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13 Aug 2019

Should you snap up a cheap Aldi air purifier?

The Easy Home air purifier costs just £60 - is it worth rushing to the shops to buy it?

We're becoming more and more conscious of the ways air pollution can impact our health. One way to reduce your exposure to toxic air is to install an air purifier in your home. They're expensive, though, going right up to £700. But right now you can get an air purifier for less than a tenth of that from Aldi.

Aldi Special Buys never stick around that long, so is it worth hot footing it to your nearest Aldi to grab one while stocks last? Or are you just spending £60 on a souped-up fan?

We don't generally test Aldi products, because they simply don't stick around in stores for long enough. But, based on our expert knowledge of the market, we can tell you how its features compare with other air purifiers we've tested.

Prefer to buy an air purifier that's been thoroughly tested by Which?. See our list of the best air purifiers.

Aldi Easy Home air purifier key specs

Brand: Easy Home

Colour: White

Price: £59.99

Dimensions: 31.5x21x21cm

Cord length: 160cm

On sale from: Now, while stocks last

What features does it have?

Aldi is pitching the Easy Home air purifier as 'a simple way to keep the air in your home clean, fresh and safe'.

Fan speeds and settings

It has a timer, which you can use to set the machine to turn off after one, two, four or eight hours.

It has four settings, including a night mode.

All of this is fairly typical. Not all models have a night mode, but many do. It's a handy feature if you plan to set up your air purifier in your bedroom.

There are big differences between different night modes, though. They generally involve lowering the fan speed and dimming any lights. Some are genuinely quiet, and just run discreetly in the background, while others are annoyingly loud, essentially replacing air pollution with noise pollution.

If you're not planning to run your air purifier at night, you don't work or study from home often, and you're pretty good at blocking out background noise, you might not be too worried about how much noise it makes.

But if you have allergies that keep you up at night, and you're hoping an air purifier will give you a better night's sleep, it's worth buying one we've tested as being nice and quiet.

Air-quality sensor

It also has an air-quality sensor. The base of the Easy Home air purifier will shine green when the pollution level is low, yellow when it's medium and red when it's high, so you know when to whack up your air purifier to full power, and when you can get by with it on low.

There's also the option to leave it on the automatic setting, so that it springs into action when it detects that pollution levels are high.

This is interesting, as it's rare for cheap air purifiers to have this feature. It's more common on expensive ones, but by no means standard.

Air purifier filters

It has an EPA (efficiency particulate air) filter, designed to help you get dust mites, mould spores, pet dander and other allergens under control.

Aldi claims this will remove 'approximately 99.9% of pollen, dirt and smoke particles' from your home. Elsewhere on its website, it says 'approximately 95%', which still sounds pretty high.

Most manufacturers make similar claims, but our tests have found huge differences between machines.

Note that an EPA filter is not the same as a HEPA filter. To use the term HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air), a filter must meet certain standards of filtration efficiency. EPA filters, HEPA-type filters and HEPA-style filters may or may not meet the same standards as HEPA filters.

Our tests have found a few models that do well despite not having a HEPA filter, including two Best Buys. And we've also found a few that aren't great, including a Don't Buy.

Equally, some that we've tested have HEPA filters and are still Don't Buys, because they're so poor in other respects.

To sum up, a HEPA filter makes it more likely that an air purifier will be good, but doesn't offer any guarantees.

It won't filter out unpleasant odours or gases, either. You'll need an air purifier with an activated carbon filter for that - which, fortunately, the Easy Home air purifier has.

Check out all the air purifiers with a HEPA filter we've reviewed.

Cheap air purifiers

You won't find many air purifiers as cheap as this: sadly, clean air is still a luxury.

The cheapest ones we've tested (today's prices) are listed below.

Click the links to read the full reviews and find out whether they're great little budget models, or a big fat waste of money that could be put towards something more effective.

  • Electriq EAP120HC (£70) - two fan speeds, air-quality sensor
  • Bionaire BAP1700-IUK (£117) - three fan speeds, air-quality sensor, automatic mode
  • Homedics AR-29A-GB (£119) - three fan speeds

Check out all our air purifier reviews or discover other Aldi and Lidl products.