The Best Air Purifier

Or how to boost your at-home wellbeing.

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October 30, 2019
Best air purifiers

Air Purifiers

Finally removing that 70s trippy wallpaper in your home might have an impact on your wellbeing. For another at-home wellbeing boost that doesn’t involve physical labour, consider an air purifier. The best air purifier does 1 thing well: removes tiny particles from the air that can be irritating, especially to your lungs. Compact, or easy to move, it’s quiet and simple to use. We’ve scoured the web to bring you the top air purifiers in Australia, backed by real Aussie consumer insights.

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Our top picks

Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage
Best Overall

Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage

See price on Amazon
The Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage AUS-9500 is a technology- and feature-packed air purifier. We love its 5-stage air filtration system, which includes a true HEPA filter, 2 washable filters and a pre-filter to extend the life of the HEPA one, and auto mode smart sensor.
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Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device
Best Overall: Runner-Up

Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device

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The Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device doesn’t have the purifying power of our winner, it’s more focused on delivering you the perceived benefits of salt therapy. Compact and quiet, it’s ideally bedroom sized. A lack of features makes it very simple to use and it’s adored by hundreds of Aussies.
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Air Purifiers

Finally removing that 70s trippy wallpaper in your home might have an impact on your wellbeing. For another at-home wellbeing boost that doesn’t involve physical labour, consider an air purifier. The best air purifier does 1 thing well: removes tiny particles from the air that can be irritating, especially to your lungs. Compact, or easy to move, it’s quiet and simple to use. We’ve scoured the web to bring you the top air purifiers in Australia, backed by real Aussie consumer insights.

Air Purifiers
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How we picked

CHOICE, Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group, doesn’t review air purifiers. Neither does its Kiwi counterpart, Consumer NZ.

So, our usual first stop of expert testing didn’t apply here. We decided to consult the other experts: real Aussie consumers. We turned to ProductReview.com.au, Australia’s first consumer opinion website, to see which air purifiers perform well in Aussie homes. This gave us a shortlist of almost 50 options.

To narrow it down, we looked for at least 3.5 stars from a decent number of reviews, ideally more than 50. 

We didn’t pay too much attention to the technical specs of the air purifiers, instead preferring to focus on their features. We wanted easy to use air purifiers, either ones with very few controls or ones that would do all the hard work for you with auto modes. We paid attention to whether the air purifiers were backed by the National Asthma Council Australia's Sensitive Choice programme – more on that below. Handy features, like timers, remote controls and night-mode, were considered nice-to-haves. Finally, we wanted a good range of prices that would suit those looking for very affordable air purifiers to those willing to pay over $1,000 for one. 

This gave us 7 air purifiers we think are worth considering.

What does an air purifier do? 

An air purifier is intended to improve indoor air quality. It does this by minimising pollutant sources like cigarette smoke, dust and pet dander. Many people who use air purifiers do so because they want to ease asthma or allergies, or to sleep better. But there’s little medical evidence that air purifiers help to relieve respiratory symptoms. 

Air purifiers with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters can purify the air better than non-HEPA filters. That’s because they’re very good at removing fine particles from the air, including dust, pollen, mould spores, exhaust soot and smoke. However, they don’t catch gases or any larger allergens, like dust mites and pet hair, that can remain in the environment even after the air’s been purified. 

Because your home isn’t airtight and particles are constantly being drawn in through windows, doors and more, to be most effective your air purifier needs to run 24/7. So, pay attention to the energy usage of your air purifier. Plus, you need to regularly change your air purifier’s filter. Be sure you know the cost of the replacement filters so you can factor that into the ongoing running costs. 

There are no regulations that air purifiers legally need to meet before they go on the market, unless they claim to have a true HEPA filter – see below. But one way of feeling confident that an air purifier performs well is to choose one that’s got the approval of the National Asthma Council Australia's Sensitive Choice programme. This programme helps consumers identify asthma- and allergy-friendly products. Six out of seven of our air purifiers have this backing. 

If you’re wondering whether you need an air purifier, humidifier or dehumidifier, there’s a great infographic on the Sensitive Choice website. Basically, if you’re worried about mould, try a dehumidifier or humidifier to help maintain the best moisture levels in your home. Air purifiers don’t prevent mould growth – you need to remove the moisture that’s allowing it to grow. Check out our guide to Australia’s best humidifiers.

Important features to consider

These are the key features that every air purifier should have. 

Speed settings

Adjustable speed settings allow you to choose the right fan level for the room – lower when you’re sleeping or working, higher when pollen season kicks in. 

Carrying handle

With most air purifiers working best in 1 room, choosing a light and compact purifier with a decent carrying handle means you can move it around easily.

What you get if you spend more

We found the more you spend, the more features you get. Apart from the HEPA filter, which we think is worth the extra expense if you’re serious about pure air, we reckon most of these are nice to haves.

LED display or apps

Want to know what temperature the room is or what the particle level is? Look for LED displays or apps that’ll provide you real-time reporting. Which, to be honest, you don’t really need.

Timer

If you don’t want to run your air purifier 24/7, or you’re likely to forget to turn it off, opt for a timer. This allows you to set it to run for a certain amount of time, like 1 or 8 hours.

HEPA filter 

If an air purifier claims to have a true or absolute HEPA filter, they must be tested and meet a specific standard. To know whether your air purifier’s HEPA filter is legit, look for their serial number and test results that should be printed on the filter. They must have been proven to trap at least 99.97% of particles of 0.3 microns. 

True or absolute HEPA filters are usually more expensive than other ‘HEPA’ filters but you know that a true or absolute one has been proven to perform at a high standard. Five out of seven of our picks have true HEPA filters.

Night mode

If you’ll use your air purifier in your bedroom, a night mode can be a handy feature. It’ll dim any lights and use the quietest setting. 

Remote control

Don’t want to move across the room to adjust your air purifier? Get one with a remote.

Auto modes

For maximum results, and no manual input, look for auto modes. These automatically adjust the fan speed according to the dirt or dust levels in the air. 

Washable pre-filter

A washable and reusable pre-filter collects large particles which can help extend the life of the main filter. Because it’s reusable, it’ll also save you money on the long-term running costs.

Filter replacement indicator

To ensure your air purifier always works effectively, a filter replacement indicator will let you know when to replace the filter.

Best Overall: Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage AUS-9500

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Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage
The Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage AUS-9500 is a technology- and feature-packed air purifier. We love its 5-stage air filtration system, which includes a true HEPA filter, 2 washable filters and a pre-filter to extend the life of the HEPA one, and auto mode smart sensor.
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The Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage AUS-9500’s name gives away its main point of difference and one of the reasons we reckon it’s Australia’s best air purifier: air goes through a 5-stage filtering process. This includes a washable anti-bacterial pre-filter, a HEPA filter, an anti-bacterial mesh shield, a washable activated carbon filter and, finally, PlasmaWave technology. According to Ausclimate, this technology “attacks pollutants at a molecular level to neutralise viruses, bacteria, chemical vapours and harmful gases without producing harmful ozone”.

The HEPA filter, like all genuine HEPA filters, captures 99.97% of airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. This is further helped by the nano-mesh antibacterial shield which neutralises viruses and bacteria on contact and the activated carbon filter which captures chemical vapours (Ausclimate claims this includes “80% of airborne VOCs within 60 minutes”) as well as offensive odours.

Aside from the technology it’s packing, it’s got some great features too. These include dust and odour sensors to monitor dust and other particles plus odours and gases, before automatically controlling these levels. It also has an auto mode smart sensor. This allows you to ‘set and forget’ your air quality control. Finally, it’s got a light sensor. This automatically activates sleep mode at night-time, dimming the panel lights for quiet, unobtrusive operation. 

If you’d rather not run it 24/7, you can set the timer to run it for 1, 4 or 8 hours. It has 4 fan speeds, including a turbo speed to clean the air quickly. Lightweight, it’s easy to move and works best in 25m2 rooms. 

Keeping it running effectively is simple, thanks to the replace filter indicator which lets you know when to replace the air filters. It comes with a remote control and 2-year warranty.

If that’s not enough to tempt you, the Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage AUS-9500 is approved by the Sensitive Choice Programme. Developed by the National Asthma Council Australia, the programme encourages companies to produce products that are more asthma and allergy aware. Its optimum room size (26m2) and clean air delivery rate is also certified by the AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers). 

All this comes in around $700. Phew.

Why buy the Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage AUS-9500

HEPA filter – it’s got a certified Australian hospital-grade true HEPA filter, which means it can trap at least 99.97% of particles of 0.3 microns.

Timer – if you don’t want to run the purifier 24/7, use the 1, 4 or 8-hour timer. 

Washable filters – rather than having to buy new filters, you can wash and reuse the pre-filter and carbon activated filter.

4 fan speeds – so you can choose the speed that suits you and the room best.

Pre-filter – this extends the life of the HEPA filter by capturing larger airborne pollutants. 

Dust and odour sensors: let the purifier do all the hard work for you thanks to its dust and odour sensors. They’ll monitor dust, other particles, odours and gases and automatically control them, as needed.

Auto mode smart sensor – if you’re not sure what settings are best, you can ‘set and forget’ with this handy feature.

Light sensor – if the purifier is in your bedroom, you can ensure a quiet, dark night’s sleep with its automatic night mode. This turns down light and noise levels.

Replace filter indicator – never get caught short with a non-functioning filter – you’ll know ahead of time when you need to change it. 

Remote control – control your purifier from across the room. 

Sensitive Choice Programme-approved – this means it’s approved by National Asthma Council Australia as an allergy- and asthma-friendly product.

2-year warranty – which gives you peace of mind for your investment. 

ProductReview.com.au award winner – it has almost 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au and is an award winner 2019, making it popular with Aussies. 

The not-so-good bits

Price – at RRP $699, it’s the second most expensive air purifier we reviewed.   

Room size – with 26m2 room coverage, this is the second smallest coverage we reviewed. This won’t be an issue if you’re only planning on using it in 1 room.

In summary 

The Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage AUS-9500 is a technology- and feature-packed air purifier, designed to make your life a little easier. We love its 5-stage air filtration system, which includes a true HEPA filter, 2 washable filters and a pre-filter to extend the life of the HEPA one. The auto mode smart sensor allows you to ‘set and forget’ and you can control it across the room, thanks to the remote control. It also has a dedicated night mode, is Sensitive Choice-programme approved and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Runner-Up: Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device

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Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage
The Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device doesn’t have the purifying power of our winner, it’s more focused on delivering you the perceived benefits of salt therapy. Compact and quiet, it’s ideally bedroom sized. A lack of features makes it very simple to use and it’s adored by hundreds of Aussies.
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If you’re after something a little simpler than our winner, meet the Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device. It works like an air purifier, but with the addition of releasing tiny salt ions. Because it’s not strictly an air purifier, it doesn’t have a HEPA filter. Instead, it has a microcrystalline filter where airborne pollutants are trapped. As air is drawn into the device, it’s also blown out through the filter which contains tiny crystallised salt particles. These salt particles are then blown into the air. 

Advocates of salt therapy, like Salin Plus, believe salt has “the ability to fight anaerobic respiratory infections – and – through osmosis, draws mucus away from the airways, allowing easier breathing”. Although there are plenty of salt therapy devotees, it’s important to note that Lung Foundation Australia says there’s no scientific evidence that salt therapy improves asthma or other lung conditions. 

The Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device has a controllable fan speed and the ability to cover a room of up to 150m2. With a maximum nose level of 40db, it’s also super quiet. One filter cartridge is included – for best results, change it every 4-6 months. A cartridge costs around $55. 

As well as a 1-year warranty, is has a 60-day money back guarantee. What really appealed to us are 2 key things. The first is price – at RRP $199.95 it’s by far the most affordable air purifier we reviewed. The second is how loved it is by Australians. It has almost 350 positive reviews on ProductReview.com.au with an average rating of 4.6. 

Why the Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device is worth considering

Size – at just 23.5cm x 18.1cm x 16.5cm, it’s a handy bedroom size air purifier.

Room coverage – it claims to cover up to a huge 150m2.

Quiet – given that it’s intended to live in your bedroom, it’s great to see low noise levels – just 40db.

Simple to use – there are no LED displays or tricky settings to master here. Simply turn the fan speed dial and you’re away.

Adjustable speed settings – you can dial the fan speed up or down, as needed.

Salt therapy – it comes with the bonus of salt therapy. Although not scientifically backed, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence of people’s experiences with this. 

60-day money-back guarantee – if you’re not sure it’s going to live up to the hype, you’ve got 60 days to try it.

Price – with a RRP of $199.95, it’s very affordable.

Loved by Aussies – almost 400 of you rave about it on ProductReview.com.au.

The not-so-good bits

Ongoing costs – you need to replace the cartridge every 4-6 months to ensure its effectiveness, so that’s around an extra $100 a year.

No HEPA filter – the Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device doesn’t claim to have the purifying power of our winner, so it doesn’t have a HEPA filter. With most of the reviews focused on the salt therapy and its perceived benefits, it’s hard to quantity how good it is as a purifier. 

In summary 

For an alternative air purifier, consider the Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device. Without the purifying power of our winner, it’s more focused on delivering the perceived benefits of salt therapy to your home. Compact and quiet, it’s ideally sized for your bedroom. A lack of features makes it very simple to use. With an affordable RRP, it’s adored by Aussies and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee allowing you to try it at home before committing to it.

The Competition

Here are the other air purifiers we found that are worth considering. 

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link

The Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link is another air purifier that doesn’t just purify your air, it also offers you heated and cooled air too. It boasts a 2-stage sealed filtration system, which includes an activated carbon filter and a glass HEPA filter. Its LCD screen reports on the live air quality and temperature, showing you which particles and gases it’s detected. If that all sounds pretty complicated, you’ll enjoy auto mode which maintains the air quality and temperature, so you don’t have to. 

It can project over 290L of smooth, purified air per second. With 350˚ oscillation, it mixes and circulates the air to heat or cool you, wherever you are in the room. It has a night-time mode with a dimmed screen and the quietest settings, for uninterrupted sleep. The Dyson Link app allows you to control it at home or remotely. If you’re particularly keen, it’ll even show you real-time reports on air quality, temperature, humidity and filter life. 

All of this comes in at a cool RRP $799 - $100 more than our winner. It does have a 2-year warranty plus a 45-day money-back guarantee and over 130 reviews on ProductReview.com, where it has just under 4 stars. It’s also Sensitive Choice Programme-approved. 

Choose this if – you want a sleek air purifier that’ll also heat and cool your air, that’s controlled by an app and provides you in-depth reporting about air quality and temperature. 

InovaAir AirClean E20 Plus

If you’re serious about air purifying, here’s a serious price: the InovaAir AirClean E20 Plus comes in at a huge RRP $1,595.00. It’s the most expensive air purifier we reviewed, by a long way. So, what do you get for your investment? An impressive looking air purifier that’s 100% Australian made.

It has a medical-grade HEPA filter plus a 6kg activated carbon filter. The HEPA filter is expected to last between 3-5 years, making your ongoing investment costs not too painful. It can cover up to 100m2 and is simple to use – you can adjust the speed settings, but that’s it. It’s approved by the Sensitive Choice Programme and has a 5-year parts and labour warranty and a 10-year housing warranty. 

Although it’s quite big and bulky, it has wheels that allow you to move it around easily. It has good, but limited, consumer reviews, racking up 4.6 stars. 

Choose this if – you want a purifier that has 1 function (to purify your air), you’re serious about the kit it uses to do this (that 6kg activated carbon filter) and you’re not looking for extensive functionality beyond adjusting the speed settings. You also need to be ok with spending over $1,500. 

Ausclimate Winix 4 Stage AUS-5500

This is the next level down from our Ausclimate winner. For $100 less, you’re getting 1 less filtration stage, and a slightly different process. You still get the washable pre-filter, true HEPA filter and the PlasmaWave technology. You’re not getting the antibacterial mesh shield and washable carbon filter. Instead, it’s an odour-absorbing carbon filter. 

It has the same smart air quality display, sleep mode, auto mode, 4 fan speeds and replace filter indicator. It doesn’t have a timer, but it does have greater room coverage: 33m2 compared to our winner’s 26m2. 

It’s also Sensitive Choice Programme-approved and has the same 2-year warranty. It’s got almost 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au, but this is from a very limited number of reviews. 

Choose this if – you like the look of our winner, but you’d rather save yourself $100 and settle for 4 stages of filtration and no timer.

Daikin MC70LPVM

If 4 or 5 stages of air filtration aren’t enough for you, the Daikin MC70LPVM could be the right choice: it has a 6-stage system. However, this doesn’t include a HEPA filter. 

It offers 5 operating modes, including silent mode for overnight use; dust and odour indications so you can see the air quality in the room; and a timer. It comes with a remote control, an impressive 5-year warranty and the backing of the Sensitive Choice Programme. 

It’s got great, although limited, consumer reviews and costs around $450. 

Choose this if – you’d like 6 stages of filtration, without an HEPA filter, and a long warranty.

Cli-Mate Air Purification System CLI-AP30

Our second most affordable air purifier, the Cli-Mate Air Purification System CLI-AP30 has a RRP of $349 and packs a lot in. This includes a 3-stage filtration system, with a pre-filter, activated carbon filter and a HEPA filter. 

Smart technology means it senses the particles in the air (which it displays through coloured indicators) and automatically adjusts the fan speed to ensure optimum air purifying. It has 4 speed settings, including an ultra-quiet sleep mode but note this doesn’t dim the LED light display. It also has a 1-,4- and 8-hour timer plus a remote control.

It’s approved by the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice Programme and has a 2-year warranty. 

Although Aussies rate it well on ProductReview.com.au, giving it almost 4 stars, there’s repeatedly negative feedback about the price of the replacement filters. It seems to be around $100 for 4 filters, with each filter lasting around 8 months. 

Choose this if – you want an affordable air purifier with an auto mode, sleep mode, timer and remote control and are happy with potentially pricey replacement filters.

The Bottom Line

An air purifier can clean your home’s air, which may be beneficial if you have any lung conditions, like asthma, or suffer from allergies. 

We reckon the Ausclimate Winix Ultimate 5 Stage AUS-9500 is Australia’s best air purifier. It has a 5-stage air filtration system, which includes a true HEPA filter, 2 washable filters and a pre-filter to extend the life of the HEPA one. The auto mode smart sensor allows you to ‘set and forget’ and you can control it across the room, thanks to the remote control. It also has a dedicated night mode, is Sensitive Choice-programme approved and comes with a 2-year warranty. All this comes in around $700.

For a more affordable alternative that isn’t strictly just an air purifier, consider the Salin Plus Salt Therapy Device. RRP $199.95, it focuses on delivering the perceived benefits of salt therapy to your home. It’s compact and quiet, making it ideal for your bedroom. It’s also super simple to use. It’s adored by almost 350 Aussies and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Sarah Idle
Words by Sarah Idle

Sources

1. "Air Purifiers", The National Asthma Council Australia Sensitive Choice Programme

2. "Air Purifiers", ProductReview.com.au

3. "Infographic", Air Treatments Explained, Sensitive Choice

4. "Salin Plus – How it Works", Salin Plus

5. "Another 5 asthma myths - busted!", National Asthma Council Australia

6. “Do air purifiers work? Expert advice for asthma, dust and more”, Homes to Love