Let’s talk HEPA air purifiers and the coronavirus. I’ve started to hear some noise about how these appliances might help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, so I’ve been reading up to see if buying one is worth the money.

The TL;DR version? There’s a little good news with A LOT of caveats (although I’ll take what I can get in the good news department these days). While HEPA air purifiers can’t stop you from getting COVID-19, they may be able to filter out some of the air droplets that carry the virus according to this article from Consumer Reports. That means that if someone in your family comes down the virus, a strategically placed air purifier could help keep it contained. If used in combination with some religious cleaning and mask-wearing, of course.

So yeah, a lot of qualifiers on that claim.

That said, I bought an air purifier last year to help with some lingering diaper and cat odors in our house (charming, I know) and still love it. So if you could potentially use one for other purposes, or have a high-risk family member, or just want a little extra peace of mind, you may want to take a look at these.

I’ve picked out four highly-rated air purifiers for different needs that might be worth having on hand.

CMT is an rstyle affiliate. 

Top image: Coway AP-1512 HH Mighty | Amazon

Related: The transparent face masks our readers are flipping for. 

4 of the best HEPA air purifiers: The LEVOIT Air Purifier is ideal for smaller spaces like apartments.

Best for small spaces: LEVOIT Air Purifier

If you’re only planning to use your air purifier in a small space, the LEVOIT might be your best option. After all, not everyone has space for a suitcase-sized appliance in their apartment and why pay for more power than you need? I love how portable the LEVOIT is at just over 8 pounds and that you can set it on top of a table or tuck it on a shelf. Plus, after the pandemic is over, it could get another life in your kid’s dorm room or office — wherever you want a little white-noise-with-benefits. ($99, Amazon)


4 of the best HEPA air purifiers: The Winix 5300-2 delivers quality filtration for medium-size spaces at a bargain.

Best budget: Winix 5300-2

The Winix 5300-2 is one of the lowest priced full-size purifiers that CR still deems capable of effectively catching coronavirus microbes. If you opt for this model, just make sure you use it at the highest speed if trying to contain germs from COVID-19; it doesn’t work well at the lower speeds. The Winix is admittedly pretty bulky-looking, but if value’s what you’re looking for, it’s still worth a look. ($127, Amazon)

Related: The best way to clean and disinfect your iPhone. 

4 of the best HEPA air purifiers: I can personally attest to the filtering prowess of this Coway AP-1512 HH Mighty.

Best middle of the road: Coway AP-1512 HH Mighty

I purchased the Coway AP about a year ago to help remove some lingering odors in my house after seeing it highly recommended on Wirecutter, and I’ve found it extremely helpful for keeping my home smelling fresh. I like that it has an eco setting and that it’s powerful enough to keep big spaces purified. The Coway does get fairly loud if run at a higher speed, although I personally like a little white noise, especially if you plan on using this in a bedroom. ($200, Amazon)

4 of the best HEPA air purifiers: Love the streamlined look of this Alen BreatheSmart Classic.

Best splurge: Alen BreatheSmart Classic 

If you want something sleek and powerful, check out the Alen BreatheSmart Classic. This one comes in several different colors and finishes (I’m partial to the faux wood grain) to blend in with your home furnishings, and it can handle almost three times as much square footage as the cheaper models. It also works quickly while keeping noise low. If you have concerns beyond the coronavirus — like allergies or smells — this one might be worth the investment. ($649, Amazon)