Air Purifiers for Dorm Rooms: Heavy-duty Models

One of the most popular blogs we’ve ever written here at US Air Purifiers was our rundown of three great dorm room air purifiers for keeping college students healthy while they were away at school. In that article, we focused on small, filterless units that were ideal for small spaces and wouldn’t add air purifier maintenance to a student’s already heavy workload. While these units are still great, some students may need more powerful protection. Here are some of our top air purifiers for dorm rooms for the student struggling with severely unclean air.


  Why Get a Heavy-duty Dorm Room Air Purifier?


There are a number of reasons a student may require something more than a small, filterless purifier in his or her room. The most obvious example is the case of a student who suffers from asthma or other chronic respiratory disorders. While a filterless air purifier is a good option for removing pollen, dust and other small particles, it won’t eliminate gases, odors and VOCs that can also trigger asthma attacks.


Some students also deal with more airborne impurities than others. Roommates who vape in their dorms, for example, can present a serious threat to indoor air quality. While most students won’t face this problem, it’s worth noting that a 2019 survey found that 12.9 percent of college students had used a vaping device in the past 30 days, and in many cases vaping is done in dorms by students trying to avoid campus bans. In such circumstances, a model with more filtration ability may become a necessity.


Much like apartment buildings, dorms also prevent students from exercising complete control over the quality of the air they’re breathing. Ventilation systems can bring contaminants from other rooms into your student’s dorm, making it very difficult to keep air quality in check without a purifier. This consideration is especially important for asthmatic students, since harsh cleaning chemicals used by students in other rooms can become airborne and travel through the events, affecting neighboring rooms.


  What Kind of Air Purifier Does Your Student Need?


The most important feature for a student in a high-contamination environment is a HEPA filter. These filters remove dust, pollen, dander and other particles from the air. By doing so, they make the air much safer for those suffering from asthma, allergies or other respiratory conditions.


Beyond HEPA, you can add extra protection for your student with a carbon filter. Carbon can filter out VOCs, gases and odors that HEPA filters aren’t able to capture. This is especially useful for students with severe asthma that can be triggered by odors and gases.


Also high on the list of requirements is a relatively small size.  Dorms are notoriously small, and students already have to fit the rest of their possessions in, leaving little room for a large air purifier. While heavy-duty units won’t be quite as compact as a a filterless model, there are some reasonably small yet powerful air purifiers that are suitable for putting in a dorm room.


Finally, it’s obviously important for air purifiers for dorm rooms to be fairly quiet. Because students study and sleep in these small spaces, excessive noise is a definite negative. So, you’re best off looking at units that produce nothing more than a gentle hum in the background.


Does Every Student Need an Air Purifier?


Even if the college students in your family doesn’t have asthma or severe allergies, an air purifier can still be a helpful gift. Breathing clean, pure air is an important component of staying healthy. A good air purifier can also help to protect against ordinary seasonal allergies and irritation caused by dust. So, even if the student you’re sending off to school doesn’t have any known health issues, getting an air purifier for dorm rooms can still be a good idea.


Top Heavy-duty Dorm Room Air Purifiers


Taking what we’ve already covered into account, there are a few units that stand out for helping students breathe easier in their dorms. Here are our top picks for the students who need more than basic protection.


  Amaircare 2500 HEPA

  Combining a HEPA filter with limited gas and VOC filtering abilities, the Amaircare 2500 HEPA is a great option for targeting most common contaminants your student might face in a dormitory. This unit is easily capable of handling a dorm room or on-campus apartment, as it is rated for up to 1,250 square feet. Best of all, it’s made with a durable metal housing, ensuring that it won’t be damaged during the frequent moves that students go through over the course of their college careers.


The Amaircare 2500 also fits the bill when it comes to size and noise levels. At just 13.5 inches high by 16 inches wide, it is more than compact enough to fit comfortably in a dorm room. Since it features variable fan speeds, it can be set to a lower-noise setting whenever students really need to focus.


If VOCs are your concern, you can also consider the Amaircare 2500 VOC. This model features more powerful carbon filtration that will help to clear gases. At the same time, it also offers the same benefits as the 2500 HEPA.


  Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr.

  Next up in our selection of air purifiers for dorm rooms is the Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr. This small but powerful purifier can cover up to 700 square feet, making it perfect for dorms and studio apartments. The HealthMate Plus Jr. also combines HEPA and carbon filtration to deliver optimum protection.


Like the Amaircare 2500, the Austin Air HealthMate Jr. is also a remarkably compact unit given what it’s capable of. Standing at just 16.5 inches tall and 11 inches wide, this air purifier takes up minimal floors space and won’t clutter up the room. It’s also quiet enough not to keep your student from studying.


  Blueair Pro M

  For students who need the maximum possible protection against airborne contaminants, the Blueair Pro M is a great option. This air purifier can perform 5 air changes per hour in spaces of up to 390 square feet, making it a perfect option for keeping the air as clean as possible. In its basic form, the Pro M only comes with a HEPA filter. However, a Blueair SmokeStop filter or full-scale carbon filter can be added on as an option for protection from gases and VOCs.


At 17 inches tall and 20 inches wide, this air purifier is a bit larger than the two previous models, but still more than small enough to qualify as a good dorm room air purifier. It is also extremely quiet and is one of the best options for students who are easily distracted by noise.


  Rabbit Air Minus A2

Last but certainly not least on the list is the Rabbit Air Minus A2, a stylish air purifier that does an excellent job of removing common contaminants. This unit offers the same HEPA and odor protection of many of the other models on this list, but also comes with a few added convenience features. These features include automatic quality monitoring, which allows the purifier to adjust its fan settings based on the air quality in the room at the time. The Minus A2 also offers a light-sensing feature that will put it into a quiet sleep mode when it’s in a darkened room.


With the ability to cover up to 700 square feet, the Rabbit Air Minus A2 is great for dorms, offices and small apartments. It is also a thin, compact model that can be put into a narrow unused space beside a bed or desk. For students who want a bit of decor in their dorms, this unit also comes in housings that feature the art of Claude Monet or classic Peanuts characters.


Which Is the Best Air Purifier for Dorm Rooms?


While all of the units listed above make great dorm room air purifiers, the best of the bunch in terms of features, capabilities and value is Amaircare 2500 HEPA. For most students, this air purifier will provide great protection without taking up too much space or making too much noise. If your student suffers from severe asthma or chemical sensitivities, the Amaircare 2500 VOC may be the superior choice.


Add-on: Indoor Air Quality Meter

So far, we’ve discussed air purifiers for situations where students know what is bothering them. The example of a vaping roommate, for instance, is a clearly identifiable source of gases and odors that could affect a student with respiratory troubles. Unfortunately, air quality issues aren’t always so simple. In some cases, you may not know what the problem is just by looking at the dorm room and the people in it. When this is the case, an indoor air quality meter can help to identify and remedy the problem.


Indoor air quality meters give you exact data on the air in any given space. Whether VOCs or pollen is the problem, they’ll tell you and make it easier to pick out an air purifier that can deal with the issue. Once you’re using the air purifier, the meter can also continue to monitor its performance and provide information for further air quality improvements.


Our top recommended indoor air quality meter is the Foobot. This unit displays easy-to-read air quality ratings via a color-coded light, allowing students to quickly determine the quality of the air they’re breathing. Via a smartphone app, it also delivers detailed air quality data and specific recommendations for improvement.


We also the Blueair Aware, a meter made for compatibility with Blueair purifiers. While this is an excellent system in its own right, it is at its best when paired with a compatible air purifier. The Foobot, on the other hand, is made for more general use.


Helping Students With Air Purifier Maintenance


Once you buy a dorm room air purifier for your student, he or she will have to perform occasional maintenance to keep it in good working order. This maintenance consists mainly of changing filters when needed. Of course, students have enough to keep track of without having to track filter change times. Fortunately, there are a few tools that can help with this.


The easiest way to help your student remember to change filters is to buy a purifier with a filter change light. This feature measures air flow through the filter and indicates when it’s time for a new one. Units like the Amaircare 2500 will remind their owners to change filters, taking time tracking out of the equation altogether.


For an extra reminder, you can use our Filter Reminder tool. This free tool lets you select your air purifier and receive email notifications when it’s time for a filter change. Our system tracks the time since your last change and sends out reminders based on the manufacturer’s recommended filter maintenance schedule. This way, you can always remember when it’s time for new filters.


When Is the Best Time to Buy a Dorm Room Air Purifier?


Generally, the best time to give an air purifier to a student is at the start of the fall semester. Fall allergies caused by pollen can be a nuisance when a student is trying to study, and having one from the beginning of the term ensures that students won’t have to deal with compromised air quality during their first few weeks on campus.


With that said, there’s no wrong time to gift an air purifier to a student living in a dorm. Even during the winter months, air quality issues can arise. Spring allergies are also a consideration, as pollen returns with a vengeance as the weather warms in April and May.


Have more questions about selecting the right air purifier for your son or daughter’s college years? We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us directly, and we’ll be happy to provide you answers and dorm room air purifier recommendations based on your student’s needs. We can also help you find the right models for your home, office and any other spaces where cleaner air is needed.