Are you looking for the best protection against airborne viruses, bacteria, and germs?
Have you heard that an air purifier can help?
But you’re not sure which one to buy?
If so, you’ve come to the right place.
With the never-ending spread of Influenza (Flu), the Common Cold, or various stomach bugs, millions of people are getting the protection they need with an air purifier at home and the office.
And that’s why this guide exists.
To show you how to find the best air purifier for bacteria and viruses to keep you and your family safe.
The fact is that most air purifiers are just designed to remove dust, smoke, allergens, and odors from your home, and only certain models can destroy microorganisms and pathogens that make you sick.
So, if you’re looking for the best air purifier for germs, then you’ll find everything you need on this page.
Below, we’ll show you what the top features are to look for in a top virus air purifier as well as the best products you can buy today to kill airborne bacteria, viruses, and germs.
Table of Contents
- Best Air Purifier for Viruses and Bacteria Comparison Chart
- Top Features to Look for in the Best Air Purifier for Germs
- Best Air Purifiers for Bacteria and Viruses List
- 1. Airfree Air Purifiers (Overall Best Air Purifier for Viruses)
- 2. SilverOnyx 5-in-1 (Best Large Room Air Purifier for Bacteria and Viruses)
- 3. Pure Enrichment PureZone (Best Small Air Purifier for Viruses)
- 4. Alen BreatheSmart Series (Largest Air Purifiers for Germs)
- 5. Alen BreatheSmart T500 (Portable Tower Air Purifier for Bacteria and Viruses)
- Common Questions About Air Purifiers
- How to Choose the Best Size Air Purifier for Germs?
- Most Common Airborne Viruses and Bacteria
- How Bacteria and Viruses Are Spread from Person to Person
- Why It’s Important to Use an Air Purifier for Protection
- Safety Tips for Preventing the Spread of Bacteria and Viruses
Best Air Purifier for Viruses and Bacteria Comparison Chart
Here’s a chart showing a comparison between the top products.
We’ll go more in depth about each one later in this guide, but this gives you a sense of what’s available and an easy way to quickly compare them.
|Image||Air Purifier Details||Price|
|Airfree Air Purifier||Check Price|
|SilverOnyx Air Purifier||Check Price|
|Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier||Check Price|
|Alen BreatheSmart Air Purifier||Check Price|
|Alen BreatheSmart T500 Air Purifier||Check Price|
Top Features to Look for in the Best Air Purifier for Germs
If you’ve done any type of research on air purifiers, then you know that there are hundreds of options available.
However, not all top rated air purifiers will take care of airborne viruses, bacteria, and germs.
So, finding the right one is imperative to protect your health.
When it comes to picking an air purifier that has the ability to kill microorganisms and pathogens in the air, they have to be equipped with very specific features.
And currently, there are three types of air cleaning technologies that can destroy bacteria and viruses, which we’ll go over next.
1. Heat Sterilization
One of the best ways to get rid of bacteria and viruses in your home is to expose them to extreme heat.
In fact, it’s the most effective way to kill them.
The best air purifier for viruses is one that includes a heat sterilization chamber that gets up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
At that temperature, no germs, bacteria, or viruses of any kind can survive.
The way this air cleaning feature works is that substances are pulled into the chamber, where they are exposed to the high heat and become incinerated.
Not only does this air filtration method kill off any germs in your home, but it also destroys other particles as well, such as dust, mold spores, pet dander, allergens, and a whole lot more.
After the air has been heat sterilized, it’s then cooled down and recirculated into the room.
This air cleaning process gives you the cleanest, freshest air possible that’s free from harmful viruses and bacteria that could otherwise make you sick.
(See our #1 air purifier review below for the top air purifiers with heat sterilization.)
2. Ultraviolet Light
An ultraviolet light is the second-best method for killing bacteria and viruses.
The way this air filtration technology works is by altering the DNA structure of microorganisms and pathogens as they pass by the ultraviolet light.
This method essentially destroys the airborne germs and makes them harmless to your health.
When it comes to the best air purifier for germs that uses ultraviolet light, they’re often referred to as an “air sanitizer” or one that includes a “UV-C” germicidal light.
UV-C lights do use a form of radiation to kill viruses and bacteria, but you don’t have to worry about it causing any problems to your health.
UV-C air purifiers are 100% safe for humans.
In fact, these ultraviolet lights are one of the top technologies used in hospitals to reduce the number of germs and decontaminate surgical equipment.
Plus, the UV-C light is contained inside the air purifier, which means you’re never exposed to it while it’s sterilizing your air.
(See our #2 and #3 reviews below for the top air purifiers with ultraviolet lights.)
3. Silver-Infused HEPA Filter
The final type air air filtration technology you can look for in the best air purifier for bacteria and viruses is a silver-infused HEPA filter.
But don’t confuse this air filter with the standard True HEPA filter you find on 99% of other air purifiers for sale.
As you may know, the most effective air purifiers on the market are those that come equipped with a True HEPA filter.
That’s because these units are 99.97% effective at trapping particles down to 0.3 microns in size, which removes a large number of pollutants from the air.
However, when it comes to germs, a True HEPA filter cannot remove most bacteria and viruses.
A standard True HEPA filter only removes airborne bacteria that are 0.2 to 10 microns in size and is ineffective against viruses that can be as small as 0.004 to 0.1 microns.
Another downside to a regular True HEPA filter is that when it comes to germs it does collect, the microorganisms can thrive on the filter’s surface, where they may continue to grow and multiply.
Therefore, if you’re looking for an air purifier with a HEPA filter that can actually kill off these viruses and bacteria particles, you need to choose one that has a silver infused HEPA filter.
The silver lining on these types of HEPA filters acts as a natural antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal agent.
And a silver-infused HEPA filter causes structural changes that contribute to the degradation and eventual death of microorganisms.
Having an air purifier that includes a filter infused with silver is a great way to ensure that all harmful elements are being removed from your air and destroyed without any chance of them getting back into the air you breathe.
(See our #4 and #5 reviews below for the top air purifiers with silver-infused HEPA filters.)
Best Air Purifiers for Bacteria and Viruses List
Now that you have some information on how to use an air purifier to kill microorganisms and pathogens in your home, let’s look at some of the best air purifiers for bacteria and viruses.
The options we’ve listed below feature one of the top three methods we’ve discussed above to kill germs.
Just pick the one that meets your desired level of protection and fits within your budget.
1. Airfree Air Purifiers (Overall Best Air Purifier for Viruses)
Air Cleaning Type: Heat Sterilization
Room Size Coverage: Models for Every Size Room
Hands down, this is the best virus air purifier brand you can choose today.
Each Airfree air purifier uses a patented Thermodynamic Sterilizing System (TSS) that uses extreme heat (400 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill airborne viruses and bacteria.
As room air is pulled into the heating chamber, every particle is incinerated on contact. Only clean, fresh air is released back into the room for you to breathe.
With this brand of air purifiers, you can find the exact size you need for small rooms to large rooms:
- Airfree Onyx is best for large rooms up to 650 square feet (i.e. living rooms, open floor plans, and basements).
- Airfree P1000 is good for medium-sized rooms up to 450 square feet (i.e. big bedrooms, playrooms, and home offices).
- Airfree T800 is great for small rooms up to 180 square feet (i.e. bedrooms, bathrooms, and personal spaces)
In addition to using a heating element to get rid of harmful pathogens in your air, some of the other features these units come with include:
- Cool-touch housing, so you won’t get burned.
- No moving parts, so it’s completely silent.
- Tip-over protection, so it turns off it accidently knocked over.
- Zero filters to change, so it’s 100% maintenance free.
This entire line of air purifiers was designed specifically to keep you and your family safe by purifying and sterilizing your indoor air.
No matter what size room you need an air purifier for, this is the best air purifier for viruses you can buy today.
2. SilverOnyx 5-in-1 (Best Large Room Air Purifier for Bacteria and Viruses)
Air Cleaning Type: Ultraviolet Light and True HEPA Filter
Room Size Coverage: 500 square feet
The second best air purifier for germs is this SilverOnyx model here.
Not only does it actively work to destroy bacteria, viruses, and germs, but it also gets rid of other harmful pollutants that might be floating in your air.
It accomplishes this using a 5-stage air purification system that includes a powerful a Ultraviolet light to kill off microorganisms and pathogens.
The full line of air cleaning protection includes:
- A pre-filter that traps large dust particles and allergens.
- A True HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of pollutants down to 0.3 microns in size (includes some bacteria).
- An Activated Carbon filter to reduce gasous odors and checmials that come from pets, mold, cooking, smoke, cleaning supplies, and toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- An Ionizer to boost the air cleaning power against common indoor contaminants.
- An Ultraviolet UV-C light as mentioned previously to kill off airborne viruses and bacteria.
If you’re looking for a good air purifier for large rooms, you won’t find many other products that are as high-quality as this one.
The internal filter on this air purifier is shaped like a cylinder, which increases the surface area by 60% over flat filters.
That design makes this unit much more efficient at filtering and cleaning the air than most other air purifiers in its class.
3. Pure Enrichment PureZone (Best Small Air Purifier for Viruses)
Air Cleaning Type: Ultraviolet Light and True HEPA Filter
Room Size Coverage: 200 square feet
If you’re looking for the best air purifier for viruses for a small room, or just want the most affordable option, this unit is going to be your top choice.
This air purifier includes almost all of the same features as our #2 pick, but without the Ionizer feature.
It comes with a 4-stage air filtration system that includes the following:
- A pre-filter for trapping the largest contaminant particles.
- A True HEPA filter for removing 99.97% of bacteria and pollutants donw to 0.3 microns.
- An Activated Carbon filter to reduce odors and strip gases and chemicals out of the air.
- An Ultraviolet UV-C light to destroy all traces of airborne germs that flow through the unit.
This air purifier is also incredibly quiet, which makes it best for bedrooms, nurseries, and personal spaces around your home or office.
4. Alen BreatheSmart Series (Largest Air Purifiers for Germs)
Air Cleaning Type: Silver-Infused HEPA Filter
Room Size Coverage: Models for Various Size Rooms
If you have a really large room where you’re trying to get air purifying protection, such as a combination kitchen/dining/living room, master bedroom, or basement, then you’ll want to consider this series of Alen BreatheSmart air purifiers.
The truth is, once a room gets larger than 650 square feet, you won’t find an air purifier that uses heat sterilization or a UV-C light to kill off germs.
They just don’t exist.
So, you’ll need to buy an air purifier with a Silver-Infused HEPA filter for maximum protection against viruses and bacteria.
The silver threads on this HEPA filter act as a natural antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal agent that stops microorganisms growing once trapped in the filter.
There are three different models you can choose from, and each of one is rated to clean the air in a large room:
- BreatheSmart Classic, which covers rooms up to 1,100 square feet.
- BreatheSmart FIT50, which can be used in rooms up to 900 square feet.
- BreathSmart FLEX, which is rated for rooms up to 700 square feet.
One of the best features of these units is that you can also customize the front panel to match your personal style and tastes.
You can choose between 14 different colors and designs such as white, black, blue, oak, rosewood, stainless steel, graphite, and more.
As for the full list of air filters in the filtration system you get:
- A Pre-filter for the removing large particles.
- A Silver-Infused True HEPA filter for capturing 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns and killing off microorganisms.
- An Activated Carbon filter to eliminate household odors and gaseous vapors.
In addition, the two largest air purifiers listed above, the BreatheSmart Classic and FIT50, come with the following benefits:
- An Ionizer to enhance the air cleaning power.
- An Air Quality Sensor to detect the current level of pollutants in the room.
- An Automatic mode that automatically adjusts the fan speed settings and power of the unit to meet the air cleaning needs for the room.
- An Air Quality Indicator light to show you in real-time how good or bad the air quality is in the room.
As you can see, for very large rooms, you can’t get a better air purifier for germs than this series or brand.
5. Alen BreatheSmart T500 (Portable Tower Air Purifier for Bacteria and Viruses)
Air Cleaning Type: Silver-Infused HEPA Filter
Room Size Coverage: 500 square feet
Perhaps you like the idea of a Silver-Infused HEPA filter, but don’t need as powerful of a unit as our #4 pick above.
If that’s the case, then this may be the best air purifier for bacteria and viruses that will meet your needs and budget.
For a fraction of the price, you can get total air cleaning protection in a large room up to 500 square feet, which includes most living rooms, basements, and large bedrooms.
It has all but one of the top air filtration technologies to reduce the number of pathogens in your air—it’s missing an Ultraviolet light.
The full list of air cleaning features include:
- A Pre-filter for large particles.
- A Silver-Infused True HEPA filter for killing off 99.97% of microorganisms 0.3 microns and larger.
- An Activated Carbon filter for removing airborne gases and chemical vapors.
- An Ionizer that helps cluster airborne particles so they’re more easily captured by the True HEPA filter.
If you’re looking for a good air purifier that’s not too expensive for germs, give this one a try.
Common Questions About Air Purifiers
Do Air Purifiers Get Rid of Germs?
Yes, air purifiers do get rid of germs.
However, if you get an air purifier that has a standard True HEPA filter, it can only reduce the level of germs that are larger than 0.3 microns in size. And, it’s important to remember that even though a True HEPA filter will trap microorganisms, it won’t kill them.
That means that bacteria can grow and thrive while living on the True HEPA filter.
If you want to ensure that all germs are destroyed, then you need an air purifier with the right elements.
An air purifier that uses heat sterilization is the best option since it incinerates the germs.
An ultraviolet light air purifier is the next best option because it destroys bacteria and viruses at the core.
And a silver-infused HEPA filter is the third best type for germs since it has natural antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal agent that stop microorganisms from multiplying once they’re trapped in the filter.
Do Air Purifiers Help with Bacteria?
Yes, an air purifier helps with bacteria as long as it’s equipped with the right type of filter or air cleaning technology.
If you have an air purifier that has a True HEPA filter, it can strip bacteria out of the air. This filter is rated to capture 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size, and many bacteria are larger than that.
Remember, even though a True HEPA filter traps these bacteria, unless it’s infused with silver, it won’t kill them.
To kill off bacteria, you’ll need an air purifier that includes an ultraviolet light or one that uses heat sterilization to burn those contaminants up.
Do Air Purifiers Work for Viruses?
Yes, air purifiers work for viruses if you get on that’s equipped with heat sterilization or an ultraviolet light.
Those two air filtration technologies will get rid of any viruses that pass through the air purifier system.
When it comes to heat sterilization, the virus is exposed to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which effectively kills it. It also kills anything else that might exist in the air, like dust, allergens, and mold spores.
An ultraviolet light works by damaging the DNA of microorganisms, which essentially renders it harmless to your health.
Can a HEPA Filter Stop Viruses?
No, a HEPA filter cannot stop viruses.
HEPA filters do a great job of removing microscopic particulate matter such as mold spores, pollen, dust, and pet dander, but they’re ineffective against pathogens.
Since most viruses are smaller than 0.3 microns in size, a standard HEPA filter is unable to trap them.
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of viruses from your home, then you need an advanced HEPA filter that has a silver lining. It’s also known as a Silver-Infused HEPA filter.
Are UV-C Lights Safe to Be Around?
Yes, it is safe to be around UV-C lights.
That’s because the UV-C lights that are used inside air purifiers are on the safe band of ultraviolet radiation (UVC), which is 200 nm 280 nm.
UVC wavelength is shorter than visible light but longer than X-rays.
This makes air purifiers that include a UV-C light a great technology to kill microorganisms and pathogens without having a negative impact on your health or safety.
How Do You Kill a Virus in the Air?
It’s not possible to kills viruses in the air, but there are some devices that will reduce your exposure to airborne viruses.
These include a humidifier and air purifier.
When it comes to a humidifier, this works by adding moisture to the air, and research has shown that higher levels of humidity lower your chances of being exposed to a virus.
If the air is moist, the aerosol particles that get expelled when you breathe, cough, or sneeze have a tendency to remain relatively large, causing them to drop to the floor.
Should the air be dry, the aerosols can break into smaller particles and remain suspended for long periods of time—for hours or even days.
For some viruses, water vapor is even toxic.
Water may change the salt concentration or acidity of the virus, deforming its surface.
It’s not quite clear how water vapor impacts viruses, but research is ongoing to figure it out.
When it comes to air purifiers, the best one to choose to get rid of bacteria and viruses are those that contain a UV-C light, a silver-infused HEPA filter, or use heat sterilization.
Air purifiers with any of those air cleaning technologies have the ability to intake the surrounding air and kill any viruses that pass through the unit.
How to Choose the Best Size Air Purifier for Germs?
When it comes to finding the air purifier that will work for your germ-killing needs, it’s always possible to choose a unit that meets or exceeds your square footage requirements.
Thus, if you want to place an air purifier in a room that is 400 square feet in size, you’ll need to pick one that has the ability to cover at least this amount.
An air purifier that’s rated for 500 square will work, but one that can only handle 200 square feet will not.
To figure out the square footage of your room, you’ll need to measure the length and width of the space in feet.
You’ll then multiply those two numbers together to get the total square footage.
To make it easier to find the total, we recommend rounding up your measurements to whole numbers.
For example, if you have a living room that is 20 feet by 30 feet, your total square footage is 600 square feet (i.e. 20 x 30 = 600)
To get the most effective air purifier, you’ll want to look for one that is rated to cover 600 square feet or more.
Most Common Airborne Viruses and Bacteria
There are literally millions of bacteria and viruses in the world, but you don’t have to worry about all of them.
But some of the most common illnesses that are contracted through airborne pathogens and microorganisms include the following:
- Common Cold (Rhinovirus)
- Influenza (Flu)
- Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
- Meningitis (Meningococcus)
- Chickenpox (Varicella Zoster)
- Diphtheria (Corynebacterium Diphtheriae)
- Mumps (Rubulavirus)
- Anthrax (Bacillus Anthracis)
- Measles (Morbillivirus)
- Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
A few of these illnesses can be prevented by getting a vaccine, including chickenpox, whooping cough, and measles.
For the others, you may still get sick even if you get a vaccine, and this is especially true for influenza.
If you can’t get a vaccine to lower your risk of getting sick, reducing your exposure to the bacteria or virus that causes the illness is about your only option.
Having a good air purifier can help protect the air you breathe while at home or in an office setting.
How Bacteria and Viruses Are Spread from Person to Person
Typically, there are three ways that bacteria and viruses get spread.
- Breathing in droplets that are floating on the air.
- Having physical contact with a sick person.
- Touching surfaces that have been infected.
There are some ways to reduce your chances of getting sick, including limiting contact with people who are ill and washing your hands after touching surfaces that might be contaminated.
When it comes to reducing your exposure to germs that might be in the air, your best line of defense is to add an air purifier to your room(s).
There’s no way you can stop yourself from breathing in these harmful pathogens, and many viruses and bacteria can remain suspended in the air for hours or even days.
It has also been found that the aerosols produced when you cough or sneeze travels a lot farther than anticipated.
In fact, they can travel up to 200 feet at 100 miles per hour.
Aerosols also form invisible clouds.
All it takes to be exposed to a virus or bacteria that can cause illness is walking through one of these clouds and inhaling the pathogens.
Since you have no control or may not know where these clouds exist, removing them from the air is in your best interest.
Again, having an air purifier that is equipped with the right features, including heat, a UV-C light, or a silver infused HEPA filter, is beneficial.
Why It’s Important to Use an Air Purifier for Protection
For your home to be able to protect you and your family, as well as keep you at the ideal temperature, it has to be enclosed.
This means that the doors and windows are sealed, and when you run your air conditioner or heater, it recycles the air that already exists in your home.
Since your home is sealed, this makes it incredibly easy for germs to get trapped inside, exposing you, your family, and guests to illness.
Even if you clean on a regular basis, it’s still possible to be exposed to these harmful pathogens.
It’s recommended that you increase the ventilation inside your home to reduce your chance of getting sick.
This can be accomplished by opening your windows for at least an hour every day or adding an air purifier to your space.
Some of the other benefits that come with adding an air purifier to your home or office include:
- The reduction of overall indoor air pollution.
- The reduction of dust accumulation.
- The ability to eliminate visible smoke and other household odors.
- The removal of particles that impact asthma.
- The removal of airborne allergens.
Safety Tips for Preventing the Spread of Bacteria and Viruses
Some of the other ways to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses in your home or at work in addition to adding an air purifier include the following:
- Having everyone in your household cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze. This can be done using a tissue or their elbow. They should also use disposable tissues to blow their nose and throw them away immediately.
- Always wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, touching surfaces that might be contaminated, or touching someone who has done any of these things.
- Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant wipes or spray that a sick person may have touched.
- Wash bedding in hot water with detergent and bleach for a minimum of 25 minutes.
- Stay home and do not go to work if you aren’t feeling well to reduce the chances of spreading illness.
We hope that this review was informative and gave you everything you need to find the best air purifier for bacteria and viruses.
You learned that for an air purifier to be truly effective at removing microorganisms and pathogens from the air, it needs to be equipped with heat sterilization, a UV-C light, or a silver-infused HEPA filter.
While a True HEPA filter can trap microorganisms, it won’t kill them, which could still lead to you or your family getting sick.
We hope that you find the best air purifier for germs that meets your needs and budget and that it keeps you and your family healthy throughout the entire year.
And remember, having the best virus air purifier is just the first step to keep you from getting sick. You also want to take the other precautionary steps mentioned on this page to protect yourself against the spread of germs.