Best air purifier: boost air quality and eliminate indoor pollutants

The best air purifiers to create cleaner air at home and stop bad odours from lingering, from Dyson, Phillips, Levoit and more

best air purifier: Blueair Classic 405
(Image credit: Blueair)

Clean air in our homes should be something we’re all striving for, but many of us are unaware of the level of pollutants, particles and spores that hang around in the air of our homes. Studies have shown that these unwanted particles can get trapped in our homes when there is a lack of ventilation, but one way to tackle the issue is with an air purifier.

The best air purifiers will clean the air in a space, able to trap dust, pet hair, smoke, outdoor pollution and more using a combination of filters and pushing out cleaner air for you and your family to breathe. This not only makes for a more pleasant environment to live in, but could also have various long-term health benefits.

But if you’re new to the world of air purifiers, it can be hard to cut through the noise to determine which product would be best for your home. We have rated some of the best and most popular purifiers, ranking them for their settings, design, power and more. You can also check out our ranking of the best smart speakers, which many product on our list are compatible with.

Scroll down to see what we thought.

The best rated air purifiers 2021

best air purifier: Dyson Pure Hot + Cool

(Image credit: Dyson)

1. Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Air Purifier

The best air purifier overall: a connected device heats, cools and purifies in one

Specifications
Area size: 92.8m2
Filter: HEPA
Settings: 10
Colours: White/Silver
Dimensions: 24.8 x 20.5 x 76.4cm
Weight: 1.43kg
Reasons to buy
+Also functions as a fan and heater+Large area size+Works with Alexa+Night mode
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Stylish and bursting with additional functions, it’s easy to see why the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool has become a star in the air purifier world. The iconic design will look great in most spaces, and its HEPA filter ensures that particles as small as 0.3 microns are captured and removed from your environment.

Multi-functionality

With the Hot + Cool you’re not just getting an air purifier, but also a heater and cooler that can perform throughout winter and summer, respectively. That saves on money, time spent shopping and - perhaps most usefully - space. Instead of three bulky machines, you can use one sleek purifier all year round.

Smart

You can connect the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool to the Wi-Fi through the Dyson Link app, as well as to Alexa. This enables you to see real-time reports on air quality, create schedules and routines and more. Even without this connectivity, the air purifier boasts a total of 10 settings to suit your requirements.

best air purifier: Philips Series 3000i

(Image credit: Phillips)

2. Philips Series 3000i Air Purifier

Best air purifier for large rooms: a powerful Dyson alternative

Specifications
Area size: 96m2
Filter: HEPA, carbon
Settings: 8
Colours: White
Dimensions: 25.1 x 36.6 x 69.8cm
Weight: 9.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Night mode+Good area size+Works with Alexa
Reasons to avoid
-No auto shut-off-Heavy and hard to move around

The large area size capabilities and ability to work within a smart home make the Philips Series 3000i air purifier a brilliant option for those wishing for cleaner air in a large area. Despite its size, the Philips device would be as at home in a large living area as in the kitchen (where bad smells often begin) or, thanks to its night mode, in the bedroom.

Carbon filter

As well as the HEPA filter, which is great for removing particles from the air, the Philips 3000i has an active carbon filter that’s designed to reduce odours and other gases in the air. On auto-mode (of which there are three), it also measures the quality of the air around it, reacting accordingly without you having to do anything manually.

best air purifier: Dyson Pure Cool Me

(Image credit: Dyson)

3. Dyson Pure Cool Me Air Purifier

Best tabletop air purifier: a small and lightweight purifier that doubles as a fan

Specifications
Filter: HEPA, carbon
Colours: White
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 10cm
Weight: 2.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Small and lightweight+Also works as a fan+70-degree oscillation+Timer function
Reasons to avoid
-Can't purify air in large spaces

Similar to our top pick, the Pure Hot + Cool, the Dyson Pure Cool Me works not just as an air purifier, but also as a fan. Unlike a lot of competing products, however, it has been designed to sit on a desk or bedside table. Despite being small enough to put pretty much anywhere, it doesn’t compromise on features.

Adjustable fan

Even the best fans can sometimes feel like they’re just blowing recycled air back out at you, so the fact that the Pure Cool Me can purify the air as it cools is a real bonus. You can also direct the airflow in any direction you want, whether that’s while you’re sleeping (and your partner doesn’t feel the temperature the same as you), or while you’re sweating in the kitchen. 

best air purifier: Levoit Core 350

(Image credit: Levoit)

4. Levoit Core 350 Air Purifier

Best air purifier for pets: a low-cost option specifically designed for pet owners

Specifications
Area size: 40m2
Filter: HEPA, Carbon
Settings: 3
Noise: 24-50dB
Colours: Silver
Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 36cm
Weight: 4.2kg
Reasons to buy
+Night mode+Timer function+Eco-friendly power consumption+Budget price
Reasons to avoid
-Only effective in smaller spaces

For just over £100, you might expect the Levoit Core 350 air purifier to skimp on features and effectiveness but, while it has less settings than others, it still comes recommended for those at war with how much your furry friend sheds. With a nice design that may suit those who don’t want their home tech to stand out too much, it can purify small to medium spaces up to 40m2.

Tackles pet allergies

The pet version of the Levoit Core range uses the ‘AirRe Composition Formula’ that claims to have improved deodorisation by 60%, and is capable of capturing everything from loose fur and pet dander to bacteria in the area. There’s even a locking function that stops curious pets from tampering with the settings.

best air purifier: Blueair Classic 405

(Image credit: Blueair)

5. Blueair Classic 405 Air Purifier

Best air purifier for bedroom: a smart air purifier that isn’t too noisy

Specifications
Area size: 40m2
Filter: HEPA
Settings: 3
Noise: 32-52dB
Colours: White
Dimensions: 59 x 50 x 27.5cm
Weight: 14kg
Reasons to buy
+Works with Alexa+Low noise and energy consumption
Reasons to avoid
-Large and very heavy-Won't be as effective in large spaces

Despite its low capabilities when it comes to area size, the Blueair Classic 405 is an ideal air purifier for bedrooms due to its HEPASilent technology, reducing the noise at its lowest settings to 32dBs. This rises to 52dB on other modes, but if you want to use it overnight then this is fine. You can also turn off LED lights for even less disturbance.

Alexa compatibility

If you have an Alexa smart speaker, you can connect the Classic 405 to your existing smart home set-up. This means you can do everything from changing the speed settings to switching the device on and off with just your voice. A great bonus if you’re already in bed and don’t want to get up to adjust it.

How to choose the best air purifier for you

In order to choose the best air purifier for your home, you’ll need to consider a few things first. Here we answer a few common questions you may have.

What do the different filters do?

The most common types of filters present in air purifiers are HEPA and active carbon, with many also featuring something called a pre-filter. All of these have different functions, with HEPA being great for capturing between 99-100% of particles as small as 0.1 microns. Activated carbon filters, meanwhile, excel at removing odours like cooking smells from the air so, if you plan on using your air purifier in the kitchen, look out for that.

How loud are air purifiers?

This depends on the model you choose, but typically air purifiers range between 20-50dBs. If you want something that’s quiet enough to sleep to, you obviously want to be going towards the bottom of that range . However, many products are only quiet when they are on their lowest settings, so make sure you get a good compromise.

Are air purifiers safe?

Air purifiers are very safe to use on the whole, and are even considered to be beneficial to your health in many ways. One thing you should look out for, however, is ozone purifiers, which are not recommended because they add ozone gas - otherwise known as smog - into the air. This is bad for long-term health as well as for the environment. Always check that an air purifier is ‘ozone free’ before buying.

What is the best air purifier? 

The best air purifier overall is (in our opinion) the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool, which triples up as a fan and a heater. On top of this, the area it is capable of purifying is larger than many competitors, and its ability to connect with Alexa means those with smart homes will find it a convenient addition to their existing set-up.