A breath of fresh air – the Starkvind Zigbee air purifier from IKEA tested with Home Assistant

Published by Oliver on

Air quality is quite important for health reasons and just to make your home more enjoyable. When I found the new Starkvind air purifier from IKEA I decided to test it with ZHA and my Home Assistant instance. Air quiet, relatively cheap air purifier with build in Zigbee sounds great – but is it?

The IKEA Starkvind air purifier – versions & prices

IKEA has a set of different options for air purification. It starts on the cheaper side with the FÖRNUFTIG small and portable but not smart purifier for around 70€ (in Germany) and goes up to the STARKVIND smart purifier.

The Starkvind comes in black and white but also in two entirely different forms. I bought the simpler version designed to simply sit on the ground for about 150€ but there is also a version built into a small round coffee table for around 200€. Quite a nice idea!

Simple Starkvind edition

You can also get new filters from IKEA for 15€ for the simpler ones (plus a gas filter for 20€) and an external air quality sensor called VINDSTYRKA for another 40€. That one is also Zigbee capable but as far as I know not strictly needed as the Starvinds already have a sensor included (at least for particles, not for tVOC gases – but then you need the additional filter anyways).

Overall while it is not the cheapest set of devices I think IKEA has a great design here (especially the table is a nice idea) and the devices are relatively cheap if you factor in the smart capabilities and the way you can buy the right devices for any usecase.

Assembling in stark (v)wind

Assembly of the devices is simple as with all IKEA devices and comes with the same iconic manual full of (some say funny, some strange) drawings. It took me around five minutes to assemble the devices and another five minutes to connect it to my Home Assistant setup – more on that later.

Simple packaging and the iconic manual(s)

The assembly only requires a couple of steps. First you remove the main body and the couple of smaller parts from the mostly plastic free packaging (nice!), then you can start with the assembly.

All the parts for the Starkvind

Assembly is basically only screwing the two legs into the main body.

Then you can connect the power. That part is done in a very clever way though. There is an opening in the back of the main body you can feed the power cable through and then inside there is a compartment big enough to hold the power brick and all left over length of cable. Super nice! As a bonus you can even click the allen wrench into the lid. I love small details like this.

Finally you remove the packaging around the air filter and click the front into place. This is again done nicely with screw less connectors on top that easily click into place.

This screw less connector hold the front in place

Now you can start using the IKEA Starkvind.

Using the Starkvind without the smart features

The controls are really quite simple but include everything you need. After all the only goal is clean air. There is one rotating knob on top that can be used to set the fan speed either on a scale of 1 to 5 or to automatic. In this case the fan speed with be regulated automatically according to the amount of particles measure in the air.

Then there are also some LEDs for showing statues of the child lock feature and the need to change the filter. Finally two buttons for Zigbee pairing and resetting the filter lifetime counter are hidden behind the front.

On the first level the fan is pretty much undetectable if there is any other noise at all in the room. As IKEA is promising you can definitely keep the fan in your bedroom. Higher levels are definitely noticeable but still on the “nicer” side of noises.

I would say even without any smart features the automatic mode makes the Starkvind a great devices. Of course I will update this text if my experience changes after a longer testing period but so far I did not notice any issues. To be fair I also did not yet notice a positive difference either but as I have a couple of allergies it will be interesting to see how much this helps in the next spring and summer.

Using the Starkvind with its smart features

Of course I was also looking to play around with the smart features the Starkvind offers. As with most IKEA devices due to Zigbee you can easily integrate it with Home Assistant via ZHA or Zigbee2MQTT. I am currently using ZHA with my own smart home server and a USB to Zigbee stick. Altough I also used Zigbee2MQTT in the past, and it is great as well.

If you want to support the blog consider buying via the affiliate links:
IKEA Starkvind – Amazon IKEA
Filter – Amazon IKEA
Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 dongle plus
TubesZB coordinator (expensive but very powerful)
Raspberry Pi 4 8GB
USB power supply for Pi 4

As usual pairing is quite easy. Remove the front panel by moving up the two top arms and click and hold the pairing button behind the panel for around 3 seconds until it starts fading up and down.

The Zigbee pairing button is hidden behind the front panel

Then go to your Home Assistant instance, find the ZHA integration and click the “add device” button to start the pairing mode. After a short time the Starkvind should show up automatically thanks to the great work done over here if you use a newer version of Home Assistant. Otherwise you can easily update.

The new Starkvind devices discovered by Home Assistant

As with most other devices for some reason I had to move close to the coordinator for the initial pairing but once that is done it works everywhere inside my apartment.

The Starkvind is a router extending the Zigbee range further

I did right away notice that the Starkvind makes good use of its wall power and acts as a router, increasing the range of my Zigbee network even further.

Unfortunately, at least with ZHA, it seems like not all functionality of the Starkvind is supported yet. I can control the fan speed (in 10% steps, so even more granular than via the knob), child lock and LEDs and even see the filter lifetime & status.

I have not yet figured out how to set the devices to auto mode from Home Assistant though and no data from the sensor seems to show up yet. According to some discussions online this should change after some time though. I will update the text here if the same will happen in my case.

Sensor data only shows up after some time

Update: the sensor data actually showed up after some time. I assume you just have to wait until the Starkvind send this data again. I did also restart Home Assistant during this time though, so that might help too.

All sensors and actors Starkvind exposes in Home Assistant via ZHA

You can already use it to build some automations though. My first test automation is a simple reminder notification in case the filter status changes. The notification is send to my smart phone via pushover.

Simple automation for a reminder to change the filter

In the future I might build more automations, for example to stop the filter when the window is opened and resume afterwards. As in most cases I think the full potential will only be revealed over time and together with all other smart devices.

Categories: smart air