(Last Updated On: May 6, 2023)

5 Best Air Purifiers with Activated Carbon Technology

for Your Bedroom

Find the Right Air Purifier for Small Rooms in Your Home

air filter for pet allergies from dogs

By Bianca Herron

12 min read

More than 2,000 years ago, humans used activated carbon to remove impurities from water. Activated carbon acts like a sponge to absorb chemicals, odors, and other volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Although the exceptional absorption qualities of activated carbon were well-known, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that activated carbon was produced in powder form and sold commercially. During this time, activated carbon was used to purify water and to remove the color from sugar. 

As World War I progressed, activated carbon was being used to clean wartime water and assisted in air purifiers’ manufacturing. Activated carbon became a valuable resource during the war when it was discovered that it could be used in gas masks to protect soldiers. Additionally, granular activated carbon was also developed during this time. 

Today, activated carbon is used in food and beverage processing to remove foul odor and municipal drinking water. According to experts, activated carbon may have some health benefits that help with kidney health, diarrhea, skincare and skin infection, and teeth whitening. Moreover, activated carbon is found in dozens of oral health products and is said to be antibacterial, detoxifying, and more.

Top Pick

Alen BreatheSmart 45i
Air Purifier
$430 Buy Now

The first time many of us encounter activated carbon is when choosing an air purifier. Many of our customers begin their search because of allergies or asthma. With indoor air quality more important than ever, it’s critical to reduce dust in the home to lessen your allergies or asthma and alleviate the chance of respiratory problems due to odors or chemicals.

Best Air Purifier for MCS Sufferers

Best Air Purifier for COPD Sufferers

Best Air Purifier for the Average User

Best Air Purifier for Large Bedrooms

Good Air Purifier for the Bedroom

Alen BreatheSmart
45i with Carbon
Air Purifier

$430 Buy Now
Air Purifier

$749 Buy Now
Blue Pure 211
Air Purifier

$299 Buy Now
Austin Air
Bedroom Machine
Air Purifier

$995 Buy Now
Coway AirMega
Air Purifier

$230 Buy Now

Best Air Purifier for MCS

Austin Air Bedroom Machine Review
Austin Air Bedroom Machine Air Purifier $995 Buy Now


Five-year warranty
True Medical-Grade HEPA filter captures 99.97 percent of airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns
Multiple color options: Sandstone, Midnight Blue, and White
Metal body and paint do not off gas and VOCs as Plastic bodied units do
Made in USA


Heavier than other competitor products
Features and Specs
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 14.5 x 23 inches
  • Weight: 53 pounds
  • Five-stage filtration system
  • Three fan speeds
If you or a loved one suffers from a sleep-related problem, the Austin Air Bedroom Machine Air Purifier is a wise choice. Be confident that you will not only sleep better, but also continuously breathe clean air. Its True medical-grade HEPA filter eliminates up to 99.97 percent of all airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns. This includes dust, pet dander, pollen, gases, and other allergens. With three speed settings for its fan, the Austin Air Bedroom Machine air purifier boasts a 360-degree intake system and a five-stage filtration system. Additionally, its High Efficiency Gas Arrestance (HEGA) carbon cloth absorbs gases, chemicals, bacteria and other viruses. With 15 pounds of carbon, this unit will do the job - even if it does so noisily. It's recommended that the filter be changed once every five (5) years under normal conditions, and more often under harsh air conditions.

Best Airpurifier for COPD

IQAir HealthPro Air Purifier $799 Buy Now


The HyperHEPA filter last 3-4 years
HyperHEPA filter removes 99.5% of large particles as well as ultrafine particles 0.003 microns in size
IQAir particle filters don’t contain harmful byproducts
10-year warranty
Protects huge living rooms up to 1,240 square feet in size


More expensive compared to competitors
Product dimensions are a bit bulky compared to other air purifiers
The base model doesn't include activated carbon to remove chemicals and odors, but you can buy the V5-Cell separately to use with the HealthPro
Features and Specs
  • Dimensions: 16D x 15W x 28H inches
  • Weight: 29 pounds
  • HyperHEPA filter and PreMax filter
  • 1,240 square-foot coverage area
  • Six fan speeds
  • 10-year warranty
The IQAir HealthPro protects you from even the most minor allergens. The HyperHEPA has impressive particle removal with the ability to trap ultrafine 0.003-micron air particles, which means that you can avoid allergies from soot in the Fall and pet dander year-round. Plus, the HealthPro covers large rooms up to 1,240 square feet, so you can feel confident that your entire living room is protected. Ultrafine particles can affect more organs, creating serious health concerns. That's why it's beneficial to have the IQAir HealthPro by your side so you won't have to worry about coughing or clogged sinuses and diseases as well. You can also take advantage of the IQAir system that doesn't use harmful byproducts, and you can have more peace of mind with a 10-year warranty.

Best Air Purifer for the Average User

Alen BreatheSmart 45i Air Purifier $444 Buy Now


2.4 lbs of carbon
H13 grade of HEPA
Multiple color options: White, Expresso, Graphite, and more
Sleep Score.com certified, proven to produce better sleep
Lifetime warranty
Great value


Features and Specs
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 15 x 25 inches
  • Weight: 21.4 pounds
  • Four-stage filtration system
  • Medical-Grade True HEPA filter and B4-Pure filter
  • 800 square feet room coverage
The Alen BreatheSmart 45i Air Purifier is a sleek and sophisticated air purifier that can clean bedrooms up to 800 square feet in size every 30 minutes. It’s True HEPA filter can remove airborne particles including allergens, dust, orders, pet dander, bacteria, and mold spores. It also comes with a HEPA Silver filter, which helps kill airborne bacteria, germs, viruses, and more. Additionally, the Alen BreatheSmart 45i’s Laser Smart Sensor can not only detect airborne particles, but also automatically adjusts to your environment. With four fan speed options, its WhisperMax Technology allows you to sleep peacefully. Moreover, its LED color display allows you and your loved ones to check the air quality at a glance.

Best Air Purifier for Large Bedrooms

Alen BreatheSmart 75i Air Purifier $749 Buy Now


B7 Pure filter
True HEPA filter captures 99.97 percent of airborne particles as small as 0.1 micron
Multiple color options


Features and Specs
  • Dimensions: 13 x 20 x 26 inches
  • Weight: 31 pounds
  • Cleans air every 30 minutes
  • True HEPA filter
  • 1,300 square feet room coverage
With five fan speeds, the Alen BreatheSmart 75i cleans large rooms up to 1,300 square feet every 30 minutes. Even better, you and your loved ones will breathe easier and cleaner air as the Alen BreatheSmart 75i comes with both a HEPA Pure filter and True HEPA filter. The HEPA Pure filter contains a compound that eliminates airborne bacteria, germs, fungi, and viruses, while the True HEPA layer captures 99.97 percent of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Good Air Purifier for the Bedroom

Coway Airmega 1512HH Air Purifier $224 Buy Now


Coway IoCare Mobile App
True HEPA filter and Activated Charcoal filter captures 99.97 percent of airborne particles as small as 0.3 micron
Multiple color options: Black, Brown


Covers up to 325 Sq Ft
Features and Specs
  • Dimensions: 22.5 x 22.2 x 12.4 inches
  • Weight: 19.76 pounds
  • Three-stage filtration system
  • Energy Star Rated
  • 325 square feet room coverage
The Coway Airmega Air Purifier expertly cleans the air in bedrooms up to 325 square feet. This energy-efficient air purifier includes both a True HEPA filter and Activated Charcoal filter, which captures airborne particles including pollen and other allergens. The Coway Airmega also comes with a washable and permanent pre-filter to catch particles larger than0.3 microns. Its Coway IoCare mobile App allows you to monitor the air quality indoor and outdoor. You can also use the app to control speed, use smart control mode, get filter notifications, and much more. Additionally, the air purifier works with Alexa, comes with a pollution sensor, which shows indoor air quality in real-time, and has three fan speeds as well as an auto mode.

Products in this article are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.  Visit our How We Rate page to learn more.

Why Is It Called “Activated?”

What is the difference between carbon and “activated” carbon? The carbon used in air purifiers and water filters is put through a baking process to dry the carbon. The heat during this process drives out impurities and causes the carbon to fracture at a microscopic level. Doing this opens up a large surface area where contaminants are captured.

Non-activated carbon is soot or charcoal, while activated carbon is described in a variety of ways. It’s general range capabilities include amorphous carbon-based materials that exhibit a high degree of porosity and an extended surface area. This means that it has excellent absorbent characteristics that make it very useful for a wide variety of filtration processes, including air and water.

Activated Carbon

How Is Activated Carbon Used in Home Air Purifiers?

The best way you can cut down on contaminants in your home is by purchasing an air purifier with activated carbon. Contaminants consist of chemicals, smog, ozone, fumes from cooking, pet dander, and tobacco, and more. These contaminants can not only irritate allergenic and asthmatics, but they are also bad for our health.

Fortunately, air purifiers are designed to remove particulates, including pollen or pet dander, effectively. For those who need a comprehensive air purifier solution, higher caliber room air purifiers that offer outstanding particle, odor, and chemical removal are wise choices. Ultimately, many quality air purifier systems provide a comprehensive solution that includes activated carbon to these issues.

Carbon filters, while used to remove VOCs, are capable of making a room smell great. Carbon is used up when it becomes saturated, and every home environment is different, so you cannot plan for when it needs to be replaced. However, once it is used up, you will notice smells. As such, having a spare filter available at all times is a good idea.

Here are a few ways air purifiers with a carbon filter are used in the home:

1. Carbon Can Be Used By Itself
In-room air purifiers, the activated carbon is often combined with other minerals, like zeolite. Zeolite can absorb ions and molecules and thus act as a filter for odor control, toxin removal, and chemical sieve.

2. Carbon Can Be Treated to Target Specific Chemicals
While activated carbon can adsorb hundreds of different chemicals and odors, it cannot remove everything. Carbon is not necessarily excellent at removing some common chemicals such as formaldehyde or hydrogen sulfide. In these situations, the carbon may be impregnated with potassium iodide or blended with active alumina to increase absorption qualities. This means that all of the tiny spaces and crevices within the carbon hold an added chemical that now reacts with and neutralizes the airborne formaldehyde or hydrogen sulfide, rather than the carbon itself removing it.

3. As A Treatment for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
A small segment of allergy sufferers has what is called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). This means that they have a very high sensitivity to any airborne chemicals in the air. Perfumes, cleaning chemicals, and even off-gassing from household building materials can severely irritate someone with MCS. For those who suffer from MCS, an air purifier with a high volume of activated carbon can be used to remove irritants from your home. The air will become much more breathable not only for everyone but especially for those who suffer from dust allergies, asthma, and those with weakened immune systems such as babies, children, and the elderly.