Not only a nuisance, but also a source of allergies, dust is one of the most common household annoyances and seems to never end. The problem with simply dusting or using a fan or open windows is it doesn’t remove dust as a quality air purifier can. But which air purifiers is best for dust? I’ll compare several of the best and show you an excellent choice for your money below.
First I’ll help you understand the sources of dust and understand more about quality air purification.
Dust is essentially fine particles of matter that become airborne and often settle on surface. It may sound harmless but it can cause a great number of problems to humans and animals. The make up of dust is more often matter from materials but definitely includes a great deal of organic matter from anywhere humans and animals live as well.
Your household or office has a great number of sources of dust. Here’s a list of some of the most common:
Pollution, soil, and other particles from outdoors
Human and animal dead skin cells & hair
Debris from textile, paper, and construction materials
Dust mite feces & body parts
Bacteria and microbes
Chemical residues or molecules
Cigarette smoke particles
Dust particles of nearly every type range from large visible pieces to those which are microscopic in size (especially pet dander and dust mite materials). The amount of time that dust takes to settle on surfaces can range from a handful of minutes to a few hours. This is what gives the dust plenty of time to cause allergies and cause other respiratory problems.
To help illustrate, common dust mite allergens can range in size from roughly 5-10 microns in size (a micron is 1/100,000 of an inch) which an incredibly small size and far smaller than the human eye can see.
Dealing with dust
The source of the problem is that unless it is eliminated dust will continue to build up. There’s no remedy aside from actually removing it. Dusting surfaces like your furniture is only temporary, as the dust remains indoors and once it settles it may become disturbed by movement or gusts of air causing it to circulate again.
The only true solution is to purify the air by removing dust particles. The same well-designed air purifier that can remove dust forever can remove a lot of other nasty elements in your home’s air as well like dust mite allergens.
Air purifiers and the importance of HEPA-type filtering
Although the heating & cooling system in your home or workplace probably has a type of filter in place to supposedly remove dust and other debris, they are typically extremely ineffective. The filter material is often made up of fibers with large gaps in between which allow the majority of dust to pass through. I’ve seen this myself, having seen large amounts of dust coming from the air vent after using the air conditioning for long periods of time despite a new filter having been replaced in our central heating & cooling system.
The fact is that microscopic elements in the air must be removed by a far more effective filtering process – and this is why a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is so important.
HEPA filters are based on an old standard which began in the United States in the 1950s. As a standardized level of filtering capability, it guarantees an air purifier must meet these two criteria:
The filter will remove 99.97% of particles flowing into it
It can remove elements in size down to 0.3 microns (less than 1/100,000 of a meter)
This means that for every 10,000 contaminants flowing into a true HEPA air purifier, only about 3 will escape! This level of filter quality is excellent and can remove almost all dust in the air it processes.
The name “true HEPA” refers to those that meet the filtering standard, as some sold may be described as “HEPA type” as they come close to but don’t quite meet the same filtering ability. It’s important to know this difference when shopping for an air purifier to avoid being mislead.
Comparison – 4 of the best air purifiers for dust
For my review & comparison purposes I’ll limit my choices to the best selling, most popular, and best-reviewed products available. I’m also not considering ionizer type purifiers as they cannot provide the same great dust removal results as a HEPA type product.
Additionally you’ll find a range of prices here to fit both bigger and smaller budgets.
One of the most advanced – if not the most advanced – air purifiers on the market today, the 300S gives you carefree operation and advanced control and air quality updates anywhere you may be. The Wifi connectivity allows you to receive air quality reports remotely on your smartphone (both iPhone and Android) as well as control it from afar so you can come home to pure, fresh air.
It provides an amazing 1,560 square feet of air space purifying coverage and is available in both white or graphite colors with an attractive design reminiscent of a modern appliance.
Smart mode allows the air quality sensing features to automatically sped up or slow down operation as needed depending upon air quality needs and odors. Eco mode provides a power-saving mode of operation while Sleep mode ensures a very quiet and almost undetectable quiet operation to avoid disturbing your sleep. An auto-off timer allows you to set the operation and walk away: after 1,2,4, or 8 hours of operation it will shut itself off automatically.
The pollution indicator has 4 levels and helps you see how the level of pollutants are in your home. A filter life indicator doesn’t just remind you when it’s time to replace the HEPA filter but also how much life is left before that happens.
Controls are simple: clear and easy to understand touch buttons with indicator lights for the filter reminders. Light and sound indicators are active momentarily when buttons are touched and when the unit changes operational modes.
The pre-filter section (for larger dust and hair particles in the air) can be washed and reused while the true HEPA filter + carbon filter stages remove 99.97% of all dust particles in the air along with odors and other chemical substances.
Performance is excellence and users report wonderfully fresh air and a dust-free home, along with the amazing convenience of being able to turn it on, off, and see reports while away. You can also schedule operation
Replacement filters contain 2 sections (HEPA filter and a carbon filter) with an approximate 12 month expected life for close to $100.
Remote smartphone control and operational reports via the app
Excellent dust filtering performance and fresh air production
Simple touch button controls
Auto off timer with 1, 2, 4, and 8 hour options
Auto light when a button is pushed
Buzzer sound indicates when the mode changes or it shuts off
Air contaminant level indicator
Filter lifespan indicator
Washable pre-filter section
Huge coverage: up to 1,560 square feet (enough for an average home)
Smart self-adjusting mode sense the air quality and adjust fan speed accordingly
Eco mode for power consumption reduction
Sleep mode for quiet operation at night
Available in two colors
Very nice, unobtrusive styling looks good in your home or business
Great warranty – 5 years!
Pricier than other large-capacity air purifiers
May not be easy to use for those who are not technically inclined & the elderly
No Bluetooth connectivity – Wifi is required for smartphone use
Auto-on light and buzzer indicators may not be desired for night use by some
Replacement filters cost much more than competitors (although life is nearly twice as long)
A few owners report issues with Wifi connectivity, although this likely not due to the Airmega 300S
The LV-PUR131 continues with the same great performance and attractive styling found in its smaller sibling, the Levoit LV-H132. It’s a great compromise between cost, features, and room size coverage ability. Dust is no match for the Levoit as we see by the excellent overall reviews and owners report great satisfaction with the performance and fresh air it provides. No gimmicks here – just a simple to operate and smartly designed air purifier for your home or office that quickly and competently cleans the air.
The straightforward and clear control panel features simple icons on the touch buttons which illustrate the many functions available:
Fan speed control
Also a 7-segment LCD numeric display shows you the auto-off timer count. The auto-off timer is very flexible and can be adjusted to anywhere from 1 to 12 hours of operation before automatic shut off. A sleep mode keeps the unit in a very low noise operational mode to avoid disturbing your rest. A color-coded air quality indicator light uses 4 colors to show how contaminated the nearby air is as detected by its sensors.
The LV-PUR131 uses a 3-stage design similar to others: a fine preliminary filter, and activated carbon filter, and a true HEPA filter which can capture and trap dust and other nasty particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
Nearly everyone who has tried the Levoit has wonderful things to say about it along with reporting excellent dust, dust mite, and other allergy and contaminant removal.
Average filter life is about 6 months and the convenient filter reminder will let you know when it is time to replace it. New filters cost around $35 or so. A great 2-year warranty is provided too.
Great design and features in its price range
Sleep mode offers very quiet operation at night
Flexible auto-off mode (1-12 hour settings) with digital LCD readout
Air quality indicator
Large room coverage (322 square feet)
Excellent filtration using a true HEPA filter for dust removal
Filter replacement reminder
No washable pre-filter section for reuse like some others
Featuring simple controls, great dust cleaning ability, and excellent reviews, the AC4825 is a top seller in its price range – even having received the Amazon’s Choice award.
The GermGuardian features an additional benefit the others don’t – an ultraviolet (UV) light feature which works with titanium dioxide to kill airborne bacteria, viruses, germs, and mold spores.
At 22 inches tall the purifier fits well into room corners and other areas where vertical space is available. It uses a 4-stage filter process also to eliminate dust along with many other particles in your breathing space. These are: a pre-filter for larger particles, an active carbon filter, a true HEPA filter, and finally the UV-C light.
Although it is simpler in operation and in a lower price bracket than more sophisticated models it also features ultra-quiet operation and a filter replacement reminder.
Replacement filters typically have a 6 month life span and cost around $30+ or so. A relatively small number of buyers report problems with the AC4825, but based on such a huge amount of owners (well over 6,000) overall the reviews are excellent and nearly all owners are very happy with it for their money.
Simple 3-speed fan switch is great for nearly everyone
Great filtering performance
Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
Filter replacement reminder
Nice glowing light indicator when on
Vertical size is great for corner or areas with more vertical space
Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
3-year limited warranty
No auto-sensing modes
No electronic controls
No auto-off feature
Cannot wash & reuse filter
Design is less stylish and attractive than other competitors in its price range (ex. Levoit LV-H132)
Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service
With its compact size and lower price you may be thinking the AC4100 isn’t what you might be looking for to reduce dust. However, it’s a well-rated and well designed purifier featuring a true HEPA filter and even a UV-C sanitizer like its bigger sibling the GermGuardian AC4825.
Great for small rooms, the AC4100 also has a simple to use 3-speed control and is perfect for fitting into small spaces (it’s about 7.5 x 6.5 x 11 inches in size). A filter reminder is also provide for the filter which last about 6 months. The UV-C section kills airborne bacteria, viruses, and more while the HEPA filter does very well at removing dust and other unwanted air contaminants including allergens. The 3-stage filter also features a standard carbon filter to remove odors.
While not as quiet in operation as its more expensive competitors, it isn’t loud and is a great value-priced model. Buyers report a high amount of air processing power/fan speed for more air flow allowing it to purifier your room quickly.
The nice design is very similar to that of a stereo shelf speaker and compliments nearly every modern room environment. Filter replacement is more economical for this model than competitors at around $15 each.
Low maintenance cost – replacement filters are inexpensive
Great filter ability & air flow despite its small size
Size allows it to fit in small spaces
Simple 3-speed fan control switch
UV-C microbe killing feature
Filter replacement reminder
True HEPA filter + carbon stage, with pre-filter
Louder noise produced while running (especially on fast setting) than competitors
No low-noise sleep mode
No auto-sensing or auto-off timer features
No reusable filter sections
Not designed for horizontal placement like the Holmes HAP242-NUC
A budget performer, the HaP242-NUC is unique in that its HEPA filter is a “HEPA type” and has great filtering performance but cannot capture contaminants at quite the level of a true HEPA filter (it is limited to 99% of particles down to 2 microns in size vs the 0.3 of a true HEPA).
An optional ionizer feature produces fresh ozone molecules which fill the room with an ozone odor and may bond to pollutants in the air. Even better is that it is available in black and the body design allows for vertical placement on a desk or shelf. The controls are simple slide controls with an on/off for the ionizer function. 3-speeds are selectable.
The HEPA-type filter section is economical to replace at near $10 and features Arm & Hammer odor control. Replacement is easy, although no replacement reminder is provided and carbon filter sections must be purchased separately. The good news is that the pre-filter section can be washed and reused.
Noise levels during operation are moderate so if you’re looking for very quiet operation, you’ll probably need to spend a bit more money and check out its competitors too.
Even this is a no-frills basic air purifier, it’s a good performer for removing dust in small rooms up to 109 square feet in size and people love it. Just take a look at the excellent reviews and happy owner!
A great budget-level air purifier with low maintenance costs, it’s a good buy if you prefer simple and basic operation.
Simple to use
Cost-effective for dust in small rooms where a fancier purifier is not needed
One of the lowest cost air purifiers available
Budget HEPA-type filter performs close to a more expensive filter
Low maintenance cost
Can reuse pre-filter section
Fair room size coverage for it price (109 sq ft)
Includes optional ozone-generating ionizer
3 fan speeds and off
Can be positioned vertically
Available in black also
Carbon filters for odor control are not included with the HEPA filter replacement
Produces more noise than more expensive models
No filter replacement reminder
Ionizer produces ozone which may not be suitable for some users with respiratory conditions
No special features like a sleep timer or auto-shutoff
The top pick – which air purifier is best for dust?
Based on features, price, maintenance cost, and its performance the Levoit LV-PUR131 is a solid all around performer and my recommendation for most people.
Thanks to its auto-off timer you won’t have to worry about making your life more complicated or wonder if you left it running all night while away like with other models – the auto timer feature takes care of that.
The electronic controls are simple to understand, clear, and the LCD display is an added bonus, along with being able to approximately see how dirty your air is where you live using the air quality indicator light.
And there’s no confusion about why it has received so many great reviews – Levoit purifiers are well designed, good looking, and the LV-PUR131 is a popular purifier. A great one to pick for getting rid of that nasty dust in your home!