MERV 8 vs MERV 10: Which Air Filter is Best for You?

If you're looking for clean air that can withstand dust, mold, pollen, and bacteria, then a MERV 8 air filter is the way to go. Pet owners, however, may need to opt for a MERV 10 filter to control pet dander, which tends to have smaller particles than the contaminants mentioned above. The MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is a system used to evaluate the efficiency of an air filter based on its effectiveness in trapping particles of different sizes. In other words, the higher the MERV rating, the greater the air filtration capacity of a particular filter.

Given these characteristics, a MERV 8 filter is considered superior to air filters with lower MERV ratings. The MERV classification system is standardized, making it easier to compare filters with different ratings. One thing to keep in mind is that a MERV 11 air filter may need to be changed more frequently than a MERV 8 air filter. Once you understand how the MERV leaderboard works, you'll be able to choose the right filter for your needs.

Though they may seem similar, there are some clear differences between MERV 8 and MERV 11 air filters. A higher MERV rating means more particulate matter will be removed from the air, so you might think that air filters with the highest rating are best. If you're trying to decide between a MERV 8 and a MERV 11 filter, here's what you need to know: MERV 11 filters can filter out a larger percentage of fine particles than MERV 8 filters. Raising just three levels on the MERV scale can be beneficial for air quality or detrimental to your entire air conditioning system depending on the air flow capabilities of the MERV 8 versus the MERV 11.

While MERV 8 is known to be effective at filtering contaminants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores, and lint from the air, higher ratings will further cleanse it. If you're concerned about inhaling fine particles in the air, then a MERV 11 filter is your best bet.


and 12 filters can trap particles as small as 1 micron such as car exhaust, pollen and mold spores. On the other hand, MERV 5-8 filters provide good filtration and remove most pollen, mold spores and dust mites.

When it comes to choosing an air filter for your home or business, it's important to consider both your needs and budget. If you're looking for an effective way to remove dust and other airborne particles from your indoor environment, then a MERV 8, MERV 10, or even a MERV 11, depending on your needs, may be your best option. However, if you're looking for an even higher level of filtration then you may want to consider a higher rated filter such as a MERV 12. No matter which type of filter you choose, make sure that it's compatible with your HVAC system so that it can provide maximum efficiency.

Heidi Oertel
Heidi Oertel

Wannabe explorer. General web ninja. Certified travel fan. Amateur tv scholar. Infuriatingly humble social media scholar.

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