When I am asked "Do ionic air purifiers work " I share how I started using ionic air purifiers in the 1960's for asthma and allergies. So do they work for asthma? NOPE. I wanted help with asthma and allergies to cats, dogs, dust and pollen. In fact it brought on an asthma attack. I'll explain why shortly.
It was in the 1990's that the Sharper Image model (an ionic air purifier) was finally removed from TV for the very reason that caused my asthma attack.
The plates use positive and negative charges to attract pollutants. They just don't work well since most dust and pollen does not have very much electrical charge. The static electricity effect from the plates (which also creates the zapping noise in the Oreck air purifier, often complained about) will attract a little dust. Just not very much.
The washable "plates" in ionic air purifiers can often create dangerous levels of ozone. This created confusion for consumers because most consumers don't understand the difference between ions, ionizers and ozone.
Ionizers are different from ozone machines. While Ionizer plates aren't made intentionally to create ozone some ionizers (because of their design) happen to create ozone.
The other scenario for ionic air purifiers is to remove car and truck fumes from inside your car or home. For that reason you can get a small "plug in the cigarette lighter" ionizer for a small charge ($7-20).