Dyson AM10

An innovative humidifier that produces almost 100 per cent bacteria-free air

Image: Hugh Threlfall

I confess to being confused about the benefits or otherwise of humidified air. Years ago when asthmatics and others were suffering from respiratory disorders they were advised to live somewhere dry, usually Arizona, which I gather is now considered bad advice. But at the same time, damp conditions were (and still are, I believe) regarded as disastrous for chest complaints.

I’m sure the ideal remains somewhere in between, but as someone living in what must be the world’s driest home outside the Atacama Desert – where your lips, eyes and nasal passages parch, your skin itches, colds last for ever, you get electric shocks from touching anything and even wood and paintwork crack up – I have to say I’m on the side of humidifying. So this typically beautiful new humidifier from Dyson was a particularly welcome guest chez Technopolis.

The AM10 combines a humidifier with Dyson’s famous blade-free Air Multiplier “hoop” –  (almost) silently spreading its soothing H2O-laden air around a room of up to 16sq m and keeping it at a perfect humidity level for 10 to 18 hours. Although humidifiers are normally regarded as a winter gadget, humidification in summer – especially in bedrooms and even more so in children’s bedrooms – is also said to be beneficial. There are also claims they help prevent snoring.

The most unusual feature of the AM10 is that it disinfects the three litres of water it disperses per filling. It does this by passing it twice through ultraviolet light, and Dyson claims the humidified air produced is 99.9 per cent bacteria-free, though this is causing some debate. You will hear some sceptics point out that it’s unnecessary to disinfect a humidifier’s water supply outside an infectious hospital ward and that the only reason for it is for Dyson to justify its steep price. On that issue, I would say that the AM10 cost Dyson £37.5m to develop and the machine, as a piece of engineering (albeit in plastic), looks and feels the part. On the disinfected air issue, all I can say is that it’s nice knowing the humidified air you breathe is so clean, although I accept that isn’t very scientific.


Anyway, since the AM10 came to stay we’ve felt a lot better in the mummification chamber we call home. One thing you should know, though – it takes a lot of maintenance. Filling it daily is a bother and it needs monthly cleaning with citric acid, especially in hard-water areas. Try not to let that dampen your enthusiasm.  

Other Dyson products winning Jonathan’s fanship include the Hot heater and the AMO6 desk fan.