An air purifier that removes mold spores and viruses is good for any home.
But to be considered one of the best air purifiers for mold, it has to be powerful enough air filter for mold, mildew, viruses, and other microscopic spores floating in the air; which you’ll find below.
Disclosure: Home Air Guides is reader-supported. As an Amazon associate and affiliate for independent brands, we earn from qualifying purchases made through the links on our site. Learn more.
The Best Air Purifiers for Mold
Buying the best air purifier for mold and mildew removal that also contains germ destroying virus power can be tough when you don’t know what to look for. Our goal here is to give you the most in-depth research and reviews on the top brands of mold air purifiers so you can get a good unit with best air filter for mold spores and viruses.
Here’s a quick overview:
|Image||Air Purifier Details||Price|
|SilverOnyx Air Purifier||Check Price|
|GermGuardian AC5000E Air Purifier||Check Price|
|Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier||Check Price|
|GermGuardian AC5900W Air Purifier||Check Price|
|InvisiClean Claro Air Purifier||Check Price|
|Molekule Air Purifier||Check Price|
Best Air Purifier for Mold Reviews
1. Best Overall Air Purifier for Mold: SilverOnyx 5-in-1
If you want the best air purifier for mold and viruses at the most affordable price, this is it.
This top choice takes care of all aspects of mold spores and odors using a 5-stage air filtration system that includes:
- Pre-filter for trapping the largest particles.
- True HEPA air filter for mold spores capturing 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
- Ultraviolet light to kill mold spores by destroying the DNA structure.
- Activated Carbon filter for reducing mold odors.
- Ionizer that attacks pollutants out in the air where they’re floating around as well as extend the life of the internal filters.
The Ionizer also helps to boost the air cleaning performance against other kinds of harmful airborne particles, such as pollen, pet dander, smoke, and dust.
What you’ll love most about this air purifier that removes mold is that the internal filters are shaped like a cylinder.
This increases the surface area by 60% compared to flat filters and is much more efficient.
There’s also a filter replacement indicator that lights up so you know when it’s time to change it out.
You can adjust the fan speed manually or push the Auto Mode button to have the unit monitor the air quality and continuously adjust the fan speed in real-time.
Another highlight is that it can cover a very large room up to 500 square feet, making it a perfect choice for any room of the home, including the basement.
2. Best Budget Air Purifier for Mold and Viruses: GermGuardian AC5000E
This is the next best air purifier for mold spores and is not very expensive.
It offers a 3-stage air filtration system with the same type of high-quality filters mentioned in our #1 review. However, the internal filters are flat and not cylindrical like the SilverOnyx air purifier.
That filter design doesn’t matter though because this air cleaner is made for smaller rooms up to 180 square feet.
A standard flat filter is perfectly fine for that size space and it still captures 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size.
You can pick between a low, medium, and high fan speed to match your air quality needs and noise comfort level.
The vertical shape is a nice design to have since it allows you to place the air purifier practically anywhere.
This unit is also quite stylish compared to many other air purifiers on the market and looks good in any room.
3. Best Small HEPA Air Purifier for Mold and Mildew: Pure Enrichment PureZone
If you liked the idea of our #2 review, you may want to consider this one as well.
It includes all of the same air purification features as the GermGuardian AC5000E air purifier; a 3-stage air filtration system with a high-quality True HEPA air filter for mold removal, UV Light technology, and Activated Carbon filter, but has a different shape and color.
It also has 3 quiet fan speed settings (low, medium, and high).
Either unit is a good choice for tackling mold and viruses in smaller rooms up to 200 square feet, but you may just prefer the look (or size) of this HEPA air purifier for mold over the previous option.
The choice is obviously yours, but either way, you’re getting the best air purifier for mold spores, viruses, and bacteria at a low price.
4. Best Large Air Filter for Mold Spores: GermGuardian AC5900W
This air purifier is a step up from our previous two reviews.
While the shape and color are a bit different than the GermGuardian AC5000E, it still has everything you need to control airborne mold and viruses in your home using a 3-stage air filtration system.
The larger size of the True HEPA air filter for mold, Activated Carbon filter for mold odors, and UV Light for killing mold and viruses are suitable to clean the air in a 338 square foot room.
That puts the power of this machine right in the middle of our #1 and #2 reviews.
You also get the choice between 3 fan speed settings (low, medium, and high) to find the perfect performance mode and noise level for your needs.
And, it includes filter replacement indicator so you never have to guess when it’s time to replace the filters.
If you have a medium to large room to purify, this would be a better quality option for you.
5. Best Energy Efficient Air Purifier for Mold: InvisiClean Claro
If you’re considering our #4 pick, then you may want to look into this top air purifier before making your final decision.
What makes it a top quality contender are these additional user-friendly features:
- A 4-stage air filtration system with a True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon filter, UV Light, and Ionizer.
- An advanced PM 2.5 sensor that measures and detects changes in air quality. “PM 2.5” is a term that encompasses the most harmful airborne particulates that can get into the deep recesses of your lungs. It’s mostly caused by outdoor air pollution sources.
- A front LED screen displays the current PM 2.5 level, indoor temperature degree, and humidity.
- The design delivers more than double the air output and uses up to 85% less energy than comparable air purifiers. When operating in the lowest mode, this machine uses less than 50 cents per month in electricity.
- Like our #1 air purifier that removes mold, this unit also includes a negative ion generator (ionizer) to boost the air cleaning power.
- It includes 4 fan speed settings in addition to an Auto Mode that automatically assesses the air and adjusts the fan speed accordingly.
- A filter replacement indicator is located on the top control panel.
As for room size coverage, this air purifier can remove mold, mildew, viruses, and germs in a room up to 375 square feet—about the same as the GermGuardian AC5900W.
6. Most Advanced Air Purifier for Mold and Viruses: Molekule Air
Our final recommendation for the best air purifier for mold and viruses is this unit right here.
This air purifier has the most advanced air filtration technology that actually destroys—not traps—airborne pollutants like mold at a molecular level.
Similar to the other air purifiers reviewed on this list, this unit also uses a UV Light to kill off mold spores but it doesn’t it a radically different way with PECO filtration technology.
The filter fibers on Molekule’s PECO-filters are coated with a nanocatalyst. And when the UV Light shines on this nanocatalyst, it chemically converts mold spores into harmless gases.
The chemical reaction is similar to lighting the spores on fire.
And the two things you should remember here are:
- PECO is a special type of technology that destroys mold spores, bacteria, and viruses at their core so you have the cleanest, healthiest air to breathe.
- PECO filtering also eliminates pollutants that are 1,000 times smaller than standard filters must meet to qualify as HEPA.
Additionally, this air purifier is designed to remove mold spores and viruses in rooms up to 600 square feet. So it’s good for any room in the home, including the basement.
- Note: A smaller Molekule Air Mini is also available for rooms up to 250 sq. ft.
This air purifier also has a touch screen control display on the top of the unit and offers the convenience of Wi-Fi control with the smartphone app.
So if you want a wireless air purifier for mold that can eliminate all traces of this substance that pass through the system, then this is going to be your top choice.
What to Look for in the Best Air Purifier for Mold
When looking for an air purifier for mold removal there are several key features you want to keep in mind.
Getting a machine that has the options listed below will ensure that your house stays free of harmful mold spores and viruses.
The first thing you want to make sure the mold air purifier has the highest grade of a HEPA filter, called a True HEPA air filter. This filter is essential because it is certified to capture airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. This includes all types of airborne mold that make their way into your house. Getting a device that doesn’t have the True HEPA stamp doesn’t give you any guarantee that it will help with the problem. Stay away from air purifiers that say “HEPA-like” or “HEPA-type” as the performance is inferior to a True HEPA air purifier.
An ultraviolet or “UV-C light” is also crucial because it actually kills mold, viruses, and germs. This technology works by using a beam of light to zap the spores and virus pathogens to destroy their DNA makeup. The UV light is located inside the mold air purifier and no light is released into the room. It’s a good backup system for the True HEPA air filter because it kills the particles that it cannot trap and is only found on the best air purifiers for mold.
Activated Carbon Filter
This filter is also a must-have feature because it picks up where the other two types leave off—it eliminates mold odors. Activated carbon is excellent at trapping toxic Volatile Organic Compounds and Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds that mold and mildew emit. Without this good feature, the odors of mold will still exist.
Another option you have is to get an air purifier with PECO technology. This feature combines the power of all of the previously mentioned air cleaning technologies into one filter. PECO destroys particles at a molecular level instead of just trapping them. It does this by shining a UV light onto a filter that’s coated with a nanocatalyst. This process causes the destruction of organic matter like mold spores, bacteria, and virus particles, and is only found on the brand of Molekule air purifiers.
Buying an air cleaner that has a combination of these features is what makes an air purifier worth it to get a mold-free, virus-free, and odor-free home.
Benefits of Using an Air Purifier for Mold Spores
While you most likely came to this page because you were looking for an air purifier to get rid of a mold problem, there are some additional advantages you’ll enjoy by owning one of these devices.
As we noted above, the True HEPA air filter will help capture the tiniest particles possible from the air.
Not only does this mean that you’ll trap airborne mold spores, but it will also help to get rid of other airborne particulates that cause health and/or breathing problems.
This includes things like dust, pollen, and common allergens.
The Ultraviolet (UV) light will also take care of airborne viruses, bacteria, and germs that may be present inside the home or area you place the air purifier in.
This helps sterilize the environment and keep it free from toxins that tend to make a person sick.
An added advantage of the Activated Carbon Filter is that it too eliminates more than just the odor produced by mold and mildew.
As air is sucked in and passes through this filter, it will trap particulates that are the root cause of other odors inside your home.
Common odors you’ll find reduced by the devices listed above include those from pets, cleaning supplies, cooking, and some types of smoke.
Why an Air Purifier for Mold and Viruses is a Good Investment
Often, once a person realizes that these mold air purifiers are also capable of tackling other indoor air quality issues, they move the device into a more centralized location or specific room that’s in need of purification after the mold or mildew problem is taken care of.
As with all air purification devices, the end goal is to produce a clean, fresh environment that’s healthy for you to breathe.
Yes, mold is a common problem in many homes, but so are these other things mentioned above too.
Being able to purify the air from other contaminants is one of the strongest air purifier health benefits.
Air purifiers do remove dust and dust mites, air purifiers can help with asthma and allergies, and some air purifiers do remove odors, which is good for everyone.
How Mold Exposure Can Affect Your Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not everyone has a sensitivity to mold and mildew, but for those that do, the common symptoms include a stuffy nose, irritated throat, coughing, and wheezing.
However, just because you don’t have an allergic reaction to mold growth doesn’t mean that it’s not causing harm to your health.
In fact, being exposed to mold over a long period of time has caused many people to develop a strong allergy to it.
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine discovered that exposure to indoor mold caused upper respiratory tract problems, coughing, and wheezing in otherwise healthy people.
Additionally, there have been other studies that suggest a link between early mold exposure and the development of asthma in children.
Having a mold allergy is kind of like a double-edged sword. Yes, it causes a whole host of health problems, but it also makes a person more aware of its presence and can therefore quickly spot when it’s becoming a serious problem.
The U.S. Department of Health states that indoor mold growth and mildew produce potent toxins that not only can be absorbed by the lungs but also the skin and intestines.
The long-term effects of mold exposure can have serious effects on your health, including cancer, neurotoxicity, memory loss, cardiac conditions, and more.
Information on Other Air Purification Technologies
These days, the best air purifier models come with a variety of features and rarely ever include just one type of air purification technology.
Therefore, it’s good for you to know what some of these other popular technologies do so you can ensure you’re getting the best air purifier that removes mold.
Some air purifiers are solely ionizers while others include this as an added function. What an ionizer does is sends out negatively charged ions into the air to latch onto positively charged particles like mold. These new clumps become too heavy to remain in the air and fall to the ground. While the mold spores are technically out of the air you breathe, they do still exist on the floor and surrounding surfaces which is what you want to avoid. This is the main difference between an air purifier vs ionizer. An ionizer does nothing to trap or destroy airborne mold, it just removes it from the air faster.
This stands for Photo Electrochemical Oxidation and produces a reaction that takes place on the surface of a nano-coated filter which leads to the oxidation of organic matter such as mold. The advantage of PECO technology over a True HEPA air purifier is that it can destroy particulate matter as small as 0.1 nanometers. HEPA air filters can only capture mold spores, not kill them. The only issue with PECO is that it’s a patented technology in Molekule air purifiers. You’ll have to invest in the Molekule brand if you want to have the power of PECO air purification.
This stands for Photocatalytic Oxidation and is the more widespread variation of PECO technology. The difference is that it uses a combination of Ultraviolet light and a Titanium Oxide in the form of a TiO2-coated filter. The downside to PCO is that it produces trace amounts of ozone (0.01 – 0.04 ppm range) which may concern you. However, keep in mind that 0.05 ppm is the maximum level allowed by federal law for medical devices.
Air Purifier for Mold and Viruses Technology Recap
Now that you know what other air purification technologies are found in air purifiers, here’s a quick recap of the top features you do want to look for in the best air purifiers for mold:
- True HEPA Filter: This captures the microscopic mold spores that are floating in the air.
- Ultraviolet Light: This is what kills mold and viruses as they pass through the air purifier and prevents them from multiplying.
- Activated Carbon Filter: This will remove mold odors and mildew odors, which no other filter can do.
- PECO: This destroys mold spores and virus particles at a molecule level. It’s a more advanced air cleaning technology than using an ultraviolet light alone.
Common Indoor Areas for Mold Growth
There are many areas of the home that mold and mildew can grow undetected.
Below are the most common locations, which tend to be dark and damp.
- Behind or below refrigerators
- Below kitchen and bathroom sinks
- Inside toilets
- Inside basements or cellars that don’t have proper ventilation
- Behind and around leaky windows
- Behind drywall in where plumbing lines are located
- Behind drywall that has been affected by flooding
- Inside ventilation ducts
- Under carpeting that was extremely damp or wet at one time (i.e. carpet cleaning or flooding)
- Beneath stacks of newspapers and cardboard
How to Test the Air for Mold
While air purifiers are excellent and effective devices for removing mold spores from indoor air, you may want to find out just how much mold is in the air you breathe. To do that, you can easily purchase a home mold testing kit.
The most common versions of these kits include a glass petri dish that you leave exposed to the air for about 48 hours.Other kits actually include an air sample pump for collecting a measurable quantity of air to test for mold. With petri dish kits, you let the dish sit for a few days to see if there are any signs of mold growth inside the dish. If there is, then you likely have mold in the air.
With an air pump kit, you take a sample of air and must send it into an AIHA Accredited laboratory to get the results. This includes additional fees.
Something to keep in mind regarding mold testing kits is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t recommend or support any kind of do-it-yourself mold growth test kit. The EPA states that sampling for mold should always be conducted by professionals who are trained in sampling protocols and interpretation.
Mold Prevention Tips
If you want to remove mold spores from the air you breathe, air purifiers are a good first step.
However, there are some additional things you can do to stop or minimize the existence of mold. These include:
- Ensure that each room of your house is well ventilated. Mold and mildew need moisture to survive and rooms that have a high level of humidity and are damp usually have the worst problems with mold growth.
- Keep your house cool. Most types of mold need a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or higher for mold to thrive. Use air conditioners to regulate the temperature inside your entire home or target a specific room to prevent mold and mildew from growing.
- Use a dehumidifier in areas where dampness is an issue. Places like basements are notorious for having moisture issues. If that’s the case inside your house, use a dehumidifier to lower the moisture content level. This can offset the damp conditions that mold likes to grow in.
- Keep all surfaces dry. This includes walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Routinely clean bathrooms and kitchens. These areas are the most likely places for mold and mildew to start. So, do a deep cleaning in and around sinks, toilets, bathtubs, refrigerators, and other areas that stay damp or dark.
- Routinely inspect windows. Leaky windows are a common place for mold to start growing. Take a look at each window of your house to ensure that a water leak hasn’t started or mold is not already multiplying in that area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do air purifiers help with mold?
Air purifiers do help with mold. An air purifier with the right filters can extract mold spores from the air so that the mold cannot multiply. It can also destroy airborne mold and reduce mold odors.
The bare minimum filter an air purifier must have to remove mold airborne particles is a True HEPA filter. This air filter captures 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Two other important features are an Activated Carbon filter for reducing mold and mildew odors and an Ultraviolet Light or PECO filter to kill the active mold spores.
What is the best air purifier for mold spores?
The best air purifier for mold spores is the SilverOnyx 5-in-1 air cleaner. This air purifier includes the best air filter for mold removal and additional air cleaning technologies to destroy airborne viruses.
It also has enough power to clean the air in a room up to 500 square feet, making it the best overall air purifier that removes mold spores, viruses, and other indoor contaminants for the average household.
What makes an air purifier good at removing mold?
Air purifiers work by drawing air through a series of filters, thus removing mold spores, viruses, fungi, and bacteria before delivering clean air back into the room. Mold, viruses, fungi, and bacteria are microscopic contaminants and require special filters to remove them.
True HEPA filters catch 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microbes, which means they’re very efficient at extracting those substances from the air. Activated Carbon filters are the only type of air purifier filter that can reduce the odor associated with mold, mildew, and fungus. Ultraviolet lights are air purifier technology that actually kills microbes and pathogens.
Do all HEPA filters remove mold?
All HEPA filters remove mold to some extent. High quality True HEPA filters remove up to 99.97% of mold spores down to 0.3 microns in size. Lower quality HEPA filters (i.e. HEPA-type or HEPA-like) can only remove mold spores as small as 4 microns.
This also answers the concern about do air purifiers work for allergies. If the unit has a True HEPA filter, then yes, it can work well to help with allergies related to mold.
How do you tell if there are mold spores in the air?
The only way to tell if there are mold spores in the air is by conducting an air sample test. Home mold sampling kits are available or you can hire a mold inspector to perform a professional-grade test. Air samples are sent to a lab for testing and the mold results will be returned to you.
Testing kits are the top method for how to test air quality to find out what types of contaminants are in the air. Another option is an indoor air quality monitor, but not all products can detect mold spores.
Can mold dry out and die?
Mold can dry out and die. Mold spores need moisture to grow and multiply. If you can reduce the moisture level, then the mold can become inactive. However, any existing mold growth you have will stay where it is. It does not dry up and go away on its own.
What happens if you breathe in mold spores?
If you breathe in mold spores two things can happen:
- An allergic reaction
Breathing in low quantities of mold often goes unnoticed by most people. But, if you have a mold allergy then even the smallest trace of breathing in mold can cause an allergic reaction.
Breathing in large quantities of mold will cause a reaction in everyone, no matter if you have a mold allergy or not.
When mold is breathed in your immune system can overreact which will make you cough, wheeze, sneeze, have a runny nose, postnasal drip, and feel tightness in the chest. Long-term exposure to mold can cause upper respiratory infections, nausea, headaches, vomiting, fatigue, memory loss, and pulmonary hemorrhage.
Is it OK to sleep in a room with mold?
It is not safe to sleep in a bedroom with mold. Breathing in mold for six to eight hours while you’re sleeping can cause a number of health problems.
Beyond the immediate allergy symptoms, sleeping in a bedroom with active mold growth can cause long-term issues such as stomach pains, muscle cramps, anxiety, confusion, numbness in hands and feet, sensitivity to light, upper respiratory infections, etc.
That’s why it’s important to have one of the best air purifiers for mold in your bedroom if you suspect there is any presence of mold. The air purifier will actively work to remove mold from the air to keep you healthy while you sleep.
If you’re not sure if you have mold in a bedroom or not, here are the most commons signs:
- A humid or damp closet
- Condensation on windows
- Cracking paint or a dark area of wall (signs of possible water damage)
- An unusual, musty odor
- Scattered spots or large splotches forming on the wall
What’s better for mold: air purifier or dehumidifier?
Both an air purifier and dehumidifier can help with mold removal.
An air purifier will remove the mold spores from the air; preventing additional mold growth. A dehumidifier will remove excess moisture from the air; reducing the reproduction of mold. The two products can work well together but they don’t do the same thing or deliver the same results.
You can find out more about this topic here: Air Purifier vs Dehumidifier.
What’s the difference between a mold air purifier and dehumidifier?
Air purifiers are the only type of machine that can extract mold from the air and kill the spores that pass through the machine. A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air. With less water vapor in the air, mold has a harder time growing inside a room.
An air purifier doesn’t deal with moisture. Instead, it draws air into the filters, removes the airborne spores and releases clean air back into the room. A dehumidifier sucks water out of the air and collects it in a bucket.
Both an air purifier and dehumidifier can work hand in hand together to keep mold, mildew, viruses, fungus, and spores under control since they deliver different results.
Why does mold become such a problem?
The reason why mold becomes such a big problem so fast is because it reproduces by forming millions of spores. These microscopic mold spores cannot be seen by the naked eye. And, what’s worse is that these spores are able to survive under conditions that visible mold cannot.
What this boils down to is that you may not see any physical evidence of mold or mildew in your home. But, the spores are still present and have the potential of causing severe health problems and/or landing on a surface that is inhabitable that allows it to start growing again.
Another disturbing factor is that many types of mold form outside and can easily enter your house through open doors, windows and vents or hitchhike their way in on your clothing. For these reasons, we highly suggest that you use an air purifier to control mold, mildew, viruses, and germs.
Air purifiers are able to remove all kinds of airborne mold spores and viruses and are crucial to helping you live a healthy life.
By following the recommendations outlined above, you can make sure that you get the best air filter for mold removal.
As you learned, the best HEPA air purifier for mold can remove 99.97% of airborne mold spores and virus particles, and if the unit has an Ultraviolet (UV) light, then it can destroy mold even further. If you combine any one of the mold air purifiers reviewed on this page with the helpful tips on mold prevention, then you should have all of your bases covered for keeping mold spores, mildew, and viruses out of your indoor air.