Exposure to unclean air is a pervasive health problem that causes more than 200,000 deaths in the United States each year. There’s not often much you can do about outdoor air pollutants, but many people are turning to filters to improve the air quality in their homes.
One brand that offers to clear up your air is Clarifion, which promises to remove pollutants and the “stuffiness” from your rooms so you can breathe better.
This California-based company claims its discrete air purifier uses negative ions to eliminate all contaminants, bacteria, allergens, dust, and yes, even viruses, within 150 feet of it.
Can these claims be believed? Is Clarifion what you need to keep your household safe from sickness? Learn the answer in our analysis here.
How Does Clarifion Work?
According to the company website, Clarifion air filters contain a high capacity ion generator that works as soon as you plug it into any standard outlet.
A bright LED light will turn on to show you that it’s working. There’s no on button or air filters to replace, and it shouldn’t require any maintenance throughout its three year lifespan.
Clarifion claims that each filter can cover up to 150 square feet, though the company recommends having one per room, especially in bedrooms, bathrooms, and the dining room, living room, and kitchen.
It’s best to place the filters near doors or windows so that they can trap contaminants as soon as they enter the space. You can also use the filters in moving vehicles or RVs, so long as they have standard 110v outlets.
These filters should work to reduce pet and cigarette scents, though they aren’t designed to remove the actual smoke from the room.
How Do Air Ionizers Work?
The Clarifion is an air ion diffuser, which shouldn’t be confused with an air purifier. It works to diffuse negatively charged ions into the surrounding air. These negative ions bond to airborne particles and weighs them down so that they fall onto surfaces where they should be swept or vacuumed up.
Air purifiers, in contrast, typically have a fan that pulls in air and then runs it through a filter that traps particles. While this effectively removes them from your home without coating surfaces, it means that you will need to replace the filters often, which can get expensive.
Key Takeaway: Ionizers like Clarifion make sense for those who want to plug in their purifier and forget about it—no maintenance required. Air filters make more sense for those who want to remove air contaminants entirely and don’t want to follow up with the vacuum after use.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Clarifion?
How effective is an air ionizer like Clarifion, and are there any risks to be aware of? We couldn’t find any clinical research that looked explicitly at Clarifion, but there are studies on the broader impacts of air ionizers.
First, some background. Ions are particles in the air that have either positive or negative charges, based on how many electrons they have.
High levels of positive ions are loosely correlated with negative health consequences like headaches and depression, while negative ions are considered to have soothing, rejuvenating effects.
That’s one of the reasons why people feel refreshed after a thunderstorm—the lightning fills the air with negative ions.
There’s also evidence that negative ions offer protection from illness. One 1994 study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that using a negative ion air cleaning system in a chicken hatchery reduced airborne particles by more than 99% within a minute and reduced rates of salmonella transmission between chicks by 98%.
Research from 2001 also found that negative ions in the air can kill salmonella bacteria, though the ions in the study were released through a targeted aerosol spray.
Furthermore, a 2019 study proved that ions can produce antimicrobial effects, but their effectiveness depends on both the concentration and the bacteria strains being exposed. However, this study was looking at ionizers meant for hospital settings, which are significantly more powerful than what the Clarifion delivers.
Likewise, Clarifion’s claims of cleaning up to 150 feet of airspace likely won’t be a reality outside a lab environment. That’s because the purifier’s location, how long it operates, and your room’s airflow rate will all make a significant difference in the overall effectiveness.
Potential Side Effects
According to a 2005 report from the Consumer’s Union, the risks of using an ion air cleaner might outweigh any benefits.
First, they tend to leave rooms dirtier than before because they deposit a “soot” of trapped pollutants on surfaces, which can further trigger allergies unless you vacuum regularly.
If you get some airflow in the room, those particles might billow up in the air again. You might also see a black buildup on the wall where you have it plugged in as evidence of this soot.
Possibly more alarming, ion air purifiers are known to produce ozone, which is a lung irritant that often triggers asthma. Though most devices designed for home use produce only trace amounts, there’s minimal regulation on these levels, and some brands likely exceed government recommendations.
Since 2009, the California Air Resources Board has banned all devices that create ozone concentrations above 50 parts per billion. Though most ionic purifiers should easily comply with this guideline, this ozone can build up in rooms that are small or poorly ventilated.
This paradoxically can trigger worse breathing problems for asthma or allergy sufferers.
Pricing and Refund Policy
Clarifion sells its air purifiers in package deals where you save money the more you purchase at once. Here are the current pricing options:
- One device: $39.97
- Three devices: $95.91
- Six devices: $149.82
- Ten devices: $199.70
Shipping is free for all purchases. Once you order, expect the package to arrive within two weeks.
All purchases qualify for a 30-day satisfaction guarantee that starts from the day you receive it. If you aren’t happy with the purifier, you can ship it back for a refund minus a 15% restocking fee, or 90% store credit. You will also be responsible for all return shipping charges.
For help with further questions, contact Clarifion at 844-326-7726 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Analysis of Customer Reviews
There are currently 42 reviews for Clarifion on Amazon, averaging four stars. Here’s what customers were saying most often about this product.
- Helped remove stuffiness in rooms
- Great for allergy sufferers
- Takes pet odor out of the air
- Light is too bright for night use in bedrooms
- Didn’t make a difference for some users
- Too expensive for minimal benefits
If you’re looking to keep the air in your home clean, a better choice is a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) purifier, which relies on filters to trap air and can even trap gasses.
In most cases, you’ll pay more upfront for a HEPA system ($100–$200 per unit), and it will require regular filter replacements. For this extra cost, you’re getting an air purifier that works over a large space, and you will be freed from dusting and vacuuming every day it runs.
For those with severe allergies or who are looking for something slightly higher-powered, the Molekule might be a better fit. This device promises to both capture and eliminates air pollutants by turning them into harmless molecules so that there’s zero risk of them bothering you. It claims to purify up to 600 square feet of living space and works in all directions at once, so it doesn’t matter where you place it.
As the Molekule costs $800 for the base device and about $30 per filter, it’s a lot more expensive than the Clarifion or even most HEPA filters. However, it’s a far better option for anyone interested in extreme air purity.
The Bottom Line
The Clarifion air purifier seems to accomplish what it promises—it works to pull dust, bacteria, and even viruses out of the air. However, that’s likely not enough of a selling point for most people for three reasons:
The device leaves all the contaminants in your home on your floor, walls, and other surfaces until you clean them up. Any breeze can add them back to the air. Unless you are on top of your dusting and vacuuming, this can lead to more significant problems for allergy sufferers.
Clarifion’s claims of cleansing the air within 150 feet are likely overly optimistic. You would need a medical-grade device to purify air at that level.
There’s a small but significant risk that it could build up ozone levels, which might have adverse health effects.
There are better ways to purify your air, and we recommend considering one of them instead.