How Air Purifiers Became the Newest Wellness Craze

Air purifiers are being sold as health devices. But do they work?

EJ Dickson
Published in
9 min readMar 4, 2019


Illustration by Nicole Ginelli

AAdi struggled with eczema for years. At a young age, an allergist told the 30-year-old that he was allergic to house dust. He tried everything — “all the nonsteroidal prescription topical ointments, shots, changes in diet, various moisturizing creams” — to no avail. Then, he started researching air purifiers on Google. “It just makes sense, right?” he says. ”House dust allergy… reduce allergen… air purifier.” He ended up buying an AeraMax air purifier on Amazon. As he put it on Reddit: “Holy cow, did things change.”

“Within a couple hours, the effects were apparent — I was losing that gross ‘wet’ feeling on my skin that comes from inflammation, my itchiness was decreasing, and an overall calmness set upon my skin,” he wrote on Reddit. After a few days, his eczema was continuing to improve. “It’s still early, so we’ll see if I’ll be eating my words in a couple days, but for now, I think I’ve found relief,” he wrote.

There’s growing sentiment that air purifiers are a panacea for conditions as wide ranging as bronchitis and pet allergies to masking pipe tobacco smell in a “man cave.” On the internet, air purifiers are marketed as the new CBD oil, a proposed solution for all health ills. In Facebook mom