Will an Air Purifier Help With Headaches?

Headaches are the absolute worst thing that can happen to anyone during the day. 

They can be pretty annoying if mild. 

But if you have a terrible one, it’ll ruin your day, prevent you from being productive, going to the gym, hanging out with your friends, and enjoying life.

I don’t typically suffer from headaches unless they are caused by allergies, which is why I dread when spring comes. 

Due to my allergies, my respiratory system acts up, and so do my sinuses. 

And when my sinuses get clogged up, that’s the best and easiest way to guarantee yourself a headache that won’t be alleviated by taking painkillers.

So, over the years, the best way I’ve found to cure the type of headaches I was getting is buying an air purifier with a “True” HEPA filter

I know I’m not the only person who has wondered if air purifiers can help with headaches. 

Because of that, in this article, this is the topic I’m going to be covering.

I’ll talk more about headaches an air purifier can and can’t help you with, what type of headaches there are, and how to find an air purifier that will help with headaches.

Can an Air Purifier Help With Headaches?

The right air purifier can help prevent some headaches.

That said, air purifiers won’t be a cure-all for all types of headaches. 

If it’s a tension headache, it has nothing to do with the air quality you’re breathing, so an air purifier won’t be able to do anything about it.

However, many types of headaches are directly related to air quality. 

This includes allergy headaches, headaches that come from inhaling harmful chemicals, and even the ones that stem from being around strong odors for an extended period.

A modern air purifier will typically come with a range of cool features to help clean the air. 

Most air purifiers nowadays come with a multi-stage filtration system that consists of a carbon filter and a HEPA filter. 

These two filters can effectively capture tons of solid and gas particles floating around in the air, which can cause headaches and allergies.

There are even some air purifiers that come with an ionizer. The air purifiers utilize negative ions, which bond with particles in the air and cause them to drop to the ground. 

But as much as possible, I’d recommend avoiding these air purifiers, especially if you struggle with regular headaches.

This is because ionizers produce ozone when they react with particles in the air. 

Ozone can cause many problems when inhaling too much of it and even lead to a headache.

Types of Headaches

To understand when an air purifier can help with headaches, we need to look at the types of headaches we experience from time to time. 

When we understand this, it’s much easier to tell what’s causing our headaches and what approach to take to deal with them. 

So, here are the two types of headaches that you and I most likely deal with.

Primary Headaches

The first type is called a primary headache. 

These headaches happen when specific pain structures in your head are affected or if you overwork yourself. 

A primary headache is just a headache and isn’t a symptom of any underlying disease.

Some primary headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, tension headaches, and chronic headaches. 

Many things can cause a primary headache, including genetics.

A person’s daily habits can also cause primary headaches. 

For example, too much alcohol, poor posture, poor eating habits, and insufficient sleep can all contribute to primary headaches. 

And as you can tell, these headaches usually have nothing to do with air quality.

So, if you have a primary headache, an air purifier won’t be able to help you out.

Secondary Headaches

Secondary headaches are a bit broader than primary ones. 

These headaches are a symptom of other underlying conditions or diseases. 

Some of these headaches can be helped if you have an air purifier, but not all.

For example, brain aneurysms, the flu, dental problems, and dehydration can cause secondary headaches.

If these or something similar is the cause of your headache, then an air purifier won’t be able to help you out.

However, as I mentioned earlier, these aren’t the only causes of a secondary headache.

Another common cause of secondary headaches is an allergic reaction. 

This tends to happen to people with seasonal and dust allergies. 

Clogged and congested sinuses can cause secondary headaches, and this is what I used to struggle with for months every year.

Whenever there’s significant dust buildup in my home or any indoor space I’m in, my sinuses get irritated. 

And most of the time, this also means I get a headache. 

This can be really annoying because I lose focus and struggle to be into whatever I’m doing at the moment. 

In this scenario, my air purifier comes in very handy.

Air purifiers are designed to capture many particles that cause allergies. 

So, when I have my air purifier on, there’s much less dust and pollen in the air.

Breathing in these particles irritates my sinuses and causes a headache.

How to Find an Air Purifier for Headaches

As I said, air purifiers only help you with headaches if they are from stuffy sinuses and allergies from the polluted air you’re breathing in.

If that is the case, then keep on reading as below. 

I will go over a few of the air purifier features you need to look for to prevent allergies and, as a result, headaches.

Look for a Multi-Stage Filtration System

The filtration system is arguably the most critical feature of the air purifier. 

So, you have to make sure you get an air purifier with a high-quality filtration system to help your allergy-related headaches. 

These air purifiers use multiple filters to capture different solid and gaseous particles.

The best combination, in my experience, has been a three-stage filtration system. 

This starts with a pre-filter to capture large particles.

Next, an activated carbon filter for smells and gases.

And most importantly, a true HEPA filter captures small solid particles before releasing the clean air back into the room.

You must find an air purifier that has a TRUE HEPA filter. 

These filters have passed specific standards and requirements. 

They are guaranteed to capture certain particles that can irritate your respiratory system and lead to a headache.

Unfortunately, many air purifiers are on the market with fake HEPA filters. 

While these will be cheaper, they won’t be as effective. 

And if you want to treat your headaches that stem from allergies, getting a unit with a true HEPA filter is essential.

Look for Automatic Air Purifiers

Though this feature won’t help with alleviating your symptoms and help with your headache, it will help by making your life easier and a lot more convenient. 

If you suffer from allergies like me, your air purifier must run 24/7

There’s no way around it.

And the beauty of having an automatic air purifier is that these units tend to have air quality sensors.

These sensors regulate the unit’s settings depending on how clean or polluted the air in your room is.

That way, the air purifier won’t have to work harder or use as much electricity as it needs to.

Besides that, having an air purifier that automatically regulates itself throughout the day and night means you don’t need to go and check on it constantly.

This is particularly convenient if you have a terrible headache and the last thing you want to do is get out of bed to adjust your unit.

Consider Getting a Silent Model

One last feature I recommend considering when buying an air purifier is the noise level it produces when it operates at different levels.

While this doesn’t help with allergies or your sinuses, noise can cause or contribute to headaches as it will prevent you from relaxing.

That’s why all the best air purifiers for bedrooms are quiet.

On top of that, a loud model means you won’t be able to keep it on while you sleep.

This can lead to a primary headache as you won’t have been able to have a good sleep and might wake up tired.

It’s worth mentioning that almost every air purifier will make noise when operating at the highest level.

There’s no way around that because the fan needs to work and suck in the necessary air.

However, when the unit is operating at the lowest level, typically, if you keep it on 24/7, a good air purifier won’t make as much noise.


In the large majority of cases, an air purifier won’t be able to help you with your headaches.

This is because headaches also come from not sleeping well, staring at a computer screen for far too long, sitting with a poor posture for several hours, and more.

Allergies are another culprit, which irritates your sinuses, resulting in a headache.

If this is you, a high-quality HEPA filter air purifier will help, and it can prevent headaches before an allergic reaction triggers them.