Do air purifiers really work?

Specifically, I am asking about such air purifiers such as the iconic breeze. However, I wanted to get something that would help the air quality of my son’s room and possibly something for our living room, since he has bad allergies. I don’t know which ones work the best or work at all. I’m fairly skeptical of most of them, but I don’t know. Any studies of this sort of thing are appreciated.

Consumer Reports reviewed portable room air cleaners in their February 2002 issue. The Sharper Image SI637 Ionic Breeze Quadra Silent Air Purifier came in dead last. Top rated models were Friedrich C-90A, Whirlpool AP45030H0/Kenmore 83355, and Bionaire BAP-1300/Holmes HAP675RC. The highest-rated model scored only into the Very Good range (below excellent).

Check your local public library for the complete review and ratings.

I have the Ionic Breeze (at $350 :eek: ) and I’m not sure if I can really notice a difference under typical circumstances. But it clearly does work. When I pull out the element to clean it, it’s usually coated with a thick layer of gunk and the back of the unit is covered with a thik layer of cat hair.

Anecdote: A few days ago I had a kitchen full of thick smoke from burning something on the stove. I couldn’t open the windows (because it was 20_º outside) so I moved the IB into the kitchen and sat it on the counter top. It did a pretty good job of clearing the air, just like it does on those infomercials where they seal it in a smokey chamber.