When it comes to air filtration, the two most common types of filters are HEPA and ULPA. HEPA filters are 99.97% effective at trapping particles 0.3 microns in diameter or more, while ULPA filters are even more effective, removing particles of 0.12 microns or more in diameter with 99.9% efficiency. But which one is better?To answer this question, we tested over 50 air purifiers and found that the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty is the best of them all. It is powerful enough to use in a large room, quiet enough to sleep nearby, designed to last for years, and economical enough to be installed in multiple rooms.
The Coway Airmega 200M is practically identical to the Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty in every important way, with the only difference being its square grille instead of a round one. The Levoit Vital 200S also matched the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty in performance tests, and both are very similar in terms of energy efficiency, noise emission, and ability to turn off the screen while maintaining the chosen fan configuration. In conditions where air quality is poor, such as when an area is affected by a nearby wildfire, we recommend running air purifiers at a high temperature for one hour and then setting them to low or medium temperature to create and maintain clean air in the home. After burning 15 wooden matches (to create an initial heavy load of fine smoke particles), we tested this method with the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty and the Airmega 400 for three hours, one hour at high temperature, followed by two at medium temperature. The fact that it has maintained its high performance even with overused filters gives us confidence in its long-term performance. Particles from the work environment enter the RESPA air intake port and are impacted and trapped in the filter fibers.
The prefilter traps larger particles, such as pet hair, and keeping it clean helps the HEPA filter work unhindered on fine particles. If you were to use the HEPA test on a 95% ASHRAE air filter, it would have an efficiency of around 50% on 0.3 micron particles once they have been charged with dust. We calculated the hourly air changes, or ACH, that they can provide in hypothetical rooms of 150, 350, and 500 square feet (assuming a ceiling height of 8 feet). In its medium configuration (speed three over five), the Air Mini+ reduced smoke levels by only 58.7%, compared to 92.6% for the Levoit. So which air filter is better than HEPA? The answer is ULPA filters.
They are more effective than HEPA filters when it comes to trapping smaller particles and can provide better air quality in your home or office. However, if you want a reliable air purifier that will last for years and provide excellent performance even with overused filters, then we recommend going with either the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH Mighty or Levoit Vital 200S.