IKEA has expanded its smart home range with a new sensor that can detect indoor air pollutants to make your home significantly healthier.
Vindstryka’s new air quality sensor measures a type of “particulate matter” known as PM2.5, which is invisible to the naked eye and can pass through your lungs and into your bloodstream. At home, these respirable particles are usually produced by cooking, candles, some types of heating, and tobacco smoke.
In addition to PM2.5, the Vindstryka also measures humidity, temperature and TVOC (total volatile organic compound), which measures the pollution levels of various gases. The downside is that IKEA’s sensor doesn’t measure CO2 or carbon monoxide, meaning it’s not really a comprehensive standalone solution.
Still, the Vindstryka has a handy screen to show you live readouts of whatever it’s tracking, and its main benefit is that it connects to IKEA’s new Matter-ready Dirigera smart home hub. This means it can be used to automatically activate other smart home devices, such as fans or air purifiers, based on air quality measurements, making it a possible contender for our guide to the best smart home devices.
Of course, IKEA makes its own versions of those accessories, including the Starkvind air purifier. Connect it to the Vindstryka air quality monitor and the fan speeds are automatically adjusted based on the amount of PM2.5 in the air.
But the promise of Matter, a new smart home software standard, is that products made by different manufacturers will all be interoperable. So connecting the Vindstryka to a Matter-ready hub like the Dirigera means it will theoretically be able to talk to all sorts of other smart home products when they’re available.
The Vindstryka will be on sale from April, although IKEA has not yet shared official prices. Some rumours (opens in new tab) suggest it costs around €39 (around $42 / £35 / AU$61), but we’ll update this story with official pricing when we get it from the furniture giant.
Analysis: Air quality monitors are a smart idea
Do you really need a smart air quality sensor in your home, or are they overkill? A real air purifier like the Dyson Purifier Cool Autoreact will clearly do more on a practical level to capture particles and they can offer some insight through their sensors. But the advantage of a monitor like the Vindstryka is that it fits into a wider smart home setup.
There is also evidence that our indoor air often contains some hidden hazards, such as the PM2.5 particles that IKEA’s monitor detects. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (opens in new tab) found that levels of some troublesome gases are on average two to five times higher in our homes than outdoors. Separate studies of Dyson (opens in new tab) found this was exacerbated during global pandemic lockdowns.
With a study by the World Health Organization (opens in new tab) Since it is also found that 3.2 million deaths a year are caused by air pollution in households, there is clearly some benefit in detecting and addressing the pollutants in your home, especially if you spend a long time indoors while working from home .
IKEA admits that its Vindstryka monitor is not a panacea, stating that “we know there is no single solution to solve indoor air pollution” and that it exists in part to raise awareness. Some competing models, such as the screen-less Netatmo Smart Indoor Air Quality Monitor and Airthings View Plus, also go further by detecting things like CO2 levels.
But it’s good to see affordable new air quality monitors arriving that promise to play nice with Matter-compatible accessories, so we can finally realize the dream of an automated smart home system that does more than gimmicks.