Review: Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde sets a new standard

Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde in white & gold.
Photo credit: Newshub.

We live in a time in which we're all more aware of air quality than ever before.

The COVID-19 pandemic and raging wildfires around the world have driven it, while the recent surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) also hammered the message home.

Dyson's latest purifier seeks to capitalise on that heightened awareness of air quality and address worries people have about how healthy their homes are.

It's got new technology that filters formaldehyde out of indoor environments as well as the other pollutants Dyson purifiers have been removing since they launched in 2015, all while cooling or heating at the same time.

But the latest one will set you back a small fortune - you could buy a collection of cheap air purifiers and heaters for less than this one unit. What do you get for paying so much extra?

I've been using a Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde for the past few weeks and here are my thoughts.

The good

None of those cheaper purifiers are going to give you the level of reassurance this thing does.

Dyson is pretty open about all the impressive technology they put in their devices and this is no different - there's a lot of reading material online to cover all that. There's an LCD display on this unit that constantly informs the user of exactly how clean the air is in the room it's situated.

Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde LCD display.
Photo credit: Newshub.

I'll go a little more into the effectiveness of the purification in a moment, but first I have to talk about the features and convenience of this device.

The app is really what makes this a pleasure to use. It allows you to go deep on monitoring how clean your room's air is, how effective the purifier is and lets you map that over time, as well as providing an awesome level of control.

It's connected to your Wi-Fi so, via your phone from anywhere in the world, you can connect to and control the Dyson - crank the fans up, change the oscillation, monitor the air quality and adjust settings accordingly.

You can also use the timer or set a schedule, but if you don't know when you're coming home, just wait until you are, then log into it and turn the heater on so it'll be cozy when you arrive.

I've spent a lot of time on this app. Like, a lot.

Dyson Link app for the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde.
Photo credit: Newshub.

Part of that I can put down to being the father of a little one with a dust mite allergy, so staying informed of how many allergens he's exposed to is very helpful. This unit also measures humidity, which is handy because dust mites need more than 50 percent to stay alive.

But part of it is just the novelty of turning it on and mucking with the settings while away from home. My partner doesn't like appliances left on when we're out - but I can sneakily crank the purifier right up when we are and then turn it off just before we get home.

It also has Siri and Alexa support so you can control it with your voice.

The formaldehyde capabilities are kind of the big new thing in this. The gas can be present in homes as it's used in glues, paints and wood products, but it's so small that it's been too difficult for most purifiers to be effective against.

Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde using Dyson Link app.
Photo credit: Newshub.

This new Dyson has a solid-state sensor that can detect formaldehyde and then destroy it using an internal filter. That filter doesn't need to be replaced, either - it'll apparently last forever.

The main HEPA filter on the unit should be replaced annually, if you use the purifier for around 12 hours per day, says Dyson.

There are sensors similar to those in Dyson's latest vacuum, the V15 Detect, that measure how many particles of various sizes it's picking up, as well as constant monitoring of the temperature, humidity and so on.

It's very satisfying seeing measurements of how much yuckiness is being taken out of the air both on the unit's LCD screen but especially through the app.

I like messing with the air quality to see how it reacts. If you rub hand sanitiser on and put your hands near the sensor, the ethanol will make it whir into action. You'll see the air quality spike out of the green as it detects the pollutants and then go back down after the air has been cleaned.

Similar results can be reached by lighting and blowing out a candle near it, or spraying some hair spray.

Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde being controlled with remote.
Photo credit: Newshub.

In terms of how well this thing heats and cools - well, it's super effective. If you crank it right up it'll adjust the room's temperature quick smart, similar to a heat pump. Sitting on the couch and using the app to control the exact angle it's shooting hot air at and how much it oscillates has been a delight this winter.

But awesome performance as a heater and cooler should be a given, seeing how much this costs. The purification tech is where most of that money is going.

The bad

So how could they improve upon this unit even further?

I can't imagine there's a better product out there from any competitor, but there's a few things I hope Dyson adds to future devices.

Firstly, I wish there was a quieter setting for the heater. You can run the purifier really quietly as you sleep but, if you want the heater on, the quietest setting is still a bit too loud to comfortably sleep near.

This means if you want to maintain a certain temperature throughout the night in winter with this unit, you're going to need to mask the sound of it, unless you're a very heavy sleeper.

I also wish I could add this to Apple HomeKit and Google Home along with my growing collection of other smart devices. The Dyson app is fantastic, but it'd be nice to have control of it with all the other stuff in the same app.

One thing a heat pump or air conditioner has over this Dyson product is that they lower humidity. This only measures it.

Adding dehumidifier capabilities to it could also be really handy. On an engineering or even just size front it may be impossible, but it'd be better than having to run another appliance alongside this one.

Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde remote placement.
Photo credit: Newshub.

This is also quite a large device and it is effective in large rooms, but could be a bit unsightly in a smaller room where it stands out too much - plus it may be overkill.

The only other negative is the high price. It'll cost you around NZ$1100 to get one of these in the current market.

That cost puts it well above most other purifiers out there - but they of course don't come with all the features this thing does.

The verdict

If you want to invest in a high quality air purifier, this will be very hard to beat.

It's definitely not cheap and may well be more than you need, so I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. Do your homework and think about what you want from a purifier before buying.

But if you have a large room - or a few rooms - in which monitoring and controlling air quality is very important to you, this is an amazing device to achieve that with. 

It offers awesome reassurance and convenience, can heat up or cool down a big room in a jiffy and is nicely satisfying to use.

Newshub was supplied a Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde for this review.