Can Air Purifiers Cause You to Cough?

Coughing is pretty common and should go away on its own. However, if you’ve been coughing for quite a while – that might be a sign of allergies or another medical condition that you need to check with your doctor.

If you’ve recently bought yourself an air purifier and suspect it might be the reason for your continuous coughing – I can totally relate to how you’re feeling. I was in a very similar situation a few years back.

And so, if that’s what you’re concerned about, in this article, I will talk to you more about whether or not your air purifier can cause you to cough, what air purifiers are more likely to make you cough, whether or not such a unit can help ease the symptoms of coughing, as well as some tips on improving your symptoms.

Is My Air Purifier Causing Me to Cough?

No, your air purifier shouldn’t be the reason behind your coughing. Air purifiers do not do anything to the air that can cause you to cough. In fact, air purifiers, provided you have bought one with a real HEPA filter should actually improve any coughing symptoms you might have as it will remove any irritants from the air before they end up in your lungs.

I can definitely see why you might think that your air purifier is causing you to cough, though. I personally had very similar symptoms at one point in time back in the day when I owned my air purifier. I too suspected that it might be the reason behind my coughing because it was the only new addition to my home.

However, after a quick Google search and seeing what other people thought on Reddit, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t actually the air purifier to blame but rather a cold that I somehow managed to get.

What Air Purifiers Can Cause a Cough?

The one type of air purifier you should stay away from at all costs is an ozone-generating air purifier.

There are many air purifiers on the market with ozone generators as ozone gas can change the chemical composition of the air and make it smell both fresher and cleaner.

And while this will make your room smell much better, it’s bad for your lungs.

Ozone, when inhaled, can irritate your lungs. It can cause coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and even worsen a person’s asthma symptoms.

So, if you’ve just bought an air purifier and you find that it’s causing you to cough more than usual, check if you’ve bought an ozone air purifier.

If so, try and turn it off and see if your symptoms improve.

If so, I recommend you to return the unit if possible and go for a unit like the LEVOIT Core 300, which has a real HEPA filter.

Can an Air Purifier Help With a Cough?

In certain cases, your air purifier might even help ease your coughing symptoms.

If you’re coughing because of allergies, then an air purifier with a real HEPA filter will be of huge help. 

This is because HEPA filters are designed to catch 99.97% of all solid particles that can cause you to cough such as dust, pollen, and other common irritants that can be found in the air.

With that said, if you’re coughing because of an infection or you’re sick, then an air purifier won’t be of much help.

And yes, while breathing in healthy and clean air will be beneficial with your recovery – you might need to seek medical help to really find out why you’re coughing in the first place.

Why Am I Coughing After Buying an Air Purifier?

I too suspected that my air purifier was making me cough.

The main reason for that was because I normally never cough and two or three days after turning the air purifier on – I suddenly started coughing.

It was very mild but still, it got me pretty worried.

However, as long as your air purifier isn’t an ozone generator, it is extremely unlikely for it to make you cough.

What you can do to test out if your air purifier is making you cough is to stop using it for a few days, see if your symptoms improve, and that will give you an answer.

Tips to Reduce Coughing Symptoms

Now that you know that your air purifier isn’t the most likely cause of your coughing, it’s a good idea to take a look at what could be causing the symptoms and reduce your exposure to the cause as much as possible.

Like everyone – I’ve coughed in the past and know exactly what triggers my symptoms – so in the section below, I’ll give you some simple steps you can follow to ease your coughing.

Stay Hydrated

Your cough could be caused by a dry throat. So, what you can do is make sure that you stay as hydrated as possible.

Additionally, staying hydrated improves your body’s ability to fight whatever is causing the cough in the first place.

But to stay on the safer side, I don’t recommend you to drink any cold water as this can actually worsen the symptoms of your cough.

This is especially true if you’re a person that coughs while sleeping at night.

Phlegm and mucus could pool up in the back of your throat when sleeping.

This causes your body to cough as a natural way of expelling whatever’s in the back of your throat before it enters your lungs.

Staying hydrated reduces this buildup in the back of the throat, which could be a huge help and greatly reduce your coughing both during the day and when you’re sleeping.

Get Some Sleep

Rest is crucial when you’re feeling under the weather.

So, if you’re coughing, whether it’s due to allergies or something else, I highly recommend you take it easy for a few days and rest up.

You’ll quickly start to notice how you feel much better just a few days later.

Take a Hot Shower

Every time I feel like I’m about to get sick or start to cough, I always like to take a hot shower.

I don’t actually know the science behind it but it helps me a ton as it heats me up nicely and allows me to relax.

As a side note, there are many benefits to breathing in the steam from the hot water. That will put your throat at ease, allow your nose to unblock, and make you feel better as a whole.

Control the Air Quality in Your Room

You may not know it yet, but there are tons of particles in the air that can cause you to cough. This ranges from dust, pollen, and other allergens all the way to ozone, VOCs, and other harmful gasses you shouldn’t be breathing.

So, if you cough a lot when you’re at home, it could be because of poor indoor air quality.

This is why I highly recommend a good air purifier with a real HEPA filter for people who cough a lot.

A HEPA filter can eliminate up to 99.97% of particles from the air.

Alongside dust and pollen, it can also get rid of mites, ticks, and pet hair, all of which can cause you to cough.

One of my personal favorite air purifiers is the LEVOIT Core 300.

It not only has a real HEPA filter but also has an active carbon filter, which will take care of all those harmful gasses present in the air. And what’s more is that it’s also very affordable.

See a Doctor

I’m not a doctor but if your coughing persists and we know that it’s not caused by the air purifier – you should speak with your doctor and find out what’s causing you to cough.

If anything, an air purifier should help ease any such symptoms like coughing rather than make it worse.


If you recently bought an air purifier and suspect that the unit is making you cough a whole lot more than normal – it is extremely unlikely that it’s the air purifier to blame.

Rather, you could have been exposed to a range of allergens or have conveniently fallen sick just when you got your air purifier.

These machines are actually designed to prevent you from coughing or feeling any irritability in your throat and lungs by catching the irritants that cause you to cough before you breathe them in.