The IQAir Atem X Is a Breath of Fresh Air With Its Circular Design

06.06.24 | By
The IQAir Atem X Is a Breath of Fresh Air With Its Circular Design

Anyone with an eye for good design and nostrils susceptible to seasonal allergies knows the difficulty of finding an air purifier that’s functional and stylish enough to leave out in the open where the device is most effective. IQAir has long topped reviews for their ability to remove ultra-fine pollutants with a robust catalog of floor standing units, but in the design department, let’s just say their HealthPro Series wasn’t going to motivate anyone to rush out the door to make a purchase based on good looks. This was probably, in part, the impetus behind the German company’s IQAir Atem X design for a modern, top-tier air purifier in a uniquely minimalist circular design intended to compel users to keep the object out in the open.

A white, circular IQ Air Atem X air purifier on a black stand is shown beside a smartphone displaying air quality data on its screen.

The first noticeable trait when unpacking the IQAir Atem X is its unexpected size – 23 inches in diameter alone or 27 inches including the stand. The unit is a lot larger in person than communicated in the photos. But the Atem X is not so large that it becomes a nuisance regarding placement or its footprint. In fact, the minimalist design is strangely elegant and unobtrusive, partially because of its all-white finish, but also because a circular shape placed upon a pedestal seems almost intentionally sculptural. It might even remind one of the design versed of the similarly shaped Bang & Olufsen Beosound 9 wireless floor standing speaker.

The IQ Air Atem X is a round, white air purifier with a vertical, gray stand on a flat surface, showcasing its back with a vented design.

The aforementioned stand also is equipped with four discretely inset wheels and a stitched leather pull, a godsend allowing for easy maneuverability while carting the unit where needed.

A modern home office featuring an IQ Air Atem X circular air purifier, a small white lamp on a round side table, and wall-mounted art posters and shelves.

During the day, the Atem X was parked in the home office. \\\ Photo: Gregory Han

A cozy room with a wooden dresser, a framed geometric artwork, a bench with a book and lamp, and an IQ Air Atem X air purifier beside the large circular fan on the floor.

At night, the unit was easily carted into a corner of the bedroom and quiet enough to operate bedside without being disruptive to sleep. \\\ Photo: Gregory Han

Using the Atem X is super easy thanks to a touch-sensitive layout, forgoing complicated buttons for simple tap and swipe adjustment interactivity. An LED display changes color based on air quality, doubling up as the unit’s 8-speed adjustment control; a compatible app allows for control from a distance. Noteworthy still is the plethora of additional real-time data about the air you’re breathing, including the air quality index and particulate matter reading, alongside purely informational CO2, temperature, and humidity (meaning this unit’s filters have no influence on those figures).

Exploded view of the IQ Air Atem X air purifier, revealing its internal components, including red and black parts, wiring, and structural elements, with a detached white cover.

Now, in regards to what really matters: the IQAir Atem X’s HyperHEPA 3-sided filter layout is comparable to the brand’s other floor standing models – with a caveat. The Atem X’s filter captures particles as small as 0.003 microns, or 100 times smaller than what standard HEPA filters can trap, pulling air from the top and sides. In an hour’s time, an Atem X can scrub the air inside not just of dust and pollen, but also ultra-fine particles like viruses and bacteria. Now that caveat: one feature missing is a carbon filter, the filtration medium responsible for removing unpleasant household and pet odors, VOCs, and gas fumes from interior spaces.

A round, white IQ Air Atem X sits near the base of a modern, white staircase in a minimalist room with large windows.

A person sits on a chair by a large window in a modern, minimalist room with wooden flooring and mirrored walls, looking out at a cityscape. A floor lamp and an IQ Air Atem X air purifier are nearby.

Even so, in practical terms, this purifier is one of the most serious home purification options available, justifying its $1,399 price. IQ Air says the Atem X can scale up to a maximum coverage of “up to 1650 square feet,” exchanging air twice within an hour’s time. And the unit performs quietly. Even at its highest setting, the noise level is comparable to conversational volume or in proximity to the white noise of an air conditioner. In real world use, the unit will likely be set at the lower half of its fan speed, where it is hardly perceptible and easily blends in as ambient noise, making it perfect for bedrooms or quiet workspaces.

An IQ Air Atem X, white and round, rests on a concrete ledge next to a magazine in a modern room with large windows.

If you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer and/or live in wildfire-susceptible areas, the IQAir Atem X is a top tier performing investment backed by a 10-year warranty. The Atem X’s much improved modern-minimalist industrial design paired with the same breathe-easy air filtration efficacy makes it an arguably peerless option with little compromise, a contemporary circle in a category of utilitarian square pegs.

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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