Blueair DustMagnet 5440i review: a powerful purifier

DustMagnet is the latest brand in the Blueair line of air purifiers and is worth checking out. (We previously covered Blueair’s most expensive and most powerful HealthProtect product.) Part of the concept with this purifier is that it makes a sleek and quiet yet powerful addition to any setting, blending in so seamlessly that you can even use it as a (tall) end table.

That ability is made possible by a unique approach to airflow. While most purifiers draw air through the base and release clean air from the top, the DustMagnet draws air from the vents on the top and bottom of the device, with a raised platform above the vent top that works as a small table. Air is pushed through one of the two filters and then released, clean, through the exhaust ports on either side of the device.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best air purifiers, where you will find reviews of competing offerings, as well as a buyer’s guide on the features to consider when purchasing this type of product.

The vents feature angled louvers to direct air in two opposite directions, the idea is that you can create a “vortex” of clean air in the room. I’m not convinced that the vortex concept works as described, but I like the overall airflow design.

The Blueair DustMagnet 5440i with books Blue air

A small tray that sits on top of the Blueair DustMagnet 5440i can hold small items like books or your keys.

The purifier is available in two finish options. One is a traditional all-white plastic design (model 5410i, which retails for $ 400), or you can upgrade to the $ 460 5440i I reviewed. It features a gray cloth chassis that really enhances the overall aesthetics of this smart device. Otherwise, the two products are identical – they both weigh 15 pounds and measure 25 x 11 x 11 inches (HxWxD) after the leg posts are screwed in.

Airflow specs are solid and only slightly lower than HealthProtect, with the DustMagnet rated to clean a 356-square-foot room every 12.5 minutes. Their CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rates) figures are good too: 255 for pollen, 240 for dust, and 230 for smoke, all in cubic feet per minute. Is not the more silence purifier I’ve tested recently, even at its lowest setting of three, however its nominal maximum volume of 50dBA makes it less noisy than many competing units at its highest setting.

Screenshot of the Blueair app Christopher Null / IDG

The DustMagnet tracks indoor air conditions, but only PM2.5 levels.

As noted above, the unit contains two separate filters that Blueair calls HEPASilent. These filters look a lot like HEPA filters, but they are less dense than true HEPA filters and therefore require a less powerful fan to push air through them.

As such, the unit does not have any HEPA rating, but claims to capture 99 percent of 0.5 to 3 nanometer dust particles in 22 minutes at its highest speed. The filters are said to last 6 to 12 months; replacements cost $ 55 for a pair (discounted if you sign up for regular replacements).

The onboard controls consist of just a power switch and a button that toggles between three speed options, automatic mode, and a sleep mode (which is essentially Level 1 speed with all other lights off). A small colored LED on the front of the unit indicates current PM2.5 conditions, with one of five air quality levels indicated.

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