The Best Ionic Air Purifiers in 2020
If you are looking for the best air purifier that generates beneficial negative ions, without dangerous ozone, ahead is a detailed list of the top models in 2020 and why they are recommended.
First is a new air purifier with optional ionizer that is exceptionally good value. Followed by a review of the best all round ionic air purifier, with 8 different technologies to decontaminate the air you breathe.
Next is the top large room ion air cleaner, with medical-grade H13 True HEPA, activated carbon filter, high negative ions and exceptionally strong CADR.
Finally, 2 more recommended HEPA filter air purifiers, that cleanse the air in your home of allergens and contaminants while still generating healthy negative ions without ozone.
The Problem with ‘Ionizing’ Air Purifiers
Buying a good ionizer air purifier is one of the best ways to stop allergies, asthma attacks 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 healthy negative ions.
In doing so, they have done a great disservice to people looking to buy an air purifier that actually emits high levels of negative ions, rather than just ozone.
Ozone-producing air cleaners, while effective at eliminating odors and some harmful airborne contaminants, are not without certain risks.
You definitely want to stay well below the CDC safe limit of 50 parts per billion by volume (ppbv). At 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 health benefits of negative ions, rather than worrying about whether ozone from my ionic air filter is actually doing more harm than good.
With that in mind, let’s look at the best room ionizer air cleaners that actually produce therapeutic levels of negative ions, while still keeping ozone levels exceptionally low, so as to be virtually undetectable.
Best Value Ionic Air Cleaner — Kalavan 5 in 1
This new HEPA and ion purifier by Kalavan is surprisingly good value, 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 negative 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 air purifier, the Medify Air model below is recommended.
The 5 different air cleaning methods used by the Kalavan negative ion 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 US Center for Disease Control, 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 carcinogenic benzene, 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.
- A negative ionizer, producing 10 million ions per cubic centimeter per second, far higher than the usual 3 or 1 million ions pcs/cm3 of many pricier competitors. USDA testing found high negative ions 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. The more useful measurement though is volume of air cleaned in cubic feet per minute (CFM), where the Kalavan has an output of 128.
They also recommend it for rooms up to 430 ft². Far better air cleaning performance would be achieved in smaller rooms though. I’d consider the Kalavan 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 Kalavan 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 see how much replacement filters are here. It’s worth factoring in this extra ongoing yearly cost with any HEPA-based air purifier you are considering buying.
The negative ionizer function on this air purifier, while recommended, is optional and can be turned off. Importantly, this ionic air cleaner does not produce detectable ozone, according to the manufacturer.
The fact that it can be delivered to California, with the state’s strict ozone laws, backs up that assertion. If you live in California your options for a good ionizer air purifier are limited and this model is definitely worth considering.
This ionizing air cleaner has a True HEPA filter for trapping airborne pollution down to 0.3 microns, activated carbon and cold catalyst filters for germs and VOCs, and generates 10 million beneficial negative ions per second with the ionizer function switched on.
It also 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 Kalavan 5 in 1, available here on Amazon, is the best value new ion air purifier I’ve seen in 2020. With its compact size and low noise, 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.
At the time of writing it has well over 500 predominantly positive comments here 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 ionic air purifier has a lot of different filter methods to trap indoor air pollution. The company promotes 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 asthma and 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 viruses, bacteria 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 health 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 the 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, 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 7 filtration layers in the APH260 are combined in a simple to replace combination filter available here.
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 air purifier will filter out 99.97% of pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spores and other floating irritants, and is ideal for people with allergies, low immunity 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 air purifier here. I haven’t seen a better all round ionic air cleaner with such high negative ion output and advanced purification filters anywhere.
The Top Large Room Ionizer Air Purifier — Medify Air MA-40
Some homes have rooms much 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 air purifier.
The best affordable air cleaner and ionizer for larger rooms I’ve found is this Medify Air 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 860 ft², with 2 air changes per hour. For a medium-sized 430 ft² room this rate would increase to 4 air changes per hour.
1. A large H13 True HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of airborne particulate matter down to 0.3 microns in size. Many ‘True HEPA filters’ are only H11 and of lower filtration grade.
Using a medical grade H13 HEPA filter, with its tighter mesh, actually 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 all-important superior component.
2. An extra-large activated carbon filter, effective for combating household odors and smoke and trapping dangerous 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, in theory, 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 powerful model for larger rooms has a much greater airflow to distribute them more effectively.
This is very 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, working harder when needed and switching back to a lower setting as air quality improves. The display also changes from red to blue as the air gets cleaner.
Additionally, there is 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 air purifier 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 860 ft² room. For a 430 ft² room this CADR rate would be doubled, or 4 air changes per hour would be achieved.
This powerful air cleaning is especially important for asthmatics, those with respiratory problems, and people recovering from illness, all of whom are at a much higher risk from indoor air pollution.
The MA-40 is a bigger air purifier and with its larger volume of activated carbon for odors and VOCs, and particularly higher-quality H13 True HEPA, the replacement filters cost more than the previous air cleaners reviewed.
They come with the H13 HEPA, activated carbon and pre-filter all combined and are available here with free shipping. Medify Air recommend replacing them every 6 months, though a warning light will indicate when a change is needed.
While the Medify Air MA-40 lacks some of the newer technology in the Airthereal Pure Morning, as a large room ionic air purifier with high CADR, it’s very 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 like cigarette smoke and volatile organic compounds.
You can check the current price and read the many positive reviews and questions answered here. From my research, this is clearly the best large room ion air purifier on the market in 2020 at anywhere near this price point.
Why Other Ionizing Air Filters Fall Short
I studied the technical specifications, and contacted the companies directly on many other competing combination air purifier ionizer units, in the process of writing this review of the best ionic air cleaners.
Despite the dozens out there, including some very popular best sellers, like the OION B-1000, Ionic Breeze, GermGuardian AC4825 or Ionic Pro Turbo, 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 Ionic Air Filters with Lower Negative Ion Output
Here are 2 more high quality air purification appliances I researched that almost made the grade.
If extremely high ion generation isn’t as important to you as pure air cleaning, then the Oransi Finn, with its focus on asthma and 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 Negative Ionizer
In the course of reviewing the best ionizing air purifiers, I considered the very stylish Oransi Finn True HEPA and UV air filter, built especially for allergy and asthma sufferers.
This great-looking and compact unit 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 asthma and allergies, or in smaller rooms that have to deal with bad smells or pets.
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 or combined lounge and dining room.
It is also said to be 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 air purifier, when I contacted them they said the negative ion output of the Green Air Encore is 3×106/cm3, which sounds closer 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 from a health perspective than regular negative ion generation.
It is at least reassuring that the manufacturers claim this unit produces no detectable ozone and customer feedback on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive so perhaps ion cluster really is an effective new air cleaning technology.
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 negative ions and air purifying ion clusters thrown in for good measure.
Improve the Air You Breathe for Better Health
I hope this review of the best ionic air cleaners and purifiers has helped you find an effective new way to clean the air you breathe in your home.
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 health and well-being.
Personally, I think it’s hard to go past this highly recommended Airthereal Pure Morning, 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 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.
This article may contain affiliate links to products I recommend. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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