Product Review

5 Best Air Purifiers for Odors, Dust, Smoke in 2023

Other air purifiers we tested

Several air purifiers shown from above for the best air purifiers guide in 2022.

James Brains/Insider

Over the last year, I’ve tested 30 air purifiers, and there are several that we almost included in our guide that are still worth considering:

Additional air purifiers we recommend

Air purifiers under $250

Instant Air Purifier 300: The makers of the wildly popular Instant Pot have ventured out of the kitchen for the first time with this unit, and it’s a great reasonably priced solution. It was one of the top removers of VOCs, didn’t use much power, and was easy to clean and maintain. Yet it was one of the worst at removing particulate matter, and it operates loudly.

Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty: We like this purifier because it adjusts the fan speed based on the air quality, which led to low power usage. However, in our tests, it was noisy, did poorly removing VOCs, and was just average at removing particulate matter. The Airmega Mighty has four stages of filtration: pre-filter, deodorization, true HEPA, and “vital ion” ionization. We don’t recommend using the ionization function (see why in the FAQ). Fortunately, you can manually turn it off.

Brondell Horizon O2+: For how affordable this Brondell air purifier is, it did an outstanding job, and I’d recommend it if our top budget pick isn’t available. It was one of the top removers of particulate matter in our tests and was easy to maintain and clean. The biggest negative is that it doesn’t have an auto mode that adjusts the fan speed based on air quality. This would have been nice since it consumes a lot of power.

Air purifiers under $450

Coway Airmega 250: This is the best air purifier I’ve tested from Coway. The 250 was one of the best removers of particulate matter. It also used minimal electricity in our tests, thanks to the fan that adjusts based on the air quality. However, it didn’t beat any of the models in the above categories, and it didn’t perform well at removing VOCs from the air.

Mila: Mila is an affordable smart air purifier that has a variety of filter options (only available on the company’s website) depending on what air quality issue you want to address. I tested the heavy-duty Overreactor, which is a hospital-grade H14 HEPA filter, and the Basic Breather. The Overreactor was in the middle of the pack in our air purifying tests. The Basic Breather was outstanding at removing particulate matter. But both operated loudly, and there wasn’t anything else that made them stand out.

Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto: This is the updated version of the Blueair Blue Pure 211+, the top pick in our previous version of this guide. The main addition is an auto mode, which adjusts the filtering speed and intensity based on the air quality. We found it did a good job of filtering the air while using minimal electricity, but it was loud, and filters are expensive and only available on the Blueair website.

Air purifiers over $450

Alen Breathesmart 45i: This Alen air purifier relies on a medical-grade H13 true HEPA filter, which did an outstanding job of removing particulate matter from our test room. This model is also easy to set up, transport, and maintain.  However, filter replacement will set you back about $140 per year, and it didn’t do well reducing VOCs in the air.

Coway Airmega 400S: Our previous pick for the best smart air purifier, the Coway Airmega 400S is an attractive unit that barely makes any sound and adjusts the fan speed based on the air’s pollution level, which lends itself to low energy use. It lost its title due to its average performance in our purifying tests and its smart features aren’t as fancy as our new smart pick.

RabbitAir MinusA2: If we had a “most visually appealing” category, this model would win. We weren’t particularly impressed with how well it did cleaning the air. However, it was easy to set up and maintain. Plus, the filter replacement costs are reasonable.

Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier: We don’t recommend ionizing air purifiers for most people (read why here). That being said, this model allows you to toggle the ionizer on and off and offers HEPA filtration when the ionizer is not in use. The purifier is also certified ozone-safe by the California Air Resource Board. In our air quality test, the Alen BreatheSmart Classic was the fastest to remove the particulate matter. However, it came in below average at reducing VOCs and used a lot of electricity to operate.

Which air purifiers we don’t recommend

PhoneSoap AirSoap: The biggest reason the AirSoap isn’t in our guide is because it relies on ionization to clean the air, and there is no way to turn it off. The benefits of ionization are questionable, and there’s a risk of negative health issues due to the low levels of ozone the AirSoap produces. However, it did well in our air purifying tests, operates quietly, doesn’t have filter replacement costs, and is easy to set up and transport.

Aura Air Mini: Like the AirSoap above, the Aura Air Mini relies on ionization to clean the air. It’s unique in that it is only three inches deep and wide and 4.5 inches high. It runs for up to six hours on a single charge. It’s designed to be used in small spaces, but we’re not sure of the use cases. You wouldn’t want to use it in public and potentially expose vulnerable individuals to ozone. And in your car, you already have a filtration system.

Dyson HP09: The HP09 is a new model from one of the top names in the industry, and it does an outstanding job of heating and cooling rooms up to 800 square feet in size. The only problem is it was one of the worst performers in our air purifying tests.

Honeywell Insight HPA5300B: I like the looks of this air purifier, and it’s easy to maintain and has widely-available filters. However, it used a lot of electricity and is loud on high speed. Plus, its performance in the air purifying tests was unimpressive.

IQAir Atem: We were hoping this would be a good compact option, but it performed poorly in the air purifying tests and has high upfront and filter costs.

BetterAir Biotica800: The Biotica800 releases a probiotic mist for 30 seconds every 70 minutes. It runs quietly during those 30 seconds, and its electricity use was too low for our smart plug to register anything. However, if it does anything to clean the air, our air quality monitor didn’t notice.

EnviroKlenz Air System Plus: This is the heaviest and least visually appealing purifier we tested. It’s designed to take a beating and is used by the US Navy. However, it had the highest VOC reading at the end. It doesn’t have an auto mode, used the most electricity, and has the highest filter costs of the bunch.

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