Here's our Philips Series 3000i review in a sentence: this barrel-shaped air purifier is as quiet as it is effective.
There are a huge number of air purifiers available today, from the enormous Blueair Classic 480i to the compact Russell Hobbs RHAP3501. Philips Series 3000i Connected AC3033/30 – to give it its full name; there was an older model also called 3000i which is still on sale in some places – sits somewhere in between in terms of size. However the great thing about this fairly attractive purifier is that it punches well above its weight (light) and size (medium).
As a result the 3000i sits somewhere very near the top of the best air purifier charts, and it's probably the best air purifier for your bedroom. Why? Because it is quiet with a capital Q, and has a night setting that actually works.
Philips Series 3000i AC3033/30: price and availability
You can pick up this fine machine for £450 in the UK. It is not available in the USA, as is the case with most Philips stuff – you're missing out there guys. In Australia we do not have a recommended price but it is available at a slightly baffling range of prices, depending on the retailer. Peruse our pricing widget for the best current price.
Philips Series 3000i Connected AC3033/30 air purifier: design
Philips Series 3000i is a barrel shaped air purifier, but rather a stylish barrel. It looks an awful lot like the Hoover H-500 at a distance, but has a nicer finish. Perhaps the first thing to say is that, no, it does not have a whirling blue cloud coming out of the top of it – that is just for illustrative purposes.
It's 64.5cm tall and 29cm across and is easy to pick up as it's just 8 kilos.
The top panel has a bright LED ring to show you the air quality at a glance, as well as various touch sensitive icons to scroll through air quality stats and change the power setting. Depending on model, these are auto – the one you'll use most of the time – 'turbo' – for if some kind of air-fouling incident has just occurred – and sleep mode.
You can also update the Series 3000i's firmware and gain a further two manual speed settings but I rather debate the usefulness of that. Just leave it on auto. This detects pollutants with an array of sensors, then works for as long and as hard as it needs to, until they are gone.
Possibly the most useful icon on the top is the lightbulb one, which turns the display off entirely. Once you're set up, I personally don't see why you would want to have something in your bedroom, or elsewhere, that resembles an instrument from Star Trek. Extinguishing the lights saves a little bit of energy too.
The barrel shape of the Series 3000i reflects the fact that it can suck in allergens, dust and gases from every direction, before purifying them via a three-stage filter. This is a potentially great feature and allows Philips to claim the 3000i is good for rooms up to a whopping 135 m sq.
However, surely most people will have to position the machine by a wall and not in the middle of the room – I know I did. This immediately means it's only pulling in pollutants in about a 240º radius at most. Even so, in use the Series 3000i does a grand job. If you are able to position it at more of a central point of your room it will be even better. But your room may look a little odd.
Philips Series 3000i AC3033/30 review: setup
Setup is a joy with this machine. I didn't have a single problem getting the app to connect and after an initial period of intense whirring as it got to work for the first time, it soon became consistently quiet and faded into the background (once I turned out all those lights).
The app mirrors the controls on the machine itself and adds voice control options, as well as telling when to clean and/or replace the filters. And that is about it really. Sweet and simple.
Philips Series 3000i AC3033/30 review: performance
The Series 3000i claims to clean 20 m² in only six minutes, using its HEPA and activated carbon filters, removing 99.9% of pollutants down to PM2.5. In day-to-day use, in a bedroom or hallway, this seems like a more than reasonable claim, in my experience.
I would not use this in a kitchen and subject it to smoke and cooking fumes – you want something like one of Blueair's big beasts for that. However, for a bedroom, the Series 3000i 3033/30 is absolutely perfect.
That's because it's unobtrusively designed – almost verging on good looking really, at least by air purifier standards – effective, and – shhhhh! – quiet. Switch on the Sleep mode, and you really can sleep next to the 3000i, as it turns off all its lights and drops its noise level to just 34dB. Well I can sleep next to it, anyway. But I think most people will be able to.
While sleep mode is obviously a very powered-down version of what the 3000i is capable of, it does also seem to keep the air fairly clean overnight. In the morning, when returned to auto mode, it doesn't go crazy due to the air becoming completely gross overnight. No, it just carries on at a low, stress-free level not a great deal more vigorous than the Sleep mode.
Another good indication of how effective the 3000i is – I do not have a laboratory in my home so I have not been able to test this as scientifically as I would like – is how amazingly filthy the pre-filter gets. My bedroom does get rather dusty and after a few months, this was absolutely coated in a layer of dust, giving it an effect like a dirty Santa Claus beard. However, a quick go over with the Dyson removed all of it and left the 3000i operating like new.
Philips Series 3000i AC3033/30: verdict
Putting aside the difficulty of getting the full 360º benefit of this air purifier, there is no doubt that the Philips Series 3000i AC3033/30 is a highly effective device that is particularly well suited to bedrooms and boudoirs.
It removes dust (lots of dust), allergens and noxious gases but never seems to get noisy or flustered. The app actually works in a consistent and straightforward way, which is not something you can say about a lot of air purifier apps. Best of all, the auto and sleep modes work in exactly the way you would wish, providing 24/7 purifying of your air with minimal inconvenience to yourself. It's a tube-shaped winner, in short.