Which HEPA filter is best?

HEPA filters have become a largely discussed during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As a matter of fact, the google trends screenshot below shows the spike at the beginning of the pandemic.

There is a lot of confusion on what a HEPA filter is, and how regular people like you and I can use them in our home. Today I want to help you understand how HEPA filters can help protect you and your family from airborne pathogens and the best HEPA filters for home use. 

Oh, I almost forgot… HEPA is different than MERV. Confused? Now worries. I have a post answering the question “What is a MERV rating?” 

HEPA on Google Trends
Wow, HEPA was searched A LOT after the start of the COVID Pandemic!

Before we go into the details of all of the top HEPA filters on amazon below, I want to make an important a couple of important disclaimers. 

  1. Some of the filters below claim to be washable, but still require filters to be changed out and permanently discarded. The reason they can make that claim is that most of these units have at least two separate filters and at least one of them is washable, but the HEPA Filter in the unit is not washable. My main focus when creating this site was to build awareness on how important it is to use Washable AC Filters to reduce the amount of home air filters that make it to the garbage and landfills. Most HEPA filters are not washable the way that my favorite Washable AC Filters are. However, it is also important to help regular people get the best air quality in their home with making the smallest impact to what goes into landfills. 
  2. The HEPA filters reviewed below are portable units for a single room or mutiple rooms, depending on the layout of your home. HEPA filters are considered ‘medical grade’ and are generally not sold in sizes that fit your home AC unit filter sizes. The reason is that the filter would put too much strain on your residential system and could cause damage to your unit without some significant modifications.

What To Look For In A Home HEPA Filter

We looked at all of the options on amazon and found a few cool features on a number of the units on amazon. We broke our list down by the following features so you can make an informed decision. 

  1. UV-C Light
  2. Low Cost Filter Replacements
  3. Air Quality Indicator
  4. True HEPA Filter
  5. Carbon Filter
  6. Remote Control
  7. Room Coverage Size
  8. Brand

UV-C LIght: There is a debate weather or not having UV-C light is a good thing when choosing a home HEPA filter. There is no denying that UVC light kills harmful germs and bacteria in the air. In the same way that UVC Light is harmful to germs and viruses, it can also be harmful to your body when exposed to the light. There is also the notion that UVC light can cause ozone, which when breathed in can cause issues as well, but I struggled to find a definitive answer one way or another. If you don’t want UV-C light, you will see a number of units that advertise “Ozone Free” on their products. We have reviewed a few with and without UVC light so you can choose one way or another depending on your comfort level.  

Low Cost Filter Replacements: Inevitably you will need to replace your HEPA filter, but in many cases this is not something that people take into consideration when selecting their unit.  In each unit I looked at, I also looked up and linked to the replacement filters (and also their price history on amazon) I gave them a rating range of $, $ and $ (with $ being the least expensive and $ being the most expensive).

Air Quality Indicator: AQ indicators, or Air Quality Indicators, are a nice feature to have as well. Some will even turn on and off automatically based on the AQ readings found on the device. 

True HEPA Filter: The term “True HEP Filter” is really just a marketing term that doesn’t really mean anything. However, many of the products listed show the actual HEPA ratings. 

Carbon Filter: There are many units that contain two, three, or even four separate filters in the unit. Many times there is a carbon filter included in that. The carbon filter helps to remove even more impurities in the air that the HEPA filter may miss. 

Remote Control: Am I the only lazy one here? I think not, but having a remove control or app is just a nice-to-have!

Room Coverage Size: Most will also advertise the size of room (in square feet) that the product can cycle through the air over a given period of time (usually one hour). We have listed these sizes in our comparison as well. One thing we noticed is that the larger units can filter more air at a faster rate. These units also tend to be more expensive, so keep that in mind when you are looking at these units. 

Brands: I put brands as something to consider when making your selection. The reason is that because this industry has boomed since the pandemic, there are a number of brands that are selling HEPA air purifiers on amazon that you may have never heard of. Those brands may just be there to make a quick buck and be selling an inferior product without having gone through the proper testing that is required for a safe product. I am not saying that those practices are going on, but going with a brand you have heard of will help ease those concerns. 

Top Home HEPA Filters

We found some great options on amazon, but here are our top picks for home HEPA air purifiers. 

Best Home HEPA FiltersBlueDri BD-AS-550-BL Negative Machine Airbourne Cleaner HEPA Scrubber Water Damage Restoration EquipmentIQAir HealthPro Plus – Medical-Grade Air Purifier with H13 HyperHEPA Filter for Particles, Gases, & Odors – Bacteria, Viruses, Airborne Infections, Allergies, Pets, Asthma, Smoke, Pollen, DustGermGuardian AC4300BPTCA Air Purifier with H13 True HEPA Filter, 153 Square Ft Coverage, for Smoke, Smokers, Dust, Odors, Pollen, Pet Dander, Debris, Quiet 99.9% Removal to 0.3 MicronsTREDY HEPA Air Purifier for Home Large Room with Air Quality Sensor, Filters Indoor Air and Removes Smoke/Dust/Odor/Pollen/Pets Dander
BrandBlueDri IQAir Germ GuardianTREDY
Washable FiltersNoNoNoNo
Requires Replacement FilttersYesYesYesYes
Replacement Filter Cost$$$$$$$
UV-C LightNoNoYesNo
True HEPA FilterH13HyperHEPAH13True HEPA
Air Quality IndicatorNoNoNoYes
Room Coverage Size (Square Feet)NANA743200
Remote ControlNoYesNoNo

BlueDri BD-AS-550-BL Review

The BlueDri BD-AS-550-BL is a beast. It’s high powered fan can cycle through the air in large rooms very quickly. Sure, it is quite loud… but when noise is not a problem for you, this is the best bang for your buck. In a commercial setting, this one wins hands down. 

Best HEPA Filter For School Classrooms

Back to school is here and the pandemic is still in effect. This filter would be great to have in classrooms as we go back to school and people are still worries about the transmission of airborne illness. Imagine being able to cycle through 100% of the air in a classroom between room changes or breaks! This HEPA filter would be a perfect air purifier for a classroom.

Drawbacks: 

  1. Noise: The main drawback for this unit is that it is quite loud. If you are using this for home renovations, construction sites, or any other application where noise levels are not an issue, this one works great. 
  2. Looks: This unit is also not the most attractive either, but it is quite rugged. It is designed to be used for construction sites to be picked up, put down, dropped, moved and more. If you want something that is inconspicuous for your home and matches your décor, you may want to move further down the list. 

BlueDri BD-AS-550-BL Filter Replacements

Before Purchasing your HEPA unit, make sure you check the pricing of the replacement filters. These are not as expensive as some of the medical grad filters, but not as inexpensive as the smaller residential filters either. The manufacturer recommends you change these as needed, but if you give them a quick cleaning with a vacuum or shop-vac you can extend the life of these filters.

There are 3 filters you may need to use this unit. They are listed below. 

BlueDri Air Scrubber Stage 1 Protective Pre Filter

BlueDri Air Scrubber Stage 1 Protective Pre Filter (5-Pack)

Captures a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Carbon filtration's natural ability to attract and hold gas and liquid molecules on its surface helps remove odors from the air.

BlueDri Air Scrubber Stage 2 HEPA Air Filter (2 Pack)

BlueDri Air Scrubber Stage 2 HEPA Air Filter (2 Pack)

Captures a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Carbon filtration's natural ability to attract and hold gas and liquid molecules on its surface helps remove odors from the air.

BlueDri Air Scrubber Active Carbon Filters (3-Pack)

BlueDri Air Scrubber Active Carbon Filters (3-Pack)

Captures a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Carbon filtration's natural ability to attract and hold gas and liquid molecules on its surface helps remove odors from the air.

IQAir HealthPro Plus Review

IQAir HealthPro Plus is the top of the line for HEPA air purifiers. The medical grade unit is perfect for medical offices or professional offices. The large unit quickly cycles the air of very large rooms or other large indoor spaces. It is also great for your home if you have really large ceilings and open indoor areas. 

Best HEPA Filter For Medical Offices

Back to school is here and the pandemic is still in effect. This filter would be great to have in classrooms as we go back to school and people are still worries about the transmission of airborne illness. Imagine being able to cycle through 100% of the air in a classroom between room changes or breaks! This HEPA filter would be a perfect air purifier for a classroom.

Drawbacks: 

  1. Expense: The main drawback for this unit is that it is quite expensive, and not just the unit itself. The replacement filters are very expensive as well, the reason is that this is a medical grade filter used in medical professional settings.   
  2. Knock-offs: After reading most of the reviews, it looks like the main concern people have is that they are sometimes being sent an inauthentic product. To avoid this, be sure to purchase directly from the “IQAir” Seller on amazon. 

IQAir Genuine Filter Replacements

Before Purchasing your HEPA unit, make sure you check the pricing of the replacement filters. These are quite expensive as medical grade filters. There are 3 filters you may need to use this unit. They are listed below. 

IQAir Genuine Original PreMax Pre-Filter

IQAir Genuine Original PreMax Pre-Filter

Captures a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Carbon filtration's natural ability to attract and hold gas and liquid molecules on its surface helps remove odors from the air.

IQAir Certified HyperHEPA Replacement Filter

IQAir Certified HyperHEPA Replacement Filter

Captures a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Carbon filtration's natural ability to attract and hold gas and liquid molecules on its surface helps remove odors from the air.

IQAir Genuine Original V5-Cell Gas & Odor Replacement Filter

BlueDri Air Scrubber Active Carbon Filters (3-Pack)

Captures a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Carbon filtration's natural ability to attract and hold gas and liquid molecules on its surface helps remove odors from the air.

GermGuardian HEPA Air Purifier Review

The BlueDri BD-AS-550-BL is a beast. It’s high powered fan can cycle through the air in large rooms very quickly. Sure, it is quite loud… but when noise is not a problem for you, this is the best bang for your buck. In a commercial setting, this one wins hands down. 

Drawbacks: 

  1. UV-C Light (Maybe)

GermGuardian HEPA Air Purifier Filter Replacements

Before Purchasing your HEPA unit, make sure you check the pricing of the replacement filters. These are quite expensive as medical grade filters. There are 3 filters you may need to use this unit. They are listed below. 

GermGuardian HEPA Filter

Germ Guardian FLT4825 HEPA GENUINE Air Purifier Replacement Filter B

Captures a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Carbon filtration's natural ability to attract and hold gas and liquid molecules on its surface helps remove odors from the air.

Guardian Technologies GermGuardian Air Purifier GENUINE Carbon Filter Pack

Guardian Technologies GermGuardian Air Purifier GENUINE Carbon Filter Pack

Captures a wide variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Carbon filtration's natural ability to attract and hold gas and liquid molecules on its surface helps remove odors from the air.

replacement UVC Light

GermGuardian LB4000 Genuine UV-C Replacement Bulb

GermGuardian Air Purifier Models AC4300BTPCA, AC4300WPT, AC4900, AC4825, AC4825W, AC4850PT, AC5300B, AC5350B, AC5350W, AC5900, CDAP4500 and CDAP5500

TREDY HEPA Air Purifier Review

The TREDY HEPA Air Purifier is a great option for individual rooms or for a small portion of your home. The Air Quality indicator is also an interesting feature that allows the unit to turn on and off depending on the air quality that it detects. The compact form factor is also a plus to put it in an office, bedroom, kitchen or living room in an inconspicuous location. 

Drawbacks: 

  1. Brand Name: I have never heard of this brand, so it is hard to tell if this item will last in the long run, but based on the specifications it looks to be a good bang for your buck and a great option for someone seeking to improve the air quality in your home. 
  2. Single Replaceable Filter (Maybe): The single filter may turn out to be more convenient, but in the other models reviewed above each of the “Stages” are able to be replaced individually, but the compact form factor of this unit doesn’t allow enough room for this. That being said, it may be more convenient that there is only one filter and less room for user error.   🙂

GermGuardian HEPA Air Purifier Filter Replacements

These are the least expensive filters of all the ones we looked at. The compact unit only allows enough space to hold a single filter, so all four “Stages” that you have seen in the previous models are combined into one filter that should last for about 6 months. The factory also admits to get the filter to last that long, you will need to vacuum the filter about once per week to maintain it. 

TREDY 4-Stage HEPA Filter Air Purifier TD-1500 Replacement

TREDY 4-Stage HEPA Filter Air Purifier TD-1500 Replacement

Stage-1 Pre-filter, Capture the Furs, Hairs, and Pet Danders Stage-2 HEPA Filter, Remove Smoke, Dust, and Pollen Stage-3 Activated Carbon, Remove Smell, Odor, and Vocs Stage-4 Net Filter to Protect the Fans [Usually the HEPA Filter Lasts more than 6 Months in Normal use by Cleaning it with Vacuum Every Week]

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