/>
X
Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

Levoit Vital 200S review: The smart air purifier that helped save our holiday plans

This plug-and-play Levoit Vital 200S smart air purifier came through at a time where our family needed it most, and it did not disappoint.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer on
Reviewed by Kelsey Adams
levoit-vital2.jpg

Levoit Vital 200S

4 / 5
Very good

pros and cons

Pros
  • Control via mobile app
  • Extremely simple setup
  • In-app air quality monitor
  • Pet setting for dander
  • Quiet, yet powerful
  • At least a year of filter life
Cons
  • Large footprint
  • Have to use a standalone app for it
  • No plans to make it Matter-enabled

Levoit has just released a powerful, H13 True HEPA filter, smart air purifier in the Levoit Vital 200S. It promises to remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 micron, including bacteria and viruses. This air purifier, just launched at a price of $190, hasn't had a day off in our home since I set it up and my only regret is that I don't have another one (or two) upstairs. 

Specifications

Power supply 24V --- 2.5A
Rated power 50W
CADR (CFM) 245 CFM / 416 m3/h
Noise level 24-54dB
Dimensions 15.6 x 8.5 x 19.8 inches
Weight 13.2 lbs
Fan speeds 4
Sleep mode Yes
Pet mode Yes
Connectivity Wi-Fi

Christmas 2022 was shaping up to be the best one in years for our family. We've been finally getting back to normal and were preparing to host my entire side of the family for the holiday. 

Levoit Vital 200S
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The kids had been excited about seeing their cousins since we told them about it at Thanksgiving, we were going to make Christmas cookies and build a gingerbread house, we had tickets for the Nutcracker, it was even our first Christmas with a fireplace for the big man in red to squeeze through. I spent weeks telling my kids this was going to be a great Christmas. 

Until we all tested positive for COVID-19 just nine days before our first guests were due to arrive. It was deflating.

Why I got an air purifier

Levoit Vital 200S
Levoit

As we were recovering from our first bout with this infamous virus, my extended family was scrambling to reschedule travel plans. We decided to postpone our Christmas plans to have our family visit for New Year's instead, hoping we'd all test negative by then, which we did.

Negative tests achieved, though still treading through a river of amoxicillin and vitamin C to battle two COVID-19 pneumonias and a sinus infection, I went into a disinfecting spree. I disinfected every high-touch area and surface in my home; which sounds like overkill, but I didn't want to risk any one of our visitors touching contaminated surfaces and getting sick. 

Vital 200S Air Purifier
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The Levoit Vital 200S air purifier arrived as my obsessive cleaning was peaking, and, with the number of visitors growing to 12, plus my family of five, I figured I'd set it up in my living room, which is where we all gathered. 

Running an air purifier isn't going to protect people from COVID-19. However, air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses and bacteria, in small spaces, and the EPA states that "filtration can be part of a plan to reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors."

Adding the Levoit Vital 200S air purifier to try and help save our holiday could, at best, be a helpful measure and, at worst, couldn't hurt. 

Air quality is a big deal for me; I lived in the Northwest for 10 years and endured many summers stuck indoors due to poor air quality from surrounding wildfires. At home, I always change my air filters at least every three months and, now that I live in a 1999-built home, I do it at least every other month or monthly. We also changed our air filters after testing negative. 

Unboxing the Levoit Vital 200S

Once everything was disinfected to my anxiety-induced standards, I went to unbox and set up the new air purifier. 

Levoit Vital 200S and manual
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The Levoit Vital 200S comes with everything you need in the box. Once I took it out, It was a matter of removing the included HEPA filter from the packaging, popping it in, and snapping the front cover on. After that, you just plug it in and turn it on.

As I mentioned, I set it up in my living room as that's the place where we'd be the most, but with an open-concept first floor, the coverage area is roughly 1,000 square feet, give or take. 

Also: The best home automation system

The Levoit Vital 200S air purifier is not a small and dainty unit by any means; it measures 15.6 inches wide with a depth of 8.5 inches, and it's 19.8 inches tall, and weighs 13.2 pounds. But it's not a boxy eyesore; though large, it is mostly a discreet white, with the exception of the black display at the top and a U-shaped large air inlet, designed to improve the performance of the air cleaner and to more easily absorb hair and large particles.

black and white puppy sniffing the Levoit air purifier against a wall

My puppy was curious about this device that promises to help with pet dander and hair.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The touch panel at the top has the controls for turning the air purifier on and off, fan speed, timer, Auto and Sleep mode, display lock, and display off; as well as indicators for air quality, fan speed, check filter, Wi-Fi, and a light sensor.

The HEPA filter at work

A dog lying on carpet next to the air purifier with a visualization of air coming and going out

The airflow where the air enters (white) and leaves (blue).

Levoit

This air purifier features a three-stage filtration filter to extend the life of the H13 True HEPA filter sandwiched inside. The device pulls air from the front of it, and rushes it through the three-stage filtration system, then releases it through the top.

There's a washable pre-filter first, designed to capture large particles like pet hair, dust, or lint. This pre-filter can be removed every two to four weeks, gently vacuumed with a vacuum hose to remove the dust, and hand-washed with a mild detergent and rinsed. Once dry, it can be placed back in the purifier.

Man rinsing a Levoit Vital 200S prefilter in a sink as a cat watches
Levoit

Then comes the HEPA filter, built to catch 99.97% of particles in the air, including smaller dust particles and bacteria and viruses. This H13 True HEPA filter only needs to be replaced once a year when used regularly, so you won't have to worry about spending money on a new one every few months. A replacement H13 True HEPA filter costs $50.

The final stage of filtration is a high-efficiency activated carbon filter to remove smoke, fumes, and smells from the air. It also filters formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and VOCs.

RoomSizeFiltration timeAir change per hour
Standard bedroomUnder 380 sq ft12 minutes5 ACH
Standard living room380-950 sq ft30 minutes2 ACH
Large roomUp to 1,900 sq ft 60 minutes~1 ACH

This three-stage filtration system on Levoit's Vital 200S makes it possible to the appliance to purify a standard, 380-square-feet room in just 12 minutes, a standard living room of up to 950 square feet in 30 minutes, and larger areas of up to 1,900 square feet in only 60 minutes.

When I set this up initially, I realized two things: It circulates the air in the room very quickly, making the air feel cleaner and lighter, and it's extremely successful at eliminating odors.

Levoit pre filter

You can see dust that accumulated on the pre-filter in just a couple weeks.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

I'm big into cooking and baking, and made a large dinner party on New Year's Eve for all 17 of us in my tiny kitchen. If you had seen the amount of food my dad and I put out you'd be thinking the smells would linger in my furniture or clothing, but you'd be mistaken. 

This air purifier successfully removed the food smells from all that cooking in about 3 hours. Once the food was put away and the Vital 200S had been running for a couple of hours, there were no lingering smells when you came in the house. 

What is air change per hour (ACH)?

There are several ways to measure how effective an air purifier is at cleaning the air in a room, as well as what capacity or size of room it can handle and how quickly it does the job. Air change per hour, or ACH, is the rate of how many times all of the air in a room or area can be changed or purified in one hour.

The measure assumes an 8-foot-tall ceiling, which means that the ACH rate will increase for smaller rooms and decrease for larger rooms. 

The Levoit Vital 200S can purify the air in a standard bedroom under 380 square feet in 12 minutes, but this doesn't mean it's not effective in a large room. It can still purify the air in larger spaces, it will just take a longer time to do it. 

Connecting to Wi-Fi

Levoit air purifier against a wall
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

As a smart air purifier, the Vital 200S is Wi-Fi-enabled, and surprisingly easy to set up. To connect this air cleaner to the Wi-Fi, just download the VeSync app and follow the prompts on the screen. It took me all of 2 minutes to add this air purifier to the app. 

Also: Smart home trends at CES: Matter integration and more

While I don't enjoy using a separate app for each smart device in my home, I try to keep an open mind when trying something new. This smart air purifier, while compatible with Alexa and Google Home, isn't compatible with HomeKit. Since I can't use it in the Apple Home app, I have to open the VeSync app to control it. 

Vital 200S Air Purifier showing the curved gap

Vital 200S Air Purifier from the side.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The VeSync app gives you controls over the air purifier, letting you see the indoor air quality, set the fan to one of the four available speeds, Auto, Sleep or Pet Mode, or set schedules and timers. It also has other settings for the display, like light detection to turn off the display during the night, even while the fan is running; display lock; and other settings to customize Auto and Sleep modes. 

Connecting it to Wi-Fi also means you can connect it with either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for voice control. We named our Vital 200S "Air cleaner" in the app, so we can just ask Alexa to turn it on, adjust the fan speed, change the mode, or turn the display on or off. Even though it's not HomeKit-compatible, even our bilingual extended family bosses Alexa around at this point.

Air Quality monitoring

Indoor air quality on VeSync app
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The feature I love the most about the VeSync app is the Indoor Air Quality data: You can find the real-time air quality status or historical data, and see charts with how the air quality has changed over the days. 

The built-in AirSight Infrared Dust Sensor automatically takes air quality readings to determine if the air quality is Very Good, Good, Moderate, or Bad. 

The air quality in our living room has stayed within the Very Good range, with the exception of the one night when my husband accidentally included a stowaway roll of toilet paper with the laundry in the washing machine. As I was shaking out all the particles of the brand-new, very, very full roll of toilet paper from all the clothing items one by one and vacuuming the dryer filter and floors, the air quality dropped to "Good." 

Toilet-paper-gate happened in the laundry room, a separate room from the living room that is also a good 20 feet away from the Vital 200S. 

Bottom line: Why I love it and what I don't

Vital 200S Air Purifier showing the grille
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The Levoit Vital 200S was one of the reasons I felt more comfortable hosting family and friends just a couple of days after our family of five tested negative for COVID-19. I don't know how much effect it actually had, but along with things like testing ourselves and disinfecting surfaces, it helped my mind rest a little easier knowing I did everything I could. 

Levoit air purifier in the background behind a fluffy puppy

We have more than one reason to keep this air purifier running.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The initial purpose of the Levoit Vital 200S air purifier was fulfilled, but I still continue using it every day. I'm allergic to dust and have OCD -- in a nutshell, I'm that person fighting dust bunnies in Swiffer commercials, just a lot more anxious. Plus, we have a puppy that sheds -- a lot.

It'd be impossible to overstate how much my allergies have improved since using the Vital 200S. I went from feeling constantly congested with an itchy throat to feeling normal in a few days, something that hasn't happened in at least six years. I move it around where I need it, hence why my only regret is only having one, and can tell the difference within minutes of turning it on. It also serves the purpose of eliminating odors every time I cook. 

Though we do have Alexa for voice control, I don't love that it's not compatible with HomeKit, which means I have to open a separate app from Apple Home to use it. I had hoped for plans to future-proof it by making it Matter-enabled, but that won't be the case, according to Levoit.

Considering many air purifier prices run well into the hundreds of dollars, this is a pretty inexpensive option starting at just $190, especially for the large coverage area and the fact that you don't have to buy filters for at least a year. The Levoit Vital 200S is a reliable and effective air purifier that gives you insights into air quality and options for voice control, has a low noise level of 25dB at the lowest setting, and can clean a large area of up to 1,900 square feet in just an hour.

Alternatives to consider 

Editorial standards