Wearable air purifiers—do they actually work, and should you buy one?

Have you ever used an air purifier for your home or office? If you ever wanted one that you could take on the go, you can! Wearable air purifiers are becoming increasingly popular, and we're here to talk about them. Read on to learn more about these portable air cleaners.

Wearable air purifiers—do they actually work, and should you buy one?
Wearable air purifiers filter the air you breathe

At a time when COVID-19 is raging and environmental disasters (like forest fires) add to the already existing air pollution, it makes sense to have an interest in wearable air purifiers. After all, regular air purifiers are known to work wonders in homes and offices.

So what about personal air purifiers—the kind you wear? That’s what we’re here to dive into today. Of course, if you’re unfamiliar with air purifiers in general, it won’t hurt to briefly introduce that technology. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

What do regular air purifiers do?

Regular home air purifiers sanitize the air by filtering out pollutants. These can include toxins, dust, allergens, and other irritants. In addition to removing pollutants, air purifiers clean particles as well—though this can vary based on type. While some purifiers capture particles passing through, others simply sanitize the particles without actually filtering them.

There are also other tactics air purifiers utilize. For example, capable devices can emit negative ions to draw in positive ion particles. The purifiers pull particles from the air and neutralize them. There are possible drawbacks in doing this, like ozone emission concerns, but, with responsible use, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Other kinds of pollutants that air purifiers can help with include mold, smoke, and—with the use of negative ion technology—sometimes even viruses.

Wearable air purifiers—do they actually work, and should you buy one?
An example of a regular home air purifier

What are wearable air purifiers?

Now that you’re familiar with regular air purifiers, what exactly is a wearable or personal one? A wearable air purifier is a smaller version of a normal, classic air purifier. They’re typically made to work on or near the face or neck, with the intent of removing anything from airborne pollutants to viruses and bacteria. This, ideally, ensures a cleaner breathing space on the fly.

Not unlike regular air purifiers, wearables can also apply negative ion tech to clean the air—hopefully eliminating germs and contaminants from entering your airways. Still, you should once again consider the ozone risks, too.

What are the benefits of having one?

Living in urban or suburban environments exposes us to harmful pollutants every day. The air we breathe can contain a wide range of bad qualities, from sulfur dioxide to even carbon monoxide. Oftentimes, we don’t even realize that our breathing issues (like asthma, for example) are traceable to these very things.

By reducing the number of toxins we take into our bodies, we increase our chances of a better quality of life. Since we can’t exactly carry around our in-home air purification systems, wearables attempt to provide that same assistance in a smaller, more practical form.

While those prone to respiratory problems and allergies will see the most benefit, anyone can appreciate the improvements to their air intake. If you work in environments that are particularly concerning, it may be worth considering a portable or wearable air purification device.

Do purifiers actually work?

The short and simple answer is . . . mostly. You already read about a variety of benefits, but there are a few other things to consider as well.

Air purification devices generally cover a certain range of space. For example, in a home setting, you’ll likely need one in each room to be effective. If contaminant particles have settled upon surfaces, you’ll again lose effectiveness.

That said, if you clean floors and surfaces regularly, having a device to promote air sanitization will balance things out. Think of it as teamwork.

Wearable purifiers don’t necessarily need to operate beyond a close range since their focus is primarily on the area surrounding your face. They tend to rely more heavily on the negative ion strategy than their dwelling-based siblings do.

There simply isn’t enough data available right now to support some of the stronger claims out there, but, on average, people report seeing positive improvements rather than negative. If you’re worried about air quality, it can’t hurt to give one a try.

What are some purifiers worth checking out?

O2 Flow Electric Face Mask

Among the different wearable air purifiers are mask-style purifiers. The O2 Flow Electric Face Mask covers your face to keep out the bad air out while it provides clean air. It limits moisture buildup and is comfortable for extended use. According to the manufacturer, it can give up to 6 times fresher air—enough that you can even use it during workouts. It also comes with adjustable soft silicone ear loops, which make it easy to sterilize.

You can purchase the O2 Flow Electric Face Mask here for $99.

Wearable air purifiers—do they actually work, and should you buy one?
The 02 Flow Electric Face Mask wearable purifier

ATMOBLUE Wearable Smart Purifier

Another mask-style personal purification system is the ATMOBLUE Wearable Smart Purifier. This device can clean air with up to 99.97% effectiveness. It uses H13 HEPA filters and blocks 99.9% of bacteria. It even helps block pollutants like allergens and smoke. Customizable HEPA caps are swappable for different colors, adding a little personalization. Lastly, its silicone seal stays close enough to your skin to be secure without being uncomfortable.

You can find the ATMOBLUE Wearable Smart Purifier campaign on Indiegogo starting at $119.

The ATMOBLUE Wearable Smart Purifier in action

Quiar Plasma Mini

The Quair Plasma Mini is a wearable purifier that uses both positive and negative ions to snag airborne contaminants from the air and break them down. The device also reduces viral particles to help protect you from getting sick. Even organic compounds, mold, and odors are targeted by it! It comes with different color neck straps and 10-hour battery life. Not too shabby!

You can reserve the Quair Plasma Mini from the Indiegogo campaign page starting at $58.

Wearable air purifiers—do they actually work, and should you buy one?
The Quiar Plasma Mini hangs from the neck

Respiray Wearable Air Purifier

The Respiray Wearable Air Purifier offers an around-the-neck style design and doesn’t cover your face as masks do. It can eliminate 99% of bacteria and viruses using UV-C technology. According to the manufacturer, the product is lab-tested to ensure the device emits zero ozone. And the 265 nm UV-C LEDs used in the purifier are double sealed to prevent anything from escaping. Lastly, it comes with an attachable face shield for when you’re in riskier environments.

The Respiray Wearable Air Purifier is available from the official website for about $355.

The Respiray Wearable Air Purifier has an included face shield

Cherry Ion Personal Air Purifier

One of the most popular wearable air purifiers is the fashionable Cherry Ion Personal Air Purifier. It’s capable of creating up to 3 feet of clean air and comes in five different colors. It runs quietly with up to 12 hours of battery life and charges in under 3 hours. The device also uses a necklace-style design which may be the least intrusive of all of them.

You can find the Cherry Ion Personal Air Purifier on the official website.

Wearable air purifiers—do they actually work, and should you buy one?
The Cherry Ion Personal Air Purifier is a fashionable device

You can’t go wrong trying these out

So the question remains: should you bother? While we can’t say for sure, what we can point out is that air purification systems have a track record of popularity and proven effectiveness. That effectiveness, however, can very much depend on the device you choose.

Every size and style, including the brands that make them, can have its pros and cons, not unlike any other gadget out there. It just comes down to defining your needs and trying out the ones that best suit them.

You don’t need to have allergies or asthma to want to improve your surrounding air quality. These days, there are enough toxins, pollutants, and viruses in the air to be concerned about what you pull into your body as you breathe. It makes sense to take advantage of modern technology to create a cleaner living environment.

While air purification systems have been around for a long time, wearable air purifiers are a newer adaption. However, they continue to improve each year. Now, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you want one that hangs from a strap, sits across your shoulders, or attaches directly to your face, you’ll find one that fits you perfectly.

Overall, it can’t hurt to add another layer of protection and promote healthier living. Go ahead and try out some wearable air purifiers and see for yourself! Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.

Mark is a writer and podcaster who loves technology. When not writing for Gadget Flow, he enjoys passionately working on storytelling projects and exploring the outdoors.
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