Can Air Purifiers Help With Dander?


I’m a pet owner and I’m allergic to dander. I decided to Google how many other pet owners were allergic to their pets and I found out that I was anything but alone.

As it turned out, there are tons of pet owners who are allergic to their furry friends.

This leads us to the question of the day: can an air purifier help with dander allergies?

Air purifiers are very effective at removing dander, other allergens that your pet might track indoors, and pet odors from the air of your home. The best air purifier for people with dander allergies is an air purifier with a HEPA filter and a pre-filter.

Now, I’m sure you’ve got a lot of questions about this recommendation, and I’ll dive right on in, but for those of you who are impatient and want to get an air purifier right now, then you can choose an air purifier from the list below (this list will be at the bottom of this article as well):

What are the Best Air Purifiers for Pet Dander and Pet Fur?

Alright, since I know some people are just going to come here to get the answer on which air purifier is the best (while still being cheap), I’ve listed out the options I love most below.

BUT WAIT! If you’re interested in more information, don’t worry! I dive into things after this, so sit tight! 🙂

Best Air Purifiers for Dander in Bedrooms:

  • Medify MA-14 air purifier
  • Levoit air purifier
    • You can order this air purifier on Amazon here.
    • This unit is perfect for bedrooms and other rooms smaller than 161 square feet.
    • This is a favorite that I have used and own.

Best Air Purifiers for Dander in Living Rooms and Larger Rooms:

Now, with that list out of the way, let me get back to the article for those of you who want to learn more!

How Does an Air Purifier Remove Dander From the Air of My Home?

Dander, that pesky substance that somehow gets everywhere and plugs up your nose, makes your eyes water, or gives you hives, is a particle. In fact, it’s just dead skin flakes, just like what we humans have. But, for some magical reason, so of our bodies seem to think that it’s the most dangerous thing ever and it does everything to make our lives miserable if we touch it or even think about it.

Now, please note that I’m exaggerating a bit there to make a joke, but the fact remains, dander is something that your pet will make no matter what you do. Dead skin cells fall off no matter what.

Sure, hypoallergenic breeds can make your life a little less miserable, but we might already have a companion animal who we love. We can’t just replace them, especially if we’ve had them for years!

Which takes us back to the original question, how can an air purifier help you?

Well, I’m sure you’ve walked into a room, or a home, or a veterinarian, and you’ve been hit with a wall of dander-filled air that immediately got your nose running. How am I so sure of this? Well, I don’t see why you’d be thinking about dander in the air otherwise.

But what if I told you that an air purifier could take out that wall of dander-air and save you three boxes of tissues in the process?

The great thing about air purifiers is that they cycle all the air in a room through their filters, and that means that all of the airborne dander (and dust and other allergens) are cycled through the air purifier. As they are sucked in, all those allergens, all that pet fur, all that dust, and all that dander is caught in the air purifier’s various filters.

And then the air that is shot out the other side of the air purifier is clean dander-free air.

To illustrate this, I’ve included a little diagram that I made to show you what’s going on.

As you can see in the beautiful picture (note my sarcasm), the filter (part of the air purifier) is able to stop all those things floating around in the “Dirty Air.” All those floating things include pet hair, dander, pet odors, and so many other things that most of us could benefit from not breathing for a change.

And with an air purifier, that’s actually possible for a change.

No, the air purifier won’t clean your carpet, couches, and all the surfaces in your home, but it’ll work to make the air a whole lot more breathable for you and your family. I personally found it a whole lot easier to play with my pets when the air was cleaner as well, since I didn’t have to worry about falling into a sneezing fit, having a crazy runny nose, or anything like that.

But, I still have to worry about the hives I get from touching my pets and an air purifier doesn’t stop that. I’ve got to wash my hands a couple of times to make sure the dander doesn’t bother me there, but at least the air isn’t trying to kill me now.

Why do I Need a HEPA Filter and a Pre-Filter in My Air Purifier?

I’m going to cut straight to it here, so I’m sorry if you wanted a long explanation.

You need a HEPA filter because they are the best kind of filter for removing allergens from the air. Look for an air purifier with a “True HEPA Filter” or a “Medical Grade HEPA Filter.” These filters will remove the allergens from the air (dander included) and they’ll even remove some odors as well. HEPA filters also remove dust, among other things.

Quick sidebar, if you’re worried about pet odors, then an activated carbon filter will be a nice addition as well. A lot of air purifiers that have a HEPA filter and a pre-filter will usually have activated carbon as well. The air purifiers on my list will be great for pet odors, so you won’t have to look beyond them if you’re thinking about that.

Now, onto the pre-filter.

Pre-filters are a must, especially if you’re using the air purifier in an environment where there’s a lot of dust and hair floating around. These larger particles clog up your HEPA filter and whatever other filters that your air purifier has. When the air purifier is clogged, its lifespan and its effectiveness drop dramatically. The pre-filter saves you money on replacement filters and it gives you better air cleaning as well.

There! Phew! That’s all I’ve got for why you need a HEPA filter and a pre-filter. And yes, that was the shortest way I could say it too!

What Else Can I Do to Help Clean Dander out of My Home’s Air?

I have a whole article on how you can clean the air in your home, which you can access here: How to Clean Indoor Air – 14 Simple Ways to Clean Up the Air in your Home, however, I’ll tell you the best way to clean the air in your home from that list below.

The best way to clean the air in your home (besides getting an air purifier) is to do some deep cleaning. That means sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, and even shampooing your carpet.

Yes, a clean home impacts the air quality in your home. In fact, your carpet is the largest air filter in your home! A dirty carpet will give you dirty air. Dirty floors and whatnot will do the same, as you kick up dirt, dust, and dander when you walk through it.

When you vacuum, you will want to vacuum your curtains, furniture, and whatever other fabric surfaces you might have in your home. No, you don’t have to do that every time, but you should do it every now and then, especially if you or a family member are allergic to dander.

Shampooing your carpet is another step that you can take to clean the carpet in your home and I have found that it’s incredibly helpful to do. My family owns our own shampooer and we use it once a year-ish. We whip it out when needed as well. If you’d like a shampooer, then you can pick one up on Amazon here. Trust me, they’re easy to use, and I think they’re fun too!

What are the Best Air Purifiers for Pet Dander and Pet Fur?

Alright, before I give you all this list again, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to read my article! I hope it was a huge help, and I wish you the best in your fight against dander.

Best Air Purifiers for Dander in Bedrooms:

  • Medify MA-14 air purifier
    • Use this link to go to their store and pick up this air purifier.
    • This unit is perfect for bedrooms and other rooms that are 200 square feet and under.
  • Levoit air purifier
    • You can order this air purifier on Amazon here.
    • This unit is perfect for bedrooms and other rooms smaller than 161 square feet.
    • This is a favorite that I have used and own.

Best Air Purifiers for Dander in Living Rooms and Larger Rooms:

  • Silver Onyx air purifier
    • You can order the Silver Onyx unit from Amazon here.
    • This unit is great for rooms that are 500 square feet and less.
    • This is a favorite of mine that I’ve used and owned as well.
  • Medify

Here are some of my other pet-related articles that I’ve written! Feel free to check them out as well. The pet grooming dehumidifier one could be surprisingly eye-opening for some of you pet owners too! (Spoiler alert, you don’t need a grooming business to benefit from it.)

Do I Need an Air Dehumidifier for My Pet Grooming Business? | Do Pet Salons Need Commercial Dehumidifiers?

What’s the Best Air Purifier for Someone with Pets?

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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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