Breathe easy: 10 of the best air purifiers to beat particles, pollen and pollutants

Upgrade your inhale with these sneeze-beating filters for your home

Smelly as your feet might be after a long day of social distancing, the stench of your cotton socks isn’t the worst thing filling the air in your dwelling. Not even close.

See, fresh as it might seem, much of the air we breathe at home is actually packed with particles, allergens and all sorts of spores. Whether pets, printers or petrol-powered lawnmowers, all manner of household items release these nasties. At best, they can cause unpleasant odours; at worst allergies, asthma attacks and all kinds of complications. 

Feeling sneezy or queasy at the thought of what you’re inhaling? From compact models for personal purification to bigger kit that’s fit for your living room, each of these air purifiers will help to filter and remove any dust, bacteria and bad stuff that might be floating about your abode.

Add one to your pad and, after just a few minutes of filtering, you can breathe a cleaner sigh of relief.

The best air purifiers for your personal space

Dyson Pure Cool Me (£300)

Dyson made its name with devices that bust dust better than the rest, so it should be no surprise that the firm’s futuristic filtering fan is a doozy. Styled like the offspring of a Mac Pro and a kitchen bin, the Pure Cool Me is a personal purifier designed for desks and bedside tables. 

That full metal jacket harbours HEPA and activated carbon filters which deftly trap all manner of nasties, but it’s up top where things get really sci-fi. Streams of air are blown over the dome, meeting in the middle to produce a clean and cooling jet that can be targeted with just a touch.

Keen to share the air? Poke the remote and Dyson’s breezy buddy will rotate through a 70-degree arc, so your confused colleagues can also receive a purified zephyr from what they thought was a waste paper receptacle.

Blueair Blue Pure 411 (£135)

Not an oversized Amazon Echo knock-off, Blueair’s simple cylinder is an exercise is straightforward filtering. Good for spaces up to 15m² and controlled with just a single button, it activates every 12 minutes to ensure your air is pure as can be.

A 360-degree air intake means you can stick it wherever you please, while the option to switch its fabric wrapper – which functions as a pre-filter – means you can choose a hue to suit your room.

Need it at night? On its lowest speed setting, the Pure 411 works at a whisper-quiet 17dB, so your slumber won’t be disturbed by whirring.

Levoit Vista 200 (£90)

When is an air purifier not an air purifier? When it’s also a night light: tap the top of Levoit’s cleansing tube and its grille will glow a soothing hue to help you snooze.

Naturally, the cylinder also does all of the purifying good stuff, with a trio of filters, fan speed settings and timers to deliver clean air just as you like it. And, unlike its Microsoft-made namesake, this Vista will reliably run smooth thanks to a brushless motor, which also keeps energy consumption low – ideal if you want 24/7 filtering.

The best air purifiers for smaller rooms

Philips Series 800 (£150)

Classic: just when you’ve got the air nice and clean, some thoughtless fool decides to beat a dusty rug. Cue clouds of particles and a surefire sneezing fit.

Install this clever cone for constant protection from unexpected pollution. While it can’t do anything about inconsiderate beaters, it can at least remove other irritants: an auto-purification sensor detects and reacts to even the smallest changes in air quality, cranking up its efforts to tackle any fresh dust, dirt or detritus that you’d otherwise inhale.

It removes 99% of bacteria, 99.5% of nano-sized particles and 99.9% of viruses from the air that it filters, and there’s a four-colour air quality indicator, too – so you’ll always be sure of what you’re breathing in.

Boneco H300 (€379)

If you’re in the market for a breath of truly fresh air, the Swiss Alps wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Alas, short of making for the mountains with a bag full of jars, there’s no easy way to bring high-altitude air to your humble abode.

This clever box from Boneco can do the next best thing, deploying Swiss smarts to both purify and humidify the air in your home. Set your ideal humidity in the partner app and the H300 will sense the relative moisture, then automatically adjust its evaporator to maintain your chosen level – as well as filtering out allergens in the air.

You can choose to purify, humidify or do both at the same time, and preset profiles – such as ‘sleep’ and ‘baby’ – make it a cinch to create ideal conditions for, well, sleeping and babies.

Blueair Classic 405 (£529)

£500 will buy you a lot of things. A stellar smartphone. A second-hand car. A year’s supply of hand sanitiser. But if it’s cleaner air you’re after, Blueair’s Classic 405 is the smarter way to part with your monkey.

Built tough to match its price tag, the 405’s galvanised steel shell is home to HEPASilent tech – a system that uses electrostatic and mechanical filters to capture an impressive 99.97% of the tiniest particles in the air, from pollen to pet dander. It’s also capable of completely filtering the air in a 40m² room every 12 minutes, runs at the same noise level as rainfall and is properly efficient to boot.

As if that weren’t enough, you can control the purifier with the Blueair app or hook it up to an Amazon Echo for full voice control. Still fancy that car?

Bionaire Designer BAP600-060 (£100)

Put an egg on your living room floor and, while it might complement your avant-garde approach to interior design, it’s unlikely to improve the air quality in your home.

Put this egg-shaped purifier there instead and you’ll reap the benefits of cleaner breathing, as its filter removes 99% of airborne particles from rooms up to 30m². 

Unlike the poultry alternative, there’s also a built-in blue night light – and it’s suitable for vegans.

The best air purifiers for larger rooms

Philips Series 3000i (£370)

As anyone who’s attended a team-building retreat can confirm, instant feedback isn’t always welcome. When it comes to air quality, though, it definitely is – which is why this upstanding purifier from Philips is keen to keep you informed. A sensor tracks local allergens and air quality in real time, displaying the current status on a multi-coloured ring at its heart. Want more info? Delve into the Air Matters app for full details of pollution and pollen counts, and to control the Series 3000i from afar.

Its three-stage filter system removes 99.97% of ultra-fine particles from rooms of up to 95m² (the smaller, cheaper 2000i can service up to 75m²), while multiple modes mean you can tweak its performance to suit your needs. ‘Bacteria & virus’ mode works extra hard to clean the air, for example, while the smart ‘allergen’ setting automatically detects changes in air quality and adjusts flow and filtration accordingly.

It even plays nice with Alexa, so you can order the 3000i to do your bidding – without any risk of criticism from HR.

Vax Pure Air 300 (£280)

Want to purify a whopping great space? Capable of filtering the air in rooms up to 120m², the Vax Pure Air 200 is a purifying tower fit for the fresh prince of swell air.

Installed in your palatial pad, the cylinder can process up to 428m³ of air per hour – translation: a lot – while its 360-degree filter will remove up to 99% of airborne allergens, pollutants and bacteria.

Pick from three speed settings or go for auto and let the in-built air quality sensor adjust the speed to suit the sitch. Feeling sleepy after another party at your sizeable apartment? Stick it in night mode for filtration that won’t affect your regal kip.

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Advanced Air Purifier (£549)

Blowing hot and cold isn’t traditionally a positive trait, but Dyson’s bladeless blower changes that. No indecisive oscillator, the Pure Hot+Cool projects purified air at your chosen temperature.

Air Multiplier tech means it can deliver more than 290 litres of air per second as it rotates through 350 degrees, while activated carbon and HEPA filters eliminate 99.95% of super small allergens and pollutants. It detects, tracks and reports the particles, too, displaying the levels on its LCD display – from VOC to NO₂.

Monitor and tweak to your heart’s content in the partner app, or set the fan to auto mode for effortless filtration and temperature control all day. Overwhelmed by choice? Skip the temp setting and use diffusion mode for filtering alone.