Air Purifier Noise Levels: Guide to Decibel Ratings

As a sensitive sleeper, one of my top priorities when buying an air purifier was the level of noise it produced.

And since it’s suggested that you leave your air purifier on 24/7, I knew if I bought a loud model, I’d have trouble falling asleep at night.

With that out of the way, I was left wondering how to tell if an air purifier is silent before I buy it.

After some research, I found the answers to all of my questions.

So, in this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know regarding decibels and air purifiers.

Understanding Decibels

Before fully understanding decibels, it’s essential to know the difference between dB and dBA.

Decibels are expressed in dB, and it is a measurement of the sound levels and sound pressure of a particular source.

That said, tons of frequencies are floating around, and the human ear cannot hear all of them.

So, when describing sound levels concerning the human hearing spectrum, the measurements are in A-weighted decibels or dBA.

dBA is the measurement you’ll come across when shopping for an air purifier, so look out for it.

How Do You Measure the Noise Levels of an Air Purifier?

The noise air purifiers produce is measured in decibels or dBA.

Decibels are measured using a decibel meter, specifically designed to count the number of decibels from a particular sound source at a certain distance.

If you want, you can download a decibel tracking app that will tell you the decibel level of your air purifier or one that’s in a store. Here’s an example of the app with my screenshot.

Otherwise, you should be able to just google it.

That way, it’s much easier for humans to gauge which sound levels are tolerable, manageable, or the ones that could potentially be dangerous for your hearing.

Just like you, I never needed to understand decibels before I started looking for a silent air purifier.

So, if you’re unsure what qualifies as a silent air purifier in terms of dBA, keep reading.

What Qualifies as a Silent Air Purifier?

From my personal research, every air purifier brand is slightly different when it comes to noise.

The more expensive models are much better at keeping quiet than their cheaper counterparts.

Despite that, for an air purifier to hit the market, it must undergo some testing.

The manufacturer needs to measure the air purifier’s dBA rating as part of this testing.

This rating represents the noise levels that the air purifier can produce during operation.

Ideally, you want to get an air purifier that produces less than 30 dBA, considered a quiet air purifier. 

Let’s look at some examples to give you a better idea of how quiet 30 dBA is.

As a baseline, let’s imagine you cannot hear any sound from a specific source. This is what 0 dBA feels like.

A whisper would be around 30dBA when right next to your ear.

A typical conversation hovers at around 60 dBA.

With that being said, some air purifiers have different settings.

So, the higher the setting, the louder the unit will be.

When I researched my silent air purifier, I came across models with a dBA rating of just 15.

Benefits of a Silent Air Purifier

There are a ton of benefits to using a silent air purifier.

Below, I’ll share some of the most noticeable ones I’ve experienced.

Better Quality of Sleep

When using a silent air purifier, your sleep quality will improve for multiple reasons.

For one, you won’t have trouble falling or keeping asleep by the constantly running fan of the unit.

And two, the air purifier can be kept during the night, allowing you to breathe clean air.

When we sleep well, we feel good.

And that’s important if we want a happy and productive day ahead.

You Can Leave the Air Purifier On Even When You Sleep

Listening to a humming sound before bed is going to do everything but help you fall asleep.

As a light sleeper, I have to sleep in absolute silence, or else I won’t be able to fall asleep.

However, since buying my super quiet air purifier, I have kept it on around the clock.

Sometimes, I don’t notice the air purifier running in the background.

No Distractions During the Day

As I work from home, keeping my focus and concentration is super important.

But at the same time, I can’t go without an air purifier for allergies due to my sensitivity to them.

They can ruin what would have been a productive day at work.

When I found the air purifier I own now, I was super happy.

It was quiet, to begin with, and had a night mode, which made it even soft.

Now, I can keep my focus and reduce my allergies thanks to breathing in purified and clean air.


Understanding decibel ratings on air purifiers can be pretty complicated, but it’s imperative.

If you’re particularly keen on buying yourself a quiet air purifier, knowing what decibel rating you’re after will be of enormous help.

Ideally, you want a decibel rating below 60 dBA as anything over that is pretty loud.

However, if you’re a person like me who enjoys quiet and peace, then I’d recommend you go for a model that’s 50 dBA or less.

Thankfully, there are a ton of great silent air purifiers on the market, so you’ll have no trouble finding one.

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