Thinking about picking up a nice new air purifier? Figuring out all the gritty details can be tough and takes a lot of time. I’d love to help make it easier.
In this detailed post, I’ll compare the Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifiers and tell you which is a better buy. Following my hands-on testing & daily use, I’ve found out a few things that will save you from making a bad buying decision!
Don’t spend a cent until you find out why I recommend one over the other (and an even better option, too!).
Getting to know the Levoit LV-H132 and Vista 200 air purifiers
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 competing products in their price range.
One of the leading manufacturers of air quality products today, Levoit has been a long-time producer of some of the best-selling air purifiers today. Their popular LV-H132 has been one of the top sellers – and best-rated – models for years now.
What’s different about Levoit air purifiers is their distinctive style, engineering quality, and features that separate them from the competition.
There’s a very unique look, feel, and design approach that gives them a very classy and distinguished appearance that’s a winner with many consumers.
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 and easy-access maintenance
- Readily available replacement filters
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.
In this post I’ll focus on the LV-H132 and Vista 200 in great detail and compare them to show you some interesting differences you’ll want to know before buying.
What’s included with each purifier?
LV-H132 packaging & items
The LV-H132 arrives well-packaged and includes the following:
- The owner’s manual
- Product extender warranty & registration information
The 3-stage filter is already installed but you’ll need to remove it from its sealed plastic bag (provided for filter freshness) before use.
It’s a simple process getting it ready to go and you’ll have it up and running in seconds. Mine looked great and the packaging is very good too in my opinion.
Additionally, customer support contact information is provided an easy-to-find spot on the box and in the included documents too.
Vista 200 included items
After unpacking the Vista 200 you’ll find the following included:
- An AC/DC 12V power supply
- Owner’s manual
- Quick start instruction sheet
- Optional extended warranty insert
Just like the LV-H132, customer help information (both by phone or email) is printed right on the box flap so you’ll see it when unboxing it. Additionally, there’s customer support information printed in the manual for when you run into a problem.
Differences that stand out right away
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.
Obviously, the Vista 200 is different in appearance from the LV-H132, but it’s quite similar in style to the Core 300 model.
One thing that stood out right away to me was both how light it feels in the hand but especially the power supply.
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.
Checking out the build quality & fit and finish
The Levoit LV-H132 model has a “classic” modern appearance and style. It’s well-made and parts line up perfectly. There’s a nice satin white finish contrasted by the glossy black control panel insert. It’s a nice looking unit!
As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, Levoit’s styling elements are unique and stand apart from other brands. It’s also a well-made unit with a “classic” Levoit style that’s easy to notice but looks good anywhere it’s used.
Inspecting the LV-H132 up close I found it to be well-made with quality fit and finish. No defects or cheap-looking body sections. It feels solid and good in the hands, too, weighing at around 5.25 lbs.
The satin pure white finish is offset by a nice black trim ring near the lower half. The clearly labeled control buttons are surrounded by a classy looking gloss black inset.
It gives a good impression and right away it’s easy to tell this is a good one.
Following the newer, more rounded style of the most recent generation of air purifiers, the Levoit Vista 200 features rounded air passageways unlike the more “squarish” ones found on the LV-H132. A satin white/off-white color looks nice.
Likewise, the Vista 200 is well put-together with a nice off-white satin finish but will a more “rounded” style found in the Core 300 also.
A few things stood out to me right away: Although it looks good, it’s much lighter than the LV-H132 and honestly feels much cheaper to me.
The control panel design is a cheaper looking one and uses a thin plastic panel unlike the other model. It’s not a bad looking air purifier by any means – but I could tell right away that it’s designed with a budget approach.
Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200: Comparing specifications
Don’t worry if it seems like a lot of information! I’ll give you a simplified comparison of the most important things to know as we go.
Air filter details & performance notes
The LV-H132’s 3-stage filter assembly is made up of 3 sections:
- A mesh prefilter
- True HEPA filter section
- Activated carbon filter
As I mentioned in the beginning a true HEPA filter can trap airborne particulates as small as 0.3 microns (.3 millionths of a meter) in size – much smaller than the human eye can see. The filter isn’t washable but is easily replaceable at maintenance time.
Additionally, a mesh prefilter is used to trap larger elements like hair, dust, and lint. One thing I really like about it is that you can remove the prefilter to vacuum it for extended performance.
Unlike many air purifiers, the activated carbon filter uses solid pellets (and not just a coating) for better odor trapping performance.
On the other hand, one disadvantage is that the HEPA filter section has a smaller surface area than other purifiers in its price range use.
Likewise, the Vista 200 uses a 3-stage filter as well although the design is a bit different:
- A true HEPA filter with a 360° (cylinder) design
- Activated carbon filter (located inside)
- Prefilter mesh material covering the HEPA filter
Unlike the LV-H132, you won’t get the same odor-absorbing performance. A standard activated carbon coating is used instead of the solid pellet design the LV-H132 uses.
On the other hand, the HEPA filter has a larger useable area.
How’s the performance?
As I’ve mentioned in the comparison details, the Vista 200 has a cheaper, weaker fan and is less effective at cycling air in a room.
Because of that, it’s less effective at air cleaning. By comparison the LV-H132 despite being very quiet moves more air in the same amount of time and is a better choice. While it’s not quite as effective as larger (and noisier) models out there it’s a good performer and does well in my experience.
Additionally, the Vista 200’s “bigger brother”, the Core 300, has better performance as well as features the LV-H132 doesn’t offer.
Control panel details & functions
Top view of the control panels on the LV-H132 and the Vista 200.
Shown: The LV-H132’s control panel with electronic touch button controls. Unlike the Vista 200, all functions are placed right at the front. It’s an easy to use control layout and works great.
The LV-H132, as it has fewer features than the Vista 200 (like the auto-off timer) only has 4 buttons/lights in the control layout:
- Power on/off
- Night light on/off
- Check filter reminder/reset button
- Fan speed control
Controls work great and I have absolutely no complaints! The functions are simple, easy to learn, and become second nature in a matter of seconds.
However, unlike the Vista 200, the buttons beep when touched. Unfortunately, there’s no way to switch this off.
Vista 200 controls
Illustrated top view of the Vista 200 control panel layout. As more features are featured there’s a lot more space used for the design. Additionally, unlike the LV-H132 the panel lighting on/off control is now a dedicated button.
As I mentioned, the Vista 200 offers some features the LV-H132 doesn’t. Here’s a list of the control buttons & features:
- Fan speed button (low, medium, 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.
Night light feature differences
Shown here is a comparison of the night light provided by both models. Note the difference in color between the two.
Both models offer a 2-level night light feature that works great and it’s a nice touch I like.
The biggest change here is that the LV-H132 uses a light-blue night light color while the Vista 200 provides a “soft white” (soft yellow/amber) color instead.
Brightness levels are about the same for both high and low settings in my experience.
Noise level comparisons (and something I found!)
I measured volume levels for both models using a nice little digital decibel sound level meter I picked up at Amazon at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.
LV-H132 vs Vista 200 noise measurements
|Off (room noise)||40||40|
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 for both models are very good, with the high setting about the same as other purifiers like the GermGuardian AC4825.
However, the Vista 200 measures about 9 dB louder than the LV-H132’s high setting which is a fair amount louder than the LV-H132. However, measurements don’t tell the whole story – there’s another noise problem I found with the Vista 200.
Sound problems with the Vista 200
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.
Because the purifier has a lower-cost build and less mass (less weight & a less substantial build), there’s an odd “hollow” sound produced that I really don’t like. It’s annoying, unpleasant, and not at all what I expected from the standard set by the LV-H132.
In this area again the LV-H132 is a better performer.
Power use comparisons
I measured power use (in Watts) for both units. There was a big difference! Here’s what I found.
LV-H132 power use measurements
I measured power use, in Watts, for 4 modes of the LV-H132: Off + the 3 fan speeds. (Not shown: The night light used so little power it was negligible and not enough to measure).
I measured power draw in Watts with my trusty Kill-A-Watt power meter. It turns out the LV-H132 uses less power than most competitors in its price class:
Levoit LV-H132 power use table
Low and medium settings are what most people are likely to use as they’re far quieter than the high speed.
However, despite being a bit louder, high still draws about 1/2 the power at a similar setting when compared to rivals like the GermGuardian AC4825 at about 55W.
For all power measurements recorded, I switched the button lighting off as well. The difference was so small it couldn’t be measured.
Vista 200 power use measurements
Measuring power use for the Vista 200. I used my power meter to record 5 modes (Off, Sleep, and 3 fan speeds) as well as the night light’s high & low settings alone.
Levoit Vista 200 power use measurement table
|Night light high||1.6|
|Night light low||0.8|
I have to say I’m pretty darn amazed 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!
Sleep mode & the auto-off timer (Vista 200 only)
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.
The Vista 200’s biggest weakness!
Above: The LV-H132 features a much more robust and powerful fan motor than the Vista 200. There’s also a larger area for air movement which draws air through the HEPA filter. Unfortunately, that’s the weakness I discovered with the Vista 200. It doesn’t live up to the LV-H132’s legacy.
As I mentioned earlier, I discovered that the Vista 200 has a cheap, lightweight, budget feel. It’s much less substantial in the hands than the LV-H132.
One reason is that the LV-H132 has a much heavier and more powerful fan motor than the Vista 200. Sadly, upon opening the Vista 200 I quickly noticed it uses a low-cost brushless DC motor that’s not a specially designed motor fan.
It’s why the Vista 200 suffers from lower air cleaning performance and worse noise levels, too.
The Vista 200 disappointed me a lot with its low-cost fan, average fan. Similar to the inexpensive brushless DC powered fans found in personal computer cases for cooling, it’s basically just a bigger version. It has a disappointing airflow rate when compared to the LV-H132.
Have you ever seen the cooling fans used in personal computer cases for cooling the case? That’s essentially what’s used in the Levoit Vista 200 – but a bigger version. These types of fans are not high-speed, high airflow fans like you’d expect the company to use.
Instead, they’re very basic, low-cost units used for generic applications. The LV-H132 and the newer Core 300, however, use a much more substantial – and powerful – fan motor with far better performance.
I’m not surprised the Vista 200’s noise levels aren’t good – the fan sure doesn’t help!
Simplified comparison table & what to know
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.
As I promised earlier, here’s a simplified comparison table showing the biggest differences between the two models.
LV-H132 vs Vista 200 comparison table
(Current pricing updated on 2020-09-30 at 10:10 via Amazon)
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
- While the LV-H132 is available in a black version the Vista 200 is only sold in one color
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, so that’s not an issue.
Which one should you buy? Here’s the truth.
Choosing between the LV-H132 and the Vista 200
The Vista 200 isn’t by any means a bad choice – if it were priced for the budget quality you get. As it stands 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.
While the LV-H132 is a bit dated at this point and doesn’t have the same features or room size coverage as the Vista 200, it’s still a solid choice and a better buy for your money.
Your best choice is actually a 3rd option!
Based on my testing and ownership of all 3 models, the truth is that your best choice isn’t either one of these but instead the new Levoit Core 300.
Why, you might ask? Several reasons:
- Better air cleaning performance
- Solid build quality and design
- Sleep mode & 4-option auto-off timer
- Offers even more room size coverage at 215 square feet
- It’s just as quiet as the LV-H132, and pleasant to hear!
- Upgraded pet & odor control filter options are available
- It’s only a few dollars more than the other models
The only thing you’ll give up is the night light feature. If you’re trying to decide between the LV-H132 and Vista 200, you’d be smart to have a look.