This Editor-Favorite Air Purifier Got a Stylish Upgrade That Blends Seamlessly Into My Home Decor

published May 9, 2023
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Credit: Minette Hand
Credit: Minette Hand

I can’t say enough how valuable it can be to have an air purifier at home, even if the quality of air where you live isn’t constantly under scrutiny. They help with dust, pet hair, and other germs that you might not think about too often — until they actually begin to affect your day. Once I started using air purifiers regularly, I couldn’t imagine my home without one. But even I’ll admit that it can be a frustrating matter of trial and error to find the right one for your needs.

To say that Coway’s Airmega 250 air purifier is an AT favorite would be an understatement. It’s used by style shopping editor Blair, senior writer Courtney, and even Cleaning & Organizing editor Stephanie loves hers so much that she has two! As if this air purifier couldn’t get any better, it got a stylish upgrade with the Airmega 250 Art, but you’ve got to act fast because it’s only available in limited quantities. I had the opportunity to try out the air purifier in my own home, and as someone needing to cloak cleaning as decor, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Airmega 250 Art is only slightly smaller in depth than the air purifier it’s modeled after and covers 881 square feet. The appliance is equipped with four filters that include a washable pre-filter as the first defense against large particles (dust, hair, pet fur, etc.); a Max2 Filter for smaller particles; an activated carbon filter for odors and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can cause headaches and nausea; and a Green True HEPA Filter with an antimicrobial treatment that captures 99.9 percent of ultra-fine particles, such as pollen, bacteria, dust mites, mold, and more. When the Airmega 250 Art is delivered, its art panel arrives safely tucked into a separate box until you’re ready to attach it to the body of the device. I didn’t find it to be extremely heavy, but you’ll definitely want to use the built-in handles on the sides to lift and move the air purifier to where you want it to be. With two dog crates to accommodate along with other furniture in my living room, I worried that the 18.7” x 19.3” air purifier would be challenging to place. However, since one of the dog crates doubles as a spacious side table, finding the perfect location turned out to be less trouble than expected. It also helps a lot that the air purifier itself also serves as decor. 

For the Airmega 250 Art, you’re given three abstract designs to choose from by award-winning graphic designer and artist Haily Hills. I went with Vanilla Sky, a piece that’s “inspired by the spring sky, mixed with pink cherry blossoms and warm yellow and blue Cornelian Cherry flowers,” according to Coway. I liked the warm, free, and lively mood expressed in the image and thought it would fit my space perfectly. The colors are also complementary to my furniture, which was another huge plus. The panel attaches to the air purifier body with magnets and can be removed with a press from the back (inside the front cover of the purifier). The rest of the air purifier’s build is practically comparable to the standard Airmega 250.

Credit: Britt Franklin

Performance-wise, I was significantly impressed by the Airmega 250 — and that’s saying a lot after trying a ton of air purifiers with many different shapes, sizes, and features. Despite its size, it’s extremely quiet, and it can turn itself off in smart mode to conserve power when the air quality is consistently good. In total, it has three modes: Smart, Rapid, and a manual setting where you can control the fan speed as desired. You can also save power by using Sleep mode to turn the purifier off during downtime. There’s an air quality monitor below the settings that lets you know the air quality of the room with different colors of light: Blue is good, green is moderate, yellow is unhealthy, and red is very unhealthy. When I started using the Airmega 250 Art, it had been a few months since I’d last had an air purifier in my living room and the immediate readout was moderate. However, after running it for a couple of hours in Smart mode, the color shifted from green to blue. Once the good air quality was maintained for an extended period of time, the Airmega put itself to sleep to save energy.

I know it sometimes can be difficult to tell if an air purifier is doing its job, especially if the standard air quality where you live isn’t necessarily poor. I’ve even had to rely on purposeful tests at times to get a response out of some that I’ve tried in the past. Outside of the lights on the air quality monitor, what lets me know that the Airmega 250 Art was the real deal was when I had to whip out a near-empty can of insect spray. Although I was across the room from the air purifier when I sprayed the pest, it took just a few minutes for the fan to kick on and clean the chemicals from my air. It caught me by surprise because I didn’t think I’d sprayed enough for it to matter! The air purifier has also increased fan speed to clear the air after I’ve been cooking, when neighbors have been grilling and the smoke somehow seeps into my space, and even while yard work is being done outside of my apartment building. Even at its strongest speed, the fan isn’t a disturbance. Plus, bceause it shuts itself off, I don’t have to keep an eye on it at all times. I usually put it in Sleep mode overnight for no other reason than to give it a break.

At $499, the Airmega 250 Art is a splurge, but what I’ve learned in testing so many air purifiers over the years is that you can tell which ones are worth the spend. Considering the Airmega 250 Art combines decor with cleaning, it’s like getting two products in one. It clears home air with supreme precision and even lets you know when filters need to be cleaned or replaced. It’s truly become an extension of my home that blends seamlessly into my space without being an eyesore. Not to mention the fact that I can rest easy knowing that it’s not a product that I’ll have to get rid of after a few months or a year. The Airmega 250 Art’s longevity is just another reason to take the leap, and the only thing that could possibly make it better is being able to snag art panels separately to swap them out when the mood strikes. As an air purifier, there’s a reason so many AT staffers love the Airmega 250 so much: Simply, it’s one of the best.

Buy: Airmega 250 Art, $499