All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Vetstreet may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

As most pet parents can confirm, keeping a clean home can be extra challenging when you share your living space with a cat or dog. Though our furry friends may not leave dishes in the sink or dirty laundry laying about, they definitely contribute to the mess!

There’s the ever-present dog hair and cat hair to contend with, of course. But even if your pet’s not a big shedder or you suck up every strand of dog or cat hair with a great pet vacuum, pets can still leave behind invisible threats like pet odors, allergens, and harmful bacteria.  And these can have a huge impact on the air quality of your home.

You could spend a lot of money and time trying to find a solution — everything from pet odor eliminators like Febreze to pricey air purifiers. However, one innovative company has designed a solution for pet pollutants, both visible and invisible. Colorfil Air Filters are specifically designed to remove pet odors, fur, dander, dust, and bacteria from the air in your home. So we decided to give these powerful pet air filters a shot.

Use the code LOVEMYPET to save 20% off fresh, clean air with Colorfil.

What is Colorfil?

Colorfil is an HVAC air filter company founded upon a single mission: to give pet-loving families cleaner and healthier indoor air quality. Using award-winning technology developed in partnership with NASA, Colorfil’s pet air filters purify the air of unwanted odors and chemicals. The filter itself also changes colors as it works, letting you know exactly when it needs to be changed! 

The technology behind Colorfil was created in 2011 and works on a molecular level to clean the air in your home. It uses a patented coating made from citric acid, a naturally occurring substance found in fruit. According to Colorfil, this coating targets and neutralized household chemicals, odors, and allergens five times more effectively than other air filters, like those that use activated carbon.

That special coating is also what makes Colorfil a must-have for pet parents, especially if someone in your household suffers from pet allergies. The formula captures and neutralizes amine-based compounds, such as pet urine, dog odor, cat odor, allergens from pet hair, such as dander, as well as various household pollutants and chemicals. 

Colorfil Air Filter Product Line

Colorfil pet air filters come in a wide range of sizes to fit most home HVAC systems. If your size isn’t on the list, you can order a custom size to fit your HVAC system for no extra charge, though it may take 2-3 more days to ship. 

In addition to varied sizes, Colorfil air filters also come in three different thicknesses: 1-inch, 4-inch, or 5-inch. One inch is the standard size. However, some systems can accommodate filters between 2 to 5 inches thick. The thicker the filter, the better it cleans the air in your home. So, if you have multiple pets, shedders creating a lot of dog or cat hair, or if someone in your household has pet allergies, you may want to spring for the thicker filters, even though they are almost double the price.

If you are unsure of the filter size you need, the Colorfil website provides a helpful sizing chart. You simply measure the inside of your HVAC unit and find the matching size Colorfil air filter or order a custom size. When measuring, keep in mind that the “actual” size of the filters are the exact measurements, whereas the “nominal” size is rounded off to the nearest whole number. For instance, a filter size of 12” x 12” x1″ will actually measure 11.75” x  11.75” x 0.75″.

Standard 1-inch filters range from around $22-25, while thicker filters range from around $50-58. Shipping is free and the company offers additional savings through their “Subscribe and Save 10%” option, as well as discounts of up to 28% when you buy in bulk.

You can also save 20% off when you use the code LOVEMYPET at checkout on the Colorfil website.

How Colorfil Works

Most people have heard of air purifiers — standalone units that clean the air in a room by trapping particles and unwanted pollutants. However, these machines can be somewhat pricey and their performance depends on the size of the room and the capacity of the unit. 

Colorfil air filters work like air purifiers to filter out airborne allergens, particles, and pollutants, but for your entire home and at a fraction of the price! 

The technology behind Colorfil was developed using NASA-backed research designed to improve air filtration in astronaut suits. The special coating kills viruses, bacteria, and mold, while also removing toxic chemicals and amine-based organic compounds — think litterbox odors, wet dog smells, general animal funk, and more. 

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioner Engineers (ASHRAE) developed a rating system called MERV, which stands for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV scale is used to rate air filters — both those used in HVAC systems, as well as air purifiers — from 1 to 16. The higher the number, the better the filter is at trapping specific types of particles. 

MERV ratings of 16, such as HEPA air filters, are typically used in settings like hospitals, where air filtration is critical. Higher-rated filters are typically not necessary for homes, as they don’t allow as much airflow and can put stress on your HVAC system (not to mention they are costly and need to be changed often). And lower-rated air filters won’t trap as many harmful airborne partials and won’t be as effective in purifying the air. 

Colorfil air filters have a MERV rating of 8, which the company says is the best air filter for pets since it will trap the dust, allergens, odors, and harmful chemicals without putting undue stress on your HVAC system (or your bank account). Colorfil is also in the process of developing a pet air filter with a MERV 13 for households that need the extra protection. 

Colorfil is also the only air filter on the market that lets you know when it needs to be changed. Using the company’s proprietary Color-shift™ technology, the filter will change from pink to yellow as it traps odors and chemicals from the air into the filter. The pink setting means the filter has 100% chemical and odor absorption capacity left, salmon color means 75%, and yellow + gray means it’s time to change the filter. This system goes all the way down to dark gray, which means, essentially, “Ruh-roh! This one was left in too long. Replace and be sure to check a bit sooner next time.”

Not only does this “smart” color-changing technology show you how well your filter is working. It can also save you money by letting you know exactly when it’s time to change your filter, so you don’t swap it out while it’s still working well just because “it’s time to change the air filter.” 

Putting Colorfil Air Filters to the Test

We tried out the 1-inch Colorfil air filter for about a week, replacing our Filterbuy AC filter, which is our typical go-to brand. We have two dogs in our household, a Doberman and a Rat Terrier. They are typically both light shedders – but that changes when the weather warms up. So, right now, there’s plenty of pet fur and dander around in our house. If you run a Swiffer across our floor on any given day of the week…boy, does it get dirty! 

We were especially interested in seeing how well the Colorfil air filter would trap the dog smell, dust, and pollen, especially as I am allergic to dust (which is so hard to escape) and have pollen allergies that are most noticeable in the Spring.

During the week, we ran our AC several hours a day and I noticed that my allergies were definitely better throughout the week, especially in the mornings when I notice them the most. The air also seemed to smell fresher and cleaner than usual. Having just dusted the previous week, there was a lot less dust on our furniture, too. As someone who doesn’t have much time to clean as often as I’d like, that was a huge bonus for me. 

When we looked at our filter after a week, it was still pretty pink, showing that it still had a lot of capacity left to do its job and we wouldn’t need to change it anytime soon. We had recently cleaned before the filter was put in and our dogs spent a lot of time outdoors that week so there’s a chance that could have played a part. However, our standard Filterbuy AC filter is also a MERV 8, and we definitely noticed that the Colorfil seemed to perform much better.

Things We Like

  • Safe and effective. Colorfil purifies the air and gets rid of harmful chemicals and odors without the use of fiberglass or artificial fragrances.
  • Colorfil air filters are made in the USA. 
  • 1-year return policy. If you are not 100% satisfied, you can return any unused air filters for a full refund.
  • Colorfil donates 3% of all sales to the local Humane Society, which provides food, shelter, and medical service to animals. 
  • This didn’t apply to us, as our system required standard size filters, but the feature to be able to order custom sizes is nice!

Things to Consider

  • For optimal performance, you’ll need to regularly check your Colorfil air filter to see if it needs changing. The company notes that filters can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months, depending on your household’s amount of pet hair, dust, dander, dog smell, humidity, and how often you run your HVAC. 
  • More expensive than most other MERV 8 air filters, like the ones we typically use. 

Colorfil Filter Reviews: What They’re Saying

Customers seem to love Colorfil pet air filters! The pet filters garner an average rating of 4.9 stars on the Colorfil website and 4.5 stars on Amazon. The majority of the reviewers mention just how effective the filters are at ridding their house of dust and odors, including the smell of things like new carpet, paint, and cat litter boxes. The color-changing benefits got rave reviews, as did the custom sizing. One customer complained that the filter they ordered didn’t fit their HVAC, so the company replaced it with a custom size free of charge and they’ve since bought 12 more! 

The negative reviews were mainly about the filters not fitting correctly (be sure to measure carefully before ordering!). One reviewer with severe allergies needed more than a MERV 8 filter. Another customer complained that it turned from pink to orange after four days, but admitted to having a cat, two dogs, and two kids. 

You can find more customer reviews on the Colorfil website.

Colorfil Air Filters: Our Verdict

After testing out a Colorfil pet air filter firsthand and learning about the company, I can honestly say we were impressed. Our air is fresh and clean, and my spring pollen allergies are almost non-existent while using the Colorfil air filter. It will be interesting to see how soon the color will change since it’s only been a week and the filter is still pink. But once it turns yellow, we may find ourselves ordering another Colorfil air filter, even though they cost more than our old brand!

This little experiment made us realize the benefits of having a pet-specific air filter if you live with furry friends. Check out the Colorfil website to learn more about how these innovative air cleaners can help combat pet smells, dog hair, cat hair, and more. And use the code LOVEMYPET to save 20% off fresh, clean air, when you buy directly from Colorfil.