Do air purifiers help with allergies? Expert advice ahead of hay fever season

We spoke to the experts to find out just how much air purifiers can help relieve allergy symptoms from dust, pets, pollen and more.

Air purifier in cozy white bed room for filter and cleaning removing dust
(Image credit: Jomkwan via Getty Images)

Allergy sufferers know all too well the struggles of hay fever season. Warmer weather brings the challenge of avoiding symptoms flaring up indoors and outdoors, and allergy sufferers will look for ways to make things a bit easier.

The best air purifiers effectively create a safer space indoors, with cleaner air that helps cultivate a better quality of life. But do air purifiers help with allergies?

'Due to climate change, growing seasons start earlier and last longer than they did just 30 years ago,' says Jennie Bergman, Senior Product Manager of Indoor Environmental Air Quality at Trane Residential. She adds that 'some parts of the United States now experience pollen year-round. Warmer temperatures also trap heat in urban areas, increasing air pollution and stimulating pollen production.'

So, it's now as important as ever to consider the air quality of your home. Nobody wants to live with allergy symptoms year-round, and an air purifier may be the answer. Read on to find out how effective they are.

Do air purifiers help with allergies?

The quality of your indoor air can significantly affect your health. Wildfire smoke, allergens, viruses and mold can come in from the outdoors; for allergy sufferers, having the windows open during summer can start triggering symptoms.

Dr Jaspreet Dhau, VP of R&D at Molekule, explains how air purifiers can help improve indoor air quality: 'When harmful outdoor air comes into indoor spaces, densely concentrated pollutants may be two to five times higher than outdoor air pollutants. Air purifiers are essential to help keep the air indoors clean and prevent users from breathing in harmful pollutants.'

So, do air purifiers help with allergies?

air purifier

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Absolutely. One of the air purifier's biggest strengths is removing allergenic particles from the air.

'These devices can substantially reduce allergy symptoms by removing allergens like pet dander, pollen and dust mites from the air,' says Jaspreet. 

This is particularly the case for purifiers with HEPA filters. HEPA filters, or 'high efficiency particulate air' filters, are often found on air purifiers and some of the best vacuums because they're capable of capturing super-fine particles and removing them from your indoor space.

'Air purifiers that incorporate HEPA filters are capable of trapping 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, including most airborne allergens,' Jaspreet explains.

How much do they help with symptoms?

air purifier

(Image credit: Alamy)

Naturally, symptoms can vary person-to-person depending on exposure to allergens, whether outside or in the home. Peter Mann, CEO of Oransi and Chair of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers’ Air Cleaner Council, explains how you can maximize the effects of an air purifier:

'If you can minimize contact time with allergens and have sufficient airflow inside with an air purifier, you can create a safe space from allergens that make a significant difference in reducing symptoms,' he explains. 

This can be a massive savior at night. The allergen particles that we breathe in are fine and float in the air, so over the course of a night, we breathe in countless numbers of these particles - which is why allergy sufferers often wake up from symptoms flaring up.

'A HEPA air purifier is designed to clean the air of these tiny particles so we don't breathe them in,' says Peter, explaining why air purifier users often report sleeping better and not waking up congested.

Many air purifiers, like the Dreo Macro Pro, even have sleep modes. In these modes, they run at quieter volumes while maintaining your bedroom's air quality overnight.

Air purifiers can help to remove allergens in the air, but to relieve symptoms even further, one of the best dehumidifiers will remove any unwanted moisture from the air. Investing in one of the best vacuums for pet hair will no doubt make your life easier, too.

Dan Fauzi
Home Tech Editor

Dan is the Home Tech Editor for Homes & Gardens, covering all things cleaning, smart home, sound and automation across the Solved section. Having worked for Future PLC since July 2023, Dan was previously the Features Editor for Top Ten Reviews and looked after the wide variety of home and outdoor content across the site, but their writing about homes, gardens, tech and products started back in 2021 on brands like BBC Science Focus, YourHomeStyle, Homes & Antiques and Gardens Illustrated.

Dan is based in Bristol, UK with a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Magazine Journalism. Outside of work, you'll find them at gigs and art galleries, cycling somewhere scenic, or cooking up something good in the kitchen.