Stale cigarette smoke, pet smells, mildew: These odors stubbornly linger despite your best efforts to eradicate them. When standard household cleaners won’t do the job, it’s time to bring in the big guns with the power of an ozone generator. Ozone attacks bad smells at the molecular level, adding an extra oxygen atom to the odor molecule, changing its composition, and eliminating the odor.
These powerful devices don’t just deodorize. Because they also kill harmful bacteria and viruses, they’re also a high-tech cleaning solution for homes, offices, and commercial settings. Read on to learn about features you should consider when shopping for an ozone generator, and discover why our top picks below are some of the best ozone generator models on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Enerzen Commercial Ozone Generator 6,000 mg
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ivation Portable Ozone Generator 600mg/h
- BEST FOR ALLERGIES: Green Air Classic Air Purifier Ozone Generator
- BEST FOR ODORS: OdorStop OS1500 – Ozone Air Purifier
- BEST FOR LARGE SPACES: Airthereal MA10K-PRODIGI Ozone Generator 10,000 mg/hr
- BEST FOR CAR: Alpine Air Commercial Ozone Generator – 6,000 mg/h
- BEST PORTABLE: One Earth Health Ozone Generator Air Purifier
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Ozone Generator
Before you shop for the right ozone generator for your home or office, it’s important to understand the different types of ozone generators on the market and how to operate them safely.
- Ultraviolet: Ultraviolet ozone generators are the least expensive, and least efficient, type. Ultraviolet ozone generators create ozone by splitting oxygen molecules with UV light. These units take comparatively more time and power to create a relatively small amount of ozone. This makes them unsuitable for larger spaces, but good options for small offices, bedrooms, and hotel rooms.
- Corona discharge: Despite their unfortunate name, corona discharge ozone generators are quite powerful. They operate in much the same way as lightning, which splits oxygen molecules with an electric current to create ozone. A corona discharge generator works by creating an electric field on a surface that splits the oxygen molecules in the room into single atoms, which instantly recombine to produce ozone gas. This type of ozone generator is potent and efficient, making it ideal for large environments. The downside is that it creates a significant amount of heat because it requires a lot of energy to create a powerful electric current.
- Cold plasma: Whereas corona discharge uses an electrical current and ultraviolet uses UV rays, this type of ozone generator splits oxygen molecules using cold plasma created from two neon tubes that are adjacent to each other in a sealed chamber. An electrode electrifies the chamber, creating an electric field between the two tubes. Like a corona discharge generator, this electric field splits the oxygen atoms, which recombine to create ozone gas. Unlike corona discharge generators, cold plasma generators create very little heat but produce about the same amount of ozone gas. However, these units are bulky and significantly more expensive than other ozone generators.
- Electrolytic: This type of ozone generator is used for water treatment. Water pumps into the ozone generator, which splits the oxygen molecules in water to create ozone. Unlike chemical treatments, which remain in the water, ozone water treatment dissipates into oxygen, leaving no harmful residue.
Size and Weight
Except for large ozone generators that are used in industrial settings, ozone generators are generally relatively small. Most weigh less than 7 pounds (some weigh as little as 7 ounces) and range in size from wallet-size to about the size of a toaster. Their compact size allows them to fit discreetly in most rooms and even function in smaller spaces such as car interiors. Ozone generators’ small profile means they’re also portable and are easily moved from room to room. Some people travel with them, too; they come in handy if you’re on a business trip and end up in a foul-smelling hotel suite.
Ozone output is measured in milligrams per hour (mg/hr). The higher the output, the larger the space the generator can treat. A quality ozone generator will produce at least 350 mg of ozone per hour, with some industrial-size ozone generators pumping out as much as 12,000 mg/hr.
Lower-output generators are suitable for offices, individual rooms, and other smaller spaces. Commercial settings, such as hotel lobbies, require much larger generators to be effective.
You can also use larger-output generators for a short time in a smaller space to “shock” the area, sanitizing an entire room in less than an hour.
Most ozone generators have a host of features that make operating them safer and easier. An ozone generator should have an output control and a fan that distributes the ozone gas throughout your space. It should also have a timer that enables you to control when the generator turns on and off. Some units have remote controls that allow the user to operate the generator from afar. Multifunction ozone generators have filters for removing dust and allergens from the air.
Portable ozone generators are convenient for home or travel. These small units weigh as little as 7 ounces, with some not much bigger than a smartphone. They are compact, feature ergonomic handles, and can be plugged into standard 115-volt outlets. Portable generators are easily moved around to different rooms in your home or can be used in hotel rooms.
Like many appliances, ozone generators can present serious health risks if they are misused. Ozone gas is a pollutant that is harmful to your health. Exposure to ozone can result in chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and throat irritation. Ozone can also worsen asthma and respiratory infections.
The health risks ozone generators can pose are why it’s essential that you operate them when there is no one around, including pets. Ozone generators have timers so you can program them to turn on and off at specified times, which prevents you from having to reenter your space to shut off the unit manually. After an ozone generator finishes its cycle, it’s important to wait until the ozone dissipates before reentering the space. This usually takes about an hour.
To maintain an ozone generator, you need to clean the ozone plates periodically. Most ozone generators are designed so that users can easily remove the plate or plates inside the unit. By cleaning the plates regularly, you’ll both ensure the generator operates at peak performance and extend the life span of its plates.
Our Top Picks
The following products are among some of the best ozone generators for cleaning and sanitizing the air in your home and are safe to operate when used as directed. Remember, though: Never run an ozone generator in an occupied room.
With its small size and extensive coverage area, this ozone generator is an excellent option for the home or office. It can generate 6,000 mg/hr, making it suitable for larger spaces. It features ceramic ozone plates that last longer than standard metal ones and a stainless-steel filter that is easy to remove and clean.
At just 6.75 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 5.75 inches tall, this unit is about the size of a small box and will sit discreetly in your space. Because it weighs just 5 pounds and has a folding handle, you can carry it easily from room to room. A timer allows you to set treatment cycles of up to three hours long. The Enerzen is housed in a durable aluminum casing.
With its innovative design and low price, this is a great budget ozone generator. Despite its small size—it measures just 10.6 inches by 7.4 inches and weighs 1.5 pounds—this generator puts out an impressive 600 mg/hr, which is enough to clean a small room. It emits ozone through two flexible silicone tubes or two diffuser stones, which can be placed in water or on objects to remove odor.
With these attachments, this ozone generator enables you to freshen and deodorize small rooms, drinking water, fruits and vegetables, and more. A timer allows you to run this unit for up to 30 minutes, and an LCD display makes viewing and controlling this unit easy. This ozone generator also comes with brackets so it can be mounted to the wall.
This triple-threat model from Green Air purifies the air in your home in three different ways: Its UV-light ozone generator eliminates odors, its carbon filter removes allergens, and its ionization function zaps dust particles out of the air.
With its large fan and high output, this unit can handle spaces of up to 3,500 square feet. It includes a remote control for convenient operation and has a built-in timer.
At 15.5 inches by 12.25 inches by 11.25 inches and weighing 12 pounds, this generator is on the larger side. However, its sleek design makes it an attractive addition to a room. Keep in mind that its ionization and filtering functions, though useful, make this one of the more expensive ozone generators.
Drive odors from your home with this powerful ozone generator from OdorStop. It features a powerful 600 mg/hr output and 110 cubic feet per minute fan, making this unit capable of treating a 1,500-square-foot space. Users can customize its on-and-off times by programming the 12-hour timer and twisting the control knob to set the output between 50 and 600 mg/hr.
This rugged generator features aluminum construction and a design that allows you to slide out the ozone plates easily to clean them without disassembling the unit. At 12 inches by 9 inches by 7.5 inches, this unit doesn’t take up much space. It weighs just shy of 10 pounds, so it’s easy to move from room to room.
For large spaces, a few hundred or even a few thousand milligrams per hour of ozone output isn’t going to cut it: You need a bigger ozone generator. With an output of 10,000 mg/hr, this model from Airthereal packs plenty of odor-removing punch to handle commercial spaces up to 2,000 square feet. This unit features a 12/24-hour cycle mode that activates the generator at a set time each day, eliminating the need to set the generator daily.
The Airthereal has five ozone production levels, and a five-speed fan enables you to control the ozone distribution. This unit is 9.3 inches by 7.1 inches by 6.8 inches, weighs less than 7 pounds, and has an easy-to-read LCD display. With its 304-grade stainless-steel construction and rugged handle, this unit can endure being moved around a lot.
Cars have a tendency to trap dirt and dust in their carpeting and upholstery, making them havens for nasty smells that are notoriously difficult to eliminate. When that pine tree air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror isn’t up to the task, call for reinforcements. With its 6,000 mg/hr ozone gas output, this ozone generator from Alpine Air can put an end to offending odors in just a couple of hours.
Weighing just 6 pounds and measuring just 11 inches by 9.7 inches by 8.5 inches, this unit fits easily into your car. It features a two-hour timer, which helps you eradicate lingering odors from the fast-food trash that’s been sitting in the back seat for weeks. A quick-access slot allows you to remove and clean the ceramic ozone plate quickly and easily, and an ergonomic foldable handle makes it easy to carry.
Some hotel rooms can have pretty funky smells, turning a business trip or vacation into an unpleasant experience. Toting a bulky 10-pound ozone generator on the road or flight with you isn’t an option. Sized smaller than a paperback novel, this ozone generator is an excellent alternative. It measures 4 inches by 3.25 inches by 2.25 inches and weighs just 7 ounces.
Despite its diminutive size, this ozone generator can cover about 500 square feet, which is about the size of a large hotel room. The One Earth Health generator has a small fan that distributes the ozone throughout the space, and a 30-minute timer allows you to treat the room while you step out for a bite to eat.
The Advantages of Owning an Ozone Generator
There are many benefits to having an ozone generator in your home. Ozone can quickly break down odors and kill mold and mildew, making it effective at deodorizing basements, bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. An ozone generator can also purify and deodorize drinking water and freshen food, helping to stave off spoilage. These powerful machines can also be used to kill harmful bacteria and viruses.
- Ozone generators can deodorize rooms.
- They kill harmful viruses and bacteria.
- They purify drinking water.
- They keep food fresh longer.
FAQs About Ozone Generators
If you’re unsure about the difference between an ozone generator and an air purifier or want to know how to use an ozone generator safely, read on for answers to those questions and more.
Q. What is the difference between an air purifier and an ozone generator?
An ozone generator creates and releases ozone gas. Ozone sanitizes and cleans the air and objects around it. In comparison, an air purifier uses a filter that traps allergens, pollutants, and other substances before returning the air to the room.
Q. How do you use an ozone generator safely?
To use an ozone generator safely, run it only when the space is unoccupied. Purchase only an ozone generator that has a timer that will shut it off automatically. Ozone needs time to dissipate, so wait one hour after the generator has shut off before reentering the space.
Q. How long do ozone generators last?
The average lifespan of an ozone generator is about three years. Its life span largely depends on how often you use it and how regularly you clean the ozone plates.