The Best Indoor Air Purifiers

zen vida The Best Indoor Air Filters

Air purifiers, at their core, consist of basic components—a fan and a filter. However, a well-designed purifier can effectively capture nearly all airborne allergens, ranging from pollen and mold spores to bacteria, viruses, and smoke.

Over the past nine years, we’ve conducted tests on more than 50 air purifiers, and our findings consistently highlight the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty as the standout choice. This exceptional purifier possesses the power to efficiently cover large rooms, operates quietly enough for use near sleeping areas, boasts a durable design for long-lasting performance, and remains cost-effective for use in multiple rooms.

In a real-world scenario, the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty demonstrated its prowess by reducing heavy smoke pollution in a New York City office by an impressive 99.6% within just 30 minutes. This level of performance is on par with other top-tier machines and has been consistently replicated in various test spaces. Pushing the machine beyond its recommended usage, including running its filters continuously for two years—twice the recommended duration—did not compromise its efficacy. This air purifier stands out for its excellent value in both initial and long-term costs, and its compact design, quiet operation, and display-light shutoff feature make it particularly suitable for bedroom use.

Coway Airmega AP 1512HH MightyThe Coway Airmega 200M shares virtually identical features with the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty in all essential aspects. They exhibit equivalent noise levels and performance metrics, offer interchangeable filters, and provide the convenience of turning off display lights. The main physical distinction is the 200M’s square grille, as opposed to the round one found in the AP-1512HH Mighty. If the 200M’s aesthetics appeal to you or it comes at a more favorable price, we recommend considering it.

On the particulate air pollution front, the Winix 5500-2 stands out, capturing an impressive 99.9% of smoke in our test room within just 30 minutes on the highest setting. However, we lean towards the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty due to its lower energy consumption, more compact visual footprint, and the added convenience of a manual display-shutoff feature. The Winix 5300-2 is available at potentially lower prices, and delivers comparable performance, even though it lacks some of the features of the 5500-2. We’ve consistently observed strong results with every other Winix model we’ve tested, including the AM80 and the Wi-Fi-enabled AM90.

The Blueair Blue Pure 311 Auto shares similarities in functionality with the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty, Coway Airmega 200M, and Winix machines. It boasts remarkably quiet operation, excellent energy efficiency, and a control panel that automatically dims after adjustments. Additionally, it features an aesthetically pleasing design with a tweed-like, washable cover available in several muted colors. However, there are two minor drawbacks: the air-quality indicator lamp, a bright blue LED, turns off only at the lowest setting, and the company recommends replacing filters every six months, leading to higher yearly replacement costs compared to other models.

Levoit’s Vital 200S demonstrated performance on par with the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty in our tests, exhibiting similarities in energy efficiency, noise levels, and the ability to turn off the display while maintaining a chosen fan setting. As a new release (January 2023), the Vital 200S is yet to undergo long-term testing.

Blueair Blue Pure 211+The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ outperforms our other picks by filtering more air per hour, making it quicker to achieve and sustain low particulate levels in larger spaces up to 650 square feet, especially those with open floor plans or high ceilings. Despite its higher combined upfront and running costs (approximately $1,150 over five years), it is comparable to most other large-space purifiers. In our testing, the Blue Pure 211+ proved to be an exceptional performer, combining quiet operation with an attractive design.

For spaces around 200 square feet or less, the Levoit Core 300 Levoit Core 300stands out as a reliable and budget-friendly purifier. It delivered impressive results in our tests, reducing particulates by over 97% in a 135-square-foot New York City office within 30 minutes on the high setting and over 92% on medium. The Core 300 is compact and attractive, measuring just 14.5 inches tall and 8.5 inches in diameter. While it is the most economical upfront among our picks and includes a display shutoff feature, it falls short in energy efficiency and may struggle in larger rooms compared to our other recommendations.