The best air purifiers for allergies can make all the difference for people who struggle with sensitivities to pollen, dust or pet dander, especially through the months of March to September. These clever devices contain a piece of technology called a high efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filter, which traps 99.97% of indoor air pollutants down to 0.3 microns in size. For context, pet dander is around 2.5 microns — easy work for a HEPA filter.
“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.” — Wei-Ning Wang, aerosols expert and associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Some of the best air purifiers for allergies also come with extra filters like activated carbon, which traps bad smells caused by pets, cooking and smoke, and a pre-filter, which traps larger particles before they get caught up in the HEPA filter.
At Live Science, we’ve put a number of air purifiers through our rigorous testing process to bring you a round-up of the devices that are really worth your buck. Below, you can find options for a range of budgets, and for small spaces through to larger rooms.
Looking for a less specialized appliance? Find more top-performing all rounders from Levoit, Dyson and more in our general guide to the best air purifiers.
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 our full Levoit 400S air purifier review (opens in new tab)
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 our full Guardian AC4825E review
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 our 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 our 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-780N 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 815 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-780N has been engineered to be ultra quiet, which is bound to be a top consideration for light sleepers. Having said this, we measured 48 decibels on turbo speed, so it's not quite as quiet as advertised. The design of this air purifier means you probably won’t even notice that it’s there (especially with the wall mount option) but you’re bound to feel its benefit when it comes to air quality. In our tests, it removed between 84-90% of particles between 0.3 and 10 microns in size in just 30 minutes.
- Read our full RabbitAir MinusA2 spa-780N review.
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 our full Coway Airmega 250 review
When it comes to air purifiers, Turonic may be a new kid on the block — but don’t let that put you off. The Turonic PH950 2-in-1 model may be a strong contender for the title of best mid-range air purifier.
Weighing in at almost 24 lbs, it's definitely not the lightest piece of equipment on the market. It is also bigger and wider than most competitors, so you may need to sacrifice some floor space. But taking into account what the Turonic PH950 can offer, this is not necessarily a deal breaker.
The Turonic PH950 scores 4.3 stars out of 5 on Amazon, with reviewers praising its ease of setup and effectiveness at improving air quality. Negative reviews focus on the high cost of replacement filters.
Indeed, the Turonic PH950 is a powerful 2-in-1 machine combining an air purifier and a humidifier. This complex piece of equipment is equipped with an ionizer, UV-C technology and several different filters designed to neutralize up to 99.98% of unwanted particles as small as 0.1 microns. It also comes with 10 different operating modes, a handy remote control, a designated app, a timer, PM2.5 laser air quality sensor, and a child lock — all for approximately $400 per unit. It may sound like a hefty price tag, but we found the Turonic PH950’s performance to be superb in our tests. And since this piece of equipment is highly energy efficient, it will not rack up your energy bills.
We also found the Turonic PH950 easy to assemble and use. Its circular display is pleasant to look at and the color-coded indicators are easy to understand. The display is also suitable to use in a bedroom at night, as the icons are bright, but not flashy.
The downsides? For a relative beginner, the Turonic PH950 may seem like an overly complicated piece of machinery. Changing a filter in this piece of equipment can also prove quite costly — a price for a single filter pad tends to fall between $45 and $60.
- Read our full Turonic PH950 air purifier review.
Wei-Ning Wang is an aerosols expert and associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is an editorial board member for several scientific journals, including Nanotechnology, KONA Powder and Particle Journal, Applied Sciences, Nanomaterials & Nanotechnology and is an advisory panel member for the Journal of Physics D.
How we test
How do we test air purifiers at Live Science?
Every air purifier for allergies 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.
How can you 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.
Dr. Lee also recommends keeping your home clean to reduce the burden on the air purifier. "Reduce environmental triggers by hoovering twice a week or more with a hoover with a HEPA filter." she advises. "Don’t smoke in the house or anywhere near the bedroom. Take your shoes off as soon as you come into the house to avoid treading allergens into the carpets and up the stairs. Keep the house clean by regularly washing the basins, baths and showers with an anti-mold cleaner."