Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: January 17, 2021
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Dealing with pollutants and loud traffic when commuting to and from work is bad enough, but it is worse when the same elements invade your home when it should serve as a sanctuary where you can enjoy a serene, personal space. The quietest air purifier solves these issues by operating noiselessly as it improves your air quality and rids your home of toxic contaminants. This is particularly convenient in a nursery or bedroom where noise can disrupt sleep.
Majority of air purifiers only run quietly on low settings, but the quietest air purifier can do the same at maximum its performance. We have broken down the most important features to consider before making your purchase. Noise level is the obvious priority when looking for a quiet model. Next is the coverage area for sufficient protection. One more vital feature is the number and type of filters because they indicate the level of protection to expect and the specific type of pollutants that can be removed from the air. Other key features we assessed are dimensions for storage and mobility, fan speeds for flexibility in output, and CADR rating for efficiency in performance.
In our quest to identify the quietest air purifier, we examined hundreds of models and the feedback reviews they received from buyers and reliable review sites. We have ranked the top quietest air purifiers in the comparison table below and analyzed the features of each of the models in detail. You will also find our resourceful buying guide invaluable: it lists out the benefits of investing in an air purifier, offers tips on maintaining it, and expounds more on the key features.
This model ticks all the right boxes of the best quiet air purifier, and much more: noiseless operation, multiple filters, expansive coverage, multiple fan speeds, and remote control.
It features an advanced filtration system consisting of six stages of purification:
A washable and permanent pre-filter; captures dust and large particles which could obstruct airflow and damage the air filter.
A medium filter which traps particles, such as pollen, pet dander, and mold whose size is larger than 1 micron.
A BioGS HEPA filter which eliminates airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger at an efficiency rate of 99.97%, in addition to prolonging the filter’s lifespan and improving its performance by reducing the buildup of trapped pollutants and proliferation of pathogens on the filter.
A customized filter made of Germ Defense, Odor Remover, Pet Allergy, or Toxin Absorber filter, depending on your purification needs.
A charcoal-based filter made of high-grade granular activated carbon which absorbs and eliminates odor from pets, cigarettes, and mildew.
A negative ion generator which attaches harmful toxic particles to electromagnetically charged negative ions to prevent them from escaping back into the air.
The powerful Energy-Star rated motor uses a brushless direct current technology to remove airborne contaminants in spaces with coverage of up to 700 square feet while generating only 20.8 to 45.6 decibels of noise.
Despite having a whopping five fan speeds, this model has a low power consumption of 47 watts at the highest setting.
The package comes with a wall mount kit to attach the model to the wall and a remote control to operate this model from a distance (almost a high-end smart air purifier!). Once it is in a dark room, a light sensor automatically switches to sleep mode for undisrupted sleep.
The Coway Airmega 400 Air Purifier offers users an idea of how air purification will work in the future. It’s an epitome of a modern air purifier and we are loving it. Built to purify up to 1560 square feet, the purifier is an excellent choice for large spaces like open office spaces or lofts. And despite having such a large coverage capacity, the unit is pretty compact for its capabilities, and has a stylish and sleek design to match. The Airmega 400 also features a dual carbon + true HEPA filter, allowing it to purify a large room more effectively than its rivals.
Furthermore, the machine features a washable pre-filter, which helps to extend its life. There are also many helpful “smart” features, which includes a LED pollution sensor and an automatic fan setting. While the former relays the quality of your indoor air in real-time, the latter adapts to the lighting conditions and air quality. Another impressive thing is that you can schedule the machine to work for one, two, four, or eight hours, depending on your preference. You also have three speed options for the fan, which are low, medium, and high.
This looks like a heavy-duty machine, so you may be worried about its operating noise. The good news is the machine doesn’t make a lot of noise, keeping things between 22-52 decibels. Even more impressively, you can adjust these options through the Coway IoCare mobile app or manually. Plus, the unit works with Amazon Alexa, which improves everything. To enjoy everything on offer, however, you must be willing to have a deep hole in your pocket as the unit is expensive.
What we liked:
Large coverage area
Three speed options
Decent operating noise
What could be better:
Winix 5300-2 – Best Quiet Air Purifier for Allergies, Sinuses, and Asthma
Noise level: 27.8 (on the lowest setting)
Filters type: carbon filter; true HEPA filter
Fan speeds: 4
Coverage area: up to 360 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 14.9 x 7.8 x 23.6 inches
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: PlasmaWave Technology; air quality indicator; filter change reminder
This model is equipped with a true HEPA filter, an activated carbon filter and PlasmaWave technology to combat contaminants in rooms with coverage of up to 360 square feet. The true HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne particles that are at least 0.3 microns while the carbon filter removes VOCs and odor, making this the quietest pet odor air purifier. A filter change indicator light illuminates when the true HEPA filter is due for replacement. PlasmaWave technology eliminates allergens and chemical vapors through ionization. You don’t have to worry about toxic emissions because this air purifier is cUL-listed and certified by AHAM, CARB and Energy Star.
Winix 5300-2 generates only 27.8 decibels of noise on the lowest speed setting, making it one of the quietest HEPA air purifiers. There are four speed settings all in all, ranging from low to turbo to meet your air filtration needs. When you activate the auto mode, the smart sensor assesses the number of airborne impurities in your room and selects the best speed for optimal purification. An LED indicator light changes color to blue, amber or red depending on the level of pollution in your room. You can enjoy a peaceful night because the sensor also dims the LED light and reduces the fan speed for an even quieter operation in sleep mode.
The carbon filter should be replaced after every three months. Fortunately, the package comes with three additional carbon filters, making a total of four carbon filters which should last you a whole year.
This best-rated air purifier is particularly popular with people suffering from sinuses, with only a few complaints about the chiming sound when you turn the unit on or off.
With a minimum noise level of 17 decibels, this is the quietest bedroom air purifier on our list. It achieves this with specialized polypropylene filter media which keeps the noise at a minimum even when the unit is running at high speed.
Blue Pure 411 is a small air purifier which would suit an area measuring up to 161 square feet.
It utilizes three steps of filtration with a washable pre-filter which traps large particles like dust and pet hair, a particle filter which eliminates 99% of allergens, dust mites, smoke, pet dander, and mold spores, and an activated carbon filter which removes pet odor and gaseous pollution from volatile organic compounds.
The package includes two washable pre-filters made of fabric, which come in blue and dark grey colors, but you can purchase the filters separately in other different colors to match your surroundings. Depending on usage, replacement of filters is recommended every six months. A filter replacement indicator will remind you in case you forget to do it on time.
Other outstanding features include an Air Changes per Hour rating of 5x, meaning it will entirely purify your room every 12 minutes, and low power consumption of 1.5 watts which has earned this model Energy Star rating.
Operating this air purifier is also easy with one touch button used to power the unit on or off, or to select from three speed settings.
Buyers have noted that the light stays on as long as the unit is running. This could be distracting at night.
As the quietest air purifier under $100, Hamilton Beach 04384 will save you money on both the initial cost and on filter replacement because it features a permanent pre-filter and a permanent 99% HEPA-grade filter which captures airborne particles that are at least 3 microns in size. The only alternative you may need after every three months is for the two replaceable carbon zeolite filters included in the package.
The unit has a tower design which makes it easy to fit it in tight spaces as well as rooms with maximum coverage of 140 square feet, and you can place it either vertically or horizontally.
A knob is used to control the speed settings of low, medium and high. You can expect an ultra-quiet environment on low speed setting and white noise on the high setting. White noise is beneficial in soothing babies to sleep.
Owners of this model praise its performance, ergonomic design, ultra-quietness, low maintenance, and affordability. Although it does not have a true HEPA filter which is recommended for people susceptible to allergies and respiratory infections, the HEPA-grade filter will still sufficiently eliminate most of the common pollutants in your home or office.
What we liked:
Variable speed settings
Convenient dual placement
Simple knob control
What could be better:
No true HEPA filter
Things to Сonsider
This guide is designed to provide you with all the essential information you need to know before and after purchasing your air purifier. You will learn the benefits provided by this device, the key features to consider when searching for the best quiet air purifier, and the best way to maintain it for optimal performance and a longer lifespan.
Why should you invest in an air purifier?
Toxic pollutants are a constant presence almost everywhere, whether it is the pollen in the garden, the toxic emissions in traffic, the cigarette smoke behind our office, and even the skin and fur of our beloved pets. An air purifier improves your air quality by eliminating these contaminants and other harmful particles which cause allergies, asthma, sinuses, and other respiratory infections. You can even set it in auto mode which automatically cleans the air whenever there is pollution for continuous protection.
Features to consider while choosing a quiet air purifier
These are the features that will help you identify the most suitable model for your budget, comfort, convenience, and air cleaning needs.
It is probably the most important feature to consider when looking for the quietest air purifier. It is also more likely the motivation that makes you seek quieter models like the ones on our list above or often among plug-in air purifiers. The noise in air purifiers is generated by the fans. That is why lowering the speed of the fan yields a quieter sound. Consider the decibels on the model and compare the number to common sounds with similar decibel to get an idea of its sound output.
Type of filters
Not all filters are created equal. Depending on the kind of pollutant you want to get rid of, you may need a filter that has been specifically designed and optimized to eliminate that particular pollutant since filters vary in their effectiveness in dealing with specific contaminants.
Air purifiers solve this by having different types of filters and technology, such as PlasmaWave, to eliminate a wider range of pollutants. That is why most air purifiers use at least a washable pre-filter which traps large dust particles that could block the air purifier and affect the performance of the other filters; a HEPA filter which has an efficiency rate of 99.97 in removing particles that are at least 0.3 microns in size, particles that are mostly made of pathogens and allergens; and a carbon filter made of highly absorbent activated charcoal which is effective in removing odor, smoke and gaseous pollutants.
Some filters are washable and permanent; others require replacement after a certain period. Confirming the type of filter beforehand will help you anticipate the type of maintenance needed and any additional cost on the replacement.
An air purifier with a variety of speed options is convenient because you can select a higher speed for high levels of pollution or for a shorter cleaning time, and a low speed setting to save energy and reduce noise. The Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-700A air purifier, for instance, has a whopping five speeds to choose from.
Air purifiers are designed to work at their optimal performance in spaces within specific dimensions. These dimensions are expressed in square or cubic footage, with the former being the most common.
Generally, large air purifiers cover more area than smaller ones, but it is best to check the specific coverage area of your intended model to be certain. Manufacturers indicate the particular space footage that their models are designed to cover so you can get the right air purifier for your intended room. As an example, Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-700A covers up to 700 square feet while Blue Pure 411 provides maximum square footage coverage of 161. Using the wrong model for your room may render it ineffective and expose you to harmful airborne particles.
CADR is the short form of Clean Air Delivery Rate which is expressed in cubic feet per minute. It measures how many cubic feet of pollutants per minute an air purifier can remove in a room of a particular size. The pollutants measured by CADR are the three most common airborne particles; dust, pollen, and smoke.
CADR ratings are assigned to air purifiers after independent ANSI/AHAM AC-1 tests performed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). The ratings are based on the end results, regardless of the method or technology used to filter the air.
Coway Airmega 400 has a CADR rating of 246 for dust, 240 for pollen and 233 for smoke, a proof of its efficiency and effectiveness in removing those particular pollutants.
The size of an air purifier affects its placement and, more often than not, the extensiveness of its coverage area. Models designed for spacious rooms or entire houses are larger to accommodate powerful motors and big filters that can process large amounts of air.
On the other hand, a small office or nursery will require a compact and portable air purifier to fit in the limited space. For more options in placement and storage, Hamilton Beach 04384 has a tower design which can be placed both vertically and horizontally while Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-700A comes with a wall mount kit to save space.
Our list of the best quiet air purifiers features models with a warranty period ranging from one to five years, a clear proof of how the warranty is specific to the individual air purifier. Consult with the seller, manufacturer and other buyers who have left feedback reviews online to know the period and terms of the warranty and how to avoid situations that could void it.
Sensors: When you activate auto mode, the sensors keep tabs on the current quality of air and automatically start purification with the best speed setting as soon as they detect any pollution.
Timer: It saves energy by allowing you to set the air purifier to run for a certain period. The most common intervals are 1, 4, 8 and 12 hours.
Auto shut-off: It reduces power consumption by switching off the unit once optimal air purification has been achieved.
Speeds and operation modes: In addition to giving you greater flexibility in the level of output, multiple speeds can regulate the noise generated to a lower level. Some models feature various output modes which can be adjusted for different tasks and settings. For instance, Winix 5300-2 dims the LED light and reduces the fan speed for a quiet operation when in sleep mode, a mode also available in Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-700A. Coway Airmega 400 stops the fan once optimal air quality is achieved and switches to Eco mode to preserve energy.
Certification: Industry standards are used to ensure the air purifiers are effective, efficient, energy-saving and safe from toxic emissions. Winix 5300-2 is one of the quietest room air purifiers you can trust because it is cUL-listed and certified by AHAM, CARB and Energy Star.
Remote control: It is a convenient feature that allows you to operate the unit from a distance.
Performance and maintenance alerts: These include indicator lights which display the level of air quality and filter change reminders.
Tips to maintain your air purifier
Avoid placing the air purifier underneath and between furniture or against a wall which could limit the amount of air flow.
Clean the washable filters regularly and replace the other ones after the period recommended by the manufacturer to keep the air purifier in top performance.
Avoid opening the doors and windows or sweeping the room when your air purifier is running because it overworks the unit and decreases its lifespan.
Vacuum the room regularly, especially the carpet which easily holds dust and pet hair. It reduces the workload of your air purifier because it will then filter fewer particles.
Use low speed settings and Eco mode when you can because it uses less power and saves energy.
Some filters are washable and permanent. For the replaceable ones, the period that should pass before filter replacement varies from one model to another. The seller or manufacturer usually indicates the recommended replacement period for their model.
Air purifiers are actually beneficial to pets, children and everyone else because they get rid of pet hair, odor and dander and other toxic particles that cause allergies and other respiratory infections in both humans and pets. The models on our list are safe to use as they bear safety certifications from authorized industry bodies like uCL, AHAM, CARB, and Energy Star.
What’s the optimal time it should run for? A timer saves energy by allowing you to schedule the duration the unit should run before automatically switching off. You can run a noisy air purifier for 1, 4, 8, or 12 hours while you are away so you can come back to a quiet environment with clean air. The optimal interval duration is the one that will rid your room of all the harmful particles.
Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-700A boasts all the bells and whistles imaginable in an air purifier. It operates super quietly while provides you with advanced multiple filtration, expansive coverage, various fan speeds, and a remote control. One of its impressive statistics is that it has the highest number of speed settings on our list of quietest room air purifiers yet generates the least noise.
Allergy sufferers and babies whose immune system is still developing need the quietest HEPA air purifier which can eliminate 99.97% of pathogens and harmful particles from the air. Scratch that, everyone needs an air purifier with the superior HEPA filter. Coway Airmega 400 and Winix 5300-2 boast of this filter as well as multiple speed options, sensors, and performance and maintenance alerts which include filter change reminder and real-time air quality indicator. The two models are among the quietest room air purifiers, producing less than 30 decibels of sound on low setting. But don’t forget, that also other manufacturers make really quiet units, as for example, you can see by Levoit air purifiers.