Levoit LV-PUR131 review

By
Updated on June 12, 2024
Written by
Gisele Navarro
As the Managing Editor of HouseFresh, Gisele runs the day-to-day operations of our editorial team. She supports Danny and Ted with product tests, and works with the writers and producers to continually improve our content. She is also the human behind our X (formerly Twitter).

Our verdict

If you can find it in stock, the Levoit LV-PUR131 is a great option for those looking to keep the air clean in a medium-sized room (around 350 sq. ft.). 

The inclusion of the auto mode, which adjusts the fan speed based on how clean or dirty your air is, is a major positive considering these features are usually in much more expensive air purifiers.

I have been a long-time user of the Levoit Core 300 and I really like it but I found that many of the rooms in my home are a little too big for this air purifier. 

That means that it can take a long time for the Core 300 to clean the air, and as a result, I end up going through filters a lot quicker than 6 months – which can get costly. 

I’ve seen a lot better results with the Levoit LV-PUR131.

Levoit has been making waves in the air purifier market since they first arrived in 2017 thanks to the quality of their air purifying technology at an accessible price. Levoit’s air purifiers perform at the level of much more expensive units from older, more well-known brands.

Levoit changed my view on “cheap” air purifiers with their Core 300, so I was VERY excited to test a larger unit: the LV-PUR131. 

At $180, the Levoit LV-PUR131 seems like an excellent option for cleaning the air in a medium-sized room with a unit that includes features like automatic mode, which are normally only found on units that cost well over $200. After seeing glowing reviews for this unit on Amazon, I decided it was time to test it.

As with all our reviews here at HouseFresh, we bought the Levoit LV-PUR131 with our own money to make sure we would be free to give our unbiased opinion.

We also bought the unit so we could test its air cleaning performance in our home lab. That’s right, unlike the vast majority of air purifier reviews you will read from ‘reputable’ lifestyle magazines or even tech sites, I actually tested the LV-PUR131 as opposed to just describing it based on the marketing materials from Levoit.

  1. In our home lab of 728 cubic feet, 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.

  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.

Read more about our testing process, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

This is to say that you can rest assured that this review is impartial and that you will read an accurate account of the unit’s pros and cons. 

The lowdown on the Levoit LV-PUR131

“At this point in the history of Levoit, there are better options than the Levoit PUR131.
The LV-PU131 is underpowered, it pulls a lot of energy (which will add to long-term costs), and I have received reports from readers who explained various issues they experienced with this unit outside the warranty.
My Levoit PUR131 hasn’t broken yet, but it lives in my basement, so it doesn’t get used as often as other units I’ve got in my home.”
— Danny Ashton, HouseFresh Founder & Senior Writer

Don’t want to read the full review? If you can find the Levoit PUR131 in stock and have a room size of 500 sq. ft, this is the best performance air purifier you can get without spending more than $180.

What we really like

The simple touchscreen control panel is easy to understand and use.
It comes with an on-board air quality sensor and an LED air quality indicator (but it will only work when on auto mode).
It’s light and easy to move around the house.
It is one of the few Levoit units you could find today with a separate set of filters — the particle filter is separate from the activated carbon filter.

What we think could be better

It is underpowered compared to other more modern Levoit devices, such as the Levoit Vital 200S.
It doesn’t come with a pre-filter for capturing larger particles. This is unfortunate as pre-filters extend the life of main particle filters.
Something small, but that matters to me as I have two young children in the house: the controls don’t include a child lock.

HouseFresh rating:★★☆☆☆
Time to clean our 728 cubic feet test room (with the device running at top speed):60 minutes
Air purifier technology:Main particle filter and activated carbon filter
Recommended room size (4.8 air changes per hour):152 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):Dust: 102 CFM
Smoke: 98 CFM
Pollen: 138 CFM
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):18.5H x 14.6W x 7.2D inches (47H x 37.1W x 18.3D cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):11.22 lbs (5.1 kg)
Filter life:6 months
Noise level in decibels (measured from 3 ft. away with a sound level meter):Sleep mode: 37.5 dB
Speed 1: 39.9 dB
Speed 2: 45.2 dB
Speed 3: 50.5 dB
Electricity consumption in watts (recorded with an electricity usage monitor):Standby mode: 1.9 watts
Speed 1: 11 watts
Speed 2: 18.8 watts
Speed 3: 29.7 watts
Estimated running costs (electricity consumption + filter replacements):$108.58 per year
Cost per CADR cfm (based on dust CFM as reported by AHAM):$2.89
Manufacturer’s warranty:1 year
Country of manufacture:China

A boxy and dated design from Levoit

The LV-PUR131 is more of a plain Jane than a showstopper. 

The LV-PUR131 is a simple-looking, white and boxy air purifier that stands just under half a meter tall and has oversized branding across the top corner. It certainly looks like what most people probably think of when they think of an air purifier.

It isn’t the worst-looking unit I’ve seen but it definitely looks plain and boring compared to the Smart Air S, which combines different materials, design lines and textures.

The Levoit LV-PUR131 has an easy-to-navigate touchscreen control panel on top of the unit. Each button has a clearly labelled icon, so you will quickly figure out how to operate the air purifier straight out of the box with little instruction.  

You can turn the machine on/off through the control panel and cycle through its three fan speed settings:

For use during the night, you can hit the Display button to turn off the LED lights and press Sleep to switch the fan speed to its lowest fan speed, which only emits a whisper-like sound at 27dB. 

The unit also comes with a programmable 12-hour timer so you can leave the unit to run without worrying about switching it off again. 

While the Auto setting utilizes the inbuilt air quality sensor to monitor for pollutants and automatically adjust the fan speeds for minimal fuss and maximum peace of mind. 

Three Stages of Filtration

Before purchasing an air purifier, the first thing to know is what filters the unit uses and what effect they will have. 

The LV-PUR131 has a three-stage filtration system, with a fine mesh pre-filter, an H13 True HEPA filter, and an Activated Carbon filter. 

To access or change the filters, remove the back panel, where the filters are neatly slotted inside the machine, along with handy instructions on installing them correctly.

The primary filter used here is the H13 True HEPA filter for those unfamiliar with some of the more technical jargon. This will capture ultra-fine particles commonly found indoors, such as dust, pollen or mold spores. 

HEPA filters are now considered the industry standard amongst leading purifier manufacturers, as they are certified to remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. While the HEPA stamp of approval is key, it’s also good to know that the H13 rating tells us this filter is up to medical-grade standards. 

You will also find the fine mesh pre-filter attached to the outer side of your HEPA filter. This is used to capture larger particles, such as hair, fur, or lint, before reaching the HEPA filter. 

💡 Pro Tip: You can quickly clean the pre-filter using either a brush or vacuum to remove any buildup of particles, which will help increase the HEPA filter’s performance and lifespan. 

The final filtration layer comes from the Activated Carbon filter, which will tackle volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as chemical fumes, smoke, and household odors. If smoke and odor is a major issue then be sure to look at what we think is the best cigar smoke air purifier or air purifier for tobacco smoke.

Levoit has designed a unique Activated Carbon filter, which not only adsorbs odors but decomposes these gaseous pollutants using their patented Air ReComposition Formula, which is said to improve its deodorizing ability by 60%.

⚠️ At the risk of stating the obvious, we always like to remind readers that the filters will come in plastic wrapping that needs to be removed before using the air purifier. As the filters usually come delivered pre-fitted, this often trips users up as they think they are ready to use. 

Simply remove the filters, remove any packaging and re-fit, then you’re good to go.

The Levoit LV-PUR131 Cleared Our Test Room in 60 Minutes

To put an air purifier through its paces, we utilize our home office, which measures up to 705 cubic ft, so it is roughly the same as a small to medium-sized bedroom. 

We burn incense sticks to fill the room with airborne pollutants and measure how quickly the purifier can remove all PM1.0ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3, and PM10.0 ug/m3 particles using our indoor sensor from Purpleair

We keep these conditions the same for each test, allowing us to compare and contrast different purifiers and see which unit performs the best in a home setting against common pollutants. 

Let’s see how the LV-PUR131 did:

Once the incense had finished burning at 12:15pm, we recorded the number of pollutants in the room, with levels reaching:

  • PM10.0 – 1847.99 ug/m3 
  • PM2.5 – 1577.53 ug/m3
  • PM1.0 – 581.41 ug/m3

We then fired up the LV-PUR131 on its highest speed setting, allowing it to tackle the airborne pollutants head-on. 

Within 60 minutes, each particle reading had reached 0.0, showing that within one hour, the unit had performed three air cycles and removed all traces of pollutants.

Air Cleaning Performance Compared to Other Air Purifiers

When comparing these results to alternative purifiers within a similar price range, we found the Levoit eradicated all pollutants faster than the Blueair Blue Pure 411, which took 1 hour and 8 minutes and the GermGuardian AC4825 which took 1 hour and 44 minutes. 

Interestingly, the Levoit Core 300 completed the same test in just 40 minutes, proving that this is still an excellent option for eradicating pollutants in a smaller space. 

Noise Levels Test Results

Alongside purifying performance, it’s essential to gauge how loud this unit is when operating on its various fan speeds. 

When cycling between the three standard fan speeds, this unit runs between 52.2 – 65.6 dB, which is louder than most of the other air purifiers we have tested. However, when set to the Sleep setting, this comes down to a much more tolerable 27 dB. 

Check out our sound guide below to hear the LV-PUR131 for yourself. 

The Cost to Run a Levoit LV-PUR131: $108.58 per Year

1. Electricity costs = $32.59 per year

Many of us are feeling the pinch as soaring energy prices affect the cost of living. So it’s a good idea to figure out what you’re likely to pay across the lifetime of your air purifier. 

We used the Department of Energy’s appliance energy calculator to estimate how this unit might impact your electricity bill to save you the headache of doing the math. 

This unit uses 30.5 watts of power on its highest speed setting, which is pretty efficient. If we imagine you run the air purifier on this setting 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the LV-PUR131 will set you back $32.59 a year. 

Bearing in mind as you’re more likely to run the unit on its lowest speed for around 8 hours a day, it won’t cost much at all to operate this air purifier. 

2. Filter costs = $75.99 per year

Over time, as your HEPA and Activated Carbon filters work their magic, they will become clogged with pollutant particles and eventually lose efficiency. 

To keep your purifier performing at its peak, you must replace the filters, adding another additional cost to consider before you purchase.  

The LV-PUR131 has two filters that need replacement every 6 months (both the Activated Charcoal and the HEPA filter). They are both available in replacement packs for $45.99 but the 2-pack will set you back $75.99 per year.

However, several filters available from third-party manufacturers on Amazon are cheaper than the official Levoit filters (which are often out of stock across the U.S.)  These alternative filters come with great reviews from fellow users who claim there is no difference in performance when used.

LEVOIT LV-PUR131 Air Purifier Replacement Filter, Activated Carbon Filters Set, LV-PUR131-RF, 1 Pack
LV-PUR131 Replacement Filters, H13 True HEPA Filter Compatible with Levoit LV-PUR131 & LV-PUR131S Air Purifier, LV-PUR131-RF, 2 True HEPA & 2 Carbon Filters
Technology
H13 HEPA and Activated Carbon Filter
2-Pack Replacement H13 HEPA and Activated Carbon Filter
More information
Price
$45.88
$29.99
LEVOIT LV-PUR131 Air Purifier Replacement Filter, Activated Carbon Filters Set, LV-PUR131-RF, 1 Pack
Technology
H13 HEPA and Activated Carbon Filter
More information
Price
$45.88
LV-PUR131 Replacement Filters, H13 True HEPA Filter Compatible with Levoit LV-PUR131 & LV-PUR131S Air Purifier, LV-PUR131-RF, 2 True HEPA & 2 Carbon Filters
Technology
2-Pack Replacement H13 HEPA and Activated Carbon Filter
More information
Price
$29.99

Comparing the Levoit LV-PUR131 to the LV-PUR131S

Shortly after releasing the LV-PUR131, Levoit launched the LV-PUR131S to offer users a purifier with enhanced smart features. 

In addition to the Auto mode found on the original model, the S includes the option to connect your purifier to your phone or smart device such as Alexa. 

This enables the user to operate the purifier remotely using voice activation or at your fingertips through your phone. 

The app also allows you to remotely set timers and create schedules, providing updates on the current air quality in your space.

FeaturesLevoit LV-PUR131Levoit LV-PUR131S
Purifier technology:H13 HEPA and Activated Carbon FilterH13 HEPA and Activated Carbon Filter
Recommended room size:360 sq. ft. 360 sq. ft. 
Filter life:6 months6 months
Weight (in pounds / in kg):11.22 lbs / 5.1 kg11.22 lbs / 5.1 kg
Energy consumption:$66.26 per year$66.26 per year
Auto Mode
Smartphone Functionality
User reviews
List Price$179.99$189.99

So, should you pay more for the S? 

In reality, these two units are identical. The only difference is that the S is compatible with Levoit’s smartphone app and can be connected to smart devices such as Alexa for voice control. 

At only $10.00 more, it seems reasonable to pay the extra if you feel these additional features will be of use. However, if you can’t see yourself utilizing such features, then why not save yourself 10 bucks?


Bottom Line

Is the Levoit LV-PUR131 the right air purifier for you?

Your particular use case will depend on your situation. The team at Levoit managed to produce a unit with top performance at an affordable price compared to most other air purifiers on the market. 

If you are looking for air purifiers under $200, then the LV-PUR131 is the best unit at this price point. If you want to spend more, there are better units out there, but they come at a fairly significant jump in price.

This air purifier is a great first unit for those just venturing into the world of air purifiers or looking for an air purifier to help with air pollutants from vaping or smells from cooking. Unfortunately, the Levoit LV-PUR131 doesn’t have the power to deal with more complex air pollutants like those from smoking cigarettes or cigars indoors.


SOURCES

We used the Department of Energy’s appliance energy calculator to calculate yearly costs associated with running the Levoit LV-PUR131 for 24hs a day for 365 days. We ran this calculation utilizing the U.S. average utility rate of $0.12/kWh as of May 9th, 2023.

Last update on 2024-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About the author

Gisele Navarro

As the Managing Editor of HouseFresh, Gisele runs the day-to-day operations of our editorial team. She supports Danny and Ted with product tests, and works with the writers and producers to continually improve our content. She is also the human behind our X (formerly Twitter).

Join our newsletter

We’ll send you a nice email every once in a while. No spam.

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We are ad-free and buy all the devices we test with our own money. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, which we use to fund new product tests. Learn more