I Tried IKEA’s New Air Purifier—Here’s What It’s Like

The new Förnuftig air purifier tackles indoor air pollution to help you breathe easier.

With more than five million Canadians currently working from home due to the pandemic, we’re spending a lot—if not all—of our time indoors. That means that throughout the day, we’re breathing in indoor air contaminants, from microscopic dust mites hidden in carpets to toxic vapours from disinfectants. It’s not only gross to think about, but it could also be affecting our health. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, exposure to poor air quality can cause symptoms such as headaches, sinus congestion and eye dryness—a condition I experience on a daily basis.

That’s why, when the team at IKEA Canada offered me the chance to test drive their very first air purifier for the home ahead of its Canadian release, I immediately cleared out a spot for it in my tiny office (a.k.a. my bedroom). Although I’ve been working from home for over a year at this point, I hadn’t thought much about indoor air pollution—or how it might affect me—given the other stressful situations we’ve all been dealing with. But it’s also become harder to ignore how quickly the dust piles up (where is it coming from and how does it get everywhere?) and if it’s actually something in the air that’s further irritating my chronic dry eyes. Since the future of work seems to be permanently remote for many, it’s also seems increasingly important that our home environment is healthy.

Ikea Air Purifier ModelsPhoto: IKEA, IKEA.ca

Available online and in-store across Canada beginning on April 1, 2021, Förnuftig combines a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) 12 filter with a carbon filter to remove at least 99.97 per cent of airborne particles and gases. The sleek unit operates on three different fan settings. On low, the sound is virtually undetectable and perfect for overnight use. When there’s more particulate in the air—after you’ve cooked a meal on your stovetop, for instance—you might turn it up to the highest setting for maximum air filtering.

The Förnuftig air purifier has an approximate clear air delivery rate (CADR) of 130m3/hour—the volume of its filtered air output—and was specifically designed with smaller spaces in mind. Its slim shape, relatively light weight and nifty handle makes it easy to transport from room to room as needed. It comes with a stand, but for those without floor space to spare, the device can also be wall-mounted either horizontally or vertically. As you might expect from IKEA, it’s also accessibly priced: at just $69.99, it’s one of the more affordable air purifiers on the Canadian market.

Ikea Air Purifier FilterPhoto: IKEA, IKEA.ca

“At IKEA, we believe clean indoor air shouldn’t be a luxury for the few, and that’s why one of our main priorities in developing the Förnuftig air purifier was to achieve a low price for both the air purifier and the filters,” says Mathias Karlsson, director of home smart at IKEA Canada.

Like all the other IKEA products I’ve previously built, the Förnuftig was a breeze to put together. The entire process took less than five minutes—simply install the included filters and snap the fabric cover back into place. With its flat design and versatile colours (the cover is grey and the air purifier comes in either black or white), it blended in seamlessly with my room’s furniture and décor. From a maintenance perspective, you’ll need to toss and replace both filters every four months (single filter replacements are available through IKEA), and vacuum the cover once every few weeks. While I can only imagine all the gunk trapped within the filters, ultimately it gives me peace of mind to know that the air purifier’s soft hum means I can breathe a bit better.

Next, we ask the experts if an air purifier can kill coronavirus germs.