Ikea Starkvind Review
A smart-looking air purifier that can blend into your home
Functional and able to blend in with your home, particularly if you buy the side-table edition, the Ikea Starkvind is an air purifier that looks good. It’s exceptionally simple to use, and you can add smart control via the optional hub, which delivers app control plus HomeKit and voice control – but there’s no remote control via Ikea’s app.
In our tests, the Starkvind could be a little slow to ramp up its fan speeds, but it cleared our test smoke in decent time and proved to be a quiet operator.
- Funky design options
- Simple to use
- Cheap, smart upgrade
- Can be slow to ramp up fan speed
- No remote control with Ikea app
- UKRRP: £129
- USARRP: $129
- EuropeRRP: €128
Available direct from Ikea
- EnvironmentalThree filters here remove large particles (such as pet hair), small particles (allergens and the like) and harmful gasses and odours
Air purifiers are a brilliant way to keep your home environment in the best shape possible, filtering out harmful particles and pushing out clean air. Many purifiers come in the form of rather ugly boxes that can be an eyesore, but the Ikea Starkvind aims to change that.
With Ikea’s customary attention to detail, the Starkvind is a purifier designed to blend into your home and is available as either a freestanding unit or a side table. It works out of the box with the on-screen controls, but through the Tradfri Gateway, the purifier becomes smart.
It comes with a slightly limited automatic mode and, once it ramps up to full speed, the Starkvind is capable of cleaning the air fast.
Design and Features
- Table or freestanding options
- Simple on-board controls
- Optional smart control
Much like Ikea did with its Symfonisk Sonos speakers, the Starkvind is designed to hide the tech in a body that blends into your home. The air purifier is available in two options: one sits upright on short legs and has a fabric cover (white or black), while the other has longer legs and a hard top, so you can use it as a side table (available in black or white with oak veneer).
In my opinion, the Starkvind looks great in both forms. I have the freestanding version on review, although it’s arguably the table that’s more useful.
Both versions share the same physical air purifier unit. A round, drum-like device, your first job after purchase will be to assemble your purifier (this is Ikea, after all), attaching its legs. You’ll also need to insert the filters.
At the bottom sits the black filter for capturing gas and neutralising odours. Next comes the white filter for removing particles, followed by a pre-filter for larger elements, such as pet hair. The pre-filter can be wiped clean or vacuumed; the other two filters have a lifespan of around six months each.
You’ll see a light turn on when it’s time to inspect the filters, and both can be replaced for a reasonable £27.
Integrated cable management means that you don’t have too much of the power cable on display. Once plugged in, the Starkvind can be used entirely via the control dial. Press once to turn on the purifier in Auto mode, and then turn the dial to manually select a speed between one and five.
Air is pulled through the rear and comes out of the vents on the side. Given the orientation of the purifier, it should mean that you don’t get hit by a cold blast of air. As such, you can use the Starkvind in lower temperatures without feeling discomfort.
The automatic mode uses the PM2.5 sensor to detect levels of small particles. PM2.5 particles can get into the lungs and cause breathing problems, and are a major source of irritation in our homes.
Note that this sensor can become clogged, so you should clean it from time to time using a vacuum cleaner –particularly if the fan speed always appears to be on max. Follow the instructions in the manual: there’s a cover you need to unscrew at the rear to get to it.
Unlike the Dyson Purifier Hot + Cool Formaldehyde, the Starkvind can’t react to pollutants such as NO2 (nitrogen dioxide, released via combustion such as from cars), or VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds, which can be found in old furniture, paints or even cleaning sprays) automatically. But as a result of the combination of filters, the Starkvind can still deal with these pollutants.
There’s no indicator to display how clean the Starkvind believes your air to be; you can only really determine this by listening to how fast the fans are spinning.
Add a Tradfri Gateway (£25), which is also used to control the company’s other smart devices – including its lights and blinds – and you can connect the Starkvind to your home network. This allows control through the Ikea Home Smart app or via the Apple Home app via HomeKit support.
With HomeKit, you can adjust the fan speed and toggle the purifier on and off – but the controls are a little confusing. The top power button in the app turns on Auto mode; the bottom slider lets you toggle power and select the fan speed manually. The purifier’s air quality sensor also shows up as a separate device that you can use in automation.
With the Ikea app, you can determine air quality through helpful messages, such as ‘good’ or ‘not good’. There’s also a slider to adjust fan speed or to toggle the Auto mode. To use the app, you have to be on the same network as your gateway.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integrations are available, too, offering voice control over the purifier, including fan speed and Auto mode. Via the Alexa app, you can also remote control the purifier. Since the Starkvind appears as a proper device, you can use it in Alexa Routines – say, turning it off automatically when you set your Ring Alarm.
- Sensor can be slow to respond
- Fast air cleaning
- Very quiet
To test the air purifier, I lit a smoke capsule in my office, which burns for 60 seconds. I left the Starkvind in Auto mode and timed how long it took my Nest Protect to record that the danger was over.
In Auto mode, the Starkvind took a while to respond to the threat, ramping up fan speed quite slowly. Other purifiers respond faster to a threat, getting to maximum speed faster.
Even so, the Starkvind cleared the threat in 11mins 57secs, which is pretty good considering the size of the purifier. The Shark Air Purifier 6 HE600UK was much faster, but the air purifier itself is huge. Leaving the purifier to run, I waited until its sensor read clean air, which took 25 minutes in total.
Measuring the Starkvind for noise at minimum fan speed, it reached just 34.8dB. That’s background noise level, and I couldn’t really hear the fans. Even on maximum, the Starkvind only got to 56.3DdB, which is extremely quiet.
Available direct from Ikea
Should you buy it?
If you want an air purifier that can blend into your home, then this is a great choice – particularly if you opt for the side table version.
If you want a device that can act as a fan, too, then there are multi-purpose alternatives that may be a better choice.
Blending into your home, particularly the table version, the Ikea Starkvind looks fabulous. It’s well priced, and simple to use out of the box. Yet, it’s smart-ready, which expands the purifier’s offering further. It’s relatively quick to clean a room’s air, although a wider range of sensors would help to make it respond to multiple threats. Even so, this is a great purifier at a decent price.
If you want something different, the Shark Air Purifier 6 HE600UK is a great choice for large rooms, while the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde can be used all-year round as a purifier, heater and fan. My guide to the best air purifiers has other alternatives.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every air purifier we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main air purifier for the review period
We test smart purifiers with their apps and we test Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility.
We time how long it takes each purifier to remove smoke from a closed room.
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The main bodies are the same, but one comes with longer legs and a hard top and can be used as a side table; the other stands vertically.
You need the Tradfri Gateway, which is also used to control Ikea’s other smart products.