Now that we’re all spending a lot more time indoors, the quality of the air we breathe is more important than ever. If you suspect you have a mold problem, that’s an air quality issue that needs to be taken care of immediately. Left unaddressed, mold and mildew in your home can turn into a major health problem. But don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you. The quickest way to reduce airborne mold is by using an air purifier, and we’ve rounded up our 4 top picks for the best air purifiers for mold and mildew, as well as some advice for choosing the one that’s right for you.
Our Top Picks: Best Air Purifiers for Mold
- Best Overall: Alen BreatheSmart 45i Air Purifier. The BreatheSmart 45i features antimicrobial technology that inhibits the growth of mold on the filter; it’s our top pick for best HEPA air purifier for mold.
- Best Budget: Alen BreatheSmart T500 True HEPA Air Purifier. It covers a little less space than our overall pick, but the T500 is still the best air purifier for mold spore removal.
- Best Eco-Friendly: Coway Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode. The Coway’s auto mode means that it only turns on when it senses particles in the air, resulting in significant energy efficiency.
- Best for Dust and Mold: Blueair 211+ Air Purifier. Highly effective in reducing both mold and dust, we especially love Blueair’s reusable, washable outer filters.
1. Alen BreatheSmart 45i Air Purifier
The best air purifiers for mold overall
Brand: Alen | Efficiency: 99.9% Particle Removal | Room Size: 800 Square Feet Max | Filter Life: 9-12 Months | Price: 💰💰💰
All purifiers with true HEPA filters do a good job of capturing and dehydrating mold and mildew, but the BreatheSmart 45i takes it one step further. What sets the Alen brand apart from other air purifiers on the market is the silver ions in their filters. All their H13-grade HEPA filters are treated with a silver-ion antimicrobial coating that helps protect against bacteria and microbe growth, including mold spores. Even more important: this coating also prevents mold and other bacteria from being re-released into the air.
Even though the Alen BreatheSmart is a little pricey, you get what you pay for with its Energy-Star-level efficiency and other helpful features. But most importantly, this unit is specifically the very best air purifier for mold and mildew.
The BreatheSmart 45i features a detailed display with a color-coded sensor that reflects the current air quality in a room. You can actually watch it changing color as the purifier cleans the air around you.
The 45i was specifically designed to be ultra-quiet and has 4 different fan speeds. We also like the medium size and the slim design of this unit — it covers up to 800 square feet but can tuck into various spaces. Additional designer color panels are even available if that floats your boat.
- Extremely effective
- Greatly reduces odors
- Don’t notice it running
- Sleek, slim design, aesthetically pleasing
- Dramatically improves dust and pet allergies
- Highest setting is loud
- Sensor sometimes overly sensitive
2. Alen BreatheSmart T500 True HEPA Air Purifier
The best budget air purifier for mold
Brand: Alen | Efficiency: 97% Particles Removed | Room Size: 500 Square Feet Max | Filter Life: 6 – 12 Months | Price: 💰
While not quite as effective as our best overall pick, the BreatheSmart T500 is still very effective, and one of the best HEPA air purifiers for mold. And at about half the price of the 45i, the T500 is a solid value.
While you can find other HEPA air purifiers for cheaper, they likely won’t feature the Alen brand’s silver-ion filters. They not only collect mold spores but prevent them from propagating inside the filter, or finding their way back into the air. Silver’s antimicrobial properties go even further than mold, also killing germs and bacteria.
The T500 unit is also Energy Star certified, compact and lightweight, comes in 2 colors, and features an LCD control panel.
- Good value
- Fits into tight spaces
- Perfect for office use
- Portable from room to room
- Pre-filter can be vacuumed to extend HEPA filter life
- Less reliable lifespan overall
- Slightly louder than other models
- Some recommend purchasing the more expensive model
3. Coway Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode
The best eco-friendly air purifier for mold
Brand: Coway | Efficiency: 99% Particles Removed | Room Size: 361 Square Feet Max | Filter Life: 6 – 12 Months | Price: 💰
The Coway Mighty Air Purifier is an overall good bet for any medium-sized space, featuring 3 fan speeds, a timer, and LED readouts that indicate air quality and filter replacement timing.
However, the Coway’s auto mode is where this air purifier shines in terms of efficiency and sustainability. When running on auto, the air quality indicator senses particles and pollution in the air and adjusts the fan speed accordingly. Since the purifier isn’t continually running, it won’t be using power unnecessarily, only as needed.
We also like Coway’s full 4 stages of filtration, including a pre-filter, an odor filter, a true HEPA, and an optional vital ion setting. In addition to capturing mold and mildew, this purifier reduces pollutants, pollen and other allergens, as well as odor and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
- “Works as advertised”
- Quiet on low fan speeds
- Color LED air quality indicator
- Noticeable reduction in allergies and household odors
- Noisier on high fan speed
- A few bad reviews involving defective motors
- Not as long-lasting as more expensive purifiers
4. Blueair 211+ Air Purifier
The best air purifier for dust and mold
Brand: Blueair | Efficiency: 99% Particles Removed | Room Size: 540 Square Feet Max | Filter Life: 6 Months | Price: 💰💰
The Blueair 211+ is a good choice for anyone desiring a more minimalistic air purifier that doesn’t fall short on performance. With its single-button and subtle filter change indicator, the Blueair purifier is incredibly simple to operate. It also features 3 layers of filtration protection, including a carbon filter, a HEPA filter, and a washable pre-filter.
The 211+ is our pick for the best air purifier for dust and mold — as well as a great overall purifier for removing allergens, cooking odors, bacteria, VOCs, and smoke.
- Swedish design
- “A silent workhorse”
- Energy Star certified
- Excellent performance during wildfires
- Colorful, machine-washable pre-filters
- Loud at top fan speed
- Expensive filter replacement
How to Choose the Best Type of Air Purifier for Mold
Always opt for a true HEPA filter
First and foremost, stick with true HEPA filters, especially when dealing with mold. (All 4 of our picks are HEPA air purifiers.) Since HEPA filters create an ultra-dry, sterile environment, they kill any mold particles that come their way.
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, and these filters are the gold-standard for trapping bacteria and other airborne particles. Hospitals and other medical environments have used HEPA filters for decades, as they are both affordable and very effective.
Beware of terms like “HEPA-style” or “HEPA-like.” Yes, air purifiers that use true HEPA filters are usually a little more expensive up front, but their effectiveness completely knocks out all of the slightly cheaper competition.
Determine your noise tolerance and room size.
Most of the purifiers on our list are notably quiet, but all will make some noise on their highest settings. If whisper-quiet operation is a high priority, thank you will want a unit that can effectively run on the lower, quieter settings. One way to do this is to make sure that your purifier has a high CADR, or Clean Air Delivery Rate.
Additionally, pay attention to the maximum square feet that your air purifier can effectively clean. Trying to save a little money by buying a purifier that’s rated to clean a smaller space than the one you have just won’t work.
UV or not to UV.
Some assert that a UV light is a necessary component for an air purifier that’s meant specifically for eliminating mold. Our research shows that at best, most UV lights in air purifiers are inadequate, and at worst, a waste of money and energy. A true HEPA filter does an equally good job at trapping and killing mold, and a HEPA with an antimicrobial coating (like the one in our best overall pick), does an even better job.
Avoid expensive gimmicks and fancy technology.
A more expensive air purifier doesn’t necessarily translate into greater effectiveness. There are many ultra-fancy, expensive purifiers on that market that make all sorts of claims. For example, one recently popular air purifier uses a technology called PECO, or photoelectrochemical oxidation. While this technology works well in some industrial and environmental settings, according to Consumer Reports, it isn’t particularly effective for indoor use — in fact, it can actually create harmful byproducts.
Also use caution with brands heavily advertised on social media. Air purifiers are having a social media moment. And while not all of them are bad, make sure to do your research and/or stick to more established brands. You can always check the legitimacy of an ecommerce store by running the URL through a website reputation checker.
Why is mold so difficult to get rid of?
- Mold hides. Mold spores are microscopic, usually only about 3-100 microns in size. And you can’t always see if you have mold in your home. It can be lurking in all sorts of places, like your carpet, cabinets, inside appliances, or even underneath drywall or wallpaper.
- Mold is everywhere. You can’t avoid mold entirely, especially outdoors. Luckily there’s plenty of opportunity to remove and prevent mold indoors.
- Mold is resilient. You can gather up mold spores all day, but unless you actively kill mold (via dehydration in the case of HEPA air purifiers) it will just chill out for a while before launching back into the air. If you live in a particularly humid environment, mold can even get a foothold inside of your air filter, start to multiply, and actually blowback into the air. Obviously this isn’t the scenario you’re aiming for!
Finally, consider adding a dehumidifier to the mix.
Working in tandem, an air purifier and a good dehumidifier offer a powerful defense against mold. You can tackle mold spores that are already in the air with an air purifier, but if your problem is serious enough, you should also add a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth in the first place. A dehumidifier helps to reduce the overall moisture in your environment, which stops mold from forming. Dehumidifiers can also help your air purifier work better, for longer.
Even if you have the world’s best air purifier for mold and mildew in your home, running 24/7 — if you don’t address the source of the problem, it will continue to proliferate.
For this guide on best air purifiers for mold, our team spent 6 hours researching the most popular options from over 25 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each air purifier for mold. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 4 on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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