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apartment air purifiers

Best Air Purifier For Apartment Living: Top Picks, Reviews & Guide

Shopping for an Air Purifier for Apartment Living?

You’ve come to the right place!

Apartments face the same air quality problems that are typically rampant in houses. However,they also have to deal with some unique challenges due to their smaller sizes and different architecture. Poor layouts and small size can hinder proper ventilation in apartments adding additional issues that further affect the air quality of such spaces.

Plus, you do not have any control over what your neighbors are doing, so their cooking smell, moldy bathroom, or cigarette smoke could affect your apartment’s air quality.

One way to ensure the freshest air for your apartment is by using an air purifier. An air purifier for apartment living can help remove pollutants from the air, especially if you have no control over the source of the contaminants.


What's In This Buying Guide

In this guide, we compare different air purifiers for apartments suitable for small, medium, and large spaces so that you breathe in fresh air irrespective of what your neighbors do or where you live.

Read our in-depthreviews below and pick a unit that is just right for you and start enjoying the freshest and cleanest air possible.

We also list various types of contaminants an apartment air purifier can help you remove and shed light on some features that make a unit great.

Towards the end of this guide, we also discuss some commonly asked questions to make it easier for you to choose an apartment air purifier that is just right for you!


Best Apartment Living Air Purifiers

air filter for apartment
  • RabbitAir MinusA2

  • Best for Large Apartments
  • Weight
    24.2 pounds

  • Dimensions
    24.02 x 22.64 x 9.84 inches

  • Filter life
    2-years with 12 hours daily operation

  • Energy Star Certified
    Yes

air filter for apartment
  • Molekule Air Mini Air Purifier

  • Best for Studio Apartments
  • Weight
    11.77 pounds

  • Dimensions
    8.26 x 8.26 x 12 inches

  • Filter life
    Six-months

  • Energy Star Certified
    -

apartment air purifier
  • Coway AP-1512HH

  • Best for Allergies
  • Weight
    12.35 pounds

  • Dimensions
    16.81 x 9.57 x 18.31 inches

  • Filter life
    Carbon filter - six-months; HEPA filter 1-year

  • Energy Star Certified
    Yes

air purifier for apartment
  • Winix 5500-2

  • Most Economical
  • Weight
    15.4 pounds

  • Dimensions
    15 x 8.2 x 23.6 inches

  • Filter life
    Three months to one year

  • Energy Star Certified
    Yes

air purifier for apartment
  • TruSens Large Air Purifier

  • Best for Pets
  • Weight
    17.93 pounds

  • Dimensions
    12.99 x 13.19 x 31.89 inches

  • Filter life
    Carbon filter three-four months; HEPA filter 12 - 15 months; UV lamp one - three years

  • Energy Star Certified
    -


1. Best for Large Apartments: RabbitAir MinusA2

living air purifiers

One of the top-of-the-line air purifiers available, the RabbitAir MinusA2 is suitable for areas up to 700 square feet, making it an ideal unit for large apartments.

Equipped with a brushless motor, six filtration stages, and deodorization, the RabbitAir MinusA2 removes allergens 0.3 microns in size from the air in your apartment with an impressive 99.97% efficiency.

Pros

  • Advanced HEPA filtration
  • Easily handles common pollutants and allergens
  • 6 purification stages and deodorization
  • It can be easily mounted on the wall
  • Customizable filters
  • Sleep mode
  • Quiet operation
  • Remote controlled
  • Light sensor
  • Energy Star certified motor

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

Our Review

The RabbitAir MinusA2 is designed with a 6-stage filtration system to remove large and small pollutants from the air.

The advanced BioGS HEPA filtration system used in this air purifier is true-HEPA rated. Superior to the traditional HEPA, this filter traps particles and allergens smaller than 0.1 microns in size with 99% efficiency and 0.3 microns in size with 99.97% efficiency.

In addition, the BioGS HEPA reduces bacteria and allergens trapped on the filter to prolong filter life and support optimum efficiency.

The customizable filter option further allows you to target specific contaminants present in your apartment. These include:

  • Germ Defense Filter: Effectively reduces mold spores, bacteria, and particles that carry viruses. 
  • Toxin Absorber Filter: Helps to reduce VOCs and other chemicals.
  •  Pet Allergy Filter: Traps pet allergen and pet dander.
  • Odor Remover Filter: Reduces odors from cigars and cigarettes, pets, mildew, and cooking.

The high-grade granular activated carbon used in the RabbitAir MinusA2 is much more effective in reducing chemicals and common household odors than most typical AC filters.

Lastly, the negative ion generator freshens the indoor environment and fortifies the air you breathe.

The highly sensitive particle and odor sensors detect the number of pollutants in the air and automatically adjust the fan speed to provide you with fresh air at all times.

The MinusA2 also features a smart light sensor that automatically reduces the lighting when the room darkens and resumes to its normal mode once it is daylight.

Buyers highly praise the RabbitAir MinusA2. It is a great device that efficiently purifies the air in your apartment. However, some people find it too expensive.

Specs

Filtration stages: 6

Coverage Area: 700 sq. ft.

Noise level: 20.8 to 45.6 dB

Warranty: 5 years

CADR: Pollen 171, Dust 173, Smoke 166


2. Best for Studio Apartments: Molekule Air Mini Air Purifier

living air purifiers

This compact and highly efficient air purifier from Molekule uses advanced air filtration technology to destroy instead of trapping airborne pollutants.

It is suitable for areas up to 250 square feet, making it ideal for studio apartments, home offices, and kid’s bedrooms.

Pros

  • Covers up to 250 sq. ft.
  • 5 fan speeds
  • Light-activated filter
  • PECO nanotechnology destroys bacteria, viruses, VOCs, and more
  • One-touch interface
  • Convenient Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Natural wool felt handle
  • Environment-friendly
  • Compact and quiet
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • The cost of replacing filters is high

Our Review

Unlike traditional air purifiers, the Molekule Air Mini Air Purifier uses PECO nanotechnology as the primary filtration method. This patented filter traps and kills airborne pollutants while working at a molecular level.

PECO technology is also highly effective at neutralizing gases and VOCs, making it a great unit to help decrease ocular and nasal allergy symptoms.

Thanks to its easy cable management and intuitive design, you can also easily place this unit on your nightstand or office desk. The natural felt handle makes it easy to carry this air purifier from one room to another.

The best thing about the Molekule Air Mini Air Purifier is that you can connect it to your Wi-Fi and control it with your smartphone no matter where you are. Its one-touch interface makes it easy to control, while the 5 fan speeds allow you to customize the settings according to your preference.

In addition to remotely controlling the air purifier, the app also allows you to keep an eye on the filter status. The PECO filter is excellent at destroying contaminants; you just need to change it every 6 months.

The Molekule Air Mini Air Purifier is an environmentally friendly unit as it does not emit any ozone. In fact, it destroys it.

However, there is one thing that buyers find inconvenient. Only Molekule-branded filters are warranted with these units, and changing the filters every 6 months can put a burden on your budget.

Specs

Filtration stages: Nanoparticle-coated PECO filter

Coverage Area: 250 sq. ft.

Noise level: 39 to 62 dBA

Warranty: 30-day home trial

CADR: N/A


3. Best for Allergies: Coway AP-1512HH

apartment air purifier

The Coway AP-1512HH is a cutting-edge air purifier designed with unique and impressive features and a 4-stage filtration process to ensure that your indoor air is fresh and clean.

This compact unit efficiently removes allergy triggers like pet dander, mold, and dust, making it ideal for people who suffer from asthma and allergies.

Pros

  • Purifies rooms up to 361 sq. ft.
  • 4-stage filtration system
  • Washable and permanent pre-filter
  • Pollution sensor
  • Brightly-colored LED display
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Auto and Eco mode
  • Timer
  • Filter replacement indicator
  • Energy-efficient
  • Removes odors related to second-hand smoke

Cons

  • Squirrel cage fan may disintegrate after some time

Our Review

The Coway AP-1512HH is an exceptional unit that stands out due to its small size, high CADR, ease of use, fair price, and quiet operation. Designed with an Eco mode, the unit automatically stops to save energy if no pollution is detected for 30 minutes.

Its 4-stage filtration system includes a pre-filter, a True HEPA filter, a deodorization filter, and Vital Ion to efficiently reduce up to 99.97% particles as small as 0.3 microns.

The Coway model is also ideal for smokers or people who live with smokers as it can effectively reduce odors and air contaminants associated with second-hand smoke.

The AP-1512HH features a pollution sensor that measures indoor air quality in real-time. The LED display informs you about your indoor air quality, while the filter lifetime indicator checks both the HEPA filter and the pre-filter to notify you when it is time to replace or wash them.

However, there is a quality control issue with these units. Some buyers complain that after using this unit for some time, the squirrel cage fan inside it starts making noise and shoots plastic shrapnel everywhere before disintegrating completely.

Specs

Filtration stages: 4

Coverage Area: 361 sq. ft.

Noise level: 24.4 dBA to 53.8 dBA

Warranty: 3 years

CADR: Pollen 240, Dust 246, Smoke 233


4. Most Economical: Winix 5500-2

air filter for apartment

One of the most economical units for an apartment is the Winix 5500-2. Its patented PlasmaWave technology helps purify the air from contaminants without creating a burden on your pocket.

Pros

  • 4-stage filtration removes allergens and contaminants
  • Suitable for rooms up to 360 square feet
  • VOC Smart Sensor
  • Light sensor
  • Remote control
  • Air quality visual indicator
  • Auto and sleep mode

Cons

  • Lower fan settings are not effective

Our Review

This one-of-a-kind air purifier safely breaks down chemical vapors, bacteria, odors, allergens, and other pollutants without producing any harmful ozone or other side effects. The Winix 5500-2 features a UV light and an ionizer, all wrapped in one device.

The 4-stage filtration process consists of a washable fine mesh pre-filter that traps the largest airborne particles. Next, the washable AOC Carbon Filter reduces odors and VOCs from smoke, cooking, and pets. This filter also helps increase the lifespan of the True HEPA filter.

In the third stage, the True HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne allergens, and lastly, the PlasmaWave Air Cleaning technology produces hydroxyls to neutralize viruses and bacteria.

The LED light on the Winix air purifier changes in real-time depending on the air quality. It features built-in quality sensors that measure and adjust the fan’s speed in real-time.

The Sleep mode further adds convenience as the 5500-2 automatically delivers quiet and energy-efficient operation as the room darkens. It changes back to Auto mode once it is light again.           

Users claim that the 5500-2 worked beautifully and purified the room efficiently when run on a high fan setting. However, on the low fan setting, it ejects air over a very small radius.

Specs

Filtration stages: 3

Coverage Area: 360 sq. ft.

Noise level: 27.8 dBA

Warranty: 2-years

CADR: Pollen 240, Dust 246, Smoke 233


5. Best for Pets: TruSens Large Air Purifier

apartment air purifiers

A beautifully designed, cylindrical-shaped unit, the TruSens air purifier comes with unique features.

Designed with 360-degree DuPont True HEPA filtration, this unit completely eliminates airborne viruses and allergens, making it particularly suitable for households with pets.

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • PureDirect technology
  • Bidirectional airflow
  • Smart sensors
  • Color-coded LED display
  • Easy-to-use touch controls
  • 5 fan speeds
  • Timer and night mode
  • Carry handle
  • Filter change indicator

Cons

  • Quality control could be better

Our Review

The True HEPA in the TruSens Large Air Purifier captures pollutants while the UV-C light kills the bacteria and germs trapped in the filter so that you enjoy clean air in your apartment.

Most traditional air purifiers do not know the air quality in a room. However, the TruSens purifier comes with SensorPods placed across the room. The SensorPod actively monitors the room’s air quality and communicates with the TruSens purifier so that it can adjust the fan speed accordingly. 

The innovative PureDirect technology splits the clean air into two streams, delivering purified air efficiently and more comfortably throughout the room.

The TruSens purifier is beautifully designed with simple touch controls for all essential functions like auto-timer, fan speeds, filter replacement indicator, and UV mode. The color-coded LED display further provides complete peace of mind.

However, some buyers state that their unit’s screen was not correctly aligned, and as a result, they could not see the full display screen.

Specs

Filtration stages: 3

Coverage Area: 750 sq. ft.

Noise level: 30-60 dBA

Warranty: 2 years

CADR: -


Apartment Living Air Purifier: Buying Guide

air purifier for apartment

Why Buy an Air Purifier for an Apartment?

Since apartments are smaller than homes, you need to overcome some unique challenges to maintain a high level of indoor air quality. Luckily, air purifiers are highly effective in solving most of these issues.

Since most apartments have a restrictive and compact layout compared to houses, it can be quite difficult to properly ventilate the whole area.

Typically, apartments in one building share the same heating and cooling systems. As a result, you have no control over the quality of the air you breathe in and must rely on your building’s manager for regular cleaning and maintenance of the building’s HVAC system.

As a result, allergens, dust, mold, and other pollutants can easily reach your apartment daily through air vents. Similarly, odors, smoke, and other contaminants from your neighbors can easily make their way to your apartment.

Even if you do not smoke and keep your place tidy, it takes only one careless person to ruin the air quality in your apartment. This is why getting an air purifier is vital to improving the air quality inside your apartment.

Air purifiers are outstanding devices that screen out and get rid of airborne particles that cause lingering odors in your apartment or can be dangerous to your health. They are highly efficient in removing common pollutants like:

  • Dust and dust mites 
  • Mold 
  • Germs, viruses, and bacteria 
  • Allergens like pollen from flowers, plants, and trees 
  • Tobacco smoke 
  • Pet dander and hair 
  • Odors from cooking

Particles that aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions

air purifier for apartment

Although the type of airborne contaminants present in a building may vary, a few common pollutants that you can find in every building complex regardless of where you live include:

Allergens

Dust, pollen, and pet dander are some common types of allergens typically present inside apartments. These particles can come inside your apartment on your clothing, through the HVAC system, or through the open window.

With air purifiers, you can easily extract allergens from the air inside your apartment.

Mold

Poor ventilation in apartments can cause humidity and moisture to build up in places like the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry area. This moisture, in turn, encourages mold growth that could cause an allergic reaction in people suffering from respiratory problems.

By using an air purifier to filter mold spores from the air, you can breathe clean and fresh air.

Smoke

Even if you are not a smoker, the smoke from your neighbor’s apartment can seep into your apartment. Getting rid of tobacco smoke is quite difficult as it can cling to your clothing, furniture, carpeting, and drapery.

However, with a good-quality air purifier, you can get rid of the smoke odor from your apartment without any trouble. Even people who smoke inside their apartments can use these devices to keep their place smelling fresh. 

Chemical Off-Gassing

New furniture, a fresh coat of paint, or even carpeting can give your apartment a chic look, but unfortunately, these things contain volatile organic compounds that are released into your apartment.

This chemical process, also known as off-gassing, is a serious issue with many furniture products and building materials.

Sometimes the smell of these off-gases is very faint, and the only way of keeping yourself safe is by using an air purifier.

Odors

One great disadvantage of living in an apartment is that odors from pets, cooking, or your neighbor’s poor cleaning habits trap easily.

However, an air purifier with a specialized filter can remove odor-causing particles, ensuring that your apartment smells fresh all the time.

Features to Consider: Living Room Air Purifier

apartment air purifier

Keeping the following features in mind when looking for a unit can help you find the most efficient and best-suited air purifier:

Size

When shopping for an air purifier for your apartment, it is vital to keep the size of your apartment in mind.

Never buy a unit simply because you like the way it looks because it may not be rated to provide sufficient coverage for your apartment size. Plus, the unit you choose should not be too large so as to waste money and energy.

To find the square footage of your apartment, you can ask your landlord, measure the length and width of your apartment and multiply them, or look up your apartment’s website to find out if the square footage is listed online.

Once you are sure about the square footage of your apartment, you can easily find a unit suitable for the area.

Filter type

Since it is hard to determine the kind of particles floating in the space around you, it is best to look for an air purifier that targets the highest number of pollutants possible. For this reason, you need a unit that comes with one or more of these features:

  • True HEPA Filter: These filters are essential for clean air as they capture the broadest range of contaminants present in the air. They efficiently trap 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size, including pet dander, dust, mold spores, pollen, and bacteria.
  • Activated carbon filter: This filter helps eliminate odors from tobacco, cooking, and other smelly substances. In addition, activated carbon filters remove off-gassing chemicals from the VOCs in your carpet, paint, and furniture.
  • UV light: Some air purifiers are equipped with a UV-C light that helps kill airborne bacteria and viruses. Not all units have this feature, but you can go for it if you want to ensure that your apartment is as sterile as possible.
  • Ionizer: The ionizer provides a good supplemental technology as it removes pollutants floating around in the air. A True HEPA needs to draw in air to remove contaminants, whereas an ionizer does not need physical filtration. An ionizer works best when combined with a True HEPA filter since it can miss some contaminants when used alone.
  • PECO: This photon-based air purification process works jointly with UV-C light to oxidize chemicals and eliminate allergens, volatile organic compounds, fungi, mold, and bacteria.
  • PlasmaWave: This completely safe technology breaks down chemical vapors, bacteria, odors, allergens, and other pollutants without releasing harmful ozone or other side effects.

CADR

Clean Air Delivery Rate or CADR measures how fast an air purifier can clean the air in a room - the higher the CADR, the more powerful the unit.

Measured in cubic feet per minute, the CADR is typically taken for smoke, dust, and pollen. Although there are certain limitations with the CADR, it is still quite an accurate way of measuring an air purifier’s efficiency.

Coverage Area

apartment air purifiers

Most air purifiers come with a highly recommended coverage area, which should be considered its maximum range. This is why it is best to look for a coverage range that is at least 25% above your room’s area.  

For example, for a 400 square feet room, you should go for an air purifier with a minimum coverage of 500 square feet. Or, if you have a 200 square feet bedroom, choose a unit recommended to at least cover 250 square feet so that it can filter all the contaminants and allergens in your bedroom moreeffectively.

On the other hand, if you live in a high pollution area or have pets, old carpets, degrading paint, or mold or pollen problems, it is best to look for an air purifier with at least 50% square feet coverage.      

Another great advantage of larger air purifiers is that they are quite effective even when you run them in lower and quieter settings, making them highly suitable for bedrooms.

Also, keep in mind that for people who suffer from asthma or other allergies, it is best to look for units that advertise a higher room coverage.

Weight

If your apartment has multiple rooms, investing in a lightweight and portable air purifier is best as you can move it from one room to another, depending on where you need it.

Wi-Fi capabilities

Thanks to the technological advancements in air purifiers, many units are now fitted with Wi-Fi capabilities.

This convenient feature means that you do not have to operate or constantly check the filters manually to ensure that they are clean; instead, you can keep tabs on your phone or turn the unit on and off remotely by using your phone.

Power Consumption

Air purifiers typically do not consume a lot of electricity. Look for energy-efficient air purifiers as they help you save money on operating costs. Features like Sleep/Auto mode also help manage power consumption.

Some units are designed with Eco-mode that turns off the motor fan when it is not in use.

Choosing the right air purifier that covers your whole room is also essential to keep power consumption low. If the unit does not provide suitable coverage, it will take more time and higher speed to purify the entire room.

Warranty

Most well-known manufacturers provide a warranty on their air purifiers. Units with longer warranties give buyers more confidence that they will purify their homes for a long time.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is one purifier enough for my apartment?

If you live in a very small apartment like a studio or a loft, you may not need more than one air purifier.

However, if you live in a larger apartment, investing in multiple purifiers is a good idea to enjoy the freshest and cleanest air possible.

Air purifiers do not work through walls, nor can they filter the air around corners. If you have a big apartment with many doorways and walls, you need a dedicated air purifier for the living room and a secondary unit for the bedroom. 

Whether you live in a large or small apartment, another feasible option is investing in a couple of smaller and more portable air purifiers that you can easily move from one room to another.

Is it costly to maintain an air purifier?

When buying an apartment air purifier, it is good practice to consider the yearly maintenance cost, especially if you are on a budget. Air purifier filters need to be changed every 3 months. However, this can vary depending on the model and usage.               


Final Verdict: What is the best living air purifier sold today?

After testing and reviewing several different air purifier models, we have concluded that the RabbitAir MinusA2 is the most suitable air purifier for apartments.

Its high-quality construction and exceptional filters make it stand out from the competition. It can be wall-mounted, and its quiet operation makes it great for bedrooms.

About the Author Tom Hanson

I’ve worked as an HVAC tech in Phoenix, AZ for the past 10 years. I created CoolAndPortable.com to help home owners select the right portable air conditioner, cooler or air purifier for their needs & budget in just a few minutes.

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