Buyers Guide & Information

Best Air Purifiers for Dorm Rooms

We have reviewed & compared the best air purifiers for dorm rooms. These models offer value for students living on campus.

Best Seller

Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier with True HEPA
LEVOIT LV-H132

Our #1 Choice

Blueair Blue Pure 411
Blueair Blue Pure 411

Best Filterless

Airfree T800 Filterless
Airfree T800 Filterless

We often talk about air quality in our homes, but what if you’re currently living in a dorm? Just because you’re away from your usual home to attend college doesn’t give you the excuse to slack on air quality, especially because there’s an easy solution to purifying the air in dorm rooms.

Buying a dorm-room-approved air purifier is a fantastic investment for any college student, especially when it comes to these top 8 air purifiers for dorm rooms reviewed.

Air Purifiers for Dorm Rooms Compared

ModelAreaFilter LifeNoise LevelsPrice
Blueair Blue Pure 411161 sq. ft.6 months17-46 dBCheck Sylvane

Check Amazon

Levoit LV-H132130 sq. ft.6-8 months25-46 dBCheck Amazon
Airfree T800180 sq. ft.N/ASilentCheck Sylvane

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Oransi Finn400 sq. ft.Up to 2 years40-60 dBCheck Sylvane

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IQAir Atem Desk150 sq. ft.1 year20-44 dBCheck Amazon
Germ Guardian AC5350B180 sq. ft.6-8 months<40 dBCheck Sylvane

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Partu BS-03107 sq. ft.3-6 months38-59 dBCheck Amazon
Pure Zone Breeze86 sq. ft.6 months<48 dBCheck Amazon

Indoor Air Quality in Dorm Rooms

It might be surprising to you, but dorm rooms are not all that clean. Actually, they’re filthy, and you might even go as far as to say they’re a petri dish of germs and bacteria. This doesn’t just apply to dorm floors and other surfaces, but also the air.

The air in dorm rooms is just as polluted as the rest of the space, and the EPA says that when it comes to indoor air quality, “the link between some common indoor air pollutants (e.g., radon, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, Legionella bacterium) and health effects is very well established.”

College students are not immune to these pollutants, and poor air quality is a leading culprit of sickness among students.

Focusing on the quality of the air we breathe is more important than ever, but unfortunately, the air in dorm rooms can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. While some college students are more susceptible to respiratory issues from poor air than others, it’s essential for everyone to have clean air, and an air purifier can help.

Considerations When Buying Dorm Room Purifiers

Dorm Room Size vs. Coverage Area

Like other air quality products like ultrasonic humidifiers and dehumidifiers, air purifiers are rated for specific room sizes. One air purifier might handle a quad dorm room with 400 square feet, but another might only be suitable for a 120 square foot dorm room.

Noise Level

Most college students have to learn how to juggle late-night study sessions with early morning classes, and your roommate might have a schedule that looks entirely different from yours. An air purifier should never get in the way of sleep or studying, so choose one that operates quietly. Check the decibel rating for each model, and anything above 52 decibels should be a red flag.

Build Quality & Aesthetics

Obviously, your dorm room isn’t going to serve as a permanent home, but that shouldn’t keep you from making it feel homey. You’ll definitely want to look for an air purifier that fits well within the space and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Filtration System

There are a few different types of air filtration used for air purifiers today, and the best air purifiers for a dorm room will use multiple methods. The most well-known is HEPA-style filtration, which is the most effective and removes up to 99.97% of particles from the air.

Another common filtration method is through activated carbon, which is often used to complement HEPA. Activated carbon filtration is especially great for filtering out chemicals and VOCs as well as bad odors. There’s also usually a pre-filter, which is responsible for catching larger particles before the other filtration media work to remove the smaller stuff.

Particle Removal Capacity

Particle removal capacity is basically just a fancy phrase for how well a purifier can remove particles from the air.

It’s represented by the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), which according to BlueAir, “measures an air cleaner’s effectiveness based on room space and the volume of clean air produced per minute.”

The main thing you need to know about CADR values is that the higher, the better. To give you a better idea of what to look for, an air purifier with a CADR of 376 for tobacco smoke particles will be able to reduce smoke particle levels to the same amount as would be achieved by adding 376 cubic feet of 100% clean air per minute.

Modes of Operation

Ease of use is important for everyone, but it’s especially crucial for college students. A lot is going on during this phase of someone’s life, so changing the air filter on a dorm room purifier probably isn’t at the forefront of a student’s mind. But if it’s easy and the purifier is built with a filter indicator light.

Other helpful air purifier features include Auto modes, programmable timers, washable filters, and maybe even a color-changing nightlight.

Energy Efficiency & Operating Cost

The good news about living in a dorm is that you aren’t directly responsible for paying your electricity bills, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to being energy efficient. Try to go for an Energy Star rated air purifier that shows you’re responsible regarding how you use energy.

You’ll also want to check into other costs associated with the air purifiers, like how often filters need to be replaced and how much they cost.

Price vs. Usage

There’s no need to spend thousands on air purification at this point in your life, so go ahead and choose the affordable option. Even an air purifier that costs $100 can make a difference, especially in a dorm room where the air quality is usually lacking.

8 Best Air Purifiers for College Dorms Reviewed

1. Blueair Blue Pure 411

Our Top Pick for Students
Coverage Area161 sq. ft.
Filtration TypeActivated Carbon
Filtration Life6 months
Noise Level17-46 dB
Air Quality SensorNo

The Blueair Pure 411 is a portable home air purifier that’s an excellent choice for college students. It’s affordable yet effective with a few different pricing options based on coverage area. The cheapest and most compact Pure 411 is suitable for up to 161 square feet, which may sound like a small space, but this is about the average square footage of a dorm room.

Aside from the ideal coverage area, the Blue Pure 411 is great for dorm rooms for a few more reasons. It’s quiet, operating between 17 and 46 decibels depending on the setting, so it will never disturb your crunch-time study sessions or get in the way of a healthy sleep routine. On top of that, it uses very little energy (between 1.5 and 10W), so you’ll be able to call yourself an energy-conscious student.

In terms of the filtration methods, the Blueair uses a 3-part filtration system that captures 99% of common airborne PM 2.5 pollutants like allergens, odors, smoke, mold, dust mites, and dander.

This product has been tried and tested by Wirecutter, and the Blueair company says that “the Blue Pure 411 ranks as one of Wirecutter’s top air purifier picks. Featured in Wirecutter’s ‘The Best Air Purifier’ article, they called the model ‘Small, effective, and attractive.’”

All in all, the 411 on the Pure 411 is worth the investment and can make the air in your dorm room air that you actually want to breathe. Whether you struggle with allergies, asthma, or just want to do your respiratory system a service, this is definitely a worthy addition to any dorm room.

Pros

  • Optional extended 5-year warranty
  • 3-part filtration
  • Approved by Wirecutter
  • Quiet operation
  • Perfect size for dorms

Cons

  • No control panel
  • No on/off timer

2. LEVOIT LV-H132

Best Selling Air Purifier for Dorm Rooms
Coverage Area130 sq. ft.
Filtration TypeTrue HEPA
Filtration Life6-8 months
Noise Level25-46 dB
Air Quality SensorNo

Although the Blueair purifier has great reviews, very few products compare to the LV-H132 by Levoit. Levoit’s popularity is made obvious by their humidifier products, but the LV-H132 seems to be just as well-liked. This purifier uses True HEPA filtration, so it’s basically unbeatable when it comes to filtering technology and performance.

It filters out 99.97% of airborne contaminants as small as 0.3 microns using a combination of pre-filter, activated carbon, and HEPA. This is considered a high-efficiency purifier; it’s constantly working to circulate room air over 4 times per hour to achieve purification as quickly as possible.

The easy filter replacement means that you don’t have to stress when it comes time to change the filter – just search for “lvh132rf” on Amazon for the best price on filter changes. This should be done every 6 to 8 months, depending on indoor air quality, but the built-in replacement indicator reminds you when it’s time for a filter change.

Other notable features of the Levoit purifier is the quiet operation as low as 25 decibels, the sleek design, and the compact size. The only downside is that it’s rated for a minimal coverage area and works best in a maximum room space of 130 square feet, but this isn’t such a big deal for college students living in small dorm rooms.

Pros

  • Amazing value for the cost
  • 20K+ high ratings
  • True HEPA filtration
  • Nightlight setting
  • Affordable replacement filters

Cons

  • Small coverage area
  • Limited fan motor power

3. Airfree T800 Filterless

Best Filterless Air Purifier for Dorm Rooms
Coverage Area180 sq. ft.
Filtration TypeThermodynamic TSS
Filtration LifeN/A
Noise LevelSilent
Air Quality SensorNo

It’s not every day that you come across a filterless air purifier that’s as effective as filtered models, but the Airfree T800 gives its filtered competition a run for their money. This filterless purifier works with Thermodynamic TSS technology, which is basically the concept of using heat to destroy harmful microorganisms.

It’s strong against destroying mold, bacteria, viruses, pollen, and organic allergens. It can even reduce indoor ozone levels, all without the use of a filter. There are many perks to going with a filter-free purifier for a dorm room, like no extra costs for replacement parts, cleaners, sanitizers, or maintenance. You’ll be able to enjoy green, eco-friendly, high-efficiency functions throughout the room with pure, fresh air constantly circulating.

The T800 has been called “completely silent,” so you can bring it to college without worrying about disturbing your new dorm roommate. The heat purifying technology isn’t quite as effective as True HEPA filters, but this is an even-trade considering you don’t ever have to worry about filter changes or cleanings.

Overall, the T800 is portable, compact, and easy to use. It’s also affordable, and you’ll never have to factor in extra time and money for filter-related maintenance (since there isn’t one). The only real downside is that it doesn’t perform as well as filtered units against dust and smoke.

Pros

  • Filterless design
  • No ozone, no ions
  • Patented thermodynamic technology
  • Completely silent
  • No extra filter costs

Cons

  • Not as effective for dust/smoke
  • Takes longer to purify a room

4. Oransi Finn HEPA

Best Tower Air Purifier for Dorm Rooms
Coverage Area400 sq. ft.
Filtration TypeHEPA
Filtration LifeUp to 2 years
Noise Level40-60 dB
Air Quality SensorNo

Tower air purifiers are a great choice for conserving space. The tall, slim design fits well in a dorm room, which is why one of the best space-saving purifiers for college students is the Oransi Finn. This HEPA purifier is ideal for bedrooms up to 400 square feet, so it’s a solid choice for single and double dorm rooms, and even quads.

The stylish tower design has a small footprint and dimensions of 13 x 9 x 24 inches. It can fit easily between a bed and a desk or tucked safely away in the corner of a room. No matter what, you can count on the HEPA filtration to capture dust, allergens, and other solid particles. It uses unique low airflow resistance technology that makes it more powerful and effective than many other models.

This purifier’s noise level can range from 40 to 60 decibels, which is substantially higher than the others. But with greater power comes greater noise, so while the noisier operation isn’t ideal, it’s not loud enough to keep the average college student up at night. However, you might want to look elsewhere if you’re an extremely light sleeper.

The price is higher than other air filtering products on this list, but a few things make up for that. First, it comes with an extended 10-year warranty as well as a long filter lifespan of up to 2 years. Second, the Oransi Finn is rated for larger rooms, and while other purifiers are better for under 200 square feet, this one can handle up to 400.

Pros

  • Amazing 10-year warranty
  • Large coverage area
  • Long filter lifespan
  • High filtration efficiency
  • 2 extra pre-filters included

Cons

  • High cost
  • Loud on high setting

5. IQAir Atem Desk

Best Desk Air Purifier for Dorm Room
Coverage Area150 sq. ft.
Filtration TypeHyperHEPA
Filtration Life1 year
Noise Level20-44 dB
Air Quality SensorNo

Every dorm room has a desk, so why not utilize that surface space with an air purifier like the Atem Personal Air Purifier by IQAir? This small but mighty device can handle up to 150 square feet and is rated for allergens, pet dander, and dust. It’s been called a “revolution in air purification” and can be used on a desktop, in a car, and while you travel.

The Atem isn’t cheap, but it’s the most effective purifier when it comes to filtration. It’s designed for ultrafine particles as small as 0.1 microns in diameter, which comprises about 90% of all airborne particles. Manufacturers of ordinary air filtration systems claim that their systems filter particles larger than 0.3 microns, so IQAir’s HyperHEPA filtration goes above and beyond.

It is proven and certified to filter at least 99% of all particles down to 0.003 microns – the smallest that exists. Some people don’t love that it doesn’t utilize carbon filtration, but this is an easy thing to overlook considering the IQAir HEPA filter’s effectiveness.

The Swiss-made product comes in 2 color options – white and black – and is only 11.5 x 3 x 11.5 inches in size. It’s the smallest purifier on this list, and although it’s not within the budget of every college student, it’s a wise investment. The other good news is that every Atem HEPA filter lasts about a year, while many others are only rated to last 6 months.

Pros

  • Best portable option
  • Stylish design
  • App-controlled operation
  • Better than ordinary HEPA filters

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No carbon filtration

6. Germ Guardian AC5350B

Best Quiet Air Purifier for Dorm Rooms
Coverage Area180 sq. ft.
Filtration TypeHEPA
Filtration Life6-8 months
Noise Level<40 dB
Air Quality SensorNo

So far, most of the air purifiers for dorm rooms maxed out on noise around 46 decibels, but the Germ Guardian doesn’t go above 40 decibels even on the highest setting. This True HEPA purifier uses UV light sanitation to filter out allergens and eliminate germs. The quiet operation of the Germ Guardian makes this a top picks for bedrooms and dorm rooms.

The UV-C light helps kill airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, and rhinovirus. It works with Titanium Dioxide to reduce volatile organic compounds while the HEPA filter traps 99.97% of other airborne particles. The pre-filter is washable, but the HEPA filter should be replaced every 6 to 8 months, depending on the room’s air quality.

This purifier is designed to work in up to 180 square feet, another great feature for dorm rooms, and its stylish tower design rivals the Oransi Finn machine. It comes with all the features you’d expect from a purifier at this price point, like an 8-hour programmable timer, a filter change indicator, and an easy to use digital display panel. The panel is illuminated by an LED light, which is a nice touch but would be even better if it had an optional “off” setting.

While the AC5350B ranks high for noise output and filtration efficiency, it scores fewer points for portability. It’s definitely not the most compact air purifier for dorm rooms, so if you know that you want a purifier to move around campus with you, this 12-pound machine might not be the best choice. The good news, though, is that the tower design has a relatively small footprint of just 9 x 7 inches.

Pros

  • True HEPA filtration
  • UV light to kill viruses
  • Great for reducing odors
  • Easy-to-use control panel

Cons

  • Lacks portability
  • The LED light doesn’t turn off

7. PARTU BS-03

Best Budget Air Purifier for College
Coverage Area107 sq. ft.
Filtration TypeHEPA
Filtration Life3-6 months
Noise Level38-59 dB
Air Quality SensorNo

If you plan on living on Ramen noodles for the next four years, then you probably don’t think that an air purifier fits into your college education budget. That doesn’t have to be the case thanks to the Partu BS-03. Even though it uses advanced HEPA filtration, this purifier won’t break the bank and costs less than $50. It’s easy to assume that a cheap purifier can’t be trusted and won’t actually make a difference in air quality. That’s not the case with this one.

With thousands of reviews to vouch for its performance, this budget air purifier is trusted, not only by college students but also by homeowners. It’s 100% ozone-free, CARB-compliant, and energy-efficient. The BS-03 uses 3-stage filtration – a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter – and these 3 stages work together to capture dust, pollen, smoke, and more that’s as small as 0.3 microns.

One unique feature of the Partu purifier is the fragrance sponge. Add a drop of essential oil and some water into the sponge below the purifier air outlet and enjoy smells of lavender, sweet orange, or eucalyptus as you breathe in fresher air. This is a feature that not many purifiers come with, and it’s a great choice if you’re looking for an all-in-one purifier and essential oil diffuser.

There are only two minor flaws to the BS-03. The first is that the filter needs to be replaced every 3 to 6 months. This isn’t ideal, especially for the sake of saving money, but this filter lifespan isn’t out of the ordinary. The second flaw is that the purifier is quite loud on the high setting and can reach up to 59 decibels, a noise level that’s considerably louder than other dorm room air purifiers.

Pros

  • Essential oil sponge
  • Cost-effective option
  • Lock button for kids/pets
  • 100% Ozone free
  • Affordable filter replacements

Cons

  • Loud on high setting
  • Short filter lifespan

8. Pure Enrichment PureZone Breeze

Best Tabletop Air Purifier for Dorm Rooms
Coverage Area86 sq. ft.
Filtration TypeHEPA
Filtration Life6 months
Noise Level<48 dB
Air Quality SensorNo

Similar to the IQAir Atem purifier, the PureZone Breeze by Pure Enrichment is compact and portable enough to fit on a tabletop surface. It has dimensions of 14 x 8.75 x 8 inches and weighs just under 6 pounds, and sits stylishly on a desk, dresser, or table. It even has rubber feet to improve the air purifier’s stability and prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your tabletop surfaces.

The PureZone Breeze gets some negative feedback about the fact that it uses only 2 stages of filtration instead of 3. However, these 2 stages are still perfectly capable of cleaning the surrounding air. The activated carbon pre-filter and True HEPA filter work together flawlessly to remove up to 99.97% of air contaminants like dust, pollen, pet dander, odors, and smoke.

The small size of this purifier means that it’s only suitable for small rooms. It’s rated for a coverage area up to 86 feet, which of course isn’t much, but if you’re living in a single dorm room, that’s probably about the size you’re working with. For significantly larger rooms, though, you’ll want to go with a different air purifier.

Another great feature of the PureZone is that it “provides a light, gentle breeze as it pushes purified air through the front airflow vents,” according to Pure Enrichment.

To top it off, this is an affordable choice for anyone on a budget, and it’s a top pick when it comes to space-saving features.

Pros

  • 3 fan speeds
  • Space-saving table top design
  • Rubber feet to prevent damage
  • Guaranteed 5-year warranty
  • A great choice for allergies

Cons

  • Just 2 filtration stages
  • Very small coverage area

Useful Tips in Improving Air Quality in College Dorms

While using an air purifier is the most effective way to improve air quality in a college dorm, it’s not the only way. The first step to keeping a healthy dorm room is to focus on the air, and you can do that by:

  • Don’t smoke or vape indoors (this is probably against the rules, anyway!)
  • Keep the room clean and invest in a handheld vacuum for quick tidy-ups
  • Get the air circulating with a small fan or by occasionally cracking a window
  • Never leave wet towels lying around; this can produce mold spores

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Are air purifiers allowed in dorms?

This is an understandable question considering dorm rooms have strict policies on appliances like hot plates, toaster ovens, and space heaters. You’ll definitely have to check with your specific university’s regulations, but most schools allow air purifiers in on-campus housing since they don’t produce heat and don’t overload electricity.

What is the difference between True HEPA and HEPA-type filters?

True HEPA purifiers use true HEPA mechanical filtering technology to filter out up to 99.97% of tiny particles from the air. It can trap everything from pet dander and dust mites to smoke and viruses. HEPA filters have a MERV rating between 17 and 20 and can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns.

HEPA-type filters, on the other hand, and not as effective at filtering out particles. They’re cheap, and you can usually find a quality HEPA-type air purifier under $100, but the MERV is between 13 and 16, and the micron rating is 2.

How do I know which size air purifier to get for my dorm room?

This is actually very simple. Compare the size of your dorm room (if you don’t know it yet, you can contact your university) to an air purifier’s coverage area. To give you a hint, the average American dorm room is around 180 square feet, so look for a purifier that’s fit for that.

Should I leave air purifiers on all day?

Most air purifiers are designed to run 24/7, but if you do plan on leaving it on all day, it’s recommended that you select “Auto” mode so that it can take a rest while the air is clean and kick back on when impurities are detected.

What’s the best way to deodorize dorm rooms?

Buying an air purifier is a great start, but there are a few things you can do to get rid of unpleasant dorm room smells. Wash your laundry on the reg (or bring it home when you visit for the weekend), use an essential oil diffuser, keep Febreze spray handy, and clean out the trash/mini-fridge regularly.

What are some other tips for using air purifiers in dorm rooms?

According to American Home Shield, one of the best tips for using air purifiers is to always go with a HEPA filtration system, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Here’s what AHS has to say about buying the right one:

“Make sure it has the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers’ (AHAM) seal of approval. If you have allergies, you’ll also want to find a model that features a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, which is proven to eliminate 99.97 percent of common airborne allergens like dust mites, pollen, ragweed, mold spores and pet dander.”

Conclusion

While there are many good options for dorm room purifiers available, it’s hard to compete with the Blueair Blue Pure 411. This air-cleaning machine is effective, powerful, and affordable, and its compact design fits well in even the smallest dorm rooms.

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