Buyers Guide & Information

Best Ionic Air Purifiers On The Market

Our comparisons look at how safely these brands filter the air in your home.

Best Filterless Air Purifier

AirFree P3000
AirFree P3000

Best Ionic Air Purifier

AeraMax 300
AeraMax 300

Best Car Ionic Air Purifier

Auto-Mate On-the-Road Plug-In Ionic Air Purifier
Auto-Mate

We all want to breathe in pure, clean air. With air quality standards these days, that may be harder than it sounds. Several products on the market are designed to help promote air quality, none so more than the ionic air purifiers.

With mixed feelings and reports, it is important to know what you are getting when purchasing. It is also required that you understand the possible dangers and proper usage of these devices. This article will answer those questions and show you the best ionic air purifiers for your consideration.

Ionic Air Purifiers Compared

ModelRoom SizeCADRNoise LevelPrice
AeraMax 300300 – 600 Sq ft18857 dBCheck Amazon
AirFree P3000550 Sq ftN/A42 dBCheck Amazon
Silver Onyx500 Sq ft19259 dBCheck Amazon
Auto Mate On-the-Road65 Sq ft8042 dBCheck Amazon
Ivation Portable Ozone GeneratorN/AN/A67 dBCheck Amazon
Oransi Max600 Sq ft19455 dBCheck Amazon
Oransi Finn200 Sq ft14060 dBCheck Amazon
Ivation 3-13700 Sq ft20567 dBCheck Amazon
RabbitAir MinusA2 815 Sq ft19052 dBCheck Amazon

Are Ionic Air Purifiers Safe?

There is a huge debate about ionic air purifiers and their safety. So let’s try to clear it up a little. The safety concerns come from the fact that ozone can cause difficulty breathing, lung issues, and lowering oxygen in the blood.

Ozone is essentially oxygen with an extra molecule. Three oxygen atoms instead of two are all that separate the oxygen we need to breathe and ozone, the oxygen the atmosphere needs to protect us from UV radiation and air impurities.

Ionic air purifiers produce ozone, or O3. This displaces the oxygen, or O2 that we need to survive. However, there are limits. The recommended amount of ozone in the lower atmosphere that is deemed safe for humans is less than 100ppb (parts per billion). For personal machines, this is reduced to 0.05ppm (parts per million).

The EPA now regulates how much O3 a machine can produce. Because of this standard (brought on by the class action lawsuit against Sharper Image and their Ionic Breeze), ionic air purifiers are regarded as safe. This is because they are not ozone generators. O3 generation is only a small part of how these purifiers work (see further below for more).

As long as there are other purification methods, the home and personal ionic air purifiers are safe for use. Ozone generators are restricted to commercial use only and are not to be sold to the general public. It is also dangerously unsafe to be in a room with an ozone generator in use.

To be concise, an ionic air purifier is not an ozone generator and is deemed safe for residential and personal use.

Considerations When Choosing Ionic Air Purifiers

Particle Removal Capacity

One of the first things you want to understand is the particle removal capacity of the machine you are considering. There are two main measurements to concern yourself with.

The first is known as CADR, or Clean Air Delivery Rate. This is the amount of air the purifier cleans and pushes out through the machine. The higher the number, the more clean air enters the room.

You also need to check on the ACH or Air Change per Hour. This is a measure of how often all the air is completely replaced in the room. The measurement is determined by the amount of air drawn into the machine versus the output rate.

These two measurements combine to give you the ACH, or time it takes to completely cycle through all the air in a single room per hour. Higher ratings are advised.

Room Size Vs. Coverage Area

The room size is critical for these machines. Ionic purifiers are designed for smaller spaces and single rooms. If you have larger areas or want to purify an entire home, you will need much larger machines or multiple purifiers per room.

Accounting for the capacities of the units, it is highly advised that you purchase one that is designated for room sizes up to 35 or 40% larger than your room.

Noise Level

Some people enjoy the white noise hum of a fan or motor, while others prefer silence.

Whichever side you fall on, though, is important for your enjoyment and comfort. Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB), and the higher the number, the louder the noise made. To put the levels in perspective, there are some common examples.

A normal conversation in a quiet room rates about 52dB. A hairdryer on high from 5 feet away and a busy highway at 60 feet rate about 67dB. A fan needs to produce 47dB or lower to be silent.

For moderate sound production, to that comfortable hum, you should look at a purifier producing noise between 49 and 54dB.

Ease of Use

As it stands, these aren’t complicated machines. Most of them just plug in and have control knobs for power (on or off) and speed, rotation, or filtration level controls.

With technology as it is today, you will find remote controls, mobile app controls, and voice commands. How much of these controls you require, added to the additional cost you incur, will play into the purchase decision.

One factor you the machine must have is the ability to turn the ionizer off. If the unit does not have this option, it is not meeting the requirements of the FDA and should not be used in your home.

Smart Sensor & Air Quality Display

You will also want to consider the display. LCD or LED displays are nice in darker rooms giving off enough light to see but not drown the room. The display will also show you the settings, but what is important is the air quality display.

Another feature is the use of smart sensors. These devices are a part of the system that relays information to the purifier and helps the machines run more efficiently based on the air levels around the room or even in other rooms.

While this isn’t a requirement of ionization, it does help the efficiency, airflow, and particle capture of the units.

Energy Efficiency & Operational Costs

Ionizers and filtration air purifiers can have a lot of parts. Filters need to be changed regularly, and ionizer plates need to be cleaned. Depending on how many and how large the filters or plates are, the more frequent you need to perform this maintenance.

Unlike a fan or portable air conditioner, operational costs aren’t always offset. You need to check the output and input wattage, voltage, and amps. You may find that running the units frequently increases the energy bill.

However, with careful planning, you can work that to your advantage. You may be able to counteract any higher energy demands, making the units even more efficient.

Extra Features

Manufacturers may add extra features to entice you to buy their model over a competitor. These things may add value or just an increased cost. You will have to decide the value yourself.

Extra purification modes are the most common additional features. UV light sterilization, for example, or additional layers of HEPA filtration. Each of these features, along with things like voice command control, smart home integration, can add enticement as well as cost to the device.

Price Vs. Usage

Because of how these devices work, you need to put a value on the cost to performance ratio. Air quality is important, and nowhere more important than in our homes. However, the price may be a turn-off.

For those serious about their indoor and personal air quality, the ratio need only be comparable. This is a personal call, but one that needs to be weighed heavily before purchase.

9 Best Ionic Air Purifiers Reviewed

1. AeraMax 300

Best Ionic Air Purifier
Coverage Area300 – 600 Sq ft
Filtration Life90 days (carbon) 1 year (HEPA)
Negative Ions ProducedYes
Particle Removal Rate188 CADR
Noise Level57dB

The AeraMax 300 is the largest of the AertaMax line that produces cleaner air and lowers odors. The basic process is a filtration system that uses HEPA filtration to capture particles that cause allergens and contaminate the air.

The particles include mold, mildew, pet dander, and dust mites. It is also ideal for capturing most viruses at or above the 3 micron level. For odor control, you will find the machine also uses a carbon filter, which is ideal for capturing indoor pollutants like cigarette smoke.

The large capacity system will purify the air in rooms up to 600 square feet. Ideal operation is in rooms 300 to 400 square feet for allergen control and 200 square feet for odor control. It also utilizes an intuitive control board, LCD screen, and the best feature is the automatic air quality control.

You can select the fan speed settings or let the fan run itself. With onboard sensors, it will test the air and run on automatic mode to clean the air only when needed. This drastically cuts down on energy usage, but in larger rooms, you may find it runs more constantly.

Pros

  • 3-year warranty
  • Automatic air sensor
  • 4-speed fan
  • Large room capacity
  • carbon filter for odor control

Cons

  • Filters are not washable
  • May run continuously in auto mode

2. AirFree P3000

Best Filterless Ionic Air Purifier
Coverage Area550 Sq ft
Filtration LifeNever
Negative Ions ProducedNo
Particle Removal RateN/A
Noise Level42dB

If you are worried about ions or ozone, you should look for a machine that doesn’t produce any. The AirFree P3000 is one such model. Instead of filters, ionization plates, or UV lights, the AirFree uses heat.

Contaminated air is pulled in through the rear vents and heated to 400 degrees (F). Once the air is sterilized, the unit cools the air and returns it to the room. It does not heat up a room, nor does it need parts replacement. There aren’t any filters to remove or plates to clean.

The downside is that that unit must be plugged in and on at all times. You cannot sterilize one room and then move it to another. If you have multiple places to clean, you will need multiple units.

Because it needs to run 24 hours a day, it is an energy consumption concern. Even though the consumption rate is low, constant electrical draw can raise your energy bill over time. However, any money spent on the energy bill is paid back to you in the form of not having to continually buy new filters.

Pros

  • No filters to replace
  • Does not produce ions
  • Uses heat to sterilize the air
  • 2-year warranty from date of purchase

Cons

  • Must be on all the time
  • Cannot be moved between rooms

3. SilverOnyx

Best HEPA Air Purifier Ionizer
Coverage Area500 Sq ft
Filtration LifeWash monthly, replace bi-annually
Negative Ions ProducedYes
Particle Removal Rate192 CADR
Noise Level59dB

The SilverOnyx machine uses a single filter that has 5 stages of filtration. You get the HEPA filtration along with the mesh filter to trap large and small particles alike. There is also a carbon filter to eliminate odors in this filter as well. This filter is washable and needs to be cleaned at least every 30 days.

Once the air passes through this filter, the ion generator sanitizes the air with negative ion generation. It also has a UV light to purify the air of microbes and bacteria. The five stages together produce a 0-level airflow from the unit.

If the room is between 300 and 500 square feet, the air will be cleansed in time, and the entire room can reach a reading 0 contamination. However, this is unlikely as the doors or windows will need to be opened at some point, introducing more contaminants into the air.

It also has an auto setting, which will increase fan speed and CDAR when the levels of contamination are higher. This can be due to smoking in the room, cooking, or something more environmental.

The unit is a little loud on medium and high settings, which some find distracting. However, on the lower settings, it is a comfortable or acceptable noise level that you can switch to while sleeping if needed.

Pros

  • 5-stage filtration actually works
  • Ideal for rooms over 330sq ft
  • Auto-sensors (PM2.5) for better control

Cons

  • 1-year warranty is a bit low
  • Can be a little too loud for some

4. Auto-Mate On-the-Road Plug-In Ionic Air Purifier

Best Car Ionic Air Purifier
Coverage Area65 Sq ft
Filtration LifeN/A
Negative Ions ProducedYes
Particle Removal Rate80 CADR
Noise Level42dB

For on the go air purity, the Auto-Mate plug in ionizer may just do the trick. This little guy plugs into a 12-volt adapter in your car and runs constantly. It can purify the air in most sized vehicles with little effort.

For long road trips or short errand runs, the noticeable difference in the air inside your car will remind you why you wanted it. The pleasant clean air smell doesn’t take long to permeate any bad odors from pollutants or exhaust.

It doesn’t have the greatest warranty (3 months), but the price tag does mean you can generally afford to purchase multiples or replace it if needed. The biggest downside is the fact it will run as long as it has power.

Many cars and trucks today have full-power outlets that don’t power down when the car is off. This means that if you leave the unit plugged in and power is supplied to the adapter, it will run, even if you aren’t in the car.

Over time it can drain a battery, though this takes quite a long time (a few days or more). The bigger issue is the heat it can create. Some owners report that it blows the 12-volt adapter fuse, so you need to make sure your adapter is on a strong enough circuit to run this device.

Pros

  • Works quickly and constantly
  • Reduces odors from exhaust
  • Inexpensive travel solution

Cons

  • 90-day warranty
  • May blow fuses

5. Ivation Portable Ozone Generator

Best Personal Ionic Air Purifier
Coverage AreaN/A
Filtration Life6-months
Negative Ions ProducedYes
Particle Removal RateN/A
Noise Level67dB

Ivation gives you an ozone generator, producing O3 in your home, containers, or water bins. The idea is that the ozoned water purifies whatever is in it (as well as the water itself). Many people find the taste of O3 water to be pleasant.

You can sterilize foods in a bowl of water, and using the two purification stones, the air can disperse easier inside the container. However, you must keep in mind that O3 is harmful to breathe. If you plan to remove odors by letting the machine run in the air, you need to leave the room while it runs and for a short time after it is complete.

The unit comes with a touch control interface that turns the unit on or off and sets the run timer in 5-minute increments from 5 to 30 minutes. If you need more time, you will need to start again. The instruction manual will list various purification items and a recommended time to clean them.

Fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water, for example, need 10 to 15 minutes. If you want to purify your toothbrush, it needs to run in a glass of water for 30 minutes. For room sanitation, you will need to remove the diffusing stones and let the machine run for several cycles.

Pros

  • Purifies air and liquids
  • Diffusing stones and air tubes included
  • Auto shut-off timer built-in

Cons

  • Direct ozone production is dangerous
  • 1-year warranty is limited

6. Oransi Max

Best Ionic Air Purifier For Large Rooms
Coverage Area600 Sq ft
Filtration Life12-months
Negative Ions ProducedYes
Particle Removal Rate194 CADR
Noise Level55dB

For large rooms up to 600 square feet, the Oransi Max is your best bet. This has a higher cost than our top pick and is the primary reason it isn’t in the top spot on this list. However, for those looking for a reasonably quiet machine that pushes a lot of air through to purify, clean, and sanitize, this model fits the bill.

With three separate filters, you can control bacteria, in-home allergens, and odors. The ionizer produces negative ions to purify the air you breathe, and it does it all without having to deal with settings.

Once you plug the unit in, it will begin working. You can manually adjust the settings and fan speeds if you wish, but there isn’t a real need to do so. The air sensors in the machine do work well, and the fan will adjust on its own to accommodate the current air quality.

You should note that the air quality sensor does get covered in layers of dust on a fairly regular basis, and even while the machine is working properly and your air is clean, it can still report low air quality. This, in turn, results in the machine working harder than it needs to.

To combat this, you will need to consistently keep the sensor cleaned using a cotton swab or vacuum hose. The biggest draw, besides the volume capacity, is the 10-year warranty. The warranty covers the machine fan and motors and is among the best in the business.

Pros

  • Industry best 10-year warranty
  • Can move from room to room
  • Automatic air sensor

Cons

  • Can become loud
  • Sensors need constant cleaning

7. Oransi Finn

Best Ionic Air Purifier For Bedrooms
Coverage Area200 Sq ft
Filtration Life90-days (pre-filter) 2 years (HEPA)
Negative Ions ProducedYes
Particle Removal Rate140 CADR
Noise Level60dB

In smaller rooms like your bedroom, Oransi has the answer for you there, too. The Oransi Finn is a smaller version of the Max listed above. This model is ideal for rooms up to 200 square feet and operates under the same premise as the Max.

Instead of 3 filters, you only get two (no carbon odor filter here). The pre-filter collects large particles, and the 2-year rated HEPA filter does the rest. To combat odors, the Finn uses UV light instead of carbon filtration. This is a more efficient method when done right, and Oransi does it right.

You also get the negative ion production to sanitize the air around you while you sleep, allowing for more rest and less waking up with allergies or congestion. The smaller model also comes with safety features that prevent the unit from overheating or operating while the front cover is open.

Like the Max, the Finn also comes with a 10-year warranty on all parts and labor, except the filters. The pre-filter should be replaced every 90 days and the HEPA filter every 24 months. You get the 2-year HEPA filter and 3 pre-filters included with your initial purchase.

Pros

  • 10-year warranty is huge
  • Automatic sensors to increase fan speed
  • Fits in with any room style

Cons

  • A little noisy while sleeping for some
  • Inefficient in large rooms

8. Ivation 5-in-1 HEPA Air Purifier & Ozone Generator

Best All-In-One Ionic Air Purifier
Coverage Area3700 Sq ft
Filtration Life6 to 12 months
Negative Ions ProducedYes
Particle Removal Rate205 CADR
Noise Level67dB

If you are looking for a whole-home solution, Ivation has your answer. The 5-in-1 purifier can clean the air in areas up to 3700 square feet. To be effective, it needs to run continuously, but with a low power draw and the fact you only need a single unit, it pays for itself soon enough.

The ion plates generate negative ions to sanitize the air. It also utilizes a UV light to kill bacteria and organisms that come in contact with it. On top of that, there are three filters to control particles and odor.

The photocatalytic filter is easy to clean and captures large particles, grease and contaminates. The carbon filter reduces odors in the air while the HEPA filter captures smaller particles (down to 3 microns) to reduce in-home allergens such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and even mold.

The unit is built into an attractive wooden box that fits in almost any room. It is compact enough to not get in the way and fits easily on counters, shelves, or the floor.

Clean up is a breeze, too. The plates and fan grill remove easily and clean up with warm water and a bit of detergent. The UV diode and other smaller parts can be wiped clean with a cotton swab, and the filters only need replacing when they are no longer fresh.

Pros

  • Cleans air in an entire home
  • Filtration, UV and Ion cleansing methods
  • Simple cleaning and maintenance

Cons

  • Must be on all the time
  • Can be quite noisy at night
  • Limited 1-year warranty

9. RabbitAir MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier

Popular 6 Stage Model
Coverage Area815 Sq ft
Filtration Life1-year
Negative Ions ProducedYes
Particle Removal Rate190 CADR
Noise Level52dB

RabbitAir believes that comfort, clean air, and style shouldn’t be separate issues. The MinusA2 is a quiet, stylish, and customized air purifier. It can stand on a counter or mount to a wall, depending on your needs.

The customization starts with the look. It comes in white or black, but also has several designs to choose from, including famous artists (Van Gogh or Monet, for example) cartoon characters or images from RabbitAir’s art department.

The customization doesn’t end there. There are a total of 5 filters in this machine, and you can pick which one to use for the 5th slot. The pre-filter, medium filter, carbon filter, and HEPA filter all do a great job collecting particles, controlling odors and removing contamination from the air.

You can choose from 5 different extra filters to slide in the 5th slot if you have specific needs. These include anti-allergen, germicide, toxin removal, or odor control.

The ion generator produces negative ions to sanitize the air further. All in a sleek, stylish container that looks good in any room.

You also get a 5-year warranty covering all fans, ionizers, the remote control, and interface of the machine. It doesn’t include the filters, but replacements through Amazon aren’t difficult to come by.

Pros

  • 5-year warranty
  • Remote operation
  • Customized filtration

Cons

  • Low airflow (150 CFM)
  • More expensive than most other models

Types of Ionizer Purifiers

There are two types of ionizers. Each one has pros and cons, and you will find that each one has a specific use in your home.

Electrostatic Precipitators

Electrostatic precipitators use plates with a positive and negative charge. Each plate then attracts particles of the opposite charge, like a magnet. The main problem is that these types of purifiers produce ozone. To keep within FDA standards, the performance and reliability dissipates.

The one thing these types work well at, though, is odor removal. Cigarette smoke is easily removed, even long stained floors or walls can have the odors removed with electrostatic precipitators. It takes a long time, though.

To properly remove odors, the machines need to run constantly for a few days. This can produce a lot of ozone, so you shouldn’t be present when they run. It also takes a lot of energy to run them, raising your energy bills.

Ion Generators

The other type of purifier is called an ion generator. These also use plates but only negatively charged ion plates. The way they work is to pass the air through, and the negative ions attach to positive ions in the particles and molecules.

The result is a particle that becomes too heavy to float in the air and falls to the floor. They are removed from the home when you vacuum the floor or dust off your counters and shelves.

How Ionic Air Purifiers Work

Ionic air purifiers don’t have filters. Many brands don’t have motors. They pull the air from the room in through the intake vents and force the air over the charged plates. These plates release the negative ions into the air particles to increase their weight, making them fall to the floor.

The positively charged plates collect negative ions in the air and trap them on the plates. Both methods rapidly clean the air in the room, but their service degrades just as quickly. You need to clean the plates and vacuum your floors regularly to maintain the air purity.

Ionic Vs HEPA Air Purifiers

Ionic air purifiers often get confused with the other types of air purifiers on the market. As noted above, ion generators (commercial use only) and ion air purifiers use charged plates to purify the passing particles.

HEPA purifiers use HEAP rated filters to capture the particles, preventing them from reentering the room or air. Many HEPA purifiers are actually ion purifiers with HEPA filtration attached. It is almost like using the best of both worlds.

You get the ionization of the particles and the filter material to trap them. Not only is the air purified, but the particles are trapped in the filter for easy removal from the home.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Are ion generators and ozone generators the same?

No. ozone generators actively produce ozone, which is considered indoor air pollution and must be regulated by the FDA. Ion generators produce ions, which also produces ozone as a byproduct, but in much lower amounts. This is called indirect ozone generation, and the levels produced are generally deemed safe for indoor use.

What level of ozone exposure is acceptable?

Ozone is like radiation. We are exposed to it every day from almost everywhere. It is a naturally occurring molecule and usually remains in the upper atmosphere. However, at ground level, it can cause breathing issues, especially if you already have lung damage from asthma, COPD, or other respiratory illnesses. For this reason, the FDA has deemed that anything less than 0.05ppm is acceptable.

Is ionized air safe to breathe?

This is another debate, as the only real answer is it “depends.” What it depends on is what particles have become ionized. Ionizing particles makes them heavier than the air, causing them to fall to the floor and stick to the surface they land on. This, in itself, is harmless. However, if that surface is your lungs, it can pose a threat. This portion will depend on what molecules are ionized. Most particles are safe to breathe. However, if something like mold spores become ionized and stick to the lungs, it is possible over time, that this can become an issue.

Do negative ions produced by ionic air purifiers kill viruses?

No. UV lights found in some models can kill bacteria, but UV, ionizing, and HEPA filtration do not kill viruses.

How do you clean Ionic Air Purifiers?

To clean your ionic purifier, you will need to change the filters, wash filters, and wipe off the ionizing rods and plates. Your particular model will have recommendations on how often you should clean your ionic air purifier. However, for the plates, it is recommended to clean after every 24 hours of use, at a minimum. The filters can go much longer, up to several months.

Conclusion

The best ionic air purifiers are the ones that will purify your space, contain the particles, and produce as little ozone as possible. It can be a difficult task trying to determine which one is right for you.

With so many options, variations, and extra features, you can easily become overwhelmed. This article gave you plenty to consider when making that choice. If you are still in doubt, take another look at the AeraMax 300, our top pick. This large room purifier should meet most of your needs.

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