According to a recent industry survey, 67 percent of American households have a pet. That’s 85 million families who have a four-legged, furry family member. Unfortunately, all that pet love can result in a lot of dander and unpleasant odors. Dander is composed of the tiny, often microscopic, flecks of skin pets constantly shed.
Almost any kind of pet—cats, dogs, birds, and rodents—can shed dander. This dander then causes allergic reactions in people who specifically have these triggers. Air purifiers can help reduce, or even eliminate, those side effects of pet ownership. In this guide, we list our top picks for best air purifiers for pets on the market along with everything shoppers need to know about these devices.
- BEST OVERALL: Levoit VeSync Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: GermGuardian GG1000 Pluggable UV-C Air Purifier
- UPGRADE PICK: Nuwave OxyPure Smart Air Purifier
- BEST SMART PURIFIER: Renpho AP-001S Air Purifier
- BEST FOR LARGE ROOMS: Bissell air220 Purifier With HEPA and Carbon Filters
- BEST FOR SMALL ROOMS: Levoit Core 300S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier
- BEST FOR ALLERGIES: Rabbit Air MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier
- BEST FOR PET HAIR & DANDER: Bissell air400 Air Purifier w/ HEPA & Carbon Filters
- BEST FOR PET ODOR: Levoit LV-H128 Desktop True HEPA Air Purifier
- BEST WITH WASHABLE FILTER: Veva ProHEPA 9000 Premium Air Purifier
How We Chose the Best Air Purifiers for Pets
The right air purifier can cleanse air pollution caused by pet odors, dander, and kitty litter. Each of our top picks was selected for its effectiveness, size, noise level, and user-friendliness.
The best air purifiers for pets are equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, an activated-carbon filter, or ultraviolet (UV) air purification and are great at removing particles, toxins, and odor in spaces that are between 200 and 1,000 square feet in size. Many of these units also have multiple layers to their filtration and can remove 99 percent of the noxious material from the air.
These air filters run quietly as they work, with the loudest option being 40 decibels. Select filters also have a sleep mode that operates silently through the night. Additional special features included in these models are a child-lock feature, color-coded air quality monitor, auto-adjustment based on changes in the environment, and washable and reusable filters.
Our Top Picks
Our top picks consist of air purifiers with multiple filtration systems. They can be used in small, medium, or large rooms, and some models also have advanced features.
The Levoit VeSync Core 400S features an impressive 3-stage filtration system that includes an H13-grade HEPA filter to capture microscopic particles like dander in the air. The activated-carbon filter absorbs odors from pets, smoke, and cooking.
The washable preliminary filter traps hair, lint, and—most importantly—pet fur. This air purifier can handle both large and small rooms. It can purify the air in an 806-square-foot living room in 24 minutes and a 403-square-foot bedroom in as little as 12 minutes.
The purifier comes with a HEPA filter, three clean-air delivery rates, and an option to program it to turn off after a few hours. It comes with an auto mode that senses airborne contaminants and adjusts the fan speed as necessary.
The LED display can switch off to save energy and create a darker room for sleeping. This air purifier from Levoit is a great all-around solution for cleaner air and emits just 24 decibels of noise when operating—less noise than a whisper makes in a quiet library.
- Type: HEPA filters
- Room size compatibility: 160 to 806 square feet
- Noise level: 24 decibels
- Works in large living rooms and small to midsize bedrooms and kitchens
- Fast acting; activates and purifies the air in 24 minutes or less
- 3 operating speeds included; suitable for multiple preferences and needs
- Auto adjusting; convenient, hands-free operation; VeSync app sends real-time air-quality updates
- With a weight of 14.12 pounds, this model has limited portability
- This air purifier is pricier than similar models; replacement filters are also expensive
Get the Levoit VeSync air purifier for pets at Amazon, Staples, or Levoit.
The GermGuardian GG1000 pluggable air purifier is a small but powerful appliance that filters odors and kills off viruses and germs. With the ability to plug into any household 120-volt outlet, this compact air purifier can fit in tight spaces where pet odors hang in the air, like near the litter box. It eliminates unwanted odors by drawing air through the purifier and killing the germs, mold, and bacteria that cause odors.
Unlike some budget models that come with just one or two filters, the GermGuardian GG1000 features UV light that kills bacteria and viruses such as Covid-19 when the virus particles pass through the purifier. Although the GermGuardian GG1000 cannot filter out particulate matter like pollens or dander, with its compact size—just 7.5 inches tall by 3 inches wide by 4 inches deep—and reasonable price, this is an excellent choice for combating pet odors.
- Type: UV air purifier
- Room size compatibility: Up to 300 square feet
- Noise level: 42 decibels
- Inexpensive option compared to similar air purifiers on the market
- Compact and portable; won’t take up space and is easy to maneuver
- Compatible with any home outlet; can be moved from room to room if needed
- Controls odors and removes mold, germs, and bacteria from the air
- Cannot filter all airborne particles like other comparable models can
- Made for small spaces only; not suitable for use in large rooms or spaces
Get the GermGuardian air purifier for pets at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Guardian Technologies.
Even though the Nuwave OxyPure air purifier is pricier than some, its multifiltration system is a game changer, especially since 80 percent of the system has a 20-year lifespan. The stainless steel prefilter collects large particles like pollen and pet hair.
The powerful five-filter unit effectively traps particulate pollutants as small as 0.09 microns. It also features an ozone-removal filter and a HEPA/activated-carbon filter that traps particles like allergens, dander, household fumes, and odors. Both of these filters are washable and reusable.
The OxyPure also features a programmable air-quality monitor that can adjust operating speeds when it detects different levels of pollutants in the air. As an added benefit, users can remotely monitor and control the purifier from anywhere in their home via a WiFi–enabled smart device.
This energy-efficient purifier will effectively treat rooms up to 515 square feet, so it is a good choice for family rooms, recreation rooms, and kitchen/dining room combos.
- Type: HEPA filters and activated-carbon filter
- Room size compatibility: 515 square feet
- Noise level: Whisper to turbo (exact decibels unspecified)
- 5-filter unit; removes pollen, pet hair, allergens, fumes, odors, and more
- Filters are washable and reusable; cuts the cost of replacement filters
- Powers on when poor air quality is detected; runs at top speed till quality improves
- With a weight of 30 pounds, this air purifier is fairly heavy, limiting portability
- Expensive compared to similar air purifiers available on the market
Get the Nuwave air purifier for pets at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Nuwave.
Monitor and control the Renpho AP-001S air purifier from a smartphone or another digital device. This Renpho purifier syncs with SmartApp, Google Assistant, or Alexa to allow users to operate the purifier from another room or even from work.
For those who choose not to monitor the air quality via Wi-Fi, the built-in sensor will monitor it and automatically adjust the fan speed and the color of the unit’s indicator display light to alert the user to changes in the air quality of the surrounding environment. The five-stage filtration system effectively eliminates 99.97 percent of all airborne pollutants in rooms as large as 356 square feet.
Additional smart features include a sleep mode for the bedroom that reduces the noise level to 28 decibels, comparable to the sound of a quiet library, meaning the Renpho won’t interfere with quality sleep if it runs all night.
The handy child-lock mode prevents curious children or pets from playing with the controls when no one is watching. And a replacement indicator signals the need to change the filters, which sell separately.
- Type: True HEPA filter and charcoal filter
- Room size compatibility: 356 square feet
- Noise level: 28 decibels
- Smart-home compatible; suitable for those that prefer hands-free use
- Automatically adjusts to capture any air pollutants in the room
- 5-stage filtration; filters out multiple pollutants, danders, odors, and more
- Child-lock feature; suitable for use in nurseries or homes with young children
- Not compatible with 5G internet; may be hard to install or use for some
Get the Renpho air purifier for pets at Walmart or Renpho.
The Bissell air220 purifier’s three-layer filtration system, which includes a fabric prefilter, a HEPA filter, and an activated-carbon filter, can remove more than 99 percent of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns from a 1,252-square-foot room.
The manufacturer’s CirQulate System monitors and provides colored-coded air-quality feedback and then adjusts to the appropriate fan speed. The Bissell air220 purifier will refresh all the air in the room within an hour and will eliminate pet dander and odors, smoke, dust, pollen, hair, and general household odors.
The filters are easily accessible from the front of the machine, so the appliance can rest directly against a wall and out of the way of foot traffic. A rear cord storage and concealment feature keeps the cord out of the way.
An automated feature on this smart air purifier will set the fan to whisper-quiet operation and dim the display to create a peaceful environment for sleeping people and pets. As a bonus, its stylish design, with a midcentury exterior and retro wire stand, can fit into just about any home’s interior theme.
- Type: HEPA filters and activated-carbon filters
- Room size compatibility: 1,252 square feet
- Noise level: Whisper (decibel measure unspecified)
- 3-layer filtration system tackles the most common air pollutants and allergens
- Removes 99 percent of airborne dust and other particles from a home’s air
- Color-coded air-quality monitor allows users to see their home’s air quality at any time
- Compact design; great for rooms that are tight on space
- Not Wi-Fi compatible; limited portability and quite heavy; does not have wheels
Get the Bissell air220 air purifier for pets at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Best Buy.
A smaller air filter intended for smaller spaces, the Levoit Core 300S can provide air purification five times an hour in a bedroom or studio-size apartment. It features an H13 True HEPA filter and an activated-carbon filter to trap 99.97 percent of fine particulate matter, like pet dander and allergens as tiny as 0.3 microns.
At its quietest, this air purifier’s noise level is only 24 decibels, making it suitable for bedroom use or in nurseries. A compact model, the Levoit Core 300S is an effective, affordable solution to removing mold, pollen, dust, and pet dander from small rooms and home offices.
- Type: HEPA and activated-carbon filter
- Room size compatibility: 219 square feet
- Noise level: 24 to 48 decibels
- Affordable option compared to similar air purifiers on the market
- Works fast; begins purifying the air in less than an hour
- Lightweight and portable; can be moved from room to room as needed
- Compact design; suitable for small spaces like offices, nurseries, and bedrooms
- This model does not include replacement filters, which must be purchased separately
Get the Levoit Core 300S air purifier for pets at Amazon.
Allergy sufferers needing relief from airborne pet contaminants can look to the Rabbit Air MinusA2 air purifier, which comes with a HEPA filter plus six filtration stages. This Rabbit Air model cleans the air of up to 99.97 percent of pet contaminants and other airborne pollutants twice an hour in rooms as large as 815 square feet.
The six filtration stages include a washable prefilter that traps dust and large particles and a medium filter that traps contaminants up to 0.1 microns. It also features a BioGS HEPA filter that traps particles as small as 0.3 microns, a customizable filter (choose from pet allergy, germ defense, or toxin absorber), an activated-charcoal filter for odor removal, and a negative ion generator.
The unit operates at no more than 51.3 decibels and boasts a light-activated sleep mode. Users can choose from six decorative panels to give air purification an artistic flair.
- Type: HEPA filter and activated-charcoal filter
- Room size compatibility: 815 square feet
- Noise level: 25.6 to 51.3 decibels
- 6 filtration stages, removing allergens, germs, toxins, and odors from air
- Clears 99 percent of airborne particles; a great choice for those with intense allergies
- Comes with sleep mode, making it ideal for bedrooms and nurseries
- 1 HEPA filter, 1 prefilter, and an activated-carbon filter included
- Expensive price point compared to similar air purifiers for pets
- Some users report manufacturing defects with the models they received
Get the Rabbit Air air purifier for pets at Amazon or Rabbit Air.
Bissell’s air400 air purifier has what it takes to remove pet hair and dander from the air in homes with pets. This air purifier features a three-stage filter system that includes a prefilter, an activated-carbon filter, and a HEPA filter. The prefilter removes the large particles of hair and dander while the charcoal filter removes the odors and the HEPA filter removes any remaining dander.
The air400 features an automated CirQulate System, automatically adjusting the fan speed according to air quality. If pets are in the room and playing, the air400 may increase its speed to purify more air. However, if the pups are outside, the purifying will slow down to preserve filter life and conserve energy.
The air400 filters the air in 485-square-foot rooms once every 12 minutes, in 783-square-foot rooms three times per hour, and in 1,286-square-foot rooms once per hour. It features five fan speeds and a low volume level of 30 decibels. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a remote or smart app to power it, which is the biggest drawback of this model.
- Type: Prefilter, activated-carbon filter, and HEPA filter
- Room size compatibility: 485 to 1,286 square feet
- Noise level: 30 decibels
- Prefilter captures pet hair and dander, while the charcoal and HEPA filters remove the rest
- Automatically adjusts purification levels based on the air quality within the room in real time
- Features 5 fan speeds, with the lowest being a 30-decibel noise output for quiet time
- Does not have smart capabilities or remote control for ease of use
Get the Bissell air400 air purifier for pets at Amazon or Bissell.
When it comes to taking care of pet odors, the Levoit LV-H128 air purifier can help. Not only can this small device remove urine odors and wet-dog smells from the air, but it can also replace those odors with fragrant smells. Users can place a few drops of their favorite essential oils on its scent pads, replacing that stink with pleasant smells.
Built around an H13 True HEPA Filter, the LV-H128 air purifier’s three-stage filtration traps dust, fumes, and at least 99.97 percent of airborne particles 0.3 microns in size. This model also includes a fine preliminary prefilter that captures large particles (lint, fibers, hair, and pet fur) and an activated-carbon filter that absorbs unwanted odors, pet smells, and smoke. This purifier is very quiet with a decibel range between 24 and 36. Users can place models near their dogs’ crates or in small rooms, as each of these purifiers will handle up to 161 square feet.
- Type: Fine preliminary prefilter, activated-carbon filter, and HEPA filter design (all layers are built into 1 replaceable filter)
- Room size compatibility: 161 square feet
- Noise level: 24 to 36 decibels
- Decibel range is very low, making it a great choice for home offices and bedrooms
- Features replaceable scent pads that folks can use for essential oils and aromatherapy
- Filters are all-in-one, meaning users can’t replace individual filter layers
Get the Levoit LV-H128 air purifier for pets at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Levoit.
Veva’s ProHEPA 9000 might be worth a look to folks searching for an air purifier with a washable prefilter. This model features a filter that catches hair and dander, keeping it from clogging the subsequent filters. Those filters include a dust and carbon filter and an H13 HEPA filter made from medical-grade materials, providing four-in-one coverage to remove hair, dander, dust, odors, and small particles from the air.
The ProHEPA 9000 can purify the air in large rooms of up to 600 square feet. It has a modern design, two color varieties, and a relatively affordable price point.
- Type: Washable prefilter, carbon filter, and HEPA filter
- Room size compatibility: Up to 600 square feet
- Noise level: Unspecified
- Washable prefilter lets users clean pet hair and dust without damaging charcoal and HEPA filters
- Modern design will look good in most spaces, and it comes in 2 colors
- Relatively affordable price point for a purifier capable of handling large rooms
- Hard to know how loud this air purifier is; manufacturer does not specify noise level
Get the Veva air purifier for pets at Amazon or Target.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Air Purifier for Pets
Removing pet contaminants from indoor air generally makes a room smell fresher and can reduce the allergic symptoms associated with pets. Still, there’s more to getting the right one than just a quick search.
To get a good air purifier for a specific home and family, shoppers will want to consider room size, acceptable noise level, and portability. They might also determine whether innovative technology would be helpful.
Types of Air Purifiers for Pets
All air purifiers are made to refresh the air in a room, but they’re not all well suited for those who require a purifier for a pet-friendly home. Air purifiers use various methods for freshening indoor air. Understanding the benefits and considerations of each type helps in choosing the best one to clean the air in a home with pets.
HEPA Air Purifiers
If an air purifier has an industry-standard HEPA filter, it can remove up to 99.97 percent of airborne particulates at a size of 0.3 microns or larger, which includes pet dander and small smoke particles. To put that into perspective, a micron is only 0.00004 inch in length, so HEPA air purifiers will trap even microscopic particles that are too small to see with the human eye.
HEPA filters are dense and tend to clog quickly, though. Replacement HEPA filters are on the pricey side compared to other types of replacement filters. For this reason, the best purifiers for pets have one or more prefilters to trap larger particulates. This allows the costly HEPA filter to last longer—up to 2 years or more—before replacement is necessary.
Activated-Carbon Air Purifiers
Air purifiers with carbon filters keep odors down to a minimum. Activated charcoal, the filter’s main ingredient, can filter out whiffs of wet dog or cat litter box odors to help keep the home smelling fresh. Activated-carbon air purifiers also can come with additional air filters within the same unit, working double duty to remove odors and trap airborne particulates.
A carbon filter often serves as a prefilter before a primary HEPA or another type. Depending on quality, a carbon filter also will remove smoke and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air and can get rid of cooking odors and many types of chemical smells.
UV Air Purifiers
Air purifiers with UV technology are designed to kill microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria. They perform the task by drawing in the air past a strong UV light stream that destroys the microbes.
By itself, a UV purifier will not trap pet dander or fur; however, some UV air purifiers also feature a HEPA or other type of filter. If this is the case, they can trap and remove pet fur and dander in addition to destroying airborne bacteria and viruses.
Negative-Ion Air Purifiers
A negative ion is an electrically charged oxygen molecule with an added electron. Negative ions occur naturally after events such as lightning strikes or as a result of bright ultraviolet sun rays. A negative-ion air purifier artificially produces negative ions, and rather than drawing in air and trapping contaminates, this type of air cleaner injects invisible puffs of negative ions into a room.
The negative ions are drawn magnetically to airborne particles, and they bond with the particles. As a result, they are too heavy to remain airborne, so they subsequently fall to the floor or furniture. While this process removes debris from the air, it doesn’t remove it from the room altogether, so sitting on the sofa or a chair can bring the home’s residents into contact with the contaminants.
Some people like the smell of ozone and associate it with thunderstorms since lightning creates ozone in the atmosphere. Ozone generators emit ozone into a room. Often, they’re used in conjunction with negative ion purifiers, but the verdict is still out on whether they’re beneficial.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), inhaling ozone might be detrimental to the human respiratory system and can result in symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, and throat irritation. As is the case with negative-ion purifiers, ozone generators don’t actually remove pollutants from the room; they just give the room a fresh rain scent.
Air purifier labels might indicate the approximate square footage of the room that the units will treat effectively. Alternatively, they may be labeled as either small, medium, large, or whole-house purifiers.
- Small: A small air purifier will treat the air in rooms up to 300 square feet, making it suitable for bedrooms, nurseries, and other smaller spaces.
- Medium: Designed to clean the air in rooms up to 700 square feet, medium-size purifiers are often chosen for use in family rooms, combo kitchen/dining rooms, and rec rooms.
- Large: Suitable for use in spacious rooms of up to 1,900 square feet, large purifiers are well suited to homes with open floor plans.
- Whole-house: A whole-house purifier installs on the home’s HVAC trunk and purifies the air as it circulates through the system. This type of air cleaner should be installed by an HVAC professional. Not all HVAC systems accommodate a whole-house purifier. The system must be powerful enough to draw air through the filter without straining the HVAC system.
The EPA recommends the use of air purifiers to help clean indoor air, and some purifiers qualify for an EPA Energy Star certification. That means the unit adheres to strict energy-efficiency guidelines, but it does not ensure the unit will clean the air effectively.
Selecting an Energy Star-certified purifier is an option for those wanting to conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint. The EPA, however, does not certify any particular brands of air purifiers or air cleaners as being better than others. It does, however, suggest that purifiers with a higher clean-air delivery rate (CADR) rating might be more efficient at removing particulates from the air.
Some air purifier manufacturers voluntarily participate in a program developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers that rates purifiers based on laboratory testing of how much they reduce airborne pollutants within 25 minutes.
The results lead to a purifier’s CADR by multiplying the particle reduction with the amount of air that moves through the purifier in cubic feet per minute (CFM). For example, if the purifier operates at 300 CFM and reduces 80 percent of particulates during testing, its CADR will be 240.
In general, the higher the CADR number, the more pollutants the purifier will remove from the air. The CADR scale runs as high as 450. However, some of the best filters, including the HEPA kind, might have a reduced CFM airspeed due to their density, so they actually remove more airborne pollutants yet come with a lower CADR.
Air purifiers for pets with integrated air-quality indicators clean the air in the room and monitor and display air quality with digital readouts, putting this type at the top of the list for allergy sufferers who want to know the status of the air in the home. The indicator might provide a simple bar graph indicating “good, fair, or poor” air quality or be more advanced to indicate the specific particulate matter present in the air, such as the amount of dust, pollen, pet dander, and more.
An air-quality indicator helps allergy sufferers know how safe the room’s air is to breathe. Some air-quality monitors adhere to the EPA’s Air Quality Index, which uses a color-coded system to alert residents to the indoor air quality of a specific room.
For example, green signals good air quality, yellow is moderate, and red indicates unhealthy air quality. Residents can turn the purifier speed up or down as necessary. Some models automatically adjust operating speed based on air-quality monitor results.
Some, but not all, air purifiers list a noise rating in decibels. Manufacturers are not required to include a noise rating, but those who feel their purifiers are especially quiet might do so as a selling point. For reference, a purifier with a 50-decibel rating is approximately as loud as the sound of a modern refrigerator running. A decibel rating of 30 is closer to a whisper from across a room.
Noise levels typically depend on the fan’s quality, which is the element that produces sound. For the most part, cheaper units make more noise because they don’t contain the sound-insulating features that damper fan noise. Most purifiers range from around 30 to 60 decibels, with 30 to 40 being the average.
Many of today’s new small appliances come with the option of syncing to a smart-home system to allow the user to operate the unit remotely from a smartphone or tablet.
A smart air purifier works in the same manner as its nonsmart cousins, but it offers the option of downloading an app where the user can monitor the filter’s status, receive alerts when air quality exceeds a predetermined range, or turn on the unit via voice commands. These usually require a home Wi-Fi network.
Bluetooth, another common smart technology, also allows the user to operate the purifier via a smartphone, with no Wi-Fi network necessary. However, the user must be within range (usually 75 to 150 feet) for the smartphone to connect with the purifier through Bluetooth.
Small, lightweight purifiers (under 20 pounds) are relatively simple to carry from room to room as long as they feature a sturdy handle for carrying. Heavier units are more difficult to move unless they come fitted with caster wheels to allow users to roll them from one spot to another.
Most of today’s purifiers weigh less than 30 pounds, but if moving the unit will be an issue, look for a lightweight model with wheels. Alternatively, plan on purchasing additional purifiers to keep in various rooms.
Reducing pet dander, dust, and other contaminants leaves a home smelling and feeling fresh. The best air purifiers can significantly reduce the airborne pollutants commonly found in pet-friendly homes. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get about air purifiers for pets.
Q. Do air purifiers help with pet hair?
Yes, depending on the type. A purifier that draws air through one or more filters will trap any pet fur that’s floating around. Note that negative-ion, ozone, and UV purifiers will not unless they feature additional filters.
Q. Do air purifiers get rid of pet odors?
Yes, some air filters will get rid of pet odors, but they need to contain the right type of filter, as HEPA filters and prefilters do nothing for odors. Activated-carbon air purifiers will neutralize pet smells and other disagreeable odors, including smoke, VOCs, and cooking smells.
Q. What are the different types of air purifiers?
The five most common air purifiers are HEPA, activated carbon, UV, negative ion, and ozone. Each type of air purifier works differently, using a specific filter, UV light, or ions to remove particles from the air, but the most effective purifiers for pets have a prefilter, charcoal filter, and HEPA filter model.
Q. What type of air purifier do I need if I have problems with asthma?
People living with asthma will want to opt for a high-end HEPA purifier, such as the Rabbit Air air purifier for pets, which features six stages of filtration to remove a maximum amount of pollutants. Before buying, asthma sufferers may want to consult a doctor to see whether a different purifier might be better suited to their needs.
Q. How long do air purifiers last?
An air purifier can last 3 to 5 years, or longer if it’s well maintained. To get the most life out of the unit, the prefilter, charcoal, and HEPA filters should be changed as they become clogged or within the time frame recommended by the manufacturer.
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