Whether you’re a smoker yourself, a “victim” of second-hand smoke or live in an area affected by wildfires, one thing is certain – the air quality in your home is taking a severe blow. And with indoor air pollution being as high as it is, you can’t afford not to get the best air purifier for smoke. Not only will it tackle smoke and neutralize odors but remove dust, allergens, and other airborne contaminants, too. That’s why today is all about introducing you to a few carefully selected air-purifying systems, and showing you what they can do for your indoor air quality.
Why Buying an Air Purifier for Smoke?
Indoor air pollution seems to be among the top five environmental health risks we’re facing currently, as reported by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). To make matters worse, they discovered that indoor air quality could be up to five times more polluted than the outdoor air.
One of the best ways to address that risk is to eliminate the sources of pollution with proper ventilation and filtration. Now, the list of potential indoor air pollutants is an exhaustive one, including dust, pollen, mold, germs, pet dander, toxins, and yes, smoke is up on that list, too.
Air purifiers work to remove these pollutants by employing specialized filtering processes that target microscopic particles – all the things listed above, and more – continually cycling the surrounding air, pushing it back into the room, and repeating the process all over again.
Without one, the lungs are the only airborne contaminants filter your body has, making you more susceptible to respiratory issues and illnesses. Buying an air purifier for smoke gives your body a fighting chance; the lower the concentration of airborne impurities and second-hand smoke, the less chance of you inhaling them.
If that’s not a reason enough to get an air purifier for smoke, we don’t know what is.
The bottom line is, cleaner air means better health – reduced asthma symptoms and allergy flare-ups, improved sleep quality, and an overall improved standard of living. We’d even go as far as to say that it’s as essential for your health as drinking clean water and maintaining a healthy diet.
However, not all air purifiers for smoke are made equal. While they all perform the specific task of reducing the concentration of pollutants and allergens in the designated area, their level of efficiency will differ based on the unit’s particular specifications. That’s why, for someone who’s never owned one before, picking the right air purifier for smoke can be a daunting task. Don’t worry, though – we’re here to help you make an informed decision.
Not only will we share vital factors to consider when shopping for an air purifier for smoke but show you some of the best products we came across during our testing process, too. Let’s get straight to it!
Meet the Best Air Purifiers for Smoke
The Good: It’s everything an air purifier for smoke should be – highly efficient, easy to use, and quiet.
The Bad: You have to replace the filter more often, and even though it’s cheap, the expenses add up.
The Bottom Line: It’s one of the rare models we can recommend without hesitation. It’s not overpriced, and it offers a highly-efficient level of air filtration, with just the right amount of additional features to make it more convenient. It’s outstanding by all accounts.
The Good: The three-stage filtration system handles everything from contaminants to odors with ease.
The Bad: It’s outstanding, but only as long as it doesn’t have to cover more than 167 square feet of space.
The Bottom Line: We still don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with this one – it’s one of the market’s most popular models for a reason. The only reason why it ended up being our runner-up was that it couldn’t compete with our top choice.
The Good: It’s a budget-friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice performance for the sake of energy-efficiency.
The Bad: It’s loud, only works in tiny spaces, and doesn’t offer advanced features – the overall user experience is lacking.
The Bottom Line: The thing about this unit is that there’s nothing impressive about it. We searched for something worth recommending, only to conclude – it does everything a competing model does but on an average level.
The Good: Combining sheer power with lots of automated features, ensuring user convenience is what this one does best.
The Bad: The not-so-affordable price tag and additional costs of maintenance are obvious issues here.
The Bottom Line: It’s not something we’d recommend to the average consumer, mostly because there are more affordable options that can be as effective as this one. If you prefer automatic features and have a few extra bucks to spend, go for it.
The Good: One thing this unit has going for it is the ultra-quiet operation on all three levels.
The Bad: The “almost HEPA” filter, which should be the most crucial part of the unit, feels poorly made.
The Bottom Line: It’s hard for us to recommend it to anyone when there are similarly priced options that run genuine HEPA filters on the market. If you’re set on getting a “permanent” filter, though, give it a go.
That would be the short version, though – keep on reading for our detailed opinions and in-depth reviews.
All of the Factors Considered
Air purifiers for smoke may be a tough concept to grasp, and with so many options out there, shopping for one can be downright confusing and frustrating. It’s no wonder so many people end up overpaying for completely unsuitable units. We did the research and tested dozens of products, so you don’t have to, and now we’re here to share this comprehensive list of the vital factors you need to consider when purchasing an air purifier for smoke.
We’re aware that this is a bit of a broad term – there are a lot of factors that play into the unit’s overall effectiveness – but don’t worry; we’ll explain everything!
Every filtration system has the same goal of removing air pollutants, smoke, and odors, but they go about it differently and have a varying level of efficiency. You’re most likely to come across HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, activated carbon filters, pre-filters, UV lights, and Ionic filters. For a multi-purpose unit, it’s best to focus on models that incorporate two (or more) filtration types.
The ACH (Air Change per Hour) is a rating you should consider here – the number of times that the unit filters the air inside the room in one hour.
Also, the CADR, or Clean Air Delivery Rate, tells you how efficiently the unit filters cubic feet of air per minute, including different categories of contaminants – pollen, dust, and smoke.
Another factor you should consider, and one that is somewhat related to the unit’s effectiveness, is its coverage area because, despite popular opinion, air purifiers are not one-size-fits-all devices.
You have to factor in the square footage of the room where you plan on placing the purifier and choose the coverage accordingly. If it’s too small, it won’t be as effective in wiping out airborne contaminants, and if it’s too big, it will be an overkill followed by an unnecessarily high electricity bill.
For optimal performance, we recommend getting one designed to cover an area that is up to 20 to 40 percent larger than the actual room where you intend on using it.
Taking the noise level of an air purifier for smoke into consideration can be vital, especially if you’ll be using it in the bedroom or in the living room.
Air purifiers with HEPA or carbon filters always come with a fan mechanism, which means they’re notorious for the noise they can produce at full power. One way to combat this is to ensure that the fan offers speed adjustment options – running it at a lower speed will often reduce the noise level significantly.
Ionic and UV air purifiers, on the other hand, don’t use filters, which means that they don’t operate with fans, either. That allows them to remain nearly silent, so the noise level isn’t a concern with these units.
The two things that play a role here are the unit’s energy consumption, and maintenance costs, including regular filter replacements.
The former is vital because, as you know, air purifiers should run continuously to get maximum results. If you don’t want your utility bill to shoot through the roof, the amount of energy the unit requires to work is something worth considering.
Also, remember that you’ll have to buy filter replacement regularly – as often as a few times a year, depending on the filtration system at hand.
On that note, beware of “hidden” costs, too. A particular unit may seem reasonably priced at first, but that budget-friendly nature of the product often ends with the initial purchase, and you’re hit with crazy-high filter replacement costs.
While they may not necessarily affect the overall performance and efficiency, they can have a significant impact on how convenient and user-friendly the unit is. That’s why we always recommend looking into these additional features when shopping for an air purifier for smoke.
Filter change indicator is one such feature that lets you know when it’s time to change the filter.
Air quality sensors, which are often paired with light indicators, monitor the indoor air quality and adjust the power according to the level of pollution they detect.
Programmable timers are another handy addition, especially if you’re often away from home – you set it to the desired interval, and the unit shuts down automatically as soon as it’s done.
Since you’re familiar with the factors that go into making this decision, it’s time to take a closer look at how our top five products measure up in the areas discussed above.
In-depth Reviews of 5 Best Air Purifiers for Smoke
Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier
Three-in-one HEPA Filter
The unit features a three-in-one filtering technology, which means that, instead of a single HEPA filter, you get a combination of a pre-filter, an integrated activated carbon filter, and a HEPA filter, all in one. If you want a deeper level of sanitizing, the fourth one – UV-C light – is optional.
It’s Whisper Quiet (for the most part)
Quiet operation is where this one truly shines. It’s nearly silent on low and medium settings. The highest setting does emit a humming sound, and while we found it to be pleasant, much like white noise, we understand that some people with higher sensitivity to noise might find it distracting.
Includes a Few Additional Features
We wouldn’t necessarily label it as “feature-rich,” but it does come with a few handy additions, including the three-speed function, a timer with an auto shutdown feature, as well as a filter replacement indicator.
Filter Replacement Costs Add-up
While replacing the filter is nowhere near expensive, the expenses start to add up. The charcoal filter, which generally has a shorter lifespan, is built into the primary HEPA filter, which means you’ll either have to replace the entire filter much more often or wait it out with a “half dead” charcoal filter.
Who Should Buy this Product
If quiet operation paired with an above-average filtration system is one of your primary considerations when it comes to air purifiers for smoke, this is the best deal you’ll find on the market – efficient, quiet, and reasonably priced. Add the 200-square-feet coverage into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a useful, little bedroom or office unit.
What to Watch Out For
The only actual complaint we have is the maintenance cost, which is closely related to the design of the filter. The replacement filters are pretty cheap, but, as pointed out previously, the three-in-one filtration system calls for frequent replacements due to the built-in charcoal filter, which gives in a lot sooner than the main HEPA one. It’s far from being crazy expensive – replacement filters still cost noticeably less than in similar models – but it does add up.
After thoroughly inspecting the price to value ratio, it’s clear that it stands out in the entry-level bunch – enough for us to highly recommend it to all our readers, both those new to air purifiers and those looking to replace their older units with this attractive, little air purifier for smoke. We’ve addressed its shortcomings, too, but even with those in mind, it still deserves our stamp of approval!
GermGuardian AC4825 Air Purifier
Nothing Escapes Its Three-stage Filtration
The HEPA filter is the first line of defense, capturing up to 99.97% of dust and allergens. Then the charcoal filter kicks in to neutralize odors from smoking, cooking, and pets. Lastly, the optional UV-C light tackles germs and mold. Nothing escapes this filtration system.
Simple yet Efficient
Feature-wise, nothing is outstanding about it – it’s a simple unit made for the average user. There are no frills here, but given that it still performs exceptionally well, we feel that it doesn’t need them. Sometimes simple is better.
Starts Quiet But Doesn’t Age Well
The product boasts nearly silent operation, and while we found that to be mostly true – the unit’s humming is only noticeable on the highest setting – we also learned that it does not age well. The noise may not be a concern at first, but it grows increasingly louder with time.
It’s Going to Cost You
You can’t put a price tag on health, but you can certainly put one on improved indoor air quality. Although the initial investment is pretty reasonable, considering what you’re getting for the money, the additional costs of replacing the filters will drain your budget slowly, but surely.
Who Should Buy this Product
Sometimes answering this question can be tricky, but this time around, we knew who this product is for – everyone, especially first-time air purifier shoppers. Before you get your hopes up, know that it has its limitations. As long as you keep those in mind, and have a suitable location for it, you’ll be blown away by its performance.
What to Watch Out For
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this particular model, and we feel like we would be nit-picking if we mentioned things like how bright the UV light can be, so, we won’t. Instead, let’s focus on one of the significant downsides worth noting – the limited coverage area. Rooms of around 167 square feet are where this model performs its best. So, be sure to take that into account before making your decision.
It does everything an air purifier for smoke is supposed to do – remove airborne contaminants and allergens, and tackle bad odors and smoke – and it’s reasonably priced. Honestly, the fact that it’s easily one of the best-selling options on the market doesn’t come as a surprise. The only reason why it landed second on our list is that it went up against the Pure Enrichment PureZone – and that one’s tough to beat.
LEVOIT Air Purifier
Captures a Wide Range of Particles
The unit is equipped with a three-stage filtration system that includes a pre-filter, a genuine HEPA filter, and lastly, an activated carbon filter, which allows it to tackle a wide range of particles and air pollutants, as well as reduce and neutralize common household odors.
Falls Short in the Ultra-Silent Operation Department
We understand that this is mostly a matter of sensitivity to noise, but we couldn’t help but notice that, out of the three available fan speeds, only the lowest setting delivers on the “Ultra-Silent Operation” promised by the manufacturer.
Only Suitable for Small Spaces
It does a great job in small areas, but it’s not able to handle anything more than 100 square feet, at least not with the same level of efficiency. Open spaces, kitchens, living rooms, and large bedrooms are all out of the realm of its ability, which is the most significant limitation, and most noticeable downside.
It’s a Great Deal
Buying first-party replacement filters is a must, but this brand proves that you shouldn’t have to spend a fortune to keep your air purifier up and running. Plus, our estimated operating costs for this unit were reasonably low, too, making this an overall energy-efficient, budget-friendly solution.
Who Should Buy this Product
A relatively simple, cylindrical design with an optional night light, an attractive price tag, three stages of filtration, and three speed settings all sound great on paper, but in reality, we think this one’s best suited for a limited number of users and applications – small bedroom dwellers with low sensitivity to noise.
What to Watch Out For
Okay, this one’s tricky placement-wise. You see, quiet operation is not one of its strong suits, which means you can cross your bedroom off the list. On the flip side, we don’t see it as suitable for anything but the tiniest of rooms – testing the unit revealed that it only covers a 100-square-feet area, at best, which means it won’t work in large, open spaces. What’s left, then, the closet?
Although it has some strong suits accompanied by a reasonable price tag, as pointed out previously, it falls short in some vital areas, including coverage and noise level. So, we’re not entirely comfortable with putting our stamp of approval on this one – not because it’s a “bad” product, which it most certainly isn’t, but because it didn’t blow us away in any particular area. It’s not best at anything; it’s average at best.
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier
Fully Automatic Operation
In Auto mode, the pollution sensor detects indoor air quality and adjusts the fan speed accordingly, and when no pollution is detected, the Eco mode kicks in to save energy. The timer allows you to set a schedule, too and shuts the unit down automatically once it’s done.
Four Stages of Filtration Should Be More Than Enough
The filtration system combines a pre-filter, a deodorization filter, a real HEPA filter, and a Vital Ion filter to capture even the tiniest airborne pollutants. However, we’re still not seeing the level of odor removal we were expecting from such a powerful filtration system.
There’s Nothing Affordable About It
The unit packs some outstanding features, so don’t expect it to be cheap. Everything from purchasing the unit to keeping things up and running will cost you – and a lot, for that matter. We can’t tell you how you should spend your money, though.
A Bit More Coverage
Compared to some other models you’ve seen today, this one does have a significantly bigger coverage area – up to 361 square feet, to be precise, with the CADR ratings for dust, pollen, and smoke of 246/240/233, respectively. It’s compact by design but packs a mighty punch.
Who Should Buy this Product
Thanks to its highly efficient four-stage filtration system, a plethora of cutting-edge features, along with Auto and Eco modes, you can set it up, and forget it’s there. If you don’t mind spending a bit more to get this level of convenience, this is a model you should consider buying.
What to Watch Out For
Most of the issues we’ve had with this particular model could be considered minor inconveniences, rather than actual flaws, such as the noisy high-speed setting and an LED light that’s a tad bit too bright, but there’s one thing that seriously bugged us – it doesn’t handle odors very well. Also, the costs of operation can be a bit budget-draining, from the initial purchase down to maintenance.
It’s hard to make a final statement about a product that has so much to offer to the user, yet falls short in the more fundamental aspects. Would we call this a good air purifier for smoke? Yes – it provides excellent air cleaning performance with automated features. Would we recommend it to the average user? Probably not – there are certainly much more affordable options on the market right now.
Hamilton Beach Air Purifier
Quiet Three-speed Operation
If there’s one area that this unit excels in, it’s the nearly silent operation. Out of the three available speed levels – Whisper Clean, Medium mode, and Quick Clean – only the highest one produces a noticeable hum, but even then, it’s more than tolerable, and blends into the background pretty fast.
It Won’t Break Your Budget
One the main things this unit has going for it is the budget-friendly price tag accompanied by a “permanent” filter that doesn’t need to be replaced, only vacuumed clean, which means that, besides the initial investment, there are no additional costs of operation and maintenance.
HEPA Grade Not HEPA Filter
We wouldn’t quite label this as false advertising, but the name of the product does seem a bit misleading. You’re not getting a genuine HEPA filter here – only a HEPA-grade one. And even that looks like an overstatement because the filter is lined with cardboard-like material.
Everything About It Is Basic
Although this can be a plus for some because it does ensure a certain level of user-friendliness, the fact that this unit is stripped of any additional features – and the ones that are there are average, at best – left us wanting more.
Who Should Buy this Product
If you’re here looking for a low-profile air purifier for smoke with an average performance, that’s both easy to use and clean, stays quiet during operation, and most importantly, doesn’t cost a small fortune to run, this might be a model worth considering. There’s nothing technologically-impressive about it, but that’s a part of its charm.
What to Watch Out For
We’re trying so hard not to label certain aspects of this product as “false advertising,” but so far, we’ve been nothing but disappointed. The permanent HEPA filter is neither permanent nor HEPA. What you get is a “HEPA-grade” filter that’s lined with what looks like cardboard, which means washing it is not an option maintenance-wise. Plus, it does nothing for odor elimination, forcing you to buy an additional charcoal filter, instead.
It seems like you truly get what you paid for here – a mediocre air purifier, nothing more, and nothing less. It can be useful in certain areas of improving air quality, but overall, its performance would be best described as “average.” You’re not even getting a real HEPA filter or odor elimination here. We’re not entirely sure about what’s left to recommend here.
The Best Air Purifier for Smoke – Pure Enrichment PureZone
Sometimes, making that final cut can be tough, even for us. Other times, however, a specific product stands out right from the start, passes all our tests with flying colors, and blows the competition away. The Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier is one such product, which is why we deemed it the best air purifier for smoke on the market.
No other model we’ve tested was able to beat its price to value ratio – you’re getting a highly efficient, three-in-one filtration system with an optional UV-C light for a deeper level of sanitizing, that’s mostly whisper-quiet, with just enough additional features to make it more convenient and user-friendly. In short, it’s the best deal you’ll find – and out best pick for today.
Now you know – that’s our top pick out of the bunch. All the products you’ve seen today have things going for them; otherwise, they wouldn’t be on our list. However, our top choice is our top choice for a reason. It’s okay if you don’t agree with us – as long as you consider all the info carefully, you can make that choice on your own. After all, our only goal was to help you make an informed decision. On that note, if you found the article helpful, feel free to share it with others, too. Stay safe, and see you next time!