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 standard filter.
How do we measure?
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.
Best HEPA Air Purifier 2019
While you can't go wrong with any of IQAir HealthPro models, we picked IQAir HealthPro Plus as our number one best HEPA 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 features include an advanced PreMax pre-filter to tackle on larger airborne particles, wide purifying coverage that support any room size and abundant of airflow delivery rate via its highly adjustable 6 speed.Even though all IQAir HealthPro air purifier utilizes the same HyperHEPA filter, the Plus model is the bulkiness due to the added V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter 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.
- Made in Switzerland craftsmanship with strong impact resistant ABS plastic and zero-leak triple-seal technology.
- PreMax pre-filter that is capable of capturing both large and micro-particles such as pollen, spores, mold.
- Effective V5-Cell MG Granular activated Carbon filter that absorb and eradicate all types smoke and odor.
- HyperHEPA is the best True HEPA filter we reviewed that is capable of trapping ultra-particles down to 0.003 microns.
- Long-lasting filter. True HEPA filter has 4 years lifespan, Carbon filter has 2 years lifespan and even pre-filter has a 18 months lifespan.
- Certified quality and performance. Each air purifier are individually tested to ensure the air purifier meets the strict specifications.
- Noise level is considerably low in its segment given the air purifier airflow strength and speed.
- Powerful 320 degree airflow distribution that provides one of the widest purifying coverage.
- Up to 6 selectable fanspeed that can also be adjusted via remote control.
- Built-in programmable timer that allows specific fanspeed, time, day or week scheduling.
- Easy layer filter replacement that slides out individually instead of conventional front cover style.
- Industrial leading 10 years warranty.
- Very expensive (3 times of standard air purifier price).
- No dust & odor sensors = no automatic fan speed setting and air quality indicator.
- Bulky and heavy that is difficult to move around even with carrying handle and casters.
Blueair has one of the most complete series air purifiers that cover small "studio" to large "mansion" room size (see Blueair Pro XL purifying coverage). We picked this over other classic range models as it's better balanced between price, airflow and purifying coverage. Let’s start with the basic, Blueair 605 standard particle filter is very effective against allergies causing mold and pollen as small as 0.1 microns. The HEPASilent technology is capable of achieving maximum filtration efficiency due to the pre-filter and ionizer combined effort in removing large airborne particles. Adding the wide purifying range that fits into most home, this highly reputable HEPA machine is a good alternative to IQAir HealthPro Plus without sacrificing any of the modern practicality (i.e. Auto mode, air quality display).Same air purifier buying rules applied to Blueair models, the more powerful the air purifier is, the costlier and bulkier it will be. No exception with the gigantic Blueair Classic 605. If you want a more space-efficient unit without giving up on the Wi-Fi connectivity feature, you could downgrade to either Blueair 405 or 205.
- Widest purifying coverage and strongest airflow in its Classic series.
- HEPASilent Technology that electrostatically charge particles before passing to filter media.
- Highly effective gradient structured particle filter and SmokeStop Filter.
- Very impressive dust, pollen and smoke CADR return.
- Top-notch build quality with its durable galvanized steel body.
- Wi-Fi connects easily and works well with the intuitive Blueair Friend app or Amazon Alexa.
- Up to 5 years warranty.
- The most expensive model in Blueair Classic series.
- Very high annual filter replacement cost.
- Lacks stand-alone pre-filter that would capture large particles from other filters.
- Lacks integrated air sensors for air quality monitoring and Auto mode. Requires the addon purchase Blueair Aware monitor to enable the feature.
- Bulky and heavy although we expect no less.
Winix brand also have a diverse portfolio ranging from the entry-level Winix 5300-2 to advanced Winix T1. Rather than recommend Winix HR1000 that has all the modern techs including Wi-Fi support and a comprehensive 5-stage filtration, we decided to keep this best HEPA air purifier list in balance by going with Winix 5500-2; The cheaper but still equipped with an equally effective True HEPA filter. The main reason for Winix 5500-2 inclusion is the air purifier manage to perform exceptionally well thanks to the permanent pre-filter that take out all large particles upfront. Winix 5500-2 supportive airflow (with auto mode) and wide purifying coverage also allow the air purifier to cover medium to large room size including living hallWinix 5500-2 is not the smallest in the class, nor it is the cheapest. You could go with many other cheaper air purifiers but in the end, there is a trade-off with either poorer airflow performance or features. Alternatively, the older Winix U450 is also a good alternative which we also highly recommend.
- Super attractive price (after online rebate) when you consider the complete specification offering.
- Decent CADR that covers medium room size well via its 4-stage filtration and PlasmaWave technology.
- Washable pre-filter that might be a hassle to maintain, you will be glad how much money and dust you have collected even a short period of time.
- Genuine, True-HEPA filter works as advertised in removing allergens and other germs microorganisms.
- Use a standalone AOC carbon filter rather than cheap out on a carbon pre-filter sheet.
- Full access remote control including the mode selector.
- 4 fan speed plus Auto mode and Sleep mode. Sleep mode pairs well with the light sensor that autonomously adjusts the LED indicator brightness according to the room ambient light.
- Built-in timer with 3 pre-set option (1, 4, 8 hours).
- Not outstanding, but an improved 2 years warranty (Winix 5500 only comes with 1-year warranty).
- We like the dedicated AOC carbon filter, but it's not the best in the market when it comes to strong, pungent smell.
- During our test, there is a delay (2-4 minutes) before the air purifier reacts to surrounding airborne particles. Either the odor sensor requires cleaning or the sensor takes its own sweet time to detect.
Put aside the changeable front panel and mood light aesthetic enhancement, there are a lot of solid reasons to pick Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A as your daily air purifier. It has a comprehensive purifying radius (815 square feet to be exact), a reliable HEPA filter (0.3 microns/ 99.97% filtration rate), and many supportive filters (pre-filter, medium filter, carbon filter). In addition, there are 4 available options for the customized filter where you could select from Germ Defense, Toxin Absorber, Pet Allergy, Odor Remover. This is no doubt the most complete, air purifier for asthma and allergies.Like IQAir or Bluair, Rabbit MinusA2 is on the expensive side even though annual filter replacement is relatively cheap. If you need a basic air purifier without all the addons and mumbo jumbo, consider the more cost-effective Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0.
- Full depth 6-stage filtration with improved airflow performance and coverage.
- Low filter replacement cost despite having many added filters.
- Beautiful, square design with mood light color bar.
- Wall-mountable with plenty of customized front panel design to choose from (optional purchase).
- Effective First line filtration (Pre-filter, Medium and HEPA filter).
- 4 Customizable filter options, AC carbon filter and Negative Ion Generator (Ionizer) for extra filtration.
- 5 fanspeed with Auto/ Pollen/ Sleep mode.
- Separate Particle, odor and light sensor. Particle/ air quality sensors sensitivity can be adjusted.
- Sensitive Sleep mode that activates and adjust the air purifier speed automatically when light is out.
- Five-year warranty with free return.
- All the added features helped push the price up to premium category.
- For the price you paid, there are better alternate options solely on purifying coverage, CADR and airflow delivery rate.
- Far from light despite being a wall-mountable unit with back wall-bracket.
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 airflow delivery performance. What's great with Austin Air HealthMate air purifier is it has the exact same extensive purifying coverage in any models, plus the same trio "pre-filter" that filter out as many airborne particles as possible leaving the 60 sq. ft. HEPA filter space to work its magic. The all-in-one cartridge which consists of a HEPA filter has an outstanding lifespan up to 5 years; the best in this list by a far margin.What's lacking in Austin Air functionality can be found in almost any modern day air purifiers. Features like air quality sensors, Auto mode, timer, and so much more are all not available here. Not a big deal for some but is the things you should be informed up front. There is also a Jr version for most of its lineup that cut down on size and price for the trade-off for a smaller purifying coverage.
- Great for all room sizes with its comprehensive purifying coverage.
- Trio pre-filter (outer mesh, pre-filter, medium filter) that reduce the workload of the HEPA filter.
- Highly effective 15 lbs. Activated carbon zeolite filter.
- Comprehensive 60 sq. ft. HEPA filter.
- Durable and sturdy powdered coated steel.
- Up to 5 years filter lifespan.
- 5 years manufacturer warranty.
- Loud fan noise with no option of silent/ sleep mode.
- Very bulky and heavy despite having a casters to support.
- Hassle filter replacement that requires filter to be unscrew from the bottom.
- Slight innovative features such as auto mode, digital screen, air quality indicator,/ sensor, timer.
Honeywell has the most air purifier currently listed in its stable where the majority of its model is aimed at low to mid-range market. No surprise as once again, we listed Honeywell HPA300 as part of our best HEPA air purifier for home. It cost the least, has a smaller body configuration yet without compromising too much on airflow performance. The strong CADR help push Honeywell HPA300 purifying coverage up high cater for medium to large room size. Managing all the airborne dust, smoke and odors is the first line carbon pre-filter while smaller microscopic allergens will then be eliminated by the well-protected HEPA filter. With many Honeywell models shipped worldwide, there is no doubt HPA300 air purifier 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. For smaller home or room sizes, you could downsize to the cheaper Honeywell HPA200 or even cheaper HPA100.
- Very reasonable price with exceptional purifying coverage and CADR.
- Adjustable 4 fan speed including Turbo mode.
- Dual combination Carbon Pre-filter that is good against dust and mild gas based particles.
- Proven True-HEPA filter that is very effective against fine airborne particles.
- Separate electronic filter change reminder with one for HEPA filter and the other one for carbon pre-filter.
- Dedicated light dimming option and 3 pre-set timer that is suitable for night use.
- 5 years warranty.
- Lacks air quality sensor therefore no Auto mode and air quality indicator.
- Slightly expensive annual filter replacement cost.
- Touch buttons is not the most pleasant to operate with little feedback.
Between all the other Airmega models, Airmega 300 gets the nod here as it has the cheapest starting price. Unlike every other air purifier listed here that uses 1 pre-filter as part of the purification, Airmega 300 uses 2 pre-filter on both sides to evenly filter out large particles coming from left and right. As a result, Green True HEPA filter has the easiest task in trapping microscopic allergens, germs, and bacteria. There is also the very wide purifying coverage dedicated large room size, consistent airflow circulation to compliment well on Airmega 300 overall filtration along with a wholesome of features which you can see in the specification below.What's powering current Airmega air purifier lineup is 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 for remote access. Again top up a little bit further, you could have the 400 version that offers superior filtration performance with the same set of features.
- 4-stage filtration with wide purifying coverage despite being the least expensive model.
- Dual pre-filter that traps large particles from both sides while protecting the HEPA filter and Carbon filter.
- Excellent allergens and smoke filtration via its Green True HEPA filter and Activated Carbon filter.
- Auto mode that is sensitive to set the right speed based on surrounding air quality.
- Separate Pre-filter and MAX2 filter indicator that is based on default runtime.
- Built-in timer without having to rely on the app.
- Clear and accurate real-time air quality display indicator.
- Acceptable Max2 filter replacement cost that only requires annual change.
- 5 years official warranty.
- Still expensive despite being the cheapest model in the group.
- After online discounted price, you only need to top up a little bit more for the Wi-Fi version (300S).
- Lacks auto sleep mode and real-time filter replacement indicator found in 400/ 400S models.
- No Ionizer as an additional filtration option.
🏆 Honorable mention
- Whirlpool air purifiers The brand that often goes under the radar despite having many good air purifiers.
- Winix U450 might not be the latest air purifier in its line up, it's still highly capable of producing exceptional coverage against the tiniest airborne particles.
- Expensive granted, Airgle air purifiers is also worthy of a shout with its cHEPA filter.
📃 Previous holder
- Winix HR1000
- Alen BeatheSmart Fit50
Best HEPA Air Purifier Comparison Table
|Air Purifier||Filtration||Coverage||Score||Online Price|
|IQAir HealthPro Plus||4-stage||1098 sq. ft. (102 m2)||9.6|
|Blueair 605||3-stage||775 sq. ft. (72 m2)||9|
|Winix 5500-2||4-stage||360 sq. ft. (33 m2)||8.5|
|Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A||6-stage||815 sq. ft. (76 m2)||9.1|
|Austin Air HealthMate HM400||4-stage||1500 sq. ft. (139 m2)||8.1|
|Honeywell HPA300||3-stage||465 sq. ft. (43 m2)||8.5|
|Airmega 300||4-stage||1256 sq. ft. (117 m2)||9|
Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
HEPA Type VS True HEPA filter: What's the Difference?
The major differences between HEPA Type VS True HEPA filter are 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% efficiency capture rate of particles as small as 0.3 microns (allergen, bacteria, virus). As both mechanical filters are widely used in the air purifier industry, HEPA-type filter is often pair with cheaper, compact air purifier while True HEPA is more than likely tag with the bigger, premium air purifier. As for filter longevity, you will often find HEPA type filter with a longer lasting, or permanent lifespan (washable) while it’s almost impossible to associate it with True HEPA filter. Both types of filters can trap virtually any indoor airborne particles however, if seasonal allergens and bacteria is your main concern, an air purifier with True HEPA filter is the one to go for.
How to choose the best HEPA 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 an air purifier with proven True HEPA filter can be the difference between day and night. Also consider factors like the overall dimension, airflow performance, purifying range, and cost of ownership that would directly or indirectly affect the air cleaner efficiency.
9 Tips for Choosing the best HEPA Air Purifier
- Cost of ownership - There is a lot of reputable air purifiers that is below the $200 mark however, its 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 which translate to better overall filtration efficiency. 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 True HEPA filter that has at least 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, a Carbon filter to remove smoke/ odor, Ionizer to break apart stubborn particles and the list goes on and on.
- Supportive features (Auto/ Sleep mode, timer) - Having convenience yet practical features like Auto mode, Sleep mode or timer would make operating an air purifier a complete bliss.
- Power consumption and noise level - Having an energy-efficiency unit with reasonable noise level can determine how liveable the air cleaner is as users will likely run it all day every day.
- Branding reputation - A filter based air purifier don't break down very often as is not a sophisticated technology. Choosing a reputable brand not only guarantees better after-sale services and warranty claim, you are also getting an assuring purifying technology that the company has invested hundreds on research and testing.