Just like a quiet humidifier, the quietest air purifier will help create enhance indoor air quality without causing unwanted noises to you and those living next to you.
According to an article published on the World Health Organization website, it’s estimated that in 2012, 7 million people died as a result of illnesses linked to air pollution. (Source)
There are several benefits of air purifiers, according to Healthline website. These small devices can help you get rid of allergens, smoke, mold, and indoor toxins that would otherwise have negative health impacts on you and your family. (Source)
Below is a detailed guide on some of the best quietest air purifier (s) on the market today.
What is a Quiet Air Purifier?
A quiet air purifier is a device used to remove contaminants from the air. These devices are manufactured as small portable devices, stand-alone units or simple large units attached to your HVAC system.
The main purpose of air purifiers is to remove small dust particles, dander, smoke, pollen, spores, mold. Dust mites and volatile organic compounds from your home environment using UV light, high heat, HEPA filters, exhaust systems, or ionic technology.
Types of Quiet Air Purifiers
There are different types of air purifiers available on the market today. They come in different types of shapes, colors and sizes. However, I would like to emphasize that not all air purifiers work the same. The different air purifiers I’m about to show you all use different technologies to cleanse the air you breathe.
It’s important to understand the different types and how each works to help you understand the right type of air compressor.
- Ionic Air Purifiers
- HEPA Air Purifiers
- Ultraviolet Air purifiers
- Electronic Air Cleaners
HEPA Air Purifiers
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) is a technology that’s been in use since the second world war to create gas masks often used in the war.
The HEPA technology guarantees 99.97% efficiency in trapping particles larger than 0.3 microns. To give you an idea of how tiny 0.3 microns is, the human eye is capable of seeing particles larger than 10 microns.
HEPA filters used in HEPA air filters are capable of trapping microscopic particles such as mold, viruses, bacteria, creating a more sanitary environment in your home.
Unlike some other air purifiers, HEPA air purifier doesn’t generate ozone or other toxic byproducts.
HEPA filters require replacements every 2-4 years, depending on the brand and the type of filter you have.
HEPA filters use three methods in trapping particles of different sizes:
- HEPA air purifiers are highly efficient in trapping airborne particles
- High efficiency 99.97%
- They don’t remove odors, gases or chemicals
Ionic Air Purifiers/ Negative Ion
Ionic air purifiers are among the quietest air purifiers on the market. What makes them quiet is the fact that they don’t use motors.
They operate by emitting negative ions into the air. The negative ions then bond with the positive charge particles like dust. This bond makes the positive ions so heavy that they eventually fall out of the air, leaving you with clean and fresh air.
Some ionic air purifiers use electrostatic precipitators that trap the positively charged particles to a metal plate fitted inside the air purifier.
Unfortunately, ionic air purifiers are less efficient than other air purifiers. This is because they simply mask the polluted air rather than clean it.
The bonded particles can get stuck on the walls or any other surface in your room. With time, they may become loose and later recirculate in the air contaminating the air in your home.
- They are extremely quiet as they don’t use motor
- They are filterless and hence have lower maintenance costs
- They are less effective than HEPA air purifiers
- Research conducted by the state of California found out that ionic air purifiers release large amounts of ozone as a byproduct. As a result, the sale of ionic air purifiers was banned in California. (Source) Because of the Ozone byproduct produced, I would highly recommend you avoid using a negative ion air purifier for home use.
Adsorbent purifiers are made of activated charcoal that traps odors, chemicals and other tiny particles floating in your home environment.
They are also used in some environmental cleanup as they are highly effective in sponging up toxic substances.
Absorbent filters use products known as an absorbent to attract substances to their surface through chemical or physical processes.
The physical process uses electrostatic force where non-polar substances are attracted to non-polar while polar are attracted to polar.
On the other hand, chemical adsorption uses chemical bonds to bond with the particles in the air.
- They produce no harmful byproducts and are hence safe for use in your home
- Remove odors and volatile organic compounds that ionic and HEPA filters cannot remove
- Adsorbent filters can be incorporated into other purifiers
- They can’t remove airborne particles,, and hence you will have to invest in another air purifier
UV Air Purifiers
UV air purifiers work similarly to the HEPA purifier, with only one major difference. The sucked in air particles are exposed to UV -C light that breaks down RNA chemical bonds rendering viruses inactive and killing fungi and bacteria.
They are highly effective when used as an antiviral and antibacterial disinfectant. In addition, UV purifiers are available as an addition to HEPA air purifiers to help neutralize microorganisms trapped by the HEPA filter
Unfortunately, UV purifiers produce ozone as a byproduct. This occurs when the UV light mixes with oxygen. Even though ozone is highly beneficial to the atmosphere, it’s dangerous around your home.
Because ozone air purifiers intentionally produce ozone, I wouldn’t advice you to have one for indoor use.
They use UV light or corona discharge to break oxygen molecules into two atoms, where they eventually combine with another oxygen atom producing what we call ozone.
Ozone is very reactive and will change the chemical composition of the nearby molecules by donating one O2 atom.
They are perfect for use in industrial settings where there’s non-occupancy.
Applicable for eradicating biological contaminants and not airborne inorganic particles or chemicals. For Ozone generators to eliminate biological contaminants in the air, ozone levels need to exceed 5-10 the allowed health limit. For this reason, ozone generators are highly recommended for use in areas without occupants.
As I have previously mentioned, Ozone purifiers haven’t been approved for use in occupied spaces. This is because they produce large amounts of ozone
What Is the Best Quietest Air Purifier on The Market?
The quietest air purifier on the market today is LEVOIT LV-H132 Purifier with True HEPA Filter.
It’s compact and highly portable. It’s an excellent choice for a bedroom and any other room in your house.
It comes in a contemporary design that is sure to blend well with the rest of your décor.
Additionally, it is among the highest-performing affordable purifiers making it an ideal choice if you are on a tight budget.
The purifier boasts a 3-stage Advanced Filtration system made up of a pre-filter, a HEPA filter, and an Efficient Activated Carbon filter capable of capturing pet hair, smoke, odor, and mold, among other allergens.
This filtration system can capture pet hair, allergens, mold, dander, odor, smoke, and a large dust particle.
It’s also capable of removing up to 99.97% of the airborne contaminants.
With a low noise level of 25dB, you can enjoy a quiet indoor environment.
It has two brightness settings so you can adjust them to suit your needs. The bright setting will help you see at night, and you can put the light out when you go to sleep.
Lastly, it is highly efficient despite its small size.
This purifier circulates the air in a room about four times every hour. It is perfect is you want to enjoy clean and crisp air.
A-List of the Best Quietest Air Purifiers on the Market
While the LEVOIT LV-H132 Purifier is the real deal in terms of quietness, performance, and popularity, there are other quiet air purifiers on the market to choose from.
1. Germ Guardian
The Germ Guardian works in three ways to ensure you enjoy cleaner and fresher air.
It kills viruses, germs, and filters odors and also traps allergens making it ideal if you struggle with allergies.
Fitted with a HEPA filter and a UV-C, this Germ Guardian filter can remove over 99.9% of harmful germs in your home.
Moreover, this device comes with three-speed settings, and you can choose to go with whichever speed works for you.
The low-speed setting can act as a calm white noise for those times when you just want a restful night.
The 22-inch filter can be used in rooms as large as 167 sq. Feet.
When running on the maximum speed setting, the filter purifies the air in your room about four times per hour.
The UV light is effective in killing viruses such as influenza, rhinovirus, and stamp. The light works together with Titanium Dioxide to minimize volatile organic compounds.
Also, genuine replacement parts are readily available.
For optimal performance, you should replace the filter after 6-8 months and the UV C bulb at least once every year.
The filter is AHAM verified for its efficiency in filtering tobacco smoke, pollen, and dust in a room.
2. Coway Mighty AP-1512HH
This Coway is designed to work for rooms that are up to 361 sq. Ft in size, making it ideal if yours is a large room.
With a 4-stage filtration system, the purifier can capture most particles and microns in the air-inclusive of pollen and other allergens.
The filtration system comprises a pre-filter, a true HEPA filter, a Deodorization filter, and Vital Ion effective in reducing volatile organic compounds in the air.
The filter is fitted with pollution sensors capable of relaying the quality of indoor air in real-time.
It also has a bright-colored LED that makes it easy for you to read how dirty or clean the air in your room is.
With three different fan speeds, you can customize the filter to suit your needs. If you put it on auto mode, it will automatically regulate the rate depending on the air quality.
Also, the filter has an in-built timer that allows the filter to power off automatically or in 8 hours, depending on your preference.
There is also a Filter replacement indicator that lets you know when it is time to wash or replace your filter.
You get a quiet operation with noise levels that range between 24.4 dB and 53.8 dB. Even better, it on 77 W of power, making it energy efficient.
3. Winix 5500-2
The Winix 5500-2 purifier has a HEPA filter capable of capturing up to 99.97% of pollutants in the air.
You can use it to filter dust mites, pollen, and pet dander and other common allergens.
It is also fitted with a washable AOC filter made using activated carbon granules known to remove household odors.
The Winix 5500-2 purifier is fitted with smart sensors that gauge the air and adjust the filter as necessary.
There is also a sleep mode setting designed for silent night operation.
When in silent mode, the filter changes to the slowest speed and dims the indicator lights. If you want to operate the filter at a certain speed, you can easily switch to manual mode.
Also, this air purifier has a replacement indicator that glows when it is time to replace the filters. Once you have replaced the filters, use a needle or pin to push the reset button.
This purifier is designed for room sizes of up to 360 sq. Ft.
You can put it anywhere in the house and expect optimum air quality as long as your room is within the above room size.
4. Whirlpool AP51030KB
This Whirlpool purifier has two filters, the HEPA one, and an Active Carbon filter.
The HEPA filter gets rid of household dust, mold spores, pet danger, and plant pollens, among other allergens.
The Active carbon filter, on the other hand, traps odors, while absorbing large particles that could otherwise compromise the HEPA filter.
Four speeds are ranging from turbo to low. You can easily change the speeds to suit your home needs.
The purifier has a set timer that you can preset for 8 hours. Lastly, the Sleep Mode feature comes with quiet operation, and it is also energy saving.
Designed for larger rooms, this purifier will deliver crisp, clean air in rooms of up to 500 sq. Ft.
The Whirlpool AP51030KB is powerful enough to filter all the air in such a space for 4.8 times every hour.
You can use the turbo speed if you want fast results and switch to slow mode when the air in your room is clean enough.
Whirlpool offers a 5-year limited warranty for this air purifier. For optimal performance, ensure that the HEPA filter is replaced once every year and the Active Carbon filters once every three months.
5. Honeywell HFD-120-Q QuietClean Air Purifier
As the name suggests, this is a good choice if you are concerned about noise, but perhaps the purifier’s best feature is the permanent oscillating filter.
With the Honeywell HFD-120-Q, you never have to worry about getting another filter. Just wash or vacuum the filter regularly, and the purifier will serve you well for years.
The filtration system also includes a HEPA filter that can remove up to 99% of allergens in the air. In an hour, the purifier circulates the air in a room for up to 5 times, which is quite impressive. With three cleaning speeds, you can adjust the filter depending on the air quality.
Additionally, this Honeywell is designed with energy efficiency in mind. You can leave it running for 24 hours, either on low or medium, without having to worry much about your electricity bill.
The fact that you do not need to replace the filters now and then makes this a perfect budget air purifier for your home.
This filter will work correctly for years, just like other Honeywell products. All you need to do is clean the permanent filter regularly to ensure that you are getting the cleanest air possible.
6. Honeywell 17000-S QuietCare Air Purifier
The Honeywell 17000-S comes with a 99.97% efficiency where air purification is concerned. You can use it in a room as large as 168 sq. Ft.
The air purifier comes with a two-phase purification system that will remove smoke, dust, pollen, dust mites, animal dander, molds, odors, bacteria, and viruses from the air.
It’s fitted with a light that lets you know when your filters need replacement.
If you push the monitoring button and the light only blinks once, then you still have a lot of time before you need another filter.
Two to three blinks mean that the filter has less life, while a steady light means it is time to get another filter.
Fortunately, the HEPA filter will give you excellent service for 1-3 years, even with everyday use. The pre-filter needs replacement every three or so months.
Just like any good air filter, the Honeywell17000-S comes with adjustable speed. You have three-speed options, and all of them run exceptionally quiet, considering the power and effectiveness. To top it all, the manufacturer offers a five-year guarantee against defects.
7. Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 Air Purifier
The Rabbit Air is a powerful purifier ideal for large rooms of up to 550 sq. Ft.
For such a large room, this purifier will filter the room at least twice when set at the highest speed.
With five different speed options, you can customize the purifier to deliver the quality of the air you want.
The lowest speed works when you want to achieve a quiet environment, while the highest will ensure you have clean air in no time at all.
It has a 4-stage purification system guaranteed to remove 99.9% of the allergens in your home.
The system comprises of a BioGS HEPA filter, washable Pre-Filter, and Activation charcoal-based filters.
It boasts an energy star meaning it is ideal if you want a high energy bill. Even if the purifier runs all day and night, energy consumption is minimal.
The fact that the manufacturer offers a five-year warranty complete with round-the-clock lifetime tech-support means that you can be guaranteed of quality and full support where necessary.
8. Medify MA-40 2.0 Air Purifier
This is a medical-grade filtration system that delivers better results than the average HEPA filter.
It is important to note that while the H13 filters in this purifier are medical-grade, the unit is not considered to be a medical device, and you can use it at home with relative ease.
The Medify MA-40 2.0 is quite powerful and can clean rooms of up to1600 sq. Ft.
In a room of about 420 sq. Ft, it will filter 99.9% of the allergens inside in 15 minutes or less.
Additionally, there is a quiet sleep mode option you can switch to when the air is relatively clean.
The purifier comes with a tempered glass panel that is scratch resistant.
The panel is also easy to clean and is a welcome break to the plastic panel used to make most purifiers in the market.
The child-lock feature is another thing that sets this purifier apart.
If you are concerned about quality, Medify MA-40 is an excellent choice.
With a lifetime guarantee against manufacturer defects, you can be sure that you are getting nothing but the best option in the market.
Quietest Air Purifier Buyer Guide: Important Factors to Consider
There are several factors to consider before choosing a quiet air purifier. Below are some of the most important factors to take into consideration to get a purifier that meets your specific requirements.
The most important factors to take into consideration is the noise levels. The main determinant of how noisy or quiet an air purifier are the fans.
Higher fan speeds result in more noise and vice versa.
Consider a fan with adjustable fan speeds. This way, you’ll be able to adjust the fan speeds hence regulating the sound the unit produces.
These devices are designed to work optimally within specific room sizes. The dimensions are either in cubic footage or square footage.
Generally, large air purifiers can cover smaller spaces, but purifiers designed for small spaces won’t cover large spaces.
Therefore, it’s important to get one that can optimally purify the air within your desired living space.
These other features to take into consideration include- sensors that keep tabs on the quality of air when auto mode is activated.
Timer feature helps save energy by allowing you to set how long the air purifier should run before shutting off.
Remote control enhances convenience allowing you to operate the purifier from anywhere within the room.
Alerts such as performance and maintenance alert let you know in advance the performance of your device or when maintenance is needed.
Final Thoughts on The Quietest Air Purifier
The quietest air purifier is LEVOIT LV-H132 Purifier. Its whisper-quiet operation- rated 25 decibels, making it ideal for use in bedrooms, nurseries, offices, and even libraries.
And like most of the air purifiers in this guide, it’s HEPA air purifier, meaning it can eliminate up to 99.97% of pathogens and other toxins in the air.
While all these devices in this guide are all quiet, it’s essential to take a look at the buyer guide to help you figure out the device that meets your specific requirements.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.