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Levoit Vital 100 review

An affordable, high-performing air purifier that cleaned our test room of smoke pollutants in 49 minutes vs the 40 minutes of the cheaper Core 300
By
Updated on November 14, 2023
Written by
Danny Ashton
Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers and indoor air quality since 2010. He is our lead tester, conducting all the tests we use to evaluate air quality products. That is why you will always see his name attached to our reviews.

Our verdict

The Levoit Vital 100, on paper, according to it’s lab-reported CADR, is only a little less powerful than the Core 300. Still, in our real-world performance test, the Levoit Vital 100 took much longer to remove the pollutants, taking 49 minutes vs the 40 minutes achieved by the cheaper Core 300.

 

It’s better to choose the Levoit Core 300 unless you like the look of the Vital 100.

 

Levoit has earned quite a reputation in the air purifier space. Launched in 2016 by Vesync Co. — a publicly traded Smart appliance company, Levoit has changed people’s perception of “cheap air purifiers,” offering features you’d expect in premium models at a fraction of the price. 

At only $96, the Vital 100 is an excellent choice for those looking to clean small-medium-sized rooms, with a unit that packs powerful filters. 

It is designed for rooms of up to 300 ft² and based on its reported CADR and our tests, it is more suited to smaller spaces. 

Its main competitors for your dollars are the Levoit Core 300 and PUR 131, which we reviewed last year.

  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

TL;DR The lowdown on the Levoit Vital 100

“The Vital 100 is good choice for those looking to clean small to medium-sized rooms. However, we still recommend choosing the Levoit Core 300 as it can clean more air for the same price.”
— Danny Ashton, HouseFresh Founder & Senior Writer

Short on time? Here’s our summary of the Levoit Vital 100. 

What we really like

It costs less than $100, sitting in the budget category
3-stage filtration that has a pre-filter, activated carbon pellets and a main filter
No use of ionizer, so zero byproducts created, such as ozone
Modern-looking design that won’t look out of place in a modern home
Easy to use with handy features like preset timers and filter replacement indicator

What we think could be better

Lacks a smart air quality sensor to support autonomous mode
Filters must be changed every 6-8 months and cost the same as those of more powerful air purifiers
No app support or ability to turn on the unit when not in the room

The specifications

The Levoit Vital 100 is a high-performance air purifier ideal for rooms with a maximum size of 300 sq. ft. 

At only $96, the unit competes with budget-friendly air purifiers like Levoit Core 300, Taotronics AP003 and IKEA FÖRNUFTIG. All these units also feature HEPA and Activated Carbon filters and are ideal for small to medium-sized rooms. 

Here are the complete product specs:

HouseFresh Rating:★★★☆☆
Time to clean our test room:49 minutes
Air purifier technology:3-Stage Filtration (Pre-filter for large particles, main filter for airborne particles, high-efficiency activated carbon filter for odors and gasses)
Recommended room size:300 sq. ft.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR):130 CFM
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):12.8 x 6.4 x 16.1 inches (32.4 x 16.2 x 41 cm)
Weight (in pounds / in kg):9.3 lbs (4.2 kg)
Noise level (low – high):23 – 50dB
Filter life:6 – 8 months
Manufacturer’s warranty2 years
Estimated energy consumption:$48.36 per year
Country of manufacture:China

A good looking unit with simple controls

The Vital 100 feels premium with a stylish look that complements home décor.

Its design is closer to that of the Levoit LV-PUR131 than the Levoit Core series, but I kind of like that – we’ve got enough cylindrical air purifiers at home.

The Levoit Vital 100 is a good-looking air purifier and is an easy unit to live with. It is compact, with a simple, glossy shell and rounded corners. Levoit offers this unit in two finishes — white and gray. 

The Vital 100 only weighs 9.8 pounds, so you can easily carry it from room to room as needed. Even though the Vital 100 has a small footprint, it is less compact than the Levoit Core 300:

The control panel is at the top of the unit, similar to every other Levoit air purifier, so that is where you will find the different touch-LED buttons and indicators. 

Levoit has included the following controls with this unit.

  • Power ON / OFF
  • Speed (for adjusting the fan speed)
  • Display (for adjusting the display light)
  • Timer (2, 4, or 8 hours)
  • Filter (for filter change notifications)

Each control comes with an icon and text label, making it even easier for a first-timer to operate the device. Blue LED lights are above the “Timer” and “Speed” buttons, so you can easily see your current setting.

The Levoit Vital 100 can’t be controlled via a smartphone. If these features are important to you, check the newer model, the Levoit LV 100S, which offers advanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone support.

Tip

Keep in mind that smart functions will come at a higher price premium of $139.99 for the same level of cleaning power.

Powerful Levoit filters

Before purchasing any air purifier, it’s essential to know what filters the unit uses and how effective they are in cleaning specific contaminants in your home. 

The Levoit Vital 100 has a three-stage filtration system that tackles particulate at all levels. 

Fine washable pre-filter — a washable filter that traps hair, pet fur and lint

Main filter — filters particles down to 0.3 microns, like dust, mold, pollen, dander and airborne germs but also does a great job of removing smaller particles than 0.3 microns, like viruses.

Activated Carbon filter that uses pellets — Absorbs VOCs and odors. I was pleased to see Levoit use pellet carbon versus the impregnated fabric you see with other brands use in activated carbon filters.

The three-stage filtration system ensures that the system traps virtually all particles. You can quickly clean the pre-filter using a brush to remove any particle build-up, which helps increase the filter’s performance and lifespan. 

Levoit has now removed the use of the term True HEPA or H13 for their filters when Dyson made a complaint to the BBB. Our test still showed that the level of filter they used was able to clean all pollutants of particles sized 1 micron or less. But until Levoit update us, we won’t know the exact filter grade used.

Levoit recommends you replace the filters on the Vital 100 every 6 – 8 months. You don’t have to watch the calendar; the filter icon will illuminate when it’s time for a replacement.

Replacing the filter is simple. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Unplug the unit 
  2. Remove the front panel by pulling it (it’s magnetized, so you don’t need to unclip anything) 
  3. Pull out the old filter using the tabs and remove the pre-filter, which is attached by velcro (this is the perfect time to give that a clean)
  4. Attach the pre-filter to the new filter and insert it the same way you removed it.
  5. Re-attach the front panel.

When you first receive your new air purifier, the filter will be in a plastic bag that needs to be removed before you start the machine. Otherwise, the air purifier will move air around the room, potentially worsening the air.

The Vital 100 cleared our test room in 49 minutes

At HouseFresh, we research CADR ratings and other metrics the manufacturer provides but don’t leave it at that. We perform our own thorough tests to see whether the unit performs as advertised. 

To test air purifiers in the real world, we utilize our home office, which measures 705 cubic feet—roughly the size of a medium-sized bedroom. We burn incense sticks to fill the room with pollutants and use our indoor air sensor from Purpleair to see how quickly each unit can eliminate PM1.0ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3 and PM10.0 ug/m3 particles from the indoor air. 

We keep these conditions constant for all tests, allowing us to compare different air purifiers and see which performs best in removing indoor pollutants. 

So, how did the Levoit Vital 100 perform?

We were impressed by the performance of this unit, considering its price tag. It took the Levoit Vital 100 just 49 minutes to clean the air in our test room.

Air cleaning performance compared to other air purifiers

To put the test into context, check out how the performance of the Levoit Vital 100 compares to other units we’ve tested:

Additionally, the Levoit Vital 100 is an incredibly quiet device. 

Noise levels test results

In our test, the unit produced 50 decibels of noise at maximum fan speed — considered ultra-quiet by industry standards. The IQAir Healthpro Plus hits 69dB at its highest speed.

The cost to run a Levoit Vital 100: $112.34 per year

1. Electricity costs = $30.48 per year

The long-term costs of using an air purifier are essential, especially with the rising cost of electricity worldwide. The Levoit Vital 100 is not the most power-efficient unit we’ve tested, but it’s pretty efficient by industry standards. 

At the maximum speed, the unit pulled 46.3 watts, equating to $48.36 per year at 24/7 daily usage.

In comparison, the newer Levoit Core 300S cleaned quicker at 14.2 watts, and even the older Core 300 was 45 watts at its highest speed.

2. Filter costs = $63.98 per year

Another important factor to consider when buying an air purifier is filter costs. HEPA filters are the most effective at trapping indoor pollutants. Generally, replaceable HEPA filters should be replaced every six to twelve months. 

Levoit Vital 100 filters cost $31.99 for genuine filters, which is $63.98 per year in filter costs and you can find generic filters for $35.80 per year with two changes, which is a much better choice for most people. In comparison, genuine filters for core 300 are $79.98 per year and $39.99 for generic filters. 


Bottom line

The Levoit Vital 100 is an affordable, high-performing air purifier that cleaned our test room of all pollutants in just 49 minutes. Its filter costs are reasonable due to the availability of generic filters, and it’s certainly not worth upgrading if you have this air purifier, as it performed well in our particulate test. 

The Levoit Vital 100 is getting a bit old in air purifiers. While it delivered good results in our test, you will get better performance for your spend with something like the Levoit Core 300 for the same price or the upgraded Levoit Core 300S (for a little extra cost initially.)

SOURCES

We used the Department of Energy’s appliance energy calculator to calculate yearly costs associated with running the Vital 100 for 24hs a day for 365 days. We ran this calculation utilizing the U.S. average utility rate of $0.12/kWh as of March 3rd, 2023.

At HouseFresh, we have been reviewing air quality products since 2010. In all these years, we learned not to rely on manufacturers’ claims and the ever-so-glowing marketing materials. That is why we buy products with our own money, so we can write unbiased reviews after we’ve had enough time to evaluate air quality products in our home lab. Every unit we recommend has been thoroughly tested to assess its performance, energy consumption, and noise levels emitted in real-life environments. If you have any questions about our testing process for different types of air quality products, just drop us an email at hello@housefresh.com.

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

About the author

Danny Ashton

Danny is the founder of HouseFresh and has been writing about air purifiers and indoor air quality since 2010. He is our lead tester, conducting all the tests we use to evaluate air quality products. That is why you will always see his name attached to our reviews.