Dorm rooms are typically small, enclosed spaces and often shared with multiple people. This means that your college-aged child will spend most of their time in a room where personal hygiene may not be a priority for all students.Dorm rooms are usually tight on space, so which air purifier would be best? Don’t worry, many models on the market today don’t have to sacrifice space to clean the air. Below are a few of our favorites.
- 1 Importance of having the right air purifier in a dorm
- 2 How Air Purifiers Work
- 3 Types of Air Purifiers
- 4 Air Purifier Size Considerations
- 5 Dorm Room Air Purifiers Key Factors to Consider
- 6 Should you bring an air purifier to college?
- 7 Are air purifiers allowed in dorm rooms?
- 8 Do air purifiers help with stuffy rooms?
- 9 Why is it good to have a dorm room air purifier?
- 10 Do air purifiers help in dorm rooms?
- 11 Do u need an air purifier in college?
- 12 How big of an air purifier do I need for a classroom?
- 13 How frequently do the air filters need to be replaced?
First, you’ll want to consider the size of the unit. Depending on the size of your room, and if you have a roommate, you might prefer a desktop air purifier rather than a floor model to save on precious square feet. Or, you may consider a fine plug-in air purifier that goes directly into the wall outlet. Traditionally, dorm rooms tend to be small. A large floor unit might be impractical because it can take up a lot of space.
To help guide your search for an air purifier that best suits your space constraints and budget, we consulted health and filtration experts to learn more about air purifiers and what you need to know before buying one.
10 Best Air Purifiers for Dorm Rooms in 2023：Tested and Reviewed
- Editor’s pick:LEVOIT Air Purifier
- The Overall Best Air Purifier For Dorms:Coway Airmega AP-1512HH True HEPA Air Purifier
- The Fan-Favorite Small Air Purifier:Germ Guardian Air Purifier for Home
- The Best Desktop Air Purifier:LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home
- The Best For Large Rooms & Old Buildings:Pure Enrichment® PureZone™ Air Purifier
- Best medium-sized dorm air purifier:Smart Air S (HEPA + Carbon)
- Best large dorm air purifier:Honeywell HPA100 HEPA Air Purifier
- Cheapest option with UV-C light:Medify MA-40 Air Purifier
- Best space-saver unit:HATHASPACE Smart Air Purifier 2.0
- You can also choose:Medify MA-15 Air Purifier
1.LEVOIT Air Purifier
- The air purifier comes with excellent performance for an affordable option.
- This well-made little purifier works well in a medium-sized college dorm room.
- When it’s in sleep mode, it’s a quiet purifier.
- It’s a compact size, suitable for use as a desktop air purifier.
- It comes with an indicator to tell you when pre-filter or carbon filters need replacing.
- It doesn’t come with smart features (such as auto mode) on the control panel.
- It doesn’t come with extra features, such as an LED display to let you know what the current air quality is.
LEVOIT has claimed several of the best-selling spots for air purifiers on Amazon, making it a fan-favorite brand that reviewers trust. This LEVOIT bedroom purifier is more compact than most but still offers three-stage filtration to remove dust, odors, and allergens from your space. It’s also whisper-quiet at 25 decibels, despite its 360-degree VortexAir technology that starts improving air quality in a matter of minutes. The display lights automatically shut off after one minute, which is especially helpful in a bedroom. Finally, this one even has a built-in aromatherapy tray so you can overcome musty dorm-room smells with your favorite essential oils.
2.Coway Airmega AP-1512HH True HEPA Air Purifier
Purifier technology:True HEPA, activated carbon, and pre-filter plus bipolar ionizer
CADR (CFM / m³/h):240 CFM
Recommended room size:361 ft²
Filter life:6 months
Noise level (low – high):24 – 53 dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):18.3H x 16.8W x 9.6D inches / 46.5H x 42.7W x 24.4D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):12.3 lbs / 5.58 kg
Energy consumption:$168.58 per year
- Powerful performance that rids rooms of pollutants fast
- Despite its power, it can run at whisper quiet volumes on its lowest speed setting
- Unique and modern design
- Powerful performance comes at a cost, drawing 77.6 watts when used on its highest setting
- On the larger side, which may take up a lot of valuable floor space
In fact, this purifier is the most powerful unit on our list of top dorm room recommendations. Boasting not only the highest CADR score overall, but registering the fastest time in our real-world performance tests too, having cleared our 705 cubic foot test space of all pollutants in just 23 minutes.
With a pre-filter, True HEPA and activated carbon filters under the hood, you can rest assured this unit will effectively eradicate pollutants in a room up to 361 ft². Plus, with its additional bipolar ionizer, you can also electrostatically charge particles to make them easier for the HEPA filter to capture, whilst neutralizing harmful bacteria and viruses in the process.
3.Germ Guardian Air Purifier for Home
- Gorgeous design
- Compact profile
- Effective four-filter system
- Slight burning smell
This device has a four-stage filtration system that includes an effective HEPA air filter for removing dust, pollen, and allergens. It has a UVC light that eliminates viruses, bacteria, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Rated at 55W, this air filter is efficient and safe for dorm rooms. However, this device produces a slight burning smell.
This GermGuadian AC4825E air filter has a coverage of 743 sq. ft. per hour, so it’s suitable for both dorm rooms and apartments. A prefilter traps large particles. This device also has an activated charcoal filter for fighting odors. With a freestanding vertical design, this air purifier has a small footprint that’s suitable for desks and narrow spaces. The air purifier is easy to take apart for cleaning or replacing filters.
4.LEVOIT Air Purifiers for Home
- Super quiet performance
- Sleek design
- Compact construction
- Emits a slight burning smell at high settings
This ozone-free air purifier is safe to use in living spaces. It uses an environmentally responsible UVC light to purify the air. This air purifier is also suitable for people with asthma and allergies. With whisper-quiet performance, this device is ideal for nighttime purification. However, this device produces a slight burning smell when the fan speed increases.
This fine Levoit air purifier has three fan speeds to help users change between aggressive purification and quiet performance. It has nine different certifications for safety. The device is quite efficient and is unlikely to significantly impact the energy bill. Its three-stage filtration system includes an H13 air filter, which removes dust, pollen, pet hair, and other particles. An ambiance of blue light instantly transforms the mood in the room.
Also read:Best Baby Air Purifiers
5.Pure Enrichment® PureZone™ Air Purifier
- This full-air filter offers excellent performance.
- It’s a convenient compact tower design.
- It’s fitted with an accurate smart sensor, providing better air-cleaning performance.
- Auto mode will adjust the equipment to clean the air effectively.
- A UV-C sanitizing light helps kill off airborne particles and germs that could prove detrimental to your health.
- It can be pretty noisy when you have it running at its highest speed.
- It comes with a low CADR rating.
- The cost to replace filters in this model is high.
The Pure Enrichment PureZone air purifier blends pleasant aesthetics with effective filtration. It uses a three-stage air filtration system that includes a prefilter, activated carbon filter, and HEPA filter, capturing small and large particles. The air purifier uses a UVC light to remove disease-causing organisms. Its three-speed fan allows precise control. This device is very efficient and has a stylish white finish that will stand out in any room. However, this device is rated for rooms of just 200 sq. ft., so it struggles to clean the air in larger rooms.
This Pure Enrichment PureZone air purifier has top-facing controls that enable users to change settings without a hassle. A delay timer for 2 hours, 4 hours, and 8 hours enables setting this device to switch itself off to save power. The device opens easily, so accessing filters for washing and replacement is a snap. It’s portable and easy to carry around. With a compact build, this device is ideal for small dorm rooms.
6.Smart Air S (HEPA + Carbon)
Purifier technology:H12 HEPA and activated carbon filters
CADR (CFM / m³/h):185 CFM
Recommended room size:430 ft²
Filter life:HEPA filter: Every 9 – 12 months. Carbon filter: 6 – 12 months
Noise level (low – high):23 – 52 dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):14.6H x 13W x 13D inches / 37H x 33W x 33D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):16.5 lbs / 7.5 kg
Energy consumption:$82.55 per year
- Filters that last up to a year
- Operates at just 23 dB on lowest speed setting
- Small size and unique design
- Designed with performance in mind
- No smart features or air quality feedback
- Not the most energy efficient
Despite its small and cute appearance, this purifier has powerful fans and quality filters under the hood that make this unit a force to be reckoned with. It can complete 5x air cycles in an hour within a 430 ft² space whilst removing 99.95% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns in the process.
Focusing on performance rather than fancy features or glossy design has paid dividends for Smart Health. Although it has an old-fashioned dial operation (which makes it super intuitive to use) and certainly can’t connect to your smart speaker, it was able to clear our home office of all pollutants in an impressive 29 minutes during our real-world tests, making it the second-fastest unit on this list.
Also read:Best Air Purifiers With Washable Filters
7.Honeywell HPA100 HEPA Air Purifier
- Incredibly compact design
- HEPA filter
- Shut off delay timer
- Slight burning odor
The Honeywell HP100 air purifier is ideal for rooms of up to 155 sq. ft. This air purifier has a HEPA filter that eliminates small particles and allergens. It has four customizable fan speeds. Its freestanding vertical design occupies a small space, so this device can be installed on shelves or small tables. This device is effective in removing pet hair, VOCs, and odors. However, some units have a very slight burning smell when set to Turbo mode.
This Honeywell HPA100 air purifier has an intuitive control panel, which allows adjusting settings easily. A Check Filter indicator lets users know when it’s time to replace or wash the filters. Featuring an auto power-off timer with delays of up to 8 hours, this device offers effortless operation. It has a dimmer button that reduces the brightness of the purifier’s light as needed. A Turbo mode removes pollutants very fast.
Also read:Best Air Purifiers for Mold
8.Medify MA-40 Air Purifier
- Incredibly powerful filtration system
- Delay timer and child lock
- Stylish design
- Device is loud at high fan speed settings
This air purifier has a high CADR, so it cleans up the air in rooms of up to 1600 sq. ft. in just 1 hour. It’s more than adequate for dorm rooms, and it is also suitable for apartments. The HEPA H13 filter on this model removes particles down to 0.1 microns. However, this device is a bit loud at high fan speed settings. For a unit with an ultra-quiet operation, you’ll want to read our Austin Air Healthmate HM400 review.
This Medify MA-40 air purifier is ETL-listed and ENERGY STAR-certified for efficient operation. It has a durable filter that lasts about 3,000 hours or six months. The air purifier has a touch control panel that allows users to adjust several parameters. A child lock prevents children from tampering with this device’s operation. It also has a 0-8 hour delay timer for putting the operation on autopilot. It has a sleep mode that’s especially suitable for dorm rooms. Users can choose from three fan speeds, depending on whether they want to maximize filtration or minimize noise.
9.HATHASPACE Smart Air Purifier 2.0
- The primary filter in this model is a medical-grade True HEPA-type filter that easily gets rid of odors such as cigarette smoke.
- It’s 100% ozone-free.
- The purifier is fitted with an air quality sensor and a five-stage filtration system.
- It comes with four different fan speeds that can be activated through the control panel.
- It comes with max, sleep, and auto modes.
- It’s fitted with a washable pre-stage filter.
- It’s energy star certified.
- You get a 5-year warranty with this model.
- It doesn’t come with a remote control.
- Filter replacement needs to be carried out often, as the filter life in this model is around 3 to 4 months.
- The cost of replacing the filter assemblies regularly can be as much as $150 a year.
The Hathaspace HSP-002 uses a multi-stage filtration system to eliminate odors and pollutants from rooms, making it a top-rated HEPA air purifier unit. This device is rated for spaces of about 700 sq. ft., making it a good choice for larger dorm rooms, apartments, and homes. It’s good for smoke, odors, VOCs, and much more. The device enables users to control the built-in light as needed. However, the air quality indicator on this device occasionally gets stuck in red, displaying misleading results.
This Hathaspace HSP-002 air purifier has a color-coded air quality display that alerts users about the level of pollution in the room. Its five-stage filtration system includes a HEPA filter to remove air particles as small as 0.1 microns. It has relatively quiet fans, which is good for dorm rooms and bedrooms. An Auto mode enables this device to operate on autopilot. It also has a sleep mode that will appeal to students.
10.Medify MA-15 Air Purifier
Purifier technology:Pre-filter, H13 True HEPA, and active carbon composite
CADR (CFM / m³/h):88 CFM
Recommended room size:165 ft²
Filter life:3 – 4 months
Noise level (low – high):35 – 51dB
Dimensions (in inches / in cm):12.2H X 7.5W X 7.5D inches / 31H x 19W x 19D cm
Weight (in pounds / in kg):5.89 lbs / 2.7 kg
Energy consumption:$46.27per year
- Uses top-of-the-line H13 HEPA filter
- Available in either silver or white
- Small size makes it easy to maneuver around your space
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Not the quietest of air purifiers
- Short filter life
The Medify MA-15 is compact enough to sit on top of a desk whilst being highly efficient at ridding your dorm room of airborne pollutants.
With three levels of filtration, including a pre-filter, H13 True HEPA, and Active Carbon Composite filter, this unit makes light work of capturing dust mites, odors, mold spores, and even microscopic viruses as small as 0.1 microns. Plus, thanks to its powerful fans, it can complete four air changes per hour in a 165 ft² sized space, creating a much healthier environment for you and your roommates.
Operating this purifier is super simple, with fuss-free filter changes and an intuitive control panel where you can cycle through the three fan speeds, set a range of timers, or activate sleep mode. This model is ultra-lightweight and takes up next to no room, so will fit perfectly inside a dorm room.
Also read:best car air purifiers
Importance of having the right air purifier in a dorm
It is critical to think of the best ways to ensure that learners have the best quality of life in their sleeping areas throughout the day. Dorm rooms are most likely to experience more congestion than the home environment.
Dorm rooms are some of the finest places for mold growth and other forms of debris. The common thing about most dormitories is the lack of proper ventilation, leading to poor air quality that may also be attributable to the idea of common bathrooms.
Furthermore, you are frequently visited by other students and friends of students. These visitors also bring along certain tiny debris that might create serious health problems. Technically, the high levels of human traffic around the dorm areas are likely to generate high volumes of debris.Dorms are ideal breeding grounds for bacterial pathogens and serve as home to various allergens especially if there is poor ventilation in a crowded room. An air purifier comes in handy in eliminating the particles that may lower the air quality in your dormitories.
Air quality is key in ensuring that the students maintain good health. One of the best ways to maintain the best air quality around the dorms would be to install air purifiers to help rid the atmosphere of particulate matter that may affect their respiratory systems. Okay, so now you know why its important to have an air purifier in a dorm, but what to do about the humidity and ventilation?
How Air Purifiers Work
While there are many different types of air purifiers available, most units work in the same simple, but effective, method.Air purifiers use fans to move air through a series of filters that work to permanently trap airborne particles.
These devices are both efficient and safe as they don’t produce any by-products that can cause illnesses such as headaches, nausea, or lung irritation.Additionally, the better quality air purifiers include several filters (i.e. air purification stages) to capture the widest range of particles that are known to cause health issues.
Types of Air Purifiers
There are five main types of air purifier filtering technologies that you’ll find for improving indoor air quality:
- HEPA Filter: This is the best and most efficient filter you can have in an air purifier. HEPA stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air”. The best air purifier for dorm room will be one that includes a “True HEPA” filter. If the filter contains the word “True”, then it’s certified to capture 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. That includes most airborne dust, allergens, bacteria, and mold spores. If the air purifier doesn’t have the word “True” attached to the HEPA filter, then it may not be as efficient. For example, a HEPA-type air filter can only capture particles as small as 2-5 microns in size which is a 500-1,500% reduction in efficiency. This is why the best air cleaner for allergies will always include a True HEPA filter.
- Activated Carbon Filter: This is the only type of filter that can capture airborne odors, chemicals, and gases (e.g. volatile organic compounds or VOCs). Those substances pass right through a HEPA filter. Activated Carbon filters contain millions of tiny pores that trap odors and VOCs so they don’t recycle back into the air. This filter can lead to a fresher-smelling dorm room and fewer toxic chemicals in the air to breathe. Poor air quality that’s related to airborne gases and chemicals has been known to cause issues with concentration and memory which is not good any college student.
- Ultraviolet (UV-C) Light: In our opinion, the best dorm room air purifier will include this feature. An Ultraviolet light is a special type of technology that destroys airborne bacteria and viruses as they pass through the air purifier. It uses the safe UV spectrum of UV-C which is safe for humans to be around. However, you won’t ever see or feel the UV-C light in an air purifier because it’s hidden behind the panel. An Ultraviolet light like this can sterilize the air inside a dorm room so that fewer viruses, bacteria, and germs are present that can cause sickness.
- Ionizer: An Ionizer is a special type of air cleaning technology that emits negative ions into the air as a way to clean it. These negative ions latch onto the positive ions of allergens, dust, etc. and weigh them down. This bond causes clumps of particles that are too heavy to remain in the air and are easier to be capture in the HEPA filter. Some research shows that the negative ions produced by Ionizers can boost mood levels and make people feel energized. But at the same time, some people with asthma find that negative ions can cause lung irritation for them, so it’s not the best feature to have if you do have asthma or another sensitive respiratory condition.
- Thermodynamic Sterilizing System (TSS): This special technology destroys contaminants with extreme heat (400 °F). It literally incinerates any particle that passes through the system.
Air Purifier Size Considerations
If you’re wondering, what size air purifier do I need, there are two things you’ll want to consider when buying an air purifier for a dorm room:
Size of the Unit: Air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes, but because most dorm rooms are small-sized spaces with two or more people living in them, you may want to consider the dimensions of the air purifier you buy. The best air purifiers for these types of rooms are ones that are less than 12 inches in width. This smaller size will allow you to place the air purifier on a desk or in the corner of a room without it taking up much space. Buying an air purifier that’s larger than this recommendation could cause the unit to get in the way of your daily living.
Square Footage Coverage: Every air purifier brand and model covers a different room size, which is known as the “square footage coverage”. Some units are built for small rooms up to 100 square feet while others can handle large rooms up to 650 square feet or more. When you’re shopping for a good air purifier for your dorm room, just be sure that it has enough power to handle at least the size of the room you’re living in. You never want to buy an air purifier that’s underpowered for a room. However, you can never have air that’s “too clean” for you to breathe by having an overpowered unit. Any air purifier you choose on this page should be powerful enough to meet your needs on any university or college campus.
Dorm Room Air Purifiers Key Factors to Consider
1. How big is the unit?
Air purifiers come in a variety of sizes. But you’ll want to pay attention to the size, considering that many dorm rooms are quite small. If you have limited floor space, the last thing you want is to create a cluttered environment where you and your roommate have to hop around an air purifier.
Alternatively, if your roommate refuses to have a floor model, you can opt for a desktop air purifier. While these aren’t useful for fully cycling through all of the air in your dorm room, they can be useful for purifying the air immediately around you. This might be a solution for someone who spends limited time in their dorm room.
2. What pollutants do you want to remove from the air?
For the best fit, you need to match your air purifier’s filtration method to the pollutants in the air. HEPA filters are best for dust, pollen, smoke particles, and mold, with the ability to remove airborne particles as small as 0.03 microns in size. If you’re worried about particles like this, check out our page on what air purifier can clean n95 particles if you can’t find a model that satisfies your needs here.
Activated carbon filters are best for removing odors and VOCs. UV light is best if you’re concerned about pathogens — as long as the light lasts for several minutes. Ionizers can help with neutralizing odors, but are not as effective as activated carbons and can also potentially create ozone as a byproduct. If you live with a pet in your dorm room or your roommate has one, consider a filter that can handle reducing pet dander alongside airborne contaminants. The dorm room space that college students usually start with is on the smaller side, so it’s important to clean those particulates.
3. What is the CADR rating?
You want to ensure that you pick an air purifier that’s designed to effectively move air. You should ideally look for a unit with a CADR score that’s slightly higher than what’s necessary based on the total square footage of your dorm room.
4. Is there a quiet setting?
By default, dorm rooms usually aren’t large. This means that if you pick an air purifier that’s too noisy — even in the lowest speed settings — you might find it too loud to run consistently. Ideally, look for a silent air purifier that features quiet or sleep modes, so the fan won’t emit more than 50 decibels while in operation.
5. How frequently do the air filters need to be replaced?
Remember that the actual air purifier unit can last for long periods without needing to be replaced. But the air filters must be replaced regularly. HEPA air purifier filters must be replaced every six to 12 months while activated carbon filters must be replaced more frequently at three to six-month intervals.
6. Is the air purifier easy to use?
Even if you’re incredibly tech-savvy, you still want an appliance that doesn’t require an advanced degree in engineering to operate it. Look for easy-to-use control panels. In some cases, you can even find air purifiers that rely on smartphone apps to operate them.
Should you bring an air purifier to college?
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, then it might be a good idea to bring an air purifier to college. Additionally, if you live in a particularly dusty or smoky area, an air purifier can help to keep the air in your dorm clean and fresh. However, if you don’t have any specific respiratory concerns, an air purifier is not absolutely necessary. ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you want to bring an air purifier to college.Should You Get an Air Purifier For Your Dorm Room?
Are air purifiers allowed in dorm rooms?
Yes, air purifiers are allowed in dorm rooms. And in some cases, these units are even encouraged to have. Air purifiers work to clean the air inside a dorm room and that’s good you, your roommates, and the college campus as a whole.
Do air purifiers help with stuffy rooms?
Yes, they can if you pick the right filtration method. Activated carbon air purifiers can help to remove not just odor-causing particles, but gases and chemicals that can contribute to stale dorm room odors. Likewise, if mold is the source of a stuffy smell, then a HEPA filter-based air purifier is a great option.
Why is it good to have a dorm room air purifier?
Considering that dorms are communal living spaces, there are more sources for odors and unhealthy air quality. A good air purifier can keep pollutants to a minimum and help reduce the risk of suffering from allergies or having respiratory conditions exacerbated.
Do air purifiers help in dorm rooms?
Do you need an air purifier for a college dorm? In one word, yes! According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s research report on 341 college campuses, there are very high levels of formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide in college buildings and dorms.Must-Haves For a Healthy, Clean Dorm Room
Do u need an air purifier in college?
Dorms and poor air quality are an important issue, so make sure you have a high-quality purifier that will remove air pollution and provide clean air all through the school year!
How big of an air purifier do I need for a classroom?
To do this, we first need to multiply the volume of the classroom by 5. The number after multiplying the volume of the classroom (in meters cubed) by 5 is the CADR needed (cubic meters per hour) from a purifier to clean the classroom.
How frequently do the air filters need to be replaced?
Remember that the actual air purifier unit can last for long periods without needing to be replaced. But the air filters must be replaced regularly. HEPA air purifier filters must be replaced every six to 12 months while activated carbon filters must be replaced more frequently at three to six-month intervals.How to Choose a Classroom Air Purifier