Ionic Pro Air Purifier – Why You Should Keep Away

A purifier capable of cleaning 500ft of air for under a  $100 sounds great, doesn’t it? This is probably why the Ionic Pro air purifier is one of the best selling affordable air purifiers on the market (and the $100,000’s spent on advertising and marketing.)

ionic_pro_air_purifier

Lets first look at some of the good points before we tear this machine apart:

1. Design

I’ll be honest it does look like a more expensive purifier. A couple of these towers in your bedroom might even be able to impress the ladies 😉 Obviously, time and money have gone into the overall look and design of these purifiers.

2. Affordable

Going out for a cheap family dinner now costs over a $100 so its really within the budget of anyone.

The Ionic Pro purifier is from the Marketing Geniuses at Sharper Image and its likely that you will have seen at least one of their cheesy infomercials. This company uses flashy marketing and dubious claims to ship cheap appliances en masse.

If you shop in Wal-Mart then the Ionic Pro range of purifiers are the retailer’s bestselling air purifiers.

3. No Replacement Filters

As the Ionic pro uses ionizer technology it will not require you to buy new filters as you would with a HEPA based purifier. However, you will still need to wipe down the ionizer plates every 3-5 days.

So, what wrong with the Ionic Pro?

The main problem with the Ionic pro is that its design is based on the now-defunct Sharper Image – Ionic breeze air purifier.

When the Ionic Breeze purifier was released it was met by intense criticism by the whole air purifier review community. The Ionic Pro is 40% cheaper than the Breeze purifier and has some design modifications but the purification unit is nearly the same.

I understand that there is a market for very affordable purifiers but i just don’t think that the Ionic Pro are anywhere is anyway near as effective as other cheap purifiers such as those from Honeywell.

How did the Ionic Pro Perform on Tests?

Like with every review that we conduct at air-purifier-reviewsite.com let first check the test results available:

At Air-Purifier-America.com they tested the slightly older ionic breeze but I think the results can be comparable:

ionic_pro_test_purifier_america

The tests show that the Ionic Breeze purifier came at the bottom of the results and the purifiers above are not $500+ models. The Honeywell hfd-120 sells on Amazon at the same price as the Ionic Pro Purifier (when bought from the company website – Amazon sells it for $50 less).

Effective Cleaning Power

If we look at the Ionic Pro company website we find the following:

ionic_pro_features

 

They tell us that the unit can trap particles as small as 1 micron! That sounds really small but lets first check out this diagram which shows the relative sizes of airborne particles:

HEPA_Filter_Micron_Chart

I normally tell people looking to buy a purifier to get a unit that is capable of at least 99.7% efficiency at removing particles bigger than 0.3 microns. When I speak to allergy sufferers I advise them to find a purifier that can deal with at least 95% of particles bigger than 0.03 microns.

Using the diagram we can see how the Ionic Pro purifier is unable to block the majority of:

  • Wood and tobacco smoke
  • Household dust
  • Bacteria
  • Dander
  • Insecticide dust
  • Fumes
  • No Viruses will ever be blocked by the Ionic Pro

I think its a little cheeky for Ionic to tell customers that their purifier will stop smoke and dust when the unit will only be capable of stopping the minority of very large smoke and dust particles.

Oh No Please Don’t Give Us Ozone

One of the main problems with the Ionic Breeze purifier was the sheer amount of ozone that was released from the unit. Ozone works by latching on to odor-causing particles and removing them. However Ozone is a toxic gas and not something you want to be pumping into your home. Thankfully the Ionic Pro purifier releases less ozone than the Ionic breeze (48 ppb) but still releases 33 ppb. In my opinion, any release of ozone is too much!

Conclusion

If your looking for an affordable appliance to clean your air then please do not choose the Ionic Pro air purifier.  There are plenty of cheap air purifiers that do actually clean the air and don’t pollute your house with toxic ozone.

Update: April 2020

If you are looking for an air purifier that could replace an ionic air purifier then we can recommend the Levoit Core 300 (it’s helps that it’s under $100)  but be sure to check out the full list of air purifiers we recommend in 2020: 

1.Austin A250B1 – Best Overall
Austin Air A250B1 HealthMate Plus Junior Air Purifier, Black
  • Designed for people living in smaller spaces and specializes in the reduction of harmful chemicals, noxious gases, VOC’s, formaldehyde, and sub micron particles for individuals in the most contaminated of settings
  • Broad spectrum adsorption offers protection for people exposed to smoke from wildfires, those living close to busy highways, and people with sensitivity to certain chemicals and gases found in the home
  • True medical grade HEPA filter removes 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns; over 270 cubic inches of activated carbon impregnated with potassium iodide and zeolite filtration removes odors, gases and chemicals including formaldehyde and benzene
  • 3 speed settings for fan; 360 degree intake system draws air into all sides of unit, passing air through a 4 stage filter
  • Eases headaches and reduces nausea related to chemical exposure; helps reduce coughing, wheezing and sneezing, dry mouth, runny nose; reduces night time allergies and asthma attacks, snoring, and helps you sleep better; strengthens the immune system

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2. Medify MA-40 2.0 – Great if you can afford

Medify MA-40W2 V2.0 Medical Grade Filtration H13 True HEPA for 840 Sq. Ft. Air Purifier, 99.9% | Modern Design - White (2-Pack)
  • Medical Grade H13 Filters (higher rated than True HEPA) 99.9% particle removal. H13 True HEPA is considered medical grade air filtration, the unit alone is not a medical device.
  • Cleans a room up to 1,600 sq ft in one hour, 840 sq ft in 30 minutes, 420 sq ft in 15 minutes (CADR 330)
  • To make V2.0 quieter in 'Sleep Mode' and Speed 1 the ionizer is automatically turned off, on speed 2 and 3 it can be turned on/off as needed | CARB, Energy Star & ETL certified.
  • Tempered Glass panel (like your cell phone, easy to clean, won't scratch like cheap plastic models), Sleep mode and 3 fan speeds, 8 hr timer, night mode, child lock
  • Genuine Medify Replacement Filter: B07MTQFFNT, 110 Volt units, USA registered Lifetime Warranty

3. LEVOIT CORE 300 – Quite a machine for less than $100

LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies Pets Hair Smokers in Bedroom, H13 True HEPA Air Purifiers Filter, 24db Quiet Air Cleaner, Remove 99.97% Smoke Dust Mold Pollen for Large Room, Core 300, White
  • Genuine Replacement Filters: Search for core300-rf or core 300 replacement filter for Replacement Filters. Use genuine Levoit replacement filters to maintain the best performance and to ensure what you're buying is worthy of your investment
  • Higher Purify Performance: Use the Core 300 to fill your environment with crisp, clean air. Its Vortexair Technology creates a stronger air flow, CADR number is 230+m3/h, allowing it to cover up to 219 sq. ft. AC 120V/60HZ for USA and Canada
  • Improved Filtration: With larger expansion area and longer length than others, the H13 Ture HEPA filter works with ultra-fine Pre-filter and activated carbon filter, trapping 99. 97% of fine particles and allergens as small as 0. 3 microns and large pollutants such as dust, pet dander, smoke, mold, pollen
  • Most Silent Air Cleaner: The noise level is nearly voiceless at sleep mode with only 24db, its QuietKEAP Technology reduces noise so you can sleep in a restful and soothing indoor environment
  • Ultra-long Service Life: Industry leader provider's bearing makes this levoit core300 hepa air purifier durable and reliable. The AC capacitor motor uses durable high-precision bearing, and excellent internal structure increases abrasion resist, which obviously extends the life of machine

4. Coway Airmega 300 – Not cheap but great for large spaces

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Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode
  • Coway Mighty (AP-1512HH) is designed to accommodate room sizes up to 361 sq.ft (CADR: Dust 246 / Pollen 240 / Smoke 233 cb. ft.).
  • 4 Stage Filtration System (Pre-filter, Deodorization filter, True HEPA filter, Vital Ion) captures and reduces up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in the air, including pollen, pollutants and other allergens. It also reduces volatile organic compounds and reduces odor.
  • Coway Mighty pollution sensor communicates indoor air quality in real-time. The brightly colored LED lets you know how clean or dirty your indoor air is every minute of the day. And it features a timer, and filter lifetime indicator.
  • Fan speeds available in 1, 2, 3 stages by manually setting up. While auto mode automatically optimizes the speed setting 1 through 3 based on the level of indoor air quality. When no pollution is detected for 30 minutes, the fan will automatically stop and set as Eco mode to save energy.
  • Timer feature allows the machine to run 1/4/8 hours before automatically powering off.

5. Sharp FPF30UH – Great for small spaces and tight budgets

Sharp, White FPF30UH True HEPA Air Purifier for Home Office or Small Bedroom with Express Clean. Filters Last up-to 2 Years for Dust, Smoke, Pollen, Pet Dander, 143 Square Feet
  • SMALL ROOMS: Designed for Rooms up to 143 sq. ft.
  • CADR Dust (101) / Smoke (92) / Pollen (109)
  • Long-Life TRUE HEPA Filter Lasts Up-to 2 Years (actual filter life will differ depending on the environment)
  • True HEPA Filter Captures 99.97% of Allergens as Small as 0.3 Microns that pass through the filter
  • The Library Quiet, Sleep Setting is Perfect for the Bedroom or Home Office (as low as 23 dba)

3 Reasons Why WalMart Air Purifiers Are A Waste Of Time

It might seem like a great idea to pick up a cheap air purifier whilst your doing your grocery shopping but in reality your going to waste your money.

walmart

The vast majority of air purifiers that are stocked by Walmart are under $150 and the majority sold are created by Sharper Image. The two best selling purifiers are the ionic pro combo and ionic pro mini both by Sharper image.

1. Keep Well Away from Sharper Image

sharper-image-closing

Now Sharper Image has had some bad press with their ionic breeze air purifiers after they where found to release ozone which actually reduced air quality. Now the new ionic pro models do not release as much excessive levels of ozone but they are still very inefficient.  Read the following articles about why its a bad idea to invest in a sharper Image purifier:

http://allergyclean.com/news/5112006.htm

http://www.livescience.com/technology/060509_air_purifiers.html

2. Can Only Remove Large Particles

HEPA_Filter_Micron_Chart

The problem with all cheap purifiers is that they can only remove a very small percentage of the particles in the air. Most of the sub $150 priced purifiers can only deal with particles that are bigger 0.3 microns. 0.3 microns is small but in the world of air based particles they only make up about 10% of pollutant particles. This means that these cheap purifiers are only able to clean 10% of the air in your room.

3. Can Only Work In Small Sealed Rooms

david-blaine-sealed-coffin

You will see that many of these units promise to clean rooms up to 250 feet but this is assuming that your room air does not circulate. As we all know, air will pass throughout the house and thus an air purifier will be required to clean the vast majority of air throughout the house. Most American houses will require an air purifier that can deal with at least 1000 feet and this is true even if you only want to clean the air in one room. Sealing your rooms is just not an option unless you really want to take one step closer to the grave!

Ionizer Air Purifier

 

Air Purifiers are created to clean the air off problem particles such as dust, pollen and dirt. One of the recent technological advancements are ionizer air purifiers that use ionization cleaning technique. ionizer_air_purifier

To understand how ionizer air purifiers work you need to understand a little bit about the ionization process.

The first thing that happens is that the ionization unit charges the air with a release of electrons that in turn charge the all the particles in the air. Now all the particles including the dust, pollen and bacteria are charged negatively so are heavier and are attracted to the positive plates of the ionization unit.

Negative ions can also provide a feeling of well being and can be compared to the air near a waterfall or on the beach (places where natural air negative ions are high.)

ionizer_air_purifier_process

Many air purifiers will combine an ionization air purifier with an other type of filter such as HEPA or Activated Carbon. Ionization units can help to improve the efficiency of other filters as it increases the size of particles and thus makes it easier for them to be caught in the filter.

One of the benefits ionizer only air purifiers is that they do not require expensive filters but will still be required to be cleaner every few days. In our experience air purifiers that only use ionization are not that helpful. Usually for most people they will require this to be matched with a least one type of filters, we recommend HEPA or activated carbon.

If you are only looking to remove basic pollutants from the air such as dust and want to increase your rooms level of negative ions then maybe a ionization only purifier will be perfect for your home.

Overall we think that ionization units are awesome as they help to increase the efficiency of normal air purifiers. We would always recommend going for a purifier that includes some sort of ionization facility.

11 Utterly Ridiculous Air Purifier Gadgets

Save Your Money And Keep Well Away From These 11 Bizarre Air Purifiers.

1. Pet Purifier

Air-purifier-for-doggy-and-cat

Finally your dog can breath clean air it sniffs at another dogs ass. This bizarre air purifier even comes with an air freshener mode. Once activated the air freshener will spray your pet and those around it with a scent that is meant to induce relaxation in you and your dog.

Thankfully this ridiculous pet gadget costs less than $20 so you will still have some money left for the inevitable veterinary fees.

Source

2. Face Mask Purifier

bizarre-usb-face-mask-air-purifier-detail

Be honest the Hannibal Lecter look is hot this year!

This gadget is powered by USB and uses two fans to provide you with a constant stream of clean air. Whilst the constant sound of the fans might annoy colleagues I doubt they will have the cojones to make eye contact with you. Sadly for this purifier to work outdoors you will need to cart it around with your laptop.

Source

3. Personal Air Purifier

personal-air-purifier

At first i thought this was some sort of clunky MP3 player circa 1996.

This ugly device is actually an air purifier that you hang around your neck. How this can actually provide you with clean air is beyond me but thankfully you won’t have to worry as its not longer available for sale.

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4. Cat Litter Purifier

cat-purifier

If you keep forgetting to change the cat litter but hate the feline stench then this might be the gadget for you. However I doubt this purifier could do much to stem the smell from a 6 weeks worth of cat mess.

Just save your money and get off the coach once in a while to look after your pet.

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5. Plant Purifier

plant-air-purifier

On paper this plant air purifier sounds awesome. It uses plants instead of filters to clean the air in your room of noxious pollutants. However can you seriously imagine these two little plants cleaning your smoke drenched dirt box of a room?

I think not!

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6. All in One Clock, Temperature and USB Air Purifier

usbairpurifierclock

This gadget is utterly useless for someone who smells ok and sleeps in a bed. However if you stink, smoke, sleep at your desk and need to know the time constantly then this is the gadget for you.

It is USB powered, beeps every hour and even has the room temperature on it’s lcd screen. Totally useless

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7. Ozonolysis Air Purifier – Create Smog In Your Roomgroundlevelozone

Recently a range of ionic purifiers were released that used ozonolysis technology. Whilst the marketing slogan told us that these purifiers would clean the air, the scary truth was that these unit where pumping out harmful toxins.

One purifier generated as much harmful ozone that is found during a high smog day in downtown Los Angeles.

Source

8. USB Pen Drive Purifier

usb_pen_drive_purifierWhilst at $6 this purifier is dirt cheap but its still totally ridiculous. The only thing this gadget will do is to help run your laptop battery down. I would prefer to spend the $6 on something more useful.. like maybe some Gummy Bacon?

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9. Manmade Tree – Air Purifier

fake-tree-air-purifier

In Peru they have found a bizarre solution to the air pollution problem. Whilst a simple solution would be to stop cutting down trees they decided to build these strange manmade monstrosities. The “Super Tree” purifies the air using electricity and they say it can clean up to 200,000 cubic metres of air.

Sadly as it’s a machine this “tree” creates a large amount of sludge like waste that needs to be sewage treated.

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10. Apple Air Purifier

apple-usb-purifier

Be warned this purifier is not from the makers of the iPhone and iBook. I really have doubts on this small gadgets ability of cleaning any amount of air but hey at least it looks pretty!

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11. Purifier Chair

purifier-chair

Remove the stench from an 8 hour marathon session of WoW with this awesome gaming chair. It combines a personal air purifier with touch screen controls and multi monitor set-up.

At $40,000 I imagine will be way over the budget for the average Wow player.

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Ionic Breeze Air Purifiers

Ionic Breeze Air Purifiers are unique in that they use no filter or fan. They use ionizer technology to created charged fields to clean the surrounding air. The ionized air creates an airflow due to the difference in pressure between the two areas. Any particles such as dust, pollen and other pollutants are captured by the plates as they pass by. The charged field will actually create an air stream that will force air between the plates.

ionic_breeze_air_purifier

One of the main benefits of the breeze air purifier is that it makes no sound at all when its working. With many industrial air purifiers, the sound made means that they can not be used in a working environment. With Ionic purifiers, you will still need to clean the plates but only every 10 days and it will just involve a quick wipe with a cloth.

The other benefit of ionic breeze air purifiers is that because it contains no fan or filter, the unit can be much smaller than alternative models. As the breeze units are often small in size, its recommended that you should clean these units at least once a week to keep efficient purification.

Here is a quick guide to keep your Breeze Air purifier working efficiently:

1. Make sure that you don’t use your Ionic Breeze near any fireplaces as the dust and soot will quickly clog the machine.

2. If you hear a static noise when the purifier is running the make sure you turn off the machine and clean out the collection grid.

3. The red light is there to indicate that the unit requires cleaning. The ionic air purifier will also turn itself off when the plates need cleaning.

4. When using your ionic air purifier with other electrical units then make sure that it does not share an electrical outlet. Try and have one outlet for your breeze purifier so as to reduce interference.

5. Try not to use your Ionic Breeze air purifier near to any appliances that transmit such as wireless routers or base stations for phones.

Honeywell Air Purifier with Permanent Filter

The Honeywell tower purifier comes with a permanent HEPA style filter which is able to catch around 99% of pollutants from the air. The one major benefit of the Honeywell air purifier is that it comes with a lifetime filter! With this filter you will never have to go to the shop and buy a filter every again. When the filter is full of particles you just have to pull it out of the purifier and wash it in the washing machine. You can also just vacuum Honeywell HEPA filters to quickly clean them without having to wait to wash them.

We found that the Honeywell purifier was really quiet unlike some other branded purifiers so you can leave it on when you need to work hard.  It comes with a pre-filter which is perfect for picking up large particulates and means that you won’t need to clean the main filter as much. We recommend that you only choose an air purifier that comes with a separate pre-filter.

This Honeywell purifier comes with a 5 year guarantee and Honeywell are a respected manufacturer both online and offline.
We give this purifier the following marks:

  • Tobacco Smoke = 98/100
  • Pollen/Hayfever = 90/100
  • Dust / dust mite allergy  = 90/100

With 3 speeds this purifier will allow for you to customise how fast you need to clean the air.

What We Look For In Air Purifier Reviews

For each purifier that we review, we look at the following points:

Air-Purifier-Reviews

1. Make sure that no gas leaks [this includes ozone]

2. Check that the filtration process is up to HEPA industrial standards.

3. Is the purifier well built or will it fall apart in a few weeks?

4. How easy will it be to fix yourself? Can you replace parts and filters easily?

5. Do the filters last long? How much do they cost?

6. How noisy is the machine when it’s running?

7. What level of trust do we have for the company? Do we trust the returns policy?

8. Is the price fair for what you receive?

9. Have customers made complaints about the purifier?

10. Is the design attractive?

Using this guideline we find that all our reviews are both fair and informative to the consumer.

Be careful with reviews that mention:

warning

1. Really positive reviews that don’t mention any negative points

2. Small review with very little detail

3. Any site or magazine that only sells on purifier as they will be biased.

If you find any of the above points in your review then we think you should not trust it.

You should combine reading reviews from sites such as air-purifier-reviewsite.com with looking at big retailers like Amazon.com and epinions.com. These big retailers allow their customers to provide reviews and will often cover most air purifiers on the market. You will find that many air purifiers have already been given star ratings at amazon and epinions.

Most sites and blogs will only review that popular purifiers from Oreck, Sharper image, Alen and Honeywell.

We will recommend that new customers should go with the popular brands as its easier to find reviews, parts and replacement filters with ease.

We recommend that you should always look at reviews that test the machine under conditions that you plan to use it.

Guide To Air Purifier Reviews

The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States ranks indoor air pollutants among the top five environmental health risks. Indoor air pollutants include particulate matter such as dust, smoke, pollen, animal hair, tobacco smoke, and cooking stove emissions. The home’s air can also be laden with harmful dust mites, molds, bacteria and viruses as well as the particles they produce. Gases from combustion processes (cooking, vehicles, tobacco) as well as from paints, varnishes, cleaning products and pesticides also contaminate the air. Usually, these products are easily removed by simply allowing fresh air from the exterior (i.e. ventilation). However, ventilation may be constrained by bad weather and external environmental pollution. It is in these cases that air purifiers come in handy. However, air purifiers are of all types. It is important for the customer to be able to effect an Air purifier review on his own in order to be able to make a purchase decision and be satisfied with the product. Air purifier ratings can be made using several clear criteria as follows:

1. Maximum Air Flow Rate

air-flow-room-size

While purchasing an air purifier, the size of the room should be taken into account. Under normal circumstances, the entire air in a given room should go through the purifier at least twice per hour.

2. Cleaning Efficiency

Cleaning Efficiency

This is the efficiency with which the purifier removes particulate matter. Two types of tests are done to quantify this: physical count of particulate matter in the air and Blood Agar Plate test. The consumer can gain access to performance evaluation reports of the air purifier (they can ask the seller) that detail the results of these tests.

3. Life of the filters

hepa-filter

Most air purifiers are based on HEPA filters. HEPA filters, if operating alone, easily clogs up and needs frequent cleaning and replacement. On the other hand, if a pre-filter is present, it can remove the larger particles before the air reaches the HEPA filter, leaving the latter to deal with the smaller molecules. This prolongs the life of the HEPA filter.

4. Cost and availability of Replacement Filters

air-purifier-filters

Before purchasing a purifier consider the cost of replacement filters. If they are too high, your equipment may not be economical enough to run in the long term.