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24 September 2021

Should you buy a Dyson air purifier?

Want to improve your indoor air quality at home? Find out what Dyson air purifiers can do, how much they cost and whether they work to reduce indoor air pollution
CW
Christina Woodger
Dyson pure cool dp04_main_advice 487380

While the majority of air purifiers look like uninspiring white boxes, Dyson air purifiers are works of art. But looks aren't everything, which is why we regularly go hands-on with the latest Dyson air purifiers in the Which? test lab.

To find out if a Dyson air purifier is right for your home, we suggest you have a read through our expert guide – we have the juicy details on key features to look out for, typical price and performance. Plus, you can find out how we've scored Dyson air purifiers, including the Purifying Desk Fan and the Purifying Tower Fan.

If you decide that a Dyson air purifier is right for you, consider checking in with our Dyson air purifier reviews and bag a Which? Best Buy model.

Dyson air purifiers: key features

Air multiplier technology

Dyson air purifiers are advertised as having Air Multiplier technology, which the brand claims mixes and circulates the air to reach every corner of the room it's sat in.

Air quality sensor and automatic mode

Like many air purifiers, Dyson models have an air quality sensor, which prompts the machine to spring into action when needed. That means you can leave the machine on automatic mode rather than needing to adjust it yourself.

Dyson air purifiers will also give you information about the different airborne pollutants in your room. You'll be able to see real-time information about the quality of the air in your room on a small screen on the machine itself, and also in the Dyson Link app. The information you'll receive tracks the following:

  • PM 2.5 and PM 10 – particulate matter pollutants.
  • VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds, such as acetone, methanol, benzene, ethanol, xylene and formaldehyde.
  • NO2 – Nitrogen Dioxide.

An increasing number of air purifier brands are offering something similar. For example, the Philips Series 3000i AC3033/30 (£450) has a built-in display that shows a number and a light indicating how polluted the room is. We can't say how accurate this feature is, so you'll have to take the manufacturer's word for it.

Another option is to buy a personal air quality monitor that you can clip onto your bag or belt. Consider one of these if you want information about the air quality outside, and you have some flexibility to make changes to your daily routes. For example, you can try walking to work via a park rather than a busy main road.

Alternatively, you could download a free air quality app, which will give you information about the air quality in your general area. Some examples include Plume Labs Air Quality, Air Matters (which connects with Philips smart air purifiers) and London Air.

dyson air purifier

Filtration

Dyson air purifiers contain a filtration system that combines a HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air filter), designed to capture 99.95% of ultrafine particles, and an activated carbon filter, designed to remove gases.

We would always recommend buying an air purifier with a HEPA filter. To use the term HEPA filter, a filter must meet certain standards of filtration efficiency. Filters with names like EPA, HEPA-type and HEPA-style aren't guaranteed to meet the same standards.

There's more to a good air purifier than a HEPA filter, though. In fact, our expert tests have uncovered a number of flawed air purifiers deserving of a Which? Don't Buy title, despite the fact they have HEPA filters.

HEPA filters can't trap gases or unpleasant odours, which is why it's also good to have a carbon filter. It isn't possible for us to test the efficacy of carbon filters, but so many air purifiers have them that you lose nothing by opting for a model with one.

Heater function

Some Dyson models, including the Dyson HP04 Pure Hot+Cool Purifying Fan Heater (£549), are designed to heat or cool a room while they clean. The heating function will come on once the machine senses a drop in temperature. Then, the air purifier will switch to standby mode once the target temperature has been reached.

dyson air purifier

Humidification function

The Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool (£599) comes with a humidifying function, which the brand claims will automatically maintain the optimum moisture level in your air, making for a more comfortable environment. You can turn off the humidification function if you want to, so that the machine just operates as a purifying fan.

If you suffer from dry skin, a dry nose, throat or lips, or sinus congestion when the air in your home is dry, then a humidifier could help (although you should consult a doctor if your problems are severe).

You'll need to run a deep-clean cycle every now and then. You can input the level of water hardness in your area into the app, and then you'll get prompts when Dyson estimates that it's time to run a deep clean.

Timer

All Dyson air purifiers come with a timer. This could be useful if you routinely adjust the settings at certain times – let's say, you always want to have it running hard during the day and turned off or turned down at night when you're sleeping.

Remote control, smart control and voice control

There isn't, generally speaking, much you can do in terms of controlling the settings on Dyson machines themselves.

Instead, some Dysons come with a remote control (magnetised, so that you can store on the machine when not in use), some can be controlled via voice assistant, and some can be controlled via the Dyson Link smartphone app – through which you'll also be able to see Dyson's measurements of the quality of the air in your room.

How much does a Dyson air purifier cost?

You can expect to spend anywhere between £290 to £600 for a Dyson air purifier. The cheapest model is the Dyson Pure Cool Me (£290), while the priciest is the Dyson Pure Humidify and Cool (£600).

For context, the air purifiers we've tested across all brands start at around £70 and go up to 10 times that much. It's rare to find a great model below £250, but there are several good ones in the £250-£400 range.

Dyson air purifiers in the Which? test lab

Here's a complete list of Dyson's air purifiers that we've put through our expert lab tests:

Dyson air purifiers we've tested

  • Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Desk Fan DP04

    Dyson

    Pure Cool Purifying Desk Fan DP04

    £400.00

    The Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Desk Fan DP04 has a combined HEPA filter and activated carbon filter, an air quality sensor that automatically detects and reports on the pollution in your room and Dyson's Air Multiplier technology for circulating purified air around the room. Sounds impressive, but read our review to find out how it performed in our tests.

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  • Dyson HP04  Pure Hot + Cool

    Dyson

    HP04 Pure Hot + Cool

    £549.00

    The Dyson HP04 Pure Hot + Cool Purifying Fan Heater has a heater function, a HEPA filter for particles, a carbon filter for gases and odours, 10 speed settings, an LCD screen detailing the room's current air quality and much more besides. Read our review to find out whether it impressed in our air purifier and electric heater tests.

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  • Dyson Pure Humidify and Cool

    Dyson

    Pure Humidify and Cool

    £599.00View retailers

    The Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool is a combined air purifier, humidifier and fan. Like other Dysons, it looks much more attractive than your average air purifier, and it has plenty of features including the ability to control it via your smartphone. Read our full review to find out if it's a Best Buy.

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  • Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Tower Fan TP04

    Dyson

    Pure Cool Purifying Tower Fan TP04

    £469.00View retailers

    The Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Tower Fan TP04 is a floor-standing air purifier that's around a metre tall. It has sensors that capture live data on the quality of the air in your room and send the data to the Dyson Link app on your phone, as well as a tiny screen on the machine itself. And you can use the app to control the fan. But read the full review to find out how good it is at actually purifying the air.

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  • Dyson Purifier Cool TP07

    Dyson

    Purifier Cool TP07

    £499.00View retailers

    This is a wi-fi enabled air purifier aimed at larger rooms of up to 81m². It features large filters that fit together form a cylinder. Those filters are formed from a HEPA layer that captures smoke, allergens, pollen and other pollutants, while an activated carbon layer removes gases and odours.

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  • Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde HP09

    Dyson

    Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde HP09

    £599.00View retailers

    This air purifier is multipurpose, doubling up as a heater in winter, and a fan in summer. It has a HEPA filter to trap particles, a carbon filter to remove gases, plus a catalytic oxidisation filter to eliminate formaldehyde, which is a gas that’s given off by some household furnishings, furniture, and cleaning products. You can operate this air purifier using the remote control, voice assistant, or an app on your smartphone or tablet.

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  • Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool HP07

    Dyson

    Purifier Hot+Cool HP07

    £549.00View retailers

    This is a stylish air purifier that can also be used as a heater and a fan. It has a HEPA filter to trap particles and an activated carbon filter to remove gases. You can operate the air purifier using the remote control, voice assistant, or the Dyson Link app on your smartphone or tablet. The remote is magnetic and sits on top of the unit, so there’s less chance of losing it.

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Dyson Pure Cool Me

The Dyson Pure Cool Me (£290) is the smallest in Dyson's air purifier range (around 45cm high and 25cm across).

You control the Pure Cool Me via its dedicated remote control, as there are no buttons on the actual purifier. This model has 10 speed settings, including a quiet mode for nighttime and a timer mode. There's no automatic mode on this Dyson machine.

The Dyson Pure Cool Me is pitched as a personal air treatment machine, and the brand says it isn't intended to clean an entire room. As a result, we weren't able to put it through our full air purifier testing, as it's not directly comparable to others we test. However, you can read our Dyson Pure Cool Me first look review.

We think you'd be better off putting that money towards an air purifier designed to clean a whole room.

Dyson Pure Cool Me

How we test Dyson air purifiers

At Which?, we test air purifiers in a sealed chamber, measuring how well each model removes dust, pollen and smoke particles from the air. We use dust, pollen and smoke because they are common indoor air pollutants, they represent a range of particle sizes, and they are used in the air purifiers industry standard test.

We calculate the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of each machine – the rate at which each machine removes airborne pollutants from the air and delivers clean air back to the room.

air purifier

We also check how noisy each air purifier is on high and low power, how easy it is to remove and replace the filters and, if the air purifier has smart connectivity, how easy the smartphone app is to use.

For more details, check in with our dedicated guide on how we test air purifiers. Alternatively, explore our full selection of air purifer reviews.