As my allergies worsen, and fall begins to reach its peak, my throat has grown increasingly dry—to the point of incessant coughing unless I have the air conditioning on to clear out the air. The only problem is, it’s fucking frigid outside and I’d rather not couple the cold weather with a lower temperature indoors. Thus, I asked our beloved readers earlier in the week for their recommendations of the best air purifiers, taking into account HEPA certifications—whether or not they meet the gold standard, performance, functionality, and range. Per the original post:
Where the Honeywell HPA300 covers over 450 square feet, this cheaper model from Bissell is limited to smaller rooms, maxing out at around 100 square feet. Moreover, some air purifiers are more versatile, like the Dyson Hot + Cool, which not only keeps the air clean and your nostrils free from allergens and bacteria, but also lowers or raises the temperature depending on your needs.
With that in mind, I asked and y’all came through with the answers. Not all were the answers I was looking for, mind you; if Kinja user dmay1 is to be believed, “[Air purifiers] are all snake oil to a certain extent.”
Depending on the size of the room you are working in, no consumer level purifier can move enough air through [its] filter to make a significant impact on air quality, especially if the room has a lot of people moving in and out, like a classroom or office. – dmay1
Disagreeing with dmay’s claims, Marlor argued, “We had horrendous bushfire smoke here in Australia last year. And no matter what we did, it would still seep through the windows and doors. I’m pretty sensitive to smoke, so I had red, itchy eyes and a dry throat pretty much constantly. So we bought an air purifier with a ‘Clean Air Delivery Rate’ of around 300 m³/h, put it in the bedroom, closed the door, and it made a world of difference. When you left the room, you’d be hit by the stench of smoke.”
Depending on how much coverage your circumstances necessitate, you may need to buy at least one for each room that needs its air purifier. The best air purifier, ideally, filters through pollen, smoke, dust, and pet dandruff, promoting clean air throughout even larger rooms. That said, most are not built to accommodate wide-open spaces or entire homes. Expectations in check, let’s take a look at the air purifier units you suggested and others nominated in order to help yours truly (and my wife) breathe easy once again. Winter is coming, but in the meantime, I’d really like my sense of smell back.
Germ Guardian AC4825W | $83 | Amazon
I’ve got a couple “Germ Guardian” air purifiers. The difference in the models I have [is that they] are rated for different sized rooms. But they seem to work great. Especially in the room with cat litter boxes, [where it] knocks down the dust and helps with odor. I have [an] AC4825E (large) and an AC4100 (small) – EyeBreakThings
Levoit LV-PUR131S | $190 | Amazon
Relatively quiet for the amount of airflow. Has the right number of fan levels. Has [Auto Mode] based on air quality. Can be completely used without the “smart” [functions]. Has air quality monitor and display on unit and app. Alexa compatible. HEPA. Cleans air well. – MrEdofCourse
IQAir HealthPro Plus | $899 | Amazon
Pros: Nothing is better at cleaning the air.
Cons: Not smart. It’s large and heavy, but comes with optional wheels.
Our Levoits are used normally, and I’ll wheel out the IQAir when it’s “Blade Runner” smoke levels in the SF Bay Area. – MrEdofCourse
Dyson Pure Hot + Cool | $499 | Amazon
So, I am thrifty and bought two refurb Dysons this past year from their eBay store. I have both the HP01 and the HP02. I think there are newer versions of this unit as well, but of the two, I like the HP02 slightly better. I didn’t know why I needed a [Wi-Fi-]connected air purifier, but the “auto” function is pretty nifty (it turns on automatically when it detects a certain degree of pollutants in the air). It works well as a heater too both in my living room and bedroom. At most settings it’s not very loud, so overall I’m pretty pleased. – Jared Lee
Bissell Air 220 | $230 | Amazon
Great design. Intuitive controls. Automatic nighttime dimming mode. Good for up to 800 square feet. Very reliable.
Bissell often flies under the radar in the vacuum wars because they don’t have stunning industrial design showcases like Dyson. What you can’t see in their designs is how rugged they are. I’ve had the same Bissell vacuum for almost  years and aside from some scratches, it works as well as the day we got it. The Bissell Air 220 takes that same rugged design ethos for an air purifier. It’s also super simple to maintain. There are two filters to be replaced periodically depending on air quality, but even with bad air, they last a long time. – louispasteur