After more than a year of construction on my apartment, I started noticing particles floating around my bedroom. Not long after, it occurred to me that poor air quality could partially explain my sleep troubles. I decided to test out some air purifiers to see if they make a difference. They really did.
The best air purifiers can improve sleep and alleviate allergies by removing particulates from the air. Most high-end models use True HEPA filters—High Efficiency Particulate Air—to catch floating bits of mold and pollen, as well as suck up smoke, dust, and bacteria. These certified filters cleanse the air of 99.97 percent of small particles (as tiny as 0.3 microns in diameter) on the first round of filtration. These purifiers do not handle heavier particles that have settled on your furniture, so you’ll need to swipe at those with a cloth or duster.
If you’re convinced you want an air purifier but are overwhelmed by the options, you’ll be relieved to know I did the research for you. Below are my favorites on the market.
The absolute favorite is Coway’s Airmega 200M, which suits rooms up to 361 square feet. To clean your air, it relies on a four-stage filtration process: a pre-filter that nabs larger debris, an odor filter, a true HEPA filter, and finally, something they call a Vital Ion System. This air ionizer introduces negatively charged ions into the air, which supposedly bond with positively charged allergens and cause them to fall to the floor rather than float on your air. The device has three fan speeds and will tell you when to change the filter.
There’s an eco-mode that will turn the device off if no harmful elements are detected in the air and an auto mode that adjusts fan speed according to air quality. You could also just schedule it to run for one, four, or eight hours at a time. The true HEPA filter should last about a year and the odor filter lasts up to six months.
Blueair Blue Pure 211+
Choose your candy color. Amazon
The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ air filter is the device that’s most likely to make you smile when you see it. The 60-watt, low-energy machine is operated by a single touch-activated button on the front, so it’s simple to use. It boasts three-speed settings and a three-step filtration process that can purify the air five times per hour.
The washable exterior acts not only as a pop of color but also as a pre-filter that catches larger particles, thus extending the life of the main filter. After passing through that first layer, air travels through Blueair’s dual mechanical and electrostatic filtration system that charges the particles in the air so they stick better to the filter. After this, the air is going through an activated carbon filter, which removes odors and smoke.
This particular model is designed for rooms up to 540 square feet. Expect to replace the filter every six months, though a light will alert you when it’s time.
Coway Mighty Air Purifier
It has a timer that you can set for 1, 4, 8, or 12 hours and will alert you once you need to change the filter. Amazon
Coway Mighty True HEPA purifier uses a four-step filtration system to clean the air—from pet dander, dust, mold particles, etc.—and reduce odors in a room measuring up to 361 square feet. A built-in sensor registers the air quality of the room, alerts you via an LED light, and will automatically adjust its power based on the readings. There are three fan settings and an eco mode that shuts the purifier off after 30 minutes if no air pollution is detected.
Levoit LV-PUR131S air purifier
Packed full of features. Amazon
The Levoit LV-PUR131S also uses a three-stage filtration system. Like the other models, air first travels through a pre-filter to catch larger debris like pet dander and mold, It then goes through the TRUE HEPA filter, which removes dust, allergens, and bacteria. Finally, the air passes through an activated carbon filter for odors. In auto mode, the purifier gauges air quality and adjusts the fan speed accordingly. It offers a quieter sleep mode and a timer so you can shut it off at a specific time. The filter should be changed every six months. This model connects over Wi-Fi and can be controlled with your smartphone.
Coway Airmega 400S
Don’t forget to clean the air you breathe. Amazon
Feel like you’re cleaning without dedicating any actual time or work to do so. The AirMega 400s comes in three smart modes: auto-speed, Eco, and sleep. Auto mode adjusts the filtration based on the room’s current air quality, Eco shuts down after the AirMega determines the air quality is good for 10 or so minutes, and sleep mode turns the fan speed down to make it quieter. It can be controlled via WiFi on iOS and Android devices where you can monitor the speed, indoor and outdoor air quality, and schedule in real-time. The device covers up to 1,560 square feet and will tell you when you need to change your filters.
MOSO NATURAL Air Purifying Bag
Rid your bathroom of odors. Amazon
Activated charcoal sucks in odors and acts as a room deodorizer. The air purifying bags—which can last up to two years—prevent mildew and bacteria from growing by removing moisture from the air. This bag can work up to 90 feet away.