Do Air Purifiers Work For Pet Allergies?

Many animal lovers suffer from asthma, pet allergies, or a combination of both. This can make it hard to breathe easily. Your immune system is sending signals that you’re under attack, even though the pet dander you’re breathing in is harmless.

You might have heard that air purifiers are recommended for allergy sufferers. But do they really work? What air purifiers should you be looking into?

Avoid Ionizing Purifiers

Some purifiers work by emitting ions that then “trap” the particles in the air around them. However, these purifiers can only purify spaces the size of a small closet. And alarmingly, they produce ozone, which can cause damage to your lungs if breathed in. They’re definitely not ideal for people whose allergies are already causing lung problems!

HEPA Filters Are Your Friend

When you look into an air purifier, what matters most is the type of filter used. For a filter to receive the HEPA certification, it must be capable of trapping at least 99.7 percent of particles in the air. This distinction sets HEPA filters far apart from run-of-the-mill filters.

These are the filters you’ll want if you’re dealing with pet allergens. Cat allergens can often slip through less discriminatory filters, and they tend to stay airborne for longer. This isn’t helped by the fact that cats tend to emit a lot of allergens, thanks to the allergen protein being found in their skin’s natural oils.

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Charcoal Filters

When you pick out your filter, your first priority should be making sure you find a HEPA certified one. However, many air purifiers have additional charcoal activated filters.

The goal of these filters is to trap odors so your house smells fresh and clean. They’re definitely an ideal investment if you have messy dogs, smelly cats, or stinky small pet cages.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air Purifier

Amount of Space Purified

HEPA filters can’t purify your entire home. Their construction can’t hold up to an entire house’s volume of air. However, a HEPA filter can generally purify a room or two.

When you look into the air purifiers, you should have information about how much space the filter is rated to purify. Keep in mind the size of whatever room you’re planning to use the filter in. How big is your bedroom? Your living room? You’ll be using the filter in whatever rooms you spend the most time in.

You should also have information about how long the filter takes to circulate all the air in a room. Many filters can circulate a room’s air several times within one hour. Make sure you get a filter that works efficiently enough to keep you breathing easy.

Noise Level

How much noise does the air purifier make? For some people, they can function like a white noise machine. Other people aren’t happy with louder filtration systems and prefer something noiseless.

As a general rule, the harder the purifier is working, the louder it will be.


Many air purifiers have multiple speed settings. You might start the purifier off on the highest setting to clear the air, then switch it to a quieter setting once it’s cycled through the air a few times. It helps to know how many speeds and customization options your filter has.

There may also be multiple modes to address different environmental needs. This saves you the trouble of figuring out which speed is most effective.

Automatic Adjustment Capabilities

Some high-end purifiers have the capability for automatic adjustment. They’re engineered with sensors that take in information about the surrounding room’s air quality. From there, they automatically adjust the settings to give you the most efficient and high-level purification possible.

These settings are not only convenient, but they can help you save on your power bill later. If you know you’ll be using your air purifier frequently, they’re worth thinking about.

Pet Rules

A HEPA filter shouldn’t be the only proactive measure you take for your allergies. You should also be keeping your pets out of your bedroom and living area as much as possible, as well as engaging in weekly grooming.

Dogs should be bathed weekly with a deep-conditioning shampoo to help avoid dry and flaky skin. Cats don’t tend to need full baths, but they should be brushed and wiped down with a damp washcloth to get rid of dander.

Your pet’s hair isn’t causing the problem. Instead, their saliva and dander are what causes the issue. The best way to keep your allergies at bay is by reducing the amount of saliva and dander found inside your home.

Our Top Air Purifier Recommendation

When choosing an air purifier for pet allergies, this air purifier from Hamilton Beach is an ideal choice. It’s optimized specifically to help with pet allergies.

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The HEPA filtration filter removes 99 percent of particles in the air, with yearly savings of up to $49 when compared to another leading replacement filters. Two carbon filters help trap and eliminate pet odors by using zeolite technology.

This filter is cleared to perform in rooms of 140 square feet or smaller, so it’s perfect for a small bedroom or living area. The permanent HEPA filter can be vacuum cleaned for maximum convenience.

Final Thoughts

Not all air purifiers are created equal. Fortunately, the HEPA rating system makes it easy to choose a purifier that will do the job you need it to do. Investing in a HEPA filter will help ensure the majority of allergens are filtered out of your air.

When choosing an air purifier, keep in mind the space you’re clearing along with the features you want. If you’ll be using the air purifier constantly, you might want to spring for more high-tech features.

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