Best forFamilies looking for an effective, efficient and simple to use air purifier that has an auto mode
Top BenefitsVery effective, auto mode, quiet at lower speeds, app connection
ConsiderationsMaximum fan setting is quite loud, a bit heavy
Bottom lineThe Blueair Classic 480i boasts impressive air filtering capabilities (it removes particles as small as 0.1 microns), and it’s easy to use thanks to an auto mode that self-adjusts settings based on detected particulates in the air. It connects to the Blueair Friend app via Wi-Fi for easy adjustment or to turn the unit on or off from anywhere.
A good air purifier can be a blessing for any household, especially given the amount of time we spend indoors. Factors like pet dander, odours and allergens such as dust and pollen have a negative impact on indoor air quality, which can be problematic for our overall health. We put the Blueair Classic 480i to the test in our lab and families tried it out at home, and everyone was impressed.
The Blueair Classic 480i is Energy Star Certified and recommended for medium-sized rooms up to 434 square feet. It features HEPASilent filter technology, which uses a combination of mechanical and electrostatic filtration to clear 99.97 percent of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns. This is a big deal if you’ve got family members with asthma, allergies or other health issues affected by air quality. To test its effectiveness, we placed the air purifier in an air-tight 8- x 8- x 4-foot space along with an ultra-fine particle counter and then sprayed dry shampoo into the space for five seconds. Running on the highest setting, the 480i made quick work of cleaning the air, bringing the particulate levels down from more than 50,000 to under 100 particles per cubic centimetre (well below what’s considered clean air) in less than five minutes. Our parent testers, who placed their air purifiers in the bedroom and basement, noticed a difference in the air quality in those spaces almost instantly.
Editors also looked at the clean air delivery rates (CADR), a score that indicates how quickly a device filters the air; this independent testing is carried out through the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. The Blueair Classic 480i's CADR for pollen, dust and smoke ranks higher than many other comparable air purifiers on the market.
Our editors and testers loved the control panel on the Blueair Classic 480i, which is located on the front under a flap, and lights up when the air purifier is in use. There’s a volatile organic compounds (VOC) indicator that changes from blue to orange on the LED screen when VOCs are detected in the air, so you know you should increase the fan speed to clean the air faster. But if you want to be able to set it and forget it, you can simply run the machine in auto mode, and it will do all of the hard work for you and adjust settings automatically as needed.
The unit itself is easy to set up; the instructions are succinct and come with handy pictures, including diagrams about where you should and shouldn’t place the unit. If you want to be able to move your air purifier from room to room, this one's not exactly a lightweight, but it's still fairly easy to lift, and parents found it easy to move around. When it comes time to replace the filter, it slides out with no struggle at all, and after a quick vacuum using an attachment with a soft brush, the new filter slides in easily.
While the Blueair 480i doesn’t come with a remote control, it is Wi-Fi enabled and pairs with the Blueair Friend app. Downloading the app and pairing it to the machine is easy, and parents said they loved using the app, which lets the user monitor indoor air quality, control the machine remotely and get local outdoor air quality data. You can set the auto mode, adjust the fan speed (there are three) and LED intensity, use the child lock feature and create daily nighttime settings.
With any air purifier, you'll want to think about how noisy it is, particularly if you’re planning to use the unit in or close to bedrooms. While our parent testers noted the Blueair Classic 480i was virtually silent on the low setting and very quiet on the medium setting, running the unit on high was somewhat noisy. But, thanks to the app and various settings, you can opt to run the unit on low or medium during the night.
Price is always top of mind for families. While the Blueair Classic 480i is on the high end of the price range of air purifiers, our parent testers and editors felt the product’s value matched its quality and ease of use, thanks to its impressive effectiveness and various features. Plus, it comes with a five-year extended warranty if you register the air purifier within 60 days of purchase.
If you’re in the market for an air purifier that covers a fairly large area and is very effective at eliminating allergens, odours and environmental irritants, the Blueair Classic 480i is definitely one to consider. Parent testers gave it a very good rating for quality, and they rated the ease of use and value good to very good. The 480i's auto mode makes it nearly effortless to use, and the intuitive and informative app allows you to control it remotely—great if you normally use the auto mode but want to quickly turn it off when everyone's out of the house.