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.)
Lets first look at some of the good points before we tear this machine apart:
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.
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 is 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:
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:
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:
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
- Insecticide dust
- 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!
If you 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 – this unit is no longer on sale.
If you are looking for an air purifier that could replace an ionic air purifier then we can recommend the Levoit Core 300 (it helps that it’s under $100) but be sure to check out the full list of air purifiers we recommend in 2020: