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Is a Dyson fan or air purifier worth the money?

Our experts reveal how they really rate for cooling, heating and air purifying compared with cheaper brands.

dyson fans on light blue background should you buy a dyson fan
Last updated: 25 March 2022

Need to know

  • Various models of Dyson fan boast fancy features and multiple functions, including air purifying and heating
  • Whether they’re worth it depends on your priorities. Basic pedestal fans are much cheaper and often more effective at cooling
  • Our experts test and rate many popular brands of pedestal fans, tower fans, air purifiers and heaters – check our reviews before you buy

Dyson isn't just about high-end vacuums. Their range of space-age bladeless fans – which cost around $550 to $799 – have also developed a cult following among lovers of the sleek design and fancy features. 

Their newest models also include air purifying capabilities – a plus for anyone looking for ways to keep the air in their homes free of impurities. 

Pedestal fans and tower fans are great options if you can't install air conditioning or if you're renting and need a fast cooling fix. 

And they're certainly much cheaper to run than air con, costing about $30 to run over a summer as opposed to $150–$300 for air conditioning (depending on house size and the system you're using).

Fans are much cheaper to run than air con, costing about $30 to run over a summer

But, if the goal is to save cash, do you really need to fork out hundreds for a Dyson fan? Particularly when you can pick up a pedestal fan for as little as $15 from places such as Big W and Kmart?

We asked our lab experts who've tested Dyson's current range if the cult brand's fans are worth spending big, and if those other features such as air purifying really work.

Pros of a Dyson fan

The Dyson fan range includes desk/personal fans, tower fans, pedestal fans (now discontinued) and fans with heating and air-purifying functions. 

Advantages of Dyson fans include:

  • They're easier to clean than basic pedestal fans as they don't have grills or blades that gather dust.
  • They don't have fast-spinning blades that could hurt little hands.
  • They have added features such as remote controls to adjust airflow settings and sleep timers.
  • Some models have a heating function for winter use. All new Dyson fans include air-purifying capabilities.
  • They look cool, if that's important to you, and the brand is known for investing heavily in engineering new prototypes and perfecting its designs.

Are Dyson fans worth the high price?

"We test a range of basic, traditional pedestal fans in our labs here at CHOICE alongside the more high-tech expensive models such as Dyson," says our home expert Rebecca Ciaramidaro.  

"Although the Dyson models don't perform badly in our tests overall, when it comes to the strength of airflow and their ability to create a nice cooling breeze, you can buy a product that does the job for less than a tenth of the price." 

You can buy a product that does the job for less than a tenth of the price

CHOICE home expert Rebecca Ciaramidaro

Granted, that $15 Big W pedestal fan won't have any of the additional features touted by the Dyson models – including air-purifying technology and heating functions. But for the purposes of our fan reviews, we focus on each product's ability to cool us down and other factors such as noise.

How well do Dyson fans work as air purifiers?

All new fans in the Dyson range are also air purifiers that claim to improve indoor air quality by projecting purified air, either hot or cool, throughout your home, and removing dust, allergens, gases, odours and pollution in the process.

But unfortunately, CHOICE experts have found in our tests that Dyson air purifiers don't tend to clean the air as quickly and effectively as many other models.

CHOICE expert Chris Barnes says: "Our test method for air purifiers is based on the industry standard Clean Air Delivery Rate test (CADR), while Dyson has devised a different test called Polar which they say is more realistic. This may be part of the reason why they perform less effectively in our reviews."

CHOICE experts have found ithat Dyson air purifiers don't tend to clean the air as quickly and effectively as many other models

Barnes says another reason that Dyson air purifiers failed to impress our testers could be because they're designed to do double-duty as fans, so this may require some compromise in how much air is filtered at any moment. 

"Most air purifiers work by sucking in air and pushing it through a series of filters, and the air leaving the air purifier has lost speed by the time it exits the filters," he says. 

"If you really want a tower fan or heater with air-purification capability and you have the budget for a Dyson, the models we've tested may be worth considering as there aren't many other combination fan/air purifier models out there. 

"However, there are many cheaper pedestal fans that have superior cooling capabilities and other air purifiers that perform better in our reviews."

Matt Tung Choice tester testing pedistal fans

CHOICE tester Matthew Tung puts pedestal fans through their paces in our labs.

Comparing Dyson fan models

Our lab experts have reviewed many Dyson fan and heater models in the past, some of which have been discontinued by the manufacturer but may still be available from certain retailers or secondhand. These include the Dyson Cool Tower Fan AM07, the Dyson Hot+Cool Jet Focus AM09 and the Dyson Pure Cool TP04 fan.

In our most recent review, you can compare results for the Dyson Pure Cool TP00 ($599) and the Dyson Purifier Cool TP07 ($799).

"Although these fans perform adequately in our tests, we find that if you're just looking for something to circulate air and create a cooling breeze, the Dyson fans probably aren't worth the extra cash," says Ciaramidaro. 

"You're paying a significantly higher price for the design and technology of the added features, which you may or may not need." 

How well does Dyson's fan work as a heater? 

If you're looking for a unit that's useful all year round, we've reviewed the Dyson Hot+Cool Jet Focus AM09 which doubles as a fan heater, and performed admirably in our electric heater tests

"Its heating performance is very good," says our resident heating expert Barnes. "It's very fast to heat the room and spreads the heat really effectively with its fan.

If you need a heater in winter and a fan in summer, it makes sense to have one unit that can do both

Chris Barnes, CHOICE heating expert

"As a cooling fan, it's comparable to Dyson's other models – good, though not quite as good as the AM07, which has better airflow.

"But if you need a heater in winter and a fan in summer, it makes sense to have one unit that can do both. If you're happy to pay the premium price tag, the AM09 is a good choice."

The Hot+Cool model we tested doesn't include the air-purifying feature, although models with it are available at a higher price. 

Read our full Dyson Hot+Cool heater fan review.

CHOICE tip: Most fans could be run 24/7 all summer and you'd only pay about $30 or less for electricity. To make sure you get the best fan for what you need, read our fan buying guide.

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.