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The 4 Best Air Purifiers - Spring 2024 Reviews

Updated
Best Air Purifiers

Whether you worry about everyday dust and pollen or more serious pollutants like smog, mold, wildfire smoke, viruses, or bacteria, an air purifier makes a worthwhile investment. Air purifiers operate based on a common principle: they draw air through one or more filters using a fan. However, manufacturers have found interesting ways to iterate the concept, resulting in a fairly dense market catering to various budgets and needs.

We've tested over 20 air purifiers, and below are our recommendations for the best you can buy.


  1. Best Air Purifier

    If you're looking for something that strikes a great balance between performance and features, the best air purifier we've tested is the NuWave OxyPure. This premium air purifier has a novel selling point: its multi-stage filtration system uses washable and reusable filters instead of traditional replaceable ones. This system comprises a stainless steel mesh pre-filter for larger debris, two 'Bio-Guard' filters for mold, viruses, and bacteria, an ozone filter, and a HEPA/pellet-type activated carbon filter. Except for the HEPA/activated carbon filter, which needs replacing every year, the manufacturer advertises these parts to have a 20-year lifespan, only requiring a wash every couple of months. In terms of actual air purification performance, the NuWave is also very good overall, with good particle filtration performance across the board and an impressively high clean air delivery rate. Its built-in particle sensors allow it to monitor and change fan speed according to ambient air quality.

    This air purifier is also Wi-Fi enabled, and you can operate it remotely using the NuWave Connect companion app, letting you check the quality of your home's air while you're away, set cleaning schedules, or change the device's settings. It also operates pretty quietly at lower fan speeds, which is good if you leave it running overnight, but it can get pretty loud at higher fan speeds; check out the Dyson Purifier Big+Quiet Formaldehyde BP04/BP03 if that's a major concern, but be aware that it falls short of the NuWave in both small particle filtration performance and clean air delivery rate.

    See our review

  2. A DIY Alternative

    On the other hand, if you don't mind sacrificing convenience features, style, and low operating noise on the altar of particle filtration performance, consider building your own Corsi-Rosenthal Box. We used this guide to make our own and used a 3M Filtrete air filter set with a Lasko 20-inch box fan. Now, let's get this out of the way. This homemade machine isn't nearly as practical or intelligent as the NuWave OxyPure, the best air purifier for homes we've tested, or even cheaper options like the Levoit Vital 200S. It's loud, ugly, and very noisy. It also lacks niceties like particle sensors, Wi-Fi, or an odor-absorbing carbon filter (though it's worth noting that most air purifiers we've tested lack a sufficient amount of carbon to effectively deal with even moderate levels of volatile organic compounds, so this isn't too big a deal in the grand scheme of things).

    That said, the Corsi-Rosenthal Box handily outperforms every conventional air purifier we've tested in terms of actual performance, with a very high clean air delivery rate and exceptional particle filtration performance. If you plan on setting it up in an area where noise, size, and aesthetics aren't a concern, like a workshop or garage, it's hard to do any better.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Air Purifier

    The Levoit Vital 200S is the best air purifier for homes at a mid-range price point that we've tested. Its filtration system is simpler than the NuWave OxyPure's, with no extra 'BioGuard' or ozone filters. Still, it certainly has the goods where it counts, with a HEPA filtration system that's effective in locking in small particles. Its clean air delivery rate is also very good, making it suitable for small to medium-sized rooms. Like the NuWave, you can connect this device to a home Wi-Fi network, allowing for remote operation and live monitoring of your home's ambient air quality.

    However, this air purifier is far from your only good option at this price point. The Winix 5500-2 is an excellent, similarly-sized alternative with excellent particle filtration performance. The main differences between the two lie under the skin, with the Winix having a particle ionizer that you can turn on and off; these devices are intended to cause smaller airborne particles to clump together and fall to the ground, where you can clean them up later, but they also produce ozone as a byproduct, which can irritate your lungs through prolonged exposure.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Air Purifier

    If you want to spend as little as possible and only need an air purifier for a smaller room, the Levoit Core 200S is the best air purifier at a budget price point we've tested. This device is small enough to fit on a dresser or shelf yet delivers relatively impressive overall filtration performance. It lags behind larger machines like the Levoit Vital 200S, with a considerably lower air cleaning rate and worse overall performance when sealing in the smallest airborne particles. However, it's still far from terrible in the latter regard. You'll have to replace its main filter more often than the Vital 200S, with a replacement interval of six to eight months instead of a year.

    While the 200S lacks an automatic fan speed adjustment setting, it's Wi-Fi enabled, so you can pair it with your smartphone via the VeSync companion app to remotely operate the device, set operating schedules, or send you filter replacement notifications.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Levoit Core 400S: The Levoit Core 400S is a very good alternative to the Levoit Vital 200S that delivers near-identical performance. That said, it's fractionally louder in its lowest fan speed setting, and unlike the other Levoit model, its pre-filter isn't washable under water. See our review
  • Levoit Core 600S: The Levoit Core 600S is a fantastic alternative to the Levoit Vital 200S if you have larger rooms and require a higher clean-air delivery rate. That said, the difference in performance isn't all that large, and it's also pricier and noisier. See our review
  • Coway Airmega 200M: The Coway Airmega 200M is a mid-range air purifier with a built-in ionizer that can be turned on and off and an automatic fan speed adjustment function. However, its particle filtration performance lags slightly behind the Levoit Vital 200S, and it's noisier. See our review
  • Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty: The Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty shares quite a bit with the Coway Airmega 200M, with the same filter system, motor, and user interface but a slightly different exterior shell. It shares most of the same strengths and weaknesses as its newer sibling, meaning it falls somewhat short of the Levoit Vital 200S regarding raw performance. See our review
  • Honeywell HPA300: The Honeywell HPA300 is fairly unsophisticated as air purifiers go. It has a power-hungry, loud fan motor and no Wi-Fi connectivity or particle sensors, leaving it behind the NuWave OxyPure for convenience features. It has a very high clean air delivery rate and does a fantastic job of sealing in most airborne particles. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are some of the most well-rounded air purifiers for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.

That said, there is no single best air purifier for homes that will suit everybody; your needs will depend on your budget, the size of your living space, your personal tolerance for operating noise, and whether you like having a device with convenience features like Wi-Fi connectivity. If you'd like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our air purifier reviews.