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Expert Reviews Home Product of the Year Awards 2021

After another year of tireless testing, these are the home products that earned our highest praise in 2021

Our homes wouldn’t be the same without the products we pack into them. It might seem silly to lump such high praise on something as nondescript as a vacuum cleaner, but it’s all too easy to take for granted the appliances that populate our kitchen surfaces or bedroom cupboards. That’s doubly true at the moment: if your home is now also your office, then your humble kettle is probably working harder than it ever has before.

And it wouldn’t be the only one. Here at Expert Reviews, we’ve been working tirelessly to help you select the absolute best products for your home. Our expert team has been busy testing everything from robot vacuum cleaners to mattress toppers to provide you with unbiased expertise and sensible, useful buying advice. They’ve been doing this from home, too, so you can rest assured that the various products we recommend have experienced the trials of daily life post-pandemic.

The result of all this rigorous testing? The Expert Reviews Home Product of the Year awards. We’ve chosen a winner and a highly commended product across 26 categories from vacuum cleaners to mattresses, coffee machines to air purifiers. We’ve also picked an overall Home Product of the Year that blew us away more than any other.

This is our way of saluting the most extraordinary products of the past year, and it’s also an opportunity for us to point you in the direction of the masterpieces that deserve a place in your home.

Welcome to the Expert Reviews Home Product of the Year Awards 2021. 

Home Product of the Year 2021 | Winner

Dyson V15 Detect | £599

Dyson has a strong track record for innovation, and nowhere is this evidenced more perfectly than in the V15 Detect cordless vacuum. This is a vacuum cleaner like no other. Built into its hard-floor cleaning head is a laser emitter that beams a green blade of light at the floor, highlighting dust particles so you can see exactly where to clean and where not to. What’s more, it can count and sort dust particles as it cleans by listening to them using an ingenious acoustic sensor.

Coupled with improved suction power and clever new anti-tangle technology, the Dyson V15 Detect is the most advanced and innovative vacuum cleaner we’ve ever tested, and a deserving winner of our Home Product of the Year 2021 award.

Home Products of the Year 2021

Mattress of the Year

Winner | Simba Hybrid Pro | From £589

Simba’s Hybrid Pro is the best bed-in-a-box mattress for most people. It strikes that elusive middle ground between being too soft and too firm, delivering a supremely comfortable night’s sleep every night. What elevates it above the regular Simba Hybrid and indeed many of its rivals is that it has a wool comfort layer to help keep you warm in winter and prevent overheating in summer. The mattress also comes with a very generous 200-night trial, so you can try it for yourself without any financial risk. It’s won Mattress of the Year two years in a row.

Highly commended | Brook and Wilde Elite | From £899

If you sleep mainly on your side, the Brook and Wilde Elite is the mattress for you. We tested the “medium” comfort level and found that it did a superb job of accommodating the shape of our shoulder and hips when lying on our side. Despite being softer than some bed-in-a-box mattresses, it still delivers plenty of support and we never found it overly warm, either.

Mattress Topper of the Year

Winner | Panda The Topper | From £100

The 5cm thick memory foam mattress topper from Panda is suited to all sleeping positions and is a great way to add a layer of plush comfort to an old or overly firm mattress. It’s fantastic value, too, making it a great option for those who might still be hesitant about splashing out hundreds of pounds on a memory foam topper. The breathable bamboo cover can be removed and thrown in the washing machine at 40°C, and it also has elastic corner straps that are very useful in holding it in place on top of your mattress.

Highly commended | Dormeo Octasmart Deluxe | From £460

Dormeo’s Octasmart Deluxe is unique in the world of mattress toppers because of its layer of memory foam springs that make up the core of the topper. This “Octaspring” layer, sandwiched between an upper memory foam layer and an “Ecocell” foam base, is designed to provide support and pressure relief while maximising breathability. We found that it did make for a cooler night’s sleep, but if you’re less convinced, Dormeo offers a 60-night trial period, at the end of which you can return the topper for a full refund if you’re not happy.

Pillow of the Year

Winner | Otty Deluxe Pure | £70

While some memory foam pillows can feel rather firm and unaccommodating, the Otty Deluxe Pure feels softer and plusher. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable foam pillows we’ve tested, while still offering ample levels of support. Thanks to the brand’s temperature-regulating memory foam, it will keep you cool-headed throughout the night, while bamboo and charcoal materials make it hypoallergenic and antibacterial. Plus, the removable cover can be machine-washed at 40°C. 

Highly commended | Brook and Wilde Everdene | £98

If memory foam is not to your liking, consider Brook and Wilde’s Everdene pillow, filled with tiny microfibre balls and wrapped in a quilted Egyptian cotton cover. It’s one of the most expensive pillows we’ve tested, but this price is fairly matched by the levels of comfort and support that the pillow offers. The Everdene is designed to be a “cooling pillow” and, while no pillow will actually actively cool you down as such, we found it to be breathable enough to earn this title.

Capsule Coffee Machine of the Year

Winner | Lavazza Idola | £99

For quick, quiet pod coffee at the touch of a button, the Lavazza Idola reigns supreme. There are an impressive four size options to choose from, as well as a temperature-adjustment button, allowing you to create your perfect black coffee, be it espresso or an extra-hot lungo. The quality of the coffee is excellent, and the new eco capsules can even be thrown in your food waste bin for industrial composting. The Idola is simply stunning too, with a sleek plastic body and matte-black, soft-touch buttons at the front. For black coffee in a hurry, this has everything you need.

Highly commended | Nespresso Vertuo Next | £79

Unlike most pod coffee machines, Nespresso’s stylish Vertuo uses centrifugal force and barcode scanning to pour perfect cups of delightfully creamy black coffee. It’s designed to cater for longer coffee styles but has five size options, ranging from a classic 40ml espresso up to a whopping 414ml alto. The larger pods hold more grounds, meaning that rich taste isn’t lost if you do want to indulge in a big mug. In testing, it produced consistently delicious coffee with a frothy top.

Manual Espresso Machine of the Year

Winner | Gaggia Classic Pro | £430

The Gaggia Classic Pro takes everything that made the Classic great – excellent coffee at a fair price in a compact, unfussy package – and then does away with the few niggles from previous models to serve up the best version yet. Straight out of the box it pours a fine espresso, but take some time to lovingly tweak and upgrade it with the wide variety of aftermarket upgrades and you’ve got a giant-killer on your hands. A true Classic in every sense, and wins Manual Espresso Machine of the Year for the second year in a row. 

Highly commended | Sage Bambino | £400

As the baby of Sage’s family of espresso machines, you might not expect much from the tiny Bambino – but this compact little espresso machine is surprisingly capable. The elegant, curved design and dainty footprint allow it to squeeze easily into the tightest of spots, and the sheer simplicity of operation makes it a perfect choice for those taking their first steps with manual espresso. 

Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine of the Year

Winner | De’Longhi PrimaDonna Soul | £1,199

The PrimaDonna Soul is the closest many of us will ever get to having a coffee barista in our kitchen. With a repertoire of 21 drinks available from its gleaming 4.3in colour touchscreen, everyone in the home can have their coffee the way they like it; from flat white to long black, cappuccino to filter coffee, the PrimaDonna Soul is a great all-rounder. It’s also fiercely intelligent, saving preferred coffee types and recipes for individual users and adjusting minutely to tease flavour from different bean types. A rare talent. 

Highly commended | De’Longhi Magnifica S Smart | £450

This bean-to-cup machine really is rather magnificent for the money. The Magnifica S Smart serves up a robust espresso, and while cappuccino and flat white lovers will have to steam their milk manually, this is easily done thanks to the beginner-friendly steam wand. There’s enough adjustability to get the best from different coffee beans, and the simple button-press controls are easy to get to grips with. Take a little time to dial in the strength settings with the handy front dial, and everyone in the home can get their coffee just so. 

Stand Mixer of the Year

Winner | Kenwood KMix KMX754 | £256

With a 1,000W motor, stainless-steel dough hook, balloon whisk and beater, the Kenwood KMix is an exceptional stand mixer for beginners and keen cooks alike. It excels at whipping, mixing and kneading, bringing cake batter together in seconds and making quick work of even the toughest, heavy-duty baking tasks. Its generous 5l mixing bowl is ideal for batch baking, but the extra-large accessories ensure it can handle smaller bakes just as well. All in all, it’s the perfect baking package, and our Stand Mixer of the Year for the second year running.

Highly commended | KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM175PS | £485

For keen bakers looking to spend a bit more, the Artisan 5KSM175PS is another fantastic choice. As well as a 4.8l mixing bowl, there is also an additional 3l bowl, a balloon whisk, dough hook, flat beater and a flex edge beater. These are ideal for a variety of baking tasks, from buttercream icing to meringue, and will significantly cut down the amount of time you spend watching over your mixing bowl. What’s more, the Artisan is wonderfully made. From the stainless-steel bowls to the attachment head, it’s a beautiful machine.

Food Processor of the Year

Winner | Ninja 3-in-1 BN800UK with Auto-IQ | £175

The Ninja 3-in-1 is simply one of the best food processors you can buy right now. With a 1,200W motor, 1.8l food processor bowl, 2.1l blender jug and a single-serve 700ml cup, it has everything you need for speedy food prep. If you’re a hands-off cook, the preset Auto-IQ functions take away any guesswork, but there are also three manual speed settings and a pulse function to give you total control over your food prep. In testing, it took down tough vegetables such as squash in seconds and produced some of the silkiest smoothies we’ve ever had. For speedy food prep, there’s nothing better right now.

Highly commended | Kenwood FDM312SS Multipro Compact+ | £150

Sometimes, you just need a small food processor that does it all – that’s where the Multipro Compact+ comes in. Featuring bundles of useful accessories including a blending jug, mini whisk and spice grinder, this is the ideal multifunctional appliance for crowded worktops. It has no problem cutting through most vegetables, and the blender attachment is ideal for soft fruits and liquids. Impressively, this food processor also comes with built-in scales, making it the perfect tool for meal prepping and portion control.

Hand Blender of the Year

Winner | Braun MultiQuick 9 MQ9187XLI | £179

Simple to use with impressive attachments, the MultiQuick 9 is an excellent all-in-one hand blender. The motorised handle quickly clips into other attachments so you can go from blending to chopping and julienning in seconds, with great results to boot. The powerful 1,200W motor blitzed through a variety of fruits and vegetables, producing great results time and time again. Not only is it a total joy to use, but its excellent build and stainless-steel body make it a stylish addition to any kitchen.

Highly commended | KitchenAid Cordless Blender 5KHBBV53 | £129

In classic KitchenAid style, the cordless blender brings together elegant style and convenience in one beautiful package. Perfect for small kitchens or rooms with awkwardly placed plugs, this cord-free appliance allows you to blend wherever you want. Despite being battery operated, it offers hours of use before recharging is needed and there’s even a 20-minute quick-charge feature if you’re caught short mid-blend.

Multi Cooker of the Year

Winner | Ninja Foodi Multicooker OP300UK | £179

The Ninja Foodi OP300UK is the ultimate multi-cooking machine. It’s a pressure cooker, air fryer, steamer, slow cooker and can even sauté, bake and grill, too. In testing, it produced consistently good results across the board and cooking functions can even be combined to produce succulent-yet-crispy joints of meat. It comes with a few accessories, including the 6l cooking pot, which is big enough for a medium chicken and the 3.6l Cook and Crisp basket for wonderfully crunchy chips. This is truly an all-in-one appliance that’s worthy of a space on your worktop.

Highly commended | Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus | £99

If you want to take the guesswork out of cooking, the Duo Evo Plus has an impressive 48 preset functions to help you cook a variety of dishes. Add to this a number of enhanced pressure-cooking safety features, when compared to the original Instant Pot, and you have an excellent all-round multi cooker. Not only did it produce some delicious results in testing, but it’s also simple to use due to its slick, digital interface. It’s a premium cooker for keen cooks and certainly looks the part, too.

Air Fryer of the Year

Winner | Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300UK | £200

The Ninja Foodi Dual Zone is what every good air fryer should be. It’s spacious, has varied, easy-to-use controls and cooks food evenly. Most impressively, though, the Foodi lets you cook two separate dishes at the same time. This means you can cook meat and vegetables at different temperatures and times, with just a few taps of a button. Moreover, it’ll cook your chips more quickly than an oven and uses around 75% less fat than traditional frying. If you want to invest in an air fryer for healthier cooking, this is the one to choose.

Highly commended | Tefal ActiFry Genius+ | £200

If hands-free cooking is your life goal, the automatic stirring paddle on the Genius+ will be of interest. Unlike most air fryers, where you’re expected to flip or toss food halfway through, the Genius does it for you, meaning you can chuck in your food, set the time and temperature, and let it do its thing. This also means it’s suitable for some more unusual dishes including stir-fries and curries. It’s a versatile cooking appliance but also makes excellent chips with just a tablespoon of oil.

Kettle of the Year

Winner | KitchenAid Artisan Variable Temperature Kettle | £149

The KitchenAid variable temperature kettle is a must when you need to get your coffee and speciality tea just right. Featuring a varied temperature scale of 50˚C to 100˚C and a real-time temperature display on the front, it’s simple to achieve the perfect cup every single time. Not only does it come with these two useful features, but it can also boil a single cup in less than a minute and is impressively quiet too. And if style is important to you, the Artisan’s slick, glossy design is the ideal addition to any design-led kitchen.

Highly commended | Russell Hobbs Luna | £50

The ideal balance between price and performance, the 1.7l Luna boils a litre of water in just 2mins 30secs and a single cup in 45 seconds. Not only is it incredibly fast, it’s quiet too, measuring just 74dB on average. It’s a simple kettle that’s easy to fill up and looks far more premium than the price would suggest.

Rice Cooker of the Year

Winner | Yum Asia Bamboo | £188

The Bamboo rice cooker has an excellent number of preset cooking options for everything from short grain and sushi rice to congee, and it can even steam your vegetables and dumplings. What really sets it apart from basic rice cookers, however, is its fuzzy-logic microchip. This smart computer chip makes continuous adjustments to the temperature of the bowl while rice is cooking, ensuring it’s perfectly cooked and fluffy every single time. It also features some more unusual settings for cooking white rice, such as the Yumami button, which is designed to bring out the rice’s sweeter flavour. Add to this a simple-to-use digital interface and slick brushed-chrome exterior and you’ve got the ultimate cooker for serious rice eaters.

Highly commended | Lakeland Mini Multicooker | £55

Offering great rice every time without the bulk of a traditional rice cooker, Lakeland’s mini multi cooker is a superb option for tiny kitchens and small portions. With three rice settings – white, brown and quick cook – it’s a simple-to-use option for basic rice and holds the perfect amount for up to three hungry people. As it’s a multi cooker, you can make soup, porridge and casseroles in it too.

Toaster of the Year

Winner | De’Longhi Ballerina 4-Slice Toaster | £60

More than just a statement piece for your kitchen, the De’Longhi Ballerina toaster does a superb job of browning, defrosting and even reheating sliced bread. In tests, it produced consistently great toast with even browning on both sides, while five heat settings allow you to achieve the perfect level of crunch and colour. There’s a crumb tray underneath for easy cleaning, too, making this a great all rounder for the style conscious.

Highly commended | Smeg 2-Slice Toaster | £129

Not only is this a solid, well-designed toaster, but it’s also the perfect size for small kitchens. When four slices is too much, this stylish offering from Smeg steps up with toast that cooks in record time and is evenly browned. It has settings for reheating and defrosting, as well as a setting for bagels. Despite its compact size, the toaster slots are quite wide, making it great for thicker loaves, as well as classic medium-sliced bread.

Electric Toothbrush of the Year

Winner | Oral-B iO Series 6 | £300

The cheapest of Oral-B’s iO lineup – yes, really – the Series 6 has everything you could ever want from an electric toothbrush and more. It’s a pleasure to hold, cleans your teeth beautifully, includes a quintet of cleaning modes and lets you know via a glowing indicator if you’re pressing down too firmly. Meanwhile, the app tracks the brush head around your mouth to stop you from missing a spot, before grading your technique. If you’d rather not take your phone into the bathroom, a monochrome screen will show a sad face if you’ve stopped brushing too early. The only downside? You’ll have to wait until 1 November to buy one in the UK.

Highly commended | Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7300 | £150

Philips’ Sonicare ExpertClean 7300 offers plenty of intelligent features for a lower price than its Oral-B rival above. An app gives you brushing tips, such as whether you’re pressing too hard or cleaning for too long, and there are three modes: Clean, Deep Clean+ and Gum Health. Even better, it’s very comfortable to use, has a gigantic battery life of three weeks and comes with a nifty USB charging case for when you’re hitting the road. It’s still not exactly cheap, but it delivers an outstanding clean and a handful of genuinely useful tools. 

Hair Dryer of the Year

Winner | GHD Helios | £159

The Helios matches its slim, part-metal design with similarly classy performance. It’s one of the fastest dryers we’ve ever tested, drying wet hair in a mere 1min 50secs. Styling only took an extra 30 seconds. This is down to GHD’s Aeroprecis technology, which uses a brushless motor to generate a 75mph gust of air, and an aerodynamic nozzle that reduces frizz. If that wasn’t enough, the Helios is also quiet and comfortable to use. This is the gold standard of drying, winning our Hair Dryer of the Year award for the second consecutive year. 

Highly commended | BaByliss Hydro-Fusion 2,100W | £53

Employing ionic technology – which pelts your hair with negatively charged ions to dry it more quickly and leave a glossier finish – the compact Hydro-Fusion 2,100W dried our reviewer’s shoulder-length curly hair from sopping wet to dry in less than five minutes. It’s also comfortable to use and the two sliding switches make it easy to tweak the airflow for your hair. 

Vacuum of the Year

Winner | Dyson V15 Detect | £599

In our full-length review, we dubbed the Dyson V15 Detect “vacuum cleaning royalty” – and with good reason. It matches its sky-high price with similarly vertiginous quality, offering unrivalled suction power, three nifty motorised heads and even an alien-like green laser that helps you find the tiniest specks of dust on hard floors. It also boasts two anti-tangle heads that prevent hair snags, while an LCD screen gives you an overview of the remaining battery life and breaks down your vacuuming session into minute detail. Long live the vacuum king.

Highly commended | Eufy HomeVac S11 Infinity | £229

Versatility is the name of the game with the Eufy HomeVac S11 Infinity. Alongside the usual selection of nozzle attachments, you get an extra motorised head for cleaning the stairs; a flexible extension hose for reaching into difficult corners; a headlight on the main head for illuminating dirt; and, most importantly, a second battery that doubles your cleaning time. It might not have the raw suction power of a high-end Dyson, but it efficiently picks up smaller particles, as well as being a pleasure to use and a fraction of the cost. 

Robot Vacuum of the Year

Winner | AEG RX9.2 | £504

While most robot vacuums look like high-tech hockey pucks, AEG’s RX9.2 is a unique rounded triangle. The main – and game-changing – benefit of this shape is that the RX9.2 can reach into corners, while sensors built into its straight bumpers make it better at dodging chair legs or snoozing pets. It performed exceptionally in our tests, picking up the vast majority of the rice and flour we sprinkled on the floor. A large 0.7l collection bin certainly helps, too. 

Highly commended | Roomba i3+ | £700

Roomba is a respected name in the world of robot vacuums and the i3+ demonstrates precisely why. Although it looks like it has no idea what it’s doing while cleaning, frequently bumping into obstacles and retracing its path, it will leave your floors near-spotless. The Roomba i3+ also has a clever party trick: it returns to its base station to automatically empty its collection bucket, saving you the hassle.

Handheld Vacuum of the Year

Winner | Shark Cordless HandVac | £59

The Shark Cordless HandVac lives up to its name, gobbling up dust and detritus like a great white. It looks the part, too, with a sleek design that fits comfortably in your hand and a simple button that switches it on. You don’t get much battery life – around eight minutes non-stop – but it only takes two-and-a-half hours to recharge. If you’re after a stylish handheld vacuum for ridding your sofa of pet hairs, a room’s corners of cobwebs or your car of crumbs, it’s worth swimming with this Shark.

Highly commended | Gtech Multi MK2 K9 | £170

As the “K9” in its name playfully suggests, this handheld vacuum is tailor-made for pet owners. It performed admirably in our tests, picking up almost all of the cereal and flour we scattered on the floor. You also get a range of handy attachments for reaching into nooks and crannies, as well as an LED on the front. But what makes the Gtech really stand out for pet owners is its scented cartridges, which freshen the air as you vacuum up hair and any other, er, unfortunate substances. 

Steam Cleaner of the Year

Winner | Kärcher SC4 EasyFix | £219

There’s no steam-cleaning job too big for Kärcher’s SC4 EasyFix: its impressive 2,000W heater made short work of bathroom limescale in our tests. But the real star of the show here is the removable water tank, which you can pull out and fill up at any point during a session, before immediately continuing to steam – ideal if you have a huge room or tricky spot to wash. It also comes with a range of different nozzles and extension tubes that will tackle dirt on tiles, sinks, baths and worktops, plus a child lock to prevent any accidents.

Highly commended | Polti Vaporetto Smart 100_B | £179

This is a big and brash cleaner, delivering an astonishing amount of steam from its huge 2l water tank. Like the Kärcher SC4 EasyFix above, you can remove the tank while the cleaner is on and keep steaming after you’ve refilled it, which is a boon for longer sessions. It’s versatile, too: it can mop tiles, wash carpets and add a glisten to glass with great results every time, while there are tough brushes and scrapers for obstinate stains. 

Carpet Cleaner of the Year

Winner | Vax Platinum SmartWash | £299

The Vax Platinum SmartWash is astonishingly good at what it does. We tested it on a rug that had never been deep-cleaned in its 15-year life and it came out far brighter – the SmartWash even managed to remove an ingrained stain. Once you’re done, a dedicated drying mode draws water out of the fibres, while there’s a spinning attachment for tough spots and another for applying the antibacterial cleaner. It’s perfect for a thorough wash.

Highly commended | Bissell Hydrowave | £249

The Bissell Hydrowave is a space-saving anomaly of a carpet cleaner that can shrink to just 85mm in height so you can tuck it away when not in use. It also cleans like a dream, with an Express Clean function that massively reduces the drying time and CleanShot function that pre-washes stubborn stains. It’s a feature-packed cleaning companion.

Hard Floor Cleaner of the Year

Winner | Dyson Omni-glide | £350

With a light 1.9kg weight and compact size, the Dyson Omni-glide is supremely easy to use and store, making it a perfect cleaning assistant for anyone with little space and lots of hard floors. Rollers on either side of the head rotate in opposite directions to fling debris straight up the tube, and four coaster wheels mounted to the bottom of the head mean you can move it effortlessly in any direction across your kitchen linoleum. It excelled in our tests and comes packed with attachments for all kinds of messes. In short, Dyson has done it again.

Highly commended | Dyson Micro 1.5kg | £299

This microcosmic cordless Dyson vacuum cleaner weighs an astonishing 1.5kg, meaning you can use it for long periods without any aches. Alongside the main unit, you get a Micro Fluffy head for sprucing up hard floors. Like the Omni-glide, the Micro performed very well in our tests, producing similar amounts of suction and earning itself a well-deserved Highly Commended award in the process.

Fan of the Year

Winner | Meaco MeacoFan 1056P | £140

The pedestal MeacoFan 1056P is very quiet, but it packs a real punch: its top 3.8m/sec airflow speed will send paperwork flying and even the lowest of its 12 settings produces a pleasant breeze. It’s controlled via buttons on the base of the pedestal, which let you set a timer and choose between vertical or horizontal oscillation. If you don’t fancy bending down, there’s also a remote control. It’s perhaps not the most stylish fan, but it’s incredibly powerful and inexplicably quiet.

Highly commended | Duux Whisperflex | £155

The Duux Whisperflex is about as quiet as pedestal fans come, registering a mere 30dB at its lowest setting. That doesn’t mean it’s not powerful, though – we measured a huge maximum airspeed of 3.7m/sec. It’s also crammed with features, boasting 24 speeds, a choice of Normal or Natural mode and timers. You select these by rotating a futuristic ring on the base. There’s also a slim remote control, as well as iOS and Android apps. 

Dehumidifier of the Year

Winner | Meaco MeacoDry Arete One | £299

The MeacoDry Arete One couldn’t be easier to use: switch it on, press the Smart Humidity button and it will bring the relative humidity down to 55%. It will then check the moisture every 30 minutes and switch back on if it’s gone up in the meantime. You can also choose from a range of targets, as well as a continuous mode, an air purification setting and a Smart Laundry feature that helps to dry your clothes indoors. It performed excellently in our tests, keeping a steamy utility room free of condensation overnight. If you need serious drying power, look no further. 

Air Purifier of the Year

Winner | Hoover H-Purifier 500 | £299

Many purifiers have all the subtlety of a thrash metal band, rattling so loudly that you’ll be kept up at night. Not Hoover’s H-Purifier 500, though: you can barely hear it when it’s in sleep mode and it only makes a scene at full power. In Auto mode, it runs until the air quality has been in the green zone for half an hour and kicks in again if it worsens. In our spray deodorant test, it scored admirably, restoring the air to a safe level in just over two minutes. It’s ideal for freshening up a larger room.   

Highly commended | ProScenic A9 | £169

If you can’t stretch to the Hoover, the compact ProScenic A9 can purify rooms up to 90m²  for an affordable price. It uses an infrared sensor to check the air quality and was effective in our tests, noisily banishing wood smoke from a burner. Luckily, it’s much quieter at everyday levels and includes a sleep mode that switches off the LEDs and display. You can also set timers and tweak settings via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or the smartphone app. It’s not as brawny as pricier models, but the cost and performance are a breath of fresh air. 

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