Journalism at The Independent has the support of our readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn commissions. Air purifiers are an effective way to improve air quality in your home, but with so many models on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Instead of relying on ozone or other chemicals to clean the air, they trap airborne contaminants in a filter, which must be cleaned or replaced regularly.
The CADR (Clean Air Supply Rate) indicates how quickly the purifier will remove contaminants from the air. But keep in mind that some manufacturers, especially Dyson, believe that this rating may be misleading and that the tests do not represent real living conditions. Similarly, not all purifiers come with comparable information to help you choose the most suitable one for your home. If you suffer from allergies, look at the number of cleanings per hour, the recommended size of the room and the type of filter included.
We plugged in a range of air purifiers, then sat down and let them do the hard work. For each one, we tested how easy it was to operate, how noisy it was at work, and the intelligent features offered, including air monitoring. We also considered whether we would be happy to leave the purifier on display and if we noticed any noticeable improvement in the air. If manufacturers have only provided the recommended room size in m², we have calculated the approximate size in m³ for a more accurate comparison, using 2.5 m as the average height of a room.
If you're going to keep an air purifier in the corner of the room permanently, you can also choose one that looks good. This was by far the most elegant model we tested in modern shiny white and silver, and we loved that it also worked as a fan to really gain space. It comes with a H13 fiberglass Hepa filter, but this purifier works better: the whole machine meets the same standard, so it seals everything it sucks inside while the activated carbon absorbs gases and VOCs. Air multiplier technology projects purified air throughout the room, and we could tell the difference after using it in a freshly painted bedroom.
We also loved the real-time LCD air quality report on the front of the machine, which allowed us to monitor exactly how clean the room was. Surprisingly, this meant that we didn't miss out on the application connectivity offered by other models. You don't even have to worry about losing the remote control when you're not using it, as it sticks magnetically to the top of the fan. Now that's an intelligent machine.
If you don't want a huge machine in your house but still need an appliance with considerable purifying muscle, this Meaco machine is a great choice. The curved white model sits discreetly in the corner and is so quiet when in use that it could easily be used in a child's room while sleeping. Night mode even turns off all lighting in the machine, and there's a nifty child lock, so you don't have to worry about letting it do its job. Air cleaning capabilities are also top notch.
It has a convenient display that indicates air quality from afar through lights of different colors, an automatic adjustment for easy operation and a Hepa H11 filter to remove more than 95 percent of harmful particles from the air. There is also the option of upgrading to a Hepa H13 filter to increase cleanliness to a whopping 99.97 percent of particles, if preferred. If you want a little more control, the accompanying app is simple and strangely fascinating, allowing you to check air quality, set timers, and even see the pollen level in your home compared to the outside. It's also extremely easy to set up and operate.
PureSense response technology continuously measures air quality and adjusts air purification, so you don't have to do anything. There is also an automatic sleep function, a light and odor sensor, and a filter indicator that means you can see at a glance if it needs to be changed. Intelligently, the filter can also be configured to suit your personal and seasonal needs, for example, if pollen levels are high in spring. The smart tag on each filter will track its usage for practical control over how exactly the air purifier works.
It's also easy to adjust preferences and check air quality in the excellent app. This elegant little purifier is so quiet at its lowest level that we had to check that it was definitely turned on. Suitable for rooms up to 7 m³, it has a USB connection instead of a socket, so it would be practical next to a computer or even in a car. It is extremely easy to set up and goes into automatic mode as soon as it is connected, adjusting the fan speed automatically to match the air quality.
This can also be adjusted manually if desired. The filtering process includes four-stage air disinfection with a silver ion coating to destroy microorganisms and activated carbon to combat odors and gases. Depending on use, it is recommended to change the filter approximately every three to six months. We loved how portable and lightweight it was at only 400g, although we remain skeptical of its claim that the filter “deactivates 99 percent of Covid-19 viruses”.
But if you want to improve the air even when you're driving, it's a good bet. An air purifier has a significant drawback: replacing filters can be very expensive and there is no way to avoid ongoing costs for keeping your purifier working at its best. This compact egg-shaped machine has an amazing advantage over others: its HEPA filter is permanent and never needs replacing; just needs vacuuming from time-to-time! There's even a light that lets you know when it's time for cleaning up! There are three fan speeds; an ionizer function; plus an optional nightlight - which could be useful if used during night time in children's rooms!.