Guide to the Different Types of Air Purifiers


With all the existing contaminants polluting our surroundings, it is becoming increasingly difficult to live a healthy life without any aid. Inhaling such toxic air is harmful and it destroys our health gradually. To avoid health hazards caused by pollutants and contaminants, air purifiers were made to provide a viable solution for the air pollution problems. It’s an electronic device that filters out the nasty air contaminants, germs and odors to give clean air to breathe in. 

Whether it’s cleaning your home of all the airborne germs, getting rid of your pesky pet’s dander, entrapping those invisible allergy-causing seasonal pollen or removing atmospheric impurities, air purifiers do it all and provide you clean air. With all the benefits of air purifiers, it has almost become a necessity for living a healthy life. 

Let’s start with the most important factor i.e. filter types including HEPA filters, Activated Carbon filters, UV-C light purifiers, ionic purifiers, and hybrid purifiers.

HEPA Filters

High-Efficiency Particulate Air, shortly termed as HEPA, are filters that are designed to remove maximum impurities from air. The filter effectively captures a wide range of airborne particles that pollute our home environment. 

Common contaminants like allergens, spores, impurities, bacteria, viruses, pet danders (made of tiny hair fibers), etc. are trapped inside the multilayer HEPA Filter. The filter consists of a dense multilayer mesh of various materials that can capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. While smaller particles get stuck on to the HEPA trap, purified clean air flows out through the filters. The filtered air is rich in oxygen, free from impurities and fresh to breathe in.

S. No. Benefits Downside
1. Traps small sized particles of 0.3 microns such as dust, pollen, and pet dander.  HEPA filters are generally more expensive than other types of air filters
2. Improve indoor air quality for better nonallergic respiration.  Needs maintenance and filter replacements
3. Lasts up to several years with proper maintenance.  Not so good at cleaning foul odors
4. Has a wide range of applications in both residential and commercial settings.
5. Used in air purifiers, vacuum cleaners, and HVAC systems.

Due to the muti-applicable uses of HEPA filters, they are used in a variety of settings, including the homes, hospitals, industries, laboratories and large organizations. Other than purifiers, many vacuum cleaners and HVAC systems also contain HEPA filters within the device for entrapping all sorts of pollutants.

Air purifier

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated Carbon filter are good at getting rid of all foul odors and nasty chemical contaminants that pollute our home environment. With its unique active carbon technology, the filters can trap a wide variety of impurities, like chemical radicals, bad odors, dust particles, etc, and you get clean, fresh air to breathe.

So how does the entrapment happen? The activated carbon filters are packed with long sheets of porous carbon that actively attracts and absorbs impurities onto its surface. It only lets fresh air pass through the filter system for making your environment healthier and safer to breathe in. 

S. No. Benefits Downside
1. High efficiency filters that can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and chemicals like chlorine particles.  Not as effective against germs and bacteriophage entities. 
2. Only uses safe and natural filtration mechanisms without involving chemical treatment.  Has a short lifespan, so needs quick replacements 
3. Easy to install without needing high maintenance.  Produces a lot of waste at the time of replacement. 
4. Budget-friendly air purifying system as compared to other alternatives. 
5. Used in different settings like home, hospital or industrial facilities.

Activated carbon filters are very useful in industries like chemical industries where these filters are installed for employee safety. Besides industrial settings, the carbon filters are used in homes, business firms, healthcare facilities, laboratories, and many automotive and aerospace manufacturing companies as well. 

air filter system

UV-C Light Purifiers

Not just catch but now you can actually kill all those harmful disease-causing bacteria and viruses floating around in your house. UV-C Light Purifiers are powerful devices that use high efficiency ultraviolet (UV) light to eradicate the microorganisms from your environment. This way it keeps your surroundings clean and sanitary for better health.

The device works by emitting a UV-C light of wavelength 200-280 nm which can penetrate the cell walls of harmful microorganisms. The light rays reach their genetic material, disrupts the DNA of pathogens, and kills the microorganism. However, prolonged exposure to UV-C light can be harmful even for you as well as your family. 

S. No. Benefits Downside
1. Effective at killing harmful microorganisms in air like bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.  Not much effective when it comes to porous surfaces where the light cannot penetrate to kill microorganisms living deep in the cracks. 
2. Very easy to use and require minimal maintenance.  Potentially harmful to human skin and eyes in case of direct exposure to UV Light. 
3. Leaves no toxic residue like other devices.  Not powerful enough to sanitize larger spaces with a single unit. 
4. No extra expenses for replacement filter parts.
5. Very useful and versatile application in isolated healthcare settings and laboratories. 

UV-C Light Purifiers are mostly used in settings where you need a Germ-free environment such as schools, homes, elderly homes, patient rooms in hospital facilities etc. Other than that, many offices, workspaces, business firms, and educational institutions also use UV-C light purifiers to keep a germ-free environment for everyone.

Woman sleep with Air purifier

Ionic Purifiers

For people who are hypersensitive to toxins and hyperactive chemical radicals, Ionic Purifiers is a great option. Ionic Purifiers clean-sweep the charged particles out of the air in your home or office, removing other unwanted contaminants along with them. As a result, you get fresh and clean air around you free from toxins and allergens. 

So, how does it all work? Ionic Purifiers release negatively charged ions into the air that stick to the positively charged particles like dust, pollens, and bacteria, making them too heavy to float in the air. Such heavy articles then settle to the ground or on the surfaces of various objects in your room, making them easy for you to clean up as house chores. 

S. No. Benefits Downside
1. Removes airborne contaminants such as dust particles, plant pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and bacterial cells. Not suitable for large open spaces having ventilation areas.
2. Improves the air quality of your homes removing common prophylactic allergens. Can’t remove bad odors from the room
3. Pretty easy to maintain without needing much upkeep replacements.  Produces ozone as a byproduct due to the ionization process.
4. Less energy consumption and eco-friendly air purifying systems. 
5. Silent operation with no noise disruption.

Ionic Purifiers are mostly known for their wide usage in households, old age homes, schools, offices, playrooms, and other common indoor spaces where people spend a lot of time. Since ionic purifiers are quiet, they are often used in meeting rooms, study rooms, classrooms and libraries because they don’t disrupt your work or study routine.

Air freshener

Hybrid Purifiers

Hybrid Purifiers are the most advanced purifying systems that come equipped with a combination of different technologies. They use a variety of filters including HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, UV lights, and particle-ionizing power technology to provide you a comprehensive air-purifying system.  With the unique mechanism, hybrid purifiers can effectively eliminate even the toughest airborne pollutants.

Hybrid Purifiers make use of different filtration technologies to produce a clean environment. The HEPA filter acts as the first barrier to catch tiny airborne particles like pollen, dust, and smoke. The next layer of activated carbon filter traps unpleasant odors and harmful gasses and lets the UV light kill all kinds of germs like bacteria or viruses. Lastly, the ionizer catches charged particles that infiltrate the air to only let pure air pass into your indoor space. 

S. No. Benefits Downside
1. Offers multi-stage air purification against a wide range of pollutants.  Hybrid purifiers need a high regular maintenance for ensuring proper working. 
2. Actively absorb unpleasant odors to improve your environment.  It can take some time to regularly check different filters to ensure they are working effectively. 
3. Filters the air removing airborne particles and irritants to improve your respiratory health.  It can get very expensive trying to maintain efficiency standards of hybrid purifiers due to the use of different techs. 
4. Comes equipped with energy-efficient settings to lower energy consumption.  Higher initial cost
5. Does not make a lot of noise

Hybrid Purifiers are good at maintaining a pollution-free, fresh atmosphere. If you or someone in your house has a smoking habit, a smoke detector can catch it pretty quickly. But hybrid purifiers provide you just the solution to keep the atmosphere smoke-free, fresh, and healthy for kids by removing all the soots and smokey smell. 

In addition to homes, hybrid purifiers can also be used in other various settings where you need cleaner air such as isolation blocks in healthcare facilities, maternity care and pediatric care facilities in hospitals.

Air purifier

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Air Purifier

If you’re thinking of buying an air purifier, make sure to do proper research before you jump the guns. So, you can best evaluate your options and buy them wisely. Here is a list of factors to consider when you’re choosing an air purifier for your home. 

1. Room Size:

The room size where you’re planning to keep your air purifier should match the capacity of the air purifier. It’s a good idea to buy an air purifier that’s 20-30 percent above what you need it for. 

2. Filter Type: 

As discussed above, air purifiers use different types of filters with HEPA  and activated carbon filters being the most common. Different filters are better at different things and have their own pros and cons. Activated Carbon filters are better at catching foul odors, but require frequent filter changes, while HEPA filters catch smaller sized particles and last longer. So, when buying a purifier, set your priorities right and choose the right type of filter that is specifically designed for the intended purpose.

3. Noise Level: 

Some places might have “Zero Noise” requirements like your bedroom or the office meeting room. So if you plan to use an air purifier in the bedroom or other spaces that require a quiet environment, consider checking the noise level of the air purifier. Some air purifiers can get as loud as 70 decibels, while quieter models are usually rated around 30 decibels. 

4. Energy Efficiency: 

Energy consumption is a real problem in today’s world where energy resources have given everybody a run for their money. Consider buying air purifiers that consume less energy and make sure to have a look at its energy efficiency rating and consumption (in Watts), so you can cut your electricity bills.

5. Maintenance Requirements: 

A majority of air purifiers require regular maintenance to ensure that they are in good condition to work effectively. However, if you buy an expensive purifier, its maintenance may alone cost you an arm and leg. So, choose a purifier with low maintenance requirements. Activated carbon filters require filter change in 3 to 6 months, while HEPA filters last longer and require less maintenance.

6. Additional Features: 

Some air purifiers come with additional features such as programmable settings, remote controls, air quality sensors, and smart home integration. Consider these features if you want more control over the purifier or want to integrate it into your smart home system.

By considering these factors, you can choose an air purifier that meets your specific needs and provides you with clean, and healthy air. However, you can also read our more detailed guide to select an air purifier.

air purifier effectiveness


Overall, Air Purifiers are a great way to produce purified air and stay healthy like most people are living in the top cleanest developed countries of the world. Since several types of air purifiers are available in the market and each having its pros and cons, one should know about them to make an informed decision. 

HEPA filter is an excellent choice for those with allergies, while an activated carbon filter is ideal for homes with pets or smokers. UV-C light purifiers are a good option for those concerned with germs, while ionic purifiers can be helpful for removing small particles from the air. Hybrid purifiers provide comprehensive air purification with multiple combined technologies.

Ultimately, the best air purifier for you will be the one that best suits your needs and budget. Carefully check the available options and weigh them against each other to make an informed decision. With the right air purifier, you will enjoy cleaner, fresher and healthier air that can improve your overall quality of life.