Ikea announced the Starkvind smart air purifier back in August that would support HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home. I have been using the device for about 3 weeks now and I wanted to share my first impressions ahead of a full review.
So with that said, this is just a hand on first impressions review. Hands on reviews’ are first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few hours, or a few weeks, in this case.
While a few weeks would be enough with most HomeKit devices. Smart devices like air purifiers need more in-depth testing. But because this has hit the shops, the important thing is I have been able to play with it myself and can give you some sense of what it’s like to use, even if it’s only an early opinion.
In the box STARKVIND and price
The Ikea Starkvind smart air purifier comes in two models, the first being a standalone unit and a side table version. Ikea will ship the side table model in either a black and dark wood finish or a white and natural wood finish.
The standalone version costs £99 and the table version costs 150. Additional filters filter costs £9 and an optional gas filter is £15. I am using the back and dark side table model for this review.
In the box you get,
- Table top
- Air purifier unit
- PM2.5 filter
- 4 legs
- Screws and Allen key
- Power cable and transformer
In a nutshell, you get everything in the box to put it together and get started.
Ikea STARKVIND Design
The Starkvind smart air purifier is made with a combination of wood and plastic. With the Lid and legs made of wood, but the main part of the device, which is the air purifier unit, features a plastic casing with metal parts for the fan and fixings.
The Starkvind has a control panel on the front, and I will touch on that later. The top of the main part of the unit you have the pairing and filter reset button. Then you find a pre-filter and the PM2.5 particle filter that’s suppled. The air purifier can support rooms of up to 215 square feet. You also find a compartment which houses the transformer.
Turning over the Starkvind, you find a vent for the filer system along with the air purification sensor.
Setting up the Ikea STARKVIND
Setting up is easy enough, turn it over, attach the legs using the screws and supplied Allen key. Attaching all the legs took me about 5 minutes, but one leg was a little fiddly to attach, but I got there in the end. You then turn it back over and remove the pre filer and take the main filter out of the unit. Take it out of the wrapper and place it back in
Next step is installing the power supply, and the installation depends on the length of cable. This means you either have the power supply outside of the unit or inside the compartment. I choose to house the transformer in the compartment, as I need a shorter cable. You then plug the power cable into the purifier and close the lip.
The last part is to attach the tabletop to the unit this is done by inserting the 4 legs attached to the top into the catch system on the main unit. Once you have them all in place, you close them by pressing them in. However, I would not close them at this stage as you need to take it off again to pair it with the app.
Once it’s assembled, you then plug it in and you are reading to pair it with the IKEA home smart app.
Ikea Home smart setup
To get started and paired with the IKEA home smart app, you first need an Ikea Tradfri gateway. I already own one, but if you don’t this is another 25 pounds and you need this for Ikea Home smart and HomeKit control.
Open up the Ikea home smart app and then follow the setup instructions. When promoted, you press the pairing Button. Current users of Ikea Tradfri products will notice that you do not need a steering device and it connects directly with the gateway. This is something Ikea promised in 2019 as reported by the Verge and this is the first product to support it.
Once it’s all setup in the Ikea home smart app, you are ready. It will also please you to know that the STARKVIND is already exposed to HomeKit.
As a user of Ikea Home Smart products since the days when known as Tradfri. The Ikea STARKVIND has been one of the easiest to set up and this is probably down to the change in setup process.
Using the Ikea STARKVIND air purifier
While in the main, you will probably control the Starkvind with either HomeKit, IKEA Home Smart app or auto setting. You can control it using a dial that is on the front of the device.
You have a main dial that by pressing it turns it off and on. Turning the dial from 1 through to 5 sets the Starkvind at different speeds, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the max. You can also set it to auto and let the air sensor control the speed of the purification.
You also have an LED that shows you have if the child lock is on and the LED under that tells you if the filter needs changing.
In theory, you could use this air purifier with none of the smart stuff by using the dial or setting it to auto. But you cannot turn on the child lock via the panel.
In terms of noise levels, IKEA claims it’s between 24 and 53 dB, depending on fan speed. I tested it and it was between 20 and 51 depending on the level set.
Ikea home smart app
Opening up the app, you find some simple controls. First, you get an indication of the air quality. Under that you have a slider which again you can control the device from 1 to 5 and the power off button.
Then you have the auto button you can press and the device will decide what level it needs to run at. Then you have the child lock and a button to turn off the LEDs on the unit.
Clicking on the filter symbol you get an indication of how long before you need to check the filter and replace. With instructions on how to do it. But my favourite is this filter change guide, which you can adjust the slider to the colour of the filter and the app will tell you if you need to replace.
I just want to touch on the power off button. As you can imagine this turns of the device, but it also turns off the air purification sensor. So if the air quality deteriorates in the room, then it will not switch on. Nor will any automations activate if you are using this sensor in HomeKit.
Ikea Starkvind and HomeKit
Turning to HomeKit control and in the home App the Starkvind air purifier and the sensor are exposed. If you click on the main tile and turn it off, it turns off auto mode. So again the air sensor is also turned off. If you click on the main tile, you can get access to turn the air purifier but also a slider for greater control.
By using any of the controls in HomeKit turns off the auto mode built into the unit.
Then you have the Air sensor which provides a reading of the air quality levels. Ranging from excellent, good, Fair, inferior and poor and you can use this sensor in HomeKit automations.
As I have already mentioned, any control via the Home app for HomeKit overrides any settings in the Ikea Home smart app. This also includes Siri control. So you need to decide very early on which smart method you plan to use. You can just set it to auto and never touch it in either app.
So if you have set up an automation using the air quality sensor built into the device and it has been turned off, then it will not trigger if someone has turned it off. But You could use another air quality sensor and that would still turn the device back on, but it sort of defeats the object to it all.
First impressions of the Ikea Starkvind
I like the build quality of the Starkvind, but be warned it is typical IKEA flat pack standards. So don’t be expecting solid wood, it is still MDF with a plastic body. But it feels ok
I did like how easy it was to put together and Ikea has included everything in the box. From opening the box through to plugging it in and having it working in the Ikea home smart app took about 15 minutes.
I also like that IKEA has improved the setup process and you don’t need to go through messing with pairing with steering devices first.
The main confusion and conflict for me with the Starkvind is the way HomeKit overrides any settings, including the auto control feature, which I found worked well.
For example, it will not just turn the Starkvind on and off. Once the air quality improves, the Starkvind steps down the speed of the fan, until it’s done its job. This means the fan is not going at full speed for the full duration and this will help with noise levels.
HomeKit or not?
At this point of my testing of the Ikea Starkvind, I am still torn if I should use it in HomeKit or just set it to auto in the Ikea app and let it do its thing. Right now I am edging towards the latter and not using it in HomeKit at all.
Overall, I am happy with the Starkvind in terms of looks and it blends into my home. Obviously, I need to do more testing for the full Ikea Starkvind review, so don’t forget to subscribe for when that review lands. If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.