We all know about the harmful effects cigarette smoke can have on the body. But do you know that breathing in smoke can be just as harmful?
Whether you’re dealing with smoky air from wildfires, a recent home fire, a woodburning stove, or cigarette smoke, the faster you purify your air, the better. And the fastest way to clean your air is with a quality air purifier.
Unfortunately, not all air purifiers are optimized for removing smoke particles or odor. To find the best air purifier for smoke, you need to interpret the smoke CADR rating and understand how different filters remove smoke and neutralize odors.
If that sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with the top seven smoke-removing air purifiers on the market. Each of the units we chose has an efficient smoke CADR rating, optimized filter functionality, and extra features that make them useful in various situations.
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Quick Air Purifier Comparison Table
|Product||Details||Where to Buy|
Smoke CADR: 365 CFM
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Smoke CADR: 347
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Smoke CADR: 250 CFM
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Smoke CADR: 237 CFM
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Smoke CADR: 147 CFM
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Smoke CADR: 141 CFM
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Smoke CADR: 48 CFM
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Our Top Pick: Carrier Air Purifier XL
Best Air Purifier for Smoke
Carrier Air Purifier XL
- 365 CFM CADR Rating
- 560 sq ft coverage area
- HEPA and carbon filters
The Carrier Air Purifier XL blew the competition out of the water when it came to powerful smoke particulate and odor reduction. With a CADR rating of 365 CFM and a room coverage rating of 560 square feet, this unit is perfect for use in the bedroom, living room, or other medium-sized spaces.
It uses a highly-effective cylindrical True HEPA filter and carbon filter to trap particles and odors. In addition to purifying smoke from the air, it also does a great job capturing mold, allergens, and dust.
What We Look For in an Air Purifier For Smoke
The most important aspects to consider when searching for the best air purifier for smoke are the smoke CADR rating and the filter type. But you should also consider the coverage area, the cost to run and buy the unit, and noise levels as these can affect usability and efficiency.
Smoke CADR Rating
The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) measures the unit’s air purifying efficacy. In other words, this number tells you how quickly and efficiently the unit cleans the air. The volume of air cycled through the unit each minute (CFM) and the filter’s efficiency (what percent of particles are captured) will affect the CADR rating.
Info: The smoke CADR measures how efficiently the purifier removes smoke particles between 0.9 and 1.0 microns from the air. This measurement is given on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 450 (excellent).
For example, a powerful 400 CFM unit with a 75% efficient filter would have a CADR rating of 300. A smaller 300 CFM unit with an 80% filter would have a CADR rating of 240. The latter is more effective at pulling particles from the air, but it does it at a slower rate.
A high CADR is necessary for units with larger coverage areas as it takes longer for air in that space to be filtered through. On the other hand, a small space, like a bedroom, can be effectively purified by a unit with a moderate CADR because the air in the space will cycle through more often.
So, while smoke CADR ratings are important for measuring how effective a unit is for purifying smoke, it is just one of many pieces that should be considered.
Type of Filter
Filter type and efficiency affect how effective a unit is in purifying smoke from the air. Certain air purifier filters are more reliable at capturing smoke particles, while others have additional odor control and neutralization layers.
- HEPA – High-efficiency particulate air filters are rated to remove at least 99.97% of solid particles over 0.3 microns in size. Since most smoke molecules are over 0.4 microns in size, HEPA filters tend to work very well against these pollutants.
- Activated Carbon – Activated carbon filters use chemical absorption to remove VOCs and other odors from the air. These filters are great for purifying the gaseous odors associated with smoke but will not trap solid smoke particles.
- Electrostatic and Ionic– Electrostatic filters use an electric charge to attract small particles to them. On the other hand, ionic filters give particles an electric charge to help pull them from the air. These filters aren’t nearly as effective as HEPA filters, but they can help capture and remove smoke particulates from the air.
The best filter for removing smoke from the air is a HEPA filter with an activated carbon layer. With each pass, this combination will remove the highest number of smoke particles and the most odor from the air. Ionic filters aren’t as effective, but they can improve overall performance when combined with these other layers.
Info: UV filters are not effective against smoke particles or odors. MERV-rated filters also struggle to capture small smoke particles effectively and do nothing to trap odors.
How much space an air purifier can effectively purify is a matter of how much air it can pull through the filter at a time. In other words, the coverage area rating is directly related to the CFM rating.
In general, you want about 100 CFM for every 250 square feet of space. Bedrooms typically require less powerful units, while large open areas without doors and dividers will need a more powerful unit.
We chose a variety of air purifiers with different coverage ratings on our list below. Some are best suited for small spaces like bedrooms, while others will work well to clear smoke from entire levels of your home.
Cost To Run and Purchase
The higher the CFM, CADR, and the better the filter, the more expensive you can expect your new air purifier to be. But, by opting away from extra features that you don’t need for smoke purification, like UV lights and washable pre-filters, you can help keep the price down.
We paid special attention to the overall purchase price of the smoke-rated units we tested to find a quality candidate for every budget. We also awarded extra points to those units that use the least amount of power.
Note: The more features and the more powerful the unit, the higher the cost will be to run it, as well. Some units do come with special certifications for energy use and added functionality to keep power consumption down.
Noise level doesn’t necessarily affect smoke purifying performance, but it can influence the unit’s usability. In our review, we awarded more points to units with quieter operating noise outputs but didn’t weigh this aspect higher than overall purifying performance. Of course, large units for wide, open spaces can afford to be louder over smaller purifying units for the bedroom or office.
Air Purifier Reviews – HEPA Filter Models
Carrier Air Purifier XL
- 365 smoke CADR rating
- HEPA filter
- Carbon filter for odor removal
- Perfect for large bedrooms
- Air quality indicator
For powerful smoke reduction that won’t blow your budget, the Carrier Air Purifier XL is one of the best options.
This highly effective purifier has a smoke CADR rating of 365 CFM. You can count on it to quickly and efficiently remove smoke particles of all sizes from your air.
The key to its efficacy lies in the cylindrical True HEPA filter and attached carbon filter. These work together to capture both particles and odorous gas to leave your air looking and smelling pure. The shape allows for better airflow from all sides of the unit, increasing the rate at which air is pulled through the filters.
The Carrier is rated for rooms up to 560 square feet, making it a great choice for bedrooms, family rooms, and living rooms. Moreover, this purifier’s simple design blends seamlessly with any decor.
The control panel is hidden away on the top lip of the output vents, while the digital screen can be set flat or tilted for easy viewing. That screen also features four color indicator lights for air quality monitoring.
The highly sensitive air quality sensor works with the auto mode function to adjust the fan output to cleanse the air better.
The Carrier Air Purifier performs exceptionally well when it comes to powerful smoke relief. And it does it for a price that’s well below many of its competitors.
- Highly efficient air purification
- High dust and smoke CADR
- 360 degree air intake
- 1-year warranty
- A little bulky
- Fewer features than other options
Alen BreatheSmart 75i Air Purifier
- 347 smoke CADR rating
- HEPA filter for odor control
- Large coverage area of 1,300 sq ft
- Smart air quality indicator light
- Pink noise output
If you struggle with wildfire smoke infiltrating your home or have cigarette smoke inside the home, the Alen BreatheSmart 75i Air Purifier is one of your better options.
This ultra-powerful unit has a CADR rating of 347 CFM, making it one of the more effective purifiers we tested. On top of that, it has a high coverage area rating of 1,300 square feet.
The keys to that high CADR rating are in the powerful fan and air intake design, plus the high purification rating of the large HEPA filter. This single-layer filter can capture 99.99% of particles over 0.1 microns. Smoke particles, which average over 0.4 microns in size, are quickly captured and neutralized.
However, this powerful filter lacks a carbon filter to neutralize smoke odor. This means that while it can eradicate smoke particles that cause many health problems, the lingering smell of smoke will still be noticeable.
Note: If you’re looking to clean up your air after a fire or after a smoker has moved out, you will need to purchase the additional Allergy + Odor + Smoke filter. But if your goal is to reduce the negative health effects of wildfire smoke or cigarette smoke, the standard unit is still a great choice.
In addition to great purifying power, this model also has many great features. The smart indicator light tells you how pure your air is at any time and works with the auto mode function for optimal purification. The Alen BreatheSmart also has a timer, ionizer mode, and more.
This is also one of the quieter air purifiers you’ll find, with a low setting noise output of around 25 dB. And all fan levels create pink noise sound waves that can actually help you sleep better—a bonus if you plan to use your purifier in the bedroom.
Click here to see our full Alen BreatheSmart review.
- Quickly removes visible smoke particles
- High air turnover even in large spaces
- Energy Star Certified
- Lifetime warranty
- Customizable filter and front panel
- Need to purchase smoke filter separately
- Filter replacements can be pricey
Enviro Klenz HEPA Filter Air Purifier
- 250 CFM smoke CADR rating
- H13 HEPA filter
- Odor capturing mineral air cartridge
- Powerful air circulation
- Optional UV mode
If you’re after an air purifier that can handle smoke as well as other VOCs and pathogens, the Enviro Klenz HEPA Filter Air Purifier is the one you want.
This powerful air purifier uses three separate filtering devices to cleanse the air of everything from smoke to allergens to microscopic viruses. The large H13 HEPA air filter easily captures small and large smoke particles. But it’s the unique mineral-based air cartridge that makes this unit superior at tackling smoke odors.
Unlike carbon filters that only absorb odors and VOCs for a short period, this mineral system absorbs then neutralizes odors to ensure they don’t reemerge later. This unit will provide some much-needed relief if a lingering smoke smell is an issue in your house due to cigarette use or a house fire.
Multiple independent tests have confirmed the air purifying power of the Enviro Klenz. Many of those focused on not just its smoke eradicating power but its ability to neutralize pathogens. Much of this power comes from the sanitizing UV light mode in addition to the two other filters.
I had a chance to try this unit out for myself and was impressed with its effectiveness. It is not the prettiest purifier out there by any means. But if you’re after a home purifier that works as well as industrial and commercial units, the Enviroklenz is the one for you.
You can read my full review of this air purifier here.
- Effective against smoke particles and odors
- Neutralizes odors for lasting purity
- Highly effective against viruses and pathogens
- Made in the USA
- Includes a 5-year warranty
- Industrial look and design
- Replacement parts are pricey
AirOasis iAdaptAir Air Purifier
- 237 CFM smoke CADR rating
- HEPA filter
- Carbon filter and dual non-ozone ionizers
- Multiple sizes
- Wifi capable, includes smartphone app
If you’re after an air purifier that you can constantly use to reduce smoke and cleanse the air of allergens, VOCs, and pathogens, the AirOasis iAdaptAir is one of the better choices.
Not only does this purifier do a great job of tackling many issues, but it comes with a host of features that make it more usable than many competitors.
The iAdaptAir uses a multi-pronged approach to purifying the air. Like many of our other choices here, it utilizes a HEPA filter to capture smoke and other particulates. It also has a carbon filter for added odor reduction.
Additionally, this purifier uses NASA-developed AHPCO® ionization and Bi-Polar® ionization. These systems work like an electrostatic filter but are more effective because they change the charge of particles that would otherwise be unaffected. Pathogens caught in this web of filtration are then neutralized with UV light.
Note: Neither the ionizers nor the UV system creates any detectable ozone, a byproduct that can harm your health.
The UV filtration and ionization can be turned on or off separately to meet your specific needs. The size of the unit itself is also customizable, with three different models available. The smallest covers rooms up to 250 sq ft, while the largest works for rooms as large as 850 sq ft.
The powerful filtration, high surface area intake vents, and a powerful fan give the largest model in this lineup a 237 CADR rating. For larger rooms in need of smoke reduction, this model will serve you well.
I had a chance to test out the iAdaptAir by AirOasis and was very impressed. Along with the powerful filtration and low noise output, I really enjoyed the multitude of functional features. This unit has a timer function, smart mode, and three fan speeds. Plus, it is wifi capable, allowing it to be controlled via the connected app no matter where you are.
Click here to see my full iAdaptAir purifier review.
- Highly effective against smoke and smoke odor
- Smart mode automatically adjusts based on air purity levels
- Control from anywhere with the smartphone app
- Very quiet
- Phone app could use some improvement
- CFM is better suited for smaller rooms than marketed
Okaysou AirMax 10L Pro Smart Air Purifier
- 147 CFM smoke CADR rating
- H13 HEPA filter
- 5-layer filter system including carbon and ion
- Super quiet operation
- Up to 1,000 square feet
Looking for a sleek solution to whole-home smoke purification? The Okaysou AirMax 10L Pro Smart Air Purifier has you covered.
This large Okaysou unit is rated for spaces up to 1,000 square feet. And its 5-layer filtration system makes it extra effective against smoke and other impurities.
In addition to a washable prefilter and premium pleated filter, this unit utilizes an H13 HEPA and ion filter. Both work together to capture particulates of all sizes. And the fifth layer, a honeycomb carbon filter, does an excellent job of removing smoke odors.
While this unit is rated for larger spaces than the iAdpatAir purifier, it has a lower CADR rating of 147. This isn’t a big deal for standard purification, but if you’re targeting smoke specifically, we’d recommend using this for spaces about half as large as the marketing suggests.
One thing you don’t have to worry about with this EnergyStar Certified appliance is leaving it running. It uses very little energy, and you can set it to Eco Mode. In this setting, the unit will automatically shut off when the air quality is good and turn back on if that quality begins to drop.
You can even see your air quality in real-time thanks to the color-changing indicator light.
We had a chance to try both the Okaysou AirMax 10L and the smaller Okaysou Cayman. Both performed very well, and we were especially impressed with how quiet they were on the low setting. The AirMax, especially, comes with many great features, such as turbo, auto, and timer modes, that make it highly useable.
- Powerful for large spaces
- Removes smoke and smoke odor
- Multiple modes to fit all needs
- Energy Star rated
- Sleek and intelligent design
- Takes up a lot of space
- No remote control
- Filters are expensive
LEVOIT Air Purifier
- 141 smoke CADR rating
- H13 HEPA filter
- Prefilter and carbon filter
- Small size with large space coverage
- Sleek, simple design
For small to medium-sized bedrooms that need some serious smoke relief, the LEVOIT Air Purifier is a great choice.
This personal purifier is small enough to fit on your dresser, nightstand, or desk but is marketed for spaces up to 547 square feet (although it is best suited for rooms around 200 sq ft). This makes it a great choice for rooms that are too large for most personal-sized units and too small for a bulky floor unit.
The little LEVOIT isn’t a slouch in the smoke removal department. It carries a CADR rating of 141, almost three times that of the similarly-sized hOmeLabs unit.
Like other round purifiers on this list, this model utilizes an efficient cylindrical H13 HEPA filter with an added layer of activated carbon. The HEPA makes quick work of small and large smoke particles while the carbon absorbs odors. If you need even greater smoke relief, you can purchase the optional Smoke Filter for even better performance.
The filters in the LEVOIT are smaller than others in this size class due to the space taken up by the more powerful fan, so do expect more frequent filter changes.
But when it comes to functionality, this little unit has a lot to offer. It has a night mode function, three fan speeds, and is Energy Star verified.
- Customizable filter options
- High CADR rating for its size
- Multiple operating modes
- Energy Star verified
- Quiet operation
- Room coverage rating is exaggerated
- Noisy at higher speeds
- Replacement filters are expensive
hOmeLabs Purely Awesome True HEPA Filter Portable Air Purifier
- 48 CFM smoke CADR rating
- H13 HEPA filter
- Added activated carbon filter layer
- Smart design for easy placement
- Small footprint for small spaces
If you’re looking to tackle smoke odor or particles in a small space, the hOmeLabs Purely Awesome air purifier is a great choice.
This personal-sized unit is smaller than many here, so its CADR rating is only 48 CFM. But when used as intended—in small spaces—it more than gets the job done.
According to the website, this unit is best for rooms up to 194 square feet, which is smaller than the average bedroom. According to the manual, 80 square feet is the optimal room size for this little machine. Given the low CADR, this second measurement seems more accurate.
If you need a portable, easy-to-use air purifier for your office or bathroom, this is the one.
The unique cylindrical design and 360-degree intake vents make the Purely Awesome easy to place on your desk, counter, or other elevated surfaces. The air moves through a highly effective H13 HEPA filter to remove even the smallest smoke particles at a rate of 99.97%. And an added filter layer of activated carbon helps eliminate smoke odors in less than an hour.
I had the opportunity to test this little unit in my own home and was impressed with the sleek design and many useful features. In addition to a highly efficient filter system, this unit also features three fan speeds, a nightlight function, and is highly energy efficient. You can read my full review here.
The biggest downside to this unit is how noisy it is. Not only does it have a higher noise output than most personal-sized units, but the sound isn’t as smooth and consistent as others. Only use this unit in the bedroom if you aren’t sensitive to noises while you sleep.
- Optimized for use in small spaces
- Nightlight function
- 360-degree air intakes
- Filter only lasts about three months
- Bottom-set intakes need to be cleaned often
- No timer
Specification Comparison Table
|Model||Smoke CADR Rating||Filter Type||Coverage Area||Noise Level|
|Carrier Air Purifier XL||365 CFM||HEPA, carbon||560 square feet||44 dB|
|Alen BreatheSmart 75i||347 CFM||HEPA, ionizer||1,300 square feet||25 dB|
|Enviro Klenz HEPA Filter Air Purifier||250 CFM||H13 HEPA, mineral air cartridge||1,000 square feet||35dB|
|AirOasis iAdaptAir||237 CFM||HEPA, carbon, and non-ozone ionizer||850 square feet||25dB|
|Okaysou AirMax 10L Pro Smart||147 CFM||H13 HEPA, ionic, activated carbon||1,000 square feet||24dB|
|LEVOIT Air Purifier||141 CFM||H13 HEPA, carbon||547 square feet||24 dB|
|hOmeLabs Purely Awesome||48 CFM||H13 HEPA with activated carbon layer||194 square feet||50dB|
The Best of the Best Air Purifier for Smoke
If you’re struggling with smoke from cigarettes, wildfires, or a recent fire, then you need an air purifier in your home. But not all home units work as well as others to eliminate smoke pollutants and odors.
For impressively powerful smoke relief in your bedroom or other medium-sized space, the Carrier Air Purifier XL is the way to go. This intelligently designed purifier carries a CADR rating of 365 CFM and is suitable for spaces up to 560 square feet. And, with a HEPA filter and activated carbon filter, it makes quick work of smoke and odor.
If you’re after a purifier for larger spaces or powerful enough for your whole home, the Alen BreatheSmart 75i is your best bet. This impressive unit carries a CADR of 347 CFM and is suitable for rooms up to 1,300 square feet. The standard filter does a fantastic job removing smoke particles, but if you need smoke smell relief as well, be sure to buy the smoke and odor replacement filter.