Woman in face protective mask controlling a humidifier

Do Air Purifiers Kill COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of millions and continues to affect the way we live our daily lives. With the arrival of the Omicron variant, it’s clear that we still need to stay vigilant to protect ourselves and our families. It’s important to take precautions wherever you can, including at home. By now we know that we need things like hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes but is something like your helpful household air purifier Covid lethal?

If you’re doing everything you can to keep your family safe, you’ve probably developed an interest in sanitizing the disinfecting solutions. Though keeping the surfaces in your home clean is essential, it’s just as important to clean the air you breathe. That’s where an air purifier comes in.

In this guide, we’ll talk about how air purifiers work and whether they’re effective in killing the COVID-19 virus. You’ll also see our recommendations for the best air purifier for COVID.

How Does an Air Purifier Work?

Air quality is essential for the health and wellness of your family. Having proper ventilation helps, but it may not be enough to fully protect you against the transmission of bacteria, allergens and viruses like COVID-19. One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality is with an air purifier.

An air purifier works, quite simply, by sanitizing the air. These devices filter out allergens, toxins, pollutants, and pathogens to improve the quality and purity of the air in your home. It’s important to keep in mind that an air purifier is different from an air filter. Filters physically remove particles from the air, but an air purifier can sanitize those particles.

Each air purifier is different in the types of particles it can sanitize, so it’s important to understand the differences. One of the most effective types of air filter uses HEPA technology. High Efficiency Particular Air (HEPA) technology traps at least 99.97% particles larger than 0.3 microns, including toxins, bacteria, and viruses. Many air purifiers use activated carbon to remove pollutants and some use UV technology to kill microorganisms like bacteria and viruses.

One of the newest technologies utilized in some air purifiers is negative ion technology. Negative ion purifiers clean the air using chemical injections of negative ions which magnetically attract airborne particles like pollen and dust.

Can Air Purifiers Kill the COVID-19 Virus?

Now that you know a bit more about how air purifiers work, you still have one major question: can an air purifier kill the COVID-19 virus? The answer isn’t a straight yes or no.

When it comes to using an air purifier, COVID is tricky. HEPA air purifiers may not directly kill the virus because it needs to attach to something in order to travel. The virus typically attaches to respiratory droplets or dust in the air, so while a HEPA filter might not kill the virus it can remove these elements from the air to prevent the virus from circulating.

Though many standard air purifiers may not be completely effective against the COVID virus, there’s a new technology that shows promising results.

In September 2021, Molekule, a global leader in air purification technology, announced that its newest technology, PECO, is successful in removing 99.98% of the COVID-19 virus. Photo Electrochemical Oxidation or PECO uses free radicals to destroy organic material in the air – material like bacteria, mold, chemicals and even the COVID-19 virus. The results have been verified by numerous third-party labs and the company more recently announced the FDA’s clearance of the technology for medical use.

Tips for Choosing an Air Purifier

When it comes to choosing an air purifier, COVID shouldn’t be your only concern. An in-home air purifier can help control airborne allergens like dust mites, pet dander and pollen as well as mold, indoor toxins and odor from smoke. When shopping for an air purifier for the home, consider the type of purifying technology it uses, the size of the purifier, and additional details like cost and maintenance.

If you want something that’s going to be truly effective, consider a purifier that utilizes multiple technologies like activated carbon and HEPA filtration. Some models even include a washable prefilter to trap large airborne particles and extend the life of the internal filters.  

Here are our top recommendations for in-home air purifiers:

Molekule Large Room PECO Air Purifier

With its sleek, stylish design and attractive leather handle, this home air purifier is a modern solution for improving indoor air quality. Powered by Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) technology, this purifier wipes our allergens, bacteria, mold spores, VOCs and more to keep your family safe. This model is designed to purify rooms up to 600 square feet and it offers a convenient touchscreen and remote control using an iPhone or Android app.

While this PECO air purifier removes very small particles from the air (including viruses), it isn’t marketed as a COVID air purifier. If you have the budget for it, Molekule’s Air Pro purifier has scientific support for its COVID-destroying ability.

VEVA ProHEPA 9000 Air Purifier

Powered by advanced 4-in-1 technology, this HEPA air purifier is sleek, stylish and effective. Not only does it contain a true HEPA filter, but it utilizes a washable pre-filter as well as an activated carbon filter. This model tackles harmful pathogens and allergens as well as stubborn odor, making it a must-have for families and households with pets.

The VEVA ProHEPA 9000 air purifier utilizes multi-filter technology to eliminate pathogens including mold, bacteria, and other microbes but is not marketed as a COVID air purifier.

Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier

If you’re looking for a powerful and effective air purifier that does it all, look no further than the Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier. This model utilizes a 5-in-1 filter system to target dust, pet dander, pollen, mold, VOCs, smoke and more. Equipped with an H13 HEPA filter, this purifier removes 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns and 99.95% of particles between 0.3 and 0.1 microns. It covers up to 1,500 square feet of space and offers smart, automatic functioning.

When it comes to the Hatahspace air purifier, COVID isn’t a word you see mentioned in the marketing. The company claims the purifier captures viruses and bacteria as small as 0.1 micron but there is no mention of COVID.

Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover

Designed specifically to reduce allergies, this HEPA air purifier from Honeywell is generously sized to purify rooms up to 465 square feet nearly 5 times per hour. Powerful HEPA filtration captures 99.97% of microscopic particles and airborne allergens as well as smoke and odor. This model features simple operation with four cleaning levels (including turbo) and an automatic timer. It also has indicator lights to check the filter or pre-filter, making maintenance easy.

This Honeywell air purifier is specifically designed for allergens and isn’t marketed to destroy the COVID-19 virus.

AirSoap Home Air Purifier

While traditional HEPA filters simply trap airborne pollutants, the AirSoap air purifier uses Electric Wind Technology to kill pathogens before they’re collected. This earth-friendly technology utilizes washable, reusable graphene plates combined with Earth Wind technology that generates a high-energy plasma field to kill bacteria and polarize other airborne particles. Plus, with whisper-quiet operation, it’s a great option for any room in the house.

The AirSoap air purifier is effective against particles as small as 14nm which they say is “smaller than any virus,” but the product isn’t specifically marketed as an air purifier for COVID.

While options are pretty limited for a COVID air purifier, there are always benefits to removing contaminants from the air in your home. Purifying the air in your home keeps you and your family safer from bacteria, viruses, allergens and pollutants so you can all breathe easier.