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6 Best Ionic Air Purifier In 2022: No Ozonator Here!

There are many reasons why an air purifier with a washable filter is gaining traction. It is more powerful, safe, and cost-effective than a conventional HEPA air purifier. It is also eco-friendly, with fewer wearable parts and filters to dispose of. However, there are tons of ingenuine air cleaners out there that can actually do more harm than good. So how do we filter out those, and what key signs to look out for? Is it worth getting one over a device with a True HEPA filter? How often do you have to clean the filter to maximize the airflow performance? After hours of research and reviews, here are the best washable air purifiers on sale.
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Who is this for?

An ionic air purifier is for everyone, including pets that need clean indoor air. However, it works best on adults with fully developed respiratory systems. Baby, infants, and toddlers with developing respiratory systems will not reap the full benefit of a negative ion generator. The same limitation applies to elderly or sick patients suffering from impaired respiratory systems.

2022 Best Ionizer Air Purifier

BEST BUDGETBEST OVERALLBEST PERFORM-ANCEPERFORMANCE
hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact Air Purifier HME020020N Air Purifier ReviewPure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewMedify Air MA-40 Air Purifier Review
hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact HME020020N Air PurifierPure Enrichment PureZone Elite Air PurifierMedify Air MA-40 Air Purifier
Recommended Room Size
40 sq. ft. (4 m2)>190 sq. ft. (>18 m2)840 sq. ft. (78 m2)
CADR
Dust
Pollen
Smoke
Dust >120 cfm (>204 m3/h)
Pollen >120 cfm (>204 m3/h)
Smoke >120 cfm (>204 m3/h)
Dust 223 cfm (380 m3/h)
Pollen 223 cfm (380 m3/h)
Smoke 223 cfm (380 m3/h)
Filtration
4-stage4-stage4-stage
Ratings
3.9out of 54.1out of 54.5out of 5
Amazon Price
$$$$$$$$
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LATEST PRICE
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** MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is accurate at the time of posting.
^ Annual filter cost is calculated based on filter price and 12 hours of usage. Pricing could vary depending on air quality, usage frequency, and speed.
` The indicated online price guides as follows: $ = under $50, $$ = $50-100, $$$ = $101-200, $$$$ = 201-300, $$$$$ = $301-400, $$$$$$ = 401-500, $$$$$$$ = over $500.

How Do We Measure?

Purchasing the right ionic air purifier can be challenging as there are a lot of knock-offs and ozone generators masking as an ionizer. To help you bypass all the fake models, here are the features that are a must in an ionic air purifier. Never consider an air ionizer that fails to disclose its specification.

  • Room size - A critical factor to account for the room size an ionizer is capable of covering. Get the figures via the manufacturer's recommended room size or CADR. You will need more than 1 unit if the ionic air purifier lacks the capacity to cover the entire space.
  • No ozone - Stay away from a model that generates harmful ozone to clean the air. It is unsafe, unregulated, and not recommended by EPA.
  • Addon filtration - An ionic air purifier will work best with the support of a True HEPA filter that traps fine particles and allergens. For smoke particles, having an activated carbon filter can help get rid of toxic fumes.
  • Noise output - Not the biggest concern as dedicated ionizers produce little to zero noise during operational hours. For HEPA air purifiers with an ionizer, the sweet spot is between 20 dB to 60 dB.
  • Power consumption - Air purifiers are not power-hungry. You can still go with an Energy Star certified model that guarantees 40 percent more energy-efficient than similar segment models.
  • Features - Nothing wrong with having more features in an ionizer. Choose from a timer, sensor, auto mode, sleep mode, child lock, and remote control.
  • Pricing - Only buy an ionic air purifier you can afford to own and maintain. Disposable replacement filters can be a burden as a recurring cost. Consider a filterless ionizer if you are tight on budget.

1. hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact HME020020N Air Purifier

hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact Air Purifier HME020020N Air Purifier Review

A compact, affordable HEPA air purifier with an ionizer feature. hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact HME020020N does it all at a small 6.7 inches diameter, 7.5 inches height, and 2.9 lb weight. The small size is great for desktop use, TV cabinet, or countertop without taking up much space. You can also carry it to the bedroom effortlessly and enjoy good quality sleep when you are about to call it a day. The classic front inlet and the top air outlet are the perfect setups for close-range use. It will give you the best performance day in, day out.

A compact, under 50 HEPA air purifier that still manages to squeeze in an ionizer. Filtration performance is limited but not out of the ordinary.

hOmeLabs 4-in-1 ionic air purifier is very easy to use, with a single button to dictate all operations. You can cycle the 2 fan speeds surrounded by a nice glowing blue light. No other option is available, which can be a blessing for some. The build quality is solid and well supported by the hOmeLabs 2-year warranty that can be further extended by 6 months when you register online.

Let's dive into hOmeLabs 4-in-1 specification:

  • Main filtration - Ion Booster, Pre-filter, HEPA filter, Carbon filter
  • Chemical-free - Yes
  • Ozone-free - Yes
  • Warranty - 2 years

It's hard to imagine how hOmeLabs 4-in-1 compact air purifier manages to include an ionizer for less than 50 dollars. The ion booster releases 3 million negative ions per cubic centimeter in the air. The charged ions will bond with existing airborne contaminants allowing the air purifier to pull them down for the filter to capture. The pre-filter will target large particles like hair and dust, while the HEPA filter removes 99.97% of fine particles up to 0.3 microns. The dedicated carbon filter absorbs smoke and odors from pets, cigarettes, foods, bathrooms, and diapers. Unlike a traditional ionizer, hOmeLabs 4-in-1 compact ensure pollutants are less likely to be stuck on the ground, wall, and bed, thereby reducing the need for vacuuming.

Enjoy guaranteed fresh air with hOmeLabs 4-in-1 air purifier. Best used in small rooms like a dorm, bathroom, or bedroom, hOmeLabs 4-in-1 will quietly clean the indoors while you go on with your daily life. The whisper-quiet operation is ideal for nighttime use, where you can place it next to the bedside with zero noise distraction. Power consumption is also low, given its limited airflow circulation. You will have no issue leaving it running 24x7.

hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact is not without some flaws, though. The short 40-square feet range will limit its usability in small spaces. While the filter replacement cost is reasonable for everyday use, you will have to replace it on time, or the ion booster will not work effectively. Other complaints include the lack of practical features that we will not dive it too much given this is a budget air cleaner model.

In short: A compact, under 50 HEPA air purifier that still manages to squeeze in an ionizer. Filtration performance is limited but not out of the ordinary.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

3.9

OUT OF 5

online price (US)**
±69.99 $/ 7

(annual filter cost ±26-34)

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2. Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite Air Purifier

Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier Review

The only air purifier listed here with both ionizer and UV-light features. Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite is the perfect model purifier that cleans and disinfects indoor air. The sleek tower body exterior comes at a 25 inches height, with a thin 9 inches diameter and 9.3 pounds weight. Tall but still fits well in tight spaces, given its slim profile. The air inlet is located at the back, with the air outlet at the front. A smart air quality monitor will also display the room's air quality level. Overall the conventional design is highly functional and complimented by PureZone Elite's excellent build quality. The long 5 years warranty is a testament to its reliability and durability.

A dependable 4-in-1 UV air purifier with a HEPA and ionization feature. It will protect you from viral viruses and airborne infections.

Available in White or graphite option, Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite is fairly easy to operate with its Smart technology. You have the standard 3 fan speeds plus auto mode that uses higher speed when a large concentration of pollutants is detected. Sleep mode with light detection sets the fan speed to low with indicator lights off when everything is pitch black. The filter reset indicator will alert you to replace the filter every 6 to 9 months. Lastly, the 2, 4, 8 hour timer will turn off the device once activated.

Moving to the 4-stage purification:

  • Main filtration - Ionizer, HEPA filter, Charcoal Pre-filter, UV-C Light
  • Chemical-free - Yes
  • Ozone-free - Yes
  • Warranty - Lifetime

One of the best home ionizers thanks to its in-depth filtration. The reusable ionizer diffuses charged negative ions that attract positive ion particles in the air. Both ion particles will be combined and fall for Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite to capture. The True HEPA filter focus on trapping 99.97% of fine particles while microorganisms like mold, germs, bacteria, and viruses will be sanitized internally by ultraviolet light. For large particles and smoke, the 2-in-1 activated carbon pre-filter is there to give a helping hand. No household pollutants will be too difficult for Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite.

No more suffering from allergies due to bad indoor air quality. PureZone Elite 4-in-1 ionic air purifier can cover around 190 square feet of room size with decent air changes per hour. Suitable for bedroom, nursery home, classroom, living room, dining area, office, and basement. The under 120 cfm CADR is slightly under par, but you'll have the UV light to balance things out.

On to the few shortcomings. PureZone Elite 4-in-1 filtration can be expensive to maintain, especially with the UV bulb. It will not work if you don't replace the filtration. We're not the biggest fan of carbon pre-filter that comes with an inferior sheet. The max noise level is just under 60.2 dBA which can be loud for those trying to get some shut eyes or work. The 46-wattage power output is also a tad high, but then again, this is not your typical ionic air purifier.

In short: A dependable 4-in-1 UV air purifier with a HEPA and ionization feature. It will protect you from viral viruses and airborne infections.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.1

OUT OF 5

online price (US)**
±149.99 $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±60-90)

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3. Medify Air MA-40 Air Purifier

Medify Air MA-40 Air Purifier Review

While ionizer technology might not be the main highlight here, the Florida-based Medify Air MA-40 air purifier brings much more to the table. The boxy body stands at a tall 22 inches height with a heavy 15.6 pounds weight. Not the lightest to move it around, but it gains the benefit of s a bigger air inlet where more pollutants can be drawn in at one go. Build quality is superb, with no signs of leakage or harmful byproducts off-gassing like ozone. The lifetime warranty is always appreciated in an air cleaner, given the long lifespan.

A top-rated medical-grade air purifier equipped with an ionizer. Ideal for those that need more than just ionization.

Moving to the control panel, Medify MA-40 works similarly to every other air purifier on the market. You can manage the 3 fan speeds and set the 4 preset timers on when to shut down the machine. There is also a filter replacement indicator that reminds you to change the filter and a child lock function that locks the control from unintended changes. Note that you cannot run solely on ionization, but you can run without it.

With the bigger fan, the noise level is on the higher side at 46 to 66 dBA. You will definitely hear some white noise, so keep it further away from the bedroom when you're trying to sleep. The same goes for power output despite being an Energy Star certified model. We're getting around 54 watts per hour which tally with the manufacturer's number.

Here are the features of Medify MA-40:

  • Main filtration - Ionizer, Pre-filter, H13 True HEPA filter, Activated Carbon composite filter
  • Chemical-free - Yes
  • Ozone-free - Yes
  • Warranty - Lifetime

Medify Air MA-40's strong airflow output help pushes its coverage to 840 square feet every 30 minutes or 2 air changes per hour. For hypersensitivity or asthmatic persons, you can increase the air changes to 4 or every 15 minutes with a reduced 420 square footage coverage. AHAM certified CADR is equally impressive at 330 cubic feet per minute for dust, pollen, and smoke. Suitable for large room sizes like a bedroom, living room, kitchen, basement, garage, dining area, playroom, and office.

Medify Air MA-40 air purifier houses a 4-stage filtration to deal with all kinds of pollution in a home. The ionizer diffuses million of charged negative ions to latches on airborne positive ions pollutants. The bonded particles will drop for the filter to capture rather than scatter all over the place. Against large particles, dual pre-filters trap dust mites, hair, fibers, and lint from passing through. The H13 HEPA filter focus on capturing 99.9% of irritants as small as 0.1 microns like mold, pollen, pet dander, germ, and bacteria. The carbon filter with carbon pellets absorbs smoke particles like cooking, pet odors, VOCs, asbestos, radon, and formaldehyde.

The drawback of a hybrid HEPA ionic air purifier is the cost. Not only are you paying a high price for the device, the H13 and carbon filter sets require replacing every 2,500 hours. It will not run without all the filters installed. You also have to deal with the high noise, the non-existence sensor, and auto mode. That's the price for Medify comprehensive filtration.

In short: A top-rated medical-grade air purifier equipped with an ionizer. Ideal for those that need more than just ionization.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.5

OUT OF 5

online price (US)**
±349.00 $$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±60-120)

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4. Clarifion Negative Ion Generator GL-139 Air Purifier

Clarifion Negative Ion Generator GL-139 Review

The best ionic plug-in air purifier in the world that costs you less than 40 dollars. Clarifion GL-139 is at a portable size of 4 x 6 x 2.9 inches and 4.8 pounds in weight. It will not take up any space once plugged into a wall and is travel-friendly. Just snug it into the backpack or suitcase before you head off. Build quality is good, with tight-fitting that prevents leakage. Perfect for non-stop operation where you can leave it completely unattended.

A dedicated ionic air purifier that is sleek, functional, and most importantly, affordable. It does have its limitation that will not derail its usability.

Clarifion GL-139 plug-in air purifier is very easy to use with no learning curve. Just plug it into a wall socket, and it with work instantaneously. The blue LED light will let you know the machine is in a running state. Usability wise. The entire operation is silent, with no fan noise to endure. Energy usage is estimated at less than 1 watt, where you will not feel a pinch in the utility bill.

Jumping into the specification:

  • Main filtration - Negative ion generator
  • Chemical-free - Yes
  • Ozone-free - Yes
  • Warranty - 1-year

Clean air without expensive filters and ozone to worry about. Clarifion GL-139 ionization technology consistently diffuses 10 million pcs/ cm^3 of negative ions. The charged negative ions will bond with positive ion pollutants in the air, causing it to fall due to the increased weight. You will breathe easier as there are fewer airborne pollutants in the air.

, Unlike some pretentious ionizers, Clarifion GL-139 is California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified (G-20-016) to be ozone-free and chemical safe. You can safely use it in the bedroom, dining room, stairway, living room, and children's playroom while complementing a HEPA air purifier.

There are some limits with a dedicated ionizer, so anticipate the same Clarifion GL-139 plug-in air purifier. First, it does not actually remove airborne contaminants in the room. The fallen contaminants will adhere to the floor, mat, wall, and bed, possibly going back out when disturbed. Regular vacuuming is a must to permanently remove the contaminants. Another common issue is the ineffectiveness against smoke, odor, chemical fumes, and large particles like dust and hair. As long as you're on the same page about what a plug-in air purifier can and cannot do, Clarifion GL-139 will continue to serve you well.

In short: A dedicated ionic air purifier that is sleek, functional, and most importantly, affordable. It does have its limitation that will not derail its usability.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

3.6

OUT OF 5

online price (US)**
±39.99 $/ 7

(annual filter cost ±0)

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5. Alen BreatheSmart 45i Air Purifier

Alen BreatheSmart 45i Air Purifier Review

Alen BreatheSmart 45i is the best ionizer for home with a medical-grade HEPA filter. It is equipped with customizable filters that suit people with compromised respiratory. The full-size machine comes in at 17.8 x 26.8 x 10 inches in dimension and a heavy weight of 21 pounds. Indeed not the model for those with limited room spaces or multi-location use.

If money is no biggie, this is undoubtedly the best HEPA ionic air purifier for home. Period.

Design-wise, Alen BreatheSmart 45i has plenty to offer with its customizable panel. You can choose any color, pattern, or limited edition to suit your modern interior. For assessment, you will also find an air quality indicator that illuminates blue (clean air), yellow, or red light (bad air). Build quality is exceptional, as evidenced by Alen's lifetime warranty (with subscription).

Usability is great with the 4 fan speeds and SmartSensor technology. Auto mode works well with the built-in sensor that accurately detects nearby pollutants for quick changes. The Advanced Smart Filter measures the filter life in real time rather than a fixed period. The highlight of it all is the Ion button that enables ionization. There is also a 4, 8, 12 hours timer and child lock function on top of the long list we mentioned.

Here are Alen Classic BreatheSmart specification:

  • Main filtration - Ionizer, Washable Pre-filter, HEPA-Pure Filter BF35
  • Chemical-free - Yes
  • Ozone-free - Yes
  • Warranty - Lifetime

Regardless of which filter pack you choose, Alen BreatheSmart 45i comes with an ionizer by default. It emits millions of negative ions in a room that bind with positive ion particles. The charged particles will gradually fall from the air for the all-in-one filter to capture. The washable pre-filter will be in charge of trapping dusty, large particles, while the HEPA filter removes 99.97% of airborne particulates as small as 0.1 microns. If you opt for HEPA-Silver, HEPA-FreshPlus, or HEPA-OdorCell filter upgrade, there is an additional deodorization filter to absorb chemical fumes, smoke, and musty odor.

Here's where Alen BreatheSmart 45i shine. The 190 cfm airflow delivery rate allows a wide room coverage of up to 800 square footage. Ideal for large room sizes like a living room, basement, garage, kitchen, or an entire apartment as long as you keep the door open. CADR is measured at 245 cfm for dust, pollen, and smoke. Note that the test does not account for ionizer output, so use it sparingly.

Moving from speed to noise, Alen BreatheSmart 45i is not the most subtle model at an average of 42-56 dB noise output. This is partly due to the strong air flow generated from the spinning fan. If you need a 100% silent unit, you're better off with a dedicated air ionizer. Energy usage is also on the higher side, given its high performance at 64-105 watts output per hour. We highly recommend you leave it in Auto mode and let Alen BreatheSmart manage the energy usage by itself.

For setbacks, Alen BreatheSmart 45i can be summarized with one word: Expensive. From the selling price to the customizable panel and filter, any add-ons will cost you money. On top of that, the HEPA-Pure filter does not come with a carbon filter for smoke filtration. A top-up of 10-40 dollars is needed for the upgraded filter (recommend). You will also need to account for the recurring filter cost, as the ionizer will not work without it.

In short: If money is no biggie, this is undoubtedly the best HEPA ionic air purifier for home. Period.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.2

OUT OF 5

online price (US)**
±468.00 $$$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±39-118)

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6. Fellowes AeraMax 100/ DX5 Air Purifier

Fellowes AeraMax100/ DX5 Air Purifier

An ionic HEPA air purifier that improves indoor air quality instantaneously. Fellowes AeraMax 100 or DX5 in some regions stands "tall" than other air ionizers listed here. Its modern approach is a breath of fresh air from the usual style at a slim 7.3 inches in depth, 27.3 inches in height, and 8.5 inches in width. You can place it anywhere in the home as the tower form factor with side air inlets takes up very little interior space. The reasonably light 9.9 pounds weight enables easy grabbing on the back handle for room-to-room purifying. Build quality is outstanding despite the plasticky body. No uneven gaps or protruding cases that are visible to the eyes. The 3-year warranty is the biggest assurance of its reliability.

For under 120 after a discount, Fellowes AeraMax100 tower air purifier is quite a bargain if you want mechanical + ionization filtration in a smaller form factor.

Control-wise, Fellowes AeraMax DX5/ 100 is made easy, thanks to the digital display. You can manage your desired fan speed or enables Auto mode via AeraSmart Sensor. The air cleaner will automatically set to a higher fan speed when elevated pollutants are detected and revert to low when the air is clean. Aera+ mode is identical to Turbo, which allows swift allergens removal. There is also an AQI to display the surrounding air quality and a filter change indicator reminding you to replace the filter when the time is up.

Being a tower air cleaner, Fellowes Aeramax 100 air purifier has a modest air cleaning output of 100 square feet of space with or without the PlasmaTRUE ionizer. Not the greatest, but for small confined spaces like a bedroom, kitchen, dorm, studio, or nursery home, it is more than sufficient. Clean air delivery rate tally with the airflow delivery rate at 65 cfm for dust, 75 cfm for pollen, and 68 cfm for smoke. Again, not the greatest, but for home use, it's okay.

Fellowes AeraMax 100 air purifier uses PlasmaTRUE technology, a fancier name than an ionizer. It begins with the charcoal pre-filter traps large contaminants like dust, hair, and lint while also neutralizing smoke, toxic fumes, and smelly odor. Next, the True HEPA filter captures 99.97% of ultrafine particles in the air as small as 0.3 microns i.e. pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses. The HEPA filter is coated with AeraSafe antimicrobial treatment that prevents microorganisms like mold growth. The highlight of the filtration, the PlasmaTrue ionizer generates an ionized field that merges positive ions in the air. The heavier pollutants will be pulled down for the filter to capture, and the endless cycle continues cleaning for any incoming contaminants. PlasmaTRUE technology is reusable, but the compulsory filter replacement cost is around $60 annually; high maintainable in the long run.

Noise level is not an issue with the Fellowes AeraMax 100 air purifier. Expect zero noise at low speed to mild noise with the PlasmaTRUE turned on. As no sleep mode is available, Auto mode is the go-to option for a relaxing night's use. As for power usage, Fellowes AeraMax 100 consumes 37 watts to 51 watts of electricity with an ionizer. With 12 hours of operation, the average electric cost will be $0.07 per day, $2 monthly, or $24 a year. It is worth noting that the Fellowes AeraMax 100 is not Energy Star Rated, unlike other higher-end variants e.g. AeraMax 300.

There is some trade-off with Fellowes AeraMax 100 air purifier mainly revolves around performance. It has an under-par purifying coverage and CADR compared with other HEPA air purifiers with an ionizer. The use of a charcoal pre-filter over a separate pre-filter and carbon filter is disappointing. The non-dimmable blue indicator light, perhaps, is the final straw for some. Still, we wholeheartedly recommend getting Fellowes AeraMax 100 as there is no better option for an allergy and asthma-friendly certified, AHAM-approved, ionic HEPA air purifier.

In short: For under 120 after a discount, Fellowes AeraMax100 tower air purifier is quite a bargain if you want mechanical + ionization filtration in a smaller form factor.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.1

OUT OF 5

online price (US)**
± $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±60)

CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.

 

Belita Amy Plug In Air Purifier

Belita Amy Plug In Air Purifier Review

A dedicated plug-in negative ion generator from a relatively unknown brand. Belita Amy ionic air purifier is well highlighted with a distinctive leafy design. Because of its pluggable form, you can easily pack it into a suitcase for travel or outstation. The low-price setup did not cut corners on its build quality. It is made with durable ABS materials that are tough enough for constant use without breaking apart.

Works straight out of the box; Belita Amy ionizer plug-and-play setup is very easy to get the hang on. Just find a U.S. wall outlet, plug it in and let it run autonomously. The energy-saving operation will not increase your electricity bill at all. There is also no noise, no ozone, and no chemicals to contend with. The perfect silent air ionizer.

Here is Belita Amy key specification:

  • Main filtration – Negative ion generator
  • Chemical-free – Yes
  • Ozone-free – Yes
  • Warranty – 1-year

Belita Amy is the next best thing to natural, forest-like air. It will emit 32 million negatively charged ions per second. The negative ions will bind with other airborne particles, causing them to fall from the increased weight. The cleaning circle will continue within its small range, so you should always place it close to the pollution sources.

Like all air ionizers, Belita does share its own set of flaws. Since it does not come with a metal rod or plate, you will have to perform vacuuming to remove the stuck pollutants on the surface area. While no maintenance is needed, the limited coverage requires you to get more than 1 unit just to cover a small space. We recommend using it as a secondary unit to an existing HEPA air purifier.

In short: An affordable, plug-in negative ion generator that is 100% chemical-free, ozone-free, and filterless. A good starter model.

How An Ionizer Works

An ionizer or ionic air purifier releases negative ions to generate a static charge around positive ions pollutants in the air. With the added weight, the charged particles will bond and fall to the nearest surface area e.g. wall, cabinet, bed, sofa, the floor. If a HEPA air purifier or electrostatic precipitator is present, it will draw in the fallen particles to the filter/ plate for capturing rather than letting the pollutants scatter all over the room. You can skip regular vacuuming and only perform routine maintenance on the device.

On the other hand, a HEPA air purifier relies on the density of the filter to trap pollutants that pass through its surface, leaving only clean, fresh air out. A true HEPA filter is certified by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with an efficiency of 99.97% in capturing particles smaller than 0.3 μm in diameter.

Which Is Better, Air Purifier Or Ionizer?

It depends. Ionizers and air purifiers use different technology to improve indoor air quality. An air purifier equipped with a HEPA and carbon filter will do a better job cleaning the air because it can actually trap all types of pollutants inside a physical filter. Ideal for people with severe allergies, breathing issues, or asthma. The only downside is the filters can be expensive to replace and maintain.

An ionizer diffuses negative ions to pull down airborne pollutants in the air. It is much more cost-efficient because the ionizer is reusable and doesn't require a physical filter to work. However, the fallen pollutants will scatter all over the room and requires additional vacuuming. It is also less effective against large particles, smoke, and odor.

Why Do Ionizers Smell?

The burned, metallic smell is caused by the electrical charged negative ions discharge from an ionizer. The more charged ions clumped together, the more distinctive the smell will be. You will also experience such refreshing smells around waterfalls or mountains where negative ions occurred naturally.

How To Tell If An Ionic Air Purifier Is Working?

Purchase an air ion counter that measures the ion density in the air. Monitor the meter speed change from 1.1 kV charge dissipated to 0.1 kV indicates how well the ionizer operates in ions per cubic centimeter (ions/ cc). You can also tell if an ionic air purifier works by its distinctive, burned smell. The noticeable improvement in air quality indicates an ionizer is working, where you will breathe better with a happier mood. You will also experience less fatigue and fewer allergy reactions.

How Long Should I Keep An Ionizer On?

According to the user manual, an ionizer should be running 24 hours a day without shutting down. If that is not possible, you should keep it running for at least 5-8 hours a day and resume back operation when necessary.

What are the Benefits of Negative Ions?

There are a lot of health benefits from breathing in negative ions. Having the best ionic air purifier guarantees a constant flow of ionized air with no harmful byproducts to worry about. Here are the perks you will enjoy:

  • Cleans air by reducing the number of particulate matter and bacteria in the air.
  • Breathe easier with less respiratory irritation, like nasal congestion or inflammation.
  • Prevent an asthma attack with fewer allergen triggers in the air.
  • Negative ions produce biochemical reactions that increase the mood chemical serotonin level. You will feel better and happier throughout the day.
  • Leaving an ionizer on all day can help you sleep better, relieve stress, boost concentration and energy levels.
  • Negative ions can act as a specific antidepressant for people with seasonal affective disorder.
  • Ease headaches and migraine.

Are Ionizers Safe? Is It Safe To Breathe Ionized Air?

Not only is inhaling negative ions safe for humans, you actually gain health benefits from breathing into ionized air. Negative ions stimulate the production of biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost daytime energy. The charged negative ions emitted by air ionizers helps cleans the air by attracting airborne particles to fall for the filter to capture. You can also find negative ions naturally occurring in outdoor environments like sunshine, lighting, mountains, and waterfalls.

Do not confuse an ionic air purifier with an ozone generator. As highlighted in an EPA report, there are manufacturers mislabeling ozone generators as "ionizers" to mask the potential danger and backlash from the public. Rather than diffusing negative ions, an ozone generator emits millions of ozone, far exceeding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limit of 50 parts per billion (ppb). Inhaling ozone can lead to side effects such as cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, and throat irritation. Chronic exposure to ozone can cause respiratory illnesses, permanent lung scarring (pulmonary fibrosis), asthma attacks, and reduced lung capacity with damaged tissue cells.

Why Are Ionic Air Purifiers Bad?

Ionic air purifiers are not dangerous; there is no need to use them cautiously as long as they are certified by CARB or come from a reputable brand. However, ionizers do produce ozone during the electric charging, but at a very insignificant level, not exceeding CARB and FDA ozone emission limits. You can visit the CARB website or look closely at the air purifier's technical specifications and find out the ozone output.

Do Air Ionizers Work For Covid?

When used correctly, ion air purifiers can help reduce allergens in the air, including Covid viruses. However, an air ionizer by itself is not enough to protect people from getting COVID-19. Safety precaution steps such as social distancing and wearing a mask is still recommended.

Do Ionizers Remove Smoke And Odor?

An ionizer does not directly remove smoke odors. However, it can control and contain the harmful particles causing the smells. The release of electrical charges will clump airborne pollutants and drag them down to a surface area, reducing the spread of the odors. You will need an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to effectively remove gaseous pollutants like wood, tobacco, marijuana, mold, and burning fuels.

Final Thoughts

To recap, an ionic air purifier works best when combined with HEPA and carbon filtration. Go with hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact when you're on a budget, Medify MA-40 Air Purifier for the best ionization performance, and PureZone Elite for the best overall. For those that prefer the purest, 100% mechanical filtration with absolutely no ozone byproducts, check out our handpicked, best ozone-free air purifier list.

Compare Best Ionizer Air Purifier

NoImageAir PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)ScoreFiltrationCoverageFan
Speed
DimensionWeightDust CADRPollen CADRSmoke CADRPre-filterHEPA filterCarbon filterIonizerUV lightOther filterAll-in-one filterNoise levelPower outputTimer/ SchedulerSensorsWarrantyAuto modeRemote controlChild lockENERGY STARWi-Fi/ BTBluetoothAQIFilter indicator
1hOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact Air Purifier HME020020N Air Purifier ReviewhOmeLabs 4-in-1 Compact HME020020N Air Purifier

$

CHECK PRICE
3.94-stage40 sq. ft. (4 m2)2
6.7 x 7.5 x 6.7 in
(17 x 19.1 x 17 cm)
2.9 lb (1.3 kg)
Pre-Filter
6-8 months
HEPA filter
6-8 months
Carbon Filter
6-8 months
Ion Booster
-
-
HME020020N Replacement Filter
6-8 months
+- 19.99
2 years
2Pure Enrichment PureZone Elite 4-in-1 True HEPA Air Purifier ReviewPure Enrichment PureZone Elite Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
4.14-stage>190 sq. ft. (>18 m2)3
9 x 25 x 7 in
(22.9 x 63.5 x 17.8 cm)
9.3 lb (4.2 kg)>120 cfm (>204 m3/h)>120 cfm (>204 m3/h)>120 cfm (>204 m3/h)
Charcoal Pre-filter
6 - 9 months
HEPA filter
6 - 9 months
-
Ionizer
LB4100 UV-C Light
10 - 12 months14.99
PCO Filter
-
FLT4100 Filter-E HEPA
6 - 9 months
24.99
≤60.2 dBA46 W2, 4, 8 hoursYES5 years
3Medify Air MA-40 Air Purifier ReviewMedify Air MA-40 Air Purifier

$$$$

CHECK PRICE
4.54-stage840 sq. ft. (78 m2)3
9.9 x 22 x 10.9 in
(25.1 x 55.9 x 27.7 cm)
15.6 lb (7.1 kg)223 cfm (380 m3/h)223 cfm (380 m3/h)223 cfm (380 m3/h)
2x Pre-filter
6 months
2x H13 True HEPA filter
6 months
2x Activated Carbon composite filter
6 months
Ionizer
-
-
Medify MA-40 Replacement Filter (ME-40)
6 months
+- 59.99
46-66 dBA54 W1, 2, 4, 8 hoursLifetime
4Clarifion Negative Ion Generator GL-139 ReviewClarifion Negative Ion Generator GL-139 Air Purifier

$

CHECK PRICE
3.61-stage150 sq. ft. (14 m2)1
4 x 6 x 2.9 in
(10.2 x 15.2 x 7.4 cm)
0.3 lb (0.1 kg)N/AN/AN/A
-
-
-
Negative Ion Generator
-
-
-
Ultra Quiet<1 W1 year
5Alen BreatheSmart 45i Air Purifier ReviewAlen BreatheSmart 45i Air Purifier

$$$$$

CHECK PRICE
4.23-stage800 sq. ft. (74 m2)4
15 x 25 x 8.5 in
(38.1 x 63.5 x 21.6 cm)
15 lb (6.8 kg)245 cfm (416 m3/h)245 cfm (416 m3/h)245 cfm (416 m3/h)
Washable Pre-filter (with HEPA filter)
6 - 18 months
HEPA-Pure Filter FL40
6 - 18 months
+- 59
Ionizer
-
-
-
23-49 dBA50 W2, 4, 12 hoursIntelligent sensorLifetime Limited Warranty
6Fellowes AeraMax100/ DX5 Air PurifierFellowes AeraMax 100/ DX5 Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
4.14-stage100 sq. ft. (9 m2)3
7.3 x 27.3 x 8.5 in
(18.5 x 69.3 x 21.6 cm)
9.9 lb (4.5 kg)65 cfm (110 m3/h)75 cfm (127 m3/h)68 cfm (116 m3/h)
-
True HEPA Filter 9287001
1 year
+- 39.99
Carbon Filter 9324001 (4 pack)
3 months
+- 29.99
PlasmaTRUE technology
-
AeraSafe antimicrobial treatment
-
37 - 51 WAeraSmart Sensor3 years