Buying an air purifier for sleep

We spend more than 90% of our time indoors, most of which is spent sleeping. We spend nearly a third of our lives in our beds! With so much time of our lives spent in our bedrooms, indoor air quality in our bedrooms should be a big concern. In fact, indoor air pollution plays a big part in sleep quality, especially how well and how long we sleep. Read on to learn more.

A person's feet sticking out of a bed

The link between air and sleep quality

Sleep statistics

The average human life expectancy is 79 years. It is estimated that the average human spends about 9,9490 days or 227,760 hours sleeping, equating to around 26 years spent asleep. Additionally, we spend 7 years on average trying to fall asleep. This means that we spend about 33 years (12,045 days) total in bed1! Sleep, by far, is the activity we spend most of our time doing, more than working, screen time, eating, socialising, going to school, and more.

Average amount of time spent in bed

Source 1

Does air quality affect sleep?

It is no surprise that spending 12 to 14 hours (during infancy) and 7 to 8 hours (during adulthood) per day on average in a closed, often poorly ventilated room has an impact on our health2. The link between air quality and sleep has been analysed in multiple scientific studies. The negative impacts of long-term exposure to indoor and outdoor pollution include shorter sleep duration and decreased sleep efficiency. Even short-term elevations in particulate matter (PM) may cause unpleasant symptoms like sore throat, morning headaches, inflamed airways, and respiratory problems like obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Sleep health is severely impacted by many types of air pollutant particles, especially particulate matter, elevated levels of carbon dioxide, and allergens. Stress about air quality may also play a factor in decreasing sleep quality.

A 2020 study found that most people are not exposed to just one type of air pollution but typically multiple types on their homes, usually consisting of a mix of the following:

  • Inhalable particulate matter (PM)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Ozone (O3)

The study found that children who live in areas with higher air pollutant exposure experience habitual snoring (at least three times per week). These symptoms occurred regardless of whether or not there was a family history of snoring, wheezing, or other respiratory problems3. It is estimated that 10% of school-aged children and 15 to 44% of the total population experience sleep problems with this number on the rise due to increasing levels of air pollution and other factors4

Another 2018 study noted an increased incidence of sleep-breathing disorders, sleep-wake transition disorders, disorders of initiating and maintaining sleep, disorders of arousal, disorders of excessive somnolence, and sleep hyperhidrosis amongst children in areas with high levels of air pollution, notably PM2.55

Air pollution-related sleep disorders are not unique to children, however. Adults also experience negative sleep effects as a result of indoor air pollution. Multiple studies report increased incidence of sleep-disordered breathing due to indoor PM2.5 and PM10 exposure, especially sleep apnoea6,7

Is air quality worse in your bedroom?

As mentioned above, the bedroom is where the likelihood that air quality is worse in a bedroom is high. Bedrooms are sealed off all throughout the night (closed windows and likely closed doors), causing stagnant air to form with very little ventilation. Furthermore, despite the fact that there is less polluting activity at night, one study in particular found that air PM levels reach their peak between 9 and 11 PM8

Local solar time vs. PM2.5 levels

Source 8

Outdoor air pollution levels directly impact indoor air pollution levels. These harmful pollutants enter indoor spaces through windows and doors and become trapped. Lack of ventilation and aeration makes it so that these pollutants accumulate which is why indoor spaces are 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor spaces. Certain air pollutants are generated indoors like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other types of chemical pollution that are emitted by new furniture, cigarette and e-cigarette smoke, cleaning products, air fresheners and fragrances, candle burning, and more.

How to improve air quality in your bedroom?

A few methods can be used to improve bedroom air quality. For those suffering from allergies, it helps to not let your pets sleep in your bed. Pets track allergens into the home (like pet hair and dander, dust, pollen, etc.) that may easily become airborne. By keeping them out of your bedroom, it may help reduce the concentration of these allergens where you sleep.

Some tips that may also help include:

  • Keep the bedroom floor, sheets, and the home in general clean
  • Hoover regularly and do not let dust accumulate
  • If you are a smoker, smoke outdoors and never in the bedroom
  • Avoid the use of polluting fragrances, deodorants, aerosols, and cleaning products in the bedroom
  • Ventilate the space by opening bedroom windows and doors first thing in the morning for at least 10 minutes
  • Use an air purifier in the bedroom to protect yourself from indoor air pollution
A girl sleeping next to an Eoleaf AEROPRO 100 air purifier

Benefits of air purifiers for sleep

Improve air quality

The main benefit of purchasing an air purifier is, naturally, improving indoor air quality (IAQ). High-quality air purifiers are of great help in reducing airborne pollutants that cause poor sleep, inability to rest, and other health issues. By trapping and neutralising dangerous substances and gases found in the air, indoor air pollutants and particles like particulate matter (generated by gas stoves, wood for heating, car exhaust, smoke, and more) and gaseous pollutants (chemical pollution like VOCs) pose significantly less of a risk to your health. Dust, pet hair and dander, mould and spores, germs (bacteria and viruses), fine particles, and gas pollutants are all targeted by a high-quality air purifier for sleep.

Minimise allergen and asthma triggers

Another benefit of purchasing an air purifier is reducing allergy and asthma triggers. Allergies and asthma symptoms are often caused by similar sources: airborne pollutants that irritate the respiratory system. Nighttime allergy symptoms may include nasal congestion, nose and throat irritation, and an itchy nose and throat. These symptoms may create further issues like snoring and a heightened risk for sleep-related breathing issues like sleep apnoea. Additionally, exposure to airborne particulates may trigger asthma attacks and other asthma symptoms. The presence of dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mould and other fungi may all contribute to an increased risk of a nocturnal asthma attack.

Get rid of unpleasant odours

Unpleasant odours may easily disturb a sleeping environment. Disruptive scents like those sourced from tobacco smoke, pets, cooking, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and household items may all be persistent, impacting your daily well-being and quality of life. New room fabrics and furniture in a bedroom may emit VOCs like formaldehyde (a known human carcinogen) for up to two years! An air cleaner equipped with odour-fighting technologies like activated carbon filters are great for encouraging better relaxation and rest, neutralising odour-causing molecules and bringing about a fresher smelling sleeping environment.

Increase white noise

Studies have shown white noise to significantly improve sleep quality and duration9. Consistent yet quiet background sounds in the bedroom mask other disruptive sounds in your environment, whether indoor or outdoor, like traffic, voices, or the ticking of a clock that may normally disrupt a person’s sleep. The gentle whirring of an air purifier acts as a white noise machine and reduces these distractions, leading to a soothing environment and encouraging better rest and sleep.

Factors to consider when choosing an air purifier for sleep

HEPA and activated carbon filters

Not all air purifiers are created equal. When combatting fine particles (particulate matter) found in the air, it is important to invest in an air purifier for sleep that will properly remove those particles regardless of their size. Tobacco smoke, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, combustion emissions (wood stoves and gas appliances, vehicle emissions), and mould and mould spores may all fall under the category of ‘fine particles’ and require a filter capable of removing fine and nanoparticles. This is where High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA)-certified filters come in. HEPA-certified filters are third-party tested and proven to remove 99.97% of all pollutants down to 0.3 microns in a single pass; however, in reality, they are able to remove particles that are much smaller, even down to 0.01 microns. Read more about the 0.3 micron barrier here.

HEPA filters do have their limitations. They are incapable of filtering chemical pollution (VOCs) in the air. This is why we always recommend purchasing an air cleaner with multiple, supplementary air filtration technologies. This will ensure the removal of all types of air pollution particles. Activated carbon filters are designed to fight gaseous pollutants and toxins, including VOCs like formaldehyde and unpleasant odours.

Eoleaf devices come equipped with 8 different filtration technologies. All of these technologies are designed to target different types of air pollution particles, providing you with the purest indoor air available.

Noise level

When seeking out an air purifier, make sure that the device is quiet, never exceeding a noise level of 60 dB, even at its fastest fan speed. This is particularly important in bedrooms where a quiet environment is essential in order to not disturb sleepers by the sounds of the device. When installing an air purifier in any bedroom, but especially a baby’s room, the device should be powerful but quiet, serving as a gentle white noise machine when left running on its lowest fan speed (or on Night mode for more modern devices). This will not only protect children’s hearing and auditory development, but it will help babies sleep more soundly as they breathe pollutant-free air throughout the night.

Room size compatibility

An air purifier must be properly sized to your bedroom. Each air cleaner is designed to filter the air in spaces of a maximum size in order to clean the air efficiently and effectively, meaning that you must consider the square footage of your bedroom before making a purchase. Two other metrics to keep in mind when choosing the right device for you are Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) and Air Changes per Hour (ACH). These two characteristics are used to help consumers compare filtration efficiency and power between brands and models. The higher the CADR, the more powerful and efficient the air purifier. In order for an air purifier to be considered efficient, the industry standard for an ACH rating is recommended to be 4 or 5. An ACH rate of 4 or 5 means that the air is completely filtered and replaced in the space 4 or 5 times in one hour.

The Eoleaf difference

Eoleaf air purifiers offer some of the most advanced air purification technologies on the market. With our 8-step filtration method, we ensure that you are breathing pure air in all of your indoor spaces. Breathe easier, sleep better, and feel more at ease with Eoleaf in your home or workplace. With more questions regarding choosing the right device for your needs, reach out to our team of air purification experts or refer to our in-depth Buying Guide.

A little girl sleeping next to an Eoleaf AEROPRO 100 air purifier

Frequently asked questions

How do air purifiers improve sleep quality?

Air purifiers remove airborne pollutants and irritants that may cause or aggravate respiratory conditions like allergies, asthma, and COPD, to name a few. Studies are beginning to show that air pollution is a factor in causing sleep disorders like sleep apnoea, snoring, wheezing, and other sleep-breathing disorders.

What type of air purifier is best for a bedroom?

An air purifier that removes all three of the main types of air pollution is best for a bedroom. It should contain multiple air filtration technologies, two of which should include a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. Furthermore, it should be quiet yet powerful so as not to disturb you whilst you sleep.

Are there air purifiers that are specifically designed for sleep?

More modern air purifiers will come equipped with a Night mode option. This keeps the device running throughout the night at its lowest fan speed and turns off all of the indicator lights. Eoleaf’s devices all come equipped with Night mode.

How does the size of the room affect the choice of an air purifier for sleep?

The size of the room is one of the most important considerations to keep in mind when choosing an air purifier. Air purifiers are built to clean the air in spaces of a maximum size. Be sure that the device is adapted to the room in which you plan to install your air purifier. Eoleaf sizing is as follows:

Can air purifiers help with sleep apnoea?

Obstructive sleep apnoea (also called OSA) is a serious health condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing whilst they are asleep. Sleep apnoea is aggravated by both allergies and air pollution. An air purifier can indeed help remove allergy triggers and air pollution from the air, helping to reduce triggers that may aggravate the condition.

How often should filters be replaced in air purifiers used in bedrooms?

This answer depends upon the model of air purifier. All air purifiers require filter changes, but the frequency at which they are required varies from model to model. Certain models with lower-quality filters require replacements multiple times per year (every three or four months, for example). High-quality filters, like those used in Eoleaf devices, only require one filter change per year.

Are there any health risks associated with using air purifiers during sleep?

The only health risks associated with using an air purifier are associated with poor maintenance. Using an air purifier with a saturated filter may actually release air pollutants back into your air. There are no health risks associated with using an air purifier that has been properly maintained and has had timely filter changes performed.

What features should I look for in an air purifier to use in a bedroom for better sleep?

Be sure that your air purifier contains HEPA-certified filters and an activated carbon filter to ensure that at least two of the three main types of air pollution are removed from your bedroom’s air. However, if you are looking for more thorough air purification, choose a device with even more filtration technologies (like Eoleaf’s devices which offer 8!) and the highest CADR possible.

Can using an air purifier at night help with dry throat or nasal passages?

If you are experiencing symptoms like a dry throat or nasal passages, it is best to invest in a humidifier. Air purifiers do not alter the temperature or humidity levels of your space – in fact, the fibres in air purifier filters are extremely sensitive to drastic changes in temperature and humidity and should not be used in tandem with these devices as they may damage the filter.


1 Curtis, G. (2024, May 15). Our life in numbers: How long we sleep, work & more: Dreams. The Sleep Matters Club. 

2 Strøm‐Tejsen, P., Zukowska, D., Wargocki, P., & Wyon, D. P. (2015). The effects of bedroom air quality on sleep and next‐day performance. Indoor Air, 26(5), 679–686. doi:10.1111/ina.12254 

3 Liu J, Wu T, Liu Q, Wu S, Chen JC. Air pollution exposure and adverse sleep health across the life course: A systematic review. Environ Pollut. 2020 Jul;262:114263. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114263. Epub 2020 Feb 24. PMID: 32443219; PMCID: PMC7877449.

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6 Billings ME, Gold D, Szpiro A, Aaron CP, Jorgensen N, Gassett A, Leary PJ, Kaufman JD, Redline SR. The Association of Ambient Air Pollution with Sleep Apnea: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2019 Mar;16(3):363-370. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201804-248OC. PMID: 30571166; PMCID: PMC6394120.

7 Lappharat S, Taneepanichskul N, Reutrakul S, Chirakalwasan N. Effects of Bedroom Environmental Conditions on the Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. J Clin Sleep Med. 2018 Apr 15;14(4):565-573. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.7046. PMID: 29609708; PMCID: PMC5886434.

8 Manning, M. I., Martin, R. V., Hasenkopf, C., Flasher, J., & Li, C. (2018). Diurnal patterns in global fine particulate matter concentration. Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 5(11), 687–691.

9 Ebben MR, Yan P, Krieger AC. The effects of white noise on sleep and duration in individuals living in a high noise environment in New York City. Sleep Med. 2021 Jul;83:256-259. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2021.03.031. Epub 2021 Apr 6. PMID: 34049045.

Eoleaf's range of air purifiers

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