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virus air purifier

Best Air Purifiers To Remove Viruses & Bacteria: Top Picks, Reviews & Guide

Shopping for an Air Purifier to Remove Viruses from indoor air?

Well, you are in the right place!

Did you know that indoor air can be more polluted than the air outdoors?

Whether at home or in the office, you are always at risk of inhaling irritants and contaminants like pet dander, organic compounds, dust, allergens, smoke, and bacteria.

And with the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic, it has become imperative to maintain clean air in your space.

One way to remove viruses and bacteria from the surrounding air is to invest in an air purifier.

However, finding one that can kill infection-causing viruses can be quite tricky. That is where we can help.  

Read on for our advice and reviews on air purifiers for bacteria and viruses from well-known brands.


What's in This Buying Guide

Finding a purifier that fits your lifestyle, works the way you want, does not look like an outdated radiator, and falls within your price range can be challenging.

To help you out, in this guide, we review air purifiers that excel in efficiency, capacity, appearance, and value for money.

From state-of-the-art machines to desktop models, our picks for the best air purifier to remove viruses and bacteria will make it easier for you to find a suitable unit.

We also include a comprehensive buying guide and the pros and cons of these air purifiers to simplify the selection process further.

In the end, we answer some commonly asked questions to clear any misconceptions about these units. 


Best Air Purifiers For Virus & Bacteria Removal

air purifier virus-killer
  • Airfree Iris 3000

  • Most Environmentally-friendly
  • Weight
    3.5 pounds

  • Dimensions
    8.5 x 8.5 x 10.4 inches

  • Power Source
    120 volts

  • Air Cleaning Type
    Heat Sterilization

best air purifier for bacteria and viruses
  • SilverOnyx Air Purifier

  • Best Germ Protection
  • Weight
    5.11 pounds

  • Dimensions
    10.5 x 10.5 x 16.5 inches

  • Power Source
    AC

  • Air Cleaning Type
    Ultraviolet Light and True HEPA filter

air purifier virus-killer
  • Dyson Hot + Cool Air Purifier

  • Best Multifunctional
  • Weight
    3.15 pounds

  • Dimensions
    9.76 x 8.07 x 30.08 inches

  • Power Source
    AC

  • Air Cleaning Type
    Activated Carbon and HEPA filters

air purifier virus-killer
  • Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier

  • Best for Large rooms
  • Weight
    32 pounds

  • Dimensions
    17 x 10 x 17.75 inches

  • Power Source
    AC

  • Air Cleaning Type
    Silver Infused HEPA filter


1. Most Environmentally-friendly: Airfree Iris 3000

best air filter for viruses

The Airfree Iris 3000 is a completely safe device as it does not produce ozone, harmful UV light, ions, or any other harmful products. Air purifiers that produce ozone can cause damage to lung tissues, trigger respiratory diseases, and cause metallic equipment to rust.

The Iris 3000 removes 99.99% of all microorganisms and 26% ozone, making it very safe for you and your family. 

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Different colors for every mood
  • Effectively reduces allergies
  • 100% maintenance-free
  • Easy to use
  • Color changing technology
  • Clean, environmentally-friendly technology
  • Small and portable
  • Low energy consumption
  • No ozone or ion emissions
  • Patented TSS Core Technology system
  • No extra cost since it doesn’t use filters 

Cons

  • The process of filtering the air in your room is a little time consuming

Our Review

The Airfree Iris 3000 is a completely silent filterless air purifier that provides ideal coverage to an area of 650 square feet. The unit’s noise-free operation allows you to enjoy uninterrupted sleep, making it highly suitable for bedrooms, nurseries, and dorms.

This portable and compact device is very easy to use. You just need to plug in the Iris 3000 to start the purification process. The built-in light is easily adjustable and harmonic. There are 10 light colors, and you can choose one that showcases your mood. 

Designed with the patented Thermodynamic (TSS) display, the Airfree Iris 3000 destroys dust mites, allergens, mold, pet dander, viruses, bacteria, ozone, tobacco, and other organic pollutants. So, it is perfect for mold-contaminated areas as well as allergy and asthma sufferers.

The best thing about the Iris 3000 is that it requires no maintenance. It is a simple and very basic device that is both easy to operate and very user-friendly and does not require you to deal with washable filters.

This also helps you save money in the long run as you do not need to buy high-priced replacement supplies such as filters, sanitizers, or sterilizers.

The Airfree Iris 3000 is tested and proven to kill all microorganisms that pass through it no matter their size without using any filters or chemicals.

The contaminated air goes into the unit through natural air convention. Inside the unit, microorganisms are eliminated at a 400-degree temperature. It then cools the sterilized air and releases it back into the environment.

The Iris 3000 is not equipped with an electric fan which ensures low energy consumption, but this also means that it takes this unit quite some time to filter the air in your home. So, you might not see a difference in the air quality right away.

Also, some people complain that their unit stopped working after just a couple of months.

Specs

Coverage area: 650 sq. ft.

Noise level: Silent

Filtration stages: None

Energy consumption: 52W

Warranty: 2 years


2. Best for Germ Protection: SilverOnyx Air Purifier

virus air purifier

Designed with 5 air cleaning stages, the SilverOnyx air purifier’s advanced purification system provides users with the cleanest air quality.

The HEPA H13 activated carbon filter, a filter cartridge featuring a mesh pre-filter, a UV light, and an ion generator all combine to keep the air in your room fresh and germ-free.  

Pros

  • Compact cylindrical design
  • 5 air cleaning stages
  • Advanced brushless motor
  • Accurate smart sensor
  • Captures 99.97% of airborne particles
  • Can clean the air in rooms of up to 500 square feet
  • 5 fan speeds
  • Noise level of 25 decibels at the lowest setting
  • Auto and sleep mode
  • Timer settings
  • Filter replacement indicator

Cons

  • The air intake filter is situated only at the back

Our Review

The air filtration process of an air purifier is the most critical element as it decides the unit’s performance.

The incredible 5-stage air cleaning system of the SilverOnyx air purifier makes it easier for you to manage your allergies and breathe in fresh air free from dust, smoke, and other harmful airborne allergens.

The SilverOnyx air purifier is a powerful combination of all 4 main types of air filters. Plus, its 5 fan speeds can purify your room every 12 minutes.

This air purifier features a PM2.5 sensor that automatically detects any change in the room’s air quality and adjusts the airflow to provide you with the highest air quality.

You can set the SilverOnyx on Auto mode and totally forget it, as the Smart Sensor will kick in when there is a change in the air quality. This also helps reduce the overall power consumption.  

In addition to the UV light and an ionizer that can be turned on/off, the Sleep mode dims the light at the control panel top and reduces the fan speed to the lowest setting.

The SilverOnyx air purifier also features a timer that allows you to schedule when you want to turn the unit off, ranging from 30 minutes to 24 hours. The filter replacement indicator alerts you when it is time to change the filter. 

Most buyers give the SilverOnyx positive reviews and are very satisfied with its performance; however, a few users are not happy with the air intake location.

They think that instead of being in the back, it would have been better if the air intake was all around the unit or in the front as it would have been better able to pull in the air. 

Specs

Coverage area: 500 sq. ft.

Noise level: 25 dB

Filtration stages: 3

Energy consumption: 24W

Warranty: 2 years


3. Multifunctional: Dyson Hot + Cool Air Purifier

can air purifiers remove viruses

The Dyson Hot + Cool air purifier is quite versatile. It is a combination of air purifiers, heater, and fan all in one, making it effective for year-round use. It not only removes allergens from the air but also heats and cools the room.  

Pros

  • Futuristic design
  • Compact, portable unit
  • Space heater plus fan and HEPA air purifier in one
  • Bright LCD
  • Ideal for allergies
  • 350-degree oscillation
  • Thermostatic heat control
  • Wi-Fi connected air purifier and heater
  • No fast spinning blades or grilles

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The heater cannot be turned on with the help of the app

Our Review

The Dyson Pure Hot + Cool air purifier has a unique oblong design. It has a hollow ring in the center that disperses purified, clean air. This unit does not require any complicated assembly. You just need to click the HEPA and carbon filters in place and get it up and running in just a minute.

Although you can turn the Dyson Pure on and off with a button, it comes with remote control, pairs with a smartphone app for Android and iOS, and works with Amazon Alexa or Google Home for greater convenience.   

Equipped with 3 intelligent sensors, the Dyson air purifier automatically detects airborne gases and particles. The two separate filters work together to capture ultra-fine particles as small as 0.3 microns.

With an amazing 350-degree oscillation, the Dyson Pure air purifier circulates air to heat or cool you. Plus, it projects more than 77 gallons of smooth, purified air every second.

It features a diffused mode in which the unique Dyson air valves project air through the back of this device while maintaining effective purification.

You can also control this device at home or remotely with the help of the Dyson Link app. The app provides real-time reports on outdoor and indoor air quality as well as humidity, filter life, and temperature.

The Dyson Pure Hot + Cool air purifier also features a sleep mode and an auto mode so that you can continue with your daily activities while your cooler/heater purifier monitors and reacts automatically. 

This is an expensive unit and may not fit everyone’s budget; however, it is well worth the investment with all the unique and outstanding features it offers. 

Specs

Coverage area: 1200 sq. ft.

Noise level: 62 dB

Filtration stages: 2

Energy consumption: N/A

Warranty: 2 years


4. Best for Large Rooms: Alen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier

best air filter for viruses

It can be quite tricky to find an air purifier that uses UV-C light or heat sterilization to kill germs in a large room.

However, the Alen BreatheSmart Classic air purifier is designed with silver-infused HEPA filters that act as antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents to prevent microorganisms from multiplying once they are trapped in the filter, making it one of the best units for large rooms.

Pros

  • Customizable front panel
  • Silver-infused True HEPA filter
  • Carbon activated filter
  • Air quality sensor
  • Auto mode
  • Perfect for large rooms, schools, offices, and open spaces
  • Traps mold, fungi, and bacteria
  • Activated carbon absorbs toxic smells and smoke

Cons

  • Noisy

Our Review

Ideal for large and extra-large living spaces, the Alen BreatheSmart cleans 1100 square feet every 30 minutes. Designed by NASA airflow engineers, this silver-infused HEPA filter air purifier provides excellent performance and has 4 layers of protection.

The first layer is the pre-filter that captures pet hair and large particles from the air.

Then, the Silver filter traps and kills mold spores and bacteria, while the third layer, which is the True HEPA Pure layer, filters out dirt, dust, pollen, dust mites, and other airborne allergens.

And lastly, the carbon layer absorbs smells and odors as they pass through this air purifier.

The BreatheSmart air purifier is fitted with a Laser Smart Sensor that recognizes airborne particles and adjusts accordingly to effectively combat the challenges of the ever-changing environment.

The vivid LED color rings keep you updated about the air quality. The 3 indicators, blue, orange, and red, tell you about the level of particles present in the air. This air purifier also comes with an ozone-safe ionizer that cleans the air by producing negative ions that attract and lump ultra-fine particles together.

The 4-speed options allow you to set the BreatheSmart at the lowest that produces very low noise, just like a whisper. Although the manufacturer claims that this unit does not make too much noise while running, a few buyers complain that it emits a loud and disturbing sound even at low fan speed.    

Specs

Coverage area: 1100 sq. ft.

Noise level: 49 dB

Filtration stages: 4

Energy consumption: 60W

Warranty: N/A


Air Purifiers for Virus Removal: Buying Guide

Air Purification Technologies that Remove Bacteria & Viruses

air purifier virus

There are a number of air purifiers available, but not all of them can remove viruses and bacteria. Many people are not aware that an air purifier must be designed with unique features to be able to sterilize indoor air.

There are 3 types of technologies that can get rid of viruses and bacteria. When you look for an air purifier, make sure that it is designed with one of these:

Ultraviolet Light 

Air purifiers equipped with ultraviolet light are also called air sanitizers.

Essentially a form of radiation, UV-C is safe for use around humans, but it can kill viruses and airborne bacteria as it destroys the molecular bonds that bind their DNA together.

Typically, UV-C lights are used in doctor’s offices and hospitals to decontaminate surgical equipment.

You don’t need to worry about radiation from UV-C air purifiers as it is 100% safe for humans. Plus, the UV-C light is out of your reach and sight as it is contained inside the air purifier.  

As the air purifier sucks in air, it passes by the UV-C light before flowing out the other side. The viruses and bacteria present in the air are exposed to this UV-C lamp.

The radiation that these air purifiers produce alters the DNA of the pathogens and microorganisms, killing them to produce clean and sterilized air for you to breathe. 

Silver-Infused HEPA Filters

best air purifier for viruses

Air purifiers designed with True HEPA filters are well-known for trapping 99.97% particles that are even 0.3 microns in size. However, when it comes to viruses and bacteria, True HEPA is not very effective. 

Microorganisms range from 0.2 to 10 microns and can be easily trapped in the True HEPA filter. On the other hand, viruses can range between 0.004 and 0.1 microns, which is almost 100 times smaller than bacteria. HEPA filters are not very effective in capturing these types of pathogens.

Another thing about HEPA filters is that although they can trap bacteria, they can also become a favorable breeding ground for bacterial growth.     

If you do not replace clogged filters quickly, some bacteria may pass through the HEPA filter into your home.

So, if you are looking for an air purifier designed with a HEPA filter, it is best to choose one fitted with a silver-infused HEPA filter as silver works as a natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent. 

A HEPA filter with silver lining causes structural changes that result in degradation and eventually the death of microorganisms.

So, having an air purifier infused with silver will not only help remove but also destroy all harmful elements from the air to eliminate any chance of viruses and bacteria getting back into the air you breathe.

Heat Sterilization

One of the most efficient methods of permanently getting rid of viruses and bacteria is by exposing them to extreme heat.

Air purifiers that use heat sterilization are designed with an internal chamber where the temperature goes up to 400-degrees Fahrenheit.

As the air is pulled through this chamber, the high temperature incinerates pathogens and microorganisms, making such devices the best air purifiers for viruses.

Not only does this method kill off germs and bacteria of all kinds, but it also destroys other particles like mold spores, allergens, pet dander, dust, and more. 

After the air is cleaned through heat sterilization, the device cools it down and releases it back into the air. 

Why Invest in an Air Purifier To Remove Viruses and Bacteria?

When you are in your office or your home, you are obviously in an enclosed space. This means that if your home gets infected, there is nowhere to escape.

Viruses and bacteria are easily trapped inside, and their microscopic size means they can continuously recirculate through your indoor air. 

And even with persistent and constant cleaning, you are at the risk of breathing in these pathogens. 

According to experts, increasing ventilation can help exchange the air between the building’s exterior and interior.

Germs and other pollutants can easily build up to dangerous levels in unventilated areas of your home. For this reason, it is imperative to maintain clean air inside your home, and one of the best ways to do this is with the help of an air purifier. 

What to Look for in an Air Purifier for Virus Removal

virus killing air purifier

If you are looking for an air purifier for virus removal, it is best to keep the following features in mind:

Size and Portability

To find out the perfect air purifier size for your needs, you need to first find out the square footage of the room you want to purify.

If you are suffering from asthma or allergies, it is best to look for a unit that can help you manage your symptoms. It is also vital to consider the ACH or air change per hour of an air purifier as this indicates the number of times an air purifier can filter the air present in a room each hour.  

Air purifiers are considered best for allergy and asthma sufferers if they can clean the air in a space at least 4 times in an hour.

This rate of 4 air changes also ensures that the air purifier thoroughly cleans and filters the air of numerous microscopic symptom-triggering allergens to make it easier for you to breathe. 

Air purifiers come in various sizes and shapes. Some are lightweight, while others can weigh up to 10 kg or more. If you plan to move your unit from room to room, it is best to look for a model that comes with handles and wheels. 

Price

An air purifier’s price depends on its features, size, and how well it filters the air. You can easily find a unit that fits into your price range; however, it is vital to keep in mind that air purifiers require frequent filter changes, which can add to the overall cost of running an air purifier.  

Technology Type

virus killing air purifier

An air purifier designed with a standard True HEPA filter can trap microorganisms larger than 0.3 microns. However, HEPA purifiers cannot kill these allergens. So, it is possible for bacteria to grow and thrive while living on the HEPA filter turning these filters into breeding grounds for them.

When looking for an air purifier to remove bacteria and viruses, you should ensure that it comes with the right elements.

Air purifiers designed with heat sterilization technology are the ideal option as they incinerate germs.

The next best option is an ultraviolet light air purifier, as it can destroy viruses and bacteria at the core. 

The third best type of air purifier for viruses and bacteria is a silver-infused HEPA filter. These filters feature natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents that prevent the allergens from multiplying once they are trapped in the filter.

Coverage Area

Most air purifiers come with a recommended room size. It may be better to get a unit rated for an area larger than your room.

This will not only allow the air purifier to clear the room’s air faster when it is set on the highest setting but will also keep the air comfortably clear on its quietest and lowest setting. This is particularly handy when you are trying to sleep or watching television.     

Warranty

An air purifier is a considerable investment, and if possible, you must choose a unit that comes with a trial period, manufacturer’s warranty, or money-back guarantee.

Pros and Cons: Air Purifiers for Virus Removal

When it comes to limiting your exposure to the germs present in the air, your best line of defense is to invest in a good-quality air purifier for your home.

Pros

  • Eliminates harmful bacteria and viruses from the air around you
  • Prevents the spread of airborne diseases
  • Allows you to enjoy a peaceful sleepRelieves your allergies
  • Improves overall wellness

Cons

  • Not all units can get rid of odors and foul smells
  • A frequent filter change can become costly in the long run

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find the best size germ air purifier for my room?

When it comes to choosing an air purifier for your room, first, you should know the square footage of the area you want to purify. For a 400 square feet room, you should get an air purifier recommended for this size.

It is also advantageous to select an air purifier rated for a 500 square feet room, but a unit that can only handle 200 square feet will not work for you. 

In order to find out the square footage of your room, measure the width and length of the space in feet. Then multiply the two numbers to get the total square footage. You can also round up these measurements to whole numbers to make the calculations easy.

For instance, if your room is 30 feet by 20 feet, then your total square footage is 600 square feet. For the most efficient air purifier for this area, you will need to look for an air purifier rated to cover 600 square feet or more.

Are Ionizers effective against germs?

Ionizers are designed to kill germs. Research shows that both positive and negative ions have bactericidal effects, which means that they kill bacteria. The ions that ionizers produce create oxidative stress, which decreases the chances of bacteria survival.

Are UV-C lights used in air purifiers safe for us?

Yes, UV-C lights used in air purifiers are not harmful as they are on the safe band of ultraviolet radiation. The UV-C wavelength is longer than X-rays but shorter than visible light.

So, air purifiers designed with UV-C light are ideal for killing pathogens and microorganisms without negatively affecting your safety or health.  

Are Air Purifiers Effective against COVID-19?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), close person-to-person contact is the primary reason for the spread of Covid-19, especially when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

One of the main symptoms of the coronavirus is coughing, making airborne transmission a real concern. 

As people are advised to stay at home, a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier can be the answer to minimize airborne transmission and promote overall wellness. Air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters can effectively trap particles that are at least 0.01 micron in diameter. 

The Covid-19 virus is about 0.125 micron in diameter, which falls within the particle-size range that HEPA filters can efficiently capture. 

So, if researchers confirm that the Covid-19 virus can be transmitted through the air, then HEPA air purifiers will be in the forefront to capture airborne coronaviruses. However, this does not mean that these air purifiers can effectively protect you from contracting Covid-19 and other viruses.

For this reason, in addition to running air purifiers, you must follow the guidelines laid down by the CDC and other global health agencies, such as frequently washing hands, social distancing, sanitizing, and wearing a face mask to ensure that you remain virus-free.


Final Verdict: Which Air Purifier Is Best for Removing Viruses from Your Home?

After reviewing a number of options, we believe that the Airfree Iris 3000 Air Purifier is the best option for removing viruses and bacteria from the air. 

This environmentally-friendly unit requires very little maintenance. Plus, its noise-free operation makes it ideal for both offices and homes.

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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