Do Air Purifiers Actually Clean the Air?

I have to admit, I wasn’t immediately sold on air purifiers like everyone else.

I always found myself asking if these machines actually do anything to clean up the air or if they’re just another fancy piece of technology that people buy because it’s popular.

After all, I spent a couple of years in my current apartment and I didn’t notice that the air was particularly bad.

The only time I noticed that I could potentially benefit from an air purifier was during the springtime since I have severe allergies and not sneezing every 10 seconds would be great.

So, one severe allergy season that got me feeling incredibly uncomfortable finally inspired me to buy an air purifier.

That’s when I went on the internet to find the best model for my needs and the size of my apartment. A few days later, it arrived, I turned it on, and I was instantly convinced that it worked.

I was in my home office, which is one of the most dust-filled areas of the apartment. And after 15 minutes with the air purifier on, I noticed that I was able to breathe much better and I was sneezing less.

So if you’re wondering if air purifiers actually clean the air, in this article, I will answer that question for you from personal experience.

Aside from that, I’ll also talk to you about how air purifiers work, how to find an air purifier that actually works (there are many fakes on the internet) and the benefits you can expect shortly after turning on your unit for the first time.

Do Air Purifiers Actually Work?

Yes, air purifiers work, but don’t just take my word for it.

There are many experts who agree that air purifiers do a pretty good job at cleaning the air.

It’s worth mentioning that you also need to pay pretty close attention to the air purifier that you’re getting.

I’m only saying this because there are different types of air purifiers on the market designed for different purposes.

For instance, there are air purifiers that are great at capturing allergens.

That’s what my air purifier does and it’s great.

However, if you don’t care about allergens but don’t particularly enjoy the smell of smoke, fumes, cooking, or any other odor – then you can get an air purifier with a carbon active filter, which can take care of the smells for you.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

I was always under the impression that air purifiers are incredibly complex machines with tons of moving parts and components which you have to take care of. I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

No matter what type of air purifier you get, it will work following the same basic concept.

It uses the fan to suck in and push unfiltered air through a filter, the filter then traps all the harmful particles while the pure air goes through the filtration system and out of the back of the air purifier.

That’s literally it.

Most modern air purifiers come equipped with real HEPA filters.

These are advanced mechanical filters that are designed to trap 99.97% of the smallest solid particles like dust and pollen.

However, these filters won’t do you much good if you’re looking to absorb odors and gaseous particles.

If you want to remove that smell from the ex-tenants cigarette smoke or eliminate VOCs in your home, then you need an air purifier with a carbon filter.

These filters absorb odors and harmful gasses that may be present in your home.

Some air purifiers only have one of these filters while some have both.

There are even a fair amount of air purifiers on the market with ionizers.

These are simple devices that introduce ions in the air, which negatively charge the particles, neutralizing them and causing them to fall to the floor.

Then, all you need to do is simply hoover them up.

I personally don’t recommend ionizers as they can irritate your lungs. If you have any respiratory conditions – stay away from them.

How to Find an Air Purifier That Works

The truth is that not all air purifiers are actually good at purifying the air. It also comes as no surprise that most purifiers that don’t actually work well are pretty inexpensive.

Saying that – there are many good budget-friendly options available, which can do wonders for your indoor air quality.

If you’re confused, don’t worry.

I was in your shoes once too.

To help you find an air purifier that works for you – in the section below, I will show you exactly what you need to look out for.

Pay Attention to the Filter

Without a good filter, the purifier won’t be able to filter the air properly, let alone purify it. This is why I say if you’re going to be particular about one feature of your air purifier, it better be the filter.

Ideally, you want to get an air purifier with a real HEPA filter. This is the industry standard and for a good reason.

HEPA filters are incredibly advanced mechanical filters made from thin fiberglass threads that can catch 99.97% of the finest solid particles in the air.

If you struggle with allergies like myself, then HEPA filters are essential. Saying that, be wary as there are many air purifiers on the market that have HEPA-like filters which are far from the same quality as true or real HEPA filters.

Additionally, some manufacturers may even have fake HEPA filters that definitely won’t do the job.

There are also carbon active filters. This type of filter is designed to capture odors and VOCs present in the air.

For example, modern structures and buildings contain many volatile organic compounds or VOCs which can pose a danger to your respiratory system over time. Or, if you live in an area where wildfires are quite common – breathing in toxic air can be very bad for you.

To be able to remove these gaseous particles from the air inside your home, you need an activated carbon filter.

If you’re after an air purifier that can both trap particles in the air and remove odors – you can find an air purifier that has both a real HEPA filter and a carbon filter.

Choose the Right Air Purifier For the Size of Your Room

Another thing to consider when buying an air purifier is the size of your room. If you get an air purifier that has a low air filtration capacity, it won’t be able to clean the air in your room properly.

This is why there are air purifiers for large rooms, small rooms, and even whole offices.

Fortunately, all air purifiers state what sort of air purification capacity they have.

So, to find out if any given air purifier is good enough, all you need to know is the size of your room.

Read the Reviews

You can almost never go wrong by reading up some of the reviews people have left about the particular air purifier that you’re after. That way, you will get a good idea of what you can expect before spending your hard-earned money.

What are the Benefits of an Air Purifier?

If you’re skeptical about air purifiers – I don’t blame you. I was exactly the same all those years ago. So, to help change your mind – in the section below, I will outline some of the biggest benefits of using an air purifier.

These benefits have all been experienced by me so I can stand behind them all.

Cleaner Air

Breathing in clean and fresh air is extremely important not only for us but for every living creature – including our houseplants and pets. The biggest benefit of breathing clean air is that our lungs will remain healthy for longer.

Aside from that, if you’re someone that suffers from respiratory conditions such as COPD, asthma, or allergies, breathing in clean air all the time will help deal with your health issues much easier.

Additionally, having clean air in your room may even benefit your skin.

This is because having cleaner air means that less dirt and bacteria can get into contact with your skin. This can reduce the number of pimples and blemishes on your skin without any fancy products or skincare routines.

Fewer Odors

Another big advantage of air purifiers with carbon filters is that they can capture any odors that may be present in your home.

Whether there’s a wildfire a few miles away or there is a smell from the cooking that you’ve done – the air purifier will take care of all that for you almost right away.

I personally love the carbon filter because I not only get to breathe in high-quality air but also one that doesn’t smell anything that I don’t particularly like.

Such air purifiers are also great at removing VOCs and smoke from cigarettes or vapes.

Great for Allergies

Air purifiers with a true or real HEPA filter are easily one of the best products on the market that can help all of us that suffer from seasonal allergies. Since air purifiers with true HEPA filters are designed to catch 99.97% of solid particles, the large chunk of irritants and pollen in the air inside your room will be eventually trapped by the filter. This means that you’ll not only sneeze a whole lot less but you’ll also sleep much better.

I personally suffer from allergies a whole lot, and since I’ve had my air purifier – the only time my allergies start to play up is when I spend far too long outside. But as soon as I walk through the doors of my home – every symptom gets cleared up almost right away.


Yes, air purifiers actually work. Saying that – it’s important that you get your hands on a high-quality air purifier with a proper filter for your needs.

For instance, if you suffer from allergies, you don’t want a carbon active filter since the job of that filter isn’t to catch allergens but eliminate odors.

If you’re after an air purifier that actually works and can purify the air inside your home from irritants like dust and pollen – then you want to make sure you get an air purifier with a real HEPA filter. As mentioned previously – make sure it says the filter is real and not HEPA-like as those don’t work anywhere near as well.