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The best air purifiers for 2020

Dust particles, pet dander, and other allergens can build up in the air you breathe. These particles can become a problem if you have allergies, suffer from asthma, or have young children.

You can take steps to improve the quality of your indoor air, starting by using an air purifier. These devices work by filtering the air and catching pollutants, allergens, and other particles. Running an air purifier in your home can significantly improve the quality of your indoor air.

Our list of the best air purifiers for 2020 include options with HEPA or PECO filters. We’ve included a variety of price ranges, so people who want an air filter can find one that fits their budget.

Honeywell 50250-S True HEPA Air Purifier

The best

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The Honeywell 50250-S True HEPA is one of the best purification units on the market, namely because its glass fiber HEPA filter captures particles as small as 0.3 microns. To put that number in perspective, an average human hair is about 80 microns. Needless to say, this unit is more than capable of filtering pollen, dust, pet dander, and even smoke particulates.

A carbon-activated pre-filter also captures larger contaminants and works to eliminate common household odors. Unlike other units, this model uses a primary HEPA that can be vacuumed, thus allowing you to extend the lifetime of the filter.

As with any air purifier, one of the key things to consider is the maximum square footage the unit can adequately filter. Honeywell’s modest offering is designed for rooms up to 390 square feet in size. That is more than enough power to sufficiently treat the air in most rooms around your home.

The unit does feature a rather lackluster design — not to mention a bulky exterior. Even if the unit might not necessarily complement the feng shui of your living space, it’s more than capable of removing the fung-us in your home. (Pun totally intended.)

Alen Breathesmart 45i HEPA Air Purifier

The best for sleep

Air purifiers serve an important role in the home, but most of them are just not great for sleeping. The level of sound involved in pulling harmful particles out of the air can be detrimental to your sleep habits, even though clean air is arguably most important at night. The Alen BreatheSmart 45i HEPA Air Purifier offers a solution, however. The unit is tuned to produce only pink noise and promises to help you sleep up to 25% better than before. You can also activate “Night Mode” with a single tap to disable the lights on the unit.

Like other models of Alen units, the BreatheSmart 45i is incredibly customizable with 11 different color options to help it match your home’s style and color. The customization doesn’t stop at the outside, either. You can choose four different filters for the unit. All of the filter choices are effective, but some excel at certain areas over others. For instance, the HEPA Silver is better at removing mold and bacteria, while the HEPA Odorcell and Smoke filters are better at getting rid of unpleasant odors.

The BreatheSmart 45i automatically adjusts its energy usage depending on your air quality. When the sensors detect a low level of particles, the unit runs at a lower power to reduce noise and energy consumption, but higher power modes kick in when levels of airborne particles are high. An LED around the power button indicates the current air quality: blue for great, green for good, orange for not-so-great, and red for bad.

The Alen BreatheSmart 45i is recommended for 800 square feet at max speed, and 250 square feet on low speed. While it has a hefty price tag, this air purifier’s slim profile and multiple color options make it a great choice for the design-savvy consumer — and the efficient operation will keep you breathing easy all through the night.

Molekule Air Mini with PECO Filter

The most compact

Some air purifiers require a not-insignificant amount of space to operate properly, but the Molekule Air Mini embodies the idea of a compact, small-space purifier. At only 12 inches high and just under 8.5 inches in diameter, the Air Mini fits on a countertop, desk, or end table with room to spare. The Molekule Air Mini is designed to purify the air in a space up to 250 square feet through the use of a PECO filter. Unlike traditional HEPA filters, a PECO filter is coated with a material that helps break down VOCs, bacteria, mold, and much more.

The Molekule Air Mini is quiet and energy-efficient, which makes it ideal for placement on a bedside table. The filter is rated to last up to six months, and Molekule offers a filter-replacement plan that automatically sends new filters. If you want to invest in an air filter for a smaller space like an office or a kids’ room, it’s hard to not go with the Molekule.

Winix WAC9500 Ultimate Pet True HEPA Air Cleaner with PlasmaWave Technology

The best for pet owners

With PlasmaWave technology that attacks pollutants on a molecular level, the Winix WAC9500 air purifier cleans the air free of viruses, bacteria, odors, and gases. True HEPA filtration traps 99.9% of the bad stuff in your air.

It grabs tiny particles (it captures particles as small as 0.3 microns) and can make a real difference in the way you breathe. That pet dander that stuffs up your nose gets trapped in the filter, and you breathe clean and virtually allergen-free air. This machine doesn’t just clean your air free of tiny allergens though. It has a five-stage filtration system, including a washable pre-filter to grab larger particles, CleanCel anti-bacterial treatment, and a granular carbon filter for odor control.

The WAC9500 comes with a remote control, and it has smart sensors that consistently monitor the air so the machine can adjust to its environment. It covers a 283-square-foot area.

Holmes Small Room 3-Speed HEPA Air Purifier

The best budget option

Holmes Small Room 3-Speed HEPA Air Purifier is ideal for individuals seeking a basic and affordable air purifier. It’s perfect for your bedroom, office, or places with limited space. For convenience, this unit can also be situated vertically or horizontally without sacrificing performance.

Homles’ unit can filter airborne particles as small as 2 microns. It has three different speeds so you can set it higher or lower as needed. Plus, it has an optional ionizer.  As with any budget option, however, this unit has its drawbacks. The Holmes Small Room model is only rated for rooms up to 100 square feet in size, and while 2 microns is fairly solid when it comes to household filtration, asthmatic individuals or people with other respiratory problems will certainly prefer a higher caliber purifier.

Rabbit Air Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier

The most energy-efficient

This Energy Star-rated purifier uses BioGS HEPA filtration that incorporates six stages of purification to ensure a thorough job. These include a pre-filter, medium filter, BioGS HEPA filter, customized filter, charcoal-based activated carbon filter, and negative ion generator. These filters work to reduce the amount of dust, pet dander, mold spores, and airborne bacteria, thus freshening the air you’re breathing indoors. The BioGS HEPA filter is especially important, as it works to reduce the accumulation of bacteria on the filters, thus prolonging their efficiency.

The purifier is also economical, with an Energy Star-certified motor and filters that last up to two years if used 12 hours daily. A built-in light sensor allows the purifier to automatically transition to sleep mode when the room is dark.

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