How do I Choose the Best Air Ionizer?

Harriette Halepis

Selecting an air ionizer is relatively easy to do once the different types of air purifiers have been explained. Each works in a unique manner to rid the air inside of a home of toxins and pollutants. While ionizers cannot get rid of toxic fumes such as radon, these machines can help to eliminate pet dander, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and a number of other pollutants.

An air ionizer may be used to remove pet dander from a home.
An air ionizer may be used to remove pet dander from a home.

Many people believe that neglecting to place an air ionizer inside of a home is akin to using your own lungs as a purifier. This theory is based upon the belief that air pollutants will settle within the lungs if they are not filtered by some other means. Thus, millions of people purchase air purifiers in order to cleanse the air of any unseen particles.

An air ionizer may be used to rid a home's air of pollutants.
An air ionizer may be used to rid a home's air of pollutants.

There is a fundamental difference between an ionizer and an air filter. Ionizers work differently from filters, though both types of machines can be entirely efficient. In order to understand how an ionizer differs from a filter, both types of machines must be explained beginning with the most popular type of air filter.

An air ionizer.
An air ionizer.

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are extremely common across much of the world. These filters trap 99% of air pollutants that are larger in size. HEPA filters are made of a cloth-like material that must be replaced every couple of years. The replacement frequency depends upon the amount of pollutants inside of a home. The one drawback of a HEPA air filter is the fact that these machines tend to be noisy, which may bother some people.

On the other hand, an air ionizer creates negative ions, which are then sent into the air. Once these ions come in contact with airborne particles, the two become magnetically attracted to one another. As a result, the original air pollutants turn into large particles that are too heavy to remain in the air, causing them to fall to the ground.

Brand-wise, air ionizers are largely the same as long as they are made from stainless steel "needlepoints." HEPA filters can be used with an ionizer in order to rid the air of all possible pollutants. Frequently, combining two machines is the best possible method for reducing air allergens.

There is some controversy surrounding the use of an ionizing machine. Some people do not believe that these machines work as effectively as HEPA filters, though this is debatable. In the end, the best air purifier is the one that rids, traps, and cleans the air that you breathe.

An air ionizer can be used to remove cigarette smoke.
An air ionizer can be used to remove cigarette smoke.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I have used both an air filter and an air ionizer at different times in the past and really couldn't tell much of a difference. Is this something you are supposed to notice immediately, or are there benefits that you might not realize right away?

I understand the concept of keeping the air in your home clear of pollutants, but wonder if an air ionizer is really worth the money?


The last air purifier I bought had a bonus that included an auto air ionizer. This plugs into my car and really keeps the car smelling clean and fresh.

The smell of most car fresheners give me a headache. The ionizer doesn't cover up odor, but helps keep the car smelling clean. I would have never thought of using something like this in my car if it hadn't been included with the full size ionizer I bought for my house, but I have found that I really enjoy it.


@andee-- I have used an air ionizer for a long time and keep it running all the time. I also suffer from allergies and have two cats, so I think I would be in miserable shape if I didn't have one going.

I actually have two of them. I keep one in the bedroom, since the cats like to sleep in there, and have one out in the main area of the house.

Another thing I like about the ionizer I have is that it is pretty quiet.

I imagine I will always have some kind of air purifier. If I am away from home for a few nights, I can feel myself starting to get stuffy, and am ready to be home to some clean air.


I have allergies and am wondering if an air ionizer purifier would be a good idea to have in my apartment. I have a small place so don't need something that would be very big.

Has anyone used an ionizer like this for allergies with good results?

Post your comments
Forgot password?