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What Is An Air Purifier | Air Purifier RatingsAir Purifier Ratings

What is An Air Purifier?

When we first started to look for at air purifiers we had no idea what we were doing. We didn’t know about the different technologies.  In short, we didn’t know what an air purifier is.

It was all so technical.  We didn’t know whether to trust the marketing messages from the brands. In short, we didn’t know how to choose an air purifier.

So, to help you we provide this overview for what an air purifier is.

What is an air purifier?

Simply, an air purifier is a device that cleans the air. There are different types of air purifiers.  They are grouped based upon how they clean.

Rather than give you a huge page to read this article has several links where you can click through to the area that most interests you.


How to use the air purifier site

We know people like to view information in different ways.

So, there are 3 main sections to this web site.  They are the ratings, learn and air purifier types.  We will explain each of them here with a summary.


Best Air Purifiers

If you want to see the best rated air purifiers you can jump to this section.  To make it easy the air purifiers are sorted on their overall rating.  If you click on a product the screen will expand.  Here you can see the four key ratings for this product.  The 4 ratings roll up into the overall score.

To see more about a product click on the learn more button.  Here you will see the details on how the air purifier is rated.

We also include an image of the air purifier.  In many cases we include a video.  We looked through youtube and show the best videos.



The learning center has articles that give an introduction to air purifiers.  There is information on indoor air quality.  Some cover technical concepts.  However, we present the material in a simple way.  We know not everyone is an engineer.

As we have time we will add more learning articles.  If there is an area you want to know about please let us know.  We will do our best to add more content.


Allergies and Asthma

We have allergies.  And this was the start of our search for an air purifier.

Since then we learned that many people with allergies also have asthma.  The research show something like 25 million people suffer from asthma.  This is about 8% of our population.  So, with allergies and asthma we give information about how they relate.


HEPA efficiency

Need to know what a HEPA filter is?  See this article to learn technical information.  But we explain it in simple terms.  So, you can appreciate what is so great about the HEPA filter.

This section defines HEPA efficiency.  And what to look for.  Efficiency means the percentage of particles the filter removes.  The higher the efficiency the better the air filter performance.

Finally, this article has the listing of top HEPA air purifiers.


How Carbon Works

Do you need odor removal?  It turns out that HEPA is not good for odors.

So, a different solution is needed.  In our explanation of the activated carbon air filter, you will see the ins and outs of carbon filters.  For fresh smelling air, a carbon filter is a must.

Carbon by itself is not very good.  However, activated carbon absorbs a huge variety of gases.  And does it very well.  A key is having good quality and enough of it.

We also highlight a secret of carbon filters.  If you are looking for odor removal this is an article you will not want to miss.


CADR Ratings Scale

Believe it or not there is a ratings scale for air purifiers.  The CADR is a standard of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.  CADR is the clean air delivery rate.

There are three parts to the rating.  They relate to different particle sizes of dust, pollen, and smoke.

It sounds complicated but it just shows the filtered air flow.  This means the amount of clean air from the air purifier.  Think of it as a combination of the filter efficiency and the air flow.

CADR is used as a basis for the Energy Star program.  In the article we explain how this works.

The CADR is not perfect.  We include somethings to consider.


what is an air purifier


HEPA Air Purifier

A HEPA air purifier is what it sounds like.  An air purifier with a HEPA filter.

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air.  In other words, it is an air purifier with a high efficiency filter for particulates from the air.

You will learn how a HEPA air purifier works.  The rating system.  Advantages and disadvantages of a HEPA filtration system.


Allergy Air Purifiers

If you are like us you suffer from allergies.  There is nothing like allergy relief.

To find the best allergy air purifier it helps to first know what allergies are.

After this we share our learnings from testing.  And why HEPA air purifiers are best.

Then you will learn how to choose plus advantages and disadvantages.  This section concludes with what this air purifier will not do.

You also see the best purifiers.

We want you to have a complete picture.  So, we present the good and the bad.  And what you need to consider.


Electrostatic Air Purifier

Here we explain the electrostatic air purifier. You will see how it works, the advantages, and disadvantages.

We include pictures to help show the concept.  This is very different than HEPA and choice for many.

In addition, you will see how the electrostatic can produce ozone.  And what you need to think about before choosing.


Ionic Air Purifier

An ionic air purifier gives of an electrical charge.  This charge is attached to particles which then attach to surfaces to remove them from the air.

You will see the pluses and minuses of this system.  We also review some safety aspects to consider.

At the end, we show popular ionic units.


Smoke Air Purifier

An air purifier can be a great solution to remove smoke odors and make the air in your home smell fresh and clean.

However, this is not easy to do.  It requires the best HEPA system and carbon filter.  Because smoke consists of both particles and gases.

In this article you will learn the basics of how a smoke air purifier works.  And what to look for to find a solution to your issue.

You will see the limitations and what to consider.

This article concludes with the top two recommendations.


UV Air Purifier

UV or ultraviolet light can be a powerful feature.  Learn what you need to know about how UV-C lights work.  This article contains a comparison of UV units.

There are few UV air purifiers and we show two of the most popular models.


Whole House Air Purifier

You have choices when it comes to cleaning the air in a whole house.  You will learn about the best installed house system.

We present other options.  This includes low cost air filters and room air purifiers.

It comes down to what your concern is.  And how clean you want your home and how sensitive you are.

It also matters how much you want to spend and whether you want to deal with an installation.  Or go with an out of the box solution.

We cover the basics.  And it concludes with a listing of the best whole house systems.


How are our reviews different?

We take indoor air quality seriously.  Our perspective is that the air purifier needs to work.  The only way to know for sure is through testing.

We were surprised to learn that most other review sites don’t even test the products.  There are many reasons for this.

It takes time and resources. And it’s not cheap to buy the test equipment.

An easier way is to read what others have written and to re-state that information.  Our stand is that this is not a good way.  We believe in seeing the results for ourselves.

We also think it’s good to see what user’s of the product have to say.  As your experience will likely be similar.


So, what’s the best type?

It used to be that ionic and electronic air purifiers were very popular. It stands to reason since there is no filter to replace.

The problem is that they did not work well for allergies, dust, pollen, etc.  They can be effective in odor removal if they produce ozone.  The problem is ozone is a lung irritant.  It should be avoided.  Especially for children, the elderly and those with asthma or other respiratory issues.

HEPA air purifiers are the most common type purchased. They simply work the best and do not create problems like ozone.  They do the best job in providing clean, fresh air.

If you need better than HEPA filtration check out the commercial air purifiers.



When we started our journey for air purifiers a few years ago we had little to go on.  We created this site as a resource to share our learnings.  It’s been a fun side project for us.

Since we are technical we take a systemic approach.

We review several technologies.  In general, the results favor HEPA over the others like electrostatic or ionic air purifiers.

But we know testing is not enough.  So, we include other factors like customer feedback.  The actual experience of others is insightful for us.  It guides our testing methodology.  And keeps us on our toes to keep improving.  We also include expert reports.  This includes research from CARB and the EPA.

Finally, we hope you find our air purifier reviews beneficial. We look forward to serving you with content that is informative and valuable.

Finally, there is a summary of top air purifiers.


Most Popular HEPA Air Purifiers: