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6 Best Air Purifier For Classroom In 2021

There are over 130,000 schools in the United States and the majority of them are experiencing moderate to unhealthy air quality seasonally. A HEPA air purifier for classrooms can be part of the solution to protect the students and teachers from harmful air. However, not all things are created equal. There are some models that simply won't cut it even for school hours use. After weeks of research and comparison, here are the classroom air purifiers that would do well in school.

2021 Best HEPA Air Purifier For Classroom

NoImageAir PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)FiltrationCoverageScore
1Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWaveWinix 5500-2 Air Purifier

$$$

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4-stage360 sq. ft. (33 m2)5
2Honeywell HPA300Honeywell HPA300 Air Purifier

$$$$

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3-stage465 sq. ft. (43 m2)4.5
3IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier

$$$$$$$

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4-stage1098 sq. ft. (102 m2)5
4Medify MA-40 Air PurifierMedify MA-40 Air Purifier

$$$$

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4-stage840 sq. ft. (78 m2)4.5
5Airmega 400Airmega 400 Air Purifier

$$$$$$

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4-stage1560 sq. ft. (145 m2)4.5
6Alen BreatheSmart HEPA Air PurifierAlen BreatheSmart Classic Air Purifier

$$$$$$$

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3-stage1100 sq. ft. (102 m2)4.5

How Do We Measure?

No matter how big or small your school is, it pays to have an air purifier to protect the students and teachers during this pandemic COVID-19 year. However, there are many confusing terms in an air purifier world that may discourage a person from landing the right model. We're to help to give you a helping hand in your buying journey. Here are the main features of what you need to look for in a classroom air purifier.

  • Room size - We recommended getting an air purifier that can cover at least 900 square footage of room space. The elementary school classroom size in the US is averaging 900 square footage. If account for the social distancing guideline that limits 20 students per teacher, you're looking at 1029 square feet per classroom.
  • Portability - Most powerful air purifiers are big and bulky as they would need to fill in a large filtration. For desktop use, you will need a smaller, lightweight model that can be placed safely on the teacher's desk. Consider getting multiple units for those with limited room space.
  • Easy to use - Choose a model that comes with a simple control that even first-timer can get the hang of it. Teachers don't have the time to fiddle around a complicated control panel.
  • HEPA filter - There are different grades of HEPA filters in the market. The medical-grade H13 HEPA filter is the best option followed closely by the True HEPA filter. Avoid HEPA-type filter as it is not certified and has an inferior 99% filtration as particles as small as 2 microns.
  • Reliability and durability - Most schools will stick to the same model for years even after the students have graduated. So choose an air cleaner that can withstand the test of time. Having a long warranty is a good indication of the model build quality.
  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) - The higher the value, the quicker an air purifier can remove the particulates in a room. An air purifier for classroom CADR should be above 200 cfm but note that not all manufacturers participate in this test. There are other benchmarks to take into account of.
  • Noise output - An air purifier should be quiet so it will not distract a classroom session. The sweet spot is between 20-50 dB.

The voted best public school air purifiers from our readers. Winix 5500-2 has everything you need from a modern air cleaning device. air purifier. The black housing size at 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 inches with a 15.4 lb total weight. Not the biggest but it will certainly take up some ground space. There's a back handle slot for students or teachers to grab on to. Overall, build quality is top-notch and you're getting wholesome premium features that we will touch on later.

Moving to control, Winix 5500-2 comes with 4 selectable speeds (Low, Medium, High, Turbo) that you can adjust at a click of a button. There is an auto mode that only runs at a higher speed when it detects a large concentration level of dirty particulates. Other supportive features like filter change indicator, remote, and timer are here by default. There is also a color air quality indicator bar that displays the classroom air quality level. Useful but you will barely notice it during class.

Here is Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave key features:

  • Dimension (W x H x D) - 15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in
  • Weight - 15.4 lb
  • Noise Level - 26.6 to 60+ dB
  • Filtration - Pre-filter, True HEPA filter, AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter, PlasmaWave Technology
  • Warranty - 2 years

Winix PlasmaWave filtration can trap all types of pollutants in a school. The reusable and washable pre-filter traps large particles like chalk dust, lint, book fiber, hair. The True HEPA filter removes 99.97% of airborne irritants down to 0.3 microns like mold, mildew, pollen, and germs. The AOC Carbon filter adsorbs toxic gases e.g. ammonia, radon, VOCs, asbestos, CO, CO2. Unique in Winix, the PlasmaWave technology diffuses Hydroxyls to destroy the molecular structure of chemicals, germs, and odors for the filter to capture.

An inexpensive yet highly functional air purifier for classroom use. Winix 5500-2 side air inlets and top air outlet distribute 226 cfm airflow supported by a 360 square footage coverage. CADR is at a similar pace with 243 cfm for dust, 246 cfm for pollen, and 232 cfm for smoke. Suitable for a small to medium size classroom.

Another strong suit of Winix 5500-2 is the subtle noise level between 26.6 to 60+ decibels. With auto mode, you can let it run silently in the background without it disturbing teacher teaching or students studying. Energy usage is between 5-90 watts per hour.

There are not many drawbacks that we can think of other than the slightly high annual filter replacement cost. The size might be an issue for smaller classrooms but even that is still manageable. This is truly a well-rounded HEPA air purifier. Just don't lose the remote control as you'll regret it at a later stage.

In short: Winix 5500-2 is a well-rounder HEPA air purifier for classrooms at an accessible price tag. Excellent in maintaining indoor air quality.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 249.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 80 p
 Online price*
$$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Need a no-frills air purifier that can provide top-tier air cleaning, look no further than Honeywell HPA300 allergen remover. It has a remarkable HEPA filtration that is essential for classroom use, especially during this pandemic period. The 20.8 x 22.4 x 10.8 inches dimension and 17 pounds weight fits well in a school without occupying much space. Design is highly functional with solid build quality that guarantees no ozone or off-gassing. The 5 years warranty is the perfect icing on the cake.

For classroom use, you want something that can run 24x7 without complicated controls to worry about. Honeywell HPA300 air purifier will provide you just that and a hassle-free experience. There are 4 cleaning modes: Allergen, General Clean, Germ, and Turbo, a pre-set timer, a light dimmer, and 2 electronic filter change reminders. Most teachers will just leave it in general clean mode and leave it untouched for months until there is a need to change the filter.

Here is Honeywell HPA300 key features:

  • Dimension (W x H x D) - 20.8 x 22.4 x 10.8 in
  • Weight - 17 lb
  • Noise Level - < 60 dB
  • Filtration - Carbon Pre-filter, True HEPA filter
  • Warranty - 5 years

Honeywell HPA300 air purifier 300+ cfm CADR and wide 465 square footage can cover a lot of room space. Ideal for a science lab, mini hall, gym room, library, study room, computer lab and so much more. Noise and power consumption is at a low level as long as you kept it at general mode. The silent operation will not distract the teacher's teaching or students' concentration.

As the allergen remover title implied, Honeywell HPA300 uses 100% mechanical filtration to clean indoor air. Particulates like dust, smoke, and odor will be drawn in and filtered by a carbon pre-filter. With no large particles passing through, the True HEPA filter removes 99.97% microscopic particles as small as 0.3 microns e.g. dust mite, mold, mildew, and pollen. Any incoming pollutants will be removed by HPA300 as long as the air purifier is kept running.

Despite the low price and high airflow output, there are still some downsides that mainly revolved around the recurring cost. You are required to pay around 100+ dollars annually in order to maintain the filter set. Not every school is down with that especially those that run the machine continuously. The lack of convenient features like auto mode, sleep mode, air quality indicator can be a setback for some people as well. So set your mind on the annual cost before attempting to purchase one.

In short: A great, inexpensive HEPA air purifier for classroom that focuses on filtration performance instead of features.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 249.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 108 p
 Online price*
$$$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

For international schools with no lack of funds, this is the best HEPA air purifier for classroom by miles. IQAir HealthPro Plys house the best filtration the world has to offer. As a result, the bulky 15 inches width, 28 inches height, and 16 inches depth are needed to support the multi-stage filters. The 35.3 pounds weight can be an issue for transporting, even though 4 perfectly durable caster wheels are there. On the whole, build quality is top-grade with tough ABS materials that will not release harmful byproducts even on a hot summer day. This is a Swiss made air purifier after all.

IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier operates with relative ease thanks to its dedicated buttons and monotone digital display. You can adjust the 6 fan speeds and set the right balance between performance and noise in a classroom. There is also an intelligent filter life monitor that will accurately alert you to replace the filter and a programmable timer with day, speed, and time setup. Last but not least, remote control is bundled with the machine.

Here is IQAir HealthPro Plus key features:

  • Dimension (W x H x D) - 15 x 28 x 16 in
  • Weight - 35.3 lb
  • Noise Level - 25-59 dB
  • Filtration - PreMax Filter F8, HyperHEPA Filter, V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter MG
  • Warranty - 3 years

A school should be a safe haven for children free from all kinds of airborne allergens. IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier certified performance delivers 41-300 cfm strong airflow delivery rate. The wide 1098 square footage is more than sufficient to cover any room size including science faculty, library, jointed classroom, presentation hall. and computer lab. Noise level is not an issue with the built-in sound deflector EvenFlow Diffuser, curved centrifugal fan, and double-walled housing. Anticipate a low noise between 25-59 dB depending on the operating speed. Energy usage can be high at 27 watts to a max 215 watts per hour therefore the advanced scheduler can play a big role here.

IQAir HealthPro Plus 3D UltraSeal triple-seal technology pulls in pollutants from a 360-degree for the PreMax Filter F8 to capture. With large, dusty particles filtered and blocked from damaging the HEPA filter, the HyperHEPA filter trap microscopic allergens as small as 0.003 microns; 100 times more capable than a true HEPA filter. This includes allergens that can't be seen by the naked eyes like viral bacteria and viruses. The V5-Cell Granular activated Carbon filter with Pelletized chemisorption filter will be in charge of removing chemical fumes, ozone, and odors. This includes common pollution sources from a school built before the 1970s e.g. ammonia, radon, VOCs, asbestos, CO, and CO2. The entire air filtration is done mechanically and is 100% ozone-free as certified by IAACM.

Let's talk about the biggest stumbling block with IQAir HealthPro: the cost. Not many schools can afford an 899+ dollars machine especially when they have multiple classrooms to fulfill. The filter replacement cost will also stack up quickly and eat up your annual school budget. Another concerning point is the heavy body can be a risk for nosey students that accidentally pushed the machine and topple on them. Lastly, features are a bit bare but not a big deal for school use.

In short: The best HEPA air purifier for a classroom but not necessarily the model that everyone needs. Only consider this when you have the funds and want the absolute best.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 899.00 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 152 p
 Online price*
$$$$$$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Protect your student from bad air from wildfire and haze. Medify MA-40 is a Florida-based HEPA air purifier that every school should have one. The modern design is well interpreted that you can tell it optimized airflow efficiency without sacrificing usability and outlook. At a height of just 22 inches, the 15.6-pound total weight is not the lightest but still movable when needed to. Place it near the teacher's desk or chalkboard for maximum and let it work its magic.

Medify MA-40 tempered glass panel adds elegance to its simplistic control. You can adjust the 3 fan speeds, set a timer, and reset the filter replacement indicator tracking. The best feature of all is the child lock that locks the setting from meddling students. Build quality is great with no sign of misalignment, off-gassing, or loose panel. The lifetime warranty is very well appreciated for classroom use as there is bound to be some issue along the way.

Noise level is not Medify MA-40 strong suit. It is at a rather steep 46 dBA "sleep mode" while noise could go as high as 66 dBA. You could still use it in the bedroom to remove dust as long as it is placed further away from the bedroom. Being an Energy Star Rated model, power usage is only at 54 watts per hour. You can efficiently and effectively leave it running 24x7 to capture dust.

Here is Medify MA-40 key features:

  • Dimension (W x H x D) - 9.9 x 22 x 10.9 in
  • Weight - 15.6 lb
  • Noise Level - 46-66 dBA
  • Filtration - Pre-filter, H13 HEPA filter, Activated Carbon composite filter, Ionizer
  • Warranty - Lifetime

Reduce absenteeism in school with Medify MA-40 air purifier. The 840 square footage range every 30 minutes is ideal for all types of classrooms including a science lab, computer room, library, and hall. CADR is tested according to AHAM standard at a high 330 cubic feet per minute (cfm). Given the strong airflow distribution, there is definitely some whirring fan noise which can be distracting for some classes or during exams. Keep it at low noise to maintain the output at 46 dBA rather than the max 66 dBA noise. As an Energy Star certified model, the power usage is 54 wattages per hour. Around 40% more energy efficient than similar rank models.

Double the filters, double the performance. Medify MA-40 uses a dual intake pre-filter that traps large dust particles from passing through. The protected H13 HEPA filter capture 99.9% of irritants as small as 0.1 microns including airborne germs and virus carrier allergens. The carbon filter with carbon pellets absorbs harmful toxins from the building like VOCs, asbestos, radon, formaldehyde, and benzene. There is also an optional ionizer that diffuses charge negative ions to attract, latch, and pull down on contaminants in the air. You will experience an instantaneous improvement in the air quality when outdoor pollution is very bad.

3 things you need to be aware of before putting your money on Medify MA-40 air purifier. First, filter cost is on the higher side considering the filter has to be replaced every 2,500 hours. There will be white noise generated when you are running at a higher speed which can be a deal-breaker for some. The lack of a particle sensor for auto mode is a surprise but plays almost no part for classroom use.

In short: A proven, medical-grade air purifier without the exuberance price tag. Will protect students from airborne allergens as long as the filter is replaced on time.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 349.00 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 60 - 120 p
 Online price*
$$$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

A good air purifier can reduce the number of airborne viruses and students contracting it. Coway Airmega 400 can be the one with its outstanding track record. The sleek and clean exterior is measuring at a 13.6 inches diameter with 21 inches in height. Not the biggest but certainly heavy at 21.4 pounds. Besides the trendy ventilation design, you'll also find a circle air quality indicator that displays how healthy is the classroom air. Overall, a very well-built machine couple with a long 5 years warranty that solidifies its reliability.

Practicality is excellent with Airmega 400 air purifier even though some of the features you will rarely touch. You'll have 3 selectable fan speeds and 1, 4, 8 hours timer as standard. On top of that, there are also sleep mode and an auto mode that activates at a higher fan speed automatically when a large concentration level of pollutants is detected. Supporting features include a light button that dims indicator light and a separate Pre-filter/ MAX2 filter lifetime indicator. Useful but not applicable for classroom use.

Here is Airmega 400 key features:

  • Dimension (W x H x D) - 14.8 x 22.8 x 14.8 in
  • Weight - 24.7 lb
  • Noise Level - 6-66 W
  • Filtration - Pre-filter, Green True HEPA filter, Activated carbon filter
  • Warranty - 5 years

Germs, bacteria, and viruses will multiply and spread airborne. That's why Coway Airmega 1,560 square footage coverages come in handy in dealing with the neverending pollutants. When the air quality is really bad in a classroom, you can increase it to 4 air changes per hour with a reduced 780 square footage range. AHAM CADR is officially tested with a superb 350 cfm air cleaning output. It can swiftly capture the airborne allergens before students or teachers catch the viruses. Noise level is quiet on the most part with an output of 22-52 decibels depending on the fan speed. Coway Airmega 300 also complies with the Energy Star efficiency test with 6-57 watts of power consumption.

Runs purely on HEPA filtration with no harmful ozone byproducts, indoor air is pulled in through both sides of the air inlet. The dual pre-filter will block large particles like dust, hair, chalk particles from passing through and prevent damages to the HEPA filter. The Green True HEPA filter capture 99.97% of microscopic particles down to 0.3 microns including seasonal mold and mildew when room humidity increased. The activated carbon filter focus on neutralizing smoke, chemical, and musty odor (if there is any).

The main setback why Coway Airmega 400 is not the most variable option here is the cost. Even after an online discount, there are cheaper alternatives for schools with limited budgets. You will also need to account for the MAX2 filter replacement that will cost up to 130 dollars annually multiply the number of units the school has. The performance will dip if you do not replace the filter on time.

In short: Premium HEPA air purifier with strong airflow and wide air cleaning coverage. Cost is the only factor that could determine its long-term usability.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 749.00 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 130 p
 Online price*
$$$$$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE

Alen BreatheSmart air purifier has been used in many classrooms for years. It offers a great air cleaning capacity that reduces the risk of students contracting a viral infection. The 17.8 x 26.8 x 10 inches dimension and 21 pounds weight is not overly large that you will have a hard time finding a place for it. It also comes with fancy addon panel designs that you can skip for classroom use.

Alen BreatheSmart is easy to use that even a new substitute teacher can make adjustments without an instructional manual. You can choose between the 4 fan speeds or use auto mode for optimal performance. Timers are also present along with a child lock that prevents students from meddling with the setting. Other features include an air quality indicator display, an optional ionizer, and an advanced smart filter that checks the filter usage life. The assuring lifetime warranty will come in handy when there is a need for part replacement.

Here is Alen BreatheSmart key features:

  • Dimension (W x H x D) - 17.8 x 26.8 x 10 in
  • Weight - 21 lb
  • Noise Level - 64-105 W
  • Filtration - Pre-filter, HEPA-Pure filter (upgradable), Ionizer
  • Warranty - Lifetime Limited Warranty

With an airflow delivery rate of 150 to 286 cfm, Alen can cover up to 1,100 square footage of air cleaning under 1-2 hours. Best used in a large classroom, assembly hall, library, cafeteria, or science lab. CADR is averaging at 300 cubic feet per minute. Noise level is not affected by the strong output at 22 decibels to a consistent white noise 52 decibels. As long as you kept the speed away from turbo mode, it will not distract the student from studying or the teacher from preaching.

No PM2.5 will be able to escape Alen BreatheSmart air purifier filtration. The washable pre-filter traps school dust and other large particles while prolongs the HEPA filter life. The True-HEPA filter captures small particles and pathogens like mold, mildew, and germs. For stubborn allergens, you have an ionizer that diffuses negative ions to attract and pull down contaminants in the air. For smoke and odor filtration, you will need to upgrade to the HEPA-Pure filter to either HEPA-Silver filter, HEPA-FreshPlus filter, or HEPA-OdorCell filter.

Like all the previous models, Alen BreatheSmart top-tier filtration is reflected in its selling price. You're looking at 600+ dollars excluding any filter upgrade (a must-have). Only private schools can afford such luxury so do consider the other cheaper alternatives. The only silver lining is the filter replacement cost can be low if the classroom air quality maintains regularly at a moderate level.

In short: The perfect air cleaning machine to protect the student from unhealthy air due to haze or wildfire. Once you get over the high selling price, you will reap the reward for years to come.

MRSP/ RSP**
± 649.00 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 46 - 138 p
 Online price*
$$$$$$$
CHECK LATEST AMAZON PRICE
** MRSP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is provided by cleanairprice.com. Accurate at the time of posting.
^ Annual filter cost is calculated based on filter price and 12 hours of usage. Pricing could vary depending on air quality, usage frequency, and speed.
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How Can We Purify Air In The Classroom?

Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) in school can lead to allergic reactions like fatigue, headaches, lack of concentration, absenteeism, and illness. Here are few ways you can improve indoor air in a classroom and ensure the safety of teachers and students.

  • Upgrade and maintain the school ventilation system. Make sure there is no mold and germs growing in the duct.
  • A HEPA air purifier can clean the air and keep schools safe from airborne viruses. It is proven to be effective in containing allergens, neutralize chemicals, odors, and preventing an asthma attack. With school reopening from the lockdown, air purifiers are needed in a classroom more than ever.
  • Use only low-toxicity materials such as school supplies, paints so students and teachers would not breathe into the harmful byproducts.
  • If outdoor air quality is good, keep windows open to let fresh air in.
  • Avoid using an air freshener or deodorizer that emits harmful chemicals to mask away odor rather than removing it.
  • Avoid keeping food in the classroom to minimize pest problems.
  • Clean and remove classroom clutter so it will not stir back into the air when disturbed. Sanitize according to the State Department of Health guideline.
  • Attend Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to identify, highlight, and discuss any school air quality issue.

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.