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Which HEPA filters are the Most Effective for Air Purifiers?

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are designed to remove 99.97% or more of all particles which are 0.3 microns (micrometers) in diameter.  When buying an air purifier, it is important to note that not all products filter air contaminants to the same degree.  In particular,  “HEPA Type” and “HEPA Like” filters fail the standard and do not filter air to the same degree as HEPA filters. These terms are often used to confuse people into purchasing lower quality filters, which definitely do not remove 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in diameter. These filters are unable to trap the smallest and most harmful particles. 

True HEPA filters range from H10-H12. This describes the level of filtration of grade of HEPA. The higher the grade, the better the filter.  Note that H10-H12 filters only trap 85-99.5% of all particles that are 0.1 microns in diameter, while HEPA H13 and H14 trap 99.95% and 99.995% of such particles, respectively.

HEPA H13-H14 are within the highest tier of HEPA and are considered medical grade quality, often used in laboratories and medical facilities such as hospitals.  For effective air filtering, you should use a HEPA filter at a minimum at home. For those with allergies to pet hair, pollen, and dust, a medical grade filter is warranted.

For areas such as the workplace, hair salons, or indoor facilities with a large numbers of people, a medical grade air filter provides a higher quality of air filtration and is warranted.