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Review Levoit Core Mini Air Purifier Model LAP-C161-WUS

Review Levoit Core Mini Air Purifier Model LAP-C161-WUS

Breathing fresh air in the home shouldn’t cost a fortune, yet some of the most popular air purifiers on the market today run hundreds of dollars. Enter the Levoit Air Purifier (LAP-C161-WUS), the Core Mini—an affordable model that won’t break the bank.

Jan 09, 2024 · 8 min read

Olivia Langstaff
By Olivia Langstaff

Staff Writer

Levoit Core Mini Air Purifier Model LAP-C161-WUS

I recently tested a variety of the best air purifiers, and the Levoit air purifier performed well enough to be chosen as the best 'bang for the buck' pick in our lineup. To assess its performance, I set up a booth in a closet where I exposed each air purifier to dust, dirt, and smoke. Additionally, I used an air quality monitor to record readings throughout the tests and to document how effectively each purifier functioned.

While the Levoit air purifier didn't claim the top spot in my tests, it demonstrated reliability, user-friendliness, and a compact design that doesn't occupy much space in a small room. Continue reading to discover more about this budget-friendly air purifier and to determine whether it's a suitable addition to your home or office.

Levoit Air Purifier Review

Levoit Air Purifier Review


Removes airborne pollutants in rooms up to 178 square feet

Affordable in comparison to other air purifiers currently on the

Quieter on all power levels than other tested air purifiers


Compact model is not suitable for use in medium-size or large rooms.

Took almost 3 times longer in tests to remove airborne pollutants than other models.

Internal filter comes prewrapped in plastic, which must be removed before use

What Is the Levoit Air Purifier?

Levoit’s Core Mini Air Purifier (LAP-C161-WUS) is categorized as a personal space model, specifically designed for smaller areas. It effectively purifies the air within a room of up to 178 square feet, making it highly suitable for use in a nursery, bedroom, or compact home office.

The cylindrical unit boasts a compact size—measuring merely 6.5 inches in diameter and 10.4 inches in height. While it may not offer an abundance of additional features, it does provide three power levels and a three-stage filter system. This filter includes an outer prefilter, adept at capturing larger particles like pet dander, fur, or hair. The middle layer hosts a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter capable of trapping particles as small as 0.3 microns, accounting for up to 97 percent of these particles. As a point of comparison, human hair has a thickness of about 100 microns. The innermost layer contains activated carbon, effectively absorbing odors like those from burnt food or smoke.

A noteworthy feature I appreciated was a petite pull-out drawer situated near the top of the unit, housing an absorbent disc intended for adding a touch of essential oil. After testing, I added 8 to 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the disc and set the purifier to its Low setting. Within just 10 minutes, the room was infused with the aroma, prompting the realization that one or two drops would have sufficed. A valuable lesson learned: Moderation is key when using essential oils!

Levoit Air Purifier Review Setup

Levoit Air Purifier Review Setup

Testing the Levoit Air Purifier

The Levoit air purifier comes preassembled. However, users must remove the plastic covering from the internal air filter. Fortunately, the device had a prominent sticker on top directing me to remove the plastic wrap before using the machine.

I am fairly dexterous and use a lot of tools, but I found it rather challenging to take the two halves of the air purifier apart to remove the Levoit air purifier filter. I pulled and twisted, and finally, the top half of the case came loose, and I could lift the filter out and unwrap it. It would have been nice to have a button or lever to depress to unlock the halves.

Once the filter was unwrapped and put back into the machine, the Levoit was ready to go. All I had to do was plug it into the outlet and press the "start" button on the top of the machine.

Levoit Air Purifier Review SoundLevel

Levoit Air Purifier Review SoundLevel


The Levoit air purifier is not completely silent, but it is quieter than some other models I tested. On its highest setting, the Levoit generated 42.5 decibels, which I recorded with a decibel meter from 3 feet away. This is comparable to relatively soft household noises, such as a running refrigerator. Compared to some other purifiers I tested that generated nearly 60 decibels of noise, the Levoit was pleasantly quiet.

When I ran the Levoit on its lowest setting, it was even quieter, registering just 20 decibels on my meter. This is as soft as a whisper, and I could easily tune out the sound. In fact, the sound on low was similar to a sleep machine I own that generates white noise. Some users might even find it soothing, unless they are especially sensitive to noise.

Levoit Air Purifier Review Pollutant

Levoit Air Purifier Review Pollutant

Removing Pollutants

In my tests, the Levoit air purifier successfully removed airborne particulates and smoky smells, but it took longer than other models I had tested. That's not surprising because the Levoit is a fraction of the size and consumes less electrical power.

To test it, I used a closet where I had removed all the contents and wiped down the walls, ceiling, and floor to ensure they would not be a source of dust. I placed the Levoit air purifier and an air quality monitor next to each other in the closet and shook a dirty rug above them both. After about 20 seconds, the monitor indicated the particulate matter in the air was in the hazardous zone. I turned the Levoit on High, closed the door, and let it run.

After 30 minutes, I took another reading, but the monitor still showed the air was in the hazard zone. After the Levoit had run for an additional 30 minutes, I checked again, but the air quality was still unsafe, although it was improving. I waited another 30 minutes and took another reading. This time, the air quality was in the safe zone.

The next test was to see how well the Levoit purifier absorbed smoke and odors. I lit five incense sticks in the closet and let their smoke fill it. The air quality monitor quickly climbed to indicate unsafe levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). I turned on the air purifier and checked the monitor after 30 minutes. The smell in the closet was still strong, but the NO2 and CO levels had begun to drop.

After waiting another 30 minutes and taking another reading, the NO2 and CO levels were in the safe zone, and the incense odor was much milder. The VOC level was still slightly elevated, however. In fact, after another hour of testing, the air was at safe levels for all pollutants except VOCs. I ended the test at that point, but it's important to remember that the Levoit isn't explicitly designed to remove VOCs. However, it did get rid of smoke, odor, and particulates.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if the Levoit air purifier is a good fit for the home or office. Personally, I think it’s well worth the cost to keep the air fresh in most small rooms. However, it might not be the best pick for a craft or hobby room if VOC-producing products, such as paints and varnishes, are frequently used. Also, it’s not powerful enough for large spaces, and it doesn’t offer fancy features like smart connectivity, a remote control, or a programmable timer.

However, it’s affordable—at the time of this writing, it sells for about $50 and removes several airborne pollutants, including dust, pet dander, and pollen. I found it to be an excellent value for the money, and it was the only model I tested that came with an Energy Star rating, meaning it uses less electricity to clean the air. If you vacuum and dust regularly, the Levoit is likely to be more than adequate for keeping the air in a small room fresh and clean.

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