Do Air Purifiers Help With Nasal Congestion? Find Out Here!

May 7, 2021

Will An Air Purifier Help With My Nasal Congestion?

Disclaimer: The content below is written to share our experience and should not be regarded as medical advice. Please consult your Doctor should you have any questions.

Unfortunately, a few of us suffer from chronic sinus infections and nasal congestion throughout the year, whether this is onset by allergies or you have a lingering cold that keeps coming back and will not budge, this heavy feeling in our heads can become frustrating. 

Air purifiers can help with nasal congestion symptoms if your condition is caused by allergens in the air by filtering out these particles, it can also help with a dry stuffy nose if you are sensitive to airborne particles, but might cause nasal irritation in some people.

Many people get stuck between air purifiers and humidifiers when looking for the best tool to relieve nasal congestion, and you need to ensure you know all the pros and cons of using an air purifier for your nose before buying one so as you can make an informed choice. 

We have gone into some further detail about these purifiers and the effects they can have on your nose below.

Why Do We Get Nasal Congestion? 

First of all, before we can understand whether or not an air purifier will help with nasal congestion, we need to understand why we get this congestion in the first place. 

Healthy nasal passages are typically sinuses that are filled with air, however, sinuses infections can lead to blockage and congestion around the nasal area. The causes of these sinuses becoming blocked are mostly allergens, that's why people with allergies can nasal congestion more often. 

Indoor air quality can be affected by many allergens such as pollen and pet dander which will lead to nasal congestion in the sinuses, this sinus congestion will likely be ongoing and recurrent until the source of the allergy is reduced.

We have listed out some common causes of nasal congestion below -

  • Low or high level of humidity in the air. 
  • Sinuses becoming affected. 
  • Allergens in the air. 
  • Common cold.
  • Food. 
  • Smoke.

Can An Air Purifier Help Me With My Nasal Congestion? 

If you suffer from chronic nasal congestion then you might have an underlying medical condition that will need addressing, however, an air purifier can help ease symptoms of sinus congestion in the meantime, especially if the sinus issues are caused by allergens in the air. 

A high-quality air purifier will be able to filter out allergens in the air such as pollen, which can help ease allergy symptoms such as sneezing and a congested nose or runny nose, this is because the HEPA filter on these air cleaning machines can trap these small particles and re-filter in clean air into your room. 

However, some air purifiers can make nasal congestion worse by lowering or increasing humidity levels, some ozone-generating air purifiers can also cause nasal issues if you are not careful, so you need to make sure are investing in the best purifier for your nose.

Pros & Cons Of Using An Air Purifier For Nasal Congestion 

As we touched on above, using a purifier might help with your nasal congestion if it is related to kinds of allergy, but can also make sinus issues worse by changing humidity in the air and drying out your nose. 

We have listed out the pros and cons of using a purifier for your nose below so as you can see whether or not it will be right for your stuffy nose. 

Advantages Of Using an Air Purifier For Your Nose 

An air purifier has a large number of advantages for your nose if used correctly and can help with sinus pain caused by congestion.

For example, using an air purifier can help you get a night of better sleep and relieve painful sinus pressure which can disrupt sleep quality, an air purifier can additionally help nose pain and open sinus passages from allergies as a purifier will filter out airborne particles in the air. 

Not only does a purifier help with sinus congestion for your nose, but can stop bad odours from disturbing you by filtering the air clean if your current air purifier has a carbon filter. 


  • Better sleep quality. 
  • Remove airborne particles and allergens to relieve allergy symptoms. 
  • Prevents bad odours. 

Disadvantages Of Using an Air Purifier For Your Nose

Although an air purifier can have many benefits for your irritated sinuses, it can do more harm than good in some people. 

An air purifier will inevitably create a drier environment in the air which can cause nose pain in some people, this constant flow of dry air without ventilation can give further nose troubles by causing an imbalance in the air around you that you are breathing in. 

Some regular air filters also generate ozone which is used to eliminate smells in a home and clean the air, this can breed sensitive nasal passages and should not be breathed in at all, only use common air purifiers with HEPA and carbon filters to clean air. 


  • Creates a dry environment. 
  • Messes with moisture balance. 
  • Ozone generation is harmful to your nose and lungs. 

Why Is My Air Purifier Hurting My Nose? 

If you feel as if your purifier might be hurting your nose and making your nasal congestion worse then you might need to change the type of purifier you are using to combat these nasty nasal issues, as well as where you are putting it. 

We have listed out some common points to consider as to why your nose might be hurting from your purifier below so as you can see if you can stop the nasal discomfort. 

  • It's the position - Don't be around your air purifier all day long and never have it placed too close to your body, especially when you are sleeping, as this can dry out your skin and sinuses. 
  • There is high humidity - Changes in moisture in the air can contribute to all kinds of nasal pain and might need to be offset with a dehumidifier. 
  • Dry air - Purifiers do suck moisture from the air, this can cause a dry nose and congested nose over time if you are in a room with your purifier, the best way to combat this would be to use a humidifier with your purifier.
  • High elevation - If you are using your purifier at a high elevation then this could be causing nasal issues without you realising, to try and ease any nasal pain put your purifier to the lowest setting possible.

Air Purifier VS Humidifer For Nasal Congestion 

You might be stuck between the decision of investing in an air purifier to help your nasal congestion or a humidifier, both options can benefit your sinuses in different ways, so we have compared the main respiratory problems below and how each machine can be beneficial. 

For Allergies 

Humidifiers are less suited for tackling allergies as air purifier are, the risk of allergies in the air is still high, as a humidifier does not contain a HEPA filter which traps them, but by adding moisture to the air it might be able to help ease the allergic symptoms you are having. 

Air purifiers on the other hand are the best for tackling allergens in the air and traps them, so in this case, they would be better for your nose.

For Dry Air 

A humidifier can help nasal discomfort caused by dry air by adding moisture and an air purifier will not, as it does not add any moisture to the air and can cause unstable humidity levels sometimes. 

So if you have a scratchy nose or dry nose, a humidifier might be the better option to beat dry air conditions. 

For Respiratory Irritation

A humidifier will be much more effective than an air purifier if you have colds and flu often as it eases the symptoms, an air purifier will only be helpful if any of these irritations or infections are caused by allergies. 

Final Words

Overall, air purifiers can help ease nasal congestion if the symptoms are caused by irritants or allergies in the air, as the filter inside of these machines will trap the irritating particles, however, if your nasal congestion is caused by dry air, using a humidifier or both in conjunction might be more effective in getting rid of your discomfort.

Kirsten Carter
Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.

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