Air Purifiers For Smoke

Whether you live near wildfire-prone areas or your home is frequently exposed to tobacco smoke, having an air purifier is a great way to combat these fumes and preserve the quality of air in your living space. We all know that regular exposure to smoke (and pretty much any other airborne pollutant) brings hazards that should be avoided, and an air purifier can help.

In this article we list the seven best air purifiers for smoke that are available on the market today. All of these options are excellent in fighting unwanted health problems and unpleasant odors.

Top 7 Air Purifiers for Smoke Comparison

Image Product Price

Top Pick

1. Coway Mighty AP-1512HH

  • Pre-filter + True HEPA + deodorization filter + optional vital ionizer
  • Smoke CADR: 233 CFM
  • 360 sq. ft. coverage area
  • Air quality sensor and indicator
  • Auto mode + Eco mode + three speed options
  • 3-year warranty
Check price on amazon

Budget Pick

2. GermGuardian AC4825

  • True HEPA + charcoal + titanium dioxide UV-C
  • Smoke CADR: 108 CFM
  • 167 sq. ft. coverage area
  • Three speed options
  • 3-year warranty
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3. Honeywell True HEPA 50250

  • Activated carbon pre-filter + HEPA
  • SurroundSeal technology
  • Smoke CADR: 250 CFM
  • 390 sq. ft. coverage area
  • Three speed options
  • 5-year warranty
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4. Blueair Classic 405

  • Electrostatic filter + HEPAsilent + SmokeStop (sold separately)
  • Smoke CADR: 280 CFM
  • 434 sq. ft. coverage area
  • Wi-Fi-enabled + Blueair Friend app
  • Night mode + three speed options
  • 5-year warranty
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5. InvisiClean Aura

  • Activated carbon pre-filter + True HEPA + UV-C bulb + Ionizer
  • Smoke CADR: 170 CFM
  • 319 sq. ft. coverage area
  • Sleep mode + four speed options
  • 2/4/8-hour timer
  • 3-year warranty
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6. Winix 5500-2

  • Pre-filter + washable carbon + True HEPA + PlasmaWave
  • Smoke CADR: 232 CFM
  • 360 sq. ft. coverage area
  • Air quality sensors and indicator
  • Auto mode + Sleep mode + four speed options
  • 2-year warranty
Check price on amazon

7. Alen BreatheSmart FIT50

  • HEPA FreshPlus + Ionizer
  • Smoke CADR: 220 CFM
  • 900 sq. ft. coverage area
  • Auto + Sleep + four speed options
  • Customizable designer panels
  • Lifetime warranty
Check price on amazon

Smoke Air Purifier Reviews

1. Coway Mighty AP-1512HH

The Mighty air purifier from Coway combines a pre-filter, an odor filter, a True HEPA filter, and a vital ionizer to fight airborne pollutants in your home including smoke. It delivers virtually-smoke-free air at a rate of 233 CFM, which makes it a great machine for medium to large rooms up to 360 sq. ft. It features an air quality sensor that automatically adjusts fan speed according to the detected pollution level in the room. This means that it’ll automatically speed up air intake once smoke is detected. You’ll also be able to visually monitor the current pollution level in real time using the air quality indicator.

Its price tag and replacement filters are somewhat costly, but it does come with a timer, adjustable speed settings, and a filter replacement indicator. It also has an Eco mode to help minimize energy spend. As long as you don’t mind having a model that features a bright LED ring on the front panel (which can be an annoyance at night), the Coway AP-1512HH is definitely a promising all-around choice for your home.

Pros

  • Offers both Auto and Eco mode
  • With air quality sensors and indicator
  • Adjustable speed
  • With 12-hour timer
  • Filter replacement indicator
  • Wide coverage area

Cons

  • Upfront costs and replacement filters are expensive
  • Highest speed setting is loud
  • Bright LED indicator

2. GermGuardian AC4825

The GermGuardian AC4825 has a dedicated charcoal filter for smoke and odors. It also has as a True HEPA filter to trap allergens, pollen, and pet dander. It also features a titanium dioxide-assisted UV-C lamp that can neutralize germs when on but can also be turned off depending on your needs.

Its CADR rating for smoke is only 108 CFM, but note that this is expected from a machine that’s built for small to medium rooms. For reference, its maximum coverage area is 167 sq. ft. One of the biggest issues with this affordable air purifier is that it unfortunately doesn’t come with a timer. It also doesn’t have dedicated sleep and auto modes. It does, however, offer users three speed options, which is great considering its price point. If you’re on the lookout for a pocket-friendly smoke-clearing air purifier that still covers a respectable amount of space, the GermGuardian AC4825 might be your best bet.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • With filter change indicator
  • Controllable UV-C light
  • Adjustable speed

Cons

  • No timer
  • Small room coverage
  • No extra features

3. Honeywell True HEPA 50250

The True HEPA air purifier from Honeywell uses an activated carbon pre-filter and a True HEPA filter to neutralize indoor pollutants like smoke, germs, pollen, dust, odors, and mold spores. It also comes with SurroundSeal technology, which minimizes air leaks and ensures that “air passes through the filter.” It also features a patented 360-degree air intake system, designed to help purify the air with greater efficiency – but you have to position the unit a bit farther from the wall to actually maximize this system.

The presence of three speed options is great, but the lack of a timer function might be an understandable disappointment for some consumers. Some reviewers have also noted that it tends to be a bit louder than other air purifiers, so you might want to opt for something else for bedroom use. The rather-short lifespan of the carbon filter, which needs to be replaced every three months, is another disadvantage. Fortunately, the True HEPA filter is longer-lasting. At the end of the day, with a coverage area of 390 sq. ft. and a smoke CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 250 CFM, the Honeywell True HEPA 50250 is poised to be a great smoke-fighting companion for medium-to-large rooms.

Pros

  • Handles virtually all types of indoor pollutants
  • Adjustable speed
  • With filter change indicator
  • Wide coverage
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Short carbon filter lifespan
  • No timer
  • Relatively loud

4. Blueair Classic 405

The Blueair Classic 405 combines electrostatic filtration and HEPASilent technology to trap particles including smoke. If you find yourself wanting a higher smoke CADR than what it already offers, you can also opt to purchase an additional SmokeStop filter, which targets tobacco smoke and odors more intensively.

While it has both a timer and adjustable speed levels, it doesn’t have any other special modes to boast about (except a night mode). Models at its high price point usually come equipped with an auto mode and/or special sensors, but not the 405. What it lacks in this arena, though, it makes up for with Wi-Fi functionality and a dedicated partner application called Blueair Friend, which lets you control the unit with your phone. If being able to monitor and control your air purifier via a smartphone is a big deal to you and you don’t mind paying extra, you’d definitely want to check out the Blueair Classic 405.

Pros

  • With timer
  • Adjustable speed
  • Wi-Fi-enabled
  • Accompanying Blueair Friend app
  • With night mode
  • Wide coverage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No extra features
  • Highest speed setting is loud

5. InvisiClean Aura

The Aura air purifier from InvisiClean combines an activated carbon pre-filter, a True HEPA filter, an ionizer, and a UV-C light to fight airborne particles, odors, germs, and of course smoke. All of these purification stages can be controlled independently, according to InvisiClean, so if your main concern is smoke and other particles, you can conveniently turn off the UV-C light (and even the ionizer, if HEPA and carbon are enough for you) to help you save on energy costs.

Aside from offering four speed options, it also boasts a sleep mode that turns off all the lights on the control panel. You can also set the timer to turn the machine off after two, four, or eight hours. All these it manages to offer while keeping the price tag relatively-affordable. If there’s one downside to this air purifier, it’s that the filters need cleaning every month and replacing every three to six months. This model would best fit shoppers who are looking for a smoke-fighting air purifier that would also fare well at night time since it boasts both an auto-off timer and a sleep mode.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Wide coverage area
  • Adjustable speed
  • With sleep mode and timer
  • With filter reset indicator
  • Energy-efficient

Cons

  • Filters require regular cleaning
  • Short filter lifespan

6. Winix 5500-2

The Winix 5500-2 air purifier uses True HEPA to capture allergens and a washable carbon filter to neutralize odors, VOCs, and smoke. It adds a pre-filter and PlasmaWave technology to the mix, with the latter being an optional ionizer for fighting bacteria, odors, VOCs, and other chemical gases.

While it has a self-adjusting auto mode, users are also given four speed presets. An air quality indicator and a filter change indicator also make an appearance for added convenience. The LED auto-dim feature and sleep mode should make this model ideal for bedroom use as well.

The washable carbon filter reduces the need to change filters, but this machine requires quite a bit of maintenance. The pre-filter needs to be cleaned every two weeks and the carbon filter, every three months. Looking at the bigger picture, though, the Winix 5500-2 appears to offer the complete package: ample pollutant-fighting technologies, a respectable 232 CFM dust CADR, and convenient features as well.

Pros

  • With air quality and filter change indicators
  • With remote control
  • Adjustable speed
  • With auto and sleep mode
  • Wide coverage area
  • LED auto-dim feature
  • 1/4/8-hour timer
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Carbon filter and pre-filter needs regular cleaning
  • Expensive replacement filters
  • Turbo speed setting is loud

7. Alen BreatheSmart FIT50

The Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 comes in four variants, each with a different specialization. The variant that specializes in combating smoke, VOCs, and odors uses HEPA FreshPlus technology, which is a HEPA filter that’s infused with carbon. This machine’s CADR rating is 220 CFM and it purifies spaces up to 900 sq. ft., making it ideal for larger rooms.

If you like customization, you’d likely appreciate that this model has a customizable front panel. It also boasts child-friendly features—namely, a control panel lock and a child-safe vent guard—that make it a good option for households with small children (or even pets). Like most models that come at a high price point, the FIT50 features an air quality indicator and special modes like auto, sleep, and lights-off. If there’s a major drawback to this model (aside from its high price tag), it’s that its replacement filters are quite expensive, as well. If you don’t mind paying extra for bells and whistles and customization options, however, the Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 in the FreshPlus variant is a definite contender.

Pros

  • Customizable designer panels
  • Wide coverage area
  • With auto, sleep, and lights-off modes
  • Child-safe features
  • With filter life and air quality indicators
  • With a timer
  • Adjustable speed
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • High maintenance costs
  • Highest speed setting is loud

Buyer’s Guide:

Air Purifiers For Smoke

The Best Air Purifiers for Smoke

Most air purifiers that have physical filters are capable of removing smoke particles from the air, but some models are better at it than others. The best air purifiers for smoke are those that contain special odor-fighting/deodorization filters, which usually contain carbon-based compounds like activated carbon or charcoal. Carbon filters have the ability to trap gaseous molecules, as opposed to filters like HEPA that only trap particle pollutants.

Health Benefits from Air Filtration Systems

Having an air purifier at home can reduce the risk of contracting respiratory diseases and irritations caused by smoke. Here are some of the potential consequences of regular exposure to smoke, which can be avoided by using an air purifier:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Worsened allergies
  • Lung inflammation
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

Air purifiers that are designed to combat smoke are also great at removing unpleasant odors and harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air. They also aid HEPA filters (or whatever other filters are found in a specific model) in filtering particle pollutants.

When to Get an Air Purifier for Smoke

Anyone can benefit from having a smoke-fighting air purifier at home. The following people, though, might find it the most beneficial:

  • People living with smokers
  • Homeowners who live near wildfire-prone areas
  • People living in roadside houses that are exposed to vehicular emissions
  • Pregnant women
  • Elderly people with respiratory problems
  • People suffering from respiratory sensitivity

Shocking Health Effects of Passive Smoking

As a non-smoker, you probably think that your lungs are safely protected from the harms of tobacco. You can, however, actually still be affected by passive smoking. Being a passive smoker means that you do not personally light up the cigarette and consume it but you have household members, friends, or co-workers that smoke in your proximity. In such a scenario, you might still be inhaling toxic fumes.

Here are some of the shocking health effects of passive or secondhand smoking that may be avoided with an air purifier.

  • Higher Predisposition for Lung Cancer

    As a non-smoker, you still have a high chance of developing lung cancer if you sit around people who are frequently smoking. When toxic fumes from tobacco are released via smoking, more than 7000 chemicals pollute the air — with about 70 of them being cancerous. Even as a non-smoker, you’ll inevitably inhale these cancerous chemicals and thus put yourself at risk for lung cancer.

  • More Frequent Lung Infections

    Bronchitis and pneumonia are two lung infections that can affect both smokers and non-smokers. Those who are dependent on cigarettes are more likely to contract these infections due to the irreversible lung damage incurred by inhaling tobacco fumes. What might come as a surprise for most is the fact that passive smokers are just as predisposed to these lung infections. Therefore, it’s important that you watch out for these health issues if you’re frequently exposed to secondhand smoke.

  • Increased Chances of Developing Coronary Heart Disease

    Passive smoking does not only increase your chances of developing lung cancer or other forms of lung diseases, but it also increases your chances of developing coronary heart disease as well. On average, those who are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke are up to 40% more likely to have this health issue than people who stay away from smokers.

Fortunately, you can be protected from passive smoking if you use an air purifier that specializes in smoke removal.

Guide to Choosing a Smoke Filtration System

At this point, you already know that carbon-based filters are considered superior when it comes to eliminating smoke. But aside from the usual factors like price, filters and technology, and required maintenance, these are the two most important things to consider when shopping for a smoke air purifier:

  • 1. Coverage

    To maximize the effectivity of an air purifier against smoke, it’s important to choose a model whose rated coverage matches the size of the room you’re planning to use it in. If your room is too big for the air purifier you’re running, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the benefits that it advertises.

  • 2. CADR for smoke

    An air purifier’s clean air delivery rate (CADR) rated for smoke tells you how effective and efficient it is at removing smoke and other small pollutant particles from the air. Some air purifiers may have high CADRs for dust and pollen but a mediocre CADR for smoke. Paying close attention to this specification is important.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CADR and how is it measured?

CADR, or clean air delivery rate, is a metric used to quantify how fast an air purifier rids the air of different impurities. To get a model’s CADR, the volume of air cleaned by a machine per unit time is measured. CADR is usually expressed in terms of cubic feet per minute (CFM). Note that this metric is tested at an air purifier’s highest speed setting and with brand new filters. As such, you might experience a lower CADR over time or when using lower fan speeds.

What does “Smoke CADR” mean?

Smoke CADR is simply the rate at which clean air is delivered with respect to smoke removal. Air purifiers are usually given clean air delivery ratings for three types of pollutants: dust, pollen, and smoke. These three CADR types represent different pollutant sizes: large, medium, and small, respectively.

How do air purifiers fight smoke?

Air purifiers use special filters to remove smoke from the air passing through them. Smoke particles are made up of solid, liquid, and gas molecules. Filters like True HEPA, which remove particle pollutants from the air, help remove some of the solid and liquid molecules in smoke. Meanwhile, carbon-based filters are highly-effective at trapping gaseous smoke molecules and removing any leftover solid and liquid molecules that may have been missed by the HEPA filter.

How do I figure out the right coverage area the air purifier must have?

Air purifiers are commonly listed as being ideal for use in small, medium, or large rooms — with most models coming in with precise coverage information that’s usually expressed in square feet. To determine the best area coverage to look for in a model, you have to first establish which room you intend to use the air purifier in. From there, you can calculate the area of that specific room and find a purification system that matches your requirements.

Will smoke-reducing air purifiers also work against odors?

Since smoke-reducing air purifiers rely on carbon filters, you can expect them to help eliminate unpleasant odors, as well. Carbon filters are primarily used to neutralize odors, smoke, aerosol pollution, and other volatile organic matter in the air.

Can an air purifier fight secondhand smoke?

Yes, air purifiers can minimize your exposure to secondhand smoke. The presence of an air purifier speeds up the dissipation of tobacco smoke, which lessens the chances of those harmful particles making their way into your respiratory tract.

Is it important for the device to feature multiple speed settings?

With more speed settings or fan speeds from which to choose, you’ll be able to better adjust the speed at which the device cleans indoor air. These speeds also boast different operational noise levels. As such, if you intend to place the air purifier in the bedroom, having a low-speed option means that you can enjoy very low noise levels from your machine. This means that you will not be bothered or woken up by the appliance in the middle of the night.

How does HEPA filtration influence the effectiveness of a smoke air filter?

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration is widely regarded as the most efficient system in terms of ridding the air of smoke particles and other particle pollutants. Unlike other filters, HEPA air filters remove over 99% of air pollutants as small as 0.3 microns (or even smaller, depending on the specific model in question). Thus, for efficient air cleaning, investing in a HEPA air purifier would be smart.

Final Thoughts

All of the air purifiers listed above have something unique to offer, whether it’s cost-effectiveness, fancy features, or customization options. With that said, choosing the best model will really depend on your equally unique set of needs and priorities. Just keep in mind that when shopping that it’s essential to double-check if the model contains a carbon-based filter (as carbon filters are deemed most effective against smoke) and if its coverage capacity and Smoke CADR rating fit well with the space you need to purify.

If we were to recommend a top pick, we tip our hats off to the Coway Mighty AP-1512HH. This air purifier offers a well-rounded approach to fighting off pollutants like smoke in your household, and it comes with a bunch of convenient extras as well.

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8 Comments

  • Abel

    How long does the HEPA filter of the Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K last?

  • Bianca

    Is it safe to continue to use a certain filter despite the fact that it’s time to change it?

    • Replacing the filters for these products might be a costly deal, but it’s one that you have to go with. If you don’t change the filters when their time comes, the unit will start performing poorly, not being able to handle ridding the air of the unbearable smoke anymore. Therefore, we recommend that you don’t take your chances and change the filters as soon as it’s needed.

  • Ginnie

    I bought the Blueair 203 Slim model a couple of weeks ago, and I can say that my home never smelled this great. My husband is a smoker, and I thought that the cigarette smell won’t ever disappear, but thanks to this unit, it has.

  • The best air purifiers for smoke are … you can be protected from passive smoking if you use an air purifier … If your room is too big for the air purifier

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