Best air purifiers for smoke: remove smoke and smoke odors
At HVAC.com, our writers create solutions that put you in control of your HVAC system. Our product reviews and recommendations are researched and backed by real buyers and industry experts, not dictated by our partners.
Smoke odors are easy to recognize and hard to clear out of your home. Air purifiers for smoke remove particles, allergens and odors from the air and may help you breathe easier.
Smoke particles are so small, they can escape from standard air purifier filters. Some brands create air purifiers designed with the strength and technology to reduce or remove smoke pollutants.
We break down the best air purifiers for smoke and what features may interest you most.
Best air purifiers for smoke
- Works fast
- Easy to move
- Controlled via app
- Medical-grade filters
- Lifetime warranty
- Easy to use
- Traps pet hair and dander
- Sleep mode
- Quiet operation
- Filter options
- Sleek design
- Smart sensors
- Pink noise option
- Range of finishes to match decor
Things to consider in an air purifier for smoke
|📏 Square footage||Air purifiers can clean anywhere from 50 to 1,500+ square feet. Read the fine print and buy the best device for your space.|
|🔒 Safety features||Some models come with childproof locks and air quality indicators.|
|👂 Noise level||While you should expect to hear some noise from your air purifier, always check the decibel ranges before buying. Plus, a unit with “sleep mode” is helpful if you’re a light sleeper.|
|💨 CADR||Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) measures how quickly and effectively your air purifier pumps out clean air. The higher the number, the better. 450 is the maximum score.|
|⛔ Filter type||A HEPA filter is a must to clear out smoke particles. The wider mesh of other filters can’t trap smoke. You’ll also need an activated carbon filter to fight off odors.|
Best air purifiers for smoke (2022)
We chose a wide range of brands and square footage for this review. From studio apartments to single-family homes, this list has an air purifier for every indoor space.
We included a value option, but most of these products are pricier than a standard purifier. All prices are valid at the time of publication.
Highest CADR air purifier for smoke
BlueAir Classic 680i | $450.00
The BlueAir Classic 680i is your go-to for fast results. This premium option boasts a CADR of 450, the highest score an air purifier can earn.
While the HVAC.com testing team didn’t have direct experience with this unit, the CADR has been third-party tested and verified up to 775 square feet.
The Classic 680i keeps you in-the-know with a color-coded indicator panel that indicates your indoor air quality. It also comes with wheels, so you can roll it between rooms.
The BlueAir app allows you to control the settings from wherever there’s Wi-Fi. This high-tech model has a high price tag to match, but it’s an excellent premium option.
Best for small or medium rooms
Medify MA-15 | $74.80
If you put the Medify MA-15 in a 12-by-12 foot room, you’ll get clean air in as few as 15 minutes.
The MA-15 is great for a bedroom, office, or living room, since it’s been third-party tested up to 330 square feet. The lightweight seven-pound model makes it easy to transport.
Choose from two color options on this model, white or silver.
With medical-grade HEPA filters and three fan speeds, you get optimal smoke-fighting power. You can also stop the small hands in your home from changing the settings with the child-proof lock.
Use this device with confidence with the registered Lifetime Warranty when genuine Medify replacement filters are used. With so many features coming in under $100, we can’t sing the Medify MA-15’s praises enough.
Best for large rooms
Hathaspace HSP002 | $449.99
Open-concept living, meet your perfect match. The Hathaspace HSP002 can clean up to 1500 square feet in an hour.
If you have a furry friend, you’ll love the double pre-filters that trap pet dander and hair. With a honeycomb-shaped activated carbon filter, smoke odors are also largely eliminated.
Auto mode lets you set it and forget it, with the four-speed fan adjusting on its own. Plus, your air purifier parts are protected for up to five years with Hathaspace’s generous warranty.
If you opt for this device, keep extra filters stocked up at home. Users report online that the Hathaspace filter can be hard to find.
The massive square footage, top-notch filters, and user-friendly touchscreen still make the Hathaspace HSP002 a great option.
Best air purifier for smoke under $100
Levoit Core 300 | $99.99
Amazon’s best-selling air purifier brand didn’t get there by chance. The Levoit Core 300 will fill your room with a 360-degree vortex of clean air, thanks to patented technology.
The Core 300 can clean all of the air in a 20-by-10-foot room in as little as 12 minutes. With a smoke CADR of 141, you’ll get powerful and quick relief.
Levoit filters are the best in the value space, based on sales. Levoit uses a 3-layer HEPA filter with activated carbon, so you’ll notice a decrease in smoke odors.
We love how Levoit makes a HEPA filter specifically designed for toxins like wildfire smoke. If you’d rather save a few bucks with the traditional filter, you’ll still get smoke-fighting power.
Your sleep should go uninterrupted with this mindful air purifier. You can turn off the display lights in Sleep Mode, and 24-decibel [dB(A)] operation is no louder than rustling leaves.
The Levoit Core 300 will clear the majority of smoke and smoke odors in your space. With high-cleaning power and functional features, we’re shocked it’s such a bargain.
Best air purifier for wildfire smoke
Alen BreatheSmart 75i | $767.00
The Alen BreatheSmart 75i is a premium device that filters wildfire smoke and looks good doing it. The purifier comes in eight colors and finishes, so it’s sure to blend in smoothly with your space.
Plus, it’s the only wall-mountable option on our list. You’ll get up to 1100 square feet of coverage, so the 75i is perfect for open-concept living.
One of the most unique features about the 75i is the projection of pink noise. Unlike other air purifiers, this unit releases a sound that mirrors soothing rainfall. Through third-party testing, Alen found the pink noise can improve your sleep, making this option a great addition to the bedroom.
With auto mode, this air purifier does all the work for you. The fan speed adjusts automatically, and you can watch your air quality improve as the indicator rings change color.
We wish the BreatheSmart 75i had a few more features behind the hefty price tag. Still, with proper product registration and filter subscription, you’ll enjoy a lifetime warranty on the device.
How do air purifiers for smoke work?
An air purifier is a device that traps airborne contaminants. It sucks in the air from a room, uses a series of filters or a UV light to eliminate the germs, then sends clean air back out.
Smoke and smoke odors are pesky. They’re made up of very small particles, so they can slip through the mesh holes in most air purifier filters.
The best air purifiers for smoke will have both a true high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and an activated carbon filter. This dynamic duo knocks out both the smoke particles and their odors.
Book a local HVAC pro for indoor air quality testing
A HEPA filter stops smoke particles in their tracks with an extra-fine mesh. The tighter weave of mesh can capture the tiny smoke particles that would slip through other filters and remain in your air.
An activated carbon filter is covered in tiny pores like a sponge. When the gases that cause the smoke odor reach the filter, the gases detach from the air and cling to the filter pores.
As great as it is, a HEPA filter alone won’t clear out the smoke odor. If you want to eliminate the smoke particles and odor, look for an air purifier with a HEPA filter and activated carbon filter.
When it comes to air purifiers for cigarette smell, you get what you pay for. Most value brands have cheaper filters that aren’t woven finely enough to catch the particles. Plus, activated carbon filters are on the pricier side.
Do air purifiers for smoke really work?
Inhaling smoke of any kind is damaging to your health. In the short-term, it may lead to shortness of breath, coughing, and burning corneas.
The long-term effects of inhaling smoke are even worse, with increased risk of lung cancer and COPD.
Air purifiers for smoke can reduce both the smoke particles and the odors by up to 99%. The filtered air is now much cleaner and can be less irritating to your lungs.
While air purifiers are designed to enhance the air quality in your home, be wary of brands that claim complete elimination of smoke. No filter or device can accurately guarantee an odor or smoke-free environment.
Does an air purifier work for wildfire smoke?
Smoke inhalation of any kind is dangerous, but wildfire smoke is a different beast. It can be up to 10 times more harmful than smoke from other sources, like car exhaust.
The particles that make up wildfire smoke are extremely tiny, about one-twentieth the diameter of a human hair. Since they’re even smaller than other smoke particles, they can move past your lungs and enter your bloodstream.
An air purifier can cut down on wildfire smoke and odors, but only if it’s powered by quality filters. The best air purifier for wildfire smoke will use medical-grade HEPA filters.
Still, it’s important to note that no air purifier will reduce the risk of exposing yourself to wildfire smoke. If you live somewhere with high levels of wildfire smoke and it’s impacting your health, an air purifier won’t be a quick fix.
Have a local HVAC pro test my indoor air quality
No matter how short or indirectly you’re exposed, smoke is bad news for your lungs. Air purifiers for smoke can kill most of the dangerous particles and nasty odors, so you breathe in cleaner air.
Smoke and its odors are notoriously tough, so no unit can kill 100% of the particles. Still, the right combination of filters and fans will have your home feeling less smoky and more cozy.