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.

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.

Top 10 Best Plug In Air Purifiers

 #1  GermGuardian AC5350B Plug-In Air Purifier

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.

Pros
  • Excellent CADR fast room circulation
  • Slim and discrete profile (9.06 x 6.69 x 27.56 inches)
  • Programmable time with preset times
Cons
  • Lights on the unit can not are turned off
  • Air intake could be more efficient (enters through the back); no dual or 360 suction

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. A built-in reminder for filter maintenance is also found in the best personal air purifier.

 #2  GermGuardian AC4825E Plug-In Air Purifier

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)

Pros
  • QuietKEAP for exceptional sound level
  • Strong CADR ratings (smoke: 141, dust: 140, pollen: 145 CFM)
  • Programmable time with preset times
Cons
  • No built-in UV-C light
  • No real-time air quality monitoring via smartphone or color-coded LEDs

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.

 #3  Hamilton Beach 04386A Plug-In Air Purifier

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.

Pros
  • Powerful 4-stage filtration
  • Slim and discreet profile (9.06 x 6.69 x 27.56 inches)
  • Intuitive digital display
Cons
  • Small area coverage (up to 167 sq. feet.)
  • The cord could be longer

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.

 #4  GermGuardian GG1000 Plug-In 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.

Pros
  • Sleek white casing
  • UV-C light for powerful bacteria and germ protection
  • Replacement of UV bulb only needed every 6-8 months
Cons
  • No true HEPA or activated carbon filter
  • Average of 50 dB noise rating & one only fan speed
  • Doesn’t cover an expansive area

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.

 #5  Hamilton Beach 04531GM Plug-In Air Purifier

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.

Pros
  • Compatible with fragrances
  • Slim profile ( 8.7 x 5.9 x 3.8 inches )
  • Single On/Off switch; minimalist design
Cons
  • Filter needs to be replaced every 3 months
  • Only comes with one scent cartridge (Green Meadow)

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.

 #6  Winix 5300 Plug-In Air Purifier

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.

Pros
  • Accurate real-time quality monitoring
  • Easy to replace true HEPA carbon sheet
  • Excellent CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) rating
Cons
  • Heavy (almost 20 pounds) and bulky (14.9 x 7.8 x 23.6 inches)
  • Does not include remote control
  • Rated for 360 sq. ft; not a large area

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 include the best smart air purifiers.

 #7  Greentech Plug In Air Purifier

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.

Pros
  • Ultra compact (2.5 x 3.5 x 4.25 inches)
  • Excellent size to coverage ratio (up to 325 square feet)
  • Activated oxygen and ionization works great for odors
Cons
  • Covers a second outlet
  • No large particle or ultrafine particle filter
  • Gives off a faint smell of ozone

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.

 #8  Germ Guardian CDAP5500BCA Plug In Air Purifier

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.

Pros
  • Accurate built-in quality sensor
  • Excellent CADR ratings for pollen, smoke, dust
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth compatible
Cons
  • Highest settings can be noisy

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.

 #9  Oransi OV200 Plug In Air Purifier

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.

Pros
  • Room coverage up to 400sf
  • Intuitive handheld remote control
  • Slim dimensions (13″ x 23″ x 7″ )
Cons
  • Filters need replacing every 3 to 4 months
  • Can be noisy

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.

 #10  Coway 400 Plug In Air Purifier

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.

Pros
  • Excellent Sleep Mode combinations
  • Effective filtration using two pre-filters and two Max2 filters
  • Dual suction technology for optimized airflow
Cons
  • Does not include handheld remote control
  • Very bulky machine

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.

How We Decided

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.

Best Plug In Air Purifiers Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Efficiency
    With plug-in purifiers, look for a minimum 3-stage filtration system with a pre-filter for large particles, true HEPA filters for smaller particles (down to 0.3 microns), and an activated carbon filter for odor resistance. All purify the air, capturing 99.97% of contaminants. If a built-in UV-C light and ionizer are included, even better for additional bacteria and virus-fighting power. Additionally, look for a generous square footage rating and solid CADR scores. The higher the CADR scores for pollen, dust, and smoke, the faster they are removed from the room.
  2. Versatility
    Focus on air purifiers with a 360° distribution instead of bottom to top concept for improved intake and airflow, especially in open areas. Additionally, purifiers should be mountable on walls, horizontally or vertically for space-saving ability, although most do not offer this flexibility.
  3. Digital Controls
    Our preference is for the best plug-in air purifiers to carry a full suite of digital controls that makes it easy to tell air quality and control function. Look at real-time air quality monitoring with color-coded LED indicators, Sleep Mode, and Auto mode for automatic adjustment of fan speeds based on air quality, which could net tremendous energy savings in the long run.

Plug In Air Purifiers FAQs

Do plug-in air purifiers work?

Yes, plug-in air purifiers work best in smaller areas. To combat air pollution, they use a combination of ionization and UV-C lighting to kill airborne bacteria and viruses. Note, they are not as effective at eliminating large airborne particles with no pre-filter or true HEPA filter. Consider them purely complimentary with a maximum coverage area anywhere between 40 square feet and 200 square feet.

Do air purifiers make the air dry?

No, air purifiers do not have a mechanism for removing moisture from the air, so they cannot make it drier.

Can an ionizer make you sick?

It has long been thought that ionizers release an unsafe amount of ozone, which has been known to cause coughing, chest pain, and lung damage with prolonged exposure. However, today's plug-in air purifiers emit little to no ozone generator in minuscule amounts that the effect is negligible. We are more than confident installing plug-in air purifiers in children's nurseries and other more sensitive areas.

Do air purifiers make your house smell better?

Plug-in air purifiers are not as effective at removing odors as 3-stage filtration systems with activated carbon filters that work overtime in eliminating smoke, odor, and gases. For best results, complement a 3-stage filtration system with a plug-in air purifier for a more concentrated attack in smaller rooms such as little box rooms, bathrooms, and kitchen closets.

Ray Prince

Diehard UFC/MMA fan and all-around techie who loves to write.

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