The Best Place To Position Your Air Purifier

“Where should I place my air purifier” is a common question people have when getting an air purifier. Does an air purifier’s position affect its performance? Is it best to put an air purifier next to a wall? This post provides a data-backed answer on how to best place your air purifier in your home, classroom, or office space.

1. Best Position for an Air Purifier: Distance From Wall

For purifiers to work best, they need room to take in the air and push it out to the room. If it’s backed up against the wall, it can’t take in as much air.

Can you put air purifier against wall?

So how far from the wall should the purifier be? I decided to put our purifiers to the test. Here’s how:

Where to put air purifier
Where to put air purifier

I ran the test on three Smart Air purifiers. The BlastBlast Mini, and Cannon. Here’s the data averaged out over the 3 air purifiers:

Best place to put air purifier

When the purifier was flat against the wall, the airflow was only about 5%! Moving the air purifier 4 cm from the wall increased the airflow from 5% to 94%. At 10 cm from the wall, airflow was back up to 100% of its normal value.

Keep Your Purifier an iPhone’s Length from the Wall

Since not all air purifiers have exactly the same inlet, a safe bet would be to keep your air purifier inlet at least 15 cm from the wall. 15cm (or just under 6 inches) is the same as the height of an iPhone 11. You can use it (or a similar phone) to make sure your purifier is best placed away from a wall.

keep air purifier at least 15cm or 6 inches from wall - height of iPhone 11

Is it better to sleep next to your air purifier? Does the location of the air purifier in your room matter? To find out, Smart Air did seven overnight tests to see if the air closer to the air purifier is cleaner than other spots in the room.

2. Best Position for an Air Purifier: Location in Room

Does the location of an air purifier in a room matter? Is it better to place the purifier in a location closer to you?

To find out, the Smart Air team placed three Dylos DC1700 pollution particle counters in different spots (and heights) in a room. Then a Smart Air DIY Cannon air purifier was turned on at night, and particle counters tracked the pollution levels throughout the night. The particle counters took turns in each location over the course of multiple nights to account for any variations that might exist between the counters.

In the 15 m2 room, the table was closest to the air purifier, while the sofa was the furthest. Would the location closest to the air purifier have the cleanest air? If so, this could confirm that it is best to put an air purifier as close to you as possible.

Should you sleep next to air purifier? Overnight tests

Differences between locations were TINY. Here’s how much effectiveness deviated from the overall average across the locations:

Should I sleep next to air purifier?

The table, which was closest to the air purifier, had only slightly better air quality compared to the other locations.

If we look at the percentage reductions in particles, the differences between locations were less than 1%.

Should You Sleep Next To Air Purifier

The tests were performed in an enclosed room, with an air purifier suitable for the size of the room (15 m2). Finding the right air purifier with enough power (CADR) for your room size is more important than the position of the purifier. In addition, if you sleep with the air purifier on low, make sure the low setting CADR is enough for your room size.

Bottom Line

As long as your air purifier fits your room size, the location of your air purifier does not matter.

Smart Air

Open Data

As always, I’m making the data and more info on the test methods openly available for all you fellow clean air nerds. You can download the test data here.

P.S. What About Big Spaces?
Of course, results might be different in big rooms, like a big open office. If you want to see results for a bigger area, check out this test I ran with a single purifier cleaning an entire Beijing apartment.

How close does the air purifier need to be from me?

How I Protect Myself

Smart Air is a  certified B Corp committed to combating the myths big companies use to inflate the price of clean air.

Smart Air Paddy

Smart Air provides empirically backed, no-nonsense purifiers and masks, that remove the same particles as the big companies for a fraction of the cost. Only corporations benefit when clean air is a luxury.

Check out the Sqair


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Smart Air is a social enterprise that creates simple, no-nonsense air purifiers and provides free education to protect people’s health from the effects of air pollution. We are proud to be the only certified B-Corp dedicated to fighting air pollution.