Air Purifier Vs Ionizer

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

If you’re worried about the purity of the air in your home, then you’ve probably looked into getting an air purifier. But what’s the difference between an air purifier and an ionizer? Both of these appliances seem to have benefits for your health, but which one is more suitable for your lifestyle? Keep reading while we look into the differences between air purifiers and ionizers, the benefits of each, and which one you should invest in.

Quick Look


Air purifiers and ionizers both clean the air by removing allergens, irritants, and other pollutants.

Both appliances work to achieve a higher quality of air inside the home.


Air purifiers use filters to trap allergens and pollutants and then circulate clean air back into the living space.

Ionizers use negatively charged ions that then eliminate pollutants.

Air purifiers can remove a larger range of irritants and pollutants, whereas ionizers can only eliminate smaller allergens and pollutants.

Air purifiers do not produce any gas or material, whereas ionizers can produce ozone, which can cause respiratory problems.

What’s the Difference?

On a large scale, air purifiers and ionizers are made to do the same broad function: they’re made to circulate the dirty air in your living space and return it to you cleaned of allergens, dust, irritants, and pollutants. They’re both made to clean the air of particles that we can’t see with our naked eye, and that often get missed during dusting and general household cleaning.

However, the way these two appliances do their job is vastly different. Let’s take a deeper look at how air purifiers and ionizers work.

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers have an internal fan that pulls the air into the machine from the room. This air is then pushed through either one filter or a series of filters. Irritating or polluting particles are then captured in the pleats of the filters before the air is circulated back into the room. Air purifiers use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that remove dust, pollen, bacteria, and mold at a 99.97% rate of efficiency.

Air purifiers tend to work on a larger range of particles. The filters get rid of large allergens like dust and pollen, as well as smaller, harder-to-clean allergens like bacteria, pet hair, pet dander, and even viruses. For people who have asthma, hay fever, or pet allergies, air purifiers can definitely make a huge difference.

Air purifiers don’t use anything other than a fan and filters, which means that you’re not circulating any chemicals in the air when you use an air purifier. You’re simply removing irritants from the air and putting that clean air back into your living space.

White air ionizer stands on the table


So, what is the difference between an air purifier and an ionizer? Ionizers use ions and their chemical properties in order to remove particles from the air. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple once you understand how it works.

Ionizers use electricity to create negative ions, then discharge them into the air. Allergens and pollutants and particles in the air are positively charged, which means that when these negative ions attach to them, the particles become too dense to float in the air, and thus fall to the floor.

The negative ions that are created by ionizers also stop viruses in their tracks, as well as kill fungus, mold spores, and bacteria. However, while ionizers are good at cleaning the air of smaller particles, they’re relatively ineffective at cleaning the air of larger particles like dust and pollen. They’re much better suited for cleaning the air for smoke, bacteria, viruses, and smog.

Because ionizers have trouble with larger particles, they’re not as good for people who need to clean the air because of asthma or allergy triggers. In fact, ionizers may cause irritation to people who suffer from asthma, as ionizers actively produce ozone, which is a well-known irritant to the lungs.

Ionizers have also been known to cause throat irritation, shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, and even difficulty breathing. There are also long-term effects that can lead to inflammation of the lung as well as a decrease in lung function.

Which Choice is Best?

Deciding on whether to purchase an air purifier or an ionizer depends on what you’re looking for in an air cleaner. Air purifiers can remove a larger number of pollutants and allergens, which can be helpful for people who have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues.

Ionizers on the other hand are better at removing viruses and bacteria, which may benefit people who are immunocompromised or who have small children in the home that they want to keep safe from sickness. However, it’s important to remember that the production of ozone from ionizers can cause health issues in and of itself. Whether the benefits outweigh the risks should be considered before purchasing.

All in all, if you’re looking to simply clean your air space, air purifiers are the way to go. They’re safe, use filters, don’t create any ozone or gas, and are easy to use. They remove a higher range of irritants and pollutants in the air that ionizers can’t reach. They’re better for clean air and benefiting sleep, sneezing, congestion, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses.


Air purifiers and ionizers may seem like they do the same thing, but they’re vastly different when it really comes down to it. Air purifiers use a filter to circulate clean air back into the home, while ionizers use negative ions to eliminate smaller particles and pollutants.

Ionizers also have a risk associated with them, as they produce ozone that irritates the lungs and causes issues for people with asthma. While ionizers can clean the air of viruses and bacteria, the health issues posed by ozone might not be worth the risk.

Meanwhile, air purifiers are safe for all uses and are even safe for pets. They remove larger pollutants like pet dander and dust, as well as smaller particles like bacteria. If you’re looking to keep your air clean, then air purifiers might be best for you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Special offer for our visitors

Get your Air Purifier Free Guide

We will never send you spam. By signing up for this you agree with our privacy policy and to receive regular updates via email in regards to industry news and promotions