What is the Best Air Purifier for a College Dorm Room?

Let’s face it, us college-age people can stink. It seems that the people we’re stuck bunking with always tend to stink the worst too (either that, or it’s the dorm next door that reeks).

Which leads me to the question, what is the best air purifier for a college dorm?

The best air purifier for a college dorm is one that is cheap, has activated carbon filters, and a HEPA filter. These three things are ideal for air purifiers in dorm rooms for many reasons, including how easy they are to purchase, replace, and how well they clean the air.

So, what’s the all-aroudn best air purifier for a college dorm room? That’d be the Levoit air purifier that I have pictured on the right. You can pick it up from Amazon via this link today.

Yes, I actually own this air purifier. I’m not like those other bloggers who recommend stuff they’ve never touched. (I’m also the only one writing about the best air purifier for college that didn’t just grab a list of the most expensive bestsellers.)

Not only that, but I still own and use this air purifier as well.

But enough of that, now I’m going to tell you why this air purifier is the best air purifier on the market for college dorms. I’m not just going to tell you to buy it, I’m telling you why it’s the best.

Why is the Levoit Air Purifier the Best Air Purifier for a College Dorm Room?

So, why did I choose this particular Levoit air purifier and name it the best air purifier for college students? Was it the looks? The flare? The designer shoes it wore?

Nope–especially not the shoes part! Hahaha

The reason why I chose this air purifier for dorm life was because of its cost, its filters, its size, the fact it can diffuse essential oils, and the fact you can sleep with it on.

Why is Levoit’s Air Purifier the Best Air Purifier for the Price Point?

Levoit’s air purifiers can be rather costly, they’ve got some out there that are a couple hundred dollars. Let’s face it, that’s a wee bit outside of our price points, even if you’ve got a great side hustle. However, this is the cheapest air purifier Levoit makes (as of the time of me posting this), and it has some of the cheapest replacement filters. All told, this air purifier might cost you as much as one date night.

Why is cost important?

Well, besides the point that we don’t have money to burn when we’re in college, there’s one more factor to consider. That’s how fast you could replace the whole air purifier if someone stole it. Where I went to college, people stole stuff all the time, so I’m willing to bet that this might be a bit of a problem elsewhere.

Sure, your dorm is probably a little more secure than other places, but I like to play things on the defensive. I’m not about to use, or recommend, an air purifier that costs two grand to someone because there is always the risk of someone stealing it. That’d kill to replace. That’s more money than some of the beaters some people drive to college!

Something closer to fifty dollars is a lot easier to replace.

Now, what about those filter replacements I mentioned? Am I telling you that you’re going to be wasting millions of filters?

No, no I am not.

However, I am telling you that you do have to think about the cost of replacing the filters on your air purifier. Most air purifiers need their filters replaced every six to eight months, the Levoit air purifier that I’m talking about recommends you replace it every six. That’s twice a year, so not much of a big deal.

But how much will those filters cost?

I’ll admit it, these aren’t the cheapest air filters out there, but they aren’t the most expensive either. A set (this air purifier comes with two) will cost you around 25 bucks. You can pick up two sets (4 filters total) for about 45, which is a slight discount. I doubt those prices will change too much in the near future, but they might.

If you need to purchase replacement filters for your Levoit air purifier, you can pick them up from Amazon here.

You can buy the replacement filters as you need them, which could be nice since it’s so easy to lose and misplace things, or you can take advantage of the small discount for buying multiple. Since Amazon offers prime to college students for a discount, shipping shouldn’t be a concern of yours. And, if you don’t have a Prime account just yet, you can get a free Amazon Prime trial right now and save on the shipping costs!

Alright, I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I would be if I were in your shoes: “Do I really have to replace the filters every six months?!”

Well, you didn’t hear it from me, but I don’t replace mine that often. I check them every six months and blow them out, but I don’t replace them that often. I find every year is a lot more appropriate. However, if you’ve got bad allergies, extra-smelly neighbors/roommates, or if your room is really dusty, then the six-month replacement guideline is probably a good call. But remember, you didn’t hear it from me!

All told, this is the most effective air purifier at its price point, and I wouldn’t recommend the cheaper air purifiers to college students because most of them aren’t very good. They might get the job done, but they just don’t measure up to this air purifier. Keep reading and I’ll tell you about what this air purifier does for you, I just wanted to start with the money, since that’s sort of an important thing.

Why Does Levoit’s Air Filters Make it the Best Choice for College Students?

I already addressed the cost of the air filters, so I’m going to just talk about what these filters do in this section.

These air filters are “3-Stage” and those stages include a pre-filter, a HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter. Essentially, it’s a filter that has three filters built into it. With these three filters, you can see the best quality air for the lowest price. There are other filtration types, but these are my three favorites; I’ll explain below.

For starters, we have the pre-filter. The pre-filters in these air purifiers are built into the filter itself and they are a really fine screen. That screen stops big stuff from getting into your filter and clogging it up faster than it should. By doing that, the pre-filter extends the life of your air filter and allows the other filters to do their jobs better.

Next up is the HEPA filter, or more accurately, the True HEPA filter. These HEPA filters are some of the best air filters you can get on the market and they can filter out things as large as pet hair (which won’t be a problem thanks to your pre-filter) and as small as bacteria and some viruses. They filter out 99.97% of particles that are larger than .3 microns. (That’s really small stuff, sports fans!)

HEPA filters can capture allergens, mold spores, smoke, and dust, among other things. Long story short, most of the stuff you don’t want to be breathing can be captured with a HEPA filter.

But, the HEPA filter can’t do everything. That’s where the activated carbon filter comes into play. Activated carbon filters are used to filter the air itself, that’s something HEPA filters can’t do.

By filtering the air itself, activated carbon filters can pull gasses out of the air, that includes toxic gasses like VOCs and radon. But I doubt too many of you guys are worried about those, so I’ll address the big reason why people like activated carbon filters: they can get rid of stink. Whatever smell that a HEPA filter can’t clean, an activated carbon filter will most likely be able to clean.

Thanks to the Levoit air purifier’s filters, you’re getting some really clean air with this air purifier, and that’s sort of the whole point of getting one in the first place!

Why is the Size of the Levoit Air Purifier so Important for College Students?

Right off the bat, I actually have a slight issue with this air purifier. The Amazon listing says it can go on desktops. While I know there are desks out there that have plenty of space for this air purifier, the fact of the matter is that it takes up a lot of desktop real estate. It’s almost seven inches wide (and deep). While that isn’t huge, I know for a fact that it is too big for some desks–especially when you have a dozen textbooks open and five exams to study for the next day.

But that isn’t to say that it’s too big for a dorm. It could go great on your bedside table, somewhere on the ground, on a shelf, anywhere else. It’s a great size machine for a smaller room. In fact, it’s built for rooms that are up to 161 square feet. That’s just about the size of the average bedroom and likely is about the size of most dorms too!

And, back to my whole thing about stealing stuff, this air purifier’s size makes it a little harder to steal too. It’s just big enough that no one will be able to sneak it out on you.

Why Are Essential Oils Important for an Air Purifier for a College Student?

If you spent any time at a public school, then I’m sure you’ve at least heard of essential oils. Either you had that one teacher who loved them, or you had a classmate with them. Maybe you were the essential oil nut.

Whoever you were, I’m willing to bet that you were at least a little intrigued about them, I knew I was. And, admittedly, I have since become one of those essential oil nuts to a degree.

This Levoit air purifier has a secret compartment on top that houses its essential oil sponge. The trick to it is that you need to use a little more essential oil on it than you would to a normal diffuser (at least from my own experience).

For me, 5 to 7 drops did the trick to get some scent out, and I like to do a few more than that if I’m going to be sitting by it for a long while (so the scent lasts).

Essential oils are great and some help you get to sleep, others help you focus, and others do other things. I’m going to save you the details on what they all do here, and I’ll let you check out an article where I go more into detail on air purifiers and essential oils here: Can I Use Essential Oils in My Air Purifier?

Why is the Levoit Air Purifier Better to Sleep with than Other Air Purifiers?

I’m a light sleeper and I take forever to get to sleep. It’s a terrible combination, trust me. I don’t like things that keep me up or wake me up because of that.

So, speaking from experience, I can say that this Levoit air purifier is the best one I’ve ever used as I slept. It’s super quiet (it has a sleeping setting that’s quieter than the others) and the light on it that lets you know when it is on isn’t horribly bright. I’ve used other air purifiers and the light they have is always too bright. Don’t ask me why, but that just seems like a common problem. So, between the light and the noise, this is the best air purifier for students who already aren’t getting enough sleep.

And the best part is that the fan, even though it’s so quiet, it can mute out some of the noises that might wake you up at night if you’re a light sleeper like me.

In addition to that, the fact you can put essential oils in this air purifier can help you sleep as well. Essential oils like lavender help you sleep, so you can add a few drops to the sponge before you go to sleep!


I hope I was able to convince you guys why the Levoit air purifier is the best one out there for college students. I’ve loved mine and I’ll probably buy more down the road for the other rooms in my home. It is by far my favorite air purifier at this price point, and I think everyone should have one.

if you are convinced that this is the best air purifier for your dorm, then you can pick it up on Amazon here. And, if you aren’t convinced, then you need to reread this article! Don’t skim this time! I’m serious, this really is the best air purifier for a dorm!

Jonathon Silva

Jonathan Silva is our longtime Air Purifier Essentials author. He has been writing on air purification technologies for his entire professional career.

Recent Posts