Whether you're on a life-long quest to keep your apartment fresh, or trying to rid your space of the smell of smoke, the best small air purifiers can help — and you don't even have to donate all your floor space to the cause.
Unfortunately, most people feel they have to have to sacrifice quality for size. That's where these devices come in. There are plenty of tiny purifiers that can tackle large spaces, some that are designed to eliminate germs, and still more that work well on pet dander.
Personally, my top priority is keeping the air in my home as healthy and dust-free as possible. I live in the basement apartment of a house that was built decades ago and was heated with coal for most of its existence. Even though the apartment itself is new construction, I can't go more than two days without getting a layer of soot over all my furniture. For you, your priorities might differ.
But whether you're looking for the absolute smallest purifier that removes 99 percent of dust, or a powerful three-in-one purifier that eliminates bacteria, this list has what you're looking for. So, start scrolling. The best small air purifiers still pack a purifying punch, all despite the fact that you can neatly tuck them into a corner or place them discreetly on your bedside table.
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1. The Best Overall: Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier
With an overall score of 89, the Blue Pure 211+ air purifier is the highest rated air purifier on Consumer Reports. According to their experts, this small room air purifier is "especially effective at removing dust, smoke, and pollen at its highest speed," which is vital in cleaning your entire space. It utilizes a three-part filtration system (a fabric pre-filter, a particle filter, and a carbon filter) to remove everything from pollutants to common allergens. Furthermore, the fabric filter is totally washable and can be changed to a different color to suit any decor. Even though it can handle spaces up to 600 square feet and has a 360-degree air intake, its square edges and short height make it one of the more compact units for smaller homes.
Helpful review: "This thing is easy on the eyes, very straightforward setup, you plug it in click a button and go on with your day. We have this in our bedroom, and within 4 hours there was a VERY noticeable difference in air quality, total 180 by the next day. As you walk from the living room into the bedroom, the odors disappear, it smells clean - almost sterile, and it feels like you’re breathing PURE O2 out of an oxygen tank."
2. An Affordable Runner Up: Levoit Air Purifier
Thanks to its fine preliminary layer, true HEPA filter, and activated carbon layer, this air purifier is especially effective when it comes to trapping airborne allergy triggers like dust mites, pollen, smoke, mold, and pet dander — and at just $90, that's a huge value. Combine the reasonable price with its three different speeds and its discreet design, and you understand why it's a bestseller on Amazon with a 4.5 star rating. It even has a built-in nightlight function if you're using it in hallways or kids bedrooms.
Helpful review: "I have BAD allergies ... I bought this product and keep it in my bedroom beside my bed and MY NOSE ISN'T RUNNING ANYMORE at night. [Helps] me have a better sleep."
3. The Smallest: Holmes Small Room Air Purifier
If you're really limited on space (or you're looking for a convenient way to purify your office), there's the Holmes air purifier. This one can be placed vertically or horizontally on virtually any desk or table, making it the most space-savvy unit on this list. Despite its size, this small room air purifier has three speeds and manages to remove up to 99 percent of dust, pollen, smells, and mold spores. You can use it alongside any Holmes AER1 series filter (like Smoke Grabber or Total Air) to better personalize it to your needs. It even has an optional ionizer to bind with smaller pollutants, improving the quality of your air even further.
Helpful review: "I love these little air cleaners. I have one in each of our bedrooms. They are small, compact and do a great job cleaning the air ... It is amazing how dirty the filters get. We have a pretty clean house and I vacuum every other day. We change our furnace filter often but these things really pick up an amazing amount of dirt ... The fan is somewhat loud on high and you can barely hear it on low. I think it honestly does a decent job on low but I keep it on medium because I want it to move the air a little more. I also like the noise for sleeping."
4. The Best Germ-Killer: InvisiClean Claro Air Purifier
In addition to a HEPA filter, charcoal filter, and ionizer to catch pollutants and odors, this air purifier also has a built-in UV-C light. This serves to destroy airborne microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, and fungi, making it the best choice for those concerned with the spread of germs. The touch-button technology allows you to set timers and choose among four fan speeds and a sleep mode. This popular small room air purifier has an impressive 4.7 star rating.
Helpful review: "I have been running it 3 days. The air smelled clean in our bedroom after about 2 hours on Turbo. The sleep mode is great, no sound. We live in the country with 2 dogs. We couldn't keep up with the dust. After 24 hours, I dusted half of my dresser. There is virtually no dust after 2 more days. Before this unit, in 2 days it didn't appear dusted. My wife commented this morning that she slept good and could breathe all night without coughing and her nose was not dried out."
5. The Best For Big Spaces: Honeywell Air Purifier
It may look unsuspecting compared to other purifiers, but this one from Honeywell is surprisingly powerful. It can tackle molecules that are 250 times smaller than the average human hair, all thanks to its true HEPA filter. It's suitable for rooms up to 310 square feet, and can filter and circulate the air five times per hour, which is way more efficient than most other units this size. If you have a specific issue you're trying to fix, Honeywell is also one of the few models that gives you different modes — germs, general clean, allergens, and turbo. "I'm in an apartment, so it's more than enough to handle my living room," says one reviewer who saw a difference in their allergies less than an hour after setting it up.
Helpful review: "After a week or so of running it once a day on just the 'clean' mode, my son mentioned that he was having fewer issues with his allergies, so we switched over to the “allergen” mode at that point. A miracle! Suddenly his sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes symptoms all cleared up. I was shocked to find that he could discontinue his daily allergy medicine without suffering any ill effects ... As for the unit itself: it's got a pretty small footprint so I had no problem finding a good spot for placement."
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