Air purifier placement: were to place it for optimal performance

To make the most out of your air purifier, it is important to place it in the right spot. Based on many air purifier manuals, this article covers how to correctly place your air purifier, what to avoid, and how far to place it from walls, furniture, and electrical appliances.

Air purifiers should be placed as close as possible to the source of pollution. If the source is unknown, place the air purifier close to yourself. Additionally, air purifiers should not be obstructed or close to other objects. Therefore, keep it 12 to 14 inches (30 to 35 cm) away from walls, 4 inches (10cm) from other objects, and 6.5 feet (2 meters) from electrical appliances.

The best location for your air purifier

The placement of an air purifier can greatly influence its effectiveness. It needs some space around it to function optimally, and it can remove pollutants more effectively when placed close to the source.

Close to a known pollution source

If you have a specific source of air pollution, you will want to place the air purifier close to that. For example, if the neighbors tend to smoke outside your doorstep, place it to intercept the incoming smoky air.

Another common place of air pollutants is the kitchen. Here, gases and particles from fires from the gas stove or the cooking of certain foods ands oils can pollute the air. You should always turn the extractor hood to its maximum. Next to that, place the air purifier in between the kitchen and the living room to catch any pollutants that are not caught by the extractor hood.

For more information about kitchen air quality, I recommend reading my article:

Other locations that should be ‘guarded’ by an air purifier are:

  • Your pet’s favorite spot. Such as their bed
  • Your cat’s litter box
  • Near a door to the hallway (to intercept incoming poor air)
  • A source of (potential) mold growth

Close to yourself

If you don’t have a specific pollution source, placing the device closer to yourself makes sure you benefit most from the clean air. This means that it is best to move the device around when you are moving yourself. You don’t need to drag it along anywhere you go. However, once you settle in a new location, take the purifier with you.

For example, it is best to place it in the kitchen and dining area when you spend some time cooking and eating. Take it to the couch and tv area when you take some time to relax. When you go to bed, you should also take the air purifier with you.

Some air purifiers come with a special sleep or night mode. You can read more about it in my article: Is it safe to sleep with the air purifier on? (+where to place it)

Air purifiers allow you to relax and not worry about air pollutants.

How to correctly place your air purifier

I have gone through several air purifier manuals to give you a comprehensive list of all the things you need to consider before placing your air purifier.

First, how to place it:

  • Select a firm and flat location for the air purifier. Flimsy or slanted surfaces may result in abnormal noise and vibrations

Second, what places to avoid:

  • Do not place the air purifier outdoors
  • Place away from direct sunlight to prevent overheating which may cause product malfunction or failure
  • Do not place the air purifier below any electrical outlets
  • Don’t place the purifier into wind or draft
  • Do not place the unit near sources of heat such as radiators, fireplaces, and ovens
  • Don’t place the unit near wet areas such as bathrooms or laundry rooms where it may come into contact with water
  • Do not use in excessively humid areas
  • Do not use where combustible gases, vapors, metallic dust, aerosol spray products, or fumes from industrial oil are present
  • Keep 5 ft / 1.5 m away from where oxygen is being administered

Third, ensure proper functioning:

  • Do not place the air purifier closer than 4 inches (10 cm) from another object
  • Make sure none of the grilles and openings are blocked, so air can circulate freely in, out, and around the unit
  • Do not place anything into any opening of the air purifier
  • Don’t sit or place heavy objects on the air purifier
  • Do not plug the product into an electrical outlet or power strip that is being used by several other appliances
  • Use an electrical outlet dedicated to the product

Read on to see my research on how far to place your air purifier away from walls, furniture, and electrical appliances.

Air purifier distances

At what distance to the walls does the air purifier need to be placed?

To find out what distance from the walls and furniture is required for your air purifier, I looked at some of the best-selling air purifiers on amazon. Then I made a table of their specifications based on their user manual’s instructions.

The table below shows the data I have gathered on five air purifiers, including the recommended minimum distance from walls and furniture.

Air purifierRatingDistance from walls and furnitureDevice sizeClean air delivery rate (CADR)Air Changes per Hours (ACH)Maximum room sizeWeight
Levoit Core 300Amazon bestseller HEPA filter #1Allow at least 15 in / 38 cm of clearance on all sides of the purifier8.7 x 8.7 x 14.2 in / 22 x 22 x 36 cm135 cfm / 3.8 m³/min5215 ft² / 20m²7.5 pounds / 3.4kg
Germ Guardian AC4825Amazon bestseller HEPA filter #2At least 1 foot / 30 cm9.25 x 5.5 x 21.5 in / 23.5 x 14 x 54 cmDust (118 cfm / 3.3m³/min pollen 125 cfm / 3.5 m³/min smoke 108 cfm / 3m³/min4167 ft² / 15.5m²8.82 pounds / 4 kg
Levoit LV-H132Amazon bestseller HEPA filter #3Always allow 15 inches (38 cm) of clearance on all sides of the purifier8.5 x 14.5 x 8.5 in / 21.5 x 37 x 21.5 cm69 cfm /
2 m³/min
4129 ft² / 12m²6.49 pounds / 2.9kg
Winix 5500-2Amazons choice4 inch from walls and furniture, 12 – 18 in (30 – 50 cm) of space from electronic appliances14.9 in x 7.8 in x 23.6 in / 38 x 20 x 60 cmDust 243 cfm / 7 m3/min Pollen 246 cfm / 7 m3/min Smoke 232 cfm / 6.5 m3/min4360 ft² / 33.5m²17.6 pounds / 8 kg
Coway Mighty AP1512HHAmazons choice8 in / 20 cm from walls, 12-24 in / 30-60 cm above device, 80 in / 2 m from electronic appliances16.8 x 18.3 x 9.6 in / 42.5 x 46.5 x 24.5 cmDust 246 cfm / 7 m3/min
Pollen 240 cfm / 7 m3/min
Smoke 233 cfm / 6.5 m3/min
5361 ft² / 33.5m²12.3 Pounds / 5.6 kg

Based on the data in this table, it does not seem like there is a clear relationship between the caliber of the purifier and the required distance it needs to be placed from the walls and furniture. This can be seen by the Coway Mighty, as it has the highest CADR ratings and room size, but requires a relatively short distance from walls and furniture.

Therefore, the conclusion we can take from this table is that the required distance is similar for all air purifiers and is approximately 12 – 14 inches / 30 – 35 cm. This is the case because the average of all the distances in this table is 13.5 inches / 34.2 cm.

At what distance from electrical appliances do you need to place your air purifier?

When your air purifier is too close to other electrical appliances, it may cause interference that can harm it or lead to malfunction. Therefore, a safe distance is recommended.

However, not every air purifier manual mentions the need for a distance away from other electrical appliances.

Coway and BlueAir manuals recommend a distance of 6.5 feet (2 meters) away from other appliances. Winix, however, only recommends a 1 to 2 feet (30 to 50 cm) distance.

Because of this large difference, it is likely that the required distance depends heavily on the device. Therefore, I recommend using the 6.5 feet (2 meters) as a distance that is definitely always safe.