Are you looking to improve the air quality in your basement?
Do you have a musty mold smell you want to get rid of so it’s more tolerable to be down there?
If so, you’ve landed on the right page.
In this post, we’re going to show you how to find the best air purifier for basement—large and small, finished or unfinished.
You’ll come away knowing what the top features are to look for in a high-quality basement air purifier that keeps the air downstairs clean and fresh.
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Basement Air Purifier Reviews & Buying Guide
Here’s a quick comparison chart showing the top air purifiers for basements. We’ll cover each aspect of these units in the reviews section below, but this gives you an idea of what’s available and an easy way to compare them.
|Image||Air Purifier Details||Price|
|SilverOnyx Air Purifier||Check Price|
|InvisiClean Aura II Air Purifier||Check Price|
|Rabbit Air MinusA2 Air Purifier||Check Price|
|Molekule Air Purifier||Check Price|
|GermGuardian AC5000E Air Purifier||Check Price|
|Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier||Check Price|
|AIRMEGA 300 Air Purifier||Check Price|
|IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier||Check Price|
The Best Air Purifiers for Basements
Best Air Purifier for Large Basement (Finished or Unfinished)
If you want the best air purifier for a large basement at an affordable price, this is it.
This product takes care of all of the particles that cause your downstairs air to be musty, stuffy, and stale.
The 5-stage air filtration system includes:
- Pre-filter for trapping the largest particles.
- True HEPA filter for capturing 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
- Ultraviolet light to kill mold, bacteria, and viruses.
- Activated Carbon filter for reducing odors.
- Ionizer that attacks pollutants out in the air where they’re floating around as well as extend the life of the internal filters.
Another feature you’ll love about this device is that the internal filters are shaped like a cylinder; this increases the surface area by 60%, which makes it much more efficient than flat filters.
Finally, this air purifier covers very large spaces—up to 500 square feet—making it a perfect choice for most finished or unfinished basements.
Best Air Purifier for Small Basement (or Finished Room)
If you need an air purifier for a smaller unfinished basement or just a finished space, this stylish unit is going to be your best choice.
This air purifier covers up to 319 square feet which is optimal for many downstairs areas and excellent for
With a True HEPA filter, Ultraviolet (UV-C) light, Activated Carbon filter, and Ionizer, it strips the air of practically every airborne contaminant.
It also leaves the air smelling fresh and clean, which is what you want.
If you’re going to use this device in a basement bedroom or living area, you’ll be happy to know that it also includes a sleep mode that turns off all of the active lights.
For moderate size spaces, there’s not much else you can ask for in an air purifier for basement smell and dust.
Best Air Purifier with Wall-Mount and Custom Design
How would you like an air purifier for your basement that not only cleans the air efficiently but can also be mounted to the wall?
If you want a unit with a powerful six-stage air filtration system that comes with a wall-mounting kit, then this is the right choice for you.
It’s the industry-leader for cleaning indoor air with these powerful filters:
- Medium Filter
- BioGS HEPA Filter, which is a more advanced True HEPA filter that lasts up to two years
- Customized Filter
- Activated Carbon Filter
The customized filter option is where this unit really shines and allows you to enhance the air cleaning abilities for specific types of pollutants in your basement, such as:
- Germ Defense Filter: Reduces airborne bacteria, mold spores, and particles that carry viruses.
- Pet Allergy Filter: Reduces pet dander, pet allergens, and pet hair.
- Toxin Absorber Filter: Reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals.
- Odor Remover Filter: Reduces odors from pets, cigarettes and cigars, cooking, and mildew.
You can also customize the front color panel design to match your basement’s existing style and decor.
Lastly, you can choose between three versions to meet your size and control needs:
- MinusA2 700A covers rooms up to 700 square feet.
- MinusA2 780A covers rooms up to 815 square feet.
- MinusA2 780N is the Wi-Fi model that covers rooms up to 815 square feet.
All-in-all, this is the best air purifier for any basement room if you want the most customizable options.
Powerful Air Purifier for Destroying Basement Pollutants
This air purifier has an advanced air filtration technology that actually destroys airborne pollutants at a molecular level.
It’s kind of like our #1 review above, but with even more power.
If you want a unit that can eliminate all traces of contaminants that pass through the system, then this Molekule air purifier won’t let you down.
In lab tests, these air purifiers have been proven to destroy airborne bacteria, mold, and viruses at an efficiency rate of 98.7% to 99.99%.
It’s unlike any other air purifier reviewed on this list because it uses a proprietary PECO filtration technology:
- PECO technology destroys particles at their core so you have the cleanest, healthiest air to breathe.
- PECO filtering can eliminate contaminants that are 1,000 times smaller than standard HEPA filters.
The taller version of this air purifier can handle basements rooms up to 600 square feet.
- A smaller Molekule Air Mini covers up to 250 sq. ft.
The fan speeds and automatic modes can be controlled by the touch screen display on the top of the unit or you can sync it up with your iPhone or Android device with the Wi-Fi app.
You won’t find anything else quite like this air purifier here.
So give it a try if you want something a bit more advanced than our #1 top pick above.
Best Air Purifier for Smaller Basement Rooms
Do you just need to improve the air quality inside a small basement or sectioned off room like a bedroom?
If so, this air purifier can cover all of your needs and is not very expensive.
It handles up to 180 square feet and includes all of the crucial filters for cleaning the air downstairs: True HEPA filter, Ultraviolet (UV-C) light, and Activated Carbon filter.
It does lack an Ionizer, which our top two recommendations include, but that’s not a must-have feature for purifying basement air.
The vertical shape is a nice design because it allows you to place the device practically anywhere in a room.
But if you’re not too excited about the looks of it, you may want to consider our next review.
Another Great Air Purifier for Smaller Basement Rooms
This product includes the same air purifying features as the GermGuardian air purifier above (True HEPA filter, Ultraviolet light, and Activated Carbon filter), but has a different shape and color.
Honestly, either of these air purifiers is a good choice for basement areas up to 200 square feet.
But, you may just like the look of this air purifier instead.
If you do, you can’t go wrong by getting this model.
It’s a fantastic air purifier with loads of positive happy customers—and inexpensive too.
Best Air Purifier for the Largest Basements
This air purifier covers the largest amount of space, up to 1,256 square feet.
The AIRMEGA 400 model can handle even more, up to 1,560 sq. ft.
The reason this air purifier is not higher on our list is because it doesn’t include an Ultraviolet light like the other products reviewed on this page.
This machine only includes a True HEPA filter and an Activated Carbon filter.
That means it can clean the air of most contaminants and odor-causing substances in a basement, but it can’t actually kill them without the Ultraviolet light feature.
However, if you have a very large basement, this unit and the next review are your best options for an air purifier.
The reason being is that it’s impossible to find an air purifier that includes an Ultraviolet light and can cover more than 1,000 square feet.
So if you have an entire basement floor you want to keep fresh and clean, this is going to be one of your top choices for that size space.
Note: This product also comes in a 300S Wi-Fi version, if you want the convenience of controlling it from your mobile device.
Similar to our #7 review, this air purifier covers the largest basement rooms up to 1,125 square feet.
What makes it different from the AIRMEGA air purifier are the two internal filters:
- It has a more advanced HyperHEPA filter that captures 99.95% of particles down to 0.003 microns—the smallest that exists.
- A special V5-Cell Gas and Odor filter removes a wide range of chemical pollutants and household odors. If you want the cleanest air with fewer toxins and smells, then this is the top filter to get.
Additionally, these filters last for several years before they need to be replaced. The HyperHEPA filter lasts up to four years and the V5-Cell and Gas and Odor filter is good for two years.
This unit has also won numerous awards for being a top air purifier for improving health.
Those benefits combined make this air purifier outstanding for basements and makes it a very affordable air purifier in the long-run.
Top Benefits of Using a Basement Air Purifier
Now that you know what your options are for the best air purifier for basement areas, you may be curious what the additional benefits of having a basement air purifier can do for you.
Certainly, getting rid of mold spores and any damp, musty smell is a high priority, but air purifiers offer so much more for your health and comfort.
Below is a list of the top benefits of air purifiers you’ll appreciate by having one in your basement:
- Increased Air Circulation: If you have a basement without windows, or a door that’s hardly ever left opened, the air inside can become stale and stuffy. The air exchange rate with the outdoors is a crucial factor in determining indoor air pollutant concentrations, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency Air purifiers circulate the air to give you better indoor air quality. Free flowing air also helps to regulate temperature and makes a finished basement more comfortable to live in.
- Fewer Allergens: There are numerous indoor allergens that show up in both finished and unfinished basements. Air purifiers help with allergies and are great for allergy and asthma sufferers because they trap allergens inside a filter so that the air downstairs doesn’t cause you to sneeze, cough, wheeze, or trigger an asthma attack. See our guide on the best asthma air purifier units for other common rooms in the home.
- Less Pet Dander and Hair: If your pets have free range of your basement, then pet dander and hair can build up to uncomfortable levels. Air purifiers help with pet dander by reducing the number of dander particles and hair so it’s more liveable down there.
- Lower Dust Accumulation: Both unfinished and finished basements tend to accumulate a lot of dust. Air purifiers remove dust and lower dust mite populations by reducing these particles by circulating the air and trapping the dust inside a filter.
- Decreased Volatile Organic Compounds: Almost all building materials, paints, flooring, carpeting, and furniture release volatile organic compounds into the air which can cause odors and harm your health. Air purifiers remove these gaseous chemicals by absorbing the vapors before they get into your eyes, throat, or lungs. See our guide on the best chemical air purifier if you want the most protection against these substances.
- Extraction of Mold Spores: Basements breed mold more easily because they’re often damp, dark spaces, without great ventilation. Air purifiers help with mold by eliminating mold spores from the air by sucking them into a filter and destroying them with an ultraviolet light (more on that below).
- Fresher Smelling Air: With fewer mold spores, allergens, and dust in the air, your basement will smell cleaner and fresher when using an air purifier.
- Less Smoke and Odors: If you use your basement as a place to smoke tobacco, an air purifier can extract the visible smoke particles and strong odors that are usually left behind. Air purifiers remove odors and are a good choice for this purpose.
- Enhanced Mood Levels: Research shows that breathing in cleaner air improves your mood and decreases anxiety and stress. Air purifiers are perfect for anyone looking for better well-being.
- Improved Quality of Sleep: Polluted is known for disrupting your sleep and if your bed is in the basement, then you have all sorts of contaminants to contend with. Air purifiers can give you a better night’s rest by keeping the air around you clean.
As you can see, air purifiers offer a number of benefits for improving basement air quality as well as your long-term health. It’s also why we recommend that you use one of these devices in other areas of your house.
Key Features to Look for in a Basement Air Purifier
Now, before you rush out and buy just any air purifier, hoping that it will cure all of your basement air quality problems, there are a few things you need to look out for to ensure that you get the best product.
Purchasing a device that has these features listed below will guarantee that you get the best air purifier for basement areas; both large and small, finished or unfinished.
- True HEPA Filter: Essential in a basement air purifier because it’s the only type of HEPA filter that’s certified to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. This includes mold spores, dust, allergens, smoke, pet dander, and thousands of other particles. However, watch out for air purifiers that use the words “HEPA-like,” “HEPA-type,” or just “HEPA” when referring to the filter. If it doesn’t have the word “True” attached to it, then it’s an inferior filter that won’t be the best HEPA air purifier for allergies and other particles in your basement.
- Ultraviolet Light: Also crucial because it’s the only air purification technology that can kill mold spores and other microbes. A UV air filter works by using a beam of light to destroy the DNA structure of microorganisms. The UV-C light is completely safe for humans, however, it’s still contained inside the air purifier and doesn’t release any light into the room.
- Activated Carbon Filter: Another must-have feature because it’s the only type that can reduce basement odors. A carbon air filter does this through a chemical process called “adsorption” (which is similar to “absorption”), where odor particles cling to the filter medium. Activated carbon is the only substance that can remove a musty smell, volatile organic compounds, and other common basement odors.
As you discovered in the product review section above, the top air purifiers we recommend for basements include all three of those features. It wouldn’t serve you well to buy a basement air purifier that was missing any of these components.
Choosing the Right Size Air Purifier
You already know what the best air purifiers for basements are, but before you buy one, it’s important that you know which size air purifier you need so you don’t waste money or get one that’s not powerful enough for your needs.
Figuring out what size air purifier do I need is actually quite simple.
All you have to do is match up the machine’s square footage coverage (sq. ft.) with the basement space.
If the air purifier meets or exceeds the room size, then you can use it. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to look for a bigger device.
In our reviews, we tell you how much space each air purifier can handle.
To find out who much coverage you need in your basement, follow these two steps:
- With a tape measure, measure the width and length (in feet) of your basement—or if you’re just using an air purifier in one room of your basement, measure just that room. Round each number up or down to get a whole number (they’re easier to work with).
- Multiply the width X the length to get your total square footage (sq. ft.)
Here are two examples:
- An unfinished basement that measures 24′ x 16′ has 384 sq. ft. (24 x 16 = 384).
- A finished bedroom in a basement that measures 12′ 6″ x 14′ 2″ has 182 sq. ft. (by rounding to the nearest whole numbers, we get 13 x 14 = 182).
Once you’re equipped with the square footage number, you can then find an air purifier that can handle it.
Tips On Using an Air Purifier in a Basement
Buying an air purifier is a great first step to improving the air quality in your basement.
As you learned earlier, these machines are good for basement ventilation and can help reduce mold spores, a musty smell, and produce cleaner, fresher air for you to breathe.
However, to get the most value out of your purchase, there are a few simple tips you can follow after unboxing your new air purifier.
- Don’t Obstruct the Air Flow: Most air purifier manufacturers recommend that you leave at least 18-24 inches of space all around the unit. That will give the air purifier enough clearance on all sides to draw a sufficient amount of air into the device and pump clean air back into the room. It also ensures that the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR Rating) and Air Changes Per Hour (ACH Rating) remain high.
- Consider the Placement: You may be tempted to stick your air purifier in a corner of the basement so it’s out of the way. While that can be done, it’s better to position the unit closer to the center of the room, if you can. Similar to the first tip, the more air that can flow around the device, the more efficient it will be.
- Don’t Turn the Air Purifier Off: You may think that you can use an air purifier like a cooling fan or air conditioner—by only turning it on when you need it. However, that’s actually the worst thing you can do with an air purifier in your basement. Air purifiers run at peak performance when they operate 24 hours, 7 days per week. Every hour the device runs, the cleaner the basement air becomes. If you turn the machine off for any length of time, indoor contaminants will start to build up again, which defeats the purpose of having an air purifier. If the cost of running your air purifier all day worries you, rest assured that these machines are very energy efficient and barely impact your electric bill.
- Keep Windows and Doors Closed: Another efficiency tip is to enclose the air purifier inside a tightly closed basement (or room). By keeping windows shut and closing doors, you’re giving the air purifier a chance to fully exchange the air inside space over and over again. The more time the machine can operate in this manner, the fresher—and more contaminant-free—the air becomes. Each time a window or door is opened, you’re essentially letting purified air escape and inviting outside pollutants to flow back in. This makes the air purifier work harder and longer in order to keep the air downstairs clean.
- Check and Change Filters Regularly: Every air purifier buying guide and manual will tell you that an air purifier is only as good as the filters it has inside it. If the air filters become clogged with too many pollutants, they won’t operate as effectively. The air purifiers we reviewed on this page include a filter change indicator that alerts you for when it’s time to check or change the filters. If the True HEPA filter looks brown and dirty, change it. If the Activated Carbon filter is coated in white dust, change that one too. If you’re in any doubt, just know that having an overly clean filter is never a bad thing, so even if you do change a filter prematurely, it’s only going to benefit the air quality in your basement.
Common Questions About Basement Air Quality
How Can I Improve the Air Quality in My Basement?
You can easily improve the air quality inside your basement by investing in an air purifier. In fact, it’s one of the best ways for how to air out a basement with no windows.
Air purifiers remove the airborne pollutants that cause your basement air to smell musty, stuffy, and stale.
They also cut down on mold spores, allergens, and other contaminants.
Aside from an air purifier, you can also seal up any cracks, gaps, and holes; keep windows closed so outdoor contaminants and moisture doesn’t flow inward; inspect (and repair) insulation; do a thorough cleaning of the floors, walls, and ceiling; only use low-VOC paints and stains; and clean any bedding or furniture.
Additionally, you may want to consider putting one of the best indoor air quality monitors here in your basement to measure the level of pollutants. These units provide a detailed report of each type of particle that’s floating around in the air so you can work to eliminate the source in combination with running the air purifier.
Why Does Mold Grow in Basements?
Mold thrives in damp, dark places, which makes basements one of the top locations for mold to grow.
Additionally, many basements get very little (or none at all) sunlight, have poor ventilation and air flow, and higher levels of humidity.
Water problems inside basements can also be common from leaky pipes or flooding, and it takes longer for these areas to dry out.
Condensation that results from colder temperatures combined with higher humidity also causes mold growth.
And finally, people often neglect to clean their basements and the build up of dust and dirt can encourage mold to grow.
If humidity is an issue in your basement, combining an air purifier with a dehumidifier will give you the best protection against mold formation. Here’s an article on the difference between air purifier and dehumidifier, if you’re not aware of those things.
Also, the best air filter for mold is a True HEPA filter to capture the spores while an Activated Carbon can remove the odors, and an Ultraviolet light will destroy the fungi altogether.
Are Air Purifiers Good for Basements?
Yes, air purifiers are good to use in the basement.
These devices improve air circulation and reduce pollutants such as mold spores and dust.
A basement air purifier can help improve the overall air quality in the lower level of a home, and even more so if the basement doesn’t have windows.
Houses that have a musty or damp smelling odor can benefit from the use of an air purifier as long as it uses an Activated Carbon filter.
This filter is specially designed to trap those types of contaminants.
However, if your basement has serious water or moisture issues that are causing the odors, then those conditions will need to be fixed in order to stop the root source.
Even the best air purifier can only help reduce the airborne particles that cause musty smells, not cure the problem.
How Do You Deodorize a Basement?
There are several steps you can take to deodorize a basement.
1) Open all windows and doors that lead to the outside so that air can circulate. This will also help to reduce the moisture level, which may be the cause of the odors. Repeat this step daily until the smell is gone.
2) Use an air purifier in the basement with the windows and doors closed. An air purifier will remove odor-causing particles from the air and trap them inside a filter. Clean, fresh air will then be pumped back into the room.
3) Spray a deodorizing agent with antifungal properties on the hard surfaces like the floors and walls. This chemical can kill mold spores and other odor-producing particles.
4) If you have an unfinished basement, sprinkle chlorinated lime (bleaching) powder all over the floor until you can’t see it. Then, let it sit for 10 minutes. Finally, sweep up the powder. Chlorinated lime does a great job at removing odor-causing microbes that cling to the floor.
If you have an especially large basement, you may want to consider one of the air purifiers listed on our best air purifier for large spaces guide. Those models are for spaces up to 1,500 square feet and a few include thick Activated Carbon filters to help reduce basement odors.
Enjoy Your New Air Purifier
We hope this information has helped you feel more confident about choosing the best air purifier for basement areas that are large and small, finished or unfinished.
The products listed above are your top options for improving the air quality inside your home and should serve you well for a lifetime of use.
By combining an air purifier with the tips revealed on this page, you can have a much more pleasant basement to use.