Levoit produces some of the best air quality products around and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular. They’re well-made, have great buyer reviews, and deliver on the promises the company makes.
Now there’s a new purifier on the market! In my Levoit Core 300 air purifier review I’ll tell you the results of my hands-on testing. I’ll dig deep into the features and how it compares to other products, too.
Find out if it’s a good choice, the pros & cons to know before buying, and everything else in between.
- 1. Getting to know the Levoit Core 300 air purifier
- 2. Unpacking & first impressions
- 3. Build quality and fit & finish
- 4. Checking out the controls
- 5. Specifications & CADR ratings
- 6. Comparing Levoit compact purifier vs tower models
- 7. Levoit Core 300 power use measurements
- 8. Air cleaning ability & performance
- 9. Does the Core 300 produce ozone?
- 10. Filter replacement indicators & maintenance costs
- 11. Owner’s manual quality
- 12. Noise levels during use
- 13. Night brightness
- 14. Levoit LV-H132 vs Core 300
- 15. Review summary
Getting to know the Levoit Core 300 air purifier
The family of Levoit air purifiers include the best-selling LV-H132 and 2 newer models: The Vista 200 and the Core 300. All feature low-noise operation, a low height and round design, and a true HEPA filter.
Following on the footsteps of one of the best-selling air purifiers of all time the LV-H132, the Core 300 features many similarities. The Core 300 is a “bigger brother” to the lower-budget design of the Vista 200.
The Levoit product family provides some common features and design style cues:
- Circular build design and 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
Additionally, it’s important to know a few differences between the two with regard to specific features as well as the prefilter section.
Like the LV-H132, it’s quite solid in the hand and has a substantial weight, making it unlikely to tip over. However, unlike the LV-H132 it gives up one feature but adds another.
I’ll cover those all in more detail later.
Unpacking & first impressions
Finally my Levoit Core 300 arrived. After removing it from the shipping box, inside was a great little product I’d soon enough come to love. 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!
If you’ve been on my site a few times, you probably figured out by now that I’m no stranger to air purifiers.
Even so, getting a new Levoit air cleaner product got my curiosity up and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! There’s a good reason for that, too: Its predecessor, the Levoit LV-H132, is still a super-popular seller and a great example of what a good air purifier can be.
The Core 300 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.
After unboxing the Core 300 purifier, you’ll need to remove the protective plastic cover from the touch control panel. However, if you’d prefer to leave it there the controls will still work fine.
After unboxing the purifier I began inspecting the quality, learning the controls & features, setting it up, and testing it.
Build quality and fit & finish
The Core 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 (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 Core 300 is made with an attractive matte white body that looks nice nearly anywhere. There’s a handsome gray trim ring near the lower half. A gloss black electronic touch control panel is in the top center and adds a classy touch to the top.
Overall impressions and manufacturing quality
I didn’t get any kind of impressions of it having any poor-quality construction or production-related flaws. It looks good and honestly, I’m very happy with it. 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
Diagram showing the Levoit Core 300 touch control functions & features. While it might look like a lot at first, it’s super-easy to use the purifier: Select a fan speed or super-quiet Sleep mode, turn the illumination on/off, select an optional auto-off timer choice, or lock the touch controls if needed. It’s a snap to use.
Operating the Core 300 is very easy. In the picture above, you can see the touch controls, each with a symbol:
- Fan speed button (low, med, and high)
- Control panel lock on/off
- Check filter indicator
- Control lighting on/off button
- Timer function/hour select (2, 4, 6, & 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, and I got the impression the design work behind them is solid and well-planned.
Note that unlike the LV-H132, this unit doesn’t beep when buttons are touched. It’s silent.
Fan speeds & modes
The purifier’s fan speed is very straightforward: Just touch it to rotate through the various 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
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.
In fact, it’s so quiet you won’t be able to hear it! (See my sound measurements below)
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, 6, or 8 hours of run time.
Many other purifiers, if they offer this at all, are limited to only 3 options.
A feature unique to the Core 300, by pushing and holding the display lock button for 3 seconds all other controls cannot be changed or tampered with. The button will light to show the control lock is active. Push & hold it again to undo it.
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 lighting completely (great for sleeping or light-sensitive people like me!)
- Display (control) lock on/off: Push and hold to prevent controls from being changed accidentally – the touch panel will ignore push button use. Push & hold again for 3 seconds to return to normal.
- Power on/off: Switches off the purifier completely.
During testing, however, I never found the display lock feature useful. For those of you with young children it could be helpful.
Specifications & CADR ratings
- Room size rating: 215 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: Dust (141), pollen (140), smoke (145)
- AHAM Verified, Energy Star Verified, FCC certified, ETL listed, CA PROP 65 certified
- Simple electronic touch controls
- Control lighting on/off feature
- Control lock option to prevent settings change
- Memory feature retains last setting used
- Filter replacement reminder (~6 mos.)
- 1 year warranty (extended coverage available)
- Replacement filters: Core 300-RF, Core 300-RF-PA, Core 300-RF-TX
- Power use: 43.3W (max. fan speed)
- Weight: 7.5 lb (3.4 kg)
- Cord length: 6 ft.
- Control location: Top
- Size: 8.7 x 8.7 x 14.2 in (22 x 22 x 36 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.
The Core 300’s CADR ratings are shown here.
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 Core 300’s is good for its size and you’ll find that many similarly priced models have a rating of around 100 or so, if it’s even provided at all.
Comparing Levoit compact purifier vs tower models
The purifier is fairly short unlike some popular competitors such as the GermGuardian AC4825 which is 22″ tall. Measuring slightly under 14 1/2″ tall, the Core 300 is compact in my opinion.
At only 14.2″ in height, it’s a pretty small model. While most “tower” air purifiers tend to be rather tall at 22″ to 28″ or so (such as the popular competitor the GermGuardian AC4825) which makes the Levoit model a nice change if space is a concern.
There’s another advantage there, too: It’s nearly impossible to tip it over by accident. In my experience, tall tower purifiers can be a bit easy to bump into and knock over accidentally.
Be sure to give it sufficient 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.
At about 7.5 lbs (3.4 kgs) in weight, it’s definitely a very solid-feeling product. Unlike some cheaper competitors I’ve tested and found lacking, there’s a better feel in the hand.
On the other hand, you’ll need to be sure to place it on a solid surface to avoid problems because of it.
Carrying the purifier
However, one thing that’s lacking is a carrying handle. That’s not unique to the 300 as other Levoit models are similar in this regard.
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 Core 300 power use measurements
Pictured: I measured power use in Watts for 5 settings: 4 total speeds/modes plus the off state. I recorded power meter readings both with and without control lighting in use and didn’t measure any measurable increase with the lighting on. It’s an efficient air purifier and you won’t have to worry about driving up your power bill – even if you let it run all day, every day!
How many watts does the Core 300 use?
Like many other products, while the owner’s manual does specify the largest power usage, it doesn’t provide it for the other modes & settings available.
Rather than guess, I measured power use in Watts for all speed settings with and without the control lighting switched on. Note that there’s so little power used in standby (off) mode my meter was not able to record it.
Levoit Core 300 power use measurement table
Overall, it doesn’t use much power at any setting and efficiency is about the same for all speeds (aside from Sleep mode). For medium & high speeds the fan is running faster and you’ll get faster air cleaning.
The drawback is that the highest speed is very noticeable in volume while all the others are very quiet.
For all power measurements recorded, I switched the control lighting off as well. The difference was so small it couldn’t be measured.
Sleep mode puts the unit in a super-quiet mode in which the fan continues to run but a greatly reduced rate. It’s a good option to keep the purifier running while sleeping but avoid bother noise (not that it would, as even low & medium are very quiet!)
Air cleaning ability & performance
Comparing the Levoit true HEPA filters for 3 models including the Core 300. 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. Right: The lower model, the Vista 200, has a very similar filter design but is smaller.
The slightly older LV-H132 uses a very compact filter with real carbon pellets for trapping additional odor and volatile organic compounds (VCOs) in the air. Unlike that, the Core 300’s filter uses a standard prefilter coating containing the activated carbon elements.
While that may be a bit of a weakness when comparing the 2 models, one area where the Core 300’s HEPA filter really stands out is that the filter is more than twice the size of its predecessor.
Levoit Core 300 square feet coverage and room size
As it’s rated for up to 215 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.
215 sq ft is roughly a 10.75 x 20 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.
The Core 300 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 pretty darn 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 Core 300 can remove:
- Pet dander
- Pet hair (thanks to the pre-filter)
- Dust mite allergens
- Home construction particles
- Smoke residue
- Smoke odors
- Chemical and organic odors
- Chemical vapors
What is the 3-stage filter?
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 it?
In my testing I found the air cleaning ability to be very good, actually, as I had hoped. While I didn’t get the super-speed fan operation like some competing models have, it’s much more pleasant to use on an everyday basis because it’s so quiet.
I have a huge problem with dust where I live and the purifier started capturing a large amount immediately. It did well for light odors too.
My only real complaint is that a filter version with a more powerful odor control section with real carbon pellets (as the LV-H132 model provides) should be included. However, a more powerful odor & toxin absorption model is available as the Core 300-RF-TX replacement filter upgrade.
Does the Core 300 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 Core 300 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 should be producing noticeable ozone, anyway!)
Filter replacement indicators & maintenance costs
Replacement indicator lights
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.
However, note that the company recommends you replace the filter sooner under especially heavy use – the filter reminder serves as a general guideline.
Additionally, a great 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
Unlike most products, the Core 300 purifier offers not just 1, not 2, but THREE options for replacing the original filter assembly. Shown: The original replacement filter (Core 300-RF), a pet allergen version (Core 300-RF-PA), and an enhanced odor and toxin version (Core 300-RF-TX).
The company recommends replacing the filter after about 6-8 months; however, this depends greatly on use.
For example, if you’re a smoker or have indoor pets you should expect to possibly need to replace the filter sooner. On the other hand, if you have much less demanding needs the filter will take longer to build up particulates, dust, and other nasty particles.
Getting the most life out of your filter
For lighter use the life can be extended even further 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!
Replacement filters cost around $20 for the original replacement which is actually very affordable for the quality of the purifier. Many other models sold today cost much more, in fact.
If you’d like to upgrade to one of the enhanced filters you’ll pay somewhere around an extra $10 or so over the original.
Core 300-RF replacement filter options
Currently, 3 filter options are available and I’m happy to see that. Your options are:
- Core 300-RF 3-stage original filter
- Core 300-RF-PA upgraded filter for pet allergens
- Core 300-RF-TX upgraded filter with enhanced odor and toxin absorption
That’s an unexpected benefit I didn’t think I’d see as very few companies offer more options you can buy. The 2 other models offer strengths more suited to the most common and difficult air quality needs.
Here’s how they’re different from the original filter option:
- The pet allergen model (Core 300-RF-PA) uses a specialized filter material
- The enhanced odor & toxin model (Core 300-RF-TX) uses a better activated carbon filter section (“Air Reborn Odor Removal Formula” and customized high-grade granular carbon) for stronger vapor & smell removal
How hard is it to replace the filter?
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:
- Turn the purifier upside down (carefully to avoid scratching it).
- Twist open the cover using the handle. The cover will unlock.
- Pull the filter out by its handle.
Replacement is the exact reverse and just as fast, too. Most air purifiers are not hard, but hands-down this is one of the best designs I’ve seen.
Unlike like others there’s a handle on the filter itself which eliminates any struggle you might have trying to get the old one out.
Owner’s manual quality
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)
After unboxing my new purifier 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 it’s definitely true!
- 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 with a very pleasant light white noise tone
- 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
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 ideal to run it at the high setting for a while then turn it back to the low or medium setting.
Just like its counterpart the LV-H132, it’s one of the quietest purifiers you can buy today. It’s not just that it’s quiet, but the fan sound, when it can be heard, is pleasant and not a “harsh” sound like many produce.
In other words, most of the time you can’t hear it running…but when you do, it sounds good!
I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.
|Off (room noise)||40|
Compared to other air purifiers I’ve tested it’s well below their noise levels even on the low setting. Needless to say, many competitors are very noisy on the highest fan speed and in fact can be downright annoying.
If you’re easily distracted, lose concentration, or just hate unpleasant sounds, you’re going to really like this one.
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 off feature you can turn off all control lighting any time you like.
If you’re a light sleeper light me you’re always having to worry about not just sound but light, too, overnight.
Levoit LV-H132 vs Core 300
The Levoit LV-H132 (left) is an all-time best-selling purifier that’s been copied but never duplicated. It shares many similarities with the Core 300 but has a few differences you’ll want to know about when shopping. Don’t worry, though, as both are some of the best for your hard-earned dollar!
Before the Core 300 was introduced one very special model set the bar very high for home air purifiers: The LV-H132 true HEPA purifier with 3-stage air cleaning.
Although it shares many similarities in both design & performance with the Core 300 there are some details you’ll need to know before buying. Especially since both are in the same general price range.
Here’s a simple comparison chart to help:
To keep it simple, the biggest differences are:
- The LV-H132 has a room size coverage of 129 sq feet vs the 215 sq ft you’ll get with the Core 300.
- The LV-H132 offers a 2-level night light option. The Core 300 does not.
- The LV-H132 provides a prefilter with real carbon pellets (better) for odor absorption while the Core 300 uses a standard activated carbon coating.
- The Core 300 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 Core 300’s controls are silent.
- 2 yr warranty (LV-H132) vs a 1 yr warranty (Core 300) provided.
- The Core 300 offers more effective air cleaning with both a larger true HEPA filter, higher CADR rating, and slightly better fan rate.
Ultimately, when comparing everything the Core 300 is a better buy and a more effective air purifier for the money.
Although you might find the LV-H132 for less money now that it’s older, and despite the real carbon pellet prefilter for better odor control, I recommend the Core 300 purifier.
You can always upgrade the filter in your Core 300 for better odor control (Core 300-RF-TX option) for a few dollars more, plus it’s simply a better purifier altogether.
Both are solid choices and won’t let you down, but the Core 300 is a newer, updated design that’s a better option when you look at the big picture.
I have to say I had big expectations for the Core 300 air purifier – and I wasn’t disappointed! It’s super-quiet just like its older sibling the LV-H132, but offers even better air cleaning performance, room size coverage, and features.
Not only that, but I really like the updated styling. I do miss the night light feature offered by other models but that’s a minor complaint. The addition of the auto-off timer and the ability to upgrade the replacement filters affordably really convinced me it’s a winner.
Ready for a super-quiet, well-made air purifier that you’ll love? It’s here!
Head over now to find out more and read the great buyer reviews at Amazon.
Following in the footsteps of the best-selling LV-H132, the Core 300 offers an updated air purifier with not just more features but improved air cleaning, too. While the night light is gone (and missed) the addition of an auto-off timer is a welcome feature still not offered by many competitors. Offering bigger room size coverage, a higher Clean Air Delivery Rate, an ultra-quiet sleep mode, and updated styling, it's a well-rounded package and good value. While the prefilter lacks the odor effectiveness of the older model, upgraded filters are available for little extra cost if that's a concern. With very quiet operation and an on/off light feature it's great for even the most sensitive buyers. Maintenance & operation are a breeze. A smart buy!
- Good CADR rating vs competitors
- Very quiet operation
- Ultra-quiet sleep mode
- Filter check reminder
- Display lock feature
- Fan speed adjust gracefully
- Setting memory feature
- Illumination on/off control
- Auto-off timer w/ 4 settings
- 215 sq ft room coverage
- Very easy maintenance
- Filter upgrades available
- Great owner's manual
- Well-built, sleek design
- Extended warranty option
- Very reasonable maintenance costs
- Prefilter can be cleaned
- Low-profile design won't tip over
- Good customer support
- Uses standard prefilter odor coating vs pellets
- No night light offered
- No additional color options
- Carrying handle not provided
- No auto-sensing features
- Fan speed/air flow can't match some others
- Germ killing feature not included