We love pets. They’re truly part of the family. Unfortunately, they can really wreak havoc on the air quality in our homes. Dog’s love to roll around in the dirt, grass, and pretty much anything that catches their attention. Then they bring it all inside and disburse it on furniture, carpets, and in the air. But, dogs are the only lovable critters that dirty the air. Cats create a lot of problems too. They’re responsible for litter box odor, allergy-triggering dander, and hair. Aside from constant cleaning the smartest thing you can do is find the best air purifier for pets.
Many of our top rated air purifiers work wonders in a home with pets. Not only will they scrub the air of dust, hair, and dander… purifiers with activated carbon will keep odors at bay. This is great news for anyone with mild animal allergies or a spouse that is getting sick of that distinct pet smell.
Since we’re not fans of insane cleaning rituals we decided to assemble an awesome pet air purifier guide. Who knows, maybe it will ease the smell or allergy related tension in your home. The following guide covers a selection of purifiers that are either pet-specific or just work well in a home with pets.
Do you have pet-related allergies?
A lot of pet owners, or their family members, suffer from various allergies. And, with pet ownership on the rise, the problems are expected to grow as well. In fact, according to the AAFA, it is estimated that in the US approximately 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children have some form of allergy. They also point out that roughly 3 in ten people are allergic to dog and/or cats (cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies). However, despite these statistics pet ownership remains incredibly popular.
You might be thinking the increase in households with pets might be due to so-called “hypoallergenic breeds.” And, while certain breeds do shed much less than others there is no such thing as an allergy-free animal. In fact, pet hair has nothing to do with allergies other than serving as a distribution system for actual allergens.
So what actually triggers your symptoms or Asthma? Proteins. That’s right, proteins in animal saliva, dander and even urine. Gross, right?
And, just in case you’re not sure if you’re allergic the AAFA lists the following symptoms as possible indicators.
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy or Inflamed Eyes
- Redness on Skin (e.g. if you’re scratched or licked)
- Coughing, Wheezing, or full on Asthma Attacks
How Does the Best Purifier for Pets fight Allergens?
First, the bad news. No purifier is going to protect you from a scratch or lick related allergic reaction. However, for almost everything else a purifier can trap airborne pet allergens. Thus reducing your exposure to airborne triggers. You will still need to vacuum and dust to take care of the stuff that settled on carpet, floors, and furniture. But, an air purifier will definitely help. Especially after kicking up dust and dander while vacuuming.
To best capture what’s floating around in the air before you breathe it into your body; buy a true HEPA filter equipped purifier. They’re the best, period.
Pre-filters are also helpful because they prevent larger particles like pet hair from clogging the HEPA filter. Because of this, most high-quality air purifiers use a pre-filter to prolong the lifespan of the HEPA filter.
Will a HEPA Filter Fight Pet Odor?
Nope. Hepa filters are used to trap airborne particles larger than .3 microns. That’s very small, but not as small as things like viruses, gas, or little box odor. To fight those things you’ll need ventilation and adsorption. Ventilation is easy… just open a window or turn on a laundry room fan. Adsorption, however, requires a lot of surface area to trap gasses and odor.
Fortunately, one of the very best compounds for adsorption is activated carbon. One gram of activated carbon can provide as much as 32,000 square feet of surface area. And that is exactly why almost all of the best purifiers for pets utilize carbon in their filtration system.
Top Picks: Best Air Purifier for Pets
These are just a few of our very favorite purifiers for pet owners. There are many more out there, but to find the best purifier for pets you just need to look for two key features. First, a true HEPA filter to fight allergens. And second, an activated carbon filter to battle those pesky pet odors. As always, avoid any purifier that produces ozone. Or at least make sure you can switch that feature off when people or pets are in the room.
ALEN BREATHESMART FIT50 HEPA AIR PURIFIER
This is one of our favorite pet specific machines. We like to think of the Alen Breathesmart FIT50 as the original Breathesmart’s little brother. It provides many similar features but in a smaller package and at a lower price. The pet-friendly FIT50 cleans the air in rooms as big as 900 square feet. It’s also available in 13 different color options, from white to weathered gray wood to brushed bronze.
This machine offers 4 fan speeds, a dirty filter indicator, and auto mode. The choice of color and optional child-friendly vent guard make this model ideal for their bedrooms. It ships with the dust and allergy filter, but you can swap out the full range of HEPA filters available from Alen. If you’re shopping for the best air purifier for pets… this is probably it.
- Purifies up to 900 square feet
- Designer Panels
- 4 HEPA filter options
- Automatic mode
- Power/Sleep Mode
- 4-speed fan
- Impressive power in a smaller package (16.75″ x 22.25″ x 10″)
- Lifetime warranty
- Turbo mode can seem loud
- Standard HEPA filter does not include odor filtration
GermGuardian AC5250PT is a Good Budget Unit for Pets
This model is based on Germguardian’s best-selling AC4825 model. It exhibits the same sleek appearance as the base model. It is light and compact, allowing you to place it anywhere in your home and easily move it from room to room with no hassle. This portability makes it optimal for pet owners because it can always be moved to a different location. Unfortunately, it’s not sized for large spaces, so savings on this model might not be as significant as they initially seem.
The pet-optimized model utilizes the same powerful multi-step purification process that made the original version an industry staple. What makes this model unique is the incorporation of a special filter designed to eliminate pet odor.
- Carbon pre-filter – features the PetPure technology, consisting of an anti-microbial agent that works to eliminate pet odor
- True HEPA filter – main line of defense against dust, pollen, and pet dander.
- 5 fan speeds
- Very affordable
- Filters need to be replaced more frequently than other models
- Some users reported a slight plastic smell during the initial usage of the machine.
Winix WAC9500 – Pet Air Purifier
The Winix is another very popular and highly rated air purifier for pet lovers. It is distinctly different than most other air purifiers on the market. The majority of air purifiers pull air in through the front of the machine and then push it out the back. The Winix is different because it pulls air in through the sides and pushes it out the top. Some users have mentioned that this greatly helps air flow within a room.
Winix is also different due to the origin of manufacture. Most air purifiers originate from China. However, Winix originates from Korea, leading many people to rave about the durability and solid construction of these machines.
The Winix includes many features:
- Anti-microbial pre-filter – washable and prevents large particles from clogging the device
- True HEPA filter – heart of the filtration process, working to maintain a clean environment
- Advanced odor control – washable carbon filter made from natural coconut
- PlasmaWave technology – helps to break down odors and allergens at a molecular level
- Smart Sensors – monitor the air and automatically adjust itself.
- Remote included
- Complex controls that can confuse some users.
Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet Air Purifier
This model is refreshingly simple, making it perfect for pet owners who are not as tech-savvy. It is also more compact than most pet specific machines, being small enough to place on top of a desk or dresser.
It is powerful despite its small size and is able to purify rooms up to 160 square feet. The purifier is also versatile and can be used upright or on its side. But it’s best feature is that it’s insanely cheap.
- Carbon zeolite filters – replaceable!
- Permanent pre-filter that traps larger contaminants
- High-Performance HEPA filter
- 3 fan speeds
- Not as effective as more technologically advanced machines
These air purifiers allow you to choose the one best suited to accommodate your needs as a pet owner. And, as pet owners ourselves… we know that you want to treat your furry pal like a baby.
These machines work hard so that you can enjoy the company of your pets without the allergies.
Don’t forget, although these air purifiers are designed for pet owners they are also effective in any household, even if you don’t have pets!