What is the Best Ionic Air Purifier? (Two Types Explained)

Did you know that there are actually two different types of ionic air purifiers available?

While they both work to remove contaminants out of your home’s indoor air, the way they perform this action is slightly different.

If you want to know what is the best ionic air purifier for your situation, you’ll find this post helpful. Below, we’re going to break down the two choices so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Option 1: Air Ionizer

The first type of ionic air purifier is an air ionizer. These are the types of ionic air purifiers that most manufacturers make and sell to the general public.

Air ionizers don’t use a traditional filter system to screen and clean your air as it passes through the device. In fact, they are filerless and rely fully on releasing ions with negative charges into the air each time you turn it on and let it run. 

The process is that these ions attach to any contaminants that are floating around in the room. If they do, the additional weight of the negative ions will pull the contaminant out of the air and drop it to the floor, cling to the walls, or furniture

As a result, the contaminants should stay out of the air you breathe and your respiratory tract, and this can help reduce your exposure to airborne pollution. To find out what the top products of this class are available, take a look at our guide on
the best filterless air purifier for the home.

Option Two: Electrostatic Precipitator

The second type of ionic air purifier is an electrostatic precipitator. While this is also an efficient way to clean the air, it’s not as popular or widely manufactured as an air ionizer.

This type of air purifier also doesn’t use a traditional filter system to screen your air as a HEPA air cleaner does. It uses a negatively and positively charged plate. While it is technically a filterless design, these plates do have to be routinely wiped off of any contaminant build-up that has been collected.

If you’re curious about what a HEPA air purifier is and how it’s different from a filterless ionic purifier, take a look at our other post that explains ionic air purifier vs HEPA.

When you switch the electrostatic precipitator on, a fan draws air through the system which passes by the charged plates. Contaminants get caught on the plates and don’t return to the air.

Which is the Best Type of Ionic Air Purifier?

There really isn’t a black and white answer when you compare the two different types of ionic air purifiers.

You really have to decide which one is going to work best for your situation.

It is true that air ionizers are more popular, but electrostatic precipitators have their good points as well. 

Both technologies are effective at trapping and removing airborne particles. However, an electrostatic precipitator model does require a bit more upkeep since you have to clean it regularly.

Another thing worth pointing out is that some air ionizers do release ozone as a by-product. While it is often in trace amounts that don’t have much impact on human health, it is worth considering when you’re looking to make a purchase. Always look at the manufacturer’s specifications to find out how much ozone is produced (if any at all) and compare that to the federal safety standards.

If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our other guide that explains what does an ionizer do to the air. It should help clarify any questions you still may be having about ionic air purifiers and how they work.