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Mold in the home can cause all kinds of issues from asthma attacks to flared allergies. While an air purifier doesn’t solve the problem of mold, it can help to reduce the health impacts of airborne mold spores.
We at HonestAir have found the top 5 best air purifiers for mold and have reviewed them here, complete with pros, cons, and highlights. You will find a wide range of features, filtration systems, and some excellent price-points on our list.
We have assessed each air purifier according to these aspects:
|Filter System||Special features||Coverage Area (sq ft.)||Annual Costs|
|What kind of filtration does the air purifier have for dealing with mold in the home?||Does it have any other special features for mold removal or overall functionality?||What size space does the unit cater to? Small, medium, large, whole house?||How much does the unit cost to run per year? What are filter replacement costs?|
🏆 AirHonest Winner: Alen BreatheSmart Classic Large Room Air Purifier
AirHonest Award: Best-Rated Air Purifier For Mold
- Antimicrobial true-HEPA filter
- Carbon filter
- Auto mode and air quality sensor
- Timer (4, 8, and 12 hours)
Our top pick is the Alen Breathesmart Classic Large Room Air Purifier, specifically with the HEPA-Silver filter option. There are four filter-type options, and the HEPA-silver is designed especially for dealing with mold, germs, bacteria, and supporting asthmatics.
The filter is treated with an antimicrobial treatment that kills mold spores and stops them from thriving. But first, the pre-filter and electrostatically charged true-HEPA filter capture mold spores. Finally, the carbon filter helps to clear the air of odors from pets, cigarette smoke, food, and of course, musty mold and damp-related odors. There is also an ionizer, however, it can be switched off with the press of a button.
Aside from the excellent filtration system, there are some great features such as an Auto mode. This switches the fan speed according to the air quality sensor which detects allergens such as mold spores in the air. There are four fan speeds, including “turbo” for a fast and effective burst of air cleaning.
According to multiple reviews, the Alen BreatheSmart does a great job at filtering mold spores and refreshing mold odors. In turn, it soothes mold-related allergy and asthma symptoms. For this reason, it’s worth the higher price tag.
Alen BreatheSmart Classic is Best For:
- Large spaces, large budgets, and people who want the option of an Auto mode
The Runner-Up – Alen T500 Air Purifier, Antibacterial
AirHonest Award: Best Small Air Purifier For Mold
- Antimicrobial true-HEPA filter
- Charcoal filter and pre-filter
- 3 fan speeds
- 12-hour timer
Our runner-up is the Alen T500 Antibacterial Air Purifier. This is a far simpler model than the Alen Breathesmart above, but it has similar filtration systems. It is a tower-style model designed for spaces up to 500 square feet. Plus, it has a far smaller price tag so it’s great for smaller rooms and smaller budgets.
For mold removal, the HEPA-silver filter is ideal (there are three other filter options) as it offers a pre-filter, true-HEPA, activated carbon, and antimicrobial treatment. This gives you great defense against mold, as the filters are more than sufficient for catching spores, and the treated filter prevents mold from multiplying. Like the top pick, this model has an ionizer which can be switched off.
The low cost and compact size of this unit reflect the simple operation. There are no auto modes or air quality indicators, just 3 manual fan speeds, a filter reset button, and a 12-hour timer. In terms of maintenance costs and requirements, the filters cannot be washed, they have to be replaced every 6-12 months depending on how often the unit is used. The annual filter replacement costs are reasonably high, but worth the cost for allergy relief.
Alen T500 Air Purifier Best For:
- Small spaces, and people suffering from mold-related allergies
SilverOnyx 5-Speed 4-in-1 Air Purifier
AirHonest Award: Best Air Purifier For Mold With UV-C Light
- True-HEPA filter
- Auto mode and air quality indicator
- Sleep mode
- 5 fan speeds
Number three is the lesser-known, but very effective SilverOnyx 5-Speed 4-in-1 Air Purifier. This attractive, cylindrical air purifier is great for combating mold in the home thanks to the comprehensive filtration system. A pre-filter captures larger particles, a true-HEPA filter captures particles as small as 0.3 microns, and the carbon filter neutralizes odors. Note that most household mold spores are between 1-30 microns in size, so a true-HEPA filter is an excellent defense.
Interestingly, this model has an ionizer and a UV-C light filter. The UV-C light filter is great for fighting mold in the home, as it destroys mold spores. While SilverOnyx states that this air purifier doesn’t produce ozone, you can switch off the UV-C light and ionizer if you are concerned. Asthmatics should be wary of ionizers, and keep them switched off.
A small yet significant feature is the “light” button which allows you to switch off some of the indicator lights. This is ideal for people who are sensitive to light at night. What’s more, there’s a sleep mode which dims the lights and uses the lowest, quietest fan speed.
Note that while this model as a recommended room area of 500 square feet, it is better suited to smaller rooms of around 250 square feet.
The filter replacement requirements and costs are reasonably low, with the HEPA filter requiring a replacement every 6 months.
This is a compact, attractive air purifier with a small price tag and effective defense against mold as well as other allergens.
SilverOnyx Air Purifier is Best For:
- Small rooms, and people who are happy to use ionizers and UV-C light filters
Fellowes AeraMax 100
AirHonest Award: Best Affordable Air Purifier For Mold
- AeraSafe-treated HEPA filter kills mold
- Aera+ mode (faster cleaning)
- AeraSmart (auto mode)
- Carbon pre-filter
Next, the Fellowes AeraMax 100, a compact, tower-style model with a low price tag. This is a great air purifier for mold because it has a true-HEPA filter with an antimicrobial treatment designed for killing mold and bacteria. This is great for homes that are prone to dampness during the colder months.
The PlasmaTrue Technology filter is an ionizer that emits negative ions into the air. The ions then stick to airborne particles, making them heavier so they fall to the ground or onto surfaces so they can be cleaned away. If you are concerned about ozone, you can switch the PlasmaTrue feature off.
The AeraMax 100 has 3 fan speeds, plus an Auto mode (Aera+) which changes the fan speed automatically. It does so according to the air quality indicator which senses when allergens are present.
This is an ideal model for you if you have a small space to clean, you require a model with a small footprint, and you need extra protection against mold.
AeraMax100 Air Purifier is Best For:
- People with small budgets, small rooms, and damp homes
AirHonest Award: Best True-HEPA Air Purifier For Mold
- True-HEPA filter with antimicrobial treatment
- 5 fan speeds (with sleep mode)
- Timer (up to 8 hours)
- Charcoal filter
Lastly, the GermGuardian AC5250PT, a tower-style air purifier for rooms up to 180 square feet. The key feature is the true-HEPA filter with antimicrobial treatment for killing mold spores and bacteria. There’s also a charcoal filter for removing odors, (great for musty, damp odors), and UV-C light. UV-C lights are great for killing airborne mold spores in their tracks. Research shows that UV-C lights in small doses are completely safe for humans. However, you can switch off the UV-C light if you are concerned about ozone emissions.
This model is reasonably simple in operation, as it doesn’t have an Auto mode or air quality indicator. It does have 5 fan speeds, an auto-off timer (up to 8 hours), and sleep-friendly low fan speed.
The filter replacements are easy to manage, with the HEPA filter requirement replacement every 6 months, the charcoal filters every 3 months. Note that the UV-C light bulb also requires replacing.
This is an ideal air purifier for you if you are short on space, but require something which will effectively capture and kill mold spores, as well as provide overall protection against allergens.
GermGuardian AC5250PT Air Purifier is Best For:
- Small spaces, and people who require air purification for mold in the bedroom overnight, without disturbing noise
How To Choose An Air Purifier For Mold
Be clear on your budget before you begin the search. Be aware that there are some excellent, effective, high-quality air purifiers on the market which are great at dealing with mold (you’ll find many of them on our list).
Look for a true-HEPA filter, preferably with an antimicrobial treatment to kill mold spores in the filter. If you’ve got odor issues to deal with as well, look for a charcoal filter. If you or someone in your home suffers from asthma, avoid ionizers and UV-C lights as the ozone emissions can trigger asthma. If you do find a great unit with an ionizer or UV-C light, make sure it is optional and can be switched off in the case of a reaction.
Dimensions and recommended room size
Get a rough idea of the size of the room you intend to set your air purifier in, as well as the size of the space the air purifier will sit. Choose a unit that will fit neatly into the space, with enough room to make sure each side of the unit has clear space around it. Find a unit that caters to the size of your selected room. For example, if your chosen room is 200 square feet, choose a unit that has a recommended room size of 200 square feet or more.
Extra features (auto mode, timer)
Are you interested in extra features such as auto modes that change the fan speed according to an air quality sensor reading? Or would you be happy to manually change the fan speeds? Would you like to set your air purifier on a timer? These features aren’t essential and don’t affect the effectiveness of the unit, but they can make for a smooth operation.
Noise and lights
If you plan on keeping your air purifier in your bedroom at night, it’s important to find a unit with a Sleep Mode. At the least, the unit should have a quiet operation and lights which can be switched off or easily covered.
Filter replacement requirements and costs
Find out the cost of replacement filters, and how often they need to be changed. Avoid a nasty surprise in the form of a costly set of replacement filters by being sure before you buy. Also consider how often you will run the unit, as a constant operation will likely mean more regular filter replacements and, therefore, a higher annual cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mold spores are airborne, so they are sucked into the air purifier via the fan. The spores are caught in the HEPA filters where they are trapped and die. Air purifiers are not a remedy for mold, as it needs to be treated at the source (via proper ventilation, warmth, and insulation in the home). An air purifier with a charcoal filter can also help to remove musty, mold-related odors.
Not usually, as the air purifier does not hold moisture, and mold thrives in cold, moist areas. However, mold spores can grow on the filter in certain environments (i.e. humid or damp), so it’s smart to choose a filter that has been treated with an antimicrobial treatment.
Mold spores can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms such as runny noses, itchy eyes, itchy throat, and trouble breathing. People living in moldy or damp homes can find themselves experiencing constant symptoms.
No. An ionizer will release negative ions into the air. Negative ions will attach themselves to mold spores, weighing them down so they fall to the floor or onto surfaces. They are removed from the air, so you won’t breathe them in. However, they are still in the room and can be redistributed back into the air if they are disrupted. A true-HEPA filter, on the other hand, captures and keeps the mold spores from floating in the air and being breathed into your system.