Air purifiers do a lot of good in our lives, so it’s natural to raise the question of whether it can be helpful in our sleep.
Can you sleep with an air purifier on? Does it offer any benefits? Is it safe?
Well, air pollution continues existing when we sleep, so the answer is quite simple. Yes, you can sleep with an air purifier on – it is safe and there are benefits to be experienced by doing so.
To dig a little deeper, let’s look at the two key components of a typical air purifier:
- The filter
- The fan
Essentially, the fan blows air through the filter. This traps contaminants that exist in the air, meaning the air that exits the other side is cleaner. All portable air purifiers perform two functions: they move air and they filter out contaminants. To be effective, they should do these two tasks well.
Though it seems simple, it actually requires expert engineering to ensure this process is completed correctly. Air molecules, and the pollutants within them, move slowly when passing through a filter. As with water, air will take the path of least resistance, meaning it will move towards gaps around the filter if they exist. This undermines the effectiveness of the air purifier, so a high-quality product must be well-sealed so that the fan’s airstream forces air through the filter.
To examine the impact of an air purifier more closely, we need only consider the concept of moving air and filtration. Let’s take a look at what could happen at night.
There are some pervasive myths that it could be dangerous – even fatal – to leave a fan on while you sleep. Just to be clear: there is no evidence of anyone being harmed because they fell asleep with a fan running.
However, there are some things to be aware of about air movement during your sleep. When a fan forces air to move, it can mean moisture evaporates more quickly. This takes heat with it as it evaporates, which can be a fantastic feature in hot and humid conditions – it’s how moving air keeps you cool. But if you have a fan blowing directly on you, it can dry out the tissues in your mouth and nose. The result can be irritation or a worsening of allergies. You may also experience things like muscle soreness and spasms if you get too cold while sleeping.
Another problem with fans is that they may stir up dust and other irritants nearby. A good air purifier should filter this out, but it is something to be mindful of when using an ordinary fan.
The only other thing to note is that fans create noise. The white noise created by fans can actually be relaxing for some as it drowns out ambient noise, but some people will find the constant sound distracting. Generally speaking, there is no difference between using an air purifier when asleep or awake. If you have a sensitivity to dryness, make sure the fan isn’t blowing directly onto your skin.
When people buy an air purifier, they do so to remove contaminants from the air. Pollutants in the home can be harmful, and experts generally agree that cleaning indoor air is a good idea. Polluted air can cause problems in the heart and lungs, and it has been connected to diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other health concerns. It can even lead to sleep apnoea and other things that disturb your sleep.
Furthermore, since we typically sleep for around 8 hours, we do a lots of breathing whilst asleep. Keeping the purifier running at night can help ensure that air you breathe through those hours is clean. All-in-all, there will be no negative impact on your sleep from removing contaminants from the air.
We recommend keeping your air purifier running as much as possible to keep the air in your home clean. If you’re worried about the noise, look for units with variable speeds so you can set them to a slower, quieter setting whenever you need to.