Here at Freshairguide, we’ve received a number of requests for information on whether air purifiers can help with Viruses, Germs and Bateria.
Due to these requests and the recent pandemic outbreak of Covid-19, a member of the Coronavirus family – we have decided to put together an informative guide on what to look for in an air purifier to remove viruses from the air in your home.
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Whilst most of the questions we’ve received were related to the current pandemic, we are still receiving questions regarding air purifiers for Colds and Flu too. So we thought we’d take care of all these questions in this guide.
You can find more specific information in our FAQ section at the bottom of the page, but for now – I assume you’re hear looking for an immediate answer and help in finding a good air purifier for airborne viruses, bacteria and germs.
Are air purifiers effective against Covid-19 and other Viruses?Yes, to a degree. But only the particles of the virus that are airborne. If you’re worried about friends and family members transmitting the virus between one another indoors, then an air purifier can certainly help reduce the spread of the virus between individuals as it can catch the tiny airborne virus particles. However, Covid-19, like other viruses can’t be completely removed from your home with an air purifier. Any device that can clean the air, is ineffective against particles of the virus that land on surfaces like your kitchen counter, where studies show it can survive there for up to 72 hours. All it takes is for someone to touch that surface and then their face and the virus can spread to that individual.
Whilst air purifiers can help against germs, you need to employ an effective cleaning regime to ensure you’re as safe as possible.
What is the best air purifier for Viruses and other airborne germs?
Simply put – Any air purifier with a Genuine HEPA Filter is just as good as another.
It’s the HEPA filters job to remove any particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter. Whilst particles of some viruses like Covid 19 can be as small as 0.05 Microns in diameter, they’re not able to fly straight through a HEPA filter. There are tiny hairs inside the filter that still might catch the particle as it makes its journey through the air purifier.
For the particles that do manage to make it through the first stage, in most air purifiers there are usually several other layers of filters that follow the HEPA filter. One of these will inevitably pick up the tiny fraction of particles that escape their bumpy journey through the HEPA filter.
Just make sure the air purifier you buy has a Genuine, Real or True HEPA filter.
This means that they have been tested and independently verified. A lot of companies will try and trick you into buying a ‘HEPA Like‘ or ‘HEPA Type‘ filter which are simply a cheap version that haven’t been tested, and in most cases no where near as effective.
See our article on how HEPA filters work for more information.
Whilst most good air purifiers will have a well built true HEPA filter, there are some air purifiers on the market that are better than others for a variety of other reasons we will explore below.
The air purifiers in this list are simply ordered in terms of size and how large of an area they can clean effectively. Typically, the larger the space you need cleaning, the more you will have to pay. However, it’s worth noting that we recommend all of these air purifiers for killing viruses equally.
Top 7 Air Purifiers for Viruses and Germs
1. IQ Air HealthPro Plus Air Purifier
The Healthpro plus is a commercial grade air cleaner used in many hospitals and medical facilities due to it’s fantastic filters.
>IQ Air call their HEPA filter a HyperHEPA and they seem to keep making small improvements to it all the time. Obviously this technology is a closely guarded secret, as I can’t find much information on it, besides the fact that it can scrub the air of particles down to 0.003 microns. That’s 10x smaller than the smallest virus particle!
I think we have to trust that this information is correct since they are so well regarded in the health care industry. So, if this is the case, it most certainly proves that the healthpro plus is the very best air purifier at ridding the air of all known germs, bacteria, viruses, colds, flu and anything else you can think of!
Backing up this HyperHEPA filter is a V-5 gas and odor filter that’s designed to pickup odors like smoke and any type of harmful gas
It’s also a very heavy duty air purifier that can handle spaces above 1000 square feet.
Unsurprisingly, this beast is rather large. It does come with caster wheels that make it easier to drag into different rooms when required.
Another nice feature is that it comes with a small remote control which lets you adjust any of the settings from the comfort of your chair.
IQ Air stand by their superior build quality, with an outstanding 10-year warranty, but as you would imagine, all of the above comes at a price.
The IQ Air health pro plus is without doubt the most expensive air purifier money can buy, but if you have the cash and the need to have the cleanest air possible – this is the machine you should buy.
- HyperHEPA filter
- Coverage area up to 1125 sq. ft.
- Powerful gas and odor filter
- 10-year warranty
- Big size
- Very Expensive
2. Alen BreathSmart Air Purifier
The Breathesmart is our favurite overall air purifier of 2020.
In fact, any of the air purifiers made by Alen are. They’re all superbly well built, have an excellent selection of filters and smart options.
Obviously the healthpro plus beats it this time, if all you’re considering is the machines ability to completely scrub the air of viruses. But there are other things to consider too. For one, the breathesmart is consideraby cheaper than the healthpro, but still fairly expensive.
It is a rather large unit too, with the capability of working efficiently in spaces over 1000 square feet. So, you could save some money by opting for one of the smaller models in the Alen range like the fit50. They all use the same type of filters, so just as good as each other at dealing with the different invasive particles.
Alen make different versions of each model. You start with the standard HEPA Pure, which simply comes fitted with the standard Alen HEPA filter for dealing with pollen and dust.
The model you want for dealing with bacteria and airborne virus is the HEPA Silver. This unit comes with a 3 stage filteration system. A pre-filter to get rid of the larger particles before the Silver filter which is their patented filter for getting rid of bacteria, mold and virus particles, before finally going through their HEPA filter.
The breathesmart is packed full of smart features and includes a sensor that can evaluate when the air needs cleaning and switch itself on and off accordingly.
One of the best features of this unit is how great it looks. A sleek panel design with the controls hidden out of sight so it doesn’t ruin its minimalistic design. You can also choose from one of 12 different front panels to help match your décor.
- Specific filters for dealing with virus and germ particles
- Ultra modern design
- Air quality sensor that automatically turns the unit on when required
- Cleans up to 1100 sq. ft.
- Filters need changing fairly frequently, but aren’t overly expensive
- The breathesmart is fairly expensive, but if you have a smaller room you can go for a cheaper alen model
3. Winix 5300 Air Purifier
The 5300 from Winix makes it into this list thanks to it’s superb 4 stage filtration system.
First in line is the pre-filter designed to protect the hepa filter by taking out any larger particles.
Then comes the HEPA filter. Like all in this list, it’s a genuine one and therefore passes all the controlled studies and tests.
Then you have an Ionizer. An Ionizer can change the properties of Ions. An Ion is either positively or negatively charged. All of the bacteria and germ particles floating through your air are positively charged. So this Ionizer spits out negatively charged into the air which then attach themselves to the positively charged germ particles which then weighs them down and they fall out of the air onto your surfaces or floor. So you will have to make sure to clean your home regularly if you buy one of these air purifiers. For more information on Air Ionziers, check out this detailed post by airOasis.
Finally you have a carbon filter inside the machine which is simply tasked with taking out odors.
The 5300 is extremely quiet and can be used in the bedroom and also comes equipped with lots of sensorts and smart options that allows you to tailor it to your needs.
- A Filter replacement indicator and other smart tech
- A superb 4 stage filter system that includes an ionizer
- Very quiet fan
- Covers 360 sq. ft. which is very good for the price you pay
- The carbon filter does need to be replaced every 3 months
4. Airthereal APH260
This is a newer air purifier we discovered recently. Gets fantastic reviews from industry profeessionals and user reviews on Amazon.
Airthereal boast this is a 7 in 1 air purifier. Sadly this doesn’t mean it has 7 different filters! But actually 7 different smart features which includes an optional UV-C and Anion function.
UV-C is UV Light. As the particles are drawn into the air purifier, they are passed through a tube that contains UV Lightbulbs. As they pass through this chamber, the light sunburns the virus and bacteria particles, killing them.
Anion is another name for an ionizer and does exactly the same job as the ionizer does in the Winix air purifier above.
The Airthereal comes with a variety of useful smart functions. This includes a PM2.5 smart sensor that can record and inform you of the quality of your indoor air, and a smart auto mode that can switch the air purifier on when it detects a reduction in air quality.
This air cleaner appears to be very well built and seems to be very reliable. The HEPA filter is authentic and I have no issues recommending this fabulous unit to those wanting to kill bacteria and viruses in their homes.
- Great design
- Tons of useful smart options
- Very energy efficient
- Seriously good value for money
- Cleans a slightly smaller area than manufacturer states
For more information on this great air purifier, check out our full review of it.
5. Blueair 205 Air Purifier
Blueair are possibly the biggest and most well known Air Purifier manufacturer. They make quality machines than consistently get top marks and reviews.
The blueair classic 205 is like the IBM thinkpad of Air Purifiers. It’s been around forever as it’s incredibly well built, has superb filters and works as well today as when it was first brought to market.
Over the years, the replacement filter costs have been reduced and now among the cheapest out there for this size of device. Also, blueair have added a host of smart features. The 205 is now Wi-Fi operated with some great quiet and night mode features making it a superb choice for the bedroom.
Blueair HEPA filters are awesome and obviously genuine coming from the biggest company in the space. The classic 205, designed for ultra quiet operation comes with their patented HEPA silent filter that on the lowest setting is barely audible.
- Very quiet, great for a bedroom
- Great smart tech
- Easy filter replacement
- Low maintenance fees
- Not suitable for large rooms
- Not the cheapest for the size of room it can handle
6. Blueair 411 Air Purifier
Another fantastic Air Purifier from Blueair. This is a more modern version, first coming to market in 2018. The blue air 411 is the smallest in the series and only meant for smaller rooms and spaces.
Don’t let it’s small stature fool you though. It’s still got one of those stellar, award winning Blueair HEPA filters along with a Carbon filter for strong odors and a washable pre filter.
Many industry professionals have praised the simplistic design of this little unit with its extremely intuitive controls and display.
These smaller units are fanstastic companions for your desk. They will purifier the air in your personal space very effectively, making sure those germs stay away.
Whilst blueair purifiers tend to carry a bit of a premium due to the name, this little unit is very affordable and represents great value for money.
- Washable pre filter that collects the most particulate
- Great design
- Very simple and intuitive. Plug and play
- Low maintenance costs
- Only suitable for rooms up to 170sq feet
7. Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier
Winner of many awards in the mini air purifier category, the LV-H132 is still the most popular small air purifier on the market today.
Levoit are a fantastic manufacturer of air purification devices. They make beautiful looking machines, that are extremely reliable and all at unbeatable prices.
Somehow, Levoit keep reducing the price of the H132. I remember when we first reviewed it back in 2017 and it cost over $130. Now you can pick one up for less than $90.
A great little unit with a great HEPA air filter. If all you’re looking to do is purifier a small room or your immidiate space, then look no further.
It’s very small and lightweight. So very easy to unplug and move from your desk to your bedside at nighttime where it can continue to blow pure air directly on your face.
- Still one of the cheapest air purifiers you can buy
- Compact and lightweight
- Low maintenance costs
- Fantasticly cool Design
- Only suitable for personal space or smaller sized rooms
How long can corona and other viruses stay on surfaces?
Each Virus is unique, even those that belong to the same family. Covid-19 belongs to the Coronavirus family and can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours if conditions are perfect.
Two other members of the same family: SARS has the same shelf life but MERS could only survive for 48 hours on plastic or steel (typically, viruses can live longer on plastic and steel for longer than any other material).
The Temperature and Humidity also play a part in how long a virus can stay alive on surfaces without a host. Typically the time is reduced in more extreme temperatures.
How are Bacteria, Germs and Viruses spread?
They are typically only spread via three different methods:
- By touching surfaces that have traces of the virus on them
- Breathing in droplets of an infected persons saliva or mucus
- Physical contact from an infected person
How can you safely disinfect surfaces with traces of the virus on them?
By simply using a good disinfecting, cleaning agent.
Most of the surface cleaners you can buy in the store will suffice. However, how you do it is more important. You can’t just do a quick wipe down and be done. You need to make sure you have enough of the cleaning agent on your cloth and also that you are spending enough time, wiping down every surface you can find. No rush jobs please.
Can the Corona Virus spread through the air?
Coronaviruses are spread through tiny droplets of bodily fluids. Typically Saliva from an infected person. As these droplets are denser than air, they usually drop down to surfaces or the floor, so technically speaking – Covid19, like all Coronaviruses are not airborne – which by definition is something that can float in the air.
What are the most common Germs and Viruses?
In no particular order:
- Common Cold
- Whooping Cough