Review: Blueair Classic 280I
Blueair’s entire range of indoor air purifiers has had two constants—a large, thick filter and a big fan. In the Classic 280i too, these two combine to ensure the effectiveness of the air-cleaning process. Yet the Classic 280i adds new touches, such as Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities.
This purifier can be hooked up to your home Wi-Fi network, and controlled through the Blueair Friend app (free for Android and iOS). This includes the ability to change fan speed, switch modes, alter the lighting intensity of the LEDs and monitor the quality of the air. This makes it one of the few IoT-compatible air purifiers, the others being Blueair’s own Sense+ (Rs42,499), Honeywell’s Air Touch S (Rs39,990) and the Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2 (Rs9,999).
The Classic 280i has trademark Blueair design cues, with modern lines. What really adds value is the use of high-quality material in the chassis—there is a steel frame, and the panels are robust.
The thickness of the high-efficiency particulate arrestance (Hepa) filter goes a long way in defining how quickly and efficiently an indoor air purifier is able to clean the air in the room. And Blueair carries on with the tradition of a thick Hepa filter. By default, what you get is a particle filter that is made of non-toxic polypropylene and has a gradient filter structure for capturing particles. If you want to replace the filter later, you can upgrade to what is known as a SmokeStop Filter, which has activated carbon for eliminating smoke, gas and odours—if these are indeed a problem in your home.
The ideal room size for this purifier in is 26 sq. m (280 sq. ft) and it has a clean air delivery rate (CADR) of 340 cubic metres per hour (cu.m/h). This makes it ideal for medium-sized rooms and bedrooms, though the adequately high CADR does mean it will not be out of depth in a large hall either. During testing, the Classic 280i improved the air quality from an unhealthy 121g/m to as little as 14g/m in just 30 minutes. There are three fan speeds, and the operation is noiseless at the first two speeds. If you switch to the highest speed, or it switches automatically to that, the urgency in cleaning the air becomes quite audible.
There is no denying the improvements in air quality, and the convenience of controlling it using an app on your smartphone. It’s difficult to ignore the fact, however, that the Classic 280i does cost significantly more than its biggest rival, the Honeywell Air Touch S (Rs36,500; Amazon.in), which has a similar CADR rating.