Hands-On Levoit LV-PUR131 Air Purifier Review: Good Quality & Adequate, But Better Options Exist

Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier review featured image

I’ve tested several of Levoit’s top air purifiers and there’s no doubt they’re some of the best I’ve owned & tested yet. But what about those of you with medium to large-sized rooms?

In my hands-on review of the Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier, I’ll show you how it stacks up versus some excellent competition like the Winix 5500-2. I’ll also compare it to its smaller sibling, the ever-popular Levoit LV-H132 and even the new Levoit Core 300.

Read on to see all the details you need before spending a cent!

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier

Levoit air purfiier product family comparison with LV-PUR131 highlightedShown: Some of the most popular products in the Levoit air purifier product family. The LV-PUR131 is a medium room air purifier with a different (flat) filter & fan motor versus popular sellers like the LV-H132 & Core 300. Several more models like the LV-H133 & H134 are available for larger rooms.

In case you’re not familiar with Levoit, they’re – without question – one of the most popular air quality product manufacturers today. In fact, the LV-H132 is an all-time best seller and really sets the standard for small to medium-sized purifiers.

While the LV-H132 and others use a cylindrical design (with a round filter assembly) & vertically mounted fan motor, the LV-PUR131 uses a horizontally mounted fan and flat filters.

The LV-PUR131 is well-suited for medium-sized rooms up to 300 square feet (30 sq. m.).

I’ve been wanting to test & review this one for a while, so finally it’s time for me to dig in!

Air filtering features

The LV-PUR131, like the companies, other products, uses a 3-stage filter design:

  • A true HEPA filter with 99.97% filter efficiency for particles down to 0.3 microns (millionths of a meter) in size
  • A pre-filter for catching larger particles
  • An activated carbon filter section

There are a few differences here to know, however: 

  1. The pre-filter on this model isn’t replaceable separately like some competitors (it’s part of the HEPA filter)
  2. The activated carbon filter is a more effective and advanced type similar to the Winix 5500-2, which uses real carbon pellets

While some competing models offer a washable or separately replaceable pre-filter the LV-PUR131 doesn’t. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – but something to be aware of.

Additionally, if you’re looking for improved odor control and volatile organic compound (VOC) absorption ability, the odor control filter is a good choice.

Unlike many competitors, it uses a solid frame filter with real carbon pellets inside instead of the typical (and weak) thin mesh pre-filter with an activated carbon coating.

Convenience & control features

The LV-PUR131 also has some more advanced features that set it apart from others:

  • Auto-sensing operation adjusts fan speed automatically based on the air quality
  • 12 hour auto-off timer option
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Sleep mode for ultra-quiet operation

Basically, with the LV-PUR131 you get better-quality air filtering along with automatic “set and forget” operation.

Levoit LV-PUR131S air purifier product image

The LV-PUR131S is nearly identical but adds smartphone control along with a slightly larger room size coverage.

In case you’d love even more convenience, there’s another version called the LV-PUR131S. It offers smartphone control via WiFi and slightly larger room size coverage (322 sq. ft. vs the 300 of the LV-PUR131).

Otherwise, it’s essentially the same in how it works & air filtering.

Because it’s so similar to a very competent competitor, the Winix 5500-2, I’ll show you how the LV-PUR131 compares and which offers more for your money as we go.

Unboxing & first impressions

Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier package contents image

I’m a happy owner of many fine Levoit purifiers and I’ve been so eager to get my hands on this one. Finally, mine arrived from Amazon! I got started unboxing and testing it right away.

My purifier arrived in a nice cardboard box, securely held inside with styrofoam. Honestly, it would have been nice to find recycled cardboard packaging used instead, but that’s ok. (Note that Levoit has used open-cell foam also in some of their other products packaging like the LV-H126).

Everything looked great right away and looked good. After opening the box I found the owner’s manual, quick-start guide, and warranty/company info card placed where you can’t miss them.

Obviously it’s meant to be easy to get set up and working right away (customer support info is printed on them too and easy to find).

The purifier does have conveniently carrying handle areas, but they’re covered by the styrofoam so I had to lift it out using the front & back instead.

What’s included?

Levoit LV-PUR131 included items image

The LV-PUR131 comes with sealed & fresh filters, and owner’s manual, a quick start guide, and a warranty information/company info card. You’ll need to remove, open, & reinstall the filters before use.

Inside the box you’ll find:

  • The air purifier with sealed filters pre-installed inside it
  • Owner’s manual, quick start guide, and warranty/product info fold-out insert

The quick start guide features the basic (very simple) steps you’ll need to get started quickly. That’s basically because you’ll need to first remove the front cover, remove the filters from their sealed bags, and re-install them as directed.

It’s really easy to do and only took a few minutes. The quick start guide explains the same process (as does the manual), so there’s really nothing complicated to worry about at all.

Getting it set up before use

Levoit LV-PUR131 new purifier new filter setup example

You’ll need to set up your new purifier before use by removing the new & sealed filters, removing them from their bags, then re-installing them. Let the purifier run a bit with the fan on high then you’re all set!

As I mentioned, I had to remove the pre-installed filters from the unit then remove them from their sealed bags. After doing that and re-installing them, I let the purifier run on high for a little while.

There was a small amount of “new filter smell” for a short time but it went away fairly soon. (It’s not unusual for an air purifier to have an odor for a short while when it’s brand new).

Build quality and fit & finish

Levoit LV-PUR131 closeup images

Closeups of the Levoit LV-PUR131’s body and fit & finish. It’s a nice-looking and well-made one! The body is finished in a low-gloss white surface with a contrasting glossy black control panel. Panels line up well and I didn’t find any defects or clues to quality problems, etc.

As I always like to do, I had a closer look at my purifier’s body parts to get a better idea about the build quality.

Fit and finish are good, without any noticeable defects or assembly issues. The control panel has a glossy black inset with clearly labeled control touch buttons printed in white.

The quality is just as good as other Levoit products I’ve tested which is saying a lot (I’ve been very happy so far with the company’s products).

Overall, the quality is very good with no noticeable defects or problems I can find. So far, so good! 

Controls, the display panel, and how to operate it

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel with labels

The Levoit purifier uses electronic touch controls located on the flat control panel on top. They’re easy to use and well-labeled. During use, I found it very simple to understand and use daily. Even though it’s easy to use, I recommend reading the owner’s manual to get the best use of it.

The LV-PUR131 has some very nice electronic touch controls that work well, similar to some of the best competitors I’ve tested like GermGuardian, Winix, and Honeywell.

Don’t worry – even though it might look complicated, it’s a breeze to use. The panel controls offer the following:

  • Power on/off
  • Mode: Sleep, Auto, and manual fan speed selection
  • Fan speed button: Low, medium, and high
  • Auto-off: 1 – 12 hours
  • Display panel on/off

It’s a good-looking design, but I saw one issue: unlike some competitors, the buttons don’t have backlighting. That means you won’t be able to see them in the dark.

It hasn’t been a problem for me personally, but just bear in mind you’ll need a night light or a bit of light turned on if you need to change the settings at night.

Buttons work well and aren’t too sensitive – each touch works well, and there’s a nice gentle chime you’ll hear when a button is touched.

Display panel features

Levoit LV-PUR131 display panel symbols labeled example

The display panel, while small, is very clear and very easy to read. It shows you the current air quality (when in Auto mode), the remaining timer time, if used, and the fan/operational mode. There’s also a filter reminder light (not shown) that will pop up after enough time.

The display is very clear, easy to read, and does the job very well.

Unlike others I’ve used, the timer is shown using real digits instead of just a simple dot or light – you can see exactly how much time is left before it turns off.

It’s not a huge feature but definitely nice to have.

The air quality indicator (which is used in Auto mode only) is located in the middle and will continuously update as the sensor works. Note that 1 minute is required for a new air quality measurement. (See further below for more about that).

At the bottom is the current fan speed or Auto mode, as selected. By touching the Display button the display panel will turn completely off, but in reality, it’s not very bright so I’ve never found a reason to use it.

That’s a bit different from other purifiers with a brighter display or brighter control panel lighting that you might want to dim at night.

Note: There’s no light sensor built into the LV-PUR131 so it can’t dim itself or switch into Sleep mode only based on the room’s light level.

Fan speeds and special modes

Fan speeds are easy to change. To do that, just touch the fan speed button to cycle through the speeds (low is the first, medium the second, and high is the last).

Touching the Auto button puts the purifier in auto operation in which the fan speed is self-adjusting based on the room’s air quality, as shown by the air quality light color. (See below for more details on that)

To put the unit in the ultra-quiet Sleep mode, just touch the button. Note that Sleep mode is entered automatically when the air quality is sensed to be very good.

When Auto is in use, there’s no need to manually set the Sleep mode. In Auto or Sleep mode, touching the fan speed button brings it out of those and back into manual operation again.

Levoit LV-PUR131 fan speed button example

Shown: The auto-off timer button lets you cycle through 1 to 12 hours of delay after which the purifier turns off automatically. It’s a nice feature and works well.

The timer feature is just as simple, too. Touch it to select from 1 to 12 hours of delay time after which it will shut off automatically. Nice!

When 12 hours are selected, touching it again will show “-:--“, which means the timer is disabled until a new selection is made. 

After the timer button is used, each new setting blinks 3 times before it’s set and the timer starts.

Levoit LV-PUR131 dust sensor and reset button location diagram

In order to sense the air quality, a dust sensor is built into the unit. It’s located under a cover on the right-hand side. You’ll need to clean it periodically carefully although that’s not very often. When checking or replacing the filters, you’ll want to clear the filter reminder light by pushing the reset button by using a fine tip to push it (see the image above).

The LV-PUR131 is a bit different from other models in that while there’s a filter check reminder light, resetting the reminder & clearing the light is a bit harder.

I’m not sure why it wasn’t designed into the control panel as other Levoit & competitor models are.

When it’s time to clean and possibly replace your filter the reminder light will turn on in the display area. Unfortunately, you can’t just use a finger – you’ll need a pointed pen or another fine-tipped object to push the button & clear the light.

Located on the right side of the body is a removable cover under which the dust sensor is located. Shortly below that is the reset button. (Fortunately, there are instruction labels near them, so you won’t have to worry about figuring it out).

Dust sensor maintenance

When checking or replacing your filters it’s a good idea to clean the dust sensor using a Q-tip dipped in water. Just remove the cover, gently wipe it, and place the cover back in place.

Air quality indicator light

Levoit LV-PUR131 air quality indicator diagram with fan speeds

As I mentioned earlier, the LV-PUR131 detects the air quality in your room and adjusts itself for the best operation automatically in Auto mode.

When the purifier is running in Auto the air quality indicator in the display will glow indicating the current detected air quality. (Note that after turning the purifier on, it needs 1 minute to detect and display the air quality).

There are 4 color colors & fan speed modes for each air condition:

  1. Red – Bad air quality detected. The fan is set to high speed.
  2. Yellow – Moderate air quality. The fan runs at medium speed.
  3. Green – Good air quality. The fan will run at low speed.
  4. Blue – Very good air detected. Ultra-quiet Sleep mode is used.

In my testing, I found it works very well! It’s a pretty cool design I like, despite not being the only purifier I’ve used with this feature.

I think you’ll like it too as it’s really nice having a “set and forget” convenience. Just let it do its thing, and it does!

Beeps and chime sounds

Levoit LV PUR131 air purifier controls demo

[NOTE: You may need to turn up the volume as the purifier’s chimes aren’t loud by design.]

The Levoit has some very pleasant, gentle chimes you’ll hear both when turning it on/off or when using the controls. Check out my video above to hear the sounds.

Each touch of a button gives a gentle chime sound. When turning the purifier on or off you’ll hear a slightly “musical” series of chimes as well. 

The chime have a lower volume which could be an issue for people with harder hearing. It hasn’t been a problem for me but I’m aware that what works for me might not work for everyone else, too.

On the other hand, there’s no way to turn them off completely in case you don’t care for them. So far, though, I think they’re pleasing to the ear and don’t distract at all from a nice user experience.

Specifications & CADR ratings

Levoit LV-PUR131 Specifications
  • Room size coverage (max): 300 sq. ft. (30 sq. meters)
  • 3-stage filter system: True HEPA + attached pre-filter, advanced carbon filter (separate filter)
  • Odor control/VOC using real activated carbon pellets
  • Fan speeds: Low, med, high
  • Electronic touch control panel
  • Auto-off timer: 1 – 12 hr options
  • AHAM Certified: (No certified lab data provided)
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): 135 (smoke/pollen/dust rating not listed)
  • Air sensing technology: Dust sensor
  • 4 air quality indicator levels + auto-adjusting operation
  • Ultra-low Sleep mode (manual or by auto-sensing)
  • Filter life: 6-8 months
  • Replacement filters: LV-PUR131-RF
  • 1 year warranty (1 year additional offered)
  • Power use (Watts): 3.3, 8.7, 16.6, 33.6
  • Noise levels (dB): 39.7, 41.1, 44.6, 49.3
  • Weight: 11.2 lbs
  • Size: 7.25 x 14.5 x 18.5″

To help buyers compare the performance of air cleaning products when shopping,  the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) was developed as an industry-standard rating system. It’s a standard provided by the AHAM.

The Assocation of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is an organization that verifies the testing results of home appliances & carry out lab testing for appliance manufacturers. The CADR rating tests are voluntary and not required by law.

In simple terms, the CADR ratings are numbers used to help you know an air cleaner’s performance before buying. The rating numbers are based on “higher is better.”

While Levoit lists the CADR as 135+, sadly it’s not AHAM certified and because of that, it doesn’t provide the CADR label with smoke, pollen, and dust particle cleaning performance like they do with some of their other products such as the Core 300.

For comparison purposes, the Core 300 does have CADR air cleaning data and it’s rated at 141 and above. Average medium-sized room purifiers are often somewhere around 100, for comparison.

Additionally, the LV-PUR131’s performance really doesn’t compare well to competitors like from Winix with nearly twice as much air cleaning performance at 232 and above. I found that disappointing.

Thoughts on the LV-PUR131 size & weight

Levoit LV-PUR131 height measurement

It’s only around 18.5″ tall and not too big in general, either (it’s only about 7.25″ deep and 14.5″ wide) so size hasn’t really been a problem.

Additionally, most higher-efficiency purifiers tend to have a relatively similar size or shape as well. While the Levoit product family includes several models of different sizes with a round or tower shape, I don’t mind the style here, as the flat, rectangular filters are so easy to deal with.

Carrying the purifier

Levoit LV-PUR131 example of using carrying handle

Built-in carrying handles are located on both sides of the Levoit purifier, making it easy to move from place to place. It’s a nice feature that doesn’t interfere with style.

On both the left and right sights near the top you’ll find recessed areas that act as carrying handles. Honestly, I only needed one to move it (it’s pretty easy to move) but having two is even better to avoid an accident.

As the purifier’s shape is somewhat like a large box in ways having the handle available takes the hassle out of moving it around your room when you like.

At about 11.2 lbs (5 kg) moving it around hasn’t been a problem. While a flatter bottom would have been a bit more secure on the carpet, if you’ve got a hardwood floor you don’t have to worry about scratches.

Soft foam feet are located on the bottom to prevent marring or scratches.

Levoit LV-PUR131 power use measurements (Watts)

Levoit LV-PUR131 purifier power measurement examples

One of the most annoying things about shopping for air purifiers is the lack of real power ratings to read. What happens is that even if there’s one provided, it’s often only listed for the highest fan speed setting.

What about the others most people use?

I set out to find out myself so I measured power use (in Watts, averaged) for all settings. Here’s what I found:

Mode/SpeedPower Use (Watts)
Off0.7
Sleep3.3
Low8.7
Medium16.6
High33.6

As you can see, it uses only a few watts in all but the highest settings! That’s excellent and it’s one of the most power-efficient purifiers I’ve tested so far.

It’s an Energy Star rated appliance, in fact, in case you weren’t aware. Many of the typical (and average performance) purifiers I’ve tested often use 45W to 55W or so, meaning the LV-PUR131 gets high regard for efficiency.

You’ll also be able to leave it running if you like without having to worry about running up a giant electric bill!

Air cleaning ability

Levoit LV-PUR131 used filters example

My purifier did a good job removing dust in my home (my biggest air quality problem) although the fan airflow could be better. The pre-filter (seen here, on the outward facing side of the HEPA filter) unfortunately can’t be removed and cleaned as some other models offer.

I tested the LV-PUR131 for several things and especially good old-fashioned everyday use – just like you’d use it for. There’s a lot to be said for real-world testing: not just for seeing how well it works but for things like noise levels, any problems that might pop up, or more.

The LV-PUR131 did a good job trapping & removing odors and common air problems (in my case, dust), but it’s not the best I’ve used.

For example, it does do a good job, and I love the auto-sensing, self-adjusting operation. The problem is that while it’s pretty good, it’s not as effective at air cleaning as others I’ve used.

Room Size and square feet coverage

Levoit LV-PUR131 room size coverage diagram

The company provides a recommended room size coverage of about 300 sq. ft and it’s a good fit for medium to some large-sized rooms.

300 sq ft is about 15 x 30 ft (about 3.05 x 9.1 meters). That’s an approximation and you don’t have to have exactly a room that size and no larger.

The main point to know is that coverage is pretty good (many of the most popular competitors offer only up to 165-155 sq ft coverage or so).

Even though it’s recommended for medium rooms, it’s perfectly fine to use in smaller rooms, too. In that case, you’ll get even better results as the room’s air will be cycled and cleaned more quickly than a larger room.

Does the LV-PUR131 produce ozone?

As I explained in this post, air purifiers that use filters (and not electronic air cleaning methods like ozone generators do) don’t normally add anything unhealthy to the air. They don’t produce emissions, gases, or by-products.

The Levoit LV-PUR131 does not produce ozone so there’s nothing to worry about.

In fact, Levoit’s air purifiers have an Air Resources Board (ARB) verification certifying they meet federal ozone emission limits (in this case, zero emissions).

Filters, upkeep, and maintenance costs

Levoit LV-PUR131 HEPA and odor control filters image

Shown: The air cleaner’s filter sections. A permanent pre-filter used to catch larger elements like dust, hair, and more is permanently attached to the HEPA filter. The odor-absorbing filter (which is a unique design containing real activated carbon pellets) inside a “honeycomb” like frame. The true HEPA filter that traps super-fine particles, pet dander, dust mites, and much more down to microscope sizes that pass through the pre-filter.

As I mentioned at the beginning, a 3-stage filter design is used:

  1. A pre-filter for trapping larger elements like dust and hair
  2. The High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter
  3. An odor and VOC absorption filter

What’s different about the LV-PUR131 – and what I don’t like – is that the pre-filter is permanently attached to the HEPA filter. You can’t remove it to clean as you can with some other or replace it separately.

While it might not matter in all cases, if you’ve got pets, dust problems (like me), or other heavy particles in your home, it could possibly become clogged meaning that the air cleaning performance will drop.

For average users I don’t expect this to be a real problem but it’s something to be aware of.

1. High-performance activated carbon odor & VOC filter

Levoit LV-PUR131 carbon filter closeup

What I really like is the odor control filter I mentioned: it’s pretty unique and very effective! The frame is much like a honeycomb, made up of small “cells” in which real, solid activated carbon pellets are inside.

There’s a mesh material on each side to keep them in place.

While you might be thinking it’s only there to help with odors, it isn’t. The truth is that it’s helpful for trapping volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemical substances in the air that can cause both discomfort, headaches, and even health problems.

2. HEPA filter + pre-filter assembly

Levoit LV-PUR131 HEPA and pre-filter closeup images

Located after the activated carbon filter, there’s the true HEPA filter. Based on the industry-standard HEPA filter specification, it can permanently trap up to 99.97% of all particulates down to an incredibly small 0.3 microns in size.

That’s less than 1/100,000th of a meter in size – microscopic, in fact.

The pre-filter is one I haven’t seen before – it’s a white mesh material that’s permanently attached to the other side of the HEPA filter frame.

Unfortunately because of that (and unlike great other models) it can’t be replaced separately or washed for optimal performance in cases where it becomes heavily used.

LV-PUR131 purifier filter check reminder light example

The filter replacement reminder appears as a square in the upper corner of the display when it’s time to check the filters.

Filter life is listed as about 6-8 months so you’ll need to check and replace as needed when the filter reminder turns on.

Replacement filters & maintenance costs

Levoit LV-PUR131-RF replacement filter set product image

When replacement time comes you’ll need to pick up the LV-PUR131-RF filter set, sold as a pair.

You can expect to pay about $25-$30 or so, which isn’t too bad when you consider they last about 1/2 a year or more. You may be able to find some aftermarket (third party) brand replacements to save a bit of money, too.

How to install & replace filters

Levoit LV-PUR131 new filter setup

Fresh out of the box and getting set up. To get started, you’ll need to open purifier, remove the new filters from the sealed bags, and put them back into place. It only takes a few minutes, though. Easy to do.

When my purifier arrived and I unboxed I followed the instructions shown in the nice little “quick start guide” sheet it came with. This is basically just removing the front cover, removing the AOC and HEPA filters from the sealed bags, and then putting them back into place.

It’s really simple and no hassle at all so there’s nothing to worry about there.

Levoit LV-PUR131 filter installation steps how-to replace filters

Filter replacement is actually very simple and only takes a few minutes.

It’s just a few steps:

  1. Open the front cover and remove the old filters by pulling them out.
  2. Install the HEPA filter
  3. Install the carbon filter
  4. Close the front cover and secure it using the magnetic latches

Did I mention the design uses a really cool magnetic latch feature for the front cover? If not, I should have.

Levoit LV-PUR131 front cover magnetic latch closeup images

Magnetic latches on the grill and body are one of the best design features I’ve seen yet on a purifier. They’re a snap to use – literally!

Unlike other products I’ve tested (like some from Honeywell), there aren’t any plastic tabs to break or worry about. There’s a small metal plate on the inside of the front cover that touches and connects to the magnets located the cover at the top, one on each side.

It’s super easy to use and I really enjoyed this part of the design.

Owner’s manual quality

Levoit LV-PUR131 owners manual contents example images

Both the owner’s manual and quick start guide are clear, well-written, and helpful. Inside are some basic specifications (which could be more detailed) but plenty of info about maintenance, recommended use, and the replacement filter set model number.

Levoit warranty card & customer service info insert

The included warranty card/customer support/company info card includes an offer to extend the included warranty for an additional year for free upon registering it.

Customer contact email & phone number details are easy to find and there’s an offer to extend the provided warranty for an additional year for free. Just register it within 14 days when you receive yours – that’s it!

That’s a pretty nice offer and not one I’ve seen with other companies.

Noise levels during use (measured)

Levoit LV-PUR131 volume measurement with decibel meter

I prefer to personally measure, record, and verify the noise levels of the products I test. I used my sound level meter to get a consistent measurement you’ll find in typical real-world use. After doing many air cleaning product tests it’s a great way to have numbers to compare with.

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier. Here’s what I found:

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.6
Sleep39.7
Low41.1
Medium44.6
High49.3

The LV-PUR131 is a very quiet purifier – only the high setting is really very noticeable. In Sleep mode, it’s so darn quiet you won’t be able to tell it’s running at all.

Low and medium are also very easy on the ears and definitely very quiet, too. The fan’s operation and the airflow have a pleasant, “soft” rushing sound. It doesn’t sound harsh or annoying like some other products produce.

If you hate loud or annoying-sounding products, you’ll really enjoy this one.

Night brightness

Levoit LV-PUR131 night brightness in dark room example

Testing the LV-PUR131 brightness level in a darkened room. It’s one of the lowest-brightness units I’ve used, which can be both good and bad. The controls have no backlighting which some people might not like. However, all-in-all, it’s really nice in the dark.

As I’m a light sleeper as some of you all, I always test products to see how they fare in a darkened room just like you’d have at night time. That’s because occasionally I’ve come across products that are a bit too bright and could be an annoyance if you’re trying to sleep.

I’m happy to say the LV-PUR131 looks wonderful in the dark. The display panel is excellent and not bright at all – in fact it uses a very soft light level that’s absolutely no problem at all.

However, as I mentioned in the control section earlier, trying to see the buttons can be a problem in the dark as they don’t have any backlighting.

Levoit LV-PUR131 vs LV-PUR131S

Levoit LV-PUR131S air purifier product image

The LV-PUR131S model offers a few differences that improve over the standard LV-PUR131. The biggest feature is smartphone control via the WiFi connectivity.

The LV-PUR131S serves as an upgraded version of the standard model, offer a few differences:

  • WiFi connectivity and remote operation from your smartphone
  • 320 sq. ft. room coverage vs the 300 sq. ft. of the standard model
  • Ability to create air cleaning schedules and customize air purifier operation
  • Tracking filter life via your phone
  • Receive real-time air quality information

Levoit LV-PUR131S smartphone app example

Levoit’s VeSyn smartphone app lets you operate the air purifier, receive air quality data, and set custom air cleaning schedules over WiFi connectivity.

What’s really interesting is that there’s not much difference in price between it and the standard model. I’ve seen it for as little as $10-$25 difference between the two.

It’s definitely an option to consider (You can check the current price for the LV-PUR131S at Amazon here.)

Winix 5500-2 vs Levoit LV-PUR131

Winix 5500-2 vs Levoit LV-PUR131 comparison image

As many positives as I can mention about the LV-PUR131, the truth is that it’s been on the market for a few years. Since that time some very good competition has risen up.

One great example is the wonderful Winix 5500-2 that I reviewed in detail here.

While the LV-PUR131 has a suggested retail price of $179, and the Winix is normally (but not always) quite a bit higher at around $269, it can often be found for less. When on sale, there’s a fairly small difference in price between the two ($50-$65 or so when I bought mine).

After owning, testing, and reviewing mine, I found it to be hands-down one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to own. It really is that good!

While they’re both very similar in some of the basic functions, their style, and filters used, there are some serious differences between the Winix 5500-2 and the Levoit LV-PUR131 to know:

  • The 5500-2 offers up to 360 sq. ft. coverage vs the 300 sq. ft. of the LV-PUR131.
  • The Winix’s pre-filter can be washed and is permanent; not possible with the PUR131.
  • Much better air cleaning performance – an AHAM certified CADR rating of 232+ vs the Levoit’s 135+.
  • The Winix includes a remote control.
  • Both use a true HEPA filter and an advanced absorption filter with real carbon pellets. However, the Winix’s filters are larger.
  • The 5500-2 has a filter life of 12 months – nearly 2x as long. 
  • A PlasmaWave ionizer feature is built-in with the 5500-2.
  • While the LV-PUR131’s filter is located on the rear, it’s located on the front of the Winix.
  • The 5500-2 features a light sensor that dims the unit automatically.
  • Resetting the filter reminder can be done from the front panel of the 5500-2.
  • The 5500-2 has a more powerful motor and features an additional Turbo high-speed mode.
  • An odor sensor (in addition to dust) allows the 5500-2 to adjust air cleaning not just for air particles but odors & airborne vapors, too (the LV-PUR131 can’t).

While the LV-PUR131 offers up to 12 hours with its timer, the 5500-2 is limited to choosing from 1, 4, or 8 hours only.

Winix 5500-2 purifier controls image #1

The Winix 5500-2 also has a nice touch button panel somewhat similar to the Levoit LV-PUR131. However, all locations (including the filter reminder reset) are located in front. Additionally, the unit has a light sensor that allows it to put itself in ultra-low noise Sleep mode when you dim the room’s lights.

Both offer some very similar functions in that they both have touch controls, an Auto mode, an off timer, and very quiet operation. Both also have one of the best carbon filters you can buy.

However, the Winix 5500-2 is simply a much better performer overall. It’s a bit larger in size too, but not so much that it’s an issue in my experience.

Winix 5500-2 air purifier image showing illustration and names of filter sections

Filters for the 5500-2 are separately replaceable (unlike the LV-PUR131) and the pre-filter can be washed for reuse and to maintain air cleaning performance.

One thing to be aware of, however, is that a replacement filter set for the Winix costs a bit more – $50-$65 or so, although you’ll be replacing it less often.

Don’t get me wrong – the LV-PUR131 is good, but when compared to a real winner like the 5500-2 it’s obvious it’s a much better buy if the price difference & your budget allow it.

Review summary & score: Is it a good buy?

There’s no doubt it’s one of the best-selling medium room air purifiers under $200 today. It’s well-made, super easy to use, and the auto-sensing works really well. I do enjoy mine, and I’ve come to appreciate the quiet & reliable “set and forget” operation it offers.

However, when compared to other models today, it does have some drawbacks:

  • The pre-filter isn’t separately replaceable or washable.
  • The air cleaning performance (aside from a great odor filter) is good enough but falls way behind some competitors like the Winix 5500-2

Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier product image

Don’t let that stop you, though. If the drawbacks I mentioned are ok for you, and it’s what’s best for your budget, it’s well worth considering.

Have a look and find out why the LV-PUR131 is one of the best-selling air purifiers for medium rooms at Amazon.

YOUR BEST CHOICE

Winix 5500-2 Editor's Choice review summary imageMy recommendation is to consider spending just a bit more and get a much better performer for your dollar. The Winix 5500-2 is one of today’s best medium/large room purifiers today, and I’m crazy about mine!

Check out the rave buyer reviews and excellent air cleaning features at Amazon.

Overall
8.7/10
8.7/10
  • Quality - 9.3/10
    9.3/10
  • Value - 8/10
    8/10
  • Ease of use - 9.6/10
    9.6/10
  • Features - 7.9/10
    7.9/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 7.6/10
    7.6/10
  • Noise levels - 9.5/10
    9.5/10

Well made, the LV-PUR131 offers adequate air cleaning and great convenience for medium sized rooms. However, the competition offers more.

It’s an affordable, well-made air purifier with nice features. Thanks to smart design and a built-in air quality sensor you’ll get a set-and-forget operation that’s a treat. Air cleaning is adequate, but disappointing for what I’ve come to expect from Levoit. The lack of a washable or separate pre-filter falls short of competing models. The advanced odor filter with real carbon pellets is good, however.

It’s super easy to use and one of the quietest purifiers I’ve had the pleasure to use. Maintenance is easy and affordable as well. An air quality sensor lets you know what it’s doing during use, but works only for particles and not odors. For only a few dollars more the LV-PUR131S version also offers smartphone control. It’s adequate and well-made if budget is your main concern. However, smart shoppers should seriously consider better models like the Winix 5500-2.

Pros

  • 300 sq ft coverage (med.-large rooms)
  • 135+ CADR
  • No irritating ozone produced
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Self-regulating air sensor option
  • Air quality level indicator light
  • Super quiet operation
  • 1-12 hour timer options
  • Great active carbon filter
  • Easy filter maintenance
  • Filter reminder light
  • Ultra-quiet sleep mode
  • 2 year warranty included (free add. year available)

Cons

  • Air cleaning performance far behind better competitors
  • No washable filters
  • Can’t switch off control chime sounds
  • No additional colors available
  • No AHAM CADR ratings offered
  • Pre-filter is attached to HEPA
  • Controls not backlit for easy night use
  • No light sensor features
  • No odor sensor

My Detailed Levoit LV-H126 Air Purifier Review: Basic But Good!

Levoit LV-H126 air purifier review featured image

In case you weren’t already aware, Levoit is one of the top brands for air purifiers today. In fact, their longtime best-seller, the LV-H132, set the standard in many ways for compact air cleaning. I’m a proud owner myself, having found out why it’s a great choice.

But what about this little guy? In my hands-on review of the Levoit LV-H126 I’ll tell you what you need to know before buying.

How does it compare vs the LV-H132? And is it a better – or worse – buy than its main competitor, the GermGuardian AC4100?

Read on to find out everything you need to know!

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit LV-H126

Levoit air purifier product family with LV-H126 highlighted

Shown: Some of the most popular products in the Levoit air purifier product family. The smallest of all of them, the LV-H126, is a model best suited for smaller rooms. Most of the other models are designed for medium to large sized rooms.

Levoit is one of the largest & most popular air quality product manufacturers today. In fact, the LV-H132 has been one of the all-time best-selling purifiers for years. 

I own and have tested several units including the LV-H132 and the new Core 300 (see my reviews of the LV-H132 here and of the Core 300 here). From personal experience, I can vouch for their quality and why they’re so popular.

Unlike the other models sold, the LV-H126 is designed for smaller rooms rather than large or medium-sized rooms.

It’s a more basic model without the more advanced features its bigger siblings offer. As you might expect, it’s a bit less expensive, too, selling for $50-$60 or so depending upon where you find it.  (Side note: I got mine for a better price at Amazon)

Air filtering features

However, while it’s a basic model, the air cleaning features are just as good:

  • A true HEPA filter with 99.97% filter efficiency for particles down to 0.3 microns (millionths of a meter) in size
  • A pre-filter for catching larger particles
  • Odor absorbing section as well

Note that also the pre-filter can be replaced separately, meaning you’ll save a bit of money versus having to replace them both even if the HEPA filter doesn’t need it.

Unlike the other models, a manual fan speed knob is used instead of electronic controls. While there’s no filter reminder light offered, a reminder wheel can help keep track of check & replacement times.

Levoit LV-H126 black and white model color examples

The LV-H126 is also offered in both black and white front vent cover versions as well. However, the blue model I’ll be reviewing here today seems to be the most commonly available one.

Direct competition

GermGuardian AC4100 product image thumbnail

A direct competitor, the GermGuardian AC4100 is a small room air purifier with a very similar price range, style, and functional design like the LV-H126. See my detailed comparison later in this review.

The LV-H126 is also very similar in size & design to the GermGuardian AC4100. Don’t worry – I’ll compare the two later as we go.

Unboxing and first impressions

Packaging

Levoit LV-H126 air purifier opening the box

Unboxing the Levoit purifier. It’s well-packaged and everything inside looks great from the get-go. Upon opening it you’ll find the 2 extra pre-filters on top as well as the owner’s manual and warranty information. 

Unboxing air purifiers may seem like a silly (or unimportant) thing to do, but I enjoy the first impression I get – sometimes you can tell a lot from the packaging!

Opening up the purifier’s box was really no different than any other Levoit I own & enjoy. It’s well-packaged, looks good, and everything arrived safely. Upon opening it you’ll find a pair of extra pre-filters right on top.

Additionally, the owner’s manual booklet and warranty & company info card are conveniently right on top, so there’s no missing them.

So far, so good!

Build quality

Levoit LV-H126 close up body images

Before long-term testing and after unpacking, I inspected both to check out the build quality and appearance. It’s a very well-made purifier, despite being a lower-priced model that’s pretty basic. Fit and finish are excellent and just as good as the other products from Levoit I’ve owned.

I own and use several air purifiers from Levoit already (including the super-popular LV-H132), so I had the same expectations for build quality for here. The great news is that I wasn’t let down.

Fit and finish are great. It’s very put together and I couldn’t find any visible defects, gaps, or assembly problems at all. No visible defects of any kind.

By the way, everything worked great right out of the box!

Levoit LV-H126 purifier closeup angle

The finish on the LV-H126 is a glossy white, while a front vent cover has a stitched fabric material and the company logo. Note: The front cover isn’t removable. It’s a nice looking little unit, despite being a lower-priced model.

The finish is a nice gloss white with matching rear filter cover and front grill below the front cover. The front cover isn’t removable, by the way.

It’s covered with a nice fabric material that reminds me of denim. The front cover sits above the fresh air output as the fan works and directs air to the sides and top.

What’s in the box?

Levoit LV-H126 purifier included items image

Inside the box are several nice items including 2 additional pre-filters. There’s also a brief but good quality owner’s manual as well as a warranty & company info card. Note that there’s an offer inside for an extra 1-year warranty extension if you register it within 14 days!

Inside the box you’ll find the following:

  • The purifier (sealed filter is pre-installed, needs to be removed)
  • Owner’s manual & warranty card/customer support card
  • Two extra pre-filters sealed and fresh

That is to say, the included extra pre-filters, which are nice to have, are extra – the sealed filters installed inside the purifier also includes both the HEPA filter and a pre-filter, for a total of 3 pre-filters included.

Levoit warranty card & customer service info insert

The warranty card includes a nice offer for an extra 1 year of warranty coverage for free if you register it within 14 days – pretty nice! Additionally, there’s some great customer service contact info in it as well.

Checking out the controls

LV-H126 purifier control closeup image

The Levoit purifier has no other controls – just a simple 3-speed fan control & off. It’s incredibly simple and gets the job done.

Using the purifier is really simple, especially since there’s only one control: a 3-speed rotary knob.

The fan control has a good, solid feel and doesn’t feel “cheap” like some others on the market. No complaints there from me!

I was very happy with how well it works, despite the simplicity. I will say, though, that I do prefer the front panel control of the GermGuardian AC4100 a bit more as it’s more accessible.

Additionally, the LV-H126 doesn’t provide a power on/off light on the front panel like the AC4100.

That’s more of a side note as it’s not really an issue in everyday use.

Specifications

Levoit LV-H126
  • Room size rating: 161 sq. ft. (15 sq. meters)
  • 3-speed fan control
  • “3-in-1” design: true HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter & pre-filter
  • Filter replacement reminder dial
  • Prefilter/carbon filter is replaceable separately
  • Replacement filter: LV-H126-RF
  • Includes 2 extra pre-filters
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Power use: 12.1/20.4/38.3 watts
  • Control location: front
  • 2-year warranty
  • Size: 10.5 x 6.8 x 7.9″

Note that unlike other models (but similar to GermGuardian’s AC4100 model), the company doesn’t provide a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) rating. The CADR rating is a voluntary industry air cleaning efficiency standard used to help compared air purifiers.

In the case of small-room air purifiers, it’s safe to assume the CADR is below 100, based on my experience. Note that 100 and above are fairly typical for today’s popular medium room purifiers which have a more powerful and/or larger fan design.

Additionally, the rate at which smaller purifiers can circulate & clean the air in a room is greatly affected by their limited fan speed. That’s normal, by the way, so it’s not limited to just one brand. When making a purifier smaller in size it’s not possible to use the larger & more powerful fan designs like their bigger siblings.

Setup and placement

Levoit LV-H126 HEPA filter preparing for first use how to

As new filters are shipped from the factory sealed to keep them fresh & ready for use, you’ll need to get yours ready. It’s a quick process, though, and it’s as easy as removing the filter in the bag, removing it, and re-installing.

Getting the unit ready for the first use is really easy.

When opening it up for the first time (or when installing a new complete filter) you’ll need to:

  • Remove the rear cover and the sealed filters
  • Open the bag and remove the filters
  • Re-install them into the purifier and close the rear cover

It only takes a few minutes, although I had to carefully hold the pre-filter in place with my hand to keep it from falling down. Once it place, the rear cover just swings upwards and snaps closed.

Note: You’ll need to provide at least 15 inches (38 cm) of unobstructed space in front of and behind the purifier for proper airflow.

At about only about 10″ tall, it’s very compact and can fit on a lot of tables, desks, or shelves. So far I’m pretty happy with it – it’s very similar in overall size & design to the GermGuardian AC4100 I’m very familiar with too.

Air cleaning performance

Levoit LV-H126 used HEPA filter example

Right away, the LV-H126 starting trapping nasty dust & particles in the air where I live! As you can see above, larger elements such as dust, lint, and hair are caught in the pre-filter before they can reach the HEPA filter inside.

I tested the LV-H126 by running it 24 hours a day including while away from home.

It works well in small bedrooms but obviously can’t match the performance of larger models, so I had to be realistic about my expectations (especially because of the larger models I already own & have tested).

While it takes longer to circulate the air in a room, it performed well and I definitely found it helpful for capturing dust (my biggest problem), microscopic debris, and much more in the air.

Despite it being a lower-priced model, overall I’d say it works pretty well – just that because the airflow rate is lower than its larger Levoit siblings, please remember it takes longer to move all the air in a room.

Because of that, ideally you’ll use it in smaller rooms up to the maximum recommended size of 161 square feet.

Levoit LV-H126 room size explained

Levoit LV-H126 room size diagram

The LV-H126 is recommended for use in rooms no larger than 161 square feet (15 square meters).

To get a better idea what size room that is, that’s about a 10 x 16.1 feet in size, which is more or less how large many apartment bedrooms are.

Ultimately, I classify it as a small room air purifier because of the airflow rate and small fan design. Because of that, you can use it just fine in any bedroom, office, or dorm room that’s smaller than the size listed.

When used in an area that’s smaller than the max. recommended size, it’ll perform better as it’s able to circulate the air more quickly in that case.

Honestly, after owning & testing so many different air purifiers I don’t recommend it for medium-sized rooms as you won’t find the air movement as good. For medium & larger-sized rooms a more competent model like the LV-H132 or Core 300 is a much better bet.

Filters used

Levoit LV-H126 filter sections explained diagram

The LV-H126’s HEPA filter section is made up of a folded, dense fiber material. It’s capable of excellent filtering ability and works well. The pre-filter is a separate section that traps larger particles like dust & hair before it can clog up the HEPA filter too early. To my surprise, the activated carbon filter is a separate section attached inside (versus a coating on the prefilter as most others use) that captures odors and volatile compounds in the air.

As it’s advertised as a “3-in-1” purifier & filter type, the LV-H126, like many others, uses 3 stages of air filtering:

  • A pre-filter
  • A true HEPA filter
  • An activated charcoal filter

The high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter traps the smallest & most difficult particles that cause air quality problems, including:

  • Pet dander
  • Pet hair (thanks to the pre-filter)
  • Dust mite allergens
  • Pollen (and other allergens)
  • Microscopic dust
  • Home construction particles

Basically, it’s a multi-stage filter process as the pre-filter/carbon filter can trap both odors and larger particles like pet hair and dust. The HEPA filter removes smaller particles like smoke elements, pet dander, dust mite products, and much more.

The pre-filter is a thin, mesh material that rests on the outside of the HEPA filter and can be replaced separately any time. It’s not washable, however (although the owner’s manual doesn’t mention it, it can be vacuumed for extended life).

Levoit uses a true HEPA filter meaning it performs to the HEPA standard: a whopping 99.97% of particles passing through it down to 0.3 microns in size are trapped.

That’s particles less than 1/1,000,000 of a meter in size – far smaller than the human eye can see.

What’s different & what surprised me about the LV-H126 is the odor/volatile odor compound (VOC) filter.

While most models use a coating directly on the pre-filter, with the Levoit it’s a separate, more effective section attached to the HEPA filter. I wasn’t expecting that – and it quickly became a turning point for my review, I might add! (You’ll see why later)

Does the LV-H126 produce ozone?

Quite a few people have wondered if air purifiers can cause headaches. As I explained in detail here, a filter-based purifier like the Levoit, for example, doesn’t produce any harmful emissions.

There are no ozone or ion-producing elements inside so it’s 100% free of emissions, and is approved by the California Air 

Filter replacement & cost

Replacement indicator wheel

LV-H126 filter reminder wheel how to use example images

Unlike larger models I mentioned earlier, there’s no electronic filter replacement reminder feature. However, a manual reminder wheel is built into the rear. Using a coin I set the reminder to mark when I set up the new filter (December) so I could check it later without forgetting.

Bigger models like the LV-H132 & Core 300 have an electronic filter replacement reminder feature. Those models track time electronically and use a light to show when it’s time to check the HEPA and pre-filter sections.

Unfortunately, that feature isn’t present in this model. To be fair, it’s also not available in some other small room competitors either.

To their credit, however, Levoit does offer a “date wheel” as a type of reminder. By setting the wheel in one of 2 ways you can track when the date when you should check the filters for replacement.

As mentioned in the manual, there are 2 ways to use the reminder wheel:

  • Method 1: When you start using the air purifier, turn the
    wheel to the number of the current month
    (January is “1”, December is “12”), so you can track
    how long the filter is used.
  • Method 2: When you start using the air purifier, turn the
    wheel 6 months ahead as a reminder. Example: If
    you replace the filters in February (the 2nd month
    on the calendar), you can turn the wheel to “8” to
    remind you to replace your filters again in August
    (the 8th month).

Filter life and costs

Levoit LV-H126-RF replacement filter product image

Shown: The LV-H126-RF filter replacement set. It includes the HEPA filter with a built-in activated filter section & 3 pre-filters (2 extra pre-filters). 

Filter life for the HEPA/odor filter assembly is about 6-8 months as recommended by the manufacturer. However, in my experience that varies a lot depending upon use. Levoit recommends replacing the pre-filters at around 2-3 months or so (just be sure to check and see if you need to replace it).

Heavy air quality problems like severe dust, cigarette smoke, and especially heavy airborne particles may consume the HEPA & activated carbon filter faster.

Because this model doesn’t use an activated carbon coating on the pre-filter itself, it’s possible to extend filter life for the pre-filters.

When dust or other build-up happens it’s possible to vacuum it off for additional use.

Expect to spend around $12-$15 or so for the replacement filter set (#LV-H126-RF). While it’s about the same price as some other models, unlike them it includes an additional 2 pre-filters as well.

How to replace the filters

Levoit LV-H126 how to remove the filters

Filter replacement is easy and I found it to be a snap to do. It only takes a few seconds to 1) remove the rear grill by pushing down on the release tab, and 2) pulling out the filter assembly using the flexible pull tab or using a finger on top.

Filter replacement is a snap and I found it super-easy. It only takes a few seconds and it’s exactly the same process as when I got my new purifier in the box (aside from the filter already being inside).

To replace the filters:

  1. Push down on the release tab at the top
  2. Swing the grill down and outward
  3. Pull the soft tab or use a finger to tilt the filter assembly out

That’s it! Removing my dirty filter for inspection or replacement (both my HEPA and pre-filter, since both were old) isn’t a problem at all.

Note that as I mentioned earlier, the pre-filter is separate from the HEPA filter assembly. When putting the whole thing back inside you’ll want to hold the pre-filter against the HEPA filter so it doesn’t fall out.

While not a big deal, it’s kind of annoying to have to do that.

Owner’s manual quality

LV-H126 owner's manual example pages

The owner’s manual is typical Levoit quality – clear, concise, and with good instructions & information. While it’s short, it’s pretty good and helps you get the most out of your new purifier.

The provided owner’s manual is very good quality – exactly the same level of quality I’ve come to expect from the company.

It’s somewhat short but very detailed, clear, and helpful.

Inside you’ll find:

  • Basic operation notes
  • How to set the filter replacement reminder
  • Maintenance notes
  • Very basic specifications
  • How to contact the company for support
  • Replacement filter information

Honestly, though, it’s such a simple unit to use that there’s not much you need to know. I did find one mistake, however: there’s a misprint as the replacement filter number (LV-H126-RF) was missing.

Power use measurements (watts used)

Levoit LV-H126 power use measurements in watts

Measuring power use for the purifier on all 3 fan speeds. While larger medium room (and other) air purifiers typically use around 55W, the LV-H126 uses less energy.

I measured power use to be 100% of what you can expect in everyday use. Here’s what I found.

SpeedPower (Watts)
Off 0
Low12.1
Medium20.4
High38.4

Those are pretty low power use levels. In fact, aside from the LV-H132 and similar models, many competitor products for medium-sized rooms such as the GermGuardian AC4825 use around 55 watts.

For that reason, you can expect a smaller electricity bill if you’re one of the people who leave it running 24/7.

Noise levels during use

Yep, noise levels are one of the biggest selling points for air purifiers and other air quality products sold. To make matters difficult, as it turns out I’m a light sleeper so I’m always curious to see how they perform.

(I should also note that the Levoit medium-room purifiers like the Core 300 and LV-H132 are some of the quietest on the market).

Volume measurements

Levoit LV-H126 volume measurement with decibel meter

I measured volume levels with my handy digital decibel sound meter, performed at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifiers (note that both are same in noise levels).

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.6
Low40.2
Medium44.3
High53.1

While not as quiet as some others I’ve tested (especially the Levoit LV-H162 and Core 300, for example), it’s still fairly quiet. Just don’t expect ultra-quiet operation on medium or high.

Low speed, however, is extremely quiet.

In everyday use, it’s not very loud, but definitely can be heard with a somewhat low fan noise when set to high. For overnight use, the low speed is almost too quiet to hear and the medium one is fairly quiet.

In either case, it’s still quieter than competitor models like the GermGuardian AC4100 which is fairly louder at 47/51/58 dB.

Levoit LV-H132 vs LV-H126

Levoit LV-H132 vs Levoit LV-H126 comparison image

As I mentioned earlier, the LV-H132, a best-selling model for years, has really set the standard and is one of the best-reviewed purifiers sold today. 

While its maximum fan speed is lower than similarly priced competitors from Honeywell and GermGuardian, it makes up for it in other ways.

While both models shown here have 3 fans speeds and a 3-in-1 filter design, the LV-H132 is more refined and has several features that make it a buyer favorite.

Here are some of the highlights of, and contrasts from the LV-H126, it offers:

  • 2-level night light feature
  • Electronic touch controls with backlight
  • Filter reminder light
  • Memory feature restores the last setting used automatically
  • Easy twist-open filter cover (located on the bottom)
  • Quieter operation (40/43/48dB) as it sounds much more pleasant
  • Available in black

What’s interesting is that the LV-H132 is recommended for medium-small rooms up to 129 sq. feet vs the 161 feet of the LV-H126.

Despite the fairly close volume measurements I recorded, the LV-H132 is quieter during use as it makes a softer fan sound when it works.

Both models include a 2 year warranty so that’s not a problem. My personal recommendation is to pick up the LV-H132 if you can afford it as the features and performance make it worthwhile.

(The maximum fan speed is a bit better than the LV-H126 as well).

However there’s not too much actual performance you’ll be missing, so it’s a matter of features, noise level, and price when it’s time to decide between the two. In case you’re interested, be sure to see how it fared in my hands-on review of the LV-H132 here.

Levoit Core 300 HEPA air purifier product image front

The Core 300 is a similar & updated model based on the LV-H132. It’s a competent performer and very quiet too, just like its older sibling.

While we’re at it, I also recommend checking out the very nice Core 300 that I reviewed here. It’s an updated model based on the LV-H132 that’s an excellent choice as well.

Levoit LV-H126 vs GermGuardian AC4100

Levoit LV-H126 vs GermGuardian AC4100

When comparing the GermGuardian AC4100 to the LV-H126 there are a few differences worth noting:

  • The AC4100’s odor-absorbing filter section is lesser than that of the LV-H126 (the AC4100 uses a coating on the pre-filter and not a separate filter section)
  • The AC4100 is also available in blue & pink kid’s versions with color-changing projecting ceiling night light
  • Germ-killing ultraviolet light (UV-C) feature is built-in with the AC4100
  • The AC4100 is louder when in use
  • 3-in-1 just like the Levoit

Both units use a rotary fan speed switch with 3 speeds available. However, the AC4100 is a bit louder in my experience – I measured volume levels at 47/51/58 dB (vs 40.32/44.3/53.1 for the LV-H126).

As they’re priced about the same, at first glance it might seem like a close call. However, after owning & testing both I recommend the LV-H126 over the AC4100 just a bit.

Simply put, both are good quality and the UV-C feature of the AC4100 may seem like a huge benefit, but in reality it has a small effect so it shouldn’t be a major buying decision.

Rather, the LV-H126 features a better activated charcoal filter attached to the HEPA filter frame. It’s a bit more capable than that of the AC4100.

Additionally, I like how the LV-H126 blows clean out around the front with a 360° style rather than directly in front like its competitor. To add to that, the LV-H126’s recommended room size (161 sq. ft.) beats the smaller 78 square feet of the AC4100.

If you’re looking for one for child’s bedroom, however, the GermGuardian AC4150 models with the wonderful projecting night light are a great choice.

You can see my detailed review of the AC4100/AC4150 here.

Review score & summary

If you’re considering a small-room purifier, Levoit’s a great manufacturer to look at and the LV-H126 is a good choice, too. Although I still recommend checking out its bigger brothers, it’s worth a look if you’ve got a budget to keep.

I was pleasantly surprised at the filter quality, as, despite their similarities, both the filter quality & room size coverage beats that of the competing AC4100.

Not only that, while it’s a basic model missing the convenience features found in the larger sibling LV-H132, it works well and it’s not too loud during use. Airflow is good and the style is nice as well.

I like it, and if you’re tight on money or only need a smaller room purifier, I believe you will too!

Levoit LV-H1226 air purifier product image

It’s also a top-rated choice as well. Find out now why it's one of the best small air purifiers today at Amazon.

Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10
  • Quality - 9.9/10
    9.9/10
  • Value - 8/10
    8/10
  • Ease of use - 10/10
    10/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 7.9/10
    7.9/10
  • Features - 7/10
    7/10
  • Noise levels - 7.9/10
    7.9/10

Not fancy, but well-done small purifier that's affordable and works well.

From one of the leading companies today, the LV-H126 doesn’t have the great features of the best-selling siblings the LV-H132 and Core 300. However, it’s an affordable smaller air purifier that does what it’s supposed to well. With a simple control, it’s basic & easy. Styling is nice, and the unique 360° front air output means fresh air is distributed more evenly.

The 3-stage filter design works well and airflow is good. In fact the odor control filter is more advanced than that of similarly priced competitors. Not as quiet as the more advanced models, it’s still lower in noise than many competitors and not too bothersome. While it lacks electronics, it’s a good choice that won’t let you down.

Pros

  • 161 sq. ft. coverage
  • Better active carbon filter
  • Easy filter replacement
  • Affordable filters ($12+)
  • Lower power use
  • Include 2 extra pre-filters
  • Good airflow rate
  • Filter reminder wheel
  • 2 year warranty
  • Free extended 1 year warranty
  • Good customer support

Cons

  • Limited color styles
  • No filter replacement light
  • Manual control
  • No power indicator
  • Could be quieter
  • Lack electronic features

LectroFan Evo White Noise Machine Review – A Great Little Sound Machine For Your Money

LectroFan Evo review featured image

The LectroFan white noise machine has hands-down been one of the best white noise machines for years. However, there’s a new option out there – the updated version called the LectroFan Evo.

How does it compare to the older classic LectroFan? What do you need to know before buying?

In my hands-on review of the LectroFan Evo white noise machine, I’ll show you how it stacks up.

Be sure to check out my sound sample recordings, too, so you can hear what it sounds like in real life without spending a dime!

Contents

Getting familiar with the LectroFan Evo white noise machine

Adaptive Sound Technologies product family image showing LectroFan Evo compared

Adaptive Sound Technologies Incorporated (ASTI) offers an interesting family of sound masking/sleep machines to choose from. Nearly all have the same basic purpose: they create different types of white noise to help block out annoying & distracting sounds so you can focus, study, relax or sleep better. Pricing & features vary from model to model with the LectroFan Classic & Evo being very similar.

For years Advanced Sound Technologies Incorporated (ASTI)’s bestseller has been the super-popular LectroFan white noise machine, now referred to as the “classic” model.

While the Classic is still a great choice (you can see my detailed LectroFan Classic review here), the Evo is an updated model with a few differences you might like to know before buying.

Almost all of the company’s products are noise machines that help by blocking bothersome noises and can provide relief for relaxing, focusing & studying, and most importantly, sleep.

Solid-state technology

While some competitors offer similar products based on older technology (like the Marpac Dohm for example), the LectroFan Evo uses solid-state electronics technology with no moving parts.

For example, while some older sound machines use a fan and electric motor to generate noise by moving air rapidly, the Evo uses a sound generator board and speaker. (There are a couple of advantages this offer which I’ll cover as we go).

Power supply & new features

You can use the Evo with 2 power sources:

  • AC (wall) power using the included AD-DC USB adapter
  • Any computer USB port or USB charger

The Evo offers 2 separate categories of sounds: Fan sounds & noise sounds. 10 fan sounds are offered while noise now offers 12 (the original LectroFan machine offers 10 noise sounds – the Ocean and Surf sounds weren’t part of those).

LectroFan Evo sound list

#Fan soundsNoises
1Large fanBrown
2Industrial fanChestnut
3Mellow fan-lowCinnamon
4Mellow fan-highTan
5Exhaust fanAmber
6Attic fanCream
7Circular fanPink
8Vent fanCoral
9Box fanChampagne
10Oscillating fanPure white
11Ocean
12Surf

A 60-minute timer feature lets you drift off to sleep and have the noise machine turn itself off, which I really like.

LectroFan Evo white noise machine product image - charcoal color

In case you don’t like the white version there’s a sharp-looking black available, too. Additionally, the Evo model now adds a headphone jack at no extra cost.

Unboxing & first impressions

LectroFan Evo unboxing images

Opening up the LectroFan Evo’s packaging to see what’s inside & how good the quality is – first impressions mean a lot!

After owning & testing the LectroFan classic model, I was so curious as to what might be different from the updated version aside from the obvious styling changes.

Mine came quickly from Amazon and I got started using it right away! Right away I got a great impression from the packaging & contents – well done all the way.

Right away after opening the box you’ll find a handy insert telling you how to reach out to ASTI in case you’ve got questions or a problem. Excellent!

What’s in the box?

LectroFan Evo white noise machine package and included items

Shown: Inside the box, you’ll find the owner’s manual, customer support insert, the Evo unit, the AC-DC 5V USB adapter, and a USB power cable.

What are the 2 extra pieces in the LectroFan box?

The box includes:

  1. The AC to DC adapter with USB jack (1 amp output adapter)
  2. A USB to barrel connector power cable, pre-installed in the Evo

Note that you don’t have to use the AC/DC adapter if you don’t want to – other USB adapters or jacks will work just fine too, which is a huge convenience especially if you’re traveling.

Getting it ready to use

LectroFan Evo connecting power cable & adapter example images

While the LectroFan classic model needed to have the power cable inserted before use, my Evo arrived with it pre-installed (top)…not that it’s any real hassle to do. After removing the Evo, you’ll plug the USB end of the power cable into the AC/DC adapter. Just plug it into any outlet and you’re ready.

While the LectroFan classic model requires quickly inserting the DC power cable into the jack, located on the bottom, my Evo came with the cable pre-installed surprisingly. While the Evo also has a built-in cable retainer to keep the wiring in place, it’s straight unlike the curved placement used in the classic model.

Either way, it’s a snap to get going: Just remove everything from the packaging, plug the USB connector on the end into the AC/DC adapter, then plug it into the wall.

You’ll be ready for soothing white noise in seconds.

Build quality & fit and finish

LectroFan Evo white noise machine closeup images

Shown: Close up images of the Evo white noise machine. It’s well-made and has a nice matte finish on the outside which I really like. Build quality and the fit & finish are very good!

always insist on giving products I test a thorough “once-over” to get a real hands-on look at the quality and also to look for signs of great – or poor – build & manufacturing. It’s a great way to find the little details that tell you what you’re getting for your money.

Once in my hands, what I found was no different than the great little LectroFan classic that came before it: the Evo is well-made, with great fit & finish. It’s well put-together and mine showed excellent signs of build quality with no defects.

I’m relieved because after owning & testing the Classic model I would have been really disappointed if it didn’t live up to ASTI’s reputation anymore. However, I’m really happy with what I found.

It’s also solid in the hand, too – there’s a bit of weight to it, telling me it’s not an “el cheapo” like some of the lower-quality competitors out there.

Taking it apart: What’s inside?

LectroFan Evo internal parts closeup image

Breaking down the LectroFan Evo assembly. The main parts that make it up are the top & bottom housings, the sound board, and the loudspeaker. To produce good bass that helps block outside sounds, a thin black foam material is used to seal the speaker housing when assembled.

What can I say? As an engineer, I’m always really curious about how different things work. I took it apart to peek into not just how it works but also the quality of the parts used.

The LectroFan uses 2 main parts to work:

  • A loudspeaker
  • Electronic sound generator board

The speaker used is small but does well – mostly importantly that’s possible because ASTI has designed the Evo to have equalization (EQ) built into the software. In other words, the audio software used to generate sounds not only makes up for weaknesses of the speaker but also boosts sound frequencies where needed.

Even though it’s a little speaker there’s a hearty magnet that’s used to drive the cone well. Additionally, it’s a full-range model speaker. In my audio design experience, small doesn’t mean weak when it’s well designed.

The sound board

I’ve seen some pretty cheap electronics in my day, but the Evo doesn’t use bottom-dollar parts or a cost-cutting design. It’s a quality double-sided printed circuit board (PCB) with modern parts & fits a whole sound generator plus amplifier into a very small size.

The board contains the push button switches, a sound generator microprocessor chip, and an audio amplifier chip.

What separates the Evo from lower-priced competitors (and makes the soothing white noise possible) is the built-in equalization used for the sound.

Because of that, sound patterns are custom-tailored to generate not just different sound types but also enhanced bass which is important for blocking bothersome outside noise.

I’ll talk more about the actual sound output later as we go.

Checking out the controls & how to use them

LectroFan Evo control panel labeled

I really like the Evo’s controls – so simple & straightforward. It’s a breeze to use and there’s a few more functions included that you don’t see at first glance, either.

What I look for is controls that aren’t a pain to use – and I’m happy to say the Evo didn’t let me down there! While they’re nearly identical to the older classic model, the buttons use printed icons instead of the text labels used before.

The controls are extremely easy to use and getting used to it becomes second nature in no time at all.

The buttons have a great “feel” (feedback and good resistance to your fingertip when pushing) in addition to being really easy to understand. As a built-in convenience feature (which can be disabled), after connecting power, the last used setting will automatically start playing.

Pretty neat!

1. How to use the controls

It’s as easy as powering the unit on-off. From the factory, when turned on, the last setting you used will start playing automatically.

However, one thing I need to explain is that the last mode & volume setting isn’t saved unless the unit is turned off with the power button instead of just disconnecting power. Otherwise, the last one you were using when you turned it off with the power button will be restored.

Fresh out of the box the first sound used is noise sound #1: brown noise.

Don’t worry, though – you can disable this (see below for details). 

Choosing sounds & adjusting the volume

Each time you select the Fan or Noise sound button, the last sound you used will start playing. That’s because the last one is saved when you change modes or turn the unit off.

Personally, I’d go crazy if I had to rotate through the sounds all over again every time. Fortunately, it’s smartly designed and everything works smoothly so that’s not a problem.

As I mentioned at the beginning, there are 10 fan sounds and 12 noise sounds to choose from. Selecting sounds works like this:

  1. Push the fan or noise button to scroll through each of the sounds in each category, starting with #1 (Brown noise or Large Fan, accordingly).
  2. Once the last sound is selected, pushing the button again triggers a “whoop” sound indicating it’s starting back again at sound #1.

It’s really simple in practice, and you can also move through them quickly too if you like (the Evo will keep up with your button presses no problem).

2. Using the sleep timer

To use the sleep timer and have it shut off automatically, just push the button. 60 minutes later it’ll turn off by itself.

Unlike the older classic model, however, there’s a sound played you press the timer button. You’ll hear a short “whoop” sound.

You can add additional time, too, which is great. Just push the timer button as many times as you like to add time in 60 minute increments.

The Evo offers a maximum of 8 hours delay before shutting itself off. To disable the countdown, just turn the power off then back on again.

3. Turning off the auto-start feature

From the factory, the device is set to automatically start producing the last sound you used when it was turned off when powered is plugged in again (after having been removed).

What’s cool is that you can turn this feature off easily. To do so:

  1. Turn it off using the power button
  2. Press and hold the volume down button
  3. Push and release the power button

You can also restore the feature but to do so you’ll need to reset it to the factory settings. That’s as easy as holding down the power button when it’s turned off. After about 3 seconds you’ll hear a pulsing sound which means you’ve restored it to the original settings.

Notes about the headphone jack

LectroFan Evo headphone jack closeup image

The Evo model now offers a great feature the classic LectroFan didn’t – a 3.5mm (1/8″) headphone jack. It’s a really cool feature to have, as you can use your favorite standard or noise-canceling headphones to enjoy unlimited soothing sound any time!

The headphone jack works well and it’s a great feature. I rely on both my standard and especially my new Sony noise-canceling headphones heavily. The Evo makes it possible for me to enjoying soothing background sounds without having to play an MP3 or YouTube track in the background

You can also use the headphone jack to play white noise through any audio system with an auxiliary (AUX) stereo input, too!

Unfortunately, there’s a minor flaw with the design. Unlike other devices I’ve used, the volume doesn’t lower automatically when you plug in the headphones.

You’ll have to be sure to turn the volume when using the headphones before plugging them in. Otherwise, you’ll get a loud blast to your ears like I did!

What does the LectroFan Evo sound like?

Yeah, this is definitely one of the most popular questions around for these kinds of sound machines – and an important one, too! I wanted to be as helpful as possible but be brief, too, in sharing how they actually sound.

The Evo uses a built-in equalization (EQ) design to compensate for weaker sound ranges of the speaker as well as boosting or cutting certain sound frequencies to produce the sounds you hear.

Long story short, the Evo generates artificial sounds based on brown noise patterns. Each sound is a variation of brown or white noise and some have pitch & sound adjustments to simulate an electric fan running.

There are a few things to know:

  • For the Noise function, starting with Brown (#1), each sequential selection increases the pitch in the upper ranges of the noise.
  • Fan sounds are essentially brown noise but then don’t increase in pitch with each additional sound pattern. Instead, they’re unique with a different combination of sounds to simulate what each type of electric fan would sound like.

To help explain better, I’ve recorded all the sounds from each category for you to hear:

LectroFan Evo demonstration video #1: Noise sound sample video

LectroFan Evo white noise machine noise sounds demo

In this video, I start with the default (first) sounds, brown noise. I then go through the other 11 sounds and loop back to the 1st one again by using the noise sound button to show you how it works.

You can hear the short “whoop” sound after the 10th noise sound is played. That means it’s starting back over at sound #1.

The last 2 sounds, Ocean and Surf, are different as the volume slowly rises and falls rather than being a continuous volume like the other 10. Also, they’re slightly lower in volume, too (see my volume measurements further below).

LectroFan Evo demonstration video #2: Fan sound sample video

LectroFan Evo white noise machine fan sounds demo

In this recording, you’ll hear all 10 simulated electric fan sounds the unit offers. I start with the first (Large Fan) and go through the remaining additional 9 sounds before returning back to the first.

How the LectroFan produces white noise and fan sounds

LectroFan Evo brown noise EQ & RTA analysis snapshot labeled

A real-time analyzer (RTA) snapshot of the sound frequencies produced by the brown noise sound from the LectroFan. As you can see, there’s a “bump” (higher amount of volume) in the bass region. That’s because it’s designed to produce good bass frequencies that help block out distracting & bothersome sounds.

To help explain how it works, I’m posting snapshots from using a calibrated microphone and my sound analyzer program that allows us to “see” the sounds tones & volume for each from the noise patterns generated.

The sounds are noise patterns produced by the microprocessor/sound generator chip on the electronic board inside.

This sound pattern then is amplified and used to drive the loudspeaker.

By looking at the range of sounds on the analyzer we can see how the LectroFan works to help us concentrate or sleep better:

  • For all sounds you can choose, it produces a higher volume in the bass frequency range that is important for blocking distracting outside sounds.
  • Additional higher-pitched sounds are used to change the overall sound type and can mask (hide) other sounds, too.

The LectroFan Evo does a very good job of masking sounds by producing enough bass. That’s important because many bothersome sounds like traffic, the human voice, music, and others produce sound frequencies within the bass regions you see here.

Those are some of the most annoying & hard to block sounds so it’s important that a white noise machine is designed to cove up (“mask”) those well. 

Mellow fan – low example

LectroFan Evo mellow fan sound EQ & RTA analysis snapshot

The “mellow fan – low” setting for the device is seen here. As with all other sounds, there’s plenty of bass to block outside noise, with the addition of some different higher-pitched sounds to simulate an electric fan.

Pink noise example

LectroFan Evo pink noise EQ & RTA analysis snapshot

The pink noise output of the LectroFan is seen here. Pink noise is often used for audio testing & set up, but also can be used to block outside sounds, too. Here you can see there’s more volume in the higher-pitched range of frequencies than other sounds produced.

Questions & answers: Things to know before buying

Does the LectroFan Evo noise machine get loud?

Image showing measuring LectroFan Evo white noise volume with decibel meter

Measuring the volume of the LectroFan white noise machine using different sounds using a decibel meter.

I think the best way for me to answer the question, “Does the LectroFan Evo noise machine get loud?” is by comparing it to a few other things. Part of the problem is that “loud” can mean different things to different people.

Basically, the Evo has a moderate volume output at the maximum volume setting. When compared to say turning up the volume on a powerful home stereo or very loud TV, then no it’s not as loud – nor is it designed to be.

It is loud enough, however, for many common sounds you’d like to block that are of low to medium volume.

It’s also important to remember that to our ears, certain sounds seem louder as we’re more sensitive to those. Because of that, the volume you hear will depend on the fan or noise sounds you’re playing.

To show you some real data, I measured the maximum volume from 1 meter (3.28 feet) using a sound volume meter. All measurements are in Decibels (dB).

Sound/NoiseVolume (dB)
Large fan76.5
Oscillating fan69.1
Brown noise72.9
Pure white noise72.9
Ocean (max.)70.8
Surf (max.)57.9

To simplify, at its highest volume the LectroFan is about 6-8 dB louder than an average conversation between people (around 60+dB). However, the full-range noise sounds like Pure White seem much louder because they have a lot more upper-frequency sounds than the others.

Ultimately, the best way for me to answer this question is to say this: the LectroFan Evo has a medium loudness, good enough for blocking average & relatively normal volume outside sounds.

It’s not enough to block very loud sounds – but no white noise machine I’ve ever seen can do that. In extreme cases, you’ll still need earplugs or noise-canceling headphones if the outside noise is just too much.

I should note that the Ocena and Surf noises have a lower maximum volume than the others, for some reason. Still, they’re definitely a nice addition vs the older model.

Does the LectroFan Evo sleep machine have noticeable loops?

No, the Evo doesn’t loop or have a fixed recording that stops and starts again as some devices do.

That’s because it’s a continuous sound generator and doesn’t have that problem.

That’s great because the “skip” sound (brief pause & interruption) that happens with looping is distracting and can interrupt your relaxation since many people notice it.

What white noise blocks best?

In my experience, there isn’t a best white noise for everyone – it can depend on both what you like as well as the particular sounds you’re trying to block. However, from my personal experience I find these to be some of the best:

Fan sounds:

  • Attic fan (#6)
  • Vent fan (#8)
  • Oscillating fan (#10)

Noise sounds:

  • Brown (#1)
  • Tan (#4)
  • Amber (#5), Cream (#6), & Pink (#7)

Note that I mentioned the last few as in some cases if you’re dealing with bothersome outside sounds with a higher pitch you’ll need them to help block them. 

The new Ocean and Surf noises are really nice for relaxing and drifting off to sleep gently. They’re really not designed to block sounds, at least not like the others you can use are.

really like them, though, as they’re very relaxing!

Can I plug the Evo into a computer USB port?

Yes! In fact, you can use a wide range of USB 5V power sources:

  • Home or laptop PC USB jacks
  • Cell phone chargers with USB ports
  • External battery packs (take it on the go!)
  • Car USB phone charger ports

When plugging it into a computer, however, it won’t connect to your operating system so you don’t need drivers or any software. It only uses the electrical provided by the port (0.5 amps or less).

LectroFan Evo vs LectroFan Classic

LectroFan Evo vs Classic comparison image

As I mentioned in the beginning, the Evo is an updated version of the classic LectroFan design and there are a few minor differences to be aware of when shopping.

The Evo model is extremely similar aside from a new cosmetic design & styling. Here’s a list of the differences vs the classic model:

  • The push button controls are identical in function but are redesigned and use pictures instead of word labels.
  • A headphone jack is provided.
  • The fan & noise options are identical, but the noise category adds 2 new sounds: ocean & moving surf (12 total).
  • The slanted top of the Evo model directs the sound output slightly better – but not in a really beneficial way.
  • Slightly more bass sound output than the classic model (I noticed the bass produced is several decibels louder).
  • The timer button now sounds a short tone when you push it.
  • The AC/DC adapter stands horizontally in a power outlet, not vertically as most do.
  • When compared to the LectroFan Classic, the Evo is a bit less “crisp” in the sound output – there’s a slightly reduced amount of higher-pitched sounds. (This isn’t really an issue, however).

Those aren’t major differences, though. In case you’re wondering, at the time of this review the Evo and the LectroFan classic are priced close to the same depending on where you shop.

Both have the same great build & design quality, I’m very happy to report!

LectroFan Evo vs Classic side view comparison

Ultimately it really comes down to whether or not the few small differences are what you need. For example, the 2 new sounds and the addition of a headphone jack.

Honestly, I’m still very fond of the original LectroFan as after owning it I understand why it’s a best seller!

Front view of the LectroFan white noise machine close up

The original LectroFan design (the “classic” as it’s sometimes called) features a hexagonal design and a more plain control panel than the Evo. Also, there’s no headphone jack available. 

I will say, though, that I really like the ocean & surf sounds on the Evo. The gentle changing sound effects they offer are very nice and can really put you in a very relaxing state of mind!

LectroFan Evo vs Marpac Dohm

LectroFan Evo vs Marpac Dohm comparison image

I’m a former owner of the Marpac Dohm and I happen to know it’s still a popular unit. In fact, I’ve seen it used in many quiet offices such as study rooms & therapy offices where privacy and focus are very important.

After owning and testing both, here’s what you need to know;

  • The LectroFan Evo is much more energy-efficient and can be powered from both AC power & USB power. The classic Marpac Dohm can only be used with a standard wall outlet.
  • Both are available with other color options including black.
  • The Marpac Dohm is larger than the Evo – nearly twice as tall.
  • The Marpac Dohm is very limited in the sound tones it can produce and volume, too.
  • While the Evo has no parts to wear out, the Marpac uses a traditional motor and fan design.

Honestly, in my opinion, the LectroFan Evo far outways the Marpac Dohm by a longshot.

The only real advantage I can think of for the Marpac is that it generates “real” white noise (more of a brown noise) since it uses a motor to turn a small fan and move air. To be honest, after using 2 of the best from LectroFan I feel like the Dohm is a poor value compared to them.

The problem with it is that I notice the Marpac’s sound is sort of “hollow” because of the plastic used and that it’s not as solid as the LectroFan, despite them both being made from plastic.

That always bothered me about the Marpac Dohm model.

Advantages of the LectroFan Evo vs Marpac Dohm

The sound made by the Marpac is very limited. You can adjust the sound tone a bit by rotating the outer plastic shell, but there’s almost no real adjustment.

The LectroFan lets you pick from a lot more sounds as it simulates both electric fans and 10 different noise patterns.

While the Marpac has only two volume settings (low speed & high speed, for lower & higher volumes, respectively) the LectroFan gives you a lot more control over it.

One thing really seals the deal for me, though: I can take my Evo anywhere and it’s not a problem finding a power source!

Unlike the Marpac, I don’t have to use it only with an AC power outlet – any USB power jack will do.

Also, the LectroFan is also smaller and fits into my backpack or luggage no problem when I travel.

Owner’s manual quality

One thing I absolutely HATE is a poor quality owner’s manual that doesn’t clearly help you use the product you just bought or leaves you with unanswered basic questions. The Advanced Sound Technologies has done a great job with the manual – it’s simple, clear, and well-written with everything you need to know.

I cover the quality of the owner’s manual because I’ve had experiences in which I couldn’t correctly use something I bought because the manual was terrible! I’m thrilled to say that’s not a problem here.

While it’s short, it’s clear, easy to follow and spells out everything you need to know about your Evo. I love it – it’s a great booklet and you’ll be up and going in no time at all.

My thoughts after using it in everyday life

LectroFan Evo white noise machine in a bedroom

I’ve been using my LectroFan Evo white noise machine in both my bedroom & small office. I really like it – it’s small enough to stay out of the way, it works great, and it really does improve my quality of sleep & help me focus during my work. 

After owning the LectroFan Evo for some time, here’s what I really think:

  • It does work! Once I picked one of my favorite noise or fan sounds, I noticed I felt calm & more focused right away.
  • The fan sounds are relatively close to what real electric fans sound like – don’t expect them to sound exactly like a real electric fan. The sounds produced are a simulation for the purpose of helping to block outside sounds.
  • It’s really easy to use & deal with both during the day and night. I like it, and it wasn’t long before using it became second nature. It really is that easy to use.

I’ve noticed it helped me in several ways: both for sleep and for work. I know many people who’ve told me they need some “background noise” in order to go to sleep and it’s an excellent solution for that.

Not everyone wants to have to hear music or the TV on in the background. With the LectroFan, you can use a soothing sound that won’t bother your spouse, roommates, or other people.

Did you know? You can also use it for helping to calm and relax pets, too!

Review summary: Is the LectroFan Evo worth it?

It may be true that there are cheaper competitors out there. However, in this case, the old saying is true: you get what you pay for.

The LectroFan Evo is an updated design that doesn’t lose track of why its predecessor the LectroFan Classic became an all-time best seller. It’s well-made, smartly designed, and gives you a lot of electric fan and white noise sounds to pick from.

Unlike some others out there, it’s easy to power from any AC outlet, phone charger, or even your computer USB port! I’m impressed yet again with what Advanced Sound Technologies has done and I’ve really enjoyed owning one myself.

It’s just so darn good to hear wonderful, soothing white noise!

Don’t waste any more time suffering from poor sleep, anxiety, or problems focusing. Head over now and see the thousands of rave reviews and happy buyers at Amazon.

Overall
8.9/10
8.9/10
  • Quality - 10/10
    10/10
  • Sound options - 8.4/10
    8.4/10
  • Value - 8.2/10
    8.2/10
  • Ease of use - 10/10
    10/10
  • Features - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Sound quality - 8.2/10
    8.2/10
  • Sound blocking effectiveness - 8.6/10
    8.6/10

A fresh take on a popular & proven classic, the Evo offers very nice white noise options. Good things do come in small packages!

Although the differences are minor, the Evo is an update to the best-selling LectroFan white noise machine. Included are 2 great new sounds in addition to a cosmetic update. The headphone jack is a welcome bonus at no extra cost. It’s well-designed and what you get for your money makes it a much better value than many stale, outdated competitors.

Offering pleasant sleep, study, and calm relief for many buyers, it’s a quality choice that won’t let you down. Ready to sleep better or enjoy quiet on your terms? It’s a sure bet!

Pros

  • USB & AC power options work well
  • Headphone jack
  • New ocean & surf sounds added
  • Low power draw (0.5A max)
  • Ideal for travel
  • Great design & build quality
  • Good bass response/EQ for effective noise blocking
  • Black color option
  • Good customer support options
  • Auto-off timer feature
  • Very easy to use
  • Auto-start/memory features
  • Extended warranty available
  • Carrying case available

Cons

  • Headphone volume not reduced when connected
  • Pricier than some competitors
  • Maximum volume could be better
  • Electric fan sounds could be more accurate
  • No battery power option
  • Auto-off timer 60 min. increments only
  • Pure white noise sound seems unneeded
  • Extended warranty is a bit expensive ($20)

A Hands-On LectroFan White Noise Machine Review: It’s A Classic And A Great Choice!

LectroFan Classic white noise machine review featured image

The LectroFan is one of today’s best-selling and most popular white noise machines you’ll find…but is it all it’s cracked up to be? And is it really worth almost $50?

After hands-on testing and using it in my everyday life, I’ll tell you what I’ve found and if it’s a good choice or not.  

I want to help you make the right choice so I really worked hard to share all the details you need before spending a dime.

Be sure to check out my provided recordings of the fan & noise sounds, too!

Contents

Getting to know the LectroFan white noise machine

Adaptive Sound Technologies product family image showing LectroFan Classic compared

Adaptive Sound Technologies Incorporated (ASTI) has a full range of different sound machine products they offer. Nearly all share the same basic functionality: they produce white noise to help block distracting sounds & give relief from many common problems. Depending on the model, each has more or fewer features for particular customer needs.

The LectroFan white noise machine (also called the “classic” model for reference) is one of Adaptive Sound Technologies Incorporated’s best-selling & most popular products.

Nearly all of the company’s products are used to provide relief for common problems like distracting noise or sleep issues by generating different types of white noise. Unlike the design used in some competitors such as the Marpac Dohm noise machine, the LectroFan & other ASTI products use solid-state technology.

No moving parts are used such as a fan and electric motor, for example. It’s all done using electronics and a speaker.

LectroFan features & basic things to know

The white noise machine works from a 5V power supply. You can use the provided AC-DC adapter or, for added convenience, you can plug it directly into nearly any USB jack.

The LectroFan Classic provides a total of 20 sounds: 10 noise and 10 fan sounds divided into 2 sound categories chosen from the Fan or Noise button settings.

LectroFan Classic sound list table

#Fan soundsNoises
1Large fanBrown
2Industrial fanChestnut
3Mellow fan-lowCinnamon
4Mellow fan-highTan
5Exhaust fanAmber
6Attic fanCream
7Circular fanPink
8Vent fanCoral
9Box fanChampagne
10Oscillating fanPure white

There’s also 60-minute timer that lets you drift off to sleep and have the noise machine turn off by itself.

LectroFan white noise machine black colorIn case the white color doesn’t suit your fancy, the LectroFan Classic model is also available in a handsome black color, too.

Unboxing & first impressions

LectroFan white noise machine unboxing

I’ve been looking forward to owning & testing the LectroFan especially since it’s easily one of the best-selling devices out there of its kind.

Finally, I got my hands on one! It’s well-packaged and I got a great impression right away. 

When opening the box up, you’ll find a handy insert telling you how to reach out to ASTI in case you’ve got questions or a problem. Very nice.

What’s in the box?

LectroFan white noise machine included items

Shown: Inside the box you’ll find the owner’s manual, customer support insert, the LectroFan unit, and AC-DC 5V USB adapter, and the USB power cable.

What are the 2 extra pieces in the LectroFan box?

Inside the box, you’ll find 2 very important parts. These are the AC-DC USB 5V power adapter and the USB-DC plug power cable.

There’s also a nice owner’s manual and a customer service insert in case you need to reach out for help or questions.

Getting it ready to use

Image showing installing LectroFan white noise machine power cable before use

Before using the LectroFan and enjoying soothing white noise or one of the fan sounds, you’ll need to install the power cable as shown. It’s easy, however, and only takes a few seconds.

Since it’s not pre-installed, I had to connect the included USB-to-barrel connector style power cable. To do so, it’s just a matter of plugging in the round (barrel) connector into the jack.

On the bottom of the sound machine are two wire guides that help to keep the wire in place on your table or nightstand. The wire simply pushes into those and there’s a line molded on the back of the unit to help you guide the wire.

Once installed, it forms a curved shape as you see here. That’s it – it’s quick and easy!

Build quality & fit and finish

LectroFan sound machine close up quality & construction images

Close up images of the white noise machine. It’s really well-made and looks to be a quality little device. Mine looked great upon closeup inspection with no defects or cosmetic problems, either.

As I always like to do, I gave the LectroFan a closeup lookover to check for any quality control or design defects and so forth. I’m happy to say it looks great!

Quality is excellent, and there are no noticeable gaps or fit and finish problems. It’s well put together and obviously isn’t an “el cheapo” device.

Overall, I’m very happy with mine and it’s all I expected from the company (especially because there are thousands of happy buyer reviews).

One thing I noticed right away that it’s really solid in the hand – and there’s a bit of weight to it, too.

It doesn’t at all feel cheap or flimsy like some others I’ve seen. It’s solid and I’m impressed with what they’ve done!

Taking it apart: What’s inside?

LectroFan white noise machine internal parts disassembly closeup image

I disassembled my LectroFan to check out the internal parts. Inside is a nicely designed sound generator board and a small but beefy loudspeaker that generates the sounds you hear.

What can I say? As an engineer, I’m really curious about how different things work. I took apart my unit to peek into not just how it works but also the quality of the parts used.

I have to say it’s well done!

The LectroFan uses 2 main parts:

  • A loudspeaker
  • Electronic sound generator board

The speaker’s small, but based on my audio electronics design experience it’s a good one. A hefty magnet & decent power rating told me right away they chose this based on the ability of the speaker to create good bass & sound range.

The electronic board inside is well-done and looks good (as opposed to much cheaper boards I’ve seen in products in the past).

The board contains the push button switches, a sound generator microprocessor chip, and an audio amplifier chip. I also noticed there’s a thin foam sheet attached to the plastic housing that helps seal it off for the best sound response just like a speaker box.

That’s not all that’s required, though – the critical part, the sound patterns it makes, are designed into the software to create the right equalization (EQ) needed to help block noise.

More about that later.

Checking out the controls + how to use it

LectroFan white noise machine illustrated controls diagram

The controls on the LectroFan are really simple & straightforward. It’s a breeze to use and includes an additional feature not shown here which I’ll explain below.

It’s really simple to use – it was like second nature to me in only a minute or two.

The control quality is great and the soft rubber push buttons have a good “feel” to them. After connecting power, the unit will automatically turn on to the default or last set noise sound selected.

That’s an option you can change, however, so don’t worry!

1. How to use the controls

It’s as easy as powering the unit on-off. When turned on, the last used sound you used will start playing automatically.

However, one thing I need to get across is that the last setting isn’t saved unless the unit is turned off with the power button instead of just disconnecting power.

In other words, the last setting you used to be restored automatically the next time you use it, you’ll need to have turned it off with the power button. If not, the last one saved will be used if power is removed then restored.

Fresh out of the box the first sound used is brown noise.

Choosing sounds & adjusting the volume

Each time you select the Fan Sounds or Noise Sounds button, the last sound you used will start playing. That’s because the last one is saved when you change modes or turn the unit off.

That’s great because I’d go crazy if I had to rotate through the sounds all over again each time! Fortunately, it’s smartly designed and everything works smoothly, making it easy.

As I mentioned at the beginning, there are 10 fan sounds and 10 noise sounds to choose from. Selecting sounds works like this:

  1. Pushing the fan or noise button scrolls through each of the 10 sounds in each category, starting with #1 (brown noise).
  2. Once sound #10 is reached, pushing the button again triggers a “whoop” sound indicating it’s starting back again at sound #1.

It’s really easy to use & you can push the button very quickly if you like.

2. Using the sleep timer

To use the sleep timer and have it shut off automatically, just push the button. 60 minutes later it’ll turn off by itself.

What I don’t like, however, is that unlike other models you don’t hear a short tone to indicate you’ve pushed the button. You can also add extra time (in increments of 60 minutes each button push) if you like, which is nice.

Unfortunately, the manual doesn’t state what the maximum time you can use is but I believe it’s 8 hours (8 button pushes).

3. Turning off the auto-start feature

From the factory, the device is set to automatically start producing the last sound you used when it was turned off when powered is plugged in again (after having been removed).

What’s cool is that you can turn this feature off easily. To do so:

  1. Turn it off using the power button
  2. Press and hold the volume down button while pressing & releasing the power button

You can also restore the feature if you like, as the instruction manual tells you how.

What does the LectroFan white noise machine sound like?

Since this is a really important question for this kind of product, I really wanted to do it right! I’ll go into a lot of detail, but I’ll try to keep it relatively short

The LectroFan uses a built-in equalization (EQ) design to compensate for weaker sound ranges of the speaker as well as boosting or cutting certain sound frequencies to produce the sounds you hear.

Long story short, the LectroFan produces artificial sounds that are based on brown noise. Each sound is a variation of brown or white noise and some have pitch & sound adjustments to simulate an electric fan running.

There are a few things to know:

  • For noise, starting with Brown, each sequential selection increases the pitch in the upper range of the noise.
  • Fan sounds are mostly similar to noise too, but a little bit different because they’re not made to reproduce pure noise. They don’t increase in pitch but are different unique sounds altogether.

Rather than just reading about it, check out the sounds I recorded here to help.

LectroFan demonstration video #1: Noise sounds

LectroFan Classic sound machine white noise sound demo

In this video, I start with the default (first) sounds, brown noise. I then go through the other 9 sounds and loop back to the 1st one again by using the noise sound button to show you how it works.

You can hear the short “whoop” sound after the 10th noise sound is played. That means it’s starting back over at sound #1.

LectroFan demonstration video #2: Fan sounds

LectroFan Classic fan sounds demo

In this recording you’ll hear all 10 simulated electric fan sounds the unit provides. I start with the first (large fan) and go through the remaining additional 9 sounds before returning back to the first.

How the LectroFan produces white noise and fan sounds

LectroFan brown noise EQ frequency snapshot example

A real-time analyzer (RTA) snapshot of the sound frequencies produced by the brown noise sound from the LectroFan. As you can see, there’s a “bump” (higher amount of volume) in the bass region. That’s because the unit is purposely designed to produce good bass frequencies to help block out distracting & bothersome sounds.

To help explain how it works, I’m posting snapshots from using a calibrated microphone and my sound analyzer program that allows you & I to “see” the sounds produced for some example noises.

The sounds are noise patterns produced by the microprocessor/sound generator chip on the electronic board inside.

This sound pattern then is amplified and used to drive the loudspeaker.

By looking at the range of sounds on the analyzer we can see how the LectroFan works to help us concentrate or sleep better:

  • For all sounds you can choose, it produces a higher volume in the bass frequency range that is important for blocking distracting outside sounds.
  • Additional higher-pitched sounds are used to change the overall sound type and can mask (hide) other sounds, too.

The LectroFan does a very good job of masking sounds by producing enough bass. That’s important because many bothersome sounds like traffic, the human voice, music, and others produce sound frequencies that within the bass regions you see here.

Those are some of the most annoying & hard to block sounds so it’s important that a white noise machine is purposely designed to help.

Mellow fan – low example

LectroFan mellow fan sound EQ frequency snapshot example

The “mellow fan – low” setting for the device is seen here. Still plenty of bass to block outside noise, with the addition of some different higher pitch sounds to give simulate an electric fan.

Pink noise example

LectroFan pink noise EQ frequency snapshot example

The pink noise output of the LectroFan is seen here. Pink noise is often used for audio testing & set up, but also can be used to block outside sounds, too. Here you can see there’s more volume to the higher-pitched range of frequencies.

Questions & answers: Things to know before buying

Does the LectroFan noise machine get loud?

Image showing measuring volume of the LectroFan noise machine with a Decibel meter

Measuring the volume of the LectroFan white noise machine using different sounds.

To give you the basic answer, in general, it’s moderately loud to medium, depending on the sound you choose. It’s not “loud” when compared to other things like a loud stereo, a TV turned up very high, and so on.

It’s also important to remember that to our ears, certain sounds seem louder as we’re more sensitive to those. Because of that, the volume you hear will depend on the fan or noise sounds you’re playing.

To show you some real data, I measured the maximum volume from 1 meter (3.28 feet) using a sound volume meter. All measurements are in Decibels (dB).

Sound/NoiseVolume (dB)
Large fan73.8
Oscillating fan69
Brown noise71
Pure white noise77.5

To sort of summarize, at the highest volume, the LectroFan is about 6-8 dB louder than an average conversation between people (around 60+dB). However, the full-range noise sounds like Pure White seem much louder because they have a lot more upper-frequency sounds than the others.

Ultimately, the best way for me to answer this question is to say this: the LectroFan has a medium loudness, good enough for blocking average & relatively normal outside sounds.

It’s not enough to block very loud sounds – but no white noise machine I’ve ever seen can do that. In extreme cases, you’ll still need earplugs if the outside noise is just too much.

(Yes, that’s me speaking from personal experience as a light sleeper!)

Does the LectroFan sleep machine have noticeable loops?

The LectroFan doesn’t loop or have a fixed recording that stops and starts again as some devices do.

That’s because it’s a continuous sound generator and doesn’t have that problem.

That’s great because the “skip” sound (brief pause & interruption) that happens with looping is distracting and can interrupt your relaxation since many people notice it.

What white noise blocks best?

In my experience, there isn’t a best white noise for everyone to use with it. However, from my personal experience I find these to be some of the best:

Fan sounds:

  • Attic fan (#6)
  • Vent fan (#8)
  • Oscillating fan (#10)

Noise sounds:

  • Brown (#1)
  • Tan (#4)
  • Amber (#5), Cream (#6), & Pink (#7)

Note that I mentioned the last few as in some cases if you’re dealing with bothersome outside sounds with a higher pitch you’ll need them to help block them.

Can I plug my LectroFan into a computer USB port?

Yes! In fact, you can use a wide range of USB 5V power sources:

  • Home or laptop PC USB jacks
  • Cell phone chargers with USB ports
  • External battery packs (take it on the go!)
  • Car USB phone charger ports

When plugging it into a computer, however, it won’t connect to your operating system so you don’t need drivers or any software. It only uses the electrical provided by the port (0.5 amps or less).

LectroFan Evo vs Classic

LectroFan Evo vs Classic comparison image

The LectroFan Evo is the company’s update to the LectroFan white noise machine. That’s why I mentioned the name “Classic” at the beginning of my review, as it helps separate the original (Classic) from the Evo.

The Evo model is extremely similar aside from a new cosmetic design & styling. Here’s a list of the differences vs the classic model:

  • The push button controls are identical in function but are redesigned and use pictures instead of word labels.
  • A headphone jack is provided.
  • The fan & noise options are identical, but the noise category adds 2 new sounds: ocean & moving surf (12 total).
  • The slanted top of the Evo model directs the sound output slightly better – but not in a really beneficial way.
  • Slightly more bass sound output than the classic model.
  • The timer button now sounds a short tone to indicate you pushed it.

Those aren’t major differences, though. In case you’re wondering, at the time of this review the Evo and the LectroFan classic are priced almost exactly the same.

The Evo still has the same quality design & construction I’ve enjoyed with its older sibling, I’m very happy to say.

LectroFan Evo vs Classic side view comparison

The small differences are worth considering if you love ocean sounds or use headphones regularly. Aside from that, don’t lose any sleep over buying the Classic vs the Evo.

I’m still a fan of the classic and I’ve been happy with it so far. (Don’t feel like you’re missing out on any big features if you don’t buy the Evo, that is!)

Close up top view of the LectroFan Evo white noise machine

The Evo is an updated version of the classic LectroFan design. Functionally, it’s nearly identical but adds 2 new noise sounds, a headphone jack, and otherwise minor changes.

Honestly, it’s a matter of personal preference and whether or not having access to a headphone jack is a dealbreaker for you.

I will say, though, that I really like the ocean & surf sounds on the Evo. The gentle changing sound effects they offer are very relaxing.

LectroFan vs Marpac Dohm white noise machine

LectroFan vs Marpac Dohm comparison image

I’m a former owner of the Marpac Dohm and I happen to know it’s still a popular unit. In fact, it’s often used in “quiet rooms” and therapy offices, for example, for added privacy and calm.

After owning and testing both, here’s what you need to know;

  • The LectroFan is more energy-efficient and can be powered from both AC power & USB power. The Marpac can only be used with a standard wall outlet.
  • Both are available with other color options including black.
  • The Marpac Dohm is larger than the LectroFan – almost twice as tall.
  • The Marpac Dohm is very limited in the sound tones it can produce and volume, too.
  • While the LectroFan has no parts to wear out, the Marpac uses a traditional motor and fan design.

Honestly, in my opinion, the LectroFan far outways the Marpac Dohm by a longshot.

The only real advantage I can think of for the Marpac is that it generates “real” white noise (more of a brown noise) since it uses a motor to turn a small fan and move air.

The problem with it though is that I notice the Marpac’s sound is sort of “hollow” because of the plastic used and that it’s not as solid as the LectroFan. That always bothered me about the Marpac Dohm model.

Advantages of the LectroFan vs Marpac Dohm

The sound made by the Marpac is very limited. You can adjust the sound tone a bit by rotating the outer plastic shell, but there’s almost no real adjustment.

The LectroFan lets you pick from a lot more sounds as it simulates both electric fans and 10 different noise patterns.

While the Marpac has only two volume settings (low speed & high speed, for lower & higher volumes, respectively) the LectroFan gives you a lot more control over it.

One thing really seals the deal for me, though: I can take my LectroFan anywhere and it’s not a problem finding a power source.

Unlike the Marpac, I don’t have to use it only with an AC power outlet – any USB power jack will do!

The LectroFan is also smaller and fits into my backpack or luggage no problem when I travel.

Owner’s manual quality

LectroFan owners manual close up example images

Not too much to add here, except that the owner’s manual is well done. It’s clear, helpful, and explains how to use your noise machine properly.

It’s a bit short since there isn’t much material to cover, but it’s great for getting started with your LectroFan right away. Advanced Sound Technologies is also a really good company to deal with for customer service, I might add.

My thoughts after using it in everyday life

Image of LectroFan white noise machine in bedroom

I’ve been using my LectroFan white noise machine in both my bedroom & small office. It’s a nice little unit, and I noticed I felt calmer & more focused right away after picking a sound I liked! It’s also great for taking naps too (haha).

After owning the LectroFan for some time, here are my honest thoughts, both good and bad:

  • It does indeed help! Once I picked one of my favorite noise or fan sounds, I noticed I felt calm & more focused right away.
  • The fan sounds are fairly close to what real electric fans sound like but don’t expect them to sound the same. Some tones that you hear with a real electric fan (like a box fan) just aren’t there. 
  • It’s really easy to use & deal with both during the day and night. I like it, and it wasn’t long before using it became second nature.

I’ve noticed it helped me in several ways: both sleep and for work. I know many people who’ve told me they need some “background sound” in order to go to sleep, and it’s a great choice for that.

Not everyone wants to have to hear music or the TV on in the background. With the LectroFan, you can use a soothing sound that won’t disturb others as well.

Review summary: Is the LectroFan worth it?

While there are cheaper units out there, ASTI’s LectroFan proves the old saying that “you get what you pay for.” In my opinion, it’s definitely worth it.

It’s a great little unit that works well, is simple to use, and really does help for blocking typical sound problems to help you focus, sleep better, or just unwind and relax.

Don’t expect it to be able to block extreme noises as no white noise machine can do that.

While I wish the fan sounds were as accurate as real-life fans, that’s a small gripe. It’s a great little unit that’s well-designed and helps keep unwanted bothersome sounds from affecting your quality of life.

Add the ability to power it from any USB or AC source and you’ve got a winner. I’m glad I bought mine and I’m sure you will be, too!

LectroFan white noise machine white colorTake my advice and don’t pass it up! Take a moment and find out now why it's one of the all-time highest-rated and best-selling white noise machines at Amazon.

Overall
8.8/10
8.8/10
  • Quality - 10/10
    10/10
  • Sound options - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value - 7.8/10
    7.8/10
  • Ease of use - 10/10
    10/10
  • Features - 8.7/10
    8.7/10
  • Sound quality - 8.2/10
    8.2/10
  • Sound blocking effectiveness - 8.6/10
    8.6/10

A great little white noise machine that does it right. Solid quality, ease of use, and good design make it a smart choice.

Is it the cheapest you can find? No. However, the LectroFan is one of the best-selling & most popular white noise machines for a reason: It’s a quality product that does what it’s supposed to well. While the electric fan sounds could be better, they provide soothing & effective masking of bothersome outside sounds. With 10 fan sounds & 10 noise options, you’re sure to find several that work best for you.

Controls are super simple and a breeze to use. Power options are good both at home and on the road. Compared to competitors like Marpac, it’s a better value & offers a lot more features & control. Thanks to smart design it’s effective at blocking many common noise problems to help you sleep, relax, and enjoy a better quality of life. You won’t regret picking one up!

Pros

  • USB & AC power options work well
  • Low power draw (0.5A max)
  • Ideal for travel
  • Great design & build quality
  • Good bass response/EQ for effective noise blocking
  • Black color option
  • Good customer support options
  • Auto-off timer feature
  • Very easy to use
  • Auto-start/memory features
  • Extended warranty available
  • Carrying case available

Cons

  • Pricier than some competitors
  • Maximum volume could be better
  • Electric fan sounds could be more accurate
  • No nature sounds provided
  • No battery power option
  • Auto-off timer 60 min. increments only
  • Pure white noise sound seems unneeded
  • Extended warranty is a bit expensive ($20)

My Hands-On GermGuardian AC4900CA Review – How Does It Rate?

GermGuardian AC4900CA review featured image

In my review of the GermGuardian AC4900CA, I’ll cover performance, quality, features, any flaws I found, and much more. After being an owner for so long I’ve learned a lot.

I wanted to find out how the AC4900CA stacks up not just against other popular products from the company (like its twin the AC4825) but also its main competitors.

Read on to find out what I found and see if it’s a great choice for your home, too. (Hint: I love mine!)

Contents

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

GermGuardian AC4900CA packaging
My AC4900 purifier arrived well-packaged and securely held in place. After opening it I found the owner’s manual located conveniently on top. There’s practically NO setup! Just unbox it, unwrap, and get started enjoying it!

My new purifier came well-packaged. The AC4900CA arrived in great shape as its held in place both at the top and bottom using recycled cardboard inserts. It’s an eco-friendly touch I appreciate.

Unboxing is simple and there’s no fuss whatsoever: just remove the packaging inserts, power cord plug cover, and the protective plastic bag.

You’ll find the owner’s manual placed on top upon opening the box.

As I already own and really enjoy similar and incredibly popular GermGuardian AC4825, I was really curious how it would compare. Is it just as good? How does it look, sound, and work?

It’s time to dig in and find out!

Build quality

GermGuardian AC4900CA closeup quality image

Build quality is just as good as I’ve come to expect after owning & testing many GermGuardian products. Fit and finish are great, with no manufacturing defects or cosmetic issues. The AC4900 has a unique brushed metal appearance that’s stylish and modern. It’s a satin silver-gray effect I like.

As I always do, I ran the purifier through a series of once-over inspections I do as a basic check for build quality issues and any noticeable problems.

I’m happy to say the AC4900 is just as nicely put together as its sibling the AC4825.

Despite having a sturdy plastic housing, it looks more expensive than it really is (just like its sibling, it usually sells below $100) and looks quite nice.

Build quality & overall impression

The assembly is great. Construction is solid, with no misaligned body parts or noticeable flaws of any kind. The body features a very nice simulated brushed metal (satin) finish that works well.

Both the front air grill and the controls are smartly matched in color just right.

While it’s very modern and stylish in design, it manages to not stand out too much. That is, it doesn’t look out-of-place in modern rooms.

Quite the contrary – it resembles a classy and modern appliance.

Checking out the controls

GermGuardian AC4900CA front controls image

Just like the AC4825, the controls are extremely simple to use and are together in one place. On this model, they’re forward-facing (and not on top). The controls work well and have a great “feel” when used. They’re tight, responsive, and don’t feel cheap. I like them.

Using the purifier is extremely easy. While it doesn’t have the more advanced electronic controls of some competitors, one advantage is simplicity.

Not everyone is well-suited to push button controls, after all.

To use the AC4900, just turn the fan speed to 1 of 3 settings (low, medium, and high). The power light will show when the unit is switched on.

To use the UV-C germ killing feature, there’s a momentary on-off push button switch. When turned on the blue UV-C light will light on as well.

The controls feel good – they’re not too “light” and not too firm. In other words, they’re firm enough to be easy to use but not easy to accidentally change.

The fan switch is also quiet and doesn’t add any annoying sounds when in use.

However, one thing kind of irritates me although it’s not really a big deal: when using the UV-C feature, turning the main power off sets the UV-C option back to the off state the next time you use it.

There’s no memory feature for that. I don’t understand it…but again, it’s a minor complaint I have, and that’s all.

Specifications

GermGuardian AC4900CA Specifications
  • Room size rating: 155 sq. ft (medium room)
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • CADR Rated 101+ (Clean Air Delivery Rate)
  • Low-noise fan setting
  • Replaceable UV bulb
  • Dual-section blower fans
  • Simple rotary control
  • Pushbutton on/off UV switch
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replacement indicator
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
  • Power use: 55W (max. fan speed)
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 9.84 lbs (21.7 kgs)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: top front
  • Size: 8.87 x 7.125 x 21.75″

Size and thoughts on using a “tower” purifier

AC4900CA height measurement image

At just under 22 inches in height, the AC4900 definitely isn’t a small model. “Tower” purifiers are those that are taller than they are wide and don’t use a low-profile design.

They’re normally taller by design due to the use of more internal fans which is the case for this model as well. Additional fans are used to offer better air cleaning performance by a higher airflow rate.

It’s definitely important to make sure you have enough room for it before buying. However, at only about 9″ or so at its widest point, it fits nearly anywhere in my experience.

Note that you’ll need to be sure to keep a few feet (say 3 feet) unblocked space behind and in front of it to allow proper airflow so it can work as intended.

Purifiers need a fair amount of unrestricted space to circulate and clean the air in a room.

Carrying the purifier

GermGuardian AC4900CA carrying handle image

The built-in handle works well to help you move it within a room. It’s a nice feature I’ve always loved in the other models I own as well.

One feature that I really appreciate is the built-in carrying handle that’s in the top rear of the body. It’s large enough so that you can grip the purifier easily when moving it around.

It’s a nice touch that you don’t always see on competing products. On occasion when I needed to reposition the unit (like during cleaning, opening doors, etc) it came in handy.

Air cleaning ability & performance

GermGuardian FLT4825 dirty filter vacuum example image

The purifier’s filter (the FLT4825 filter included from the factory) trapped a LOT of dust! You can extend the pre-filter life by vacuuming off excessive hair or dust as needed as you can see I did here. Dust is a very bothersome air quality problem in my home and the AC4900 made a big difference when I used it regularly.

Recommended for medium-sized rooms up to around 155 square feet in size, it’s well suited for many homes, offices, and other living areas.

While you can use it in larger rooms, I don’t recommend doing so as that increases the time required for it to cycle the air and trap particulates. For larger rooms, you’re better off with a larger model like the AC5000 large room purifier.

During testing my AC4900 was really helpful at helping me deal with my biggest air quality problem: dust.

As you can see above, it trapped a lot of that terrible dust that plagues my air and covers surfaces regularly.  Additionally, the activated carbon filter cut down on odors and any nasty airborne vapors I had due to cleaning products or even food in the room.

Just be sure to remember that air purifiers work by cycling air in the room. It takes a few hours to completely cycle and clean a room’s air. You’ll also want to use it regularly as well.

I often leave mine running all day while I’m gone.

GermGuardian AC4900CA filter and grill

The AC4900CA HEPA filter with prefilter attached alongside the rear cover/grill.

GermGuardian AC4900 square feet coverage and room size

While it’s recommended for medium-sized rooms (up to 155 square feet) there’s absolutely no reason you can’t use it in smaller rooms!

In fact, smaller rooms would greatly benefit even more – you’ll find it cleans the air even faster in that case.

For reference, rooms about 155 square feet in size are roughly a 10 x 15.5 ft. Also, note that this is an estimated size recommendation. It’s doesn’t have to be used in a room that’s exactly that size.

Filter ability

GermGuardian AC4900CA filter close up
The AC4900’s HEPA filter (white) is made of a folded, dense fiber material. The prefilter is a (black) thin mesh material that works to trap larger elements like dust and hair as well as trap odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The HEPA filter is a “true” HEPA model in that it meets the requirements for excellent air filtering performance. It’s a great filter and works well in my experience.

A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is combined with a prefilter/activated charcoal filter. The HEPA filter is fantastic for trapping the most common air quality contaminants like those that cause allergies.

Some of the most troublesome air contaminants the AC4900 can remove are:

  • Pet dander
  • Pet hair (thanks to the pre-filter)
  • Dust mite allergens
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Home construction particles
  • Smoke residue
  • Smoke odors
  • Chemical and organic odors
  • Chemical vapors

The “3-in-1” name used for advertising purposes comes from the 2-section filter and the addition of the UV-C germ killing feature.

The filter is an assembly in which the replaceable prefilter is attached to the HEPA filter using a Velcro-type attachment.

The prefilter’s job is to capture larger particles (such as dust, pet hair, lint) and prevent them from wasting the HEPA filter material. Additionally, the activated carbon filter in the material can absorb and trap odors, airborne chemical vapors, perfumes, and more.

The true HEPA filter captures an amazing 99.97% of particles passing through it down to 0.3 microns in size. That’s less than 1/1,000,000 of a meter. That’s incredibly small! Such elements aren’t visible to the human eye as they’re microscopic in size.

It’s a great filtering system and works well. After having an initial break-in period in which the “new product smell” had time to disperse, the filters worked great and I came home to very fresh and comfortable air.

Note: the prefilter can be replaced separately to save money. You won’t have to buy a complete replacement filter set, I’m happy to say.

The ultraviolet light (UV-C) germ killing feature

GermGuardian UV-C and Ti02 germ killing badges

One trademark feature of the family of air purifiers from Guardian Technologies is the addition of an ultraviolet (UV) based germ killing feature.

The system operates using a special UV-emitting bulb along with a titanium oxide (TiO2) germ killing device. Working together these render sickness-causing germs and other microbes harmless.

The UV light bombards the molecular structure as they pass through the purifier and works to destroy them, essentially. In order to work, you’ll have to have the fan speed in positions 1-3 as it requires airflow to work.

You’ll also need to manually switch on the feature when you’d like to use it.

There’s a built-in safety switch that prevents the unit from operating when the rear cover and rear filter are removed. The light is totally enclosed so there’s no chance of UV exposure as well.

Unlike the AC4825, the feature’s on-off switch keeps the feature on the next time you turn the purifier back on.

UV-C LIGHT
UV-C light technology works with filters to enhance the elimination of airborne germs. Titanium Dioxide is activated by the UV-C light to decompose remaining odor molecules
caused by smoking, cooking and pets.AC4900 owner's manua

Does the AC4900CA produce ozone?

Does the AC4900CA produce ozone that can potentially cause headaches? That’s a common question I’ve learned is on the minds of many potential air purifier owners.

As I explained in this post, filter-based purifiers won’t contribute anything unhealthy to the air as they don’t produce emissions, gases, or by-products.

The AC4900CA is perfectly safe and healthy. It does not produce ozone.

Filter & UV bulb replacement indicators & cost

Replacement indicator lights

AC4900CA power and UV indicator lights image

Both filter replacement and UV bulb replacement indicators use the existing power and UV on/off lights. When a replacement is needed or the filter should be checked the indicators change colors.

There’s a great set of features built in to let you know when it’s time to check the filters for replacement and install a new UV bulb.

After 6 months of use the front green LED light will change to red and blink indicating it’s time to check the filters. Likewise, the UV indicator will change from blue to solid red to show the bulb is no longer working and should be replaced.

If your filter has had very light use and isn’t in need of a replacement you can reset the indicator by holding the UV-C button for 5 seconds.

ConditionMeaning
UV indicator turns from blue to red(UV bulb needs replacement
Power light turns red & blinkingFilter needs check/replacement

Filter life and costs

GermGuardian FLT4825 replacement filter
The FLT4825 is the genuine replacement filter from GermGuardian. The package includes a HEPA filter and the active carbon filter section. While the original filter set is only around $30+, you can save money by buying 3rd party replacements.

Filter life is around 6-8 months depending upon use and the level of particulates in the air where it’s used.

As an example, consider that cigarette produces a significant amount of particles as well as odors that will become trapped in both filter sections. You can definitely expect a limited filter life in that case.

For lighter use filter life will be extended, however, and replacement periods will be fewer and further in between.

Replacement filters cost around $30 or so for the genuine GermGuardian set. However, 3rd party budget models like this contain a less expensive filter. Or some include 2 filters in the box.

If you’re trying to keep costs down those are great options. Don’t forget that the prefilter can be replaced separately if the HEPA filter isn’t totally used-up.

Prefilters are also available in economical 4-packs as well.

How to replace the filter

AC4900CA filter replacement how-to diagram

Filter replacement is VERY simple and only takes a handful of seconds to do. I was very happy with how easy and straightforward it was.

Filter replacement is a breeze! So simple and fast. I was very happy with the design and how I was up and going in only a few seconds.

To do so, you’ll just have to do the following:

  1. Press down on the release tab on the rear cover
  2. Pull the cover down and out (there’s 2 tabs on the bottom that sit in slots)
  3. Using your fingers, pull the filter out to remove it
  4. Replace filter using the opposite motion
  5. Insert the cover’s tabs in the base
  6. Swing the cover up and snap the release tab back in place

That’s it! You’re done and ready for more great air cleaning.

UV-C bulb replacement & pricing

GermGuardian AC4900CA UV bulb cover diagram

Image showing the UV bulb cover removal screws. Replacement is simple and only really takes a handful of minutes. You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver (not included) to replace a dead bulb.

LB4000 UV replacement bulb
The replacement UV bulb, part #LB4000. They’re priced around $25. The life rating is 10-12 months, although some few owners have reported shorter life. However, I haven’t had any issues with mine.

Expect to pay close to $25 for a replacement UV bulb. You’ll need a Philips head screwdriver (not included) to remove the rear metal shield that covers it. Afterward, replacement is as easy as unplugging the old one and inserting the new one.

I found it easy to do. If you’re not comfortable with tools I’d recommend having a friend or family member do it for you.

Bulb life is estimated at 10-12 months of use, although a few owners have reported that their bulbs died after only a few months. However, mine has been fine.

The owner’s manual

GermGuardian AC4900CA owners manual image

Just as I’ve come to expect the owner’s manual was again clear, detailed, and easy to read. All basic & important information is included. There’s also information about how to contact the company as well as replacement part numbers.

I always check the owner’s manuals when reviewing products because I know how frustrating it can be when information is lacking or confusing.

After unpacking my purifier I flipped through the manual. It’s clear, well-written, and gets right to the point. It’s also printed in English, French, and Spanish.

Although short (about 10-12 pages for English, I think) it’s concise and good. Inside you’ll find:

  • How to use your purifier
  • The indicator lights (power, air filter replacement reminder, and UV light bulb replacement)
  • Replacement filter model specs
  • How to contact support
  • Power consumption
  • Specifications: size, weight, and square feet coverage

Honestly, the purifier is so darn easy to use it’s really not necessary, although if you’re a first-time buyer I’d recommending brushing up on product use tips.

However, one thing did annoy me: the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings aren’t inside as well as a few other specs missing. They’re available elsewhere (especially the GermGuardian site).

If you’re not familiar with these ratings from the American Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), it’s a voluntary standard way of testing purifiers.

Noise levels during use

The manufacturer lists the AC4900CA as a quiet (low-noise) purifier, and in my testing I found it to be true.

  • Low speed (#1) is fairly quiet, and suitable for sleeping if you’re a light sleeper like me
  • Medium (#2) is actually not very loud. It’s hardly noticeable at all if I’m watching YouTube or listening to music
  • High (#3) has a moderate level of noise and can be masked by the sound of your TV or radio. However, it’s fairly noticeable but not loud.

The high setting is useful for fast and the most powerful cleaning of air contaminated with odors, smoke, etc.

I think most people will be able to sleep well with it on low or medium. While not as quiet during low-speed as others like the Levoit LV-H132, I’m happy with it.

Additionally, you’re trading performance for lower noise, unlike others.

The main reason it’s not as quiet as some competitors is because it uses 2 fans for more airflow to be more effective at cleaning the room’s air.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

I prefer to personally measure, record, and verify the noise levels of the products I test. My sound level meter is used with a consistent measurement to get a good reading of typical real-world use. It’s a good way to be sure the data backs up my opinions & experiences during testing.

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier. Here’s what I found:

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.3
Low42
Medium51
High58.3

A note about the sound while running

One thing I’ve noticed – and let me be very clear…it’s not a big deal – is that during use, there’s a characteristic “hum” of some type produced.

It’s a by-product of how this family of air purifiers work. The electric motor is driven by a control board which quickly switches power on and off to the motor to keep a desired speed.

It’s just a minor trait, and I actually rarely hear it at all. However, after first buying the purifier, you may hear it for a few hours since it’s brand new and hasn’t been broken in yet.

Based on my testing, measurements, and personal use I believe it’s a quiet purifier and has a nice, pleasant sound.

Night brightness

GermGuardian AC4900CA in dark room image

Although the design has front-facing LED indicators, it real use at night they’re not a distraction for me. Unlike some others they’re dim enough that they don’t annoy me or interrupt my sleep. However, it’s important to note that the human eye is especially sensitive to blue light, so you may want to switch off the UV-C feature at bedtime.

Unlike some competitors in its room size range that I’ve tested, there’s no way to dim or turn off the indicator lights.

However, in practice, I didn’t find them to be a bother at night. Then again, as the human eye is especially sensitive to blue light, I did switch off the UV-C feature at bedtime.

Interestingly enough, the front-facing LEDs are a style feature only on the AC4900CA. They’re not shared by Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer, Eliminates...

Both lights have a soft glow that’s not overbearing in my opinion. They don’t “light up the room” or anything like that. Fortunately it’s obvious that smart design went into keeping the brightness level low.

If you’re a light sleeper like me you don’t have anything to worry about. If necessary, you can always face the purifier at an angle if you’d like to use the UV-C feature at night but not see the blue light.

AC4900CA vs AC4825

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca image
The AC4825 (left) is the super-popular counterpart to the AC4900CA (right). They’re essentially identical in performance, features, and even share the same internal functional parts. Both also use the same replacement filters, making more filters available.

In case you weren’t aware, the AC4900CA is in fact a twin to the wonderful and best-selling AC4825. I’ve owned and really enjoyed for a long time now.

There are few, if any differences between the two. However, as far as details go, one is the unique glowing blue trim ring around the top which the AC4825 has. It’s a very handsome design and looks great.

Curious to learn more? Read my GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC4900CA detailed comparison.

While not as popular as it’s twin, the AC4900CA offers a cool and fresh take on the traditional black design of the other. Air cleaning performance and specs are the same as well.

GermGuardian AC4900CA vs the Honeywell HPA100

Honeywell HPA100 air purifier image

Of the products on the market, in my opinion one of the best and most comparable is the Honeywell HPA100. It offers some features the AC4900 doesn’t but it’s also lacking in a few areas. It’s available in a white version as well. Room size coverage is also the same at 155 sq. ft. It’s a competent rival to the GermGuardian.

After testing, owning, and enjoying the AC4900CA I can confidently say it’s a winner and a great choice. However, there are other choices out there, and one of the best comes to mind.

Although it’s not even close to the popularity of GermGuardian models, the Honeywell HPA100 is a truly solid performer, is well made, and offers electronic touch controls instead of manual controls.

If you prefer those features it’s worth considering as well.

Filter replacement is a bit more complicated as it uses multiple standard-sized Honeywell replacement filters. Additionally, the design is a bit odd in that the prefilter doesn’t attach to the HEPA filter(s) like the GermGuardian design.

Features the HPA100 offers that the AC4900 doesn’t are:

  • Electronic touch controls
  • A Turbo high-speed setting
  • Auto-off timer

However, there’s no germ killing feature offered. That’s absent in the Honeywell HPA series of purifiers, and it’s unfortunate. You’ll also pay a few dollars less for the GermGuardian model as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the features of the HPA100, but I’m a happy GermGuardian owner and have become really fond of them. I’m not sure if I could ever give them up!.

Review summary

The AC4900CA is a worthy bearer of the GermGuardian name. It shares the same performance, quality, and ease of use I’ve come to love from the ones I own.

While not as popular as its sibling AC4825, it’s great-looking and gets the job done quietly. I’m sure you’ll grow to love yours just as much as I have.

My advice? Don’t pay full price. Head over to get a better price and see nearly 500 buyer reviews at Amazon.

Overall
8.8/10
8.8/10
  • Quality - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Value - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Ease of use - 9.8/10
    9.8/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 9/10
    9/10
  • Features - 7/10
    7/10
  • Noise levels - 8.8/10
    8.8/10

Well-made and solid, the AC4900CA provides great air purification in a uniquely style package.

The GermGuardian AC4900CA turned out to be a real treat to own, test, and use daily – I love mine! A functional twin to the incredibly popular AC4825 model, it provides identical performance with a unique style. Just like its sibling it’s incredibly easy to use, works, well, and it’s quiet too. And just like the other one, I’ve grown fond of it quickly. People who want an air purifier that “just works” without any fuss or complicated controls will appreciate it.

Noise levels are low, filter replacement is super easy, and the UV-C germ killing feature is an added bonus not found on most competing products. While it doesn’t offer fancier features I really love such as electronic controls or an auto-timer like Honeywell, the benefit is a better value for your dollar. You get the same (or more) room coverage for less money than many others sold today. Air cleaning performance is great and the ability to replace the prefilter separately can really help keep costs down. It’s a great choice and I’m happy to recommend it to anyone.

Pros

  • Great air coverage for its price range
  • AHAM Verified & Energy Star Certified
  • True HEPA filter + prefilter/carbon filter
  • Very easy to operate
  • UV-C feature kills germs – not found in many competitors
  • Carry handle built-in
  • Dual-fan design
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replacement reminder
  • 3-year warranty
  • Maintenance is easy to perform
  • Low operational noise
  • Reliable
  • Well-built
  • Available in functionally identical AC4900CA model
  • Prefilter/carbon filter separately replaceable
  • Won’t tip over easily

Cons

  • UV-C feature has no memory feature
  • No auto-sensing self-operation feature
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • Blue light may draw attention to eyes at night
  • Tall height may not be suitable for all users
  • Rotary manual control fan speed switch (vs electronic)
  • No other color options available for this model
  • You’ll need to buy 3rd party filters to save money as originals are more expensive

GermGuardian AC4825 Air Purifier Review – Hands-On Test & Details

GermGuardian AC4825 review featured image

After having to deal with dust and other air quality issues, I picked up a GermGuardian AC4825 of my own. It wasn’t hard to find – after all, it’s one of the most popular purifiers sold today.

In my GermGuardian AC4825 review I’ll help you decide if it’s a good buy or not. I own it and I’ve put it through its paces personally.

I’d love to help you make the best buying decision for your money and experience better air at home just like I have. Believe me when I say a good air purifier is a great buy – but you’ve got to shop wisely.

Contents

My AC4825 video review

GermGuardian AC4825 Air Purifier Review - Honest Review

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

GermGuardian AC4825 packaging and unboxing image

My AC4825 arrived quickly and after removing it from the shipping box, inside was a purifier I’d come to love soon enough. It’s well-packaged and the owner’s manual is placed right on top to be sure you find it easily. Eco-friendly recycled corrugated cardboard is used for the packaging and it’s easy to unbox. We’re off to a great start!

I’m no stranger to air purifiers and home air quality products, so I didn’t think I would get excited about another air purifier. It turned out I was wrong.

For some reason, it was still fun to pick up my AC4825 from the UPS Store for the first time and unbox it. What is it really like, I wondered? How well does it work?

It arrived well-packaged and features recycled cardboard inserts that hold it in place. The owner’s manual is right on top so you can’t miss it when opening it up the first time.

Build quality and fit & finish

GermGuardian AC4825 closeup quality image
After opening and unpacking it (which consisted of removing the corrugated cardboard inserts – styrofoam isn’t used with this one) I finally to check it out and turn it on!

The AC4825 is built with a solid, good-feeling ABS plastic body and has a nice low-gloss black finish. The top features a matte silver finish with a satin black top section surrounding the controls.

I didn’t get any kind of impressions of it having any poor-quality construction or any similar flaws. It looks good, and honestly, I’m happy with it.

Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of shiny finishes on products like this, so it’s a relief that it doesn’t stand out in a flashy way in the rooms I’ve used it in.

I have to say it’s well put together and well-made. Parts line up well, are tightly assembled, and there aren’t noticeable gaps or quality control issues to speak of.

Overall, it looks like it cost more than I spent.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that gaps and misaligned parts are a sign of build issues. There’s none of that here.

Checking out the controls

GermGuardian AC4825 top down view of controls
Operating the AC4825 is extremely easy. In the picture above, you can see 1) the 3-speed fan control, and 2) the ultraviolet-light (UV-C) germ killing feature button switch.

The fan control feels great, and the switching is somewhere between a “soft” feel and a firm feel. It’s not too light, and yet not too hard to turn. I’m pretty happy with it, because it doesn’t feel like you’re going to miss position #2 and skip over to #3, for example.

The fan switch is actually quiet in operation and smooth to use.

The ultraviolet light (UV-C) germ killing feature

The AC4825, like several other GermGuardian air purifier models, features a bulb and titanium-oxide germ killing feature which radiates germs passing through it and renders them inactive by affecting their molecular and protein structures.

However, you’ll have to manually turn on this option.

To do so, the purifier must be at least in position #1 (low speed) before the control will work. You can tell it’s on by the glowing blue trim around the body as pictured here.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

When activated, you’ll see the small, thin light strip on the base of the silver decorative top glow blue from inside. Don’t worry though – you’re not in any danger from exposure to ultraviolet light. It’s safely contained inside.

I like how this feature is used as a decorative accent when active. That’s a nice touch!

One complaint I have, however, is that once it’s in use, switching the purifier off then on again won’t re-activate the feature.

You’ll have to do so manually, as there’s no memory feature (unlike some competitors) to restore the setting the next time you switch it on.

While not a “deal-breaker”, that’s a small detail to be aware of.

Specifications & CADR ratings

GermGuardian AC4825 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 167 sq. ft (medium room)
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (118), pollen (125), smoke (108)
  • AHAM Verified & Energy Star Certified
  • Low-noise fan setting
  • Replaceable UV bulb
  • Dual-section blower fans
  • Simple rotary control
  • Pushbutton on/off UV switch
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replacement indicator
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
  • Power use: 55W (max. fan speed)
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 8.65 lbs
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: top
  • Size: 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″

If you’re not already familiar with it, it’s helpful to understand more about the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) standard used by the industry. This is a voluntary lab-tested rating of an air purifier’s cleaning ability.

GermGuardian AC4825 air purifier CADR ratings AHAM label

The AC4825’s CADR ratings are shown here.

The AHAM is an organization that verifies the testing results of home appliances & performs lab testing for appliance manufacturers although it’s not required by law.

In simple terms, it’s a rating used to help you know before buying an air purifier’s effectiveness. The rating numbers mean “higher is better” as they’re lab tested using a series of tests to measure their air cleaning effectiveness.

In the case of this model, the specs are good and you’re assured you’re getting proven performance.

Size and thoughts on using a “tower” purifier

AC4825 purifier measuring height

At nearly 22″ in height, it’s not a small device. “Tower” air purifiers are simply those that are taller and don’t have a low-profile design and stand tall on the floor.

They’re taller due to having more fans to provide more airflow.

It’s important to make sure you have enough room before buying. A great place is near a door and not backed into a corner in the room.

Be sure to give it lots of room (about 2 feet in front and back) as it needs space to circulate air efficiently.

Carrying the purifier

GermGuardian AC4825 being carried by handle

One thing I like is being able to carry it easily from place to place at home using the built-in carrying handle area. At the rear of the top, there’s a recessed area where your fingers have plenty of room to pick it up securely.

It’s a nice touch I didn’t notice at first bout after moving it around to find the ideal place in my home, I found it handy.

AC4825 power use measurements

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 power use being measured

Pictured: I measured power use (in Watts) for all 4 recordings (3 speeds plus off).  I recorded power meter readings both with and without the UV-C feature switched on. Overall, it uses a relatively small amount and it’s not an energy hog at all.

How many watts does the AC4825 use?

Unfortunately, the owner’s manual doesn’t go into detail about energy for the various modes you can use.

Rather than guess, I measured power use in Watts for all speed settings with and without the UV-C feature switched on. Note that the UV-C option uses about 4W of power (larger models use 8W).

ModePower Use, UV-C OffPower Use, UV-C On
Off00
High46.4W50.6W
Medium42.2W46.4W
Low38.6W42.7W

Overall, it doesn’t use much power at any setting although it’s a bit more efficient on high or medium. For those speeds, the fan is running faster and you’ll get faster air cleaning. The drawback is a bit more noise.

As the UV-C feature uses only about 4W, there’s no need to worry if leaving it on all the time will affect your energy bill.

Air cleaning ability & performance

GermGuardian FLT4825 dirty filter vacuum example image

My purifier’s filter (the FLT4825 filter that’s installed at the factory) trapped a HUGE amount of dust! You can prolong the pre-filter life by vacuuming off excessive dust or hair as needed, which I did. Dust is a really big air quality problem in my home and the AC4825 made a big difference when in use.

I’ve let it run all day while at work so I could come home to fresh, clean air, and it works well. Where I live I have to suffer every day from heavy dust which I absolutely hate!

The purifier’s filter picked up a HUGE amount of dust and did well to relieve my problems, in addition to capturing light odors well, too.

As far as odor absorption performance goes, it’s not on par with more expensive models like the Winix 5500-2, but it’s pretty good for everyday needs in my opinion.

The thing to remember is that air purifiers work by cycling air in a room and it takes time to cycle & filter the entire room’s air.

GermGuardian AC4825 square feet coverage and room size

This model is recommended for room sizes that are medium in size. That being said, there’s absolutely no reason it can’t be used in a small room!

You’ll find that it cleans the air even faster in that case.

It’s sized for rooms about 167 square feet in size which is roughly a 10 x 16.5 ft room. Bear in mind that this is an approximate size used – it doesn’t have to be used in a room exactly that size.

When used in larger rooms the amount of time required to fully cycle and clean the air increases depending on the amount of space inside the room.

Filter ability

GermGuardian AC4900CA filter close up

The AC4825’s HEPA filter (seen here) section is made up of a folded, dense fiber material. A second section, the pre-filter/activated carbon filter is responsible for trapping larger particles as well as odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. It’s capable of excellent filtering ability and works well. The filter can capture nearly 100% of all particulates in its airflow down to 0.3 microns in size!

The high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is fantastic for removing the most common air quality issues (especially those that cause allergies!).

Here’s the basic list of air contaminants the AC4825 can remove:

  • Pet dander
  • Pet hair (thanks to the pre-filter)
  • Dust mite allergens
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Home construction particles
  • Smoke residue
  • Smoke odors
  • Chemical and organic odors
  • Chemical vapors

Essentially, this is a 2-stage filter assembly made up of 2 parts: the pre-filter/activated carbon filter and an extra 2nd section, the HEPA filter, for a total of 3 filters.

The pre-filter section is a less dense & thin section covering the active carbon filter. Its job it to capture larger items in the air like pet hair, dust, and so on before they reach the HEPA filter.

The active carbon filter traps odors and other chemical substances in the air.

Finally, the HEPA filter captures an amazing 99.97% of particles passing through it down to 0.3 microns in size. That’s less than 1/1,000,000 of a meter!

That means it’s capable of capturing elements that are much smaller than you can see with your eye (microscopic).

It’s a great filter and works well. I noticed fresher air soon after using it for the first time, and I’m pleased with it.

The UV-C germ killing feature

GermGuardian UV-C and Ti02 germ killing badgesBy touching the UV button on top, you switch on the germ killing feature. It’s a great addition not found in many competing products.

It’s also perfectly silent and doesn’t cause any noise or produce any side effects.

When on, the blue trim on the base of the silver top section glows blue to show the bulb is working. The technology works using the science of ultraviolet light (UV) to affect microbes in the air, coupled with titanium dioxide to remove airborne contaminants.

As stated in the owner’s manual:

UV-C LIGHT
UV-C light technology works with filters to enhance the elimination of airborne germs. Titanium Dioxide is activated by the UV-C light to decompose the remaining odor molecules
caused by smoking, cooking, and pets.Author

Essentially, air passing through has the UV light irradiating into it and microbes in the air are destroyed. It can help prevent sickness and other respiratory problems caused by germs.

Does the AC4825 produce ozone?

Some people wonder if air purifiers can cause headaches. As I explain more in this post, an air purifier that uses a filter to clean the air doesn’t produce emissions to cause unwanted effects.

The UV-C option is completely enclosed and you’re in no danger of skin UV exposure. The AC4825 is perfectly safe and healthy as it does not produce unsafe ozone levels.

In fact, it produces 1/20th of the level considered acceptable by the Health Canada Guideline 2010 based on exposure levels & time considered acceptable.

You’re perfectly safe and won’t have to worry about ozone while using it.

Filter & UV bulb replacement indicators & cost

Replacement indicator lights

The purifier features a helpful way of indicating when it’s time to check and possibly replace the filters. After about 6 months of use, the green LED near the fan switch will blink red to indicate this (see the chart below).

If your filter has had very light use and isn’t heavily used, you can reset the indicator by holding the UV-C button for 5 seconds.

In the case of replacement for the UV-C feature’s bulb, the blue light will blink.

Blinking Light TypeMeaning
Blinking blue light(UV-C glow trim blinking) UV bulb needs replacement
Red blinking lightThe filter needs check/replacement

Filter life and costs

GermGuardian FLT4825 replacement filter
The FLT4825 is
the genuine replacement filter from GermGuardian. It includes both the HEPA filter and an active carbon filter section, too. While the genuine replacement filter is only around $30+, you can save money by buying 3rd party replacement filters.

Expect to replace a filter after about 6-8 months; however, this depends greatly on use. For example, if you’re a smoker or have indoor pets you can expect to replace the filter when reminded.

For situations where the air quality demands are lower you’ll get even more life out of it.

Replacement filters cost around $30 (or a bit over that) for the genuine GermGuardian brand. However, 3rd party budget models are available which contain 1 less expensive filter or 2 filters in the box. If you’re concerned about maintenance costs that’s a great option.

How hard is it to replace the filter?

GermGuardian AC4825 filter removal image
Filter replacement is easy and only takes a few seconds. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is.

It’s just a few simple steps:

  1. Press down on the release tab on the rear cover
  2. Pull the cover down and out (there are 2 tabs on the bottom which rest in tab slots)
  3. Using your fingers, pull the filter out and down to remove it
  4. Replace filter using the opposite motion
  5. Insert the cover’s tabs in the base
  6. Swing the cover up and snap the release tab back in place

…and you’re done! I’ve demonstrated this in my video review as well, so be sure to watch that if you’re interested.

UV-C bulb replacement & pricing

GermGuardian AC4825 UV bulb cover diagram

UV bulb replacement is pretty straightforward. The owner’s manual clarifies what you’ll need to do for bulb replacement (which is typically after 10-12 months). You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver (not included) to remove 2 screws, unplug the old bulb, and insert then a new one. Overall, it’s pretty simple to do, so don’t worry about it. Additionally, if you rarely use the feature you’ll never have to do it, anyway.

LB4000 UV replacement bulb
The GermGuardian replacement UV bulb #LB4000. Expect to pay around $25 or so for one when replacing it. The company’s life rating is 10-12 months, although a few owners have reported shorter life (which unfortunately is a problem with many bulbs in general).

Replacement bulbs cost about $25. To replace the bulb, you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the rear metal bulb cover. It’s accessible once you’ve removed the filter after opening the cover.

Once the metal cover is removed you simply slide out the old bulb and replace it with a new one. Overall, it’s easy to do.

The bulb is rated at 10-12 months of life expectancy, although a few owners have reported that their bulbs died after only a few months.

The owner’s manual

germguardian ac4825 owners manual image
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the purifier included a solid, well-made owner’s manual with clear instructions and helpful information. Basic information like replacing the filter, UV bulb servicing, and user operation is clearly explained.

After unboxing my new purifier I reviewed the instructions and found the owner’s manual to be very clear and helpful. It is provided in English, French, and Spanish. At only 20 pages long, it’s fairly concise, but it’s good. The manual tells you the basics you need:

  • How to operate your purifiers
  • The indicator lights (power, air filter replacement reminder, and UV light bulb replacement)
  • Replacement filter model specifications
  • Power consumption
  • Specifications: size, weight, and square feet coverage

The English section is very clear and helpful. It contains 12 pages of information you’ll want to review before operating it, but honestly? This model is so easy and hassle-free to use you won’t need instructions though, honestly!

Don’t worry, I won’t leave any of the specifications off – I’ll provide them below.

(If you like, you can download the GermGuardian AC4825 manual here for your convenience)

Noise levels during use

The manufacturer claims that the unit has low noise during use and in my testing I found it to be mostly true.

  • Low speed (#1) is indeed fairly quiet, and suitable for sleeping if you’re a light sleeper like me
  • Medium (#2) is not very loud. It’s hardly noticeable at all if I’m watching YouTube or listening to music
  • High (#3) has a moderate level of noise and can be masked by the sound of your TV or radio. However, it’s fairly noticeable but not loud.

The high setting is especially helpful for fast and maximum cleaning of contaminated air. Smoke, dust, and more come to mind.

It’s honestly very quiet and I’ve found it pleasant-sounding when in use. While not as quiet during low-speed like a few competitors such as the Levoit LV-H132, I’m happy with it.

The main reason that the AC4825 is a few decibels louder is that it has not one but 2 fan sections and produces a bit more sound. Two fans move much more air than 1 and therefore, of course, add a little bit more noise than one alone.

That’s a trade-off when using a more powerful purifier like this.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.3
Low42.5
Medium50.5
High58

A note about the sound while running

I do have one minor gripe: while in operation, and although it’s fairly quiet, there’s a characteristic sound these devices produce.

Because of the dual-fan section design as well as both the motor and its electrical drive, the combination of these factors causes it to produces a “whirring” noise while in use. The noise isn’t annoying or bothersome in my opinion, but it’s something to be aware of beforehand.

Night brightness

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 in dark

The top-facing power-on LED is a green soft-glow type of indicator. It’s not too bright, but still slightly noticeable in the dark. The blue glow is produced when the UV-C feature is switched on isn’t very bright, but the human eye is more sensitive to blue light.

For that reason, my opinion is that for many people it will be fine, but if you’re especially sensitive to light when concentrating on a task on sleeping it could be an issue.

In that case, I recommend leaving the UV turned off during those times or moving it out of the way where you can’t notice it.

Not to worry though: the light brightness isn’t enough to “light up a room” or something unacceptable like that. Instead, it has a soft glow that’s not a problem in my opinion.

The AC4825 vs AC4900CA – A cool looking twin worth checking out

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca image

The AC4825 (left) has a cool-looking twin, the AC4900CA (right). It’s identical in features and performance. Interestingly enough, sometimes one model is priced lower than the other and you can save a few dollars!

You might not know this, but the AC4825 has a sibling called the AC4900CA, which is identical in performance, features, and specifications.

I’ve thoroughly compared the two here: GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC4900CA.

I’ve seen it sold for a few dollars less (for example here at Amazon) and I think the styling is nice.

It’s well worth considering, as while not as popular as its counterpart it has the same great quality and is otherwise identical.

AC4825 vs AC5000 comparison

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 comparison photo

The “big brother” to the AC4825, the AC5000E is nearly identical except for room size coverage and the UV-C bulb. It’s a great addition to your home as well. Be sure to check out my detailed comparison if you’re interested in the AC4825 but have a large room!

In case you’re not familiar with it, the AC5000 is almost identical except for its size (near 28″ tall) and better room coverage. It too is an excellent large-room air purifier and is recommended for rooms up to 193 square feet in size (med.-large).

Just like the AC4825, it features a UV-C germ killing feature although the bulb design is different. I’ve enjoyed owning one so much that I wrote a detailed comparison of the AC4825 vs AC5000 here.

GermGuardian AC4825 vs the Honeywell HPA100

Honeywell HPA100 air purifier image

The closest rival to the AC4825, in my opinion, is the Honeywell HPA100. It offers some features the GermGuardian doesn’t, although it’s lacking in a few areas. It’s also available in a white version. Room size coverage is 155 sq. ft.

In my opinion, the AC4825 is a solid, well-built, and easy to use purifier. However, there’s no shortage of competition. Although it can’t come close to the popularity of the AC4825, the Honeywell HPA100 is a solid contender with about the same room size coverage.

As I’ve reviewed several other Honeywell models like the HPA160 you see here, I can’t verify their quality and they’re pleasant to use.

Some of the features the HPA100 offers that the AC4825 doesn’t are:

  • Electronic touch controls
  • A Turbo high-speed setting
  • Auto-off timer

However, there’s no germ killing feature offered. That’s absent in the Honeywell HPA series of purifiers, and it’s a shame. You’ll also pay a few dollars less for the GermGuardian model as well.

Additionally, the pre-filter in the HPA series is a little bit more thin than the GermGuardian family uses. The touch controls of the HPA100 are nice to have but to be honest, I’ve haven’t missed them at all.

I still use my AC4825 regularly and find it so simple and easy to use…it’s still one of my favorites! However, if having an auto-off timer is an important feature for you, it’s worth your while to check out the impressive reviews for the HPA100 at Amazon today.

Review summary

Honestly, I’ve got very little to complain about with the AC4825. It cleans the air well, it’s extremely simple to use, and it’s quiet. I love it!

The AC4825 makes enjoying clean, fresh air easy and affordable.

Image of AC4825 with Editor's Choice award badgeWatch out for high prices, however! Head over to find the current sale price (and get free shipping!) at Amazon.

Overall
8.9/10
8.9/10
  • Quality - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Value - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Ease of use - 10/10
    10/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 9/10
    9/10
  • Features - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Noise levels - 8.8/10
    8.8/10

A well-performing air purifier that you'll be glad to own. No wonder it's one of the best-selling models today.

The GermGuardian AC4825 is a no-frills tower air purifier with simple operation and good air cleaning ability. It lacks a few fancier features when compared to more expensive models, but it’s a better value. Room coverage (med. rooms, 155 sq ft) is better than many similarly priced competitors.

Quality and build are very good; maintenance is easy to perform. It’s a quiet and pleasant-sounding purifier in my testing. The prefilter/HEPA filters work well to remove airborne particulates and odors. The UV-C feature is a bonus germ-killing option. One of the best-selling air purifiers available today, it’s a solid, sensible choice for fresher air.

Pros

  • Great air coverage for its price range
  • AHAM Verified & Energy Star Certified
  • True HEPA filter + prefilter/carbon filter
  • Easy to operate
  • UV-C feature kills germs
  • Carry handle built-in
  • Filter & UV replacement reminders
  • 3-year warranty
  • Maintenance is easy to perform
  • Low operational noise
  • White version available
  • Prefilter/carbon filter separately replaceable

Cons

  • UV-C feature has no memory feature
  • No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
  • Blue glowing trim could be noticeable to some with high sensitivity
  • Tall height may not be suitable for all users
  • Rotary manual control fan speed switch
  • You’ll need to buy 3rd party filters to save money as originals are more expensive

My Real-World Dash Rapid Egg Cooker Review: All The Details You Need

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker product review featured image

Cooking boiled eggs isn’t exactly a hard thing to do – but it could definitely be a bit easier. I hate having to wait for water to start boiling and then deal with adjusting the temperature.

What if there was an easier way to make delicious eggs everyday?

In my hands-on Dash Rapid Egg Cooker review, I’ll tell you how it can make your life easier, what it’s really like, and if it’s worth the money.

Contents

Getting to know the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker family

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker product family image

In this review, I’ll be covering the red 6-egg model, Dash #DEC005RD. It’s also available in a 12 egg model (DEC012RD), with more colors to choose from depending on what’s in stock at retailers.

A well-known manufacturer of a range of home appliance products (including the Dash Compact air fryer I own), Dash offers a variety of affordable products. Not surprisingly, the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is another appliance sold and advertised as making cooking eggs much simpler.

In this review, I’ll be covering the 6 egg model but it’s available in a 12 egg version as well.

The company offers a total of 5 color options:

  • Aqua
  • White
  • Red
  • Black
  • Yellow

I’ve picked up the red version as it also matches my Dash Compact air fryer. That’s one less-important but nice benefit: If you buy more Dash appliances it’s possible to have a matching set by choosing the same color.

Features and egg cooking options

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker features list image

The Rapid Egg Cooker offers 3 egg cooking styles:

  • Boiled eggs (soft, medium, and hard)
  • Poached eggs
  • Omelets

As you can see in my post about how it use microwave egg cookers, I know what my expectations are – so I was curious to see how it compares to the other products I’ve tested.

Additional convenience features to know

You might be asking yourself, “Why should I buy the Dash egg cooker instead of just using boiling water?” I can answer that very easily.

There are several great reasons to consider the egg cooker:

  • No need for hot and dangerous boiling water that quickly spills can cause problems
  • Stops heating automatically when the water is used up
  • Provides hands-free operation once it’s set up
  • Near-perfect results every time
  • It’s very affordable (6 egg model: under $20; 12 egg model: $30 and below)
  • Lower energy use

Dash claims you can get boiled eggs in only 6 minutes. 

But can you really cook eggs without the hassle of dangerous, hot boiling water, and in only 6 minutes? Read on to see what I found and my honest opinions.

Unboxing & first impressions

Packaging

Unboxing the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

Time to check it out! I unboxed the egg cooker and finally got a chance to get a feel for the quality. Not only that, but I was curious about how it works, too.

My Dash Rapid Egg Cooker arrived in a small box that doesn’t weigh very much. It’s well-packaged in a small square box.

Upon opening it up, there’s a user information packet placed right on top where you can’t miss it.

It’s a nice touch I like, and hopefully a great sign of what I can expect!

The egg cooker isn’t heavy & expensive like some air quality products I’ve tested and reviewed, so there’s no need for more packing like styrofoam or corrugated cardboard.

Regardless, the packaging is just like I’ve come to expect from the company: Nice-looking, professional, and looks good. It doesn’t feel cheap like some of the more generic products I’ve run across.

Getting it out and ready

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker opening the package before use

After unboxing the cooker, you’ll need to remove the plastic bag, the twist tie, power cord plug cover, and the timer note tag too.

After removing it from the box I had to remove a few things:

  • The plastic bag (a simple loose knot, easy to undo)
  • AC power cord twist tie & power prong cover
  • The auto-off info tag on top

For some reason, although it’s also covered very clearly in the instructions, a note tag is included to explain that the unit will stop the heating plate automatically and sound a chime when the cooking water runs out.

That’s fine, and nice too, but a bit redundant I suppose. No problem, though!

What comes in the box?

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker included items diagram

After unboxing it and unpacking (note: the parts are stored from the factory inside the lid) I found the following parts included:

  • Boiling tray for 6 eggs & detachable tray handle
  • Poaching tray
  • Omelet bowl
  • Lid + base
  • Measuring cup
  • Card paper packet with the owner’s manual, quick start guide, and warranty registration note

Once open, the good news is that you’ll notice right away you won’t need any extra parts, aside from water, eggs, and the recommended non-stick cooking spray (optional).

Overall, I’m happy with what I found. Let’s check out the quality, shall we?

(Note: I’ll cover the owner’s manual and other included paperwork later in my review)

Build quality and fit & finish

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker fit and finish quality inspection closeup images

It’s a budget model you say? Yeah, maybe so…but it’s well put-together! Upon inspecting the egg cooker I realized pretty quickly that while it’s affordable for nearly anyone, it’s definitely not cheap looking. Overall, I’m very happy with what I saw.

I like to give products I test & review a good “once-over” to inspect the quality, fit and finish, and to look for tell-tell signs of problems. The reason is that when there’s a cheap “feel” to a product or manufacturing defects, it’s a sign of bigger problems with the overall quality.

I’m happy to say that despite its low price, the Dash egg cooker is well-done and looks great with good build quality.

Dash rapid egg cooker base new with instruction label

The base, which heats water for cooking, includes an instructional label with notes about the material used (stainless steel) and cleaning tips.

Parts line up correctly with no gaps, there were no functional or cosmetic defects, and the stainless steel heating plate is well-done too. What I especially like were 2 little details they don’t mention in the paperwork:

  • The lid handle is fastened using a real metal screw (and not just a plastic pop-fastener)
  • The power cord has a strain relief which is attached using 2 screws as well for extra strength

The power switch (the light gray one on front, located below the power light) has a good feel too, and has a traditional on-off click like you’re probably accustomed to just like I am.

(I mention this because some products use a momentary switch, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer the feedback and reliability of a real switch for appliances that get very hot.)

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker non-locking lid problem close up image

One thing I discovered – and that annoys me – is that the lid doesn’t lock. While not normally a problem (you don’t need it locked while cooking) that means it’s possible to spill the accessories stored inside or drop the lid while moving it.

One thing that annoyed me is that for some unknown reason the lid doesn’t lock when turned to the locking position underneath the retaining tabs. While it’s not really a big deal, that means for storage purposes when the parts are placed inside the lid could come off and possibly fall and crack.

Be aware of this and don’t move it without keeping your hands firmly on it.

What material is the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker made of?

This is a common question some people have. The egg cooker is made out of the following:

  • Stainless steel (water/heating base plate)
  • ABS plastic (lid, base, and accessories)

Note that the ABS plastic’s heating limits are well below the normal cooking temperatures used by the cooker, so there’s no danger of them warping or cracking due to heat extremes.

Controls & indicators

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker controls illustrated

Ordinary (like with air purifiers, humidifiers, and more) I’d have a fairly intricate image here for all the “bells and whistles” you’d find on the appliance.

However, in the case of the egg cooker, it’s incredibly simple – there’s only one button/switch. Likewise, while the switch is in the “on” position the blue indicator light will be lit.

Simply put, to use the Dash egg cooker is as easy as this:

  1. Set up the egg cooker accessory needed (boiled egg rack, poached egg trays, or omelet bowl)
  2. Add the required water, then place the accessories on top
  3. Close the lid
  4. Push the power button to start the cooking process

After the cooking water you added is completely used up, the unit will sound a loud chime and you’ll need to switch it off. Note that the unit will stop cooking when the water is gone.

The “cooking is done” chime sound

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker chime example

Video: A short example demonstrating how the egg cooker’s chime sounds when the eggs are ready. It’s not incredibly loud, but enough to be heard across the room. Pushing the on/off switch shuts it off until the next time the unit is used and eggs are finished.

I’ve noticed that in reviews some people reported having a buzzer and not a chime sound that’s heard when your eggs are ready. However, I’ve not seen this elsewhere and mine indeed has a nice, friendly musical chime heard when the cooking water is done.

It’s loud enough to hear across the room but not incredibly loud overall. I’ve been pretty happy with it. 

(See late in this review for volume measurements I took)

Understanding the measuring cup

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker measuring cup labeled closeup image

The included measuring cup takes the guesswork out of cooking great eggs. Front and rear markings show the fill lines needed for the type of eggs you’d like to make.

The included water measuring cup works by providing markings for pre-measured amounts of water needed for boiled eggs (soft, medium, and hard), poached, and omelets.

The bottom of the cup has a cap which, when removed, exposes a small spike used to puncture eggshells as needed for making boiled eggs.

You’ll need to put the cap back on before standing the cup on its end.

How to use the Dash egg cooker + measured cooking times

As the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker provides 3 kinds of egg dishes, I’ll show you what I ended up with when using each feature. Additionally, I measured cooking times for each too.

For boiled eggs, I measured cooking times for medium hardness boiled eggs using both the Dash and a small stovetop heating eye with boiling water.

1. Making boiled eggs

Illustrated example images of how to make boiled eggs with the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

Making boiled eggs is simple – just add water using the provided measuring cup, prepare the eggs, place them into the tray, and start cooking.

Using the egg cooker for making boiled eggs is simple:

  1. Add water with the provided measuring cup for the type of eggs you’d like (soft, medium, or hard)
  2. Puncture the eggs with the spike on the cup
  3. Place eggs in the tray
  4. Cover with the lid and turn on the cooker

That’s it! When the eggs are ready (when the cooking water has fully evaporated) the unit will stop cooking and the chime will sound.

You’ll still need to turn off the switch, however.

As the cooker heats up inside the lid will fill with steam and the eggs will be cook with hot water vapor instead of boiling water as you’d typically use.

Boiled egg cooking times

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker boiled egg cooking time meaurements

Times I measured for making boiled eggs with the Dash egg cooker. Top left: Soft boiled. Top right: Medium. Bottom: Hard boiled eggs.

The one thing I discovered is that unfortunately, it can’t make boiled eggs in 6 minutes as listed at the manufacturer’s website. Perhaps it’s a mistake in the listing, but 6 minute eggs are possible for poached eggs or an omelet. (More about that later)

Dash egg cooker boiled egg time measurements

  • Soft boiled: About 9 minutes
  • Medium boiled: 10:43
  • Hard boiled: 14:41

As you can see, it’s not “super-fast” for cooking 6 eggs, but it’s definitely a lot less hassle – and less risky – than having to deal with boiling water. 

How did they turn out? How do they taste?

Dash rapid egg cooker boiled egg results examples

You’re probably thinking, “Well that’s fine, but how did they turn out? And how do they taste?” Great news – they turned out just as good as traditional boiled eggs! 

The flavor was very good. The level boiling hardness levels had these results:

  • Soft boiled: Creamy yolk center (not solid)
  • Medium: Mostly solid, maybe slightly liquid yolk parts
  • Hard: Not too dry, but dryer, solid yolk with no liquids

When comparing the Dash to stove-cooked boiled eggs, I compared the results by using the medium measuring cup water option. They were extremely close to my stove top eggs boiled for 8 minutes.

They taste good and I like them.

2. Making poached eggs

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker how to make poached egg steps illustrated

Poached eggs are easy to make. Add nonstick spray to the poached egg cup, add 1 egg each, place on the tray (remove the handle), and turn it on.

How to poach an egg in the dash egg cooker

Poached eggs are easy to make with only a few simple steps needed:

  1. Fill water to the cup’s poached water line & add to the cooker
  2. Add nonstick spray (recommended) to the poached egg cups
  3. Crack one egg for each cup
  4.  Place on the tray (with handle removed) and cover
  5. Switch on

That’s it! Pretty simple, right? But how long do they take and how did they turn out?

How long do I cook 2 eggs (poached) in the Dash egg cooker?

Dash egg cooker poached eggs cooking time measurement snapshot

As the cup can hold only 1 egg in each side, you’re limited to a smaller serving size so that’s something to be aware of. Although there’s room for slightly larger cooking cups, for some reason they’re designed smaller.

On the other hand, it only takes less than 6 minutes for great poached eggs as you’ll see here.

My one complaint, however, is that a dedicated, inexpensive microwave poached egg maker can cook eggs in around only 1 minute. Therefore, if you need your eggs cooked super-fast, this cooker may not be the right choice for you.

How did they turn out?

Example of cooked poached eggs from Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

The poached eggs are limited to 1 per side in the cooking cup, but they’re good. Extremely soft and they’re good-tasting, too.

The eggs turned out well! Very soft and gently cooked with a tasty, fresh flavor. If you’re a poached egg fan I think you’ll enjoy them.

3. Cooking an omelet

Similar to how you make poached eggs, making an omelet is simple as well. Unlike microwave omelet molds, however, it has a more round shape and not the usually half-circle style you might be used to.

How to make an omelet in the Dash egg cooker

Making an omelet is just as easy aside from a bit of work for the eggs themselves:

  1. Add water using the measuring cup from the omelet water level
  2. Add nonstick spray to the omelet cup (recommended)
  3. Crack & wisk 2-3 eggs in a bowl. Pour into the omelet cup
  4. Place cup on the tray & close the lid
  5. Switch on and cook until done

How long does an omelet take?

Dash egg cooker omelette cooking time measurement snapshot

You’ll only need about 6 minutes to make an omelet which isn’t bad. Bear in mind, however, that a dedicated microwave oven omelet maker can do the same in around 2 minutes.

That’s the drawback I found for both this and the poached egg feature. In this case, also personally I’d rather have the traditional omelet shape a microwave egg maker offers. But that’s just my preference.

If you’d like your poached eggs & omelets even faster, you might want to consider buying those separately.

Taste, texture, and more

The omelets I made turned out well – I’ve got to admit. The texture and taste were good, despite not having the typical half-circle shape as you’d get in a restaurant.

It did a good job, though, and unless very picky I’m sure you’ll like it as well. 

Additionally, I used only 2 eggs but I believe the cup can hold up to 3. You can also add ingredients to your omelet if you like.

Dash egg cooker vs stovetop boiled eggs

Stovetop 6 boiled eggs time measurements

Measuring cooking times using traditional boiling water and a pot on a small heating eye. It took just over 3 minutes to start the water boiling and about 10 minutes total to boil medium eggs. That’s a total of about 13 minutes, longer than the Dash cooker.

Altogether from start to finish, it took nearly 3 minutes longer to cook eggs with a stovetop. Actually, I almost hate using a stove to do it, as it’s so easy for the boiling water to overflow the pot.

Also, you can’t just walk away for hands-free cooking like you can with the Dash.

During my testing using the Dash cooker was a lot easier and took away the stress of worrying about forgetting about the boiling water – just set it up, turn it on, and walk away.

I like it!

 Storage ability & features

When not in use, you can put everything conveniently inside the lid for storage. It works well and makes it easier to avoid losing anything.

Just like how it is from the factory, you can easily put all accessories inside the cooker before storing it. It’s actually pretty neat when you think about it.

Speak of that, when using the poached egg or omelet cups (as when it’s storage time), you’ll need to remove the tray handle which locks in place.

To do so, just rotate it to the right to use the handle or rotate it left to remove it.

Power use measurements (Watts)

As it’s a simple appliance (unlike, say, an air purifier with multiple speeds) power use measurements are extremely simple this time. Dash lists the unit as using 360 watts of energy, and with my trusty Kill A Watt meter, I found it’s true.

Dash egg cooker power use measurements

  • Off: 0W
  • On: 364W

One thing I really like is how it uses a fraction that a stove uses for boiling eggs. For example, a typical stovetop eye (the small of the two sizes, as many usually have) may use around 1,200 watts!

That’s about 1/4 of the electrical power!

Noise levels during use (measured)

Image of taking noise measurements for the Dash egg cooker

I measured sound levels both during use and when the chime goes off from 1 meter (3.28 feet) to be consistent.

  • Cooking sound level: 44.5 decibels
  • Chime sound level: Around 70dB+

Overall, it’s pretty quiet while cooking but you’ll hear it slightly. It’s sort of a soft sound as the unit produces steam. The chime sound is loud enough to be heard across the room and reminds me of a cell phone call tone.

However, while it’s loud enough to hear, it’s definitely not extremely loud so that shouldn’t be a problem (but I wouldn’t use it late at night or you’ll risk waking someone up).

Owner’s manual & quick-start guide quality

Inside the box is a paperwork packet with the owner’s manual, quick start guide, and warranty registration note. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, but the quick start guide was enough for me to get started right away.

The instructions & quick start guide are pretty good: They’re clear, detailed, and are helpful. Just the same, I think most people will only need the quick start guide to get started.

I did notice a flaw, however: The instruction manual seems to have a misprint for step #2 in the omelet directions. Somehow some of the text was duplicated, making it confusing. (It looks to me like someone forgot to double-check it for mistakes before printing).

Most people should find the paperwork well-done & helpful, and the addition of it all nicely packed into a folded card paper packet is a nice, classy touch.

Cleaning & special care

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker cleaning after cooking example images

The company recommends using a 10:1 mixture of water to vinegar for cleaning if needed. After cooking the eggs, it’s not uncommon to have a brown residue you’ll need to wash off. After washing, the stainless steel heating plate still had water spots that the company recommends using a Magic Erase cleaning product to remove.

After using the egg cooker, several times there was a brown residue left over from the eggs in the stainless steel metal base. You can use a water & vinegar mixture if needed, although so far it’s been easy to clean with a standard sponge and soap & water.

However, the steel plate does have a tendency to build up water spots. Dash recommends using a Magic Eraser product to remove these. Unfortunately, at the time of my review, I didn’t have one to try.

Regardless, the water spots are a trivial concern and don’t affect the cooking in any way, so it’s up to you if you’d like to put in the effort to remove them.

Review summary & score: Is it a good choice?

My honest opinion? I like it – and love not having to deal with dangerous, hot, and bothersome boiling hot water. The result is easy, tasty eggs in a matter of minutes. 

However, it’s not perfect, as good as it is. Poached eggs and omelets take several times longer to make than by using microwave egg cookers. You’re limited to 1 egg per poaching cup for a total of 2 at a time as well, so that may not be a good fit for everyone.

There’s also no adjustable timer control but just a simple on/off switch instead.

Overall, though, I have to say it’s some of the best (very affordable) money I ever spent!

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker review summary final product imagesIf you want safe, fast, and easy eggs you’ll enjoy, find out why it's one of the most popular egg cookers at Amazon.

Need more eggs? Feel free to have a look at the handy 12 egg model for only a few dollars more.

Overall
8.7/10
8.7/10
  • Quality - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10
  • Ease of use - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Features - 8.4/10
    8.4/10
  • Food quality/taste - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Noise levels - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

A good compromise between features, simplicity, and price, the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is a smart choice for easier, delicious eggs.

Are there fancier products out there for cooking eggs? Definitely. However, the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker is a smart choice and does what it’s supposed to well for less money. It offers inexpensive & easy egg cooking that takes away the hassle. It’s super easy to use – just prick the eggs (or mix for poached or omelets) and use the included accessories as needed.

While the poached eggs and omelets made are good, they’re not quite the same – or fast – as dedicated microwave cookers. The egg cooker removes the dangerous super-hot boiling water of traditional boiled eggs, uses less energy, and makes choosing one of 3 egg softness a breeze. It’s a solid bet for a budget price, with the same quality I’ve come to expect from Dash. Storage is excellent, too. While the portion sizes are limited and you can’t adjust cooking times, it’s a good choice for egg lovers.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Low price
  • Auto-off heating element
  • “Food is done” chime sound
  • Stainless steel heating area
  • Pre-measured water cup
  • Stores easily
  • Several colors available
  • 3 boiled egg styles provided
  • Poached & omelette features
  • Works in minutes
  • Use 1/4 the power of stove
  • No dangerous boiling water
  • Well-made & good quality
  • Clear, easy instructions
  • Quick start guide
  • Tasty eggs
  • 1 year warranty

Cons

  • Poached/omelet not fast like microwave models
  • No adjustable timer provided
  • Water spots on stainless steel require additional cleaning
  • Limited portion sizes
  • Lid does not lock

Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet Air Purifier Review – Got Pets & Need Relief? It’s A Winner!

Winix HR900 air purifier review featured image

Winix air purifiers are some of the best I’ve had the pleasure to own and test.

In fact, in my review of the wonderful Winix 5500-2 purifier I rated it as one of the best I’ve ever used – so much so it quickly became one of my favorites!

But what if you’re dealing with pet dander, hair, odors, and even allergies? In my hands-on review of the Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet you’ll find out all the details and if it’s a good buy.

Read on to learn more!

Contents

Getting to know the Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet air purifier

Winix pet air purifier models comparison diagram

The Winix HR900 is one of several models in the manufacturer’s line of home air purifiers. It shares many features & design elements from the older (and now discontinued) WAC-9500 Ultimate Pet purifier.

While they’re not one of the most popular manufacturers of home air products today, without question the South Korean company Winix makes some of the best air purifiers I’ve had the pleasure to own & test.

Winix has a relatively small line of air purifiers with similar features, some that are industry-leading. However, there are definitely some important differences to know before buying. Not to worry as I’ll be sure to explain more as we go!

The HR900 and its siblings the 5500-2 and the lower-cost 5300-2 share several common features:

  • Removable front filter (magnetic latches) and easy filter maintenance
  • PlasmaWave ionizer/air cleaning electronics
  • Auto-sensing air quality automatic operation with visual indicator
  • Soft-button electronic controls
  • Light sensor for ultra-quiet/dimmed overnight use
  • Air quality sensor(s)
  • Washable pre-filter screen
  • True HEPA filter
  • Odor/vapor filter
  • Very quiet operation
  • Self-off timer
  • Industry-standard Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings are provided

Unlike the 5300-2, however, the 5500-2 and the HR900 offer a much more robust Advanced Odor Control (AOC) odor and airborne vapor filter which uses real carbon pellets.

That’s a distinct advantage over the 5300-2 and other purifiers sold today. Most use a weaker activated carbon coating on the prefilter instead of real solid activated carbon pellets.

You can expect to pay around $265 or so for the HR900. The 5500-2 and 5300-2 sell for around $250-$200 or so, depending.

Additional air cleaning features the HR900 for pet problems

The HR900 goes one step further with the use of a third filter just for pet hair and dander. Included in the box are 12 of these thin, replaceable filters which attach to the pre-filter. You’ll have enough for at least 1 year of use, if not more.

Pet odors are covered, too, as there’s not only the great odor control filter performance but an odor sensor for automatic fan speed control as needed.

The discontinued Winix WAC-9500 Ultimate Pet purifier

Winix WAC-9500 Ultimate Pet purifier product image front viewThe Winix WAC-9500 Ultimate Pet purifier, shown here, was the earlier model to the HR900. It shares many of the same design features but with a different style and control panel.

The HR900 model isn’t a completely new design. In fact, it’s quite similar to the older and excellent WAC-9500 that’s now discontinued. I’ll cover the minor differences later.

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

Image showing unboxing the Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet air purifier

It’s here! I’m always excited to try a new purifier and my HR900 was no different. I got to work right away unpacking it and checking it out up close. It’s securely packed using styrofoam, although I would prefer recyclable corrugated cardboard if possible. So far, so good though!

My Winix HR900 arrived and I got to work unboxing it right away! The purifier is securely packaged and held in place using styrofoam inserts.

The owner’s manual is located right on top so it’s impossible to miss it when opening it up. Unlike some other brands, however, there’s no quick start guide or customer service contact information printed on the box flaps.

That’s not really a complaint, however, as there’s plenty of helpful information included anyway.

The HR900 is a bit big and heavy so you’ll need to carefully remove it from the box using the built-in handle on the rear.

Getting it out and ready

Winix HR900 air purifier removing protective plastic examples

After unboxing the purifier you’ll need to remove the plastic bag and the protective plastic covering the control panel. You’ll also need to prepare it for use by opening the front cover and removing the filters from their bags.

After unboxing I had to remove the plastic bag and a thin sheet of protective plastic covering the controls. As mentioned in the owner’s manual it’s necessary to prepare the filters too.

In the case of the HR900, you’ll also need to attach a pet filter to the washable pre-filter screen as well. I’ll cover those steps in the filter section.

To set up your new purifier you’ll need to remove the filters from their plastic bags before use. That’s because they’re shipped in sealed bags to keep them fresh before use.

What’s included?

Winix HR900 air purifier included items image

Included in the box are the following:

  • The owner’s manual
  • A 12 pack of Ultimate Pet filters (12 month supply)

I’m a bit disappointed that unlike my 5500-2 model there’s no Quick Start Guide included. However, it’s not a big deal as the instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

Additionally, the pet filters included a very helpful instruction sheet inside the bag so you’ll be ready to go in no time.

Unlike the 5500-2, there’s no remote control included. While it may seem nice to have one, in practice I really haven’t missed it very much.

After setting up the purifier I got to work inspecting the build quality & fit & finish up close.

Build quality and fit & finish

Winix HR900 air purifier close up build quality images

The HR900 has low-gloss white finish with silver or gray color accents for the control panel inlay and side vents. The control panel is well-done and clearly labeled. Quality is excellent and the air purifier well-built with no issues.

After opening and unpacking it (and setting it up initially, which is just a few steps as I mentioned earlier) finally I got to turn it on and use it!

The HR900 is well designed with a low-gloss white finish and silver and metallic gray inset to contrast the white color. While white is not my first choice (the 5500-2 and 5300-2 models are black and gray, respectively) I have to admit it looks good.

Overall impressions and manufacturing quality

As I inspected the assembly, finish, and overall construction, I found the Winix HR900 to be well-made with no defects and nothing to imply poor quality or problems. It’s a high-quality purifier with a solid fit and finish.

Parts are put together nicely: Body panels line up very well, there aren’t any gaps. Just like the other Winix purifiers I’ve owned its top-notch quality. Very well done!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that gaps and misaligned parts are a sign of build issues. I’m happy to report you won’t find that here – only a well-made purifier that looks great right from the get-go!

Controls and how to operate it

Diagram showing the Winix HR900 touch control functions & features. Even though it might look complicated at first glance, it’s actually very easy to use. Just push the Mode button to switch between Auto or 1 of 4 fan speeds (in addition to Sleep mode). Activate the auto-off timer using the Timer button. 

Using the HR900 is simple. In the picture above, you can see the touch controls, each with a label:

  • Mode button: Sleep, Auto, low, medium, high, and Turbo modes
  • Control panel lock on/off (child lock)
  • Reset button (not normally needed)
  • Check filter indicator
  • Timer function/hour select (1, 4, & 8 hours selectable)
  • Power on/off
  • PlasmaWave on/off

The controls are nice and work well – they’re not too sensitive and don’t need a hard touch, either. I found them reliable, clear to understand, and straightforward in everyday use.

My impression is that some good engineering design went into making this model. What I don’t like, however, is that it uses black text on a silver inlay for the control panel labels. That’s in contrast to the 5500-2 and 5300-3 models which use light text & symbols on a dark inlay which I found easier to read.

Just the same, though, it’s still good-looking and easy to understand.

Button & control illumination

While the buttons themselves aren’t illuminated, active options or working modes are. 

For example, The PlasmaWave logo is illuminated when active, “1hr” is lit when the auto-off timer is set to 1 hour, and the current fan mode option is lit as well.

It’s a bit inconvenient to not be able to see the buttons themselves in a darkened room, but so far it has only been a small annoyance in my opinion.

Fan speeds and special modes

It’s easy to switch modes and fan speeds. Just push the fan speed button to cycle through the speeds (Turbo is the highest and is a special powerful mode). As the unit originally powers up already set to Auto and the lowest fan speed, you’ll need to push it to set it to choose another speed.

Once it’s in Turbo mode pushing it yet again puts it back in Auto mode.

The modes change in the following order:

  1. Auto (default at power on)
  2. Sleep
  3. Low
  4. Medium
  5. High
  6. Turbo
Note: By default, the purifier will start in Auto mode and low fan speed when first powered up.

Using the auto-off timer feature

Winix HR900 air purifier timer button use example image

Shown: The auto-off feature lets you use a convenient timer with one of 3 settings to turn it off automatically. Just push it to cycle through 1, 4, or 8 hour delays at any time. Continuing to push it will cycle back to turn the timer off. It’s a great feature I really like.

One feature I really like – which many purifiers don’t include – is the auto-off timer. With it, you can set the air purifier to run for several hours then power off by itself. Very convenient!

To use it, just push the Timer button and cycle between 1 of 3 hour settings (1, 4, and 8 hrs).

Push it again at any time to rotate back through the settings and turn if off it when you like.

Child lock feature

Winix HR900 child lock button example

To prevent your little ones from messing with the purifier’s controls the child lock button can be used. Just push and hold for 3 seconds to lock the controls to their current state. The indicator will light to show the controls are locked.

Also found in a competitor’s model (the smaller Levoit Core 300), the child lock feature lets you prevent any unwanted curious fingers from changing settings.

To switch it on, just push and hold the button for 3 seconds. The indicator will show a red color to let you know the controls are locked and can’t be changed, but they’ll stay at the current settings you’ve last used.

Repeat that again to return the controls to their normal use.

How the built-in sensors work + auto mode explained

Winix HR900 air purifier sensor location diagram

The HR900 includes a smart design with wonderful self-adjusting operation. To do so, it uses 3 built-in sensors: 2 on the left side of the control panel and a 3rd in the right side of the body. Two of these are air quality detection sensors and the 3rd senses the room’s light level.

As I mentioned at the start of my review, the purifier has an advanced design and allows self-adjusting operation. This works thanks to the use of 3 sensors built into the unit:

  1. Odor sensor
  2. Dust sensor
  3. Light sensor

The odor and light sensors are located on the top of the unit on the left side and can’t be serviced. You’ll find the dust sensor on the right side of the unit with a removable cover. According to the owner’s manual, occasional cleaning is recommended (it’s easy, don’t worry!).

How air quality sensing and auto operation works

The HR900 measures air quality (both odors and particulate levels) and shows you the current detected air quality condition using the front panel 3-color light. This works in both manual or Auto modes, by the way.

When the Mode button is set to the Auto mode, the purifier will adjust the fan speed automatically as needed for the current air quality situation. Very cool, and a great feature I love!

In my experience and during everyday testing it works very well! Despite what you might think, it does so gracefully and the fan adjusts slowly and without any kind of “jarring” behavior or excessive noise.

I can’t say the same for some lower-priced competitors.

Winix HR900 dust sensor cover removal example

The dust sensor, on the right side, can be accessed for cleaning occasionally. This helps make sure you’ll keep the purifier’s performance at its best.

You’ll not likely even notice it’s working, aside from the occasional slightly more noticeable fan sound (it’s an extremely quiet purifier).

In Auto mode the light sensor is used to detect when the room darkens. After a while the air sensor indicator light will turn off and the purifier will go into the ultra-quiet low fan mode.

It’s great for night use and works very well, in my experience. (You’ll just need to understand that it doesn’t go into Sleep mode immediately – there’s a delay before it changes modes.

Occasionally you may want to run the fan manually at say the high or Turbo speeds. For example, if there’s an immediate pet odor, dander, or airborne hair problem. However, most of the time Auto mode does the job very well.

Understanding the air quality indicator light

Winix HR900 air purifier air quality indicator light examples

When it’s turned on the purifier will use one of 3 colors to show you the current air condition it detects:

  • Blue (good air quality)
  • Amber (fair air quality)
  • Red (poor air quality)

The light uses an LED design but it’s not at all too bright, in my opinion. It’s definitely bright enough to be seen across the room, but not at all “glaring” in a darkened room. Again, you won’t have to worry about the light when sleeping if Auto or Sleep modes are used.

In that case, the light turned off automatically in a darkened room (or when Sleep is manually selected).

Understanding the Winix HR900 blinking blue light

One thing I noticed when using the purifier which I hadn’t see on other models was a blinking blue light after starting it up.

According to the owner’s manual, this only happens once during power-up and it means the purifier is measuring air quality:

During the first 4 minutes of power up, the Air Quality light will flash as the Smart Sensors measure the air quality in the
environment, after which normal operation will begin.Winix owner's manual

Turning off the air quality light

You can also switch off the light anytime you like. To do so, just push and hold the Timer button for 3 seconds. Do it again to restore it.

That’s a great feature if you get annoyed by the air quality indicator.

However, there’s no way to totally switch off control panel lighting. At least 1 indicator backlight (the Sleep logo) will be on during Sleep mode. In my everyday use, however, that wasn’t a nuisance for me.

I’ll cover dark room brightness later in another section below.

Using the PlasmaWave feature

Winix HR900 PlasmaWave use example

When the PlasmaWave feature is in use the logo glows with white light. By default, it’s switched on at power up.

To use the PlasmaWave feature just touch the on/off button. You’ll know it’s working as the logo will illuminate when it’s on. (Keep reading as I’ll cover this feature in more detail as we go.)

Control panel chime sounds

Winix HR900 Air Purifier Control Panel And Chimes Short Demo

The purifier has some unique chime sounds used as feedback when a button is pushed, power is turned on, or when it’s powered off.

Each touch of a button gives a gentle chime sound, which is actually pretty pleasant to hear – not at all harsh or annoying like some other products I’ve tested. When turning it off or on, you’ll hear a series of chimes for a moment, sort of like a short musical tone.

However, there’s no way to switch the sounds off if you prefer silent button use.

I’d prefer the option is available, though, and I don’t know why it was overlooked. So far I’ve not found it to be a problem, however.

The sound tones are very similar to those used by the 5500-2 and the 5300-2 models as you might expect.

Specifications & CADR ratings

This is box title
  • Room size coverage: 300 sq. ft.
  • 4-stage filter system: True HEPA, activated carbon filter (AOC), prefilter screen, pet filter
  • Washable prefilter screen & odor control filter section
  • Replaceable pet filter for enhanced hair and dander control
  • Fan speeds: Low, medium, high, turbo
  • PlasmaWave electronic air cleaning feature
  • Electronic touch control panel
  • Child lock feature
  • Auto-off timer: 1, 4, 8 hr options
  • AHAM Certified performance ratings
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): 194/200/220 (smoke/dust/pollen)
  • Air sensing technology with auto operation
  • Air quality sensors (odor, dust) & light sensor
  • 3-level air quality indicator light
  • Automatic Sleep mode option with dark room sensing
  • Ultra-low noise Sleep mode
  • Filter maintenance indicator light
  • Filter life: 1 year (true HEPA & AOC odor filter)
  • Pet filter life: 1 month (12 month supply included)
  • Main replacement filters: Winix type T set (true HEPA + AOC)
  • Pet filter replacement: Ultimate Pet filter pack
  • 2 year warranty
  • Power use (Watts): 0.7, 4.3, 7.8, 10.2, 13.9, 46.6
  • Weight: 18.7 lbs
  • Size: 9.6 × 16.3 × 23.6 in”

If you’re not already familiar with it, the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is an industry-standard way of testing and determining an air cleaner’s effectiveness.

Winix HR900 CADR ratings label

The HR900’s CADR ratings are shown here. They’re printed clearly on the box as well!

What is a CADR rating?

The Assocation of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is an organization that verifies the functionality and performance of home appliances for the industry. CADR rating tests are voluntary and not required by law.

CADR ratings are numbers used to help you know an air cleaner’s performance before buying. The rating numbers are based on “higher is better.”

In order to find out how well an air purifier cleans the air, 3 types of tests (smoke, pollen, and dust) are performed in a controlled lab environment and the performance is graded.

One thing I really like about the HR900 is that while they don’t have to offer these specifications, it’s really helpful. It’s very useful for comparing similarly rated air purifiers when shopping.

In the case of the Winix the CADR label is printed right on the box.

How it compares

Winix HR900 CADR label on box closeup

For comparison purposes, consider that many of today’s most popular air purifiers (small-medium room models) have CADR ratings around 100. The HR900, by contrast, has 194-220 depending on the particular air quality test. That’s very good!

However, it’s a bit lower than its sibling the 5500-2 which has ratings of 232, 243, and 246. While that means it’s slightly less effective, consider that the 5500-2 is rated for 360 square feet sized rooms vs the 300 of the HR900 – meaning it has higher airflow.

Additionally, the 5500-2 lacks the dust sensor of the HR900 meaning it has less effective auto-sensing operation as well.

The HR900 has more effective air cleaning for pet dander and hair than the 5500-2 & 5300-2 do too, as those don’t include the pet filter option.

Thoughts on the 5500-2 size & weight

Winix HR900 purifier heigth measurement

At around 23 1/2 inches tall, it’s reasonably sized in my opinion.  As it uses fairly large filters to clean the air well, naturally it’s not what you’d call a “compact” air purifier.

At almost 19 lbs in weight, it’s not quite as easy to move around like some other products. However, that also means it’s less likely to get tipped over.

Carrying the purifier

Winix HR900 carrying handle use example

The purifier features a built-in handle on the rear as well. You’ll still want to use 2 hands, however, as it’s a bit bulky and slightly heavy.

Just like with other purifiers from the company I’ve tested, there’s a convenient carrying handle (and opening for your fingers) at the rear top of the body. It works pretty well, but since the HR900 is a bit larger and heavier than its counterparts you’ll still want to use 2 hands.

I found it helpful to use the carrying handle and hold it at the front when moving it. That helps with avoiding dropping it or banging into walls or furniture by accident.

It’s a bit deeper

Winix HR900 purifier depth measurement

Additionally, one thing I noticed right away about the HR900 is that it’s slightly deeper than the 5500-2 and 5300-2 models. At 9 inches deep, it’s only around 1 inch larger from front to back.

For some reason, though, I noticed it more on this model (likely due to the white color and body shape). One reason for the extra size is additional filtering used.

Otherwise, it’s still fine and I’m not complaining!

HR900 power use measurements (Watts)

Winix HR900 air purifier power measurements in Watts diagram

One of my single biggest gripes about home air quality products like fans, air purifiers, and humidifiers is the lack of good information about their energy use.

Those that do give power ratings often only list the largest power use, not for the other settings. That’s a shame, as you’ll more likely to use the other settings!

To find out exactly how much power the purifier uses I measured it for all settings using my trusty Kill A Watt meter.

Mode/SpeedPower Use (Watts)
Off0.7
Sleep4.3
Low7.8
Medium10.2
High13.9
Turbo46.6

It’s easy to see that the purifier uses only a handful of watts on all but the highest settings! It’s one of the most energy-efficient models I’ve tested.

In case you’re wondering, with the PlasmaWave feature turned on there’s only a small increase in power use (0.3W). That’s in contrast to other brands & models like the GermGuardian AC5250PT with UV-C feature which uses an extra 5W with the featured on.

In fact, it’s an Energy Star rated appliance although you might not be aware. For some reason the company doesn’t use labels on the box or in some product listings as their competitors do.

Air cleaning ability + more about PlasmaWave

Winix HR900 PlasmaWave product feature image

I was unsure about what the PlasmaWave feature actually does as sadly there aren’t really any details in the manual or the manufacturer’s website.

In most cases, air purifiers with a feature of this type use one or more variations of ionizer technology to give a extra air cleaning. (In contrast to models with ultraviolet light, these use an electric charge to affect ions in the air as it works).

According to the company:

PlasmaWave® Technology safely breaks apart odors, allergens, chemical vapors, and other pollutants at the molecular level, without causing harmful ozone. PlasmaWave® creates positive and negative ions that combine with natural water vapor to form hydroxyls which cleans the indoor air.Winix America

It works using an ionizer type of device to affect molecules in the air to have them attach to airborne particles and remove them. While it’s a nice extra feature to have, don’t expect it to have a big impact on the air.

In all air purifiers, the real work is done by the pre-filter and the HEPA filter.

What’s it like in use?

Winix HR900 air purifier PlasmaWave logo glowing example

You won’t hear a noise or smell anything when the PlasmaWave feature is turned on (it’s set to on from the factory but can be turned off at any time).

In fact, if not for the illuminated logo you’d forget it’s turned on at all.

Air cleaning performance

Winix HR900 pet filter section dirty closeup example

It’s a bit hard to see due to the material it’s made of, but after use the pet pre-filter clearly had captured pet hair, dust, fuzz, and other nasty elements in the air.

As I did with the Winix 5500-2, I tested the HR900 for several things – most importantly good old-fashioned use within my home with a pet. There’s a lot to be said for putting a product through its real-world paces rather than a “perfect” environment.

That’s because there’s a lot that can get missed – both good and bad – by not evaluating how you’d really use it every day.

What I found during use

Much like the 5500-2 with the same type of Advanced Odor Control (AOC) filter, the HR900 did a great job of capturing odors, pet hair and pet dander. During testing I used in several modes:

  • Sleep
  • Auto
  • Manual: Low, Medium, High, and occasionally Turbo mode

Without a doubt, the odor control & vapor absorption ability of the HR900 is some of the best I’ve used to date. Air cleaning is very good and the auto-adjusting fan speed control works very well!

The HR900 did a great job of cleaning both pet hair (my biggest gripe), odors, dander, and microscopic dust and other particles.

New vs dirty HEPA filter comparison example

Before and after: The HR900’s clean HEPA filter vs the dirty condition after using it for some time. Notice the medium-gray color now seen on the filter. That’s from trapping minute & microscopic particles of all types over time. It works very well!

All in all, I’ve been very happy with the HR900. One of the best things I like about it is the low noise operation in all modes aside from Turbo.

One of the reasons is that while the purifier uses a very powerful circular fan, the fan noise I heard was very “soft” and less noticeable to the ears. It’s like a gentle white noise I didn’t mind at all.

Other models I’ve tested with a powerful fan are far more noticeable when running and don’t sound nearly as good, having a “harsher” sound they produce.

Testing auto mode

I’ve noticed that when in Auto (auto-sensing) mode it works well but has a slight delay before the fan changes speeds. I assume that’s intentional to prevent it from constantly moving between fan speeds due to sudden air quality changes.

For example, I tested the air quality sensing and auto mode by using a regular paper match. The HR900 was able to sense the strong odor in the room, changed the air quality indicator light to red (to show it was sensing poor air quality at that moment), and then increased the fan speed until the smell was greatly reduced in the air.

It’s a really great feature and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did. While a feature like is only found only somewhat more expensive models like this one and the Levoit LV-PUR131, it makes everyday use a breeze.

Again, as I mentioned earlier, the HR900 detects not only odors but dust & other particles as it has a 2nd sensor that other products don’t.

Room size and square feet coverage

Winix HR900 air purifier square feet coverage example diagram

The HR900 is recommended for medium to large rooms up to about 300 square feet (29.9 square meters).

As an example, that’s a room about 15 by 20 feet in size (about 4.6 x 6.1 m). That’s roughly 2x the room size coverage of some of the most popular purifiers, many of which are rated for medium sized rooms.

Additionally, the lower priced purifiers are recommended for rooms no bigger than 155 sq. ft. or so.

Note: It’s perfectly fine to use the Winix purifier in a smaller room – in fact, you’ll get even faster air cleaning as it will be able to cycle the air more times per hour.

Winix HR900 air purifier placement recommendation

Be sure to pay attention to the recommend purifier placement within the room where it’s used. The manual included spacing advice.

One more thing: You’ll need to be sure to avoid putting it too close to a wall or blocking the purifier from having enough room for proper airflow.

Just like other products, you’ll need to leave the recommended amount of space around it: 12-18 inches behind and in front, and 4 inches at least around the sides. That’s so it can move air efficiently so it can cycle the room’s air and clean it optimally.

Does the HR900 produce ozone?

In this post, I explained why traditional air purifiers which use HEPA filter are safe and don’t produce ozone. A good purifier works by removing elements and odors in the air, not by adding by-products to the air as it works.

The Winix HR900 does not produce ozone.

In fact, Winix America is verified by the Air Resources Board (ARB) verification to meet federal ozone emission limits (in this case, basically zero emissions).

Filters, upkeep, and maintenance costs

Winix HR900 filter sections illustrated

Shown: The 4 filters used: (1, 2) A permanent pet filter used to catch larger elements like dust, pet hair, dander, and more. This sticks on to the washable pre-filter section which also captures larger elements. (3) The Advanced Odor Control (AOC) filter uses a unique design containing real activated carbon pellets inside a honeycomb-style frame. It lasts for 12 months and traps odors as well as chemical & other vapors. (4) The true HEPA filter traps super-fine particles, pet dander, dust mites, and much more down to microscope sizes that the pre-filter sections can’t.

As I mentioned at the beginning, 4 types of filters are used:

  1. Pet filter (attached to the washable pre-filter)
  2. Washable (permanent, reusable) prefilter
  3. AOC odor control filter
  4. The High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter

1. The pet filter

Winix HR900 image showing how to apply the pet filter

This section is made of thin, soft material that traps pet hair and other large airborne problems. As it attaches to the pre-filter, it’s a permanent filter that has to be replaced periodically (see my notes about maintenance further below).

While it works really well, it is slightly a hassle as when you first try attaching one to the frame of the pre-filter. It’s easy to misalign the self-adhesive tape that comes attached to it when sticking it on the pre-filter frame.

Winix HR900 pet filter closeup image

The pet filter is unique to the Winix pet purifier and is made of a soft, thin, fibrous material with self-adhesive tape attached.

There are 4 sections of self-adhesive tape (left, right, top, and bottom) to apply.

They’re easy to remove, however, when replacement time comes around. As the purifier includes a 12-month supply, you’ll be all set quite some time! I do like very much how they included enough pet filters to match the 12-month life expectancy of the HEPA and AOC filters.

2. Reusable (washable) prefilter

Winix HR900 washable pre-filter closeup image

Just like other Winix models, the pre-filter included is made of a plastic frame and fine mesh material. It can be cleaned by brushing, vacuuming, and rinsing under clean water.

The prefilter is unique in that instead of being built being coated with the odor-absorbing chemical most brands (and the 5300-2 model) use, it’s a single reusable screen you can easily remove and wash.

It helps to extend the life of the other 2 if you do so, by the way (14 days is the recommended check/wash interval, although the filter reminder does not cover this filter too).

You’ve got several options for cleaning it: Brushing, vacuuming, and rinsing it under clean running water. It’s an option that I wish more products provided.

However, in my experience, the pet filter does most of the first filtering work and will keep the pre-filter clean.

That means ultimately you won’t need to clean the pre-filter often or at all and will simply need to replace the filter at the recommended times.

3. High-performance AOC odor & VOC filter

Winix HR900 AOC odor filter closeup

The Advanced Odor Control filter is a long-life odor control section made with real activated carbon pellets. That’s very different from most which use a lightweight coating on the pre-filter section itself. It’s an excellent performer!

As I mentioned earlier, the AOC odor control filter is one of the best I’ve used. It’s a bit different than what most air purifiers (and the Winix 5300-2 as well) use.

The frame is much like a honeycomb, made up of small “cells” in which real, solid activated carbon pellets are held loosely. That’s very different than the thin coating most use directly on the pre-filter material.

While you might be thinking it’s only there to help with odors, it isn’t. In fact, it’s helpful for trapping volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemical substances in the air that can cause both discomfort, headaches, and even health problems.

Cleaning options

Winix recommends removing the AOC filter and rinsing it with room temperature water every 3 months or so to prepare it for more use (up to the 12 month life rating). Don’t use any type of soap or cleaning products.

4. HEPA filter

Winix HR900 HEPA filter closeup

Finally, there’s the true HEPA filter. Based on the industry-standard HEPA filter specification, it’s a folded section made of highly dense fibers that can capture 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns (less than 1 millionth of a meter) in size. 

In fact, that’s so small you’d need a microscope to see them. Anything that the pre-filter and pet filter sections don’t trap is captured by this. Mine works very well and it’s amazing to see how much it’s trapped!

Just like with the AOC filter, the estimated filter life is around 12 months. That’s good in my opinion, as many lower-cost products have estimated filter life around 6-8 months or so.

However, please note if you’ve got a particularly nasty air problem in your home the filter life may be shorter.

There’s a convenient pull tab on top of the filter as well as an arrow & label showing the proper installation direction. Those are nice touches I really like.

Maintenance notes

As I mentioned in the control panel section, there’s a filter reminder that lights after 3 months to let you know it’s time to check the filters.

Here’s the maintenance schedule as listed in the owner’s manual:

FilterIndicator lightWhen to cleanWhen to replace
Pet filter N/A N/A Monthly/as needed
Pre-filter N/A Clean every 14 days (Permanent filter)
AOC carbon filter Check filter light Clean every 3 months 12 months
HEPA filter Check filter light N/A 12 months

Ultimately, you want to check the filters and, depending on your needs, they may or may not need cleaning. The AOC odor-absorbing carbon filter and the HEPA filter last up to about 12 months then they’ll need replacement.

For best results, the company recommends rinsing the AOC filter under clean water every 3 months and similar for the washable prefilter every 14 days. Maintenance is pretty easy to do and I found it pretty simple as well.

When using my Winix purifiers I’ve had a lot of dust build-up on the filter sections so I simply rinsed off the pre-filter and odor filter to remove it.

I shook off the water and let them air dry as recommended before reinstalling them.

Replacement filters & maintenance costs

Winix type T replacement HEPA filter set product image

As it’s pretty new to the market, at the time of this post prices haven’t “settled” for the filter set it uses: Type “T” filter set.

Currently it’s only available at the manufacturer’s site but once it’s available at Amazon you can expect to pay around just over $60 for the set. Note that while it looks very similar, the Type H set for the 5500-2 model does not fit the HR900 (they’re close but slightly different).

While $60+ might sound like a lot of money, considering the great air cleaning performance you get it’s well worth it in my opinion. That’s around only $6/month or so for better health and clean, fresh air along with pet odor, hair, and dander relief.

Winix Type U replacement pet filters product image

A 12 pack of replacement pet filters costs around $20. These are Type “U” filters.

How to install & replace the filters

Image showing opening the Winix HR900 filter cover first time

Fresh out of the box and getting set up. To get started, you’ll need to open purifier, remove the new filters from the sealed bags, and put them back into place. It only takes a few minutes, though. Easy to do.

When my purifier arrived and I unboxed I followed the instructions shown in the nice little “quick start guide” sheet it came with. This is basically just removing the front cover, removing the AOC and HEPA filters from the sealed bags, and then putting them back into place.

It’s really simple and no hassle at all so there’s nothing to worry about there.

Winix HR900 filter installation steps diagram

Filter installation or replacement is very easy and only took me a minute or two.

There are just a few steps:

  1. Open the front cover
  2. Install the HEPA filter (follow the directional arrow printed on it)
  3. Install the AOC carbon filter
  4. Insert & snap in the prefilter with the pet filter already attached
  5. Close the front cover and secure it using the magnetic latches

What I really like about Winix air purifiers are the magnetic latches used on the front cover. Very convenient and they make the process even easier.

Winix HR900 filter cover magnetic latch closeup images

The purifier’s front cover uses magnetic latches to make opening & maintenance really is. I’m a big fan of this kind of feature!

Unlike some other products I’ve owned & tested, there aren’t any plastic tabs to break. There’s a small metal plate on the inside of the front cover (which covers the prefilter) that touches and connects to the magnets (one at each side) built into the front cover near the top.

Obviously, considering you’ll own it for several years of use it makes sense that a design that lasts and makes owning it easier.

Owner’s manual quality

Winix HR900 owner's manual examples

The owner’s manual is clear and helpful with plenty of clear instructions for the best use & maintenance.

Like the other Winix products I’ve tested, the owner’s manual is clear, helpful, and well-done. You won’t have any problem getting started using it right away or performing maintenance.

I do have a minor complaint, though: there’s no more information about the PlasmaWave feature. While the company does state in general terms what it does, it would have been nice to know a bit more about the technology behind it.

Also, unlike some competitors such as Levoit and Honeywell, there’s no customer support contact information on the box flaps where you’ll see them when opening it.

That’s not really an issue, however, as the owner’s manual (and the pet filter instruction sheet, too) has readily available customer support contact information in it.

Winix HR900 pet filter instructions image

Speaking of instructions and information, the pet filter has very good steps and is very clear. The diagrams are a great touch and do a good job of helping to understand how to install one correctly the first time.

The replacement interval and customer service/replacement purchase information is helpful as well.

Noise levels during use (measured)

Image showing measuring noise levels of the Winix HR900 air purifier

I prefer to measure, record, and verify noise levels. I used my sound level meter to get a consistent measurement you can expect during daily use. After doing many air cleaning product tests it’s a great way to have numbers to compare with.

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier. Here’s what I found:

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (silent room)40.3
Sleep40.3
Low41
Medium42
High44.2
Turbo55.2

Without a doubt, just like the other Winix models it’s one of the quietest purifiers I’ve used! Sleep mode is ultra quiet – you can’t even tell it’s working.

Even the medium and high speeds are still well below the average noise levels of many other purifiers based on my measurements. Turbo mode, however, is very noticeable just like you’d expect but still has a nice gentle “roar” when in use.

The design touches show in some of the smaller details. For example, when changing speeds it doesn’t have a “harsh” adjustment; it ramps up or down gradually to the next speed you’ve selected.

Night brightness

Image of a Winix HR900 night brightness in dark room

If the purifier is not set to Auto or Sleep mode the brightness is clearly visible in a darkened room. However, don’t forget if you find the air quality indicator annoying you can switch it off by pushing and holding the Timer button.

Just the same, while it does produce a bit of light, it’s not super bright.

Sleep mode brightness

Winix HR900 before and after Sleep mode active in a dark room

Before and after images showing the purifier during the countdown period before switching to Sleep mode when a dark room is detected by the light sensor.

When set to Auto mode, the light sensor will detect if the room is dark and will begin a countdown before it switches to Sleep mode (or if placed in Sleep mode manually). I estimate around 60 seconds lapse before it switches to low fan speed and the control lighting & air quality lights dim.

It’s very dim in that case, but I was still able to see the light from the control panel in a darkened room. If you’re super-picky like I am you may consider covering it. Otherwise, most people won’t notice and will have no problems sleeping.

Review summary & score: Is it a good choice?

My honest opinion after trying it? I’m able to confidently say it’s a great choice.

The air cleaning performance is some of the best, and the included pet filters not only add extra pet hair and dander cleaning but also the life of the main filters.

The odor control filter is one of the few offered use real carbon pellets for up to 12 months of use and great odor control ability.

While I wish the pet filters were a bit easier to install, that’s a minor complaint. The Winix HR900’s design & build quality, features, and ease of use are excellent. I’m a big fan of the self-adjusting operation and I really love how quiet it is.

Winix HR900 air purifier review editors choice badge image

Is it the cheapest? Absolutely not. But if you’re a pet owner who wants one of the best purifiers available today, look no further.

Head over now and check out the great buyer reviews find out more at Amazon.

Overall
9.2/10
9.2/10
  • Quality - 9.4/10
    9.4/10
  • Value - 8.2/10
    8.2/10
  • Ease of use - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 9.6/10
    9.6/10
  • Features - 9/10
    9/10
  • Noise levels - 9.9/10
    9.9/10

Not cheap, but a great choice for pet owners who want fresh, clean air. Featured packed and well-made, it's a winner!

The HR900 continues the same tradition of quality and design as their other air purifier products. Unlike some competitors, the HR900 offers a much better odor control filter with 12 months life. Pet dander, hair, and odor removal are great, yet it’s pleasantly super-quiet and does its job without distracting you. Auto mode offers hands-free operation that controls the fan speed based on odor or particle levels.

Sleep mode works well and avoids keeping you up at night. Maintenance is easy and instructions are clear. Unlike the previous WAC-9500 no remote control is offered, however. Pet filters are slightly annoying to install but don’t detract from one of the best-quality purifiers for pet owners sold today. You’ll pay a bit more than competitors, but you’ll get one of the best! A solid choice.

Pros

  • 300 sq ft coverage (med.-large rooms)
  • AHAM certified CADR ratings: 194/200/220
  • Pet filter adds 4th filter stage
  • No irritating ozone produced
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Self-adjusting Auto mode
  • Air quality level indicator light
  • Quiet operation
  • Turbo high speed mode
  • PlasmaWave air cleaning feature
  • 1, 4, & 8 hr auto timer
  • Reusable/washable prefilter
  • Great AOC (active carbon) filter
  • AOC filter is rinseable under water
  • Easy filter maintenance
  • 12 month carbon & HEPA filter life
  • Filter reminder light
  • Light sensor for auto Sleep mode when dark
  • Ultra-quiet sleep mode
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • No remote control included
  • Can’t switch off control chime sounds
  • No additional colors available
  • Limited to 3 timer choices
  • No smart phone control
  • Most costly than some standard competitors
  • Lower room size coverage than 5500-2 model

Levoit Vista 200 Air Purifier Review – Find Out The Honest Truth Before Buying!

Levoit Vista 200 air purifier review featured image

Looking for a compact air purifier that’s easy to use? Levoit is one of the top manufacturers of air quality products today. The newly introduced Vista 200 now joins the product family and offers another buying choice for a slightly lower price.

However, what are the strengths and weaknesses? And how does it compare to the existing super-popular LV-H132 model as well as the new Core 300 model?

In my detailed Levoit Vista 200 air purifier review I’ll tell this and much more – including if it’s a good buy or not.

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit Vista 200 air purifier

Levoit Core 300 vs LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifier comparison image

The family of Levoit air purifiers includes the best-selling LV-H132 and 2 newer models: The Vista 200 and the Core 300. All feature low-noise operation, a short and compact design, and a true HEPA filter. They also include features not found on competitors in their price range.

Levoit has been a long-time popular choice for well-made air quality products. Their LV-H132 is one of the all-time best selling compact air purifiers ever sold, in fact!

What’s different about Levoit air purifiers is their distinctive style, engineering quality, and features they offer while their competition doesn’t.

Some of the common characteristics you’ll find in the Levoit purifiers are:

  • Distinctive circular design
  • Electronic touch controls
  • True HEPA filter with 99.97% efficiency for elements down to 0.3 millionths of a meter (0.3 microns)
  • Prefilter with activated charcoal for odor & volatile organic chemical (VOC) absorption
  • Low-noise operation with some of the quietest operation available
  • White satin finish
  • Nice convenience features
  • Clear, simple instructions & customer support information
  • Very simple, easy-access maintenance

While the LV-H132 has been a top seller for years, it’s a bit mature at this point. Recently 2 newer models were introduced that follow in its footsteps: The Core 300 and the Vista 200.

Let’s dig in and find out more about what makes the Vista 200 different, what you can expect, and if it’s a good choice for your money.

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

Levoit Vista 200 air purifier unboxing images

Unboxing my Vista 200. Like so many other quality Levoit products, my purifier arrived well-packaged and with helpful customer support contact information clearly presented on one of the box flaps when I opened it. Nice! Additionally, the purifier was neatly packaged along with the instruction manual and Quick Start Guide for getting it going easily.

Much like other Levoit purifiers I own and have tested, the Vista 200 arrived well-packaged and safely supported inside.

Upon opening the box you’ll find clearly labeled customer support contact info right on one of the box flaps. That’s always a great sign of things to come and good customer service.

Placed on top of the first recycled cardboard insert is a bag containing the owner’s manual, a Quick Start Guide with basic set-up and operation information, and an insert about the optional warranty extension.

It’s well-packaged and my impression so far was good. However, immediately when removing the purifier from the box I noticed how it’s much lighter than the sibling models.

What’s in the box?

Image showing items included with the Levoit Vista 200 purifier

After unpacking the purifier you’ll find the following included: The AC/DC 12V power supply, owner’s manual, quick start instruction sheet, and optional extended warranty insert.

Right away I noticed the Vista 200 has a much lighter & cheaper “feel” than both the Core 300 and LV-H132 which are both solid, well-made models. However, I prefer to stay open-minded and not draw any conclusions too soon.

One thing that’s very different about the Vista 200 is the use of an external AC-DC adapter. None of the other Levoit purifiers at this time use that design.

NOTE: Be sure to open the purifier and remove the filter from its plastic bag before use. They’re sealed from the factory to keep them fresh & ready for use before purchase.

Differences that stand out right away

Levoit Vista 200 AC-DC 12V adapter image

Shown: The AC-DC 12V adapter used to power the Vista 200 purifier. Unlike other purifiers including those from Levoit, this model is different in that the power supply is outside the chassis – there’s not a standard AC power cord. Instead, an external AC-DC adapter is used.

It’s important for me to clarify before we go further that the Vista 200 looks very similar to the Core 300 model but is very different in both performance and design.

As I mentioned above it’s very lightweight and simply doesn’t feel as solid in the hand. I’ll explain what I mean as we go.

While other models use an internal supply and a standard AC power cord, the Vista 200 uses an external AC-DC 12V adapter that plugs into a jack on the rear.

The quick start guide is good!

Levoit Vista 200 quick start guide page example image

One thing that I really like is the quick start guide included in addition to the owner’s manual. It’s a very short 2-page set of instructions & diagrams to help you get the purifier up and running quickly.

It’s clear, easy for anyone to understand, and saves the trouble of having to hunt for the facts you need when getting started.

Build quality and fit & finish

Close up images of the Levoit Vista 200 air purifier

The Vista 300 features a matte white finish and looks nice – and well put-together. Parts are tight, aligned correctly, and altogether it looks well-made. It’s obviously another quality model just like the others before it.

After opening and unpacking it I moved forward with my first inspection before powering it up and testing it for a few weeks.

The Vista 200 has a nice matte white body with a smart, modern design throughout. However, it’s easy to see that a few compromises were made to make this a budget product unlike its siblings.

Overall impressions and manufacturing quality

The good news is that it’s well-made: No defects, gaps in body panels, or cosmetic flaws to mention. It’s well put-together and the body itself feels good in the hand.

However, the center control panel uses a thin plastic insert and not the thicker, more attractive gloss or satin black insert used on other models. Immediately I picked up on this clue about it being a more budget, basic design.

As I’ll show you later, there’s more to the story than just cosmetics – in fact, the air cleaning performance has been greatly compromised as well, sadly.

Checking out the controls

Levoit Vista 200 illustrated control panel diagram

Diagram showing the Levoit Vista 200 touch control functions & features. It’s very simple to use and a snap to get accustomed to quickly. Select a fan speed or super-quiet Sleep mode, turn the illumination on/off, select an optional auto-off timer choice. Turn the night light on or off any time you like as well.

I have to admit it – just like the other purifiers in the Levoit family, it’s really easy to use! In the picture above, you can see the touch controls, each with a symbol:

  • Fan speed button (low, med, and high)
  • Night light on/off
  • Check filter indicator
  • Control lighting on/off button
  • Timer function/hour select (2, 4, & 8 hours selectable)
  • Sleep mode
  • Power on/off

The controls are nice and work well – they’re not too sensitive, and don’t need a hard touch, either. I found them reliable, clear to see, and I got the impression the design work behind them is solid and well-planned.

Unlike the LV-H132 model, the Vista 200 doesn’t beep when you touch the control buttons. It’s completely silent.

Fan speeds & modes

The fan controls are really simple to use: Just push the fan symbol to rotate through the 3 main speeds.

What I like about Levoit purifiers (and that you won’t find on many competitor models) is that they ramp up (or down) gracefully when changing speeds.

There’s no harsh, abrupt fan that “jumps” to a much faster setting, for example.

Sleep mode function

Levoit Vista 200 sleep mode and auto off timer use examples

Sleep mode is a low-noise setting that can be entered or exited any time you like by touching the moon-shaped button. It puts the purifier in a whisper-quiet low fan mode to avoid disturbing you at night.

For once, it really is amazingly quiet as advertised! In fact, during testing, I couldn’t even tell it’s running while in Sleep mode.

Additionally, Sleep mode dims the button lighting to avoid disturbing you while you’re sleeping.

The auto-off timer feature

One added feature I really like is the ability to choose an auto-off timer so the purifier will turn itself off automatically. Just touch the button to rotate through 4 settings: 2, 4, or 8 hours of run time.

Oddly enough, while its “bigger brother” the Core 300 also offers a 6 hour option, the Vista only offers 3 options with 2, 4, and 8 hour settings.

However, in my experience, that’s fine for most people.

Other features

There are a few more features worth noting:

  • Filter reminder: When lit (after around 6 months) it’s time to check your filters and replace if needed. You can reset the reminder by pushing and holding it for 3 seconds.
  • Control lights on/off: Switches off ALL control panel lighting completely (great for sleeping or light-sensitive people like me!)
  • Power on/off: Switches off the purifier completely.
Note: The sibling Core 300 replaces the night light button found on the LV-H132 & Vista 200 models with the control lock button. Be aware of this if you’re comparing the different models while shopping.

Understanding the fan setting memory feature

One feature I really like is the control memory feature. At first I didn’t think it would matter to me, but in fact in daily use it’s really convenient.

The built-in memory feature recalls the last used fan mode settings you used and restores them at the next power-up and use.

Unfortunately, the memory feature does not turn the night light back on if you turned the purifier off when it was in use.

Regardless, it’s a great little touch also found on other Levoit models. I’m very happy to see they didn’t remove it despite the obviously lower-cost design.

Using the night light

Levoit Vista 200 night light brightness examples

As the night light is a cool feature you don’t see in many products I’ve decided to cover it in a bit more detail here.

Two brightness levels are provided: High and low. Just touch the light bulb symbol (night light button) to rotate through high, low, and off settings.

Unlike the LV-H132 model, a “soft white” (soft yellow/amber) light color is provided instead of blue. During testing I found the night light to be a nice little feature I enjoyed.

When set to high it’s not super-bright; it’s enough light for comfort and enough for going to the bathroom late at night.

The low setting is similar but with about 1/2 the brightness of high. Both modes draw a tiny amount of power (1.6W and 0.8W), so feel free to leave it on all the time if you like.

Note: The night light can be operated anytime – regardless if the power is off. Just touch the button to switch it on.

Specifications & CADR ratings

Levoit Vista 200 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 161 sq. ft (small or medium room)
  • 3-speed fan control
  • Whisper-quiet Sleep mode w/ air cleaning
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • Prefilter can be cleaned
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: [Not provided]
  • AHAM Verified, Energy Star Verified, FCC certified, ETL listed, CA PROP 65 certified
  • Simple, clear electronic touch controls
  • Control lighting on/off feature
  • 2-level night light feature
  • Memory feature retains last fan setting used
  • Filter replacement reminder (~6 mos.)
  • 1 year warranty (extended coverage available)
  • Replacement filter: Vista 200-RF
  • Power use: 10.3W (max. fan speed)
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: Top
  • Size: 7.5 x 7.5 x 13 in (19 x 19 x 33 cm)

If you’re not already familiar with it, it’s helpful to understand more about the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) standard used by the industry. This is a voluntary lab-tested rating of an air purifier’s cleaning ability.

Example of a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings label

An example of a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) label. Shown are the 3 air quality performance ratings for the Levoit Core 300 for example purposes.

The AHAM is an organization that verifies the testing results of home appliances & perform lab testing for appliance manufacturers although it’s not required by law.

In simple terms, it’s a rating used to help you know before buying an air purifier’s effectiveness. The rating numbers mean “higher is better” as they’re lab tested using a series of test to find out their air cleaning effectiveness.

Basically, when shopping for a purifier it’s helpful to have an air cleaning performance rating to compare different models. In the case of the CADR rating, just remember that higher is better.

The Vista 200 and CADR rating problem

While CADR ratings are voluntary, the biggest manufacturers of today’s top products often provide these ratings to buyers.

However, with the Vista 200, that’s not the case. Sadly, for some reason, no CADR ratings are provided.

That makes it much more difficult to compare it to other products on the market. I’ll comment more on this subject below (see the section about air filter & performance further below).

Comparing the Levoit compact purifier vs tower models

Image showing height measurement of the Levoit Vista 200 air purifier

The purifier is fairly short unlike some popular competitors such as the GermGuardian AC4825 which is 22″ tall. Measuring slightly under 13.5″ tall, the Vista 200 is pretty compact and fits in many areas bigger models can’t.

At around 13″ in height, it’s pretty small in height (the companion Core 300 is close, within 1″ also).

While most “tower” air purifiers tend to be rather tall at 22″ to 28″ or so (such as the popular competitor the GermGuardian AC4825) that makes the Levoit model a refreshing change if space is tight.

Be sure to give it enough room for airflow (about 15″ from each side) as it needs space to circulate air efficiently. You don’t want to restrict airflow in your room as circulation is important for proper air cleaning.

Weight

One thing I’ve learned is that shorter purifiers are harder to tip over by accident.

However, there’s something that really bugs me: Unlike the Levoit LV-H132 and new Core 300, the Vista 200 weighs less than half of those models and can be knocked over much more easily by accident.

That’s not a “real” issue to worry about in everyday life, but it’s something I noticed right away and that’s an unfortunate side effect of a more cheaply designed product.

At a mere 3.4 lbs in weight (the Core 300 is 7.5 lbs, by comparison) it’s just too light in the hands in my opinion. I miss the solid feel and weight of its sibling models.

Image showing the fan used in the Vista 200 air purifier

Unlike other similar models, the Vista 200 uses a much cheaper – and lightweight and weaker – fan to circulate air. While the LV-H132 and Core 300 models use a far more powerful – and substantially built – fan to give a good air cleaning rate, the Vista 200 isn’t even in the same ballpark.

There are several reasons why this purifier feels cheap and – as I discovered later – has weak airflow and air cleaning ability.

The reasons are:

  • The fan used is a low-cost unit that’s substantially weaker than the fans used in the LV-H132 and Core 300 models. It’s not only far lighter in weight but simply can’t give anywhere near the same airflow rate.
  • As the electronics are simplified and the power supply is now located outside the body, this contributes to the lack of weight and a much less substantial “feel” than other models.

While the LV-H132 and Core 300 use far more solid & specialized fan assemblies the Vista doesn’t. Instead, I could clearly see a standard off-the-shelf brushless fan mounted inside the body.

Right away that’s a clue this isn’t the value performer I had hoped for. Think of the little DC cooling fan you’ll find inside desktop computer cases, but a bigger version. That’s what I mean.

Carrying the purifier

Much like other Levoit purifiers, one drawback is that there’s no provision for carrying it more easily.

Unlike competing models from Honeywell and GermGuardian, there isn’t a built-in carrying area to put your hand in. You’ll need to use 2 hands in this case.

Not a big deal by any means, but it’s something to be aware of.

Levoit Vista 200 power use measurements

Levoit Vista 200 power measurements diagram

Pictured: I measured power use in Watts for 7 settings: 4 total speeds/modes, power off, and the 2 night light settings.  I recorded power meter readings both with and without the night light featured switched on until I simply recorded each setting separately for best results. (Note: The night light can be used when the fan is off)

How many watts does the Vista 200 use?

While the owner’s manual does specify the largest power draw it uses, it doesn’t give power use measurements for the other settings and modes available.

Rather than guess, I measured power use in Watts for all fan modes as well as the off state and the night light feature, too.

Levoit Vista 200 power use measurement table

ModePower (Watts)
Off0.3
Sleep0.9
Low1.3
Med.2.1
High10.3
Night light high1.6
Night light low0.8

I have to say I’m surprised at how low the power consumption is! For example, many air purifiers in the price range of the Levoit small-medium room purifiers use up to about 55W on the high speed.

Comparing the Vista 200 to the Core 300, for example, when set the high the Vista 200 uses the same amount of power as the Core 300’s super-low speed Sleep mode!

While it may seem like the Vista 200 is incredibly efficient, that’s the wrong idea. It’s not.

Core 300 & LV-H132 power use

For comparison purposes, have a look at the power use I measured for the LV-H132 & Core 300 models.

LV-H132: 11.8W, 19.3W, 28.3 [Low, med., high]

Core 300: 10.4W, 26.7W, 30.3W, 43.3W [Sleep, low, med., high]

The reason why is because the Vista 200 uses a much weaker & lower-speed fan that draws much less power than its siblings. You’re using less power, sure – but at the expense of a weak fan that can’t circulate air nearly as well as its siblings.

Air cleaning ability & performance

Comparison of Levoit Core 300, LV-H132, and Vista 200 HEPA purifier filters

Shown: A comparison of Levoit true HEPA filters for 3 models. While the LV-H132 offers a better odor-capturing prefilter containing carbon pellets, its HEPA filter size is less than half that of that found in the Core 300 & the Vista 200. Right: The new Core 300 and Vista 200 models share a nearly identical style of filter assembly aside from their size and minor details.

The slightly older model LV-H132 used a very compact filter with real carbon pellets for trapping additional odor and volatile organic compounds (VCOs) from the air. Unlike it, however, the Core 300’s filter uses a standard coated prefilter with activated carbon substance.

While that is a disadvantage, the design does have an interesting benefit: The HEPA filter size is slightly more than twice that of the LV-H132’s filter area. This means a longer filter life capacity.

Levoit Vista 200 square feet coverage and room size

As it’s rated for up to 161 square feet by the manufacturer, it’s well suited for medium-sized rooms, although there’s absolutely no reason you can’t use it in small bedrooms.

161 sq ft is roughly a 10 x 16 ft room. Bear in mind that this is an approximate size used – it doesn’t have to be used in a room exactly that size.

The thing to remember is that air purifiers work by cycling air in a room and it takes time to cycle & filter the entire room’s air.

In the case of the Vista 200, however, the low airflow rate means its cleaning efficiency is lower than most competitor’s products in its price range.

Filter ability

Levoit Vista 200 HEPA filter sections close up images

The Vista 200 HEPA filter section is made of a folded, dense fiber material. A second section, the pre-filter/activated carbon filter is responsible for trapping larger particles as well as odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. It’s capable of excellent filtering ability and works well. The filter can capture nearly 100% of all particulates in its airflow down to 0.3 microns in size.

The high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is good for removing the most common air quality issues (especially those that cause allergies and even sickness!)

Here’s the basic list of air contaminants the Vista 200’s filter can remove:

  • Pet dander
  • Pet hair (thanks to the pre-filter)
  • Dust mite allergens
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Home construction particles
  • Smoke residue
  • Smoke odors
  • Chemical and organic odors
  • Chemical vapors

What is the 3-stage filter?

Levoit Core 300-RF true HEPA filter sectional diagram labeled

Essentially, it’s a 2-stage filter assembly made up of 2 major sections with 3 total stages: The pre-filter/activated carbon filter, an activated carbon filter coating, and finally the HEPA filter.

The pre-filter section is a less dense & thin section covering the active carbon filter. Its job is to first capture larger items in the air like pet hair, dust, and so on. The active carbon filter coating traps odors and other chemical substances in the air.

Finally, the HEPA filter captures a whopping 99.97% of particles passing through it down to 0.3 microns in size. That’s less than 1 millionth of a meter in size.

How effective is the Vista 200’s air cleaning?

During testing I sadly did not find the purifier’s cleaning performance to be as good as other Levoit products and its competitors.

It’s a decent air purifier – don’t get me wrong. However, it’s simply not on par with the likes of its siblings and other competitors in its price range. A good example is the GermGuardian AC4825 I tested and wrote a detailed review about here.

Ultimately, the biggest issue is the weak airflow rate and less effective cycling of air in the room that you’ll want for efficient air cleaning.

It does provide basic air cleaning with a true HEPA filter, but it’s simply not a good performer for what I paid for it. For that reason, I can’t support you paying what I did for mine (around $80).

Additionally, there are no optional filter upgrades available for pet dander problems or odors & toxins like the Core 300 offers.

Does the Vista 200 produce ozone?

As I explain more in this post, as it’s a filter-based air cleaning purifier it doesn’t produce byproducts in the air around you.

The Vista 200 is perfectly safe and healthy as it does not produce any ozone. There’s no need to worry about that unlike some other products on the market today (no very high-quality air purifier would be producing noticeable ozone, anyway!)

Filter replacement indicators & maintenance costs

Replacement indicator light

Diagram showing filter reminder light on the Levoit Vista 200 air purifier

Example image showing the filter replacement feature which lights after 6 months.

Approximately every 6 months the filter check reminder will light indicating it’s time to check it and replace as needed.

Note that the company recommends you replace the filter sooner under especially heavy use – the filter reminder serves as a general guideline.

Additionally, a nice feature is that you can brush or vacuum the prefilter to extend its life & cleaning efficiency. That’s especially great to see considering how not everyone will completely use up the HEPA filter for a long time.

Filter life, replacement options, and cost

Vista 200-RF replacement HEPA filter example

For lighter use, the life can be extended by vacuuming the prefilter and you might be able to exceed 8 months, although I’d still recommend replacing it after 6 to 8 months of use.

You’d be surprised how much nastiness the filter will trap and that will build up quickly!

A typical life expectancy for the HEPA filter can be around 8 months or so and in some cases even as much as 12 months, although that’s unusual. Expect to replace it after around 6-8 months or so as a rule of thumb.

Replacement filters cost around $16 for the original replacement which is quite affordable in comparison to other brands which may cost up to twice as much (or more!).

How hard is it to replace the filter?

Diagram showing how to remove HEPA filter from the Levoit Vista 200 purifier

Removing & replacing the filter is super easy and one of the simplest I’ve seen yet. You’ll need to turn the purifier upside down, then simply unlock the cover by twisting it then pull the filter out by the handle.

Filter replacement is very easy and only takes a few seconds. Honestly, it’s one of the best designs I’ve seen yet, and I’ve used many few different purifiers.

Basically, it’s just a few simple steps:

  1. Turn the purifier upside down (carefully to avoid scratching it).
  2. Twist off the cover retaining knob until it’s fully off. Remove the cover.
  3. Pull the filter out.

Replacement is the exact reverse and just as fast, too. While not quite as easy as the other Levoit models I’ve mentioned, it’s still super-easy and a snap to do.

Owner’s manual quality

Levoit Vista 200 owners manual inside examples

The owner’s manual is clear, easy to read, and full of helpful instructions anyone can understand. It’s an excellent example of a well-done instruction manual and one of the best I’ve come across. (Click to enlarge)

I reviewed the instructions and found the owner’s manual to be very clear, helpful, and it really helps you get started quickly.

In the owner’s manual you’ll find:

  • How to best use your purifier
  • The control panel operation
  • Filter maintenance and replacement information
  • Basic specifications and square feet coverage
  • Troubleshooting for various performance or functional problems that could arise

It’s very well-done and makes using the purifier an easy task, unlike some lesser brands & products I’ve tested. I’m pretty darn happy with it, honestly.

Noise levels during use

The company advertises it as having low noise operation and in my experience, while it’s true, it’s not as pleasant as its sibling models. In terms of only the volume level, it is in fact very quiet in fact.

  • Sleep mode is incredibly quiet – so much so you can’t tell the fan is running
  • Low speed (#1) is extremely quiet and not easily detectable to the human ear
  • Medium (#2) is very quiet and has a very low operational noise but has a bit of a “hollow” tone to the sound, likely due to the lightweight body and the fan used.
  • High (#3) has a fair amount of sound but is still easily covered by the sound of the radio, TV, or music in many cases. However, it’s not pleasing to the ear like other models I own & tested.

The high setting is especially helpful for the quickest cleaning of contaminated air.

According to the owner’s manual when air quality is poor it’s best to run it at the high setting for a while then turn it back to the low or medium setting.

While I’ve been very happy with the LV-H132 and Core 300’s quiet sound levels and pleasing, smooth “white noise” sound during use, in this area the Vista 200 is a disappointment.

The sound tone produced when in use isn’t nearly as pleasing – or easy to overlook – as the LV-H132 & Core 300. 

Because the purifier has a lower-cost build and less mass, there’s an odd “hollow” sound produced that I really don’t like.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

MeasurementVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)40
Sleep40.3
Low40.5
Medium42.8
High56.2

Sleep mode is incredibly quiet – so much my ears can’t even detect it’s on.

Low is extremely quiet as well – essentially impossible to hear. Medium and high noise levels are very good, with the high setting about the same as other purifiers like the GermGuardian AC4825, but around 9 dB louder than the LV-H132’s high setting.

Although it has nearly the same volume on high as the Core 300, somehow that model was less noticeable to my ears – likely due to the “smoother”, more gentle sound the Core 300 produces.

Night brightness

I checked the purifier’s brightness in a dark room and found it to be very good – not bright enough to cause sleep problems overnight. Even so, thanks to the built-in light control feature you can turn off all button lighting any time you like.

If you’re a light sleeper light me you’re always having to worry about little things that make it tough to sleep and can even wake you up later. That’s why I always check the night brightness of products with electronic panels with illumination.

When testing the Vista 200 I found it to be pretty good in a darkened room and the brightness isn’t really a concern. However, if you want it perfectly dark that’s not a problem!

You can completely switch off control button lighting by using the lighting on/off button. I like it!

Don’t forget that the almost silent Sleep mode darkens the button lighting as well.

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifiers front view comparison

Above: The Levoit LV-H132 (left) is one of the best-selling air purifiers of all time and set the bar high for what a compact air purifier should be. The Vista 200 (right) offers many similar features but also adds an auto-off timer as well.

While they share a few similarities, the older LV-H132 and Vista 200 do have a few differences worth mentioning.

Here’s a helpful comparison table to cover the basics first:

Image
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home, H13 True HEPA Filter for Allergies and Pets,...
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
Model
LV-H132
Vista 200
Filter type
3-stage/HEPA w/carbon pellet odor control
3-stage/HEPA
Room sq ft
129
161
Warranty
2 years
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Sleep mode
Beep sounds
Auto-off timer
Noise levels (dB)
40/43/47.9
40.3/40.5/42.8/56.2
Current price
$89.99
$89.99
Image
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home, H13 True HEPA Filter for Allergies and Pets,...
Model
LV-H132
Filter type
3-stage/HEPA w/carbon pellet odor control
Room sq ft
129
Warranty
2 years
Night light
Sleep mode
Beep sounds
Auto-off timer
Noise levels (dB)
40/43/47.9
Current price
$89.99
Image
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
Model
Vista 200
Filter type
3-stage/HEPA
Room sq ft
161
Warranty
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Sleep mode
Beep sounds
Auto-off timer
Noise levels (dB)
40.3/40.5/42.8/56.2
Current price
$89.99

To keep it simple, the most notable differences are:

  • The LV-H132 has a room size coverage of 129 sq feet vs the 161 sq ft of the Vista 200.
  • The LV-H132 also has a night light as does the Vista 200, but with a blue color
  • The LV-H132 provides a prefilter with real carbon pellets (better) for odor absorption while the other uses a standard activated carbon coating
  • The Vista provides 3 fan speed + an ultra-quiet Sleep mode. No sleep mode is provided with the LV-H132
  • No auto-off timer on the LV-H132
  • Controls on the LV-H132 produce a beep while the other’s do not
  • 2 yr warranty included (LV-H132) vs a 1 yr warranty with the option to extend by 1 more year
  • The LV-H132 features better airflow and air cleaning performance as it uses a more advanced & higher-quality fan
  • The LV-H132 is a more solid, heavier build than the Vista 200

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifiers top view comparison

Top view of the control panel on the LV-H132 vs the Vista 200.

Ultimately, while the Vista is listed as providing larger room size coverage (161 sq ft) it’s simply not as good of an air purifier as the LV-H132 with its proven track record.

Filter replacements are about the same price, by the way.

Levoit Vista 200 vs Core 300

Levoit Vista 200 vs Core 300 comparison

Although they look very similar, there are some differences to know below the surface. These two models may share the same design style but they’re built very differently.

Despite (at the time of this post) only a small difference in price, these two models have significant differences in performance and how they’re built. In my opinion the Core 300’s quality and air cleaning performance are far above that of the Vista 200.

Here’s a simple comparison table to highlight some of the biggest differences:

Image
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier, white
Model
Vista 200
Core 300
Sleep mode
Auto-off timer
Timer choices
2, 4, 8 hrs
2, 4, 6, 8 hrs
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
3-stage HEPA
Warranty
1 yr (extended optional)
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Filter upgrades
Fan speeds
3 + Sleep mode
3 + Sleep mode
Room sq ft
161
215
CADR rating
(Not provided)
141/140/145
Current price
$89.99
$188.00
Image
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
Model
Vista 200
Sleep mode
Auto-off timer
Timer choices
2, 4, 8 hrs
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
Warranty
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Filter upgrades
Fan speeds
3 + Sleep mode
Room sq ft
161
CADR rating
(Not provided)
Current price
$89.99
Image
LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier, white
Model
Core 300
Sleep mode
Auto-off timer
Timer choices
2, 4, 6, 8 hrs
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
Warranty
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Filter upgrades
Fan speeds
3 + Sleep mode
Room sq ft
215
CADR rating
141/140/145
Current price
$188.00

To keep it simple, the biggest differences are:

  • The Vista 200 has 161 sq ft coverage vs the 215 sq ft you’ll get with the Core 300.
  • The Vista 200 offers a 2-level night light option. The Core 300 does not (replaced with a control lock feature).
  • The Core 300 draws up to 43W while the Vista only 10W maximum.
  • The Core 300 offers more effective air cleaning with both a larger true HEPA filter, good CADR rating, and good airflow rate. The Vista 200 doesn’t have CADR ratings provided (I estimate it’s around 100 for each or less) and air flow is mediocre at best.
  • Upgraded filter options are available for purchase for the Core 300; No such options exist for the Vista 200.
  • The Core 300’s sound levels are not only comparable but are much more pleasant to hear. The Vista 200 produces an unpleasant, coarser “hollow” sound due to its design.
  • The Core 300 has a much heavier, solid feel and a much better fan motor is used.

Ultimately, when comparing everything the Core 300 is a better buy and a more effective air purifier for the money.

Internal view of the Levoit Core 300 air purifier

The Core 300 has a much more powerful fan motor than the very low-cost, lightweight one found in the Vista 200. It’s also a much more solid and heavier unit. I’m a fan of the Core 300, but not the Vista 200 after using both. Also, the Core 300 is simply much more pleasing to the ear when the fan is working!

At this point, I’m honestly confused as to why the company brought the Vista 200 to the market.

If the retail price is almost the same as the older, but better, LV-H132, and within a few dollars of the new and better-built, more powerful Core 300, why buy it?

In my opinion, the Vista 200 is overpriced at this time and I wouldn’t pay above $50-$55 for it. I’d gladly spend more to get the Core 300 as I enjoyed it much and it’s more effective, too!

Alternatively, the good old standby GermGuardian AC4825 is a great choice as well, although you won’t get the same compact size and modern features like Levoit offers.

Review summary & score

The Vista 200 isn’t by any means a bad choice – if it were priced for the budget quality you get. As it stands right now, however, what you get just isn’t worth the price.

I have to say I’m disappointed with the budget feel and cheap design that results in a lower airflow rate (meaning weaker air cleaning). I’m also not happy with a noisier operation than I’ve come to expect from the other very nice Levoit purifiers. It’s a bit annoying to hear while it’s running unlike the others.

Ultimately, when it comes to value and performance it simply doesn’t make sense to buy this at full price vs the LV-H132 or the new Core 300. I enjoyed my Core 300 so much I gave it a good score in my detailed review here.

Those two models are better performers, offer more pleasing noise levels, and are much more solidly built. It’s critical I tell you the truth so you get the best for your money, after all!

Levoit Vista 200 product image in review summaryWant to read more about the Vista 200? Head over now to see the current buyer Vista 200 reviews and more details at Amazon.

 

Levoit Core 300 review editors choice badge product image

My recommendation is to spend just a few dollars more and get a much better performer – and value – for your dollar. I’m a happy Core 300 owner I’m sure you’ll love it, too!

Find out now why the Core 300 is one of the best new air purifiers at Amazon.

Overall
7.4/10
7.4/10
  • Quality - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Value - 6.1/10
    6.1/10
  • Ease of use - 9/10
    9/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 7/10
    7/10
  • Features - 8/10
    8/10
  • Noise levels - 7/10
    7/10

An overpriced, basic air purifier with good features but budget-level design & performance. You've got better choices for nearly the same price.

After owning & testing both the LV-H132 and new Core 300 purifiers from Levoit, the Vista 200 is a let-down. Despite a price close to similar models (and better competitors), the performance is mediocre, the feel is cheap, and it’s clearly not designed at the same level. Features are good and it’s well-made; however, fan airflow & air cleaning is average at best.

Unlike other Levoit models, a cheaper fan is used resulting in disappointing noise & a low-end feel. If you can pick one up for a steal, it’s a good basic purifier. Otherwise, the value simply isn’t there. You’re better off spending just a few more dollars for the newer (and better) Core 300 model. Alternatively, pick up the older but proven LV-H132 for about the same price.

Pros

  • 161 sq ft coverage
  • 2-level night light
  • Ultra-quiet Sleep mode
  • Compact design
  • 1 yr warranty, optionally extendable
  • Good, simple electronic controls
  • Fan setting memory feature
  • Extremely low power use
  • Lighting on/off control
  • Good night time brightness
  • Quiet noise levels
  • Low cost replacement filters
  • Filter check reminder
  • 3-level auto-off timer

Cons

  • Poor value for the price
  • Cheap fan & overall build quality
  • Low fan performance, low airflow rate
  • External power supply unlike others
  • Low weight is easier to tip over
  • No upgrade filter options
  • No CADR ratings provided
  • Core 300 model is only a small price difference
  • Quality is below LV-H132 example

Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier Review – Hands On Details & All The Facts

Levoit LV-H132 air purifier review featured image

Compact. Solid. Quiet. These are some of the words that come to mind when I think the Levoit LV-H132 purifier I own & tested.

But is it really worth the money? And how does it compare to come of its rivals – including new model like the Levoit Core 300? Find out all of this and more in my detailed, hands-on review of the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier.

There’s a lot of info to cover so let’s get started right away!

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier

Levoit Core 300 vs LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifier comparison image

Levoit’s family of air purifiers include the best-selling LV-H132 and 2 newer models: The Vista 200 and the Core 300. All feature low-noise operation, low height, and round design with a true HEPA filter.

One of the best-selling air purifiers of all time, the LV-H132 offers a long list of features & air quality functions that have made it one of the most popular products you’ll find. 

Levoit’s line of air purifiers have some unique features not found in others:

  • Compact circular & modern design
  • Electronic touch controls
  • True HEPA filter with 99.97% efficiency for elements down to 0.3 millionths of a meter (0.3 microns)
  • Prefilter with activated charcoal for odor & volatile organic chemical (VOC) absorption
  • Low-noise operation that’s one of the quietest in any purifier available
  • White low-gloss finish
  • Nigh light feature (model-specific option)

The LV-H132 is now a bit more mature & older when compared to the most recent models recently released by the company. However, it’s definitely still a very good choice and a competent air purifier.

Read on to find out why.

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

Image of unboxing the LV-H132 air purifier from its packaging

I got my own LV-H132…finally! I carefully took it out of the shipping box. It’s well-packaged and the owner’s manual is placed where it’s easy to find. There’s also a customer service phone number clearly placed where you’ll see it upon opening the box. Well done!

Having owned & tested so many different kinds of air purifiers you’d think this wasn’t a big deal. Just the same, I’ve always been curious to try out the popular Levoit for myself and see what all the fuss is about!

The LV-H132 came well-packaged with soft closed cell foam inserts to hold it steady. Overall my first impressions were good as I’ve come to expect from the company.

Example of a new HEPA filter in bag in the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier

When getting started with your LV-H132 purifier, you’ll need to remove the protective plastic cover from the air filter, already installed inside the unit. There’s also a plastic protective layer covering the controls to remove as well.

After unboxing the purifier I began inspecting the quality, learning the controls & features, setting it up, and testing it.

To set up your new purifier you’ll need to remove the filter from its plastic bag before use.  That’s done to preserve the HEPA filter inside as well as prevent the active carbon filter from losing life before you get it.

Build quality and fit & finish

Close up images of the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier body

The LV-H132 has a nice, modern-looking satin white finish. Parts are tight, aligned correctly, and altogether it looks well-made. That’s one of the characteristics of the company’s line of air quality products.

After opening and unpacking it (which consisted of removing the corrugated cardboard inserts – styrofoam isn’t used with this one) I finally got to check it out and turn it on!

The LV-H132 features an attractive satin white body that looks nice and can fit in just about anywhere you put it. The control panel features a good-looking gloss black inlay with contrasting button symbols.

In the center of the top portion of the unit is a “grill” which is where light is generated when the night light feature is used..+

Overall impressions and manufacturing quality

After giving the purifier a close looking-over I’m happy to say it passes with flying colors – absolutely no signs of poor design, assembly issues, or defects. The purifier feels solid and well-made in the hands, weighing several pounds (

It’s definitely not an “el-cheapo” product here – it’s the same great Levoit build quality I’ve experienced while testing the super-selling LV-H132.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that gaps and misaligned parts are a sign of build issues. I’m happy to report you won’t find that here – only a well-made purifier that looks great right from the get-go!

Checking out the controls

Image of Levoit LV-H132 air purifier controls with illustrated text

Diagram showing the Levoit Core 300 touch control functions & features. It’s super-easy to use the purifier: Turn the power on/off, select a fan speed, turn the night light on or off, or optionally turn off all control panel illumination (see below for details).

Using the purifier is really easy. In the picture above, you can see the touch controls, each with a symbol:

  • Fan speed button (low, med, and high)
  • Check filter indicator
  • Night light control
  • Power on/off

The controls are nice and work well – they’re not too sensitive but don’t need a hard touch, either.

I found them to be reliable and using them became natural after only a few uses. Obviously, some very good engineering work has gone into this model.

One feature I really like is the setting memory feature. When switching the unit back on after earlier use, the last settings used are restored including the night light. Very nice!

Does the LV-H132 beep?

Yes, touching any of the controls causes a very short beep to show you’ve touched one of the controls. Additionally, the same is true for power up or down when the power button is pushed or when the unit is plugged into an outlet.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn off the sound. If that’s a particular issue for you, consider the sibling models the Vista 200 and the even better Core 300 I reviewed here.

However, the beeps aren’t too loud and aren’t an issue in my opinion.

Fan speeds & modes

The purifier’s fan controls are really very straightforward: Just touch it to rotate through the 3 speeds.

What I like about Levoit purifiers (and that you won’t find on many competitor models) is that they ramp up (or down) gracefully when changing speeds.

There’s no harsh, abrupt “jumping” to a much faster setting. Instead, you’ll hear and feel the fan gently increase or decrease in speed until it reaches the next speed.

Additional features

Image showing examples of extra features on the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier

Reset the filter reminder anytime (for example in the case of early maintenance) by pushing and holding the reminder button. Another nice feature is the all-off illumination control: Push and hold the night light button to turn off all button backlights if you like.

There are a few more features worth noting:

  • Filter reminder: When lit (after around 6 months) it’s time to check your filters and replace if needed. You can reset the reminder by pushing and holding it for 3 seconds. Additionally, you can do so any time so there’s no need to wait until the button lights to carry out filter maintenance.
  • Control lights on/off: Switches off ALL control lighting completely (great for sleeping or light-sensitive people like me!) You can do so by pushing and holding the night light button.

I was happy to find out that if you’re sensitive to light you can switch off all control panel lights by using the night light/dimmer button. That’s a nice option I rarely see on these types of products.