Best air purifier: the best filters and purifiers for cleaner air in your home

The best air purifiers to give even the air you breathe a little spring clean, monitor pollution levels, and keep your home healthier

best air purifier: Dimplex DXAPV3N
(Image credit: Dimplex)

As spring and the warmer weather (finally) approach and we start thinking about switching our homes from a cosy cave to a light and airy oasis, one thing we don't tend to think about enough is the quality of the air in our environment.

One easy way to fix this is with an air purifier, which have been gaining in popularity due to their promise of eliminating odours, pollutants and bacteria from the air.

Of course, 2021 has also been a year of thinking more about our health, as well as the health of those around us. Air purifiers are designed to eliminate all sorts of nasty irritants from smoke and pollution to dust and pet hair. 

Some can also serve multiple purposes, which will be a comfort for anyone who is reluctant to incorporate yet another bulky gadget into their living area. Save space with something like the Dyson Pure Cool Me, which also acts as a cooling fan, or something compact, like the Blueair Blue 3210.

Scroll down to see how we ranked the best air purifiers on the market right now or, if you want to get prepared for summer, check out our guide to the best fans.

Amazon Prime Day air purifier deals

Our buying guide includes the best air purifiers around, as tested by us. But, if you need an air purifier fast and you are after a bargain, check out these deals from Amazon now.

Visit our dedicated Amazon Prime Day 2021 page for plenty more deals.

LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home | £73.99 £53.45 (save £20.54) at Amazon
Investing in an air purifier is a smart idea – especially if you suffer from allergies, or if someone smokes indoors. It has three speeds and a night light so it's ideal for use in a bedroom while you sleep. It also comes in black or white, to suit your bedroom decor, while there's 28 per cent off today.View Deal

Philips AC0820/30 Series 800 Compact Air Purifier | £150 £129.99 (save £20.01) at Amazon
Another air purifier? You bet. This one from Philips is compact yet feature-packed, as it can even give real-time air quality feedback. It's also quiet so you can leave it on while sleeping, and it's not exactly an eyesore. A bargain with 13 per cent off today.View Deal

 The best air purifiers 2021

best air purifier: Blueair Blue 3210Real Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Blueair)

1. Blueair Blue 3210

Best home air purifier

Specifications
Room size: 17m2
Noise: from 18dB
Dimensions: H42.5cm x W20cm
Reasons to buy
+Small and easy to fit into any space+Multiple colour options for pre-filter+Whisper quiet
Reasons to avoid
- No app or smart home compatibility

A lovely-looking update from Blueair, the Blue 3210 prioritises style along with functionality, promising to rid the air in your home of allergens, dust, mould, pet dander, microplastics and any other tiny nasties floating away in the environment. It does all of this with the help of lovely interchangeable pre-filters (in dark grey, light grey, pink, green or pink), which stretch over the outside to add a pop of colour to your tech.

A lot of air purifiers claim to be ‘whisper quiet’, but the Blueair Blue 3210 really means it. While testing we barely noticed the device working away, even when it was working hard to clear the air after cooking or a spray of air freshener around the room. This can make it hard to determine how much it’s doing, but we noticed a marked difference in things like food smells (tested in the kitchen area) and dust levels.

The colourful, elasticated pre-filters slip over the device to make it far more aesthetically pleasing than Blueair’s previous plasticy looking machines, and make it possible to match your device to the rest of your décor. All of the colours are very Scandi-style inspired with a muted fabric look that enhances the purifier’s appearance without them sticking out too much in their environment.

Real Homes rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

best air purifier: BlueAir Classic 480iReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Blueair)

2. Blueair Classic 480i Air Purifier

Best HEPA air purifier

Specifications
Functionality: Air purifier
Area size: up to 430 sq ft
Filter: HEPA
Noise: 32–56dBs
Dimensions: H59 x W50 x D27.5cm
Weight: 15kg
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+10 different speed settings+Easy to use and set up
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best for those who don’t own a smartphone-A little pricey (but worth it!)

Coming in second for best air purifier, the BlueAir Classic 480i may be one of the more expensive products on our list but it’s one that proves to be worth the money (honest!).

The Classic 480i certainly makes its presence felt and is also the heaviest on our list, but that translates into an ability to purify air in much larger spaces and, on its lowest setting it can be set to run automatically so as not to rack up your energy bills. In fact, it will use the energy of just four LED light bulbs over the course of a day.

The purifier uses HEPASilence filtration so, not only does it do a brilliant job of removing 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns, but it does so quietly. It delivers on this promise, having been awarded the Quiet Mark, and this makes it ideal for any room of the house including the bedroom. You will have to keep it on lower settings, however.

Still, this makes tackling things like summer allergies a breeze, ensuring you can sleep soundly and relax without worrying about the amount of pollen in your home.

Real Homes rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Best air purifier: Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air PurifierReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier

Best air purifier for bedrooms

Specifications
Functionality: Air purifier
Area size: 214 sq ft
Filter: HEPA, activated carbon
Noise: 24-50dBs
Dimensions: H36 x W22cm
Weight: 3.4kg
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+Affordable+Night mode+Specialized filter options
Reasons to avoid
-Just 3 speed settings

The Levoit Core 300 True HEPA air purifier might be free of fancy features like app compatibility, but it still rates highly as a solid, basic model for those curious about which air purifier to buy for their home.

On its lowest level the machine is quiet enough to sleep to, making it perfect for placing in the bedroom, and it’s also light enough to move around should you want to try it out in a few different areas. As with the Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier, replacement filters are a little expensive, but they do cater specifically towards needs such as pet hair, mould and bacteria removal. 

All in all, while the Core 300 impressed us with its functionality when compared to its smaller price tag, other models were able to cover more ground should you have the means to splash out a little more.

Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Best Air Purifier: Dyson Pure Cool Me Purifying FanReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Argos)

4. Dyson Pure Cool Me Purifying Fan

Best portable air purifier

Specifications
Functionality: Air purifier, cooler
Noise: 59dBs
Filter: HEPA, activated carbon
Dimensions: H40.1 x W24.5 x D24.5cm
Weight: 2.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Stylish+Smooth 70 degree oscillation+Easy to move around
Reasons to avoid
-No app support

If you want to keep cool while your air is being purified then the Dyson Pure Cool Me Fan could be the best option for you. The device has been engineered to help improve air quality with a sealed filter that combines an activated carbon and glass HEPA layer that can capture gases and 99.95% of ultra fine particles.

The fan boasts 10 speed settings, Dyson Core Flow Technology that directs air flow and oscillation capabilities that aid circulation of clean air around the room. It's also portable enough to be moved from room to room as needed, and small enough to be placed on a bedside table overnight.

Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars

best air purifier: Dimplex DXAPV3NReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Dimplex)

5. Dimplex DXAPV3N

Best budget air purifier

Specifications
Filter: Carbon, HEPA
Room size: 28m2
Speed settings: 2
Noise: 40-50dB
Dimensions: 12.3 x 24.8 x 33.3cm
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Small and compact
Reasons to avoid
-Only two speed settings-Not suitable for larger rooms

Recommended for those looking for an effective air purifier that won't cost the earth, the Dimplex DXAPV3N is a compact and well-designed machine that enlists carbon and HEPA filters to rid small rooms of unwanted elements in the air. It's small enough to sit on a bedside table, but be aware that it's not the quietest on our list.

The light blue design if the Dimplex looks great, with a small on/off switch on its side and a removeable filter situated at the back of the machine. This all makes it super-easy to use and manage long-term, but those who are more interested in a smart purifier or something with more settings might want to look elsewhere.

Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Blueair Blue 3210 in bright living room beside cream sofa

(Image credit: Blueair)

How large/small does my air purifier need to be?

It’s a question on many buyers' minds, since we all only have so much real estate to dedicate to another smart device. The thing to pay attention to here is the capability of the air purifier, rather than its physical bulk. So the best thing to do is measure the space in which you wish to place your purifier (in m2) and use that as a guide. Broadly speaking, the price moves up at the same pace, but there are bargains to be found.

Of course, if you’re lucky enough to live in a grand Edwardian or Victorian home then it may also be worth allowing for this when you hone in on your options.

Do air purifiers remove smells?

While the best air purifiers do a good job of removing a whole host of unwanted things from the air around us, many people are keen to know how effective they are against smells. Whether that's cooking smells or the odours that come from our pets, if this is a problem in your home then you should look for a charcoal or carbon filter - both known to trap and eliminate common odours in the home.

How much should I spend on an air purifier?

The cost of the perfect air purifier is, again, very much dependent on how much you want it to do. If you already use a fan and/or heater in hot and cold months, respectively, then it could actually be better value for money to invest a little more in a multifunctional device.

Similarly, for a single room we would recommend a budget of around £150 but, if your space is much larger, then £500-or-so should do the trick.

Caroline Preece
Caroline Preece

Caroline has been part of the Real Homes ecommerce team in the UK since the start of 2021, after working for the last decade as a journalist across publications in technology, entertainment and more. In her spare time she's usually obsessing about space-saving and DIY hacks for small spaces, and how to affordably make a rental feel like a home.