Best air purifier: 6 of the best filters for cleaner air at home

The best air purifiers to give even the air you breathe a little spring clean...

best air purifier: Levoit Core 300
(Image credit: Levoit)

As spring and the warmer weather (finally) approaches 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 is the quality of the air in our environment. One 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 Hot + Cool, which also acts as a fan and heater, or something compact, like the Blueair Blue Pure 411.

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.

What is the best air purifier?

The best air purifier (in our opinion) on the market right now is the Dyson HP04 Pure Hot + Cool Fan Air Purifier, which boasts the triple threat of heating, cooling and purifying all in one. Coming in second is the brilliant BlueAir Classic 480i, which combines impressive functionality with a good eco-friendly mode for those eager to save the planet (and a few pennies).

 The best rated air purifiers 2021

Best Air Purifier: Dyson HP04 Pure Hot + Cool Fan Heater and Air Purifier

(Image credit: Dyson)

1. Dyson HP04 Pure Hot + Cool Fan Heater Air Purifier

Best air purifier overall: a fan, heater AND air purifier perfect for year-round use

Specifications
Functionality: Air purifier, fan and heater
Noise: 54-81dBs
Dimensions: H76.4cm x L24.8cm x W24.8cm
Weight: 4.98kg
Reasons to buy
+Stylish+10 different speed settings+Easy to use and set up
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best for those who don't own a smart phone-A little pricey (but worth it!)

Our second choice air purifier is this 3-in-1 machine that will cool, heat and purify the air in your home all at once. The sealed HEPA filter in the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool claims to remove 99.95% of allergens and pollutants, whilst also being ultra family-friendly with its lack of blades. The purifier has Auto and Sleep modes to help maintain air quality and temperature throughout the entire day (and night), all year round, without you having to so much as lift a finger.

All you’ll need to control it is download and use the Dyson Link app, which gives you real-time reports on indoor and outdoor air quality, temperature, humidity and filter life.

Real Homes rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Best Air Purifier: BlueAir Classic 480i Air Purifier

(Image credit: Blueair)

2. Blueair Classic 480i Air Purifier

Best home air purifier for large rooms: can handle large rooms up to 40m2

Specifications
Room size: up to 40m2
Functionality: Air purifier
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!)

Our top choice for best air purifier - the BlueAir Classic 480i - is also the Real Homes Awards winner for best cleaning product. Yep, even though it’s one of the more expensive products on our list, it’s one that proves to be so worth the money (honest!). 2

The air purifier certainly makes its presence felt and is the heaviest on our list, but that translates into its ability to purify more air in larger spaces (up to 40m2 in this case). On its lowest setting it can be set to run automatically so as not to rack up your energy bills, using the equivalent amount of energy to that of four LED light bulbs over a day.

To use the BlueAir Classic you will just need to set it up through its app, which allows you to both control and - more impressively - monitor the results of the purifier.

Real Homes rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Best air purifier: Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Levoit Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier

Best air purifier for bedrooms: a basic purifier quiet enough to sleep to

Specifications
Room size: up to 19.9m2
Functionality: Air purifier
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 Fan

(Image credit: Argos)

4. Dyson Pure Cool Me Purifying Fan

Best portable air purifier: small, cooling and easily portable

Specifications
Functionality: Air purifier, cooler
Noise: 59dBs
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. Examples of those pollutants are pollen and allergens, VOCs and household cooking odours.

The fan also boasts 10 speed settings, Dyson Core Flow Technology that directs air flow and oscillation capabilities that aid circulation of clean air around the room. 

Best Air Purifier: BlueAir Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier

(Image credit: Argos)

5. Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier

Best budget air purifier: fantastic value option that doesn’t compromise on performance

Specifications
Functionality: Air purifier
Room size: up to 15m2
Noise: 17-46dBs
Dimensions: H42.4 x W20.3 x D20.3cm
Weight: 2kg
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+3 speed settings+Easy to use and set up
Reasons to avoid
-Nightlight feature could annoy some

Another option from BlueAir which wins on value for money. It’s a top choice for small bedrooms or spaces up to 15m2 and will completely filter the air every 12-minutes, lowering particle levels and creating a comfortable home environment.

The air purifier is definitely small in stature, measuring 42cm in height, but is super quiet (which many reviewers love). The trio of speed settings get louder as you crank them up, but only reach a conservative 46dB. This makes it ideal for those who want something quiet enough to sleep through.

While working, it will remove three common particles - smoke, dust and pollen - which will go a long way towards helping to provide some relief to allergy sufferers.

Best Air Purifier: Homedics TotalClean PetPlus Air Purifier

(Image credit: Argos)

6. Homedics TotalClean PetPlus Air Purifier

Best air purifier for pets: gets rid of pet dander and odours for a value price

Specifications
Room size: up to 17.5m2
Functionality: Air purifier, cooler
Noise: 59dBs
Dimensions: H40.1 x W24.5 x D24.5cm
Weight: 2.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Looks good+Easy to use and set up
Reasons to avoid
-Replacement filters a little pricey

Just as with the popular (and more expensive) Dyson Pure Cool Me purifier, the Homedics TotalClean outputs cool air as it works and has a range of settings catering towards different requirements. The device will remove up to 99.97% of airborne allergens, even those as small as 0.3 microns, including pollens, allergens, germs and pet dander. The PetPlus of the name applies to its odour filtration function. 

It’s ideal for rooms up to 17.5m2 or wherever your furry friends spend most of their time, and will help the whole family breathe easier. Reviewers also love how quiet and stylish it is, too.

How to choose the best air purifier for you

There are few things to keep in mind when choosing the best air purifier. We've answered some of your questions below.

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.

Are ozone air purifiers safe?

While you'll find plenty of ozone air purifier devotees, generally speaking, we do not recommend this type of air purifier. It can create dangerous levels of ozone, a gas that's a component in smog, in the home. Over-exposure to ozone can have adverse effects on the lungs and respiratory system. 

Will an air purifier get rid of odours?

Some air purifiers can help eliminate smells, yes. If smoke, mildew or pet smells are an issue in your home, look for an air purifier with a charcoal or carbon filter, both of which are known to trap odours.  

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.