As a general rule, we want every single one of our readers to live healthy, fulfilling, allergy-free lives. Well-wishes don’t do much, however, for those of us who are already condemned to compulsive sneezing, heaving, and watery eyes at the whim of the day’s pollen count. In such cases, the best possible solution is to get a powerful, energy-efficient air filter that doesn’t cost much and can be carried easily wherever we need to go.
Air purifiers used to be expensive pieces of medical-grade equipment. However, with variety and availability came large differences in quality. The market has been flooded with HEPA, HEPA-like, ozone, UV, sanitizing, mite-killing, cat-dander neutralizing air purifiers, and naturally, most of them don’t really meet the standards that your immune system needs!
With all that in mind, here are our the 12 best small air purifiers.
Suggested room size: up to 80 square feet
Three cleaning levels and replaceable filters mean that the Honeywell 16200 is a powerful but small powerhouse that will serve you for years to come. Its true HEPA certification ensures that this filter can capture up to 95% of all airborne particles that are 2 microns or larger. That includes hair, dust, pollen, and pet dander, but not smoke.
This Honeywell includes several smart features that render it particularly useful. First, it can be positioned either vertically or horizontally, making it easier for you to find a non-disruptive corner for it. Vertically, it can be easily placed on your nightstand, further improving your sleep quality. Remarkably silent, it has a yellow, electronic filter light indicator that will let you know when to change the filter. If you buy a genuine Honeywell replacement filter, each one should last about six months.
Finally, the integrated ionizer can be turned off or on independently from the filter. This is great for whenever your room needs some extra antiseptic or deodorizing prowess. Provided you only use it once or twice a day, it will keep any further ozone irritation to a minimum.
You can take the Honeywell Tabletop Purifier with you anywhere in the house as it weighs less than 6.5 pounds.
Suggested room size: up to 350 square feet
A highly regarded and well-designed option, the QUIETPURE is best known for its Whisper function, which keeps it working at as little as 18 decibels worth of noise. That low volume should let most people work or sleep uninterrupted. In addition to the Whisper setting or night mode, it has 3 different air speeds.
Such efficiency is already remarkable even if air filtering were the beginning and end of what this model offers. However, an optional carbon filter will help you get rid of radon as well.
Furthermore, the proprietary Auto mode used by Aerus also makes this filter remarkably responsive to room conditions so that it will adjust the airflow to the current air quality. Plus, the lit ring on top of the device will change color based on the current air quality, providing you with a quick and easy guide should you wish to adjust it manually instead. A programmable timer option will also help you minimize energy consumption when left overnight.
Its 6-pound weight is very portable, so take it with you whenever you move rooms for an extended period.
Suggested room size: up to 120 square feet
A light and budget-friendly bedroom air purifier, the AP-15 offers a permanent HEPA filter that promises to remove up to 99.7% of all air particles above 1 micron in size. This includes pollen, dust, and smoke alike.
The design is slim and fits easily behind a desk or in a corner. It is rather pleasant looking, however, so it doesn’t really need to be hidden. It offers 3 fan speeds, depending on the potency that the day calls for. Furthermore, its washable pre-filter allows you to extend the life of the HEPA filter. Just take it out, give it a thorough rinse, and enjoy a couple of extra months without having to buy a new one.
The air check monitor has a convenient but discreet LED display that allows you to monitor how efficiently your unit is working, and whether it’s time to make the fan work a bit fast. The result? No more noise than you actually need. To round out the package, the AP-15 grants your room a fresher smell and can even lower the temperature by a few degrees, which can be a godsend if you’re looking to lower the electricity bill attached to your A/C unit.
Take this 9-pounder to any room you want to be in.
Suggested room size: up to 300 square feet
The most evident feature of this luxurious air purifier is that it looks like part of your room décor. Stylish, smooth, and futuristic, the Roger Little is clearly not meant to be hidden – and it would be difficult to do so as this is not a tabletop model by any means. It is also powerful enough to completely replace the air of a 370-square foot room up to three times per hour. This means that in a more modest bedroom or small office of up to 150 square feet, you’ll be getting up to 6 medically-approved air changes per hour.
This air purifier actually packs a dual HEPA and carbon filter inside, which will get rid of over 95% of volatile air particles, gases, smoke, and odors simultaneously. The flat control panel is well-hidden and only lights up when adjusting its settings, which minimizes light pollution. However, it also includes an option to display a color-coded air quality indicator, which you can turn off as needed. Sound pollution is also kept at a minimum as the device can work at as low as 29 decibels.
The Roger Little weighs approximately 13 pounds.
Suggested room size: up to 300 square feet
A mighty tower whichever way you look at it, this air purifier by Coway offer a 4-stage system that can capture up to 99% of air particles. It combines a washable pre-filter, an odor and gas carbon filter, and a certified true HEPA one.
In a nutshell, this makes it a very comprehensive model. Pollen, pet dandruff, and dust mites will be eliminated at the same time as pet odor, which is often a nuisance in its own right.
It also has the added advantage of looking modern and unobtrusive despite its size, much like a tower fan – which it can be used as on hot and dry days, offering up to three different speeds. You can also equip it with an ionizer, which is fully optional if you need to protect your airways from further irritation.
Thankfully, the Mighty Tower isn’t mighty in weight. It only weighs about 13 pounds.
Suggested room size: up to 150 square feet
Instead of disguising or hiding your air purifier, try turning it into a fun statement instead. The Crane Penguin can actually look like a 16-inch-tall penguin or shark, complete with a radiant smile, a mandatory true HEPA filter, and Silent mode.
This intensive air purifier doesn’t have a lot of bells, whistles, or setting options, but it also doesn’t need to be on all the time. It works to filter out air particles as small as 0.3 micros, and its internal UV light will also deodorize small rooms and kill off bacteria and fungi. In addition, some intensive use can even get rid of cigarette odor, a notoriously hard-to-eliminate smell.
The automatic shut-off option, on the other hand, will prevent you from accidentally finding an unpleasant surprise on your electric bill should you ever forget about it.
This Crane Purifier weighs a low 5.5 pounds.
Suggested room size: variable
If you don’t have the privilege of your own office or cubicle, you have one of two options: either graciously donate a very expensive purifier that serves the entire floor, or just take care of your small personal bubble with something that you can wear around your neck.
Needless to say, the second option will be incredibly cheaper, and will even work as a conversation starter without accidentally causing you a stiff neck.
The Fresh Air Buddy is light, small, and battery-powered. It can be a lifesaver for those days when you can’t avoid going out and about, even if the pollen count is at an all-time high. You can also place it in your car, set it on 10 minutes before driving somewhere, and simply hop into a vehicle that is already freshly scented and allergy-safe.
Suggested room size: up to 200 square meters
Three-stage filtration, a night light, and a design reminiscent of Alexa’s typical discretion make this an excellent investment that will quickly improve the air quality around you.
LEVOIT has combined a true HEPA filter and a coconut shell carbon filter to provide you with a quiet way to eliminate smells, pet dandruff, dust, and pollen with a single button. Furthermore, the replaceable HEPA filter will last between 6 months to a year before you need to order a new one.
These replacement filters are also remarkably easy to install and offer a nearly plug-and-play experience.
The nightlight can be turned off, and we would actually recommend this for adults, as blue light is not the best for ensuring your sleep quality. However, if you have an asthmatic child in the house, this can prove invaluable for both their health and your peace of mind. The fan offers three speeds and 360-degree coverage.
The Levoit Home Air Purifier weighs a light 6.5 pounds.
Recommended room size: up to 150 square feet
Pint-sized but tank-powered, the Amaircare Roomaid will clean a small space quickly and efficiently with minimal noise.
Weighing in at just 6 pounds, this model also adds portability to its many features: just pick it up and carry it wherever you need to go – no hassle and no sweat. It is also small enough to be kept in your car.
The filter itself removes large and tiny air particles as small as a micron in size. It will also tackle gases, vapors, and diesel exhaust simultaneously if you activate the optional carbon filter.
At low settings, it is also silent enough to let you quickly take a nap while it’s on. It comes with an energy adaptor and an auto adaptor, and can easily be powered by your car’s cigarette lighter. Given that smoking is bad for your lungs, this makes it an even better deal.
Recommended room size: up to 300 square feet for optimal efficiency, but effects are noticeable at up to 600 square feet
The BlueAir Blue Pure is a great, well-rounded air purifier, but it has some extra perks specifically designed for people who leave in fire-prone areas (or who live with a smoker). This is due to its double activated carbon filter, which works simultaneously as the standard HEPA filter. The result is a powerful, though localized, purification process.
The BlueAir also offers four different fan speeds, each one with its own (rather small) amount of noise. Depending on the settings, the noise output will range from 31 to 56 decibels.
Another remarkable perk is the possibility of adding washable pre-filters, which come in a variety of colors. These serve two functions. First, they prolong the life of the HEPA filter. Second, they also affect the way the device looks, which helps you ensure that it will match the room’s existing décor.
The BlueAir Blue Pure weighs 13 pounds.
Recommended room size: up to 400 square feet
This award-winning brand has subjected itself to rigorous university testing to ensure that their product actually impacts the lives of allergy sufferers. As a result, Oransi’s FINN does not disappoint. It is energy efficient and will quickly suck out most pet dander, dust, and mold from any small or mid-sized room.
The elongated build has allowed Oransi to place dual fans and dual pre-filters inside the Finn, which is why this model packs so much muscle for such a small, light device. It also comes with two sets of extra pre-filters and a 10-year warranty, further committing their product to long-term functionality.
Finally, the internal sensors will alert you as soon as it’s time to replace or wash the filter.
You can get all of those features in a package that weighs approximately 10 pounds.
A remarkable high-end option, the Pure Cool Link by Dyson will clean your air from allergens and odors and is the only one on this list that also responds to voice commands. How does it do that? It connects to your Wi-Fi, which allows it to be activated by Alexa or even to be operated from the built-in smartphone app, permitting an easy integration with your existing smart home set up.
As for its purifying abilities themselves, they check all the boxes: pollen, dust, dander, smoke, or any other particles larger than 0.2 microns. The safety casing does not interfere with its potency but renders it safe for homes with small children or animals, covering the fan blades and preventing accidentally chopped fingers.
To round out the package, the Pure Cool link also has a Night Mode, a timer, and oscillation features.
This model falls in the middle of the weight range at approximately 8 pounds.
How to Choose the Right Air Purifier?
The first step is to analyze your needs properly. If you suffer from allergies, it helps if you know exactly what you’re allergic to. Most respiratory allergies are caused by pollen, dust mites, or pet allergens (which may be either their hair or their saliva). For such cases, a HEPA filter is the gold-standard you should seek out.
Ozone and short-wavelength UV air purifiers are incredible for sanitizing the air, killing bacteria, and killing off dust mites (although the corpses left behind will still trigger you). However, they take longer to work and do little about volatile particles. In the case of ozone, they may actually irritate your airways further.
Next, you should analyze the kind of space you are living in. The more potent an air purifier is, the larger a room it can handle. Of course, this will also make it more expensive.
For those of us used to city living, most of our time is spent in rather small spaces, mainly your bedroom or your car. This means that you should be able to get the needed results with an efficient portable air purifier, rather than one designed for an entire open-plan office. Keep in mind that most air purifiers measure cubic feet of air (usually expressed as CFM), rather than square footage. For a standard 8-foot tall ceiling, this works out to be 1,200 cubic feet for a small bedroom or home office of about 150 square feet, or 2,800 cubic feet for a master suite or a living room of about 350 square feet.
Energy efficiency and noise levels are secondary concerns to an air purifier’s their effectiveness, but in the long run, they can make or break your budget and sanity.