If you have pets, you've probably figured out that air fresheners just mask odors and vacuuming can only get rid of so much fur and dander. That's why the best air purifiers for pet owners are a worthy investment. The right option for you (and your pets) will be the ideal size for the intended space and have a comprehensive combination of filters.
First, measure the space you'd like your air purifier to cover. Bigger and more expensive units can cover more square footage, but if you're on a budget, it might be a good idea to buy a smaller unit and place it where your pet spends the most time. For reference, small air purifiers typically filter spaces under 500 square feet, while large-room air purifiers are suitable for spaces between 500 and 1,500 square feet.
Next, brush up on your filter types. HEPA (or high efficiency particulate air) filters remove about 99.97% of dust, bacteria, and other particles as small as 0.3 microns from the air, and are considered the gold-standard for air filtration. Activated carbon filters are a popular option for absorbing unwanted odors, while pre-filters capture larger particles (like fur) before they have a chance to clog the main purifier. Some units have one or two of those filters, but the very best air purifiers will have a layer of each.
Now that you have a better idea of what to look for, read on for six great air purifiers that are pet-parent approved.
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1. The fan-favorite
- Recommended space size: up to 219 square feet
- Filter types: pre-filter, true HEPA filter, activated carbon filter
It's hard to ignore the 16,000-plus reviews, 4.7-star rating, and best-selling status on Amazon — and it seems that the LEVOIT air purifier deserves all the hype it gets. For much less than its competitors, it filters out 99.97% of small and large pollutants, including dander, fur, odors, and pollen. It's also certified for energy efficiency. Plus, it's space-savvy, quiet, and intuitive to use. In terms of replacement filters, this unit offers four customized options, including one for pets.
One reviewer wrote: "I bought two of these air purifiers for my bedroom and living room, and they do an amazing job. I am not sneezing anymore. They are very quiet. Highly recommend from a home with dogs, cats, a couple of bunnies, and some birds."
2. The budget one
- Recommended space size: up to 140 square feet
- Filter types: two carbon zeolite filters and true HEPA filter
While most air purifiers are fairly pricey, a good one doesn't have to break the bank. Cue the Hamilton Beach TrueAir purifier, which costs just over $50, but still has a three-stage filtration system that includes HEPA. As a result, it's capable of capturing 99.97% of dander, dust mites, mold, and more, and it also helps tackle odors. On top of that, the permanent filter can be vacuumed clean, so you won't have to buy a replacement — another way it'll save you money over the long run. However, it doesn't have a dedicated pre-filter.
One reviewer wrote: "I have had this little filter running non-stop in my cat box room for close to two years! Still filtering an amazing amount of dust. [...] I think it is a GREAT filter for the price."
3. The best for odors
- Recommended space size: up to 800 square feet
- Filter types: pre-filter, honeycomb activated carbon filter, and HEPA filter
It's hard to have a pet without also experiencing some odors, but the Bissell Smart purifier uses honeycomb-structured activated charcoal as well as a pre-filter and a HEPA filter. This makes for a quiet, powerful machine that helps remove unwanted odors from the air as well as particles as small as 0.3-micron. The unit also offers built-in cord storage, an intuitive dial, and elevated platform legs. Best of all for pet lovers, each purchase supports the Bissell Pet Foundation, which helps shelters and rescues. Plus, with up to 800 square feet of coverage, it covers a lot of space.
One reviewer wrote: "Definitely can tell a difference after one day. Placed in my open floor plan living room/ main level of my home. I have 3 Great Danes, a cat, and a smaller mutt [...] My house is relieved of dog smell now."
4. The best for large spaces
- Recommended space size: up to 1,100 square feet
- Filter types: four filters including pre-filter and activated carbon filter
Yes, it's an investment, but according to Amazon reviewers, the Alen BreatheSmart is well worth it for large spaces. It purifies up to 1,100 square feet every 30 minutes, all while removing 99.97% of germs, allergens, fur, and dirt with its four layers of filters. It's also extremely quiet and has built-in timers as well as air-quality sensors and an optional ionizer. Get it in your choice of eight sleek colors. The brand also has models that cover 700, 800, 900, and 1,300 square feet.
One reviewer wrote: "We have dogs and cats in our house and while not allergic growing up, my wife and daughter (and me to a lesser extent) have increasingly gotten allergic to the pet dander especially in our bedrooms. [...] Researched air purifiers, liked the design of the Alen BreatheSmart, ordered one to see. We were literally astounded by the difference. It was remarkable. Everyone's allergies and morning symptoms vanished. The air smelled fresh and crisp and different."
5. The design-focused one
- Recommended space size: up to 540 square feet
- Filter types: fabric pre-filter, particle filter, carbon filter
Combining style and function, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ purifier has an advanced Swedish filter as well as two washable pre-filters, and when combined, they remove 99% of dust, hair, pet dander, mold, pollen, and bacteria. This one is suitable for spaces up to 540 square feet and is surprisingly quiet as well as energy-efficient. It has a sleek, minimalist appearance that reviewers love, and it's also available in a 620-square-foot size.
One reviewer wrote: "This air purifier changed my life. I developed allergies to our pets, which sleep in our bedroom. I was in misery with congestion, sinus headache, and runny eyes. I now run this on high during the day (quite loud) and on low at night (low fan noise with no discernible cycle or pulse). I feel so much better! Love this purifier."
6. The personal portable one
- Recommended space size: personal area
- Filter types: pre-filter and total dust care filter
I just moved into a house that used to have cats, and while they're no longer here (and I've done several rounds of deep cleaning), my allergies still rear up. The LG PuriCare is one of the only air purifiers that can come with me from room to room thanks to its eight-hour battery life and 1.2-pound frame. You can also place it next to a litter box, beside the dog's bed, or in the car on your way to the vet. It's USB-rechargeable as well as Bluetooth-capable — and even with its small size, its Intertek-certified filter still removes 99% of ultra-fine particles in the air. This purifier even has a smart sensor that kicks in automatically when it detects poor air quality.
One reviewer wrote: "This is a nice little desktop air purifier. The replacement filters are economical at just $10, and it is quite easy to remove the back of the purifier to change them. This seems to do a good job of reducing the amount of pollen and cat dander, offering significant allergy relief, and I love that I’ll be able to throw this in my bag and take it with me when I return to working on campus"