Best air purifiers – tried and tested for improving indoor air quality

The best air purifiers for improving indoor air quality and filtering dust, pollen and odours, as tested by the Ideal Home team. Our top recommendations from Blueair, AEG, Levoit, Philips, Dyson, and more

The best air purifier as tested by Ideal Home - the Blueair Blue Max 3250i on a blue background
(Image credit: Future)

The best air purifiers can filter out all sorts of airborne contaminants, including smoke, dust, pollen, and pet dander, making it easy to manage your indoor air quality at the press of a button.

Some air purifiers can also tackle invisible airborne particulates such as formaldehyde and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – chemicals that can be released into our homes by MDF and laminated wood, fire retardants used on upholstery fabrics, paints, and cleaning products amongst other culprits. Plus, they can reduce indoor pollution caused by vehicle emissions entering the home – something of particular relevance if you live in an area where clean air isn't guaranteed when you open the window.

No wonder that, alongside the best dehumidifiers, air purifiers are fast becoming the go-to appliance for those looking to improve their home's air quality.

As such, the Ideal Home team has tried, tested, and reviewed some of the best air purifiers on the market to bring you our top recommendations. We've put air purifiers from Blueair, Dyson, AEG, Philips, and many more through their paces to compare CADR (clean air delivery rate), HEPA filtration performance, ease of use, cost to run, and price, to find the best air purifiers to invest in.

The quick list

Short on time? This quick list is an overview of the very best air filters. You'll find more information on each air purifier and why our testers recommend it if you keep on scrolling.

Best air purifiers

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best air purifier overall

Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifierproduct badge

(Image credit: Blueair)
A brilliant all-rounder that offers good value for money

Specifications

Recommended room size: 48m²
CADR: pollen 239m³/h, dust 239m³/h, smoke 239m³/h
Filter type: 3-Stage Pre-Filter, HEPASilent Filter with carbon sheet and activated coconut shell carbon
Dimensions: H48 x W27 x D27cm
Weight: 3.39kg
Energy usage: 2.5-20W
Noise levels: 18-46dB
Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes
Automatic mode: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Excellent performance with fast response times
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Removal of 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 micron in size
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Great at odour removal
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Automatic air quality control
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Energy efficient
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Smart App connectivity compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
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Relatively compact and portable

Reasons to avoid

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On-board controls could be a little easier to use
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No timer

The Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifier offers a great combination of responsive performance combined with stylish design and a relatively affordable price point, making it our top recommendation for the best air purifier overall. 

It's designed to filter the air in spaces up to 48m² and offers a decent CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 239 m³/h. The 3-Stage HEPASilent Filter also can remove 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns in size, whereas many air purifiers at this price point only promise the removal of particulates down to 0.3 microns in size.

In practice, our tests found that the filter made a difference to how the Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifier performed, with this air purifier being one of the fastest to detect dips in air quality and the quickest to improve air quality levels in a small to medium-sized space. It also performed the best at odour removal, clearing the test kitchen of bacon fumes quicker than any other air purifier we tested.

All importantly, the Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifier also offers a built-in air quality sensor that makes managing indoor air quality super simple. Simply turn on the Auto mode and the purifier does all the hard work for you, switching into standby mode when the air quality is good, and automatically kicking into gear should air quality drop. 

The coloured air quality indicator light on the front of the air purifier is a nice user-friendly touch, and, although in testing we thought the on-board controls could be a little slicker, the option to connect to Wi-Fi and operate the air purifier via the Smart App, or to connect it to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to use voice-activated commands, will be a great plus point for many users.

Our full Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifier review has more details on our testing process.

Best air purifier for large spaces

AEG AX91-604GY Connected Air Purifierproduct badge

(Image credit: AEG)
Best air purifier for large spaces

Specifications

Recommended room size: 129m²
CADR: 620m3/h
Filter type: 5-Stage Pre-filter, Antibacterial Layer, Pre-charged True EPA12 Filter, Active Carbon, and Ionisation
Dimensions: H72.5 x W31.5 x D31.5cm
Weight: 8.9kg
Energy usage: 4-41W
Noise levels: 17-32dB
Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes
Automatic mode: Yes

Reasons to buy

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High CADR of 620m3/h that's powerful enough for use in large spaces up to 129m2
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Automatic air quality control
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Easy to use
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Smart App connectivity compatible with Google Home

Reasons to avoid

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An investment
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Large and bulky to move
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Replacement filters are expensive

If you want to manage the indoor air quality within a large room or open-plan home then the AEG AX91-604GY Connected Air Purifier is our top recommendation, with a high CADR of 620m3/h and a cleverly-designed 'AirSurround system' that can spiral the air to all four corners of a 129m² space by way of its powerful fan motor.

All in all, that's nearly three times the CADR of the Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifier, and a similar three-times increase in the size of space that the AX91-604GY can filter. However, the downside is that the AEG AX91-604GY Connected Air Purifier is also nearly three times the price of the Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifier at full RRP, and double the compact 3250i's size and weight.

However, what both of our top recommended air purifiers have in common is stylish design, great functionality and plenty of Smart features that make using them a dream. The AX91-604GY's digital display is especially impressive, winning the accolade for most intuitive and user-friendly design thanks to its six-colour air quality indicator lights and touch-sensitive swipe settings.

The AX91-604GY is also equipped with a hassle-free and energy-efficient automatic mode that uses information gleaned from the built-in air quality sensor to manage your home's air quality. Plus, it's Wi-Fi compatible and can be paired with AEG's Wellbeing App for extra air quality data and functionality, or connected to Google Home. 

It may be an investment – and have the most expensive replacement filters of all the air purifiers we've tested at £100 a pop – but the AEG AX91-604GY Connected Air Purifier does match premium-feel build quality to that premium price tag, and, if you have a large space to filter, then this is an air purifier that's up to the challenge.

Dive into the detail in our AEG AX91-604GY Connected Air Purifier review.

Best budget buy

Blueair Blue Pure 511 Air PurifierBudget buy badge

(Image credit: Blueair)

3. Blueair Blue Pure 511 Air Purifier

A basic air purifier that offers affordability

Specifications

Recommended room size: 38m²
CADR: 191m³/h
Filter type: 3-Stage Pre-Filter, HEPASilent Filter with carbon sheet and activated coconut shell carbon
Dimensions: H34 x W20 x D20cm
Weight: 1.9g
Energy usage: 2-16W
Noise levels: 24-49dB
Wi-Fi connectivity: No
Automatic mode: No

Reasons to buy

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Affordable
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Energy efficient
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Compact and portable

Reasons to avoid

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No Automatic mode
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No Wi-Fi connectivity
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No air quality data
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No timer

We've now tested multiple Blueair air purifiers and all have scored highly in our review process. The Blue Pure 511 is the brand's entry-level model, specifically designed to make investing in an air purifier more affordable thanks to its budget-friendly sub-£100 price tag. 

The Blue Pure 511 feels a lot more basic in terms of style and functionality than our top-rated Blueair air purifier, the Blue Max 3250i, and it's less powerful, with a 191m³/h CADR that can improve air quality in a space up to 38m² compared to the Blue Max 3250i's 239m³/h CADR that can manage air quality in a space of up to 48m2. But that CADR is still impressive for an air purifier at this price point. In comparison, the cheapest air purifier we've tested (which isn't that much cheaper), the Beko ATP5100I Air Purifier, can only manage air quality in a 13m² space.

A downside for some will be the Blue Pure 511's lack of Wi-Fi connectivity. This means no remote or voice-activated controls and very limited air quality data. However, the biggest downside, in our opinion, is the fact the Blue Pure 511 doesn't offer a built-in air quality sensor. This means the Pure 511 is either on or off, with no Automatic mode whereby it will manage its own performance according to the air quality it detects. You can toggle the Pure 511 through three fan speeds for low, medium, or high filtration, but without Automatic mode, that still makes for very limited functionality. And unlike models with built-in air quality sensors, that means there's no air quality data available with the Pure 511. Personally, if possible, we would spend more and opt for the Blue Max 3250i instead. 

However, if price is paramount, this air purifier still does a decent job in a small space. And although it lacks that energy-efficient Automatic mode, the Blue Pure 511 does deliver relatively low energy usage, using just 2-16W of electricity.

Best air purifier for small spaces

Levoit Core 300S Air Purifierproduct badge

(Image credit: Levoit)
A compact air purifier that's useful for small rooms

Specifications

Recommended room size: 50m²
CADR: 240m3/h
Filter type: 3-Stage Pre-Filter, H13 HEPA Filter, Activated Carbon Filter
Dimensions: H36 x W22 x D22cm
Weight: 2.7kg
Energy usage: 23W
Noise levels: 22-50dB
Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes
Automatic mode: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Compact and portable
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Automatic air quality control
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Easy to use with great display
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Smart App connectivity compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

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Not as responsive as some

If you have small rooms, and you're looking for an air purifier that won't take up too much space, then the Levoit Core 300S air purifier is a good choice.

Its H36 x W22 x D22cm build isn't that much smaller than the H48 x W27 x D27cm Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifier at the top of our list, but its shorter stature does make a difference, allowing the Core 300S to fit much more easily onto a sideboard or work surface if you don't have the floor space to accommodate a larger design.

It also offers a great user experience, with an easy-to-read display panel that instantly communicates your room air quality levels via coloured indicator lights and super easy-to-use onboard controls. This air purifier is also Wi-Fi compatible so you can pair it with the VeSync Smart App to operate it remotely and view more detailed real-time data on your home's air quality, or connect it to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant if you prefer to operate your appliances via voice commands. 

In our tests, it also did a good job of air filtration thanks to its 3-stage pre-filter, H13 HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter. 

Like the Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifier, the Levoit Core 300S includes that all-important built-in air quality sensor and automatic mode so you can leave it on standby to manage your air quality automatically. However, it wasn't quite as quick at responding to dips in air quality as the Blueair Blue Max 3250i Air Purifier, perhaps because the Levoit Core 300S air purifier promises to capture 99.97% of 0.3-micron air pollutants, whereas the Blue Max 3250i filters out microns down to 0.1 in size. As such it didn't do quite as good a job at odour removal as the Blue Max 3250i.

That said, if you're looking for a small air purifier – that you can perhaps pop on a kitchen work surface or bedside table – this compact design fits the bill and offers a super user-friendly design.

Our Levoit Core 300S Air Purifier review has all of the details.

Best for air quality data

The Philips AC3033/30 Expert Series 3000i Connected Air Purifier a grey cylinder designproduct badge

(Image credit: Philips)
A powerful air purifier with excellent air quality data