When it comes to the Levoit LV-H132 and the GermGuardian AC4825 it’s not as simple as asking which one is “best” – both have their pros and cons. Additionally, both have excellent buyer satisfaction ratings making it even harder to decide.
In my detailed Levoit LV-H132 vs. GermGuardian AC4825 comparison, I’ll tell you what you need to know before buying. I own and have personally tested both!
Which one is right for you? Read on and I’ll help you decide.
Getting to know the Levoit LV-H132 and GermGuardian AC4825
Both models look a bit different from the outside but in fact share a lot of common features, performance, and build quality. There are significant size & styling differences to consider too. But not to worry – both are great at what they do! I’m sure one will find a great place in your home.
As far as air purifiers sold today go, two of the best-selling and most popular are without a doubt the Levoit LV-H132 and the GermGuardian AC4825 both occupy one of the most popular price segments over at Amazon. Both normally sell for below $100.
I’ve owned and have tested many air purifiers and still use my AC4825, but I’ve always been curious about the LV-H132 and wanted to compare the two.
Both models are HEPA filter-based models that work with a pre-filter and active carbon filter to trap air contaminants, odors, and dust and hair.
Additionally, both are pretty simple to use I’m happy to report.
In case you’re interested, I’ve written an extensive review of the GermGuardian AC4825 I own here.
However, there are definitely some important differences between the two to be aware of. This is not a case of “one is better than the other.” Both have strengths and weaknesses, meaning one will be a better fit in your home than the other.
Let’s dig into the specifics, shall we?
Specifications comparison – Levoit LV-H132 vs GermGuardian AC4825
Here are the specific differences to know between both models. Note that the LV-H132 has a lower Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) and doesn’t feature a UV-C germ killing feature, both of which I’ll cover in more detail later.
Levoit LV-H132 overview
The Levoit LV-H132 is a compact and good-looking model with top-mounted controls. Unlike the GermGuardian AC4825, the filter is located on the bottom (as opposed to the rear). It’s well-made and looks great. Note that No products found.
The Levoit LV-H132 is a HEPA filter purifier with the following features:
- Electronic touch controls
- HEPA 3-in-1 filter
- Night light feature
- Activated carbon section is real pellets, not a coating
- 3-speed fan
- VERY quiet operation
- Memory feature for power-on
- Now available in black
Replace filters by turning the unit upside and removing the bottom cover (see below for more details) and are normally replaced by inserting a new all-in-one filter cartridge.
The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is lower than that of the GermGuardian AC4825, but one reason for that it’s a quieter fan that has a lower airflow rate. As its recommended room size is smaller than that of the GermGuardian that’s to be expected as well.
It’s a compromise you live with given the low-noise advantage it provides.
Finally! I’ve admired the LV-H132 for a long time and while I love my white one, the newly available black version is even better looking!
One of my long-standing complaints about the LV-H132 was the lack of an alternate color. It’s a great-looking purifier – don’t get me wrong, but I love an alternate color choice.
The great news is that Levoit now offers the same model in black too.
Ideally targeted at small to medium-sized rooms, it’s a great choice for a bedroom or any other small room. The air purification effectiveness is very good in my experience. It also has one of the best carbon filter sections I’ve seen.
A good active carbon filter is effective at trapping odors as well as volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in the air you can potentially inhale.
There’s a handy filter replacement reminder built-in as well.
Compact size, hard to tip over
At about 14.5″ (36.8 cm) tall, it’s still very compact and quite a bit shorter than the GermGuardian model. I like the compactness, but it comes with a trade-off as I’ll tell you later.
One great advantage, however, is that it’s not going to get tipped over like taller tower purifiers.
One advantage you’ll have with the Levoit is the memory feature. Unlike the AC4825, turning it back on restores it to its earlier settings for both the fan speed and night light. That’s a nice touch I really like!
I’ve had some time to test and try the LV-H132 and I have to say it’s very well-made. The fit and finish are excellent. Undoubtedly some great thought was put into its design.
Build quality is good, with solid construction and great fit and finish. All around, it gives off a great impression of a great purifier that’s a quality contender.
Night light feature
The LV-H132 has a night light button with 2 brightness levels to choose from.
While it’s a nice feature to have (it definitely provides lots of light in the room) my gripe is that the low setting is still very bright.
If you’re sensitive to light when sleeping that may be a deal-breaker like it is for me. In that case, I had to leave it turned off.
However, for parents and others who can really use the soft lighting effect, it’s a great option to have at your disposal.
GermGuardian AC4825 overview
The popular Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,... is a 22″ tall unit containing not one but two fan assemblies. It’s rated at a higher Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 100+ and is recommended for up to 167 sq. feet.
The AC4825 also uses a 2-stage true HEPA filter assembly, but the similarities with the Levoit model end there.
It uses manual (top-mounted) controls via a 3-speed rotary fan switch. However, it does have a distinct advantage over the LV-H132: it’s one of the several GermGuardian models featuring a germ-killing ultraviolet light (UV-C) feature that’s optional.
It’s very simple to use by engaging the push button control on top. When turned on, the purifier indicates this by illuminating the trim ring around the edge of the top section with a nice blue glow.
For those who want extra protection against airborne illnesses, it’s a great feature to consider. I’d like to add it’s especially a great idea for those with babies or people prone to sickness, colds, and more.
It also has a handy filter replacement reminder right on top where it’s easy to see.
The AC4825’s stylish twin, the GermGuardian AC4900CA. It’s the same in performance and is essentially the same purifier in a different body.
While the AC4825 isn’t available in an alternate color like the Levoit air purifier, it is available in another version called the AC4900CA. That’s a great model I also own, and it features a stylish brushed metal appearance finish and front-mounted controls.
Both are identical in performance and operation.
(If you’re interested in much more detail, check out my excellent AC4825 review here)
Ideally, the AC4825 is well best for medium-sized rooms. However, it’s fine in small rooms if you’ve got the space. At about 22″ (~56 cm) in height, it definitely won’t fit in as many areas as the LV-H132). So bear that in mind when comparing.
As I’ve owned my AC4825 for some time now, I can tell you it also has good quality construction and is well-made. The finish is a great-looking satin black with a matte silver trim on top.
Body parts line up well with no gaps or defects. It doesn’t feel cheap like some other products I’ve owned, and you’ll see what I mean when you get one in your hands, too.
I’ve never had a problem or complaint with the build quality and I’m very satisfied with it!
Night light…sort of!
When in use, the AC4825’s UV-C germ killing feature produces a lovely, gentle glow through the translucent trim around the base of the control top section.
It’s not exactly a night light, but it does produce a small glow that provides a bit of light, so it’s still somewhat useful in that regard.
If you’re like me and are very sensitive to light when sleeping, you’ll have to turn it off before bed. However, others may appreciate the other benefit: not just killing germs and microbes in the air, but also a cool-looking glow at night!
Filter replacement comparisons
But how hard is it to check or replace the filter in both? Let’s have a look.
Accessing the filter assembly on the LV-H132. Note that the filter shown (in a plastic bag) is what you’ll see when buying new. You’ll need to remove it from the bag before use, as it’s stored for safekeeping to the carbon filter portion fresh for use.
The LV-H132 isn’t hard to deal with: turn the unit upside down and twist to unlock the cover using the handle (top), then pull it out to reach the filter assembly (bottom). It’s not hard, but when replacing the cover you’ll need to twist it the opposite direction and lock it back in place
All in all, I found it pretty simple and straightforward, so no complaints here!
The AC4825 has a simple rear cover with a locking tab to open when you want to check or replace the filters. It’s very straightforward and works well.
Likewise, the AC4825 is really simple as well. If anything, it may be just slightly easier to do, but it’s nothing significant.
To remove the rear cover, push down on the release tab at the top, then lean the cover down. Two bottom-mounted tabs keep it aligned. Simply pull the cover out and up, and it’s free.
The filter assembly also leans out easily and is really simple to replace. Just pull out the old one and re-insert the new one. That’s it! You’re done.
I don’t see any big advantages in one model over the other, so again there they’re quite similar, just different in design.
Controls comparison for the LV-H132 and AC4825 models. The Levoit (left) uses touch-sensitive electronic controls which are a nice touch and work very well, if a bit sensitive. The AC4825 (right) has simple but good-feeling manual controls. It’s also extremely simple to use and I definitely suggest it for those who aren’t comfortable with electronic controls.
There aren’t any major advantages between one or the other when it comes to controls. In my experience, they’re both great at what they do.
Levoit LV-H143 controls
Honestly, I feel like it comes down to personal preference in this category. The Levoit’s controls are clear and easy to use – very intuitive. They’re touch controls, so it’s easy to make a mistake and change a setting by accident, but in my experience that didn’t happen often.
The fan speed control simply rotates through the 3 settings (low, medium, and high) so you just keep touching the fan symbol button until it’s where you need it to be.
The night light feature (shown above as a light bulb symbol) rotates through the high, low, and off settings.
One thing to note: the LV-H132 makes a beeping sound each time a button is touched. You can’t disable the beeping sound. That’s one drawback you need to be aware of.
While it isn’t an irritant for many, for those who will be using it in a baby’s room or another quiet area it’s something to consider.
GermGuardian AC4825 controls
I also found the AC4825 extremely easy to use. It’s an especially great choice for the elderly or others who prefer the touch and “feel” of a manual rotary controller. It feels solid and works well.
Likewise, the push button germ killing switch is a “soft button” and works great with good feedback for your fingers.
I can’t find any faults here either as well. The simplicity of the 3-speed fan control I’m sure will be appealing to both those who like more advanced controls as well as people who prefer uncomplicated products.
It’s cheaper to manufacturer basic controls which I’m sure contributes to the AC4825 being an overall good value (along with having more square foot coverage than the LV-H132.
Maintenance cost differences
Expect to replace filters around 6-8 months after use, although that time varies greatly by use and the condition of the air in your home. For some, the HEPA filter’s life can be extended as long as a year!
Both models have a separately replaceable pre-filter section, although for the LV-H132 that doesn’t include the active carbon section as well, which for the AC4825 it does.
Expect to pay around $15-$25 for a complete filter replacement for the LV-H132 and around $27-$30+ for the GermGuardian model. Note that prices always vary from time to time and seller to seller.
That being said, the Levoit does have an advantage here as far as filter costs go. You can shop around and find 3rd party brands for less money for the GermGuardian, however. I’ve seen a few in my research.
AC4825 UV bulb costs
One thing to bear in mind is that owners (like me) of the AC4825 will eventually have to replace the UV-C bulb as well.
Shown: LB-4000 UV replacement bulb for the GermGuardian AC4825 air purifier’s germ killing feature.
Rated life is about 12 months and you can expect to pay near $25. You’ll need to remove the rear metal cover (located internally in front of the filter) using a Phillips head screwdriver.
It’s fairly simple to do and the owner’s manual provides clear & detailed instructions which I like.
LV-H132 vs AC4825 noise levels
To have some solid facts to share with you, I measured the noise levels I heard. Using this great little digital sound level meter I bought at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifiers I recorded the real noise levels produced.
|Speed||LV-H132 Vol. (dB)||AC4825 Vol. (dB)|
|Off (room noise)||39.3||39.3|
What does this mean? The basic result is that the Levoit model is significantly quieter during operation. As a matter of fact, on low and medium settings, it has to be one of the quietest air purifiers I’ve ever heard!
Don’t get me wrong: the AC4825 is quiet and the many happy buyer reviews back up my statement. However, the Levoit was even more quiet than I could have imagined.
When it’s in use, it’s so amazingly quiet that sometimes you can’t even tell it’s on! For those who hate annoying noise, that’s a definite plus.
The GermGuardian isn’t bad by any means. The biggest difference is that the ultra-quiet noise level of the LV-H132 comes with a price. Because the fan speed is low for low noise, the air flow rate is lower than the AC4825. Hence, the room size coverage recommendation is only 129 square feet.
The AC4825’s design is a bit different
The AC4825, however, has two internal fan sections that can move more air much more rapidly (and hence are better for larger rooms) but produce a bit more noise.
Additionally, due to its design, the AC4825’s electronics produce a small amount of “whirring” noise from how it drives the internal electric motor when in use. It’s a very minor detail, but I like people to be aware before buying.
As I’m very picky and have good hearing I can hear the difference. However, I’m still very happy with my AC4825. It produces a nice, steady sound like white noise that’s hardly noticeable in practice.
I did notice that you need to give it some time in use before it breaks in and can become more pleasant-sounding.
Pros and cons comparisons
Here’s a pretty good summary of the fundamental pros and cons of both models. Take what you will from it – it’s not a perfect list, but I’ve tried hard to include everything you should know before making a buying decision.
- Compact size (only about 14.5″ tall)
- Electronic touch controls
- Ultra-quiet operation
- Better activated carbon filter (real pellets)
- Beautiful appearance
- Simple operation
- Great owner’s manual
- Good customer support
- 2-level night light
- Memory feature
- Great quality
- Excellent purifier performance
- No motor noise like AC4825
- Available in black
- No carry handle built-in
- Lower room coverage than AC4825
- No germ-killing feature
- Beeping cannot be switched off
- Shorter warranty (2 vs 3 years)
- Cannot disable beeping sound for controls
- Low setting for night light isn’t low enough
- Single fan design
- No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
- Quiet operation comes at the cost of lower air flow rate
- 167 sq. ft. room coverage (medium-large)
- Very easy to use
- Available in AC4900CA version
- UV-C germ killing feature
- Carry handle built-in
- Dual-fan design
- Filter replacement reminder
- UV bulb replacement reminder
- 3-year warranty
- 3-in-1 air cleaning design
- Maintenance is easy to perform
- Low operational noise
- Highly effective & true HEPA level filtering
- Available in twin AC4900CA model
- Prefilter/carbon filter section can be replaced separately from HEPA section
- Nice design & weight won’t tip over easily
- UV-C feature must be turned on manually after power off then on
- No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
- Uses an activated carbon coating vs real pellets like the LV-H132
- Blue glowing trim could be noticeable to some with high sensitivity
- Tall height is not suitable for all users
- Rotary manual control fan speed switch
- Slight (very minor) motor noise when running
- No other color options available (aside from AC4900CA)
- You’ll need to buy 3rd party filters to save money as originals are more expensive
Levoit LV-H132 vs GermGuardian AC4825 comparison table
|Feature||Levoit LV-H132||GermGuardian AC4825|
|Room size coverage||129 sq. ft. (small room)||167 sq. ft (medium-large room)|
|Night light?||Yes (2 levels)||No|
|Control type||Electronic touch controls||Manual rotary switch|
|Germ killing feature?||No||Yes|
|Noise levels||Ultra quiet||Quiet/normal|
|Warranty||2 years||3 year limited|
|Size||8.5 x 8.5 x 14.5″||6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″|
(Current pricing updated on 2020-10-01 at 11:11 via Amazon)
Which should you buy?
I totally understand how hard it is to decide. After all, they’re nearly priced the same and if you’re new to buying an air purifier, you might not even know which is best for you.
Here are my recommendations for deciding:
You should pick the LV-H132 if:
- You have a small room or office
- Like the night light feature
- Prefer a better odor control filter
- Want almost-silent operation
- Are ok with electronic controls & the beeping on touch
- Need a more compact air purifier
- Don’t need a germ killing feature
- Prefer touch controls
You should pick the AC4825 if:
- You have a medium to large sized room
- Want a purifier with higher fan speed/flow rate
- Don’t mind the tall size (~22″)
- Want a germ killing feature
- Don’t need a super-quiet operation
- Want more value (more room coverage for the same price range)
- Don’t like touch controls
My final advice
Ultimately, they’re both excellent air purifiers backed by thousands of happy buyer reviews. As I own both of them and have personally tested each, I’m confident you’d be happy with either one. Have look for yourself!
|Levoit LV-H132||Check at Amazon|
|GermGuardian AC4825||Check at Amazon|
If you’re seriously considering the AC4825, read my detailed and honest review of it here before spending your money!
You can also find out more about the AC4825’s twin, the AC4900CA, here in my AC4825 vs AC4900CA detailed comparison.