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The Greatest Air Purifiers for Dorm Rooms

December 15, 2023
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Credit: Amazon, Target

Do you remember the elementary school days when it seemed like your kiddo was getting sick every few weeks from a classmate who brought a virus to school? Thank goodness those days are over, right? Wrong. In college, dorm rooms can feel like a petri dish of stuffy, germ-infested air that can bring airborne infections, such as influenza, measles, or COVID-19. However, with the best air purifiers for dorm rooms, allergens, odors, and contaminants can be limited. 

Below, you can check out our list of the best air purifiers for dorm rooms based on technology, noise level, and design. 

  1. Best Overall: LEVOIT Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier – $219.99 at Amazon
  2. Best for Allergies: Honeywell HP100 HEPA Air Purifier – $115.09 at Amazon
  3. Best Smart Air Purifier: Levoit Core Mini – $49.99 at Amazon
  4. Quietest Air Purifier: Blueair Blue 311+ Max – $227.97 at Amazon
  5. Smallest Air Purifier: Clorox Tabletop True HEPA Air Purifier – $49.99 at Amazon

LEVOIT Core 400SCredit: Target

One of the highest-rated air purifiers is the LEVOIT Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier. Although it’s a bit of an investment, it’s been named one of the best air purifiers for dorm rooms thanks to its functionality and great features. It’s a bit on the larger side, but it won’t take up too much space or would fit well in a larger dorm room or small apartment.

It can detect poor air quality in a space as large as 990 square feet in as little as 10 minutes, comes equipped with three different filters, and lasts the long term. There’s even a three-stage filtration process that traps pollen, dust, pet dander, and more, while the impressively quiet motor won’t wake them up in the middle of the night. 

Tech lovers will also appreciate its compatible app, which is simple to set up, gives air quality indicators, and can be set to a schedule. The display is also great for anyone who prefers to use it without an app. 

The Specs:

  • Coverage: Up to 990 square feet 
  • Filtration system: 3-stage filtration
  • Noise level: 24 decibels 
  • Dimensions: 10.8 by 10.8 by 20.5 inches 

The Pros:

  • Compact
  • App is simple to use
  • Quiet
  • Alerts you when filter needs cleaning
  • Energy Star certified

The Cons:

What Others are Saying:

The LEVOIT Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon. Better Homes & Gardens named it the best purifier overall after testing it in their lab and Popular Mechanics specifically named it the best for dorm rooms. 

Buy the LEVOIT Core 400S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier: 

Honeywell HP100Credit: Best Buy

If your college student struggles with allergies, this model by Honeywell was made for them. It’s part of the company’s Allergen Plus series since it has four air-cleaning levels that capture up to 99.97% of microscopic airborne allergens and particles like dust, pollen, dust mites, and even smoke. With the recent air quality problems we’ve experienced nationwide, it is a great investment. Plus, it can cover up to 750 square feet, so this model will be effective in large spaces when they move on from the dorm room and into an apartment.

The Specs:

  • Coverage: Up to 750 square feet 
  • Filtration system: HEPA
  • Noise level: 35 decibels 
  • Dimensions: 13.9 by 13.5 by 8.9 inches 

The Pros:

  • Reduces allergens
  • Captures 99.97% of airborne particles
  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

The Cons:

  • Only uses Honeywell filters

What Others are Saying:

The Honeywell HP100 HEPA Air Purifier has a 4.7-star rating from more than 30,000 reviews on Amazon.

Buy the Honeywell HP100 HEPA Air Purifier:

Levoit Core MiniCredit: Walmart

If you’re looking for something budget-friendly without compromising on technology or performance, consider the Levoit Core Mini. It does a great job of combating allergies and congestion, and a few drops of essential oils dropped into the aromatherapy pad will make the dorm room feel like home. It also has a small footprint, so it won’t crowd a tight dorm space, and its QuietKEEP Technology won’t disturb study or sleep — or their roommate. 

It has voice control that connects to both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so for the price, it’s an incredibly modern budget buy.

The Specs:

  • Coverage: Up to 337 square feet 
  • Filtration system: 3-stage filtration
  • Noise level: 25 decibels 
  • Dimensions: 6.5 by 6.5 by 10.4 inches 

The Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Quiet
  • Small
  • Effective
  • Includes an aromatherapy pad

The Cons:

  • Not meant for large spaces

What Others are Saying:

The Levoit Core Mini has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon with over 19,000 reviews.

Buy the Levoit Core Mini:

Blueair Blue 311+ MaxCredit: Walmart

If they want to remove particles from the air without disrupting their roommate, the Blueair Blue 311+ Max is super quiet and only produces 24 decibels of noise. That’s only as loud as someone whispering from three feet away! So, it’s a great device for hyper-focused study and uninterrupted sleep.

Small and quiet but mighty, it has a circular design with a 360-degree air intake to cover enough airspace in a dorm room (up to 465 square feet) without taking up too much real estate. It has two filters that team up against all types of air quality issues. One filter removes at least 99.97% of the tiny airborne particles, such as viruses and bacteria, while the other tackles larger particles, such as dust, pollen, and smoke.

The Specs:

  • Coverage: Up to 465 square feet 
  • Filtration system: 2-stage filtration
  • Noise level: 24 decibels 
  • Dimensions: 7.9 by 7.9 by 13.9 inches 

The Pros:

  • Quiet
  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Fast working

The Cons:

  • Only good for small spaces
  • Controls are hard to see

What Others are Saying:

The Blueair Blue 311+ Max was named the best overall air purifier by NBC and Good Housekeeping. The Spruce also named it best for bedrooms. 

Buy the Blueair Blue 311+ Max:

Clorox Tabletop True HEPACredit: Amazon

This model from Clorox claims to reduce viruses and bacteria, capturing up to 99.97% of allergens in its 2-stage filter. The pre-filter catches large dust particles before the main filter covers the rest. It has a whisper-quiet low setting and an adjustable night light so as not to disturb anyone at night. During the day, you can customize its three speeds to your liking. It doesn’t have an accompanying app, but the timer can be set to 2, 4, or 8 hours of runtime. 

All of this is great for a unit with a low price tag, especially since it’s small enough to sit right on a desk or dresser without being in the way. 

The Specs:

  • Coverage: Up to 200 square feet 
  • Filtration system: 2-stage filter
  • Noise level: 55 decibels 
  • Dimensions: 7.5 by 7.5 by 9.5 inches 

The Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Effective
  • Easy to use

The Cons:

What Others are Saying:

The Clorox Tabletop True HEPA Air Purifier was named the best tabletop air purifier by Wired.

Buy the Clorox Tabletop True HEPA Air Purifier:

Dyson Purifier Cool Purifying Fan

If money were no option, this model would be one of the top picks. It’s one of the best air purifiers on the market and has some incredible features, like its powerful fan, easy-to-use app, quiet performance, and undeniable quality. However, at more than $600, it’s just too expensive to warrant it in a small dorm. The Dyson Purifier Cool Purifying Fan is available at Amazon for $649.

Coway Airmega IconS Air PurifierCoway 200M True HEPA

This model has a 2-stage filtration to get both big and small particles out of the air. It can cover a large area, is easy to use, and has a pollution sensor to show the air quality status. That being said, it’s so clunky and big that it’s probably not a good fit for a dorm room. The Coway Airmega IconS Air PurifierCoway 200M True HEPA is available at Amazon for $197.

Clorox Alexa Smart Large Room True HEPA Air Purifier

Since the Clorox company is such a force in household cleanliness, we thought this air purifier would be a rockstar, but the reviews say differently. It does a good job but lacks smart features and the replacement filters are expensive. For the price, you’re better off getting one of the best-performing air purifiers on this list. The Clorox Alexa Smart Large Room True HEPA Air Purifier is available at Amazon for $169.99.

Hi! I’m Belle, an award-winning digital content creator with a healthy passion for all things lifestyle, including shopping, food, fashion, and French culture. I also own an award-winning content creation agency, plus I teach communications at three colleges and universities. My writing and on-camera work can be seen on Better Homes & Gardens. 

For this roundup, I researched trusted websites and read hundreds of reviews to narrow down the best air purifiers specifically for dorm rooms, considering the size of the room, noise level, design, performance, and overall value. 

Credit: Walmart

What to Consider Before Buying an Air Purifier for Dorm Rooms

Since the days of COVID-19, air purifiers have become a popular addition to many households. We’ve now been conditioned to think about indoor air quality and how to improve it by removing dust, dander, pollen, bacteria, and more. 

If you think an air purifier is necessary for your college student, there are a few things to consider:

Type: Not all air purifiers remove the same impurities from the air. Some are made with HEPA filters, which trap particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. Others may use carbon filters to remove odors and chemicals. You’ll want to choose the type that works best for your individual needs.

Size of the room: Some air purifiers are engineered to filter out large spaces and some are only capable of handling smaller ones. Every model on our list is perfect for a dorm room. But if you want the air purifier to grow with your child’s space, you may decide to invest in one that handles large spaces up front. 

Size of the purifier: Don’t forget that space is limited in a dorm room! If the room is tiny, you might want to buy a mini air purifier so it doesn’t have to take up floor space or get in the way too much. 

Noise levels: If you have a light sleeper or someone who needs dead silence to study, knowing what level of noise your air purifier puts out is important. It’s also respectful to their roommate!

Do You Need an Air Purifier in a Dorm Room?

While it may not be absolutely necessary to equip your college student with an air purifier for their dorm, there are many benefits to investing in one. 

If allergies or asthma are of concern, having an air purifier can significantly improve air quality to help alleviate symptoms. It’s also not a bad idea to pick one up if the room is in an area with poor air quality or if it has poor ventilation. 

The type of dorm room could also sway your decision.

  • Jack and Jill: In this style of dorm room, each student typically has their own bedroom with a full bathroom to share. In this smaller space, an air purifier is encouraged. 
  • Suite-style: In a suite space, you’re most likely to find one small bathroom shared by six to ten people. An air purifier would be good to put in a shared hallway because so many bodies share one space. 
  • Hall-Style: The bathrooms in a hall-style dorm are typically set up in a community style, which means that the entire floor will share a bathroom. But to keep their own room clean, buying an air purifier could be helpful.  

What Are Air Purifiers Good For?

Air purifiers filter out impurities in the air like dust, mold, allergies, bacteria, and odors, so your lungs don’t have to do all the heavy lifting. The result is clean air to inhale, so they’re less likely to get sick and can breathe easier.

For allergy sufferers, this can be a life saver. For a college student with a roommate who has stinky feet, it can also “save lives”!

How Do You Clean an Air Purifier Filter? 

If you have a filter that requires cleaning, check the manufacturer’s guidelines to make sure you are doing it right. This filter should be cleaned and thoroughly dried every 6 to 12 months according to the directions. Some may also need replacements every so often.

Don’t forget to give your child a tutorial so they know how to do it when they’re away from home!

Should an Air Purifier Be on the Floor?

It has been recommended by some specialists to place air purifiers on the floor in high-traffic areas since that’s where most pollutants gather. Others believe that elevating the device allows it to filter airborne particles near the ceiling better.

In the end, it depends on your aim and what your child’s needs are. Someone with daytime allergies may find elevating the device a better idea while someone else more concerned with odors may choose to place their air purifier on the floor next to shoes and dirty laundry. But where it goes might come down to the space of the dorm room and where you can fit the air purifier.

Prices were accurate at time of publication.

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