What to Look for in an Air Purifier for Allergies

Allergies are no fun, an air purifier could help with your allergies.

When shopping for an air purifier to help with your allergies, you should get a machine with a HEPA filter. There are other things that you can and should look for in an air purifier that will help with your allergies, but a HEPA filter should be your starting point.

Additional features that you can benefit from using include a sanitizer, ionizer, and even a humidifier or dehumidifier–depending on if your home’s air needs to be drier or wetter.

How Does a HEPA Filter Help Me With My Allergies?

No one likes waking up with a stuffy nose because of their allergies. An air purifier in your bedroom can help.

HEPA filters are designed to capture particles in the air that are really, really small. The things that cause your allergies to flare up like dander, dust, and pollen, are all microscopic particles that the HEPA filter can take out of the air.

Because these air filters are designed to take care of microscopic particles, they’re the perfect fit for anyone with allergies. That’s why we recommend that you look for an air purifier with a HEPA filter at the minimum.

But, if you’re on a tight budget, or if you just don’t want to spend a bunch on an air purifier, then you can just buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter and nothing else. Air purifiers with HEPA filters can be very affordable, oftentimes they can be bought for about as much as it takes to take your family out for some fast food.

For those of you on a budget, I recommend buying the Three Musketeers air purifier for your bedroom. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and I really like it. The reason why I say to put it in your bedroom is because that’s where most of us spend most of our time! We just don’t think about it because we’re asleep.

The Three Musketeer air purifier is great for bedrooms and home offices.

This is the Three Musketeers air purifier that I have and just mentioned. I’ve been using it for almost two years now and love it.

Check it’s current price on Amazon here.

A lot of people with allergies, be it seasonal or not, will wake up at times with stuffy noses and sore throats from our allergies. That’s no fun. Having an air purifier running in your bedroom at all times will greatly reduce the number of days that you wake up feeling stuffed up.

But, as I previously said, a HEPA filter is only the start of where you should look if you’re really interested in cleaning up the air in your home. There are a lot more rooms than just your bedroom that could benefit from using an air purifier too.

If you’d like to read up a more technical look at how air purifiers help with your allergies, then you can check out this article from the Yonsei Medical Journal that explains how air purifiers can help children with asthma, including allergic asthma. Or, this report from the Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology is all about allergic rhinitis, which is a fancy doctor way of saying allergies.

How Does a Sanitizer and a Ionizer Help With My Allergies?

Air sanitizers can help with your allergies, but their effects aren’t as noticeable as an air ionizer’s will be.

Most air sanitizers don’t pull the allergens out of the air, they just kill whatever microbes might pass through. That being said, there are some air sanitizers that can and do help with allergies, these include electrostatic plates which will capture the allergens out of the air, unlike UV sanitizers do on their own.

UV sanitizers aren’t great for allergies, but they can be purchased as a part of a larger air purifier. The air sanitizer is very nice to have to reduce the amount of airborne viruses and bacteria, which is a nice addition to most higher-end/more capable air purifiers.

Air ionizers, on the other hand, can and do help with reducing the amount of allergens in the air. In fact, these ionizers actively work to pull allergens out of the air around the air purifier–not just the air that passes through the air purifier’s filters. Because of this, ionizers do have certain advantages over HEPA filters, but it’s best to just buy an air purifier that has both an ionizer and an air purifier.

One important thing that I must point out is that some air sanitizers and even some ionizers are not safe to operate in your home. These air sanitizers and ionizers make something called “ozone” which can be harmful to our health when we breathe it in. It’s especially harmful to kids, toddlers, and babies. Most air purifiers nowadays don’t make ozone, but some do (and they’ll tell you they do up font–i.e. they’ll say the machine has an ozone generator). If you’d like to read up on ozone-generating air purifiers, then check out my article What Are Air Purifiers with Ozone Generators?

The SilverOnyx air purifier is great for allergies. What makes it such a good air purifier for allergies is that it has a HEPA filter and an ionizer.

If you’re looking for an air purifier for your living room that has an ionizer and a HEPA filter, then the SilverOnyx air purifier is one that I’ve personally enjoyed.

In addition to being great for allergies (I’ve noticed a huge difference in the air quality of my home’s air since I got it), this air purifier is great for taking care of cooking odors, smoke, and other unwanted smells since it has something called activated carbon. This activated carbon is a great odor absorber and it really helped recently when we had some really bad wildfires.

This air purifier also has a UV sanitizer. Again, that doesn’t do a whole lot for allergies, but it does cleanse the air of whatever germs are floating around.

You can check the current Amazon price for this air purifier here.

How Does a Dehumidifier or Humidifier Help With My Allergies?

Believe it or not, a dehumidifier or humidifier can actually help you with your allergies! They are able to do this because humid and dry air alike are known to increase how many irritants there are in the air–irritants that cause your allergies to go crazy.

I’ve found that wetter (humid) air usually affects my allergies the most, but I’ve read in quite a few places that dry air is also bad for allergies.

But what does this mean for you?

Well, if your home’s air feels muggy, then odds are that it’s humid. If it feels dry and if your skin dries out when you’re at home, then odds are that your air isn’t humid enough.

Since most of my experience and knowledge revolves around having too much humidity in your home and that causing allergy issues, I’ll go a little more in depth on that.

How Do Dehumidifiers Help With My Allergies?

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air. Dust mites, in particular, are attracted to more moist environments and their feces are what cause people’s allergic reactions to “dust”.

The EPA recommends in this study that your home’s air remain between 30 and 50 percent to limit the number of pests, including dust mites, in your home. Another study that was done in Japan was posted on Science Direct in 2011 and it goes further in depth on how dehumidifiers can help you with your allergies. You can access that report here.

There are lots of reasons to maintain a healthy humidity in your home beyond just allergies. Mold is another problem that can arise if your home is too humid and that brings about its own health risks. Believe it or not, but higher humidity also attracts bugs! If you want to take another step to prevent an infestation of insects and spiders, then a dehumidifier can help you do that too.

I’ve had a dehumidifier from a company called Aiho for a while and really enjoyed it, but it’s only for bedrooms. I actually purchased it as a separate unit and not a combo unit of an air purifier and a dehumidifier because it was cheaper to buy two different machines, believe it or not. When you get around to shopping for a dehumidifier and an air purifier, be sure to check if it’s cheaper to buy two different machines. That can save you 50 bucks or more!

AirPurifieirEssential’s author, Kaela Stone, wrote an article on her experience with the Aiho dehumidifier which you can check out here. She even had her dehumidifier freeze once, and you can read that interesting story here.

If you’re looking for a standalone dehumidifier, then please feel free to shop around on Amazon here.

What Rooms Should I Have an Air Purifier in to Help With My Allergies?

As I previously stated, it’s probably best to put your air purifier in your bedroom, if you’re just picking up your first air purifier and don’t want to spend too much. I get it, you might not be sold on air purifiers just yet, so you just want to dip your toe in the water. I did the exact same thing.

If you’ve owned an air purifier before and want another, or if you’re thinking you might be willing to get more than just one air purifier, then there are other rooms you can put your air purifier in. These rooms include your living room, kitchen, dining room, and your home office. Some people even put their air purifiers in their bathrooms–especially if that air purifier has an activated carbon filter to deal with odors.

You can use your laptop as a power source for a personal air purifier
You can use your laptop as a power source for a personal air purifier

If you’re planning on getting an air purifier for your bedroom, bathroom, or office space, then an air purifier like the Three Musketeers one that I mentioned above is a great option. It’s cheap, small, and has an activated carbon filter in addition to its HEPA filter. I honestly think it can’t be beat. If you’re ready to check it out, here’s a link to its Amazon listing.

Something I really liked about my Three Musketeers air purifier is that I can run it from my tiny laptop, even when the laptop isn’t plugged in! I actually wrote a whole post on just that because I was so excited about it. You can check that article out here.

Should I Have an Air Purifier in My Living Room for My Allergies?

Yes. If you have allergies, then your living room is probably the second best place to have your air purifier (after your bedroom).

Odds are that you spend the bulk of your waking hours at work, and you can definitely get an air purifier for your desk. Once you get home, however, where do you spend most of your time? Odds are that you’re spending your time in your living room, family room, or den with your loved ones.

All that time is spent breathing air that might be full of allergens.

Getting an air purifier for your living room could be a great option for anyone who spends any significant amount of time with their family in that particular room. Not only will you be able to benefit, but even non-allergy sufferers can notice the difference in cleaner air.

On top of that, a lot of living rooms are attached to your home’s front door. Odds are there are a few windows too. Those to things can allow allergens in when they’re open. When you shut them, however, those allergens are trapped in your home. The EPA did a study and found that the air inside your home is usually between 2 and 5 times dirtier than the air outside in this study.

2 to 5 times!

That’s a whole lot of allergens inside your home. Fortunately, air purifiers can work to reduce the number of airborne allergens though.

Alright, so what’s the best air purifier for my living room then? That would be, hands down, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+. We’ve talked about this air purifier before, and it really can’t be beat. If you’d like to help us out, you can purchase your Blueair air purifier from Amazon from this link here. Just scroll down until you see the “Blueair Blue Pure 211+” (as seen on the right) and that’s the machine you want.

Should I Have an Air Purifier in My Bathroom to Help With My Allergies?

This is probably one of the lower-priority rooms to get an air purifier in just to take care of your allergies. While an air purifier with an activated carbon filter can help to keep your bathroom smelling clean, there probably aren’t too many allergens in your bathroom’s air.

Of course, you can get an air purifier to clean your bathroom’s air of allergens, but there aren’t a lot of things that those allergens can come from in a bathroom. Dust mites probably don’t have anywhere to live, as you will be washing your towels regularly enough. Pollen likely won’t be getting into your home through your bathroom. However, if you have an indoor pet that roams around and hangs out in the bathroom, then dander could be an issue in your home.

If you’re going to get an air purifier for your bathroom, you should get one that’s rated for rooms that are 200 square feet and smaller. 200 square feet is overkill for a bathroom, but that and 150 square feet is usually the smallest room size that air purifiers are made for.

If I Have Allergies, Should I Have an Air Purifier in My Kitchen?

Your kitchen could be a great spot to have an air purifier for your allergies, especially if it is adjoining another room or two (i.e. an adjoining dining room and/or living room).

Kitchens can get a lot of foot traffic, and allergens are notorious for hitching a ride on people who then track them into your home. Additionally, people with sensitivities to some foods can be adversely impacted just by smelling the food in the air. An air purifier can work to capture those airborne smells, especially if they have an activated carbon filter.

Air purifiers with activated charcoal filters can also help to clear any smoke and cooking odors from the air, which can be nice for those of us who burn their food from time to time, or that cook with smelly things like fish.

If you’d like to read some more on the rooms you should put your air purifier in, here are some of my articles on the subject!

Do I Need Air Purifiers for the Office? Step By Step Air Quality

What Are the Top 7 Proven Reasons Have an Air Purifier in my Bedroom?

What Are the Benefits of Having an Air Purifier in my Bedroom? | Sleeping Better with Better Air

Jonathon Silva

Jonathan Silva is our longtime Air Purifier Essentials author. He has been writing on air purification technologies for his entire professional career.

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