What MERV Rating is Best for Allergies?

When it comes to allergies, the higher the MERV rating, the better. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a rating system used to measure the effectiveness of air filters. A filter with a MERV rating of 8 or higher is best for eliminating the smallest airborne allergens, such as pet dander. A MERV 8 filter will reduce pollen, pet dander, dust, and other contaminants as small as 3.0 microns.

A filter with a MERV rating of around 10 to 12 is sufficient to remove most allergy-causing particles from the air in your home. For those suffering from allergies, asthma, respiratory conditions, or other conditions that leave them immunocompromised, filters with higher MERV ratings are recommended. MERV 13-16 oven air filters will trap up to 98% of airborne allergens and contaminants, such as bacteria, tobacco smoke, cooking oil, and droplet cores, as small as 0.3 microns. Filters at the lower end of the MERV scale are not even tested for their efficiency in capturing E1 and E2 particles.

Therefore, for a filter that has a MERV rating of 4 or lower, it can only trap particles between 3.0 and 10.0 microns. When selecting an air filter for your home, it's important to consider the size, thickness and MERV rating you're looking for. While filters with higher MERV ratings will eliminate common allergens, those specifically designed for people with allergies may have additional features that specifically target these issues.