The Best Air Filter for Improved Air Quality at Home

The Best Air Filter for Improved Air Quality at Home

In what ways are high-quality HVAC air filters such a good investment? How do they work and how effective are they at purifying the air in your house? There are many contaminants that can either enter your home from the outside or be generated at microscopic levels by the appliances that you use.

Candles, air fresheners, tobacco, dust, gas stoves, and pollen are just some pollutants in our homes. These things irritate the nose, mouth, skin, and throat. To reduce the number of allergens and irritants that may linger in the air, the use of residential or commercial HVAC filters from a trusted residential air filter supplier is recommended. Maintaining clean air may seem like a tedious task for you but we assure you it is not impossible. Custom Filters Direct, a trusted residential and commercial filter supplier, has organized a list of the top HVAC air filters to help you. Before we dive in, some information on HVAC air filter types and ratings.

Air Filter Ratings

Here are the types of HVAC air filters and their MERV ratings:

Fibreglass Filters: MERV 1-4

Fibreglass filters are cheap but offer little indoor air quality protection. Fibreglass filters remove around 10% of pollen, dust mites, mould spores, pet dander, and other airborne particles.

Electrostatic Filters: MERV 10

Electrostatic air filters use self-charging cotton or paper to catch airborne particles. Most air conditioners can remove harmful particles with a MERV 7 or higher filter, making an electrostatic filter ideal for pet owners and allergy sufferers. Custom dimensions can increase the cost of these filters.

Pleated Filters: MERV10-13

Pleated cotton or polyester filters are widespread and efficient. Efficiency depends on pleats per foot. At least 18 pleats per foot are needed for a pleated filter to be efficient (10-13). These filters must be replaced often but they’re a cost-effective option.

High-Efficiency Filters: MERV 14-16

These pleated filters are 4 to 5 inches thick. These thick synthetic cotton filters can only be used in specialized devices. They can filter even tiny pollutants. These filters don’t need to be replaced as often, but they’re expensive.

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters

HEPA filters remove 98% of airborne pollutants, however, they’re impractical for most houses. Due to airflow restrictions, these filters can only be used in whole-home filtration systems or standalone air purifiers.

Best HVAC Air Filters

Our top picks are:

Best Overall Option: Filtrete AC Furnace Air Filter, MPR 1500

The Filtrete AC Furnace Air Filter comes in more than a dozen sizes. Its MERV-12 rating is good for those who want to trap airborne dust. Its 3-in-1 technology collects lint, dust, pet hair, soot, pollen, and mould spores while allowing fresh air through. The 1-inch AC furnace filter fits in most wall registers and furnace filter holders.


  • Electrostatic disposables
  • 20x25x1 inches
  • 12-MERV


  • Multi-sized
  • It collects lint, dust, pet dander, soot, pollen, and mold.
  • Multiple registers


  • Not exhaust-filtered

Best Smart: Filtrete Smart AC Furnace Air Filter

The Filtrete Smart AC Furnace Air Filter comes in dozens of sizes and monitors filter usage through Bluetooth. You may replace filters at the right moment thanks to its unique system that analyzes airflow. This AC furnace filter’s MERV-12 rating is effective for capturing airborne particles. The filtrete’s 3-in-1 technology traps lint, dust, pet hair, soot, pollen, and mould. The 1 inch-thick filter fits most wall registers and slide-in filter holders.


  • Electrostatic disposables
  • 12x12x1 inches.
  • MERV 12


  • Several size options.
  • Bluetooth-enabled filter app.
  • Traps lint, pet dander, soot, pollen, and mould.


  • Not ultrafine particle-filtered
  • Expensive

Best for Allergies: Filtrete Healthy Living Ultimate Allergen Air Filter

High-quality furnace filters can eliminate minute allergens from the air, relieving allergy sufferers. With a MERV rating of 13, the Filtrete Healthy Living Ultimate Allergen filter traps 0.30-1 micron particles. This furnace filter captures dust, pollen, dander, smoke, bacteria, and cough/sneeze particles. MPR rating is significant for allergy furnace filters. Higher number means filter can gather more particles.


  • Electrostatic filter medium.
  • MERV 13
  • 1 inch air filter depth


  • Certified allergen-reduction
  • MPR of 1,900.


  • Expensive

Best for Odors: Arm & Hammer Enhanced Allergen and Odor Control Air Filter

Arm & Hammer’s odour-reducing furnace filter will satisfy your nose. The MERV 8 Enhanced Allergen and Odor Control furnace filter filters out dust, pollen, mold spores, and animal dander. This HVAC air filter absorbs cooking odours, pollution, and more. It also helps reduce pet odours. This unscented furnace filter uses pleated filtration media to improve air quality, not scents.


  • Electrostatic pleated material filters
  • MERV 8
  • 1 inch air filter depth


  • Odour-fighting unscented design
  • Last up to 90 days


  • No smoke filter


The best-selling HVAC air filters in each category are compatible with a wide range of HVAC systems and furnace models, remove the most irritants and contaminants, are durable, and have a high MERV rating.

To remove lint, dust, pollen, and mould spores, disposable pleated and electrostatic furnace filters are the most popular in the above list. Most of these options are available in a number of diameters and thicknesses to match your furnace’s specifications. The above residential HVAC filters have MERV ratings of 8-12 and don’t hinder airflow.

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