Buying an air purifier for COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a lung disease that impacts many people around the world. As the third leading cause of death worldwide, its two major causes are smoking and air pollution. Can an air purifier for COPD help ease symptoms and even ward off the disease in polluted areas? Read on to learn more.

An older man coughing into his hand with a blanket over him

COPD and its impact on respiratory health

Definition and overview of COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also referred to as ‘COPD’, ‘emphysema’, or ‘chronic bronchitis’, is a common lung disease mainly caused by smoking and ambient and indoor air pollution. In 2019, it was responsible for 3.2 million deaths worldwide1. Contrary to most other major diseases found in the western world, the prevalence of COPD continues to rise due to an ageing population (most individuals diagnosed with COPD are middle-aged or elderly), an increase in smoking on a global scale, and worsening air quality2.

The main symptoms of COPD include:

  • Chronic cough, sometimes with phlegm and excessive mucus production
  • Wheezing
  • Impaired respiratory function, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Tiredness1

Furthermore, people with COPD are at higher risk of developing other health conditions like:

Buying an air purifier for COPD

  • Filters 99.97% of pollutants and irritants using unique and innovative filtration technologies

  • Real-time air quality data

  • Quiet yet powerful devices (up to 670 m3/hr)

  • Discreet and elegant design

  • Easy to use (equipped with Automatic mode) and does not require installation or assembly

  • Can be placed anywhere in your space thanks to our 360° technology

  • Can be controlled remotely via smartphone app

  • Smart and customisable devices (smart scheduling, automatic power off/on, etc.)


Effects of COPD on breathing

COPD causes airways to become inflamed and damages the air sacs in the lungs. This causes a thickening of the airway walls, causing airflow limitation. This causes structural changes in the lungs and destruction of lung tissue, making it difficult for air to be inhaled and exhaled4.

Diagram of healthy lungs vs lungs with COPD
Source 3

Impact of COPD on daily life

COPD is a preventable, but irreversible, disease that contributes to morbidity and mortality, severely impacts quality of life and ability to perform daily activities, and burdens healthcare systems around the world. Performing simple tasks like walking, climbing stairs, cleaning one’s home, and dressing oneself are laborious and exhausting as a result of breathing difficulties.

Many individuals suffering from COPD experience social isolation, depression, and anxiety due to the daily struggle with everyday activities. Sufferers of COPD often feel self-conscious about their symptoms, like coughing and breathlessness, in social settings, and prefer to stay within the comforts of their homes.

Management and treatment of COPD

Unfortunately, COPD is a chronic, incurable condition. With proper medical care, certain treatment strategies for COPD, like those listed below, may help slow the progression of the disease and alleviate symptoms. The following suggestions may also improve symptoms and quality of life for individuals with COPD:

  • Lifestyle modifications, especially quitting smoking, increasing physical activity, and improving diet
  • The use of inhaled corticosteroids, tablets, and/or short- or long-acting bronchodilators to help relax the airway muscles and reduce inflammation
  • Supplemental oxygen therapy to improve oxygenation of the blood
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation programs that encourage exercise training and education
  • Counselling for psychological and emotional support
  • Using an air purifier to reduce and control the levels of indoor air pollution5

A masked doctor examining a lung X-ray

Benefits of using an air purifier for COPD

Although smoking remains the most critical contributing factor in the development of COPD, 1 in 6 people who are diagnosed with COPD are those who do not smoke and never smoked. One study estimates that 20 to 25% of cases of COPD are caused by indoor air pollution in the home and at work6. Considerable epidemiological evidence has indicated that exposure to indoor air pollution not only impacts all aspects of human health but is a major contributing factor in the development of COPD and aggravation of symptoms in those who already have it.

Reduction of air pollutants and allergens

Household exposure to air pollution, especially allergens, leads to severe acute exacerbations of respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD in both adults and children6,7. Airborne allergens found in indoor air like dust and dust mites, pollen, mould spores, pet dander, and airborne viruses and bacteria at home and at work are all common triggers for COPD sufferers. With a high-quality air purifier, these harmful, irritating particles are removed from your indoor environment, alleviating COPD symptoms and helping to improve respiratory function.

Improvement in respiratory symptoms and overall well-being

For COPD patients, the reduction in airborne irritants and pollutants leads to an improvement in respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. A 2022 study found that cleaner air through the use of a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air)-certified air purifier led to a statistically significant reduction in respiratory symptoms like breathlessness, cough, and sputum production for COPD patients8. Decreasing flare-ups of COPD symptoms through improved air quality leads to improved quality of life and well-being, better sleep, increased energy levels, and a reduced reliance on medication. This is likewise the case for asthma sufferers: the use of a HEPA-certified air purifier helps reduce asthma symptoms including asthma attacks.

Enhanced protection against respiratory infections

As mentioned above, COPD patients are at much higher risk of developing respiratory infections and experiencing compromised lung function due to already weakened immune systems. High-quality air purifiers help reduce the concentration of airborne viruses, bacteria, and pathogens in indoor spaces that may augment the risk of contracting respiratory infections for individuals with COPD. This may include common respiratory illnesses like colds, the flu, and pneumonia.

Reduction of odours and VOCs

In addition to combatting indoor air pollutants like allergens and fine particle pollution (particulate matter or ‘PM’), air purifiers that are equipped with activated carbon filters absorb and neutralise odours (from cigarette smoke, for example), gases, and chemical pollution (like volatile organic compounds or VOCs) from indoor air. This helps ward off flare-ups caused by chemical fumes for COPD patients, further reducing respiratory symptoms and improving overall respiratory health.


How to choose an air purifier for COPD

Filter type and efficiency

When purchasing an air purifier for COPD patients, it is highly recommended to invest in an air cleaner with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are certified by third parties to ensure their efficacy at filtering even the smallest airborne particles down to a size of 0.01 microns with an efficiency of 99.97% in a single pass. HEPA filters remove common allergens like dust, dust mites, pollen, and pet dander from indoor air at home and at work, all of which may serve as aggravators of COPD symptoms.

It is also recommended to purchase an air cleaner with an activated carbon filter. A HEPA filter does not filter chemical pollution like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but an activated carbon filter does. It also removes unpleasant odours and other toxic gases that may worsen COPD symptoms.

Room size and air purifier coverage

The size of the room in which you plan to install an air purifier will determine the model of air purifier that you need to purchase. Air purifiers are built to filter specific room sizes, so be sure to verify the dimensions of the intended space in both homes and professional spaces. Oversized air purifiers may lead to excessive energy consumption, whereas undersized air purifiers may not effectively clean the air. Eoleaf offers devices in three different sizes, ensuring coverage of rooms of all sizes:

We even have an air purifier made for your car to protect you from air pollution on your journeys: the Pure CAR!

Noise levels and energy consumption

For COPD patients, purchasing an air purifier that operates quietly is an important consideration. Make sure that you seek out a device that will not cause disturbances during sleep or other daily activities. Companies that sell air purifiers should always list their noise level specifications for their products, allowing you to compare different models with your needs. Eoleaf devices, for example, never exceed 60 dB even when left running at their fastest fan speed.

Quiet air purifiers for COPD should also be energy-efficient. Investing in an air cleaner that is energy-efficient will reduce electricity costs and minimise environmental impact. Your wallet and the planet will thank you!

Additional features and considerations

There are several additional features that you may want to consider when choosing an air purifier for COPD.

  1. Portability and size: will you need to occasionally move your air purifier from room to room? Make sure your device comes equipped with handles or wheels, like Eoleaf’s devices do.

  2. Ease of use: does your device offer user-friendly controls and smart features, making for seamless use of your air cleaner? Eoleaf’s devices are all compatible with the Tuya Smart smartphone app, allowing you to monitor your air quality, set smart scheduling and programmable timers, and control your air purifier right from your smartphone. Our devices also offer filter replacement indicators, gesture control, and voice commands, providing our customers with hassle-free maintenance and operation!

  3. Warranty and customer support: with so many multinational technology firms (like Dyson) now offering air purification devices, are you able to talk to a human for support if you need it? The Eoleaf team is contactable by chat, email, and phone as easy customer support options, giving you peace of mind when you need assistance with any issues or concerns that may arise. Our products also offer a three-year warranty coverage.

We are available to answer any questions you may have in your efforts to relieve COPD symptoms. Feel free to contact us anytime. We have also developed an in-depth Buying Guide that may help you consider all of the factors necessary before purchasing an air purifier.

Eoleaf's AEROPRO 100 air purifier in a living room

Frequently asked questions

Are air purifiers effective for COPD patients?

Studies have shown air purifiers to be an effective way to alleviate symptoms in COPD patients. By removing airborne air pollutants that irritate the upper airways, an air purifier for COPD may help reduce coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

How often should air purifier filters be replaced for COPD patients?

For those suffering from COPD symptoms, it is absolutely critical to ensure that filters in your air purifier are replaced at regular intervals. All air purifier models are different: lower-quality filters require changing multiple times a year, and high-quality filters (like those offered by Eoleaf) only require filter changes once a year. If filters are not changed regularly but the device continues to be used, this may lead to a release of the pollutants they once trapped into your indoor air, leading to an aggravation of COPD symptoms.

Can air purifiers eliminate all allergens from indoor air for COPD patients?

Eoleaf air purifiers come equipped with medical-grade HEPA H13 filters that guarantee the removal of 99.97% of air pollutants down to a size of 0.01 microns in a single pass. Eoleaf’s devices also come equipped with 7 other filtration technologies, meaning that you can be rest assured that all allergens and air pollutants that may aggravate a COPD patient’s symptoms are properly removed from your indoor air.

Do air purifiers produce a lot of noise, and is it suitable for COPD patients?

It is important to consider noise level before making your purchase of an air purifier. Eoleaf’s AEROPRO 100 and 150 devices have five different fan speeds, but even at their highest speeds, the noise level never exceeds 60 dB. Our devices are quiet and near-silent at their lowest speeds, so you will barely notice their presence in your home or professional space, making them ideal for COPD patients and anyone suffering from respiratory illnesses.

Are there any side effects of using air purifiers for COPD patients?

Eoleaf devices are extremely safe and are constructed and designed using the most advanced air purification technologies on the market. Serving as 2-in-1 devices (both air purifier and ioniser), our devices are certified ozone-free. The only side effects may occur if filters are not changed regularly and the device continues to be used, a practice we strongly recommend against. With a well-maintained Eoleaf device, COPD patients can enjoy clean indoor air and side effect-free usage.

Can air purifiers help reduce the frequency of COPD exacerbations?

Absolutely. One of the main reasons individuals with severe allergies, asthma, COPD, or other respiratory illnesses invest in air purifiers is to remove irritating airborne particles that may aggravate their symptoms from their indoor air. With 8 different filtration technologies, Eoleaf products are designed to do this in spades, helping reduce the frequency of COPD exacerbations and asthma attacks and improve quality of life for respiratory disease sufferers.

Do air purifiers emit ozone, and is it safe for COPD patients?

Eoleaf air purifiers are certified ozone-free. Serving as dual air purifiers-ionisers, our devices do not release any ozone, making them entirely safe for COPD patients.

Can air purifiers help reduce the spread of respiratory infections among COPD patients?

Yes! Our devices are equipped with HEPA-certified filters and UVC sterilisation technologies. These technologies are both designed to combat airborne pathogens like viruses and bacteria that may spread respiratory infections which is why they are so commonly used in hospitals and other medical institutions.


1 World Health Organization. (2023, March 16). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). World Health Organization.

2 Devine JF. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: an overview. Am Health Drug Benefits. 2008 Sep;1(7):34-42. PMID: 25126252; PMCID: PMC4106574.

3 Pulmonary conditions we treat. Dr. Flores Pulmonology. (2017).

4 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) statistics. British Lung Foundation. (2024).

5 NHS. (2023, April 11). Treatment - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) . NHS choices.

6 Mkorombindo, T., Balmes, J. R., Custovic, A., & Dransfield, M. T. (2022). The air we breathe: Respiratory impact of indoor air quality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 205(4), 378–380. doi:10.1164/rccm.202112-2822ed

7 Putcha N, Woo H, McCormack MC, Fawzy A, Romero K, Davis MF, Wise RA, Diette GB, Koehler K, Matsui EC, Hansel NN. Home Dust Allergen Exposure Is Associated with Outcomes among Sensitized Individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2022 Feb 15;205(4):412-420. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202103-0583OC. PMID: 34752729; PMCID: PMC8886951.

8 Hansel NN, Putcha N, Woo H, Peng R, Diette GB, Fawzy A, Wise RA, Romero K, Davis MF, Rule AM, Eakin MN, Breysse PN, McCormack MC, Koehler K. Randomized Clinical Trial of Air Cleaners to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Health: Results of the CLEAN AIR Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2022 Feb 15;205(4):421-430. doi: 10.1164/rccm.202103-0604OC. PMID: 34449285; PMCID: PMC8886948.

Eoleaf's range of air purifiers

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