Dyson AM10 Humidifier Review: Fountain of Youth, or Mist Opportunity?

By Gerald Lynch on at

Remember that week earlier this summer when it was so hot it was practically a health hazard to even get on a bus? No really, think back; it did happen. Unless you had an endless supply of Twister ice lollies and no shame with rocking the pants-only outfit look, the only satisfying way to stay cool was to invest in a fan.

Dyson’s bladeless fans have impressed for years. But not content to rest on its laurels, Dyson’s latest home appliance combines its fan technology with that of a humidifier. I’ve had the Dyson AM10 Humidifier in my house for a number of weeks now. It’s admittedly not for everyone, but if you fit its particular niche, it could well change your life.

A Humidifier? In the Rain-Soaked United Kingdom? What’s the Point?

It’s a fair question. In arid climes or nations where air conditioning is de rigueur, a humidifier can be very useful for adding moisture to the air, which is good for keeping your skin looking youthful for starters, but can also help those with breathing problems. Dyson’s humidifier goes one better, too – using its Air Multiplier technology, it not only hydrates the air, but kills 99.9 per cent of bacteria in the water with an ultraviolet light blast before sending it mistily around your home. As a result, Dyson claims its humidifier can also help alleviate the symptoms suffered by those with allergies.

Design

If you’re familiar with Dyson’s Hot + Cool fan, you’ll have a good idea of what the humidifier looks like. Standing 23-inches tall, it’s quite a large appliance, with its water drum having a 27.5-inch circumference. Holding three litres of water, it’s heavy when filled, so you’re going to have to look for permanent spot for the humidifier in your house, if possible.

But, as with all Dyson products, it’s aesthetically been engineered to perfection. Made of a white polycarbonate with silver framing, the “loop amplifier” (the area that blasts out cool air and disperses the humidifying mist) gives the whole thing a very space-age look.

Little touches, like the way the included remote control magnetically attaches to the top of the loop, add to the premium feel, while the detachable water drum’s handle shows it’s been designed with convenience in mind. However, even with the bacteria-blasting UV light, you’ll still need to put the AM10 through both a weekly and more-vigorous monthly manual cleaning regime, in order to keep the UV sensor free of grime and limescale.

Using It

With only a single button on the front of the humidifier, much of the control of the AM10 is left to its simple remote control. But even then you hardly need it, as the Dyson humidifier is equipped with sensors that can automatically measure temperature and moisture. You can pretty much turn it on and leave it to do its thing after its initial three minute water cleaning cycle, with the humidifier intelligently adjusting its output to match the requirements of your surroundings. This is very useful as I personally wouldn’t have been able to guess what would have been an appropriate moisture level for my home – would anyone?

Regardless, if you want to take manual control over the humidifier, the remote allows you to. There are buttons to toggle between fan-only and humidifier modes, controls for airflow and humidity settings and a sleep timer, which is held down to set cycles lasting between 15 minutes and nine hours. Digital watch-style lights flash above the power button to show you when the humidifier is tilted, or tank needs refilling – these can be a bit cryptic, so keep hold of the explanatory instruction booklet. Depending on the setting, you can get as much as 18 hours continuous use from a full three litre tank.

Is It Any Good?

Well, that really depends on you and, to a degree, what you expect from a fan humidifier combo. As a fan, I found that even at its top air-pushing levels it was quite weak despite being quite loud (note that the AM10 doesn’t automatically rotate like other Dyson fans, meaning it’s sending a fixed blast of cool air in one direction). However, it’s dual purpose means that it’s unfair to expect it to have quite the same oomph as a dedicated fan. And as a humidifier, I didn’t really see any perceptible change in my well-being after a few weeks use.

But then, perhaps, I’m not the target audience for a humidifier. My girlfriend, who suffers from asthma, can get a bit wheezy at night while sleeping. At the advice of a Dyson representative, we tried moving the AM10 into our bedroom, leaving it on through the night. After a few nights, my girlfriend said it was making a notable improvement to the comfort of her sleep, with her breathing less rattled than it sometimes would otherwise be. Come the winter, when lips get chapped and skin dries up, I may too start to see the benefits. For now though, its low nightly whirr only serves my girlfriend.

Should You Buy One?

At £499.99, the Dyson AM10 is hugely expensive. Though nowhere near as tech-filled and lacking the bacteria-busting features, a standard humidifier can be picked up from Amazon for around £50, and Dyson’s own comparable AM06 desktop fan costs £229. It’s a serious investment.

However, dropping a large chunk of change on something that could improve your well being, at least in the case of those with respiratory problems, would indeed be a worthy investment. You can’t put a price on your health, as the old saying goes. Certainly, in the case of my girlfriend she’s getting a better night’s sleep than she has in a long time. The trouble is, without living with the humidifier for a while, it’s hard to know whether it’ll be of any benefit to you, personally. If somehow possible, try before you buy.