Best Ionic Air Purifiers in 2021 | Negative Ion Air Cleaner Reviews
Looking for the best air purifier that generates negative ions, without harmful ozone? Ahead is a detailed list of the top models and why they are recommended.
First is a new air purifier with optional ionizer that is very good value. Followed by a review of the best all round ionic air purifier, with 8 different technologies to clean the air you breathe.
Next is the top large room ion air cleaner, with medical-grade H13 True HEPA, activated carbon filter, high ion output and strong CADR.
Finally, 2 more recommended HEPA air filters, that cleanse the air in your home of allergens and contaminants, while still generating beneficial ions without ozone.
The Problem with ‘Ionizing’ Air Purifiers
Buying a good ionizer air purifier is one of the best ways to stop allergies and many other negative side effects of indoor air pollution. It can be confusing though.
Manufacturers have taken terms like anion, ionizing and ionic and plastered these labels on air cleaning units that primarily produce ozone, rather than beneficial ions.
In doing so, they have done a great disservice to people looking to buy an air cleaner that actually emits high levels of negative ions, like the ones ahead, rather than just ozone.
Ozone-producing air sanitizers, while effective at eliminating odors and some harmful airborne contaminants, are not without certain risks.
You definitely want to stay well below the EPA safe limit of 50 parts per billion by volume (ppbv). Above this amount, sensitive people can experience irritated lungs and other side effects of excessive ozone.
Personally, I’d much prefer to rely on the proven benefits of negative ions, rather than worrying about whether ozone from my ion filter is doing more harm than good.
With that in mind, let’s look at the best room ionizer air cleaners of 2021. All of these models produce beneficial levels of negative ions, while still keeping ozone levels so low as to be virtually undetectable.
Best Value Ionic Air Cleaner — ProBreeze 5 in 1
This new HEPA and ion purifier by ProBreeze is surprisingly good value here on Amazon, especially with free shipping included.
Slim and compact, this model uses 4 different forms of air filtration, combined with an optional ionizer, generating 10 million negatively-charged ions per cubic centimeter per second.
It would be ideal for clearing indoor air of allergens and pollutants in bedrooms, kitchens, home offices and smaller living rooms. For a large room purifier, the Medify Air model below is recommended.
The 5 different air cleaning methods used by the ProBreeze air purifier are:
- A pre-filter to capture hairs, dust and larger floating indoor air pollution. This can be periodically wiped down or vacuumed to improve its efficiency.
- A True HEPA filter, as recommended by the CDC, to provide effective filtering for mold toxins, dust mites, pollen, pet dander and many other airborne allergens.
- An activated carbon filter to absorb odors and chemical vapors, such as cooking smells, cigarette smoke and harmful volatile organic compounds, like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, from flooring and furniture.
- A special cold catalyst filter to eliminate bacteria, viruses and other airborne pathogens. Cold catalyst technology can also break down VOCs, providing an extra layer of protection from these common, yet highly toxic indoor pollutants.
- An optional ionizer, producing 10 million ions per cubic centimeter per second. This is far higher than the usual 3 or 1 million ions pcs/cm3 of many pricier competitors. USDA testing found high anion concentrations in an environment quickly reduced airborne dust and bacteria significantly.
CADR, CFM and Room Size
The manufacturer lists the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) as 218 m3/h for this model. They also recommend it for rooms up to 500 ft².
Far better air cleaning performance would be achieved in smaller rooms though. I’d consider the ProBreeze 5 in 1 a great value small room ionic air purifier and highly suited to compact apartments.
The first 4 stages of air purification in the ProBreeze are combined in a 4 in 1 composite filter. The company suggests replacing this yearly, or after 3000 hours of operation. A warning light on the top of the unit will tell you when the filter needs swapping out.
You can find replacement filters on the same product page and it’s worth factoring in this extra ongoing yearly cost with any HEPA-based air purifier you are considering buying.
The ionizer function on this air purifier generates an impressive output of 10,000,000 negative ions per second. While recommended, it is optional and can be turned off.
Importantly, this ionic air cleaner does not produce detectable ozone, according to the manufacturer.
The ProBreeze 5 in 1 has a True HEPA filter for trapping airborne pollution down to 0.3 microns, activated carbon for odors and cold catalyst filters for germs and VOCs. It also generates 10 million beneficial negative ions per second with the ionizer function switched on.
It has an energy efficient power saving mode, quiet operation at just 30 dB on the lowest setting, timer function for 1 to 4 hours, and 3-speed settings plus a sleep mode.
The ProBreeze 5 in 1, available here on Amazon at a low price, is the best value new ion air purifier I’ve seen in 2021. With its compact size and quiet operation, it would be ideal in bedrooms and other smaller rooms in your house or apartment.
Best Ionic Air Purifier All Round — Airthereal Pure Morning APH260
The Airthereal Pure Morning deserves its popularity. This is a stylish and well-designed ionizing air purifier with 7 stage air filtration, including a powerful 20 million ions pcs/cm3 negative ion generator that can be switched on or off.
It is available here on Amazon and is excellent value for the amount of technology packed into this slim built air cleaner and ionizer combination.
How the Airthereal APH260 Cleans the Air in Your Home
This unit has a lot of different filter methods to trap indoor air pollution. The company promote their ‘7 in 1 True HEPA filter’, but I actually count 8 different air cleaning technologies in this unit.
Let’s have a quick look at each of them:
- A pre-filter to capture larger floating pollutants like hairs, paper particles, fabric fibers and accumulated dust.
- A True HEPA filter to trap allergy causing pollen, pet dander, mold spores, dust mite and cockroach waste products, and particulate matter right down to 0.3 microns.
- An activated carbon filter for neutralizing bad smells and airborne chemical contaminants, like VOCs, cigarette smoke, nitrogen dioxide and other gaseous pollutants.
- A nano mineral filter, which is similar to activated carbon, and absorbs noxious gases and odors. From my research, the ‘molecular sieve’, listed as another filtration layer, is basically the same thing.
- A cold catalyst filter to breakdown harmful volatile organic compounds, like ammonia, TVOC and formaldehyde. Cold catalyst technology is also effective against floating pathogens like germs and mold spores.
- A long-lasting UV-C light for destroying airborne bacteria, viruses and microscopic fungi. Airthereal say this UV lamp will last for a full 5 years of regular use and is completely contained within the APH260.
- A photocatalyst filter that works together with the internal UV-C light to oxidize any remaining airborne allergens and contaminants.
- An optional corona-discharge ionizer, generating an impressive 20 million negative ions pcs/cm3. This is nearly 7 times higher than most of the Pure Morning’s competitors and a valuable extra benefit with this ionic purifier.
CADR, CFM and Room Size
Airthereal lists their CADR and CFM together as 152+ (260+m³/h) for a 355 ft² room and say customers will notice cleaner air within 10 minutes of switching on the APH260.
This ion air filter is quite powerful and suitable for medium-sized rooms, though keep in mind that the smaller the room the higher the clean air delivery rate.
Conversely, the larger the room the less performance you’ll get from a compact air cleaner like this. For bigger spaces, consider the Medify Air MA-40 below for best results.
With the exception of the inbuilt negative ion generator, all of the different filtration layers in the APH260 are combined in a simple to replace combination filter. It’s available in the ‘Frequently bought together’ section of the product listing.
It’s recommended by the manufacturer to swap the filter every 6 to 8 months, depending on daily usage. There is a warning light on the unit that flashes when a change is needed.
If you are looking for a good all-in-one air purifier and ionizer, without detectable ozone, and at a much lower price than models with similar specifications, the Airthereal APH260 is a great choice.
It comes with a 2-year warranty, 3 fan speeds, 1 to 12 hour on/off timer and a sleep mode to switch off the lights and run at the quietest setting.
This new version also has a smart mode that automatically detects the level of PM 2.5 pollution in the surrounding air and adjusts its air cleaning speed accordingly.
Airthereal says their popular ionic purifier will filter out 99.97% of pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spores and other floating irritants, and is ideal for people with allergies and sensitivity to indoor air pollution.
The advanced air filters also destroy germs, dust mite and cockroach contaminants, cigarette smoke and other odors and toxic volatile organic compounds that can cause headaches, brain fog and fatigue.
You can check the current price of the Pure Morning here. I haven’t seen a better all round ionic air cleaner with such high ion output and advanced purification filters anywhere.
Top Large Room Ion Air Purifier — Medify Air MA-40
Some homes have rooms that are bigger than average. It could be a large master bedroom, big family room, or an open plan lounge and dining room.
To filter the air of pollutants properly in these more expansive indoor spaces you are going to need a specifically designed large room purifier.
The best high power air cleaner and ionizer for larger rooms I’ve found is the Medify MA-40 showcased here on Amazon.
It comes with medical-grade H13 True HEPA filters and an impressive CADR of 330 for large room coverage up to 840 ft², with 2 air changes per hour. For a medium-sized 420 ft² room this rate would increase to 4 air changes per hour.
1. A large H13 True HEPA filter that captures 99.99% of airborne particulate matter down to 0.3 microns in size. And even 95% of particles down to 0.1 microns. Many ‘True HEPA filters’ are only H11 and of a lower filtration grade.
Using a medical-grade H13 HEPA filter, with its tighter mesh, reduces this unit’s CADR reading versus using a lower grade of HEPA filter. However, Medify Air, the US-based manufacturers, insisted on using this superior component for better air purification.
2. An extra-large activated carbon filter, effective for combating household odors, pet smells and smoke. As well as trapping harmful VOCs, like formaldehyde, from upholstery, carpets and timber furniture.
The activated carbon filter in this unit is much bigger than those within the previously reviewed air purifier ionizers. It should therefore be more effective at capturing airborne chemicals and eliminating bad smells.
3. An optional air ionizer generating 5 million ions per cm3. You can read more about the benefits of negative ions here.
While the Medify Air MA-40 doesn’t produce as many negative ions as the Airthereal Pure Morning, this larger room model has a greater airflow to distribute them more effectively.
This is important because higher air circulation is the biggest factor in determining whether an ionic air cleaner can properly filter all the breathable air in a larger room.
4. The MA-40 medical-grade air purifier for larger rooms has 3 fan speeds and an auto mode that adapts to the level of indoor air pollution. It works harder when needed and switches back to a lower setting as air quality improves. The display also changes from red to blue as the air gets cleaner.
There is also a 1 to 8-hour timer, child lock, filter replacement indicator and night mode to run at the quietest setting while you sleep, making this another great air cleaner for bedrooms.
5. This highly recommended large room air purifier is made by a US company, has a sturdy white or black metal design and a scratch-proof tempered glass touch screen panel for the various settings.
On their website the company offers a lifetime warranty on parts and service if the product is registered and filters replaced with genuine ones as required. If you decide to buy this model it’s well worth taking advantage of this unusually strong guarantee of quality.
CADR and Room Size
Medify Air list their CADR as 330, based on 2 air changes per hour in a huge 840 ft² room. For a 420 ft² room this CADR rate would be doubled, or 4 air changes per hour would be achieved.
This higher level of air purification is especially important for those with respiratory problems and people recovering from illness, who are at a greater risk from indoor air pollution.
The MA-40 is a bigger unit and with its larger activated carbon panel for odors and VOCs, and higher quality H13 True HEPA, the replacement filters cost more than the previous ionizer purifiers reviewed.
They come with the H13 HEPA, activated carbon and pre-filter all combined and can be found on the same listing. Medify Air recommend replacing them every 6 months, though a warning light will indicate when a change is needed.
The Medify Air MA-40 does lack some of the newer technology in the Airthereal Pure Morning. But if you are looking for a large room ionic air purifier with a very high CADR, it’s hard to beat for the price.
The medical-grade H13 True HEPA filter, combined with the pre-filter and extra-sized activated carbon filtration, effectively capture indoor airborne pollution, like pollen, pet dander, dust mite and cockroach allergens, mold spores, germs, odors and harmful gases.
You can check the current price here on Amazon and read the many positive customer reviews and questions answered. From my research, this is clearly the best big room ion air purifier on the market in 2021 at anywhere near this price point.
Why Other Ionizing Air Filters Fall Short
I studied the technical specifications, and contacted the companies directly for many other competing purifier ionizer models, in the process of writing this review of the best ionic air cleaners.
Despite the dozens out there, including some very popular bestsellers, like the OION B-1000, Ionic Breeze, GermGuardian AC4825 or Pure-Ion Pro, none of them made the grade for what I was looking for — an ionizing air purifier with strong negative ion output and virtually undetectable ozone.
Invariably, ion generation was a no higher than 3 million pcs/cm3, some as low as 1 million pcs/cm3, despite boasting about anion benefits in their marketing and promotion.
Compare that to the 20 million negative ions per cubic centimeter per second of the Airthereal Pure Morning, with a lower price and superior air cleaning technology, and you can see why they came up short.
Many manufacturers seem to like the label of ionizer, but haven’t bothered to put a powerful corona-discharge negative ion generator into their products. As such, their ‘ionic’ air cleaners don’t produce enough anions to make a measurable difference.
Some were actually confused about the difference between negative ions and ozone. Not a good sign. While many had ozone readings on or just shy of the CDC safe limit of 50 ppbv. I consider this unnecessary and a sign of poor manufacturing.
2 Recommended Air Filters with Lower Negative Ion Output
Here are 2 more high quality air purification appliances I researched that almost made the grade.
If high ion generation isn’t as important to you as pure air cleaning, then the Oransi Finn, with its focus on allergy prevention, or the high-powered Green Air Encore HEPA filter for big rooms may be a better choice for your home.
1. Oransi Finn HEPA and UV Air Cleaner with Optional Ionizer
In the course of writing this guide to the best ionizing air purifiers, I considered the stylish Oransi Finn True HEPA and UV air filter, built especially for allergy sufferers.
This compact tower is made by one of the market leaders Oransi, had the highest rating in a Clemson University air purifier test, comes with extra filters included and has an excellent 10 year warranty.
Unfortunately, the negative ion output of 6 million pcs/cm3, while still higher than the majority of its competitors, wasn’t quite what I was looking for.
It could be a good option though in a bedroom or office for people with allergies, or in smaller rooms that have to deal with bad smells or pet hair and odors.
There’s more pictures and 300+ predominantly positive customer ratings here for this HEPA and UV powered air cleaner.
2. Green Air Encore with Ion Cluster for Larger Spaces
Another contender is the Green Air Encore with True HEPA, carbon filter and ion cluster technology.
This is a powerful air cleaner that covers up to 1000 square feet, perhaps big enough for an entire apartment, or at least a very large living room.
It is also whisper quiet on silent mode and has a night setting to turn off those silly bright lights manufacturers insist on adding to virtually every electrical device these days.
Despite Green Air making a big deal of the ion cluster technology in this purifier, when I contacted them they said the negative ion output of the Green Air Encore is 3×106/cm3, which sounds equivalent to 3 million pcs/cm3.
Wading through scientific articles on the newer ion cluster technology, that involves attracting water molecules to airborne particles, I wasn’t able to confirm that it was any more beneficial or air purifying than regular negative ion generation.
It is at least reassuring that the manufacturers claim this unit produces no detectable ozone and customer feedback here on Amazon is overwhelmingly 5 star positive. Perhaps ion cluster really is an effective new air cleaning technology after all.
The Green Air Encore would be best considered primarily a powerful and quite stylish HEPA-based air filter for larger rooms, with some non-ozone, air cleaning ion clusters thrown in for good measure.
Improve the Air You Breathe at Home
I hope this review of the best ion air cleaners has helped you find an effective new way to purify the air you breathe in your house or apartment.
Indoor air quality, inside the living spaces we spend the most time in, is often measured as more polluted than outside in a busy city. Clearly this is an important issue if you value your own and your family’s wellness and well-being.
Personally I think it’s hard to go past this highly recommended Pure Morning model, with 20 million negative ions pcs/cm3 and the newest air cleaning technology, as the best ionic air purifier for small to medium-sized rooms.
The bigger and more powerful Medify MA-40 available here will circulate the air in your home more effectively though. This model should be considered the best value large room air purifier on the market that still produces significant negative ions.