As relevant as indoor air purifiers for homes may be at this time, not all air purifiers are the same. Irrespective of which price point you look at, there are various factors that determine how good or bad an air purifier may be in terms of what it is supposed to do—clean the air inside your home and keep it that way. Sharp, over the years, have made air purifiers that tend to tick off almost all the boxes in terms of features, performance and reliability. One of the reasons for that heady cocktail are the high-quality filters that work inside Sharp air purifiers. It is good to note then, that this solid foundation hasn’t changed at all in the newest addition to the line-up, the Sharp FP-J60M air purifier. This is priced at Rs35,000 and that puts it in direct competition with the Honeywell Air Touch S8 (around Rs30,000) and the Blueair Classic 270E Slim (around Rs35,000).
The Sharp FP-J60M isn’t exactly a small air purifier, and that is a good thing. Laws of physics do apply here as well—the larger a purifier, the larger the filters inside it and potentially a bigger and more powerful fan as well. That means more air can be cleaned at the same time, thereby increasing efficiency. The FP-J60M is tall but isn’t too wide. That means you will not have too much trouble making space for this, in your hearts and in the physical space of the room. The air intake vents are at the back, with the clean air vent at the front. It is a very neat and modern design for sure, and in many ways takes inspiration from the ultra-premium Sharp QNET ZENSationaL KC-G60M-W (around Rs80,000). The touch-based control panel is at the top, and it quite frankly looks extremely well laid out. The glossy black finish looks great, and the controls are very well laid out. Just below the clean air vent on the front is the display for the air quality in the room. This is a new addition to Sharp purifiers which have avoided numeric monitors thus far and should go some way in reassuring new users that air purifiers do make a difference to the room’s air quality. All things combined, the FP-J60M is a very good-looking air purifier, that will feel right at home in a living room, large spaces and even a bedroom.
The real magic lies in the high-quality filters that Sharp air purifiers use. What you get with the FP-J60M is also multi-layer air filtration. The first is the pre-filter which is a standard mesh filter. This captures larger dust particles well—quite handy if your home does tend to have a lot of dust. The pre-filter capturing the dust here prevents this same dust from instead clogging the HEPA filter, which would in turn have reduced its efficiency and life. In fact, we notice that this is as efficient in capturing larger particles as the pre-filter that Honeywell offers with the Air Touch S8, whereas the Blueair Classic 270E doesn’t have any pre-filter to speak of. The second filter layer in the FP-J60M is a thick combination filter for HEPA and activated carbon. The air passes through this and is blown outwards by the fan.
Speaking of which, the fan in question in the FP-J60M is extremely silent. As the purifier works normally during the day and night in auto mode, you will not even notice that the fan is even running—that is how silent it is. You’ll probably only notice it if it kicks up after detecting significant amount of new air pollutants in the room, and once that cleaning is done, it quietens down again. Even the Honeywell Air Touch S8 fan is quite silent at speeds up to level 4, but you start noticing it post that. The fans used in Blueair air purifiers aren’t as silent at speeds above the lowest, at least in our experience. At lowest fan speeds, the Sharp FP-J60M is rated at 15 decibels, Honeywell Air Touch S8 has a lowest rating of 23 decibels while the Blueair Classic 270E Slim has a rating range of 32-56 decibels depending on fan speed.
The Sharp FP-J60M is a very powerful indoor air purifier. This is rated at 396 cubic meter per hour (m3/hour) and can cover rooms as large as 550 square feet (sq. ft.) in size. The Honeywell Air Touch S8 is rated at 300 m3/hour and 450 sq. ft. and the Blueair Classic 270E Slim has a lower rating of 264 m3/hour and will work in 236 square feet room sizes instead. Therefore, if you are looking to cover a large space, the Sharp FP-J60M is best poised to keep the air clean in that area. In a 340 square feet indoor space, the Sharp FP-J60M improved the air from a very polluted 263μg/m3 of particulate matter (PM) to a clean 21μg/m3 in 15 minutes, and then stabilized it at 11μg/m3. The FP-J60M also has a Haze Mode, which changes mode for quicker cleaning, if it detects smoke or smog in the room.
The FP-J60M also takes advantage of Sharp’s Plasmacluster feature which uses positive and negative ions to pick off particles from static air, such as under the sofa or the bed—this technology generates positive and negative ions to pick off particles from static air, such as under the sofa, which other purifiers are not necessarily very good at doing. These ions float around the room and attach themselves to the surface of airborne mold spore, bacteria or virus, and draw out the hydrogen on the bacteria surface, breaking down its proteins.
If filter is a criterion for you, the Sharp FP-J60M promises filter life of around 2 years, with regular cleaning along the way of course to keep them unclogged. The Honeywell Air Touch S8 delivers similar level of filter life too. You will need to change the filters in Blueair air purifiers much sooner though, since they usually last between 6 months to a year at the most.
What the Sharp FP-J60M misses out on are the smart features—as in connect the purifier to your home Wi-Fi and connect it to an app on your phone. While Honeywell and Blueair offer that feature and allow you to connect with the Honeywell HPlus (free for Android and iOS) and the Blueair Friend (free for Android and iOS) and control the purifier from anywhere in the world, check for filter life and change modes of operation. The lack of an app connectivity feature doesn’t really matter that much to be honest, but it would have been a nice tick-off on the checklist.
But for the lack of the smart features, the Sharp FP-J60M makes up for it with other little smart elements. For instance, the purifier's lights turn off the moment it detects the room has gone dark. This is great to have if you are using this purifier in the bedroom, and no lights from the purifier will disturb you at night.
Safe to say, we are truly impressed by the new Sharp FP-J60M. This is a truly modern air purifier to cater to the unclean air requirements of most Indian cities. The performance is extremely good, it is quicker in terms of performance than its rivals and the slick design is the proverbial cherry on the cake.