MPR vs MERV: Which Air Filter Rating System Is Right for You?

MPR vs MERV: Which Air Filter Rating System Is Right for You?

Ensuring clean and healthy indoor air is essential for maintaining the well-being of occupants in homes, offices, and other indoor environments. Airborne contaminants such as dust, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander can contribute to respiratory issues, allergies, and other health concerns if not properly filtered out. This is where air filters play a crucial role.

Air filter ratings serve as a benchmark for assessing the effectiveness of filters in removing particulate matter and other pollutants from the air. These ratings provide consumers with valuable information to make informed decisions when selecting air filters for their HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems.

In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of air filter ratings, focusing specifically on the comparison between MPR (Microparticle Performance Rating) and MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating systems. Understanding the differences between these two systems is key to choosing the most suitable air filter for your indoor environment.

MPR vs MERV: Which Air Filter Rating System Is Right for You?

The development of air filter rating systems like MPR and MERV stems from the growing awareness of the importance of indoor air quality and the need for effective filtration solutions. Let’s delve into the origins and evolution of these two rating systems:

MPR (Microparticle Performance Rating)

MPR, or Microparticle Performance Rating, is a proprietary rating system developed by 3M. Unlike traditional rating systems that may encompass a wide range of particle sizes, MPR focuses specifically on the filtration efficiency of small microparticles. The primary objective of MPR is to provide consumers with a clear and precise assessment of an air filter’s ability to capture particles that are typically between 0.3 to 1 micron in size.

  • MPR was introduced by 3M. It emerged as a response to the increasing demand for air filters that could effectively capture small microparticles, including allergens and airborne pollutants.
  • The development of MPR involved extensive research and testing to assess a filter’s ability to remove particles ranging from 0.3 to 1 micron in size. This focus on microparticles addressed concerns about respiratory health and indoor air quality, particularly in environments with high allergen levels.
  • 3M’s introduction of the MPR rating system provided consumers with a clear and intuitive way to evaluate the performance of Filtrete™ filters based on their specific filtration needs.

Explanation of the MPR Scale and Its Significance for Consumers

The MPR scale ranges from 300 to 2800, with higher numbers indicating greater filtration efficiency and performance. Each MPR rating corresponds to a specific level of filtration effectiveness, allowing consumers to easily identify the right air filter for their indoor environment based on their filtration needs.

For example:

  • Filters with lower MPR ratings (e.g., 300) are designed to capture larger particles and provide basic filtration for everyday household use.
  • Filters with higher MPR ratings (e.g., 1500, 1900, 2200) offer enhanced filtration capabilities, targeting smaller microparticles and providing improved protection against allergens and airborne pollutants. 

MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value)

  • MERV was established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as an industry-standard rating system for air filters. It was developed to provide a standardized method for evaluating the efficiency of filters across different manufacturers and brands.
  • The origins of MERV can be traced back to the need for a universal rating system that would enable consumers, engineers, and building managers to compare the performance of air filters objectively.
  • ASHRAE’s development of the MERV rating system involved collaboration among industry experts and rigorous testing to establish consistent criteria for evaluating filters’ efficiency in capturing particles of various sizes.

The evaluation criteria for MERV ratings include factors such as

Particle size range

Assessing the filter’s ability to capture particles of different sizes, including dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and even some bacteria and viruses.

Filtration efficiency

Determining the percentage of particles that are trapped by the filter as air passes through it.

Airflow resistance

Measuring the pressure drop across the filter to assess its impact on HVAC system performance and energy consumption.

MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) filter ratings

MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) filter ratings are a standardized measure of an air filter’s ability to capture particles of varying sizes. A MERV 8 filter is commonly found in residential HVAC systems, effectively trapping particles like dust, pollen, and pet dander while maintaining adequate airflow. Stepping up to a MERV 11 filter enhances filtration, capturing finer particles such as allergens and some bacteria, making it ideal for households with allergy sufferers. Meanwhile, a MERV 13 filter offers even higher efficiency, trapping smaller particles like smoke and viruses, suitable for environments requiring superior air quality standards, such as hospitals.

At Custom Filters Direct, we proudly categorize our air filters according to their MERV filter ratings. Our range includes three main options for your selection:


Read More : What MERV Rating Should I Use



Comparison between MPR and MERV Air Filter Ratings

Comparison between MPR and MERV Air Filter Ratings

FAQs on MPR vs. MERV Air Filter Ratings

1. What is the difference between MERV and MPR ratings?

MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) and MPR (Microparticle Performance Rating) are two different rating systems used to assess the efficiency of air filters, but they focus on different aspects of filtration. MERV ratings evaluate a filter’s efficiency across a wide range of particle sizes, including both larger particles and microparticles. On the other hand, MPR ratings specifically measure a filter’s performance in capturing microparticles, typically ranging from 0.3 to 1 micron in size. While MERV provides a standardized assessment suitable for general-purpose filtration, MPR offers a targeted evaluation tailored to individuals with specific concerns about microparticle filtration.

2. How do MERV and MPR ratings assess air filter efficiency differently?

MERV ratings evaluate air filter efficiency by considering factors such as particle capture efficiency, filtration efficiency, and airflow resistance across various particle sizes. MERV ratings cover a broad spectrum of particle sizes, ranging from larger particles (1 to 10 microns) to smaller microparticles (0.3 to 1 micron). In contrast, MPR ratings focus specifically on microparticle filtration efficiency, providing a targeted assessment of a filter’s ability to capture small particles commonly found in indoor air. While MERV ratings offer a comprehensive evaluation suitable for general-purpose filtration, MPR ratings provide a more specialized assessment tailored to specific indoor air quality concerns.

3. How can I determine whether a MERV or MPR-rated filter is best suited for my indoor air quality needs?

To determine whether a MERV or MPR-rated filter is best suited for your indoor air quality needs, consider the specific contaminants present in your indoor environment and your filtration priorities. If you’re primarily concerned about capturing microparticles, such as allergens, pet dander, and fine dust, an air filter with a higher MPR rating may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you require a filter that addresses a broader range of particle sizes or if you prefer a standardized rating system, a MERV-rated filter may be a better choice. Additionally, consult with HVAC professionals or refer to manufacturer guidelines to ensure compatibility with your HVAC system.

4. Is MPR better than MERV?

The superiority of MPR over MERV depends on specific filtration needs. MPR focuses on capturing smaller particles, making it beneficial for improved indoor air quality, especially for those with allergies. MERV provides a broader assessment of filter efficiency across particle sizes, suitable for general HVAC maintenance. Choosing between them depends on factors like air quality concerns and budget.


In conclusion, both MERV ratings and MPR ratings play a crucial role in assessing air filter efficiency and maintaining indoor air quality. While MERV ratings offer a standardized approach suitable for general-purpose filtration applications, MPR ratings provide a targeted assessment of microparticle filtration performance, catering to individuals with specific indoor air quality concerns. Understanding the differences between these rating systems empowers consumers to make informed decisions when selecting air filters to ensure cleaner and healthier indoor environments.

At Custom Filters Direct, we understand the significance of these ratings and offer a wide range of custom air filters designed to meet your specific needs. Whether you require standard filtration for general-purpose applications or targeted microparticle filtration for specific indoor air quality concerns, we have you covered. Our custom filters are meticulously crafted to deliver optimal performance and improve the air quality in your home or workplace. Trust Custom Filters Direct for reliable solutions that prioritize your health and well-being.

Contact us today or call us at +1 (877) 958-5612 to learn more about our products and how we can assist you in achieving cleaner indoor air.