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Can an air purifier help with your hayfever?

The best air purifiers we've tested are more than a match for pollen. The worst will hardly help your hayfever at all

If you suffer from hayfever, you won’t need telling that the peak of the grass-pollen season is upon us. So can an air purifier help?

There are steps you can take to protect yourself from pollen when you’re out and about. Such as wearing wrap-around sunglasses, applying a nasal balm, and avoiding parks and the countryside in the morning and evening when the pollen count is highest.

A decent air purifier can help when you get home. As well as removing dust and other particles from the air in your home, it can also be highly effective in the fight against pollen.

However, it really matters which one you go for. Keep reading to find out why some air purifiers won’t help you, plus we show you the key features you need to look out for.

We reveal our best air purifiers.

Best air purifiers vs the worst

Our lab tests have revealed a clutch of machines that are superb at quickly removing pollen from the air. But we’ve also tested air purifiers that are poor at capturing pollen, including one that was so bad its test score can’t be reported officially.

To find out which models are best for hayfever, check out our air purifier reviews.

Air purifiers head to head – what do you get for your money?

We’ve lined up three different types of air purifier, ranging in price from £130 to £332. We reveal what you get for your money, and the key features you need to look for.

Dyson Pure Cool Link DP01 – £332

This Dyson desktop air purifier has the now-familiar hole in the middle, seen on Dyson’s range of air heating, cooling and purifying appliances. At 60cm tall, it’s around half the height of its stable mate, the Dyson TP02 tower air purifier.

You can set it using the remote control – or from your smartphone – and it has 10 speed settings. There’s a night mode for quiet air cleaning while you sleep, and you can set it to run for between 15 minutes and nine hours.

It can detect pollution in the air and switch on automatically, and costs around £26 a year to run.

Go to our full review of this Dyson Pure Cool Link DP01 air purifier to find out how well it captures pollen.

Meaco Airvax 33X2 – £130

This is a compact air purifier that’s designed to clean the air in a small room, rather than a large open-plan living space.

It comes with three speed settings and a remote control. At 29cm tall, it’s the smallest machine we’ve tested. We’ve worked out it will cost just £3 a year to run, based on 12 hours’ use each day for a year.

Read our full review to find out how the Meaco Airvax 33X2 air purifier performed in our lab tests.

Vax ACAMV101 – £250

This Vax air purifier is designed to stand in the corner of a room, rather than to live on a desktop or shelf. Size-wise, think tall and cylindrical kitchen bin and you’ll be in the right ballpark.

When its sensors note a drop in air quality, the machine will automatically start cleaning the air. You can also set it using the timer, handy if you might not want it to clean the air while you sleep. It comes with a remote control and has three power settings.

Check out our full review of this Vax ACAMV101 air purifier to find out how well it will remove pollen from the air in your home.

How we test air purifiers

We lock air purifiers in our test chamber and pump in pollen – and other particles – for them to extract from the air. We then measure the percentage of pollen, dust and smoke extracted during our tests.

We also measure the clean air delivery rate (CADR) of each machine – this measures the reduction of polluting particles in the air. Once we’ve tested the air purifiers, we estimate the size of room each of them will be effective in.

Best Buy air purifiers will do a great job in the largest rooms in most homes. But the worst machine we’ve tested would only be effective in a space the size of a large cupboard or a small wardrobe. That’s why we made it a Don’t Buy air purifier.

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