Having an air purifier in your apartment can help you get rid of pollutants that negatively impact your health, including dust, pollen, dander, and even odors. To help you find the one for you, I’ve rounded up my picks for the best air purifiers for apartments you can find today.
Best Air Purifiers for Apartments
- Coway Airmega 400 Smart
- RabbitAir MinusA2
- LEVOIT Smart Wi-Fi
- Alen BreatheSmart Classic
- Oransi Max
- Molekule Air Purifier
- Coway AP-1512HH Mighty
- Blueair Blue Pure 411
The 8 Best Air Purifiers for Apartments in 2021
1. Coway Airmega 400 Smart
A great apartment air purifier needs to provide two essentials: excellent room coverage and meticulous filtration. Thankfully, the Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier delivers on both fronts.
Covering an impressive area of up to 1,560 square feet, this air purifier would be an excellent choice for cleaning the air in your living room, large bedroom, or even your entire apartment at once. It can perform two air changes each hour at the maximum recommended size or more if you place it in a smaller room.
I found this model to be a great air cleaner thanks to its comprehensive filtration system. First, there’s a washable pre-filter to tackle particles larger than 0.3 microns. Then, the Coway Airmega Max2 filter combines a True HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of even the smallest of particles, including volatile organic compounds, and an activated carbon filter to neutralize any unpleasant odors.
You can choose from five fan modes, including three speeds, a sleep mode, and a smart mode that adjusts the fan's speed according to the air's current quality. The lower fan settings are almost silent, and the noise level maxes up at only around 43.2 dB, which is barely noticeable.
Moreover, the model can report indoor air quality in real-time thanks to its LED light that changes colors according to how clean the air is. You can also sync your air purifier with an Alexa device or a smartphone app to control it remotely.
- Impressive square footage
- Quiet noise level
- Powerful True HEPA filter
- Energy Star certification
- Timer and sleep mode
- LED sensor providing real-time indoor air quality feedback
- 360-degree air intake
- Powerful activated carbon filter for odor removal
- Filter replacement can be a little costly
2. RabbitAir MinusA2
With five different fan settings and a noise level of 25.6 to 51.3 dB, the RabbitAir MinusA2 is one of the quietest and most versatile apartment air purifiers. But the real standout for me is its formidable 6-stage filtration system that can get rid of almost anything affecting your indoor air quality.
First, you get a pre-filter to capture the largest airborne particles, then a medium air filter for trapping allergens and dust mites. The third stage is a BioGS HEPA filter to trap at least 99.97% of fine particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Then, with the customized filter, you get to choose from 4 different filter types: Germ Defense, Pet Allergy, Toxin Absorber, and Odor Remover. The next stage is a charcoal-based activated carbon filter that can get rid of all unpleasant odors. Finally, there’s a negative ion generator that facilitates trapping pollutants and freshens the air without producing harmful ozone.
Thanks to this thorough filtration, the air purifier does an excellent job of eliminating dust mites, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and even bacteria and viruses to a lesser degree, especially at higher speeds. It can also eliminate wildfire and tobacco smoke, rendering it especially effective in wildfire season.
The air purifier can handle square footage of up to 700 square feet, which is less than the Airmega 400S but is still very respectable. You can either use it as a portable air purifier or mount it to your wall if floor space is an issue.
- Customizable air filter
- Effective air filtration
- Can be mounted to the wall
- Near-silent operation
- Sleep mode
- Energy Star certification
- 5-year warranty
- Powerful True HEPA filtration
- Settings and presets will be lost in case of a power outage
- The fan has a short life span
3. LEVOIT Smart Wi-Fi
Levoit needs no introduction in the world of air purifiers, and the Smart Air Purifier would be an excellent apartment air purifier as it combines the manufacturer’s excellence with an array of smart features.
This air purifier can clean up to 900 square feet in an hour or 500 square feet in 33 minutes. However, I recommend sticking to around 360 square feet to clean the air at maximum power. Moreover, it has a smart sensor that automatically adjusts between 3 fan settings.
Design-wise, this is certainly a large, imposing air purifier. However, its dimensions mean it’s still pretty slim and can easily fit anywhere in your apartment without taking up too much floor space.
That said, the larger build means there’s more space inside the unit to fit more air filters. As a True HEPA air purifier, it features three stages of air filters. The first is a pre-filter to trap large airborne objects like pet dander, mold, and fungi. It should be vacuumed each couple of months, though.
Next is the True HEPA filter, which can eliminate 99.97% of all contaminants as small as 0.3 microns, including dust, pollen, viruses, and bacteria particles. Finally, the activated carbon filter handles any unwanted odors and smoke particles.
The air purifier offers many smart features. For example, you can remotely control it with your smartphone by downloading the VeSync app and connecting it to the unit via Wi-Fi. This allows you to control it from anywhere. It can also work with Google Home Assistant and Alexa for hands-off control at home.
- Can be controlled remotely
- Durable build with a smooth, glossy finish
- Straightforward and low-cost filter replacement
- Nearly silent operation
- Ideal for allergy sufferers
- Auto Mode
- Not very portable
- Auto mode sensor isn’t always accurate
4. Alen BreatheSmart Classic
The Alen BreatheSmart Classic may be a slightly more expensive air purifier than the two previous models, but it’s worth every penny you spend. After all, it was designed by NASA airflow engineers, and with a CADR rating of 279 Dust / 256 Smoke / 300 Pollen, you can certainly feel the improvement in indoor air quality.
This air purifier weighs only 21 pounds, but don’t let its compact frame fool you. It boasts a room capacity of 1,100 square feet and two air changes per hour.
As for the filtration system, it consists of 4 rigorous stages, starting with a pre-filter to eliminate the largest particles. Then, you can choose between 4 True HEPA filters:
The standard HEPA filter is called HEPA-Pure, and it traps 99% of small particles in your apartment, including dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. HEPA-Fresh is the second option, and it features an additional activated carbon filter to get rid of unwanted odors like cooking smells and tobacco smoke.
The third upgrade is the HEPA-Silver, featuring anti-microbial Silver-Ion threads to prevent bacteria and viruses. Finally, the HEPA-OdorCell boasts Alen’s Molecular Conversion Powder to destroy odors on a molecular level.
There are four fan levels, with the lowest producing around 32 dB of noise, which can be noticeable in a bedroom but won’t be distracting if it’s placed in your living room. Thankfully, the air purifier comes with a sleep mode with a lights-off feature, as well as an auto mode that adjusts the fan speed for more energy efficiency.
- Impressive square footage
- Ozone-free ionizer
- Near-silent operation during sleep mode
- Smart integration and internet connectivity
- Lifetime warranty
- Energy Star certification
- 4 options of True HEPA filters
- 8 different color options to choose from
- SmartSensor for air quality feedback
- Slightly higher price
- High power consumption
5. Oransi Max
The first time I saw the Oransi Max Air Purifier, it seemed pretty low-key and unassuming. But its 3-stage filtration system is more than capable of providing your apartment with exceptionally clean air.
The Oransi Max air purifier boasts a room coverage of around 600 square feet, making it perfect for a larger bedroom, living room, or particularly large kitchen.
Additionally, the unit features four speeds and an auto mode that can sense the change in air quality and adjust the fan’s speed to compensate. At the lowest speed, the fan only produces 34 dB. At the highest speed, known as “turbo mode,” the noise level is around 53 dB, which is still really quiet.
When it comes to its filters, the first stage is a pre-filter to trap the largest airborne particles in the air. It also features an activated carbon filter to neutralize odors, gases, and tobacco smoke.
As for the smaller particles all the way down to 0.3 microns, the air purifier’s v-HEPA filter can eliminate up to 98% of airborne particles such as allergens, dust mites, pollen, and even bacteria and viruses.
My only complaint is that all filters must be replaced together, which is both wasteful and cost-inefficient. Thankfully, you only need to do so around once per year, although you should consider vacuuming the pre-filter every 2 or 3 months. The air purifier also comes with a filter replacement indicator to notify you when the filters need to be replaced.
- Sleek design with a glossy finish
- Energy Star certification
- 10-year warranty
- V-Seal to prevent air leakage
- Built-in air quality sensor
- Safety shutoff feature
- Low noise
- Smart sensor to change the fan speed
- No smart integration or remote control
- You must replace all filters together, which can be costly
6. Molekule Air Purifier
The Molekule Air Purifier takes the promise of clean air one step further. Instead of merely trapping airborne pollutants, the manufacturer’s proprietary Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) nanotechnology has the power of completely destroying them on a molecular level.
This air purifier can trap even smaller airborne particles than a standard True HEPA filter, including viruses, allergens, mold, and bacteria. Most importantly, it can oxidize volatile organic compounds and turn them into less harmful compounds.
I found controlling this air purifier to be a breeze thanks to a wide variety of smart features.
You can control the unit using the user-friendly touchscreen display at the top to adjust the fan’s speed settings and automatic modes.
Moreover, you can also remotely control the air purifier from anywhere in the world by connecting it to your local network and syncing it to the Android or iOS app.
Not to mention, this air purifier comes with a smart sensor that gives you real-time feedback about the quality of the indoor air by reporting the current level of pollution.
As the second-largest model of the Molekule Air series of air purifiers, this unit boasts square footage of around 600 square feet.
I couldn't help but admire how nice this air purifier looks! With an anodized aluminum body and premium leather handle, it looks more like a piece of art than a functional device. And its incredibly slim and elongated body also ensures that it'll be pretty discreet and won't take up much floor space.
- Revolutionary PECO air filtration technology to destroy pollutants
- Can connect to Wi-Fi and sync with your phone
- Easy-to-use touchscreen display
- Uses UV-A light instead of harmful UV-C light
- Slim and sleek design with a premium finish
- 360° air intake
- Premium price
- Can get a little noisy on the highest setting
7. Coway AP-1512HH Mighty
The Coway AP-1512HH Air Purifier is dubbed “Mighty,” and I can certainly see why. With an ability to cover around 361 square feet, it may not boast the broadest coverage. However, this is still a reliable and efficient apartment air purifier that operates flawlessly and would be a great addition to any living space.
The AP-1512HH air purifier boasts a CADR rating of Dust 246 / Pollen 240 / Smoke 233 CFM thanks to its impressive 4-stage filtration system.
First, the air must go through a washable pre-filter that traps larger particles like pet dander and mold spores. Then, it goes through an activated carbon filter to deodorize the air and deal with any lingering unpleasant odors.
The third stage is the one that deals with the smallest particles (as tiny as 0.3 microns!). It’s a True HEPA filter capable of capturing pollen, fungi, dust mites, allergens, and bacteria. Finally, you can turn on the optional ionizer to capture even smaller particles.
Additionally, the unit boasts a wide range of smart features, including a timer function and a sensor that reports indoor air quality in real-time. It also has a filter replacement indicator LED light, three fan speeds, and an automatic mode that adjusts the motor’s power according to the pollution level.
With an ability to cover 361 square feet, its coverage area is evidently not the largest, but its operation is flawless. And its sleek and compact frame ensures that it doesn’t take up a lot of floor space.
- Powerful CADR rating
- True HEPA filter for optimal air quality
- Compact design so it doesn’t take up much floor space
- Affordable replacement filters
- Auto mode to adjust fan speed or shut it down
- Perfect for small rooms
- No remote control
- Prominent LED light
8. Blueair Blue Pure 411
The Blueair Blue Pure 411 comes at an unbelievably low price. While it may sacrifice some additional functions, it can still efficiently clean the air in your apartment.
You don’t only get to save on the initial price, but the running cost of this air purifier is also very reasonable thanks to Blueair’s HEPASilent technology that increases airflow and energy efficiency and reduces how often the fan runs for near-silent operation.
Covering only about 161 square feet, this is by far the lowest on the list, making it more suitable for small rooms. However, its small, extremely portable frame that weighs only 3 pounds means that you can move it around the apartment with ease and not worry about it taking too much floor space.
When it comes to its filtration system, it’s just as powerful as the rest of the air purifiers, with a CADR rating of Smoke 105 / Pollen 120 / Dust 120. It boasts three different stages of filters capable of handling most air quality issues.
First, there’s a pre-filter to deal with larger particles. And I was delighted with its positioning outside the air purifier, which made cleaning it a much easier task. The next stage is what sets it apart from most competitors. Instead of the more common True HEPA filter, it features a polypropylene-fibers filter instead.
But don’t worry, it’s still capable of capturing 99% of dust, mold spores, pet dander, and mold spores. This filter also has an additional activated carbon filter that eliminates cigarette smoke and any lingering unpleasant odors.
- Energy Star certification
- Affordable price
- Energy-efficient HEPASilent technology
- Recyclable, easy-to-replace filters
- Efficient 360° air intake
- Washable pre-filter
- Near-silent operation
- No timer function
- Low square footage
- No True HEPA filter
Are Apartment Air Purifiers Really Worth It?
Absolutely! Most apartments suffer from a wide range of special air quality issues, and using an apartment air purifier can help manage and counter such issues.
To begin with, apartments are usually smaller in size than houses, and they don’t often have enough windows to allow the air to flow in. Such compact and often very restrictive layouts can make achieving proper ventilation a much bigger challenge.
In addition to pollutants seeping into your apartment from the outside world, your neighbors can also play a role in your less-than-stellar indoor air quality. For example, if your neighbors smoke or have a moldy bathroom, the pollutants can easily make their way into your apartment through your HVAC system.
Most apartment buildings share a central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system connecting all units. Unfortunately, your apartment’s HVAC system can be counterproductive, pumping dust, mold, allergens, and cigarette smoke daily into your apartment through the air vents.
Since you can never control what other neighbors who live in the same apartment building do in their apartments, the best you can do is invest in an air purifier to filter the air in your apartment.
Does an Air Purifier Cool the Room?
Typical air purifiers can’t change your apartment’s temperature because they lack the air cooling mechanisms necessary to do so. However, it’s important to note that air purifiers are simply a fan with filters, and the fan helps circulate the air through the filters and then your apartment.
That’s why you might feel cooler when the airflow is directed towards you. And that’s also why you may get the impression that air purifiers with higher power and airflow cool the air better – simply because they blow out more air.
Keep in mind that the airflow direction is important to consider. A forward airflow direction, usually common on tower-style air purifiers, is likely to make you feel cooler. In contrast, purifiers with upward air delivery directions won’t directly blow the air in your direction and are winter-friendly.
Factors to Consider When Buying an Apartment Air Purifier
Before buying the next air purifier for your apartment, there are some factors you need to keep in mind first.
Size and Air Coverage
The room coverage of an air purifier can be anywhere between 100 to 1500 square feet or more. Air purifiers with larger air coverage usually cost more. That’s why the first step when it comes to buying an air purifier is to determine the size of your apartment and how much air coverage you actually need.
Additionally, because some air purifiers can be rather bulky, you should also check the air purifier's dimensions to ensure that you have enough floor space for it in your apartment. Alternatively, you can find some wall-mountable models if floor space is an issue, although you would be sacrificing portability.
Noise levels usually depend on fan speeds, but most air purifiers produce a white noise frequency that’s noticeable but not too distracting. You can also find some ultra-quiet air purifiers if you know where to look.
I suggest buying a quiet air purifier with a noise level below 55 dB, especially if you intend to place it in a bedroom or a television room. You can also find ultra-quiet air purifiers on the market that operate at only 20 dB or lower.
The most common filter type in air purifiers on the market are HEPA filters, which stands for “high-efficiency particulate air.” A HEPA filter doesn’t produce any harmful byproducts that might affect your health.
A True HEPA filter can trap more than 99% of airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns at its highest efficiency. This includes mold spores, dust, dander, and cigarette smoke.
Activated Carbon Filters
Activated carbon filters can neutralize gaseous pollutants, including smoke, volatile organic compounds, and bad odors. They’re made of heat or chemically-modified carbon and are usually found in air purifiers in addition to a HEPA filter.
A UV air purifier utilizes ultraviolet light to purge the air of pollutants. By exposing the air to UV-C radiation, the pollutants can be destroyed on a cellular level. Keep in mind that prolonged exposure to UV-C light can be harmful, and it also produces ozone, which is a known air pollutant.
When considering the air purifier’s performance, there are two essential ratings to consider: CADR and ACH.
The clean air delivery rate (CADR) measures your air purifier’s purification power. You should pick an air purifier with a high CADR rating, as it’ll be able to filter more air each minute for the particle’s size range. A rule of thumb is that the CADR rating should be at least 2/3 of the area you want to be covered.
As for the air changes per hour (ACH), it refers to how often all the air in your apartment goes through the air purifier for filtration. As you can guess, the higher the ACH rating, the more efficient and powerful the air purifier will be. It’s worth noting that if you place your air purifier in an apartment smaller than the device’s maximum capacity, the ACH can actually go up.
Smart Controls and Sensors
Some air purifiers offer Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth connectivity and integration with virtual assistants and can also be synced with a mobile app. This allows you to control your air purifier even from outside your apartment.
Even those without this feature, however, can come with an array of smart features. For example, an air sensor can give you real-time feedback regarding the level of pollution in your apartment and adjust the fan’s speed accordingly. Other models may also include a timer and an automatic shutoff function.
To get the most out of your apartment air purifier, it needs to run all day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a huge increase in your electricity bills. Air purifiers widely vary when it comes to how much electricity they consume, and it could be anything between 5 to 200 watts of power.
Generally speaking, an Energy Star-certified air purifier will be more energy-efficient. I also recommend opting for an air purifier with an air quality sensor to adjust the fan’s speed, and by extension, the device’s energy consumption, according to the quality of the air.
Living in an apartment comes with its own unique host of issues, and air pollution is undoubtedly one of them, especially if the air in your neighbors' apartments isn't clean. That's why using an air purifier is paramount.
To help you find the best air purifier for apartments, I’ve explored some of the top options on the market today. If you’re still undecided, here’s a quick recap:
My top choice for an apartment would be the Coway Airmega 400 Smart Air Purifier. It’s powerful, quiet, energy-efficient, has a host of smart features, and boasts unparalleled room coverage that makes it perfect for cleaning the air in a master bedroom, a large living space, or even the whole apartment.
If you’re shopping on a tighter budget and don’t mind opting for an air purifier that covers less space, then the Blueair Blue Pure 411 would also make for a great addition to your apartment. And thanks to being compact and lightweight, you can easily move it around the apartment to always be surrounded by fresh air wherever you are.