I bought this for two main reasons: 1) I have a cat and wanted to see if it was effective in reducing pet dander for my friends with allergies and if the pet odor would diminish 2) I also wanted to see if it would make a difference on my matteress. The results are so much more than I expected. The filter allows you to see what is pulled out of the furniture - and wow - I am still amazed! The amount of my own skin cells, pet dander, dust mites and whatever else that came out of my couch and mattress was enough to convince me to recommend this to everyone that I can. It gets rid of the pet odor as well - a big difference. I've had it for two months and I make it a habit to use it on my couch and mattress when I change the sheets. While I don't have the resources to check and see if bacteria and mites are killed by the light, I do know that I wake up feeling much better. And I have several Verliux products and they all work great - It's a company I trust and I don't trust a lot of companies. I tried the Verilux Happy Light several winters ago and that made me a believer in light therapy. The Cleanwave is very effective, easy to use and easy to clean. If you're on the fence, then I recommend getting it. Gaiam will take it back if you don't like it or if there is a problem. But, I doubt you will want to send it back - it's that great. As a side note - it fluffs my mattress as well. The suction is powerful and I am guessing that pulling all those micro organisims out of the mattress allows it to go back to it's natural shape. I highly recommend this product and encourage everyone to look into light therapy for a number of health reasons.