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Best Air Purifier for Mold and Mildew: Okaysou vs. Levoit vs. Winix

Mold can easily grow in your home, and once it’s there, it can be hard to get rid of. There are many precautions you can take to help keep it at bay, but it will always be something you need to keep on top of, as mold spores easily reproduce and spread in your environment. Thankfully, the right air purifier can work wonders to stop you from inhaling mold spores that are floating around your home.

Air purifiers can also remove other air pollutants like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, smoke, and odors from your home. They come in a wide range of designs and sizes, and all of them claim to be the best. We wanted to take a look at some of the top models and see how they compare to each other.

Read on as we dive into the wonderful world of clean air!

Buyer’s Guide

Looking at all the information that air purifiers throw at you can be overwhelming and difficult to take in. Here are the important things you should know about before making a decision on which one to buy.

Purify Your Life

Air purifiers use multiple filters to rid your environment of airborne pollutants. Most will have a HEPA filter, as well as an activated carbon filter. The HEPA filter catches small particles like mold spores, pet dander, pollen, and dust mites, while the carbon filter absorbs odors like smoke and household VOCs like formaldehyde. Depending on the model, they may have a pre-filter for catching large particles like lint and fur, and a layer of anti-bacterial coating for combating viruses and bacteria.

Small Size, Big Performance

While air purifiers aren’t overly large, some are more portable than others. However, different sizes mean different performances. Larger models will clean your environment quicker than smaller ones, but they will also take up more space in your home. Additionally, the replacement filters for large models usually cost more, but the trade-off is that you get more use from them due to bigger surface space.

Full of Features

There are plenty of features packed onto these air cleaning systems. All will have some sort of variation of the following: a timer function, 3-4 fan speeds, and a sleep mode. The timer will have multiple intervals you can choose from to run the unit uninterrupted, while the fan will be whisper quiet on low, and only mildly loud on high/turbo. Sleep mode usually quiets the fan and dims the lights on the purifier so you can sleep easy. Other features you will come across are auto mode (where the unit senses the room’s air quality and adjusts its operation accordingly), a child lock, and a replacement filter light.

Best Air Purifiers

Okaysou AirMax8L Review

Portable and easy to use, the AirMax 8L air purifier from Okaysou is designed to drastically improve the air quality in any room of your home. It is a medical-grade purifier that has multiple certifications (CE/SCC/ETL/CARB), ensuring you’re not only getting an effective unit but a safe one as well.

The AirMax uses a 3-filter system to rid your room of a wide range of airborne pollutants: pollen, virus, bacteria, mold spores, VOCs, dust, and pet dander just to name a few. It can be used in small, medium, or large-sized rooms up to 500 square feet. The unit is lightweight and has a modern design to fit easily into any living space.

A 14.17” x 9.52” magnetic back panel grants you access to the filters and the turbine motor. This large air intake makes it easy for the machine to trap plenty of particles in a short amount of time. Of note, the unit will not start unless the panel is properly attached.

Okaysou outfits the AirMax with a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. The pre-filter acts to prolong the lifespan of the main filters. The HEPA filter removes 99.97% of all airborne particles and also has an anti-microbial coating for a 99.9% sterilization rating. The third filter is an activated carbon filter, which mainly removes odors, VOCs, and gases like formaldehyde (which are found in household products and building materials). Attached to it is a cold catalyst filter that works to decompose chemicals like ammonia and hydrogen. This air purifier performs exceptionally well reducing both PM10 and PM 2.5 particulate matter, significantly improving overall air quality.

Taking a look at the unit itself, it has handles on either side for carrying and repositioning, and an open-top design complete with a touchscreen display for easy adjustments. Due to the open-top design, it is important to not drop anything into the unit, as it could be easily damaged this way.

The display allows you to adjust multiple settings to your comfort level. There are 3 fan speeds (low/medium/high), 4 timers (1, 2, 4, and 8-hour intervals), and a child lock security feature. You can also press the “sleep” button, which sets the unit on low and dims the touchscreen lights for uninterrupted rest. When the filters need replacing, the filter replacement light will illuminate to alert you. While this may sound expensive, you need only replace the filters every 6-8 months, or every 1500 hours.

The AirMax uses little electricity, is 100% ozone-free, a comes with a generous 5-year warranty. It is a great option for allergy and asthma suffers and is one of the most effective ways to purify your room.

PROS:
  • Long filter life
  • Removes allergens completely
  • Comes with various certificates
  • 5 Years of warranty

CONS:
  • Child-lock feature is easy to figure out for kids over 2 years old
  • Doesn’t show air quality

Read Review of Okaysou AirMax8L

Levoit Air Purifier (LV-H132) With H13 HEPA Filter Review

The LV-H132 air purifier from Levoit is a triple-filter gem and packed with features that do a good job cleaning the air in your home so you can breathe easier. It uses an upgraded motor compared to previous incarnations and is large enough to work with various room sizes while remaining physically small.

The cylindrical unit measures 12.6 inches in height with a 7.9-inch diameter, allowing you a lot of flexibility when it comes to placement. Its size lends itself to be used on tabletops, but any level surface will work just as well. Levoit produces both a black and white model so you can integrate it with your home decor.

Levoit goes with a 3 layered filter set up in this model, which consists of a pre-filter, true HEPA, and activated carbon filter. The pre-filter is designed to catch large particles like pet hair and lint, while the true HEPA filter takes care of finer particles like mold spores, dust mites, pet dander, and pollen. Particles are as small as 0.3 microns can be filtered out, as the HEPA works to rid your environment of 99.97% of airborne pollutants. Finally, the activated carbon filter can help to eliminate odors that are produced by cooking, smoking, or your furry friends.

On top of the unit is where you will find adjustable controls that you can set to your desired comfort level. Aside from the power button, there is a nightlight that offers you two brightness settings (it can also be turned off completely), a filter replacement alert light, and 3 fan speeds to choose from. The lowest setting will produce 25dB of noise, making it whisper-quiet if you want to run the unit overnight. The high setting gets up to 46 dB, which still keeps the noise output reasonable at all times.

Replacing the filters is easy to do, and they can be accessed by taking off the panel on the base of the unit. The filters also have excellent longevity and can be used for over 6 months. In many cases, with a little bit of monthly maintenance on the pre-filter and carbon filter, you can get around 1 year’s worth of use.

The 100% ozone-free nature of this unit adds a level of safety for asthma and allergy sufferers, as ozone is harmful to lungs when it is produced at ground level. The unit also provides full room air circulation 4 times per hour for a fast-acting cleaner.

Perfect for small to medium-sized rooms, this is a nice little unit that keeps your air clean both safely and quickly.

PROS:
  • Long filter life
  • Removes allergens completely
  • Compact Design
  • Affordable Price

CONS:
  • Chirping issues reported after several months of use

Read Review of Levoit LV-H132

Hathapace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier Review

Standing 19.5” high, and weighing 12 lbs., this air purifier from Hathaspace is an effective way to eliminate airborne pollutants like mold, dust mites, and nasty odors from your environment. Its simple to use, and relatively small size makes it easy to move from room to room if needed.

The unit is about the same height as the arm on your couch, so it blends in easily to your surroundings, avoiding an eyesore in your room decor. The front of the purifier has a touch interface that can be used to program it, and there is also a display screen for monitoring its operation. The front panel is fully removable, and doing so will give you access to the filter and motor for changing and cleaning.

Speaking of the filter, let’s take a look at it. While Hathaspace uses a 5-in-1 air purifying system, they’ve designed it with only 2 filters, making for easy replacement when the time comes. Hugging the motor will be the true HEPA filter, which eliminates 99.97% of smaller particles like dust mites as well as various other airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. This filter is lined with an antibacterial layer to eliminate germs and bacteria from the room.

In front of the HEPA/bacteria filter will be the other double filter, which uses activated carbon and has a built-in cold catalyst filter. The activated carbon filter is employed to remove odors, VOCs, smoke, and gases that might be in the air, while the cold catalyst filter removes large particles such as mold, dust, pet dander, and pollen.

The fifth step in this purification process is the ionizer. While ionizer’s release small amounts of ozone into the atmosphere (which can be harmful), this unit is ozone-safe, and CARB (California Air Resources Board) certified. The ionizer works to distribute negative ions into the room. This electrically charges the particles and odors in your environment, making them easier to trap due to their neutralization.

Looking in-depth at the front panel, you get a range of settings to be used as you wish. The timer settings allow you to program in multiple hours of use, a speed button lets you choose how fast the fan spins, and you also have an ionizer and sleep options. Sleep mode will turn off the display and eliminate fan noise so you can rest peacefully while it works. There is also an auto mode that will measure the room’s air quality and make the necessary speed adjustments. Finally, a visual air quality monitor will keep you informed of what you are currently inhaling.

Complete with remote control, a 2-year warranty, and the ability to fully cleanse a 700 square-foot space in 60 minutes, this is an excellent option for those looking for a reliable air purifier.

PROS:
  • Futuristic look
  • Detects and shows air quality
  • Comes with a remote control

CONS:
  • The air quality sensor is not reliable
  • Called “smart”, but doesn’t come with a phone app

Alen BreatheSmart Flex Air Purifier Review

The BreatheSmart Flex from Alen is an air purifier that will help you breathe, well, smarter. It uses a simplistic design to rid your room of a variety of airborne pollutants with ease. Its also available in 2 models: The Flex-Pure which works to remove mold, dust, pet dander/fur, offensive odors, bacteria, and allergens, while Flex-Fresh does all that as well as works to remove smoke.

Matching an air purifier to your home decor is always tricky, as you don’t want it to stick out like a sore thumb, so Alen produces a large variety of colors and designs for you to choose from: brushed stainless, espresso, oak, rosewood, weathered gray, graphite, white, white marble, and whitewashed wood. You should have no problem aesthetically integrating it into your environment.

Dimensionally, the unit measures 15 inches wide, 8 inches deep, and stands 25 inches high. It weighs 15 lbs., making it a lightweight purifier that can be moved by most people from room to room without much trouble. Low energy consumption and long filter life are two standout features of the unit. This will save you money on your monthly electricity bill, and only require you to replace the filter after 9 months (at the minimum) of use.

The filter itself is a true HEPA that captures 99.97% of airborne pollutants, ridding even the smallest of particles (0.3 microns) from your room. On its turbo speed setting, the Flex can successfully change out the air in a 700 square foot room in just 30 minutes. A CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of 245 confirms this. With multiple speeds, the CFM (cubic feet per minute) output ratings are as follows:

Low = 53 CFM
Medium = 135 CFM
High = 147 CFM
Turbo = 187 CFM.

Those that need complete blackout conditions and silence will enjoy this model’s sleep functions like the lights can be shut off and the low noise levels make for a peaceful sleep. Noise levels on the Flex are very reasonable: Low = 39 dB (whisper-quiet), Medium = 42 dB (light rainfall), High = 49 dB (heavy rainfall), Turbo = 55 dB (box fan). When the unit is on the turbo, it emits a pink noise frequency for increased ear comfort.

On top of the unit, you will find a few buttons for adjusting its settings. It has 3 timers (2 hours, 4 hours, and 12 hours) so you can set it and forget it, a buttons for the 4 speeds, and a lock button for safety. Additionally, 3 lights notify you of the filter’s lifespan, and when it needs to be changed out it is as simple as popping off the cover and swapping the old for the new. This is a really nice option that works well and is loaded with features for customizing your comfort.

PROS:
  • Modern look
  • Different color choices

CONS:
  • The unit giving chemical odor reported
  • Expensive

Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier Review

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Geared toward medium and large-sized rooms is the 5300-2 Air Purifier from Winix. This is a 3-stage air purifier that can remove all sorts of ugliness from the atmosphere, including mold, dust mites, smoke, and pollen. It has plenty of user-friendly features that provide for operational customization, and it’s built for many years of use.

The unit measures 14.9” wide x 7.8” deep x 23.6” high and weighs slightly less than 18 lbs. This makes it excel in large rooms while remaining lightweight so that it can be carried/moved to other rooms in your home with relative ease. The front of the unit has a panel that can be opened so you have easy access to the filters, and an alert light will illuminate on the unit when its time to replace them. While they aren’t washable, you get 1 HEPA filter, and 4 carbon filters for plenty of use. The HEPA filter should last at least 6-8 months, while the carbon filters need replacing every 3 months. You should also clean out the unit with a vacuum every month or so to remove any built-up debris.

Winix outfits this model with 3 filters: a pre-filter, carbon filter, and HEPA filter. The pre-filter will catch large particles like dust, hair, and lint, while the HEPA gets rid of fine particles as small as 0.3 microns. These can include pet dander, mold, dust mites, and pollen, with 99.97% of airborne particles being removed from your room. The carbon filter will capture any odors and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) that might be flying around your home. VOCs are found in everyday household products, as well as building materials, so you could be breathing them in without even knowing it.

Rounding out the system is Winix’s PlasmaWave technology, which safely breaks down the airborne pollutants at the molecular level. While some people take this to mean the unit releases small amounts of ozone, the PlasmaWave feature can be turned off so if you don’t want it to be part of the cleaning process, it doesn’t have to be. In relation, this purifier is heavily safety rated, being CUL listed, AHAM CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) certified, and CARB (California Air Resources Board) certified. It also helps to keep your electric bill low with its Energy Star certification.

The buttons of the top of the unit are laid out well for use. It comes with a timer in 1, 4, and 8-hour intervals, 4 fan speeds (low, medium, high, and turbo), and various modes. Auto mode will use sensors to monitor room levels and adjust fan speeds accordingly, and there are also 3 LED colors (blue, amber, and red) to alert you as to the state of the air quality in the room. Sleep mode will sense the amount of light in the room and automatically dim the unit’s lights and adjust its fan for quiet operation.

A good choice all around, the 5300-2 can clean a 360 square foot space with 5 air changes per hour, helping you breathe well in no time.

PROS:
  • Long filter life
  • Helps to keep your electricity bill low
  • Adjusts the lights with the help of its sensor
  • Shows air quality

CONS:
  • Filters are expensive
  • Not good at filtering odor

Renpho True HEPA Air Purifier Review

The Renpho is a slightly larger air purifier that utilizes ring lights on the front of the unit to alert you as to the current state of your room’s air quality. It has 3 different colors with blue being healthy, yellow being fair, and red representing an unhealthy environment.

The unit stands 15.6” wide x 8.1” deep x 21.6” high and weighs around 20 lbs. While this sounds heavier than some other models on the market, it can still be relocated by most people, and the larger size means the filters are bigger for catching pollutants, resulting in a faster cleansing. It’s made to cycle a 330 square foot room 3 times every hour and has a CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 147 CFM (cubic feet per minute).

This air purifier cleans your air in 5 separate stages. There is a washable pre-filter to catch large things like hair, fur, and dust, followed by a charcoal filter that gets rid of lint and dust mites. The third step is an activated carbon filter, which helps eliminate VOC’s like acetone and formaldehyde and odors like pet smell and cigarette smoke. Following that is a layer of antibacterial coating on a HEPA filter. This layer works to get rid of bacteria and viruses, while the HEPA filter can do a lot of heavy lifting, grabbing mold, allergens, and contaminants as small as 0.3 microns. The HEPA’s 60 folded layers allow it to catch almost all airborne pollutants, lending itself to a long life at the same time.

The back of the unit has a removable panel where you can swap out the filters when they need to change. The nice thing about this model is there is a filter replacement light that will turn on so you know when it’s time and the filters themselves are less expensive than a lot of Renpho’s competitors.

The front of this air purifier has a control panel where you can set things to your liking. The “speed” button will operate the fan at 3 levels, and put the unit into sleep mode, which quiets it down to 35 dB so you can rest easy. There is also a button for 2, 4, and 8-hour timer intervals, making it easy to set the unit and leave it to work its magic. An auto button will operate the smart auto mode as well as the AQ (air quality) lights. This mode utilizes sensors to read the room levels and will adjust the fan accordingly. These lights can also be manually turned off. Finally, there is a lock button to avoid any accidents and changes in operation if you have curious children or pets.

This unit is a good bang for your buck option, emits no ozone or UV-C, and is ETL, CARB, CA Prop 65 certified, for a healthy and safe air purifier.

PROS:
  • Compact design
  • Comes with various certificates
  • Shows air quality
  • Affordable price

CONS:
  • Not a reliable unit

PARTU Air Purifier Review

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The Partu Air Purifier is a cylindrical unit that is extremely portable and can be taken to any environment that needs air filtration. It uses a multi-stage system to get rid of mold, dust, and other allergens and has some nice features included in it.

The unit stands smaller than a football, measuring around 15 inches in height with a diameter of almost 7 inches, and it weighs an ultra-lightweight 5.5 lbs. This means people of all ages can easily relocate it to wherever they need to use it. Partu designed this model for 160 square foot spaces, and it has a CADR rating of 104m3/hr.

The bottom of the unit is where the filter is housed, making it easily accessible when its time to clean the inside and replace the filter. You should get between 6-8 months of use from it, but that always depends on how dirty your environment actually is.

The single filter is designed with multiple layers to attack pollutants from many angles. The first layer is a pre-filter which is the barrier against large dust, lint, and pet fur. After that is an H14 lab level HEPA filter which can grab between 0.3 and 100 microns – things like mold, dust mites, and pollen. The next layer is an activated carbon filter that gets rids of odors and gases between 0.3 and 60 microns. The final two layers consist of a membrane net for filter efficiency and mesh scaffolding for prolonged life.

The purifier comes with a colorful light that can be customized as alternating or fixed, and it can be completely turned off as well. It also comes with 3 fan speeds that are all low noise and whisper-quiet operation for sleeping. With optional anion, and a filter replacement light rounding out the features, this is a great little purifier for those that don’t need (or want) a large unit taking up space their home.

PROS:
  • Long filter life
  • Compact design
  • Comes with various certificates
  • Can use essential oils
  • Affordable price

CONS:
  • Child-lock feature is easy to figure out for kids over 2 years old

Read Review of Partu Air Purifier

What is Mold?


Mold is a fungus that grows indoors and outdoors, thriving on moisture and reproducing through lightweight spores that travel through the atmosphere. When they land on a damp spot in your home, they grow and release spores that you end up inhaling.

How To Prevent Mold?

The best way to prevent the growth of indoor mold is to ensure your environment is dry. This means improving airflow/ventilation, drying wet areas immediately, and directing water away from your home. Any areas where water has pooled should be cleaned within 24 hours to limit the potential for mold to spread. Humid environments are breeding grounds for mold, so you may need to invest in a dehumidifier to regulate the humidity level in your home.

Does Mold Make You Sick?

Sure does. While mold can be useful (it’s in penicillin and brie cheese), exposure to it can wreak havoc on your system – with itchy eyes, a runny nose, sore throat, and lung pain. For some, it can cause allergic reactions, rashes, and asthma attacks.

How Does An Air Purifier Help With Mold?

An air purifier works by pulling in the room’s air, which contains airborne pollutants like mold, and sending the particles through a HEPA filter. This filter captures the mold spores, and the purifier then sends the clean air out into the room, cycling the room’s air until it is purified.

F.A.Q.

Can I get a universal filter replacement for my purifier?

Most companies require you to purchase a proprietary filter that is specific to the model they produce. This is because most air purifiers have their own designs, so sizes vary.

Will an air purifier get rid of the smell from cigarette smoke?

This depends on how much smell is in the room. HEPA filters won’t provide any sort of removal of scents that aren’t attached to larger particles such as dust, hair and pet dander. A carbon filter binds to smoke and will be your best bet for removing it. However, depending on how much smoke is in the room, and the room size itself, an air purifier may not be much help. If smoke is constantly being produced, it’s going to be hard to contain it. Your best bet is to remove any items that have smoke smell locked into them, use a carbon filter air purifier for large rooms, and only smoke outside.

How much life can I get from the air purifier’s filter?

Most HEPA filters should last at least 6 months, with carbon filters needing replacing around every 3 months. Depending on your environment, you may get more or less life.

Where should I place my air purifier?

You should place the purifier in a central and unobstructed location in the room, rather than in a corner, or under a shelf. This will ensure it is cycling the air efficiently at all times.

What is ozone, and do air purifiers release it?

Ozone is a potentially harmful gas that some air purifiers release. While all purifiers have to meet strict safety certifications before going on the market, there is a belief that even the smallest amount of ozone can damage your lungs.

Conclusion

At this point, you should have a good grasp on what air purification can do for you. By employing one of these machines, you’re ensuring the air you’re breathing won’t result in illness, and you can rest easy knowing you and your family are safe.

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