Best Air Purifier for Asthma
The best air purifier for asthma is one that will effectively clean the air in a room without creating irritant side effects like noise and/or ozone. Here we will talk about key considerations and then give you home air purifier reviews for the 3 best choices for people with asthma.
Are air purifiers worth it? How do you know which one to buy? Below are several top rated home air purifier reviews to help you decide.
Asthma is a condition that can narrow the airways by causing inflammation and secretions. As a result, patients are unable to breath normally. Oxygen levels drop, and a severe attack can be life threatening.
Pollen allergies, along with many other environmental exposures and some physical factors like cold temperature or exercise can trigger asthma attacks in specific individuals. The goal of using an air purifier or air cleaner is to remove particles, dusts, mold, pollens, animal danders, and irritant chemicals from the room.
Where do you put a portable unit? Most of the better units have casters or wheels. You may need more than one unit if you are highly allergic or susceptible to asthma attacks around pollution (indoor or outdoor types), but if it is portable, you just position the air purifier wherever you are spending most of your time, day and night.
Using top rated air purifiers at home actually amounts to taking a powerful natural remedy for pollen allergies and other allergens. The best air cleaners remove the triggers from your breathing space. Finding ways to remove allergens from your environment is as important as taking natural supplements or herbs to treat yourself.
To be practical, that is going to mean your bedroom at night and your work space, if you work in a building, during the day. Very sensitive people who have to spend a lot of time in their cars may want to get a car air purifier as well. Of course if you own your own home and can afford it, you could install a central air purifier system. This could be financially out of reach for many people, though, and the best portable units can usually help you a lot as an alternative.
What To Look For
There are 3 features that you want for a unit to be most helpful for someone with asthma.
- The air purifier must have an excellent HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter as part of a multi-stage filtering system that removes not only larger particles, but also much smaller allergens and even irritant chemicals like formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds that can trigger asthma attacks
- The equipment should not emit ozone, which is an irritant unto itself and may worsen asthma in sensitive people.
- The fan noise level needs to be tolerable so that you will use it regularly. Better units will be able to tell you the noise decibels they generate at different settings of the fan.
The main trick to using these types of units well is to run them on high when you are not in the room and then lower the fan down to the lower, more tolerable fan speed when you return to the room, e.g. to sleep in your bedroom. A quiet smaller unit that may not be able to clean your air on its own might work as a backup plan to maintain your air once a noisier, more powerful unit has done the major part of the job.
Price is also another important issue. You can find very inexpensive units that may be OK for small rooms and less allergen-filled air. However, it is not advisable that you compromise on quality and effectiveness to save money. Spending enough money to get what you need is better than buying any old unit because it is small or quiet or looks OK.
In short, can you answer the question “Are air purifiers worth it?” after you make your purchase? Chances are, you will say “no” if you have skimped on features to save money.
What Is the Best Rated Air Purifier for Asthma?
For asthmatics, a majority of the air purifiers that are on the market currently have all been built with the latest technologies. There are two main types of air purifiers: (1) mechanical and (2) electronic air purifiers.
The mechanical model include the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) purifier which works through capturing unwanted particles in the air. This type of filter is more ideal for capturing relatively large particles such a pollen and dust among others. If you live near a freeway or busy street, you may also get a lot of larger car and truck exhaust particles into your indoor air. If so, HEPA filters are the best strategy.
On the other hand, the electronic model works through a process known as electrostatic attraction to trap particles. The ionizer in these purifiers releases charged ions into the air, which in turn attach to particles. These particles become charged and hence attach to the nearby surface such as the walls. This method can be very effective for collecting allergens and removing them from the air.
Electronic types of air purifiers may be able to clean a larger volume of air space in a room. However, the main disadvantage of the electronic type is that they produce ozone in varying amounts. Ozone is a lung irritant with negative effects on asthma patients.
Home Air Purifier Reviews – HEPA Air Purifier Reviews for Allergies
These two general types of air purifiers are among the best rated air purifiers for people with asthma.
Better Brands of HEPA Air Purifiers for People with Asthma
1. Austin Air Allergy Machine HEPA Air Cleaner
The Austin Air Allergy Machine is a small compact metal steel unit on rollers with a powerful fan to circulate more than 250 cubic feet of air through a 4-stage filter per minute. This allergy unit includes 2 pre-filters, a medical grade HEPA filter and an activated military carbon cloth stage.
I like to call mine R2D2, though it does not try to communicate so much. I love this unit for its powerful capacity and use it in rooms when I really need to clear the air. To be honest, I prefer to let it do its thing when I am not in the room (because of the fan noise). Then I move in the quieter but weaker brands to keep things clean while I try to sleep or work in the room.
With the Austin, you can use your vacuum cleaner from the outside to avoid frequent filter changes.
Austin Air cleaners work well. The model that also removes chemical irritants can put out its own mild odor at first, but it fades with continued use. The Austin fan is noisier than some competitors’ models, but it also moves much more air through quickly and cleans the air better than do many competitors. It is one of the best HEPA and multi-stage air purifiers available.
The manufacturer is one of the most respected in the market and stand by their products with a 5-year mechanical warranty. While not inexpensive, the Austin costs much less than other leading room air purifiers.
2. IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier
This Consumers’ Digest Best Buy from a Swiss manufacturer is pricey, but worth it. The IQAir’s HEPA filter provides high performance air cleaning to remove pollens, dusts, molds, danders, and chemicals. The extreme filtration can capture even very small particles that other air purifiers let pass right through. Although the unit has a plastic casing, it does not off-gas plastic contaminants, in contrast with many of the cheaper models that run less than $100-$200.
With 6 fan speeds and a noise abatement capacity at every speed, the IQAir is a unit that you can tolerate having near you when you trying to sleep or work. Many people find that a speed 3 setting is enough to clean up the room air before you want to be in it. You can put casters on the bottom to wheel the unit around more easily.
Doctors who work in environmental health get this brand for their own offices. I use it in my own home and office and find that it lives up to its hype. Changing the filters is straightforward and accessible.
People reviewing this unit on Amazon comment on noticing an improvement in the family allergies and asthma within days to weeks of starting to use the IQAir in their homes. Like any air purifier, this one is not perfect, but it is one of the best on the market.
3. Alen BreatheSmart Air Purifier
The Alen unit is again one of the best rated air purifiers available. It provides the kind of air cleaning that modern open concept homes might need in large spaces, with up to 1100 sq feet of coverage. This Alen air purifier can even serve as a whole house air purifier for a small apartment or house.
This unit has one of the quietest running capabilities in the industry. You would want the HEPA-Silver filter unit upgrade for helping family members with asthma.
This is a larger sized unit, but it means business in cleaning the air. It can activate more when it detects particles and allergens in the air. Consumers reviewing this product like the indicator that tells you when the purifier has detected a wave of new particles or pollens in the air and gone into action.
Most people who have purchased this unit consider it one of the quieter and most effective ones they have owned.
Where to Buy Air Purifiers?
Realistically, you have two main choices of where to buy air purifiers – that is, a specialty store that focuses on helping people with allergies and asthma or a general retailer such as Amazon. Obviously you can get more specific support in making a selection at a store like Allergy Be Gone than at Amazon. Still, both offer the best top rated air purifiers for asthma and allergies.