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Coway Airmega 150 review

Style over substance? The Coway Airmega 150 is a mid-level entry for a medium to small room for those with an eye for design and flare
By
Updated on February 13, 2024
Written by
Teddy Booth
Teddy joined HouseFresh in 2019 as a senior content producer, producing written content as well as product photography and YouTube videos. He supports Danny as a product tester and is our lead how-to writer.

Our verdict

The Airmega 150 is simple to operate and comes with built-in sensors, a color AQI, and high-quality filters. It’s available in three colors to match your decor and has won several design awards.

 

The 150 may look dazzling, but it doesn’t wow on air cleaning power compared to other units of this size. The filters are thick and packed with activated carbon pellets that should last you 12 months before they need replacing.

 

Overall, it’s a well-designed air purifier with an average performance.

Developing products since the late 80s, Coway has been at the forefront of performance and design. With their large range of products, they aim to challenge the boundaries of conventional air purifiers by adding innovation without compromising performance.

I was impressed with both the Airmega 300 and the Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty when we tested them in our home lab, and they’re both unique compared to the traditional looks of other boring air purifiers. (I’ve been pestering Danny to buy the Airmega IconS to review. Feel free to help me out and email him to request it.)

Another addition to the Airmega range is the 150, which Coway says is “compact, quiet, and powerful combined with unique design.” This bold air purifier is available in three colors, has built-in air quality sensors, and features a color-coded AQI.

But is this a case of style over substance? In this review, I delve into the Airmega 150 to look at its design, features, filters, and, most importantly, how it performs compared to rival units on the market.

The lowdown on the Coway Airmega 150

“It’s not a bad device, and some might like its unique aesthetic, but at this price point, I much prefer the Winix 5500-2 as it’s got more activated charcoal and was much faster in our test at removing particles.”
— Danny Ashton, HouseFresh Founder & Senior Writer

Don’t want to read the full review? Check out what I like about the Airmega 150 and what Coway could have done better. 

What we really like

Comes in different colors to suit your tastes
Has an auto mode and air quality indicator (AQI)
Activated carbon filter uses pellets rather than a bonded sheet
Pre-filter is easy to remove to clean
Energy-efficient with low running costs

What we think could be better

Plastic casing feels a little thin
I’d like to see app connectivity
AQI could be bigger

The specs

Performance is nothing to write home about for an air purifier retailing over $160

HouseFresh rating:★★★
Time to clean our test room:33 minutes
Air purifier technology:HyperCaptive™ GreenHEPA™ filtration system
Recommended room size:214 sq. ft
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):165 CFM / 281 m3/h
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):6.5 x 13.4 x 18.5in /16.5 x 34 x 46.9cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):12.1 lbs / 5.5 kg
Filter life:1 year
Noise level (low – high):20 – 52dB
Estimated energy consumption:$36.79
Warranty:3 months
Country of manufacture:South Korea

A new generation of air purifier design

Coway discards tradition for a look that suits a bold and modern home

Forget bland white appliances. Get some color into your home. We at HouseFresh take our interior design quirks seriously, and it seems as if Coway caught onto that. The 150 comes in three colors: Sage Green, Peony Pink, and Dove White (I guess you can’t completely dismiss the classics).

We went for Sage Green because it matched the color of my couch, and although I like pink, Peony is a little too bold for my taste.

The unit overall is quite sparse. You could easily mistake it for a heater or a speaker from the front. 

There’s no obnoxious branding plastered over the grill, just a tag on the top with the Coway name embossed. This tag isn’t just ornamental. If you pull it upwards, you’ll find it’s actually attached to the pre-filter, making it especially easy to remove and clean. Nice feature, Coway.

Looks are subjective, but for me, the 150 looks great. It’s modern, stylish and unassuming. My only gripe is that the whole unit feels a little thin and plasticky. I wish they had used thicker casing like most of the other air purifiers in the Airmega range.

I will say that the Airmega 150’s design doesn’t look totally unique, as other models like the SA600 from Smart Air have similar designs. But if you compare the 150 to other more traditional air purifiers, it definitely stands out.

Some brands pack their control panels with smart technology, touch screens, and settings on settings (check out the Mila, for example), but that wasn’t what Coway wanted with the Airmega 150.

They’ve kept it super simple with only three buttons. One controls your unit’s power, another allows you to select fan speed or auto mode, and the last one allows you to configure the machine’s display lights. There aren’t any other notable smart features on the 150, so if you want a timer, display lock, or app connectivity, this isn’t the air purifier for you.

If you look on the side of the Airmega 150, you’ll notice two slots. This is where the air quality sensor lives.

The air quality sensor in the Airmega 150 monitors the number of pollutants present in your room in real-time. The data collected is then relayed to the unit’s auto mode, which adjusts the fan speed according to your present air quality.

When the quality of the air changes, the sensor sends this information to the color-coded AQI on top of the unit. 

🔵 Blue = Good air

🟢 Green = Moderate air

🟡 Yellow = Unhealthy air

🔴 Red = Very unhealthy air

3-stage HEPA filter that lasts

Coway covers the bases with their GreenHEPA™ technology and activated carbon pellets

Coway doesn’t only concentrate on looks and design. The company is a big advocate of including high-quality HEPA filters in their air purifiers.

When brands engineer their own filters, they like to give them catchy names. Coway has the HyperCaptive™ Max2, which has three filtration stages.

Pre-filter

The pre-filter is the first line of defense, capturing larger particles from the air, like dust and dander. Trapping these larger particles early on means the HEPA filter can focus on the microscopic particles.

I appreciate when brands let you remove the pre-filter so that you can clean it. By periodically cleaning this filter, you can prevent clogging and prolong the HEPA’s lifespan.

Activated carbon filter

This part of the filter removes odors, gasses, and other VOCs from your room. The general rule is the more activated carbon it includes, the more effective it is.

Thankfully, Coway has filled the 150’s filter with activated carbon pellets, which is much more effective than some brands’ thin bonded sheets.

Tip

If you want to know more about activated carbon, check out my in-depth guide detailing How an Activated Carbon Filter Works

GreenHEPA™filter 

HEPA filters work by using a tightly woven maze of tiny fibers that trap microscopic particles like flies in a spider web. HEPA filters are made in different grades. The higher the grade, the smaller the particles they can capture.

Coway states that their GreenHEPA™ captures 99.9% of airborne pollutants like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and pollen. By applying an antimicrobial treatment to their HEPA filters, these pollutants are thwarted and unable to spread.

Like all Coway devices, the Airmega 150 has been sent for third-party lab testing as part of the AHAM VERIFIDE program

You can see the lab report on the ENERGY STAR Certificate tool. 

Smoke CADR152.8 CFM
Dust CADR161.1 CFM
Pollen CADR219.8 CFM

Based on these CADR scores, it should clean our test room in around 34 mins, give or take two minutes.

HEPA filters may be the most effective way of trapping pollutants in your air, but here’s the catch: after a while, they can get congested and become less effective. This means you need to replace the filters in your air purifier periodically.

When it’s time to replace your filters, a red light will appear on your control panel. When the red light illuminates next to the PRE symbol, it’s time to clean your pre-filter. When it illuminates next to MAX2, it’s time for a replacement HEPA filter.

Replacing the filter on the Airmega 150 takes less than a minute. Here’s how:

  1. Switch off and unplug the unit
  2. Pull the front panel open and reveal the filter
  3. Remove the old filter and replace it
  4. Click the front panel back into place

Tip

Before installing the replacement filter, make sure you remove all packaging

If you don’t, the filter will not remove any contaminants from your air, and you’ll probably notice a burning smell coming from your air purifier. Not cool.

The Coway Airmega 150 cleared our test room in 33 minutes

Worthy performance for a unit of this size

To make our reviews as fair and even as possible, we test all the units we review (no matter what size) in the same 728 cubic ft room.  

  1. In our home lab of 728 cubic ft, we light an incense stick to generate particle pollution and VOCs.
  2. We set up our trusted Purpleair Indoor Sensor with the latest Bosch gas sensor to track levels of PM1ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3 and PM10ug/m3 and VOCs in the air.
    purpleair
  3. We switch the air purifier to its highest speed and measure how long it takes to get our room air quality down to PM1 level to 0.
  4. We use an energy meter to measure precisely how much electricity is used when running the unit at the lowest and highest fan speed settings.
  5. We track sound levels emitted by the air purifier at different fan speeds with the help of a commercial sound meter.
    sound meter

We start by lighting an incense stick in our home lab until the room fills with thick smoke and turn on our air purifier to the highest speed. Next, we sat back to monitor and record how long it took for the Airmega 150 to clear all pollutants from the air using our PurpleAir indoor sensor.

The Coway Airmega 150 took 33 minutes to clear all generated PM1.0 ug/m3, PM2.5 ug/m3, and PM10.0 ug/m3 pollutants from our home lab. Which, for the size of the unit, is about what we expected. However, for an air purifier that’ll set you back over $160 from a top brand like Coway, we would have liked to have seen it perform a little faster.

Air cleaning performance test results

I’m not writing this Airmega off, but when you compare it to the Winix 5500-2, you can see why we expected more.

It may not look as good, but the Winix 5500-2 is cheaper and outperformed the Airmega 150 by a massive 16 minutes. So, if you’re looking for performance over design, the 5500-2 might suit you better.

Noise levels test results

A big advantage of running a smaller air purifier is that the fan is usually a lot quieter as the fan and motors are smaller.

The Airmega 150 is quiet at its lowest fan speed, notching out just 20 dB, which is the same level as a watch ticking. At its highest fan speed, the 150 hits a respectable 50 dB, which is the same as average room noise.

When you compare it to other air purifiers of similar size and spec, you see that it falls nicely into its size category without deviating in any particular way.

Noise is subjective; what’s quiet to some is loud to others; that’s why we video air purifiers running at each fan speed so that you have an idea of sound levels for yourself.

Cost of running a Coway Airmega 150: $86.78 per year

Energy-efficient with affordable running cost

When buying an air purifier, it’s not only the unit’s initial cost you need to consider. You also need to look at the unit’s long-term running costs.

1. Electricity costs: $36.79 per year

The first cost you need to look at is the amount of energy the air purifier uses, as some units are more energy-efficient than others. And with energy prices ever rising, it’s an important factor to consider.

Coway knows this and engineers their air purifiers to make them as energy-efficient as possible.

The Airmega 150 is a testament to this, as our energy tests show. We calculated that it should cost around $36.79 to run at full speed, 24/7, 365. This is impressive for its size. Especially when you compare it with the Winix 5500-2, which we calculated to cost $20 more annually.

We calculated this cost using the average price of energy in the U.S. with the help of the Department of Energy’s appliance energy calculator.

2. Filter costs: $49.99 per year

Another additional expense you can’t avoid is replacing the HEPA filters in the 150. HEPA filters are so effective at trapping particles that the pollutants have nowhere to go, filling the filter up until they become blocked.

How often you have to change them depends on how hard it works (the amount of pollutants the filter is removing). Coway advises replacing the filter in the Airmega 150 every 12 months. But you don’t have to keep an eye on the calendar. You’ll know when your HEPA is full when a red light illuminates on the control panel.

You can purchase an official Coway replacement for $49.99.

Unofficial replacement filters are cheaper, but I can’t testify to their effectiveness.

Coway Airmega 150 Air Purifier Replacement Filter Set, Green True HEPA and Active Carbon Filter, AP-1019C-FP
  • Coway Airmega 150 Replacement Filter
  • Only fits Airmega 150 (AP-1019C)
  • Number of pieces: 2
  • Package Dimensions: 1.0 L x 14.5 H x 11.0 W (inches)

Bottom line

Coway delivers an aesthetically pleasing air purifier on par with the market

Coway is never one to shy away from designing their air purifiers with a little extra…flare. As soon as they released the Airmega 150, I loved that they were pushing boundaries again. And the fact that they’ve made it available in different colors makes it more appealing to those who care about the style of their home appliances.

I do have a few reservations about 150, though. Firstly, it feels feeble with its thin plastic casing. Also, it’s easy to use and has an auto mode and AQI, which are practical features, but I’d like to see some kind of app connectivity in modern air purifiers.

Overall, this is a great-looking air purifier built for a small room. The performance didn’t blow me away but didn’t leave me frustrated. If you suffer from allergies or live in a highly polluted area, I would look elsewhere, but if you’re just looking to improve your air quality without having an ugly white box in the corner, the Airmega 150 will suit your needs.

SOURCES

We calculated energy consumption costs with the help of the Department of Energy’s appliance energy calculator. We calculated yearly costs associated with running the Coway Airmega 150 for 24 hours a day for 365 days. We ran this calculation utilizing the U.S. average utility rate of $0.12/kWh as of January 31st, 2024.

Last update on 2024-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Teddy Booth

Teddy joined HouseFresh in 2019 as a senior content producer, producing written content as well as product photography and YouTube videos. He supports Danny as a product tester and is our lead how-to writer.