We’re all in a place where we’d like to know more about the air that we breathe every day, and nowhere is it more important to take care of what we are putting into our bodies than at home. Although pollution, dust, pet dander, allergens and germs are an unfortunate part of everyday life, air purifiers promise to reduce the amount of unwanted spores and pollutants in the air around us.
They do this by filtering the air in a space, often through several layers of filtration, and pushing out cleaner, less harmful air. This can mean anything from less dust, to pet hair and smoke being eliminated from your environment.
In an effort to help you choose the best air purifier for your home, we’ve looked at some of the leading products available right now. Whether you’re looking for a stylish purifier that will blend in with your carefully-chosen décor, a machine quiet enough to sleep to, or something more eco-friendly, we’ve looked into a range of options. Scroll down to see what we thought.
The best air purifier 2021
The huge reach of the Winix Air Purifier Zero is just one of things that makes it our winner for the best purifier to buy for your home. Able to clean the air in spaces up to 99m2, not even the largest room in your home will be a match for it. The machine captures 99.97% of particles in the air, including pollen, dust, smoke particles, pet danger, odours, hair and a lot more besides, with 4 levels of filtration and different speeds to choose from.
The Winix Zero boasts multi-level filtration with a pre-filter, carbon deodorisation filter and true HEPA filter on top of the WINIX Plasma Wave technology that claims to produce Hydroxyls that neutralise virus and gases without producing ozone.
Because we don’t just want cleaner air while we’re awake, it’s useful for air purifiers to have some sort of sleep mode so they can be used at night. The Winix Zero offers this with a mode that will automatically dim the LED lights on the device and reduce the noise levels, so you won’t be disturbed. Better yet, it can sense when the light in a room has been dimmed or switched off, and enter sleep mode without you touching it.
On top of the handy sleep mode, the auto function of the air purifier allows it to sense how much dust is in the air and adjust the fan speed accordingly. This means it will never be working harder than it needs to, and that you never have to manually adjust the settings if you don’t want to.
Coming in second is the Blueair Classic 405 air purifier which, despite covering less than half the surface area of the Winix Zero, still packs a punch when it comes to features. Using HEPASilent technology with electrostatic and mechanical filtration, the purifier claims to remove virtually all pollutants in the air, helping to relieve allergies and kill asthma triggers.
Alexa, what is the air quality?
A true selling point of the Blueair Classic 405 is its connectivity, allowing you to connect the machine to your home Wi-Fi and control it through an Amazon Alexa-enabled device such as an Amazon Echo smart speaker. Specialised integration between the two means that you can simply ask Alexa to increase or decrease the fan speed, turn off LED lights or even just turn the device on and off.
On the top of the air purifier you will find a collection of touch controls and indicators that all make using the Blueair Classic super-simple. For example, if the filter needs replacing, the indicator will light up to alert you, and you can also immediately see whether you’re connected to the Wi-Fi or not.
The lowest-cost option on our list, the Levoit Core 300 is a great option for those who are conscious about how much power a traditional air purifier may consume. Small and compact with a nice design, it’s also capable of being tucked away in any room without sticking out too much, and light enough to be moved from room to room if you desire.
The Core 300 allows you to have more control over how you use it, with four different timer settings. With 2H, 4H, 6H and 8H options, you can choose how long you want the machine to run without needing to physically switch it off. Ideal for putting in the kitchen to eliminate food odours after cooking.
You can’t go too far wrong with a Dyson product, and the Pure Cool Me Personal Fan is our choice for the brand’s best air purifier. Designed for desks, bedside tables or other surfaces such as sideboards, it has a slick, slightly futuristic look coupled with a filtration system that works hard to clean the air in your home.
Not just a purifier, the Dyson Pure Cool Me is also a fan that, despite not being powerful enough to cover large areas, would be perfect for individual use. To adjust the fan, you simply need to move the position of the dome on top, directing airflow at the desired angle. Perfect for curling up with a book in the warmer months, or for sleeping if you don’t want to turn the air conditioning on.
While not the best looking example on our list, the Honeywell AirGenius 5 is a good performer with five speed settings and a coverage of 42m2. The controls are easy to understand and use with a good choice of timers, a filter status light and settings labelled for optimal use. For example, level one is best for sleep, while getting rid of allergens from the air would require level four.
No replacement filters
Unlike most air purifiers that require you to buy replacement filters every so often, the Honeywell AirGenius 5 comes with a permanent washable filter that simply needs to be rinsed under the tab every three months or so. That saves on the hassle of seeking out new filters, replacing it with one quick job.
How to buy the best air purifier
Choosing the best air purifier can be a challenge without knowing exactly what you’re getting. Read on to uncover some key terms to look out for.
What is HEPA?
HEPA refers to a type of filter found in most modern air purifiers that remove at least 99.97% of tiny particles in the air. The letters refer to ‘high-efficient particulate air’ and it’s widely understood to be the best option when it comes to air purifiers. Many products, including several on our list, use a combination of HEPA and activated carbon filters, adding to their effectiveness.
How noisy are air purifiers?
This depends on the model you choose, but it’s obviously a big selling point for air purifiers to be at least quiet enough to sleep to. The products on our list range from a whisper-quiet 24dB to a rather noisy 52dB but it’s worth noting that many in the lower range refer to when an air purifier is in its lowest, and least powerful, mode.
Are ozone purifiers safe to use?
While we have not included any ozone air purifiers on our list, you may be wondering whether these types of filtration systems are safe to use in the home. Generally speaking, purifiers that add levels of this gas – or smog – to the air should not be used as they could impact long-term health. As this is a concern for many consumers, product information usually states that a purifier is ‘ozone free’, but it’s best to double-check if you are concerned.