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Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier review: Effectively improves air quality

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The Series 3000 Air Purifier uses three different filters to remove PM2.5 particles, common allergens and bacteria.

The good

  • Works in rooms up to 95m²
  • Extremely quiet, especially on sleep setting
  • Light indicator makes it easy to check air quality
  • Removes particles even smaller than PM2.5
  • Sleek, modern design

The bad

  • High price tag
  • Auto-lock feature forces you to replace filters
  • Touch display shows fingerprint marks
  • Replacement filters aren't cheap

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  • Review

In recent weeks, Sydney has been inundated by heavy smoke from bushfires. This provided the opportunity to test the Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier in extreme conditions, and I was surprisingly impressed with the results.

There's been a lot of buzz about the using P2 face masks to protect against smoke and PM2.5 particles. Still, many experts claim that using an air purifier with a HEPA filter is much more effective at filtering out these small particles.

The Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier uses a HEPA filter in combination with a carbon filter and a pre-filter to remove airborne allergens, pollutants and bacteria, but it comes with a high price tag.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier


  • Sleek, modern design
  • Easy carry handles
  • LCD touch display is easy to use, but accumulates fingerprint marks quickly
  • Ring light indicator makes it easy to check air quality
  • Extremely quiet, especially on sleep setting
  • Auto-lock function is frustrating

The Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier has a white plastic body with two slits along the side that suck in air. It also has a large handle at the top that makes it easy to carry around. It doesn't have wheels, but at 10kg, it's light enough to move from room to room.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier

The most noticeable physical feature is the large hole in the upper-centre. It contains a ring light that indicates the room's PM2.5 index – a rating system that measures air quality – with four different colours. Blue is good, blue-violet is fair, red-purple is unhealthy and red is very unhealthy.

When I first turned the air purifier on in my living room during a particular smokey day a few weeks ago, the light turned bright red and stayed red for quite a while – an indication of just how poor the air quality has been in Sydney recently. After around 30 minutes, the light changed to red-purple.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier

The Series 3000 Air Purifier has a black LCD touch display on the top of the unit. It's easy to use and navigate between different settings, but the display immediately starts to show fingerprints and smudges.

The display houses the controls for power, fan speed, a timer, a filter reset button and a switch to turn the light on and off. There's also a child lock button so that little fingers can't change the settings.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier

The purifier uses three different filters: a pre-filter, the "NanoProtect HEPA" filter and the "NanoProtect" filter. The latter two filters are wrapped in plastic, which you need to remove before you turn the unit on. For more information about filter types, check out our guide to air purifiers.

You can cycle between five different fan speeds, plus auto, allergen and sleep settings. The auto setting changes the fan speed based on the quality of the air in the room, while the sleep setting is designed to operate on the lowest and quietest fan settings, regardless of the room's air quality.

The noise of the fan ranges from 32.5dB (about the volume of a bedroom or quiet lecture hall) to 63.8dB (the noise level of a normal conversation or business office). When the fan was on the lower settings, I couldn't hear it at all. When I first set it up, I had to put my ear directly on the unit several times to make sure it was working because it was so quiet.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier

If you want to use the unit in your bedroom, you can turn on the sleep mode and turn off both the ring light and the display lights so that there won't be any distracting lights while you sleep. You can also use the timer setting to run the purifier for between 1 and 24 hours and then turn it off automatically.

The 3000 series has a unique auto-locking function. When the filters need to be replaced, a warning will appear on the display. If the filter isn't replaced within 14 days, the unit auto-locks and can't be used until the filter has been replaced. The feature is dependant on how accurately the purifier can detect the effectiveness of the filters, and could cause you to have to replace filters sooner than necessary. Ideally, this feature would be an optional setting.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier

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  • Effective in large rooms
  • Removes particles even smaller than PM2.5
  • Auto setting is convenient and saves energy
  • It works well

The Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier can be used effectively in rooms up to 95m².

As mentioned, the air purifier has three filters. The first is a mesh pre-filter that sits at the front and filters out large dust particles and pet hair. This filter is washable and can be vacuumed clean. However, if you wash it, make sure that it's fully dry before you put it back in the filter or else it could start to grow mould.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier

The second NanoProtect filter is a carbon filter made with active carbon that can remove odours and gases. The last filter is a High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) filter that Philips claims can remove particles that are 100 times smaller than the PM2.5 particles we've heard so much about lately. It also removes 99.97%* of common airborne allergens, 99.9% of bacteria and certain viruses and harmful gases.

Once you set the air purifier up, you don't have to worry about playing around with the settings. The auto mode takes care of this for you, using Philips AeraSense technology to detect changes in air quality and to adjust the fan speed accordingly. You can see the results immediately – as soon as I opened a door or window, the indicator light would change colour and the fan speed would increase.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier

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  • Works well
  • Not cheap
  • Easy-to-use, attractive interface
  • Auto mode means you can turn it on and forget about it

I was sceptical about the Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier. At almost $1,000, I thought there was no way it could be worth the cost. But after using it for three weeks, my mind has been changed.

As the weather becomes hotter, my cats shed a lot. There's been a noticeable reduction in the amount of cat hair in my living room over the last few weeks, and when I opened the unit, I could see that a large amount of hair had been caught in the pre-filter.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier

I also noticed a significant improvement in the air quality of my apartment while there has been an increase in smoke in the air from bushfires. When I first brought the air purifier home, I had a lingering cough, and I found that I slept more soundly with the purifier on. After around 10 days of using the purifier, I went away for a weekend without the purifier and my cough came back with a vengeance.

If you want a cheaper solution, Philips has several other models. However, they only work in smaller spaces. While the series 2000 is more than $400 cheaper at SRP $529, the smaller model is only effective in rooms up to 41m². So the 3000 can clean a room more than twice the size of the 2000, at less than twice the cost. What it comes down to is how big of a room you want to use it in.

Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier

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Philips Series 3000 Air Purifier
Air quality sensorAerasense Fine particle PM2.5 sensor
Fan speedsSilent, 1, 2, 3 and turbo
Effective areaUp to 95m²
PM2.5 filtering>99% (1h)
Bacteria filtering99.99% (1h)
Stand-by power consumption<0.5W
Sound level32.5-63.8dB (A)
Body materialWhite plastic
Cord length1.6m
Price (SRP)SRP $949
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Images: Sarah Brandon

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