Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

The air purifiers that rated the lowest in our lab tests

If you're investing in an air purifier, these are the models we suggest you avoid if you want to breathe easy.

illustration of three air purifiers with crosses
Last updated: 20 May 2024

Need to know

  • Our expert air purifier review includes over 45 models from brands including Samsung, Dyson, Kogan, Ikea, Breville, Philips and more to help you decide which is the best to buy
  • We score how well they remove dust, smoke and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air, as well as how energy efficient and quiet they are, and how easy they are to use
  • Consider joining CHOICE to see our full air purifier reviews and best performers, as well as expert reviews and advice on over 200 products and services

Since the pandemic and the rise in extreme weather events, many more of us have become concerned about the quality of air we're breathing in our homes, schools and workplaces. Unsurprisingly, the number of air purifiers on the market continues to grow, with more and more models becoming available as brands release new air purifying appliances in an attempt to meet consumer demand. 

Unfortunately, while CHOICE experts have seen plenty of good air purifiers, we've also encountered some models that performed so poorly you may as well be watching your cash disappear into thin air. 

Considering the relatively high cost of air purifiers, the poor performance of some models is especially disappointing.

Many people with allergies, asthma or respiratory issues rely on air purifiers to improve their quality of life by filtering out dust, pollen, smoke and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the home.

Some models perform so poorly you may as well be watching your cash disappear into thin air

Others are also turning to air purifiers as a way to help keep the air in their homes, schools or workplaces clear of germs associated with viruses such as COVID-19 (a job air purifiers can indeed do, although with limitations – find out more about how effective air purifiers are against viruses and germs).

We don't want you to end up with a dud buy, so here are the products that scored lowest in our lab tests. Consider becoming a CHOICE member to see the best performers.

The worst performing air purifiers in CHOICE testing

Our CHOICE review looks at over 45 different models of air purifiers. We give each air purifier scores based on how each model performs in aspects such as dust removal, smoke removal and which are best for removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. In our review you can also find out which models are the most energy efficient, the quietest and the easiest to use. 

Our results shows that these following air purifiers definitely won't blow you away. And while they all come in under the $250 mark, they're anything but a bargain – keep in mind that cheaper air purifiers tend to be smaller, which means they may struggle to deliver the same air-purifying power as a larger model.

There's no guarantee that buying a more expensive air purifier will give you better performance, though, so check our detailed CHOICE air purifier reviews before you buy. 

Breville The Easy Air Connect Purifier LAP158

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 42%
  • Performance score: 25%
  • Price: $249

Air Purifiers Australia AD-06

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 42%
  • Performance score: 30%
  • Price: $239

Ikea UPPATVIND PI-396400-1

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 43%
  • Performance score: 32%
  • Price: $49

Heller Air Sense HAP60

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 43%
  • Performance score: 31%
  • Price: $114
We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.