Following an in-depth comparison of more than thirty consumer air cleaners by (me) an indoor electrical room air quality engineer, we\u2019ve determined that the best air purifier for pets and allergy sufferers, and #1 pick, is the Austin Air Healthmate Standard\u00a0($538.99).\r\n\r\nThe decision was based on pre-filter quality (to catch large particulate like dust and hair), True HEPA filter class (based on the European Norm), carbon filter grade and specifications (for odor and gas control), and an analysis of the motor implemented and its effectiveness moving air across the multi-staged filter arrangements. The machine\u2019s pre-filter effectively captures large pet dander before moving air through the activated carbon and True HEPA filter array which works exceptionally well, eliminating smells that your hairy companion might track in and filtering finer particulate in the air.\r\nBest Air Purifier for Pets\r\n\r\nHow We Choose The\u00a0Best Air Purifier for Pets\r\nPre-filters help remove larger particulate from the air stream prior to more precision filtration. They\u2019re often reusable and washable, and external to the higher-grade carbon and HEPA air filters installed inside of a home air purifier. The main benefit of pre-filter inclusion in an air purifier design is that larger contaminants in the air are restricted from passing on to the more advanced filters and that increases the life and efficiency of expensive filters meant to remove the things that matter.\r\n\r\nPre-filters are relatively cheap to manufacture and cheap to include as a component in an air purifier and as such we believe the exclusion of such a feature demonstrates poor design. All of our top picks include pre-filter configurations, some of which are part of the activated carbon filter.\r\n\r\nPet odors are another issue that we wanted to ensure our top picks addressed. As such, a Pet Air Purifier should remove nasty odors in both small and large rooms as well as cleaning the air. To do this, some form of an activated carbon filter needed to be a part of the filtration process. Activated carbon, or charcoal, filters adsorb odors by trapping molecules inside extremely porous carbon substrate. Since our top picks focus solely on the best air purifier for pets, we didn\u2019t weigh our decision based on the quality of the carbon media used, but rather only the inclusion of a carbon filtration step. Air purifiers intended for use as smoke eliminators, or volatile organic compound (VOCs) removers require high-grade, activated carbon media to clean an environment more effectively.\r\n\r\nHEPA Air Filters, or High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance, filters are a crucial component in any air purification equipment. They function as the finest line of defense in the filtration process, filtering out a minimum of 99.97% of particulate matter that is as small as 0.3 microns in diameter (to put that in to perspective, a human - or pet's - hair is approximately 100 times larger in diameter). The best air purifiers will utilize HEPA filters or a filtration system that operates to the same standard, capturing and successfully eliminating 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Using the aforementioned European Norm as a guideline to classify HEPA quality, we began our analysis by ensuring that air purifiers which made our list met a rating of at least the standard E12 classification. Purifiers using HEPA filters exceeding our baseline were rated more highly, with those combining multiple, high-grade purification technologies rated considerably higher.\r\n\r\nFinally, motor quality and machine construction were considered to ensure that each air cleaner had sufficient power to move each manufacturer\u2019s rated volumetric air across filter arrays. This is critical to performance because without enough power, air cleaners can\u2019t optimally force flow through filters. Our top picks all demonstrate high airflow rates equating to powerful motors capable of pulling air into the machines and through filters as advertised. Typically, motor specifications and\/or air flow information isn\u2019t something that air purifier companies publish. More commonly, coverage area and maybe air changes per hour (ACH) are marketed to demonstrate product effectiveness. These numbers are usually reliable indicators of machine power although we\u2019ve found some with grossly inaccurate claims so always do your own homework.\r\n\r\nACH numbers are the best way for a machine's effectiveness to be gauged and compared. Plainly, ACH is the amount of times a purifier completely filters the air in an advertised square footage space within one hour. So for example, if a machine's ACH is 5 and the machine is marketed as being able to purify spaces as large as 500 sq ft, then the machine will completely filter all of the air in a 500 sq ft (square feet) area 5 times in one hour. Now, there's a bit more to ACH than this simple explanation. Room height is assumed to be seven feet in ACH calculations. So for spaces in your home that have higher ceilings, the advertised ACH will not be accurate. There isn't an optimal ACH rate. It's only a way to measure and compare filtration power. If you're looking at two purifiers with the same square footage rating and one has a higher ACH its a more capable unit.\r\nWhy You Should Buy an Air Purifier for Pet Dander\r\nWe all love our pets, but did you know that certain elements found within pet dander, saliva, urine, and fecal matter can be the cause of allergic reactions, or irritate asthma sufferers? Also, shedding pet hair creates an environment in which pollen and mold spores can live if undisturbed.\r\n\r\nMost medical resources suggest that asthma and allergy sufferers remove pets from their home if irritation becomes a consistent problem, but we realize that this option isn\u2019t always ideal. The best air purifier for pets will help owners mitigate the risk associated with pet allergens by removing harmful contaminates from the air.\r\n\r\nThe EPA lists indoor air quality as one of the leading contributors to individual health and wellness in the United States. Long-term effects from poor air quality have been suggested as having a potential to cause respiratory diseases, heart disease, some forms of cancer - and in extreme cases - death. Everyone reacts differently to indoor air pollutants though, so it\u2019s important to consider your unique situation in relation to the information provided here and elsewhere. Having said that, pet owners can live healthier lives by using Pet Air Purifiers in areas frequented by their furry friends.\r\n Austin Air Healthmate Standard\r\n\r\n\r\nPrice: $539 | HEPA Class: H14 | Coverage: 1,500 Sq Ft | Auto Mode: No\r\n\r\nWHY IT'S A TOP PICK: Austin Air's Healthmate Standard takes a no-BS approach to air purification with components that are top quality in the industry. This is our editor\u2019s choice and the best air purifier for pet odors.\r\n\r\nSo why is the Austin Air Healthmate Standard our top pick? What makes it the best for this consumer application? Simply put: it\u2019s an industrially designed air purifier that beats most others in its class with respect to the variables we found most important.\r\n\r\nThe machine\u2019s pre-filter, activated carbon and zeolite filter, and HEPA filter have been combined into a cylindrical, one-piece filter array that can easily be removed and replaced from the bottom of the machine when needed (although a new filter array should last an average user approximately three years). The Healthmate\u2019s HEPA filter is industrial-grade, rated as H14 on the European Norm scale and retains 99.995% of particulate measuring 0.3 micrometers in diameter.\r\n\r\nBuild quality is superior and the machine isn\u2019t an eyesore like some. Austin uses a purely mechanical filtration process for filtering air (devoid of ionization or ultraviolet treatments) and the motor we tested pushes air through the machine without straining. At full speed, the machine can be a bit loud (approximately 65 dB), but with this kind of performance it\u2019s understandable. We recommend running on high for the first three to four hours after installation and then setting to medium for continued operation. If you have pets, you may not consider air purifiers to be pet gadgets, but they help with dander and make life easier for you and your furry friends.\r\n\r\n\r\n Airmega 400S Air Purifier\r\n\r\n\r\n Price: $711 | HEPA Class: H13 | Coverage: 1,560 Sq Ft | Auto Mode: Yes\r\n\r\nWHY IT'S A TOP PICK:\u00a0The most connected, "smart," high-performance air purifier for pet allergies and asthma.\r\n\r\nAirmega manufactures some of the most attractive and tech-savvy air purifiers on the market, and the 400S is the company\u2019s MVP. If you\u2019re looking for a high-performing air purifier for pet dander, this is an excellent buy. It is the best air purifier for pet allergies and asthma.\r\n\r\nUnlike many other air purifiers, Airmega\u2019s units pull air through two separate intakes utilizing individual motors and carbon\/HEPA combination filters. The machine\u2019s side panels can easily be removed for cleaning and replacing each filter box. Just like the Healthmate, this machine comes loaded with an industrial-grade HEPA filter rated as H13 and retaining 99.95% of airborne particulate.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s a great looking machine that\u2019s well built and nice to look at \u2013 probably the most attractive air cleaner we\u2019ve review yet. A mechanical filtration process ensures that contaminants are captured, and because the unit uses two separate motors to drive the suction fans on either side it\u2019s capable of operating more quietly than others rated for the similar coverage areas. Smart features on the device enable users to control the unit and monitor indoor air quality from their smart devices. You won't find these features on the best cheap air purifier.\r\n\r\n\r\n IQAir's HealthPro Plus Air Purifier\r\n\r\n\r\n Price: $899 | HEPA Class: E12| Coverage: 1,125 Sq Ft | Auto Mode: No\r\n\r\nWHY IT'S A TOP PICK:\u00a0IQAir's HealthPro Plus has been rated as a top performer in more of our application-specific reviews than any other air purifier.\r\n\r\nWe\u2019ve discussed how much we love IQAir\u2019s HealthPro Plus in the past, but never regarding pet dander. An excellent machine for nearly every application, the HealthPro Plus performs exceptionally well for pet related pollutants due to its unique combination of filters, internal sealing system, and build quality. It has earned the spot for the best pet dander air purifier.\r\n\r\nThe HealthPro Plus includes a pre-filter, granulated activated carbon and impregnated activated alumina filter, and E12\/H13 HEPA filter. Filters are installed in individual filter housing segments from top to bottom. The HEPA filter\u2019s class varies between E12 and H13 depending on the machines airflow setting (airflow rates below 112 cfm keep the filter classified as a medical-grade H13, while higher flow rates reduce efficiency to E12).\r\n\r\nIQAir uses a doubled-walled housing, rubber vibration padding on the motor, and an \u201cEvenFlow\u201d air diffuser to reduce noise created from operation and from our examination all of these features seem to work well. Just like our other top picks, the HealthPro Plus doesn\u2019t use ionizers or UV-c light to treat air, but rather works its magic through a completely mechanical purification process. Air is pulled from the bottom of the machine and suctioned through the filter arrangement until clean, purified air is released from the top (EvenFlow Diffuser). Another model to look at great for homes with pets is the Germ Guardian AC4300 \u2013 an air purifier with a HEPA Filter and a Pet Pure Treatment Filter. The filter includes an antimicrobial agent (Pet Pure) that prevents the build-up of mold, mildew, and odor-causing bacteria on the surface of the filter, plus, an activated charcoal filter that reduces odors from cats, dogs, smoking, and cooking.\r\n\r\n\r\nKey Factors to\u00a0the\u00a0Best Air Purifier for Pets\r\nPre-filter\r\n\r\n \tPre-filters are a necessary part of the filtration process when dealing with indoor animals. Large particulates in the air, like pet dander hair, can cause efficiency and lifespan reductions in carbon and HEPA filters.\r\n \tRegularly clean your air purifier's pre-filter to ensure maximum airflow through the primary filter array.\r\n\r\nCarbon filter\r\n\r\n \tPets stink; it\u2019s not their fault, just part of being a four-legged friend. An air purifier using an activated carbon filter as part of the overall air filtration process with help to reduce, or even completely eliminate, nasty pet odors from cats and dogs. An air purifier for pets should definitely include an activated carbon filter.\r\n \tIf you have an animal of the feline variety, try keeping your litter box close to the purifier \u2013 we\u2019ve heard from air purifier owners this helps quite a bit.\r\n\r\nHEPA filter\r\n\r\n \tAn absolute must for any kind air purification, HEPA filters remove the smallest of air particles from the air (as small as 0.3 microns).\r\n \tHEPA filters help to prevent the spread of bacteria, pollen, dust mite feces, and even fleas if used in conjunction with a HEPA vacuum cleaner.\r\n\r\nAirflow\r\n\r\n \tAir suctioned through an air purifier needs to be properly suppressed from escaping the machine until it has been completely processed through the filter array. Leaks between the intake and exhaust reduce a machine\u2019s effectiveness exponentially, in some cases nearly completely nullifying the use of a machine at all.\r\n \tIn addition to ensuring internal seals are a part of an air purifier\u2019s design, airflow patterns created by an air cleaner are important too.\r\n \tSome machines unintentionally create air loops which recirculate air that\u2019s just been cleaned \u2013 poor efficiency. Our analysis of intake and exhaust ports considered the optimal airflow design based on each machine\u2019s unique physical characteristics.\r\n\r\nFeatures To Look For\r\nAs a buying guide, look out for these features when choosing an air purifier for your home. A good place to start is to check out HEPA Air Purifiers and compare their specs and features to other models.\r\n\r\nAutomatic Mode\r\n\r\n \tWhen coupled with an air quality sensor, an automatic function works well to ensure airflow settings are adjusted based on airborne pollutants detected.\r\n \tWe know it sounds odd, but some machines feature an \u201cautomatic\u201d mode that\u2019s controlled by a timer function only which isn\u2019t truly automatic. Timer functions are convenient for setting machines to day\/night cycles, but not as a true \u201cset it and forget it\u201d option.\r\n\r\nFilter Indicator\r\n\r\n \tWhile nearly all air purifier filters have a lifespan between twelve and thirty-six months (lifetime use varies greatly based on filter assembly and materials of construction), it isn\u2019t easy for us busy folks to remember when it\u2019s time to change our filters.\r\n \tA filter indicator automatically detects changes in airflow across a filter and provides an audible or visual indication that filter efficiency has decreased and a new filter may be required.\r\n\r\nNoise\r\n\r\n \tYou\u2019re going to live with your air purifier so noise is an important aspect to consider. Most cleaners aren\u2019t that loud on lower settings, but some can get a little fussy when turned up. Expect powerful units with multiple fan speeds set on maximum airflow settings to create between 80 and 90 decibels (think blender on a medium setting).\r\n \tIf you\u2019re planning on sleeping near your machine this point becomes even more critical. All of the machines on our list can be used comfortably without sacrificing quietness in your home.\r\n\r\nCoverage\r\n\r\n \tMaximum treatable area demonstrates a machine\u2019s ability to not only effectively purifier a certain volume of air, but also the sheer suction power that a machine has available. ACH is a great number to refer to especially when comparing multiple units although, unfortunately the ACH number isn't always advertised. When in doubt, go larger. If you require treatment of a space that's 500 sq ft, it's better to purchase a machine capable of treating 700 sq ft than one built for 499 sq ft.\r\n \tThe greater the suction, the more air being moved across the filter array, and the more effective a machine is at removing stubborn particulate.\r\n\r\nMistakes to Avoid\r\nThis really needs to be reiterated: without the incorporation of a pre-filter an air purifier meant to help against pet dander could be less effective due to carbon and HEPA filter blockage by larger particulates. Always check to make sure a pre-filter is part of the machines design for this application.\r\n\r\nIt may be tempting to try out a less expensive product, but be very cautious. We\u2019ve found that many machines priced under $150 USD are often just too weak to properly pull in air around them.\r\n\r\nOne method that some less powerful machines will incorporate into the filtration process is ionization. Air ionizers charge particles so that negative and positive attractions retain impurities in the air, and while this technology can be used very effectively \u2013 most consumer products that feature ionization just don\u2019t perform as they should. Another issue with ionizers is that they produce ozone which is a respiratory irritant at specific parts per million. Again, some machines utilize ionization very well \u2013 but you\u2019ll need to do your homework carefully.\r\n\r\nDon\u2019t be overwhelmed. With so many models and brands to choose from, it can be a pain to figure out which air purifier is right for you. Popular models such as the Honeywell HPA300, the Levoit LV-H132, Hamilton Beach TrueAir, GermGuardian AC5350B, and many other great air purifiers available can make it a difficult decision. Regardless, make sure you shop around, compare specs and features, and in the end, choose a model you like!\r\nWhat Else You Should Think About\r\nWhen composing this piece, we had quite a bit of feedback regarding just removing animals from the home, but as pet owners ourselves we realize that sometimes that isn\u2019t a reasonable solution to the problem. As additional steps to combat allergies caused by indoor pets, consider using hypoallergenic shampoos, as well as regularly vacuuming with a vacuum that incorporates a HEPA filter of its own.\r\n\r\nDoing these things in combination with running the best air purifier for pets works well to eliminate irritating sources of allergies that can hide in your home. If you're looking for an air purifier to treat a wider variety of pollutants, check out our air purifier comparison article\u00a0as a general guide on the subject.\r\n\r\nOur top pick as Editor\u2019s Choice\/Best Air Purifier for Pets, Austin Air\u2019s Healthmate Standard is an excellent choice for reducing airborne pollutants that could be causing asthma attacks and\/or irritating allergies. We\u2019ve personally tested this unit and it\u2019s one of the best units for consumers with animals in their home!