Studies have shown that air purifiers can improve our overall health. But it can be hard to know which brands will be a headache to own and which will work for years to come.
You may be looking for your first air purifier, or perhaps you already own one and are ready for a change. Either way, the last thing you want is to end up with a lemon that you’re going to struggle with and have to replace.
While you can’t always predict how long an air purifier is going to work, some brands produce more reliable devices and back them with stronger warranties. These standout brands and purifiers are:
- Alen — BreatheSmart 45i ($429)
- Mila ($349)
- Hathaspace — HSP002 ($329.99 — 40% off)
- GermGuardian — AC5900WCA ($239.99)
- Winix — 5500-2 ($149.99 — 40% off)
If you want to know more about these brands and why they were chosen, keep reading.
In this article, I’ll explain what criteria were used to rank each brand, the pros and cons, and what makes each brand special.
What Makes An Air Purifier Reliable?
There are basically two ways to measure reliability when it comes to air purifiers.
The first way is to look at how long it will continue to effectively clean your air. The second way is to figure out how much of a hassle it will be if something does go wrong.
To establish a list of the most reliable brands, I took both of these factors into consideration. I started with my personal experience troubleshooting various devices and then extensively poured over customer reviews, Better Business Bureau complaints, warranty documents, and more.
At the end of my research, each brand received a score for Overall Reliability, Filter Replacement, and Service & Warranty.
The 5 Most Reliable Air Purifier Brands Ranked
Without further ado, here are the brands that have the best chances of lasting for five years or longer.
(Quick note: Prices in this list range from $149 to $429, which I’ve found this to be the ideal range for home air purifiers. Any lower than that and you’re better off using a fan for air circulation, while higher-end models tend to experience more issues and be harder to maintain.)
1. Alen — Most Reliable Overall
Alen’s #1 core value is “Care”, and it shows up in everything from their lifetime warranty to their packaging. Customers rave about how quiet and effective these air purifiers are, and occasional issues are dealt with swiftly by an in-house customer care team.
In particular, I like the BreatheSmart 45i ($429), which lets you enjoy Alen’s world-class reliability without breaking the bank.
Alen also offers extremely long-lasting filters. You can expect a replacement filter for the 45i to run you about $62.10 with their subscription plan, but you will only need to replace it once a year (vs. up to three times a year for other brands).
This simple advantage makes a big difference. Over a 5-year period, you will actually spend less money to own the BreatheSmart 45i than any other purifier on this list except for the Winix. And even then, the difference isn’t huge (the Alen air purifier will cost about $3 per month more to own).
That is also before taking into account this is the only air purifier brand that offers a lifetime warranty. If you can stomach the higher up-front price, there’s (almost) no need to look any further.
Mila is a newcomer compared to many of the other air purifier brands, but they’ve managed to use that to their advantage. The company has rethought everything from the aesthetics of the device itself to the design of their filters and smart sensors.
And unlike the other brands on this list, Mila offers 7 different types of filters that have been designed to excel in different situations. So whether you are expecting a newborn soon, suffer from seasonal allergies, or just moved into a new house, chances are you can find a filter for your situation.
You can also choose from a range of smart features using the built-in “Automagic” mode. For example, you can get your Mila to run a deep clean cycle on your air when no one’s around, then go silent when it’s time to watch a movie or go to bed.
With Mila, you also get access to free over-the-air updates to your unit and to the companion mobile app, which lets you see the status of your purifier (and your air) from anywhere.
It’s worth noting that this company has experienced some growing pains in the past, with limited supply and occasional issues with the fan controller unit. However, those seem to have mostly been resolved.
The Mila will typically run you $349, but you can get $50 off by following this special link and ordering directly from their website.
At first, I was a little surprised to see Hathaspace rank so highly in this list, but the more I dug into the company, the more it made sense.
Like Mila, they produce only a limited lineup of air purifier models. This means that their production chain has to deal with less complexity, reducing the chance of manufacturing errors and increasing overall reliability.
In addition, Hathaspace offers a generous 5 year warranty. That’s longer than any other manufacturer on this list (well, apart from Alen’s unusual Forever Guarantee).
And there’s also something interesting about the way their warranty has changed over time. Their first model of air purifier came with a 2 year warranty, but that was increased to 5 years with the introduction of their second model.
In my book, that’s a huge vote of confidence in their build quality.
The main factor dragging them down in the rankings is the high cost of replacement filters. If you buy your filters directly from Hathaspace and replace them at the recommended intervals, you’ll be spending over $200 per year on filters, more than any other brand on this list.
That said, third place is nothing to sneeze at, if you get my drift. There isn’t much in the way of choices with Hathaspace, but I suggest taking a look at the Hathaspace HSP002 air purifier if you’re in the market — it’s on sale for 40% off right now!
GermGuardian is one of those brands that seems to make just about every type of home appliance, from air purifiers and fans to heaters and essential oil diffusers.
In this case, that breadth of experience has allowed them to build some extremely good air purifiers. Customers rave about its performance and the generally responsive customer service offered by the company.
The 3-year warranty period is solidly middle-of-the-pack, and the annual cost of replacement filters is higher than average at $126 per year.
My pick is the GermGuardian AC5900WCA ($229.99). Ideal for both large and small rooms, it’s quiet enough to be used on low settings in bedrooms or living rooms.
Winix is a South Korean company that has been manufacturing air purifiers since 1973. That’s given them a chance to build the kind of legacy engineering talent that few competitors can match.
Winix has hit on a winning formula by rolling out air purifiers that are increasingly energy efficient while also being high output and low noise. All this means that it costs less to clean the air in your home, both in terms of energy and in terms of filter replacement, which will cost about $80 per year.
However, their standard 2-year warranty is so-so when compared against the competition. And most of their air purifiers come with a pre-filter that you are supposed to clean every two weeks—something I’m fairly sure no one will remember to do.
Of their lineup, I recommend looking at the Winix 5500-2 ($145.00 — Currently 42% off). This is the direct successor to one of their most popular air purifiers, which means it benefited from all of the feedback and testing that the first version received.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading!
As I was putting this list together, the most surprising takeaway to me was how much the issue of price changes when you look at a 5 year time period for air purifiers.
I definitely did not expect Alen, the most expensive brand, to end up being one of the most affordable to own over 5 years. That’s a testament to their filter design, which only needs to be replaced once per year.
This brings me to my final suggestion: If you are stuck between two air purifiers, look at the filters. See how long they last, how easy they are to replace, and how much they cost.
Since filters are what actually enable an air purifier to, well, purify the air, they can make a big difference when it comes to the reliability of your device.