Air purifiers are one of many tools you can use to help relieve and reduce your allergy symptoms, particularly with this round-up of the best air purifiers for allergies. We’ve tested a range of air purifiers that have the capability to remove up to 99.97% of allergens in your indoor air and improve the quality of the air you breathe.
Allergens can be as small as 0.5 microns in size, with some indoor pollutants being even smaller. Common allergy triggers such as pet dander come in at one to 20 microns in size, with pollen being even larger at 30 microns. Thankfully, these tiny particles aren’t too small to escape the best air purifiers for allergies. This is because the air purifiers contain a specialist type of filter called a high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filter, which is capable of catching airborne pollutants and irritants down to 0.3 microns in size. Even dust and dust mite waste is no problem and will be sucked in by the air purifier and trapped in the filter where it can’t trigger allergy symptoms.
“Although we cannot see them, there are many different particulate matters in the air. Some examples are dust, pollen, mold, smoke, and airborne bacteria and viruses. Most of these airborne particles are allergens, that is, the triggers of asthma and allergies.” Dr Wei-Ning Wang, aerosols expert and associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Your indoor air quality can make or break your comfort levels if you suffer from allergies or asthma, as heavily polluted air can trigger intense and unpleasant symptoms. But how can you keep these triggers into your home in the first place?
“To prevent allergy triggers from getting into your home, installing HEPA filters is an effective way to capture almost all airborne particles,” says Dr Wang. “In addition, adjusting the ventilation rate in your home is also a good strategy to introduce more fresh air to dilute the particle concentration.”
If you’re not worried about allergens, but do want cleaner indoor air, have a look at our guide to the best air purifiers, for the top-performing all rounders from Levoit, Dyson and more. Otherwise, read on for our round-up of the best air purifiers for allergies you can buy right now, including options for a variety of room sizes and budgets.
How do we test air purifiers on Live Science?
Every air purifier in this guide has been tested to the exact same standards, using the same processes. We created a series of tests to measure particles of different sizes, to see how each air purifier performs with certain types of impurities. We use a particle counter for all our testing, and our equipment is capable of measuring the smallest pollutants (0.3 microns) that can be removed from the air by a purifier.
We start by running an ambient air quality test, where we run the air purifier in multiple rooms in a home to see how it performs at the regular setting, and the highest possible setting (below 50 decibels). We make note of readings after 15 and 30 minutes to see the speed at which the machine removes particles from the air. We also measure the noise levels generated by the fan, to comment on how noticeable the purifier will be in an average home.
We then test different particle sizes using matches and incense to generate different types of smoke, taking measurements at regular intervals and on different speed settings.
Our testing also takes into account the size of the unit, the cost, ease of use, availability of additional parts, and the energy use on the lowest and highest settings. Finally, we check online user reviews to see what people think, and we test for any persistent problems or defects that we read about.
As per our testing policy, we fully disclose all our findings in our reviews.
Best air purifiers for allergies
The Levoit 400S is our top choice for an air purifier that effectively captures allergens in your home, and with good reason.
The Levoit 400S scores a seriously impressive 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon. Reviewers commented on its ability to clean the air of odors and dust. Positive reviews were also gained thanks to the stylish look of the Levoit 400S, but some think it is a little bulky.
Not only did it perform well in all of our tests, it's also an affordable option, meaning those on a budget don't have to compromise their air quality. Thanks to its True HEPA H13 filter, this air purifier aced our tests under a number of conditions, removing 99.9% of particles smaller than 0.3 microns at certain times. The air purifier also captures some bacteria and viruses, and with an advanced activated carbon, the machine filters volatile organic compounds from the air.
Not only is the Levoit 400S a powerful air purifier, but it also gains points for its stylish design, with sleek edges and handles for easy maneuvering. Setting up this appliance is easy thanks to the intuitive controls, and there's plenty of information accessible on the app connected to your purifier, which gives you statistics on historical and current air quality within your home.
- Read the full Levoit 400S air purifier review. (opens in new tab)
If you suffer from allergies and need a unit in order to cover larger rooms in your home, then the Blue Pure 211+ is the ideal choice for you.
The Blue Pure 211+ scores an excellent 4.8 out of five stars on Home Depot. Those who left positive reviews were impressed by this air purifiers ability, as well its sleek design. Some less impressed users commented on the expense of replacing filters.
While it’s a larger and bulkier model, the outcome is that it can cover rooms up to 600 feet large, which is seriously impressive. Handily though, this increase in coverage doesn’t mean that running the Blue Pure 211+ is going to break the bank. Instead, this air purifier is also economical to run and is available in a range of colors to make it a little easier to camouflage into your home.
The performance of the Blue Pure 211+ in our range of tests proves its place in the top ranks of air purifiers of its kind; it was able to absorb particles in a number of conditions in the most effective way we’ve seen. If you’re a smart home fan then the lack of features with the Blue Pure 211+ might be a little lacking for you, but for simple, straightforward running, this appliance should be an excellent fit.
- Read the full Blue Pure 211+ review.
As with any Dyson product, a sleek and well-engineered design was to be expected of the Dyson Purifier Cool.
The Dyson Purifier Cool has an average score of 4.2 out of five stars on Home Depot. Unimpressed reviewers cite problems with the sensors’ baseline readings and noisiness when in use. On the other hand, positive reviews praise the purifier’s ability to improve the symptoms of allergy sufferers, as well as getting rid of bad smells. Of course, customers also particularly like the integration with smart devices, the auto setting, and the purifier’s cutting-edge design.
This appliance definitely doesn’t disappoint on those grounds, and has a practical edge too, doubling as a cooling fan. Beyond aesthetics, this purifier also performed exceptionally well in our testing protocol, with our tests concluding that it often captured more than 95% of monitored particles when used at its highest setting for at least 30 minutes.
When it comes to assisting with cleansing the air of allergens, the Dyson Purifier Cool aims to pick up microscopic particles smaller than 2.5 microns, including smoke, bacteria, and allergens – shown as PM 2.5. If you want your home to be a relief from allergy symptoms - especially in peak pollen season for example - then another neat trick with the Dyson Purifier Cool is that you can set your machine to start working remotely, all from the comfort of your machine’s app. Though this air purifier might not be within everyone’s price range, it has a lot to deliver, and an eye-catching design to sweeten the deal.
- Read the full Dyson Purifier Cool review. (opens in new tab)
If you struggle with allergies and are looking for an inconspicuous air purifier to add to your home, then the Rabbit AirMinus A2 Spa-780a has a design that’s made for sleek, stylish homes.
The Rabbit AirMinus A2 Spa-780a has an average score of 4.7 out of five stars from reviews gathered on the Rabbit Air website. Some unimpressed reviewers complained of a fiddly set up, but many positive reviews praised the capability of this air purifier for cleaning the air in large areas.
Able to be wall-mounted or used as a portable purifier, this appliance is impressive on many counts. It has a standard coverage of 700 square feet, which is perfect for larger spaces, and a CADR capable of trapping pollen, dust and smoke in your designated space within that size. It’s crucial when shopping for an air purifier for allergies that you look out for a solid clean air delivery rate (CADR), and this air purifier claims to have high delivery rates with all of those allergens.
When it comes to selecting an air purifier for your home, there’s a number of practical features to think about too. This Rabbit Air AirMinus A2 Spa-780a has been engineered to be ultra quiet, which is bound to be a top consideration for light sleepers. The design of this air purifier means you probably won’t even notice that it’s there, but you’re bound to feel its benefit when it comes to air quality.
- Our Rabbit Air AirMinus A2 Spa-780a is currently underway.
The Coway AirMega 250 is a popular air purifier due to its high-end design and claims that it can capture 99.99% of fine airborne particles.
The Coway Airmega 250 has an average score of 4.7 out of five stars from 92 reviews gathered on Amazon. Fans of this air purifier were impressed by the quiet running of this unit, but others were left a little confused by the setup process of this model.
It has a three-stage filtration system, which makes it a good choice for allergy sufferers, and gives you helpful indications of when to change your filters, as well as filters that are in themselves easy to clean. It’s also thorough in its performance, with a capability of covering up to 930 square feet, one of the most impressive coverages we’ve seen.
Although it’s pretty pricey, the Coway AirMega 250 doesn’t have the smart-enabled features you might expect. Despite not being able to control this device via your phone, there are smart features though. We like the ability to set the air purifier on a Smart mode that adjusts the fan speed based on the quality of the air in the room, ultimately saving energy and time. Rapid mode is a unique feature of the Coway Airmega 250, which we liked because it helps to quickly clear the air in cases when your air quality turns bad — for our tester, that often happens when she’s searing a steak. Rapid mode circulates the air at maximum power until the air is clean.
- Read the full Coway Airmega 250 review
If you’re on a budget and need an air purifier to tackle your allergy symptoms, then the GermGuardian AC4825E will be an inexpensive purchase that can go a long way to help you breathe easier.
The Germ Guardian AC4825E has an average score of 4.7 out of five stars from a huge 34,876 reviews gathered on Amazon. Many users said this smaller air purifier was great for everyday use, and helped alleviate allergy symptoms. Other less impressed reviewers said they felt they needed a more complex filtration system.
Complete with a HEPA filter and a charcoal filter to filter odors, this appliance can make your living space a nicer place to be. It’s also ultra-quiet, meaning it can work away in the background without alerting you.
As you might expect with a smaller unit, the coverage of this air purifier is not quite as extensive as bulkier models. It would be suitable to single rooms, rather than expansive spaces, and stands at just 22 inches tall, meaning it won’t be too disruptive to your room’s decor. There are some other handy features too, including a light to indicate a filter change is due and three speeds including an ultra-quiet sleep mode so that you can keep your machine running into the night.
We were impressed by how much it reduced particles in our match and incense tests, especially for its price point. If you want a no-frills, but a very effective air purifier, we’d recommend the GermGuardian.
- Read the full Guardian AC4825E review
How to maintain your air purifier for allergies
Remember to keep your air purifier clean, and change your HEPA filter as recommended to ensure that it keeps running correctly. You can buy reusable filters that only require cleaning, but these do have a limited life expectancy and will still need to be completely replaced eventually.
Try to adhere to the room-size specifications that come with your air purifier for the most effective air cleaning possible. If placed in rooms with high foot traffic or rooms too large for their capacity, air purifiers will not clear the air of irritants as well as if they are used correctly. Don't forget to wipe down the outside of your machine with a dry or slightly damp cleaning cloth.