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Cigarette smoke, cooking smoke, and even wildfire smoke can be a major allergen, not to mention an unpleasant odor in your home. If you’re looking for an air purifier to clear your home of smoke, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve found the best air purifiers designed to capture smoke and clear the air effectively. 

In this review, you will find six product recommendations. Two excellent “all-rounder” choices, and three good choices with a few caveats depending on what your needs are. Our last product is a “think before you buy” option, with a few aspects to be wary of despite reasonable smoke-clearing abilities. 

We have assessed and reviewed each product with a set of hard-and-fast criteria: 

What Smoke?Filter TypeCADR RatingCoverage AreaAnnual Costs
What kinds of smoke does the air purifier handle? Cigarette, cigar, food, wildfire?What kind of filters have been used? True-HEPA? Carbon? Ionizer?  How quickly does the air purifier clear the air according to certain allergens? What size room does the air purifier cater to in square feet? Small, medium, or large?What are the annual costs for general maintenance and filter replacements?

Best Air Purifiers for Smoke – Reviewed

🏆 The Top Choice: Levoit LV-PUR131

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Product Award: Best Filtration System With True-HEPA, Activated Carbon, and NO Ozone

Key Highlights:

  • True-HEPA filter
  • Carbon filter
  • Auto mode
  • Air quality indicator 
  • Quiet enough for sleeping 

Why is it the best air purifier for Smoke? 

The Levoit LV-PUR131 gets the award for the first place because it has a simple-yet-effective filtration system, quiet operation, high efficiency, and a very fair price tag. A pre-filter, true-HEPA filter, and activated carbon filter capture smoke particles and remove smoke odors. What’s more, it doesn’t produce any ozone as there is no UV-C or Ionizing filter. 

Thanks to the Air Quality Indicator and Auto Mode, the LV-PUR131 can sense when smoke particles are present. The fan speeds will change to “high”, drawing more air into the filters and releasing clean air at an accelerated rate. 

The LV-PUR131 clears a large room (up to 360 square feet) 4.5 times an hour, an impressive rate. While the CADR rating isn’t the highest on the market, the efficiency of the filters and fan speed makes up for this. The annual costs for filter replacements and maintenance are pretty great. You have to change the filters every 6 months, but they come in one neat pack priced at a reasonable price. 

The Levoit PUR131 is Good For: 

✔️ People with smaller budgets but high expectations
✔️ Noise-sensitive people who require a quiet operation
✔️ People who want fast, easy, and cost-effective filter replacement requirements

View PUR131 Price On Amazon or Read Our Levoit PUR131 Review

The Runner-Up: Medify MA-40 Medical Grade H13

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Product Award: Highest CADR rating

Key Highlights:

  • True-HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon filter 
  • High CADR rating 
  • Air quality indicator 
  • Simple filter change requirements 

Why is it a great air purifier for smoke?

The runner-up is the Medify MA-40 Home Medical Grade H13 Air Purifier. This is a very close second, but due to the higher price tag and bulkier construction, it didn’t quite make the top spot. It has been designed for thorough smoke and allergen removal in large spaces, at medical-grade levels. 

The true-HEPA filter and activated carbon filter effectively capture cigarettes, food, and fire smoke particles and remove odors. However, it is the CADR which makes this a top-notch air purifier, with an impressive 330. This means that more fresh air is released back into the room, free from irritating smoke particles and unpleasant odors. The air quality indicator senses when an influx of smoke particles is present and changes the fan speed accordingly when Auto mode is selected. 

This is a great option for people in large apartments with neighbors or roommates who smoke, or if there are regular wild-fires in the region. This large model can clear a room up to 1300 square feet once an hour. Even better, it can clear a 400 square foot room every 15 minutes. Note that there is an ionizer, but it can be switched off if ozone is a concern for you. Filter replacement costs are rather high, but worth it for the effectiveness. 

The Medify MA-40 is Good For: 

✔️ People who want their air purifier to automatically adjust when smoke increases
✔️ People who live in large lofts or spacious apartments
✔️ People who want a fast turnaround of clean air 

View Medify MA-40 On Amazon

Highly Recommended: Honeywell HPA250

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Product Award: Cleans The Air in The Room 5 Times Per Hour

Key Highlights:

  • True-HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon filter
  • Bluetooth compatible 
  • Auto mode 
  • No ozone 

Why is the HPA250B great for removing smoke? 

The third on our list is the Honeywell HPA250B Allergen Remover. This model is suitable for small-medium rooms up to 310 square feet, with a great CADR rate of 200 for smoke. The filters are exactly as they should be for effective smoke removal: true-HEPA and activated carbon. There are no ionizers or UV-C filters to create concerns over ozone production. 

Like other models on this list, the HPA250B has an Auto mode which changes the fan speed when allergens are detected in the room. The fan model adjusts between “germ”, “general clean”, “allergen”, and “turbo” for extra fierce purification when smoke particles accumulate. 

The HPA250B can be controlled via an app (using Bluetooth), so you can be alerted when smoke particles increase, even when you’re away from home. What’s more, the HPA250B can clear your room an impressive 5 times per hour for constant smoke removal. The filters must be replaced every 12 months, and the replacement costs are mid-to-high range. 

The HPA250B is Good for: 

✔️ People who want a fast turnaround of clean air
✔️ People who want to control their air purifier remotely, via BlueTooth
✔️ People who cannot or do not want to have an ozone-emitting device in the home 

View Honeywell HPA250B On Amazon – Read Our HPA250B Review

A Solid #4: Levoit Core 300

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Product Award: true-HEPA and activated carbon filtration with a quiet operation 

Key Highlights:

  • True-HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon filter
  • Cleans air 5 times per hour
  • Quiet operation
  • No ozone 

Why is it good for removing smoke?

The Levoit Core 300 is an affordable air purifier for small-medium rooms with a true-HEPA filter. You can choose to replace the original filter with a customizable filter, we recommend the “toxin absorber” filter for smoke. This filter features activated carbon to remove weed, cigarette and fire smoke odors and associated chemicals.  

It’s a small, compact and reasonably quiet model with light-dimming sleep options. It’s great for small rooms with mild-medium smoke concerns such as second-hand smoke and cooking smoke. 

However, this unit isn’t quite powerful enough to remove or absorb strong wildfire smoke. It just doesn’t have the “grunt” required for heavy-duty smoke removal. The filters need to be replaced every 6 months, and are really affordable (the cheapest on this list, in fact). 

Levoit Core 300 is Good For: 

✔️ People with small budgets 
✔️ People who require a sleep-friendly machine
✔️ People with light smoke-removal needs 

View Levoit Core 300 On Amazon

GOOD BUT NOT GREAT: BlueAir Pure Blue 211+

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Key Highlights:

  • Activated Carbon Filter
  • Energy Star Certified
  • AHAM Certified
  • Colorful Aesthetic

Why is it only “okay” for removing smoke? 

The BlueAir Pure Blue 211+ is a good air purifier in general, however, it’s not the top choice. This is because the filtration is not true-HEPA, it is HEPA-style. When dealing with smoke removal, it’s best to go for the highest filter efficiency you can find. 

If you’re looking for an air purifier that is great for removing allergens and can assist with light smoke odor removal, this could be fine. The activated carbon filter will neutralize odors, but it won’t offer the same protection as the other models on this list. 

Another downside to this model is that the filter replacements are rather expensive, and need to be replaced every 6 months. 

Blue Pure 211+ is Good For: 

✔️ People with light smoke-removal needs
✔️ People who want a stylish, colorful air purifier
✔️ People who require a low-energy air purifier 

View Blue Pure 211+ On Amazon

BEST TO AVOID: Winix AM90

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Highlights:

  • True-HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon filter
  • Auto mode
  • Air quality indicator
  • Sleep mode 

Why is it not recommended for smoke removal?

While this model may look perfect on paper, it’s not the best choice in reality. The reason why the Winix AM90 takes the “not recommended” spot is because it has controversial PlasmaWave technology. PlasmaWave releases ozone into the room, which is an issue for people with asthma

What’s more, one of the selling points of this model is that it is compatible with Alexa. However, the Alexa connection has been widely panned by users who have found it to be nothing more than a frustrating hassle. 

The yearly filter replacement costs are reasonable but by no means the most cost-effective on this list. You can find a much more affordable option with the same filters, features, and modes, without the controversial ozone-releasing filter and frustrating technology. 

Good for: 

  • People who require true-HEPA and carbon filtration
  • People who require a sleep-friendly air purifier
  • People who are not sensitive to ozone

View Winix AM90 On Amazon


How to Choose an Air Purifier for Smoke?

When looking for an air purifier especially for clearing smoke particles and odors, there are a few key aspects to consider: 

  1. Filter type: an air purifier is only as good as its filtration system. Because smoke particles range from 0.1 to 1 micron in size, you need a filter fine enough to catch them. A true-HEPA filter will catch 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Studies show that cigarette smoke ranges between 0.24 and 0.10 microns, which means a true-HEPA filter can catch almost all smoke particles. A true-HEPA filter is especially crucial for allergy and asthma sufferers as smoke can be a trigger. You must also look for a filter dedicated to odor removal, using activated carbon. This will remove and neutralize smoke odors for fresh, breathable air. 
  2. CADR rating: this refers to how much clean air the air purifier can pump into the room, measured in cubic feet per minute. However, CADR isn’t the be-all and end-all of air purifiers. While it is a good indication of cleaning capacity, it doesn’t necessarily indicate how effective the air purifier really is. The first things you should consider are the filtration system and special features, and then the CADR rating. 

Fan speed options: to clear a sudden influx of smoke and smoke odor from the room quickly, the air purifier needs a fast and powerful fan. Look for models with at least 3 fan speeds, preferably with a “turbo” option.

How Do Air Purifiers Solve The Issue of Smoke in Home?

  • Capture smoke particles 

First and foremost, air purifiers capture smoke particles in the filters, meaning they’re not circulating in the air and flowing into your lungs. True-HEPA filters capture the tiny smoke particles from all kinds of smoke, holding them in the filter fibers. 

  • Neutralize odor 

Air purifiers with activated carbon filters capture and neutralize odors associated with smoke. What’s more, they can also help to neutralize and capture chemicals within smoke.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

Can air purifiers remove smoke pollution in homes caused by wildfires in Australia?

Air purifiers that come with true HEPA and pre-filters are effective at reducing smoke in Australian homes that have been caused by wildfires. True HEPA filters help with particles that are 0.3 microns small with the success rate of removal being 99.97%.

The pre-filter works to capture the smoke particles that are 2 microns and over in size. This protects the true HEPA filter so that it can continue working properly and captures the larger smoke particles.

Do air purifiers work for fire smoke?

Yes. Fire smoke and woodsmoke particles are generally between 0.4 and 0.7 microns in size. A true-HEPA filter can capture 99.97% of microns as small as 0.3 microns. Therefore, you must choose a true-HEPA filter to deal with fire smoke.

Do air purifiers work for second-hand smoke?

Unfortunately, even the very best air purifier in the world can’t remove all of the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke. A true-HEPA and activated carbon filter will help to absorb the odor, and some of the chemicals, but a certain level of second-hand smoke components will remain. However, an air purifier can certainly reduce the amount of second-hand smoke breathed in the home.

Are permanent air purifier filters good for smoke?

The best air purifier filters for smoke are true-HEPA and activated carbon filters. Most models are not washable and must be replaced for the best effectiveness once the filters become full or very soiled. For that reason, replaceable filters are best for smoke, as opposed to permanent filters.

How effective are UV air purifiers for smoke?

UV air purifiers aren’t very effective for smoke. They are designed and used for killing airborne bacteria and allergy-triggering mold, but not smoke. What’s more, some UV-C filters can emit ozone which is a “con” for many people.

Do air purifiers help with smoke smell?

Yes, especially if they have an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon is used because it absorbs odors from the air, including harsh odors such as smoke.

Do air purifiers remove smoke?

Yes, the true-HEPA and activated carbon filters can capture and absorb smoke particles and odors.

Does an air purifier help with weed smoke?

Yes, a true-HEPA air purifier with an activated carbon filter can definitely reduce or even eliminate the strong odor from weed smoke. For this purpose, the activated carbon filter is a crucial aspect.

Do you need activated carbon filters for removing smoke pollution in Australian homes?

We recommend that you use an air purifier that comes with an activated carbon filter as it helps to reduce the strong smoke odors from lingering in your home.

Tips to Purify Your Room from Smoke Until Your Air Purifier Arrives

  1. Ventilate your home: one of the simplest ways to purify a room is to open all the windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate
  2. Use a room spray: use a natural, safe odor neutralizing spray such as this one which removes smoke odor without simply adding more smell to cover the odor 
  3. Air out furniture: sometimes, the source of smoke odor in a room is furniture which has absorbed odor. If you can, remove your upholstery covers and hang on the line to air out. Use a furniture-safe odor neutralizing spray if need be 
  4. Steam-clean your carpets: carpets can absorb smoke odor, especially from cigarettes. Hire a steam-cleaner or get professional carpet cleaners to steam clean your carpets to remove all traces of stale smoke  
  5. Smoke outside: while it may seem obvious, one surefire way of keeping cigarette smoke, weed smoke and cigar smoke out of your home is to smoke outside