Air Fresheners Simply Mask Odors. These Car Air Purifiers Actually Clean The Air

best car air purifier
Courtesy of Amazon

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, may receive an affiliate commission.

While we all wish that new car smell lasted forever, those drive-through burger runs and post-gym drives start to add up. It doesn’t take long for a new car to smell less than inviting. And while Little Trees are enduring, iconic, and wonderfully inexpensive, they only go so far. That’s because Little Trees, like other air fresheners, don’t get at the root causes of nasty smells.

Fresheners mask odors by producing pleasant smells. Purifiers, on the other hand, reduce bad car smells by actually removing odors from the air. Unlike fresheners, which are scented, purifiers typically have no scent of their own. Rather, they’ll improve the smell by improving the overall air quality. Of course, another benefit to having clean air is that you’re not breathing in as many allergens and bacteria. Additionally, many people have fragrance sensitivities and allergies, and these purifiers won’t inflame those conditions.

There are a few different ways to purify the air. Some devices emit safe levels of ozone to neutralize pollutants. Another approach is to use activated charcoal, which traps moisture and bacteria. If you’re looking to freshen your car and the air you breathe, try one of these car air purifiers.

1. Pure Car Air Purifier

This car air purifier works by emitting a safe level of ozone, which serves to neutralize dust, pollen, and viruses. It can help deodorize smells from cigarette smoke and pets.  To use it, plug it into the car’s 12V cigarette charger. If you usually use that port to charge your phone, don’t worry; the purifier has two fast USB chargers, so you can charge two devices while you purify the air.

Pros: Includes two fast USB charging ports for charging your phone while you purify the air. Effective at reducing pollutants and bad odors from cigarette smoke.

Cons: Can potentially drain the car battery if left plugged in when the car is off.

Pure car air freshener Amazon

2. California Home Goods Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bag

For a more low tech solution, these bags can help purify your car. They may just look like cornhole bags or hacky sacks, but they’re filled with activated charcoal that traps pollutants and odors. They come in a set of four, so you can use one in your car and the others in your home.

Pros: Set of 4, so you can deodorize your home, car, and whatever else. Bamboo fabric bags are reusable and refillable.

Cons: Unlike electronic options, it’s not going to be as effective.

california home goods car air purifier Amazon

3. PURGGO Car Air Freshener

For another charcoal option, this bag has a fabric cord that can be hung around the back of the headrest. Like the other charcoal option, this bag is made from sustainable bamboo. If the effectiveness starts to fade, the charcoal can be “recharged” by leaving the bag out in the sun.

Pros: Hangs around the back of the car headrest for a convenient storage. Constructed from sustainable materials.

Cons: Only comes with one purifier.

Purrgo car air purifier Amazon