With the steep rise of air pollution in these past few months, the sales of air purifiers spiked. So did the number of new devices launched in the Indian market. Samsung, Sharp, Philips and many other companies brought their latest tech to India. However, only a handful of these were able to stand their ground when a toxic haze engulfed Delhi after the festive season. We think that it’s high time to include air purifiers as a category in the Zero1 awards. Since the Zero1 awards are based on pure performance, rest assured that the winner in any of the Zero1 categories is the best in class.
2018 Zero1 Award Winner: Sharp J60M
We tested a slew of air purifiers this year for the Zero1 Awards, out of those, the Sharp J60M-W is definitely the winner. The J60M leaves no room for doubt when it comes to performance as it’s capable of improving the average air quality in a 200 sqft room with a 12 ft ceiling height to excellent levels in under 30 minutes.
It exhibits ideal performance in the harshest of conditions.
To help achieve this top-level performance, it comes equipped with a high-grade H-14 HEPA filter that has a total particulate retention of 99.99 percent. There is an activated carbon filter that removes harmful gases and TVOCs, and it employs a high-density plasma cluster ion generator that generates both positive and negative ions from water vapour to considerably lower the amount of fine pollutants in the air. The air purifier proved capable of almost completely removing cigarette odour from one of our test rooms in under 20 minutes.
Runner-Up: Ladakh Mini
Smart Air tried a different approach with its Ladakh Mini air purifier as it equipped large filters on a big fan. It is designed to filter large amounts of air at once and it works quite decently. It lost to the Sharp J60M air purifier by a hair as the Sharp J60M was able to bring the PM2.5 particle count down to single digits and keep the count down in the same room that has an area of 200 sq ft and a ceiling height of 12 ft.
The Ladakh Mini also comes equipped with a carbon filter that is definitely above average when it comes to cleaning odour from the air. While the carbon filter should be included, it is optional. Overall, the Ladakh mini is a good performer that is suitable for areas with high air pollution levels.
Best Buy: Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2S
The Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2S is a good performer, even though it has relatively smaller filters and fan. Proving itself to be a value for money device, the air purifier has the ability to lower the PM2.5 particle count from thrice the threshold limit to permissible levels in under 45 minutes. It comes equipped with a rather simple filter assembly that combines a pre-filter, a HEPA filter and a Carbon filter.
Its squarish design features air inlets from three sides to suck polluted air in, filter it and expel it out the top. Even though it comes equipped with an H-11 HEPA filter, the particle retention rate of the air purifier is much better than one would expect. The inner activated Carbon filter takes care of VOCs and other harmful gases that one would find inside their homes. After testing, we found that the Mi Air Purifier 2S works best in areas of up to 300 sq ft.