Best Air Purifier for Allergies Review and Buying Guide 2019

Severe allergies are very disruptive to your day. While worse during the growing season, some allergens are present all year – dust, pet dander, smoke and other air pollutants.

What is the best air purifier for allergies? We provide a list below, followed by reviews of the best air purifiers for removing allergens.

A Buying Guide follows for those that want full details on what to look for in an allergy air purifier, tips for reducing allergens in your home and more.

Top Picks: Air Purifiers for Allergies

No single air purifier is right for every situation, budget and room size. Instead, we’ve put together a list of 8 top allergen removal air purifiers.

Select the link on models you’d like to know more about, check current pricing or purchase and get on with your day. Full reviews follow.

ALL have True HEPA filters that remove 99.97% of particles .3 microns and larger

      Image                    Product

Honeywell HPA300 Whole Room

  • 3 purifying levels
  • Activated Carbon pre-filter
  • Cleans air 5Xs/hour
  • Up to 465 square feet

Overall Best

Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet

  • Breaks down allergens
  • Washable pre-filter for fur
  • 5-stage air cleaning
  • Up to 300 square feet

For Pet-caused Allergies

Honeywell HPA020B Tabletop

  • 3 cleaning levels
  • Activated carbon pre-filter
  • Compact size
  • Up to 80 square feet

For Small Rooms

Renpho Air Purifier for Allergies

  • Designed to remove allergens
  • 4-stage filtering
  • Air quality sensor
  • Highly rated

For Medium Rooms

Elechomes UC3101 True HEPA

  • 3-layer main filter
  • Pet pre-filter
  • Dust & odor sensors
  • Up to 350 square feet

For Large Rooms

Alen FLEX HEPA Air Purifier

  • 4 purifying speeds
  • Special allergy filter
  • Turbo-speed filtering
  • Cleans 700 square feet

For Extra Large Spaces

PARTU Air Purifier

  • Ozone-free purifying
  • 4-stage filtering
  • Quiet/Dim Sleep Mode
  • Up to 160 square feet

Best Budget Model

Winix T1 Air Purifier

  • 6-stage cleaning
  • Advanced carbon filter
  • WiFi
  • Breaks down allergens
  • Up to 1,000 square feet

Best Premium Model

Allergy Air Purifier Reviews

There is much more detail here including pros, cons, features, ratings and more. See the link for many more user reviews and the current price.

Overall Best

#1 Honeywell HPA300 Whole Room

Honeywell has been making air purifiers longer than most with the result that Honeywell air purifiers offer great performance and value.

This unit has everything needed for thorough allergen removal – and the price is reasonable for an air purifier with this large capacity.

Reason it is on the List: With the dual filters, the Honeywell HPA300 effectively removes pollen, dust, pet dander, mold and smoke.

Most helpful user reviews:

  • Best pro: “Best air purifier I’ve had in 25 years for help with my chronic allergies. Simple to use and it WORKS!”
  • Best con: “Speed #1 is very quiet – but I don’t think it does much good either. I run it at 2 or 3 for normal use. Turbo removes cooking and pet odors quickly, but is a little loud.”

Room Size: Up to 465 square feet.

Features:

  • 3 regular cleaning levels plus high-speed Turbo for quick, thorough air cleaning.
  • Dirty filter light.
  • 2/4/8-hour timer.
  • Lighting can be dimmed or turned off for night use.
  • Attractive design with a small footprint.

Features Rating: 4.5 – A remote would make it “perfect.”

Filter Rating: 5 – True HEPA and an odor/VOC-trapping carbon pre-filter. The 4 fan speeds allow you adjust filtration speed and noise. 

Efficiency Rating: 5 – Energy Star

Quality Rating: 4 – Should prove to be very reliable well beyond the warranty.

Warranty Rating: 5 – 5 years, while a lot of more expensive units have shorter warranties.

Overall Rating: 4.7 out of 5

By the way, if this unit isn’t the right size for your needs, the Honeywell True HEPA air purifier series has models for 75 to 310 square feet too, and lower costs because they are smaller. Use the link, scroll down the page and find the air purifier that is the right size for you.

Best for Pet Allergies

#2 Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet True HEPA

Winix offers excellent basic air purifying plus innovative technology called PlasmaWave. In PlasmaWave mode, the unit emits safe hydroxyls that bind with pollutants and change their chemical makeup into ordinary, harmless molecules.

Reason it is on the List: Tremendous filtration of common allergens associated with pets and more – Dander, fur, dust, mold spores, pollen and VOCs.

Most helpful user reviews:

  • Best pro: “We have two cats and a big, furry dog. Plus the air quality in our city is among the worst in the US. My allergies are 90% better since we started our Winix 2 weeks ago. Keep the pre-filter clean, and the rest will do their job.”
  • Best con: “Turbo is great for deep cleaning, but loud. We put the cats in the basement (they don’t like it) and the rest of us get out of the house for a few hours to run it. Noticeably fresher air when we return.”

Room Size: Up to 300 square feet.

Features:

  • 5 separate filtration features.
  • Washable pre-filter catches pet fur to prevent it from clogging the other filters.
  • Air quality sensor and odor sensor that automatically adjust the air purifier to meet the air cleaning needs.

Features Rating: 4  Good features, but no timer or remote for convenience.

Filter Rating: 5 – It does it all:

1. Washable fine-mesh pre-filter to catch large particles and extend the life of the HEPA filter

2. Ultimate Pet Pre-Filter that catches pet hair, dander and larger particles

3. Advanced Odor Control ™ carbon filter

4. True HEPA

5. PlasmaWave technology

Efficiency Rating: 5 – Certified Energy Star

Quality Rating: 4 – Solidly built and provides dependable performance.

Warranty Rating: 3 – Warranty is just 1 year. That’s below average. In this case, the short warranty helps keep the cost of the air purifier lower.

Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (but 5 out of 5 for removing pet allergens)

Best for Small Rooms

#3 Honeywell HPA020B Tabletop

This compact air purifier will turn a small bedroom or office into a sanctuary from allergens and other pollutants. Its filters remove more than 99.9% of dust, pollen, mold spores and other pollutants that trigger allergies.

Reason it is on the List: True HEPA filtration with three cleaning levels and a great price.

Most helpful user reviews:

  • Best pro: “I was weary of waking up sneezing. Put this air purifier on my nightstand, and I rarely sneeze at night. So grateful. It’s not too loud either. I use the HPA300 in the rest of the apartment with the same great results.”
  • Best con: “I can’t find the replacement filters for this unit!!!” Note: The filters were hard to get until recently, and many reviewers said they couldn’t find them. That’s why we made this our top “bad” review. Links to both the main HEPA filter and the carbon pre-filter are on the product page.

Room Size: Up to 80 square feet.

Features:

  • Three cleaning stages
  • Simple controls
  • Compact size for the tabletop or floor
  • Filter Replacement notification light
  • Panel lights dim in the evening/at night

Features Rating: 4 – A timer would be useful though. But in a small room, a remote isn’t needed.

Filter Rating: 5 – True HEPA and an effective carbon pre-filter that traps odors that can worsen allergies.

Efficiency Rating: 5 – Energy Star.

Quality Rating: 4 – Good durability. This Honeywell air purifier should give you 8-12 years or more of dependable service.

Warranty Rating: 5 – Backed by a 5-year warranty, longer than the industry average. That is especially true for an air purifier that costs less than $90.

Overall Rating: 4.6 out of 5, one of our highest rated air purifiers from any brand.

Not your size? If this unit isn’t the right size for your needs, the Honeywell True HEPA Series is made in other sizes to fit rooms 155, 170 and 310 square feet. Use the link, scroll down the page and find the air purifier that is the right size for you.

Best for Medium Rooms

#4 RENPHO Air Purifier for Allergies

We hadn’t heard of this brand when the unit showed up for our review.

It made an impression on us, and apparently we’re slow in getting to know it. The Renpho Air Purifier for Allergies has received outstanding ratings from thousands of verified users on various sales sites.  

Reason it is on the List: Good air purifiers have a carbon filter. This one has two – a charcoal (carbon) filter and an activated carbon filter. That’s in addition to a fur-trapping pre-filter and the main HEPA filter that stops 99.97% of allergens.

Most helpful user reviews:

  • Best pro: “When my dogs are in the house, the sensor knows it and runs the fan at a higher speed. When they’re outside all day, it slows down. The air always seems fresh, and my spring/summer/dog allergies are much improved.”
  • Best con: “A remote would be very handy. Also, it’s a little loud on high fan setting.” [There are very few bad reviews of this highly rated air purifier.]

Room Size: Up to 300 square feet.

Features:

  • 4 filtration stages with no gimmicks, ions or ozone, just proven allergy fighters
  • Smart sensor that monitors air quality
  •  Auto Mode – Works with the smart sensor. The air purifier chooses the right fan speed based on information from the sensor. The worse the air quality, the higher the fan speed, so the air is cleaned more times per hour
  • Sleep mode & Timer
  • Child lock mode inactivates the control panel until you activate it again
  • No ozone or UV – and meets California’s strict requirements for air quality

Features Rating: 5 – Best features in its class. Few air purifiers have a remote. This one does.  

Filter Rating: 5 – True HEPA and two carbon/charcoal filters.

Efficiency Rating: Unknown. We think this unit is certified Energy Star, but are not sure at this writing.

Quality Rating: 4 – This model should give you 7+ years of reliable air cleaning.

Warranty Rating: 3 – Backed by a warranty of just 1 year. The industry average for warranties is about 3 years.

Overall Rating: 4.25 out of 5 – But in terms of filtering for allergies, this unit is a 5 out of 5.

Best for Large Rooms

#5 Elechomes UC3101 Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter

We hadn’t heard of this brand when the unit showed up for our review.

It made an impression on us, and apparently we’re slow in getting to know it. The Renpho Air Purifier for Allergies has received outstanding ratings from thousands of verified users on various sales sites.  

This unit is loaded with performance features that will help you reduce allergies in your home or workplace.

Reason it is on the List: The four levels of filtration remove more than 99.97% of allergens and other pollutants. This is a true air cleaner at a competitive price for this size.

Most helpful user reviews:

  • Best pro: “Severe pollen allergies were significantly reduced in just a few days using this air purifier.”
  • Best con: “I wear strong cologne, and the unit kicks into high gear a few minutes after I put it on. A little annoying, but maybe it’s telling me something?”

Room Size: Up to 350 square feet.

Features:

  • 4-level filtration
  • Dust and odor sensors
  • Auto mode with 3 fan speeds, aka air cleaning speeds, that react to data from the sensors
  • Sleep mode
  • Full-function remote
  • 8-hour timer
  • Child lock
  • Very attractive esthetics

Features Rating: 5 – Best features of any model on this list.  

Filter Rating: 5 – HEPA and carbon filters with excellent cleaning performance.

Efficiency Rating: Unknown – This model’s energy efficiency hasn’t been tested.

Quality Rating: 4 – Materials are good quality.

Warranty Rating: 3 – Just a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Overall Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Best for Extra Large Spaces

#6 Alen FLEX Air Purifier for Bedrooms & Living Rooms

This air purifier is misnamed, since it is rated for up to 700 square feet. That’s a big bedroom!

It was designed by NASA airflow engineers, and its performance is what you’d expect. So is the cost – a little higher than most for the outstanding air purification.

Reason it is on the List: It scores high for the removal of pollen, dust, mold, bacteria and chemicals.

You have several filter options including the HEPA-Silver specially coated to prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria.  

Most helpful user reviews:

  • Best pro: “We live in a dusty environment that causes both of us to cough and sneeze frequently. After a few days of using the Alen Flex, there is far less dust in the air and allergy symptoms are all but gone.”
  • Best con: “I wish it had an air sensor that automatically changed motor speed. You have to guess at what speed is best for your air quality conditions.”

Room Size: Up to 700 square feet.

Features:

  • 4 fan speeds including Turbo for fast (but quiet) air cleaning
  • 4 main filter options to customize its performance to your needs
  • Filter life indicator
  • Lock, so curious kids can’t accidentally change the settings
  • Timer
  • Attractive design
  • 8+ panel color options including wood-look panels

Features Rating: 5 – Nothing is missing!

Filter Rating: 4 – HEPA type plus custom options for allergies, odors, pets and standard air filtering. It would be a 5 if the main filter was True HEPA.

Efficiency Rating: 5 – Very energy efficient.

Quality Rating: 5 – Built to last.

Warranty Rating: 5 – The only Lifetime warranty available.

Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5.

Did you know? There are more sizes. BreatheSmart Flex air purifiers are also made for 900 square feet and 1100 square feet spaces. Use the link, and scroll down to find other sizes.

Best Budget

#7 PARTU Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Pets Dander

This compact, stylish air purifier offers excellent air cleaning for a very low price.

Reason it is on the List: The unit costs less than many replacement filters! Yet it has a true HEPA main filter, carbon filter and pre-filter plus releasing non-ozone anions to capture airborne pollutants.

Most helpful user reviews:

  • Best pro: “After 3 days using this in my bedroom I sleep better and wake up with less congestion. It does the job.”
  • Best con: “The first unit I received had a bad “hot wiring” smell when on. The company immediately shipped me a second one at no cost and it doesn’t smell.”

Room Size: Up to 160 square feet.

Features:

  • 4 filtration stages
  • Anion (negative ions that attach to particles to make them easier to filter) can be turned off. It does not produce ozone
  • Dirty filter warning light
  • Sleep mode
  • 7 light colors plus Off
  • Compact, stylish design

Features Rating: 4 – There’s no timer or remote.

Filter Rating: 5 – True HEPA, carbon, pre-filter and non-ozone anion.

Efficiency Rating: Unknown.

Quality Rating: 4 – Good reliability for the cost.

Warranty Rating: 3 – 1 year warranty is average for budget units.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Best Premium

#8 Winix T1 Professional Air Purifier w/ WiFi

This large-capacity air purifier has all the features you’d expect from a premium allergy-fighting air cleaner.

Reason it is on the List: 6 stages of air cleaning do a great job on allergens.

Most helpful user reviews:

  • Best pro: “Works as designed. I started it in an elderly relative’s home with 5 cats, old carpet, poor cleaning, overflowing litter box, etc. The unit immediately kicked into high gear, and we left. 2 days later, the place smelled much, much better, and we could go about cleaning up the house without wearing masks.”
  • Best con: “We keep a tidy house, so I probably didn’t need this expensive of a unit. It does a great job, but might be overkill for a reasonably clean home.”

Room Size: Up to 1,000 square feet.

Features:

  • Smart sensors monitor air quality and automatically adjust the air purifier to the right performance for the situation
  • WiFi and app function like a remote, but you can make changes from anywhere
  • Timer
  • 5 fan speeds
  • Dirty filter notification light
  • PlasmaWave releases hydroxyls that bond to pollutants and change their molecular makeup to harmless substances

Features Rating: 5

Filter Rating: 5 – 6 stages of air purification

1. Fine mesh pre-filter for large allergens like pet fur. It’s washable.

2. Advanced Odor Control container of activated carbon pellets.

3. PM2.5 fine filter that traps particles as small as 2.5 micrometers.

4. Anti-microbial coating on the PM2.5 filter kills germs.

5. True HEPA filter.

6. PlasmaWave hydroxy emitter. Note: This setting releases a small amount of ozone. If you have asthma, do not use this setting. The other 5 stages will still do a great job filtering the air.

Efficiency Rating: 5 – Energy Star certified.

Quality Rating: 4 – Good build and reliability.

Warranty Rating: 3 – Just 2 years. A unit this pricey should have a longer warranty.

Overall Rating: 4.4 out of 5 

Guide Section

If you’d like more information before buying an air purifier for allergies, this Buying Guide should provide answers.

What Makes an Air Purifier Good for Allergens?

HEPA, HEPA, HEPA. And activated carbon.

The key to removing allergens from the air you breathe is a true HEPA filter. When supported by an activated carbon or charcoal filter, the combination is even better. 

To be labeled True HEPA, a filter must demonstrate that it removes 99.97% of particles .3 microns and larger.

A micron is 40 millionths of an inch, or .00003937 inches. That means that .3 microns is .000011811 inches or about 118 millionths of an ich. Small. Very small.

  • A human hair and pet fur can range from 60 to 80 microns.
  • Bacteria are .2 to 3 microns.
  • Pollen ranges from 15 to 200 microns.
  • Dust ranges from 2.5 to 10 microns.
  • Pet dander (which is the same substance as dust) is also 2.5 to 10 microns.

As you can see, a true HEPA filter will trap most of these substances, since most are larger than .3 microns.

How Does Activated Carbon Help with Allergens?

Activated carbon is carbon that has been charged with positive ions. Those ions attract allergens because most are positively charged. Opposites attract. Carbon is also extremely porous and is treated to create fissures. All those pores and fissures are great for trapping tiny particles.

Activated carbon is proven effective with smoke, an allergen too small to be trapped by HEPA.

An activated carbon filter might also attract and trap viruses, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde and other common pollutants.

What About Ionizers, Anions and Hydroxyls

These are 3 technologies added to air purifiers to enhance their performance. If you have a true HEPA filter and activated carbon filters supporting the HEPA, the technologies aren’t necessary.

In fact, one of them is dangerous.

Ionizers: An ionizer releases negatively charged ions. The ions attract allergens and other pollutants in the air. The result is that the particles are heavier and settle out of the air, so you won’t breathe them. Some of them also cling to walls, furniture and other objects, again, so they’re not floating in the air.

Are ionizers good or bad? Both. The upside is that they do remove allergens from the air.

The bad side is that most ionizers create ozone, and ozone is known to cause irritation to breathing passages. Long-term exposure damages those passages. Here is the EPA’s bulletin on the dangers of ozone ionizers.

We recommend turning off the ionizer function on any air purifier with one. If it can’t be turned off, don’t use the air purifier.

Anions: These are negative ions by another name. However, there are a few brands that release anions that do not create ozone.

One example is the PARTU Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Pets Dander we’ve reviewed above. Read all the literature on any air purifier touting anions. Be sure that it does not release ozone before using it.

Hydroxyls: A hydroxyl, or -OH, is a negatively charged particle that is safe and harmless. Winix uses hydroxyls in its PlasmaWave models like the Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet True HEPA Air Purifier and Winix T1 Professional Air Purifier w/ WiFi reviewed above.

Hydroxyls do what negative ions do. The hydroxyls bond with allergens and other pollutants. This makes them easier to trap or causes them to fall to the ground.

There’s another benefit of hydroxyls – Once they bond with pollutants, new, harmless compounds are formed. For example, carbon monoxide, or CO, is deadly. Add an oxygen molecule, and you have the relatively harmless CO2, carbon dioxide.

Note: There’s one warning here. PlasmaWave does emit a very small amount of ozone. It is considered safe for anyone that does not have asthma or other breathing issue. We think the Winix air purifiers are excellent. They are highly rated in independent tests and by verified users. And they all have true HEPA and activated carbon filters too. If you buy a Winix and are concerned about ozone, run the unit without turning on PlasmaWave.

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Features to Look for in an Air Purifier for Allergies

Beyond True HEPA and activated carbon, these features will make your air cleaning more effective.

1. Pre-filters: These are usually fine mesh filters that can be washed rather than replaced to reduce cost. The pre-filter will catch big stuff like fur and dust bunnies. This keeps that debris out of the main filter, so the main HEPA filter will work better and last longer. Be sure to keep the pre-filter clean, so air can get through it to the HEPA, or the air will go around the air purifier without getting filtered.

2. Dirty Filter notification: This light means the filter is dirty and isn’t doing the job it should. Your air quality will suffer with a dirty filter, so it’s a good reminder to change it.

3. Air Quality sensor(s): These sensors detect dust. Some detect odor-causing allergens like smoke and perfume. When the unit is on and the sensor detects a higher level of pollution, it will adjust the fan to a higher speed. This increases airflow through the unit and improves air cleaning.

4. Auto Mode: On some units with sensors, there’s an Auto Mode option, which will do exactly what is described in #3 above.

5. Turbo Mode: Turbo is the fan running at its highest speed, usually much faster than the second-highest speed. There are pros and cons: Turbo cleans the air very quickly. The bad news is that most Turbo modes are loud. We recommend using Turbo while you’re out of the house. You’ll come home to much cleaner air.

6. Timer: A timer is nice if the air is relatively clean and you don’t want to run the air purifier non-stop. Timers range from 1-8, 12 or 16 hours. Let’s say you make bacon for breakfast. Turn on the timer to 2 or 4 hours, leave for the day, and when you return, you won’t smell bacon.

7. WiFi and App: These are the ultimate convenience features. Turn the air purifier on or off, adjust its settings and use other features from anywhere using a smart device. Forget to start or stop the air purifier before leaving home? Use the app. Want to turn it on a couple hours before you get home to clean the air. Use the app!

As a rule, the more of these features the unit has, the higher the cost. Our Best Air Purifiers Reviews above list features, so you can select one with the features you value most.

Tips for Reducing Allergens in Your Home

The best route to fewer allergens in your home is to prevent them in the first place. These tips will help.

1. Choose hard flooring. Carpet traps allergens. The allergens get stirred up into the air when the carpet is walked on. Laying down on the carpet can trigger allergic reactions. Wash throw rugs regularly (don’t beat them, or you’ll instantly be surrounded in a cloud of allergens).

2. Vacuum often with a HEPA vacuum. If you have carpet, or even if you have hard flooring, keep dust, dander, pollen and pet fur under control with a quality vacuum with a True HEPA filter. If you’re vacuuming hard flooring, choose a vac designed for hard floors. It won’t have a rotating brush that might damage the flooring. Keep the filters clean or replaced.

3. Choose low-VOC flooring. Certified low-VOC laminate, linoleum, luxury vinyl plank and tile and even low-VOC carpet is available (though for allergies, carpet isn’t recommended). Stone, ceramic and porcelain tile is also low in VOCs.

4. Change your furnace filter often. If it becomes clogged, it will be ineffective in removing allergens from the air.

5. Use a high-MERV filter, if OK for your furnace. The MERV rating measures the filter’s ability to trap fine allergens and other pollutants. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration. We recommend a MERV rating of at least 8.

NOTE: Before installing a high-MERV filter, check with a furnace technician. Ask if your furnace can handle a high MERV rating. The higher the MERV, the more difficult it is for air to pass through it. That’s why they filter so well. A high-MERV filter will cause some furnaces to work too hard, possibly causing the blower motor to overheat and fail prematurely.

6. Choose radiant heat. If you’re building a home or addition, consider installing a boiler and radiant heat system. These systems do not use a forced air blower. Blowers, even when the furnace has a filter, can blow allergens all over your home.

7. Don’t allow smoking in the house.

Those are the basics. Here is a room-by-room guide called Allergy-proof Your Home. It is from a highly respected source – The Mayo Clinic.

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