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Every spring, lots of people's allergies ramp up and they spend a few weeks constantly congested. But pollen filtration is just one of many features offered by air purifiers, along with the ability to capture particulates ranging from wildfire smoke and dust to airborne bacteria and COVID-19 virus particles.
So with the overwhelming number of devices on the market, all advertising various filtration methods, how do you find the best one?
We've extensively researched the field of products, tested the extra features on a dozen of the most popular models, interviewed various experts in the field of indoor air quality and written up the definitive list of the best air cleaners around. Ready to buy an air purifier? Look no further.
Best overall air purifier: Blueair Pure 411
CNET TAKE: The Blueair Pure 411 is a simple, straightforward purifier with smart design and solid bang for your buck. You get particle and carbon filtration (which removes odors and gaseous pollutants) that will work well in a 160-square-foot room, all for $120. Some devices, like Sharp's Air Purifier, don't even offer that much cleaning power at nearly twice the price.
The Blueair has different colored prefilter sleeves for the outside of the device, so it will fit into almost any color palette, and its single-button interface is as intuitive as it gets. The device is also light, with middle-of-the-road noise production. Besides the noise, the only real downside is the lack of extra goodies, like timer buttons.
Best air purifier for large spaces: Honeywell Home HPA300
CNET TAKE: Honeywell's $250 air purifier is a little more expensive than other HEPA models, but it can cover a larger space than almost any other purifier we tested: 465 square feet. Despite its clunky design (this thing weighs a hefty 21 pounds), the Honeywell Home is actually one of the quieter models around.
The Home's aesthetic isn't our favorite, but you get good control for setting timers and checking whether the prefilter or filter needs replacing. If you're looking for great basic performance for a reasonable price, you can't beat the Honeywell Home.
Best air purifier design: Coway AP1512HH HEPA Air Purifier
CNET TAKE: Coway's air purifier falls between the Blueair and Honeywell models above in both price and the size of the room it can cover, but its unique design and ion filtration technology set it apart from those. The Coway can filter air for rooms up to 361 square feet, and its striking, retro design was one of our favorites among the devices we tested.
While the ionic filtration technology isn't a huge plus, it also won't produce significant ozone, as tested by the California EPA. If you want an air purifier for a midsize room, Coway's purifier is one of the best options around with one of the most adventurous looks.
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