The Coway AP-1512HH Mighty is a beast of an air purifier. It’s not the cheapest on the market, and it’s overkill for small rooms, but if you need something with power, and reach, you’re barking up the right tree.

In this review I’ll cover how it compares to air purifiers at a similar price, spelling out who exactly this machine is for, and who should pick another.

Review: The Coway Mighty: Small but Powerful

Coway AP-1512HH White HEPA Air Purifier, 16.8 x 18.3 x 9.6

You’ve probably heard about the capacity already. The Coway Mighty does cover larger rooms than most machines.

The manufacturer states that it can purify air in rooms up to 360sq ft. That’s a decent-sized bedroom (the average bedroom in America is 123sq ft… that was a fun fact to look up for this article!) or a small living room.

What most people don’t realize is how compact the Coway Mighty is in stature. It’s 18 inches tall and it weighs 12lbs.

Usually to cover a large room, you need a tower model. A tower means it’s going to be more visible in your room, and that you can’t put it up on things for fear of it falling off.

You can put your Mighty anywhere: Up on a shelf, underneath a chair, on a bench… you get the idea. Even better, it looks great. If you value aesthetics, you can be confident the sleek monochrome vibe isn’t going to make your place look goofy.

Is There Anything Special About The Filtration?

The Coway Mighty uses four filtering stages to clean the air, which is more than the more common two. It has a carbon filter and a true HEPA filter. The two extra steps a Coway Mighty has are a micro-mesh layer in front of the carbon layer and an ionizer behind the other filters.

What on earth does that mean?

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode

The micro-mesh layer is made of metal and is used to catch large particles, dust, and pet hair. This layer is easy to clean and wash and helps extend the life of the other more expensive filters. This layer is also really easy to just take out and tap so that dust falls into the trashcan.

The next layer is the activated carbon filter. This layer catches larger particles like pollen and dust bunnies that make it through the mesh, but the main purpose is to clean the air of bad smells. Activated carbon is a universal filter and is well known for eliminating odors. In fact, there are some shoe insoles out there that use activated carbon to eliminate the odor of stinky feet.

Next, the air moves through the true HEPA filter. This is the layer that does the real heavy lifting by filtering out dust, pet dander, and even smoke. The U.S. Department of Energy tests all true HEPA filters to make sure they can filter 99.97% of particles greater than .3 microns. That means this filter is good enough to even trap cigarette and cigar smoke.

The ionizer is the last step the air passes through before being ejected back into the room. The ionizer negatively charges the air particles. These negative particles then bond with positively charged dust particles floating in the air, which then become too heavy and sink to the ground. With the ionizer running, you will notice there is more dust on all of the surfaces in the room. So why would you want that?

Well, because the whole purpose of the Coway Mighty is to purify the air! So rather than dust floating in the air to be breathed in, it now settles on the floor, where it can be vacuumed up or dusted.

And it’s here that we find the first possible reason you might NOT want a Coway Mighty. Some people prefer not to use ionizers because they are concerned about them emitting ozone.

We personally aren’t concerned about this at HBS, because we don’t think the science supports concern for this feature. Also because the ionizer can be turned on or off if you do have that concern.
But if this is something you do care about it, we’re not here to judge. (Not in this instance anyway :)) You’ll be better off with a different option and that’s fine.

Fans and Functions

The Coway Mighty has 3 fan speeds, which is important because it means you can select a quieter option for when you’re home, and a stronger one for when you’re not. It also means you can choose the stronger option for times of the day when air pollution is worse; Say if you live in an apartment on a busy road and it’s rush hour.

It also has a timer, air quality indicator, and the choice between auto and eco modes to save on electricity. The air quality indicator is one of the coolest features of this machine. It means you can “test” your air quality when you switch it on, and only run the machine when your air is showing the darkest (purple) color, if you really want to save electricity.

I also love with the air quality indicator that you actually see the color changing from purple through blue as the air quality improves. It’s a silly thing, for sure, but it feels oddly nice to have this visual representation of the cleanliness of your home!

But what’s important is… does it do the job? For this, I’m going to break down into categories…

How is it With Pet Hair?

Given it has one filter just for pet hair, you’d hope it’s good. And by all accounts, it is.
You can read plenty from reviewers with pets who opened their filter compartment after a few days and were surprised at how much hair had been gathered up.

If your room is within the recommended size range, and you’re keeping generally pretty clean around the place (so that the other material like dust isn’t taking up all the filtering capacity), all indications are that pet hair will be no issue for your Coway. Besides, there isn’t a cheaper option that will be better for “pet hair only”.

How is it with Dust? Like for Allergies?

With the high wattage and “high” fan speed, some Mighty owners say it circulates air so quickly it makes them a touch cold!

Here’s the deal with dust.

First, you’ve gotta remember that with the ionizer feature on you might notice some extra dust on your surfaces, but that’s a good thing. That’s because your Coway is getting dust out of the air. But if you don’t clean it up after that, you might end up mistakenly thinking – as some reviewers have – that it wasn’t so helpful and getting rid of dust.

Second, compared to other air purifiers, the Coway is great with dust. It’s got all the possible filters (no similarly priced machine has more or better filters), it has all the possible reach, so that, like with pet hair, as long as your room is within the recommended size range, you won’t have a problem with dust.

Last thing: If you have a particularly dusty room or surface you’ll get the best results by putting it up close to and facing that dustiest part. This way the power of the air from your Mighty can knock a bit of the dust from surfaces up into the air, where it’ll end up being filtered.

How is it with Smoke?

Any good air purifier for smoke has an activated carbon filter. The Mighty has that.

But the most important thing is actually the power. Air containing cigarette smoke particles can – obviously – be denser and heavier. If an air purifier doesn’t have enough power to get that heavy air moving, it doesn’t matter that there’s a carbon filter. Not enough of the smokey air is going to reach the purifier to get… purified. And your air quality won’t improve.

The Coway Mighty has no issues there either, once again, assuming your room fits within the recommended size range.

If you basically get the gist of this review, you can click here to check today's price for a Coway Mighty on Amazon. You might be surprised.

How Do You Use the Coway Mighty?

The Coway Mighty has 5-speed settings; 3-speed settings, auto mode, and eco mode. Like most air purifiers, it has low, medium, and high speeds. The low speed is virtually silent and is ideal for watching movies, reading, or sleeping. Medium sounds like a low white noise. Some people will find this pleasant for sleeping and to use throughout the day. High sounds like a fan running on high and pushes enough air to feel like you’re sticking your hand out a car window. The ionizer can be used at any speed or on auto and eco modes.

The auto and eco modes work basically in the same way, and they are really clever. When on auto mode, the Coway Mighty will adjust the speed of the fan based on how contaminated the air is. There is a little sensor on the side of the machine under a cover. You can clean the sensor every two months or so with a cotton swab to make sure it maintains accuracy. When it’s on auto mode, if it detects clean air for 30 minutes, then it will switch to eco mode and turn off until the air is contaminated again.

This is an extremely useful feature for people who just want to set it and forget it. In auto mode, you can save a lot of electricity and don’t have to worry about fiddling with the settings.
But how accurate could the sensor be? In auto mode, it will turn on if you blow out a candle nearby. That’s pretty impressive! The only downside to auto mode would be if it detected air pollution and turned on when you didn’t want it to, like if you were watching a movie.

On top of the device, there is a light that tells you how dirty the air is. When the light is blue, the air is clean; when it’s purple, the air is moderately dirty; and when the light is red, the air is really dirty. This is a great way to actually watch the Coway Mighty clean the air in your house as the color goes from red to purple to blue.

The Coway Mighty also has a timer so that you can run it for given lengths of time and it will then shut off automatically. The timer can be set for 1, 4, or 8 hours. This is great for people who only want to run their air purifier while they are at work or asleep. It’s also great if you want to quickly clean up just one part of your house. Say you burned a chicken in your kitchen; no problem, just plug in the Coway and set it on high for an hour.

One great feature of the Mighty is that it draws in air from the front sides and bottom and then shoots it out of the top. This is great because you don’t need to be too concerned about where you place it. So long as there is space in front of it and it’s clear over the top, it should be fine. I prefer it when air purifiers eject air upwards; that way it isn’t blowing papers everywhere and the clean air can gently cascade down from the ceiling.

There are two more lights and a button on top of the machine. These are indicator lights to tell you when the two filters need to be replaced. You should only need a filter replacement for the carbon filter once every six months and the HEPA once a year. If you are on top of cleaning and vacuuming your filters, as well as washing your micro-mesh filter, then you can make these filters last even longer.

What Is the Cost of Filters, Where Do I Get Them, and How Often Do They Need to Be Changed?

When you buy your air purifier, I recommend you also buy a Coway replacement filter pack for the Mighty. The replacement filter pack is great because it is one package that comes with two carbon prefilters and a replacement HEPA filter. That is everything you need for a whole year in one package.

With most air purifiers you have to buy the two types of filter separately, and it can get expensive. Coway’s replacement filter pack for the Mighty can be bought at a few places online, including Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon. It usually costs about $50, which is not bad for a year’s worth of clean air.

You can keep your filters clean by vacuuming them with a brush attachment. Just vacuum the micromesh filter once every two weeks, and then vacuum the carbon and HEPA filter every month.

What Is the Warranty?

The Coway Mighty comes with a 3-year warranty.

How Does It Compare?

Coway Mighty vs Coway AP-1012GH

Both of these models are similar in many ways. Both have 4 stage filtration systems with an ionizer, both have a timer, and both have auto mode to detect and respond to air pollution. They are, however, different in key areas. The AP-1012GH has a HEPA filter that lasts three years, while the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty filter only lasts one year.

The AP-1012GH is more suited to people looking for a more intense clean of smaller rooms. The Coway Mighty is rated for 360 square feet, while the AP-1012GH is only rated for 256 square feet.

Coway Mighty vs Rabbit Air

The Coway Mighty and the Rabbit Air BioGS 2.0 have very similar filtering systems. Both have four-step filtering systems that use micro-mesh, activated carbon, HEPA filter, and an ionizer. One of the biggest differences is that the Rabbit Air has a more robust activated carbon filter.
That thicker filter should do a better job of scrubbing bad smells. Another difference is the price. The Rabbit Air is about $150 more expensive than the Coway. The filters are also more expensive, but they need to be cleaned less often.

Coway Mighty vs Winix 5500

The Winix 5500 has one less filtering step than the Coway. With the Coway, you have a micro-mesh that protects the filters against large particles, whereas the Winix doesn’t use the micro-mesh. On the plus side, Winix claims that you only need to replace the HEPA filter every three years. They also say the HEPA filter is washable, but washing will severely reduce performance. I would only recommend washing it once or twice over the life of the filter.

The Winix is also built for spaces of 360 square feet. One thing people seem to like about the Winix is that it comes with a remote that you can use to change fan speed and other settings.

Coway Mighty vs GermGuardian AC4825

For one, the GermGuardian AC4825 is no longer available. So there’s that.

But if for some reason you’re still curious, the GermGuardian uses a slightly different process to filter the air than the Coway. Unlike the Coway, the GermGuardian does not use an ionizer. The GermGuardian does have an extra step the Coway doesn’t have. After the carbon and HEPA filters, the GermGuardian uses UV light to kill all kinds of viruses and bacteria. This is great for people concerned about diseases as well as allergies.

But the Coway beats the GermGuardian on room size, which is only rated for 155 square feet. The Coway also has some features that the GermGuardian doesn’t, like an auto mode that adjusts the cleaning power based on the contamination in the air.

Conclusion

The Coway Mighty is our soon to be crowned Best Air Purifier of the year for 2020. After reading this review, you can probably see why. Its great features, like auto mode, ionizer, and large coverage for the price make it a wise choice for most people.

I recommend the Coway Mighty to anyone with large open spaces and anyone who wants to just set it and forget it with auto mode.

Click Here to See the AP-1512HH on Amazon

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