Nordic Pure MERV 12
The filter we would get
Available in a range of sizes and usually at a lower price than similar competitors, this pleated electret filter catches most anything you would breathe at home.
(Box of 6)
*At the time of publishing, the price was $32.
Compared with the cheapest basic filters available, medium-efficiency MERV filters like the Nordic Pure MERV 12 can greatly reduce airborne dust, mold spores, pollen, and even smoke, and doing that can help ease respiratory ailments, according to an NIH review.
However, these filters have a few drawbacks—first, they usually cost significantly more than basic fiberglass filters. You’re supposed to replace filters every few months, so the cost adds up. Second, they can put stress on some HVAC equipment, making the system less effective at heating and cooling, potentially even shortening its lifespan by restricting airflow and forcing the equipment to run harder. But those are rare circumstances, and the decision to pay more for a better filter or not mainly comes down to whether or not cleaner air is a priority for you. If it is, there are several examples of qualified filters that we’d recommend—including the Nordic Pure MERV 12, a perfectly good filter that we’d look for first (because it often costs less), as well as two other filters that are also fine.