Is it safe to sleep with the air purifier on? (+ where to place it)

In order to find out if it is safe to sleep next to a running air purifier, I consulted the manuals of several top-rated air purifiers on the market. Hereby, I found that many air purifiers have several modes that you can use, including a sleep mode.

In addition, I found that the placement of the air purifier makes all the difference in safety during the night.

Running an air purifier in the bedroom during sleep ensures you breathe healthy air all through the night. Shutting down the air purifier would cause a steady increase in air pollutants during the night. With the right placement, it is entirely safe to leave it running. Many air purifiers include a night mode to operate quietly and without lights during the night.

Are air purifiers meant to run at night?

Normally, air purifiers are designed to run constantly. However, they do make some noise, have lights, and require closed windows. Neither of which is ideal when you want to sleep. Therefore, I looked at the manuals of several top-rated air purifiers to find out what options there are.

The following table shows the results of my research:

Air purifierSleep mode (continuous)TimerAuto mode (continuous)Eco mode
Coway Mighty– (replacement: eco mode)1, 4, or 8 hoursFan speed dependent on detected pollution levelsTurns off and on based on pollution levels. Saves energy.
Levoit Core 300Lowest fan speed, dimmed lights2, 4, 6, or 8 hoursFan speed needs to be set manually
Winix 5500-2Lowest fan speed, dimmed lights1, 4, or 8 hoursFan speed dependent on detected pollution levels
BlueAir 300/400Extra silent, low fan speed for nighttimeModerate fan speed for daytime
Dyson pure Hot+CoolNightmode operates on the low fan speed, lights dimmed½, 1, 2, 4, or 8 hoursFan speed dependent on detected pollution levels.Turns off and on based on pollution levels. Saves energy.
Table 1. Air purifier modes

As the table clearly shows, almost all the top-rated air purifiers have a sleep or night mode that tries to reduce sound and dim the lights. This shows they are clearly designed to run all night. They are safe to run all night if you place them in a safe spot. Below, I talk about what is important for the placement of your air purifier.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Do not set a timer for the night

I recommend not using the timer option during the night. This is because you really want the purifier to run continuously. Otherwise, after the timer stops, and the purifier shuts down, pollution levels start to creep up again due to incoming poor air.

What is the safest spot to place the air purifier?

During sleep, you will not be able to intervene or stop the purifier when something does go wrong. Therefore, placing the device in a good spot to prevent any potential problems is recommended.

There are a few things to consider when choosing the best spot. Especially in the bedroom, make sure to place the purifier in such a way that there is no danger of tripping. So make sure the air purifier and its power cord are not in the way when you need to go to the toilet during the night.

On top of that, the purifier needs to be able to run all night without the potential of anything blocking its inlet or outlet. Therefore, make sure no curtains or bedsheets are too close to the air purifier.

Additionally, choose a spot that is:

  • 6.5 feet (2 meters) away from other electrical appliances
  • 12 – 14 inches (30 – 35 cm) away from the walls and furniture
  • at least 4 inches (10cm) from any other objects

If you would like to read more about where to place your air purifier, please read my article:

The benefits of running an air purifier during sleep

The quality of the air you breathe during sleep has an effect on several aspects of sleep. It affects:

  • The time it takes to fall asleep
  • How well you sleep
  • The feeling of sleepiness the next day
  • Your ability to concentrate the next day
  • Symptoms of dryness of nose, throat, and skin

    I wrote an in-depth article about how and why air quality affects our sleep. It includes common pollutants and conditions of the air that affect sleep, the optimal humidity and temperature for sleep, and more. You can find it here:

    Arguments to run or not to run your air purifier during sleep

    Reasons not to run your air purifier during sleep are:

    • Sound from the rotating fan
    • Lights coming from the purifier
    • For optimal performance, you will need to close your windows
    • Energy usage
    • If you do not have a safe spot to place it

    An air purifier with a night mode helps reduce the noise and light. But if you prefer the cool nightly air coming in through your window at night, your air purifier will not be as effective.

    Reasons to run your air purifier during sleep:

    • Continuous running of the air purifier provides the cleanest air because pollution builds up to normal levels when the purifier is not running.
    • The sound coming from the rotating fan of the purifier can block out noise coming from outside.

    Clean air affects your sleep quality

    The quality of the air in your bedroom has a significant effect on your sleep. It affects how easily you fall asleep, the quality of your sleep and how you feel the next day.

    I wrote an article on how different aspects of air quality such as temperature and air pollution affect your sleep. this article also includes many tips and recommendations on how to improve your sleep. You can find it here: Does air quality affect sleep? Yes, here’s how.