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!
- 1. Getting to know the Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier
- 2. Unboxing & first impressions
- 3. Build quality and fit & finish
- 4. Controls, the display panel, and how to operate it
- 5. Beeps and chime sounds
- 6. Specifications & CADR ratings
- 7. Thoughts on the LV-PUR131 size & weight
- 8. Levoit LV-PUR131 power use measurements (Watts)
- 9. Air cleaning ability
- 10. Room Size and square feet coverage
- 11. Does the LV-PUR131 produce ozone?
- 12. Filters, upkeep, and maintenance costs
- 13. How to install & replace filters
- 14. Owner’s manual quality
- 15. Noise levels during use (measured)
- 16. Night brightness
- 17. Levoit LV-PUR131 vs LV-PUR131S
- 18. Winix 5500-2 vs Levoit LV-PUR131
- 19. Review summary & score: Is it a good buy?
Getting to know the Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier
Shown: 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:
- The pre-filter on this model isn’t replaceable separately like some competitors (it’s part of the HEPA filter)
- 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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
- Red – Bad air quality detected. The fan is set to high speed.
- Yellow – Moderate air quality. The fan runs at medium speed.
- Green – Good air quality. The fan will run at low speed.
- 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
[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
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
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
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)
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/Speed||Power Use (Watts)|
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
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
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
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:
- A pre-filter for trapping larger elements like dust and hair
- The High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter
- 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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Filter replacement is actually very simple and only takes a few minutes.
It’s just a few steps:
- Open the front cover and remove the old filters by pulling them out.
- Install the HEPA filter
- Install the carbon filter
- 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.
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
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.
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)
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:
|Off (room noise)||39.6|
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.
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
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’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
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.
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.
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
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.
My 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!
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.
- 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)
- 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