If you are asthmatic, allergic to pet hair, dust, smoke or other kind of common home air pollution, then a good air purifier will come in handy. We’ve gone through dozens of them and only picked a few which we have listed here. These are the best air purifiers for allergies caused by dust or smoke.
- 0.1 List Of The Best Air Purifiers For Pet Allergies & Asthma
- 0.2 Honeywell 50250 Air Purifier
- 0.3 What Makes the Honeywell 50250 Air Purifier Stand Out From the Crowd?
- 0.4 Honeywell HFD120Q Tower Air Purifier
- 0.5 IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air Purifier
- 0.6 Austin Air HealthMate
- 0.7 The Austin Air HealthMate – Built to Last
- 1 Alen A350 HEPA Air Purifier
- 2 Blueair 501 Air Purifier
List Of The Best Air Purifiers For Pet Allergies & Asthma
1Honeywell 50250 Air Purifier
2Honeywell HFD120Q Tower Air Purifier
3IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air Purifier
4Austin Air HealthMate
5Alen A350 HEPA Air Purifier
6Blueair 501 Air Purifier
And below is a more detailed guide on each of these air purifiers and why they are the best air purifiers for allergies, smoke and dust removal.
Honeywell 50250 Air Purifier
To kick off our list of the best air purifiers for allergies is this incredible air purifier from Honeywell. It also ranks as one of the best selling air purifiers overall.
What Makes the Honeywell 50250 Air Purifier Stand Out From the Crowd?
As much as our bodies need detoxification, so does the air we breathe everyday. Practically cleaning the air would involve air purifiers that are effective and dependable. The Honeywell 50250 99.97% Pure HEPA Round Air Purifier is well favored by doctors, and is often recommended for use by patients and people who have allergies. These ground- breaking machines clean the air by annihilating potentially harmful toxins that spells out a difference for good health and well-being.
Because of intensifying air pollution, and airborne dust and dirt around the home – the air we breathe can trigger asthma attacks, allergies, rhinitis and all sorts of air-related sicknesses. We have to go back to the basics – breathing in clean air is crucial. Thanks to the innovative Honeywell 50250 HEPA Air Purifier, the air we breathe in our homes can be clean again.
Air Purifier Benefits
The Honeywell 50250 Air Purifier is not just advantageous to people who have chronic respiratory diseases but for everyone who wants to breathe clean, crisp and healthy air again. It also significantly removes unpleasant odors, smoke particles, and absorbs pollen, dust and mold spores present in the air.
When deciding on what kind of air purifier to buy, you will have a variety of features and functions in mind. General features like weight and size, noise level, frequency of filter replacements, and the size of the room are crucial factors to consider. In addition, price, warranty, functionality and efficiency are also noteworthy aspects to consider.
What makes the Honeywell 50250 HEPA Round Air Purifier stand out from other air purifiers in the market? Let’s check out the features and its ability to clean the air in your home:
Weight, Size & Shape
The unit itself is quite compact and measures in at 18 x 18 x 19.6 inches, weighs 21 pounds; making it an easy appliance to move around. The shape is designed in such a way that the 360-degree airflow allows total purifying and cleansing from all sides, one which is multi-directional, making the purifying process more functional, efficient, time and energy saving. The Honeywell 505250 HEPA air purifier runs very quietly and is often overlooked when running.
Its HEPA filtration system is true to form, eradicating 99.97 percent of distinctive and harmful irritants in the air – even those with a miniscule size of 0.3 microns.
Cleaning the filter with a vacuum at least twice a year keeps the filter always functional. The amazing thing about the HEPA filter is there is no need for a replacement. With the filter being made from fiber- glass material, it only takes a quick vacuum to clean it. This means you won’t have to continually buy new filters, unlike many other air purifiers on the market.
Size of the Room
The Honeywell 505250 air purifier is best appreciated when used in larger rooms. It can cover and successfully purify a room as big as 350 square feet. Given this limit, you are assured the Honeywell air purifier can clean your room completely from those harmful substances in the air.
It has a carbon- activated pre-filter that easily removes the odor surrounding the air, obtaining the freshness and cleanliness of the home. As mentioned, it has an electronic intelli-check indicator that sends the signal when to change and clean the filter. It also runs on three speeds, something that you can personally adjust as desired.
The Honeywell 50250 has a very efficient and reliable filtration system. It is capable of filtering and cleaning particles that cannot be seen instantly by the human eye, even as minute as 0.3 microns. It is designed to clean 99.97% of these miniscule particles to maintain a clean and healthy breathing environment.
Honeywell stands out among the rest of the brands, and the 50250 HEPA Round Air Purifier is definitely an innovative device that provides great value for money. Investing in a practical, reliable and helpful air purifier is a necessity for health watchers, also a pre-emptive approach to stay away from air contaminants and breathing naturally clean, fresh and crisp air.
With the purchase of the Honeywell 50250 Pure HEPA Round Air Purifier, you can be assured of a good quality product intended to clean the air for a healthier and more active life. It has an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars from all submitted customer reviews that just proves its reliability and efficacy.
Some general facts of the Honeywell 50250 that users have attested to are:
- “it’s very easy to use”
- “…just right for the budget”
- 360-degree air- flow with three fan speeds and an intelli-check electronic filter change indicator.
- Area Covered : up to 390 square feet
- Filtration : HEPA filter removes airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns
- Filter Material : Glass-fiber (also helps remove viruses and bacteria)
- Pre-Filter : Yes – carbon pre-filter
- Air Flow : 360-degree airflow, 3 speed fan
- Dimensions : 18 by 18 by 19.6 inches
- Weight : 21 pounds
- Clean air delivery rate (CADR):
- Warranty : 5-year limited warranty
The price at less than $200, is one of the most affordable air purifiers available in the market given such remarkable results. This air purifier is covered by a five-year warranty, something that shows quality and durability.
Honeywell HFD120Q Tower Air Purifier
This air purifier works well as a dust remover, and many people like the smell of the air filtered by this unit. Worth a look if you’r’e after a budget air purifier for allergies, dust and smoke.
These machines appeared several years ago, and since then an overwhelming selection of models has been introduced, each trying to differentiate itself from the others in small (and sometimes silly) ways. The real deciding factor, though, is how much stuff each model removes from your air. How much stuff, and what size stuff.
Although the Honeywell HFD120Q Tower HEPAQuiet Air Purifier is labeled as “HEPA-something” by some online retailers, in truth it’s NOT a HEPA filter. It is, however, a pretty decent machine that doesn’t take up too much space and prevents quite a bit of hair and dust from reaching your lungs. It might not do much for your allergies, but it will make your house cleaner. And maybe that’s exactly what you need.
Air dust remover – Yes. Air purifier? Maybe…
I’ll be honest: when I think of Honeywell, I think of a company that produces solutions to problems that don’t really exist. That’s probably an unfair characterization, though, and they really are at least a step above Sharper Image. The Honeywell HFD-120-Q does try to address a real problem: bad stuff in the air. And it does work, to a point. This model will definitely remove dust and debris from your air. The problem is it’s just not strong enough to get to the nitty-gritty, the allergens and VOCs that can really endanger your health and are the main reason most people look for air purifiers to begin with. As a dust remover, though, it’s not a bad little machine. The main features are:
- Three-stage air filtration (electronic, not HEPA)
- Three speeds and oscillating function
- Tall, slim profile fits any room
- Much cheaper than many other consumer air purifiers
Electronic air filter and ionizer
There’s a lot of buzz about ionizing air filters. The idea is to ionize (charge) particles so they clump together and stick to walls, floors, tables, and other easy-to-clean surfaces, removing themselves from the air. It only takes one look at your blackened walls to know that it really works, but the bad part is that all ionizers (even the ones that say they don’t) also create a small amount of ozone, which can be an irritant and toxin in high quantities. If you’re sensitive to ozone, you should avoid these.
The Honeywell HFD-120-Q uses a three-part filter system. The first is a pre-filter that catches big stuff (hair, dust, etc.). The second is an IFD (intense filed dielectric) filter that attracts dirt using static electricity. You know how dust collects on your TV screen? It works like that. They claim that this filter captures 99% of particles 2 microns and larger. That’s dust, pollen, and mold spores. Anything smaller than that (bacteria, smoke, cat and dust allergens) may or may not get trapped. This is definitely not a HEPA filter. The smoking gun is probably the many customers who say that even though they don’t see as much dust, their allergies aren’t much better. Owners of other air purifiers with real HEPA filters like the Blueair 501 and the Alen A350 complain about other stuff, but not this. Finally, the third filter is the ionizer, which is inexplicably outside the electronic filter…
The great part about the filters, though, is that they’re permanent. No buying filters! Just vacuum or rinse them off every couple of weeks or so and put them back in.
Oscillating function = fancy fan
One really nice feature on the Honeywell HFD-120-Q is the oscillating function: it blows air back and forth like a fan. If you typically have a fan going when you’re home, you can replace it with this unit for less dust. It’s also better than other units that shoot air straight out in one direction, which can be drafty. Unfortunately, the fan function is a little strong. It circulates the air well but can get chilly. There are three speeds of which the lowest two are suitable for sleeping and the third can be used when you’re not at home.
Definitely a winning design
Unlike the big, boxy air purifiers that could double as coffee tables were you allowed to put stuff on them, the Honeywell HFD-120-Q is really elegant. It’s tall and slim, perfect for sitting unobtrusively in a corner somewhere. Well, you’re not supposed to put it in a corner, probably because of the wall-blackening ionizing function, but if you’ve got some ugly curtains you don’t care about, you can put it near those and it’ll be out of the way. Even in the middle of the room, it’s not as ugly as, say, the Austin Air HealthMate. Plus it’s so light – 14 pounds – that you can easily tote it around.
Affordable model in an inflated-price market
The Honeywell HFD-120-Q is definitely in the low-end, mass-produced segment of the air purifier market. It’s about a third of the price as the mid-range models; granted, its Clean Air Delivery Rate ratings and cubic foot per minute circulation capacity are about half of those models. So once again, this model is a nice dust collector, but not really an air purifier.
Feedback from other customers
Since the Honeywell HFD-120-Q is such an affordable model, it’s quite popular, especially among folks who would have gone even cheaper with Sharper Image but for the bad press that that company got about its ionizers. By and large, people with serious air quality problems have been frustrated with this model. On the other hand, hundreds of happy customers with less dust and pet hair find nothing to complain about.
- “I do find that I have to clean the filter a couple of times a month rather than once a month, but that may be because I live in the city. Even so, this is a lot cheaper than replacing filters every two weeks, and it is extraordinarily easy to clean the filter for this Honeywell purifier.”
- “When I came in the house from the fresh air outside, there was a horrible smell from the machine. It was like ozone or some chemical smell. I guess from the ionizer. So we will look to return the unit, and hope no damage to our heath has been done.”
- “Bought this to clean air from cigarette smoke. Works great, neighbors can’t smell anything anymore, they were complaining constantly. Easy to wash and clean the filter. Works very quietly.”
- “I was disappointed in this product and sent it back. It was advertised as HEPA but in fact does not have a true HEPA filter. Rather it has a ‘HEPA like’ filter.”
- “I would be bit concerned for the winter time use, since it does create bit of draft even at the lower fan-speed setting. I’ve had the units running for 1 month now, and air quality in each room has gotten better. I do have seasonal allergies so it did help a bit, not a big help.
As you might expect from an inexpensive machine, there are several complaints about quality. Motors start knocking, oscillators start clicking, and have you ever tried getting a mass-market consumer electronics company to honor a warranty? Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a fan that doubles as a dust-remover and makes your home smell kind of chemically clean (lots of people like the smell) and you don’t want to drop a lot of money, the Honeywell HFD-120-Q is the machine for you.
I want to get one!
The Honeywell HFD-120-Q sells for pretty much the same price across the internet and in stores, so it’s only a matter of customer service. Amazon has good customer service and an excellent returns policy, and they ship this model direct (not through third-party vendors).
IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air Purifier
The IQAir HealthPro Plus HEPA Air Purifier is one of the most expensive consumer models on the market, but also worth every penny you spend. It ranks as one of the best air purifiers for allergies for several reasons. With that kind of price, you’d expect a significant improvement over the competing models. And it’s true that this model does have some better features, especially the ability to filter viruses with its HyperHEPA technology. But are these improvements significant or marginal? Unfortunately, when you add everything up, the cost of this unit in relation to its performance doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Double the price = Double the performance?
There are plenty of really good air purifiers on the market for half the price of the IQAir HealthPro Plus, so the million-dollar question is – is the extra expense worth it? Here are the features that the folks at IQAir want you to think push this model over the competition:
- Effective circulation design
- Claims to work in a room up to 900 square feet
- “Hyper HEPA” technology comparable to medical grade
- User-friendly extras like a remote, timer, and filter monitor
As for overall performance, yes, the IQAir HealthPro Plus would probably best its mid-priced competitors in a long-term, head-to-head competition, but you wouldn’t see double the performance. I’d rather buy two cheaper units from different manufacturers and switch those out in different rooms every week rather than drop all that money on a single unit whose performance really doesn’t justify its cost.
Bulky but efficient air delivery
The IQAir HealthPro Plus is a pretty hefty unit – 35 pounds and over two feet tall – but it does circulate the air rather well. The air intake is located on two sides of the unit at the bottom, which is a bit more limited than the Austin Air HealthMate. However, unlike that model, this unit delivers clean air all through vents all around the top, rather than shooting it directly up. Depending on the size and shape of your room, this model might be better designed for you. It’s not as heavy as the HealthMate either, but the optional castors on the IQAir model are kind of sticky and a little difficult to move about.
Covers up to a 900 square foot area… or does it?
The IQAir HealthPro Plus claims to clean air in up to 900 square feet, and this is technically true. Technically, even the smallest air purifier will clean all the air in your entire home given enough time. But can the HealthPro completely cycle all that air multiple times per hour as is recommended? The manufacturer’s website says that this model can cycle 240 cubic feet per minute. In a room that’s 900 square feet with standard 8-foot ceilings, that means that the total volume of air in the room is cycled in 30 minutes, or twice per hour. That’s ok, but it’s not the kind of volume turnover you need. In fact, it’s about the same rating as the Blueair 501 and the Austin Air HealthMate, which recommend smaller areas for maximum air turnover (up to 6 times per hour). So as far as air exchange goes, the IQAir HealthPro does not outperform other, cheaper units.
The air purifier is made from a health perspective and has been one of the best for people with allergies. Regular HEPA filtration must remove 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns from the air. That covers pollen and mold spores, plus large amounts of smaller particles. The IQAir HealthPro Plus supposedly filters up to 99.5% of particles down to 0.003 microns in size, including viruses. It’s hard to make a direct comparison with regular HEPA filters, which don’t provide information on their filtration ability down to 0.003 microns, but the HealthPro Plus does seem to do a better job. If viruses are a concern for you and you can’t find medical-grade HEPA filters for other models, this model might be best.
There are also two other filters in this model: a pre-filter and an activated carbon filter. The pre-filter works to remove large debris to improve the efficiency of your HEPA filter, but there seems to be a problem with the carbon filter. Its job is to remove volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, from the air, including nasty chemicals from carpets, paint, and wood. However, the carbon filters that IQAir provides don’t seem to work very well. Instead of filtering out toxic fumes, they tend to make your room even smellier. The company says that this will only happen the first few hours or days with a new filter, but many customers report smelly filters for months. Some even remove the carbon filter entirely, which really defeats the purpose. The IQAir isn’t the only model with carbon filters, so if VOC filtration is important to you, look around some more.
In addition, filters are quite expensive considering how often they need to be changed. You’ll use 2-4 pre-filters ($69) each year, a HEPA filter ($199) every 1-2 years, and a carbon filter ($99) every 2-4 years. Best case scenario with minimal use over four years: $1049.
Extra features for extra convenience
The IQAir HealthPro Plus does have some nice bonus features, like a timer so you can run the air purifier for a limited time while you’re not at home. It also has a remote control, which is especially convenient if you use this filter as a white noise maker while you’re sleeping. The filter monitor will tell you when it’s time to change the filter(s), and as each filter can be changed separately, you only need to change the dirty one.
What do other people think?
The IQAir HealthPro Plus isn’t extremely popular because of the steep price, and because the people who actually purchase it must have good reasons to be paying top dollar, they probably have higher expectations. Nevertheless, this model did earn 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon – not excellent, but not bad either. I’ve described the most commonly reported problems above, but here are some evaluates that real customers have given:
- Like any HEPA filter, it may or may not work. The unit, though noisy, is attractive; it may make you happy. But be prepared to spend much more than you may think on filter replacement.
- So overall, the product delivers. It is expensive yes, but you are not going to buy something like this every month or year so you might as well invest in the best product there is for your health.
- Everyone who walks into the house comments on how light the air seams. There is literally no dander in the air that I can detect. This worked so well I got another one just for our bedroom, and I have never slept so well in my life.
- This filter is costly but it does work and without ozone generation. The main drawback is the noise. Any perceptible noise is a shortcoming for me, especially since this kind of filter (portable room type) can only work if it is kept nearby.
How can I get one?
The IQAir HealthPro Plus bills itself as a top-of-the-line model, and you’re going to pay for that – and you’ll also need to buy replacement filters each year. If you want the best filtration possible and price is no option then click the link below to buy this air purifier.
Austin Air HealthMate
The Austin Air HealthMate is a well designed, solidly built unit. It’s long life filter makes this a great choice for allergies, dust and smoke – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
The Austin Air HealthMate – Built to Last
Air purifier units aren’t overcomplicated devices with tens of options, which makes them relatively easy to shop for. There are only a handful of features that you have to consider: price (including unit and filters), filter quality, noise, and circulation for your particular situation. Although these gadgets have been around a while, there aren’t any clear winners in the field that have proven themselves the best year over year. However, the Austin Air line of air purifiers might be a contender for that title in the future. These sturdy units use a four-stage filter designed to last for five years, and the mid-sized HealthMate is very reasonably priced with appropriate power and noise level for all-day home use.
Solid, long-lasting unit for a nice price
The Austin Air HealthMate isn’t the most expensive air purifier on the market by far, but it’s still a significant investment. The initial cost more than makes up for itself, however, because of the extremely long life of the filter. You can practically plug this unit in and forget about it for years. Other features that make this model a popular customer choice are:
- Solid, well-built frame for durability and long life
- Good selection of speeds with acceptable noise levels
- Four-stage filtration with up to five years of use
- Well-designed air intake and delivery system for maximum circulation
Combination of strength and portability
The Austin Air HealthMate is a whopping 45 pounds. No one should expect to be able to tote this air purifier around from room to room on a regular basis. However, the weight is not necessarily a bad thing. For one, it’s a solid square frame, and your kids and large pets are going to have a tough time tipping it over. There’s also a really solid motor inside, which is good for two reasons: it’ll last a long time, and when it does eventually go out, you’ll find that repairing a heavy-duty machined motor is a lot easier than trying to fix a fidgety, high-tech, ultra lightweight design. Of course, by then you’ll have used this unit for so long that you might as well just buy a new one. Anyway, all that weight comes nicely balanced on four castors, which are a cinch to move as long as you’re not going up stairs.
Three speed levels with no jet-engine noise
Although the Austin Air HealthMate doesn’t have as many speed levels as the Alen A350, it does offer more air delivery for fewer decibels. There are three speed levels on the HealthMate, and although the highest level is uncomfortably loud if you’re in the same room, the middle level is just quiet enough to be able to watch a movie with the sound up, or to use as white noise while sleeping. The lowest level, although not as silent as the Blueair 501, is just fine for having a conversation or doing any other daily activity. Even kids will be fine with this level of white noise as night.
Four-part, five-year filter
The Austin Air HealthMate uses one of the most advanced filters of all consumer air purifiers. With a total of four filters, allergens, odors, and even germs don’t stand a chance. Two separate pre-filters remove large debris like hair and dust and filter out particles down to 1 micron in size, including pollen and mold spores. Finally, air is forced through 60 feet of medical grade HEPA filter to eliminate 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size, including bacteria and viruses. What’s more, there’s no ionizer in the HealthMate, which eliminates the possibility that your air purifier will produce any ozone, a toxin and irritant commonly produced by ionizing air filters.
As for odors, the HealthMate takes care of those too. An activated carbon filter captures volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. VOCs are chemicals that can come from organic sources like mold, and substances like formaldehyde and acetone that emanate from carpet, treated wood, smoke, and other household and environmental sources. However, this isn’t just a fish-tank carbon filter. The Austin Air HealthMate uses 15 pounds of carbon for the ultimate anti-chemical, anti-odor air delivery.
All this filtration stuff seems expensive, and it is. A replacement filter will set you back about $200. The good news is that under “normal” residential use, Austin Air guarantees the filter to last for five years. Even with constant use, customers report that their filters last up to two years. If you add up all the filters you have to buy for other machines, every six months or even more frequently depending on use, the HealthMate makes a lot more sense financially.
360-degree intake and focused air delivery
The Austin Air HealthMate takes in air from all sides through the base of the unit. All delivered air is forced through the filter, and the clean air stream comes out of the top of the unit. With no cross-flow between incoming and outgoing air, you’re guaranteed to get maximum circulation throughout the room so that every square inch of air will get cycled through the machine. Since the air purifier is on wheels, you can easily move it to the center of the room for a super-fast clean-up, and then move it back into a more unobtrusive area for continuous air cycling.
What are other people saying?
The Austin Air HealthMate is pretty popular with customers, and those who decide to purchase this model rather than other models almost always end up pleased with their purchases. This model consistently earns 4 to 5 out of 5 stars around various internet sites, including Amazon. Here are some reports from customers:
- “The item itself, when it is working, is excellent. I would recommend it, as the best air purifier on the market. I recently purchased another air purifier, so now we have one on each floor. We are breathing much better!”
- “We keep it on medium, and I don’t notice the sound. It’s certainly no louder than our AC unit, which we also have going. All in all, a worthwhile purchase that has definitely made our lives easier.”
- “Yes, this air purifier is expensive. At the same time, it does an excellent job dealing with pet dander and regional allergens in my case. If you use it normally you won’t have a yearly filter to purchase.”
- “I keep it on all the time. When I’m at the studio, I have it set to the lowest setting and I find it’s fairly quiet at that setting. When I leave for the day I turn it on full blast.”
- “I can honestly say that this unit has made such a huge difference. It has eliminated dust and all odors, and the air smells totally fresh and clean. The unit itself is quiet and unobtrusive and moves easily anywhere you need it to go. We leave it running 24/7 and have not seen a big jump in electric bills.”
There are a handful of complaints that pop up on a regular basis, but most of these are easy to address. For one, the unit can lose power after only a few weeks of running. This is usually because the outside filter is clogged. Whenever you vacuum your floors, give the unit a quick once-over to keep it running at full power. Another complaint is that Austin’s in-house repair service is quite expensive. Fortunately, there’s no need to use it. Replacement parts can be found cheap on the internet, and your local repair shop can take care of it from there.
Alen A350 HEPA Air Purifier
This air purifier is an ever popular choice amongst consumers, and we think this is a good choice for budget vs performance. It also ranks as one of the best air purifiers for allergies and dust removal.
The Ever Popular Alen A350 HEPA Air Purifier
You probably have allergies or asthma, or know someone who does. How do I know this? Because so many people in the modern world have allergies or asthma. We’ve brought this on ourselves with all of our antibacterial craziness, but that’s not the point. The thing is that if you’re at the point where medications and plastic sheets and hardwood floors aren’t working anymore, you need an air purifier. They’re real, not gimmicks. Well, some are gimmicks, so in a field rife with vaguely scientific claims and supposed technological advances, you have to separate the real from the fake.
Here’s a real one: the Alen A350 HEPA Air Purifier. Even if HEPA filtration were the only thing it had going for it, it would be a good deal. But it’s got a few other really nice features too that make it a high value
Great multipurpose mid-sized air purifier
The Alen A350 stacks up to be a solid mid-range HEPA air purifier for use in a variety of closed environments. It’s not the smallest or the quietest model on the market, but it’s perfectly suitable for use even while sleeping, and it’s small enough to be moved from room to room. Some of the features that make the Alen A350 such a consumer-friendly model are:
- Three-stage filter including true HEPA for particle and VOC collection
- On/off ionizer gives an extra option for those who want it
- Four speed settings and a 12-hour timer for versatility
- Easy to use with dust level indicator and simple buttons
Three separate filters for maximum air purity
There simply isn’t any substitute for HEPA filtration, and the Alen A350 has got it. HEPA filters clean 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 micrometer from the air. That includes particles such as pollen, mold spores, bacteria, and most dust mite and animal allergens, as well as a large portion of dust, smog, and smoke. Particles that are smaller than 0.3 microns can also be caught with up to 99% efficiency. You can literally see the difference after using a HEPA filter.
But the Alen A350 doesn’t just have HEPA. It also has a washable pre-filter that will eliminate many of the larger particles – ash, dust, and such – from ever hitting the HEPA filter, thus increasing its life and efficiency. Rather than replacing your HEPA filter every three months, you can wash the pre-filter more frequently and replace the HEPA filter twice a year. Alen also included an activated carbon filter to eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. This filter not only eliminates odors, but it also takes toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and acetone out of the air.
With all three filters, this model has one of the best factory-installed filter systems of any air purifier. The Clean Air Delivery Rate rating for this model is rather low – dust 217, smoke 201, and pollen 216 – but since these ratings can’t measure the effect of the pre-filter or the activated carbon, I wouldn’t put too much stock in these numbers alone.
Option to ionize
There’s a lot of debate about ionizing air purifiers. Theoretically, they’re supposed to create charged air molecules that attach to particles and attract them to grounding surfaces – walls and floors – for easy removal. They do work, but depending on the air circulation in your house, they might not be effective. What’s more, all ionizers without exception produce at least a little ozone, which is toxic at high concentrations. The Alen A350 claims that its ionizer doesn’t produce ozone, and it seems that the ozone production is indeed too low to easily detect. However, for folks who are still worried about it, Alen gives you another choice: just turn the ionizer off!
Flexible speed and timer options
The Alen A350 is pretty versatile when it comes to options for use. There’s a convenient 12-hour timer to avoid leaving the fan on the whole time you’re not at home, and there are four speeds to choose from. At the lowest speed, the unit is quiet enough to watch TV, have a conversation, and sleep. Level 2 steps up quite a bit, but many people enjoy the noise level – if you need or prefer white noise when sleeping, this unit gives you steady noise and clean air at the same time. Levels 3 and 4 are really too loud to be in the same room, but they’re great for clearing out a smoky room or a smelly kitchen.
The Alen A350 is about 16 pounds, which is just light enough to be able to take from room to room. However, it is also wall mountable if you prefer. It works best in 400 square feet (which is a pretty big space) but can be used in spaces twice that large at reduce capacity. There are separate buttons to control the fan speed, the timer, and the ionizer; the digital display also has a filter life indicator. In addition to all of that, you can sign up for Alen’s automatic filter shipment program to have filters shipped to your home regularly on a schedule that you choose. You can just plug your purifier in and forget about it until the next filter comes in the mail. (You’ll forget about it anyway, so you might as well schedule those filter shipments now.) There are also several different types of filters to choose from based on your needs.
There are dozens of reviews from customers about the Alen A350, and most of them are quite positive. This air purifier earns 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and 4.5 out of 5 stars on several other consumer retail sites. Customers praise the efficiency and the overall air quality that this unit produces in a short time.
- “The Alen A350 is a fantastic product that really works to keep the inside air free of the stuff that keeps me up at night. There is a noticeable difference in the air quality when the A350 is on.”
- “The amount of ‘white dust’ that the unit collects on the pre-filter is amazing. Glad we’re not breathing that anymore!”
- “This was not an inexpensive air purifier, but I would highly recommend this product to anyone with allergies or any kind of mold spore problem. We are VERY pleased with this purchase.”
- “The build quality appears quite good, and the fit between the filter element and the housing is nice and tight, which is critical for the unit to be effective. The A350 takes a single, large filter element which is easy to replace.”
- “The setup it very easy, it runs very quiet (we keep it on speed 2 while we’re in the room, and speed 3 while we’re out and asleep), and it’s worked wonders on our dusty apartment. If we have people over, we can put it down to level 1 and you can’t even hear it on.”
There are a few consistent complaints. The noise of levels 3 and 4 is one example. Another example is that there are quite a few defective units, although customers praise Alen customer service for their responsiveness and willingness to talk customers through minor adjustments or replace the units immediately. But for the most part, it seems that as long as you don’t happen to get a defective unit, there’s almost nothing to complain about.
Blueair 501 Air Purifier
To close down our list of the best air purifiers for allergies is yet another incredible purifier by blueair. Customers say that this air purifier makes a noticeable difference in their homes, and generally recommend it as a good quality unit. A HEPA filter combined with ionizing filtration make the Blueair 501 a good choice.
The Blueair 501 Air Purifier Really Cleans Up
With all that talk about smog and acid rain, indoor air quality is something that we used to take for granted. Now we know that with all the chemicals we use to build our homes, these places of refuge are actually making us sick. There’s a solution – air purification units – but after the Sharper Image case, people became more cautious about buying these machines. How can you tell a good model from an ineffective one? Which of these competing technologies actually works?
Well, there is an industry standard, and it’s called the Clean Air Delivery Rate. Although it’s not a perfect system, it’s a decent high-level way to compare air purification units as far as their ability to remove a select range of particles from the air. The company Blueair produces purification units that consistently score very high CADR ratings, and with a wide range of models and prices to choose from, there’s probably one to fit your needs. In fact, the Blueair 501 Air Purifier is nicely sized – and priced – to be the main air purifier for a home. It has a unique design that you can use pretty much anywhere, and it really is quiet enough to use all the time on almost any setting.
Top-Notch Air Purifier at a Good Price
Blueair consistently receives some of the highest ratings for air purifiers, and while the Blueair 501 isn’t quite in the same league as its most efficient (and expensive model), it makes a really great showing compared to other models in its price class. Some of the features that set this unit apart are:
- 270-degree air delivery system for maximum circulation
- Two-stage HEPA filters particles down to 0.1 micron wide
- Enclosed ionizer for extra filtration without the ozone
- Very reasonable noise levels from different speeds
SurroundAir System for Total Coverage
The Blueair 501 combines the best features of a 360-degree unit and a wall-mounted unit. It sucks air from the floor like a 360-degree unit, so you can place it anywhere in a room to take advantage of the best air circulation. But instead of sending out clean air in all directions, it does so in an arc along the top and two sides. This makes it ideal for use either in a central location or against a wall, behind low furniture, or in a variety of other spots where you can’t put a 360-degree model. With intake and outflow from a variety of angles, there’s a lot of air being exchanged without a windy draft.
Environmental Friendly HEPA Filters
The Blueair 501, like any effective air purifier system, uses HEPA filtration, which specifies the removal of 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns in size. Blueair’s special HEPA filters go even further than that, removing that percentage of particles down to 0.1 microns in size. That means that more animal dander, dust mite allergens, and smog and smoke are removed from the air than with a regular HEPA filter. Smokestop filter kits are available with activated carbon to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like smoke and formaldehyde, and Blueair offers a six month filter subscription program so you don’t have to keep track of your filter changes.
Safer Ionizing Filtration
Ionizing air purifiers can significantly reduce the amount of airborne particles in your home, but they can also introduce variable amounts of ozone, which isn’t something you want to breathe in large amounts. The Blueair 501, however, employs a smart enclosed ionizing filter. The incoming particles are ionized before being sent through the HEPA filters. This increases the amount of particles that are attracted to and trapped within the filters while keeping the amount of ozone produced very low. It’s a really effective system. In fact, the Blueair 501 has one of the highest Clean Air Delivery Rate ratings within its price range: dust 390, smoke 380, and pollen 390.
Range of Speeds with Tolerable Noise Levels
The Blueair 501 offers a nice range of four fan settings so you can balance you need for clean air with your need to carry on a conversation. The great thing about the 501′s fan settings, though, is that almost all of them can be used while you’re actually in the room. The lowest setting is utterly silent, and settings two and three are quite tolerable. Setting three can be used for white noise and filtration in a bedroom at night. The top level is too loud to abide for long periods of time, but since you’ll only ever need it during the initial cleaning phase and for period clean-outs after that, one loud setting isn’t anything to complain about.
The Blueair 501 has received positive feedback from all corners; it’s earned 4.5 out of 5 stars across internet review sites, including Amazon.
- “It runs quiet, it moves huge volumes of air and the filters are obviously doing their job. My allergies have subsided to a point where I no longer take meds!”
- “‘Quiet and efficient’ was what we were hoping for, and we got it. This unit uses half the electricity of my previous, much smaller air cleaners, and it is whisper quiet with four speed control.”
- “My blue air 501 looks are very stylish with modern day design; it enhances the area being used in. The operation of unit is delightful and quiet as promoted to be.”
- “I dusted in the master bedroom which gets the most dust (8 windows alone) and let this puppy go. Oh there was still dust after a two week period but then I dusted again and turned it off….the room was caked in dust so this purifier is definitely doing some heavy duty work.”
- “I was skeptical since no other air purifier has done me a bit of good, but just a few days after plugging it in I noticed a difference. The air seemed fresher. I wasn’t sneezing all the time, my eyes weren’t burning, and I actually felt at home in my own home for the first time since I moved in.”
One complaint that comes up regularly is that there is no pre-filter in this model, or in any Blueair model, so when you change the filters you have to vacuum inside the unit to remove built-up clogs of large debris (hair etc) from the grills. If this is a big concern, it might be possible to rig up an air conditioning filter or even a mesh screen on the underside of the unit to act as a pre-filter. Then again, vacuuming only takes three minutes.