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Hands-on Gear Review
Levoit LV-PUR131 ReviewPrice: $160 List
Pros: Good air cleaning performance, quiet operation
Cons: Lifetime cost similar to better performing models
Bottom line: A decent performer, but can get better performance for the same price elsewhere
With a quiet fan and reasonable air cleaning performance the Levoit LV-PUR131 will likely please most users. However, expensive filters and high electricity usage make it a poor value in the long run. The Coway AP-1512HH offers better all around performance for the same lifetime cost, and the GermGuardian AC4825 offers similar performance for less. Most users will be better off with one of these two models over the Levoit.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Levoit LV-PUR131 offers decent performance, but its lifetime costs make it as expensive as other models the perform better.
The Levoit LV-PUR13 received a high overall score due to its decent air cleaning and quiet operation, but expensive replacement filters kept it from earning our Best Buy Award.
In the sections below we discuss all of the tests we use to determine our overall scores, and how the Levoit performed in each.
Air Cleaning Performance
The Levoit was right around average in our air cleaning tests, earning a score of 6 out of 10. With a CADR (clean air delivery rate) spec of 135, it has enough power for 200 square foot rooms. This is likely enough for most bedrooms, but may be a little on the weak side for a living room. It achieved an 86.7% reduction in airborne particles after half an hour in our testing room. This was about average, as the top models had broken the 99% threshold by the half hour mark. After an hour it had reached a 99.3% reduction, only about a half a percentage point off of the top scorers. This performance makes the Levoit great for a pollen allergy sufferer with a bedroom less than 200 square feet. In terms of odor reduction the Levoit was middle of the pack, though we wouldn't consider any of the models we tested good in that regard.
The well designed fan and noise dampening body of the Levoit made it one of the quietest models we tested. It scored an 8 out of 10 in this metric, just one point behind the top performing Coway. On high it produces a low pitch that is as inconspicuous as that of the Coway. You would likely be able to read without being disturbed by it at all. On low and medium the Levoit is even quieter but noticeable, whereas the Coway is essentially silent.
Ease of Use
The Levoit was one of the best performers our ease of testing, sharing the top score of 8 out of 10 with the Coway. It features a simple set of buttons to adjust settings. It only has three fan speeds, but its also has a sleep mode for the quietest operation, and an automatic off timer. It does include an auto mode that uses a built-in air quality meter to automatically adjust settings based on the current conditions. However, like most models that have such a feature, we found it to be inconsistent in our testing. Probably better off just turning on the highest setting that doesn't annoy your ears. It has a rail that you can grab onto when you want to move it around, and at 11.4 pounds it is fairly easy to do so.
Though the Levoit's energy usage is quite low (0.015 kWh per hour of operation or about $7.88/year), its estimated lifetime cost was still right around average at $549. It lists for $160 up front, and its filters last 6 months and cost $35.
The Levoit LV-PUR131's list price of $160 may seem enticing when compared to other larger capacity models, but in the long run it ends up costing about the same as models like the Coway, which offers much better performance. This makes the Levoit a poor value for most users.
Though the Levoit LV-PUR131 generally did quite well in our testing, it still can't match the Coway in terms of outright performance, and both machines cost about the same in the long run. The Levoit will serve most users quite well, but the Coway still offers more punch for almost the same lifetime cost.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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