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

Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier review featured image

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

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

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

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier

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

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

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

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

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

Air filtering features

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

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

There are a few differences here to know, however: 

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

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

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

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

Convenience & control features

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

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

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

Levoit LV-PUR131S air purifier product image

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

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

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

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

Unboxing & first impressions

Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier package contents image

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

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

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

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

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

What’s included?

Levoit LV-PUR131 included items image

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

Inside the box you’ll find:

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

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

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

Getting it set up before use

Levoit LV-PUR131 new purifier new filter setup example

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

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

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

Build quality and fit & finish

Levoit LV-PUR131 closeup images

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

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

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

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

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

Controls, the display panel, and how to operate it

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel with labels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Display panel features

Levoit LV-PUR131 display panel symbols labeled example

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fan speeds and special modes

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

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

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

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

Levoit LV-PUR131 fan speed button example

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

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

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

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

Levoit LV-PUR131 dust sensor and reset button location diagram

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

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

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

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

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

Dust sensor maintenance

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

Air quality indicator light

Levoit LV-PUR131 air quality indicator diagram with fan speeds

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beeps and chime sounds

Levoit LV PUR131 air purifier controls demo

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

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

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

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

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

Specifications & CADR ratings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts on the LV-PUR131 size & weight

Levoit LV-PUR131 height measurement

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

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

Carrying the purifier

Levoit LV-PUR131 example of using carrying handle

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

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

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

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

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

Levoit LV-PUR131 power use measurements (Watts)

Levoit LV-PUR131 purifier power measurement examples

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

What about the others most people use?

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

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

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

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

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

Air cleaning ability

Levoit LV-PUR131 used filters example

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

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

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

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

Room Size and square feet coverage

Levoit LV-PUR131 room size coverage diagram

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

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

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

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

Does the LV-PUR131 produce ozone?

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

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

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

Filters, upkeep, and maintenance costs

Levoit LV-PUR131 HEPA and odor control filters image

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. High-performance activated carbon odor & VOC filter

Levoit LV-PUR131 carbon filter closeup

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

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

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

2. HEPA filter + pre-filter assembly

Levoit LV-PUR131 HEPA and pre-filter closeup images

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

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

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

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

LV-PUR131 purifier filter check reminder light example

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

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

Replacement filters & maintenance costs

Levoit LV-PUR131-RF replacement filter set product image

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

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

How to install & replace filters

Levoit LV-PUR131 new filter setup

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

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

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

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

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

It’s just a few steps:

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

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

Levoit LV-PUR131 front cover magnetic latch closeup images

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

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

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

Owner’s manual quality

Levoit LV-PUR131 owners manual contents example images

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

Levoit warranty card & customer service info insert

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

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

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

Noise levels during use (measured)

Levoit LV-PUR131 volume measurement with decibel meter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Night brightness

Levoit LV-PUR131 night brightness in dark room example

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

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

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

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

Levoit LV-PUR131 vs LV-PUR131S

Levoit LV-PUR131S air purifier product image

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

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

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

Levoit LV-PUR131S smartphone app example

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

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

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

Winix 5500-2 vs Levoit LV-PUR131

Winix 5500-2 vs Levoit LV-PUR131 comparison image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winix 5500-2 purifier controls image #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review summary & score: Is it a good buy?

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

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

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

Levoit LV-PUR131 air purifier product image

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

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

YOUR BEST CHOICE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

Levoit LV-H126 air purifier review featured image

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

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

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

Read on to find out everything you need to know!

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit LV-H126

Levoit air purifier product family with LV-H126 highlighted

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

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

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

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

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

Air filtering features

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

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

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

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

Levoit LV-H126 black and white model color examples

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

Direct competition

GermGuardian AC4100 product image thumbnail

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

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

Unboxing and first impressions

Packaging

Levoit LV-H126 air purifier opening the box

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

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

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

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

So far, so good!

Build quality

Levoit LV-H126 close up body images

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

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

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

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

Levoit LV-H126 purifier closeup angle

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

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

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

What’s in the box?

Levoit LV-H126 purifier included items image

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

Inside the box you’ll find the following:

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

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

Levoit warranty card & customer service info insert

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

Checking out the controls

LV-H126 purifier control closeup image

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

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

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

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

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

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

Specifications

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

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

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

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

Setup and placement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Air cleaning performance

Levoit LV-H126 used HEPA filter example

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

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

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

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

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

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

Levoit LV-H126 room size explained

Levoit LV-H126 room size diagram

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

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

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

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

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

Filters used

Levoit LV-H126 filter sections explained diagram

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does the LV-H126 produce ozone?

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

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

Filter replacement & cost

Replacement indicator wheel

LV-H126 filter reminder wheel how to use example images

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

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

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

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

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

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

Filter life and costs

Levoit LV-H126-RF replacement filter product image

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to replace the filters

Levoit LV-H126 how to remove the filters

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

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

To replace the filters:

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

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

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

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

Owner’s manual quality

LV-H126 owner's manual example pages

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

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

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

Inside you’ll find:

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

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

Power use measurements (watts used)

Levoit LV-H126 power use measurements in watts

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

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

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

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

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

Noise levels during use

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

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

Volume measurements

Levoit LV-H126 volume measurement with decibel meter

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

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

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

Low speed, however, is extremely quiet.

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

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

Levoit LV-H132 vs LV-H126

Levoit LV-H132 vs Levoit LV-H126 comparison image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Levoit Core 300 HEPA air purifier product image front

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

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

Levoit LV-H126 vs GermGuardian AC4100

Levoit LV-H126 vs GermGuardian AC4100

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review score & summary

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

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

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

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

Levoit LV-H1226 air purifier product image

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

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

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

GermGuardian AC4900CA review featured image

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

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

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

Contents

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

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

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

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

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

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

It’s time to dig in and find out!

Build quality

GermGuardian AC4900CA closeup quality image

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

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

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

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

Build quality & overall impression

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

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

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

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

Checking out the controls

GermGuardian AC4900CA front controls image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Specifications

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

Size and thoughts on using a “tower” purifier

AC4900CA height measurement image

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

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

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

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

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

Carrying the purifier

GermGuardian AC4900CA carrying handle image

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

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

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

Air cleaning ability & performance

GermGuardian FLT4825 dirty filter vacuum example image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GermGuardian AC4900CA filter and grill

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

GermGuardian AC4900 square feet coverage and room size

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

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

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

Filter ability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ultraviolet light (UV-C) germ killing feature

GermGuardian UV-C and Ti02 germ killing badges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does the AC4900CA produce ozone?

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

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

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

Filter & UV bulb replacement indicators & cost

Replacement indicator lights

AC4900CA power and UV indicator lights image

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

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

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

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

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

Filter life and costs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to replace the filter

AC4900CA filter replacement how-to diagram

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

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

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

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

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

UV-C bulb replacement & pricing

GermGuardian AC4900CA UV bulb cover diagram

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

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

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

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

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

The owner’s manual

GermGuardian AC4900CA owners manual image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noise levels during use

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

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

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

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

A note about the sound while running

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

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

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

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

Night brightness

GermGuardian AC4900CA in dark room image

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

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

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

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

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

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

AC4900CA vs AC4825

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

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

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

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

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

GermGuardian AC4900CA vs the Honeywell HPA100

Honeywell HPA100 air purifier image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pros

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

Cons

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

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

GermGuardian AC4825 review featured image

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

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

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

Contents

My AC4825 video review

GermGuardian AC4825 Air Purifier Review - Honest Review

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

GermGuardian AC4825 packaging and unboxing image

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

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

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

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

Build quality and fit & finish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Checking out the controls

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

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

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

The ultraviolet light (UV-C) germ killing feature

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

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

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

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

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

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

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

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

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

Specifications & CADR ratings

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

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

GermGuardian AC4825 air purifier CADR ratings AHAM label

The AC4825’s CADR ratings are shown here.

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

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

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

Size and thoughts on using a “tower” purifier

AC4825 purifier measuring height

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

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

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

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

Carrying the purifier

GermGuardian AC4825 being carried by handle

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

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

AC4825 power use measurements

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 power use being measured

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

How many watts does the AC4825 use?

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

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

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

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

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

Air cleaning ability & performance

GermGuardian FLT4825 dirty filter vacuum example image

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

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

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

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

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

GermGuardian AC4825 square feet coverage and room size

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

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

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

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

Filter ability

GermGuardian AC4900CA filter close up

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

The high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is fantastic for removing the most common air quality issues (especially those that cause allergies!).

Here’s the basic list of air contaminants the AC4825 can remove:

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

Essentially, this is a 2-stage filter assembly made up of 2 parts: the pre-filter/activated carbon filter and an extra 2nd section, the HEPA filter, for a total of 3 filters.

The pre-filter section is a less dense & thin section covering the active carbon filter. Its job it to capture larger items in the air like pet hair, dust, and so on before they reach the HEPA filter.

The active carbon filter traps odors and other chemical substances in the air.

Finally, the HEPA filter captures an amazing 99.97% of particles passing through it down to 0.3 microns in size. That’s less than 1/1,000,000 of a meter!

That means it’s capable of capturing elements that are much smaller than you can see with your eye (microscopic).

It’s a great filter and works well. I noticed fresher air soon after using it for the first time, and I’m pleased with it.

The UV-C germ killing feature

GermGuardian UV-C and Ti02 germ killing badgesBy touching the UV button on top, you switch on the germ killing feature. It’s a great addition not found in many competing products.

It’s also perfectly silent and doesn’t cause any noise or produce any side effects.

When on, the blue trim on the base of the silver top section glows blue to show the bulb is working. The technology works using the science of ultraviolet light (UV) to affect microbes in the air, coupled with titanium dioxide to remove airborne contaminants.

As stated in the owner’s manual:

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

Essentially, air passing through has the UV light irradiating into it and microbes in the air are destroyed. It can help prevent sickness and other respiratory problems caused by germs.

Does the AC4825 produce ozone?

Some people wonder if air purifiers can cause headaches. As I explain more in this post, an air purifier that uses a filter to clean the air doesn’t produce emissions to cause unwanted effects.

The UV-C option is completely enclosed and you’re in no danger of skin UV exposure. The AC4825 is perfectly safe and healthy as it does not produce unsafe ozone levels.

In fact, it produces 1/20th of the level considered acceptable by the Health Canada Guideline 2010 based on exposure levels & time considered acceptable.

You’re perfectly safe and won’t have to worry about ozone while using it.

Filter & UV bulb replacement indicators & cost

Replacement indicator lights

The purifier features a helpful way of indicating when it’s time to check and possibly replace the filters. After about 6 months of use, the green LED near the fan switch will blink red to indicate this (see the chart below).

If your filter has had very light use and isn’t heavily used, you can reset the indicator by holding the UV-C button for 5 seconds.

In the case of replacement for the UV-C feature’s bulb, the blue light will blink.

Blinking Light TypeMeaning
Blinking blue light(UV-C glow trim blinking) UV bulb needs replacement
Red blinking lightThe filter needs check/replacement

Filter life and costs

GermGuardian FLT4825 replacement filter
The FLT4825 is
the genuine replacement filter from GermGuardian. It includes both the HEPA filter and an active carbon filter section, too. While the genuine replacement filter is only around $30+, you can save money by buying 3rd party replacement filters.

Expect to replace a filter after about 6-8 months; however, this depends greatly on use. For example, if you’re a smoker or have indoor pets you can expect to replace the filter when reminded.

For situations where the air quality demands are lower you’ll get even more life out of it.

Replacement filters cost around $30 (or a bit over that) for the genuine GermGuardian brand. However, 3rd party budget models are available which contain 1 less expensive filter or 2 filters in the box. If you’re concerned about maintenance costs that’s a great option.

How hard is it to replace the filter?

GermGuardian AC4825 filter removal image
Filter replacement is easy and only takes a few seconds. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is.

It’s just a few simple steps:

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

…and you’re done! I’ve demonstrated this in my video review as well, so be sure to watch that if you’re interested.

UV-C bulb replacement & pricing

GermGuardian AC4825 UV bulb cover diagram

UV bulb replacement is pretty straightforward. The owner’s manual clarifies what you’ll need to do for bulb replacement (which is typically after 10-12 months). You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver (not included) to remove 2 screws, unplug the old bulb, and insert then a new one. Overall, it’s pretty simple to do, so don’t worry about it. Additionally, if you rarely use the feature you’ll never have to do it, anyway.

LB4000 UV replacement bulb
The GermGuardian replacement UV bulb #LB4000. Expect to pay around $25 or so for one when replacing it. The company’s life rating is 10-12 months, although a few owners have reported shorter life (which unfortunately is a problem with many bulbs in general).

Replacement bulbs cost about $25. To replace the bulb, you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the rear metal bulb cover. It’s accessible once you’ve removed the filter after opening the cover.

Once the metal cover is removed you simply slide out the old bulb and replace it with a new one. Overall, it’s easy to do.

The bulb is rated at 10-12 months of life expectancy, although a few owners have reported that their bulbs died after only a few months.

The owner’s manual

germguardian ac4825 owners manual image
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the purifier included a solid, well-made owner’s manual with clear instructions and helpful information. Basic information like replacing the filter, UV bulb servicing, and user operation is clearly explained.

After unboxing my new purifier I reviewed the instructions and found the owner’s manual to be very clear and helpful. It is provided in English, French, and Spanish. At only 20 pages long, it’s fairly concise, but it’s good. The manual tells you the basics you need:

  • How to operate your purifiers
  • The indicator lights (power, air filter replacement reminder, and UV light bulb replacement)
  • Replacement filter model specifications
  • Power consumption
  • Specifications: size, weight, and square feet coverage

The English section is very clear and helpful. It contains 12 pages of information you’ll want to review before operating it, but honestly? This model is so easy and hassle-free to use you won’t need instructions though, honestly!

Don’t worry, I won’t leave any of the specifications off – I’ll provide them below.

(If you like, you can download the GermGuardian AC4825 manual here for your convenience)

Noise levels during use

The manufacturer claims that the unit has low noise during use and in my testing I found it to be mostly true.

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

The high setting is especially helpful for fast and maximum cleaning of contaminated air. Smoke, dust, and more come to mind.

It’s honestly very quiet and I’ve found it pleasant-sounding when in use. While not as quiet during low-speed like a few competitors such as the Levoit LV-H132, I’m happy with it.

The main reason that the AC4825 is a few decibels louder is that it has not one but 2 fan sections and produces a bit more sound. Two fans move much more air than 1 and therefore, of course, add a little bit more noise than one alone.

That’s a trade-off when using a more powerful purifier like this.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.3
Low42.5
Medium50.5
High58

A note about the sound while running

I do have one minor gripe: while in operation, and although it’s fairly quiet, there’s a characteristic sound these devices produce.

Because of the dual-fan section design as well as both the motor and its electrical drive, the combination of these factors causes it to produces a “whirring” noise while in use. The noise isn’t annoying or bothersome in my opinion, but it’s something to be aware of beforehand.

Night brightness

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 in dark

The top-facing power-on LED is a green soft-glow type of indicator. It’s not too bright, but still slightly noticeable in the dark. The blue glow is produced when the UV-C feature is switched on isn’t very bright, but the human eye is more sensitive to blue light.

For that reason, my opinion is that for many people it will be fine, but if you’re especially sensitive to light when concentrating on a task on sleeping it could be an issue.

In that case, I recommend leaving the UV turned off during those times or moving it out of the way where you can’t notice it.

Not to worry though: the light brightness isn’t enough to “light up a room” or something unacceptable like that. Instead, it has a soft glow that’s not a problem in my opinion.

The AC4825 vs AC4900CA – A cool looking twin worth checking out

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca image

The AC4825 (left) has a cool-looking twin, the AC4900CA (right). It’s identical in features and performance. Interestingly enough, sometimes one model is priced lower than the other and you can save a few dollars!

You might not know this, but the AC4825 has a sibling called the AC4900CA, which is identical in performance, features, and specifications.

I’ve thoroughly compared the two here: GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC4900CA.

I’ve seen it sold for a few dollars less (for example here at Amazon) and I think the styling is nice.

It’s well worth considering, as while not as popular as its counterpart it has the same great quality and is otherwise identical.

AC4825 vs AC5000 comparison

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 comparison photo

The “big brother” to the AC4825, the AC5000E is nearly identical except for room size coverage and the UV-C bulb. It’s a great addition to your home as well. Be sure to check out my detailed comparison if you’re interested in the AC4825 but have a large room!

In case you’re not familiar with it, the AC5000 is almost identical except for its size (near 28″ tall) and better room coverage. It too is an excellent large-room air purifier and is recommended for rooms up to 193 square feet in size (med.-large).

Just like the AC4825, it features a UV-C germ killing feature although the bulb design is different. I’ve enjoyed owning one so much that I wrote a detailed comparison of the AC4825 vs AC5000 here.

GermGuardian AC4825 vs the Honeywell HPA100

Honeywell HPA100 air purifier image

The closest rival to the AC4825, in my opinion, is the Honeywell HPA100. It offers some features the GermGuardian doesn’t, although it’s lacking in a few areas. It’s also available in a white version. Room size coverage is 155 sq. ft.

In my opinion, the AC4825 is a solid, well-built, and easy to use purifier. However, there’s no shortage of competition. Although it can’t come close to the popularity of the AC4825, the Honeywell HPA100 is a solid contender with about the same room size coverage.

As I’ve reviewed several other Honeywell models like the HPA160 you see here, I can’t verify their quality and they’re pleasant to use.

Some of the features the HPA100 offers that the AC4825 doesn’t are:

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

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

Additionally, the pre-filter in the HPA series is a little bit more thin than the GermGuardian family uses. The touch controls of the HPA100 are nice to have but to be honest, I’ve haven’t missed them at all.

I still use my AC4825 regularly and find it so simple and easy to use…it’s still one of my favorites! However, if having an auto-off timer is an important feature for you, it’s worth your while to check out the impressive reviews for the HPA100 at Amazon today.

Review summary

Honestly, I’ve got very little to complain about with the AC4825. It cleans the air well, it’s extremely simple to use, and it’s quiet. I love it!

The AC4825 makes enjoying clean, fresh air easy and affordable.

Image of AC4825 with Editor's Choice award badgeWatch out for high prices, however! Head over to find the current sale price (and get free shipping!) at Amazon.

Overall
8.9/10
8.9/10
  • Quality - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Value - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Ease of use - 10/10
    10/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 9/10
    9/10
  • Features - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Noise levels - 8.8/10
    8.8/10

A well-performing air purifier that you'll be glad to own. No wonder it's one of the best-selling models today.

The GermGuardian AC4825 is a no-frills tower air purifier with simple operation and good air cleaning ability. It lacks a few fancier features when compared to more expensive models, but it’s a better value. Room coverage (med. rooms, 155 sq ft) is better than many similarly priced competitors.

Quality and build are very good; maintenance is easy to perform. It’s a quiet and pleasant-sounding purifier in my testing. The prefilter/HEPA filters work well to remove airborne particulates and odors. The UV-C feature is a bonus germ-killing option. One of the best-selling air purifiers available today, it’s a solid, sensible choice for fresher air.

Pros

  • Great air coverage for its price range
  • AHAM Verified & Energy Star Certified
  • True HEPA filter + prefilter/carbon filter
  • Easy to operate
  • UV-C feature kills germs
  • Carry handle built-in
  • Filter & UV replacement reminders
  • 3-year warranty
  • Maintenance is easy to perform
  • Low operational noise
  • White version available
  • Prefilter/carbon filter separately replaceable

Cons

  • UV-C feature has no memory feature
  • No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
  • Blue glowing trim could be noticeable to some with high sensitivity
  • Tall height may not be suitable for all users
  • Rotary manual control fan speed switch
  • You’ll need to buy 3rd party filters to save money as originals are more expensive

Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet Air Purifier Review – Got Pets & Need Relief? It’s A Winner!

Winix HR900 air purifier review featured image

Winix air purifiers are some of the best I’ve had the pleasure to own and test.

In fact, in my review of the wonderful Winix 5500-2 purifier I rated it as one of the best I’ve ever used – so much so it quickly became one of my favorites!

But what if you’re dealing with pet dander, hair, odors, and even allergies? In my hands-on review of the Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet you’ll find out all the details and if it’s a good buy.

Read on to learn more!

Contents

Getting to know the Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet air purifier

Winix pet air purifier models comparison diagram

The Winix HR900 is one of several models in the manufacturer’s line of home air purifiers. It shares many features & design elements from the older (and now discontinued) WAC-9500 Ultimate Pet purifier.

While they’re not one of the most popular manufacturers of home air products today, without question the South Korean company Winix makes some of the best air purifiers I’ve had the pleasure to own & test.

Winix has a relatively small line of air purifiers with similar features, some that are industry-leading. However, there are definitely some important differences to know before buying. Not to worry as I’ll be sure to explain more as we go!

The HR900 and its siblings the 5500-2 and the lower-cost 5300-2 share several common features:

  • Removable front filter (magnetic latches) and easy filter maintenance
  • PlasmaWave ionizer/air cleaning electronics
  • Auto-sensing air quality automatic operation with visual indicator
  • Soft-button electronic controls
  • Light sensor for ultra-quiet/dimmed overnight use
  • Air quality sensor(s)
  • Washable pre-filter screen
  • True HEPA filter
  • Odor/vapor filter
  • Very quiet operation
  • Self-off timer
  • Industry-standard Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings are provided

Unlike the 5300-2, however, the 5500-2 and the HR900 offer a much more robust Advanced Odor Control (AOC) odor and airborne vapor filter which uses real carbon pellets.

That’s a distinct advantage over the 5300-2 and other purifiers sold today. Most use a weaker activated carbon coating on the prefilter instead of real solid activated carbon pellets.

You can expect to pay around $265 or so for the HR900. The 5500-2 and 5300-2 sell for around $250-$200 or so, depending.

Additional air cleaning features the HR900 for pet problems

The HR900 goes one step further with the use of a third filter just for pet hair and dander. Included in the box are 12 of these thin, replaceable filters which attach to the pre-filter. You’ll have enough for at least 1 year of use, if not more.

Pet odors are covered, too, as there’s not only the great odor control filter performance but an odor sensor for automatic fan speed control as needed.

The discontinued Winix WAC-9500 Ultimate Pet purifier

Winix WAC-9500 Ultimate Pet purifier product image front viewThe Winix WAC-9500 Ultimate Pet purifier, shown here, was the earlier model to the HR900. It shares many of the same design features but with a different style and control panel.

The HR900 model isn’t a completely new design. In fact, it’s quite similar to the older and excellent WAC-9500 that’s now discontinued. I’ll cover the minor differences later.

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

Image showing unboxing the Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet air purifier

It’s here! I’m always excited to try a new purifier and my HR900 was no different. I got to work right away unpacking it and checking it out up close. It’s securely packed using styrofoam, although I would prefer recyclable corrugated cardboard if possible. So far, so good though!

My Winix HR900 arrived and I got to work unboxing it right away! The purifier is securely packaged and held in place using styrofoam inserts.

The owner’s manual is located right on top so it’s impossible to miss it when opening it up. Unlike some other brands, however, there’s no quick start guide or customer service contact information printed on the box flaps.

That’s not really a complaint, however, as there’s plenty of helpful information included anyway.

The HR900 is a bit big and heavy so you’ll need to carefully remove it from the box using the built-in handle on the rear.

Getting it out and ready

Winix HR900 air purifier removing protective plastic examples

After unboxing the purifier you’ll need to remove the plastic bag and the protective plastic covering the control panel. You’ll also need to prepare it for use by opening the front cover and removing the filters from their bags.

After unboxing I had to remove the plastic bag and a thin sheet of protective plastic covering the controls. As mentioned in the owner’s manual it’s necessary to prepare the filters too.

In the case of the HR900, you’ll also need to attach a pet filter to the washable pre-filter screen as well. I’ll cover those steps in the filter section.

To set up your new purifier you’ll need to remove the filters from their plastic bags before use. That’s because they’re shipped in sealed bags to keep them fresh before use.

What’s included?

Winix HR900 air purifier included items image

Included in the box are the following:

  • The owner’s manual
  • A 12 pack of Ultimate Pet filters (12 month supply)

I’m a bit disappointed that unlike my 5500-2 model there’s no Quick Start Guide included. However, it’s not a big deal as the instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

Additionally, the pet filters included a very helpful instruction sheet inside the bag so you’ll be ready to go in no time.

Unlike the 5500-2, there’s no remote control included. While it may seem nice to have one, in practice I really haven’t missed it very much.

After setting up the purifier I got to work inspecting the build quality & fit & finish up close.

Build quality and fit & finish

Winix HR900 air purifier close up build quality images

The HR900 has low-gloss white finish with silver or gray color accents for the control panel inlay and side vents. The control panel is well-done and clearly labeled. Quality is excellent and the air purifier well-built with no issues.

After opening and unpacking it (and setting it up initially, which is just a few steps as I mentioned earlier) finally I got to turn it on and use it!

The HR900 is well designed with a low-gloss white finish and silver and metallic gray inset to contrast the white color. While white is not my first choice (the 5500-2 and 5300-2 models are black and gray, respectively) I have to admit it looks good.

Overall impressions and manufacturing quality

As I inspected the assembly, finish, and overall construction, I found the Winix HR900 to be well-made with no defects and nothing to imply poor quality or problems. It’s a high-quality purifier with a solid fit and finish.

Parts are put together nicely: Body panels line up very well, there aren’t any gaps. Just like the other Winix purifiers I’ve owned its top-notch quality. Very well done!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that gaps and misaligned parts are a sign of build issues. I’m happy to report you won’t find that here – only a well-made purifier that looks great right from the get-go!

Controls and how to operate it

Diagram showing the Winix HR900 touch control functions & features. Even though it might look complicated at first glance, it’s actually very easy to use. Just push the Mode button to switch between Auto or 1 of 4 fan speeds (in addition to Sleep mode). Activate the auto-off timer using the Timer button. 

Using the HR900 is simple. In the picture above, you can see the touch controls, each with a label:

  • Mode button: Sleep, Auto, low, medium, high, and Turbo modes
  • Control panel lock on/off (child lock)
  • Reset button (not normally needed)
  • Check filter indicator
  • Timer function/hour select (1, 4, & 8 hours selectable)
  • Power on/off
  • PlasmaWave on/off

The controls are nice and work well – they’re not too sensitive and don’t need a hard touch, either. I found them reliable, clear to understand, and straightforward in everyday use.

My impression is that some good engineering design went into making this model. What I don’t like, however, is that it uses black text on a silver inlay for the control panel labels. That’s in contrast to the 5500-2 and 5300-3 models which use light text & symbols on a dark inlay which I found easier to read.

Just the same, though, it’s still good-looking and easy to understand.

Button & control illumination

While the buttons themselves aren’t illuminated, active options or working modes are. 

For example, The PlasmaWave logo is illuminated when active, “1hr” is lit when the auto-off timer is set to 1 hour, and the current fan mode option is lit as well.

It’s a bit inconvenient to not be able to see the buttons themselves in a darkened room, but so far it has only been a small annoyance in my opinion.

Fan speeds and special modes

It’s easy to switch modes and fan speeds. Just push the fan speed button to cycle through the speeds (Turbo is the highest and is a special powerful mode). As the unit originally powers up already set to Auto and the lowest fan speed, you’ll need to push it to set it to choose another speed.

Once it’s in Turbo mode pushing it yet again puts it back in Auto mode.

The modes change in the following order:

  1. Auto (default at power on)
  2. Sleep
  3. Low
  4. Medium
  5. High
  6. Turbo
Note: By default, the purifier will start in Auto mode and low fan speed when first powered up.

Using the auto-off timer feature

Winix HR900 air purifier timer button use example image

Shown: The auto-off feature lets you use a convenient timer with one of 3 settings to turn it off automatically. Just push it to cycle through 1, 4, or 8 hour delays at any time. Continuing to push it will cycle back to turn the timer off. It’s a great feature I really like.

One feature I really like – which many purifiers don’t include – is the auto-off timer. With it, you can set the air purifier to run for several hours then power off by itself. Very convenient!

To use it, just push the Timer button and cycle between 1 of 3 hour settings (1, 4, and 8 hrs).

Push it again at any time to rotate back through the settings and turn if off it when you like.

Child lock feature

Winix HR900 child lock button example

To prevent your little ones from messing with the purifier’s controls the child lock button can be used. Just push and hold for 3 seconds to lock the controls to their current state. The indicator will light to show the controls are locked.

Also found in a competitor’s model (the smaller Levoit Core 300), the child lock feature lets you prevent any unwanted curious fingers from changing settings.

To switch it on, just push and hold the button for 3 seconds. The indicator will show a red color to let you know the controls are locked and can’t be changed, but they’ll stay at the current settings you’ve last used.

Repeat that again to return the controls to their normal use.

How the built-in sensors work + auto mode explained

Winix HR900 air purifier sensor location diagram

The HR900 includes a smart design with wonderful self-adjusting operation. To do so, it uses 3 built-in sensors: 2 on the left side of the control panel and a 3rd in the right side of the body. Two of these are air quality detection sensors and the 3rd senses the room’s light level.

As I mentioned at the start of my review, the purifier has an advanced design and allows self-adjusting operation. This works thanks to the use of 3 sensors built into the unit:

  1. Odor sensor
  2. Dust sensor
  3. Light sensor

The odor and light sensors are located on the top of the unit on the left side and can’t be serviced. You’ll find the dust sensor on the right side of the unit with a removable cover. According to the owner’s manual, occasional cleaning is recommended (it’s easy, don’t worry!).

How air quality sensing and auto operation works

The HR900 measures air quality (both odors and particulate levels) and shows you the current detected air quality condition using the front panel 3-color light. This works in both manual or Auto modes, by the way.

When the Mode button is set to the Auto mode, the purifier will adjust the fan speed automatically as needed for the current air quality situation. Very cool, and a great feature I love!

In my experience and during everyday testing it works very well! Despite what you might think, it does so gracefully and the fan adjusts slowly and without any kind of “jarring” behavior or excessive noise.

I can’t say the same for some lower-priced competitors.

Winix HR900 dust sensor cover removal example

The dust sensor, on the right side, can be accessed for cleaning occasionally. This helps make sure you’ll keep the purifier’s performance at its best.

You’ll not likely even notice it’s working, aside from the occasional slightly more noticeable fan sound (it’s an extremely quiet purifier).

In Auto mode the light sensor is used to detect when the room darkens. After a while the air sensor indicator light will turn off and the purifier will go into the ultra-quiet low fan mode.

It’s great for night use and works very well, in my experience. (You’ll just need to understand that it doesn’t go into Sleep mode immediately – there’s a delay before it changes modes.

Occasionally you may want to run the fan manually at say the high or Turbo speeds. For example, if there’s an immediate pet odor, dander, or airborne hair problem. However, most of the time Auto mode does the job very well.

Understanding the air quality indicator light

Winix HR900 air purifier air quality indicator light examples

When it’s turned on the purifier will use one of 3 colors to show you the current air condition it detects:

  • Blue (good air quality)
  • Amber (fair air quality)
  • Red (poor air quality)

The light uses an LED design but it’s not at all too bright, in my opinion. It’s definitely bright enough to be seen across the room, but not at all “glaring” in a darkened room. Again, you won’t have to worry about the light when sleeping if Auto or Sleep modes are used.

In that case, the light turned off automatically in a darkened room (or when Sleep is manually selected).

Understanding the Winix HR900 blinking blue light

One thing I noticed when using the purifier which I hadn’t see on other models was a blinking blue light after starting it up.

According to the owner’s manual, this only happens once during power-up and it means the purifier is measuring air quality:

During the first 4 minutes of power up, the Air Quality light will flash as the Smart Sensors measure the air quality in the
environment, after which normal operation will begin.Winix owner's manual

Turning off the air quality light

You can also switch off the light anytime you like. To do so, just push and hold the Timer button for 3 seconds. Do it again to restore it.

That’s a great feature if you get annoyed by the air quality indicator.

However, there’s no way to totally switch off control panel lighting. At least 1 indicator backlight (the Sleep logo) will be on during Sleep mode. In my everyday use, however, that wasn’t a nuisance for me.

I’ll cover dark room brightness later in another section below.

Using the PlasmaWave feature

Winix HR900 PlasmaWave use example

When the PlasmaWave feature is in use the logo glows with white light. By default, it’s switched on at power up.

To use the PlasmaWave feature just touch the on/off button. You’ll know it’s working as the logo will illuminate when it’s on. (Keep reading as I’ll cover this feature in more detail as we go.)

Control panel chime sounds

Winix HR900 Air Purifier Control Panel And Chimes Short Demo

The purifier has some unique chime sounds used as feedback when a button is pushed, power is turned on, or when it’s powered off.

Each touch of a button gives a gentle chime sound, which is actually pretty pleasant to hear – not at all harsh or annoying like some other products I’ve tested. When turning it off or on, you’ll hear a series of chimes for a moment, sort of like a short musical tone.

However, there’s no way to switch the sounds off if you prefer silent button use.

I’d prefer the option is available, though, and I don’t know why it was overlooked. So far I’ve not found it to be a problem, however.

The sound tones are very similar to those used by the 5500-2 and the 5300-2 models as you might expect.

Specifications & CADR ratings

This is box title
  • Room size coverage: 300 sq. ft.
  • 4-stage filter system: True HEPA, activated carbon filter (AOC), prefilter screen, pet filter
  • Washable prefilter screen & odor control filter section
  • Replaceable pet filter for enhanced hair and dander control
  • Fan speeds: Low, medium, high, turbo
  • PlasmaWave electronic air cleaning feature
  • Electronic touch control panel
  • Child lock feature
  • Auto-off timer: 1, 4, 8 hr options
  • AHAM Certified performance ratings
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): 194/200/220 (smoke/dust/pollen)
  • Air sensing technology with auto operation
  • Air quality sensors (odor, dust) & light sensor
  • 3-level air quality indicator light
  • Automatic Sleep mode option with dark room sensing
  • Ultra-low noise Sleep mode
  • Filter maintenance indicator light
  • Filter life: 1 year (true HEPA & AOC odor filter)
  • Pet filter life: 1 month (12 month supply included)
  • Main replacement filters: Winix type T set (true HEPA + AOC)
  • Pet filter replacement: Ultimate Pet filter pack
  • 2 year warranty
  • Power use (Watts): 0.7, 4.3, 7.8, 10.2, 13.9, 46.6
  • Weight: 18.7 lbs
  • Size: 9.6 × 16.3 × 23.6 in”

If you’re not already familiar with it, the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is an industry-standard way of testing and determining an air cleaner’s effectiveness.

Winix HR900 CADR ratings label

The HR900’s CADR ratings are shown here. They’re printed clearly on the box as well!

What is a CADR rating?

The Assocation of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is an organization that verifies the functionality and performance of home appliances for the industry. CADR rating tests are voluntary and not required by law.

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

In order to find out how well an air purifier cleans the air, 3 types of tests (smoke, pollen, and dust) are performed in a controlled lab environment and the performance is graded.

One thing I really like about the HR900 is that while they don’t have to offer these specifications, it’s really helpful. It’s very useful for comparing similarly rated air purifiers when shopping.

In the case of the Winix the CADR label is printed right on the box.

How it compares

Winix HR900 CADR label on box closeup

For comparison purposes, consider that many of today’s most popular air purifiers (small-medium room models) have CADR ratings around 100. The HR900, by contrast, has 194-220 depending on the particular air quality test. That’s very good!

However, it’s a bit lower than its sibling the 5500-2 which has ratings of 232, 243, and 246. While that means it’s slightly less effective, consider that the 5500-2 is rated for 360 square feet sized rooms vs the 300 of the HR900 – meaning it has higher airflow.

Additionally, the 5500-2 lacks the dust sensor of the HR900 meaning it has less effective auto-sensing operation as well.

The HR900 has more effective air cleaning for pet dander and hair than the 5500-2 & 5300-2 do too, as those don’t include the pet filter option.

Thoughts on the 5500-2 size & weight

Winix HR900 purifier heigth measurement

At around 23 1/2 inches tall, it’s reasonably sized in my opinion.  As it uses fairly large filters to clean the air well, naturally it’s not what you’d call a “compact” air purifier.

At almost 19 lbs in weight, it’s not quite as easy to move around like some other products. However, that also means it’s less likely to get tipped over.

Carrying the purifier

Winix HR900 carrying handle use example

The purifier features a built-in handle on the rear as well. You’ll still want to use 2 hands, however, as it’s a bit bulky and slightly heavy.

Just like with other purifiers from the company I’ve tested, there’s a convenient carrying handle (and opening for your fingers) at the rear top of the body. It works pretty well, but since the HR900 is a bit larger and heavier than its counterparts you’ll still want to use 2 hands.

I found it helpful to use the carrying handle and hold it at the front when moving it. That helps with avoiding dropping it or banging into walls or furniture by accident.

It’s a bit deeper

Winix HR900 purifier depth measurement

Additionally, one thing I noticed right away about the HR900 is that it’s slightly deeper than the 5500-2 and 5300-2 models. At 9 inches deep, it’s only around 1 inch larger from front to back.

For some reason, though, I noticed it more on this model (likely due to the white color and body shape). One reason for the extra size is additional filtering used.

Otherwise, it’s still fine and I’m not complaining!

HR900 power use measurements (Watts)

Winix HR900 air purifier power measurements in Watts diagram

One of my single biggest gripes about home air quality products like fans, air purifiers, and humidifiers is the lack of good information about their energy use.

Those that do give power ratings often only list the largest power use, not for the other settings. That’s a shame, as you’ll more likely to use the other settings!

To find out exactly how much power the purifier uses I measured it for all settings using my trusty Kill A Watt meter.

Mode/SpeedPower Use (Watts)
Off0.7
Sleep4.3
Low7.8
Medium10.2
High13.9
Turbo46.6

It’s easy to see that the purifier uses only a handful of watts on all but the highest settings! It’s one of the most energy-efficient models I’ve tested.

In case you’re wondering, with the PlasmaWave feature turned on there’s only a small increase in power use (0.3W). That’s in contrast to other brands & models like the GermGuardian AC5250PT with UV-C feature which uses an extra 5W with the featured on.

In fact, it’s an Energy Star rated appliance although you might not be aware. For some reason the company doesn’t use labels on the box or in some product listings as their competitors do.

Air cleaning ability + more about PlasmaWave

Winix HR900 PlasmaWave product feature image

I was unsure about what the PlasmaWave feature actually does as sadly there aren’t really any details in the manual or the manufacturer’s website.

In most cases, air purifiers with a feature of this type use one or more variations of ionizer technology to give a extra air cleaning. (In contrast to models with ultraviolet light, these use an electric charge to affect ions in the air as it works).

According to the company:

PlasmaWave® Technology safely breaks apart odors, allergens, chemical vapors, and other pollutants at the molecular level, without causing harmful ozone. PlasmaWave® creates positive and negative ions that combine with natural water vapor to form hydroxyls which cleans the indoor air.Winix America

It works using an ionizer type of device to affect molecules in the air to have them attach to airborne particles and remove them. While it’s a nice extra feature to have, don’t expect it to have a big impact on the air.

In all air purifiers, the real work is done by the pre-filter and the HEPA filter.

What’s it like in use?

Winix HR900 air purifier PlasmaWave logo glowing example

You won’t hear a noise or smell anything when the PlasmaWave feature is turned on (it’s set to on from the factory but can be turned off at any time).

In fact, if not for the illuminated logo you’d forget it’s turned on at all.

Air cleaning performance

Winix HR900 pet filter section dirty closeup example

It’s a bit hard to see due to the material it’s made of, but after use the pet pre-filter clearly had captured pet hair, dust, fuzz, and other nasty elements in the air.

As I did with the Winix 5500-2, I tested the HR900 for several things – most importantly good old-fashioned use within my home with a pet. There’s a lot to be said for putting a product through its real-world paces rather than a “perfect” environment.

That’s because there’s a lot that can get missed – both good and bad – by not evaluating how you’d really use it every day.

What I found during use

Much like the 5500-2 with the same type of Advanced Odor Control (AOC) filter, the HR900 did a great job of capturing odors, pet hair and pet dander. During testing I used in several modes:

  • Sleep
  • Auto
  • Manual: Low, Medium, High, and occasionally Turbo mode

Without a doubt, the odor control & vapor absorption ability of the HR900 is some of the best I’ve used to date. Air cleaning is very good and the auto-adjusting fan speed control works very well!

The HR900 did a great job of cleaning both pet hair (my biggest gripe), odors, dander, and microscopic dust and other particles.

New vs dirty HEPA filter comparison example

Before and after: The HR900’s clean HEPA filter vs the dirty condition after using it for some time. Notice the medium-gray color now seen on the filter. That’s from trapping minute & microscopic particles of all types over time. It works very well!

All in all, I’ve been very happy with the HR900. One of the best things I like about it is the low noise operation in all modes aside from Turbo.

One of the reasons is that while the purifier uses a very powerful circular fan, the fan noise I heard was very “soft” and less noticeable to the ears. It’s like a gentle white noise I didn’t mind at all.

Other models I’ve tested with a powerful fan are far more noticeable when running and don’t sound nearly as good, having a “harsher” sound they produce.

Testing auto mode

I’ve noticed that when in Auto (auto-sensing) mode it works well but has a slight delay before the fan changes speeds. I assume that’s intentional to prevent it from constantly moving between fan speeds due to sudden air quality changes.

For example, I tested the air quality sensing and auto mode by using a regular paper match. The HR900 was able to sense the strong odor in the room, changed the air quality indicator light to red (to show it was sensing poor air quality at that moment), and then increased the fan speed until the smell was greatly reduced in the air.

It’s a really great feature and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did. While a feature like is only found only somewhat more expensive models like this one and the Levoit LV-PUR131, it makes everyday use a breeze.

Again, as I mentioned earlier, the HR900 detects not only odors but dust & other particles as it has a 2nd sensor that other products don’t.

Room size and square feet coverage

Winix HR900 air purifier square feet coverage example diagram

The HR900 is recommended for medium to large rooms up to about 300 square feet (29.9 square meters).

As an example, that’s a room about 15 by 20 feet in size (about 4.6 x 6.1 m). That’s roughly 2x the room size coverage of some of the most popular purifiers, many of which are rated for medium sized rooms.

Additionally, the lower priced purifiers are recommended for rooms no bigger than 155 sq. ft. or so.

Note: It’s perfectly fine to use the Winix purifier in a smaller room – in fact, you’ll get even faster air cleaning as it will be able to cycle the air more times per hour.

Winix HR900 air purifier placement recommendation

Be sure to pay attention to the recommend purifier placement within the room where it’s used. The manual included spacing advice.

One more thing: You’ll need to be sure to avoid putting it too close to a wall or blocking the purifier from having enough room for proper airflow.

Just like other products, you’ll need to leave the recommended amount of space around it: 12-18 inches behind and in front, and 4 inches at least around the sides. That’s so it can move air efficiently so it can cycle the room’s air and clean it optimally.

Does the HR900 produce ozone?

In this post, I explained why traditional air purifiers which use HEPA filter are safe and don’t produce ozone. A good purifier works by removing elements and odors in the air, not by adding by-products to the air as it works.

The Winix HR900 does not produce ozone.

In fact, Winix America is verified by the Air Resources Board (ARB) verification to meet federal ozone emission limits (in this case, basically zero emissions).

Filters, upkeep, and maintenance costs

Winix HR900 filter sections illustrated

Shown: The 4 filters used: (1, 2) A permanent pet filter used to catch larger elements like dust, pet hair, dander, and more. This sticks on to the washable pre-filter section which also captures larger elements. (3) The Advanced Odor Control (AOC) filter uses a unique design containing real activated carbon pellets inside a honeycomb-style frame. It lasts for 12 months and traps odors as well as chemical & other vapors. (4) The true HEPA filter traps super-fine particles, pet dander, dust mites, and much more down to microscope sizes that the pre-filter sections can’t.

As I mentioned at the beginning, 4 types of filters are used:

  1. Pet filter (attached to the washable pre-filter)
  2. Washable (permanent, reusable) prefilter
  3. AOC odor control filter
  4. The High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter

1. The pet filter

Winix HR900 image showing how to apply the pet filter

This section is made of thin, soft material that traps pet hair and other large airborne problems. As it attaches to the pre-filter, it’s a permanent filter that has to be replaced periodically (see my notes about maintenance further below).

While it works really well, it is slightly a hassle as when you first try attaching one to the frame of the pre-filter. It’s easy to misalign the self-adhesive tape that comes attached to it when sticking it on the pre-filter frame.

Winix HR900 pet filter closeup image

The pet filter is unique to the Winix pet purifier and is made of a soft, thin, fibrous material with self-adhesive tape attached.

There are 4 sections of self-adhesive tape (left, right, top, and bottom) to apply.

They’re easy to remove, however, when replacement time comes around. As the purifier includes a 12-month supply, you’ll be all set quite some time! I do like very much how they included enough pet filters to match the 12-month life expectancy of the HEPA and AOC filters.

2. Reusable (washable) prefilter

Winix HR900 washable pre-filter closeup image

Just like other Winix models, the pre-filter included is made of a plastic frame and fine mesh material. It can be cleaned by brushing, vacuuming, and rinsing under clean water.

The prefilter is unique in that instead of being built being coated with the odor-absorbing chemical most brands (and the 5300-2 model) use, it’s a single reusable screen you can easily remove and wash.

It helps to extend the life of the other 2 if you do so, by the way (14 days is the recommended check/wash interval, although the filter reminder does not cover this filter too).

You’ve got several options for cleaning it: Brushing, vacuuming, and rinsing it under clean running water. It’s an option that I wish more products provided.

However, in my experience, the pet filter does most of the first filtering work and will keep the pre-filter clean.

That means ultimately you won’t need to clean the pre-filter often or at all and will simply need to replace the filter at the recommended times.

3. High-performance AOC odor & VOC filter

Winix HR900 AOC odor filter closeup

The Advanced Odor Control filter is a long-life odor control section made with real activated carbon pellets. That’s very different from most which use a lightweight coating on the pre-filter section itself. It’s an excellent performer!

As I mentioned earlier, the AOC odor control filter is one of the best I’ve used. It’s a bit different than what most air purifiers (and the Winix 5300-2 as well) use.

The frame is much like a honeycomb, made up of small “cells” in which real, solid activated carbon pellets are held loosely. That’s very different than the thin coating most use directly on the pre-filter material.

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

Cleaning options

Winix recommends removing the AOC filter and rinsing it with room temperature water every 3 months or so to prepare it for more use (up to the 12 month life rating). Don’t use any type of soap or cleaning products.

4. HEPA filter

Winix HR900 HEPA filter closeup

Finally, there’s the true HEPA filter. Based on the industry-standard HEPA filter specification, it’s a folded section made of highly dense fibers that can capture 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns (less than 1 millionth of a meter) in size. 

In fact, that’s so small you’d need a microscope to see them. Anything that the pre-filter and pet filter sections don’t trap is captured by this. Mine works very well and it’s amazing to see how much it’s trapped!

Just like with the AOC filter, the estimated filter life is around 12 months. That’s good in my opinion, as many lower-cost products have estimated filter life around 6-8 months or so.

However, please note if you’ve got a particularly nasty air problem in your home the filter life may be shorter.

There’s a convenient pull tab on top of the filter as well as an arrow & label showing the proper installation direction. Those are nice touches I really like.

Maintenance notes

As I mentioned in the control panel section, there’s a filter reminder that lights after 3 months to let you know it’s time to check the filters.

Here’s the maintenance schedule as listed in the owner’s manual:

FilterIndicator lightWhen to cleanWhen to replace
Pet filter N/A N/A Monthly/as needed
Pre-filter N/A Clean every 14 days (Permanent filter)
AOC carbon filter Check filter light Clean every 3 months 12 months
HEPA filter Check filter light N/A 12 months

Ultimately, you want to check the filters and, depending on your needs, they may or may not need cleaning. The AOC odor-absorbing carbon filter and the HEPA filter last up to about 12 months then they’ll need replacement.

For best results, the company recommends rinsing the AOC filter under clean water every 3 months and similar for the washable prefilter every 14 days. Maintenance is pretty easy to do and I found it pretty simple as well.

When using my Winix purifiers I’ve had a lot of dust build-up on the filter sections so I simply rinsed off the pre-filter and odor filter to remove it.

I shook off the water and let them air dry as recommended before reinstalling them.

Replacement filters & maintenance costs

Winix type T replacement HEPA filter set product image

As it’s pretty new to the market, at the time of this post prices haven’t “settled” for the filter set it uses: Type “T” filter set.

Currently it’s only available at the manufacturer’s site but once it’s available at Amazon you can expect to pay around just over $60 for the set. Note that while it looks very similar, the Type H set for the 5500-2 model does not fit the HR900 (they’re close but slightly different).

While $60+ might sound like a lot of money, considering the great air cleaning performance you get it’s well worth it in my opinion. That’s around only $6/month or so for better health and clean, fresh air along with pet odor, hair, and dander relief.

Winix Type U replacement pet filters product image

A 12 pack of replacement pet filters costs around $20. These are Type “U” filters.

How to install & replace the filters

Image showing opening the Winix HR900 filter cover first time

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

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

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

Winix HR900 filter installation steps diagram

Filter installation or replacement is very easy and only took me a minute or two.

There are just a few steps:

  1. Open the front cover
  2. Install the HEPA filter (follow the directional arrow printed on it)
  3. Install the AOC carbon filter
  4. Insert & snap in the prefilter with the pet filter already attached
  5. Close the front cover and secure it using the magnetic latches

What I really like about Winix air purifiers are the magnetic latches used on the front cover. Very convenient and they make the process even easier.

Winix HR900 filter cover magnetic latch closeup images

The purifier’s front cover uses magnetic latches to make opening & maintenance really is. I’m a big fan of this kind of feature!

Unlike some other products I’ve owned & tested, there aren’t any plastic tabs to break. There’s a small metal plate on the inside of the front cover (which covers the prefilter) that touches and connects to the magnets (one at each side) built into the front cover near the top.

Obviously, considering you’ll own it for several years of use it makes sense that a design that lasts and makes owning it easier.

Owner’s manual quality

Winix HR900 owner's manual examples

The owner’s manual is clear and helpful with plenty of clear instructions for the best use & maintenance.

Like the other Winix products I’ve tested, the owner’s manual is clear, helpful, and well-done. You won’t have any problem getting started using it right away or performing maintenance.

I do have a minor complaint, though: there’s no more information about the PlasmaWave feature. While the company does state in general terms what it does, it would have been nice to know a bit more about the technology behind it.

Also, unlike some competitors such as Levoit and Honeywell, there’s no customer support contact information on the box flaps where you’ll see them when opening it.

That’s not really an issue, however, as the owner’s manual (and the pet filter instruction sheet, too) has readily available customer support contact information in it.

Winix HR900 pet filter instructions image

Speaking of instructions and information, the pet filter has very good steps and is very clear. The diagrams are a great touch and do a good job of helping to understand how to install one correctly the first time.

The replacement interval and customer service/replacement purchase information is helpful as well.

Noise levels during use (measured)

Image showing measuring noise levels of the Winix HR900 air purifier

I prefer to measure, record, and verify noise levels. I used my sound level meter to get a consistent measurement you can expect during daily use. After doing many air cleaning product tests it’s a great way to have numbers to compare with.

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

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (silent room)40.3
Sleep40.3
Low41
Medium42
High44.2
Turbo55.2

Without a doubt, just like the other Winix models it’s one of the quietest purifiers I’ve used! Sleep mode is ultra quiet – you can’t even tell it’s working.

Even the medium and high speeds are still well below the average noise levels of many other purifiers based on my measurements. Turbo mode, however, is very noticeable just like you’d expect but still has a nice gentle “roar” when in use.

The design touches show in some of the smaller details. For example, when changing speeds it doesn’t have a “harsh” adjustment; it ramps up or down gradually to the next speed you’ve selected.

Night brightness

Image of a Winix HR900 night brightness in dark room

If the purifier is not set to Auto or Sleep mode the brightness is clearly visible in a darkened room. However, don’t forget if you find the air quality indicator annoying you can switch it off by pushing and holding the Timer button.

Just the same, while it does produce a bit of light, it’s not super bright.

Sleep mode brightness

Winix HR900 before and after Sleep mode active in a dark room

Before and after images showing the purifier during the countdown period before switching to Sleep mode when a dark room is detected by the light sensor.

When set to Auto mode, the light sensor will detect if the room is dark and will begin a countdown before it switches to Sleep mode (or if placed in Sleep mode manually). I estimate around 60 seconds lapse before it switches to low fan speed and the control lighting & air quality lights dim.

It’s very dim in that case, but I was still able to see the light from the control panel in a darkened room. If you’re super-picky like I am you may consider covering it. Otherwise, most people won’t notice and will have no problems sleeping.

Review summary & score: Is it a good choice?

My honest opinion after trying it? I’m able to confidently say it’s a great choice.

The air cleaning performance is some of the best, and the included pet filters not only add extra pet hair and dander cleaning but also the life of the main filters.

The odor control filter is one of the few offered use real carbon pellets for up to 12 months of use and great odor control ability.

While I wish the pet filters were a bit easier to install, that’s a minor complaint. The Winix HR900’s design & build quality, features, and ease of use are excellent. I’m a big fan of the self-adjusting operation and I really love how quiet it is.

Winix HR900 air purifier review editors choice badge image

Is it the cheapest? Absolutely not. But if you’re a pet owner who wants one of the best purifiers available today, look no further.

Head over now and check out the great buyer reviews find out more at Amazon.

Overall
9.2/10
9.2/10
  • Quality - 9.4/10
    9.4/10
  • Value - 8.2/10
    8.2/10
  • Ease of use - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 9.6/10
    9.6/10
  • Features - 9/10
    9/10
  • Noise levels - 9.9/10
    9.9/10

Not cheap, but a great choice for pet owners who want fresh, clean air. Featured packed and well-made, it's a winner!

The HR900 continues the same tradition of quality and design as their other air purifier products. Unlike some competitors, the HR900 offers a much better odor control filter with 12 months life. Pet dander, hair, and odor removal are great, yet it’s pleasantly super-quiet and does its job without distracting you. Auto mode offers hands-free operation that controls the fan speed based on odor or particle levels.

Sleep mode works well and avoids keeping you up at night. Maintenance is easy and instructions are clear. Unlike the previous WAC-9500 no remote control is offered, however. Pet filters are slightly annoying to install but don’t detract from one of the best-quality purifiers for pet owners sold today. You’ll pay a bit more than competitors, but you’ll get one of the best! A solid choice.

Pros

  • 300 sq ft coverage (med.-large rooms)
  • AHAM certified CADR ratings: 194/200/220
  • Pet filter adds 4th filter stage
  • No irritating ozone produced
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Self-adjusting Auto mode
  • Air quality level indicator light
  • Quiet operation
  • Turbo high speed mode
  • PlasmaWave air cleaning feature
  • 1, 4, & 8 hr auto timer
  • Reusable/washable prefilter
  • Great AOC (active carbon) filter
  • AOC filter is rinseable under water
  • Easy filter maintenance
  • 12 month carbon & HEPA filter life
  • Filter reminder light
  • Light sensor for auto Sleep mode when dark
  • Ultra-quiet sleep mode
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • No remote control included
  • Can’t switch off control chime sounds
  • No additional colors available
  • Limited to 3 timer choices
  • No smart phone control
  • Most costly than some standard competitors
  • Lower room size coverage than 5500-2 model

Levoit Vista 200 Air Purifier Review – Find Out The Honest Truth Before Buying!

Levoit Vista 200 air purifier review featured image

Looking for a compact air purifier that’s easy to use? Levoit is one of the top manufacturers of air quality products today. The newly introduced Vista 200 now joins the product family and offers another buying choice for a slightly lower price.

However, what are the strengths and weaknesses? And how does it compare to the existing super-popular LV-H132 model as well as the new Core 300 model?

In my detailed Levoit Vista 200 air purifier review I’ll tell this and much more – including if it’s a good buy or not.

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit Vista 200 air purifier

Levoit Core 300 vs LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifier comparison image

The family of Levoit air purifiers includes the best-selling LV-H132 and 2 newer models: The Vista 200 and the Core 300. All feature low-noise operation, a short and compact design, and a true HEPA filter. They also include features not found on competitors in their price range.

Levoit has been a long-time popular choice for well-made air quality products. Their LV-H132 is one of the all-time best selling compact air purifiers ever sold, in fact!

What’s different about Levoit air purifiers is their distinctive style, engineering quality, and features they offer while their competition doesn’t.

Some of the common characteristics you’ll find in the Levoit purifiers are:

  • Distinctive circular design
  • Electronic touch controls
  • True HEPA filter with 99.97% efficiency for elements down to 0.3 millionths of a meter (0.3 microns)
  • Prefilter with activated charcoal for odor & volatile organic chemical (VOC) absorption
  • Low-noise operation with some of the quietest operation available
  • White satin finish
  • Nice convenience features
  • Clear, simple instructions & customer support information
  • Very simple, easy-access maintenance

While the LV-H132 has been a top seller for years, it’s a bit mature at this point. Recently 2 newer models were introduced that follow in its footsteps: The Core 300 and the Vista 200.

Let’s dig in and find out more about what makes the Vista 200 different, what you can expect, and if it’s a good choice for your money.

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

Levoit Vista 200 air purifier unboxing images

Unboxing my Vista 200. Like so many other quality Levoit products, my purifier arrived well-packaged and with helpful customer support contact information clearly presented on one of the box flaps when I opened it. Nice! Additionally, the purifier was neatly packaged along with the instruction manual and Quick Start Guide for getting it going easily.

Much like other Levoit purifiers I own and have tested, the Vista 200 arrived well-packaged and safely supported inside.

Upon opening the box you’ll find clearly labeled customer support contact info right on one of the box flaps. That’s always a great sign of things to come and good customer service.

Placed on top of the first recycled cardboard insert is a bag containing the owner’s manual, a Quick Start Guide with basic set-up and operation information, and an insert about the optional warranty extension.

It’s well-packaged and my impression so far was good. However, immediately when removing the purifier from the box I noticed how it’s much lighter than the sibling models.

What’s in the box?

Image showing items included with the Levoit Vista 200 purifier

After unpacking the purifier you’ll find the following included: The AC/DC 12V power supply, owner’s manual, quick start instruction sheet, and optional extended warranty insert.

Right away I noticed the Vista 200 has a much lighter & cheaper “feel” than both the Core 300 and LV-H132 which are both solid, well-made models. However, I prefer to stay open-minded and not draw any conclusions too soon.

One thing that’s very different about the Vista 200 is the use of an external AC-DC adapter. None of the other Levoit purifiers at this time use that design.

NOTE: Be sure to open the purifier and remove the filter from its plastic bag before use. They’re sealed from the factory to keep them fresh & ready for use before purchase.

Differences that stand out right away

Levoit Vista 200 AC-DC 12V adapter image

Shown: The AC-DC 12V adapter used to power the Vista 200 purifier. Unlike other purifiers including those from Levoit, this model is different in that the power supply is outside the chassis – there’s not a standard AC power cord. Instead, an external AC-DC adapter is used.

It’s important for me to clarify before we go further that the Vista 200 looks very similar to the Core 300 model but is very different in both performance and design.

As I mentioned above it’s very lightweight and simply doesn’t feel as solid in the hand. I’ll explain what I mean as we go.

While other models use an internal supply and a standard AC power cord, the Vista 200 uses an external AC-DC 12V adapter that plugs into a jack on the rear.

The quick start guide is good!

Levoit Vista 200 quick start guide page example image

One thing that I really like is the quick start guide included in addition to the owner’s manual. It’s a very short 2-page set of instructions & diagrams to help you get the purifier up and running quickly.

It’s clear, easy for anyone to understand, and saves the trouble of having to hunt for the facts you need when getting started.

Build quality and fit & finish

Close up images of the Levoit Vista 200 air purifier

The Vista 300 features a matte white finish and looks nice – and well put-together. Parts are tight, aligned correctly, and altogether it looks well-made. It’s obviously another quality model just like the others before it.

After opening and unpacking it I moved forward with my first inspection before powering it up and testing it for a few weeks.

The Vista 200 has a nice matte white body with a smart, modern design throughout. However, it’s easy to see that a few compromises were made to make this a budget product unlike its siblings.

Overall impressions and manufacturing quality

The good news is that it’s well-made: No defects, gaps in body panels, or cosmetic flaws to mention. It’s well put-together and the body itself feels good in the hand.

However, the center control panel uses a thin plastic insert and not the thicker, more attractive gloss or satin black insert used on other models. Immediately I picked up on this clue about it being a more budget, basic design.

As I’ll show you later, there’s more to the story than just cosmetics – in fact, the air cleaning performance has been greatly compromised as well, sadly.

Checking out the controls

Levoit Vista 200 illustrated control panel diagram

Diagram showing the Levoit Vista 200 touch control functions & features. It’s very simple to use and a snap to get accustomed to quickly. Select a fan speed or super-quiet Sleep mode, turn the illumination on/off, select an optional auto-off timer choice. Turn the night light on or off any time you like as well.

I have to admit it – just like the other purifiers in the Levoit family, it’s really easy to use! In the picture above, you can see the touch controls, each with a symbol:

  • Fan speed button (low, med, and high)
  • Night light on/off
  • Check filter indicator
  • Control lighting on/off button
  • Timer function/hour select (2, 4, & 8 hours selectable)
  • Sleep mode
  • Power on/off

The controls are nice and work well – they’re not too sensitive, and don’t need a hard touch, either. I found them reliable, clear to see, and I got the impression the design work behind them is solid and well-planned.

Unlike the LV-H132 model, the Vista 200 doesn’t beep when you touch the control buttons. It’s completely silent.

Fan speeds & modes

The fan controls are really simple to use: Just push the fan symbol to rotate through the 3 main speeds.

What I like about Levoit purifiers (and that you won’t find on many competitor models) is that they ramp up (or down) gracefully when changing speeds.

There’s no harsh, abrupt fan that “jumps” to a much faster setting, for example.

Sleep mode function

Levoit Vista 200 sleep mode and auto off timer use examples

Sleep mode is a low-noise setting that can be entered or exited any time you like by touching the moon-shaped button. It puts the purifier in a whisper-quiet low fan mode to avoid disturbing you at night.

For once, it really is amazingly quiet as advertised! In fact, during testing, I couldn’t even tell it’s running while in Sleep mode.

Additionally, Sleep mode dims the button lighting to avoid disturbing you while you’re sleeping.

The auto-off timer feature

One added feature I really like is the ability to choose an auto-off timer so the purifier will turn itself off automatically. Just touch the button to rotate through 4 settings: 2, 4, or 8 hours of run time.

Oddly enough, while its “bigger brother” the Core 300 also offers a 6 hour option, the Vista only offers 3 options with 2, 4, and 8 hour settings.

However, in my experience, that’s fine for most people.

Other features

There are a few more features worth noting:

  • Filter reminder: When lit (after around 6 months) it’s time to check your filters and replace if needed. You can reset the reminder by pushing and holding it for 3 seconds.
  • Control lights on/off: Switches off ALL control panel lighting completely (great for sleeping or light-sensitive people like me!)
  • Power on/off: Switches off the purifier completely.
Note: The sibling Core 300 replaces the night light button found on the LV-H132 & Vista 200 models with the control lock button. Be aware of this if you’re comparing the different models while shopping.

Understanding the fan setting memory feature

One feature I really like is the control memory feature. At first I didn’t think it would matter to me, but in fact in daily use it’s really convenient.

The built-in memory feature recalls the last used fan mode settings you used and restores them at the next power-up and use.

Unfortunately, the memory feature does not turn the night light back on if you turned the purifier off when it was in use.

Regardless, it’s a great little touch also found on other Levoit models. I’m very happy to see they didn’t remove it despite the obviously lower-cost design.

Using the night light

Levoit Vista 200 night light brightness examples

As the night light is a cool feature you don’t see in many products I’ve decided to cover it in a bit more detail here.

Two brightness levels are provided: High and low. Just touch the light bulb symbol (night light button) to rotate through high, low, and off settings.

Unlike the LV-H132 model, a “soft white” (soft yellow/amber) light color is provided instead of blue. During testing I found the night light to be a nice little feature I enjoyed.

When set to high it’s not super-bright; it’s enough light for comfort and enough for going to the bathroom late at night.

The low setting is similar but with about 1/2 the brightness of high. Both modes draw a tiny amount of power (1.6W and 0.8W), so feel free to leave it on all the time if you like.

Note: The night light can be operated anytime – regardless if the power is off. Just touch the button to switch it on.

Specifications & CADR ratings

Levoit Vista 200 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 161 sq. ft (small or medium room)
  • 3-speed fan control
  • Whisper-quiet Sleep mode w/ air cleaning
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • Prefilter can be cleaned
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: [Not provided]
  • AHAM Verified, Energy Star Verified, FCC certified, ETL listed, CA PROP 65 certified
  • Simple, clear electronic touch controls
  • Control lighting on/off feature
  • 2-level night light feature
  • Memory feature retains last fan setting used
  • Filter replacement reminder (~6 mos.)
  • 1 year warranty (extended coverage available)
  • Replacement filter: Vista 200-RF
  • Power use: 10.3W (max. fan speed)
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: Top
  • Size: 7.5 x 7.5 x 13 in (19 x 19 x 33 cm)

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

Example of a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings label

An example of a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) label. Shown are the 3 air quality performance ratings for the Levoit Core 300 for example purposes.

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

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

Basically, when shopping for a purifier it’s helpful to have an air cleaning performance rating to compare different models. In the case of the CADR rating, just remember that higher is better.

The Vista 200 and CADR rating problem

While CADR ratings are voluntary, the biggest manufacturers of today’s top products often provide these ratings to buyers.

However, with the Vista 200, that’s not the case. Sadly, for some reason, no CADR ratings are provided.

That makes it much more difficult to compare it to other products on the market. I’ll comment more on this subject below (see the section about air filter & performance further below).

Comparing the Levoit compact purifier vs tower models

Image showing height measurement of the Levoit Vista 200 air purifier

The purifier is fairly short unlike some popular competitors such as the GermGuardian AC4825 which is 22″ tall. Measuring slightly under 13.5″ tall, the Vista 200 is pretty compact and fits in many areas bigger models can’t.

At around 13″ in height, it’s pretty small in height (the companion Core 300 is close, within 1″ also).

While most “tower” air purifiers tend to be rather tall at 22″ to 28″ or so (such as the popular competitor the GermGuardian AC4825) that makes the Levoit model a refreshing change if space is tight.

Be sure to give it enough room for airflow (about 15″ from each side) as it needs space to circulate air efficiently. You don’t want to restrict airflow in your room as circulation is important for proper air cleaning.

Weight

One thing I’ve learned is that shorter purifiers are harder to tip over by accident.

However, there’s something that really bugs me: Unlike the Levoit LV-H132 and new Core 300, the Vista 200 weighs less than half of those models and can be knocked over much more easily by accident.

That’s not a “real” issue to worry about in everyday life, but it’s something I noticed right away and that’s an unfortunate side effect of a more cheaply designed product.

At a mere 3.4 lbs in weight (the Core 300 is 7.5 lbs, by comparison) it’s just too light in the hands in my opinion. I miss the solid feel and weight of its sibling models.

Image showing the fan used in the Vista 200 air purifier

Unlike other similar models, the Vista 200 uses a much cheaper – and lightweight and weaker – fan to circulate air. While the LV-H132 and Core 300 models use a far more powerful – and substantially built – fan to give a good air cleaning rate, the Vista 200 isn’t even in the same ballpark.

There are several reasons why this purifier feels cheap and – as I discovered later – has weak airflow and air cleaning ability.

The reasons are:

  • The fan used is a low-cost unit that’s substantially weaker than the fans used in the LV-H132 and Core 300 models. It’s not only far lighter in weight but simply can’t give anywhere near the same airflow rate.
  • As the electronics are simplified and the power supply is now located outside the body, this contributes to the lack of weight and a much less substantial “feel” than other models.

While the LV-H132 and Core 300 use far more solid & specialized fan assemblies the Vista doesn’t. Instead, I could clearly see a standard off-the-shelf brushless fan mounted inside the body.

Right away that’s a clue this isn’t the value performer I had hoped for. Think of the little DC cooling fan you’ll find inside desktop computer cases, but a bigger version. That’s what I mean.

Carrying the purifier

Much like other Levoit purifiers, one drawback is that there’s no provision for carrying it more easily.

Unlike competing models from Honeywell and GermGuardian, there isn’t a built-in carrying area to put your hand in. You’ll need to use 2 hands in this case.

Not a big deal by any means, but it’s something to be aware of.

Levoit Vista 200 power use measurements

Levoit Vista 200 power measurements diagram

Pictured: I measured power use in Watts for 7 settings: 4 total speeds/modes, power off, and the 2 night light settings.  I recorded power meter readings both with and without the night light featured switched on until I simply recorded each setting separately for best results. (Note: The night light can be used when the fan is off)

How many watts does the Vista 200 use?

While the owner’s manual does specify the largest power draw it uses, it doesn’t give power use measurements for the other settings and modes available.

Rather than guess, I measured power use in Watts for all fan modes as well as the off state and the night light feature, too.

Levoit Vista 200 power use measurement table

ModePower (Watts)
Off0.3
Sleep0.9
Low1.3
Med.2.1
High10.3
Night light high1.6
Night light low0.8

I have to say I’m surprised at how low the power consumption is! For example, many air purifiers in the price range of the Levoit small-medium room purifiers use up to about 55W on the high speed.

Comparing the Vista 200 to the Core 300, for example, when set the high the Vista 200 uses the same amount of power as the Core 300’s super-low speed Sleep mode!

While it may seem like the Vista 200 is incredibly efficient, that’s the wrong idea. It’s not.

Core 300 & LV-H132 power use

For comparison purposes, have a look at the power use I measured for the LV-H132 & Core 300 models.

LV-H132: 11.8W, 19.3W, 28.3 [Low, med., high]

Core 300: 10.4W, 26.7W, 30.3W, 43.3W [Sleep, low, med., high]

The reason why is because the Vista 200 uses a much weaker & lower-speed fan that draws much less power than its siblings. You’re using less power, sure – but at the expense of a weak fan that can’t circulate air nearly as well as its siblings.

Air cleaning ability & performance

Comparison of Levoit Core 300, LV-H132, and Vista 200 HEPA purifier filters

Shown: A comparison of Levoit true HEPA filters for 3 models. While the LV-H132 offers a better odor-capturing prefilter containing carbon pellets, its HEPA filter size is less than half that of that found in the Core 300 & the Vista 200. Right: The new Core 300 and Vista 200 models share a nearly identical style of filter assembly aside from their size and minor details.

The slightly older model LV-H132 used a very compact filter with real carbon pellets for trapping additional odor and volatile organic compounds (VCOs) from the air. Unlike it, however, the Core 300’s filter uses a standard coated prefilter with activated carbon substance.

While that is a disadvantage, the design does have an interesting benefit: The HEPA filter size is slightly more than twice that of the LV-H132’s filter area. This means a longer filter life capacity.

Levoit Vista 200 square feet coverage and room size

As it’s rated for up to 161 square feet by the manufacturer, it’s well suited for medium-sized rooms, although there’s absolutely no reason you can’t use it in small bedrooms.

161 sq ft is roughly a 10 x 16 ft room. Bear in mind that this is an approximate size used – it doesn’t have to be used in a room exactly that size.

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

In the case of the Vista 200, however, the low airflow rate means its cleaning efficiency is lower than most competitor’s products in its price range.

Filter ability

Levoit Vista 200 HEPA filter sections close up images

The Vista 200 HEPA filter section is made of a folded, dense fiber material. A second section, the pre-filter/activated carbon filter is responsible for trapping larger particles as well as odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. It’s capable of excellent filtering ability and works well. The filter can capture nearly 100% of all particulates in its airflow down to 0.3 microns in size.

The high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is good for removing the most common air quality issues (especially those that cause allergies and even sickness!)

Here’s the basic list of air contaminants the Vista 200’s filter can remove:

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

What is the 3-stage filter?

Levoit Core 300-RF true HEPA filter sectional diagram labeled

Essentially, it’s a 2-stage filter assembly made up of 2 major sections with 3 total stages: The pre-filter/activated carbon filter, an activated carbon filter coating, and finally the HEPA filter.

The pre-filter section is a less dense & thin section covering the active carbon filter. Its job is to first capture larger items in the air like pet hair, dust, and so on. The active carbon filter coating traps odors and other chemical substances in the air.

Finally, the HEPA filter captures a whopping 99.97% of particles passing through it down to 0.3 microns in size. That’s less than 1 millionth of a meter in size.

How effective is the Vista 200’s air cleaning?

During testing I sadly did not find the purifier’s cleaning performance to be as good as other Levoit products and its competitors.

It’s a decent air purifier – don’t get me wrong. However, it’s simply not on par with the likes of its siblings and other competitors in its price range. A good example is the GermGuardian AC4825 I tested and wrote a detailed review about here.

Ultimately, the biggest issue is the weak airflow rate and less effective cycling of air in the room that you’ll want for efficient air cleaning.

It does provide basic air cleaning with a true HEPA filter, but it’s simply not a good performer for what I paid for it. For that reason, I can’t support you paying what I did for mine (around $80).

Additionally, there are no optional filter upgrades available for pet dander problems or odors & toxins like the Core 300 offers.

Does the Vista 200 produce ozone?

As I explain more in this post, as it’s a filter-based air cleaning purifier it doesn’t produce byproducts in the air around you.

The Vista 200 is perfectly safe and healthy as it does not produce any ozone. There’s no need to worry about that unlike some other products on the market today (no very high-quality air purifier would be producing noticeable ozone, anyway!)

Filter replacement indicators & maintenance costs

Replacement indicator light

Diagram showing filter reminder light on the Levoit Vista 200 air purifier

Example image showing the filter replacement feature which lights after 6 months.

Approximately every 6 months the filter check reminder will light indicating it’s time to check it and replace as needed.

Note that the company recommends you replace the filter sooner under especially heavy use – the filter reminder serves as a general guideline.

Additionally, a nice feature is that you can brush or vacuum the prefilter to extend its life & cleaning efficiency. That’s especially great to see considering how not everyone will completely use up the HEPA filter for a long time.

Filter life, replacement options, and cost

Vista 200-RF replacement HEPA filter example

For lighter use, the life can be extended by vacuuming the prefilter and you might be able to exceed 8 months, although I’d still recommend replacing it after 6 to 8 months of use.

You’d be surprised how much nastiness the filter will trap and that will build up quickly!

A typical life expectancy for the HEPA filter can be around 8 months or so and in some cases even as much as 12 months, although that’s unusual. Expect to replace it after around 6-8 months or so as a rule of thumb.

Replacement filters cost around $16 for the original replacement which is quite affordable in comparison to other brands which may cost up to twice as much (or more!).

How hard is it to replace the filter?

Diagram showing how to remove HEPA filter from the Levoit Vista 200 purifier

Removing & replacing the filter is super easy and one of the simplest I’ve seen yet. You’ll need to turn the purifier upside down, then simply unlock the cover by twisting it then pull the filter out by the handle.

Filter replacement is very easy and only takes a few seconds. Honestly, it’s one of the best designs I’ve seen yet, and I’ve used many few different purifiers.

Basically, it’s just a few simple steps:

  1. Turn the purifier upside down (carefully to avoid scratching it).
  2. Twist off the cover retaining knob until it’s fully off. Remove the cover.
  3. Pull the filter out.

Replacement is the exact reverse and just as fast, too. While not quite as easy as the other Levoit models I’ve mentioned, it’s still super-easy and a snap to do.

Owner’s manual quality

Levoit Vista 200 owners manual inside examples

The owner’s manual is clear, easy to read, and full of helpful instructions anyone can understand. It’s an excellent example of a well-done instruction manual and one of the best I’ve come across. (Click to enlarge)

I reviewed the instructions and found the owner’s manual to be very clear, helpful, and it really helps you get started quickly.

In the owner’s manual you’ll find:

  • How to best use your purifier
  • The control panel operation
  • Filter maintenance and replacement information
  • Basic specifications and square feet coverage
  • Troubleshooting for various performance or functional problems that could arise

It’s very well-done and makes using the purifier an easy task, unlike some lesser brands & products I’ve tested. I’m pretty darn happy with it, honestly.

Noise levels during use

The company advertises it as having low noise operation and in my experience, while it’s true, it’s not as pleasant as its sibling models. In terms of only the volume level, it is in fact very quiet in fact.

  • Sleep mode is incredibly quiet – so much so you can’t tell the fan is running
  • Low speed (#1) is extremely quiet and not easily detectable to the human ear
  • Medium (#2) is very quiet and has a very low operational noise but has a bit of a “hollow” tone to the sound, likely due to the lightweight body and the fan used.
  • High (#3) has a fair amount of sound but is still easily covered by the sound of the radio, TV, or music in many cases. However, it’s not pleasing to the ear like other models I own & tested.

The high setting is especially helpful for the quickest cleaning of contaminated air.

According to the owner’s manual when air quality is poor it’s best to run it at the high setting for a while then turn it back to the low or medium setting.

While I’ve been very happy with the LV-H132 and Core 300’s quiet sound levels and pleasing, smooth “white noise” sound during use, in this area the Vista 200 is a disappointment.

The sound tone produced when in use isn’t nearly as pleasing – or easy to overlook – as the LV-H132 & Core 300. 

Because the purifier has a lower-cost build and less mass, there’s an odd “hollow” sound produced that I really don’t like.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

MeasurementVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)40
Sleep40.3
Low40.5
Medium42.8
High56.2

Sleep mode is incredibly quiet – so much my ears can’t even detect it’s on.

Low is extremely quiet as well – essentially impossible to hear. Medium and high noise levels are very good, with the high setting about the same as other purifiers like the GermGuardian AC4825, but around 9 dB louder than the LV-H132’s high setting.

Although it has nearly the same volume on high as the Core 300, somehow that model was less noticeable to my ears – likely due to the “smoother”, more gentle sound the Core 300 produces.

Night brightness

I checked the purifier’s brightness in a dark room and found it to be very good – not bright enough to cause sleep problems overnight. Even so, thanks to the built-in light control feature you can turn off all button lighting any time you like.

If you’re a light sleeper light me you’re always having to worry about little things that make it tough to sleep and can even wake you up later. That’s why I always check the night brightness of products with electronic panels with illumination.

When testing the Vista 200 I found it to be pretty good in a darkened room and the brightness isn’t really a concern. However, if you want it perfectly dark that’s not a problem!

You can completely switch off control button lighting by using the lighting on/off button. I like it!

Don’t forget that the almost silent Sleep mode darkens the button lighting as well.

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifiers front view comparison

Above: The Levoit LV-H132 (left) is one of the best-selling air purifiers of all time and set the bar high for what a compact air purifier should be. The Vista 200 (right) offers many similar features but also adds an auto-off timer as well.

While they share a few similarities, the older LV-H132 and Vista 200 do have a few differences worth mentioning.

Here’s a helpful comparison table to cover the basics first:

Image
LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers,...
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
Model
LV-H132
Vista 200
Filter type
3-stage/HEPA w/carbon pellet odor control
3-stage/HEPA
Room sq ft
129
161
Warranty
2 years
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Sleep mode
Beep sounds
Auto-off timer
Noise levels (dB)
40/43/47.9
40.3/40.5/42.8/56.2
Current price
$89.99
Price not available
Image
LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers,...
Model
LV-H132
Filter type
3-stage/HEPA w/carbon pellet odor control
Room sq ft
129
Warranty
2 years
Night light
Sleep mode
Beep sounds
Auto-off timer
Noise levels (dB)
40/43/47.9
Current price
$89.99
Image
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
Model
Vista 200
Filter type
3-stage/HEPA
Room sq ft
161
Warranty
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Sleep mode
Beep sounds
Auto-off timer
Noise levels (dB)
40.3/40.5/42.8/56.2
Current price
Price not available

To keep it simple, the most notable differences are:

  • The LV-H132 has a room size coverage of 129 sq feet vs the 161 sq ft of the Vista 200.
  • The LV-H132 also has a night light as does the Vista 200, but with a blue color
  • The LV-H132 provides a prefilter with real carbon pellets (better) for odor absorption while the other uses a standard activated carbon coating
  • The Vista provides 3 fan speed + an ultra-quiet Sleep mode. No sleep mode is provided with the LV-H132
  • No auto-off timer on the LV-H132
  • Controls on the LV-H132 produce a beep while the other’s do not
  • 2 yr warranty included (LV-H132) vs a 1 yr warranty with the option to extend by 1 more year
  • The LV-H132 features better airflow and air cleaning performance as it uses a more advanced & higher-quality fan
  • The LV-H132 is a more solid, heavier build than the Vista 200

Levoit LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifiers top view comparison

Top view of the control panel on the LV-H132 vs the Vista 200.

Ultimately, while the Vista is listed as providing larger room size coverage (161 sq ft) it’s simply not as good of an air purifier as the LV-H132 with its proven track record.

Filter replacements are about the same price, by the way.

Levoit Vista 200 vs Core 300

Levoit Vista 200 vs Core 300 comparison

Although they look very similar, there are some differences to know below the surface. These two models may share the same design style but they’re built very differently.

Despite (at the time of this post) only a small difference in price, these two models have significant differences in performance and how they’re built. In my opinion the Core 300’s quality and air cleaning performance are far above that of the Vista 200.

Here’s a simple comparison table to highlight some of the biggest differences:

Image
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier, white
Model
Vista 200
Core 300
Sleep mode
Auto-off timer
Timer choices
2, 4, 8 hrs
2, 4, 6, 8 hrs
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
3-stage HEPA
Warranty
1 yr (extended optional)
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Filter upgrades
Fan speeds
3 + Sleep mode
3 + Sleep mode
Room sq ft
161
215
CADR rating
(Not provided)
141/140/145
Current price
Price not available
Price not available
Image
LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home Allergies and Pets Hair, H13 True HEPA Air...
Model
Vista 200
Sleep mode
Auto-off timer
Timer choices
2, 4, 8 hrs
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
Warranty
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Filter upgrades
Fan speeds
3 + Sleep mode
Room sq ft
161
CADR rating
(Not provided)
Current price
Price not available
Image
LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier, white
Model
Core 300
Sleep mode
Auto-off timer
Timer choices
2, 4, 6, 8 hrs
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
Warranty
1 yr (extended optional)
Night light
Filter upgrades
Fan speeds
3 + Sleep mode
Room sq ft
215
CADR rating
141/140/145
Current price
Price not available

To keep it simple, the biggest differences are:

  • The Vista 200 has 161 sq ft coverage vs the 215 sq ft you’ll get with the Core 300.
  • The Vista 200 offers a 2-level night light option. The Core 300 does not (replaced with a control lock feature).
  • The Core 300 draws up to 43W while the Vista only 10W maximum.
  • The Core 300 offers more effective air cleaning with both a larger true HEPA filter, good CADR rating, and good airflow rate. The Vista 200 doesn’t have CADR ratings provided (I estimate it’s around 100 for each or less) and air flow is mediocre at best.
  • Upgraded filter options are available for purchase for the Core 300; No such options exist for the Vista 200.
  • The Core 300’s sound levels are not only comparable but are much more pleasant to hear. The Vista 200 produces an unpleasant, coarser “hollow” sound due to its design.
  • The Core 300 has a much heavier, solid feel and a much better fan motor is used.

Ultimately, when comparing everything the Core 300 is a better buy and a more effective air purifier for the money.

Internal view of the Levoit Core 300 air purifier

The Core 300 has a much more powerful fan motor than the very low-cost, lightweight one found in the Vista 200. It’s also a much more solid and heavier unit. I’m a fan of the Core 300, but not the Vista 200 after using both. Also, the Core 300 is simply much more pleasing to the ear when the fan is working!

At this point, I’m honestly confused as to why the company brought the Vista 200 to the market.

If the retail price is almost the same as the older, but better, LV-H132, and within a few dollars of the new and better-built, more powerful Core 300, why buy it?

In my opinion, the Vista 200 is overpriced at this time and I wouldn’t pay above $50-$55 for it. I’d gladly spend more to get the Core 300 as I enjoyed it much and it’s more effective, too!

Alternatively, the good old standby GermGuardian AC4825 is a great choice as well, although you won’t get the same compact size and modern features like Levoit offers.

Review summary & score

The Vista 200 isn’t by any means a bad choice – if it were priced for the budget quality you get. As it stands right now, however, what you get just isn’t worth the price.

I have to say I’m disappointed with the budget feel and cheap design that results in a lower airflow rate (meaning weaker air cleaning). I’m also not happy with a noisier operation than I’ve come to expect from the other very nice Levoit purifiers. It’s a bit annoying to hear while it’s running unlike the others.

Ultimately, when it comes to value and performance it simply doesn’t make sense to buy this at full price vs the LV-H132 or the new Core 300. I enjoyed my Core 300 so much I gave it a good score in my detailed review here.

Those two models are better performers, offer more pleasing noise levels, and are much more solidly built. It’s critical I tell you the truth so you get the best for your money, after all!

Levoit Vista 200 product image in review summaryWant to read more about the Vista 200? Head over now to see the current buyer Vista 200 reviews and more details at Amazon.

 

Levoit Core 300 review editors choice badge product image

My recommendation is to spend just a few dollars more and get a much better performer – and value – for your dollar. I’m a happy Core 300 owner I’m sure you’ll love it, too!

Find out now why the Core 300 is one of the best new air purifiers at Amazon.

Overall
7.4/10
7.4/10
  • Quality - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Value - 6.1/10
    6.1/10
  • Ease of use - 9/10
    9/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 7/10
    7/10
  • Features - 8/10
    8/10
  • Noise levels - 7/10
    7/10

An overpriced, basic air purifier with good features but budget-level design & performance. You've got better choices for nearly the same price.

After owning & testing both the LV-H132 and new Core 300 purifiers from Levoit, the Vista 200 is a let-down. Despite a price close to similar models (and better competitors), the performance is mediocre, the feel is cheap, and it’s clearly not designed at the same level. Features are good and it’s well-made; however, fan airflow & air cleaning is average at best.

Unlike other Levoit models, a cheaper fan is used resulting in disappointing noise & a low-end feel. If you can pick one up for a steal, it’s a good basic purifier. Otherwise, the value simply isn’t there. You’re better off spending just a few more dollars for the newer (and better) Core 300 model. Alternatively, pick up the older but proven LV-H132 for about the same price.

Pros

  • 161 sq ft coverage
  • 2-level night light
  • Ultra-quiet Sleep mode
  • Compact design
  • 1 yr warranty, optionally extendable
  • Good, simple electronic controls
  • Fan setting memory feature
  • Extremely low power use
  • Lighting on/off control
  • Good night time brightness
  • Quiet noise levels
  • Low cost replacement filters
  • Filter check reminder
  • 3-level auto-off timer

Cons

  • Poor value for the price
  • Cheap fan & overall build quality
  • Low fan performance, low airflow rate
  • External power supply unlike others
  • Low weight is easier to tip over
  • No upgrade filter options
  • No CADR ratings provided
  • Core 300 model is only a small price difference
  • Quality is below LV-H132 example

Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier Review – Hands On Details & All The Facts

Levoit LV-H132 air purifier review featured image

Compact. Solid. Quiet. These are some of the words that come to mind when I think the Levoit LV-H132 purifier I own & tested.

But is it really worth the money? And how does it compare to come of its rivals – including new model like the Levoit Core 300? Find out all of this and more in my detailed, hands-on review of the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier.

There’s a lot of info to cover so let’s get started right away!

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier

Levoit Core 300 vs LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifier comparison image

Levoit’s family of air purifiers include the best-selling LV-H132 and 2 newer models: The Vista 200 and the Core 300. All feature low-noise operation, low height, and round design with a true HEPA filter.

One of the best-selling air purifiers of all time, the LV-H132 offers a long list of features & air quality functions that have made it one of the most popular products you’ll find. 

Levoit’s line of air purifiers have some unique features not found in others:

  • Compact circular & modern design
  • Electronic touch controls
  • True HEPA filter with 99.97% efficiency for elements down to 0.3 millionths of a meter (0.3 microns)
  • Prefilter with activated charcoal for odor & volatile organic chemical (VOC) absorption
  • Low-noise operation that’s one of the quietest in any purifier available
  • White low-gloss finish
  • Nigh light feature (model-specific option)

The LV-H132 is now a bit more mature & older when compared to the most recent models recently released by the company. However, it’s definitely still a very good choice and a competent air purifier.

Read on to find out why.

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

Image of unboxing the LV-H132 air purifier from its packaging

I got my own LV-H132…finally! I carefully took it out of the shipping box. It’s well-packaged and the owner’s manual is placed where it’s easy to find. There’s also a customer service phone number clearly placed where you’ll see it upon opening the box. Well done!

Having owned & tested so many different kinds of air purifiers you’d think this wasn’t a big deal. Just the same, I’ve always been curious to try out the popular Levoit for myself and see what all the fuss is about!

The LV-H132 came well-packaged with soft closed cell foam inserts to hold it steady. Overall my first impressions were good as I’ve come to expect from the company.

Example of a new HEPA filter in bag in the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier

When getting started with your LV-H132 purifier, you’ll need to remove the protective plastic cover from the air filter, already installed inside the unit. There’s also a plastic protective layer covering the controls to remove as well.

After unboxing the purifier I began inspecting the quality, learning the controls & features, setting it up, and testing it.

To set up your new purifier you’ll need to remove the filter from its plastic bag before use.  That’s done to preserve the HEPA filter inside as well as prevent the active carbon filter from losing life before you get it.

Build quality and fit & finish

Close up images of the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier body

The LV-H132 has a nice, modern-looking satin white finish. Parts are tight, aligned correctly, and altogether it looks well-made. That’s one of the characteristics of the company’s line of air quality products.

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

The LV-H132 features an attractive satin white body that looks nice and can fit in just about anywhere you put it. The control panel features a good-looking gloss black inlay with contrasting button symbols.

In the center of the top portion of the unit is a “grill” which is where light is generated when the night light feature is used..+

Overall impressions and manufacturing quality

After giving the purifier a close looking-over I’m happy to say it passes with flying colors – absolutely no signs of poor design, assembly issues, or defects. The purifier feels solid and well-made in the hands, weighing several pounds (

It’s definitely not an “el-cheapo” product here – it’s the same great Levoit build quality I’ve experienced while testing the super-selling LV-H132.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that gaps and misaligned parts are a sign of build issues. I’m happy to report you won’t find that here – only a well-made purifier that looks great right from the get-go!

Checking out the controls

Image of Levoit LV-H132 air purifier controls with illustrated text

Diagram showing the Levoit Core 300 touch control functions & features. It’s super-easy to use the purifier: Turn the power on/off, select a fan speed, turn the night light on or off, or optionally turn off all control panel illumination (see below for details).

Using the purifier is really easy. In the picture above, you can see the touch controls, each with a symbol:

  • Fan speed button (low, med, and high)
  • Check filter indicator
  • Night light control
  • Power on/off

The controls are nice and work well – they’re not too sensitive but don’t need a hard touch, either.

I found them to be reliable and using them became natural after only a few uses. Obviously, some very good engineering work has gone into this model.

One feature I really like is the setting memory feature. When switching the unit back on after earlier use, the last settings used are restored including the night light. Very nice!

Does the LV-H132 beep?

Yes, touching any of the controls causes a very short beep to show you’ve touched one of the controls. Additionally, the same is true for power up or down when the power button is pushed or when the unit is plugged into an outlet.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn off the sound. If that’s a particular issue for you, consider the sibling models the Vista 200 and the even better Core 300 I reviewed here.

However, the beeps aren’t too loud and aren’t an issue in my opinion.

Fan speeds & modes

The purifier’s fan controls are really very straightforward: Just touch it to rotate through the 3 speeds.

What I like about Levoit purifiers (and that you won’t find on many competitor models) is that they ramp up (or down) gracefully when changing speeds.

There’s no harsh, abrupt “jumping” to a much faster setting. Instead, you’ll hear and feel the fan gently increase or decrease in speed until it reaches the next speed.

Additional features

Image showing examples of extra features on the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier

Reset the filter reminder anytime (for example in the case of early maintenance) by pushing and holding the reminder button. Another nice feature is the all-off illumination control: Push and hold the night light button to turn off all button backlights if you like.

There are a few more features worth noting:

  • Filter reminder: When lit (after around 6 months) it’s time to check your filters and replace if needed. You can reset the reminder by pushing and holding it for 3 seconds. Additionally, you can do so any time so there’s no need to wait until the button lights to carry out filter maintenance.
  • Control lights on/off: Switches off ALL control lighting completely (great for sleeping or light-sensitive people like me!) You can do so by pushing and holding the night light button.

I was happy to find out that if you’re sensitive to light you can switch off all control panel lights by using the night light/dimmer button. That’s a nice option I rarely see on these types of products.

Note: The LV-H132’s sibling the new Core 300 replaces the night light feature with a control lock option. If having a night light is of interest to you be sure to consider this when shopping.

Specifications & CADR ratings

Levoit LV-H132 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 129 sq. ft (small or medium room)
  • 3-speed fan control
  • 2 level night light feature
  • True HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon pellet section
  • Very low noise operation (< 50dB)
  • Prefilter can be cleaned or replaced separately
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (110), pollen (110), smoke (110)
  • AHAM Verified, Energy Star Verified, FCC certified, ETL listed, CA PROP 65 certified
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Control lighting on/off feature
  • Memory feature retains last setting used
  • Filter replacement reminder (~6 mos.)
  • Twist-open filter cover with handle
  • Simple filter replacement (drop in)
  • 2 year warranty
  • Replacement filter: LV-H132-RF
  • Power use: 28.3W (max. fan speed)
  • Weight: 5.25 lbs (2.38 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: Top
  • Size: 7.5 x 7.5 x 12.5″ (19 x 19 x 31.75 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.

Levoit LV-H132 CADR ratings label

The Levoit LV-H132 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 LV-H132 purifier’s CADR rating is not the highest in its class, but that’s a trade-off due to the lower fan speed used for low-noise operation (more about that later). You’ll find that some competitor models, as well as the larger LV-H133 model, offer a higher airflow rate.

This comes with a cost, however: Larger size, louder operation, and sometimes higher cost too.

Comparing the Levoit compact purifier vs tower models

Image showing the height of a Levoit LV-H132 air purifier measurement

It’s very short unlike some popular competitors like the GermGuardian AC4825 that’s 22″ tall. Measuring only 12.5″ tall in height (31.75 cm), it’s compact and can fit into many smaller areas. It’s also tip-over resistant, too, unlike much taller models.

At only 12.5″ in height, it’s fairly compact. Although most “tower” air purifiers tend to be rather tall at 22″ or even more (for example the popular rival competitor, the GermGuardian AC4825 purifier) it’s a nice change in that it opens up more options for floor or shelf placement.

There’s another advantage there, too: It’s nearly impossible to tip it over by accident. In my experience, tall tower purifiers are easy to bump into and knock over accidentally sometimes.

Much like any other purifier, you shouldn’t place it very close to walls or other large objects.

You’ll need to give it enough room for airflow (about 15″ from each side) as it needs space to circulate air efficiently. You don’t want to restrict airflow in your room as circulation is important for proper air cleaning.

Weight

At about 5.25 lbs (2.38 kg) in weight, it feels solid in my hands and doesn’t have a light, cheap feel like with other brands I’ve tested.

Because of the weight, however, you’ll have to avoid placing it on frail surfaces that can’t support a few pounds of weight.

Carrying the purifier

One thing that’s lacking is a carrying handle. That’s not unique to the LV-H132 though as the other Levoit models don’t offer it either.

Unlike some models from rival companies 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 which makes it slightly less convenient when carrying it.

Not a big deal in my experience since it’s pretty small but it’s something to be aware of.

Levoit LV-H132 power use measurements

Levoit LV-H132 air purifier power use measurements images

Pictured: I measured power use in Watts for all 4 settings (3 fan speeds + the off state).  I recorded power meter readings both with and without control lighting switched on and I wasn’t able to measure any noticeable difference. 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! In fact, it uses less power than the newer Levoit Core 300.

How many watts does the LV-H132 use?

Like many other products out there, although the owner’s manual specifies the power use on the highest setting, it doesn’t say anything at all about power use for the other fan speeds.

To get accurate, real numbers I measured power use in Watts for all speed settings with and without the lighting switched on.

(Note: There’s so little power used in standby (off) mode my meter was not able to record it very well. See my notes below.)

Levoit LV-H132 power use table

ModePower (Watts)
Off0-0.8
Low11.8
Med.19.3
High28.3

As you can see the power draw is very low – in fact, these are some of the lowest measurements I’ve seen yet! Levoit recommends using the high-speed setting for a period of time when air cleaning needs are demanding then switching to a lower fan speed.

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 control lighting off as well. The difference was so small it couldn’t be measured.

Lighting power draw

When switching the night light on and off power draw was very small! So much so that the lowest brightness could not be measured by me instrument:

  • Night light 1st setting (bright): 0.1W
  • Night light 2nd setting (low): ~0.05W

Likewise, switching off the control panel backlighting doesn’t offer any worthwhile power savings as LEDs are used to provide light. In case you weren’t aware, LEDs use only a fraction of the electrical power compared to traditional bulbs.

Air cleaning ability & performance

Comparison of Levoit Core 300, LV-H132, and Vista 200 HEPA purifier filters

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 at no extra charge, 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. 

While the LV-H132 uses a very compact filter with real carbon pellets for trapping additional odor and volatile organic compounds (VCOs) from the air, it’s total filter size is considerably smaller than the newest additions to the product line the Vista 200 and Core 300.

Despite that, one advantage of buying the LV-H132 is that you’ll have better odor control performance at no extra cost. While the Core 300 does offer upgraded filter option with a better odor control prefilter section, that’s an added expense and you’ll have to find the filter (Core 300-RF-TX) too.

Levoit LV-H132 square feet coverage and room size

Recommended for up to 129 square feet size rooms, it’s well suited for medium-sized rooms but it’s well-suited for small rooms too.

129 sq ft is roughly a 12.9 x 10 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; it takes time to cycle & filter the entire room’s air.

Filter ability

LV-H132 used dirty prefilter and HEPA filter examples

Shown: My purifier’s prefilter did a great job of trapping nasty, bothersome dust in the air. As you can see, after some use the HEPA filter had built up a fair amount of microscopic particulates which shows up as a slightly darkened area between in the filer folds. The filter’s capable of excellent filtering ability and works well. It can trap nearly 100% of all particulates in its airflow down to 0.3 microns in size!

The high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter worked very well for removing the most common air quality issues (especially those that cause allergies and even sickness!)

However, the more limited airflow rate means it took longer to complete a full circulation & filtering of the room’s air when compared to other models with stronger fan speed.

Here are some of the most troublesome problems the filter can help with:

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

What is the 3-stage filter?

Illustrated diagram of the Levoit LV-H132-RF 3 stage HEPA filter

Levoit’s true HEPA filters use a 2-stage filter assembly made up of 2 major sections with 3 functions: The pre-filter/activated carbon filter, an activated carbon filter coating, and the HEPA filter.

The pre-filter section is a less dense & thin section covering the active carbon filter. Its job is to trap larger items in the air like pet hair, dust, and so on. This helps extend the life of the larger HEPA filter and provides a way to clean out the larger airborne particulates collected.

The active carbon filter coating traps odors and other chemical substances in the air like chemical vapors or pet smells.

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.

It’s made of an extremely dense fibrous material which prevents microscopic particles from escaping as they’re carried in the air passing through.

How effective is it?

In my testing I found the air cleaning ability to be good. Due to the limited airflow rate (because of the low-noise design) it does take longer to effectively clean a room than other products, however.

While I didn’t get the high fan operation as some competing models have, it’s much more pleasant to use on an everyday basis because it’s so darn 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.

Odor control

As I mentioned earlier, the main advantage of the LV-H132 is that you’ll get better odor & airborne chemical vapor absorption.

That’s because while most products on the market use an activated charcoal (carbon) coating on the prefilter section, the Levoit LV-H132 uses real, solid miniature carbon pellets for the most effective odor & vapor absorption.

Does the Levoit LV-H132 produce ozone?

As I explain more in this post, as it’s a filter-based air cleaning purifier it can’t create byproducts that are released into the air for you to inhale.

The LV-H132 is perfectly safe and healthy as it does not produce any ozone. There’s no need to worry about it unlike 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 light

Example of the filter reminder light on a Levoit LV-H132 air purifier

Example image showing the filter replacement feature which lights after 6 months.

About every 6 months the filter check reminder will light to let you know it’s time to check both the prefilter and HEPA filter. It’s also a great opportunity to clean the prefilter as you can brush off or vacuum dust and hair buildup to extend its life and keep the cleaning efficiency up if you like.

However, note that the company recommends you replace the filter sooner under especially heavy use – the filter reminder serves as a general guideline. The manufacturer recommends replacing the filter assembly every 6-8 months.

The ability to clean the prefilter is an especially good one because the HEPA filter typically far outlasts the prefilter – so you don’t want to have to replace it sooner than necessary.

After checking the filters you’ll want to reset the reminder indicator by pushing and holding the button for 3 seconds. The timer will reset and the light will turn off.

Filter life, replacement options, and cost

LV-H132-RF replacement HEPA filter example image

Replacement filters can be bought separately for the purifier in packs of 1, 2, and 4. One thing I like about this model is that the replacement cost is very reasonable.

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 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!

Always check the filter periodically to see if you’ll need to clean the prefilter.

Note: The HEPA filter cannot be washed so don’t submerge it in water. You may vacuum it if desired but never expose it to water.

Maintenance costs

Replacement filters cost about $15 or so for a single filter replacement pack. You can also order packs of 2 and 4 as well. They’re very reasonably priced in my opinion.

Unfortunately, while the new Core 300 from the company offers 2 more upgraded filters you can buy there’s no such option for this model.

The good news is that there are aftermarket companies who sell replacement filters so you’ll get an even better deal when shopping for a new filter (for example less than $20 for a 2 pack, which is a really good deal).

How hard is it to replace the filter?

Image showing filter removal for the Levoit LV-H132 air purifier

Removing & replacing the filter is super easy and one of the simplest I’ve seen yet. You’ll need to turn the purifier upside down then unlock the cover by twisting it. Next, remove the prefilter screen then pull the HEPA filter assembly out by one of the tabs provided.

Filter replacement is a breeze and takes just a moment, just like their other products I’m very happy to say.

It’s just a few simple steps:

  1. Turn the purifier upside down (be careful to avoid scratching it).
  2. Twist open the cover using the handle. The cover will unlock.
  3. Remove the prefilter mesh material then pull the filter assembly out by one of the 2 tabs provided.

Replacement is the exact reverse and just as fast, too. Most air purifiers are easy to work but it’s one of the easiest I’ve used yet.

Owner’s manual quality

Levoit LV-H132 owners manual example pages

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 without a doubt it’s true. Hands-down the LV-H132 is one of the quietest units I’ve had the pleasure to own.

  • 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.

When compared to other models from GermGuardian (like their best-selling AC4825 and AC500) or Honeywell there’s a big difference in the noise volume. Also other products have a far less “gentle” sound when running than the Levoit model.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

MeasurementVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.3
Low40
Medium43
High48

On the lowest setting it’s nearly impossible to even know it’s running – that’s how quiet it is! Medium is also very pleasing at only 43 decibels which is barely noticeable. 

When set to high, at only 48 dB it’s a good 10dB less than the GermGuardian AC4825. 10dB is a significant amount in terms of volume. The “tone” of the airflow produced by the fan is less harsh in my opinion as well.

If sound levels are a worry for you (like they are for me, as I’m a light sleeper) this one’s a great choice.

Night brightness

Example images of Levoit LV-H132 air purifier night light in a dark room

I tested the night light feature in a dark room and found it to be very good. 2 brightness settings are provided, with enough to dimly light a room or enough to let you see your way to the bathroom at night.

I’m a light sleeper so the light produced by electronics can be a concern for me. One thing I always do is test products in the dark as well so I can report to you what I found.

Ultimately, here’s my experience with the purifier’s light brightness:

  • The control lighting isn’t too bright, but that’s not really an issue since there’s an all-off option
  • The night light low setting is a light glow and is probably good for most people
  • The highest night light setting is enough light the ceiling and is good for making you way to the restroom etc.

All in all, I’m pleased with it and don’t have any complaints.

Levoit LV-H132 vs Core 300

Levoit LV-H132 vs Core 300 comparison image

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.

While you can think of the recently introduced Levoit Core 300 as an improved version of the LV-H132, that’s not exactly the case in all areas. There are a few things you’ll want to know before deciding on one vs the other.

Here’s a simple comparison chart to help:

Image
LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers,...
LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier, white
Model
LV-H132
Core 300
Night light
Sleep mode
Control beeps
Auto-off timer
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
3-stage HEPA
Prefilter
Real carbon pellet
Activated carbon coating
Room sq ft
129
215
Warranty
2 years
1 year
Current price
$89.99
Price not available
Image
LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers,...
Model
LV-H132
Night light
Sleep mode
Control beeps
Auto-off timer
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
Prefilter
Real carbon pellet
Room sq ft
129
Warranty
2 years
Current price
$89.99
Image
LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier, white
Model
Core 300
Night light
Sleep mode
Control beeps
Auto-off timer
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
Prefilter
Activated carbon coating
Room sq ft
215
Warranty
1 year
Current price
Price not available

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 Core 300’s HEPA filter has a larger surface area for more filter life & better performance.
  • The LV-H132 provides a prefilter with real carbon pellets (better) for odor absorption while the Core 300 uses a standard activated carbon coating (better filters are optional)
  • The Core 300 provides 3 fan speed + an ultra-quiet Sleep mode. No sleep mode is provided with the LV-H132 (3 speeds only)
  • 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.

When looking at the big picture when comparing, when offered at the same price the Core 300 is a better value. However, the LV-H132 is still a solid choice and you won’t regret purchasing it – especially if you prefer the night light option.

Additionally, the better odor control prefilter is included and replacement filters are affordable.

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.

Which should you buy?

You should pick the LV-H132 over the Core 300 when you’re considering several reasons:

  • When the LV-H132 costs less/you’d like to save money
  • You need better odor control performance without the need to pay for an upgraded filter like the Core 300 requires
  • The night light feature is important to you
  • Prefer an included 2 yr warranty vs the 1 yr for the Core 300
  • You’d like an extra color choice

All in all, it’s a good choice and won’t let you down. I do personally prefer the better cleaning power of the Core 300 myself, but it comes with compromises like a weaker activated carbon prefilter section.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

The LV-H132 is also now available in a black version as well. The Core 300 currently is not.

One of my long-standing complaints about the LV-H132 was the lack of an alternate color. Fortunately, the company released a new black version of the model as well. At this time Core 300 doesn’t offer a similar buying choice.

Levoit LV-H132 Vs GermGuardian AC4825

Levoit LV-H132 Vs Germguardian AC4825 comparison image

Both models look very different from the outside but in fact share a lot of common features, performance, and build quality. Obviously, there are significant size & styling differences to consider. 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 are without a doubt the LV-H132 and the popular GermGuardian AC4825. both occupy one of the most popular price segments over at Amazon and normally sell for under $100.

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. 

Functionally they’re very similar but have some differences in terms of features and how they work. Additionally, both are really easy to use so there’s no noticeable difference there either.

In case you’re interested, I’ve written an extensive review of the GermGuardian AC4825 I own here.

Measurement/SpeedLV-H132 Vol. In Decibels (dB)AC4825 Volume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.339.3
Low4042.5
Medium4350.5
High4858

As you can see, the LV-H132 is considerably quieter than the GermGuardian. That’s one of its strong points – although it can’t match the fan speed of the AC4825 you’ll get much quieter operation. (A whopping 10dB of difference on high in fact).

Which is best? Choosing the right one for your needs

FeatureLevoit LV-H132GermGuardian AC4825
 
Room size coverage129 sq. ft. (small room)167 sq. ft (medium-large room)
Night light?Yes (2 levels)No
Size7.5 x 7.5 x 12.5″ (19 x 19 x 31.75 cm)6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″ (17.1 x 26 x 54.6 cm)
Filter reminder?YesYes
Control typeElectronic touch buttonsManual controls (rotary switch)
Germ killing feature?NoYes
Noise levelsUltra quietQuiet/normal
Warranty2 years3 year limited
Current price$89.99$89.99

As you can probably tell by now it’s not really fair to say one is “better” than the other.  The LV-H132 offers a better activated carbon filter. However, the AC4825 has a larger filter size meaning you’ll get slightly better HEPA performance and filter life.

Additionally, the LV-H132 is more compact and won’t get knocked over by accident like the other one. The LV-H132’s memory feature is one of my favorites too – I just turn it on and it automatically recalls the last settings I used…including the night light!

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 super-quiet operation
  • Want more value (more room coverage for the same price range)
  • Don’t like touch controlst

Review summary & score

After owning & testing the Levoit LV-H132 I can honestly say I like it! It’s well-made, super quiet, and there’s no question why it’s been copied but never duplicated – it’s very good.

If you’re looking for high-speed air cleaning this isn’t what you need. However, if you’re looking for a high-quality purifier that’s well made, offers affordable maintenance, and a good compromise between air cleaning and low noise, it’s a great choice.

Black and white version of Levoit LV-H132 air purifier product examples

Head over now to find out more and read the great buyer reviews at Amazon.

Levoit Core 300 with new product badgeNote: Want the same great quality with more features and better air cleaning performance but don’t need a night light? Check out the new Levoit Core 300 now being sold at Amazon.

Overall
9/10
9/10
  • Quality - 9.4/10
    9.4/10
  • Value - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Ease of use - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Features - 8.6/10
    8.6/10
  • Noise levels - 9.5/10
    9.5/10

Not the fastest, but one of the best and still a good choice. Quiet quality that's reliable and compact. Often copied but never duplicated!

Even today, the Levoit LV-H132 is still a best-selling compact air purifier that won’t let you down. While the airflow rate is slower than many rival products, it makes up for this with its biggest advantage: super-quiet operation. Controls work well and offer reliable, simple operation. The night light and backlighting off features add great options for those using it overnight.

The activated carbon prefilter section uses real pellets vs the coating on most products for better odor control. Maintenance costs are very low and the filter reminder makes it simple. With a smaller HEPA filter size, it can’t match the filter life & performance of some larger models. (Room air cleaning isn’t as fast) However, for small to medium-sized rooms it’s a smart buy if you want high-quality & quiet operation in a small package. For better performance and overall value, however, the new Core 300 as an option to consider too.

Pros

  • 129 sq ft room coverage
  • Super quiet operation
  • 2 year warranty
  • 2-level night light
  • Electronic touch buttons
  • Setting memory feature
  • Black color available
  • Effective odor control (real pellets)
  • Prefilter material can be cleaned
  • Filter check reminder
  • Affordable replacement filters
  • Easy filter access (very simple)
  • All-off light control feature
  • Compact size won’t tip over

Cons

  • Lower airflow rate/room cleaning than others
  • Touch beep cannot be disabled
  • Smaller HEPA filter size
  • No upgrade filter types available
  • No auto-off timer
  • Carry handle feature not offered

Levoit Core 300 Air Purifier Review – Real-World Test & Details To Know

Levoit Core 300 air purifier review featured image

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.

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit Core 300 air purifier

Levoit Core 300 vs LV-H132 vs Vista 200 air purifier comparison image

The family of Levoit air purifiers includes the best-selling LV-H132 and 2 newer models: The Vista 200 and the Core 300. All feature low-noise operation, low height, and round design along with 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

Packaging

Image of unboxing of Levoit Core 300 air purifier

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.

Image of removing protective plastic from Levoit Core 300 purifier top

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.

To set up your new purifier you’ll need to remove the filter from its plastic bag before use.

Build quality and fit & finish

Close of Levoit Core 300 purifier body

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

Closeup labeled image of Levoit Core 300 air purifier 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

Levoit Core 300 sleep mode and auto off timer use examples

Sleep mode is a low-noise setting that can be entered or exited any time you like by touching the moon-shaped button. It puts the purifier in a whisper-quiet low fan mode to avoid disturbing you at night.

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.

Other features

Labeled example of the display lock button on Levoit Core 300 purifier

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.

Note: The Core 300 replaces the night light button found on the LV-H132 & Vista 200 models with the control lock button. Be sure to consider this at purchase time if the night light feature is important to you.

Specifications & CADR ratings

Levoit Core 300 Specifications
  • 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.

Levoit Core 300 air purifier CADR ratings label image

The Core 300’s CADR ratings are shown here.

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

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

Image showing the height measurement of the Levoit Core 300 purifier

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.

Weight

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

Levoit Core 300 power measurement wattage images

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

ModePower (Watts)
Off0-0.8
Sleep10.4
Low26.7
Med.30.3
High43.3

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

Comparison of Levoit Core 300, LV-H132, and Vista 200 HEPA purifier filters

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.

Filter ability

Levoit Core 300 true HEPA filter and prefilter close up views

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
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Home construction particles
  • Smoke residue
  • Smoke odors
  • Chemical and organic odors
  • Chemical vapors

What is the 3-stage filter?

Levoit Core 300-RF true HEPA filter sectional diagram labeled

Essentially, it’s a 2-stage filter assembly made up of 2 major sections with 3 total stages: The pre-filter/activated carbon filter, an activated carbon filter coating, and finally the HEPA filter.

The pre-filter section is a less dense & thin section covering the active carbon filter. Its job is to first capture larger items in the air like pet hair, dust, and so on. The active carbon filter coating traps odors and other chemical substances in the air.

Finally, the HEPA filter captures a whopping 99.97% of particles passing through it down to 0.3 microns in size. That’s less than 1 millionth of a meter in size.

How effective is 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 as 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

Core 300 air purifier filter check reminder example

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

Levoit Core 300-RF replacement HEPA filter options diagram

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:

  1. Core 300-RF 3-stage original filter
  2. Core 300-RF-PA upgraded filter for pet allergens
  3. 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?

Core 300 air purifier filter removal steps illustrated

Removing & replacing the filter is super easy and one of the simplest I’ve seen yet. You’ll need to turn the purifier upside down, then simply unlock the cover by twisting it then pull the filter out by the handle.

Filter replacement is very easy and only takes a few seconds. Honestly, it’s one of the best designs I’ve seen yet, and I’ve used many few different purifiers.

Basically, it’s just a few simple steps:

  1. Turn the purifier upside down (carefully to avoid scratching it).
  2. Twist open the cover using the handle. The cover will unlock.
  3. 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

Levoit Core 300 owners manual example image

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!

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

MeasurementVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)40
Sleep40.3
Low43
Medium47.3
High57.1

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.

Night brightness

Image of Levoit Core 300 air purifier in a dark room

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

Levoit LV-H132 vs Core 300 comparison image

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:

Image
LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers,...
LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier, white
Model
LV-H132
Core 300
Night light
Sleep mode
Control beeps
Auto-off timer
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
3-stage HEPA
Prefilter
Real carbon pellet
Activated carbon coating
Room sq ft
129
215
Warranty
2 years
1 year
Current price
$89.99
Price not available
Image
LEVOIT H13 True HEPA Filter Air Purifiers for Allergies and Pets, Smokers,...
Model
LV-H132
Night light
Sleep mode
Control beeps
Auto-off timer
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
Prefilter
Real carbon pellet
Room sq ft
129
Warranty
2 years
Current price
$89.99
Image
LEVOIT Core 300 Air Purifier, white
Model
Core 300
Night light
Sleep mode
Control beeps
Auto-off timer
Filter type
3-stage HEPA
Prefilter
Activated carbon coating
Room sq ft
215
Warranty
1 year
Current price
Price not available

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.

Review summary

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!

Levoit Core 300 review editors choice badge product imageHead over now to find out more and read fantasticbuyer reviews at Amazon.

Overall
9.3/10
9.3/10
  • Quality - 9.4/10
    9.4/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10
  • Ease of use - 9.6/10
    9.6/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Features - 9/10
    9/10
  • Noise levels - 9.9/10
    9.9/10

The Core 300 is a quality, well-designed air purifier and a smart choice for most air cleaning needs. Quiet, good-looking, and super easy to use.

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 a 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!

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Hands-On Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Review: Big Winner Or Big Disappointment?

Winix 5500-2 air purifier review featured image

If you’ve shopped for an air purifier I’m sure you’re already aware of how many choices there are. It’s tough to make a decision – which ones are the best for your money?

In my detailed hands-on review of the Winix 5500-2 true HEPA air purifier I’ll help you decide if it’s a good choice for you, too. (Hint: I like it!)

I found out a lot of interesting things, so read on to learn more!

Contents

Basics first: Winix 5300-2 vs the 5500-2

Winix air purifier products diagram

Winix America produces a host of air quality products including humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers including the 5x00 series.

The 52300-2 and 5500-2 are two very similar High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter based air purifiers that very similar with a few differences in features and price. Both are popular, well-made air cleaners with excellent buyer satisfaction reviews.

In fact, you might be interested to know that besides looking very similar they offer the same room size coverage and same basic air cleaning ability.

However, there are definitely a few advantages you’ll get by buying the 5500-2 over its sibling the 5300-2.

Basic features both share:

  • Room size coverage: 390 square feet (med.-large sized rooms)
  • 3-stage filtering design
  • Proprietary PlasmaWave air cleaning feature (optional for use)
  • Auto-control air sensing technology (Auto mode)
  • True HEPA filter
  • Washable prefilter section
  • Auto off timer
  • Night mode/light-sensing
  • Turbo fan mode

Both offer a 1 year warranty.

The 5500-2 differs in 2 mains ways from the 5300-2:

  • Remote control
  • Washable Advanced Odor Control (AOC) carbon filter

There’s only one really significant difference between the two and that’s the type of odor control filer included.

While the 5300-2 offers a mesh prefilter much like other products from GermGuardian or Honeywell (a single mesh prefilter with odor-absorbing coating) the 5500-2 uses a much more robust odor control section with large activated carbon pellets.

Note that the activated carbon pellets can trap not just odors but also volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and chemical byproducts that are airborne.

What is Winix’s PlasmaWave?

The optional PlasmaWave feature is an add-on on design similar to ionizer technology that breaks apart airborne pollutants at the molecular level without creating ozone. It’s not required for use but is optional.

More about that later.

Unboxing & first impressions

Winix 5500-2 air purifier unboxing image

I was eager to get my hands on the 5500-2 and see why so many other people love it. Finally mine arrived from Amazon got started unboxing and testing it right away.

My purifier arrived in a nice cardboard box, securely held inside with styrofoam. I would have preferred they used recycled cardboard as other companies do, but oh well.

Everything was nicely kept in place and checked out fine. Right away after removing the purifier (by pulling it out using the convenient built-in handle), I found a handy quick start guide waiting.

What’s included?

Image of items included in the Winix 5500-2 air purifier package

Included in the box are the following:

  • Remote control, remote holder, and double-sided tape
  • Owner’s manual
  • Quick start guide with “getting started” notes

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 a pretty simple process as you’ll see later below and only took me a few minutes.

Build quality and fit & finish

Closeup images of the Winix 5500-2 body panels

Checking out the Winix 5500-2’s fit and finish (general appearance and build quality). It’s a nice satin color in between gray and black, with body panels that line up and are put together well. All-in-all, I was happy with how it looked – it’s well made.

As I always like to do, I had a closer look at the purifier’s various 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 features a printed vinyl overlay (like a thin plastic sheet over the real electronics) that’s nicely done.

Overall, it’s well-made and looks like a high-quality purifier and a good rival to other competing brands I’ve tested. I’d say quality control is good and it’s obvious the company know what they’re doing here.

(Note: Although the American company is Winix America my purifier was actually built in South Korea as that’s where it originated.)

Controls & how to operate it

Winix 5500-2 purifier controls image #1

The Winix purifier uses electronic touch controls located behind a perfectly flat plastic panel. They’re easy to use and well-labeled. During use I found it very simple to understand and use daily, although you really should read the owner’s manual to fully understand the features.

The 5500-2 is easily to use and works using electronic touch controls, similar to some competitor models from Levoit, GermGuardian, and Honeywell. Just like them it has its own style, too.

Although it might look a bit complicated at first, it’s not! The panel controls offer the following:

  • Power on/off
  • Mode: (Auto and sleep mode features)
  • PlasmaWave on/off
  • Fan speeds: Low, med., high, and Turbo
  • Auto-off: 1, 4, and 8 hour indicators

When operated, each mode, fan speed, or feature is illuminated from behind with a nice white light. I like it, and I found it to be well-done and very modern looking.

Fan speeds and special modes

It’s easy to switch modes and fan speeds, either manually or by using the included remote control. To do so, just push the fan speed button to cycle through the speeds (Turbo is the highest, and a special powerful mode).

Pushing the Mode button switches between Auto (the self-adjusting mode) or the super-quiet sleep mode.

While in Auto or sleep mode, touching the fan speed button brings it out of those and back into manual operation again.

Winix 5500-2 purifier controls image #3

Shown: The auto-off timer button lets you cycle through 3 countdown timers after which the purifier turns off automatically. It’s a nice feature and works well.

The timer feature is just as simple, too. Just push it to switch between 1 of 3 hour settings (1, 4, and 8 hrs) after which it’ll shut itself off – nice to have!

Push it again at any time to switch it disengage the timer if you like.

Winix 5500-2 purifier controls image #4

Located to the far right of the control panel is the check filter light & reset access point, light sensor area, and air quality sensing opening.

When it’s time to clean and possibly replace your filter the reminder light will turn on a steady light. Using a small object like the end of a paperclip, you can push and hold the reminder for 5 seconds to clear the light.

In Auto mode the light sensor allows the purifier to go into a low-brightness and super-quiet sleep mode when it detects the room’s lights are off. It’s a neat feature that worked really well when I tried it myself.

Additionally, the air quality sensor detects strong odors and other air quality conditions so the purifier can increase or decrease the fan speed automatically to clean the air as needed.

You’ll need to place it in Auto mode for that to work. It works well in my experience and it’s another reason I’ve come to enjoy using the Winix.

Using the PlasmaWave feature

Winix 5500-2 purifier controls image #2

When the PlasmaWave feature is in use the logo glows with a blue light. By default the purifier will start in Auto mode with the feature turned on at power up. Note the air quality indicator light below it.

To use the PlasmaWave feature just touch the on/off button. You’ll know it’s working as the logo will illuminate when it’s on.

Air quality indicator light

Winix air quality light indicator examplesAs I mentioned earlier, the 5500-2 features an air quality sensor. When the purifier is running the air quality light strip at the bottom center will glow indicating the current detected air quality.

There are 3 colors provided: Blue (good), amber (fair), and red (poor). The indicator is lit even when not in auto mode, as the sensor still works to show you what it’s detecting.

Beeps and chime sounds

Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier Control Panel Short Demo

The Winix has some unique beeps and 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.

Unfortunately there’s no way to switch the sounds off if you prefer silent operation. Yes, I am a bit picky and usually turn off sounds when possible, but in everyday use the sounds weren’t a problem for me.

Specifications & CADR ratings

Winix 5500-2 Specifications
  • Room size coverage: 360 sq. ft.
  • 3-stage filter system: True HEPA, activated carbon filter, prefilter screen
  • Washable prefilter screen & odor control filter section
  • Fan speeds: Low, med, high, turbo
  • PlasmaWave electronic air cleaning  feature
  • Electronic touch control panel
  • Auto-off timer: 1, 4, 8 hr options
  • AHAM Certified performance ratings
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): 232/243/246 (smoke/dust/pollen)
  • Air sensing technology with auto operation
  • Sleep mode with dark room sensing
  • Ultra low noise Sleep mode
  • Filter life: 1 year
  • Replacement filters: Winix type H set
  • 1 year warranty
  • Power use (Watts): 5, 6, 10, 61
  • Weight: 15.4 lbs
  • Size: 8.2 × 15.0 × 23.6″

If you’re not already familiar with it,  the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is an industry standard way of testing and determining an air cleaner’s effectiveness.

Winix 5500-2 air purifier CADR ratings labelThe 5500-2’s CADR ratings are shown here.

The Association 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.”

They’re lab tested using a series of air cleaning scenarios to find out how well they work.

For comparison purposes, consider this: most medium-sized room purifiers (that offer CADR ratings – not all do!) are around 100 or so on average. Therefore the 5500-2 has nearly 2.5 times the air cleaning effectiveness of those!

Thoughts on the 5500-2 size & weight

Image showing 5500-2 height measurement

At just under 2 feet (24 inches) tall, it’s still not too tall in my opinion. Given that it does need a decent size to fit the powerful fan and nice filters inside it hasn’t been a problem for me.

Even when used in a small room the size wasn’t much of an issue.

Carrying the purifier

Image showing 5500-2 carrying handle in use

The purifier features a built-in handle on the rear as well. It’s very convenient for picking it up when you need to move it.

On the top rear of the unit is a recessed area that works as a carrying handle. I found it a pleasure to use and really handy.

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 15 lbs (about 7 kgs) it’s not too heavy, either.

Remote control details

Images of the Winix 5500-2 air purifier remote control

The remote control also comes with a nice holder and double-sided foam tape you can use to mount it nearly anywhere. For a more secure mount there’s a screw hole you can use. It’s a nice little bonus – especially if you’re prone to losing remotes. Note: The battery is included!

The remote is nice and works well (up to around 20 feet in distance from the purifier, as I recall). I’ve got 2 fairly minor complaints, however:

  • The front of the remote has a thin plastic panel instead of real buttons
  • There’s no control for the PlasmaWave feature

Just pull out the battery protection seal (yes, the battery is included and is fresh!) and you’re ready to go.

As a plastic sheet is used for the labels instead of real buttons you won’t be able to use the remote simply by touch – you’ll most likely have to look at it, which is definitely an inconvenience in the dark.

I just don’t understand why there’s no button for the PlasmaWave feature, either! Why not? It seems like someone overlooked this.

That being said, overall, I’m still pretty happy with it and it’s the first air purifier I’ve used that included a handheld remote control. A very nice change of pace!

5500-2 power use measurements (Watts)

Winix 5500-2 power use measurements in Watts

The biggest problem I’ve found with air cleaning products’ power ratings is that even if there’s even one provided, it’s often only for the highest fan speed setting.

But what about the everyday use most of us would want, which is on a lower speed? How much energy will the 5500-2 use?

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

Mode/SpeedPower Use (Watts)
Off1.1
Low5.4
Medium6.6
High10.6
Turbo61.2

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.

Additionally, when I switched on the PlasmaWave there was no noticeable increase in power use, either. That’s in contrast to its competitor, the GermGuardian AC5250PT with UV-C feature which adds an extra 5W or so when the feature turned on.

In fact it’s an Energy Star rated appliance although you might not be aware. For some reason the company doesn’t use labels on the box or in some product listings as their competitors do.

Air cleaning ability + more about PlasmaWave

Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave diagram

I was quite a bit confused about the PlasmaWave feature as unfortunately there aren’t any details in the owner’s manual. As I’ve tested other products with ultraviolet light germ killers, ionizers, and other similar features, I was very curious to find out more.

According to the company:

PlasmaWave® Technology safely breaks apart odors, allergens, chemical vapors, and other pollutants at the molecular level, without causing harmful ozone. PlasmaWave® creates positive and negative ions that combine with natural water vapor to form hydroxyls which cleans the indoor air.Winix America

It works using an ionizer type of device to affect water molecules in the air to have them attach to airborne particles and remove them. While it’s nice to have, it’s a small feature and won’t have a big impact on your home’s air quality.

Primarily, as always, it’s the main filter quality that really provides effective air cleaning and that truly matters. Everything else is a “nice to have” type of feature.

What’s it like to use?

There are no odors or noises you’ll find when it’s switched on, as indicated by the “on” light which is a blue light behind the feature’s logo.

Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave logo glowing example

In fact, if not for the logo you’d have no idea it’s working at all.

Air cleaning performance

Winix 5500-2 dirty prefilter screen example

After using mine for some, the prefilter showed signs of doing a good job of removing dust, hair, and other nasty particles in the air during use.

I tested the 5500-2 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 5500 worked very well cleaning my air and trapping odors as well. I’ve used it in both auto and manual setting modes and I’m happy to say it’s definitely a good one.

The AOC activated carbon filter included is a lot more capable than most on the market and it shows!

It has some serious odor-control performance as it uses large, dedicated activated carbon pellets instead of the usual thinner carbon coating in the 5300-2 model and most competitors.

The prefilter in my unit caught dust, lint, hair, and other nasty things circulating in the room where I used it.

Testing auto mode

I’ve noticed that when in Auto (auto-sensing) mode it works well, but has a slight delay before the fan speed changes, which is fine. I assume that’s intentional to prevent it from constantly moving between fan speeds due to sudden air quality changes.

For example, I tested the air quality and auto mode by using a traditional paper match. The 5500 was able to sense the strong odor in the room, indicated it on the air quality light (turned red), and then increased the fan speed until the condition was gone.

It’s a neat feature that I like.

Room Size and square feet coverage

Winix 5500-2 air purifier recommend room size diagram with measurements

The company provides a recommended room size coverage of about 390 sq. ft and it’s a good fit for medium to some large-sized rooms.

360 sq ft is about 15 x 24 ft (about 4.6 x 7.3 meters). Note that it’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 quite good (many of the most popular competitors offer only up to 155 sq ft coverage).

Also note that not only is it perfectly fine to use in smaller rooms, too, but you’ll also get even better use of it as the room’s air will be cycled and cleaned more quickly than a larger room.

Do the Winix 5500-2 & 5300-2 produce ozone?

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

The 5500-2 and 5300-2 models do NOT produce ozone so there’s nothing to worry about. In fact there’s a notice about this printed on the box.

In fact, Winix America has the Air Resources Board (ARB) verification certifying that it meets federal ozone emission limits (in this case, basically zero emissions).

Filters, upkeep, and maintenance costs

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

Shown: The air cleaner’s filter sections, with their names. 1. A permanent pre-filter used to catch larger elements like dust, hair, and more. It can be washed then reused. 2. The AOC odor-absorbing filter which is a unique design containing real activated carbon pellets inside a “honeycomb” like frame. 3. The true HEPA filter that traps super-fine particles, pet dander, dust mites, and much more down to microscope sizes.

As I mentioned at the beginning, 3 types of filters are used:

  1. Washable (permanent, reusable) prefilter
  2. AOC odor control filter
  3. The High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter

1. Reusable prefilter

The prefilter is unique in that instead of being built being coated with the odor-absorbing chemical most brands (and the 5300-2 model) use, it’s a single reusable screen you can easily remove and wash. It helps to extend the life of the other 2 if you do so, by the way (14 days is the recommended check/wash interval).

2. High-performance AOC odor & VOC filter

What’s pretty cool is the AOC 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 held loosely. There’s a mesh material on each side to keep them in place.

Winix recommends removing the AOC filter and rinsing it with room temperature water every 3 months or so to prepare it for more use (up to the 12 month life rating).

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

3. HEPA filter

And finally, 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!

Maintenance notes

As I mentioned earlier in the section where I covered controls, there’s a filter reminder which illuminates after 3 months to let you know it’s time to check the filters.

Here’s the maintenance schedule as listed in the owner’s manual:

FilterIndicator lightWhen to cleanWhen to replace
Pre-filter N/A Clean every 14 days (Permanent filter)
AOC carbon filter Check filter light Clean every 3 months 12 months
HEPA filter Check filter light N/A 12 months

Ultimately, you want to check the filters and depending on your needs they may or may not need cleaning. The AOC odor-absorbing carbon filter and the HEPA filter last up to about 12 months then they’ll need replacement.

(Note: If the HEPA filter isn’t really completely used up, it may be possible to extend its life a bit more)

For best results, the company recommends rinsing the AOC filter under clean water every 3 months and similar for the washable prefilter every 14 days. Maintenance is pretty easy to do and I found it pretty simple as well.

Replacement filters & maintenance costs

Example image of the Winix filter H replacement filter setWhile there are some aftermarket brands available for the 5300-2 model for a bit less money than the original, I wasn’t able to find the same for the 5500.

When replacement time comes you’ll need to pick up the type “H” filter set, sold as a pair. Expect to pay roughly $50-$79. While that may seem like a bit more costly, don’t forget that you’re getting 12 months worth of use out of it!

That’s roughly close to $5/month for having clean, fresh air at home.

How to install & replace filters

Image of new Winix 5500-2 purifier with sealed filters in bag

Fresh out of the box and getting set up. To get started, you’ll need to open the 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.

Illustrated images showing how to install filters on the Winix 5500-2 and 5500-3 air purifiers

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

It’s just a few steps:

  1. Open the front cover
  2. Install the HEPA filter
  3. Install the AOC carbon filter
  4. Insert & snap in the prefilter
  5. Close the front cover and secure it using the magnetic latches

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

Image of the Winix 5500-2 & 5300-2 magnetic latches on filter cover closeup

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, there are no plastic tabs to break or worry about. There’s a small metal plate on the inside of the front cover (which covers the prefilter) that touches and connects to the magnets located inside the body at the top.

It’s a well thought out touch. Obviously, if you’re able to wash and inspect the prefilter and carbon filter as I mentioned it makes sense to have a design that lasts.

Owner’s manual quality

 Both the owner’s manual and quick start guide are clear, well-written, and are helpful. However, in a few cases I felt like a bit of information was missing.

For example, there aren’t any details provided for the PlasmaWave feature like what it is and how it works. Unlike Honeywell and a few other companies, there’s no convenient company customer support phone number and email contact information easily seen when the box is opened.

It’s not really a huge deal, but I know that some people have questions they need help with so it would have been nice. At any rate, the instructions are pretty good and will tell you all you need to know to use and maintain it.

Noise levels during use (measured)

dB noise level meter measurement image

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

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

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.3
Low40
Medium42
High44.5
Turbo61.2

Honestly, the 5500 is hands-down one of the quietest purifier’s I’ve owned! The Sleep mode (which runs at the low speed setting) is super quiet.

And that’s coming from me, a person who’s very picky and susceptible to nearly all noises.

Even the medium and high speeds are still well below the average noise levels of many other purifiers based on my measurements. Turbo mode, as expected, however is very noticeable but still has a nice “roar” when in use.

What’s especially cool – and unexpected – is that when changing speeds it doesn’t have a “harsh” adjustment; it ramps up or down gradually to the next speed you’ve selected. Very classy!

Night brightness