Levoit 600S: two-minute review
Air purifiers are designed to remove dust, dander and dodgy odours, leaving you with a fresher smelling and healthier home. In the height of summer, or faced with an overly-heated home you soon start to notice the whiff of other people and pets.
They differ from fans, which waft the air around at speed, creating a cooling effect, instead extracting impurities and particulates that cause smells and cause germs. An electrostatic or fabric filter captures these as they are blown towards them by the air purifier’s gentle fan mechanism and, as with the Levoit 600S model, are collected in a disposable bag at the bottom of the device. Once cleansed, the air is sent back out into the room, leading to a fresher atmosphere.
The Levoit 600S promises to filter as much as 99.97% of PM2.5 particles (particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometre diameter). This covers the fine dust, pollen and pet hair as well as road traffic pollution and pollen. These can all irritate and, in the longer term, damage the lungs and impact respiratory function. Levels of less than 12μg/m3 should pose no health issues, and we were pleased to find that the existing levels in the first of the two properties in which we tested out the air purifier were already below this figure.
When things get whiffy or lingering sprays have been applied, the Levoit 600S is capable of changing the air in a 147m sq room twice an hour. This is a lower rate of air change than the best air purifiers TechRadar reviewed recently but is plenty for all but larger rooms or the most persistent smells and pollutants.
Although the 600S can be operated directly using the on/off button on the top, the VeSync app provides far more control, showing current PMS levels and the air quality steadily improving as its four-speed fan whips everything through its HEPA and carbon filters to remove airborne nasties. Both the LED on top of the unit and the app give real-time PMS readings and offer one-touch fan adjustments. The app adds scheduling and light-sensing options, making it ideal for use in a bedroom where the fan will automatically reduce in power so you can drop off to sleep.
Levoit 600S: price and availability
- How much does it cost? £299.99 (about $360, AU$574)
- When is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Available in the UK
The Levoit 600S is available from Amazon UK for £299 (about $360, AU$574). A £50 discount voucher is currently active, bringing the price down to £249). Although you won’t need a replacement filter immediately, if you like to be organised you can get ahead by adding this £69.99 consumable or a pet allergy version for £101 to your online shopping cart.
This model launched last year in the US, but Amazon notes the current unavailability of the Levoit 600S model (although both branded and third party replacement HEPA filters are for sale there), while Australia has only the filters for sale.
- Value: 4 / 5
Levoit 600S: Specs
Levoit 600S: Design
- Large but lightweight unit
- Useful status indicator lights
- Whisper-quiet fan
The imposing but elegant Levoit 600S seems to take up more room than its stated 60cm height suggests. While its 300S stablemate sits happily and fairly unobtrusively on a kitchen countertop, the 600S model is a real presence. Placed alongside our microwave, it dwarfed it. If space is at a premium, you will probably want to store it out of sight and bring it out for specific use rather than keeping it on standby. We found this particularly true when we were in the more cramped environment of our terraced home.
However, the curved design and off-white finish are stylish, and the materials sturdy. And, while it weighs 6.2kg, it feels far lighter. The well-positioned recessed handles on either side of the upper section also make it easy to move around.
Looks-wise, the Levoit 600S is smart with a sleek curved body and large fan blades covering the top. In the centre of the fan are the Levoit 600S’ controls and options to change the fan speed, set a timer, check on the filter and current air quality, and determine whether it is connected to Wi-Fi or using Bluetooth for the associated VeSync app. The lower half of the purifier features a fretwork effect, and contains the filter and the bag into which particles sucked in by the fan are deposited.
Setup involves twisting apart the top and bottom halves of the air purifier’s body, extracting the filter that it comes with from inside, and removing its packaging before popping it back in place. There is a bright yellow sticker on the top of the unit that prompts you to do this before use. The two halves of the unit then click to lock together. It doesn’t matter which way round the top half faces, but the corners need to align with the corresponding corners on the bottom half, a simple enough process.
Although the Levoit 600S is a freestanding unit with no external moving parts, it needs space to operate so it doesn’t overheat. It should, therefore, be placed around 40cm away from the nearest walls. The power cable is more than a metre long, which is ample to accommodate this requirement.
Once switched on, the Levoit 600S can be used either manually using the controls on top, or via the VeSync app. Each of the on-device controls lights up when you touch them, with multiple presses used to increase or reduce the fan speed.
- Design: 4.5 / 5
Levoit 600S: Performance
- Effective dust and dander removal
- Quickly gets rid of aerosol particulates
- Less effective on kitchen odours
I tested the Levoit 600S in both an open plan 1960s detached house and a 1930s terraced house, the latter home to two asthmatics and a cat who is less than impressed at the ongoing renovations. The contrasting challenges were larger rooms with carpets, lots of upholstered furniture, and the odours associated with the older generation versus the renovation dust and the pet dander of our London home, which has wooden floors and tiles throughout.
Both have open plan kitchens where food is often oven-baked or prepared on a hob. I tested the changing air quality while sauteing a variety of vegetables as well as frying fish and meat, and noted whether having the window adjacent to the cooker made much difference to the rate at which the air purifier cleaned the air.
To set up the Levoit 600S air purifier, I first installed the VeSync app (iOS and Android versions are available). Next, I switched on the device and pressed the on/off switch on top until the Wi-Fi icon flashed blue. It was then recognised by the app and the two paired over Bluetooth. Next, the app searched for my home Wi-Fi network and prompted me for a login and password.
Although it accepted my previously registered email address, it doesn’t actually want you to provide the password for your VeSync app at this stage and is really after your Wi-Fi password. This tiny misunderstanding took moments to correct. Once connected, you will need to keep the VeSync app open as the firmware is updated. However, the 600S will start operating as soon as it’s connected to Wi-Fi, with its internal fan working at its level 4 maximum rotation speed.
Once the app has updated the firmware, you will be able to adjust the duration and schedules. You will also be shown the current air quality status based on the level of PM2.5 particulates it detects. What is not quite as apparent is that this screen also gives you the option to change the fan speed.
Sitting across the room, I found the Levoit 600S giving off a gentle rhythmic hum that was noticeable but unlikely to upset all but the most sound-sensitive family member. It hums along gently, with an unobtrusive decibel rating of less than 40 on the slowest speed setting and no more than 64dB when it kicks into its top speed rating and then settles at around 52dB. The ambient background noise in the room prior to switching on the air purifier was 38dB, so it barely disturbs the tranquillity.
Even my sound-sensitive mum was untroubled by its operation at the lower fan settings, but pleased with the improved room freshness after 30 minutes of use. Blasting Febreze at the fan itself for a sustained 10 seconds filled the room with choking levels of air freshener, but the purifier removed the lot in 12 minutes at setting 3 (of 4), while our comparison on opening the patio doors and other windows wide had no discernible effect after the same period.
I also found the Levoit 600S effective in removing dust from the air after a weekend of DIY, taking less than 20 minutes to clear the hallway and landing of visible particles. Sharing a home with a cat, I also appreciated it filtering stray hairs and slight odours.
However, it impressed me less when it came to removing cooking smells and signs of domesticity: the kitchen levels were modest before I began frying and sautéing, and the purifier was not much better than the overhead fan and an open window for this use. Given the 600S’ larger dimensions, we would no doubt choose its smaller sibling for this room in any case.
- Performance: 4 / 5
Levoit 600S: App
- Provides full control over the 600S
- Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls
- Strong scheduling and light sensing features
The VeSync app is well-designed with attractive graphics in calming shades of blue and turquoise. It provides a visual guide when setting up the Levoit device and has a user manual that you can access from its side menu.
You can control every aspect of the air purifier once installed, with options to adjust the fan speed, schedule days and times for it to operate, change air quality levels that will trigger it automatically switching on and on, and activate a light sensing feature that seems aimed at use in a bedroom. The rationale here is that the gentle hum of the fan helps promote sleep, especially once the air is duly freshened, so you can nod off without the interruptions from an asthmatic or cat-allergy wheeze.
The VeSync app is free to install and also works with Alexa as well as Google Assistant. This gives access to voice control options should you want to prompt your air purifier to go about its business without having to reach for your smartphone. I tried each of these without issue, finding the option to turn the fan off using a voice command useful when the phone rang while the 600S was clearing the air in the kitchen after cooking and I wanted to settle in for a chat.
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How I tested the Levoit 600S
- I used the Levoit Core 600S air purifier and the VueSync app for 10 days
- Trialed it in two homes: one open plan; one a terraced house
- Substances purified included pet odour, cooking smells and air freshener
I used the Levoit 600S air purifier in a number of different rooms, finding it particularly efficient at clearing the odours from a downstairs room that doubles as an elderly person’s bedroom. Being able to effectively cleanse this room of telltale odours associated with ageing, as well as Febreze and other masking sprays that disguise them was a good test since we had lots of visitors during the week in which the 600S was installed there. I react badly to perfumes and sprays due to asthma, so quickly clearing these smells was critical to me too. I continuously sprayed the aerosol contents at the purifier fan until the PM levels rose above 150 before switching on the unit to begin clearing the particulates.
With one family member being particularly sound-sensitive, being able to instantly dial down the fan setting such that she was undisturbed by the fan was vital. I also tested the unit while frying food and after making toast, as well as setting the Levoit 600S to automatically purify the landing of my own home during and after stripping paint from the stairs and sanding them down. I used a decibel meter app on my phone to measure how loud the fan was at various settings.
I compared the effects of simply allowing the air to clear naturally by opening windows either side of the room with the performance of the 600S, timing both to see how long it took for the PM level to drop below 12.
To test the air purification monitoring and speed, I sprayed heavy particulate aerosols (dry shampoo and deodorant) while the purifier was in Auto mode. This mode detects changes in the room and sets the fan speed accordingly.
I lit a scented candle next to the purifier and also positioned it in the kitchen while frying and grilling different meat and vegetables. I measured the volume with a mobile phone decibel meter.
Read more about how we test
First reviewed October 2023