Can I put my air purifier next to my bed?

Conventional wisdom tells you that placing an air purifier next to your bed, preferably right next to your head is the best possible location. As usual, there is a lot to be desired when you choose to rely on conventional wisdom.

The entire opposite is true when it comes to the most popular air purifiers.

They don’t work like fans, blowing air away from you, instead, they draw air into the device, run the air through a series of filters, and remove pollen, airborne pathogens, dust, and other suspended particles in your bedroom air.

What could be wrong with that?

You don’t want those nasty little bits of organic material floating around in the air you’re going to breathe all night, do you?

No, you don’t, but if you place an air purifier next to the bed, that’s what will happen.

Air purifiers are sold based on room size in square feet, assuming your bedroom has a standard eight-foot ceiling.

They are designed to pull that air through them at regular intervals, the higher quality of the filter, the faster the interval.

In pulling that air, they draw all the contaminants in the room toward the purifier. Sure, you’ll be getting a stream of purified air right next to your face, but it’s only after all the contaminated air in the room flows by you first on its way to the purifier.

Where should I place my air purifier in my bedroom?

Where should I place my air purifier in my bedroom?

If your bedroom is a simple square or rectangle-shaped room, the best location for an air purifier is on the opposite side from your bed, allowing the contaminated air to pull away from you while receiving a reverse stream of clean air. At least that’s how it is supposed to work.

Air moves via a variety of methods. It can move on convection currents, a fancy word for heat.

If you’ve ever looked ahead on a blistering hot, humid summer afternoon at the pavement ahead of you while driving, you’ve no doubt noticed the heat layers forming about the solar-heated highway. That’s a convection air current in action.

Other air currents involve active transfer, meaning something mechanical has moved the air. It can be a handheld fan, the breeze from a passing vehicle, or something mechanical like a fan, air conditioner, or air purifier.

The third and final form of air current movement is the outside wind.

If your windows are open, and the curtains or blinds are swaying and snapping, you have a breeze blowing outside.

If the windows are closed and the blinds and drapes are still swaying, you have lousy insulation in your home.

Knowing where, how, or even if there is already air flowing in your bedroom is a necessity in placing the air purifier in a safe location.

Air purifier close to the bed

If you put an air purifier next to bed pillows what’s the worst that could happen? How about just breathing the pollutants in your bedroom directly into your nose and mouth? Better yet, blow all the potentially contaminated air your way, concentrate it, and take a big whiff. Not an appetizing idea is it?

An air purifier next to the bed is a microbe magnet. It doesn’t matter the shape of your bedroom, what type of purifier you have, if there is a natural flow of air coming from your windows and hallways, or if an air conditioner or fan is blowing the air towards your bed or away, an air purifier is designed to draw the air towards it.

Put that purifier next to your bed and it will draw the air directly to you.

Good air or bad, it won’t matter, you’ll be getting the real deal, the unfiltered, virus-laden, pollen impacted, foul odor smelling air right in your face.

People who’ve tried putting the purifier right next to the bed have reported opposite effects from what they had anticipated with an air purifier.

They’ve tossed and turned all night, awakened in the morning with a sinus headache, and felt stuffy, and congested with allergies.

It’s exactly the opposite effect they were hoping for.

the best place for an air purifier

The best place for an air purifier

The optimal location is where the air enters the room most of the time.

It can be different in summer or winter with the windows open to your home, and maybe your bedroom.

That summer air is awesome, filled with the fragrance of flowers and trees, and with all the pollen those flowers and trees generate.

If you have outside air entering the room, place the purifier directly in front of the flow.

It won’t capture it all unless you have a small opening in the room so that air can be directed into the purifier as it enters.

If the room is sealed, place the air purifier as far from the bed as you can.

Sometimes you have to compromise on location, but ideally, it should be as far from the bed as possible.

You should also place the air purifier on an elevated surface if possible. This allows the purifier to catch and clean air from both horizontal and vertical air flow in the room.

  • Horizontal air flow: wall to wall or door to door
  • Vertical air flow: air flow from the ceiling to the floor and vice versa when the temperature rises

Your best bet is about 3 to 5 feet off the ground to optimize its ability to purify the air.

Let the air purifier work for you rather than your actions making it a less effective machine.


Air purifiers can do their magic anywhere in a room.

The secret for you as the consumer is to let it do its work without forcing contagions directly into your path of breathing.

You are most susceptible to breathing bad air while you’re sleeping.

Many people cough during their sleep and never realize it.

The purpose of an air purifier is to reduce potential contamination, not to bring those contaminants to your mouth and nose.

Place the purifier where it will do the most good in terms of the overall volume of air treated.

Use the prevalent airflow in the room to your favor, but keep yourself, especially while asleep out of its path.

Clean air is important, you should breathe the cleanest air you can find, or generate on your own.

Avoid breathing the air until it is cleaned. Don’t let the process of air purification make things worse for you in terms of breathing in contaminants.

The best air is air that has been purified before it reaches you.