Best Air Purifiers: Molekule vs Dyson vs GermGuardian vs Honeywell vs Coway & More

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1st
Coway logo
2nd
GermGuardian logo
3rd
Molekule logo
Honorable Mention
The Pure Company logo

Air pollution isn’t limited to car exhaust, jet fuel, sprayed pesticides and factory smoke. Mold spores, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and smoke can be trapped inside your home or office, which can increase your allergies and asthma symptoms.

Article Overview

What Are Air Purifiers?

Generally speaking, all air purifiers have an intake where the air is taken into the system to be filtered and another spot where it’s released after filtration.

By using an air purifier, the air in your home will smell and feel squeaky clean. You’ll notice your ability to breathe easier and may even find that you don’t need Claritin as often! (Achoo!)

Air Purifier Terminology & Technology

Before we get into our best picks, we wanted to explain a little more of the technical side of how they work and what to look for when picking out the right air purifier for you.

What Are HEPA Filters?

High-efficiency particulate air filters (aka HEPA filters) force air through a mesh screen and collect harmful particles like mold spores, pollen and dust mites. Many air purifiers use HEPA filters, and we’ve noted in our reviews which product has a true HEPA filter and which does not.

Air Purifier Certifications

We discuss 3 certifications in this article: Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), Energy Star and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).

  1. CADR is a measurement of how fast an air purifier delivers filtered air. The higher the CADR, the better.
  2. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives products the Energy Star rating when they meet energy-efficient guidelines.
  3. AHAM is an organization that inspects the performance of household appliances.

Note: Not all of the products listed below will have all 3 of these ratings. We provided information about these certifications for the products we could find.

What Is A Micron?

You’ll hear us refer to microns in this article and the size of microns an air purifier can handle. A micron is equal to one-millionth of a meter (aka it’s super small).

To give you some perspective, here are some common particles in our air and their size in microns.

  • Human hair: 80-100 microns
  • Pollen: 30 microns
  • Mold spores: 10-30 microns
  • Household dust: 10 microns
  • Pet dander: 5 microns
  • Smoke: 1 micron

Note: If you want your air purifier to get rid of smoke, you’ll need one that can filter particles as small as 1 micron. If you want an air purifier to help with pet odor and dander, you’ll need one that can handle particles as small as 5 microns.

Best Air Purifiers

Ahhhhh, now you can stop holding your breath as it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: our recommendations for the best air purifier.

Note: While conducting our research for this article, we noticed some users complaining about the release of cool air from air purifiers. To clarify, this is totally normal, and it’s natural for there to be a slight breeze.

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Review

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier#1

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This advanced air purifier uses a 4-stage filtration system (pre-filter, deodorization filter, true HEPA filter and vital ion) that captures up to 99.97% of particles (0.3 microns) in the air. It’s amazingly effective in reducing odor, pollen, pollutants and many other allergens. We think it’s the best air purifier for allergies.

Its real-time pollution sensor lets you know how clean or dirty your indoor air is all day long. You can set the timer to turn off after 1, 4 or 8 hours. And to save energy, this purifier will automatically stop the fan and go into Eco mode when no pollution is detected for 30 minutes.

This Coway purifier is designed to accommodate room sizes up to 361 square feet and is ideal for apartments, a great room and other mid-sized spaces. Many users, however, report excellent performance in much larger spaces.

Pros

Cons

  • CADR ratings: 246 dust, 240 pollen and 233 smoke
  • 4-stage filtration system
  • Hepa filter lasts for a year and odor filter for 6 months
  • Energy Star certified
  • Pollution sensor communicates indoor air quality in real-time
  • Filter lifetime indicator for pre-filter and HEPA filter
  • Quiet on low and medium
  • Attractive design and compact size
  • 3-year warranty
  • Set up instructions can be confusing
  • Some users say the fan is too noisy on high setting

Price

GermGuardian Review

GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System#2

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The GermGuardian AC4825 is a high performer at a reasonable price. This air purifier claims to capture 99.97% of dust and allergens (as small as 0.3 microns) including pet dander, mold spores and plant pollens.

It has UV-C light technology, which kills bacteria, viruses (including rhinovirus, e.coli and streptococcus), germs and mold spores in the air. The charcoal filter reduces cooking, smoking and pet odors, and the HEPA air filtration system helps reduce exposure to asthma triggers.

This #1 bestseller on Amazon is great for medium-sized rooms, and users rave about it being the best air purifier for pets.

Pros

Cons

  • CADR rated 100+
  • HEPA filter lasts for 6-8 months
  • Earned the Energy Star by the U.S. EPA
  • Certified energy efficient
  • Is great at removing smelly odors
  • Customers state allergies are more manageable indoors
  • Small design
  • Quiet on low and medium
  • Easy to set up
  • 3-year warranty
  • Small light can be annoying to some if they keep it running during the night; however, it’s easy to cover
  • Louder when on high mode
  • A small number of customers say there’s a plastic smell when you first use it, but it goes away after a day or two of use

Price

Molekule Review

Molekule Air Purifier#3

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Is the Molekule the next gen of air purifiers? That’s what they claim — and consumer feedback seems to agree that this new technology’s ability to clean the air is more effective than traditional HEPA-filtered purifiers. Molekule’s major selling point is PECO, an innovative nanotechnology that utilizes free radicals to oxidize pollutants and kill airborne viruses and airborne chemicals (called VOCs). They say that this technology can destroy pollutants 1,000 times smaller than traditional HEPA filters.

Molekule has also gotten some impressive nods — a silver award as a “Best New Product” by Edison Awards, one of Time’s “Best New Inventions” in 2017 and Popular Science’s “10 Greatest Home Inventions of the Year.” The only major downside we see for this product is its high price tag, which will turn away some consumers. They do, however, offer a 60-day money back guarantee.

Pros

Cons

  • Very effective against mold and many allergens
  • Innovative technology has been third-party tested (and they publish test results)
  • Can choose room sizes (<200 sq ft, 200-400 sq ft & >400 sq ft)
  • Three operating modes: silent, boost and auto
  • Glowing customer reviews about its performance
  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • Very expensive
  • Replacement PECO filters are expensive (but you get your first year free)
  • Some users had problems with the smartphone app being buggy
  • Warranty is only for 1 year

Price

Molekule gives you one year of free filters and offers a 60-day money back guarantee.

  • $799 (they also offer financing through affirm)
  • $129 subscription (optional) for a 1-year supply of PECO filters (change every 6 months) and pre-filters (change every 3 months)

Honorable Mention: The Pure Company Portable Air Purifier Review

The Pure Company Portable Air PurifierView on Amazon

Want cleaner air wherever you go? The Pure Company Portable Air Purifier is a perfect solution for hotel rooms, your office or any small room in your home. This unique product even won a 2019 Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Honoree Award.

This portable purifier uses filter-less ionization technology to clean the air. All you need is an AC outlet to use it, and it requires no maintenance. It also comes with a bottom-loading aromatherapy pad that’s compatible with The Pure Company’s 100% essential oils.

Pros

Cons

  • Filter-less ionization helps clean air to eliminate odors, allergies and pollution
  • Compact and lightweight for travel
  • Quiet white noise can help you sleep
  • Aromatherapy option for use with 100% pure essential oils
  • Not as effective as HEPA-filtered purifiers
  • Only one setting on/off
  • Warranty is only for 1 year

Price

Other Air Purifier Reviews

DysonHolmes | Honeywell 

Dyson Review

Dyson Air PurifierView on Amazon

If you want a sleek and modern air purifier, look no further. The Dyson Pure Cool Link Air Purifier claims to remove 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns.

The Dyson has an app that includes information about the filter’s life, acts as a remote control and lets you schedule when the purifier is on and off. It also has a night mode, which is quieter and dims the display.

The main reason this didn’t make our top three is because of its high price point (without the technological advances you’ll find in the Molekule). You can get other HEPA air purifiers for much less, and they do just as good of a job as this Dyson does. Unless you want an air purifier with an app, we recommend looking at our top three.

Pros

Cons

  • 360° air intake
  • Night mode
  • App
  • Filter is replaced every 12 months
  • HEPA filter
  • 2-year warranty
  • Expensive
  • Since it’s more technical with the app it can be tricky getting it set up at first
  • Issues with the app in the past

Price

Want An Inside Look At The Dyson Air Purifier?

Check out this video to see how techy this air purifier truly is.

Holmes Review

Holmes HAP242-NUC

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If you’re looking for a less expensive option to use in a 10′ x 11′ room, then the Holmes HAP242-NUC air purifier is a great choice. It claims to remove up to 99% of airborne particles as small as 2 microns. You can place the purifier vertically or horizontally on a desk, table or other surfaces.

As stated, it works best for smaller rooms, approximately 110 square feet, so using this in an office or bedroom is ideal. This Holmes air purifier has a carbon filter which helps remove up to 44% of odors from the air.

Pros

Cons

  • CADR rated 70
  • Filter lifespan varies based on the filter you buy
  • Filter change indicator
  • Small design
  • Quiet on low, medium and high modes
  • Great value
  • Only collects particles down to 2 microns
  • Not stylish
  • Some customers complain of a chemical smell
  • Not the best air purifier for smoke
  • HEPA type filter is not a true HEPA filter

Price

Honeywell Review

Honeywell 50250-S True HEPA Air Purifier

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Honeywell is a household name making security equipment, HVAC equipment, doorbells and air quality equipment including air purifiers. The glass fiber HEPA filter collects up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.

The system will notify you when you need to change or clean the filter. The pre-filter, which is carbon activated, captures larger particles and reduces odors and should be replaced every three months. However, if you vacuum the pre-filter, it can be extended to 3-5 years.

Pros

Cons

  • Filter can last 3-5 years
  • CADR rated 250 for smoke, dust and pollen
  • AHAM Certified for rooms up to 390 sq ft
  • Filter change indicator
  • 360° air intake
  • Customers state allergies are more manageable indoor with this
  • HEPA filter
  • 5-year warranty
  • Not stylish
  • Louder when on higher modes
  • Some assembly required, but customers state it’s easy
  • Small light can be annoying to some if they keep it running during the night; however, it is easy to cover
  • Cannot be placed against a wall

Price

Other Types Of Filters

Here are two other possible solutions to get rid of unwanted indoor air pollutants.

Furnace Filters

Every furnace has an air filter that needs replacing regularly. Depending on the type of air filter you get will determine how often you need to change the filter.

For example, the filters we use at our home last for three months. Put a reminder on your calendar to check your filter to help keep your furnace running smoothly.

HVAC Filters

How often should you change your home’s HVAC filters? For basic 1″-3″ air filters, most manufacturers recommend that you replace them every 30-60 days. But if you suffer from allergies or have multiple pets in your home, you might want to upgrade your air filters or change them more often.

Whole Home Air Purifier Systems

If you don’t want to have an air purifier in every room, you can install a whole home air purifier solution. These air purifiers can be in the thousand dollar range, so they aren’t as inexpensive as the air purifiers we reviewed for this article.

It’s an investment, for sure, but if you want a house full of clean air, a whole home solution may be best for you.

Bring The Outdoors In

According to Forbes, we spend 90% of our time indoors. Which is frightening since the air quality is also often worse inside than it is outside. An air purifier can clean your air to give you a breath of fresh air inside your home that’s greatly appreciated.

But why stop at air? There are other ways you can improve the quality of your home’s health including installing a water filter to have fresh, healthy spring water to drink, using a humidifier to improve sinus and skin issues, and an organic mattress so you can have a good night’s sleep.

Do you think a high-quality air purifier is worth the higher price tag? 

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One of Kimberly’s favorite things to do is cook. She is trying her best to be more conscious about the nutrients she puts into her body and enjoys trying new recipes. Kimberly grew up helping her dad with the family garden and hopes to have her own garden some day. She enjoys brightening up her dishes with the food mother nature can provide and enjoys composting her produce scraps.

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Room Dehumidifier
It’s too difficult to select a unit between these branded air purifiers. Well, I would like to prefer f=germ guardian and Honeywell air purifier.
Sarah
I’ve been fighting allergies like crazy lately! And I don’t leave the house much (work at home) so I think an air purifier might help especially since I like to work with the windows open. Going to give the Dyson a shot (even though it’s pricey I like the sleek design). Thanks~