IKEA Just Announced New Curtains That Can Purify The Air In Your House

by Carolyn de Lorenzo
Courtesy of IKEA

It’s not just city-dwellers who can benefit from air purifiers. Given the current rate of pollution worldwide, most indoor spaces can use some help. And now, just in case you thought they couldn’t get any more creative, IKEA is launching actual air-purifying curtains in stores next year that can help give your indoor air quality a major boost. IKEA’s Gunrid curtains can purify your home’s air, and boast some pretty cool technology to do so, according to a recent press release.

Air pollution is pervasive on a global scale, the brand stated in the press release, and is particularly problematic in major cities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 91 percent of the world’s population is exposed to air pollution that exceeds WHO’s guidelines for health and safety. This is why innovations like the Gunrid are critical.

“Besides enabling people to breathe better air at home, we hope that Gunrid will increase people’s awareness of indoor air pollution, inspiring behavioral changes that contribute to a world of clean air,” Lena Pripp-Kovac, Head of Sustainability at Inter IKEA Group, said in the press release. “Gunrid is the first product to use the technology, but the development will give us opportunities for future applications on other textiles.”

Courtesy of IKEA

The Gunrid curtains don’t use special filters or electricity to clean up your air, Tehrene Firman wrote for Well + Good. Instead, the curtains utilizes some pretty unique technology in order to reduce indoor air pollution. A mineral-based photocatalyst is applied to the fabric, and, similar to the natural process of photosynthesis, it gets activated by both indoor and outdoor light, Firman wrote.

While similar versions of the photocatalyst exist elsewhere, according to Jesus Diaz writing for Fast Company, IKEA is the first to design this technology so that it’s activated by indoor light — and not just sunlight. Once activated, the treated Gunrid curtains clear out common indoor air pollutants, such as formaldehyde. “Successful laboratory tests have been carried out to ensure that the photocatalyst coating works and that it is safe,” a company rep told Diaz. “The next step is chamber tests and home tests to confirm that Gunrid efficiently removes volatile organic compounds in a room.”

“For me, it’s important to work on products that solve actual problems and are relevant to people,” Mauricio Affonso, Product Developer at IKEA Range & Supply said in the press release. “Textiles are used across homes, and by enabling a curtain to purify the air, we are creating an affordable and space-saving air purifying solution that also makes the home more beautiful.”

Courtesy of IKEA

While there’s no quick fix when it comes to addressing global air pollution, smaller steps can be taken to ensure that your air quality at home is as safe as possible. IKEA’s Gunrid curtains are one such solution, according to Pripp-Kovac in a press release sent to Bustle. “We know that there is no single solution to solve air pollution. We work long term for positive change, to enable people to live healthier and more sustainable lives.”

And if living healthier and more sustainably also includes chic curtains and adorable, affordable furnishings, then IKEA is clearly on the upswing when it comes to environmental multitasking.