The way we were

Last reviewed: May 2011
May 2011 issue cover This article appeared in
May 2011 Consumer Reports Magazine.
Latest on Air purifiers

Air purifiers

Sharper Image's Ionic Breeze
No air purifier alone can relieve asthma and allergy symptoms. But our tests of the Sharper Image's Ionic Breeze (shown) found that it could actually do more harm than good by emitting potentially harmful amounts of ozone. A class-action lawsuit was eventually filed against Sharper Image, and in 2008 the company declared bankruptcy. But that hasn't stopped others from peddling dubious air purifiers. Last year we tested the Andrea, a fan-equipped purifier that supposedly harnesses the filtering power of a houseplant (not included in the $200 price) to "create clean air for your family." But our tests found that it was ineffective at removing common contaminants such as dust, pollen, and smoke. The LightAir IonFlow 50F, which costs $280, was also ineffective.