Choosing an air purifier for an allergy is not a simple task. Brands use different technologies to control airborne allergens and many devices claim to control pollen, mould, dust mites (and their droppings), dust, etc.
It has become essential to be informed in order to make the right choice among all the existing technologies on the market (ioniser, UV light, etc.). To help you find your way around, we offer you a list of points to check in an air purifier if you want to get rid of your allergies.
- Our selection for the year 2023
- Is an air purifier effective against allergies?
- Which options should be favoured and which avoided?
- Our tips for fighting allergies
- Do you need help?
Our selection for the year 2023
There are many air purifiers on the market. To make your choice easier, we have narrowed down our selection to 3 products that we believe are the best for fighting allergies in 2023.
1. Rowenta Intense Pure Air Connect XL air purifier
The most efficient
- Rowenta Intense Pure Air Connect XL
- The Rowenta Intense Pure Air Connect XL is a quality air purifier that tends towards the top of the range with its NanoCaptur technology, its silence, its dimensions and its power.
- Connected to the phone
- Covered area 115 m².
- Quiet: between 28 and 52 dB
- ACH of 360 m3/h
- Powerful and efficient
- Hepa, activated carbon, and NanoCaptur filter
The Rowenta Intense Pure Air Connect XL is a quality air purifier that tends towards the high end with its NanoCaptur technology, silence, size and power. Suitable for medium and large rooms, it is undeniably one of Rowenta's best performing air purifiers to date, with a 100 % ozone-free mechanical air purification system and many interesting additional features.
2. Pure A9 air purifier
Our favourite ❤
- Pure A9
- The Pure A9 is ideal for purifying the air in medium and large rooms. It offers a much better price/performance ratio than its competitors.
- Connected to the phone
- Covered area between 92 and 129 m².
- Quiet: between 17 dB and 49 dB
- CADR of 620m3/h
- A 360° filtration system
- Powerful and efficient
- 5 filters to choose from
The Pure A9 air purifier is without doubt one of the best models we have tested. Whether you have allergies or asthma, this device will ensure that you have healthy air in your home. The Pure A9 is ideal for improving the air quality of medium to large rooms (up to 129 m² depending on the model) and offers a much better price/performance ratio than its competitors.
3. Philips AC2887/10 air purifier
The best value for money
The Rowenta Intense Pure Air Connect XL is a quality air purifier that tends towards the high end with its NanoCaptur technology, silence, size and power. Suitable for medium and large rooms, it is undeniably one of the most efficient air purifiers to date, with a 100 % ozone-free mechanical air purification system and many interesting additional features.
Is an air purifier effective against allergies?
The most common allergens are actually tiny proteins from living matter such as pet dander, dust mites, pollen or moulds. These particles vary in size and composition, which makes some air purifier features more useful than others.
A purifier will not be able to completely remove particles from the air, but regular use will reduce or even eliminate your allergy symptoms. So if you are allergic to house dust, pollen or dust mites, the use of this device will help to relieve your allergies considerably.
Is your air not only polluted by allergens (hair, pollen, etc.)?>> Discover our complete guide to air purifiers
Which options should be favoured and which avoided?
Choosing an air purifier is not easy, as there are many options. To make it easier for you to find your way around, we have checked whether these options are useful or not.
The HEPA filter: a must
To neutralise dust and other airborne particles, your purifier will need to be equipped with a high filtration level filter. The HEPA filter is the most suitable in our opinion, as it captures most pollutants down to 0.3 microns in size with an efficiency of 99.97 %. Why this choice? The reason is simple: these particles are the most difficult to capture and they are also the ones that penetrate the deepest into our lungs.
The ionisation function: for more efficiency
Choosing a purifier with an ionisation function can be a good choice in our opinion. This is because fine particles can travel through your home environment, floating in the air before settling on surfaces (carpets, bed, etc.). Ionisation will allow you to make these particles fall to the ground more quickly. Thus, the particles that are not captured by the HEPA filter will be sucked to the floor (the next time you vacuum).
Ultraviolet light: useful, but not essential
An air purifier equipped with ultraviolet light (UV-C) is an effective solution for people who are allergic to moulds and mould spores, especially if they are in a humid environment where they can grow. UV-C light helps to reduce micromycetes by neutralising the development of their spores.
However, be aware that the emission of UV light is not without risk, as it can generate ozone, which is particularly harmful to your lungs. Before buying an air purifier with a UV lamp, it is strongly recommended to check the amount of ozone it produces (it should be at a very low level). You can consult the California Air Resources Board if necessary to make sure.
Activated carbon filter: if you can't stand the smell
The activated carbon filter absorbs odours from pets. Purifiers with this technology target both pet dander and pet odours. However, cost is a consideration for this type of filtration. Due to the continuous excretion of dander, filters need to be changed regularly to maintain their effectiveness. It is not necessary to use them if you have an allergy, unless you can't stand the smell.
A high CADR: for power
One of the things to consider when choosing your air purifier is: its efficiency in treating the air. To make your choice easier, you can rely on a standard called the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). This number tells you how fast the air is recycled, but it does not tell you how clean the air is. It is, however, a good indicator of the performance of an air purifier.
The combination of a HEPA filter and ionisation function, together with a high air change rate (CADR), is the best choice if you want to fight your allergies effectively.
Our tips for fighting allergies
Pollen is inevitable in spring. If you are allergic to pollen, we advise you to keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible during this period. However, this solution does not allow you to renew your indoor atmosphere.
If you want to enjoy good air quality without being bothered by pollen, we think the best tip is to get an air purifier. That way, no matter how long you stay indoors with an open door or window, your device will do exactly what it was designed to do: purify the air.
Cleaning air filters
There are many air filters in your home, whether it is the air vent, the air purifier or even the air conditioner: these filters only remain effective if you clean them regularly. The HEPA filter of an air purifier usually lasts only 6 months to 1 year. After this period, it loses its effectiveness. If you follow our tips, you can extend the life of your filters.
Wear a mask and vacuum frequently. This will help expel pollen, mould and dust that have been trapped in your carpets while preventing you from triggering an allergy during cleaning. In general, your carpets and furniture are the most common places for many contaminants to hide, including dust, dust mites, pet hair, pet dander and, of course, pollen.
The air purifier can remove airborne pollutant particles, but once they have fallen out, they remain on the carpet or on your furniture. The slightest stirring of the air will cause the polluted particles to become airborne again, and they can land on your hair, skin, clothes, etc. This is why you should vacuum regularly to get rid of allergens.
Do you need help?
What is dust made of?
Wherever you live, dust accumulates and settles on every surface in your home, from the living room to the bedroom, indoors and out. These microscopic particles are not just a cleaning problem: they can have negative effects on your respiratory system and trigger allergies. But what is dust made of?
A wide range of particles can be found in house dust: animal hair, mould spores, pollen, dust mites are the main allergens that constitute it, not to mention skin particles, residues linked to concrete wear, food waste, etc.
The components of dust are very light, which allows them to be suspended in the air of the room, at the slightest draught or movement of an object, person or animal.
Is dust dangerous to health?
Dust can be more or less harmful depending on its source. Carcinogenic toxins can be found in dust if it comes from major transport routes, old buildings (presence of lead or asbestos) or if the surrounding soil is polluted.
The people most vulnerable to this air pollution are children. They naturally tend to put their hands or objects to their mouths, which favours the ingestion of dust. It should be noted that children breathe 40 to 60 times per minute, twice as much as an adult. As a result, they constantly inhale many more air pollutants than adults.
There are a number of diseases related to dust inhalation, including
- silicosis (coal or shale dust),
- lead poisoning (lead dust),
- miller's and baker's cancer, carpenter's cancer (due to chronic inhalation of flour dust or fine sawdust and wood dust).
Finally, it is important to know that all these allergens can serve as a carrier for bacteria, microbes and viruses. Prolonged exposure to this indoor pollution is therefore not recommended, as it weakens your immune system and can trigger allergies and asthma attacks as a result of permanent inflammation of the bronchi.
Where can you find dust mites?
The most common and ideal environments for dust mites are: bedding, upholstered furniture, carpeting, curtains and drapes. These organisms are 0.25 to 0.3 millimetres long, invisible to the naked eye, and float in the air when vacuumed, walked on or disturbed by bedding. Once airborne, they can be inhaled, ingested and trapped on your body.
They feed on dead human skin flakes, which are shed at a rate of 1.5 g per day and produce excrement up to 30 µm in size, which is coated with special proteins. Inhaling them or coming into contact with them will cause allergic reactions in many people.
Can you see the mites?
Mites belong to the class Arachnida and have four pairs of legs. They are so small (0.3 mm) that we need a magnifying glass to see them. The mites visible to the naked eye are not the ones we find in our beds.
Their main source of food is the dead skin of humans and animals. Therefore, if you do not have a good solution for dust mites, they will remain in your home permanently.
Amazingly, one square centimetre of carpet can contain up to 100,000 mites and each mite can produce up to 20 droppings per day, yet it is the droppings and body parts released by mites that cause severe allergic symptoms.
How do you know if you have dust mites in your home?
Follow these steps if you want to know if your home is infested with dust mites:
Stage 1 You will need a magnifying glass to observe them. It is not necessary to have a powerful microscope, just find a device or lens that can magnify at least 10 times.
Step 2 Dust mites: Take a few samples of dust in your home with a piece of transparent tape. Dust mites are usually found in warm, damp places, especially if a large amount of dust is present, such as the corner of a room, under a chair or even directly on the fabric of a sofa. Dust mites can be obtained by collecting dust from old mattresses, pillows or blankets.
Step 3 Examine the samples for mites with a microscope: they are spider-like, so they have 8 legs, are translucent and have no eyes. You can also observe their droppings. They are in the form of small brown rectangular pellets.
What are the symptoms of dust mite allergies?
Dust in our homes is made up of several components such as pet dander, skin cells, pet and human hair, tiny fibres, bacteria, food particles and dust mite parts and droppings.
A dust mite allergy involves an allergic reaction to dust mite particles, debris and waste. Although a mite is extremely small (it can only be seen under a microscope), it can produce nearly 200 times its own weight in faeces. The proteins in these droppings are allergy-inducing.
The symptoms of a dust mite allergy are as follows:
- A runny nose
- Itchy, watery or red eyes
- Sneezing, nasal congestion or runny nose
- Pain and pressure in the face
- Itchy nose and throat
- Difficulty sleeping and puffy eyes
- Puffy, bluish skin under the eyes
- Rubbing of the nose, usually in children.
If a dust mite allergy persists and triggers asthma, a person may also experience the following symptoms
- A feeling of tightness or pain in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
The likelihood of developing a dust mite allergy may be increased by the following risk factors:
- It can be inherited from your family
- Early exposure to dust mites may increase the risk of developing an allergy later in life.
Are there any foolproof methods for removing dust mites?
In addition to using air purifiers to reduce dust mites, there are these foolproof methods to eliminate them:
- Hot water (60° or more) kills dust mites.
- A humidity level below 40-50% is not a suitable environment for dust mites.
- Extreme cold also kills dust mites. Put your small items in plastic bags and then put them in the fridge to destroy the mites.
- Rubbing alcohol kills house dust mites.
- Using rubbing alcohol on a cloth is a quick way to clean areas where dust accumulates, such as light bulbs or electronics.
- Direct sunlight can kill these pests. Make sure your curtains are open so that direct sunlight can reach the whole room.
There are also sprays to kill dust mites. You can use these sprays directly on your bed and furniture. However, we do not recommend this solution, as their effect only lasts two weeks and it is very expensive to buy them for a whole house.