The Important Difference Between HEPA Filters and Air Ionizers You Probably Don’t Know About

better than hepa filter filterqueen medifilter

With the pandemic wearing on and seasonal allergies on the rise, maybe you’re ready to invest in a good air purifier. You see the benefits of improving your health at home or work, and it’s time to give yourself added protection in your space. But you’re overwhelmed with the options as you research. How do you know the best type or which one to get?

You want to check off everything on your list, which reflects your personal situation. For example, if you’ve got loved ones with allergies or pets at home, you’ll want to make sure you buy an air purifier that captures larger particles. Most of us are looking for a device that removes the SARS-CoV-2 virus also!

You may be wondering about ionic purifiers or air ionizers.

As an industry leader since 1928, FilterQueen has been part of the revolution of improving indoor air quality. We don't use air ionizers for good reason. It’s so important, we’re dedicating an entire blog to shed light on this controversial purification method. When you know more, you can make an informed decision for yourself and your family!

Read on to learn more about how air purifier ionizers work and why they should never be used around people. We’ll also share facts about our proprietary technology — that’s been working for decades.

How Air Ionizers Work & Their Negative Drawbacks

How do air ionizers work? Simply put, they emit electrically-charged ions, which stick to impurities floating around in the air. Once these ions attach to whatever you want to eliminate from your indoor space (odors, toxins, viruses, bacteria, etc.), they become too heavy to stay airborne and fall. They drop onto the walls, floors, countertops, beds, and other surfaces…

Gross, right? Depending on the specific device you get, you’ll have to wipe up or vacuum these particles manually. Of course, those activities will send many of those particles right back into the air! Talk about solving one problem while making an arguably bigger mess! No thanks. So that’s our number 2 reason why we don’t like them. 

Oh, our number one reason why we don’t like air ionizers? They produce ozone.

What’s ozone? 3 oxygen molecules. The oxygen we breathe is made up of 2 oxygen molecules, vital for life. This third molecule is like a mutation and attaches to other particles in the air and alters them chemically (not good!). Ozone specifically produces lung irritation and is harmful to the environment.1,2

Negative Health Effects of Ozone Include:2

  • Decrease in Lung Function
  • Worsening Asthma Symptoms
  • Throat Irritation
  • Cough
  • And More

woman sick

You can read the full list and other risk factors from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) here. Our main issue with air ionizing devices? They remove some harmful particles from the air (like viruses) — and then put something just as bad (or worse) back into your environment! We don’t think that makes sense. Do you?

Unfortunately, most people who buy air ionizers have no idea about the negative health effects of ozone or its efficiency. One recent study states that air ionizers are limited in managing indoor air quality because of their effectiveness and creating toxic by-products, like ozone.3

Let’s look into air filters now and how they’re different.

How HEPA & FilterQueen’s Filters Work Differently

Instead of emitting ions into the air, HEPA filters work by trapping unwanted pollutants. Air passes through the device, particles become trapped in the filter, and fresher air is put back into your space. HEPA filters never produce ozone because it’s a completely different approach to removing toxins from the air.

While HEPA filters are widely used and respected, we understand their limitations. At FilterQueen, we’ve spent decades perfecting this type of particle-removal technology — and it shows. We’re proud to share that:

Our filter is 3x better than the standard HEPA!

We’re not a fan of air ionizers because they produce ozone, a commonly understood contaminant in our industry. Because we deeply care about improving our customers’ health and well-being, we go above and beyond in everything we do. We invest time and money to research and implement the best filtration methods. Our filter is like none other on the market.

HEPA is the industry standard when it comes to filters, and removes 99.97% of airborne pollutants at 0.3 micron. (Pretty great, don’t get us wrong.) Our Medi-Filter Cartridge removes 99.99% down to 0.1 micron.

(Read more about independent testing results here.) With our filter, you won’t have to worry about particle size or weight (or contaminants ending up on your walls!).

The Defender Effectively Traps:

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Mold Spores
  • Pollen
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Unwanted Odors

No matter the reason you’re looking for an air purifier, FilterQueen’s got you covered. Our state-of-the-art technology will drastically improve your indoor air quality by removing the most harmful pollutants — with ease. Let’s explore other reasons we believe our air purifier is the best investment for you.

The Defender Has Unmatched Features You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

When you’re investing in your quality of life by improving the air you breathe, you want to know all the other benefits you’ll get, right? Clean air is obviously number one, but there are so many reasons to love this air purifier…

Enviropure Charcoal Wrap

Crafted with High-Efficiency Gas Absorption (HEGA) material, this filter cleans the air in your space of harmful toxins, like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and unwanted odors, like smoke.


Weighing under 13 lbs, moving the Defender is easy! Whether you’re toting it from the family room to the playroom, or taking it to work with you, this lightweight purifier is perfect for our on-the-go lifestyles.

No UV Light

Unlike other air purifiers, we don’t use UV light to remove impurities. UV light can also produce ozone, and it’s an ineffective and costly purification method. No worries about that here! The EPA, in their landmark 74-page study on air purifier technology, concluded that UV technology in an air cleaner is ineffective, costly, and potentially dangerous!  See their study here.

24-Hour Operation

When you want fresh, clean air, you want it all the time. But you don’t want to worry about your machine overheating or breaking down if you run it constantly. Our Defender was made to run quietly on all settings, 24 hours a day, for your total peace of mind.

Trusted Company

FilterQueen, located in Ohio, has been in business since 1928. For nearly a century, helping people live healthier lives has been our mission. We take our customer service and care to the next level. Trusted by millions worldwide, we have satisfied customers around the globe.

LIFETIME Perpetual Warranty

Every Defender comes with our LIFETIME perpetual warranty. Health-Mor is the manufacturer for FilterQueen and takes pride in providing our customers with reliable, world-class products.

Rely on FilterQueen and The Defender to Improve Your Air Quality!

We sincerely hope you’re feeling empowered with new knowledge about how different air purifiers work (and don’t work). Our intention is to shed a little more light on the difference between an air ionizer, a standard HEPA filter, and our advanced version of a HEPA filter — so you can make an informed decision.

Do your research, look for research-backed claims, and consider how long the company’s been around while you shop. Explore our site for more information, and please contact us with specific questions. Or, if you’re ready, get started with the Defender risk-free with our lifetime perpetual warranty!

We know you’ll notice a difference in how you feel. Breathe a little easier with FilterQueen.