Ya know, it should have dawned on me. I bought a Sharper Image over a year ago and was pretty happy with it. It’s very quiet, and cleaning it’s a snap. Just pull the blades out and wipe; they get covered with black goop so it’s obviously cleaning something. And I can put my nose up to it and smell the sweet air.
Except that “sweet” smell is ozone. It’s detectable by smell in small quantities, and Sharper Image says the ozone concentration is safe, but Consumer Reports points out the obvious: if you’re buying an air cleaner that outputs ozone, you’re wasting your money. In fact, the report says that some of these ionic purifiers are not any more effective than gravity at removing dust and pollen.
I was getting ready to buy another, too, but I’m putting that purchase on hold while I look into HEPA filters instead.