Coway Airmega 1512HH Review
Pros: Excellent air cleaning performance, quiet operation, average lifetime cost
Cons: Expensive operating cost
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|Pros||Excellent air cleaning performance, quiet operation, average lifetime cost||Exceptional air cleaning performance, very quiet operation, simple user experience||Small footprint, minimalist design, good performance for its size||Budget friendly, compact, great performance||Quiet, low operating costs|
|Cons||Expensive operating cost||Expensive operating cost||No timed settings, lacks air quality sensor||Loud, doesn't have an automatic air sensor||Mediocre power, few settings|
|Bottom Line||A top performing model that combines average lifetime costs to create a great value||Excellent, high quality air cleaning performance from a quiet and convenient appliance||Small, powerful, and inexpensive — a great pick for those wishing to filter air in a smaller space||A budget-friendly and space-efficient model that gets the job done but is a little underpowered for large spaces||An inexpensive, decent overall machine with few notable qualities|
|Rating Categories||Coway Airmega 1512HH||Winix 5500-2||Blueair Blue Pure 411||Levoit Core 300||Pure Enrichment Pur...|
|Air Cleaning Performance (40%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Operating Cost (10%)|
|Specs||Coway Airmega 1512HH||Winix 5500-2||Blueair Blue Pure 411||Levoit Core 300||Pure Enrichment Pur...|
|Dimensions||16.5 x 9.5 x 18.5||8.2" × 15" × 23.6"||16.7" x 8" x 8"||8.7" x 8.7" x 14.2"||10.8" x 6.9" x 12.1"|
|Weight||12.7 lbs||15.4 lbs||5.3 lbs||7.5 Ibs||6.5 lbs|
|CADR||240 CFM||246 CFM||120 CFM||135 CFM||80 CFM|
|True HEPA (99.97%)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost (5 years)||$556||$660||$337||$455||$279|
|Airborn Particulate Reduction After 1 Hour (%)||99.84%||99.99%||99.72%||96.33%||93.58%|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Air Cleaning Performance
The Coway Airmega 1512HH was one of four top models that outperformed many other models in our air cleaning performance testing. All of these models were able to eliminate almost 100% of the airborne particulates in our smoky testing room. The Coway was able to do so faster than many.
When we put the Airmega 1512HH into the haze of our dirty air testing room, it removed 99.32% of the airborne particles within half an hour. This was one of the fastest cleaning times we saw in our testing. After an hour, it achieved a 99.84% reduction, one of the best marks of all our purifiers.
The CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 240 is on the higher end and provides enough power for most rooms up to 360 square feet. No model that we tested was particularly effective at removing odors, and the Coway Airmega was in the middle of the pack in that regard. It did put a dent in the smoky smell of our testing room, but it was still very noticeable.
Some air purifiers can be quite noisy and cause disturbances while trying to sleep, study, or go about daily life. To help you choose a model with the least amount of sound, we tested each and every purifier to gauge their noise levels using a Dylos air quality meter to measure decibels. As such, this metric is weighted to be 25% of each purifier's final score.
As if top-notch cleaning wasn't enough, the Coway is also one of the quietest operators amongst our testing models. When on its high setting, it produces a medium-high hum that is somewhat loud, but somehow the pitch tends to fade into the background, and we didn't feel it would disrupt any audio-based enjoyments like listening to the radio or watching TV. If you're using it in your bedroom, it may actually double as a pleasant white noise machine.
Pulling the Coway back down to medium ratchets both the pitch and the volume down. This deep purr gets close to silent but is still noticeable. Kind of like the quiet hum always emanating from a refrigerator. If you click it down to low, the Coway is virtually silent. You'll likely forget that it is on, even if you're just sitting quietly and reading a book.
Ease of Use
The Coway was one of the most user-friendly models we tested. Its high performance put it solidly amongst the frontrunners.
The Coway has a no-frills, clean interface. A number of buttons on the top of the unit let you cycle through fan speeds, turn the ionizer on and off, and set a one, four, or eight-hour off timer. Its fan settings include low, medium, high, and eco. It also includes a built-in air quality meter, so you can set the fan speed to auto and let the purifier ramp up and down as the surrounding air quality dictates. We found this air quality monitor was the most accurate of any in our selection. Where other models with built-in air quality meters often failed to react to increases in air pollutants, the Coway always increased its fan speed when our external air quality meter indicated an increase in airborne particles. At 12.7 pounds, the Coway isn't particularly light, but it has some nice carrying handles that make it fairly easy to move around.
The Coway performed so-so when it came to our operating cost testing. Given its high performance, we still feel this cost is worth it, but there are definitely more economical models out there.
Using only 0.01 kWh of electricity per hour of operation, it's one of the most efficient models in our testing. This factors out to about $5.26 per year in most homes. However, its replacement filters are somewhat pricey, and we typically found them for $60, though sometimes cheaper options are available. The best replacement packs come with one HEPA filter and two carbon filters, which are enough to last for one year according to manufacturer recommendations. Its list price is also a bit above average, so you have to pay a little more upfront. It is worth noting that this is to be expected for such a high-performing machine.
Given that the Coway is a top performer in every category, we feel that its average estimated lifetime cost represents a great value. Generally, we would expect a product of this caliber to ask a premium price for its performance, but all told the Coway's costs are middle of the road. Sure, the list price is somewhat high, so a lot of those costs are upfront. However, if you can make the initial investment, you'll know that you'll be getting high-end performance for a reasonable price in the long run.
The Coway Airmega 1512HH is a top performer in the vast majority of our tests, yet lifetime costs work out to be about average. Premium performance almost always comes with a higher cost, and this device is no exception. It offers great air cleaning performance and quiet operation. With high upfront costs but average lifetime costs, the overall value remains high. If you're looking for a great air purifier and don't mind spending a little more upfront, the Coway will serve you well.
— Buck Yedor, Max Mutter, and Steven Tata
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