Top 5 Best Home HEPA Air Purifiers for 2020
HEPA air purifiers are very important home appliances for keeping the air at home clean and safe to breathe. With various pollutants causing respiratory and other issues and decreasing the quality of life, a good home HEPA air purifier is becoming an essential part of many households, just like fridge, TV, vacuum cleaner and similar.
Good HEPA air purifier doesn't have to be expensive, on a contrary, some most popular and best-buy units are rather affordable. But, large units with many advanced features can come rather pricey. Here is our list of top 5 home air purifiers that we believe are the 'best-buy' considering all their features and in the end, their price.
Published: March 21, 2020.
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Required Features and Specifications
In order to do their task properly, HEPA air purifiers must come with certain features that ensure proper operation and ease of use and maintenance.
Such features include air flow, intended area size, operating modes, WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity, CADR ratings, HEPA level etc.
Air Flow is given in CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) or sometimes in cubic meters per minute or hours and shows maximum air flow through the air purifier.
Operating Modes allow the user to set preferred mode depending on the current conditions - most home air purifiers feature at least three cleaning modes, including Sleep, Normal, Turbo or Maximum mode.
Sleep mode features the smallest CFM, but it is also the quietest mode and is usually used during the night, hence the name.
Normal operating mode balances between CFM and the noise and is commonly used during the day.
Maximum/Turbo mode is the noisiest cleaning mode, but it also allows the air purifier to clean certain area in the least possible time.
Many air purifiers feature much more operating modes, allowing the user to set the preferred one, or the air purifier automatically adjust itself to the new conditions.
CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) Rating of the air purifier is measured by ANSI/AHAM AC-1 standard.
Test is rather simple and straightforward - air purifier is placed in 1008 cubic feet testing chamber, with the amount of air pollutants measured. After turning the air purifier ON, it operates for 20 minutes at full power, after which the reduction of air pollutants is measured.
For example, if the air purifier has a CADR rating for pollen of 150, that means that the air purifier is able to reduce number of pollen particles to the same level as it would be achieved by adding 150 cubic feet of clean air each minute - roughly, CADR rating is equal to the amount of air that the air purifier is able to clean each minute for each type of particles.
Common CADR values for home HEPA air purifiers is given in the following list:
- Dust: 30 to 300 CADR,
- Pollen: 40 to 350 CADR,
- Tobacco Smoke: 30 to 350 CADR, etc.
Obviously, larger and stronger air purifiers feature higher CADR ratings, but sometimes strong air flow reduces HEPA level as it 'pushes' smaller particles through the air filters.
ACH (Air Changes per Hour) refers to number of times that an air purifier can purify/refresh the air in a room - the higher the ACH number, the better the air quality.
Exact ACH number is hard to tell, because it depends on the volume of the cleaned area and that depends on the floor size (sq. ft. or m2) and the height of the ceiling.
ACH of 2, for example, means that the air purifier is able to clean the air in the designated area 2 times per hour.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Air Filtration Levels basically tell how air filter is good in stopping (capturing) small particles (typically 0.3 microns or larger, although there are some units being designed for 0.1 microns particles).
The following chart lists various classifications of air filters and air filtration according to the EN 1822 standard:
|Filter Group||Filter Class||Filtration Efficiency||Penetration|
|Efficiency Particulate Air (EPA) Filters||E10||85 %||15 %|
|E11||95 %||5 %|
|E12||99.5 %||0.5 %|
|High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters||H13||99.95 %||0.05 %|
|H14||99.995 %||0.005 %|
|Ultra Low Penetration Air (ULPA) Filters||U15||99.9995 %||0.0005 %|
|U16||99.99995 %||0.00005 %|
|U17||99.999995 %||0.000005 %|
'True HEPA' air purifier is able to capture at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles and technically stands between HEPA H13 and HEPA H14 levels.
The size of most common pollutants at homes are:
- flu virus: 0.1 μm,
- bacteria: 0.3-10.0 μm,
- pollen: 10.0-100.0 μm,
- pet and human hair: 30.0-200.0 μm,
- dust mites: 90.0-600.0 μm,
- sand grains: 50.0-1000.0 μm, etc.
Note: While flu and similar viruses are rather small and hardly directly captured by air purifiers, if present, they are found in micro-droplets in the air that are mostly much larger than 0.1 μm.
Air Filtration Systems are based on several layers of air filtration/purification, including:
- mechanical air pre-filters captures larger particles and protect the inner filters from mechanical damage,
- layer of activated carbon captures smells, odors and other harmful chemicals,
- HEPA mechanical air filter captures tiny particles from the air flow.
Also, some units feature ion generator that uses ions to remove even the smallest air particles, UV lamps for air sanitation, chemical catalysts for decomposition of certain chemicals etc.
Since UV lamps may produce ozone in small quantities, usually far below recommended safety levels, UV lamps can generally be turned off.
Note on air filters: Since high-quality are filters are at the very center of operation, always purchase OEM air filters.
WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity allows the user to control and monitor air purifier using smartphone or tablet. Also, advanced air purifiers with WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity are able to send reports about unit's status, air quality, and similar.
Warranty of air purifiers differ, but they usually come with 'Limited' warranty conditions - unit and filters come with different warranty conditions.
Recommended Area/Room Size is the size of the maximum recommended area/room where air purifier may operate and keep the air in the room at certain quality level. Area/room size is an approximate value, with CFM being more important and with the CADR and HEPA levels being the most important.
Here is the list of, what we believe, are top 5 home HEPA air purifiers. Since there are so many rather good units on the market, one may disagree with us. But, we are all different, with different requirements and needs, so be sure to choose according to your own personal preferences.
Note: When the new air purifier arrives, be sure to thoroughly read the manual/instructions in order to get accustomed to your new unit.
1. Levoit LV-H132 HEPA Air Purifier
Air filtration is based on three air filters: pre-filter, true HEPA air filter and activated carbon air filter. Levoit LV-H132 doesn't use UV lamp or ion generators, keeping the purified air 100% ozone free.
Nonetheless, Levoit LV-H132 achieves true HEPA air filtration - it captures at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles.
Unit features three fan speed settings: Low, Medium and High. At High fan speed, unit consumes ~28 watts and operates at 50 dB. At Low fan speed, units operates at 25 dB which is even less than 'whisper quiet' ('whisper quiet' is generally considered to be around 30 dB).
Levoit LV-H132 is very compact unit measuring 8.5 x 14.5 inches (~21.6 x 36.8 cm) and can be kept even on the desk.
Controls are rather simple and consists of power On/Off button, nightlight button, filter reset button and fan speed button - it can hardly be simpler than that.
Levoit LV-H132 is intended for rooms up to 129 sq. ft. (12 m2), but it can be used in larger rooms as well, with lower efficiency.
CADR ratings for Levoit LV-H132 for dust, pollen and smoke are ~40 CFM, which isn't much to be honest.
However, when the unit starts to operate, it can operate for months constantly, purifying the air and keeping people and pets safe from pollutants.
Warranty for Levoit LV-H132 is 'just' 2 years, which could be better, especially when being compared with many other models on the market that come with 3-5 year warranties.
Due to the compact size, its simplicity and reliability and in the end, its purification level, it is quite common for many users to own several Levoit LV-H132 HEPA air purifiers.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Levoit LV-H132 HEPA Air Purifier Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
2. Germ Guardian AC4825 HEPA Air Purifier
Germ Guardian AC4825 features true HEPA air filtration - it is able to capture at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles.
Air filtration system is based on mechanical pre-filter, activated carbon air filter, high-efficiency HEPA air filter and UV-lamp combined with titanium-dioxide.
Level of produced ozone is not zero, but it is fair from harmful level - just to be sure, users can turn the UV-lamp off.
Personally, keep the UV-lamp off when there are people in the room and turn it off for additional air filtration when there are no people around (maybe it's little bit paranoid, but ...).
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Germ Guardian AC4825 HEPA Air Purifier Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Germ Guardian AC4825 physical dimensions are 10.25 x 6.75 x 21.5 inches (~26 x 17.1 x 54.6 cm) and it weighs 8.55 pounds (~3.9 kg).
Unit is recommended for areas up to 176 sq. ft. (~15.5 m2).
Germ Guardian AC4825 comes with three fan speeds and at maximum fan speed, unit features CADR ratings of:
- Dust: 118 CFM,
- Pollen: 125 CFM,
- Smoke: 108 CFM.
Controls are very simple and include: power On/Off and fan speed selector, filter change indicator and UV-lamp On/Off with control light.
Unit comes with 3-year limited warranty.
Despite Germ Guardian offering newer (AC5300B), Germ Guardian AC4825 is still very popular model, being tested by countless users in real life situations - considering its CADR ratings, and air filtration system, Germ Guardian AC4825 is very affordable HEPA air purifier that can cover medium rooms easily.
3. Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Air Purifier
Honeywell HPA300 physical dimensions are 20.08 x 10.83 x 22.32 inches (~51 x 27.5 x 56.7 cm), it weighs 17.26 pounds (~7.8 kg) and its CADR ratings are:
- Smoke: 300 CFM,
- Dust: 320 CFM,
- Pollen: 300 CFM.
Honeywell HPA300 is intended for rooms up to 465 sq. ft. (~43.2 m2).
Honeywell HPA300 comes with much more features that previous models, but it is still very easy to use and monitor.
Unit features four cleaning levels (Germ, Allergen, General Clean and Turbo), filter change indicator, auto-off via onboard timer, control panel dimmer and it comes with 5-year warranty.
Air filtration system is based on the Honeywell's Type R True HEPA air filters - Honeywell HPA300 features mechanical pre-filter, odor trapping activated carbon filter and true HEPA air filter.
Again - it is of utmost importance to use OEM air filters in order to maintain air purification level, regardless what air purifier You have.
Honeywell HPA100, HPA200 and HPA300 HEPA Air Purifiers - Comparison and Recommendation
Honeywell HPA100, HPA200 and HPA300 HEPA Air Purifiers are three very similar air purifier units in terms of quality of air filtration, design, warranty and use. However, these units differ in terms of size, CADR rating, number of required air filters and recommended room size.
Their most important features and specifications are given in the following table:
|Model||Honeywell HPA100 HEPA Air Purifier||Honeywell HPA200 HEPA Air Purifier||Honeywell HPA300 HEPA Air Purifier|
|Recommended Room Size||Medium Rooms - up to 155 sq. ft.||Large Rooms - up to 310 sq. ft.||Extra Large Rooms - up to 465 sq. ft.|
|CADR Rating - Smoke||100||200||300|
|CADR Rating - Dust||106||190||320|
|CADR Rating - Pollen||100||180||300|
|HEPA Filter||HRF-R1 (1 Filter)||HRF-R2 (2 Filters)||HRF-R3 (3 Filters)|
|Odor Reducing Filter||HRF-AP1/HRF-APP1||HRF-AP1/HRF-APP1||HRF-AP1/HRF-APP1|
|Dimensions (inches)||13.54 x 8.9 x 13.94||17.72 x 10.05 x 18.86||20.08 x 10.83 x 22.32|
|Warranty||5-Year Limited||5-Year Limited||5-Year Limited|
|Amazon Link||Honeywell HPA100||Honeywell HPA200||Honeywell HPA300|
Note: Amazon affiliate links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for most up to date offers and prices.
While all three units offer true HEPA air purification level, Honeywell HPA300 covers the largest area and offer the largest CADR ratings.
Honeywell HPA300 vs. Honeywell HPA600B - HEPA Air Purifiers Comparison
Both Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Allergen Remover and Honeywell HPA600B Professional Series True HEPA Air Purifier are true HEPA air purifiers, but they also differ in several, very important details, listed in the following table:
|Model||Honeywell HPA300||Honeywell HPA600B|
|Recommended Room Size||465 sq. ft.||325 sq.ft.|
|CADR for Smoke||300||210|
|CADR for Dust||320||184|
|CADR for Pollen||300||205|
|Maximum Power||~130 W||~44 W|
|Air Filtration||99.97%, 0.3 microns||99.97%, 0.1 microns|
|Timer||2, 4, 8 hours||2, 4, 8 hours|
|Auto Sense Mode||No||Yes|
|Air Quality Indicator||No||Yes|
|Dimensions||20.8 x 10.83 x 22.38 inches
(~52.8 x 27.5 x 56.9 cm)
|16.73 x 9.45 x 24.25 inches
(~42.5 x 24 x 61.6 cm)
|Weight||~21 pounds||~32 pounds|
|Warranty||5-year limited||5-year limited|
|Amazon Link||Honeywell HPA300||Honeywell HPA600B|
Note: Amazon affiliate links in the table open in the new windows, feel free to check them for most up to date offers and prices.
Honeywell HPA600B is an example that the larger air purifiers don't necessarily have better CADR ratings and don't necessarily cover larger area.
When compared with Honeywell HPA300, Honeywell HPA600B is larger, heavier, feature lower maximum power rating, lower CADR ratings and can cover smaller area.
But, Honeywell HPA600B also features air filtration system that filters out 99.97% of 0.1 microns (again, 0.1 microns, not 0.3 microns) or larger particles and come with Auto Sense Mode and Air Quality Indicator.
Better air filtration and few more additional features make Honeywell HPA600B more expensive air purifier - personally, unless you really need those features, go for Honeywell HPA300 air purifier.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA Air Purifier Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
4. Hamilton Beach 04386A TrueAir HEPA Air Purifier
Hamilton Beach 04386A feature true HEPA air filtration - it is able to capture at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles. Unit's physical dimensions are 8.5 x 6 x 13.5 inches (~21.6 x 15.2 x 34.3 cm) and it weighs 4.9 pounds (~2.2 kg).
One of very interesting features of this unit is that it can be used both vertically and horizontally.
Air filtration is based on the mechanical air pre-filter and permanent HEPA air filter that should be periodically cleaned.
Hamilton Beach 04386A doesn't feature active charcoal layer filter that would absorb odors and it doesn't feature UV-lamp or ion generator.
Note: if required, air filter may be replaced with the new one. Also, it is possible to place third-party activated carbon filter in front of HEPA air filter in order to capture odors and to protect the HEPA air filter. Note that this is not officially supported.
Hamilton Beach 04386A is intended for rooms up to 160 sq. ft. (~14.9 m2).
Controls are rather simple and include three speed fan selector.
Hamilton Beach 04386A comes with 1-year limited warranty.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Hamilton Beach 04386A TrueAir HEPA Air Purifier Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
5. Winix 5500-2 HEPA Air Purifier
Physical dimensions are 8.2 × 15.0 × 23.6 inches (~20.8 x 38.1 x 60 cm) and it weighs 15.4 pounds (~7.0 kg).
Winix 5500-2 features 4 fan speeds (Low, Medium, High and Turbo) which are used in Manual mode.
In Auto mode, Winix 5500-2 uses onboard sensors to monitor air quality, with the LED indicator displaying the air quality to the user (Blue - Good, Amber - Fair, Red - Poor) - when the unit senses air quality change, fan speed is automatically adjusted for optimal cleaning.
Controls are on top of the unit and they include On/Off button, Mode selector, PlasmWave indicator/control button, fan speed selector, timer (1h, 4h, 8h), check filter light and reset filter button.
Also, Winix 5500-2 comes with IR remote control - nice :)
Multilayered air purification system is based on the mechanical air pre-filter, washable AOC (Advanced Odor Control) carbon filter, true HEPA air filter (99.97% of 0.3 microns particles) and so-called PlasmaWave Technology - basically, unit generates Hydroxyls (ions) to neutralize VOCs, odors, bacteria, gases etc.
According to the manufacturer PlasmaWave Technology doesn't generate any ozone, but just in case, PlasmaWave filtration may be turned off.
For people needing slightly more advanced air purifiers, but don't need WiFi enabled units controlled via tablets and smartphones, Winix 5500-2 is excellent choice.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Winix 5500-2 HEPA Air Purifier Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Few Final Thoughts About HEPA Air Purifiers
True HEPA air purifiers don't have to be expensive in order to do their job properly. However, as the requirements are increased in terms of CADR rating, covered area, additional advanced features, their price simply has to go up.
Note that we have listed only 5 HEPA air purifiers from 5 different brands, but other brands also produce excellent units, like Dyson, Bissell, Coway, hOmeLabs, Veva and others.
Which one is the best for You, depends on your own personal needs and requirements.