Shark NeverChange 5 Air Purifier review: a quiet and efficient air purifier for the home

The Shark NeverChange 5 Air Purifier brings with it some appealing features

Shark NeverChange 5
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

The Shark NeverChange 5 is fast, quiet, and effective when cleaning the air in your home – and Shark promises you won't need to change filters for a full 5 years. There are a lot of strong competitors on the market though, and it'd be nice to have a mobile app too.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Powerful air cleaning

  • +

    5-year filter lifetime

  • +

    Eco-friendly auto mode

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No remote control

  • -

    Will be too bulky for some

  • -

    No phone app

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You're certainly not spoilt for choice when it comes to the best air purifiers on the market at the moment, but the NeverChange 5 isn't afraid to take on the competition: it enters a crowded field with a few neat tricks to show off, and I've been testing it for several weeks.

I had the smaller HP150UK unit, though a larger HP300UK option is also available. The main selling point for both devices is the promise that the filter can last for up to five years – which is potentially going to save you a substantial amount of money over time.

T3's  full Shark NeverChange 5 review covers all the key features and specs of this air purifier, from its cleaning capabilities to the ease with which you can get it set up to begin with, and I should be able to help you decide if it's an upgrade worth your money.

Shark NeverChange 5 review: price and availability

The Shark NeverChange 5 is available to buy now – at the time of writing, you can pick the air purifier up for around £249.99 at Shark in the UK and around $250 in the US. In the UK, the unit is available to buy from retailers including Amazon and Currys, as well as the Shark website.

Shark NeverChange 5 review: design and setup

Shark NeverChange 5

(Image credit: Future)

The setup of the Shark NeverChange 5 couldn't be much simpler, and there's a handy quick start guide included in the box to get you started – thanks, Shark. Take off a couple of plastic bags, install the optional odour cartridge if you want to add some sweet smells to the mix as well as air purification, and you're good to go. Plug the unit into a free power socket and it configures itself instantly, before weighing up the air quality in the room.

It feels rather odd to unpack and set up a modern gadget that doesn't come with an app, but that's where I am with this device. On the plus side, it's one less app and account to have to worry about; on the negative side, it does mean you can't control the air purifier or get a look at the current air quality from your phone, which would be handy if you're in another room or away from home altogether.

There is a remote control, but it's an optional accessory, and as far as I can tell is currently only available in the US (yours for $15). That means I couldn't make use of one, so this was very much a case of having to get to the unit to change any of its settings, or to see how clean the air is. Maybe it's just me being lazy, but it would be nice to be able to turn the NeverChange 5 on and off with a remote control – here's hoping the remote becomes available in the UK soon.

As for the design, it's a bit plasticky and angular when compared to some of the best alternative air purifiers. It's not ugly, exactly, but there's room for refinement in the aesthetic design. If you're measuring out some space at home, the dimensions of the Shark NeverChange 5 are 38.5 cm x 23.7 cm x 26.6 cm, and it weighs 3.32 kg (it's easy enough to carry from room to room, if needed).

Shark NeverChange 5 review: features and performance

Shark NeverChange 5

(Image credit: Future)

Here are the stats: the Shark NeverChange 5 can clean rooms up to 60 square metres (think a large-ish lounge), with a single complete change of air every hour. Smaller rooms of up to 12 square metres (something like a small-ish bedroom) get 4.8 air changes per hour. Those are fairly compact spaces – remember there's a bigger and more powerful model in the range if you need it.

The HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter promises to trap 99.97% of particles, allergens and irritants, down to 0.1-0.2 microns (or micrometres) in size. You can even cycle through the display options on the unit to see the different sizes of particles in the air you're breathing: PM1, PM2.5, and PM10, indicating the particle size in micron (smoke is around 2.5, dust and pollen around 10).

Luckily for me, but not so handily for this review, the air in my home seems to be very clean. I did manage to get the air quality down to 85% or so with some cooking and dusting, as per the readings on the NeverChange 5 – the levels were stable while the cooking and dusting was happening, and once it was finished the the device got the air back to 100% clean in a mere 15-20 minutes.

It's also nice and quiet while it's working: if you leave the fan on auto mode, we're talking about a gentle background hum, though you can ramp up the fan speed if you really need the air purifier to work hard. Even at its loudest, the fan doesn't get up to the level of something like a hair dryer.

Shark NeverChange 5

(Image credit: Future)

I also really like the auto mode that puts the unit to sleep when 100% air quality has been reached for 5 minutes. Unless you're affecting the air quality in the room you're in – lighting up a series of scented candles, for example – the Shark NeverChange 5 is going to sit quietly in the corner and not bother you. The large display works well too, changing colour as the air quality changes.

One of the highlights here, as noted in the name of the unit, is the 5-year lifetime of the filter – enough to save you £200/$300 over that time, Shark reckons. Now obviously that's not something I can vouch for over the course of a few weeks in my home, but presumably Shark has done its testing in that respect: otherwise it's likely to be facing a lot of angry customers in 2-3 years' time.

As far as maintenance goes, there are what Shark calls DebrisDefence pre-filters either side of the main HEPA filter. The idea is they help the main filter last longer by trapping large particles (like hair and dust). These can be easily slipped out and cleaned with a vacuum, and while I didn't notice them getting too dirty over the course of my testing period, they seem easy enough to clean.

There's also an optional anti-odour cartridge you can put in at the top. These need replacing every 2-3 months, and the one I got supplied in the box filled rooms up with a pleasant but subtle aroma. There are five different strength settings you can choose between, and it's a nice extra you can make use of if you want.

Shark NeverChange 5

(Image credit: Future)

Shark NeverChange 5 review: verdict

While I wasn't able to put the Shark NeverChange 5 through industrial-level cleaning jobs, and obviously can't test the capabilities of the filter across 5 years, I can report that the unit did a very capable job of cleaning up the air in my (relatively small) home. It's impressively fast while it's cleaning up the air, and impressively quiet too.

As far as the 5-year lifetime of the filter goes, we're going to have to take Shark's word for it for now, but I'll update this review if it's not still going strong by 2029. Given Shark's pedigree as a maker of home appliances, I'm assuming it knows what it's talking about here, but bear in mind that I wasn't able to put this to the test personally.

It's not quite a perfect product – the design could definitely be improved and refined, and the lack of an accompanying phone app or even a remote control (in the UK at least) seems to be a bit of a miss. Even in the US the remote is going to cost you extra, and it's something I'd like to see included in the box as standard.

Overall though, the Shark NeverChange 5 does a very good job of cleaning the air in your home, which is what it's built for. It's fast and it's quiet, and you can't really ask for much more than that – and the easy maintenance, and option of filling your rooms with a sweet fragrance, add to the appeal too.

Shark NeverChange 5 review: alternatives to consider

As I said at the start, there are plenty of excellent air purifiers around at the moment. If the Shark NeverChange 5 isn't for you, then the Blueair Blue Max 3250i is worth a look: it certainly has more aesthetic appeal than the Shark model, and it comes in cheaper as well. Do remember to factor in the filter changes though: they're needed every 6-12 months with the Blueair model, whereas Shark reckons you'll be good for 5 years with its own unit.

Another air purifier we've been impressed by recently is the Dyson Purifier Big+Quiet Formaldehyde, though you do need the space for it. The larger size does mean it works faster in bigger rooms though, and it's impressive in terms of its performance. What might put you off is the price: it's substantially more expensive than the Shark NeverChange 5, so you need to weigh up how much you're willing to spend on your air purifier purchase.

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.