Shopping for an Air Purifier to Remove VOCs and Formaldehyde?
Let us help you find a suitable one.
There is a reason VOCs are considered bad for human health. Volatile Organic Compounds are gaseous molecules with low water solubility and high vapor pressure.
If inhaled, they can cause multiple chemical sensitivity and long-term health hazards. Even so, VOCs are commonly emitted by many chemicals and components like paints, varnish, and household cleaners.
Yet, not every air purifier can remove VOCs and, most importantly, formaldehyde.
The absolute best HEPA air purifiers may effectively trap pet dander and other common allergens, but they are not the best option for gaseous pollutants like VOCs.
So, when it comes down to eliminating VOCs and formaldehyde, you need special air purifiers designed explicitly to eliminate VOCs and formaldehyde from the air.
To help you out, here’s our guide to the best air purifiers to remove VOCs and Formaldehyde.
Have a look!
What’s In This Buying Guide
Formaldehyde is a dangerous VOC that can cause serious health problems like ulcers and cancers.
It might come as a surprise, but many new furniture items and plastic materials emit high levels of formaldehyde, making it essential to get a dedicated air purifier.
And to help you out, we list some of the best air purifiers to remove VOCs in this buying guide. We mention their pros, cons, and specs, so you know what to expect.
We also list some crucial aspects of an air purifier for VOC removal in the shopping guide and discuss their pros and cons.
Lastly, a FAQ section lists the most commonly asked questions about air purifiers to remove VOCs and formaldehyde.
You can also pair up your air purifier with these NASA-approved plants to further improve air quality.
Best Air Purifiers to Remove VOCs & Formaldehyde
- Best Overall
14 x 14 x 26 inches
Up to 1,200 square feet
5 years plus 1-year VIP limited Warranty coverage
Dyson Pure Cool TP04
- Best Tower Air Purifier for VOCs
8.77 x 8.77 x 41.49 inches
Up to 600 square feet
2-year warranty coverage
- Best Smart Air Purifier for Formaldehyde
8.3 x 14.75 x 25 inches
Up to 258 square feet
3-year warranty coverage
- Most Versatile Air Purifier for VOCs & Formaldehyde
14.5 x 7.2 x 18.5 inches
360 Square feet
1-year limited warranty coverage
Blueair Classic 605
- Best Alexa-Enabled Air Purifier for VOCs
13 x 20 x 26 inches
698 Square feet
5-year warranty coverage
1. Best Overall: NuWave OxyPure Smart Air Purifier
NuWave OxyPure Smart Air Purifier comes as a game-changer in the air purifier industry. It is a smart air purifier with tons of unique features and a powerful, user-friendly system.
OxyPure can easily cover areas as big as 1,200 square feet and address low air quality as well as increased VOC concentration around your home. It has a high smoke CADR rating, which proves its efficiency at formaldehyde removal.
The NuWave OxyPure is a durable and reliable unit that you can trust to handle the high VOC concentration in your home effectively and successfully.
The device boasts a 5-stage filtration system consisting of a stainless steel pre-filter, a bio guard filter, an ozone emission removal filter, and a combination HEPA and carbon filter. Together, these filters effectively remove particles as small as 0.09 microns.
A good thing about the NuWave OxyPure air purifier is its long filter lifespan. The stainless steel pre-filter and the bio guard filter are washable and last as long as 20 years without needing replacing.
And although the ozone emission removal filter is not washable, it has a long lifespan of around 20 years as well.
Lastly, the combination carbon/HEPA filters are designed to easily trap even the tiniest of particles and odor-causing molecules.
Although there is a debate around the effectiveness of combination carbon filters at VOC removal, the combination filter in OxyPure has a large surface area and enough carbon content to hold VOCs effectively and last for up to a year.
2. Best Tower Air Purifier for VOCs: Dyson Pure Cool TP04
Dyson TP04 is a 40-inch tall air purifying fan that you can effectively use in large areas such as a living room or a master bedroom.
This combination device uses a sealed glass HEPA borosilicate filter and a Tris-coded activated carbon filter to trap both particulate matter and dangerous VOCs.
The TP04 can easily cover areas as big as 600 square feet with maximum effectiveness.
Dyson Pure Cool TP04 is a stylish and smart model from the reputable vacuum manufacturer. It features a smart bladeless design that supports 350° oscillation for maximum air circulation.
TP04 sits tall at 40 feet and covers up to 600 square feet. You can also set the airflow directions forward or backward for year-round usage.
When it comes to air purification, Dyson Pure Cool also delivers quality performance. It features a 2-stage filtration system with a 3m Glass HEPA borosilicate filter and a Tris-coded activated carbon filter.
The HEPA filter is rubber-sealed and traps particles as small as 0.3 microns. Meanwhile, the carbon filter has a higher content and traps gaseous compounds like formaldehyde, benzene, and nitrogen dioxide.
We also chose Dyson Pure Cool TP04 for its noiseless operation. The device has 10 fan speed options, and the noise it makes at each speed varies.
At the lowest speed, it operates at a whisper-quiet noise level and emits only 40 decibels. At the highest turbo speed, this Dyson emits a slightly loud sound of 62.2 decibels.
The TP04 is also Energy Star rated for energy efficiency.
All in all, the Pure Cool TP04 may have a higher upfront cost, but it is quite affordable to run. Plus, the filters have a long lifespan and last as long as a year.
3. Best Smart Air Purifier for Formaldehyde: Bissell Air220
Bissell Air220 is a simple, elegant, and powerful air purifier. The device can cover both big and small areas. It can deliver 4.8 air changes in a 258 square feet room and a single air change in a 1,000 square feet room every hour.
Air220 has a good smoke CADR which means it is effective at VOC and formaldehyde removal.
We really liked the Bissell Air220 for its clean line, smooth finish, and powerful air cleaning performance.
Beneath its simple yet elegant design lie 3 powerful filtration stages, each designed to target specific airborne contaminants.
The first stage is a fabric pre-filter that traps most of the visible air pollutants like dust, lint, and fur. The second stage is a medical-grade H13 HEPA filter that traps 99.97% of particulate matter down to 0.3 microns in size.
The last stage in Air220’s air purification system is a thick, honeycomb-shaped carbon filter that traps gaseous molecules like VOCs and other smells lingering around your home.
The Air220 has a single soft dial at the top to control the fan speed and an indicator light to show you the air quality reading in real-time. If it is poor, the light will glow red. At moderate, it turns yellow, and when the air quality is excellent, it turns blue.
Bissell Air220 is suitable for areas even as small as 258 square feet, and it delivers almost 5 air changes in an hour. It is also great for larger spaces. In a 1,252 square feet room, it delivers 1 air change per hour.
4. Most Versatile Air Purifier for VOCs & Formaldehyde: LEVOIT LV-PUR131
The Levoit LV-PUR131 is one of the most powerful options for VOCs and formaldehyde. It features a 1-inch thick activated carbon filter in a honeycomb design.
The hollow columns greatly increase the surface area and improve the device’s ability to trap VOCs.
The LV-PUR131 is suitable for areas as big as 360 square feet and delivers 4.5 air changes per hour, while in a bigger, 900 square feet room, it can clean the air within an hour.
The LEVOIT LV-PUR131 is a powerful air purifier with an elegant and sophisticated design and many smart features. It boasts a near-float top panel that adds to its aesthetic appearance. The slim-looking device is only 7 inches wide and 18 inches high and can easily fit in most spaces.
LV-PUR131 features a comprehensive 3-stage filtration system.
The first stage is a preliminary filter that neutralizes visible airborne objects like dust, pet dander, pet hair, mold, and fungi. The second filtration stage is the True HEPA Filter that removes all contaminant particles like dust mites, viruses, pollen, and bacteria particles down to 0.3 microns.
The last stage, which involves an activated carbon filter, removes formaldehyde and VOCs. It features a honeycomb design with 1-inch hollow channels of natural coconut shell carbon, which increases its specific surface area. The design improves its VOC adsorption capacity and allows for effective removal.
5. Best Alexa-Enabled Air Purifier for VOCs: Blueair Classic 605
While the Blueair Classic 605 is big and expensive, it delivers exceptional performance to match its size. It is both simple and portable, with 4 caster wheels incorporated into the design.
It can cover areas as big as 698 square feet and offer 4.8 air changes within an hour. The unique HEPA silent technology effectively eliminates airborne particles down to 0.1 microns.
The Blueair Classic 605 caught our attention because of its durable construction and effective performance when it comes to VOC removal.
Unlike traditional HEPA and activated carbon filters, this unit features a unique Blueair HEPA Silent technology that combines both mechanical and electrostatic filtration.
The silent fan pulls in air, and the unit charges airborne particles. These charged particles are then trapped inside the filter, leaving behind clean air to pass through.
This filtration technology is highly effective at removing smaller particles like odors and VOC. Blueair 605 also efficiently removes 99.97% of particles as small as 0.1 microns.
It comes with the Blueair Particle Filter that consists of thermally-bonded polypropylene and polyethylene fibers. If you are willing to pay more, you can get the Dual Protection filter with an added activated carbon layer.
The Blueair Classic 605 boasts three-dimensional air processing and has an air inlet and outlet vents on both sides. It takes in air from the lower vents, purifies it, and blows clean air out the upper clean air delivery vents.
Formaldehyde Air Purifiers: Buying Guide
What Is a Formaldehyde Air Purifier – and How Does It Work?
A formaldehyde air purifier looks just like a regular air purifier - the difference is that it contains a deep-bed activated carbon filter.
Not every air purifier can remove formaldehyde. In fact, most models available online don’t even have the filters to remove it. They typically rely on HEPA filters alone to clean the air.
An air purifier for formaldehyde contains large quantities of activated carbon. It is obtained from natural substances such as charcoal or coconut shells, which is then treated with oxygen to make it extremely porous.
When gases, odor molecules, and VOCs pass through the porous surface, they are adsorbed. In simple words, a chemical reaction occurs between the carbon surface and VOCs like formaldehyde that binds them to the activated carbon and traps them inside.
The higher the carbon content in the filter, the more formaldehyde it will hold.
Why Buy a Formaldehyde Air Purifier?
Formaldehyde is a type of VOC commonly found in many products around your home.
Familiar with the off-gassing smell of new furniture?
Yep, that’s formaldehyde.
It is considered volatile because it emits a gas at room temperature. The higher the temperature, the more gas it emits, which can be hazardous for your health. That’s why a good formaldehyde-removing air purifier becomes a necessity.
Here is why you should purchase one of these:
Remove Dangerous VOCs
A formaldehyde air purifier not only reduces formaldehyde concentration in your home but also removes other dangerous VOCs that pose a health risk.
Compounds like benzene, xylene, and toluene can make you seriously ill. However, none of these is as dangerous as formaldehyde, as it can cause serious health issues like ulcers and cancers.
Allow You to Enjoy Your Home Better
If you have just moved to a newly built house with all new furnishings and items, chances are it strongly smells of formaldehyde and other gaseous VOCs. These cause lingering smells and itchy eyes that prevent you from enjoying your new home to its fullest.
Having an air purifier to remove VOCs easily resolves these issues, allowing you to have a better experience.
Eliminate Lingering Odors
New paint or furniture always brings with it some lingering smells. These smells can quickly trigger allergic reactions like runny eyes, sneezing, or runny nose if you are chemical-sensitive. You should buy an air purifier for VOCs and formaldehyde to tackle these lingering odors.
It Enables You to Breathe More Easily
Breathing in air full of VOCs like formaldehyde is not just difficult- it is downright dangerous. Knowing that risk, you should immediately get a good VOC-removing air purifier to stop related health issues from arising.
What to Look for in a Formaldehyde Air Purifier
Since formaldehyde in homes is mostly in gaseous form, you need a purifier that can remove gases in substantial quantities. Many home air purifiers with particle and activated carbon filters are not too effective at eliminating formaldehyde and VOCs.
Less expensive plain carbon filters can surely hold many chemicals well but cannot effectively retain formaldehyde for a long time.
Here are some features that make an air purifier great for removing VOCs like formaldehyde:
While having a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter is necessary for a cleaner home environment, if you want to eliminate formaldehyde from your home, you should only consider products with oxidant chemicals.
Look for models with chemicals such as potassium permanganate, alumina, and potassium iodide added within the different filtration stages.
The size of the air purifier is also an important consideration when purchasing a new formaldehyde air filter.
Smaller units, although portable, generally don’t have a high area coverage or air cleaning capacity. And their low carbon content might not be enough to counter formaldehyde in your home.
Bigger air purifiers with deeper carbon beds are more effective at trapping formaldehyde and other VOCs.
If your home is large or you plan to use the formaldehyde-removing air purifier in a big room, you should steer clear of smaller units because they won’t even purify the air in one room properly; let alone address your formaldehyde odor problem.
Some people are more sensitive to noises than others. That’s why considering the device’s noise level is crucial for your comfort.
Most manufacturers clearly list the maximum and minimum decibels of noise their product makes in the list of specifications.
You should make sure it is bearable at the highest speed. And at lower speeds, it should be low enough for maximum comfort, especially at nights when the sound could disrupt your sleep.
Although pre-filters, PECO, Ionizer, UV-light, and HEPA filters all play a role in improving indoor air quality, the most important filter for a chemical air purifier is an activated carbon filter with high carbon content.
A thin sheet of carbon pre-filter won’t effectively capture formaldehyde. Look for a model with a thick carbon filter.
You should also check the type of absorption media added to the carbon filter to improve its performance. Additives like alumina, zeolite pellet, potassium permanganate, potassium, and coal also increase the filter’s effectiveness against smoke particles.
Weight & Portability
The weight of an air purifier is important to consider if you plan on moving the device from one room to another for better formaldehyde odor removal.
Heavier devices are certainly pretty difficult to carry around, which is why a lighter one is a more suitable option.
For increased portability, some devices have casters and wheels to transport them easily. Similarly, some units have handles for easy carrying and holding.
Since formaldehyde is a stubborn chemical to remove from the air, you should carefully check the purifier’s CADR rating for smoke removal to understand whether it is effective at formaldehyde removal.
A good VOCs air purifier has a strong smoke CADR between 150 and 200 cfm. Any lower, and it won’t be able to remove formaldehyde from a large living room, garage, bedroom, or basement.
An air purifier that can deliver at least 2 air changes per hour is also worth considering in this regard.
Each purifier has a different coverage area.
Since you want maximum removal of both VOCs and formaldehyde, you should get an appropriately sized unit. This means you should look into getting a device that either meets or exceeds the square footage of the room you will use it in.
If you plan to use the device all around your house, you should get a unit whose area coverage matches the square footage of the largest room in your home. That way, you can easily use it everywhere.
With regular use, electronic devices tend to develop issues. And a warranty comes in handy if you want defective components replaced or if you want your unit repaired.
Since you will run your new formaldehyde air purifier initially for long periods, it’s better to get a unit with longer warranty coverage. That way, even if the device starts malfunctioning, you can have it looked at without any worries.
Pros and Cons of Using an Air Purifier for Formaldehyde & VOCs Removal
The principal function of an anti-formaldehyde air purifier is to trap the gaseous molecules so they cannot recirculate into the room.
And while they have other benefits as well, they don’t come without their drawbacks.
To make sure you make an informed choice, here are some important pros and cons that you should know:
Effectively capture VOCs and formaldehyde, and stop them from making their way back into the room
Protect you from serious health issues like respiratory complaints and damage to internal organs by reducing the chances of formaldehyde and VOCs inhalation.
Use multiple-stage filtration to improve overall air quality
Apt at removing lingering odors from your home
More expensive than traditional air purifiers
Replacement filters tend to be more costly
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should an air purifier run for effective VOC and formaldehyde removal?
This greatly depends upon the VOC and formaldehyde concentration in your home. If you just moved into a new house with new furnishings, you need proper ventilation and air purification to remove the VOCs off-gassing into the air.
The air purifier may need to run round the clock for a few days before the smell of formaldehyde goes away completely.
Is it possible to check and detect the levels of VOCs inside my home or office?
It is possible to check and detect VOC levels inside your home or office in real-time by using a handheld PID (Photo Ionizing Device) tool. These devices use ultraviolet light to break down the VOC molecules into negative and positive ions to identify them.
You can use this device to approximate different VOCs like benzene, formaldehyde, and even methylene chloride.
How frequently should I change the filters in my air purifier?
All manufacturers list the duration of the filter for each device. You can check the manufacturer’s listing to figure out when you should change the filters. Some units conveniently come with a filter change indicator light that turns on when the filters are clogged and need to be replaced.
How long do air purifiers for VOC removal last?
The average lifespan of an air purifier for VOC removal is 3 to 5 years. However, if you take good care of it by cleaning and maintaining it at regular intervals, you can expect it to last up to a decade.
Final Verdict: What Is the Best Formaldehyde Air Purifier Sold Today?
VOCs like formaldehyde can cause serious health problems if inhaled in dangerous quantities. Using a good VOC-removing air purifier is the best way to eliminate them from your home.
And the best one, in our opinion, is the NuWave OxyPure air purifier. It boasts 5-stage filtration with high carbon content to absorb VOCs.
Bissell Air220 Smart Air Purifier is also a great choice. It has a good smoke CADR score and features an air quality sensor.
But if you want something smarter with lots of impressive specs and unique features, go for the Levoit LV-PUR131, and you won’t be disappointed!