The Best 6 Air Purifiers for Protecting Against COVID-19Published on 02/15/2023 · 7 min readLooking to better protect your household from COIVD-19? Filtration & Air Quality Expert Gunnar O. lays out his top 6 picks for air purifiers to help combat the virus.
Photo by Maxime
*Disclaimer: The effectiveness of air purifiers is known to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 when combined with proper precautions such as ventilation and masking. Due to the novel nature of the virus, many air purifier manufacturers have yet to test their filtration methods against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. That being said, there are standards in place in the air purifier market that can help determine the effectiveness of the purifier against airborne particulates such as the novel coronavirus.
Consider the advice in this article as merely suggestions to help you choose a purifier which could potentially slow the spread of COVID-19, not as a preventative measure intended to stop the spread. COVID-19 is still possible to contract when using an air purifier in combination with other necessary precautions. This article is not intended as a replacement for actual scientific research or suggestions.
Air Purifiers and COVID-19
Airborne transmission of COVID-19 is the most common way the virus that causes the disease is spread. This is why the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recently recommended increased ventilation from outdoor air and HEPA filtration as suggested means of COVID-19 prevention. The virus is known to travel in respiratory droplets and is easily spread from person to person through inhalation. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are generally considered the gold standard in protection against COVID-19 for their ability to filter 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size.
Air purifiers with HEPA filters have been proven in their ability to aid in the filtration of the airborne virus that causes COVID-19. Combined with other preventative measures such as masks, vaccines, quarantining when sick, maintaining physical distancing, and increasing ventilation, an air purifier in your home or office can reduce the spread of the virus. In fact, the effectiveness of portable air cleaners has proven to be so beneficial in helping reduce indoor virus levels, that the CDC now recommends portable HEPA air cleaners as part of their larger suggestion of increasing ventilation in indoor settings.
True-HEPA vs. HEPA-Type and HEPA-Like
Shoppers looking to improve indoor air quality and reduce airborne particles that cause COVID-19 should proceed with caution when purchasing a purifier, because not every air purifier contains a HEPA filter. Some purifiers use imitation filters such as HEPA-type and HEPA-like, which are not as effective at filtering smaller viruses such as SARS-COV-2. Lastly, purifiers are only effective when using a size that is capable of providing enough filtration for your room size. Below are some of the most recommended air purifiers to help protect against COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2 is a small virus, about 0.125 microns in size. Because it is most often contained and spread in aerosolized respiratory droplets, a standard true-HEPA filter can capture the virus and prevent it from spreading. However, HEPA filters only offer filtration of particles as small as 0.3 microns so, in theory, the novel coronavirus could pass through these filters unobstructed. For greater filtration and added peace of mind, purifier shoppers should consider a unit with an H13 HEPA filter for better filtration capability. These filters are able capture 99.99% of particulates down to 0.1 microns in size, and offer greater effectiveness against SAR-CoV-2.
The 6 Best Air Purifiers for COVID-19
As more purifiers are tested against COVID-19, manufacturers are able to release test values from independent labs showing their efficiency and filtering the virus. Below are some of the best options for filtering SARS-CoV-2 that are currently on the market.
1. Airpura H600
The AirPura H600 is a powerful purifier with serious filtration. Starting with a pre-filter, this purifier is able to capture and filter larger airborne contaminants that would otherwise clog downstream filters. Next, a Hi-C carbon filter adsorbs airborne chemicals and everyday pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Finally, your air passes through a powerful H14 medical-grade HEPA filter; and although Airpura only claims 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 microns, this purifier is a great adversary in the fight against COVID-19. This purifier can filter around 850 ft2 4.8 times per hour. The Airpura H600 is powerful and is great for homes, offices, hospitals, or other medical environments.
Similar to the H600 above, the Airpura UV600 adds a UV Lamp that is effective at removing the world's most dangerous pathogens. The UV lamps used in Airpura products are non-ozone-generating UV-C lamps and are contained within the unit to limit human exposure to the harmful UV light. This UVC germicidal technology is effective at destroying SARS-CoV-2 on contact.
3. Aura Air
The Aura Air purifier was independently tested and proven to be effective at removing 99.99% of SARS-CoV-2 from real-life environments in 60 minutes of filtration. Best for rooms of about 300ft2 for 4.8 air changes per hour, this purifier has a pre-filter to capture large molecules and prevent downstream clogging. It also has a HEPA Ray-Filter™ which uses three unique antibacterial layers to capture small particles (PM10) and fine particles (PM2.5).
The HEPA Ray-Filter™ is capable of filtering germs, viruses, bacteria, fungus, airborne allergens, and mold spores. A UVC LED inside the purifier neutralizes pollutants by destroying proteins on the cell membrane. Lastly, a Sterionizer generates positive and negative ions to sterilize your air. It also has an advanced algorithm for particle detection and is able to give you some serious insights into your air-quality pair with a powerful auto mode.
This purifier was proven by Innovative Bioanalysis Laboratory in California, Sheba Medical Center (one of the top 10 hospitals in the world), and the Spanish Ministry of Defense to successfully purify indoor air.
4. Aurabeat AG+
The Aurabeat AG+ has been scientifically proven to eliminate 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2 by MRI Global. In the Aurabeat-sponsored study, the purifier was able to filter 99.9% of aerosolized SARS-Cov-2 from the test cabinet used from the study. The Aurabeat AG+ uses a high-efficiency HEPA filter, a Nanocrystalline Filter, an ultraviolet light, and a plasma triple air disinfection technology. With a CADR of 221, this purifier is able to filter rooms of about 350ft2 4.8 times per hour.
5. Blueair Protect 7470i
The Blueair Protect 7470i offers 24/7 protection from viruses and bacteria and is capable of 4.8 air changes per hour in rooms of 418ft2. In laboratory conditions, the Protect 7400 series removed SARS-CoV-2 in a 1280ft³ chamber in only 60 mins on high, although Blueair still claims that their filters are not proven to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
This purifier offers the most advanced filtration in a large yet aesthetically pleasing unit for your home. Innovative smart features and a quick glance LCD screen give you insights to your home's air quality. The Protect 7470i uses patented GermSheild technology with low air draft and Plasma technology to kill 99% of germs captured on your filter, which prevents growth within your unit. HEPASilent Ultra™ filtration filters up to 45% faster with up to 67% less noise than traditional HEPA filtration alone due to a lower fan speed. The SmartFilters use an RFID chip for powered usage tracking and more accurate filter-replacement intervals
6. Coway Airmega 400
This purifier features Coway's HyperCaptive air filtration technology to capture 99.99% of airborne particulates down to 0.1 microns in size. The pre-filter captures hair, pet hair, dust mites, and dust, and alleviates the strain on downstream filters. Followed by the Max2 filter, which utilizes an advanced microseal for easy installation and maintenance.
The Max 2 filter uses two layers of filtration. First, the Max2 Activated Carbon filter removes odor-causing harmful gasses such as VOCs, pet smells, cigarette smoke, nitrogen dioxide, acetaldehyde, and sulfur dioxide. Secondly, the Green True Max2 HEPA filter—which is a true HEPA H13 filter—captures 99.9% of airborne particles such as bacteria, mold, viruses, dust mites, pollen, and germs. By drawing air in through two sides and pushing air out of the top of the unit, this purifier cleans your air more effectively and efficiently.
The Best Purifier for You
The best air purifier for you may not be the best option for someone else. Purifier selection should depend on your room size, level of filtration need, and other needs such as pet dander, odors, or allergens. Although many units listed above offer higher Clean Air Delivery Rates and are capable of serious filtration, the CDC still suggests any amount of HEPA filtration as a step towards proper ventilation, cleaner air, and reduction of the spread of COVID-19. To help find the best purifier for you, I highly suggest talking with one of our dedicated Air Quality and Filtration Experts here at Curated!