Look mum, here is a device to breathe easy


In these last few weeks, as the summer winds down in the UAE, a novel gadget has come as a breath of fresh air — quite literally.

Normally, summers in the region come with the usual occasional sandstorm and almost constant blowing dust, showing up as a fine coating of powder on all indoor surfaces, especially if you live in a low rise, as I do. This year, however, the hot and dusty season is coming to a close at my place with the fine white coating conspicuous by its absence, at least in areas near the Daikin MC55VBFVM Air Purifier.

Air purifiers may seem like a novel concept on the face of it, but the device has been in existence since 1963. Back then, when it was invented, the environment was relatively cleaner; there were fewer cars on the road, less fossil fuels had been burnt and the planet had more forest cover — meaning that the soil was more bound together and less dusty. Yet, there were concerns that the dependence on fuel burning automobiles and power plants was leading to a deterioration of air quality and something needed to be done about it. At least people need to be given some relief from the worsening air quality in their homes, went the thinking of the day. In hindsight, the thought now seems prophetic.

Fast forward to today and in a world where clean air has become a luxury, the Daikin MC55VBFVM Air Purifier emerges as a shining beacon, promising to transform your living space into a haven of pure, refreshing air. It’s not just another appliance; it’s a breath of fresh air in every way.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of dirty air and how the Daikin cleans it, let’s talk about aesthetics. Back in the day, when the air purifier was invented, it was an industrial unit, the size of a large sofa if not a small bed. With time, the technology has been increasingly miniaturised for easy domestic use but the market is still flooded with bulky, eyesore air purifiers.

The Daikin MC55VBFVM, though, stands out with its sleek, minimalistic design. Its slender silhouette won’t dominate your room; instead, it gracefully blends into any decor style. With its smooth, white finish and soft LED lighting, it exudes an air of modern elegance.

At just under two feet in height and even less in width, this air purifier won’t commandeer your valuable floor space. Its compact yet sophisticated design ensures it’s a welcome addition to any room. Whether you place it in your living room, bedroom or home office, it complements the environment rather than clashing with it while improving air quality in rooms of up to 82 square metres.

Of course, it does not look like the space-age teleportal to another realm that a similar product from, say, Dyson looks, but let’s be thankful for that. You’d hardly want a measly air filter to take all the eyeballs in your living room, hogging all the limelight away from your carefully curated antiques and artefacts. The Daikin does just what it is supposed to do — stay in its corner, blend inconspicuously with the surroundings, and do its job of providing crisp, clean air.

When it comes to features, technology and performance, the MC55VBFVM stands out rather than blending in. It’s packed with advanced features that elevate it above the competition. At its heart is a formidable multi-stage filtration system. It begins with a pre-filter that captures large particles like dust and pet hair, extending the life of the main HEPA filter, which traps 99.97 per cent of particles as small as 0.3 microns, ensuring that even the tiniest airborne nasties don’t stand a chance. An additional deodorising filter effectively eliminates odours, so if you crave a barbecue in the Dubai summer when it’s too hot to have one outdoors, you can fire up your grill indoors and no one would know you charred your steak after you’re done and the Daikin has sucked all the smell away.

To help it perform such miracles that mitigate olfactory ordeals, the MC55VBFVM doesn’t just purify the air blindly; it’s equipped with intelligent sensors that monitor the air quality in real-time. A colour-coded air quality indicator on the front panel gives you an instant visual cue of your indoor air’s cleanliness. Green signifies excellent air quality, while red indicates a need for purification. This feature alone is a game-changer, helping you keep tabs on your air quality effortlessly.

Another game-changing feature is its whisper-quiet operation. No one wants an air purifier that sounds like a jet engine taking off in their living room. With this Daikin you can say goodbye to noisy purifiers that disrupt your peace and quiet. Even at its highest fan speed, it emits a gentle hush, making it ideal for bedrooms, nurseries and shared living spaces. The MC55VBFVM operates so quietly that you’ll barely notice it’s there.

This is especially crucial for bedrooms or workspaces where a peaceful atmosphere is paramount, and also goes well with the unit’s portability. For, given its compact dimensions and ease of carrying around, it is sure to find its way around your house, cleaning the air in several nooks and corners of your dwelling. It’s the perfect companion for a peaceful night’s sleep or a productive work-from-home session. You won’t have to choose between clean air and tranquillity anymore; the MC55VBFVM offers both in abundance.

Now that we’ve explored the air purifier’s impressive feature set, the Daikin MC55VBFVM does not disappoint in its performance either. With its multi-stage filtration system and powerful fan, it effectively rids your indoor air of allergens, dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, smells and more. Though we are unable to test this, reports indicate that those who suffer from allergies or asthma notice an improvement in their symptoms. It’s effectiveness against respiratory viruses has been evaluated by no less than France’s Institut Pasteur de Lille. The HEPA filter, in particular, is a standout performer, ensuring that even microscopic particles don’t escape its clutches.

What truly sets this air purifier apart is its ability to adapt to changing air quality. Thanks to its intelligent sensors, it automatically adjusts the fan speed to address any spikes in pollution. This means that when you cook a meal and your kitchen air quality temporarily deteriorates, the MC55VBFVM kicks into high gear to swiftly clear the air. It’s like having a personal air quality butler.

For those concerned about odour elimination, the deodorising filter works like a charm. Say goodbye to lingering cooking smells such as the barbecue odours already discussed, pet odours, or the faint whiff of last night’s party. Even if you have a habit of burning the midnight oil in your home office, you won’t have to tolerate the stale air anymore.

Every time it detects odours or impurities, it activates an icon on the control panel that Daikin calls the ‘Streamer’, which is the main purification tech inside. A complicated process is then employed to make the air squeaky clean, germ, smell and dust free. There is a technical wizardry to the process that Daikin engineers may have got down pat, but for the average mere mortal consumer like you and I, who is no Einstein or Tesla, the Streamer uses a stream of high-speed electrons to destroy germs and odours, restoring your air quality.

I don’t know what the engineering abracadabra is that it does, but I did enjoy the break it gave me while I had it for testing from the everyday chore of wiping off the light veneer of dust from my desk.

Perhaps the best part about this Daikin is the maintenance required, or lack thereof. The key filters that it uses are extremely long-lasting. In fact, the HEPA filter lasts all of 10 years. This ensures that it not only reduces pollution in your home, but also at the landfill, where it may have inevitably ended up had it required replacing sooner.

Many similar products need to have their filters changed every so often, which are then incinerated, worsening pollution levels, which leads to a vicious cycle: the more you use a purifier, the more pollution you generate that needs to be purified further, creating more pollution in turn… and on it goes. Thanks to Daikin’s efforts, you won’t have to worry about that on this one. It requires no maintenance, and that, when coupled with the Dh1,995 price, gives an economical lifecycle cost.

So what are the cons of the device, then? As a professional nitpicker, I can say that its sensors are a little too sensitive, lighting up red and staying red for long periods of time when there was no odour or smoke of any kind that my human senses could detect. But maybe this electromechanical pollution hound is meant for just that — exceed the capability of humans to detect the bad stuff.

And while we are nitpicking, maybe Daikin could have thought about the design differently — making it completely invisible or hidden or camouflaging it as a coffee table. The design as it is, is effective yet lacking inspiration.

That said, however, in a world where the quality of the air we breathe is often both overlooked, the Daikin MC55VBFVM Air Purifier steps up to the plate as a guardian of your well-being. With it you’ll breathe easy and experience a tangible improvement in your indoor air quality.

As my few weeks of testing the device came to an end, it left me with a thought: what if Daikin could build a giant, super-large version of this device on a planetary scale, and we could purify all our pollution, greenhouse gases, et al away?

Daikin MC55VBFVM Air Purifier


– Clean, crisp air output

– Maintenance free

– Odour removal


– Oversensitive sensors

– Uninspiring design



Rating: 4.5 stars