Dyson vs Meaco: which British fan giant are YOU a fan of?

Is Dyson better than Meaco just because it's better known and more expensive? Weeeell…

Dyson vs Meaco
(Image credit: Dyson | Meaco)

Dyson vs Meaco: which is better? Perhaps it's an unfair comparison, as Dyson is a household name and run by a man who slips into the Prime Minister's DMs at will. Meaco is fairly well known, but we don't know what sort of relationship its owner or CEO has with 10 Downing Street. maybe she or he is just more discreet. 

Anyway, we’ve sampled many, many household wares from these two Great British companies. They are both in our guides to the best fans and the best air purifiers, for a start. We've also put their flagship fans head to head in our epic Dyson Cool AM07 vs Meaco MeacoFan 1056 confrontation. 

So given that, we thought it was about time we took a closer look at their design customs and the technologies they incorporate to produce products that help keep us cool and clean the air around our homes. 

Meaco is a specialist in air treatment products – from cooling fans and portable air conditioning units to humidifiers, dehumidifiers and air purifiers. 

Dyson, by contrast, has an ever-growing roster across a whole smorgasbord of product categories, from vacuum cleaners to haircare to a line of interesting desk and task lights. 

For the purposes of this piece we’ll focus entirely on the companies’ air-based products, however, since it seems unfait to point out that Meaco's range of hair curlers is sadly lacking – non-existent in fact. Read on for the low down, in our fan-ish inquisition…

Dyson vs Meaco

The app-controllable Dyson Purifier Cool in all its copper-coloured glory

(Image credit: Dyson)

Dyson vs Meaco: design ethos

Both Dyson and Meaco are of British origin and they both specialise in the design and manufacture of air treatment products. When it comes to design, Dyson is very much to the fore. Its products are generally much more expensive, too, but not necessarily more effective than those from the Meaco stable.

Dyson adopts a Johnny Ive approach to all of its products, whether it’s a fan or a cordless vac. Hence, their products not only perform the functions they’re designed for, they are also generally very easy to use. But above all, Dyson products scream ‘buy me now even if you think you don’t need me’.

By comparison, Meaco products don’t shout about it; they just do the job well, ticking away in the background and not necessarily standing out from the crowd. Hence, when it comes down to aesthetics, Dyson is far and away the hands down winner. That’s not to say that Meaco products are ugly; it’s just that they don’t really have, er, middle class appeal. Or put another way, if you had a beautifully attired fancy-pants loft conversion in London’s achingly trendy Hoxton, you might think twice about opting for a Meaco machine. That’s just how it is.

MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator review

Meaco's exceptional MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator, in dumpy and tall

(Image credit: Meaco)

Dyson vs Meaco: product performance

There is no such thing about style over substance in the Meaco stable because most of the products we’ve tested in the past – be it dehumidifiers, cooling fans or even portable air-con units – have excelled in the course of their duties. Its fan range, for instance, is a huge hit with consumers, especially the 1056 desktop and pedestal models. And that’s no surprise since the MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator – and most of its smaller brethren – is arguably the most efficient and quietest fan in the kingdom of cool. We gave it a five stars when it came out a few years ago and it rightfully deserved every one of them. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say that its fan range is among the best designed products in their entire catalogue.

As mentioned above, Meaco doesn’t just do fans. In fact the first time I heard of them was when I was asked to write a feature on Best Dehumidifiers. The product they sent looked very staid in off-white, to be honest, but by jove, it sucked the moisture out of our damp bathroom in record time. Bucketfuls of it.

Dyson vs Meaco: Meacocool MC Series

The excellent MeacoCool MC Series portable aircon

(Image credit: Meaco)

Suddenly smitten by the effectiveness of the brand’s products, I then went on to sample one of its portable Air Conditioning products, just in time for one of the hottest summers in recent existence. Despite looking like something from a hospital ward, it cooled the room better than any fan ever could and it cost less than 500 quid.

So I then moved on to Air Purifiers and once again the Meaco came through. In fact, the MeacoClean CA-HEPA 76x5 they sent is one the most aesthetically pleasing products in its catalogue. It’s not for me to say, but I’ll admit that the Meaco logo itself could perhaps do with a refresh.

When it comes to Dyson, there are those who adore the brand and those who abhor it. That said, when I read some user reviews of Dyson products, I can’t help thinking that some of them are coming from a predetermined negative angle – after all, James Dyson has been in the news for a number of controversial reasons. Politics aside, there are quite a few people I know who think that Dyson gear is overpriced and overhyped. I personally like the company’s gear – it’s functional, easy to use and, above all, everything it designs and manufactures looks classy, expensive and ultra modern.

Take its fans, for instance. These elegant machines look attractive in any environment. In fact, they’re so svelte in appearance they easily blend in with most furnishings, especially modern furnishings. The Air Multiplying technology the company employs for its fans and air purifiers is also a cut above the rest and borne out of years of research and development. The same thing goes for its latest range of air purifiers which perform better than most other models simply because the air is ported horizontally for a cooling effect instead of upwards where the cleaned air just gently bounces off the ceiling. For this reason alone, the Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool is one of the very best all rounders on the market. Currently, Dyson doesn’t produce any dehumidifiers or portable air conditioning products, but who knows what the future holds?

Dyson vs Meaco: Cost of products

This is where Meaco truly trounces Dyson. In fact, when I reviewed the original MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator, I actually thought it was too cheap because I’d never used a fan that was so amazingly effective and filled with so many great features, including full horizontal and vertical oscillation. It was, and still is, the quietest fan I’ve ever not heard – even at full bore. Even the company’s humidifiers and dehumidifiers are relatively cheap when compared to the opposition. In short,  pretty much everything I’ve ever reviewed from Meaco has really impressed me from a functionality point of view. Meaco products are, to all intents and purposes, damn good value for money. Even if they’re not always the best designed.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Dyson products are notoriously expensive and I think most of this is to do with the quality of the materials used but even more so, the huge amount of research and development the company puts into all of its products. Like Apple, Dyson is perpetually in a struggle to reinvent the wheel – and most of the time the long-term graft pays dividends. High dividends.

Dyson vs Meaco: Dyson Purifier Cool and Dyson Pure Cool Me

The Dyson Purifier Cool and Dyson Pure Cool Me – style statements extraordinaire

(Image credit: Dyson)

Dyson vs Meaco: Verdict

Both of these companies excel at producing products that function well but only one establishment pulls it off in style with a range of products that look radically different to anything else on the market. Dyson, of course. 

If value for money and outright top-end performance is more your bag then Meaco more than holds its own against the might of the Dyson empire. The choice, as always, is yours…

Derek Adams

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, Delboy etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version – on a typewriter! He now writes for T3 between playing drums with his bandmates in Red Box (redboxmusic).