Best Place To Put Air Purifier (11 Tips Proven By Science!)

Air purifier placement is an art. No, we are not exaggerating. Many people have no idea where to place an air purifier that resulted in the filtration performance hamper up to 90%. In this post, we will look into the mistakes most people make when choosing a spot and avoid doing so. More importantly, we will guide you through finding the best place to put an air purifier for optimal airflow circulation. Let's begin.


Statistically speaking, most people will only have one air purifier in a home which is insufficient in most cases. The “sole” air cleaner must be well-placed to tackle the different types of airborne pollutants in a home to get the best out of it. By placing the air purifier right, there will be fewer contaminants in the air that could cause harm to your body. The air cleaner also generates less noise, requires less maintenance, and less filter change. You and your family will live happier and healthier due to constant cleaner air. However, failure to do so can hamper the air purifier performance of up to 80% and drive up the electrical cost as a longer running time is needed. So let’s look into the importance of air purifier placement and the few tips to optimize your air cleaner performance.

best place to put air purifier

Where Is The Best Place To Put An Air Purifier

All things considered, the best place to put an air purifier is close to the doorway or windows with high moving air circulation that assist in distributing clean air across the room. You should also place it as close to the pollution sources as possible to capture pollutants before they can spread. In any case, never put it at a tight corner, near electronic devices, or underneath a window. We will go into the scientific reasons below. In the meantime, you can refer to the table that breakdowns the best air purifier placement for every room.

LocationWhere To Put An Air PurifierAir Purifier
Low Or High
BedroomNightstand or next to the bed.SmallHigh
Living roomCenter when possible or by the wall with 2-4 feet of space.LargeLow
Dry bathroomCountertop but make water doesn’t splash into it.SmallHigh
Breakfast nook/ Dining roomTable, shelf, or top of the cabinet with no airflow obstruction.SmallHigh
KitchenIsland table, kitchen countertop, or top of cabinet close to the pollutants.SmallHigh
FoyerClose to doorway with 2-4 feet of space.LargeLow
Utility roomTop of the cabinet or shelf and away from electronic appliances e.g. washing machine.SmallHigh
BasementDoorway or at the midpoint with no humidity issue.LargeLow
GarageNear doorway or by the wall with 2-4 feet of space.LargeLow
Lounge/ Family roomClose to doorway and not directly underneath a window.LargeLow
Whole-houseRight at the center with all doors open.LargeLow
Office/ Playroom/ Study roomDesktop or work cabinet free from any obstruction.SmallHigh
Walk-in wardrobeBy the wall or midpoint with 2-4 feet of air space.LargeLow

If we have to pick one, no doubt The best place to put an air purifier would be in a bedroom as we spend 1/3 of our time sleeping. The closest it is to your breathing zone, the quicker clean air will be distributed to you. As the body recharges and heals during sleep, leaving an air purifier on the bedside or nightstand will continuously filter out the dirty air while we sleep. You will breathe better, sleep well, and wake up free from any morning allergies. It makes sense for those with babies or children sleeping in another room to put the air purifier there due to their developing immune systems. For those who often cook, an air purifier in the kitchen can reduce smoke and odors distributing across the room. Basement, garage is also another popular spot due to the poor ventilation and high dust buildup. Lastly, if you spend more time in a living room, by all means, place the air cleaner there.

1. Place It Close To The Air Pollution’s Sources

The closer an air purifier is placed to the pollution sources, the faster it can capture the harmful particles and improve the air quality. For example, if your concern is pet odor, place it next to the litter box or where your pet sleep. If your concern is tobacco smoke, place it near to the smokers or where tobacco smoke is seeping in. If your concern is a musty mold smell, put it close to the mold-infested area e.g. basement. As for external pollutions such as wildfire, close all windows and bring the air cleaner wherever you go! To find out which room has the highest concentration of air pollutants, use an air quality monitor that accurately indicates which place fares the worse. Otherwise, rely on your eyes (visible dirty particles) and nose senses (foul smell) to make your judgment. When your allergies start flaring up with chronic sneezing, it is a clear sign of unhealthy air quality.

Place It Close To The Air Pollution's Sources

2. Avoid Placing The Air Purifier In The Corner

Do not place an air purifier in the corner. It has the lowest indoor airflow point that significantly impairs the air cleaner performance. Instead, leave at least 2-4 feet from the wall for proper airflow circulation. Many people will commit a common mistake when they need to free up the interior space and prevent the device from becoming a tripping hazard. Doing so impedes the air ventilation from pulling dirty air in and releasing clean air out because there is not enough air space.

For air purifiers that release clean air at the top or front, face it towards you or the pollution sources. For example, an air purifier next to the bedroom doorway should be facing the bed, while the back should point to the exit. Note that the orientation of the air cleaner is not as critical as the placement. Focus on the latter instead.

Avoid Placing The Air Purifier In The Corner

3. Put It Near The Doorway

Place an air purifier near the doorway e.g. bedroom, playroom, study room, to stop harmful airborne pollutants from entering the room and clean air from flowing out. The increase in horizontal air circulation immediately captures dust, hair, and tiny particles stirred up by the in-out movement and door opening/ closing. The door guarding air purifier will also run silently when it is further out. At the same time, it will maintain the room air freshness and protect you from inhaling irritants during work or sleep. Very effective when you have domestic pets like cats or dogs that come in and out while carrying unwanted germs and biological pollutants.

4. Do Not Place The Air Purifier In a Tight Spot

An air purifier works best when placed in an indoor open space or open room. It can remove airborne particulates from all directions with few obstacles in between. The air purifier airflow circulation can also cover multiple rooms by opening the doors. For optimal airflow distribution, avoid leaving it in tight spaces like underneath a shelf, inside a closet, or behind furniture e.g. sofa, bed, lounge chair that will obstruct the air intake and outtake. Never place objects such as clothes, bedsheets, coins onto or into the air ventilation. The only caveat with putting an air cleaner in an open space is the weaker performance than an enclosed area with closed windows and doors.

Place Air Purifier Near Doorway, Avoid Tight Spot

5. Put Small Air Purifier 3 To 5 Feet Off The Ground

You should always put a compact air purifier high rather than low but no higher than 5 feet off the ground. Desktop/ Portable air purifiers are designed to be space-saving and placed high for better floor-to-ceiling air cleaning efficiency due to their limited airflow purifying coverage and small filters. The ideal air purifier placement includes a desktop, island table, work desk, shelf, cabinet, side table, nightstand closer to you. A wall-mountable air purifier with a built-in wall bracket like Rabbit Air MinusA2 should be hung on the wall instead. Ensure the air cleaner is securely placed that it will not fall off at the slightest push and is not accessible to children. Click here for the best small air purifiers currently on sale.

6. Place a Big Air Purifier On The Ground

Place full-sized/ console air purifier low on the floor. The device is powerful enough to capture pollutants lower on the ground and distribute clean air at the top (bottom-to-top). It has the capacity with its stronger airflow and large filters. Due to its bulkiness and weight, it is not safe to put it on elevated ground. Also, you should not place an air purifier on a carpet or uneven surface to reduce the risk of the machine tipping over. Click here for the best big air purifiers curated specially for you.

In short, an air purifier can be too big for a room even though it can still clean the air effectively. The apparent downsides include:

  • A higher electricity bill.
  • Bulky/ heavier body.
  • Noisy operation.
  • Expensive price tag.
  • High recurring filter cost.

On the other hand, smaller air purifiers have non of the issue above. Still, they will have to settle with a weaker filtration and slower air cleaning rate.

Place small air purifier off the ground. Place big air purifier on the ground

7. Keep a Safe Distance From Electronic Devices

An air purifier will not function well when placed next to home appliances like an oven, microwave, and television. It might cause interference as the electronic appliances may operate in similar wavelengths. Keep them apart by leaving at least 2-4 feet between an air purifier and any electronic devices.

Keep a Safe Distance From Electronic Devices

8. Avoid Placing It In a Wet Area

Never place an air purifier inside a wet kitchen, shower room, or steamy bathroom. An air purifier will not work well in a high humidity area as the excess moisture in the air can damage the electronic board. The humidity can also damage the filter and shorten the filter life capacity. The air purifier also requires more airflow and energy to deal with heavier, humid air. If you need to use an air cleaner in a humid area, place a dehumidifier in the same room as an air purifier instead to decrease the relative humidity level between 30 to 50 percent. If you are running a standalone humidifier simultaneously, keep them separated by placing them on the opposite side of the room.

9. Do Not Place The Air Purifier Underneath a Window

The sunlight heat will damage the air purifier when you put it directly underneath the windows or on the windowsill for an extended period. Keep all windows and doors shut whenever an air purifier is in place. It will perform better by stopping clean air from escaping and dirty airborne particles like pollen, dust, germs, carbon monoxide from flowing in. Doing so will also prevent the air cleaner from overstressing as the workload is limited to the air circulation in the room. However, if you are not running an air purifier, it is best to keep windows and doors open, so fresh air can come in to replace the stale air.

Do Not Place The Air Purifier Underneath a Window

10. Put It In More Than One Place

Some air purifiers are portable and lightweight for room to room purifying. You can maximize the usage and boost clean air circulation by bringing it along wherever you go. During the daytime, you can place an air purifier in the living room while you watch television, work, or spend time with your kids. You can then bring the air cleaner to the bedroom at nighttime to help purify the air during your sleep. The only thing you have to make sure of is the air cleaner capacity and performance. It is undoubtedly more efficient to have an air purifier for each room to target airborne contaminants separately. Suppose you have air quality concerns in a different location simultaneously. In that case, you will need more than one air purifier as two is better than 1. There is no one size fits all.

11. Consider The Air Purifier And Room Size Before Placement

The air purifier size does matter as it determines the filter size, motor fan, and the number of technologies it can fit in. As such, consider the air purifier’s airflow capacity before placing it in a room. For example, if the air cleaner can cover up to 200 square feet of room space, you should only put it in a room of no more than 200 square footage. As air purifiers work with high ceilings, you will also need to consider the ceiling height higher than 8 feet. A more powerful air cleaner is necessary for a large room with a high ceiling. Most manufacturers will recommend the room size for a particular model. However, you can also use the clean air delivery rate (CADR) numbers to determine the usability with at least two-thirds of the room size. CADR is a measurement that indicates how much air has been filtered in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM). The higher the CADR numbers, the faster the air purifier can clean the air.

 Best Place To Put An Air Purifier

Can You Put An Air Purifier Anywhere In The Room?

Yes, you can put an air purifier anywhere in the room to enjoy fresh, clean air wherever you go. You can even bring it around for room to room purifying. For a large air purifier, we recommend placing it in the most contaminated room. Again, keep the air purifier away from a highly humid area such as a bathroom, tight spot like inside a cabinet, direct sunlight, or next to home appliances.

Final Thoughts

High or low, floor or table, near or far, it matters greatly where you place the air purifier. However, other factors would impact the airflow performance other than choosing the right spot. Keep your air purifier and filters clean. If the filter is clogged with dust, damaged, or worn out, it will not work regardless of where you put it. Check if there is any airflow coming out of the air purifier. If there is no moving air, the air purifier is not working and is likely due to lack of power source, damaged fan, or filter issues. Leave the air purifier on all day, all night, even if you are not at home. As air pollution is a known pervasive problem, there is no need to switch off the HEPA air purifier as it is designed to work safely 24/7. It would not break down or have any side effects even if you kept it running all the time.

Make sure there is ample airflow delivery to cover an entire room. When the airflow is too weak to distribute clean air, certain sections of the room will be left out, and you will be at risk of inhaling the airborne irritants. If you are unsure what range your air purifier covers, use our simple room size calculation formula. Lastly, only consider a HEPA air purifier as it is the safest and the most effective in dealing with pollutants in the air. Any device that produces ozone should not be on your consideration list.

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.
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