Are you looking for long-term relief for your asthma?
If so, you landed on the right page.
We understand that having to constantly use an inhaler or take asthma pills can be a real pain, but a solution now exists to keep your asthma under control that doesn’t require medication.
It’s called an air purifier.
In this guide, we’ll show you what the best air purifier for asthma relief is and why it works so well.
By the time you’re done reading this page, you’ll have everything you need to find the right air purifier for your needs.
Use these links below to jump to a specific section of the page:
- Why Our Homes Can Make Actually Asthma Worse
- What Makes an Air Purifier Good for Asthma?
- List of the Best Air Purifiers for Asthma Sufferers (Products and Reviews)
- Additional Information
In a hurry? Here’s a glimpse of the two best products you can get.
You’ll find out more about these air purifiers in the detailed reviews and buying guide below.
Rabbit Air MinusA2
Why Our Homes Can Actually Make Asthma Worse
Did you know that more than 300 million people throughout the world suffer from asthma? Or, that an average of 10 Americans die each day (about 4,000 per year) from an asthma-related disease?
What about the fact that the air quality inside our homes is 2-5x worse than outside, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?
These statistics can sound scary, especially for asthma sufferers, but we assure you that there’s hope right around the corner by using an air purifier.
While no one knows for sure what causes asthma, nor do we have an actual cure for it, we do know some of the reasons why it’s getting worse for people at home.
The major issue is that indoor air quality is in a steady decline.
Many years ago, when houses and buildings were being built, there wasn’t as much focus on making every nook and cranny a super tight seal.
Unfortunately, structural designs have changed and this has created a new problem, especially for people with asthma.
Now, when new houses are constructed, there’s so much emphasis on making them energy efficient for homeowners. That way, we can use as little air conditioning or heating possible while still maintaining a pleasant temperature.
That efficiency is achieved by creating a tight seal throughout every part of the home.
Another issue is that a lot of people don’t like to open their windows anymore. With the number of people who suffer from allergies increasing each year, this makes perfect sense—they’re trying to protect themselves from outdoor allergens.
Now, you may be wondering, “How does a tight seal in my home create problems for my asthma?”
What happens with an airtight seal in your home is that harmful contaminants don’t have a way to freely escape. Once they’ve been tracked inside from the outdoors (through your clothing or by floating in when a door or window is opened) these particles get stuck and can’t get out.
That build up of pollutants results in many homes becoming infested with asthma-inducing particles that continue to cycle in and out of your lungs.
Fortunately, there’s a solution to all of this—adding an asthma air purifier to your home.
What Makes a Room Air Purifier Good for Asthma?
Now that you’re aware of how big of a problem indoor air quality has become, you may be wondering… “How can an air purifier help?”
What makes an air purifier good for asthma is the fact that it strips the air of any particles that cause your symptoms to flare up.
By creating clean, fresh air inside your home, you’ll notice an overall improvement in your health. You’ll be able to breathe easier, get around better, and not have as many sudden asthma attacks.
However, you do need to get a specific type of air purifier if you want it to work properly. Buying the wrong type can actually make your asthma worse.
There are two major types of air purifiers on the market:
- Ionizers (or ionic air purifiers)
- HEPA air purifiers
As an asthmatic, you want to STAY AWAY from ionizers.
These products work by sending out negatively charged ions into the air to neutralize airborne particles, however, studies have shown that these ions can make your asthma worse and may induce asthma attacks.
Also, some ionic air purifiers emit ozone as a by-product which also worsens asthma.
What you WANT for asthma is an air purifier that uses a HEPA filter.
HEPA air purifiers use a highly dense paper filter to collect particles that irritate your asthma.
Once those particles are trapped inside the filter, they cannot recirculate back into the room; this creates the cleanest, freshest air possible for an asthmatic.
Now, the best type of HEPA air purifier for asthma is the “True” HEPA kind.
A True HEPA filter is the only type rated to remove up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size—standard HEPA filters don’t have this certification and may only capture particles down to 2 microns which is about 500% larger in size.
So if you have asthma, stay safe and look for a True HEPA air purifier (like the ones featured below). It will reduce the highest number of asthma-inducing triggers for you.
Choosing the Right Size Asthma Air Purifier
Another thing you want to ensure when buying an air purifier for asthma is that it can purify a space that’s large enough for your needs.
True HEPA air filters come in a variety of sizes and you need to make sure that you get an air purifier that’s capable of cleaning the room (or several connected rooms) that you want to use it in.
This function is especially important if you suffer from asthma.
For example, if the air purifier you choose can only clean 100 square feet of air, then it won’t do you any good to place it in a room that’s 400 square feet large—the air purifier will fail to clean the air adequately for you.
And not only will this not help with your asthma, but it would be a waste of money to purchase that device.
On the other hand, an air purifier rated to clean a space up to 400 square feet will work great for any room up to this size. This includes 100-400 square feet.
At the end of the day, it’s always best to choose a more powerful air purifier than one that’s inefficient for the space you want to use it in.
Having clean, fresh air is crucial to keeping asthma symptoms under control, so be sure to get the right size air purifier.
The Best Air Purifiers for Asthma
Now that you know what features to look for—and which to avoid—in the best air purifiers for asthma and how to get the right size machine, we can move onto our list of reviews.
We’ve highlighted the top three products below that have been designed with asthma sufferers in mind.
Disclosure: At Home Air Quality Guides, we believe in an education-first philosophy. We never make product recommendations until after we educate our readers on what to look for in the top-performing devices and then only suggest items that meet those specific criteria. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made through the links below. If you buy a qualifying product, you’re not charged a penny more, but we’ll get a small commission that supports our work. We hope you enjoy this free guide and find the best product for your needs through these recommendations.
Out of all of the air purifiers on the market, this is the best one you can get for controlling asthma.
The reason it’s so good is because it uses a special 6-stage air cleaning process that strips the air from all types of asthma-inducing toxins.
In addition to using a True HEPA filter to capture the finest particles that trigger asthma, you’re also given the option to add an additional layer of protection to this air purifier by choosing between a set of four customized filters:
- Germ Defense
- Toxin Absorber
- Odor Neutralizer
- Pet Allergy Reducer
It holds an Energy Star certification, making it inexpensive to operate, and has enough power to purify an area up to 700 square feet. That makes it perfect for most home applications.
Finally, this device can be wall mounted or set on the floor and the front panel comes in a variety of colors and designs. All-in-all, this combination of high-end features is why it’s ranked as the best air purifier for asthma.
Another great choice for asthmatics is this air purifier right here.
It also uses a True HEPA filter for trapping 99.97% of asthma-inducing particles down to 0.3 microns and has a special verification by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
Although this air purifier is not wall mountable, it’s small, sleek design allows it to fit practically anywhere inside a room and has a handle for easy portability.
While it’s cheaper than our first recommended asthma air purifier, it does have one drawback—it can only purify an area up to 240 square feet. That’s less than half the size of the Rabbit Air MinusA2 product mentioned above.
However, if you’re only looking to purify a smaller room like a bedroom or just want a dedicated living room air purifier, then this is a great option and will save you a considerable amount of money.
Our third recommendation is for people who have severe asthma or need a device that can handle an extremely large room or area—up to 1,125 square feet.
This air purifier has an advanced HyperHEPA filter that captures 99.95% of particles down to 0.003 microns—the smallest that exist— and lasts up to four years.
It also includes a special V-5 Cell Gas and Odor filter that removes a wide range of chemical pollutants and household odors.
If our #1 and #3 picks seem to be a bit too powerful for the space you have, then this Honeywell air purifier may be the exact size—and price—you need.
This air purifier covers up to 465 square feet which is ideal for most living rooms and medium to large size bedrooms. It’s also great for open apartment spaces.
With this product, you’re getting not just one, but three, internal high-quality True HEPA filters to strip 99.97% of contaminants down to 0.3 microns out of the air. Additionally, it circulates the air 5 times per hour to keep the room as clean as possible for you.
An Activated Carbon filter is also included to help reduce chemical gases that can also irritate your lungs.
And finally, Honeywell is the #1 brand recommended by allergists. So you can feel confident that this device will provide superior relief.
Our final recommendation for an asthma air purifier is this product right here.
It’s suited for anyone who needs a small device for personal use, travel, or a smaller room inside the home.
This air purifier handles up to 161 square feet, is compact, lightweight, and virtually silent on the lowest fan speed.
The best part, however, is the 360-degree design of the internal air filter. This unit draws air in from every side of the machine to help eliminate allergens, dust, and other asthma-inducing particles from all around you.
If you want a cheap, personal air purifier to help control your asthma, this device is hard to beat.
Additional Tips for Helping with Asthma at Home
While an air purifier is a great way to remove airborne triggers that cause asthma, there are some additional steps you can take to cut down on the presence of these particles inside your home.
Combining these tips with your air purifier can help you get the most relief for your asthma symptoms.
- Vacuum at least once per week. All sorts of particles can be tracked indoors on your clothing and shoes. Therefore, it’s a good idea to vacuum regularly in order to remove these contaminants from the indoor space. Like with air purifiers, you can also get a vacuum cleaner that includes a True HEPA filter. That way it will collect the finest particles possible so they don’t end up in the air you breathe.
- Change your HVAC filters regularly. Home heating and cooling systems use air filters to trap dust, dirt, and hair from damaging the system. The recommended interval for changing these filters is every 3 months, however, if you have severe asthma or allergies then replacing them once per month may be more helpful for you.
- Minimize the presence of smoke. If you have asthma, reducing the use of candles, incense, and wood burning fires can help cut down on smoke particles that can irritate your lungs. Also, preventing the use of tobacco products indoors is also advisable.
- Use your home exhaust fans. You can eliminate a lot of asthma triggers that are kicked up into the air while cooking by turning on the stove exhaust fan. If you don’t have one of these, opening the nearest window can also help. This same advice applies to the bathroom during and after a shower, however, the purpose of the exhaust fan in this location is to extract moisture that can irritate asthma and cut down on the production of mold spores.
- Don’t store paints or chemicals indoors. Although you may have your paints, cleaning chemicals, and pesticides stored inside containers, they can still release volatile organic compounds into the air which can irritate your respiratory system. Therefore, it’s best to keep these products stored outside or in a garage or basement area that’s far away from your breathing area.
- Reduce your exposure to pet allergens. If you have pets, an air purifier can help remove the airborne dander particles that cause asthma and allergies to flare. However, to ensure long-term relief, it’s best to keep your animals out of the rooms where you spend the most time like a bedroom or living room. It’s also a good idea to bathe or change clothes after playing with pets, or at the very least, wash your hands to remove any pet dander particles.
Common Air Purifier Terms and Definitions
When you’re shopping for an air purifier, you’ll undoubtedly come across a number of special terms that relate to the air cleaning technologies. While these words may sound foreign to you, their concepts are not that tough to understand.
Below, are the top terms and definitions you may come across when comparing air purifiers for asthma.
Pre-filter – This is a thin layer of protection that acts as the first line of defense during the air purification process. The pre-filter traps the largest airborne particles as well as dirt and hair. This important function helps to prolong the life of the other internal filters. Most pre-filters last forever and are washable and reusable.
True HEPA Filter – This term was mentioned previously, but in short, it’s the highest standard air filter you can get for an air purifier. To carry the “True” HEPA label, the air filter must meet the strict guidelines of capturing at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters are not permanent and must be replaced when they fill up with too many particles.
BioGS HEPA Filter – Rabbit Air’s special type of True HEPA filter. It’s designed in a way that allows the filter to last up to two years which is much longer than a standard True HEPA filter that needs to be replaced every six to eight months.
HyperHEPA Filter – IQAir’s version of a True HEPA filter. It captures 99.95% of particles down to 0.003 microns which are the smallest that exist; 10X smaller than a virus.
Activated Carbon Filter – This filter is specially designed to remove particles that produce odors inside the home. It works by adsorbing the molecules into the filter medium and trapping them there. Activated Carbon filters are also good for reducing volatile organic compounds which can also trigger asthma symptoms.
V5 Cell Gas & Odor Filter – IQAir’s patented filter that eliminates gas and odors by combining two types of media. The first media adsorbs odors and gases while the second changes the pollutants to an oxidized form. The V in “V5” refers to the V-shaped media chambers that allow for higher airflow than comparable units.
Ionizer – Another term that was mentioned earlier in this guide, but in short, this type of air purifier doesn’t use filters to reduce airborne pollutants. Instead, it emits negatively change ions into the air that latch onto particles to weigh them down. This causes the contaminants to fall out of the air and land in surrounding surfaces. Negative ions can irritate asthma and some ionizers emit ozone as a by-product which also creates problems for asthmatics.
Ultraviolet UV-C Light – This technology kills airborne bacteria and viruses by destroying the DNA structure. Air passes by this light on its way out of the air purifier. It’s not necessarily good or bad for asthma, but it can help sterilize your indoor environment so fewer illnesses are spread.
Air Changes Per Hour (ACH) – A specification that tells you how many times an air purifier can exchange the air inside a room every hour. The higher the number, the more efficient the device is at creating clean, fresh air.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) – A specification that tells you how well an air purifier can remove certain types of contaminants inside a room (tobacco, dust, and pollen). Only air purifiers that have been independently tested by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (or AHAM) will include CADR numbers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Purifiers and Asthma
Do air purifiers help with asthma?
Yes, air purifiers with a True HEPA filter do help with asthma because these machines remove the airborne particles that trigger asthma symptoms. Using an air purifier indoors can help alleviate lung irritation and trouble breathing that’s due to inhaling microscopic allergens.
Can air purifiers make asthma worse?
Only air purifiers that generate ozone or emit ions can make asthma worse. HEPA air purifiers do not worsen asthma because these devices don’t produce any by-products. So, stay away from ozone generators and ionizers if you have asthma. And choose a high-quality HEPA air purifier for asthma relief.
Which is better for asthma, a humidifier or air purifier?
An air purifier is the best choice for asthma and allergies. Air purifiers remove the particles from the air that trigger asthma symptoms. A humidifier only adds moisture to the air and doesn’t have any capability to reduce airborne pollutants. So, choose an air cleaner for asthma.
What is the best air purifier for asthma?
The best air purifier you can buy for asthma is the IQAir HealthPro Plus. It has the most efficient HyperHEPA filter available. But, it’s expensive, at around $899. The Rabbit Air MinusA2 is your next best choice and is much cheaper. It’s certified as “asthma and allergy friendly” by the AAFA.
Where should I place my asthma air purifier?
Air purifiers only work in the room (or area) that they’re placed in. Therefore, it’s best for an asthmatic to put an air purifier in their bedroom, where we spend 6-8 hours a night, and in the main living area of the home, where contaminants tend to collect the most.
What helps asthma at home?
There are several things that can help asthma at home, including an air purifier to remove airborne triggers, drinking caffeinated tea or coffee to open up the airways, rubbing mustard seed oil on your chest and breathing it in, sitting upright, taking slow and deep breaths to prevent hyperventilation.
When should you seek medical help for asthma?
While home remedies and an air purifier are great tools to help control your asthma at home, the truth is that these devices can only do so much to prevent or alleviate the problem. There are still times in which you may have a serious asthma attack or difficulty breathing that requires to you seek emergency medical attention.
If any of the following symptoms occur, you should go immediately to the emergency room:
- Experiencing severe wheezing or breathlessness that won’t let up.
- Inability to speak full sentences because of shortness of breath.
- Having to strain your chest muscles in order to breathe.
- Asthma symptoms not settling after you’ve uses a rescue inhaler.
More About the Recommended Air Purifier Brands
Rabbit Air offers one of the best air purifiers on the market for people who suffer from asthma. This company was founded in 2004 and is solely dedicated to helping improve the quality of air for people inside their homes. Ranked as one of the fastest-growing companies between 2009-2012 by INC. magazine, you can trust that the products they produce are exceptional in every way.
The company also prides itself on offering an amazing customer service experience. One of the major benefits you’ll receive after a purchase is 24-hour care. They can be contacted via phone, email or live chat to help you with any issues you may have while using their product.
We know that a lot of companies advertise this same level of customer service, but most often fail to meet our expectations. However, with Rabbit Air, you can rest assured that you’ll get connected to someone who’s dedicated to helping you with your needs.
This company has a hard-earned reputation for being friendly, helpful and honest every step of the way.
Blueair is another top-notch leader in air purification for asthmatics. Formed in 1996, it designed an air purifier that was quickly adopted by the healthcare field. Many hospitals, medical clinics, and daycare providers use their products to clean and sterilize the air within their facilities.
For more than 20 years, Blueair has been known for manufacturing some of the best air purifiers in the world.
Over the years, the company has developed several products to fit individual consumer and business needs. The Blueair 203 recommended above is the ideal device for people who have asthma. It offers the best value for the price and creates a radically toxin-free environment that’s much easier to breathe in.
The company has also won several awards for its innovative product designs and received recognition from Good Design, Envisioneering Innovation and Design, and Plus X, as well as top honors in the countries of Germany and Sweden.
IQAir was founded in Germany in 1963 when two brothers–Manfred and Klaus Hammes–introduced the world’s first residential air filter.
At that time, coal ovens were popular home cooking devices and the Hammes brothers wanted to reduce indoor air pollution caused the soot. Manfred, who was an asthma sufferer, soon noticed that this radical air filter also reduced his asthma symptoms.
After Manfred passed away, Klaus continued to expand the business and in 1981 he moved the headquarters to Switzerland.
In 1998, IQAir released the HealthPro air purifier (designed by Klaus’ oldest son, Frank) and it instantly received worldwide recognition in the air purifier market.
Since then, IQAir has earned numerous recognitions for being one of the best air purifier brands for people with serious asthma and allergies. Honorary mentions include Parent Tested/Parent Approved (PTPA) Seal of Approval, Consumers Digest Magazine’s “Best Buy” in the premium air purifier category, ConsumerSearch’s “Best Overall Air Purifier,” and Stiftung Warentest’s (Germany) “Best Air Purifier.”
If you want supreme performance out of the best air purifier for asthma, IQAir is an obvious choice.