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Air purifier in the test: Only one device convinces

With the pandemic still serious, the demand for air purifiers is steadily increasing. The devices promise to filter viruses, bacteria, pollen and pollutants from the room air. A team from Stiftung Warentest examined how well this works.

The Sars-CoV-2 corona virus spreads via aerosols, i.e. mixtures that mainly consist of air with particles suspended in it. When someone infected with the virus exhales this mixture, they can release large amounts of virus in a very short time. Employees at Stiftung Warentest examined how well these are filtered by air purifiers. Instead of corona viruses, harmless droplets of paraffin oil, which are as tiny as the viruses.

air purifier test
Air purifier in the test: Stiftung Warentest evaluated seven devices (Photo: Stiftung Warentest)

For the air purifier test, seven devices were tested at prices ranging from 171 to 455 euros. With new air filters, all devices do their job well: After 20 minutes, it drops Concentration of paraffin oil particles in the air by 90 to 96 percent. However, the effectiveness of the filters decreases over longer periods of use. Only four devices with aged filters still reduced the concentration of virus-sized particles well.

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Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier Pro is the test winner of Stiftung Warentest

The air purifiers have not only been tested for viruses, but also for their ability to filter out pollen and other pollutants such as formaldehyde. All devices removed pollen from the air well, while four of them did not remove formaldehyde at all. In three categories, the Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier Pro was by far the best device in this test – it is also surprisingly cheap, but can incur high maintenance costs for new filters or power consumption. The device is suitable for room sizes of up to 200 m² and is with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant compatible.

The air purifier test winner from Stiftung Warentest is currently available in stores at prices between 100 and 300 euros (depending on the size of the room).

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The detailed air purifier test report is available for a fee on the Stiftung Warentest website available.

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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