Air purifiers can be an important appliance in your home if you have any issues with breathing or allergies — or you just care about having better air quality. Not all air purifiers are the same, though, and it's essential to make sure the one you buy will be best for treating the most common issues with air quality. This list will tackle the problem of clearing mold in your home and the purifiers that are best suited to do so.
Mold can be a common issue with homes depending on the average humidity in your environment, so you'll want to keep an eye out on your humidity levels if you start to see traces of a mold outbreak. With that said, the reason that mold is so annoying is that not only does it cause a smelly area, but it can also trigger basic to serious respiratory diseases.
Air purifiers can help solve your issues with mold by clearing the toxins and bacteria in the air. They can do this with certain filters, mainly a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Other models feature filters to help eradicate mold particles, such as UV lights and PCO filters. Let's check out some of the best.
Germ Guardian AC9200WCA
Best for mold spores
- Medium cleaning area
- UV clean light
- Low profile design
- Filters are expensive
- Very loud
The GermGuardian AC9200WCA costs considerably more than the Levoit model, but it has some extra features that may help clean your air. The GermGuardian not only has a 3-stage filtration system including pre-filter, HEPA, and activated carbon, but it also includes a UVC light. The light helps kill spores and bacteria that come into contact with it for some time. It's debatable how much help the light contributes after the three filtration stages, but the peace of mind can't be beaten.
This purifier retails for around $350 and has a shallow profile and the appearance of a rounded, glossy, white box with a handle. In addition, the GermGuardian has much more powerful filtration fans than some others on the list. For that reason, it can handle larger rooms in your homes, such as your kitchen or living room.
Levoit Core 300
Best offices or bathrooms
- Budget friendly
- Low noise operation
- Three stage filtration
- Only meant for small areas
- Limited portability
The overall best air purifier for mold is the Levoit Core 300 with powerful filtration. It's a compact air purifier that can pull air from any direction, and sports an easy-to-use display that controls functions such as the three fan speeds. One of the fan speeds allows for the purifier's "silent mode," which lowers noise down to 24dbs, like someone whispering to you.
The Levoit Core 300 also has three filtration systems: a pre-filter, a HEPA filter, and an activated carbon system which is excellent for odor. While being our top choice in general, with coverage around 220 square feet this would not be the purifier you would buy for a large room, like a living room or a basement. For your office, bedroom, or a humid bathroom though, this Levoit is a perfect choice.
Dyson AM11 Pure Cool Tower Purifier Fan
Best for Basements
- Large cleaning area
- Modern design with fan
- Can control via app or voice
- Most expensive on list
- Does not have a quiet mode
If you're not worried about a budget, then the Dyson Pure Cool Tower will be one of the best consumer-grade purifiers that money can buy. This cleaner has a built-in fan, the most expansive purification area on this list, and many smart features. You can control and monitor everything the Dyson Tower does from your phone or Amazon Alexa.
The effective cleaning area with this purifier is over 500 square feet, so if you have a basement with furniture or appliances, you can confidently put the Dyson Tower on this floor. In addition, it has a 350 oscillating area of view, with ten fan speeds to also help cool the environment. There's even an auto mode setting to allow the purifier to react to air quality changes in real-time and automatically adjust its settings.
Levoit Smart Core 200S
Best for Smart Homes
- Compact design
- Can control it with voice and app
- Has ambient and blackout lighting modes
- Low area of effect
- Have to replace filters often
Some of us prefer to have as many appliances and gadgets as possible to be smart. Smart devices allow us to hopefully set up some sort of automation that we can control with other devices like our smartphone. The best air purifiers we found with smart features come again from Levoit: The Core 200S.
The Smart Core 200S looks similar to the Core 300 but allows you to control it via a smartphone app, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. You can use the app to set timers, monitor filter health status, and adjust all settings. The filtration system in this unit is similar to the Core 300. The Smart Core 200S also has an ambient nightlight and a way for you to turn the display off entirely for darker areas.
BISSELL air320 Smart Air Purifier
Best for Design
- Easy to replace filters
- Has auto-sensing mode
- Expensive for the features it offers
- No auto timers
The Bissell Air320 has the best design of any air purifier on this list and still does a great job at cleaning the air. You could place this modern-looking appliance in your living room, and no one would expect that it's an air purifier — save for the sound it's making.
The Air320 has an easy-to-replace filter system thanks to its front-loading design. It also has an auto-adjusting mode, where it will change fan speeds when it notices changes in air quality. You're definitely paying a bit more for form over function with this cleaner, though.
Best purifier for dealing with mold in larger rooms
- Excellent at larger spacers
- Great for pet dander and smells
- Useful features including a sleep mode and automatic air quality mode
- Not a true HEPA
This Purivortex model hits all the right notes when it comes to dealing with mold spores: It’s affordable, it’s designed for large rooms or whole-house cleaning with a coverage of 1,200 square feet, and it includes an air quality sensor for seeing how dirty the air is at any given time (and an auto mode to clean based on the readings).
The filtration system also impresses, with a four-stage process that includes a preliminary filter, HEPA-efficient filter, carbon filter, and cold catalyst converter to remove up to 99.97% of harmful particles. It also has some handy extras like a sleep mode, timer, and child lock. Once your mold issue is handled, the purifier excels at dealing with pet dander and smells, so it’s a perfect choice for pet-friendly households.
Mold spreads spores in the air. For most types of household mold, those spores can trigger allergies and cause or exacerbate lung conditions, so they are bad news. Some types, like black mold, are particularly dangerous to humans and pose serious health hazards over time.
However, mold’s danger isn’t limited to human and pet health. Mold grows into porous surfaces, like wood, insulation, drywall, carpet, and more. There’s no effective way to get mold out once it’s dug in like this, which is why part of mold remediation often involves cutting away infected materials and removing them from the house entirely. That usually means a very expensive, forced remodel when mold problems become bad (sometimes this is covered by insurance, but this is not a guarantee).
No, air purifiers can’t remove mold. It’s important to understand that’s not their role in mold remediation. While mold is being dealt with via mold remediation – or very thorough cleaning and repairs for smaller infestations – the air purifier works to trap mold spores from the air so they cannot spread. This helps prevent mold from taking root somewhere during and after cleanup. It also reduces problems like allergies and other issues associated with mold.
If you have a mold problem, an air purifier can’t fix it. It can only limit the spread of mold and its effect on your health. An air purifier should always be used along with other steps.
Yes, HEPA filters, especially true HEPA filters that meet all Department of Energy requirements, can fill up with particles very quickly. If the air in your house is dirty, you may go through a HEPA filter every couple of months. It’s a good idea to buy a pack of HEPA filters ahead of time to be prepared.
Purifiers with serious HEPA filtration will trap mold spores instead of spreading them into the air. That’s why they’re a better solution than whole-house air conditioning, which typically uses basic filters that don’t capture all the spores, allowing mold spores to spread in a home.
Bathrooms are a common spot for problems since they are often humid. Basements and attics may be trouble areas for similar reasons. Mold can also appear in kitchens and under sinks in areas like the laundry room. Keep in mind that mold is very sneaky and averse to light. It tends to hide behind walls, in insulation, inside air ducts, and in crawl spaces.
This list should give you a good head start for buying an air purifier that fits your needs. You've got some models for a bedroom, some for a large room, and some that look great. Read our guide changing the filters in your air purifier for more information on how to keep it in tip-top shape.
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