design. We choose the standard HealthMate as it is the least expensive air purifier without getting penalized on its performance. What's great with HealthMate is it has the exact same extensive coverage in any Austin Air models. It also shares the same trio "pre-filter" that will trap as many airborne particles as possible leaving the 60 sq. ft. HEPA filter the freedom to work its magic. The all-in-one cartridge has an outstanding lifespan of up to 5 years; the best in this list.
What's lacking in Austin Air can be found in almost any modern-day air purifier. Features like air quality sensors, Auto mode, timer, and so much more are all not available. Not a big deal for some but is the things you should be informed upfront before placing your hard-earned money. There is also a Jr version for most of its lineup that cut down on size and price for a smaller purifying coverage.
- Trio pre-filter (outer mesh, pre-filter, medium filter).
- 60 sq. ft. HEPA filter + 15 lbs. Activated carbon zeolite filter.
- Wide 1500 sq. ft. purifying coverage.
- Sturdy powdered coated steel body.
- 5 years long-lasting filter lifespan.
- Big and heavy even though casters are included.
- Plain on features.
- Hassle filter change that requires unscrewing.
- Loud operation at max speed.
Honeywell has the most air purifiers listed in its stable. The majority of its model currently on sale is aimed at a low to mid-range market. No surprise as once again, we listed Honeywell HPA300 as part of our best air purifier for home. It cost the least, has a smaller body configuration yet without compromising on airflow performance. The strong CADR help push Honeywell HPA300 purifying coverage up high catered for a home with medium to large room size. Managing all the airborne dust, smoke and odors is the first line carbon pre-filter that traps hair, dust, and debris. Smaller microscopic allergens will all be eliminated by the well-protected HEPA filter. With many Honeywell models shipped worldwide, there is no doubt HPA300 proven track record and reliability are the real deal.
Like Austin Air, Honeywell HPA300 HEPA air purifier is plain on features but understandably so due to the lower price tag and size factor. The omission of auto mode could be the biggest let down as most homeowners would appreciate the convenience of it. Smoke and odor filtration is available but not the best in its class. For smaller homes, you could downsize to the cheaper Honeywell HPA200 or the lowest range HPA100.
- Very reasonable price with Carbon Pre-filter and True HEPA filter.
- 465 sq. ft. purifying coverage and 300+ cfm CADR.
- 4 fan speeds including Turbo mode.
- Light dimming option and 3 timers option for night use.
- No Auto mode and air quality indicator. A popular feature for home users.
- Expensive HEPA filter replacement.
Between all the other Airmega models, Airmega 300 gets the nod here as it has the cheapest starting price even before any discount. Unlike every other model listed here that uses 1 pre-filter, 300 uses 2 pre-filter (YES 2) on both sides. This even out the number of large particles coming from left and right. As a result, the Green True HEPA filter has the easiest task in trapping microscopic allergens and bacteria. Top it off, you have the very wide coverage and consistent airflow circulation dedicated to large room size. A great deal with its beautiful exterior, overall filtration along with a wholesome of features.
What's powering current Airmega lineup is always the same Max2 filtration set (dual pre-filter + Green True HEPA filter). So in theory, Airmega 300 is probably not the best value in its bunch as the slightly more expensive S version comes with Wi-Fi control support. Again top up a little bit further, you could have the 400 version that offers superior filtration performance with the same set of features.
- 1256 sq. ft. coverage suitable for living hall use.
- Superb dual pre-filter + Green True HEPA/ Carbon filter.
- Dual Pre-filter and MAX2 filter change indicator.
- Reasonably price annual Max2 filter cost.
- Lacks light-sensitive sleep mode and real-time filter change indicator (available in 400/ 400S).
- No Ionizer.
Do Air Purifiers Really Work?
Of course air purifiers do work as it widely used in hospitals, factories, offices, and nursery homes. It is a simple appliance that utilizes fan and filters to perform the air purification. First, the fan will pull in airborne particles to the air purifier's filtration that usually consists of pre-filter and HEPA filter. Next, the filters will trap all sizes contaminants including hair, dust mites, pollen, mold, pet dander, and bacteria. If there is a carbon filter in its filtration, smoke and odors will also be absorbed. Finally, the now purified air will be circulated back out. The cycles will repeat itself continuously and helps improves air quality in a home. Infant, children, people that are hyper allergic or have asthma will benefit the most as the air now is free from allergens.
Be warned though, there are few types of air purifiers that are ineffective in dealing with airborne contaminants. The most notorious of all is the ozone generator. Not only it is NOT an air purifier, operating this hazardous machine can damage your lung tissue and aggravate asthma conditions. So please double-check the home air purifier you're about to purchase on its genuinity.
How To Choose Air Purifier Based on Room Size?
You can easily determine what air purifier you need by knowing the room size and the range the model can cover. If you don't have the official coverage numbers, simply multiple one of the CADR (dust, pollen, smoke) x 1.55 and you will get the room size in square feet. E.g. if the air purifier has a dust CADR of 300, the room footage will be 300 x 1.55 = 465. Learn more about air purifier room size calculation here.
HEPA Type VS True HEPA filter: What's the Difference?
The differences between HEPA Type VS True HEPA is the filtration efficiency. In general HEPA type filter has a 99% efficiency capture rate of particles as small as 2 microns (dust, hair, pet dander, pollen). True HEPA filter up the game with a better 99.97% capture rate of particles as small as 0.3 microns (allergen, bacteria). As both filters are widely used in the air purifier industry, HEPA-type filter is often paired with a cheaper, compact air purifier. On the other hand, True HEPA is more than likely tag with the bigger, premium air purifier. As for the usage period, you will often find HEPA type filter with a longer-lasting or permanent lifespan (washable). While it’s almost impossible to associate it with a True HEPA filter. Both types of filters can trap virtually any indoor airborne particles. However, if seasonal allergens are your main concern, an air purifier with a True HEPA filter is the one to go for.
How To Choose The Best Home Air Purifier
"The old cliché" choose your partner wisely applies to the air purifier world. Once you made an air purifier yours, very likely the purifying machine will be stuck with you for a very long time. Choosing the "right" one can be the difference between day and night. Also consider factors like the dimension, airflow speed, and cost of ownership would directly impact how it is used in home.
- Cost of ownership - There is a lot of reputable home air purifiers that is below the $200 mark. However, the annual filter replacement is going to kill you. Consider the filter lifespan for long-run.
- Size and weight - Generally only console air purifier can accommodate a full-size HEPA filter for home. There are few exceptional models though.
- CADR/ Airflow performance - This one is a no brainer. With higher airflow/ CADR output, more airborne particles will be pushed to the filter to capture at every go.
- Room size - First measure the room size where you decided to place the air purifier. Then cross-check if the particular model will be able to fulfill that with a minimum of 2 air charges of airflow.
- HEPA filter - Arguably the most important factor here. Always go with a True HEPA filter that has at least a 99.97% efficiency rate on particles as small as 0.3 microns. Permanent filter or HEPA-type filter simply won't cut it.
- Other filters (Pre-filter, Carbon filter, Ionizer...) - HEPA filter alone cannot handle the many types of airborne pollutants. You will need a Pre-filter to block out dust/ hair and Carbon filter to remove smoke/ odor. An ionizer is good to have to break apart stubborn particles.
- Supportive features - Convenience yet practical features like Auto/ Sleep mode or timer make operating a home air purifier a bliss.
- Power consumption and noise level - Very important for home use. Having an energy-efficiency unit with reasonable noise can determine how liveable the air cleaner is as users will likely run it all day.
- Branding reputation - A filter-based home air purifier don't break down very often as is not a sophisticated technology. Choosing a reputable brand guarantees better after-sale services and warranty claims. You are also getting an assuring technology that the company has invested hundreds on research and testing.