Where to place an air purifier in a kitchen – for the fastest and freshest results

Learn where to place your air purifier around your kitchen to maximize its effectiveness

air purifier in modern kitchen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Air purifiers are great devices that remove dust and nasty allergens from the air, essentially cleaning the air you breathe. Placing an air purifier in your kitchen can improve air quality by reducing cooking odors, smoke, and airborne pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Your air purifier's location impacts its ability to pull in air. If placed improperly, such as in corners or tight spaces, the air purifier's intake and exhaust can be blocked, reducing its performance. 

Whilst buying the best air purifier is one way to increase the air quality, by placing your air purifier in strategic locations ensures more pollutants are captured, maintaining a healthier environment in your kitchen. 

Where should you place an air purifier in a kitchen 

Placing an air purifier in the best location within your kitchen is essential for maximizing its efficiency. Here are several strategic spots to consider, along with explanations of why these locations can enhance the performance of your air purifier: 

1. Near Cooking Areas

modern kitchen with marble

(Image credit: Future PLC)

‘The most effective place for an air purifier in the kitchen is near the stove or cooking area,’ says Josh Mitchell, HVAC technician and owner of Air Conditioner Lab. ‘This is because the stove or cooking area is the primary source of smoke, grease, and food odors that can spread throughout your home.’

Positioning the air purifier close to where cooking emissions occur helps capture pollutants at the source before they disperse, enhancing the purifier's effectiveness and preventing them from spreading throughout the kitchen and into other parts of the house.

The ideal placement for your air purifier is on the countertop next to the stove as or on a nearby shelf or on the kitchen island if you have limited countertop space.

Josh Mitchell
Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell is a plumbing expert and HVAC technician and the owner of Air Conditioner Lab and Plumbing Lab.

2. Near your garbage disposal

Trash and compost bins can emit unpleasant odors and harbor bacteria. Positioning the air purifier near these bins helps neutralize bad kitchen smells and quickly reduce airborne bacteria. The best placements are either beside or above the trash and compost bins, ensuring adequate airflow around the unit. 

3. Central Location

If placing the purifier near the stove isn't feasible, another effective spot is a central location where air circulates freely. Placing the air purifier in a central location in the kitchen allows it to draw in air from all directions, ensuring comprehensive air purification throughout the entire space. In a kitchen, this can be tricky due to the lack of really central spaces—you can use an island if you have one for your purifier, but otherwise, you might be limited to counter space.

Alternatively, positioning the air purifier in areas where fresh air can hardly reach it, for instance, right from the window or door, guarantees the air purifying efficiency of the device. This is particularly relevant to spaces like the kitchen since the cross ventilation may impact the effectiveness of the purifier.

4. Near High-Traffic Areas

Kitchens are often high-traffic areas, especially during meal preparation times. Placing an air purifier near entry points or areas where people frequently gather helps capture pollutants stirred up by movement.

One good place to put your air purifier is near the kitchen entrance or the dining area adjacent to the kitchen. This will help clean the air as people move in and out of the kitchen. As air purifiers are relatively small, if it's on a console table or a small cart you can easily move it.

5. By Ventilation Sources

High-quality range hoods with exhaust fans will often have air purifiers built into them, and this is an ideal solution since the air intake is more powerful than most standalone air purifiers and it's also right over the main source of air impurity.

When placing an air purifier near another ventilation source, close to the range hood to capture smoke and fumes. This works better in combination with opening a near a window that is often to further ventilate the kitchen.

6. Away from Obstacles

A modern kitchen with concrete floors

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti / Future)

Asif Bux, Owner of Comfort Union, an HVAC and plumbing company, recommends that air purifiers be installed in a place away from walls, furniture, or any other appliance that may affect their functioning. This ensures that fresh air is drawn into the system and circulated as it is supposed to so that it can function properly.

Place your air purifier in an open space where the intake and output vents are not blocked. On a countertop or shelf with at least a few inches of clearance.

Asif Bux
Asif Bux

Asif Bux proudly leads Comfort Union, a licensed HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical company in Calgary, Alberta. He is a licensed gas fitter with an eclectic background in Chemical Engineering and Business.

7. Close To Pet Areas

Finally, if you have pets and they frequently stay in the kitchen, their dander and hair can pollute indoor air. You can help to eliminate any bacteria or allergens from the air by placing your air purifier near their feeding or resting areas to capture these particles.

The ideal placement in this situation is near pet feeding stations or areas where pets tend to rest. Ensure the air purifier is positioned so that it won’t be easily knocked over by pets.


Should air purifiers be left on all the time?

In short, yes. It is perfectly safe to keep air purifiers on continuously. Air purifiers are great at cleaning the quality of your air and they use minimal amounts of energy to run which means using one won’t prevent you from cutting your energy bills.

Selecting an air purifier with an appropriate size and capacity is crucial for effectively filtering the air in a kitchen environment. Choose a purifier that is designed for the square footage of the kitchen to ensure adequate coverage and efficient air circulation. Models with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are highly recommended for capturing airborne particles, including allergens, dust, and smoke, commonly found in kitchens.

By strategically placing your air purifier in these recommended spots, you can enhance its efficiency in removing pollutants, odors, and airborne particles from your kitchen, creating a healthier and more pleasant environment.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.