I’ve been using an AirDoctor air filter for several years now.

It gets my pick for the “best bang for your buck” air filter when considering both performance and affordability.

Yes, there are a few other air filters on the market that are better than AirDoctor when it comes to filtering ability, but they’re also significantly more expensive.

And with the cost of living these days, most of us are looking ways to get the healthiest stuff for the most affordable price.

So that’s why I recommend AirDoctor.

Air Doctor air filter review on TheFiltery.com

This review is not sponsored and the product was not gifted; I bought it myself. This review does contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. As always, we only make recommendations that are genuine.

What I love & don’t love about AirDoctor:

Here are my pros & cons of AirDoctor in a nutshell:


  • Great bang for your buck compared to other air filters
  • 3 stages of filtration (pre-filter, carbon/VOC filter, and UltraHEPA)
  • The UltraHEPA can capture contaminants that are much smaller than the majority of air filters on the market
  • Lightweight & easy to move around
  • Easy to change the filters (and it tells you when they need to be changed, so you don’t have to keep track)


  • Not very much carbon compared to some other high-quality air filters. (In my opinion, the UltraHEPA filter partly makes up for this. More on that below.)

[BTW, I have a breakdown on the cost below, but if you’re already ready to buy an AirDoctor, you can get $300 off with our link.]

Do you really need an air filter in your home?

The short answer is: yes, I personally believe that anyone and everyone can benefit from an air purifier in their home.

I’m not going to dive too deep into the why right now (I have a whole lesson on indoor air quality in my Low-Tox for Real Life Course), but it’s worth noting that according to the EPA, indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air.

This is usually because of two things:

  • All of the different products we use in our home (from our cleaning supplies to furniture and more), “off-gas” various toxic chemicals into the air.

  • There’s not much air flow inside. The air outside is more diluted than it is outside, so whatever chemicals may be floating around in the air are more concentrated inside. (This is why I recommend opening your windows regularly, to increase the air exchange rate.)

That said, there still might be pollutants coming in from the outside that you’ll want to remove from your air as well. If you live in a wildfire-prone area, an agricultural area that sprays a lot of pesticides, or an urban area that has a lot of industrial and vehicle pollution, these are all good reasons to filter your air.

And of course, if anyone in your household has something like asthma, allergies, or other respiratory diseases or sensitivities, an air filter can be super helpful in keeping their symptoms under control.

Not all air filters are created equal (here’s what to look for)

Obviously, there are a lot of different air filters on the market, but many of them aren’t really that great.

There are two main things you want to look for when shopping for an adequate air filter:

1. A true HEPA filter.

A HEPA filter is made to trap ~99%+ of particles that are 0.3 micron or larger. This includes things like dust (which contains toxics like phthalates and flame retardants!), pollen, pet dander, and mold spores, as well as certain bacteria and viruses.

Many air filters don’t have a HEPA, which means they’re not trapping these small particles.

2. AND activated carbon

You also want an air filter that contains activated carbon. This ensures the filter can capture things like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and smoke particles—which a HEPA filter cannot catch.

If you’re interested in taking a deeper dive, this guide goes into depth about the specific type of carbon you’ll want to look for in an air filter, and more about particle size, too.

Now, in general, the more carbon the better. The more filtration media there is, the more time the air can spend with the media, so the more pollutants get filtered out.

5 pounds or more of carbon is ideal, but there are a few things to consider here:

  1. It’s actually pretty difficult to find an air filter that has both a true HEPA filter and 5+ pounds of carbon. (Some folks may choose to buy two separate air filters for this reason, but obviously the cost of that adds up.)
  2. The more carbon there is, the heavier the filter. So air filters that have more carbon aren’t as lightweight & easy to move around the house.

Top Tip

Look for an air filter that has both a true HEPA filter and activated carbon.

This is the main downside to the AirDoctor—it doesn’t have a ton of carbon.

  • The AD 1000 has ~.57 lbs
  • The AD 2000 has ~1.15 lbs
  • The AD 3500 has ~1.5 lbs
  • The AD 5500 has ~1.88 lbs

But, I’m actually not as concerned about this because of their UltraHEPA filter…

AirDoctor goes beyond a standard HEPA filter

So, I told you to look for a HEPA filter in order to make sure you’re capturing the small particles floating around in your air, but AirDoctor is one of the few brands that actually goes beyond a standard HEPA with their UltraHEPA.

AirDoctor’s UltraHEPA can capture 99.9% of particles, including ones that are 100x smaller than a standard HEPA filter (as small as 0.003 microns).

This is one of the reasons why I’m not quite as concerned about the fact that there isn’t a ton of carbon in the filter. The UltraHEPA can capture much smaller particles—ones that a standard HEPA normally wouldn’t be able to handle and would have to get trapped by the carbon.

Smoke, for example, is usually between .01 and 1 micron. So this an example of something that the UltraHEPA would do a better job at filtering than a standard HEPA.

And then the 1-2 lbs of carbon that the AirDoctor does have can help take care of those particles that are even smaller than .003 microns.

They do lots of third-party lab testing, too, and they share the results on their website. So for example:

  • This test shows the AD 3500’s ability to remove 99.97% of the live SARS-CoV-2 virus from the air in a test chamber.
  • This one shows its ability to remove other viruses, like H1N1.
  • This one shows its ability to remove particles as small as .003 microns.
  • They’re also independently tested to show clean air delivery rates (CADRs) of 152 for the AD 1000) to 556 (for the AD 5500)—though I couldn’t find those actual results.

(The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) recommends using the 2/3 rule when figuring out what CADR you need. Using this rule, the CADR should be equal to or greater than 2/3 the room area in units of square feet. So for a 200 sq. ft. room, you’d want a CADR of about 133.)

So, you’ll need to take all of that into consideration when deciding whether or not the AirDoctor is right for you and your home.

AirDoctor Review filter change before and after
Before & after I replaced my carbon filter. Look at how dirty!

AirDoctor options

AirDoctor has a few different models to choose from:

  • The AD 1000 circulates the air in 285 sq. ft. 4x/hour or 570 sq. ft. 2x/hour. It’s good for smaller spaces, like bedrooms or offices.

  • The AD 2000 circulates the air in 305 sq. ft. 4x/hour or in 610 sq. ft. 2x/hour. It’s good for small to medium-sized bedrooms, nurseries, offices and more.

  • The new AD2500 is a wall-mounted filter that can save you floor space. This is the only one that comes with a physical remote control. It can circulate the air in 420 sq. ft. 4x/hour or in 820 sq. ft. 2x/hour.

  • The AD 3500 circulates the air in 630 sq. ft. 4x/hour or 1,260 sq. ft. 2x/hour. This one is good for larger spaces like studio apartments, primary bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and more.

  • The AD 5500 circulates the air in 1,043 sq. ft. 4x/ hour or in 2,086 sq. ft. 2x/hour. This one is for extra large spaces like open concept kitchens and high-ceiling great rooms.

  • The 2000, 3500, and 5500 models are also available in smart versions (2000i, 3500i, and 5500i). These are Wifi connected purifiers that connect with an app on your phone to show you real time air quality alerts, filter change alerts, remote device control, and more. I personally am not into smart home devices, so I don’t think it’s worth the extra cost. Those who prefer to be cautious about excessive EMF exposure will probably want to skip the Wifi connected option as well.

*Note: My AirDoctor is actually an AD3000, which is a slightly outdated version of the AD3500. In recent years, AirDoctor has made upgrades to their AD3000 and AD5000 in order to make changing the filters easier. The filtration capacities are the same; the only difference is the shape of the filters.

My thoughts after using the AirDoctor for over 3 years

airdoctor reviews on TheFiltery.com

All in all, I’m very happy with my AirDoctor. I have no regrets about buying it, and if I could go back in time, I’d buy it again.

Here are a few more things you might want to know about the AirDoctor:

  • It’s very portable. The AD 3000 that I have has handles on the sides and it’s very lightweight, making it easy to move from room to room (it’s 18 lbs). I think this is important for folks who are trying to get the most bang for their buck and can’t afford multiple filters. I live in a relatively small, 1-bedroom home, so I’m satisfied with just one purifier. I generally keep it in the main living room/office area, but then I’ll move it into the bedroom if someone is sick or something like that.
    • The other models are very portable as well. The largest purifier, the 5500, also has handles on the sides and weighs 33 lbs.

  • All of the models come with an air quality sensor. The circle light on the front (or top, depending on the model) is blue when the air quality is good, orange when it’s mediocre, and red when it’s bad. I’ve definitely set off the red light a few times when a burned something on the stove. 😆

  • There’s also an Automatic Mode, which can be turned on or off. When the Auto Mode is on and the sensor detects poor air quality, it will speed up. The filter is very quiet when it’s on low, but it can get pretty loud when it’s on high.
    • I usually keep the automatic setting OFF and the filter on low, even when the air quality is bad. That’s because I actually want slower filtration so that the dirty air can spend more time with the filtration media getting cleaned up.

  • You can also manually change the speed if you want.

  • There is no remote control (except for the AD2500), but I personally don’t care about that. Like I said, I usually have my filter on the same setting anyway.

  • There are indicator lights that tell you when it’s time to change each of the filters. This is great because it means I don’t have to keep track of it myself!
    • (BTW, I recommend washing your hands after changing the filter. Additionally, folks with severe allergies or sensitivities may want to wear a mask and/or get someone else to change their filters for them.)
airdoctor replace filter light
See how the Carbon replace light is on?
  • There is a Night Mode, which dims all of the lights. This is important for a bedroom filter.

  • Changing the filters is easy. (Here’s a very short video showing you how.) If you want, you can also vacuum the pre-filter regularly (using a vacuum with a HEPA filter) in order to extend the life of the filter. Here’s how. I personally don’t do this, but if I had severe allergies, pets, or was dealing with wildfires, then I might prioritize it more.

  • There’s also an ionizer, which is supposed to help “with revitalizing the air by infusing it with negative ions.” This creates a small amount of ozone, so I personally keep it off.

  • It comes with a 1-year warranty (which is pretty standard for air purifiers).

Let’s talk cost

Whenever you’re buying a filter of any kind, you’ll want to consider both the up-front cost and the annual cost of replacing the filters.

The AirDoctors run from $399 (for the AD 1000) to $1,049 (for the AD 5500i), but that’s before any discounts.

You can get up to $300 of with our link, which will put you in the $289 to $749 range. The AD 3500, which is the “medium” size and their most popular option (and the one I have), is $349 with our link.

A 1-year combo pack for replacement filters for the AD 3000 series is $153 at regular price, but they have sales happening all the time. (For example, at the time of this writing, you can get the pack for $138.)

Best alternative to AirDoctor

In my opinion, IQAir is the best alternative to AirDoctor. Their machines are equipped with a HyperHEPA, which is the equivalent to AirDoctor’s UltraHEPA (can capture .003 microns and larger). But, they have more carbon—their HealthPro has 5 lbs and the GC MultiGas has 12 lbs.

But, as you might imagine, these are more expensive and also heavier than the AD 3500:

  • The HealthPro is $849 and weighs 29 lbs.
  • The GC MultiGas is $1,399 and weighs 35 lbs.

Now, if you or someone in your household has multiple chemical sensitivities, very severe allergies, or something like that, then it would definitely be worth looking into a more expensive air purifier that’s specifically suited for folks with health conditions, such as IQAir.

But as I’ve mentioned, for most folks who just want cleaner air, the AirDoctor is a great option that you can get for half the price.

Don’t forget: if you decide AirDoctor is the right choice for you and your family, you can get $300 off with our link!

If you have any other questions about my experience with the AirDoctor that were not addressed here, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try to address them!

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About Abbie

Abbie Davidson is the Creator & Editor of The Filtery. With almost a decade of experience in sustainability, she researches and writes content with the aim of helping people minimize environmental toxins in an in-depth yet accessible way.

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