As the warmer weather arrives and we continue switching our homes from cosy caves to airy sanctuaries, one thing we don't tend to think about enough is the quality of the air in our environment. The best air purifiers are an easy fix, gaining in popularity due to their promise of eliminating odours, pollutants, and bacteria from the air.
Of course, the last few years have also been a time of thinking more about our health, as well as the health of those around us. For example, air purifiers are designed to eliminate nasty irritants, from smoke and pollution to dust and pet hair.
Some can also serve multiple purposes, which will comfort anyone reluctant to incorporate yet another bulky gadget into their living area. Instead, save space with something like the Blueair Blue Pure Fan, which acts as a cooling fan, or something compact, like the Levoit Core 300.
Scroll down to see how we ranked the best air purifiers on the market right now or if you want cooling power without the purification element, check out our guide to the best fans.
The best air purifiers: tried and tested by us
A lovely-looking update from Blueair, the 3210 prioritizes style along with functionality. Many air purifiers claim to be ‘whisper quiet, but this one actually means it. While testing, we barely noticed the device, even when it was working hard to clear the air after cooking or a spray of air freshener around the room (if you ever want to make sure your air purifier is doing something, that's the way!).
All in all, this offering from Blueair is one of the simplest air filters we've tested, and it's honestly the better for the lack of bells and whistles. Quiet and low on additional features, it might not suit those who like to look at data or connect their devices to their smart home, but it's a winner for everyone else.
Real Homes rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
With the best dust-busting rating on our list, the Philips AC3033/30 Expert Series 3000i Connected Air Purifier is a smart addition to the home that has a huge amount of air purification power. Designed to be used in spaces up to 104m2, the AC3033/30 is a great choice for larger homes - even more so because the device itself is relatively large and heavy when compared with its peers.
You can monitor air quality in your home via the digital display on top of the device or with the Philips Clean Home+ app. This app also allows the air purifier to work with Alexa voice control, making it super easy to control in a variety of ways and, as the in-built air quality sensors allow the AC3033/30 to adapt to the environment in real-time, you might not even need to think about it until the filter needs changing - which should only be once every 36 months!
Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The Levoit Core 300 True HEPA air purifier might be free of fancy features like smart home compatibility, but it still rates highly as a solid, reliable, basic model for those curious about how an air purifier can improve their indoor air quality. Customizable filters are a unique selling point of the Levoit Core 300, and you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
All in all, while the budget air purifier from Leviot doesn't cover as much ground as some other products on this list, it impressed us with its stripped-back functionality compared to pricier models.
Real Homes rating: 4 out of 5 stars | read our full review of the Levoit Core 300
The best air purifiers: more top picks
If you want to ensure you keep cool as your indoor air is being filtered, then the Dyson Pure Cool Me Purifying Fan could be the best option for you. Like other Dyson products, the fan boasts 10 speed settings, and Dyson Core Flow technology directs airflow just right.
The oscillation function allows it to move 70 degrees from side to side, and you can change the direction of airflow by manually adjusting and angling the middle of the dome. The timer, compact size and Quiet Mark certification make it a good choice for the bedroom, especially if you tend to run warm at night, but it's also portable enough to be moved from room to room as needed.
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.
Plenty of reviewers pointed to unwanted noise levels coming from the interior fan, suggesting a cheaper build. But that has thankfully translated into savings for the user, as it's the cheapest air purifier in our guide. It's super simple 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.
How we test the best air purifiers
At Real Homes we are dedicated to testing every product we feature in our buying guides, putting them through the everyday challenges they would face in our reader's homes. This means that you can trust that our recommendations are based on real-world testing. However, we are not able to test everything, but this will be made clear in the guide.
When testing an air purifier we look at things such as its affordability, ease of set-up and use, noise levels, size, and design. We also look at the promises made by brands, and trial whether these bear out in reality.
How to choose the best air purifier for your home
How large/small does my air purifier need to be?
It’s a question on many buyers' minds since we 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, 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 – much like the best dehumidifiers. 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.