Levoit have achieved the impossible with the Core 300 — an air purifier for less than $100 that can perform as well as the big boys.
The Levoit Core 300 is a no-brainer for issues like pollen or dust in a medium-sized room. It achieves this performance at a low price point by having no extras like an app or onboard air detector.
For issues with smoke and VOCs you will still want to invest in a bigger unit but for most people, the Levoit Core 300 will be the perfect solution.
Levoit achieved the impossible with the Core 300, an air purifier for less than $100 that can perform as well as the big boys.
Levoit burst onto the air purifier scene in 2017. Up until that point, there had not been any major changes in the world of air purifiers, and many units looked very similar to those of five years or more ago. Levoit changed everything with its wide range of air purifiers.
Their business is based in the USA and they manufacture their units in China. Their parent company is Vesync Co Ltd, a publicly-traded smart appliance company that employs over 1,200 people and is listed in the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Levoit is always innovating, developing new technologies, and incorporating newer smart tech features into their ‘S’ line of units.
That’s how Levoit brought the power of modern economies of scale to create home appliances that perform better for less.
The Levoit Core 300 was first introduced in the United States in late 2019 and it grew to become a major bestseller at the start of the COVID 19 pandemic.
It’s no secret why, considering that the Core 300 boasts a high CADR rating and activated carbon filters but costs less than $100.
“The Core 300 is a hard unit to beat when it comes to value for money.“The HouseFresh team
TL;DR The Low Down on the Core 300
If you don’t fancy spending the next 10 minutes reading about this air purifier then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our pros and cons for the Levoit Core 300.
What We Really Like:
👍 It’s less than $100 and has a CADR of 140CFM for Dust, 145CFM for Pollen and 141CFM for smoke – with previous generations of air purifiers you needed to spend upwards of $250 to get this level of performance
👍 It looks pretty good and doesn’t take up so much space due to its cylindrical design.
👍 Sleep mode allows it to run at near silent with all lights off (see video below for sound examples)
👍 Filters contain both H13 HEPA and activated charcoal and are easily available via Amazon
👍 Timer mode so you can leave it on for 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours and it will automatically switch off
What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 It lacks an onboard air sensor so can’t automatically switch on if it detects allergens
👎 It doesn’t include wifi capability or an app (which might be seen as a plus for some people)
👎 Would be great if you could remove the pre-filter for cleaning
145 CFM for less than $100 is the reason the Levoit Core 300 became the biggest selling air purifier of the last few years. On paper, it makes a lot of sense for so many different consumers.
|Purifier technology:||H13 (Medical) Grade HEPA and Activated Charcoal|
|CADR (CFM / m³/h):||145 CFM / 246 m3/h|
|Recommended room size:||219 ft² to 547 ft²|
|Filter life:||Every 6 – 8 months|
|Noise level (low – high):||24 dB – 50 dB|
|Dimensions (in inches / in cm):||8.7L x 8.7W x 14.2H inches / 22 x 22 x 36 cm|
|Weight (in pounds / in kg):||3.9 kg / 8.6 lbs|
|Energy consumption:||$97.76 per year|
Small in Size, Big on Power
I did expect it to be much smaller based on the pictures I saw online, but it’s definitely still a small device compared to other air purifiers I have tested.
The cylindrical design allows for a fairly small floor footprint, so I was able to use it in most rooms without needing to move furniture around.
The simple menu system is something that Levoit does well and the 300 is a great example — options for speed, timers, sleep, and lighting are all buttons on the slick touchscreen menu.
There is also a warning for when the filter needs replacing which I’m hoping is closer to eight months than six, but I’ll provide an update as soon as I see the warning light.
The Levoit Core 300 is one of the first powerful air purifiers for under $100. Since its release, many other manufacturers have come out with their own version of the Core 300, including:
- Medify 25: This unit has similar performance but is often much higher in cost
- Blueair Pure Air 411: With a lower CADR rating (120 CFM versus 145 for the Core 300) and often at a higher cost
Years after its release, the Levoit Core 300 still wins the battle for the best budget air purifier available in the United States.
All-round Filtration with no Byproducts
The Levoit Core 300 has a filter that combines a HEPA grade H13 filter with activated carbon pellets. The HEPA will do a great job of removing everything from pollen to viruses and the activated carbon works great for odor and chemical removal.
The combined filter does mean that you are forced to invest in both types of filter and it would be good to see filter renewal options that use 100% HEPA or Activated Carbon so you can use the Core 300 for specific jobs such as particulate pollutants.
Removing the filter from the unit is fairly easy and it can be done in three simple steps:
I appreciate how the Core 300 just uses HEPA and Activated Carbon and I can know 100% that this will not produce any potentially harmful byproducts like ozone.
These days, many air purifiers come with ‘innovative’ air purification technology that doesn’t really make a difference during our performance tests.
Regardless of all the scientific-sounding taglines, you need to remember that the trustworthy HEPA + Activated Carbon combo has been put to the test generation upon generation.
The first documented use of activated charcoal goes as far back as 3750 B.C. and HEPA technology was invented during WW2.
Most fancy-sounding air purification technology is yet to be proven by peer-reviewed studies, but you will find thousands of papers on the positive effects of HEPA and Activated Carbon being published by academics from around the world.
|One thing we always mention in our reviews is to remember to remove the filter from the plastic bag it comes in. Many HEPA filters are kept in plastic containers to ensure they won’t be used before they arrive with the customer. |
Dyson has started adding noticeable warnings on their plastic bags and I wish more manufacturers would follow suit, clarifying that plastic needs to be removed before putting the filter in the air purifier.
Simple Controls Make it Easy to Use
Simplicity is built into the controls of the Levoit Core 300.
This display is certainly more complex than the simple ‘one button’ control panel of the Blueair range or the dial approach taken by the Smart Air Health S. Personally, I like that it has clear buttons meant to be used for each of the different modes.
I have used the timers a number of times, which is something I rarely do with devices as the options are usually tucked away inside a sub-menu.
Solid Performance for a Great Price
The Levoit Core 300 was able to remove all pollutants in our test room (sized 705 cubic ft) in 40 minutes.
This unit compares really favorably with the more expensive Medify MA-25 which managed 43 minutes and was far better than the Dyson HP04, which had multiple extra features but was close to $800.
When comparing cleaning performance against price, it’s hard to fault the Levoit Core 300. What we saw during testing makes it hard to recommend the upgraded but more expensive Levoit Core 300S.
When it comes to noise levels, the Core 300 performed well. We know that sound can be super subjective so we produced a video of the different speed models so you can hear for yourself:
In our testing, the Levoit 300 sound levels ranged from 24dB for the lowest speed and up to 50dB at its highest. This is pretty good when compared to other air purifiers with similar performance.
|Air Purifier||Noise Levels|
(Low to Full Power)
|Air Cleaning Speed|
|Levoit Core 300||24 dB – 50 dB||40 minutes|
|Medify MA-25||35 dB – 52 dB||43 minutes|
|Levoit PUR131||52 dB – 65 dB||60 minutes|
|Blueair Blue Pure 411||17 dB – 46 dB||68 minutes|
|Dyson Pure Hot+Cool HP04||24 dB – 62 dB||84 minutes|
|Levoit LV-H132||25 dB – 50 dB||98 minutes|
|GermGuardian AC4825e||40 dB – 55 dB||104 minutes|
The Cost to Run a Levoit Core 300: $157.74 Per Year
1. Electricity costs
With the energy crisis in full surge across the United States and the world, it’s important to consider the costs of devices like air purifiers, as it’s often not given the importance that it should.
The standard Levoit Core 300 pulls 35.9 watts at maximum power, which equates to $97.76 per year — close to the initial price of the unit.
Don’t worry too much, as our calculation is based on 100% usage which is unlikely to be the case, but it’s still something to consider when thinking about the costs of running an air purifier in the long run.
Energy usage is one big reason why you might want to look at the upgraded 300S as it was able to perform at its highest setting with just 26 watts, which is a significant reduction for the same amount of cleaning power.
2. Filter costs
Filter costs is another area that most people miss when thinking about air purifiers.
HEPA and activated charcoal filters work by becoming full of pollutants over time and so need replacing regularly if you want to sustain cleaning performance.
Genuine Levoit filters cost $29.99 so owning a Core 300 could potentially cost an additional $60 per year considering you need to replace the filters every 6 months.
After long-term testing of the Levoit Core 300, we saw the red light at 9 months. This was one extra month on top of the 6-8 month mark advertised by the manufacturer.
For a replacement, I went with a Levoit Core 300-RF-PA which is aimed at those looking to remove odors. In my particular case, we have used the Core 300 mainly in our bedroom and in the kitchen, so removing smells was a must.
Due to stock issues, I couldn’t find this filter for less than $30 which is quite a big chunk of the total price of the unit — something to consider when annual filter costs are close to the total RRP for the unit.
But also, I did see a number of generic filters at $30 for 2 ($15ea), which may perform as well, but I’ll be looking to test this in a future review.
Levoit 300 Versus Levoit 300S
Since the release of the Core 300, Levoit has released the upgraded Core 300S incorporating an air sensor and smart features.
When you look at both units side by side, there is no way you can quickly pinpoint which one is which.
The Core 300 has no smart features, so if you want to control your air purifier remotely using your phone, you will need to upgrade to the 300S.
The Levoit Core 300S includes app support AND auto mode but you need to be mindful as these extra features add more than $50 to the price tag.
That being said, when it comes to air cleaning capabilities, the Core 300 and the Core 300S share the same technology. However, the Core 300S managed to shave off one full minute when cleaning the air in the testing room when compared to the Core 300, which took 40 minutes.
The Levoit Core 300 is an easy air purifier to like.
It doesn’t overpromise and has a great CADR score, which matched the performance figures we saw in our tests.
The Levoit 300 is not for everyone in the same way that not everyone wants to drive a VW Beetle, but if you just need something to clean a room and don’t want to overpay, the Levoit 300 is the one unit I have no problem recommending year after year.
The Rules We Followed When Reviewing the Core 300
Our goal is to help you have a clear understanding of which air purifiers are great and more importantly, uncover which ones you should avoid.
1. As with all the reviews you will read from us at HouseFresh, we bought the Levoit Core 300 with our own money and performed performance testing in our own home.
2. We didn’t rely on manufacturers’ feature lists and specification figures. We dug deep and tested the performance of this unit in real-world conditions with our own testing tools.
3. We used data from our performance test to compare the Core 300 like for like with other similar air purifiers in the market.
4. We evaluated the long-term benefits and downsides of using the Levoit Core 300, putting the unit to the test for over 8 months.
Our Testing Process
As consumers we always research CADR rankings and other performance metrics published by the manufacturers, but we don’t like to leave it at that.
We wouldn’t be able to recommend a unit being 100% confident we are making the right call without our real life performance testing.
That’s why we test all the models we review here at HouseFresh in the same room (sized 705 cubic ft) performing the same job (removing incense smoke). This allows us to compare units side by side.
We use the PurpleAir PA-I Indoor PM 2.5 Sensor that combines the ability to track PM1.0ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3 and PM10.0 ug/m3 every few minutes.
We then can visualize this data using Flourish to help us clearly work out how long it took this specific unit to remove all pollutants from the air.