The Best Air Purifier For Pet Allergies

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The Best Air Purifier For Pet Allergies

I love my pets as much as the next guy, but I could really do without the dander and allergens they bring. I am sure many of you can relate! When my daughter was diagnosed at 15 with pet allergies I was completely surprised and instantly did some research and testing to see if I could find the best air purifier for pet related dander and allergens.

This post is NOT a “top 10” list like other websites that are trying to get affiliate income – this is more of a buying guide and the process I went through in my own search for an air purifier. I do note the top picks I found based on the criteria I knew I needed – and wanted! 

My need for an air purifier and why you may need one and not even know it. 

This is kind of a story of a bad mom moment. But it is an important story!

My daughter has always been healthy, except for ear infections – and lots of them. They did not really start until she was about 10 which surprised me, and I had no idea why they were coming on all of a sudden. At first we thought it was because she was going to bed with a wet head – and that may have played a part in making them worse – but it was not the ultimate reason we later found out. 

We tested her going to bed with her hair tied back if she took a shower and even moved showers to the morning – but the earaches kept coming. We visiter the pediatrician who recommended an allergist – that surprised me.

Shockingly, a trip to the allergist gave us the news she was highly allergic to cats and moderately allergic to dogs. She has grown up with both – and the cat sleeps with her – so this was not good news. 

At that moment – I looked at her and asked “Should we get rid of the cat?” – her immediate response was “absolutely not!”. Proud mom moment.

In our home, getting rid of a pet for an allergy is NOT an option. We will figure out a plan that works – after all, pets are family right?

We decided to forego any mediciations and opted for a few changes in our lifestyle as an initial test. 

  • Wash sheets 2 times a week instead of weekly – and in hot water
  • Put an air purifier in our daughters bedroom and the main family room

Both of these items have lessened her overall symptoms and her earaches have been non-existent ever since! 

You can see more ways to offer your family some relief if they are suffering from pet allergies outlined below as well since I learned so much during this process!

What to consider when buying an air purifier to help with pet allergies.

Once you realize that pet allergies are playing a part in your health issues, it is important to start your search knowing which air humidifiers have what you need to help with the pet dander that causes those allergies.

The best air purifier for pet allergies you can get will have a true high-efficiency particulate air filter – also known as HEPA! A humidifier with a HEPA filters has been certified to remove 99.97% of all allergens that are as small as .3 microns. 

While this is typical for most HEPA air purifiers, you want to make sure that the manufacturer statest this on their product. All the air purifiers we have noted below are in fact HEPA certified!

What I knew I wanted in an air purifier!

Below are the items I knew I needed in the air purifier I was about to buy. 

  • HEPA filter
  • HAMA certified 
  • Energy Star preferred
  • Needed to be able to be enough power for my family room and daughters’ room

I jumped on over to the AHAM search tool to get my search started. This tool allows you to filter and find what you need by different options. But every item they have in their results is AHAM certified and that was important to me. The only problem with it is that it shows all products – some of which may be discontinued so you kind of have to dig a bit. 

The Best Air Purifier For Pets

I did a lot of research before I made a purchase and found 2 clear winners. I had to purchase 2 different ones because the room sizes were very different. My daughters’ bedroom is only 100 square feet while our family room is 180 square feet – so big difference in the strength of the purifier needed. 

GermGuardian Air Purifier – AC4825E

The choice we made for my daughters room!

This air purifier offers so many benefits and has a whole lot of amazing reviews and happy customers – and it was affordable so for me it was an easy decision. This air purifier is a 4-in-1 machine that offers multiple levels of cleaning to ensure your home is the cleanest it can be.

GermGuardian Air Purifier Features Include:

  • HEPA filter to capture 99% of the dust and allergens that can be as small as .3 microns. This can include pet dander, plant pollen, mold spores and traditional household dust. 
  • Air purifier features a charcoal and PCO filter to capture and dissolve mold and/or airborne bacteria and helps to reduce odors – like those stinky pet odors!
  • TIO2 treatment is an optional setting which combines with UV-C light to reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds like chemicals). 
  • UV-C light works side by side with filter to kill and remove germs and bacteria.
  • Filter is recommended to be replaced once every 6-8 months. 
  • 3 year limited warranty. 
  • AHAM verified & Energy Star Certified.
  • Measures 22 inches in height.
  • 3 speeds
  • Recommended for rooms up to 167 sq. feet.
  • Filters and recirculates air over 4 times per hour.
  • Available in white or black
image credit: GermGuardian

Read the review from around the web!

Guardian Technologies – 271 reviews with a 5 star rating
Amazon – 29,185 reviews with an average 4.5 star rating
Home Depot – 131 reviews with an average 4.5 star rating

Honeywell PowerPlus Air Purifier – 3100B

The choice for our family room! I was only able to find this one at Home Depot, so you will need to visit them to get one (and there was limited availability) – or order it online to be delivered.

This one covers a bigger area than the one above and has a little bit of a higher CADR rating for dust and pollen. I don’t care about smoke so much, but that was higher too! It was not EnergyStar certified like I wanted, but the other features made it a good option.

Honeywell Air Purifier Features Include:

  • HEPA filter to capture 99% of the dust and allergens that can be as small as .3 microns. This can include pet dander, plant pollen, mold spores and traditional household dust. 
  • Filter is recommended to be replaced once every 6-8 months. 
  • 5 year limited warranty. 
  • Auto off timer.
  • $ cleaning levels including germ, general clean, allerfg
  • AHAM verified.
  • 3 speeds.
  • Measures 15 inches in height.
  • Recommended for rooms up to 200 sq. feet.
  • Filters and recirculates air over 5 times per hour.
  • Based on 2018 Cascade Survey – this model was selected by allergists as a top choice.

Read the reviews from around the web!

Home Depot – 105 reviews with an average 5 star rating

Below are some other options I came across that looked like great options, but were not HAMA certified which was something I really wanted. I may try one of these if the ones I did purchase ever die out, but I am happy with my choices so far!

Levoit Core 300 Air Purifier

With over 15,000 Amazon reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars.

A few of the features that make it awesome include:

  • 24db sound which makes it super quiet
  • Energy star certified
  • HEPA filter
  • Circulates air over 5 times per hour
  • Best for rooms up to 219 ft
  • Protects agains smoke, odors, dust, pet dander and VOCs
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Customized filters are available to you can choose what you need. There is their original filter, a toxin filter and a pet allergy filter.

Choosing the right size air purifier!

It is important to purchase an air purifier in the proper size to ensure its effectiveness. They will typically offer a recommended room size so be sure you know the proper size of your room.

As an example a brand may note that their machine works in rooms up to 800 square feet – which would mean your room could measure 20 feet x 40 feet. You would want to make sure the air purifier covers that size. 

Also take note if you have a very large ceiling height that could require more space as well!

Why should I care about the CADR value?

This is important!  CADR is short for Clean Air Delivery Rate and every air purifier may vary greatly with their numbers so I wanted to be sure to address it. This is a test done by the AHAM and basically shows you how well the air purifier removes different particle sizes.

CADR normally provides ratings for:

  • Smoke
  • Pollen
  • Dust

This testing is optional so you may find air purifiers that do not have these numbers available. I would not really recommend buying those and would stick with brands that have the testing done so you can have a sense of security in how it will work.  

The highest CADR rating possible is 450 for smoke and pollen and 400 for dust.

Testing is done on the highest setting of an air purifier – so keep this is in mind when you use it on the lower settings! Also keep in mind, the testing process is only 25 minutes – so longer term use may minimize the CADR rating over time as the filter begins to get dirty.

What is the AHAM?

The AHAM is the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers [1]. They offer a certification program so that manufacturers can have their products be AHAM verified. This is meant to give consumers a sense of security that the information a manufacturer is providing is accurate.

Where should a humidifier be placed?

Where you place your humidifier can make a difference in the impact it has on your health and wellness. If your pets are spending most of their time in the living room you definitely want to place it there. It may be beneficial to put another in your bedroom as well if your pets often sleep with you. 

Having a humidifier in both of these places can gretaly reduce asthma and allergy issues you may have. 

Make sure the humidifier if placed in an open area away from other electronic items like TV’s. 

Other ways to improve your home from pet allergens

Getting an air cleaner is just one option – and it is a great one, but if you find there are still some issues with allergies, there are a few other items you can try as well!

1. Bedding

Some people wash their sheets once or every other week. We opted for 2x a week after my daughters’ diagnosis and think it has helped tremendously. We typically also used flannel sheets for her because she loves them, but they are pet hair and dander magents. She wasn’t ready to give the sheets up just yet, but since the cat usually slept on her pillow she agreed to try Aller-Ease pillowcases

There is a lot of options for allergy free bedding if that is something you want to try at some point. 

2. Vacuuming

I hate it. But I love my kid – so I upped my vacuum schedule from every 7-10 days or so to every 2-3 days. I vacuum the floors, the baseboards and the furniture. DO not use a swiffer or duster as that will just move the dust around – you are better off using a vacuum with a HEPA filter also for the best results. I vacuum both my carpeted floors and hardwood, but if vacuuming hardwood makes you cringe then mopping is a better option than dusting to get the most dust and dander off your floor.


[1] Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers

Jill Caren CharityPaws

Jill Caren

Jill is an avid animal lover who spends her time helping animal rescues by photographing homeless pets and through her work on CharityPaws.

She is currently owned by Cleo, an American Pit Bull Terrier and Snoopy Cat. Her inspiration comes from her girls Ginger and Riley (RIP) – pit mix sisters who were loved family members for almost 15 years.

You can find her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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