If you’ve ever wondered, “Are air purifiers worth it?”, “Do I need an air purifier?” or even “Do air purifiers really work?”, then this post has the answers you need.

In the guide below, we’ll share with you some of the top ways an air purifier can be a benefit inside your home.

We’ll also go over the most common reasons why you may or may not want to get an air purifier.

The goal here is to give you expert advice on air cleaners so you can decide are air purifiers worth the money for you.

Are Air Purifiers Worth it?

Are air purifiers worth it

An air purifier is worth it because it can remove allergens and other pollutants from the air. There are numerous health benefits associated with using air purifiers and the results vary from person to person and depend on the types of pollutants indoors. Overall, air purifiers are worth the money.

We’ll explain more about what do air purifiers do and why is an air purifier worth it below, but also wanted you to know that we have a dedicated top 10 air purifiers page you can use to compare the best-rated units available.

We also have another guide on the cheapest air purifiers that can be a benefit to your health at home for the lowest amount of money.

See all of Amazon's Best Selling Air Purifiers

Air Purifiers Are Worth it for Dust

Using an air purifier to clean the air also helps to clean the rest of your home too. Air purifiers with a HEPA filter can trap airborne particles that make up dust, including pollen, mold spores, dust mites, human skin cells, hair, and pest debris.

There’s also another type of air cleaner called an “ionizer”. The basic idea behind how does an air ionizer work is that it electrically charges the air so that pollutants fall onto the floor, which then has to be vacuumed up. However, some ionizers include an electrostatic collection plate to collect these dust particles, but it isn’t always 100% effective.

You can read our article on ionic air purifier vs HEPA filter here to learn more about the differences.

But in general, air purifiers are worth it in the sense that there is less dust accumulation inside the room that the unit is being used in when it includes a HEPA filter. And that can lead to less time you need to clean throughout the week.

See our recommendations on air purifiers for dust.

Air Purifiers Control Allergies and Asthma

Allergies and asthma attacks are triggered by airborne particles such as mold, pollen, pet dander, and bacteria. And according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality can be up to five times worse than the outdoors.

Therefore, using an air purifier in your home with a good quality True HEPA filter can help control allergies and asthma by reducing the number of allergens and asthma-inducing particulates from the air you breathe. However, always talk to your doctor before stopping any medications as an air purifier may be just part of your treatment plan.

See our recommendations on air purifiers for asthma and air purifiers for allergies.

Air Purifiers Remove Odors

Household odors can be caused by number of things, including cooking, tobacco, garbage, mold, a humans. And many people consider air purifiers to be worth the money simply because these units can help the home smell better.

An air purifier that includes an activated carbon filter will remove odor-causing molecules so that the air indoors smells fresh without having to rely so heavily on air fresheners.

See our recommendations on air purifiers for smells.

Air Purifiers Are Worth it for Pet Owners

If you have pets, then an air purifier is a powerful appliance to have in your home.

A good air purifier will clean the air in a household full of pets by trapping pet dander, pet hair, and pet odors. This can help your home to stay cleaner and smell fresher while still enjoying your pets. It also reduces the level of airborne allergens so that guests or other family members won’t breathe in as many pet allergen particles that cause allergic reactions to occur.

See our recommendations on air purifiers for pets.

Air Purifiers Remove Harmful Toxins

Believe it or not, there are many household items that can emit harmful toxins into the air for up to two years at a time. This includes building materials, adhesives, wall paint, furniture, and cleaners.

The process of chemical off-gassing comes from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and they can be very dangerous to your health when exposed to high concentrations. This often occurs in homes that are not well ventilated.

If you purchase an air purifier with a thick activated carbon filter, then the unit can adsorb these VOC chemicals from the air so they don’t end up in your eyes, throat, or lungs.

See our recommendations on air purifiers for VOCs.

Air Purifiers Trap Bacteria and Viruses

At any given moment, there can be millions of tiny bacteria and virus particles floating around your home. And these microbes and pathogens can lead to all sorts of sicknesses.

If you use an air purifier with a True HEPA filter, then it can trap most bacteria as it flows through the system. However, it’s not very efficient for viruses. To get rid of viruses, you’ll want an air purifier with an ultraviolet light that destroys the DNA structure of viruses so they’re rendered harmless to your health.

For many people, air purifiers are worth it for this reason alone; they want cleaner, more sterilized air, to stay protected against bacteria and viruses.

See our recommendations on air purifiers for bacteria and viruses.

Air Purifiers Capture Mold Spores

Mold is a common problem in many homes and an air purifier can capture airborne mold spores before they have a chance to reproduce.

Air purifiers that include a combination of a True HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, and ultraviolet light are the best type for mold spore removal. This combo will capture mold spores, reduce the odor, and destroy them at their core.

See our recommendations on air purifiers for mold.

Air Purifiers Remove Smoke

If you’re a smoker, living in a wildfire prone area, or you don’t have a well-ventilated kitchen, then an air purifier can help remove the smoke produced by tobacco, forest fires, and cooking.

Air purifiers that include a dense activated carbon filter can remove the odor caused by any type of smoke while a True HEPA filter will filter out the visible smoke particles.

See our recommendations on air purifiers for smoke.

Do I Need an Air Purifier?

Do I need an air purifier

The information above helped answer the first question, “Are air purifiers worth it?” Clearly, air purifiers are worth the money if you want to have cleaner air around you.

But you may still be wondering, “Do I need an air purifier?”

The answer to this question depends on a few things which we’ll cover in this section.

For some people, an air purifier is a great device that helps promote better health. But for others, the benefits are not as noticeable.

Our general recommendations below should help you figure out the answer for do you really need an air purifier or not in your home.

Yes, You Do Need an Air Purifier If:

  • You’re like the other 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies or have asthma and want better relief. An air purifier can help you breathe better and experience fewer allergy and asthma attacks. But always talk to your doctor first before ever stopping any medications.
  • You want a cleaner home that has less dust floating around. A good air purifier can remove dust particles before they collect on surfaces.
  • You want a fresher-smelling home. Air purifiers with a certain type of filter can extract odor molecules from the air from a variety of sources.
  • You or someone in your house gets sick easily or is prone to infections. Air purifiers can trap harmful pathogens and microorganisms that cause sickness.
  • You want to ensure that your body stays free from airborne toxins. An air purifier can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air you breathe indoors.
  • You want to reduce the level of smoke or odor in your home. Air purifiers can trap the visible and invisible particles of smoke so that your home smells less like tobacco, cooking, or wildfire smoke.
  • You have pets and want to reduce the level of dander, hair, or odors. An air purifier is an excellent device for trapping all types of particles emitted by cats, dogs, and other pets so your home stays cleaner.
  • You have an allergic reaction to mold spores. Air purifiers can reduce the level of mold spores in the air so that you don’t breathe these particles in.
  • You want to be as healthy as possible while inside your home. Air purifiers were designed specifically for this reason. Most everyone who uses an air purifier experiences general improvement in health.

No, You Do Not Need an Air Purifier If:

  • You clean regularly and don’t have much of a dust problem inside.
  • You don’t experience any unpleasant odors inside your home.
  • You have a healthy immune system and don’t get sick very often from exposure to common bacteria and viruses.
  • You don’t smoke or live with a smoker.
  • You don’t have severe allergies or asthma and can handle breathing in allergen particles like dust, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander.
  • You have pets in the house that don’t shed a lot of hair, dander, or odors.
  • You haven’t done any remodeling lately or don’t use many household cleaners that produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • You live in a home that has really good air quality.

If you don’t think you need an air purifier at this point, then another option you can consider is an indoor air quality monitor. These units do not clean the air like an air purifier but just measure the various pollutants inside a room. That way you can know how good or bad the air quality is before you invest in a new air purifier. Check out our air quality monitor reviews guide for more details on these units.

Do Air Purifiers Really Work?

Do air purifiers really work

Air purifiers do really work to clean the air. Many people benefit from an air purifier in the home. However, air purifiers work best for airborne particles that have not settled on your furniture, walls, or flooring, as the unit cannot strip pollutants from those surfaces.

Research shows that filtering the air can help to remove harmful particles from indoor spaces, particularly allergens, smoke, and mold. And air purifiers that consist of one or more filters along with a fan to circulate air through the unit. 

As air moves through the filters, pollutants and particles are captured inside materials while clean air is pushed back out into the room.

Given the fact that indoor air quality can be up to five times more polluted than the outdoors, a good air purifier does really work to keep your indoor air cleaner. Air purifiers with the right types of filters can neutralize many of the pollutants are caused by air pollution, indoor activities, and natural elements.

But you also have to keep in mind that air purifiers really work best in conjunction with good home cleaning practices. An air purifier cannot be a cure-all for everything, all the time.

As mentioned previously, each air purifier filter or technology type is best suited for particular air cleaning tasks, such as:

  • HEPA filter: For dust removal and hair collection.
  • True HEPA filter: For allergens, visible smoke, and bacteria.
  • Activated carbon filter: For odor molecules and VOCs.
  • Ultraviolet light: For mold spores, bacteria, and viruses.

Is An Air Purifier Worth It Summary

We hope the information on this page helped you decide are air purifiers worth it or not for your home. We tried to explain everything you needed to know about the benefits of air cleaners and provide insight the topic of do air purifiers really work or not.

But if you’re still asking the question, “Do I need an air purifier?”, then you should check out our about air purifiers page to learn more about this air cleaning technology. We also answer a lot of other common questions on that page to help you figure out is an air purifier worth it for your situation.

Avatar for David Morrison

About David Morrison

David is an Air Quality & Comfort Technician. He has expert knowledge on the technology and design of air purification, air conditioning, and heating systems. His main role is to write content that helps people get the most value out of their air purifiers, air conditioners, and heating units. (See Full Bio)