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These Best Air Purifiers for Smoke Will Make Your Home Environment Healthier

People buy home air purifiers for many reasons and one of the main ones is smoke. Whether the smoke is coming from an outside source or if someone in the home is a smoker, the resulting poor air quality is a health hazard for everyone involved, especially children. Simple cleaning and opening the windows can help to some degree, but often it takes an air purifier to really remove the hazardous particle from the air in your home. With such a wide range of options available these days, how do you know which models are the best air purifiers for smoke?

Amazon's Choice
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode

Coway Mighty (AP-1512HH) is designed to accommodate room sizes up to 361 sq.ft (CADR: Dust 246 / Pollen 240 / Smoke 233 cb. ft.).

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Remove 99.97% Smoke Dust
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Smokers
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Smokers

It has all the benefits of the original filter plus a custom high-efficiency activated carbon filter for cigarette smoke. (Two other pollutant-specific filters are also available for the purifier.)

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Amazon Choice
Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier
Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier

It also comes with a remote control, a 2-year warranty and customer support 7 days a week.

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best seller
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier for Home
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier for Home

The company provides a three-year limited warranty and tech support from a US-based team.

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Night Light
KOIOS Air Purifier, Indoor Air Cleaner with 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter
KOIOS Air Purifier, Indoor Air Cleaner with 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter

The product as a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support via live chat.

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Why is smoke dangerous?

The dangers of secondhand smoke are well documented, but thirdhand smoke is also worrisome. This is the lingering smell that remains on skin, clothes and other items after being exposed to cigarette smoke, according to Healthline. Even though it’s not floating in the air, the residue contains hazardous chemicals that can be re-released into the air from touching and moving the smelly items. In fact, cigarette smoke contains almost 4,000 chemical compounds, says Allergy and Air. The EPA even classifies cigarette smoke as a Group A carcinogen that contains very small particles (10 micrometers or less) that can go very deep into the lungs.

A host of health problems are caused by exposure to cigarette smoke beyond just cancer. Many kinds of breathing and lung diseases are caused by smoke exposure  — even secondhand — such as emphysema, COPD and asthma. Children are particularly vulnerable to any smoke exposure and in babies, it has also been linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS.)

According to WebMD, bad air quality in the home can cause coughing, chest tightness, sore throat, watery or itchy eyes, shortness of breath, and even an asthma attack. Dr. E. Neil Schachter, medical director of respiratory care at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, says that bad indoor air quality can also cause frequent headaches, persistent colds, and bronchitis.

Why Buy an Air Purifier?

As already noted, opening the windows isn’t enough to clear your home of smoke. If you live with a smoker or are exposed to second-hand smoke on a regular basis, an air purifier is the best way to clear the air and mitigate the effects of this toxic element. The Mayo Clinic explains that tobacco smoke contains harmful gases and well as particles. While HEPA filters do a great job of cleaning particles from the air, they don’t eliminate the gases or the particles that have settled onto walls, upholstery and other surfaces. Purifiers that generate ozone –which itself can irritate lungs – are not effective against air contaminants.

Air purifiers with HEPA filters might not be able to remove all of the toxins and smoke smell from your home, but combined with diligent cleaning, they certainly can help minimize it, writes Allergy and Air. Studies by the US National Institutes of Health have shown that air purifiers can indeed reduce the harmful particles in the air, it does not eliminate exposure to nicotine in a home where smoking occurs.

Tips for Choosing the Best Purifiers for Smoke

  • Make sure it includes a true HEPA filter. HEPA – which stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air — filters have a very fine glass mesh that can remove 99.97 percent of particles from the air down to a size of 0.3 microns in diameter.
  • An added activated carbon filter can help. While the HEPA filter doesn’t do anything about odors, certain purifier that use an activated carbon filter in conjunction with a HEPA filter can help remove some of the smell from the air.
  • Look for certifications. Of course, you want an Energy Star rated device for cost and sustainability reasons, but there are other certifications you might want to explore. AHAM, which is the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, has a voluntary certification program that gives you the clean air delivery rate (CADR) of a particular purifier and provides some guidelines on the size of the room it can handle. There are specific CADR figures for some air pollutants, including smoke. So, if smoke is your main concern, you may want to investigate air purifiers that have a high CADR for it.

The Best Air Purifiers for Smoke

1. Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode

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With nearly 90 percent of reviewers giving it four or five stars, the award-winning Coway Mighty (AP-1512HH) air purifier is perfect for the living room, an apartment or other middle-sized space. Effective for up to 361 square feet, it has a CADR for dust (246), pollen (240), and, most importantly, smoke (233). The purifier features a four-stage filtration system that has a Pre-filter, deodorization filter, True HEPA filter, and a Vital Ion filter. Together, these trap up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in the air, and also reduce volatile organic compounds and reduces odor, which helps make it one of the best air purifiers for smoke.

The Coway purifier also has some extra bells and whistles that make it more user-friendly and convenient: A pollution sensor provides real-time information about the indoor air quality with a brightly colored LED light. It also features a timer and an indicator to let you know how much life is left in the filter before it needs to be replaced. An auto mode regulates the three fan speeds automatically to optimize the function depending on the indoor air quality. If no pollutants are detected for 30 minutes, the fan automatically resets itself to an eco mode to save energy. It also has a timer so you can schedule up to 12 hours of operation.

Amazon's Choice
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode
Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA and Eco Mode

Coway Mighty (AP-1512HH) is designed to accommodate room sizes up to 361 sq.ft (CADR: Dust 246 / Pollen 240 / Smoke 233 cb. ft.).

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Pros:

  • Many reviewers noted how well this worked to eliminate the smell of secondhand smoke from neighbors or from co-workers who are smokers.
  • Buyers say that this purifier is very effective for other pollutants as well as smoke, from dust to seasonal allergens

Cons:

  • Older versions of this model included a very bright blue light that made it unsuitable for use in the bedroom at night.
  • Some buyers were not satisfied with the air intake and air filtration, attributing the issues to the unit’s small size.

2. LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Smokers

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The Levoit air purifier with True HEPA Filter is another highly rated purifier that will clean the indoor air in your home. This Levoit model has the essential HEPA filter but it also includes an ultra-fine Pre-filter and an activated carbon filter. Besides being quiet, particularly in sleep mode, the AC capacitor motor is durable and long-lasting. The unit also does not produce any ozone, which is a harmful secondary pollutant.

Perhaps most importantly for those who want to mitigate the harmful effects of smoke, this model uses Vortexair Technology for stronger airflow, and has an AHAM Certified general CADR of 230, making it best for rooms up to 215 sq.  For the individual pollutants, the CADR for smoke is 141, for dust 140, and for pollen 145. The original filter that comes with the unit is designed to eliminate fine particles such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and bacteria. It can also get rid of common household smells from cooking or pets. For issues specific to smoke, a separate Toxin Absorber Filter is available, which puts this model among the best purifiers for smoke.

Other features of this purifier include a timer, the ability to turn off the light, and a filter lifetime indicator. While the filter will need to be replaced every 6 to 8 months the prefilter can be cleaned every few weeks to optimize function.

Remove 99.97% Smoke Dust
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Smokers
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies and Smokers

It has all the benefits of the original filter plus a custom high-efficiency activated carbon filter for cigarette smoke. (Two other pollutant-specific filters are also available for the purifier.)

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Pros:

  • Most buyers sing the praises of this purifier for being able to remove the smell of smoke coming from neighboring apartments.
  • Reviewers say that in general, this unit is very effective, quiet and fuss-free for pollutants of all kinds, including pet dander.

Cons:

  • A small percentage of buyers cited a bad plastic smell coming from the purifier unit.
  • A few reviewers were not satisfied with the level of odor removal.

3. Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier, 5-in-1 Large Room Air Cleaner & Deodorizer

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As an Amazon Choice for “best air purifier,” the Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier has a number of features to improve indoor air and, most importantly, eliminate smoke and its lingering smell. The company says that this unit is not just an air cleaner, but also an odor eliminator, using a 5-in-1 air filter system to captures all those microscopic polluting particles. In addition to the HEPA filter, the purifier has a  cellular-activated carbon filter that can absorb odors, smoke, and gases. An anion generator, which Hathaspace says is ozone-safe, can be separately controlled in order to get rid of the most insidious smells. The other components are a Nano Cold Catalyst Filter that takes out larger particles including dust and pet dander, as well as toxic household chemicals, and an antibacterial filter to fight germs and bacteria.

A range of other features makes the Hathaspace Smart unit very convenient. It has an automatic mode that uses an air quality sensor system to monitors the air and adjust the fan speed. The air quality is also displayed via green, yellow and red lights, so that you can see it at a glance at all times. During the night, a sleep mode keeps it operating at the quietest setting.

Amazon Choice
Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier
Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier

It also comes with a remote control, a 2-year warranty and customer support 7 days a week.

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Pros:

  • Many buyers were pleased with the ability of the Hathaspace purifier to remove smoke smells as well as other odors.
  • Some reviewers cited the unit’s quiet operation and the general improvement in indoor air quality.
  • Customer service was highlighted as being very helpful.

Cons:

  • A number of buyers cited issues with the accuracy and operation of the air quality sensor.
  • Issues with general function were cited by a few buyers.

4. Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier

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It’s no wonder that the Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier is a bestseller on Amazon because it has more than 9,000 five-star reviews. The unit has a prefilter and a True HEPA filter to eliminate all the major allergens but it also uses an activated charcoal filter to eliminate odors, including the smell of smoke. For airborne viruses like influenza and rhinovirus, the Germ Guardian has a UV C light that works with titanium dioxide to help get rid of them, along with reducing volatile organic compounds in the air.

Among the best purifiers for smoke, this unit filters air four times per hour at the maximum speed and is suitable for medium to large rooms up to 167 square feet. The unit is Energy Star Certified and AHAM Verified, with a CADR rating of 118 for dust, 125 for pollen and 108 for smoke. It features three speed settings and the UC V light can be turned off when not needed or wanted. A night setting keeps it quiet for good rest. Like most purifiers, the Germ Guardia requires the HEPA and carbon filters to be changed every 6 to 8 months, while the UV lightbulb only needs to be replaced every 10 to 12 months.

best seller
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier for Home
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier for Home

The company provides a three-year limited warranty and tech support from a US-based team.

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Pros:

  • Many reviewers purchased thus purifier specifically for smoke and were thrilled with the way it works and removes odors.
  • Exceptional customer service and support was highlighted by many who purchased this purifier.

Cons:

  • A number of issues have been cited with circuit boards burning out, creating a fire risk.
  • Buyers who were not happy with the purifier cited problems with durability and that it stopped working in a short time.

5. KOIOS Air Purifier, Indoor Air Cleaner with 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter

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The combination of filtration in this purifier make it effective and have garnered it 90 percent four- and five-star ratings from reviewers. This system starts with a True HEPA filter that is added to a prefilter and an activated carbon filter, which helps remove the odors — including smoke — that you’re looking to eliminate. Of course, it also traps all the usual allergens like pet dander, dust mites, pollen and mold. This popular purifier is 100% ozone free because it does not use UV light or ions, which can create ozone, which is itself a harmful air pollutant.

Easy to use, the KOIOS has one-button operation to turn it on and control the two-speed fan. It runs quietly and is ETL, EPA, FEE Certified & CE Listed, and is suitable for a room up around 60 square feet. Other features include a light that is illuminated while it’s running and a 360-degree air intake enhances operation. Buyers have named this one of the best purifiers for smoke because it can not only remove secondhand smoke smells, but also reduce the odor in a smoker’s home.

Night Light
KOIOS Air Purifier, Indoor Air Cleaner with 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter
KOIOS Air Purifier, Indoor Air Cleaner with 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter

The product as a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support via live chat.

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Pros:

  • Reviewers rave about the effectiveness of this purifier for overall air quality and for removing smoke odors.
  • Buyers called this unit small but mighty and a great product for the price.

Cons:

  • A few reviewers question whether the purifier was working at all.
  • One or two buyers thought it sounded noisy.

Conclusion

All of these popular products are among the best air purifiers for smoke. Your satisfaction with each may depend on how severe your issue is with smoke odors as well as the overall air quality of your home. The best way to eliminate the smell is to stop smoking, but if it’s secondhand smoke coming from a neighboring apartment or condo, that is likely not an option. You can still protect yourself with one of these air purifiers for smoke.