Easy breezy: Top air purifiers that help reduce pollutants in your home (2023)

Dyson purifier cool autoreact

  • Best: Overall
  • CADR: Not provided
  • Room size: 8m³
  • Remote control: Yes

If you’re going to keep an air purifier permanently in the corner of a room, you might as well choose one that looks the part. In modern glossy white and silver, this was by far the most stylish model we tested, and we loved that it functioned as a fan as well, to really earn its floor space.

The machine has an advanced filtration system that captures gases and 99.95 per cent of particles as small as 0.1 microns, including VOCs. The layer of activated carbon also removes odours, so it’s perfect for leaving in the kitchen to zap cooking smells, while an integrated sensor means it will turn on automatically whenever air quality is reduced.

It comes with a glass-fibre Hepa H13 filter, but this purifier goes one better – the entire machine meets the same standard, so it seals away everything it sucks inside while the activated carbon absorbs gases and VOCs. Air multiplier technology then projects purified air throughout the room, and we could feel the difference after using it in a freshly painted bedroom.

We also loved the real-time LCD report on our air quality. Displaying on the front of the machine, this report enabled us to keep tabs on exactly how clean the air was – surprisingly, this meant we didn’t miss having the app connectivity some other models offer. You won’t even need to worry about losing the remote when not in use, as it sticks magnetically to the top of the fan. Now that really is a smart machine.

Read the full Dyson purifier hot + cool formaldehyde review

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Coway AP-1512HH Airmega Mighty air purifier

  • Best: Quiet air purifier
  • CADR: 421 m³ per hour
  • Room size: 109m² (approx 272.5³)
  • Remote control: No, smart app available

Coway is a big name in the States but hasn’t made as big an impact over here in the UK. The brand should definitely be on your radar, however, because the Airmega Mighty is one of the best air purifiers we’ve tested. It doesn’t scream “look at me”, like the Dyson autoreact (£449.99, Dyson.co.uk), but more blends into the background.

Unlike most air purifiers, it’s square-shaped and looks a bit like a subwoofer. The rear-facing fan, which gives it less height and more portability is a really good design choice. It barely makes a sound, making it one of the quietest models we’ve tested. Air also blows upwards instead of forwards, which is said to help circulate the purified air, and it did it all in a snap, too, with a CADR rating of 240.

It’s easy to use thanks to the simple fan speed buttons and timer buttons, with a light indicator telling you how good the air quality is, and when it’s good it’s really good. We particularly liked the eco mode, seeing the fan power off if the air quality is stable for ten minutes and ratchet back up after 30 minutes, or when it detects a change in air quality. Smart mode automatically adjusts the fan level based on the air quality in the room.

There’s also a handy app, which lets you control the air purifier from your phone and see more detailed air quality data. The filter can capture large particles for pet hair, the carbon filter captures smaller particles and pollutants, and the HEPA filter for bacteria, dust, pollen and mould. It’s very good, and extremely well-priced for a device that works on large rooms.

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Philips 3000i series AC3033/30 air purifier

  • Best: For large rooms
  • CADR: 520m³ per hour
  • Room size: 135m² (approx 337.5m³)
  • Remote control: App

Speedy, smart and stylish, this air purifier is an excellent addition to any home, especially if you suffer from allergies. It has both a Hepa and active carbon filter to zap everything from dust to pet dander, and captures 99.97 per cent of ultra-fine particles as small as 0.003 microns. It’s fast too, cleaning 20m² in just six minutes and even has a special allergy sleep mode that kicks in at night to zap allergenic dust while still keeping the sound level low. All this and it’s extremely energy efficient, running at a maximum of 55W power, the equivalent of one standard light bulb.

Both the machine’s screen and the app make it easy to keep track of exactly how the purifier is improving air quality. We particularly liked the colour ring that shows real-time air quality at a glance from the other side of the room and that we could use the app to turn on the machine even outside the house. There are four manual speed modes and an automatic setting, although we found the turbo mode a little too noisy when watching TV in the same room. Most impressively, Philips says the filter only needs changing once every three years – a huge improvement on comparable machines – which would represent a sizeable saving in the long term. We’re seriously impressed.

Read the full Philips expert series 3000i review

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Beldray desktop air purifier

  • Best: For home offices
  • CADR: Not provided
  • Room size: 8m³
  • Remote control: No

If you’re stuck at a desk all day, this is a great way to stop that stale office air. Small enough to sit right next to your computer, it has a USB cable, temperature and humidity display and a touch panel control with two speed settings. The Hepa and activated carbon filter provide up to 99.97 per cent purification, and our tester with severe hay fever felt she really noticed an improvement when using this. There’s also a filter replacement alert light, so you won’t need to keep track of when it’s time to switch.

A handy sleep mode means the purifier can continue to operate quietly without disturbing anyone, and there’s an optional night light if preferred, so it’s a good choice for smaller bedrooms once the workday is over. Or you could save time and just work under the duvet in the first place…

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Shark 4 HE400UK air purifier

  • Best: For the kitchen
  • CADR: Not provided
  • Room size: 34m² (approx 85m³) based on three air changes per hour
  • Remote control: Yes

This glossy white machine looks more like a mini radiator than an air purifier, so it fits in well in most kitchens. It was also one of the most effective models we tested for zapping odours, and left our kitchen smelling surprisingly fresh even after cooking a curry and a fish dish.

It removes allergens, mould and bacteria, cleaning the air and circulating it through the room after multi-stage filtration, including a carbon layer, together capturing 99.97 per cent of pollutants and allergens at 0.3 microns. Auto mode adjusts the fan speed automatically to suit the air quality, while built-in sensors track changes in the air in real-time. The digital display reports the percentage of clean air, the time left to clean and the particle amount, so you can be confident the air is as clean as it can be. The screen also shows the time remaining until the filter needs replacing, and this will typically last between six and 12 months, with no washing required in between.

There’s no app with this machine, but it can be controlled by a remote, although we would’ve loved somewhere to store this, to prevent us losing it.

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AEG AX91-404GY air purifier

  • Best: For modern homes
  • CADR: 442m³ per hour
  • Room size: Up to 92m² (approx 230m³)
  • Remote control: Yes, with app and remote control

Call us vain, but we were immediately smitten by this air purifier’s contemporary grey good looks, which made us less inclined to tuck it out of sight compared with some of the other air purifiers. We also liked the two fabric handles, which meant we could easily carry it to different rooms, rather than installing one purifier in the kitchen and a second in the bedroom (though this is recommended for maximum efficiency).

It’s extremely easy to set up and operate too. PureSense responsive technology continually measures air quality and adjusts the air purification, so you don’t need to do a thing. There’s also an auto-sleep feature, a light and odour sensor and a filter indicator that means you can see at a glance if it needs changing. Cleverly, the filter can also be configured to suit your personal and seasonal needs – for instance, if pollen levels are high in spring. Each filter’s smart tag will then keep track of its usage for hands-on control over exactly how the air purifier works. It’s easy to adjust preferences and check air quality on the excellent app too. A thumbs up all-around, if you have the cash.

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Dyson Purifier humidify + cool formaldehyde air-purifying fan

  • Best: 3-in-1 air purifier
  • CADR: Not provided
  • Room size: 81m³
  • Remote control: Yes

Dyson has brought out a range of newproducts for 2023, and we’re in love with its new air-purifying fan. The name might be ridiculous (who’s going to remember the words Dyson Purifier humidify + cool formaldehyde?), but everything else about it isn’t. It looks modern and sleek, does a heck of a lot of stuff, and is incredibly smart.

The Dyson Purifier humidify +, oh forget it, Dyson’s newest air purifier, is a three-in-one machine. It’s an air purifier, humidifier and fan, all in one. And because it has a solid-state formaldehyde sensor, it can also remove the odourless gas from your room – which the app kept telling us was the biggest pollutant in our home. It’s super quiet, too, and has a night mode so that the LED screen dims when you’re trying to get to sleep.

It also features a full HEPA filtration system, with Dyson saying that it traps H1N1 viruses and 99.95 per cent of particles as small as 0.1 microns, such as allergens, bacteria, pollen and mould spores. We felt less congested on particularly hay fever-prone days with this whirring in the background, and we liked that we could use it as a humidifier, too. It’s easy to control with either the remote or the app, which provided a lot of detail on our indoor air quality. The only negatives? The price – it’s a horrifyingly expensive machine, and the heft – it’s not light at all, weighing over 8kg.

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Gastroback AG+ portable air purifier

  • Best: For the car
  • CADR: 25m³ per hour
  • Room size: 7m³
  • Remote control: No

This small, sleek purifier is so whisper-quiet on its lowest setting that we had to check it was definitely switched on. Suitable for rooms up to 7m³, it has a USB connection rather than a plug, so it would be handy next to a computer or even in a car. It’s extremely simple to set up and enters automatic mode as soon as it’s plugged in, adjusting fan speed automatically to suit the air quality. This can also be adjusted manually.

The filtering process includes four-stage air disinfection with a silver ion coating to destroy micro-organisms and activated carbon to tackle smells and gases. Depending on usage, it’s recommended the filter is changed about every three to six months. We loved how portable and light it was, at just 400g, though we remain sceptical of its claim the filter “inactivates 99 per cent of Covid-19 viruses”. But if you want to improve the air even when you’re driving, it’s a good bet.

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MeacoClean CA-Hepa 76x5 air purifier with wifi

  • Best: For use overnight
  • CADR: 350m³ per hour
  • Room size: 76m³ based on five air cleans an hour, 12m³ based on three cleans an hour
  • Remote control: Via app

If you don’t want a huge machine in your house but still need an appliance with considerable purifying muscle, this MeacoClean machine is an excellent option. The curved white model sits unobtrusively in the corner and is so quiet when in use it could easily be used in a child’s room while they’re sleeping. The night mode even switches off all lighting on the machine, and there’s an ingenious child lock, so you’ll have no worries leaving it to do its thing.

Air cleaning capabilities are top-notch too. It has a handy display that indicates the air quality from afar, using different coloured lights, an automatic setting for easy operation and an H11 Hepa filter to remove more than 95 per cent of damaging particles from the air. There’s also the option of upgrading to an H13 Hepa filter, to increase cleaning to a whopping 99.97 per cent of particles, if preferred. If you want a little more control, the accompanying app is straightforward and oddly fascinating, enabling you to check the air quality, set timers and even see the pollen level in your home compared with outside. A great buy.

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Bionaire BAP600 air purifier with permanent Hepa filter

  • Best: For zero maintenance
  • CADR: Up to 80m³ per hour
  • Room size: 42m³
  • Remote control: No

An air purifier has one major downside. It can be seriously pricey to replace the filters, and there’s no way of avoiding the ongoing cost to keep your purifier working at its best. This compact, egg-shaped machine has an astonishing advantage over the rest – the Hepa-style filter is permanent and never needs replacing, just removing and vacuuming every once in a while. There’s even a light to alert you when it’s time for a clean.

There are three fan speeds, an independent ioniser function and even an optional night light, which could come in handy if used overnight in a child’s room. It claims to remove up to 99 per cent of pollen, pet dander, dust and mould spores, and we definitely felt the air was a little clearer in the bedroom we used it in. Sadly, though, it’s too small to use in large rooms, so measure carefully before buying. Our only grumble is there’s no remote control, so, if used in a bedroom, it should be kept within reach to adjust without getting out of bed.

This air purifier is temporarily out of stock, but we’ll update this article once it restocks.

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