What are negative ions and how to benefit from them

by Vivien Mah    

negative ions- stretching in the morning

You've probably learned about ions in school or heard about them before, but do you know what they are? Below, we answer the frequently asked "what are negative ions?" question that we get from customers.

Read on to find out what negative ions are and how you can benefit from them.

Negative Ions- working on a couch

We’re often tired after work, sometimes exhausted. So we go home wanting to relax and spend more time with our families, usually by watching TV. Some of us go home to do our favourite things, such as browsing the internet or chatting with friends online on our computers. Little do we know that our laptops, desktop computers, and TV screens can cause headaches and further fatigue.

The headache and fatigue doesn't just come from staring at a screen for too long - it also comes from positive ions that electrical appliances such as your computer and TV emit. However, before we delve into the world of positive ions and negative ions, let's discuss what ions actually are.


What are ions?

In short, an ion is a particle with an electric charge, and an ion can be either a negative ion (or anion) or a positive ion (cation). Ions exist all around us in nature and can also be produced through different processes.

Learn more about ions here.

There are positive ions and negative ions all around us.

Positive ions, for example, are generated from electromagnetic fields from computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices. They are also found in polluted air such as cigarette smoke, sulfurous acid gas, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, ozone and other organic compounds. 

Negative ions, on the other hand, are formed naturally in nature (for example, through dissociation of water at a waterfall), or through corona discharge (for example, in an ionic air purifier).


Negative ions vs Positive Ions

There have been numerous studies on positive and negative ions and their effect on our health. The general finding is that positive ions are bad for our health and that negative ions are good.

Positive ions are said to turn into free radicals in the body, which can damage healthy cells by oxidising them. They are associated with an increase in allergies, infections, lethargy, depression, and even anxiety.

Inversely, negative ions have a positive effect on us. They elevate our mood, increase our serotonin levels, improve immunity. If there are enough negative ions in the air, they can also negate the effects of positive ions by attaching to them and removing them from the air. This helps negative ions clean and purify the air.

According to research, the concentration of negative ions is essential for high energy and positive mood at home. Further, a parallel study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found out that negative ion can improve one’s mental performance such as decision making and memory retention.

Therefore, it's clear that it's in our best interest to increase our exposure to negative ions. So, how do we do this exactly?


How to enjoy more negative ions

Go outdoors

Spend more time outside! Negative ions can be found in abundance in nature. The highest concentration of negative ions can be found near moving water and old forests. Think about how amazing it feels to be near a waterfall or a beach, or after a thunderstorm - it's because of all the negative ions that are generated by the water.

Run a shower at home

Create your own waterfall at home by running a hot shower. The falling water mimics the waterfall effect and generates negative ions, making you feel fresh and energised instantly.

Let the fresh air in

Instead of cooping up indoors with all the positive ions from your electrical appliances, open up the windows and let the fresh air (with negative ions) in from your garden!

Use a negative ion generator at home

If you live in a polluted area, it might not be a wise idea to open the windows as you'd only allow more polluted air (and positive ions) in. If that's the case, you'd benefit from getting a negative ion generator, which will produce negative ions indoors to help you clean and purify indoor air.

Negative ions smell and feel like the fresh, clean air from nature, helping you feel energised and calm. User reviews for negative ion generators such as the Ionmax ION401 include that they help to improve breathing, create a fresh feeling indoors, increase energy levels and clean the air effectively.

Use ionic light bulbs

For smaller spaces such as bathrooms, a negative ion generator may not be practical or suitable. However, an ionic light bulb - a light bulb that generates negative ions - are a great way to introduce negative ions into those small spaces. The best thing is that they can be used everywhere around the house!

Ionic light bulbs such as the Ionmax Oxylight generate negative ions while lighting up the room at the same time. By producing negative ions, the ionic light bulb helps to purify and freshen the room - perfect for small closet spaces, bathrooms, and kitchens. The Ionmax Oxylight, in particular, is also energy saving and lasts up to seven years.


How effective are negative ions?

Apart from being asked "what are ions?", another question we often get is "how effective are negative ions?".

Negative ions are very effective at cleaning indoor air and can remove and neutralise allergens, carbon monoxide, and methane, as well as other harmful airborne pollutants. Negative ions can also oxidise, decompose, and destroy odour particles. This process is more efficient than simply masking the smell like air fresheners do. It helps to remove unwanted odours in the home and maintain clean air.

To test this out, we used the Ionmax Oxylights and a regular lightbulb in an experiment using cigarette smoke from four cigarettes in an enclosed chamber.

During the experiment, the Oxylight ionic lightbulbs removed the smoke from their respective chambers within seconds of being switched on.  The normal CFL bulb did not.

Well, seeing is believing, so we thought to include a video of one of our ion generating products - the Ionmax Oxylight - below.

Watch the Ionmax ionic light bulb in action below:




- https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-negative-ions-produce-positive-vibes_b_5a2eca7fe4b00be52e9d4ae2

- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0306261987900365

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6213340/

- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935105801549

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3848581/

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.