Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier

Updated: Jan 11, 2023 9:22 PM
Filter vs. Filterless Air Purifier

Looking at the differences between a filter vs filterless air purifier can feel intimidating. From air ionizers to ultraviolet light, there is an endless list of purifiers to explore. Starting with comparing a filter and filterless type will give you a better understanding of air purification overall. Once you’re ready to make your decision, make sure you look into the best air purifiers available.


  • A filter-free air purifier can pose a health risk if it produces any level of ozone as a byproduct or as an active cleaning agent.
  • The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America backs HEPA filters as the best for improving air quality and providing relief to allergy and asthma sufferers.
  • Cost is a determining factor for most people since a filter-free air purifier doesn’t require you to buy replacement filters throughout its lifetime.

Comparing Filtered to Filterless Air Purifiers

Comparing a filter vs filterless air purifier means looking into the air cleaning technology involved. Generally, a filterless air purifier will not work as well as a filter purifier. Unless it’s like the one in our AirFree P3000 review, which uses thermodynamic TSS technology. So, several different types of filters exist, however. A HEPA filter is the highest quality you can find and is backed by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Any method of removing airborne pollutants is better than nothing for those with preexisting conditions. While a fan might offer temporary relief, it won’t clean your air. For more information, read our article comparing a fan vs an air purifier. Alternatively, you can check out our comparison of the differences between an air washer vs air purifier to see which would be most beneficial to your needs. And, check out the Clarifion if you want to jump right into a great air purifier now.

Insider Tip

Keep your windows closed while using an air-purifying system, so you aren’t filling your house with outdoor air pollution.

Removal of Airborne Contaminants

Different types of air purifiers cover various air-purifying contaminants. For example, a carbon filter is excellent at removing gaseous pollutants such as cigarette smoke. On the other hand, a HEPA filter will be better for removing dust particles. If dust mites have you down, stick with filter models. A filterless air purifier will not be as effective at removing indoor air pollution as filter-based air purifiers. In this comparison, the filter air purifier is the clear winner. You may be wondering why an air purifier is even necessary, however. Our article comparing fresh air vs an air purifier will reveal the reason why.

For more device comparisons, check out our articles on HEPA vs ionic air purifiers, air purifiers vs ozone generators, UV vs ozone air purifiers, and finally, air purifier vs air cleaner to see which will suit your needs.

Overall Cost and Initial Price Comparison

A filter air purifier will always have a higher overall. Filterless technology removes the need to replace a physical filter. Replacement air filters aren’t a recurring expense, but the cost adds up over the months. But your costs are cut considerably if you find a unit with a filter that lasts over a year, like the one in our Oransi Max review.

On the other hand, you can invest in a washable filter if you still want a filter air purifier. These make all the difference in cutting costs. You can read our IFD filter vs HEPA comparison to see if a washable filter would be something you are interested in. Another consideration is signing up for any lifetime warranty offered for these products. Whichever style you go with, a warranty will always come in handy.

Health Risks of Purification Byproducts

Airborne particles aren’t your only concern. Some filterless air purifiers use ozone as a cleaning agent, while others release the gas as a harmful byproduct. If you choose an ionic purifier, check your unit to ensure it doesn’t release harmful levels of ozone. And, make sure you know how to use your ionic ozone air purifier.

Reasons to Avoid Ozone Generators

Ozone generators can pose a considerable health risk. Ozone gas causes breathing issues and can be especially harmful to allergy sufferers or those with asthma symptoms. Avoid using any filterless air purifier that uses ozone as an active agent or creates it as a byproduct. Whole-house systems that use UV light are a safer alternative.


Avoid having ozone air purifiers in your home because they can cause serious health problems and exacerbate existing conditions.


Are filterless air purifiers safe to use around children and pets?

Yes, a filterless purifier is perfectly safe. There are some filterless models you want to avoid, however. These include any type of air purifier that emits ozone gas. Studies have shown that ozone emissions can cause a multitude of health issues.

How do HEPA air purifiers compare to filterless ionic air purifiers?

An ionic air purifier will perform wonderfully but cannot compare to the powerful air filtration offered by HEPA filters. The HEPA’s mechanical filtration system catches harmful particles as small as 0.3 microns in size

What are the benefits of filterless air purifiers?

Using a filterless purifier means avoiding the additional cost of buying replacement filters. Their quiet operation makes them highly desirable, as well.

Do ionic air purifiers remove the bad odor in my home?

An ionic air purifier can remove odors, including tobacco smoke, mold, cooking, and more. If you need to remove foul smells from your home, an ionic purifier is a fine choice.

STAT: The HEPA filtration market is expected to grow to 455 million USD by 2025. (source)

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