Air cleaner vs Air purifier

Words often aren’t credited enough. Each word has it’s own meaning. There might be synonyms but still, at certain places even synonyms can be misleading. A prime example would be this article.

At first glance, to a normal citizen, an air cleaner and an air purifier must seem like words that can be interchanged and played around with. That’s not the case. While their functional use is quite similar, they are still two different kind of products.

The best way to understand their difference is by comparing it to another set of common household appliance. Let’s take the example of a cooler and an air conditioner.

Air Cleaner vs Air purifier - comparison

The underlying purpose of both these appliances is to create a cooler atmosphere, wherever they are installed. But they both don’t function the same way.

They fulfil their objective by different means and hence, are classified into two separate product categories. Now the relationship between an air purifier and an air cleaner is very similar in nature.

The objective of both these appliances is to create an environment where clean, breathable air thrives, free of germs, dust particles, bacteria and other pollutants. How they ensure this however, is a different issue altogether. That proves to be the basis of their differentiation.

Air cleaner Air purifier
●       Particularly efficient in cleaning dust particles and other tangible pollutants. ●       Better suited to deal with both: visible and invisible pollutants


●       Makes a lot of noise while in operation. ●       Doesn’t make too much noise, therefore has much smoother operations.


●       Quite expensive to operate in terms of energy consumption. ●       Relatively cheaper as they are more energy efficient.


●       Generally employs only HEPA filtration systems. ●       Comes in different forms of purification systems. Eg: HEPA air purification, ionizer, active carbon etc.

By now you must have understand the primary differences between these two similar and yet, not-so-similar household appliances. Get one thing straight, the purpose of comparing these two appliances is not to undermine any one of them.

The idea is to facilitate comparison and make the entire process simpler. At the end of the day, what you purchase depends on your needs, budget constraints and likes/dislikes. It’s always better to be an informed customer and that’s why reading up on such issues is always beneficial to one.

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