Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX review – the purifier that promises its filters don't need replacing

The Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX is a powerful appliance and reasonably priced considering the air quality features on offer

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX in living room with man and dog behind
(Image credit: Shark)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

The Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX eliminates the need for regular filter replacements, while covering a huge space efficiently and quietly. It can also detect air quality down to the individual particle matter.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Large coverage

  • +

    Air quality detection

  • +

    Long-lasting, washable filters

  • +

    Anti-odor tech

  • +

    Dimmable lights

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Quite big

  • -

    Plastic design might not appeal to everybody

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Air purifiers haven't always been so popular. But as we're learning more about the quality of our air, and as we learn how to better manage our allergies, they're becoming an essential for many households - particularly those with pets. 

As an asthma sufferer who's also prone to all sorts of allergies, a good air purifier has the potential to massively improve my quality of life at home. It also means I can instinctively notice when the air is better, as I can sense differences in my breathing and my well-being. 

The NeverChange MAX is one of the best air purifiers that Shark currently offers. It boasts coverage of up to 1,400 sqft, and Shark claims that the filters can last up to 5 years without being replaced. There's also a more affordable version, the Shark NeverChange, that has similar features but a smaller coverage of 650 sqft. Read on to see how well the Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX performs.

Tested & reviewed by
Headshot: Dan Fauzi
Tested & reviewed by
Dan Fauzi

As I'm based in the UK, I tested the UK-available model: the Shark NeverChange5 MAX. It's exactly the same as the US-available NeverChange MAX, just with a different name and a different power cord. I tested it over a few weeks at my home in Bristol, UK.

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: Price

The Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX currently retails for around $329.99 at Shark, Amazon, Lowe's, and Best Buy.

Reliable air purifiers can range anywhere from $100 to $600+. To an extent, they all do the same thing, except the more expensive air purifiers tend to be able to cover larger areas and/or offer finer particle collection. 

The NeverChange MAX can cover 1,400 square feet and has cleanable prefilters to avoid you replacing your filter for up to five years. Considering the air purifier's coverage and the money saved on filter replacements, the NeverChange MAX is fantastic value at this price.

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: Specifications

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier Max in cardboard box

The air purifier in its Shark packaging.

(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Speed settings5
FilterTrue HEPA Multi-Filter
DetectionLarge, small, & micro-sized particles (PM10, PM2.5, PM1)
Noise~35 to 65 dBa
Max area size1,400 ft²
Dimensions13.2L x 13.2W x 22.5H inches
Weight12.27093 lbs
Cord length6 feet
Warranty2 years

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: Setup

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: in box, with warning sticker


(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

It arrived in a large cardboard box with the air purifier box inside. Setup was very quick: after taking it out of the packaging, all you have to do is take the HEPA filter out of the plastic (by twisting the bottom panel) and remove the warning sticker on the touchscreen telling you to do so.

There's also an optional anti-odor cartridge that comes in a can, and you can insert it into the slot on top of the air purifier. It's attached to a dial, so once inserted you can twist for your desired amount of odorized air. 

Then, all that's left is to plug it in and turn it on, and it'll begin purifying the air immediately. It'll take a few moments to detect your air quality before displaying it on the screen. 

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX & the anti-odour cartridge

The anti-odour cartridge and dial, still in its can.

(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: Design & features

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX, powered on

The Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX is 22.5 inches tall.

(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

The Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX's stand-out feature is its cleanable filters, which Shark refers to as Debris Defence filters. Because you can take them out, clean them, and wash them, the HEPA filter inside doesn't need to be replaced for up to five years, hence the name 'NeverChange.'

This isn't a completely new feature in air purifiers. Many models have prefilters to preserve the life of the HEPA filter inside, as this is what captures all the important allergens and micro particles that make air purifiers so effective.

But the NeverChange has made these filters removable and washable, and in doing so has allowed the HEPA filter to maintain consistent protection without anything needing to be replaced (for a while, but not quite never).

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: pulling the debris defence filter out

The cleanable filters are easily removable.

(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

Like many of Shark's air purifiers, the NeverChange MAX comes with Clean Sense IQ, so it constantly monitors the room's air quality alongside purifying it. This information is displayed as a percentage, and if using the air purifier's 'auto' mode, it will adjust the power depending on what's needed. 

It also monitors particulate matter values for PM1, PM2.5 and PM10-sized particles. It's essential for an air purifier (or, at least, an effective one) to be able to capture these particles, and so it's enlightening that the NeverChange MAX tells you how many of these particles live within your home.

  • PM1-sized particles are smaller than 1 micron and include very fine allergens, viruses, and bacteria.
  • PM2.5-sized particles include smoke from natural sources like forest fires and anthropogenic sources like cigarettes and fossil fuels.
  • PM10-sized particles include larger particles like dust, pollen, and bacteria fragments that can irritate the body.

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: touch control panel

The NeverChange MAX is controlled using a touch panel.

(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

You control the air purifier using the small touchscreen on the top of the device. You can select auto mode or manually choose fan speed and switch between displaying air quality or particle values. You can also set a timer up to 12 hours long, check if the filters need to be cleaned, and adjust the brightness.

The screen at the front of the device displays information, whether that's air quality, individual particle matter values, or the timer you're setting. When on air quality, there's a colored ring around it that'll change depending on the air: it'll be red for poor air quality (0-69%), orange for fair (70-84%), and green for good (85-100%). 

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX's display screen

Blue ring = good air quality. 

(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

The NeverChange MAX is big. It's 22.5'' tall, so it's not a model you'd choose to put on a coffee table or nightstand; instead, it can stand freely by itself.

Its size reflects the space it can cover, and considering its size, it's pretty easy to move around the house. It's light enough that most people can lift it with one hand, which is ideal for a multi-room air purifier. 

The air purifier is almost entirely made of plastic, which explains how it's so light for its size. It isn't uncommon for air purifiers to be made of plastic, but the sleeker, higher-end models tend to use metal to make them more attractive features of the home. Luckily, its matte white design is modest enough to blend into your space easily.

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: Performance

Overall, the NeverChange Air Purifier MAX does an excellent job of keeping my air clean. I live in a shared house, and my bedroom is large but, sadly, not quite 1,400 sqft, so I tested the air purifier across the whole home to get a feel for its capabilities. 

Firstly, I noticed how quickly air quality can be improved. With the right ventilation, it can go from around 60% to 100% in around 30 minutes and performs well across multiple rooms. 

I was impressed by how sensitive the Clean Sense IQ is. After an hour-long cooking session, I turned the air purifier on in my bedroom (the furthest room from the kitchen), and it instantly displayed that the air quality was just above 30%. It had never been this low in this room before, and it took very little time to get that number toward 100%. I also moved it to various parts of the house to test its coverage and found that it had cleaned most of the upstairs air while doing my bedroom.

And when you're not using it to the max, being able to set it to 'auto' mode makes life a lot easier. It does the thinking for you, finding the optimal way to balance improving your air quality with ensuring it isn't using too much energy. It's smart and will likely save on energy down the line by avoiding over-working itself.

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: 33% air quality

The clear, color-changing air quality display.

(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

The NeverChange MAX would be a great choice for apartments and open-plan homes. Its coverage will naturally be limited by walls and lacks of air flow, but in a house that isn't so segmented, it could potentially cover the whole home.

I also noticed how quiet it is. At speed settings 1 to 3, the sound is about what you'd expect from a quiet fan, with 1 being barely noticeable. Speeds 4 and 5 are a little louder and will likely be a bit distracting if you're listening to music, watching TV, or enjoying dinner - but I rarely need to go that high. 

The anti-odor cartridge is definitely effective, although I'd say that the smell can become a bit much after a while. I'd describe it as similar to a car air freshener, which I find is a nice smell every now and then, but not all the time. Fortunately, you can turn it off using the dial when you don't want odorized air. 

You can tell Shark have considered what makes a good air purifier. The controls are simple, but there's enough there for it to be a bit more helpful than many other models. You can adjust the brightness to three settings: one where all the controls and display screen are fully visible, one where everything is dimmed, and one where only the controls are visible (and barely). This is actually very useful if you're ever using the air purifier while watching TV or sleeping.

Being able to change the display to show air quality or individual particle matter values is illuminating as you can see exactly what happens when you start cooking, open a window, or vacuum the floors. It's a small touch, but one that gives you a clearer understanding of the air you breathe and the effects of your at-home activities.

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: Maintenance

Cleaning the filters is as easy as sliding them out of their compartments and then either wiping, vacuuming, or washing them. They're notably light and small enough to rinse under the tap without any awkward maneuvering.

I've only had the air purifier for a few weeks, so I'm unable to test its longevity. A HEPA filter lasting 5 years is a bold promise, but the washable Debris Defence filters certainly seem like they do a good job of keeping things clean inside. 

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX filter

The Debris Defence filters are light, compact, and easy to clean.

(Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

Shark NeverChange Air Purifier MAX: Verdict

Like many of Shark's home products, the NeverChange Air Purifier MAX is designed to be as helpful as possible within the home. It detects and monitors air quality and can automatically adjust to the appropriate power level to keep the air as clean as possible while minimizing energy usage. You can see the number of particles in your air, and can discover exactly how your air is affected by various tasks and substances.

It's pretty affordable compared to its counterparts. The Molekule Air Pro, for example, can cover spaces up to 1,000 sqft and has similar air detection features - but retails for around $1,000. The NeverChange MAX can tackle larger spaces and is around a third of the price. And once you factor in the money saved on filter replacements, this is a smarter purchase economically.

There are definitely more attractive air purifiers out there, like the Dyson Purifier Humidify + Cool Formaldehyde, but its strong performance, ease-of-use and excellent value for money make this a worthwhile contender for one of the best air purifiers.

Air purifiers can do an incredible job of capturing allergens and harmful particles out of our precious home spaces. But for even better air quality at home, one of the best dehumidifiers is a must.

Dan Fauzi
Home Tech Editor

Dan is the Home Tech Editor for Homes & Gardens, covering all things cleaning, smart home, sound and automation across the Solved section. Having worked for Future PLC since July 2023, Dan was previously the Features Editor for Top Ten Reviews and looked after the wide variety of home and outdoor content across the site, but their writing about homes, gardens, tech and products started back in 2021 on brands like BBC Science Focus, YourHomeStyle, Homes & Antiques and Gardens Illustrated.

Dan is based in Bristol, UK with a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Magazine Journalism. Outside of work, you'll find them at gigs and art galleries, cycling somewhere scenic, or cooking up something good in the kitchen.