Smoke of practically any kind brings a cocktail of toxic chemicals with it. While getting rid of the actual source of the pollution by opening windows is by far the superior way, you can’t do that in certain situations or under specific weather conditions. If you get exposed to smoke, one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce it is to use an air purifier indoors. This device can save your lungs from being exposed to, say, cigarette smoke, or even smoke from wildfires.
So if you’re looking for the best purifier for smoke elimination, then do keep a few things in mind. For instance, air purifiers come with specific features such as the number and type of filters, coverage area, and the percentage of contaminants they can capture. While these may be generic features, not every purifier works for every type of contaminant. One that works well to get rid of dander or dust may not do the same for residue from cigarette smoke. Likewise, the one that gets the odor out may not target the toxic particles.
Top 8 Air Purifiers for Smoke
So to make things easier, our testers spent time with some of the top contenders for the best air purifier for cigarette smoke removal and came up with the following list. We have also put together individual descriptions of each purifier and have wrapped it up with a complete buying guide to getting the best air purifier for smoke in 2020.
A reliable option with three different filters and CADR smoke of a whopping 230 will get you rid of harmful toxic particles quickly and effectively
An eye-catching model that can cope with covering up to 361 square feet rooms and also offers a function of air ionizing
This unit features four carbon pre-filters to prolong the life of the primary HEPA filter and can cover up to 325 square feet of space
A unit with three-speed settings and a night light function to make it your best companion day and night
Along with the typical charcoal and HEPA filters, this model features a UV-C layer to remove any bacteria or viruses floating along in the room
Its stylish and compact design makes this model operating at only 48 dBA perfect for small rooms
Featuring a permanent HEPA-grade filter this purifier can efficiently operate for many years to come without a need to replace the filter
Featuring LED lights for mode indication, two fan speeds, and a UV-C sanitizer, this unit is a very decent choice for the money
LEVOIT LV-PUR131 – Editor’s Choice
- Number of filters: 3
- Filters type: pre-filter; carbon filter; HEPA filter
- CADR smoke: 230
- Coverage area: up to 322 sq. ft.
- Noise level: 52 dBA
- Dimensions: 14.5 x 7.2 x 18.5 inches
More features: touch control panel; backed by a 2-year warranty
This aesthetically designed purifier not only has a pretty face, but also comes packed with fascinating features. It has a handy automatic mode which monitors the power it uses so you don’t have to do it yourself. It keeps a check on how clean the air is and swaps power levels based on that. By using light colors, you can tell how clean the air is. It also has a digital display screen to help make the control process even simpler.
The filters are a mesh, a HEPA and a carbon filter to eradicate any bad scents from the area. This makes it an effective and small scale solution to your indoor air issues. With all of this convenience bundled up into one technologically advanced piece of joy, this purifier has earned the Editor’s Choice on this list.
Thanks to the automatic mode, the purifier can crank itself up when it detects odors in the air that are denser than normal unpolluted air. A major plus side for most people is that it does not produce any ozone as there’s no ionizer option inside of it. For those who’d rather feel safe than sorry, this is a great provider for clean air.
As heavy duty as this is, it is bound to create some noise which it does to a certain extend typical for all air purifiers. Sometimes, reviewers have said there to even be a sort of clunking noise in the background.
- Auto mode for easy usability
- Light indicator
- Digital display
- Creates no ozone
- Can get loud
Coway AP-1512HH – Best Air Purifier for Cigarette Smoke
- Number of filters: 3
- Filters type: pre-filter; odor filter; HEPA filter + ionizer
- CADR smoke: 233
- Coverage area: up to 361 sq. ft.
- Noise level: 53.8 dBA (on highest speed)
- Dimensions: 16.8 x 18.3 x 9.6 inches
More features: filter change indicator; eco mode; timer – 1, 4, 8 hours; three speeds
This air purifier has a very stylish look to it, geometric and convenient to place. It has four different filtration layers. These layers are in order, the micro mesh layer, the activated carbon layer, the HEPA layer and finally the ionizer layer. By going through all these layers, it ensures that the air comes out clean, fresh and odor free. The HEPA layer inside can control and contain cigar smoke, which is a great plus point for those who do have smokers in the house as well as children. Some people do not like that the ionizer layer can exalt ozone, so it can be turned off.
The Coway has an eco mode as well as an automatic setting which monitors the speed of the fans based on how dense the air around is. If the automatic mode detects the room is clean, it will shut off and move to eco mode, which saves electricity. With multiple fan speeds, the higher you go, the louder it gets which can prove inconvenient for heavy duty jobs.
The unit has a light that tells you how dirty the air is with levels red, purple and blue. You can place a timer on the air purifier for one, four and eight hours. With a vast coverage area, as well as consistent and efficient performance, this purifier has earned the title of Best Purifier for Cigarette Smoke.
- Eco and automatic mode
- Auto timer
- Sleek design
- Light indicating air pollution level
- Noise level increases with power
- Ozone exaltation
VEVA 8000 Elite Pro Series Air Purifier – Best Air Purifier for Wildfire Smoke
- Number of filters: 5
- Filters type: 4 x carbon pre-filters; HEPA filter
- CADR smoke: 120
- Coverage area: up to 325 sq. ft.
- Noise level: not specified
- Dimensions: 9 x 8 x 23 inches
More features: safety shut-off; can be changed from a tower to a table-top unit
The Veva 8000 features a design and functions to impress. It comes with five different filters that do an amazing job of removing dust, dander, bacteria and odor-creating molecules present in the air.
With its combination of peak performing filters, it is also very effective for removing smoke reside from indoor air. Given its nanotechnology it can eliminate airborne molecules that cause the problem. So if you’re living with a smoker at home, or in an area that gets affected by wildfire smoke, then the Veva 8000 can help you keep your indoor air purified significantly. Hence our accolade for the best air purifier for wildfire smoke.
There are three different fan speeds to choose from. The ultra-quiet option keeps the unit working and running noiselessly at night without causing too much of a disturbance. And the turbo mechanism works for conditions when air quality may be particularly bad.
This air purifier comes with a base that lets you be selective about its placement. You can use it as a table top or as a tower which gives you more freedom to move it around.
There is a two-year warranty that comes with this purchase along with the opportunity to get lifetime support from the company itself. You also get one additional HEPA filter and three carbon filters with your initial purchase.
Some concerns voiced were regarding the noise level of the fan even on low setting.
- Traps multiple pollutants
- Ozone free
- Tower and tabletop design
- Lifetime customer support
- Loud even on low setting
- Greater number of filters requires more expenses on the replacement
LEVOIT LV-H132 – Best Air Purifier for Allergies
- Number of filters: 3
- Filters type: fine pre-filter; HEPA filter; activated carbon filter
- CADR smoke: not specified
- Coverage area: 129 sq. ft. (effective range)
- Noise level: 50 dBA
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 14.5 inches
More features: three speed settings; nightlight function
Levoit claims a spot again with this model and its advanced features. This model comes with three filtration levels and fan speeds. It can remove dust, freshen the air and clear out odors. Just as well, this purifier with its three types of filtration tends to eliminate allergy symptoms with its effective dust removal. That is why we have rated this as the Best Air Purifier for Allergies.
It has three filtration modes being a normal one, a HEPA level, and an activated carbon filtration level. These three levels make it a very efficient air purifier, but some people do have an issue with the noise level it produces. Naturally a very strong filter will make a bit of racket.
This unit also comes with a blue night light that can’t be turned off, unfortunately. It can prove helpful for children rooms and navigating at night. But for others who don’t sleep with the light on, this can be a nuisance. It uses another light to indicate when the filter must be changed. Once you have changed the filter, press down on the light for a moment or two, and it will restart its time cycle. The filter that comes with this model cannot be hand washed, which means a new one must be purchased every change. The company says that six months is a good time to swap between filters, but that may vary depending on the actual dustiness of your home.
- Aesthetic design
- Three filtration levels
- Targets multiple pollutants
- Nightlight included
- Creates noise
- Night light can’t be dimmed or turned off
GermGuardian AC4825 – Most User-Friendly
- Number of filters: 2
- Filters type: charcoal; HEPA + UV-C
- CADR smoke: 108
- Coverage area: up to 167 sq. ft.
- Noise level: not specified
- Dimensions: 7 x 10.2 x 21.5 inches
More features: filter change indicator; three speeds available
Like all other purifiers, this one can clean out the dust from the air, but it can also remove any bacteria or viruses floating along in the room. The layering you can find in this air purifier are tri-fold that work together to make your air perfectly safe to inhale. Firstly, there is the activated charcoal layer which eliminates the smell and large hovering objects. Next comes the HEPA layer which makes everybody happy with 99.97% cleaner air. Finally, there is a special layer, a UV ray that kills off any bacteria and virus that would otherwise remain in the air you breathe. With the amount of strength this purifier has to offer, this filter is undoubtedly one that you can place in a large space with the assurance you will walk into a fresh and crisp room.
The controls of this unit are super easy to understand and use. The purifier has a speed dial and a light on the top which will turn red if you need to change the filter. This happens every six to eight months, which is fair enough if you want high-quality air. The HEPA layer can be vacuumed, but that will not remove the fact that you will eventually have to replace it.
- UV-C stage kills bacteria and virus
- Various speeds to choose from
- Warning system to change filter
- Bulky in comparison with others
PARTU Air Purifier – Best Small Air Purifier for Smoke
- Number of filters: 3
- Filters type: pre-filter; HEPA; activated carbon + membrane net + mesh scaffold
- CADR smoke: 104
- Coverage area: up to 160 sq. ft.
- Noise level: 48 dBA
- Dimensions: 15 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches
More features: remains at the last chosen setting when switched off; various lights settings
Equipped with three-layered filtration, this Partu air purifier works on dust and smoke effectively. With a powerful motor, HEPA technology and a high CADR smoke rating of 104, you can hope to get exceptional results in purifying indoor air.
Featuring a slope top and sleek black design, this unit will make a stylish addition to any interior. The sloping top makes it ideal to place near your activity range such as your desk, workstation, or favorite chair to get an optimal flow of purified air.
For those who are wary of ozone issues, this model is the ultimate solution as it does not emit any ozone. This makes it safe to use in any space where you want the air to be fresher, cleaner and free of harmful pollutants. You can use it around babies, children, and pets without any worries or concerns.
Even though the unit has a powerful motor, it runs fairly quiet, making it an ideal option for bedrooms and workplaces. The Partu purifier also features a child lock mechanism so that settings may not be changed accidentally and there is an auto shut-off function that will turn the unit off after timed intervals.
The dimensions of this unit are relatively small measuring only 6.5 x 6.5 inches, but there is a bit of height at 15 inches. So standing tall yet extremely compact, we rate this as the best small air purifier for smoke on our list.
But all else aside, your biggest concern when buying this purifier may be that it doesn’t come with a warranty.
- Sleek design
- Ozone free
- Operates quietly
- Child lock mechanism
- Auto shut-off function
- No warranty offered
- Too small coverage for large rooms
Hamilton Beach 04386A – Best Air Purifier for Less Than 100$
- Number of filters: 1
- Filters type: permanent HEPA-grade filter
- CADR smoke: not specified
- Coverage area: up to 160 sq. ft.
- Noise level: not specified
- Dimensions: 8.1 x 10.8 x 16.4 inches
More features: the filter can be vacuum-cleaned
This purification device only has one filtration layer which is its HEPA filter. This layer does not require to be replaced, only vacuumed which is a real money saver. It takes a lot out of the air such as dust, pollen and dust mites but since it does not have an activated carbon filter means that it proves inefficient when deodorizing your air.
It has three speeds for its fan with the primary one being the quietest and the maximum the loudest. The design of the unit isn’t bulky which makes it easy to place the unit almost anywhere.
When it comes to features, this model leaves something to be desired since its additional characteristics are scarce. It makes up for this by having a great quality filter that doesn’t need to be replaced at a low price, which is also the reason it earns the nomination for the Best Purifier for Smoke Under 100$.
It is lightweight, and the design is very modern; it’s easy to place it in any room with any decoration piece to compliment. It can serve a decent space but it does need monitoring since it has no sensory system or timer attached to it. It can just keep going if you don’t watch it.
There is a one-year limited warranty by the manufacturer for defects in parts and labor. You can also get help from the customer support team, acknowledged for their timely assistance.
- Permanent filter
- Cost-effective purchase
- Lightweight and portable
- One-year limited warranty
- Not effective for deodorizing
- Not too many features
- No sensory timer
hOmeLabs 3 in 1 Ionic Air Purifier – Budget Pick
- Number of filters: 3
- Filters type: pre-filter; carbon filter; HEPA filter + UV-C sanitizer
- CADR smoke: 85.2
- Coverage area: up to 50 sq. ft.
- Noise level: not specified
- Dimensions: 6.7 x 6.7 x 7.5 inches
More features: LED lights for mode indication; two fan speeds
This purifier has a four-layer filtration system that proves very effective when cleaning out particles in the air. With a HEPA filter, it can really help manage all of the dust, pollen and smoke emitted. It also has a carbon layer which means that this filter can also remove odor for clean smelling wafts of fresh breath. What this specially has is an ion booster which is magnified into the air and cleans 99% of the bacteria and germs flying about.
It has a 360-degree turn that provides better ventilation and two fan speeds to choose from, if you want to quieten the process down when you are at home. The machine in and of itself is relatively small in size which makes it easier to move to different areas in the home.
What some people have complained about is that it doesn’t filter a grand enough space or it may be too loud for their liking. If you compare it to the price that this unit is offered at, this is a really promising device that can effectively filtrate your air, so you risk less every time you take a deep breath in. That is why this purifier deserves the Budget Pick nomination on this list with the most affordable price tag at peak performance.
- Targets odors effectively
- Compact size
- Good value for the money
- Doesn’t cover a lot of space
- Too noisy for such a small air purifier
Air purifiers are your likely best friend if tobacco smoke, wildfire smoke, or smoke odors are present in your home’s indoor environment. You can also extend a purifier’s use to getting rid of pollen, spores, dust, mold, and bacteria but models will vary. Since not every air purifier can target or capture every type of airborne particle, you will need to be selective in your approach.
How do air purifiers work?
Even though different air purifiers will zero in on different particles in the air, most will have a similar working mechanism. For the most part, all air purifiers use a system of internal fans to pull indoor air and run it through very fine sieves, or filters that sift particles from the circulating air. As air flows into the machine, the filter traps any particles present. So the finer the filter, the more particles it traps.
The accepted benchmark for air filters that has been set by HEPA or the High Efficiency Particulate Air is guaranteed to trap 99.97% of airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns.
The purifier then circulates the cleaned air back into the indoor space and the process reruns over multiple times to keep your environment healthy.
Features to consider while choosing an air purifier
As you go looking for an air purifier, you’ll notice that these machines come with a variety of functions, upgrades, and options. To make sure that you get the one to fit your needs best, consider the following features:
Number and type of filters
The number of filters you’ll find on an air purifier will vary from one model to the next. Most models will range between two and four filters. However, most basic models will only start off with one filter such as the Hamilton Beach 04386A, while the more advanced ones can go up to five such as the VEVA 8000 Elite Pro Series and the Partu Air Purifier. We have a range of these on our list here to give you a complete choice in what you’re looking for.
As far as types of filters go, there are a few different choices available. Each type uses a different technology and targets different pollutants.
HEPA filters – Typically more expensive than other kinds, HEPA-certified air purifiers are considered one of the most effective. They contain a mechanical filter using HEPA technology and are highly capable of trapping particulate pollutants. Any of the best air purifiers for smoke odor will have one HEPA filter installed along with a combination of other types for optimal performance. All the models that we have gathered here today include a HEPA filter paired with others to give you a smoke-free indoor environment.
The filter itself can be made of any material as long as it meets the HEPA standard of trapping 99.97% of pollutants 0.3 microns or larger. These filters are highly efficient, trapping particles and don’t dispense them again into air. While they do remove visible smoke, they don’t really eliminate odors or fumes and need help from other types of filters.
Activated carbon filters – These filters use activated carbon in a specific form. It has innumerable tiny pores which are absorbent and provide an extended surface for trapping gases, fumes, and odors. Activated carbon is extremely porous and yields numerous nooks and crannies to trap passing molecules. The larger particles simply get stuck in the pores while the smaller ones get trapped.
These filters work best in places where the odor is an issue. They help make the indoors smell clean and fresh removing cooking smells, smoke and pet odors.
They are also cheap as compared to other types but are only effective for removing odors, smells and fumes and not anything else. That is why these filters are always paired up with other types to be more effective.
Ionizing filters – This type of filter doesn’t essentially purify the indoor air per say. Instead, these purifiers emit negative ions into the surrounding air which then attach to positively charged airborne particles. When the two combine together they become too weighty to stay airborne and settle on other surfaces. So while they may be extracted from the surrounding air in a sense, they are still present within the room. If you’re looking for an ionizing filter with an electrostatic plate, then take a closer look at the hOmeLabs model we have discussed today.
UV filters – This technology is different from the ones mentioned so far. UV filters use invisible light to attack pollutants rather than have them pass through an actual filter. It remains inside the air purifying unit and isn’t emitted into the surrounding room. The light used in this mechanism is UV-C band which is safe and does not present any concerns. Its primary function is to destroy viruses and bacteria that are airborne.
When you’re looking to get the best air purifier for cigarette smell, or any other similar odor, you may come across a rating saying CADR. This stands for Clear Air Delivery Rate and indicates how thoroughly an air purifier can clean a particular sized room.
The higher the numbers, the more efficient the filtering mechanism is at getting rid of the contaminants. You can use the CADR rating to compare two different air purifier models to see which one will work better for you. Models that give identical square footage coverage and come with CADR ratings will tell you which air purifier will work better for removing specific pollutants.
Most air purifiers are rated with a coverage area and you should get a unit suitable for a particular room you’re intending to use it in.
Along with square footage placement of the unit is also essential to achieve the best results. Most units work best placed in the center of the room. If you put it in one corner of the room, it will only take longer for the air purifier to do its job. This is true for ionic filters as these models emit ions in a 360-degree circle and need clearance all around to work correctly.
Air purifiers that use a HEPA or carbon filter can be placed two-three feet away from a wall or furniture which gives them enough surrounding airspace to work at maximum power.
Noise can be an essential factor when it comes to buying an air purifier. Ideally, the unit should run on the lowest setting if it fits the square footage for the area correctly. If you find that you need to put it on higher settings, then you may have a unit too small for the area. It also means that the noise level will rise when the purifier runs on the maximum mode.
For models that use a HEPA or carbon filter, there is always a fan mechanism. The fan is what draws the air into the purifier and pushes it through the filters. And fans make noise.
Air purifiers come in a vast array of dimensions with some of the smallest being only slightly above 6 x 6 x 7 inches such as the hOmeLabs Ionic 3 in 1 air purifier. A smaller, compact unit will work well for compact spaces as long as it is sized correctly.
So while you may wish to consider the actual size of the unit, you still need to refer to the coverage it can provide regarding square footage. That remains a priority regarding effectiveness of an air purifier.
Along with standard features, air purifiers also come outfitted with extra characteristics to add to their performance. These can include digital controls to allow for more precise settings, indicators for filter replacement, and programmable timers that automatically shut the device off after a certain time interval. Some models come with a handle for easy portability or casters to roll bulkier air purifiers from one room to the next. Others also will feature a night light which can be convenient to light a darkened room or suitable for use in the bedroom.
Why do you need to get rid of cigarette and wildfire smoke?
The hazards of cigarette smoke, either directly or as second-hand smoke are well known. But inhaling wildfire smoke particles can have equally detrimental effects. Both types of smoke can leave your lungs taxed and exhausted as these are your body’s primary filters. Extended exposure can bring about chest pains, rapid heartbeat, wheezing or an asthma attack. To clear the air, you need to invest in a quality air purifier so that your indoor air gets cleared of pollutants and minimize any potential health threats.
Experts recommend often-used HEPA filters be replaced every three to five years. Among these pre-filters need changing every three months to one year while carbon filters should be replaced every six months to two years. Permanent filters don’t need replacement but merely need to be cleaned periodically. However, eventually permanent filters or the air purifier itself will need replacing for optimal performance. You can get air purifier filters from the retailers that sell the purifiers.
Air purifiers are very safe to use overnight and are designed to run for extended periods of time. Most units can handle running for up to eight hours at a stretch which will give you a comfortable night’s sleep. Just turn it off when you wake up to give it a rest and then you can run it once again.
Models that offer the best CADR smoke level can yield a reading of up to 450. The greater the better, but if you need a purifier for a small room, CADR 80 is more than enough. For example, hOmeLabs 3 in 1 Ionic Air Purifier can cover up to 50 square feet, that’s why its CADR 85.2 copes perfectly well with getting rid of smoke in a short time.
For all-around air purifying performance, we recommend going with the LEVOIT LV-PUR131 model as it gives you a nice blend of aesthetics and performance. It has just the right amount of additional features to make the job easier for the air purifier and give you the best ease-of-use convenience. This model won’t break the bank and will still provide you with everything you paid for.
If smoke is an issue in your indoor environment, another option to consider is the Coway AP-1512HH. This air purifier will give you effective smoke control and elimination and make the indoor air easier to breathe.
The Veva 8000 model is the best air purifier for smoke elimination for any home which is exposed to prolonged smoke such as from wildfire smoke. Its powerful motor and effective filtering systems will work hard to minimize smoke levels and remove toxins to give you a healthy indoor environment.