The 10 Best Air Ionizers

Updated January 22, 2018 by Quincy Miller

10 Best Air Ionizers
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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you've been suffering from allergies and sinus issues, your home's air quality may be to blame. These ionizers charge bacteria and other particles in the atmosphere, causing them to stick to the floor or other surfaces where they can be vacuumed up and removed. You'll be shocked at how much easier it is to breathe with one of these things in your house — and they help neutralize odors to boot. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best air ionizer on Amazon.

10. Lasko Wind Curve

The Lasko Wind Curve works primarily as a cooling fan that maximizes air distribution as it ionizes. It has an integrated carrying handle for effortless portability, and a remote control with its own storage slot in the back, so it won't get misplaced.
  • energy-saving timer function
  • easy to manipulate air flow
  • remote is glitchy
Brand Lasko
Model 2551
Weight 14.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Best Choice SKY1057

The Best Choice SKY1057 is housed in a beautiful cherry wood cabinet that looks great in offices or country-style homes. It can cover up to 3,500 square feet, so it's suitable for purifying your entire house, but don't expect it to last for more than a year or two.
  • easy-to-clean ceramic plates
  • comes with a spare fuse
  • loud while running
Brand Best Choice Products
Model SKY1057
Weight 14.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Plixio Plug-In

If you don't want something that will take up a ton of space, the Plixio Plug-In simply goes in an electrical outlet, so it has just about the smallest footprint possible. It's not strong enough to clear up your whole house, but it's perfect for the kitchen or bathroom.
  • adjustable ozone level
  • easy to vacuum clean
  • creates distinct ozone smell
Brand Plixio
Model PLX50
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Envion Pro

The Envion Pro is a pollen magnet, so if you tend to struggle when the seasons change, this is a good option to have in your home. As an added bonus, it'll leave your house smelling fantastic — which will come in handy now that you can actually, you know, smell.
  • doesn't use any filters
  • great for pet hair and dander
  • takes up a lot of room
Brand Envion
Model 90IP01TA01-W
Weight 11.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Breathe Fresh Air

The LCD and miniature remote on the Breathe Fresh Air makes it easy to have full control over its activity. It's a beast at filtering out smoke and chemical odors from the air, so it's a must-own if you live in an area prone to wildfires.
  • intuitive operation
  • includes an ozone function
  • not great at removing dust or dander
Brand Breathe Fresh Air
Model pending
Weight 12.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. HomeLabs 3-in-1

The compact HomeLabs 3-in-1 does a magnificent job of handling odors, so it's great for storing in the same room as the cat's litter box. The indicator light lets you know when it's running, because you probably wouldn't be able to tell otherwise.
  • won't take up much counter space
  • ideal for dorm rooms or studios
  • power light may annoy light sleepers
Brand hOmeLabs
Model HME020020N
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Holmes Small Room

The Holmes Small Room is the perfect desktop option for keeping your office fresh and clean. It has three speed settings, can be placed in a vertical or horizontal orientation for versatility, and is equally adept at removing large and small airborne particles.
  • great for users with sinus problems
  • makes soothing white noise
  • affordable price point
Brand Holmes
Model HAP242-NUC
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Coway AP-1512HH Mighty

Breathe easier and keep your indoor atmosphere clean with the stylish Coway AP-1512HH Mighty. It automatically shuts off when it doesn't detect pollution for 30 minutes, so it will save energy while reassuring you that your air is as pure as it can be.
  • sleek and attractive
  • four-stage filtration system
  • washable pre-filter
Brand Coway
Model AP-1512HH
Weight 18.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Rigoglioso Portable

You can enjoy fresh air anywhere you go, thanks to the Rigoglioso Portable. It's USB-powered, so it's easy to plug in at home, the office, or even your car. It won't clean up a giant banquet hall, but for personal use, you'll be hard-pressed to find anything better.
  • changing filters is a snap
  • extremely quiet
  • sits well on desks or floors
Model pending
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Green Air Purifiers

If you want to see just what condition your air is in, this selection from Green Air Purifiers has a light that tracks atmosphere quality. It's a great way to see what a difference the machine is making — although the reduction in allergy symptoms is pretty fantastic, too.
  • cuts down on smoke odors
  • 4 operating modes including silent
  • helpful for catching mold
Brand Green Air Purifiers
Model KH-H201
Weight 18.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

How Does An Air Ionizer Work?

Within an atom there exists a microscopic act of homeostasis. Protons within the nucleus maintain a positive charge, while neutrons have a neutral charge. The electrons which spin around the nucleus have a negative charge; and it is the electrical energy created by the orbiting electrons being attracted to the protons which keeps the atom together.

Most atoms exist in this normal state. However, atoms may move from this normal state to an ionic state by losing or gaining an electron. In general, atoms are always looking to complete their electron valence shell, and will be attracted to particles which allow them to do so. This is known as the octet rule.

Ions typically form when metal atoms react with nonmetal atoms, creating either a shortage or overage of electrons in their structure. If an ion has more protons than electrons, it is considered a cation, which has a positive charge. Ions with more electrons will be negatively charged, and are called anions. These ions form as a result of chemical reactions, combustion, and radiation.

Air ionizers inject ions into the air which can then react with air pollutants; making them inactive in our bodies. Most do this through creating a corona discharge. This discharges free electrons into the surrounding air, which quickly latch on to the nearest air molecule, turning it into an ion. Because these ions will naturally repel each other, a relatively large area of effect is observed without the need for external fans. These ions then attach themselves to air pollutants, which have relatively large molecules. The new molecules will then seek to ground themselves through contact with a wall or floor, where they can be easily wiped away.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Air Ionizers?

The health benefits of using air ionizers come from the introduction of negative ions into the environment and therefore our body system. The highly reactive electrons in negative ions are constantly looking to link up with other atoms; and as they find them, the reactivity of the ion dissipates.

Our ancestors picked up negative ions by walking barefoot on the Earth itself. Earth has a negative charge, and humans who walk upon the Earth's bare surface pick up these negative ions through a process now known as earthing. There are many benefits to this practice alone, including reduction of free radicals in the body, better sleep, lowered stress levels and heart rate, and even physiological factors such as increased mood.

Luckily, the same negative ions which we absorb from the earth can also be created in any environment where there is an air ionizer. Inhaling negative ions may reduce overall feelings of depression, especially at high concentrations. Increased exposure to negative ions has also been associated with lowered psychological stress, reduced feelings of anxiety, and a general enhanced feeling of well-being.

Studies have also reported the ability of negative ions to reduce serotonin irritation syndrome; which is a state of anxiety caused by a rise in positive ions in the air. When volunteers were exposed to increased ambient positive ions, they were found to have increased anxiety, excitement, and feelings of suspicion. Volunteers were then exposed to negative ions, and the results were astounding. Not only did the exposure to negative ions reduce the states caused by positive ions; they also lowered them to more reduced states than their normal levels.

The Difference Between Positive And Negative Ions

Simply put, an ion is an atom which has gone through a certain chemical bond; resulting in the atom either having lost or gained an electron. As electrons in an atom are negatively charged, atoms which have an extra electron are negatively charged, whereas atoms with a missing electron are positively charged. The addition or subtraction of an electron also make the atom highly reactive; and the atoms are constantly seeking to balance themselves back out by linking up with another atom.

While both positively charged ions and negatively charged ions exist in the natural world, it is the modern era which is responsible for a large number of positive ions collecting in the atmosphere. Byproducts from heavy machinery, vehicles, electronics, and manufacturing all contribute to the growing levels of positive ions and ultra-fine particles; with air pollution being the greatest factor.

In the natural world, the charge is slightly more positive. This may be due to the fact that Earth itself carries a negative charge which repels other negative particles. The effects of positive ions can be felt in nature in the moments before a storm. When people complain of their joints aching just before a storm, they are simply noting the inflammatory effects of positive ions in the air; which take a sharp spike upwards before a storm.

The effects of negative ions can be felt on a hike through the woods. The abundance of oxygen and the moisture-rich soil combine to create a negative ion bath which results in increased mood and calmness. Negative ions have a positive effect on the health rather than a negative one; reducing inflammation and lowering stress.

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Last updated on January 22, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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