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The Best Air Purifier for Allergies: Ranked and Reviewed

Best Air Purifiers for Allergies in 2023: Coway AP-1512HH vs Levoit 400S

If you suffer from allergies, an air purifier can make a world of difference in your symptoms and quality of life. By removing airborne allergens like dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores from the air you breathe, a high-quality air purifier will reduce sneezing, congestion, watery eyes and other unpleasant allergy symptoms. Some purifiers can even filter out bacteria, viruses and stubborn odors.

But with so many air purifier brands and models on the market, how do you choose the best one for your needs and budget? Two of the most popular and highly-rated options are the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH and the Levoit Core 400S. Both feature a True HEPA filter, which is the gold standard for capturing microscopic allergens. But they also have some key differences in terms of size, smart features, room coverage and more.

In this in-depth comparison, I‘ll break down all the details you need to know to decide whether the Coway AP-1512HH or Levoit 400S is the better choice for keeping your indoor air clean and your allergies under control. As an air purifier expert and allergy sufferer myself, I‘ve done extensive research and testing to determine how these two models stack up. Let‘s dive in!

Filtration System and Performance

The most important factor in an air purifier‘s ability to relieve allergies is the filtration system. Both the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH and Levoit Core 400S use a True HEPA filter, which is certified to capture 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in size. This includes common allergens like pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander.

In addition to the HEPA filter, both units have an activated carbon pre-filter to absorb odors, smoke, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The Coway has an additional washable pre-filter for trapping larger particles and extending the life of the HEPA filter.

While both air purifiers deliver excellent filtration performance, independent testing shows that the Coway AP-1512HH has a slight edge over the Levoit 400S:

  • In Wirecutter‘s 2020 tests, the Coway reduced particulate pollution by 99.6% on high and 87.6% on quiet/low mode. The Levoit 400S wasn‘t tested, but the similar Levoit LV-H133 reduced particles by 99.4% on high and 67.2% on quiet/low.

  • Consumer Reports gave the Coway a "Best Buy" rating and excellent marks for dust, pollen and smoke removal at high speed. The Levoit 400S received a slightly lower overall score but was rated excellent for dust and pollen (and very good for smoke).

The Coway‘s superior low-speed performance means it will continue filtering the air effectively even when run 24/7 on its quiet, energy-saving Eco mode. But both models offer top-notch filtration that will make a noticeable difference in your indoor air quality and allergy symptoms.

Room Size and Coverage Area

Another key consideration is the size of the space you need to purify. Air purifier manufacturers typically specify the maximum square footage the unit can handle, based on the CADR (clean air delivery rate). This measures how many cubic feet of air the purifier can filter per minute.

The Coway AP-1512HH is rated for rooms up to 361 square feet, with CADR ratings of 246 dust/240 pollen/233 smoke. Coway states it can clean the air in this size room twice per hour on high mode.

The Levoit 400S has a larger maximum coverage area of 403 square feet. Its CADR ratings are slightly higher at 260 dust/252 pollen/244 smoke. On high speed, Levoit claims it can clean a 403 sq ft room five times per hour.

So the Levoit 400S is more powerful overall and suitable for larger spaces like living rooms and open floor plans. The Coway AP-1512HH is ideal for small to medium size rooms like bedrooms, offices, and nurseries.

For very large areas over 400 square feet, you may want to consider buying two smaller air purifiers to place on opposite sides of the room. This can be more effective than one large unit.

Smart Features and Usability

Today‘s best air purifiers offer more than just excellent filtration. Many also have "smart" features that provide greater control, customization and convenience. Here‘s how the Coway AP-1512HH and Levoit 400S compare:

The Coway has an LED air quality indicator that changes color based on the current pollution level in your room (blue=good, purple=moderate, red=poor). It uses this real-time air quality monitoring to automatically adjust the fan speed when set to auto mode. There‘s also a filter replacement indicator light and a programmable timer for 1, 4 or 8 hours.

The Levoit 400S offers those same features plus Wi-Fi connectivity for controlling the unit through the VeSync smartphone app. In the app, you can view your air quality status, set custom schedules, and control the purifier hands-free with Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands. There‘s also a display lock to prevent settings from being accidentally changed.

While the Levoit 400S has an edge in smart functionality, both models have intuitive, user-friendly controls. The touch panel buttons are clearly labeled and easy to operate.

One other consideration is the cost and availability of replacement filters. Coway recommends replacing the HEPA filter annually and the activated carbon filter every 6 months, with a total yearly cost around $50. Levoit‘s larger filters last up to 12 months and cost around $70 per set.

Before buying, check that you‘ll be able to easily purchase authentic replacement filters either locally or online. Using third-party or generic filters is not recommended, as they may be lower quality and impair the air purifier‘s performance.

Design, Size and Noise

Air purifiers are appliances you‘ll be living with every day, so aesthetics and noise levels matter too. The Coway AP-1512HH and Levoit 400S both have sleek, modern designs that blend in nicely with home decor.

The Coway measures 16.8 x 18.3 x 9.6 inches and weighs 12.35 pounds. It‘s compact enough to place on a desk or shelf. The minimalist white body has smooth curves and a black control panel on top.

The Levoit 400S is significantly larger at 22.2 x 10.2 x 10.2 inches and 11.24 pounds. It has a more industrial look with a metal grill and plastic body available in white or black. While still relatively compact, it takes up more space and may not fit as easily in small rooms.

As for noise levels, the Coway AP-1512HH is slightly quieter. On its lowest speed, it produces just 24 dB of noise, equivalent to a whisper. At high speed it reaches 53.8 dB, or about the volume of a household refrigerator.

The Levoit is louder on both its lowest and highest settings, at 24 dB and 59 dB respectively. However, many users find the noise level very tolerable, describing it as a pleasant white noise that fades into the background. And both units are nearly silent when run on low speeds overnight.

Price and Overall Value

Finally, let‘s talk about price. The Coway AP-1512HH typically retails for around $230, while the Levoit 400S is slightly cheaper at $220. Considering their outstanding performance and features, both are an excellent value.

The Coway has a longer track record of reliability, consistently earning the top spot in reviewers‘ tests for the past several years. It‘s received over 30,000 five-star reviews from satisfied owners on Amazon. Coway backs it with a generous 3-year warranty, and many users report their units still going strong after 5+ years of daily use.

As a newer model, the Levoit 400S doesn‘t have the same extensive history of reviews and ratings. But Levoit is one of the most popular, fastest-growing air purifier brands on the market. Their products are well built and they stand behind them with a 2-year warranty. Over 7,000 Amazon reviewers have given the 400S a perfect 5-star rating.

The Coway AP-1512HH is the better choice if you want the absolute best filtration performance in a compact, low-maintenance unit for small to medium rooms up to 360 square feet.

Choose the Levoit 400S if you need to purify the air in a larger space up to 400 square feet and would benefit from the smart app controls and voice assistant integration. It also tends to be priced slightly lower than the Coway.

Whichever model you choose, you can feel confident you‘re getting one of the best air purifiers for allergies on the market today. Both deliver top-tier filtration to dramatically reduce your exposure to allergens and help you breathe easier.

Additional Tips for Controlling Allergies

While an air purifier can definitely help relieve allergy symptoms, it‘s just one part of a comprehensive allergy management plan. For best results, experts recommend a multi-pronged approach:

  1. Reduce allergens at the source by vacuuming carpets and upholstery regularly with a HEPA-equipped vacuum, washing bedding in hot water weekly, and using dust-mite proof pillow and mattress covers.

  2. Keep windows closed and run the air conditioning during high pollen days. Consider upgrading to high-MERV furnace filters.

  3. Bathe pets frequently and keep them out of bedrooms. Brush them outdoors if possible.

  4. Use a dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity between 30-50% to prevent mold and dust mite growth. Empty and clean the water tank frequently.

  5. Remove shoes when entering your home to avoid tracking in pollen and other outdoor allergens.

  6. See an allergist for personalized advice and treatment options like immunotherapy (allergy shots) or prescription medication.

With the right combination of preventive measures and an effective air purifier like the Coway AP-1512HH or Levoit 400S, you can significantly reduce your indoor allergen levels and find relief from sneezing, congestion, and irritation. Breathing cleaner air is one of the best investments you can make in your health and quality of life.