The more time I spend at home, the more I feel compelled to create a space that's both cozy and functional. Even though investing in your home's air quality isn't exactly as fun as installing peel-and-stick wallpaper or hanging colorful artwork, making sure you're breathing clean air is an important part of improving your home's atmosphere.
Using an air purifier in your home has a bunch of benefits, especially if you struggle with allergies or asthma like me (curse you, pollen season). Even if you don't experience allergies or asthma, cleansing your space of dirt and mold, especially during bedtime, is something that can still benefit you in the long run. In an effort to truly make home feel like an oasis, POPSUGAR spoke with a couple of experts to learn about the benefits of using an air purifier and why sleeping with one on could improve your health and sleep.
What Does an Air Purifier Do?
"Air purifiers are designed to remove allergens and particles in the air such as dust, pollen, smoke, mold, and animal dander," Lizz Kinyua, MD, a medical consultant at Oh So Spotless, told POPSUGAR. "It's like a vacuum cleaner designed to clean the air instead of the floor. It consists of a filter and fans. The fans suck in the air, the filter traps the allergens, and the air released back into the room is clean and pure." In other words, all of those microscopic bits of dirt that you can't see — but can breathe in — are what an air purifier targets.
Should I Sleep With an Air Purifier On?
The short answer: yes. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) recommends an air purifier during bedtime to promote better breathing while you sleep. "If you are using a portable air purifier, also known as an air cleaner, in your bedroom, AAFA recommends sleeping with it on for a more comfortable environment," explained Kenneth Mendez, CEO and president of the AAFA. "Think of it as doing the extra work of benefiting your health while you sleep. In general, most of your time spent in your bedroom is for rest and sleep. If you work overnights, try running your air purifier while you sleep during the day."
Mendez noted that when using an air purifier during bedtime, it's important to place it in a safe area. "Keep it free of clutter in front and behind the appliance," Mendez told POPSUGAR, as clutter near the machine could not only prevent the ideal circulation of air but could also potentially be a fire hazard.
What Are the Benefits of Using an Air Purifier?
For people with allergies, an air purifier can make a big difference in how comfortable it is to breathe. "An air purifier eliminates common allergens," Dr. Kinyua said. "Using them can reduce nasal congestion, sinus headaches, watery eyes, and sneezing." Mendez agreed, adding that "air purifiers reduce exposure to allergens," and with fewer allergens in the air, you're less likely to have an adverse reaction.
But you don't have to suffer from allergies to benefit from an air purifier. Especially if you live in an apartment building where smells can easily carry from one unit into another, air purifiers can help keep your home clean. "Air purifiers can protect from other sources of indoor air pollution like smoke from cooking, candles, fireplaces, or tobacco," Mendez said.
And air purifiers don't just promote cleaner air, they also have the potential to promote better sleep. "The pink noise produced by some air purifiers has also been proven to be more soothing than white noise," Dr. Kinyua said. "This makes one fall asleep faster, increasing the number of sleeping hours, which promotes health and wellness."
In case you needed another reason to invest in a good air purifier, Dr. Kinyua added that there are skin benefits to using an air purifier, too. "The absence of allergens in the air reduces inflammation of the skin due to contact or allergic dermatitis," she said. "The clean air, therefore, rejuvenates the skin, thus avoiding many skin problems." Cleaner air and cleaner skin? Sign me up.