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What are the most important factors for selecting the best air purifier for an office? The two most critical priorities are determining which pollutants you want to filter out of the air, and the size of your office space. There are a variety of filtration methods found in air purifiers, but not all of them work effectively with all common pollutants found in the air. Picking an air purifier with a HEPA filter when you want to remove VOCs would be a poor choice.
Likewise, just like other appliances that move air through spaces, air purifiers also have a capacity rating known as the CADR score that determines how effectively and frequently they can perform full air changes in a room. You need to know the square footage of your office space and select an air purifier that is compatible with that room size. Keep reading our best air purifier for offices buying guide to learn more.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This sleek air filter will make a bold statement in any workplace. It has an energy-efficient design, which is unlikely to have a significant impact on the energy bill.
The KOIOS EPI810 air purifier has a stylish design that will stand out on the desk. This device has ozone-free performance, so it’s suitable for office use. It’s filtration system removes particles of up to 0.3 microns, making it a good choice for people with allergies. The air purifier weighs just 2.1 pounds, so it’s easy to carry and move around. This device effectively cleans 156 sq. ft. spaces in 1 hour. However, this device is not very effective in very large offices.
We love that this KOIOS EPI80 air purifier is very efficient, consuming just 0.002 KWh every hour. This air purifier has a top control panel that simplifies operation. The device has a blue light, which can be turned off as needed. It performs quietly and produces pleasant white noise that’s ideal for the office. A three-stage filtration system on this unit includes a prefilter, activated carbon filter, and H13 HEPA filter, removing odors, dust, and pollen. Featuring a compact design, this device is easy to move between the home and workplace.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This compact air purifier has a very pleasant appearance that adds visual interest and white noise to any workspace. This device has an aromatherapy function, allowing consumers to add essential oils for a pleasant aroma.
The Levoit LV-H128 is a desktop model with a small footprint. This device has a three-stage filtration system that clears the air of odors and particles. An included H13 HEPA filter removes tiny particles, making this model a good choice for people with asthma. The device weighs just 3.3 pounds, so it’s easy to carry. However, with a coverage of just 161 sq. ft., this device is not suitable for large offices.
This Levoit LV-H128 air purifier has an aromatherapy function that enables users to add to two-three drops of essential oils to give the office a pleasant fragrance. Its stylish design will make it a focal point in any room. It has a freestanding design that fits on small tables, stools, and counters. A simplistic control panel on this unit allows adjusting settings easily. With low noise levels, it’s suitable for people who need a quiet working space.
Award: BEST FOR BIG OFFICES
WHY WE LIKE IT: Featuring a high CADR rating, this Hathaspace air purifier is suitable for larger offices. It has a color-coded pollutant level indicator, which helps users to keep tabs on the pollution situation in the office.
People who need to monitor the air quality in the room should check out the Hathaspace HSP-001 air purifier. This device is recommended for rooms of up to 700 sq. ft., making it a good pick for larger offices. A neat color-coded air quality indicator on this unit alerts users about the levels of pollution in the room. However, this device produces a slight squeaking sound when the fan is set to the highest level.
This Hathaspace HSP-001 air purifier has a quiet fan that provides white noise without causing undue distractions. It has a beautiful control panel for easy operation. With three fan speeds and an Auto mode, this air purifier enables precise customization. This device also has a sleep mode that keeps noise to a minimum. It is very effective at removing smoke, so it’s well suited to certain offices in industrial locations.
Award: BEST FOR SMALLER OFFICES AND CUBICLES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This air purifier has a compact design with a stylish appearance that will appeal to people who want to commute with their air purifier. It has a simplistic control panel that’s easy to use.
The Pro Breeze Mini is a highly compact air purification device famed for its sleek design. This air purifier has a white finish that exudes contemporary elegance. The device comes with a true HEPA filter, which removes particles as small as 0.3 microns. LED ambiance lights on this device illuminate the office. With about 11.9 m3/hr coverage, this cleaning system is ideal for small offices and cubicles. However, this air purifier is not suited for large rooms.
The filtration system of the Pro Breeze Mini air purifier also includes a prefilter for removing solid particles. A top power button on the device allows simple operation. The air purifier has a freestanding design that saves space, and it can be placed on stools and counters. It has a lightweight design, so it can be easily carried between the office and home. A USB port enables a hassle-free connection to power sources.
Award: BEST FOR COMMUNAL OFFICES
WHY WE LIKE IT: This air purifier effectively cleans spaces of up to 1600 sq. ft., making it a good fit for communal offices and large personal offices. Its multi-stage filtration system is effective for fumes and unpleasant smells.
Users who want a powerful air purifier for communal offices should pay keen attention to the Medify MA-40 air purifier. It’s recommended for rooms of up to 1,600 sq. ft. and cleans up the air in 840 sq. ft. spaces in just 30 minutes. Although larger than the typical office air purifier, it has a stylish design that’s ideal for offices, lobbies, warehouses, and even homes. It’s very effective with smoke, making it a good choice for offices near factories. However, this device lacks advanced functionality like Auto mode.
A powerful H13 and additional HEPA filter remove particles of up to 0.1 microns, so this device is especially suited to people with allergies and similar medical conditions. It has a noise rating of 46 dB to 66 dB, providing pleasant white noise to busy office dwellers. Featuring a customizable delay timer function of up to 8 hours, this Medify MA-40 air purifier saves energy. It has an activated carbon filter for managing odors.
Award: BEST BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: This device has a unique design reminiscent of a computer speaker that will complement workplace workstations. It has a compact build that’s easy to move around, and its small footprint saves space.
The GermGuardian AC41000 air purifier uses a powerful UVC light to eliminate microorganisms and dust particles from office spaces. This device has a unique sound speaker-themed design that will blend in with office workstations. Its three fan speeds enable changing the purification power easily. The device comes with a HEPA filter for removing allergens as small as 0.3 microns. However, with a CADR of just 56, this device is not meant for offices larger than 78 sq. ft.
This GermGuardian AC4100 air purifier also features a charcoal filter for eliminating odors from cigarette smoke, pets, soot, and more sources. Its vertical design saves space on the desk, and it weighs just 5 pounds for easy transportation. The housing of this air purifier is easy to open to access the air filter. This device has a large intake surface area for effective air cleaning. It has manual dials that are intuitive to operate.
Office — whether in the home or commercial space — can have poor indoor air quality. Just like with your home, it’s easy for offices to have common air pollutants such as dust, allergens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odors, and pathogens.
If you work in an office, you can spend a third of your day in an office environment. So, if the air is full of pollutants or odors, that can lead to a miserable experience. Thankfully, air purifiers can help to improve indoor air quality. And in many cases, this can even make life more comfortable for people that suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions.
While you need to match your air purifier’s filtration technology with the pollutants you want to remove, you also need to think about the size of the unit. But the size you choose may not always be up to you.
If you work from home, you don’t have to consult with others and can opt for a whole room air purifier or a desktop model. But if you work in a commercial office and you’re not the boss or general manager, you might not get a say in purchasing an air purifier. In this scenario, a desktop air purifier might be the best solution to improve air quality in your immediate vicinity.
If your home office is in the basement of your home, you might also want to consider the best air purifiers for basements while you search.
In reality, an air purifier for an office isn’t different from regular air purifiers that you buy for your home. Just like air purifiers marketed for home use, an office air purifier also features a filtration technology designed to remove certain impurities from the air. But the right filtration method is going to depend on the type of pollutants in the air, or which ones you find most irritating.
What differentiates office air purifiers from home models is the CADR score and room size compatibility. And this is where it can get tricky — or expensive — because office spaces can be large. CADR stands for clean air delivery rate and it references how effectively an air purifier can discharge clean air into space.
The CADR score is calculated by considering the size of a room, and how many cubic feet of air an air purifier can filter per minute. As with other appliances that move air, the higher the CADR score, the better. But the caveat is that there are different CADR scores for dust, pollen, and smoke.
However, not all air purifiers offer a CADR score since CADR testing is managed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), and submitting for testing is voluntary rather than required. So, another good rule of thumb is to look at the total air changes an air purifier can perform within one hour. Ideally, you’ll want a unit that can perform a full air change every 10 minutes.
If you work from home in a dedicated room such as the home office or even your bedroom, you can easily pick an air purifier designed for an average-sized room. Although, you’ll still want to confirm the square footage of the room, check that the unit’s CADR score is compatible, and confirm that it can perform enough full air changes every hour to be effective.
But if you work in a commercial office, you’ll need to choose between either a desktop air purifier or a model large enough to effectively clean the air in your office. Like we mentioned when describing office air purifiers, this choice is going to depend upon how much decision-making power you have to purchase appliances for the office.
Office air purifiers work just like any other air purifier by drawing in dirty air, passing the air through a filtration system where pollutants are trapped, and releasing clean air back into the room. But you will need to consider the filtration technology to ensure you’re picking the right air purifier for your needs. For example, if marijuana smoke is one of your concerns at home, you will need the best air purifier for smoking weed.
If dust is your only concern, a HEPA filter is your best bet as they’re 99.97% effective at removing dust particles as small as 0.03 microns. If odors — like your coworker’s stinky lunch — are a concern, then an activated carbon filter is incredibly effective at removing odors. Likewise, air purifiers with ionizers can also help with neutralizing odors. However, some ionizers produce ozone as a byproduct, which can create further irritation for people that suffer from respiratory conditions.
VOCs are another common problem in office spaces as they’re often released through a process known as off-gassing. Everything from carpeting, electronics, and even office furniture can all contribute to off-gassing. The best filtration solutions for VOCs have activated carbon filters and photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO) technology. Note though, that PECO is proprietary to the Molekule air purifier brand.
And finally, if pathogens are the priority you should opt for an air purifier with a filtration system that contains an additional antimicrobial coating on the filer, incorporates an air sterilizer, or has a UV light setting. But, if you opt for a UV light setting, confirm that the UV light is activated for several minutes and not just a few seconds.
Offices can get stale or have dirty air just like any other space. And considering that people spend a large amount of time in these locations, having clean air should be a right rather than a luxury. There are plenty of reasons why adding an air purifier to your office is the right choice.
You Work in a New Office Space: New offices or buildings are common culprits for heavy off-gassing. Everything from fresh paint, new flooring, and of course new office furniture and equipment can all contribute to releasing large amounts of VOCs.
You Have Allergies or a Respiratory Condition: If you struggle with allergies or have a respiratory condition like asthma, everything from pollen, dust, and VOCs to even someone’s cologne can all have an impact on you. A whole-room air purifier can help to minimize those irritants.
You Want to Remove Lingering Odors: Even if you don’t frequently invite clients to your office for meetings, no one wants to smell yesterday’s lunch. A good air purifier with an activated carbon filter or ionizer can help to banish lingering smells.
You Don’t Work in an Office Environment: If you don’t work in an office environment, then getting an office air purifier doesn’t make much sense. Whether you work outside, or your workspace is constantly changing, you might be better off skipping this investment.
You Don’t Have a Say in Office Purchases: As we mentioned earlier, not everyone who works in a commercial office has purchasing power. If you can’t convince the powers that be to buy an air purifier, and they don’t allow you to have a personal desktop model, this isn’t going to be an option for you.
Your Office Doesn’t Have Enough Space: For best results, air purifiers ideally should be placed in a central location in a room with at least 24 inches of clearance around the entire unit. But if you work in a tiny office where space is limited, this might not be realistic.
Actual air purifier units can last indefinitely if you take care of the exterior and don’t abuse it. But the real question is how frequently do the filters need to be replaced and how expensive are those filters?
Activated carbon filters have the highest replacement rate, requiring new filters every three to six months. However, the filters are usually no more than $50. PECO is proprietary to Molekule air purifiers which have a pre-filter as well. The pre-filter must be replaced every three months while the primary filter should be changed every six months. The filters can cost anywhere from $80 to $150.
And finally, HEPA filters have the longest timeline at six to 12 months of use between replacements. But, these filters also tend to be the most expensive, costing as much as $200 in some cases.
We can’t stress enough that the main issues you need to consider with office air purifiers are the type of pollutants you want to remove from the air, and room compatibility. But there are still other factors that might influence your purchasing decision.
The most common irritants that people want to remove from the air include dust, pollen, VOCs, odors, and pathogens. One of the most common options is to get a combination air purifier that has both HEPA and activated carbon filters. Then you can opt for a model that also includes a UV light setting to effectively remove all of the pollutants from the air.
This is going to depend on how much control you have over office purchases. If you don’t get to weigh in on these decisions, and management refuses to get an air purifier for the office, a desktop model can help clean the air in your immediate vicinity around your desk.
While you can find a CADR score for a desktop air purifier, this question is more geared towards whole-room air purifiers. You need to confirm the square footage of your office space and select a compatible unit.
Keep in mind that CADR scores can vary depending on the pollutant you’re trying to remove and are only relevant for smoke, dust, and pollen. VOCs and pathogens are not included in CADR tests.
Even if you have a more lively office setting, you don’t want an appliance that makes too much noise — especially since air purifiers are intended to run continuously. Look for models that offer quiet settings and have low noise output. Ideally, you’ll want to prioritize units that emit less than 50 decibels.
If you’re at work, you have other priorities beyond constantly fiddling with an air purifier’s fan settings. Opting for an air purifier that has an air quality sensor can allow you to focus on the work that pays you. Sensors automatically detect when there are dips in air quality and adjust the fan speed to remove pollutants.
Typically you’re supposed to get one air purifier per room. So, if you have an open office layout, you’ll want to get an air purifier with a CADR score that’s compatible with your office’s square footage. But this also means that if you have a combination of open space and separate rooms with doors, you’ll need one unit per room.
For best results, your air purifier should be in a central location in the room, away from walls. But this isn’t always possible. So, if placing an air purifier in the middle of the room won’t work, just make sure that it has at least 24 inches of clearance in all directions for optimal performance.