What is the Best Car Air Purifier? | Car Ionizer Reviews 2017


If you’re looking to buy a good car air purifier to eliminate odors, prevent fatigue, enhance your concentration and improve the quality of the air you breathe in your vehicle, this page has a detailed review of the best negative ionizers for cars and why they are recommended.

What to Look for in a Car Ionizer

Air purifiers designed for vehicles tend to utilize either negative ions, ozone or fan powered filter technologies like HEPA.

While each of these can clean the environment in your car in their own way, only true negative ionizers can offer the many health benefits of increased negative ions in the air you breathe.

More common, however, are plug in air purifiers for vehicles that utilize ozone as their primary air cleaning method. However, this can present certain health issues, particularly for people who drive for long periods.

The Problem with Ozone Based Car Air Purifiers

Ozone, while effective at destroying airborne odors, is unstable and not recommended at high levels for long periods. Generally, if you can smell the faint bleach or office printer smell of a car air purifier that uses ozone, it should be turned off before too long.

The CDC recommends ozone levels for air purifiers be limited to 0.05 parts per million in enclosed spaces. A small amount of ozone does occur naturally when negative ions are generated, but any good car ionizer should specifically list ozone as less than 0.05 ppm (often written as < 0.05 ppm).

While air purifiers for vehicles should comply with this, there have been reports of much higher readings during testing of some models. These are usually recalled, but then quickly replaced with another model that may not have been thoroughly tested.

If you’d like to be sure your car ionizer actually generates beneficial negative ions, rather than just ozone, then look for the ion output to be listed by the manufacturer. This is measured in the millions or billions per second and the higher the better.

Ionic Air Purifiers and Ionizers with Fragrance

Be especially suspicious of ‘ionic air purifiers’ and ‘car anion ionizers’ that don’t display how many negative ions or how much ozone they generate. While some may still function as negative ionizers, ozone generation is more likely to be the more predominant air cleaning method.

Another trend I’ve noticed recently in ionizers for cars and trucks is to include a steam dispenser where you can add your own fragrance to ‘freshen the air’.

This may seem like a good idea, but actually works against the way negative ions attach to airborne particles, including water vapor, and thus would greatly reduce a proper ionizer’s effectiveness. It could however be used to help mask the distinctive ozone smell.

Also, keep in mind that while some newer ionic air car purifiers can be powered by USB, the majority will plug in directly into your vehicle’s 12-volt cigarette lighter. Something to remember if your car is one of the few models that doesn’t have one of these.

With these points covered, let’s look at the best car air purifiers with high negative ion generation and what makes them so good.


Best Car Plug-In Air Purifier — Vantru Auto Ionizer

Plugging directly into your vehicle’s 12-volt power supply, this compact ionizer for your car takes up virtually no space. There’s just the crystal blue top, where the ions are generated, popping out of the cigarette lighter.

There are quite a few car plug-in air ionizers that look similar to this design, but this one specifically lists negative ion generation of 4,800,000 pcs/cm3, which is quite an impressive amount for such a small air purifier.

It also lists ozone concentrations at less than the safe 0.05 ppm and very minimal power consumption of lower than 0.8 watts. Few other competing plug-in air purifiers for cars list these important specifications. To me, this makes the Vantru auto ionizer a more trustworthy choice.

Have a look at the reviews and customer pictures here on Amazon to see if this would be the best plug-in car ionizer for you. With the gift box it comes in, it could make an interesting looking present as well.


Best Portable Air Purifier for Cars — Winext Auto Ionizer with Air Filter

The Winext car air purifier is a negative ion generator (5 million pcs/cm3) combined with a 3M made HAF electrostatic filter to eliminate airborne particles like pet dander, dust, pollen, viruses and bacteria.

As well as plugging into a cigarette lighter, and unlike most other car ionizers I’ve seen, it can also be powered by an included USB connection if you have a modern car that has a USB port.

Given this, the Winext auto ionizer could be considered not just an air purifier for your car, but also a portable ion generator for your office desk or to use in hotels when traveling.

To connect the ionizer by USB requires 5 volts, which means it should be compatible with both older USB 1.x and 2.0, which are listed as providing a 5 volt power supply, and in USB 3.0 which is higher.

While quite slim, the Winext auto air purifier is about 5 inches wide and freestanding. That’s fine for portability but keep it in mind when considering whether it would be a good fit for your car.

While the negative ion output of this car ionizer is similar to the previous model reviewed, its ability to circulate air through the electrostatic filter should make it a bit more effective at air cleaning in general.

You can see more pictures and reviews and check the price of this new car air ionizer on Amazon here.


Best Overall Car Ionizer and Air Freshener — Hayata Air Purifier with HEPA Filter

If you drive in a polluted environment, have bad smells in your vehicle you can’t get rid of, or just want the best negative ionizer for your car, then consider the Hayata auto air purifier.

It comes with 5 different air cleaning technologies:

  1. A true HEPA filter to trap airborne allergens like pollen, pet dander and dust.
  2. A germicidal ultraviolet lamp with photocatalyst filter to kill viruses, bacteria, mildew and fungi, as well as breakdown harmful VOCs like formaldehyde and ammonia.
  3. An activated carbon filter to absorb cigarette smoke, food smells and other odors like body sweat.
  4. A nano-silver filter that also kills germs, mold spores and other pathogens.
  5. And a strong negative ionizer generating 10,000,000 ions per second.

The Hayata auto air purifier would be especially good for those who have to regularly drive on roads with a lot of pollution, or for families that have children with allergies or pets in the car.

It plugs directly into a normal 12-volt power supply (cigarette lighter) but keep in mind it is a larger car ionizer than the other units reviewed. Dimensions are listed at 8.1 × 6.2 × 2.1 inches.

One handy inclusion with this car ionizer is a nylon strap that you can use to attach it to the back of the passenger seat (see the sixth picture down from the top on the link below) and this would be a great place to position it from an air cleaning perspective too.

There’s many reviews, pictures and answered questions here for the Hayata car air purifier. It’s the best ionizer/air filter combination for cars currently available on Amazon and good value for the regular driver who cares about the air quality in their vehicle.


I hope this review of the best car air purifiers with high negative ion output has helped you find a good ionizer for your vehicle.

Please share it with friends who do a lot of driving as air pollution on long journeys can lead to tiredness and lapses in concentration. A good car ionizer is an investment in both your health and your personal safety out on the roads.

There’s also more on the best negative ionizers for your home here. If you have a USB connection in your car then the first model reviewed there could also be used as a good car ionizer and air purifier as well.