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How to find the best air purifier for you

January 2, 2023

How to find the best air purifier for you
Experts agree that filtration is key when choosing an air purifier. There are two standards and testing procedures, HEPA and CADR, that help show how efficiently air purifiers clear the air in a room.

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters: Every expert we spoke to agreed that HEPA is crucial for filtration, but HEPA isn’t a centrally regulated standard, so shopping for these filters can be complicated. That’s why experts recommend you shop for HEPA-level filtration and note each air purifier’s clean air delivery rate (CADR) which gives you more information about how well an air purifier will clear a given space of contaminants (including tobacco smoke, dust and pollen), its primary purpose. You can learn more about HEPA filters here.
Clean air delivery rating, or CADR: The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) works with independent laboratories to certify air purifiers that meet its standards. CADR tells you how much air (in cubic feet per minute) an air purifier can process within one minute. According to AHAM, your air purifier should have a CADR rating equivalent to about two-thirds the area of your space (in square feet). For more on HEPA and CADR, see our primer on HEPA and CADR filtration testing.