Dyson Big + Quiet Air Purifier Quietly Does Its Duty Like a Breeze

09.12.23 | By
Dyson Big + Quiet Air Purifier Quietly Does Its Duty Like a Breeze

The Dyson Purifier Big + Quiet Formaldehyde air purifier is unusual in that the droid-like design really leans into its larger size compared to most any other air purifier available for the mass market. But that’s intentional, noting an air purifier is only as effective as its ability to utilize airflow to bring in pollutants in contact with a filtration medium to scrub the air clean. The more flow and the larger surface area, the faster the filtration rate. Dyson’s trick is accomplishing all this with an acoustically engineered motor bucket optimized to hush maximum full-speed filtration down to a minimum.

Dyson Big + Quiet air purifier in two different colorways side by side, left in Bright Nickel/Prussian Blue and right in Prussian Blue/Gold.

So how quiet are we talking about? Dyson claims their sizable air purifier measures a very reasonable 56dBA when set at full blast. For reference, according to this decibels chart, a refrigerator produces about 55dBA of environmental noise; that’s also in the realm of normal output for a dishwasher, a perfectly acceptable volume when you really need to set the unit to its maximum speed. Thus the Big + Quiet is being promoted as a healthy home and communal space solution effective for up to 1,000ft², suitable for use not only in larger living rooms, but also in a commercial edition engineered for professional environments with a slightly lighter weight and white + silver design, engineered for classrooms, hotel lobbies, and other communal spaces where a larger and more powerful unit ideally doesn’t intrude on the conversations and atmosphere around it.

Man reaching to remove the Dyson Big + Quiet air purifier's top sleeve to change out the filtration medium. The top of the unit in Prussian Blue is on the floor to the side.

The Dyson Big + Quiet air purifier uses a catalytic filter to trap formaldehyde, then breaks it down into water and CO₂, while a K-Carbon filter absorbs common household indoor pollutants.

Though Dyson’s largest air filtration design is outfitted to remove allergens and 99.97% of fine particles using a HEPA H13 grade filter, the Big + Quiet comes with the additional capability to destroy formaldehyde, remove gases and odors, and capture nitrogen dioxide. The top of the unit includes a small display that reports back what solid-state formaldehyde sensor detects during operation.

Cutout illustration revealing the three stage filtration system within the Dyson Big+Quiet air purification unit, with dirty air flow simulated passing through each layer.

A laudable aspect of the Dyson Big + Quiet is the long lasting efficacy of its filters. The unit’s H13 grade HEPA filter can last up to five years, depending upon conditions. The K-Carbon filter lasts for up to two years. And best of all, the catalytic oxidisation filter never has to be changed out.

Like many other tech-forward appliances today, there’s a proprietary algorithm involved in the operation of Dyson’s device. The Big + Quiet is programmed to continuously monitor and report levels of formaldehyde, VOCs, or nitrogen dioxide registered in the air. In turn, we became much more aware and sensitive to the quality of air inside on a daily basis armed with this information. It became common to check in regularly with the unit’s sensors either by app or at glance across its small LCD display, and the environmental feedback was just as likely to compel us to open a few windows to allow for fresh air in just as much as it did to convince us to set the unit to full blast.

Illustration showing how Dyson Big+Quiet internal fan moves polluted air from the bottom base and up and out through an angle adjustable output against all black background. Air flow is simulated in light blue beams.

The Big + Quiet is outfitted with an adjustable angle airflow, ranging between 0°, 25°, or 50°, allowing to direct air wanted and most needed. There’s even a setting designed to emulate the feeling of a refreshing breeze.

All white Dyson Big+Quiet air purifier designed for commercial settings.

All data gathered through the Dyson’s live monitoring sensor displays in realtime across a small circular LCD located at the center top. Any data can also be accessed from the MyDyson app.

All white Dyson Big+Quiet air purifier designed for commercial settings, displayed against the side wall of a library with rows of bookshelves across from it.

The commercial edition of the Dyson Big+Quiet also uses a catalytic oxidization filter to destroy formaldehyde molecules 500x smaller than 0.1 microns, quiet enough at 43dBA at its lowest setting (55.6dBA at its highest) to operate within quiet communal spaces like libraries or offices.

One feature we really appreciated was the inclusion of the small set of roller wheels incorporated into the air purifier’s base. While the Big + Quiet is not heavy for its size, its larger dimensions can make it feel unwieldy to lift for some (if you’ve ever dreamt of hugging R2-D2, here is your chance). But the integrated wheels simplify moving the unit room to room or into storage as easy as pushing a small cart.

All white Dyson Big+Quiet air purifier displayed against the back wall of a modern loft or hotel hospitality living room next to several bookshelves filled with houseplants and sofa to the right. Paper lanterns float above, partially in view, with bright yellow carpeting across the floor.

The incorporation of a catalytic filter and activated carbon filter also make the Dyson a helpful means of removing common household odors that aren’t dangerous, just undesirable, so pet owners and people who like to cook might especially benefit from its ability to filter odors.

If you’re worried about inhaling VOCs off-gassing from everyday sources like mattresses, paints, household cleaners, some upholstery fabrics, and new furniture, alongside limiting everyday allergens, the Dyson Big + Quiet’s portability and quiet operation offsets its size.

Empty classroom setting with chairs and desks, with Dyson Big+Quiet set near a wall of windows.

At $899 for the all-white commercial edition or $1,099 for its more stylishly finished Prussian Blue adorned colorway, the Dyson Big + Quiet comes at a premium. And there’s no getting around that it’s conspicuously large. But in an age when wildfires, urban pollution, and seasonal allergies are regularly vying to irritate our senses, an effective air purifier is arguably an investment worth the cost and trade-offs associated with something openly labeled as big and quiet.

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Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at