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To find the best plug-in air purifiers, you’ll need to examine a list of criteria to determine what is most important. We recommend the best plugin air purifier with a minimum 3-stage filtration system (pre-filter, true HEPA, and activated carbon filters) along with optional UV-light and ionizer for additional germ-fighting power. We are also big on excellent CADR ratings, an assessment of how fast a unit works with air changes per hour. Don’t forget a full suite of digital controls, including Sleep Mode, Auto Mode, and real-time air quality monitoring that make up even the best air purifier.
After analyzing hundreds of reviews, we’ve determined that the GermGuardian AC5350B Plug-In Air Purifier is the best whole house air purifier you can buy. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more and let us help you choose the best air purifier for your needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This plug-in air purifier features 4-in-1 filtration with solid CADR ratings (108 smoke; 114 dust, 127 pollen), a solid choice for people wanting fast air changes in rooms up to 167 square feet.
This plug-in air purifier is one of the more well-rounded ones we’ve tested, with 4-stage filtration consisting of a large particle filter, true HEPA filter, activated charcoal filter, and UV-C light. It works great at trapping allergens, as well as smoke, odors, and gasses.
We are also big fans of this unit’s digital display panel, which comes with a pre-set timer (up to 8 hours), five fan speeds, and a filter change indicator. An Ultra Quiet mode automatically defaults to the lowest setting and energy output for a good night’s rest. Maintenance is also on the easy side with 6 to 8-month replacement intervals, not bad for a single filter.
See Also: Take a look at the best personal air purifier for compact purifiers that you can use anywhere.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This plug-in air purifier comes with Vortex Air technology for exceptionally strong airflow and an H13 Pure HEPA filter to capture 99. 97% of fine particles, an excellent choice for small to mid-sized rooms (up to 219 square feet)
This air purifier is solid across the board, with a pre-filter, a true HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter working to capture close to 100% of contaminants. It can cover rooms up to 219 square feet with up to five air changes per hour depending on the setting used. CADR ratings for smoke, dust, and pollen are also exceptional at 141,140, and 145 respectively.
One of our favorite features with this unit is QuietKEAP Technology, which reduces noise levels to 24dB for a whisper-quiet operation. The filter also only needs to be changed every 6 to 8 months, which is above average for the ones we’ve researched. All in all, this is a very well-rounded unit. Another well-rounded unit is the best air purifier and humidifier with its 3-stage filtration and digital options.
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This plug-in air purifier comes with 4-in-1 filtration and comes up to 167 square feet, an excellent choice for bedrooms and small living rooms.
This plug-in air purifier is a well-rounded machine, comprising 4-in-1 air purification that uses a pre-filter for large particles, activated carbon filter, true HEPA filter, and UV-C light. All are very effective in capturing up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
On the digital side, this plug-in air purifier is a gem, with an easy to read digital display that has a programmable timer, filter change indicator, and five fan speeds, including a sleep mode. Most of the plug-in air purifiers we’ve researched have three or fewer speeds, so this is very welcome. Its design is also very versatile, measuring only 8.5 x 6 x 13.54 inches with the ability to rest vertically or horizontally to maximize your tablespace. Another unit that works best for smaller, confined areas is the best large room air purifier.
Award: BEST PORTABLE DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: This pluggable air purifier delivers with an ultra-compact profile (3.2 x 3 x 7.5 inches), a perfect choice for tight areas such as under kitchen cupboards and litter box rooms.
For a small machine, this plug-in air purifier is pretty impressive. Although it has a 7-inch wall pluggable design, it solely comprises UV-C light which helps cut down on airborne bacteria and airborne germs.
One of our favorite things about this unit is how easy it is to maintain. It only requires a UV bulb replacement every 6 to 8 months. This is a welcome reprieve from having to replace water reservoirs or HEPA filters every 3 to 6 months, or even more frequently based on usage. If you are looking for a no-frills purifier without multiple fan speeds and real-time air quality monitoring, this is an excellent choice. You may also consider these best whole house air purifiers that have easier controls, and real-time air quality monitoring.
Award: BEST DEODORIZER
WHY WE LIKE IT: This plug-in air purifier comes with a slim profile (8.7 x 5.9 x 3.8 ) and TrueAir scent cartridge compatibility, an excellent choice for people looking to spruce up a room.
This plug-in air purifier is a nifty contraption, featuring a stirp of carbo fiber to absorb odors smoke, and gasses. It’s very effective with everyday household odors, including a litter box, tobacco smoke, and heavy steaming/cooking. Kudos for a built-in nightlight on its top band, which we find useful for entryways and staircases.
Our favorite feature with this plugin air purifier is its scent cartridge compatibility. It includes a Green Meadow scent cartridge and can be paired with other scent cartridges, which are easy to apply. All in all, this is one of the better fragrance-compatible plug-in air purifiers we’ve researched. Other units with a fragrance cartridge, are some of the best air purifiers for cigarette smoke which use an air outlet sponge to infuse essential oils.
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Award: BEST FOR CHILDREN’S ROOMS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This plug-in air purifier comes with 3-stage filtration and uses PlasmaWave technology, which is very effective with bacteria and flu virus, an excellent choice for children’s playrooms, nurseries, or medical settings.
This plug-in air purifier offers 4-stage filtration, which uses a fine mesh pre-filter for larger airborne particles, a true HEPA layer for ultrafine particles (down to 0.3 microns), a true HEPA filter, and PlasmaWavetechnology which develops hydroxyls to kill illness-causing germs. It also offers a solid CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) rating for rooms up to 360 square feet.
Arguably this plug-in air purifier’s biggest strength is with its suite of digital features, starting with dual smart sensors for automatic fan speed adjustment based on air quality. A separate air quality indicator uses color-coded light changes to monitor in real-time and Sleep Mode comes to life when lights turn off, offering a blissful night’s sleep at its lowest setting. Bonus points for its sleek, black and white casing which ties well with the modern techy-style decor. Other purifiers with modern customized designs and features can be found in the best smart air purifiers.
Award: BEST FOR BATHROOMS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This plug-in air purifier disperses millions of negative ions through the air and covers rooms up to 325 square feet, a neat choice for bathrooms and garages.
This best air purifier uses activated oxygen and ionization, a process which disperses millions of negative ions into the atmosphere to latch or bind onto airborne contaminants, effectively neutralizing pollen, pet dander, odors, smoke, and others. It plugs directly into an outlet and can be used in small rooms such as laundry rooms, little rooms, and master closets.
In terms of maintenance, this Pureair 50 air purifier is one of the easiest, with no filter replacements required. It does not carry pre mesh or true HEPA filters like larger units. All in all, we love this plug-in air purifier’s combination of size and coverage area. You really should compare this unit with other large square foot coverage purifiers such as the best air purifier with a washable filter.
Award: BEST APP
WHY WE LIKE IT: This plug-in air purifier covers rooms up to 167 square feet and offers Wi-Fi & Bluetooth compatibility, an excellent choice for people who want to schedule and monitor air quality from afar.
We love this plugin air purifier’s well-roundedness, consisting of a 4-in-1 filtration system that utilizes a large particle filter, true HEPA filter, activated charcoal filter, and UV-C light for extra fighting power against airborne viruses. It’s also very efficient, good for 4 room air changes per hour for rooms up to 167 square feet with solid CADR ratings for dust, pollen, and smoke.
This best small plug-in air purifier is one of the few we’ve researched with Wi-Fi & Bluetooth compatibility. Consider this a smart air purifier with a dedicated GT app for remote controls, as well as Alexa for voice commands. Kudos for a built-in smart sensor for real-time air quality monitoring. Instant air quality monitoring is also an important feature in the best ionic air purifiers.
Award: BEST DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: This plug-in air purifier comes with a sleek white casing and excellent room coverage of up to 400 square feet, a fantastic choice for people who want a minimalist design that blends in well with the environment.
This best plug in air purifier for pet odors leads with the 3-stage air filtration that uses a pre-filter, true HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. It is very effective at neutralizing airborne contaminants as small as 0.3 microns, including pet dander, dust, allergens, and mold spores. Kudos for a slim profile with a sleek glossy white color and 7″ deep for discrete placement next to nightstands or entertainment centers.
We love how easy it is to use this plug-in air purifier. It includes a real-time air quality monitor, three fan speeds, and a nifty filter replacement light to indicate when it’s time to change the filter. It also includes a handheld remote control with a solid range. If you need more high-tech control, check out the best air purifier for babies that offers Alexa and Google Home Assistant compatibility which makes voice commands easy from anywhere within range.
Award: BEST FOR SMALL APARTMENTS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This plug-in air purifier covers 1000+ square feet with two pre-filters and two Max2 filters, an excellent choice for small apartments or cavernous living rooms.
This best plug-in air purifier offers one of the largest square footage ratings we’ve researched (1560 square feet) on the back of two pre-filters and two Max2 filters that do an exceptional job of controlling mold, pollen, dust, bacteria, and other airborne pollutants. One of its biggest draws is dual suction technology which pulls air from opposite sides for more efficient distribution.
One of our favorite features with this unit is its Smart Modes, which come with a light sensor that auto-adjusts based on ambient lighting conditions and automatically reverting to the lowest sound setting for a blissful night’s sleep. We also like its indoor pollutant indicator for real-time updates. And for your vehicle, we recommend the best car air purifiers with true HEPA and activated carbon filtration.
In determining the best plugin air purifier to buy, we explored efficiency, versatility, and digital controls.
Our preference is for the best plug-in air purifiers to carry a minimum coverage area of 300+ square feet. In general, aim for plug-in air purifiers with a larger square footage rating than the area of the room you wish to place it in. Minimum 3-stage filtration consisting of a pre-filter for larger particles, a true HEPA filter for ultrafine particles, and a combination of activated carbon filter, UV-C light, and ionizer is a must.
In terms of versatility, we are very big on minimal noise and easy maintenance. Look for a variety of mounting options, including wall mounting or horizontal/vertical placement to maximize small spaces.
Lastly, we consider digital controls an important feature set. Our preference is for real-time air quality monitoring through a dedicated smartphone app or color-coded LED lighting with different grade scales. Consider the best plug-in air purifiers with Sleep Mode, Auto Mode, and nightlight settings as well for a more well-rounded unit that doesn’t focus solely on filtration, but on control of filtration.