Are you concerned about the air quality in your home? With indoor air pollution, allergens, and other contaminants, it’s no wonder more people are turning to air purifiers for cleaner air.
But not all air purifiers are created equal. Hepa filter purifiers are proven to be the most effective at trapping pollutants and particles. Before you choose one though, there are some important factors to consider to find your perfect match.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to find the right Hepa filter air purifier for your needs. By the end, you’ll be breathing easy knowing the air in your home is clean and healthy.
Why You Need a Hepa Filter Air Purifier
First, let’s quickly cover what exactly Hepa filters are and why they’re so great. Hepa stands for “high efficiency particulate air” and it is the gold standard for air purification.
These dense filters are designed to capture 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size. For reference, that includes:
- Mold spores
- Pet dander
And the list goes on. Pretty impressive, right?
Unlike cheaper air purification methods like ionizers, Hepa filters use physical filtration to completely trap contaminants rather than just push them around your home.
This makes them highly effective at reducing indoor air pollution and providing relief for various conditions:
- Allergies: Hepa filters significantly cut down on airborne allergens from dust, pollen, mold and more that can trigger symptoms.
- Asthma: By reducing triggers like smoke, dust mites, and pet dander, air purifiers with Hepa filtration make it easier to breathe.
- Respiratory illnesses: Purifiers help remove germs, bacteria, and viruses from the air that cause conditions like colds, flu, and now even COVID-19.
- Smoke: Wildfire smoke is a growing issue many parts of the country now face annually. Portable purifiers with Hepa filters absorb smoke particulates indoors.
- Odors/VOCs: Addition activated carbon pre-filters help remove stubborn smells, gases, and volatile organic compounds that linger in indoor air.
Clearly, the air quality benefits provided by Hepa air purification systems are tremendous. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose?
Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Hepa Filter Air Purifier
There are several variables that come into play when selecting the right Hepa filter air purifier for your situation:
Room Size and Layout
First and foremost, you need the appropriate machine size and power for the rooms you want to purify.
Measure the total square footage along with ceiling height to determine the ideal capacity you need. For reference:
- 100 to 200 sq ft rooms: compact and portable purifiers
- 201 to 500 sq ft: medium purifiers good for bedrooms and dens
- 501 to 1000 sq ft: larger machines ideal for open floor plans
- Above 1000 sq ft: extra powerful for vast living rooms or open concepts spanning multiple rooms
Also consider your layout. For example, a studio apartment with one open area needs a different approach vs. a two story home with divided rooms.
You want balanced air circulation, so factor where you will place the purifier and if you need multiple units.
Types of Pollutants to Filter
Think about what type of airborne particles you want to remove from your interior spaces when choosing a purifier.
For example, do you need help with:
- Dust and pet dander
- Seasonal pollen and mold spores
- Smoke from cooking or wildfires
- Bacteria and viruses
- Chemical fumes or VOC odors
Look for Hepa filters specifically designed to trap your top targets. Additional filter layers like activated carbon can remove gases, smoke, and stubborn smells the Hepa filter alone can’t.
Sensitivities also matter. Select a model with the right specifications for family members with allergies or conditions aggravated by particles so you can effectively purify irritants.
One factor easily overlooked when shopping for air purifiers is the sound level. You want powerful fan circulation, but not loud operating noise disrupting your household.
Check the decibel rating (dB level) a purifier produces on various fan speeds. For reference:
- Under 30 dB is whisper quiet. Ideal for bedrooms.
- 30 to 50 dB has ambient noise comparable to a refrigerator. Excellent for living areas.
- Over 50 dB produces obvious white noise. Only suitable for large spaces where the unit can be kept farther away.
Also listen to the real life operating volume if possible. Auto modes that adjust fan speeds based on air quality are great for keeping noise down as it runs slower until sensors detect more particles.
Cost and Maintenance
There are price considerations beyond just the initial purchase, including:
- Filter replacement costs: Hepa filters must be changed every 6 to 12 months depending on use. This is an extra ongoing expense to factor in.
- DIY vs professional maintenance: Can you easily change the filter yourself or will you need to hire an HVAC company?
- Energy efficiency: More advanced units with Energy Star ratings use less electricity. This saves money in the long run.
- Warranty: Check coverage time periods. Good warranties last 1 to 5 years in case of defects.
To keep your purifier running at peak performance, proper maintenance is essential. Take cost factors into account before buying.
Today’s Hepa filter air purifiers come packed with lots of bonus features that enhance functionality:
- Built-in air quality sensors detect microscopic particles and automatically adjust purification levels accordingly. Takes the guesswork out!
- Smart connectivity and apps for controlling your purifier remotely via WiFi and monitoring indoor air quality in real time.
- Multiple fan speeds so you can set the ideal setting for energy efficiency and noise level preferences.
- Auto mode lets the purifier self-adjust based on indoor air pollution. Set it and forget it!
- Night time settings with ultra quiet operation, dimmed control lights, and auto shut off on timers. Perfect to run in bedrooms overnight.
- Air quality indicator lights that display color coded levels so you can see performance and pollution signals at a glance.
- Additional filter stages like pre-filters to catch larger particles and activated carbon for gases and odors.
- Built-in air quality monitors that measure key pollutants like VOCs and PM2.5 levels in real time.
The more features that fit your needs, the better! Check that options align with your priorities.
Reviews of the Top Rated Hepa Filter Air Purifiers
Now that you know what to look for in a Hepa filter air purifier, here are my top recommendations in 2023 across different price points and feature sets:
1. Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Smart Hepa Air Purifier
The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ is an ultra quiet, powerful purifier packed with smart features perfect for large rooms up to 540 square feet.
It combines three filtration stages for removing all manner of indoor pollutants:
- PreMax pre-filter catches hair, dust and large particles
- HEPASilentTM particle filter eliminates 99.97% of unwanted contaminants down to 0.1 microns, including viruses and bacteria
- Activated carbon filter absorbs odors, smoke, VOCs and other gases
This filter combo makes it ideal for pet owners, allergy sufferers, and anyone wanting to eliminate VOCs along with particles.
I love that you can control the Blue Pure 211+ from anywhere via the app and check real time indoor air quality monitor reports. The auto mode adjusts fan speeds for you based on particle levels to save energy.
Other highlights are the ultra quiet operation down to 31 dB, built-in air quality LED rings that display color coded pollution levels, and filter life countdown timers.
- Large room capacity up to 540 sq ft
- Removes 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns
- Activated carbon filter for gases, VOCs and odors
- Monitor air quality from app and via LED ring
- Auto mode adjusts to particle levels
- Ultra quiet operation down to 31 dB
- Expensive both upfront and for annual filter replacements
- App connectivity issues reported for some users
- Ionizer feature controversial for ozone emissions
Good for: Allergies, asthma, wildfire smoke, chemicals, odors, large rooms, smart homes
Price range: $300 to $350
Overall, this is the best smart Hepa filter purifier for larger rooms seeking complete air purification with advanced controls.
2. LEVOIT Core 300 True Hepa Filter Purifier
The LEVOIT Core 300 is a hugely popular Hepa air purifier known for quality filtration at an affordable price point.
It includes a true HEPA filter capturing 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns and larger. This means it expertly filters allergens like pollen and pet dander along with smoke and dust.
I like the cylindrical design that allows 360 degree air intake and quiet operation as low as 25 dB for the bedroom. The simplified controls make it easy to set your preferred mode.
LEVOIT built this purifier smaller for rooms about 219 square feet. But the clean air delivery rate of 141 CFM ensures it still circulates air efficiently 5 times per hour.
- Affordable price under $100
- True Hepa filter removes 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles
- Quiet operation down to 25 dB
- Compact and portable size with carry handle
- 360 degree air intake for whole room circulation
- No smart features or app
- Smaller room capacity of 219 sq ft
- Higher maintenance costs with filter changes every 6 months
Good for: Allergies, pet dander, smoke, small bedrooms, portability, budget buyers
Price range: $80 to $100
For an entry level true Hepa filter purifier under $100, LEVOIT can’t be beaten. It delivers outstanding particle removal for smaller spaces.
3. Coway Airmega 300 Smart Air Purifier
The Coway Airmega 300 offers mid-range pricing with attractive design and Loads of power for rooms up to 528 square feet.
It includes a pre-filter, activated carbon filter, and true Hepa filter for removing 99.97% of contaminants down to 0.3 microns and trapping odors.
I like the modern, compact look with simple touch controls. The LED display ring lets you check indoor pollution levels at a glance even from across the room.
Built-in smart sensors will automatically adjust the fan speed based on detected air quality levels for hands free convenience.
While not as quiet as some models at 42 dB, air circulation reaches two times per hour so it works fast to purify.
- Covers rooms up to 528 square feet
- Pre-filter and activated carbon stage
- Auto mode adjusts based on air quality sensor
- Two air changes per hour for fast purification
- Modern design with LED pollution indicator
- No app for smartphone controls or monitoring
- Higher noise level at 42 dB
- Expensive filter replacements every 6-8 months
Good for: Large rooms, allergens, VOCs, smoke, auto-sensing technology
Price range: $230 to $300
With smart auto-sensing tech and thorough filtration, the Airmega 300 is ideal for quickly cleansing large rooms without breaking the bank.
4. IQAir HealthPro Plus Medical Grade Hepa Air Purifier
Designed for serious purification in rooms up to 1,125 square feet, the IQAir HealthPro Plus is a commercial grade solution.
It’s used in hospitals and medical facilities for rigorous removal of particles, gases and odors thanks to four filter stages:
- PreMax pre-filter
- V5-Cell extended life Hepa filter
- Activated carbon and pelletized chemisorbent
- PostMax particulate post-filter
This configuration allows it to eliminate 100% of particles 0.003 microns and larger, making it ideal for viruses, chronic illnesses, and chemical sensitivities.
It’s also one of the only air purifiers to have its medical effectiveness verified through third party testing. While all this performance comes at a steep price, it delivers hospital grade air.
- Medical grade particle removal verified down to 0.003 microns
- Covers rooms up to 1,125 square feet
- 100% effectiveness for all particle sizes tested
- Ideal for viruses, chemicals, chronic illnesses
- 4 filtration stages including activated carbon
- Extremely expensive for purchase and maintenance
- High noise levels from powerful fan
- Large and heavy unit at 35 pounds
Good for: Viruses, chronic illness, chemical/odor sensitivity, large rooms, highest performance
Price range: $900 to $1,100
With unmatched filtration verified to remove 100% of particles down to 0.003 microns, the IQAir HealthPro Plus is worth the investment for those needing medical grade purification.
5. Austin Air HealthMate Standard Hepa Air Purification System
The Austin Air HealthMate takes a simple, no-frills approach to delivering powerful Hepa filtration in an all-steel housing.
It provides medical grade removal of 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns and larger, ideal for serious allergy and asthma sufferers.
The HealthMate has an activated carbon pre-filter for absorbing odors and gases before they reach the Hepa filter. Its effectiveness has been verified by independent testing.
With only two settings and no smart features, operation is straightforward. Given Austin Air’s reputation for durability and performance, it’s built to last. If you want a straightforward workhorse, this fits the bill.
- Proven 99.97% particle removal down to 0.3 microns
- Activated carbon pre-filter
- Extremely durable all-steel housing
- Independently tested filtration effectiveness
- Simple operation with only fan speed settings
- No bells or whistles
- High noise levels on higher fan setting
- Large, heavy unit challenging for portability
- Basic appearance
Good for: Allergies, asthma, high performance, durability over features
Price range: $600 to $700
The Austin HealthMate delivers life-changing allergy and asthma relief through proven Hepa and carbon filtration without extra costs for unnecessary frills.
FAQs About Buying and Using Hepa Filter Air Purifiers
Still have some questions about selecting and maintaining your air purifier? Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions:
How large of a room or space should my air purifier handle?
Choose an air purifier sized appropriately for the square footage of the room or area you want to clean. Units made for larger spaces can be used in small rooms, but small units will be overwhelmed in big rooms.
Where is the best place to position my air purifier?
Place your purifier centrally in the room with nothing obstructing air intake and flow on any side. Most units work best positioned at least several inches off the ground.
Do Hepa filters help with wildfire smoke?
Yes, Hepa filters are extremely effective at removing dangerous particulate matter down to 0.3 microns from wildfire smoke. Just make sure the purifier is sized appropriately for the room volume.
Do I need to replace the filter even if it looks clean?
Yes, Hepa filters become less effective over time as tiny pores get clogged with particles even if no discoloration shows. Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines for replacing the filter to maintain performance.
Can I clean and reuse HEPA filters rather than replacing them?
Unfortunately no – Hepa filters cannot be cleaned once particulate matter has become trapped in the dense meshwork. They must be replaced for optimal filtration.
How much will a Hepa filter air purifier increase my electricity bill?
An Energy Star certified air purifier running 24/7 generally costs $30 to $80 per year to operate depending on electricity rates and usage habits, comparable to running a fan.
Can I leave my air purifier on all the time?
Absolutely. Hepa air purifiers are designed to run continuously 24 hours per day, 7 days a week to maximize air cleaning. Just be sure to change the filter on schedule.
Do Hepa filters produce ozone?
Quality true Hepa filters do NOT emit ozone. However, some air cleaners misleadingly advertised as “HEPA-type” release small amounts. Verify the unit uses only physical filtration.
How long should a quality air purifier last?
The lifespan varies based on use, but expect 5 to 10 years from a good unit with regular maintenance. Higher price usually indicates better construction and durability.
Finding the perfect Hepa filter air purifier for your needs doesn’t have to be hard. Focus on the key factors like room size, filtration specifics, maintenance, and smart features.
Peruse air purifier reviews and rankings, but also understand what your priorities are. With this guide’s advice, you can breathe easy knowing your indoor air is clean and healthy.