Air purifiers can be a helpful solution if you suffer from cat allergies but still want to share your home with a feline friend. Pet hair and dander can be unbearable for those with allergies. Cats that spend time outdoors can bring allergens, such as various pollens, back home with them. In addition, litter box odors and litter dust are often irritating to those with respiratory sensitivities. The benefits of an air purifier can extend to your cat if they also suffer from seasonal allergies.
Air purifiers remove harmful particles, along with dander and flying loose fur, from the air before they have a chance to settle on your clothes, furniture, or bedding. There are many types of air purifiers available, so we rounded up our favorites. Our list of reviews can help you get acquainted with the basics and see which one works for your household.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Filtrete Air Purifier||
|Best Value||Germ Guardian Air Purifier||
|Premium Choice||Bissell Smart Air Purifier||
|Best for Cat Dander||Winix Ultimate Pet Air Purifier||
|Best for Cat Hair||Levoit Core Pet Air Purifier||
The 9 Best Air Purifiers for Cat Allergies
1. Filtrete Air Purifier — Best Overall
|Dimensions:||12.2”L x 9.3”W x 18.3”H|
The Filtrete Air Purifier is our best overall choice for cat owners. The compact size can cover approximately 170 square feet. While this is an ideal option for one room, it can easily be moved from room to room so you can use it where you need it the most.
The particles captured by the filter in this purifier include dust, mold spores, cat dander, smoke, pollen, and various bacteria that cause odors. The filter should be replaced every 6 months with heavy use. An indicator will light up on the control panel to let you know that a filter change is due.
The easy-to-use control panel has soft touch buttons that enable you to set a timer, dim the LED lights, and switch between three fan speed options.
This air purifier doesn’t run silently. There will be some noise when it’s on, and a few reports claim that it’s too loud. But others report that it’s quiet enough to sleep through.
2. Germ Guardian Small Air Purifier — Best Value
|Dimensions:||7.75”L x 6.5”W x 11”H|
The Germ Guardian Small Air Purifier is the best value choice for the money. This portable air purifier uses a HEPA filter with activated charcoal to clean the air in your home and remove odors. It reduces 99.97% of dust and allergens while trapping pet hair.
This can be used on a desktop, nightstand, counter, or table. It has three different speed options and can be moved around your home so you can always breathe the cleanest air possible.
It works best in small rooms and can cover up to 78 square feet. Use it near the litter box to let the activated charcoal filter eliminate odors where they start.
This device includes an option for UV-C light technology. When this setting is selected, it will help kill airborne germs and viruses. The UV-C light bulb can be replaced. Vacuuming the filter between uses will help extend its lifespan and keep the unit working optimally. Replacement filters can be purchased separately.
3. Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier — Premium Choice
|Dimensions:||8.3”L x 14.75”W x 25”H|
|Color:||White & grey|
This modern Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier is sleek and stylish. It has a simple design that won’t clash with your home décor in any room. Our premium choice air purifier can filter the air in large rooms and uses a three-stage filtration system. A pre-filter, an activated carbon filter, and a medical-grade HEPA filter work together to capture 99.97% of particles in the air. This unit will eliminate irritants such as dust, pet dander, and pollen. It will also reduce smoke from cooking, wildfires, or smoking.
The air is pulled in through the filters, cleaned, and released through the top. This air purifier may be large, but it operates with “library quiet performance,” even with five different fan speeds.
This air purifier monitors the air in your home and gives you a reading of its quality. It will then adjust to the appropriate fan setting to make sure your home’s air is the cleanest that it can be.
Bissell is known for making products that cater to pet parents and help clean up and guard against potty accidents, messes, and odors. With every purchase, Bissell also helps save homeless pets.
4. Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet Air Purifier — Best for Cat Dander
|Dimensions:||16.3”L x 9.6”W x 23.6”H|
The pre-filter in the Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet Air Purifier is the first line of defense against cat hair and dander. It captures the large particles, extending the life of the HEPA filter. It’s also washable, so you can keep it clean and working at its peak performance level. This unit uses plasma wave technology to break down odors, allergens, vapors, and bacteria at a molecular level. It can clean the air around it up to 300 square feet.
This air purifier works well for offices, bedrooms, and living rooms. The fan is reported to be quiet enough to not disturb reading, watching television, or having conversations. After collecting cat hair and dander, the deodorized carbon filter works to absorb and trap odors. The LED light on the front of this unit will change in real time according to the air quality in your home.
If you’re using this in a bedroom, the unit will automatically switch to sleep mode to continue working efficiently and not disturb you. It will change back to auto mode when it senses light.
5. Levoit Core Pet Care Air Purifier — Best for Cat Hair
|Dimensions:||8.7”L x 8.7”W x 14.2”H|
While working well to combat cat hair, the Levoit Core Pet Care Air Purifier also removes pet dander, dust, mold, and allergens from the air. The carbon filter absorbs pet odors. This machine can work in any room and will fit in with your décor. If you’re using this in a bedroom, the fan is quiet enough to not disturb sleep, and the display light can be turned off to keep your room dark.
A timer feature can be set for 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours. A filter-replacement light will remind you to change the filter and keep your unit working efficiently. This machine can clean the air up to 219 square feet around it, so it’s ideal for use in your office, den, bedroom, or living room. Multiple units can be purchased for different areas of the house if necessary. The unit is also small enough that it can be transferred from room to room.
The buttons on the display lock so pets and children can’t accidentally adjust the settings. The average time between filter changings is 6–8 months, but if you use your air purifier often, it may need to be changed sooner.
6. Lasko Pure Platinum Air Purifier — Best for Allergens
|Dimensions:||8.9”L x 2.3”W x 14.5”H|
The battery-powered Lasko Pure Platinum Air Purifier comes with a 1-year supply of replacement filters. The slim design lets you place this anywhere. Like many other models, this machine has a sensor that will alert you to poor air quality.
This unit comes with a remote control for convenience. You can change between the three different speed settings without having to get up. Other options include a 7-hour timer, a child lock mode, and a sleep mode.
The machine will provide air filtration up to 200 square feet in only 17 minutes. It captures 99% of allergens, including dander, dust mites, mold, and pollen in three stages.
The carbon filter works first to remove smoke and household odors. It also captures dust, pet hair, and other particles. This filter lasts up to 4 months.
The second stage is a pleated filter that removes airborne irritants. The third stage is the TiO2 filter with UV light that eliminates mold, bacteria, and viruses from the air. It will also reduce fumes from cleaners, aerosols, and paint. The second and third stage filters last up to 12 months.
7. Crane Tower Air Purifier
|Dimensions:||9.25”L x 9.25”W x 15.3”H|
The Crane Tower Air Purifier comes with a True-HEPA filter, a pre-filter, and a UV lamp. Bacteria and germs in the air are broken down by the UV light, while the filters trap irritants like dust, pollen, and dander.
You can choose from three speed and timer settings to get the cleanest air that you want in your home. There is a setting for reduced noise and an automatic shutoff feature after the timer is used. This machine can in rooms up to 300 square feet and can even be a suitable option for a classroom setting.
It’s compact enough to be able to move to new places around your home if you wish.
The HEPA filter is suggested to be replaced every 3–6 months, depending on how often you use this unit.
The filters are changed by turning the unit upside down and unscrewing the large screw in the center. Then the screw must be tightened again once the filters are in place.
8. Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier
|Dimensions:||10.84”L x 8.08”W x 16.43”H|
|Color:||White & grey, black, or white options available|
The affordable Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier is whisper quiet and uses three filtration stages to clean the air in your home. It’s designed to capture pet dander and neutralize pet odors. The HEPA filter collects dust, pollen, and mold and mildew spores.
With three different settings, you can choose the one that you need the most. The quiet setting can be used at night. The quick clean setting is more powerful to get faster results.
The permanent pre-filter captures large particles in the air. This, along with the permanent HEPA filter, can be cleaned with a vacuum. The carbon filters will need to be replaced at the proper time to keep this machine working efficiently. This unit will clean a bedroom, office, hallway, or living room, reaching up to 140 square feet. It can be placed vertically or horizontally to work with the space that you have.
9. Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier
|Dimensions:||11”L x 6.75”W x 27.25”H|
The Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier is designed for allergies sufferers and pet parents who want to breathe easier in their homes. The HEPA air filter captures allergens, and the activated charcoal filter keeps rooms smelling fresh and clean. This filter is treated with a PetPure antimicrobial agent that will stop the growth of mold and other odor-causing bacteria on the filter’s surface.
This unit uses optional UV-C light technology to break down germs and viruses in the air. It comes equipped with five settings, an 8-hour timer feature, and an indicator for filter changes.
With the ability to clean areas up to 180 square feet, you can place this machine wherever you need it the most. The filters need changing every 6–8 months for heavy use. The UV-C bulbs will need to be replaced every 10–12 months. The carbon filter can be vacuumed periodically to extend its lifetime.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Air Purifier for Cat Allergies
Choosing the best air purifier for your home can come down to several factors. There’s no universal air purifier that’s right for everyone. Look at the filter types, size, area cleaned, and replacement filter costs when comparing and choose the one that fits your needs. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right one for you.
What Do Air Purifiers Do?
Air purifiers filter pollutants and allergens from the air. You don’t have to suffer from allergies or be a pet owner to reap the benefits of clean air in your home. However, using an air purifier can greatly reduce hair, dander, and odors caused by cats.
If you are allergic to cats, an air purifier can be a helpful solution to breathing easier around your feline companion. It will reduce dander and hair in the air before those irritants can settle around you.
Air purifiers can only capture these things as they float in the air. Once they’ve settled, they can’t be moved by the machine. Heavy allergens tend to settle quickly and can’t be removed in time.
Room air purifiers can only work for a designated amount of space surrounding them. If you’d like multiple rooms to be filtered, moving the air purifier from room to room is necessary. You can also get multiple units for the rooms that you want to use them in.
Getting the Most Out of Your Air Purifier
Consider the rooms in which you want to use an air purifier. Bedrooms and living rooms seem to be the most common choices because people spend most of their time in these areas. Place the purifier away from walls and curtains. Nothing should obstruct the airflow on all sides of the machine. Using the air purifier where you need it most will help you receive the maximum benefits.
Keep it running for the cleanest air possible. Turning it off will let allergens and particles settle. Keep the windows and doors to the outside closed near the air purifier when it’s running. If your machine has a timer feature, this will enable you to only use the machine when you want to, saving energy.
Clean your filters. An air purifier is only as good as its filters. They must be replaced over time. Usually, that period is approximately every 6 months. Carbon filters that capture and neutralize odors in the air should be replaced every 3 months. If your unit comes with permanent filters, learn how to clean them. Some require vacuuming. Others require cleaning with water and then allowing them to fully dry. Keeping your filters clean will not only keep your air cleaner but will also extend the life of your air purifier.
Improving the Air Quality in Your Home
In addition to the air purifier, you can do things to help improve your home’s air quality. The air purifier can only do so much. You can help reduce its workload by doing the following.
Limit the number of chemicals that you use inside. Paints, pesticides, cleaners, and glues can all lead to poor air quality in your home. While your air purifier will help, it won’t eliminate them from the air if they’re used regularly.
Reduce or stop smoking indoors, and limit how often you burn candles in your home.
Open your windows on pleasant days to let in clean air. If you suffer from allergies, use an air conditioner with an air filter. This will help cycle the air in your home.
If your home has exhaust fans, use them regularly.
Most of all, vacuum. By cleaning your floors, furniture, and surfaces in your homes, you can gather up the particles missed by the air purifier. When these particles are stirred up into the air again, whatever you miss has another shot at being grabbed by the machine.
Types of Air Purifier Filters
Many air purifiers have more than one filter. The pre-filter is used to grab large particles, like cat hair, in the air as they pass through it. The main filter is used to capture smaller particles and allergens. Activated charcoal or carbon filters work for odor control. Some units include all three filters and some just have the first two.
HEPA filters are high-efficiency particulate air filters and are recommended by the American Lung Association. Your main filter should be a HEPA filter. It captures 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 millionths of a meter or larger.
Activated charcoal or carbon filters work against odors. Your air purifier can remove particles from the air. However, without a filter for odor control, it won’t do much against smells. These filters can trap gases and fumes, cooking odors, and litter box odors. By placing the air purifier in the same room as the litter box, you can help eliminate odors even further.
Are Air Purifiers Noisy?
The air purifiers work by pulling air in through the filtration system and circulating it back out once it’s cleaned. Internal fans usually make this happen. While some of them can produce a humming sound, others are virtually silent.
When considering where you want to use your unit, choosing one that operates quietly, even at high speeds, will be better for areas like offices and bedrooms. Some machines offer a silent option that must be selected when you want a quieter clean.
Air Purifier Features
Air purifiers can come with additional features. This may affect the price of the unit. Some of these features can make operating the machine more convenient, and others you may not find to be necessary.
Filter-Replacement Indicator Light
A light will appear on the panel of the machine letting you know that your filter is close to the time that it needs to be replaced or that it’s now the time that it must be replaced. If you can remember to replace your filter according to how often you use your machine, this feature may not be needed. It can be convenient when you forget to do it, though. Keeping your filters clean will keep your machine running smoothly, so replacing them on time is essential.
Dimming LED Panel
If your machine lights up and you’re using it in a bedroom, being able to adjust the brightness of the display is helpful. If you’re using the machine in a living or common room, how bright it is may not matter overnight.
Setting your machine to operate for a certain amount of time every day can be useful when you don’t want to manually turn it on and off. However, if you’re using a portable air purifier that sits on your desk or nightstand, turning it on and off might be so easy that a timer is unnecessary.
It’s convenient to be able to adjust your air purifier from across the room. Depending on how often you want to change the settings, the remote control could be a helpful feature.
Some air purifiers can be controlled by your phone or a voice command. While these features may be more expensive, they don’t contribute to the unit’s overall performance. These are specific features that appeal to the user’s convenience. Having Smart capabilities does not mean that the unit will work better than one that doesn’t have them.
Our best overall choice for an air purifier for cat allergies is the Filtrete Air Purifier. It cleans a large area at once for an affordable price and has a timer option. Our best value choice is the Germ Guardian Small Air Purifier. It uses UV-C light technology to kill germs in the air but only cleans a small area at a time. Our premium pick is the Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier. It has a stylish design and provides air quality readings. We hope that our reviews have helped you decide on the best air purifier to provide relief from cat allergies.
Featured Image Credit: Parinya Smithijaroenpon, Shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 9 Best Air Purifiers for Cat Allergies
- 1. Filtrete Air Purifier — Best Overall
- 2. Germ Guardian Small Air Purifier — Best Value
- 3. Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier — Premium Choice
- 4. Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet Air Purifier — Best for Cat Dander
- 5. Levoit Core Pet Care Air Purifier — Best for Cat Hair
- 6. Lasko Pure Platinum Air Purifier — Best for Allergens
- 7. Crane Tower Air Purifier
- 8. Hamilton Beach TrueAir Air Purifier
- 9. Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier
- Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Air Purifier for Cat Allergies
- Air Purifier Features