Ionizers are a popular way to purify air in your home. Also known as negative ion generators or ionic air purifiers, ionizers cleanse the air using negative ions. These breathable air cleaning devices can be incredibly effective at eliminating odors, impurities, and contaminants. Some research even suggests that air purifying ionizers can help to prevent illness and allergic reactions by eliminating bacteria and viruses in the air.
These devices work in an incredibly simple way. Negative ions latch themselves onto positively charged particles, including odor molecules and germs. This neutralizes the particle, cleaning your air. Some research has found that these ionizers merely cause the particles to fall to the ground, rather than eliminating them entirely.
With so many ionizers available today, it can be difficult to know which ionizer is best for you. And with the COVID-19 Coronavirus continuing to spread all over the world, the market is filled with new products and services that might be able to clean and purify the air to promote health and wellness. The catch is to research the few tried and true options of the best ionizers available, which we have rated the top 15 negative ion generators of 2023.
After the most popular ionizers of this year are reviewed, there is a frequently asked questions research guide that helps optimize the users understanding of how these ionic air purifiers work and how to identify the optimal option for you. Remember, since the global pandemic of airborne virus threats and risks of contracting respiratory illnesses, consumers are staying ahead of the curve and getting in front of possible pitfalls that may be at home when it comes to purifying indoor air pollutants that add up overtime without more fresh air being circulated throughout the house.
That being noted, not all products that have appeared since the heightened awareness on personal hygiene, indoor breathing air, and overall cleanliness, are created equally. That is why the following list of the 15 best ionizers was compiled to help further the research and find the fit right for your setup.
Ranking the Top 15 Best Ionization Air Purifiers of 2023
Readers should know that our rankings are always subjective. While our staff researches extensively to guarantee the accuracy of our information and the completeness of our opinions, the priorities and opinions of our writers might not align with your own needs and views. The list below is in no particular order, and should be used as a starting-point for your own research on air purifying ionizers.
Enerzen High Capacity Commercial Ozone Generator
Enerzen’s High Capacity commercial Ozone Generator is meant for industrial use, although it’s a popular residential air purifier sold on Amazon for around $115.
The Enerzen ionizer has a handle for easy portability. It produces 11,000mg of industrial strength O3 (ozone) to purify, deodorize, and sterilize the air in your home or business. You can carry it into specific rooms of your home to target certain areas. Enerzen claims their ceramic ozone plates provide increased usage hours, while the fan is 40% larger than a previous model. The unit comes with an 180 minute timer, letting you set it in a room and forget it.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for industrial strength ionization at a reasonable price, then the Enerzen High Capacity Commercial Ozone Generator may be the right choice for you.
Airthereal MA5000 Commercial Generator
The Airthereal MA5000 isn’t aesthetically pleasing, but it makes up for it with powerful ionization capabilities. The unit produces 5,000mg/h of ozone, deodorizing any space from odors, smoke, and VOCs. Airthereal recommends running the ozone generator twice a week to “keep an ethereal ambiance” anywhere in home or business.
Airthereal has a timer that can run for up to 120 minutes. You can also press “hold” to keep the unit running indefinitely. The company claims 10 to 60 minutes of treatment is enough to purify most average-sized spaces. Airthereal also recommends the unit for fire damaged homes, homes with pets, rooms affected by smoke, kitchens, hospitals, schools, kindergartens, offices, and any other space that needs to be refreshed.
This is the second Airthereal unit on our list. It’s more aesthetically pleasing than the industrial-looking MA5000. It’s also slightly more expensive.
However, that higher price gives you twice as much ozone output as the MA5000 listed above. The high capacity MA10K-Pro outputs 10,000mg/h of ozone. The unit also has a five year or 20,000 hour service life.
Let the device run and it will remove tough odors from any space. Airthereal claims it can prevent mold from growing, remove tough odors, and provide other powerful benefits. The unit has a 120 minute timer, although you can also press the hold setting to leave the unit running.
OdorStop Professional Grade Ozone Generator with UV
The OdorStop Professional Grade Ozone Generator with UV is a popular unit on Amazon. There are about a dozen different model types available. Units are priced anywhere from $140 to $2,000 depending on how much ozone you need.
As with other top-ranked ionizers on this list, the OdorStop ionizer has an industrial appearance. It’s a heavy duty ionizer designed for heavy duty use. As with other industrial ionizers, the manufacturer warns you to leave the room when the unit is in operation. It’s powerful enough to disrupt the oxygen levels in the air.
OdorStop’s OX600UV is a travel size ionizer priced at $140. It can easily fit into a suitcase for effective cleaning on-the-go and is priced at $140. On the higher end of things, meanwhile, we have the $2000 OX12500 unit, which is rolled around and contains an industrial-sized fan capable of cleaning 12,500 square feet with 10,000g of ozone output per hour.
Whether you’re looking for high-end ionization or a basic air purifier for the home, the OdorStop lineup is a popular choice on Amazon and other retailers.
Price: $140 to $2,000
IonPacific’s Ionbox is more attractive than some of the industrial ionizers above. The ionizer emits up to 20 million negative ions per second without using filters. IonPacific claims their unit can cover up to 500 square feet.
IonPacific also claims the device uses “proven technology” to remove tobacco smoke and odor, airborne bacteria, allergens, pollen, harmful dust, pet odors, pet dander, and other particles from your air we breathe.
The Ionbox is one of the smallest units on this list. It’s slightly larger than a deck of cards. You can plug it into a conventional electrical outlet. Or, you can plug it into a USB port.
If you’re looking for heavy duty ionization, then the Ionbox isn’t the most powerful option on this list. However, if you’re looking for a convenient air purifier you can use while sitting at your desk, then Ionbox may be the right choice.
TREKOO Air Purifier
TREKOO’s air purifier and ionizer has a unique appearance compared to other units on this list. Like other units listed here, the air purifier creates ozone that breaks down odors, removing particles from the air. TREKOO claims their unit produces 1 million negative ions per second, capable of purifying a room of about 166 square feet.
TREKOO’s Air Purifier isn’t as powerful as most other options on this list. However, it does have a feature many will appreciate: a motion detector. The device will only turn on when motion is detected, switching between Working Mode and Dormancy Mode to save you power. This means the device only runs when people or pets are in a room.
Airthereal MA10K-PRODIGI Digital Ozone Generator
If you want the fanciest Airthereal ionizer available today, then the MA10K-PRODIGI Digital Ozone Generator may be the right choice for you. It has the same capabilities as the ordinary MA10-K Pro listed above, although it uses a digital display instead of a radial dial. It looks more like an electronic device instead of a piece of industrial equipment.
Like the MA10K-Pro, the PRODIGI outputs 10,000mg/h of ozone using Airthereal’s honeycomb technology. It also has a unique 12 or 24 hour cycle mode, letting you run the unit every 30 minutes in a 12 or 24 hour period.
Airthereal also describes the casing as “bulletproof”, claiming it’s made from 304-grade stainless steel, making it anti-corrosive, easy to clean, and sleek.
Plixio Portable Odor Eliminating Plug-In Ionic Air Purifier
Plixio’s portable ionizer looks futuristic compared to other options on this list. The device also claims to attack odors rather than just masking them. The ionic air purifier helps eliminate and neutralize airborne bacteria and odors, cleansing any room in your home.
Amazon sells a two pack of these purifiers for around $50, making them some of the most affordable options on this list. Don’t expect much power: the purifiers output 10 to 50mg of ozone per hour, which is a fraction of the ozone emitted by the top-ranked options on this list.
However, if you’re looking for a gentle air purifier that creates fresh air without forcing you to leave the room, then the Plixio Portable Odor Eliminating Plug-In Ionic Air Purifier may be the right choice for you.
A2Z Ozone Aqua-8 Portable Ozone Generator
A2Z Ozone, Inc. sells their Aqua-8 Multi-Purpose Ozone Generator capable of outputting 800mg per hour of ozone, which makes it competitive with some of the top-ranked options on our list. Priced at $103, the unit is free-standing or wall-mountable. It also comes with an 18-setting functional timer, an optional oxygen port for an oxygen generator or oxygen tank, and an LED display at the top of the unit that lists diagnostic information.
If you want a powerful air ionizer that doesn’t look as “industrial” as some of the heavy-duty units above, then the A2Z Aqua-8 Portable Ozone Generator may be the right choice for you.
WSTA Ozone Purifier
WSTA sells an ozone generator and air purifier that cleans air and water, effectively removing smoke, odors, and harmful gases with no secondary pollution. The unit is portable and lightweight while still outputting 400mg per hour of ozone. That means you get high-end ionizer power anywhere you go.
The WSTA Ozone Purifier has six levels ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. You can track the time remaining using the display at the top of the unit. If you’re looking for decent ionization power at a very cheap price, then the WSTA Ozone Purifier may be the right choice for you.
Another advantage of the WSTA Ozone Purifier is that it’s available through a wide range of retailers, including Amazon and Walmart. Many of the other units listed above are mainly sold through Amazon.
One Earth Health Air Purifier
One Earth Health makes a popular Air Purifier featuring adjustable output control, quiet fan technology, and 500 square feet of ionization power. The unit cleanses smoke, odors, and other particles from the air. Like the industrial units listed above, the Air Purifier should be run when the room is empty.
It may not look as powerful as the industrial units above, but the One Earth Health Air Purifier is one of the best-rated consumer-grade air ionizers on Amazon. Most reviewers agree that the unit works as advertised: just plug it in and purify the air in your home.
New Comfort Stainless Steel Commercial Ozone Generator
New Comfort’s Stainless Steel Commercial Ozone Generator is the heaviest duty option on this list, capable of outputting 12,000mg of ozone per hour – more than any other unit here. If you want maximum ionization for any type of home, business, or industrial setting, then New Comfort’s ionizer may be the right choice.
The New Comfort SS7000 Ozone Generator is made from corrosion proof stainless steel. It has a low mode (6,000mg per hour) and a high mode (12,000mg per hour). It also uses UV to cleanse the air. There’s a 120 minute timer. Like other industrial ionizers, you should leave the room when the New Comfort SS7000 is running, and only re-enter the room 30 minutes after the device is done running.
Despite the high-end power, the New Comfort SS7000 isn’t as expensive as you may think: priced at $275, it’s within reach for any home or business owner seeking powerful ionization. New Comfort claims their unit will kill or reduce mold, bacteria, viruses, and odors.
TwinkleBirds Portable Ozone Generator
The TwinkleBirds Portable Ozone Generator is a dual-mode mini ozone ionic air purifier that kills microbes and germs in the air. You can place the ionizer in any room of your home. TwinkleBirds also recommends placing the device in your fridge to eliminate odor. The device uses battery power and can run for 25 days in O3 mode when fully charged. You can also recharge or run the device using USB.
TwinkleBirds does not disclose the amount of ozone produced per hour, making it difficult to compare the TwinkleBirds Portable Ozone Generator with other options on this list. However, if you’re looking for a stylish ionizer that looks like any ordinary fan, then the TwinkleBirds Portable Ozone Generator may be the right choice for you – especially at its low price of under $50.
ELINP Industrial Ozone Generator
The ELINP Industrial Ozone Generator outputs 10,000mg per hour of ozone, making it one of the most powerful ionizers on this list. It’s a high-capacity commercial generator available at a reasonable $107. The ionizer has a timer that runs for up to 120 minutes. ELINP recommends running the unit once or twice a week to cleanse the air of your home or business.
ELINP is powerful enough to clean a 1,000 square foot space in under one hour. Meanwhile, an average-sized room (100 square feet) can be cleaned in about 10 minutes. There’s also a “hold” setting for cleaning areas larger than 2,000 square feet.
Breathe Green is an air purifier that recently appeared on Amazon. The futuristic-looking device is about the size of a deck of cards. You plug it in, then let the unit purify the air.
The unit doesn’t seem to do much, and the manufacturer does not disclose its ozone output or other crucial data. You also don’t need to leave the room while the device is running, which tells us it’s not a very powerful ionizer.
You can also find Breathe Green sold under the name Air Genie. The two units are identical: they’re both white labelled products from China (you can buy the same unit from Chinese retailers like Alibaba for $10).
How We Ranked
All of the ionizers above make a similar claim: they all claim to cleanse your home and remove odors. However, not all air purifying ionizers work the same way. We used the following factors to compare units:
Ozone Output: Ionizers vary widely in terms of ozone output, with the units above outputting anywhere from 500mg to 12,000mg of ozone per hour. Some of the cheaper units did not disclose their ozone output, making us skeptical that they had any significant effect on the air.
Area Coverage: Some ionizers can easily cover a 4,000 square foot space after running for two hours. Other ionizers can’t even cleanse the air in a tiny dorm room.
Effectiveness: Some ionizers have the right ozone output and area coverage, yet they’re not very effective. Good fan systems, good power supply, and other metrics can all impact effectiveness. We considered efficiency ratings, tests, real world performance, customer reviews, and other metrics.
Size and Portability: Some ionizers are as small as a deck of cards, while others are as large as a suitcase. We didn’t discriminate based on size, although we emphasized portability with all ionizers above.
Transparency: Some ionizers were transparent about their technology, ozone output, and other metrics. Other ionizers disclosed no technical details. We emphasized transparency.
Ultraviolet Light: Some ionizers use ultraviolet light (UV-C radiation) to destroy viruses and bacteria, which could make the ionizer more effective.
Filtration System or Plate: Some ionizers use a plate to collect neutralized airborne toxins. Other ionizers use a carbon filter or other system. Some ionizers just left particles fall onto the ground.
Health Claims: Some ionizers go overboard with health claims, claiming to cleanse the air, remove toxins, and protect your family’s health. There’s plenty of evidence that ionizers remove certain particles from the air, but we were wary of manufacturers selling ionizers as a “cure all”.
Safety: Most ionizers had safety features, timers, and automatic shut-offs to prevent the unit from running nonstop. Some also came with warning labels to be placed on a door while the machine is in use.
Warranty: Some of the cheaper ionizers above have a limited warranty. Some of the heavy duty industrial ionizers, meanwhile, have a warranty as long as five years.
Lifespan: Some ionizers use a needle to create negative ions. This needle eventually wears out due to repeated electrostatic charges and discharges. An ionizing needle should last about five years, which is why many ionizers only last five years.
Price and Value: The ionizers above range in price from $50 to $2,000. We featured a range of products to meet all budgets. Some businesses and commercial spaces need a $2,000 foot ionizer. Other homes need a $50 ionizer.
Aesthetics: Most people don’t care what their ionizer looks like. Some of the industrial-style ionizers above are downright ugly. However, ionizers designed to be placed in the home should look good, and we considered design and style in our rankings.
Who Should Use an Ionizer?
Air ionizers create negative ions to combat foul smells and other contaminants. People use ionizers for all different reasons.
Many homeowners use ionizers to clean odors or smells in the home, for example. You can clean any bedroom or bathroom odors using an ionizer.
Some homeowners also place the ionizer in a fridge or freezer. An ionizer can reduce nasty smells.
Some people also use ionizers to clean fruits and vegetables. Placing an ionizer around your fruits, vegetables, and other produce may kill mold and other toxins. If you just brought home a load of groceries from the store, for example, then you may want to leave those groceries around an ionizer to cleanse them – especially during times of pandemic.
Speaking of mold, many ionizers listed above neutralize mold, preventing the spread of a mold problem in your home. If you have a moist, damp, mold-prone basement, for example, then you may want to run a mold ionizer to get rid of the issue.
Or, landlords may own an ionizer. If you have a problematic tenant that left an unpleasant smell in a place, for example, than an air ionizer may help. Carry it around with you during cleanup to ensure the place is ready for the next tenant.
Pet owners frequently use ionizers. If you have cats, dogs, birds living in a close environment, for example, then an ionizer may help you get rid of the smell. If using an industrial strength ionizer, then you may need to remove pets (and any other living creatures) from the room prior to treatment.
Similarly, farm owners may use ionizers to reduce animal smells.
Air ionizers are also commonly used to reduce cigarette smoke. If there’s a cigarette smell in a room or office, for example, then an ionizer may be able to remove it.
Many industrial spaces own ionizers to kill germs. They may be used in medical settings, for example, to reduce the spread of bacteria. Warehouses, retail stores, and other commercial locations may also use ionizers to kill germs.
Hotels may also use ionizers to remove smells between guests. If a guest has been smoking, for example, then the hotel may use an ionizer to cleanse the smell.
Some people also use ionizers for their purported health benefits. There’s some small evidence showing that ionizers could reduce symptoms of insomnia, seasonal affective disorder, and high blood pressure, among other conditions.
In most cases, however, people use ionizers to reduce bacteria, viruses, cigarette toxins, smog, and other contaminants in the air.
Benefits of Ionizers: How Do Ionizers Work?
Ionizers, also known as ozone generators, create ozone (O3) to clean a room. Ozone contains three atoms of oxygen. The third oxygen atom makes ozone extremely reactive, which means it can easily attach itself to other molecules.
Contrary to what many believe, ionizers don’t necessarily “destroy” particles in the air. Instead, the ozone molecule attaches itself to airborne particles, and the airborne particles become heavy enough to fall from the air onto a surface.
Yes, particles in the air fall onto nearby surfaces, which means you need to vacuum or wipe the particles away to truly remove them from your home. However, once the particles are on a surface, they are bound to that surface and should no longer become airborne.
Alternatively, certain ionizers or electrostatic precipitators are equipped with a fan and a collection plate. The fan draws in particles, causing the particles to accumulate on the plate. Air ionizers in an air purifier also filter particles.
Most ionizers create negative ions using corona discharge, where the ionizer focuses an electrostatic field around a sharp needle, then pushes the negative ions (anions) out, spreading them throughout the year.
With many of the ozone generators above, especially the industrial strength units, you need to leave the room while treatment is taking place. The manufacturers recommend removing all living beings (humans and pets) from the room before running the ozone generator. After ozone treatment, it typically takes about 30 minutes for a room to return to normal oxygen levels.
With some of the less powerful ionizers, you may not need to leave the room: the units aren’t powerful enough to have a significant effect on oxygen levels. You will still notice ozone being created, although this ozone will not significantly disrupt oxygen levels in the room.
To ensure the room stays empty during treatment, several of our ionizers even have a “No Entry” label that you can hang on the door during treatment. You set the timer, close the room, and enter the room 30 minutes after the timer is done.
We haven’t mentioned the word “filter” yet. Most ionic air cleaners remove particles from the air without a filter. Some let the particles simply fall to the ground. Others use a collection plate to remove toxins from the air. In either case, however, the units use a filter-less technology.
Some ionizers use additional technology – like UV-C radiation or a carbon filter – to enhance effectiveness. UV radiation can destroy viruses and bacteria, breaking up the DNA structure of these particles, rendering them harmless and creating a sterile environment. Meanwhile, a carbon filter or other filter can make the unit more effective, neutralizing airborne contaminants and running those contaminants through a filter.
Side Effects of Ionizers
Ionizers aren’t perfectly safe to use. There’s a reason why the industrial strength ionizers above come with warning labels. You need to leave the room when certain ionizers are in use, as they create significant amounts of ozone (5,000 to 10,000mg of ozone per hour), which could cause health effects.
Studies have shown that ozone is linked to decreased lung function and increased risk of throat irritation, coughing, chest pain, and lung tissue inflammation. Ozone might also worsen symptoms of asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis, according to the EPA.
For all of these reasons, you should leave a room while the ionizer is in use. Most manufacturers recommend re-entering the room no sooner than 30 minutes after the device has completed its cycle.
Some of the ionizers above are lightweight units that do not require you to leave the room during operation. It’s unclear how safe these units are. Some studies show that certain ionizers can quickly exceed the FDA’s recommended limit of 0.05 parts per million for medical devices.
Ultimately, ionizers are a proven technology – but you should run the ionizer in an empty room to avoid any complications.
Frequently Asked Questions About Air Ionizers
With so much misinformation and saturation in the present market for ionizers, consumers are likely to have a number of questions. This section should clear things up by answering some of the most commonly asked questions about ionizing air purifiers.
Q: What is an ionizer?
A: An ionizer is a device that emits negative ions (anions) into the air, creating an ozone that binds to airborne particles, reducing odors and other contaminants by causing them to fall to the floor. This can help to eliminate a number of contaminants in the air, including bacteria, allergens, and odor particles.
Q: What do air ionizers do?
A: Air ionizers remove certain particles from the air, which can reduce odor and bacteria. Additionally, some claim that air ionizers can function to prevent illness by eliminating the bacteria in the air that can cause people to become sick.
Q: What kind of maintenance do air ionizers need?
A: Most air ionizers require no maintenance whatsoever, although you should wipe your air ionizer down periodically as dust builds up around the unit. For full instructions, consult the manufacturer about their specific product's instructions.
Q: Where should you place the air ionizer?
A: You should place the air ionizer at the center of whatever room or environment you want to clean. Ionizers can be used in bathrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and nearly any room, as long as the ionizer in-question is able to cover the entirety of the room's area.
Q: Why can’t you be in the room while the air ionizer is running?
A: Certain industrial strength air ionizers output high levels of ozone. This ozone cleanses the air, although it can also cause throat irritation and other breathing problems among people or pets in the room, which is why you should leave the room while the device is in use.
Q: Which pollutants does an ionizer eliminate?
A: Ionizers produce negative ions (anions) that neutralize any particles floating in the air, including tiny and largest particles (PM 0.1 to PM10, including the notorious PM2.5 particles). That means air ionizers eliminate combustion particles (smog), micro organisms (pollen, mold, bacteria, and viruses), SVOCs (semi-volatile organic compounds like gas pollutants), and other particles.
Q: How do you know an air ionizer is working?
A: You should smell ozone soon after turning on the ionizer. After the ionizer has run and you have re-entered the room, you should notice reduced odor. You may also notice cooler air in the treated room.
Q: Can you see an air ionizer working?
A: You may notice a deposit of particles forming a dark halo on the surface surrounding your air ionizer, like your floor or carpet. This may only be noticeable after a few days or weeks of use, but it shows the air ionizer is working.
Q: Do ionized particles remain harmful once deposited?
A: Ionized particles are not considered volatile. They are electrostatically bonded to the surface and can easily be wiped up or vacuumed. They are unlikely to travel through the air as airborne particles and re-enter the lungs.
Q: Are ionizers safe?
A: Ionizers are generally safe to use, although you should leave the room while your heavy-duty air ionizer is working. Cheaper ionizers may not require you to leave the room, although excessive ozone consumption is linked with certain health effects – like an irritated throat.
Q: Do ionizers kill mold?
A: Yes, there’s evidence that ionizers kill microbes, bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and mold. Some people use ionizers specifically target mold problems. The ability of ionizers to completely kill these particles is sometimes disputed; some researchers argue that ionizers merely cause the particles to fall to the ground.
Q: Are ionizers safe to use around pets?
A: Many pet owners use ionizers to reduce pet-related odor in the home. However, you should remove any pets from the room before running a heavy-duty ionizer, as ozone can be harmful for humans and pets alike.
Q: How much space does my ionizer cover?
A: A cheap ionizer covers a room that’s about 100 square feet or less, while high-end ionizers can cover up to 2,000 square feet. Generally, a good ionizer will cover a 400 to 800 square foot space after running for approximately one hour.
Q: What’s the difference between an ionic air purifier and an ionizer?
A: An ionic air purifier and an ionizer are the same thing.
Q: How much does an ionizer cost?
A: The ionizers above are priced between $50 and $2,000, with most household ionizers falling within the $100 range.
Air ionizers, also known as ionic air purifiers, clean contaminants from your air by creating negative ions (anions). These negative particles attach themselves to positively charged particles in the air, causing the particles to grow heavy and fall to the ground. This neutralizes odor, bacteria, smog, cigarette smoke, pet dander, pollen, and other contaminants in the air.
As stated in the opening, remember, since the advent of this serious invisible threat, many new products and goods have surfaced on the market and not all of them are created equally. From simple household goods of hand sanitizers to face masks, or the popularity of UV sanitizers, EMF radiation protection (questionable 5G effects?) and survival kits, many of these products are not tested thoroughly. It is best to go with a company whose branded product line is proven over time to work effectively and efficiently like the list above of the best ionizers in 2023.
If you want to clean the air in your home or business, then consider one of the ionizers listed above.