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Where Should I Place My Air Purifier?

Last updated November 17, 2022

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Author
Author avatar Paul Allen

Paul is our go-to-guy for air purifier and dehumidifier reviews. His apartment has become a de facto HouseFresh test lab where he pits the latest clean air technology against the perils of city center life. When he’s not putting a purifier through its paces, Paul likes to endlessly dig through dusty record shops (making his dust-free apartment even more important).

Our verdict:

Finding the right spot for your air purifier can be tricky. In essence, you need to place your purifier somewhere convenient without limiting its airflow. Although popping it in the corner or closet may keep it out of the way, this greatly reduces the purifier’s efficiency. While allowing it enough space to intake and distribute air freely will reap the best rewards. 

 You’ll also notice the best results if you place your unit as close to known pollutants, such as where someone smokes or where odors are rife. This way, the purifier can target polluting particles before they become a nuisance.

Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step in transforming your air quality and purchased an air purifier. Now, like countless others in your position, you’re stumped on where to put it. 

Naturally, you’ll want to find somewhere out of the way so it doesn’t take up too much of your valuable living space. But in order to reap the rewards a purifier can offer, it needs to be strategically placed for it to work at its optimum. 

In this article, we’ll help you figure out the best place to house your purifier and deep dive into why location can make all the difference. 

Where Is the Best Place to Put My Air Purifier?

After buying an air purifier, it’s understandable that you may want to place it somewhere out of sight and out of mind, knowing that it is working away in the background. After all, they aren’t the most decorative appliances and often take up a lot of space. 

But this is where people commonly go astray. By plonking a new purifier in a cupboard or behind a sofa, you can’t expect to experience a raft of changes in your air quality. You’ll need to think carefully about where to put your purifier to see a noticeable difference.  Paying close attention to its airflow and the troublesome pollutants is key. But why? 

1. Consider airflow

Air purifiers work by drawing in vast amounts of air into the unit before filtering out airborne pollutants and redistributing clean air back into the room. This means they need to be placed where they can easily draw in air from all corners of the room. Perhaps the biggest mistake people make is placing their purifier in the corner of a room, pressed against the wall. This results in ineffective airflow and ultimately limited results. 

We recommend you give your unit at least 2 inches (5 cm) of clearance. 

2. Proximity to pollutants 

Many people utilize air purifiers to target specific issues, such as pet allergies or adverse odors. If this is the case, you’ll want to identify the issue and place your purifier as close as possible to the offending source to minimize its effects and maximize clean air. The closer you can place the purifier to the pollutant, the faster it can remove it from your air, reducing triggers and nuisances. 

Air Purifier Placement Around the Home

Various pollutants can affect different spaces, from moldy bathrooms to dusty bedrooms. We’ve covered a few of the most common rooms and pollutants to give you tailored advice.

Where to place your air purifier in the kitchen

Tip 1: Position your purifier close to the contaminant source, such as the stove or garbage.

Tip 2:  If you have a smaller cleaner, try to elevate the unit off the ground, perhaps on a countertop or shelf, to capitalize on changing air currents.

💡 Pro tip: Still looking for a unit for your kitchen? Check out our ranking of the best air purifiers for cooking and kitchen odors.

Where to place your air purifier in the living room 

Tip 1: To help your unit blend into the background without compromising performance, place your purifier near a door or window to benefit from air movement and capture incoming particles without being the centerpiece of a room.

💡 Pro tip: If design aesthetics are important to you, then have a look at our list of the seven most stylish purifiers.

Where to place your air purifier in the bathroom 

Tip 1: Although space is often tight in a bathroom, try to place your air purifier near the source of mold to help capture harmful spores.

Tip 2: It’s advisable to keep the unit off the ground so it can target the warm, humid air that rises. 

💡 Pro tip: Not sure which unit would be the best choice? We’ve highlighted our top air purifiers for bathrooms based on our own home-testing data.

Where to place your air purifier in the bedroom

Tip 1: For a peaceful night’s sleep, you’ll want to place it as far away from the bed as possible to minimize the chances of the sound waking you up.

Tip 2: Smaller quieter units can ideally be placed on top of a nightstand or drawers to filter air directly within your breathing space.

💡 Pro tip: Still shopping for an air purifier for your bedroom? Make sure to choose a quiet air purifier from our latest shortlist.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Air Purifier Placement

For a quick-fire guide to finding the right home for your purifier, follow these ten DO’s and DON’Ts that will have you breathe clean and fresh air in no time.

✅ DO: Know where the air inlet and outlet vents are located.
❌ DON’T: Block either air vents with furniture or bulky belongings.
✅ DO: Place your purifier near known pollutant sources such as mold, dust or odors. 
❌ DON’T: Place your purifier near other large electricals that run on similar wavelengths.
✅ DO: Place smaller purifiers around 3 ft off the ground.
❌ DON’T: Elevate larger or tower purifiers.
✅ DO: Position the air purifier near doorways, vents or passages to maximize airflow.
❌ DON’T: Obstruct pathways through a room or block an exit.
✅ DO: Keep your purifier somewhere convenient. 
❌ DON’T: Push your unit right into the corner or against a wall. 

What Size Air Purifier Do I Need? 

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to air purifiers; you’ll want to ensure that the unit you choose is well-suited to the size of the room in which it will be used. 

Most purifiers will come with a recommended room size rating published by the manufacturer. This measurement allows you to understand a purifier’s capabilities and what air volume it can effectively purify. 

You’ll need a unit with powerful fans and large filters for bigger spaces. Smaller rooms, on the other hand, won’t require as much oomph, as there is less air in the area to clean. 

To ensure your purifier is the optimum size for your space, follow this three-step process.

1. Measure the room in which you plan to use the purifier

As purifiers provide their figures in cubic feet per minute (CFM) you will have to find out the volume of the room.

Volume = room area (length x width) x ceiling height 
i.e 20ft length x 15ft width x 10ft height = 3000 cubic feet

2. Determine the minimum Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) required for your space 

It is recommended that an air purifier should be able to complete four air changes per hour within its designated space. So, by taking the volume of the room and multiplying it by four, you will have the total value required. As CADR is measured in CFM, you can divide your room’s total value by 60 (minutes in an hour) to discover your minimum CADR rating. 

Minimum CADR = room volume x four air changes ÷ 60 minutes
i.e 3000 cubic feet x 4 air changes ÷ 60 minutes = 200 CFM 

3. Assess what purifier is right for your needs

Remember that the CADR rating should be at least two-thirds of the room’s square footage, but you will also need to consider the unit’s physical size and the space available in your room. 

To give you an idea of the range of ‘ideal rooms’ and CADR scores for different air purifiers in the market:

Air PurifierIdeal RoomCADR (CFM / m³/h)
Alen BreatheSmart 75iUp to 1,300 sq. ft.347 CFM (589 m³/h)
IQAir Healthpro PlusUp to 1,125 sq. ft.330 CFM (560 m³/h)
Levoit 600SUp to 635 sq. ft.410 CFM (697 m³/h)
Levoit Core 400SUp to 403 sq. ft. 260 CFM (442 m³/h)
Taotronics AP003Up to 322 sq. ft.226 CFM (384 m³/h)

If you buy a purifier suited to a larger space than required, this won’t adversely affect your air quality. You’ll see results quickly as it can process the volume of air in the space more efficiently. However, you may be paying more for energy bills and initial costs. In contrast, a larger unit will likely take up more of your living space too. 

Also, consider whether you need protection against specific pollutants or require specialized features such as Auto Mode, whisper-quiet fan speeds or a unit that draws little energy before selecting a purifier for your home. 

Final Thoughts 

It may seem like there are lots of rules and regulations stipulating where to place your purifier, especially if you weren’t expecting placement to impact your unit’s efficiency. 

However, these pointers needn’t cause any concern as most follow common sense. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to ensure the purifier can circulate air effectively, placing it strategically in a room to maximize air intake without furniture or walls blocking its air inlet or outlet vents. Next, highlight the pollutants that affect you most and place the purifier nearby to target them directly.