Although not among one of the most consciously used body parts, the lung is in play every second, being involved in respiration, arguably one of the most important body actions for survival. According to the American lung association air purifier recommendations, air cleaners are not the first thing to consider when battling allergies, but protection against the source of the allergy should come first.
Respiration is responsible for the proper functioning of other body systems, which is seen when the blood is starved of oxygen for too long. A complete shutdown of another system of the body is imminent. In cases of survival, the damage is often done already, especially to the brain. For this reason, the American lung association exists.
This article was drafted to guide allergy sufferers and air purifier consumers on what to look out for before purchasing air cleaners in the market. There are many cheap and expensive air purifiers that may look attractive to the eye, but their impact and safety matter most.
In this article, we have compiled a list of the best medical-grade air purifiers. However, not directly listed by the American Lung Association but accurately obeys the specification given by the society.
Read Here: Are air purifiers with ionizer safe
What is the purpose of the American lung association
This organization has existed for over a century, established in 1904, to fight tuberculosis in the nation. With a motto stating “it is a matter of life and breath” Initially, it was later changed to “fighting for air” when the vision was broadened.
This voluntary, non-profit organization has dedicated its efforts and resources to ensuring the air in our immediate environment is clean and breathable; after all, nothing else matters when you can’t breathe.
Having clean air in our immediate environment for us to breathe in helps prevent lung disease to a great extent, promoting a sustainable and healthy lung.
Conclusively, the American lung association is a public health organization fighting for clean air whose vision is funded by contributions from individuals, foundations, and grants from government agencies, hosting several programs across the year to raise these funds.
What the American Lung Association said about using an air purifier
When it comes to dealing with the several allergies that plague us throughout the year, it is essential that you get an effective air filtration system, which mostly means using an air purifier.
The American lung association doesn’t recommend using an air purifier as the first line of defense when battling allergens and air pollution. Still, you minimize the rate at which you expose yourself to those pollutions should come first.
These precautions range from keeping your windows closed to avoiding using rugs or carpets and welcoming hard surfaces, banning smoking indoors, and regularly cleaning air conditioners and filters. There is an endless list of actions to minimize allergens in your home.
After taking these steps, you should also get an air purifier to help remove any residual pollution in the atmosphere that managed to get through your protective cleaning habits.
This plan B is significant because pollution prevention is an excellent but inaccurate measure. Air pollution is difficult to tackle due to its ubiquitous nature and minute size.
We would assume that the American lung association chooses not to fully support air purifiers primarily because any gadget, no matter how effective it could be, will also have its demerits that could affect health negatively. However, getting an excellent non-ozonizing air purifier will be a plus after taking accurate preventive measures.
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Types of air purifiers in the market
- Mechanical filters:
These filters work by forcing air through a specially designed layer that holds back the contaminations in the air, like allergens, dander, dust mites, and some irritants. The filter used in this device is called a HEPA filter, and it must have an efficiency of at least 90% in holding such contaminants to qualify for usage.
- Electrical filters:
Just like the name implies, they use electrical charges to attract those pollutants in the atmosphere, and depending on the manufacturer’s design, it could contain a collecting plate or not. If it does, the attracted particles would be gathered on it; otherwise, they would stick to surfaces in the room. This device’s efficiency depends on the fan’s ability to pull in air.
- Hybrid filters:
filters that use a combination of electrical and mechanical are called hybrid filters. Most modern air purifiers make use of this technology.
- Gas phase filters:
While researching air purifiers, you might have come across recommendations that say you should go for units with an activated carbon filter. This activated carbon filter is applied to deal with gases since most odors result from gaseous byproducts. The gas filters strictly deal with gases and cannot absorb allergens or particles like electronic or mechanical.
- Ozone generators:
They employ ozone which is used to break down particles in the atmosphere. This type of air purifier is not recommended by the America Lung Association, because the level of ozone it needs to generate to remove allergens has been proven to be harmful to the lungs.
We highly recommend avoiding ozone generators, but if you decide to go against our advice, ensure you go for a high-efficiency unit over time. Also, do not produce ozone above 0.05 parts per million during functioning or as a by-product.
Exposure to ozone over time can decrease lung function, worsen asthma, and cause respiratory infections. If a person is ozone-sensitive, at even minute amounts, he or she might experience headaches and respiratory tract irritation.
Also Read: Best air purifiers for smells
Choosing from the Types of air purifiers according to the American Lung Association Recommendation
An air purifier device’s significant responsibility is to breathe air, filter, and release it into the atmosphere. They do this mostly by applying mechanical, electronic, gaseous, or UV light, and sometimes combine several of these techniques to achieve the desired output.
From much research and study, the American lung association said that particles with diameters from 0.3 microns upwards are most likely to get to the alveoli of our lungs and could be captured using a HEPA filter.
HEPA filters have an accuracy of 99.97% for removing 0.3-micron particle size and maybe more for larger particles and are recommended. Still, it becomes more difficult for smaller particles, like cigarette smoke, especially for mechanical filters to capture.
The effectiveness of a HEPA filter is also determined by the number of contaminants floating in the atmosphere, meaning that particles like dust on the floor or furniture would have to be wiped into the air before it is picked by the air purifier, hence limiting the potential of the HEPA filter.
Electronic air purifiers function by releasing negative ions into the air sucked into the unit, then pushing them out into the atmosphere. These negative ions attract particle contaminants and pull them down to the ground, tables, chairs, curtains, etc.
This means that some of these particles can still be inhaled into your lungs if they somehow get back into your atmosphere, hence not guaranteeing your 100% safety since the contaminants aren’t withheld in the unit.
However, Ozone generators are a no-go option, due to their damaging lung style of operation.
Conclusively, In choosing the best type of air purifier for you according to the lung association, no purifier type exists as the sole best. Still, instead, each type is deficient in a particular way, which is why it is advised you go for a unit with combined features, in order to create a balance.
Also Read: Best dust mites air purifiers
Top 8 best Medical grades Air purifiers According to American Lung Association Recommendations
Special features: weight: 35 pounds, medical grade air filter,
This is one of the best units out there, efficiently trapping contaminants from the atmosphere, and comes with a medical grade especially refined filter that can capture ultra-fine particles with sizes as little as 0.003 microns. Ultrafine particles are smaller than most common contaminants, which can be dealt with quickly by ordinary HEPA filters, like viruses. Still, this unit is certified and has been proven to remove ultra-fine particles with an efficiency of up to 99.5%.
Suppose you have ever had in your possession, a low-quality air purifier. In that case, you must have noticed unfiltered air leaking through spaces in the unit back into the atmosphere, which defeats the original purpose of filtering the air.
In the IQAir medical-grade air purifier, this flaw is overcome. It is designed with 100% 3D case sealing, enabling the unit to operate efficiently, without unfiltered air leaking through small spaces back into the atmosphere.
When dealing with the energy spent, this unit also tops the charts, only consuming as little as 27 watts on the lowest fan speed and only 215 on the highest, delivering back quality filtered air into the atmosphere in a 360-degree manner.
The air purifier operates quite quietly, with programmable options that allow you to precisely tailor the unit’s functions, and a filter life monitoring feature that keeps you up to date on how well your filter is doing, displaying different colors to portray the filter’s health.
This unit’s design is generally optimized to combat allergens in your home. However, it is also apt to deal with chemical odors and smoke, with the Premax filter lasting up to 16 months and the hyper HEPA filter a whopping four years, making it more than most can ask for. These fantastic features are crowned with an ability to cover areas as large as 1240sqft, making it one of the best air purifiers on the market today.
- quiet operation,
- can serve large-sized rooms (up to 1240sqft),
- 360-degree clean air output,
- lasting ling filters (16 months for the Premax filter, four years for the hyper HEPA filter),
- auto mode
- it is expensive,
- reasonably large size,
- costly filters.
Special features: auto mode, timer, ionizer, lift handles for mobility, customizable, weight: 21 pounds, certified frustration-free.
Alen Breathesmart’s customizable air purifier is one of the best out there, embedding everything you need to keep those airborne contaminants as far away as possible. All you need do is find a suitable spot where it would be placed in your home.
The device is designed with a finely polished wooden surface that gives your surroundings better look, with the control buttons placed above and very user-friendly, i.e., easily understandable.
While purchasing this unit, you can customize it to your needs, i.e., choosing the filter that best suits your pollution problems. There is the HEPA pure that comes with multiple layered HEPA filters for those having allergen problems, HEPA silver for dealing with dust, mold, mildew, bacteria, etc., a 3 layered HEPA fresh plus that is specially built for removing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and also a 3-layered odor cell for dealing with pet irritation and stinking homes. All you have to do is research properly to know what contamination is predominant in your atmosphere, then go for the one that suits you accordingly.
This also possesses several automated features that would make it much more convenient, like the timer function that allows you to choose a working duration, after which it shuts down. It might be useful when you leave the machine on while away.
An ozone-free ionizer acts as a further air-purifying agent, releasing negative ions to break down contaminants at a molecular level. The auto mode is simply the machine always giving as much as is needed to purify the air. All you need to do is push the button. A particle sensor is embedded by the side, whose job is to check and indicate the level of contamination in the atmosphere at every point.
We highly recommend this unit due to its ability to serve large areas (it has been tested to serve up to 1300sqft although it’s 1,100sqft recommended by the manufacturer) very efficiently, while possessing handles at the back that help for easy grabbing and moving around the home.
The unit is very quiet while operating, and has filters that last long, although they could be quite costly when replaced. A lifetime guarantee also follows with the purchase of any of these units. Although it might look expensive, it is well worth every penny.
- suitable for large-sized rooms (about 1,300sqft),
- ozone-free ionizer,
- filter life indicator, timer,
- auto mode,
- easy mobility,
- life guarantee,
- quiet operation,
- particle air sensor,
- customizable HEPA filters,
- extended filter life (6-9 months),
- True HEPA filter, carbon filter, and pre-filter.
- It is expensive,
- It cools the environment, which could be a problem during winter.
Special features: medical grade true HEPA filter, anion generator (optional).
This unit combines one of the best blends of modern automatic features and an upgraded ability to efficiently draw and filter air. With a design that brings air room to the front side, while dispelling it in an all-around 360-degree manner through the top and weighing 32 pounds plus a reasonably large size.
It sits on hidden wheels that help for smooth movement and has a touchscreen digital panel for operating and dedicating the current air quality using a number scale.
Like the IQAir, it possesses a medical-grade true HEPA filter and a three-stage filtration, with the filter laying last. The first stage consists of a prefilter for dealing with large particles like hairs and pet dander, while the carbon filter in the next stage ensures the air released into the atmosphere comes out odorless and clean. The medical grade HEPA filter traps pollens of up to 0.03 microns, dealing with dust mites and other allergens.
With an option of the model with the anion generator, the unit can further release negative ions into the atmosphere to give more relief.
The sleep mode comes in handy at night, adapting all functions of the machine to help ease you to sleep, like dimming the lights and dropping the fan speed. At the same time, it also has a filter replacement indication glowing up to ensure you are never ignorant when it is time to change filters.
In all, the child safety lock gives you less assurance and a guarantee of more safety when you have kids around, and the filters are also easy to change, with an easy unlock system on both doors and just slotting it in like a cartridge. The filters last pretty long, can stay about six months before replacement is needed, and has an auto mode for easy running.
- can serve large room capacities (up to 2,400sqft),
- air quality indicator with digital display and touch screen panel,
- auto mode,
- carbon filter,
- easy filter replacement,
- lifetime warranty on parts and services,
- 950 CADR rating,
- quiet operation.
- It is expensive
Special features: certified allergy friendly, weight: 12.5 pounds, auto mode, anti-micro bacterial treatment.
Aeramax 300 air purifier is specially designed for serving large-sized rooms of up to 600sqft, efficiently dealing with airborne pollution and pollution particles, and is certified asthma and allergy friendly,, unlike some air purifiers that worsen the case of people with those conditions instead of helping. It is medium-sized, and carries a good-looking design, although it gives away the looks of an air cleaner at a quick glance.
This unit also comes with the auto mode feature that allows it to naturally increase or decrease its operating level, depending on the amount of atmospheric contamination. And with a true HEPA filter that lasts up to 12 months and a carbon filter for about six months, it removes particles contaminants not less than 0.3 microns with a 99.79% efficiency, while dealing with odor-causing molecules with the carbon filter.
The ionizer also comes as a plus for further breaking down unwanted particles in the air. Even a special anti-micro bacteria treatment on the filter hampers the growth of bacteria trapped, pending the time the filter would be replaced.
The unit is quiet while operating at a low speed, and the noise becomes quite noticeable on a medium level, but not enough to cause a nuisance. The air outlet is designed with adjustable vents that allow you to choose the output direction, while there is a filter life indicator to keep you updated. Filters swapping are also effortless, by the way.
- suitable for large-sized rooms (up to 600sqft),
- auto mode,
- carbon filter,
- true HEPA filter,
- anti-micro bacterial treatment,
- long-lasting filters (up to 12 months),
- quiet operation,
- filter life indicator.
- It is expensive.
Special features: weight: 47 pounds, 4- stage filtration, can serve large rooms (up to 1200 sqft), medical grade HEPA filter.
Austin B400B1 Air cleaner is one of a kind, designed to combat indoor pollutants in your home, and with a 4-stage filtration system, it does its job pretty efficiently. It is relatively weighty, not about 47 pounds, and is of medium size, meaning you would have to make up a little space to accommodate this unit.
The four stages of filtration consist of the large particle pre-filter at the first stage that removes bulky-sized particles in the atmosphere, preventing them from accumulating and causing damage to the filters in subsequent phases. The next step is embedded with another pre-filter, whose job is to remove smaller-sized particles that pass through the first stage but could cause damage to the third-stage filter. In contrast, the third stage features an activated carbon and zeolite filter, specializing in dealing with odors like chemicals and gases in the home.
Lastly, lying in wait for particles that scale through is a medical-grade HEPA filter, dealing with particles as small as 0.3 microns with an efficiency of up to 99.97% and particles larger than 0.1 microns with a 95% efficiency. With this filtration mechanism, this unit can filter the odor in the air with a carbon filter up to 780 cubic inches in size, effectively dealing with odors in the area.
It has a 360-degree round air outlet, helping it properly circulate clean air around the home like the IQAir, and a 360-degree all-round air intake inlet. With a capacity to serve room sizes of up to 1200 sqft, this unit would help your small to medium and large room-sized needs. However, you would have to watch out because it has been tested and adds a significant sum to your electric (on the highest setting) bills depending on usage and fan speed.
- 4- stage filtration
- can serve large rooms (up to 1200sqft)
- Large, activated carbon filter.
- it is expensive
- adds to electricity expenses
- no automatic features, no air sensor, no timer
Special features include 4-stage filtration, air quality indicator, auto mode, timer, six soothing sounds with volume control, and dimension 13.8 x 14.5 x 8.3, 12.79 pounds.
As the name implies, the Coway AP-1512HH air purifier comes out as one of the best air purifiers out there for you, designed to be compact and efficient, also only weighing about 12.79 pounds which makes it easy to be moved around the home. The unit possesses a sleek body design but isn’t appearing on our list for its good looks. It employs a 4 stage filtration that ensures the air is sufficiently cleaned before being released into the atmosphere.
Like most air purifiers, the first stage is the pre-filter that removes large floating particles in the atmosphere. At the same time, the remaining three consists of the carbon (odor) filter, a true HEPA filter, and a bipolar ionizer. This means that it wouldn’t just make your air clean with a HEPA filter but also attacks odor-causing molecules, removing foul smells in the home. While the filtration system is further enhanced by an ionizer that uses an electrochemical reaction, effectively removing particles in the air without giving out ozone.
This unit also comes with the auto mode feature, which automatically switches between fan speeds to meet the immediate needs of the atmosphere in the home, and comes with a three-year manufacturer warranty. All the filters and the unit are straightforward to clean, and with very affordable filters, it affords you a low cost of running. The filters last long (about six months) and don’t have to be replaced frequently too, although you should vacuum the pre-filter at least once a month.
With six distinctive soothing sounds, including three natural, two lullabies, and q white noise, this unit gives you a good and comfortable sleep at night. The eco mode is also available, which, when the device is placed on, only functions when there is a need (detectable air pollution) and goes off after dealing with the pollution.
- auto mode,
- filter replacement indicator,
- 4-stage filtration,
- true HEPA filter,
- carbon filter,
- 3-year manufacturer warranty.
- suitable for small sized rooms only (about 155sqft),
Special features: 4-stage filtration, AHAM verified, height: 22 inches, dimensions 5.5 x 9 x 21.5 inches, weight: 22.9 pounds.
This tower-type air purifier spans about 22 inches off the ground. Therefore, it does not fall into the category of weird tall, as it is not more than the waist level of an average-height human. The unit is suitable for small-sized rooms only (about 167 sqft), which could be a real turn-off, but when used in the recommended condition, it has been found to do an excellent job.
It possesses HEPA and carbon filters, like the first two units on our list, for dealing with particle pollutants and odor-causing agents in the atmosphere.
The filtration system is further enhanced by a UV light technology that works with titanium dioxide to break down particles like bacteria, mold, germs, and viruses… in the atmosphere that escapes the pre-filter, HEPA, and carbon filters. There is also an indicator that glows when there is a need for filter replacement.
The unit energy-certified rating guarantees, almost for sure, optimization of power usage to ease the electric bills while also possessing AHAM verification after passing the CADR tests for specific pollutants (dust, pollen, and smoke).
With a 3-year manufacturer warranty, you can be sure they have you covered while also having filters that could last up to 8 months, depending on the environment. Although it comes with all these great qualities, this device is designed only for small rooms.
- air quality indicator,
- auto mode,
- HEPA filter,
- carbon filter,
- UV light technology,
- energy star rated,
- quiet operation,
- long-lasting filters (about 6-8 months),
- 3-year manufacturer’s warranty,
- filter change indicator.
- suitable for small-sized rooms only (about 167sqft)
Special features: premium HEPA filter ozone free, activated carbon pre-filter, weight 6.72 pounds, dimension 9 x 8 x 23 inches.
This is another towering type of air purifier on our list, spanning just a few feet from the floor, and is the lightest in weight on the list, only weighing about 6.72 pounds. The unit does a great job when placed in a room of adequate size, making a significant difference in the environment with a three-fan speed setting that tackles odor and air quality problems.
Its refined design wouldn’t take up more space than you would like, although its plastic has been known to break under pressure comfortably.
Packaged with 4 activated carbon pre-filter that deal with odors efficiently, from smoke to pets to cooking, the carbon filter captures odor-carrying molecules while giving the true HEPA filter a longer life span.
With four filters contained in the package on purchase and each filter lasting about 6-12 months, you wouldn’t have to worry about purchasing filters for a long time, and when that time comes, the replacement cost is eventually very cheap.
In all, the unit is cheap and is a go for your low-budget needs, only being able to serve tiny rooms, as it is virtually useless against spaces. If you have kids or pets that love to play around the unit, rest assured, as there is an auto-shutoff feature that kicks in in case they go beyond the boundary and remove the front panel while it is in operation.
The device is straightforward to set up after purchase. It comes with a two-year registered warranty covering it in case of damages and an outstanding Veva lifetime support that quickly assists you if you need any help.
- HEPA filter ozone free,
- activated carbon pre-filter (4 in the pack),
- two years registered warranty and Veva lifetime support,
- cheap filter replacement cost,
- long-lasting filters (about 6- 12 months determined by usage),
- automatic shutoff when the front panel is removed.
- suitable for small-sized rooms only,
- noisy at higher fan speeds.
Qualities to consider in choosing the best air purifier
- Type of pollution involved:
Depending on the allergens you intend to remove from the atmosphere, purchase a filter type that would suit your needs. For example, buying a mechanical or electrical filter to deal with odor problems like smoke would be a waste.
In such cases, only a gaseous phase (activated carbon filter) would significantly impact. However, any air purifier you go for should possess a HEPA filter. This is non-negotiable.
- CADR rating:
The clean air delivery rate is directly linked with how capable the device would be when placed in a room size it is designed to scale. Therefore, go for a unit with a high CADR rating as much as you can.
- Noise level:
In solving a problem, you wouldn’t want to create another one would you, don’t clean your air at the expense of creating noise pollution. Therefore go for a unit that efficiently performs, in a quiet fashion.
Also Read: Best air purifiers for germs
Final Verdict: American lung Association air purifier recommendations
It should be clear that ALA does not support the use of Air cleaners as a first line of defense which may be due to their adverse effects and complication of health conditions. However, you could have your air cleaner at home as your alternative plan, provided it follows the proper specification of the American Lung Association-certified air purifier.
The IQair Healthpro is the best medical-grade air purifier in the market due to its awesome features and air purification specifications. It leads to every other air purifier with the hyper HEPA filter, as shown in the image below.
With the HyperHEPA filter, Ultrafine particles that can cause higher harm are filtered out.
Alen BreatheSmart Customizable Air Purifier with HEPA Pure Filter comes second on our chat as this unit employs electrical, mechanical, and gaseous filters to keep your surrounding free from harm.
It is superior to most air cleaners out there, due to its ability to serve mega-sized rooms of up to 1,300sqft, almost about as good as it gets for portable air cleaners.
Several filter types also exist for you to choose from based on the peculiar nature of the contamination. These filters could last up to 9 months, almost a year running, without you needing to purchase another. It is also quiet and comes with an auto mode that can work without interfering with operation.
Aeramax 300 large room air purifier falls just below the Allen breathe smart. However, they share many qualities in common. This unit can only serve up to 600 sqft and employs mechanical, electrical, and gaseous filters.
This unit comes with particular anti-micro bacteria treatment on the filters that hinder bacteria growth and have filters that can last more than the Alen, up to 12 months, and is also quiet while operating with the auto mode.