But they did well compared with other small-space machines we looked at, averaging about 85% removal of smoke particles in 30 minutes on high and about 65% in 30 minutes on medium in a room of 200 square feet. Over a longer timeframe—and especially if kept running on medium 24/7, as we recommend for all our purifier picks—they will create and maintain very clean air in a typical home office or bedroom. With a CADR of 350 cubic feet per minute on high for smoke, pollen, and dust, it handily outdraws most purifiers in its price range and many competitors that cost far more. On its quiet/medium setting, it delivers performance at a CADR of 231 for smoke, pollen, and dust—roughly what the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty offers on high.
(I was 20, what do you expect?) I remember feeling mildly not great for weeks before I moved out of that apartment and just accepting it. When I left, I felt better within a day or two, but I never had a flash of realization about how stale my air had become. If this is your levoit air filter first foray into indoor air purifiers, you could do a lot worse than pick up a Levoit H132. Quiet, easy-to-use, and very affordable, it’s the ideal entry-level air purifier. There are lots of things to like about the Levoit H132, from its affordability to its compact size.
An air purifier with a HEPA filter will capture particulate matter down to the size of airborne viruses, including COVID-19. That’s why you often see manufacturers claiming their products remove 99% (or more) of particles in the air. Unfortunately, the science in 2023 simply isn’t clear enough on how quickly droplets containing the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted from person to person.
However, in the US air purifiers cannot be marketed as medical devices. That’s because it is exceptionally difficult to disentangle the known air-quality impacts listed above from other environmental and genetic factors that influence health. In a new section, we cover a few other purifiers that fit specific levoit purifier needs, including a purifier for handling VOCs, an especially energy-efficient small-space purifier, and a truly smart air purifier. Upgraded H13 HEPA Smart Technology Captures at least 99.97% of dust and allergens, Ultra-fine Nylon Pre-Filter captures large particles, compatible with Core 600S air purifier.
Installing the VOC filter also lowers the machine’s CADR to just 70.6 cubic feet per minute. The Blue Pure 311 Auto also stands out for its energy efficiency, drawing just 5.9 watts on the medium setting we recommend for daily use—even less than the AP-1512HH’s thrifty 8.1 watts. And it’s especially quiet on that setting, emitting just 33 decibels (versus the AP-1512HH’s 39 decibels) at a distance of 6 feet. Finally, the running costs for the AP-1512HH are easily the lowest we’ve found for a purifier of its abilities. On the medium setting, it draws just 8.1 watts, so running it 24/7 on that setting consumes just 71 kilowatts annually.
(We use smoke to test them, in fact, so our picks directly reflect their ability to remove it.) But in a wildfire event, purifiers are part of a larger smoke-mitigation strategy. It’s helpful to think of them as a central piece of a comprehensive plan, which we detail in a separate guide to the best wildfire preparedness supplies and strategies. The name “GermGuardian(opens in a new tab)” may seem corny, but it’s literally what this thing can do for a room—and it’s priced well for buyers on a budget at less than $100. The HEPA filter captures 99.7 percent of allergens like household dust, pet dander, mold spores, and plant pollens, even as small as .3 microns.
We have long recommended running air purifiers on high for an hour and thereafter running them on the quiet or medium setting to create and maintain clean air in the home. Those figures slightly topped the results from our current large-space pick, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+, which came in at 99.3% and 99.2% on new filters and 99.3% and 98.4% on filters that had been run 24/7 for eight months. The two machines are similarly quiet, with the Airmega 400 registering 40 decibels on its quiet/high-medium setting and the Blue Pure 211+ measuring at 43 decibels on medium. But the Blue Pure 211+ comes out on top on cost, as it typically sells for $300 versus the Airmega 400’s usual price of $500. We tested the Blueair DustMagnet 5440i, the most powerful among several Blueair DustMagnet models, which is comparable in airflow to the Blueair Blue Pure 211+, our pick for large spaces. When we compared the DustMagnet 5440i at that size range with one of our standard-space purifier picks, the Winix AM90, the performance differences were negligible.