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The best air purifiers available in Australia
Everything you need to know about the best air purifiers available in Australia (and what makes them the best).
- : Philips Series 1000 Air Purifier
- : Welcare Desktop Air Purifier
- : Samsung AX5500 Air Purifier
- : Dyson Pure Hot Cool
- : Dyson Pure Cool Me
The 2019-2020 Australian bushfires led to a huge spike in interest for air purifiers. The smoke haze became so bad that many couldn’t escape it, even indoors. Naturally, many began researching solutions to clear the air in homes and offices and air purifiers began to sell out across the country. Unfortunately, what makes for a good-quality and efficient air purifier isn't regulated by any governing authority and there are many models available that simply aren't equipped to deal with bushfire smoke. That's why researching your options is so important.
Outside of the bushfire season, people typically use air purifiers to combat everyday airborne allergens and toxins. Pet dander, pollen, and dust are just a few examples of nasty particles that can cause you grief. A good air purifier will filter out all that and more if you know which questions to ask before purchasing.
How much coverage do you need? Some are suited to smaller bedrooms but spend a little more money, and you could get something with enough grunt to cover an entire apartment or office. Are features like scheduling and smart home compatibility important to you? Does the air purifier in your shopping cart have True HEPA filtering? And how much will you need to spend on filter replacements? (and how often?). We’ve taken all of these questions into consideration when reviewing some of the best air purifiers you can purchase in Australia.
Our top pick
What is the best air purifier you can buy?
Thankfully, you don't need to spend a fortune to get an air purifier that covers most of the basic needs we've outlined in the introduction above. There are some premium options that offer fancy bells and whistles, such as advanced smart home and automation capabilities and Air Quality Index (AQI) tracking but for a bona fide HEPA-grade air purifier, you don't need to look any further than the Philips Series 1000 air purifier, which is available at a much more generous price now that it has been on the market for a few years.
Compare the best air purifiers
App or Smart Features
Philips Series 1000 Air Purifier
|See it at Amazon||Large area purifier||63²||Pre-filter, Active Carbon and HEPA Filter|
Welcare Desktop Air Purifier
|See it at eBay||Small room purifier||12.36²||Pre-filter, Active Carbon and HEPA Filter|
Samsung AX5500/AX500K air purifier
|See it at The Good Guys||Large area purifier||60²||Pre-filter, Active Carbon and HEPA Filter|
Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Purifier Fan
|See it at Dyson||Purifier-fan||N/A||HEPA filter|
Dyson Pure Cool Me Personal Purifier Fan
|See it at Dyson||Purifier-fan||N/A||HEPA filter + Active Carbon Filter|
Mitsubishi MA-E85R-A Air Purifier
|See it at Catch||Large area purifier||60²||Pre-filter, Active Carbon and HEPA Filter|
Best air purifier overall
Philips Series 1000 Air Purifier
The Philips Series 1000 has been the most impressive air purifier we've reviewed so far. Its top-notch performance is only made sweeter by its affordable price tag (and reasonable asking price for filter replacements).
Not only is it a generous price (with HEPA filter replacements costing $59.95 each) but it’s also one of the quietest and covers more ground than some more expensive air purifiers. It might not offer a PM2.5 readout (important for monitoring smoke levels) like some pricier models, and there are no scheduling or app monitoring features but it does offer a general air quality indicator with a simple colour-coded readout (red’s bad, purple is unhealthy but getting better, blue-violet is almost there and blue is fine and dandy).
WiFi connectivity and companion apps are important features, but smarter features fetch a higher price tag. The Philips Series 1000 does everything a reliable air purifier should do at a friendlier price than most.
Best cheap air purifier
Welcare Desktop Air Puriifer
Despite the name, the Welcare Desktop Air Purifier is far too large to fit on the average home workstation but it's still a solid little performer with up to 12.36² room coverage. Like the Philips Series 1000 Air Purifier before it, the Welcare Desktop Air Purifier's distinct lack of WiFi or app features are disappointing but justified by its more affordable price, coming in below $200. We've found it to be more suitable as a bedside purifier companion, even if the little turbine is capable of producing quite a racket.
It's not easy to find a true HEPA air purifier in this price range, and it's simple colour-based air quality indicator will suit many just fine.
Best purifier for smart homes
Samsung Air Purifier (AX5500)
It’s hard to make an air purifier exciting but making it a little bit smarter is a breeze.
The Samsung AX5500 ticks all the right boxes for a connected air purifier (True HEPA filtering with PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0 readouts), but its user-friendly app and smart home capabilities (like Google Home and Samsung SmartThings support) give it the edge over a lot of the competition.
There are some missed opportunities to educate users on what all those figures in the app mean but we still appreciate the extra data. The Samsung AX5500’s biggest downfall is its price tag (especially considering its unremarkable 60m2 coverage) but for some, the added comfort of remote monitoring and smart scheduling will make the higher price tag worth it.
Best air purifier-fan
Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Purifying Fan Heater
If you’re already a fan of Dyson’s air convection tech, its range of cooling, heating and purifying hybrids might be the best pick for you. As our reviewer Jacqui noted, the Dyson Pure Hot Cool Purifying Fan Heater might be a little too pricey and a little too noisy but it’s one of the few hybrid solutions on the market that will give you a PM2.5 readout (smoke), app monitoring and scheduling and remote control.
The ability to check the air quality of your home while you’re at work or on holiday is invaluable if you have small pets or children at home while you’re away. For many people, that reassurance will be worth the price tag alone.
And to top it all off, you also get the added benefit of both cooling and heating, which is going to be essential as we journey further into Summer.
Best air purifier for bedrooms
Dyson Pure Cool Me
Let's get one thing straight: we don't recommend the Dyson Pure Cool Me as an air purifier alone. Sure it offers a little extra support for filtering out smoke and dust but it's more of a personal fan than it is a fully-fledged air purifier. Dyson doesn't advertise the Pure Cool Me's coverage range but it's intended for smaller areas, such as bedrooms and nurseries. It will also set you back $320 - $499, which is a small fortune considering its limited capability. With that said, it is a superb little cooling/purifying solution for your office or bedside table if you can justify the price.
Dyson also means it when it says this is a 'personal purifying fan' and the 70-degree oscillation arc will make sure it's you and you only copping its cool breeze. If that's likely to cause a bit of drama around who gets the Dyson and on what days, you might be better off investing in something with a more generous airflow.
How we rate the best air purifiers in Australia
We’ve reviewed several air purifiers already but to cover the scope of what’s available out there, we analysed the price, coverage, HEPA filter efficiency, filter replacement cost and availability, alongside less important nice-to-have features, such as app control, and scheduling.
If a manufacturer wasn’t transparent enough with its testing and filtering efficiency, they were removed from the list.
We also removed all products that used meaningless marketing jargon, such as 'HEPA-type', 'HEPA-like' and any 'Permanent HEPA' brand that didn’t require filter replacements. Manufacturers also lost marks if they didn’t specify coverage size (an important consideration). Air purifiers that were transparent about their PM2.5 filtering and CADR (clean air delivery rate) were also given bonus points.
We disregarded any product where there was a conflict of information (e.g. products that make simultaneous claims of 'HEPA' and 'EPA' filtering or mixed messaging on coverage).
We’ve also removed products that aren’t currently available in Australia, such as the Rabbit Air MinusA2.
Lastly, we removed manufacturers that didn’t provide enough information about replacement filters. For example, the TruSens range, which is stocked by JB HI-FI doesn’t list any information on filter replacement pricing and when we got in touch with the customer care centre, we were told to get in touch with a local reseller. JB HI-FI also doesn’t stock replacement filters on its website.
Overall, that left us with a small list of options for air purifiers available in Australia.
Frequently asked questions about air purifiers
Yes. An air purifier that uses both HEPA filtering for fine particles and a pre-filter for larger particles might be your best defence against dangerous smoke levels in the home.
HEPA filters can catch particles as small as 0.3 micrometres with 99.97% efficiency, which covers most airborne toxins and allergens. They will do a reasonable job of catching larger nasties too. However, for the most efficient filtering of smoke particles (measuring at 2.5 micrometres or PM2.5), a combination of HEPA and pre-filtering is most efficient.
For example, the Philips and Samsung range of purifiers use an Active Carbon pre-filter that can catch gases and other TVOCS (Total Volatile Organic Compounds).
Some air purifiers (such as Samsung's AX5500 Air Purifier), are even specifically designed to give you a PM2.5 readout so you can tell exactly how much smoke’s managed to creep its way into your house.
Air purifiers are not a panacea for all your air pollutant problems and for people living with allergies or respiratory conditions like asthma, the 0.03% of particles that slip through can do some damage. Read on for more tips on keeping your house allergen and smoke-free.
HEPA, or High-Efficiency Particulate Air, grading is the measurement standard for air filtering. HEPA filters are often used in medical settings to minimise the risk of spreading airborne viruses and bacteria. Usually, medical-grade HEPA filters are used in conjunction with anti-microbial UV (ultraviolet) filters that eliminate bacteria and viruses caught by the HEPA filter.
HEPA filters are also commonly used in high-quality vacuum cleaners for the same purposes, trapping finer particles instead of kicking them into the air.
There are plenty of air purifier solutions that claim to have HEPA-graded filtering. However, since there is no regulatory authority that monitors the claims made by air purifier manufacturers. This makes buying an efficient air purifier difficult as many domestic solutions use “HEPA-like” filters that don’t adhere to the medical grading system.
Others claim to use HEPA grade filtering but fail to offer more crucial information, like the filtering efficiency and coverage. Others simply don’t offer any kind of pre-filtering for larger particles such as smoke.
The short answer? You don’t clean a HEPA filter. While some brands claim to have washable HEPA filters, your best bet will always be to replace your HEPA filter. We realise that sounds incredibly wasteful and expensive but washing HEPA filters disintegrates the ultra-fine fibres that catch all the dust and air pollution so you can’t count on the 99.97% efficiency.
This is especially pertinent if you’re using an air purifier for medical purposes. Washing a filter could put you at risk.
If the indicator on your air purifier is telling you it’s time for a replacement and you don’t have a spare filter on hand, you can try cleaning the air purity sensor with a cotton tip or, if you must, giving the filter a light vacuum with a soft brush head.
Certain brands have set (and publicly available) sustainability goals. For example, most Philips air purifiers are made with over 90% recycled materials.
Here's what to look out for when you're buying an air purifier in Australia:
- Avoid “HEPA-like” or “HEPA-style” filters
- Avoid “Permanent HEPA” or “washable filters”
- Check for room coverage (e.g. square metre coverage)
- Check price and availability of filter replacements
- Check for PM2.5 filtering claims
- Check if it has pre-filtering
- Check for certification and testing by organisations such as AHAM and ECARF
More tips on reducing exposure to bushfire smoke
In the event of a bushfire or any other event that reduces the air quality in your area, there are a few extra steps you can take to help reduce your exposure to smoke and dust .
Looking to add more automated gadgets to your smart home? Check out a few of our round-ups for some of the smartest home helpers in the market: