Air Purifier vs. Air Scrubber: What’s the Difference?

If you’re considering buying an air purifier vs. air scrubber to improve the air quality around you, read this article to learn the differences between the two.

Have you recently been contemplating getting an air purification device that will improve your breathing, sleeping, and just overall indoor air quality? Maybe you’ve searched online or asked around and got two very good recommendations: air purifiers and air scrubbers. 

Now, you may be wondering, what’s the difference? If they’re both used to clean indoor air, you should be able to pick either one, right? Well, although both of these devices are very effective and will most definitely improve the air quality indoors, there are some very distinct differences in how they perform and what purpose they are used for. So keep on reading to find out all you need to know about air purifiers vs. air scrubbers, and hopefully, you’ll find your answer. 

Air Purifier: What Is It and How Does It Work?


An air purifier is a portable device that is used to clean the air inside your home, and it does this by combining an internal fan and filter that gather all the unwanted air particles and release clean, purified air back into the space. This process of air filtering takes place repeatedly several times an hour, and it eventually boosts the air quality of your home. There are different models and brands of air purifiers, but most of them come with incredible features, such as their own app, which tells you when it is time to change/clean the air purifier’s filters.

Air purifiers pull in air particles like dust, debris, or pollen, which is why it is highly recommended that people with asthma or allergies purchase one to improve their health and reduce irritability. The best air purifiers are the ones with typical or true HEPA (high efficiency particulate absorbing) filters. These amazing filters can and will gather up to 99% air particles including, but not limited to, mold spores.

Pros of an air purifier:

  • Improves sleep quality
  • Can help you breathe better
  • Improves your skin health
  • Quiet operation
  • High efficiency
  • Protects your house from mold
  • Can filter out mold and mildew odors
  • Can improve the quality and effectiveness of your beauty products from the lack of bacteria
  • Prevents allergies and mold/mildew
  • Can clear the air of cigarette smoke
  • It is energy efficient

Cons of an air purifier:

  • Depending on the model, they can be expensive
  • Filters require replacement 
  • Some models may not be able to catch all the unwanted air particles
  • They need to be cleaned regularly for maximum effectiveness
  • Some air purifier models can be noisy

Air Scrubber: What Is It and How Does It Work?


Staying true to their name, air scrubbers will scrub the unwanted air pollutants from healthy indoor air. They are mostly for industrial use: construction sites or any other job that releases a lot of irritable air particles that need to be removed. An air scrubber is used to clear the air from industrial gasses and other air pollutants; a great example would be removing sulfur from a power plant system. 

They are equipped either with carbon or HEPA filters in order to help them do their job more effectively. Since they are built for industrial use, air scrubbers are extremely durable and they filter the air down to 0.3 microns. They also often use negative ions that can attach themselves to surfaces and air particles, which makes them easier to clean up.

Pros of an air scrubber:

  • They reduce contaminants that are transferred to indoor surfaces
  • They remove unwanted odors
  • They are great for people with allergies and asthma as they will pull dust, pollen, and mold particles
  • If you connect your air scrubber to your HVAC system, it will extend its longevity
  • Some air scrubber models do not come with filters, which means you won’t need to replace them from time to time
  • They clean more than air particles, they can clean surface particles as well
  • Great for using in larger spaces such as healthcare facilities or construction sites
  • They operate quietly 

Cons of an air scrubber:

  • Depending on the model, they are a bit more expensive than air purifiers
  • Some particles that have been pulled from surfaces might stick so you will need to vacuum or mop them away
  • If you purchase an air scrubber with HEPA filters, you’ll need to replace them from time to time
  • If set at the highest settings, some air scrubber models can be noisy

What’s the Difference Between an Air Purifier and an Air Scrubber?


Although both air purifiers and air scrubbers are used to improve indoor air quality, there are some differences between them. Both of these devices are impeccable at cleaning indoor air, however, you will find that they differ in cleaning specific air pollutants, which is why you need to pick the one that’s going to best serve your needs.

The main difference between air purifiers and air scrubbers is where they take the air pollutants from. Air purifiers only gather air particles, such as dust, debris, mold spores, and pollen, so they’re highly effective in cleaning indoor air. On the other hand, air scrubbers gather both air and surface particles, including but not limited to chemicals, gasses, dust, pollen, and mold spores. 

Air purifiers are mostly used in indoor homes or offices and they are a favorite by people who suffer from allergies or asthma. The true HEPA filters on air purifiers can improve sleep quality and help you breathe better. Similarly, air scrubbers also have the same health benefits in terms of improving indoor air quality and being helpful to people with allergies and asthma. However, air scrubbers are mostly found in workplaces with chemicals and gasses involved, so they’re more durable and they can clear both air and surface particles.

Air Purifier vs. Air Scrubber: Which One Should You Choose?


Choosing between an air purifier and an air scrubber shouldn’t be a hard decision if one knows what purpose they need an air cleaning device for. As we’ve mentioned above, both of these air purification devices do their respective jobs effectively, they are worth purchasing for improvement of the indoor air quality, and they are equally efficient. 

However, if you’re looking for an air filtering device either for your allergies, mold prevention, cigarette smoke, or you just want to have healthy air as you walk around your home, we suggest you purchase an air purifier. Air purifiers operate quietly and they’re low maintenance, they filter the air several times every hour, and they will definitely improve your breathing and sleep quality. In addition to that, they have become so popular that the wide range of designs is such that they can harmoniously fit in any home.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more durable air filtering device that will not only clean your indoor air but also scrub unwanted particles off surfaces such as floors, counters, and tables, then we suggest you purchase an air scrubber. Air scrubbers are particularly effective for use in work environments that deal with industrial gasses or chemicals. In addition to that, they’re also great for mold prevention, and for people with allergies, and will most definitely improve the air quality indoors. However, since they are more appropriate for industrial use, generally their design is such to fit that environment more than a home.

The Bottom Line

Have you made your decision yet? What seems clear is that if you want to improve the air quality of a space, you can’t go wrong with either of the options. The questions you need to ask yourself are: where am I going to use it and what do I need it to do? If you are the average person who wants to improve the indoor air quality of your home, then an air purifier can become your best friend. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts