Are you in the market for a new medical grade air purifier? Perfect!
In this proHVACinfo guide, you will learn the following:
What are medical grade air purifiers? (why they are different)
What are the different types of medical grade air purifier? (learn about HEPA 13)
How do medical grade air purifiers work? (are they different to standard purifiers?)
What do you look for in the best medical grade air purifiers? (features you shouldn’t compromise on)
And much more!
Below you’ll find a quick list of our top 5 recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more!
- Alen BreatheSmart Flex (Our Top Pick)
- Alen BreatheSmart 75i (Best High-End)
- Levoit H13 Air Purifier (Best Budget)
- Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Purifier
- HIMOX H05
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
When it comes to medical grade air purifiers, the field is much narrower, making the difficulty in picking a winner that much greater.
In the end, from a selection of fantastic purifiers, we came to the decision that the Alen BreatheSmart Flex would take the top spot.
The BreatheSmart Flex from Alen strikes a great balance between price and performance, which is something we know that our readers are often looking for.
It effectively captures airborne particles, and does a great job at eliminating allergy triggers.
Not only does it perform well for a great price, it looks great, too, which isn’t the most important feature in a medical grade air purifier, but if it happens to look nice a room, then that’s a big bonus.
Alen air purifiers are built to last, so you should have years of worry free use from this unit!
What Are Medical Grade Air Purifiers?
A medical grade air purifier is one that makes use of the highest levels of filtration available to capture the maximum number of airborne contaminants while still allowing air to flow.
To be medical grade, an air purifier must make use of medical grade HEPA filtration.
Standard HEPA, generally referred to as ‘True’ HEPA filters are found in many residential air purifiers, and are rated between H10 and H12.
To attain this rating, they must be capable of removing 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in diameter from the air.
In order to be certified as medical grade HEPA, with a rating of H13 to H14, a purifier must be able to capture between 99.95% to 99.995% of the smallest airborne particles of just 0.1 micron.
For comparison, a True HEPA filter would only be able to trap around 85% of those 0.1-micron particles.
What Are The Different Types Of Medical Grade Air Purifiers?
As we briefly mentioned above, in order to be a medical grade air purifier, it does need to have that H13 – H14 HEPA filter.
Having said that, there are some other technologies that medical grade purifiers can have in conjunction with the HEPA filtration to further improve their air improving qualities.
UV light is a known germ killer, which is a definite bonus in a medical grade setting.
In order to work as a sanitizer, though, UV light must be in the UV-C bandwidth.
Within the housing of the purifier, a UV-C lamp will light up the filter media, so not only will bacterial and viral particles be trapped by the HEPA filter, they will be killed.
Activated Charcoal Filtration
Some medical grade purifiers will also feature a second layer of filtration in the form of activated charcoal or carbon.
After undergoing a heat and chemical treatment, carbon particles become porous which allows them to neutralize odors and capture VOCs, which in many cases can be hazardous to health.
The carbon element works by a process of adsorption, in which it causes the impurities to chemically bind to its surface as they pass through the media.
Not only are they now trapped, but the VOCs have their chemical properties changed due to the fact that they are now bound to the carbon, which neutralizes odors, and any other ill-effects.
How do Medical Grade Air Purifiers Work?
There’s a little bit more to the process of HEPA filtration than simply air passing through a screen. There are four principles to filtration, and they are:
Sieving is the most basic principle, and is how most people automatically assume a filter works.
With sieving, particles that are too large to pass through any gaps in the filter media are unable to move through, and are therefore captured.
During interception, any airborne contaminants and particles will be directed toward the fibers of the filter media.
When they come within a single particle radius of the filter fibers, they become attracted to, and stick to those fibers.
Impaction relies on the inertia of large, heavier particles in the air flowing through the purifier.
As air enters the purifier and changes direction to pass through the filter media, these heavy particles are unable to change course with the air flow due to their inertia, and they subsequently collide with the filter fibers, where they become trapped.
Things get a bit more scientific here! Particle dynamics dictate that energized molecules will travel in a straight line, that is until they bump into another particle.
Owing to the fact that there are so many small particles moving around and bumping into one another within a room, they actually begin to move randomly.
This is especially true of the smallest particles, those of 0.1 micron or less, which is particularly important for medical grade air purifiers.
Because they are so tiny, they can even bump into, and be moved by gas molecules. This movement actually slows down these high velocity particles, which makes it possible for them to be caught by the HEPA filter media.
What Do You Look For In The Best Medical Grade Air Purifiers?
Shopping for a medical grade air purifier can be a confusing process. There are many machines on the market, and many making some pretty grand claims about their purifying abilities.
If this is the first time you’ve been looking for a medical grade air purifier, you will definitely want to keep an eye out for the following features.
This is the first thing you need to look for. Make sure that the device is rated to HEPA H13 or H14.
If it claims to be “True HEPA”, but doesn’t specify the rating, at best it’s going to be H10-H12.
If it says “HEPA Like”, or “HEPA Style”, it’s almost certainly not even HEPA rated at all, and is not appropriate for conditions in which medical grade purification is required.
This goes hand in hand with HEPA certification, but ensure that the purifier you buy can filter at least 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 micron.
Given the overall importance of a medical grade air purifier in whatever setting you choose to use it in, it’s vital that you choose a unit that is built to last.
This is especially true for medical-grade air purifiers, as ultrafine filter media like H13 and H14 HEPA filter can put a lot of strain on the fan motors inside the purifier.
Your air purifier is performing one of the most important tasks of any appliance in your home.
Make sure you purchase one that is sturdy enough to see you through years of service.
This is especially important with compact and portable units that are likely to be picked up and handled more frequently.
Especially when it comes to air purifiers with specialist filtration media, it’s important to make sure that the ongoing costs are going to be manageable.
Filters don’t last forever, and generally speaking, systems that use generic sized replacements are just as effective, and can be significantly cheaper to run and maintain than those using proprietary sizes and shapes.
Our Reviews Of The Best Medical Grade Air Purifiers
Alen BreatheSmart Flex (Our Top Pick)
Alen really hit the mark with the BreatheSmart Flex! This is a solid all round medical grade air purifier.
It handles the usual dust, dirt and dander with ease, and thanks to the H13 filtration media, it stops germ carrying particles in their tracks.
For additional cleaning power, it has 0.66lb of activated carbon in its ‘Fresh Filter’, to take care of odors, chemicals, and hazardous VOCs.
We also really liked the turbo mode setting. With turbo mode activated, the BreatheSmart Flex can completely clean a 700 square foot room’s air in just 30 minutes!
It operates with minimum power, too, and on its lowest setting will cost under 50 cents a month to run continuously.
- 9 Color choices
- Lights out sleep mode
- Removes 99.99% of bacteria/aerosolized viruses
- Easy to knock over
- No auto speed setting
Alen BreatheSmart 75i (Best High-End)
Our best high end medical grade air purifier is the big brother of our best overall winner – introducing the Alen BreatheSmart 75i.
This purifier is designed for heavy duty, large room cleaning, and it does its job very well.
Like the BreatheSmart Flex, it features a turbo mode, but in this unit’s case, it cleans up to 1300 square feet every 30 minutes.
It boasts a laser smart sensor, capable of detecting microscopic changes to the air quality in the room.
The sensor lets you know exactly how the air quality is with an easy to interpret color code.
The 75i automatically reacts to poor air quality, boosting the cleaning speed whenever an increase in pollutants is detected.
- Tuned for relaxing ‘pink noise’
- Excellent odor protection
- Filter life indicator
- Very expensive
- Can’t wash the pre filter separately
Levoit H13 Air Purifier (Best Budget)
If you’re trying not to spend too much, but you still want excellent medical grade air purification, you can’t go wrong with this H13 air purifier from Levoit.
With max power set, it can clean up to 900 square feet per hour, and because it features a large, honeycomb design activated carbon filter and an H13 HEPA filter, it handles both odor and airborne contaminants with ease.
This is an efficient little purifier, with annual running costs estimated at round $15.
It operates quietly, with a volume of just 27 dB, and surprisingly, for a budget unit, it has an auto mode, which will increase fan speed when a drop in air quality is detected.
- Auto mode
- Clean design
- US based customer service team
- Air quality sensor isn’t the most sensitive
- Mobile connectivity is difficult
Hathaspace have produced an excellent medical grade air purifier in their Smart True model.
It relies on a standard HEPA H13 filter to do the bulk of the cleaning, but it does also feature a washable pre filter, designed to capture the bulk of the dust and large dirt particles, extending the life of your filters.
This purifier has the largest cleaning footprint of the entire group on test, coming in at a massive 1500 square feet.
It also boasts an EPA air quality index display, accessed by a sleep touch screen panel.
- 5 Stage purification
- Activated carbon odor neutralization
- Ultra-quiet sleep mode
- No remote or app control
- Short filter life
The H05 from Himox is certainly worthy of a spot on this list – it provides excellent air purification, and like the others on test, works by way of a H13 HEPA filter.
We loved the form factor, in fact, we thought that if Apple made an air purifier, this is probably what it would look like; high praise indeed!
It covers a room of up to 1446 square feet, which while not the largest footprint, is more sufficient for most people’s needs.
It features activated carbon, for effective odor removal, and it’s available in either black or white.
- Great value
- Compact form
- Noisy at high settings
- Filters are expensive to replace
Final Thoughts On The Best Medical Grade Air Purifiers
It is important to remember that these are not medical devices, while they offer similar levels of filtration and purification as devices you’d find in a hospital or doctor’s office, they are not certified to be used for medical reasons.
Having said that, they do offer the same level of filtration as you’d find in those settings, giving you maximum protection and sanitization for the air in your home.
We truly hope you found this latest proHVACinfo guide to be helpful. We had a tough time deciding which of these was deserving of our top awards, but we’re confident that no matter which you choose, you’ll be happy with the results.