Everyone should feel safer and more comfortable in our own homes. However, without enough ventilation, the most common airborne allergens are present in higher levels indoors than outdoors. VOCs in high concentrations can be harmful to your health, but it’s nearly impossible to avoid these pollutants entirely. They can come from ordinary household products and spread through your indoor air.
Air purifiers are a necessity for those who often suffer allergic reactions due to dust, pollen, smoke, mold, and other air contaminants. They can catch these allergens as well as VOCs and other ultrafine particles down to 0.3 microns or even smaller. To find the right air purifier to target your specific needs, some important specifications you must consider are the filter types, CADR, airflow, and coverage. There are hundreds of air purifier models in the market today. To make the task easier for you, we’ve listed below our top seven picks for the best air purifier for VOCs.
Comparison of the Best Air Purifiers for VOCs
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Top 7 Best Air Purifiers for VOCs
The first air purifier on our list offers maximum filtration of all kinds of airborne allergens, the RabbitAir MinusA2 air purifier with a six-stage filtration system. It has a maximum coverage of 815 square feet at 2 ACH, but it’s recommended for 350 square feet at 4 ACH for those who need a more thorough filtration of harmful VOCs and common allergens. Although it has a low CADR of 200 CFM, the RabbitAir MinusA2 provides powerful, customizable filter performance.
While most air purifiers have a standard three-stage filtration process, the RabbitAir MinusA2 includes two stages of pre-filter to trap larger particles and protect the main filters. RabbitAir’s BioGS HEPA filter removes up to 99.97% of air pollutants as small as 0.3 microns and reduces the growth of bacteria and viruses to ensure efficiency and prolong filter life. You have four options for the next filter to target your specific needs: Germ Defense, Pet Allergy, Odor Remover, or Toxin Absorber. You also have a granular activated carbon filter that reduces common odors and chemicals in the air. Finally, the negative ion generator produces ions to weigh down airborne pollutants.
This unit has a wide panel-like structure with the buttons on the side, the air intake around the front panel, and the air outlet on the back. It can stand alone or be mounted on a wall to save space. The panel also comes in different colors and designs to fit your style. All buttons and indicator lights are on the side, including the usual three fan speeds, Auto and Sleep modes, and the air quality indicator. Since it has six filters, four of which need to be changed, the replacement filter kits can be costly. Although, replacements are only needed at least after two years. The unit comes with a warranty of five years. If you want Wi-Fi controls or voice commands, you have the option if you opt for this model.
Considering its high-quality, innovative features, this RabbitAir air purifier comes at a premium price for good reasons. While it’s pretty low on the CADR test, what you’re really paying for is the superior efficiency of its six-stage filtration system.
Alen BreatheSmart 75i
Another excellent air purifier from a top-rated brand is the Alen BreatheSmart 75i which performs exceptionally well at almost every aspect. For one, it has a good CADR rating of 347, and at the highest speed, the airflow is 350 CFM, giving it a well-balanced CADR to airflow ratio or a nearly 100% efficient filter system.
For optimum efficiency, the Alen 75i comes with medical-grade H13 HEPA filters that can capture more than 99.99% of particles as small as 0.1 microns. It gives you options to target specific air contaminants: Pure filter for most allergens, dust, mold, and germs; Fresh filter for allergens and odors, smoke, and VOCs; Pet filter for allergens, pet dander, and pet odors. Additionally, Alen features a particle sensor with an LED ring that changes color to indicate the surrounding air quality. You can operate it on Auto mode or choose from the five speed settings including Turbo mode.
It has a coverage area of 1300 square feet at 2 ACH or about 520 square feet at 5 ACH. This large coverage is perfect for most rooms, including living rooms and other large areas in your home. The Alen BreatheSmart air purifier series is designed to operate quietly. Air purifiers of this size can go well over 65 decibels, but the Alen 75i produces only 49 decibels on the highest setting and 23 decibels on the lowest. This makes it a perfect choice of air purifier even for bedrooms.
All the controls are found on top, and the front panel is available in multiple colors in neutral shades. To top it off, Alen provides a Forever Guarantee or a lifetime warranty for registered products. You can also get a filter subscription and save on future filter replacements, although not by much since the filters alone are quite pricey. Although it promises excellent performance, there are a number of complaints from users, especially considering its high-end price.
• Perfectly balanced 347 CADR to 350 max airflow
• Quietest large room air purifier (23 to 49 dB noise levels)
• With three options for True HEPA filters
• Clean, stylish design
• Lifetime warranty with filter subscription
• Very pricey for its size
• Costly filter replacements
In its short time in the market, Medify Air has established itself as a trusted manufacturer of high-quality air purifiers and filters. Their flagship unit, the Medify MA-112 has the second largest coverage area on our list, handling up to 2,500 square feet rooms at 2 ACH (or 1,000 square feet at 5 ACH). With this powerful airflow, the MA-112 can be used to improve the air quality even in the whole house.
Large room air purifiers like this one need a CADR of at least 350, and the MA-112 truly excels in this aspect. It has a CADR of 500 CFM (or 950 CMH as indicated in product descriptions). This outstanding performance can be attributed to the medical-grade Medify Air filters. The MA-112 employs the usual three stages of filtration: a pre-filter, True HEPA H13 filter, and substantial carbon filter.
The pre-filter traps larger particles to prolong the life of other filters. Then, the HEPA filter graded H13 captures up to 99.99% of air contaminants as small as 0.1 microns, including dust particles, smoke, and VOCs. This type of filter is much more efficient than the standard HEPA H11 in most air purifiers. Lastly, the activated carbon filter neutralizes odors from harmful gases such as formaldehyde. This model also offers an option to use a UV light or ionizer. It has all the standard settings including four fan speeds, a timer for up to eight hours, as well as a filter indicator.
Despite its massive capacity, the Medify MA-112 provides great value for its price. And that’s another plus point for this unit.Medify Air also offers a Filter Club subscription, so you get your replacement filters on time with discounts and free shipping.
While this powerful air purifier is perfect for large rooms, it may not be the best for those looking for a quiet unit. Noise output can go up to 70 decibels on the highest setting. Furthermore, great performance requires more power as it runs on 95 Watts per hour, costing about $0.3 per 24 hours of operation. But overall, Medify MA-112 is a good investment if you want to remove VOCs and improve the air quality in a very large room or a small home.
• Large coverage area up to 2500 sq ft
• Uses medical-grade H13 HEPA filter for better efficiency
• High capacity air purification with 500 CADR
• Reliable air purifier brand
• Has a budget-friendly price for a large unit
• Filter Club subscription
• Above average noise levels
• High power consumption
IQAir HealthPro Plus
For quality that’s trusted by medical professionals worldwide, you can look into IQAir air purifiers. These large air purifiers have the highest capacity to capture ultrafine particles in the air. The IQAir HealthPro Plus unit is recommended for rooms within 1125 square feet to get 5 ACH, but it can cover up to 2800 square feet at 2 ACH, making this model even larger than the Medify MA-112.
The HealthPro Plus Air Purifier utilizes professional filtration technology consisting of IQAir’s own PreMax pre-filter, V5-Cell, and HyperHEPA filters. The PreMax filter is designed to trap large airborne allergens such as dust, pet dander, and mold spores, lasting up to 18 months before replacement. The V5-Cell filter provides gas and odor control and lasts up to two years. Finally, the patented HyperHEPA filter catches remaining impurities in the air, including VOCs, gases, and smoke and can be used for up to four years. Altogether, this filter system reduces 99.5% of ultrafine particles down to 0.003 microns, which is 100 times smaller than the 0.3 microns in an ordinary HEPA filter. It’s ideal for indoor spaces with high levels of VOCs and other air pollutants, including commercial areas such as offices and stores, and medical or healthcare stations.
Since it has higher efficiency filter with smaller pores, the IQAir HealthPro Plus has a slower rate of air filtration, with overall CADR of 300 and maximum airflow of 300 CFM. It features six fan speed settings, operating with a loud noise output og 67 decibels on the highest speed. It uses the IQAir patented EvenFlow Diffuser to evenly distribute purified air throughout the room. It has an advanced timer and advanced fan speed selection, as well as a filter life monitor. Further, the controls can be viewed in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish. However, on maximum settings, the unit runs on 215 Watts.
With superior performance and long-lasting filters, the IQAir HealthPro Plus is on the higher end in air purifier costs, but still below $1000. You’ll be pleased to know that it costs only over $100 more than the Alen unit. IQAir also comes with a 10-year warranty. Overall, this Swiss-made medical-grade air purifier far surpasses your requirements in an air purifier. It’s not IQAir’s most advanced unit to date, but it’s more than enough for a regular household or commercial space.
• HyperHEPA filter captures particles 100x smaller than ordinary HEPA filters
• Medical-grade filtration perfect for highly polluted indoor spaces
• Swiss-made with patented technologies
• Long filter life with built-in monitor
• High upfront cost
• High power consumption
• Loud noise on high settings
Coway Airmega 400S
Coway air purifiers are another great option for a range of room sizes. For large rooms, you can rely on the Coway Airmega 400S (or its equivalent Coway Airmega 400 model) with a high CADR of 400, second only to the powerful Medify MA-112. It is ideal for spaces up to 780 square feet at 4 ACH, or around 1560 square feet at 2 ACH.
The Coway filtration system consists of a pre-filter and the Max2 filter—a combination of activated carbon and HEPA filters. Coway’s Green True HEPA filter captures up to 99.99% of ultrafine particles down to 0.01 microns, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and pollen, and includes an antimicrobial treatment to stop the spread of contaminants. The layer activated carbon reduces 99% of VOCs, food smells, and smoke odors.
This smart air purifier features a real-time air quality monitor that measures the air quality within the room. On Smart mode, it will automatically adjust the fan speed to the level needed to improve air quality then activate Eco mode to save energy. Additionally, the unit has built-in sensors that will switch to Sleep mode to minimize noise and light pollution. You can adjust the settings, monitor conditions, and set a timer for one, four, or eight hours on the control panel. You can also find indicator lights for when you need to wash the pre-filter or change the Max2 filter. The filter lasts between six months to one year and you can get discounts for the replacement filters when you register the product with Coway.
Finally, the Coway Airmega 400S air purifier connects to your Wi-Fi network so you can use the Coway IoCare mobile app for indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring, scheduling, and controlling the speed and operation modes. The unit also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home for voice controls. Although, note that a number of users report some issues with the Wi-Fi connectivity and Alexa integration, which can be a dealbreaker if you’re looking specifically for a smart air purifier.
• Good CADR rating for large rooms
• Excellent performance of Max2 combination filter
• Advanced controls with smart sensors
• Wi-Fi compatibility and voice controls
• Costly filter replacements
• Issues with app and Alexa
Blueair Blue Pure 211+
Blueair is another top-performing brand of air purifiers we recommend for different room sizes. The Blue Pure 211+ comes in a simple, elegant cube-like design that blends well with any decor. It can cover large rooms up to 540 square feet at 4.8 ACH, with a high CADR of 350 CFM. The fabric cover serves as a pre-filter and is available in six colors including Dark Shadow and Diva Blue that comes with the unit.
The washable fabric pre-filter effectively captures large particles from smoke. The main filter is equipped with Blueair’s HEPASilent technology, which uses electrostatic filtration to remove up to 99.97% of particles contaminating the air. The combination of particle and carbon filters in one is highly effective against airborne pollutants such as dust, pollen, smoke, dander, mold, and bacteria.
What we really like about the Blueair Blue air purifier series is its unique and simple one-button control. This can be found at the center between the pre-filter and top of the unit, or on the top for smaller models. This button is all you need to control the operation. One push and the unit will turn on at the recommended speed for energy efficiency. Another push will go on medium speed, and a third will go on high speed. In case of power interruption, the unit will auto-restart to its last setting once the power comes back. The light indicator will turn yellow to remind you to buy a new filter then turn red after another month of use.
The Blueair Blue Pure 221+ has an excellent CADR rating, a powerful fan, and easy-to-use control, all of which make it a perfect choice for first time users. If you want smart features, sensors, timers, or touch displays, then this isn’t the unit for you. There are some complaints regarding the smell of the filter on first use, so make sure to check and wash the pre-filter and replace the HEPA filter as needed to avoid unpleasant odors.
• High CADR and powerful airflow
• Large coverage for a small unit
• User-friendly one-button control
• Washable fabric pre-filter
• Energy efficient operation
• No air quality display
• Some users complain about bad smell
Our list so far has only included mid to upper range air purifiers in terms of price. While cheapest among our picks, the Winix 5500-2 boasts a remarkable fan power and CADR ratio. This small air purifier has a CADR of 232 CFM and is AHAM-verified to filter the air in rooms up to 360 square feet. At 2 ACH, it can cover a maximum area of 870 square feet. Similar to most air purifiers we’ve recommended, the Winix 5500-2 features a three-stage filtration system that consists of a pre-filter, a True HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. In addition, Winix includes an ionizer.
The pre-filter is responsible for catching large particles while a layer of AOC (Advanced Odor Control) carbon reduces odors, harmful gases, and VOCs. You’ll be glad to know that these filters are both washable and reusable, so you simply need to check the indicator then rinse them out when it’s time. The Winix True HEPA filter removes up to 99.99% of air pollutants including dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, and other particles as small as 0.3 microns. Winix air purifiers also employ the PlasmaWave technology, which works as an ionizer to further reduce airborne pollutants. However, ionization may release ozone, a gas that is harmful to people with asthma.
The Winix 5500-2 is equipped with a smart sensor that detects odors and measures air quality. The indicator light changes color according to the air quality detected, then the unit automatically adjusts the fan speed. The odor sensor is a generous addition to a budget-friendly air purifier. When strong odors are detected, the unit will work harder to deliver clean air quickly. This unit also features automatic Sleep mode, so when the room is dark it will switch to quiet operation.
Running on 70 Watts, it’s certainly not the most energy efficient air purifier of its size. The HEPA filter will need to be replaced every year, and replacements aren’t cheap. Also, this unit only comes with a two-year warranty.
• Excellent CADR rating for smoke
• Features smart dual sensors
• Ionization feature for effective filtration
• Budget-friendly price
• Filter replacements are expensive
• Not very energy efficient
What are VOCs?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, the air pollution level is often two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, in some cases even up to 100 times. This is because of the higher concentration of airborne pollutants and the lack of ventilation. Some common pollutants found indoors include dust, dirt, dead skin cells, pet dander, and pollen.
Furthermore, there are higher levels of VOCs or volatile organic compounds indoors. VOCs are emitted as harmful, often odorless, and tasteless gases from indoor sources such as household items for cleaning, personal care, and hygiene products. Formaldehyde, one of the most common VOCs found in homes, can be found in day-to-day household products, fabrics, plastics, paint, furniture, and even cosmetics. Other common pollutants in your home include harmful gases such as carbon monoxide from burning gasoline or fuel.
While you cannot completely eliminate VOCs and other airborne pollutants in your home, high exposure can have adverse effects on your health. VOCs can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, shortness of breath, and nausea. They can also damage the lungs, the central nervous system, as well as other organs like the kidneys and liver. Higher concentrations of some VOCs can even cause cancer.
Do Air Purifiers Remove VOCs?
Air purifiers help improve the air quality in your home by filtering out fine particles that contaminate your indoor air. They work to reduce pollutants in the air, including dust, smoke, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and other common allergens. If you or anyone in your home has an allergy to any of these air contaminants, then you can surely benefit from a good air purifier. Depending on the type of filters, some high-powered units also target VOCs, harmful chemicals, and strong odors.
An air purifier usually consists of a filter, or multiple filters, and a fan that draws the air into the device. The air passes through the filters, where pollutants and particles are captured, then clean, purified air is released into the room. The cycle repeats to enhance and maintain air quality, effectively minimizing allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory problems.
The filters, typically made of paper, fiber, or mesh, have small pores that trap contaminants but let the air pass through. To maintain efficiency, these filters require regular replacement after a few months up to a year, depending on the type of filter, the air quality, and frequency of usage.
An air purifier’s effectiveness against certain contaminants primarily depends on the filtration system used. Different air purifier brands and models utilize various filter technologies for efficient air purification. In general, True HEPA filters can remove up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter. Many air purifiers also come with a layer of activated carbon or charcoal to neutralize odors and adsorb VOC fumes.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Air Purifier for VOCs
Before buying an air purifier to remove VOCs in your home, there are a few essential factors you must consider to find the best unit for your needs. FIrstly, make sure that you look for an air purifier that is tested and certified safe by official organizations like AHAM, CARB, and Energy Star. Some important specifications to consider include the CADR, airflow, coverage area, the filters used, as well as other advanced controls.
One of the most important factors consider when choosing an air purifier is the type of filters used. All filters catch impurities from the air up to a certain amount, but some are more effective than others due to their composition. Most air purifiers include more than one filter to remove large and finer particles in the air. In general, pre-filters capture large particles like dust and pollen while a standard HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter catches tiny particles as small as 0.3 microns. Make sure to look for a unit with True HEPA filters. Only true HEPA air purifiers can effectively remove airborne particles and improve indoor air quality.
In addition, some air purifiers include activated carbon filters, which can eliminate VOCs, finer smoke particles, gases, and common household odors. Some of these filters may be washable and reusable but most of them must be replaced after a specified period depending on your indoor air quality and frequency of usage. You may want to look for a unit with filters that last longer so you can save on replacement costs.
The efficiency of the filters is measured by the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate). It is the rate of how quickly the air purifier can reduce pollutants from the air. AHAM (Association of Home Appliances Manufacturers) certifies the CADR of air purifiers, usually measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute) or CMH (cubic meters per hour). Typical room air purifiers have CADR ratings around 200 to 300 and even 400+ for larger rooms. A higher CADR means the unit can clean the air at a faster rate.
The CADR test measures how well an air purifier removes dust, smoke, and pollen, the three most common indoor air pollutants, ranging from 0.3 to 10 microns in diameter. Most manufacturers indicate the CADR for each of these air pollutants. Although CADR is a sure indication of the air purifier’s filter efficiency, it does not specify the type of contaminants it removes. If you’re concerned about VOCs or other certain contaminants, you’ll need to look at the type of filtration system used.
The total coverage area also plays a vital role in choosing the best air purifier. A larger space will require multiple units or a larger one with more coverage. Otherwise, your air purifier cannot effectively remove air pollurants. To find the right size, another factor to note is the ACH (air changes per hour) or the number of times per hour that the air purifier filters and replaces all the air in the room. The higher the ACH, the smaller the coverage, but the higher the effectiveness. The maximum coverage area of air purifiers is measured at 2 ACH, which means the whole air volume is changed completely every 30 minutes. However, 4 to 5 ACH is recommended for more thorough purification.
Furthermore, the airflow, measured in CFM, is the volume of air the unit can move per minute. While both airflow and CADR are measured in CFM, the airflow is usually higher than the CADR since the latter also factors in the efficiency of the filters to remove air pollutants. The maximum airflow is the rate at the highest fan speed. The airflow can also help determine the total coverage area of the air purifier. A higher airflow typically means greater fan power and coverage, but it can vary depending on the brand and model.
Another factor you may want to consider is the noise output of the unit, especially if you’re using it in a bedroom at night or when you’re working. Air purifiers have multiple speeds producing varying levels of noise. Some high-capacity units like the Alen BreatheSmart series can be as quiet as 23 decibels on the lowest setting.
Additional features like smart sensors and filter life and air quality indicators can be extremely convenient for every homeowner. Some models also offer intelligent controls through Wi-Fi connectivity and voice commands through compatible devices. While it doesn’t necessarily affect the performance of the air purifier, the design is also something you may want to consider if you like to keep your interior clean and stylish. Finally, look into the manufacturer and the warranty and service they provide.
While you cannot completely eradicate volatile organic compounds in your home, it’s best to keep the VOC levels to a minimum. You can do this by removing the source, increasing ventilation, and enhancing your indoor air quality with a good air purifier. However, it’s not enough to buy just any air purifier to eliminate VOCs. The effectiveness of an air purifier against pollutants largely depends on the type of filters used. Look for True HEPA filters with activated carbon for maximum efficiency. To maximize your air purifier’s performance, always check the total room area to choose the right size for your space. When you find the best air purifier for your needs, observe regular filter replacements and proper maintenance as instructed by the manufacturer. Take your pick from our list above or use our buying guide to help you choose your own air purifier.