Skip to content
Woman lying back on her orange couch in her home with her feet propped up on an air purifier

Do Air Purifiers Help with Dust?

With indoor air pollutants like dust, pet hair, and allergens filling your home and creating hazardous air to breathe, it’s no wonder why people are turning to air purifiers for a solution. But do air purifiers get rid of dust and other particles?

Given that 90% of Americans spend more time indoors than outdoors, an air purifier can be one of your best tools for breathing fresh air. They are proven to be very effective at capturing airborne particles like dust and preventing them from spreading throughout your home.

In this article, we’ll dive into what makes up dust and why it's not good for your health, how air purifiers work to understand their effectiveness, and how to choose the best air purifier for dust removal.

What is Dust and Why is it Problematic for Your Health?

Household dust is a mixture of tiny particles like dirt, dead skin cells, pet hair, and pollen. It can be found all throughout your home, and can easily enter through open windows and doors or attach itself to clothing and pets.

Dust particles are tiny and lightweight. They can be suspended in the air for long periods of time until you ingest them. Once inside the body, dust can cause a number of health problems, from respiratory issues to severe sneezing, as well as allergies and difficulty breathing for asthma sufferers. Dust isn’t something to take lightly, and better off removed than left alone.

But what about dust mites? According to the American Lung Association, dust mites’ body parts and droppings are considered one of the major indoor triggers for people with allergies and asthma. Dust mites feed on dead skin cells found in dust particles and their droppings are what causes the irritation. An air purifier can be a great tool for removing the dust they feed on to limit exposure.

Young girl blowing her nose from allergies caused by dust and dust mites

How Do Air Purifiers Help with Dust?

Removing dust from any space is an uphill battle. Household dust is a common problem in the majority of homes and it can be the root cause of allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

But to understand how air purifiers help with dust, you need to first understand how they work to sanitize the air.

The majority of air purifiers remove dust by using a fan to pull air in and trap the particles with a built-in filter before they can settle on surfaces in your home. Capturing these dust particles before they embed in your carpet, walls, and furniture is key to preventing build-up. Leading to a much cleaner and healthier environment in which to live.

But not all air purifiers are great at removing dust and depending on the type of air purifier you purchase, some will be more effective than others.

4 Types of Dust Air Purifiers to Consider

There are several different types of air purifiers on the market that claim to help with dust; each with its unique features and benefits. Below we’ve outlined the four most popular types you’ll encounter in your search:

  • HEPA Air Purifiers: These purifiers use a high-efficiency particulate air filter to remove up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. This includes dust, dust mites, allergens, pollen, and more.
  • Ionic Air Purifiers: These purifiers use ionization to negatively charge particles in the air, causing them to become attracted and stick to various surfaces in the room.
  • UV Air Purifiers: These purifiers use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms like dust mites in the air.
  • Activated Carbon Purifiers: These purifiers use pounds of densely packed activated carbon to soak in odors, chemicals, VOCs, and fragrances in the air.

One thing to note, depending on the complexity of the problem you’re looking to solve, it’s not uncommon to have an air purifier with multiple filter types in one. For example, an air purifier can be outfitted with a HEPA filter to capture dust and pet dander, while also utilizing an activated carbon filter to get rid of pet smells.

HEPA air filter replacement

Choosing the Right Air Purifier for Dust

Before purchasing an air purifier, it’s important to consider what you’ll be using it for. In the case of household dust and other large particles, HEPA air purifiers are typically the most effective. HEPA air filters are constructed with a very fine web of fibers to trap particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. A dust particle is typically between 5 microns or less, so a HEPA filter is perfect for dust.

On the other hand, Ionic and UV air purifiers are less expensive options but they don’t do a great job of removing dust. An ionic air purifier doesn’t remove dust at all, it emits negative ions to push dust particles out of the air and on to various surfaces throughout your home. UV air purifiers serve a different purpose. They use UV light to vaporize bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms like dust mites but they don’t help with removing dust particles from the air.

You’ll also come across activated carbon filters in your search. Activated carbon air purifiers don’t capture dust either. The carbon is utilized to soak in harmful smells, chemicals, and gases from lingering in the air to better protect your health.

If your main goal is to get an air purifier to help with dust, then a HEPA air purifier is going to get the job done best. Once you’ve determined the appropriate air purifier, you’ll want to ensure it has the strength to service the square footage of the room you need it to clean.

Pro Tip: Air purifiers are made to service one room, not multiple rooms or a whole home. When choosing the right air purifier, make sure to get one that’s rated to service an area at least 1.5x the square footage you need. This will allow it to cycle air much more quickly and efficiently leading to a cleaner space.


An air purifier can be a very effective tool for reducing dust in your home. By capturing dust particles in the air and preventing them from building up on various surfaces it can be a big help in letting you live a happier and healthier existence.

However, it’s important to remember that while air purifiers can greatly improve indoor air quality, regular cleaning and dusting are still necessary to maintain a clean home. Unfortunately, there’s no substitute for a little bit of elbow grease in keeping your house in tip-top shape. But an air purifier will certainly help in making it a loss less grueling. :-)

Want to purchase a HEPA air purifier for dust, but don’t know which one to get? Check out our updated list of the best air purifiers to find the right fit for you.

Still, have questions? Speak with our team of world-class air purifier experts at (877) 791-8083 or shoot us an email at and we’d be happy to help.

Read Next:

Previous article Do Air Purifiers Help with Cat Smell?