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With Covid-19 cases rising due to the super transmissible JN.1 variant, you’re most likely doing what you can to stay safe. Whether you’re looking for an easy way to make your work-from-home office a little more comfortable, or breathe a little easier in high-traffic home spaces like the kitchen, air purifiers are the way to go. They may even be able to help when it comes to viral circulation in the air indoors.

The best air purifiers for viruses can go a long way towards helping clear out and eliminate dangerous airborne germs and bacteria from the air. The CDC says air purifiers “can help prevent virus particles from accumulating in the air in your home”. This is particularly important when you can’t crack open a window during the cold winter months to get that air ventilation flowing around the house.

While currently, there haven’t been any air purifiers tested directly against the Covid-19 virus, most top-rated models will have efficient filters capable of capturing those pesky, tiny airborne particles similar to those that cause coronavirus. This has the added advantage of really giving your household air a good cleaning during general flu and allergy season. Read on for our guide to the top air purifiers for viruses, based on 4.0+ star-rated products from trusted brands.

In This Article

What Are the Best Air Purifiers for Covid

Can an Air Purifier Protect Against Covid?

Buying Guide: How We Picked the Best Air Purifiers for Covid

What Are the Best Purifiers for Covid?

Looking for an easy and effective way to eliminate virus-causing germs and bacteria from your air? These are some of the best air purifiers for viruses to buy online. We chose our top picks based on factors such as HEPA filtration, clean air delivery rate, and any extra ioniser/plasma/UV purification, aka disinfecting add-ons.

BEST OVERALL: IQAir HealthPro Compact 

BEST FEATURES: Coway Airmega IconS

BEST VALUE: Winix 5500-2

BEST WITH FAN: Dyson Purifier Cool TP09

BEST QUIET OPERATION: Blueair Blue Pure 211i Max

BEST WITH UV LIGHT: LG AeroTower Air Purifying Fan

BEST PORTABLE: Westinghouse Portable Air Purifier

1. IQAir HealthPro Compact 

Amazon

This IQAir HealthPro purifier easily gives the biggest cleaning punch to any home. The Swiss brand has been been in the air purification business since 1963, and the HyperHEPA filter in this purifier has been independently verified to capture ultra-fine particles that are ten times smaller than a virus. The company says recent testing showed that it can remove 99.5% of particles as small as 0.003 microns (about 1/4 the size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and influenza particles, so quite useful for cold and flu season, too).

While the FDA hasn’t verified these claims yet, the results suggest that IQAir’s air cartridge could, at the very least, be an effective way to capture and filter out pathogens similar in size to the coronavirus, especially with airborne transmission being the main way Covid-19 infections happen. Not to mention, it’s powerful enough for spaces up to 1,240 square feet, which is clutch for larger households or hosting safer gatherings.

The added activated carbon filter gives it an extra advantage in addition to warding off germs and viruses, as it can capture VOCs and other microorganisms. If you live an area where smoke and forest fires are common, the purifier’s three-speed blower can also help remove noxious odors and chemicals from the air. It doesn’t have the sleekest design, or any smart functionality, but it does the job with pure, clean power.

Promising Customer Feedback: “Adding a second one to our home. If you are considering one of these, here is why this is better than other options: it’s not a HEPA filter, it’s 100x better. This is 99.5% of particles down to .003 microns. That’s all the difference in the world. We sleep better, snore less, dust less — heck, when the sunlight streams in some window you can see how clean the air is. It reduces allergies and even filters viruses.” —William

2. Coway Airmega IconS

Coway

Coway’s sleek and stylish air purifier that debuted at CES 2022 is truly the future of smart home upgrades, delivering the the same stellar cleaning performance, only a little smarter.

You’ll get the same three-stage filtration process that Airmega line is known for, except the company claims this model’s filter can capture up to 99.999% of nano-sized particles down to 0.001 microns (that’s even smaller than most allergens, bacteria, and viruses). That’s a huge upgrade, but what’s an even bigger upgrade are the added features.

The IconS will be the first air purifier with a wireless charging station — located on top, the platter can charge up your smartphone or other Qi-enabled device. The air purifier will also be compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and an energy-saving air quality monitor adjusts the fan speed to match the air quality in your room.

Coway says the Airmega IconS can cover up to a whopping 700 square feet of space, making it great for a main living room small apartment. We like the gorgeous modern design, which also happens to be water and stain-repellent. 

Promising Customer Feedback: “I have severe asthma. A family member who has cystic fibrosis recommended this particular model to me. I was very ill with all the wildfire smoke, and the hotter temperatures have kept me indoors with the AC running. If the machine detects any changes to the air quality, the bar turns green as it filters the air. One day a neighbor down the block was mowing and it picked up that change, — it filtered the air, then it turned blue. I can’t put a price on the improvement in my air quality. I even sleep better!” —maryc

3. Winix 5500-2

Amazon

The Winix 5500-2 is a filtration powerhouse, and while it may not have the most “smart” bells and whistles, its unique method of breaking down odors, allergens, and other pollutants makes it an excellent choice in our books.

With a four-stage filtration system that uses a HEPA filter (recommended for filtering particles like Covid-19) for eliminating 99.97% of airborne allergens as small as 0.3 microns, a pre-filter for large particles, and a carbon filter for odors, the standout, though, is the plasma filter. Winix says its “PlasmaWave” technology safely eliminates pollutants without any harmful ozone.

What you won’t find: voice commands, app control, or any superfluous features, but that’s the way we like it. It does have a handy smart sensor that gauges the air quality and adjusts accordingly, as well as a sleep mode for energy-efficient nighttime operation. Combined with a manual timer and filter status update lights, this minimalist air cleaner is a worthwhile buy for a reason. 

Promising Customer Feedback: “Very impressive appliance. After it was delivered, I ran it for a few days and wanted to know, for sure, this thing actually worked. I purchased a little PM 2.5 meter, that not only allows me to see how much particulate matter was in the air, but also the smaller PM particulates to down to .3um/L. Closed up the room, turned it on full blast and let it do its thing. Within just minutes, I watched (in real time) the numbers drop for the smallest (.3 micron) particulates go from over 500 down to 250, down to 100, and then bottom out at around 20 or so. For .5 microns, those will hover around 5 or so, and for 1.0 micron, it was usually only 1. Nothing registered for 2.5 microns, unless I made lots of dust deliberately. So, YES! This actually works!” —Richard Gross

4. Dyson Purifier Cool TP09

Dyson

The Dyson Purifier Cool TP09 isn’t just a regular air purifier — it’s a cool air purifier, quite literally doubling as a cooling fan when it’s not working overtime as an expertly-designed bacteria-eliminator. Frequently sold out, this popular Dyson model recently got a major upgrade in the form of a sensor that detects and eliminates formaldehyde from from your carpets and rugs.

When it comes to everyday filtration, the Purifier Cool TP09’s HEPA H13 filter is also 99.95% effective at removing particles down to 0.1 micron, and 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns. To prevent these pollutants from leaking back into the air, the body is also fully sealed, so what goes inside stays inside.

But what we love is the unique design, which Dyson says projects out powerful circulation so it can capture and draw in air that purifies all the far corners of your room. The same design can cool you down when needed with fan that runs 77 gallons of air through per second.

With additional smart capabilities like hands-free voice control and air quality monitoring on the app, the Dyson Purifier Cool TP09‘s versatility is still unmatched.

Promising Customer Feedback: “We used to deal with allergies and asthma in the house but those days are over. The air in the house now just smells better. There is so much less dust and pollen in the house. It clears smells from food and the stove so fast. My favorite feature is the real time air quality and data tracking it provides. I check the app regularly and it helps with peace of mind that the air quality is where it should be. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a quality air purifier and I would buy this again.” —Andrew1

5. Blueair Blue Pure 211i Max

When Blueair isn’t specializing in clearing your space out of pet hair and dander, the exceptionally silent performance combined with an intuitive auto mode of their Blue Pure 211i Max means you’ll barely notice when its running — but the air quality around your home will let you know its getting the job done right.

Using electrostatic filtration, the Blue Pure 211i Max works with the particle filter to remove 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron, like pollen, dust, and most importantly, viruses​. When tested against particles from wildfires (where are larger, often 2.5 microns), the special fabric pre-filter could also remove up to 99% of them within 60 minutes.

This combination of filters makes it remarkably quiet, cleaning the air with a sound level equivalent to a soft whisper (23-53 dB). You’ll also get all the power of a top air purifier in one energy-saving package, since it runs up to 40% more efficiently than standard models. That’s pretty noteworthy given it’s high clean air delivery rate — it can refresh a 1,524 square foot space in 30 minutes, or a 635 square foot room in just 12.5 minutes on high.

While the auto mode can adjust to real-time conditions in any space based on a particle sensor, we recommend this purifier for medium-sized rooms like bedrooms, living rooms, or playrooms.​ For clean air without any complications, the Blueair Blue Pure 211i Max can’t be beat.

Promising Customer Review: “I needed this to clean the air in my house because of a water leak causing mold. However, I wonder why I didn’t get one before. I sleep better with cleaner air. At night it’s quiet, the lights dim, and I have no problems with the machine. I programmed it to run on high speed an hour before my bedtime so the air is clean before I sleep.” —Senior Rambler

6. LG AeroTower Air Purifying Fan

If you’re looking for an air purifier that adds an extra layer of protection, choose the LG AeroTower Air Purifying Fan. 

It’s got True HEPA filtration to rid your home of any allergens as small as 0.3 microns, as well as LG’s UVNANO LED light, which the brand says kills 99.99% of germs and bacteria found on the fan’s blades. 

It’s also designed to offer 818 square feet of coverage — this should be enough for your home office, bedroom, kid’s room or even your city studio apartment. 

Other features include whisper-quiet operation and an LCD display that provides you with real-time air quality ratings. If you’re looking for an all-in-one air purifier with UV disinfecting, this one from LG will work well for your space. 

Promising Customer Feedback: ” hate buying disposable products that wind up in a landfill…with a 10 year warranty, at least LG has a high opinion of their design quality. The filter was easy to install and the unit looks nice. The 800+ square foot coverage is nearly twice the Winix. I also liked the LED UV light — that should be a no brainer since COVID for every air purifier. The detailed information regarding particulate matter in the air is impressive. Time will tell, but first impression gives it 👍.” —P. Dankers

7. Westinghouse Portable Air Purifier

Amazon

Though it might look more like a small bag upon first glance, Westinghouse’s portable air purifier is every bit as powerful as it is stylish, lasting up to eight hours on a single charge.

At just over a pound, it’s small enough to keep with you on the go, whether you’re in the car or on your way to work. But don’t let its compact size fool you, as it promises to ward off up to 99.95% of bacteria and allergens. It’s design to surround you within a purified bubble of clean air, thanks to its powerful four-stage air filtration system (almost unheard of for a purifier of this size) and HEPA filter. It also comes with a handle that makes it ideal for travel.

Patented NCCO tech also breaks down pollutants like smoke and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). From there, it converts them into compounds, such as water and carbon dioxide, that won’t pose a threat to your overall health. If you’re concerned about catching something while you’re jet-setting, Westinghouse should be your go-to, personal-size purifier on the go.

Promising Customer Feedback: “I purchased this primarily for a mid-April 2022 trip, AKA very much still pandemic times yet with masks optional and Heathrow a total free-for-all. I used this filter in conjunction with a CO2 monitor and a 3M Aura N95 that I wore CONSTANTLY in the airports and with the exception of meal times in flight. And I did not get sick, despite the hacking people around me at times. I ADORE how quiet, small, portable, and effective this is. It stowed easily in my travel tote and no one in airport security ever questioned it or had any issue with it.” —Steph W.

Can an Air Purifier Protect Against Covid?

Can running an air purifier protect the people in your home from getting Covid-19? Well, it’s complicated. The CDC says air purifiers can help “reduce the airborne concentration of the virus that causes Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2), which can reduce the risk of transmission through the air.” However, the agency says that even regularly using an air purifier or portable air cleaner is “not enough to protect yourself and your family from Covid-19.” You should still practice regular safety precautions, like washing your hands with soap and water (especially when returning from outside), using hand sanitizer when soap is not available, and wearing a face mask indoors when you have visitors who are at a higher-risk, or unvaccinated.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also cautions that “by itself, air cleaning or filtration is not enough to protect people from exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.” But, they say that regular air filtration can be part of your household’s overall plan to reduce “reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.”

So overall, don’t think of air purifiers as an all-in-one solution or quick fix. No two air purifiers are the same, but one of the most important things to look for in the best air purifiers for viruses is the inclusion of a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These filters can capture at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, which includes most airborne pathogens. Not to mention, the CDC says these are the most effective on market for “trapping particles that people exhale when breathing, talking, singing, coughing, and sneezing.”

Buying Guide: How We Picked the Best Air Purifiers for Covid

There are many factors we considered when choosing air purifiers for viruses and bacteria; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.

Coverage Area: An air purifier’s size and power will determine how big of a space it can cover and its clean air delivery rate (CADR) — aka how fast it can exchange all the air in a given room. Some work best for an office desk or bathroom, while others can clean the air in a large basement. Our guide covers the entire spectrum, but focuses on models that can clear at least 500 square feet in 20 minutes or less.

Particle Size: Air particles — both good and bad — are measured in microns. The CDC says the most harmful air particles are between 0.9 and 0.3 microns because they can get through the human body’s natural defense system to damage your lungs, or get in your blood. We made sure that all of our air purifiers can filter out particles as low as 0.3 microns, so you don’t have to worry. These air purifiers help rid your space of everything from smoke to pollen to dust mites, and even smaller particles you may not be aware of.

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Filtration System: Every air purifier uses its own multi-stage process to clean your air. They vary a little bit, but we only chose models that use an HEPA (high-efficiency particle air) filter. It’s a fine mesh filter that traps unwanted particles to keep your air clean. These filters generally have to be changed every six months, but some advanced air purifiers have indicator lights that tell you when it’s time for them to be changed.

Noise: Air purifiers use fans to suck in air, which means they’ll make some noise when they’re working. All of our picks have multiple fan speeds (the faster the speed, the louder the noise), but we chose picks with a setting at 40 dbs or less in case you’re planning on running your air purifier while you sleep. To keep things in perspective, a conversation from three feet away is 60 decibels loud according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a division of the United States Department of Labor.

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Freelance journalist covering Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Bylines in the South China Morning Post, Nikkei Asia, The Telegraph and other outlets. Past TV work for ABC News US, Al Jazeera English and TRT World. Previously reported out of Taiwan.