An Expert Guide to Air Purifiers for Pet Owners

Do you have pets in your home? Pollen and pet dander might be floating throughout your house. Find out how an air purifier can help remove these allergens.

Two women sitting on a bed petting two dogs.

Photo by Chewy

If you’re a pet owner like me and have acquired a zoo of your own, you may be wondering what the best way is to mitigate the effect that your menagerie can have on the air quality of your home. And if you’re also like me and live in a home that does not have the finest, up-to-date central air cooling and heating system, you could potentially not realize how unclean your air is.

Enter air purifiers. They are the best way to get the air quality in your home back to breathable! And, along with taking care of the pet dander and pet fur, they will also take care of a myriad of other allergens—including dust mites, pollen, smoke, mold, and bacteria—and make your living experience much more pleasurable.

What to Look For When Buying an Air Purifier for Pet Hair

But how do you choose the right one for you and your pets? Keep the following questions in mind when searching for the best air purifier for you:

  • How loud is the air purifier? Something too loud may scare you and your pets. Imagine a purifier that comes on full blast at random times and makes an annoying buzzing sound that will keep both you and your pets awake at night. Instead, look for a purifier that has a low noise decibel rating and that has various settings like sleep mode and fan speeds that you can control, so you won’t be woken up in the middle of the night by the purifier or by the scared cat that just dug its claws into you (speaking from personal experience).
  • How big is the room that your air purifier will be in? The square footage of the space is an important factor to consider as the purifier will need to be capable of cleaning the entire room for it to be effective.
  • Where do your pets like to hang out the most? Similarly, where does their pet hair hang out the most? Which room are the litter box odors coming from? Or would you prefer to move the purifier around from room to room with you and your pets? All of these questions will determine the ideal size and weight of the air purifier and may also lead you to the decision to purchase two or more units.
  • Do you have a particularly odorous space? Make sure you find an air purifier that has an activated carbon filter in addition to the main filter. This will pull the pet odors out of the air and make your world more tolerable and less like you’re being taken over by your sweet, smelly animals.
  • Does the air purifier have a HEPA filter? For pet dander especially, always look for a filter that reaches the HEPA (high-efficiency air particulate) standard. Any good purifier will use a true HEPA filter
  • And last, how does it look? You and your air purifier will be spending a lot of time together, so you might as well get one that you find somewhat attractive!

Ready to start looking for one? Here are my top air purifiers for pet owners’ homes at each price point….

$100 - $300 Air Purifiers

Levoit Core P350 Pet Care True HEPA Air Purifier

The Levoit Core P350 Pet Care True HEPA Air Purifier.
  • Range: Up to 219ft2

If the product name is not obvious enough, Levoit has designated this purifier as the one for pet owners. If its price isn’t attractive enough, this purifier also has a three-stage filtration system and an activated carbon filter with Levoit’s ARC Formula technology that not only absorbs odors but also breaks them down. With its QuietKEAP technology—which uses rubber pads to dampen the noise—you have a machine that not only keeps pet allergens and odors away but is quiet while doing so.

Levoit Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier

The Levoit Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier.
  • Range: Up to 403ft2

This is Levoit’s newest purifier in its Core lineup, and it’s also an award winner for design. The 400S has a three-stage filtration system and uses VortexAir technology which circulates the air and increases the unit's filtration efficiency. Plus it has a laser that detects dust and allergens and automatically adjusts the fan speed accordingly! Along with the ARC Formula and QuietKEAP technology, the purifier also has an air quality indicator and can be controlled by an app on your phone or by your voice with devices such as Amazon’s Alexa.

Winix 5500-2

The Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier.
  • Range: Up to 360ft2

Winix takes filtration to the next level by adding a fourth layer to its filtration system—with two of them being washable. It can clean a 580ft2 room in 20 minutes using its PlasmaWave® technology which uses ions to trap, filter, and sterilize air particles. An LED air quality indicator shows what the surrounding air quality is, and the fan adjusts automatically to clean the air. The coolest feature is its built-in light sensor which puts the unit into Sleep Mode when no light is detected and reverts back to Auto Mode once the lights are turned back on.

$300 - $600 Air Purifiers

RabbitAir MinusA2

The RabbitAir MinusA2.
  • Range: Up to 850ft2

For those who thought four stages of air filtration were enough, the MinusA2 offers six! RabbitAir’s own HEPA filter design reduces allergens including dust mite matter, mold, pollen, and pet dander, and reduces the growth of viruses and bacteria on the filter. It also offers the choice of a custom filter to zero in on your biggest air concerns—among the filters you can choose from is a specific Pet Allergy filter. It’s quiet, low-maintenance, has an app, and the faceplate is customizable! This is definitely a good-looking purifier.

Aura Air

The Aura Air Purifier.
  • Range: Up to 600ft2

Aura makes professional air purifiers used by companies, schools, and hotels. Luckily for us, they also allow the purchase of individual units for home use. If you’re like me and can’t remember half of the stuff that needs to get replaced, this purifier comes with an app that has a personal assistant named Heidy! It filters out pretty much everything you could imagine, including smoke, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and everything your animal can produce, and it can alert you to dangerous levels of CO and CO2. You can see live readings of both your indoor air quality and your outdoor air quality, and Heidy will give you smart insights and high-risk scenario prediction.

Molekule Air Mini+

The Molekule Air Mini+ Air Purifier.

  • Range: 250ft2

If you want a super portable air purifier, this is the one for you. Molekule designed their Air Mini+ to travel easily from room to room with you. While it only covers 250ft2, this FDA-cleared Class 2 medical device is still a powerful little machine. With an auto-protect status that detects how much purification you need at any given time to its seamless connection to Apple HomeKit, the Air Mini+ is a purifier to be reckoned with. Amazingly, when it was tested with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it was able to reduce the virus to 99.98% in the air in one hour. And with a filter subscription plan, you won’t forget to order more replacement air filters!

$600+ Air Purifiers

Alen BreatheSmart 75i Air Purifier for Pet Odor and Dander

The Alen BreatheSmart 75i Air Purifier for Pet Odor and Dander.
  • Range: Up to 1300ft2

Another purifier with “pet” in the name, this option lets you know exactly what it is for. Alen created the BreatheSmart 75i to be an intelligent purifier for large rooms. It can clean the air in 30 minutes, and its filter can last up to 15 months. This model has an LED air sensor that shows the quality of the air and it adjusts its five-speed settings accordingly. It also comes with an EnergyStar rating. And, if you are worried about ozone, it can clear the air to 0ppm without even turning the ionizer on! Its app is compatible with Apple or Android devices, and the purifier comes in six different colors with a lifetime warranty.

Austin Air Allergy Machine Air Purifier

The Austin Air Allergy Machine Air Purifier.
  • Range: 1500ft2

While it's not the sleekest of the air purifiers, the Austin Air Allergy Machine Air Purifier is exactly that, a machine! If you have allergy symptoms, have been diagnosed with an allergy, suffer from asthma, or have an asthmatic child that just had to have that kitten, this is the right purifier for you. It is also recommended for damp environments and those exposed to bacteria and viruses. It has a military-grade carbon filter that can remove dangerous gasses, a medical-grade HEPA filter, and two additional pre-filters. The filters also last up to five years! So, while this is a pricier option, the savings you get by not having to buy filters every six months can really add up.

Still Need Help Finding an Air Purifier?

If reading this article leaves you with more questions than answers, if you still can’t quite decide which purifier to get, or if you want to talk about your awesome pets, get in contact with either me or another Air Purification Expert here on Curated, and we’d be happy to help!

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Written By
I started becoming interested in air purifiers when I had a child. At that point I researched everything out there to make sure the air in our house would be safe. Since that point, COVID caused me to continue my deep dive into my research to see how the technology was evolving. I am an avid outdoor...

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