What is the Best Air Purifier for Smoke?

What is the Best Air Purifier for Smoke? As you might be aware, inhaling secondhand smoke can cause serious health issues including lung cancer and heart disease.

Luckily, an air purifier for smoke can help reduce your exposure to smoke from a cigarette as well as cigar odor and even wildfire smoke.

This guide will help you pick the best air purifier for smoke.

I will also be sharing useful tips on how to purify the air from smoke (the best ways).

But first, the burning question…..

Does air purifier work for smoke really?

The short answer is yes- a top air purifier for cigar smoke is equipped with filters and special features and should flush out the harmful smoke “particles” and significantly reduce the smell.

But how exactly does an indoor air purifier for smoke function?

Well, read on.

How does an air purifier work to remove smoke?

The specific smoke elements and smell removal procedure depends on the type of the purifier (we will look at the types shortly).

But overall, some use high-quality HEPA air filters to trap the ultra-fine toxic contaminants in smoke, down to 0.3 microns in size.

In addition, these types of air purifiers will have gas-phase filters that use activated carbon (and such materials) to eradicate VOCs and the dangerous gases emanating from the cigarette smoke.

Some manufacturers also go as far as including proprietary technologies to help destroy VOCs and related contaminants from various smoke sources.

You should, however, note that even the best air purifier for smoke won’t make your indoor air 100% safe.

In fact, only living in 100% smoke-free environments does that so you’ll need to adopt further protective steps (more on this later).

Why buy an air purifier for smoke

Like we have seen, an air purifier for smoke will help make the air you breathe cleaner and can hence protect your family from the risks associated with inhaling smoke.

Indeed, studies have shown that besides deadly illnesses like cancer and pneumonia, breathing in even a small amount of smoke can worsen asthma, respiratory, and related symptoms.

The best air purifier for smoke also helps wipe out most contaminants -allergens, dander, mold, cooking odors, pollen, dust particles, and more- on top of deodorizing your rooms.

You’ll thus not only be breathing in healthier air but also enjoying a refreshing scent.

Types of air purifiers for smoke

There are several types of air purifiers built purposely to reduce smoke.

I shall take you through them to help you understand the category that is likely to suit your personal needs.

1.     HEPA air purifiers for smoke

These are so-called because they use a true HEPA filter to filter out the hazardous smoke elements (the “visible” ones).

HEPA filters can typically capture 99.97% of all particles (even sized 0.3 microns) and are as a result super effective on smoke particulates (they’re mostly sized 0.3-0.5 microns).

Sadly, they fail to kill VOCs and stop the odors that well.

2.     Gas-phase filter air purifiers for smoke

To overcome the aforementioned HEPA air purifiers’ weakness against VOCs and smell, companies incorporate the second type of filter in air purifiers for smoke: gas-phase filter.

These are designed to kick out gaseous contaminants with proprietary substances like activated carbon.

They’re the best bet for smells not just from cigarette smoke but also myriad household odors. 

3.     A UV air purifier from smoke

This category kills impurities and organisms such as viruses and bacteria by exposing them to electromagnetic radiation from UV (ultraviolet) lamps.

Radiation rays, however, fail to purify smoke elements and odors efficiently so they might not be the best choice.

4.    Ionic Air Purifiers

These generate ions (using an electrical charge) to help neutralize some smoke particles.

They’re again a bit limited when it comes to the gases, stale odors, and particles sized 10 microns and above.

5.     PCO air purifiers for smoke

PCO (Photocatalytic Oxidation) air purifiers use oxidation (they have a chamber to originate a reaction between moisture and titanium dioxide- or related metal catalysts) to destroy airborne contaminants.

This category of air purifier is wonderful in eliminating microbes and certain organic compounds but act sluggishly on smoke.

You should perhaps consider PECO air purifiers (I’m explaining why in a few seconds), instead.

6.     PECO air purifiers

These include a filter membrane that’s usually coated with useful nanoparticles that make them clean secondhand smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and wildfires quicker and better than PCO air purifiers. 

They’re a fabulous option.

Best Air Purifier for Smoke Buying Guide

Here is what to look out for when shopping for the best air purifier for smoke:

To begin with, look at the key factors.

These are:

1.      Recommended area size

Check the AHAM (association of home appliance manufacturers) verified CADR (clean air delivery rate) in eliminating tobacco smoke.

The rule of the thumb is a CADR of at least 2/3 of your target area.

To illustrate, you should look for a CADR of 120 (2/3 of 180) if your room is 180 sq.ft. (12×15 feet).

2.      The unit’s running cost

Look for savings in the form of:

  • Affordable replacement filters coupled with a longer lifer- some require to be changed after 5 years (depending on usage).
  • Energy efficiency- most energy star certified units use little energy.

3.      Noise levels

We all need a relaxed and soothing environment, right? For reference, any unit rated below 50 dB is considered sufficiently silent.

4.      Extra details

You should also focus on extras such as:

  • Portability– You may want to carry to the office or from room to room.
  • Quality assurance– some brands offer lengthy warranty periods and dedicated lifetime support. Certifications such as CARB and FCC certified are also a mark of quality.
  • Looks– Elegance and modern looks win.

You’ll also find a variety of nice touches on some models, from Wi-Fi connectivity or Bluetooth to built-in color-changing night lights, plenty of sensors, and supporting apps.

The more the thrills and frills in your air purifier for smoke odor, the better it could be.

Best Air Purifiers for Smoke Reviewed

Here now are our reviews of the top 5 units that seem to have what it takes to eliminate smoke.

They will help you tell which air purifier is best for smoke, as per your needs.  

LEVOIT LV-H132 Purifier

Levoit LV-H132 clears harmful smoke particulates like a pro by taking the air through its 3 custom filters- the trusted true HEPA, fine preliminary, and an activated carbon filter (The latter is excellent in nullifying repulsive odors).

smoke eaters for homes

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It’s magnificent for spaces not more than 86 square feet.


Backing up the 3-stage filtration is a powerful 3-speed fan- it circulates the cleaned-up air wonderfully, powered on by a surprisingly quiet and smooth-running motor.

It’s also incredibly portable (few come this small) meaning you can use from atop your small nightstand or right next to your office desk.

Moving on, setup is straightforward right off the bat and you can even put on the night light if you wish to sleep.

It’s additionally affordable to run thanks to Levoit’s inexpensive replacement filters and efficient energy usage.

In summary, this is a small unit but it has everything to give the giants a run for their money when it comes to supplying healthier air.


  • Super compact.
  • Good price.
  • Amazingly quiet.


  • Best only for small rooms

Hamilton Beach TrueAir

This tower design air purifier targets larger rooms (maximum 160 square feet) and also works like a charm on smoke, primarily due to the included high-performance HEPA grade filter.

smoke air purifier

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And I love the fact that it saves your bucks- you’ll only need to buy carbon replacement filters (the HEPA filter only requires vacuuming and you’re good to go).


Yet again deceptively compact but super-powerful, this model should go a long way in lowering the amount of threatening particles and the smell brought about by smoke.

Its triple filtration technology works so well, particularly when on the third setting (highest), that you notice a difference in the air quality within moments of powering it on.

Other interesting features include the ultra-silent ‘whisper clean’ setting and the cleanable pre-screen that masterfully catches pet dander.

The innovative design allows you to place it either horizontally or vertically- either way, it is hardly noticeable.

And the best thing is that you get it at a budget price.


  • Low power consumption.
  • No ozone.
  • Feels very well made.


  • Lacks smart features like auto-mode.

Pure Enrichment True HEPA Purifier

This fast-selling 3-in-1 purifier comes with a true HEPA filter (traps 99.97% of particles like smoke), a UV-C light (destroys remaining micro-organisms), and an active carbon pre-filter (handles odors).

best smoke eliminator

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There’s also an extra photocatalyst oxidation filter to help fight the most stubborn smells.

In a nutshell, not many models can rival it for spaces up to 200 square feet.


Like the previous 2 purifiers, the fan offers 3 settings and blows air awesomely, all across the room.

More notable is the fact this is the first unit in our list with some cool touches including an intuitive control panel, an automatic timer (optional), and a filter sensor.

You’re sure of restful nights thanks to its soft, humming noise and the fantastic sleep feature (turns off the lights to darken the room).

Add a built-in handle for easier transportation and the sleek appearance and you have a potential gem.

You get a remarkable 5-year warranty.


  • Beneficial air sanitization function.
  • You can shut off the UV option.
  • Contemporary design.


  • Pricier than the above models.

LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home smoke removal

Levoit is synonymous with high-quality air purifiers in all categories.

best smoke filter

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The LV-PUR131 air purifier for smoke continues this tradition with its start-of-the-art purification technology cleaning the air of smoke particulates and other pollutants 30% faster and more efficiently.

It’s intended for larger rooms (up to 360 sq. ft).


The secret to this unit’s outstanding results is the well thought out 3-stage purification….

The honeycomb active carbon filters expertly remove odors as the HEPA filter captures the finer particles.

Air will, of course, have passed through the pre-filter and all the larger pollutants floating in smoke removed.

Moreover, you get a delightful assembly of sweet features..

You have both sleep and auto modes, a terrific timer (1 – 12 hours), Wi-Fi/Alexa function, and an infrared sensor (instantly adjusts the fan speed on sensing increased smoke indoors).

The fan motor achieves 4. 5 air changes per hour without being overly loud.

A flawless operation together with a sturdy construction means a longer life.

The only blemish is the lack of remote control, though –credit to the company- it has perfectly responsive controls.


  • Simple controls.
  • Magnificent air flow.
  • Relatively affordable filters.


  • Bulkier

Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier

The Coway AP-1512HH has one of the highest CADR ratings for smoke (233 CFM) for rooms up to 361 sq.ft.

best smoke eater

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It also utilizes an advanced four-stage filtration process -pre-filter, deodorization & HEPA filters, and an ionizer) making it extremely good on smoke and a ton of pollutants.

The icing on the cake is the energy-saving eco mode- you’ll never worry about spiked energy bills with this.


The engineering clearly points to an extraordinary air purifier for smoke plus typical airborne impurities.

You see, even those smoke particles lucky to escape the filtration soon meet their match in the form of the unique bipolar ionizer.

Then, in auto, the sensor technology kicks it into higher gear when necessary so you can sit back and relax.

What’s more, you can monitor changes in air quality constantly – thanks to the air quality indicator- and engage a higher setting manually as desired.

The multiple airflow modes yield stronger airflow whiles the intuitive controls make operating it a breeze.

Look no further than the Coway ap-1512hh if you’re after better airflow, a quiet operation, and energy savings.


  • Cute design.
  • Intuitive controls.
  • Soft white noise.


  • No remote.

How else can you shield against secondhand smoke?

The other ways you can shield your loved ones from the unsafe secondhand smoke are:

  • Try as much as possible to make your surroundings smoke-free starting with your car, house, school, and more including attempting to quit puffing away if you’re a smoker.
  • Teaching your dear ones to stay away from the source of the noxious smoke.
  • Other long-term solutions include improving ventilation. You can, for instance, mount a robust ventilation system to draw out smoke and add a robust window fan.

These, combined with the best air purifier for smoke will go a long way in fighting any residual smoke lingering in the air.

Final comments

Best Air Purifier for Smoke Reviews - Top Smoke Removers for 2020

All the five purifiers we have reviewed offer distinct features (e.g. room coverage, noise levels, air filtration mechanism, etc.) so it’s upon you to decide.

Don’t forget the key considerations as I explained earlier in this guide while at it.

You should also act on the additional protective tips to farther shield your family from inhaling the potentially destructive smoke.

As always, feel free to drop your questions in the comments section below.