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8 Best Air Purifiers For The Classroom

Last updated December 7, 2021

This post may contain affiliate links.

Author
Author avatar Daniel Booth

Daniel is our resident house gadget geek. He is our man in the frontline, following consumer trends to help him identify the best up and coming tech to review for HouseFresh. When he’s not tinkering with new gadgets, he composes and records his own music at home.

At its best, the classroom is an engaging arena where students can thrive. Yet at its worst, it can be a stale, stuffy space, which certainly isn’t conducive to a stimulating learning environment.

In fact, studies show poor air quality can have a dramatic impact on our decision-making, problem-solving, and concentration levels. While students in classrooms with increased air ventilation have been found to score 14 to 15 percent higher in standardized tests. 

Since the reopening of schools post lockdown, there have been calls to drastically improve ventilation in classrooms, and not simply for its brain-boosting benefits. Adequate ventilation, in the form of an air purifier fitted with HEPA filters, can remove bacteria and viruses from the air, resulting in far fewer absences due to illness – both during a pandemic and more normal times.

When choosing an air purifier for a classroom, it’s vital to get one up to the task at hand. Each purifier is capable of cleaning the air in a specific sized space, so be sure to grab the measuring tape before making a purchase. We recommend the IQAir HealthPro Plus for large spaces (up to 1125 sq. ft.), while the Medify MA-40 provides an excellent budget option for smaller classrooms.

To help you in your search for the perfect purifier for a classroom, we’ve collated 8 top recommendations, making sure to include a range of options to suit different budgets and room size suitability. By utilizing Consumer Reports and analyzing product reviews through Fakespot, you can rest assured each purifier is tried and tested by genuine users and will help improve the air quality in your classroom.

Air Purifier
Best for Smaller Classrooms
Best for Mid-Sized Classrooms
Best for Larger Classrooms
Medify MA-40 Air Purifier with H13 True HEPA Filter | 840 sq ft Coverage | for Smoke, Smokers, Dust, Odors, Pet Dander | Quiet 99.9% Removal to 0.1 Microns | White, 1-Pack
Alen BreatheSmart Classic Large Room Air Purifier, Medical Grade Filtration H13 True HEPA for 1100 Sqft, 99.99% Airborne Particle Removal, Captures Allergens & Dust, in White
IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier - Medical Grade H13 HyperHEPA filter for home large room up to 1125 sq ft, Air Cleaner for Viruses, Bacteria, Allergens, Asthma Triggers, Smoke, Mold, Pets, Dust, Odor, Swiss Made, White
Pros
It offers a child lock to prevent accidental changes to the settings
Its smart sensor is a great learning point for teaching how change in environment affects us
Each filter has its own indicator to let you know how much life it has left
Cons
We wish the unit came with an auto mode
We wish it was possible to replace the pre-filter separately from the primary filter
This is a large unit that takes up floorspace
Technology
H13 HEPA, Activated Carbon
H13 HEPA, Activated Carbon
HyperHEPA
Room Size
800 sq. ft
1,100 sq. ft
1,125 sq. ft
Filter Life
6 months
9 months
4 years
Noise Level
30 dB to 65 dB
41.5 dB to 56 dB
22 dB to 57 dB
Price
$271.75
$649.00
$899.00
Best for Smaller Classrooms
Air Purifier
Medify MA-40 Air Purifier with H13 True HEPA Filter | 840 sq ft Coverage | for Smoke, Smokers, Dust, Odors, Pet Dander | Quiet 99.9% Removal to 0.1 Microns | White, 1-Pack
Pros
It offers a child lock to prevent accidental changes to the settings
Cons
We wish the unit came with an auto mode
Technology
H13 HEPA, Activated Carbon
Room Size
800 sq. ft
Filter Life
6 months
Noise Level
30 dB to 65 dB
More information
Price
$271.75
Best for Mid-Sized Classrooms
Alen BreatheSmart Classic Large Room Air Purifier, Medical Grade Filtration H13 True HEPA for 1100 Sqft, 99.99% Airborne Particle Removal, Captures Allergens & Dust, in White
Pros
Its smart sensor is a great learning point for teaching how change in environment affects us
Cons
We wish it was possible to replace the pre-filter separately from the primary filter
Technology
H13 HEPA, Activated Carbon
Room Size
1,100 sq. ft
Filter Life
9 months
Noise Level
41.5 dB to 56 dB
More information
Price
$649.00
Best for Larger Classrooms
Air Purifier
IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier - Medical Grade H13 HyperHEPA filter for home large room up to 1125 sq ft, Air Cleaner for Viruses, Bacteria, Allergens, Asthma Triggers, Smoke, Mold, Pets, Dust, Odor, Swiss Made, White
Pros
Each filter has its own indicator to let you know how much life it has left
Cons
This is a large unit that takes up floorspace
Technology
HyperHEPA
Room Size
1,125 sq. ft
Filter Life
4 years
Noise Level
22 dB to 57 dB
More information
Price
$899.00

Last update on 2022-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Medify MA-40

Medify brings compact yet powerful air purification to your classroom with the MA-40 air purifier. This unit measures a mere 10.5 x 11 x 26 inches, so it stands taller than it is wide. That said, it’s an attractive white with black accent, allowing it to effortlessly blend into the classroom.

The intake is located at the back of the unit, and the output is on the front, so you’ll want to keep it a little distance from the wall. It can clean a classroom of up to 840 square feet every 30 minutes. This is a perfect throughput to ensure clean air during every period.

It uses HEPA H13 technology, which is a medical-grade triple-layer filter that removes particles down to 0.21 microns at 99.95% efficiency. This is the same technology used in airplane cabins, semiconductor fabrication plants, hospitals, and pharmaceutical plants. But it doesn’t stop at that.

The unit offers a pre-filter to remove larger contaminants like dust, hair, and dander. After the air passes through the HEPA filter, it runs through an activated carbon filter and then through an ionizer. This helps both remove odors and tiny particles, as well as charge particles in the air to make them cling together and drop from the air.

You’ll easily control the unit with the touchscreen controls. It offers three different fan speeds to meet the needs of your room. There is a timer to set the unit to run for 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours. It also offers a sleep mode to run the fan on low and dim the control lights.

Features:

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA H13
  • Room Size Suitability: 840 sq. ft
  • Filter Life: 6 months
  • Noise level: 46-66 dB
  • Monthly energy Consumption: $2.00

What we love

  • It offers a child lock to prevent accidental changes to the settings
  • It has a filter replacement indicator to remind you when it’s time for a replacement
  • The unit is light, weighing in at only 15.5 lbs

We don't like this as much

  • We wish the unit came with an auto mode
  • You cannot place the unit flush against a wall as the air intake is located at the back

2. Alen BreatheSmart Classic

The Alen BreatheSmart Classic air purifier adds decor elegance to air purification. This stylishly small unit also comes in a range of colors, including wood grains on the front panel. These allow you to effectively find a style that won’t stand out in your classroom. The unit measures 10 x 17.75 inches and stands 26.76 inches, so it won’t occupy much space either.

The unit has air intakes on the sides and at the bottom just above the stand. The BreatheSmart Classic then vents the clean air from the top of the back, allowing you to place it directly against the wall. Your students won’t notice this as it silently works on clearing the air in your classroom from against a wall.

It uses a medical-grade H13 True HEPA filter as the primary filtering medium. The filter comes encased in a black pre-filtering material that can be removed and vacuumed to keep it passing air efficiently. The unit also has an ionizer to help the air moving out of the unit continue cleaning the air in the classroom.

The unit has simple controls on the top control panel, including the power, a timer with 4, 8, and 12-hour options, and fan speed. You have an auto mode that will monitor the room’s air quality and adjust the fan speed accordingly.

Not only does the unit have a sensor, but it also has an indicator on the control panel to alert you to the air’s quality. Three different colors indicate clean, moderate, and dirty air. The filter indicator also has three different indicators, giving you a warning before it’s time to install the replacement.

Features:

  • Purifier Technology: H13 True HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 1,100 sq. ft
  • Filter Life: 9 months
  • Noise level: 41.5-56 dB
  • Monthly energy Consumption: $3.50

What we love

  • The unit has a safety feature to prevent it from running when the front cover is removed
  • Its smart sensor is a great learning point for teaching how change in environment affects us
  • The power cord is nearly 6 feet in length, providing flexibility in where to place the unit

We don't like this as much

  • We wish it was possible to replace the pre-filter separately from the primary filter
  • The single integrated handle makes it a bit tricky to lift compared to side handles

3. Coway AP-2015F

Coway has been helping to lead the air purification industry since 1989. The AP-2015F continues this tradition with both function and style. This purifier is a stylistic white with black accents. On the front of the unit is an indicator circle that continually shows you the air quality, which is perfect for letting you know when you need to run the unit in your classroom, reducing noise when it’s not needed.

For filtering, it offers a combination of three different technologies. It has a pre-filter to remove larger particles before the air enters the unit and a green true HEPA filter with an activated carbon filter. These work together to not only remove harmful particles, but also common odors. No matter what foreign particles your students may bring into the classroom, the filters on this unit will effectively remove them.

The Max2 indicator lets you know when you need to change the HEPA filter. When the light indicates the pre-filter, simply wash and dry it. 

The operation is simple, with a single button to start the unit. There’s a touch bar that allows you to select the mode and fan speed. There’s also a timer to set an automated cycle for one, four, or eight hours.

It offers a smart mode to automatically adjust to the room environment, based on light and air quality. Sleep mode is activated when the room is dark and keeps the fan speed low to reduce noise (perfect for nap time in nurseries). Then there’s Eco mode, which runs when the air quality remains at optimal levels for 10 minutes. This automatically shuts the fan off while continuing to monitor the air quality to reduce energy consumption.

Features:

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 1,560 sq. ft
  • Filter Life: 6 months
  • Noise level: 22-52 dB
  • Monthly energy Consumption: $2.00

What we love

  • It sits on four legs to keep the unit off the ground so that it pulls dirt from the air, not the floor
  • Smart modes make it straightforward to set up and use
  • There are integrated molded handles on the side to assist with moving the unit

We don't like this as much

  • We wish the unit also came with wheels
  • The intake is on the sides of the unit, so you have to keep the area around it clear

4. IQAir HealthPro Plus

IQAir is taking air filtration to a whole new level with the HealthPro Plus unit. This unit brings together superior service, sophistication, and simple operation.

The IQAir HealthPro Plus uses three different filtering technologies. It starts with the PreMax pre-filter, which removes large particulate matter. Next is the V5-Cell filter, which uses activated carbon and alumina to remove chemicals and odors. Finally, the air flows through the HyperHEPA, which removes particles down to 0.003 microns, much smaller than most viruses.

Replacing the filters on this unit is exceptionally easy. You start by releasing the locking arms and then sliding out the individual filter drawers. Despite its simple design, it features the 3D UltraSeal, which ensures no air moves through the unit unfiltered.

The HealthPro Plus draws air in through the base between the dual arches. It comes with removable rolling casters to make moving the 35 lbs unit easier. It vents out through the top in a 320-degree pattern, preventing single-direction air movement. This feature ensures there’s not so much air movement coming out in any direction to cause a disruption in the classroom.

There are plenty of operational options, despite the simple 4-button control panel. These options include remaining service hours on your filters and various timer settings.

Features:

  • Purifier Technology: HyperHEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 1,125 sq. ft
  • Filter Life: 4 years
  • Noise level: 22-57 dB
  • Monthly energy Consumption: $1.00-$4.00

What we love

  • Each filter has its own indicator to let you know how much life it has left
  • You have six different fan speeds available
  • The unit comes with a remote to easily change the settings

We don't like this as much

  • This is a large unit that takes up floorspace
  • We would like to see a night mode to shut down or dim the display in a dark classroom

5. Blueair Classic 605

Simple, yet powerful air purification comes to your classroom with the Blueair Classic 605. This unit offers substantial purifying capabilities, servicing rooms up to 698 square feet. However, it remains compact, standing only 24 inches tall. This allows you to stash it on a tabletop or counter within your classroom, rather than having to set it up on the floor somewhere.

This 605 allows you to easily control the unit from your smartphone or tablet with its Wi-Fi capabilities. If you prefer more traditional controls, there are three buttons to control the unit. The primary power button also controls the fan speed, with three speeds to choose from. The other buttons control the Wi-Fi access and a filter indicator. When the filter needs changing, the filter indicator will change from blue to orange with a blue circle around it.

The filtering technology this unit utilizes is called HEPASilent. This allows the filter to remove 99.97% of particles down to 0.1 microns. There are a total of three filters, one on each of the sides and one on the top just under the plate.

The unit has rolling casters on the bottom to keep it off the ground and assist with moving it from classroom to classroom. 

Features:

  • Purifier Technology: HEPASilent
  • Room Size Suitability: 698 sq. ft.
  • Filter Life: 6 months
  • Noise level: 33-62 dB
  • Monthly energy Consumption: $2.00-$3.00

What we love

  • Wi-Fi functionality offers Alexa integration to allow you to control it in a hand's free environment
  • The thin profile means you can tuck it away next to a wall without taking up much room
  • You can easily hide the control lights by closing the lid

We don't like this as much

  • We wish it looked a little more modern
  • We’d like to see an air quality indicator on the unit

6. Medify MA-112

If you need a higher volume air purifier, then the Medify MA-112 is a fantastic unit to consider. This unit has enough throughput to clean rooms up to 3,700 square feet each hour, or 2,500 square feet every 30 minutes. All of this cleaning comes in a unit that has a footprint of only 16 x 15 inches and stands at only 28 inches tall.

The unit draws the air through a three-stage filter. The first is a pre-filter to capture large particles like dust and hair. The second is the medical-grade H13 HEPA filter that will remove 99.9% of particles greater than 0.1 microns and the third is the activated carbon filter to rid the air of odors.

The unit has touch controls with simple buttons. You have the standard power button and fan speed selector. There is a timer, with options for 1, 2, 4, and 8-hour runtimes. You can also select the SLEEP Mode, which uses the lowest level fan setting and turns off all indicator lights.

There are dual air intakes on the unit, just under the integrated molded handles on the sides, allowing for maximum air intake. The cleaned air vents from the top of the unit to mix with the air in the room.

Features:

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 2,500 sq. ft
  • Filter Life: 6 months
  • Noise level: 40-70 dB
  • Monthly energy Consumption: $4.10

What we love

  • The unit has a child lock to prevent accidental tampering of the settings
  • You can easily wipe the pre-filter with a dry cloth to keep the unit running efficiently
  • There’s an indicator to remind you when it’s time to change the filters

We don't like this as much

  • We wish the unit came with wheels to help move it when necessary
  • We’d like to see a scheduling feature that turns on the unit at a specific time

7. Dyson Pure Cool TP04

Dyson has a reputation for redefining the consumer appliance marketplace, especially with their vacuum cleaners and fans. This particular unit not only helps cool your classroom but also does an incredible job purifying the air. Forget having a clunky unit that houses large filters, this unit measures only 8.77 x 8.77 inches, standing at 41.49 inches.

The elegant design is sleek-looking brushed steel that draws air in through the base, where the circular filter is housed, then expelled through the air multiplier. The filter uses both HEPA filtration and activated carbon to remove the vast majority of contaminants. The unit has a metal mesh pre-filter to help remove larger contaminants and extend your filter life.

The unit rotates 350 degrees, so you can put it in a central location and effectively circulate air throughout the room. The TP04 has both a fan mode, but also has a backward airflow mode to continue purifying air without the cooling effect. This ensures you can both clear the air in your classroom, as well as give some needed air movement over the cooler months.

The TP04 is easily controlled from the remote control, adjusting the fan speed, rotation, nighttime mode, backward airflow, and auto mode. It also links up to the Dyson Link App, allowing you to control the fan from your smartphone.

It offers a timer for between 1 and 8 hours to automatically shut the unit down. The auto mode senses the room’s air quality and initiates the system when it drops. The night mode runs the fan quietly while dimming the display, optimal for running when the classroom is vacant for the night.

Features:

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 500 sq. ft
  • Filter Life: 9 months
  • Noise level: 40-62.2 dB
  • Monthly energy Consumption: $1.60

What we love

  • There are three different sensors to detect your air’s pollution
  • There are three different sensors to detect your air’s pollution
  • The unique design effectively circulates air around the entire room

We don't like this as much

  • There is no onboard control panel, requiring the use of either the remote or the app
  • The unit is tall, so it must be kept as a floor standing unit

8. Honeywell HPA300

Honeywell continues to serve the consumer air quality market with the HPA300 HEPA air purifier. This unit is substantial enough to cycle the air in an entire room up to 465 square feet 4.8 times per hour. However, it only measures 9.25 x 20 x 22.25 inches, weighing in at 21 lbs. This will keep the unit inconspicuous while being tucked away in the corner of a classroom.

The unit is black, with integrated molded handles on the sides to help you move the unit. The HPA300’ intake is on the front, with the output on the through the top. It runs a mild noise on low, emitting only 50 dB.

The controls are simple, with a power button and fan speed selection, from low to turbo. There’s a timer feature, with 2, 4, and 8-hour auto shut-off timings. This is perfect for being able to set the unit before school starts and knowing that it’ll continue cleaning your classroom the entire day.

There’s also an indicator light to let you know when it’s time to check your pre-filter and filter. Finally, there’s a dimmer switch to adjust the brightness of the control panel.

There is a pre-filter to remove large size air particles and odors. The Honeywell then has three R-type HEPA filters. The type-A pre-filter needs a replacement about every three months, while the HEPA filters should last about a year. The unit has a 6-foot power cable, giving you some flexibility in finding the right place for it. 

Features:

  • Purifier Technology: HEPA
  • Room Size Suitability: 465 sq. ft
  • Filter Life: 12 months for HEPA Filter, 3 months for pre-filter
  • Noise level: 50-70 dB
  • Monthly energy Consumption: $4.10

What we love

  • It is simple to set up and start using with two control buttons
  • The unit is light, making it easy to move around when necessary
  • Energy star rating ensures low running costs

We don't like this as much

  • The pre-filter must be replaced fairly regularly
  • We wish it had an air quality indicator

FAQs about Air purifiers for the Classroom 

Why is it important to have an air purifier in the classroom?

A classroom can be a petri dish, which really comes down to the air quality in the space. These rooms have contaminant sources including the students, paint on the walls, and the furniture in the room. Let’s not forget about the cleaning products used to try to keep the room safe. Schools have notoriously poor ventilation, so contaminants like viruses, bacteria, VOCs, and more build up in these spaces.

The AAFA estimates about 5.1 million children under the age of 18 suffer from asthma. These airborne contaminants are known to exacerbate respiratory issues, not to mention cause throat and eye irritation.

Individual air purifier units work on smaller areas to remove the contaminants without having to push the air through the central HVAC system. This allows for more control over smaller rooms to meet the needs of the students, rather than trying to condition the entire building.

Will an air purifier help children concentrate more?

Air quality looks at the number of contaminants floating around in the air. The more contaminants, the more likely you’ll breathe them in, and in higher concentrations.

Some contaminants, like dust and mold, cause allergic reactions, even if minor. These reactions release histamine in the body, which is known to inhibit concentration by causing fatigue, headaches, and problems breathing.

Further, some chemicals commonly found in the air can cause neuroinflammation, which makes it more difficult to concentrate. Studies have shown that when these contaminants are removed from the classroom, concentration and test scores can actually go up.

Are children more sensitive to air pollution?

Children’s bodies are still developing and maturing, which includes their respiratory and immune systems. This developing state of the respiratory system means it is more permeable, or more things can infiltrate the lungs and cause problems. Add to this, their rate of respiration is greater than adults, so they take in more contaminants by taking more breaths.

Further, the contaminants affect the system based on their concentration. By mere fact, a child’s body is smaller, so it takes less of the contaminant to cause a greater response. Children breathe more, which leads to higher concentrations in their small bodies.

Which air purifier is best for your classroom?

There are a variety of purifiers available, with varying price points. However, getting one just because it has a lower cost may leave you with no lasting impact on your students. Here are some of the most important things to consider before purchasing your unit.

The first consideration is the space you need to clean, and how frequently you need the air circulated. Take the size of your classroom in square feet to know the air volume that must be drawn. Some units are rated to clean 3,000 square feet every hour, while others may cycle 2,500 square feet every thirty minutes. With children present, you may want a unit that will cycle the air more frequently to accomplish better purification.

Next, consider the noise the unit generates and the impact it’ll have on your space. While you may be able to run the unit at a higher rate when you don’t have students present, that noise may be a distraction while you’re trying to conduct class. Try to find a unit that will serve your classroom effectively while producing the least noise possible.

Finally, consider what other features you want for your unit. Do you need one that offers automatic air quality control? Would it be easier to manage your unit with a remote or from your phone? Consider actually using it in your space, and find those features that will help make your classroom a better learning environment.

Here are the models we recommend, based on the size of the classroom: