Dyson's launch presentation was preceded by the fact that many of us spend up to 90% of our time indoors. (That information seemed a bit redundant, given the current situation. Have they not been following the news, or do they just not leave their labs? Big surprises in store when they finally do.)
In either case, there's probably never been a time when indoor air quality is so topical and the new machine does the work of several appliances. The Pure Humidify + Cool not only measures VOCs (volatile organic compounds), particulate matter, temperature and humidity in your home, but purifies your air and allows you to regulate its humidity.
To find out more about terms including VOCs and particulate matter, read our article on how to improve your home air quality. But in short, particulate matter is all the little bits of soot, dander, pollen, smoke and chemicals that float around in the air. Some of these are dangerous to your lungs and immune system, some are irritating to your respiratory system and some are nothing to worry about at all.
VOCs are gases, including carcinogens such as benzene and formaldehyde, which can be emitted by products in your home. VOCs may come from cleaners or disinfectants, air fresheners, a wood-burning stove or fire, paints, adhesives or sealants.
Humidifiers tend not to be a big seller in the UK as for most people, our maritime climate tends to err on the side of sogginess. However, overly dry air will worsen eczema, chapped skin and respiratory problems. Humidifiers are also useful for making people who are unwell more comfortable: for example, they are recommended to soothe the symptoms of Covid-19.
Whenever a Dyson product comes out, we have to ask: what’s the point of difference here? Why does the Dyson version of any given appliance cost more than competing products?
Critics say they’re over-engineered. Fans say they are mini-tech marvels. What’s indisputable is that there are a lot of cool engineering solutions embedded into Dyson products. This morning, we spoke to Sam, an engineer from the New Products Innovation Team, and he explained what makes this appliance different from its competitors.
The problem with humidifiers is that they create warm, damp conditions that make a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. If you don’t regularly empty and clean your machine, the bacteria will thrive, reproduce and be blown around your room.
Dyson’s engineers focused on how to wipe out water-borne bacteria introduced into the system. First, the water passes by a UV-C light that kills bacteria. It's then moved into an air-mesh evaporator. The evaporator has silver strands woven into its mesh, which prevents bacteria from reproducing.
The machine also has a clean cycle. This also protects the appliance from limescale build-up.
There's another nice bit of engineering. Dyson fans oscillate and it’s not possible for this product to do the same as its base is a big tank of water. So engineers compensated with a new system: the natural breeze mode. The two barrels that emit air move independently of each other, so that the two streams of air produced collide at different points, changing the angle and speed of the current, which creates a natural feeling airflow rather than blasting you in the face with an unchanging jet of air.
The Pure Humidify + Cool is Dyson's new top of the line air care product, priced at £599.99. You can buy it right now from Dyson.co.uk. Is it worth the money? One thing we can say for this appliance is that there's a lot of functionality packed in. It does the job of an air quality monitor (and it measures more elements of your air than the monitors we've looked at), a humidifier, an air purifier and a fan. Still, 600 quid is 600 quid and you can definitely buy all of those items for less.