Best air purifier for dorm room

Now that college is back in session, it’s time to get serious about setting up your dorm room.

This year—especially—it’s important to keep the air in your room as clean as possible so you don’t breathe in airborne contaminants.

And one of the best ways to do that is with a dorm room air purifier.

So if you’re looking for the best air purifier for dorm room, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to pick the best dorm air purifier that can remove particles like dust, allergens, viruses, and bacteria, from your shared living space.

These top units can also reduce indoor odors too, which every student can appreciate!

By choosing one of these best dorm room air purifiers below, you’ll not only feel healthier but also have a cleaner and more pleasant space for you to relax and study.

Disclosure: Home Air Guides is reader-supported. As an Amazon associate and affiliate for several air purifier brands, we earn from qualifying purchases made through the links on our site. Learn more.

Best Air Purifiers for Dorm Rooms Reviewed in This Guide

Here’s a quick comparison chart showing the top air purifiers for dorm rooms. We’ll cover each aspect of these units in the reviews section below, but this gives you an idea of what’s available and an easy way to compare them.

ImageAir Purifier DetailsPrice
SilverOnyx Air Purifier
  • Best overall air purifier
  • Filters: Pre-filter, True HEPA, Activated Carbon, Ultraviolet (UV-C) Light, Ionizer
  • Coverage: 500 sq. ft.
Check Price
Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier
  • Cheapest option with UV-C light
  • Filters: Pre-filter, True HEPA, Activated Carbon, Ultraviolet (UV-C) Light
  • Coverage: 200 sq. ft.
Check Price
GermGuardian AC5350 Air Purifier
  • Best space-saver unit
  • Filters: Pre-filter, True HEPA, Activated Carbon, Ultraviolet (UV-C) Light
  • Coverage: 167 sq. ft.
Check Price
Airfree P1000 Air Purifier
  • Maintenance free for life
  • Filters: None. Uses heat sterilization.
  • Coverage: 450 sq. ft.
Check Price
Alen T500 Air Purifier
  • Good choice with an Ionizer
  • Filters: Pre-filter, True HEPA, Activated Carbon, Ionizer
  • Coverage: 500 sq. ft.
Check Price

Best Air Purifiers for Dorm Rooms List

SilverOnyx Air Purifier1. SilverOnyx Air Purifier

If you’re looking for the best air purifier for dorm room that offers incredible air cleaning power at an affordable price, then this is it.

What makes this unit so amazing is that it not only kills bacteria and viruses but it also cleans your entire air space of harmful pollutants.

The SilveryOnyx air purifier uses a 5-stage air purification system that includes these functions:

  • Pre-filter for trapping large dust particles, allergens, and hair.
  • True HEPA filter for capturing 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns. This includes ultrafine dust, allergens, bacteria, and mold spores.
  • Activated Carbon filter for reducing common dorm room odors that are caused by any number of things, like gym bags, your roommates, cooking down the hall, etc.
  • Ultraviolet (UV-C) light for killing airborne viruses and bacteria. This keeps the air in your room as sterile as possible.
  • Ionizer for additional air cleaning power. This knocks particles out of the air and makes it easier for the filters to trap the contaminants.

Another stand out feature of this air purifier is that the internal filters are shaped like a cylinder.

This design increases the surface area by 60% which makes it much more efficient than standard flat filters you’ll find it other air cleaners.

Additionally, this air purifier can cover a large space up to 500 square feet, making it a good choice for any size dorm room at any university or college.

Finally, this unit comes in two colors: black and silver, so you can pick the perfect one for your style.

See Amazon.com Reviews


Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier2. Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier

If you’re looking for an air purifier with a different design but also contains the same powerful air cleaning technologies, then this is your next best option.

What makes this the second best dorm room air purifier of this list is that uses a 4-stage air purification system that includes all of the essential technologies you need for cleaner air:

  • Pre-filter for trapping the largest particles.
  • True HEPA filter for capturing microscopic pollutants.
  • Activated Carbon filter for reducing dorm room odors.
  • Ultraviolet (UV-C) light for destroying viruses and bacteria.

The only feature that this air purifier lacks when compared to our #1 review is an Ionizer.

While an Ionizer is a good function to have to boost the air cleaning power, it’s not a crucial element for cleaner air. In fact, many air purifiers don’t even have it.

Another difference is that this air purifier can only handle dorm rooms up to 200 square feet—about half the size of our #1 top pick.

But the truth is that most college campus dorm rooms are around 200 sq. ft. or less, so this unit is powerful enough to handle the size of those spaces.

Finally, you’ll barely hear this air purifier running. The noise level registers at 30dB which is quieter than the sounds in your college’s library (40dB).

See Amazon.com Reviews


GermGuardian AC5350 Air Purifier3. GermGuardian AC5350 Air Purifier

If you liked the idea of our #2 air purifier review but wanted something that would take up less floor space, then you should consider this unit right here.

GermGuardian is a well-known brand for making some of the best air purifiers for removing airborne germs, viruses, and allergens at an affordable price.

And this air purifier for dorm room is no exception.

Inside the unit, you’ll find a 3-stage air purification system that can trap a wide range of pollutants:

  • Activated Carbon filter reduces dorm room odors and acts as a pre-filter to trap large dust and allergen particles.
  • True HEPA filter removes 99.97% of microscopic particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
  • Ultraviolet (UV-C) light for destroying airborne viruses and bacteria to keep you healthy.

Although this air purifier doesn’t have a separate pre-filter like our #3 review above, it’s still a good air purifier for the money.

It measures only 6 inches wide and 9 inches deep, so it can easily fit in the smallest dorm rooms on campus without getting in anyone’s way. And it comes in two colors: black and white.

As for room size coverage, this air purifier can handle spaces up to 167 square feet—about the same as our #3 top pick.

If you like this design better, then we suggest that you give it a try. It’s a good air purifier that will last you for years and can you even take it home with you when you’re on semester breaks.

See Amazon.com Reviews


Airfree P1000 Air Purifier4. Airfree P1000 Air Purifier

Our next dorm room air purifier recommendation is this powerful unit by Airfree.

What makes this brand stand out from any other air cleaner you’ll find today is that it doesn’t use any filters at all to clean the air.

Instead, it uses a patented Thermodynamic Sterilizing System (TSS) to destroy every particle that passes through the system with extreme heat (400 °F).

Surrounding air is constantly pulled into a heating chamber that incinerates every microorganism and particle on contact. Nothing can escape it.

The other additional features you’ll enjoy with this air purifier include:

  • Completely silent with no moving parts. You’ll barely know it’s running.
  • Cool-to-the-touch housing to prevent heat-related injuries. You can pick it up and move it without any problems.
  • Tilt sensor for shutting the unit off if it ever tips over. This makes it 100% safe for use indoors without any worries of a fire occurring.
  • Maintenance-free with no filters to replace, making it the cheapest air purifier to own over the long term.

All-in-all this is one of the best air purifiers for sterilizing the air in a dorm room to keep you safe from harmful bacteria, viruses, and other germs, as well as airborne dust and allergens.

And it can handle rooms up to 450 square feet, which also makes it a great long-term investment to have even after you graduate from college.

See Amazon.com Reviews


Alen T500 Air Purifier5. Alen T500 Air Purifier

Our last air purifier review for dorm rooms is this Alen T500 model.

The reason it comes in at #5 is because it doesn’t include an Ultraviolet (UV-C) light or Thermodynamic Sterilizing System (TSS) like our previous recommendations.

What this air purifier uses instead is a Silver-infused HEPA filter.

Silver is a natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent that can destroy microbes. And having a Silver-infused HEPA filter means that the microbes that pass through this system get trapped and die.

However, this process of killing airborne germs is slower than a UV-C light or TSS technology.

The advantage; however, is that you get the enhanced power of an Ionizer included with this air purifier.

This means it can capture microscopic pollutants at a faster rate by having a combined HEPA filter and Ionizer function.

Additionally, this unit also includes an Activated Carbon filter to reduce indoor odors.

Now you may be wondering, “Why would I choose this air purifier for my dorm room over the others?”

Well, even though each air purifier reviewed on this page is 100% safe for humans to be around and to be used on a campus setting, some people still don’t like the idea of being near a UV-C light or having the extreme heat of TSS technology in their rooms.

Therefore, this air purifier is the next-best-thing for you to choose.

Finally, it can handle up to 500 square feet, which is more than enough coverage for any size room in a college or university.

See Amazon.com Reviews


Buying Guide for Air Purifiers for Dorm Rooms

If you’d like to learn more about air purifiers and how they work, then this section can help.

Below you’ll find out about the various types of air purifier technologies, things to consider in regards to size, and answers to common questions that students and their parents have about these devices.

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

Best dorm room air purifierThere 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.
  • 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

There are two things you’ll want to consider when buying an air purifier for a dorm room, those include:

  • 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.

Common Questions About Air Purifiers and Dorm Rooms

University College CampusAre 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, an air purifier can help with a stuffy room. The stuffy room smell often comes from mold growth. And if you get the right type of air purifier, it can remove mold spores. This leads to fresher, less stale air, for you to breathe.

What is the Best Air Purifier for a Dorm Room?

There are five dorm room air purifiers that are considered the “best” for any college student:

  1. SilverOnyx Air Purifier
  2. Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier
  3. GermGuardian AC5350 Air Purifier
  4. Airfree P1000 Air Purifier
  5. Alen T500 Air Purifier

Each one of these air purifiers is reviewed on this page to help you make the right choice for your dorm room needs.

Should I Leave Air Purifier on All Day?

Yes. An air purifier should be left on all day and night. The more time an air purifier has to run, the cleaner the air indoors becomes. If you turn the air purifier off, then contaminants can start to build up again. So always leave the air purifier running. Most air purifiers use very little energy, about the same amount as your computer, so you don’t need to worry about it affecting your electricity bill very much.

Enjoy Your New Doom Room Air Purifier

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to choose the best air purifier for dorm room.

As you discovered, there are several different types of air purifiers that can meet the air cleaning demands on a college campus.

By choosing any one of the products reviewed here, you can rest assured that you’re getting a good quality air purifier that keeps the air around you clean while you’re in your dorm room.

Now just choose the one that’s right for you!

Avatar for Patrick Holmes

About Patrick Holmes

Patrick is a Senior Air Quality & Comfort Specialist. He conducts in-depth research and analysis for our product reviews and buying guides in order to offer expert recommendations for people who are seeking to improve their indoor air quality and comfort. (See Full Bio)