What is the Difference Between a MERV 11 Filter and Other Types of Air Filters?

This guide explains what is a MERV rating and how it affects air quality. Learn about MERV 8 & MERV 11 air filters & how they can help improve your home's air quality.

What is the Difference Between a MERV 11 Filter and Other Types of Air Filters?

When it comes to improving air quality and trapping particulates, should you opt for a higher filter level? This guide between MERV 8 and MERV 11 will help you decide. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is an industry standard that measures the overall effectiveness of air filters. It is presented in the form of a number between 1 and 20 and indicates the filter's ability to trap particles of different sizes in the air. The most common airborne pollutants that these filters are tested against typically include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria, and tobacco smoke.

In addition to the larger particles that can trap other filters, these air filters can trap virus carriers, carbon dust, microscopic allergens, and radon progeny. MERV-rated air filters on the bottom of the scale will trap fewer particles and contaminants than those that fall on the top of the scale.


filters are designed for residential use while MERV 11 filters are suitable for larger spaces such as commercial or general hospital use. MERV 13-16 filters are designed for operating rooms, inpatient care spaces, and areas that house many sick people seeking treatment.

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters trap the smallest particles at a speed even higher than that of the MERV 16 and are generally used in surgical operating rooms, clean rooms, and other contexts that require absolute cleaning. When choosing an air filter, it is essential to know the ratings of the minimum reported efficiency values (MERV). People who have serious allergies can get some health benefits if they use a MERV 13 filter in their homes. Even if they are confusing, MERV filters can be your best ally when deciding which oven filter best suits your needs.

The MERV 11 air filter is a safe option for residential use and generally does not restrict airflow. If you want to filter a large space through an effective central air conditioning system, MERV 11 filters are what you need. Oven filters with this MERV rating are capable of blocking contaminants in the 3.0-10 micron range and other larger particles. They are also capable of trapping smaller particles such as virus carriers, carbon dust, microscopic allergens, and radon progeny.

When selecting an air filter for your home or business, it is important to consider the size of the space you need to filter as well as the type of contaminants you want to remove from the air. For residential use, MERV 8 filters are usually sufficient but if you need to filter a larger space or remove more contaminants from the air then MERV 11 filters may be necessary. For medical or industrial applications where absolute cleanliness is required then HEPA filters may be necessary.