Levoit Core 400S Review
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Levoit Core 400S
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|Pros||VeSync smart app, air quality sensor, three-stage filter||Exceptional air cleaning performance, very quiet operation, simple user experience||Excellent air cleaning performance, quiet operation, average lifetime cost||Small footprint, minimalist design, good performance for its size||Budget friendly, compact, great performance|
|Cons||Some features only accessible with app, expensive replacement filter||Expensive operating cost||Expensive operating cost||No timed settings, lacks air quality sensor||Loud, doesn't have an automatic air sensor|
|Bottom Line||An easy-to-use, mid-sized air purifier that performs well and offers a variety of programmable features in its companion app||Excellent, high quality air cleaning performance from a quiet and convenient appliance||A top performing model that combines average lifetime costs to create a great value||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|
|Rating Categories||Levoit Core 400S||Winix 5500-2||Coway Airmega 1512HH||Blueair Blue Pure 411||Levoit Core 300|
|Air Cleaning Performance (40%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Operating Cost (10%)|
|Specs||Levoit Core 400S||Winix 5500-2||Coway Airmega 1512HH||Blueair Blue Pure 411||Levoit Core 300|
|Dimensions //L x W x H//||10.8" x 10.8" x 20.5"||8.2" × 15" × 23.6"||16.5 x 9.5 x 18.5||16.7" x 8" x 8"||8.7" x 8.7" x 14.2"|
|Weight||10.5 Ibs||15.4 lbs||12.7 lbs||5.3 lbs||7.5 Ibs|
|CADR||260 CFM||246 CFM||240 CFM||120 CFM||135 CFM|
|True HEPA (99.97%)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost (5 years)||$735||$660||$556||$337||$455|
|Airborn Particulate Reduction After 1 Hour (%)||99.98%||99.99%||99.84%||99.72%||96.33%|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Air Cleaning Performance
The Levoit 400S does a fine job cleaning the air in rooms up to 403 square feet. While the unit's clean air delivery rate (CADR) of 260 isn't the highest in the class, it's pretty good considering the size of the unit and the other features it offers. For example, the 400S has an air quality sensor that will automictically turn on the unit when airborne particulates reach an undesirable level. All told, our air cleaning performance test revealed that the 400S is one of the leading performers in the class.
Our air cleaning performance test involves burning five sheets of printer paper in a 150-square-foot room with an 8-foot-high ceiling. We place a Dylos air-quality meter in the room and measure the number of particulates removed at 30, 45, and 60 minutes. The 400S went from a particulate reading of 5000 to 150 in the first 30 minutes. This particulate count was reduced to three particles at 45 minutes and one at 60 minutes. That's a 99.98% difference in an hour, representing one of the class's highest performances.
Air purification isn't the only component of our air cleaning performance metric—we also factor in odor removal. As it turns out, this task is much more demanding than removing harmful particulates from the air. Moreover, smoke proves to produce a particularly insidious smell. At the beginning of our smoke test, the odors were very strong. However, the scent grew progressively less intense throughout the test. By the end of testing, the air smelled much better though a mild, acrid odor was still detectable.
We also liked that the 400S automatically powered on when we started burning paper for the test. For one, this result shows that the air quality detector works. In a real-world scenario, this feature would help prevent the build-up of airborne particulates and odors.
While cleaning the air in a home or office is the most important feature when shopping for a new air purifier, one does not want the unit to sound like an industrial fan running in the living room. Fortunately, the 400S isn't too loud when set to high, and its fan is almost undetectable when set to low. The unit also offers a sleep mode that dims the interface lights and further reduces fan noise. All told, the noise output of this device is about average for the class.
We use a sound pressure level meter to measure the decibel output of the air purifiers. However, as many readers will know, the volume of a given noise is not always as important as the type of noise. As such, we also consider whether the 400S is particularly annoying or distracting. For the most part, the 400S produces soft noise. However, when set to high, the fan issues a noticeable whir. At its medium setting, the fan noticeably decreases in sound output. And, at the low setting, it is quite to the point of being barely detectable.
Ease of Use
When it comes to a new purchase, the product's ease of use is often overlooked in the effort to see if the product will do its intended job. Yet, even if an air purifier cleans the air quite well, it will be a less-than-satisfying purchase if it is a pain to use. Fortunately, the 400S is a remarkably easy machine to use. Moreover, this ease of operation comes without sacrificing features to simplify the interface and settings.
To begin, we look at how easy it is to set up the air purifier. With the 400S, this process takes about five minutes. One simply opens the canister (no tools needed), unwraps the filter, puts it back together, and plugs it in. The companion app allows for remote access, additional settings, and information such as the unit's run time, the number of square feet of air purified, and the percentage of the filter used.
The app allows users to set the air sensor and turn the device on and off when the desired thresholds are met. This app is a cinch to download and use.
As for the 400S's control interface, it is quite simple and intuitive. For example, correlated images represent the touch buttons' functions such that touching the crescent moon sets the unit to sleep mode. Lights and a digital display let the user know which functions are active.
Finally, we look at the unit's portability since some consumers will want to move their air purifiers around. The 400S weighs 10.5 pounds. It is 20.5 inches tall and has a diameter of 10.8 inches. Compared to the other units in the class, the 400S is quite easy to transport, particularly given its inset handles and compact barrel shape.
Like the details of the ease of use metric, the long-term cost of an air purifier can be easy to overlook. Unfortunately, the same HEPA filter that produced such good outcomes in the air purifying metric results in a high operating cost. However, the energy consumption of the unit is quite low. Our calculations indicate that the 400S will only cost ~$3.00 annually if run on its medium setting. However, the HEPA filter in the unit is rated to last ~6-8 months, adding ~$100 to the annual operating cost.
Should You Buy the Levoit Core 400S?
The 400S is a great value when looking at its cost-to-performance ratio. Few air purifiers offer consumers the app-controlled features and air purifying capacity of the 400S at such a competitive price. Simply put, you can't go wrong with this device if it's within your budget. Moreover, the unit fits well with various home and office stylings and decor.
What Other Air Purifiers Should You Consider?
The Levoit Core 400S is a top-notch device that removes 99.98% of airborne particles through its three-stage filter system. The unit's sleek, compact design operates at a relatively quiet 55 decibels and can be controlled remotely via the smartphone app. All that is to say, the 400S is a hard to beat smart device — especially for the price. However, if long-term costs are a concern, consider the Coway Airmega 200M. This unit has a HEPA filter and similar CADR to the 400S but has a long-term operating cost of roughly half the 400S. The up-front cost is lower as well. However, one loses the smart controls in the bargain.If you want a smart air purifier and a higher CADR, then the Coway Airmega 400S is the ticket. This unit has a CADL of 328, a HEPA filter, and an accompanying app. However, be prepared for serious sticker shock and hefty long-term costs.
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